Best New Albums Of 2017-Part 2.

Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano-Everything.

Label: Erased Tapes Records.

When it came for games designer David O’Reilly to commission composers to produce the score for Everything, he turned to German composers Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano who were tasked with producing a sprawling four-hour, immersive soundtrack. This would provide the backdrop to a game about perspective and the interconnectivity of all life. To create the soundtrack to the game, Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano drew upon their vast experience in creating stirring ambient soundscapes and evocative themes using a variety of acoustic and electronic sources. These are their musical palette, which they’ve put to good use over the years. That is the case on Everything, which showcases lush, ambient soundscapes where the music is ethereal, elegiac, rich in texture and cinematic. Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano’s music sets both the gamer and the listener’s imagination racing, as they embark on journey that is Everything.

Bjorn Mayer-Provenance

Label: ECM Records.

Ever since Manfred Eicher founded ECM Records, his label had released many solo bass albums. However, until the release of Bjorn Mayer’s Provenance, ECM Records had never released an album where the electric bass takes centre-stage. The Swedish bassist, whose now based in Switzerland, recorded Provenance at the Auditorio Stello Molo RSI in Lugano. This was the perfect place to record a Provenance, as Bjorn Mayer knew the importance of the “room.” It proved extremely responsive space and helps bring out the subtleties and nuances in Bjorn Mayer’s landmark album Provenance which proves that sometimes, less is more.

Black Moon Circle-Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension

Label: Crispin Glover Records.

In mid-2015 Trondheim-based Black Moon Circle announced their intention to release three albums of Studio Jamms. Just over two years later, they returned with the final instalment in this critically acclaimed series, Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension. It’s another ambitious, genre-melting adventure into sound with Black Moon Circle, and is their hardest rocking and the finest album of their five-year career. Flowing Into The 3rd Dimension is a reminder that the future of rock is in safe hands, thanks to groups like Black Moon Circle, with their pioneering and hard rocking brand of psychedelic space rock.


Label: Bureau B.

When Brockmann//Bargmann released their debut album Licht in 2017, this was the start of a new chapter for the duo. who  had previously recorded together as Camera. Their influence can be heard on Licht. So can the influence of Brockmann//Bargmann’s contemporaries Ulrich Schnauss and Rival Consoles, plus Kluster, Cluster, Qluster, Harmonia, Neu! and Kraftwerk. However, for much of Licht, sonic pioneers Brockmann//Bargmann set about forging their own unique and inimitable sound on Licht. It finds Brockmann//Bargmann pushing musical boundaries on Licht, which an ambitious album of inventive, innovative and imaginative soundscapes.

Brian Eno-Reflection.

Label: Warp.

As 2017 dawned, Brian Eno described his latest album: “Reflection is the latest work in a long series.” He’s unsure when this series started. That is no surprise as Brian Eno has been a musical pioneers since the dawn of his career. Whether it was with Roxy Music, Fripp and Eno or when collaborating with Cluster and Harmonia he has created ambitious albums of innovative music. That is the case with Reflection, which features a fifty-four minute epic soundscape from ambient pioneer Brian Eno that offers time to reflect and ruminate.

Brutter-Reveal And Rise. 

Label: Hubro Music.

Brothers Christian Wallumrød and Fredrik Wallumrød have both forged successful music careers since graduating from the Jazz Program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium. Much of their time is spent working with other musicians. However, the brothers reunited to record Brutter’s sophomore album Reveal And Rise. Brutter manipulates an array of sounds whilst using sonic trickery and sleight of hands as they pose a series of questions and challenge musical norms? Brutter also let imagination run riot on Reveal and Rise, an album of anti-techno that is ambitious, cerebral, innovative, playful, witty and engaging.


Label: Hubro Music.

Three years after the release of Cakewalk’s critically acclaimed sophomore album Transfixed, the Norwegian supergroup returned in 2017 with their much-anticipated, third album, Ishihara. It finds musical mavericks Cakewalk at their innovative best, on what’s without doubt, their most ambitious album of carefully sculpted soundscapes. To create them, Cakewalk deploy traditional instruments, synths, plus a myriad of special effects and samples. They become part of Cakewalk’s carefully crafted musical tapestry, Ishihara. It’s a genre-sprawling, vibrant, cinematic epic from sonic explorers Cakewalk, who reach new heights on their much-anticipated third album Ishihara.

Carbon Based Lifeforms-Derelicts.

Label: Blood Music.

After a five-year wait, Göteborg-based ambient psychedelia pioneers Carbon Based Lifeforms returned with Derelicts, their carefully crafted comeback album. It featured soundscapes that veer between cerebral and ruminative while others are futuristic and otherworldly and dreamy, elegiac and ethereal. Some are dramatic and urgent, others edgy and trippy, but like the rest of are captivating cinematic. Sometimes, Carbon Based Lifeforms throw a curveball, and soundscapes head in unexpected directions, before normality is restored as they continue to take the listener on a lysergic magical mystery tour which features surprises aplenty for the unsuspecting listener.

Chip Wickham-La Sombra.

Label: Lovemonk Records.

While Chip Wickham’s career began twenty-five years ago, there was one thing he still had to do, release a debut album. This changed in early 2017, he released his long-awaited and much-anticipated debut album La Sombra. From the opening bars of La Sombra to the closing notes of La Leyenda Del Tiempo, Chip Wickham and a tight, talented band that feature some of Madrid’s top jazz musicians never miss a beat. They showcase their considerable talents on La Sombra, which was the much-anticipated debut album of one of Britain’s top reed men, Chip Wickham, as rekindles his love of jazz.


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