We asked to different musicians, producers, bloggers, journalists, label owners to make a short list of their best albums of this year. This is the list curated by Chicago/L.A. based musician and producer Surachai.
Every album is better than the last. It must be terrifying to know that. When you compete with yourself and you win every time with every release, it must be harrowing to think about future work. This is my favorite album of the year, and possibly for a few more to come. The mood of this entire album is overbearing, oppressive, suffocating, anxiety inducing, panic stricken, and it rarely lets up for air. Despite these seemingly negative attributes, it makes me feel invigorated, inspired and vigilant when this year has tried its best to kill me.
I’ve been listening to Sort\Lave for over a year and I have been so excited for its release. In a genre overtaken by too much content and not enough quality, where every asshole with a few thousand dollars and an internet connection can spam the world with their garbage – I’ve been waiting for this album to shut people up. With Richard’s music, I don’t remember the thousands of microscopic sounds and don’t care how he makes them but I always remember how it makes me feel. Understandably Richard’s music is polarizing but Sort\Lave is his most accessible, beautifully crafted, and intense. The album transcends the tools he uses and joins the ranks of the greatest artistic voices in my lifetime.
What does it mean when your 12th album is your best? I’ve been a passive passenger with Low for over a decade, always in my rotation but less and less over the years. How I love being blindsided and how I fall in love when I see an artist’s confidence to take a risk and evolve. They pulled everything back with Double Negative and it hits so hard because of how little they give you. The instrumentals could’ve been on any great electronic label but the presentation makes it stands on its own – undefinable and uniquely Low. It’s a gorgeously muted and devastating beautiful album and it shines particularly because of how loud everything outside this album is.