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 Philadelphia-based ambient/drone artist Andrew Tasselmyer.
Break – Corey Fuller. Break is one of the best albums I’ve heard in years, let alone 2019. I am just as floored now, on my millionth repeat, as I was on my first listen. It takes a lot of skill to make an album rooted in organic elements like piano and voice feel so expansive and otherworldly, but Corey has done it. He has composed a weighty, powerful statement here.
Tracing Back the Radiance – Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. This is a mesmerizing album. “Meditative” gets thrown around a lot in this genre, but it actually applies in this case with its shimmering, evolving character. Looking at the virtuosic talent and ability in the album credits, you’d never guess that such understated beauty would be the result…and yet here we are with a minimal masterpiece.
The Flower and the Vessel – Fèlicia Atkinson. I’ve admired Fèlicia’s music for years now, but this feels like her most complete album yet. The tone and placement of her voice alongside the myriad of other close-mic’d sounds on this album feels like sitting next to a close friend after years apart, listening to them tell you a personal story. It’s an intimate and emotional experience.
Sylva – Benoît Pioulard. Deeply affective and vivid, “Sylva” is a lively experience. Nostalgic textures and acoustic sounds flow in and out of the soundstage in a beautiful way, not unlike watching a lush landscape unfold before you on an open road. The effect is even stronger when viewing the stunning photo book that accompanies the album.
On Falling – Marcus Fischer. Marcus has a singular ability to make ordinary sounds, instruments, and objects take on heightened significance. Every loop, layer, and tone is so carefully selected and placed in the soundscape that it feels almost like watching a high-wire trapeze artist at work; you simply *must* hold your breath, pay attention, and listen to these compositions unfold before you. This is music for deep listening.
After Dark – Forest Management
~~~ – ana roxanne
Xièxie – Celer
Grønland – Glåsbird
Upward, Broken, Always – OHIO