Sunday, December 20, 2015

Knix Picks for Best Albums of 2015

The albums that represent the top picks for The Knix Mix for 2015 are a mix of treasures that have been overlooked by most media outlets and some heavy hitters, like Arca and Jamie xx, who seem to have gotten nods on every list I've seen. Of course, I'm more electro pop than experimental electronic on The Knix Mix as a rule. I'm also ridiculously sentimental, so music that is evocative of the alternative music of the '80s and '90s gets my attention. If it's danceable, even better. It's curious to see Leftfield and The Chemical Brothers - both formed in 1989 and a big deal in the '90s - appearing on a 2015 list. Welcome back, guys! New Order is on the list as well, and I dare you to listen to Motorama and not be reminded of New Order's first incarnation before Ian Curtis's death - Joy Division. So check it out and let me know what you think!  

Arca Mutant

Mutant is Venezuelan Alejandro Ghersi's second studio album. The album is unsettling and corporeal in its experimentation with sound and subject matter.
Big Data 2.0
American producer Alan Wilkis's project, Big Data, offers danceable hooks for the Internet age. Dangerous features New York-based quintet Joywave.
Björk Vulnicura
Vulnicura is the 9th studio album of the accomplished Icelandic songstress Björk. The album follows the arc of a relationship through a breakup. 
Bob Moses Days Gone By
Deep house meets live instrumentation in this debut album from the New York-based duo.

The Chemical Brothers Born in the Echoes
The duo's 8th studio album features guest vocals by St.Vincent and Cate Le Bon, among others. The title track, Born in the Echoes, has been on repeat play on The Knix Mix since the disc arrived in the studio. These old pros still have it going on.
Empress Of Me
This is Lorely Rodriguez's debut album using her "Empress Of" alter ego. The album is full of introspection and melodic vocals. With Rodriguez handling everything from songwriting to production, it really is the expression of "Me."
Étienne de Crécy Super Discount 3
The third installation of the Super Discount series from the French producer and DJ arrived a good ten years after the second installment. Well worth the wait.
FKA Twigs M3LL155X EP
The "Melissa" EP builds on British FKA Twig's earlier work replete with haunting vocals and commentary about femininity.
Grimes Art Angels
Grimes is the alter ego of Vancouver native Claire Boucher, who defies female pop vocalist convention by doing it her way.
Holly Herndon Platform
American Herndon is not only accomplished musically - she also happens to be a doctoral student in composition at Stanford. Herndon uses technology as a means of self-expression without being cold or impersonal.
Humans Noontide
Humans is the Vancouver duo of Peter Ricq and Bobbie Slade. The album is full of auditory twists and turns. Peter, who I had the pleasure of interview on The Knix Mix, brings a gift for the visual arts to Humans, which makes their videos well worth checking out.
Jamie xx In Colour
In Colour is English producer Jamie Smith first full-length album. Influenced by vintage club culture, it has elements of everything that has shaped Smith's sound.
Kate Tempest Everybody Down
The debut album from the English poet and spoken word artist. Tempest weaves a gritty narrative with hip hop influenced beats and a South East London accent honed by battle-rap practice.
Leftfield Alternative Light Source
I couldn't be more excited about the first Leftfield album released since 1999's Rhythm and Stealth. As innovative and relevant as ever.
Le Galaxie Le Club
This '80s influenced Irish electro-pop band's sophomore album features upbeat tracks that make you want to move your body and an album cover that screams Miami Vice. I kind of love it.
Motorama Poverty
This Russian band is a throwback to the post-punk era. Their cold wave sound is evocative of Joy Division. Motorama is a well kept secret worth a listen.
New Order Music Complete
Music Complete is New Order's 10th studio album. Despite the departure of Peter Hook and the ensuing drama, this album is a return to form for the reconfigured New Order.
Panda Bear Panda Meets the Grim Reaper
The fifth studio album for American producer Panda Bear. A contemplative and somewhat doom-laden album where electronic meets psychedelia.
Purity Ring Another Eternity
This is the sophomore album for the Canadian duo. Sweeping pop sound with emotive lyrics.  
Superhumanoids Do You Feel Okay?
This LA trio's sophomore album is '80s synthpop inspired electro-dance. Do YOU feel okay?

Best wishes for an amazing and music-filled New Year! DJ Knix

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