2017 Albums of the Year: Mura Masa – Mura Masa

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The Telescope presents: the top albums of 2017. We gathered best-of lists from contributors, crunched some numbers and came up with a list of records that unanimously wowed us last year.

Mura Masa’s set was hands down the best thing at WayHome this year. Sure, there were also giant electronic artists like Flume, Justice, and Marshmello on what turned out to be the festival’s final line-up, but young Alex Crossan (he’s only 21) had the audience at the side stage of the Oro-Medonte grounds dancing like no one was watching. To be honest, it became next to impossible to bust out any of your best moves; it seemed like every attendee decided to cram into the smallest performance area of the festival to see what they were missing.

And what were they missing? An actual live performance, complete with Mura Masa on drums and live vocals. So rare in the electronic world!

Anyone who’s listened to the twice nominated 2017 release can tell you that it’s a strong contender for Best Dance/Electronic Album, and not just because it features artists such as A$AP Rocky, Charlie XCX, and Damon Albarn. From beginning to end, the beats are varied and the vocals diverse, but the consistency in quality is there. Not once is Mura Masa boring. Not once.

Still not sure if Mura Masa is for you? “But I haven’t heard anything from the album,” you may protest. Of course, you have; it’s hard to escape “Love$ick.” Have a listen. I promise it’ll sound familiar.

-Michelle Farres

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2017 Albums of the Year: Daniel Romano – Modern Pressure

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The Telescope presents: the top albums of 2017. We gathered best-of lists from contributors, crunched some numbers and came up with a list of records that unanimously wowed us last year.

We already reviewed this one back in May, so we’ll keep this short.

Modern Pressure has aged well; it’s pretty clear now, that it’s Daniel Romano’s best work, though better will probably come. He just released two more albums, by the way [update: they were limited-time only releases and are now gone]. Dude is out of control, in a desirable fashion.

This one doesn’t let you rest. Tracks are bridged by mini songs and sitar jams. It’s the sound of Romano trying to bust himself and his music out of the Swedish cabin where it was recorded (“Roya,” above, was apparently named for an acquaintance there).

-Scott Bryson

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2017 Albums of the Year: Do Make Say Think – Stubborn Persistent Illusions

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The Telescope presents: the top albums of 2017. We gathered best-of lists from contributors, crunched some numbers and came up with a list of records that unanimously wowed us last year.

Canada has long been blessed with two of post rock’s finest acts: Toronto’s Do Make Say Think and Montreal’s Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Both outfits released wonderful records in 2017—GY!BE put out their 6th studio album, Luciferian Towers, and DMST released their 7th, Stubborn Persistent Illusions. Though both are great listens, Stubborn Persistent Illusions stood out.

In 2009, when DMST released Other Truths, those who follow them closely thought they might have reached the apex of their potential—perfection had been achieved. Following that, eight years of nothing from a band that released work every few years on average left fans wondering if they’d decided to leave on a high note.

Then came a new single in March: a powerhouse 12-minute-plus track titled “Bound and Boundless” (it was later split in two and placed dead centre on the new album). With this song in hand and a full-length set for May, many anticipated a heavier sound from the band. They were not disappointed.

Stubborn Persistent Illusions is packed with more punches than any other DMST record. The band went for shorter, beautiful and lusty songs that demand the listener not stray. The video for “d=3.57√h (As Far as the Eye Can See)” (above) is uncomplicated, and demonstrates how the mind can travel when truly absorbed by Do Make Say Think’s music, passing from narrative thought, to abstract imagery, to movement and space.

-Johnnysomebody

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Oh Sees – “Drowned Beast”

Weird enough to be a VanGaalen project (it’s not—this was made by Dr. D Foothead, T.Wei, and Otis Chamberlain), and at times very Heavy Metal-esque.

This method of obtaining food has to be more complicated than it needs to be, but we’ll assume the alien mothership has its reasons for the extravagant procedures. Imagine the feast, if it found a planet with a few billion people on it.

“Drowned Beast” comes from the 2017 Oh Sees (a.k.a. Thee Oh Sees, Orinoka Crash Suite, OCS, Orange County Sound, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees) album, Orc.

-Scott Bryson

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Low – “Santa’s Coming Over”

Leave it to Low to make Christmas creepy.

Everything about this is unsettling. Half these kids look like they’re about to cry. They’re probably listening to the song as they’re being filmed.

-Scott Bryson

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Sextile – “Ripped”

Behold the urban ne’er-do-well. Its inclination is toward mess-making and spray painting. It enters office habitats, renders them unusable for others, then quickly departs. It thrives in chaotic environments.

“Ripped” comes from Sextile’s (is that a play on “textile,” because that’s not particularly sexy) latest record, Albeit Living, out this past summer.

-Scott Bryson

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Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs – “Talk 2 Her”

World’s longest microphone cord.

A lot of tattoos, beards and denim vests in this band, but that green, bean-shaped dude looks a little out of place. At least he’s briefed on the choreography.

“Talk 2 Her” comes from this year’s self-titled Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs (which is actually the second self-titled Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs album).

-Scott Bryson

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