Ah, here we go again. By this time, we are way into 2023 – nearly half of it is done. Was it a good year, musically? I would say yes. There are plenty of interesting and mesmerizing albums out there, and I’ll try to show you some of the coolest stuff which came out in May 2023. Ready? Ready!
I did this album a disservice. The unfairly high expectations I had for the new Herod album after Sombre Dessein were shifting my perception towards a place in which The Iconoclast could nothing but fail. In truth, this album is easily one of the best in the genre this, and shows one of the best bands in the post metal/sludge realm, doing what they do best.
International Anthem is one of my favorite labels. Especially because it rewards my devotion with a constant stream of good, fascinating records, either by artists I already love (looking at you, Ben Lamar Gay) or by artists unknown me, but whom I eventually will fall in love with. And there goes Asher Gamedze‘s Turbulence & Pulse.
I didn’t care much for Nightmarer – it was too much of stuff I’ve already heard a thousand times before. Dissonant and menacing modern death metal. But with Deformity Adrift, the band finally came out of their shell to deliver something truly outstanding. This album fucks really hard.
Tons of bands lose a bit of their ‘hunger’ when they sign with a bigger label. Luckily with Death Goals, who released the phenomenal The Horrible and The Miserable in 2021, they managed to progress into a band with a bigger audience while keeping all the awesome stuff which made them great in the first place.
You probably read me dropping the term ‘art pop’ rather regularly – and this record deserves that term. Based on modern pop music, German artist Fabian Altstötter adds a lot of well tamed complexity, be it on the sound desing or the composition. There is a lot to discover on One Star, but feel welcomed to just get lost into its fantastic soundscapes.
Skramz legends Jeromes Dream return with a new album, and I’m naturally head over heels for it. When they returned with a new album in 2019, 18 years after their last release, it was a dream come true. And with The Gray In Between, they continue to show why they became such an influential band all those years back!
Easily one of the most creative hip hop records I’ve heard all year. Even with BUSDRIVER‘s troubled past, it’s nothing short of impressive how many fantastic ideas are put into this record. A must-listen for every fan of more experimental hip hop.
From one hip hop highlight to another – of course, when Billy and Kenny team up, you are in for a treat. After the masterpiece which was Hiding Places, those two extremely talented artists taking new heights with their new collaboration.
Riding that skramz wave. The revival of one of my most beloved styles of music continues – bands like ZMAR are responsible for keeping skramz relevant and interesting. Napořád combines old school skramz energy with a modern sense of songwriting and sound design, making it one of the best entries in the genre this year.
EABS meets Jaubi – In Search of a Better Tomorrow
May 10 // Astigmatic Records
Colin Stetson is a legend. Period. I still spin All This I Do For Glory regularly, being fascinated by the harmony of dissonance Stetson created on that album. When we were that what wept for the sea is a lot more palatable, but still carrying Stetson’s magical touch – if you wanna get into his stuff, this might be a good entry point.
Mandy, Indiana – i’ve seen a way
May 19 // Fire Talk
If you like jazzy IDM, Ultramarine should already be on your list. Yet, with Send and Return, the project delivered arguably their best album to date, with an organic sound which is rare to find in electronica, layers and layers of jazz and just overall goodness.
Phoxjaw progressed into one of the wildest UK bands during the last year – their ability to mesh styles into each other, to combine moods and vibes is unmatched. Their newest album notverynicecream is probably their most adventurous album to date, and I invite you to discover it for yourself.
But Toni, what’s about all that jazz? Didn’t we talk about that you should keep your jazz hands where I can see them and start listening to proper music. Jazz will get you nowhere!
But mom, there is a new Kassa Overall album out and it makes me swing – this is what I’m meant to be.