Best Albums

Chris Hooson (Dakota Suite) – A Year in Music


We asked Chris Hooson (Dakota Suite) about the music he has been listening to this year. You can see the results below…


My highlights and stuff I was listening to, not always necessarily stuff released in 2015 I am afraid:-)

In no particular order:

1 – Last Ex – Last Ex (Constellation Records), came out in the fading embers of 2014, unbelievable soundtrack to never released movie, supposedly a horror movie, I LOVE this, very twangy and atmospheric. Some people don’t like this when I play it for them, I feel like cutting off their ears with a pair of rusty scissors.



2 – Dag Rosenqvist – Vowels (Awkward Formats), lovely glacial melancholy from Dag, as always.


3 – Bing & Ruth – City Lake (RVNG Intl.), their last record, ‘Tomorrow Was The Golden Age’ was one of my most played records last year, this is their first long deleted record, re-released. Bing & Ruth never let you down, effortlessly lovely harmonious and textures. Managed to get a copy early, stunning.



4 – Max Richter – Sleep (Deutsche Grammophone), I wish I could have snagged a ticket to the live Sleep event, and I do advocate getting the 8-hour download of the full project, really nice string work, lullaby central!

5- C418 – Minecraft Volume Alpha (Ghostly), both my kids play Minecraft and I have to say that I really enjoy the subtle shifting piano music of the game, beats all the violent clanging of their first person shooter crap:-) I bought it for them to encourage their use of the turntable, and to draw them to other things in my vinyl ‘library’.



6 – Liam Hayes – Slurrup (Fat Possum) , I love anything by Liam Hayes, total genius as far as I am concerned.



7 – Kamasi Washington – The Epic (Brainfeeder Records), batter my soul with a bag of rotten trout, this is the most important record of ANY genre in the past 20 years in my view. Glorious, loosely jazz I guess, but living in its own unique place in the history of music, Kamasi IS the future. Trust me.



8 – Dollar Brand – Live in Tokyo, 27.11.87 {private recording} , I was lucky enough to be given a copy of this soundboard recording from Hiroshi, who masters our records whilst in Japan on tour this year, he had been given it by his father, who was the the sound engineer at the show and recorded this for his own pleasure, Hiroshi had this recording and played it in the tourbus and nobody had ever asked him for a copy so there are only three people who have this. I am glad I am one of them, awesome live solo piano, I listen to this all the time.

9 – Elaenia – Floating Points (Luaka Bop), I heard ‘silhouettes {I, II, III} on the radio and was utterly mesmerised by it. It’s the sound of a gently fracturing sea against your shores.



10 – Jimi Tenor – Mysterium Magnum (Herakles Finland), Jimi Tenor’s instrumental album with the Finnish national Jazz Orchestra, UMO. Who doesn’t love Jimi Tenor, totally amazing, this is funky as hell!

11 – Roosbeef – Kalf (Buffel Records), I really like this Dutch band, Roos Rebergen writes seriously quirky songs, I loved ‘omdat ik dat wil’, ‘twijfelaar’ was one of the most catchy songs that I heard that year.



12 – Ghost – Meliora (Loma Vista), what’s not to love about this ace Swedish metal band, reminds you why you love the riffs in the first place.

13 – Piero Umiliani – La Ragazza Fuori Strada {OST} (Schema), I was in Florence this year and managed to get a few records by Umiliani, the master of Italian soundtracks from the early seventies, this one, along with Il Corpo we the two I managed to get and this one is fantastic, lovely subtle shorts, variations and demos, excellent.



14 – Machinefabriek – Buoyant (Consouling Sounds), really lovely guitar and electronic treatments, very mellow. I love most of what Rutger (Machinefabriek does) but this one is one of his best ever for me.



15 – Tore Brunborg – Slow Snow (ACT), measured piano trio stuff from the fantastic ACT label, not quite EST, but very sparse, why oh why is this not on VINYL!!!

16 – Lee Morgan – Charisma (Blue Note), I bought 58 jazz records whilst in Japan this year, this was one of them, its a lovely Blue Note reissue, their 75th Anniversary series is one I keep buying stuff from, I listened to this until I thought I might have worn it out!!!

17 – Allen Toussaint – Life. Love & Faith (4 men with Beards), another classic reissue, side two of this record, starting with the mighty ‘soul sister’ demonstartes Toussaint’s ace writing style, it’s a seriously funky record. I danced to this after drinking 18 warm sake’s in Japan (and then throwing up more violently than I have since I was in my teens!) and this reissue reminds me of that each time I hear it! Good times (mostly!).



18 – Rauelson – Vora (Sonic Pieces), I HATE it when I miss stuff on Sonic Pieces as they are then like hen’s teeth to find, I have no idea how I missed this in 2013, managed to get a copy of this with ‘Moon Ate The Dark’ (thank you White Noise records)- another fab Sonic Pieces release, and made sure I made a note to check the Sonic Pieces website each week from now on:-)

19 – Kleefstra|Bakker|Kleefstra – Griis (Low Point), another one I missed from 2012, I loved ‘Piiptsjilling’ with machinefabriek as I grew up in the north of Holland (Groningen) and the poetry of Friesland (the neighbouring district to Groningen, and a place my nephews still live in) set to ambient music like this is simply awesome. Deeply moving.

20 – Robert Glasper – Covered (Blue Note), ace nu jazz trio work by Mr Glasper, live in session at Capitol Studios, bit tiresome hearing yet another Radiohead reworking, like that is a ticket to ‘jazz cool’ but still. lovely sparse treatments.



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