Favourite Records of the Year. Selected by: Phantom Winter

von am 16. Dezember 2015 in ...in english please!

Favourite Records of the Year. Selected by: Phantom Winter
© Martin Wollmann

It only needs the 5 songs of CVLT to understand that Phantom Winter won’t be statisfied with being recognized as the „successors“ of Omega Massif. Not only the addition of vocals draws an impressive picture of an uncompromising, hungry band, that has long established their own, dark handwriting. And while they are actively in the studio at the moment, working on the highly anticipated next album, it’s a pleasure to welcome them to this year’s Heavy Pop advent calendar.

Rafael Anton Irisarri - A Fragile GeographyRafael Anton Irisarri – [amazon_link id=“B0156ODE2U“ target=“_blank“ ]A Fragile Geography[/amazon_link]


While he moved from Seattle to New York in May 2014, Rafael Anton Irisarris was stolen his whole, completely packed moving van. Besides his personal stuff it also included his whole studio equipment worth over 50.000$, and all the masters Irisarri recorded so far. Under these circumstances, the release of his EP Will Her Heart Burn Anymore – the first vital sign from his new Black Knoll Studios in NY – came as even more of a surprise. This EP being a teaser to his new album A Fragile Geography became even more clear, when he released the first song from the upcoming record, Empire Systems, mastered by Lawrence English, released on Room 40. There was nothing I anticipated more in 2015, and A Fragile Geography still manages to inspire. Dark, melodic drones slowly evolve into deafening storms of noise, that I’d like to turn up and up, of my system wasn’t at it’s limit already. Somebody gave this music the stupid moniker of „Power Ambient“. Whatever, this album doesn’t let loose of me and is impressing from the first to the last note. If you need some namedropping: Lawrence English, Tim Hecker, Roly Porter.

Chvrches - Every open eyeChvrches – [amazon_link id=“B011PZT1NU“ target=“_blank“ ]Every Open Eye[/amazon_link]


There are things that will never miss my tastes. One example is „Spezi“, when I’ve worked hard and I‘m thirsty. And whenever I’m in the mood for some aesthetically pleasing 80s-nostalgia and really well done electro-pop, I know that Chvrches from Glasgow will satisfy this need.
Fall saw the second LP by the beloved Scots, Every Open Eye. And already during my first listen I noticed, that their concept didn’t change all that much compared to the precurser The Bones Of What You Believe. Synths, a certain coolness, and cheesy arrangements that take me back to the greater times of A-ha and Depeche Mode – all of that pleases me greatly. I’ve got one big critique though, that I’d like Chvrches to address on their next records: Don’t give the mic to anybody else but Lauren Mayberry.

Joanna Newsom - DiversJoanna Newsom – [amazon_link id=“B013SCCK5O“ target=“_blank“ ]Divers[/amazon_link]


Choosing an album of the year is not always easy, because there are different criteria. If I’d take my most-heard album, I’d have to go with The Four Owls and [amazon_link id=“B00S20RFOE“ target=“_blank“ ]Natural Order[/amazon_link]. The most beautiful „they did it again“-moment I’ve had with Napalm Death and [amazon_link id=“B00Q67QR0I“ target=“_blank“ ]Apex Predator – Easy Meat.[/amazon_link]. Maybe I could choose Horror Vacui’s [amazon_link id=“B00P2TIL4Q“ target=“_blank“ ]Return of the Empire[/amazon_link], because that turned out well, too.
But I decided to go with Joanna Newsom’s Divers. And now I should tell you why. And maybe I can do that best via the best song from the album, Sapokanikan. It was the first song I’ve heard from it, actually I saw the video. And then I had to watch it again. And again. I guess I watched and heard it seven times. And then I let it settle in. I wanted to know everything about it, the meaning oft he title and the lyrics, and I discovered this site. I recommend reading this. To me, everything just falls into place. Lyrics, meaning, melody, the unexpected, grand finale, her great voice, often compared to Kate Bush or Björk, the unusual arrangement (Newsom plays the harp). And her genious markst he whole album. Maybe her earlier work Ys is better, nonetheless, Divers is my album of the year.

Wiegedood – De Doden Hebben Het GoedWiegedood – [amazon_link id=“B00UOFX63E“ target=“_blank“ ]De Doden Hebben Het Goed[/amazon_link]


Let’s just get to the point, Wiegedood’s De doden hebben het goed has been the greatest record of the year. This hypnotic, monotonous torrent of four songs has gripped me while listening closely or just in the background, and stayed on my digital turntable longer than any other album (well apart from Cvlt maybe). Accurately converted live, everything’s alright.

Sun Worship - Elder GiantsSun Worship – [amazon_link id=“B014JC1HJW“ target=“_blank“ ]Elder Giants[/amazon_link]


Released in 2014, but I only dicovered it this year. A crazy eruption, seemingly uncontolled rage, neverending blast beats, with wonderful melodies underneath. They thwart their tempo in the right moments just to come back even more brutal. Maximum recommendation in the metal genre. I can’t really imagine that they can achieve this kind of quality again.

Phatom Winter online: Facebook | Golden Antenna Records

Vielen Dank an die Jungs von Phantom Winter!

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