The Return of Bandcamp Day AKA Music Industry BLACK-out Day

The Return of Bandcamp Day AKA Music Industry BLACK-out Day

Here we go again, in more sense than one.

Today is yet another Bandcamp Day, where the online marketplace waives their revenue share for 24 hours so that 100% of proceeds go to the artists and labels who sell on Bandcamp. Right now is yet another instance where we are raw from another reprehensible act of murder of a black man, George Floyd, by a cop, Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was cold, unaffected, without remorse as he suffocated that man for nine fucking minutes while his fellow officers aided him. There is no good cop here.

Since then, there have been protests again. Some have turned into riots, others have remained peaceful. Both were met with violence from the police departments that were supposedly established to serve and protect. Politicians implemented curfews to stifle free speech: rioting is illegal (though perhaps not unjustified) no matter the time of day, but now the First Amendment goes to bed at 6PM for many. Members of the media and lawyers have been arrested on site for simply documenting the events that occur. The curtain is being pulled back as America exposes itself as simply yet another country that has successfully sold the idea of freedom to a large percentage of its populace, while in reality only keeps its citizens on leashes just long enough so that they forget it runs out. Somehow it snuck up on people, this circumstance we’re now in. As black men, women, and children kept dying one after another over the most insignificant shit or absolutely nothing at all, officers never saw justice. They couldn’t see it if you pumped a syringe full of it and stabbed them in the eye with it. They walk, they keep policing, their budgets are increased by the politicians who’ve built the militarized police state (who couldn’t be bothered to help build roads, or schools, or anything that actually helps their citizenry) that perpetuates a cycle of violence, hate, paranoia, and racial prejudice. They say the riots are too much, they say the demonstrations are too much, they say that taking a knee before a fucking football game is too much, but to them, the stack of bodies is never enough. I don’t know how more of us didn’t see it. Some of us saw it but thought it’d take more than some to do anything about it.

Well, now we’ve got more than some.

Now is the time to exercise your power, however much or little of you have. Donate to bail funds, relief funds, and justice organizations. If you can’t afford to pay, protest at a demonstration. If you can’t do that, disseminate important information. E-mail your officials. Send a fucking fancam to a police app so those departments have to work to dig out bootlicker tips (the k-pop stans have really put punk to shame). You don’t have to do everything. But do something. Do something beyond changing your profile pic to a black square for a day, because the system does not fear empty symbolic gestures that fade in a week or two. They fear dissent and they fear exposure. Call them what they are, show others who they are. America has long held the misplaced confidence that it is the best country in the world, but now is the time to prove that it can be if the citizenry makes it happen. Those who have sought the power to govern and police others will never use that power responsibly: as it has always been, it will be the people who dictate where we go from here.

This platform is small, and I don’t know who will see those words above and who among those who do will even care. We are, historically, a small arts webzine. But I feel as though I need to say them. More tangibly, we can share black art and support it. On behalf of COUNTERZINE, I spent $150 on music exclusively from black artists, and I’d like to share those artists with you. I’m fucking livid right now, but as important as it is to destroy the institutions that perpetuate violence and systemic racism, it is also important to elevate and appreciate creation and the voices of black artists. I don’t want to make this more about musical commentary than the message behind it, but you can expect full reviews of Chloe Hotline’s CYNTHIA, drea the vibe dealer’s priestess of vibrations pt 2, Fat Tony & Taydex’s Wake Up, and Death’s …For the Whole World to See in the coming weeks. For now, don’t listen to what I have to say about them. Listen to what they have to say about them.


The Cocker Spaniels – Plays Well With Others

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $5


Backxwash – God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $8

Read our full review



What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $15



What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6 + shipping


Chloe Hotline – CYNTHIA

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $10


drea the vibe dealer – priestess of vibrations pt 2

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $6


Lonnie Holley – MITH

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $8 + shipping


Fat Tony & Taydex – Wake Up

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $16 + shipping


A Day Without Love

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $1


They Hate Change – Now, and Never Again

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $5



What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $12


Death – …For the Whole World to See

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $20


Quinton Barnes – AARUPA

What I bought: Lathe vinyl

What I paid: $30 + shipping

Read our full review


Lesibu Grand – Hush Hush

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1

Special thanks to mynameisblueskye (Chris Bynes) for bringing Lesibu Grand to my attention



What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $12 + shipping


Grimalkin Sampler

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $5


In addition to the purchases made on Bandcamp, I’ve matched it with another $150 split between community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers on behalf of COUNTERZINE. Should you be interested in donating in a similar fashion (you can donate at any level), the easiest way to do this is to visit this ActBlue link. Receipt shown below:



What’s covered in this article is but a tiny fraction of the great art created by independent black artists. We also highly recommend you take a look through this document of 1000+ black producers, artists, and labels (complete with links), as well as this article from Post-Trash.

For those looking to expand their views and knowledge beyond the realm of music, here’s a helpful document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein containing reading and film suggestions that might help in broadening perspectives and understanding of race as it exists in the social context.

Lastly, fuck the cops, fuck the government, black lives matter.

Bandcamp Waived Their Revenue Share For a Day, So I Bought $200 Worth of Music

Bandcamp Waived Their Revenue Share For a Day, So I Bought $200 Worth of Music

Oh god. OH GOD.

Yeah. So I said that.

We’re all dealing with Coronavirus right now. COVID-19. Thee Big C, as it were.

We’re getting pretty fucked up right now, and by we, I mean all of us. Independent music especially hard. Cancelled gigs, layoffs from nine-to-fives, etc. Streaming revenue sucks. It sucks big fat dick and Spotify, Apple, Deezer, Tidal, your 25-year-old son’s Silicon Valley startup DO NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU. We know this, it isn’t new. But Bandcamp kinda does. They kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinda do. So, in a very cool gesture, they’ve made the decision to waive their revenue share today to help out artists a lil bit, which made me a lil more inclined to buy a bunch of music on this day in particular. Thing isn’t that I can’t part with $200: it’s that $200 goes a loooooooooooooooooong way. I could just buy the music and be done with it, but I like to make things more difficult than they need to be, so I’m breaking down every single thing I bought today.

Every. Single. Thing.

So strap in, here’s a buttload of music:


Intrusive Thoughts – A Pristine Wilderness

What is it: Refreshing ambient vapordrone (?) that usually relaxes but occasionally confounds with bizarre beauty that polymerizes the naturalistic and alien. It has almost a ‘new age’ atmosphere to it, but the compositions are far more dense and complex, affording the listener to let it settle into the background and passively set a mood, or to peer in closer at the finer details of its soundscapes.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $9 + shipping


April Magazine – Tape for Japan

What is it: Warm and gentle lo-fi dream pop from San Francisco, characterized by a lot of cozy tape hiss and hazy, echoed tones. Cute but not cloying, soft but not mushy.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)


frosty palms – the arid interval

What is it: Folksy, psych-tinged singer-songwriter material out of Austin, TX. Really strong throughout, but “lagging” in particular is something special.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $7 + shipping


Water Wingz – Sick Songs

What is it: A varied collection of songs that could loosely be referred to as soul, thematically tied to together in pairs of contrasting tracks: “Alive” and “Dead”, “Late Night” and “Morning”, “Nature” and “City”. A laid-back attitude persists, but the assembled package is a far cry from lazy.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $3


Malocculsion – Personal War Machine

What is it: An anxious and abrasive collection of instrumentals that blend the suspense of horror synth (think John Carpenter) with more apparently jarring and terrifying elements of industrial. Recommended by Malocculsion to fans of Tetsuo: The Iron Man, which really tells you more about this than most things I could write would.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $2


Daniel Romano – Visions of the Higher Dream

What is it: Canadian songwriter who hooked me on country a decade ago churns out a really solid power pop record. A whole other album is coming really soon, apparently. Damn.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $2.06 ($3 CAD)


Suko & moduS – Watch Your Step

What is it: Collaboration between Madrid based singer/songwriter Suko Pyramid and Los Angeles instrumental composer moduS ponY. Both STR alumni, you know what it is. It’s weird shit. It’s great shit. Go buy it.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $7 + shipping


The Curls – Bounce House

What is it: *Tastefully* funky rock from Chicago. There’s a poise to this that’s hard to briefly nail down. I’d almost recommend to fans of Reflektor, but that’s not quite right either, because it’s a lot zanier than that album. Maybe existing somewhere on some bizarre Arcade Fire —> Devo spectrum? But more ‘funk’? I dunno, you tell me.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $10


Two Meters

What is it: Follow up single to last year’s The Blue Jay. Kinda indie rock Deafheaven but not really. Very Jazzed puts out cool shit. Also picked up The Blue Jay and his self-titled on cassette, because I needed them.

What I bought: Digital + 2 cassettes

What I paid: $6 + shipping ($1 (name your price) for the single, $5 + shipping for the cassettes)


Pink and Yellow – Rosy Retrospection

What is it: Tunes from our very own Dharnyk!

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $5 + shipping



What is it: Debut EP from our favorite Italian jangle pop artist. Nostalgia. Needs a tape, but I’ll make due for now. Enrico has a bunch of recent singles too, but I know the album’s coming so this took priority.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $2.17 (€2)


Alec Critten

What is it: Burlington, VT artist (say hi to Bernie for me!) making “drones as Evergreen Avenue, songs as Diskont, dance music as Cartel Client”. Two quarters will net you 73 releases between his projects, but I spent a bit extra here.

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $5 (as low as $0.50)


Heart Eyes – Unassuming

What is it: Lo-fi bedroom pop single with an emo bent. Kinda twinkly, but largely exhausted, those playing off of each other in interesting ways.

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $10 + shipping


Romeo Diablos – TRAGICOMEDIA

What is it: Industrial witch house (?). Weird, but closer to pop than you might expect. If Cyberpunk 2077 has GTA-style radio, this would snuggle right in on the Spanish-language station.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)


Caleb Landry Jones – The Mother Stone

What is it: A pre-order, but I’ve already been sold on the insane singles that recall the likes of Zappa and Syd Barrett in their vivid lunacy. One of my most anticipated of the year, without a real back catalog to base that off of: a testament to just how much I love these preview tracks.

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $26 + shipping


Collections of Dead Souls

What is it: Homeless artist out of LA making dense, unsettling electronic music on an iPad. Visceral, uncompromising stuff.

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $6


BlueWind – Radio Terror

What is it: Conceptual producer record featuring narration and dialogue, like some mad film sans the picture. Pink and Yellow (Dharnyk) provides some dialogue on one of these tracks, fun fact.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)


Cross Wires – A Life Extinct

What is it: UK power pop very much in homage to the late ’70s/early ’80s style. Great songs, meaty recordings, pandering hard to my personal tastes and succeeding with flying colours.

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $17.38 (£15) + shipping


The New Pollution – Live!? at Creative Corner

What is it: Live album bridging the gap between late ’70s no wave and modern New York club post-punk. It’s got a Bowie cover too, and it doesn’t suck. It’s actually quite good.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)


Sustains – Sick Ones

What is it: A short set of tight pop tunes coated in thick walls of noisy fuzz. No Age worship done well: so well in fact, it’s likely stronger than anything their inspiration has done in a decade.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6.52 (€6)+ shipping


Artifiseer – Syncretist

What is it: Self-described as “melancholic experimental pop steeped in glitched electronic psychedelia”. Definitely not immediate stuff: really heady compositions and no traditional hooks, it slowly burrows its way into your subconsciousness. Until then, it sounds. real. cool.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $1.37 ($2 CAD) (name your price)


yllwblly – Land Lover

What is it: Indie folk rock so good it directly references Instagram in a lyric and I’m not damning it to hell, but actually spending money on it. Reminds me of The Mountain Goats a bit for some reason, even if objectively the comparison isn’t super close. Similarly straight-forward and focused on depressive and bitter stories though.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $7


Sunset Grid

What is it: Vaporwave-leaning netlabel with an absolute embarrassment of riches in its catalog. 325 releases, to be exact. I will never make it through all of this, and that’s ok.

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $4.20


Bats – There’s a River Up High

What is it: Gorgeous alt-country backed by noise soundscapes. In some ways reminds me of Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born, but also very much its own thing.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6.66 + shipping


Fire-Toolz – Rainbow Bridge / Field Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace)

What is it: Rainbow Bridge is a pre-order, but lead single “It’s Now Safe To Turn Off Your Computer” is a nutso slice of synth prog with black metal shrieks, field recordings, glitchy power electronics, and swathes of soft new age ambiance that against all logic works brilliantly. Been meaning to scoop up last year’s Field Whispers for a while and it was cheap, so no-brainer there as well.

What I bought: Both albums on cassette

What I paid: $21 + shipping ($12 for Rainbow Bridge, $9 for Field Whispers (Into the Crystal Palace), + shipping)


business casual

What is it: Another insanely prolific netlabel, again vaporwave focused. Whereas Sunset Grid is often more experimental, business casual is more frequently about straight up good times, exemplified by CHANCE デラソウル’s infectious future funk.

What I bought: Full digital discography (249 releases) + CHANCE デラソウル’s Besides on cassette

What I paid: $9 + shipping ($1 for discography, $8 + shipping for Besides)


Ty Sorrell – At God’s House

What is it: Stellar hip-hop that strikes the delicate balance between soulful and experimental. Exhibiting influences from glitch to trap, Sorrell rides off-kilter, relaxed beats with a dynamic flow.

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6 + shipping


Needless Ghost – I’m sorry for everything

What is it: Slow moving, darkly tinged alternative rock. Almost a doom metal approach in spots, dream pop in others. Gloomy, occasionally political, often hauntingly pretty.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1



What is it: Evocative alternative soul featuring intimate and inventive production and some of the most stunning vocal performances I’ve heard in recent memory.

What I bought: Full digital discography, plus Bone-Weary cassette

What I paid: $18.70 + shipping ($15.20 for discography, $3.50 + shipping for cassette)



The George Costanzas – George

What is it: Stupid, but not nearly as stupid as the Seinfeld-reference band name and Simon & Garfunkel parody cover art suggest. Often solid ‘light’ novelty punk, but when they stretch beyond that framework, they begin to show their hand: that being of deft versatility. The 11-minute “This Must Be Space” is far better than it has any right to be. Lump ’em in with Frozen Pizza Disaster and the like as another band with loads of upside who’ll be dismissed unfairly by people who take themselves too seriously.

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1 (name your price)


There you have it. So how much did I get for $200?

711 releases. And that’s with a couple of pricey ones.

A better day to blow your proverbial cash wad on Bandcamp isn’t going to come around again anytime soon, so go spend some money on the artists you love. And to those who sent along music but didn’t get a buy today: I got a bunch of you wishlisted, but today’s spree had to stop somewhere. Thanks for reading, and SUPPORT THE ARTS ESPECIALLY IN THIS UNCERTAIN AND SCARY TIME.

YIKIS / COUNTERZINE Exchange: 13 Poetry Reviews for Amazing Tapes! Vol. 1

YIKIS / COUNTERZINE Exchange: 13 Poetry Reviews for Amazing Tapes! Vol. 1

Tapes, we use them all the time. To stick things together, to hang things on other things and occasionally we listen to them too! In this special (hopefully long living exchange program between Counterzine and YIKIS) we (I, the YIKIS team) will focus on the last part of the tape stardom. Expect a dive, very deep into the vaults of our tape collection and hopefully it will give you a nice overview of the rare and the beautifully bizarre tapes that we had been hiding for you.

I tried to make sure that the providers will still have a few copies left of these quality releases, so treat this as a guide in which excellent underground tapes with music on them are presented to you… But because we tend to usually fall into writing ginormous written booklets, the mini reviews / write ups over here will all be done in poetic rhymes, so hopefully expect some good times! A nice happy thing in these crazy viral days!


artist: Spectral Habitat
title: ATLAS
release year: 2020
keywords: asheville electronic experimental ambient drone electronica indie rock neo-classical. violin vocalist Washington
format: cassette tape
label: Verses Records

Without a doubt, I take off my hat,
for the wonderful mermaids named Spectral Habitat.
Their music is glorious and hypnotizing,
gorgeous enough to make me stop socializing.
Their tape named ATLAS has the world upon its shoulders,
beautiful and stronger than any of the boulders.
An amazing happening with voices out of this world,
everything perfect, graciously curled.
They gaze at us in near perfection,
music so stunning it almost needs protection.
With slow progression they lure us inside,
absolute a reason to put your ears open and wide.

Things are amazing, like listening to the holy grail,
these mermaids with golden hair, splashing out with their tail.
They might make many boats sink at sea,
but all I think; I need to hear this: me, me, me!
You can hear enlightenment in their wordless sounds,
hopefully reaching not only boats, but many towns.
It’s just out of this world so stunningly good,
listening to this makes life oh so smooth.

Pretty ambient with vocals is simply amazing,
clearly making this tape in into a well desired thing.
I can’t praise this wonder of music enough,
organic delights brought to us without fluff.
Something stunning and great,
if this is done by mermaids than I’ll be bait!
Come and check this gorgeous tape out,
it’s better and longer lasting than drinking a stout!


artist: Dani Lee Pearce
title: For As Briefly As I Live
Release year: 2020
Format: tape limited edition
keywords: diy experimental bedroom pop experimental pop folk lo-fi piano pop rock Richmond
label: Grimalkin Records

Highly recommend tape over here,
One that could end winter sleep for a bear.
With great intellect and melodic beauties,
Theatric antics and lovely duties.
Humorous and emotional full,
Grabbing music by the horns as if it’s a bull.

Will there be music in
The after life asks Dani,
Heavy subjects while still being funny…
Material that will be able to get you to tears,
Lovingly prancing through all your fears.
Add a wonderful strong voice:
You must own this, you got no choice!
Besides, all money from the tape goes to charity,
A thing that will give your soul great clarity.

Something to abolish the prison complex,
Making you feel extra good to the max.
But most of all this tape is simply wonderful,
Never a bore , forbidden to dull.
Like a theatre full of amazement,
Something beautiful & full wonders.
Dealing with a whole range of subjects, giving your head enough ponders.
All is so real and far away from fake,
You really should check this cassette tape!

dani tapes


Artist: Logosamphia
Title: marginal imperialism / arrogant impoverishment
release year: 2020
Keywords: electronic omnichord persian rotterdam ambient chipcore circuit bending experimental jazz standards minimalism neopolka Wrocław
format: cassette tape x64
Label: Istotne Nagr

The underground hero of culture shock,
Neopolk and futuristic electro rock.
Brings first a hectic amount of Persian – Dutch,
And we should thank him very very much.
His music over here goes hyper and berserk,
Without sounding pretentious or like a jerk.

Every beat and every bleep in good humour,
Not for a single play but only more and more.
Music that will bring you on adventures,
Quirky enough to clap your dentures.
It’s captured on a pretty cassette,
Beautiful cover, lovely etiquette.

With side A bring speedy and upbeat,
The other side gives us chill to our feet.
Things here wobble and rubble,
Kindly like an organ player named Stubble.
With pretty melodies and a feel good vibe,
You gonna feel sane and in Dutch a bit ‘lijp’.
With melodic sounds beautiful and fine,

Better than listening to a wind chime!
From hectic adventurous to jolly good times,
To something amaze balls & a word that doesn’t even rhymes.
Music that will bring happiness,
And I wish it lots of success!
So please give this tape a chance,
You might in for a surprise as well as a delighted dance!


artist: Instagon
title: Clutter
release year: 2016
keywords: experimental lob audio collage chaos theory garage jazz improvisational noise-art jam band new album noise outsider Sacramento
format: cassette tape (only 4 copies left!)

you might have looked the other way,
but please do not let your focus go in dismay
as If you aren’t keen on this lovely tape recorded and released in 2016,
you are either lean,
or simply hadn’t seen…
But this is truly a prima release,

one that will easily please.
It got the weirdness,
the psychedelic noises,
the relaxed kind without the party noses,
or the vogue poises.
You can sit back and let it do its thing,

creating satisfaction in bizarreness,
with water synths or a delicate bling.
With a synthesizer so squeaky,
it feels like a freakshow so freaky.
yet it makes you feel as if you are at home,
a place where you can be in the zone.
Even the kraftwerk keys come along,
crackling as if its a song.

Some noisiers bits here and there,
but they are few – you shouldn’t really care.
Everything here might be as strange as it can be,
yet it can’t be stranger than your poetic reviewer…
Which possible would be – me?
This might be an excursion in madness,
But I would say it’s more headless.
This one is for the fans of the adventurous,
noises that are sounding abstract and wonderous.
A lengthy ideal of improvisation,
twinkling away like true sedation.

This might be ‘Clutter’ to Instagon,
but to anyone with taste its access to the pentagon.
A very expressive experimental sensation,
that is too obscure to rock the nation!
You better get your hands on this tape,
it’s better than ending up in a bag at the bottom of a lake:


Artist: Seffi Starshine
Title: Aural Natatorium
Release year: 2019
Keywords: electronic ambient drone drone ambient vaporambient vapordrone vaporwave Portland
Label: Girly Girl Musik

Beautiful dreams in the lower depth of realms,
Think of drones full atmospheric appeals.
Amazing tones of pleasant warmth,
so amazing that you won’t be alarmed.
As everything sounds glorious and gentle,
If this was a video you had to get it from a rental.

As this music needs to be shared,
Material that loves you more than you ever cared.
Beautiful coziness so fine and soft,
Not the album you keep in your loft.
This needs to fly and will do you good,
A perfect heist with the perfect loot.
Made by a person why really cares,
Who knows how to make pretty Vaper wares.

If you are in search for something gorgeous and nice,
Come and get this tape and pay its price!
It will be worth your attention,
Spread it out like a body lotion!
Ten tracks of goodness for your ears,
Share it among friends, family and your peers.
Come and get down with these sounds,
Or be fed to the grey hounds!



artist: knives of spain
title: Telluric
release year: 2016
keywords: electroacoustic experimental hypnogogic neofolk solo witchy art pop world Greensboro`
format: tape x 75

the name ‘knives of spain’ might be sounding like it might damage your ears,
but don’t let them fool you and ignore your worst fears.
Instead of bringing pain, this tape will be like a lion’s mane.
Or better, like a tigress, out in full success.
Charming with a soothingly strong and magnificent voice,
warm melodies, composing skills – anything but noise.

think of laid-back guitar, witchcrafted neo folk that kindly seduces,
a collection of soothing soothers and songs that will be your muses.
Knives of Spain will conquer your heart with integrity,
amazing lyrics, comfortable music, a trippiness that is like magic,
it will intoxicate you, hypnotizes you – not listening will make you sick.
things are beautiful, organic flowing like hippy trips high on love,

blessed by the instrumental blessings from nothing but above.
It is truly a recommendation to get one of these tapes,
it will help you through life on this planet of the apes.
hypno materials that goes in your ears like candy,
with soothing vocals that are friendly and dandy!
You wont regret to follow this link and get this release,
if you don’t, no way you will ever find peace.

As with this music in your ears,
you will have no pressure from your peers!
Everything is just pretty and smooth,
songs that will be doing well for the entire neighborhood.
enigmatic, charming and severely intoxicating in melodic form,
a tape in which good music is simply the norm.
So be smart and halt your howl & grab a copy now!


Artist: h i y o h i y o i p s e n i y o
Title: InDiferents per cortesia
Keywords: experimental anticopyright Burgos
Year: 2020
Format: tape / digital
Label: Crystal Mine

This is a glitch in the matrix,
Better than munching on a mars or a twix.
Think of clicks and clacks,
Borrowed stuff – tastier than all snacks.
Plunderphonics at its best,
Music in a Experimental nest.
You can hear the excellent cutting skills,

Giving something that equals thrills.
It’s a guess what you will hear,
But it’s all for you my dear.
Done with love and delight,
Little snippets of audio pride.

A mysterious tape by an absurdist,
Might as well get loaded and pissed.
Electric things neatly arranged,
For moods potentially deranged.
In any case it will excite,
Certainly doesn’t smell of shite!


artist: Imelda Marcos
title: Dalawa
release year: 2017
keywords: rock sooper records instrumental loop pedal math rock no wave noise rock post rock prog Chicago
format: cassette tape x100 (sold out)

Oh my goodness, this one had been long gone,
a tape that didn’t include a single song.
But is so incredible that it still had to be included,
or we might not be taken serious – probably secluded.
As these 100 tapes must be somewhere around,
waiting for you to be hunted and ready to be found.
Excellent math rock with intoxicating energy,
incredible dope show with crucial uplifting tendencies.

It’s fuzzy and fun, material that will live up the numb.
Big drums, heavy guitar fanatics,
all over the place – like musical athletics.
It is a lot of blistering happenings,
mad rock powers that will entering things.
Not afraid to experiment with a smile,
rhythms and feel goodness,
crazy anthems – that will make you run the last mile!

A joyful tape that you are advised to hunt down,
using it as a soundtrack for joy without being a clown.
Luckily there are some CD’s left for if you cant hunt,
but for a tape lover it would probably be a reason to be bummed.
So go and find one of these 100 like it’s an easter egg,
take a listen to the digital version – go out and put it in your sack!
So yes I hope you understood,
this one is sold out – cause its very good!



artist: Void Hands
title: Split Shapes & Divisive Models
release year: 2019
keywords: experimental analogue drone electronic music improv no input no-input mixer sound art London
label: Fractal Meat
format: tape

Originally I wanted to write about a tape named callosity,
but as everything on this tape label – it had been quickly sold out – causing a monstronity.
What could I write now, as there is no need for us anymore?
Ah, yes a more recent release by Void Hands – some nice bits of glitch core.
Think of broken connections, accidentally recorded with care,
gaining a new life as techno goodies, without any fear or despair.

Only the nicest crackling crackles, captured and neatly arranged,
to create a feast for the listener, whether they are normal or deranged.
Techno music that clicks and clacks,
squeaks and rattles, rhythmically brags,
like a grand duck on a wobbly chair,
smooth and experimental with love and care.

Lovely leaning on a repetitive ways,
for hours of entertainment – maybe even days!
noises are nicely placed in line,
for a brilliantly modest dancy time.
Nothing is too banging in your face,
minimalism is simply all that is the bass.
Anyone in need for small snippets of rhythmic dust,
this tape for them is clearly a must!


Artist: Ov Pain
Title: Ov Pain
Release year: 2017
Keywords: dunedin melbourne ov pain punk coldwave darkwave record label synth vacant valley zero style Melbourne
Format: tape x 50

Label: Vacant Valley
Ov Pain, is a journey of psychedelic drama,
More interesting than the life of the dalai lama.
A lecture of low and high voices,
Shattering sadness thanks to musical choices.
Keeping things real and sane,
Like the Doors, or Jefferson Airplane.

But competing their own thing,
Music that will drown you as they swing.
Things like a heavy drum and an endless organ,
Will make the entire thing go before it actually began.

Sometimes things go up while still sounding like a tranquilliser.
Stronger than a Heineken, Corona, or a Budweiser.
An odd mental mix from quirky happiness and total lowness,
A perfect disaster that sounds great nonetheless.
Like being on an excited cocktail of pills of booze,

One that you must hear or you will lose.
The music of happy unhappiness,
More real than the monster of Loch Ness.
Of tight fights, love and a power fist,
Like battling on dope through a squirm of mist.

As hot as a flame or as cold as Ice,
Ov Pain burns you up and doing it nice!
Sometimes upbeat punk deranged and loudly wild,
They simply mean every bit whether loud or mild.
A band that rocks out their anger and sadcore,
You can’t grab them – more entertaining than Roger Moore.
Unfortunately this tape had all been sold out, still It deserves a shout out loud!


Artist: Whettman Chelmets
Title: I Don’t Want to Let Go, but I Need to Let Go
Release year: 2020
format: tape
Keywords: ambient drone modern classical noise post-rock shoegaze Joplin
label: Misophonia

For something so fragile and dope,
You might have prayed directly to the pope.
A ambient drone album oh so fine,
You might need to own it and spend that dime.
It’s for the best as you will see,
It’s good for you at home or at sea.
Listen to it free from helmets,
These legendary sounds from Chelmets.

Things that come across as a cloud,
Fragile, fine and still quite loud.
Sounds of forgotten memories,
Stories with untold deliveries.
You will lose time and space,
But never lose your face.
As these tracks are a popular winner,
Still underground so you can take them out for dinner.

Full subtle emptiness that you can’t hold,
Provide the perfect diet – I got once told.
So please do check and get this on tape,
And be a beloved total babe!
One that simply don’t want to let go,
As it’s like a long lasting terrifically satisfying blow.

i don't want tape


Artist: James Wolf
Title: on se lève
Release year: 2017
Keywords: electronic experimental ambient drone indie rock neo-classical neo-classical. violin Washington
Format: tape x 100
Label: Verses Records

If this music by James Wolf doesn’t resonate with you,
You might be in need of a hearing aid, or simply don’t have a clue.
Things are so trembling over here,
violin sounding so tremendously sincere.

Vibrato up your alleyways,
coloring in these grey days.
Melodies so fragile and fine,
you want them to be yours as much as I like them to be mine.
Unique melodic knitting works,
leaving listeners with satisfied smirks.

James Wolf will not huff and puff,
but simply delight you with his stuff.
Music so generously kind and gentle,
It’s like a vegan’s love for a single lentil.
Strings waving beauty in our minds,
only for us, the kinder of all kinds.

I don’t think an edition of hundred is never enough,
I think they will be sold out soon, or I’ll eat a muff!
As this is so wondrous and fine,
absolutely something well worth your time.
It makes me cry at times from beauty,
slowly dancing my way with my booty.

On a music palette serenading the moon,
something you definitely needed to check out soon!
Like listening to glass tones of miracles,
sincere and more glorious than spiracles.
Everything is so stunningly stunning,
It will be finally something worth for cumming!


artist: tendencyitis
title: microdebris
release year: 2018
keywords: experimental dirge drone feedback improvisation noise toronto London
format: cassette tape x30 (only 2 left!)
label: Dubbed Tapes

Microdebris is here to stay,
Bringing us mini tones that slay.
Terrible dances on ambient drone,
Incredible frequencies ready to get you in the zone.
Tonal tones that will keep you up all night,

Let’s be fair; that’s perfectly alright.
With smoothness on the edge of the noise spectrum,
No beat in sight not even a drum.
Tensions are rising so take a hit,
Better than the woolen scarf that grandma knit.
Alternative realms to relax while awake,

Something to get for goodness sake.
Tones and frequencies hand in hand,
Squeezing air out of balloons – that’s where it’s stand.
On the borders of sanity,
But never going for profanity.
Noise music that is relative to ambient,

Like a roll play: be an ant.
With tiny ears hearing things we never thought to do,
More mysterious than an episode of scoobido.
There are only two of these tapes still waiting for an owner,
Something – something that rhymes with boner.
As it’s so special – haunting the ears,
A good reason to conquer your noise fears.

Proven benefits of walking backwards,
More magical than studying at Hogwards.
As good as surreal these vibes can get,
Experimental drones that can get quiet mad.
Pushing your hearing aid to the limit,

Got to have one, innit?
So get a copy over from dubbed tapes,
It might become one of your faves!



So this is the end of my first post on counterzine,
I hope you had more fun reading this – than a eightballing Charlie Sheen!
You can find more of my doubling wordly adventures in music land,
over a Yeah I Know It Sucks – my kind of brand!

With love and until next time,

Shosa’s Top 40 Albums of 2019

Shosa’s Top 40 Albums of 2019

Welp, I wasn’t gonna do one of these, but then Secat did one and if Secat did one, that means I have to do one. He’s trying to take over my webzine. But it’s mine. itsmineitsmineitsmineitsmineitsmine.

Anyways, this is in no way accurate or comprehensive so put absolutely no stock into it. I didn’t hear all of the music (though I can say made it into the several thousands of artists listened to in 2019 so that counts for something kinda maybe), and even if I had, there’s no formula to this shit. Narrowing down the year’s music to 40 albums is a fool’s errand, but hey, we’re fools.

With all that said, here are The 40 Objectively Best Albums of 2019. Also I’m stealing Secat’s X Factor thingy. And go read his list here.


40. BA Johnston – The Skid Is Hot Tonight

X Factor: the bum’s bible: book nine (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “We’re All Going to Jail (Except Pete, He’s Gonna Die)”, “Circle the Bowl”


39. Dim Wit – Dim Sh!t

X Factor: hooky, playful twee punk about farts, boners, and the duality of man; brimming with joy, darker at a second glance (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Wee Thee Peeple”, “Duel Schism”, “Puppy Wuv”


38. Headboggle – Polyphonic Demo

X Factor: so Commercial Album they even took the track length gimmick; i’m ok with this (read more)

Favorite Tracks: Best experienced as a whole


37. Red Pants – Distortion and Snow

X Factor: noisy, adventurous power pop/indie rock; basically 2019’s Bakesale (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “We All Fall Down”, “Heartshade (In the Afternoon)”, “Citrus Kisses”


36. Koutei Camera Girl Drei – Dawn by Flow



X Factor: experimental japanese hip house by cute girls who change their name every album oh sees style? target demographic is me specifically but maybe you too incidentally

Favorite Tracks: “No Reaction”, “Speed Test”, “Movin'”


35. WAKE IN JUNE – lavender pink

X Factor: think cleaners from venus but more inward (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Engrams”, “Mega Cartridge”, “He Once Dreamed of Being a Butterfly”


34. Suite 309 – 101 Notes On Jazz

X Factor: as someone who used to host a college late-night radio program called The Ascending Jazzhole, this triggers my PTSD; awkward live reads ARE art, dammit

Favorite Tracks: it makes absolutely no sense to do this here


33. Graham Hunt – Leaving Silver City

X Factor: some of the most massive power pop jams of the year; really sounds like a classic ’90s record (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Every Person”, “Natural Pace”, “Impersonal Favor”


32. Various Artists – ShopLand World: Music for a Discovery Park of Miniature Supermarkets

X Factor: nothing better exemplifies the artists of the experimental music community than over 20 of them getting together to make a concept album about a theme park of markets that are physically small (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “What Penumbras”, “Wait Line for the Bossa Nova Aisle”, “Study into the Effects of Background Music on In-store Shopping Behaviour (See R. E. Milliman, 1982)”, “No Sleep Funnies”, “Secret Supermarket”, “Look Mother (My Own Tiny Supermarket)”


31. Jonathan Something – Art So Small You Can Hardly See It

X Factor: witty, nihilistic baroque folk; not a fan of politicians, old people, or god

Favorite Tracks: “#1 Dad”, “Idiot War”, “At the Orgy in the Sky”


30. Kevin and the Bikes – Dorkcore 101

X Factor: nearly four hours of songs entirely about Ed, Edd & Eddy; somehow never gets boring; features horrible covers, horrible ‘podcasts’, and a couple good songs too (read more)

Favorite Tracks: barely applicable overall but “I Fucking Hate My Friends, They Don’t Understand My Love for the Eds”


29. Backxwash – Deviancy

X Factor: furious yet tender, powerful yet vulnerable; evil voodoo shit cocooning a woman’s pain and making her love shine brighter; title track could compact cars, “You Like My Body the Way It Is” will compact your heart

Favorite Tracks: “Don’t Come to the Woods”, “Deviancy”, “You Like My Body the Way It Is”


28. CHANCE デラソウル – All Together Now!

X Factor: makes me dance; i don’t dance

Favorite Tracks: “Summer”, “Handsomeboy Technicality”, “You Will Be There”


27. glass beach – the first glass beach album

X Factor: hey look it’s glassbeachband y’know the kid who won’t sit still but that’s ok because one day they’re gonna grow up and make a wonderful wacky heartwarming big queer album with all their favorite toys that make noise and it’ll have all of the hooks ever and it’ll go off on little spontaneous adventures but always find its way back home because GLASSBEACHBAND

Favorite Tracks: “bedroom community”, “dallas”, “yoshi’s island”


26. Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated



X Factor: the preeminent purveyor of girly pop continues to give me faith that mainstream music can be good; slays; would slay even harder if she had a sword

Favorite Tracks: “Julian”, “No Drug Like Me”, “Want You In My Room”


25. Swim Camp – Barlow Hill

X Factor: sounds like homegrown coffee beans shot on super 8 film with a hikikomori’s journal whinged over the top of it; pretty good drums; slightly better than alex g (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Pretty Bird”, “Mighty Son”, “Bug Spray”


24. Lemon Melon – Des Winks

X Factor: chemical brothers meets avalanches + a heavy dose of sunny tropical shit and big dumb = the first big beat album i’ve loved in ages; perpetually winking, but only semi-ironically (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “The Greatest Song I’ve Ever Heard”, “1000 Rooms”


23. Spartan Jet-Plex – Godless Goddess

X Factor: witchy neofolk rich in occult atmosphere; very personal record on the rejection of religion and the acceptance of oneself as their own master (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Stop”, “Everything”, “Light”


22. Hatchie – Keepsake

X Factor: lush, ethereal dream pop with massive hooks; this being a danceable record (and often not in a ‘slow dance’ way) really helps this stand out among its peers

Favorite Tracks: “Without a Blush”, “Obsessed”, “Stay With Me”


21. The Wolfmanhattan Project – Blue Gene Stew

X Factor: weirdo garage rock dream team comes through in a pinch

Favorite Tracks: “Now Now Now”, “Jar in the Staircase”, “Silver Sun”


20. Greet Death – New Hell

X Factor: i think this what folks call ‘the harbringer of the end times’; really pretty tho; i identify as hopeless

Favorite Tracks: “Circles of Hell”, “You’re Gonna Hate What You’ve Done”, “New Hell”


19. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana



X Factor: gangsta rap that’s actually gangsta; madlib is still probably the best hip-hop producer alive; proof that hip-hop doesn’t need to choose between bars and hooks

Favorite Tracks: “Crime Pays”, “Palmolive”, “Cataracts”


18. Julia Jacklin – Crushing

X Factor: titled Crushing because that’s what the lyrics are

Favorite Tracks: “Head Alone”, “Pressure to Party”, “Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You”


17. Free Refills – Raw Steak Black Coffee

X Factor: it’s not a bird, it’s not a plane, it’s the raw blasts of high volume distortion courtesy of free refills that made your ears pop; gets better the louder you play it; also gets more dangerous; worth it

Favorite Tracks: “Libra”, “Bodybuilder Boyfriend”, “Crusher”


16. Frog – Count Bateman

X Factor: the best weerd americana around; if Gummo was an album, it’d be Count Bateman; the prettiest pop melodies of the year; i like neil young too

Favorite Tracks: “Hartsdale Hotbox”, “Black Friday”, “It’s Something I Do”


15. Whettman Chelmets – Doesn’t Remember…

X Factor: conceptual vaporwave/post-rock/ambient/plunderphonics/everything using 20 year old personal recordings as the basis for an album about the degradation and mutation of memory; woah that’s meta; one of a bajillion great albums wc put out in 2019 (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Recollections Suite”, “Drowned and Faded”, “What a Failure of a Year”


14. Bent Knee – You Know What They Mean

bent knee


X Factor: heard someone compare them to the black keys but if bent knee and the black keys bumped shoulders in an alleyway, black keys would be the ones to be bend the knee pun entirely intended; if more prog starts sounding like this, i promise to stop hating prog; courtney swain’s vocals are fuckin’ WILD

Favorite Tracks: “Bone Rage”, “Catch Light”, “Golden Hour”


13. BabyTron – Bin Reaper



X Factor: skinny mexican kid from detroit in a posse called ‘ShittyBoyz’ makes video game trap rap with ’80s synths, ends up making the best rap album of the year; take a shot every time you hear a pop culture reference; references i can remember in “Scampire” alone off the top of my head: rob van dam, aquaman, jj watt, ratchet & clank, one punch man, subzero, mario & luigi, quagmire, beerus, charizard

Favorite Tracks: “Jesus Shuttlesworth”, “Scampire”, “Flawless Victory”, “Punch God 2”


12. Copper – Number Six Girls School

X Factor: yes, that IS the worst album art you have ever seen in your entire life; also the best power pop album of 2019; “American Boy” makes me cry, “Bippy Can’t Be Bothered” makes me laugh, “Kellyanne” is some beautiful big dipper-jellyfish baby, all of it kicks ass

Favorite Tracks: “American Boy”, “Kellyanne”, “Bippy Can’t Be Bothered”


11. Townes Van Zandt – Sky Blue

X Factor: all these years after his passing, we finally get a record with a sound that does justice to van zandt’s weary, drunken, lonesome songs; the new songs are incredible (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “All I Need”, “Sky Blue”, “Pancho and Lefty”, “Silver Ships of Andilar”


10. Stella Donnelly – Beware of the Dogs

X Factor: stella donnelly is the cutest, strongest, angriest, lewdest, funniest, most awesome bad bitch in music and i am 100% about this energy; may have a massive crush on her and that may make me biased; but damn can she pen a jangly jingle; i think i have a thing for australian female singer-songwriters huh

Favorite Tracks: “Old Man”, “Boys Will Be Boys”, “Tricks”, “Beware of the Dogs”


9. William Lyon of Rosycross – Alter in der Fülle

X Factor: “the world’s only demi-crossdressing christian goth synthpop artist” really says it all, don’t it; affected and overindulgent, and i mean that as a compliment (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Double Life”, “Protestant Body and a Catholic Mind”, “Lifeforce (Johnny, It’s Not Too Late to Call Off the Wedding)”


8. Otoboke Beaver – Itekoma Hits

X Factor: kawaii is now hardcore; NOT a gimmick; loud, fast, political, technical, and fun as fuck; exhausting in the best way

Favorite Tracks: “Datsu . Hikage no onna”, “Love Is Short”, “Don’t Light My Fire”, “6 Day Working Week Is a Pain”


7. Chat Pile – Remove Your Skin Please

X Factor: the sound of a serial killer murdering the absolute shit out out you; every time i hear “Dallas Beltway” it feels like i’m simultaneously edging and about to piss myself; yea i know it’s an ep shut the FUCK up

Favorite Tracks: “Dallas Beltway”, “Davis”


6. Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains

X Factor: i listened to this a lot when i was in the midst of a long, severe depressive period this year and that was NOT A GOOD IDEA; rip berman, thanks for holding on so long you beautiful bastard

Favorite Tracks: “All My Happiness Is Gone”, “Margaritas at the Mall”, “Nights That Won’t Happen”


5. HAWN – For a Ride

X Factor: hunter s thompson presents: the digital apocalypse; whenever i think “hey, i haven’t felt severe existential dread in a while”, this is my go-to album (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Still Above the Ground”, “King”, “Closed and Shuttered”, “Cody Matthews”


4. black midi – Schlagenheim

X Factor: SUCH A MAGNIFICENT PURPOSE; aeifuvhziduvbshidugfbai ad iulf bhskfugbhs dflguvh; very chaotic children

Favorite Tracks: “953”, “Near DT, MI”, “Western”, “bmbmbm”, “Ducter”


3. Weyes Blood – Titantic Rising

X Factor: big: beautiful; bombastic; blue

Favorite Tracks: “A Lot’s Gonna Change”, “Andromeda”, “Everyday”, “Movies”, “Wild Time”


2. Hakushi Hasegawa – Air Ni Ni

air ni ni


X Factor: one of the most batshit insane pop albums of all-time; does to my ears what Mind Game does to my eyes; he just turned 21 holy shit he’s gonna get better

Favorite Tracks: “Only You”, “o (_*)”, “Desert”, “Evil Things”


1. Get a Life – Our Band Could Be Your Life or Debt

X Factor: o shit it me: the album; deceptively ambitious; equal turns hilarious and devastating. often at the same time; superb pop sensibilities; feels like it could fall apart at any moment; it’s just about stuff, which is great because life is really just stuff; camus would probably dig it (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Get a Job”, “What You Deserve”, “All Fun No Gum”, “2 Plus 2 Equals 5”, “Here Comes the Fun”, “Dungeon”



Alright, that’s all from me. I’m afraid if I start an honorable mentions list, I won’t be able to stop. Know if we’ve ever covered you, we love you, and if we haven’t, we might. There is entirely too much good music for a couple kids from Texas to give it all the spotlight it deserves, but going forward into 2020, we’ll do what we can. Thanks for reading and caring slightly about our opinions.

Secat’s Top 40 Albums of 2019

Secat’s Top 40 Albums of 2019

2019 was one of the years in music of this decade. Here are my 40 favorite albums of the year, ranked:

((author’s note: Each album brings its own unique strength to the table that I feel urgently justifies your listen: this is the “X factor” point.))


40. Body Meat – Truck Music

X Factor: simultaneously glossy and rough; the sensation of looking directly at the sun, or sticking your hand into a tank full of underfed eels

Favorite Tracks: “Combo,” “Metal Gear,” “Nairobi Flex”


 39. Joyero – Release the Dogs

X Factor: the loneliest reaches of lushness; a torn paper bag trying desperately to fill itself with air (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Alight,” “Steepest Stairs,” “Salt Mine”


 38. Angel Olsen – All Mirrors

X Factor: the world’s most appropriate soundtrack for standing on a mountaintop whilst wrapped in a duvet; able to make the dullest of moments feel like a Cinematic Event; my dad’s personal favorite of ’19 (love u dad)

Favorite Tracks: “Lark,” “All Mirrors,” “New Love Cassette”


 37. MIKE – Tears of Joy

X Factor: low-fidelity isolation; relentless creative energy that strains to breathe beyond the walls it has erected around itself

Favorite Tracks: “Goin’ Truuu,” “It’s Like Basketball,” “Stargazer, Pt. 3”


 36. Caroline Polachek – Pang

X Factor: somehow makes cheesy slide guitar-core glissando twang sound cool as SHIT; some of the best vocal performances of the year

Favorite Tracks: “Pang,” “Ocean of Tears,” “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings,” “Door”


 35. Mavi – Let the Sun Talk

X Factor: thrillingly dense and poetic; contains multitudes; never fails to be rewarding on relistens

Favorite Tracks: “Daylight Savings,” “Self Love,” “Sense”


34. Nilüfer Yanya – Miss Universe

X Factor: charmingly useless skits; the very poppiest and rockiest pop-rock you ever did hear

Favorite Tracks: “In Your Head,” “Angels,” “Baby Blu”


 33. Duster – Duster


LP + Digital download available through Mudd Guts

X Factor: the true buzzer-beater record of 2019; deliciously fuzzed and distressed slowcore; a thousand times better than a post-19-year-hiatus project has any right to be

Favorite Tracks: “Chocolate and Mint,” “Damaged,” “Ghost World”


32. Big Thief – U.F.O.F.

X Factor: the distilled essence of a light breeze; startling, potent lyricism

Favorite Tracks: “Contact,” “Orange,” “Terminal Paradise”


31. Jesca Hoop – Stonechild

X Factor: simultaneous discomfiting blends of nurturing and haunting; some of the most beautifully and tastefully restrained production choices of the year

Favorite Tracks: “Footfall to the Path,” “All Time Low”


30. (Sandy) Alex G – House of Sugar

X Factor: Real Tender Folk Banger Hours; a swell soundtrack for crushing autumn leaves beneath the heel of your boot (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Hope,” “Southern Sky,” “Gretel”


29. DJ Haram – Grace

X Factor: inspiringly sparse; quietly revolutionary

Favorite Tracks: “Interlude,” “Body Count”


28. Aleksi Perälä – Sunshine 3


LP + Digital download available via Bleep

X Factor: inventive microtonality; impossible-to-remember track names; somehow made me care about IDM again

Favorite Tracks: “NI-L56-18-07447,” “NI-L56-18-07450”


27. Ayankoko — Kia Sao ກ້ຽວສາວ

X Factor: pleasantly off-the-wall; consistently surprising; above-average quantity of BWOMP sounds

Favorite Tracks: “Pambuko Reakt,” “Downsides”


26. Topdown Dialectic – Vol. 2

X Factor: improves & expands upon the ideas of its predecessor to frequently awe-inspiring effect; the future soundtrack of How It’s Made, Cyberpunk Edition

Favorite Tracks: “A1,” “B4”


25. Aldous Harding – Designer

X Factor: wait did she just sing about making out with a stork

Favorite Tracks: “The Barrel,” “Weight of the Planets”


24. Empath – Active Listening: Night on Earth

X Factor: summons forth inexplicable urge to rent out a barn in the countryside, kick the shit out of some haybales, and flop around in the mud

Favorite Tracks: “Pure Intent,” “Roses That Cry”


23. Vanishing Twin – The Age of Immunology

X Factor: psychedelic swirly-whirly loveliness transmissions from Planet Stereolab-Adjacent

Favorite Tracks: “You Are Not an Island,” “Magician’s Success,” “Backstroke”


22. Joni Void – Mise en Abyme

X Factor: threadbare digital scrapbooks collaged from dial tones and loose analog matter; possibly the best text-to-speech monologue ever recorded

Favorite Tracks: “Safe House,” “Deep Impression”


21. Dax Pierson – Live From Oakland

X Factor: intensely chilly idiosyncratic genre-blends; pleasingly warped and abstract, yet deeply personal

Favorite Tracks: “Macrobid,” “Treading Water”


20. Special Request – Vortex

X Factor: ballbusting throwback club tracks; pounds and throbs like violent hearts; stays crunchy in milk

Favorite Tracks: “Sp4nn3r3d,” “Fahrenheit 451”


19. Sudan Archives – Athena

X Factor: malleable, ductile, symphonic; springs back when pressed down (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Confessions,” “Black Vivaldi Sonata,” “Iceland Moss,” “House of Open Tuning II”


18. Cherushii & Maria Minerva – Cherushii & Maria Minerva

X Factor: bubbly, unhurried exuberance; makes me feel like a waifish young ingenue dancing through the dawn at a European nightclub

Favorite Tracks: “This Must Be the Place,” “Nobody’s Fool [Vocal Version]”


17. Sault – 5

X Factor: deftly straddles line between “hip, soulful funktronica” and “iPhone commercial music”

Favorite Tracks: “Up All Night,” “Masterpiece”


16. Danny Brown – uknowhatimsayin¿


Multiformat purchase available through Warp Records

X Factor: has forced hundreds of English-speaking music journalists to hunt through the Microsoft Word Symbols tab for the upside-down question mark; 1hr30min Comedy Central standup special successfully condensed into a cool half-hour of confident, easygoing verse

Favorite Tracks: “Dirty Laundry,” “Belly of the Beast (feat. Obongjayar),” “Best Life,” “Negro Spiritual (feat. JPEGMAFIA),” “Combat”


15. Carla dal Forno – Look Up Sharp

X Factor: essence of quiet post-teatime nap under shady tree with bluish tint

Favorite Tracks: “I’m Conscious,” “Took a Long Time,” “Push On”


14. Kilo Kish – Redux


Available through all streaming services

X Factor: freakpop for bank heists, cliff diving and fist fights

Favorite Tracks: “Bite Me,” “Spark”


13. Tony Njoku – Your Psyche’s Rainbow Panorama

X Factor: disorienting, kaleidoscopic aural haze; prismatic roller-coasters of tumult, beauty and light

Favorite Tracks: “Disconnected,” “Furious”


12. Nivhek – After Its Own Death / Walking in a Spiral Towards the House

X Factor: enough reverb to drown a man; noises that warp and stretch themselves in your ears according to your mood; willowlike, bending but not breaking; cute doggy on album cover

Favorite Track: “After its own death: Side B”


11. ODAE – Ataraxic

X Factor: heartrending, interstitial, and sharply textural; journeys without destination; rivers that toss tumbling shards of gravel from mountain top to ocean’s edge; made by my partner, ODAE, whom I love more than anything in the world.

Favorite Tracks: “Patienec,” “Cascade,” “Passion”


10. Dorian Electra – Flamboyant

X Factor: LGBTQ+ empowerment; whip sound effects; the singular pleasure of singing along to the lyrics on a Saturday night alone in your bedroom and having a very good time being every part of yourself

Favorite Tracks: “Daddy Like,” “Emasculate,” “Man to Man,” “Flamboyant”


9. Xuxa Santamaria – Chancletas D’Oro

X Factor: glittery, ebullient club abandon x deep, rewarding lyrical concepts; danceable, huggable, lovable, washable (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “White Pine,” “Color Of The Dark,” “River Neva”


8. Telefon Tel Aviv – Dreams Are Not Enough

X Factor: crystallized dream-states; laden with feeling; drips like honey onto the ears; pleasant track-titles-as-poetry gimmick

Favorite Tracks: “i dream of it often:,” “a younger version of myself,,” “arms aloft,”


7. Boreal Massif – We All Have an Impact

X Factor: dark, monumental; trip-hop odysseys through climatological wastelands

Favorite Tracks: “Low Forties,” “Angel of Dub,” “The Brink of Extinction”


6. Loraine James – For You and I

X Factor: sprawling and chaotic, yet not overthought

Favorite Tracks: “London Ting // Dark as F**k,” “So Scared,” “My Future”


5. Yakui – Imni

X Factor: inimitability; idiosyncrasy; life-source; like licking old sparkplugs or chewing on aluminum foil (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Esky,” “Radial Hardcore,” “Beltgate,” “Interface”


4. Girl Band – The Talkies


Multiformat purchase available through Rough Trade Records

X Factor: will yell at you loudly enough to leave you devoid of all feeling; excellent background noise for staring at the wall and being upset about something

Favorite Tracks: “Going Norway,” “Laggard”


3. Jenny Hval – The Practice of Love

X Factor: breathing in residual clouds of ground-up, arpeggiated stars; love is not the only answer, but it is the final answer (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Lions (feat. Vivian Wang),” “The Practice of Love,” “Ashes to Ashes”


2. Kim Gordon – No Home Record


Multiformat purchase available through Matador Records

X Factor: audacity; variety; strength (read more)

Favorite Tracks: “Paprika Pony,” “Cookie Butter,” “Hungry Baby”


1. default genders – main pop girl 2019

X Factor: painfully evocative nostalgia; feeling, breathing, thinking, saying; buoyancy; self-sustaining rave-pop ecosystems; the redemptive, enduring power of kitsch

Favorite Tracks: “when it’s over [ft. no rome],” “pharmacoma (for ben dietz),” “black pill skyline,” “heart emoji xo,” “sophie (emphasis mine) [ft. beth sawlts]”



Jayda G – Significant Changes

Girlpool – What Chaos is Imaginary

Nonlocal Forecast – Bubble Universe!

ENA – Baroque

Sofia Kourtesis – Sofia Kourtesis

Sneaks – Highway Hypnosis

PTU – Am I Who I Am

Anthony Naples – Fog FM

33EMYBW – Arthropods

Xosar – The Possessor Possesses Nothing

Robag Wruhme – Venq Tolep


See ya in the new year, goobers!