2009 IN REVIEW: Part Two of Our Complete Guide to the Year’s Best Releases, Including Shackleton, The Horrors and 10 More Must-Listens


Click here for part one of our guide to 2009’s must-hear LPs. We’ll run a list of honorable mentions on our Tumblr page this weekend. Happy New Year everyone! 

The Artist/Album: The Antlers, Hospice (Frenchkiss)

The Vibe: Front-row seats to the last rites of a flat-lining relationship.

RIYL: Concept albums that aren’t cloying; Funeral proceedings; breakup albums that are big on metaphors and light on lovey-dovey nonsense

The Artist/Album: Black Meteoric Star, Black Meteoric Star (DFA)

The Vibe: A joyride to the center of the earth.

RIYL: Asymmetric and analog synth lines; Reich-ian techno; David Hasselhoff’s one redeeming quality (read: Knight Rider)

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The Artist/Album: Circlesquare, Songs About Dancing and Drugs (!K7)

The Vibe: Minimal meditations on what happens when the drugs don’t work and the night never ends.

RIYL: Vapor trails; last calls; driving from dusk ’til dawn

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The Artist/Album: Fuck Buttons, Tarot Sport (ATP)

The Vibe: The machines have taken over, but they don’t want to kill us. They want to party and make us feel alive again. 

RIYL: K-holes; time travel; feeling fucking triumphant

The Artist/Album: The Horrors, Primary Colours (XL)

The Vibe: Recovering schlock rockers get a serious makeover courtesy of Geoff Barrow (Portishead) and Chris Cunningham (one of the greatest music video directors of all time, as proven by the following mind-fucking clips: “Windowlicker” and “All Is Full of Love”).

RIYL: Krautrock keys; moody Brits; second chances

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The Artist/Album: King Midas Sound, Waiting For You (Hyperdub)

The Vibe: The bleakest dub-derived masterpiece since Burial’s Untrue LP.

RIYL: Massive Attack’s Mezzanine era; beat poetry; the shape-shifting soundscapes of Kevin Martin (The Bug, Techno Animal, Pressure)

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The Artist/Album: Krallice, Dimensional Bleedthrough (Profound Lore)

The Vibe: Corpsepaint-free KVLT-ness.

RIYL: Plate tectonics; scholarly shredding; riding the snake

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The Artist/Album: Leyland Kirby, Sadly, The Future Is No Longer What It Was (History Always Favours the Winners, 2009)

The Vibe: A four-hour tone poem about the “fragility of existence”–one that’s strikingly beautiful and (surprisingly) never boring.

RIYL: Power naps; quality-controlled trilogies; the Selected Ambient Works period of Aphex Twin

The Artist/Album: Shackleton, Three EPs (Perlon)

The Vibe: Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me.

RIYL: Drum-driven dread; deviant dubstep; what happens to buzz-worthy electronic artists after they move to Berlin

The Artist/Album: Telepathe, Dance Mother (IAMSOUND)

The Vibe: Nocturnal nursery rhymes set against sinister samples, lazy loops and subterranean bass lines.

RIYL: Laser tag; Grimm’s Fairy Tales; Dave Sitek’s hypnotic hand

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The Artist/Album: Tombs, Winter Hours (Relapse)

The Vibe: Ravenous but refined.

RIYL: Skinny dipping in Dante’s Inferno; killer bee chords; charred remains

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The Artist/Album: YACHT, See Mystery Lights (DFA)

The Vibe: What electro-clash should have sounded like.

RIYL: Self-help seminars; cowbells; call-and-response choruses

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