Avant Music News Best of the First Half of 2018

2018 is halfway over, and there have already been a great many remarkable releases from this year. This list is a representation of the recordings that have grabbed my attention through the last six months. It is not comprehensive or complete, and does not try to be. I’m sure that there a few albums sitting on my desk or computer that should be on this list, but I haven’t been able to get to putting them on.

Nonetheless, enjoy this list. Consider it to consist of pointers to music that is likely to be enjoyable to AMN readers. I’ll be back in January with the 2018 year-end “best of” posts.

Like this list? Feel free to peruse previous years’ lists.

Album of the Year Candidates

Gropper, Philipp / Philm – Live at Bimhaus
Raison d’Etre – Alchymeia
YAK – Bardo

Excellent Releases

Aseptic Void – Ideazione di Contrasto
Chaos Echoes with Mats Gustafsson – Sustain
Death Drag – Shifted
Domene, Alvaro – The Compass
Evil Genius – Experiments on Human Subjects
Ghost Flute & Dice – Kropsbygning
Glasova, Jelena – The Malady of Death
Hezaliel – Paradise Lost
Ignite – Ignition (EP)
Jack O’ The Clock – Repetitions of the Old City – II
Karris, Reid / Group – Ghost Dancers Slay Together
Kitamura, Kyoko – Protean Labyrinth
League of Assholes, The – IM PEACH The Sequel
Lore – Lore EP
Moss, Michael / Accidental Orchestra – HELIX
Parker, William – Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
Richards, Stephanie – Fullmoon
Rivener – Rivener
Romus, Rent / Life Blood Ensemble – Rogue Star
Shatner’s Bassoon – Disco Erosion
Sirvan, Maryam – Untamed Terror
SUSS – Ghost Box
Thiessen, Jennifer / Ida Toninato – The Space Between Us
Thing, The – Again
Threadgill, Henry / 14 or 15 Kestra: AGG – Dirt… And More Dirt
Tunnels of Ah – Charnel Transmissions
Uuskyla, Peeter / Tellef Øgrim / Anders Berg – Oslo Hærverk
Visions & Phurpa – Monad
Warren Schoenbright – Excavations
Weiss, Dan – Starebaby

Honorable Mentions

Steve Adams / Tim Perkis – A Few Eccentricities
African Ghost Valley / Billy Roisz – Angry Ambient Artists Vol. 3
Amado, Rodrigo / J.McPhee / K.Kessler / C.Corsano – A History of Nothing
Anker, Lotte / P.Thomas / I.H.Flaten / S.Solberg – His Flight’s at Ten
Awkward Geisha / Galaxxu – Sea Shanties & Mariner Tales
Bärtsch, Nik / Ronin – Awase
Bella – UN
Carrier, François / Michel Lambert – Out of Silence
Carrier, François / Michel Lambert / Rafal Mazur – Beyond Dimensions
Chrisman, Seth / Nathan McLaughlin – Earth Tones at the Metal Show
Cochrane, Chris / Stuart Popejoy – Geologic Time
Corbacho, Max – Nocturnes II
Cosgrove, Jeff / Scott Robinson / Ken Filano – Hunters & Scavengers
Dark Ages – Dark Ages
Davachi, Sarah – Let Night Come Bells End the Day
Davis, Kris / Craig Taborn – Octopus
Dependent Origination – Dependent Origination
Derome, Jean – Resistances
Dikeman, John / L.Allemano, L.Svirsky, M.Baggiani – The 2nd Path to Nowhere
Dødsmaskin – Fiende
End, The – Svårmod och Vemod Är Värdesinnen Var
Ensemble SuperMusique – Les Porteuses d’Ô
Epos Nemo Latrocinium – Iter Itineris III
Fang, Forrest – Scenes from a Ghost Train
Firetail – Nylon
Flamingo – Loud
Fonemi – Atene
Fujiyama, Yuko – Night Wave
Gallio, Christoph / Paula Shocron / Pablo Diaz – Statements
Giant Gutter from Outer Space – Charred Memories
Golia, Vinny – Intercommunications (Music for Woodwinds and Percussion)
Golia, Vinny – Music for Woodwinds, Piano, Strings, and Percussion
Golia, Vinny – Trajectory
Graham, Seth – Gasp
Hino, Mayuko – Lunisolar
Hunter, Anton – Article XI
Karris, Reid – April 18th 2018
Kira Kira – Bright Force
Kuhn, Peter / Kyle Motl / Nathan Hubbard – Intention
Lee, Peggy – Echo Painting
LEYA – The Fool
Liberatore, Matteo – Solos
London Experimental Ensemble, The – Treatise
Loxbo, Finn – Eter
Megalophobe – Megalophobe
Mz.412 – Ulvens Broder (10” single)
Nguyen, Nhung (Sound Awakener) – Oblivion
O’Farrill, Adam / Stranger Days – El Maquech
Otherworld Ensemble – Live at Malmitalo
Phillips Pabian Daisy Trio – Divergent Flow
Polyorchard – sextet | quintet
Previte, Bobby – Rhapsody
Psychic TV – Kondole Dead Cat
Psyclopean – Children of R’lyeh
Quoan – Fine Dining
Ray, Scot – vEsSeL
Reid / Kitamura / Bynum / Morris – Geometry of Caves
Rhyner, Charlie – The First Second
Rousay, Dane – IMP / ENV
Rousay, Dane / John Kennedy – Audit
Rudolph, Adam / Dave Liebman / Tatsuya Nakatani – The Unknowable
She Spread Sorrow – Midori
Shiroishi, Patrick / Rob Magill Duo – Eyes in the Dirt
Sloth Racket – A Glorious Monster
Sly & the Family Drone – Live at Cafe Oto
Sonar / David Torn – Vortex
Star Pillow, The – Symphony for Intergalactic Brotherhood
Stein, Jason / Locksmith Isidore – After Caroline
Taphephobia – Ghostwood
Taphephobia & Kave – Monuments
Taylor, Chad – Myths and Morals
TOC (Ternoy / Cruz / Orins) – Will Never Play These Songs Again
Trinidad, Joshua / Trio – In November
Various Artists – Automatas Sonoros
Various Artists – Heresy
Various Artists – In Tenebris Scriptus – A Dark Aural Tribute to H.P.Lovecraft
Various Artists – Interstellar Transmissions
Verga, Giovanni – Sylpic
Vortex – As Gods Fall
Wai, Yuen Chee / Lasse Marhaug – In Praise of Shadows