Gongbanter Picks of 2015

Happy New Year! Before you dawn your party dress and chug champagne, take a moment to reflect with us.

caitiebee faves:

1) Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too

2) Shamir – Rachet

3) Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love

4) Thundercat – The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam

5) Donnie Trumpet and The Social Experiment – Surf

6) Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

7) Seven Davis Jr. – Universes

8) Empress Of – Me

9) Algiers – Algiers

10) Mbongwana Star -From Kinshasa

rye’s faves:

1) Grimes – Art Angels

2) Tame Impala – Currents

3) Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People

4) Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m goin down

5) Algiers – Algiers

6)  Larry Gus – I Need New Eyes

7) Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside

8) DJ Koze – DJ Kicks

9) Longmont Potion Castle – 12

10) Destroyer – Poison Season

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Algiers

This group could stay underground for only so long.

Back in early 2012, we stumbled upon a mysterious collective known as “Algiers”, a band whose name conjures bloody images of political defiance, independence and a nation’s struggle with a brutal imperialist history. They teased us with a ridiculously addictive single called “Black Eunuch” (now wiped clean from the internet, somehow), then appeared to have gone off the digital map.

While they seemed to have ceased activity, a subscription to their Facebook & Tumblr pages revealed a group committed to shedding light on impactful cultural moments of artistic protest and enlightenment, ranging from recordings of James Baldwin and Michel Foucault interviews, to Sun Ra and Suicide performances. After hearing more of the band’s material, it’s clear that elements of each of these carefully chosen influences inform the band’s sound and ethos.

At this point, we know Algiers have been brewing an album’s worth of killer material set to release sometime “soon.”  Singles from the record are beginning to slowly penetrate the digital space, so we’ll share two with you with much excitement.  While it defies characterization, the band’s sound melds fragments of folk, gospel, post-punk, psychedelia and electronic with Southern Gothic reverberations.

First, the “love-at-first-listen” single “Blood

Second, the Afrika Bambaataa sampling “Irony. Utility. Pretext.”