Best Albums of the Years

Every year, at the end of December, i publish my list of what i believe to be that year’s top 40 albums & top 10 EPs; & every year, i feel obliged to qualify the list due to the number of releases there hasn’t been time to hear. So, in an attempt to provide something more meaningful in the long-term (as well as to entertain my passion for making lists), below are revised versions of the album lists, together with the original for comparison. They’ll continue to be updated on a regular but entirely arbitrary basis.

2013

Original Top 40

(published 30–31 December 2013)

  1. Philippe Petit – Needles in Pain
  2. The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation – Roadburn
  3. Main – Ablation
  4. Xopher Davidson + Zbigniew Karkowski – Processor
  5. Jakob Ullmann – fremde zeit addendum 4
  6. Stephan Mathieu – The Falling Rocket
  7. irr. app. (ext.) – Tuberpendicular
  8. Paul Jebanasam – Rites
  9. iamamiwhoami – bounty
  10. Aidan Baker & Troum – Nihtes Niht
  11. Black Swan – Redemption
  12. Bloodgroup – Tracing Echoes
  13. Igor Stravinsky – Le Sacre du Printemps [Simon Rattle/Berlin Philharmoniker]
  14. These New Puritans – Field of Reeds
  15. Michael Finnissy – The History of Photography in Sound
  16. Liza Lim – Tongue of the Invisible
  17. Secret Chiefs 3 – Book Of Souls Folio A
  18. How To Destroy Angels – Welcome oblivion
  19. Autechre – Exai
  20. Ryoji Ikeda – supercodex
  21. CocoRosie – Tales of a Grass Widow
  22. Flat Earth Society – 13
  23. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks (Audiophile Mastered Version)
  24. Rashad Becker – Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. I
  25. Motion Sickness of Time Travel – Eclipse Studies
  26. Cliff Martinez – Only God Forgives (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Edition]
  27. The Knife – Shaking The Habitual
  28. Emmy Rossum – Sentimental Journey
  29. Ben Lukas Boysen – Mother Nature
  30. Marsheaux – Inhale
  31. James Newton Howard – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Original Motion Picture Score)
  32. Tomas Phillips/Kenneth Kirschner – Five Transpositions
  33. Roly Porter – Life Cycle of a Massive Star
  34. Ulver – Messe I.X-VI.X
  35. Chvrches – The Bones of What You Believe
  36. Chiyoko Szlavnics – Gradients of Detail
  37. Shane Carruth – Upstream Color (Original Motion Picture Score)
  38. Chubby Wolf – The Last Voices
  39. Andrew Liles – INCOMMENSURABLE MAGNITUDES (СУМЕРЕЧНОЕ СОСТОЯНИЕ СОЗНАНИЯ)
  40. Blue Hawaii – Untogether
2012

Original Top 40

(published 30–31 December 2012)

  1. Kreng – Works for Abattoir Fermé 2007 – 2011
  2. Richard Barrett – Dark Matter
  3. Black Swan – Heaven
  4. Jakob Ullmann – fremde zeit addendum
  5. Edward Ka-Spel – Ghost Logik & This Saturated Land
  6. Monty Adkins – Four Shibusa
  7. iamamiwhoami – kin
  8. Evan Caminiti – Dreamless Sleep
  9. Aaron Cassidy – The Crutch of Memory
  10. K2 – Funeral Songs
  11. Beach House – Bloom
  12. Greg Haines – Digressions
  13. Claire Chase – Terrestre
  14. Helm – Impossible Symmetry
  15. Chubby Wolf – Seasick
  16. Sarah Blasko – I Awake
  17. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
  18. Ben Lukas Boysen – Restive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  19. Gareth Davis & Frances-Marie Uitti – Gramercy
  20. Scott Walker – Bish Bosch
  21. Deerhoof – Breakup Song
  22. Julia Holter – Ekstasis
  23. Scott Miller & Carla Rees – Devices and Desires
  24. Ramon Humet – Niwa. Chamber works
  25. The Legendary Pink Dots – The Creature that Tasted Sound
  26. Sunken Foal – Friday Syndrome Vol.1
  27. Susanne Sundfør – The Silicone Veil
  28. voidesque – moving walls and simpler things
  29. Kenneth Kirschner – January 10, 2012
  30. Yeti Lane – The Echo Show
  31. Kettel & Secede – When Can
  32. of Montreal – Paralytic Stalks
  33. The Flashbulb – Opus At The End Of Everything
  34. Dai Fujikura – Secret Forest
  35. irr. app. (ext.) – Their Little Bones, Becoming Sharp, Find Repose But Fail To Avoid Worrying A Breach In The Ghostly Skin, The Which Separates That Above From That Below (This Being The Last And Final Seal) And Whereupon All Light Evacuated The Furnace. Several Consequences Ensue.
  36. Lindstrøm – Six Cups of Rebel
  37. Hanne Hukkelberg – Featherbrain
  38. Au – Both Lights
  39. Metric – Synthetica
  40. Sleep Party People – We Were Drifting on a Sad Song

Revised Top 40

(last updated December 2013)

  1. Kreng – Works for Abattoir Fermé 2007 – 2011
  2. Richard Barrett – Dark Matter
  3. Black Swan – Heaven
  4. Jakob Ullmann – fremde zeit addendum
  5. Monty Adkins – Four Shibusa
  6. Philippe Petit – The Extraordinary Tale Of A Lemon Girl trilogy
  7. Edward Ka-Spel – This Saturated Land / Ghost Logik
  8. iamamiwhoami – kin
  9. aTelecine – Entkopplung
  10. Evan Caminiti – Dreamless Sleep
  11. John Wall & Mark Durgan – 139
  12. Ben Lukas Boysen – Restive (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  13. Aaron Cassidy – The Crutch of Memory
  14. K2 – Funeral Songs
  15. Beach House – Bloom
  16. Greg Haines – Digressions
  17. Claire Chase – Terrestre
  18. Helm – Impossible Symmetry
  19. Chubby Wolf – Seasick
  20. Sarah Blasko – I Awake
  21. David Byrne & St. Vincent – Love This Giant
  22. Gareth Davis & Frances-Marie Uitti – Gramercy
  23. Scott Walker – Bish Bosch
  24. Deerhoof – Breakup Song
  25. Julia Holter – Ekstasis
  26. Scott Miller & Carla Rees – Devices and Desires
  27. Ramon Humet – Niwa. Chamber works
  28. Legendary Pink Dots, The – The Creature that Tasted Sound
  29. Sunken Foal – Friday Syndrome Vol.1
  30. Susanne Sundfør – The Silicone Veil
  31. Jefre Cantu-Ledesma – Speaking Corpse
  32. voidesque – moving walls and simpler things
  33. Kenneth Kirschner – January 10, 2012
  34. Gazelle Twin – The Entire City Remixed
  35. Yeti Lane – The Echo Show
  36. Kettel & Secede – When Can
  37. of Montreal – Paralytic Stalks
  38. Flashbulb, The – Opus At The End Of Everything
  39. Dai Fujikura – Secret Forest
  40. irr. app. (ext.) – Their Little Bones, Becoming Sharp, Find Repose But Fail To Avoid Worrying A Breach In The Ghostly Skin, The Which Separates That Above From That Below (This Being The Last And Final Seal) And Whereupon All Light Evacuated The Furnace. Several Consequences Ensue.
2011

Original Top 40

(published 30–31 December 2011)

  1. The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation – Anthropomorphic
  2. Three Trapped Tigers – Route One Or Die
  3. Monty Adkins – Fragile.Flicker.Fragment
  4. Indignant Senility – Blemished Breasts
  5. Fovea Hex – Here Is Where We Used To Sing
  6. Black Swan – The Quiet Divide
  7. Xela – Exorcism
  8. Grutronic And Evan Parker – Together In Zero Space
  9. Access to Arasaka – Geosynchron
  10. Svarte Greiner – Twin
  11. Ektoise – Kiyomizu
  12. Björk – Biophilia
  13. Jenny Hval – Viscera
  14. Hecq – Avenger
  15. Tartar Lamb II – Polyimage of Known Exits
  16. Akita / Gustafsson / O’Rourke – One Bird Two Bird
  17. aTelecine – A Cassette Tape Culture Phase Two
  18. Chubby Wolf – Los que No Son Gentos
  19. Ulver – Wars of the Roses
  20. Merzbow – Kamadhenu
  21. Celer – Noctilucent Clouds
  22. Leyland Kirby – Intrigue & Stuff Volume 2
  23. Frank Zappa – Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
  24. Stephan Mathieu – A Static Place
  25. Christopher William Anderson – Moskenstraumen
  26. Talvihorros – Descent Into Delta
  27. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
  28. Braids – Native Speaker
  29. Roly Porter – Aftertime
  30. Patrick Wolf – Lupercalia
  31. David Lynch – INLAND EMPIRE (Original Motion Picture Score)
  32. Autechre & The Hafler Trio – ae3o3
  33. John Cage – 108/109/110
  34. Arlene Sierra – Arlene Sierra Vol. 1
  35. Kate Wax – Dust Collision
  36. Aleks Kolkowski & Ute Wassermann – Squall Line
  37. Kate Havnevik – You
  38. Philippe Petit – Nyctalopia
  39. This Will Destroy You – Tunnel Blanket
  40. Uh Huh Her – Nocturnes

Revised Top 40

(last updated December 2013)

  1. The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation – Anthropomorphic
  2. Three Trapped Tigers – Route One Or Die
  3. Monty Adkins – Fragile.Flicker.Fragment
  4. Indignant Senility – Blemished Breasts
  5. Fovea Hex – Here Is Where We Used To Sing
  6. Black Swan – The Quiet Divide
  7. Xela – Exorcism
  8. Grutronic And Evan Parker – Together In Zero Space
  9. Access to Arasaka – Geosynchron
  10. Svarte Greiner – Twin
  11. Ektoise – Kiyomizu
  12. Björk – Biophilia
  13. Jenny Hval – Viscera
  14. Hecq – Avenger
  15. Tartar Lamb II – Polyimage of Known Exits
  16. Akita / Gustafsson / O’Rourke – One Bird Two Bird
  17. aTelecine – A Cassette Tape Culture Phase Two
  18. Chubby Wolf – Los que No Son Gentos
  19. Ulver – Wars of the Roses
  20. Gazelle Twin – The Entire City
  21. Celer – Noctilucent Clouds / Levitation and Breaking Points
  22. Merzbow – Kamadhenu
  23. Leyland Kirby – Intrigue & Stuff Volume 2
  24. Stephan Mathieu – A Static Place
  25. Frank Zappa – Feeding The Monkies At Ma Maison
  26. Talvihorros – Descent Into Delta
  27. Christopher William Anderson – Moskenstraumen
  28. Ektoise – Florilegium 1
  29. Bernat Vivancos – Blanc. Choral works
  30. Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil
  31. Braids – Native Speaker
  32. Roly Porter – Aftertime
  33. Patrick Wolf – Lupercalia
  34. Kreng – Grimoire
  35. David Lynch – INLAND EMPIRE (Original Motion Picture Score)
  36. John Cage – 108/109/110
  37. Arlene Sierra – Arlene Sierra Vol. 1
  38. Philippe Petit – Nyctalopia
  39. Autechre & The Hafler Trio – ae3o3
  40. Aleks Kolkowski & Ute Wassermann – Squall Line
2010

Original Top 40

(published 30–31 December 2010)

  1. Chubby Wolf – Ornitheology
  2. The Birthday Massacre – Pins and Needles
  3. Keith Fullerton Whitman – Disingenuity/Disingenuousness
  4. Christopher McFall – Lost at sea and seldom found/The Anatomical Submissiveness Of Lions
  5. Stefano Scodanibbio – Oltracuidansa
  6. Celer – Dying Star
  7. Clouwbeck – From Which the River Rises
  8. United Bible Studies – The Gascoigne Observatory
  9. Of Montreal – False Priest
  10. Richard Skelton – Untitled
  11. Matthew Herbert – Mahler Symphony X Recomposed
  12. Hans Zimmer – Inception (Music from the Motion Picture)
  13. Yui Onodera & Celer – Generic City
  14. CocoRosie – Grey Oceans
  15. Jonathan Uliel Saldanha – The Earth as a Floating Egg
  16. Ambarchi/O’Rourke/Haino – Tima Formosa
  17. Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love
  18. Celer – Rags Of Contentment/Honey Moon/Panoramic Dreams Bathed In Seldomness/Dwell In Possibility
  19. Get Well Soon – Vexations
  20. Anders Brødsgaard – Galaxy
  21. Svarte Greiner – Penpals Forever (And Ever)
  22. Demdike Stare – Liberation Through Hearing/Voices of Dust
  23. Solo Andata – Ritual
  24. Jónsi – Go
  25. Benjamin Dauer – Burning of Wine
  26. Robyn – Body Talk
  27. O. Children – O. Children
  28. *AR – Wolf Notes
  29. Tor Lundvall – Ghost Years
  30. Clem Leek – Holly Lane
  31. Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal
  32. Autechre – Oversteps
  33. Ekca Liena – Sleep Paralysis (Expansion Tracks)
  34. Supersilent – 11
  35. Noveller – Desert Fires
  36. The Silesian String Quartet – getString
  37. Greg Haines – Until the Point of Hushed Support
  38. Talvihorros – Music in Four Movements
  39. Supersilent – 10
  40. Jenks Miller and Nicholas Szczepanik – American Gothic

Revised Top 40

(last updated December 2013)

  1. Kenneth Kirschner – July 17, 2010

  2. Chubby Wolf – Ornitheology
  3. Birthday Massacre, The – Pins and Needles
  4. Keith Fullerton Whitman – Disingenuity/Disingenuousness
  5. iamamiwhoami – In Concert
  6. Christopher McFall – Lost at sea and seldom found / The Anatomical Submissiveness Of Lions
  7. Stefano Scodanibbio – Oltracuidansa
  8. Celer – Dying Star
  9. United Bible Studies – The Gascoigne Observatory
  10. Clouwbeck – From Which the River Rises
  11. of Montreal – False Priest
  12. Jónsi – Go
  13. Matthew Herbert – Mahler Symphony X Recomposed
  14. Hans Zimmer – Inception (Music from the Motion Picture)
  15. Philippe Petit & Friends – A Scent of Garmambrosia
  16. Charles Tournemire – The Seven Last Words of Christ [Martin Jean]
  17. Ambarchi/O’Rourke/Haino – Tima Formosa
  18. CocoRosie – Grey Oceans
  19. Cyclobe – Wounded Galaxies Tap at the Window
  20. Jonathan Uliel Saldanha – The Earth as a Floating Egg
  21. Michel Van der Aa – Spaces of Blank
  22. Access to Arasaka – void();
  23. Belle & Sebastian – Write About Love
  24. Marsfield – The Towering Sky
  25. Get Well Soon – Vexations
  26. Svarte Greiner – Penpals Forever (And Ever)
  27. Solo Andata – Ritual
  28. Anders Brødsgaard – Galaxy [Odense Symphony Orchestra/Christopher Austin]
  29. Demdike Stare – Liberation Through Hearing / Voices of Dust
  30. Susanne Sundfør – The Brothel
  31. Benjamin Dauer – Burning of Wine
  32. Robyn – Body Talk Pt 1
  33. Zeena Parkins – Between the Whiles
  34. O. Children – O. Children
  35. Autechre – Move of Ten
  36. Chrome Hoof – Crush Depth
  37. Tor Lundvall – Ghost Years
  38. Clem Leek – Holly Lane
  39. Oneohtrix Point Never – Returnal
  40. Nicolas Obouhow – Piano Works [Jay Gottlieb]
2009

Original Top 40

(published 31 December 2009)

  1. Celer – Engaged Touches/Breeze of Roses/Poulaine/Brittle/Fountain Glider/In Escaping Lakes
  2. Peter Wright – Snow Blind
  3. Bass Communion – Chiaroscuro
  4. irr. app. (ext.) – Kreiselwelle
  5. Robert Henke – Indigo_Transform
  6. Steven Wilson – Insurgentes
  7. SoiSong – xAj3z
  8. Clouwbeck – Wolfrahm
  9. Richard Skelton – Landings
  10. Dragonette – Fixin To Thrill
  11. Hecq – Steeltongued
  12. David Sylvian – Manafon
  13. Alva Noto – Xerrox Vol. 2
  14. NQ – Like Styrofoam, Bleeding
  15. Nynke Laverman – Nomade
  16. Anduin + Jasper TX – The Bending Of Light
  17. Celer – Compositions for Cassette
  18. Tim Exile – Listening Tree
  19. Ambrose Field – Being Dufay
  20. Polly Scattergood – Polly Scattergood
  21. Venetian Snares – Filth
  22. Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – utp_
  23. Lustmord – [ B E Y O N D ]
  24. Operations – You & Atomic Warfare
  25. Celer – Close Proximity and the Unhindered Care-all
  26. Tor Lundvall – Sleeping and Hiding
  27. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
  28. Supersilent – 9
  29. Florence and the Machine – Lungs
  30. Asher – Miniatures
  31. Chubby Wolf – L’Histoire
  32. Carl Sagan’s Ghost – Behind Clouds
  33. Imogen Heap – Ellipse
  34. Oneohtrix Point Never – Rifts
  35. The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble – Here Be Dragons
  36. Chihei Hatakeyama – The River
  37. Leyland Kirby – Sadly, the Future Is No Longer What It Was
  38. Daisy Chapman – The Green Eyed
  39. Röyksopp – Junior
  40. IAMX – Kingdom Of Welcome Addiction

Revised Top 40

(last updated December 2013)

  1. Celer – Engaged Touches/Breeze of Roses/Poulaine/Brittle/Fountain Glider/In Escaping Lakes
  2. Peter Wright – Snow Blind
  3. Robert Henke – Indigo_Transform
  4. Bass Communion – Chiaroscuro
  5. irr. app. (ext.) – kreiselwelle
  6. Steven Wilson – Insurgentes
  7. John Zorn – Femina
  8. Wixel – The End
  9. SoiSong – xAj3z
  10. Clouwbeck – Wolfrahm
  11. Alva Noto – Xerrox Vol. 2
  12. maudlin of the Well – Part The Second
  13. Unsuk Chin – Rocaná/Violin Concerto [Kent Nagano/Orchèstre symphonique de Montréal]
  14. Monty Adkins – Five Panels
  15. Jean-Guihen Queyras – 21st Century Cello Concertos
  16. Dragonette – Fixin To Thrill
  17. David Sylvian – Manafon
  18. NQ – Like Styrofoam, Bleeding
  19. Nynke Laverman – Nomade
  20. Kreng – L’Autopsie Phénoménale de Dieu
  21. Aidan Baker – Blue Figures
  22. Venetian Snares – Filth
  23. Anduin + Jasper TX – The Bending Of Light
  24. Tim Exile – Listening Tree
  25. Ambrose Field – Being Dufay
  26. Access to Arasaka – Oppidan
  27. Polly Scattergood – Polly Scattergood
  28. Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto – utp_
  29. Lustmord – [ B E Y O N D ]
  30. Conure – Stream
  31. Stray Ghost – An Avalanche of Swollen Tongues
  32. Operations – You & Atomic Warfare
  33. Janine Jansen – Beethoven/Britten Violin Concertos
  34. Chihei Hatakeyama – August
  35. Stone Roses, The – The Stone Roses (20th Anniversary Collector’s Edition)
  36. Tor Lundvall – Sleeping and Hiding
  37. Thomas Truax – Songs From The Films Of David Lynch
  38. Daniel Bjarnason – Processions
  39. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns
  40. Ekca Liena – Sleep Paralysis
2008

Original Top 40

(published 31 December 2008)

  1. Salvatore Sciarrino – Storie di Altre Storie
  2. Bass Communion – Molotov and Haze
  3. Nadja – Thaumoradiance
  4. Steve Peters – Filtered Light (Chamber Music 4)
  5. Peteris Vasks – Cantus ad pacem
  6. Colin Andrew Sheffield – Signatures (Special Edition)
  7. Lawrence English – Kiri No Oto
  8. Christopher McFall – The City of Almost
  9. Celer/Mathieu Ruhlmann – Mesoscaphe
  10. Bersarin Quartett – Belsarin Quartett
  11. Fennesz – Black Sea
  12. Autechre – Quaristice.Quadrange.ep.ae
  13. Mosaique – Filare
  14. Matmos – Supreme Balloon
  15. Portishead – Third
  16. Hammock – Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow
  17. Parenthetical Girls – Entanglements
  18. Operations – Collected Anomalies
  19. Johnny Hollow – Dirty Hands
  20. Operator Please – Yes Yes Vindictive
  21. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I-IV
  22. Evan Marc & Steve Hillage – Dreamtime Submersible
  23. Implex Grace – Through Luminescent Passages I
  24. Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree
  25. AGF – Dance Floor Drachen
  26. Of Montreal – Skeletal Lamping
  27. Beyond Sensory Experience – No Lights In Our Eyes
  28. Andrew Liles & Daniel Menche – The Progeny of Flies
  29. Pantaleimon – Heart of the Sun
  30. Specta Ciera – Mystic Valley Parkway
  31. Ran Slavin – Nocturnal Rainbow Rising
  32. Implex Grace – Through Luminescent Passages II
  33. Stephan Mathieu – Radioland
  34. Deerhoof – Offend Maggie
  35. Ladytron – Velocifero
  36. AGF – Words Are Missing
  37. Byetone – Death Of A Typographer
  38. Gregor Samsa – Rest
  39. Nurse With Wound – Huffin’ Rag Blues
  40. Squarepusher – Just A Souvenir

Revised Top 40

(last updated December 2013)

  1. Jakob Ullmann – Voice, Book and Fire 3
  2. Salvatore Sciarrino – Storie di Altre Storie
  3. Bass Communion – Molotov and Haze
  4. Celer – I Love You So Much I Can’t Even Title This (The Light That Never Goes Out Went Out) / Celer/Mathieu Ruhlmann – Mesoscaphe
  5. Steve Peters – Filtered Light (Chamber Music 4)
  6. Nadja – Thaumoradiance
  7. SoiSong – qXn94…
  8. Colin Andrew Sheffield – Signatures (Special Edition)
  9. Pēteris Vasks – Cantus ad pacem
  10. John Williams – Indiana Jones: The Soundtracks Collection
  11. Mathew Adkins – [60]Project
  12. Christopher McFall – The City of Almost
  13. Lawrence English – Kiri No Oto
  14. Andrew Liles & Steven Stapleton – Der Brennende Acker
  15. Don Davis – The Matrix – The Deluxe Edition
  16. Bersarin Quartett – Bersarin Quartett
  17. Fennesz – Black Sea
  18. Johnny Hollow – Dirty Hands
  19. Rebecca Saunders – Stirrings Still
  20. Autechre – Quaristice.Quadrange.ep.ae
  21. Mosaique – Filare
  22. Matmos – Supreme Balloon
  23. Portishead – Third
  24. Hammock – Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow
  25. Parenthetical Girls – Entanglements
  26. Kyle Bobby Dunn – Fragments & Compositions of Kyle Bobby Dunn
  27. Hecq – Night Falls
  28. Operations – Collected Anomalies
  29. Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I-IV
  30. Evan Marc & Steve Hillage – Dreamtime Submersible
  31. Johan Söderqvist – Let The Right One In (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  32. Richard Skelton – Marking Time
  33. Operator Please – Yes Yes Vindictive
  34. Implex Grace – Through Luminescent Passages I
  35. Goldfrapp – Seventh Tree
  36. Entia Non – Fold
  37. RK Faulhaber – 10 Studies of Texture Music
  38. AGF – Dance Floor Drachen
  39. Deerhoof – Offend Maggie
  40. The Threshold HouseBoys Choir – The Threshold HouseBoys Choir Amulet Edition