Experimental music newsletter Tone Glow selects 31 albums and songs from the first quarter of 2022. An interesting selection of albums by ASP Doze, Voivod, Toshimaru Nakamura, Bengt Berger, Matches and others. Check the full list here!

The tone experiment
January 01, 2022

Tone Glow's favourite albums of 2021

Dean Blunt

Tone Glow assembled a list of their favourite albums of 2021 (not the best). An interesting list of experimental music:

Michael Pisaro-Liu - 'Revolution Shuffle'

Yvette Janine Jackson - 'Freedom'

Wild Up - 'Julius Eastman Vol. 1: Femenine'

DJ Sprinkles - 'Gayest Tits & Greyest Shits: 1998-2017 12-Inches & One-Offs'

Éliane Radigue - 'Occam Ocean 3'

Jana Rush - 'Painful Enlightenment'

Dean Blunt - 'Black Metal 2'

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt - 'Made Out of Sound'

Haptic - 'Weird Undying Annihilation'

Injury Reserve - 'By the Time I Get to Phoenix'

L’Rain - 'Fatigue'

Lucy Liyou - 'Practice'

Juçara Marçal - 'Delta Estácio Blues'

MIKE - 'Disco!'

Lucia Nimcová & Sholto Dobie - 'DILO'

William Parker – 'Migration of Silence into and Out of the Tone World (Volumes 1–10)'

RP Boo - 'Established!'

ThouxanBanFauni - 'Time of My Life'

Richard Youngs - 'CXXI'

RXK Nephew - 'Slitherman Activated'

Remembered after reading
December 29, 2021

Rolling Stone recommends 22 music books released this year

"This year, many of the books we loved most used music as a lens through which to examine broader issues of politics, history, and identity — whether it was the story of capitalist circulation as heard by Joshua Clover in the Modern Lovers’ 'Roadrunner', Hanif Abdurraqib riffing on everything from 'Soul Train' to 1920s dance crazes in his panoramic 'A Little Devil in America'or Eric Harvey exploring depictions of African American life in Eighties pop culture" - Rolling Stone starts the introduction to their selection of the best 22 music books released this year.

December 28, 2021

Brooklyn Vegan's Top 50 albums of 2021


"It's hard to narrow down all the albums we loved this year, but we whittled a list down to 50, which spans over a dozen different genres of music, from breakthrough debut albums to career-high peaks from veteran artists and plenty of the in-between" - Brooklyn Vegan points out introducing their Top 50 albums of 2021. Here are their Top 10:

10. Japanese Breakfast - 'Jubilee'

9. Billie Eilish - 'Happier Than Ever'

8. Every Time I Die - 'Radical'

7. Cassandra Jenkins - 'An Overview on Phenomenal Nature'

6. The Weather Station - 'Ignorance'

5. Little Simz - 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert'

4. Tyler, the Creator - 'Call Me If You Get Lost'

3. Low - 'HEY WHAT'

2. Jazmine Sullivan - 'Heaux Tales'

  1. Turnstile - 'Glow On'

Guarding us from bad music
December 26, 2021

Guardian chooses best albums of 2021

An interesting list of the 50 best albums of 2021 chosen by the Guardian writers. Before that, let's mention their list of the best global music albums, headed by Toumani Diabaté and the London Symphony Orchestra's 'Kôrôlén', and their list of best folk albums, with John Francis Flynn taking the top spot with 'I Would Not Live Always'. Going back to their general list, the top 10 are:

10 Mdou Moctar – 'Afrique Victime'

9 Arlo Parks – 'Collapsed in Sunbeams'

8 Olivia Rodrigo – 'Sour'

7 Dry Cleaning – 'New Long Leg'

6 Sault – 'Nine'

5 Tyler, the Creator – 'Call Me If You Get Lost'

4 The Weather Station – 'Ignorance'

3 Little Simz – 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert'

2 Wolf Alice – 'Blue Weekend'

1 Self Esteem – 'Prioritise Pleasure'

Sometimes lists might be summarized
December 26, 2021

Little Simz tops BBC's best albums list

'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert' by Little Simz has been named the best record of 2021 in BBC's summarized list. The album topped a BBC News "poll of polls" that combined the results of 30 critics' end-of-year lists. BBC points out that this "journey through her family background and artistic struggles" has been "praised for its 'razor-sharp lyricism' and 'extravagant, orchestral' songs". The best songs list is topped by 'Good 4U' by Olivia Rodrigo.

"The jazz and experimental music that left the biggest impression this year did so primarily because it challenged us to find momentum in life" - Pitchfork argues in favor of their selection of best jazz and experimental music. Some interesting music there - political poet Anthony Joseph who got a helping sax from Shabaka Hutchings, Pakistan singer Arooj Aftab, free-improv team of guitarist Bill Orcutt and drummer Chris Corsano, broad collab by Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and The London Symphony Orchestra, rap poet Moor Mother and others.

Celluloid rain
December 11, 2021

50 best soundtracks since 1971

The Ringer has made a selection of the 50 best soundtracks from the past 50 years, with only pure soundtracks permitted - no scores. An interesting selection, from '8 Mile' to 'Purple Rain'.

So, take a weekend off
December 10, 2021

NME selects 50 albums of 2021

Sam Fender

"Take a close look at this year’s truly brilliant album releases and you might just conclude that the last 12 months have been all about pushing things forward while taking stock of the past" - NME introduces its selection of 50 best albums of 2021. Here are the Top 10:

10. Olivia Rodrigo - ‘Sour’

9. Turnstile - ‘Glow On’

8. Halsey - ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’

7. Arlo Parks - ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’

6. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - ‘Carnage’

5. Tyler, the Creator - ‘Call Me If You Get Lost’

4. Self Esteem - ‘Prioritise Pleasure’

3. Wolf Alice - ‘Blue Weekend’

2. Little Simz - ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’

  1. Sam Fender - ‘Seventeen Going Under’
December 09, 2021

Pitchfork's 35 best electronic albums

"Much of this year’s best electronic music, both on and off the dancefloor, attempted to channel the mixed emotions of the present day. Loraine James, Space Afrika, Perila, Muqata’a, the Bug—all of them reminded us that electronic music can also be a vehicle for contemplation, sorrow, and even fury, while simultaneously testing the possibilities of their chosen forms" - Pitchfork says introducing its selection of 35 best electronic albums of 2021.

List tales
December 07, 2021

Pitchfork: The 50 best albums of 2021

"Breakout artists like L’Rain, Dry Cleaning, and Arooj Aftab put themselves on the map and set high expectations for whatever they do next. Favorites like Jazmine Sullivan, Low, and the Weather Station moved from the margins into the spotlight with career-best releases. More than ever, great music was there to be found if you looked hard enough" - Pitchfork presents its list of 50 best albums of 2021. Here are their top 10:

10. Dry Cleaning: 'New Long Leg'

9. Playboi Carti: 'Whole Lotta Red'

8. Mdou Moctar: 'Afrique Victime'

7. The Weather Station: 'Ignorance'

6. Turnstile: 'Glow On'

5. Low: 'HEY WHAT'

4. Floating Points / Pharoah Sanders / The London Symphony Orchestra: 'Promises'

3. Tyler, the Creator: 'Call Me If You Get Lost'

2. L’Rain: 'Fatigue'

  1. Jazmine Sullivan: 'Heaux Tales'

Tyler, the Listed
December 07, 2021

Consequence picks out 50 albums of the year

"The year’s best albums built idea on idea, theme on theme, one track at a time. Some explored the heaviness of life and death, and others provided us with all the joy we were missing from the world at large. What they have in common is an awareness of how to place a thought next to another thought, building in richness and complexity" - Consequence introduces its Top 50 albums of 2021 list. Here are their top 10:

10. illuminati hotties – 'Let Me Do One More'

9. Armand Hammer, The Alchemist – 'Haram'

8. Lil Nas X – 'Montero'

7. Lil Nas X – 'Montero'

6. Lucy Dacus – 'Home Video'

5. Little Simz – 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert'

4. Turnstile – 'GLOW ON'

3. Arlo Parks – 'Collapsed in Sunbeams'

2. Japanese Breakfast – 'Jubilee'

  1. Tyler, the Creator – 'CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST'

The song never remains the same
December 06, 2021

The 100 + 50 best songs of 2021

"In another trying year, many of the best songs were about picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and trying again" - Pitchfork writes introducing its selection of this year's 100 best songs. Interesting choices between Halsey's 'I am not a woman, I’m a god' and Caroline Polachek's 'Bunny Is a Rider'. Rolling Stone also unveiled its selection of best songs of 2021, 50 of them. Twice's 'The Feels' and Wizkid's 'Essence' enclose the list.

The consequence of 2021
December 06, 2021

Consequence's artist of the year: Lil Nas X

"There wasn’t another artist in 2021 who dominated headlines, charts, and streams the way Lil Nas X did, all while delivering thought-provoking art pieces and promises of more to come. A star was born a few years ago, and now he’s arrived, more of a burning comet. Consequence is thrilled to name Lil Nas X our 2021 Artist of the Year".

Listing stone
December 03, 2021

Rolling Stone's 50 best albums of 2021

The early birds of Rolling Stone have made a selection of the best albums of 2021. Not so retro list actually, and plenty of various artists between St. Vincent and her 'Daddy's Home', and Olivia Rodrigo's 'Sour'. Check the full list here.

Glam list
December 02, 2021

Top 11 glam rock songs

Medium presents top 11 glam rock song, with the No. 1 being 'Ballroom Blitz', the Sweet song based on a 1973 concert that got out of hand. Guitarist Andy Scott described how he and singer Brian Connolly were dragged off the stage in Glasgow, Scotland: “There was an absolute riot. All the fans were screaming and going crazy. A bunch of girls grabbed Brian and me by the ankles and dragged us off stage. They started lobbing off our hair with scissors they had been hiding in their handbags.To say we were terrified was an understatement. No one had ever seen a reaction like this and security didn’t stand a chance. Mike went away and wrote the lyrics to ‘Ballroom Blitz’".

Inspired by Peter Jackson's Beatles documentary 'Get Back', Rolling Stone has compiled a list of the 70 greatest music documentaries of all time: "the concert films, fly-on-the-wall tour chronicles, punk and hip-hop and jazz time capsules, and career assessments of everyone from Amy Winehouse to the Who that have set the standard and stood the test of time". The list finishes with 'U2: Rattle and Hum' and starts with Bob Dylan 1967 docu 'Don't Look Back', with plenty of good stuff in between.

Watch out list!
November 05, 2021

Stereogum's 40 best new bands of 2021

PinkPantheress / Horsegirl / Bruiser Wolf

Stereogum picks out 40 musicians "that make us most excited about the future", which includes Bruiser Wolf, Olivia Rodrigo, Enumclaw, For Your Health, Indigo de Souza, Horsegirl, Mustafa, PinkPantheress among others. The criteria is that "all of them are doing something worth hearing right now, and deserve to have your ears on them going forward". Check out the full list.

Pitchfork asked its readers to rank the 200 best albums released between 1996 and 2021, in celebration of the site's 25 years online. The People's List is also an interactive, infographical look at how their readers’ gender identities, ages, locations, and the number of years they’ve been reading Pitchfork. Check it out here.

Yves Tumor / Moor Mother / Navy Blue

Pitchfork made a list of 25 new artists "that help us consider the future of music: how it’ll be made, where it’ll come from, what role it’ll play in shaping scenes, and how genre lines may be increasingly dismantled". Some of the promising ones the P staff chose: MIKE for being "a beacon within the modern rap underground", Black Midi for "oddity and unpredictability", 100 Gecs for their "extreme pop music", Moor Mother for her "radical message", Bartees Strange for "his vision of what guitar music can encompass", Yves Tumor for their "restless experimentation", Amaarae for "bending the boundaries of Afro-fusion music", Navy Blue for being the "leader of a new class of introspective rapper-producers", Blood Incantation because they've "elevated old-school death metal into a psychedelic, ever-expanding solar system".

Plenty of country for old rockers
October 05, 2021

The best country rock songs

Late Tom Petty's quote that today's country music is nothing more than “bad rock with a fiddle” was the inspiration for Medium's blog entry of the best country rock songs. It includes some Rolling Stones, Metallica, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, and some context.

Magazine chose the video star
July 31, 2021

Rolling Stones' 100 best music videos of all time

MTV as a music television exists no more, but music videos still complement songs, create mythologies, and cause chatter and controversy - Rolling Stone says introducing their selection of the 100 best music videos of all time. Starting with The Buggles' 'Video Killed the Radio Star' and finishing with Beyonce's 'Formation' "all of these picks are perfect examples of how pairing sound and vision created an entire artistic vocabulary, gave us a handful of miniature-movie masterpieces, and changed how we heard (and saw) music".

Longer than 15 seconds
July 30, 2021

The best of the first MTV videos

MTV celebrates its 40th birthday this weekend, with Billboard and Stereogum looking back with a selection of the 40 best videos played on the very first day on the network. There were 116 videos played in the first 24 hours, with Stereogum and Billboard agreeing Talking Heads' 'Once in a Lifetime' and Blondie's 'Rapture' being the best.

The list of sound
July 22, 2021

50 best producers of the 21st century

Max Martin

Billboard staff picked the 50 greatest producers of this century: the most innovative, impactful and important knob-twiddlers since 2000. The top 5 are:

5. Mike Will Made-It because he loves twisting the familiar into something far weirder and more rewarding

4. The-Dream & Tricky Stewart thanks to their zooming keys, gentle-but-insistent percussion, expansive soundscapes and the era's most lethal toplines.

3. Timbaland - fourth-dimension funk, with rattling drums, squelching bass, unrecognizable and disembodied vocal hooks

2. Pharrell Williams / The Neptunes - Liquid guitars, clanging percussion, and the most intoxicating synth tones you've ever heard

1. Max Martin -  the hooks we crave, the choruses we want to belt out, from the stars that have defined the mainstream over the past two decades

Who's pulling the strings?
June 14, 2021

8 records by the new generation of solo guitarists

Chris Schlarb

Pitchfork recommends eight recent releases that "show the guitar’s boundless potential". Among the selected ones there are: new album by Brooklyn’s Rachika Nayar who "uses her electric guitar to make quiet, visionary ambient music"; Rob Noyes is a 12-string guitarist based in Japan. whos music "enters the room like a strong gust of wind and resonates long after"; Chris Schlarb & Chad Taylor offer "droning 12-string ragas, gentle folk melodies, and quietly psychedelic mood pieces that transport listeners to a higher plane of thinking" on their collaborative album.