Big RichBlock Tested Hood ApprovedKoch
Big Rich is not just some random dude putting out another hyphy record with “E-40 presents…” attached. This is SF hip-hop free from muscle cars, silly goggles, and thizz references. Gritty rhymes, Rick Rock beats, and appearances from Sheeek Louch, J-Hood, and San Quinn make this the hardest record to come out of the bay this year.

Jamie Saft & MerzbowMerzdubCaminante
Merzbow is the king of noise and Jamie Saft can turn out dub like Steve Albini turns out killer rock albums. Together, these gnarly dudes create the most distorted, deep, and doomy dub records known to the orbit of experimental music. We’re not sure if it’s the harsh chicken squeals or the downtempo subsonics that make this record so impacting, but it’s something, man.

Steven Brodsky’s Octave Museums S/T Hydrahead
Steve Brodsky alongside Scissorfight and Electric Bastards contributors has taken a detour from his prog-metal band Cave In for this lo-fi power pop antiquity. The trio’s debut on Hydra Head find’s Steve at his peak of vocal performance with harmonies from outer space and simple chord progressions that fly far beyond spellbinding. Ocatve Museums is a bold, unique quest for following an independent musical path, and we get it.

Liverpool has never been so proud. Since the late ’90’s this psyche-pop band has blistered the music industry with their synth heavy, darkened anthems. On Visitations, the band makes a break from their standard psyche-pop formula for a sound that fits somewhere in between The Violent Femmes, Ravi Shankar, and a Brit-pop drum circle. This matured album will no doubt shake things up.

The RubEuropean TourThe Rub
If you’re not yet familiar, the Rub is the contemporary DJ holy trinity of New York party jams. Infamous for their mainstream hip-hop remix albums for artists like Too $hort and M.O.P., European Tour finds DJ Eleven, DJ Ayres, and Cosmo Baker scratching through old-school classics, hyphy bangers, and electro hits for a bunch of screaming, hungry Europeans. Few DJ teams can mash up Twista, Kraftwerk, and Sean Paul without a second guess.

FunckarmaBion GlentSublight
It seems weird that just about every record that Sublight sends us makes the top ten. But what are you gonna do? Unlike the midnight breakcore foundation that’s won our hearts over, Funckarma’s new full-length is more of a mid-tempo glitch-fest offering some awesome panned synth leads, choppy percussion, and plenty of Massive Attackian fervor. Another hit from Sublight!

Black Devil Disco Club28 AfterLo
The history of BDDC is a tricky one. While, initially, an ultra-rare disco find for crate diggers, the group was known for pieces created in the late ’70s. That is, until Rephlex “reissued” one of the group’s mind-bogglingly contemporary sounding records. Some say it is vintage genius, others give credit to electronic engineer Bernard Fevre for production. Either way, this is amazing, fucked up disco at its most obscure.

Hanno LeichtmannNuit du PlombKaraoke Kalk
Hanno Leichtmann is the one-man ambient army behind projects like Static, Kosmischer Pitch, and Vulva String Quartett. Not to mention, he’s worked with experimentalists John Zorn and Jan Jelink to name a few. On Nuiy de Plomb, Hanno reminds the world that ambience is one hell of an art form, as he composes his own subjective soundtrack to Hans Henny Jahann’s novel The Night of Lead. Awesome.

Songs of Green PheasantAerial DaysFatCat
Rarely do singer/songwriters have the capability to craft traditional acoustic hymns into pastoral, rustic recordings that conjure the ‘60s without sounding like imposters or burnouts–unless you’re Duncan Sumpner of SOGP. This English mystic illustrates the value of the good old fashion 4-track recording with his potent blend of windy atmospherics and foggy vocals.

UTIn Gut’s HouseBlast First
Before there was The Rapture, Gold Standard Lab’s, and Gravity records, UT was transforming post-punk into one very haunting genre through a passion for scattered instrumentation and viciously, uninhibited vocals. Mute’s iconic Blast First imprint brings this classic back to life for the youngsters in need of a serious lesson in rock history.