|Breakingthefragile's Favorite Releases of 2015|
Like last year, I didn't get around to listening to most of the albums that received a lot of acclaim and attention this year. As for the releases I did find the time for, here's a list of the ones that I personally enjoyed and found to be interesting.
All in the Circle
Production unlike anything else in hip hop at the moment.
Slaves Beyond Death
Gnarly riffs to an almost draining extent.
Tries way too hard to be sexually devious, but I'm a sucker for electroclash so I'm indifferent.
This was a great year for jazz rap and this southern spin on the style is not to be overlooked.
Black Sabbath cover band-core with an actual Black Sabbath cover at the end.
LIGHT AS FUCK
NAH was prolific this year, but this EP towers above the rest with its two 12-minute sides of chaotic percussion throughout surrealistic noise collages.
The most atmospheric effort from Gibbs yet, but just as hard as his past projects.
I'm glad to see Cavalera toying around with some black metal again.
These two songs alone boast better beats and a more impressive flow than Rock's more recent work.
|41||Rome Fortune x OG Maco|
Was really surprised with how dynamic these two sound together and how interesting the production was on this.
Kill The Wolf
Basically a less cringe-worthy version of Sage Francis.
|39||Dr. Yen Lo|
Days With Dr. Yen Lo
Fascinating concept and beats that experiment with minimalism to impressive results.
Certainly not the most original black metal in the world, but I enjoyed it well enough.
A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons
One of the best female voices in hip hop. I will never understand why the UK scene hasn't caught on in America yet.
|36||Open Mike Eagle|
A Special Episode Of
Eccentric, honest, and humorous lyricism from one of the more profound abstract MCs.
Frenetic and paranoid samples tell a tale of fear in the digital age.
Kill the Flaw
Unlike basically every other radio rock band, they've thankfully ditched nu metal riffs completely and are genuinely attempting a more mature sound this late in their career.
These anthems and bangers are everything pop rap should be, but Scott still needs to find a recognizable delivery.
An emotional rollercoaster in suite form that sees Earl on his own downward spiral.
The combined efforts of Wiki and Ratking might just put the New York underground back on the map at this point.
|30||Godspeed You! Black Emperor|
'Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress'
A post-rock monolith containing some of the best drone sections they have ever composed.
One of the most forward-thinking rappers in Chicago.
The Powers That B - Part II: Jenny Death
Absolutely savage attitude.
Smart lyrics, adventurous production, and solid hooks.
|25||Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats|
The Night Creeper
My go-to band for a rousing dose of heavy psych and they sure as hell did not fail to deliver this time around.
It's good to hear an enigmatic and animated personality present in metal vocals.
Hogg Life: The Beginning
The later installments in this series are laughably terrible, but the blues-inspired production on some of these tracks work very well on this first entry.
Epic post-rock and epic post-metal share a release.
|21||Young Troubled Minds|
One Big Session
Chill as hell hip hop.
Alternative R&B with trip hop sensibilities that's not as abstract in its approach as an artist like FKA Twigs is, but is easily just as sensual.
Blade of the Ronin
Cannibal Ox prove they are perfectly capable of quality material no matter who is producing for them.
Year of the Hare
Further proving that Fucked Up churns out their most unique work in this series.
Evermore: The Art of Duality
Psychedelic trap with cerebral meditations on life and morality.
Who's Gonna Get Fucked First?
The ringleader of an emerging force in the ironic and bizarre side of hip hop.
Tremonti finally stops hindering his abilities with the restraints of radio appeal and completely lets loose to deliver a speed metal album with an overwhelming abundance of riffs.
|14||Your Old Droog|
A loving tribute to '90s rock that establishes Droog as a rapper with character rather than the Nas sound-alike he's been dismissed as.
Today, I Wrote Nothing
Putting the hardcore back in east coast rap.
|12||My Dying Bride|
Feel the Misery
The most engaging experience I've had with doom metal all year.
Village Party 2: Heaven's Gate
Alex Wiley continues to be the most underrated Chicago rapper. He has truly crafted an original sound here that seems to be constructed as a spiritual journey rather than a standard series of songs.
|10||Bones and Dylan Ross|
TeamSESH continues to break boundaries and mix genres with hip hop production containing traces of emo, ambient, and, to a lesser extent, post-rock influences.
|9||Steve Von Till|
A Life Unto Itself
The best kind of folk there is: Rough, melancholy, and atmospheric.
Train Of Thought
The best collection of rarities and b-sides to come out in a very long time. Each track seamlessly flows into the next and highlight some of the most under-appreciated moments in Kweli's career.
Better than any Gaza album.
Live From The Dentist Office
This jazzy, infectious, and charismatic mixtape showcases Injury Reserve as the most promising hip hop group of the year.
FKA Twigs completely rejects the Alternative R&B label with this unsettling and caustic EP that provides an even more raw look at her warped vision of the future homogeneity of pop and electronic music.
Dead Bodies In The Lake
Industrial hip hop with a heavy punk influence that signifies the first wave of artists that Death Grips have paved the way for.
Releases like this where one producer handles all the beats and different rappers feature on each track are usually inconsistent and unmemorable, but these tracks are just so fun and incredibly solid that I found myself returning to this album more than any other this year.
The Anthropocene Extinction
Eviscerating. Enough said.
Mykki Blanco Presents C-ORE
This is the most ground-breaking album of the year in my opinion. Mykki Blanco has a really commendable ethos behind this compilation and the formation of the Dogfood Music Group label that intends to challenge hip hop stereotypes and redefine what modern society perceives African American music to be. These uncompromising experiments in electro-industrial, harsh noise, future garage, and hardcore punk are reminiscent of the experimental prime of the Anticon record label, and hold tremendous potential for the future of the as of now blossoming industrial hip hop movement.