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End of an Era: Hyperion's Top 25

So, I've decided that I'm going to retire this account once I hit 20,000 comments. It's not anything against this site, but coming back after a long break has made me realize I'm in a different place than I used to be, and I think looking backwards and trying to recapture the past makes you lose focus of what's ahead in the future. Things change, and so do people, and the while I'm proud of the things I have done, I think it's best that they're left comfortably behind me so that I can move on ahead. But, as per usualy, enough with my prententious rambling, here's my 25 favorite album of all time (most of which i discovered while on this site).
25Oneohtrix Point Never
R Plus Seven

• R Plus 7 is without a doubt Daniel Lopatin’s best album, even if it isn’t my favorite. It’s a totally new sonic landscape for music to inhabit, and it shows from the massive influence it’s had across many genres. One of the first popular albums that showed that “muzak” could be turned in to engaging music. Problem Areas is one of my favorite tracks of any genre to date.

• This is the kind of music I always wished Kraftwerk was. Now don’t get me wrong, Kraftwerk rules and I love them, but this is the kind of music I wanted to hear come from Kraftwerk’s vision. Simple, groovy, and catchy, this is electro at its finest.

• While we’re on the subject of textures and timbres, Wolfgang Voigt’s Gas project is an album that is almost perfect when you look at it from an atmospheric and texture point-of-view. Besides a few missteps (i.e. kick drums), Pop takes looping ambiance to a whole new plateau, and it hasn’t quite been replicated or surpassed since it came out.
Dots and Loops

• Armchair Jazz is what I like to call this, and I love it. Rock music that’s more focused on textures and soundscapes rather than riffs and spectacle is the only kind of rock I can really stand, and none did it better than Stereolab. The rest of their discog is worth checking but this one will always be my favorite.
Hell Awaits

• Hands down the best thrash album ever. The title track is basically the reason why extreme metal exists.
20Steve Roach
Structures from Silence

• Steve Roach is one of the titans of ambient music (with a pretty new age flavor), but I don’t like anything else quite as much as Structures from Silence. This album, to me, is the perfection of minimal, spatial ambient music. With just an Oberheim Expander and some reverb, Roach was able to create a perfect sonic analog to happy isolation, the feeling you get when you’re happy just being alone with yourself and in your own head. Most of the music I like is directly relatable to the experiences and perspectives I have (no shit right), but few pieces of music really ever capture those so eloquently.
19Lil Ugly Mane
Oblivion Access

• This is a relatively new addition to the list, but this album is the hip-hop album I’ve always wanted to hear. The production job on this is second-to-none and the lyricism is exactly the kind of self-conscious, introspective, and absurd wordplay that speaks to me on multiple levels. “Not optimist or pessimist, my politics are exodus.”
18Herbie Hancock

• Herbie is my favorite jazz musician hands down, but I’ve always been more fascinated with his fusion years, especially as he moved towards funk and electro. Sextant is his best album of the “fusion” years I think. I’ve yet to hear someone use synthesis technologies in jazz as well as this album, but then again, that’s why I love Herbie. He took jazz in directions I always thought it should have gone, but never really did.
17The Caretaker
An Empty Bliss Beyond This World

• I’m much more into music that is spatially evocative instead of simply catchy or flashy. Leyland Kirby took the groundwork of turntablism and plunderphonics and went for something totally alien and left-field, but my god does it work well. This album is basically just old 78 Dixieland recordings and looping them to infinity while drenching them in reverb, but somehow it manages to be totally cerebral and engaging. Proof that context is one of the most important, and often overlooked, elements of music.
Dead as Dreams

• This really is the pinnacle of the black metal aesthetic. All of the cheesy theatrics are gone, all of the tongue in cheek screaming about Satan and trying to be socially contrarian are gone. All that's left is a truly masterful collection of some of the most emotionally devastating music ever written, a sonic self-critique of the day to day existential crisis' of introversion and social alienation. This is the music the genre was headed towards ever since the beginning, and in my opinion, hasn’t surpassed it since.
15Steve Reich
Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint

• You can’t really understand minimalism as an art form until you listen to Steve Reich, and of all his brilliant compositions, Electric Counterpoint remains my favorite. I’ve always been bored by “transitions” in music and wanted to hear something more organic when it comes to switching between motifs and directions. And, to me, Steve Reich was one of the first to perfect “evolving” music instead of transitional.
14Dr. Octagon
Dr. Octagonecologyst

• Kool Keith is the man, and this maniacal, off-the-wall piece of abstract hip-hop is one of the best the genre has to offer. While I still haven’t figured out if there’s some sort of literal sense to what he’s saying, or if he just got extremely blasted and just started freestyling in the studio, but regardless of which is the correct answer (I don’t care) I will never not love this album. “Now that my helmets on you can’t tell me I’m not in space.” Exactly.
13Karlheinz Stockhausen

• There are other Stockhausen compositions that I probably listen to more than Kontakte, but since most of those aren’t really in an “album format” (and also not in the database) I chose this one because it’s the first Stockhausen release I heard, and was immediately entranced. This might be the quintessential piece of serialism and electroacoustic music, but I’ve always been mesmerized by just how perfectly the textures and timbres of all the sounds mesh with each other. So ahead of its time that it’s still influencing new methods even today.
12Sweet Trip
Velocity : Design : Comfort

• This album is everything I love about shoegaze minus all the stuff I dislike. I feel like, even though this is a heavily synthesized record, it’s still basically rock music in a totally different shell. This should be considered the greatest shoegaze album of all time IMO, even over Loveless.
11Harold Budd and Brian Eno
Ambient 2 - The Plateaux of Mirror

• This is, in my opinion, Brian Eno’s masterpiece. He was a pioneer of music as a spatial experience, and worked with tones either underutilized or completely absent from mainstream music. This collaboration with Harold Budd is the height of that kind of experimentation I think. The sine waves and synthesized piano drowned in reverb work to create a musical world in a completely imagined space, but that is still tangible enough to keep you on Earth.

• While maybe not the best death metal of all time, it’s certainly my favorite. The vocals, the riffs, and the production hit all the right spots. Throwback bands have the advantage of cherry picking good things from a broad range of albums, and Obliteration seems to know exactly how to do this without being totally derivative. I honestly could only listen to this and Consuming Impulse and never have to listen to another death metal record ever again.
9Black Dog Productions

• The best early 90’s Warpcore album of the bunch, even over Incunabula. Over the years, it seems like electronic music (techno especially) has taken a turn towards darker and more pessimistic tones, but Bytes of a perfect little time capsule of what electronic music was doing in the 90’s. It’s bright, futuristic, and optimistic in a way that no other era of music ever really quite captures.

• The logical conclusion to pop music. Rhythm, melody, harmony, and structure are all pushed to the limits of their usefulness in an effort to create an album that is still reminiscent of modern popular music but warps and mutates the elements until they are almost unrecognizable. 15 years later and the world is still trying to catch up.
7Porter Ricks

• Basic Channel laid the groundwork for dub techno, but in my mind, Porter Ricks perfected it. This album is basically how to almost exclusively use reverb and delay to create atmospheres and spatial drones, but it also bangs at the same time. One of the few albums that contains what I consider a perfect track (Port Gentil) which, until I heard it, I didn’t think existed.

• I got into hip-hop through DOOM, and Madvillany is still the height of the genre for me personally. DOOM’s lyricism is unparalleled and Madlib’s grindhouse, free jazz sampling techniques mesh perfectly with DOOM’s abstract wordplay and delivery. This will probably always be my GOAT.
Consuming Impulse

• The best death metal album of all time, hands down no contest. Every single riff on this album is 5/5 stars and there’s only one filler track. The culmination of the greatest riffs, the best production, and the best vocals on a death metal album make this the uncontested height of the genre. Everyone else is just playing catch up, even 20+ years later.
4Oneohtrix Point Never

• Daniel Lopatin was responsible for jumpstarting my interest in musical synthesis, mostly because I wondered how it was possible to create such a huge pile of meandering, progressive electronics with only a single board. I’ve listened to this compilation countless times and it still speaks to me on a personal, visceral level. This is how I like my music: long, meandering, impenetrable, and pretentious.

• In my personal opinion, Substrata is the perfect ambient album. Ambient, in my eyes, should be about spatial awareness and escapism, and Geir Jenssen used these ideas to craft an album that turns the world into its own orchestra. “My vision ended. I awoke with a tremendous feeling of optimism and confidence in you and your future.”
2Boards of Canada
Tomorrow's Harvest

• This is the most sublime collection of music I’ve ever heard. This album is a melancholy journey through the bittersweet nature of nostalgia, the idea that you can always remember the past fondly but you can never really reclaim it. Nothing is Real is up there with the most poignant music made this side of the millennium.

• Without a doubt my favorite album of all time. The timbres and textures on Amber are almost like something that was ripped directly out of my brain and into these tracks. Nine is also my favorite single song of all time. I could listen to this on repeat forever and never get tired of it.
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