Important Notice To Our Readers…the story needs to be heard while we still have the ability to get the word out; the demands of the head corporate office have grown increasingly unreasonable and, in many cases, violent. So far, the editorial staff and our allies have been able to hold off attempts to oust our team and install their corporate goons. But our resistance has had a cost! The list you see below was the result of our desperate and heroic effort to maintained the integrity of the Ultimate 2021 Vinyl Dreamscape Top Ten Albums. The threats of violence are real. As I type, we are held-up in the santuary of the employee breakroom. With coffee our only source of nourishment, our team has secured the front door with stacks of unused Adele vinyl and boxes of A Josh Groban Christmas CDs. How long can we hold back their seige? Perhaps just long enough to get this list posted without compromise. Below is the link to the Top Ten Albums. Hopefully, we are back in 2022. Power to the people!
Ultimate Top Ten Albums of 2021
10. Mdou Moctar / Afrique Victime (Psychedelic Desert Blues) Moctar isn’t new to the recording studio. The Nigerien musician using all of his gathered knowledge from past records to create his most complete statement. Raw, Easy, Psychedelic and…Explosive. Music Sample
09. Black Dog / Music for Photographers (Experimental Electronic). Black Dog continue their purple-period with their most sincerely ambient piece of music. This is not bland background music. with losts of forward motion as each of the album’s soundscape develop and take flight. A talented group that is consistently ahead of the curve and always finding new sounds to that keep the music interested. Music Sample
08. The Motor City Drum Ensemble / fabric presents Danilo Plessow (MCDE) (House / Techno) A brillant mix of new and old school house and techno with the easy flowing energy of the Motor City sound of electronic music. This one is perfect for a long drives on a crisp December night. You’ll need both the DJ mix on CD and the vinyl with the full verisions of the key tracks. Music Sample
07. Rose City Band / Earth Trip (Neo-Psychedelic Country Rock). How does this band keep making such great music AND continue to develop their sound? The music is always real, organtic and psychedelic. The music reflecting the warmth of an evening camp fire on a cold fall night. The embers burning bright just as you are peaking. Rose City makes it look so simple. Music Sample
06. Lucifer / IV(Hard Rock). Don’t be scared off by the name.Lucifer combines those heavy 70s riffs with a female voice and the enthusiasm of a junk-yard dog. All of this contributes to a sound that is suprisingly modern. Best of all the songs are great. The band avoiding the mistake of sound retro at every turn. These Swedish-German rockers making the best of a California occult summer. Only with the top down on the Ford. Music Sample
05. Francisco Meirino / The Process of Significance (Experimental / Noise) Full discloser. A bit of cheating on this selection. The Process of Significance is a reissue of Meirino‘s long out of print individual CDs. It doesn’t matter. The beautiful packaging, photos and box are appropriate for the amazing music you will discover inside. This is highly experimential music done right. Meirino blurring the lines between noise, textures and music with a symphony of abrasive crackles and glitches. Difficult and beautiful. Music Sample
04. Nils Frahm / Old Friends New Friends (Acoustic / Electronic Experimental) Creating experimental and challenging music is what Nil Frahm does best. These are piano solos recorded between 2009 and 2021, the album acts as a alternative compliation for Frahm‘s way of creating music. Beautiful and refreshing. Music Sample
03. The Trees Speak / Vertigo of Flaws (Krautrock / Experimental) Although their first two albums found the band moving fast into the deep waters of experimental music, Vertigo is another beast entirely. Here the band is creating sounds that are uniquely their own. Daring us to accompany them as they explore their true creative path into a world of abstract sound and music. Anyone reading this page should hear this album. Music Sample
02. Martin Sturtzer / Temporal Paradox (Space Electronic) Space is the place. There is an abundance of music attempting to recreate the feel of deep space travel. Most are worthless. However, Sturtzer has discovered the secret. A rare example of a warm colorful ride to the outer-reaches of the galaxy. Refreshing and forward thinking. Music Sample
01. Black Swan / Repetition Hymns (Drone) Maybe once a year a piece of music comes along that is so special that it challenges us the take notice of a truly unique beauty. Black Swan capturing the atmosphere of a late night as the first snowfall overwhelms the beauty of a cold dark winter night. Together just once in a lifetime. Repetition Hymns is not to be missed. Music Sample
Billy Gibbons / Hardware (Rock) Barbaque greasy rock music made to drink cold beer under a hot Arizona sky. They just don’t make albums like this anymore.
John Hopkins / Music for Psychedelic Therapy (Ambient) This album should really be on our top ten list. Hopkins makes music so good that it’s easy to take his talent for grant. Psychedelic Therapy is Hopkins going full ambient. And while it may not be as satisfiying as his last two classic albums, it gives us a fresh adventure well worth your time. It’s regrettable that Hopkins added the New Age nonsense of Sitting Around The Fire. Nothing is perfect.
The Top Ten Reissues of 2021
10. Black Crowes / Lions / 2 Vinyl Record Reissue (Hard Rock) Not the greatest Black Crowes record but there are gems to be found throughout this album. Lots of interesting textured sounds here that the band would never really use again. The Crowes showing us a metalic edge that would have been interesting to see them continue to develop. Let’s just call Lions the Black Crowes‘ Led Zeppelin record. This reissue looks (pink) and sound great.
09. LCD Soundsystem / The Long Goodbye / Live at Madison Square Garden / Box Set (Hipster Dance Rock) New York hipster music all the way. And we just love it. Full of dancefloor classics that are enhanced by the live setting. “New York…Our records all show. You are filthy but fine”.
08. Manduka / Vinyl Reissue Vinyl Reissue (Brazilian Psychedelic). Music that comes from a place deep within the head and heart. A beautiful psychedelic-soul masterpiece, Manduka takes us on a full trip through the Chile of the early sevenities. Just like a hit of mescaline in the morning, this is an easy buzz of acoustic Tropicalia that will take your head off your shoulders. Soulful, strange and liberating.
07. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou / OST / 2 LP Vinyl Reissue (Compilation / Soundtrack). This film soundtrack running a close second to another Wes Anderson’s soundtrack, The Darjeeling Limited. The music capturing the adventure and likeability of the film.
06. Curtis Mayfield / Curtis Deluxe / 2 LP Vinyl Reissue (R&B / 70’s Soul) 70s soul music starts right here. Damn funky but also with insight and thoughtfulness. This is music asking people for understand and compassion from the human family.
05. Black Sabbath / Technical Ecstasy / Super Deluxe Box Set (Hard Rock / Metal) Anyone saying the band is past their prime on Technical Ecstasy just isn’t listening. Tony, Ozzy, Geezer and Bill remained an active creative force right until the very end. The sludge is gone but the music is still interesting and important to the development of heavy music. Producer Steve Wilson cleans up the dull original mix and the live material included is great.
04. Ennio Morricone / Danger: Diabolik! / Vinyl LP Reissue (Soundtrack) This is a reissue of Morricone‘s impossible to find soundtrack, Danger: Diabolik. Full of pyschodelic guitars, passionate female vocals and over the top orchestration, don’t miss this if you are a fan.
03. Rolling Stones / Tattoo You / Deluxe Box Set (Rock)If nothing else we finally get an offical release of the Rolling Stone’s version of the Dobie Gray‘s Drift Away. A real showcase for Jagger‘s amazing vocal style.This outtake has been lingering in the background for far too long.
02. Sun Ra / Eygpt 71 / Box Set (Space Jazz) This really should be the reissue of the year. If not for the near releigous experience of A Love Supreme Live, it would be. This four CD box set is the perfect place to start for anyone looking for an entrance point for the more avant-garde releases by Sun Ra. Full Review Here: Sun Ra / Egypt
01. John Coltrane / A Love Supreme / Live in Seattle / Vinyl LP (Jazz / Free Jazz) This is the next step for A Love Supreme. A rare piece of music that can bring you closer to a sense of understanding. Read the full review here: Allah Supreme