Music of 2017, Part 3: Clashes of Level 8 Lovers


We’re done with Kate Bush already? I think so. Are we done with catching up with old music of known artists? Not so much…

10. The Legendary Pink Dots, “The Heretic” (1985)

Besides Kate, 2017 was also the year of filling some gaps in my knowledge of this one of a kind psychedelic band and their extremely wide output. I didn’t listen to EVERYTHING, because I can’t believe it’s possible in one lifetime to listen to all Edward Ka-Spel ever released (the sheer volume of LPD’s discography – available in its entirety both on Spotify and Bandcamp – makes my head hurt), but also because I limited myself to only major releases in chronological order… and I arrived at 1984’s “The Lovers” pretty quickly and just stayed there.

The whole album is very good, which is something of note because The Dots are known for their uneven releases (not many of their albums are digestable in their entirety, mostly it’s one-two good songs among some terrible musical gibberish). And from it “The Heretic” is arguably the most memorable, but by far not the only good song – “Jungle” or “Flowers for the Silverman” are just as good.

It’s good to know the Dots have more pearls that can be found in their vast junkyard of a discography.

11. Miracle of Sound, “Replica” (2017)

Now it’s time for some video game music.

Miracle of Sound is one of the reasons why I haven’t written in this (or any other) blog for so many years. He is the epitome of the “Going Back To Blogging Block”, a syndrome where so much has happened since you last published something that if you wanted to catch up on everything, the sheer amount of what you missed is so overwhelming that you don’t actually do anything in this area. So, instead of praising this extremely prolific and most successful Irish musician of last several years to the heavens (right away, that is; I will go into more details someday) I’ll just mention his latest works.

Gavin Dunne (for that is who’s hiding behind the monicker) is as reliable as ever with his output of good music every year, inspired by latest games and, in smaller amount, movies and shows. His latest album, “Level 8”, is full of good songs based on good material: “The Moment” from the movie “Wonder Woman”, wonderfully 80s “Upside Down” from the show “Stranger Things”, “Force of Nature” from “Horizon: Zero Dawn”, but for this list I picked a truly great song from my game of last year, “Prey”, the most Deus eX-like game since, yes, the first, original Deus eX.

12. Mick Gordon, “Everything Is Going To Be Okay” (2017)

Oh, speaking of “Prey”, here’s a fantastic instrumental piece from the game that can be heard over the fantasting opening helicopter flight sequence. Seriously, just go play “Prey”.

13. Ace Waters and RichaadEB feat. The8BitDrummer, “Primer” (2016)

While I played (and fell desperately in love with) “Undertale” the year before, it was 2017 that was filled with me listening to A LOT of amazing covers of it’s no less amazing soundtrack. There are Russian folk covers, piano lullabies, musicals and covers in every style of music, it was this album of electronic and metal remixes that resonated with me the most: “Determination: The Purple Side”, itself a follow-up to a previous “Determination” album of similar remixes. And of those I had to choose between version of my favorite “Undertale” tracks (of which there are many). There’s dancey “CORE” remixed into heavy sounding “Superlative”, emotional “Heartache” made into electronic ballad “What Have I Done?”, but this collaboration of three artists of different styles to bring even more depth into “Another Medium” gets the trophy.

14. Brodka, “Holy Holes” (2016)

I heard of Monika Brodka through osmosis, always taking her for another blonde Polish pop star prevalent mostly in mobile network commercials (as is often the case in Poland). I first actually saw and heard her in the concert of “The Witcher 3” music on a Film Music Festival in Kraków in 2016 and was surprised to see she is anything but.

So last year I finally sat down to listen to her, picking her latest and English language album, “Clashes”, and was immediately sucked into this collection of fantastic ethereal and atmospheric songs (with the one exception of the grrl punk “My Name Is Youth” which doesn’t fit and breaks the album). Sometimes she sounds a little like Björk, sometimes like, yes, Kate Bush, and even like Legendary Pink Dots – during “Kyrie” I just expect Edward Ka-Spel to come in with his nasal vocals.

(to be concluded…)

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