The best albums of 2014 so far: FACT contributors’ picks

We’re halfway through 2014, and you might have already clocked our First and Second Quarter Reports – the FACT team’s collective favourite albums of 2014’s first two quarters. 

Much like we did last year, we’ve also invited our full-time staff and regular contributors to rank their favourite 10 albums of the last six months. Casting an eye over the lists, there’s a clear consensus pick – YG’s breakout album My Krazy Life – and multiple nods for Sun Kil Moon’s BenjiUntold’s Black Light Spiral and SD Laika’s That’s Harakiri. As ever, a few albums seem to have caught wider notice than expected – stand up Mo Kolours, Fhloston Paradigm and Ø – but, for the most part, there’s a slew of stuff here that you’ll probably be hearing for the first time. Onwards!

Head here to see our contributors’ favourite tracks of 2014.

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Angus Finlayson

Wild Beasts – Present Tense (Domino)

Perc – The Power And The Glory (Perc Trax)

Todd Terje [above] – It’s Album Time (Olsen)

Tink – Winter’s Diary 2 (Self-released)

Lone – Reality Testing (R&S)

copeland – Because I’m Worth It (Self-released)

Untold – Black Light Spiral (Hemlock)

Traxman – Da Mind of Traxman, Vol. 2 (Planet Mu)

Tirzah – No Romance (Greco-Roman)

Container – Adhesive (Liberation Technologies)

Maya Kalev
Albums:

Kevin Gates – By Any Means (Self-released)

Kangding Ray – Solens Arc (Raster-Noton)

Peder Mannerfelt – Lines Describing Circles (Digitalis)

Moodymann – Moodymann (KDJ)

Marissa Nadler [above] – July (Sacred Bones)

Ø – Kostellaatio (Sähkö)

Some Truths – Some Friends I Lost To Bedlam, Others I Abandoned There (Mordant Music)

Vince Staples  – Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 (Self-released)

Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Caldo Verde)

Swans – To Be Kind (Young God / Mute)

Misc:

About 1GB of untagged New Orleans bounce cassette rips at 192kbps found on hard drive, listened to in entirety, and deleted

Beatrice Dillon & Rupert Clervaux – Studies I-XVII for Samplers and Percussion

Dour Tonic Input / DJ Votive – Yogyakarta / Dead Roads (Broken 20)

Gage – Functions Of The Now mix (Truants)

M.E.S.H. – Functions Of The Now mix (Truants)

Nicki Minaj – ‘Lookin Ass’ video 

Anne Hilde Neset – Late Junction (BBC Radio 3)

On The Wire radio show archive

Recording of Roly Porter live at St Johns Hackney

Powell – Melon Magic (NTS Live)

John Twells

01 Zmoney/Various – The Mobb Tape (Self-released)

02 YG – My Krazy Life (Pu$haz Ink / Def Jam)

03 Untold – Black Light Spiral (Hemlock)

04 SD Laika – That’s Harakiri (Tri Angle)

05 Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Calva Verde)

06 HTRK – Psychic 9-5 Club (Ghostly Intl)

07 Rome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp 2 (Self-released)

08 Zuse [above] – Bullet (Self-released)

09 Millie & Andrea – Drop the Vowels (Modern Love)

10 Sunn O))) & Ulver – Terrestrials (Southern Lord)

Honorable mention: Sicko Mobb – Super Saiyan Vol.1 (Self-released) (dropped Dec 30)

Joe Moynihan

1. GFOTY [above] – Secret Mix (PC Music)

2. YG – My Krazy Life (Def Jam)

3. Flower – Flower (Sony)

4. Lotic – Damsel in Distress (Janus)

5. Life Sim – This Life (PC Music)

6. Suzuka – Happen To Meet (Self released)

7. SD Laika – That’s Harikiri (Tri Angle)

8. Katie Pearl & Davinche – That Resurfaced 160kbps R’n’G Thing on Soundcloud (Self released)

9. Actress – Ghettoville (Werk Discs)

10. Fatima Al Qadiri – Asiatisch (Hyperdub)

Joseph Morpurgo

Charles Babaré – Insultes (Hommage à John Cage) (La Cohu)

copeland – Because I’m Worth It (Self-released)

Kassem Mosse – Workshop 19 (Workshop)

Officer! – Dead Unique (Blackest Ever Black)

Mica Levi – Under The Skin OST (Milan)

Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Caldo Verde)

Ray Phaze Tropic – Motello Fish (Rotifer)

Adrian Rew – Music For Slot Machines (Vols 1 + 2) (Ergot)

Symbol – Online Architecture (Holodeck)

Untold [above] – Black Light Spiral (Hemlock)

And a bonus reissue:

Lewis – L’Amour (Light In The Attic)

Alex Macpherson

1. Kelis – Food (Ninja Tune)

2. Fatima [above] – Yellow Memories  (Eglo)

3. Francis Harris – Minutes Of Sleep (Scissor & Thread)

4. Miranda Lambert – Platinum (RCA Nashville)

5. Toni Braxton & Babyface – Love, Marriage & Divorce (Motown)

6. YG – My Krazy Life (Pu$haz Ink / Def Jam)

7. Tori Amos – Unrepentant Geraldines (Mercury Classics)

8. Meshell Ndegéocello – Comet, Come To Me (Naïve)

9. Kassem Mosse – Workshop 19 (Workshop)

10. Mariah Carey – Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse (Def Jam)

Tom Lea

PC music x DISown mix (esp. AG / GFOTY parts)

Dark0’s Vines on a constant loop

SD Laika – That’s Harakiri

DJ Moondawg – We Invented the Bop 2

Katie Pearl & Davinche’s lost album

Leon Vynehall, Perc & Murlo’s FACT mixes

Slackk – Palm Tree Fire

DJ Q – Ineffable

The Bug – Angels and Devils

Secret Boyfriend – This Is Always Where You’ve Lived [from 2013]

Joe Muggs

Fhloston Pardigm – The Phoenix (Hyperdub)

Eomac – Spectre (Killekill)

Footsie – King Original Vol. 3 (Braindead Entertainment)

David Harrow – A Darker Frame (Workhouse Digital)

Sonido Gallo Negro [above] – Sendero Mistico (Glitterbeat)

Flava D – Vol. 5 (Bandcamp)

Neneh Cherry & Rocketnumbernine – Blank Project (Smalltown Supersound)

Ekoplekz – Unfidelity (Planet Mu)

Teebs – E s t a r a (Brainfeeder)

Raf And O – Time Machine (Geo)

Peter Nix

The War on Drugs – Lost In The Dream (Secretly Canadian)

Lewis – L’Amour (Light In The Attic reissue)

Logos – Cold Mission (Keysound) [released end of 2013]

Fhloston Paradigm – The Phoenix (Hyperdub)

SD Laika – That’s Harikiri (Tri Angle)

Drcarlsonalbion [above] – Gold (self-released)

Head High – Mega Trap (Powerhouse)

Cut Hands – Volume 3 (Susan Lawly)

Ron Morelli – Periscope Blues (Hospital Productions)

Thought Broadcast – Votive Zero (Edition Mego)

Chris Kelly

01. Young Thug & Bloody Jay – Black Portland (Self-released)

02. Lana Del Rey – Ultraviolence (Interscope / Polydor)

03. Supreme Cuts – Divine Ecstasy (Dovecote)

04. YG – My Krazy Life (Pu$haz Ink / Def Jam)

05. Tink – Winter’s Diary 2 (Self-released)

06. Popcaan [above] – Where We Come From (Mixpak)

07. Kevin Gates – By Any Means (Self-released)

08. SD Laika – That’s Harikari (Tri Angle)

09. KIT – Lownt God Rising (Self-released)

10. Katie Pearl & Davinche – Make It Official (Self-released)

Brad Rose

Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Caldo Verde)

Rome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp 2 (Self-released)

Eric Holm – Andøya (Subtext)

YG – My Krazy Life (Pu$haz Ink / Def Jam)

Kassem Mosse [above] – Workshop 19 (Workshop)

Ambarchi/O’Malley/Dunn – Shade Themes From Kairos (Drag City)

Ø – Konstellatio (Sähkö)

Mo Kolours – Mo Kolours (One-Handed Music)

Kevin Gates – By Any Means (Self-released)

Farewell My Concubine – Insaniac In A Living Hell (Self-released)

Kristan J Caryl

Moodymann [above] – Moodymann (KDJ)

Mo Kolours – Mo Kolours (One Handed Music)

Andrew Ashong ‎– Andrew Ashong EP (Which Way)

Al Dobson Jr – Rye Lane Volume One (Rhythm Section International)

Kassem Mosse – Workshop 19 (Workshop)

Jay Daniel – Karmic Equations (Wild Oats)

Joey Anderson – After Forever (Dekmantel)

Achterbahn D’Amour ‎– Odd Movements (Absurd Recordings)

Dana Ruh – Naturally (Underground Quality)

The Clover – Processes (Bosconi)

Laurent Fintoni

Fatima – Yellow Memories (Eglo)

Fhloston Paradigm – The Phoenix (Hyperdub)

Shabazz Palaces – Lese Majesty (Sub Pop)

Low Leaf – Akashaalay (Fresh Selects)

LV & Josh Idehen – Islands (Keysound)

Mo Kolours [above] – Mo Kolours (One-Handed Music)

Napolian – Incursio (Mexican Summer / Software)

Ekoplekz – Unfidelity (Planet Mu)

Robots Don’t Sleep – Mirror (Four)

Krampfhaft – Before We Leave (Rwina)

Chal Ravens

Freddie Gibbs and Madlib [above] – Pinata (Madlib Invazion)

SD Laika – That’s Harakiri (Tri Angle)

Untold – Black Light Spiral (Hemlock)

Rome Fortune – Beautiful Pimp 2 (Self-released)

Caustic Window – Caustic Window (Kickstarter release)

Todd Terje – It’s Album Time (Olsen)

Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack (4AD)

Ben Frost – A U R O R A (Mute)

Sicko Mobb – Super Saiyan Vol 1 (Self-released) [technically Dec 30]

John Chantler – Even Clean Hands Damage The Work (Room40)

Antony Hill

Kassem Mosse – Workshop 19 (Workshop)

Head High – Mega Trap (Power House)

Millie & Andrea – Drop The Vowels (Modern Love)

Caustic Window – Caustic Window (Reflex)

Ekoplekz – Unfidelity (Planet Mu)

Perc – The Power And The Glory (Perc Trax)

Untold – Black Light Spiral (Hemlock)

SD Laika – That’s Harakiri (Tri Angle)

Lone – Reality Testing (R&S)

Cloudface – Wyre Drive (Going Good)

Honourable mention: Graze – Edges (New Kanada) [released Dec 2013]