Another day, another award to give out. Album of the Year is yet another one of those massive titles which, if distilled to its core, comes down to this: has the LP been compelling enough to prompt repeated (often daily) plays? A shallow reason maybe, until you realize these repeated plays have nothing to do with setting some sort of record, but rather they stem from genuine enjoyment of the material provided.
Trance had a pretty strong year, with some big name albums seeing the light of day, which will make my pick all the more surprising. Let me explain.
From He.Art to Escape, Destiny to Degeneration, some of the biggest names in the scene have decided to put out artist albums this year. All of them varied, all equally compelling. In 2016 though, I decided to not limit my shortlist to Trance albums (or predominantly Trance albums), since it’s clear as day plastered in the site’s tagline: recommending music. Much to my own surprise, a random click on a forum brought me to what stands today as my album of the year: Dreaming Cooper‘s Mysterious Places.
For those not familiar, Mysterious Places is the 9 track debut opus from Ukrainian producer Victor Khlyustov aka Dreaming Cooper, which was released under Canadian imprint Altar Records on February 6th of this year.
Call it psychill, psybient, psychedelic downtempo or whatever other term floats your boat, this album has been a staple of my daily listening sessions since its release back in February. I liked it a lot back then and I like it even more now.
Everything from the wonderful, immersive atmosphere to the balearic guitar riff in The Water Element and the rhythmic pulsation of the subdued acids from Cosmic Serenity further point to this being the undeniable right choice for the title.
I encourage you to not believe a single word I have just said and listen for yourself to this fantastic album in all its high-def glory:
Check out the mixed version of the album on the official Altar Records YT channel..
Be sure to follow Dreaming Cooper on Facebook, Bandcamp and Soundcloud so you won’t miss a damn thing. While you’re at it, give Altar Records a follow on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter and their official site.
Check back to see who I think you should watch out for in 2017. 🙂