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  • Writer's picturemdmx

PSYCHeSONiC SNaPSHoT a la 2022 ~ LPs

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Yo! Welcome to the MDMX Blog's list of favorite LPs from 2022!


Before you dive in, some food for thought: How many acid trips can one undergo before clinical insanity sets in? How many moments of music before the mind's aesthetic memory banks begins to schmear and overflow? How many songs must you play to scramble your brain in a single day?


While compiling this list, one quote kept bickering with my brain: "We seek not to imitate the masters, rather to seek what they sought." Clearly, some sort of awareness of the masters is beneficial. Yet, when does knowledge of historical excellence bleed into a contextual hinderance of unbridled creativity? When do analytical insights clog the outpouring of inspiration that defines the artist? At what point do the ghosts of experience and memory fade into the intellectual obscurity of critique? These are the burning philosophical questions I explored all the whilst listening to 1420+ musical releases over the course of 2022.


For some context, my favorite artists are Tipper, Spoonbill and Beats Antique; my favorite genres are glitch hop and psytrance; and my "global" perspective relies on Denver, Colorado as its focal point. I used to be a hip-hop head, until I was converted by the likes of RJD2, Pretty Lights, and Gramatik. Don't worry, you'll still find a lil bit of fire abstract hip-hop high up on mi lists. Nowadays, however, the lyrics tend to get drowned out by a sea of pure emotion, aesthetic, and texture.....Underneath the sonic surface, you'll find a reverberating riptide of pristine sound design and exhilarating genre experimentation that provides a more ethereal foundation than language can yet handle. But! this hasn't stopped us from planting the seeds of a primordial aesthetic palette riddled with vibrant quirkiness: wonky, squelchy, crunchy, swampy, thick, chunky, crisp, twangy, dubby, wobbly, wavvy, celestial, leftfield, scintillating, crunkalicious, syncopated, sludgy, crinkly, rumbling, deep, lofi, filthy, rancid, putrid, rotten, flunked.....


Personally, I prefer music that inspires a reflective state of mind—ranging from a calm, philosophical mood to an edgy, intellectual, political mindset. This isn't to say that music that shuts my brain down can't be psychedelic. In fact, music that makes me lose my mind and dance all around the house or stare into the void is still trippy in the sense that it serves to balance out other hyper-rational aspects of my personality. Thus, you'll find plenty of purely fun and cathartic releases! Just a fair warning that my focus was primarily on music conducive to a psychedelic, healing, mystical experience. As evidence of this claim, you'll find that albums crafted specifically for psychedelic therapy or meditation consistently rank pretty high (including "Awake Within The Dream (Sound Meditations, Vol. 1)" by IKSRE, "Kuya Sessions: Samadhi" by Poranguí & Liquid Bloom, "Vol. 1" by Held By Sound, and "Murkury mEDITations Volume 1" by Murkury).


In order to rank musical releases, I employed some clever tricks that objectified the process. This objectification was a clear danger from the get go, as I didn't want to overlook the subjective side of enjoying music. However, it proved to be a necessity; otherwise, it would've been impossible to store so much aesthetic information in mi noggin. Ultimately, despite the meticulous contemplation I unleashed upon this project, I doubt my list even accurately depicts my own preferences. That is, I definitely messed up ranking these releases due to a conflux of factors, including mood, bias, attention, and my faulty memory.


The main way I attempt to differentiate myself from your typical music critic is that I largely ignored context. Sure, I utilized my knowledge of the scene in order to select which artists and labels to listen to in the first place. But, while listening, I tried my best to ignore any hype or expectations ~ instead opting to judge the music separately from the artist, based on how it moved me in the moment. This is why I deem the list a sonic snapshot, because it merely provides a glimpse into the scene at a particular instant in time. My list claims no expertise, no authority, no sway. This PSYCHeSoNiC SNaPSHoT only claims to have judged for itself ~ a rather selfy act. The good any such judgment of music can bring to the world is not found in the actual act of judgment, nor in the articulation of said judgment, but only in the hope that highlighting certain art as excellent can bring greater awareness to deserving artists. If you find some unheard-of artist atop your favorite release from this year, I encourage you to check them out! It may be a completely different genre or vibe, but I guarantee it will be an adventure. If you want to go further down the rabbit hole, try listening to ten or so releases in a row ~ you're sure to find a dazzling array of various styles that will undoubtedly expand your comfort zone (after first challenging it! ~ similar to swimming with sharks or jogging with emus).....





quality LPs a la 2022 ~


2. Tipper ~ Marble Hunting

3. smilk ~ nextome

4. Dubnotic ~ Neurogenesis

5. Sintese ~ Aurora

6. Ryanosaurus ~ Vivid Transmigrations

7. SHADES ~ From a Vein

8. Mindex ~ The Art of Distortion

9. Max Cooper ~ Unspoken Words

10. EMOG ~ Lucid Dreams

11. Vallou ~ Mystic Choices

12. Emancipator & LAPA ~ 11th Orbit

14. Ekorce ~ Latibule

15. EurythmY ~ Mental Rotation

16. Enei ~ Humans

17. Gene Keys, Entheo & Phutureprimitive ~ Living Wisdom, Vol. 2

19. Somatoast ~ Creation is Creation

20. Dorian Concept ~ What We Do For Others

21. Samuel Wexler ~ KAN

22. Zonra & Jackson Hale ~ Time Is A Tool

23. Bengal Sound ~ Culture Clash III

24. Nils Frahm ~ Music For Animals

25. Tristan de Liège ~ Refractions

26. EMOG ~ 4th Dimension

27. Rumpistol ~ Isola

28. TRAKA ~ MONSTAS

29. wAgAwAgA ~ Kahuranglin

30. pole ~ Tempus

31. Jean-Michel Jarre ~ OXYMORE

32. Current Value ~ Platinum Scatter

33. Visages ~ From Lead To Gold

34. Chill Qin ~ The Poem For All Beings

35. Ott ~ Heads






36. IMANU ~ Unfold

37. Nomine & Youngsta ~ Ascension

38. Vale-Smith ~ Coruscate

39. Dirtwire ~ Embers

40. Mahadev Cometo ~ Taj Mahal Mafia

41. Basura ~ For Owen pt.1

42. Balancé ~ CUME

43. Kaya Project ~ Defiance

44. ipso ~ Abyss

45. Daniel Bachman ~ Almanac Behind

46. F.S. BLUMM ~ Kiss Dance Kiss

47. Arutani ~ Intertwined

48. Patricia Taxxon ~ Visiting Narcissa

49. Headroom ~ Acid Trip Advisor

50. NOISIA ~ Closer

52. Kami-O ~ Veiled

53. LSN ~ Misuse of Power

54. LuSiD ~ Recipe for a Bad Time

55. Tanya Tagaq ~ Tongues

56. Anthony Rother ~ AI SPACE

57. Plaid ~ Feorm Falorx

58. ZZY ~ Transmutation

59. Solar Fields ~ Formations

60. Jam Thieves ~ Blue House Album

61. Elberg ~ Play

62. Roza Terenzi & D. Tiffany ~ Edge Of Innocence

63. SunSquabi ~ Arise

64. Soulular ~ MindViews Vol. 1

65. Sunda Arc ~ Night Lands

66. Youthie ~ The Roots Explorers

67. Pete Ardron ~ Butterfly Tree

68. DJ Qbert ~ Next Cosmos

69. AES Dana & Lauge ~ Terrene

70. Dominic Voz ~ Right To The City

71. Vieux Farka Touré & Khruangbin ~ Ali

72. Burial ~ ANTIDAWN

73. Steve Roach ~ What Remains

74. Kwali Kumara & Pete Ardron ~ Elemental Temple (Part One)

75. Rukirek ~ Elsewhere

76. DubDiggerz ~ 11

77. Vale-Smith ~ Rekindle

78. Giyo ~ Sleepwalker 2.0

79. Terrafractyl ~ Squares Within Squares

80. Noodreem ~ Temple Of Sonic Peace

81. Hang Massive & Bleecker ~ Radius

82. Poranguí & Liquid Bloom ~ Kuya Sessions: Samadhi

83. Ishq ~ Interzone

84. Derek Bailey ~ Domestic Jungle

85. Indigo Egg ~ Hyperion






86. Skwid ~ Modphonic

87. Wu-Lu ~ LOGGERHEAD

88. Celldweller ~ Satellites

89. Daniel Avery ~ Ultra Truth

90. Bleep Bloop ~ Prime

91. The Glitch Mob ~ CTRL ALT REALITY

92. Infected Mushroom ~ IM25

93. Mystic Crock ~ Seeds

97. Arutani ~ Waterbender

98. Pantha du Prince ~ Garden Gaia

101. Strange Substance ~ Labyrinth

102. Patricia Taxxon ~ Task

103. Maddy O'Neal ~ Ricochet

104. The Soft Pink Truth ~ Is It Going To Get Any Deeper Than This?

105. Brian Eno ~ FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE

106. SensoRythm ~ Bios Lumen

107. Benji Robot ~ A Bird on Barbed Wire

108. Mickman ~ Reclaimed

109. DROPLITZ ~ Lowlight Magic

110. Keota ~ No Hands

111. Cubex ~ Subculture

112. Lisa Bella Donna ~ Travelogue

113. Chad Dubz ~ Universal Vibrations

114. Kuedo ~ Infinite Window

115. Kelly Lee Owens ~ LP.8

116. Germind ~ My Space

117. MORA ~ Gateway

118. ENiGMA Dubz ~ Awakening

119. East Forest ~ Headwaters

120. Germind ~ Inaccessible Life Forms

121. KUBA ~ Relative To The Sun

122. Craftal ~ This Was All A Test

123. 99LETTERS ~ Kaibou Zukan

124. Lisa Bella Donna ~ Astral Mornings

125. Trentemøller ~ Memoria

126. Psybur ~ Psybur Support

128. Slip Hypnotic ~ Yazon

129. Marquis Hill ~ New Gospel Revisited

130. J.I.D ~ The Forever Story

131. Alexander Panos ~ Nascent

132. Advanced Suite ~ Hidden In Plain Sight

133. Shwamp ~ Fluide

134. Gramatik ~ Water 4 The Soul II

135. Calibre ~ Double Bend

136. Youth & Gaudi ~ Stratosphere

137. Batu ~ Opal

138. Poranguí & Liquid Bloom ~ Kuya Sessions: Akasha

139. Psydewise ~ Mandelbrot Sequence

140. Eguana & Qeight ~ Forest Song

141. Suduaya ~ SoulQuest

142. Living Light ~ Multidimensional Sandcastles

143. Tourist ~ Inside Out

144. Smigonaut ~ Antithesis

145. relativity lounge ~ lake effect vol. 2

146. John Tejada ~ Sleepwalker

150. MYDÄ ~ Ripple

151. E-Mantra ~ Silence 3

152. potions ~ New Earth Formula

153. Cosmic Dust ~ Sacred Bloom

154. Tribu Oro ~ Tribu Oro

156. Panda On The Bamboo Tree ~ Xtradimensional Motions

157. Held By Sound ~ Vol. I

158. Sig Nu Gris ~ Threshold

160. Dezron Douglas ~ ATALAYA

161. Avantdale Bowling Club ~ Trees

162. Nosaj Thing ~ Continua

163. Dead End ~ Kino Vol. 1

164. Griffin Kloud ~ Terrain Theory

165. KiloWatts & Vanek ~ Perennials

166. Gooral ~ Wolno 2

167. ShaMANoiD ~ Am I Dreaming

168. Static Noise Bird ~ Aromatherapeutic Environments

169. Aeonium ~ I The Beholder

170. Mora ~ Sequence

171. Kevin Drumm ~ Future When It Comes

172. Prophet ~ Geisha

173. Lisa Bella Donna ~ Muskingum Mysteries

174. Sense Datum & Gizmo ~ Shrunken Headz

175. Tosca ~ Osam

176. Data Rebel ~ Vapor Map

177. Gus Till ~ Nias

178. SnapGon ~ Door Of Perception

179. Akasha Project ~ F R A K T A L

180. Data Rebel ~ The Space Between

181. East Forest ~ Still Possible

182. Lisa Bella Donna ~ Hypnosis

183. Doltz ~ Asa

184. Kendrick Lamar ~ Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers

185. Black Star ~ No Fear Of Time

186. Carl Cox ~ Electronic Generations

187. We Are Eternal ~ Mārga

188. Honey Dijon ~ Black Girl Magic

189. Black Thought & Danger Mouse ~ Cheat Codes

190. STS & RJD2 ~ Escape From Sweet Auburn

191. Sylvan Esso ~ No Rules Sandy

192. Gaudi & Savona ~ Havana Meets Kingston In Dub

193. Maiia ~ Happiness Inside You

194. ill.Gates ~ Bent

195. Liquid Stranger ~ B A L A N C E

196. Adam Goodlet ~ Quantumplation

197. For the Good of All ~ Remembrance

198. CELL ~ Onwards System

199. Templo ~ For Painting Too

200. Eccodek ~ Recalibrate

201. Chewlie ~ Creature

202. Opiuo ~ A Shape Of Sound

203. Stavroz ~ Mindibu

204. Björk ~ Fossora

205. Davide Tonini ~ Departure

206. ProleteR ~ Fairuz

207. Maya Shenfeld ~ In Free Fall

208. Tylepathy ft. Liquid Bloom & PERE ~ Afar (Tylepathy Remixes)

209. Sheng Jie & Shen Jing ~ Parallel Weaving

210. Dirty Saffi ~ Trouble in paradise

211. MettāKin ~ Blue Leaf Steppa

212. Grasz & Schultz ~ Thurayya

213. IsoQuant ~ Flames Display

214. The Comet Is Coming ~ Hyper-Dimensional Expansion Beam

215. Josh Teed ~ Recurring Dreams

216. Steve Roach & Frank Beissel ~ Nautical Twilight

217. Kae Tempest ~ The Line Is A Curve

218. Dysfunctional Family ~ A Day At The Beach

219. Kari ~ Default

220. Martins Garden ~ Above

221. TÉNÈBRE ~ Terraform

222. Ishq ~ Eos

223. Subp Yao ~ Flana

224. A Path Untold ~ Sourcery

225. Xylem ~ & Flow

226. JaguarTree ~ Sound Archetypes

227. Zen Baboon ~ Sofa So Good

228. Polygon Rainbow ~ Poly-Fi

229. Klaada ~ Coniunctio Oppositorum






 
 
 

Let me be clear: I am merely winging it. The only thing that gives my opinion any amount of gravity or levity is the fact that I have listened to sooo much music this year. So, take my opinions with a grain of salt. If my list angers you, please tell me why via a private message. (I would love to know! but I don't want to hurt the feelings of any artists, who have already sacrificed their energy in the very vulnerable act of sharing one's art/heart with strangers). If one of your favorite releases is ranked too low or if an artist you enjoy wasn't on my radar, please share that publicly in the comments! I aim to facilitate the discovery of new sounds, new styles, and new flavors!!!


Fuck fame and the fake expectations it nourishes. The danger I accepted in disregarding context this year was the potential overlooking of meaning. By merely listening to an album without any research (including interviews, write-ups, and reviews), I run the risk of disregarding music that takes a bit of extra information to "get"—be it through a narrative metaphor, details about how a work was produced, or an evolution in sound (either from an artist or genre). These contextual tidbits typically form the backbone of music reviews, as it sounds more legit to anchor your opinions using such tools. Meanwhile, the slang employed in this process clues your audience into the notion that they're on the right track, that this indeed is their pocket of the scene. However, in writing reviews, I have found that most of these technical details don't add much to the listening experience. If anything, they spoil certain songs and only serve to persuade me to listen to this or that album. But wait, why are the technical/generic aspects of a piece of music deciding whether or not I listen to it? Why not the emotional and aesthetic aspects? Have we all burrowed too far down into niche genre gopher holes to smell the flowers of quality music free of industry marketing and packaging?


As long as the hot takes are flowing, fuck Ticketmaster and fuck Spotify. Fuck corporate streaming services profiting off of starving artists. Fuck promoters, venues, artists, and fans that contribute to the rampant problem of sexual assault in the music industry, be it through heinous behavior or their silence. If there exist credible accusations against any artist on this list, please send me a private message so I can promptly remove them. Healing starts with accountability, and we all have a lot of healing left within us. That's why we make music, after all...


Thank you for checking out my PSYCHeSONiC SNaPSHoT a la 2022! If you can, please support an artist or two on this list directly by purchasing their music via one of the plethora of bandcamp links above(:


peace & one love

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