Best Albums of 2015
selected by Sandro Tskitishvili

Natalie Beridze <BR>“Between The Naps”

Natalie Beridze
“Between The Naps”

Natalie (Tusia) Beridze, with her multiple aliases (including TBA, TBA Empty, Nate Fisher), has been creatively active for already more than a decade and can be considered as one of the veterans of Georgian electronic music.

Despite the varied nature of her discography, piano features as her main instrument. It comes in all shapes and roles, as a background of ambient atmosphere or being a dominant point of whole albums. “Between The Naps” sees the piano assume both of these roles at separate occasions – so what we get here is some ambient mixed with piano music.

Because piano is not as electronically manipulated as usually in her music, it mostly stays in repetitive pattern-based classical minimalism territory. Beridze doesn’t present anything particularly new for herself here, but she presents it intricately and very pleasantly.

Recommended for listeners who’d like to hear Aglaia and Wim Mertens all in the same album.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Natalie Beridze on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.

Aghnie <BR>“Opium Visionz”

“Opium Visionz”

An interesting trend emerged in recent years in Georgian electronic music: more and more musicians try to sample almost everything they hear around them including music, juxtaposing those sounds and record snippets from eclectic sources and arranging them in completely new contexts.

The resulting music is, as expected, idiosyncratic and stylistically extremely variable; hence you can’t even talk about anything close to musicians signature sound, because it almost completely depends on the sampled material.

One of such musicians is Aghnie (real name: Ika Jojua), with legacy of records that sound like, among others, as Georgian polyphonic chants passed through dark ambient prism, or at other times, some very serious experimental techno.

“Opium Visionz”, on the other hand, presents something like tribal ambient mashing together many tribes and cultures, processing it through various artistic filters and then even making it fairly danceable. To put it short, if postmodernism really exists, then this is it.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Aghnie on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Erekle Deisadze <BR>“Iare”

Erekle Deisadze

Erekle Deisadze certainly isn’t a new publicity name in Georgia anymore. Nearly as soon as he started releasing his literary works, he found himself amid nationwide controversies.

Further refining his skills as a wordsmith, he turned to music, providing a scathing social commentary to the bitterest everyday problems. So it comes as a surprise that his debut album contains none of these: instead, it presents mellow, original love songs, some of which already rank as quite popular.

Soundwise, the closest international analog would be John Maus, with characteristic romantic / poetic atmosphere and faintly somber touch of post-punk and minimal synthpop that results in a very pleasant listen overall.

♪♫ Listen: “Zamtari” + album stream (Deezer)

Erekle Deisadze on Facebook.

Windshield <BR>“Windshield” EP

“Windshield” EP

Windshield is a Tbilisi-based duo of Shota Adamashvili (vocals, guitar, lyrics) and Anri Gogitauri (vocals, guitar, music) whose repertoire encompasses a range of styles from alternative / outlaw country to blues.

Presenting music that can be both lyrical or fully driving, several songs from Windshield’s self-titled EP by these talented people can be heard on their YouTube channel.

♪♫ Listen: “Outlaw Prayer

Windshield on Soundcloud, YouTube.

Papuna <BR>“Lifeline”


The melodic atmosphere of Papuna Chumburidze’s chilling and hypnotic piano-based album creates a certain criminal drama soundtrack-like feeling (kind of X-files thing).

The music offered on “Lifeline” can be listened so lightly and airily that it can easily withstand multiple listens without ever tiring the listener. Sonically it leaves off where Papuna’s previous album, “Hypnagogia” landed.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Papuna on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube.

Tserili <BR>“Musikis Xma”

“Musikis Xma”

Georgian gothic rock veterans Tserili (წერილი) are still going strong after their great previous album, “Dangreul Saxlshi”, which you could already know from our Best of 2014 list.

Done in their trademark (albeit more electrified this time) style, highlights of their new record, “Musikis Xma” (მუსიკის ხმა), add some of the best songs to their repertoire, especially “Ibrdzoda Tsa” and “Ruxi Mglebi”.

♪♫ Listen: “ვარსკვლავი შორს

Tserili on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Backwarmer <BR>“Vinyl”


Backwarmer describe their music as the mix of shoegaze, rock’n’roll and garage rock. Although emphasis is on the latter, this description does their music justice.

What we get on their first, very solid album is a plenty of distorted guitars, grungy vocals and gritty energy. So if you are a Pearl Jam or Soundgarden fan or looking for your shoegaze that is more energetic than usual, this will be there for you.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Backwarmer on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Stellar Flux <BR>“Fluxadelic”

Stellar Flux

A new name in the Georgian elextronic scene, Stellar Flux is a very interesting psychedelic trance trio comprised of seasoned musicians calling themselves Obrigado, 2kija and In Deed.

On their first outing, “Fluxadelic”, they concentrate more on atmospheric developments than on clichéd trance melodies. Outside influences present (e.g. techno) serve the trance atmosphere.

Recommended for trance lovers – refreshing!

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Stellar Flux on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Loudspeakers <BR>“Lighthouse”


Six years of existence have LOUDspeakers more then enough knowledge and experience to finally record their first album. That’s why their debut work feels much more mature than debut works usually are – both by sound and creative orientation.

“LIGHThouse” presents the band just as they can be heard at multiple festivals thoughout Georgia, enriching it with a comfortable atmosphere and various studio-trick nuances. “Like A Curse” would be my highlight pick from this album, with changing dynamics, multiple layered melodic lines and an impressive ending.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

LOUDspeakers on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook + beehype.

Mebo Renard <BR>“Circles” EP

Mebo Renard
“Circles” EP

Mebo Nutsubidze is the vocalist and the chief songwriter for The BearFox, winners of our Best of 2014. After he relocated to Paris, it hindered the live activity, but it didn’t stop the core of the band (Mebo and Irakli Manchkhashvili) from collaborating over internet and it resulted in an exciting solo EP by Nutsubidze, who took the stage name of Mebo Renard.

Style-wise, this record is going to please lovers of The Bearfox’s quiet, beautiful music. If I remember correctly, some songs from those EP (“She’s Gone”, “La Fille De L’Automne”) have even been performed on some of The BearFox concerts, but some of these are completely new.

My favourite has to be “Circles”, the title song, with its gloomy mood and a dramatic middle part.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Mabo Renard on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Twitter, Facebook + beehype.

Ennui <BR>“Falsvs Anno Domini”

“Falsvs Anno Domini”

There is a small, but appreciable extreme metal music scene in Georgia. Commonly it’s a core of enthusiastic musicians creating a multitude of projects between themselves, but the resulting music is quite diverse and the best bands have stayed on for about a decade already.

Out of these projects, Ennui have been the most consistently great. Comprising of Sergi Shengelia (arguably the hardest-working musician on the Georgian metal scene) and David Unsaved, the band composes sorrowful, epic and beautiful kind of doom metal, often with extended, layered arrangements.

In “Falsvs Anno Domini”, their lamenting funeral doom metal is instilled with death metal energy. Album features a couple of international guests and is a heavy, relentless listen in the best traditions of the style.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Ennui on Bandcamp, Facebook.

Mother On Mondays <BR>“Images”

Mother On Mondays

Mother On Mondays have been one of the most important Georgian alternative rock bands of the early 90s. The two albums they released in that war-and-poverty-torn era (“Clear And Cold”, 1993; “Friends”, 1995) contained a very interesting new wave / post-punk hybrid.

Their new album, “Images”, surprisingly released after 19 years of hiatus, is closer to Gogi Dzodzuashvili’s more recent, Post Industrial Boys project. Electronics are scarce in this minimally arranged, guitar-driven music, but whole album is shrouded in Dzodzuashvili-style hypnosis.

Very pleasant to hear, with its own, very original face – recommended.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Mother On Mondays on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Dudey <BR>“Dudey’s Doodles”

“Dudey’s Doodles”

This EP by Kristina “Dudey” Avsarkisova clearly shows how can good songwriting be synthesized even to the styles as repetitive as house music.

Hollow, resonant sound, monotonous vocals and minimal, but very hooking, melodic choruses create a strange combination of gothic and pop atmospheres. Mix it with very intelligent lyrics and take my recommendations – she has to be one of the most promising emerging artists from Georgia.

Now let’s go get hooked by “Can I Be Your Friend”.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Dudey on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook + beehype.

Lasha Bochorishvili <BR>“Oldman”

Lasha Bochorishvili

This beautiful album features seven instrumental compositions recorded by Lasha Bochorishvili through recent years.

The melancholic arrangements are enriched with his trademark shakuhachi and virtuoso bass play by Giorgi Iobashvili.

At times moody, and at times very engaging, “Oldman” is warmly recommended especially to progressive rock lovers.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Lasha Bochorishvili on Soundcloud, YouTube.

Gacha <BR>“Send Two Sunsets”

“Send Two Sunsets”

After a promising EP that appeared in our Best of 2014, Gacha Bakradze released his debut full-length album on newly reformed Apollo label that in its heyday housed such mega-artists as Aphex Twin, Biosphere and Cabaret Voltaire.

Although he is still gaining his own international standing ground, “Send Two Sunsets” has received it’s fair share of praise already. It’s not at all surprising – this is intricately done, well-arranged, relaxing electronic music. Four songs from nine feature Natalie Beridze on vocals and her warm, low-key vocals fit well in the wide-horizon ambient context of this album.

There are some house music touches to this mostly beatless album and it strikes a ten-point in “Duras”, the album’s ambient-house gem. “Street Talk” with its infective disco vibe is also worthy of note. So, this album, even if a bit unequal, has its peaks among the best Georgian electronic music moments of the year, and in this regard, 2015 had very much to choose from.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Gacha on Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.

I.G.O. <BR>“Nuskhuris Eqo”

“Nuskhuris Eqo”

A decade ago, hip-hop / rap was a sore point in Georgian music. It was the movement nobody took seriously and honestly I could never blame listeners for this. But fast forward to a recent couple of years and once can see very sophisticated and meaningful music being born.

What’s even more surprising many of those musicians are those whom broad audience discarded a decade ego – but in the meantime these gentlemen have loved their craft, developed themselves though trial and error, broadened their horizons and have been creating in this hostile environment.

These rediscovered veterans are joined by new, very promising rappers, who do not even shy away from tackling ambitious literature concepts. I.G.O. (real name Igor Dzadzamia) is one of those emerging new artists and the debut album he presents unites past (the album title, “Nuskhuris Eqo”, or “ნუსხურის ექო”, translates as “Echo Of Nuskhuri” – “Nuskhuri” being the alphabet used in Georgia during middle ages and renaissance) with modern, formal and artful with conscious and urban.

Although being young and new to the scene, his album feels surprisingly mature. As with most kinds of rap music, language barrier could be an obstacle for non Georgian-speaking listeners, but I think many of you will enjoy the fluid flow and no-nonsense production skills, and get the idea how Georgian language sounds.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

I.G.O. on Soundcloud, Facebook, YouTube.

Of Noah <BR>“The Cheapest Dream”

Of Noah
“The Cheapest Dream”

If their debut album “Where Things Grow Without Light” was heavy, then on their sophomore release, Biko Askurava’s and Roman Khomasuridze’s duet takes it to completely new level.

“The Cheapest Dream” presents introverted, paranoid and oftentimes overwhelmingly epic kind of post-metal. It’s a great album – just please, get yourself prepared – it’s going to need all of your attention.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Of Noah on Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube, www.

Z For Zulu <BR>“Better Than Dog”

Z For Zulu
“Better Than Dog”

This is a first album by a staged Britpop / post-grunge band featuring Nika Kocharov, who despite his not-very-old age, can already be called a veteran of Georgian indie music. The band took a long time to prepare it, but resulting excitement was well worth the wait.

“Better Than Dog” is all very fresh and dynamic, with nearly every song having a great commercial potential. Warmly recommended to those who appreciate this particular style – should be quite a few out there!

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Z For Zulu on Facebook + beehype.

Mindstreaming <BR>“Mind Enclosure”

“Mind Enclosure”

One of my most surprising electronic discoveries of the year, “Mind Enclosure” is a very beautiful album in traditional electronic style, with lush instrumental runs, jazz influences and strong melodism. “Dancing In The Unconscious Mind” is simply epic!

Besides his first name of Luka, I don’t know much about this musician and I only hope he further develops this great project. “Mind Enclosure” is his sophomore effort, following 2014’s also excellent “Defoliation”.

♪♫ Listen: album stream

Mindstreaming on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, YouTube.

Aux Field <BR>“Imaginable Layers”

Aux Field
“Imaginable Layers”

2015 has been very prolific year for Georgian music with many new artists emerging and giving us plenty of great music. But still, Aux Field’s “Imaginable Layers” would be my sure pick as the Georgian album of the year.

An alias of Rezo Glonti (who’s been releasing mostly sea themed ambient music also under his own name – just check out his “Late Night Diving” EP), Aux Field’s music combines a wide range of electronic music influences such as dub and glitch, but its essence is haunted by timeless zeitgeist of the seventies.

With impeccably structured chill and space nuance, and just enough outside motives to spice it up, this album is going to be a delight for those who appreciate kosmische musik legends like Klaus Schulze and Cluster.

This is one album I could call a masterpiece blindly and one of the best electronic albums ever released in Georgia.

♪♫ Listen: “Drain Dub” + album stream (Deezer)

Aux Field on Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook.