Best Albums of 2017
picked by Viera Ráczová & Filip Olšovský

Bad Karma Boy <BR>“Prekrásny Nový Svet”

Bad Karma Boy
“Prekrásny Nový Svet”

For years they have been exploring new ways of making music and trying to find their sound. After three albums Bad Karma Boy finally hit the jackpot in 2017.

Although Bad Karma Boy lyrics are in Slovak, they are not the most important part of their music. It’s the sound, the melodies and the extraordinary production that make their third LP so unique.

Thanks to years of touring they became a self-conscious band able to record one of the best local albums of the year. They are so strong musically it is almost unimportant what they sing about. Just listen to the bass line in “SFP” and “V Exile”. No need to understand, just enjoy it.

♪♫ Listen: “Na dne rieky” + album stream

Bad Karma Boy on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, www.

Bulp <BR>“Yrsa”


First came a single called “Far Light” – an extraordinary piece of production with fitting English vocal.

Then came their first EP and Bulp, a duo consisting of producer Samuel Štefanec and his sister Jana, became one of the most interesting names on Slovak alternative scene. In 2017 they finally released their debut album “Yrsa” consisting of nine songs.

On “Yrsa”, Bulp clearly chose a more epic approach towards their production. They combine different samples and focus much more on the vocals. However, they still sound the best when they stick to exploring new fields and come up with beautiful atmospheric songs like “Bluma” or “Yours”.

♪♫ Listen: “Yours” + album stream

Bulp on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, www.

Elections in the Deaftown <BR>“Minutiae”

Elections in the Deaftown

There’s a high probability you’re going to like this album if you count yourself among the fans of bands like New Order, The Psychedelic Furs and Talk Talk. Elections in the Deaftown released their second album at the end of the year and after dropping singles like “Strangers” or “Awakening”, we could predict its going to use synths more than the first one.

The whole album has a “flying high in the sky” mood, just taking track titles into consideration: “Supreme Air”, “Plane Crash”, “Lines”. My favourite is a clubbing track “P.O.T.P.” (Power of the Past) with its insistent vocal, so called club recital and where you actually won’t hear the band members’ vocals at all.

We like to spread the story of Elections in the Deaftown: that they were friends bored of going to the gym, so they started to rehearse next door to it. And thank god that happened!

♪♫ Listen: “Strangers” + album stream

Elections in the Deaftown on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, www.

Fallgrapp <BR> “V hmle”

“V hmle”

Whereas the first album of Fallgrapp was current electronic music with Slovak folklore inspirations, the second one “V hmle” has more outside influences from around the world.

On top of that, as the title “V hmle” says, the atmosphere of all the tunes is somehow covered in a mist surrounding everything. And you can’t imagine any other language of lyrics to work this well with all the percussions, choirs and violin parts.

The opening track, instrumental “Ouagadougou” works on its own, on the other hand, the closing “Uspávanka” is a complete minimalism compared to the rest of the album and a strong tune referencing Slovak tradition.

Beside electronics you will find even a bit of jamming in “Akoby, Pt.2” as well as few collaborations. One of them with a Slovak producer Jimmy Pé (track “Session”) with his distinctive sound.

♪♫ Listen: “Ouagadougou” + album stream

Fallgrapp on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.

Isama Zing <BR> “Isama Zing EP”

Isama Zing
“Isama Zing EP”

If you want to know how deconstructing individual waveforms could sound, Isama Zing’s music is the right way to find out.

It’s a relatively new project of producer and musician Pjoni, previously known for teaming up with his friend Ink Midget. Pjoni created Isama Zing as a platform for that clubbier part of his music production. And it’s more than just altering his field recordings and recorded sounds into tracks.

Isama Zing is a multimedia project with an important VJ element to it. And as the moniker Isama Zing is a word pun and the sound of it refers to Arabian music, we dare to say it becomes not only a music but also a social project.

♪♫ Listen: “Osso” + album stream

Isama Zing on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter.

Modré hory <BR> “Luxus Clan”

Modré hory
“Luxus Clan”

Modré hory are MCs Lyrik and Bene on the front end and music producers Peko and Roland on the back end. “Luxus Clan” is the 4th studio LP of this band and is being released after ten years of their existence. Though not planned, it turned out to be a concept album.

Each track has its overseas guest, which is a completely new thing with the hip hop poetry (as we call it) they bring. Fans of Modré Hory are used to their imaginative beats and their articulate lyrics and this is exactly what you get. Jazzy beats just work perfectly with lyrics full of pop culture references as well as dealing with the current political situation, or trying to survive sanely in a small country somewhere in Eastern Europe.

If this should imply pathos, no worries, Modré Hory are definitely closer to being witty and miles away from being pathetic.

♪♫ Listen: “Luxus Clan” + album stream

Modré hory on Youtube, Facebook.

Nvmeri <BR> “I Don’t Think So”

“I Don’t Think So”

First there were The Uniques – an interesting trio trying to “make it” in Berlin. After some time they came back to Slovakia and became an integral part of local alternative scene.

Their debut “From the Dust” (2010) was a thrilling record full of melodies and world-class sound. In 2013 they changed their name from to Nvmeri and released their self-titled second debut.

Since then they have been releasing singles and constantly talking about a second album which finally came to be this summer. The difference between their beginnings and latest release titled “I Don’t Think So” is impossible to ignore. Nvmeri are far more groovy, loose and no longer obsessed with the conceptual idea.

You can feel the amount of work they did on “I Don’t Think So”. It is like a hidden treasure, a product of three workaholic introverts taking care of every small detail while remaining fun to listen.

♪♫ Listen: “Error” + album stream

Nvmeri on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, www.

Swan Bride <BR> “Timelines”

Swan Bride

It has been over a decade since Swan Bride first appeared on the Slovak scene. Since then they have released five albums and supported bands like Foals or The Horrors. Despite all of this, they are still waiting for THE album – the breakthrough record that would finally work on all levels.

Unfortunately, Timelines isn’t that record as well. Although it might be their best attempt so far. The opening single “Timelines” feels like from another space – a brilliant combination of both The Horrors and The Cure.

Another single “Kill for Love” works as well and manages to create a typical Swan Bride atmosphere. The other six songs are little bit less memorable but none of them ruins the image of the best Swan Bride album so far.

♪♫ Listen: “Kill For Love” + album stream

Swan Bride on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram.

Tante Elze <BR> “Hmota”

Tante Elze

Tante Elze used to be Veronika Seppová’s project but for the second album “Hmota” it’s both her and Tomáš Prištiak. “Hmota” captures a year cycle through spring, summer etc. till December not depending which season it is.

With “Hmota”, winter might come early and it may be freezing in July. Tracks on the album stand up with only a piano base, but are also equally convincing with walls of sounds and noises. And both of these approaches are very well balanced. If you’re looking for contrasts, the album is full of them: Veronika’s voice sends either a statement or a confidential message. And it’s either the heavy piano chords or light patting of a clavier, either way it’s like touching your soul.

Tracks like “Nespi” (Don’t Sleep) and “Každý deň” (Every Day) are the most radio friendly tunes, whereas “Sova” (Owl) is more lively but more disturbing at the same time.

♪♫ Listen: “Nespi” + album stream

Tante Elze on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook.

Tolstoys <BR> “Botanika”


Writing about Tolstoys is a good excuse to put on their track “Agapé” yet again. You got it right, if there’s one band with an album released this year and that could break through, it should be Tolstoys. And we’re talking about their debut here!

The band’s name is a modulation of their frontwoman’s name, Ela Tolstová. All the members are aware of the fact that being a band is a complex thing: music, visuals and the way you communicate to the audience.

Their dreampop sound is achieved with choirs, violin, piano and Ela’s voice and that all brings the atmosphere of a different universe, like Wonderland where Alice found herself.

On the other hand, you can also find an urgent feeling like in the songs of Daughter (especially in the tracks “Right Choice” and “Agapé”).

♪♫ Listen: “Agapé” + album stream

Tolstoys on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, www.