Best Albums of 2015
by Ingrid Kohtla from Tallinn Music Week

Ajukaja & Andrevski  <BR>“Looking For Something That’s Not There”

Ajukaja & Andrevski
“Looking For Something That’s Not There”

Championed by the likes of Joy Orbison and Gilles Peterson, the forebearers of Estonian techno and house followed their sought-after debut for Jon Rust’s Levels imprint with another pair of alien house music.

“Looking For Something That’s Not There” operates on a plain of gliding bliss with salty chords and cracking drums perfused by jazzy licks, whilst its tougher-sounding B-side “Mesilind” layers up lush synthetic strings and delightfully weird vocal samples.

Quirky loveliness.

♪♫ Listen: “Mesilind

Ajukaja on Soundcloud, Twitter, Facebook.

Ans. Andur <BR>“Öine Bingo”

Ans. Andur
“Öine Bingo”

A four-piece indie combo from a small Estonian town Paide topped several end-of year best-of lists and managed to nick the Alternative Album title at Estonian Music Awards for their latest full-lenght “Öine Bingo”.

This drums-bass-two guitars fraternity with unflappable lineup has been serving local indie scene for over bakers dozen years now with their “static yet energetic” live performances, pseudo-anti-satirironic lyrics and quirky twee-pop.

Their latest is the cinematique journey past the Estonian primal beat and indie soundscapes, littered with gazillions of tiny details and pointers towards the past, present and future.

♪♫ Listen: “Õhtuks koju” + “Sa lendad taas

Ans. Andur on Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter.

Argo Vals <BR>“Nokturn”

Argo Vals

Argo Vals is a guitarist, composer and a master of chilly Nordic sound canvases, known for refined usage of guitar effects and looped riffs in style of Robert Fripp.

Having created atmospheric sounds with a twist of retro since 2006, when DIY tracks morphed slowly into several Baltic ensembles, his latest output „Nokturn“ weaves together particles from jazz, ambient, electronica and math rock, inspired by night and minutes before dawn.

Estonian Music Awards 2016 nominee in Alternative/Indie Album and Male Artist categories.

♪♫ Listen: “Uni

Argo Vals on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Djerro <BR>“XXmagick”


Hallucinogenic ode to artificial pleasures in altered state of hypnosis by leftfield electronica explorer Erkki Tero aka Djerro.

Intended as fictional, yet functional backtrack loaded with techno, ambient, and field-recording shuffle for anonymous cruising or autoerotic rituals with nods to 70’s Berlin electronica, Patrick Cowley, Joe Cage and William Friedkin. Definitely the night zone muzak.

Erkki has been active in the Estonian underground scene since the early 90s – leading the high-voltage avant garde noise duo ÖÄK (applauded even by the one and only John Peel).

His collaborative efforts include dream-pop project Rubik 3001 and 3Pead with Janek Murd with whom he also runs a record label and weekly show Eesti Pops on Estonian Raadio 2.

♪♫ Listen: “Magick I” + album stream

Djerro on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Hypnosaurus <BR>“1991—1992”


Mind-bending and keenly primitive output from a legendary techno pioneer Hypnosaurus proved to be immensely influential throughout its somewhat reclusive career.

At the end of eighties Aivar Tõnso, encouraged and inspired by the sounds of Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, Big Black, early Detroit techno, and the like, started his search for abrasive musical expression with almost no means, bar some stone-age technology and old Soviet synthesizer called Polivox.

Later on The Hypnosaurus sound became more clubbed out, but the time from 1990 to 1992 was meant solely for personal entertainment. This is the very first proper collection, carefully curated by the man himself.

♪♫ Listen: album preview

Hypnosaurus on Facebook.

Mari Kalkun & Runorun <BR>“Tii ilo”

Mari Kalkun & Runorun
“Tii ilo”

The singer Mari Kalkun is from South Estonia, the band Runorun and the record company are Finnish.

The soundscapes of Runorun grow from inner rhythms into the wild roar of voices and strings, with pastoral lyrics floating over strong rhythmic backing.

In close dialogue with contemporary poetry and singing in endangered Fennic languages, “Tii ilo” celebrates the beauty of moving and being on the road. Here are songs of rural serenity and spiritual healing, their sparse and ethereal settings telling tales of travel and loss.

“For me, being on the road involves something magical, unexpected, and rhythmic”, Mari explains.

♪♫ Listen: “Jakopi unõnägo

Mari Kalkun on Facebook, www. Runorun on Facebook.

Mart Avi <BR>“Humanista”

Mart Avi

“Humanista”, the second full-length solo by fearless master of sound and vision Mart Avi ranked number one on the most influential local end-of-year listomania of Estonia’s biggest weekly Eesti Ekspress.

Avi’s young ghastly baritone and sound experiments have been compared to Scott Walker, Billy MacKenzie, David Bowie et al, yet his readiness to find out wondrous entities and create self-mythologising cross-indexes is entirely his own.

Slices of dub, industrial, cocktail grooves, abstract funk, and a sample from infamous “Always Coca-Cola” TV ad can be tracked on this gest into the realms of 30th century wave. Such swooning rush can be accomplished only by someone who looks at the world with rare curiosity.

“In Humanista a way of cheating the time element can be found.” – TheLastZine

♪♫ Listen: “Newman” + album stream

Mart Avi on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, YouTube.

meisterjaan <BR>“Ilusad illusioonid”

“Ilusad illusioonid”

An etno techno eccentric meisterjaan makes music using mostly jew’s harp’s and electronic instruments with the intention of creating a sound never heard before, in all its urgency.

Representing a symbiosis between ancient and modern thinking as well as primal and coeval tech-widgets, he is able to play the jew’s harp like a groovebox at a rave.

Having a deep connection with the nature and Estonian folklore, meisterjaan can tweak the knobs on his analog synthesizers as if he was the first man on earth to touch such lot.

His cult hit “Parmupillihullus” is also one of the most obscure entries into Eesti Laul (Estonian national selection of Eurovision Song Contest).

♪♫ Listen: “Parmupillihullus

meisterjaan on Soundcloud, Facebook.

Robert Jürjendal <BR>“Balm of Light – Valguse palsam”

Robert Jürjendal
“Balm of Light – Valguse palsam”

Though an acclaimed guitarist and composer Robert Jürjendal is a veteran of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft, the music on his second solo full-length is not craftily stiff nor in sound or in feel.

It’s a gloriously eclectic listen full of soft ambient textures, advanced delay techniques, classical guitar composition, live-looping, field recordings and percussion treatments.

Beautiful, laidback soundtrack evoking the snapshots of exquisite precision-tooled miniatures in our inner cinemas. “Balm of Light – Valguse palsam” is an album dedicated to all who miss the light.

♪♫ Listen: “Mesikaltsiit” + album preview

Robert Jürjendal on Soundcloud.

Smõuk <BR>“Mõlk”


“Mõlk” is the eagerly awaited second full-length from Southern Estonian stoner pioneers Smõuk, the masters of witty, haunting, groovy and inarguably original compositions.

Pre-clinical tests on rats and the bohemians of Tallinn have proven beyond doubt that Smõuk’s auditive-meditative brain tourism definitely cures the blues.

♪♫ Listen: “Kolmteist” + album stream

Smõuk on Bandcamp, Facebook.

St. Cheatersburg  <BR>“How to Lose Your Value on Heterosexual Market”

St. Cheatersburg
“How to Lose Your Value on Heterosexual Market”

St. Cheatersburg’s ideology emerges from the nihilism of the late 1970s, their darkness from the early 1980s and the psychedelic revival of the 90s.

The first-ever “pigeon punk” herd from the semi-coke dumps tweaks and twists the old punk rituals with euphoric vengeance. They do bark at M.O.R. mortals but they rarely bite.

An age old art-school pranksterism par excellence.

♪♫ Listen: “How to Lose…” + album stream

St. Cheatersburg on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Trad.Attack! <BR>“Ah!”


The aptly named threesome Trad.Attack! takes the hauntological blasts from the past from old archive recordings, combines the traditional instruments with electronics and pulls it all right into the 21st century.

The multiple winners of Estonian Music Awards and Estonian Ethno Music Awards have toured from Scandinavia to Malaysia, including performances at Folk Music Alliance showcase in US and Eurosonic talent festival in Netherlands.

♪♫ Listen: “Kuukene

Trad.Attack! on Soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter, www.