Best Albums of 2017
selected by Svetoslav Todorov

Doesn’t Frogs <BR> “Afterlife”

Doesn’t Frogs

Following their promising debut release, 2015’s “Egotripping”, Doesn’t Frogs expand their vintage post-punk sound with some pop sensibility in their new album.

“Afterlife” was recorded, produced and released by the band. Imagine The Soft Moon, but with more humour thrown in the mix.

♪♫ Listen: “Afterlife” + album stream

Doesn’t Frogs on Facebook, Soundcloud.

Evitceles <BR> “Imperfect Charm” EP

“Imperfect Charm” EP

Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with Evitceles – they’re so many new releases going around the project, created by electronic artist Etien Slavchev.

“Imperfect Charm” is possibly his strongest effort yet and even closer to what he describes as “underwater techno”.

This one is out on the mighty Opal Tapes label and he has an even more recent release, from January 1st, the LP “Anuket”.

♪♫ Listen: “Exhausted Lust” + album stream

Evitceles on Facebook, Soundcloud.

Ivo Dimchev <BR> “Sculptures”

Ivo Dimchev

For more than a decade Ivo Dimchev is a leading and internationally-renowed performance artist and choreographer, touring all around the globe. He often incorporates songs in his shows which eventually grew to be his ballad-driven debut album, first presented in Vienna’s National Theatre.

The interconnection between his theatre and his musical work solidified even more his audience, who became familiar to his songs much before the album’s release. In that way Sculptures, in which Dimchev takes some obvious cues from Anthony & The Johnsons and Erasure, feels both like a debut album and like an anthology.

♪♫ Listen: “Raise” + album stream

Ivo Dimchev on Facebook.

krāllār <BR> “w/d”


Another cinematic and subtle piece. According to Ivan Shentov, the man behind the project, also former frontman of cult band KPD-0 and currently part of Comasummer and Feedbacker.

Titled “w/d”, it touches upon the themes of addiction, withdrawal, reconnecting to the world.
Released by Mahorka in collaboration with his own label Kontingent Records.

♪♫ Listen: “Washer” + album stream

krāllār on Facebook.

Leaver feat. Tim Holehouse <BR> “Before the Fire” EP

Leaver feat. Tim Holehouse
“Before the Fire” EP

I mean, it’s quite an emotive record, but that cover art is amazing – just a screenshot from an email correspondence in which a seller is begging the buyer not to give him a bad online rating.

This tape is a collaborative project of drone duo Leaver (which released their debut “Head Home” in 2016) and English singer-songwriter Tim Holehouse who has toured around a number of times.

The collaboration is released by Amek, also behind OOHS! and Mytrip’s records.

♪♫ Listen: “Picture Postcards” + album stream

Leaver on Facebook.

Mental Architects <BR> “Ascend”

Mental Architects

Four years in the making, the new Mental Architects LP is even rawer and heavier than it’s predecessor, 2012’s “Celebrations”.

The previous release provoked a certain momentum around the band and educated some listeners on what math rock means (or feels).

The new record, “Ascend”, was released under the radar even for Bulgaria’s standards and was never toured – yet the material feels like it would sound great live.

♪♫ Listen: “Dyno” + album stream

Mental Architects on Facebook.

Nocktern <BR> “Pieces of Lyla” EP

“Pieces of Lyla” EP

Pianist Stoimen Stoyanov, also a frontman of Sofia’s hardcore pride Them Frequences, goes on full minimal mode with this little record with his solo project Nocktern.

He describes it as “a triptych of a girl passing through the states of excitement, melancholy, and harmony”.

♪♫ Listen: “Yellow” + album stream

Nocktern on Facebook, Soundcloud.

OOHS! <BR> “Tropic of Cancel” EP

“Tropic of Cancel” EP

One of the freshest releases from local scene in 2017, which came to life by the very end of year. OOHS! are duo formed by Maxim Mokdad and Margg Names, who is also one-half of estabilished electronic act 1000 Names.

With its lo-fi early-autumnal sound their first release probably sounds best if you put the cassette on (yes, it’s out on tape!) and drive somewhere out of town.

♪♫ Listen: “Suave Gear Changers” + album stream

OOHS! on Bandcamp, Soundcloud.

Slit in Slot <BR> “Birthmarks”

Slit in Slot

Soundscapes, field recordings and noises blend perfectly in this release by Slit in Slot, a one-man project of Yavor Grancharov.

Even if you’re not too deep into ambient, this album can really transport you somewhere else, somewhere with a constantly bad weather forecast.

“Birthmarks” was released by the long-running Mahorka label in collaboration with Amek.

♪♫ Listen: “Levee” + album stream

Slit in Slot on Soundcloud.

The Black Swells <BR> “Quiet Life”

The Black Swells
“Quiet Life”

The title is a hell of an ironic one having in mind that The Black Swells are specializing in a straightforward, yet authentic rock and roll.

While listening to those songs it’s easy to imagine the band in front of a full club when they’re performing and also trapped in a smoky claustrophobic space when rehearsing. And that would be close to the truth.

The band is gaining a stable audience in Bulgaria and they’re currently working on their next project.

♪♫ Listen: “Do It Again” + album stream

The Black Swells on Facebook, Soundcloud.