Best Albums of 2018
compiled by Hrup Mag team

KALU <BR>“Get Well Soon”

“Get Well Soon”

Luka Uršič has been present on the local scene for quite some years now – working with acts like Polona Kasal, Bowrain, Katja Šulc and being a member of the band Your Gay Thoughts. But last year he released his very own album of smooth electronic sounds – ambiental, chill, laid-back and jazzy. It might seem like a slow album but From Within takes on a total different groovy perspective and so does the ending Sea of 2. The two tracks giving more and more of the band feeling, which is how Kalu presents his work live – with his septet Kalu & The Gradient. A.K.

♪♫ Listen: “Until We Fade” + album stream

KALU on Soundcloud, Facebook.

OYGN <BR>“Skurjen spomin”

“Skurjen spomin”

Our Best of 2017 featured Mito’s “Bratstvo in estradstvo”. This is where he already collaborated with a decade younger producer named YNGFirefly. One of the more prominent MCs from the Eastern Slovenia and the young producer seem to get along well as they’re back with a new album under the name OYGN. “Skurjen spomin” translated “Fried Memory” is a great collab of wide production ideas not afraid of connecting different styles together with always strong lyrics commenting the world around us. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Slovene, you can still groove to OYGN. A.K.

♪♫ Listen: “Skurjen spomin” + album stream

OYGN on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp.

DRONE EMOJI <BR> “เป็นฟอนต์ที่ได้”


He came out of nowhere. He doesn’t have a Facebook page. No one really knows who he is. Even after his first live performance last week. The secretive producer managed to make a surprise underground hit without the classic tools of nowadays music promotion. The Thai title of the album which means “this is font” tells nothing and a lot at the same time. Same goes for the music. Even though this album is less than 16 minutes long it offers a range of genres with songs based on samples echoing the local, urban and global sounds. A.K.

♪♫ Listen: “Drone Emoji” + album stream

DRONE EMOJI on Soundcloud, Bandcamp.

balans <BR> “Kva je s tabo…”

“Kva je s tabo…”

You might think you’re familliar with the Slovenian underground music scene, but be prepared to have your preconceptions shattered when you stumble upon a little DIY label called ŠOP Records. The finest example of label’s strange appeal is a lo-fi duo called balans, the music of which is often described as “bedroom pop”, which is only correct if we’re talking about a bedroom of a paranoid, humorous, socially awkward and politically engaged person. On their sophomore album the duo broadens the sonic (and visual) horizons of their sprawling, hypnotic, bass-driven music while sticking with the unique lyrical style, made up of seemingly incoherent rambling, that turns out to be a comment on everything you see in the streets, everything that bothers you and an insight into the mundanity of everyday life in a capitalist society in general. J.T.

Listen: “Je reku” + album stream

balans on Instagram.

Haiku Garden <BR> “Where If Not Now”

Haiku Garden
“Where If Not Now”

Haiku Garden delivers a debut LP full of compelling reasons to listen beyond the young quartet’s reputation as Slovenia’s first shoegaze band. “Where If Not Now” brims with pleasant fuzz, sure, but the spacey and noisy guitar euphoria barely masks a penchant for creative songwriting. Catchy, compact songs like the singles Catch My Breath and Hazel guide the bulk of the album, while the last few compositions explore deeper, darker waters – and bloom into a formidable experimental explosion live. M.H.

♪♫ Listen: “Catch My Breath” + album stream

Haiku Garden on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

The Canyon Observer <BR> “Nøll”

The Canyon Observer

Even more extreme, even more brutal, even more punishing – one of the country’s most extreme acts dived into the void and came out in a blinding storm of harsh sludge, black metal depravity, despondent doom and unadulterated aggression. Yeah, it’s not for everyone, but those willing to plunge into nothingness will find a world-class band maturing its sound and firing on all cylinders. A beast of an album. D.S.

♪♫ Listen: “Mirrors” + album stream

The Canyon Observer on Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram.

7AM <BR> “7AM”


7AM is a simple band. Simple and effective! The trio of bass, drums, guitars and 2 vocals doesn’t invent a new genre but it plays garage rock with heart and energy most bands would envy. Punk, grunge and alternative rock are synonyms for the sound of 7AM, which they complete with the infectious and hypnotic female lead vocals. 7AM use the DIY approach all the way, the trio self-published their album and is booking EU tours non-stop. Give ‘em a call! A.K.

♪♫ Listen: “some days are better” + album stream

7AM on Bandcamp, Facebook, www.

Matter <BR> “Troglav”


Third place for the trio’s third album in three years, released in three parts and named “Threehead”? Sounds legit, just like the album itself. The new release doesn’t deviate from the electronica ‘n’ trap formula one of the hottest urban acts in Slovenia right now established as their own, but cleans up the production, expands the idiosyncratic slang and touches on topics of nationalism and self-reflection. Packed with bangers and contemplation alike, it’s fast becoming a contemporary classic. D.S.

♪♫ Listen: “27 kometov” + album stream

Matter on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook.

Warrego Valles <BR> “Botox”

Warrego Valles

Warrego Valles is a system upgrade in the excellent work of the two DJs, producers and musicians Nina Hudej and NinaBelle. Together, they have crafted an album both significant for and representative of the Ljubljana underground club scene: dark, experimental and exciting. “Botox” contains synthetic unease; it’s an anxiety-ridden work for an anxiety-ridden world. Allowing a couple of twisted bangers to sneak in, it still invites you to dance, if only because it knows it’s the last thing keeping you alive. M.H.

♪♫ Listen: “Passing” + album stream

Warrego Walles on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Instagram, www.

BLAŽ <BR> “Steven”


It seems the release of “Steven” went a bit under the radar. Apart from the rare shows there was not a lot of (deserved) buzz surrounding the album, perhaps due to the fact that Blaž suffers from tinnitus, perhaps due to the lack of the media attention. But that didn’t stop him from making this brilliant album of inexorable electronics without borders. Taking IDM and hip-hop into new stratospheres. Blaž’s 3rd album is a an album with a theme where Steven – a musical tone, takes the listener on a ride. Without a doubt a must ride for anyone even vaguely interested in electronic music now. A.K.

♪♫ Listen: “Gangsta Angel” + album stream

BLAŽ on Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, www.