I know the title asks for one album, but I'm currently torn between two: One that I've felt will be my favorite ever since it came out in May, and one I only heard for the first time two days ago. Therefore I'm sorry to name two candidates; I'll make it known later if I manage to pick a victor. Naturally my picks are based on the music I've heard from 2013 thus far and subject to change as I manage to explore more. Also I should stress that the years isn't even quite over so not all music has even been released. Some of my favorite music from both 2010 and 2011 was released on New Year's Eve, so I feel this is by no means marginal.
So the album I thought would very likely be my album of the year up till the day before yesterday is the self-titled debut by the collaborative unit EXLIUM consisting of AVTechNO! and Dog tails. AVTechNO! is one of the most renowned Japanese electronic music producers who uses Vocaloids in their work and also one of my personal top ten artists of all time. He is very prolific and constantly refining his style, never satisfied with his skill level. The alias he releases his music under even stands for Advance Tech No, translating to that he feels his technique isn't very advanced. Dog tails is a fellow Japanese producer best known for his remixes of AVTechNO!'s work, all of which have been included on this album. Lately he has also been making some great originals of his own, many of which have been released officially for the first time on this album having previously been only available on video sharing sites.
I don't really have any single favorite song on the album, but the two first tracks EXLIUM and Reality along with most of Dog tails' remixes are the highlights for me on the album, not that there are any real low points really. I've included official YouTube videos for most of the songs in correct running order below the album artwork. Only a very limited number of CDs were made available in Japan, but the album is available for download on iTunes Store, Amazon MP3, Beatport and Juno Download along with possibly some other digital vendors as well.
EXLIUM - EXLIUM
Official YouTube videos for most of the songs in correct running order (Click to show)
The recent contender for my album of the year is the debut album Lunar Grain by Brooklyn-based dark ambient / drone metal project Sea Hive. After hearing the album for the first time I ended up listening to it a total of five times over the course of 24 hours, which for a person who seldom listens to any single album no matter how good it is more than two or possibly three times a year, is almost unheard of. Originally my favorite song on this 4-track, 47-minute album was the title track Lunar Grain, but since then the opening track Disarmed and the closing track The Wake have also started competing for the position.
You can stream the album for free in its entirely on Bandcamp via the link provided and purchase it in the format of your choosing for a minimum of $5 (you can pay more if you want) if you so choose. Sadly no CD release, but I have my fingers crossed for the possibility that one day this great music will see a physical release as well, be it on CD, LP or both.
Sea Hive - Lunar Grain