Best Vancouver albums of 2015

NAPNAP – Uncharted
Listen: “U19”

Headlines have essentially written themselves for NAP’s first solo full-length release, Uncharted. The 1080p debut of Colombia-born music-maker, zinester, and mix-tape curator Daniel Rincon finds him blasting far beyond his usual noisy, guitar-based experiments in drone and psych (save for tracks like “Contra III” and the static-filled “Worms”).

On Uncharted, Rincon surveys primitive house music and IDM. Although most of the album’s rhythms are brazenly industrial (“GSM”, “U19”, “Soul Divine”), he isn’t afraid to mix in cavalier vibes. (Hear the dialogue copped from a conversation with label- and studio-mate Jean Brazeau, aka Friendly Chemist, on “Don’t Forget the Records”.)

Uncharted is diverse in its ambitiousness, yet it feels whole, tied together by Rincon’s exploratory spirit. The album is more terrifyingly exhilarating than catchy or danceable, but continued expeditions into either path of the electronic unknown are more than welcome, especially considering that he created Uncharted with the cheapest guitar pedals, grooveboxes, and synthesizers he could find.

Leslie Ken Chu

Leslie Ken Chu