Jan 2024 18

2023 is over, so here is the Best of 2023 list and a Spotify playlist from Johan Carlsson, Release Magazine.


M83: “Fantasy”
After some dubious albums, M83 is properly back with this full length. Epic, masterful songwriting and the most powerful song of 2023 in the form of “Us and the Rest”.

Katatonia: “Sky Void of Stars”
Dark, melodic, somber, powerful. Somehow this band’s twelfth album is one of their best.

Depeche Mode: “Memento Mori”
The eagerly awaited return, marred by Fletch’s death. An impressive album, with a more developed sound than we’re used to these days.

Gunship: “Unicorn”
This is 80:s to the nth degree, but still modernized. Great songs, guests and overall aesthetic. I want to lay my hands on the unicorn picture disc edition…

Delerium: “Signs”
A strong return from my boys Bill and Rhys. I still favour their instrumental tracks, and the ones on here are some of the strongest they’ve done in recent years.

Red Cell: “Red Cell”
Best synthpop album of 2023, so there.

Daniel Myer: “Hingabe”
Herr Myer finally released a “proper” solo album under his own name, even though he’s done solo stuff for ages. This time, he’s making intelligent, atmospheric – still danceable – techno(ish) music, filled to the brim with cool samples and sounds.

IAMX: “Fault Lines”
IAMX is veering a bit towards becoming a more “standard” electro industrial band, but still manages to be unique enough, mainly because of Chris’ fantastic voice. Some great songs on here too.

Orchestral Manouvres in the Dark: “Bauhaus Staircase”
They still sound exactly like OMD, but that’s who they are so why complain? Great synthpop album.

Lucifer’s Aid: “Destruction”
Carl Nilsson’s strongest album, chock full of hard industrial dance tracks.


Gunship feat. Health: “Blood for the Blood God”
Best song on this album, which is filled with great ones.

Creep Show feat. John Grant: “Yawning Abyss”
This industrial “super group” is a bit uneven, but this track truly warms my cockles.

Depeche Mode: “Before We Drown”
Superb, more emotional than most of the other songs, and perfectly produced.

M83: “Us and the Rest”
Slow but powerful. Magnificent when it gets going.

Lucifer’s Aid: “Into the Void”’
Full force ahead! Adrenaline in music form.

Katatonia: “Author”
Heavy. Depressing. Dark. Melodic. Great riffs.

Red Cell: “Sleeping on the Mines”
The broodiest of the bunch, with a fantastic intro.

Kite: “Don’t Take the Light Away”
Exploring new sounds, while still being Kite.

Freqgen: “Freqgen Style”
Celldweller side project goes full 90:s rave.

Echo Image: “Of Truth”
Please finish the new album, thank you.

Sierra: “Never Right”
Her debut album didn’t trouble my list for 2023, but it holds some great tracks, like this one.

Beborn Beton: “I Watch My Life on TV”
Best song on a quite uneven full length.

Kylie Minogue: “Padam Padam”
This track was more or less forced on me by my daughter who wanted to hear this in the car on our way to school for at least two months straight. It’s a great electronic pop song though, so who am I to argue.

Orchestral Manouvres in the Dark: “Kleptocracy”
Trademark OMD sound, in other words catchy as hell.

Delerium: “Rain”
Beautiful instrumental bliss.