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Amoeba Hollywood's Best Electronic Albums of 2011 - Andy Stott, Roll The Dice, Morphosis, Tin Man, Demdike Stare, Omar S & more

Posted by Oliver / Matt / Jordan, December 29, 2011 03:29pm | Post a Comment
Andy Stott
We Stay Together / Passed Me By
Modern Love

Many electronic artists are entering a compelling new phase of progression and evolution, like Andy Stott, Rene Hell, Demdike Stare, Raime, and the Sandwell District roster -- and have crafted out their own hauntological niche in the modern music world. Brooding, visceral, and encompassing like a thick veil, sounding of a darkness that speaks psychically to the lonely silhouette of a dancer in the shadows of a warehouse party long after the crowd has dispersed. Slow, syrupy syncopated beats that are swirling in some sort of autoerotic blackhole, something like a VHS of loops thrown into a compression chamber. This music might slowly shut down your nervous system before transcending into brightly gaseous atmospheric bliss. Andy Stott mines in the deepest voids of sound and texture to craft what is at once real yet incredibly uncomfortable and subconsciously recessed in the depths of our emotions. Bondage wrapped electronica for those who wish to explore those existential darkrooms.

Purchase We Stay Together / Passed Me By here:


Morphosis
What Have We Learned
Delsin

This experimental techno free-form jam makes for one of this years best electronic albums. Recorded in only two days Rabih Beani has created a masterpiece that oozes with emotion and strays from traditional production methods and styles. The result is 10 tracks of abstract techno filled with dark kraut influenced bliss. Essential listening.

Purchase What Have We Learned here:





Demdike Stare

Elementals Parts 1 & 2
Modern Love

Wow. Shady music from shady Mancunians in a complimentary way. Demdike Stare have singlehandedly crafted a new genre, and how much can be said for the majority of all the new artists of the past decade? Meet Sean Canty and Miles Whittaker, purveyors of their hauntology aesthetic. Desert gothtronics, is perhaps another way to describe their sound, something like Omar Souleyman hosting a witches' cult ritual dance soundtracked by Mika Vainio. But its so much more. Nordic doom metal and West Indian library records hold just as much weight as Anatolian fuzz rhythms and Lancashirian industrial soundscapes in Demdikes' world... as convention and stylistic expectation is out the window, traded in for the listeners deep trust in this duos' profound musical palette as heard and seen through a loose dub techno aesthetic. This is exotic and balmy territory -- and if you've heard their labelmate Andy Stotts' records this year as well you know what kind of auto-erotic fissure beats and gaseous/nauseous synth-destroyed sounds to half-way expect.... Demdike Stare (named after a famous Pendle witch) craft asymmetrical Haxan dub-isms tirelessly like a malfunctioned mechanical beast living on a purple tundra, with a jet-black goth-as-fuck aesthetic that render some of the most evocative, iluminated, and enlightened musical pieces Ive heard in years. Artwork by the ever versatile Andy Votel of Anworth Kirk/Pre-Cert/Finders Keepers Records fame. Room for 4 records -- parts 3 and 4 to come later. Handle with care, and like the piece of genius this is.

Purchase Elementals Parts 1 & 2 here:




Tin Man

Vienna Blue
Global A

Recorded in Vienna by Patrick Pulsinger, Vienna Blue truely paints a picture of cold Austrian winter nights. Featuring the sounds of clarinet, cello and violin the album is somewhat of a romantic neo classical piece. Gloomy dark and rather personal I’d think, another moody work of art from the Tin Man.

Purchase Vienna Blue here:






Roll The Dice
In Dust
Leaf

The way Vangelis has welded his pulsing synthstrumental soundtrack to Blade Runner's futuristic visions will forever (perhaps) associate that sound to dark skyscrapers, neon overload, perpetual motion, paranoia, identity fragmentation, and any other urban dystopic mental vision one may conjure. Its near impossible not to listen to this album with that in mind, a tragically apt soundtrack to lost searching souls swimming through the existential forest of dread and an almost too real concrete forest of decay. As the title suggests, theres a layer of almost post-apocalyptic dust we blow off our headphones and speakers as we dirge through these grimy, matte industrial surface speaks. If this sound had a color it would definitely be some sort of emulsified cloudy black-brown muck in its sexiest state, but in this airtight Metropols-esq kling-klang there is shared soul (yes, soul!) with the likes of John Carpenter, the aforementioned Vangelis, Steve Reich, modernists Ricardo Donoso, Leyland Kirby and Mordant Music... along with the broad canon of Kraut and Teutonic greats.

Purchase In Dust here:



Drexciya
Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller
Clone

Theres been many records and artists preached out to the masses as essential, crucial, and classic. Its been an interesting year for new music, as well as solid reissues -- in this past month alone we've seen reissues by well-deservedly named classic albums by the like of LFO and Sweet Exorcist.... and now a new collection of Drexciyan techno storms, which in case you're not aware, is the musical embodiment of cult classic. Drexciya's distinctive synth-damaged underwaterisms has been creating a virulent legacy for over 20 years, and even today sounds surrealistically exciting in its retroism. Journey of a Deep Sea Dweller provides a near-comprehensive and remastered collection of the plankton-and-amoeba obsessed collective, traversing the entire catalogue to present their finest moments in a bright new context.

Purchase Journey Of The Deep Sea Dweller here:




Conforce

Escapism
Delsin

Conforce treads deeper into the folds of midnight with his brand new album on Delsin, the label that is also home to Redshape and Morphosis. The seasoned Dutch producer is no stranger to these techno pressure sounds, edging the classic artistry of Basic Channel with carefully honed low-slung breakbeats and almost ritualistic synthscapes that vaporize in the narcosis of the thick subzero atmosphere. The tempo moodily crawls at times, pacing like an Andy Stott record and at once swells, constricting the senses and escalates into driving warehouse chords with cavity quivering sub-bassisms. An incredibly dramatic release, reminiscent also at times of Convextion and Detroit's dub operators on the Echochord/Echospace label.

Purchase Escapism here:

Dave Monolith
Welcome
Rephlex

Absolutely impressive and gorgeously crafted debut by Dave Monolith, dropping on the renowned Rephlex label. If you loved Braindancing in the past, then this is like Braindance grad school, advanced and exploratory, citing influences in the most unlikely places. Luke Vibert and Jean Michel Jarre... Drexciya and Delia Derbyshire. Bruce Haack anyone? It can all be somehow heard in here... very texturally rich and moving. The music glows with expert craft and thought out atmospherics. Incredible electronica release to seal 2011 and to be with for years to come.

Purchase Welcome here:



Jonsson/Alter
Mod
Kontra Musik

Mod is a finely balanced effort carrying a variety of motifs, and they’re gorgeously spaced in a way that magnifies why so many producers try for this particular style of twilight-zone deep house. Sprawling and unhurried, and pieced with such an apparent clear-headed finesse is what is at the heart of this elegantly minimal record from Swedes Gunnar Jonsson and Joel Alter. Solemn and subdued is the cohesive mood of the record, like a never-ending trip down the autobahn in a time capsular lock-groove that is forever dusk. This sense of twilight is the golden hour for many and if you appreciate that kind of electronic ennui, then you will cherish this piece. Airy synthetics conceptually pad the minor chords, slinky grooves, cool basslines and plush acidity. The drive is uniform, and systematically tempered and focuses the passenger listener on the musical composure without fear of drifting or falling asleep at the wheel.

Purchase Mod here:



Omar S
It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do It
FXHE

The album title speaks to Alex Smiths’ attitude towards this house music thing and he definitely plays by his own set of rules. From the deep “Skynet 2 B,” the acid freak out of “Ganymede,” the timeless “Nites over Compton,” and r&b flavored “I Come Over,” Mr. Smith weaves us a timeless album that stands tall above the rest. He’s one artist who does his own thing and that thing is definitely done right.

Purchase It Can Be Done But Only I Can Do It here:





LFO
Frequencies
Warp

20 years later and still blowing minds, needling ears, and dropping on decks all around the world, Warp Records unveils a grand reissue of LFO's seminal debut LP, Frequencies. If the legendary introduction on the record is at all a prophecy -- an audacious blurt declaring house music as the future while namechecking electro-pioneer greats from KLF to YMO as if seemingly aligning themselves in the future forward spectrum -- then the prophecy surely came true as this record is essentially stamped into the evolving historical DNA of electronic, techno, and house music. Warp, and especially its early releases, intelligently positioned such groundbreaking outfits automatically so, and deservedly speaking. These are the kinds of records that serve to perpetually please in any sort of context, in headphones divorced from its sweaty function or in the warehouse exorcising everyone's inner ravechild. Even if you already have this record, pick it up again, it sounds better than ever with its masterful repress.

Purchase Frequencies here:

Relevant Tags

Conforce (6), Omar S (6), Demdike Stare (4), Tin Man (6), Morphosis (3), Roll The Dice (2), Andy Stott (7), Best Of 2011 (17), Jonsson/alter (2), Lfo (2), Dave Monolith (1), Drexciya (4)