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Top 10 Albums of the Year 2017: Brainwaltzera - Poly-ana

For us, the sound of 2017 belonged to the resurgence of braindance and electronica, and the record that stood out the tallest within this microclimate was undoubtedly Brainwaltzera's melancholic electronica and head-squashing acid album Poly-Ana. Taking the classic acid sound and rebuilding from a fresh arsenal with an up to the minute update of the outermost edged plugin selections and space-age studio synth weapons, Poly-ana proved why everyone from Analogical Force to AFX has been favouriting Brainwaltzera's tracks. A truly outstanding record from an endlessly morphing scene.

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Following a much hyped Soundcloud profile (inc. favourited tracks by AFX) Brainwaltzera turns in a stunning debut album of melancholic electronica and head-squashing acid for Film, quite surely the closest grasp to the authentic, original braindance feeling. If you have ever moved to the funky acid stuff of Luke Vibert, taken an extended holiday within the Boards of Canada, or found yourself lost in the throes of a heavy session taking Drukqs than this is THEEE record for you.

Having caused the masses of those plugged into the Film Recs axis to almost break their fingers by hitting the keys on the underground electronica forums so hard with excitement when Film seemingly, out of nowhere dropped the Aescoba EP. Brainwaltzera's debut makes good on its promises by arriving with all the nostalgic forward motion punch of a Boards Of Canada industrial metal album. Yet make no mistake, the mission here isn't to look back and pick over the past with a glazed expression and lust for a time long gone. Brainwaltzera is too busy for that, his mission is set on reshaping the present with freshly formed, yet time-proven tools. Lifting elements of what caused those before him to fully realise the vision of an alternative history of electronic music, Poly-ana continues this tradition with a striking complexity and sparkling new take on a classic theme.

While Aescoba and the Bleep favourite Analogical Force 12 were indebted to early Aphex'ian styles, the key to Poly-ana's power is the way it builds on the RDJ techno sound and translates them into new structures and symbols. At moments Brainwaltzera does borrow heavily from the Rephlex catalogue, but he also takes this in his stride as something of a jumping off point to explore ideas using a setup of technology that the first wave braindancers could have only imagined (and we are sure a lot of them did!). The ghosts of these releases float quietly in the ambient clouds and textures overhead, but the core feeling is one of exploring the newly found alien landscapes that are hidden within the electronic patch bays of analogue synthesizers portrayed on the screens of MacBook Pros.

While many take the Analord's work as influence and push out pastiche renditions that don't even come close to the original thing, artists such as Microlith (RIP), LNS, Nkisi and above all else on Poly-ana, Brainwaltzera are looking to the past as a means of learning the ropes while they are pushing ahead, locked in studios night after night, endlessly busy putting up the building blocks of the future.

Top 10 Albums of the Year 2017

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  • Top 10 Albums of the Year 2017
    Various Artists
    Top 10 Albums of the Year 2017
    Catalogue Number
    Release Date
    November 2017
    • Bundle CD Bundle Out of Stock
      • Jlin CD
      • Brainwaltzera CD
      • Blanck Mass CD
      • Alessandro Cortini CD
      • Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith CD
      • Forest Swords CD
      • Kelela CD
      • Lee Gamble CD
      • Photay CD
      • Visible Cloaks CD
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      • Postcards
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    2017 was a momentous year for music within our world, and with our top 10 albums we have compiled what we consider to be the most important releases from across the board.

    While the top spot is taken with the razor-sharp electronica of Jlin's Black Origami, Lee Gamble landed on Hyperdub pushing the boundaries of ambient jungle forward, while Brainwaltzera's update on the classic Braindance sound topped the acid-electronic revival by a mile. With new age receiving a massive resurgence in 2017, the most notable releases by far were from Visible Cloaks mystical reaching Reassemblage, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's influence exploring transitions of youth within The Kid and Alessandro Cortini's AVANTI presenting emotionally charged trip into the misty realms of nostalgia. Each album shone a light on a different aspect of this freshly realised sound.

    2017 also heralded the much-anticipated arrival of contemporary R&B icon Kelela's debut album Take Me Apart, an incredibly powerful album of soaring songcraft and experimental electronics delivered with a soulful edge. While Forest Swords turned in his greatest album to date with Compassion, splitting between the ecstasy and melancholy of his earlier recordings, his Compassion offered a journey through the nightland edges of his sound world. A journey perfectly complimented by Blanck Mass' brilliant album of brainfreeze techno and angle grinder electronics that was World Eater. While a special dedication goes out to Photay whose Onism packed in the year's tightest selection of ear worms designed to move your mind.

    View All Albums Of The Year

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