100 tracks 2012
1991 is the alias of Gothenburg based artist Axel Backman, whose, giddying, lo-fi electronic output has the effervescent glow of Bibio and Boards of Canada. 'Fabric of Space' sets a hypnagogic mood of detuned synths and shimmering textures.
‘Covenant’ heads into deep, classic house territory, sophisticated percussion taking centre stage alongside manipulated vocal samples. One of our favourites from a great selection of Bodywork releases in 2012.
Acid Pauli unleashes his debut courtesy of Nicolas Jaar’s label, Clown and Sunset. 'Mutron Melody' cuts a style as playful as it is emotive, as the haunting piano pitch shifts with the constantly changing tempo.
Taken from Actress's second album R.I.P, 'Caves Of Paradies displays sounds adrift in deep-space, astray with a dreamlike hypnotism. We played this song on repeat (x1000) when we first heard it...
LA band Allah Las reveal their debut self-titled release on the Innovative Leisure imprint. On 'Tell Me' they reveal crystalline guitars, slow-mo drums, drifting psychedelia and a mellow surf poem.
Reaching out to newer dance trends is the compressed, shuffling percussion but these compositions have a heavy, drugged feeling - seriously intoxicating with an emphasis on the low end frequencies.
Priming their album debut, this 'supergroup' collaboration consists of Radiohead's Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich and Flea of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Skittering, electronic sounds that overlaps the more organic instrumentation from other band members - a perfect platform for Yorke's distinguishing vocals.
‘I Want to Blow Your Mind’ is a high octane, uptempo frenzy replete with shuffling percussion and vocal shrieks of sheer delight. African rhythms creative re-imagined by Glasgow's Brian d'Souza aka Auntie Flo.
Low-slung, hazy ‘Cloud Hall’ reveals that Austin Cesear can be more concerned with atmospheric subtlety than simply pounding beats. Layers of texture and a shuffling groove underpinned with a solid 4x4 beat.
Other People' is replete with the kind of dreamy plaintive swooning that one would expect from the Baltimore duo.
"Tape Hiss" starts innocently with a radio-filtered beat that opens up over the first couple minutes of the track before an undulating bassline sneaks into the mix with little pomp, but to knee-weakening effect.
A meaty slice of accelerated dance floor destruction from Benjamin Damage with this cut for 50 Weapons. The clue is in the title 'Headache"... not for the faint hearted.
Belfast duo Bicep team up with buddies Ejeca and Omar Odyssey for their new release on Will Saul’s Aus Music. ‘You’ is a warm, bright and bubbly number that delivers delicate, subtly rising synths and tapered vocals.
Venetian disco master Bottin on his TIN imprint provides a magnetic disco-not-disco burner. All the usual Bottin touches such as heavy tom rolls and morphing arepggios and a deep disco vibe
Capracara takes a swift look at garage house with a killer release for the Unknown to the Unknown imprint. With shuffling percussion, cut-up and sliced female vocals Capracara makes his love for the New Jersey side of things completely apparent.
What begins as a heartfelt ode replete with piano keys and delicate vocals soon gives way to blistering acid rage, putting the No Fun label head Carlos Giffoni's 'no rules' philosophy well into practice.
The groundbreaking confluence of Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti of the pioneering Throbbing Gristle, and Nik Void of the new vanguard, the electronic powerhouse, Factory Floor. Recorded at a one-off live performance at London’s Roundhouse the result is noise and disarray, an underbelly of murky electronic rhythm and otherworldly dissonance.
Deep synth washes and piercing percussion hits from Cid Rim, the live drummer for Dorian Concept and latest addition to the LuckyMe collective.
Far from being associated with some kind of sinister sect, the Cults Percussion Ensemble is named after the Aberdeen suburb from which its members – 11 school pupils – originated. Assembled by percussionist Ron Forbes, the outfit had, at the time of recording, an average age of just 14. The LP was produced in 1979, and the children played music written especially for them on a delightful blend of glockenspiels, xylophones and timpani drums. The sounds created are remarkable- shimmering and celestial with chiming layers of rhythm and melody.
Cupp Cave aka Ssaliva provides dreamy low-ends, lush synth melodies and interweaving vocal samples for 'Tigepath'. Brilliant low-slung hip hop beatscapes from the Belgian producer.
Paul Woolford's Special Request remix of Daniel Avery's 'Taste' is aimed squarely at the dancefloor with its neck-snapping breakbeats and bass hits.
Party-rocking, Italo-influenced techno from Mexico's wunderkind Daniel Maloso. Rife with retro sounds and a bouncing dancefloor feel. One of the highlights of the Comeme label in 2012.
Daniel Rossen, from Grizzly Bear and Department of Eagles fame in a solo outing. 'Saint Nothing' shows Rossen's rich and immediately gratifying vocals - his thick tenor lending deeply personal sentiment to the bitter-sweet piano melodies.
‘Ye Ye’ twists and turns, growling its way through the undergrowth of the club. This track was actually released on vinyl in 2011, but seeing as the digital was released in 2012... we HAD to sneak it in!
Deep-seated mounting tension, tough beatwork and rattling sub-bass in this slow-building track from 20 year old Detroit-via-London producer, Darling Farah.
Technology at the Speed of Life’, a steely, electro-shaped number reveals the more dancefloor-calibrated designs of the formidable duo of Alva Noto and Byetone.
As ever, David Longstreth and his band showcase their bountiful imagination by peeling off the layers of their folky serenity to reveal music that is clever through-and-through. Warped drums and vocal harmonies show off their unique sound.
The Spanish producer, El_Txef_A gives us four minutes of head-not beats, sparse but effective keys and down-pitched soulful vocals to brilliant effect.
Incredibly lush warm synths to perk you up from your winter gloom. Blissful, deep, ambient house from the incredibly talented Simon Schilling.
Four Tet transforms Falty DL's jazz-infused house track into a far deeper and darker hi-hat led track perfect for unlit sweaty dancefloors such as Plastic People in East London.
'Our House Stab' is on a straight-up jacking house tip which Lustman skillfully adds a dose of jazz swing and rave energy.
FAY is the solo project of Fay Davis-Jeffers. Davis-Jeffers deconstructs the raw components of R&B music and proceeds to meld them back together with experimental nerve.
It is hard to pick one track from Flying Lotus's 'Until The Quiet Comes', but 'All The Secrets' is one that outlines the beauty of the album and approach that Lotus has taken. Rhythmically and melodically is hard to decide if this is very simple or incredibly complex music... but the results are captivating.
Kieran Hebden exhibits a masterful ability to fuse techno, jazz and electronica in an uncluttered sonic model.
One of the best tracks to come in during our 'Filtered' project seeking unsigned artists around the world, Gidi's 'Move' is a dancefloor favourite that drew us in with its dubby bass line.
'Nickles and Dimes' is a lonely journey that will take you through the innermost depths of Gonjasufi's darkest thoughts.
High-reaching falsetto pop from Claire Boucher AKA Grimes, 'Oblivion' one of the many great tracks that made everyone sit up and listen in 2012,...
With moments of Mika Vainio-like distortion, paired with the poinitilism of Mark Fell, Grischa Lichtenberger's track has moments of finger clicking funk and alongside distorted sonic junk.
A gorgeously atmospheric track that boasts an abundance of melody and emotion. 'Sun In Your Eyes' is taken from Grizzly Bear's astonishing 'Shields' album.
In the most devastatingly simple yet effective manner, Steven Warwick takes every last drop of funk from his Casio keyboard that drift in-and-out of consciousness with shuffling disco chords and tropical rhythms.
Working with the a blend of R&B, UK garage and house sounds, Holy Other manages to create an ethereal and ghostly beat-experience...
When not grinding out spiky punk riffs as Mi Ami, Daniel Martin-McCormick crafts these rather sublime, yet compellingly odd, 'ousider' house tunes as Ital.
Almost a year since his debut single ‘BTSTU’ had the music media buzzing with a new talent, Jai Paul turns in his follow-up, another demo, ‘Jasmine’. Showing off his falsetto tones, we hear obscure lyrics heard, in what seems like the distant, amidst handclaps and funk guitar. Sly Stone, D'angelo and Hudson Mohawke in a jam session...
Out and out dance music with a capital D. There is no mistaking that Night Slugs' Jam City is making a statement that some dance music is more about getting lost than being guided to a destination. "...Now We Relate" drives this point home with several minutes of vamping before letting loose in anthemic, classic house style.
Jan Jelinek's ‘PrimeTime’ hears wistful, cinematic touches converging with flutes and eclectic eccentricity.
Jimmy Edgar and Travis Stewart aka Machinedrum join forces as JETS. Blending Stewart’s vocal splicing brilliance with Edgar’s electro-funk synth work leads to incredibly satisfying results... We want more JETS in 2013!
Jimmy Edgar brings deep sliding synths and loose funky percussion to 'Indigo Mechanix'. Sleazy and funky, as you'd expect from Mr Edgar.
John Talabot has achieved great success with 'FIN'. Hands-in-the-air dancefloor euphoria from the Barcelona resident.
'Powwow' takes the direction of their more abstract style, exercising modulating sythns into vivid, no-wave style collages of techno. 'Techno Primitivism', indeed.
With Julia Holter, you cannot let descriptions of 'pop' fool you. Anything but commercial and conventional, 'Marienbad' is complex with unconventional compositional tweaks and touches.
Driven by stinging hi-hats, 'Au Seve' promised to be one of the tunes of the year, Julio Bashmore and his Broadwalk imprint delivered on this one. You'll be humming the melody for hours after every listen...
From the first release in our on going 12" series. Blawan and Pariah have produced raw and unadulterated techno with this totally analogue-produced banger.
Konx-Om-Pax shows his ability to transfer cinematic qualities into music. Intricate patterns of sound and emotive melodic motifs flow with liquid ease.
'Lost In Tokyo' is a beautiful and simple, understated tune. Jacques Greene's remix manages to add a dancefloor punch whilst not detracting from the atmosphere and effect of the original.
Japanese artist Kyoka keeps in line with Raster Noton's canon of experimental intrigue. 'ISH' contracts and rattles along in a characteristically unhinged manner yet still manages to entice dance floors with a skeletal frame made out of swung-out grooves and structured 4/4 rhythm.
There’s a distinct play-off between the classic intimate interchange of pleasure confounded by pain in the record. Constantly shifting melodies, jostling machine interfaces and Halo’s unadorned voice, create a disorientating vortex of sound.
It was destined to be the post-summer comedown anthem of 2012 - following the likes of CFCF, Les Sins sees Toro Y Moi shake off his 'chillwave' tag for a more skipping house groove in the near-perfect 'Fetch'.
Infectious, poised house from the Wolverhampton duo Letherette, holding down some exuberant cut-up boogie. The continuous switches in this track remind us of Mr Oizo. A real exciting direction from Letherette as they move to releasing records on Ninja Tune.
‘Crystal Caverns 1991’ is full of the ravey synth stabs and the kind of frenetic energy that makes Lone one of our favourite producers in the UK.
Removing the thudding 4/4 kick drum beats, we are presented with various wave forms stabbing out emotional melodies, starkly performing in a empty white imaginary room.
‘Modern Driveway’ is great, contemplative house music. Expelling slow and considered breaths and forging a blissful electronic pathway. Underpinned by a simple groove with lush chord stabs throughout.
One of the stand out tracks from Lukid's highly anticipated album; USSR is melancholic downbeat wizardry with an achingly beautiful melody.
LV delve deep into kwaito and the South African underground with Okmalumkoolkat from Johannesburg. "We're getting down.. It's going down!"
Commissioned in the spring of 2011, this project had Mala travel to Cuba and collaborate with some of the island's local musicians. One of dubstep's finest producers and the distinct heavily percussive and pulsing latin rhythms of Cuba combined. Ace.
Mark Fell remixes himself for Editions Mego. In accord with his prior work deconstructing garage and techno rhythms as one half of SND, ‘Sentielle Objectif Actualité’ sees Fell tinkering with the rhythmic structure of his more meticulous house-influenced work as Sensate Focus.
One of the highlights of the Modeselection series in 2012 was Martyn with this incredible, jacking acid number. An amazing groove and retro drum sound and acid squelch make this tune.
Ital continues to cross-pollinate the world of lo-fi post-punk and deep dubby decadent disco with the project that started it all. Mi Ami is the collaborative mission from Daniel Martin-McCormick (Ital) and Damon Palermo (Magic Touch). 'Bells' is a dramatic blend of shiny disco debauchery and icy post-punk strut.
‘Twelve’ is loose and carefree, a deep meditation by way of raw and unprocessed percussion, dub influences, hip-hop sampling and psychedelic vocal delivery.
Mohn, life-long friends and Kompakt pioneers Jorg Burger and Wolfgang Voigt present a collaborative project. Slowed down, out of the shadows techno full of drama and bleakness.
Taken from Fake's 'Steam Days' album released in September last year, 'Glow Hole' has casual, loosened drums, stabbing synths and one of the greatest electronic compositions we have heard all year.
According to Hotflush themselves, this release comes from two producers already well-known but going incognito for their new 'NeferTT' project. Lush, meandering melodies makes a rich dance floor hybrid.
Fluid electronic activity from Nhk’koyxen, also known as Kouhei Matsunaga, hailing from Osaka by way of Berlin. This is not your average dance floor odyssey - altered states of consciousness collide with warped discipline.
Shifting the mood left a little is this follow-up, 'Eclipse/Blue', that features an ardent vocal delivery from Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead. This forerunner to a hugely anticipated album release shares its haunted soul with the more upbeat, animated melodic frippery of Four Tet with absolutely delightful results.
As part of 2012’s Record Store Day celebrations, Erased Tapes present a glorious snapshot of lush orchestration and electronics from label mates Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm and their first collaborative effort together.
Om Unit turns in deep, melodic synthscapes with this multi-layered half-step number from the London producer.
Deep, sparse and emotive - this is quite a far step away from his work as part of Karenn. Sombre and beautiful, Pariah skillfuly blends piano melodies with a collage of vocal snippets and field recordings.
Tight percussion and fluid arrangements, all executed with devastatingly effective finesse as we have come to expect from Pearson Sound.
Submerging their sounds into an oblique pool of dread and tantric doom, this was one of our favourite tracks from Raime's brilliant album.
Detroit’s finest gives us a lesson in super precision drum programming and electronic soundscapes. The 'Black Technician', indeed...
Glistening yet bold sound from this sonic architect with maximum potential to warm up dancefloors. A brilliant track from Sam Willis - one half of Kompakt's Walls.
With hazy harmonies and melancholic melodies, pulsing beats and looping synths stitching together these nostalgic moments, it is only right that we included a track from the brilliant Sand Circles.
New to the Comeme label, Sano gives us this essential, sleazy slo-mo workout. Lo-fi vocals, 80s synths and a chugging bassline.
Seams gives us some glitch-filled patterns of high-octane neon colour with 'Punch'.
This dancefloor charged remix of Sei A's 'Flux' is a perfect example of why Martyn is one of the most consistent producers in electronic music today.
South Yorkshire’s finest Mark Fell steps up to the Mego curated, Sensate Focus for a house-music joint, meticulously, expertly programmed, as one would expect. Dropping in at some wicked, timeless axis where classic dance music systems meet fractured, contemporary 4/4 syncopations and that unerring SND-unique sense of unease, Fell is master of his craft.
Get Me present the bold and unpredictable electronica of Slime otherwise known as the young Geordie producer, Will Archer. Slime’s sound blends melodic layers of instrumentation alongside 2-step rhythms, patterns of jazz freefall and low-slung bass.
The glitchy rhythmic geometry of S_P_A_C_E_S’ ‘Apologies’ stood out of the musical selections reminding us of SND.
Kevin Parker’s sauntering guitar work and equally meandering lyrics, oodles of fuzz and drums that sound like they’re straight from 1979.
Hotly tipped Danish producer Nick Ericksen, a.k.a. Taragana Pyjarama, dripping with echo and reverb to the ping-ponging arcade synths overlaying the laid-back beat of ‘Ballibat’.
None other than Actress steps up on remix duties with a classic Cunningham move – a stripped bare piece of deep and dark crawling techno.
Floating Points turns his hand to the ghostly, spectral pop music of Ninja troupe, The Invisible. Spanning a lengthy 8 plus minutes, Floating Points realigns 'Wings' into a hazy, flickering neon-lit smudge - making use of the mechanised rhythms and resounding guitar phrases to optimum effect. Stunning.
Rene Pawlowitz AKA Shed AKA The Traveller, a reference to his 2010 album of the same name and a new moniker for the techno master. ‘Bypass’ keeps the peaktime levels pumping with some reverb-heavy techno.
Whilst most of the world went crazy for 'Higher Ground', our favourite track from the game-changing TNGHT E.P. was in fact this bugged-out oddball track. The sound of The Neptunes on mushrooms.
Trailer Trash Tracys debut for Double Six Records. 'You Wish You Were Red' employ's the bassline from the Twin Peaks theme to brilliant effect.
This track from Ex–Roll Deep member Trimbal aka Trim and James Blake under his ever elusive Harmonimix alias finally saw a release in 2012. With Trim's distincitve voice contorted by the hands of James Blake, Grime music has never sounded so brilliantly strange before.
Uner came back with a new one for Cadenza. A slow-build, slow-unbuild track—gradual, patient, unfussy with a nice warm punch.
Re-issue of a 1999 Counter Attack release that became a staple in the crates of the Underground Resistance, Numbers found the original cutting engineer for a remaster of this loop-laden anthem. Not casual material here, but proper, sweaty dancefloor business.
'Flexible' sneaked out as a nice one sided EP for the BRAiNMATH collective. Untold's sounds and rhythms and uncompromising approach still gets us excited. Bass music from the left-side.
Originally composed for the same titled ballet by Stephen Petronio, ‘Architecture of Loss’, the eery piano and strings of 'The Crumbling' combine to achingly beautiful effect.
Sakamoto’s piano is buried, deep and distant, smudged into a swirl of colour by Willits’ subtle rhythmic arrangements. Sun-bleached music for moments of warm reflection.