2011 was a fantastic year for music. Here are some of the most mindblowing records I’ve heard:
Andy Stott – Passed Me By & We Stay Together (Modern Love)
Two very bass heavy mini-albums with dramatically slowed down beats and murky textures that go way beyond minimal techno and post-dubstep. Ominous, scary shit. Better mind your subwoofers!
Senking – Tweek (Raster Noton)
Mighty 12” from Jens Messel following last years awesome Pong. A side’s Black Ice is a John Carpenter-ish sci-fi workout, very precise and cinematic, whereas the flipside’s Hairline 23C finds Senking exploring wonky basslines in a relentless dynamic sonic landscape. Fearless stuff.
Peaking Lights – 936 (Weird World)
Chilled-out dubby krautrock-infested grooves from American husband and wife duo with a sunny disposition. 936 was the soundtrack for the summer of 2011 that never was.
No UFO’s – Soft Coast (Nice Up International)
Cassette release from Canada’s Konrad Jandav. Hypnotic if not hypnagogic synth-scapes with Neu!-like rhythms and scrappy garage guitar drones by way of the early 80ies Detroit techno pioneers.
Dimlite – My Human Wears Acedia Shreds (Stone’s Throw Records)
Kitty Cradle Fog, the first track of this delicious 4 track single from the Swiss producer seems to fuse the complete history of popular music – up until a few minutes ago. Lonely Delta blues guitar, proggy vocal harmonies, weird jazz settings and much more in less than five minutes. The three remaining tracks are equally briliant.
Blue Daisy – The Sunday Gift (Black Acre)
Trip hop? Well, trippy stuff most definitely. Blue Daisy’s sound is dark and heady. The London producer obscures his FlyLo-like beats with stormy clouds of ambient noise and washes of guitar rumblings. Elements of house, hip hop and chillwave merge in a wild oscillating vortex of deep listening. Guest vocalists Anneka en Hey!Zeus make sure the listener doesn’t feel too alienated – or do they?
Octo Octa – Rough, Rugged and Raw (100% Silk)
Sexy retrofuturistic house music from the always wonderful 100% Silk label. Mixtape-style cassette from Brooklyn’s finest producer. Warm, seductive jams.
Girls – Father, Son, Holy Ghost (True Panther)
Second album from SF based duo argues that the best pop music was made in the 60ies and 70ies. After soaking up their granny’s old Beatles and Pink Floyd records and discovering long lost melodic bliss, Girls added a contemporary angst and a sneaky sense of humour. Just listen to Vomit where Abbey Road’s Fab Four meet Jason Pierce.
Other artists who kept my ears peeled in 2011 were Destroyer, Rodger Stella, Asura, Stormloop, Karl O’Connor, High Wolf, 2562, Crystal Stilts, Maria Minerva, Larsen with Annie Anxiety, Listening Mirror, Deep Magic, Strangeloop, Motion Sickness of Time Travel, Sonmi451, Blues Control & Laraaji, The Boats, Grouper, Flying Lotus, Seahawks, SSaliva, Marow, Neon Indian, Grischa Lichtenberger, Fingers In The Noise, Moonwood, Ghosting Season, Ekoplatz, Julianna Barwick, Clams Casino, Circle Traps, Roedelius & Schneider, The Sight Below, Sun Glitters, Kurt Vile, Holy Other and…