2008: Top 30 EDM Albums Of The Year
01. Kangding Ray - Automne Fold
I don't think I've ever heard an album where vocals in pretty much every track get along so well with the instrumental part. Whether they are sung, spoken or (micro)sampled, they compliment complex background (and foreground sometimes) beautifully. But even without them, this album would work well since David has an incredible aptitude for programming, sound manipulation and cold and austere soundscapes. This is one of those albums that gives you that feeling (which fortunately doesn't last long) that you conquered all music and nothing can surprise you anymore.
02. Fennesz - Black Sea
This guy always had an amazing ability to blend what seems to be uncombinable: cold and sometimes harsh noise of his laptop with warm and beautiful tones of both his laptop and acoustic guitar, which again plays a prominent role throughout the whole album. Fennesz especially starts to shine towards the end of the album, when he drops four fantastic slowly developing and unfolding beauties, that sound like a perfect soundtrack to a sunrise on a beautiful beach.
03. Autechre - Quaristice
Autechre presented a completely new format on Quaristice: 20 short instead of 10 long tracks, some of which are completely beatless, which is not their practice since the mid-90's. So here we have a bunch of ideas which don't really develope in the way we are used from them. However, the specific and unmatchable Ae sound is still here, strong as ever, and ready to reward the one who gives it enough chance. Even when not in their best form, this guys are still miles ahead from everyone else.
04. Shed - Shedding The Past
In a year when everybody and their mother started to produce dub techno, Shed singled out from the rest with innovative ideas and production quality. He dropped standard and often uninteresting 4x4 techno and filled the album with abstract beats and dubby atmosphere of the highest kind.
05. The Black Dog - Radio Scarecrow
The Black Dog's, just like Autechre's, new album is not the best thing they've ever done, but even so this album is fresh and awesome, just like every new BD release. Their standard techno could be better though, but they make up for it on beatless and non-4x4 parts of the album.
06. Derek Carr - The Digital Space Race
Soulful Detroit flavoured album from this Irish guy that would put to shame even some recognized players of this style, such as John Beltran, B12 and Kirk DeGiorgio.
07. Another Electronic Musician - Five
Deep and dubby IDM is not a new thing, but AEM's take on it sounds really cool and refreshing. His beat programming is often quite plain, but his melodic work and use of glitch is everything but ordinary. Jase once again shows that he's not just another electronic musician.
08. Clark - Turning Dragon
Chris Clark is back, this time with a techno sound, to show that he can make good techno music too, and that not all good techno has to be minimized to work these days. His maximal techno is sometimes even too maximal, as some of his samples are really unnecessary and even ludicrous. This shift however doesn't mean that he abandoned IDM completely, there is still lot of shrill IDM elements here that concord perfectly with the fast 4x4 beat.
09. Move D & Benjamin Brunn - Songs From The Beehive
These two guys are masters of dubby techno, so when they teamed up for thir second album collaboration expectations grew quite high. Hopefully, they lived up to expectations, and we're offered with 7 ultra deep slices of dub techno, sweet as honey from that beehive. From the ambient soundscapes, to acid filled Detroit stormers, this album never loses its deepness and shows numerous copycats how real dub techno should be made.
10. Ø - Oleva
Eerie and ice cold album that sounds like dry Finnish winter itself, specially recommended to those who are sick of warm and sunny ambient albums full of pretty melodies. Mika is a master of modern minimalism and he demonstrates us once again his craft in making long, repetitive and slowly developing structures that always unfold into something beautiful.
11. The Bug - London Zoo
12. Alva Noto - Unitxt
13. The Flashbulb - Soundtrack To A Vacant Life
14. Deadbeat - Roots And Wire
15. Benn Jordan - Pale Blue Dot (A Tribute To Carl Sagan)
16. Petar Dundov - Escapements
17. Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
18. Headhunter - Nomad
19. End.user - Left
20. ISO68 - Space Frames
21. Ginormous - At Night, Under Artificial Light
22. Funckarma - Vell Vagranz
23. Digitonal - Save Your Light For Darker Days
24. Somatic Responses - Digital Darkness
25. CLP - Supercontinental
26. Hecq - Night Falls
27. Squarepusher - Just A Souvenir
28. Sten - The Essence
29. Claro Intelecto - Metanarrative
30. Helios - Caesura
Albums that should make the list, but are not really electronic:
M83 - Saturdays=Youth
Portishead - Third