The Downcast’s 2011 techno album of the year
Trashy, cheap and shining with lazy arrogance, SebastiAn’s schizophrenic Total is a fucking blast. Listen as French DJ Sebastian Akchote shifts recklessly from stomping glitchcore and heavy house to warped disco and thump-swinging R+B. Across the album’s 19 tracks, it’s hard to find a common thread or prevailing influence, and it’s even harder not to get bored. This is post-Justice dance-music for the post-MTV generation with a postage stamp on your forehead and a T-shirt that says “delivered to wrong address.” Listen to “Jack Wire”.
More of the year’s best Electronica albums and EPs…
Berlin DJ Siriusmo weaves a playful, beautifully cluttered mosaic of dance textures on Mosaik (which, correct us if we’re wrong, is his first album following years of remixes and singles). There are moments that remind us of Daft Punk, Justice, Boyz Noise and the like. But you won’t be bored. Siriusmo switches quickly from one hip-shaking pulse to the next and never settles on a clear pattern with his sampling techniques. Freak out to “Sirimande”.
|Andy Stott: We Stay Together
UK beat deconstructionist Andy Stott creates a hollow, pulsing purgatory on his latest, We Stay Together. It’s a curious place where smoldering cinders and digital snowflakes fall from the twilit sky and dancehall witches slither through the charred remains of a post-modern city where techno was their last hope and music was their first religion. Creep out to “Posers”.
|Holy Other: With U
We know there are more than two songs on this EP. There are five, actually. But it’s hard to remember what the other three sound like when the hollow, spectral pulse of “Yr Love” and the devastating, shadowy beauty of “Know Where” are on endless repeat. Now that we’re thinking about it, we vaguely recall the rest of the EP drifting like spirits through a cavernous hall, staring slowly at the distant light and smiling as if neither scared or happy with whatever it is they’re supposed to be doing.
We’re pretty sure Muta descends from a race of underwater robots obsessed with creating music based on heavily corrupted acid house, trip hop and dubstep data files. You can hear it in the glitchy delivery of pixelated melodies, the fractured strut of the LP’s beats and the smooth, submarine quality that infects all levels of Runner’s sonic architecture. Dig “Sleepshop”.
|Salva: Complex Housing
Salva finds a glitchy, neon-soaked techno-pop groove on his debut, Complex Housing. Although the producer hails from the Bay Area, his sound will remind beat junkies of LA’s Low End Theory scene at its most accessible. Throughout Complex Housing, Salva laces slightly off-center beats with tangy keyboard washes and spacey melodies to create a cozy, futuristic underworld. Check out LP standout “Wake Ups” [via Pitchfork]
|Gesaffelstein: Conspiracy Pt. 1 and 2
Metallic, scorched-earth beats come swarming at you courtesy of French producer Gesaffelstein on Conspiracy Pt. 1 and 2. The second installment is certainly the strongest of the two, with the menacing one-two assault of “Viol” and “Opr“. Tune in as each EP wanders from bleached, robotic disco and pulsing, deep-space ambiance to angular storms of pixelated, black raindrops.
|The Juan Maclean: Everybody Get Close
Pulsing, skinny-jean bass thumps are layered with neon synths, glam keys and lightly affected vocals over the boogie of squishy, low-slung bass lines and double-timed, digitized high-hats on The Juan Maclean’s 2011 compilation, Everybody Get Close. It’s jaded, high-voltage disco cut with the occasional, washed-out 4AM burner and a couple of trance-inducing glitch-shifters for good measure. Well, enough about you, “Let’s Talk About Me”.