27 December 2012

The Monofonen Top 20 albums of 2012

Well, here goes. My humble shot at a top 20 list of my favorite albums of 2012:

1. Ricardo Donoso – Assimilating The Shadow

The follow up to last years great Progress Chance from Ricardo Donoso turns mellowed down trance arpeggios into lush kosmische explorations. Donoso has taken his sound and ideas to a new level.

2. Nick Edwards – Plekzationz

It was a bit hard to pick which Nick Edwards/Ekoplekz/Ensemble Skalectrix release to place highest on this chart. But after a prolific year this debut under his own name feels like the most accomplished one.

3. Carter Tutti Void – Transverse

Amazing live recording from a Roundhouse gig in 2011. Meditative and aggresive at the same time. One of the most refereshing albums of the year from a couple of legends in the industrial scene teamed up with a representative of the best of the new generation.

Read full review of Transverse - CARTER TUTTI VOID on Boomkat.com ©

4. Moon Wiring Club – Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets

Late in the year a new album from Ian Hodgson turned up from nowhere. Think of it as a double album where you have to get both the vinyl and cd. In my mind his greatest release so far.

5. Cloudface – Wyre Drive

Cassette release that brings vintage Warp acts to mind. Muddy vintage electronics that never loose sight of that catchy melody or acidic riff.

Read full review of Wyre Drive - Cloudface on Boomkat.com ©

6. Vatican Shadow – Atta’s Apartment Slated for Demolition

If I had to choose only one VS release from 2012 it have to be this one. Arguably Ornamented Walls and Jordanian Descent are amazing as well but this is the one that got me really hooked.

7. Panabrite – Soft Terminal

Last year the Jürgen Müller ”archival” release stunned me. This year the man behind that alias has captivated me with his Panabrite releases. This one is the best of the lot. Totally unmissable if you’ve got the slightest interest in neo-kosmishe library music.

8. No UFO’s – MPC Tracks Vol. 1

The second release from Nice Up Int’l in my top ten, along with Cloudface. This one is an amazing collection of chilled out rhythmic tracks all created on an Akai MPC.

Read full review of MPC Tracks Vol I - NO UFO\'s on Boomkat.com ©

9. Belbury Poly – Belbury Tales

Had quite high expectations on this one. Maybe not my favourite album from Belbury Poly ever, but a great record with some tracks that are some of the best he’s done. Stylish faux folk rumblings.

10. Bee Mask – When We Were Eating Unripe Pears

Bee Mask follow up last years Canzoni album with this fantastic sound journey. He also released the almost equally good Vaporware/Scanops this autumn.

11. Outer Space – Akashic Record (Events: 1986-1990)

Outer Space is John Elliot from Emeralds, and after a bunch of more obscure releases finally put out not one but two proper albums this year. This is my favourite of the two, and in my mind the best album to come out of the Emeralds camp this year.

12. M. Geddes Gengras – Test Leads

A late entry for my part this year, but it has gotten me really hooked. Neo-kosmische debut from Gengras under his own name, with a technoid feels thats adds urgency to the arpeggios and sequences.

Read full review of Test Leads - M. Geddes Gengras on Boomkat.com ©

13. Suum Cuique – Ascetic Ideals

Miles from Demdike Stare put out this collection of noise/drone-oriented tracks recorded during the Emelental sessions, and for me an even more essential listen than the nevertheless great Demdike album.

14. Keith Fullerton Whitman – Occlusions

KFW puts jazz drums through his modular and turn out this absolutely stunning shocker. Noisy and arhythmic but highly enjoyable at the same time. An album that make’s you feel cleansed after listening to it.

15. Pye Corner Audio – The Black Mill Tapes Vol. 3

PCA’s debut on Ghost Box is great, but it is this album that I have been listeing to the most. A truly unique voice in the hauntologic field

16. Ekoplekz – Skalectrikz

There just had to be a least two Nick Edwards albums on this list. It could have been Snuff Mill Tapes as well, but I think I have to chose this one, for it’s utter unwillingness to compromise. Beautiful improv.

Read full review of Skalectrikz - Ekoplekz on Boomkat.com ©

17. Motion Sickness Of Time Travel – Motion Sickness Of Time Travel

The prolific Rachel Evans releases her greatest work to date with this double album on Spectrum Spools. The epic quality on this one is second to none in the neo-kosmische field.

18. Lee Gamble – Diversions 1994-1996

This got quite a bit of hype when it was released in November. It made me a bit sceptical but then I gave in. And I’m glad I did. Gamble’s hauntological approach to rave chill outs is strangely fresh and rewarding.

19. Howlround – The Ghosts Of Bush

Radiophonics has been a great influence on many electronic experimentalists over the last couple of years, but few have managed to make something as fresh and interesting of it as Robin the Fog did with this. Chilling and soothing at the same time.

20. Andy Stott – Luxury Problems

There’s quite a few artists from Modern Love on this chart. This competed with Vatican Shadow’s Ornamented Walls and Demdike Stare’s Elemental for the 20 spot, but since those artists have other representation on this chart I settled for this one.

Read full review of Luxury Problems - ANDY STOTT on Boomkat.com ©

As always it is kind of silly to make lists like these. As if a year constituted any kind of unit musicwise, as if anybody’s music experiences could be quantified thus. This chart is best regarded for what it is, a picture of myself trying to recollect my listening habits for the last year at the end of the year. Other artists I also highly enjoyed new releases from this year was X-TG, Demdike Stare, Raime, VCMG, Andrea Parker, Georges Vert, Head Boggle, Rob Lowe, Silent Servant, 1991, Sand Circles, Dungeon Acid, eMMplekz, Mordant Music etc. etc. etc. 

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