1. Miles Davis – Spanish Key
Miles in his electric years, pure unadulterated expression. This whole record is amazing because it’s one of the first to use the studio as an instrument, but beyond that, it’s still, unapologetically forward-thinking, 50 years later.
2. Low – Double Negative Triptych
This one is actually the first three tracks from Low’s most recent album, and to me, these tracks really push the threshold of what an alternative album can be.
3. Szun Waves – Constellation
Szun Waves are probably making some of the best… ambient music these days? I’m not really sure how I’d describe it. Feels a little too arresting to be “ambient” but this whole album takes me places/
4. Burial and Four Yet – Moth
These two are some of my favourite producers, respectively, but when they come together, the hit on something so unique, restrained and euphoric. I love it.
5. Thom Yorke – A Rat’s Nest (Jonny Greenwood Remix ‘ratsnestphone’)
Here are two more of my favourite musicians, who are both geniuses in their own right. Jonny’s Max MSP tinkering, or whatever he’s doing here, really brings new life to this Thom Yorke tune.
6. Forest Swords – Crow
Man, this song is just plain maniacal, and I love it. Got some Andy Stott vibes. Visual here is also incredible.
7. A.A.L. – Flash In The Pan
Nicolas Jaar is another huge influence for me, and this album release was one of my favourites from last year. His ability to incorporate all these modern production techniques into something that feels warm, vintage, timeless… is unmatched I think.
8. Ryuichi Sakamoto – “Garden” (From “Async”)
Sakamoto is someone that just fearlessly makes what interests him, as everyone should. This whole album is great, but this track feels special to me.
9. Real Estate – Darling
This song… well, it just gives me those feels…
10. r21freq – Sun Faces Heave
Tony is one of my best friends, and one of my favourite producers’s as well. I’d say he’s criminally slept on. He has such a clear idea of what he likes aesthetically and it shows.
Villager – Aura EP (Boysnoize Records)
Villager, aka Alex Young is a dynamic new producer who has been signed to the iconic Boysnoize Records for two fresh new EPs, kicking off with the superb ‘Aura’. This promising artist has an arresting and energetic sound that perfectly fits in with this label and comes after years touring with DJs such as Skrillex, Diplo and Cashmere Cat. As well as the focus on refining his ability as a producer in the studio, the Villager project is also about taking the live electronic experience to a new level, using visuals created and curated by Alex himself, and featuring a balance of DJ sets along with shows that are live and improvised, using synths, drum machines, and the latest in music technology. Opener ‘Vessel Boy’ shows off his skills immediately: it features hard-hitting drum loops and is wired up with synths, whirring machines and distant bird calls that all froth with energy. The excellent ‘Aura’ then pairs lo-fi beats with taught synth sequences and crashing hits to really bring a new rave sound. ‘Chimera’ shows off another side to this artist with celestial melodies raining down the face of a vulnerable, piano-laced groove that slowly transforms into a shuffling house track. ‘Treehouse 1’ is more delicate, with a suspensory groove detailed by thoughtful pads and deft melodies that drift and float in a wide open and late-night expanse. ‘Treehouse 2’ is the standout closer, with distorted drums and manic synths layered up into high pressure rhythms that are designed for warehouse destruction.