BEST OF 2012: XANDER HARRIS

opp_xanderharrisIt’s time for the longest post in this year’s guest list feature! …Which is still far from beating Ital’s last year contribution though. The resident synth wizard Xander Harris kicked the year off with a split single with Dylan Ettinger (whose criminally underrated LP gets a mention below), which was followed by the Chrysalid tape and the Snow Crash digital release. We were really happy to see him list a bunch of records that were on our shortlist but haven’t made it onto the final list.

10 Releases That Reaffirmed My Love of Electronic Music

As I look back, 2012 was an interesting year for Electronic music. A year filled with older artists and legends emerging from their past with material that is equal to their revered respective early bodies of work. In the midst of revisiting those artists that never really “lost it”, we visited with emerging young artists who found strong voices in the wild. These are the ten releases that I found to be particularly inspirational in their composition and sound throughout 2012.

Carter Tutti Void: Transverse [Mute Records]
Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti are giants of electronic composition. They continue to weave around boundaries and style, displaying their prowess as they swim to the top decades into their career. I was intrigued and mystified when I read that they would be collaborating with Nik Void from the amazing Factory Floor. I honestly didn’t know what to expect but I had hoped the end result would knock my socks off. Transverse is everything that is right about industrial music and much, much more.

Sand Circles: Motor City [Not Not Fun Records]
Martin Herterich has accomplished a feat that few artists in the field of electronic music rarely capture: taking the tools of the past and turning those sounds into lush futuristic lullabies. A beautiful release and I wait impatiently to hear future work from this project.

Ital: Hive Mind [Planet Mu]
I’ve had a difficult time choosing between the albums Hive Mind and Dream On in regards to which one I think is stronger. I love them both but the track “First Wave” is a track I return to over and over again. Both releases resonated with me passionately and I think Ital is truly breaking the rules in house composition.

Demdike Stare: Elemental [Modern Love]
This latest transcendental record grooves on swelling fat melodies to create meditations on love while furthering the exploratory theme of sonic darkness.

VCMG: SSSS [Mute Records]
Martin Gore and Vince Clark get together to make modular techno madness. The fulfillment of the dreams of all Depeche Mode fans around the world to see these two legends finally team back up to create stunning music.

X-TG: Desertshore/The Final Report [Industrial Records]
I met this release with a little bit of sadness when I realized this will probably be the last release with new compositions from Sleazy. Throbbing Gristle, and related projects, is the reason why I create and make music. They have never let me down and they certainly exceeded my expectations on this release.

Dylan Ettinger: Lifetime of Romance [Not Not Fun Records]
A vastly underrated release that should have received more attention than it did. Natural progressions splayed out in “Metamatic” landscapes to create a strange dystopian ride.

Laurel Halo: Quarantine [Hyperdub]
This is absolutely futuristic music to me and I absolutely love the vocals. I had the pleasure of seeing her perform once and it left a very positive impression.

Mushy: Breathless [Mannequin]
This release is a beautiful late night stunner for those waiting for an expansive take on the more electronic side of 4AD. I suspect that 2013 will be a very good year for this artist.

Survive: Survive [Mannequin]
These Austin, TX slow burners command their analog alchemy into a prophetic, obsessive post-apocalyptic frenzy. Whatever you do, don’t miss seeing these guys perform live if they come anywhere close to where you live.

Xander Harris on FB.

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