The best albums, EPs and mixes from the past month.
Laurel Halo gets back on the mic for her beautifully impressionistic third album.
Cédric Dekowski & Felix Reifenberg
The Frankfurt producers show how lush minimal can be.
A mix of new and exclusive tunes that shows off Steffi’s electro side.
Beautiful ambient house with shades of jungle.
The Vancouver producer evokes early Biosphere on this ambient techno album.
Colourful club sounds and sparkly R&B from a Hyperdub mainstay.
Dys Functional Electronic Music
Techno that ventures well beyond the dance floor.
The Berghain resident pulls out some of his oldest favourites in this collection of EBM, industrial and synth pop.
From The Heart, It’s A Start, A Work Of Art
Another dive into the archives of the mysterious Japanese producer yields another album of near-perfect dub techno.
Fit For Purpose
Shawn O’Sullivan combines techno, post-punk and industrial for a blistering ride.
Drum & bass and dub techno come together on this expansive, impressive album.
Grand and adventurous club music.
Broken English Club
The English Beach
Lush, IDM-infused electronica from a white-hot newcomer.
natural / electronic. system.
Deep, intricate techno from the always on-point Tikita label.
Soft and stripped-back deep house.
Blazing fast techno from an artist on the rise.
CS + Kreme / Yu Su
Roast Ghost / Little Forest
Dazed dance music done two ways on this fantastic split cassette featuring transmissions from Melbourne and Vancouver.
Another essential reissue of timeless Icelandic dub techno from the Thule archives.
Like A Thief In The Night
This gently mind-melting EP is one of the best techno releases of the month.
Beautiful ambient techno with remixes from some of the genre’s finest.
Dynamo Dreesen, SVN & A Made Up Sound
The dream team of oddball house returns.
Central Processing Unit
Bet you didn’t know the Commodore64 could make dance floor jams like this.
Let The Church
Ecstatic house and techno like only Floorplan can do.
Water Bomb / Cold New Worlds
Pinch comes correct with an aquatic banger like nothing you’ve heard before.
Abstract yet engaging ambient techno.
The Bunker Podcast 147
Vintage breaks and hardcore with newer favourites sprinkled in, from one of the year’s most talked-about American DJs.
NTS Radio 9th June 2017
The Japanese experimentalist guests on Japan Blues’ show with a selection of dark, oddball dance sounds.
Live at No Way Back – 10th Anniversary
Derek Plaslaiko deep in the zone at home in Detroit for No Way Back.
RA Live at Brilliant Corners
Leftfield house, experimental, ambient—and a little bit of Sade.
Noise In My Head (Live At Inner Varnika)
An hour-long live set of cosmic breaks and ethereal techno, recorded live at an Australian festival (starts at the 56-minute mark).
The Do!! You!!! Breakfast Show
The esteemed Japanese digger appears on the NTS morning show with a typically eclectic, chilled-out selection.
Slow Life Podcast Series 003.4
Warm and elusive house music.
I found a new artist I really like.
Born in 1980 in Metro Detroit and subject to the city’s mid-90’s warehouse parties, Luke Hess has harnessed a deep appreciation for electronic music and the expression of the underground movement. His background in mathematics and engineering has given him a scientific approach to the dance-floor, using frequencies, tones, and soundscapes to transform surroundings and mood.
1. David Sylvian
2. Depeche Mode
3. New Order
4. Saint Etienne
4a. Talk Talk
5. Electronic music
(I really wasn’t able to find a No. 5, so I chose electronic music as a fifth).
Joseph Capriati has been known to shed a tear or two in interviews, but in the booth he’s a picture of calm, mixing punchy techno and swinging tech house with a marksman’s precision. He breaks into our top 30 for the first time.
20.It’s natural to focus on the visceral intensity of a techno set, but Rødhåd treats the task with surprising delicacy. Sure, he dishes out huge slabs of immense, hypnotic music, but there’s a sensitivity to the way he combines sonic elements that has become his signature as a DJ. Running up to four decks at a time, he custom builds his blends and drops, controlling the dynamics and energy with a degree of focus that works as well in dark basements as it does on festival stages.
19.You can tell how good Hunee is by watching the DJ who’s coming on after him. Though the Amsterdam-based selector cuts a wholesome-looking figure—he’s known to sip tea and wear sandals in the booth—to his peers he can be intimidating. Every second of his sets, from his trademark Pointer Sisters intro, to the wonderful stew of house, disco, soul, Latin and African music that follows, earns cheek-puffing admiration and facial expressions that say, ‘How am I supposed to follow that?’
18.It’s easy to underestimate the importance of the energy a DJ projects. Whether he’s playing gargantuan festivals or an Ibiza afterhours, Jamie Jones still enjoys every transition, bassline and hi-hat with the zeal of a young raver. That enthusiasm is palpable to the audience, giving the sense that, despite his status, he’s very much on their level. Even as his career matures to encompass performances with the Colombia National Symphony Orchestra, Jones is loved for his tireless commitment to the dance.
17.Chris and Steve Martinez aren’t twins—they’re three years apart—but hearing them DJ, you might think they are. In their track selections, their transitions, their dance moves in the booth, they appear synced in a way that seems almost supernatural. Maybe that’s not surprising given their journey so far, with all those countless back-to-backs at clubs and festivals around the world. By now they’re in a groove few DJs can touch, and it’s kept them near the top of this list year after year.
16.In 2016, Ben Klock reminded us what he really is: a DJ fanatic, obsessed with making each set better than the last. Every year, we talk about his work ethic, precision mixing and ability to whip dance floors into a frenzy, and each year he finds a way to take things a little further—be it with a busier schedule, new tricks in the mix or fresh ways to work a crowd. Ten years into his career, he often finds himself playing for screaming crowds in massive clubs and festivals, but his subtle touch remains the same.
15.Ollie Jones’ transformation, from dubstep’s biggest DJ to a genuine force in house and techno, is now complete. He could have got there on a slipstream of nepotism, calling in favours from friends, but instead he stayed humble and worked extremely hard. This has meant learning to become a much subtler DJ. Finding his feet in the studio with a new sound. Ignoring the inevitable online backlash. And with the extra scrutiny that came with the switch, he’s had to make sure that each time he plays, he smashes it.
14.If 2016 has told us anything about dance music, it’s this: everybody, from your mum to your milkman, has a soft spot for Carl Cox. The closing of his residency at Space Ibiza, followed by the club’s own finale two weeks later, caused a furore rarely seen in our world. But Cox has always stood alone. Who else can light up a dance floor with a jig? Or make you feel warm inside just by flashing a toothy grin?
13.As the jazz great Charlie Parker once said: “Master your instrument, master the music, and then forget all that shit and just play.” On a good night, no DJ channels that advice better than Ricardo Villalobos. Throwing the faders around, swerving unpredictably from one record to the next, framing a dazzling mosaic of different sounds—techno, electro, synth pop, jazz—within his classic style of tripped-out minimal house, his sets have a wild, mad scientist quality that entrances dance floors year after year after year.