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Twlichty's Best Of The Best, 2012

2012 was an interesting year for me, to say the least. I've been through more this year than rrI have in my entire life and these albums remain as snapshots throughout the crazy ride. I've rrswitched colleges, moved cities, produced two albums with my band Solterra, schooled full rrtime, worked full time and partied half the time. I've lost plenty of friends and gained plenty rrof new ones but through all of this, music has always been there. For some of us, music is rrthe single greatest factor in determining who we are or what we do. Whether you create rrmusic as a hobby like I do, or just enjoy watching that record collection grow exponentially rrrover the years, music will always be there for us no matter what happens. List is not in rrorder.

FREE JAZZ. 4/5_ Nice Covers
49Author & Punisher
Ursus Americanus

48Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d city

HIP-HOP. 4.6/5_ No surprise, Kendrick Lamar ruled hip-hop in 2012 due to his skill of
blending old and new on good kid, m.A.A.d city. Lamar's influences are obviously shown
but that does not detract from the originality and cunning that he possesses.
Smierc w miekkim futerku

AVANT GARDE JAZZ. 4.8_ One of the most diverse and enthralling jazz recordings in
recent memory.
Departure Songs

POST-ROCK/AMBIENT 4.6/5_ The most beautiful album I've heard this year. Simple
guitar lines blend with layers of atmosphere made up of synths and reverb soaked
drums to create cinematic experience.

POST-PUNK. 4.3/5_ This became an album that I could throw on at any time, simply
to put me in a good mood. I love the unorthodox recording techniques used, which
puts the excellent guitar lines at the forefront of the mix with quieter effects-
soaked vocals in the distance, creating a surreal backdrop.
All We Love We Leave Behind

HARDCORE. 4.4/5_ Not much to be said about this that hasn't already, but
dammmmn Converge has obviously still got it. Some points of this album are just
bone crunching.
43Flying Lotus
Until the Quiet Comes

AVANT GARDE ELECTRONIC. 4/5_ Flying Lotus finally mellows out after the cerebral-
busting, schizoid-trip that was Cosmogramma, and it suits him well. Until the Quiet
Comes succeeds because it is an record that is much easier to listen to; instead of
Flylo cramming too much in your ears at once, UTQC flows and grooves into a great
addition to Flylo's already stunning discography.
42Andy Stott
Luxury Problems

DEEEP DARK TECHNO. 3.9/5_ There isn't an electronic producer around with the
incredible knack for creating tension filled build ups like Stott can. Some of the
"drops" in these songs are just plain scary.
41Submotion Orchestra

DUBSTEP. 3.7/4_ In 2011, Submotion Orchestra took everything we knew about or
expected from dubstep, and threw us a much needed curve ball with Finest Hour.
The album was, in most ways, and electronic lovers dream and gave the genre a
breath of fresh air. With Fragments, Submotion Orchestra continue doing what
they do best, but sadly this leads to an album that does not showcase enough
innovation and expansion from Finest Hour to create replay value. While still an
enjoyable release, Fragments became the sophomore slump of 2012.
40 Clubroot

DUBSTEP. 4.7/5_ Clubroot ends his epic trilogy with a bang and delivers his most
cohesive and engaging album yet. Top-notch production and the lowest bass of
the year made this one of 2012's gems.
Eighty One

TRIP-HOP 3.9/5_ Yppah was a surprising find in 2012. This up and coming
producer's debut album poses incredible potential for the future and even though
some of the ideas here are not quite fully realized, I look forward to hearing what's
The Woods

ORGANIC ELECTRONIC 3.8/5_ Intriket takes everything he learned from his 2011 EP
and goes further than anyone imagined.

ALT ROCK 3.6/5_ Nice return to form from Anberlin.
36Frank Ocean
Channel Orange

R&B 3.9/5_ Thank god we had something good to listen to after OF tape 2 crap.
35Ital Tek
Nebula Dance

UM.... 3.6/5_ Ok, I'll admit it.. i was hoping and praying this would be Midnight
Colour Pt.2. Well, it's not and it's about as opposite as Ital Tek could get from
what I hoped for. That being said, it is still an enjoyable effort while we wait for
his next masterpiece.
34Sorrow (UK)
Art is Dead

DUBSTEP. 4.3/5_ This EP has it all. Top notch production techniques, excellent
samples, dirty bass and clean and atmospheric highs. Sorrow is the must-watch
producer in 2013.
33Koan Sound
The Adventures of Mr. Fox

DUBSTEP. 3.7/5_ Sometimes it's nice to take a step away from the artsy and
intellectual forms of 2-step and Garage music and just enjoy some funky danceable
The Void

PROG ROCK 3.9/5_ The prog titans return with another excellent album.
31Circa Survive
Violent Waves

POST-HARDCORE. 3.8/5_ Violent Waves is an interesting album when compared to
others in Circa's great discography. On Violent Waves, Circa Survive chose to
produce, market and distribute the album on their own, without any help from a
major label. This move obviously translates into the music, making for a more
aggressive and experimental approach (even for Circa standards). While Blue Sky
Noise was polished to a shine, Violent Waves is dirty, abrasive and harder to follow.
Clockwork Angels

PROG ROCK. 4.2/5_ Rush's triumphant return Clockwork Angles is a wonderfully
entertaining album that showcases a revitalized trio dishing out some of their
heaviest material ever.
Sunshine Girls

2-STEP/AMBIENT. 3.8/5_ Side project from the incredible dubstep group Swarms
and comparisons can easily be made. This EP is definitely a grower and deserves
the attention of any electronic enthusiast.
Low Sun

AMBIENT ELECTRONIC. 3.5/5_ An obvious disappointment when compared to Old
Raves End, but there are still some good ideas at work here.
Separate Realities

PROGRESSIVE. 4.5/5_ A mind bending fusion of progressive rock and jazz that makes
for one of the best albums of the year. Each of the three musicians present have
complete control over their instrument and absolutely shred. It's nice to hear Dan
Briggs of Between the Buried and Me able to showcase his talents. For once he is not
buried between high gain guitars and guttural vocals.

STONER ROCK 3.7/5_ Torche has always been a fun stoner band to follow and they
are truly talented song writers.
25Beach House

DREAM-POP. 4/5_ A calming and soothing album that builds off of their promising
debut in every way.

PROG METAL. 4/5_ In my opinion this is the best thing Meshuggah has done. Heavy
music is very hit or miss for me, but Meshuggah delivers on all fronts with Koloss.
Seeing the band live really solidified my opinion of them after they crushed the
audience with some of the most brutal sounds I've heard. Demiurge will go down as
one of the heaviest songs ever.

ELECTRONIC/CHILLWAVE. 4/5_ Some of the best beats of the year and the definition
of chill.
22If These Trees Could Talk
Red Forest

POST-ROCK. 3.8/5_ Repeated listens show a well-thought out take on the genre.
Building An Ark

REGGAE. 4.1/5_ By far the best Reggae release of the year consists of soulful vocals,
groovy bass and exotic horn lines. Reggae hasn't been this stimulating since the days
of Marley.
Celestial Light Beings

GARAGE. 3.8/5_ Another decent into the dark realms of depression from Desolate.

DEEP TECHNO. 4/5_ Members of Monolake are software engineers for the DAW Ableton,
so we can always expect sounds we have never heard with each new Monolake release.
Some parts of this album were even recorded above 20 khz (for you production nerds
you know that this is above the threshold of human hearing) and pitched down to audible
levels to create truly haunting sounds.
18Pond (AU)
Beard, Wives, Denim

PSYCHEDELIC. 4.3/5_ The side project from Tame Impala delivers even better than
17John Talabot

HOUSE. 4/5_ Fin takes us on journeys all around the world before diving into another
dimension completely.
16Sithu Aye

PROG METAL 4.2/5_ Isles contains everything a fan of progressive metal could
possibly ask for. From the mathy breakdowns to the delay soaked guitar passages,
Isles packs the punch that most metal bands only dream of.
Electric Sea

PROG ROCK. 4/5_ An excellent album from an artists who's only weakness seems to be
his ridiculous amount of album releases each year. Electric Sea flows like the ocean
and warms the soul like a tropical sunrise.
Lingua Franca

PROG ROCK. 3.9/5_ While not exactly what we might have expected form the
progressive rock supergroup, Lingua Franca still brought an interesting and unheard take
on the genre.
Invisible Ink for Sketching Ghosts

EXPERIMENTAL. 4/5_ Invisible Ink for Sketching Ghosts blends interesting guitar lines
and electronic tracks with vocal samples from movies, television and speeches.
Instead of lyrics, these vocal samples create the emotional context for the songs.

ELECTRONIC. 3.9/5_ A nice switch up from Shlomo.
11Air Tycoon
Winter Purple

ELECTRONIC 3.8/5_ An electronic feast that teases the mind and moves the body.
10The Gathering

ALT ROCK. 4/5_ An excellent straight ahead rock album that contains hidden gems.
9Ernest Gonzales
Natural Traits

HOUSE. 4/5_ This album is definitely a grower that only the patient music lover will
see as a beautiful and diverse dance album.
8Claro Intelecto
Reform Club

HOUSE. 4.2/5_ The smartest house release of the year. You won't find another album
that will make you dance just as much as it makes you think like this one does.

GARAGE. 4.8/5_ Burial takes the genre farther than anyone else could and takes us all
along for the ride.
6Tame Impala

PSYCHEDELIC. 4/5_ Tame Impala chose to switch it up a bit by creating an album more
focused on structure and pop-oriented songs. Gone are the guitar driven jams of
Innerspeaker. Lonerism is an excellent listen for different reasons but I still would have liked
to see an expansion off of their near perfect sound on Innerspeaker.
5Captain Murphy

EXPERIMENTS WITH HIP-HOP. 3.8/5_ Oh Flylo you sly dog.
4The Bulletproof Tiger
You Wanna Kiss About it?

MATH-ROCK. 4.1/5_ So technically this came out at the very end of 2011 but since
not enough people know about this, I'm throwing it on here. Bulletproof tiger may be
the best instrumental math-rock band around right now. The style could best be
described as a more excited version of Minus the Bear's Highly Refined Pirates. You'll
find it hard to discover a band that can blend intense technicality with gorgeous
melody like The Bulletproof Tiger can.

AMBIENT/POST-ROCK. 4/5_ Another stunning 2012 release that is similar to Departure
Songs. This is a must have if you enjoy breathtakingly beautiful ambient.
2Smoke Room
Vol. 1

ELECTRONIC. 4/5_ Fill a room up with smoke and bump these beats. You can't go
wrong with this one.
1Led Zeppelin
Celebration Day

HARD ROCK/BLUES. 4/5_Led Zeppelin shows us that they still have the chops (and the
moves) to rock massive audiences and leave us wanting even more. While the
Rolling Stones and The Who overdo it, Zeppelin assures the skeptics that you can
still rock and roll in your late-sixties.
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