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An Education: Electronic

This time, recommend me anything with an electronic slant, no matter the subgenre. Speaking of, since this is dubbed the "education" series, please provide the sub-genre in your rec so I can better grasp what defines these different styles of music -- as I often find them hard to distinguish between when it comes to electronic (e.g. what the fuck is the different between deep house and trance i literally have no idea even if i have listened to plenty of both lol). As always, I'll write a description and provide a rating outta 10. Thanks. ALBUM RECS. ONE PER PERSON.
1Four Tet
New Energy


I'm a bit more well-versed in electronic, but I'm still a long way from where I'd like to be.
2Ishome
Eva
3Doss
Doss
4Blondes
Warmth
5Laszlo Dancehall
LZD IV
6Skrillex
Recess


Dubstep.
Ramon.

Search results come up with: "Michael Bay's brain uploaded to a computer".

This album is busy and I'm taking it too seriously. I am taking its thinly veiled Caribbean 'influences' too seriously; I am taking its bass-drop-lead-into-bass-drop formula too seriously; I am taking Ramon's rec too seriously. But there's some merit here: the hooks and the beats are incongruous but not grating (usually), and the percussive elements melt into the melodies they support. It's a laugh, it's a joke, it's alright.

6.2/10.
7Vladislav Delay
Anima


"Glitchy Ambient Dub."
Sniff.

Search results come up with: "Lightning occasionally strikes the still lake."

Anima is one formless, screen-tearing, eternally progressing piece of music. Layers grate over each other shyly, coyly, while a foundation of blossoming synthwork keeps it all from falling into unformation. It's easy to see why this could be dubbed 'glitch'; it refuses to walk in straight lines, with a sequencing as graceful as it is confused and clumsy. It's perfect, I think, for a lazy day, because it's passive enough to fade into the background, but engaging enough to reel you back in during those moments where activity goes wandering off.

7.5/10.
8Ephera
Ongaku


"Japanese Influenced."
Scuro.

Search results come up with: "Reliving Japanese New Year on Groundhog Day".

There is not much subtlely in beginning a record with the roar of a giant cat. Then again, thematic nuance isn't really present throughout this EP; when Scuro said "japanese influenced", he meant it. It's impressive still how convincing the colour palette on this record is: if I didn't know Ephera operated in Sydney, I'd fall unquestionably for the notion that those fluttering harps -- buried as they are under rapturous bass -- came from feudal Japan. I've clearly never been to Asia.

7.3/10.
9Space Art
Space Art


Space Pop.
Unique.

Search results come up with: "Advertisement jingles of the third kind."

This is what people in the past thought the future would sound like. Here are tales of electricity conducting water and water conducting an orchestra of sounds that somehow break through the vacuum of space. Space Art casts a great shadow with this album, expanding without even realizing, eclipsing whatever lightness they accidentally induce using ominous synth flourishes and even more unsettling bass warbles. It's somehow grand and introverted; oxymoronic even in the respect that it breathes life into itself. I mean, that may be so (it certainly feels cyclical) but to say that it "breathes" doesn't feel true -- it's too cold and metallic to make music which exhales oxygen.

7.1/10.
10Stendeck
Sonnambula


Industrial/IDM/"Rick and Morty-tier Dance Music"
Ephemeral.

Search results come up with: "Broken kaleidoscope, found in gutter on a rainy day."

This record does its utmost to ingratiate itself with the listener as soon as possible. For all its glitching and for all the smoke that seeps out from its loose edges, Sonnambula is not short on its share of wonderment. I think its because the glitching -- always in the foreground -- bounces off the celestial synthwork as if spurred on by its presence. The two elements should be at odds, but they weave around each other in a way that implies a profound understanding of contrast; the foil elucidating the protagonist's most easy-to-empathise-with characteristics. Zampieri remains in that contrary state: too lucid to ever be a sleepwalker, too scrupulous to let his compositions wander off without purpose.

7.6/10.
11Porter Ricks
Anguilla Electrica


Minimal/Dub.
Aaron.

Search results come up with: "The cold, mechanical fly on the wall."

This is labeled 'minimal' but it feels like it's trying so hard to break out of that cage. From the title track, the pulse, the inveterate bass-drum, is certainly gentle and certainly minimal, but the dub-typical synthwork scratches mischievously across the surface. And, deeper still, this record dabbles expertly in the time/decay paradigm -- proving an intriguing experiment in how these patterns (the rigidity of it all; the pulse that never changes) seem to shift and take different, illusory forms as one minute slips into the next. The changes here are ever-so-subtle -- like a glitch emerging in the most certain of places -- but they keep one floating in Porter Ricks' carefully constructed orbit.

8/10.
12Autechre
Confield


IDM.
Asleep.

Search results come up with: "Sleeping in a safety net."

Confield wants you to think it's cold and aloof and emotionless and mechanical, but it can't help but let its soul shine through its metallic exterior. It's very clearly a labour of love and -- to me at least -- it fittingly seems to portray love in unconventional ways: Cfern's stutter-step is all wry humour, Pen Expers' paint-at-a-wall landscape is a the dovetail of eccentricity and selfless affection. Its eyes snap open in the most unexpected places; just when you think you've come to know the nooks and crannies of the record, it reveals new ones for you to nestle into. I've heard a couple of Autechre records in my time, but this may have just skipped its way into pole position.

8.3/10.
13Luomo
Vocalcity


Microhouse//Deep House
Ryus.

Search results come up with: "A rave at the library."

This feels like one of those late-night mixes that spill out the car window and onto the empty road at two o'clock in the morning; the same ones wherein a radio DJ will chime in every twenty minutes to enthusiastically tell you what you're listening to. But, there's more flourishes to be had here, more distinctive melodies to compete with the simple-yet-commanding bass drum/hi-hat patterns that run through this thing like a stark exoskeleton. Hooks -- good hooks, mind -- are buried in the mix and discarded at will (check between the 15 and 17 minute marks), like Luomo is treating them only as textures that commit to a vibe instead of just becoming one. On another note: some of these beats are so colourful that they outshine the sequences that come before them, and to me the record feels a tad uneven as a result.

7.2/10.
14Kashiwa Daisuke
Program Music I


Classical/Post-Rock w/ -- I presume -- heavy electronic influences.
Marehelm.

Search results come up with: "Beauty/Romance/Plot-hole"

I once described an album -- similar to this but not at all similar to this -- as "post-rock with the screen tearing", as if I knew exactly what that sounded like. I didn't then, but I do now. Program Music means long, meandering pieces that second guess their own grace; it means a dismantling of classical music; it means leaving out mistakes in the finished product would be a mistake. Though it's necessary, now, to stretch the boundaries of what constitutes a spot in this list, I guess I'm willing for something that soars and resonates like this thing. Points deducted, but not many.

8.4/10.
15Ricardo Villalobos
Alcachofa


Minimal Techno.
Sinternet.

Search results come up with: "Artificial intelligence and a botched sleep experiment."

Well, this is hypnotic. This record's pulse isn't one to keep it alive but one to put you to sleep. The percussion is more an uncertain flicker than a steady scaffold for the melodies to rest on, which means the keyboards/synths have to take it slow, feeling out for the broken glass and pitfalls buried deep underneath the seductive snare patterns that throw this record so out of shape. I didn't expect to like this as much as I did. I have no reason to be so cynical, and as of this album, I refuse to be going forward.

8.5/10.
16Byzar
Gaiatronyk vs. The Cheap Robots


Illbient(?)
Nero.

Search results come up with: "The crash and the afterglow."

This atmosphere is tangible enough that I could probably read it in braille, whatever that means. It's both constructed and punctuated by beats that walk in circles, with every heavy step emphasised by the snap of a snare. Though is clangs and it creases at its centre, the record still has a flow to it -- fitting one piece's circle into the next's square. Example: Zyphyr's underwater wailing precedes Vyrzyn Z's turbulent ascent to the surface, making for a continuity as seamless -- though fluctuating -- as the pattern on the cover art.

7.4/10.
17Haywyre
Two Fold - Part 1


House/IDM.
Toondude.

Search results come up with: "(Elec)t(r)onic."

I think I just like pianos. I think I just like lots of things going on at once. I think I just like music that synthesizes its elements without me noticing. Two Fold treats every moment with the awe and wonderment it deserves, and a lot of this feels like the most self-aware dubstep i've ever heard (The Schism's bass-drops seem, in a way, like an exercise in restraint; never do they devolve into curdled and muddied fuck-abouts). The transitions are seamless; indeed, Dichotomy (Soft Mix) ironically keeps the dichotomy concealed, and the production leaves so much room for me to swim around in.

8.2/10.
18Stimming
Alpe Lusia


Deep House.
Sounds.

Search results come up with: "The front door."

So this is what deep house sounds like. I could do much, much worse as far as entry points go. Alpe Lusia is pleasant and lovely and all those things, but it has a wry sense of humour to it which evokes a weird kind of self-awareness. Pressing Plant is cutesy and coy until it's smothered by an ominous drone half-way through, and then when it reverts back to that pulsating beat, something is off, like there's loose nuts and bolts rattling away inside the box. But Stimming rounds off the edges to these compositions so as to keep up appearances; here are stunning and profound (one might say 'deep') house pieces that still somehow shake and rattle at their core, and this record is intoxicating for the fact.

8.7/10.
19Matmos
Ultimate Care II


Musique Concrete/IDM.
Friv.

Search results come up with: "Dirty laundry."

I thought I was in for an album with a minimalist cynosure, but Ultimate Care II is unsettling in its density and scatterbrained nature. So, as soon as that spin cycle introduction made its first revolutions I googled this record's origins, discovering that -- in fact -- this is "experimental" music in the most pure sense. It's a dance record for people with childlike imaginations -- for people who start tapping their feet to the sound of a jammed printer, and for people who twist ideas into gifts. Mainly I'm just upset that Matmos have structured a record around a washing machine when I can't even write one with actual instruments but like i'm okay guys it's fine hahah nah i'm good.

8/10.
20Voices From The Lake
Voices From The Lake


Ambient Techno.
Chortles.

Search results come up with: "Lenticular printing."

I swear I can feel this progress and change but I will never be able to tell you when it happens. Even the transition from Iyo to Vega -- which, as I'm only just noticing on my third listen -- is heralded by a jittery, syncopated kick drum, seems to slip into the scene like an unnoticed late arrival. Like water, this record takes the shape of wherever it is contained; right now it's morphed into a dark and cavernous room, kicking up sparks in a fireplace that hasn't been used since before I was born, breathing life behind the eyes of the portrait hanging up on the wall. Lovely.

8.7/10.
21David Sylvian
Blemish


Ambient/Glitch/Free Improv.
Frip.

Search results come up with: "The neurotic narrator and the post-post-apocalyptic landscape."

Vocal driven glitch/improv is such a niche, it seems, that I never even considered its existence, and so -- right from the start -- this was alien and eerie. The constantly reverberating synths and the distant explosions of guitar are the perfect backdrop for Sylvian's despondent soliloquys, detailing a marriage dissolving in the same way his compositions do: slowly, falling further away from the source, falling "outside of her", as it were. This is improvised in the purest sense: the guitar in The Good Son is so wonderfully wrong, and everywhere the melodies are slippery and intangible. But that quality, conflated with the abstract sadness that graces the runtime, lends to this a very raw feeling, holding up a cracked and dirty mirror to Sylvian's marital decay.

8.1/10, but I can see this growing as I come to understand it more.
22Perfume
Triangle


Electro-pop.
Abe.

Search results come up with: "Just because."

It's a testament to the rest of this list that this is getting a relatively low score, because, truth be told, it's fun as fuck. I doubt this thing means anything but a chance to dance the dust off your soles, but it should be that way. The bass falls heavy to the floor and the synths pinball around with the appropriate amount of childish exuberance, especially on cuts like NIGHT FLIGHT. On another day, accompanying another scene, this could reach into deep eight territory, but right now I'm content with the score. I guess I've found the only triangle in the world without a point.

7.6/10.
23Burger / Ink
Las Vegas


Ambient/Dub Techno.
L4t.

Search results come up with: "He's behind me, isn't he?"

Maybe it's a scattered and naive mind that ties these two threads together, but Las Vegas seems to do what Vocalcity sets out to: it's a fleet-flooted yet patient piece of work that graces moon-drenched highway roads as if that alone was what it was created for. There's a muted kind of quality that pervades this record, blanketing the rhythm section (see: Milk and Honey). In turn, the atmosphere is one that creeps up without remark or scene, before anchoring itself in a rather contemplative state-of-mind. It is, I guess, a good soundtrack to the existential questions that find their entry point the minute you decide to try and sleep.

8.4/10.
24Pan Sonic
Kesto (234:48:4)


Power Noise/Minimal Techno.
Avangantamos.

Search results come up with: "Merciless."

I couldn't finish this whole. It's long, clanging, overbearing; so much so that the quietest moments made me the most nervous -- for what might be skulking around the corner, behind the lone sparkler of Riimu? the spit and stammer of Keskeisvoima? But of course this is an exercise in endurance; endurance I don't have, mind you, but it's this kind of music that becomes the most rewarding the more time passes. Every sitting, I feel my immunity building up: proof that, for every time Linjat's minimalist landscape of sine waves (?) stretches your patience, the more patient you actually become. I wouldn't call this a grower; it's filled the space it's been allocated already, but I would call it a challenger -- rearing its head in unexpected places to question the partitions between enjoyment and conditioning.

Started around 5.5, now more a 7. Possible updates to come.
25Justice


French House.
Will.

Search results come up with: "The cocktail bar is just by the altar."

What better way to establish your purview than with a track like Genesis. It sets the framework here nicely: the power-pop piano chords, the bold declarations in the form of compressed, shooting-star synthlines, and everything is anchored down by that bass-snare-bass-snare pattern. The whole record seems to stretch simple formulas to their batshit limits; underneath the insanity that Newjack presents, you can hear the jazzy 7th chords and considered beatwork from whence the chaos came, and it's how -- I presume -- this album can weather the course between the bedroom and the club floor with relative ease. Jams hard.

8.5/10.
26The Field
From Here We Go Sublime


Minimal Techno.
Dinosaur.

Search results come up with: "Using initiative."

All together now: rating is a pain in the ass. This vaguely feels like my favourite thing, though for something labeled "minimal techno" this isn't what I'd expect. Over The Ice -- and its fluttering, heart-racing urgency -- introduces this thing as a restless and anxious experience. Like it's terrified of losing your attention, here is the listener trailing behind the music for once, and we are rewarded in spades for keeping close enough: stunning, chopped-up vocal samples cloaked in reverb, distorted bass that rises and falls like a hyperventilating chest; this has the hallmarks of a record that makes the first move on its audience. Then good first impressions carry into a comfortable knowingness of the flourishes that FHWGS presents, and you become content to follow its lead -- one which is confident, as it retreads and retraces the path its taken so many times before.

8.9/10.
27DJ Sprinkles
Midtown 120 Blues


Deep House.
Lucid.

Search results come up with: "First day orientation."

Terre Thaemlitz deals with the immersive, and Midtown is no exception: its runtime concerns itself solely with evoking moments in time. I -- through extensive (see: around two minutes) research -- have discovered that the album deals specifically with engendering the New York house scene in first person, living through/in the perspectives of minority groups as the scene's beginnings are ignored and covered up like a palimpsest of trans experiences and struggles. It traces familiar ground with its bass/hi-hat patterns and minimal soundscapes, but feels deeper than most somehow, whether it be through the samples of Thaemlitz' own narration, or the atmosphere that reveals itself eventually -- one of a lost dancefloor, with a DJ playing distant house music to an audience of dust and buried recollections of what was

8.6/10.
28Derrick May
Innovator


Techno.
SoR.


I've found something I don't think I'll return to, but it's by no means bad, and I struggle to articulate why I find Innovator forgettable. May lets us have it with the first track, as it unfurls sort of gradually like a map on a roll of parchment, but the rest -- to me -- feels like a variation on a few select themes: this one is the skittish, throttled techno track, this one is skittish, throttled techno track but instead it's eerie. I feel like it's paper thin, stuck in a rigid routine that doesn't unveil as much as I'd hoped on repeat listens. There are some nice sounds here, though.

5.9/10.
29Arsene Souffriau
experiences BIMES


Musique Concrete/Electro-Acoustic/Electronic.
Hal.

Search results come up with: "A Silent Hill Light Show."

I'm getting sci-fi horror vibes, dense with atmosphere, laced with tension. But it's everywhere; this isn't such a world seen from a first-person perspective, it's the minute details from every corner funneled into the same space. Here's a billowing wind; here's a drone surveying an empty street for survivors; here's one of those survivors breathing heavily in a dark corner. The music writhes and struggles for support in the absence of any percussive elements at times, and breathes with a quiet life of its own. Not for entertainment, for accompaniment.

8.2/10.
30Emptyset
Borders


Minimal Techno.
Dewinged.

Far be it from the quietest corners of experiences BIMES, Borders needles its way closer to the epicentre - to where all things are created and incinerated. It's the clamping of industrial machinery punctuated by flashes of harsh light. There are moments of melody occasionally scratching their way out from the drone, with clawing fingers and heavy breath; I can hear the desperate pleas of something lovely and pleasant behind the hulk and stutter of Retrieve. But, mostly, Borders makes certain catching your breath is no easy task. Consider me exhausted and therefore, impressed.

7.9/10.
31Son Lux
At War With Walls And Mazes


Trip Hop.
Wren.

Search results come up with: "readjust"

Up with the cliche; this record feels like the first day of spring. The reveal: about half way through Weapons -- it sheepishly takes a step out into sunlight. The result: a sly, confident record once the cobwebs are cleared from its canals; a rendezvous point between organic instrumentation and electronic flourishes. The reaction: I am both set in a groove and caught in an introspective headspace. I think this album treats the people around it like puzzles, and what better steady footing than beats that scratch and warble without losing their places for a second. At War With Walls and Mazes is both moving and ready to be moved.

8.8/10.
32Prefuse 73
Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives


Glitch Hop.
Wolfe.

Search results come up with: "Laziness is not good enough."

I've tuned in for the first time in forever to find that this one's a frequency that never stops. Vocal samples are cut-up and shuffled into a messy yet colourful collage that still makes sense irrespective of its chaotic facade. Mikah 9's feature provides a challenge for Scott Herren's beat; the two elements chase each other around the allotted space with a Tom and Jerry urgency, and it's the kind of subdued freneticism that's emblematic of the record in its entirety. It's a skittish entity using its energy to propel itself from a bygone era to the current one. Lovely.

8.7/10.
33Lilacs and Champagne
Danish and Blue


Trip Hop.
Caiman.

Search results come up with: "Bringing about the meaning of those blessed words: peace and love."

For the intrepid, but for those who prefer their adventures to travel inward. The crackle of the fireplace is but the perfect accompaniment to your introspection, and it's forever playing on the edge, enhancing the smoky, late night atmosphere that coats this thing from the go. Lilacs and Champagne are on amicable terms with wanky guitar music (see: Le Grand), and if one were to conclude that results in ostentation, one would be correct; this thing is showy as all hell. It breaks the boundaries of trip-hop -- a genre often illuminated by mood-lighting -- and opens it up to the histrionics of, say, early nineties b-movie horror soundtracks. What an oxymoron.

7.7/10.
34Digitalism
Idealism


Electroclash.
Dbizzles.
35Metro Area
Metro Area


House.
Croc.
36M83
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming


"Plebtronica" (lol).
Neeka.
37Anamanaguchi
Endless Fantasy


Chiptune.
ZtD (fka DNS).
38 Gui Boratto
Chromaphobia


Tyler
(Genre?)
39DJ Purple Image
Jeanette


Sach
"chopped n screwed tape"

Search results come up with: "Lost"

This is so enveloping. Beneath the cover, different scenes are wrapped up in each other: an empty rave, a roundabout argument, a mid-90s music video, a drunken monologue beneath a dying streetlight. Not to demean or discredit: the way d/p/i synthesises his pieces actually illuminates rather than obfuscates. By suspending them in this woozy dream state, he suggests how they'd play out against hypothetical backdrops. The argument is resolved, the video is modernized, more surreal, and the monologue is drenched in sun and sobriety. Highlight is track 5.

8.7/10.
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