20. Vessel 'Order of Noise' (Tri Angle)
Vessel gave us the gift of the perfect soundtrack to those 4AM or later (earlier?) drives home after a long night of having your ears pummeled. 'Order of Noise' will aide in crafting dreams you never thought possible, just fall asleep listening to this album if you don't believe me.
19. JuJu & Jordash 'Techno Primitivism' (Dekmantel)
It takes serious balls to craft a Techno record and put the genre in the title. This is Techno at it's purest: spacious, heavy and sleek.
18. Ricardo Villalobos 'Dependent and Happy' (Perlon)
Perlon is the reason I started to listen to micro-house and minimal. Perlon is also the reason I discovered Ricardo Villalobos. In the last 12 years or so that I've been buying Perlon and Villalobos records. The man has become one of the hottest underground DJs on the planet, playing to massive crowds with an arsenal of clicks and bass lines that would confuse the average music fan. 'Dependent and Happy' is another mind-bending addition to Villalobos mesmerizing catalogue.
17. Mala 'Mala In Cuba' (Brownswood)
As Dubstep in the US continues to evolve into the music that kills plants and rots the eardrums of teens and college kids across the country an album like 'Mala In Cuba' proves there's still hope the genre may retain respect. This record is deep, rhythmic and thick- the way Dubstep should sound.
16. Kendrick Lamar 'good kid, m.A.A.d city' (Interscope/Top Dawg)
With a plethora of Hip-Pop garbage released on a daily basis soaked in Auto-tune and hooks, an album like this warms my soul and reminds me that well crafted, soulful, intelligent Hip Hop still exists. Critics across the music world have likened the album to Hip Hop classics like Aquemini, Black On Both Sides, and, Illmatic- time will only tell but I'm feeling this one will stand up to the test.
15. Godspeed You! Black Emperor 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!' (Constellation)
When a band as unconventional and epic as Godspeed You! makes their fans wait a decade for a new album, they only add to their epic and unconventional nature.
14. Actress 'R.I.P.' (Honest Jon's)
Another dose of House and Techno played through a sewer made of Aluminium. Actress produces musique concrete for the modern world.
13. Cloud Nothings 'Attack On Memory' (Carpark)
My love for 'Indie Rock' has definitely waned over the last few years, mostly due to the fact that much of the Indie music being released lacks the 'Rock' portion of the genre. 'Attack on Memory' is a visceral release and necessary listen for all those 30-somethings out there afraid that the music we grew up listening to was the end of our mosh pit days- and even though it is, we can still admire the pit from afar at shows, sipping on our IPA.
12. Beach House 'Bloom' (Sub Pop)
Gentle and swooning chorus's reach elevated levels on this album that makes 80's bands like Tears for Fears and Cocteau Twins finally get their influential credit due.
11. Holy Other 'Held' (Tri Angle)
In my musical catalogue of favorite bands of all time, quite a few share the home city of Manchester. Holy Other just happens to be the newest addition to my list of Mancunian musicians I love. This album is sensual, intimate and utterly exposes you to the depth of both Holy Other's breadth of emotions and your own.
10. Matthew Dear 'Beams' (Ghostly)
Matthew Dear played one of the best live sets I was able to see throughout 2012. It also marked the 3rd time I was able to play an opening DJ set for the Techno luminary and future-wave front man. Beams continues his journey into avant-pop chugging dance floor experiments and it couldn't make me happier.
09. Kindness 'World, You Need a Change of Mind' (Polydor / Female Energy)
When Trevor Jackson said this act was one of the best live acts he had seen in a minute I had to hear the album. What I got was pure pop perfection and disco swagger. Although early in his career, I am certain as Kindness matures as a musical project the world will continue to change it's mind about the possibilities of pop music.
08. Daphni 'Jiaolong' (Jiaolong)
Dan Snaith is one of the more prolific producers around. His music is always emotive and pristinely produced. 'Jiaolong' is dance music to be enamored with.
07. Scuba 'Personality' (Hotflush Recordings)
Paul Rose is a player, plain and simple. His Hotflush imprint has taken the piss out of genre pimping the oddest experiments in this post dubstep climate and dominating in all forms 4/4. This year he released another full length to expand our minds and move our feet. This album had some of the heaviest hitting house, techno and future bass released this year.
06. Trust 'TRST' (Arts & Crafts)
All my years of doing the 'frowning toe-sweep' finally regain footing with this synth-drone opus. I opened for the band this Halloween with a set of deep house and dark disco. Then Robert took to the stage with fog machines, eye makeup and flashing lights displaying absolute control over his vision and it's effect on the swaying crowd. Trust live was as good if not better than this debut full length.
05. How To Dress Well 'Total Loss' (Acéphale / Weird World)
Another gorgeous collection of R&B dirges. Heartbreaking and breathtaking all at the same time.
04. Mykki Blanco 'Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss' (UNO)
Perhaps the most unusual artist to hit the scene in sometime. His lyrics are purposeful and poignant. His image is defined, elegant and thuggish. And his debut mix tape is a true testament to the future of hip hop and urban culture. Not to mention one of the best music videos of the year!
03. Legowelt 'The Paranormal Soul' (Clone Jack for Daze Series)
A luminary in the electronic music world, Legowelt sneaks in at the close of 2012 with this staggering selection of perfectly crafted beats. The genre range is so deep and varied on this album there's simply no defining it. This is how I want more dance floors to sound.
02. Frank Ocean 'Channel Orange' (Def Jam)
How can you not love Frank Ocean? He crafts some of the best lyrics I've heard in a very long time. He's as quirky as R. Kelly and as heartbroken as Marvin Gaye. I feel like I've listened to 'Channel Orange' more times start to finish than any album released in 2012.
01. John Talabot 'ƒin' (Permanent Vacation)
The best album of the year by far. Unlike other EDM albums, this record is so well sequenced, so well crafted, so well written; I believe it stands up to other modern classics like 'OK Computer.' No other producer in 2012 was able to release such a brilliant full length and back it up with some of the most phenomenal remixes of the year to boot. If you haven't listened to this album I implore you to.