This last month saw a plethora of quality releases ranging from international to local
In a month that saw releases from electronic music heavy-hitters like Bicep, Lunice and Mount Kimbie, it was the lesser anticipated albums that proved superior. Here are the top electronic albums of September 2017.
John T. Gast – INNA BABALON (Haunter Records)
Originally released in May 2016 on cassette in an outrageously limited run of only 100 copies, INNA BABALON was revived this month in the form of a (slightly less) limited edition run of 300 12-inch vinyl pressings. Trying to pinpoint all the influences on this record is as challenging as obtaining a hard copy. Hints of dub can be made out in tracks like “Babi Calling” and “Surman,” while percussion is forgotten altogether in the nearly neoclassical “Those Secluded Preferences.” Gast’s stuttering drums and distorted synth cuts sound all too natural next to soothing harp cords and warm bongo percussion. Haunter Records has a knack for putting out top-notch experimental works, and INNA BABALON is undoubtedly one of their top releases to date.
Ninos du Brasil – Vida Eterna (Hospital Productions)
Latin-infused, Euro-style techno from an Italian duo under the name Ninos du Brasil? If that’s a lot to think about, a listen to their newest full-length, Vida Eterna, should clear your thoughts. There’s absolutely nothing complicated about Ninos du Brasil’s pure and rhythmic dance music, making for a relatively calming take on industrial techno. While at times quite dark and haunting, there’s an inherent warmth to the music. This is present in the form of lively ambient layers of rainforest soundscapes and batucada-style vocals and rhythms. Admittedly not the most versatile of albums, each track on Vida Eterna certainly boasts a specific type of dance floor functionality. The album as a whole, though, is singular enough to demand a full listen through. Or two. Or 10.
Steffi – World Of The Waking State (Ostgut Ton)
Panorama Bar resident Steffi took a step away from the dance floor for her latest LP, World of the Waking State. Instead, she sets a new standard for modern IDM production. While staying true to the Ostgut Ton sound, Steffi’s newest work is alive with sounds that seem almost too natural to be produced by her wide array of synthesizers. On “Continuum of the Mind,” deep and distant bassline hits clash with soft and melodic synth waves to create a sense of blissful disconnection, while the electro-infused “Schools of Thought” comes across as driven and full of intent. The album’s ability to create an environment through sound is truly its greatest asset. Each song seems to incorporate visuals of a new, simultaneously natural-yet-robotic ecosystem of sound. Steffi is no stranger to working a Berlin dance floor (look to her Resident Advisor podcasts for evidence), and while any track off World of the Waking State has the potential to move a crowd, the album, as a complete work, is no doubt a contender for electronic album of the year. Needless to say, Steffi has found her sound.
SLEAZY – From Quebec With Love (Tag Out)
A collaborative work from Montrealers Marie Davidson and Ginger Breaker, From Quebec With Love is likely the first dance music record that doubles as “an ode to the rural and suburban Quebec experience,” as stated on the group’s Bandcamp page. The duo dabbles in undeniably Québécois themes, be it through the twisted and panicked chords of the aptly titled “Cauchemar Administratif,” or the complaints of an unsatisfied Montreal party-goer in “Rave Melancholie.” The album peaks at its second-to-last track, “Sex Jam,” a sensual, yet forceful, certified dance floor killer—one that wouldn’t seem out of place whatsoever at a defunct Mile-End basement party. While the grinding synths present throughout the album fall on the more aggressive end of the spectrum, there’s something unquestionably fun about the work as a whole. Most of the fun, however, likely derives from the record’s capacity to relate to Quebec listeners, which is why From Quebec With Love hasn’t exactly been making waves outside of the province.
Honorable Mention: Yves Tumor – Experiencing The Deposit Of Faith (Unreleased)
Although not technically an album, Yves Tumor’s latest collection of songs is a true showing of the Tennessee-born, Turin-based artist’s versatility. From the uncomfortable, distorted noise on “Child of Rage” to a warm and cozy contemporary R&B tune “Anya’s Loop,” Yves Tumor produced a compilation that, if given a proper release, could rival the success of his 2016 experimental masterpiece, Serpent Music.