Summarizing something is often quite a subjective process and the same is true for this year’s list of albums and tracks that made an impression. Focus is, as always, on electronic music which also happens to be quite a subjective area, since the definition of electronic music today can be basically anything. Synthesizers and computers are used in more or less any pop-track coming out from Rihanna to K-pop, to techno, to rock. In our summary of 2017 we will primarily focus on electronic music in the shape of electro, electronica, techno, minimal techno and experimental stuff.
The artists, tracks and albums are in random order, but they all have in common that they qualify as high-quality contributions to the electronic music year of 2017.
EMPATHY TEST – Losing Touch/Safe From Harm
The debut album blended elements of 80s melodic pop, New Wave grooves, alongside atmospheric synths that swept the hearts of listeners all across the globe.
“ORCA” – BICEP [NINJA TUNE]
One of the best techno track of the year is pure, euphoric bliss and it comes courtesy of Bicep who dropped their monumental, self-titled LP this past September.
HANNAH PEEL – Mary Casio : Journey To Cassiopeia
Machine Woman // Camile From OHM Makes Me Feel Loved
Taken from ‘When Lobster Comes Home’ released 25th August 2017 via Ninja Tune imprint Technicolour.
SUSANNE SUNDFØR – Music For People In Trouble
While the success of her 2015 album Ten Love Songs managed to raise the profile of Norwegian musician Susanne Sundfør, new album Music For People In Trouble took Sundfør back to her singer-songwriter roots. Although the album boasts some fine electronic flourishes, there’s also more nods to jazz and traditional instrumentation.
“TRIGONOMETRY” – SASHA [WATERGATE]
Sasha’s debut on Watergate came in the form of an epic, two-part release which featured this dashing new composition called “Trigonometry.” A genre-defying, techno-trance-progressive, banger that unravels with a sophisticated, ultra-euphoric breakdown prompting you to close your eyes and sway your hands high up in the air.
GIRL ONE AND THE GREASE GUNS – Night Of The Living Electrical Appliances
Following on from their seven limited edition 7″ singles on Squirrel Records, and the setting up of their own Next Phase : Normal Records label which, as its debut release at the start of 2017, put out “The Strange Little Lines That Humans Draw In The Dust” CD, gathering all of Girl One And The Grease Guns’ recordings up to date…we now bring you “Night Of The Living Electrical Appliances” – a full length, 12 track album release !
Hiding themselves away for a while in their own studio, The Glass Factory, Girl One And The Grease Guns commenced the recording of what was originally going to be a triple album. They then decided that wasn’t a good idea at all. In fact, they don’t really like albums, in general. So, they’re not going to record another one after this. All 12 tracks recorded for this collection, however, were considered to be so satisfactory that they could not resist the urge to release them as a full length debut…and so, that’s what they’ve done.
Ellen Arkbro // For Organ & Brass
For organ and brass is comprised of two works by the Stockholm-based composer Ellen Arkbro. Both works focus on tuning, intonation and harmonic modulation.
ZKI REMIX)” – REINIER ZONNEVELD [STIL VOR TALENT]
Reiner Zonneveld’s 2016 album, Megacity Servant was an massive performance in modern techno that seemed to be untouchable. That is until about five months later when a trio of remixes were released including this especially super-charged, re-rub by the label-boss himself, Oliver Koletzki.
VITALIC – Voyager
The fourth full-length studio release for the French electronic producer features guest appearances from Mark Kerr, Miss Kittin, and David Shaw And The Beat. Voyager draws from a wealth of influences, including nods to the likes of Giorgio Moroder and Cerrone.
“ASTRAL PROJECTION” – ENRICO SANGIULIANO [DRUMCODE]
Enrico Sangiuliano is one of the most promising techno talents on the planet and judging by this kind of production magic on Drumcode, he seems to reserve all his best work just for them.
AUSTRA – Future Politics
The Canadian songwriter and producer’s third album describes a world in which technology alienates us. Its title track – about greed, the “system” and a need to fight evil with empathy – acquires a pointed sense of prophecy through being released on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Laurel Halo // Moontalk
“DESERT RACES” – PLANETARY ASSAULT SYSTEMS [MOTE EVOLVER]
Luke Slater’s legendary Planetary Assault Systems moniker strikes again after 25 years of consistent underground trail-blazing.
THE SOUND OF ARROWS – Stay Free
The Sound of Arrows is a duo comprised of Stefan Storm and Oskar Gullstrand. The singles from the new album “Stay Free” – “Beautiful Life“, and “In The Shade of Your Love“, give two distinctive tastes of what goes on in the album, which basks in both the electronic and pop arenas with aplomb. Melodies twinkle with a sense of wonderment and the overall sound is sonically vast through out. The addition of an orchestra elevates the duo’s dreamy compositions to another level of unworldliness, which accentuates the sense of an almost spiritual cleansing taking place to the most prominent extent.
PIXX – The Age Of Anxiety
“GLUTES” – PATRICE BÄUMEL [AFTERLIFE]
Dutch wonder-producer, Patrice Bäumel had the honor of putting out Afterlife’s 4th edition of music this past May. It was a two-tracker that featured this mind-expanding masterpiece that he simply calls “Glutes.”
Pauline Anna Strom // Mushroom Trip
“EXISTENCE” – SAMA [KRAFTEK]
SAMA is a relatively unknown artist who made his/her debut this past September on Pleasurekraft’s imprint with this pounding, ultra-dramatic, piece of techno titled “Existence.”
Happy new year from the Stereoklang team 🙂