#3 Nicolas Jaar – Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust
Sounding like a follow on to Nick Cave’s Red Right Hand, Too Many Kids Finding Rain in the Dust is the 4th track on Jaar’s 2011 album Space is Only Noise. It was an aptly titled release, as the Chilean-American clearly has a profound understanding of sound design, and the importance of space in a mix. Best listened to on a dark winter’s night.
#2 Sepalcure – Breezin’
Sepalcure are Travis Stewart and Praveen Sharma, both of whom have solo careers of note (Stewart as Machinedrum, Sharma as Braille). Their self-titled album was one of the standout releases of 2011. It’s signature sound was a deft combination of deep bass, house sensibilities, clipped 2-step beats and unintelligible pitched vocal samples. Despite hailing from New York, Sepalcure’s sound bears more resemblance to UK bass music than releases on their native side of the Atlantic.
#1: Clark – Herr Bar
In 2006, Chris Clark (having recently abbreviated his stage name to just Clark) released his seminal album, Body Riddle. Following on from 2003’s claustrophobic Empty the Bones of You, this album displayed more jazz sensibilities than previously heard in his work. Herr Bar, the opening track off Body Riddle starts with stilted drums backing a music box refrain, as so beloved by electronica musicians, before transforming into a swirling psychedelic behemoth of synths and reverb.