Zomby - Dedication (4AD)
Dedication took me by surprise since I wasn’t a huge fan of his older stuff. It’s a dark, creepy, very personal record that plays like the least danceable DJ set you’ve ever heard. Turn off the Panda Bear track and it’s just about perfect.
Holy Other - With U EP (Tri Angle)
I clicked play on ‘Know Where’ when I was supposed to be walking out the door with my wife and daughter this summer. I left them in the car for nearly 4 minutes while I listened to it, absolutely blown away. I haven’t had a song stop me in my tracks like that for years.
Clams Casino - Rainforest EP (Tri Angle)
Mike Volpe is like the Happy Gilmour of Witch House. He’s been struggling to get work as a hip hop producer while making this unbelievable music on the side. Rainforest EP is awesome.
The Weeknd - House of Balloons
I hate R&B, but still played the hell out of this album. “The Party & The After Party” has one of the best bass drops I’ve ever heard. This kid is 21. A few more years and a good producer and he will win at music. Period.
Kuedo - Severant
Unbelievably cinematic and grand, Severant sounds like an alternate soundtrack to Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.
Robert Lippok - redsuperstructure
To Rococo Rot (Robert Lippok’s band with his brother and Stefan Schneider) was one of my favorite bands of the mid to late 90s. Robert Lippok returned to Raster Noton after a 10 year break and released one of the best electronic albums of the year.
Who Made Who - Knee Deep
I can’t believe I never heard of these guys before this year. Knee Deep is a super fun, smart, electronic rock album. The best part is that lead singer Jeppe Kjellberg has kind of a Six Fingered Man style going on.
Byetone - Symeta
Symeta is the best rock album released in 2011.
Vladislav Delay - Vantaa
I was super excited to hear one of my favorite artists was releasing an album on my favorite label and Vantaa didn’t disappoint. According to Raster Noton this is the first in a long term collaboration.
Oneohtrix Point Never - Replica
I can’t say I like Replica better than last years incredible Returnal, but I still listened to it over and over. Unfortunately Daniel Lopatin’s other project Games (which I loved) turned into Ford & Lopatin and released a real stinker.