Dark and obscure music blog/zine since 2006 [ Post-Industrial / Ambient / IDM ]
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Friday, December 21, 2012

Highlights of 2012

Looks like it is again that time of the year where us publications are expected to pick out the "best" releases from the year before it comes to a close. Again, I have, of course, not had the opportunity to listen to every release that came out this year, nor do feel that I could force ranking albums of vastly different style into a "top 10" list, so instead here are some exceptional things I heard this year and a bit as to why (in no order):

Tineidae - "Lights" [Tympanik Audio]

The sounds and atmospheres are incredibly beautiful and the production is extremely tight and spacious. One of the most captivating IDM albums I've heard in a while. A unique blend of clicky IDM and hints of Trance.

Atrium Carceri - "Void" [Cryo Chamber]

One of my favorite dark ambient albums of the year. Pristine production and highly mature, cinematic composition. Subtle, but one of the deepest ambient albums I can recall.

Shrine - "Somnia" [Cyclic Law]

Another favorite dark ambient album this year; Shrine creates extremely beautiful, thick, and meditative organic atmospheres. With Somnia he improves upon his unique sound and spacious production. Additionally, the album art is superb.

Vasilisk - "Tribal Zone" [Steinklang Industries]

Although this album sounds like it could've been made in the 90s, Vasilisk churns out incredibly hypnotic and haunting oriental atmospheres. Massive layers of ethnic percussion set this apart from its contemporaries. Dark, terrifying tribal ambient the way it should be.

Inner Vision Laboratory - "Perpetua" [Zoharum]

I had heard this guy's material years back, but not much since. I picked this up on a whim because I remember his music having potential and I was completely blown away. Amazingly clean & smooth production, super deep atmospheres, great use of female vocals, and even some instances of solid industrial percussion.

Sean Byrd - "Always Was" [Plastic Sound Supply]

This unassuming album took me by surprise. Without a doubt some of the most beautiful melodies and atmospheres EVER, bolstered by very skilled mixing. An absolute must, MUST own for fans of emotive electronic music with bits of IDM, dnb and dubstep sprinkled in.

Vaetxh - "Libet Tones" [Detroit Underground]

Next level shit. Hybrid of IDM/Glitch/Dubstep. Ultra big sound and tight production while being insanely complex. Super experimental while still being slightly musical-ish. If you like this style you will also want to check out HosmOz - "Vulva EP" on the same label!

V/A - "Behind The Canvas Of Time" [Cryo Chamber]

Amazing compilation of deep and melodic ambient to introduce people to this new label. Every track is solid and visionary. Must hear tracks from Eldar, Desiderii Marginis, Svartsinn + Gydja, Halgrath, Dahlia's Tear, Sabled Sun, Atrium Carceri, newcomer Cryobiosis and more.

V/A - "Accretion" [Tympanik Audio]

This 5yr anniversary compilation contains 42 exclusive tracks which amounts to pretty much the entire roster of Tympanik! High quality stuff as with everything they release; a must have for fans of post-industrial, IDM, and related.

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