Top 10 Electronic Albums, April 2013
If you're prone to list-making, you might want to whip out your pencil (or fire up Excel), because this month brings us a number of records that have a good chance of ending up in the upper ranks of 2013's electronic-music releases.
DJ Koze's Amygdala, the German producer's first album in eight years, is a masterpiece of moody, quixotic house and electronic pop, rounded out (but never overshadowed) by strong cameos from Apparat, Caribou and Matthew Dear. Autechre's two-hour-long Exai is one of their best albums yet, with rhythms and sound design that are light-years ahead of pretty much anyone else in electronic music; at the same time, it's one of their warmest, most approachable albums in years. And the kings of synth pop, Depeche Mode, are back with the surprisingly raw Delta Machine, their most "electronic" sounding album in years.
Fans of concept albums will gravitate toward Space Dimension Controller's galactic voyage Welcome to Mikrosector 50, Ellen Allien's choreography score Lism, and TM404, Andreas Tilliander's suite of productions on classic Roland synths and drum machines. Lapalux's Nostalchic pushes Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder label in an almost poppy direction, while Mano Le Tough combines deep house with singer-songwriterly indie aesthetics. And Maxmillion Dunbar's House of Woo is a triumph from start to finish: a love letter to classic house that readily admits to a long-running dalliance with hip-hop and R&B. It's restlessly experimental, cryptic as all get-out and -- for me, anyway -- virtually impossible to stop listening to.