Without any doubt 2022 for me has been the year of electronic music. I found myself exploring so many new genres and artists and labels, it’s been very refreshing and rewarding. I dived into IDM, ambient, house and techno like I had never done before, and I believe it shows in my top 10 here. Although I’ve been listening also to a lot of classic jazz as well this year, in terms of new releases, here we go:
10. Combo Chimbita - IRE
An haunting mix of latin rhythms, rock, psychedelia. Lots of talent pouring out of this record but definitely the high peak of the performance is the incredible voice of Carolina Oliveros. Heart warming, ass shaking.
Favourite track: Yo Me Lo Merezco
9. Shit & Shine - New Confusion
A new devastating release from Shit & Shine. It scracthes my brain just in the right spot. Super saturated sounds, constant tension and very few releases, umconfortable but still very engaging. You angry or annoyed? Maybe both, thanks for asking.
Favourite track: Annoyed
8. The Utopia Strong - International Treasure
I’m not sure how to describe this music. It’s transcendental, both in quality and genre definition, and I love it. Psychedelic? Yes. Ambient? Yes indeed. Krautrock? With a personal original twist and so much good taste. A magical sonic journey, one of my favourite Rocket Recordings releases of all times indeed.
Favourite track: International Treasure
7. Lorraine James - Building Something Beautiful For Me
Nocturnal, introspective, glitchy minimalistic rhythms and super warm, tasty, fuzzy synths. And then in the middle of it all a post-rock explosion with the track Enfield, Always. Boom. Banger right there. An absolute beautiful listening experience. She builded something beautiful for us all, after all.
6. Makaya McKraven - In These Times
Some very interesting compositions, very often of a cinematic quality. Like a truly modern “jazz” orchestra with some fine arrangements and great improvisation moments. A feast for the ears. Yes please, I’ll have some more.
Favourite track: In These Times
5. Mary Halvorson - Amaryllis
Mary Halvorson is a brilliant guitarist and composer surrounded by great musicians. They run along this river of notes and rhythms like there’s no tomorrow, with a constant sense of purpose and creativity that keeps the songs well tight together. Brilliant album overall, so many layers to discover with every listen, often on the balanced edge of classical compositions and free jazz explosions.
Favourite track: Amaryllis
4. Huerco S. - Plonk
The music of Huerco S. has a very physical, material quality, you can almost feel the textures on your skin. I found myself lost in the electronic landscapes of this album quite often this year, and I still can’t stop listening to it. Misterious and captivating, cold like steel and warm like volcanic rocks, so alien and yet so familiar.
Favourite track: Plonk II
3. Kaidi Tatham - Don’t Rush The Process
Another banger release from The King this year. Sailing the grooves of black music with piratesque skillfulness and heaps of good taste. Once again, I’m sure mr. Hancock is really proud, and with reason.
Favourite track: Don’t Rush The Process (ft. The Easy Access Orchestra)
2. SAULT - AIR
SAULT released 6 albums this last year. A bit unfair, because they are all really good. Nonetheless AIR is the one that so far I listened to the most. And it’s just great. AIR is like the soundtrack of an imaginary movie that I’d really want to watch. Incredible symphonic orchestra with a breathtaking choir arranged together with Morriconian quality. As always though, my personal highlight is the angelic voice of Cleo Sol that just melts me every time. A masterpiece for me.
Favourite track: Time is Precious
1. Brainwaltzera - ITSAME
That’s it. My definition of 2022 in music. A mediterranean Aphex Twin. A misterious as much as talented electronic forger of sounds. A totally joyful braindance of an album that holds tight to the IDM tradition while looking forward to a very intimate and personal expression of life experience. I didn’t really know before this year of how much human and warm electronic music could be. Now I know, and I just love it.
Favourite track: ITSAME [group hugg]