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The past twelve months have been exciting, filled with lessons, and many interesting moments. Here is a short list of the music that I've found inspiring and innovative in 2012 along with a description of each. -- Xordo – Drama Bell [Black Swan Recordings] Ricardo has been releasing quality tunes under his own name for the past years, and recently branched out under the Xordo alias. Speaking over the phone in March, he told me that he was actually the producer of some of the tunes that I really liked when I heard Ali (Dubfire) live. I asked for some unreleased materially and was immediately struck by Drama Bell. Ambivalent – Snowblind [Minus] I have been following Kevin over the past years and was delighted to have some my own work included in his stellar _Ground cover mount mix. His productions this year have been nothing less than perfect, and although I can’t really choose a favorite from his originals and remixes for Soma, Snowblind encompasses the musical and production qualities that first drew me to functional electronic music. Actress – Uriel’s Black Harp [Honest Jons] Since I first heard Hazyville, I’ve been drawn to each release from Actress. I feel that listening to single tracks on the album can diminish the overall vision of R.I.P., but I had to point out one. With that said, I have likely listened to the LP more than any other release this year. Natalino Nunes – Trip [Aurora Music] Natalino has been a contributor to Aurora for some time and good friend. I felt that Trip was one of his strongest productions and had a nice combination of drive and atmosphere. I’m looking forward to more releases and events in the coming years with him. Balam Acab – Fragile Hope [Tri Angle] Without a doubt, Tri-Angle has released some very inspiring music this year from Acab’s album to Holy Ghost and the recent Vessel LP. Wander / Wonder is a great listen and Fragile Hope is a fantastic closing track. Joop Junior – Hipster Panic [Minus12] Richie’s New Horizon’s rightfully opened up the eyes to some fresh artists that really have been putting out quality music. When I was going through the tracks, Joop’s Hipster Panic really stood out and reminded me of a lower tempo version of some of the techno that I was very inspired by several years ago. I had the chance to meet him at one of the Enter events in Ibiza this year and have kept in touch. His tracks are consistently very well engineered and hammering. Pig & Dan – Powder [Soma Records] There isn’t much that I could say about Pig & Dan or Soma, but this year they’ve blown me away and inspired me. Aside from an incredible album, they have consistently released great singles and remixes. To top it off, their new label Elevate started off with two missiles. Android Cartel – Parallel Dimension [Rawthentic Music] Quickly becoming one of the leading contributors to Black Swan, Chris and Reagan have spent their year juggling various projects and releasing tunes on Carlo’s Rawthentic and debuting on BSR. I’m expecting more things from them and we’ve already lined up two EP’s that they are involved in the coming months. WIFE – Bodies [Left_Blank] “James Kelly is, until now, best known as the sole permanent member and writer behind black metal outfit Altar Of Plagues.” I am very much looking forward to his full length and his debut EP is full with lush atmospheres and interesting sounds. MPIA3 – Mountain of Ash [R&S Records] It’s hard to argue how influential Belgian label R&S has been over the past decades. Founded the year I was born, I first heard music released on the imprint in my early teens. Fifteen or so years later, they are still putting out no nonsense techno among other great music.
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