Yesterday we presented the preferences of our readers from last year, now this is a list of 20 albums from 2019 that made an impression on us.
We have three pure electro albums from E.R.P., Jeremiah R. and Plant43 and the new electro-synthy album of veteran David Carretta, his first solo album for ten years. On the darker side of the synth palette we have two EBM/synth-pop albums from Boy Harsher and Years Of Denial, the debut album of Kris Baha, the third album of Greek producer June, a new one from Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers under his new moniker Opposing Currents and two more industrial albums from Autumns and Colombian Filmmaker.
On the other had we have two acid gems from DimDJ and Paranoid London, the first ever Gladio album, the second album from Mannequin boss Alessandro Adriani and an experimental/ambient album from veteran Function on Tresor.
So, here it is compiled in chronological order.
Central Processing Unit welcomes Biochip with their debut release ‘Synthase’. Eight tracks of analog electro and acid techno, all recorded live. Very much of the Selected Ambient Works Vol. 1 ilk. Beautifully noisy, highly melodic and raw, with those emotional mid nineties IDM tendencies that very few successfully capture. Biochip are Melissa Speirs and Julian Kochanowski from Montreal, Canada. Listening to Synthase you can tell they are huge fans of vintage analogue synths, magnetic tape and drum machines; their sound has a reassuring warmth and human feel to it.
Cygnus aka Phillip Washington returns home to CPU with Deep Analysis. Six tracks of nebulous compositions all containing his signature emotional and melodic electro. Sheffield Bleep is an ode to CPU Records complete with an old school vocoder rap over CR-78 rhythms. Deep Analysis is an answer to one of Washington’s favourite tracks ‘Sleep Paralysis’ by Mikron. Ultraterrestrial, Her Majesty and Descent of Man are beautiful si-fi electronic music without comparison. The E.P. wraps things up with Hallucinate Data cementing Cygnus as a master of the genre.
Plant43 aka Emile Facey, one of CPU’s originators delivers his fourth album ‘Three Dimensions’. Eight tracks of crystalline electro with his signature epic pads and Blade Runner-esque melodies. Facey is one of the most respected electro artists of today and this album galvanises this reputation. DJs will find several weapons amongst this package of beautiful electronic music that rewards both headphone listeners as much as a big room.
Mikron return to CPU with their second album ‘Severance’. The Corcoran brothers refine their critically acclaimed sound which has evolved to be more haunting than the last release. This album is a nostalgic affair with synthetic landscapes washing over you, before propelling you into the distant future. The ambient moments draw parallels with Boards of Canada, Burial and Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2.
Jensen Interceptor & Assembler Code deliver another four tracks of deep hitting electro on CPU. Dancefloor electro, gleefully sprinting between dark, angular and angry fare (punishing but brilliant opener “Abstract Model”), rush-inducing peak-time anthems (the glassy-eyed, fuzz bass-driven bliss of “Kinematics”), Drexciya style workouts (“Extraction”), and buzzing, late night contortions (“VR Escort”). In other words, it’s another killer collection of cuts that should be on every electro head’s shopping list.
Djedjotronic Aka Jérémy Cottereau drops an icy 4 track Electro cut for CPU. There’s a clear Drexciyan influence here with plenty of dystopian drama but things are disrupted with the likes of ‘Tunnel’ serving up raw 4/4.