Dead Can Dance – Dionysus
Having been a DCD fan ever since the 80s, I have been impressed with each successive album. There has been a significant break since their last album, so I was curious on what they had for us next. This album was different than others, but it has really resonated with me! The album cover has Huichol bead art from the Jalisco mountains of Mexico–we have several of these on our walls from our vacations to Bahia Banderas. The deluxe box set has purple vinyl and a book full of great photos, and a digital copy on CD. One of my favorite DCD albums!
Tijuana Cartel – Istar’s Descent
In 2018 I bought this bands back catalog based on this mini-LP. Everything they do is amazing, but this made the list because it is what tuned me into this Australian band. Classical/Flamenco guitar with a groovy beat, great vocals. Simply amazing musicianship on all of these tracks. This album gets darker and better as it progresses. This album, and any other, are highly recommended!
Production Techniques: Dave Mech
I found Dave’s videos when I was searching for information about the release of Overbridge 2, which is the Elektron music machines’ computer integration software currently in beta. I can see why he would be a great beta tester! Dave does environmental sampling and then makes some amazing techno with it; using only Elektron’s Digitakt machine; hi slive setup is 2 Digitakts and a DJ mixer! I wonder how many Elektron sampler purchases he’s influenced? Great tunes by themselves, but his YouTube videos are even more amazing!
Plant43 – Mycology
Ok, I was late to this game, this is a 2016 release with re-release in 2017, but I found this is one of my top listened records in 2018. Amazing electro IDM beats with swaths of interacting melody everywhere. This is one catchy EP. I have since picked up most of Plant43’s records. These will be in rotation for the foreseeable future!
Dani Bell and the Tarantist – Dark West
A buddy of mine found this band on one of his music services and when I heard it I was mesmerized. This has a 60’s style vibe with amazing female vocals making a retro trip-hop mood. Each track is super catchy and I found this was one of my top listened to records of 2018. Twin Peaks roadhouse material, check it out!
Quietworld – Relaxalot
So I got lucky on this one…a very limited release by Ben Stokes of Meat Beat Manifesto. I purchased this when MBM came to town earlier this year at the merch booth, assuming I would never see it again. I had no idea what this sounded like, but I loved the cover and the 10″ double vinyl format, so I put down some greenbacks and anxiously awaited the drive home. Boy was I in for a treat! This is full of crazy dub tunes, with a 60’s vibe. It’s very hard to describe, so give it a listen. One of my favorites from 2018!
Hiver – Last Straw EP
I found this while sitting on the beach in Mexico searching German record stores for new tunes. It is a arpeggiated techno classic, with sweet melodies throughout. This is a great techno EP!
Primal Code – La Via Della Seta
I first heard Hypnus Records while watching a meteorite shower, and it set the vibe for an amazing shooting star experience. I have been following the label since! This is a late comer to 2018, but it is an amazing spacey techno album full of melody and incredible vibe. Great mood tunes, ambient yet techno. Thick and luscious.