2018 appeared to be a year for confirmations, fine tuning and re-evaluations for the house & techno underground, as we know it. Everything smooth and tweaked to perfection, production wise at least. So, as we enjoy to spend time on the more housier side of electronic music, it is taken for granted that our short list of favourite electronic albums from 2018 is grounded in house music.
Destined to end up on the dance floor, but with a delightful flow when played at home, these albums were on heavy rotation on our office speakers this year. In no particular order, jumping from minimal house to Chicago, hope you enjoyed them as much we did:
Shinichi Atobe – Heat
Coming back after some 13 years of total silence, the Japanese producer builds up an eerie atmosphere around the listener, creating some mixed feelings, from a sun drenched vibe to a darker piano melancholia.
Specter – Built To Last
This happens when one of Chicago’s revered producers releases his debut album at Theo Parrish’ Sound Signature: blissful house music, sunnier than ever before. Andres Ordonez aka Specter delivers that rightful manifesto for the deep house legacy back from the early 2000’s.
SIT – Invisibility Chapter II
Cristi Cons and Vlad Caia aka SIT dug their own path through the house & techno realms deep into the undergrounds, mainly through Amphia Records, yet developing a nice relationship with Sushitech Records in the past year. The second chapter from the Invisibility trilogy, released in spring 2018, added a subtle Basic Chanel topping on the vibrant SIT sound signature. Diatonic’s echoed voice samples haunted us during this summer for a long time.
Spacetravel – Ziusudra
Berlin based Melliflow Records, a collaboration effort between Alexandra and Vera, started its vinyl series with Spacetravel’s hypnotic grooves. Landing an EP on Perlon also, it was a matter of time before Spacetravel made a comeback here, this time with a double LP. Same sinuous ride along the crisp percussions, flirting with various electronic genres like a prom queen at the after party.
DJ Koze – Knock Knock
DJ Koze’s style, even if sits somewhere on the glittery side of electronic music, asks for a radical opinion: you love it or you hate it with all your senses. A dusted lo-fi vibe feeds the entire album, an album built on a series of collaboration with a few interesting voices, from Roisin Murphy to samples of the soul legend Gladys Knight. A bit of disco funk nostalgia didn’t hurt anyone, especially with those bassline riffs, a DJ Koze trademark. Not as twisted as Amygdala, LP launched in 2013, yet a strong contender for DJ Koze’s best studio efforts to date
Artwork by Mrzyk & Moriceau