Joostdb’s 2012 roundup

In no particular order some of my favorite music of the year. For each release a standout track has been selected that can be streamed for your listening pleasure.


Oren Ambarchi – Audience of One (Touch, Drone/Minimalism)

Originally attracted to this by the epic 33 minute “knots” (listen below), but the album is solid throughout.

Track 2 – Knots [MP3 V0]


Ben Vida – Esstends-Esstends-Esstends (PAN, Experimental/Drone)

Vida uses a technique called “psycho-acoustic trickery” which is “an experimental technique of expanded and localised spatialisation while resonating at frequencies which stimulate the microscopic bones inside your ear into hearing things which might not necessarily be there”. Sounds a bit far fetched to me, but good music and solid release from PAN.

Track 2 – Zizzlerz [MP3 V0]


Gabriel Saloman – Adhere (Miasmah, Dark Ambient)

Favorite dark ambient release of the year from Yellow Swan’s Gabriel Saloman.

Track 1 – Part 1 [MP3 V0]


Grischa Lichtenberger – And IV (Inertia) (Raster Noton, Glitch/IDM)

Think Autechre/Warp IDM with Raster Noton precision.

Track 4 – 1210_08_Lv_4+ [MP3 V0]


Keith Fullerton Whitman – Generators (Mego, Free Improvisation)

Two live versions of KFW’s famous “Generator,” recorded in a live space allowing the room to shape the sound with it’s decay, resonances and ambient noise.

Track 1 – Issue Generator (for Eliane Radigue) [MP3 V0]


Max Richter – ReComposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons (Deutsche Grammophon, Modern Classical)

Reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s masterpiece (where most credit due) however the way Richter serves it up is nothing short of astonishing. This piece kicked off some serious (and ongoing) explorations into classical music for me.

Track 2 – Spring 1 [MP3 V0]


Various Artists – Touch 30 Years and Counting (Touch, Drone)

It says a lot about a label when their 30 year anniversary impromptu showcase feels THIS sonically coherent and solid throughout. This has gotten a lot of playtime!

Track 1 – Touch 33, Fennesz, Bruce Gilbert, Rosy Parlane and Oren Ambarchi [MP3 V0]


Charlatan – Isolatarium (Type, Experimental/Techno)

Digitalis’ Brad Rose serves up some glitchy, abstract techno for late night listening.

Track 2 – Kinetic Disruption [MP3 V0]


Various Artists – Wired Open Day 2009 (Taiga, Drone/Experimental)

Some of the experimental/drone scene’s best manipulating recordings made on a 300m long abandoned telecom wire in the Australian countryside, details here. Experimentation in sound design paying off big time.

Track 4 – Oren Ambarchi – 9:10pm [MP3 V0]


Voices from the Lake – Voices from the Lake (Prologue, Ambient Techno)

Quite possibly the best bit of ambient techno since apex twins selected ambient works. Enough said.

Track 1 – Lyo [MP3 V0]


Honorable Mentions

Bersarin Quartett – II (Denovali, Ambient/Modern Classical)
Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland – Black is Beautiful (Hyperdub, Electronic/Dub)
Deep Listening Band – Great Howl at Town Hall (Important Records, Electroacoustic)
Eleh – Homage to the pointed Waveforms (Taiga, Drone)
Eleh – Retreat, Return, Repose (Important, Drone)
Fenn O’Berg – In Hell (Mego, Experimental/Glitch)
Fire! with Oren Ambarchi – In The Mouth a Hand (Rune Grammofon, Avante Garde Jazz)
France Jobin – Valence (Line, Drone/Electroacoustic)
Giuseppi Ielasi – Untitled, 2011 (Entr’acte, Electroacoustic)
Helm – Impossible Symmetry (PAN, Dark Ambient)
Jason Lescalleet – Songs About Nothing (Erstwhile, Musique Concrète)
Jim O’Rourke – Old News #7 (Mego, Drone)
Joshua Bonnetta – American Colour (Senufo, Drone)
Lee Gamble – Diversions 1994-1996 (PAN, Ambient)
Lorenzo Senni – Quantum Jelly (Mego, Electronic/Ambient)
Motion Sickness of Time Travel – Motion Sickness of Time Travel (Spectrum Spools, Ambient)
Oren Ambarchi – Sagittarian Domain (Mego, Drone)
Portraits – Portraits (Important, Drone)
Ricardo Donoso – Assimilating the Shadow (Digitalis, Progressive Electronic)
Richard Skelton – Verse of Birds (Corbel Stone Press, Drone/Ambient)
Robert Aiki Aubrey Love – Timon Irnok Manta (Type, Electronic/Drone)
Robert Hampson – Signaux (eMego, Ambient)
Terrence Dixon – From the far Future Part 2 (Tresor, Detroit Techno)
Thomas Koner – Novaya Zemlya (Touch, Dark Ambient/Drone)
Untitled – Untitled #1 – 8 (Unknown, Ambient) – Great series! Artists remain completely anonymous
Valgeir Sigudsson – Architecture of Loss (Bedroom Community, Modern Classical)
Wilits + Sakamoto – Ancient Future (Ghostly, Ambient)
Xian Orphic – Xian Orphic (VHSX, Experimental)


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