My Favorites of the Year 2016

My Favorites of the Year 2016

▽ The Best Box Set ▽

Klaus Schulze – Pete Namlook / The Dark Side of the Moog BOX SET  イコライザーアイコン1 mov
(Released: Jan. 2016)

アンビエント界の巨星、Pete NamlookとKlaus Schulzeの壮大なプロジェクトのボックスセット。
CD box sets of the majestic project by the great star of Ambient music, Pete Namlook and Klaus Schulze.

▽ Without a Shadow of a Doubt ▽

Monolake / VLSI 記事アイコン3
(Released: Oct. 2016)

Personally speaking, this is the best Electronic music album of the year.

Amp Fiddler / Motor City Booty イコライザーアイコン1 mov
(Released: Jul. 2016)

The first solo album in 10 years is such a creation of evolving Motown music.

▽ The Selection of Ten ▽

No. Inc. / G@ng5ta イコライザーアイコン1 mov
(Released: Feb. 2016)

15 years from 911, Atom™ shreds Gangsta Rap in pieces to create chaotic Ambient music for his album of the catalog number 911.

Eduardo de la Calle / Analog Grooves Collected イコライザーアイコン1
(Released: Feb. 2016)

Jazz of the space tossing about the three brothers of Techno: Minimal Techno, Detroit Techno, and Dub Techno.

Prins Thomas / Principe Del Norte & Remixed イコライザーアイコン1
(Released: Feb. & Oct. 2016)

アンビエントに呑み込まれたNu Discoが更にミニマルやダブに溶けて行く混沌。
Nu Disco being swallowed by Ambient music, further melts down in to the chaos of Minimal and Dub.

Magnus International / Echo to Echo mov
(Released: Feb. 2016)

Detroit Techno becomes Disco with such a brilliance.

Lawrence / Yoyogi Park イコライザーアイコン1
(Released: Apr. 2016)

Techno of gentle heart, hidden in a metropolis.

Plaid / Digging Remedy mov
(Released: Jun. 2016)

The first album ever made by Plaid facing straightly to IDM.

Francesco Tristano / Surface Tension イコライザーアイコン1 mov
(Released: Nov. 2016)

The spirit of Detroit Techno fly like a phoenix after 20 years from then.

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir / These Systems are Falling イコライザーアイコン1 mov
(Released: Nov. 2016)

テクノのハードさに武装されたJOY DIVISIONの迷える魂。
The wandering spirit of Joy Division armored by Hard Techno.

Blessed Initiative / Blessed Initiative イコライザーアイコン1
(Released: Nov. 2016)

Brutality of Industrial music degenerates into fragments of Glitch, then transform to apparitions of Ambient music.

Yussef Kamaal / Black Focus イコライザーアイコン1 mov
(Released: Nov. 2016)

Not just the rendezvous of 70’s Jazz Funk and Broken Beats can explain this Contemporary Jazz of London.


Monolake / VLSI

Monolake / VLSI monolake graph
Released Date: October, 2016


今更、説明の必要もあるまい。音楽ソフトウェアメーカーのAbletonの創設メンバーでもあるRobert Henkeによるエレクトロニック・ミュージックユニット、Monolake。常に、世界の電子音楽界に多大な影響を与える作品を出し続けている。個人的には、2009年にリリースされた「Silence」が最近では名盤で、その後にリリースの「Ghosts」(2012)はややドラムンベース寄りで、あまり好きにはなれなかった。ただ、今回のアルバムは「さすが」と言わざるを得ないような出来だと言える。アルバムジャケット内の説明にもあるように、このアルバムは70年代~80年代の初期のシンセサイザーなどを主に使って録音されている。そのため、電子音楽とはいえ、鋭く粗い粒子性の音色とは違い、どの曲にも滑らかで空間に余韻を残すような柔らかさがある。どんなに電子的であり、未来的な音楽であっても、それが現実の肌触りを感じるかのごとく聴けるのが、他の作品を超越し、一種魔法的な素晴らしさでもある。どう聴いても電子音楽でしかないのに、どれもが有機的な生物から生まれて来るようなものに聴こえるのが奇跡のようだ。


Atomic Level Realism for Unreal World

Not much is needed to be explained about Monolake, the project run by Robert Henke whom known as one of the founders of Ableton, a music software company which everyone should know well of. It is no doubt that Monolake’s works always have been and are still being intensively influential to the scene of Electronic music worldwide. My recent choice is the album “Silence (2009)”, while “Ghosts (2012)” which was released after that did not please me well, for it went a bit close to the line of Drum ‘n’ Bass. However, this album is the one of such a quality as you might expect from Monolake that you would believe to be. It is mostly recorded by using early synthesizers of the 70’s ~ 80’s, as is mentioned in the album’s description printed inside its cover. Thus, despite of it being configured by Electronic music tracks, none of those do possess sharp and grainy timbre, instead are silky and allow smoothness linger within each of them. How far should they sound Electronic or futuristic, it is like listening to realities via tactile sensations; that in a sense is magical enough to make this album transcend all other works that you may find elsewhere. The tracks are all down right Electronic music, but it is a miracle that every one of them sounds as if being borne from some organic beings.

Sounds that I have never heard of before or of some unknown combinations are found in every track, and that fact rightly proves that an insatiable adventure in operating classic synthesizers is taking place everywhere in the course of its production. “LogC” opens with gentle and eerie synths stretching like germs of true fungi growing in an unexplored region of mystery, gradually followed by rhythmic Afro of cheap electronic beats leaking out from classic video games; then dark beats deepen their sophistication while electrons more gentle than spores dance around. “Pio” brings fearful and ear-ringing melody as blood streams hardly in veins, while jumping ping-pong sounds like Detroit Techno’s rhythms pulsating in your dream. “Error” is a Drone track in which you can feel air particles trembling as jets fly overhead in low altitudes. AI machines are kept alive even while being liquefied in mercury in “Nmos”, the track which features electronic voice sounds the most in the album. The world you see in every track of the album is an enigma, but all of them are so dreadfully real, that they could make you fall in to illusions where the reality that now you live with ceases its existence. There is no choice of not listening to this.




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