Drone Logic capped a stellar rise for London's Daniel Avery. His ascent was built on the back of a few key things (a fabric residency and mix, and a string of successful singles), but his full-length debut was the final piece in the puzzle. For those that had been following him, the twisted machine funk here didn't come with too many surprises, but the end result was excellent.
"Other kids can have crazy parties in basements in Neukölln, and it's still fun from time to time to be there, but maybe we've grown out of that a little." So saidSascha Ring, AKA Apparat, explaining the more accessible sound of Moderat's second album, II. Though you could hardly call it a straight pop record, it was laced with melancholic vocals and accessible hooks. In a year where many sounds were dark and nihilistic, these guys bucked the trend.
Lots of monster-truck-sized electronic music has come out over the last few years. Immunity has moments that sound fit for stadiums, but the album could also burrow deep into your chest. As a producer, Jon Hopkins works with his share of big-budget acts, and yes, Immunity is full of studio pizazz. But his emotional directness and sheer enthusiasm never sounded plugged in or painted on, making for one of the year's truly invigorating listens.