With so much great new music on the go, it's time for a quick overview, just to ensure you're not left out of the loop.
Illum Sphere - Glass
First up, the new album from Ryan Hunn, aka Illum Sphere, is one of the best of the year without any argument. In contrast to his debut album Ghosts Of Then And Now, his sophomore effort Glass sees a clear shift away from making music through methods of live instrumentation, and instead focuses more on electronic techniques. A change in his working environment accompanied this move and the results are wholly satisfying: nine perfect tracks. My favourite is Paradise.
This album is out now on Ninja Tune.
Riohv - Green Room
With its blend of scratchy beats, funky bass and flashes of Acid and House brilliance, Braden Thompson's debut album from 2014 illustrated that combining various styles could work, and proved to be a sleeping hit for Canadian label 1080. The five tracks of Green Room are equally disparate in style but the cohesion remains, from the Breakbeat of the title track and the drum 'n' bass of Juice It, to the Acid tropes of Stingray and the swooning melody of closer Sun Shadow. Listen to Juice It.
This EP is out now on 1080.
Various - Dreamy Harbor
Continuing Tresor's 25th Birthday celebrations we have a superb compilation that includes some of the best in the Techno business: Terrence Dixon, Juan Atkins & Moritz von Oswald, Mønic, Thomas Fehlmann, Donato Dozzy, Jon Hassell and Marcelus, to name but a few. What particularly appeals to me about the twelve tracks that make up Dreamy Harbor is the pleasantly subdued pace; the blend of Dub Techno and scratchy beats bring welcome respite to all the banging Techno.
Album due out on 27th January on Tresor.
Yotam Avni - Tehillim
This Israeli producer has been plugging away for years, mostly under the radar for all but the most astute followers, but 2016 has seen him creep into the wider conscious with two excellent EPs for Stroboscopic Artefacts, first as part of their Monad series and now with Tehillim, a massive shape-shifting four tracker that incorporates saxophone, liturgical chanting, subtle arrangements, piano riffs, haunting moans and bouts of blissful ambience. It's Techno but not as we know it... this man has just moved the goalposts to the left a bit more. Listen to Tehillim.
Tehillim is out on 9th December on Stroboscopic Artefacts.
And if that wasn't enough, Avni has another storming track out on in the form of Yeezianity. It may have been kicking around for a while, but it's now getting an official release as part of a forthcoming EP entitled Where It All Takes Us on Enemy Ltd Holland. Other contributors are ZIPPO, Abstract Division and Observer. Listen to Yeezianity.
Architectural - Cubismo
Architectural is Spanish producer Juan Rico, aka Reeko, and he's been on fine form recently with his expansive style of Techno. His new Cubismo EP reflects his tendency to fragment and reassemble diverse styles, borrowing its ideology and production technique from the artistic movement after which it is named. We move from crunchy Techno territory across border into blissful Ambient realms, and arrive in a safe zone of dubby magic. The cinematic sonority of bonus track Cubismo 8.5 (Lost in Buenos Aires III) actually hints at his forthcoming album Metropolitan Opera; it's like the closing credits of an art house film. Listen to some snippets.
Due out soon on Architectural Records.
Architectural - Metropolitan Opera
This seven track album, not due out until the end of January, defines the Architectural profile further as a purveyor of mood music. Drawing inspiration from sounds of the city, there's a distinct cinematic bent to proceedings that sweeps across screen, embellishing an imaginary scene, building tension and confusion. It's Ambient Not Ambient.
Reeko - Unknown Landscapes Mix Vol. IV
Juan Rico again as PoleGroup presents the fourth in their Unknown Landscapes mix series. As a member of the PoleGroup platform he steps up to compile a bunch of unreleased tracks, taking in the likes of Reggy van Oers, Mod21, DJ Hyperactive, Mike Parker, Positive Centre and Kangding Ray - it's like a who's who of Techno right now.