Yeah I forgot to mention EP 2 and pretty much all of her work, but those are crazy in terms of textures and production. Also Twigs’ drums and percussion will always amaze me whenever I hear them.
I was late to the Arca train, so I’ve never heard Stretch 2. I definitely think he’s one of the most influential producers of the last decade, just from looking at the people he has collaborated with like Bjork, FKA Twigs and Kelela. Admittedly some more significant than others there, but all collaborations have been well received.
Maybe this is a topic for another thread, but I don’t think there has been an album as galvanising this decade as Untrue was for the 00s. Maybe that album is still to come, but Untrue was one of those albums where it was so well received and it had such an impact that I know people who take no other interest in electronic music who are at least familiar with the album. Is there an equivalent for the 10s? I think Arca is equivocal in terms of influence, but as much as I love his releases, he doesn’t have an “Untrue” in his catalogue. Would be interested to know what this board thinks are the most simultaneously acclaimed and influential albums of the 10s. Am I overlooking something really obvious, or has there just not been one?
I think you’re right: I don’t think there has been one, and someone better hurry up if it’s going to happen this decade! I think this is due to several factors: 1) people still made and bought albums in 2007; 2) even though Simon Reynolds wrote ‘Retromania’ about the aughts, it’s long-term effects didn’t kick into high gear until it became a self-aware cultural phenomenon. Hence, reboots and comebacks from BoC, Aphex Twin, Autechre, et al have dominated the decade. And while they are all very good, of course, it salts the earth somewhat and makes it very difficult for something radically new to take root.
I would also be interested to know peoples’ thoughts on this, as well as what are the most acclaimed and influential albums of the teens. My bet is that it will be a wonderful collection of smaller records which generated some sort of consensus amongst their niche audiences. This may be an unpopular entry, but my favourite album of this decade is ‘Field of Reeds’ by These New Puritans. Not electronic, not classical, not rock, not acoustic, but all of those things, it’s simply a brilliant recording full of surprises and beauty, and I’ve listened to it at least weekly since it was released in 2013.
Although there has been too much nostalgia for the 80s and synthpop has dominated pop, I don’t find that BoC or Aphex Twin have really dominated. I find that Autechre is making interesting electronic music that bends their sound in new shapes, so I wouldn’t relate them to Boards of Canada too much. Unrelated, but I think that there are also many older artists still making some of their best records, even if they are older artists. I just find that as long as they aren’t focusing on buying gear, most artists will be fine.
At the moment, my favorite records of the decade have to be Halcyon Digest (Not really electronic, but it’s cool), Mutant, EP2 and M3LL155X, and James Blake’s s/t
As for an “Untrue”, I think that FlyLo’s Cosmogramma could be a contender where even people that don’t listen to electronic music frequently will say its amazing.
Agreed, it’s the golden age of late-style. Which isn’t necessarily retromanaical. Lots of venerable artists are making some very solid music, if not their best work, at advanced stages of their careers. That’s promising.
I was gonna say, this is likely to be the case. With the internet essentially democratising music away from critical consensus, and subgenres becoming more and more niche/fractured, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are lots of smaller cult hits (which are fantastic) as opposed to one that is on everyone’s lips. I’ll have to take a moment to think of what my choice would be. I know my overall pick for my favourite of the last decade is 99% going to be Frank Ocean- Blonde, but that’s a bit outside of what we’re talking about here.
Would 100% make sense if this was the case. I can’t get into FlyLo at all, so would totally explain why I missed out on it. Despite giving his albums multiple chances, I just wouldn’t have seen them in the same light as something like Untrue, which I love.
Agree with this. Autechre is still way forward thinking, their recent NTS sessions prove it, right down to the way it was released, never mind what it sounds like. For me, Aphex lost it in his recorded output, but his live shows last year were phenomenal. I still think BOC are very good, but we hear from them far less frequently. I think of all of these as forces from the 90s as opposed to forces from the last 10 years or so, despite thinking that BOC and Autechre have put out great music in the last 10 years. I agree about the dominance of nostalgia, but I am also guilty of fuelling it. I love 80s music and have enjoyed much of its resurgence.
One for me is E.M.M.A’s Blue Gardens releases on Keysound in 2013. The whole release is timeless and takes you on a mystical and magical trip though sound and time. really dreamy sounds, an album you cant listen to hundreds of time but never get bored of because you notice new aspects each listen.
A few older things that have been playing recently:
Cello Suites by Yasuaki Shimizu. Bach played on saxophone in a warmly reverberant room. Lovely.
In The Moment by Makaya McCraven. (Mostly) live, beat-centric jazz explorations.
The Dredge EP by Caiazzo. Perfect techno to drown out the rest of humanity while on the subway.
Avalanches BBC 1 Essential Mix The Edan snippets throughout…
Elseq 1-5 by Autechre. Got these a while ago, but life got in the way and never gave them a serious listen. The NTS shows made me go back. Glad I did.
i listened back to the second one recently, the first half’s really grown on me – it took time because it’s less accessible emotionally in a way. I still think the album loses energy towards the end though… compared to BSP which just becomes euphoric and really builds
I definitely think one of the defining trajectories within this past decade has come courtesy of the “ambient-not-ambient” practitioners working to defy our preconceptions of what constitutes rhythm and melody, respectively. they’re all coming from different places aesthetically but I believe they’re all essentially working towards similar ends.
Theo Burt, the Mark Fell and Vladislav Delay records on Raster, Second Woman, L. Senni, Ricardo Donoso, Dialect, Ssaliva, TCF, Huerco S., SKRS, weightless grime, early footwork even…
Yes! I remember Blue Daisy when he, and others, were being grouped together with Fly Lo as “wonky” for like one year before that dumb label was dropped entirely.
Blue Daisy x Unknown Shapes is an EP I go back to so, so frequently. Has this mood to it I haven’t found in a lot other releases, I think partly due to the amalgamation of influences from that time (early decade) but has remained kinda timeless because of it.
I find myself returning to a lot of the 2008-2010 era Werk Discs stuff like early Actress, some of their Thriller releases, Zomby’s ravey album, and, a lot lately, Lukid. Especially Chord.
Good call! I often revisit this piece by Maya Kalev. At the time, she took a lot of stick for it, in part because of the term ‘power ambient’, and also in part, let’s face it, because she’s a lady. However, she is very smart and I think this article was instructive and incredibly thoughtful. The decidedly ‘power ambient’ Function/Vatican Shadow collaboration from that year still gets regular spins chez moi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PJPXq0EauM
I’m intrigued. C’est quoi?
@RAD Mr Mitch (Gobstopper), Logos/Mumdance (Different Circles), Yamaneko, et al…tip of the weightless iceberg
and, yes, I remember this piece! shame on me, how could I forget Ben Frost/Mannerfelt/Cantu-Ledesma? for. sure.
Lots of my favorite artists mentioned like Huerco S and Ssaliva, but I don’t see the connection to (some of my other favorites) like Mark Fell and TCF, or even Vladislav Delay?
@chava meaning they are all striving to dismantle rhythmic and/or harmonic conventions in some way, shape, or form…
clipping.'s Midcity and CLPPNG. (2014), both strong albums for me with the latter having a better variation in their hip-hop styles as well as the noise.
Flying Lotus - L.A., Cosmogramma and You’re Dead, all really stand out to me.
Death Grips - Exmilitary. This was my introduction to them, made a hell of an impression.
Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest. Took a while to grow on me, I think I overhyped the release and went into it with a little too much nostalgia, I feel that there are some darker elements to this album compared to others.
Thundercat - Golden Age of the Apocalypse. I enjoy the rest of his work, but this had real constant replay value to me from the get go. (Them Changes eventually hit the same, but that’s a song not an album…)
BSP is so good I’m just impressed they managed to make anything that wasn’t a crushing disappointment.
Lukid is highly underrated imo. Really enjoyed his more recent stuff too.