HTRK - Work (work, work)
The best of the year. This gets better every time I listen to it: black and silky, cold and jagged, simple and repetetive but deep and powerful.
Oyaarss & Friends - smaida greizi nākamība
Funny that one of the best releases of the year is a free download. But this compilation demonstrates some intelligent, forward-thinking electronic music with attitude.
Cloaks - Versions Grain
Like a broken machine, this is the kind of electronic music I've been waiting a long time for. Industrial, cold, soulless - austere and beautiful. This is actually a remix album but it only just tops their own originals.
Circle Takes the Square - Rites of Initiation
This is the first taster of the new CTTS album due to be released next year. It's great - I'm not sure it reaches the majestic peaks of As the Roots Undo, but time and repeated listening could prove me wrong. Anyway it's still miles ahead of much screamo which refuses to push the envelope - CTTS are endlessly experimental and their tracks are insanely complex.
Regis - Adolescence
Yes, it's another compilation. But it's awesome; ignoring it just wouldn't make this list accurate.
Swimming - Ecstatics International
I saw these guys play a headphone show at a local cinema - great idea, and the music was amazing. It's unusual to make very catchy, pleasurable music which is still experimental and sounds genuinely unique - but they do it perfectly. The album's brilliant, they deserve big success.
Grouper - Water People
I doubt anyone hasn't heard of Grouper this year. Without a turntable for the past few years I haven't been able to participate in the vinyl revival but thankfully this release was available digitally.
Death Grips - Ex Military
Another free download - probably everyone's already heard Guillotine but it's always worth hearing again. Mental abstract electronic hip hop.