2011 was a year where many artists broke through, whether it be the up and comers such as Blawan, Cosmin TRG or AnD or veterans such as Mike Parker, Luke Slater or ASC who have simply kept on keeping on. Below is TEA's list of 10 acts and artists that impressed us most.
Alongside Cosmin TRG, Blawan has been one of 2011's most talked about artists and one that Midland says inspired him to be less lazy when it comes to programming his drums. Blawan dominated 2011 with releases on Restoration and Vae Victis with help from the Analogue Cops as well as two releases on R & S with the gob smacking What You Do With What You have EP and his equally impressive Peaches EP on Clone's Basement Series.
Kowton's don't pigeon hole me attitude to production pokes fun at the hapless journalist who for the sake of a review is forced to describe his music. Kowton's kooky productions have seen light on a 6 separate labels in 2011 including [NAKED LUNCH], Project Squared, Teal Recordings, Livity Sound, Other Heights and two EP's for Bristol imprint Idle Hands.
RA forum member Mamam made the comment on Resident Advisor's review of Dadub's Monad VIII "How dance music will sound in 2043… Fantastic" pretty much sums it up. As it stands Dadub's music is so far ahead of its time even Detroit's first wave are scratching their heads putting themselves and Stroboscopic Artefacts at the cutting edge of electronic music.
Who can get enough of faceless techno and covert production operations? AnD are a Mancunian based duo who this year lit the techno world alight with a prolific slew of releases on equally enigmatic labels Horizontal Ground and Black Sun Records as well as Idle Hands, Project Squared and their own Inner Surface Music iprint run with Tom Dicicco. With an unstoppable amount of techno seen from the two last year it’s clear that a release-less 2010 was the bi-product of being left to their own devices in what can only be imagined as an abandoned air raid shelter beneath the streets of Manchester.
2011 was a year where anything remotely related to Mike Parker was considered buy on sight. With Munich based label Prologue shedding light on some of techno's darkest names which include Dino Sabatini, Cio D'Or, Milton Bradley, Georgio Gigli and Claudio PRC, Mike Parker added his name to the roster with two stellar EP's linking the two with what seems to be a match made in heaven. Parker's own Geophone imprint saw GPH16 and GPH17 hit the shelves cementing Parkers as one of techno's most recognisable sounds.
Another name to seemingly burst out of no where is Truncate aka David Flores aka Audio Injection. Unlike Audio Injection's big room approach to techno with releases on CLR, Droid, Sleaze and Electric Deluxe, Flores has made a move away from the main room with his now dubbier orientation. Flores set up his own Truncate platform and hios music also saw other releases on US imprints Enemy Records, Modularz and Drumcell's Droid whom Flores works closely with.
Eduardo De La Calle
Spaniard Eduardo De La Calle may well be one of the hardest working and most dedicated to the cause electronic music producers out there. This year he launched his Analog Solutions imprint which saw a whopping 16 releases in total, all of which untitled and quality. Over the years Eduardo De La Calle has slowly raised the standards of what should be considered 'deep house' with his pure and honest house/techno sound, throwing caution to wind for any for any producer claiming to be deep house.
ASC is another producer who has long flown under the radar and in doing so made the likes of Sandwell District look somewhat mainstream. After his revered Nothing Is Certain full length released on Non Plus last year, 2011 saw ASC reveal himself to the broader techno community via a joint EP with L.B Dub Corp on Mote Ecolver's Parallel Series 1 EP. In 2010 ASC set up his Auxiliary imprint which saw the digital offshoot Auxiliary Transmissions and the bold Auxiliary: Symbol launch in 2011. ASC recently opened Pushing Red's podcast series which is well worth a listen, the UK producer (based in San Diego) also runs his own blogspot which is recommended read for a healthy intake of underground and forward thinking nutrition.
Those still unable to get their kick drums sounding as big as Kerri Chandler's or their hats as slicing as Falty DL have all secretly signed a pact to do whatever it takes to rid the world of Gerry Read. At 19 years old the Suffolk based maverick's ability to produce techno as dense as Dehnert and raw as Restoration sent sqeee's of excitement through TEA HQ this year. Since debuting last year on the Dark Arx imprint, Read has demonstrated a progression and focus in sound across releases on both 2nd Drop and Fourth Wave. Juno Plus recently revealed that a further twelve inch and an album are in the works for Fourth Wave.
There is no denying it that the man about techno town in 2011 was indeed Shifted. In a down spoken transition to techno from drum n bass, Shifted wasted no time in introducing himself. This year saw the launch of his own Avain imprint as well as releasing two extremely impressive EP's on Luke Slater's Mote Evolver. EP's were also knocked up for labels Pacific Blue, Syndrome Z and Our Circula Sound. The Englishman also produced Project Squared's biggest selling release for 2011 with his remix to Furesshu's Lucid as well as other remixes for The Black Dog, Sigha, Max_M, Cio D'Or and DAX J & Chris Stanford from EarToGround.