22 PICKS OF 2022

Photo by: Auburn Sky Imaging / DJ: Quelza

We excitedly present our music blog’s 22 picks of 2022. From Techno and House to everything in between, our team has reviewed seriously stellar releases this past year, covering artists and labels all across the globe. Spain and Argentina certainly made their presence known with hypnotic and heavy-hitting sonics. Electro and Breaks have made their respective comebacks. The realm of underground music has not disappointed in the least. With so many impactful EP’s and LP’s delivered, our talented blog writers have worked hard to stay ahead of the trends.

Yan Cook – “XXX” LP (Artscore) [May 13, 2022]

Yan Cook returns to ARTS Ltd. sublabel Artscore with “XXX” LP—a full album of what is proving to be this year’s absolute benchmark of quality techno.

Ian Pooley – “Studio A Pt.2” (Rekids) [February 11, 2022]

The man himself, Ian Pooley, returns in 2022 with “Studio A Pt.2”, an intrinsic and introspective journey developed from his home studio and released on Rekids.

VA – “Sleaze Compilation Vol.12” (Sleaze Records) [November 7, 2022]

Glasgow’s acclaimed Techno label, Sleaze Records, delivers its “Sleaze Compilation Vol. 12” with a lineup of international icons.

A Sagittariun – “Strange Brew” EP (Rekids) [May 6, 2022]

UK techno producer A Sagittariun delivers “Strange Brew” EP for a mind-bending follow up to his 2021 EP on Radio Slave’s Rekids imprint. Three complex and distinctly unique journeys are heavily packed with psychedelic and hypnotic influences while simultaneously containing the raw power Rekids releases are known for.

Ben Pest – “Amirite” (Mechatronica) [October 21, 2022]

Ben Pest brings a fresh Electro and Techno Breaks-inspired release to the Berlin based label Mechatronica with “Amirite”.

Planetary Assault Systems – “Devotion” EP (Token Records) [June 10, 2022]

Token Records welcomes back Luke Slater under his Planetary Assault Systems moniker with “Devotion” EP as an extension to his hugely successful “Skyscraping” LP released on the Belgian label late last year.

Silicon Scally – “Field Lines” (Central Processing Unit) [February 11, 2022]

In his first full-length since releasing as Carl Finlow on 20:20 Vision “Apparatus” and his self-released album “Crushed,” Carl Finlow as Silicon Scally takes on a new direction with groovy and intricate Detroit Electro and Kraftwerk-esque themes across “Field Lines” on the indomitable Central Processing Unit label out of Sheffield.

Kike Pravda – “Aerial” EP (Senoid Recordings) [February 7, 2022]

Spain’s Senoid Recordings makes an epic comeback with label head Kike Pravda’s latest “Aerial” EP.

Driss Bennis Pres. OCB – “Transhuman X-Press” (Casa Voyager) [August 12, 2022]

Casa Voyager bossman Driss Bennis, aka OCB, is back with “Transhuman X-Press” for a galactic trip consisting of Acid-y Breaks and deep, emotive tracks that stimulate the sonic palate.

Kinji Hina – “Kabukicho District” EP (Emerald) [September 30, 2022]

“Kabukicho District” EP offers artfully distorted and hypnotically-corrosive Techno at its finest as Kinji Hina releases on Dutch-based label Emerald.

Oscean – “Multirays” (Tresor) [October 14, 2022]

The duo Oscean, aka Andrés Zacco and Sebastián Galante, return to follow up their previous Tresor release with “Multirays”—an EP full of dusty broken Techno, Electro vibes, and crispy IDM influences.

Regal86 – “Escándalo” (Regal86) [June 30, 2022]

Regal86’s latest “Escándalo” LP further cements him as one of Mexico’s most prolific producers.

Client_03 – “Sense Combiner” (Cultivated Electronics) [November 1, 2022]

Electro powerhouse label, Cultivated Electronics, is back at it with a sinister bout titled “Sense Combiner”. Client_03 is not a natural human but rather a sentient machine delivering bionic transmissions with class and swagger.

polatrax – “former clarity” (polatrax) [May 10, 2022]

French house producer, polatrax, debuts his stellar first album, “former clarity”.

Cherushii – “3 EPs” (Perfect Location Records) [April 1, 2022]

Cherushii, with help from her family and friends, posthumously releases previously digital-only releases into vinyl-reissue “3 EPs” album compilation, creating a physical commemorative cenotaph to memorialize her work as a musician who pushed the bounds of underground house, disco, and pop music.

Burial – “Antidawn” (Burial) [January 6, 2022]

Burial’s productions chronicle an inescapable sense of disintegration. These inconstant, drifting, longing voices, carried away on winds import the cycle of finding people and losing them again, here, sped up and caught on brittle tape. There is a notable absence of drums of any kind, or even similarly structured sounds masquerading as percussion. If Burial’s past work can be characterized as downbeat or downtempo, his latest release “Antidawn” firmly emphasizes the latter.

Forest Drive West – Creeper (Ilian Tape) [July 12, 2022]

London-based producer Forest Drive West breaks the mold with his latest “Creeper” EP for Munich’s esteemed label, Ilian Tape.

Vara de Garganta – “Pandelium” (Darkroom Bureau) [November 4, 2022]

Vara de Garganta’s new “Pandelium” release on Darkroom Bureau is a deep dive into hypnotic pretenses and sequencing coupled with a harder edge. Including a remix from Blank Code’s Anthony Jimenez, the release dances across a heavier but abstract approach to the DC-based label’s signature sound.

Pessimist – “Blue 09” (AD 93) [August 26, 2022]

Straight up raw Jungle Techno from the deviant Pessimist, “Blue 09” comes in hot and heavy with an A-side of realness. Pounding and unrelenting, the champion from Bristol, Kristian Jabs, aka Pessimist presents a primal package of killer, club-ready hits.

Answer Code Request – “Shattering” EP (Delsin Records) [May 16, 2022]

Berlin techno mainstay Patrick Gräser, aka Answer Code Request, punches out hot new “Shattering” EP for the legendary imprint, Delsin Records. The longtime Berghain resident presents us with four tracks in his unique style, fusing breakbeat and techno that’s sure to keep your body in motion and your mind in the clouds.

Drumcell, Chris Liebing, Truncate – “The Heights” EP (CLR) [August 12, 2022]

Three friends, and incidentally Techno champions in their own right, Drumcell, Truncate, and Chris Liebing got together one bright sunny morning in Los Angeles at Drumcell’s studio to casually throw down an EP full of bangin’ Techno that shares their individual tastes, styles, and expert knowledge of the craft on “The Heights”.

Mal Hombre – “XX 9” (Molecular Recordings) [October 28, 2022]

Marco Lenzi’s Molecular Recordings is a stalwart anchor of the trueschool. Following a hefty, three volume remix package of his seminal “Taboo”—including Jeroen Search, Inigo Kennedy, Exos mixes, then an EP by Mai Haiping—the series continues with “XX 9” by Mal Hombre. 

Curated by some of our incredible review team: Sean Ocean, Jeronimo Watson, Jack Plumb, Colin Cook, Peter Stimson, Dylan Brady, and Katie Harris.

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