Dec 29, 2014

Best electronic albums of 2014: six

 Plaid  Reachy Prints (Warp)

So far, this top ten has been dour. Not without soul, but certainly moody. Thank goodness for Plaid.

Their tenth album in 25 years has a light touch, perhaps their lightest and most listenable, and it arrives in the wake of orchestral collaborations that have perhaps encouraged a few theatrics. So we have jingling bells, swooping dynamics, and an Orbitalesque earworm in Matin Lunaire.

Reachy Prints grew on me slowly. It’s better when it’s toned down, where the pleasure is found in the subtleties and not the hooks. But I’ve found myself returning to it repeatedly. Such is their genius.

[Click here for the full top ten]



Some also-rans

There are a number of collaborative projects that didn't make my top ten this year. The Bug's comeback album Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) received rave reviews, but I wasn't quite convinced by the vocalists on offer. Even less successful were the vocals on SBTRKT's disappointing Wonder Where We Land (Young Turks). Shame. Royksopp's probable swansong The Inevitable End (Dog Triumph/Wall Of Sound) was a little too coffee-table, although I love their partnership with Robyn. Two of my heroes, Eno / Hyde, gave us Someday World and High Life (Warp) which left me cold. Also-ran nods go to the heroin r’n’b of Matthewdavid's In My World (Brainfeeder), the Walls / Daphne Oram library reworking Sound Houses (Ecstatic), and Com Truise's so-so Wave 1 (Ghostly International) which was probably more an EP than an album.

[Click here for the full top ten]