Dec 30, 2019

Best electronic albums of 2019: seventeen

17 – Barker – Utility (Ostgut Ton)

I once went to a Leisure System night at Glasgow's ill-fated Art School and a pilled-up Glaswegian shouted at me and my mate for what seemed like 92 minutes. We didn't catch a word amid the thick accent and pumping beats, bar the phrase "do you like heavy metal".

So Leisure System's great. Its co-founder Sam Barker held off releasing anything for ages, but finally he's plopped out an album. And not for the last time in this top 20 (expect this to become a theme), it's not the club stormer you'd expect.

On Utility, the drums are hardly noticeable, and instead it's down to Barker's exacting synthesis to prove the rhythms. This is a slow album. It's not so much music you dance to, rather it's the echo of the music still ringing in your ears as you leave the dancefloor to go for a widdle.

Stop a moment and let the descending shakes of Paradise Engineering cover you, or succumb to the growing Global Communication-esque fuzzy patches of Models Of Wellbeing. All in all, this is an enchanting work, and a bold step for someone who could have just laid out some fat drums and let his Leisure System reputation do the talking.

Scroll the full best-of-2019 list here.

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