Dec 31, 2021

Top ten best electronic music albums of 2021: Ross From Friends – Tread

Fat Roland's Best Electronic Music Albums of 2021 presents another brilliant album:

Ross From Friends – Tread (Brainfeeder) 

Rachel from Friends walks into a room. "Hello everyone, I have hair," she says, and already Joey from Friends is humping the sofa.

Monica from Friends shoos Joey from Friends away from the sofa. "That's not a neat thing to do," says Monica from Friends because she likes things neat.

Phoebe from Friends sets fire to the flat because it's a whacky things to do. "Could I *be* anymore on fire?" says Chandler from Friends as he's reduced to smoking ashes.

"Hey guys, I made an album," says Ross From Friends, but they're not listening because they're too busy making lazy jokes tinged with homophobia.*

And what an album. We've spent the best part of two years not clubbing much, so it has been a pleasure to mainline Tread into my stupid brain. Boogie in the discotheque of my imagination. Felix Clary Weatherall built his own Ableton plug-in for the album to allow for a freer form of recording. The result is a work that sounds truly live.

Highlight follows highlight. The Daisy's trippy IDM is a waterfall of tumbling sadness. Love Divide takes a more straight Bonobo route, while filtering power pop vocals into passing fractals. The slow hip hop beats of Spatter/Splatter background what sounds like a choir prepping for war. Run is pure 80s pop chewed up and spat out by Boards of Canada. Life In A Mind is a microphone-brandishing diva riding a sonic spaceship like a skateboard.

For me, Revellers is the crowning glory, but that accolade will be different for everyone. I recommended this track on my Twitter a month ago because, and I quote, "I just put it on, instinctively made a furrowed 'tuuuune' face, and whacked the volume right up." Actually, maybe XXX Olympiad is my fave: those skippy drums land so nicely.

Ross from Friends walk into a room and says sadly, "hey, let's talk about dinosaurs". Get lost, Ross from Friends. We've already got a Ross From Friends. He's a keeper.

*I am aware that I'm criticising lazy writing while making the hackest route-one reference I could think of when talking about the music artist Ross From Friends. Oh dear.

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