In no discernible order, here is a list of our top 10 favorite LPs of this year. Nonstop talent ending 2014 with a bang!
ITAL / ENDGAME / LOVERS ROCK
Ital returns with his 3rd LP, a lush, layered deep techno album, proving to all critics that his experimentation in disco, house, body music and, for this output, psychedelics, were building up to his most mature, sensuous, ghostly and prolific record to date.
ANDY STOTT / FAITH IN STRANGERS / MODERN LOVE
How does one follow up to one of the best records of 2012? With Luxury Problems, Stott collaborated his pitch black sound with vocalist Alison Skidmore making a record so perfect, complete, so utterly beautiful that expectations would be considerably high for his next release. With Faith in Strangers, Stott collaborates again with Skidmore, showcasing her luminous vocal range and Stott purging himself deeper into dub. Faith can only be a record created in Manchester, an urban landscape with it's post-punk roots and gloomy skies. Though not as powerful as Luxury, Faith is a subtle, laidback and an essential listen.
FURTHER REDUCTIONS / WOODWORK / CITITRAX
Shawn O'Sullivan can do no wrong, with membership in the stripped down synth trio, Led Er Est, electronic albums for Wierd Records, Mannequin, Sacred Bones and his alias releases for L.I.E.S and Avian, he has cranked out years of spectacular work, from a wide range of electronic genres. Here he teams back up with his Further Reductions partner Katie Rose to release Woodwork. With O'Sullivan's thumping bass and Katie Rose's blurred vocals layered a top lush, atmospheric affects, this is a XX/XY pairing that Chris and Cosey fans would enjoy.
FKA TWIGS / LP2 / YOUNG TURKS
Quite possibly the sexiest album of 2014, LP2 is like a juicy pair of lips just slightly open, A slow light spanking, a hand wrapped across the neck with the tiniest bit of pressure. It is everything that has been missing from pop music this year and this sensuous songstress vogued her way into our best of list without breaking a sweat or her harness straps.
EARTHEN SEA / MIRAGE / LOVERS ROCK
MAGIC TOUCH / PALERMO HOUSE GANG / 100% SILK
The third member of Mi Ami makes this list with his first happy house LP for 100% Silk. With his recent address change from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Damon Palermo is looking to sunnier skies and his music is sparkling with disco and early house references. With collaborations with Newbody, Octo Octa, Ash Williams and a record cover by talented illustrator and San Francisco resident DJ, Primo, Palermo House Gang is exactly what the name implies, a celebration of some of his favorite cats in the game.
GROUPER / RUINS / KRANKY
The album is a document. A nod to the daily walk. Failed structures. Living in the remains of love -Liz Harris.
An utterly gorgeous album.
FRANK & TONY / YOU GO GIRL / SCISSORS & THREAD
A butter-smooth deep house record made like an homage to a 90s boyhood crush. Frank & Tony's You Go Girl still feels contemporary, but reads like a mash up of Groove Theory's Tell Me and DJ Sprinkles.
BRONZE / WORLD ARENA / NOT NOT FUN
The celebrated weirdos of Bronze brings their best efforts so far with a haze-y, smoked out, psychedelic effort in World Arena. A true testament that San Francisco still has guys who love to perform in homemade costumes who can still hold a name for themselves as one of San Francisco's most respected bands.
AURORA HALAL / PASSAGEWAYS / MUTUAL DREAMING
Female electronic producers are rare diamonds in the ruff. A voice so few in such a male dominant world. Aurora Halal is one of even fewer women making techno music, especially deep, heavy, vibrating techno that has as much grit, intelligence and swagger as any male producer can sculpt. As a video artist, Aurora has been able to manipulate and distort the eye, as a musician, with her collaboration with Steve Summers in Inner Gaze and her more recent escapes with Ital, Aurora can do the same with an audio experience. Superb.