Squarepusher – Feed Me Weird Things

Style: Drill & Bass, Future Jazz, IDM

Vibe: Mechanical, Winter, Energetic, Urban, Nocturnal, Chaotic, Cold, Anxious, Futuristic, Mysterious, Surreal

Musical Qualities: Rhythmic, Instrumental, Technical, Complex, Sampling, Fast

Instrumentation: Drum Machines, Fretless Bass, Electric Bass, Sampler, Synthesizers, Keyboards

Aphex Twin – …I Care Because You Do

Style: Braindance / IDM, Acid Techno

Vibe: Anxious, Ominous, Romantic, Aggressive, Playful, Bittersweet, Surreal, Mechanical

Musical Qualities: Polyrhythmic, Melodic, Instrumental, Noisy, Repetitive

Instrumentation: Drum Machine, Synthesizers, Organ, Sampling, Drums, Percussion

Silver Apples – Silver Apples

Style: Analogue Electronic, Experimental Rock

Vibe: Anxious, Motorik, Mechanical, Dystopian, Futuristic, Ominous, Hypnotic

Musical Qualities: Dissonant, Repetitive, Percussive, Polyrhythmic

Leslie Winer – When I Hit You You’ll Feel It

Style: Trip-Hop, Dub Poetry, Post-Industrial

Vibe: Brooding, Surreal, Mechanical, Feminist, Surreal, Evocative, Muscular, Dreamy, Witchy, Aggressive, Urban, Storytelling, Conversational

Musical Qualities: Spoken Word, Loops, Beats, Dub

Jamire Williams – But Only After You Have Suffered

Style: Future Jazz, Organic Beat Music, Jazz Rap, Collage Pop

Vibe: Triumphant, Spiritual, Quilted, Poetic, Communal, Conscious, Christian

Musical Qualities: Sound Collage, Vignettes, Sampling, Beats, Rapping, Spoken Word, Rhythmic, Polished, Loops

Tortoise – The Taut and the Tame (The Luke Vibert Mix) / Find the One (Wait, Abstraction No. 3)

Style: Ambient Dub, Post-Rock, Experimental Electronic

Vibe: Hypnotic, Spacey, Mellow, Abstract, Nocturnal

Musical Qualities: Remix, Atmospheric, Rhythmic, Instrumental, Sampling, Loops

Boards of Canada – Geogaddi

Style: Trip-Hop, Psychedelic Electronic, IDM, Downtempo, Ambient Techno

Vibe: Mysterious, Hallucinogenic, Woozy, Occult, Cryptic, Nature, Eerie, Warm, Surreal, Hypnotic, Mellow, Haunting

Musical Qualities: Atmospheric, Beats, Sampling, Vignettes, Studio-as-an-Instrument, Rhythmic

Holden – The Inheritors

Style: Progressive Electronic, IDM, Microhouse

Vibe: Ancient, Tribal, Ritualistic, Pagan, Brooding, Mythic, Cold, Visceral, Mechanical, Hypnotic, Driving, Epic, Focused, Mysterious, Mystical, Patient, Powerful, Suspenseful, Earthy

Musical Qualities: Repetitive, Distorted, Heavy, Rhythmic, Percussive, Loops, Dissonant, Dense, Instrumental, Pulse, Noisy, Progressive, Field Recordings, Sampling

Instrumentation: Bodhrán (Irish Frame Drum), Synthesizers, Drum Machine, Saxophone, Organ, Chanting, Melodeon (Pump Organ), Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Xylophone, Live Electronics

The Kniфe – Shaking the Habitual

Style: Experimental Electronic, Post-Industrial

Vibe/Mood: Ominous, Disorienting, Mechanical, Brooding, Chaotic, Colorful, Anti-Capitalist, Feminist, Complex, Cryptic, Dance, Futuristic, Surreal, Messy

Musical Qualities: Manipulated Vocals, Dissonant, Polyrhythmic, Dense, Percussive, Polyphonic, Noisy, Repetitive

Nicolas Jaar – Space is Only Noise

Style: Progressive Electronic, Ambient House, Collage Pop, Sound Sculpture

Moods: Cryptic, Surreal, Aquatic, Hypnotic, Nocturnal, Futuristic, Melancholy, Collage, Urban, Mellow, Meditative, Ethereal, Eclectic, Rainy, Romantic

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Electro-Acoustic, Field Recordings, Atmospheric, Melodic, Loops

Burial + Four Tet + Thom Yorke – Her Revolution / His Rope

Style: Trip-Hop, Ambient Pop, Electronic

Vibe: Nocturnal, Moody, Melancholy, Ethereal, Detached, Lonely, Cold, Heartfelt, Depressive

Musical Qualities: Sampling, Atmospheric, Slow, Mellow

Ash Ra Tempel – New Age of Earth

Style: Kosmische Musik, Progressive Electronic, Space Ambient, New Age

Vibe: Meditative, Cosmic, Soothing, Hypnotic, Spacey, Peaceful, Ethereal, Futuristic

Musical Qualities: Instrumental, Minimalistic, Polished, Repetitive

Instrumentation: Synthesizers, Electric Guitar, Keyboard, Loops

Cluster – Sowiesoso

Style: Progressive Electronic, Kosmische Musik

Vibe: Forest, Mysterious, Pastoral, Cosmic, Nature, Mellow, Contemplative, Focused, Motorik, Nocturnal

Musical Attributes: Instrumental, Repetition, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Instrumentation: Analogue Synthesizers, Drum Machine

Oneohtrix Point Never – Magic Oneohtrix Point Never

Style: Progressive Electronic, Hypnogogic Pop, Neo-Psychedelia

Vibe: Surreal, Nostalgia, Sentimental, Catchy, Futuristic, Longing, Melancholy, Woozy, Uplifting, Eclectic

Musical Attributes: Sampling, Sound Collage, Progressive

Nicolas Jaar – Cenizas

Released in 2020 on Other People Records

Artist: Nicolas Jaar

Format: LPx2


Style: Progressive Electronic, Ambient Pop, Sound Sculpture

Vibe: Introspective, Mysterious, Nocturnal, Shadowy, Abstract, Dark, Hypnotic, Meditative

Musical Attributes: Electro-Acoustic, Progressive, Digital, Studio-as-an-Instrument

Botany – End the Summertime F(or)ever

While the luminescent drones and angelic simulacra of Deepak Verbera expanded out into the cosmos, Botany’s newest LP feels more rooted in the soil of our material reality. The bass heavy beats and impassioned vocal samples inspire movement and action rather than contemplation alone, not to say the results aren’t heady. Rich tapestries of resonant acoustic instruments (harps, flutes, percussion, strings), woozy synths, and warm tape hiss are as intricate as ever and easy to lose (or find?) yourself in.
Recommended to fans of Flying Lotus’ Until the Quiet Comes, Boards of Canada, and Alice Coltrane.


The Books – The Way Out

The Books’ music is simultaneously funny, innovative, catchy and enlightening. They use found sound and spoken word mixed with innovative recording techniques and acoustic instruments to create beautiful sound-collages that somehow create unity between all these disparate sources, as if they were all meant to be together. Everything these guys do, solo or together, is absolute genius.

Tonto’s Exploding Head Band – Zero Time

A psychedelic synth odyssey created with only an expanded Series III Moog by Robert Margouleff and synth-guru Malcolm Cecil (who programmer synths on legendary albums by Stevie Wonder and Gil-Scott Heron in addition to his ambient solo work). The intricately layered results here feel like a synthetic wilderness, with a wide variety of colors and textures that sound warm, organic, and natural despite their electronic origins.

Tangerine Dream – Zeit

This is what I imagine a black hole might sound like. “Zeit” translates to “Time”, yet time feels completely suspended here, filled instead with vast negative space in which burbling VCS 3 synthesizers, suspenseful organs, and a droning quartet of cellos float in and out. These four sidelong pieces erase all traces of rock or any kind of beat from Tangerine Dream’s sound, leaving ominous space-ambient music in its purest form.

Eno, Roedelius, Moebius – After the Heat

Brian Eno and German kosmiche duo Cluster collaborate on a spacey synthesizer album with diverse moods, including peaceful ambient swells, sinister sequencers, industrial drum machine grooves, and suspenseful piano motifs. The release is mostly instrumental but Eno songs sparingly on a couple tracks. The last track features Can’s Holger Czukay playing some pulsing, harmonic bass grooves

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead

A psychedelic, transcendent fusion of hip-hop, jazz, prog, and IDM meant to simulate the cosmic experience of death. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Thundercat, Herbie Hancock, Kamasi Washington, Snoop Dogg, and others..,

Dead Recipe – Day of Mangoes [Review]

“Day of Mangoes” is overstimulation at it’s finest. Just imagine floating down a river through an unexplored tropical paradise where every corner brings a new array of colorful sounds. Warm synths gliding over clunking piano give way to chorus-drenched highlife guitars strumming over thick synth basslines. Manipulated vocal samples emerge from nowhere and then disappear into radio static just as quickly…RIYL: Animal Collective, King Sunny Ade, & Madlib