The past twelve months have been amazing for techno. This year saw some of the best releases in recent memory, with innovative artists pushing the boundaries of club culture to unparalleled new heights. At Monument, we all have our own preferences. We have asked our contributors to share five of their favourite releases from the past year. We hope that our readers enjoy these records as much as we did.

 

Paula Koski

Editor-in-chief & Head of Premiere.

 

Artist: Dark Division

Release: CMBR

Label: Hidden Tapes

Favourite Track: Anisotropy of the Void – PRG/M Tritone Paradox Remix

Mind-bending, experimental, broken-beat, psychedelic dark techno with impeccable sound design. Combined, the six original tracks and two remixes of Dark Division‘s album construct a journey that gets better with each play. And what a remix treatment PRG/M gives to track Anisotropy of the Void, resulting perhaps the most hypnotising track of the year! Pure Italian techno masterclass.

Artist: Toki Fuko

Release: Floating EP

Label: Affin

Favourite Track: Abs

Toki Fuko‘s timeless sounds always get me smiling like I was in love. The impressive signature sounds consisting of colossal textures, murky rustles and heavy layers feel so tangible I can almost touch them. I know I will find myself getting back to this release again and again.

Artist: Ymir

Release: From Heaven to Earth

Label: Norite

Favourite Track: Ikhet

Little is known of Ymir, but one thing is for certain. With its unique spirit, Ymir’s debut solo EP on Norite perfectly showcases the mystical producer’s uncompromising talent and sets the bar high for the releases to come.

Artist: Eyvind Blix

Release: Västberga Allé LP

Label: Oslated

Favourite Track: Elektra

As previously described somewhere, Eyvind Blix‘s debut album is truly a meditative, yet powerful piece. Playing the releases opening track Elektra at Tresor was also one of my favourite gig moments of this year. Fellow Oslated-artists Vayu, Saphileaum, Unjin and Djilogue each compliment the original tracks with remixes that provide softer approach on the albums metallic, immersive and experimental sounds.

Artist: Desroi

Release: Dwell in motion

Label: Avian

Favourite Track: Lines of Sight

I have to agree with Mike Parker and declare Desroi’s EP as bad-ass. Produced with a minimal collection of elements, the release gives another prime example of less is more. I cannot help but love the textures, this time as a compilation of five intelligent and evocative tracks. Lines of Sight and Birth are my favourite cuts.

Conor O’Gara

Sub-editor & Author. Joined Monument in late 2018. 

 

Artist: Skee Mask

Release: Compro

Label: Ilian Tape

Favourite Track: Flyby Vfr

Selected Ambient Works. Minimal Nation. Autobahn. One word comes to mind when speaking of these records: Classic. Skee Mask has found the perfect balance between rhythm and soul on Compro, a record that will be remembered in years to come as his masterpiece.

Artist: Deepchord

Release: Immersions

Label: Astral Industries

Favourite Track: Immersions I

Deepchord rarely disappoints. This two track EP features glistening dub techno that transports the listener to another realm. Get lost in the beautiful world of Deepchord.

 

Artist: BNJMN

Release: Hypnagogia

Label: Delsin

Favourite Track: Hypnagogia Pt. 2

BNJMN’s expansive sound design married with hypnotic bass lines and rhythms forge a cathartic listening experience. BNJMN exhibits vast sweeping soundscapes and juxtaposes them with tight, psychedelic rhythms to strike an excellent balance between home listening and club directed tunes.

 

Artist: Wanderwelle

Release: Gathering Of The Ancient Spirits

Label: Silent Season

Favourite Track: The Seed Of The Areoi

Amsterdam based duo Wanderwelle have recorded an album based on the final years of Paul Gauguin’s life, which he spent on the islands of French Polynesia. 115 years after his passing, Gauguin’s quest to find a land untouched by modern society is retold through Wanderwelle’s incredible creativity. Atmospheric music doesn’t get any better than this.

 

Artist: Wata Igarashi

Release: Niskala

Label: Midgar

Favourite Track: Spirits In The Rain

Colourful, futuristic and hypnotic. Wata Igarashi’s unique approach to techno has gained him widespread praise in 2018. The Japanese producer released two EPs on Midgar this year, both highlighting his flawless songwriting talent. Niskala sees Igarashi showcase some of his most atmospheric work to date.

 

Stefania

Italian-born London-based Writer. Joined Monument in early 2018.

 

Artist: Anthony Linell

Release: A Sense Of Order

Label: Northern Electronics

Favourite Track: Breeders Trophy

Anthony Linell’s ability of painting his surroundings with sound is one-of-a-kind and A Sense of Order may be the best example of this for 2018. Dramatic and purposely unwelcoming as worth of his signature, the slowness of the tracks seem giving your mind just too much time to wander. Best track is Breeders Trophy: think of the thickest fog, weird whispers surrounding you & deep meditative soundscapes.

 

 

Artist: Inigo Kennedy

Release: Strata

Label: Token Records

Favourite Track: Oblivion

Inigo Kennedy’s return LP on Token was much awaited and Strata showed that it was well-worth the 4 year wait. Investigating the concept of planetary layers, the UK producer brings us on a hypnotic journey. His technical skills marry that melancholic unmistakable sound of his, which makes Kennedy so different from the typical characteristics of UK producers. Still, somehow, his sound is linked to warehouse vibes. Favourite track is Oblivion: slower than his usual and acidly echoing, it creates a beautiful techno drama of vivid intensity.

 

 

Artist: Primal Code

Release: La Via della Seta

Label: Hypnus

Favourite Track: Varanasi

The craft and sensibility of the Milan-based duo is from another planet: one in which past meets present, starting from the names of their tracks to their unique type of sound. Their first LP out on Hypnus is luxurious, like wandering through untouched nature, epic, like exploring ancient ruins, & touching, like listening to an oriental melody. The strongest track is Varanasi: ethereal, delicate and inviting soundscapes to get lost in. This is techno poetry.

 

 

Artist: Oscar Mulero

Release: Perfect Peace

Label: Semantica

Favourite Track: On Eternal Power

When Oscar Mulero meets Semantica, I am in heaven. Mulero is surely not new to the experimental side of techno, and Semantica is one of the best labels at releasing the finest records of the genre. With Perfect Peace, the artist explores deeply the textural side of sound and lowers the BPMs to shows us that he is a master at everything he does: King Midas of techno. My favourite track is Eternal Power: harsh, cold and repetitive sounds, naturally melting with a perfectly crafted dark ambience.

 

 

Artist: Alfredo Mazzilli

Release: Supercinema 001

Label: Supercinema Records

Favourite Track: Icarus XB1

A dream translated into a story board; it’s like going to the movies: a supercinema, better said. Supercinema 001 is a 4 track EP that smells of  those starry nights, when the sky is so vast and bright that it seems to be sending you messages. Techno that’s never aggressive, but magically tense and always dreamy. My pick is Icarus: a powerful yet delicate sonic adventure of 7 minutes, that might as well never end.

 

Vy Tran

Writing for Monument since late 2018.

Artist: Desroi
Release: Dwell in Motion
Label: Avian
Favourite Track: Dwell in Motion

My favourite release of the year! Desroi‘s Dwell in Motion is a great five track EP, combining experimental sounds with effective and powerful elements over well-structured sound textures to form a perfect techno tool.

Artist: Silent-One
Release: Lost Souls
Label: Intimate Silence
Favourite Track: Human Border

With his first EP on his own imprint Intimate Silence, Silent-One makes his first steps into production and explores all facets of ambient. Lost Souls is a wonderful compilation of subtle ambient trips with beautiful melodies and melancholic atmosphere.

Artist: Dold
Release: Express Route
Label: Blue Hour
Favourite Track: Express Route

Express Route, produced by Dold, is a heavy dance floor banger with a great mixture of energetic Detroit techno, powerful broken beats and a small touch of electro.

Artist: Archivist & Fugal
Release: Undertow
Label: BleeD
Favourite Track: Being & Nothingness

Archivist and Fugal teamed up together for a collaborative EP. The result: Undertow, an atmospheric and dubby four tracker with the potential to get lost in. Acronym rounds of the EP with a stunning remix.

Artist: Abstract Man
Release: Pillar
Label: On The 5th Day
Favourite Track: Perception

London based duo Abstract Man continues their work in the studio together and released Pillar. The EP, including a remix from Von Grall, showing their shared passion for textured, driving techno with varied elements.

We thank you for supporting Monument for the past year. 2019 has a lot in store for us and we hope that you will join us on our journey to support forward thinking techno.

 

Below is a video playlist with all of our favourites from 2018. Enjoy!

 

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