The News staff was overwhelmed by amazing releases of all shapes and sizes this year, but we couldn’t be more pleased to bring you 10 must-hear long-players from the past 12 months. Whether it was abstract house offshoots, soulful debuts, skittery rhythms, or looks back at a bygone era, there was much awesomeness to digest. So without further ado, let us present to you our favorites for 2012.
10. Justin Martin – Ghettoes and Gardens [Dirtybird]
The San Francisco-based housemaster Justin Martin took off this year, striking out on his own with an awesome debut LP—and scoring one of Beatport News’ favorite Tracks of the Year, too.
9. Actress – RIP [Honest Jons]
Abstract techno and electronica at its finest, RIP, we hope, does not signal the end for the always-wonderful Actress.
8. Jessie Ware – Devotion [Island Records]
UK songstress Jessie Ware had a remarkable 2012, which culminated in this beautiful debut album.
7. Lone – Galaxy Garden [R&S]
Where were you in ’92? Probably listening to something like Lone’s Galaxy Garden, which, this year, brought us back to the glory days of rave.
6. Francis Harris – Leland [Scissor & Thread]
Francis Harris comes out from behind his Adultnapper guise to deliver one gorgeously understated abstract-house record.
5. Legowelt – The Paranormal Soul [Clone Jack for Daze Serie]
Another throwback-style release in the year’s top LPs, but hey, if that’s what was cranking in 2012, we were all over it. Legowelt proves his mastery of synths and styles once again.
4. Two Fingers – Stunt Rhythms [Big Dada]
Amon Tobin saw a real return to experimental form this year with his outstanding live show—and this more dance-oriented record under his Two Fingers moniker.
3. Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes [Warp]
The electronic jazz master may have been everywhere this year, but Until the Quiet Comes wouldn’t have happened had he not spent countless hours behind the scenes honing this one to perfection.
2. Andy Stott – Luxury Problems [Modern Love]
Andy Stott and the Modern Love crew dominated 2012 in a big way, and his Luxury Problems was just the cream of a very solid crop.
1. John Talabot – Fin [Permanent Vacation]
John Talabot distilled the sweetest elements of house and dance-pop and rendered them into a euphoric symphony—a true winner all around.