10 Must-Buy Albums for January 2016


Like you we spent the holidays overindulging. Yet we made a conscious effort to listen our way through a fat stack of promos in search of the best albums and compilations out in January. Without further ado we present the month’s most essential releases listed by order of their release date. Happy record shopping!

Be sure to check out our massive year-end feature Big Shot Rewind: 210 DJs and Artists Look Back on 2015.

Coldair – The Provider (Twelves)

Tobiasz Bilinski, a prolific 25-year-old Poland-based producer, composer, singer, classically-trained musician and indie label boss, presents a compelling album of dark synths, innocent vocals and haunting instrumentation issued on his own imprint. One moment Bilinski is laying down clickety breakbeats (“All I Meant”); the next he’s incorporating acoustic instruments (“To Become,” “Holy Soul”) into the mix. The tension he grapples with between synthetic and organic will likely inform his work for many years to come.
Release date: January 15


Mood II Swing – Strictly Mood II Swing (Strictly Rhythm)

This fantastic, extremely thorough 33-track retrospective recounts the highly influential sound crafted by prolific NYC house duo Mood II Swing in the ’90s. Comprised of Lem Springsteen and John Ciafone, their endless string of club hits for labels like Eightball and nonstop flow of remixes are properly documented. Stone cold classics like Wall Of Sound feat. Gerald Lethan’s rousing “Critical (If You Only Knew)” can still ignite any dance floor, any time, any place.
Release date: January 15


Tycho – Awake Remixes (Ghostly)

The songs on West Coast multi-hyphenate Scott Hansen’s 2014 album Awake produced under his downtempo Tycho moniker are neatly packaged into a tidy remix collection boasting blissful interpretations from the likes of Christopher Willits, RJD2, Beacon and Baio (a.k.a. Vampire Weekend’s bassist Chris Baio). Is there anything more sublime than Com Truise’s radiant reworking of the title track? We think not.
Release date: January 15


V/A – Chalet Beats N°3 (Clubstar)

Swanky Austrian inn taps local maestro DJ Hoody to helm the third installment of its Chalet Beats mix series. The track list checks in with deep house cuts and remixes from Röyksopp, DJ T, Kölsch, Yotto, Martin Den Hollander and Simon Droste. Chalet Beats N°3 is luxurious in every possible way. TripAdvisor’s staunch reviewers will likely agree.
Essential track: January 15

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Anchorsong – Ceremonial (Tru Thoughts)

Tokyo-born, London-based Masaaki Yoshida’s second full-length is a melange of sample-tastic instrumentals informed by everything from world music to retro sounds. On each cut his forward-thinking global sensibility allows him to ascend to dizzying new heights. Brilliant.
Release date: January 21


V/A – Collection 100 (Kombination Research)

Cisco Ferreira of The Advent celebrates 20 years of running his Kombination Research imprint and 100 releases with a compilation featuring pre-digital tracks crafted by Joey Beltram, David Squillace and Murat as well as three unreleased tracks from the man himself. Recommend for those who won’t techno for an answer.
Release date: January 21


Alex Smoke – Love Over Will (R&S)

Glaswegian Alex Menzies won the Internet in late 2015 when he revealed the NSFW album cover for Love Over Will (see below). With a slew of releases and remixes to his credit it’s no surprise that the album is solid as a rock. A somber, dark affair, the Scottish producer uses the album to experiment with his brooding voice that at times recalls the crooning style of Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy as he mixes and matches minimal and pop.
Release date: January 22


DUST – Agony Planet (2MR)

On their apocalyptic debut album for Mike Simonetti’s new 2MR imprint DUST — the Brooklyn techno trio comprised of audio engineer Michael Sherburn, Bossa Nova Civic Club owner John Barclay and artist Greem Jellyfsh — present a hair-raising, bloodcurdling cacophony. Sonically they touch upon bombastic styles including digital hardcore, cavernous techno and haunting soliloquies, and aren’t afraid to color outside the lines. Agony Planet is the techno soundtrack to a John Carpenter movie that has yet to be written.
Release date: January 22


Roly Porter – Third Law (Tri Angle)

Revered in the bass world for his groundbreaking work as half of pioneering dubstep duo Vex’d alongside Jamie Teasdale (a.k.a. Kuedo), Roly Porter’s third solo album finds him succeeding at his goal of producing music that transcends the dance floor. On Third Law he crafts eight powerful, brooding and beatless soundcapes that run the textural gamut from ambient to metallic. This is a career-defining masterpiece that’s guaranteed to sound like no other album you will hear in 2016.
Release date: January 22


V/A – Fabriclive 85: Jesse Rose (Fabric)

Globetrotting UK house DJ/producer/Play It Down + A-SIDED boss lays down a stellar mix that’s stuffed to the gills with upfront floor rockers from Henrik Schwarz, Johnny D, Urban Soul, Ian Pooley and Gene Farris. Rose’s deft production touch is prominent, notably on his unreleased “It’s Not Over” (Synthapella) featuring Seven Davis Jr., a gem that sets the stage for Steve Silk Hurley feat. Sharon Pass’s euphoric closer “The Word Is Love.”


Darren Ressler

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