12 Essential Albums For October 2014


Autumn is one of the best seasons of the year. With milder temperatures and the changing of colors of trees always comes great music. October 2014 is shaping up to be an exceptional month, with new albums from a plethora of new and established dance and electronic acts. Okay, enough of the small talk. Without further ado, here’s our picks of the most essential releases of the month (listed in no particular order).

Bonobo – The North Borders Tour—Live (Ninja Tune)
After setting the stage with 2010’s acclaimed Black Sands, Si “Bonobo” Green took his sound to glitchier, darker realms on 2013’s The North Borders, collaborating in the process with the likes of Erykah Badu and an array of rising talent. Having performed on a nonstop tour to 2 million people at a dizzying array of festivals and club dates, Green’s travels and performances have been documented on this live album and accompanying DVD. The production is crisp and utterly enthralling, recalling a time when live albums were either entirely magical or a fuck-you from an artist to their level.
Essential track: Towers feat. Szjerdene
Release date: October 6

Tosca – Outta Here (!K7)
Uniting together to make music in 1994, Rupert Huber and Richard Dorfmeister continue to make beautiful music together. On their seventh album, the Austrian downtempo duo are joined by singers Earl Zinger and Cath Coffey on a full-length that slinks and oozes at will. Though the opener “Harry Dean” is dark and brooding, calling to mind early Tricky, a spate of cuts (“Crazy Love,” “Have Some Fun”) are funk phenomenons of the tallest order.
Essential track: “Lone Ranger”
Release date: October 7

Flying Lotus – You’re Dead! (Brainfeeder)
It’s Flying Lotus’ new album — buy it. ‘Nuff said!
Essential track: Everything.
Release date: October 14

SBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land (Young Turks)
SBTRKT’s self-titled 2011 debut album was a game changer, a thoroughly inventive release with songs rooted in soulful R&B/house and flavored with the angst that’s often absent from most producers’ dance floor exploits. Trusted vocal partner Sampha, whose voice embodies the essence of Aaron Jerome’s sound, fronts three cuts on Wonder Where We Land. There are also excellent collaborations with Ezra Koenig, Caroline Polachek, Jesse Ware, Koreless and A$AP Ferg. There are lots of nice surprises on WWWL, including “Higher” featuring newcomer Raury who spits with the swagger of some of the best mic marauders in the business. Overall, SBTRKT has landed in a very good place.
Essential track: “NEW DORP. NEW YORK”
Release date: October 7

Miguel Migs – Dim Division (Soul Heaven)
Talented Northern California-based deep-house DJ/producer Miguel Migs — who is also the proprietor of the Salted Music label — serves up a brand-new studio album featuring an array of vocalists. Though the grooves are certainly rooted in 4/4 house music, Migs taps into downtempo during his journey. Standouts include his collaborations with Meshell Ndegeocello (“What Do You Want”), pair of cuts with frequent artistic cohort Lisa Shaw (“Heartbeat,” “Just Fade Away”) and a nice jam fronted by Jason Brock (“Sail On”). Lead track “Let It Play” featuring Martin Luther is an infectious romp.
Essential track: “Just Fade Away” featuring Lisa Shaw
Release date: October 26

Knife Party – Abandon Ship (Earstorm/Big Beat)
With massive dubstep-laden hits like “Internet Friends,” “Bonfire” and “LRAD” under their belts, Knife Party’s Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen bring the noise on their rollicking full-length debut. “Resistance” is a primal, squelchy and thoroughly epic track while “Boss Mode” recalls the pair’s memorable work in Pendulum. Perhaps the most interesting track is “Begin Again,” another pivot into the unabashed world of pop/electro-house. Does that mean they have forsaken their dubstep roots forever? To be continued….
Essential track: “404”
Release date: October 27

John Digweed & Nick Muir Featuring John Twelve Hawks – The Traveler Press (Bedrock)
Paranoia and skepticism of authority aren’t typically themes that are rooted in dance music. After being contacted by the elusive bestselling author who goes by the alias John Twelve Hawks — he apparently lives off the grid because the world is becoming ruled by characters like the Big Brother of George Orwell’s 1984 and dominated by the government controls of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 — Bedrock boss John Digweed and musical partner Nick Muir wound up making an album based on his trilogy of The Traveler novels. The tracks are lush, cinematic and unlike anything Diggers has done in the past and it works well with JTH’s modulated spoken-word musings. Kudos to all involved for exploring the musical road less traveled and giving listeners food for thought.
Essential track: “3B3”
Release date: October 6

Museum of Love – S/T (DFA)
With LCD Soundsystem now in his rear-view mirror, drummer/DJ/bon vivant Pat Mahoney has unveiled Museum of Love’s self-titled full-length created in tandem with longtime DFA affiliate and artist Dennis McNany. Probably the most immediate call to mind is Mahoney’s robust voice. On “Deep South” his croon meets at the intersection of Brian Ferry and David Byrne. Overall, the album is funky and quirky — everything we’d expect from an incredible union of two gifted musical spirits.
Essential track: “The Large Glass”
Release date: October 14

Adam X – Irreformable (Sonic Groove)
As the sound of many house DJs and producers grows techier, Adam X is light years ahead of the pack. The Brooklynite who cut his teeth in the ’90s in the genre (along with his brother, Frankie Bones) has wholly dedicated himself to techno, even relocating to Berlin a few years ago to follow his musical bliss. His first album since 2008’s State Of Limbo is primal, articulate and boasts some of the freshest ideas heard in recent memory. His unabashed vocals on “Binary Possession” glide over a rollicking beat and is the perfect yin to the raw, unbridled big-room yan of “On The Verge Of Decimation.” Having taken his sound into new terrain, Irreformable is a career-defining work.
Essential track: “Catenary”
Release date: October 21

V/A – Balance 026: Hernan Cattaneo (Balance)
Though he established his reputation DJing and producing progressive house, Buenos Aires’ Hernan Cattaneo uses Balance 026 to show that his musical taste is hardly provincial. On the two-disc affair he crafts a wondrous 34-track journey featuring exclusive productions produced with his production partners Soundexile amid offerings from Boards of Canada, Mano Le Tough, Moderat and Guy J. It’s clear that painstaking attention has been placed on every detail and it’s entirely heartfelt. The programming is sublime and trumps any freebie mix you’ll probably ever download on SoundCloud.
Essential track: Hernan Cattaneo & Soundexile – “Lunar”
Release date: October 14

Oliver Huntemann – PLAY! 05 Live In Vienna (Senso Sounds)
The fifth edition of Oliver Huntemann’s PLAY! series sets down in Vienna, and judging by the roar from the dance floor a good time was had by all. From the opening beats of Josh Wink’s “Are You There” (Harry Romero ACA Tool) Huntemann keeps the vibe housey and techy. Over the course of two red-hot discs, he peppers in a host of exclusives by Mark Deutsche & Musoé, Jacob Phono & Jens Bond, CJ Hartmann, Siles & Aboga, Andreas Henneberg and others. The pièce de résistance is Huntemann’s own aptly titled “Vienna.”
Essential track: Oliver Huntemann & Dubfire’s “Agua” (Carl Craig Remix)
Release date: October 6

Dorian Concept – Joined Ends (Ninja Tune)
A self-taught bedroom producer whose drive and penchant for innovation with a MicroKorg led him to perform at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Austrian musician/producer Dorian Concept (real name: Oliver Thomas Johnson) presents his second album. Simply put, it’s overflowing with dreamy digital orchestration and lavish ideas. From the opening notes of the epic “The Sky Opposite” through the solemn downtempo urgency of “Mint” and “Do, Undo, Redo,” Joined Ends is a snapshot of an artist who is indeed coming into his own.
Essential track: “11.04.2012”
Release date: October 21

Darren Ressler

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