10 Must-Buy Albums for December 2015


Here we stand at the end of a wild year, one which we’ll recap in the coming weeks. Fortunately, 2015 concludes with a spate of excellent artist albums and DJ mixes from rising stars to established names in electronic music. So for the last time in 2015 we present our curated list of the best albums of the month — releases that truly deserve your attention — which we compiled after spending hours listening to promos. Here they are listed by order of their release date.

Petre Inspirescu – Vin Ploile (Mule Musiq)

Since releasing his debut Tips EP on Luciano’s Cadenza label in 2007 Romanian badass Petre Inspirescu (a.k.a. Bodiu Radu Dumitru), who also runs the a:rpia:r label along with musical cohorts Rhadoo and Raresh, has been championing a decidedly delicate, experimental signature through select releases on Amphia, Lick My Deck and Pluie/Noir Recordings. Two years after helming his standout Fabric 68 (which exclusively featured his own productions) comes his third album, Vin Ploile, a gorgeous, deep and cinematic gem for Tokyo’s Mule Musiq. Inspired by his fondness for classical music and executed with a composer’s virtuosity, his analogue sounds are pristine and his tracks long and effortless. And oh those strings of his….pure genius.
Release date: December 4
Essential track: “delir 2”

Markee Ledge (Kosheen) – Elevate (Kosheen Records)

Markee Ledge has already made more than his share of musical headway as the driving force behind the British group Kosheen, taking drum ‘n’ bass to a new level in the U.K. in the process. But after five Kosheen albums, Ledge apparently felt that the time had finally come for a more personal statement. That’s how his first official solo album came to be, and while it includes guest producers (Seven, Leon Switch) and guest vocalists (Alys Be, Susie Ledge), ultimately the sound is all Markee Ledge.
Release date: December 4
Essential track: “Talk is Cheap” feat. Alys Be

V/A – GU41 Naples – James Lavelle Presents UNKLE Sounds (Global Underground)

With the Global Underground imprint now back in the hands of one of its founders, GU mainstay James Lavelle embarks on another ambitious mix for the long-running DJ mix series. Lavelle’s production touch is heard on nearly every cut. In fact, the two-CD session features new material from UNKLE as well as fresh UNKLE remixes of Queens of the Stone Age, HÆLOS, Mark Lanegan Band and Planet Funk. While a few of Lavelle’s selections border on fromage, GU41 is nonetheless a fine return to form for the label.
Release date: December 4
Essential track: HÆLOS – “Dust” (UNKLE Remix)

T.E.S.O. – No.3 Obliate (Aperture)

The second album from Milan’s Matteo Castiglioni and Jacopo Biffi, better known as the electronic duo T.E.S.O., finds the pair pushing the envelope ever further. Their sound incorporates everything from techno and jazz to avant-garde modern classical influences, but the way they put it all together is uniquely their own, incorporating industrial and organic ideas into a seamless whole for an utterly idiosyncratic sound. You don’t have to wait for the music of the future, it’s right here.
Release date: December 11
Essential track: “bezierBraces()”

V/A – fabric 85: Baby Ford (fabric)

British acid house avatar Baby Ford takes the wheel this time around for the famed fabric mix series. And he brings together tracks by everybody from Joy Orbison to Derrick Carter in the process. According to the man himself, “I just picked a bunch of my favorite records — some were new tracks, some in-house productions and some classics. Then I pressed record and went for a take; a ‘good luck studio’ type of vibe with me trying to capture the moment in the mix.”
Release date: December 11
Essential track: Joy Orbison – “Ellipsis”

V/A – DJ SS & Influx UK Present Deepsound Vol. 2 (Part 1) (Formation Records)

DJ SS and Influx UK are the guys to go to when you want to know what’s happening with drum ‘n’ bass. But in case that wasn’t already clear, they’ve proven the point even further with the 30 tracks they’ve gathered together here. The spirits of soul, jungle, and more are invoked as the pair pulls in tracks by Full Kontakt, Subsonik, Bladerunner, High Roll and many more.
Release Date: December 11
Essential track: Influx UK ft. MC Fats & Gina – “Souls Unite” (Soulside Mix)

The Max Graef Band – Dog (Money $ex Records)

Wondering where all the big-bottomed, funky grooves have gone? Look no further than this album by bassist Max Graef and his heavy-hitting cohorts. Guitars and drums mix it up with samplers and synths for a free-wheeling, jam-happy sound full of greasy P-Funk influenced rhythms, touches of jazz, and more, all delivered by some of the craftiest players you’re likely to come across anytime soon.
Release date: December 14
Essential track: “DOG”

Pan-Pot – The Other Remixes LP (Second State)

When the Berlin-based techno duo Pan-Pot decides it’s time to reel off a round of remixes, they don’t just bring in any old knob jockey for the task, they choose the crème de la crème. That fact should become fairly obvious when you get a gander at the crew the pair has lined up to offer new takes on their old tracks for this record, including Carl Cox, Extrawelt, Nicole Moudaber and more.
Release date: December 14
Essential track: “Riot” (Carl Cox Remix)

Ada Kaleh – Dene Descris (Ada Kaleh Romania)

Minimalist Romanian producer Iulian Cuculea, who records under the Ada Kaleh alias and runs the same-named vinyl-only record label based in Bucharest, steps out with the first part of his debut album after releases on The Rabbit Hole, Third Wave Black and his own imprint. Tracks such as “Regasire” are taut and raw, while the sprawling 11-minute odyssey “Noapte albastra” oozes with funk. Easily one of the most impressive debut albums we’ve heard this year, the second part of this release will drop in early 2016.
Release date: December 15
Essential track: “Dialog interior”

From Karaoke to Stardom – Little Voodoo Dolls (Fenou)

Much of the inspiration for this album by Parisian Jeremy Herpe (a.k.a. From Karaoke to Stardom) came from his move to Berlin several years ago. Immersing himself in the city’s bustling techno scene, he began to develop his own take on the sounds that he soaked up there. Before he knew it, his second full-length album had taken shape, with a singular take on tech-house that’s neither French nor German but simply…From Karaoke to Stardom.
Release date: December 20
Essential track: “Severes Babylones”

Additional writing by Jim Allen

Darren Ressler

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