We’re not ones for preemptively compiling “best of the year” lists, particularly in music. There’s always one or two records or, as is coming increasingly more common, a small flurry of mixtapes that drop at the tail end of December that cause us obsessive, neurotic critics to compulsively rearrange our lists (see: last year, and The Weeknd’s Echoes of Silence, his surprisingly perfect ending to a trilogy that most thought lagged a bit in the center). That said, we’re ready to put a lock down on 2012 as it relates to the year’s releases in the brilliantly flourishing “weird” dark electronic scene. We’re living in a post-witch house landscape now, where the pop music landscape is slurring and blurring into a weird, dark hybrid of what we used to know… and that’s an awesome thing. It allows for the likes of Charli XCX’s Super Ultra tape to rub against the epic void of releases from Blackest Ever Black. So, in this festive time of year, let’s get dark.
Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland — Black Is Beautiful
The members of revered sound anarchist duo Hype Williams have, in the past few years, garnered a reputation not unlike that of a more modern KLF, and it’s fitting: with live shows that could consist of a bodybuilder flexing to a glitch soundtrack or an hour of nothing, an utter refusal to confirm even their real names, and a general sense of trolling, Blunt and Copeland — if those are their real names — really don’t give a damn in the world what you make of them. It’s fortunate, then, that what they actually produce is so amazing. Consisting primarily of tracks labeled as numbers, Black Is Beautiful‘s underwhelming surface leads to a deep, heady interior that would serve well as a re-soundtracking to Mulholland Drive. Pieces smear together like an emotional drive through the night, and the simple act of starting to listen to this record will make you want to take one.