It's hard to think of techno as something of a musical old lady but, with roots in mid-eighties Detroit and precedents as far back as early Kraftwerk, it's certainly a genre which once in a while, like Frankenstein, needs a jolt of energy and fresh ideas.
Cue 2013 then, and a healthy dose of both, not just with Daniel Avery's (almost) peerless début 'Drone Logic' because just as we'd all finished getting our heads around that, along comes Bryan "SCNTST" Muller to blow off the socks we'd only just put back on after a first album as spectacularly panoramic as his British counterpart.
Muller is regarded as something of a prodigy by those who've been on his trail since first emerging a couple of years ago, and it's notable that both he and Avery have arrived at the tops of their respective games from circuitous routes. For the German, this involved playing drums in his father's band whilst moonlighting on his own material and for Avery, it was DJing indie rock sets in his hometown - that acknowledged Mecca of hardcore, Bournemouth.
Continue reading: SCNTST - Self Therapy Album Review
Andy Peterson reviews the year's best dance and electronica releases.
Bonobo 'Late Night Tales' - With the DJ mix compilation more tired than Nigella Lawson's vanity mirror, LNT are still working miracles in the genre against the odds, mostly by avoiding the usual suspects. Simon Green channels all things unorthodox on this, the year's best from the stable.
Rae & Christian 'Mercury Rising' - 2013 seemed to be the year the chill out kings came back (we also saw releases from Nightmares on Wax and Morcheeba), but the veteran duo managed to sound both cool and now on 'Mercury Rising', enlisting as able helpers Sam Genders, Mark Foster and, the king of laid back himself, Jazzy Jeff.
Continue reading: Andy Peterson's Top 10 Albums Of 2013
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.