12 months of seductive, slowed-down, disoriented wonk-pop. Songs carefully constructed and then deconstructed, as if the music was a teetering Jenga tower that its producers gently unbalanced until its foundation was one solitary load-bearing block. Everything on the edge of collapse. Never minimal, always spacious – and, in between the spaces, gorgeous, unforgettable melodies.
In the 80s, hip-hop genius Rick Rubin refused to take a producer credit on classic Def Jam albums like LL Cool J’s Radio. Instead, he insisted on using the line ‘Reduced by Rick Rubin’. Appropriate for an age of austerity, 2012 was a year of thrilling, fantastic reduction.
Jai Paul – Jasmine (demo)
The XX – Angels (live in Tokyo)
Grimes – Oblivion
The Asphodells – A Love From Outer Space
Frank Wiedemann, Ry – Howling (Ame Remix)
Dean Blunt featuring Inga Copeland – The Narcissist
Major Lazer featuring Amber Coffman – Get Free
Sneaky Sound System – Always By Your Side (Nicolas Jaar’s ‘Big’ Remix)
Dillon – Thirteen Thirtyfive (Jonas Woehl Edit)
Usher – Climax