Naturally, there are a lot of great records that didn't make the cut. Sandwell District's Feed Forward, tobias.'s Leaning Over Backwards, Bruno Pronsato's Lovers Do, Kangding Ray's OR, Cosmin TRG's Simulat—these are just some of the albums that got countless plays at RA HQ and around the world but didn't get enough votes for the top 20. Chalk that up to 2011's glut of exceptional LPs. Nonetheless, what you'll find below are without a doubt 20 of the finest electronic albums to come out this year, as voted in by our staff.
For a while I thought I was going to write my thesis on Henri Bergson, the French philosopher, because I really fell in love with his ideas of time. So I curated the album with those thoughts in mind. But then the album became way too ethereal and I was not OK with that. I wanted it to be grounded in something much dirtier and more disgusting. I wanted it to have something bad inside of it, maybe something evil. When I made the track "Space Is Only Noise If You Can See" the album became more complete. I knew that it needed something like that.
I had a deadline with Circus Company of a Thursday, I think, and on that Wednesday night I wrote "Balance Her In Between Your Eyes," which is one of my favorite songs off the album. I wrote it with my computer speakers because my other speakers weren't working. But I guess what I realized this year is that the writing of the album wasn't the writing of the songs. It was the three months I took to turn it into some sort of weird bastard DJ set of the songs I really like. That's something I realized lately more than ever: Just how much of a DJ set I actually saw it as.
- Nicolas Jaar