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Dorian Concept, Joined Ends

2014 | Label: Ninja Tune

Austria’s Dorian Concept, aka Oliver Thomas Johnson, first caught attention via YouTube clips that depicted him manipulating synth textures in real time on a Micro Korg (he received more than a million views). His nimble knob-tweaking was fun to watch, but even more fun were the sounds it produced: Johnson’s music was squirrely, vivid and rich, shining hip-hop and techno through a fisheye lens with cracks in it. His beats juggled his improvised synths like a hacky sack, and part of the thrill was seeing how… more »

The 2 Bears, The Night Is Young

2014 | Label: Southern Fried Records / Believe Digital

The most dancefloor-friendly of Hot Chip‘s many side projects, the 2 Bears — producer Joe Goddard and his pal Raphael Rundell — helped revive early-’90s house music with their lighthearted 2012 debut Be Strong. Now that Disclosure and kindred acts like Katy B and Kiesza have spread their contemporary spin on vintage club beats all over the U.K. pop charts, the London duo return with more serious refinements.

Unlike its predecessor, The Night Is Young doesn’t feel like something Goddard cobbled together on nights off… more »