The 10 Best Bay Area Electronic Records of 2011
[Pacific Housing Authority]
Wav Dwgs is a local production outfit consisting of Bobby Browser (ex-Party Effects) and Greg Zifcak (of Eats Tapes). Both are longtime members of the Bay Area music scene, and Condensation shows off a collaborative spirit by way of three tracks and an excellent remix by local producer Roche. Songs like "Age" and "Eye" exhibit a sound that is both raw (owing to their hardware fetish) and atmospheric in a way that brings to mind the sparse productions currently coming out of Detroit.
Operating at a different frequency than the rest of the city is Scott Hansen (a.k.a. Tycho). Dive, his first real LP since 2004's Sunrise Projector, sees the producer updating his sound to create narcotic aural landscapes of Balearic guitars, dynamic drum tracks, and blurry synthesizer washes. Along the way he channels the spirit of such artists as Ulrich Schnauss, Boards of Canada, and Slowdive to create a cohesive statement that reflects its influences without sounding derivative. Standout tracks include "A Walk," "Adrift," and "Coastal Brake."
Another regular fixture on the local scene, Lance DeSardi's Expressions EP dropped earlier this year and showed the producer honing his deep house chops with a sharp focus. The titular song is a churning house number that floats through a sea of disembodied soul vocals and uplifting synthesizer pads. Flip it over, and you've got two choice cuts in the form of "In the Midst"'s retro first-wave techno and the bludgeoning drums of "In the Midst (Bass Dub)."