Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums
The year began with a major hitch for Joel Ford and Daniel Lopatin, the "futuristic production team" known musically as Games. After releasing their blogger-approved That We Play EP last year, the duo were forced to change their name to avoid a lawsuit from the rapper Game's label, Interscope. Going simply with Ford & Lopatin, the two had a pretty smooth transition with the name change, which coincided with the announcement of their Software label, an imprint of Mexican Summer. Everything then fell into place for the release of Channel Pressure, their highly ambitious debut full-length. To fully express their love for '80s electronic music, the duo recorded the album at none other than the studio of a true icon from that decade: Jan Hammer. By accident, they built "an imaginary soundtrack for the adventure of Joey Rogers, a kid who gets brainwashed by a gigantic television." Sure, the concept sounds pretentious and unapproachable, but Ford & Lopatin were symmetrical with their presentation, combining the slick and savvy pop songs of yesterday with inventive arrangements from tomorrow. In many ways, the components involved shouldn't crystallize, but the fact that it all does impeccably, without ever losing the thrill, says a lot about what they can do in a studio. Few artists experienced a better year than these two, and considering that can be said without the mention of their own successful solo acts ― Ford's Airbird and Lopatin's Oneohtrix Point Never ― speaks loudly for their triumph.
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