2012 brought many more great releases than 30, obviously. But after some increasingly expansive Festive 50s LMYE has embraced the austerity of the times. This year each co-author was confined to a more modest 15 picks, with no more than one going to any artist or any label & no smuggled expansion by throwing in multiple releases from the same name.
Although these constraints could - & did - still accommodate two choices from the same stable across the co-authorial divide (policed by a strict Chinese wall, naturally...), they ended up regrettably harsh on some outstanding music - like Below Sea Level, Portraits, Secret Photographs or Superstorms. All might well have bludgeoned their way into these ears' top 15 if the rules hadn't restricted 12k, Important & Experimedia to a single release each. The same goes for LINE, Low Point & Touch's output, incidentally.
Similarly, even allocating his ravishing David Sylvian remix album Wandermude (out next month, but downloadable now...) to next year's list, a case could credibly have been made for including several Stephan Mathieu pieces. With the possible exceptions of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and (as The Liminal point out, ditto Marc Masters) Oren Ambarchi, it's challenging to think of an artist who had a more impressive year - though each of Kane Ikin's releases also resonated powerfully with us.
Still, accepting that all such lists are a bit arbitrary, our goal was to distribute recognition as widely as possible. We'll anyway be back soon(-ish) with a more capacious supplementary list to try to capture everything else that stood out over the year.
For now, though, & subject to the restrictions rehearsed above, these are 30 releases that particularly mattered to us in 2012. Each co-author is identified with their 15 picks, though note that both of us nominated Already Gone, I'll Make You Quiet, Novaya Zemlya & Radioland [Panoramica] originally...
36 - Lithea (3Six; al)
Alex Cobb - Passage to Morning (Students of Decay; al)
Charlemagne Palestine & Janek Schaefer - Day Of The Demons (Desire Path; jl)
Damian Valles - Nonparallel [In 4 Movements] (Experimedia; jl)
Drape - An Idea And Its Map (Infraction; al)
Duane Pitre - Feel Free (Important; jl)
En - Already Gone (Students of Decay; jl)
En/Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Split (Constellation Tatsu; al)
Erstlaub - Marconi’s Shipwreck (Broken20; al)
Fescal - Alchemical Wanderings (Time Released Sound; al)
Gabriel Saloman - Adhere (Miasmah; jl)
Gareth Hardwick/p jørgensen - S/T (Low Point; jl)
Gimu - All The Intricacies Of An Imaginary Disease (T.O.C; al)
Heathered Pearls - Loyal (Ghostly; al)
Ian Hawgood - The Shattered Light (Komu; al)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Visiting This World (EN/Of; jl)
Kane Ikin - Sublunar (12k; al)
Kyle Bobby Dunn - Bring Me The Head of Kyle Bobby Dunn (Low Point; al)
Lee Gamble - Diversions 1994-1996 (PAN; jl)
Mike Shiflet - The Choir, The Army (Under The Spire; jl)
Pausal - Forms (Barge; al)
Radere - I'll Make You Quiet (Futuresequence; al)
Robert Hampson - Repercussions (Editions Mego; jl)
Silent Harbour - Silent Harbour (Echocord; al)
Steinbruchel & Cory Allen - Seam (Quiet Design; jl)
Stephan Mathieu & Caro Mikaleff - Radioland [Panoramica] (LINE; jl)
Steve Peters & Steve Roden - Not A Leaf Remains As It Was (12k; jl)
Tetras - Pareidolia (Flingco Sound System; jl)
Thomas Köner - Novaya Zemlya (Touch; al)
Various Artists - 30 Years And Counting (Touch; jl)
Fescal - Alchemical Wanderings
Gabriel Saloman - 03
Ian Hawgood - The Shattered Light (album preview)
robert hampson - repercussions (album preview)
Moitié et Moitié - kyle bobby dunn
mike shiflet - the choir, the army (album preview)
Pausal - Fruiting Bodies / Liberty Capped
lee gamble - diversions 1994-1996 (album preview)
Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.