If I Was by The Staves
Now this is a truly beautiful record, seemingly designed for the long winter nights, watching the snow settle on the frosty ground outside whilst you warm your bones by the heating device of your choice. Wisely, the focus is once again on the almost supernatural harmony vocals of the sisters: lead vocals glide over a sea of ghostly voices, whilst the music itself is restrained, almost spectral itself, only to be the more powerful when used in a more forthright fashion. It’s not as homespun as the band’s debut offering, though, with loops and electronica making more of an appearance, and a greater emphasis on a band feel. All this just adds extra spice to what The Staves do so well: this record marks an increasing confidence and willingness to experiment, without moving too far from what made them so appealing in the first place.
 Essence by Panic Room
 Dead Planet/Human Upgrade by Eat Static
It’s been a while since Eat Static – now essentially a solo project by ex-Ozric Tentacles drummer Merv Pepler – released the downtempo Down To Earth in 2008, but Pepler’s latest positively crackles with energy. In a sense, this is a consolidation of everything Pepler and his collaborators have achieved under the Eat Static moniker, perfectly blending the sci-fi samples and tongue-in-cheek humour of their early releases with the sleek techno of their 90s heyday, and the various influences they’ve experimented with since. Opening with heads-down warp-speed techno that will delight long-term fans, Pepler also throws in gorgeous, glacial ambient interludes, jittery drum’n’bass and some fearsome electro that will have even the most reluctant dancers busting some moves. The whole thing has a cinematic feel, a sense of drama
 Until All The Ghosts Are Gone by Anekdoten
Anekdoten’s latest is such a dense record that it has taken me a long time to get to grips with it. It has instant appeal – it’s one of those albums you just know you’re going to love after just hearing the opening track – but is so layered and deceivingly complex that you’ll be peeling layers off it for years. Stylistically it picks up where their last record * left off, but overall it feels a more complete record: the general impression is of a band truly at peace with itself and content to explore its own style in an unhurried, luxuriant way.
 The Oblivion Particle by Spock’s Beard