Gilles Aiken, the Berlin DJ better known as Edward, makes shadowy club tracks with a surrealistic edge. Consider his latest album, Into A Better Future: though it mostly works within house and techno templates, the LP echoes Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and krautrock figures like Connie Plank. Aiken has a sharp sense of groove—something tracks like "Skating Beats" make clear, not to mention his immersive DJ sets—but it's his cosmic streak that gives his music depth. Over the years this combination has made him a mainstay of Berlin's WHITE label as well as Weimar's esteemed Giegling crew.
While producing Into A Better Future, Aiken pored over countless old records in search of samples and inspiration, all the while half-consciously putting together a mix of those records.
He has come along way from the hypnotic tech house of his early releases on WHITE. His odd path has led to an immersion in the music of krautrock artist Conny Plank (of Neu! and Cluster), whose music he remixed last year. On Into A Better Future, Aiken has done an admirable job of integrating Plank's techniques into a functional dance music context. The distance he's come since his debut LP, Teupitz, is startling evidence of an artist who can do whatever he wants.
Previous editions –
2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 & 2015