11.06.19

Words by: Felicity Martin

The 10 Best Warp Albums, according to Plaid

"Richard will get the attention he deserves at some point we hope...”

Now approaching its 30th anniversary, Warp Records is the label that should need zero introduction. Ed Handley and Andy Turner, aka Plaid, have been some of the imprint’s most solid mainstays, since departing from The Black Dog trio in the ’90s. Over the years since they’ve contributed their hyper-intelligent, time signature skipping and warm electronica towards full-lengths on the label, collaborating with the likes of Björk and many others in the process.

‘Polymer’ marks the tenth LP by the ever-innovative pair, and wears emotion boldly on its sleeve, dancing between blissful euphoria and the more mechanical cuts, bearing the textural samples that the duo are known for peppering their productions with. As key players in the storied history of Warp, the pair have chosen their all-time favourite LPs on the label which, let’s be honest, can be no easy task…

1. LFO – ‘Frequencies’

“This track was one of the key defining moments for the label. A massive dance tune that’s still being played out. We remember Rob Mitchell (Warp’s co-founder) talking about the mastering session. And how Mark and Gez knew they’d got the mix right when the studio windows started to rattle.”

2. Boards Of Canada – ‘Music Has The Right To Children’

“A beautiful album throughout. Boards Of Canada are perfectionists, everything always sounds so warm, rich and detailed. The title spells out the hues of a rainbow which seems to sum up their often melancholic sound as does the track.”

3. Aphex Twin – ‘…I Care Because You Do’

“This largely-overlooked Warp artist often writes very technical energetic music but it’s his ear for melody that attracts us to his work. The emotive quality of this piece especially. Richard will get the attention he deserves at some point we hope.”

4. Autechre – ‘Amber’

“Having moved largely into generative music of late which, although interesting academically, sometimes lacks warmth, Rob and Shaun’s earlier work resonated hearts as well as minds. ‘Nine’ is a superb work, rich portamento tones arpeggiate playfully over a warm chord sequence.”

5. Squarepusher – ‘Hard Normal Daddy’

“It’s bad form to allow personality to affect your opinion of a person’s work but having travelled the US playing shows with Tom it’s now difficult to uncouple his creations from the man. He’s proper. One of the best bass players in the world, he just blew up after his first releases. Since we’re confined to albums here we’ve chosen this to represent his early energy and spirit.”

6. Nightmares On Wax – ‘A Word Of Science’

“George is known more for the superb funk he’s put out over the years but this is the track that drew us to him in the late ’80s and it still rocks 30 years later. Another classic from the label, its longevity shows the clear vision of their early ANR. They helped forge a new sound with releases like this.”

7. Mira Calix – ‘One On One’

“This has a relentless droning power, always ahead of its time. Combining strings with her distinctive and original beat production.”

8. Broadcast – ‘The Noise Made People’

“Warp soon branched out from electronica to embrace other styles . Broadcast were an amazing signing who we were lucky to tour with. We fell in love with them and their psychedelic ’60s style. This track is a fine example of their output, its gentle strength and restrained optimism provides the backing for Trish’s magical vocal charm.”

9. Luke Vibert – ‘YosepH’

“Luke signed to Warp for this one album only but he’s one of the most prolific of our peers. His work has an amazing flow and musicality. If it wasn’t already apparent from his output and DJ sets, this classic expresses his feelings for the Roland TB303 and the genre it spawned.“

10. Bibio – ‘Saint Thomas’

“This is just a total beauty, a delicately complex mixture with hints of jazz and minimalism.”

Stream Plaid’s ‘Polymer’ in full:

Related: The Dummy Guide to Warp Records