Uniform’s Michael Berdan tells us about his 10 favorite albums of 2021

After releasing their new album Shame during 2020 lockdown, Uniform returned to the road this year for a tour with Portrayal of Guilt (whose new album Christfucker was produced by Uniform's Ben Greenberg), and they'll continue to tour throughout 2022, including stops at Roadburn and Oblivion Access.

With the year winding down, we asked Uniform vocalist Michael Berdan what his favorite albums of 2021 were, and he made us a top 10 that includes veteran electronic music The Bug, Japanese hardcore vets Gauze, rising UK electronic duo Space Afrika, and plenty of other cool stuff. There's a good chance you'll discover something new from Michael's list, and you can read on to check out his full list and what he had to say about each pick...

1. The Bug - Fire / Kevin Richard Martin - Return To Solaris
I doubt it's intentional but these records' relatively close release dates, coupled with their complimentary themes of dystopian ruin and existential anguish, have forever cemented them as companion pieces in my mind. For me, nobody has come as close to capturing through sound both the malaise and fury of the pandemic era as Kevin Martin. His work is equal parts meditation and weapon. These are the finest records of his impeccable three decade long catalogue, and it leads me to believe that the best is yet to come.

2. JFK - Avalanche Zone
Speaking of finest records in multi-decade catalogues, Anthony DiFranco put out a masterwork of heavy electronics under his JFK moniker this year. Far from the raw excursions in industrial and noise rock that highlighted the early days of the project, Avalanche Zone is a high fidelity exercise in beat driven sonic annihilation. The record being so clean serves to deliver every kick drum as a punch to the bowels. Mandatory listening.

3. Gauntlet Ring - Upon The Wings Of The Black Eagle
Far and away my favorite metal record of the year. Unadulterated, zero-frills black metal with a clear '90s USBM feel. Riff after perfect riff without a moment of filler.

4. Space Afrika - Honest Labour
Stunning cinematic arrangements that morph on a dime into truly inspired moments of trip hop and contemplative dubstep. Almost strikes me as Massive Attack on a Vangelis kick and if that description doesn't pique your interest, you probably don't like music.

5. Templer - Myths And Consequences
Slow, grinding, drum-centric electronics that expertly skirts the lines between industrial techno and rhythmic noise. As brutal as it is hook driven and as danceable as it is harrowing.

6. Gauze - 言いたかねえけど目糞鼻糞
It's a new Gauze record. It sounds like a Gauze record. What more could you possibly want?

7. Slow White Fall - Flesh In The Modern Age
A stunning album that sits somewhere between the industrial death metal of Earache's heyday, the more post rock moments of Nine Inch Nails, and the sprawling grandeur of Nurse With Wound. Oliver Ho is a master of many disciplines across the board and this might be my personal favorite.

8. Serration - Rites Of Flesh
Some of the most tormented music I've heard in a long time. Serration build on their death industrial foundations by incorporating a heavy dose of classic Monte Cazazza styled experimentation, resulting in possibly the darkest record of the year.

9. Sigillum S - Coalescence Of Time: Other Conjectures On Future
Beat driven dark ambient from these legends of Italian industrial and noise. Coalescence Of Time is some of the most accessible music that Sigillum S have ever made, existing as much in the realm of techno as it does ritual electronics, and it's all the more compelling of a listen for it.

10. Microcorps - XMIT
A near brilliant piece of sound collage with focus on rhythm, strings, and granular processing. Listening to XMIT is a joyfully hallucinatory experience that rewards me with new treasures every time I sit with it.


Uniform tour dates here.