The 15 Best EPs of 2012

05. Shlohmo – Vacation

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To love Shlohmo’s brilliant Vacation EP is to also love its accompanying set of remixes. Truthfully, it would have been enough for the increasingly gifted Bay Area producer to dish out the three-track release and call it a day. Each cut is a gorgeous, swirling piece, particularly the romantic “wen uuu”. But Shlohmo went one step further and enlisted the likes of Nicolas Jaar, Teebs, and Salva, among others, to breathe new life into Vacation. The end result was not just one of the year’s best EPs, but one of the year’s best collection of remixes.—AM

04. Jesse Futerman – Fuse the Witches

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Toronto’s Jesse Futerman swiftly and sharply blends touches of jazz, downtempo, and hip-hop across his fantastic sophomore release, Fuse the Witches. It’s a style that highlights both his killer sample chops and his ability to create a true song from his sources. “Yusef”, which features Sibian and Faun’s Framework, makes a case for Futerman being a modern jazz cat. Elsewhere, “Lonesome Lover” hits with a superb drum break, layers of brass and smoke, and a vibe made for dimly lit bourbon lounges. If you’re looking for something futuristic that you could also share with your parents, download ’em a copy of Fuse the Witches.—AM

03. Ryan Hemsworth – Last Words

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It might only feature five original tracks, but Last Words feels like a mission statement from superbly talented producer Ryan Hemsworth. It also served as the crown jewel atop a throne built on a nearly endless supply of gorgeous, bass-heavy remixes. In the past few years, the Halifax, Nova Scotia native has amassed a following thanks to some killer under-the-radar EPs and reworks of everyone from Danny Brown to Frank Ocean. But with Last Words, he solidified his approach and it’s one steeped in moody, wavy instrumentals driven by the most choice of samples. Free Max B, indeed.—AM

02. Onra – Deep in the Night

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Onra’s funky five-track EP served as his first release for Fool’s Gold Records and featured guest spots from T3 of Slum Village, Vancouver hip-hop artist Jay Kin, and the self-proclaimed artfull-sparker-freakin’ funk vocalist Amalia. The EP is somewhat of a departure from the Asian aesthetic of Chinoseries and Chinoseries Pt. 2, but Onra’s love for vintage R&B and New Jack Swing-inspired beats remains as evident as ever.—Mallory Pickard

01. TNGHT – TNGHT

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When Hudson Mohawke and Lunice announced they would be releasing music together as TNGHT, everyone who had heard their solo work kind of lost their shit. And then when the heard their debut EP? Madness. Essentially, it’s what happens when you mix loud, Southern trap music and all the best parts about Timbaland’s discography. The duo really put their foot into this release with the hope of working with MCs in the near future. Here’s hoping they’re listening, because all the rough cuts we’ve heard over TNGHT‘s bangers have been superb. That includes Captain Murphy straight spittin’ over “Bugg’n” and the Hood Internet’s mash-up of “Goooo” and “Ni**as in Paris”. Make it happen, rappers.—AM

13 thoughts on “The 15 Best EPs of 2012

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  1. thats in the best of instrumentals for 2012 list. awesome project!

  2. Great list onra deep in the night was on point.

  3. My EP is independent but STILL MAJA and better than 90% of signed material comin out now! Stream it for free and #witness: http://www.cdbaby.com/majaboy

  4. u forgot shigeto’s lineage ep dum dum

  5. Dave Snyder|

    Glaring omissions are disclosure face ep and oddisee odd renditions!

  6. No 106 Miles to Chicago?

  7. Was MadGibbs considered an EP?

  8. You need to listen to more music bro

  9. Hadn’t heard this Monster Rally & Rumtum joint. Serious office groovin’ happening right now.

  10. How ’bout you check ’em out? Most are linked in the writeups.

  11. My #1 and #2 spots go to Mike Eagle – Rent Party Extension and The Bins – Every Second of the Night.

  12. too much hipster know only like 2 projects

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