House music continued to evolve, the UK workhorse genre jungle popped up in excellent ways, drum machine apps had a breakthrough, and disco vibes permeated techno. Overall, the weirdos got weirder and the drums got deeper. Listen to selections from this list on our Spotify playlist and Apple Music playlist. Throughout this decade, Nicolas Jaar has cultivated a brand of shadowy electronic music that aims to subvert, challenge, and disrupt everything we know about electronic music. These brainy exercises are great at poking at our preconceptions, but by consciously avoiding repetition, sticky melodies, and cresting dynamics, they can also come across as impenetrable, distant. L Against All Logic moniker, plays like a dancefloor-filling complement to all those head games—a record for the body. And yet, no one would confuse this album with something by, say, Disclosure.
2012 - 2017
Rock and pop artists that make entirely analog recordings are in the minority, if they even exist at all, and hip-hop of late has been dominated by a signature drum machine sound. In narrowing down our list this year, we had to ask ourselves if an electroacoustic artist should make the cut, or for that matter, a celebrated indie rock band that fully embraced electronic aesthetics. Rather than examine the methods, it was about the sounds of the records—what we ended up with, by and large, was a set of music by veterans finding new ways to explore their equipment, from a pop diva embracing house, an avant-garde innovator delivering a love letter to club music, an ambient godfather going deeper into the darkness and a singular IDM mad scientist finding yet another winning formula. In essence, this is a record of modern improvisational music performed via prepared piano—an instrument Moran has dedicated herself to for years. Electroacoustic or otherwise, Ultraviolet is breathtaking and alive. This exemplifies the challenge constantly faced by ambient electronic artists; compositional shades of gray are all that stand between humming masterworks and boring drones.
Gospel, reggaeton, afrobeat and indie flavors all broke further into the electronic spectrum as well. Without further ado, here are the editors' picks for the 30 best dance and electronic songs of Disclosure ended their musical drought in with a string of one-off singles. Constructed around an infectious vocal hook of Diawara, the track features some beautifully polished chordal work, and is now nominated for a Grammy for best dance recording. Enjoy the ride.
Electronic music is one of the broadest-reaching genres by design, and highlights that as well as any other year on record. These are the 25 best albums. Dane Morris is truly a great artist and he has proven so time and again over the course of his career. Gamma Ray was the bass worshipping Los Angeles beatsmith's fourth full-length, and continued the naming scheme started on his debut Alpha Dog and its follow up Beta Cat. He went positively aquatic with this one, squirting out a bevy of murky downtempo beats that'll have you floating eerily across the dance floor.