Noteworthy electronic music albums you think stand out


#1

Share the albums that you think stand out and make you want to listen


#2

For me there’s two really strong ones:

Cross by Justice and Random Access Memories by Daft Punk.

For Cross, that was pretty much single-handedly the album that got me into electronic music as opposed to chiptunes. I came for Waters of Nazareth, but I stayed for DANCE, The Party, and Phantom, and I listened to it all the way through every day for pretty much my last two years of highschool. I have to admit, I didn’t like Stress for a very long time, but I came around to it last year and I can tune out Newjack well enough to listen to the whole album all the way through and still enjoy it. Newjack was a mistake though, full stop.

Anyways, what makes that noteworthy is that in that post-house but pre-dubstep time from 2006/7-2009/10, there was what’s become known as bloghouse, and really Justice nailed that sound and brought their own vibe that made this timeless. There were lots of bloghouse albums before this that didn’t push the envelope enough to continue to stand out, and there were lots of albums after this that went too hard and became a product of their time, but Justice came out with Cross right in the middle of that scene and nailed a balance that captured that time but isn’t out of place 12 years later in their live sets.

Similarly, Random Access Memories is just timeless. It was already retro the day it came out, so it doesn’t have to go through that “WTF were we thinking 10 years ago” phase that most music has to suffer before it gets to be retro. That vibe alone would be enough to be a stand out album, but this album is also good all the way through. I’m not really into the album until the key changes at about Lose Yourself to Dance, but there’s fun enough stuff happening until then that I can sit through it. There’s some neat-o semi-experimental stuff happening, some almost ambient soundtrack stuff, great playing on all the instruments, and I am a huge fan of the orchestral parts too. The ONLY bad thing I can say about it is that I can’t stand Get Lucky anymore because it’s STILL on the radio all the time, probably my least favorite song on the album and it’s only because it’s been overplayed.

And, as the resident sound guy here, I have to say Random Access Memories is just on an entirely different level from all electronic albums I’ve ever heard, in terms of mix and master quality. It’s one of the albums I would point to and say to use as a reference for anything you want to sound good, no matter what you’re working on. A lot of electronic mixes and masters throw away a little quality to get vibe or energy, but not here. This album chooses top quality and groove the whole way through to inform it’s mixing and mastering. Interestingly, I’ve heard hi-res digital and a good vinyl playback of this, and the sound is much closer between the two than most albums. Perhaps they used the same master? IDK, but no other album I’ve heard just doesn’t change at all between formats like that.


#3

Here are some timeless highlights from my perspective:

The Prodigy - Music for the Jilted Generation [1994]
No comment necessary I assume…

Moloko - Do You Like My Tight Sweater? [1995]
Strange and beautiful, with great productions somewhere between Trip Hop and various electronic styles and the wonderful voice of Róisín Murphy, this was inspired and original and still feels like it.

Orbital - In Sides [1996]
Still one of the best electronic albums if you want to relax a bit with some nice music imho, deep but chilled and easy-listening with some really beautiful work on synths and melodies. Very consistent from start to finish even though tracks cross different moods.

Netsky - Netsky [2010]
Nails the soft positive liquid DNB vibe. Don’t know how often I have listened to this and various mixes with lots of Netsky tracks.

Additional highlights and honorary mentions:

Moloko - I Am Not a Doctor [1998] - This was arguably even better than the first imho. A crazy journey from start to finish.
Breakbeat Era - Ultra-Obscene [1999] - strange vocal DNB, really original at the time and still good imho, even though some of the simple rough beats haven’t aged that well
Pressure Rise - Focus [2001] - another great early vocal DNB release, played this a lot when DJing back in the days
Funkstar De Luxe - Funkturistic [2002] - nails the funky house vibe from start to finish
Squarepusher - Ultravisitor [2004] - some really nice experimental yet deep tracks
DJ Patife - Na Estrada [2006] - chilled melodic DNB from Brazil with a soft tropical touch
London Elektricity - Syncopated City [2008] - features some great deep tracks
Etherwood - Etherwood [2013]; Blue Leaves [2015] - soft deep emotional DNB, lots of very nice relaxed melodic tracks


#4

Auspices & Vagaries is another CLASSIC that should sit alongside all the druqs and lp5 and samurai math beats

Always go back to that ep when I want to relish on perfectly crafted little smores
I’m so oldschool


#5

#6

my MAN <3


#7

#8

the chemical brothers dig your own hole, its interesting to go back in time, and see what influenced what…


#9

Benn Jordan has always been a massive influence on me. Nobody can blend post-rock / IDM / breakcore / experimental and melodic/orchestra like him…

this release was massive for me in terms of inspiration.


#10

this album is a fav of mine,




#11

Technotronic-Pump Up the Jam: The Album. I put this on the other day and had the realization that it was the first electronic music I ever heard, and that’s probably true for most of my generation. The sounds may be a bit outdated but the notation and composition holds up.


#13

They tried to emulate their IDM heroes, while adding a bit of that Atlanta crunk flava’. The result was one of the best albums ever. Seeing them open for Godspeed You Black Emperor blew my mind. Lots of headphone headtrips have been had over the ensuing years.


#14