AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Electronic Albums -

 The year's best electronic releases included Brian Eno's return to ambient music, Tim Hecker's first work incorporating vocals, Junior Boys' Big Black Coat and many more.
The Electronique Void

Adrian Younge

The Electronique Void

With help from narrator Jack Waterson, the all-analog psych-soul specialist makes a fun, convincing turn toward vintage synthesizer manipulation.

Basar

Africaine 808

Basar

The Berlin duo's excellent debut album mixes ethno and acoustic instruments with infectious house music.

K.M.T.

Africans with Mainframes

K.M.T.

Expansive collection of lo-fi analog jams from Chicago acid house artists Jamal Moss (Hieroglyphic Being) and Noleian Reusse.

Fabric 87

Alan Fitzpatrick

Fabric 87

A great, high-energy mix, and one of the better Fabric sets in recent memory.

Too Many Voices

Andy Stott

Too Many Voices

The Mancunian's rhythms are sludgy as ever, but synthetic choral elements and bright keyboard melodies add some color to his fourth proper album.

8 of Cups

Benny Boeldt

8 of Cups

Exciting, inventive album of complex rhythms and vocal samples from the Baltimore electronic musician previously known as Adventure.

The Ship

Brian Eno

The Ship

A return to ambient and experimental music-making -- and singing -- this set offers more than a few surprises.

Loop the Loop

Bullion

Loop the Loop

Delightfully unorthodox pop from Nathan Jenkins and a cast of associates including Sampha, Laura Groves, and Shabaka Hutchings.

Crooked Man

Crooked Man

Crooked Man

The veteran DJ and producer returns to house music with striking results.

Midnight

Dan Lissvik

Midnight

First solo album from longtime producer, remixer, and Studio member is peaceful, intricately made electronic music that bubbles with warmth.

Wonderland

Demdike Stare

Wonderland

The consistently brilliant electronic duo follows a series of limited 12"s with a thrilling album of mutated club tracks.

NOTU_URONLINEU

DVA [Hi:Emotions]

NOTU_URONLINEU

U.K. garage/grime producer DVA explores a concept involving a global virtual reality corporation, resulting in his best work yet.

Demain Est une Autre Nuit

Essaie Pas

Demain Est une Autre Nuit

Obsessive, late-night minimal wave from Montréal-based duo Marie Davidson and Pierre Guerineau, making their debut on DFA.

25 25

Factory Floor

25 25

The group's first album as a duo takes minimalism in fascinatingly claustrophobic, expansive, debauched, and sardonic directions.

Heaven Is for Quitters

FaltyDL

Heaven Is for Quitters

A reflective yet hopeful deconstruction of life as heard through an atmospheric electronic lens.

Physicalist

Forma / Forma

Physicalist

Brooklyn synth trio Forma make their Kranky debut with their ambitious, thoroughly stunning third album.

The Disco's of Imhotep

Hieroglyphic Being

The Disco's of Imhotep

A brief, highly potent entry point into the vast, often brilliant discography of experimental Chicago house producer Jamal Moss.

Centres

Ian William Craig

Centres

The Canadian electro-acoustic composer/vocalist expands his already distinctive, powerful sound on his FatCat Records debut.

Glass

Illum Sphere

Glass

The producer's gorgeous, confident second album layers gritty rhythms and delicate atmospheres with a cool clarity.

Oh No

Jessy Lanza

Oh No

Rollicking, animated fun that skips across four decades of electronic post-disco, ranging from boogie to juke.

Big Black Coat

Junior Boys

Big Black Coat

Compulsive and deep, the electro-pop duo's first album in nearly five years is among their best.

Ears

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

Ears

Playful, organic-sounding electronic music composed on Buchla synthesizers along with warped vocals and fluttering woodwinds.

Modern Pressure

Kane Ikin

Modern Pressure

The second album from the Australian producer is a deeply cinematic, narcotic journey full of dank atmospheres, unease, and terror.

Color

Katie Gately

Color

The former sound designer's fascinating debut combines the avant-garde and pop with surreal wit.

99.9%

Kaytranada

99.9%

Dazzling XL debut from a producer who has impressed Janet Jackson, opened for Madonna, and produced the Internet and Katy B.

Too

Klara Lewis

Too

The producer's second album of grayscale ambient productions features a little more definition than her debut.

Monument Builders

Loscil

Monument Builders

These emotionally and politically charged soundscapes are some of Scott Morgan's most affecting music.

Lighthouse Stories

Low Jack

Lighthouse Stories

Fractured and dreamlike, the third album from Philippe Hallais cuts up and mashes together genres like hip-hop and footwork in wholly disorienting fashion.

Under the Sun

Mark Pritchard

Under the Sun

The veteran producer's mostly ambient first album under his birth name, featuring Linda Perhacs and Thom Yorke, ranges from folk to techno.

At the Dam

Mary Lattimore

At the Dam

Inventive harpist Mary Lattimore's first full-length for Ghostly International, recorded during a cross-country road trip.

Ultimate Care II

Matmos

Ultimate Care II

A Whirlpool washing machine provides the inspiration for one of the duo's subtlest and most audacious albums.

DJ-Kicks

Moodymann

DJ-Kicks

A coup for !K7's long-running mix series, featuring 11 custom edits and a prized highlight from the DJ/producer's Mahogani Music label.

Popp

Oval

Popp

Markus Popp unexpectedly reinvents his Oval project as an ecstatic post-rave mutation, producing his best work since the early 2000s.

Psi

patten

Psi

Expanding from a solo project to a duo, patten's second album for Warp is more focused and immediate than past efforts.

Continuum

Paul Jebanasam

Continuum

Intense, overwhelming listening experience about the vastness of the universe.

Third Law

Roly Porter

Third Law

Third studio album of stunning, occasionally overwhelming soundscapes from the co-founder of dubstep duo Vex'd.

Take Her Up to Monto

Róisín Murphy

Take Her Up to Monto

Recorded at the same time as Hairless Toys, Murphy's fourth solo album is some of her most personal and eclectic music yet.

RR7349

S U R V I V E

RR7349

After two of its members scored the hit Netflix series Stranger Things, Austin synth wizards S U R V I V E deliver their first album for Relapse.

What Follows

Shit Robot

What Follows

With a full guest list and a top-notch mix by Juan MacLean, their third album is another crisply clean, emotionally deep techno-pop gem.

Strands

Steve Hauschildt

Strands

The Emeralds co-founder's fourth solo album for Kranky balances calmness with darker, more fearful moments.

COW / Chill Out, World!

The Orb

COW / Chill Out, World!

Arriving 25 years after their seminal debut, the Orb offer a sort of peaceful protest with their spontaneously recorded 14th album.

Arcology

Thug Entrancer

Arcology

Ryan McRyhew expands on his already impressive hybrid electro sound with his sci-fi-inspired second full-length as Thug Entrancer.

Love Streams

Tim Hecker

Love Streams

Incorporating vocal arrangements for the first time, the Canadian experimental artist's 4AD debut is one of his most accessible works to date.

Union and Return

Torn Hawk

Union and Return

The producer's third album takes inspiration from 19th century German Romantic painters and strips the irony from his music.

No Further Ahead Than Today

Ulrich Schnauss

No Further Ahead Than Today

The German musician and producer delivers an escapist world that harkens back to his early albums.

Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future

Underworld

Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future

A near-perfect album from the veteran electronica artist, co-produced with the group High Contrast.

Traditional Synthesizer Music

Venetian Snares

Traditional Synthesizer Music

Aaron Funk crafts an album of intense, intricately programmed songs using a modular synthesizer system.

Topiary

Xeno & Oaklander

Topiary

The duo's first album recorded in a professional studio focuses on Liz Wendelbo's icy vocals and a mood of unhurried drama.