December 22 2014
It is that time of year where we fantasize about Christmas food and reflect on our favourites of 2014. With artists ranging from EDM to Hip Hop, we've sifted through them to see who was bold enough to take on new directions in 2014. Operating under the broad term of ‘electronic music’, last year offered us a number of successful, ground breaking, and innovative records that will go on to stand the test of time.
While the year allowed established artists to release follow up albums, it also allowed smaller undiscovered artists to break into the scene with their own refreshing formula (and we don't mean the Kanye Christmas album). While some of the most regarded EDM DJs like David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Tiesto and Dillon Francis released stellar albums this year, it was the electronic artists that stole the limelight. Follow us as we count down our top 10 electronic albums of 2014.
Knife Party – Abandon Ship
Abandon Ship is probably all you need in terms of full fledged EDM bangers. Knife Party delivered an exceptional follow up to their Haunted House EP by offereing a raw mix of dubstep, electro, trap and house. While fans were left waiting in the dark about the album for some time, it was well worth the wait as Knife Party certainly didn’t hold back in doing their best to melt your brain and move your body. Offering something up in true style and leaving nothing for commercial crossover except roaring dubstep and heaving electro, Knife Party are among the EDM heavyweights who have ventured away from the ordinary through a beast attitude and a signature sound.
SBTRKT – Wonder Where We Land
Following up on the highly regarded self titled album, SBTRKT’s Wonder Where We Land offers much more than a remake of his first album. With a surprising list of collaborators in A$AP Ferg, Warpaint, Jesse Ware, Raury, Denai Moore and Sampha, Wonder Where We Land takes you into some darker production thanks to the amazing vocal talent on the album. Ministry approved.
Skrillex – Recess
Dubstep powerhouse Skrillex has made the cut with the release of his debut album Recess. Having won two ‘Best Dance/Electronic Album’ grammys for his previous EP's, Recess had big shoes to fill in terms of hard hitting dubstep and production originality. While the album was thrown around by critics, Recess still delivers mammoth drops along with innovative, left-field tracks that after a solid sesh at stereosonic taught us, translates incredibly well into his live set.
Aphex Twin – Syro
While fans thought they'd never see the day, Aphex Twin’s latest album comes after a 13 year hiatus and offers nothing short of Aphex Twin as we know it. With 12 tracks of highly distinguishable production by Richard D. James, Syro showcases elements of soul-jazz fusion, jungle, dubstep and industrial tech into something you've never heard before. Extremely experimental but digestible and worth it all at the same time. A crazy taste in our mouth after this one!
Flight Facilities – Down To Earth
Having built a cult following through successful mixtapes and Once in a Blue Moon releases, Flight Facilities have a reputation in serving quality over quantity. Now dropping their first ever album, the Aussie duo have managed to offer some refreshing that will soundtrack our summer. Overall the album offers simplicity in the form of house, R&B and pop that is set to age like fine wine.
Deadmau5 – While (1<2)
After recently announcing he’s breaking away from EDM, Deadmau5’s recent album While (1<2) seems to do so already. Deadmau5 offers a change in direction as he delves into something deeper and experimental. But don’t be put off! Deadmua5 delivers his trademark style of chord building and massive kicks along with a few club friendly bangers on the album like Seeya. The album is a lot darker compared to Deadmau5’s previous work but with 25 tracks, there's so much more to discover than four to the floor dance music. Give it a go!
Royksopp – The Inevitable End
Royksopp’s The Inevitable End signifies the Norwegian duo’s last album in the traditional album format, but it doesn’t mean they will be going anytime soon. The album is everything you wanted from Royksopp and more - crispy, spacious and carefully sounding tracks with dance friendly beats. The Inevitable End is the perfect chance to hear Royksopp’s trademark synths and gritty, rolling basslines, particularly in Monument (T.I.E Version) and remixes of Sordid Affair. A Sunday slinger we can sink our teeth into.
ODESZA – In Return
ODESZA exploded onto the scene in 2014 with what was a standout album that offered a refreshing taking on pop electronica. What sounds like something we've never heard before, the entire album offers tracks that can be listened to whilst chilling out at the beach or getting sweaty in the club. Real talk, it's probably the best pop music you'll hear this year, with every song sounding as refreshing as the next. Special mention to the Kilter remix of All We Need featuring Shy Girls.
Caribou – Our Love
One of the biggest surprise pack albums of the year comes from Canadian producer, Caribou. Our Love features sounds and styles relative to the previous five albums, but offers much more excitement with vocal work and upbeat tempos that make it more friendly for the club. The album is filled with blissful electronic pop that has been a hallmark to the Caribou sound, with energy running on high throughout the whole thing. Good vibes aplenty!
Porter Robinson – Worlds
Porter Robinson delivered something more than what EDM could offer on his highly anticipated debut album Worlds. After a reputation in creating massive dance floor tracks, Porter stepped back and ventured into a more indie-electronic style that offered originality and emotion, which has only been previously done on tracks like Languages and Easy. The album continues in Porter’s name to offer hard hitting, dance floor ready tracks, but is mainly focuses on the slower electronic elements that create brilliant soundscapes. Overall, his ability to reinvent himself and convert it all to a successful live act is what makes Worlds so compatible in 2015.