This year has seen the release of many new electronic dance music albums, and it is fair to say that some have been better than others. One of the most popular entries was Hospital Records 1st album ‘Electronic Dance Music’, which really capitalised on the popularity of glitch and dusted over the past few years. Produced by UK DJ/ Producer Lee Broadland and featuring guests such as Disclosure, No I.D, J-sta and London City rapper Vic Richardson, this album was a big hit upon its release and has since gone double platinum in the UK and US (in addition to topping the ARI chart in the US). Despite this huge commercial success, many critics have pointed out that it doesn’t live up to expectations, and there are some great songs that don’t feature on the album that are just as good as those on the album.
The very next electronic album to go gold was Disclosure’s ‘LP3’. Featuring Disclosure, the likes of Jacobsen and Matt Simons, this album was heavily promoted upon its release and managed to sell extremely well. The main difficulty with this album was its packaging – a cardboard sleeve with very little information and perhaps not enough back artwork. However, what can be said about the actual music is that it is fantastic. With Disclosure at their wispy best, it’s no surprise that this album achieved gold status.
In third place go J-sta and London City rapper Vicarious. Their self-titled album was released in early 2021 and contained many guest spots from artists including Rihanna, Elle Macpherson and Sky. The single ‘Take Me Away’ was an immediate hit, featuring vocals from Rihanna and featuring the massive hit ‘Wee You?’ Other songs included ‘Paparazzi’, ‘Hollywood Grammer’, ‘Swing Your Dingo Band’ and the wonderfully weird ‘Reptile Boy’.
One of the most talked about albums in recent memory is that of Kanye West and his collaborations with The Roots. Kanye and The Roots formed a partnership which would result in several major singles such as ‘Runway [Explicit]” and “Runway [Explicit]” and several others including “Love Lockdown”. The single “Show Me the Meaning” is probably my favourite Kanye track, featuring smooth vocals from Swizzy D. It also features another fantastic Kanye vocals and this one also featured on the song ‘Runway [Explicit]” which was another huge hit. One of the highlights for me on this record was the epic drum part on the song ‘Runway [Explicit]’!
What I feel most proud of though is the fact that this band has managed to blend traditional electronic dance music elements with hip hop and R&B styles. Two of the best songs from forthcoming album My Favorite Things is “Waking Up” and “Love Takes Wing”. Both of these songs feature fantastic use of sample sounds and beats, which really brings the listener into another dimension. What I’m sure many people will be more interested in though, is that the sound on this record is actually completely distorted to the point where it almost sounds as though someone is having a stroke.
This guy called No I.D is actually from Canada. He is responsible for some of the sick beats heard on ‘Thoughtless’ by Belly. The man knows his stuff and his music has a very distinctive sound. His productions have an overall dark/melodic feel to them that is hypnotic in nature. He is probably best known for his production work for fellow Canadian producer Jay Dynasty but his work for Kanye West has been well received as well.
Another Canadian producer who is relatively young and whose music is extremely pleasing to the ear is Aaron Spectre. Aaron is from London and has released some amazing electronic dance music. His style is bright, electrony and extremely funky.
These are just some of the names you may not recognise but there are many others. They all have something to offer and more are being created every day. If you like electronic dance music then this is a diverse yet interesting corner of it. Hopefully we have given you a few names to get started with.