With 2014 only weeks away, Rolling Stone visits this concluding year in music with the ranking of the 50 Best Albums of 2013. It’s been a strong year for electronic music, in terms of albums, as the genre as spawned more full-length records, while also raising the bar on quality, than in previous years.
Perhaps the most hyped release in all of music this year, Daft Punk‘s Random Access Memories is the standout electronic album on the list, ranking third only behind Vampire Weekend’s Modern Vampires of the City and Kanye West’s Yeezus (which has the duo credited twice in the top three due to their production on a bulk of the record.)
Next in line is another not-so-surprising list occupation. Disclosure‘s Settle ranks high amongst the year’s top offerings at number 13, coming ahead of top 20 commercial successes such as Drake’s Nothing Was The Same. A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold imprint also gets a nod, with rapper Danny Brown slotting in at 17.
Deeper in the shuffle, Avicii finds his debut album, True, toward the bank end ranking at 45. The positioning of his indisputable top-50 selection gives Avicii his fair shake, beating out albums from Franz Ferdinand and M.I.A.
Widely regarded as the most in-demand and prominent electronic music festival across the globe, Tomorrowland is doubling up for its 10th anniversary festival in Boom. Sources in Belgium confirm permits have been issued revealing that the festival will expand to take place over two weekends. Slated for its annual July dates, Tomorrowland’s celebratory expansion follows suit of Ultra Music Festival’s back-to-back 2013 event. Given the efforts put into building the meticulous festival, along with the international demand and limited supply for tickets, the two-weekend expansion is a sensible move that will have fans around the world as the beneficiary to the mystery and allure of Tomorrowland. Organizers ID&T have yet to comment on the news, but more information should make way across the pond sooner than later.
Over the course of the past five years, Wippenberg has made his mark with authentic progressive house, most notably on hits such as “Pong” and “Chakalaka.” But the veteran has been perfecting the craft of electronica production since the 1990s, and has historically avoided genre typecasting with unrestrained dance floor gems. Perhaps his most notable contribution had been 1995′s “Neuro Dancer,” his acid house-meets-hard trance record that remains one of the world’s most stipulated vinyls to date.
Resurrecting the namesake, Wippenberg brings his heralded tune back to life almost 20 years later with the release of “Neurodancer 2013.” The follow up from Doorn Records has the original’s thumping blend of acid and trance polished and warped around a progressive backbone. While the newest visit of “Neurodancer” has a “2013″ prefix, it remains true to the era in which the original was born as Wippenberg gives Doorn a modernly mastered effort without jeopardizing timelessness.
Gorgon City is the collaboration between talented UK producers Foamo and RackNRuin. Combining their potent production abilities, the two have released some truly stunning deep house tunes under their collaborative guise of Gorgon City. Their newest track alongside MNEK, “Ready For Love,” was recently dubbed Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World. Now MNEK’s refix has been previewed, offering a slower, more R&B-centric take on the single, and showing off MNEK’s own production abilities. Both versions of “Ready For Your Love” will be released on January 19th.
The Shermans are back with another lesson in Shermanology, as their latest original recording makes way through their home imprint of Wall. This time around, Andy, Leon, and Dorothy form a minimalistic, electro house production that remains on the darker side of the euphoria spectrum. Steering away from the overdone sound of anthemic records, Shermanology still manage to deliver a mastered product that’s true to what they’ve represented, and “Revolution of Love” allows Dorothy’s soulful vocals to serenade through another venue.
Sporting a unique brand of originality, Cazzette have sonically come into their own following a three-part, Spotify-exclusive artist album. Now ready to release Eject in full through global outlets next month, Alex and Seb are sporting “Run For Cover” as their new lead, an appropriate representation of the classic Cazzette sound. Always known to serve engaging and entertaining music videos, the Swedish outfit have followed suit with the visuals for “Run For Cover.” While witty and artistic, the brief storyline brings new life to the Eject mainstay.
As Skrillex spends the rest of the year finishing up his new music, the beginning of 2014 will see Sonny Moore embark on a new Takeovers tour, hitting San Francisco, Brooklyn, Amsterdam and Barcelona for a total of twenty one shows. As part of his Takeovers concept, Moore will play multiple back-to-back shows in each city, performing from a different venue each night. San Francisco has the biggest lineup of performances thus far with seven shows listed, yet each city boasts at least four nights with the beloved OWSLA champion. Head to Skrillex’s website to purchase presale tickets, and find dates and locations below.
While Le Youth is still in the midst of making a name for himself among the dance music community, his latest rendition of Disclosure‘s “Voices” may be the extra push needed. Wes James’ describes his own style as “90s sounds refracted through a thoroughly modern aesthetic…Breezy California vibes touched by a twist of European flair and an air of mystery.” James’ execution of “Voices” is precisely as construed. 90′s house meets garage as the the two genres fuse together so organically that it’s difficult to decide which of the two versions is better. While the original consists of the signature Disclosure sound with mellow, down to earth, and funky garage elements, Le Youth exhibits a more energetic, chic twist with the perfect ratio of rapid piano keys and poppy percussion.
Originally premiered at Tomorrowland this summer, Audien’s newest original production has finally landed on Beatport. Alongside vocals from Ruby Prophet, who also graced “These Are The Days,” Connecticut’s Nate Rathbun combines harmonious melodies with the singer’s vocal touch. Topping off an already stellar 2013 which saw the young producer grace stages around the world and consistently release highly-supported productions on some of the biggest labels in dance music, “Circles” is another terrific addition to the young star’s growing discography.
It may be shocking, after glancing over Martin Garrix‘s incredibly impressive resume, to find out that he’s racked up those accolades in such a brief tenure. In the last month alone, the Dutch talent has had the number one single in the UK and inked a deal with Scooter Braun. In between receiving awards and making worldwide headlining appearances, though, Garrix has returned to the studio with fellow newcomer Jay Hardway to recreate the magic that did them so well on “Error 404.” The pair’s newest collaboration, “Wizard,” has been the center of attention for big room fans in anticipation of its release. Returning to the “Animals“-inspired style, a minimalist bassline kicks in, making for a record Tiësto‘s used to show off his take on The Finger Piano Player. With much of the music world’s attention, the two world-class DJs have taken all expectations and exceeded them. While Martin continues to thrive in the spotlight and reach untold milestones for someone of his age, Jay Hardway gains even more certainly deserved recognition from the dance music community with a surely chart-topping release on Spinnin’.