Dance & Electronic 2011: 20 Best Albums

Listen to our Best of 2011: Dance & Electronic playlist on Rdio by clicking here.

1. James Blake
2. Nicolas Jaar
3. SBTRKT
4. Oneohtrix Point Never
5. Rustie
6. Amon Tobin
7. The Field
8. Little Dragon
9. Gang Gang Dance
10. Africa Hitech
11. Katy B
12. Hudson Mohawke
13. Junior Boys
14. Zomby
15. Babe Rainbow
16. Ford & Lopatin
17. Jamie Woon
18. Miracle Fortress
19. Azari & III
20. Toddla T



1. James Blake (Atlas)
For those familiar with his EPs of 2009 and 2010, such as the superb Kelis-sampling CMYK, James Blake's debut album came as something of a shock. The wonk and bass had been pushed into the background to allow room for a new Blake as a talented singer-songwriter. Blake's bass-laden cover of Feist's "Limit To Your Love," originally released as a one-track single in 2010, seemed like a playful aberration at the time but was in fact a portent of things to come. While tracks such as "The Wilhelm Scream" were more traditional, elsewhere on the album, opener "Unluck" for example, his work retains that left-field blend of IDM, R&B and dubstep that made his early work so unique. The end result is surprisingly emotive, with Blake's dulcet tones accentuated with subtle, or not, use of vocoder and a confessional nature to the lyrics that at times verges on the uncomfortable. James Blake made the most of 2011, becoming the poster-boy for the post-dubstep crossover into the mainstream. The challenge for Blake going forward is to sustain this interest while pushing his hybrid sound further forward. Given his superb live act, which successfully manages the transition from solo project to a three-piece band the cards are stacked in his favour.
Vincent Pollard

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Nice to see Amon Tobin and Zomby on there. Their new albums are kindred spirits, IMO.
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any chance of a Spotify playlist? Rdio isn't available in my country (Spain).
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not the greatest list.... very safe easy choices, missed a lot of great albums like Clams Casino, Machinedrum, 2562,KODE9 & SPACEAPE, JAMIE XX & GIL SCOTT-HERON,ARAABMUZIK,Sepalcure,Martyn Ghost People, OMAR S,Motor City Drum Ensemble - DJ-Kicks to name a few... katy b sucks btw
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Katy B does suck... I like a lot of the list, but agree that Kode9&Spaceape, Jamie XX & Gil Scott, and Araabmuzik coulda/shoulda made the list and I know they did receive votes, just not enough. Thanks for the additional suggestions though, more music to check out is always a good thing.
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Jamie XX and Gil Scott-Heron are featured in the Groove (soul & world) list.
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Yeah, I have my doubts that anyone who openly admits to being a fan of electronic music would have voted for Katy B. She's more for pop fans who want something a little more underground than Lady GaGa but not quite as challenging as Emika (who released a significantly more interesting and beautiful dubstep-ish album on Ninja Tune this year).
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where's pictureplane or jessica 6 on here?

bad list, bad list....
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Rustie @ 5? wow. ballsy.
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Toddla T is so underrated! Glad to see him included
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hey where's that thing that i like?
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Hmm, Ninja Tune usually means I'll give it a shot, so I'll have to check out the Emika album mentioned above. For other albums that didn't make the list, I really dug Gold Panda's Companion and Grouper's Alien Observer.
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kuedo - severant
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Yay! Wallpaper Music
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I can also vouch for Kuedo, a stellar record placed somewhere between the new Boxcutter and Com Truise.
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Article Published In Dec 11 Issue