Top 100 Electronic Music (including trance, house, techno, ambient, IDM, jungle, goa, avante-garde, indie electronic, etc.) Albums of All Time

Tags: 
  1. Before I say anything else, know that any recommendations are greatly appreciated at this point, to be added to the "albums to consider" list. They will ALL be listened to (time willing, that is).
  2. I've only got the top 70 so far, but I'm going to finish it, it just takes a really long time to make a list like this. There's a lot to consider when saying something like "the best of all time," and I intend to see that every choice is perfect. I have more than 100 already on a list, I just need to sort through them and order them, and cut down on the number. I also want to see every important subgenre of electronic music represented here, without too much focus on any one section. ie: many people on listology release lists with names like "The top 100 Electronic dance tracks of all time," which turns out to be a list entirely made up of trance music, with 2 mainstream house songs. When called on it, they then argue "Well, that's because no other electronic dance genre is as good as trance." This is wrong, and insulting to people who like other styles, and usually the result of a narrow interest and view on the part of the listmaker.
  3. Another thing I'm trying to minimize is that horrible "the first is the best" bias. Some things really do get vastly improved on as time goes on. Although other times future works are really derivative of the first in the style, so the first really is the best...but I'm going to try to account for that.

  4. Note: the subgenres that will be represented here are:
  5. Trance, house, goa/psy, techno and minimal, electro, IDM, minimalism, avante-garde/musique concrete, jungle, abstract hip-hop, ambient, ambient dance, downtempo, worldbeat, Krautrock/psychedelic rock, early synth, synthpop, electronic pop, electronic rock, "progressive," microhouse, acid jazz, and glitch.
  6. Industrial is touched on, but all I really do is acknowledge its existence. The list will go no deeper than that into the genre, as I personally feel industrial music made its point by the time the first album was finished. The purpose of the style is the making of "anti-music" - producing the ugliest sounds possible for the purpose of exploring the line between what is and isn't music. As far as personal listening goes, this doesn't appeal to me, and honestly won't to most electronic music fans. What it really boils down to is that I don't like industrial very much, although I'm glad someone out there is making it.

  7. Note: I've run into some difficulties here. It seems that "electronic music" can't really be classified as a megagenre per se, as I believed. I don't think electronic genres are actually related on a basis of being electronic, or on particular electronic elements, but on structural, thematic, and aesthetic relations. This is comparable to saying that rock genres are not classified as such because they centre around the use of guitars, drums, bass guitars, and vocals, but through these other relationships.
  8. Shoegaze was the main style that threw my neat definitions into disarray. Many of its predecessors were electronic, many of its descendants are electronic, but it is not itself generally considered electronic music, but a form of indie rock. This doesn't mesh with the idea of "electronic music" being defined as its own specific category - and this is actually pretty much intuitive, as many "electronic" artists incorporate real instruments, and many "real instrument" bands use electronics or electronically distort their music.
  9. This leads me to think that the only reason electronic music is composed as it is, is because of the unique qualities and properties that electronics provide that traditional can't. It gets its own category only because some of the properties inherent in the use of electronics create similarities between even the most distant electronic styles. In other words, while happy hardcore and music concrete are obviously not historically related in almost any way, there are similarities between then that come specifically from the fact that both use electronics.
  10. So what are the special properties inherent in the use of electronics? My guess is, essentially, the production of sounds ad musical qualities that are impossible for traditional instruments. This boils down to:
  11. - very precise, complex and/or fast grooves and beats
  12. - alien, sourceless sound with no real-world comparison
  13. - extreme textural complexity
  14. - truly perfect composition - Since recording is generally part of the composition process when electronics are used, this gives musicians all the musical control that serialists attempted to achieve, without having to map every element of the music out onto a physical composition.
  15. These properties are perfect for creating texture and rhythm, and a musical focus on the elements is likely why so many electronic genres are actually related to each other - all are preoccupied with one or the other - or both.

  16. So, for the reasons stated above, I've broadened the requirements for an album to make the list. It doesn't even need to be predominantly electronic anymore: it must simply involve electronics in some way, and be texturally and/or rhythmically focused (this actually excludes many predominantly electronic albums that would never make the list anyway, such as much of the late 90's teen pop).


  17. Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians

  18. Year: 1978

  19. Electronic genre: Minimalism

  20. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  21. What the Critics Said:
  22. Amazon.com: 5/5
  23. New York Times: Concert review of Steve Reich's performance of this piece has no actual rating, but the article gushes. I'd say they're giving it 5/5: article here
  24. Critic Nathan Andrew Seifert puts it in his "10 albums he considers brilliant" list.
  25. Critic Jon Dolan: No star rating, but again, the review gushes and calls it boundary-expanding, to the point that I'd say they wouldn've given it 5/5.
  26. Critic Scott Paulin: again, gushes to the point that I'd say he gives it 5/5.
  27. Barnes & Noble users: 5/5
  28. Discogs raing: 4.8/5

  29. My "review":
  30. Music for 18 Musicians is not even electronic, not in the slightest. However, the structure of most electronic music, the audio world most of the mega-genre resides in was perfected here. You see, there was a genre of music created in the 60's called "minimalism." Traditional composers had long exhausted the "classical" sound, and were now all using a style called "serialism." The purpose of this "music" was to control every aspect of the sound to the point that any two playings of the composition would be exactly the same. The result? Compositions that became a)unbelievably difficult to play; b)Almost completely soulless; and c)Impossible to enjoy without mathematically analyzing the musical structure. For everyone who likes the feeling of being trapped in a burning iron maiden, try some 50's Stockhausen, and you'll understand serialism really quickly.
  31. So, since no one actually liked serialism, a bunch of composers decided to rebel against it and reject everything serialism stood for in one of the 20th century's great strokes of artistic genius: minimalism. Why not make simple music that is almost completely based on chance? And predictably, the results were beautiful, alive, and permanently kicked out of the artistic community. Oh modernist pretension, where would we be without you?
  32. Anyways, yeah, that's minimalism. Repetitive, rhythmic, almost dancible, melodic, tuneful, atmospheric, organic, and accessible, but still intelligent and open to analysis. This music was almost totally based on slowly shifting repetition, which was often purposely generated by pure chance (ie: In C was made bytelling a bunch of musicians to play their parts "at their own pace," and by only playing what they felt like.). Music for 18 Musicians wasn't the first minimalist piece (Music for 18 Musicians is the first minimalist piece in the same way that the Andromeda Galaxy is the first thing you'll find outside of New York), but it was progbably the very best of the style. Gorgeous, catchy, ever-shifting melodies, and a light and lovely atmosphere made up of an amorphous wall (Great Wall of China, really) of the prettiest traditional instruments. And it never gets tiring: there are days when I want to mix the first and last track on this album together and listen to this album on repeat. It's like an infinite song, and since it loops back on itself (the end IS the beginning), it's seems like that's what Reich wanted you to think when he made it.


  33. DJ Shadow - Endtroducing...

  34. Year: 1996

  35. Electronic genre: Abstract hip-hop/Sound Collage

  36. Difficulty Level: 2/10

  37. What the Critics Said:
  38. All Music Guide: 5/5
  39. Alternative Press: 5/5
  40. Robert Christgau: A+
  41. Entertainment Weekly: A-
  42. Mojo: 5/5
  43. Q : 5/5
  44. Rolling Stone: 5/5
  45. Spin: 4.5/5
  46. UNCUT: 5/5
  47. Pitchfork Media: 91%
  48. Discogs Rating: 4.6

  49. My "review":
  50. Nothing on this album is original, the entire thing is made up of samples of other artists, and you'd never know it from listening.
  51. This is now a cliche, but not when Endtroducing came out: people had sampled before (lots), but for the most part (EDIT: there are a couple of very rare, forgotten, and essentially lost albums made entirely of samples. I haven't heard them, but it seems fairly unlikely that they're very good anyway) no one had ever been able to make an entire album without doing something themselves. Not until Endtroducing.
  52. But don't let the process fool you: this would be a perfect album no matter how it was made. Jazzy beauty oozes out of every note (Does the word "note" even mean anything anymore?): DJ Shadow plays his turntables like a hip-hop Miles Davis. You can't even tell it's a technical masterpiece, this is pure (the only?) jazz-hop genius. It's the perfect soundtrack to a 20th century post-modern poetry reading in a poorly lit cafe on a cold, rainy night. Only, you listen to the music instead of the poetry. But still, like all great electronic music, it has it's own feel, it's own personal emotional core that no other album has ever captured, that can never really be described. While there are other perfect soundtracks to 20th century post-modern poetry readings in poorly lit cafes on cold, rainy nights, there are none that feel quite like this (and none that are nearly as good). Hell, if I ran 20th century post-modern poetry readings in poorly lit cafes on cold, rainy nights, this would be the soundtrack every single time.


  53. My Bloody Valentine - Loveless

  54. Year: 1991

  55. Electronic genre: shoegaze

  56. Difficulty Level: 4/10

  57. What the Critics Said:
  58. I don't even need to go into it. It is widely considered the best album of the 90s.

  59. I know it's not really electronic: the only electronic aspects are the mountain of effects pedals used on the guitar work, and some keyboards. But like I said above, it's the textural focus of the music that qualifies it, and the fact that much of what shoegaze inspired was/is electronic (Ulrich Schnauss, m83, etc.). Plus it's one of the best albums of all time, any genre.


  60. Faust - Faust

  61. Year: 1971

  62. Electronic genre: Krautrock/Musique-concrete

  63. Difficulty Level: 10/10

  64. What the Critics Said:
  65. All Music Guide: 4.5/5
  66. Piero Scaruffi: 3rd Best Rock Album of All Time
  67. Amazon.com: 4.5/5

  68. My "Review":
  69. This sounds like Hell. I don't mean it sounds terrible and boring, I mean, it actually sounds like Hell...or maybe "the Netherworld." At first, it sounds like you're driving through Hell, trying to get a radio station, but since you're in the centre of the earth, reception is understandably poor. Hell has a radio station, and, (I think this may even be the joke Faust is getting at) of course, it plays mainstream popular music. Then, driving through Helltown our car stops working: the engine overheated and it won't run anymore. But you stay hiding in the car, as just that moment, Hell's marching band of skeletons, devils, and demons goes by. There are floats, showcasing different tortures (all campily redone) and reenacting all kinds of Satan-driven events in history (from Hitler's slaughter of the Jews, to the Rwandan massacre, to the releasing of Celine Dion's first album; again, all deliberately silly). Then the horn section comes by. This being Hell, they're all overloud, and don't really know how to play their instruments. You're trying to get away from the noise, but no matter how fast you run, Hell moves with you at the precise same speed: you can't escape. Then the singing begins, announcing the coming of the Satan float. He makes the band stop, shrieking in electronic pulses, laughing as everyone around screams in pain at the noise, then flees. But the band stays together, and marches by at a hyperspeed. You run, escaping Helltown this time, across a barren waste both frozen and burning, accompanied by the band, marching by now and then, passing Hell's bar, where the pianist isn't playing, he's just warming up forever. Hellwinds accompany us, almost blowing us over at times, along with the howls of wolves (although the two seem to merge together). Odd voices come out of the ether, shipwrecked tankers float by the land, a fog falls, and we are almost driven to madness, falling over into a nightmare. And so ends "Why Don't you Eat Carrots?", the first third of the album.
  70. This same bent continues throughout the next two songs, but they're very different (the second song being the nightmare...[could you actually have a nightmare in Hell, if it existed?] The third is awakening from the nightmare, and being unable to tell what is the nightmare, and what is Hell...forever].
  71. While I could describe my own "Faust" world for pages, I must also note the importance of this album. It was one of many albums that shattered conventions in the 70s, even convention-shattering for Krautrock. This album is specifically rooted in "deconstructive" ideas (it was this concept's most pop-accessible version yet, which doesn't really say anything - and isn't as accessible as say..."The Orb"), taking apart a huge number of influences with a chainsaw, and throwing them all into a heap, their emotional centres laid bare. When this album came out, it was suddenly pretty much possible to do anything with music, and everyone knew it. Artists like Nurse With Wound, Throbbing Gristle, and maybe even sample-heavy ambient house producers owe quite a lot to this music, whether they know it or not.
  72. This is proof that Hell can be FUN!
  73. This album is already showing serious diminishing returns after 5 listens. It's good, but problematic. Analyze it all you will, it really just boils down to being a collage. A good one though, so it's still worthy of a very high position. It's just really not the number one of all time, especially considering how difficult it is, and that sound collage was nothing new at this point.


  74. Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure

  75. Year: 1995

  76. Electronic genre: Trance/Progressive house/Ambient Trance

  77. Difficulty Level: 2/10

  78. What the Critics Said:
  79. Discogs ranking: 4.9/5
  80. All Music Guide: 2.5/5
  81. Inblot: read it here. No star rating, but I interpret the review to be 5/5 (as again, the review gushes).
  82. TheScene.com.au: No star rating, but the genre they give it is "amazing" and the whole review is just them going on and on about how everyone should own it. So 5/5, I guess.
  83. Amazon.com: 4.5/5

  84. My "review":
  85. A DJ mix CD is supposed to be a musical journey, perfectly showcasing the DJs talent along with an immaculately chosen flow of music. However, until 1995, with the release of this masterpiece, the vast majority of DJs simply threw their favorite tracks together on a CD with minimal mixing, the theory being that no set of CDs would ever really capture the feeling of being at a rave or party. All of that changed with Northern Exposure. The modern ideal was born (then later forgotten. Oh anthem trance). Northern Exposure is to artistic DJ mixes what sex is to children: totally impossible and nonexistent without it (and better than anything that results after it). Northern Exposure was the first, and it's never been topped (and never will be).
  86. For people who don't care about process, you've got a single-track ambient trance masterpiece on your hands. I mean it: the tracks fit together so exactly that it almost seems they were written to be together. There is a gradual feel of build from the beginning of CD 1 to the end of CD 2: beginning with The Orb's float tank ambient, ending with Underworld's stratospheric trance anthem "Dark Train," the built is so subtle it can't even be noticed, yet lacking the monotonous flatline of other DJs managing similar effect: it's dynamic and alive. Listening to this mix is like watching someone take pieces out of 40 different jigsaw puzzles and put them together (unmodified) to make a completely different picture that is not only infinitely more beautiful than the originals, but contains no seams between the pieces. This mix is the reason why Sasha and Digweed are the only DJs on the top 10 that are worthy of their position. This is the musical personification of balance.


  87. Aglaia - Three Organic Experiences

  88. Year: 2003

  89. Electronic genre: Ambient

  90. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  91. What the Critics Said:
  92. The Ambient Review (aka Brian Bienowski): Best Ambient Album 2003. The review has no star rating, but it's so loving that I can't imagine it being anything but 5/5:
  93. Backroads Music: 21th Best of 2003
  94. Discogs rating: 4.8/5

  95. My "review":
  96. This is probably the most underrated album of all time. No one anywhere knows this album exists, but that's really the world's loss.
  97. But, I'm not going to rage at horrible marketing, that would just overshadow a perfect album.
  98. This is THE BEST ambient album ever created. I have listened to it more times than any other, it's better than Biosphere, better than Aphex Twin; it's even better than Brian Eno. It combines all the ambience of everything previously mentioned, with a mystical, ancient sound, slowly coalescing in and out of organic drones (if that's even possible). Listeneing to 3 Organic Experiences is like exploring a mythical version of Earth before humans came into existence. The first part brings you under the sea, the second onto land, and the third into the Arctic, and eventually, the sky. And you see (and hear) everything you would expect in a world just ending it's Goddess-driven creation.


  99. Klaus Schulze - Irrlicht

  100. Year: 1972

  101. Electronic genre: Experimental/Minimalism/semi-ambient/early synth/krautrock

  102. Difficulty Level: 7/10

  103. What the Critics Said:
  104. Discogs Rating: 4.3/5
  105. Amazon: 4.5/5
  106. Piero Scaruffi: 13th greatest rock(?) album ever
  107. Tigersushi: 5/5
  108. All Music Guide: 5/5

  109. My "Review":
  110. Like most albums on this list, it's very difficult indeed: it takes a very good number of listens to sink in, to associate with a mental world that makes the album worthwhile. At first, I didn't see anything here but generic, if very high quality space music (the invention of space music, yes, but still nothing special). Then I realized what it was, and how unbelievably wrong I was. This wasn't space music, but a veritable musical black nothingness. Irrlicht wasn't the sound of floating in space, it was of floating in less than space.
  111. And this is not a bad thing: it's incredible! It is said (by physicists), that if you could go beyond the edges of the universe, into the nothingness into which the universe expands, the universe would extend out with you, by virtue of the simple fact that you're there. However, all around would be no universe: nothingness. But nothingness is impossible: when all matter is removed, random "positive" and "negative" energy and "positive" and "negative" matter will come into existence, resulting only in an average of nothing. So, in effect, you would be in nothingness, but you would see all sorts of unbelievable things around you, all popping in and out of existence in rapidly disintegrated and reintegrating mirror images. This surreal nothing is the endless, droning strands of Satz Ebene, infinitely far from the edges of our universe.
  112. Satz Gewintter is the same world, but now we're moving, heading back towards our universe at infinite speed, so fast it appears as almost stillness. The surreal world passes us by, distorting with more chaos, flowing by the edges of our ethereal ship.
  113. Satz Exil Sils Maria brings us the edge of our universe, trillions of miles away, the first light of "home" reaching our eyes, the mirrored chaos all around us.
  114. Brilliant, one of the only pure ambient albums I'll actually listen to, rather than just putting it at the threshold or sleeping to it. It's the sound of both infinity and nothingness.
  115. Not recommended for agoraphobics.


  116. Can - Future Days

  117. Year: 1974

  118. Electronic genre: Krautrock/Psychedelic

  119. Difficulty Level: 5/10

  120. What the Critics Said:
  121. Soon Over Babaluma:
  122. All Music Guide: 4/5
  123. Amazon.com: 4.5/5
  124. Discogs rating: 4.5/5
  125. Pitchforkmedia: 74th best album of the 70s

  126. My "review":
  127. Banco De Gaia, Peter Gabriel, Deep Forest, Tangerine Dream, Enya, Enigma, The Orb, the entire Escapes and Cafe Del Mar series', hell, every electronic artist that's decided to put backwards Mongolian warbling or glitched-up ant flutes of the Serengetti, or Kalahari tongue-clicking into their tracks owe everything to this one album here. It's psychedelic and rambly texture, as only krautrock can be, but with very subtle ethnic influence. Unlike the shamelessly tribe-sampling worldbeat artists that would dominate the downtempo world for the next 20 years, this is all under-the-sound, it's all very hidden and elegant. It seems to recall some unknown ethnic group you've never heard of...it's almost like general ethnic, with no actual direct influence. Sort of like...the experimental music of a parallel universe where an Arabian-African hybrid civilization became Earth's dominant society.
  128. While this is only arguably electronic, there's so much keyboard and found sound here that I think it's a crime to call Soon Over Babaluma anything else. (Oh yeah, it was a major influence on trance music too).
  129. I've decided to add Future Days here: repeat listens (thanks to lukeprog) and similar concept. I'm putting together sets of any two albums that I feel were similar enough in concept taht the second was just a development on the first, but still worthy of its greatness. In other words: the two CDs could have been initially released as a 2-disc set.


  130. Oval - 94Diskont

  131. Year: 1994

  132. Electronic genre: Glitch/Ambient

  133. Difficulty Level: 5/10

  134. What the Critics Said:
  135. Pitchforkmedia: 47th best album of the 90s
  136. Discogs rating: 4.4/5
  137. Amazon.com: 4.5/5
  138. All Music Guide: 5/5
  139. Wire: Albums of the year 1996
  140. Wire: 100 Albums that set the World on Fire
  141. Blow Up: On the 600 Essential Albums list

  142. My "review":

  143. This album is now extremely famous, as it made a massive musical concept that now spans a vast number of genres actually musical: that being the glitch. This style has found its way into techno, into electro, into house, and yes, now even into pop music. However, that now almost cliche electronic idea became a musically enjoyable reality with this album, right here (well, technically the Oval's album before it, but no one really noticed). But who would've thought that music, actual music and not noise, could be made like this? Cutting up CDs and gluing them back together, dropping paint on their surfaces, hacking away at them and scratching them with blades...and the result is music?
  144. Still, I think focusng on all that process totally misses the point of this album: the music. Pastoral, expansive, and epic, the 24 minute opening track, Do While is deceptively simple, but brings to mind climbing a great grass-covered mountain. There are sparkling, red-glowing trees all around, endlessly dropping shimmering leaves, the trees growing thicker and thicker as you climb. The branches move almost unnaturally, and the view of the valley below can barely be seen: it is covered in layer upon layer of silent static. Although glimpses of a small, ancient town and the sound of its ringing bell glimmer through the haze when it is focused on, you know can't reach it, you can only go up.
  145. On reaching the top of the mountain, Do While ends, and we find ourselves in a collage-world, slashed apart bits and pieces of everything fly by us in a dark mist, becoming clearer and clearer as we run over the electronic, yet magical plateau, and just as things reach their greatest frenzy...we find ourselves climbing back down, and Do While begins again.


  146. The Notwist - Neon Golden

  147. Year: 2002

  148. Electronic genre: Glitch Pop

  149. Difficulty Level: 4/10

  150. What the Critics Said:
  151. Metacritic Score: 89/100
  152. Pitchforkmedia: 9.2/10
  153. All Music Guide: 4/5
  154. Popnews: Best Album of 2003
  155. Intro: 2nd Best Album of 2003
  156. Robert Christgau: B-
  157. Dusted Reviews: No Actual ranking, but I'd judge their review to say about 4.5/5

  158. My "review":
  159. Glitch pop has never been lovelier than it is on this sexy little bastard child. Equal parts MORR music (german electronic pop label) and Oval, this was the last thing anyone expected from The Notwist at the time of their conception: coming from a generic alternative and nu-metal band, suddenly we get a glitchy, emotional masterpiece. And what a masterpiece it is.
  160. To me, it sounds like the soundtrack for a small town of lovable people in a post-apocalyptic future. They're all mutated and changed to the point of being no longer human, and are thus unable to leave, but are otherwise happy (though always yearning for escape from their isolated existence).
  161. The lyrics are completely abstract, but more important is their delivery: Notwist's lead singer has a brilliantly charismatic voice that makes the sound of the music itself difficult to focus on, but still ever-present as atmosphere. However, if one manages to escape his engaging pull, you'll find clicks and cuts and broken melodies, worthy of any of Mille Plateaux's best, seamlessly mixed with a perfect indie-rock guitar preciousness.


  162. Monolake - Hongkong

  163. Year: 1997

  164. Electronic genre: Minimal Techno/Dub Techno/Ambient Techno

  165. Difficulty Level: 7/10

  166. What the Critics Said:
  167. Mark Warren Weddle: No rating, but his review screams 4/5: here
  168. Stylus: A. They've never actually reviewed it, but they review a later Monolake album as A-, and imply that Hongkong was better.
  169. Discogs: 4.5/5
  170. All Music Guide: 4.5/5

  171. My "review":
  172. I didn't think there was anything at all to this music the first time I heard it. I couldn't hear any of the layering, the atmosphere, the depth: nothing. Just maddening repetition.
  173. But, sadomasochistic listener that I am (no, seriously, look at some of the albums on this list) I gave it repeat listens. And I was so...completely...wrong. This is such amazingly complex music: there is almost continuous change in all of this, it's like an organo-futuristic Steve Reich. It's so structurally shifting that, despite being ambient in nature, you can actually sit and listen to this album sans any boredom at all.
  174. Again, like all great electronic music, it has a completely irreplicable atmosphere never heard anywhere else (that isn't blatantly copying). Oxymoronic as it may sound, this is organic minimal techno. The first track, Cyan, sounds like being in a greenhouse in the year 2984 after humanity has been replaced by a cyborg-tomato hybrid species. Index is sort of like fleeing through a robot-infested field filled with these computerized (but mostly harmless) biological nightmares, the greehouses they're grown/manufactured all around, the landscape completely barren and devoid of existence but for the now-abandoned bunkers and metal scrap heaps made by a now-extinct humanity. Lantau is like a visit to the island where these creatures were first designed, the brain-centre of this mutilated planet: green and beautiful, but twisted and...off. After more demented wandering through this gorgeous, but barren and terrible world, we finally escape on the ambient winds of the now-green and overgrown last working maglev train in the final resting place of Neotokyo the 5th, out to an unknown future.
  175. Really relaxing. One a very few albums here that I can both sleep to and listen to.


  176. 4Hero - Parallel Universe

  177. Year: 1994

  178. Electronic genre: Jungle/Acid jazz

  179. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  180. Brian Eno - Ambient 1: Music For Airports

  181. Year: 1978

  182. Electronic genre: uh...

  183. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  184. What the Critics Said:
  185. Rollingstone: 4/5
  186. Slant: 6th Best Electronic Album Ever
  187. All Music Guide: 5/5
  188. Pop: 101th Best Album of all time
  189. Musichound: 4.5/5
  190. Robert Christgau: B
  191. Robert Dimery: One of his 1001 Albums to Hear Before you Die
  192. Vigin Encyclopedia of Popular Music: 4/5
  193. Discogs rating: 4.5/5
  194. Pitchforkmedia: 9.2/10


  195. Mille Plateaux - Clicks + Cuts 2

  196. Year: 2001

  197. Electronic genre: Glitch/Ambient/Microhouse

  198. Difficulty Level: 8/10


  199. The Orb - Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld

  200. Year: 1991

  201. Electronic genre: Ambient House/Sound Collage

  202. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  203. Massive Attack - Blue Lines

  204. Year: 1991

  205. Electronic genre: Trip-hop

  206. Difficulty Level: 4/10

  207. What the Critics Said:
  208. All Music Guide: 5/5
  209. Mixmag: Best Electronic Dance Album of All Time
  210. Amazon.com: 7th best album of the 90s
  211. Rollingstone: 101th Best Album of all Time
  212. Face: Best Album of 1991
  213. Pitchfork: 85th Best Album of the 90s
  214. Muzik: 14th Best Dance Album of All Time
  215. Pure Pop: 2nd Most Important Album of All Time


  216. Kraftwerk - Autobahn

  217. Year: 1974

  218. Electronic genre: early synth

  219. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  220. What the Critics Said:
  221. Leonard's lair: 4/5
  222. Sputnikmusic: 5/5 (and 14th best of 1974)
  223. Rollingstone: No rating, but the review gushes over it, and the voted rating is 4.5/5
  224. Allmusicguide: 5/5
  225. Q: 4/5
  226. Robert Christgau: B-
  227. Amazon.com: 4.5/5
  228. Discogs rating: 4.6/5

  229. My "review":
  230. Up until this masterpiece, electronic music was either a)novelty, only heard because it was a different way of doing the same things that could be done without it (listen to Switched on Bach, or Popcorn), b)Self-conscious experimentation, almost impossible to listen to by anyone who isn't a computer or a music Ph.D, or c)another instrument for rock music. This album changed all of that, and permanently split electronic music off from rock and experimental music, forming a new mega-genre of music completely unheard of or thought of until Autobahn. And it's a masterpiece: the first track is a 23 minute epic that gorgeously conjures up a Sunday drive down a highway in 2948, surrounded by 70's kitchy robots dancing around electronic rainbows while your windshield wipers knock off little flitting electric fairies unlucky enough to get smashed onto your antimatter forcefield. Gorgeous.


  231. Ricardo Villalobos - Alcachofa

  232. Year: 2003

  233. Electronic genre: Microhouse/Minimal Techno

  234. Difficulty Level: 7/10


  235. Radiohead - Kid A

  236. Year: 2000

  237. Electronic genre: Electronic pop/IDM

  238. Difficulty Level: 5/10

  239. Everything that can be said about this album has already been said, as music critics seem to like declaring this "the best album of all time" (along with OK Computer). It certainly isn't, but it is still quite good.


  240. Orbital - Snivilisation

  241. Year: 1994

  242. Electronic genre: Downtempo/Trance/Ambient Trance/Ambient House

  243. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  244. Plastikman - Consumed

  245. Year: 1998

  246. Electronic genre: Minimal Techno

  247. Difficulty Level: 7/10


  248. Global Communication - 76:14

  249. Year: 1994

  250. Electronic genre: Ambient dance/Ambient/

  251. Difficulty Level: 3/10 for most I think, but oddly, it was about 9/10 for me

  252. My "review":
  253. This album took me forever to get into. I'd been recommended it about 7 times before actually listening to it, and I never understood it on any listen. That changed recently (for reasons that are perhaps psychedelic, but I'm admitting nothing), and I was suddenly whisked away into a calm, gentle world enshrouded in mystery, and perhaps a hint of menace. On listening to the classic 14:31, I found myself walking on a desolate beach under grey skys that evoked a forever cloudy day. Nothing around me moved, as if it were all frozen in time. In looking to the sea, I saw waves that did not travel, waves staying eternally at their break, always about to fall, but never moving. Stark cliffs dwarfed me when looking to the land. Small crab and snail-like creatures skittered across the beach, sometimes moving, sometimes going very slowly, but usually frozen mid-step, never reaching the ground. Abormally transparent bubbles slowly floated out of the ground, freezing any creature that travelled into one, the movement only resuming when it eventually (very slowly) passed. The ticking was almost like the world fighting the clock, the second hand ticking back into the same place with every moment that passed. On looking at my watch, I saw that the time was 14:31. It never changed; that time was eternal. Beautiful.


  254. Spicelab - A Day on Our Planet

  255. Year: 1994

  256. Electronic genre: Classic Trance/Ambient Trance

  257. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  258. What the Critics Said:
  259. Discogs rating: 4.6/5
  260. That's really it. This album is an unknown.

  261. My "review":
  262. The first wave of trance was perfected here, and everything you'd expect from such a thing can be found. Sci-fi samples, long ambient washes, an unqeildy length to the tracks, laser twerps, catchy melodies, unpredictable structre, and acid, acid, acid. However, A Day on Our Planet really transcends all that, to be something far greater, something far more beautiful. Lieb (as in Oliver Lieb) has tapped into some otherworldy, alien atmosphere with the 4 tracks contained here, he's managed to produce something not of the Earth. There is no rave reference point to this trance (something that really can't be said for most other trance, regardless of what most trancEaddicts will tell you): the beats are momentum (and you couldn't dance to a lot of this anyway), this album is a fast-moving journey through another universe.


  263. The Future Sound of London - Lifeforms

  264. Year: 1994

  265. Electronic genre: Downtempo/Ambient/Ambient Trance

  266. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  267. Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman

  268. Year: 1993

  269. Electronic genre: Progressive house/Techno/Trance

  270. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  271. Farben - Textstar

  272. Year: 2002

  273. Electronic genre: Microhouse

  274. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  275. Biosphere - Substrata

  276. Year: 1998

  277. Electronic genre: Ambient

  278. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  279. James Holden - Balance 005

  280. Year: 2003

  281. Electronic genre: Neo-trance/Progressive house/Progressive Trance/IDM

  282. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  283. m83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas, Lost Ghosts

  284. Year: 2003

  285. Electronic genre: IDM/Ambient

  286. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  287. Manuel Gottsching - E2-E4

  288. Year: 1981

  289. Electronic genre: Minimalism/Trance

  290. Difficulty Level: 5/10

  291. What the Critics Said:
  292. All Music Guide: 5/5
  293. Pitchforkmedia: 79th best album of the 80s
  294. Blow Up: On the 600 essential albums list
  295. Discogs: 4.7/5
  296. Amazon.com: 5/5

  297. My "review":
  298. The instant E2-E4 hit the shelves, trance and techno existed. While this did not have acid, or breakdowns, or even the TR-909, the atmosphere and groove of the styles were birthed right here: 4 years before anyone else thought of it.
  299. Surprisngly, this is all managed with a single 59-minute track, with a single melodic centre. Unlike other epic 59 minute albums, or any later trance or techno music, for that matter, with plenty of songs and changes, this is all managed in one track, with just one main melody (although with plenty of variations), without ever growing tiring. It never feels like Gottsching is trying as hard as he can to fill the 59 minutes, it's more like he simply wanted breathing room to let all of his ideas slowly develop out of each other: as if he wanted to let the music blossom at it's own pace from his initial seed of silence, in the same way as 70's minimalism. In fact, it was almost as if Gottsching simply took minimalism, and made it groove-oriented. I'd even go so far as to say that this is the missing link (and it is missing: E2-E4 is all but forgotten) between modern EDM and 60's/70's minimalism.
  300. And all that without MIDI. (In other words, if Gottsching played the first 57 minutes of E2-E4, then fucked up on the last bar, he'd have to go back and replay the entire first 57 minutes again. No wonder electronic music took so long to catch on).


  301. Bjork - Homogenic

  302. Year: 1997

  303. Electronic genre: IDM/Electronic pop/Glitch

  304. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  305. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 1

  306. Year: 1993

  307. Electronic genre: Ambient techno/Ambient Trance

  308. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  309. Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People

  310. Year: 2002

  311. Electronic genre: Indie pop/Indie rock/electronic rock

  312. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  313. While not fully electronic, still very much in the aesthetic. (more info coming later)


  314. Michael Mayer - Immer

  315. Year: 2002

  316. Electronic genre: Microhouse/Tech-house

  317. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  318. The KLF - The White Room

  319. Year: 1991

  320. Electronic genre: Stadium House/Anthem trance/Eurodance

  321. Difficulty Level: 1/10


  322. Herbert - Around the House

  323. Year: 1998

  324. Electronic genre: House/Microhouse/Acid jazz

  325. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  326. Aphex Twin - The Richard D. James Album

  327. Year: 1996

  328. Electronic genre: IDM/Drill n Bass

  329. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  330. Luomo - Vocalcity

  331. Year: 2000

  332. Electronic genre: Microhouse/Deep House/Minimal

  333. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  334. Tim Hecker - Radio Amor

  335. Year: 2003

  336. Electronic genre: Glitch/Ambient

  337. Difficulty Level: 7/10


  338. Lee Perry - Revolution Dub

  339. Year: 1975

  340. Electronic genre: Dub/Reggae/Sound Collage

  341. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  342. Tuu - One Thousand Years

  343. Year: 1994

  344. Electronic genre: Ambient/Tribal

  345. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  346. Burial - Burial

  347. Year: 2006

  348. Electronic genre: Dubstep

  349. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  350. Amon Tobin - Bricolage

  351. Year: 1997

  352. Electronic genre: Abstract hip-hop

  353. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  354. Burial - Untrue

  355. Year: 2007

  356. Electronic genre: Dubstep/ambient

  357. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  358. Mouse on Mars - Iaora Tahiti

  359. Year: 1995

  360. Electronic genre: IDM/Ambient/Dub

  361. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  362. Daft Punk - Homework

  363. Year: 1997

  364. Electronic genre: French house/Electro

  365. Difficulty Level: 1/10


  366. Neu! - Neu!

  367. Year: 1975

  368. Electronic genre: Krautrock/Psychedilic/Early Synth

  369. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  370. Infected Mushroom - Classical Mushroom/BP Empire

  371. Year: 2000/2001

  372. Electronic genre: psytrance/goa trance

  373. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  374. Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air

  375. Year: 1969

  376. Electronic genre: Minimalism

  377. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  378. Kraftwerk - Computer World

  379. Year: 1981

  380. Electronic genre: Electro

  381. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  382. Art of Trance - Platipus Beginner's Guide

  383. Year: 1999

  384. Electronic genre: Acid Trance/Classic Trance/Anthem trance

  385. Difficulty Level: 2/10


  386. The Fiery Furnaces - Blueberry Boat

  387. Year: 2004

  388. Electronic genre: Indie rock/Electronic rock

  389. Difficulty Level: 7/10


  390. Bonobo - Animal Magic/Dial m For Monkey

  391. Year: 2000/2003

  392. Electronic genre: Abstract hip-hop/Lounge/Ambient/Downtempo

  393. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  394. Banco De Gaia - Last Train to Lhasa

  395. Year: 1994

  396. Electronic genre: Ambient/Ambient Trance/Progressive House/Worldbeat/Ambient Breaks

  397. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  398. Akufen - My Way

  399. Year: 2002

  400. Electronic genre: Microhouse/Funky house/Dub Techno/Ambient

  401. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  402. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children

  403. Year: 1999

  404. Electronic genre: IDM/Ambient

  405. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  406. Ellen Allien - Berlinette

  407. Year: 2003

  408. Electronic genre: Techno/Electro

  409. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  410. The Books - Thought for Food

  411. Year: 2002

  412. Electronic genre: Sound Collage/Indie Electronic

  413. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  414. Kompakt - Total 3/Total 4

  415. Year: 2001/2002

  416. Electronic genre: Microhouse/techno/minimal/tech-house/house/Dub techno/deep house

  417. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  418. Four Tet - Rounds

  419. Year: 2003

  420. Electronic genre: Glitch/Acid Jazz/Abstract hip-hop/IDM

  421. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  422. Biosphere - Shenzhou

  423. Year: 2002

  424. Electronic genre: Ambient

  425. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  426. Leftfield - Leftism

  427. Year: 1995

  428. Electronic genre: Progressive house

  429. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  430. The Orb - U.F. Orb

  431. Year: 1992

  432. Electronic genre: Ambient House/Ambient/Dub

  433. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  434. Orbital - The Green Album/Orbital 2

  435. Year: 1991/1992

  436. Electronic genre: Rave/Techno/Ambient techno/Classic Trance/Ambient trance/Anthem trance/Acid

  437. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  438. Tangerine Dream - Phaedra

  439. Year: 1974

  440. Electronic genre: Ambient/Krautrock

  441. Difficulty Level: 7/10


  442. Herbert - Bodily Functions

  443. Year: 2001

  444. Electronic genre: Jazz/Glitch/Deep House/Nu-jazz

  445. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  446. Autechre - Amber

  447. Year: 1994

  448. Electronic genre: IDM/Ambient

  449. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  450. Oribtal - In Sides

  451. Year: 1996

  452. Electronic genre: Trance/Ambient trance/Ambient breaks

  453. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  454. Massive Attack - Mezzanine

  455. Year: 1998

  456. Electronic genre: Trip-hop

  457. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  458. Shpongle - Are you Shpongled?

  459. Year: 1998

  460. Electronic genre: Ambient Psy/Tribal

  461. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  462. Richie Hawtin - DE:9 Closer to the Edit/DE:9 Transitions

  463. Year: 2001/2005

  464. Electronic genre: Minimal Techno/Microhouse/Hard Techno/Ketaminimal

  465. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  466. Hallucinogen - Twisted

  467. Year: 1995

  468. Electronic genre: Psytrance/Goa Trance

  469. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  470. The Prodigy - The Fat of the land

  471. Year: 1997

  472. Electronic genre: Big Beat/Breakbeat/Rave

  473. Difficulty Level: 2/10


  474. Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene

  475. Year: 1976

  476. Electronic genre: Proto-trance/Early Synth

  477. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  478. Throbbing Gristle - The Second Annual Report

  479. Year: 1977

  480. Electronic genre: Industrial

  481. Difficulty Level: 10/10

  482. This album is really groundbreaking, it was literally the instant industrial music was invented (Well, there were 3 albums before by the same artist, but they were in the same year and they weren't as good).
  483. This album makes me really queasy everytime I listen to it, moreso than anything else I've ever heard. Hearing The Second Annual Report is like watching someone being hung, drawn, and quartered: it's painful even to see, you're horrified, but you just can't turn away, even if it makes you vomit.
  484. That doesn't really make this a great listen, but this is great art, and it is important (ie industrial, EBM, industrial rock, trance, acid house, etc. would not exist without it). And at least interesting to listen to: its the ultimate indulgence of morbid curiousity. Recommended to fans of "Hostel" and "the Texas Chainsaw Massacre."


  485. Air Liquide - The Increased Difficulty of Concentration

  486. Year: 1994

  487. Electronic genre: Ambient/Classic Trance/Acid/Ambient House

  488. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  489. Ninja Tune - Zen Retrospective of Ninja Tune

  490. Year: 2004 (but really, 1990-2004)

  491. Electronic genre: Abstract hip-hop/Nu-jazz/Downtempo/Atmospheric Jungle

  492. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  493. The Field - Sun & Ice

  494. Year: 2006

  495. Electronic genre: Neo-trance

  496. Difficulty Level: 2/10


  497. Boards of Canada - Geogaddi

  498. Year: 2000

  499. Electronic genre: IDM/Ambient

  500. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  501. Sasha - Xpander EP

  502. Year: 1999

  503. Electronic genre: Progressive trance/Progressive house/Progressive breaks

  504. Difficulty Level: 2/10


  505. Ricardo Villalobos - The Au Harem D'Archimede/Achso EP

  506. Year: 2004/2006

  507. Electronic genre: Minimal techno/dub techno/ketaminimal/Microhouse

  508. Difficulty Level: 8.5/10


  509. Legowelt - The Classics 1999-2003

  510. Year: 2003

  511. Electronic genre: Electro/Electro-house

  512. Difficulty Level: 2/10


  513. Perlon - Superlongevity series

  514. Year: 1999-2006

  515. Electronic genre: House/Minimal/Microhouse/Tech-house/Minimal techno

  516. Difficulty Level: 7.5/10


  517. Fennesz - Endless Summer/Venice

  518. Year: 2001/2004

  519. Electronic genre: IDM/Ambient/Glitch/Avante-garde electronica/shoegaze

  520. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  521. The Orb - Orblivion

  522. Year: 1997

  523. Electronic genre: Ambient House/Sound Collage/IDM/breaks

  524. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  525. Giorgio Moroder - From here to Eternity

  526. Year: 1977

  527. Electronic genre: Italo-Disco/Early Synth/Mutant Disco

  528. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  529. Morton Subotnick - Electronic Works Volume 1

  530. Year: 1967

  531. Electronic genre: Musique Concrete/Avante-Garde

  532. Difficulty Level: 8/10


  533. Portishead - Dummy

  534. Year: 1994

  535. Electronic genre: Trip-hop

  536. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  537. L.S.G. - Into Deep

  538. Year: 2000

  539. Electronic genre: Ambient trance/Tech-trance/Trance

  540. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  541. Daft Punk - Discovery

  542. Year: 2001

  543. Electronic genre: French house/Funky house/Electro

  544. Difficulty Level: 1/10


  545. Terry Riley - In C

  546. Year: 1968

  547. Electronic genre: Minimalism

  548. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  549. Tricky - Maxinque

  550. Year: 1995

  551. Electronic genre: Trip-hop

  552. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  553. Radiohead - Amnesiac

  554. Year: 2002

  555. Electronic genre: Glitch pop/Indie rock/Electronic rock

  556. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  557. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 2

  558. Year: 1994

  559. Electronic genre: Ambient/Dark Ambient

  560. Difficulty Level: 9/10


  561. Spicelab - Lost in Spice

  562. Year: 1993

  563. Electronic genre: Classic trance/Acid trance

  564. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  565. Dominik Eulberg - Kreucht & Freucht

  566. Year: 2005

  567. Electronic genre: Ketaminimal/Minimal/Neo-trance/Microhouse

  568. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  569. Carl Craig - Landcruising

  570. Year: 1995

  571. Electronic genre: Detroit Techno

  572. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  573. MFS - Tranceformed from Beyond

  574. Year: 1992

  575. Electronic genre: Classic Trance/Techno/Tech-trance

  576. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  577. Eat Static - Implant

  578. Year: 1994

  579. Electronic genre: Psytrance/Acid Techno

  580. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  581. Plaid - Notforthrees

  582. Year: 1997

  583. Electronic genre: IDM/electro

  584. Difficulty Level: 6/10


  585. Honourable Mentions:

  586. Main Street Records - Rounds One Through Five

  587. Year: 1999 (but really, 1993-1999)

  588. Electronic genre: House/Dub

  589. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  590. DJ Tiesto - In Search of Sunrise 1, 2, and 3; Magik 1 to 7; and Nyana CD 2

  591. Year: 2000/2001

  592. Electronic genre: Trance/Epic trance/Anthem trance/Progressive trance/Progressive house/Ambient trance/Ibiza trance

  593. Difficulty Level: 1/10

  594. While not masterpieces of DJing by any means, these albums are nonetheless on the list simply because they perfectly capture a time period and genre. In other words: these are amazing collections: great sets of tracks. Tiesto is a very weak DJ lacking any kind of artfulness, skill, or subtlety (this guy was number one for 3 years, and he doesn't even mix by key), and the mixing on these sets are nothing special, as the tracks are all anthems and club masterpieces of their times, but what you are getting when you listen to these 11 mixes is literally a "best of collection" of second wave trance. Having heard these mixes, you've pretty much heard everything second-wave trance ever did, and ever will do. You've heard an entire genre of music. But couldn't you get this with any other trance DJ? Not exactly. It is precisely Tiesto's artlessness that makes these mixes such perfect summaries of second-wave trance: Tiesto brings no personality and style to the mixing (doing little more than beatmatching) or tracklisting (never stepping outside of second-wave trance), thus leaving the music to be completely free of influence. It is exactly Tiesto's talentlessness (aka no personality or mixing skill) and business sense (aka he KNOWS what the anthems are) that make these mixes the penultimate second-wave trance.


  595. Brian Eno & David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

  596. Year: 1981

  597. Electronic genre: Sound Collage/Indie Rock

  598. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  599. Etienne De Crecy - Super Discount

  600. Year: 1996

  601. Electronic genre: French House/Deep House

  602. Difficulty Level: 2/10


  603. 808 State - Utd. State 90

  604. Year: 1990

  605. Electronic genre: Rave/Acid house/House/Breaks

  606. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  607. Paul Oakenfold - Tranceport

  608. Year: 1998

  609. Electronic genre: Progressive trance/Anthem trance

  610. Difficulty Level: 1/10


  611. Man With No Name - Moment of Truth

  612. Year: 1996

  613. Electronic genre: Psytrance/Goa trance

  614. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  615. Paul Van Dyk - 45 RPM/The Green Valley EP

  616. Year: 1994

  617. Electronic genre: Classic trance/anthem trance/epic trance/progressive trance/ambient trance/rave

  618. Difficulty Level: 2/10


  619. Karlheinz Stockhausen - Hymnen

  620. Year: 1996

  621. Electronic genre: Musique-Concrete

  622. Difficulty Level: 10/10


  623. Nurse With Wound - Homotopy to Marie

  624. Year: 1982

  625. Electronic genre: Industrial/Musique-Concrete/"Surrealist"

  626. Difficulty Level: 10/10


  627. William Orbit - Strange Cargo 3

  628. Year: 1993

  629. Electronic genre: Ambient trance/Ambient house/Ambient/Progressive house

  630. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  631. Philip Glass - Music In 12 Parts

  632. Year: 1974

  633. Electronic genre: Minimalism

  634. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  635. Oval - Wohnton

  636. Year: 1993

  637. Electronic genre: Glitch/IDM

  638. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  639. Juno Reactor - Beyond the Infinite

  640. Year: 1995

  641. Electronic genre: Psytrance/Goa trance

  642. Difficulty Level: 5/10


  643. Autechre - Tri-Repetae

  644. Year: 1995

  645. Electronic genre: IDM

  646. Difficulty Level: 7/10


  647. DJ Tiesto - Forbidden Paradise 3

  648. Year: 1995

  649. Electronic genre: Classic trance/Acid Trance/Progressive trance/Melodic Gabber/Trancecore

  650. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  651. Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure 2/Northern Exposure: Expeditions

  652. Year: 1997/1999

  653. Electronic genre: Techno/Progressive trance/Progressive house/Classic trance/Anthem trance/Breaktrance

  654. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  655. Pink Floyd - The Dark Side of the Moon

  656. Year: 1973

  657. Electronic genre: Psychedelic/Progressive rock

  658. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  659. This is the cusp of electronic and rock music, the line doesn't get any thinner or more obscured than it is here. Thing is though, while there are going to be people complaining about having this album in an electronic music list, had I not put it in, I would get just as many complaining about it not being the list.
  660. But whatever, this is a great album, and I wouldn't be honest to not have it here somewhere. This is psychedelic at its best (in other words, its VERY electronic, if still rock-oriented).


  661. Black Dog Productions - Bytes

  662. Year: 1993

  663. Electronic genre: Classic Trance/IDM

  664. Difficulty Level: 8/10


  665. Robert Rich - Somnium

  666. Year: 2001

  667. Electronic genre: Ambient

  668. Difficulty Level: 3/10

  669. I really had a change of heart on this one, thanks to lukeprog for suggesting this.


  670. Meat Beat Manifesto - 99%

  671. Year: 1990

  672. Electronic genre: Jungle/Breakbeat/Rave

  673. Difficulty Level: 4/10


  674. BT - IMA

  675. Year: 1995

  676. Electronic genre: Progressive house/Progressive trance

  677. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  678. LTJ Bukem - Journey Inwards

  679. Year: 2000

  680. Electronic genre: Atmospheric Jungle

  681. Difficulty Level: 3/10


  682. New Order - Substance
  683. Specifically, CD 2.

  684. Year: 1987

  685. Electronic genre: Synthpop

  686. Difficulty Level: 1/10

  687. This album used to be on the upper parts of the list, but it's enjoyment deteriorates really quickly, and they massively overuse the "Blue Monday" beat.



  688. Some of these may be re-ordered before the end. I don't know if I'd really call Autobahn the best electronic album of all time. I seriously don't listen to or enjoy it more than Endtroducing or Music has the Right to 18 Musicians or Three Organic Experiences, but none of those feel right as number one either. [I also really don't think Can's albums are the second best].


  689. Albums to be listened/under consideration:
  690. Cybotron - Clear
  691. Kraftwerk - Trans Europa Express
  692. Prefuse 73 - Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives
  693. BT - ESCM
  694. Paul Van Dyk - Seven Ways
  695. Sasha - The Qat Collection
  696. MJ Cole - Sincere (apparently this is indisputably the best of UK Garage. The problem here is that UK Garage is a hybrid genre mixing the absolute worst aspects of New Swing Jack Radio RnB, Speed Garage, and trip-hop. This always happens with hybrid genres (the exception is microhouse and its many offspring, [anything that hot is going to have a lot of sex, and sex produces babies, so of course microhouse has many offspring] which exist in a tiny creative bubble shielding them from all hybridization cliches). Why artists do this, I will never know, since even the tiniest speck of logic would dictate that it makes more sense to join the BEST aspects of two genres. But I really like MJ Cole's track "Sincere", so maybe the album has hope too. I guess I'll know when I get a hold of it.
  697. Dntel - Life is Full of Possibilities
  698. µ-Ziq - [explore artist]
  699. Fluke - [explore artist]
  700. Matmos - Matmos
  701. Manitoba - Up in Flames
  702. Animal Collective - Feels
  703. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam



  704. I may make a "not good enough" albums list. It would take up WAY too much space to put it with the accepted albums.

  705. Any recommendations are appreciated at this point, to be added to the "albums to consider" list.

Darktremor you are a star! As with your ambient list which I recently commented on, I have come to this late but still want to thank you for the suggestions and for the reviews. Best "first-hand" accounts I have come across, as well as great comments from contributors. While I don't agree with everything you list (no-one will) I totally respect your efforts in putting this together, and simply wish to reciprocate with a few recommendations of my own. Forgive me if you've heard these, they vary in their exposure levels...

The XX - XX
Konntinent - Opal Island
Nicolas Jaar - Space Is Only Noise...
Aoki Takamasa - Silicom
Ametsub - The Nothings of the North
Jon Hopkins - Insides
Proem - Enough Conflict
Four Tet - There Is Love In You
Felix Laband - Thin Shoes In June
Mango - Sascha Funke
Halogen - Baked
The Field - Looping State of Mind

I would like to comment a little regarding what "can" / "can't" be included, but will save that for a later date. Hope you / and any other readers determined enough to get to the end of these pages enjoy these as much as I do. My favourite is easily the Jon Hopkins entry. Outstanding, almost symphonic use of industrial sounds to create what my brother calls 'epic soundscapes', and I can't think of a better description, so there you have it.

Following on from my previous comment, and in answer to those earlier comments regarding the nature of Electronic Music, I want to mention BT - This Binary Universe as an example of what Electronic Music is about (for me, of course) and illustrates the reasons why such work exceeds the capacities of artists such as Abba or those from the Motown Studios. Those artists' work is grounded firmly within their particular genres (i.e., Pop and Soul). BT's This Binary Universe is a piece which, in its very structure and composition, demonstrates what separates Electronic music from music made using traditional instruments and formulas. Particularly the final track where he incorporates Classical music initially in the mix, before running the sounds through a distortion of some kind which retains the musical framwork, but utterly transforms the feel, the texture, the size, and even the genetic basis of the sound. It's an astonishing work, I promise you. Jon Hopkins uses similar techniques on 'Insides' as I'm sure many artists who work within Electronic music do now. Peter Gabriel used a similar concept in his work 'Passion', except with World Music and its instrumental set.

Obviously ALL music is electronic in some way, unless we're listening to some live acoustic or accapella choir or symphonic classical. Everything about the process of music is digital in some fashion now, but that doesn't mean that you can call all music Electronic. The only music, in my opinion, and no matter whichever particular original genre the composer is working in, that should come under the banner of Electronic is that which sets out to make sounds and textures which would otherwise never be classified as 'musical' into exactly that. Employing whatever means artistically necessary to connect with the listener's more naturally aesthetically-minded tastes and expectations, and in so doing transforming those same expectations, and moving the capacity of our universe forward.

Just had to get that off my chest (if anyone's actually listening.....)

amazing list..highly entertaining... i think Boards of Canada deserve more attention (expecially the first releases) with regards to the use of vintage synths sound there are soo many bands who sounds like them nowadays...obviously they are not the source of such sound but i think they are still very influential.. another guy who wasn't mentioned as far as i could see (couldn't go through all the comments) is Luke Vibert whose works as Wagon Christ are really amazing and influential for the way it switches from one genre to another... just my opinion.. my apologizes if it was actually mentioned and i didn't notice..btw amazing list thanks toeveyone who bothered posting a comment..

Depth Charge - Lust
The Prodigy - Experience (and thanks for ur list)

glitch mob - drink the sea

Hey again,

Thanks to your list along with numerous reviews I've read/researched on sites such as amazon.com and pitchfork.com, I have put together my top albums list as well (via a tumblr blog). Most of these albums I'm sure you have heard (in addition to those that are not on your list) but I figured I'd let you see (along with your readers) the research I've done. If you still check this, feel free to leave any comments.

Thanks again,
Barry

http://top-electronic-music-albums.tumblr.com/

Great list Barry, I will enjoy digging through this massive amount of recommendations! Feel free to explore, comment and propose tracks for my radioshow, which features lots of artists on your list --> http://www.mixcloud.com/beetjemelk/.

greetz

r

hi everyone

I host a radio show that plays music that matches the type of music in this list very closely. Actually, this list served as one of the many inspirations for the tracks we selected for the program. You can re-listen our radioshow on mixcloud (search for 'Beetje Melk'). Presentation is in Dutch, but the music is in body language ;).

x

Ruben

This is a really great list of what is really an impossible task, and you've done a good job of hitting a lot of the high points of electronic music.

One artist who I think needs to be mentioned is Sun Ra. He was the first to use a moog in jazz music, and continued making music from the 1940s thru 1990s. Check out this track from 1956: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMbC__R24t0&list=PLydD967Cm5W7rKIqZMi7Bf0...

He has several fantastic classic albums that qualify for the list. That's the trouble with Sun Ra, he has so many amazingly alums it would be really hard to pick which one to put on your list.

The 2nd biggest error on your list is including Radiohead. I'm sure you like them and all, but they doesn't belong on your list by any stretch of the imagination.

Im glad you included Lee Scratch Perry to cover the "dub" movement which became so influential in the genre. When i started reading your list i was afraid you might miss that.

Its a little disappointing that Funkadelic/Parliament are not included (and really, they are never included in such lists). Its understandable in a way, but also a shame because of how influential and innovative they were. I don't think anyone can understand the history of electronic music without understanding Funkadelic/Parliament, and they had dozens of amazing albums.

Thank you for introducing me to Aglaia - Three Organic Experiences! I had never heard of it before, despite being a huge fan of ambient.

Lastly, my personal fave (other than Sun Ra) that isn't included on your list: Plug - Drum in Bass for Papa (1996). One of the all time best dnb albums.

pachanko,

I just checked out some tracks off that Plug album you mentioned and very good! I had never heard of it. I'm a huge fan of Amon Tobin so it was pretty exciting to hear it. In case you never read through all of darktremr's comments, I actually created my own list (via tumblr) in case you're interested. Darktremr was a huge help to my on-going research... http://top-electronic-music-albums.tumblr.com/

Later,
Barry

I think that your list is very good yet still very inaccurate. I noticed all of the top 10 albums require a very high degree of abstract thought and a fine tuned musical ear in order to enjoy them. While this list is an oasis for those who long for deep and abstract music, I don't think think it describes the very best in electronic music.

A song that is good can only hold a certain amount of complexity in specific ways. If there is too much complexity in too many ways, the song feels scrambled or overwhelming. If the song lacks complexity, then anything it tries to express will be handicapped and toned down. The songs you consider to be the very best hold their complexity in their deepness, therefore the list is being prejudice against songs that are not as deep but still complex in different ways.

For example, Skrillex may get a bad rep from music critics as being overrated, but even so there aren't very many musicians who are able to express as much raw intensity as him. This intensity just happens to be what the mainstream audience is looking for in electronic music. Even Skrillex himself said in an interview that his music is "stand up and dance" music, not "sit down and listen" music. With this being said, a vast amount of people who are able to understand and feel the intensity of a Skrillex concert may not be able to enjoy music that is complex in ways that are deep and abstract. So how can we say that the very best in deep and abstract music (aka this list) is actually any better than Skrillex's music?

For this reason I believe that a "Top 100 electronic music" list is too broad to have any accuracy. A list that has the potential to be accurate might be titled "Top 100 electronic music: songs that inspire dance" or "Top 100 electronic music: songs that are simply beautiful" or "Top 100 Electronic music: songs that innovated" etc. etc.

I also must thank you for writing this list since by looking at the list and writing this reply I've looked at music through a lens that I seldom look through

Oh, and also you should check out some of Kenna's stuff. It probably won't make the list but it's definitely worth a listen to.

How about Charanjit Singh - 'Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat' (1982)?

Also Yellow Magic Orchestra is worth a mention, as is 'Novus Magnificat' by Constance Demby

hi music lovers

I'm looking for new music of a similar quality and style as listed below. Of course I checked the list here, which is great, but no new albums seems to be posted, sadly. I'm looking mostly for the "easy listening" (not easy as in mainstream, but easy as in preserving enough musical qualities), downtempo artists rather than impressive musical messes or theoretically great albums.

albums:

Pantha Du Prince & The Bell Laboratory - Elements of Light
Vessel - Order of Noise
Acid Pauli – Mst
Pye Corner Audio - Black Mill Tapes Volumes 1 & 2.
Exosphere - Where Nobody Goes
Burnt Friedman & Jaki Liebezeit - Secret Rhythms 4

songs:
1. amon tobin - Slowly (5:37)
2. Christian Löffler - Cast (12:41)
3. SCSI-9 - Senorita Tristeza (5:53)
4. brandt brauer frick - live at club contemporary classical (5min05version) (5:05)
5. Biosphere - Oi-1 (5:09)
6. Boards Of Canada - Amo Bishop Roden (6:16)
7. Dettinger - Intershop 3 (6:49)
8. Shackleton - Blood On My Hands (7:30)
9. Vessel - 2 Moon Dub (3:24)
10. Console - Darkroom (5:52)
11. Darkside - A1 (5:58)
12. Monolake - Ghosts (5:03)
13. Exosphere - Lonely Tree (3:42)
14. Fracture Design - Growing Up (6:01)
15. Warp Technique - make animals happy (6:38)
16. Bluetech - Honey in the Heart (6:55)
17. Pete Namlook - Snake Charmer (13:24)
18. Gas - Microscopic (9:53)
19. Regis - Blood Witness (6:24)
20. Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory - Particle (12:30)
21. Kid Koala - Annie's Parlor (4:03)
22. Clapan - Time Relay (6:41)
23. acid pauli - (La Voz) Tan Tierna (4:26)
24. Nosaj Thing - Night Crawler (4:17)
25. William Basinski - d|lp 1.3 (11:57)
26. Aphex Twin - The Waxen Pith (4:49)
27. edPorth - Four-eight (5:49)
28. Pye Corner Audio Transcription Services - Inside the Wave (4:57)
29. Secede - Leraine (Feat. Kettel) (7:42)
30. Sixtoo - Snake Bite (5:04)
31. valentin stip - gravels(I&II) (10:51)
32. Vibrasphere - Manzanilla (9:02)
33. Tipper - Herriot Method (3:47)
34. Dntel - In Which Our Hero Frees The Damsel In Distress (9:48)
35. Das Kraftfuttermischwerk - Blüte Seines Lebens (7:08)
36. The Notwist - Propeller 9 (4:25)
37. Cujo - Fat Ass Joint (5:44)
38. SCSI-9 - Schaukel Duo (7:08)
39. Ssaliva - B1 - Night Landing (3:27)
40. Milieu - Pavilion Nights (4:53)
41. Rechenzentrum - Lye (6:16)
42. Pinch - Qawwali (5:19)
43. Kelpe - Whirlwound (Kelpe Stormy Version) (5:02)
44. apparat - Steady Uprising (3:53)
45. Coppice Halifax - MML040 Untitled 2 (9:45)
46. Console - Trainset (6:23)
47. Ssaliva - [VLEK09] Ssaliva - Sync Thrills - B1 - Yet Another Vase (2:31)
48. robot koch - hard to find (3:33)
49. Kid Koala - 6 6 bit Blues (4:27)
50. amon tobin - Natureland (5:48)
51. Aphex Twin - Ageispolis (5:23)
52. Vessel - Stillborn Dub (4:07)
53. Biosphere - Genkai-1 (6:37)
54. Dettinger - Intershop 2 (5:04)
55. Pye Corner Audio - The Mirror Ball Cracked (4:49)
56. Gas - Experiments On Live Electricity (16:35)
57. Monolake - Lilith (5:07)
58. Phutureprimitive - Cryogenic Dreams (6:24)
59. Deadbeat - A Joyful Noise, Pt. 1 (7:18)
60. Damu The Fudgemunk - Coffee Table - 2005 (4:40)