Electronic music really doesn’t get a lot of coverage — I mean we’re grungy alt bois after all — however, we’re feelin’ good, the anniversary n’ all, so let’s give it a go!
Gorillaz are one of those bands that are so tricky to pigeonhole — easily fitting into alt rock, trip-hop and electronic genres. However, I’ve popped them here because, more often than not, they’re at their best when they’re at their danciest. Apart from DARE being the greatest dance track of all time, in my opinion, the heavily-electronic Plastic Beach remains an absolute classic of the genre — they’re the reason I’ve been open to as much music as I am.
Björk – Popular music’s favourite nutcase will always remain beloved in my eyes, with songs like Joga and Human Behaviour going down as experimental, ethereal classics. The Icelandic mastermind has always been ahead of the curve, trying the wackiest shit and making it palatable.
Jamiroquai – I could’ve easily put this in the R&B category — but I wanted to write about Beyoncé and I had spare space here. This acid-jazz-crossover-90s-dance group have written some of the funkiest, grooviest tracks, often with the aid of a bubbly synth or key line — and Deeper Underground is just lethal.
Massive Attack – These boys from Brizzle shaped the trip-hop genre with their thicc, seductive bass and experimentation with drones and synths — resulting in music that sounds like little else. Whether they’re giving grandeur with Teardrop, or dirty beats with Safe From Harm, Massive Attack have never not impressed.
Milo knows this genre a whole lot better than I do, along with probably most music fans on the planet, but I don’t just listen to rock music (just mostly). This virtual band are the obvious stand out here for me, as probably my most listened to non-rock or metal outfit. They’re chill, they’re cool. Sometimes it’s just nice to take a break and stick on some Gorillaz.
Massive Attack – These folks are another stand out in this genre, and if I knew ‘em a little better than just Mezzanine and a handful of their other singles, maybe they’d get this as a joint honour. What these folks from Bristol did was so unique, so damn cool – a mix of heavy and calm, music that can lull you to sleep but also keep your head ticking.
Morcheeba – Another English 90s band, these folks had such a light, floaty and awesome groove, and with an endless array of hits ranging which includes one of my favourite songs, Blood Like Lemonade, they’re always an enjoyable listen.
Depeche Mode – The me of a couple of years ago would have literally freaked to see that he would like this band in time. And yes, they are a bit of a pretentious group, but they did put out a smorgasbord of classic tracks and I think they were unique amongst the rubble of electronic 80s bands of a similar vain.
The Chemical Brothers
They were hard enough to rock to and put on a full rock show when they played live. The Brothers Dust went Chemical at the peak of my festival-going youth. Dig Your Own Hole, Exit Planet Dust and Push The Button are all classic albums. If I ever want listen to techno, I start with these guys.
Massive Attack – You can’t deny the deep luxurious electronic pop soundscapes Massive Attack have been making for over 20 years. Blue Lines and Protection are time machines that can invoke fully immersive 3D experiences decades after the fact. Mezzanine and Heligoland are just as good. It’s like they’re scoring the movie of our lives.
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing is a rightly revered classic. For vastly different reasons so is The Private Press. A tightly regimented art experiment that has no right being as good as it is. The Mountain Will Fall feels like playtime in comparison, but what’s wrong with that? A hip-hop producer who forged his own world can have his one playground.
Underworld – From Dark & Long in 1994 to Tea Time Dub Encounters a month ago. Underworld are always moody, cinematic, exciting and unique. Crossing streams with Danny Boyle, The Olympics, Iggy Pop and everything in between they’re as important a British band as yer Blurs and yer Leppards.
The Avalanches – Madcap fun from back when Since I Left You was released around the millennium they sort of fell of the Earth for the longest time. The Avalanches had me thinking they’d split up and gone to be producers and back room boys until they veered back into my field of vision with Wildflower a couple of years back. Just as insane and hyperkinetic as they were on Frontier Psychiatry and Avalanche Rock all that time ago.
Stay tuned for more Best Thangs of All Time!