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Dance/Electronica Preview 2016: What to Watch For

So after crowning Jamie xx’s “Loud Places” and Bob Moses’ Days Gone By as the greatest single and album of 2015 respectively, we now switch our attention to what we can expect to hear over the next twelve months in the world of dance/electronica.

The first big album out of the blocks this year is Moth (Jan 22), the third album from alt-pop duo Chairlift, which judging by its first two singles, “Ch-Ching” and “Romeo,” could be their most infectious to date. Also wasting little time are former Swedish House Mafia superstar DJ Steve Angello, who releases his second solo record, Wild Youth, the same week, and the increasingly prolific trip-hop pioneer Tricky, who has teamed up with the likes of Oh Land, DJ Milo and Luke Harris for a collaborative LP under the guise of Skilled Mechanics (Jan 29).

Heading into February, we can look forward to sophomores from chart-topper Eric Prydz (Opus, Feb 6), and Grammy-winning chanteuse Foxes (All I Need, Feb 6); debuts from wild-haired electro-R&B duo Lion Babe (Begin, Feb 6) and post-dubstep singer-songwriter Jack Garratt (Phase, Feb 19); and what will surely be an emotive swansong from synthy shoegazers School of Seven Bells (SVIIB, Feb 12).

After years of various solo projects, techno veterans Underworld will finally return to the fold with the curiously-titled Barbara, Barbara, We Face a Shining Future (March 18), their first studio effort since 2010’s Barking. Famed for their dual drummers, leftfield pop act POLIÇA explore themes of “social injustice, self-doubt and isolation” on third LP, United Crushers; genre-bending producer Matthew Bourne explores his love of vintage synthesizers on Moogmemory; while enigmatic songstress Jones makes a bid to become 2016’s ultimate dinner party soundtrack with the tasteful electronic soul of New Skin – all of which are released on Mar 4.

Other eagerly-awaited albums without a scheduled release date include It’s About Time, the first batch of original material from disco gods Chic in 23 years; Following My Intuition, the comeback from two-step garage hero Craig David; and +x, the first full-length LP from Dutch whizkid Martin Garrix.

And with new releases from Scandi siren Robyn, Mercury Prize winner James Blake and supergroup Miike Snow also in the pipeline, the near future of the dance/electronica scene certainly appears to be in rude health.


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About the Author


Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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