Continuing our countdown of the best dance/electronica albums of the year (No. 20-16 is here) – here are numbers 15-11.
15) New Order – Music Complete
Having arguably been on Autopilot for the last 20 years, few expected anything special from New Order on their first proper studio effort without founding member Peter Hook. But the bassist’s acrimonious departure appeared to have sparked some passion into the indie-disco pioneers, with Music Complete proving to be their most energized work since their late ‘80s heyday.
14) Purity Ring – another eternity
Tiptoeing towards the mainstream while still retaining the sense of the macabre that defined their debut, Canadian duo Purity Ring proved that few can make electro-pop sound so bewitching on an “all killer, no filler” affair which continually flitted from the dreamy to the nightmarish in style.
13) Baio – The Names
In one of the year’s most convincing reinventions, Vampire Weekend bassist Chris Baio swapped the tropical indie-pop of his day job for an intelligent foray into experimental electronica. Taking full advantage of his time in the spotlight, debut album The Names also showed he could cut it as a vocalist on nine immersive soundscapes which were more Caribou than Caribbean.
12) Etherwood – Blue Leaves
Hailed as one of the most promising young talents on the drum ’n’ bass scene with his debut, producer Edward Allen justified all his early hype with a clever, classy and calming affair which, despite its breakneck speed beats, proved to be one of this year’s finest chillout releases.
11) Dornik – Dornik
Previously a drummer for Jessie Ware, Dornik made that rare leap from the drum kit to the microphone appear effortless with an ‘80s-inspired melting pot of synth-funk, pop and electro-soul which is the closest anyone has come to replicating prime Michael Jackson in years.