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Top 20 Dance/Electronica Albums Of 2013 (15-11)

We’re currently counting down the best dance/electronica albums of the year. Here’s the next round, picking it up at number 15. (No.20-16 is here).

15) Boards Of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest

Backed by a cryptic promotional campaign, the long-awaited fifth album from the kings of IDM was an equally challenging but ultimately rewarding affair which with its hypnotic array of ice-cold analogue synths, eerie echoed vocal samples and unsettling sound effects could have been mistaken for a soundtrack to a long-lost Cold War-era cult horror.

14) AlunaGeorge – Body Music

Channelling everything from the pitch-shifted witch-house of Purity Ring to the futuristic R&B Aaliyah pioneered with Timbaland to the sassy girlband fare of TLC, AlunaGeorge delivered on their early promise with an enchanting debut which threw up new warped sounds with each listen. The duo’s influences may have been obvious, but the part-butter wouldn’t melt/part-girl power feistiness tones of Aluna Francis ensured Body Music had a distinct identity of its own.

13) Jon Hopkins – Immunity

Self-described as “the perfect accompaniment to the idealized night out,” Jon Hopkins’ fourth solo effort lived up to its billing by cleverly drifting from hedonistic techno to “the morning after the night before” chill-out over ten lushly-produced, if occasionally meandering, soundscapes, picking up a deserved Mercury Prize nomination in the process.

12) James Blake – Overgrown

James Blake went one better by actually winning the Mercury Prize with a second LP that largely avoided the “style over substance” problems of his first. His fondness for space the size of the Grand Canyon was still very much evident, but this time round he allowed his fragile quivering tones to embrace the concept of a melody, while collaborations with Brian Eno and RZA also added some welcome warmth.

11) Pet Shop Boys – Electric

2012’s underwhelming Elysium suggested the synth-pop veterans had simply given up, which is why Electric came as such a pleasant surprise. Joined by Madonna producer Stuart Price, the duo barely paused for breath as they raced through the annals of UK club culture, referencing Karl Marx and covering Bruce Springsteen along the way, on a surprisingly vibrant and energetic return-to-form.

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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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