Electronic music is a huge tent with many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers.
Even in the coronavirus-shortened record release schedule of 2020, the year has offered a mountainous feast of sublime music. The 50 best albums of 2020 so far are an eclectic and increasingly "woke" bunch.
PopMatters is 20 this year -- until October when we are 21 -- and a 2009 special section celebrates the popular music that defined the year of our birth. Today we kick things off with albums from January through March, highlighted by Eminem's debut and stellar pop from XTC and Blur.
Journey back 15 years ago, as 2005's best electronic albums are so emotionally involved and organically expressive that it's easy to forget they were created with advanced technology.
Let's take a journey to Pop Past and re-experience the best electronic albums from a decade ago. Many electronic sounds in 2010 remained in the margins, using the lexicon of its predecessors to define what they were.
Four Tet's 10th album, Sixteen Oceans, begins on the dancefloor, travels to the woods, and ends becalmed, invoking, and bestowing peace and tranquility.
On Four Tet's remix, you can't escape the beat, which arrives within a split second of starting and soldiers on at a steady 120 beats per minute throughout.