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Electronic Music 101? 930

Posted by Cliff
from the techno-house-and-drum-n-bass-baby! dept.
Otter asks: "iTunes comes with a sampler of MP3s selected to appeal to the Apple demographic. The one that really caught my attention was a track by Sasha and John Digweed, which has inspired me to learn a bit about electronic music. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who likes that stuff and my local Tower Records only has Moby (didn't like it),Paul Oakenfold (not bad) and 11,000 'Best of Ibiza' sets. What are the must-haves I should start with? What are the best online communities and places to learn about new artists? Feel free to define 'electronic' as broadly as seems appropriate." I used to shop at Homebass, but they just went out of business, which is sad, as they had one of the most comprehensive selection of electronica that I have ever seen, and most of their tracks had MP3 previews. If you were going to try and turn a friend on to Electronica, what artists, songs, or even specific mixed sets would you suggest? What online sources of electronica are still around.
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Electronic Music 101?

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  • Astral Projection (Score:2, Informative)

    by log0n (18224)
    Period.
    • by lunatech (521780) <lunatech@telus.net> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @06:02AM (#3876278) Homepage
      To save a certain unnamed site mentioned below some killer slashdot-effect bandwidth, I present to you that site's exceedingly popular antecedent, Professor Lunatech's Electronica For Dummies [lunatechmusic.com], which was originally sent as an email to the NWR (North-West Raves) mailing list on Thu, 24 Sep 1998 21:07:11 -0700 (PDT).

      Another important item (posted to NWR on Mon, 13 Sep 1998 18:33:08 -0700 (PDT) ) was a list of Top 100 DJs In The World [lunatechmusic.com], adjusted for hype and cobbled together in response to the ever inane, almost exclusively talent-free and over-inflated annual Mixmag Top 100 DJs list, which exalts people like Oakenfold, Sasha, Digweed, etc. IMHO, such charlatans no longer do anything to further turntable art and culture (if they ever did at all, that is), other than to dilute its hard-earned significance. Admittedly, this list contains a slight north-western North America slant. Nonetheless, it also contains all the necessary world-renowned acts of any actual worth.

      After this, I strongly recommend EPITONIC.COM [epitonic.com], where you will spend days, if not months edumacatin' yo-self. SHOUTCAST.COM [shoutcast.com] will also provide you with more music than you can shake a stick at in terms of streams. To download, nothing beats SOULSEEK.ORG [soulseek.org] in terms of the users' geekily-high encoding rates and unbelievably pedantic album/track-naming schemes.

      While it's all downloading, check out the grand-daddy of them all: HYPERREAL.ORG [hyperreal.org].

      One word of warning, however: electronic music is virtually boundless and can take most of your lifetime to discover. I started listening some 13 years ago, and to this day I simply cannot keep up with all of it. Good luck!

  • GET THESE FIRST (Score:3, Interesting)

    by metalhed77 (250273) <andrewvc@@@gmail...com> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:32AM (#3875469) Homepage
    IMO the best of electronica (not cliched, not trendy, everyone will ask you whot hat great band is)

    Plaid
    Tortoise
    Stereolab
    Squarepusher
    • Interesting list. I'd have trouble even calling Stereolab electronica ... unless I'm listening to Dots and Loops I suppose. Tortoise is pretty hard to call electronica too since it's all analog with a single synthesizer. I mean, their later albums, especially Standards (haven't heard their remix albums - but I assume they're more electronic) use more electronic experimentation, but it's still normal rock at its core. Well, if marimba is normal for rock. I mean, would you call Revolution 9 electronica?
      • DJED off of Millions Now Living is an exercise in live band and sampler. While it's not 'traditional' electronica, the ethic is pretty much the same.

        The second remix album is definately a classic.
    • Re:GET THESE FIRST (Score:4, Informative)

      by uebernewby (149493) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @05:27AM (#3876230) Homepage
      Plaid, Tortoise, Squarepusher & Stereolab all fall within a similar genre - this guy doesn't seem to know yet what he's going to be into. Here's a somewhat broader primer-for-quality-electronic-music(tm):
      • Aphex Twin: freaky beatfuckery. If you like this, move on to stuff released on Warp Records, Rephlex Records, Planet Mu, Skam, etc
      • Ritchie Hawtin's "Concept": fairly accessible minimal techno. If you like this, it's time to move to Germany ;-). Anything on Mille Plateaux/Force Inc will be worth exploring next.
      • Four Tet: organic instrumental music that just so happens to be made on a computer. Not very beat heavy. Like this? Then get yourself a stack of records released on Domino, Morr Music, the Leaf label, etc.etc.
      • Luke Vibert aka Wagonchrist hilariously cocky hiphop-esque sampling fests. Bits taken from old easytune records, some jazz, some downright weird stuff that's guaranteed to put a cheeky smirk on your face. If you find this amusing, you'll like a lot of what comes out on Ninja Tune.
      • Kit Clayton somewhere between Aphex Twin and Ritchie Hawtin, it's techno that keeps your brain occupied while your ass is bouncing on the dancefloor. Again Mille Plateaux/Force Inc will have stuff you'll like, but Shitkatapult 's pretty good for this as well, as is Kompakt. Not to mention a veritable army of American boys with powerbooks.
      For more commercially viable electronics, there's quite a few pointers elsewhere on this page.
  • Oakenfolds Tranceport is a masterwork, hands down. His other stuff is OK but simply does not measure up. Darky is awesome, but recordings of him are tough to impossible to find. Christopher Lawrence, Frankie Bones, Eiffel 65.. Apoctygma Berzerk and VNV nation for the darker electronic music... I could list more, but these are a good start.
  • The original.... Kraftwerk, and the best electronica band out there right now, Boards of Canada
  • by mcowger (456754)
    AKA BT:
    good albums:
    Movement in Still Life
    ESCM (Electric Sky Church Music)
    Also, R&R (Raresides & Remixes is cool)

    DJ Rap:
    Learning Curve

    Both are unbelievable CD's. Both are somewhat experiemntal/progressive, but well worth the purchase.
  • Two Words (Score:4, Informative)

    by URoRRuRRR (57117) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:37AM (#3875500) Journal
    Aphex Twin

    While I think his best work is in his music videos, anything on selected ambient works or Come to Daddy is incredible.
  • by UserChrisCanter4 (464072) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:38AM (#3875506)
    Or any chain-type music store. Electronic music, outside of big names like Moby, Daft Punk, and so forth, are not going to be commonly found in those stores. It'd be the same as if you were searching for local, small-time rock or rap artists. It's simply not the market they're targetting. Or, to put it in /. terms, it'd be like walking into Circuit City and asking to see a selection of motherboards and cases; it just isn't their market.

    There are a couple of good ways to find electronic music you like:
    1) local, privately-owned music shops. Be they one-off or franchises, these places have a lot more lee-way in what they order, and especially, the market they want to target. If you live in a particularly large city, you can probably find a shop that specializes in electronic music, or at least one that keeps a large stock of it.
    2) This is an especially useful technique: go clubbing. Seriously. Go to a club that plays more electronic-type dance music and just listen. Talk to the DJ if it's a small club (but not while he's working). Alternately, flip on your local Top 40/Alternative rock station around midnight on a Saturday, as most of them have live club feeds, and they'll typically announce names of artists being played. It may not be an authoritative list, but it's a good place to get started and to learn what genres of electronic music you like/dislike.
  • by Hagakure (203111) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:38AM (#3875507) Homepage
    autechre - broken beats and strange melodies - otherworldly. my second favorite "techno" act.

    aphex twin - the granddaddy of abstract techno, you can hear him on mtv these days but he's still got style.

    kraftwerk - okay, really the true fathers of techno. anything they've touched is good, but start with man machine or radioactivity

    squarepusher - drum-n-bass, dub, electronic freakout. budokhan mindphone is an easy favorite for its chilled out dub stylings.

    panasonic - cold analog minimal thumps and pops, great for any mood. will destroy your head, so be careful. these guys are what i reach for when i want my thump to thump.

    pole - nu-dub, reggae thumps and echo produced by this madmans laptop

    kit clayton - see pole, except put it in a blender with some magic mushrooms. kit clayton's style is crazy, dubbed out techno with familiar sounds used in new ways. a true great.
  • Hey. I think the Genre of music you would like would either be of a House music nature or more of a drum and bass nature. For house music start with some awesome albums specifically Dance Factory by Louie Devito (He did all of the NYC Underground Volumes) also check out DJ Irene. If you liked metal music and just got into this electronic genre try some DJ Venom.

    I write for the online magazine Kludge Sound [ekmag.com] so check that out as I review a lot of albums in this genre for them.

    As for the drum and bass/trance genres are concerned. Bad Boy Bill (Bangin the Box Vol.5) is house music and some scratching, but hardcore is an artist called DJ Shadow *highly recommended* and like you mentioned earlier Paul Oakenfold is always good.

    Other than that just check out your favorite dance music on cdnow they should have a good list! Aj
  • Paul van Dyke
  • by quistas (137309) <robomilhous@hotmail.com> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:39AM (#3875512)
    Boy, I hope you've got Tivo, or you're going to hate him after another couple commercial breaks.

    -- q
  • by Eol1 (208982) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:40AM (#3875517) Homepage Journal
    2 cents:

    Orbital - Orbital
    Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works
    Underworld - Beaucomp Fish
    Mono - Formica Blues

    Any thing by Portishead, Massive Attack, Viennia Scientists, Tricky, LTJ Bukem.
  • BT (The man, period. I'm not kidding :)
    Underworld
    Way Out West
    Chicane
    Hybrid
    William Orbit
    Orbital
    Robert Miles

    All are good enough that you can go to your local record store, pick up any regular album, and be happy with it.
  • rules all! Awesome lyrics, awesome sound. I don't even really like electronica, but VNV makes my soul smile.
    • Or at least used to be (their newest album has a bit of electronica, or at least dance, influence in it). EBM is a dumb genre name that stands for "electronic body music," and was originally something akin to "industrial dance" -- think Front 242. Nowadays the genre loosely can describe anything from industrial with a beat (Front 242 still, Funker Vogt, :Wumpscut:, etc.) to synthpop with a harsher edge (VNV Nation, Covenant, Apoptygma Berzerk, etc.).

      And yes, VNV is great. But if you like their style of music, I'd suggest looking for other EBM (some of the bands I mentioned above are a good place to start), rather than the repetative vocal-less nonsense that is "electronica".
  • Digitally Imported (Score:5, Informative)

    by !ramirez (106823) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:45AM (#3875552)
    Digitally Imported [digitallyimported.com], I think, is a good place to start learning about electronica in general. It's internet radio, so it does kind of require a broadband connection, however it lets you listen to various artists without spending time randomly downloading/pirating MP3s, and it gives you (what I consider to be) a relatively wide spectrum. Also, electronica stations are in abundance on Shoutcast [shoutcast.com], check them out for links and info.

    Another personal favorite is Massinova [massinova.com], which is a pretty small webcast station. Try them out, I'm almost always listening if I'm in front of my PCs.
    • by micahjd (54824)
      Lately I've been running streamripper on Digitally Imported, then sorting the resulting MP3s by artist and listening randomly. When I find something I like, it's easy to find more of it, either on di.fm, or on CD.

      There are several different ways to categorize electronic music. Everything2 has some interesting views on it. Some of my favorites:

      • VNV Nation
      • Apoptygma Berzerk
      • Ian Van Dahl
      • Paul Oakenfold
      • Paul Van Dyk
      • 303 Infinity
      • Kosmonova
      • Infected Mushroom
      • DJ Doboy
      • Blank and Jones

  • Digitally Imported (Score:2, Informative)

    by kwishot (453761)
    www.di.fm

    The greatest for streaming.
    If you're looking for a good collection...a lot of the good ones have already been mentioned.
    Aphex Twin, Crystal Method, etc. Also there have been some pretty good soundtracks in the recent past (Matrix & Fight Club come to mind).
    If you don't mind stretching your definition of electronic, you could try some good industrial (older KMFDM or Stabbing Westward, for example).
    -kwishot
  • I'd start out with these:

    DJ Tiesto - "Summerbreeze"
    BT - "Movement in Still Life" or "Ima"
    Oakenfold's "Tranceport" is a classic
    George Acosta - "Next Level" or "Awake"

    Also, if you don't have Sasha's Xpander EP, it is IMO his best work (and I really like his stuff), Northern Exposure (which he did with Digweed) is also at the very top of their music as well.

    Some others worth considering:
    Dave Ralph
    Dave Seaman
    Chemical Brothers
    The Prodigy
    Boards of Canada
    Ray Munns
    Orbital
    The Crystal Method
    Underworld

    A lot of people are recommending these:
    Aphex Twin
    Square Pusher
    Q-Burns Abstract Message
    Autchere

    While all of these are very good bands, I don't think that they are particularly accessable to someone who is new to Electronica.
  • Forget all the techno/electronica/house/doof-doof/etc. stuff they call "electronic music" nowadays. Look into electroacoustic music, the kind of electronic music that university music professors and electrical engineers have been doing since the mid 1950's (racks of punch cards fed into mainframes). Good starting links are SEAMUS [lsu.edu] and CSounds [csounds.com].
  • by BlueCalx- (59283) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:51AM (#3875588) Homepage
    There's a difference between seminal/influential/whatever and *really good* recent stuff. So I'll differentiate between the two, and hopefully you can sort stuff out.

    Some of the most important albums - to me at least - include the following:
    Big beat/breaks/whatever: The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole, The Crystal Method - Vegas, Fluke - Risotto
    Trance: BT - ESCM, Paul Oakenfold - Global Underground New York, Sasha - Global Underground Ibiza (by far the best of the GU series, imho)
    DNB: LTJ Bukem - Logical Progression (the first volume is my favorite), Roni Size Reprazent - New Forms
    Turntablism: DJ Shadow - Entroducing, UNKLE - Psyence Fiction
    Acid House: 808 State - Newbuild
    Downtempo: Anything by Fila Brazilia, Coldcut, DJ Food, etc. Also, DJ Cam - Mad Blunted Jazz.
    IDM: Aphex Twin - ...i care because you do, Orb - Ultraworld, Orbital - The Middle of Nowhere -or- In Sides, Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children, Autechre - Tri Repetae++,

    Newer stuff:
    Prefuse 73 - Vocal Studies and Uprock Narratives is a wonderful experimental hip-hop/glitchy album, if you're into that sort of thing.
    Dntel - Life is Full of Possiblities is the most utterly beautiful downtempo/IDM album I have heard in the past several years. It gets my highest recommendation.
    Fennesz - Endless Summer if you're into very static-laden, glitchy, abrasive noise with a kinda eerily nice melody to it at times.
    Just got into bands like Akufen, an experimental house group fraught with these amazing breakdowns; and Phonecia, a weird IDM-style rhythmic... thing. It's good too. :)
    Matmos is worth checking out if you're into the stuff way out in left field. They did the production for Bjork's most recent album. Squeaky sound effects abound.
    I also saw Telefon Tel Aviv, an indie band on the Hefty label, open at a recent show, and they were amazing. Check out their album too.
    Finally, The Avalanches - Since I Left You is, in my opinion, the most stunning turntablism album of the past five years or so. 900+ records all sampled, with minimal scratching, into this completely amazing mix that has reaffirmed what you can do with a bunch of seemingly unrelated vinyl.

    Most of this stuff isn't specific *dance* music, but IMHO the best of electronica isn't stuff you want to shake your booty to. This might be a little bit scatterbrained, but if you start picking up albums that seem to float your boat genre-wise you shouldn't have any big disappointments. If you want more recommendations that are more specific to what genres you'd like (trust me, I have *lots*), please feel totally free to email me.
  • In no particular order:

    Nash The Slash - get some of his music linked from nashtheslash.com

    Kraftwerk - some good stuff

    Komputer - British version of Kraftwerk... similar style

    Vangelis - Some GREAT stuff... Chariots of Fire, Direct, Theme from BladeRunner, Theme from 1492 (I think)... highly recommended!

    Mike Oldfield - more great stuff... Tubular Bells!!

    Skaven - from the mod scene... find some of his music on mp3.com or modarchive.com

    Purple Motion - same as above... available on modarchive.com

    Necros - same as above... modarchive.com

    Enya - made some good stuff

    Jean Michelle Jarre - some great classics here

    Pink Floyd - not exactly electronic, but still great :D

    Tangerine Dream - more great classics

    There are more in my collection, but I can't recall them all at the moment. Let me know if you want me to check :).

    • Finally, someone suggests the originator of the whole genre. A lot of people who consider themselves electronica fans seem to believe that the music began in the 90's...

      I mean, if you want a FOUNDATION you've got to start with Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, and Mike Oldfield...

    • Jean Michelle Jarre - some great classics here
      In 1986, Jarre performed a public concert in Houston, TX. It was appropriately called Rendezvous Houston and used the city skyline as a backdrop - at one point the fireworks, lazers, and spotlights seemed to set the skyline ablaze. The music was excellent. Jarre's performance was great - some of his electronic instraments have definate crowd appeal, and Jarre himself is an excellent showman.

      The Final Redezvous had an amazing emotional impact. It had origionally involved a solo sax piece that was to be played by astronaut Ron McNair from the orbiting Challenger. Instead it was played by Kirk Whalum and became a poignant tribute to the lost shuttle and its fallen crew. The entire crowd of over a million was silent.

      The solo is found on the Rendezvous album and is tittled, simply, "Ron's Piece".

  • Seriously, I think your first step should be to check out some of the free music archives...

    I'm sure a couple of slashdotters are going to hate me for this, but http://www.mp3.com/ [mp3.com] is a great place to start.

    You'll find a huge number of different artists at varying skill levels, and no cost. It'll give you a chance to look at a wide range of styles (something that even a well stocked music store may not be able to do.) Additionally, you'll find many bits of information available regarding what a particular artist used for a song, what inspired him or her...

    Turn your ear on... Search through the archives... My personal favorites? Outside of free MP3s, there are a large number of great artists. Consider looking for CDs from The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Micronaut, Lords of Acid, The Hive, and BT (I love BT : )

    Also, don't forget inspiration from gaming. System Shock 2 had some killer music, as did Need For Speed 3 and Decent 1 & 2 (CD editions. Yes, I even have a copy of the D1 Mac CD because I loved the music.)

    Some great gaming inspired music can be found at (he's going to hate me...) Putzi's site [d418.com], and places like remix.overclocked.org [overclocked.org].

    Best of luck.
  • a laundry list (Score:4, Informative)

    by OctaneZ (73357) <ben-slashdot2.uma@litech@org> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:53AM (#3875601) Journal
    There are many great Electonic bands that span many genres, electronic is not just dance.
    Bands to check out:
    A Guy Called Gerald [force9.net]
    Aphrodite [v2music.com]
    The older Daft Punk [daftpunk.com] albums are great
    Groove Armada [groove-armada.com]

    The Classics:
    Lo-Fidelity Allstars [lofidelityallstars.com]
    The group that brought electronic to the masses The Crystal Method [thecrystalmethod.com]
    MC 900 Ft Jesus [americanrecordings.com] (sorry couldn't find a better link)
    The Prodigy [theprodigy.org]

    For a more layed back sound check out:
    Massive Attack [massiveattack.com]

    without a doubt check out:
    Faithless [kineticrecords.com]
    Hybrid [distinctiverecords.com] and absuolutley amazing group
    Timo Maas [timomaas.de] OMG! An amazing artist!

    but really just listen to a lot and decide what you like. one great thing about this type of music is there is a lot of collaboration between artists, so you can get some really neat crossovers and sounds.

    -OctaneZ
  • Streaming audio (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vireo (190514) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:55AM (#3875609)
    Maybe you'd want listening to online mp3 broadcasts... Almost all online radio stations have forums to discuss what's on air and such; pick up a station you like and you'll see what's playing, and what other listeners like. I suggest:

    DigitallyImported [digitallyimported.com] (probably the most popular; trance, hard trance, house)
    Massinova [massinova.com] (eurodance / trance site in which users decide what will play next, with a moderation system for the tracks...)
    SomaFM [somafm.com] (oops, killed by CARP -- had good Drum'n'Bass)
    Tag's Trance Trip [tagstrance.com] (trance -- wait, off the air due to CARP)
    XTC Radio [www.xtcradio] (trance and prog house)
    Philosomatika [philosomatika.com] (goa and psytrance)
    Bassdrive [bassdrive.com] (drum'n'bass)
    Xanu [www.xanu.ca] (Chillout and lounge)
  • Infected Mushroom (Score:2, Informative)

    by samzklub (520214)
    Infected Mushroom is my favorite goa trance group. Their tracks are available on mp3.com [mp3.com].
  • by SirSlud (67381)
    This guy breaks up beats, and adds really really lougy jazzy fusiony hooks to them.

    Awesome stuff. Also, Aphex Twin, Ninja Tunes stuff, Squarepusher, Plastik Man, etc .. for the cut'n'paste to drill'n'bass sounds.
  • If you are into a bit harder/techno rythms you should check out DJs like Umek, Chis Liebing, Valentino Kanzyani, Sven Vaeth, Jeff Mills, Takkyu Ishino, Simon Digby, Ben Sims... There were a lot of their sets available on Audiogalaxy, but that's not much help now, I guess.
  • by HRbnjR (12398) <chris@hubick.com> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:59AM (#3875630) Homepage
    and in no particular order...

    Nick Sentience
    Timo Maas
    Jan Driver
    Mauro Picotto
    Son Kite
    Ed Rush & Optical
    RAM Trilogy
    Juno Reactor
    Sourmash
    Laurent Garnier
    Nick Warren
    Bassbin Twins
    Dieselboy
    Paul Oakenfold
    Fatboy Slim
    Armand Van Helden
    Josh Wink
    CJ Bolland
    Prodigy
    Daft Punk
    Chemical Brothers
    • Also of honorable mention:

      Harry Diamond
      BK (Ben Keen)
      Lisa Lashes
      Anything else off the Nukleuz [nukleuz.co.uk] Label
      Bad Boy Bill
      Richard Humpty Vission
      BT
      UFO
      Anabolic Frolic
      DJ Irene (the new Photosynthesis CD is incredible)
      George Acosta
      DJ Venom
      DJ Sonik
      Lil Sue
      DJ Entropy
      DJ Necromancer (awsome up-and-commer)
      DJ DB
      Felix Da Housecat
      Danny the Wildchild

      And if you enjoy live performing artists, DO NOT MISS:
      Obis Cygma
      Skylab 2000
      Cyrrus
      SPACEGIRL (absolutely incredible)

      There are a million others I should mention...

      Also check out Bangin' Tunes [bangintunes.com] for all your latest UK hard style needs... I buy most of my vinyl from them (I spin mostly those genres). Good stuff to be had.
      • Anthony Pappa
        Cevin Fisher
        Peace Division
        Eddie Amador
        Peshay
        Mr Scruff
        DJ Dan
        Stretch N Vern
        Leftfield
        X-Cabs
  • I'd suggest you point iTunes to the stream at Tag's Trance [tagstrance.com], but the CARP [copyright.gov] legislation got in the way :(
  • me! (Score:2, Informative)

    by deceptakahn (525542)
    I humbly suggest - me! Im a dj and producer in dallas, tx, and ive got all sorts of mixtapes and tracks ive produced for download.

    check out http://www.deceptakahn.com for mp3s and the like.

  • by Aphelion (13231) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:02AM (#3875645) Homepage
    AudioGalaxy used to be great for electronica. A lot of the stuff that got released on AG never quite made it to store shelves, since a lot of electronica only made to vinyl [htfr.com] or went straight to clubs [soundfactorynyc.com]. You could subscribe to groups for certain genres, clubs, or DJ's and get music automatically. I really can't overemphasize the importance that that one program had to the electronica scene (which also revolves around getting the newest tracks each week.) Unfortunately that's no longer the case and a good replacement hasn't really been decided on. For now it seems that most of us are trying SoulSeek [soulseek.org], which is an eletronica-only p2p network. There's actually a really great selection there, and it's still a rather tightly-knit community. Find a genre you like and join its respective chat room. I recommend starting in the "House music lovers" room and browsing users' files there.
  • anything from daft punk or the crydamoure label, aphex twin and plaid are good too
  • Might I Suggest (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Myriad (89793) <[myriad] [at] [thebsod.com]> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:04AM (#3875655) Homepage
    Of course all music is subjective, even within a particlar classification, being a huge electronica/industrial fan may I recommend the following:

    VNV Nation: particularly "Standing", "Savior (Vox)" and "Rubicon" - very club/dance but with an edge
    Covenant: examples include "Figurehead", "Dead Stars", and "Go Film" - generally a little darker than VNV, but still will an up beat.
    Cyber Tec or C-Tec: a Front 242 spinoff, good tunes include "She Left", "The Lost" (a personal fav)
    Claire Voyant: "Majesty", "Love the Giver" (which has a GREAT remix by Eskil Simonsson's)
    ----The rest are just group names, I can add song titles if anyone wants...
    Beborn Benton
    Evil Toys (aka TOY)
    Wolfsheim
    SPOCK (well Back on Mars anyway)
    Elegant Machinery
    And One
    Apoptygma Bezerk (older stuff preferably)
    Project Pitchform (industrial sound) X Marks the Pedwalk
    Cobolt 60
    Delerium
    Funker Vogt (not one of my favs, but they have some good tunes.)
    Haujobb
    Mentallo & the Fixer
    Nitzer Ebb
    ReWork
    Velvet Acid Christ (good!!)
    Wumpscut

    None of these are in any particular order, but are a good overview of groups that I like. As always YMMV. If anyone wants some song titles lemme know...

  • by bodyborg (462345) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:07AM (#3875667)
    Just to give props to the forefathers I will mention that what we consider "electronic music" which should really be called electronic *dance* music is in large part due to the efforts of two major figures in mid 20th century. There was a sort of competition (but not really) between France and Germany. The research in both countries was funded by the national radio broadcastin corporations of each contry.
    Franc's Pierre Schaeffer believed in mixing (called sampling today) sounds and making new sounds by tweaking existing sound/music via tape splicing/cutting/reverse taping and so forth which became known as musice concret (or concrete music). 1948 RTF (Radiodiffusion-television Francaise) broadcasted Pierre Schaeffer's Etude aux Chemin de Fer whiched marked the beginning of studio realizations and musique concrete.

    Germany's Stockhausen worked largely with pure electronic devices that generated noise/music. The german school believed in pure electronic devices and sounds generated by analog devices. This effort was lead by Karlheinz Stockhausen and one of his seminal works is Microphonie I and II. His effort began in 1951 with the establishment of a Studio in Cologne -- NWDR (Nordwest Deutsche Rundfunk).

    Later on these electronic music researchers collaborated with many others including each other. There was some work done prior to this in the 30's by for instance John Cage but it was largely tweaking around with a newly invented device called the tape recorder and prior to that many others had invented/devised novel 'electronic instruments' but no one had made it a life long effort to create a genre of music the way these two men and others who came after them did.

    For info on earlier electronic instruments check out www.obsolete.com and for the bleeding edghe research on current electronic music research (using sound as particles as opposed to waves!!)
    please see the the create Project's 'Pulsar Generator' at UCSB:
    http://www.create.ucsb.edu/htmls/code.html

    cheers.
    T
  • by Jonny 290 (260890) <brojames @ d u c t a p e . n et> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:08AM (#3875668) Homepage
    Here's teh lowdown. Oakenfold is fucking glowstick waving stadium trance. Micro cancelled a gig in Tulsa last week because "there weren't enough people there." Terry Mullan has a 40 percent cancel rate.

    The presence of MDMA and K at massives attract stupid frat boys and sorority girls who get mashed up and raise their hands to people who shouldn't be making 300 bucks a night, let alone 15,000 like Oaky.

    Here are a few links for background information on drum and bass, arguably a deeper, more exciting genre than Eurotrance, and definitely the most diverse genre out there.

    Ishkur [ishkur.com]
    Dogs On Acid [dogsonacid.com]
    Drum and Bass Arena [breakbeat.co.uk]
    And here's a pretty good atmospheric drum and bass mix [dreamlogicpm.com] by yours truly.
    • You are missing out on what trance is really good for - coding music. While I'm sure you're on the mark for the live experiance, nothing beats the stuff for drowning out office gossip, bringing up the heartrate and focusing the mind.

  • by Dan Crash (22904) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:10AM (#3875679) Journal
    Instead of sipping from the cup of lukewarm techno that is most modern electronica, I'd suggest diving into the 16-bit wonderland that was and is the MODscene.

    Back before there were MP3s or computers fast enough to play them, there were MODs -- 4 channel music files that began on the Amiga, and contained their own samples. MODs encouraged experimentation in electronic music on a level never seen before -- you could download a MOD, load it up in your tracker, and start coding a new song using the samples already there.

    MODs branched out from their 4 channel beginnings into multiple channels and a variety of new extensions like .S3M, .XM, *.ULT, *.IT., and the more powerful the tracking software became, the more people were drawn to the scene. It was the online equivalent of jazz clubs in the '30s. I think it's one of the great secret stories of the web.

    Then RealAudio hit. And after that, MP3. Online music aficionados began to follow a different path, and MODs, like BBS culture, slowly died. The MOD culture is still around, eclipsed but not forgotten. I'd suggest starting with The Kosmic Free Music Foundation [kosmic.org], arguably the most prolific and influencial modgroup of that era. You could also check out the Hornet [hornet.org] archive or the Modarchive [modarchive.com]. Either Winamp or XMMS should play them.

    _________________________
    Check your karma. It's changed.

  • Orbital (Score:5, Informative)

    by sulli (195030) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:11AM (#3875685) Journal
    Start with The Middle of Nowhere, then get The Altogether and The Brown Album. Good start for me a few years ago, and it can be for you too. (Also on my iPod at the moment: Kruder & Dorfmeister, The K&D Sessions.)
    • Re:Orbital (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WasterDave (20047)
      Noooo! Don't start with Middle, it's wank. The official shit Orbital album. Brown, definately. Insides, definately. Snivilisation, very definately. Then maybe The Altogether (get "The Altogether 5.1" on DVD, it kicks arse), Green, the Orange one with remixes whose name I can't remember and it's at my mate's house. Then the Middle of Nowhere. In that order :)

      K&D are cool. Check out "Suzuki" by Tosca (The D in K&D), and G-Stoned by K&D.

      Dave

      • Re:Orbital (Score:3, Informative)

        by Phil Wilkins (5921)
        The Orange one is 'Diversions', and it's a US only collection of ep and compilation tracks from between the brown album and snivilisation.
  • by szyzyg (7313) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:12AM (#3875686)
    It's not exactly the most undeground site in the world, but the quality of the music and info is first class - the BBC Radio 1 website [bbc.co.uk] covers the UK's #1 modern music station. During the day it plays very mainstream material, but at nights a load of specialist shows come on including a lot of dance music.

    Pete Tong's friday night show is considered something of a trendsetter, while shows like Gile's Petersons Worldwide, Mary Anne Hobbes Breezeblock and the Unstoppable Annie Nightingale explore other parts of the music. This week they're also spending the weekend at the love Parade in berlin - so expect lots of tough teutonic tech trance.

    But! Best of all - Radio 1 is the home of the Essential Mix - every week they give over 2 hours of airtime to a featured DJ who gets to play what they like, without any Ads or jingles to get in the way. These shows are legendary, search on your favourite p2p network and you'll find them. The BBC even somewhat encourages taping of the shows - they used to get tape inlays published in major Dance music Magazines like Mixmag [mixmag.net] and Musik. If you can't find those then tracklistings.org [tracklistings.org] have a fairly complete archive of who played what and when.

    But... if you want to stay legit then Radio 1 has started storing the shows for a week so you can go in any time and listen to what you missed - it's all in real audio.... but don't balk just yet - Radio 1 was one of teh BBC stations participating in the OGG test earlier this year - so maybe if you e-mail the right people often enough then you'll get it back.

    Other online dance music places I'd recommend are Groovetech [groovetech.com] which for me is mainly a place to buy vinyl, but they feature a lot of radio shows, extended samples and interviews. LiveDJs.com used to be good, but has kinda died out - I even played a few gigs there. Epitonic [epitonic.com] has a neat feature for newbies - they have little streams which basically introduce particular genres of music - they also have quite a lot of free tracks to try.

    On the Musical recommendations side - I'm big into breakbeat right now - look for artists like Hybrid, BT, Plump DJ's or compilations like Y4K. I'd love to point people at a .ogg of a CD mix I did on www.djsnm.com [djsnm.com] - but the last time I put a direct link from slashdot I almost exceeded my Bandwidth limits.

    I've been a DJ for years, I plyed old school raves in the UK, evaded police and escaped with my record collection.... and I still play the latest stuff now I'm in San Francisco. Come out to An Sibin (1176 Sutter at Polk) on Monday nights and catch my weekly gig.
    • by Alex (342)
      An excellent post - one thing.

      John Peel - The man is a legend - he plays everything from punk to folk to trance, has been at Radio 1 since it was founded in the 60's and is literally a walking encyclopedia of music.

      Listen to his real audio streams on the BBC website,

      Alex
  • The Laziest Men on Mars? :P

    Tim
  • Some of my favorites (Score:3, Informative)

    by krogoth (134320) <slashdot&garandnet,net> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @02:15AM (#3875694) Homepage
    I've been listening to electornic music for a little more than a year, and I have a list of favorite artists:

    Airscape
    ATB
    Cosmic Gate
    Blank & Jones
    Cosmic Gate
    Das Licht
    DJ Sonix (might be hard to find)
    DJ Tiesto
    Ferry Corsten
    Cosmic Gate
    Gouryella
    Kamaya Painters (Mainly Endless Wave Albion Mix and Far From Over)
    Paul Oakenfold (Look for his Essential Mix in China)
    Pfaffendorf
    Cosmic Gate
    System F

    You should also listen to the Essential Mix on BBC Radio 1.
  • Tastes in electronica range as widely as tastes in any kind of music. There's mostly house, trance, and a bunch of other stuff like breakbeat. In my experience, first-time listeners like trance more than anything else, since the high frequency synths and such probably remind them of pop. Personally, it gets old after a while, and you'll start getting into house, which is made, instead, with drum machines and the like.

    Trance is mostly trance and hard trance. Some great hard trance producers include Cosmic Gate, Svenson and Gielen (Gielen also being known as Airscape), and Tiesto. DJ's include Ferry Corsten and again Tiesto. If you like ambient, soothing trance you want to look into Delerium and, maybe if you are looking for a little sophistication, Dave Seaman.

    For house, there is straight house (Different Gear), deep house (John Creamer & Stephane K), tech house (Mauro Picotto), and hard house (all of the above except Different Gear.) DJ's include Danny Tenaglia and Deep Dish.

    Eventually, it's interesting to expand your tastes to breakbeat (check out System F and BT) and other subgenres. Also believe it or not, Paul Oakenfold's new album Bunkka is practically all breakbeat, so pick that up if you can.

    Good luck finding what you like.
  • Orbital's In Sides

    Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld

    Things on the Ninja Tune label (try DJ Food's "Kaleidescope" and Herbaliser's "Very Mercenary")

    LTJ Bukem's Logical Progression (Volume 1, which isn't labeled Volume 1, but Volume 2 isn't it, obviously :)

    Aphex Twin (Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and Richard D. James album)

    I mostly listen to more experimental/IDM stuff now, but those are some more accessible classics that have really stood the test of time for me.

    Of course, I can't stand trance (i.e. Sasha and Digweed/Oakenfold) so my opinions may not be worth much to you. But if you like Sasha+Digweed and Oakenfold a lot, just keep your eye out for things marked "trance". That's the specific sub-genre of electronic music that you're listening to.
  • I LOVE all these albums.

    House:
    Armand Van Helden- 2future4U or Killing Puritans
    Fatboy Slim- You've come a Long Way Baby or Halfway Between the gutter and the Stars (don't ignore the master)
    As far as DJs go, Danny Tenaglia- Global Underground 010 is great. I don't listen to a lot of DJ mixes though. They get kind of repetetive for me. Good to dance to, but not to put on in the living room. Fatboy Slim's Big Beat Boutique CD is an exception to this though. Man I'd love to see him live.
    If you can find it, get Archigram's single Carnival. Just got it, love it. I first heard it on Pete Tong's radio show, which airs friday night 6-9 in England. But I listen to it over the web at bbc.co.uk/radio1. I'm pretty sure they archive the show each week so you can listen to it anytime.

    Drum & Bass:
    Everything But the Girl vs. Drum & Bass. EBTG's album "Walkiung Wounded" is really good too. That's where the singles that are remixed on the former come from.
    Photek does some of that remixing. Great, but i can't recommend a specific album.

    Experimental:
    Boards of Canada- In a Beautiful place out in the country
    Land of the Loops- Bundle of Joy. Kind of a cross between electronica and indie rock.
    Funkstorung- their remix of Bjork's Allis full of love is unbelievable.
    While you're at it, don't forget Bjork. Homogenic and Vespertine are pure genius.

    Downtempo:
    Theivery Corporation- Sounds from the theivery hi-fi
    Nightmares on Wax- Carboot Soul
    Kruder & Dorfmeister- The K&D Sessions
    Peace Orchestra- Peace Orchestra
    Joshua Csehak- A Day for Nyla (yeah, that's me, link in my sig. Hey, I can't help it if I think it kicks ass)
    Massive Attack- Mezzanine. But the track "Better Things" off of Protection is maybe their best track ever.
    Air- Virgin Suicides. Also, Moon Safari. Their other two are really good too though.

    Hip hop:
    I just can't leave out Missy Elliott's "Supa Dupa Fly." If you're thinking about delving into hip-hop, get it without hesitation.

    Simply mindblowing:
    William Orbit- Pieces in a modern style

    That should get you started. Just pick a genre you feel like listening to and buy. Or download, as the case may be.
  • If you wan't to get into underground 'dance music' (my preferred term for the genre, although it rules out downtempo and the like), you gotta shop records!

    Groovetech [groovetech.com] has thousands of audio/video broadcasts archived from the sets of many big and small name DJs. They also keep a healthy selection of vinyl that you can sample and purchase.

    Tweekin Records [tweekin.com] is my favorite place to shop for vinyl. They're based out of San Francisco, update their site w/new records weekly, and have MP3 audio samples of all their records.

    Satellite Records [satelliterecords.com], based out of NYC, is another good place to preview and order records. All their samples are in real audio.

    • Seconded on Groovetech, for shopping and listening.

      Juno [juno.co.uk]'s good for checking out new tracks. More releases than Groovetech, but only 30 second clips.

      Betalounge [betalounge.com] is very good for mixes and live sets. Nice variety, and no shit trance.
  • alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.dance

    A good place for those types of music.

  • KMFDM is awesome! They have a kinda hybrid techno / industrial sound and is a great starting point into electronic music because unlike many of the other suggested artists they have plenty of vocals.

    I'm certainly not knocking any of the other suggestions, because I listen to many of them, I'm just suggesting KMFDM from personal experience. They are the band that started the ball rolling down the Electronic music hill for yours truely.

    I would recommend to first buy some of the newer albums. One of the best to give you an idea about KMFDM is the album that has a bunch of symbols for the title, a skull, a bomb, and some others. I will just call it "The Symbols" album. You'll know it when you see it.

    Give it a listen and if you like it dive into some of their other albums. Glory, Light, What do you know Deutchland, Angst, Nihil, XTORT, Agogo, Adios, Attak are all wonderful albums. I own just about everything KMFDM has ever produced and I can honestly say I love every song.

    If you dig them, they are an excellent bridge into some of the more experimental stuff like Aphex Twin.

    Hope this helps. If you want to talk further please email me at my slashdot username @ the listed URL above.
  • Well, nothing too sophisticated here, but the label Global Underground [globalunderground.co.uk] has put out some good work over the last three years or so; it's not been quite so fantastic of late, however.

    If you want to ease yourself in, I'd suggest using a p2p client and downloading some Essential Mix [bbc.co.uk]es (The link goes to the BBC's Radio One dance music page). Recommendations, tracklistings and flamewars from plenty of users at the Essential Mix discussion site. Personal favourites I would recommend:
    • Sasha - GU009 San Francisco
    • John Digweed - GU014 Hong Kong
    • Sasha - GU013 Ibiza (My #1 Desert Island Disc)
    • Sasha - Airdrawndagger - to be released 05 August, though you can probably find bootlegs over the net. My most treasured recent possession at the moment. Takes a while to get into it, but truly a great find once you're acclimatised.
    • Sasha & Digweed - Northern Exposure 1 & 2
    • Sander Kleinenberg - NuBreed 004(5?) - GU's up-and-comer label. IMHO, the best of the NuBreed series
    • Paul van Dyk - Vorsprung Dyk Technic - Avoid his more recent releases; they're cheesy as fuck. These disks, however, are top-notch.
    • Chemical Brothers - Any and all of their discs, including the Heavenly Social remixes
    • Way Out West - comprised of Nick Warren and Jody Westerberg (sp?). Warren's own work is also superb and consistent.


    I would also suggest looking at related artists. Dance music encompasses a lot of styles, and cross-pollination goes on all the time. Massive Attack [massiveattack.co.uk] are another excellent act; all of their albums are great. One non-dance music act I love has to be Spiritualized [spiritualized.com]. Though they don't really do dance music per se, they have an ethos and sensibility that matches well. Perfect morning-after music.

    I've been lucky enough to see nearly all the acts listed above, and yes, they are all better live. Best of luck!
  • While it has been said numerous times in comments thus far, I cannot recommend Aphex Twin highly enough. Aphex Twin is actually the work of one man (Richard D. James) and runs the gamut from soft and beautiful (Xtal off Selected Ambient Works 85-92) to acid metal styling (Come To Daddy off Come To Daddy) to abstract noise (almost anything off Selected Ambient Works Volume II). aphextwin.nu is the website for all things Richard D. James, but be sure to pick up the Richard D. James album (contains Girl/Boy song, most likely his most popular song ever), Selected Ambient Works 85-92, Come To Daddy (if only for Flim), and I Care Because You Do (once you ease yourself into his more abstracted music you will likely enjoy Ventolin, Start As You Mean To Go On, and more).

    You also could consider picking up some of his singles such as On, or even look for some of the work he has done under other names (Powerpill was a group name he made up when he did a Pacman remix that many people have heard).

    Obviously I cannot recommend Aphex Twin highly enough, so don't take my word for it, check out his work! Full albums are difficult if not impossible to find on the net so sample individual tracks when you can find them prior to buying.
  • Nobody has mentioned DJ Tiesto. Great stuff. I didn't see Sandra Collin's Tranceport album. That, or Oakenfold's Transport are the two best mixes I've heard.

    While not *the* best, I've always liked the Ministry of Sound mixes. There's one by Roger Sanchez in particular that's a very well done blast from the past of 70's and 80's tunes. Being an old Police and Specials fan newly into trance music I have a soft spot for this one.
  • anything by aphex twin, there's a recent "classics" collection,
    anything pre-"confield" by autechre (I would recommend "Amber" or "Tri-repetae++" or "Incunabula",)
    anything post-1990 by Coil, [brainwashed.com] --check out their best-of collections "Golden Hair: A Guide for Beginners" and "Silver Voice: A Guide for Finishers"
    everything by Squarepusher (check out "Budokhan Mindphone") and plaid (try the peel sessions EP).

    nobukazu takemura "sign" EP. A 2-CD EP, with the 2nd CD containing the awesome animated video for the song "Sign".

    Anything by Matmos (like the new live album or "A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure"...made entirely from samples of plastic surgery.)

    Almost anything by The Orb (UFOrb, Cydonia, Orbus Terrarum, Toxygene are all excellent) and Orbital's "the box" EP or "Snivilisation" albums are best (although everything except their new one is top-notch). If you EVER get a chance, catch Orbital live; it is an experience not to be missed. They headlined Lollapalooza for a reason (same year as Tool, too.)

    "Stay Down" or "Virus With Shoes" by 2 Lone Swordsmen

    "Fear of Fours" by Lamb

    check some of the online resources like lomechanik.net [lomechanik.net] and consider downloading some tracks from soulseek or a similar service.

    As far as a lot of the Warp artists go, their Peel Sessions stuff is GREAT! (aphex, autechre plaid all come to mind). Warp used to be fantastic but has recently been putting out SHIT (Gallo's album comes to mind).

    Avoid Josh Wink like the goddamn plague (ditto Moby). Also, check out Autoplate Records [thinnerism.com] a free web-only record label. Some good stuff for free. :)

  • Defining a 'best' in electronic music is like defining a 'best' in rock....Electronic music has the [syr.edu] most [dmoz.org] sub-genres [thedjlist.com] of any music type I know of. Nevertheless, there are the major categories, but keep in mind that often the most [djcraze.com] talented [djfeelgood.com] artists do not confine their music to one type alone.

    The most well known word for electronic music is probably techno, however techno != electronic, rather it is a type of electronic popular earlier in the 90s, while electronic music was growing more mainstream. You'll most often hear (for subgenres):

    Techno | Trance | Drum n' Bass | Breakbeat | House | Jungle | Industrial | Ambient | Chill

    often used with the modifiers 'hard', 'acid', or 'progressive' as in hard house, or progressive trance. In a lot of ways, these are self-explanatory...hard means that the music is rougher, and is usually faster paced; drum n bass consists of drum beats and heavy basslines.

    Everyone here will try to tell you the best [globalnet.co.uk] artist [aphextwin.nu] to listen to....but I can tell you for sure that I know no two people with the same taste in electronic music. You really have to discover for yourself the kind that interests you most. I suggest listening to some generic [launch.com] online [live365.com] radio [shoutcast.com] if you want to know the mainstream electronica, most of which is a carryover from europe's tech-pop eurotrash trance. That's where you'll find the names most people will refer to you.

    However, the best way to discover electronic music is to support your [iloveraving.com] local [hyperreal.org] scene. [raves.com] I would list true local websites, but being low-budget community supported as they are, I wouldn't subject them to the bandwidth of the slightest slashdotting. You can, however, find your nearest real record store (good electronic comes out on analog lps for real djs) and they will be happy to direct you to flyers and websites informing you of local happenings. Go out and hear some of your best local djs, and truly experience the music for yourself (many djs of different styles will play in the same night) - that will be the fastest path to knowing your interests. Also, once you find a dj you [hudahudia.com] like [spyhunter.com], find out his/her influences, and that will point you to some excellent (lesser-known?) artists.

    Some of the best cuts are the hardest to find, but there's a ton of great [apollo440.com] music [hallucination.com] out there. I wish you (all) luck, and PLUR!!
  • Many will argue over what the "best" electronica albums are but almost anyone who knows anything about the subject will invariably have these albums in their collection (most of it spans "techno" since this is the most main-stream type of electronica).

    Must Haves:

    Chemical Brothers - Dig your own hole (This album basically popularized techno!)
    The Crystal Method - Vegas
    Daft Punk - Homework
    Paul Oakenfold - most of his work is overrated but he's mixed some good stuff.

    Aside from those must haves, some artists I would definitely recommend checking out are:

    The Prodigy
    Underworld
    Aphex Twin
    Propellerheads
    Portishead (more trip-hop but pretty good beats)
    Massive Attack (see above)
    Trance Control
    DJ Dan

    Alot of people will tell you to get this DJ or that DJ, but really you can pick whatever you want, to taste. Most people think Oakenfold is the best DJ ever...but then again...most people I've heard say this have also said, "Oh my gawd! Dave Matthews is like, totally hot, and stuff" in the same sentance. After the above, you've got a pretty well rounded collection that will take you a bit further into whatever it is you like. Remember, each of the genres (Trance/Techno/Jungle/House/Break Beat/etc) have their own set of "must have" albums and artists, so take what most people tell you with a grain of salt.

  • Easy, assuming you have a machine that can play streaming music decently (hook your soundcard into a decent stereo if possible, anything other than those crappy little $5 made-in-china speakers most computers come with).

    Just head over to Shoutcast.com and start listening. They've got eight sub-categories of electronica. Keep a notepad handy and write down any songs you like (picking a station that streams the song titles is handy ;-)). You may also want to dip over into the Industrial section, as a lot of Industrial music is synthetic. Then, go to your local CD shop and buy what you liked. Telling the store manager that the reason you're buying the CDs is becuase you heard the music on the net might not hurt either...

    Really, this is what streaming radio is all about to me, fostering communities of listeners for genres that don't get much or any radio play. I've probably learned of fifty new bands I like in the past six months alone just by browseing through Shoutcast a lot..

    Somebody already posted a good list of traditional electronica, and I'm not totally familiar with drum and bass enough to give you band names (that's my second favorite electronica genre after a first place tie between trance and ambient), so here's a short list of good electronic Industrial bands:

    • VnV Nation -- without question one of the best bands I've learned of in the past year. Hard to find in the States, originally from the UK. Excellent music and songwriting.
    • Front 242 -- Sort of the Kraftwerek of electronic Industrial. 80s and early 90s... Their "Headhunter" song is a classic.
    • Funker Vogt, Assemblage 23, Wumpscut -- If you like any one of these three, you'll probably like the other two. They do have unique styles, but I've yet to meet somebody that didn't end up liking all three.
    • Apoptgyma Bezerk -- I haven't heard much of their stuff, mainly remixes and Kathy's Song, but it's pretty good stuff from what I've heard of it.
    • (mainstream, but it has to be mentioned) Bjork's Homogenic album is a masterwork of electronic music. Pluto is probably in the top five of my favorite songs.

    Good luck, and happy listening! There's a whole undiscovered world of electronic music that most people have never heard, so you've got months or years of discovery ahead of you.

  • Orbital - "In Sides". Try to find the earlier release with the 28-minute long version of "The Box". It's awesome.

    Juno Reactor - "Bible of Dreams". Absolutely amazing IDM.

    Propellerheads - decksanddrumsandrockandroll. Great DNB. Also, try to find the track "Props Got Mo' Skills" from their "Bang On!" CDS. It was recorded live with a turntable, a sampler, and a microphone. Great.

    VNV Nation - "Standing/Burning Empires". This was a limited edition, and is hard to come by, but their best release. Their most recent, "Futureperfect", is good, but S/BE is the best. Great live show, too.

    The Moog Cookbook - any release. These guys are great, they cover songs with classic synths. Pretty eclectic stuff.

    Keoki - "Ego-Trip". Great DJ-mix stuff.

    Most of the other recommendations I've seen have been quite good, so listen to them. Personally, I've gotten bored with the crap Electronica/Techno these days, and have turned to Industrial/EBM music. Some notable artists/albums you might enjoy:

    Front Line Assewmbly - "Tactical Neural Implant". Widely regarded as their best album. I prefer the earlier (& harder to find) "Gashed Senses & Crossfire" or "Caustic Grip". Their more recent "Implode" is also very good.

    Delerium - "Poem". Mellow, ambient side-project of Front Line Assembly. Very very good.

    Contagion - "Contaminent PCB". Good EBM.

    Front 242 - "Front By Front". Classic EBM.

    Einsturzende Neubauten - "Silence is Sexy". Ye Olde Industrial. Older relases had lots of noise (aka Avant Garde or Experimental) elements & were mostly in German. More recent releases like SiS & "Ende Neu" are less harsh and feature some tracks in English. A seminal Industrial act.

    Chemlab - "Burn Out at the Hydrogen Bar". One of my all-time favorite albums. Has lots of distorted guitar power-chords, stay away if you dislike that sort of thing. The earlier "10 Ton Pressure" was more electronic, and can be found on the "Magnetic Fields Remixes" release, since it's been out of print for a decade.

    Mentallo & The Fixer - "Burnt Beyond Recognition". Fabulous release. Their other releases can't even approach the awesome power of this album.

    Suicide Commando - "Mindstrip". A recent release, very aggressive EBM.

    Well, that's probably enough, since I'm drifting wildly off-topic. Oh, and make sure you go to Metropolis Records [industrial-music.com], they release huge amounts of Industrial/Electronic music.

  • http://www.mp3.com/scottyp
  • Electronic Music (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mister Transistor (259842) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @03:03AM (#3875865) Journal
    If you want to start with early historical electronic music, the very first (even before Kraftwerk) was Walter Carlos's "Switched On Bach" series of albums. One of the others in the series was called "The Well-Tempered Synthesiser" and another was called "4 Seasons" or "Sonic Seasonings" (something like that, it's been 20 years since I have seen them).

    These albums were masterworks of Symphonic music done with very early Moog synthesiser technology. The synths of the day were totally separate modules in little boxes conntected by jungles of patchcords. The Moog Carlos used was not even capable of playing chords (monophonic), so by using multi-track tape recording technology, each instrument's part was added to the total mix. An interesting side-note, Walter underwent a Sex change operation and is now known as Wendy Carlos. She (now) did the soundtrack for the movie "Tron" by Disney.

    Also in the '70's was Mike Oldfield. He is also a virtuoso and can (and does) play about every instrument in the orchestra, and makes heavy use of synthesizer and procesing technology. He's best known for the Soundtrack from "The Exorcist", "Tubular Bells". He's not that well known in the U.S., but he's released about 24 albums thru the present.

    Another electronic virtuoso is Vangelis. He, like Mike Oldfield is a one-man show. He writes, performs and engineers everthing himself. His music was some of the early work that started the "New Age" type music. He's also done a few very good albums in collaboration with Jon Anderson from Yes.

    Newer stuff of interest would be some of the Demo albums from Telarc, "Time Warp" by Erich Kunzel and "Bachbusters" by Don Dorsey, a fitting tribute to the earlier "Switched-On Bach" forbearance, with 20 years newer and better technology. These albums in fact are COMPLETELY synthetic, the sounds were digitally generated in a wave table synthesizer, digitally mixed and mastered to CD, and digitally recovered and played back in your system, it only becomes analog at your D/A converter for the first time!

    Finally, my other fave would have to be Alan Parsons. He's brilliant. I'm sure you've heard of him. His original claim to fame for having done the Mixing and Engineering of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album. He also engineered Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat". His work with "The Alan Parsons Project" was an interesting mix of modern electronic technology, smooth rock, and symphonic style. He was one of the first people to use a Vocoder (early speech synthesiser) and all of the recordings he did were in fact full digital recordings, mastered on a Sony PCM-1610 digital tape machine. "Heart" and Peter Gabriel also used this for their masters, BTW, that's why they sound so good!


  • Aphex Twin
    Autechre
    Squarepusher
    Mouse on Mars

    Simply put, these are some of the most innovative and unique electronic artists. Check out some stuff by Karl Stockhausen, for a glimpse at some neat electronic music from long long ago (early 60's and 50's)
  • get jeskola buzz [buzzmachines.com]. It's the best free music program for pc's, and you can even write your own effects and synthsizers for it if you wish.
  • For starters, you are unfortunatly a little late when it comes to the internet radio stations that so often have good electronic music. The RIAA is in the middle of killing [saveinternetradio.org] the free internet radio stations. Some of my favorite internet streams used to be over at SomaFM [somafm.com] where among other music I was introduced to music from Tranquility Bass, Future Sounds of London, Aphex Twins and Orbital. I would prolly not have CD's by all these bands if it wasn't for da internet stream.
    Not all streams have disappeared, Digitally Imported Radio [digitallyimported.com] is one of the finest that is still there. Offering Trance, hard-trance, Eurodance and hard-house. For more streams check out shoutcast [shoutcast.com] a collection of online music streams.

    To be introduced to Electronic music you should try to find which genres within electronic you like best. Some genres are (from mellow to really fast):
    - Ambient
    - Trance
    - Down Tempo
    - Trip Hop
    - Acid Jazz
    - Eurodance
    - House
    - Garage
    Several of these genres are not per-se electronic but will contain lots of modern sound influences.

    For the real electronic junkies there is also what is known as scene music [scenemusic.org]. This will not appeal to most people out there, but please try it and check out the rest of the scene [scene.org].
  • DJ Shadow: Why he isn't getting mentioned more here I dunno, it probably has to do with the huge bias towards more traditional electronic being shown here.

    Talvin Singh: Hello people? This guy is fricken amazing, please do yourself a favour and listen to some of his stuff. His layering and production values rival Orbital but he comes at things from a different angle all together.

    Cornelius: He wrongly gets accused of being almost JPOP just because of where he is from, Fantasma and Point are both fine pieces of work.
    In addition his stuff is so light (while being complex)... it's almost the opposite of Aphex Twin subject matter at times.

    If you are looking for something a bit more mellow any of the United States of Ambience compilations are wonderful. And for those that have trouble letting go of the desire to hear lyrics and guitars try something like Amon Duul... guitars/lyrics and some eletronics similiar to Eno in places.
    • ps (Score:3, Informative)

      by juuri (7678)
      I hate myself for leaving out Future Sounds of London.

      I suck and bow down to the wonder that is Dead Cities.
  • by Tokerat (150341) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @03:30AM (#3875943) Journal
    Ok, in case you haven't gathered, there is more techno/electronic music out there than you will EVER know what to do with. It's a vast sea, with many little-known corners, and often times much bias from listeners. I can name 5 junglists right now who will show ultimate resentment for anyone who goes near Happy Hardcore, but that's another story :-). This is not a definitive guide to all electronic music, many focused on the dance aspect. You will not find things here like Big Beat (Chemical Bros. and Moby), Dance ( Which is for drunken frat boys who don't like trance), Ambient (ahhh Aphex Twin, my hero), or others. This is what is the main focus of most of todays' underground dance culture is (as least as I see it).

    When you need to find what you want, here is a guide:

    MAIN GENRES
    These are the main styles of electronic music. They're almost like "root genres". You'll see what i mean in a minute.
    • Techno - Machine-sounding beats. Characterized by extreme repetitiveness and synthetic-style, techno hails from Detroit (time/artstis escape me right now...tried...perhaps CarlCox? No?) Averages 120-160BPM
    • Trance - This is the biggie these days, and sadly some woudl say, the way most people find electronic music. Trance can be heard on the radio. Recent anthem blowouts include Darude - "Sandstorm" and (the name of this artists escapes me at the moment ) - "Castles in the Sky". Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, etc. Characterized by mostly progressive melodies, well layered and defined sounds and textures. Lots of reverb is used to give that "open space" feeling. Averages 125-152BPM.
    • House - Started in the Warehouse in Florida, this genre consists of a tight loop with a 4/4 beat, usually a very catchy bar with what are known as "hooks", or sounds that make it easy to dance to. Alot of times house music will vary alot durring a breakdown and then tighten up and loop for the main beat. Bad Boy Bill, Richard Humpty Vission, Felix Da Housecat, DJ Venom, etc. (can you tell I'm a house head at heart?). House is conforable at an average of 133-155BPM.
    • Hardcore/Gabber - A very dark and pounding genre, this is catagorized with loud, deep bass stabs instead of kick drums, which are often compressed to give that kick-bass-kick-bass feel with only one sound. Gabber and Hardcore tend to be more dark and evil sounding, sort of the heavy metal of electronic music. Omar Santana, Noize Creator, Delta 9, Mike Hellfish, The Producer, and anything off the Deathchant label (get the Best Of Deathchant '94-'00, it's astounding). Averages from 165-210BPM, with Gabber tending to be the faster selections.
    • Happy Hardcore - Ok, I'm breaking a rule here but Happy Hardcore is enough of it's own genre to get a mention. Happy hardcore is the extreme opposite of Gabber/Hardcore. Instead of being dark and evil almost to the point of satanic, Happy Hardcore is very very bright and happy, definitely to ludicrous and annyoingness at times. Also relies on the feeling of "panic" (just listen, you'll get it). There are some amazing Happy Hardcore tracks, but some are absolute cheese. Happy Hardcore also incorporates a lot of breakbeats, as it is an offshoot of the great Jungle/Happy Hardcore split up that happened around 93-94. Anabolic Frolic's Happy 2 B Hardcore series is the best Happy Hardcore compilation to date, I HIGHLY recommend. Averages at 175-200BPM.
    • Jungle/Drum 'n Bass - Whereas other genres all follow a 4/4 beat pattern as a general rule, Jungle and Drum n Bass follow more of a shuffled "boom, click, boomclick" feel, almost like Hip Hop only faster. The difference here is with the fast paced breakbeats come deep, slow, flowing basslines which serve as leads. Thus, "drum n bass". Some Jungle/DnB is very dark, such as Tech Step, some of it is lighter, such as Drum n Bass in it's true (to itself) form. Other kinds are more Ragga influenced. Dieselboy, DB, Ed Rush & Optical, Dom & Roland, DJ Dara, LTJ Bukem, just to name a few. Average 175-190BPM
    • Breaks - Breaks are new but they're old as well. Breaks are like slow jungle with more house-style elements, the Roland TR-808 drum machine sounds, etc. Breaks are generally slower and more geared as kind of a chill out sound. I'm not familiar with any breaks older than say 99 or so, but I can name DJ Baby Anne as one fo the best Breaks DJs I've heard. Average 130-157BPM

    I'm sure I've forgotten a few, if anyone would care to add/correct me feel free, we're here to learn about it (no flames plz!). Now, on to GENRE PREFIXES!

    GENRE PREFIXES
    This will help you find out exactly what the hell deep chill 2-step acid electro garage trancecore is supposed to be :-D

    • Acid - the lead lines will change over time, this isnt' straight looping. May contain a lot of squelchy synths (a.k.a. tight bandpassing) and filter sweeps. Often times designed to have that "completely created with analog synths" sound. Spacegirl does acid trance, for example.
    • Deep - Usually refers to deep thought, invigurating and artistic sounds, often slightly experemental. More traditional musical principals are used. May have a strong emotional vibe to them as well. Often used in conjunction with "Chill". DJ Innana.
    • Chill - Relaxing, mellow beats. Often times the back room at a rave wil feature a DJ spinning Chill genres, such as Deep Chill House. Makes for a relaxing atmosphere. Often times -20BPM for any genre applied to.
    • Dark - Evil sounding. Possibly scary basslines and 1960s sounding vocal clips. many times meant to be a pounding, relentless beat.
    • Happy - The most glaring example being Happy Hardcore, this is a plain mood setter. This music will attemt to be uplifting, maybe attemt to accomplish this using a slight "cheese" factor.
    • Hard - almost every genre has a "hard" form, such as Hard House, Hard Trance, Hard Breaks, etc. The kick drum/bassline is much more prominent and thumping with such a style, the lead lines are more grabby and "hookable", and it tends to be all around rougher around the edges.
    • Electro - Once again a more analog sound, this tme however it's more focused on the drums and percussion, a very "classic synth" style emerges. Not much for sampling, unless it comes from other electro.
    • Tribal - A more native-style sound, almost like the rhythmic dance used by African tribes and what have you. (A better definition?)
    • Inteligent - Supposedly "smarter" than the genre's norm, tracks adhereing to an Inteligent sub-genre attemt to be more creative than the typical anthem, often times succeeding.


    I'll admit and A) I dont' know everything and B) I'm tired and making mistakes now. If anyone would liek to fill in some blanks I was wondering about myself:
    • 2-step, garage, and others need defining.
    • Any other corrections/additions would be appriciated. Eventually this is going to become a FAQ so help me be as accurate as possible!


    most of these terms are used loosely and most music can be defined a number of ways by a number of standards. I do hope, however, this helps a bit.
    • by szyzyg (7313) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @04:10AM (#3876043)
      It was the Warehouse in Chicago.... a Glaring mistake in an otherwise excellent post
    • Inteligent - Supposedly "smarter" than the genre's norm, tracks adhereing to an Inteligent sub-genre attemt to be more creative than the typical anthem, often times succeeding.

      It should be noted, while we're talking about it, that the oft-used "Intelligent Dance Music" moniker was actually created by none other than Brian Behlendorf [skylab.org], head of the Apache project, in 1993.

      He named the mailing list "IDM" after Warp's "Artifical Intelligence" compilations.

      After I read that, I don't feel so bad using the term anymore. It was (as far as I can tell) never intended to be as pompous as it sounds.
    • Psytrance is essentially trance on acid -- it ranges from ambient to trance with totally wacked-out effects in it. What's more, psytrance "DJs" don't usually spin records -- it's all digital mixing. I prefer psytrance (also called goa) over trance, because it's usually faster and eschews a lot of the house-y aspects of trance -- there aren't really many "anthems" to speak of, it's a bit faster and it can get downright goofy sometimes.

      http://www.isratrance.com
      http://goablaze.org/p l.shtml
      http://www.hallucinogenic.de/
      http://www .microdots.org/
      http://www.psynews.org/
    • Unbelievable... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Quanza (25456)

      What I cannot believe in all this discussion is the pure lack of academic insight. Having spent quite some time studying the roots -- and I mean ROOTS -- of electronic music, i'm sad to see so many associate electronic music with just variants of dance/beats, or something loud. Yes, these are genres, but what you list are not "main" genres.

      Why has nobody mentioned the core composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, Edgar Varese, Pierre Henry, Pierre Schaeffer, or even Max Mathews? What about concepts such as "music concrete", used by well known musicians as The Beatles, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd (maybe even The Who)? These are the real pioneers of electronic music, the real influencers of today's electronic musicians.

      Do yourself a favor and search some of those names in Google. You'll be glad you did.
  • I'm really, really, really looking hard for some decent Canadian electronica (partly because I'm a nice patriotic guy, and partly to fill my CRTC/SOCAN obligations, if you must ask).

    Anyone here have any reccomendations? Preferrably online, but hey, anything's good.

    Thanks!
  • Thanks to a conversation that went something like this:

    "I need some new music."
    "What kind?"
    "I dunno, surprise me."

    I've been getting into music like this. I'm liking it. While most of my favorites so far have been mentioned by others (Aphex Twin's Richard D. James, Boards of Canada's Music Has The Right To Children, etc.), I haven't seen my top favorite mentioned. Boulderdash's We Never Went to Koxut Island is an absolutely awesome album, IMO. The songs "Headless in a Topless Bar" and "Dregs of Tar" are just... Wow.

    (Be sure to try the Iris [cdelfosse.free.fr] plugin for xmms [xmms.org], with the Background color Random on beat option set, and the output plugin set to the OSS driver. Fullscreen, obviously. ;))
  • by Trepidity (597) <.gro.hsikcah. .ta. .todhsals-muiriled.> on Saturday July 13, 2002 @04:18AM (#3876058)
    If you're not into the whole "electronica" scene, there's still plenty of good electronic music out there. I concentrate here on music with vocals, as that's mostly what I listen to.

    Synthpop is basically synthesizer pop. For mainstream examples, think New Order and a host of other 80s pop. Less mainstream synthpop ranges from "darker" music with goth-influenced lyrics to the happy sort of stuff you're used to from the 80s.

    Industrial is heavy, distorted electronic music. It may have real instruments (most often guitars), but there will generally be much electronic treatment of both the instruments and often the vocals ("treatment" usually consists of various sorts of distortion).

    EBM stands for "Electronic Body Music" (dumb genre name, I know), and is sometimes called "industrial dance". It's essentially a mixture of Synthpop and Industrial. There's incessant arguments over what is and isn't EBM, but pretty much anything from industrial with a vague beat to synthpop with a bit of a harsher edge can fall into the category, depending on who you ask. But the classification isn't really that important anyway.

    Some good bands (almost all of these are European, as there's very little of a "scene" in North America) include:

    [I'm concentrating on EBM here, as straight industrial tends to be less electronically-oriented]

    VNV Nation [vnvnation.com] - Their earlier albums are industrial-leaning EBM, while their newer stuff is very bombastic uplifting synthpop. One of the best out there. Some good songs: Standing, Further, Darkangel, Epicentre, Joy, Kingdom.

    Apoptygma Berzerk [eu.org] - Their earlier albums are goth/industrial/ebm hybrids, while their newest one is barely synthpopish trance (a common trend; I guess industrial/ebm is getting less popular these days). Some good songs: Non-Stop Violence, Starsign, Deep Red, Eclipse, Unicorn.

    Kraftwerk [kraftwerk.com] - Okay, so they're not really synthpop, EBM, or industrial, but they heavily influenced those genres, especially with their industrial (in the original literal sense of the term) instrumentation. And if you're interested in electronic music at all, you at least have to give them a listen. Some good songs: Radioactivity, Pocket Calculator, Boing Boom Tschak, The Robots, The Model.

    Beborn Beton [bebornbeton.de] - Synthpop, with a darker yet optimistic tone. Some good songs: Deeper Than the Usual Feeling, Hemoglobin, Winter, Another World, Phoenix.

    Einstürzende Neubauten [freibank.com] - One of the original industrial bands, with the home-made industrial implements to prove it. Their earlier stuff is rather legendary, though a bit inaccesible and very noisy. Their more recent stuff alternates between melodic ballads and noisy clanging pieces, though the instrumentation is still all things from sheet metal to large mechanically-operated flutes. Some good songs include: Was Ist Ist, Zebulon, Sabrina, Salamandrina, Newton's Gravitätlichkeit.

    Front 242 [front242.com] - The original EBM band. It's sparse industrial with a beat. Some good songs: Headhunter, Quite Unusual, Body to Body, Im Rhythmus Bleiben, Circling Overland, Welcome to Paradise.

    Deine Lakaien [chrom.de] - Very melodic synthpop, with the occasional noisy EBM song thrown in. Some good songs: Kiss the Future, Mindmachine, Down Down Down, Return.

    Funker Vogt [funker-vogt.com] - Aggressive industrial-oriented EBM, with distorted vocals on every single song. The choruses are very catchy and easy to dance to though. Good songs: Killing Fields, Gunman, Nuclear Winter, Funker Vogt, Black Hole, Subspace. :Wumpscut: [insania.com] - Industrial/EBM with a very bleak worldview. Good songs: Totmacher, Deliverance, Embryodead, Sag Es Jetzt, Concrete Rage.

    L'âme Immortelle [lameimmortelle.com] - Industrial/EBM that alternates between distorted male vocals and beautifully clean female vocals. Very good. Some good songs: Tears in the Rain, Epitaph, Gefallen, Judgement, Forgive Me.

    Assemblage 23 [assemblage23.com] - Probably the best American EBM/synthpop band. Somewhat similar in style to VNV Nation, but a bit darker. Some good songs: House on Fire, Disappoint, Bi-Polar, Naked, Purgatory, Awake.

    Blank [mechanoid.it] - Italian EBM with heavily layered industrial-influenced but catchy music. And even better, you can download 192kbps full mp3s of both their albums from their official site (add a few legal mp3s to your collection!). I'm not going to bother listing good songs, because you can just go get them all and decide for yourself.

    Cat Rapes Dog [subspace.se] - Amusing (but possibly offensive) lyrics in an EBM/industrial format. You'll probably need to find some lyrics sheets to understand them all, but they're worth it. Some good songs: Don't Wanna Work, Things I Hate, Trojan Whores, The World Is Good and Nothing Bad Ever Happens, Dead Boys Don't Say No, Capitalist Punishment, Eating People is Fun.

    Wolfsheim [wolfsheim.de] - Very, very good darkwave/synthpop. Some good songs: Heroin She Said, ...Scars Remain..., Lovesong, Künstliche Welten, Once in a Lifetime, Youth and Greed, The Sparrows and the Nightingales.

    There's of course lots more, but that's about all I have the inclination to type up at the moment, so that should serve as a good start if you're unfamiliar with the genre.
  • by Eil (82413) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @04:31AM (#3876085) Homepage Journal

    Though this comment is being posted a little late in the game, I just have to note that, in the realm of masterful and genius electronica, there is no single artist or group that has traveled as far and wide as Underworld [underworldlive.com]. I became a fan of theirs after sampling a few MP3s I found online years ago.

    Their oldest albums, (particularly dubnobasswithmyheadman and secound toughest in the infants) released in the early- to mid-90's are truly timeless. I can still pop in any Underworld album in my collection and marvel at the depth, both musically and lyrically. Their concerts are completely wild and I'd give a kidney to go to one, but they don't tour the US too often. I've heard plenty of concert recordings. The concerts typically consist of rocking remixes of their recorded songs with a lot of [good] freestyle on-the-fly stuff thrown in. Just amazing the stuff they come up with without even planning it.

    Check out the link above. You can download concert recordings of some of their best stuff for free. And if you hunger for more, the filesharing networks have a ton of bootleg recordings and other stuff.

    Give Underworld a shot. Even if they seem a little weird at first. You won't regret it.
  • by orbital3 (153855) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @11:00AM (#3877043)
    Alot of the stuff people have mentioned here is great, but here's a few that need mentioning. Prolly some repeats here, but I'm not reading through 500+ comments to make sure I'm not duping... This probably won't get read either because there's already so many comments, but what the hell...

    Hybrid - Wide(r) Angle - I never ever ever get tired of this CD. The only recent work that I've completely and utterly fell in love with. You may know their song Finished Symphony from the Untracked level of SSX. Please please please, check it out. Their album has seen a couple releases, first Wide Angle, then a 2CD set called Wider Angle. I dunno which is more available, but Wide Angle is just a subset of Wider Angle. Either is fine, as most of Wider Angle is just some live stuff, though there are a couple extra studio tracks.

    Plaid - P-Brane EP, Double Figure, Rest Proof Clockwork - Awesome IDM that I've just recently come to love. It's not as hardcore and much more pallatable that most IDM, so it's a great starting point for the genre. Especially check out the P-Brane EP; it's small, cheap, and 4 of their best songs.

    Necros [modarchive.com], aka Andrew Sega, aka The Alpha Conspiracy [mp3.com] - Started out ages ago in the tracker scene. Amazing stuff, most notable Point of Departure and Mechanism 8 (which is actually in Unreal Tournament, I've recently discovered). He now goes by The Alpha Conspiracy and has a proper CD and all which you can sample at mp3.com. Amazing artist who worked from the ground up, and definitely deserved to be checked out for that reason alone.

    Air - Moon Safari - A fantastic mellow sound... this is by far their best album, but check out their other stuff for good measure. Tracks of note: Sexy Boy, All I Need, Talisman.

    Chicane - Behind The Sun and Far From The Maddening Crowds - Behind The Sun is the newer and better of the two, but both are great. Looks like FFTMC might be going out of print? Doesn't show up on CDNow and has limited availability on Amazon. Get it while you can. Again, a more mellow, laid back sound, but even better than Air. Tracks of note: Saltwater, Leaving Town, Red Skies.

    Ayumi Hamasaki - Ayu Trance - She's a well known pop artist in Japan, and some of her original tracks are good (Whatever, Evolution) but more appropriate to electronics are the plethora of remixes of her music, most notably the Ayu Trance collection. M (Above and Beyond Remix) is friggin awesome.

    Dune - Expedicion - Again, by far their best album, but I don't see it on CDNow OR Amazon, but it's prolly the best happy hardcore I've heard, though Scooter's really good too, which leads me to... (Tracks of note: Million Miles From Home, Electric Heaven, Hardcore Vibes.)

    Scooter - ...And The Beat Goes On - I really don't know how this album compares to their others, but it's pretty good. Tracks of note: Fire, Move Your Ass

    Faithless - Reverence, Sunday 8pm, Outrospective - Mixed bag of stuff, but the good stuff is really good. Tracks of note: Insomnia, God Is A DJ, Evergreen.

    Future Sound of London - anything... FSOL is somewhat of a classic... they've been around a while, so they have plenty to check out. Papua New Guinea, Landmass, Expander (remix).

    Hooverphonic - Blue Wonder Power Milk - Not sure how to describe them, and I'm getting tired of describing groups :) but their somewhat classic too... Tracks: Battersea, Eden, 2Wicky.

    Lamb - Lamb and Fear Of Fours - Kinda a mix of electronic and alternative, with a very unique sound. The vocalist has a very unusual sound which you will either like or hate, but give them a shot. Tracks: Softly, Lusty, Gorecki, B-Line.

    Utah Saints - Utah Saints and Two - A rough, sample-based sound, but worth checking out. Most known for their remix of the Mortal Kombat Theme, but that is far from their best work. Tracks: Ohio, Something Good, Techknowledgy.

    Sneaker Pimps, Gus Gus, Freefall, Beam and Yanou, Mr. Oizo, Technique, Etienne De Crecy.

    Stuff that's been mentioned but is worth mentioning again:
    DJ Shadow/UNKLE - I have a love/hate relationship with DJ Shadow... either his stuff is incredibly good or incredibly boring, but it's more than worth it for the good stuff. He actually uses drums for more than just background, constantly mixing the beats up, making any DJ Shadow piece noticable. Midnight In A Perfect World hooked me to him instantly and Fixed Income and You Can't Go Home Again from his new album The Private Press hooked my gf. Notable tracks from UNKLE (his other project with... someone whose name I can't remember right now) are Lonely Soul, Rabbit In Your Headlights.

    Orbital - plenty of stuff to check out besides their well-known Halcyon + On + On. Midnight from Orbital, Lush3 and Monday from Orbital 2, The Box (check out part 2 of the 28 minute version from the single!), The Girl With The Sun In Hear Head, hell the whole album from In Sides, Know Where To Run and Style from The Middle Of Nowhere, and Funny Break and Doctor from their new The Altogether.

    Aphex Twin - Windowlicker, Come To Daddy, all the ones people have mentioned.

    Paul Van Dyk, BT, Crystal Method (Vegas is much better than their new album), Adam F, Carl Cox.

    For mixes, go with DJ Tiesto, Paul Oakenfold, and Armin Van Buuren.

    That was soooo much more than I intended to write, and doesn't even scratch the surface of what's out there, but this should be a great starting point.
  • by raygundan (16760) on Saturday July 13, 2002 @01:27PM (#3877781) Homepage
    My favorites:

    Hardfloor
    check their classic TB Resuscitation, as well as the rest of their phenomenal 303-driven works (Respect, Funalogue, Homerun, etc...)

    Vapourspace
    Themes from Vapourspace remains my all-time favorite album ever, period. The whole thing rocks. Some good tracks on Sweep, too.

    Plastikman (Richie Hawtin)
    The king of minimalism. I would be remiss if I didn't recommend Spastik, a fantastic track. Check out all of his stuff.

    Surgeon
    It sounds like you're underwater, but it's bang-up good shit.

    Steve Stoll
    Hyperrealism is an excellent track

    Josh Wink
    Find the Tweakin' remix of Higher State of Conciousness-- fantastic breakbeatish house.

    Joey Beltram
    Classic.

    Dieselboy
    Drum and bass fun.

    DJ Zinc's Super Sharp Shooter is a classic D&B track.

    There's a million more, but that's what strikes me as favorites off the top of my head from my dusty record bin. Happy hunting, and thanks for posting this article-- I'm sure I'll find some sweet stuff I've never heard digging through everybody else's recommendations.

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