Top 20 Electronic Albums, Fall 2013
M.I.A. is back with her best album since Arular, and maybe her best album yet. That's thanks to her coproducer Switch, whose beats fuse a head-spinning array of global bass styles without ever sounding forced or overstuffed. Further cutting-edge rhythms come from footwork maestro DJ Rashad, whose Double Cup continues to push the limits of the genre, and Laurel Halo, whose Chance of Rain establishes her as one of experimental techno's most surprising producers. Everywhere you look, musicians are pulling the rug out from under established genres. Gesaffelstein puts a gothic twist on French electro; Special Request sifts through two decades of breakbeat mutations; and Phuture Doom fuse drum 'n' bass with black metal, of all things. Black Deer (Willie Burns) and Ron Morelli explore the nether zone between techno and noise, while Swedish house prankster Axel Boman delivers an uncharacteristically restrained take on deep house. Explore all of these, plus recent albums from Kelela, Tim Hecker, Mat Zo, Nguzunguzu and more.