20 electronic sounds that made an impact in 2016


Say hello – wave goodbye to a music year in turmoil. 2016 became the year when a good deal of our music elite decided to do a ‘check out’, with George Michael being the final one although on the door step to 2017. On the other hand 2016 did have a lot of gems up it sleeves and if your memory has already become somewhat blurry or if you simply didn’t have the time to digest it all we decided to provide a smorgasbord filled with shiny electronic pearls from 2016. The music presented is not in any particular order and of no specific electronic genre -simply good music for the masses. And just to get things started let’s put you back in the sofa and enjoy this year’s Netflix smash hit from Stranger things.

After this Daft Punk’s TRON inspired wanna be (in a very positive sense) let’s get serious and nail down those tracks that made 2016 an interesting year in electronic music. You may, of course, disagree with us, you may hate the inclusions, or despise the omissions.

Avalon Emerson takes a kaleidoscopic motorcycle ride through the Sonoran desert at dusk with Arizona director Miguel Norigenna and producer Keivon Hobeheidar. The video intends to marry sweeping ancient landscapes with 350ccs of four-cylinder, two-wheeled power from the 1970’s. Mirroring the song’s alchemy of emotional synths, rolling bassline arpeggios, and sturdy percussion.

Wolfsheim are a synthpop duo from Hamburg, Germany consisting of Markus Reinhardt (music) and Peter Heppner (lyrics and vocals). The band was founded in 1987 by Markus Reinhardt and Pompejo Ricciardi and was named after Meyer Wolfsheim, a fictional character from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel ‘The Great Gatsby’. Ricciardi soon left the band and was replaced by Peter Heppner, a childhood friend of Reinhardt’s. Together they produced their first demo tape, “Ken Manage”, in 1988.

“Loving me is complicated,” sings Savages’ Jehnny Beth on Anders Trentemøller’s “Complicated.” The track gets a visual treatment that accurately reflects its title, a four-minute video that comprises an intense montage of preparation. A ritualistic braiding moment is followed by suspenseful tennis training that leads up to a meeting with a suspicious chauffeur. What does it all mean? Well, it’s complicated. The video, directed by Åsa Riton and Andreas Emenius, is the final of a three-part series with “River In Me” and “Redefine” other singles from Trentemøller’s recent album Fixion. “Complicated” is an apocalyptic anthem that chronicles the persistence and endurance of our curious protagonist’s recently ended destructive relationship.

On March 4th, Montreal recording artist Tiga released his third album with No Fantasy Required, a masterwork of forward-listening insanity. “First of all, I never talk about the music itself,” he says from a youth hostel in Calgary. “It’s borderline sacrilegious to talk about the grooves. They have a language all their own, the grooves do. I just birth them and send them out into the world to make others happy. And that’s what makes me happy, and that’s what makes you happy.”

Electronic music godhead Aphex Twin (aka Richard D. James) just released his first new music video in 17 years, an eight-minute clip representing his new song “CIRKLON3 [ Колхозная mix ].” It’s cut from his EP Cheetah, which was released in full on July 8th, and it’s the latest chapter in a late-career renaissance you can track back to the release of his masterful 2014 full-length Syro. It’s a glitched-out clip populated by dancing children, guests in Richard D. James masks, and a walk-in closet worth of Aphex Twin T-shirts.

‘I Am Chemistry’ taken from the Yeasayer album ‘Amen & Goodbye’ – released April 1 2016.

Sinister, throbbing riffs and shuddering bass come in heavy supply, as do the mischievous melodies and driving percussion. There’s a reason Anna is doing so well at the moment and this track sums up why.

TOY – was released on September 30, 2016 – is the 13th studio album by the electronic music pioneers YELLO.

After releasing the Cinq/Zero EP last year it is now time for a new epic journey with the EP Seven being released over the summer.

Seven by Electric Indigo is techno! Techno in the sense original 80s techno with music performed by machines. But also techno traced back to Luigi Rossolo’s Art of Noises manifesto – music made by machines, including noise of the urban modern soundscape, sounds of industry. Maybe not a major factory but more a workshop where Electric Indigo crafts the soundscapes using any electric tool she finds use for. And the pulsing rhythms guides you around the different stations in the werkstatt. If the opener Sept is a normal day inte factory the second track Siete is the nightshift with more ambience and less hammer rod pulse. Then the two remixes by Tensal and Richter lets the factory workers have some leisure time with a more pulsing dance floor techno but leaving the door to the workshop open. Werkmeister Kirchmayr keeps pushing the boundaries in the techno werkstatt.

Taken from the self-titled debut EP this is the first video of Rein. Video directed & edited by Daniel Bäckström.

2016 was the 20-year anniversary of Robert Hood’s Floorplan alias (and even longer in the trenches under his own name), and the year treated the Detroit stalwart very well. Floorplan’s new album was Victorious by name and by nature, being received well in all quarters, and with tracks like “Music” striking a chord with fans of big-room techno. Teaming up with Dutch festival entrepreneurs Dekmantel served him equally as well this year, as the first instalment of the Paradygm Shift EPs produced “Lockers”, which gave a nodded to his own history of minimalism and was heavily rinsed by Ryan Elliott, the Zenker Brothers, Ben Sims, DJ Hell and hometown pal Kevin Saunderson.

Can’t get much tougher then this 🙂

From the 12″ “Rushing Into Water” that was released on Themes For Great Cities on the 9th of january 2016 and since both the label and the artist represent Düsseldorf and are affiliated with the city’s most famous club, Salon Des Amateurs, it’s no surprise that the bar’s flag-bearer, Lena Willikens, has given it love.

Heavily praised for his versatility, DJ and producer Danny Daze continues to smash expectations with an omnivorous groove rooted in Detroit Techno, Italo Disco, and Miami Bass. Daze’s freeform selecting and mercurial mixing guarantees the only thing audiences can expect is a musical experience where everything is up for grabs. Combined with his entrepreneurial acumen, Daze’s touch has made him one of his generation’s most compelling artists.

Steeped in Miami’s B-boy culture, Daniel Gomez adopted his Daze moniker early on at his mother’s suggestion. Practicing on a set-up she bought him, Danny Daze was spinning at weddings by age 14, funneling his earnings into vinyl to play raves on the side. Danny’s esoteric sets quickly attracted adventurous and loyal crowds. Pushing himself to the next level, Danny produced his first tracks on a cracked version of Fruity Loops in 2004 and jumpstarted a techno white label a year later. In 2011, the School of Audio Engineering valedictorian broke through with “Your Everything” featuring kindred rebel, DJ and producer Louisahhh on vocals.

‘Blue Inside’ by onDeadWaves – taken from the album ‘On Dead Waves’ – out now on Mute.

It’s nice that an especially big year as a DJ for Detroit native and NYC resident Mike Servito would coincide with a hit foray into producing. Servito had a lot to live up to with his first published piece of music because he’s well-known as a selector thanks to years of honing his craft and a few big, recent gigs with his close friend The Black Madonna—and his rework of Justin Cudmore’s “Crystal” didn’t disappoint.

And to end it all…