Best Dance Albums of 2012

Flying Lotus, Skrillex and more

December 7, 2012 9:00 AM ET

What's that whooshing, stomping, skittering, warping-and-woofing sound? Why, it's the uniquitous sound of electronic dance music invading the ears of 2012.

Flying Lotus, Until the Quiet Comes
Quiet is relative for this antsy L.A.-based producer, who convenes Thom Yorke, Erykah Badu and a rushing data stream for a stoned soul-jazz picnic.

Actress, R.I.P.

England’s Darren Cunningham makes electronic dance music that bursts of static, LP surface noise, reverberant space and clattering synthetic rhythm, with hallucinatory flashes of cello or harp for real-world color.

Daphni, Jiaolong
Dan Snaith (a.k.a. Caribou) channels old-school house jams, Afrobeat and Detroit techno through his kaleidoscopic production sensibility. The result is a meta party record that works as well in the bathtub as it does on the dance floor.
Andy Stott, Luxury Problems

This U.K. abstractionist magnifies intimate vocal fragments to swoon-inducing proportions over ghostly melodies, hypnotic grooves and deep bass rumbles. Like a massage in an all-hours sauna located under the Earth’s surface.

Skrillex, Bangarang EP

Bass-in-your-face mixology transformed into trigger-fingered pop music, with cross-generational help from the surviving Doors and newbie U.K. pop diva Ellie Goulding. More warrior hollers, computer glossolalia and laser-blast sound effects than a Star Wars battle sequence.

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