20 Best EDM and Electronic Albums of 2016

Flume, Kygo, Aphex Twin and more

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Various Artists, 'Gqom Oh! The Sound of Durban'

7. Various Artists, 'Gqom Oh! The Sound of Durban'

This record label conversation between Rome's Nan Kolè and South Africa's Lerato Phiri brings the first commercially available full-length of gqom, the stark, moody genre engulfing the streets of Durban, South Africa and forward-thinking clubs the world over. Made for both tiny cell-phone speakers and taxi cabs alike, gqom is heavy on bass and cavernous reverb, combining the dankness of British grime, the polyrhythmic fury of the pop-electronica hybrid kwaito and the merciless boom of the post-dubstep universe. Both versions – 12 songs on two LPs, or 16 downloads ready for your phone – are skeletal in structure but rich in rhythm, including two tracks from breakout star Citizen Boy: the woodpeckering "Tribute to DSB" and the oppressive and seasick "Ghetto Mafia." The collection peaks with Cruel Boyz' "Umeqo Emagqomini (Dub Mix)," whose constantly surprising, ever-evolving talking drum-esque lead percolates with digital plink. C.W.

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