The past year was maybe the most astonishing yet for electronic music, full of marquee triumphs and troubles, from the sold-out arena spectacles of Swedish House Mafia to the massive Electric Zoo in New York City, which might've been the festival's largest iteration had it not been cancelled midway thru after the MDMA-related deaths of two revelers. Most inspiring was the scene's musical creativity, which included Daft Punk's artisanal retro-future disco (so next-level it pretty much abandoned synths and drum machines), Disclosure's perfectly-turned club-pop hybrids, Fuck Buttons' dark anthems, and gorgeous armchair head trips by The Field and Jon Hopkins. Once upon a fairly recent time, all this would have been considered fringe music. Now, somehow, it's mainstream pop vernacular — even Kanye has become a kind of EDM act. What happens now? Who knows? But we expect it will continue to be dazzling, in a shiny-cyborg kinda way.
By Will Hermes and David Marchese