Psst—even if you don’t listen to electronic music, every record you’ve ever heard is electronic music. The truth of this sophism is deepening as electronic instruments and idioms overtake every genre. Euro-pop arpeggios twist through country radio. Modular drones whir through folk. Synth rock, once a subgenre, now simply means “popular rock.” It’s getting weird to isolate a swath of music as “electronic,” an anachronism for the future. What does it share across mainstream pop and the borderless internet variety replacing it, hip-hop and ambient, dance-floor bangers and headphones brooders? It can be minimalist or mostest, hermetic or porous. It can be made of other music or made only of itself, of electricity shaped into waves. It can be staggeringly soulful or mystically severe. It can be for the body, the head, the heart, or all three (hi, Jon Hopkins). It can shift our sense of space-time or just slap. Whatever it is, the genre that purists once called homogeneous now offers unparalleled variety, as our list attests. Electronic music infinitely extends the acoustic without uprooting it. It’s the sound of our world discovering, not remembering, itself. Lucrecia Dalt, Anticlines On her sixth album, Anticlines, Colombian musician and engineer Lucrecia Dalt thrives in eerie tension. With warm drones and cryptic narration as driving forces, each song feels like a silvery bubble of oil rising, unidentifiable samples warping in its reflection. You get the sense that, eventually, they’ll burst. Dalt’s control of this palpable suspense shows her talent for building miniature… [Read full story]
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