The 10 Best Electronic Albums Of 2023

The 10 Best Electronic Albums Of 2023

2023 found humanity wandering back into a rut after a brief interim of post-lockdown joy. Over the course of the year, we were forced to confront systemic violence, economic uncertainty, ongoing challenges posed by the climate crisis, and, frankly, too much other shit to count on both hands. It seems like most people I know are ending this year feeling fairly downtrodden and nervous, myself included.

Ironically, much of the best electronic music released in 2023 contrasts the bad vibes of the year at large. Where 2022’s Best Electronic list was largely carried by esoteric ambient and experimental records, this year’s roundup is more sparkly and confident. From upsammy’s architecture-inspired IDM to yeule’s unearthly ode to human physicality to Overmono’s collection of instant-classic bangers, most of these records have what it takes to keep you moving your feet into the wee hours of the night. Yet the sounds here rarely feel geared towards hedonistic escape.

Here are the 10 strongest electronic records of 2023. Check out the list below, and leave your own favorites in the comments.


Yushh - Look Mum No Hands (Wisdom Teeth)

The first few times I listened through Yushh’s Look Mum No Hands, it didn’t strike me as straightforward party fuel. There’s a glittery bounce to the Pressure Dome label head’s EP that offsets its percussive darkness. Then I dropped the track “Same Same” in a set at Dublab’s studio in Los Angeles. Hearing the Bristol producer’s work on high quality speakers, it became clear that — chipper as it may be — Yushh’s music hardly plays nice. Across the four tracks of her Wisdom Teeth-issued debut, style-smudging uptempo rhythms and taut basslines contrast trippy samples and bright splashes of synthesis. It’s cutesy and optimistic, with an inescapable undercurrent of intensity.


DJ Trystero - Castillo (Incienso)

Thanks in large part to trendy trio Purelink, 2023 saw dub techno come back in a big way. It felt like producers peppering ambient-laced soundscapes with traditionally undanceable percussion were a fixture of the club circuit this year. But few of those artists lean into the dark side of the airy subgenre, which first emerged in the ’90s around shadowy labels like Chain Reaction, Modern Love, and Soma Records. On DJ Trystero’s Castillo, the Tokyo-based City-2 St. Giga label owner stays ethereal but gets moody. Across nine tracks, resonant kick drums and clicky hi-hats weave through growling bass lines and crisp arpeggiations. Issued by Anthony Naples and Jenny Slattery’s always stellar label Incienso, Castillo marries the sounds of the dancefloor and the chill out room.


upsammy - Germ In A Population Of Buildings (PAN)

Upsammy found her footing releasing bassy, electro-bent techno on labels like Nous’klaer Audio and AD 93. But, even at its most propulsive, her work never feels strictly geared towards the club. Instead, it teems with resolute introversion. On the Netherlands-based artist’s second album, Germ In A Population Of Buildings, upsammy backs away from her rhythmic side. Here, she turns attention towards melody and organic texture, highlighting the most beautiful elements of her sound. Across 10 tracks, manipulated vocals, bell-like synths, and sparse field recordings hover over broken-beat drum machines. The record draws inspiration from ecosystems coexisting with an overwhelmingly modern world. This anxious, pensive quality helps Germ In A Population Of Buildings contrast serenity with fleeting bouts of barbarism.


K-LONE - Swells (Wisdom Teeth)

There’s no shortage of vibey club music out there. Yet atmospheric, neon-drenched dance tracks that break the mold are a rarer breed. Swells — the second album from Wisdom Teeth co-founder K-LONE — is bubbly and fun, but it works unconventional sounds into the fold to keep things from becoming predictable. Over 10 tracks, R&B vocals, kraut-y guitars, and jazzy key flourishes rest atop dry, springy drums. Swells is hi-fi, yet hazy — as pristine and hope-inspiring as its verdant cover art.


Maara - The Ancient Truth (naff)

This year, I got into both progressive house and French-Canadian trance. Maara’s music lands squarely in the middle of those sounds. The Ancient Truth — the full-length debut from the Montréal DJ and producer — pairs acidic basslines, tempo-traversing grooves, and fractured voice chops. Issued by Priori and Ex-Terrestrial’s forward-thinking label NAFF, the record is aided by whispery vocals that celebrate queer sexuality in an oblique tone. Salacious but suave, it’s a mesmerizing album with cuts suited for both peak hours and the come down.



The Miami underground had a hell of a year. Artists including Nick León, Coffintexts, and Bitter Babe continuously found ways to blur Latin music, techno, and dubstep. This milieu of groundbreaking producers and DJs capture the restless, hedonistic thrum of the South Florida city.

At the heart of this scene is INVT. Made up of best friends Luca Medici and Delbert Perez, the duo blur the lines between streetwear brand and dance project. INVT didn’t put out a proper full length this year, but their string of 2023 EPs said more than enough. Lurching standouts like “ACID GUARACHA,” “PRESHA,” and the Logan_olm-aided “WE INSIDE (CULEBRA VIP)” surge like a hotwired battery — enough to get me through many-an-exhausted-run on the treadmill. INVT have yet to surpass 200,000 plays on their top Spotify track, but they still seemed to wind up in all of the best DJ mixes I heard this year. I have zero doubt that the duo are superstars in the making, so get on the wave before they’re selling out the biggest rooms in your city.


yeule - softscars (Ninja Tune)

The album art for yeule’s softscars does the music within justice. Uncanny and innocent, yet weirdly visceral, the third album from the Singaporean artist puts a dystopian spin on shoegaze, emo, and pop. Their lyricism is deeply rooted in questions of gender dysphoria and what it means to feel human. The album uses sci-fi and surrealistic imagery to grapple with discomfort and a yearning for bodily transcendence. But for all of the vulnerability that shapes it, yeule’s work is ultimately empowering, and often downright fun. Softscars tracks like “ghosts,” “software update,” and “aphex twin flame” are more reminiscent of the Smashing Pumpkins or early Paramore than yeule’s Ninja Tune labelmates. The record is weird, raw, and creative — like Björk for the TikTok crowd.


Natural Wonder Beauty Concept - Natural Wonder Beauty Concept (Mexican Summer)

Shaped by the isolation of pandemic lockdowns and, later, touring, Natural Wonder Beauty Concept’s output buzzes with chic despondence. The self-titled debut from deep reggaeton pioneer DJ Python and gauzy R&B singer-songwriter Ana Roxanne came to life slowly, as the artists convened for hurried sessions in between stretches on the road. Their music in tandem traverses a range of genres — IDM, jungle, ambient, emo-rap — but unites these styles in a frigid, screen-lit glow. Landing somewhere in between the sounds of Dean Blunt, Portishead, and μ-Ziq, Natural Wonder Beauty Concept is downcast, but spellbinding.


Overmono - Good Lies (XL)

It took Overmono eight years to release a full-length. But in that time, brothers Tom and Ed Russell managed to leave an unignorable mark on contemporary dance music. Singles like “So U Kno,” “BMW Track,” and “If U Ever” are some of the most beloved club tracks of the past decade.

Needless to say, the stakes were high leading up to the release of the duo’s proper debut. Somehow, the XL-issued Good Lies rose to the occasion. On cuts like “Is U,” “Calling Out,” and the title track, pop samples rest atop laser-y synths and galloping UKG drums. The whole thing is almost bafflingly simplistic — at any given moment one is likely hearing four instruments at most. But Overmono’s knack for gritty sound design helps every element on Good Lies remain interesting, even in the face of minimalism. The cynic in me keeps waiting for Overmono to sell out and become the new Disclosure. But the Russells know how to retain enough understated cool to keep their output riveting… even when I’m hearing “So U Kno” play for the umpteenth time in a weekend.


Pangaea - Changing Channels (Hessle Audio)

Hessle Audio is synonymous with a tastefully wonky sphere of the nightlife circuit. Since the mid-2000s, Ben UFO, Pearson Sound, and Pangaea’s label has championed distinctly UK records from the likes of Untold, Ramadanman, and a young James Blake. But this year, the Hessle crew leaned into their party side. On releases like ANZ’s “Clearly Rushing” and Olof Dreijer’s Rosa Rugosa, playful synthesizers mingled with easily danceable grooves.

Nowhere does this penchant for fun beam brighter than on Pangaea’s Changing Channels. Clocking in at just seven tracks, the record masterfully blends tech house beats, rumbling synthesizers, and saccharine vocal hooks — if you’re an electronic music head and the words, “bunbun essoesso” don’t mean anything to you, what were you even rinsing this year? While Changing Channels might be bone-dry kindling for 3AM mischief, it was shaped by introspective spells on the road. The end result is rowdy, yet full of humanity and hope. For all the lonesomeness that shaped it, Changing Channels always finds the light at the end of the tunnel.

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