Did the electronic / dance music album peak in the 90’s early 2000’s

I had a listen to the new Plaid album the other day and was surprised how good it was ( I’d not listened to them for a good few years) so much so I reckoned it was the best electronic album I’d heard in a long time.
But it got me thinking that there hasn’t been hardly any albums over the last 10 to 15 years that I’ve thought are amazing, in fact I can only think of a couple that I had on repeat and that was voices from the lake and Jon Hopkins immunity
Did electronic music / albums and bands peak in the 90’s early 2000’s ? Is this just nostalgia
For example
Prodigy fat of the land / jilted generation 90’s
Depeche mode violator / sofad 90’s
Orbital snivilisation / insides/ middle of knowhere 90’s
Aphex Twin selected ambient works 90’s
Bjork post / homogenic 90’s
Luke slater freekfunk 90’s
Underworld second toughest / beaucoup fish 90’s
Radiohead kid a early 2000’s
Autechre tri repetae 90’s
Goldie timeless 90’s
Roni size new forms 90’s
Drexycia 90’s
Moby play 90’s
The list could go on
I know a lot of these artists have made good albums since but perhaps apart from autechre not many have pushed on further, is there too much music these days / do we listen to albums like we used to ?
I still listen to a lot of new music mainly stuff like northern electronics, rrose, donato dozzy, lots of new techno on hate etc

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Tipper, Heyoka, Gunver Ryberg, Boards of Canada, Karen Gwyer, Murcof, Trackermatte, the list goes on. All released great albums after your time line.

Great music is still out there, its just harder to find nowadays.



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Are you by any chance in your 40s?


How did you guess !!!


I’ve heard a lot of good new stuff… just a lot of music out there so it can be hard to find.

I’m turning 40 this year, so if it’s an age thing I’m glad I didn’t catch that disease. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving new music in many genre’s.

I really like Ennja, Lorn, Crystal Castles… will post some good stuff later, just thinking off the top of my head at work.

Edit - I just realized some of them might not be new HAHAHA just new to me. Maybe I did catch the old people disease hehehe


The 90’s were a time of extreme innovation in regards to gear. Introduction of groove boxes, Virtual analog syntheses, etc. I think the reason you feel this way is because there was just so much new stuff coming out, people were not afraid to step out of their comfort zone. New genre’s were introduced, people started fusing rock/rap and electronic music. Rap, and alternative rock were also on an uprise.

I think there is one thing that killed it. The commercialization of electronic music. To be more specific, Trance music was the biggest sellout. Things were amazing, then we saw things along the lines of Sandstorm, etc. Trance at this time became more about money, than the music.

I feel it’s been stuck that way since. People are making music to make money, and are targeting specific audiences to do so. This leaves very little room for innovation. The experimental artists are left in the dark, bedroom producers are not making top of charts because they lack the money to put into exposure. We used to hear about artists by hearing their work, now its all about spending the $ to advertise.

The late 80’s-90’s were the days of the subgenre’s, happy hardcore, riddim, jungle etc. Now its all under this blanket called EDM.

Just one persons opinion =)


Late 80s into the 90s was the golden age as it was fresh and new. It’s funny how music was made back then with limited resources but to such high quality. Inversely we have almost infinite instrument resources to choose from now and the quality has inversed. Something I have a hard time understanding. There is still good music around, but I now tend to listen to home studio music now, i.e who is making something great on their own. I rarely pursue big production stuff.


Streaming is today’s business. Making an album is mostly a waste of time because people prefer Playlists in their Streaming Apps. They make their own albums so to say. They dont care about particular artists anymore. Hell, some even dont know who the artist of a track is that they currently like :slight_smile:

Its therefore a better choice to make short and spot-on Tracks that fit in particular Playlists instead of making an album that no one buys :wink: Welcome in today’s Music Biz :smiley:


I think this is pretty much spot on, my nephew says he goes to raves when most of the time he stands around posing not dancing, I ask him who his favourite dj’s are and he reels off a load of Edm rubbish, I ask him who his favourite producers are and he hasn’t got a clue who anyone is, when I tell him some of the stuff I like (new stuff) he’s never heard of them


I think we may have gotten the best of Roni Size, Underworld, and Nine Inch Nails in the 90s, but I reckon young people are forming emotional bonds with different groups now…


One word…
Sums this up…


I’ve been ‘obsessed’ with dance music since around '90 even so much so that I was a co-owner of a record shop in the early 2000’s (pre iTunes, Beatport and Napster wasn’t yet an issue). Vinyl was still king for DJ’s. There was some amazing music back then for sure and in many was it sounded better. Simple, raw productions that weren’t overly ‘produced’. Primitive midi only sequencing… none of the thousand micro edits, envelopes, FX and automation possibilities. It was all about the song itself and not necessarily the production of it. The ideas and elements had to stand on their own without all of the polish and pizazz. I feel blessed to have come up in my late teens and 20’s through that time… the music literally changed the direction of my life in so many ways.

What I don’t personally like is the era of EDM and the celebrity DJ’s. There’s nothing wrong DJ’s getting paid well… I’m all for that. I remember when guys like Digweed and Sasha were getting $15-20K each for a couple hours on a big night. Nothing wrong with that. I can’t get into the big festivals and arena gigs myself, but I’ll admit I’m probably just too old for it now. The market dictates what these guys will get paid, so if it’s $150K a show, so be it. However, I don’t care for that level of commercialism though where the music and the DJ is more of a product and brand than an art and/or passion. I definitely know there’s still many (many) DJ’s with heart and soul they lay out gig after gig who aren’t necessarily part of the EDM larger scene.

That said, I think there’s still some pretty fantastic music coming out. I’m personally into the more minimal house, techno and dub styles. I’m constantly listening to mixes on Soundcloud and Mixcloud. I love a lot of the tracks coming out and usually buy a half dozen or so each month even though I haven’t DJ’d in 15 years or more. I just like collecting the tracks to listen to on my own and support the smaller labels and artists trying to make a go of their passion. Doing mastering and engineering for artists myself I get to hear some great unreleased music before it makes it way out to the world and be a small part of it. There’s definitely awesome tracks still coming out and people doing it for all the right reasons. Very happy to see and more importantly hear that.


It reached its peak in 1982. I was a new romantic and we all stopped clubbing about then. The electronic music went from bad to worse as people like Stock Aitken and Waterman took over. Anyone remember throbbing gristle?


Two peaks that was significant to me happened in 1994. with Fax Records and in 2001. with Warp Records. After that many artists peaked but I didn’t felt it was anything beyond their own singular professional success and artistic achievement.
There will always be ppl that pushes the boundaries further, ppl that are able to transform chaotic and unknown to consumable and known.

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Not trying to be negative about it, but I guess it all depends on how old you are? I’m obviously a bit younger (didn’t start to go clubbing until '89). Some of the most influential music in my life was done from 1980 to 1990. I then had another revelation from the 90’s that continues now. It’s just a very personal thing I guess.

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Of course i’m biased. But music did take a backward step in 1983.


There will always be good new music coming out and people pushing boundaries but how many great electronic albums will people be talking about in 20 years time from the recent period ?

A good example is Hybrid. Huge success early on, hardly gets a hit on YouTube for new material.

Yes, that pesky MIDI and the goddamn DX7.

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