The most enjoyable and prominent albums truly are considered works of art, which is why many of the extraordinary works selected among The Nocturnal Times Top Electronic/Dance Albums of 2017 are among the year’s elite.
This year called on music to rebuild, resist, reassure, and reimagine. Quality music is found among the hundreds of thousands of releases hitting the major and independent labels catalog week after week. Amid the Music Monday’s and New Music Friday’s came quite a few of anticipated albums. 2017 brought recognizably different dance albums: Some debuts, sophomore releases, moniker LPs, and veteran returns. We celebrate some of the year’s most authentic electronic albums. These full-length LPs were not only impressionable, but exceptional, permanently etching their own place within this year’s creative space.
Album: A collection of recordings issued as a single item on CD, record, or another medium.
2017 would not have been complete with the return of iconic electronic duo Gabriel & Dresden. Making their return to Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats imprint with their December released LP, The Only Road, Dave Dresden and Josh Gabriel undeniably crafted one of the most heartfelt, organic, and nostalgic albums of 2017. We’re not only happy to have them back, but we’re thrilled that we now have new G&D music to add to the archives and pass along for decades to come. On their deeper side, Anjunadeep released Moon Boots First Landing, the very first album from Peter Doughtery, better known as Moon Boots.
The sophomore LP from Norwegian’s Kygo, Kids In Love, came just weeks after he released a 5-track Stargazing EP with Selena Gomez, U2, Ellie Goulding, and Justin Jesso. Having released two films this year, Stole The Show and Kygo: Live From The Hollywood Bowl, Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll (Kygo) has managed to find ways of reinventing and maturing his signature tropical sound to keep things fresh and exciting in 2017. Calvin Harris also decided to shift gears this year with his sophomore album, taking it down a notch from his traditional big-room, radio-ready dance on Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, which was groovy, funky, and hip-hop-inspired. Illenium inspired with his commandingly-intense Awake, which showcased his powerful signature sound on each of the LPs tracks
Among our top album selections of the year are the GRAMMY Award-nominated ODESZA A Moment Apart; Bonobo Migration; and Mura Masa Mura Masa, all of which scored nominations in the Best Dance/Electronic Album category for the 60th annual GRAMMY Awards. The 2018 GRAMMY Awards make their New York City return on Jan. 28 and take place at The World’s Most Famous Arena, The Garden. ODESZA began receiving mainstream recognition with their early single releases from A Moment Apart, including “Line Of Sight” feat. WYNNE & Mansionair, and “Across The Room” feat. Leon Bridges, both of which have been gaining heavy airplay traction. 20-year-old Mura Masa made his self-titled debut this year, earning himself fame, acclaim, and a GRAMMY nod. Last of those among our selections given GRAMMY praise is UK-based, king of melodic-electronica, Bonobo, whose Migration album was standout.
Alex Pall and Drew Taggart, better known as The Chainsmokers, have been making waves since “#SELFIE” first exploded onto the circuit. Now, the guys have dropped one of the most talked about albums of 2017, Memories Do Not Open. The debut LP from The Chainsmokers was highly scrutinized and features collaborations with Coldplay, Florida Georgia Line, Emily Warren, Jhene Aiko, and Louane. Galantis delivered their sophomore LP, The Aviary, through Big Beat Records. Chock full of sing-alongs and instant radio and music festival classics, the guys hit the mark for a second time on the album front.
Legendary Ferry Corsten returned with a Sci-Fi storytelling concept album, Blueprint, while the other half of New World Punx (alongside Corsten), Markus Schulz, released an in-depth album about enlightenment under his Dakota moniker, The Nine Skies, which was released in December to cap out the year. Sander van Doorn presents Purple Haze made his album debut with SPECTRVM following a notable live performance at the ASOT Megastructure during Ultra Music Festival.
The Nocturnal Times Top Electronic/Dance Albums of 2017
Gabriel & Dresden – The Only Road [Anjunabeats]
Kygo – Kids In Love [Ultra Music]
ODESZA – A Moment Apart [Foreign Family Collective]
Moon Boots – First Landing [Anjunadeep]
Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 [Sony Music Entertainment]
The Chainsmokers – Memories Do Not Open [Disruptor Records/Columbia]
Illenium – Awake [Seeking Blue/Kasaya]
Galantis – The Aviary [Big Beat Records]
Deorro – Good Evening [Ultra Records]
Ferry Corsten – Blueprint [Flashover Recordings]
Purple Haze – SPECTRVM [Doorn Records/Spinnin’ Records]
Ruben De Ronde – My Story [Statement! Recordings/Armada Music]
Mura Masa – Mura Masa [Anchor Point Records/Polydor Records]
Bonobo – Migration [Ninja Tune]
Cashmere Cat – 9 [Mad Love/Interscope Records]
Oliver – Full Circle [Pulse Recordings/Interscope Records]
Andrew Rayel – Moments [Armada Music]
Markus Schulz presents Dakota – The Nine Skies [Coldharbour Recordings/Black Hole Recordings]
TroyBoi – Left Is Right [T Dot Music/Sunset Entertainment Group]
REZZ – Mass Manipulation [mau5trap]
In the honorable mention category this year come a different category of electronic releases, including The XX I See You; Depeche Mode Spirit; The M Machine Glare; RAC EGO; and Polo & Pan Caravalle. Additional albums from the year proven to withstand the test of time are trance duo Cosmic Gate Materia Chapter.Two; the return of Way Of West with Tuesday Maybe; Robin Schulz Uncovered; trance legend Paul van Dyk From Then On; Yellow Claw Los Amsterdam; GRAMMY Award-nominated What Not from Sylvan Esso; techno great’s Maceo Plex Solar; cake-throwing and entertaining Steve Aoki presents Kolony; and iconic producer ATB’s neXt.
Some EPs saw the light of day this year, which were substantial in the sense that they virtually could be considered albums. Coming out of retirement for his AVĪCI EP, Tim Bergling (Avicii), returns to the electronic circuit. Another noteworthy EP this year came from Emmit Fenn Prologue.
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