Top 100 Electronic Albums of the 1990s

Top 100 Electronica Albums of the '90s

1. Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman – 1994
2. Orbital - Orbital 2 (‘Brown Album’) – 1993
3. Derrick May – Innovator - 1996
4. Future Sound of London - Lifeforms – 1994
5. Leftfield - Rhythm and Stealth – 1999
6. A Guy Called Gerald – 28 Gun Bad Boy – 1992
7. Fila Brazillia - Luck Be A Weirdo Tonight - 1997
8. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 – 1993
9. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children – 1998
10. Ismistik - Remain – 1994
11. Daft Punk - Homework – 1997
12. The Black Dog - Temple of Transparent Balls - 1993
13. Leftfield - Leftism – 1995
14. Model 500 – Classics – 1993
15. Speedy J - G Spot – 1995
16. The KLF - Chill Out – 1990
17. Underground Resistance – Revolution for Change – 1992
18. The Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust – 1995
19. Move D - Kunststoff - 1995
20. Underworld - Second Toughest in the Infants – 1996
21. LFO - Advance – 1996
22. Global Communication - 76:14 – 1994
23. Carl Craig – More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art – 1997
24. Rockers Hi-Fi - Rockers to Rockers – 1995
25. Eat Static - Implant – 1994
26. Ken Ishii - Innerelements – 1994
27. Amorphous Androgynous - Tales of Ephidrina – 1993
28. The Advent - New Beginnings – 1997
29. Young American Primitive - Young American Primitive – 1993
30. Children of the Bong - Sirius Sounds - 1995
31. A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology – 1995
32. Radioactive Lamb - The Memoirs of Reverend Cowhead and Sheriff Lamb Boy – 1996
33. Ronnie & Clyde - In Glorious Black and Blue – 1997
34. La Synthesis - Matrix Surfer – 1997
35. Spooky - Gargantuan – 1993
36. Various Artists – Flux Trax – 1995
37. Coco Steel & Lovebomb - New World – 1997
38. Photek - Modus Operandi – 1997
39. Jeff Mills – Live at the Liquid Room – Tokyo – 1996
40. The Chemical Brothers - Live at the Social – 1996
41. Orbital - Snivilisation – 1994
42. Fila Brazillia - Old Codes New Chaos – 1994
43. Nu-Era - Beyond Gravity – 1994
44. Underground Resistance - Interstellar Fugitives -1998
45. Plastikman - Musik – 1994
46. Russ Gabriel - Voltage Control - 1995
47. Orbital - In Sides – 1997
48. Moodymann – Silentintroduction - 1997
49. Fila Brazillia - Power Clown – 1998
50. Higher Intelligence Agency - Freefloater - 1995
51. The Orb - Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld - 1991
52. Orlando Voorn - Nightvision - 1996
53. Kirk Degiorgio - Check One – 1998
54. DJ Dan - Loose Caboose – 1996
55. The Chemical Brothers - Dig Your Own Hole – 1997
56. Kruder & Dorfmeister - K&D Sessions – 1999
57. Larry Heard – Sceneries Not Songs, Volume 1 – 1994
58. Spring Heel Jack - 68 Million Shades – 1997
59. The Black Dog - Bytes – 1993
60. Various Artists - Excursions in Ambience – 1993
61. Robert Hood – Nighttime World, Volume 1 – 1995
62. LFO – Frequencies – 1991
63. X-102 – Discovers the Rings of Saturn – 1992
64. Love Inc. - Life’s a Gas – 1996
65. Torch Song - Toward the Unknown Region – 1995
66. Swayzak - Snowboarding in Argentina – 1998
67. Plug - Drum ‘n’ Bass for Papa – 1997
68. Maurizio - Maurizio – 1997
69. As One - In With Their Arps, and Moogs, and Jazz, and Things – 1997
70. Spacetime Continuum - Emit Ecaps – 1996
71. Future Sound of London - Accelerator – 1992
72. Plaid - Not for Threes – 1997
73. B12 - Electro-Soma – 1993
74. 4Hero - Two Pages – 1998
75. Reload - A Collection of Short Stories – 1993
76. Jedi Knights - New School Science – 1996
77. Autechre - Tri Repetae - 1996
78. Depth Charge - Nine Deadly Venoms – 1994
79. Dave Clarke - Archive One – 1996
80. Mouse On Mars - Iaora Tahiti – 1995
81. Baby Mammoth - One…Two…Freak – 1997
82. Single Cell Orchestra - Single Cell Orchestra – 1996
83. Model 500 - Deep Space – 1995
84. Woob - 1194 – 1994
85. Lionrock - An Instinct for Detection – 1997
86. Ed Rush & Optical - Wormhole – 1998
87. Groove Armada - Northern Star – 1998
88. Biosphere - Microgravity – 1991
89. Ian O’Brien - Gigantic Days – 1999
90. Underworld - Dark & Long – 1994
91. Sasha - Northern Exposure 2 – 1998
92. Nightmares On Wax - Carboot Soul - 1999
93. Moby – Everything Is Wrong - 1995
94. Drexciya – The Quest – 1997
95. Faze Action - Moving Cities - 1999
96. The Irresistible Force - It’s Tomorrow Already – 1998
97. Various Artists - The Deepest Shade of Techno – 1994
98. Coldcut & DJ Food - Stoned…Chilled…Groove – 1996
99. Various Artists - Atlantic Jaxx Recordings – 1997
100. Various Artists – Hardkiss: Delusions of Grandeur - 1995

Key Electronica-Influenced Albums of the ’90s:
1. Massive Attack – Blue Lines
2. Bjork – Debut
3. Radiohead – Kid A
4. DJ Shadow – Endtroducing…
5. Massive Attack – Protection
6. Madonna – Ray of Light
7. Portishead – Dummy
8. Primal Scream – Screamadelica
9. Stereo MC’s – Connected
10. Morcheeba – Who Can You Trust?
11. U2 – Achtung Baby
12. U2 – Zooropa
13. Seal – Seal
14. Deee-Lite – World Clique
15. Everything But the Girl – Amplified Heart
16. Big Audio Dynamite II – The Globe
17. David Gray – White Ladder
18. Jamiroquai – Return of the Space Cowboy
19. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
20. The Happy Mondays – Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches

Why the Top 100 Electronica Albums of the 1990s?

The last decade of the 20th century was the creative highpoint of a music revolution: the convergence of computers, electronics and human ingenuity. At the dawn of the Internet, the fusion of machine rhythms and electric melodies freed musicians to coalesce around a predominantly energetic instrumental form. The new tools also liberated sound itself, soundwaves carving shapes and effects never before imagined.

On a stealth level, electronica was essentially X-ray music for a pre-9/11 teenage wasteland — ghost deep music that went to the core. It evaporated lyrical me-isms and mass materialism. It projected listeners into holographic Promised Lands interconnected by spines of time. Around the skeletal interplay human beings transmitted their deepest hopes and dreams. It was at once intellectual and carnal, escapist and clairvoyant.

Above is a list of some of the best albums from that splendid decade with tributes to each one. My basic criteria was that each pick reasonably emphasize electronica’s instrumental dynamics, display a full range of invention, express a deep artistic voice, and weather the test of time. A more detailed explanation of my selection process follows. Chime in with your thoughts and criticisms. The next 100 best albums of the ’90s, as well as lists on the 2000s and 1980s (and earlier) are also in the works.

The thought-process behind the selection of the first 100:

Many important and influential albums are missing from the list above by design. For example, followers of the Berlin dub-techno school will complain of the omission of Basic Channel and Pole. Due to the relatively rarefied nature of these artists (and the disappointing editing of tracks on Basic Channel’s BCD compilation), I have instead focused on the most accessible and representative of these ‘schools’ in this first 100 list. In the above case, I have added Maurizio as the genre stand-in and examine Basic Channel’s output in that entry. In the case of some artists like Kevin Saunderson, Green Velvet, David Morley and Matthew Herbert, their best work is scattered across 12″ singles, post-’90s compilations and albums, and will be considered in later write-ups.

Others might also scream bloody murder at my exclusion of Roni Size and Reprazent’s debut classic New Forms or Massive Attack’s Blue Lines from the top 100. Ditto when it comes to Bjork. My decision in these cases was to focus in the first 100 list on albums that generally eschewed the pop arena and hewed closer to the instrumental electronica paradigm. These albums and many other key releases are considered below the top 100 and elsewhere on this site. However, a few might ask why I’ve also axed Goldie’s Timeless from this list. Unfortunately, despite its importance, it simply has not held up as well over time. When it comes to The Prodigy’s Fat of the Land? Fun but nothing extraordinary.

Compilations and DJ mixes are also sparingly included in the top 100 to help fill in key gaps of the story. DJs also played an essential role in electronic dance culture, quilting together the best underground releases and taking newcomers on unforgettable journeys into sound. Many of electronica’s best compositions also came out as vinyl singles and one-offs. In addition to the DJ mixes, a few compilations were selected to help capture those groundbreaking moments.

In part, this list is meant as an antidote to the many distortions of mainstream music culture that have colored assumptions about popular music for the last 30 years. Yes, Radiohead has been brilliant. Yes, many artists like A Tribe Called Quest, Biggie Smalls, the Beastie Boys and Jay Dilla penned fantastic hip hop gems. But the creative peak of these genres first crested in the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s respectively. The ’90s was arguably techno’s decade, despite the critical aversion and deafness of the press at large. That said, these artists, as leading lights in important genres, are not forgotten in my ongoing analysis of electronica.

As the freshest and most creative music form of the last decade of the 20th century, one could argue that several of the ‘electronica’ albums above were also many of the best albums of the last 20 years, period. I hope those who got the message in the ’90s would agree. I hope naysayers will at least take some stock. And I wish newcomers the same joy of discovery these albums have given me and so many others over the years.

NOTE: Many of the albums above are now rare and difficult to find. Yet they can be tracked down through sites like GEMM.com or Discogs.com. Some are quite expensive but worth the hunt. Many of them are also increasingly available on iTunes and Beatport.com.


33 Comments on “Top 100 Electronic Albums of the 1990s”

  1. KP says:

    Decent list but No Prodigy? Come on…

    • Robert King says:

      yeah I have to agree. To omit “Music For the Jilted Generation” is a bit of an oversight, no?

      • Thomas Kelley says:

        Hi Robert and KP,

        Well, as you know, you’re not alone. A few others have made the same complaint in the comments elsewhere below and I know way more people feel the same out there in the wide world. I’m sure there will be more in the future questioning my judgment over this. In fact, not long ago, someone named David Pemberton told me here I was a “fucking idiot” for not including The Prodigy in my 100 list. I was going to publish that comment tonight but it either got thrown out with spam or I deleted it in a moment of rashness a few months back.

        I shouldn’t have done that if I did. While I found that attitude a tad representative of what doesn’t quite appeal to me about The Prodigy (an “up yours” vibe), I also recognize it is a direct and honest POV. It made me wonder what that passion was about. But your more considerate challenges are what really convinced me to take another look. So…

        First off, let me say that I feel The Prodigy are historically very important. I like their music, though I have to be in the right context. I feel the same about say LFO’s first album (I put their most impactful album “Frequencies” below their more polished second album “Advance” for example). That’s because I have put my own sensibilities generally before historicity, consensus or popularity in an attempt to breathe fresh life into reflections about this music and the era in which it came of age.

        And well, I also have not sought out The Prodigy over the years, though many of their songs have exploded on the dance floor in front of me or on the radio. I love “Firestarter”and “Breathe” for example though my wife hates The Prodigy. My compass has not drawn me to Jilted or Experience. I simply lose interest after a few minutes when it has come to their albums. Even though I own them. Not quite my cup of tea in one sitting.

        But I also know that maybe I just haven’t been in the right state of mind or the right place at the right time. And any article that says “Top 100″ is begging for scrutiny. And I was begging or at least hoping readers would give some of these lesser known albums a listen. Only because I “fucking” love this music like any of you and just want a place for an honest and deep conversation about it.

        Separate from selling units or getting wound up about whether the Grammy’s will ever really respect electronic music, techno, electronica, EDM, whatever — and no, for me, Daft Punk’s disco cop-out was not in any way, at least in my mind, a win in that war — I wanted to give some of the lost gems in the ’90s another hearing or first hearings for those who were not there. In fact, if The Prodigy had gotten that kind of kudos for Experience or Jilted when they came out, I probably wouldn’t even be publishing a list like this, because that would have meant the masses at large would have gotten the message much faster and found a lot of this music listed here much sooner.

        Anyways, what I’m trying to say is, not putting Jilted here or Experience or even Fat of the Land, is indeed an oversight. I agree. But it was somewhat intentional. Mainly, because I don’t think they need the help on some level. They already figured out how to bridge worlds between hip hop and punk and rock and rave and techno that A LOT of people happily crossed.

        And of course that is why they are great and why some people LOVE them. I get it. Look, I don’t work for Vice-Thump, or Mixmag, or Factmag. In part because I don’t want to. They’re even too commercial for me in a way. This enterprise, hatched by myself and my creative partners, is still just a dream. I do write for pubs like The Quietus, Insomniac, Magnetic and LA Weekly. My writing is 100% independent. I’m really just here trying to meet my own expectations and failing most of the time.

        In that conversation, I admit, I have not yet given my full attention to the The Prodigy’s Jilted or Experience. That’s in part because I did not start with their “hardcore” sound when I went to my first parties. That was not what I was gravitating to or what my friends and I were homing in on. We were keying in on a slightly less confrontational wavelength, though no less subversive in my opinion, just still very underground. We were seeking a new way out in the California deserts under the full moon and hidden away in the shadowy downtown warehouses and crumbling buildings of early ’90s Los Angeles, where things moved so fast and so to their own drum that by the time Jilted came, no one I knew in the scene was still paying attention to The Prodigy.

        However, your enthusiasm and reasonableness, and openness, has convinced me to give The Prodigy a real go again. Because obviously I probably missed something. That many consistent WTF’s must mean something. I can’t say Jilted will definitely appear here after I chopper back. But I do understand that The Prodigy do belong in lists of this nature, either because Experience was an authentic blast of rave brio that holds up or that Jilted was a perfect articulation of rave fighting the Man, or that Fat of the Land broke into the charts in America, or just that their vision of breakbeat techno withstands.

        Until I can give it my full attention (day job, book writing, toddler at bay), please do feel free to share your thoughts on what it is you love about Jilted or The Prodigy or memories they still bring to life. Honestly, I’m more interested in that than anything having to do with some “official” list. There are no Ten Commandments here.

        Thank you both for the nudge. And thank you for reading my reply if you got this far.

        Best,
        T.

        • BMD1023 says:

          Seriously man, whatever about Experience and FOTL, one being an acceptable hardcore album and the other kinda pandering to the mainstream of the time. Jilted is not only one of the best electronic albums ever released but one of the most important of any genre ever of that era.

          I understand if you didn’t ‘get it’(Well, actually, I don’t at all, tbh…) But not having it in the top 10 let alone not in a list of 100 is absolutely insane…

      • Thomas Kelley says:

        Hi DR, wow, I am seeing a theme here with Fluke. There is def a passionate Fluke camp chiming in below. You’re the third or fourth vote so far.

        Here’s what I replied to another fan:

        “I love Fluke. “Reeferendum,” “Life Support,” “Groovy Feeling,” “Letters,” “Glidub,” “Slid,” “O.K.,” “Atom Bomb,” “V-Six,” “Squirt (Europicola Mix),” “Zion”… Some immense tracks. Seriously, some of my favorites. Trippy. Dark. Zinging. Inventive.

        The problem for me though is that on every album there are some pretty weak moments in my opinion, usually when the vocals go a bit too rocky snarling pop, bringing images to my mind of macho tattoos and beer (no offense to those things, just not what I want in my techno too much). Other times the vocals really work great, like on “Life Support” and “Atom Bomb.” But some times they fail badly in my opinion. I’ll give the albums another listen though. This list is still evolving to some degree.

        If this were my list of the 100 best electronic artists from the ’90s, they would be in there without question.”

        I’ll recheck out their ’90s albums and see if my thoughts above are off or still where I end up.

        Thanks for chiming in!

    • The KOB says:

      Experience yes, Jilted not really.
      Ignoring the subjective nature of such lists (this one possibly over represents trip hop and b-leauge big beat), the best albums become source material for other artists.
      Experience captured rave* and put the club 12″ into an album. Whereas Jilted was a montage of styles and paid a heavy debt to PWEI Cure for Sanity and their own remix of Jesus Jones’zeros and ones (look it up on YouTube).
      .
      *rave is missing from this list as is trance (both sorts) Alternate? Rising High? Platypus? But I digress into personal choices

  2. Ishmael says:

    Interesting list! Thank you for writing it up, there were things here I haven’t yet gotten to and it’s given me that extra little push. I’m confused about one thing though, which is the fact that you listed “Dark & Long” (1994) on here as well as “dubnobasswithmyheadman” (1994). Why were both included? I thought “Dark & Long” was just a single and not a full album? If you were thinking of the single, which version is it? My understanding is that there are a lot of different single releases on different labels with different track listings.

    My second question is that if you were listing the single, why? I thought the list was just supposed to include albums.

    Thanks for your responses (if you have time to respond)!

    • Thomas Kelley says:

      Hi Ishmael! Thank you for the interest and support, and thank you for noticing the one exception I made in the list. The “Dark & Long” version I listed here (I’ve yet to write the retrospective review/tribute) was a collection of most of the single remixes of “Dark & Long.” I put it here because those remixes, by the band themselves, were and are still some of the greatest techno and electronic music compositions of all time: “Thing In A Book,” “Dark Train,” “Burts,” “Spoon Deep.” A couple of these tracks are complete visions on their own worthy of an album’s grandeur. “Thing In A Book” is over 20 minutes long. So for me, while it was an “E.P,,” it was actually as long or longer than most albums, and the quality of the music overturned any concept of b-sides. Genius was literally shooting out of these guys like sun rays back then. I think that is in part because they were such a frustrated act in the ’80s that by the time they found the right musical scene and language by which to be themselves, along with years of pent up musical experience and energy, they simply exploded. So, that’s why I made the exception. I’m not alone in this, you can see other people’s love and amazement at this collection, E.P., album, miracle, in the comments at the bottom of this Discogs listing here: https://www.discogs.com/Underworld-Dark-Long/release/15659. Check it out and enjoy if you haven’t already.

  3. Dolby says:

    Decent list but no Depeche Mode? Come on…

    • Thomas Kelley says:

      Thanks, Dolby! You’re right, I’m a dunderhead. Funny because “Violator” is one of my favorite albums of all time. Though I would not put it in the main 100 list but more the sublist that is the more pop list. I’ll add them there and someday I will write more about them on this pub. I think I left it out because I was crafting that list more from the perspective of how rave music influenced other genres and pop artists. And definitely that was the case with Depeche Mode too some, though more vice than versa with them, since they are earlier innovators from the ’80s. But yeah, they had The Orb and KLF remix them for “Violator” singles and Francois Kevorkian too. And cool little known fact, their after party in downtown Los Angeles for that tour was very influential in the L.A. rave scene. They had local underground DJ’s like Michael Cook (a British transplant from Manchester) play that party right when acid house was really getting going here in 1990.

  4. oio says:

    Goldie’s Timeless has not held up over time?

    WTF, completely disagree

    • Thomas Kelley says:

      Hi Oio, Yeah, I guess I agree with you on one level. I know it must seem insane. But, I gotta be honest, I just don’t dig “Timeless” for the simple reason that to me it came out at a time when everyone, including THE Drum n’ Bass’ underground hero, was trying to make music for commercial radio on some level when they got to their first album opportunity. And I know, there are still many tracks on the album that kick serious ass. But I guess for me it is that very particular era in British dance music, that I hear ironically on “Timeless” which affected many acts, when the corporate A&R apparatus was speaking a little too directly with dollars and promises of yachts and movie cameos into electronic musicians’ ears and hearts, that pops me out of it. Goldie’s second album sort of proves the point. All that said, your passion makes me want to roll one up and give it another listen. I should probably put my cultural criticism aside in this case. I can see how I could be way off base and being unfair. I need to listen to it without those glasses on. That said, I can only fit so many albums here, doing my best to represent the amazing range of ’90s electronica, and for Drum n’ Bass, it is A Guy Called Gerald that carried the torch for me with the most uncompromising album statements of the genre in the ’90s. Does that mean “Inner City Life” is not one of the best electronic tracks of all time? Hell no. I’m just more into what a few of the other artists did more, at least for now. Having this kind of push and conversation with fellow electronic music fans like you stretches my tastes and ears, and I am curious again to go back to “Timeless,” so thank you for challenging me! Bear with me, please.

  5. CronenMorley says:

    Thanks for the list. Plenty of records I wasn’t familiar with

  6. C-Dizzle says:

    I agree with your comments and analysis of the genre and time, love your enthusiasm, and appreciate your love for the greatest music ever! Love your top five and many of the others listed. Definitely agree with number 1 :)

    You should also consider Covenant’s ‘Sequencer’ & Front Line Assembly’s ‘Tactical Neural Implant’ (which I only discovered very recently and was amazed at what time they were released) and really anything by Fluke, who are in my opinion the greatest techno group ever. ‘Risotto’ was popular, not because it tried to be pop, but that it was so bad-ass nobody could deny its strength (sort of the same thing with The Chemical Brothers’ ‘Dig Your Own Hole’ and Lo-Fidelity Allstars’ ‘How To Operate With A Blown Mind’). I think ‘Six Wheels On My Wagon’ and ‘OTO’ are better albums, though. How about ‘ESCM’ by BT? (Firewater; Remember; Love, Peace & Grease; Nexus; Solar Plexus; Flaming June; Lullaby For Gaia…all classics)I would have placed ‘Orbital 1′ and ‘Middle of Nowhere’ on there somewhere, too.

    Sasha’s ‘Xpander’ EP needs to go on your singles list in the future as well, along with Orbital’s ‘Diversions’.

    Thank you for all your thoughtful work on this list. I will check out the others I am not familiar with. This was a very cool find!

    P.S.
    Underworld was playing at my house! :)

    • Thomas Kelley says:

      C-Dizzle, thanks so much for checking out the list and for being so thoughtful in your comments, encouragement and suggestions. I will def check out Covenant and Front Line Assembly more carefully. I love Fluke too. They would be in my top 100 acts of the ’90s for sure, and high up there. When they were on point, I agree, incredibly powerful, from things like “Referendum” to “Groovy Feeling” to “Zion.” I’m not so big on BT only because it’s a bit too overwrought to my ears? That said, I def have respect. “Nocturnal Transmission” from Ima has always stuck with me. You know, I’ve never listened to Lo-Fi Allstars album. My brother actually toured with them and Crystal Method and Orbital in 1999. There’s a track on there I remember though, maybe “Blisters on my Brain” that has a super trippy hypnotic bass line. I will go back and check out start to finish. I def hear you on more Orbital. Absolutely on singles list, great thought and I will try to do one someday. Thanks so much again for sharing and yes, keep Underworld playing in your house! Sincerely, T.

  7. C-Dizzle says:

    Also, check out/consider Front 242′s ’06:21:03:11 Up Evil’. They came out of the 1980s, but their strongest album came from 1993. They were well ahead of their time in the ’80s and still were by the time the ’90s rolled around. Sweet stuff!

  8. Pedro says:

    Awesome list and very well documented rewiews of the albums: a must. If you are beginning with electronic of the 90′s this is the post you have to read and explore.
    Thank you Thomas.

    • Thomas Kelley says:

      Thanks, Pedro! Super appreciate the support. I’ll likely do another 100 great albums of the ’90s at some point. I feel there was that much amazing electronic music that decade that it’s something I want to do. I’ll also do a 100 best of the ’00s too at some point. Still writing tributes/reviews for this list though so it’ll be a while ;)

  9. Paul says:

    Where is Music for the Jilted Generation, So Far by Alex Reece, Moon Safari… …so many missing, and WTF is Seal doing on there…

    • Thomas Kelley says:

      Ha, well Seal is only there because he was one of the first pop artists to be influenced by rave music of the ’90s. It’s in “key electronica-influenced” albums sub list. I am not saying he is techno, house or whatever. Or that he is top or even good. Though early rave name Adamski produced tracks like “Killer,” which definitely influenced the new soul sound of that era. That said, my wife hates Seal (he once told her to fuck off when she said hello on Hollywood Blvd — the guy has anger issues).

      As for Jilted, definitely reconsidering. This list is not finalized. My hesitation on Prodigy is a long story. But I realize I’m being a bit perhaps particular. I don’t deny they are hugely important. And that they have made a few great albums. I just haven’t sat down with their albums in a long time. They’ve made more impact on me as a hits act. And that, to be honest, makes me see them a bit more as a pop act.

      As for Alex Reece “So Far,” definitely a nice album, chill and jazzy. But not quite in my top 100. I would put other Drum n’ Bass albums before it still. And Air “Moon Safari,” I know how much people love that album. I do love parts of it. But too many times it is just too poppy for me, and this list is really about more abstract and instrumental electronic music, and if albums here have vocals, to me a criteria was that those vocals were coming from the techno experience, as if the machines had literally recoded the lyrics and the singer into a new voice no one had heard before — hence an act like Underworld. Besides, for me Air’s best work is their “Premiers Symptomes” E.P. comp which preceded “Moon Safari” and featured contributions by Etienne De Crecy and Alex Gopher. I guess I wanted a whole album of that quality. I lived in Paris for two years growing up too, so it’s not like I dislike their penchant for French pop airs. I can dig on that. But it still is just not quite part of this list for me. Certainly it belongs on other lists. Just not here.

      I get too the “so many” sentiment. Believe me, if I could fit more here I would. But a 100 is a 100. I plan to do another 100 of the ’90s at some point. As I do that, things may still move around. It’s a lot to consider. It may change for years. But there is no way any single list could contain everything everyone would approve. I’ve never seen a list like that myself at least out of the countless out there. In fact, I’m confident there is plenty here you would axe and I would think you were insane for cutting or ignoring. Especially when it comes to albums you maybe have not heard yet.

      But that’s exactly why I created a list focused on the ’90s because there was so much incredible music at that time that it was almost impossible to catch all of it. I’m still discovering stuff to this day and revising my perspectives on it. Anyhow, please do share more of your thoughts on what is missing in your opinion and thank you for giving a crap enough to sound off here. I have nothing but gratitude, respect and love for that.

      Best,
      T.

  10. Enio says:

    A list without Fluke is not serious.

    • Thomas Kelley says:

      Maybe “serious” is a bit overrated? But in actuality Enio, I love Fluke. “Reeferendum,” “Life Support,” “Groovy Feeling,” “Letters,” “Glidub,” “Slid,” “O.K.,” “Atom Bomb,” “V-Six,” “Squirt (Europicola Mix),” “Zion”… Some immense tracks. Seriously, some of my favorites. Trippy. Dark. Zinging. Inventive.

      The problem for me though is that on every album there are some pretty weak moments in my opinion, usually when the vocals go a bit too rocky snarling pop, bringing images to my mind of macho tattoos and beer (no offense to those things, just not what I want in my techno too much). Other times the vocals really work great, like on “Life Support” and “Atom Bomb.” But some times they fail badly in my opinion. I’ll give the albums another listen though. This list is still evolving to some degree.

      If this were my list of the 100 best electronic artists from the ’90s, they would be in there without question.

  11. tom says:

    Lovely list. I hope you won’t mind my constructive comments.

    Since you have DJ mixes in there, I’m perplexed at the absence of Coldcut’s 70 Minutes of Madness, surely one of the greatest DJ mixes of all time.

    I agree with you about Goldie – Inner City Life is great, and others, but it doesn’t work as an album.

    Also surprised at no Polygon Window? So different to Ambient Works and, to my mind, superior.

    Lovely to see Depth Charge in there, however I think 1999′s Lust is as good, if not better.

    I’m surprised that Fila Brasilia’s Maim that Tune didn’t get in, but in fairness I don’t know the others as well.

    Thank you for inspiring some great reminiscences and opportunity for high nerdery!

  12. neurotic says:

    Laurent Garnier Shoot in the Dark, Scan X Chroma. frequencies by Lfo is to low. Prodigy Music For The Jilted is the voice of whole generation. The list should not inc. Mixes. If do x – mix series deserve to be here a special Dave Clarke E – boogie. No Cristian Vogel? Sven Vath? Also compilation is not good idea to be on the list.

  13. sm says:

    Dust Brothers “Fight Club”. Yeah, it’s a score, but it’s the only “album” they did, and they were massively influential (to artists on this list).

  14. Shawn says:

    Interesting list, makes me want to go back and listen to the ones I don’t know.

    But what about Seefeel’s Quique?
    A gorgeous mix of shoegaze and ambient soundscapes.

  15. Stuart says:

    Model 500 DEEP SPACE
    Robert Leiner VISIONS FROM THE PAST
    Tony Drake TEXTURE
    Red Planet COMET LBH COMPILATION
    Luke Slater’s 7th Plain 4 CORNERED ROOM
    Wild Planet TRANSMISSION
    Max 404 LOVE & MATHEMATICS
    and so many more…

  16. Aftermath says:

    Does anyone know an obscure electronic album from the early 1990′s that track no.1 has a part from the transformers animated movie? God its been bugging me FOREVER. Its when megatron meets unicron and unicron says “Proceed, on your way to oblivion”. That is the first line in the song.


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