Last year brought some incredible new music with it, from Gesaffelstein’s dystopian techno to the return of Boards of Canada’s much-missed sonic architecture (catch up with 20 of the year’s best albums here).
Already, though, it looks like 2014 might outpace its predecessor with quality music, purely on the strength of albums yet to come out. We’ve seen some cracking releases hit the shelves so far – from Skrillex’s diverse, apocalyptic debut to the future house vibes of mystery producer Golden Features’ debut EP – but here are nine releases due later this year that we expect will make 2014 one to remember.
UK deep house duo Bondax had a rather massive 2013, dropping two soulful breakthrough singles in Gold and Giving It All, earning comparisons to house superstars Disclosure (although Bondax describe their sound as “far more towards indie and soul than it is towards house and garage”) and multiple posts on the likes of YouTube channel Majestic Casual.
And we’re looking forward to hearing what they do with their debut LP, due out later this year; the duo has said that while it will likely feature many of the crisp, ambient soundscapes they’ve become known for, it’ll also be “really refreshing”. “In a completely non-arrogant way, we feel like the music is relatively original,” they explained to Gigwise’. “When you sit down and listen to this album, hopefully you won’t think it sounds like anything you’ve heard before.”
Techno deity Richie Hawtin revived his minimal (sorry, mnml) alias Plastikman at the end of last year for a live show at New York’s Guggenheim, and was so inspired by the “opportunity to play in [this] beautiful architectural place” that he decided to finally finish a whole new Plastikman album for release this year: an album which had been in “various forms of gestation for over six years.”
It’s set to be the first Plastikman album in over a decade, since 2003’s exercise in minimalism Closer. “I believe there is a void, an emptiness that needs to be filled by Plastikman,” Hawtin said in a recent interview; for our part, we’re keen to see how Hawtin’s minimalist aesthetic has changed in the past 11 years.
Whether he’s trolling festival fans, preparing his ground-breaking “360-degree” live show, spinning techno sets with Richie Hawtin or maintaining his provocative online profile, Deadmau5 is inescapable: and with a brand new album on the horizon, he’s not going anywhere.
Late last year, the mau5 took to Soundcloud to preview an eclectic series of studio productions, serving up everything from driving, Kavinsky-esque electro, to the beautiful, melodic, progressive house he has become famous for. Shortly thereafter, Zimmerman uploaded a series of seven eerie piano tracks – each representing one of the seven deadly sins – before deleting his account completely.
A selection of the tracks are tipped to be part of his 25-track, two-disc opus, which is due for imminent release on Astralwerks. When inthemix asked Zimmerman about the album at Future Music Festival earlier this year, he told us, “It’s done,” adding that we would likely see it sometime in April. Hold on guys – not much longer now.
From his polished back-catalogue of big singles, to the kawaii aesthetic he thoroughly owns and his down-to-earth personality, there’s a lot to love about Porter Robinson. And if you weren’t already itching to hear his debut album Worlds, then the record’s first single Sea of Voices – which the 21-year-old dropped on Soundcloud last month to a thunderous response – should have got you psyched.
The ethereal, blissed-out epic has been likened to the ambient synth-pop of M83, and is part of a conscious decision by Robinson to move away from DJ-friendly music. “The fucking watershed moment in writing Worlds was when I realised that I didn’t have to write songs for DJs,” he explained. “I realised that my need to be honest with myself and with you was greater than my need to be famous or whatever.”
Porter’s drive to be an authentic artist has been well documented and the album is his chance to finally present to the world his taste in “its most distilled form”. When you add it all up, the album is set to be one of the most important electronic releases this year – no pressure, Porter.
‘Yeezus Part 2’ is imminent, and it can’t come soon enough. West confirmed that the new album would be released this year, even postponing his Australian tour plans to finish work on it.
West’s 2013 opus Yeezus (which was much beloved by critics – less so by the general public) achieved its grimy, angry, industrial sound with the help of HudMo, Louis Brodinski and Gesaffelstein, as well as the “reductionist” ear of Rick Rubin, who helped whittle down the three and a half hour-long beast, suggesting to West that he might have two albums on his hands. It looks like ‘Ye took his advice, and we’re glad he did. Here’s hoping for new material by the time West finally tours Australia this September.
Coming off the back of a huge year, with his single Without You taking charts, festival stages and radio stations around the world by storm – not to mention pretty much winning the internet with his infamous alter-ego DJ Hanzel – Dillon Francis is showing no signs of slowing down for the rest of 2014, with his debut LP on the way later this year.
It’s not been without its challenges, though. Originally set to come out in May, the album was pushed back to July, to accommodate label mechanics. But when we caught up with Dillon at Big Day Out earlier this year, he gave us plenty to look forward to. “I have a couple of singles after Get Low and then in July – which is now for sure in July – my album’s gonna come out through Mad Decent,” he told us.
You can spend a few moments with the album’s lead single – the bass-heavy collaboration with man-of-the-hour DJ Snake you might have heard kicking around lately – below. And while we’re secretly hoping the album will feature a guest appearance from DJ Hanzel, if Get Low is anything to go by, expect the LP to eschew sounds of the deep variety in favour of the aggressive, high-energy moombahton and trap beats Dillon has made his name on.
Ask anyone – instrumental hip-hop maestro Steven Ellison, better known as Flying Lotus, is one of modern dance music’s greats. His experimental, cross-genre beats and spine-tingling live show have earned him a devoted army of fans over the years and with a new album on the way, you can expect to see a whole lot more of him as 2014 goes on.
When Ellison spoke to inthemix in March, he was putting the finishing touches on the album before the beginning of his Layer 3 tour of Australia in March. According to the American, the album is going to take a “jazzier” direction than his previous work.
“I’ve been wanting to make a record that’s like a contemporary jazz record,” he told us. “I feel like it’s different from any of the stuff I’ve done so far and I do feel like it’s better than all the stuff I’ve done so far. Without any ego I can say I don’t know of anything else that sounds like this record out right now, so I’m really stoked on that more than anything.” If you’re already a card-carrying member of team FlyLo, you’ll understand why we’re stoked, too.
Knife Party fans, get ready: The duo’s first full length album is set for release later this year. News of the impending record broke in late 2013, when the duo’s Rob Swire took to Twitter to announce that brand new material was on the way from both Knife Party and the duo’s drum’n’bass project Pendulum.
Since the runaway success of their dubstep anthem Internet Friends in 2011, the boys have remained at the forefront of the bass scene. And while their sound is still tailored to the main stage, they took a turn away from dubstep last year with the big room anthem LRAD. The hit single cemented their place at the top of the game, backed up by their inclusion in the top 25 of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs poll. And if their forthcoming album has the kind of impact we think it will, expect them to pull an even higher position in 2014. [Image by Rukes.]
Good news, techno fans: Turbo Recordings mastermind Tiga has a new album on the way. In December last year, the Canadian told Thump that he was “putting the finishing touches on the LP,” and chances are it’s not too far off.
If you’re part of cult de Tiga, you’ve probably been hanging out for this one for a while – it’s his first full length album since releasing the inimitable Ciao LP in 2008. And while he’s seen success since with singles like Plush, for Tiga, it’s all about the album. “An album takes a lot of time and commitment,” he told Thump last year, “you really put yourself out there. It’s such a singles driven world now but I just love records. I can’t really escape that desire. For me an album feels more real, even if that’s just fairy tale real.”
The forthcoming LP has seen him collaborate with electronic avant-pop producer Matthew Dear, who goes as Audion behind the decks. In February, the pair dropped their new collaboration Fever, which is now the second single to be released from the LP, after the mighty Let’s Go Dancing arrived mid-last year. We’re expecting more forward-thinking, dancefloor-centric fare, and it can’t come quickly enough.
[Article photo by Dan Boud.]