We are incredibly fortunate to have so much incredible music at our fingertips. Countless artists are putting out timeless EPs and LPs, so sorting through them can often be difficult. 2022 gave us some of the best electronic music in recent memory, including some stellar albums. Here are 25 albums that the Heard It Here First team absolutely loved from the past year.
Chase & Status – What Came Before
Critically acclaimed UK duo Chase & Status delivered an exceptional LP that rivals their iconic No More Idols LP from 2011. What Came Before sees the duo expand their sonic palette, unleashing a plethora of Garage tunes in addition to both soulful and bass-heavy drum & bass.
EAZYBAKED – INTERTWINED
Florida bass duo EAZYBAKED has been one of the hottest names of the modern underground bass renaissance. Their live sets are notoriously rowdy, so INTERTWINED represents an artistic leap of faith as the LP showed a much more emotional side of the project. The album presents a marked dichotomy between EAZYBAKED’s signature uptempo sound and emotional downtempo beats.
ENiGMA Dubz – Awakening
UK dubstep mastermind ENiGMA Dubz quickly became a household name in 140 circles with Awakening. This record offers sound system-crushing tunes like “Up in the Safe” and masterfully crafted downtempo tunes like “I’m a Ghost.” Awakening is a marvelous display of ENiGMA Dubz’s sound design prowess.
Flume – Palaces
Already one of the biggest electronic acts on the planet, Flume has incredibly lofty expectations placed on him whenever he releases music, and his latest album, Palaces does not fall short. With Palaces, Flume continues exploring the experimental analog side of his sound while proving he can still write mainstage-friendly festival anthems.
Fred Again.. – Actual Life 3
It’s impossible to ignore the hype surrounding the Fred Again.. project. After making a career out of producing for Ed Sheeran, Fred Again.. took the leap into electronic music with nostalgic dancefloor hits with samples from many sources. He samples old YouTube videos, FaceTime conversations, home videos, and more to create a unique feeling of melancholy, hope, and nostalgia in his music. “Actual Life” is a musical reflection of the human experience, and Actual Life 3 is arguably his best yet.
Hudson Mohawke – Cry Sugar
Hudson Mohawke became an internet sensation this year for an alarming relationship quarrel gone viral involving his 2011 tune “Cbat.” His 2022 album Cry Sugar is everything great about electronic music. It’s erratic and often chaotic, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously while displaying masterful songwriting.
IMANU – Unfold
It was hard to miss IMANU‘s meteoric rise this past calendar year. The Dutch producer was a rising name in the drum & bass scene for quite some time, and his album Unfold brought him much-deserved mainstream success. The track honor’s IMANU’s drum & bass roots while exploring other genres such as garage, house, and halftime. Unfold is incredibly emotional while maintaining high energy as IMANU showcases masterful songwriting skills.
Ivy Lab – Infinite Falling Ground
Infinite Falling Ground from Ivy Lab isn’t what you’d typically expect from the UK duo. The LP, accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful visual set, explores the deep recesses of human consciousness. It’s intentionally uncomfortable at times. Many of the vocal samples are heavily distorted to make them seem uncanny or unnatural. Nevertheless, there are moments of respite and introspection. Calling this album a cinematic masterpiece is an understatement.
Keota – No Hands
No Hands from Keota is one of my favorite works on this list. He expresses unbelievable sonic cohesion, pulling influences from world bass, UK glitch hop, halftime, garage, and downtempo. No Hands ranges from emotional beats tugging your heartstrings to sound system-ready dancefloor bangers like “Robert De Niro-Hop.”
Maddy O’Neal – Ricochet
Multi-genre savant Maddy O’Neal debuted her most complete work to date with her album Ricochet. Blending electrofunk, world bass, and trap, O’Neal showcases outstanding production prowess and songwriting skills.
Mickman – Reclaimed
Mickman was absolutely in his bag when making Reclaimed. A lush combination of UK glitch hop, downtempo, drum & bass, Reclaimed possesses some of the most outstanding sound design and composition I’ve heard in recent memory. Mickman displays incredible sonic cohesion, employing more traditional UK glitch hop basslines to other genres. In addition, Mickman paints divine galactic soundscapes allowing listeners’ minds to endlessly wander.
Moore Kismet – UNIVERSE
Experimental bass wunderkind Moore Kismet is a firecracker with beats to back it up. Their blend of colorful topline melodies and devastating basslines is a massive breath of fresh air for American bass music, and UNIVERSE is the standout work from the producer to date. Obviously, at just eighteen years old, there are massive things on the horizon for Moore Kismet.
Noisia – Closer
No entry pained me to write quite like this one. Iconic Dutch drum & bass trio Noisia called it quits in 2022 after one of the most iconic careers in dance music. The group’s final album, Closer is a fitting end, highlighting the iconic Noisia sound and collaborating with other icons such as Skrillex, Black Sun Empire, The Upbeats, IMANU, Phace, Two Fingers, Halogenix, and Mefjus.
Odesza – The Last Goodbye
It wouldn’t be an Odesza album release cycle without a good breakup scare. The iconic duo did it again with their latest album, The Last Goodbye. Their sample selection is incredibly nostalgic, and the LP is rife with singable melodies. If you haven’t listened to the Grammy-nominated album yet, we don’t know what to tell you other then it’s literally right here.
Opiuo – A Shape of Sound
New Zealand-born Opiuo is a masterful songwriter, and his newest LP, A Shape of Sound, is undoubtedly his best work yet. Blending funk, bass, and traditional techno/hardcore rave synths, this LP is an electrofunk fan’s dream as it deviates from the genre’s sample-heavy history.
Potions – New Earth Formula
It was a massive year for Potions. Aside from putting out his best album to date, he also took the festival season by storm as a part of Lab Group, who played and headlined numerous festivals this year. His solo album New Earth Formula is the quintessential Potions release. He paints beautiful soundscapes with soft textures and clean, distinct basslines that give his tracks incredible depth.
Secret Recipe – Time’s Arrow
Wormhole Collective founder Secret Recipe unleashed a weapon of an LP with Time’s Arrow. He blends beautiful topline FX and world sounds with devastating basslines to weave a tale of sonic exploration. He pulls influence from dubstep, UK glitch hop, and the artists on his label to create his unique sound.
Shades – From a Vein
This is the album that inspired me to write this article. Alix Perez and Eprom, by themselves are some of the best bass music producers on the planet. Together as Shades, their potential is limitless. Their latest LP From a Vein is nothing short of phenomenal. The Shades sound is incredibly distinct as the duo employs heavy, dark, modulated synths unlike any other artist. Including halftime, experimental bass, and classic dubstep, From a Vein is the most complete work from the duo in their discography.
Smigonaut – Antithesis
Listening to Antithesis from Smigonaut is like getting a massage for your frontal cortex. The Seattle-born producer paints vivid soundscapes and employs funky, jazzy basslines to craft his unique sound. It’s been an incredible year for neuro bass and UK glitch hop, and Antithesis might be the best of the bunch.
Subp Yao – Flana
Flana from Subp Yao is an aimless walk through a futuristic dystopia. Subp Yao expresses masterful minimalist sonic cohesion while dabbling in drum & bass, garage, and IDM.
Subsquabi – Arise
Jamtronica trio Sunsquabi has outdone itself with its latest LP Arise. “Middle of the Night (Panther)” is one of this writer’s favorite tracks of the year, and their live shows only continue to become more of a jubilant emotional release each time you see them.
Tiedye Ky – Hound
Few artists can craft a unique sound quite like Tiedye Ky. His vocals are nostalgic, like the pop-punk and alternative bands I adored in my adolescence, and his beats are crisp. His album Hound explores the softer side of his music, and he paints a wondrous sonic self-portrait.
Tipper – Marble Hunting
There’s nothing I can say about Tipper that hasn’t been said already. The UK glitch-hop icon has outdone himself with his latest LP Marble Hunting, featuring long-awaited IDs such as “Knee Pads.” We hope it’s not the last collection of works from the legend as his impending hiatus draws near
Visages – From Lead to Gold
I would be remiss to leave off this masterpiece from French four-piece Visages. Its debut From Lead to Gold was one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year and was released a mere days before this article’s publishing. Featuring meticulously crafted devastating 140 and soulful drum & bass, From Lead to Gold is the quintessential 1985 Music release as the label has become a force to be reckoned with.
Yoko – Beneath the High Sea
A late contender for this list, Yoko‘s Beneath the High Sea is a statement debut album from the Denver-based dubstep producer. She plays into the underwater theme very well, as her sound design reflects this theme throughout. This album is a wondrous journey rife with hefty basslines fit for top-notch sound systems.