Every year the task of collecting a fair selection of Producers of the Year becomes more and more difficult: there are many more talented electronic engineers than us, and their number is growing every day.
But we did our best. While this year's list represents the diversity of talent that represents today's world of electronic music, it is a reminder that electronic sounds exist in popular pop music. 2022
This year, electronic artists continue to influence the wider musical landscape, with producers, synthologists and avant-garde artists relentlessly moving beyond pop music in search of sonic experimentation. Without further ado, let's announce who you named the best electronic music artist of 2022.
1. Fred again
If you haven't seen this year's winner Fred on your scale at least a hundred times since January, we ask you to ask what rock you've been living under. With the coming 2022, this machine manufacturer completely dominates the conversation.
And for good reason: Fred's fresh, sample-driven approach to dance music has earned him a legion of fans this year, fueling unprecedented social media hype for the artist with the Boiler Room viral set, a sold-out international tour and collaborations with Sweden's House Mafia.Four. Tate and Skrillex are releasing the third installment of the Real Life trilogy of albums.
Many might think he came out of nowhere, but the truth is that Fred has been working behind the scenes with some of the most famous pop stars of the last five years. Along with Fred's mentor and best friend Brian Eno, his impressive stellar roster of collaborators includes Stormzy, BTS, Ed Sheeran, Halsey, Eminem, Hedy One, The XX, Rita Ora and George Ezra.
At this rate, there is no limit to Fred and we have no doubt that he will be on this list again...
2. Caitlin Aurelia Smith
In second place this year we have one of the hottest names in synths, Caitlin Aurelia Smith. This Californian avant-garde synthesizer, delving into its puppy structure and expressive potential, released its ninth (!) album this year.
Speaking to Music Radar earlier this year, Caitlyn told us about the amazing relationship she has with her favorite instrument: "I've been working with puppy instruments for so long that it's easy for me to work in their language... this is a continuation in my opinion ."
And just as it sounds, Caitlin Cormorant channels her voice into an overhead channel, a psychedelic sonic hybrid of woman and machine that speaks to her professional intelligence behind the dial.
Bonobo Organic Electronics Cleaner has quietly become one of the world's most popular manufacturers in the two decades since its launch. Mixing live instruments with samples, synths and vibes, it's hard not to fall in love with the music's remarkable versatility that has made it a favorite of festival goers, radio DJs and Grammy judges.
Earlier this year, Bonobo told Music Radar that he was exploring collaborations with Camille Woods, Josie, Khadija Bonet and Jordan Reki on his seminal, award-winning seventh album. I'm doing it. Deep diving into YouTube and watching people who don't release music but do inspiring work with mods. They helped me discover sonic possibilities that I didn't know existed."
4. Oneohtrix indicates never
Possibly the only artist not to have completed a single single this year, Daniel Lopatin - producer better known as OneOtrix Point Never - receives a pass for his work on the career-defining synth-pop opus The Weeknd. , Don FM.
Lopatin, who serves as the album's executive producer, brings his quirky retro sound to nearly every track of this chart-topping release, which includes 2018 singles released in 2016. 2022 proves that the old-fashioned distinction between popular and experimental is fading faster than ever. .
After the 2020/2021 lockdown forced British producer Tourist out of the studio, he focused on his approach. “Before the pandemic, I bought 10 artists I wanted to work with, bought a good studio, recorded everything, everything would be analog, I would go. I used one or the other to use beautiful synths - and they had nothing," the producer told us earlier this year. “It was really liberating. I thought, "Well, if I can't do it, work with what I have."
His record is one of the best releases of 2022, revealing big themes and big emotions with a simple laptop, OP-1, phone and audio interface. We want to see it.
6. Competing consoles
London-based musician and producer Ryan Lee West, also known as Rival Consoles, creates fast-paced electronic music shrouded in atmosphere, atmosphere and mystery. With his latest release, The Amazing Now, the producer has perfected this formula, using a variety of analog synths, instruments and effects to create the best album of his career.
We caught up with West late last year and he shed some light on his creative process by explaining his preference for analog gear. "There is no analog synthesizer that makes software like Massive, it's just an old digital synthesizer," he said. “The problem is that there is so much new software and so many variables that you don't know what to do or how to manage them.
“The limitations of analogue always appeal to composers because you can think more about the composition and not be constantly overwhelmed with ideas. Digital is very powerful and you have to be very smart and thoughtful to handle it.”
7. Take notes
Jungle and DNB are back this year and few producers can sustain this resurgence. The Near Archive is one of them, and 2022 has definitely been an important year.
Earlier this year, Nia launched the MOBO Awards to introduce an awards category for electronic musicians. Earlier this month, they celebrated and won their first MOBO award for Best Electronic/Dance Artist. His success was even more impressive when, a month later, he was named BBC Introduces Artist of the Year, becoming the first electronic musician to win the award.
The Bradford-born producer hit the ground running in March with Forbidden Feelings, a fast-paced six-track album that transports his ancestral jungle influences into a snazzy bedroom inspired by Amin's breaks. His latest single "Tell Me About..." takes this formula even further, using the genre as a vehicle for writing raw, tender, candid songs.
8. Two shells
Anonymous producer, but nothing turns people on like an anonymous duet? This is a difficult recipe. The mysterious couple behind Two Shells has yet to reveal their true identities, but there are a few things we can be sure of.
Their genre sound combines heavy bass-heavy techno with post-dubstep beats, fizzy synths straight out of a hyperpop textbook and smooth vocals. Following the release of "Home" earlier this year, which served as a verbal mission statement, their Icon EP will take us into the duo's strange universe.
We're also pretty sure they sent goat horns and clown wigs for mixing and DJing at the Boiler Room earlier this year. Spins to the highest degree.
9. Kelly Lee Owens
With the release of her debut EP this year in 2016, Welsh producer Kelly Lee Owens has quickly become one of the biggest names in electronic music. He has worked with Björk, John Cale and St. Despite his collaborations with Vincent, his solo work shines, mixing brutal electronic textures and drum beats with soaring vocals and haunting speech.
Earlier this year, we caught up with Owens to talk more about the creative process of his 2022 LP.8. "He spends a lot of time in the studio discovering variety and destruction," he said. “I think it can be called humanity. Pushing things forward, pulling back, turning up the volume, trying to get the listener interested."
“If the music doesn’t go anywhere, people will disappear. Well, I know what this song does, I don't need to listen to it anymore. Analog makes things interesting. Revolt against stability.
Bristol-born London-based producer Otic creates creative, intelligent club music that echoes jungle, dub and bass through the lens of British techno. This year, he doubled down on the momentum of 2022 with four of the year's best EPs.
With previous releases based on Man Man Bass - Martin 3024, Shall Blur and Graduate Records - Otic has made a name for itself this year. Solar Body, the label behind Otik's work, "attempts to connect the dots between deep ethereal vibes and high octane jungle, footwork, dark low garage, ambient techno moments and more."