Dancing Astronaut’s most anticipated albums of 2014
Dancing Astronaut's most anticipated albums of 2014
The elusive artist album has shifted from being limited to main stream artists, genres, and labels to a trending effort for electronic artists. Last year’s releases set the bar high for a dance producer curating a full-length release, with Daft Punk trailblazing Random Access Memories all the way to the Grammys, Disclosure ascending from obscurity into pop culture, and Avicii changing the perception of EDM stars’ capabilities. Artists such as Kaskade, Mat Zo, and Major Lazer followed suit in paving unique paths in 2013 — but that still only scratches the surfaces in crediting major players of the studio.
This year is shaping up to support electronic artists’ move into full-length material — with producers of headliner status to those of niche following prepping such work. Some have set release dates, others just an official announcement away from becoming a reality. Some are completed and titled, others have yet to be mastered. In no particular order, here are Dancing Astronaut‘s most anticipated albums for the remainder of 2014.
Pryda - TBD
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Eric Prydz’s Pryda alias — one that has been perhaps the most revered side project in dance music for the past decade. The first recognition of the milestone from Prydz came as a teaser of sorts. “10 years of Pryda,” he posted on Facebook, “I feel an album coming on.” Hardly cryptic, it’s the followup to the self-titled Pryda album of 2012 that is likely en route.
Dirty South - TBD
Dirty South’s debut artist album saw the producer and cherished remixer moving away from his consistent flow of releasing singles and putting together a cohesive piece of work. Speed Of Life was thematic (to say the least), and even cinematic — less a collection of dance records and more an overall musical score. This year, he plans to release his sophomore album with not only a similar approach, but an evolved one.
Dillon Francis - Money Sucks, Friends Rule
The buzz of a potential album from Dillon Francis goes as far back as its myth takes it, but he’s recently spoken up with a stronger sense of confirmation, revealing he aims for a July release. Collaborators will include everyone from dance music’s youngest superstar Martin Garrix to Chicago’s ever-so-speedy rapper Twista. “I have 18 songs right now, and I have to bring it down to twelve,” he says, “the other six will be on the re-release.”
Avicii - TBD
The tale of True hardly needs any introduction or revisiting. You didn’t even have to attend a music festival to hear “Wake Me Up,” you simply had to not be living beneath a rock. Avicii’s debut album has become one of the most applauded efforts in electronic production since its release, and has since seen a complete remix album tailored for stage compatibility. The dance icon is now back to work on album number two after recovering from health issues that halted his Miami Music Week domination — and all it took was a tweet to kick off the anticipation for what should be one hell of a follow-up campaign.
Paul Oakenfold - Trance Mission
So Pop Killer won’t be the next full-length effort to come from Paul Oakenfold, although fans have been waiting for that project for quite some time. Instead, those fans will be treated to something that can’t be found anywhere else. Revisiting classic trance records, some which Paul himself helped break, the long-time artist is primed with a cover album which has him reworking twelve trance masterpieces. Trance Mission drops June 20th and looks to satisfy a fan base which begs for the sort of project Oakenfold has undertaken.
Deadmau5 - TBD
Deadmau5’s next album is complete. It has been “ready to fucking go” for some time. As the release is being dragged out, Joel promises the 25-track effort will be worth the wait as he calls it “the first album I’ve ever done that I would even call an album.” He notably discussed the album with Eric Prydz is the casual coffee run setting, where he says the start of Astralwerks release will “trickle out” and may accompany his participation in Gumball Rally (early June).
Afrojack - Forget The World
It’s been a long time in the making, initially set for a tentative September 2013 release, but Afrojack’s debut album will finally see the light of day this month. Collaborators include everyone from Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa to Sting, from established hit-maker Matthew Koma to up-and-coming vocalists like Wrabel. “The Spark” and “Ten Feet Tall” set both a pop-savvy and anthemic precedence for Forget The World, but the album in full offers tastes that stick true to the signature Afrojack sound while still differentiating from start to finish. May 19th is right around the corner.
Hardwell - TBD
It took only moments after being awarded the honor of the world’s number one DJ for Hardwell to reveal what he’d take on next. It would be his artist album. The first from an artist who puts his peers first with his Revealed imprint but stuns on the rare occasion of original production. Making the sentiment clear that he’s tired of copy cat producers recreating the current Beatport hits, Hardwell pledges a sound that is still modern electronic music, just something that no one else is producing at the moment.
Duke Dumont - TBD
Duke Dumont scored a Grammy this year, and it likely won’t be his last. Not long after, the “Need U” producer signed a multi-album deal with illustrious dance label Astralwerks. At the time of the signing this winter, Duke affirmed the album was half-way complete: “I don’t want to push my luck, but maybe 60%,” he told Billboard. More recently, at Coachella, Dumont updated the album’s status as to be completed in the following months, that he was in the stage of working with vocalists (which he had earlier reported as the 80% complete mark).
Madeon - TBD
Madeon’s stellar track record of singles had the dance world up in arms over what could manifest when the young producer would be ready to deliver his first album, but expectations soared and became more of a mystery when his production for Lady Gaga’s Artpop proved more sides to his style. “I want to do as many genres as I can,” he says, “It’s a nice toe in the water to see what the other side of the world beyond electronic music is like, ’cause ultimately I just want to do an album that people listen to at home and enjoy, not just in the club.” Back in November Madeon said the process of dropping his debut album will extend through a “good chunk of next year,” and that time could now come at any moment.
Guy Gerber & Diddy - 11:11
The unexpected collaboration began when Diddy and Guy Gerber met at Coachella a couple of years back, leading to Gerber receiving a surprising phone call with the hip-hop mogul on the line: “I’m a fan… come to New York, let’s make some music together.” So it began, and now two years later this tag-team took to Miami Music Week to announce their upcoming album, 11:11. The underground dance album, as Diddy calls it, “ain’t for everybody,” but that it’d appeal to “demented, after hours minds.”
Tiesto - A Town Called Paradise
The last time Tiesto released his own studio album it had been Kalaeidoscope. That was five years ago, and it was a stride away from his trance roots that reflected the dance audience’s shift in appreciation. The margin for change will be even greater this time around, as all previous artist albums are in the past and Tiesto is acclimating to the musical climate of 2014. Early indicators point to Tijs tapping into a place much broader than that of his peers, as lead single “Red Lights” had the pop world on alert and the more recent “Wasted” is to be setting a benchmark for the intersection of electronic music and pop culture. A Town Called Paradise will be released this June, as the album Tiesto says he’s always wanted to create.
Porter Robinson - Worlds
If “Sea of Voices” is any indicator of Porter Robinson’s direction for his upcoming album, his plan of attack may just be to excel without any definitive direction at all. The first single to surface is a creative piece of music, something out of film score rather than off a dance EP. Entitled Worlds, Porter’s debut could shape up to be his own magnum opus, setting him literally worlds apart from the current flock of full-length electronic albums.
Steve Angello - Wild Youth
Wild Youth is one of dance music’s most storied albums that has yet to be released. At the hands of Steve Angello, there’s little to be confirmed about what has manifested, but the term “expect the unexpected” fits the project perfectly. Steve’s been hard at work in the studio for well over a year, treating his next artist album as no dance producer has yet. The list of artists involved in the project is long, and Steve has called them his “dream collaborators.” Wild Youth could mean just about anything at this point, but if one thing is for certain it’s that Angello’s artistic vision has been pushing him in previously unexplored territory.