Best 90s electronic music duo

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my take:

Air: they built their career on a mountain of bullshit, then released one stellar album (Talkie Walkie)
Autechre: I never really cared about these guys
B12: see Autechre
Basement Jaxx: one of my absolute favorite acts up until Scars
Boards of Canada: Music Has A Right To Children is amazing but I feel like they are a direct influence on The Weeknd
The Chemical Brothers: one dip of quality surrounded by some of the greatest dance music ever
The Crystal Method: okay lol, seriously? I mean, I love "Keep Hope Alive" as much as the next person but come on
Daft Punk: ultimately, they never topped Homework
The Future Sound of London: I admire these guys more than I actually like them, if that makes sense; "Paupau New Guinea" is all-time tho
Global Communication: see Autechre and B12
The Grid: okay now you're just fucking with us
Leftfield: OVERRATED BULLSHIT
Matmos: I am embarrassingly unfamiliar with their music
Orbital: hands down, one of the greatest musical acts of the past 25 years
Plaid: see Autechre, B12, Global Communication
Röyksopp: they're pleasant enough but ultimately... eh
Two Lone Swordsmen: I know them by name rather than by music

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:38 (five years ago) Permalink

okay now you're just fucking with us

yeah but you never know when someone's gonna go "i can't believe you left [act you've barely heard anything by] off this poll, they changed my life!"

God arrives for the apocalypse, having been traveling at the speed of (ledge), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:42 (five years ago) Permalink

I thought you would like The Grid, Dan!

Tuomas, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:43 (five years ago) Permalink

How can you not love this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f0kXNdxjBk

Tuomas, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:46 (five years ago) Permalink

Crystal Method in their prime was a total budget Chems ripoff but everyone who loves the Chems' big beat period should listen to CM's "Keep Hope Alive" at least once:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFqmz5NS1bM

"Busy Child" is pretty bad-ass too; actually their first album would have made an amazing EP

xp: I don't dislike The Grid but compared to EVERYONE else on this list, including groups I dislike/hate like Air and Leftfield, they are non-entities

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:47 (five years ago) Permalink

(also everyone knows that The Grid was all about "Swamp Thing")

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:48 (five years ago) Permalink

Autechre has the most interesting catalog of the whole list, BoC is the most accessible (for good reason), Plaid is skewwy for me: I get no real vibe from them, as they seem largely part of the movement rather than innovators themselves. They just can't seem to decide whether to be melodic like BoC or as boundary pushing as Autechre, so a lot of their songs always seem to start off with that jittering, goose-stepping IDM kinda thing before transitioning into melody. They're very stiff in concert, with even head nods minimal at best.

Death In Vegas also bears notable mention, ignoring their reggae remixes and Oasis collabs. "Rekkit" & "Girls" are masterpieces.

kelpolaris, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:49 (five years ago) Permalink

Oh come on, Air never did anything as trippy as this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gocee0RWvho

Tuomas, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:49 (five years ago) Permalink

The Grid never did anything as beautiful as this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcUrEn7xmNE&ob=av3n

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:50 (five years ago) Permalink

(also everyone knows that The Grid was all about "Swamp Thing")

They'd already released two albums before Swamp Thing; I genuinely think you might enjoy some of the stuff on those albums, knowing your taste.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:51 (five years ago) Permalink

lots of good choices here but if I were to rank the best three albums any of these guys have made both In Sides and Snivilisation would be on it so I guess you know where I'm voting

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:53 (five years ago) Permalink

though I would have voted Denki Groove if they were on the poll!! they've got the other one in the top three

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:54 (five years ago) Permalink

B12 were about 1,000,000,000,000 times better than Autechre

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:56 (five years ago) Permalink

seems unlikely but i will check them out when i figure out how to stop youtube giving me 100 videos about vitamin b12 supplements.

God arrives for the apocalypse, having been traveling at the speed of (ledge), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:57 (five years ago) Permalink

It is sort of funny how "out there" we all thought BoC and Autechre were, and you listen to it now and it sounds really basic (which is no bad thing in itself)

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:58 (five years ago) Permalink

Kelpolaris if you think BoC are "more accessible" than Orbital, then you mad doggy.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:59 (five years ago) Permalink

wait, who thought BoC was "out there"? their entire steeze was immaculately crafted nostalgia bombs tied to awesome beats

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 14:59 (five years ago) Permalink

Come on, nobody in Air ever made an Acid House album with Genesis P Orridge before either of them had ever heard any real Acid House, based solely on second hand descriptions thereof. How cool is that?

Popcorn Supergay Receiver (Masonic Boom), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

I never thought BoC were out there - like I said above, their sound felt pretty basic IDM to me when MHtRC came out, which is why I never understood what all the fuss was about. As for Autechre, they proved being "out there" wasn't necessarily a good thing; I still find their more abstract 90s stuff terribly dull.

Tuomas, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

(x-post to Tracer)

Tuomas, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:00 (five years ago) Permalink

that's still out there. there's one BoC track that pretty much uniformly freaks everyone out - "The Color of the Fire" I think it is.

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:02 (five years ago) Permalink

wait, that track freaks people out???????? that track is warm and inviting!

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:03 (five years ago) Permalink

reading other people's reactions to Boards of Canada comes across to me like meeting a room full of people talking about how terrifying and sinister they find "Babe"

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:07 (five years ago) Permalink

The one with the creepy girl going "I... looooove... you" with the sinister warbly synth bass?

tanuki, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:08 (five years ago) Permalink

Best creepy electronic music duo of the 90s = Coil

Valéry Giscard d'Staind (NickB), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:09 (five years ago) Permalink

The one with the creepy girl going "I... looooove... you" with the sinister warbly synth bass?

I honestly do not think that child sounds creepy, nor does the bass sound sinister. The whole thing reads to me like an enormous warm blanket of sound.

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:14 (five years ago) Permalink

no that's definitely the point where most people are like "okay, you should put something else on now"

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:17 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeah, BoC definitely have creepy vibes, though they're most prevalent on Geogaddi.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:20 (five years ago) Permalink

little louie vega and kenny dope gonzales

the late great, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:21 (five years ago) Permalink

^

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:22 (five years ago) Permalink

also, i should learn not to say "we" when i mean "me"

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:22 (five years ago) Permalink

People think that BoC sounds creepy when, like, Main records exist?

Popcorn Supergay Receiver (Masonic Boom), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:24 (five years ago) Permalink

either way I always feel like BoC's music creeps me out like 20% as much as they want it to, "Color of the Fire" excepted. which is ultimately why I feel they're massively overrated.

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:25 (five years ago) Permalink

"Best creepy electronic music duo of the 90s = Coil"

sisilafami, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:33 (five years ago) Permalink

I guess coming into this stuff from the industrial area, where yeah Coil but also Laibach, Skinny Puppy, TKK, Severed Heads, SPK, Pankow, Tear Garden, KMFDM, etc etc etc kind of puts me in a different headspace when approaching BoC than most others but I can count on one hand the number of tracks I've heard from them from MHARTC on that I would consider "creepy" (I don't really remember the pre-MHARTC material; I've heard it like once or twice).

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 15:59 (five years ago) Permalink

how about early drexciya - gerald "dopplereffekt" donald and james marcel stinson

the late great, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 16:03 (five years ago) Permalink

in that spirt, what i find odd about this list is why it sort of seems predisposed to the album-selling, indie-friendly acts like chemical bros, basement jaxx etc. but with two/three more serious duos thrown in.

ultimately aren't there about a zillion 90s dance duos?

I'm going to allow this! (LocalGarda), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 16:20 (five years ago) Permalink

xxp - well BoC is more popular than all those acts, it's kinda like how Radiohead gets insane credit for being "experimental", when they're really just a kinda experimental act that happened to get very famous

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 16:28 (five years ago) Permalink

it is debatable as to whether BoC is "more popular" than Skinny Puppy or KMFDM; it's way more accurate to say they have different audiences

THIS TRADE SERVES ZERO FOOTBALL PURPOSE (DJP), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 16:29 (five years ago) Permalink

Orbital out of these.

Röyksopp used to be part of Alania and Those Norwegians in the 90s, and weren't really Röyksopp until the 00s.

The GeirBot (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 16:38 (five years ago) Permalink

in that spirt, what i find odd about this list is why it sort of seems predisposed to the album-selling, indie-friendly acts like chemical bros, basement jaxx etc. but with two/three more serious duos thrown in.

i agree, <3 ledge and don't want to shit on this poll but ... maybe this should be called like "best electronic duo that had a video on mtv"

the late great, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 17:17 (five years ago) Permalink

n/h

the late great, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 17:23 (five years ago) Permalink

Kelpolaris if you think BoC are "more accessible" than Orbital, then you mad doggy.

― Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, April 3, 2012 8:59 AM (2 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I sort of regret that post as I was typing out, and trying to find, my thoughts and didn't have anything really of substance to say - save for that I typed more than a couple lines and clicking "submit" is so damn easy.

But yeah, as a casual listener these days BoC just demands so much less attention - especially MHTRTC. it's very "chill-out" whereas orbital I feel takes the infrastructure of accessibility and goes to length of convoluting it, which is sometimes disruptive. BoC songs are much more singular in their songs, thematically - each one has it's definitive vibe, whereas Orbital often comes across to me as seeking for, if not variety, a sort of desire to innovate within the confines of the songs themselves.

but i know what you mean - "little fluffy clouds" i bet has outplayed any BoC songs in a lounge/club by ratio of 2827309487:4, with BoC only being really out in the public eye with a soundtrack behind Spaced (Simon Pegg's v. good mid 90s comedy tv) and some episodes of Top Gun, or Top Ride, or whatever the fuck that car show is I'm not familiar with the name of.

I also derive this from fact that a co-worker of mine, in an old after-class job I had assembling iPad accessories, had - apparently - a juggalo friend who deemed BoC "joint music". I thought this was bullshit, thinking privately that the guy probably just liked RoyGBiv and the video for Dayvan Cowboy but turned out I ended up meeting the guy and he was a full-fucking-fledged fan, with the juggalo thing only preceding him in high-school days. yes, this is my testimony.

kelpolaris, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 17:42 (five years ago) Permalink

Orbital's Brown Album, and in particular, the "Lush 3-1/3-2/Impact/Remind" suite, singlehandedly won this indierock kid to the EDM dark side. I spent years scouring psytrance for more "Remind" like thrills. Their first 4 albums are all polished gleaming architecture.

I still have time for Autechre, Boards of Canada, Black Dog/Plaid, Reload/Jedi Knights/Global Communication, but Orbital is where it all started for me.

Oh, Wonky streaming on NME

Sanpaku, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 17:44 (five years ago) Permalink

"little fluffy clouds" is The Orb, not Orbital

Estimate the percent chance that a whale has ever been to the moon? (frogbs), Tuesday, 3 April 2012 17:49 (five years ago) Permalink

fuck.

kelpolaris, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 17:49 (five years ago) Permalink

Tempted to start an "indie/guitar kids - where did electronic music start for you?" to see if Orbital or Chemical Brothers really was the gateway drug ppl claim.

I mean I'd say it was New Order -> 808 State for me after Technique. But that leaves out a lot of the electronic-goth-stomp stuff that I'd happily imbibe in the late 80s. But it's also that thing I've said before where I really didn't feel like there was a polarisation of electronic vs guitar until the mid 90s and, not having "got" IDM in the late 90s, I found myself on the wrong side of the divide when it opened up. For me it's a much more shifting thing than "guitar kids discovered indie friendly dance." I recognise there did become a polarisation but with hindsight it looks imposed rather than organic.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 18:21 (five years ago) Permalink

We've been through this before, also the point at which Select Magazine stopped covering St Etienne, Bill Drummond and Aphex Twin to concentrate exclusively on Blur and BritPop, I was too naive to notice the shift moving away but there was definitely a point where it had gone.

White Chocolate Cheesecake, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 18:33 (five years ago) Permalink

what about when j spaceman big upped photek in nme

the late great, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 18:33 (five years ago) Permalink


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