Top Ten Electronic/alternative Albums

Based not only on musical tastes but in the quality they were recorded in. I listen to some jazz and blues, and alot of classic rock but I feel this genre of music, both Alternative and Electronic music is often overlooked.
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'alternative' electronic music. I guess I don't know if you are asking for one category or two. Since you did not give any examples I'll just take a stab at it assuming it is one category, though I don't know if I can come up with ten right off hand.

Fatboy Slim, Better Living Through Chemistry
Propellarheads, Decksanddrumsandrockandroll
The Crystal Method, Keep Hope Alive
The Crystal Method, Vegas
The Chemical Brothers, Dig Your Own Hole
The Art of Noise, In No Sense, Nonsense!
The Art of Noise, Into Battle with The Art of Noise
Many of Ambient Music Series from Brian Eno - my favorite is probably "Discreet Music"
Laurie Anderson...too many to list here...Been enjoying "Bright Red" lately. "Big Science" and "Mr. Heartbreak" are classics!
Moby, "Play"

That's actually a few more than ten. Still not sure about your category though. Perhaps you should make it more clear, or give your own examples.

Crystal Method : Tweekend Deep Forest : Music Detected Kraftwerk : Tour de France Dirty Vegas : 1
Not sure if they fall within your requested category, but Massive Attack has put out some interesting material.
Some Electronic and Alternative classics, trying to stay away from the uber-obvious:


Sonic Youth "Daydream Nation" - a prototypical indie album

My Bloody Valentine "Isn't Anything" and "Loveless" - texture guitar with androgynous vocals. Yielded the term "shoegazing"

The Cure "Head in the Door"

The Makeup "Sound Verite" - I am always at a loss of words for this band, but the bassist is the best looking woman alive.

Ministry "Psalm 69" - although I am hesitant laying this heaviness on audiophiles.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Psychocandy" - MBV precursor.

Jane's Addiction "Nothing Shocking" - Chili Peppers meets Metallica


Lords of Acid "Lust"

Aphex Twin Selected "Ambient Works 85-92"
After I picked the good ones (hehe) my friend threw out these "alternative" albums. She doesn't do electronic, and I barely do.

Yo La Tengo- "I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One"
Interpol - "Turn on the Bright Lights"
Fugazi - "Repeater"
American Music Club - "United Kingdom"
Unrest- "Cath Carroll"
Beastie Boys- "Paul's Boutique"
Wheat - "Hope and Adams"
Wilco - "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
Bright Eyes - "Fevers & Mirrors"
Built to Spill - "Ancient Melodies of the Future"
Elliot Smith - "Figure 8"
The idea of the thread was to get some ideas on good alt-rock and Electronic music. I don't think every audiophile listens to jazz, blues and classical.

It's very interesting seeing the early responses.

Jane's Addiction "Nothing Shocking"
Fatboy Slim, "Better Living Through Chemistry"

Are two in my top ten. I really haven't given it much thought myself I just kind of blurted out this post in hoping I could find some new music. I'll be checking out Crystal Method now for sure.

I also very much like the following

Massive Attack "Mezzanine"
Massive Attack "100th Window"
Nirvana "Unplugged"
Hole "Live through This"
Sublime "Sublime"
Radiohead "Bends"
RadioHead "Ok computer"

The majority of the stuff listed was well recorded. Simaudio even uses a track from the "Live Through This" album as reference material.
Air,,Crystal Method,,Stereolab,
These will all be fun if you`re into electronic sounds.

Shpongle--"Tales of the inexpressible"
William Orbit--"Strange cargo 3"
KoxBox--"Dragon Tales"
Yellow--"pocket universe"
Frederic Galliano Electronic Sextet--"Live Infinis"
Project 23
Natural Selection--"compiled by Protoculture"

By its nature a lot of electronic music is recorded with compression.None the less,a lot of enjoyment can be had in this wide genre`.
Please note that some of the above can be hard to locate.Let me know if you need help.
Mine are:

Hallucinogen - Twisted (like Vinush)
Air - Moon Safari
Air - 10,000 Hz
Air - Premiers Symptomes
Kruder & Dorfmeister - Sessions
Waldeck - Night Garden Reflowered
Yello - You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (like ohlala)
Global Underground - John Digweed Sydney
Orbital - Snivelization

Kind of an eclectic mix but they are all great IMO. I never get tired listening to any of these. I also agree with several of Jax2's picks.
Some great titles here, all the ones I would mention have already been listed except:
The Flaming Lips, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots"
Ah, well it seems like I'm getting the jist of it now. I probably wouldn't have initially thought about bands like Janes Addiction, Wilco and Radiohead and Nirvana in the category, all of which I enjoy.

I might add some others, that I may have considered more main stream, to my list and have to juggle to find ten then. Some are echos of what's already been suggested.

Portishead - all releases are great
Tricky - Maxinquaye
Radiohead - The Bends, OK Computer
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (just forgot that initially, but definitely a third vote for that one - Vol. 2 is great as well)

Good thread.

The New Pornographers- "Electric Version"
Nada Surf- "Let Go"
Ryan Adams- "Rock 'N Roll"
Robyn Hitchcock (w/ Gillian Welch & David Rawlings)-"Spooked"
Wilco- "Summerteeth"
Television- "Marquee Moon" (alternative before there was such a thing)
Matthew Sweet- "Girlfriend"
The Jayhawks- "Tomorrow the Green Grass" & "Rainy Day Music"
World Party- "Egyptology"
Lloyd Cole- "Lloyd Cole"

These are in no particular order. I know there are more than ten, but I couldn't resist. I wouldn't really call this my absolute top picks either. These are just some of my favorites that just keep popping into my music rotation with greater frequency.

I could go on and on...
All 3 albums from Zero One, almost anything from The Orb or Ozric Tentacles.
Good call on New Pornographers. The Matador label is pretty deep with good bands. I can't blow sunshine about the recording quality, but they do offer vinyl...and at low prices.
Crystal method, all, but especially Vegas
ALL SUBLIME....none are bad
Old NIN, especially the original 12" version of 'down in it" and 'wish' on downward spiral
Consolidated....the album with 'Dysfunctional relationship'
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult... Knew these guys in the early 90's... wild men to be sure.... A girl doesn't get killed by an imaginary lover, Kooler then Jesus, Confessions of a knife.... some even on Sexplosion were good.
MC 900 Ft Jesus, Radioactive Goldfish just for LSD is the bomb.
Somewhat slower, but always a favorite were Kate Bush, Morphine.
Portishead - Portishead is moody and hypnotic
Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is a trip
Massive Attack - Mezzanine kicks ass

all are excellent

Laurie Anderson is great but I do not know if this thread applies to her, she is before alternative, before there was a catagory for her :)

I will have to look into Chrystal Method...

ALTERNATIVE:-Just trying to name stuff not listed yet

The Frogs-My Daughter The Broad
Neutral Milk Hotel-In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
Sleater Kinney-Dig Me Out
Pixies-Surfer Rosa
Rilo Kiley-The Execution Of All Things
Built To Spill-Keep It Like A Secret
Neko Case-Blacklisted
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion-Orange
Bikini Kill-The Singles
Big Black-Songs About Fucking


Pete Namlook-Air I&II
Peace Orchestra-Peace Orchestra(Kruder & Dorfmeister side-project)
Cabaret Voltaire-The Conversation
Lustmord/Robert Rich-Stalker
The Orb-UFOrb
Basic Channel & Maurizio-CD compilations
Steve Roach-The Magnificent Void
Irresistible Force-Flying High
Global Communication-76:14

Damn I'm cool!
I have tons of a sophisticated electronics albums but if you can get "Fish for Fish" self-titled album you will be in heaven.
The rest of electronic geniouses such as Brian Eno, Michael
Brook, Harold Budd, Moebuis, Rohedelius with no exception to Dave Sylvian's electronic work they all stay just next to the one I've mentioned above.
What about these:

-Aphex Twin (Selected Ambient Works...)
-Timo Maas (Loud)
-Herbert Remixes
-Red Snapper
-John Graham
My list leans a little more toward the electronica/ambient/space than it does alternative, however these are what I feel are essential discs (many mentioned here already) --

Eno - Apollo* , On Land
Steve Roach - Dreamtime Return*, Magnificent Void
Tangerine Dream - Rubycon, Stratosfear
Michael Oldfield - Tubular Bells*
Constance Demby - Novus Magnificat
Budd/Eno - The Pearl*
Harold Budd - Lovely Thunder*
Jean-Michel Jarre - Oxygene, Zoolook*
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Eno/Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Laurie Anderson - Mr. Heartbreak
Peter Gabriel - Passion *
John Serrie - And The Stars Go With You*
Aphex Twin - Ambient Works, Vol. 2*
Philip Glass - Koyaanisquatsi *
Global Communication 76:14
Michael Brook - Cobalt Blue*
Biosphere - Substrata
James Johnson/Robert Scott Thompson - Forgotten Places
Sylvian & Czukay - Plight & Premonition*
Patrick O'Hearn - Indigo, Between Two Worlds, Ancient Dreams*
Popol Vuh - Tantric Songs/Hosianna Mantra
Pixies - Dolittle
Radiohead - The Bends, Kid A, OK Computer, Hail to the Thief
Massive Attack - Mezzanine
Moby - Play
Orbital - Snivelization

* Particularly well-recorded

Of course, I'm sure I've left off some gems. But there are more than enough here to keep one's ears busy for quite a while.

Aphex twins, Orb, Massive attack, Air , K and D and other good mentions above.

I think some of you missed
Future Sound of London- Lifeforms, Dead cities, The issness, The Otherness, ISDN - Good recordings too
Autechre- All albums
Plaid- Newer ones
Aphex twin- Druqks, 26 for cash
Amon Tobin
Orbital's final album
Marakanetz,you have me interested in Fish for Fish,do you know where i can get it?thanks
I looked for Fish for Fish too and no luck.

Raytheprinter are you really a printer? Do you own a printshop? I am just curious as I have worked in printing for about 17 years and when the shop I worked for closed down I was scrambling to get back on my feet. I was in pre press and now helping in the shop at a very nice place...
I too luv jazz.rock.blues and have experimented w/ such I tend to get into those with elements of jazz

Among them by far the best I've heard is the Cinematic Orchestra...stunning stuff. St.Germain's "Tourist" is also quite good. Two others I love are Caia (the Magic Dragon) and Kruder Dorfmeister (The K&D Sessions).

For alt rock, check out

Dada: Live Official Bootleg (though perhaps it ain't alternative per se)
Opeth: Damnation (heavy metal alt band goes unplugged)
Soda Stereo: Sueno Stereo (Latin alt!)
Smashing Pumpkins: Siamese Dream (a classic)
Moke: Carnival
Incubus: Morning View
The only place I was able to get is by the special order.
hello Philjolet,yep,ive been a press operator since 75,and still have all my fingers!!glad you found a nice shop to work at!fellow audiogoner Rooze is in the industry too,
thanks Marakanetz,
Henry hk you would probably dig the Squarepusher album Music Is Rotted One Note. Imagine electric era Miles rockin' it with Aphex Twin. Crazy good stuff. You might also like some of DJ Cam's stuff. Everyone in the world should own the DJ Shadow album Endtroducing.
1.Rapoon - "Raising Earthly Spirits"
2.Zoviet France - "Digilogue"
3.Penumbra- "Scandinavien"
4. Rapoon - "Fires in the Borderland"
5.Gas -"Pop"
6. Ambient Isolationism - "4-1,2"
7. Electric Birds - "Strata Frames"
8. Coil- "Musik to Play in the Dark - 1"
9. Bark Psychosis - "Hex"
10. David Sylvian- "Blemish"
Here's my 10 (or so . . .), not necessarily in any order.

All of these are well recorded, but as Cdelplato did above, I used an * to indicate those that are especially well recorded.

Mike Oldfield: Songs of a Distant Earth*; Ommadawn (HDCD)
Bill Laswell: (he lead, plays in many, many bands)
- Material - Halucination Engine*
- Sacred System Chapter One
Tangerine Dream: Riccochet
Haslinger: Score
Jan Hammer: First Seven Days * (recently remastered onto cd)
Klaus Schulze: Time Wind
Brian Eno: Another Green World
Brian Eno & J.Peter Schwalm: Drawn from Life *

Also, I will second the following nominees from above:
- Peter Gabriel: Passion
- Massive Attack: Mezzanine
- Radiohead: all listed, but especially The Bends, and OK Computer

And finally, though I'm really not sure I understand what "alternative" is, I think given many of the bands listed above, I would list the following as alternative:

Tool: Lateralus
thanx synthfreak. will check it out. a few more to add for those like jazz and are beg to check out chill out or electronica...or the other way addition to the cinematic orchestra

touch acoustra: self titled album. jazz fusion band chills out
dj koop: dj uses elements of jazz
the bad plus: piano trio rocks, chills, and bops
The Scissor Sisters,,fun stuff
Holy cow, Synthfreak. Squarepusher is brilliant!
Anything by Death In Vegas but especially "Scorpio Rising"
Primal Scream- Screamadelica
London Suede- Singles
Moby- Play
or best of all, go back to where a lot of this stuff started; Roxy Music. Any of the first several albums will do. Also,their live recording of the 2001 tour is excellent.
Some good tunes / bands listed above, but a pretty wide category between "electronic" and "alternative". Having said that and trying not to duplicate items already mentioned, here's a few worth contendors.

Jim Thirwell in all of the various multitudes of band incarnations that he's been involved with. While he is best known for his work as "Foetus" i.e. Foetus Under Glass, You've Got Foetus On Your Breath, Philip And His Foetus Vibrations, Foetus Over Frisco, Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel, Foetus Art Terrorism, Foetus Uber Frisco, The Foetus of Excellence, The Foetus All Nude Review, Foetus Interruptus, Foetus Inc, Foetus In Excelsus Corruptus Deluxe, Foetus Symphony Orchestra, etc... he's also done work as Clint Ruin, Wiseblood, Steroid Maximus, etc... Some older "punks" and "no-wave" fans may remember his girlfriend aka Lydia Lunch. She appears on several of his recordings, either as a guest performer or equal partner. The "Wiseblood" stuff that he did was with Rolli Mossiman of "Swans" fame.

If you're interested, check out the Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel disc "Hole" and the Wiseblood "Motorslug / Death Rape 2000" releases. The Foetus stuff can range from being very abrasive to being very rhythmic i.e. dance oriented. Expect "non-PC" lyrics.

For something that is very dark and heavy sounding with tons of metallic grind and industrial overtones, check out Skin Chamber's "Wound" and "Trial". These guys also played in Controlled Bleeding.

How could someone like Gary Numan be missing from a thread like this? His latest releases are much heavier and even darker than his his earlier stuff. I like his earlier stuff before he turned into a discomaniac dance sensation ( Dance ) and his last couple of releases that i bought ( "Pure" and also "Exile"). Can't remember which, but one of these has some VERY potent and very deep bass in it.

Another band that belongs here is Nocturnal Emissions. I don't have a lot of stuff by them, but what i have is completely original.

How about Throbbing Gristle or Psychic Television? Anybody listen to these bands, brought to us courtesy of Genesis P-Orridge?

What about The Teardrop Explodes and more importantly, Julian Cope?

I haven't seen any mentions of Hawkwind or even Nik Turner doing his "SpaceRitual" stuff. Gotta be some fans of this seminal and highly influential band here at Agon.

I could go on and on, but i don't want to demonstrate just how disturbed i really am : ) Sean

PS... I don't necessarily agree with anything that these artists have to say or what they believe. In fact, many of them produce lyrics / promote ideologies that i completely disagree with. None the less, i still enjoy the music ( if you want to call it that ) that is the by-product of their twisted little worlds : )
Sean: Nik Turner's "Hawkwind" (Pressurehed, P-Orridge, Helios Creed, etc.), Nik Turner's Sphinx (Gong back in '78, Pressurehed in '93), DarXtar, HawXtar (DarXtar + Nik Turner), Dark Sun's Ice Ritual (feat. Nik Turner), Pressurehed, Farflung, Anubian Lights, Alan Davey, Spiral Realms, The Brain, Chrome, Zero Gravity etc. Oh yeah - Hawkwind. Got 'em covered! I never doubt I'm the only one on the way to work in the morning with Pressurehed charging away on the car CD player... not too many fans up here ; )
Mwilson: I was waiting for either your or Dwayne to reply to my comments. I knew that at least one of you would : ) Sean
An unbelievably detailed sounding and yet electronic (that ussually means overcompresed) cd is The First Stigma" of the Reverse Brothers. ive found them following some undergound roumours and now im using this cd as one of my test disks!
No top ten, just two suggestions:
Bill Laswell "Dub Chamber 3" kinda electronic dub;
Keith LeBlanc "freakatorium" electronic funk dub if there is such a thing.
Both recommended because a) I like'em and b) the production is good.
If you ever come across an album by Solaris check it out! I've seen them, its Bill Laswell and Jah Wobble on bass, Jaki Liebezeit (ex Can) drums and two jazz guys (apparently they are quite good/famous but I'm not into jazz so don't recall their names) on piano and cornet.
It was a kind of ambient dubby/jazzy improvisational thing and vrey very good.
Still regret not having bought a cd at the gig!
Zero7,Spacetime Continuum,2 of my current favs.
also ,Lords of Acid and ,Sound Tribe Sector 9
don't forget:

skinny puppy

as mentioned above, foetus (j.g. thirwell) is excellent. you may recognize the name if you own any nine inch nails remix albums.

a new band i'm really into is tweaker (chris vrena - ex nin drummer). his most recent album "2 a.m. wake up call" is a must.
heres one ive been listening to a lot;Telefon Tel Aviv(Map of What is Effortless)very good recording too!
It's awesome to see so many people with tastes similar to mine here. I'll second most of these recommendations. Crystal Method - Vegas is still a favorite after all these years. I saw them live on that tour, and that show still stands out in my mind. The way the lights and the music went together hasn't been matched by anything else I've seen. Hypnotic is an understatement. Massive Attack - Mezzanine is great too. The song "Teardrop" will always be a favorite. Air - 10,000hz Legend has been in heavy rotation too.

I haven't noticed Thievery Corporation mentioned yet. Very cool, exotic sound. Kinda jazzy electronic world music type of thing. Another one I like is Telepopmusik - Genetic World. Some of the songs on it are great, some are just ok, but the worst of them have grown on me over the years, and I enjoy the album as a complete work now. For some heavier electronic stuff, don't forget The Prodigy. Fat of the Land is probably their most popular, but I think I prefer Music for a Jilted Generation, especially the songs Break and Enter, and Voodoo People. Chemical Brothers - Exit Planet Dust is fun too. For a good sample of late 90s electronic music, see if you can find MTV Amp Volume 1. Yeah, I know, even typing the letters MTV made me feel like I dropped a couple IQ points, but whoever threw that compilation together had it figured out at the time.
Steve,I have a few Thievery Co. CDs,,very well done,enjoyable music,,,i love this thread,keep them coming in folks!
I'll add some stuff that I've been digging or maybe some stuff that slipped through the cracks.
1-The Irresistible Force-Flying High. Maybe the definitve mid-90s ambient album from the rave generation. Mixmaster Morris serves up the psychedelic weirdness on this winner. Sampling everyone from Cage to Stockhausen. Even comes with instructions on the proper way to listen. His other other albums Global Chillage, It's Tomorrow Already & Dreamfish(with Pete Namlook) are also highly recommended.
2-Shpongle-Are You Shpongled? Another psychedelic masterpiece that sounds like The Orb making ambient Goa tracks. BRILLIANTLY PRODUCED and sounds simply HUGE on a great system.
3-Steve Reich-Music For 18 Musicians. Hypnotizing is the best adjective I can come up with this which is by far my favorite Reich piece. Coldcut claims that this is their very favorite piece of music ever. That's a good thing. One of only a handful of albums that I MUST listen to in its entirety.
4-DJ Shadow-Endtroducing. This one should be subtitled "Hip-Hop Album For People Who Hate Hip-Hop Music". Entirely sample-based masterpiece is both timeless and innovative. If you're a fan of old-school funk or r&b(by r&b I don not mean New Edition or Keith Sweat) then you'll dig this one. Obscure as almighty hell breaks and beats are abound. Funky drummer break on this album? Uh.....NO! Even the semi-obscure breaks are nowhere to be found. Still sounds fresh after almost 10 years. I have listened to this album at least 500 times and I still pull it out once every few weeks. Essential. Oh yeah...There's no rapping on this.
I'm surprised with all the input on this thread that no one has mentioned Sigur Ross, "( )" - perhaps more New Age, but certainly in the Electronica category as well. Excellent album from this Icelandic band...very calming.

Great thread!heres a CD i bought a few days ago,and have listened to it at least 4 times a day,,,,very well recorded too,,ZeroOne (Calculated Adventures in Electronica)WOW!!
Here are my favorite electronic albums. Some have been mentioned before. Not all of these were well recorded, but the music is good (IMHO). I put an * next to the albums that I think have particularly good sound quality. Record labels are listed in [ ]. Enjoy!

dj Mark Farina - "Mushroom Jazz" vol 1. [Om records]

Massive Attack - "Mezzanine" [Virgin]

Boards of Canada - "Music Has the Right to Children" [Matador/Warp]

Shpongle - "Are You Shpongled?"* [Twisted]

Future Sound of London - "Dead Cities"* [Astralwerks] (It took me several listens to appreciate this one... "ISDN"* and "Lifeforms"* are also excellent albums.)

Autechre - "Incunabula"* [TVT/Wax Trax]

Freaky Chakra - "Blacklight Fantasy" [Astralwerks] (My favorite "techno" album. I always use tracks 2, 3, 9, & 10 to test a system's bass response and dynamics)

Plaid - "Double Figure"* [Warp]

Haujobb - "ninetynine"* [Metropolis]

Coil - "Love's Secret Domain" [Wax Trax?]

(more down-tempo)
Thievery Corporation - DJ Kicks [!K7]
ChickenLips - DJ Kicks [!K7]
Kruder and Dorfmiester - DJ Kicks [!K7]
Orb - "Orblivion"* [Island]
Boards of Canada - "In a Beautiful Place out in the Country" [Warp]
Biosphere - "Insomnia", "Deathprod" (ambient)
Autechre - "Tri Repetea++" [Warp]
Aphex Twin - "Selected Ambient Works", "I care because you do" [Sire/Warp]
Cris Clark - "Empty the Bones of You" [Warp]
Fila Brazillia - "A touch of Cloth" [Tritone]

(more up-tempo)
Juno Reactor - "Bible of Dreams"* [TVT/Wax Trax]
Orbital - "In Sides" [Internal]
dj Simply Jeff - "Funk-da-Fried" [City of Angels]
Download - "Effector"

Please keep the recommendations coming! I need to discover some new music.