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Qobuz’s experts gather all the essentials of each genre. These albums have marked music history and become major landmarks.

With the Ideal Discography you (re)discover legendary recordings, all whilst building on your musical knowledge.

Albums

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Electronic - Released July 23, 2012 | Mute

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electronic - Released January 1, 1996 | Mute

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Going back to Panasonic's first albums after a few years, one finds they stand the test of time and understands why they were so influential and led to so many sound-alikes. Kulma, for example, is a masterpiece of experimental techno. The first half of the album gives a chance for techno heads to stick around and follow the deconstruction. "Teurastamo" and "Vapina" are still suitable for the dancefloor, although they have clearly been tailored for the living room. But as one progresses from one track to the next, the atmosphere becomes colder, drier, and charged with electricity instead of electro beats. Electrical hums, crackles, and glitches fill the room. Loops occasionally provide rhythm but it sounds almost accidental. From IDM, the music descends into ambient techno, experimental techno, and then simply sound sculpting. By "Kurnutus," the listener is completely confused about what is techno music and what is electro-acoustic music. Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen's next album would be built over a similar framework, but Kulma remains more seducing simply because it makes the transformation (let's not put anyone or any style down by using the term "evolution") crystal clear. © François Couture /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 1, 1995 | Mute

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The then trio's debut album shows Pan Sonic already well on its particular voyage into capturing the spirit of total innovation via strictly electronic means. The high-pitched opening tone of "Alku" mutates into a rapid pulse of sound before "Radiokemia" introduces what for many is the sound of the band, with minimal, cutting electronic percussion accompanied by bursts of static. The variations and changes Pan Sonic can create with such a seemingly simple formula are nearly endless, as "Radiokemia," with its drop-outs and astonishingly subtle builds, and the rest of Vakio proceed to demonstrate. The depth and power of the group's rhythm punch is astonishing, shown throughout the album. Even when the drum notes or hits are slightly buried via production or echo, as on the slow whine of "Tela," their power can't be resisted, technology taken to a higher degree. The general alternation between one-note pieces and more complex, beat-heavy numbers continues throughout Vakio, though some tracks blend the two sides. "Graf" is a fine example, its main line underscored by what could almost be called a chugging train sound. Hints of more "traditional" approaches to techno surface from time to time, thus the varying percussion lines on "Vaihe," which sound as much like an intro to a separate song than a tune in and of itself, or the solid groove of "Hapatus." The trio certainly doesn't shy away from flat-out noise either -- "Hetken" begins with a sustained tone before erupting into a sound fest then just as suddenly shifting back to another tone. "CSG-Sonic" and "Sahkotin" close out Vakio well. The first repeats the opening gambit of "Alku" with a different core sound, while the second builds into probably the album's strongest, most commanding dance effort without losing the edge that makes Pan Sonic so distinct. © Ned Raggett /TiVo
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Electronic - Released January 1, 1990 | Mute

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Having arguably perfected their original formula on Belief -- as well as reaching its limitations -- Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris started to experiment in a variety of different directions on Showtime, resulting in their best album. Keeping all the original D.A.F.-derived tension and approach of the group's earliest days but showing a greater facility for everything from variety in arrangements to more complex lyrics, Showtime doesn't waste a note (it's not even 40 minutes long) and aims for full attack on all fronts. It doesn't hurt that the album is bookended by two of the band's best-ever singles. "Getting Closer" captures an atmosphere of impending, imminent doom better than just about anything outside of prime Killing Joke, while the heavy synth distortion makes the track rock, all without using guitars. The way the song literally revs up alone is worth the listen. Meanwhile, "Fun to Be Had" starts with an understated, almost swinging start before transforming into a total crowd-pleaser, Harris' astonishing ear for brutally effective rhythms welded to McCarthy in full rabble-rousing mode ("You are young/They are old/Control!/Is all they got to Give!"). Elsewhere is one of electronic body music's all-time highlights, "Lightning Man." With Harris adding both oboe and horn samples to the beats, helping to create a demented atmosphere reminiscent of Foetus, McCarthy steers away from his usual slogan approach to create a portrait of a strange, demonic figure (apparently a metaphor for alcohol addiction) preying on others. The off-kilter cabaret influence crops up throughout the album, with worthy examples including "Nobody Knows," a slow bluesy crawl, while "One Man's Burden" in particular is a highlight of Harris' expanding musical reach, with subtle rhythm shifts and orchestrations showing how soft can work for impact just as well as loud. © Ned Raggett /TiVo