The Ideal Qobuz Collection comprises original, uncompiled albums that have made a considerable mark on music history or which qualify as essential recordings within each musical genre. By downloading these albums, or streaming them with your subscription, you begin a journey that will shine a light on some of the finest moments in recorded music.

Albums

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Electro - Released May 5, 2017 | Sony Music UK

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
€14.99

Electro - Released August 1, 2013 | Mute, a BMG Company

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Following a notorious flirtation with alternative rock, Moby returned to the electronic dance mainstream on the 1997 album I Like to Score. With 1999's Play, he made yet another leap back toward the electronica base that had passed him by during the mid-'90s. The first two tracks, "Honey" and "Find My Baby," weave short blues or gospel vocal samples around rather disinterested breakbeat techno. This version of blues-meets-electronica is undoubtedly intriguing to the all-important NPR crowd, but it is more than just a bit gimmicky to any techno fans who know their Carl Craig from Carl Cox. Fortunately, Moby redeems himself in a big way over the rest of the album with a spate of tracks that return him to the evocative, melancholy techno that's been a specialty since his early days. The tinkly piano line and warped string samples on "Porcelain" frame a meaningful, devastatingly understated vocal from the man himself, while "South Side" is just another pop song by someone who shouldn't be singing -- that is, until the transcendent chorus redeems everything. Surprisingly, many of Moby's vocal tracks are highlights; he has an unerring sense of how to frame his fragile vocals with sympathetic productions. Occasionally, the similarities to contemporary dance superstars like Fatboy Slim and Chemical Brothers are just a bit too close for comfort, as on the stale big-beat anthem "Bodyrock." Still, Moby shows himself back in the groove after a long hiatus, balancing his sublime early sound with the breakbeat techno evolution of the '90s. ~ John Bush
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Electro - Released October 14, 2016 | !K7 Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electro - Released August 25, 2014 | Naive

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
€13.99

Dance - Released July 1, 2015 | Universal Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Since 1980, there has been an assortment of compilations devoted to DJ Larry Levan, including multiple anthologies devoted to the man's remixes of Salsoul and West End tracks, and Journey Into Paradise, a set of Warner-distributed selections that combined material he remixed or merely played. Genius of Time, released in Europe through Universal, has the widest reach of them all, and concentrates on Levan's radical alterations. None of the tracks originated on Salsoul, a frequent client, so career highlights such as like Inner Life's "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and Instant Funk's "I Got My Mind Up" aren't included. Instead, a judicious portion comes from the Island label, the source of four delectable, dubbed-out mixes of songs recorded by Gwen Guthrie with the Compass Point All-Stars. Another Island post-disco classic here is the monstrous Levan mix of ex-Hi Tension vocalist David Joseph's "You Can't Hide (Your Love from Me)," merely a slightly nutty, relatively tame tune in original form. There's a fair amount of overlap with previous Levan comps and other well-regarded various-artists sets, but quite a few -- Merc & Monk's "Carried Away," Jeffrey Osborne's "Plane Love," and Bert Reid's "Groovin' You" among them -- also appear on a legitimate compact disc release for the first time. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electro - Released October 15, 2015 | Planet Mu Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music
The music associated with Chicago's juke/footwork scene is fast, frenetic, complex, and often highly aggressive, as it is typically intended to soundtrack dance battles. The tracks produced by Jlin, a steel mill worker from nearby Gary, Indiana named Jerrilynn Patton, use footwork as a venue to express frustration, anger, and depression. The screams and horror movie samples ("You don't want to hurt anyone," "But I do, and I'm sorry") on tracks such as "Guantanamo" and "Abnormal Restriction" sound downright evil, and are a far cry from the more hedonistic, drug-glorifying tracks by artists such as DJ Rashad and DJ Spinn. While those artists' tracks are heavily populated with recognizable soul and hip-hop samples, Jlin builds her music from scratch, constructing all the percussion sounds and bass tones herself. Her production style is intense and gripping, but it never sounds cluttered, and it never breaks out into all-out chaos. Tense, thrilling, and a bit frightening, Dark Energy is simply one of the most compelling debut albums of 2015. ~ Paul Simpson
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House - Released October 1, 2015 | Toko Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electro - Released August 28, 2015 | Sony Music Catalog

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electro - Released August 28, 2015 | Sony Music Catalog

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
€16.99

Electro - Released June 15, 2015 | Parlophone France

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Electro - Released October 20, 2013 | Caroline Distribution

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electro - Released April 6, 2015 | Combien Mille Records

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Qobuzissime
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Dance - Released January 1, 1997 | Polydor

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Portishead's debut album, Dummy, popularized trip-hop, making its slow, narcotic rhythms, hypnotic samples, and film noir production commonplace among sophisticated, self-consciously "mature" pop fans. The group recoiled from such widespread acclaim and influence, taking three years to deliver its eponymous second album. On the surface, Portishead isn't all that dissimilar from Dummy, but its haunting, foreboding sonic textures make it clear that the group isn't interested in the crossover success of such fellow travelers as Sneaker Pimps. Upon repeated plays, the subtle differences between the two albums become clear. Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley recorded original music that they later sampled for the backing tracks on the album, giving the record a hazy, dreamlike quality that shares many of the same signatures of Dummy, but is darker and more adventurous. Beth Gibbons has taken the opportunity to play up her tortured diva role to the hilt, emoting wildly over the tracks. Her voice is electronically phased on most of the tracks, adding layers to the claustrophobic menace of the music. The sonics on Portishead would make it an impressive follow-up, but what seals its success is the remarkable songwriting. Throughout the album, the group crafts impeccable modern-day torch songs, from the frightening, repetitive "Cowboys" to the horn-punctuated "All Mine," which justify the detailed, engrossing production. The end result is an album that reveals more with each listen and becomes more captivating and haunting each time it's played. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Dance - Released January 1, 1994 | Universal Music

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Lauréat du Mercury Prize
Portishead's album debut is a brilliant, surprisingly natural synthesis of claustrophobic spy soundtracks, dark breakbeats inspired by frontman Geoff Barrow's love of hip-hop, and a vocalist (Beth Gibbons) in the classic confessional singer/songwriter mold. Beginning with the otherworldly theremin and martial beats of "Mysterons," Dummy hits an early high with "Sour Times," a post-modern torch song driven by a Lalo Schifrin sample. The chilling atmospheres conjured by Adrian Utley's excellent guitar work and Barrow's turntables and keyboards prove the perfect foil for Gibbons, who balances sultriness and melancholia in equal measure. Occasionally reminiscent of a torchier version of Sade, Gibbons provides a clear focus for these songs, with Barrow and company behind her laying down one of the best full-length productions ever heard in the dance world. Where previous acts like Massive Attack had attracted dance heads in the main, Portishead crossed over to an American, alternative audience, connecting with the legion of angst-ridden indie fans as well. Better than any album before it, Dummy merged the pinpoint-precise productions of the dance world with pop hallmarks like great songwriting and excellent vocal performances. ~ John Bush
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Electro - Released October 6, 2014 | Warp Records

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Top du mois de Jazznews
An early form of You're Dead! was the length of a double album -- a large mass of brief tracks that, for Steven Ellison, possibly signified nothing more than his fifth Flying Lotus album. As the producer and keyboardist spent more time absorbing and shaping the recordings, the title, initially comic in meaning, gained emotional weight while he was provoked to consider his mortality and the losses he has been dealt, including the deaths of his father and mother, his grandmother, his great aunt Alice Coltrane, and creative collaborator Austin Peralta. The completed You're Dead! consists of 19 tracks averaging two minutes in length that are intended to be heard in sequence from front to back. Its flow is even more liquid than that of Until the Quiet Comes, though the sounds are more jagged and free, with roots deeper in jazz. Ellison once again works extensively beside longtime comrades and pulls new collaborators into his sphere. All of them -- bassist and vocalist Thundercat, drummer Deantoni Parks, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, and many others worthy of mention -- help him push jazz, R&B, rap, and electronic music forward at once. Most striking and powerful of all is "Never Catch Me," easily the longest cut. An album's worth of ideas and a whirlwind guest appearance from rapper Kendrick Lamar are condensed into its four sonically rich minutes. The tone dramatically shifts with the following "Dead Man's Tetris," a sinister concoction of melodic bleeps and gunshot effects involving Ellison as Captain Murphy, and also Snoop Dogg, in which J Dilla, Freddie Mercury, and Peralta are all part of the afterlife fantasy. Previous Flying Lotus releases have their bleak and elegiac moments, but they're central here, highlighted by "Coronus, the Terminator" (an Ellison/Niki Randa duet), "Siren Song" (fronted by Dirty Projectors' Angel Deradoorian), and "Obligatory Cadence." The instrumentals range from playful, as reflected in titles like "Turkey Dog Coma" and "Turtles," to the distressed likes of "Tesla" and "Moment of Hesitation," with the latter two both anchored by Gene Coye's feverish percussion and Herbie Hancock's glimmering/flickering piano. It all plays out in a kind of elegantly careening fashion. It concludes with "The Protest," where Laura Darlington and Kimbra softly sing "We will live on forever" like a defiant mantra. Like his great aunt, and his great uncle John Coltrane, Ellison has created exceptionally progressive, stirring, and eternal art. ~ Andy Kellman
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Electro - Released January 1, 2014 | Universal Music

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€14.99

Dance - Released November 4, 1991 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
€8.99

Electro - Released February 23, 2014 | Kif music

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Taking their name from a line in the 1968 Peter Sellers film The Party, French DJ quartet Birdy Nam Nam's music is equally obscure and backward-looking: created entirely on turntables, the quartet's music consists of expertly manipulated shards of old records combined into new configurations that sound not like the usual turntablism grooves and displays of scratching prowess, but actual composed pop songs. The six-minute "Abbesses" sounds like post-rockers Tortoise jamming with a gypsy violinist and the drum section of a marching band, and the melodic drive and rhythmic swing of this track is testament to the skill with which these pop song collages were created. Elements of jazz, classical, funk, sound effects records, and unidentifiable bits of world music can be heard in instantly appealing, poppy songs like "Body, Mind, Spirit" and "Rainstorming." ~ Stewart Mason
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Techno - Released December 1, 2013 | Red River Entertainment

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
The only old-school electro LP with any amount of staying power (thanks in part to its release on Fantasy), Enter includes crucial early singles like "Alleys of Your Mind" and "Cosmic Cars," as well as techno's first defining moment, "Clear." The collision of Atkins' vision for cosmic funk and the arena rock instincts of Rick Davis results in a surprisingly cohesive album, dated for all the right reasons and quite pop-minded. Ecological and political statements even crop up in "Cosmic Raindance" and "El Salvador." In 1990, Fantasy reissued the album with a new title (Clear) and a different track order that added "R-9" (1985) as a bonus. In 2013, the album was reissued again, this time under its original title and with several additional tracks, including "Techno City" (1984) and "Eden" (1986). One drawback: the bonus track listed as "Cosmic Cars [Detroit Style Mix]" is a duplication of the album version. ~ John Bush
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House - Released October 22, 2013 | Lafessé Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography