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
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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 October 1, 2003 | Naive

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue
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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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Electro - Released August 28, 2015 | Sony Music Catalog

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Trip Hop - Released January 1, 1995 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Tricky's debut, Maxinquaye, is an album of stunning sustained vision and imagination, a record that sounds like it has no precedent as it boldly predicts a new future. Of course, neither sentiment is true. Much of the music on Maxinquaye has its roots in the trip-hop pioneered by Massive Attack, which once featured Tricky, and after the success of this record, trip-hop became fashionable, turning into safe, comfortable music to be played at upscale dinner parties thrown by hip twenty and thirtysomethings. Both of these sentiments are true, yet Maxinquaye still manages to retain its power; years later, it can still sound haunting, disturbing, and surprising after countless spins. It's an album that exists outside of time and outside of trends, a record whose clanking rhythms, tape haze, murmured vocals, shards of noise, reversed gender roles, alt-rock asides, and soul samplings create a ghostly netherworld fused with seductive menace and paranoia. It also shimmers with mystery, coming not just from Tricky -- whose voice isn't even heard until the second song on the record -- but his vocalist, Martine, whose smoky singing lures listeners into the unrelenting darkness of the record. Once they're there, Maxinquaye offers untold treasures. There is the sheer pleasure of coasting by on the sound of the record, how it makes greater use of noise and experimental music than anything since the Bomb Squad and Public Enemy. Then, there's the tip of the hat to PE with a surreal cover of "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos," sung by Martine and never sounding like a postmodernist in-joke. Other references and samples register subconsciously -- while Isaac Hayes' "Ike's Rap II" flows through "Hell Is Around the Corner" and the Smashing Pumpkins are even referenced in the title of "Pumpkin," Shakespear's Sister and the Chantels slip by, while Michael Jackson's "Bad" thrillingly bleeds into "Expressway to Your Heart" on "Brand New You're Retro." Lyrics flow in and out of consciousness, with lingering, whispered promises suddenly undercut by veiled threats and bursts of violence. Then, there's how music that initially may seem like mood pieces slowly reveal their ingenious structure and arrangement and register as full-blown songs, or how the alternately languid and chaotic rhythms finally compliment each other, turning this into a bracing sonic adventure that gains richness and resonance with each listen. After all, there's so much going on here -- within the production, the songs, the words -- it remains fascinating even after all of its many paths have been explored (which certainly can't be said of the trip-hop that followed, including records by Tricky). And that air of mystery that can be impenetrable upon the first listen certainly is something that keeps Maxinquaye tantalizing after it's become familiar, particularly because, like all good mysteries, there's no getting to the bottom of it, no matter how hard you try. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Electro - Released June 15, 2015 | Parlophone France

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electro - Released October 20, 2013 | Accidental Records

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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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 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Dance - Released November 4, 1991 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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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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House - Released October 22, 2013 | Lafessé Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Ambient - Released July 8, 2013 | InFiné

Hi-Res Booklet + Video Distinctions 4F de Télérama - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Hi-Res Audio
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Electro - Released June 3, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Hi-Res Audio - Sélection du Mercury Prize
Between Insides and its follow-up Immunity, Jon Hopkins worked with King Creosote on the charming Diamond Mine, which set the Scottish singer/songwriter's ruminations to backdrops that were half rustic folk and half evocative washes of sound. Immunity isn't nearly as acoustic as that collaboration was, but its gently breezy feel lingers on several of these songs: "Breathe This Air" expands from a pounding house rhythm into a roomy piano meditation that recalls Max Richter as much as Diamond Mine, while the title track -- which happens to feature King Creosote's vocals -- closes the album on a whispery note. This feeling extends to the rest of the album in less obvious ways; Immunity is often a more blended, and more expansive-sounding work than Insides, particularly on songs like the Brian Eno-esque "Abandon Window" and "Form by Firelight," which offers a playful study in contrasts in the way it bunches into glitches and then unspools a peaceful piano melody. Some of Immunity's most impressive moments expand on the blend of rhythm and atmosphere Hopkins emphasized on Insides: "Collider" uses sighing vocals courtesy of Dark Horses' Lisa Elle as punctuation for almost imperceptibly shifting beats and a heavy bassline that helps the track build into a moody, elegant whole; meanwhile, the aptly named "Sun Harmonics" turns Elle's sighs into something angelic over the course of 12 serene minutes. Despite these highlights, the album still reflects how Hopkins' polished approach is something of a blessing and a curse. Immunity shows how he's grown, in his subtle, accomplished way, as a composer and producer, yet its tracks occasionally feel like the surroundings for a focal point that never arrives. Even if it doesn't always demand listeners' attention, Immunity is never less than thoughtfully crafted. ~ Heather Phares
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Electro - Released May 17, 2013 | Columbia

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 4F de Télérama - 5 étoiles Rock and Folk - The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Music - Special Soundchecks - Hi-Res Audio
When Daft Punk announced they were releasing a new album eight years after 2005's Human After All, fans were starved for new material. The Tron: Legacy score indulged the seminal dance duo's sci-fi fantasies but didn't offer much in the way of catchy songs, so when Random Access Memories' extensive publicity campaign featured tantalizing clips of a new single, "Get Lucky," their fan base exploded. But when the album finally arrived, that hugely hyped single was buried far down its track list, emphasizing that most of these songs are very much not like "Get Lucky" -- or a lot of the pair's previous music, at least on the surface. The album isn't much like 2010s EDM, either. Instead, Daft Punk separate themselves from most contemporary electronic music and how it's made, enlisting some of their biggest influences to help them get the sounds they needed without samples. On Homework's "Teachers," they reverently name-checked a massive list of musicians and producers; here, they place themselves on equal footing with disco masterminds Giorgio Moroder and Nile Rodgers, referring to them as "collaborators." That could be self-aggrandizing, yet it's also strangely humble when they take a back seat to their co-stars, especially on one of RAM's definitive moments, "Giorgio by Moroder," where the producer shares his thoughts on making music with wild guitar and synth solos trailing behind him. Elsewhere, Daft Punk nod to their symbiotic relationship with indie on the lovely "Doin' It Right," which makes the most of Panda Bear's boyish vocals, and on the Julian Casablancas cameo "Instant Crush," which is only slightly more electronic than the Strokes' Comedown Machine. And of course, Pharrell Williams is the avatar of their dancefloor mastery on the sweaty disco of "Lose Yourself to Dance" as well as "Get Lucky," which is so suave that it couldn't help but be an instant classic, albeit a somewhat nostalgic one. Indeed, "memories" is the album's keyword: Daft Punk celebrate the late '70s and early '80s with lavish homages like "Give Life Back to Music" -- one of several terrific showcases for Rodgers -- and the spot-on soft rock of the Todd Edwards collaboration "Fragments of Time." More importantly, Random Access Memories taps into the wonder and excitement in that era's music. A particularly brilliant example is "Touch," where singer/songwriter Paul Williams conflates his work in Phantom of the Paradise and The Muppet Movie in the song's mystique, charm, and fragile yet unabashed emotions. Often, there's an almost gooey quality to the album; Daft Punk have never shied away from "uncool" influences or sentimentality, and both are on full display here. At first, it's hard to know what to make of all the fromage, but Random Access Memories reveals itself as the kind of grand, album rock statement that listeners of the '70s and '80s would have spent weeks or months dissecting and absorbing -- the ambition of Steely Dan, Alan Parsons, and Pink Floyd are as vital to the album as any of the duo's collaborators. For the casual Daft Punk fan, this album might be harder to love than "Get Lucky" hinted; it might be too nostalgic, too overblown, a shirking of the group's duty to rescue dance music from the Young Turks who cropped up in their absence. But Random Access Memories is also Daft Punk's most personal work, and richly rewarding for listeners willing to spend time with it. ~ Heather Phares
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Electro - Released May 13, 2013 | Domino Recording Co

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography - Pitchfork: Best New Reissue