If there were any lingering suspicions that the 2012 mainstream breakthrough of EDM in North America was a one-time fluke, 2013 proved that there was still plenty of room to grow commercially. Mega-festivals multiplied like day-glo rabbits, and it stopped seeming weird that TMZ was paying attention to Deadmau5's love life.
With huge numbers of new partiers showing up at massive all-day events, the shortcomings of corporate rave's resistance to harm reduction strategies became evident. The second night of the highly anticipated Electric Zoo party in NYC was cancelled after two attendees died of drug overdoses and many others were hospitalized. While some veteran DJs like Tommy Sunshine and Kaskade spoke out about the need for better drug education and a more open dialog about the issues, it's the kind of topic that the corporate sponsors would rather sidestep.
Electronic dance music also made an unexpected appearance at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, when Baauer's mostly overlooked 2012 single "Harlem Shake" became the soundtrack to a popular internet meme at the same moment as Billboard decided to start using video streams as a component to their charts. It debuted in February at the number one position, ten months after it was originally released, and stayed there for five weeks.
Electronic music is still far too broad a collection of genres to be able to accurately identify a single dominant trend, but there was an increased tendency across the board towards reinventing and reviving motifs of the '90s. The stadium stars embraced their trance references, the underground house scene dropped nods to second wave Detroit and Chicago, and sprinkles of classic drum'n'bass sounds showed up all over the place.
Meanwhile, '90s survivors Daft Punk released a love letter to the original disco era, which ended up being the most commercially successful album of their career.
So here are the 10 best electronic albums and 5 best EDM singles of 2013, ranging from comeback kids (Daft Punk, Boards of Canada ) to breakthrough acts (Disclosure, Ryan Hemsworth).