The Best Electronic Music Producers of 2023
Editor's Note: EDM.com proudly publishes four installments of annual year-end coverage: Industry Leaders, Performances & DJ Sets, Music Producers and Songs.
DJing and music production are different. But the difference between the two is like a wallflower—it hides in plain sight, and it's vastly misunderstood.
Publishing a "Top DJ" list would undermine the originality, fearless creativity and unbridled imagination of the artists who dedicate their lives to music production. To honor their profound commitment to the art, the EDM.com staff annually recognizes 10 of the year's best.
In no particular order, discover the best electronic music producers of 2023 below.
2023 saw the stunning resurrection of Whyte Fang, the long-lost alias of electronic music superstar Alison Wonderland.
Producing dark, woozy beats that could soundtrack a fever dream out of Enter the Void, Whyte Fang is the result of a broiling chrysalis of potential, which—like a volcano science project gone wrong—was bound to erupt after more than a decade in hiding. And she did at Coachella, where her show-stopping performance poured gasoline on one of the year's most compelling music production projects.
Eight months pregnant at the time, Fang delivered a riveting performance from inside a phantasmagoric LED cage and saw her streaming numbers balloon at a 2000% clip. Good news for her breakthrough debut album, GENESIS, which released that same day and became an instantaneous fan-favorite thanks to its distorted bass and cyberpunkian edge.
Words by Jason Heffler.
His first album in nearly a decade, Quest for Fire, arrived completely without warning in February before its follow-up, Don’t Get Too Close, stunningly released a mere 24 hours later. Replete with both genre-defying crossovers and electronic bangers, the albums were a stark reminder that Skrillex still has plenty up his proverbial sleeves—and with more than 30 new songs unveiled just this year alone, fans have more reasons than ever to rethink what they know about him.
Dropping two albums one day apart was guaranteed to generate a reaction, but Skrillex did not phone them in or shamelessly capitalize on EDM's latest boom cycle. He pushed himself creatively, explored new sounds and brought plenty of friends along for the ride. Collaborations with Missy Elliott, Porter Robinson, Noisia, Fred again.. and more proved that a rising tide lifts all boats.
Skrillex is the rare artist whose work reveals the true quiddity of his influence. And after the most prolific year of his illustrious career, we're watching a paradigm shift in electronic music production and performance unfurl in real time.
Words by Graham Berry, Shakiel Mahjouri and Jason Heffler.
True creativity is boundless. As one-half of Tale of Us and co-founder of Afterlife, Matteo Milleri has established himself as a flag-bearer of modern melodic techno.
But that wasn't enough to execute his creative vision—so Anyma was born. Milleri's solo project skyrocketed in 2023 after the release of Genesys, his scintillating 14-track debut album. Featuring stellar collaborations with CamelPhat, Innellea, Cassian and Grimes, the record channels cerebral techno to conjure motifs of sentience, transhumanism and dystopia in Anyma's quest to examine the relationship between mankind and technology.
Under the direction of Alessio De Vecchi, who was named EDM.com's best visual artist of 2023, Genesys was translated into surrealist humanoid visuals, which are fine-tuned for each immersive space in which they're featured. With an eerie latticework of jaw-dropping digital art and remarkable sound design, very few music producers can rival the audiovisual spectacle of Anyma.
Words by Saad Masood.
At a time when the bass music scene was starving for innovation, Nitepunk arrived with his remarkable debut album, HUMAN. The project's lead single, "Too Hot To Touch," is a high-intensity effort that appropriately commanded attention, though the rest of it showcases the true depth of his versatility.
Blending genres seamlessly with a raw and grungy flair, the Georgia-born producer consistently brought a fresh perspective in 2023. From the heart-racing and cinematic sound design of "Hyperdust" to the jungle-infused production of "Spider," each of Nitepunk's tracks in 2023 revealed a different facet of his increasingly intricate creative identity.
One thing remains constant, however: he's bringing the rockstar mentality back to electronic music in every sense of the word.
Words by Cameron Sunkel.
Aluna's multifaceted musical finesse extends far beyond the confines of her commanding vocal and performance prowess. Her artistic identity shined bright in this summer's unapologetic MYCELiUM, one of the year's best dance albums.
But that record only scratched the surface. Aluna is, in fact, a remarkably talented producer who enjoyed a prolific year in 2023.
Collaborating with chart-topping producer Chris Lake, her efforts led to two of the year's biggest house records, "Beggin'" and "More Baby." Her creative genius also found a home in "Inhale Exhale," one of the indisputable standouts of Skrillex's long-awaited comeback album, Quest for Fire. Moreover, she nabbed a songwriting credit on Icona Pop's massive Club Romantech album by contributing to the dynamic dance earworm "Stick Your Tongue Out."
Words by Brooke Bierman.
With a deep and gritty sound all his own, Alix Perez is truly one of a kind.
The renowned beatsmith has established himself at the forefront of bass music by adopting a contrarian approach to production and unabashed commitment to taking risks. Perez infuses his dark essence into all of his music through expert-level sound design, which plunges listeners into the depths of his spellbinding rabbit holes of bass.
Spearheading the imaginative 1985 Music imprint, Perez also emerged as a formidable tastemaker in 2023. In addition to releasing one of the year's most hotly anticipated 140 records, Cesco and Hamdi's "Swing King," the label released Perez's mind-bending Hellion album alongside Headland. Not to mention a pair of brilliant drum & bass tracks, "Green Lane" and "CRL."
After a monster year, Perez and his cutting-edge production are paving the way for the future of bass music.
Words by Rachel Freeman and Jason Heffler.
It's no secret that Flowdan is one of the world's leading voices in grime, jungle and drum & bass music, but 2023 saw him reach new heights.
Flowdan's remarkable contributions to "Rumble" led to its furious ascent as one of the most anticipated electronic records we've seen in many years. He then went on an undefeated run alongside Skrillex, with whom he released a trio of global bass hits: "Hydrate," "Badders" and "Pepper."
Then came Flowdan's work on "Baddadan" alongside Chase & Status, Bou, Irah, Trigga and Takura. His contributions helped establish the track as the year's most popular drum & bass releases by a landslide and it became an instant fan-favorite all over the world.
Somehow that's all just the tip of the iceberg for the shape-shifting MC, who made his presence felt during a landmark performance at this year's high-profile heavyweight bout between Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou, dubbed "Battle of the Baddest." That title would also suffice for Flowdan, whose raw songwriting, commanding studio presence and exhilarating live performances brought him from underground legend to global superstar in 2023.
Words by Nick Yopko.
PEEKABOO has never failed to grow since he broke into the scene back in 2017. But he untapped his full potential this year, establishing himself as an undeniable tastemaker and one of the most coveted collaborators in bass music.
PEEKABOO's breakthrough year was kickstarted in a big way with "Hydrate," a collaboration with Skrillex, Flowdan and Beam that landed on the former's Grammy-nominated comeback album, Quest for Fire. His career-defining moment, however, came when he released Eyes Wide Open.
Spanning 13 tracks, PEEKABOO's stunning debut album found the emerging superstar producing a striking showcase of his signature sound. Producing minimalist bangers with maximalist energy, he teamed up with a compelling list of collaborators, including his own father, who was a trumpeter for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Others to appear included Skrillex, Zeds Dead and Grabbitz.
Words by Konstantinos Karakolis.
If there were ever a drum & bass song stuck in your head this year, chances are it was created by Chase & Status.
Starting with the most obvious, "Baddadan" is a truly generational song that's experienced immense commercial success and introduced many around the world to drum & bass music. Meanwhile, "Liquor & Cigarettes," their collaboration with Hedex and ArrDee, reached the top 10 of the UK Dance chart and became a viral sensation.
Chase & Status' blockbuster Boiler Room set in London, which was named one of EDM.com's top performances of 2023, is widely considered one of the best in their storied career. The quintessential Boiler Room performance, it served as a reminder that despite being in the industry for two decades, they're still scaling new peaks as dyed-in-the-wool flag-bearers of drum & bass culture.
Words by Nick Yopko.
Hailing from the sacred techno mecca of Germany, Lilly Palmer has been climbing the genre's ranks, touring the world and dominating behind the decks with her signature slicked-back hair.
Already a staple of the European festival circuit, Palmer’s notoriety skyrocketed in 2023 after touring North America, where the techno bubble is bursting out of the underground and onto the mainstage. And speaking of, Palmer's profile was front and center as she commanded Tomorrowland's storied Mainstage at this year's festival.
Since last year's release of a pair of stellar EPs, We Control and Resonate, Palmer relentlessly delivered high-energy productions throughout 2023, like "The Violator," "Fall In Love" and the dancefloor destroyer "My Fantasy." 2024 has the feel of a banner year for this prolific femme fatale.
Words by Ulises Vargas.