The Electronic Music Awards has come and gone as it spent Thursday evening streaming its award show and announcing its winners over Twitter. The EM Awards celebrated this year’s bangers and ballads from productive musicians to eccentric entertainment-industry leaders. Taking the top prize of the evening, Bonobo was awarded “Album of the Year” for work on their latest album Migration.

As arguably the most important award of a ceremony, “Album of the Year” is akin to “Picture of the Year” at the Academy Awards where the album is chosen to represent the very best collection of music that year. It may not have had the most variation in an album or any festival-ready tunes to be blasted over the main-stage, but Migration triumphs in taking electronic music into weirder places than we thought we could in 2017. From songs like “Grains” and “Kerala” that utilize precise vocal chops to songs like “Bambro Koyo Ganda” and “No Reason” that embed melancholy into the skeleton of house music, Bonobo’s latest album is a worthy project to have “Album of the Year” tacked onto.

In the running, Bonobo and his record Migration were up against evenly-matched contemporaries such as Woman by Justice, 9 by Cashmere Cat, Epoch by Tycho, and Humanz by the Gorillaz. Although the debut album from the Chainsmokers Memories…Do Not Open was a contending nominee, their lackluster pop efforts look dainty and awkward next to an otherwise elite selection of albums. Hopefully, the Electronic Music Awards will not feel the urge to nominate an album for AOTY just because it goes Platinum or because one of its singles are charting on the Billboard charts by next year.

That said, the Electronic Music Awards still did well in choosing the majority of their nominees set a positive tone rewarding music that excites and challenges listeners.


Photo by Dan Medhurst