The Best Of EDM 2017 Awards Go To...
2017 was a dumpster fire in some respects, but in the EDM world, 2017 was one amazing year.
From one-of-a-kind shows to new music, record-setting albums, Grammy nominations, dream back to backs and new festivals, 2017 set the bar high for EDM.
iEDM has compiled our best of 2017 list, where we give shout outs to our favorite albums, festivals, artists and fanbases.
Read on for our selection of the best of 2017 EDM awards:
Album of 2017: Illenium's Awake
Illenium's sophomore album shook the EDM world in the best way possible. Nick Miller rocketed his way up festival lineups, playing his EDC debut along with sets at Shambhala, Lost Lands, Electric Zoo, Electric Forest and more.
The melodic bass producer dropped his second album Awake and his album spread like fire through EDM. The Awake album kicked off a nationwide tour with over 24 sold out shows, so it's safe to say that Nick Miller has had the album of 2017.
Awake features Illenium's signature soaring builds and emotive drops, his tracks are filled with melancholic melodies and the entire album tells a story of love, loss and heartbreak. My personal favorite track on the album is "Sound of Walking Away." Click above to listen to the full album.
Rising Artist of 2017: Rezz
Rezz has undoubtedly had a hell of a year. With her Mass Manipulation tour in full swing, collaborations with some of the biggest names in EDM and her graduation from supporter to headliner, Rezz has been making waves.
Space Mom has cultivated a cult following and has brought her space vibes to stages all over the world, playing her EDC debut, Lost Lands, Electric Zoo, Electric Forest and many others.
Rezz has a unique sound that makes her stand out among others in the game and she is sure to have a stellar 2018.
Collaboration of 2017: Porter Robinson and Madeon's Shelter
So technically this track dropped in Fall 2016, but the duo wrapped up their Shelter Tour at Coachella this year, which gives me the right to award collaboration of the year to Porter Robinson and Madeon for Shelter.
The Shelter Tour took the US by storm, before moving on to Australia, Europe, and Japan before closing out the tour at Coachella before one of the biggest crowds I've ever seen in my life.
Shelter brought live performance to a whole new level and converted thousands to Lionhearted or Pixel Empire.
Porter and Madeon became household names to even non-EDM listeners almost overnight and have remained that way since.
B2B of 2017: Liquid Stranger x Space Jesus x Bleep Bloop
Weird, wubby and wonderfully wobbly, Space Jesus, Liquid Stranger and Bleep Bloop had one of the highest anticipated back to back to back sets at EDC 2017.
The three set the bassPOD on fire (too soon?) when they took the stage on Friday night to play a heavy set with signature sounds from all three.
While bassPOD saw the most back to back sets of any stage at EDC, Liquid Stranger, Space Jesus and Bleep Bloop played a set that no one would forget any time soon.
Porter forever changed the landscape of EDM when he introduced Worlds and brought a new genre of soaring emotive music to festival grounds. And now, three years later, Porter has done it again.
With his new side project Virtual Self, Porter brought out a new sound and style, markedly different from Worlds but with that essential element of Porter that is uniquely his.
Described as neotrance, Virtual Self recently played in Brooklyn for a first show and is booked as a headliner for Ultra 2018.
People who attended the Brooklyn show described Virtual Self as "a combination of trance, happy hardcore and hardstyle."
Festival of 2017: Electric Forest
Electric Forest has become one of those festivals that people say changed their lives. Electric Forest is an absolutely insane camping festival and brings some of the best headliners and vibes to Rothbury Michigan for TWO weekends in the summer.
Electric Forest brings artists from every end of the EDM spectrum, from dubstep to trance to jam bands, there's something for everyone at the Forest.
Known for being incredibly PLUR and inclusive, read our review on Electric Forest HERE.
New Festival of 2017: Lost Lands
Headbangers and bassheads had their prayers answered when our lord and savior Excision announced an all bass festival.
Not only was Lost Lands filled with a beautifully curated lineup of artists across the bass spectrum, but also had unparalleled pre and post parties, 750,000 watts of bass and incredible vibes from headbangers all over the country.
Excision may have forever changed the rave game with his dinosaur-themed bass festival that sold out for 2018 in a mere day. iEDM intends to be there this coming year!
City Festival of 2017: Electric Zoo
Many festivals are located in almost the middle of nowhere (noise complaints I get it) and cell service can be spotty, while getting to and from the venue is something akin to medieval punishment.
Electric Zoo is located in the middle of one of the greatest cities on earth and zoo animals can choose between the subway, cabs, buses, ferries or special festival shuttles to get to and from the venue.
Not only is the urban setting vibrant and convenient, but Electric Zoo brought some incredible and versatile talent to its stages including (but not limited to) filthy bass from Excision, heavy future house from Tchami and vibey trance from Armin van Buuren.
Click HERE to check out our review of Electric Zoo!
Partnership of 2017: Bassnectar/Electric Forest and TWLOHA
This one was near and dear to my heart and while I already love Bassnectar, it made me respect him even more. If you didn't hear, Bassnectar himself sat in a little treehouse in the middle of the woods, talking to festival goers on the phone.
The project was in conjunction with the organization To Write Love On Her Arms, an organization championing suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
The Electric Forest veteran remarked that "The highlight of my weekend was not being on stage, playing music, or even running around exploring: it was volunteering inside of this little treehouse in the middle of the woods..."
Festival goers had the chance to talk to Bassnectar himself, and not about music, but about suicide, depression and the deep hurts and traumas that can be hard to discuss.
Click HERE to read Bassnectar's thoughts on the project.
Fanbase of 2017: Illenials
I'm a member of many EDM families and groups on Facebook, but there is no group, cult, squad or family that compares to the Illenial fan group.
A group of over 3,000 strong, the Illenial family represent everything that I've come to love about EDM. Passion for the scene, unity in the love of music, respect for each other and other artists and unabashed support of Nick Miller.
As a fanbase, Illenials are incredibly supportive of both Illenium himself as well as each other. From doing giveaways of self-designed merchandise to helping other Illenials attend shows and sharing words of support and love for those who've had a bad day, the Illenial fanbase treat each other like family. A huge shout out to a family that is truly a family and fans who know how to be fans.
Mix of 2017: Excision's Lost Lands Mix
Known for his famously filthy Shambhala mixes, Excision changed things up this year when he eschewed a Shambhala 2017 mix in favor of doing a Lost Lands mix, in honor of his incredibly successful bass festival.
The Lost Lands mix is an edited version of Excision's 2 hour set at Lost Lands, but the mix is filled with tracks from all over the bass spectrum as well as a number of Excision's own bass anthems.
Are you ready? Throwin elbows. You'll be leaving in a neck brace. I been feeling crazy. Whatchu goin do? Bring the madness. Got me feeling like a boss. Headbanga. Make em bounce. Look at how I drop it. You know I got it. Throw your X up.
Show of 2017: Gareth Emery's Laserface
There have been so many amazing shows this year with incredible live performances, out of this world visuals, breathtaking special effects and of course, phenomenal music.
But when I stumbled out of Terminal 5 vaguely feeling like my brain melted after Gareth Emery's Laserface show, I knew that Gaz had just done one for the record books. Laserface utilized a record number of lasers in a perfectly timed and choreographed laser show that lit up a sold out Terminal 5 in New York City.
This was the very first time that Gaz tried this out, but the show was such a success that he'll be bringing it to the West Coast in 2018. Fingers crossed for more mind-melting lasers in 2018.