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Oisin - Top 10 Releases of 2021

Another year has passed with a thriving selection of electronic music being delivered across the globe. Oisin says, 'Each year I find myself clutching to a different style of music and have been struck by bass-driven, glitchy, wonky club music this year as well as electro, ghetto tech, Baltimore, and Jersey club sounds'. There is a never ending hole of creative dance music available to us and this year has been one of my favorites in recent memory. Somehow, Oisin has whittled down a top 10 of favored releases, and it goes a little something like this…

artist press pic

1. Glimmerman - Step Mode (First Second Label)

Glimmerman EP cover art

Probably the standout of the year for me. I think I had at least one track from this release in every mix or set I did since it came out. Glimmerman delivers a true body music sound, epitomizing hypnotic grooves through the influence of dubstep and UK funky. These are primitive club tracks with a real tribal feel to them. It hit all the right notes for me. I'm very excited to hear more from another one of Ireland's great innovative young producers in 2022.

Favorite Track? I'll go with open.spotify.com/track/0PJX2qHRryJv1w9yrPStNY, but only just!

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

2. Ayesha - Potential Energy (Scuffed Recordings)

Ayesha EP cover art

I enjoy everything that Ayesha puts out there, but the Brooklyn based producer has gone completely berzerk with this one! Each track title probably best describes the sounds here. These are hurricane breaks that tear up everything in sight. It's typical of what we have come to expect from both Ayesha and the Scuffed family. Similarly to the Glimmerman release, these tracks have always found their way into my sets this year. Unreal.

Favorite Track? open.spotify.com/track/13koEuoE2Hbk4524V8959F?si=dbf93835508c48dc

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

3. Hilltown Disco - Aspeel V/A (Hilltown Disco)

Hilltown Disco EP cover art

The true purveyors of Dundonian electro, Hilltown Disco once again have brought together an eclectic group of artists to create a dizzying collection of glitching, sometimes dark, and sometimes funky, futuristic electro. It's very refreshing watching what these guys do and how they orchestrate working with the many international talents on their ever-growing discovery. Roll on the next one!

Favorite Track? L-Pad - Retrained in Cyberdelics (and probably my favorite electro track of the year).

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

4. Kessler - Foul Play (Holding Hands)

Kessler EP cover art

This list would not have been dignified without an entry from the Belfast native. Making some of the most aggressive electronic music out there, this release stays true to its title throughout. After coming across Kessler with the release of his 'Ambivalent' EP on Shall Not Fade, I found his style truly striking. One of those artists that on first listen makes you think, 'holy fuckin' shit'. Similar I would say to when I first heard the likes of Special Request. Proper hard music. There is more of a grimey, dubstep feel to this release from his others. A master of the glitchy broken beat, if you haven't heard of this guy yet, stop wasting time!

Favorite Track? open.spotify.com/track/1vfhgk7d9cgJHFKS4gPrOx?si=02489f67f1404b0b

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

5. Fio Fa - U Drink, U Pay (Pear)

Fio Fa EP cover art

Another faultless release from the Pear family. A slightly different approach in sound but with the same equivocal song build that we have come to adore from the now London based Fio Fa. Using inducing melodies and well crafted sampling, the Dublin man has sucked us in once more with 3 shuffling house and garage tappers fit for any club scenario. It was a real pleasure to have Fionn come and play for us in Edinburgh this past November for our SweatBox series.

Favorite Track? Has to be a toss up between open.spotify.com/track/23FfZ3M7Mouiewi2IWBd8j!

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

6. LSDXOXO - Dedicated 2 Disrespect (XL Recordings)

LSDXOXO EP cover art

Had to get this in there didn't I? One of the most well supported releases of the year, and rightly so. Once more LSDXOXO smacks us up with bad attitude and tongue in cheek club tracks. It's sexy music as always from the Philly born producer. A fitting release to add to the timeless repertoire of XL recordings, this too gives the feel of a timeless club record.

Favorite Track? Come on!!! open.spotify.com/track/2EkOwCBWjcFfhychOKcY7j for sure.

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

7. DeFeKT - Don't Stop (Winthorpe Electronics)

DeFeKT EP cover art

A real cult figure in the global electro scene, we have to come to know what to expect from the Irishman whilst simultaneously being blown by his every release. Four more electro stompers are brought forth on Don't Stop, full of deep bass lines with glitching synth melodies and vocal samples. Quite fitting to have the roadrunner plastered on the artwork. Rapid electro throughout.

Favorite Track? open.spotify.com/track/6as6mkZbX0LTEfNg9DTZJr?si=9e00b49ac0d146e8

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

8. Chippy Nonstop & dj genderfluid (self-titled LP) - (WET TRAX)

Chippy Nonstop & dj genderfluid LP cover art

Engrossing club music from Canada, this is an obliterating release from breakout star Chippy Nonstop alongside her accomplice dj genderfluid. Nonstop, high NRG techno, electro, breakbeats, and hardcore, the album delivers a choking assembly of pumping dance music with spiritual nods to the 90s rave scene. A must have.

Favorite Track? open.spotify.com/track/1gya8qEuMadF630TyOS8Cn?si=7578e98fe0d84835

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp

9. Amy Dabbs - Allure (Lobster Theremin)

Amy Dabbs EP cover art

My standout from another stacked year of Lobster Theremin output. This jungle, dnb fusion from Amy Dabbs is a real playful take on the genres that also slams on those breaks at the best of times. Hearing the title track 'Allure' on my first night back in a club in August really captivated the sound on this release. The tracks just bounce off the walls but leave you dancing with a wry smile. Big ups Amy.

Favorite Track? Allure (that Yazzus edit is mean also).

Buy & Listen here: Lobster Theremin

10. Anz - OTMI001 (self-released)

Anz EP cover art

I could have any amount of others to squeeze in here, but I couldn't possibly have left out the release featuring my track of the year in 'Unravel In The Designated Zone'. What an incredible dance track Anz has delivered here, one I will just never tire of hearing or playing. The B-side is in no way inferior mind you. 'Morphing into Brighter' is a typical Anz slammer, reminiscent of her 2020 Hessle Audio release. One of the top producers around at the moment and one of my favorite DJ's to see perform, she is incredibly in touch with the UK sounds of the 90s and the old school New York electro scene, and her releases are the end product of this clear knowledge. No longer a rising star, Anz has announced now herself onto the main stage.

Favorite Track? And also my favorite track of the year, open.spotify.com/track/10IxtRq6xz3ABo8E9aDROE.

Buy & Listen here: Bandcamp