End-of-year review 2021 – Top 20 12inches

12inches are mostly, but not always, made for the club. A look at the 20 best records in 2021 shows that in this year, not only was dance music rethought – but that also quiet counterpoints were set.
Al Wootton
Trule • 2021 • from 8.99€
Whether new wave, house, synth-pop, techno or experimental music: Perel, real name Annegret Fiedler, is known for her timeless sound, which is characterised by dynamic vocals, disco basslines and techno synth lines. On June 18th, the artist from Saxony announced her Running Back debut with the release of »Star«. The EP offers captivating vocals on the eponymous track, that creates deep, intense and delightful atmospheres. Perel invites you to revel in pre-Corona times with mesmerizing sounds. Franziska Nistler

A Sunken Mall • 2021 • from 21.99€
It doesn’t really matter what exactly Perila does, because it’s never really clear what exactly she’s been doing anyway. What is clear however what this results in, that is, what her crackling ambient pop does to those with two ears and a slowly beating heart. The albums of the Berlin-based Russian are like bathtubs filled with ether: both extremely tempting and a potentially lethal trap, because it’s easy to sink into them. »7.37/2.11«” is even more abstract, muddier, more evocative and less communicative than its predecessors and thus actually a Perila release in its purest form – a veritable vortex. And who would want to escape it? Kristoffer Cornils

Poly Chain
Lake Lemuria
Die Orakel • 2021 • from 12.99€
»Is it 1992 again?«, asks colleague Hinz while listening to this record. Understandable! After all, the Kiev-born producer Poly Chain crashes over »Lake Lemuria« with basslines reminiscent of early Aphex Twin. For those who don’t know the spot in Ukraine: it’s pink water for the best Insta-moments! No wonder Sasha Zakrevska gets carried away at the sight of it and loses herself in gentle melodies. Presented by yours truly Die Orakel from Frankfurt. Christoph Benkeser

The Devil's In The Dlzlzlz
Fever AM • 2021 • from 11.99€
Techno may be cheerfully undead by now, but Rhyw is its very own van Helsing: the guy who, armed with a stake and garlic, finally bring the deadly beast down. »The Devil’s In The Dlzlz« is a four-part exploration of how techno could sound if all the generations after Jeff Mills had finally dared to kill their proverbial father – exciting, exhilarating, and stimulating. This is IDM-infused, massive, thundering music that still maintains an understanding for the needs of a dancefloor that finally wants to come alive again. Kristoffer Cornils

Sedef Adasi
Fantasy Zone
Public Possession • 2021 • from 13.99€
In her DJ sets the Augsburg artist Sedef Adasi serves a broad spectrum of genres, ranging from techno to pop. This summer, the DJ and HAMAM Nights party series promoter released her debut EP »Fantasy Zone« on Public Possession and allowed her Turkish roots to flow in, as can be easily heard on »Gel Gidelim«. On »Fantasy Zone«, Adasi creates a euphoric and at the same time melancholic mood that allows everyone to dive into her both colourful and shrill worlds of fantasy. Franziska Nistler

Sweepsculp (Upsammy)
Nous Klaer Audio • 2021 • from 11.99€
She has established her vision of liquid techno that lets the dancefloor melt away under your feet as Upsammy in recent years. In 2021 however, Thessa Torning has shown a whole new facet of her artistic self under her new alias Sweepsculp. The five tracks on her »Sweepsculp EP« blend post-rock, clicks’n’cuts and electronica into a rhythmically flowing whole. Sebastian Hinz

Tara Clerkin Trio
In Spring EP
World Of Echo • 2021 • from 18.99€
The most exciting band of the past year remains the most exciting band of the current year. The Tara Clerkin Trio’s »In Spring EP« is an inkling of actual future, a truly new idea in a year in which quite a few start-up bosses promised us to have »rethought« all sorts of things, a breath of fresh air in the confines of circumstances, a blessing even for non-believers. The three bring together jazz, hip-hop, and folk and somehow turn all of that into pop music that sounds as if Duke Ellington had produced the latest Tirzah record. A huge step in their development, but certainly still not the final form of this most beautiful of all beasts. Philipp Kunze

All Caps
UIQ • 2021 • from 13.99€
You can take away Zuli’s machines, but you can’t take Zuli away from the machines. The Egyptian producer shreds amen breaks for Lee Gamble’s UIQ label and tears a big fat hole in the bass box with his sonic hand grenades. »All Caps« is the smash hit of the year, a massage voucher for both mind and body — the rare record that catapuls footwork and jungle into the 2020s in one fell swoop. This is electronic music in the rhythm of contemporary life. Christoph Benkeser