Mantis Radio’s favourite releases of 2021. Part One
It’s that time of year again. Well. It was. Everybody else’s end of year lists went out last year, beginning in November of all months. And then it’s a barrage on the socials from DJs, radio hosts, shops, and just about anyone. And that’s OK. In the years that I’ve done an end of year list, I’ve taken a seat, let the crowds rush through and quietly gone through all the music that came into my orbit during the year. As you can imagine this takes some time.
Going into the week of Christmas, and that weird festive taint between the 25th and the 31st I continued. Listening to, skipping through, and in some cases removing altogether some releases that just didn’t warrant a second listen. Numbers wise it was around 660 releases, of which 580 made it through the other side.
Whilst it’s a big undertaking of time for me to do this, it’s good to take stock of the year, purge those that need purging and rediscover those that I’ve either forgotten about, or didn’t give enough of a listen at the time. At the same time I’ve been checking out other people’s lists and seeing what I missed that they enjoyed. Which means I’m going in this year with a list of releases from last year to check. No bad thing.
Music is a constant fascination and joy of mine, and with that what follows are my 52 records of the year – split into two lists. One of which is 21 metal releases that blew me away, and the other, the below list, 31 electronic releases that captivated my ears and made me go, whoa there. There is no rated order to these lists, other than by record label, and the order in which they were listened and listed.
There was a definite shift in electronic music last year, it was reflective, and turned inward more. At least in a lot of what I was hearing. No doubt in large part caused by the pandemic and global lockdown situation. Despite the bizarre, bleak, and shit that was 2021, there was some amazing music that came out of it. These are my favourite releases of the year, I hope you find a few in here you love as well.
31 favourites of 2021.
C Mantle – Anatomically Correct [Acre Recordings]
Aleksi Perälä – Phantasia VI [AP Musik]
Tech Level 2 – Depths [Avalanche Recordings]
CARTHAGE – Midnight White [Avalanche Recordings]
D&S – Indentured Servitude [Avoidant]
Ora Clementi – Sylva Sylvarum [Black Truffle]
James Ruskin – Shortcut [Blueprint]
Mr G – The Forced Force Is Not The True Force [CHILDHOOD]
Det Kätterskä Forbund – Lidaverken Del I: Att i Vådeld Förgås [Cold Spring Records]
Gnäw – I [Cruel Nature Recordings]
Lip Critic / Omnibael – Split LP [Cruel Nature Recordings]
Bonnie Mercer & YLP – Old Moon / New Moon & The Image of 36 [Downwards]
Michèle Bokanowski – Rhapsodia / Battements Solaires [Editions Mego]
Jana Irmert – The Soft Bit [Fabrique Records]
GrandessoCera – Phosphorescent Line [Jazz-o-Techt]
KK NULL & Dot Product – 404 Not Found [Jezgro]
Scorn – The Only Place [Ohm Resistance]
Uffe – Words and Endings [On the Corner]
Felicity Mangan – Ball Metal Reeds [One Instrument]
Kentaro Hayashi – Peculiar [Opal Tapes]
PÆN – Origins [Paean Music]
Lustmord & Karin Park – ALTER [Pelagic Records]
Shawn Rudiman – Flow State [Pittsburgh Tracks]
Kiasu – Negative Gold [self-released]
Empath – Binaural Blues [Signature Dark]
Malcuth & Facutum – Pentiment [SINFULL MAZE]
Appleblim – Infinite Hieroglyphics [Sneaker Social Club]
Babe Roots – Through We [System Music]
Luke Lund – Remnant Ejecta [Terranean Recordings]
Malcolm Pardon – Hello Death [The New Black]
Nala Sinephro – Space 1.8 [Warp Records]