2021 Best Albums

From the long overdue debut albums of LeRon Carson and Steve Summers, to the revelation of An Anomaly, from the roughness of Filmmaker and Ratsnake to the meditative music of Les Filles de Illighadad, from the established Greek artist June to the very limited synthwave album of the unknown Greek artist Tatat, here are our favorite albums from 2021, compiled in chronological order.

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2021 Best Albums

VA – NO MERCY • An Honoris Tribute To The Sisters Of Mercy & The Sisterhood • [UPRGOLD17/IC018/OR96]

VARIOUS - No Mercy

Unknown Pleasures Records, Industrial Complexx and Oráculo records co-release a tribute to one of the most legendary band of the all time darkwave-goth scene. New versions running away from the obvious classics by an amazing palette of brilliant acts such as Kill Shelter, A Wedding Anniversary, Swesor Bhrater, Years Of Denial or Chris Shape among others. This is expected to be an ultra searched vinyl collectible item.

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VA – NO MERCY • An Honoris Tribute To The Sisters Of Mercy & The Sisterhood • [UPRGOLD17/IC018/OR96]

89s† & Petra Flurr – Trübe Stadt [OR99]

89S/PETRA FLURR - Trube Stadt

89s† is the obscure electronic music project of Berlin-based Carlos Grabstein whom has collaborated with the multi-faceted Petra Flurr to create the German industrial-album of the year. Clearly influenced majorly by the rudimentary early industrial of DAF and Suicide it includes as well more modern approaches to the genre that evokes to Nitzer Ebb because of the exploding energy of their chants and the tribalist power of their drums sections.

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89s† & Petra Flurr – Trübe Stadt [OR99]

Human Figures – Tabula Rasa [DC012]

Tabula Rasa is a deep and often wistful journey into the world of Daniel Holt’s project Human Figures. Transitive and ethereal, these eight tracks effortlessly fuse elements of cold wave, post-punk, and minimal electronics culminating in a pensive opus awash in faded dreams. Another classic from the visionary artist at his finest.

Human Figures – Tabula Rasa [DC012]

System 01 – 1990-1994 [MNQ150]

SYSTEM 01 - 1990-1994

Mannequin Records presents a 2xLP compilation of System 01, the legendary techno project of Johnny Klimek & Paul Browse. Moving from acid basslines, 808/909 minimalistic reminiscences and hidden movie samples, the core of the compilation is covering Johnny and Paul whole activity as System 01, spanning from their 1990 debut EP “From Psychodelics To Cybernetics” on Interfisch with Timothy Leary, father of the LSD generation, to 1994, with the release of their most acclaimed album “Drugs Work” on Tresor, naturally placing them in the “Der Klang Der Familie”.

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System 01 – 1990-1994 [MNQ150]

Genetic Factor – Sampler 12″ [AD015]

GENETIC FACTOR - Sampler

Artificial Dance spent a wealth of time going through the archived recordings of Richard Zeilstra, AKA Genetic Factor. Richard was a pivotal figure in the Amsterdam new wave and avant-garde pop music circles. Besides hosting the ever-influential Spleen and Radionome radio shows on the VPRO he also found time to conduct his own audible experiments. As a firm believer of music by non-musicians Richard has made the effort throughout the last decades to keep on recording in a variety of different guises on different parts of the planet. In these different times and places, the genetic factor was always there. The sampler contains 2 songs from a forthcoming 2×12″ full-length archival compilation and 2 exclusives. The archival compilation will see the day of light in 2022. Fully endorsed and in collaboration with Richard, compiled by Olf van Elden & Robert Bergman.

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Genetic Factor – Sampler 12″ [AD015]

The New York Models – Love On Video [BAP158]

NEW YORK MODELS, The - Love On Video

An obscure and hi NRG disco stomper from the mid-nineties unearthed by the Bordello A Parigi crew and produced by the one and only Bobby Orlando. It has glistening disco arps and throwback drum machine sounds powering it along with a great female vocal singing lines like ‘You can watch them making love on video.’ The opening Digital Mix is the best for us but the Vanzetti & Sacco cut gets a little more pumping for the peak time so will also come in handy.

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The New York Models – Love On Video [BAP158]

Basic – Face In The Night [BAP156]

BASIC - Face In The Night (reissue)

A re-issue of this timeless italo ballad produced by Italian percussionist Massimo Pacciani. The song was recorded in 1984 in Marzio Bennelli’s studio in Florence with an Oberheim OB-X, Yamaha DX7, Marzio on guitar and the great vocals of Riccardo Galardini. They took inspiration from Flashdancers – Maniac (an italo cover of Michael Sembello’s ‘Maniac’) which they recorded the same day in Bennelli’s studio.

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Basic – Face In The Night [BAP156]

VA – The Semiconscious System [ISR004]

For the labels first release of 2022, Idlestates have curated a blend of no-nonsense EBM with grittier industrial electronics. The 13 track VA compilation welcomes a host of new artists to the label whilst continuing to showcase returning favourites such as Meshes, Magnum Opus, and MVQX. The album titled ‘The Semiconscious System’, arrives with several dancefloor ready anthems whilst allowing a meltdown through intervals of raw industrial sludge. The limited-edition cassette features; Gewalt, Autumns, Filmmaker, Disociacion, L/F/D/M, MVQX and Kirsten on side A. Whilst side B contains tracks from; Prophan, The Undertaker’s Tapes, Termination_800, Alpha Sect, Magnum Opus/Ravetop and Meshes.

VA – The Semiconscious System [ISR004]

Pablo Bozzi – Ghost Of Chance [DA020A]

Pablo Bozzi returns to Jennifer Cardini’s Dischi Autunno with a follow up record to the ‘Last Moscow Mule’ EP from 2020. The six track EP ‘Ghost Of Chance’ marks a deepening from the previous forays into the Italo Disco & Synthwave influenced sound Bozzi has previously explored. With a heavy hand in the realm of nostalgia Bozzi expertly weaves melody through drum machine loops, the track comes to a climax with longing vocals reminiscent of 80s new wave and goth dance clubs. Although steeped in the nostalgia of time gone he manages to lend a modern production, a cleanness of sound that never stays too long in the past.

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Pablo Bozzi – Ghost Of Chance [DA020A]

Volta Cab – Minotaur Topaz [W10]

VOLTA CAB - Minotaur Topaz

Kostantyn Isaev the man behind the project Volta Cab and also Rambal Cochet is now part of the Waste Editions family. The St. Petesburg’s colorful artist has just recorded 6 catchy and powerful tunes which are heavily influenced by the new wave/post punk music of the late 80’s , especially by bands like Кино (Kino) and the Soviet space disco as well.

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Volta Cab – Minotaur Topaz [W10]

ADMX-71 – The Aging Process [LIES174]

ADMX 71 - The Aging Process

Adam X returns to L.I.E.S. under his slowbeat industrial guise as ADMX-71.Through this nine track 2xLP we get a master class in hi-def bleep infused psychedelic industrial. Made for urban terrain, this is the definition of cyber war gear grinding street techno…head directly for the absolutely tense rhythmic noise track “Catch Me If You Can” and have your head explode. More end of the world anthems from a master on this long player.

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ADMX-71 – The Aging Process [LIES174]

Lucid Dreams – Lucid Dreams [AI-28]

LUCID DREAMS - Lucid Dreams

AI-28 arrives as a double-12” reissue of an album titled “Lucid Dreams”. Formerly released in 1996 as a CD on the now defunct UK imprint em:t, the album now becomes available for the first time on vinyl. Produced collaboratively by Chris Allen, David Thompson (both co-founders of em:t), plus label affiliates Tom Smyth and Will Joss, the record features outlier academic and philosopher Celia Green narrating passages of her classic book “Lucid Dreams” (published in 1968), seamlessly embellished with atmospheric soundscapes throughout. Brooding amorphously on the cusp of the unknown, the music captures the quintessentially mysterious quality of dreams and dreaming. Layer by layer, the listener is submerged deep into the subconscious stream. The record curls and unwinds with bewildering influence whilst exploring key themes of Green’s studies, with topics covering hallucinatory states, apparitions, out of body experiences, and extrasensory perception. The collaborative handling of samples and sound material comes together powerfully to create a piece that is both artistically theatrical in flavour and sumptuously immersive – a true documentary for the ears and imagination.

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Lucid Dreams – Lucid Dreams [AI-28]

Toxic Frequency – Recorded at Frequency Farm 1993 – 1994 [DEL11]

TOXIC FREQUENCY - Recorded At Frequency Farm 1993-1994

First vinyl edition of these homemade electronic tracks, recorded in a primitive bedroom studio between 1993 and 1994 by Mark Crumby, a British born fan of synths and drum machines. A surprising crossover, as it alternates between the soft balearic sound heat and the urban indu-electro rigour. Now living in Vienna, Mark is currently a member of experimental/industrial project Konstruktivists, minimal synth pop acts mitra mitra and Oppenheimer MkII. He releases experimental techno under the names Codex Empire and antechamber.

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Toxic Frequency – Recorded at Frequency Farm 1993 – 1994 [DEL11]

Exhausted Modern – Deform | Reform [MRG012]

After first appearing on MRG010, Czech artist Exhausted Modern is back on Marguerite Records with a solo EP called “Deform | Reform”. A side opens up with the dreamy electro-ish “Giving form to chaos”, followed by the high tension ambient-techno cut “The self unselving”; A3 is a trippy oddball slow-tempo jams called “Old disguises”. B side unwraps with “De creatura” and “Riddles of creation”, respectively on B1 and B2: the Endless Illusion boss crafted two ambient cuts characterized by haunting soundscapes, weird voices cut ups and deep basslines. The title track ”Deform _ Reform” closes the EP in a Sabres of Paradise-esque manner with a communion of dub and industrial rhythmics and patterns.

Exhausted Modern – Deform | Reform [MRG012]

Mainline Magic Orchestra – Tettsui [PP062]

MAINLINE MAGIC ORCHESTRA - Tettsui

Public Possession presents the debut 4 track 12” EP from the Barcelona based audio & visual artists Mainline Magic Orchestra. As you would expect it’s far away from ordinary, the guys are mixing styles and influences as they please to deliver a full package of dance floor fillers & thrillers.

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Mainline Magic Orchestra – Tettsui [PP062]

Coeo – Dance Routines [RESISTA012]

COEO - Dance Routines

Toy Tonics regulars and Munich based House & Disco specialists Coeo step up for their ‘Dance Routines’ on the vinyl-only Resista.On the A side is a Gabonese Boogie weapon with a beyond funky bassline and body-rocking drums mixed with an amazing vocal, triumphant horns and syncopated guitar hits.
Over on the B1, a rolling Giorgio Morode-esque Disco synth bass is layered with jacking Proto House drums and Arabic chanting for a track that wouldn’t be amiss in a Hot Mix 5 show. Finally the B2 whips up a percussion frenzy with a deep droning bass stab and a hypnotic call and response vocal.

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Coeo – Dance Routines [RESISTA012]