2022 was a hell of a year for local electronic releases.
As another year draws to a close, this one was exceptionally special for the electronic community. Talent in the scene seems to grow exponentially year-on-year, and 2022 saw an ever-rolling list of screamer releases across the many sub-genres of the electronic sphere with ridiculous gems from our local streets — and we’re stoked to share a little list of some of our beloved favourites.
We get very excited about compilation albums — they’re an opportunity to showcase local talent whilst giving the city’s best producers an excuse to produce even more music. Phenomena, the Narrm and London based label co-founded by the epic Georgia Bird, Georgia Madden and Suzanne Gurusinghe released Phenomenal Vol.1 into the world last year, and backed it up again with Vol.2 this year.
Phenomenal Vol.2 is packed full of bangers from Baby G, Pistachio, Jazz & Georgia Bird, Bertie, Monako, Afrodisiac, Yollks, Hyphira, Sophie Forrest and AROHA, and mastered by Haphira, covering the spectrum of dance music with club staples and listen-at-your-own-leisure delicious tracks for home. Listen out for scatty breaks, acid and alien-like soundscapes amongst the birds, warm and atmospheric synths, raunchy jungle elements and more.
Originally hailing from Edinburgh, now-Melbourne local Iain Mac (aka Pyz) has been producing, DJing and promoting for more than two decades. Stockholm Syndrome, a former duo of Pyz and Brett Wilson (aka Wil-tron), but now the venture of solo artist Pyz, has released a solo single this year called Liberty and Pursuit. Cardini and Perel closed their Sonar set with his track, while Pablo Bozzi dropped it in his Boiler Room set.
The track was originally set in motion when Pyz was pissed off at Trump, so this track is a protest against “America’s bullshit at the time,” Pyz shared. It’s dark, industrial, with an intense lead. Chinaski and Back from the Wave contributed to the release, made possible through the support of label boss Bonny Spacey.
Arguably the rave album of the year, fresh new label MAGNESIA has curated a collection of wildly energetic dance bangers from some of the best of the best, including 0055RAVE, Clair Bai, Cobber, Crime Stoppers, Dj Ali, DJ BIG GUNS, Eastern Distributor, DJ BEVERLY HILL$, Fairie, Obelisk, SHUGO NOSS, SLAMROSS1000, Suspect Raver and WakeUpNeo.
Expect high-vibe, high heart rate screamers across the rave spaces of hardtek, trance, hard dance and hard techno.
Ruby May Moments features an idiosyncratic style of hip hop electronic beats and alternative RnB numbers plus pop textures, conjuring the energy of house parties, energetic experimental break beats and sounds of the cosmos.
The sock and sandal-wearing DJ is a drum aficionado and disciple of music’s “power to heal, to hurt, to bring people together,” he says, and his moniker has allowed him to evolve, experiment and develop his unique sound. Check out Thirty-Three with mentions to “lushtronic” to hear a warm, fuzzy, percussive and fun fave.
Local favourites Strange Interactions, made up of DJ and producer duo RITA BASS and Yangos, delighted us this year with another ridic album featuring local talented favourites, with the name inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the notion of “surviving amongst the chaos”, reflecting on what has been a frustratingly turbulent few years for the electronic community.
Astra aka Minimale Fatale describes the release as a “story of the battle of the mind at night as you wait for the safety of the next day to come,” with gems born as a result of “angst being transformed into catharsis”.
This screamer of a release has curated exceptional sounds from Minimale Fatale & Selki, Sakura Tsuruta, Tangerine and Hyphira, mixed by Finn Rhodes and Coskun Dincel, mastered by Other Joe. Expect high energy, high emotion and high vibes.
WISER’s latest two-track EP release with Coskun can be described as two wonderfully wild journeys that should really be the soundtrack to a futuristic blockbuster cinema cult film. The EP consists of a 21-minute adventure created to help you look inward, take a moment and “just breath,” WISER says.
The tracks were made within the depths of isolation and have resulted in some of the most “important music” the two have released so far. To learn about the mastermind behind the release, you can check out our deep dive story feature on the outer-worldly covered some time back on WISER here.
Acopia is one on the minds of many in the scene, featuring a power-trio of Kate Durman (Purient), Lachlan McGeehan (Liluzu) and Morgan Wright who frequent across the music industry to perform, DJ and collaborate.
Chances is an eight-track album the trio describe as an “intimate excursion of ultra-emotive dream pop”, with elements of electronic, ethereal ambient and flavourful trip hop. It captures melancholy, mourning of breakups, new-found love and the experience of self-love. Expect emotive melodies and beautiful vocals on top of soulful guitar.
Animalia, Microevolutions (Album)
Another insanely epic project released this year came from local favourite, Kia. Kia frequents clubs and warehouses both here in Australia as well as abroad, and you’d be surprised to meet someone who isn’t familiar — and another huge fan — of her intelligent explorative sounds.
Released in March, Microevolutions is a curation of Sam and Jack Brickel, Dashiell, Eugene Pascal, and Ebbs n Flow, reflecting the wide diversity of local talent, spanning sounds across cheeky, sassy and turbo techno to squelchy and atmospheric acid breaks, as well as warming UK garage.
Changes is a nostalgic release of pure joy from one half of the adored duo, Lovejoy. In what Morgan describes as a “very spiritual sequel” to the recent 2021 release of Anzac Bridge Filter, Changes features two absolute long-form bangers with warm, driving beats reminiscent of a 90s UK warehouse with atmospheric bliss that feels like a fat, warm hug.
It’s a timeless self release that we hope is one of many, which has received feedback that Huggins described as quite “overwhelming”. Seeing friends shazam the track when Huggins played the tunes out at house parties certainly solidified his excitement around the release.
Coach Frank is the solo project of Bendigo-based Aussie producer and DJ Paul Coppola. Like many of the best releases of this year, the EP was born from the midst of pandemic isolation, and taps into Paul’s inspiration sourced from notalgia, euphoria and melancholy. It takes inspiration from renowned internationals including Jacques Greene, Tourist, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Prospa.
Paul shared it was important for him to create a body of work rather than a couple of singles as he “wanted it to be a timestamp” which felt more personal than one club banger.
‘Tell Me’ was created in collaboration with local talent Alice Payne, featuring emotional vocals and euphoric breaks.
Donald’s House, Bassian Plain and 37° South (EPs)
Donald’s House, featuring local legends Peter and James Isaacs from Donald Street, kept bringing the good bread of varying flavours this year. Bassian Plain, released on Touch From A Distance, came with grounded chuggy beats and attitude, plus acid and proggy numbers, accompanied by a remix from Alex Kassian.
37° South released on Wax’O Paradiso Recordings, ventured into earthed sounds from a sunny riverside with gentle electric guitars and sun-soaking melodies followed by a getaway adventure featuring stomps in the forest. Check em out.
Jon Jones is another outrageously talented local who gifted some epic beauties this year. Heavenly trancey with progressive breaks and acid lines, Jon Jones’ Hyla EP shared a prolonged but not long enough “swirling cosmic” and grounding trip, featuring recommendations to “tune in your frequency and imagine.”
An aforementioned icon of previous Beat electronic wrap-ups, Midnight Tenderness aka Ryan Hunter, has released many epic beats across Ken Oath, ILIO, Soothsayer and Out Time Inner Space labels in the past.
This year, he treated us with a new chuggy, balearic EP on Wax’O Paradiso that explores reggae, psychedelica and smooth forest electronic wanders ft. glistening synths and guitar.
Marli is wildly equipped for a future of international domination bringing nothing but greatness with her explorative and unique sound. Mood Independent is a hazy and detailed sonic adventure into house, breakbeat, nu-jazz and experimental, creating a concoction of an entirely new sound.
Marli shared that Mood Independent is an apt title for the project, also written during Melbourne’s extensive lockdowns, that has a new step into using her own vocals. She kept her sounds secret so as not to be influenced by anything external — at times this made her feel quite insecure and scared, but the result is a release that “feels like the truest expression of me and my style,” she said.
This fun and high energy release from local party lover Osmosis Jones joyfully merges roof-raising house with feet-shuffling UKG. The long lover of the former and now self-proclaimed garage-head shares his speedy take on RnB and breaks made with expectations of “crumping long into the night.”
If you haven’t heard of the legend before and are lookin’ for some more feel good tunes, check out his additional 2021 release, Don’t Let Love Get You Down too.
Cooper has been both a disciple and shepard of the minimal and rominal scene locally, regularly producing and DJing with delicate, abstract and hypnotic tunes that have been snapped up abroad from Arapu and Sublee.
Earlier this year his sound was captured on Lock Plate VA by Before Records, featuring a deep, groovy number with smooth and soothing trippy vocals.
Prize Fight, Morning Light and Portal (EPs)
Prize Fight, aka Scott Irwin, didn’t stop for a moment this year, releasing two epic EPs through local community-focused label Spinning Around. Portal is full of introspective and extrospective bangers spanning glitchy breaks and experimental melodic garage sounds for home or party listening leisure, while Morning Light features more moody and driving acid synth and bass to create seven dance floor greats.
Francis Inferno Orchestra and Fantastic Man, Brent Lewis – 1739 (Remixes)
Everything Fantastic Man and Francis Inferno Orchestra (FIO) of Super Conscious Records release in whatever form and genre is always ridonkulously excellent. Fantastic Man continues his international production adventures in Berlin while FIO is currently sending the vibes across Los Angeles, with theo duo collaborating with other legendary exports across continents.
FIO shared that the remix was pressed and ready for release during the pandemic, but crisis-level global events put the project on hold before Amsterdam-based Colin Volvert, aka Rey Colino, encouraged it to be resurfaced to use some of the funds generated for the Ukrainian invasion and help fund the UN Refugee Agency’s emergency evacuations.
The EP ventures into an outback dreamtime with grounded funk and sun-soaked drums to create a timeless trippy two-track jam.
Local multi-disciplinary artist Mabel made one hell of a name for herself this year in what we (perhaps indisputably) believe has created a sizable shift in local sound adventures. Mabel’s brave ventures into ultra-high BPM and psychedelic elements have brought psy-trance from the former world and days of Earthcore and Rainbow Serpent to the weekly Sunday dancefloors of places like the Gaso and local favourite clubs on a Friday and Saturday late night.
Archangel is one of a few releases for Mabel this year, this time featuring trippy vocal snippets and high energy psychedelic trance edges.
Producer and lover of the more turbo sounds, nickname’s releases have given joy to electronic fans across the globe, with support across Europe and the UK. Jungle, techno, footwork, hard drums, DnB and breaks feature on nickname’s latest release, The Big Beat Manifesto, out on Happy Wax Records with an epic six track EP that goes nuclear-level hard and heavy.
Talented Chinese-Indian-Aussie starlet Milan Ring crafted an intricate release with UK-based producer Tutara Peak this year, which has since been featured in DJ Mag’s ‘12 emerging artists you need to hear’ for November, featured on Spotify editorial and advertising, and claimed some airwave space on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 6.
Milan lent her skillful songwriting to Tutara Peak’s release after taking his skeleton, weaving intricate lyrics over glistening instrumentals in what Tutara shared is “inspired by her lyrical content [with] a track that embodied and explored concepts of alternate pathways and dualities, with the visual aspects focusing on mirrored images and reflections.”
Cassettes For Kids, aka Zak Degenhardt, released what he feels to be the most deeply thoughtful piece in his career this year, with a five-track release out on Gallery Recs.
Turpins Falls is another fortunate outcome of lockdowns, with Zak sharing that despite wishing the release wasn’t so closely connected to that moment, he hasn’t written such honest music before, which he credits to the ongoing frustration and lack of mental respite he couldn’t otherwise express.
Zak describes the release as a reflection of the context at the time and the local environment, with the EP being an ode to the waterfalls in Kyneton. Expect nostalgic and emotive explorations alongside vocally-driven more turbulent driving and energetic house.
Pretty Girl, Forever (Single) and Nice To See You (Single on EP)
Pretty Girl, aka Emilia Predebon, has had one hell of a year and has sky-rocketed to national stardom since our mid-lockdown deep dive interview with her back in 2020, bringing her unique, glistening euphoric vocals and synth soundscapes to the Boiler Room Stage with a 6,000-headed dancefloor, Listen Out, the Margaret Court Arena in support of Bonobo and more.
She’s one of the most hard-working producers in the scene, sharing Forever, a self release in July bringing “crying-on-the-dancefloor” energy with intentions to rip your heart strings. In November, Predebon released Nice to See You on Steel City Dance Discs, a local label merging the home towns of Newcastle, Australia and London, England. The second release dives deeper and darker with a track for the club, with melodic acidy synths and trippy vocals, and her feature effect of causing emotional goosebumps.
Aldonna is another humbly-talented local artist making waves across the ocean, with international favourites dropping her beats across Panorama Bar and Dekmantel to Boiler Room and Nachtdigital, as well as the esteemed Feel My Bicep series.
This year, she released a four-track debut on Morph, on New York’s HOMAGE featuring 90s and early 00s-inspired soundscapes dipping into breaks, trance and psychadelic house and techno, in an ode to good-time rave music. Tracks feature remixes from locals Marli and international but semi-adopted local Alex Kassian.
Another result from lockdowns, Aldonna shared this release was possible from undivided attention towards production when dancefloors was forbidden, which she believes was worth the wait when she experienced the joys of the community responding to her music both on local soil and abroad.
We’re ending off this outrageously fruitful list that is by no means a full list of local electronic releases of this year with Daisy Records’ first epic go at a compilation album, Daisy Records Volume One.
The nine-track local release both spans and bends genres of ambient and downtempo, dubby breaks, atmospheric dark and broodier explorations, proggy minimalistic dance floor stomps with experimental soundscapes from talented legends Sans Merit, Low Flung, Liluzu, Norachi, Dashiell, Dawn Again, Primitive Needs, Mabel and Obelix. Pop in your Bandcamp cart now.
And get out there and support your locals!