Source: Resident Advisor

RA staff pick their favourite tracks of the past 12 months.

This year, our writers reviewed almost 600 EPs. Some were vinyl-only white-labels, others were self-released tracks from producers whose music could only be heard through online streams. We also covered plenty of hits—the kind of tracks played by superstar DJs soundtracking the world’s festival stages. From Casablanca to Croydon, Berlin to Beijing, electronic music felt more exciting, and global, than ever, fuelled by producers twisting familiar sounds into thrilling new forms. Whether you were a touring DJ hunting for reduced techno tools or a sound geek trawling Bandcamp for cutting-edge club tracks, 2019 had it all.Our writers, staff and editors have selected 55 tracks that defined this year. There’s fresh experimental music, barrelling techno and festival anthems. We’ve tried a new format, separating the selections into categories that cover a range of styles, tastes and moods. Below each section, you’ll find extended playlists featuring additional highlights from 2019.Most of the tracks we’re highlighting were drawn from our pool of hundreds of EP reviews, which represents just a small fraction of the excellent electronic music released this year. Others in the list were records we missed the first time around but were too good not to share.

01 Warm-Up

Every DJ needs smooth, subtle tunes to ease dancers into a party. Here are five of this year’s best.
 
      • Tring! There’s a lot to say about « Little Birds, Moonbath, » the enchanting new age track by Yu Su, but that sound (an alert string chord struck at a very high, slightly off-key pitch) is its distinguishing feature. It might be usefully compared to a sharp nudge from a friend (« Pay attention! ») in the presence of something worth seeing, or in this case hearing. Those sounds are Michelle Helene Mackenzie’s lace-like modular synth, the bucolic cascades of melody, and Yu Su’s poetic, deep-in-the-mix spoken word. Where most ambient tracks aspire to emulate nature, « Little Birds, Moonbath » seems like an idealised vision of it.

      • Listening to DJ Python’s music feels like floating. It’s soothing and a little whimsical, plus there’s a depth of texture that gently hints at something more intense. On Derretirse, Brian Pineyro presents the dreamiest version of his characteristic deep reggaeton sound. Wavy opener « Lampara » is perfectly placed, welcoming you in pulses of glimmering synths and soft, slow drums. It eases into the more moving tracks on the record while also being a comforting moment to hang out in. « Lampara » puts the « warm » in warm up.

      • For a producer whose catalogue includes tracks built around a « seasick carnival organ, » robotic meta-commentary and, of course, a « Claptrap, » the title cut off Joe’s Comeme debut felt relatively straightforward. Well, at least until you notice the track’s tension stems from a 7/8 rhythm and dizzying syncopation. Like the best records in Joe’s discography, this one makes you wonder, « How exactly did he come up with that?

      • Liquid Earth
        Origins Of Telluria
        TerraFirm

        In the past few years, tech house has had a quiet renaissance. Liquid Earth, or Urulu, one of several producers rescuing the style from Beatport chuggagedon, has released a few of its most intriguing tracks this year. With its wiggly acid bassline and tweaked-out effects (best summed up as « crickets in outer space »), « Origins Of Telluria » echoes the OG Croydon style of tech house in its rolling, even-tempered arrangement. In the track’s last quarter, some regal synth chords add a dash of high-tech soul to this trippy A-side.

      • The frequent tempo changes in Whodat & Viola Klein’s oddball house jam « Funeral Song » gave some DJs headaches. Luckily, its sunny, laid-back feel was perfectly suited to the early stages of a party, when crowds are still finding their feet. Anyway, who cares about a clang or two when you’re treating the dance floor to the best Workshop track in years?

         

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

02/ Music At The Cutting Edge

Throughout the year, producers twisted electronic music into wonderful new shapes. From deconstructed club to brain-scrambling jungle, experimental electronic music felt more exciting than ever.
      • Jungle sounded futuristic in the early ’90s. Why are so many new artists obsessed with sounding like the old ones? « That Hyde Trakk » is jungle that feels new, and a track that LOFT (now known as AYA) has been working towards her entire career. The sounds are sleek, the rhythm changes brain-scrambling, the speed blinding. It’s enough to make you astounded, perhaps like a new listener back in the old days

      • For a quick track, « A Flower, Nocturnal And Permanent » feels surprisingly at ease. Amazondotcom paces manipulated samples of birds chirping, leaves rustling and crowds muttering with blunt, jangly percussion and soft wobbles to let the space between the elements set the tone. Still, the pulse is more than persuasive enough to make dance floors move.

      • Philly-based artist DJ Haram makes music at the nexus of East Coast club and traditional Arab sounds. « No Idol » is the introductory track to her most recent EP, Grace. The track is a playful, extended dialogue between minimalist samples, from a stuttering flute trill to more dramatic sounds, like the weighty orchestral chorus that floods in halfway through.

      • Some of the freshest club music of 2019 came either from East Asia or East Africa, served up by labels like SVBKVLT, Hakuna Kulala and Nyege Nyege Tapes. One EP, a collaboration between Nairobi’s Slikback and Shanghai’s Hyph11E, was a product of both. The standout cut on Slip B was « ISHU, » a fireball of manic rhythms, industrial noise and sudden stop-starts. Loud and ferocious, it’s the sound of dance music’s bleeding edge

      • « There’s only one winner in this bitch and I win everything, » Shygirl snarls on « BB »‘s closest thing to a chorus. It’s hard not to believe her. Produced by Sega Bodega, this electrifying club beat comes alive with Shygirl’s boastful MCing, the catchiest monotone we heard all year.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

 

03/ Garage & 2-Step

Thanks to a new wave of producers putting a fresh spin on familiar sounds, these classic styles had a purple patch in 2019.
      • At first glance, « Claustro » was another garage cut with R&B samples. Same old, same old, right? Wrong. This sizzler was a departure from the Londoner’s typically mournful sound: pacier, brighter, more propulsive. And how about that finale? With 30 seconds to go, he performed a hard left turn into Eurodance melodies and chipmunk vocals. Only Burial could deliver two bangers in one track.

      • Despite his brilliant track record, you might not have expected a techno-oriented producer like Stenny to supply 2019’s most robust UK garage experiment. Like many new 2-step productions, « Stress Test » plays directly from the dark and minimal El-B playbook, but it’s delivered with the fresh enthusiasm of a garage dilettante. While it ditches garage’s bubbly effervescence for a more stone-faced delivery, its firm execution stands out.

      • Of the various factions comprising UK garage’s new wave, Harry Wills, Alec Falconer and co. are the psychedelic minimalists. By emphasising the style’s loose-limbed swerve and restraining its lairy tendencies, productions like Wills’ « Cab Suave » remix make a snug fit with trippy house and stripped-back techno. There’s a hint of minimal’s jerky oddness in the mix, too. The play of organ, stab and synth recalls both Perlon and Groove Chronicles, a key trait distinguishing this school’s brand of garage from the crowd

      • Instinct
        Pistolwhip
        Instinct

        Instinct, a side project from the UK producer Burnski, embodies a sound that’s crept to the fore these past few years: deep club cuts at the crossroads of minimal, tech house and garage. The series has had lots of great moments, but its high water mark so far is « Pistolwhip, » a floor-filler with the sinister air of druggy minimal but a stepping rhythm and vocal hook that are pure UKG. No wonder this sleeper hit was a DJ favorite all year

      • ZeroFG
        Renegade Steppa
        Dr Banana

        The excellent label (and clothing brand) Dr Banana releases classic UKG along with new stuff, and while some old tunes inevitably steal the show (last year’s « Romantic Call »), the current artists on their records really hold their own. On Dr Banana 07, new tracks from Holloway and ZeroFG outshone old ones from Sky Joose and DJ Texta, especially ZeroFG’s « Renegade Steppa. » Dark and trippy with an evil bassline, this one feels fresh in a way only new music can.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

04/ The Sound Of Summer Festivals

The best of the many mega-hits we danced to at festivals all around the world.
      • Tracks by Kieran Hebden have been soundtracking summers for more than a decade. Where 2019’s other Four Tet hit, « Only Human, » harnessed the power of a well-chosen vocal sample, « Dreamer » is all about shimmering textures and shuffling percussion. At just three minutes long, this was tough to work into DJ sets, but that didn’t stop « Dreamer » becoming one of the most popular tunes of the year. Another summer, another Four Tet smash.

      • Peggy Gou couldn’t have set the scene for this tune more clearly. « Starry Night, » a wavy piano house tune flecked with acid lines and vocals mulling the fleeting nature of popularity, is lush and inviting like a humid evening breeze. As slick as shimmery house comes (with a dazzling video to match), it funnels all of Gou’s strengths into one radiant package

      • Remember Peter Bjorn And John’s « Young Folks, » the indie pop smash with that insanely hummable melody? « Fury’s Laughter, » by Samuel André Madsen, might be the house music equivalent. Its whistling earworm was catnip to sun-drenched dance floors in 2019, a tune so catchy 76,000 ravers felt compelled to whip out Shazam. (Context: those are incredible numbers for an underground house track.) Could this be the record that finally catapults one of dance music’s unsung heroes into the spotlight?

      • This time 13 years ago, dancers were jumping around to Simian Mobile Disco’s « Hustler, » a track with a deadpan vocal that helped define the blog house era of the ’00s. The « Hustler » for summer 2019 was Soulwax’s remix of Marie Davidson’s « Work It, » which resurrected last year’s most addictive vocal for a jacking, high-energy bomb that lit up festivals big and small. As they’ve done so many times before, Soulwax made a hit track even bigger.

      • Plenty of artists made and played trance this year, but few did it with the passion of Nathan Micay. « The Party We Could Have » is the kind of out-and-out late-’90s worship we’ve been waiting for him to make all along. It so unabashedly goes for it (listen to those belching basslines) that it could put a smile on even the most ardent trance-hater’s face, becoming an explosive summit hit through bliss, and sheer force.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

 

05/ Peak-Time Techno

As superstar DJs took techno to new heights, these are the tracks that lit up basements and warehouse raves.
      • Aurora Halal once described a formative techno experience with terms like « clarity of sound, » « 3D spectrum of frequencies » and « high-definition psychedelic emersion. » That’s pretty much what you get on Wata Igarashi’s remix of her track « Eternal Blue. » All dizzying arpeggios and impossibly crystalline sounds, touched with that sense of cosmic drama Igarashi does so well, it’s the kind of techno that calls to mind the expanding brain meme, and that, on the right soundsystem, could give you a proper out-of-body experience.

      • A push-and-pull between light and dark, happy and sad, is central to plenty of great music. Kobosil’s « 44 Rush Mix » of Rosa Anschütz’s « Rigid » found a perfect ratio between different moods, pairing pained, droning vocals with a thundering techno instrumental that, at times, feels euphoric. The result was one of the most powerful techno tracks of 2019, and a high point in Kobosil’s career.

      • Techno doesn’t get many anthems, but « Joshua And Goliath » was one of 2019’s. The sonic equivalent of a wrecking ball smashing through a burnt-out warehouse, Paula Temple’s peak-time bomb still manages to feel musical, a churning chorus of synths with plenty of moving parts. Not every techno DJ was brave enough to unleash it on a crowd, but those who did sent dance floors into meltdown.

      • Love gnarly techno? How about EBM? Two yeses? Then this was your year. One of the stars in this camp was VTSS, the Berlin-based Pole whose no-nonsense DJ sets took her to new and far-flung places in 2019. Her productions helped, too, namely « Fruition, » a stormy banger with craggy textures and gruesome artwork. But beneath the murk there was something else: a beautiful melody as wispy and delicate as frost.

      • « It’s funny because I have a bunch of techno bangers that I keep making, but it’s not really what I like to present, » Varg told RA this year. « A Weak Heart To Break (BD 4-Ever) » is the highlight from two EPs of straight-up techno bangers, bundling Varg’s contradictions into one trance-tinged steamroller. It’s hard not to be taken by its melodies, an outpouring of emotion that makes Varg’s music so universal.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

 

06/ 4AM Rollers

The tunes DJs reach for when the dance floor is packed and the groove is rolling.
      • « Confident will be playing this in 20 years, » tweeted Ben UFO of Joy O’s « Belly Mix » of « Belter. » What might make it so replayable? That could be closely tied to the much-discussed decline of dance floor anthems. If our collective appetite for bright, hooky hits (Joy O’s « Ellipsis » being one) has waned, then « Belly Mix » is one possible mutation: the don’t-feel-good track. Where Off The Meds’ Kamohelo Khoaripe seems like the story’s enigmatic anti-hero, Joy O’s sour bassline is the seedy antagonist.

      • DJs love Casa Voyager, the Moroccan house, techno and electro label named after a train station, because of tracks like Kosh’s « Keep Hope Alive. » Fat, spacey and emotional, this rolling house track is best played sometime deep into the night, its bubbling bassline preparing the dance floor for lift-off into outer space.

      • For the last few years, Deniro’s techno records for labels like Trip and Tape Records have skewed towards the left-of-centre. « Monsoon 2, » a percussive techno track, was more understated. It’s shuffling percussion was built for classy DJ sets, rolling with the easygoing bounce of classic techno. This wasn’t the flashiest techno track of the year, but it was one of the slickest.

      • The Norwegian producer Karima F’s breakout track is all about patience. It starts out as a simple breakbeat loop, building slowly before an organ loop locks the groove into place. It’s not so much a drop as a gear shift, one that could give a set a jolt of energy. It’s the rare track that finds an anthemic quality in restraint, simmering below boiling point while its melody wriggles into your head.

      • CCL x Flora FM
        Liquify Interference
        Planet Euphorique

        One of two collaborations from the Seattle-based artists this year (the other being « Winding Plod, » which lives up to its name, off Bandcloud’s excellent charity compilation), « Liquidity Interference » lands directly on the dance floor. The drums are crisp, and there’s so much space you can almost hear each percussion hit. Then melodic synths soar overhead, bringing a lightness to those hours when the music has taken over control of your movement.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

07/ Beat Science

Producers working with unconventional rhythms were responsible for some of the most dazzling tunes of the year.
      • Leila Samir’s No Music EP was a shining debut that immediately garnered approval from the likes of Andrew Weatherall and Zaltan. The first single, « Anxiety » snipped elements of Saudi Arabian music, techno and hard drum to produce something scornful and foreboding. Leading with unassuming synths, it isn’t long before it descends into a rapidly intensifying rhythm.

      • Air Max ’97 has coined an apt term for his bludgeoning genre of music: « horror dance. » « Bruxis » is a great example of this off-kilter style, incorporating squalls of slashing knives, a mischievous horror film soundtrack melody and extraterrestrial vocals. But Air Max ’97 isn’t about cheap thrills. At one point, he delivers a perfectly timed, suspenseful break. After the mayhem, it feels well deserved

      • On « Peninsula, » the Club Chai cofounder Lara Sarkissian evokes an epic scene. It’s a grey morning on an ancient battlefield, and thunderous hand drumming is calling troops to war. A sense of mystery builds as metallic groans and eerie duduk, an Armenian woodwind, slither through the complex rhythms. But the percussion’s controlled intensity never falters, resulting in a strange but powerful experimental club bomb.

      • In 2019, Version moved on from the reduced dubstep it does so well for more adventurous explorations of rhythm. And who better for this than Sheffield’s finest beat twister, Yak? « Kaepora, » the B-side on Version 013, is the German label’s most striking track yet, and perhaps Yak’s as well. A mirage of sun-dappled vocals and shimmering drums set to a nonstandard 115-BPM rhythm, it is utterly unconventional, but so lush and groovy you might not notice.

      • DJ Plead
        Salt And Pepper
        Nervous Horizon

        DJ Plead’s music is rooted in Lebanese and Syrian music traditions, along with UK house and bass. « Salt And Pepper » is an experimental take on Arab beats, complete with the soulfulness of the best UK funky. With frenetic, looping percussion and searing synths, this is DJ Plead’s most compelling track this year.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

 

08/ 150+ BPM

When producers increased the tempo, the results were often thrilling.
      • Special Request
        VORTEX 164 (Sully Remix)
        Houndstooth

        Paul Woolford’s « VORTEX » originals were all about the primitive thrill of a slowly rising tone. Sully’s remix succeeds by taking a harder route, doing away with Woolford’s ultra-effective motif in favour of a specific idea. He focusses on turning breakbeats into pitched, melodic material, twisting drums into razor-sharp tonal swords that slice and dice with the best of the ’94 school.

      • Galaxian is synonymous with electro, but his standout work of 2019 recalls vintage Christoph De Babalon. This is a war of the worlds, where apocalyptic despair faces off with dead-eyed violence, but a furtive glimmer of hope watches on. Juggernaut hoover, tortured, pulverised breaks and awe-inspiring pads don’t just tug at the heartstrings, they rip them clean off. But for all its horror, « Coming Up For Air »‘s true power resides in that it’s ultimately a redemptive experience. Its confronting emotional honesty disturbs but purifies.

      • Djrum
        Hard To Say
        R&S Records

        Djrum’s sound is a high-wire balancing act between high intensity and big emotions. When the two are properly poised, the results inspire a hypersensorial awe. « Hard To Say, » which Djrum cheekily described as « ambient gabber, » might represent the pinnacle of this high-risk, high-reward approach. The grizzly distortion that usually accompanies 909 kicks at 150+ BPM speeds is counterpoised by a milky, post-dubstep ambience. Djrum’s nosebleed drums and emulsifying atmosphere combine with transcendent force.

      • Double 99
        Ripgroove (Fixate Remix)
        Ice Cream Records

        It was the rewind heard round the world. The track? A rowdy edit of a rowdy UK garage tune that seemed to possess Sherelle, whose performance went viral and rocketed her to fame. On its own, « Ripgroove » is a force. But Fixate, somehow, makes it harder with an edit that combines speed garage and jungle. It’s the kind of hybridism that’s made him one of the scene’s more exciting producers. Thankfully, Ice Cream Records came out of retirement to release his version officially.

      • Donato Dozzy has played drum & bass in DJ sets for a few years now, but this earthshaking remix of Homemade Weapons marks his first venture into the genre as a producer. Enmeshing the original’s foreboding drones and breathless gasps in a web of spiralling rhythms, Dozzy’s signature control of tension and release summons a force of tectonic pressure. This is drum & bass made with a techno philosophy, resulting in a lethal roller with an unstoppable momentum.

 

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

 

09 / Afterhours

 

Psychedelic tunes best heard after peak-time has passed, perfect for tired legs and addled minds.
 
      • ALT
      • This year, Afrodeutsche emerged as one of dance music’s most exciting newcomers. That’s thanks to tracks like « I Know Not What I Do. » Deep and spacey, this techno-electro hybrid was one of the trippiest tracks of 2019, a low-slung groover perfect for DJ play long after peak-time. Loopy and subtle, it dazzled clubbers all over the world.

      • ALT
      • « Moloko » was yet another excellent transmission from Cabaret Recordings, a label that specialises in spacey, subtle sounds. Pitched somewhere between techno and house, Eris’s second official release featured three solid tracks, but « Moloko » was best of all. Its rolling groove and humming bassline were built for DJs spinning to afterhours crowds, the kind of tune that convinces everyone to stay a little bit longer.

      • ALT
      • When a digging veteran like DJ Koolt plays « Lunchbox Music, » clubbers might be shocked, then pleased, to learn it came out in 2019. Many of Gene On Earth’s contemporaries are trying to give their productions just this type of magic, but they rarely sound so much like a bonafide classic.

         
      • ALT
      • Stanislav Tolkachev possesses techno’s most recognisable style, but he still finds ways to surprise us. This year, that surprise came in the form of « When I Was A Boy, » a rare instance of the Ukrainian maestro using anything close to a conventional melody. That melody what made « When I Was A Boy » a perfect option for late-hour DJ sets, where its ambiguous mood was entrancing.

      • ALT
      • What makes a great afterhours track? In other words, which music works best for tired legs and addled minds? Dainty melodies usually go down a treat, especially when they dance with the ease and flair of a Bolshoi ballerina. This describes the centrepiece of Mor Elian’s « Radical Spectacular, » a sunrise track with dynamic drums and bags of joie de vivre. Love Oni Ayhun’s timeless classic? Then this one’s for you.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

 

10/ Deep Listening

 

These tracks inspired deep introspection, evoking feelings that stayed with listeners long after they finished.
      • For « Zawaj, » the German trio Carl Gari laid down what might be the most desolate soundscape of the year. The Arabic vocals, sung by Abdullah Miniawy over its over its haunting tones, were just as powerful. The abstract poem, delivered in Miniawy’s mother tongue, captured the beauty of Arabic, a language claiming its place in electronic music.

      • For the shadow network of ambient producers stretching from Moscow to Berlin, Philadelphia to Tokyo, the artists Exael, uon and Huerco S are key connectors. Due to locality, these nodes mostly communicate online, but Ghostride The Drift happened when those three got in the same room. « Untitled (B3) » is a slurry of ambient, textural improv, dub techno and IDM experimentation that feels like it could have been made in 1994, the present, or some far-off future.

      • It’s appropriate that Kali Malone’s organ dirge lands in this section. The American musician relocated to Sweden eight years ago, attracted to the country’s improvised music scene. « I noticed that it was very careful and considerate of the other musicians, » she said. « And it inspired a different sort of listening in me. » On her second album of durational organ music, Malone adopts the language of liturgy (« sacrifice, » « glory » and « worship ») but her ritual involves adhering to strict, harmonic rules. On tracks like « Sacrificial Code, » this discipline results in transcendence.

      • Ana Roxanne’s debut EP, ~~~, felt more like a private audio diary than a calculated unveiling, and with good reason. Recorded in 2015, ~~~‘s uncanny mix of new age, ambient and R&B went practically unheard until finding its way to the Leaving Records cofounder Matthewdavid. « It’s A Rainy Day On The Cosmic Shore » combines field recordings of waves with loops and drones coaxed from a vintage Moog Synthesizer IIIP. In the Californian artist’s hands, simple gestures feel magical.

      • The first track on Félicia Atkinson’s The Flower And The Vessel is just bare whispering over silence. The second, « Moderato Cantabile, » rouses the album’s musical environment. It begins with a distant crystal tone, gently discovering new layers of sound and texture, with piano parts and organic samples floating through. Sinking in feels sedating, intimate and a bit wistful, a portal into the French avant-garde artist’s quiet sound world.

Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist. 

11/ Vocal Bangers

Sung, sampled or spoken, these well-crafted vocal tunes gave us some of the year’s most memorable moments.
 

 

      • The London poet James Massiah’s debut EP came with the visual of the year. The Ian Pons Jewell-directed clip depicts a surreal scorcher in Buenos Aires, which is somewhat ironic, as « Ride For Me » sounds unmistakably like London. It captures the roll and swagger of the British capital, finding an easy middle-ground between early Chicago house and eski. Just as Massiah’s poetry often relies on the inflection of his voice, « Ride For Me »‘s addictive quality hinges on his relaxed, confident delivery.

      • LSDXOXO is a wizard when it comes to edits, and his version of SOPHIE’s « Faceshopping » might be his crown jewel. Out of all his tracks, this was the one you heard the most this year, which comes down to its simplicity: the vocal is flattened out into a hypnotic hook, and the track gallops along with the grace of classic techno. There are no bells and whistles, just a new-school attitude and an old-school spirit.

      • The most played track off AceMo’s All My Life EP is the infectious « Where They At ? ? ? » The simple, recognizable synth line from Robin S. ‘s « Show Me Love » is given a modern thrust with the help of AceMo’s lo-fi synths and John FM’s catchy vocals, which shout out girls from the « self-made » to the « brown berets. » Soulful with a political edge, this dominated New York’s clubs this year.

      • Octo Octa knows a simple line of reassurance can mean the world. Given her experience as a trans woman, you can’t help but feel the vocal on « Can You See Me? » is meant to soothe oppressed peoples’ silent pain, especially those rendered structurally invisible. « I know exactly how you feel!, » the track’s single line repeats. Soaring over a wistful house jam, it’s a comforting message

        Listen to an extended selection of favourites in this playlist.

       

2019 / Track of the year

 

Martin Schacke recorded Клуб Навсегда (Kisloty Forever) in Russia two summers ago. Back then, he was a rising star at the forefront of Copenhagen’s techno scene, and he was spending a couple weeks in St. Petersburg for a residency at Клуб (pronounced « club »), a 7- or 800-person venue in the Leningradsky Metal Factory that DAZED once called « the wildest club in Russia. » Schacke and Клуб had a special relationship. According to RA contributor Nikita Velichko, Клуб was inspired by Mayhem, the Copenhagen spot where Schacke was a resident. As we see on Клуб Навсегда, the inspiration ran both ways: the EP samples Russian pop songs and, taking its unofficial slogan as its title, exists as a kind of love letter to Клуб.

Of these four tracks, one became an anthem, and that’s « Kisloty People, » an acid-flecked, Italo-flavored, fast techno reimagining of Акула’s 2001 Europop hit « Кислотный DJ » (« acid DJ »). The chipmunk vocal over the locomotive beat might have been enough to make it a hit. The rushing Moroder synths that arrive two minutes in push it over the edge. « Kisloty People » is demonically catchy and charged with the crazed energy that makes so much Copenhagen techno great. It is addictive and deliriously fun, that rare pleasure of a techno track with a monster hook.

It’s also kind of bittersweet. Released two months after Клуб shut down, « Kisloty People » is an artifact of a particular time and place and the music that soundtracked it, a heady moment that, like all things, was only temporary. Watching this clip— »the official nostalgic video based on Kisloty footage, » in the words of Клуб cofounder Sasha Tsereteli—you can feel that even if you weren’t there.

Listen to highlights from our best tracks of 2019 on SpotifyApple MusicBuy Music Club and YouTube.