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The rise of electronic EP | Arts & Culture

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While only three-quarters through 2021, the year has already been fantastic for many genres of music, and electronics is no exception.

While there have been few mainstream artist studio album releases, shorter extended releases, EPs, have been plentiful. Here are the top five:

Kessler’s “Ambivalent”

While house artists like Bicep and Four Tet have millions of listeners on streaming services like Spotify, most are from European countries as house music is being beaten by new electronic subgenres. Emerging Northern Irish artist Kessler is a breath of fresh air and a catalyst for hope to revitalize the popularity of house music in the United States.

“Ambivalent” takes up all the well-known traits of house music such as fast RPM bass hits and extended five to seven minute cuts, but overturns the familiar traits with glitches and breakbeats reminiscent of experimental artists such as Aphex. Twin and square pusher.

If you are looking for an out of the ordinary and intoxicating listening experience, there is no other EP on this list that can surpass “Ambivalent”.

“To You EP” by CRi

Before making alternative and groovy house, the Canadian Christophe Dubé was a beatboxer for the Quebec hip-hop group Feuilles et Racines.

After releasing his first electronic project as CRi in 2013, he has since risen through the electronic music ranks with his 2018 and 2020 albums, earning nominations for Electronic Album of the Year at the Canadian Juno Awards.

Although only three tracks, none miss the mark on “To You EP, which mixes fantastic vocal samples and punchy drums for songs you can’t help but nod your head to.

“Never enough” by disclosure

Following the fantastic 2020 record “Energy”, featuring artists such as Amine, Slowthai and Channel Tres, British electronic duo Disclosure returns to their instrumental roots with a stellar follow-up filled with more punchy garage and house grooves.

If there’s one EP on this list that you can blow up at a party or imagine hearing it at a dance club, it’s easily “Never Enough”. Each song features distinct beats per minute and textures that differ significantly from the angelic vocal samples featured on tracks such as “In My Arms” and “Another Level”, while a song like “Happening” exudes a flair. sampling similar to that of Daft Punk.

“Cookie clicker” by C418

You might not have heard of artist Daniel Rosenfeld, but you’ve almost certainly heard his music by the way. The German-born electronic producer who performs under the pseudonym C418 is known for his solo work on the Minecraft soundtrack.

It’s been three years since Rosenfeld released his full 2018 project “Excursions”, and his comeback has come as a surprise with the EP “Cookie Cutter”.

“Cookie Cutter” is the most minimal and ambient project on this list, but it’s far from a snoozer. A prime example is the second track, “click”, which features luscious piano chords mixed with stretched synth layers that blend in harmony with lo-fi drum patterns.

Then there’s “grandmapocalypse, which follows “click” and even continues the same beat and drums, but adds ominous synths that make you feel like you’re in the middle of a cyberpunk horror movie.

“Psyconia” by Machinedrum

North Carolina electronic producer Travis Stewart, also known as Machinedrum, slowly evolved his style of electronic music after producing for more than two decades, with early records consisting of very little vocal features and collaborations. with other artists.

Her latest EP “Psyconia” and her 2020 album “A View of U” broke that previous mold. Hip-hop mainstays such as Freddie Gibbs and Father have appeared on standalone songs from the 2020 disc and Deniro Farrar is featured on the second track from the latest EP, “Stone Age”.

“Psyconia” takes the weird breakbeats Machinedrum is known for and seamlessly interweaves them with genres such as soul, R&B, and even hip-hop, as previously mentioned.

The ending of this six-track project features two stellar instrumental cuts in “Figueroa” and “Stairzzzzzz,” which remind listeners that Stewart can always go back to his instrumental roots and deliver some of the best pips and grooves in the business.

While 2021 hasn’t had an excess of electronic projects, finger food which is an EP is a great way to subtly entice listeners until an artist decides to ditch their next full project.

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