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2021 has been a mixed bag of a year. Here in the UK, we spent more than half of it under some form of lockdown, but in July we finally got to throw open our doors and welcome you back onto our dancefloor.

After more than 16 months away, every track sounds like a classic, so creating a manageable list of our favourite tracks was no easy task. 10 just wasn't enough, so we've collated 20 of our favourite tracks of 2021 below, listed in no particular order.

 

Fred again.. feat. The Blessed Madonna

Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)

No track summed up our collective yearning for the return of live music better than Fred again.. and the Blessed Madonna's "Marea (We've Lost Dancing)" The poignantly euphoric theme tune of 2021.

Overmono

So U Kno

The Tessela and Truss brothers AKA Overmono, were straight out the gate when clubs finally opened. Releasing a stream of precision-engineered club bangers. Everything they've released is a track of the year contender, but "So U Kno" probably hits the hardest of them all.

Ewan McVicar

Tell Me Something Good

Fast-rising Scottish star, Ewan McVicar delivered this monster calling-card just in time for festival season. Released on Patrick Topping's Trick this is one of the biggest crossover successes of the year.

Eris Drew

Show U Love

Eris Drew has already established herself as one of the best DJs on the planet, but in 2021 with the release of her debut album, she staked her claim to producer of the year too. All 11 tracks on Quivering In Time are worth a listen, but "Show U Love" is the joyous thumper we needed after 16 months away.

Paul Woolford, Diplo & Kareen Lomax

Looking for Me

Two of electronic music's most prolific producers team up for this monster pop / dance cross over.

Doja Cat

Streets (Disclosure Remix)

Disclosure return to their classic 2010s sound with this jaw-dropping remix of Doja Cat's "Streets", released on our very own Ministry of Sound Recordings!

Badbox & Vanco feat. Bobbi Fallon

Alive

One of our favourite nights of the year was the launch of Sondela at Ministry of Sound back in November. This collab from London duo Badbox and South Africa's Vanco was one of the biggest tunes of the night.

Get tickets to the next Sondela here.

Joy O

better (w/ léa sen)

The stand-out track from Joy O's "not an album" Still Slipping vol.1 The 14-track mixtape was one of our favourite releases of the year, and proved that even a year as rubbish as 2021 can deliver some unexpected greatness.

Maceo Plex Vs Faithless

Insomnia 2021

It was little surprise that reworks of classics dominated the dancefloors of 2021, with so long away from the rave people wanted to hear the hits. Maceo Plex's remix of the Faithless anthem, "Insomnia", is our favourite of the bunch.

Gabriels

Love and Hate in a Different Time (Kerri Chandler Remix)

Sometimes only the classic house sound will do, and nobody knows how to make that like the legendary Kerri Chandler.

Skream

Trees

Skream has been dropping so much fire during lockdown that it can sometimes be hard to keep up, but "Trees" is the track we keep coming back to - an understated masterpiece.

pinkpantheress

just for me

"just for me" took us straight back to 2001 and thanks to pinkpantheress's dominance on TikTok she introduced the sounds and aesthetics of the early 00s to a whole new generation.

Skrillex, Starrah & Four Tet

Butterflies

When Skrillex and Four Tet team up, it's always worth paying attention, but this surpassed even our most optimistic expectations.

Franky Wah, Carl Cox

We Are One

If "Marea We've Lost Dancing" was about our collective yearning for live music in general, then "We Are One" is the anthem of a very specific and highly-relatable emotion - our NEED to be in Ibiza right now.

Bicep

SUNDIAL

Bicep delivered their incredible second album, ISLES, back in January. Seven months later their jaw-dropping new live show wove ISLES and their self-titled debut together into one of the performances of the year. The Bicep boys just don't miss so picking a favourite is near impossible, but if we have to, it's "SUNDIAL".

Spiller ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor

Groovejet (Purple Disco Machine & Lorenz Rhode Extended Remix)

Our friends over at Defected finally brought Spiller's "Groovejet" to streaming platforms this year after a 20-year absence. Along with the new release came the disco perfection of this Purple Disco Machine & Lorenz Rhode remix.

UNIIQU3

Microdosing

The Queen of Jersey Club, UNIIQU3, delivered this dancefloor destroyer as the first release from the Newark native's Heartbeats EP.

KETTAMA

Higher (Steel City Power House)

One of the most exciting producers of recent years returned with an explosive 2-track EP on Mall Grab's SCDD label.

SOPHIE

BIPP (Autechre Mx)

We lost one of our most singular producers in 2021, when SOPHIE passed following a tragic accident. This year's remix of 2015 debut smash "BIPP" is an incredibly poignant record SOPHIE fans, not lease because it's by one of the producers most loved inspirations, Autechre.

SHERELLE

160 Down the A406

We've saved the biggest BPM for last. SHERELLE brings the unfettered energy of her DJ sets to "160 Down the A406", which expertly captures the simmering anticipation and unbridled joy of the drive to the rave.

About the author

Matthew Francey

Head of Content

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