Our Ten Favourite Aussie Dance Releases Of 2021
Only ten?!
Words by Amar Gera December 24, 2021

In what was a tough 2021 for the Aussie music scene, local dance artists stormed out the gates with one of their strongest years to date…

Well, that was a shitstorm and a half hey? 2021 is beginning to wind down, and we’re shell-shocked by just how wild it was. Through it all though our local artists was firing on all cylinders, and a highlight of it was no doubt the dance scene. From all parts of the country artists from all veins of the expanse served up mind-bending offerings; all types of house, trap, breakbeat and more taking over the airwaves. And even though dance floors were gone for half of the year, they persevered, and consequently, us dance fans are spoiled for choice.

And so, we figured we’d pull together some of our favourite dance tracks of this year for your listening pleasure. Check it below.

Mall Grab – ‘Love Reigns’

Newy-via-London producer Mall Grab is one of the techno sphere’s main killers, yet with ‘Love Reigns’ he well and truly returned to his house inclinations. Spurred forward by driving pianos and and clattery drums, the international export pounds you with waves of euphoria; amplified by the echoey vocals that chant “Love rain down on me.” It no doubt set the Mall Grab fandom alight when it was released in July of this year, and judging by how hard fans seem to be eating it up overseas (please come back soon Jordy), it’s a total hit.


Moktar – ‘Silk’

In a year filled with breakout stars and countless “next big things,” Naarm-based producer Moktar might just have edged out in front of them all. His hypnotic blend of culture and house is perfectly evidenced in his crossover hit ‘Silk,’ elements of eastern percussion and melody taking residence in the five minute runtime. It’s a sign of what the future holds for the Aussie dance scene, and we’re definitely keen to see where Moktar takes us.


Black Loops, James Pepper – ‘Three Drops’

A bit of Slav house never hurt anybody, and Eora based producer/DJ James Pepper set the scene alight with his collab with Black Loops ‘Three Drops.’ Having been teased at various events over the year, most notably the Eora Boiler Room in June, the heater sees Pepper showcase his ability to transport and entrance you into the fifth dimension, and it’s already been on constant replay for us this year.


Human Movement, Paul Mac – ‘Rabbit Hole’

Human Movement and Aussie dance royalty Paul Mac take you into the enchanting depths on ‘Rabbit Hole,’ the two producers brandishing their skills in the sonic realm with resonant ease. The track goes through numerous iterations, from the meditative opening vocals to the tense staccato drums to my personal favourite, the driving piano line at 2:30 that sets up that euphoric drop. It’s one of the Eora producer’s most transportive releases to date, and if you’ve seen it live, you’d know it absolutely goes off.


Alison Wonderland – ‘Fuck U Love U’

International export Alison Wonderland started December on a high with ‘Fuck U Love U,’ the dance enchantress doubling down on the moody parts of the trap sphere she’s become synonymous with. The track features her signature brooding vocals along with cascading synths to match. To tie it all together is the mind-bending music video, which plays like a total fever dream; one perfect for the sonic landscape of ‘Fuck U Love U.’


Pretty Girl – ‘Sun Phases’

Naarm sonic weaver Pretty Girl’s unique blend of house and bedroom pop tapped into an unspoken truth this past year, her use of vocal and rhythm helping to strike a balance between meditative heart and soul. The ability to get someone bopping while in their feels is no mean feat, and Pretty Girl’s discography built around both sentiments. It’s no wonder it’s led to her being one of Naarm’s most in demand DJ/producers, and judging by how popular her Middle Ground EP has been since it’s release, it’s clear Pretty Girl has amassed a loyal fandom behind her.


Anna Lunoe ft. Genesis Owusu – ‘Back Seat’

Acid house fans brace yourselves; as Sydney’s Anna Lunoe and recent Aria winner Genesis Owusu are totally riveting in their latest collab ‘Back Seat.’ Featuring Genesis’ larger larger than life vocals and Anna’s explosive production chops, the two set the stratosphere alike with plenty of groove and fire. It’s the best of both of their sounds, and it’s no surprise that it’s been met with critical acclaim since its release.


Flight Facilities – ‘Move’ ft. DRAMA

Sydney/Eora mainstays Flight Facilities more than delivered on their recent album FOREVER, and ‘Move’ ft. Drama was without a doubt one of the standouts on the track listing. Filled with the bustling elixir of 90s house, the groove puts the fun in funk, and is guaranteed to set any dance-floor alight. DRAMA’s vocals are totally electrifying on the cut as well, and when placed upon the backdrop of quintessential Flight Facilities production, well, it’s a total bomb.


PNAU ft. Budjerah – ‘Stranger Love’

After a year filled with collabs with international megastars such as Dua Lipa and Elton John, local dance maestros PNAU still found time to collaborate with local musos, and their intergalactic heater ‘Stranger Love’ with Budjerah is the lightening rod that transcends all time and space. Between PNAU emotive production that treads the line between ambient electro and ravenous acid house, along with Budjerah’s angelic vocals that are a literal cheat code, they couldn’t really go wrong. Dig in:


Ninajirachi and Kota Banks – ‘Secretive!’

The Aussie music scene’s favourite BFFs Ninajirachi and Kota Banks well and truly exploded on their collab album True North, the two dance and pop phenoms injecting the best of their respective sounds into a single, hyper-focused effort. Although it was technically released in 2020, the deluxe version of the album dropped earlier this year, and you’d best believe that makes standout track ‘Secretive!’ elgible for this list.

Made up of Ninajirachi’s signature organic production and Kota’s soulful vocals, the bop treads the line between hyper and bedroom pop. From the fiery synths and drums to the instantly catchy verses and the dozens of pieces of electronic ornamentation spread throughout, it’s bursting with lush resonance. But then again, why are we overcomplicating it? The tracks a fucking bop and a half. Thank us later:


Editors Pick