B.A.D. Highlights From The Database

Words by Oscar Atanga

For the B.A.D team’s end of year Staff Highlights, I wrote about Virgil Abloh’s Amen Break short film for the Louis Vuitton S/S 2022 Menswear Collection. Whilst I think it was a standout piece of art, I’ve never liked the idea of singling out one thing as being the “best of”. As we come to the end of 2021, I wanted to take this chance to celebrate some collaborative music projects that resonated with me, as well as sharing a list of my 50 favourite electronic music tracks released during this year.

Collaborative releases

One of my favourite projects this year was SHERELLE’s ‘Beautiful Presents: Beautiful Vol.1’, an amazing 18 track compilation celebrating Black & LGBTQI+ artists. I think we all have to applaud what SHERELLE has been doing over the last few years. Musically, as a DJ and producer, she’s been at the forefront of the resurgence of breaks music. It’s not like Jungle and D&B ever left but SHERELLE has really helped with repopularising them, marrying more classic jungle with newer productions. Similarly to the Teklife, Haus of Altr and JBW crews, she’s also been an important bridge between the U.K and U.S underground scenes, especially so with U.K jungle and U.S footwork. I loved the Beautiful compilation as soon as it came out because, beyond the social significance of the project, the music on it is incredibly varied with the artists drawing freely from a deep gumbo of Black music, particularly Black bass music. I’ve played different tracks from the compilation in radio mixes and in club sets since it came out, and I’ve also kept it playing around my apartment regularly. It’s definitely one that I’ll keep coming back to. 

Black Rave Culture by Black Rave Culture. There’s often a lot of focus on cities that the media have traditionally considered as the major cultural centres whilst largely ignoring a lot of other places with deep music traditions and avant garde current scenes. In the States, this often means that a lot of coverage is given to New York and LA at the exclusion of places like Atlanta, Jersey, the DMV area, and even Detroit and Chicago. Considering that, I want to celebrate the Black Rave Culture collective which consists of DJ Nativesun, Amal and James Bangura. In any city they would stand out. From their DJ sets, to their solo and group productions, they’ve all been killing it and really representing the DMV. Again, I’m always a fan of range and this project isn’t lacking there, with jungle influenced tracks, Baltimore Club and more tribal percussion driven tracks like Africa 808. Whichever style seems to be the influence on any given track, they each bring their own unique flavour to all of it. The first track, 4 Matic, is one of those emotional bangers that people are probably going to fall in lust to in clubs for a long time. I’d highly recommend checking it out!

The Tresor 30 compilation was curated by B.A.D and Outer Agency’s Carin Abdulá alongside the Tresor team with additional research from Cyril Etienne. Celebrating the legendary club’s 30th birthday with a staggering 52 tracks, it provides an expansive view of electronic music in 2021 ranging from the ambient soundscapes of KMRU to an array of dancefloor ready tracks from the likes of AFRODEUTSCHE, DJ Minx, D.Strange, the late great K-Hand, Robert Hood, rRoxymore, Russell E.L Butler, DJ Stingray, Tygapaw and more (*gasps for breath*). As well as reinforcing the storied musical relationship between Berlin and Detroit, the compilation does well to unite different generations of electronic music artists featuring music from techno pioneers like Juan Atkins, Anthony “Shake” Shakir and Blake Baxter alongside tracks by newer artists like Huey Mnemonic, SHE Spells Doom and Yazzus. The compilation is a must listen for anybody who wants to gain a sonic understanding of the past, present and future of electronic music. 

Electronic Music 2021: 50 Favourites From The Database

Finally, I’ve highlighted 50 of my favourite tracks from this year for you to check out. It’s certainly not an attempt at an exhaustive list and it could easily have been much longer. Almost all of the artists on this list can be found here on the Black Artist Database website where purchase links can be found to their music. 

If anybody has any feedback or projects that you think we should be aware of please feel free to reach out.

Reaction videos of the aunties over the holidays hearing what BackRoad Gee did to 1er Gaou are also welcome, my personal favourite sample flip of the year 🙂

AceMo – Strings of Time

Alostmen – Bayiti (rRoxymore Remix)

Anz – Morphing Into Brighter

Ash Lauryn – Life Is Back

BAE BAE – love don’t live here

Bale Defoe – Do You Wrong

Black Cadmium – Chemistry (Till The Break of Dawn Mix)

Byron the Aquarius – Spirituality

Colloboh – Zero Day

De Schuurman – Urban Gunz

Devoye – FreQ Dat

DJ Black Low – Downfall Revisit

DJ Manny – Signals In My Head

DJ Nativesun – Jodeci Tears

DJ SWISHA – Horny Patrol

Equiknoxx – Urban Snare Cypher

Escaflowne – Snow Walk

FAUZIA – time

Gafacci – Speed

Gayance – Sirens feat. KALLITECHNIS

Gina Jeanz – Amagroove

Hagan – Osh

Huey Mnemonic – Transmutations

JLin – Rabbit Hole

Jossy Mitsu – Odyssey

KMRU – Jinja Encounters

Kush Jones – If You’re Ashy Please Retreat

Kyle Hall – Modified

Loraine James – Insecure Behaviour and Fuckery (Ft Nova)

LSDXOXO – Mutant Exotic

LUZ1E & Sarah Farina – BMO

MoMa Ready – Keep It 100 (Slip Mix)

Mr Mitch – Lazy (ft Manga Saint Hilaire)

Nappy Nina, JWords – Table Set

Nia Archives – Forbidden Feelingz

Otik – Paradise Mode

RP Boo – Beauty Speak of Sounds

Scratcha DVA – Afrotek (Mxshi Mo & Scratchclart)

SHE Spells Doom – Earthly Pleasures


Space Afrika – Strength ft LA Timpa

Space Ghost – Emotional Healer

Speaker Music – Ex-American Blues

Suzi Analogue – Super Smooth

TAH – Beat It Out Like (These Drums )

Tim Reaper – Drum Studies


UNIIQU3 – Microdosing

WTCHCRFT – The Callers w/ JADALAREIGN remix

Yazzus – Turn of Speed