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Aoife O’Neill’s top tracks of 2021

Aoife O’Neill’s top tracks of 2021


Aoife O’Neill is a DJ and founder of Out of Space – a party and radio show fortnightly on Dublin Digital Radio.


Last Nubian & DouganFix Your Mind

London-based Tiff’s Joints, is my go to label for modern, funk and soul infused house rhythms. Their latest release Better Jams, features the track ‘Fix Your Mind’, produced by Last Nubian and Dougan. I’ve roadtested this one in an empty Sugar Club for a recent live stream and it sounded so good on their system. 

Intricate rhythms, lush synths and chopped vocals, it’s a funky one that will get bodies moving. I’ll be keeping this one in the vaults for when I can play it to a crowd in the sunshine. 


Skee Mask – CZ3000 Dub

Skee Mask released the album Pool on Ilian Tape in May. The timing of this LP coincided with government announcements that we were moving into the early stages of recovery from the pandemic; things would be re-opening soon and there was a real sense that there were brighter days ahead. Hopeful, iridescent, subby techno, ‘CZ3000’ was the perfect start to my summer. I remember being buzzed to play some of the other tracks from the release in clubs when the time came, but alas, the opportunity passed me by. 


ParamidaFrench House

‘French House’ is a tech house groover from Panorama Bar resident, and Love on the Rocks label boss, Paramida. Her debut release, Dream Ritual features rhythmic workouts and dreamy pads that echo a ‘blissed out 90’s sound’. 

As a child, I remember hanging out a hotel window in France, watching clubbers roll into a club across the road and hearing house music for the first time. It’s a memory that will always stick with me and I’ll always have a soft spot for ‘French’ style House.  


MCR-TFantasía Final

MCR-T teams up with Dj Gigola for a seductive Techno trip. A driving kickdrum, acid stabs and tantalising lyrics creates the perfect atmospheric, late night track for a hot and sweaty dance floor. 


Plus OneGlacial Drift

Plus One is the new moniker of Dublin DJ and producer Matt Finnegan. He self released the album Silver back in April, and I really enjoyed the whole EP which took a more experimental approach to his usual UK, bass-driven sound. The stand out track for me was Glacial Drift, which features pitched down vocals over hip-hop style beats. I love that slo-mo vibe and lyrics, which is reminiscent of one of my favourite tracks, Trapdoor by Salem.


Dean Blunt – Dash Snow

Released on his Black Metal 2 album, Dean Blunt returns with his usual rap-alt-rock aesthetic, although slightly softer at times. 

Love the production on this one – those chords, his lyrics and gorgeous vocals from Joanne Roberston, make this a favourite of mine to chill to. 


Little Simz – Two Worlds Apart

I’m a sucker for a sample and I love how Little Simz has arranged Smokey Robinson’s ‘The Agony and The Ecstasy’ in this track. Her flow is sick and I love her lyrics too. It’s a fun one that always puts me in a good mood. 


ParacusiaLast Summer

I stumbled across this one on Bandcamp and I know little about the producer Paracusia. It’s an emotive and experimental D&B track layered with field recordings and slabs of bass which ‘captures the washed out memories of a moment’. Dreamy stuff.


Tirzah – Sink In

Love this one from singer songwriter, Tirzah. Sink In was co-written with frequent collaborators Coby Sey and Mica Levi and came out on her second album, Colourgrade – a stunning collection of experimental love songs. This is a beautiful track expressing the ‘hesitancy to be hurt and the excitement of falling head-first in love.’


Ross from Friends – The Daisy

Ross from Friends, returned this year with a new album Tread

I really enjoyed the track Daisy, which kicks off with a perky 2-step beat before it unfurls into an emotive piece with washes of pads and nostalgic lyrics. Kinda makes you want to dance, kinda makes you want to cry. Into it.

Best of 2021 coverage.

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