Following our Best Albums of 2020, we now turn our attention to the trusty format of the EP, highlighting what we consider to be the Best Extended Players of 2020.
EP’s generally have between three and five tracks and a length of over 12 minutes. They are considered less time-consuming for an artist to produce than an album. That being said, the extended player is an artefact in itself, often adorned with extras such as posters, stickers, comic books or liner notes.
Of course, we cannot feature every EP we grew fond of, or which meant something to us. This list goes some way to show the extended players that soundtracked our year, notable releases which gave us some inspiration.
Active Surplus – Active Surplus
Al Wootton – Snake Dance
Ambien Baby – Mindkiss
Andy Garvey – More Than Meets The Eye
Bakongo – 3 x 2
Bambounou – 033
Blue Hour – Devotion
Black Merlin – MOD IK
Charles Webster – The Spell (Burial Mix ft. Ingrid Chavez)
Christopher Rau – The Keys
DJ Slyngshot – Worskshop 29
DJ これからの緊急災害 – Modular Ghost System
Djoser – Secret Greeting
Estebahn – Circular System
Forest Drive West – Mantis 01
Frey – Shadow
Further Reductions – array
Gareth Wild – Saturn Storm
Henry Greenleaf – Caught
Human Space Machine – Mind Expander
Ido Plumes – Away From The Reign
Ikonika – Bodies
Jack Chrysalis – Assent
Jordan GCZ – Space Songs
Konduku – Mantis 03
Kovyazin D – Last August
Larionov & St Theodore – Thunderstrike
Lawrence – Moonlight
Lazarus – Downwards
Lurka – Rhythm Hi Tek
Lyra Valenza – Nightshade Edition
Martyn & Om Unit – The Passenger
Moloch Horridus – Echoes of a Memory
Natural/Electronic System – Meditteranea
Neinzer – Whities 025
Pender Street Steppers – Our Time
Parris – Terrapin
Paul Rudder – Losing Dreams
Peder Mannerfelt – Ensnared
Progetto Tribale ft Donato Dozzy – Volume 7
Pugilist – Siphon
PVS – Kontrol
Reehl – Acid Monkfish
Regina Leather – Portraits of a Collective Hallucination
Rhyw – Loom High
S.O.N.S & Naone – Separate Ways
Sedgwick – Rhythm and Isolation
Sh – TimeHacks Part 1.
Shielding – Collecting Seaweed
Special Request – Spectral Frequency
Sugai Ken – Tone River
Sunun & Robin Stewart – Data Fossil
UFO95 ft Anetha – Popularity Is Overrated
Walton – Debris
Wheez-ie – Only Human / Weaponized
Wordcolour – Juno Way
Various Artists – Dial 2020 Part 1
Varuna – Mantis 04
тпсб – Whities 031
10. Scott Young
Following releases on Samo DJ’s Born Free imprint and Discos Capablanca, Scott Young returned to the latter in 2020 with ‘Ket City’, a five-tracker that shows his genre-sprawling range and acts as an ode to the maddening epicentre of energies that is currently the United Kingdom.
Released 21 February via Discos Capablanca
9. Anunaku & DJ Plead
It was only a matter of time before the London-via-Italy producer Anunaku aka TVSI and Melbourne-based DJ Plead released a record together. Each track on this EP are heavy and dense, weighted by complex sound design and encyclopaedic knowledges of global bass music cultures.
Released 17 July via AD 93
‘Dream Mentor’ is full of the sedative pads and melodic devices that make so much of Khotin’s music special. Unlike like the above-mentioned LPs for Ghostly International, his presentations for Public Release keep the dancers in mind.
Released 12 December via Public Release
7. Farren Laen
‘Attention Renders Our Reality’
On his first solo outing, Canadian producer Farren Laen finds a distinctly fresh sound across three distinct dance floor weapons. ‘Blue Flame‘ is a deep emotional cut of acid while ‘A Word Spoken‘ has the light bounce that many of his fellow compatriots have exported worldwide (with, I should add, a slightly more aggressive 303).
Released 30 November via Laen Disc
6. S.O.N.S & Naone
Following the release of ‘Lost Tales Volume 1‘ last summer, the elusive S.O.N.S strikes again with a suitably futuristic 4-track extended player produced alongside Seoul-based artist Naone, blending varying styles of rave into a hazed recollection of wild nights in big cities.
Released in May via S.O.N.S
Following a well received album on Technicolour, which split the change between deep house and ambient abstraction, Dauwd took some time off, returning in 2020 with an EP on his and Dave Redmond’s newly coined Psssh Records, which nestles slivers of golden era tech house chug alongside hip-hop swagger.
Released 21 February via Psssh Records
4. Lord Of The Isles feat. Ellen Renton
Ellen Renton and Neil McDonald aka Lord Of The Isles find a perfect equilibrium between spoken word and sound, offering us what Renton describes as “sound stretched to an echo / so no one remembers how language used to land.”
Released 1 May via Whities
Unlike Sugar’s IA MIX where he showcased a different sound, ‘Horsepower‘ EP contains tracks that will do serious damage wherever they are played out. But, still, there is a delicateness and a knowing wink in the composition.
Released 29 May via Kulør
OL serves up six tracks on Gost Zvuk sub-label Gost Instrument that nosedive into futuristic blazing digi dub, broken hip-hop beats and electronica and is a singular and smart delight. Skronky suds of echo, delay and fluctuating ambient goodies are intertwined with scudded down Skam straight outta Manchester.
Released 8 May via Gost Instrument
Flørist has spread his wings wide over the world of electronic music, with records on esteemed labels (such as The Trilogy Tapes and Pacific Rhythm) showing a diverse and clear-eyed vision of dance music. His outing for the London-based Baroque Sunburst shows no deviance from this path — in fact, enhanced clarity of vision are the order of the day.
Released 26 November via Baroque Sunburst