2013 Playlist Review & Best Album

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Our first calendar year at TBC has come to an end and we are settling in to 2014 with a quiet January after a busy Christmas holiday period and the TBC adventure in Thailand over the New Year. Wow what a year 2013 was, our TBC blog was launched in April, we had our launch party in August and have been updating the blog and planning for 2014 (including our first proper club night) for the remainder of the time. We are so grateful for everyone’s input, feedback, help, appreciation, messages and the reception our blog and the TBC concept has experienced.

As is tradition with all those involved in the music industry the annual ‘best of’ lists have been published and there has been a plethora of playlists, album charts and articles to trawl through. We all have our favourites and many of the official articles via Resident Advisor, Bleep, FACT et al. are read by thousands of people and offer an opportunity to see if your favourite albums have been included and a great chance to pick up on some of the dark horse entries or albums you may have missed. Here at TBC we have been posting our playlists to share what we have been listening to and what our favourite albums at that moment were and felt it appropriate to offer our own annual review  and select our favourite release from 2013.

The shortlist of our ‘best of’ selections:

22nd – 28th July – Resident Advisor Podcast #373 – Helena Hauff (2013) *

29th July – 4th August – Tsugi Sampler 59 – Brodinski pres. Bromance Los Angeles (2013)*

2nd – 15th July -Disconnect/Reconnect – Japanese Popstars (2013)*

28th October – 22nd November – John Talabot – Dj Kicks (2013)*

December 2013 – Kolsch – 1977 (2013) *

On review of the official articles there are some gems that may not have featured in our playlists so we thought it best to include a shortlist to include in our annual review:

FACT magazine/ Resident Advisor – The Inheritors – James Holden

FACT Magazine – Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself – Omar S

Crack Magazine – Immunity – Jon Hopkins

Of these gems above there were two which had slipped through our net at TBC; the new James Holden album was listened to on its release but not fully appreciated on a first and only listen, the Omar S album had been entirely missed (understandable with the high volume of music that graces our speakers every month), both on review are excellent albums. James Holden once again tests your resolve and patience as the album is a grower and an ‘intelligent’ listen as there is a lot to take in and appreciate. Omar S has compiled an LP of instant classic house and techno numbers that would sit well in any playlist or live set. The latter release from Jon Hopkins was from early 2013 and hadn’t made it into our playlists as it was not new at the time but it has been a repeat listen at TBC HQ and it is without a doubt one of the best releases of 2013 and had we started our playlists earlier a dead cert for one of our ‘*’ recommendations.

There are also a number of albums/mixes that made our TBC playlists each month and did not feature on our shortlist but have continued to entertain us and therefore require a special mention:

DJ T. presents 25 Years of DJing 1988-2012 Part 1 – Get Physical (2013)

Renaissance the Mix Collection by Tiefschwarz (2013)

Axel Boman – Family Vacation (2013)

Bloody Mary – Wilde Podcast #013 (2011)

Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind (2013)

We have also been lucky to have a number of alternative electronica releases in 2013 that have really hit the mark and either stamped a new artist on the map or reaffirmed what we all expected from some of the industry stalwarts and legends. The alternative shortlist:

Rudimental – Home (2013)

Dexter – The Trip (2013)

The Bullitts – They Die by Dawn (2013)*

Atoms for Peace – AMOK (2013)

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (2013)

Of the alternative releases our most anticipated and enjoyed has been the debut release from the Bullitts (Jeymes Samuel) titles They Die by Dawn. Ever since the viral internet success of Supercool and its hilarious video of the dancing tramp (Jeymes Samuel himself) in London with Rosario Dawson this release was eagerly awaited and it did not let us at TBC down. The album was also utilised on a short film with the same name of which we are still awaiting to see but i’m sure this is equally as brilliant. The Bullitts remain a big one to watch in 2014 and the sheer diversity and quality in production is something to admire.

Having rambled on for far too long now it is time to select from the releases above and award our TBC release of 2014 which will not only have the standard ‘*’ applied but will be illustrated in…wait for it….CAPITAL LETTERS (to emphasise its superstar quality) and receive a few extra stars. It has been difficult to critically review each playlist entry and therefore having to select just one release for the whole year and to sum up the 5 playlists posted in 2013 has been complicated and lead to some heated debates here at TBC HQ, especially when Betty gets involved! The late addition of Immunity from Jon Hopkins did not make the decision any easier as it is a top album and will remain on the TBC speakers into 2014. It was a very big year for Jon Hopkins as he not only released his LP but also wow’ed everyone with his FACT podcast and even had time to release a movie soundtrack for How I Live Now. However it came down to two; Helena Hauff’s Resident Advisor Podcast and the DJ Kicks release from John Talabot. Both were enjoyed multiple times over the Xmas period and while away in Thailand on our travels and neither fail to amaze or falter on repeat listens which is testament to their quality and longevity. After extended deliberations our favourite release from 2013 is:

DJ KICKS – JOHN TALABOT ******

Put quite simply this compilation from the Talaboman is superb and deserves the title of release of 2013. It shone among three amazing DJ Kicks releases in 2013, it manages to incorporate a beautiful transition of blissed out electronic music to house and techno that impulsively has you bopping or dancing about and can be enjoyed at any time of the day when relaxing, pre-partying, partying or after-partying (which we do our fair bit of at TBC).

Thanks for reading we look forward to bringing you the best music in 2014.

Happy New Year to all our TBC followers.

TBC

Betty does Thailand

Sawadee Ka TBC lovers! I am currently floating around in a perpetual meditative state after 2 weeks of sun, yoga and most importantly techno in beautiful Thailand! First stop was Bangkok for 3 days of sky scrapers, lizards and shopping! Night times were spent sipping on sumptuous cocktails in a plethora of the city’s sky bars and dodging flying ping pong balls on Kao San Road.

Next Stop was Haad Tian for NYE and ooooooh baby this place is everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more! A huge room dedicated to Betty’s favourite ……………. glitter, wigs and feathers! Once I’d doused myself in sparkly magic I had the option of not 1 but 2 incredible and free techno parties to say hello to 2014. The first, under the stars at Guy’s Bar and the second up in the mountains over looking an idyllic beach at the one and only Eden! My Thai squeeze and I yo-yoed from one dance floor to the other for a good 14 hours and literally danced our little asses off along with fire throwers, hula hoppers and all manner of other loveable circus freaks. It was a new year like no other!

I had planned some R and R following NYE because as you TBCers know, I am a crazy party animal and I’ve literally gone off like a rocket in 2013. I booked myself into The Sanctuary which appeared to be a health resort on the beach with yoga, meditation and detoxes on offer. Well, you wouldn’t believe my surprise (and delight!) when I realised that The Sanctuary (code name fucked up party paradise) is actually on Haad Tian and literally slap bang in the middle of Guys Bar and Eden! Ha! I arrived on a Friday to be told that nothing happens on a Saturday, there are no classes, no mediation, no nothing as there is a huge party at Guys bar every Friday night. And yes, there was a party and not to mention that, this party did not finish until 4pm on Saturday! AND………………. when it did finish………………………………………………….another party started at Eden straight after and went on until Sunday lunchtime! When I eventually straightened my wig and stretched out my over danced, battered and bruised body after all this partying with a yoga class, I was greeted by the same guy I had seen dancing around on acid looking like a mental wizard only hours before in Eden! He was the yoga instructor!!! The Sanctuary is a messed up, crazy place – I FACKIN LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!

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