TBC Playlist 2015 Annual Review – Part One

TBCReviews2015aWhat a year 2015 has been for good and bad reasons, TBC never seems to have a quiet year. Every month seems to have had a big event which has made this year fly by, but not so much that TBC haven’t been able to say this year was a good one.

Our year started in the very cold, wintery weather of January while we rested and recuperated after our New Year’s celebrations in Leeds but unfortunately ended with a thud when I slipped on the ice and badly broke my shoulder resulting in a period of 2-3 months having to recover from surgery and complete rehabilitation on my left arm. For many this would have had a serious affect on their year but we maintained good spirits at TBC HQ as we enjoyed many of the new albums, live mixes, podcasts and single releases that we would not have been able to if we had been busy, busy, busy as usual. We were also able to plan the remainder of the year as I had so much time on my hands. The remainder of year I will summarise below:

January & February – mainly spent broken, recovering from my operation and being cared for by Helen, who was a superstar over this whole period. I purchased a new Denon sounder and subwoofer to enjoy my music while resting up in bed! Sorry neighbours, yet again.

March – Quiet month, finally I was able to get out of the house and briefly meet up with friends again. We started to plan our TBC live set mix (back to back set in September TBC event), source new tracks and write new articles on the website (see previous blog posts).

April – Berlin holiday was carefully enjoyed in luxury at Nhow Berlin. Lots of disco, house and techno at Kater Markt, Sisyphus and Stattbad. We also celebrated our friends 30th Birthday in Berlin.

May – Final plans for Stag Do in Manchester for my best mate Rich who got married in September 2015. Secretsundaze at Oval Space in London with Kink, Nick Hoppner, James Priestley and Giles Smith. We also partied at the Symonds wedding in Whirlow, Sheffield (congratulations Luke and Sue).

June – Stag Do action in Manchester culminating in the amazing second day at Parklife festival in Manchester – Sasha and Joris Voorn at sunset was spectacular. Blur in Hyde Park, London wrapped up the month.

July – My Birthday month and Tramlines festival in Sheffield where we experienced the mighty Kabal BBQ party and James Holden live at the Octagon which was breathtaking.

August – The Collect BBQ was a great summer treat, two of our best friends got married in Liverpool at Constellations (congrats John and Hannah) and we attended the Garden Party festival for Bank Holiday in Leeds which was epic, Joy Orbison, Todd Terje, Bicep and Redlight were highlights.

September – After months of planning, TBC event number three was upon us. The 80’s club kids theme went down a treat and our back to back set went without fault, we smashed it. I was also best man at the Jones wedding which was an amazing day (congrats Rich and Nikki).

October – York races, Helen’s birthday and Halloween celebrations at Constellations in Liverpool with DJ Hell. What an October!

November – In hiding to complete my RICS assessment works, I daren’t venture out as I had 10,000 words to complete, what a relief when I handed this in on the 30th November!

December – It’s Christmas time! The latest TBC article and review is being completed. We party in Birmingham at the Rainbow Venue for Knee Deep with Capriati (all night long), Anja Schneider, Hot Since 82 and Heidi. We enjoy our Xmas works do’s and celebrate with our friends awaiting our extended break over the festive period! Boy do we need a break!

Over the year we have been compiling our best of selection and we now bring you the shortlist (arguably a long list but it does cover the whole year!) and the select few which we will review in detail and select our favourite for 2015. We will be splitting the review over three parts in order to split this article in to manageable portions.

See part two for the playlist and the TBC selections for 2015

https://technobreakfastclub.co.uk/2016/04/02/tbc-playlist-2015-annual-review-part-two/

See part three for the final verdict and our best of 2015

https://technobreakfastclub.co.uk/2016/04/02/tbc-playlist-2015-annual-review-part-three/

Enjoy and please read on.

TBC

TBC Playlist 2015 Annual Review – Part Two

TBCReviews2015aThe TBC longlist which is made up 82 electronic albums, mixes etc. and 9 alternative offerings. We have attempted to put in a chronological order so that you can easily review the list and source the albums you like:

BBC Essential Mix – Eric Prydz and Jeremy Olander

Lake people-  Purposely Uncertain Field

Eats Everything – Fries With That

BBC Essential Mix – Waze & Odyssey

BBC Essential Mix – Joris Voorn

John Tejada – Signs Under Test

Nang – The Array Vol.5

Argy & Mama – Dominonation

Bpitch Control Best of 2014 – Various Artists

Zoo Brazil – Songs for Clubs vol.3

Dj Kicks – Nina Kraviz

Juju & Jordash – Clean Cut

Levon Vincent – Levon Vincent

BBC Essential Mix – Eric Morillo

RA Podcast Anthony Naples

Andre Galluzzi – Alcatraz

Anthony Naples – Body Pill

Model 500 – Digital Solutions

Watergate 18 – Butch

Future Disco Vol. 8 – Various Artists

Masterpiece – Armand Van Helden

Fabric 80 – Joseph Capriati

Noir – Noir

Balance 27 – Magda

Global Underground 2015 – Various Artists

Oliver Schories – Fields Without Fences

MDR Compilation – Various Artists

Omid 16B – Reincarnations

Crazy P – Walk Don’t Walk

RA Podcast 459 – Solar

Rebel Rave Vol.4 – Various Artists

Mix for Tsugi – Barnt

Defected pres. Master of House – Frankie Knuckles

Cocoon Pres Zehn – Chris Tietjen

Lauer – Borndom

BBC Essential Mix – Claptone

BBC Essential Mix – Patrick Topping

BBC Essential Mix – Julio Bashmore

BBC Essential Mix – Sven Vaeth

Miami Horror – All Possible Futures

Laurent Garner – La HOME Box

Strictly DJ T – 25 years

Eskimo Recording The Orange Collection – Various Artists

Ruede Hagelstein – Apophenia

Balance Pres. Fur Coat

Flight Facilities – Down to Earth

XLR8R Podcast – Walker and Royce

Unfinished Business Vol. 1-3 by Luke Solomon

Live at Robert Johnson – Lifesaver Compilation vol.2

RA Podcast 464 – Paula Temple

Underground Sound of Ibiza Vol.2 – Various Artists (Bedrock)

Warehouse Rome – Various Artists

A-Sides Vol. 3 (Drumcode) – Various Artists

Dj Supermarkt Too Slow to Disco 2

Stephan Bodzin – Power of Ten

20 Years of Henry Street Records

Berghain 07 – Function

BBC Essential Mix – Hot Since 82 (Ibiza Space, special extended mix)

Man Power – Man Power

Julio Bashmore – Knockin’ Boots

Enter Ibiza 2015 – Various Artists

Space Ibiza 2015 – Various Artists

XLR8R Podcast – Helena Hauff

RA Podcast 484 – Bjarki

HNNY – Sunday

Cocoon Compilation O – Various Artists

Aphrohead – Resurrection

Catz ’n Dogz – Basic Colour Theory

Fabric 84 – Mathew Jonson

Faze DJ Set #40 – Stephan Bodzin

RA Podcast 491 – Sasha

BBC Essential Mix – Lee Burridge (Burning Man special edition)

BBC Essential Mix – Seth Troxler

BBC Essential Mix – Ben Klock

Ostgut Ton Zehn – Various Artists

BBC Essential Mix – Maceo Plex

Yoshitoshi Ibiza – Sharam

Global Underground 41 Naples – James Lavelle

Balance 28 – Stacey Pullen

Beyond Borders: Berlin – Dave Seaman

Sound of the 16th Season (Cocoon Recordings) – Sven Vaeth

R.I.P. 50 Weapons #40-50 – Various Artists

Alternative

David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock

Dr. Dre – Compton

New Order – Music Complete

Jean Michel Jarre – Electronica Vol.1

Jean Michel Jarre w/Gesaffelstein, Massive Attack and Tangerine Dream – Limited EP releases from new album Electronica Vol.1

Marsheaux – A Broken Frame

Emika – Drei

Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes

FACT Focus Podcast Vol.1 – Serge Gainsbourg

 

The Shortlist:

The TBC chosen few are below and there are some stormers in here, where possible we have also added a link so that you can listen to and enjoy yourself while you read the article. We would recommend you source the remaining albums asap as they are excellent.

As ever there are some superb albums/compilations/mixes that just miss out but I feel it would be fair not to mention them. 2015 has seen some excellent Resident Advisor Podcasts in particular Paula Temple, Bjarki, Solar and Sasha, where respectively each provides a glimpse of a brilliant DJ. Paula Temple provides the hardest techno in her special style, Bjarki a new breed of techno/rave party music (one to watch in 2016), Solar (A DJ we met in Stadtbad in Berlin and he gave us a bundle of free drinks tokens, what a legend!) provides an excellent mix and Sasha making his RA debut at the ripe old age of 46 for RA #491. MDR, Ostgut Ton, Cocoon and 50 Weapons all released collections in 2015 and they each excel in their own way with some real gems to be had plus some fancy collectors editions boxsets! Armand Van Helden released his Masterpiece mix which includes one of the great CDs of all time… the Yacht mix, you have to hear this mix, it is superb with old-skool rock, disc, perfect when you are chartering your yacht or just partying hard! Ruede Hagelstein, Stephan Bodzin and Laurent Garnier all released excellent production albums, the quality of electro and techno on these EP’s is testament to their production quality and in the latter case, their status in the scene in spite of their seniority and extensive experience. James Lavelle released his third Global Underground instalment with Naples vol.41 of this mega series. Lavelle is an all time favourite of TBC and this mix doesn’t disappoint with superb remixes of old UNKLE tracks, more recent tracks from other artists and the double disc mix is electronica enjoyment to the max.

Levon Vincent – Levon Vincent

TBC have been fans of Levon Vincent since he hit the big time in the techno scene around 2011 with his masterful Man or Mistress EP, he has been around since about 2002 producing tracks and not until 2015 did he finally release an LP. At first impression this album seemed a different angle for Levon as it approaches from a more deep, atmospheric, electronica direction and it didn’t really register on TBC’s radar. However give this album a few listens, turn up that sub-woofer and really immerse yourself in this LP and its a different story. You will be pounded by bass, taken on an electro journey with progressive, techno, minimal and house style tracks that show off Levon’s range and diversity in production. Don’t be fooled there are some crazy techno tracks on here so it is not a subdued, chilled listen but the range across the LP is excellent. The stand out tracks are:

-The Beginning is the opening track of the LP, it is an uplifting track that builds and booms away making it perfect for an opening of a DJ set, perfect for a Berghain style mix, which erupts with trance synth keys towards the second half of the track.

-Junkies on Herman Strasse has a sheer brutal techno bassline and storming/angry style.

-Mor Mona, My Beloved Cat_Rest in Peace is a chilled, progressive electronica track that takes you on a journey filled with nice keys and some nice twinkly, space-like sounds.

-Woman is an Angel is the last track on the LP and oozes class production with a superb bassline, uplifting electronic synthesiser keys and an evil yet epic feel that brings you to the end of the LP, the perfect transition throughout the LP from start to finish.

 

Berghain 07 – Function

Function can only be described as one of the all time favourite TBC Berghain residents, why you ask? Well our first trip to Berghain was hosted by Silent Servant plus Regis and Function and there simply are no words to describe this evening. The techno was off the scale, hard, heavy, atmospheric, epic, crazy, evil… it had it all! Sandwell District actually hosted the main room for over 18 hours, from Saturday AM until very late Sunday. Fast forward a few year and Ostgut Ton has revolutionised the mix CD by providing the mixed file free of charge on their website. This is a revolutionary step because the mix CD is holy sacrilege since Sasha and Digweed pioneered them in the 90’s with the Renaissance series. Many would think this is a crazy leftfield approach from Ostgut Ton but after their superb Ryan Elliot Panorama CD they have taken the forefront in digital music realising the free download is a gateway to their club, record label and brand which is well worth the free WAV format download.

Function has entered the Berghain series after some serious releases courtesy of Dettmann, Faki, Fenglar and Klock but he seems to avoid their status and standing by creating an epic mix that encapsulates what Berghain is all about: serious techno! Tune selection which pushes the sound system to its limits and the clubbers to their extreme limits. This mix, if you haven’t been to Berghain, is the perfect introduction and its free to download so please visit the website and get involved.

The tracklist is typical of Function who has cemented his standing in the techno scene with Dettmann and Klock et al as a pioneer of the musical genre. His tune selection, mixing and style is just breathtaking. Pretty much the full spectrum of techno is included; DVS1, Broom, Planetary Assault Systems (Luke Slater), Carl Craig, Silent Servant, the list goes on and even includes classic artists such as CJ Bolland – a techno/rave pioneer who many looked up to and were inspired by in the 1990’s.

TBC challenges any of our readers, fans and friends to listen to this mix and not be blown away by its aggressive techno assault ranging from the present to the classic and all the in-between. Function even takes the mix on a psychedelic/acid journey towards the middle of the mix which highlights his great style and his ability to span many genres of techno/electronica while maintaining your attention and exhibiting his own particular approach to the Berghain series which each particular resident has brought to their own mix.

TBC’s particular highlights include:

  • CJ Bolland ‘Horsepower’ as it is simply a classic electronica track which fits in very well with the current day techno style. it may be dated but is doesn’t feel out of place on this mix.
  •  The transition from Cleric – Concrete (31:39)
 to Blue Hour – Common Ground (33:24)
 between tracks 10 and 11 is simply stunning, seamless transition between techno stormers during heavy levels of bass and a pretty rapid BPM. Mind-blowing techno DJing.
  • The section where Function plays Bicknell, Planetary Assault System and Allen tracks together from tracks 14-19 is a serious test of your techno credentials, can you handle it?! This is hardcore techno at its raw best.
  • Silent Servant ‘Noise Treatment’ is the penultimate track and it is Berghain epitomised, crazy, bass heavy and intense. This track on the Function One speaker system would challenge your body’s ability to maintain its control and push you to your limits.

There are points where this mix verges on the techno limits but the diversity and transitions throughout ensure you aren’t scared off or stifled during your audio entertainment session. To put it simply there aren’t really the words to describe this mix. Just like Ryan Elliot did with his Panorama Bar mix Function has matched and exceeded with his Berghain mix. Don’t miss this one! If you haven’t experienced Berghain in all its glory this mix is a great place to start, turn up your speakers and get lost.

Fabric 84 – Mathew Jonson

Mathew Jonson has been a TBC favourite for many years and remains an elusive DJ/Producer as we have never seen him live. However this elusiveness only adds to Mathew Jonson’s persona and grandeur because for a decade he has produced some of electro and techno’s greatest tracks. Marionette, Decompression and Typerope are defining tracks within electronic music since the early naughties. It is hard to remain elusive, churn our production pieces and achieve a level of consistency like Mathew has done over the last 14/15 years, not many have been able to keep up or challenge him. Many have tried; Maceo Plex, Julien Jewell, Petar Dundov, Joris Voorn but Mathew Jonson retains that standing which many envy and pursue.

It would have been easy to create a mix CD that would blow you away when Mathew Jonson is at the helm but he doesn’t simply provide a great mix in this instance with Fabric but showcases how others should approach production and DJing. Fresh tracks, live edits, new mixes which rejuvenate classic old tracks, a progressive style which epitomises Mathew Jonsons’ style while remaining satisfying and uplifting for the listener whether they are seasoned or a rookie in the scene. The tune selection is solely Mathew Jonson focused, either produced, edited or remixed and it works perfectly. This mix managed to reignite my Fabric collection which was looking a little tired and generic.

The live mix was recorded at Fabric during  their crazy Birthday weekend in 2014 where they open non-stop throughout Saturday and Sunday. It seems that those who attended were treated to one of those exemplary performances which usually occur and are talked about as if they were folk-lore, “were you there”, “did you see Mathew Jonson at Fabric in 2014”, “his live set was simply mind-blowing”. Normally you would brush these comments aside but Fabric were lucky enough to be recording this live set for their 84th instalment of their Fabric series and boy does this mix deliver.

Fabric have been somewhat lacklustre in recent years, their mixes have not really delivered, big DJ’s have lost their way and generally they have fallen fowl of the level they set early in their series history. In this case Mathew Jonson blows this recent bad spell away with a breathtaking mix.

It is difficult to select highlights however Decompression is a TBC favourite and this features in a new guise twice along with an urban, garage mix which enables Mathew Jonson to explore a dubby, garage style which particularly excited us as this an old school genre from the 90’s is not often revisited by current DJs. This nostalgic angle is well integrated and flows very well within the mix moving us on to a more housey style which finishes the mix culminating in a great Acid remix of the legendary Inner City Good Life.

We wish we could post links to this mix but you have to enquire about the mix and get involved because it is simply stunning. Go to the Fabric website for a 7/8 quid bargain, you won’t be disappointed.

Tracklist /
01. Cobblestone Jazz – Northern Lights
02. Mathew Jonson – Dayz
03. Mathew Jonson – Learning To Fly
04. Mathew Jonson – Marionette (The Beginning)
05. Units And Measurements feat. Deadbeat – Octopus Brains
06. Tobias. – If (Mathew Jonson & The Mole Remix)
07. Mathew Jonson – In Search of a New Planet With Oxygen
08. Mathew Jonson – The World Will Come Around
09. Mathew Jonson – Automaton
10. Mathew Jonson – Decompression (Mathew Jonson Acid Cut)
11. Mathew Jonson – Decompression (Mathew Jonson Force Remix)
12. Mathew Jonson – Ghosts In The A.I. / Decompression (Mathew Jonson Mash Up)
13. Mathew Jonson – Imagination
14. Subb-an feat. S.Y.F. – Say No More (Mathew Jonson Remix)
15. Mathew Jonson – Cause Baby It Just Feels Right
16. Mathew Jonson – That Girl Can Dance
17. Mathew Jonson – That 101 Is Mine
18. Mathew Jonson – Feels Like Liquid
19. Mathew Jonson – Body In Motion
20. Kevin Saunderson feat. Inner City – Good Life (Mathew Jonson’s Acid Mix)

BBC Essential Mix – Ben Klock

Since TBC’s first trip to Berlin we have been obsessed with the Berghain family; Dettmann, Klock, Faki, Fenglar, Fiedel, Nodge et al. It is very difficult to not be captivated by the scene that this club, its residents, Ostgut Ton (the record label) and Berlin itself have created. The booming techno, its controversial door policy, the 48 hour plus parties, Panorama bar, the garden and its dark seedy sex dungeon (with the event called Snax). Of all of the residents Ben Klock remains the most elusive to TBC as we have experienced all the other DJ’s mentioned above at various times in recent years. Ben has released a number of mixes over the years including FACT #31 in 2009, Berghain #4 in 2010 and Fabric #66 and Tsugi #246 in 2012 and FACT #470 in 2014 all of which exhibit a tough techno sound with influences of house thrown in; percussion in particular. His style and flow within his mixes is synonymous of Berghain while differentiating himself with the other residents. When we heard that Pete Tong had drafted in Ben Klock for the essential mix we were very excited at TBC, especially after Marcel Dettmann’s offering in 2014 and we were not let down by this 2 hour techno journey.

The mix features many techno heavyweights Josh Wink, Edit Select, Spencer Parker, Planetary Assault System (Luke Slater) and Cajmere along with the lesser known Klaus Wiese, Antonio Ruscito, Pastaboys, Yotam Avni, the list goes on and on with around 37 tracks being included on this superb mix over 2 hours. The start of the mix bleeps and pulses with the great atmospheric tracks from Wiese and Wink merged together but soon pulses into techno and bass with Edit Select (a favourite of TBC for his unbelievably dark  and epic remixes of other producers techno and his own techno stormers) via his own track ‘Hi Line Extraction’ and his remix of Antonio Ruscito’s ‘Immagini Dai Sogni’ which are also blended together. This opening shows the thought that Ben Klock went through to create this  mix and his attention to detail when blending and developing the set. It almost becomes difficult to ascertain the tracks being played due to the level of overlapping between tracks but this factor made this mix particularly enjoyable as you felt like you were there live in the club, experiencing the master at work. This style of mixing is synonymous with a DJ at the top of their game and creates an end product which is greater than the sum of its parts, which when you listen to some of the tracks on their own replay makes you realise how much extra Ben Klock brings to the table not only here on the Essential Mix but whenever he plays live.

The mix highlights are:

-The opening 15 minute medley of tracks is stunning

-Pastaboys – Deep Musique feat. Osunlade (Trus’me Spritz Mix) – 14-18 minutes in

-Spencer Parker – Rights for Men x 2 tracks including the Adriana Lopez Mix at around 35 minutes

-Yotam Avni – This Is How x 2 tracks including the Sterac Remix – around 45 minutes

-Mike Dunn – Dance you Mutha (Ju Edit) – the original is from 1987 on the legendary Trax records – around 56 minutes.

-Woody McBride- All Night (Techno Mix) into Dax J – The Invisible Man into (unknown) – B1 into Dirty Basscore – MBass around 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes is Acid techno heaven.

This mix can be summed up simply as stunning, there is an obvious reason why this won BBC Essential Mix of the Year, just listen for yourself and you will see what we mean. To be honest if you haven’t heard this mix already where have you been?!

BBC Essential Mix – Maceo Plex

TBC have been fans of Maceo Plex since around 2010 when he first surfaced courtesy of Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels label who signed and promoted him. We heard his early tracks via his first LP Life Index which provided a more house, techy vibe than we are used to now where Maceo is firmly rooted in electro/tech/house carving a genre almost specific to himself – a niche.

Maceo Plex’s production work over the last few years including his Maetrik alias have provided TBC with enough techno/electro fuel to power many a party. Every production is flawless including his remixes, which helps draw similarities with Mathew Jonson (see the Fabric review above) who is an electronic music scene legend. We cannot wait for his new album Solar in 2016 which includes the epic Polygon Pulse (we hope!).

The mix which aired in November 2015 kicks off early with Radioactive Man Uranium, a TBC favourite being played at our first ever event, which is just superb, great but creepy vocal, evil synths and electro bleeps powered by a sublime bass line.

Polygon Pulse from Maceo which kicks in around 12 minutes is a progressive vocal masterpiece perfect for the late morning, sunrise festival set. The vocal, uplifting strings and progressive combination is exhilarating.

Stephan Bodzin Power of Ten (Maceo Plex remix) at 32 minutes is another great example of Maceo’s production genius, taking an already superb track from Stephan Bodzin to the next level.

Bxentric Patch Valley 42 minutes is another uplifting gem with superb keys, strings and bassline. This moves into Sefton – The Road Not Taken then into Vangelis Blade Runner End Titles and then Unknown – Bloodsport (Maceo Plex Remix) which provides 10 minutes of euphoric music.

The remainder of the mix maintains the Maceo Plex style and then blisses out into the final 20 minutes to wrap the mix up nicely. This mix is a superb entry by Maceo after his mini mix last year at T in the Park festival which firmly sets his place within the industry as a frontrunner in electronica and tech-house up there with the likes of Mathew Jonson which is testament to the skills on show.

TBC Playlist 2015 Annual Review – Part Three

TBCReviews2015aWelcome to part three and the final part of this rather monstrous review of 2015, we hope you have made it this far and have enjoyed the article. The lengthy nature of the annual review quite clearly shows it has been a big year for us at TBC and a great year for music yet again. Our playlist for 2015 includes 91 entries and that barely scratches the surface of the music we have listened to throughout the year. We hope that you have been able to have a peruse, find a few new artists or a new album and enjoy the selection as much as we have.

It is always difficult so select a favourite from our playlists as noted in previous articles, especially with such a wealth of content being listened to over the whole of 2015 and then having to review, shortlist and then write a piece on each. In this shortlist we are definitely focusing on techno this year with Levon Vincent, Function, Mathew Jonson, Ben Klock and Maceo Plex included in our top 5 releases in 2015. There is a good balance of full releases (Fabric #84 and Levon Vincents LP), radio shows from BBC’s Essential Mix, which maintains its consistency after 23 years (started in 1993), and the new on-line full releases for free by Ostgut Ton via the Berghain and Panorama Bar series. We were also blessed with some superb leftfield alternative releases this year which were not included in the selection process for our favourite of 2015, these are featured at the bottom of the playlist in the ‘Alternative’ section. We would highly recommend each album as they have provided some excellent entertainment at TBC HQ this year and even been enjoyed live in some instances with David Gilmour leading the pack with his live tour at Royal Albert Hall in October (check out our Instagram profile for the photos).

With such a wealth of techno it is clear that techno is the winner for TBC in 2015 however you may feel that we are slightly biased in our opinion but please feel free to provide any feedback having listened to these releases as they are each superb in their own way. When it came to selecting the favourite we normally bounce each album off each other at TBC but this time round we didn’t take long to whittle the selection down to our favourite. We also felt it right to select a runner up as it was close this year.

The Runner Up – BBC Essential Mix – Ben Klock

Having already won BBC Essential Mix of the year 2015 this mix has already received the accolade it deserves. Ben Klock has taken techno to the masses with this mix and it is a superb representation of what makes Berlin and Berghain techno so good and Ben Klock an exceptional DJ. We recently experienced this mix at the TBC Follow The Yellow Brick Road event at the after party on an incredible sound system at a frankly ridiculous volume and it still doesn’t quite do this mix justice but it was very enjoyable pushing it to the limit.

******The Winner – Fabric 84 – Mathew Jonson********

Congratulations to both Mathew Jonson and Fabric for this release, it is simply brilliant. The fact that Mathew Jonson actually played this mix live at Fabric during their birthday, the fact that he produced or remixed every track and the fact that he provides a back catalogue of his production work while making it work perfectly together and sounding current at the same time is simply stunning. If you know how good the Ben Klock Essential Mix is you will now realise how good this mix is! TBC have listened to this mix so many times over 2015 and into 2016, it can be a pre-party warm up, party time and after-party mix quite easily which means it is accessible at all times and quite simply excels on all fronts; production, flow, structure and style. Mathew Jonson has created a CD which not only shows how good he is in a studio or live in person but how versatile he is in being able to capture this on a tangible format in a timeless mix.

We are finally at the end and hope that you have enjoyed. Roll on 2016!

 

TBC

 

Interview with Winston Hazel

Winston Hazel Interview April 2015_0021

When considering potential interviews for TBC we would be hard pushed to find a better person to comment on the club and electronic music scene in Sheffield than Winston Hazel. One half of the team behind the legendary Sheffield 80s club night Jive Turkey, one half of the pioneering techno outfit, Forgemasters and the driving force behind Kabal, Hazel has been shaping the scene in the steel city for the last 4 decades. Jive Turkey may not be a night that TBC readers will necessarily be aware of. It hasn’t received the notoriety or infamy of nights such as the Hacienda from the same era. When it comes to club nights that have made an impact both socially and politically however, Jive Turkey is up there with the best of them. At the time Jive Turkey was one of the biggest and most revered nights in the country. Its events at Sheffield City Hall and Occasions attracted party goers by the bus load from all around the UK and internationally with people coming from as far as Canada to experience a piece of the Jive Turkey action. The coming together of Hazel and DJ Parrott (Richard Barrett) meant that Jive Turkey was one of the first nights where both black and white clubbers came together under one roof to party side by side in what had been, up until that point, a very segregated scene on a national level. In addition, Hazel was well known for his shows on pirate radio stations as well as working at the FON record store both of which helped him in making a huge success of his Track with no name” as Forgemasters with Rob Gordon – the first track to be released on Warp Records. As if that wasn’t enough, over the past 15 years, Hazel has put on almost 50 Kabal parties in various unique and alternative venues across Sheffield. We met the man for a coffee and a chat and were blown away by the positivity and humility of this local hero. Despite being booked into a nearby studio to work on new productions on Shabby Doll records, he gave up over 2 hours of his time to provide us with the detailed and fascinating history of Winston Hazel, Jive Turkey, Forgemasters and Kabal as well as the scoop on his exciting new projects. Hazel said that in each interview he has given he’s shared more than the previous and this was no exception.

When interviewing Hazel it would be remiss to start any where other than by obtaining a detailed history of the seminal club night he co-ran with Barrett, Jive Turkey. For those that don’t know and for many that are too young to remember, Jive Turkey was a night which began at a club which will be known to local clubbers today as Fez but back then was called Mona Lisa’s. Hazel already had a huge following from his DJing at Turn Ups – a big night on the black scene in a club in one of the buildings near Commercial Street Bridge. In addition to that however he played at a night called Maximillion’s held at the club underneath Mona Lisa’s and it was from this gig that Hazel’s path first crossed with Barrett’s. Eager to find out what was happening upstairs, Hazel went up for a listen and enjoyed the 70s disco, funk and go go music played at Hothouse, as the night was then called. This was a nice contrast for Hazel to the music he was playing at that time at Turn Ups and was different to the music his black friends were into. “A lot of my black friends weren’t into 70s funk. What I played was more progressive – the early funk bands like Zap and Clear. I went along and I brought my mates. Parrot invited me to play with him as I was playing the new electro- he knew I knew what I was doing. I invited him to come to Turn Ups which he found a bit of a strange experience as it was like: “white man in here”! He liked the fact that it was quite complimentary to what he was doing. I didnt invite him to play at mine. My crowd were quite snobbish. There was a black white separation.

At Barrett’s night the crowd were however more open and one thing that Hazel found particularly satisfying was that the dancing started as soon as people got into the club. A main player in the Footworking and Fusion Footworking dance movement, Hazel and his friends that came along to Hothouse were always dressed, ready for a dance battle: “We used to make our own clothes: the funk ruffle jeans – we cut the back and put blue zips in and a red strip. When you’re ready to battle you would pull the zips down. We had a little towel hanging out of the pocket and cap and when the bad tunes came on wed slam the towel down and start footworking. People would start to try and copy us. They couldnt do it but it was brilliant. Thats what you want as a dancer!.

Hazel’s friends and fans from Turn Ups didn’t venture to Jive Turkey: My crowd were a lot more flippant about what they didnt know, however, that all changed with the collapse of the jazz funk all dayer scene. Hazel had also been a big name on this scene djing at parties at The Palais in Sheffield, the Humming Bird in Birmingham, Rock City in Nottingham and Hammersmith Palais, London. He played along side DJs such as Jonathan, Hugh and Clark and Mark Shaft at the all day parties and as a scene this was far more mixed in terms of its crowd. When the all dayer scene collapsed in the mid-eighties there was nothing like it in the country except for Jive Turkey. Hazel’s position at the forefront of this scene created a surge of interest in Jive Turkey and the night catapulted. Far more black clubbers started to come to the night creating a more diverse demographic at Jive Turkey that was reminiscent of the all dayer scene. In addition, a lot more white males and even football hooligans started to come. Jive Turkey was seen as an Owls club but due to the eruption of ecstasy use there was never any trouble in that regard. In relation to the impact of ecstasy on Jive Turkey Hazel said: “the e thing made the party bigger than the venues. Whereas you would have people dancing on the dance floor only before, when ecstasy came in, the party was happening all over the club. It was incredible to see that erupt!.

Then the Warp sound started to rear its head. Hazel was working in the FON record store, which was run by the founders of Warp and he also hosted The Friday Afternoon Dance Party on pirate radio with the tagline: “Get ready for the strong end of the week cos we don’t do weekends!. Unbeknownst to him, his radio show was reaching as far as Leeds and Bradford. People started to travel around to funk nights in other parts of Yorkshire. “These nights existed but Jive Turkey was the one everyone talked about. Something was happening on a bigger scale. The budding artists were coming to Jive Turkey as a means of finding out what was going on and people were bringing music for us to play. Jive Turkey brought huge names such as Todd Terry and Roger Sanchez to Sheffield for big parties at Kiki’s and Occasions – a club with a capacity of around 350. Hazel and Barrett however, overfilled it with 700 people with crazy parties where people would be banging on the roof. It also transpires that Sheffield was infamous for producing good speed and Hazel even told us about a pensioner who used to make bath loads of the stuff! In describing the Jive Turkey crowd Hazel said: “Everybody knew each other. We were the part of society that bucked the system – that would question the authorities – the creatives. The more raw, techno side of the music played at Jive Turkey completely fitted the phonics of Sheffield. “We had that pounding noise of steel thudding……ricocheting across the hills. My bedroom looked over the park way. I saw them digging that up. I watched them digging it. These things had a huge impact on the music that we wrote. I was optimistic through all that as for me that was change and I like change but it kept me motivated. I had the belief things will change in time. For Hazel, the economic and social issues in Sheffield were the reason that Jive Turkey existed and parallels can be drawn with the eruption of techno culture in Berlin and Detroit. In the UK, the all dayer scene and Northern soul were the glue that stuck the disenfranchised youth at that time together and Jive Turkey came along and took things to a new level. Winston states with conviction that it was the marriage between him and Barrett that allowed for this to happen creating the mix of black and white. “Jive Turkey was culturally and politically super important in this country.

I asked Hazel about his discovery of bleep techno to which his blunt response was: “Bleep techno never existed as far as I was concerned. We weren’t making house music/ techno, we just knew what worked. When I went into the studio with Robert (Gordon) it was a bi product of really good radio stations, really good nights, like attracting like and if you’re doing something really good you attract other really good things. Im a firm believer in the universe providing you with what you need.” Hazel had met Gordon (The other half of Forgemasters) at school. It was the pirate radio stations and Jive Turkey that allowed Winston to reach a lot of people and promoted a belief in him. The seminal Forgemasters tune: Track with no name was produced when Gordon got his hands on an Akai s100 sampler. “I was blown away by it, he was blown a way by it. We were experimenting in the studio for about four hours and ended up with a broken riff with the sampler. We didnt even known it was finished but then we played it and I was like get it on tape Im playing it on the radio tomorrow! We couldn’t think of the name and we both shouted, at the same time, Track with no name!. The reaction when Hazel played it on the radio the next day was insane the phones went fucking mental – next day people were ringing the shop asking about it”. People started to copy the sound and bring tapes to the club for Winston to play: I was playing it having not listened to it, the rougher the better!.

The track had such a positive response that Hazel and Gordon decided they needed a name and what could be more fitting for a techno outfit from Sheffield than Forgemasters? Hazel and Gordon decided to press 500 white labels of “Track With No Name” and they even hand wrote them. Hazel had friends in many high profile records shops and he got 5/6 of them to distribute the track including Groove records, Spinning in Manchester and Blue Bird in London. When Hazel phoned them to find out the 5 top tracks playing at that time, in every case “Track with no name” was one of them!

In 2014 Jive Turkey was recognised by Red Bull Music Academy when it was chosen to host a pod in the land mark event “Revolutions in Sound” at the London Eye. Twenty club nights were honoured in this way, hosting one pod of the eye each. “It was a great experience! Parrot loved it and he is very hard to please. There was a panel of twenty people who decided which nights should host a pod and Jive Turkey was the only night that got a unanimous vote. “We intended on making our pod an incredible experience for the people that came to it. We said we wanted 8 dancers of our choosing to come in. They understood by the time the pod had done its first rotation. We did not want head nodders – theres nothing more uninspiring. The girls were zumba dancers that come to our parties now. They weren’t probably alive at the time of Jive Turkey. The foot workers were a bit stiff but we all had a brilliant time!

A lot of Winston’s contemporaries left Sheffield around 1999/2000 due to a change in the scene prompted by the rise of the super club. When Gatecrasher became so huge in the Steel City Hazel along with many other were left thinking as he put it: “What the fuck”? “Do you not get it”?. Hazel moved to London and set up some parties in the capital but resented always fitting into somebody else’s thing. He had to go though he says to give Sheffield space to breathe. What I recognised was that there had been a lot of animosity towards me and Parrot. A lot of people resented us and people wouldnt let us play at their nights. People saying: you get all the work. When I left for London I said I was going to give Sheffield some time to breathe but it was important for me to come back. It was love that eventually motivated Hazel to come back up North as he met his current partner, Rachel and fell in love for the first time. It was during this period that Kabal began as well as Scuba, a club which provided Hazel with many fond memories.

Over the last 15 years Hazel has been part of team Kabal putting on famously good parties in alternative, unique venues in Sheffield. He described the early days of Kabal as a product of his emerging friendship with friend Raif Collis who had offered to catalogue Hazel’s extensive, 25,000 strong, record collection. Raif, who had a passion for funk music, took a year out of his calendar to sort through this huge treasure trove of music and in payment, Winston told him to keep a copy of any that he liked. As a result, hardly surprisingly, Raif developed a taste for dance music. Raif was someone who Hazel said was instrumental in bringing people together on a social level and no where was this skill more utilised than with the bringing together of the Stone Jam collective. Stone Jam was a project started by Andrew Greenlees, now sadly deceased. The aim was to bring creative people from different groups in Sheffield together and the venue for this collective was the newly opened Castle Court flats:

“Castle court when it opened was like creative hotel – it was incredible. Everyone looked after each other making it a very safe environment. There were lots of parties and lots of drugs. I lived there for 3 years. It seemed like the longest time ever. Where I lived in Castle Court was actually a few doors from where I lived as child. The parties at Castle Court were legendary – people came over from Manchester to party and the parties went on for days and days”.

In 1994 Hazel went to Jamaica for the first time and Raif went with him: “That was when I knew this was my best friend“. Hazel went away to discover himself at a point where he says he needed to stop himself from “tipping over the drug edge“. When asked what he discovered, he said with utter conviction: “Winston Hazel“. “I had been taking so many drugs that I went to Jamaica and I didn’t even feel black. I went out there and I took off all my gold and my glasses. I felt like I stood out people would shout out “yo english” when I walked down the street. I really quickly wanted to feel it was home, I didn’t want it to feel alien. That decision to strip myself down and blend in was really important for me to feel happy with myself and feel happy with my background. Embracing the music, the culture. I never saw so many people so happy with nothing I aimed to emulate that and keep it with me forever”.

Hazel was clearly highly influenced by what had happened in Jamaica and he and Raif came back with a new sound for Sheffield. At the time DJ Pipes (Peter Donohoe) along with Ben Weaver, Ashton Thomas and others ran a night called Waxlyrical. The sound that Hazel and Raif brought fitted the sonic emphasis for bass and ticked a lot of boxes for Sheffield. “I came back with a heart break rhythm, ragga rhythm track – i was taking ragga and funk and soul and also infusing rage as instrumental tracks back to back to back to back – never been done tracks, mixing them all together.” This certainly created quite an impact: “The techno heads were listening up and the reggae heads started to hear it as well. This started to spark similar feelings to those that Jive Turkey had created.” The upshot of all this creativity and new musical energy was to give Raif the desire to put together Kabal and Rude Movements. Kabal is now in its 15th year and has only one more party planned in Spring which will be the 50th and very sadly the finale. TBC went along to the free Kabal all day party at this years Tramlines and can only say make sure you get a ticket for the Autumn Kabal because the atmosphere and music in that place is like nothing else in Sheffield.

Never one to standstill however, of course Hazel is already channeling his energies into new and equally exciting projects not least his work as part of The Originators. The Originators is a collective of electronic music outfits who started out at the time of the fall of the Berlin wall and comprises one member of each of the following: Forgemasters, Unit 3, Altern8, Rhythmatics and LFO. Each produces a track and then forwards it to the others to remix. The tracks are to be released on the experimental Chill Records and rehearsals for a live tour start next year. Keep those eyes peeled for up coming gigs TBCers, this one is not to be missed! In addition Hazel is also producing music for Shabby Doll Records run by Matt Swift.

Well readers that’s the story of Winston Hazel, a true Sheffield hero and one of the most inspiring people TBC has ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Prins Thomas pres. Goulash – TBC Promo Review

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The TBC promotional reviews are coming thick and fast at the moment which is credit to the great material that we are receiving. This has meant a delay to regular formats such as our TBC playlist but without a time machine at the moment we do not have enough time to search, listen, review and write about everything, please be patient!

Our latest promo comes courtesy of Eskimo Recordings and one of our favourite eclectic electronic DJ/Producers Prins Thomas (Thomas Moen Hermansen when he is without his superstar DJ powers). Since we were introduced to Prins Thomas towards the end of the naughties we have taken great pleasure in his superb yet sometimes bizarre disco edits which have hit the mainstream via his label Full Pupp or been gems to find on vinyl or MP3. Since 2007 when we experienced Cosmo Galactic Prism and his RA Podcast #74 Prins Thomas has gravitated towards a heavier, more techy sound. This was evident in his Live at Robert Jonson in 2009 (#2 in the CD series) and the later (5 patient years of waiting) Rainbow Disco Club in 2014. The latter saw the new angle which included heavier techno tracks and dirtier grooves which excited TBC and lead to the album being included in our TBC Playlist from December 2014 (https://technobreakfastclub.co.uk/2015/03/20/tbc-playlist-december-2014/).

The day we received the release news for this album entitled ‘Goulash’ we were also fortunate to be able to receive a limited edition (limited to 100 so this is an ultra exclusive) tin can version of the album which you actually have to use a tin opener to prise the music from within. You can see the photo above showing the tin can in all its glory, keep your eyes peeled for our unveiling which will feature on-line soon.

1/3CD
1. Turns ­ Forever More Pt. III
2. Gabor Szabo ­ Galatea’s Guitar
3. Brian Bennett Band ­ Drum Odyssey
4. Aqua Bassino ­ Ibiza
5. Claude Speeed ­ VIN
6. Sun Araw ­ Ma Holo
7. Richard Schneider Jr. ­ Samba­Trip
8. Mistral ­ Starship 109
9. The Durian Brothers ­ Weggeputscht
10. Zazou Bikaye & CY1 ­ Lamuka
11. Berliner Ring ­ El Amarna
12. C Cat Trance ­ Dalbouka
13. A Split ­ Second ­ Scandinavian Bellydance 14. TM404 ­ 303/303/303/303/606
15. RVDS ­ Nerds
16. Len Leise ­ Dance Of The Ghosts
17. NSI. ­ Nikita
18. Wally Badarou ­ Voices
19. Jan Akkerman ­ Tranquilizer

2/3CD
1. Bjørn Torske ­ Nestor
2. Actress ­ Xoul Particles
3. Son.sine ­ Upekah
4. Hakimonu ­ Cadence 1 / Native A
5. Donato Dozzy & Tin Man ­ Test 7
6. I:Cube ­ Falling
7. Hieroglyphic Being ­ Imaginary Soundscapes 9
8. Forever Sound ­ Glowworm
9. Odd Numbers ­ Riviera
10. Dreamatic ­ I Can Feel It (Enzo Elia GFR Edit)
11. SW. ­ Untitled
12. Pev & Kowton ­ Low Strobe
13. Joachim Holm & Alejandro Mosso ­ Tre Melodi
14. Robert Hood ­ Drive (The Age Of Automation)
15. Abdulla Rashim ­ Moral Blinds
16. Dirty Jesus ­ Don’t Fuck With My Shit (RV Cock’s Black Cock Mix) 17. Marcos Cabral ­ Sweet & Sour
18. Box Saga ­ Zen And The Art Of Deadlines
19. Bjørn Torske ­ Nitten Nitti
20. Les Big Byrd ­ Roundhouse Blues

3/3CD
1. Ü ­ The Subdubba Beat (Stockholmia Glue Mix)
2. Petar Dundov ­ Sailing Off The Grid
3. Louis Haiman ­ Ghosts Of Gratiot
4. Evigt Mörker ­ Högre
5. Morphosis ­ Silent Screamer
6. Sebbo ­ Watamu Beach (Moritz von Oswald Rework) 7. Young Marco ­ Biology Theme
8. Luke Abbott ­ Modern Driveway
9. Ricardo Villalobos ­ Defixia
10. Zadig ­ Quiet Orbit Around Gladia
11. Marcellus Pittman ­ The Mad Underdog
12. Stefan Vincent ­ Fool Me Again
13. Blacknecks ­ Don’t Dream It Be It
14. Siriusmo ­ Liu
15. Il Guardiano Del Faro ­ Ma Ci Pensi, Io E Te
16. Johanna Billing ­ This Is How We Walk On The Moon 17. Krater ­ Labyrint
18. Kurt Vile ­ Baby’s Arms

The first thing you will notice having perused the track list above is that this is a rather eclectic collection of tracks from a vast array of DJ’s and producers. We have Len Leise (previously featured on past promo reviews), the legendary Split Second of old skool rave era, Bjorn Torske, Donato Dozzy, I:Cube, Robert Hood, Petar Dundov and Siriusmo across the 3 disc mega mix. Eclecticy is the basis of Goulash and encapsulates Prins Thomas’s sound and mixing style. At first this mix can seem very chilled and minimal but having listened to the mix for the last few weeks this structure creates an interesting, albeit (at quite a tangent to his latest mixes, releases and live sets) quirky feel that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. When TBC first read the release notes we thought that this would be an electronic journey across disco, house and techno but the predominant feel is subdued and atmospheric with some amazing tracks interspersed throughout. You have to give the mix time to develop, build, transform and progress which may test your patience but works perfectly at home on a loud sound system. This mix can be enjoyed in the background, while relaxing or chilling at a pre/after party or if you fancy an engrossing musical journey over almost 4 hours.

The first CD is very, very chilled. It rarely picks up pace or delivers any groovy, dance enticing parts which was somewhat of a surprise considering Prins Thomas’ last few releases. The roster of artists for the first CD are mostly unknowns even to the cultured ear and electronic music aficionado. The predominant style of this mix is psychedelic disco with bizarre percussion, instrumental, vocal and tribal samples. It is probably the least welcoming of the 3 mixes in the boxset due to this diversity and bizarre electronica influences. Prins Thomas is showing us an alternative side of his musical repertoire that most will not have excepted even existed.

The second CD starts off with more of a wonky electronic feel that by track three entitled Upekah harks back to the sound you will have expected. The pace remains slow but a more deep house/techy sound starts to develop via the lovely Test 7 by Donato Dozzy and Tin Man. I:Cube’s Falling regresses to the signature electro disco sound that Prins is most famous for, the pace picks up slightly and you will finally find yourself wanting to shake that ass and have a little boogie. By the time you reach Robert Hood’s epic Drive (Age of Automation) the mix is in its most developed state, the pitch is slower than that of the original but this provides a great alternative angle to this driving electro track, it is simply brilliant and works well in the mix to continue the progression. This mix plateaus after Robert Hood and drifts with some great electronica ending in the beautiful Roundhouse Blues by Les Big Byrd , an excellent way to close a superb second disc.

The final disc starts with the bizarre The Subdubba Beat by U but moves into a more progressive, uplifting style featuring the likes of Petar Dundov who’s production works is just superb spanning trance, prog and minimal techno. Luke Abbot’s Modern Driveway which comes in at track 8 is another beautiful piece of electronica, uplifting, summery and epic. Prins then throws in another of his tangents descending into the squelchy electro techno of the Mad Underdog by Marcellus Pitman which is just plain evil but a great treat on the final disc. Don’t Dream It Be It by the Blacknecks delivers yet another tangent returning to the shonky disco style of old Prins Thomas, this track is an excellent inclusion again on the final disc and seems to one of many where his eclectic record collection is being shown off and presented for our appreciation and enjoyment. The mix ends with a psychedelic rock style track from Kurt Vile entitled Baby’s Arms.

All in all Goulash is a musical journey of eclecticity that TBC has enjoyed, there are some gems of tracks hidden in here for your enjoyment but you will need to delve in and find them which is part of the fun and enjoyment. The mix does not stand up next to either the Robert Johnson or Rainbow Disco Club which are more of a representation of Prins Thomas’s live mixes while DJing however it is an alternative DJ Kicks style mix collection that can be highly enjoyable, if you give it a fair chance and go back for some repeat listening.

Aphrohead – Resurrection TBC Promo Review

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We are proud at TBC to be able to bring you another promo album review and this time its the turn of Aphrohead with his album “Resurrection” on Crosstown Rebels. Already we can imagine you are asking “who is Aphrohead?” but don’t worry we initially asked the same question and in fact actually bypassed this album early on when it became available. With a little bit of detective work however, we found out that this is in fact an older alias of Felix Da Housecat which has been resurrected with an aptly named album title. Felix Da Housecat is an old favourite of TBC from way back in the early naughties when we were introduced to the sounds of electro clash which was heavily influence by the crazy electronica of the 80s but spiced up with the newer, more contemporary sounds of electro (heavy basslines, acid squelches, drums and many other effects you could throw in). The seminal track Silver Screen, Shower Scene lead TBC to discover artists such as Jacques Lu Cont (Thin White Duke remix of the aforementioned track), the label City Rockers which brought us some great compilation via Damian Lazarus (discovering Damian at the same time too who would go on to great things with Crosstown Rebels), Soulwax, Tiga, Ellen Allien and Miss Kittin to name but just a few of many, many DJs and producers. Once we found out who was behind the Aphrohead alias we therefore became very excited! The LP provides us with 10 new tracks to listen to and review which take us on a journey from electro to heavy techno, we hope you read on and can enjoy the album yourself.

Tracklist:
1. RESURRECTION
2. KlymaXXX
3. Come to ME
4. Let’s PRANCE
5. Elevator (I’ll Take The Stairs)
6. Grown Man Cryy
7. 1KING 1QUEEN
8. Medusa
9. Front to Backk
10. Sashe Sashe Sashe

From the 1st track you feel right at home with the album title track Resurrection which is signature Felix Da Housecat, vocoder lyrics, electro synth keys and uplifting tune ease you into the album, welcome back Felix! KlymaXXX steps it up a notch but continues in the electro clash style with a rolling bassline, uplifting synth keys and squelchy sounds that hark back to the early naughties and leave a smile on your face as you cannot fail to be entertained by this track, its uplifting, euphoric and feels like a sign of good things to come on the album. The track builds and builds to a climax, pardon the awful pun. Come To ME can also be put into the electro genre but with a more deep house feel, the track is atmospheric, moody and again delivers some excellent keys and a nice kick drum which moves along nicely. It is a step down in pace from KlymaXXX but nonetheless it continues a run of three great tracks to start the new album. At this stage it feels like Aphrohead was trying to lull you into a false sense of security where the three previous tracks sat nicely in the electro genre, this tracks introduces some heavier bass and a number of different drums which move the track into a more techno vein (which obviously excited TBC), by two minutes in you are wanting to prance like the track is telling you to as a marching techno beat kicks in, “let’s prance”. By the time you get to track 5 you start to forget that you had been enjoying the electro a few tracks ago as we move into some heavy bass tinged techno with Elevator (I”ll Take The Stairs). While we have no idea where the track name comes from and to be honest the title seems totally random, this track is an excellent bouncing, rolling techno track with some great percussion thrown in for good measure and the vocal is perfect. Play this track loud and you will be thoroughly entertained, turn the sub woofer on and you will be blown away and of course you will be upsetting the neighbours. Mid way through the album and you are well on course for the heavy techno we eluded to in our introduction.

Onto the second half of the LP we go and Aphrohead continues to deliver, Grown Man Cryy is up sixth and wow this is a stormer, it starts hard and continues throughout. This is full ‘pots and pans’ style techno, its fast, heavy, has a kooky lyric which delivers in a monologue style (which sounds like Felix himself, what do you think?) with some gospel style elements  and simply rocks. Some may be offended by the heavy nature of this track as it is simply relentless but TBC absolutely love it and it is one of the standout tracks on the album. 1King 1Queen, which some of you may recognise from a recent TBC DJ set is another of the standout tracks on the album, heavy techno continues and once again the vocal is on point to deliver a balanced package of tune and vocal. The techno is straight out of Tresor, hard, banging, fast and is right up TBC’s street. When the vocal comes in it is haunting and freaky along with a circus style fairground tune (a distorted accordion sound) before the techno bangs straight back in. Where has Aphrohead been hiding if he has had this level of techno in the making, this level of production is what we would expect from Felix but not on this genre! By the time you get towards the end of the LP you may be a little exhausted but track 8 Medusa does not relent however it doesn’t match up to the levels experienced in tracks 6 and 7. The production level decreases with a more acid squelch track that doesn’t vary too far away from its core apart from the Medusa lyric that is thrown in from time to time. The track is well suited to the second half of the album as it continues the heavy techno vibe but it fails to inspire, it does have some crazy, scary effects and sounds towards the end though. Front to Backk is the penultimate track and the you may think that Aphrohead would start to bring the album down a few notches but the heavy techno continues and the production level picks up a bit too from Medusa, returning to the style of the earlier standout tracks, turn it up loud and scare your friends, this track is crazy. The last track Sashe Sashe Sashe does finally see a slight drop in pace and is not as monstrous as the last 4 tracks but it still falls into the techno bracket and is a great way to end the album as it introduces some melody and atmospheric sounds to the techno structure. “Sashe let’s dance” is one of the lyrics but we doubt you will need this reminder as you will have been dancing your ass off for the last 40 minutes.

As the album comes to an end you will want to put it on loop and listen again, or extract a few favourites and belt them out loud to really appreciate this album. We will have this on our stereo and will be waxing lyrical about it at TBC HQ for some time to come. Super album Felix/Aphrohead, we are pleased you have resurrected this old alias courtesy of Crosstown Rebels and look forward to more of the same soon.

Thanks for reading, more to come very soon.

TBC

DJ Kicks – Seth Troxler TBC Promo Review

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Welcome back TBC readers to the latest of our promo reviews and this one is hot off the press! We are pleased to be able to bring you a very early promo review of the latest DJ Kicks series from K7, we hope you enjoy.
Following from DJ Koze’s entry in the K7 collection is Seth Troxler (release date 16th October 2015) who has been a key player in the electronic music scene since his arrival via Ellen Allien and Bpitch around 2009/10 and his signature wonky minimal tech house. TBC are fans of Seth Troxler, his music can be amazing, his attitude and charisma as a DJ is one of work hard, play hard which we know only too well. There have been some low points with strange lacklustre live sets and mixes but all in all Seth has taken his place among the big players in dance music and settled in for the long haul, bringing an enthusiasm and playful manner which sets him aside from others.
Seth’s previous releases in compilation format were; Boogybytes vol.5, The Lab 03, Mixmag cover CD (with Jamie Jones) and his RA podcast 156. Each release has shown what Seth is about, good house music to party to, not too pacey but something to make you dance your ass off and have fun. The Boogybytes CD is a TBC favourite, check it out (it has a great Album cover too).
Seth Troxler comments on his DJ Kicks in his own words:
“I see this mix as a gay man named Rodney. Or a big black woman named Birtha.”
The mix has an eclectic start with some instrumental, blissed out electronica and it isn’t until track 4 with Cobblestone Jazz where we start to get a bassline and a groove with their Northern Lights track which epitomises Seth’s sound. The mix continues in this wonky vein until the funky disco number from Hauke Freer called XK comes in and it sounds excellent with the vinyl static crackles and funky beat. Hauke Freer is a leftfield german producer and this track is a great contemporary take on a classic disco sound. Butch then delivers a tribal track called Dope which maintains the mix’s momentum and makes you want to go outside and dance in the sunshine (if your lucky to have some on tap). The percussion and vocals in this track have an infectious feel and make you want to bop around and smile. Session Victims – Stick Together then chips in with an uplifting summery disco track to maintain the sunshine vibe. The house vibe continues with Club Artist United and Jasper St Company where we hear a more old school deep house sound with a gospel vocal being thrown in for good measure. Seth then cranks it up a notch with K Alexi on a more acid house tip with an evil distorted vocal which reverberates around the track. Ohh By Mood to Swing retains the more upbeat feel injected by K Alexi, this is where Seth is providing some dance floor numbers taking you into the last third of the mix. Derrick Carter brings Dreaming Again for track 14 which is another crackly vinyl track (1999 classic) and adds a nostalgic feel with some soulful house. At this point it is obvious Seth is using vinyl because the pitch evidently bends at certain points which adds a nice homemade feel to the mix. The classics then begin to flow with Byron Stingley’s Why Cant You Be Real (2000) – another soulful house number. Vanessa McMillan, Dean Street Crew and Sun Ra and His Intergalactic Research Orchestra close the mix, the latter is an insane fairground ride sounding track ending the mix in the most bizarre way.
All in all, this is a good addition to the DJ Kicks series. DJ Kicks is quite a series to release on however and this instalment doesn’t hit the high notes and excel to the extent that others have in the past. It does however provide an interesting insight into Seth’s eclectic record box and the sound is typically DJ Kicks so in our view its worth the investment.
Thanks for reading
TBC

2014 Playlist Review and the TBC Favourite

February Selection:

Dj Kicks – Brandt Brauer Frick 

BBC Essential Mix – Kolsch * 

BBC Essential Mix – MK 

FabricLive Vol.73 – Pangaea 

Watergate vol.15 – Kerri Chandler 

Live @ Output, Brooklyn NYE 2013 – DJ Tennis 

June Selection:

Decay – Efdemin 

It’s Album Time – Todd Terje 

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann *

Do It Again – Royksopp & Robyn 

Fabric #75 – Maya Jane Coles 

September Selection:

Fabric #77 by Marcel Dettmann – Various Artists 

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt 

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists 

Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli in the House – Various Artists *

Essential Mix of the Year Selection:

BBC Essential Mix – Bicep 

BBC Essential Mix – Caribou 

BBC Essential Mix – Jon Hopkins 

BBC Essential Mix – Joy Orbison *

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls 

December Selection:

Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia 

Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot 

Balance Pres. – Kolsch 

Verbalizer – Anthony Rother *

Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian 

 

Introduction

This is probably the latest edition of any music website’s ‘best of 2014’ article but at TBC we like to do things differently and are not worried to break the mould from time to time when necessary. While you may have had to wait some time for this article it will not have had its relevance diminished by the tardiness in its publishing. 2014 was a great year for electronic music and the playlist above which shows the shortlist from each of our playlist’s last year and is a clear indication that we were graced with some great production albums, compilation CDs and live mixes/radio shows. If you were to have a listen through the best of selection above you would be spoiled by some of the best producers; Dettmann, Rother, Efdemin, CD series; Fabric, DJ Kicks, Balance, Watergate and the best (TBC’s favourite anyways) radio show the BBC Essential Mix. While the music industry life cycle process seems to shorten each year with individual tracks coming and going at an ever increasing pace these mixes and albums have captured and exhibited a key milestone in electronic music. Their ability to deliver such range and diversity in electronic musical genres while exhibiting such quality throughout the mixes and albums is something to be proud of as a music fan and a great indication of a buoyant and healthy industry.

In order to select our favourite of the year we have reviewed our previous favourites shortlists, taken heed of our own advice in the previous  favourite choices and had a listen through them again. Are our previous favourites still at the top of our list, are some still in our CD player or on our iPods, have we forgotten about some of our previous selections?! The review and selection process isn’t easy when trying to select your favourite from a whole year however in 2014 TBC can remember some mixes very vividly and these are the ones which we have homed in on in order to select our favourite of 2014.

Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014)*

Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli in the House – Various Artists (2014)*

Fabric #77 by Marcel Dettmann – Various Artists (2014)

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann (2014)*

BBC Essential Mix – Jon Hopkins (2014)

We are pleased to see a balance across our 2014 shortlist in both genres and format; electro, techno, house, electronics and disco are represented via production albums, compilations and radio shows. We always like to keep our options open and ensure that we capture as many formats as possible when we compile our playlists and review our favourites and this is nice to see.

Pete Tong always represents with his legendary and consistent Essential Mix show on BBC Radio One, our previous feature on the 2014 best mix highlighted his ability to maintain his curating excellence with such a wealth of talent on show. Our previous selection Joy Orbison we felt was the best of the year but for our enjoyment factor we only included Marcel Dettmann and Jon Hopkins as we are still listening to them into 2015 which is testament to their quality as they can still compete with the new shows which air every week!

Fabric continue to rollout their series which ties in with their Saturday night event along the lines of techno and house, they haven’t been that consistent over the last few years but continue to provide a few gems each year and Mr.Dettmann’s offering not only shows off Fabric’s techno heritage but also himself as he has two places in our shortlist for 2014 which is an amazing feat.

Our most recent playlist and review brought Anthony Rother back into the limelight, he is one our all time favourite DJ’s who has helped introduce TBC to so many of our favourite DJs and music styles, Bodzin, Huntemann, Gigolo style electro house, haunting/scary electro, techno and bleepy/freaky minimal techno. We were so pleased to see his new album Verbalizer bring back his signature sound with a 2014 twist and freshness.

Nic Fanciuli is a DJ who I have personally seen DJ since he began as a resident back in Club Class in Maidstone around the early 2000’s. He has provided so many good sets over the years and continues to represent all things Maidstone while taking over the DJ world with his club nights and also providing some of the best mix compilations we have ever heard; Renaissance, Mixmag CD’s, back to back compilation with James Zabiela etc. His new mix on Defected is another superb addition to his discography and another superb release on the Defect label which has been on a role in recent years with their In The House and Masters series. This two disc compilation lead to complaints in a hotel in Manchester when celebrating my birthday in July 2014, we listened to it on repeat the whole weekend while dancing around like wollies and it remains one of our first choices for any pre/after party.

Finally one of favourite DJ’s at the moment not just because of his great DJing ability, his excellent website promoting all things disco and electro pop; ‘How Do You Are’, but also because he is genuinely one of the nicest DJ’s out there. After some twitter correspondence with the disco king from Germany, he even invited us to one of his parties in Berlin when we visited this Easter (2015) to finally meet one of our heroes. His mixes are legendary and are well worth checking out via his Soundcloud page, his previous guise as Le Hammond Inferno is one of legend if you are into certain musical circles and his recent Too Slow Disco series (which is soon to be added to with volume two in summer 2015) is pure excellence. The track selection, the album art, the introductions to the tracks and the album itself are genius. Reviving leftfield classic disco from the 60’s and 70’s when others look to the standard classics from that era is both brave and highly commendable as it exudes that geeky side of music where he trudges through old vinyl and classics to find those forgotten gems. DJ Supermarkt always seems to strike gold and his brave selections are so exciting to listen to at home and in the club when you see him live. We can only recommend seeing him live and because of his musical history knowledge you could probably take your Mum and your Gran and they would have a ball too!

The Verdict

As ever the final decision isn’t easy but we won’t bore you with the small talk at this stage, this time round anyways! Based on both being selected as one of our favourite previously back in September and continuing to entertain us at TBC it has to be Nic Fanciulli’s edition of Defected In the House. We don’t think this release got enough attention when it was released back in July, it doesn’t seem to have many publicised reviews on any of the big music websites but this compilation is exceptional. It represents the Nic Fanculli sound, his attention to detail when selecting the tracks is simply a masterclass in set structure and this is just a mix CD! The way each CD builds and flows between house and techno is just like seeing him live when playing a long set where he has time to take you on a Fanciulli musical journey. Congrats to Nic and Defected for the best release according to TBC in 2014. Great to see Maidstone representing at the top of the electronic music industry. We expect Nic to continue his domination of the World in 2015, he already has a world tour planned and the Social festival later in the year, we hope he has a great year and TBC followers and fans get a chance to see him.

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We would like to commend both DJ Supermarkt for providing us with such entertainment with those Too Slow To Disco gems and Marcel Dettmann for featuring twice in our 2014 shortlist, you only just missed out on being selected our 2014 favourite.

Bonus Treat

We haven’t included a favourite track of the year before and its always hard to pick a favourite across genres and the whole year but 2014 belong to a track from I Break Horses called Faith which featured in the Jon Hopkins Essential Mix in one of the greatest mixes ever between the Gary Beck Alogoreal track and the Fields remix of Faith. Jon Hopkins is to thank for bringing this track to my attention and ever since at TBC it has been on repeat. It has featured on our recent TBC playlists that we create every so often, it has been played loud at TBC HQ, in the car on our travels, in Berlin on holiday, the list is endless. This track is perfect electro, moody, progressive, catchy, an amazing vocal, great bassline and simple but perfect track structure. The original version is our favourite and its 3 minutes and 48 seconds of perfection, have a listen using the link below, we challenge you to not dance around like a lunatic and avoid a massive smile on your face. The Fields version is also linked below to see the alternative version that Jon Hopkins used, it is an 11 minute techno stormer! We would recommend you also check out their album Chiaroscuro for an alternative listen.

 

Many thanks for all the support in 2014, we hope to see you all later in the year at our next TBC event and keep coming back to read our latest articles.

TBC

Future Disco Vol.8 – Nighttime Networks

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At TBC we love techno, it is our favourite genre of electronic music but our love of electronic music generally means that we cast our net further afield to ensure that we enjoy all flavours of electronic music. In 2009 we encountered the rebirth of a music genre that lies at the foundation of electronic music, the general party/clubbing scene and a genre that we not only love but were brought up on by our parents; Disco. The resurgence of D.I.S.C.O in 2009 was via a few niche labels that reintroduced the genre through deep/funky house and they also promoted their sound with two new amazing CD series; Horse Meat Disco and Future Disco (via Needwant records). Both of these series exploded with the former now up to vol.4 while running a successful label night all over the world and the latter releasing 7 volumes of exquisite disco cuts, also running a successful global franchise and helping rear some of the more successful producers in the scene; Tensnake and Aeroplane to name a couple. Future Disco have now announced their newest edition titled Nighttime Networks which is volume 8 in the series and we have been lucky enough at TBC to get our hands on a promo copy way before its release date on the 20th April, thanks Future Disco and Needwant records.
 
The style of the mix is similar to the previous CDs in the series; quality disco and deep house with cool, classy beats and vocals. You will find yourself tapping your feet all the way through and smiling to the warm vocals and nice mixing style which keeps the flow moving nicely. The first five tracks which lead up to Zoot Woman’s Don’t Tear Yourself Apart are the perfect intro. The Working Elite’s Freedom changes things up with an acid remix and old school house sounds by Tuff City Kids. Bufiman funks it up with Running (The Chase) which features some nice guitar strings and a catchy hand clap. By the time Johannes Brecht’s Another World kicks in the mix takes a new direction into a more uplifting progressive style which is a new direction for the Future Disco series, this tune is just epic. Vimes’ Celestial and Few Nolder’s Clouds then continue the uplifting progressive vibe. These three tracks work together very well. The mix then changes pace again with Fur’s Pulp to bring the mix towards a close but there are still three tracks to go; Hot Chip’s How Do You Do (Zabiela Remix), Portable’s Surrender and Weval’s Something. The final three tracks finish with a more eclectic feel, Surrender is a dreamy vocal track with a blissed out feel and the mix ends with Something which continues in the same vein as the BPM slows and the vocals are echoed to create a chilled, dreamy effect.
 
The standout tracks on the mix are Few Nolder’s Clouds which is one of our favourites over the last 12 months. It is such a versatile track featuring in so many types of dj sets and mixes. The Working Elite’s Freedom and Bufiman’s Running (The Chase) are typical standout Future Disco tracks that also fall into the deep house and disco genre respectively. Johannes Brecht’s Another World should also get a mention as this is a great release on Mario Basanov’s label BOSO.
 
Our overall opinion at TBC is that this is the most alternative of the Future Disco series leaning more towards the Poolside sounds or the most recent All Day Dancing mix series. While the mix works well and you will enjoy it the fact that the disco foundation hasn’t been retained makes volume 8 feel too fragmented and diverse. We hope that the next in the series returns to its roots as we are sorry to say that unfortunately this is the weakest of the 8 volumes.
 
Thanks for reading.
 
TBC
 

TRACKLISTING

CD1 – Mixed

1. Andras Fox – Your Life

2. Musk – Waters (feat. Merveille Mubakemeshi & Avidus)

3. Ron Basejam feat. Danielle Moore – Dippin’ In

4. HNNY – 12.00

5. Zoot Woman – Don’t Tear Yourself Apart (Chopstick & Johnjon Remix)

6. The Working Elite – Freedom (Tuff City Kids Acid Over Remix)

7. Bufiman – Running (The Chase)

8. Krystal Klear – Fumer Tue

9. Johannes Brecht – Another World

10. VIMES – Celestial (Gardens of God Remix)

11. Few Nolder – Clouds (Boso Reversion)

12. Fur – Pulp (Linkwood’s Stargazer Mix)

13. Hot Chip – How Do You Do? (James Zabiela Remix)

14. Portable – Surrender feat. Lcio

15. Weval – Something (Live)

CD2 – Unmixed

1. Bufiman – Running (The Chase)

2. The Working Elite – Freedom (Tuff City Kids Acid Over Remix)

3. Few Nolder – Clouds (Boso Reversion)

4. Johannes Brecht – Another World

5. VIMES – Celestial (Gardens of God Remix)

6. Hot Chip – How Do You Do? (James Zabiela Remix)

7. Musk – Waters (feat. Merveille Mubakemeshi & Avidus)

8. Ron Basejam feat. Danielle Moore – Dippin’ In

9. Weval – Something (Live)

10. Portable – Surrender feat. Lcio