TBC Playlist 2017 Annual Review Part Two

Part Two

It is now time to select our favourites from 2017 and write a short review of each explaining our selection process. The process of selecting our favourites at TBC is always challenging due to personal preference, musical taste, the context of the listening experience (where and when you listened to the album or mix) and whether the selection will stand the test of time and repeat listens. When looking back at previous favourites and our picks from years past we can safely say that we still listen to these mixes today and have done so recently. They have each stood the test of time and we would still recommend getting involved in these now classics.

2016 – RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

2015 – Fabric 84 – Mathew Jonson

2014 – Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli In The House – Various Artists

We have reviewed our playlist over and over again to whittle down to our favourites and this year we have picked out a short list of 10 from which we will select the top 3 and the winner for 2017.

  • Planetary Assault Systems – The Lights Years (reworks)
  • Ellen Allien – Nost
  • Balance Pres. Natura Sonoris mixed by Henry Saiz
  • Bicep – Bicep
  • Sasha – Refracted Live
  • Nic Fanciulli – My Heart
  • Adam Beyer live at Awakenings Festival 25th June 2017
  • RA #596 mixed by Oscar Mulero
  • Essential Mix by Helena Hauff
  • Essential Mix by Bicep

 

  • Planetary Assault Systems – The Lights Years (reworks)

Luke Slater is a legend within the techno community for quite simply destroying dance floors with his heavy acid tinged, full on techno. Whether his production comes via his actual name or one of his many aliases you are sure to be on to a winner with any of his production albums, compilation, EP’s or LP’s. Under his Planetary Assault system moniker he quite simply produces bonkers rave-like techno that you would expect to hear in the basement at Tresor, strobes going off, smoke machines on full, bass bins shaking the floor like an earthquake and 135BPM beats blaring from the speakers. This is two decades of classics remixed and edited for 2017 by some of the scenes hardest and heaviest producers; Fengler, Function, Steve Bicknell, Slam and Planetary Assault System special P.A.S. Live edits. If you want to be pulverised by some of the best heavy techno then step right up, turn up your speakers and get involved. If you want to scare someone during a mix then throw one of these beasts in and to be honest there aren’t really any bad tracks on this mix so you would be unlucky to select one that wouldn’t do the job.

Temporary Suspension remixed by Slam, Surface Noise by P.A.S. are the two stand out tracks if you had to choose and there is also a treat at the end of the release, having managed to survive the 13 selected monsters, with an hour long megamix of the Planetary Assault System gems, a nice little bonus.

Have a listen to some samples on the link below.

  • Ellen Allien – Nost

Many of our TBC followers wouldn’t be surprised to see an Ellen Allien album make the end of year playlist however considering the fact that we are super fans of the Bpitch label legend this album is not what you would expect having listened to previous production albums. The last few albums Lism , Dust and Sool were all experimental electronica ranging from house, techno, pop, chillout and dub. The albums before this with Apparat (Orchestra of Bubbles) and the solo albums Thrills, Berlinette and Stadtkind were all more electro influenced with Thrills being the stand out album with classics such as Brain is Lost – still a TBC favourite. Ellen’s eighth production album since 2001 has taken us on a journey and finally we have an album more similar to her single releases and live sets. It’s techno time!

The opening track sums up my previous words perfectly with Mind Journey which takes you on a bass heavy journey accompanied by an evil lyric “this is not a mind journey…”, with an epic bass line. The theme generally is a more stripped back, basic techno structure that sucks you in and you cannot help but be captivated by the albums transition from storming track to another storming track accompanied by a little dance and grin of satisfaction. 2018 already has a number of remixes from this album lined up and we are very excited at TBC to dance to and play these tracks out in a club.

Mind Journey, Innocence, Call Me, Mma and Physical are stand out tracks but each carries it own weight.

Enjoy the samples from the Bpitch Soundcloud page below.

  • Balance Pres. Natura Sonoris mixed by Henry Saiz

Since his big hit Balance series volume 19 in 2011 and one particular release in 2008 titles Hello, Infinite on his Artificial Paradises EP (Renaissance) Henry Saiz has been on the TBC radar and we have kept out eye out for new albums, events and singles. His Reality Addendum production album in 2014 followed by its numerous remix collections has been featured in our progressive DJ sets for some time and are still in fact being played today. In 2016 we met the 303 event organisers from Liverpool in Croatia and they are good buddies with Henry Saiz so we have been spoiled with a few epic nights at their club listening to his epic progressive, balearic, percussion infused disco and, in some instances, unique style music (that features heavily on his Natura Sonoris label).

The Balance Series has been enjoyed by TBC since 2003 with the legendary James Holden 005 edition and we have lost count of the instalments that we own in our mega CD collection, its worth checking the series out if you haven’t done so (but if this is the case where have you been?). Henry Saiz has brought his label to town on this special Balance presents edition of their mix series and it is like a match made in heaven. A legendary CD series asking a DJ who already has a critically acclaimed instalment in the series plus a label that we cannot talk highly enough for its originality, bizarre-ness and its high quality of artist selection and music production. The 2 disc mix is perfectly balanced (pardon the bad joke) with its dreamy, percussion lead, balearic/summery feel music that takes you into a progressive soundscape that you could quite easily meditate to, pre-party to or get your groove on, just alter the bass response on your speakers and the master volume. All we can say is that this mix is epic, a true classic style compilation CD that shows off good music, production skills, track selection and some great labels and artists.

Sonder by Joep Mencke, Goliath by Tentacle and Ventura by Hal Incandenza all feature on disc one with superb edits and mixes either by other producers or spliced with other tracks by Saiz himself.

Disc two is almost solely Henry Saiz production or remixes so the whole disc is excellent but our favourites are the soundtrack-esque Prophetess, the epic vocal lead, trancey Light, Woodhouse by NVSBL and Death Drive blended with The Pendulum.

Enjoy a sample below:

https://soundcloud.com/balanceseries/balance-presents-natura-sonoris-mixed-by-henry-saiz-preview-edit

  • Bicep – Bicep

Since their Feel My Bicep podcast Bicep have come a long way, their 2012 Throne of Blood compilation mix, their 2014 BBC Essential Mix and a great number of superb production tracks such as Stripper and Just show their development in style, production quality and growth into all round electronic scene powerhouses. You can see them play disco on a boat in Croatia, a rave set in a warehouse, techno and house at a festival or bide their time until 2017 to produce and release a truly epic debut production album Bicep which they play at their Live shows. Their choice of label for the album . . . Ninja Tunes, was one which left a few people puzzled but when you hear their production sound and style this album harks back to an era of urban electronic production that Ninja Tunes are famous for and that in retrospect makes perfect sense to show off Bicep’s production skills and excellent to put out an album that can be enjoyed by such a diverse audience, old to young, urban scene to electronic scene.

The album itself needs a good few listens, one with headphones, another loud and in a party situation and the final one in a studio environment with a good balance of bass and treble. Once you have racked up a few listens through the album your appreciation to the 12 track album builds and builds, we even thought back to Orbital, Hybrid and Underworld production levels in the early naughties and nineties. This is a must have album from 2017 and one that will be around for many years to come.

Orca, Kites, Vale and Aura are stand out tracks.

Check out the link below to sample the tracks:

https://feelmybicep.bandcamp.com/album/bicep

  • Sasha – Refracted Live

If one of your first clubbing memories back when you were 18 was the Airdrawndagger album launch party at Heaven in London, you have listened to the original Renaissance Mix Collection from 1994 or seen this person DJ back to back with John Digweed for 4+ hours on two occasions you will get very excited when Sasha brings out a new song, mix, CD or is booked at a night or a festival. However somewhat amazingly we weren’t aware of the Sasha Refracted tour even though it is a continuation of the epic Scene Delete album on Late Night Tales released un 2016 and reviewed on the TBC website. What is happening to us, our finger is off the pulse! Well we need to make up for missing one of the most ridiculous live events ever where Sasha has reconstructed his tracks from Scene Delete and selected classics (yes Xpander is in there!) to be played with a full orchestra, Charlie May on keyboard and a whole host of synthesisers, drum machines and other classic and electronic instruments.  We purchased the full, all singing all dancing, Blu Ray and double disc set in its fancy textured boxset in order to revel in Sasha’s masterclass. This was Sasha’s first ever fully live performance and wow doesn’t do it justice.

It would be cheating to mention the Blu Ray video in this article as it isn’t fair against the other entries but it really is amazing, the high definition cameras and sound is simple unbelievable.

The album is made up of two discs, the first is Scene Delete reconstructed for the show with live vocals and of course live instruments and some crowd noises that, unlike other live albums don’t detract from the music itself. We won’t spend too long on this disc as we have already reviewed the album but this version is stunning, the orchestral strings and percussion add a new layer to the tracks and the live vocals are spot on.

Baracus with its bass breakdown around the 2 minute mark, Detour with it’s haunting vocals, Time After Times percussion and keyboard magic and Rooms featuring John Graham (A.K.A Quivver) on vocals stand out.

The second disc is classics from the Sasha era including one from Airdrawndagger all those years ago. Hearing the classics in this new way has that feel of nostalgia that many have tapped into with this new classical/orchestral take on classics but at the same time revitalise classics in their purest form.

Battleships, Belfunk, Burma (by Lostep is the original artist) and Xpander are stand out.

It is hard to sum the overall album up due to the nostalgic value this holds at TBC plus being swayed by the magic Blu Ray video but Sasha has really hit the mark and excelled himself, once again, with Refracted Live. Please enjoy the link below and go and get this album.

  • Nic Fanciulli – My Heart

Nic Fanciulli is one of Maidstone’s finest exports and being a Maidstonian myself it is great that he continues to build his brand and excel within a competitive electronic DJ environment. He hosts the Social event all over the world having started it in the humble Mote Park in Maidstone, is very good mates with Joris Voorn who often plays at small events in Maidstone bars and clubs and continues to loyally support Maidstone FC in the Conference Premier. Back in 2014 we selected Nic’s Defected in the House series as our favourite release and since he hasn’t released any full length mixes or major EP’s or singles, however in 2017 Nic finally graced us with his debut production album My Heart and you have to say patience is a virtue and this was worth waiting for.

In a career that has spanned around 20 years, since TBC first saw Nic playing funky house in River Bar for the Club Class warm up at Ikon, Nic has evidently honed and developed his sound and matured as a producer as My Heart oozes class and detail in the production work of each track. This is also a full length LP of 16 tracks that includes great interludes and flows nicely from deep house with superb vocals to dirtier, harder dance floor tech house tracks which is something that TBC greatly appreciated in an LP.

Imitations is a superb summers day time deep house track with a great male vocal, 100mph is a groovy deep house track with haunting keys and vocal, Twisted and The First Step are quality house tracks with catchy keys and groovy baselines that would be welcome at a house party, at a festival or in the club. Wrong picks things up a bit with a tech-house feel, The Perfect Crime is a nice progressive house uplifting track and Resistance harks back to acid house with an acid groove. Saying (featuring a great vocal cameo from Damon Albarn) and My Love brings things back down with deep house and an uplifting summery feel and you can have a break having got to the I’m Tired interlude. After Time and Sunshine 101 move back to the uplifting progressive house vibe and again show a great balance in production skill to vary and change across the LP. Little L has a tough tech house groove and satisfying bass line while The Light is an epic vocal lead dreamy that would sit well in a Moderat set, just great electronica. When you reach Under Stars you are in the outro and the album fades out but you feel that you need to listen again and appreciate a true gem of an album, we have done this a few times at after parties and when reviewing the album in this article.

Highly recommended and great debut album, have a listen to the album by following the link below.

  • Adam Beyer live at Awakenings Festival 25th June 2017

Awakenings is on the top festivals in Europe, they host a few parties every year either at the indoor Gashouder or the outdoor Sparrenwoude (we would highly recommend checking out some of the videos on Youtube as both are spectacular). The line ups are somewhat over the top with almost all of the top techno artists across all of the sub-genres of techno featuring and 2018 was a festival that TBC almost attended due to a friends stag do event in Holland however we were unable to make it. Luckily almost all of the mixes are recorded by BE-AT.tv which means you can easily access the best mixes and in this case we have a stormer for you from none other than the Drumcode head honcho Adam Beyer.

Adam Beyer has spent a great deal of time building and developing the Drumcode label and its artist roster so the last few years have not seen as much of a buzz around his tracks, mixes, albums or festival/event sets however this Awakenings set was the buzz on the internet and on social media from those who went telling their mates who couldn’t attend how much they were missing out! When we heard about his set from our friend who attended we went straight to Soundcloud (see link below) and got involved in typical TBC style in the early hours of a Saturday morning, Techno Breakfast time.

This mix has it all, which is essential for a festival set (having heard many over the years both live and via streaming or download), Drumcode artists, new material, a Depeche Mode remix from Thomas Schumacher and Victor Ruiz, the classic Vitalic Le Rock 01, the 80’s classic Pump Up The Jam and stormers from Boxia with Point of No Return and Spektre with Forged in the Heart of a Laserbeam. Add to the great track list (link below) the crowd noises from the festival, some ice cannons and other pyrotechnics you can hear in the mix plus the great transition from techno stomping to dance your ass off party tracks to classics you can sing along to like a little kid this mix epitomises the festival live set. As it is hard to put the whole mix into words we would highly recommend listening yourself on the link below.

https://www.1001tracklists.com/tracklist/1tvwm5jk/adam-beyer-day-two-area-w-awakenings-festival-netherlands-be-at-tv-2017-06-25.html

  • RA #596 mixed by Oscar Mulero

TBC have been fans of Oscar Mulero for a few years now albeit he has been djing and producing since the 80’s in his native Spain and across the world. When you listen to his production work it becomes quickly evident why we like him so much as he makes loud, heavy bass, banging techno, enough said! He runs the label Polegroup that has hosted artists such as Exium, Jonas Kopp, Reeko, Christian Wunsch, Lewis Fautzi and Perc which is quite a roster from the harder end of the techno spectrum. I was lucky enough to attend a night in Barcelona in 2017 where one of his label DJs played and it was banging, some of the artists he has signed to his label or invited to his nights are just superb techno dj’s and producers. Could you withstand the audio onslaught?!

In 2017 we were fortunate that RA enlisted Oscar to provide an episode of their podcast and this is simply stunning techno. Heavy and moody at the start progressing to the more full on, bass heavy, storming techno within around the 10-15 minute mark. Turn on your sub-woofer for some great bass frequency production work and a DJ utilising the EQ levels of the tracks to maintain a relentless bass line. Sciahri presents Insanity at around the 15 minute mark that does exactly what it says on the tin, this is pure insane techno. Oscar Mulero himself follows this track (and provides a few others later on too), along with a monster from Steve Bicknell called Harmonious Balance and later a remix from Planetary Assault Systems of a Lucy track, there are too many great techno tracks to name without writing down the actual track list. We must warn you that this is the heavier end of techno and could scare some people away but it is simply a great techno artist compiling and blending heavy, fast and dubby techno at its best. Enjoy the link below but beware, this isn’t for the faint hearted.

  • Essential Mix by Helena Hauff

2017 was the year that Helena Hauff rose to fame and held an almost stratospheric status in electronic music. She hosted a BBC Radio One residency show, debuted on the BBC Essential Mix show, played club nights and festivals across the World all while playing the electro end of the techno spectrum and in most instances just straight up electro, which has never really been mainstream in electronic music. This is quite a feat when you consider that she is also not a prolific producer having only released one production album in 2015 and a handful of singles and EP’s. Therefore she has risen to her current status off the back of her pure desire to promote her favourite genres, her superb mixing style and an almost geeky level of music crate digging for both new and old electro.

TBC were very excited about this Essential Mix having rated her Mixmag In Session mix in 2016 very highly and we were not let down when we finally got to Helena’s debut essential mix (we very much hope there will be more). Our excitement even lead to an after party at our flat where the full 2 hour mix was played at high volume with our sub-woofer turned up to max, this was pure exhilaration! The mix oozes class and feels like a sci-fi film soundtrack or computer game with the flow and mixing style that accentuates the bleeps, squelches, vocal samples and kicks that are prominent throughout. When the mix hits Transparent Sound at around 16 minutes with No Calls From New York, which is an evil sounding, break beat-esque rave track, the mix really cranks up and you almost feel like Helena is showing off her tune selection while not scaring people off with the more eccentric, eclectic end of the electro genre. TBC had to find this track, a cheeky steal from this mix, and have played many times since (something we had to do with a few tracks in this mix). As the mix nears 25 minutes W1bo presents Utopia Planitia things really start to pick up with a great bpm pace change and an uplifting electro track that is simply brilliant. The mix goes on to feature The Exaltics, Drexciya (twice), The Hacker, Aux 88, The Horrorist, Alien FM, The Advent and DJ Stingray which is literally the glitterati of the electro world for the last 15 years in dance music and the mix continues to grow, develop, ebb and flow throughout not feeling like a simple tune-fest but a perfectly crafted blend of superb electro and techno. The second hour is definitely more techno and at the harder end of the music spectrum with a particular favourite from Paul Blackford called Fallout played over an Adam Beyer Untitled track which is almost a tribal style electro monster track.

We literally can’t say enough about this mix, it even won Essential Mix of the Year! Have a listen with the link below and enjoy.

  • Essential Mix by Bicep

This is the second feature in our 2017 playlist from Bicep and it comes in the guise of one of our favourite radio shows the BBC Essential Mix. This was also Bicep’s second essential mix for Pete Tong with the first coming way back in 2014 and boy have Bicep come a long way since then in regards to sound, career progression and the overall quality that is evident across the 2 hour mix.

The mix starts at the lower end of the electronic spectrum with chilled, blissed out yet uplifting tracks that sit between chillout, nu-disco and deep house. At around the 25 minute mark Bicep step it up a gear with tracks from Giraffi Dog, Hammer, Tons of Tones,  Lake People and Norwell that flow perfectly and bring an old school feel with a great groove, squelches, breaks, kick drums and some superb keys, each of these tracks are ones you will want for your own collection. This shift in the mix brings us more in line with the sound that Bicep are harnessing and developing today, similar to the feel on their self titles album (reviewed earlier). As the mix nears the hour mark the old school feel remains but the bass becomes a bit heavier and the break beats continue with the epic Touch Absence from Lanark Artefax and flows into the hour mark where a more electro sounds emerges from the break beats from Abyssal Zone by Djedotronic, who are stalwarts in the electro scene, via an epic trance like track from Claude Speed called Ambien Rave. The electro sounds dominate for the next few tracks, raise the energy levels up and make you want to dance about and shake your ass like you’re at a rave, its contagious. Into the last half hour the mix takes on a more bassline, garage sound which is a nice touch as TBC are fans of this scene from many years ago and its works well with the rave, breaks and electro from earlier. Dan Cough’s B Jam into Urban Myths Makin Me Feel is a great mix that you would expect from a garage DJ, the diversity of Bicep is truly on show here. A classic from CJ Bolland is included around the 1 hour 40 mark called The Tower of Naphtali which is an R&S classic and again we hark back to the rave era and one of its most famous labels. The mix draws to a close but not before an Apex Twin number and two final tracks to ease you to the end with God Within Raincry being a great vocal chanting trance like breakbeat track and Modaji with Belle Epoque a blissed out closing track , what a mix!

The biggest failing of this mix was that it was released in December 2017 and missed the Essential Mix of the year poll where Helena Hauff took the crown (see above), as this mix would have definitely given Helena a run for her money. However do not be deterred by us using the word failing in this mini review as this mix is superb and one of our favourite essential mixes ever. The progression of Bicep is clear to see in this mix and we cannot rate it highly enough. Enjoy with the link below.

TBC Playlist 2016 Annual Review

Where did 2016 go?! Time flies when you’re having fun and you couldn’t say that we didn’t have fun at TBC in 2016. We hosted three parties, the first in March (‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’), the second in October for a special Halloween event (‘Disco Bloodbath’) and the third was a magical new years party at TBC HQ. All of which were so much fun! Disco Bloodbath was particularly memorable as we were able to book Spektre as our headline act and got over 120 people through the door! We partied in Croatia at Electric Elephant festival in the sunshine, by the beach, under massive disco balls, on boats and in, wait for it, actual nightclubs, what a festival in the beautiful town of Tisno. We also attended Jodrell Bank for Bluedot Festival in July for one of the comeback stories of the year with electronic music legend Jean Michel Jarre. Other stand out nights were Henry Saiz all night long in September at 303 in Liverpool, Bjarki in May at Collect in Sheffield and we started the year with a bang at Damian Lazarus’s Day Zero festival in the jungle in Tulum, Mexico.

Due to our hectic calendar, preparing our events (including our back to back mixes at both events), listening to lots of new music on all formats (in particular vinyl, which we have enjoyed the resurgence of), doing our day jobs, attending about half a dozen weddings and having some much needed R&R we have barely had any time to post on the website and feel it has been a little neglected. It is however our annual review time and we are excited to bring you the latest instalment. We hope you enjoy.

In 2016 we have had a little of everything from disco to techno, albums to compilations to podcasts, old school artists returning for their latest instalment including Radiohead, Chemical Brothers and Underworld, MP3 to Limited Edition Vinyl to CDs, old school classics that we have dug out of the vaults and some brilliant individual releases via EP or single. Here’s what we thought:

The 2016 Playlist – 50

HVOB – Trialog

The Field – The Follower

The Range – RA Podcast #521

Sadat Bahar – RA Podcast #507

Underworld – Barbara, Barbara, We Face Shining Future

Chemical Brothers – Born In Echoes

Get Physical Pres. Body Language Vol.17 by WhoMadeWho

Cosmic Machine – Various Artists

Unknown Landscapes – Vol.3 mixed by Exium

Junior Boys – Big Black Coat

Dj Supermarket Pres. The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco

Stephan Bodzin – Powers of Ten Remixes

Moderat – 111

John Digweed – Live in Montreal (6CD pack)

John Digweed – Live in Montreal Finale (3CD Pack)

Pig & Dan – Modular Baptism

Fabric 87 – Alan Fitzpatrick

Fabric 88 – Ryan Elliot

Eskimo pres. Yellow Collection – Various Artists

Wolfram – Wolfram

Jean Michel Jarre – Electronica Vol.2 The Heart of Noise

RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

Floorpan – Victorious

A Sides Vol.5 – Various Artists

Global Underground Pres. Nubreed Vol.9 – Habischman

Cocoon Ibiza mixed by Carl Craig and Sonja Moonear

Trus’Me – Planet 4

Marcel Dettmann Pres. Dj Kicks

Marco Bailey – Materia Ibiza XL 2 – Various Artists

Global Underground – Twenty

London Underground – Various Artists

Pure Intec mixed by Carl Cox and Jon Rundell

Sven Vaeth pres. Sound of the Season 17 – Various Artists

Stil Vor Talent Kotbusser Tor – Various Artists

Tuff City Kids – Adolescent

Tiger and Woods – On the Green Again

Michael Mayer – &

Majestic Casual Vol.3 – Various Artists

Marsheaux – Ath.Lon

Space Ibiza pres. 2016  – Various Artists

Balance Pres. Alex Niggemann – Various Artists

Mixmag In Session – Helena Hauff

BBC Essential Mix – Rodhad February 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Pig and Dan April 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Stephan Bodzin June 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Solomun July 2016

BBC Essential Mix – The Avalanches August 2016

BBC – Essential Mix – Mano Le Tough October 2016

BBC Essential Mix  – Bedouin October 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Ellen Allien December 2016

Older Classics/Alternative – 18

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

DJ Hyper Various – Bedrock and Wired/Re-wired

FAZEmag mix CD’s – The full collection

Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness

Holly Herndon – Platform

Solar Bears – Advancement

Sasha – Scene Delete

Trus’Me – Working Nights (2007)

Permanent Vacation pres. Safari – Various Artists

Henry Saiz  – Reality Addendum

Fatima Yamaha – Imaginary Lines (2015)

Fatima Yamaha- Fatima Yamaha EP (2012)

Dekmantel Podcast Vol. 66 Delta Funktionnen

Balance 009 Paolo Mojo – Various Artists

Balance 008 Design Masiello – Various Artists

BBC Essential Mix  – Valentino Kanzyani (2007)

BBC Essential Mix  – Oliver Lieb (2001)

Anthony Rother – This is Electro (2005)

There are a total of 68 albums, mixes or podcast/radio shows in the 2016 shortlist and making a shortlist has been a bit of an ordeal due to variety and the sheer volume of music. In total there is around 200 days of music in the list and thats looking on the pessimistic side as its hard to give a true figure! In order to keep things as brief as possible the shortlist has been taken from the 2016 releases only, we would recommend all of the classic and golden oldies from the latter end of the list.

The shortlist is as follows and it comes down to a top 7:

John Digweed – Live in Montreal Finale (3CD Pack)

Part two of a 9 CD mega boxset (6CD boxset followed by the 3CD finale boxset) from one of dance music’s legends John Digweed is an epic way to end his extravaganza of music and get an idea of how good this set must have been at Stereo in Montreal, Canada, in October 2015. Diggers has released a number of location specific collections since 2012’s Cordoba  which now totals 8.5 (the .5 being the finale at Montreal) but have varied in quality and the ability to harness the sound of that time, city and DJ set. Montreal however, serves up a feast of music and the finale is simply brilliant with dark, evil, electro/house/techno that adorn this edition, plus some classics thrown in for good measure on the final CD. This great combination makes you feel like you could have been there and really gets the party going. It is hard to pick out favourites so check out the link below and the tracklist:

http://bedrockmusic.bigcartel.com/product/john-digweed-live-in-montreal-3xcd-finale-re-press-pre-order

RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

The first of three female entries in our 2016 best of and this mix from Dr. Rubenstein is a great introduction to a new TBC favourite. A blend of cultures (Russian, Israeli and German) have resulted in a simply stunning debut mix and RA have definitely found a true gem in Marina Rubenstein. Tracks from Delta Funktionen, Dorian Grey, Skee Mask and Vril courtesy of labels such as Ilian Tape epitomise this mix with a dub techno/electro vibe that varies from beautiful landscapes to full on techno. It will leave you reeling if you happen to be near a bass bin/sub-woofer, watch out! Nyctophilia by Dorian Grey and Torus CXXVIII by Vril are favourites of this mix but again it is hard to single out tracks when the mix works so well. Please have a listen yourself.

Track list and Link to listen the mix below:

Andrea Parker – Angular Art – Touchin’ Bass
Lonny – Theme From Murdercapital – Murder Capital
Hardfloor & E.R.P. – You Know The Score (E.R.P. Version)
Skee Mask – Shred 08 – Ilian Tape
Far Out Radio Systems – LV-426 – Tanzbar Records
BLD – CCY (Rave) – BLD Tape Recordings
Civilian – Comcept – Out Electronic Recordings
Ness – Pantropy – Rising Label
Delta Funktionen – Phantom – Radio Matrix
Dorian Gray – Nyctophilia – Android Muziq
Unknown Artist – 303003 – Planet Rhythm Records
Ruhig – Eddying – Midgar
Vril – Torus CXXVIII – Forum
Lost Trax – Life Out Of Balance – Frustrated Funk
Umwelt – Gravitational Lens – Killekill
Blind Observatory – Way – Gravitational
Andrea – Rainbow – Ilian Tape
Pulse One – In-Mortal – Fullpanda Records

Marcel Dettmann Pres. Dj Kicks

There were 4 DJ Kicks albums released in 2016 via !K7 records and Marcel Dettmann definitely stands out above the rest. DJ Kicks can be varied in quality due to its format being an inconsistent approach to the ‘mix CD’ and it is normally left to the artist to deliver their own creation ranging from leftfield to what they would listen to at home to what inspired them to what rarities/classics they have in their record box. Dettmann is known for his booming techno from the techno cathedral that is Berghain but this mix comes from a different angle with tracks which are meant to be more reflective of his label and musical influences. It is great to hear some of the rarer finds from such good artists and producers and Dettmann has a few in his box. Mystic Bill’s U Won’t See Me has been played so many times in 2016 including a few airings over our loooonnngg New Years Eve party, it is house music gold.

See a link below to the DJ Kicks website for some steaming and the track list:

http://www.dj-kicks.com/marcel_dettmann/

01. Cybersonik – Technarchy (Marcel Dettmann Third Mix)
02. Orlando Voorn – At Last
03. Levon Vincent / Marcel Dettmann – Can You See
04. Infiniti – Skyway (Marcel Dettmann Remix)
05. Mystic Bill – U Won’t C Me
06. Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia – War Chant (Marcel Dettmann Edit)
07. Das Kombinat – Waschmaschine
08. Clarence G – Cause I Said It Right
09. Sandbenders – Defekt
10. Vex – Vex-1
11. Dan Curtin – Paradise Lost
12. N.A.D – Everything Seems Different
13. Violence FM – Perspectives
14. Sterac – Intersphere
15. Nukubus – People Move On (Marcel Dettmann Edit)
16. Push/Pull feat. Lady E and Niqué D – Africa
17. The Residents – Kaw-Liga (Nightmare Mix)
18. Wincent Kunth / Marcel Dettmann – Possible Step
19. Marcel Dettmann – Let’s Do It (Rolando Remix)

London Underground – Various Artists

TBC was surprised by this release from Toolroom in 2016 as it features 45 tracks and 2 mixes of superb house and techno from the likes of Moudaber, Pan-Pot, Raumakustick, Noir, Filterheadz, Kruse, Matador, Mckay, Krocher, Schumacher and Animal Trainer, who are all favourites at TBC. We have enjoyed the mix CD’s on numerous pre-party warm ups and after parties due to the energy each mix has and the caliber of the songs on each. We can imagine that a few people may read this and think “toolroom….really, come on TBC?!” but this compilation mix is superb and would be a worthy purchase by anyone for a party or a DJ Mix.

Have a listen to the release below:

Mixmag In Session – Helena Hauff

The second of our trio of female entries is from Helena Hauff who has risen from almost non-existence to many electronic music fans in 2013 when she featured on RA podcast #373 (July 2013) to being seconded by BBC Radio One to present their Residency show on monthly rotation in 2017, quite a rise to fame! Helena’s sound is right up TBC’s street as it centres around electro but covers techno, industrial and EBM (which DJ Hell first brought to TBC’s attention way back in 2002). Her unique take on this genre by approaching it in an eclectic and almost geeky style is something which reminds me of my techno and electro musical searches to find new and obscure tracks. In 2016 Helena seemed to take on a more energetic feel to her sets which brings us nicely to the Mixmag In Session mix which is an exhilarating journey through electro and techno. Please have a listen below and I challenge you not to be enthralled and excited by next years Residency on BBC Radio 1. I simply can’t believe experimental electro will be on terrestrial radio every month!

BBC Essential Mix – Solomun July 2016

Solomun heads up Diynamic Records and has been a favourite of TBC for a years in both his DJ guise and via releases on his label. The last few years have seen him rise in popularity with events across the globe including hosting his +1 parties in Ibiza at Pacha in 2015 and 2016. The Pacha night is where his latest essential mix is recorded live and its a stormer, even in the words of Pete Tong via the essential mix introduction. The track list is hard to find as its a live set so I can only recommend a listen via the link below. The mix provided a great soundtrack to many parties that TBC hosted and attended over the summer and into the Autumn and Winter. The mix is filled with excellent production work from a multitude of artists and labels across the tech-house genre. Pale Blue by Acid Waves is the second track and it’s epic, uplifting prog (almost trance like) with haunting vocals that epitomises this mix. I could list a lot more about the mix and detail the tracks but all I can say is listen to this mix, its the perfect 2 hour party soundtrack.

Tracklist link:

https://www.1001tracklists.com/tracklist/ktmlh21/solomun-at-bbc-radio-1-essential-mix-pacha-ibiza-spain-2016-07-30.html

BBC Essential Mix – Ellen Allien December 2016

Finally in 2016 Ellen Allien made her BBC Essential Mix debut which is somewhat bizarre for an artist that has featured so prominently in dance music since the early 2000’s. TBC have been a big fan since around this time and we have been pestering BBC via Twitter over recent years to get Ellen signed up for the Essential Mix and we hope our incessant contact had a small hand to play in this selection. This mix doesn’t disappoint and features a superb looping intro which makes you want to check if the mix is actually skipping and the electronica soundscapes that Ellen Allien and Bpitch have been synonymous with over the years (almost two decades now). The mix blends electro, techno and house with some more obscure electronica with ease and overall shows off a skill of selection and mixing that has been crafted over the years and honed to this excellent level. Check it out below and we hope Ellen will be back soon, we can’t wait another 15 years!

The Verdict

After some heated debate at TBC HQ over the start of 2017 between Nic-o-teen and Lady H, (we generally find it easier to decide on our TBC live DJ mix playlist than decide an annual favourite) we were left with three; Dr. Rubenstein, Helena Hauff’s Mixmag session and Solomun’s BBC Essential Mix. Each has its merits, has been enjoyed many, many, many times and we have raved about the mix and artist to our friends, in some instances probably a little too much and we must sound like a promotor or DJ fan club. Rubenstein came from nowhere and delivered a new sound that TBC has since sought out in order to continue our fascination with the dub-techno electronica genre, plus many of the featured producers have been followed for their production work. Helena Hauff has created a niche within dance music via electro that hasn’t been since DJ Hell around a decade ago with his Gigolo label, bringing music that many would not normally listen to to the fore, which is the sign of a superb DJ and music pioneer. Solomun provided our favourite essential mix of the year from a wealth of mixes including Ellen Alliens which we also featured in the shortlist.

When selecting a favourite for the year it is important to take all factors into consideration and think whether the mix will still standout in years to come. A true classic and best of year should not only represent the year it was released but be able to stand the test of time which we can say our previous selections DJ Kicks John Talabot in 2013, Nic Fanciulli Defected presents in 2014 and Mathew Jonson’s Fabric mix in 2015. Each of the previous winners would and have been played again and again in future years and still sit near the front of our music collection.

Therefore after much deliberation and a re-listen to the short-shortlist we are proud to select Dr. Rubenstein’s RA podcast as our 2016 favourite. The impact this mix had on our music choices later in 2016 was profound with a more electro-techno-dub sound resonating in our mix sessions at TBC HQ and the preaching we have done to many of our friends about Dr. Rubenstein (a random night was even attended in London by Lady H to sample the live performance of Dr.Rubenstein and she didn’t disappoint).

Congratulation Dr. Rubenstein (Resident Advisor’s Podcast series) our TBC 2016 playlist winner and commiserations to the other short list entries and all the albums, artists and mixes which graced our speakers in 2016.

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.

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

TBC Playlist December 2014

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Kompakt Vol.14 – Various Artists (2014)
Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia (2014)
Balance 26 – Hernan Cattaneo (2014)
Panorama Bar Vol.6 – Ryan Elliot (2014)
Get Lost VII – Craig Richards (2014)
Stil Vor Talent Berlin – Schlesisches Tor – Various Artists (2014)
Fabric Live 77 – Erol Alkan (2014)
Rainbow Disco Club – Prins Thomas (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Anja Schneider (2014)
I Love Techno 2014 – Brodinski (2014)
Defected Pres. House Masters –  Masters At Work (MAW – 2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Bicep (2014)
Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot (2014)
Get Physical 12th Birthday at Watergate Live Set – Dj Hell (2014)
Play 05 Vienna – Oliver Huntemann (2014)
Abaporu – Gui Boratto (2014)
Nobody Knows – Joris Voorn (2014)
Reincarnations Vol.2 – DJ Koze (2014)
Reverse Proceed – Slam (2014)
Blurred – Huxley (2014)
Satellite – Sam Paganini (2014)
Tropical Autumn A Laid Back Mix of Modern Sad Beach Disco  – DJ Supermarkt (2014)
Monoliths – Dustin Zahn (2014)
Acid Thunder More Definitive Original Acids and Deep House 1985-1991 – Terry Farley (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Steffi  (2014)
Weekends & Beginnings – Mister Saturday Night (2014)
The Inevitable End – Royksopp (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Huxley (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Jon Hopkins (2014)
FACT Magazine Podcast November – Ben Klock (2014)
RA Podcast #368 – Marco Shuttle (2014)
Zone 18 Love/Kraft Pt.2 – The Hacker (2014)
Future Disco Pres. All Day Dancing – Various Artists (2014)
Long Play – Paco Osuna (2014)
Slowly Exploding 10 years of Perc Trax 2004 – 2014 – Perc (2014)
Chapters of Green Velvet Collection – Green Velvet (2014)
Annie Mac pres. 2014 – Various Artists (2014)
Balance Pres. – Kolsch (2014)
Cocoon Pres. Sound of the Season 15 – Sven Vath (2014)
Beats in Space 15th Anniversary -Tim Sweeney (2014)
Elaste Vol. 4 Meta-Disco and Proto-House – Various Artists (2014)
XLR8R Podcast #371 –  Floorplan (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Joy Orbison (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Caribou (2014)
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014) *
10 Years of Systematic – Various Artists (2014)
Content – Ralph Lawson (2014)
Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian (2014)
 
Classics
Times – David August  (2013)
RA Podcast #115 – Patrice Baumel  (2008)
11 Years Cocoon Recordings Selected Remixes and Retrospective Mix – Patrick Kunkel (2011)
CLR Reconnected 02 -DJ Emerson (2012)
CLR Reconnected 01 – Monoloc (2012)
 
 Intro
 Good Day TBC followers we are now bringing you articles thick and fast to make up for our slow end to 2014 and slow start to 2015, we hope you can keep up. This time round it is the return of the regular TBC playlist slot and as the last instalment was published in September we have some catching up to do. We will also follow this article with our pick of 2014 which to be honest has been a great year for electronic music and TBC.
 
Since September there has been a huge tranche of album, compilation and podcast/radio show releases which simply overwhelmed us at TBC. As you can see from the playlist above we have been struggling to keep up with the sheer quantity while ensuring that we sniff out the new releases, listen to them and capture the best ones for this article. It is also worth noting that due to the BBC Essential Mix overload that we had in December (see our article https://technobreakfastclub.co.uk/2014/12/12/tbc-review-bbc-essential-mix-of-the-year-2014/) where we had a lot of commitment to these mixes, dedicating some serious time to the 2 hour mixes along with repeat listens to enable us to review and choose our favourite, we have been playing catch up ever since! Almost immediately after publishing our last article we had the new Balance from Danny Tenaglia to enjoy along with an almost forgotten (we missed it in the last playlist article) Panorama Bar mix from Ryan Elliot in its new free download guise from the Panorama Bar website. There are also a couple of record label compilations from some of our favourite labels; Kompakt, Systematic, Perc Trax, Still Vor Talent and Cocoon along with some great new production albums from some of our favourite producers and DJs from the last few years Anthony Rother, Slam, Joris Voorn, DJ Koze and Gui Boratto. There were also some newer artists; Sam Paganini on Drumcode, Huxley, Paco Asuna, Dustin Zahn and David August plus some curveballs for TBC which includes Annie Mac, Tim Sweeney’s amazing Beats in Space Anniversary CD, a Sankeys anniversary release from Darius Syrossian and Royksopp’s last ever album The Inevitable End. Please note that the BBC Essential Mixes and Mister Saturday Night’s Weekends and Beginnings will not feature in the shortlist below as they have been reviewed in a previous article, they may well feature in the ‘Best of 2014’ article however. It is clear to see from the names mentioned above that we have been spoiled over the last few months at TBC HQ. We have enjoyed listening to the releases above on our travels over Xmas and partying over the festive period.
 
We will be keeping the same format as normal with a selection of our favourite releases that will be highlighted above for easy identification and reviewed along with our selection of the best release for this playlist selection. This will also provide the last of our selections for 2014 and the shortlist will be put forward for the Best of 2014 article to follow.
 
Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia (2014)
Having first heard about Danny Tenaglia at the end of the 1990’s when he released his Global Underground Athens compilation (around this time is when I first got into listening to electronic music) this latest edition of the Balance series is somewhat of a treat for myself and a great addition to the series. Danny Tenaglia is a dance music legend, he has held residencies at the most famous clubs including Twilo in New York, toured the world playing to the masses and released a number of critically acclaimed tracks, albums and compilations without over saturating the market with quantity over quality. TBC have been fans for sometime and some of our favourite classics tracks and mixes are by Danny Tenaglia which include his most famous production track Music is the Answer and the compilations Back to Basics 10th Anniversary, Global Underground Athens and London, Choice a Collection of Classics and Futurism.
 
You could say we were excited when we heard Danny Tenaglia was adding to the Balance series with volume 25 but as you can deduce from the introduction above that would be an understatement. The mix is spread over 2 discs and it doesn’t fail to live up to expectation or to the hype that we placed upon it. Disc one starts with the signature Tenaglia sound, a tribal beat which builds with a great hypnotic groove, bass and percussion through tracks from 04LM, Ugo Carrano, Reboot, Talismann and Cowboy Rhythmbox. By the time he gets to Alpha Phase’s Dirtro II and MRI’s ES Geht Um Mehr the speakers start to grumble and the techno picks up pace. It builds and progresses and soon turns into a techno stormer mix peaking with Nicole Moudaber’s Movin’ On which is a truly epic thunderous bass filled track. The Basement Jaxx track was a surprise inclusion but the Michel Cleis remix of Mermaid of Salinas is superb tribal techno, perfect for the last leg of disc one. I’ll Do You by Thomas Schumacher starts to bring the disc to a close with a dubby, electro, vocal track which is a typical Schumacher track, well produced and in an alternative style without being difficult to include in this type of mix. Dadub’s Existence (Kangding Ray remix – one of TBC’s favourite techno producers) leaves you ready for more with a heavy, tribal techno track while suitably closing the first CD.
 
You may think that like other compilation CDs (and other editions of the Balance series) that disc two may go for a different direction, maybe chillout, experimental or eclectic but not Danny Tenaglia. It sets off where disc one ended with straight up techno, Danny obviously didn’t get the memo. Architectural’s opening track 04.1 is overlapped with Funkndy’s Station and has a quirky speak and spell vocal coupled with a banging techno bassline, if disc one left you wanting more then you didn’t have to wait long. This disc is definitely a step up from the first, the techno pounds courtesy of Regis, The Yellowheads and Antigone as Mr.Tenaglia seems to be preparing a Berghain audition CD to promote his new heavier angle. You can imagine at this stage TBC HQ was rocking as this CD epitomises our love for techno. We are introduced to a raft of new producers and artists across disc two but the quality and relentless techno is maintained. There are parts where you are treated to a nice euphoric blissed out piece of electronica like in Dax J’s Dreamscape (aptly named) but it is no surprise when the bass kicks back in, these little interludes and changes of style are signs of a very experienced club DJ who knows how to make a set flow. Midway through the disc Gregor Tresher’s Nightcolours is another nice tempo change, an uplifting tech-house track with a catchy electro key melody in the background. The latter half of disc two does see the one and only criticism of the mix as the direction and flow does seem to become erratic with the track selection becoming more diverse and quite difficult to follow which does affect your enjoyment. The techno is maintained but at the cost of the flow which is a shame when the previous disc and a half was flawless. It has to be said the final track UFO by Exploit is a serious track, fast pace, quirky alien/space sounds, a nice breakdown and a haunting feeling throughout, played loud it is excellent. Despite the strange ending to disc two this mix remains an excellent addition to the Balance series and a TBC favourite (not one for our neighbours though!).
 
Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot (2014)
Watergate has been a big player in the CD catalogue series representing the sounds of their amazing club by the Spree in Berlin. The series has included mixes by Ellen Allien, Tiefschwarz, Kerri Chandler (previously reviewed in our Playlist articles) and Solomun. They have managed to harness the sounds from the DJs selected, who are normally residents at the club at a given time, perfectly and this has meant the series continues into its 17th edition. This outing we were excited to see Pan Pot chipping in and finally being asked to grace the CD series as they have been long standing residents at the club and have provided many a great nights entertainment for TBC when we have been on our travels. The Pan Pot sound has changed over the years and as they have developed they have become harder in style pushing into the techno genre more and more, which of course has pleased us no end. This Watergate CD has come at a perfect time for Pan Pot who seem to be on the crest of a wave, releasing consistent production gems and their recent Mobilee Back to Back compilation was a superb addition to their back catalogue.
 
This mix is excellent from the start with tracks from Radio Slave Don’t Stop No Sleep and Shall Ocin’s Lurking Wolves to get you hooked and transfixed from the start. The energy level builds, the bass gets harder and the sounds more evil. Lurking Wolves is a particular highlight as this is a straight up club stormer with evil sounding synth stabs and a marching bass line, what you would expect from a Mathew Jonson or Maceo Plex number. The mix moves on and cranks up the techno and bass with tracks from Whyt Noize and Mark Broom, the latter titled Nucleus is an evil building track which sounds excellent loud with a number of effects, sounds and samples thrown in by the ever impressive Mr.Broom. We are then treated to the first of Pan Pot’s fine production pieces that feature in this mix titled Substance which is an electro techno stormer that we would expect from Anthony Rother, punchy synth noises build and tease to create a sinister atmosphere on this track. In keeping with the style of some of the earlier tracks it is no surprise that Maceo Plex’s Conjure Bass is featured just after the half way point of the mix. This track is one of many of the amazing production line that Maceo Plex has, he manages to churn out superb electro techno tracks for fun and Conjure Bass is up there with his best pieces of work. It has had some serious airtime as its transcends techno, house and the more urban style DJs and is one of the more mainstream tracks included by Pan Pot. When you hear it you will understand why – the bass, its progression, the squelches, the hand claps and its evil synth keys contribute to yet another Maceo Plex masterpiece. See you down the front for this one with the Watergate LED ceiling going crazy above you. The mix ends with a consecutive run of amazing tracks; Josh Winks now retro Are You There which has been rejuvenated by Ben Klock, Martin Eyerer’s Reckless and two superb Pan Pot collaborations with Slam and Vincenzo, Conductor and Fiction Inc. respectively. What an end to a super new addition to the Watergate series and a must have for any techno, Pan Pot or Watergate fan.
 
Balance Pres. – Kolsch (2014)
The Balance Presents series has been around for a few years now and has been an interesting addition to the normal Balance series release. Originally with the Presents Electric series which was a more leftfield electronic club series (one of the best was from Agent 86) and later the more DJ orientated releases from Jozif and Guy J – both are excellent. The single disc format means that the DJ only has 70/80 minutes to present their skills and sounds which has seen the series consistently deliver providing a peak time representation of the DJ’s style and music selection. In regards to the Kolsch addition of the Balance series we were excited at TBC to see one of our favourite DJs added to the catalogue and if you have seen him live this CD is a great representation of his live DJ sets. Energetic, progressive, euphoric and tough in places, there are lots of melodies and vocals thrown in for good measure keeping the mix diverse and balanced. If you haven’t been able to see Kolsch then this CD is a great starting point but be warned you will want to see him live once you have heard this.
 
The mix itself really kicks off when Its All Over by Pional (John Talabot remix) graces the speakers, this track is epic. When John Talbot is involved it usually means gold and this is excellent. It then descends into a few crazy techno tracks which were right up TBC’s street albeit a slight surprise so early on by Kolsch to drop these bombs. Track 3 is called Freeze by Danny Daze and this is followed by Patrice Baumel’s  Mile High Gang. You are then allowed to relax with the almighty Radiohead Videotape which is just beautiful before the CD gets into the groove with the more traditional Kolsch sound. His Punchbuggy track, Adrian Hour’s Chordgresion and the euphoric Odd Parents Learn to Fly (Maceo Plex Flight Home Remix) sum up the Kolsch sound perfectly. Kenny Larkin chips in with Plankton which helps to bring the mix down in tempo and is a nice broken up, blissed out house track. The Anthemic Caribou track Cant Do Without You (Tale of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix), which is similar in style to the Odd Parents track earlier, is then brought in for a great festival anthem moment. Even the concerning inclusion of a Coldplay track which has been remixed by Kolsch works well within the mix and suits the Kolsch style. All in all this is a great new addition to the Balance series and another great release from Kolsch. We have enjoyed this CD many times at TBC HQ since its release.
 
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014)
When TBC discovered Anthony Rother’s label Datapunk and the incredible series We Are Punks we became instant mega fans of his. This series is the foundation for electro techno. Bodzin, Huntemann, Romboy, DJ Hell, Kiko, Billy Nasty and Anthony Rother all feature on the first compilation with production work that will blow your mind. The series became a collection with vol.2 and 3 being released with equally amazing content. Having discovered this series we delved deeper into his production work and his back catalogue is impressive, presenting an electro pioneer with experimental, techno, poppy infused electro which peaked with Popkiller, his most famous album. This isn’t to say there aren’t other gems; My Name is Beuys Von Telekraft is epic, his Fuse compilation is also amazing and This Is Electro (1997 – 2005) live album is stunning, including a live DVD set from Fuse in Belgium. His last few release were more of a chilled electronica affair and we were worried that the big hitting Anthony Rother may have disappeared but boy were we wrong. Verbalizer is Mr.Rother’s rebirth, this album is an exemplary piece of production. Start the album and listen from start to finish and you get the sense that he produced the album as a liveset, it flows perfectly from electro stormer to electro stormer. There are a few tracks that change up the pace of the album but they work so well you are please he has placed them where he has.
 
The album starts with Next which seems like a sound levels check with electronic sounding effects as he sets up his production kit ready to unleash his new monster productions. When Syncope kicks in you first get an idea of where this new album is going and you can’t help but smile and have a little dance. This track has a great pace, builds and builds with an infectious beat and then unleashes a grumbling monster electro techno bassline that harks back to the We Are Punks heyday. Zigby is not as intense but it has that Rother feel with its haunting electro sounds and goes at a nice pace to progress the album. Fire Viber cranks it up a notch and sounds similar to the Bodzin and Huntemann tracks of old with a nice Rother edge, sticking with the haunting electro style but picking up the pace and the bass levels creating a feeling of tension (which emphasises the haunting style). Invader descends to a heavier more freaky electro techno vibe with scary acid squelches which sets this track apart from the others. You still feel like you are on a journey through the electro world of Anthony Rather. Truthmaker moves the album into a more marching techno beat while still maintaining the same style on the album. This track would sit well in a good pace techno set and with its nice euphoric breakdown, which runs alongside the marching techno beat. It is one of our favourites on the album and one we hope to hear out when clubbing. Monophonia acts as a bridge track between the heavy previous track and the end of the album, the pace is slowed but the crazy electro sounds remain and they ebb and flow throughout the track taking you on a mini journey. Don’t be fooled, this track is by no means a filler or a chillout track but it does help the albums progression. Logical is track 8 and it is another of our favourites, it is a track that you could play at the start of your set as it has a great build up at the beginning but it could equally be played at peak time as the track progression is excellent to entertain the crowd or just yourself and the speakers if you are at home. Buffer Breaker again cranks it up a notch. A futuristic sounding electro monster with great evil synthesiser sounds and space like keys. The breakdown in this track is pure evil, thats all we can say, you need to hear this one. Man From Space ends the album with an uplifting progressive techno track that wraps up Verbalizer perfectly. This album is a must own and we cannot praise it enough, welcome back Anthony Rother. We just hope we can see him again live soon as his performances are like gold dust.
 
Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian (2014)
This is one of our more leftfield selections for our best of playlist as club night compilations and anniversary albums are not normally anything special and while they provide an addendum to a great night if you were there or a sample of the night to those who were unable to attend they generally do not excel with tune selection or mix quality. This Sankeys album is different though. Having not attended the club for some time but being a big fan of the club since the mid 2000s when TBC frequented the Tribal Sessions nights which at that time were one of the best nights out in the country, we have always been interested in their releases, nights and events. Luckily this led to a great find with Sankeys 20th Anniversary CD mixed and selected by Darius Syrossian. We had not really listened to Darius before but knew him to have a good reputation due to his residency at Viva with Steve Lawler.
 
This compilation is a double disc affair which exhibits a first disc almost solely made up of Darius’s own tracks and productions. He does throw in the odd track by another to spice things up; Green Velvet’s Bigger Than Prince and Todd Terry’s Bounce to the Beat but they are all remixed or edited by Darius. We were more than impressed with this start to the compilation as it both surprised us, introduced us to Darius and got us dancing away at TBC HQ. The style of the mix is house with a chunky but uplifting style, lots of groove and funk is thrown in for good measure to entertain the Sankeys crowd. It would have been great to have been there and experience this set. Well done Darius! The second disc is more like the traditional anniversary CD with all the greatest tracks, some which I experienced at the club back in the day. Thick Dick, Loco Dice, Cobblestone Jazz, Argy, Green Velvet and Gus Gus feature, the latter with a track called David which is an all time classic from back in the day.  The combination of a great production set and a classics set all mixed over two discs is a great concept from Sankeys and it’s a refreshing angle on this type of compilation, One which works so well we have it featured in our shortlist. You won’t be disappointed with this one and its great for a house party.
 
The Verdict 
When it comes to selecting a favourite from above it is clear from the in depth reviews that we felt passionately about each selection and in turn this makes choosing a favourite difficult and probably one of the most difficult for a while. It doesn’t help that we have a production album thrown in with a few great compilations because it is hard to compare and then choose a favourite when the options are so different. Balance have to have a special mention as they have two mixes in the shortlist courtesy of their two streams of mix CDs; the big brother full Balance CD from Danny Tenaglia and the younger sibling Balance Presents series by Kolsch. To have released two great mixes in a short space of time is testament to their artist selection criteria and the series’ heritage. It was difficult to choose but we would have to go with Anthony Rother’s Verbalizer as our favourite. To come back with such an amazing and relentless production album structured in such a way that you feel like you are experiencing a live set is something else, a different level. We hope that you can have a listen to this album and experience his magical production touch.
 
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014) *
 
Thanks for reading, look out for our best of 2014 shortlist soon!
TBC

TBC Playlist September 2014

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

FAZEmag in the Mix #27 – Adana Twins (2014)

FAZEmag in the Mix #28 – Adriatique (2014)

Wankelmoods Vol.2 – Wankelmut (2014)

DJ Kicks mixed by Will Saul – Various Artists (2014)

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

Tsugi Podcast #337 – The Emperor Machine (2014)

Defected Pres.Dimitri from Paris in the House Disco – Various Artists (2014)

Mister Saturday Night pres. Brothers & Sisters – Various Artists (2014)

Let Love Begin – Nicone (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Amine Edge & Dance (2014)

Enter pres. Ibiza – Various Artists (2014)

RA Podcast #426 by Oliver Hafenbauer – Various Artists (2014)

DJ T Pres. The House that Jack Built Vol.1 & 2 – Various Artists (2012)

Playground Mix #100 by Hal Incandenza (Henry Saiz) – Various Artists (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Finnebassen (2014)

Spread the Word – Agents of Time (2014)

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists (2014)

Full Pupp Pres. 10 Years of Full Pupp by Prins Thomas – Various Artists (2014)

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

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls (2014)

Classics

Kitsune Tabloid by Digitalism – Various Artists (2008)

Kitsune Tabloid by The Twelves – Various Artists (2011)

Kitsune Tabloid by Phoenix – Various Artists (2009)

Times Like These – Alden Tyrell (2006)

Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller #1-4 – Drexciya (2011-2013)

Eskimonde pres. A Decade of Eskimo Music – Various Artists (2012)

Eskimo Recordings Vol.3 – Various Artists (2001)

Run With Me – Kiki (2004)

Welcome back TBC followers to the latest instalment of the TBC Playlist. Once again we apologise for the delay between the playlist blog entries however 2014 continues to be a busy year at HQ. Summer 2014 saw extended 31st Birthday celebrations for myself and the adventures of the European festival and clubbing experience. This time round we sampled the wares of Berlin, in particular Melt festival in July followed a by a week of “relaxing” in East Berlin. I’m sure Betty Bitch will be telling you all about this adventure so I will not spoil anything but you may understand why we have been slow on the website updates. The best thing about a long break between Playlists is that we can offer an extended selection and we have been able to thoroughly enjoy and critique the best albums, mixes and releases of the last few months.

The September Playlist features a great diversity of music from the obvious techno selection to electro, house, progressive, disco and even features a new genre which has been a particular highlight of our summer ‘G-House’ or Gangsta House as it is more commonly known. We have some of the best artists of recent years; Dettmann, DJ.T, Nic Fanciulli, Digitalism & Dimitri from Paris, as well as some newer, lesser known, artists for you to discover; DJ Supermarkt, Adana Twins, Amine Edge & Dance, Finnebassen, Ten Walls, Drexciya and Oliver Hafenbauer. We hope that you enjoy reading the latest playlist and discovering some new albums/mixes and artists for your enjoyment.

While trawling through the latest releases and back through the collection to our last playlist in June it became evident that there have been some amazing mixes released as CD compilations from the ‘Big Boy Labels’ Fabric, Global Underground, DJ Kicks and Defected but also from other record labels such as Minus, Mister Saturday Night, Poesie Music (Wankelmut) and Full Pupp. The electronic releases were also strong from the BBC and Pete Tong in the Essential Mix, the Resident Advisor Podcast and one of our new favourites FAZEmag (the German equivalent, albeit a lot more credible, than Mixmag in the UK). Unfortunately there are only two artist production albums that feature this time round but both are worth checking out; Nicone are signed to Still Vor Talent an amazing electro label that was set up by Oliver Koletzki and Agents of Time who are an Italian group releasing their debut album that provides a great deep house, progressive and ‘haunting’ sound.

We would also like to speak a little bit more about the Classics selection this time round, as to avoid the sense of them just being ‘thrown’ into the playlist without a proper mention. The classics this time are made up from some older gems that we found in our collection courtesy of Kitsune and their amazing Tabloid series which has three superb editions to enjoy from Digitalism, The Twelves and Phoenix. We also have a legendary electro collection from Drexciya (we sourced and bought 2 of this series on vinyl while in Berlin which was a treat) , Alden Tyrell and Kiki. Both the Kitsune and the electro collection provided some great entertainment as they are great for party music and are a great insight into artists and record labels that represent the pinnacle of their genre of music. You will not be disappointed in these classics, they are timeless. The last of our classics selection is Eskimo Recordings, we previously featured their Blue collection (2014 release) in our June playlist, and there isn’t a single release of theirs that doesn’t hit the mark. The two selections are Vol.3 collection from 2001 which includes a Frankie Knuckles classic and Eskimonde which is an anniversary special 5 disc collection of singles and 2 excellent mixes from The Glimmer’s. We will have some exciting news relating to Eskimo Recordings soon from TBC, they are fast becoming one of our favourite labels.

Now finally on to the best of the Playlist selection:

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

This is the third Playlist instalment in a row where a Fabric CD has featured and I had previously stated that this CD series was “hit and miss”, therefore you could say that Fabric are on a roll. I maintain my “hit and miss’ appraisal of Fabric as a CD series as they do not consistently deliver like Global Underground or Balance but I would definitely recommend you keep your eye out for future releases especially with Erol Alkan due up on the FabricLive series. Anyways, thats enough about the series as a whole, on to the Marcel Dettmann instalment. As with his BBC Essential Mix that we selected as our favourite mix from the June Playlist, this Fabric CD is another amazing addition to the Dettmann discography spanning back to 2008 with his first Resident Advisor podcast. Marcel’s MDR record label features heavily in the mix which allows his label to be showcased as one of the forefront in the techno genre, add to this tracks from Ostgut Ton, M-Plant and Dekmantel and you have a raw, comprehensive and relentless collection of techno for your enjoyment. At no point in this mix will you fail to be impressed; whether the mix is building, tracks are being blended to create an amazing techno landscape or you are being pummelled by a monstrous techno track. It is an experience to witness a DJ master the 70/80 minute mix limitation of a CD and this is the second time Marcel has done so, the former being his Conducted mix CD, so we cannot recommend this CD enough.

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

In 2008 at Bennicassim (Spain) festival we experienced a single DJ play the main outdoor stage, where acts like Roisin Murphy, Morrissey and My Bloody Valentine were due to perform over the weekend, and he totally blew us away despite only taking up enough room on the stage for his CDJ’s and a mixer plus some space to bust some grooves and pull some shapes. DJ Supermarkt has avoided the big time DJ status while maintaining an almost legendary status by those who have experienced him at one of the many European festivals. This legendary but also elusive DJ had not crossed the paths of TBC again until this year when in April he released a new compilation titled ‘Too Slow To Disco’ and announced a European Tour which saw him grace the UK with his presence, this left TBC HQ very excited. In July 2014, after waiting very patiently for a few months, we finally got to see DJ Supermarkt play live at Dry Bar in Manchester and purchase a nice shiny and signed copy of his album on Vinyl. Unfortunately the event in Manchester was only attended by around 13 people which made it very awkward with TBC jumping around at the front like lunatics however we were informed by the man himself that this “made his night” and therefore we saved any embarrassment. The album itself is best introduced by the words on the website link below so I will not waste any time on this and get straight on to the music itself. We were able to enjoy a few of the tracks off the album live at the gig and our favourites from the album; Ned Dohemy – Get It Up For Love is a dreamy, spaced out number, Rupert Holmes – Deco Lady is a quirky, slow number with a great guitar solo that could have featured in a 70’s film, Nicolette Larson – Lotta Love is a catchy country rock inspired disco track with a raspy female vocal and Don Brown – Shut The Door is a catchy, happy disco traffic with a great male vocal.  This album provides a great introduction to DJ Supermarkt but only a little dose of what he can deliver in one of his famous DJ sets. It is one of our more leftfield recommendations but you will be unable to avoid a big smile and shaking your ass to this one which makes it perfect for TBC. We have included some links to the album website and DJ Supermarkt’s blog so that you can get your disco fix.

Start

http://howdoyouare.com

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists (2014)

The GU CD series has been on a long break, we have had to wait four years since the last release by Dave Seaman and when you are used to a steady release frequency since 2001 from the likes of Oakenfold, Warren, Sasha, Digweed, Deep Dish, Lavelle and Howells, a four year break makes you think the worst. With the likes of Renaissance going bust after a long history of amazing CD releases it was time to worry for Global Underground also. Our concern however was misplaced as Global Underground are back with a great new release from Solomun entitled Hamburg which is his home town (the album includes a great booklet introducing Solomun’s mix which the GU series is famous for). The first CD is a more chilled, progressive offering which shows us a slightly different side to Solomun for all those who have enjoyed his previous two mixes in 2012; BBC Essential Mix and his Watergate CD vol.11. The second CD is a much more upbeat and club friendly offering which you will want to turn up loud and get dancing too. Particular highlights of the second disc are Solumun’s own track Medea and the classic Radio Slave track My Bleep (Roman Flugel remix). I am not a big fan of the chilled vs clubby CD’s, as has become the norm for many mix CD double disc collections, however in this case I enjoyed both discs and therefore would highly recommend the latest GU mix #40 and hope we don’t have to wait another 4 years for the next instalment.

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

Ever since the year 2000 when i first began to go clubbing I have followed the career of Nic Fanciulli, from a young resident at Club Class in Maidstone, who also provided great Friday night entertainment at the River Bar Club Class pre-party with his infamous funky house DJ sets, to a residency at Ministry of Sound, a collection of Global Underground and Renaissance CDs, a superb DJ duo tour with James Zabiela called ‘One plus One’, his own nights in Ibiza and now even curating his own festivals at The Social in Maidstone, Kent. It is great to see that Nic remains at the forefront of dance music which is testament to both his DJ and production abilities. The latest Defected pres. release follows a recent purple patch of releases from Defected which includes MK, Henrik Schwarz & Dimitri from Paris (also featured in this Playlist). The Nic Fanciulli edition is another double disc release which does not fall subject to the normal chilled vs upbeat formula (as discussed earlier) and instead is packed with great house and techno from start to finish. The first disc has a more house music focus whereas the second includes some tougher techno tracks however both CD’s are as likely as one another to fuel a great pre or after party. We have enjoyed both discs of this release on more than one occasion and got ourselves in trouble with hotel staff at one point when enjoying at too high a volume in the early hours one morning in Manchester. This mix is definitely up there with previous releases from Mr.Fanciulli and will cut the mustard against the best mixes from the last few years.

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls (2014)

This mix only just made this playlist as it only aired on the 13th September however it has earned its place on this Playlist and will be in the running for one of our mixes of the year along with BBC Essential Mix of the year. We were excited that we had the opportunity to see Ten Walls at Melt Festival this year only to have our hopes dashed by an early set in the sweltering heat in Ferropolis that we couldn’t make it to, however Pete Tong came to our aid by lining up Ten Walls (alias of Mario Basanov who had a string of releases over recent years) for the Essential Mix. 2013 was undoubtedly the year of Gotham which rocked every dance floor globally and was the tune of the year for a lot of DJ’s. This resulted in 2014 being a year where every festival and club even has been clamouring for Ten Walls. The follow up tracks to Gotham haven’t disappointed either with the Requiem EP on which Requiem and Mongol are amazing tracks and then Walking with Elephants which has been equally as impressive. Ten Walls decided not to fill his Essential Mix with his own tracks, which is nice for a change as they always seem to be an easy publicity exercise for upcoming DJs to promote their new album. Instead he fills his mix with an amazing ensemble of house, progressive and techno tracks that leave you wondering why you missed him play at the big summer festival! Wow what a mix this is, tracks from Atom TM – Ich Bin Meine Maschine, Moderat – Bad Kingdom (DJ Koze remix), &ME – After Dark are stand out tracks and are great memories of the big tracks this summer past. He even slips in a great sample from the video game Mass Effect which satisfies the geekier fans (like myself). Please listen to this mix, we will put a link below and hope that it works so that you can enjoy.

Wow that was an epic Playlist review, all due to the high quality of the best of the selection which we have enjoyed listening to again and again while writing this blog article. My fingers are hurting from all the typing! Now it is time to put our necks on the line and actually try and pick a favourite from this superb short list. It would be easy to just pick the Ten Walls mix as it was the last mix we heard before writing the article or choose DJ Supermarkt just for the experience we had while discovering the album and attending the release tour party. However we had to put a bit more effort into our selection process and this made it difficult, as it always ends up being, but this month we have to give it to the mix which has remained as exciting every time we have listened to it (and boy have we listened to it a lot since we first received it in the post). The mix provides two individual party sessions over two discs, you would do well to find a better double disc compilation from the last few years and we have been buzzing about this CD ever since we first partied away into the night to it. This Playlist’s top album is:

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

Congratulations Mr. Fanciulli you have earned the star next to your album and here’s looking forwards to your next mix CD. Hopefully we will catch you out and about soon as it has been a while since we last saw you live.

Thanks for persevering with this long Playlist and hope you have enjoyed our selection.

TBC