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.

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.

Fanciulli2

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

P1000863
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 Review – BBC Essential Mix of the Year 2014

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Pete Tong announced the shortlist for the Essential Mix of the year 2014 last weekend (6th December) and TBC thought it best that we had our own review of the shortlist and select our favourite.

The shortlist:

  1. Bicep
  2. Caribou
  3. Jon Hopkins
  4. Joy Orbison
  5. Ten Walls

Over the last week at TBC we have been re-listening to the Essential Mix of the year shortlist and boy have we had a good time. Boogying at lunch time at work, while driving in the car, walking to the shops and, of course, loudly at TBC HQ, basically whenever we got a spare second we have had the essential mixes on. It has been incredibly enjoyable to review some mixes which we hadn’t given too much time to when they were aired; Caribou and Joy Orbison, as well as reviewing the other mixes which we had thoroughly enjoyed on multiple occasions this year. It has to be said that 2014 was a great year for the essential mix and some great mixes didn’t quite make it into the shortlist. Amine Edge and Dance introduced us to G-House. Marcel Dettmann delivered a monstrous techno mix for the Easter holidays while we were away in NYC and Green Velvet blended his signature techno and electro sounds during the Summer which got us very excited at TBC. We were also throughly entertained by a multitude of music genres and diversity from the likes of Finnebassen, Bonobo, Anja Schneider, Gaiser, Matador, Jimmy Edgar, Kink, Steffi, Subb-an, Heidi and Huxley to name a few. We must all say thanks to Pete Tong and his team at the BBC for again curating an amazing year of Essential Mixes. Roll on 2015!

We have reviewed each mix individually, reduced the list to a top 3 and then selected our favourite, so here it goes.

-Bicep – Deep house’s representation in this years essential mix of the year shortlist. A great party vibe from the Northern Irish due Bicep with the odd harder edged electro or techno track thrown in for good measure, especially nearer the end. Highlights in the mix are; Agoria la Onzieme Marche and Ferrer & Sydenham Timbuktu (Jerome’s Afro Tonic Dub). There is also a superb sample courtesy of Arnold Schwarzenegger in reference to his body building days in Ireland which Bicep have found to introduce their mix and, we assume, hint at the basis for their DJ name. This mix is not quite a TBC favourite but is a great mix to have on at a party whether its pre/post clubbing.
-Caribou – A mix of two halves, one half by Caribou and one half by Daphni, who are the multiple personalities of the Canadian Daniel Snaith. The former is more eclectic, disco, alternative and the latter more dance floor and club focused. Unfortunately the mix doesn’t really take off at any stage and is mainly focused around the representation of the diverse musical knowledge of Caribou, which while providing a great opportunity to appreciate his musical talent does mean that there are less opportunities to get dancing and party hard. It is well mixed, the tune selection is excellent and it has a great structure but it doesn’t make it into the top 3 for TBC.
-Joy Orbison – This mix is raw, filled with amazing eclectic electronica with an urban feel that builds from slow, reggae style tracks at the start to banging techno towards the end. Turn the bass up, treasure the tracklist, find the artists and tracks who feature and track down a Joy Orbison live performance. This mix is so entertaining it had us listening to it back to back for 4 hours! That’s a rare occurrence at TBC, especially when considering we had missed this mix earlier in the 2014 Essential Mix calendar. The highlights of the mix; Lady Blacktronika Getting Heavy, Bruce Technostatic, Kowton Glock & Roll, Barnt’s double selection of Under his Own Name But Also as Sir and Chappell (one of TBC’s current big tunes), Fourtet Buchla and the tracks from Joy Orbison (solo and with Boddika).
-Jon Hopkins – the perfectionist live  show performance feel is what sets this mix apart. The progression and structure of the mix is excellent and is testament to Jon Hopkins skill as a live performer and composer. The mix is delivered via Logic, Ableton and various samples and tools which show off a more technical offering. A particular highlight is one of the best mixes and tune selections we have ever heard from I Breathe ak Horses called Faith (Field Remix) to Gary Beck’s Algoreal, this mix literally leaves you with goosebumps! The musical landscape created by Jon Hopkins is an aural pleasure! Also featuring are great tracks from Daniel Avery, Boddika and Joy Orbison, Clark and Mux Mool to name but a few.
-Ten Walls – This is the most club ready of the mixes and is brought to you by Mario Basanov in his live, progressive techno/electro guise Ten Walls, who produced one of the tracks of 2013; Gotham. This set is the tracklist of Summer 2014 for any one who ventured to dance music festivals at home or abroad, for TBC it was a perfect accompaniment to Melt Festival in Leipzig. The mix has the perfect balance; a great intro track from the Mass Effect Videograme Soundtrack (which is epic), then it builds through eclectic tracks such as Atom TM Ich Bin Meine Maschine to Helium Robots Jarza (Theo Parrish Translation 2). It then progresses with fan favourites such as &Me After Dark, Moderat Bad Kingdom (Dj Koze remix), his own Walking with Elephants. Ten Walls then shows off some of his favourites and less well known producers; a few tracks from Few Nolder (upcoming artist from Lithuania), an Eastern European sounding electro stormer from C.A.R. called Angelina, a beautiful moody track from Robinn called The Game is Now Over and ends with Plastikmans dark and haunting Consumer plus a final outro from the Mass Effect soundtrack.
The Top 3
  1. Ten Walls
  2. Jon Hopkins
  3. Joy Orbison

The top 3 is summarised by Club vs Perfection vs Raw, respectively. Ten Walls provides the mix most representative of TBC clubbing in 2014 and in particular Melt Festival which was one our highlights of the year, Jon Hopkins delivers a perfectionist live performance that you would expect from a live performer (similar to John Talabot currently, Paul Kalkbrenner a few years ago or, for the older ones, Junkie XL) and Joy Orbison hits you with a devastating raw mix of techno and dub that makes selecting one of the three as a favourite very difficult. The decision was difficult and the countless hours spent listening to the mixes, some a multiple of times for the full 120 minutes and others in segments to identify those key tracks, mixes and transitions that make a mix excel. However, finally after a lot of consideration, we made our call and gave Essential Mix of the year 2014 to Joy Orbison. It wouldn’t have been our selection when we first saw the list announced and choosing this mix over Ten Walls and Jon Hopkins was difficult when there were so many good things to say about these mixes but Joy Orbison literally blew us away. The style of the mix, the fact that he rarely performs live or records mixes, the severity of some of the tracks on the scale of heavy techno and the fact that we had rarely heard a mix from this DJ/producer before created a package that is hard not to love.

We look forward to hearing from the Essential Mix team and Pete Tong himself on who they will vote for the Essential Mix of the year 2014.

Looking forward to next year when we hope the level of the mixes remains of this calibre. The artists we would like to see next year are listed below, we hope that some feature.

Ellen Allien, Helena Hauf, Ben Klock, John Talabot, Modeselektor, Acid Pauli, Mister Saturday Night, Robert Hood, Pan Pot, Gary Beck, Shed, Oliver Koletzki, The Hacker, Oliver Schories, Objekt, Model 500, Tube & Berger, Spektre.
Thanks for reading and check out the mixes for yourself below. Tell us what you think.
TBC