TBC Lockdown Playlist – April 2020

Welcome to our latest playlist written during lockdown at TBC HQ. We haven’t posted for some time and we wanted to rekindle our website posts to share our latest listening with you during the lockdown period. We hope that this post finds you safe and healthy and you are able to seek out some of the albums that we have been listening to for your enjoyment in May.

At TBC HQ we have had an increased amount of time to listen to music due to a period of furlough and an existing period of maternity leave. We have recently installed a new wifi system so we are able to transmit music around the house from our desktop PC and hard drive plus we have our extensive CD and vinyl collection to call on. Each room is currently being used as a different room in a club so we have a chill out area, warm up, after party, techno, house and electro music rooms as you can see from the playlist.

We have also been watching a lot of the live stream DJ sets and hope to add these to the playlist for next month.

The list below are our recommendations with particular favourites marked with a star.

Albums

Agoria – Drift 

Bonobo – Black Sands

Dapayk Solo – Decade one 

Com Truise – Persuasion System *

COMA – In Technicolor 

Dave Clark – Devil’s Advocate *

Djrum – Portrait with Firewood

The Field – Infinite Movement

Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans

Function – Existenz

Grimes – Miss Anthropocene

HVOB – Rocco

Snuff Crew – Behind The Masks *

Spektre – Casting Shadows in no light

Tuff City Kids – Adolescent

Compilations and Mixes:

Berghain Vol.1 by Andre Galuzzi

Back To Mine by Nightmares on Wax

Fabric Presents Maribou State *

Ministry of Sound Session by Cajmere and Green Velvet *

Ministry of Sound presents Mashed by Ajax and Wok Djs

X Mix 2 pres Laurent Garnier – Destination Planet Dream

Watch the Ride by Andrew Weatherall

Vinyl Back Catalogue:

Scuba – Personality 

Various Artists – Dark Beat Detector 

Radiohead – OK Computer 

Ellen Allien – Berlinette 

Please respond with any feedback and other recommendations for us to include in the playlist for next month.

Stay safe and enjoy your lockdown raving.

TBC Playlist 2018 Annual Review

Introduction

Welcome to the TBC annual review for 2018, it has been a quiet front in regards to TBC this year with only the 2017 annual review being posted on the website and one event in July  (NY Muscle). In 2019 however, we continue to look for new ways to bring you more events and articles, this has already included our first podcast posted in January 2019 that included a mix and some words from Nick O Teen. Our last event in 2018 was exceptional, so many of our friends attended, made a great effort on the costume front, partied hard and gave us some great feedback to help TBC grow and develop in the future.

2018 was a very busy year for TBC, as ever and it included a number of big clubbing events. 303 in Liverpool in February at the awesome Invisible Wind Factory venue with Charlie May, Nick Warren, Guy J, Henry Saiz and Quivver (John Graham). The highlight being the basement room at the end with Quivver playing his moody progressive techno style and Nick Warren absolutely smashing it with a superb progressive set. Techno for Humanity in Antwerp (Belgium) in April for our wedding anniversary (how romantic!) with Danny Howells b2b Dave Seaman b2b Darren Emerson on their 3D tour, Hernan Cattaneo b2b with Nick Warren, Radioslave, Martin Buttrich, Gary Beck b2b Marcel Fengler and finally Amelie Lens b2b Pan-Pot. This event was top draw, DJ proceeds go to charity and you enjoy a massive rave by a lake in Antwerp with some of the best music and DJs across a multitude of genres. We finally got to attend Printworks in London on October 6th for Maceo Plex’s Mosaic night with Maceo himself, Len Faki, Ellen Allien and Silent Servant to name just a few. Printworks is an out of this world venue in, you guessed it, an old print works South of the river in London, it is simply ginormous and such an audio and visual spectacle. Room 237 at Club Loco in Bristol on October 13th for Bjarki and Randomer at a rave in a tunnel! As you can guess this was a totally insane event from a prestigious dark horse of a night called Room 237 that has been going for some time, check it out. Lady H also went raving in Vienna and had a ball at Grelle Forelle and Pratersauna. We attended Hybrid’s UK tour that came to Sheffield at Plug in November, this was a trip down memory lane back to the late 90’s and early noughties along with their new materials released in 2018 which is excellent and features on our playlist. Our last clubbing event of the year was a cheeky little outing to the Harley in Sheffield in December to see one of our all time favourite DJ’s and previous playlist winner Helena Hauff playing at Pretty, Pretty Good. We also managed to squeeze in 3 family weddings, one of which we DJ’d at, and a bonkers mini-festival that our friends threw in Welshpool in August called Brooskfest. I need a rest having just typed that out, we never do things by halves, all in or all out at TBC.

This year we are trying to better previous years articles on two fronts; posting the article as near to the start of 2019 as possible and changing up the format of the article to provide a fresh approach. We are posting the first part of the article in early March 2019 so we have definitely achieved on the former and the latter will see the results of the annual review revealed on our latest podcast later in March 2019 with some samples of the albums, compilations, podcasts or live mixes.

Playlist

This years list has 80 entries with 52 albums and compilations, 12 radio shows or podcasts and 16 classic albums or mixes. We have techno, house, progressive, disco, break beat, drum & bass, electro and even some dubstep. Our top picks are highlighted in bold and the shortlist will be presented on our podcast soon.

Berghain 08 by Fiedel – Various Artists 

Balance 029 by James Zabiela – Various Artists

Nick Warren, Henry Saiz and John ‘Quivver’ Graham live from 303V (Liverpool, Invisible Wind Factory) – Various Artists

Clarian – Television Days 

Oliver Schories – Blitzbahn

Dj Kicks by Deetron – Various Artists 

Dax J – Offeding Public Morality

Fabric 88 by Maceo Plex – Various Artists

John Hopkins – Singularity

Dj Koze – Knock Knock

Balance 030 mixed by Max Cooper – Various Artists

Naif by Efdemin – Various Artists

Eskimo Recordings presents The Purple Collection – Various Artists

Skee Mask – Compro

Gui Boratto – Pentagram

Blawan – Wet Will Always Dry

Schneeweiss 9 presented By Oliver Koletzki – Various Artists

Bedrock XX mixed and compiled by John  Digweed – Various Artists 

Hybrid  – Light of the Fearless

Permanent Vacation Selected Label Works 6 – Various Artists

Chronika V – Various Artists

Djrum – Portrait with Firewood

Hidden Empire – Mind Palace

Chris Liebing – Burn Slow

Djedjotronic – R.U.R

Orbital – Monsters Exist

A-Sides Vol.7 – Various Artists

Max Cooper – One Hundred Billion Sparks

Stil Vor Talent pres. Tempelhofer Feld – Various Artists

ReKonstruct mixed by Quiver – Various Artists

Balance presents Uone – Various Artists

Dj Kicks by Mount Kimbie – Various Artists

Global Underground Nu:Breed by Denney – Various Artists

Live at Cocoon Ibiza by Kink

Marie Davidson – Working Class Woman

Michael Klein – Snapshot

Mariel Ito – 2000 to 2005 

Redshape – A Sole Game

Adriatique – Nude

Prodigy – No Tourists

Watergate 025 mixed by Adana Twins – Various Artists

Miss Kittin – Cosmos

Elke Kleijn – Moments of Clarity

The World of Monnom Black – Various Artists 

Dj Kicks by Robert Hood – Various Artists 

Sound of the 19th Season mixed by Sven Vath – Various Artists

Thomas P Heckmann – Body Music

Gary Beck – Dal Riata

Tribology by Ben Sims – Various Artists

Anthony Rother – 3L3CTRO COMMANDO

Foundations Vol.1 – Various Artists

Panorama Bar 07 mixed by Nd Baumecker – Various Artists

Essential Mix

Palms Trax January 2018

Charlotte De Witte February 2018

Dax J April 2018

Blawan May 2018

Eagles and Butterflies July 2018

Le Fleur August 2018

Avalon Emerson August 2018

Haai September 2018

Mariel Ito October 2018

Agoria November 2018

Resident Advisor Podcast

Amelie Lens June 2018

Alienata April 2018

Classics

Hybrid Back Catalogue – Wide Angle, Morning Sci-Fi, I Choose Noise, Disappear Here 1999 – 2010

A1 People – Fresh Juice 2000

Layo & Bushwaka – Night Works 2002

Balance 005 – James Holden 2003

Warp20 present Chosen – Various Artists 2009

FabricLive 44 by Commix – Various Artists 2009

Chase and Status – Beginnings and More Than A Lot 2010

Commix – Recall to Mind 2010

Chase and Status – No More Idols 2011

Commix – Dusted 2012

Andy C presents Nightlife Vol.6 – Various Artists 2013

Tuff City Kids – Adolescent 2016

Kink – Playground 2017

We hope you can find some new favourite albums, mixes and artists from our playlist. Check out their online content and of course support them by purchasing their latest releases.

See you soon for part two.

TBC

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

Aphrohead – Resurrection TBC Promo Review

CRMCD031_artwork

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading, more to come very soon.

TBC

DJ Kicks – Seth Troxler TBC Promo Review

K7324_artwork

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

Maouris Promotional Reviews – January 2015

HotC056 SEFF

This will be our third promotional review linked with Maouris promotions and we are grateful for the opportunity to listen to and review their latest releases. This time we have been fortunate to have access to 15 of their latest single/EP releases from November/December 2014 and January 2015 which have ranged from blissed out electronica to techno including some disco, house and electro. The format of this review will be a brief summary of the releases, labels and tracks followed by a more in depth review of the best three releases from which we will select our favourite release.

We were kindly informed by the Maouris team that our access would include a greater range of labels this time round including; Visionquest, Rebellion, Hot Creations, International Feel, Crosstown Rebels, Eskimo Recordings, Soul Clap Records, Firehouse Recordings (Kim Ann Foxman’s new label), BOSO (Mario Basanov/Ten Walls label), Play It Say It (Seth Troxler’s label) and boy were we pleased to have such great access to this cross section of the electronic music market. A great deal of time has been spent listening, repeat listening, researching and providing our feedback to Maouris, now it is time for us to spread the joy to our followers and friends at TBC. The artists which featured along with their release title, record label and short summary are listed below:

  • Jay Haze – The Mulatar House (Soul Clap Records) – This EP features the bizarre and interesting Mulatar 3 sided string instrument which provides the foundation for the three tracks. Wonky, dreamy, balearic sum up this release.
  • Kim Ann Foxman – Firehouse 001 (Firehouse Recordings) – Hercules and Love Affair vocalist Kim Ann Foxman has been toying with electronic music production and featured vocals for a while now which has lead to her setting up her own record label fresh out of Brooklyn. Groovy, Acid Squelch, Haunting vocals and trip breakdown sum up the release.
  • Subb-An feat. The Million Plan – Vapour Trails (Crosstown Rebels) – Very extended player should be the format of this release as it features 6 tracks including the title track, Oasis and Black fire plus some great remixes including a Mathew Herbert classic. Bassy, Dubby, ‘Herbert-ised’ (new word for Herbert’s ability to create a new track with his remixes), Acid Arab sum up the release.
  • Johannes Brecht – Enjoy the Void (BOSO) – Mario Basanov AKA Ten Walls has helped set up and launch the label with this immense Ten Walls tracks over the last 12/18 months and this new release is cut from the same cloth with the signature sound that the label is now renowned for. Progressive, Emotional, Atmospheric, Uplifting, Eclectic sum up the release.
  • Len Leise – Music for Forests (International Feel) – the most bizarre release of this promotional selection and it needs to be heard to be believed. The words used to introduce this track by Maouris cannot be topped so I would recommend having a read – http://maouris.co.uk/music-detail.php?c=ifeel035-music-for-forests. Chilled, Dreamy, Nature, Percussion, Animals, Meditation sum up the release.
  • Luca C and Brigante feat. Roisin Murphy – Invisions (Hot Creations) – The follow up track to Flash of Light from the same team gives us Invisions which is another great release featuring Roisin Murphy who is a TBC favourite through both her Moloko and solo artist releases. Deep House, Summery, Amazing Vocals, Luke Solomon Remix (which is epic), sum up this release.
  • NTEIBINT feat. Birsen – Riptide (Eskimo Recordings) – George Bakalakos or NTEIBINT has releases on Warp, Kitsune and Bang Gang which ticks a lot of boxes that TBC admire in regards to record labels and musical genres. We were intrigued and interested with this release which is a blend of pop and disco. Electronica, Amazing Vocals (from Birsen, a Belgian vocalist), Pop, Disco, Electro sum this release up.
  • Berkson & What – Make it True feat. JoJo De Freq (Play It Say It) – in 2014 Seth Troxler set up his own label which has featured Sharam, Clarian and Steve Lawler releasing tracks with a sound that you would be familiar of having listened to Mr.Troxler’s own DJ sets. Sunshine, Groovy, Acid Squelch, Luke Solomon Remix (he is on fire at the moment, Essential Mix on the cards for Friday 16th January, don’t miss it!) sum it up.
  • Davi – Gates of Babylon (Rebellion) – From a subsidiary of Crosstown Rebels vast music empire comes a release via Rebellion and it is on the back of a recent wave of Arabic inspired tracks that Acid Arab have brought to the masses over the last 12/18 months. House/Techno, Progressive, Hazy, Summer, Arabic sum this one up.
  • Laura Jones – Eskipade (Visionquest) – Laura Jones is a fan favourite since her rise in the DJ ranks over the last 3/4 years courtesy of great DJ sets and releases. TBC were fortunate to see Laura in her early days when she played with Ellen Allien at Sankeys in Manchester (October 2011 – Queens of Sankey’s) where she was excellent. This new release is more straight up dance floor music with a heavy groove consistent throughout, perfect for the bass rich club sound system. Tech-House, Heavy Groove, Acid Squelch, Kick Drum, Hand Clap sum up the release.
  • Steve Lawler – House Record (Hot Creations) – Steve Lawler is a house music legend and provides the latest release for Jamie Jones and Lee Foss on their Hot Creations label with a sound that you would expect from the label; catchy, groovy house music. Acid House, Old School, Energy, Hand Clap sum this one up.
  • SEFF – Jack’s Back (Hot Creations) – a great EP from a new artist to TBC but SEFF has worked with Steve Lawler and Dave Seaman already which gives him a great pedigree. House music with electro and great basslines which sound excellent played loud. We will keep an eye out for SEFF in the future. Electro House, Old School Vocal, Sub Bass, Evil Synths sum this one up.
  • Sandeman and John Monkman – French Girl in Berghain (Rebellion) – Another release from Rebellion/Crosstown Rebels with a bizarre house track and a porno sounding female vocal that was born out of an experience at Berghain in Berlin for the tracks producers. Freaky, Shonky, Wonky, Epic Breakdown, Bizarre, Berghain sums this up.
  • Moreon & Baffa – A Mental Process (Visionquest) – This producer team hail from Venezuela and now reside in Barcelona, which is one of TBC’s favourite places in the world, and their roots and environment suit their production style. They are traditional producers who understand music at a ground level and are renowned for their music ‘architecture’ and sonic landscapes. Progressive, Structure, Minimal, Deadbeat Remix (heavy, synth noises and storming bass) sum this one up.
  • Dave Angel – Revelation (Crosstown Rebels) – A new release from a UK techno legend who has been around in the music industry since i was born in 1983. Dave Angel is well know for his 1990 mash up track featuring Sweet Dreams from the Eurythmics titled the Nightmare Mix (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pegKuWUR84Y) which is an acid house/rave stormer. Since this time he has released over 50 singles and albums making him a stalwart for the UK techno scene. Progressive Techno, Old School Vocal/Sample, Synths, Keys, 90’s, Bass sum up this release

As you will have identified from the diverse selection we have reviewed and summarised above selecting our best three releases and our favourite was very difficult. The variety of musical genres, some great remixes which transformed the EP, brilliant producers and featured artists have both entertained us over the last few weeks and had TBC asking themselves which releases stood out above the rest. The shortlist in no particular order:

1. Davi – Gates of Babylon (Rebellion)

  • Over the last 18 months Acid Arab have brought us their collection of tracks, an amazing RA podcast and influenced a whole scene in House music where the arabic sound has become very popular. TBC have enjoyed this direction in House music and always keep an eye out for new records that sit in this sub-genre of which Davi has now added his production work via Rebellion/Crosstown Rebels. This EP is excellent, it oozes quality production skills and the progressive style used works perfectly with the arabic sounds. You can play both tracks back to back and they mix perfectly which is proof of the quality in the production. It is hard to pick a favourite out of Gates of Babylon and Eclipse so we can only recommend them both.

2. SEFF – Jack’s Back (Hot Creations)

  • SEFF’s credentials over the last few years would enable you to predict that a great release was on the cards, working with Steve Lawler and Dave Seaman (two of the all time dance music greats) on their respective labels and with Great Stuff Recordings which is a TBC favourite label, however having not heard of the DJ before we were both surprised and excited with this release. Jack’s Back features three tracks; Like That, Jack’s Back and Zoot, and they are all excellent in their own way. Jack’s Back, the title track, is probably the weaker of the three but it still provides a great party feel and would be more suited to earlier in the night. Like That and Zoot are right on the money and provide energy, basslines, synths and old school sounds which sit between House and Techno perfectly, with Zoot being our favourite due to its marching beat and evil sounding synth sounds. We look forward to more from SEFF.

3. NTEIBINT feat. Birsen – Riptide (Eskimo Recordings)

  • The most leftfield of our selections in the top three but we would expect nothing less from an Eskimo Recordings release and an artist that has featured on WARP, Kitsune and Bang Gang which is a diverse yet excellent array of record labels in their own right. NTEIBINT has produced a track which sits well within the urban electronic pop genre which has been very popular over the last few years nesting nicely between commercial pop music and the gritty urban club scene. The radio edit is probably our least favourite version of the track as it doesn’t provide you with enough of Birsen’s beautiful vocal and NTEIBINT’s electronic production skills. The extended version sits at around 7 minutes and is the perfect duration to enjoy both aspects of the song. You will definitely find yourself bopping away to the tune, humming to the vocal and wanting to play on repeat. The Dub version even provides an option to play out in the club during a disco or house set which is nice.

We would highly recommend all three releases but our favourite has to be SEFF as it is the most suited to TBC and we could imagine dancing around to Like That and Zoot on the loud sound system at one of our nights. The EP features three great tracks, doesn’t worry about remixes and just focuses on the dance floor and production. We hope to see SEFF playing out at some stage and hope the next releases maintain the same quality and style.

Notable mentions go to Johannes Brecht’s Enjoy the Void on BOSO and Subb-An’s Vapour Trails on Crosstown Rebels who were close behind the selections above but didn’t quite make it. There are also some notable tracks also that did not make it onto the shortlist but they were true gems on their respective EP. Luke Solomon’s remixes are standout for Luca C & Brigante feat. Roisin Murphy Invisions  and Berkson & What Make it True. These are the two most recommended remixes across the selection. The Mathew Herbert remix of Subb-Ann Vapour Trails is a close third.

We hope you have enjoyed reading, look forward to your feedback and we will bring you more promo reviews soon.

TBC

TBC Review – BBC Essential Mix of the Year 2014

IMG_2863

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

SPEKTRE – Cyclic Operations – New Album Review

Spektre Cyclic OperationsFollowing our recent interview with Paul Maddox, one half of the techno duo SPEKTRE, we at TBC were very excited to receive a sneak preview link to the new production album ‘Cyclic Operations’ in our mailbox last week. The new album is released via Toolroom Records (see link below) on MP3 format on the 4th of November so you can all enjoy the album as much as we have very soon.

http://www.toolroomrecords.com/news/spektre-cyclic-operations-out-0411

So TBCers, what did we think …………… Cyclic Operations will destroy your speakers and terrorise your neighbours but you won’t care as you will be jumping about your living room like a loon. We haven’t been able to get Betty to turn it off album repeat since we gave her the link, she’s gone through 6 pairs of speakers and had two eviction notices, quite a feat!

Down to the details, the album is a diverse collection of consistently well produced, forward thinking & club-ready tunes which is exactly what Paul promised us when we met him. The previously released first tune from the album, ‘Turbine’, is truly reflective of the general style of the album, its “Wub wub wub” sound is reminiscent of the old school classic Joyenergizer and the bonkers Amon Tobin Isam Tour. You hardcore SPEKTRE fans will of course already know this, so now for the unreleased tracks………. Listeners will be taken on a roller coaster ride from the banging ‘Reverion’ at the start of the album through some melodic, groovier numbers that we could imagine being dropped by Ellen Allien (‘Let Me Tell You’). ‘We Are One’ reminds us of the classic Martin Luther King sampled monologue in many a legendary track and we expect to hear this on plenty of dance floors soon. The trance heads among us will appreciate the inclusion of ‘Sense of Madness’ which has a rather distinct sample taking us back to the golden era of Trance at the end of the 90’s.

Our only negative point about the album was encountered about half way through our first listen as we were surprised at the length of the album and transition between banging techno and the experimental, interlude, classic infused tracks which would have been more suited to a split format; club and after party selection. This is a minor criticism of what overall we consider to be an excellent second album from the SPEKTRE boys.

As to our favourite personal tunes:

  • Helen – Steel City Sunrise – “epic finale”
  • Nick – Opus – “explosive, old-school, rave”

We hope you enjoy the album as much as we have, get downloading!!

Tracklist:

1. Introduction – Spektre
2. Reverion – Spektre
3. Let Me Tell You – Spektre feat. Montserrat
4. We Are One – Spektre
5. Turbine – Spektre
6. Sense In Madness – Spektre
7. Forerunner – Spektre
8. Intersection – Spektre
9. Skuz – Spektre
10. Ghosts In The Machine – Spektre
11. Parabolica – Spektre
12. Intervention – Spektre
13. Opus – Spektre
14. Steel City Sunrise – Spektre
15. Cyclic Operations – Spektre DJ Mix