TBC Playlist 2016 Annual Review

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

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

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

The 2016 Playlist – 50

HVOB – Trialog

The Field – The Follower

The Range – RA Podcast #521

Sadat Bahar – RA Podcast #507

Underworld – Barbara, Barbara, We Face Shining Future

Chemical Brothers – Born In Echoes

Get Physical Pres. Body Language Vol.17 by WhoMadeWho

Cosmic Machine – Various Artists

Unknown Landscapes – Vol.3 mixed by Exium

Junior Boys – Big Black Coat

Dj Supermarket Pres. The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco

Stephan Bodzin – Powers of Ten Remixes

Moderat – 111

John Digweed – Live in Montreal (6CD pack)

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

Pig & Dan – Modular Baptism

Fabric 87 – Alan Fitzpatrick

Fabric 88 – Ryan Elliot

Eskimo pres. Yellow Collection – Various Artists

Wolfram – Wolfram

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

RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

Floorpan – Victorious

A Sides Vol.5 – Various Artists

Global Underground Pres. Nubreed Vol.9 – Habischman

Cocoon Ibiza mixed by Carl Craig and Sonja Moonear

Trus’Me – Planet 4

Marcel Dettmann Pres. Dj Kicks

Marco Bailey – Materia Ibiza XL 2 – Various Artists

Global Underground – Twenty

London Underground – Various Artists

Pure Intec mixed by Carl Cox and Jon Rundell

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

Stil Vor Talent Kotbusser Tor – Various Artists

Tuff City Kids – Adolescent

Tiger and Woods – On the Green Again

Michael Mayer – &

Majestic Casual Vol.3 – Various Artists

Marsheaux – Ath.Lon

Space Ibiza pres. 2016  – Various Artists

Balance Pres. Alex Niggemann – Various Artists

Mixmag In Session – Helena Hauff

BBC Essential Mix – Rodhad February 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Pig and Dan April 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Stephan Bodzin June 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Solomun July 2016

BBC Essential Mix – The Avalanches August 2016

BBC – Essential Mix – Mano Le Tough October 2016

BBC Essential Mix  – Bedouin October 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Ellen Allien December 2016

Older Classics/Alternative – 18

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

DJ Hyper Various – Bedrock and Wired/Re-wired

FAZEmag mix CD’s – The full collection

Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness

Holly Herndon – Platform

Solar Bears – Advancement

Sasha – Scene Delete

Trus’Me – Working Nights (2007)

Permanent Vacation pres. Safari – Various Artists

Henry Saiz  – Reality Addendum

Fatima Yamaha – Imaginary Lines (2015)

Fatima Yamaha- Fatima Yamaha EP (2012)

Dekmantel Podcast Vol. 66 Delta Funktionnen

Balance 009 Paolo Mojo – Various Artists

Balance 008 Design Masiello – Various Artists

BBC Essential Mix  – Valentino Kanzyani (2007)

BBC Essential Mix  – Oliver Lieb (2001)

Anthony Rother – This is Electro (2005)

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

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

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

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

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

RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

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

Track list and Link to listen the mix below:

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

Marcel Dettmann Pres. Dj Kicks

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

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

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

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

London Underground – Various Artists

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

Have a listen to the release below:

Mixmag In Session – Helena Hauff

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

BBC Essential Mix – Solomun July 2016

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

Tracklist link:

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

BBC Essential Mix – Ellen Allien December 2016

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

The Verdict

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

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

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

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

TBC

TBC Playlist 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

2013 Playlist Review & Best Album

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

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

The shortlist of our ‘best of’ selections:

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

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

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

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

December 2013 – Kolsch – 1977 (2013) *

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

FACT magazine/ Resident Advisor – The Inheritors – James Holden

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

Crack Magazine – Immunity – Jon Hopkins

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

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

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

Renaissance the Mix Collection by Tiefschwarz (2013)

Axel Boman – Family Vacation (2013)

Bloody Mary – Wilde Podcast #013 (2011)

Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind (2013)

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

Rudimental – Home (2013)

Dexter – The Trip (2013)

The Bullitts – They Die by Dawn (2013)*

Atoms for Peace – AMOK (2013)

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories (2013)

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

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

DJ KICKS – JOHN TALABOT ******

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

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

Happy New Year to all our TBC followers.

TBC