TBC Review – BBC Essential Mix of the Year 2014

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

The shortlist:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tramlines Party Hopping Horseplay!

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Well TBCers, that time of year is here again, the weekend when Sheffield becomes one huge party and with the flash of a wristband Sheffielders can party hop from venue to venue in a whirlwind of happiness and electronic beats (with some bands thrown in if you like that kinda thing). What am I banging on about? Yes ……………you guessed it……………. TRAM – TO – THE –LINES!!!!!!!!!

This year sees a line up like no previous year and there is a definite shift towards more electronic artists. The Tramlines team have really done Sheffield proud with the diversity and caliber of artists that they have managed to fly in to South Yorkshire’s marvelous annual party spectacular and all for the price of £28.00 for a full weekend festival wristband! Monsieur with these Tramlines DJs you are really spoiling us! So much so that it is difficult to know which party to go to, which awesome DJ to prioritise and which music to delight your ears with at any one time. Fret no more TBCers, Betty Bitch is here to share with you her meticulously researched, glittery, feathery, Tramlines party plan. Not only will following this ensure you don’t miss out on the best nights Tramlines has to offer, it will also allow you to shimmy on down with the one and only plastic fantastic as she cavorts to Sheffield’s finest Tramlines beats!

Friday

So Friday is a tough one because Tramlines in their infinite wisdom have put ALL the best techno and house nights on the Friday night. The Night Kitchen, Hopeworks, O2 Academy, The Leadmill and The Harley all have parties that TBC wants to go to on the Friday. So the choice is this: do them all, run around in a whirling dervish, get so wasted that you no longer know what city you’re in and consequently don’t venture out for the rest of the Tramlines weekend……….. a possibility. Alternatively, pick a select few of the best and still have some battery life available for a bit of Saturday shimmying. Betty’s choosing the latter and will be in attendance at the following shindigs:

The O2 academy: One word TBCers…………..T – I –G- A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes the Techno Breakfast Club favourite and all round God of our lives is playing in Sheffield! Granted its at the O2 academy but those of you who came to see Dixon there at the Collect weekender will know that as a venue it can actually work pretty well for this type of thing. Tiga is as hot as hell right now after the release of “Plush” and the frankly divine “Let’s Go Dancing” but has been knocking out delicious production work since his debut “Sunglasses at Night” in 2002. If you are into techno and electro and you don’t go and see him you need to have a serious word with yourself as he rarely plays in the North and he is an amazing party DJ. Check out his mix from Panorama Bar:

https://soundcloud.com/tiga/tiga-panorama-bar-live-mix

Following on from the Tigemeister and by the way, find out what time Tiga is playing, arrive exactly as he comes on, watch his set, dance like you’ve never danced before, then leave. We ain’t got time for any of the other artists on that line up. Next you’re headed straight to The Night Kitchen. Jimmy Edgar is headlining this particular danceathon. He’ll be throwing down techno Detroit style and playing hard with a real party, funky vibe going on. His Essential Mix was completely dreamy:

https://soundcloud.com/jimmyedgar/essential-mix-05-10-2014

Medlar and Alex Smoke are also going to be more than worth a listen and if you came to the Faction New Year Party a couple of years ago you’ll remember just how brilliantly Alex Smoke plays when he plays in the Steel City. The Night Kitchen is obviously the best venue for techno and house clubbing in Sheffield so you really would be a damn fool to miss this Tramlines party!

After that dust off your sequined trainers, re-apply your lipstick and find the coolest afterparty in town. Hunt Betty down before you leave – she’ll no doubt be going/hosting it!

Saturday

So once you leave the afterparty, drink a few smoothies, change into another spangly clubbing outfit and mainline berocca, its time for Tramlines Round 2. In the daytime make sure you check out Audiowhores at the Delve Deeper party at Bloo 88. This was Betty’s favourite party of Tramlines 2013 and you would be simply bonkers to miss out on their heavenly house beats on the sunshine terrace.

As night falls side step to the main stage to grab a glimpse of disco legends and all round Queens of the dancefloor – Sister Sledge!

Following that, hotfoot it to The Octogon to catch Lone’s set. This guy’s 2012 album: Galaxy Garden was simply sublime and one of TBC’s favourites that year featuring genres such as acid house, breaks, dubstep and bass. Stopping by for his set will therefore provide you with an interesting hour or 2 and is sure to get your booty shaking!

Now for a late night boogie fest and perfect follow up to the house and disco at Bloo 88 and the Main Stage. Seek out Horse Meat Disco. They are playing at Banana Hill at Queen’s Social Club. So TBCers follow those funky disco beats until you find what has to be the optimum way to finish your Saturday night. DJ sets don’t get much more fun that this and after the hard techno of Friday night this will be a wonderous way to sooth your addled Tramlines brain! Strut your funky, horsey stuff with Betty until the early hours.

Sunday

Pahhhhhhh you know you’re gona be rolling around in post party agony/ecstasy by this point! Don’t even kid yourself that you’re gona make it out to see the Sunday band line up! Betty sure ain’t!

TBCers all that’s left for you to do is purchase your wristband, douse yourself with glitter and join that party line to the best weekend of the Summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TBC Playlist June 2014

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BBC Essential Mix – Magda (2014)

Decay – Efdemin (2014)

Love Letters – Metronomy (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Jackmaster (2014)

Future Disco Vol.7 ‘Til The Lights Come Up’ – Various (2014)

It’s Album Time – Todd Terje (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Daniel Avery (2014)

FAZEmag in the mix 26 – Ray Okpara & Anja Schneider (2014)

Eskimo Recordings pres. The Blue Collection – Various (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Bonobo (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann (2014) *

Netzwerk der Zunkuft – Anthony Rother (2014)

Intensity – Eric Sneo (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Jimmy Edgar (2014)

Bleep 10 – Various (2014)

White Woman – Chromeo (2014)

Future Disco pres. Poolside Sounds Vol.3 – Various (2014)

I Am Ok – Oliver Koletzki (2014)

Live in Miami – John Digweed (2014)

Do It Again – Royksopp & Robyn (2014)

Bizarro World – Dj Overdose (2013)

Resident Advisor #417 – Downliners Sekt (2014)

Solens Arc – Kangding Ray (2014)

Smell the DA.I.S.Y. – De La Soul (2014)

Fabric #75 – Maya Jane Coles (2014)

Mi Senti – Roisin Murphy (2014)

The Feast of the Broken Heart – Hercules & Love Affair (2014)

Reality Testing – Lone (2014)

Code – Answer Code Request (2014)

 

Classics

Elaste Vol.1-3 – Slow Motion Disco (2006), Space Disco (2008) & Super Motion Disco (2010)

Bugged Out Pres. Suck my Deck – Friendly Fires (2010)

BBC Essential Mix  Live at Pacha, Ibiza- Frankie Knuckles (2000)

Piece Works – Ewan Pearson (2007)

The Trip created by Saint Etienne – Various (2004)

We Are Punks Vol1-3 – Anthony Rother (2007-2008)

The Future Will Come – The Juan Maclean (2009)

Heartbeats – Grum (2010)

Choice pres. A collection of Classics by Frankie Knuckles – Various (2000)

Bedrock – John Creamer & Stephane K (2002)

Blackmusick 10 Years of Tiefschwarz – Tiefschwarz (2007)

The TBC playlist has finally returned for only its second instalment of 2014, apologies for all those who have missed our regular instalment of music appreciation. Since February (when we last published our playlist selection) its been a busy time and as you know time flies when you are having fun! TBC has been on tour to the Big Apple to see what’s going on the other side of the pond, we partied for a lot of May with the bookended Bank Holiday’s and generally been busy little bunnies. This has meant however that we have been listening to a lot of music, and I mean a lot. If absence makes the heart grow fonder then my absence from my regular playlist blog has made the music selection grow stronger and my need to bring a wealth of music appreciation for the TBC followers enjoyment.

First things first, the slow start to the year on the music front has ceased and we have had the pleasure of enjoying a great selection of artist albums, mix compilations and podcast & internet/radio shows. The long playlist above has been split to give you the current gems that we have been listening to at TBC HQ along with some of the classics we have dusted down over the last few months. If you already own some of the playlist above then I am sure you have enjoyed them however if you don’t I would highly recommend a good hunt for some new music as there is some serious aural enjoyment to be had. In order to summarise the playlist we have Techno, Electro, House, Disco, Electro-Pop, Progressive and Hip Hop, of which predominately Techno and House feature heavily as ever but I would highly recommend the alternative treats offered by the Disco and Electro.

We have followed the typical playlist structure; there is the best selection of music from the last few months in 2014 (with the aforementioned classics separated below), the best picks have been highlighted in bold as these have best entertained TBC HQ and will remain on the stereo for the near future and the ‘best of the best’ will have its own TBC star treatment with the * award.

Decay – Efdemin (2014)

Efdemin has been a favourite at TBC ever since we discovered his self titled first album Efdemin (2007) and the follow up Chicago (2010). His sound has always hovered around quirky minimal techno with a raft of haunting and unusual sounds thrown in to create an interesting production style however this latest album has seen him going off at a tangent towards to the harder bass heavy sound of techno which has left us very excited. The ever influential sounds of Berghain in Berlin seems to have transformed the amazing production style of Efdemin to new levels and there are some dark and heavy tracks on this new album, our favourite being ‘Some Kind of Up and down Yes’. Since its release in March this year we have been unable to stop listening to this LP and we would highly recommend a listen.

It’s Album Time – Todd Terje (2014)

First we had the Swedish House Mafia and then we had the Norwegian Disco Mafia; Prins Thomas, Lindstrom and Todd Terje. The latter has been the most illustrious of the trio, only playing exclusive parties and gigs, releasing EP’s and singles along with two mixes; Resident Advisor Podcast #98 (2008) and Remaster of the Universe (2010 – this is a superb collection of disco which is also highly recommended). Todd Terje has now released his first LP ‘It’s Album Time’ and also announced his status as King of Norwegian disco. It has been a long time coming since his first release in 2004 but its worth the wait and he seems to elude to this with the simple album title, even though it should be more like ‘It’s about bloody time for my first album’ but that doesn’t quite have the same ring or marketable value. From the intro track to the final classic song Inspector Norse this is one epic album, ranging from the traditional disco sound to electro-house tinged classics and the more eclectic Jonny & Mary (which features Bryan Ferry and covers a Robert Palmer track). Our favourites are Delorean Dynamite and Oh Joy however it is hard to not love every track. This album has been well worth the wait and will feature in the top albums of 2014, Mr.Terje will struggle to better this next time round but what a great challenge to set yourself.

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann (2014)

Pete Tong continues to provide a ceaseless roster of high-end DJ’s for this years BBC Essential Mix show and this mix from Marcel Dettmann is superb. It is always difficult when one of your favourite live DJ’s provides an instalment of a mix series; Essential Mix, Fabric, Resident Advisor podcast etc. however Marcel Dettmann has delivered time and time again. His Conducted mix CD (2011) is simply brilliant, his Groove podcast from this year is an excellent eclectic mix and the older FACT (2010) and RA (2008) podcasts are both top draw. The ability to bring your live sound to CD or podcast is always difficult but Dettmann consistently delivers and this Essential Mix continues in this vein. The track selection is immense, the names you would want to feature, that you would have heard booming on the dance floor in Berghain, are all apparent. The mix starts with a few atmospheric tracks as you would expect from his famous live residency sets in Berlin, really picking up pace from around the twenty minute mark with a great tune from Tobias called Fast Null. At the 45 minute mark there is a creepy, atmospheric, industrial, electro-techno track Eurovision by Laibach (Dettmann remix) which is excellent, a great inclusion in this mix albeit a white label that we may never get our hands on! LB Dub Corps (A.K.A Luke Slater) has a couple of tracks featured, there is an amazing Stephan Linzetti track View From The Collapsing Centre which is a crazy, haunting techno number and there are countless other techno stormers.  I can only say that you must listen to this mix, it is perfect TBC music and a great party mix. The Soundcloud link is below:

https://soundcloud.com/everybodywantstobethedj/marcel-dettmann-essential-mix

Do It Again – Royksopp & Robyn (2014)

This EP from Robyn and Royksopp was one of my personally most anticipated records of 2014. Both artists have been favourites of the TBC crew for years, Royskopp have provided some of the most progressive and blissed out electronica and house that Scandinavia/Sweden  has had to offer and Robyn (similar to another of my favourite female artists Annie) brings her own quirky Swedish electro pop in her two most popular artist albums; Robyn (2005) and Body Talk (2010) even though she has been around since the mid 90’s even delivering some classic dance tracks like Show Me Love (1997). When we heard that they would be combining to perform as a super group in 2014 and saw the teaser trailers we were jumping around like lunatics, check out the video for yourself:

Röyksopp & Robyn Do It Again Tour 2014

Their EP Do it Again only contains 5 tracks but it does show off their new awesome electro techno sound which is reminiscent of Justice a few years ago now, pulsating electro bass music with Robyn’s lyrics and vocoder samples. The first two tracks ‘Monument’ and ‘Say it’ will be amazing live performance tracks, the remaining three could be new releases for Robyn and Royskopp on their own and represent each of their familiar styles. The EP lives up to the hype and we cannot wait to see them at Melt in Germany in July.

Fabric #75 – Maya Jane Coles (2014)

As with my previous comments concerning great live DJ’s and their transformation onto a famous mix CD series or podcast/radio show it is always a risky affair but, as with Marcel Dettmann, Maya Jane Coles (MJC) has consistently performed with a wealth of mixes; DJ Kicks (2012), two BBC Essential Mixes (2011, 2013), RApodcast #241 (2011) and a couple of Mixmag CDs (2011, 2013) and a great production album Comfort (2013). Fabric has been a hit and miss CD series for a few years now, delivering some excellent instalments but following them with bland and mundane mixes, TBC remains a subscriber to the long running series and our loyalty was repaid with the MJC #75 Fabric mix. This is a darker side than previously experienced with MJC mixes and it doesn’t take long to move into a techno grove which captivates you for 74 minutes. The opening, dark techno track called ‘Somebody’ by Trus’me is a superb introduction to the new darker MJC sound. There is a great track from the ever trusty Mathew Jonson called ‘Level &’ (Dixon remix) and ‘No One Gets Left Behind’ by DJ Yellow & Flowers And Sea Creatures is just epic. The mix flutters between techno and tech-house with a great remix of an old Paul Woolford classic ‘Erotic Discourse’ by one of our favourite artists Dense & Pika, to a dirty, grimy, bass track by Yenk called ‘Basement’, ending on an eclectic vocal track by Fran Von Vie feat. Cio May called ‘Lonely Nights’. Once finished you feel like you have been on a journey courtesy of MJC, one which you would have loved to experience in a club with a monstrous sound system but just turn it up, start from track 1 again and you can enjoy in all its glory. A classic in the Fabric CD series.

 

As ever, it is so difficult having shortlisted our favourite albums and mixes to select a favourite. Each selection has been listened to multiple times over the recent months and enjoyed at TBC HQ parties, chill sessions and while researching and trawling through the multitude of music releases and internet mixes. We managed to narrow it down to Todd Terje’s super disco debut album and the immense Berghain resident Marcel Dettmann’s BBC Essential Mix but the winner has to to be the latter. Dettmann managed to harness all the best parts of one of his epic 6 hour plus Berghain mixes into this essential mix for everyone to experience the true brilliance of his tune selection, set structure and pounding, pounding bass laden techno music. This mix is TBC down to a tee and therefore is our star selection for this edition of our playlist. Enjoy.

Thanks for reading, hopefully you made it this far and can enjoy some of, if not a lot of, the playlist we have provided this month covering the last 4 months music plus some great classics from years past.

TBC