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.
- Jon Hopkins
- Joy Orbison
- 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.
- Ten Walls
- Jon Hopkins
- 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.
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.
Green Velvet – Unshakeable (2013)
Axel Boman – Family Vacation (2013)
Dj Alfredo – Ibiza Spotlight Pres. The Heritage Project (2012)
Motor City Drum Ensemble – DJ Kicks (2011)
John Talabot – Dj Kicks (2013)*
L.B.Corp & P.A.S (Luke Slater) – Resident Advisor Podcast #389 (2013)
Dj Tennis – Live @ Panorama Bar (17.02.13)
Machinedrum – BBC Essential Mix (16.11.2013)
Boys Noize – Fabric Live #72 (2013)
Various Artists – In The Dark: Detroit is Back (2013)
Bonobo – Later Night Tales (2013)
Lee Burridge – Live @ Robot Heart – Burning Man Festival 2013
Special Request (Paul Woolford) – Soul Music (2013)
Gesaffelstein – I Love Techno 2013 (2013)
Gesaffelstein – Aleph (2013)
Tiga – FACT Podcast #411 (2013)
Dj Bobafatt – Death Waltz’s Halloween Mix FACT Podcast #407 (2013)
Benjamin Damage – Heliosphere (2013)
Letherette – Letherette (2013)
Sven Vath – In the Mix : The Sound of the 14th Season (2013)
Azari & III – Body Language Vol.13 (2013)
Marcel Dettmann -Conducted (2011)
Gary Beck – Bring a Friend (2013)
Factory Floor – Factory Floor (2013)
Four Tet – Beautiful Rewind (2013)
Mark Houle – Undercover (2013)
Tube & Berger – Raveline Mix Session (2013)
Scuba – Update (2013)
Various Artists – 30 Years of R&S Records (2013)
Nick Warren – BBC Essential Mix (20.08.1995)
Johannes Heil – Freaks R Us (2006)
Gregor Tresher – Neon (2006)
Mauro Picotto – Meganite Vol.3 (2006)
Kevin Saunderson – Faces & Phases (1996)
Roisin Murphy – Overpowered (2007)
Phew!… its been a while but its good to be back and writing up the TBC music highlights of the last month. There are no fewer than 35 mixes, CD’s and podcasts that we have managed to bundle into this months playlist and what a bumper playlist it is. This volume of music represents some quality listening time at TBC HQ during an unnaturally quiet month and the wealth of music that has been released recently, some of which is spectacular. There are also some ‘Golden Oldies’ that have been dug out from the collection and dusted down for a reminisce. Some of which we are sure will feature on your all time greatest album/mixes lists.
This is now the fourth appearance of the TBC playlist so you should all know the format by now but if you don’t, our favourite mixes are highlighted above in bold and the best will have a ‘*’ next to it, our mark of appreciation for a supreme effort by that DJ, Producer or Artist. We hope you enjoy the review below and having a root around to source the music and appreciate it as much as we have.
To start with the Classics:
Nick Warren – BBC Essential Mix (20.08.1995) – If any of you are lucky enough to have an arsenal of BBC Essential Mixes that includes gems going back as far as 1995 or have a selection of mixes from some of the greatest electronic artists in the last 3 decades you will undoubtably have this little number. 2 hours of Classic Nick Warren taking us on a journey from psy, trance, house , progressive and techno. This mix had been hidden away for a long time but a recommendation from a friend encouraged me to go searching for it and boy was I pleased I persevered and found it. I would highly recommend you do the same and get searching, you won’t be disappointed.
Mauro Picotto – Meganite Vol.3 (2006) – Mauro Picotto has been a favourite of mine going back to the ‘reach for the lasers’ era of trance in the 90’s/00’s with Lizard, Iguana, Awesome & Bangkok where I was fortunate to experience some amazing Picotto sets at Gatecrasher (6-8 hour sets!) and a number of other nights/festivals. What became apparent in these sets was that Picotto had a seriously dark side and his love of crazy techno and electro was infectious, resulting in my growing love of techno. His Meganite Ibiza residency has been famous and notorious with many tales of dark, sweaty, packed, loud, monstrous, techno-laden nights. This is the third volume of the mix Cd compilation that accompanied the night and it is brilliant. Gregor Tresher, Joris Voorn, Stephan Bodzin, Oliver Huntemann, Adam Beyer, Maetrik (early appearance for Maceo Plex who was to become massive a few years later) and the legend himself Picotto all provide tracks for a superbly mixed and compiled selection of electro and techno stompers. A must own!
Now for the recent releases:
Gesaffelstein – I Love Techno 2013 (2013) – Having been a long running fan of the I love Techno series going back to the legendary Marco Bailey I Love Techno 2001 – Issue 02 I am always a little apprehensive when a new volume is released. This is only too easy to understand since I Love Techno has pursued a more popular music scene at its festivals in recent years with their respective CD’s by Steve Aoki (2010) and Erol Alkan (2012) not being my cup of tea. This apprehension was misplaced when one of my recent past French favourites Gesaffelstein was drafted in to mix the most recent 2013 edition. This mix is superb, right up our street at TBC; ranging from electro to storming techno this mix has been enjoyed on more than one occasion in the last month and has been a great treat when driving, especially on the long drives where I may have been seen bopping around in my car! The CD peaks with The Hacker’s, Pure Energy and ends with a gem from Gesaffelstein’s new album (Aleph – listed above) called Pursuit.
Lee Burridge – Live @ Robot Heart – Burning Man Festival 2013 & Dj Tennis – Live @ Panorama Bar (17.02.13) – It’s a rare treat to find two epic mixes from either club nights or festivals but this month we have one from Lee Burridge and a second from (the comically named) DJ Tennis clocking in at 4 hours 1 minute and 2 hours 43 minutes respectively. Both mixes are superb and well worth the time investment as they rarely falter, delivering a huge range of house, electro and techno that could provide the music for the entire duration of a house party! The legendary Burning Man Festival has provided great mixes before from Thugfucker and Damian Lazarus right from the heart of Black Rock Desert in Nevada and Panorama Bar continues to spoil us with yet another legendary set (there are literally too many to name).
Here are links to both, I hope you can download and enjoy:
And Finally….almost running out of energy at this point but spurned on by the best in the selection this time round…
John Talabot – Dj Kicks (2013)* – Being resident in our favourite city outside of the UK, Barcelona, John Talabot is somewhat of a dark horse on the European electronic music scene. Slowly building his image, status and style from one of the best debut albums I have ever heard, Fin (2012), John Talabot remains an elusive DJ and producer appearing on few line ups and treating us with only the odd remix and podcast. We should not be deterred by the infrequent releases and appearances but motivated to find a night where we can experience John Talabots genius. This new entry into an already well established Dj Kicks roster (one which TBC are VERY familiar with) really goes to town with a an amazing journey of blissed out electronica to beautiful house music and on to more techier sounds later in the CD. This CD can literally be enjoyed at any time of the day; early morning wake up call, midday relax or evening party and allows John Talabot to entertain us with 27 tracks in a superbly crafted mix. Particular highlights are Axel Boman’s Klinsmann, Motor City Drum Ensemble’s Escape to Nowhere and Talaboman (Talabot and Axel Boman!) Sideral. This will be one of the CD’s of 2013 and will be on our playlist for some time at TBC HQ. A must buy for everyone.
Many thanks to everyone who has managed to make it this far through this recent TBC playlist, hope you enjoy and see you all soon!
Thanks for reading.