2014 Playlist Review and the TBC Favourite

February Selection:

Dj Kicks – Brandt Brauer Frick 

BBC Essential Mix – Kolsch * 

BBC Essential Mix – MK 

FabricLive Vol.73 – Pangaea 

Watergate vol.15 – Kerri Chandler 

Live @ Output, Brooklyn NYE 2013 – DJ Tennis 

June Selection:

Decay – Efdemin 

It’s Album Time – Todd Terje 

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann *

Do It Again – Royksopp & Robyn 

Fabric #75 – Maya Jane Coles 

September Selection:

Fabric #77 by Marcel Dettmann – Various Artists 

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt 

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists 

Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli in the House – Various Artists *

Essential Mix of the Year Selection:

BBC Essential Mix – Bicep 

BBC Essential Mix – Caribou 

BBC Essential Mix – Jon Hopkins 

BBC Essential Mix – Joy Orbison *

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls 

December Selection:

Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia 

Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot 

Balance Pres. – Kolsch 

Verbalizer – Anthony Rother *

Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian 

 

Introduction

This is probably the latest edition of any music website’s ‘best of 2014’ article but at TBC we like to do things differently and are not worried to break the mould from time to time when necessary. While you may have had to wait some time for this article it will not have had its relevance diminished by the tardiness in its publishing. 2014 was a great year for electronic music and the playlist above which shows the shortlist from each of our playlist’s last year and is a clear indication that we were graced with some great production albums, compilation CDs and live mixes/radio shows. If you were to have a listen through the best of selection above you would be spoiled by some of the best producers; Dettmann, Rother, Efdemin, CD series; Fabric, DJ Kicks, Balance, Watergate and the best (TBC’s favourite anyways) radio show the BBC Essential Mix. While the music industry life cycle process seems to shorten each year with individual tracks coming and going at an ever increasing pace these mixes and albums have captured and exhibited a key milestone in electronic music. Their ability to deliver such range and diversity in electronic musical genres while exhibiting such quality throughout the mixes and albums is something to be proud of as a music fan and a great indication of a buoyant and healthy industry.

In order to select our favourite of the year we have reviewed our previous favourites shortlists, taken heed of our own advice in the previous  favourite choices and had a listen through them again. Are our previous favourites still at the top of our list, are some still in our CD player or on our iPods, have we forgotten about some of our previous selections?! The review and selection process isn’t easy when trying to select your favourite from a whole year however in 2014 TBC can remember some mixes very vividly and these are the ones which we have homed in on in order to select our favourite of 2014.

Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014)*

Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli in the House – Various Artists (2014)*

Fabric #77 by Marcel Dettmann – Various Artists (2014)

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Marcel Dettmann (2014)*

BBC Essential Mix – Jon Hopkins (2014)

We are pleased to see a balance across our 2014 shortlist in both genres and format; electro, techno, house, electronics and disco are represented via production albums, compilations and radio shows. We always like to keep our options open and ensure that we capture as many formats as possible when we compile our playlists and review our favourites and this is nice to see.

Pete Tong always represents with his legendary and consistent Essential Mix show on BBC Radio One, our previous feature on the 2014 best mix highlighted his ability to maintain his curating excellence with such a wealth of talent on show. Our previous selection Joy Orbison we felt was the best of the year but for our enjoyment factor we only included Marcel Dettmann and Jon Hopkins as we are still listening to them into 2015 which is testament to their quality as they can still compete with the new shows which air every week!

Fabric continue to rollout their series which ties in with their Saturday night event along the lines of techno and house, they haven’t been that consistent over the last few years but continue to provide a few gems each year and Mr.Dettmann’s offering not only shows off Fabric’s techno heritage but also himself as he has two places in our shortlist for 2014 which is an amazing feat.

Our most recent playlist and review brought Anthony Rother back into the limelight, he is one our all time favourite DJ’s who has helped introduce TBC to so many of our favourite DJs and music styles, Bodzin, Huntemann, Gigolo style electro house, haunting/scary electro, techno and bleepy/freaky minimal techno. We were so pleased to see his new album Verbalizer bring back his signature sound with a 2014 twist and freshness.

Nic Fanciuli is a DJ who I have personally seen DJ since he began as a resident back in Club Class in Maidstone around the early 2000’s. He has provided so many good sets over the years and continues to represent all things Maidstone while taking over the DJ world with his club nights and also providing some of the best mix compilations we have ever heard; Renaissance, Mixmag CD’s, back to back compilation with James Zabiela etc. His new mix on Defected is another superb addition to his discography and another superb release on the Defect label which has been on a role in recent years with their In The House and Masters series. This two disc compilation lead to complaints in a hotel in Manchester when celebrating my birthday in July 2014, we listened to it on repeat the whole weekend while dancing around like wollies and it remains one of our first choices for any pre/after party.

Finally one of favourite DJ’s at the moment not just because of his great DJing ability, his excellent website promoting all things disco and electro pop; ‘How Do You Are’, but also because he is genuinely one of the nicest DJ’s out there. After some twitter correspondence with the disco king from Germany, he even invited us to one of his parties in Berlin when we visited this Easter (2015) to finally meet one of our heroes. His mixes are legendary and are well worth checking out via his Soundcloud page, his previous guise as Le Hammond Inferno is one of legend if you are into certain musical circles and his recent Too Slow Disco series (which is soon to be added to with volume two in summer 2015) is pure excellence. The track selection, the album art, the introductions to the tracks and the album itself are genius. Reviving leftfield classic disco from the 60’s and 70’s when others look to the standard classics from that era is both brave and highly commendable as it exudes that geeky side of music where he trudges through old vinyl and classics to find those forgotten gems. DJ Supermarkt always seems to strike gold and his brave selections are so exciting to listen to at home and in the club when you see him live. We can only recommend seeing him live and because of his musical history knowledge you could probably take your Mum and your Gran and they would have a ball too!

The Verdict

As ever the final decision isn’t easy but we won’t bore you with the small talk at this stage, this time round anyways! Based on both being selected as one of our favourite previously back in September and continuing to entertain us at TBC it has to be Nic Fanciulli’s edition of Defected In the House. We don’t think this release got enough attention when it was released back in July, it doesn’t seem to have many publicised reviews on any of the big music websites but this compilation is exceptional. It represents the Nic Fanculli sound, his attention to detail when selecting the tracks is simply a masterclass in set structure and this is just a mix CD! The way each CD builds and flows between house and techno is just like seeing him live when playing a long set where he has time to take you on a Fanciulli musical journey. Congrats to Nic and Defected for the best release according to TBC in 2014. Great to see Maidstone representing at the top of the electronic music industry. We expect Nic to continue his domination of the World in 2015, he already has a world tour planned and the Social festival later in the year, we hope he has a great year and TBC followers and fans get a chance to see him.

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We would like to commend both DJ Supermarkt for providing us with such entertainment with those Too Slow To Disco gems and Marcel Dettmann for featuring twice in our 2014 shortlist, you only just missed out on being selected our 2014 favourite.

Bonus Treat

We haven’t included a favourite track of the year before and its always hard to pick a favourite across genres and the whole year but 2014 belong to a track from I Break Horses called Faith which featured in the Jon Hopkins Essential Mix in one of the greatest mixes ever between the Gary Beck Alogoreal track and the Fields remix of Faith. Jon Hopkins is to thank for bringing this track to my attention and ever since at TBC it has been on repeat. It has featured on our recent TBC playlists that we create every so often, it has been played loud at TBC HQ, in the car on our travels, in Berlin on holiday, the list is endless. This track is perfect electro, moody, progressive, catchy, an amazing vocal, great bassline and simple but perfect track structure. The original version is our favourite and its 3 minutes and 48 seconds of perfection, have a listen using the link below, we challenge you to not dance around like a lunatic and avoid a massive smile on your face. The Fields version is also linked below to see the alternative version that Jon Hopkins used, it is an 11 minute techno stormer! We would recommend you also check out their album Chiaroscuro for an alternative listen.

 

Many thanks for all the support in 2014, we hope to see you all later in the year at our next TBC event and keep coming back to read our latest articles.

TBC

TBC Playlist December 2014

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Kompakt Vol.14 – Various Artists (2014)
Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia (2014)
Balance 26 – Hernan Cattaneo (2014)
Panorama Bar Vol.6 – Ryan Elliot (2014)
Get Lost VII – Craig Richards (2014)
Stil Vor Talent Berlin – Schlesisches Tor – Various Artists (2014)
Fabric Live 77 – Erol Alkan (2014)
Rainbow Disco Club – Prins Thomas (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Anja Schneider (2014)
I Love Techno 2014 – Brodinski (2014)
Defected Pres. House Masters –  Masters At Work (MAW – 2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Bicep (2014)
Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot (2014)
Get Physical 12th Birthday at Watergate Live Set – Dj Hell (2014)
Play 05 Vienna – Oliver Huntemann (2014)
Abaporu – Gui Boratto (2014)
Nobody Knows – Joris Voorn (2014)
Reincarnations Vol.2 – DJ Koze (2014)
Reverse Proceed – Slam (2014)
Blurred – Huxley (2014)
Satellite – Sam Paganini (2014)
Tropical Autumn A Laid Back Mix of Modern Sad Beach Disco  – DJ Supermarkt (2014)
Monoliths – Dustin Zahn (2014)
Acid Thunder More Definitive Original Acids and Deep House 1985-1991 – Terry Farley (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Steffi  (2014)
Weekends & Beginnings – Mister Saturday Night (2014)
The Inevitable End – Royksopp (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Huxley (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Jon Hopkins (2014)
FACT Magazine Podcast November – Ben Klock (2014)
RA Podcast #368 – Marco Shuttle (2014)
Zone 18 Love/Kraft Pt.2 – The Hacker (2014)
Future Disco Pres. All Day Dancing – Various Artists (2014)
Long Play – Paco Osuna (2014)
Slowly Exploding 10 years of Perc Trax 2004 – 2014 – Perc (2014)
Chapters of Green Velvet Collection – Green Velvet (2014)
Annie Mac pres. 2014 – Various Artists (2014)
Balance Pres. – Kolsch (2014)
Cocoon Pres. Sound of the Season 15 – Sven Vath (2014)
Beats in Space 15th Anniversary -Tim Sweeney (2014)
Elaste Vol. 4 Meta-Disco and Proto-House – Various Artists (2014)
XLR8R Podcast #371 –  Floorplan (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Joy Orbison (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Caribou (2014)
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014) *
10 Years of Systematic – Various Artists (2014)
Content – Ralph Lawson (2014)
Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian (2014)
 
Classics
Times – David August  (2013)
RA Podcast #115 – Patrice Baumel  (2008)
11 Years Cocoon Recordings Selected Remixes and Retrospective Mix – Patrick Kunkel (2011)
CLR Reconnected 02 -DJ Emerson (2012)
CLR Reconnected 01 – Monoloc (2012)
 
 Intro
 Good Day TBC followers we are now bringing you articles thick and fast to make up for our slow end to 2014 and slow start to 2015, we hope you can keep up. This time round it is the return of the regular TBC playlist slot and as the last instalment was published in September we have some catching up to do. We will also follow this article with our pick of 2014 which to be honest has been a great year for electronic music and TBC.
 
Since September there has been a huge tranche of album, compilation and podcast/radio show releases which simply overwhelmed us at TBC. As you can see from the playlist above we have been struggling to keep up with the sheer quantity while ensuring that we sniff out the new releases, listen to them and capture the best ones for this article. It is also worth noting that due to the BBC Essential Mix overload that we had in December (see our article https://technobreakfastclub.co.uk/2014/12/12/tbc-review-bbc-essential-mix-of-the-year-2014/) where we had a lot of commitment to these mixes, dedicating some serious time to the 2 hour mixes along with repeat listens to enable us to review and choose our favourite, we have been playing catch up ever since! Almost immediately after publishing our last article we had the new Balance from Danny Tenaglia to enjoy along with an almost forgotten (we missed it in the last playlist article) Panorama Bar mix from Ryan Elliot in its new free download guise from the Panorama Bar website. There are also a couple of record label compilations from some of our favourite labels; Kompakt, Systematic, Perc Trax, Still Vor Talent and Cocoon along with some great new production albums from some of our favourite producers and DJs from the last few years Anthony Rother, Slam, Joris Voorn, DJ Koze and Gui Boratto. There were also some newer artists; Sam Paganini on Drumcode, Huxley, Paco Asuna, Dustin Zahn and David August plus some curveballs for TBC which includes Annie Mac, Tim Sweeney’s amazing Beats in Space Anniversary CD, a Sankeys anniversary release from Darius Syrossian and Royksopp’s last ever album The Inevitable End. Please note that the BBC Essential Mixes and Mister Saturday Night’s Weekends and Beginnings will not feature in the shortlist below as they have been reviewed in a previous article, they may well feature in the ‘Best of 2014’ article however. It is clear to see from the names mentioned above that we have been spoiled over the last few months at TBC HQ. We have enjoyed listening to the releases above on our travels over Xmas and partying over the festive period.
 
We will be keeping the same format as normal with a selection of our favourite releases that will be highlighted above for easy identification and reviewed along with our selection of the best release for this playlist selection. This will also provide the last of our selections for 2014 and the shortlist will be put forward for the Best of 2014 article to follow.
 
Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia (2014)
Having first heard about Danny Tenaglia at the end of the 1990’s when he released his Global Underground Athens compilation (around this time is when I first got into listening to electronic music) this latest edition of the Balance series is somewhat of a treat for myself and a great addition to the series. Danny Tenaglia is a dance music legend, he has held residencies at the most famous clubs including Twilo in New York, toured the world playing to the masses and released a number of critically acclaimed tracks, albums and compilations without over saturating the market with quantity over quality. TBC have been fans for sometime and some of our favourite classics tracks and mixes are by Danny Tenaglia which include his most famous production track Music is the Answer and the compilations Back to Basics 10th Anniversary, Global Underground Athens and London, Choice a Collection of Classics and Futurism.
 
You could say we were excited when we heard Danny Tenaglia was adding to the Balance series with volume 25 but as you can deduce from the introduction above that would be an understatement. The mix is spread over 2 discs and it doesn’t fail to live up to expectation or to the hype that we placed upon it. Disc one starts with the signature Tenaglia sound, a tribal beat which builds with a great hypnotic groove, bass and percussion through tracks from 04LM, Ugo Carrano, Reboot, Talismann and Cowboy Rhythmbox. By the time he gets to Alpha Phase’s Dirtro II and MRI’s ES Geht Um Mehr the speakers start to grumble and the techno picks up pace. It builds and progresses and soon turns into a techno stormer mix peaking with Nicole Moudaber’s Movin’ On which is a truly epic thunderous bass filled track. The Basement Jaxx track was a surprise inclusion but the Michel Cleis remix of Mermaid of Salinas is superb tribal techno, perfect for the last leg of disc one. I’ll Do You by Thomas Schumacher starts to bring the disc to a close with a dubby, electro, vocal track which is a typical Schumacher track, well produced and in an alternative style without being difficult to include in this type of mix. Dadub’s Existence (Kangding Ray remix – one of TBC’s favourite techno producers) leaves you ready for more with a heavy, tribal techno track while suitably closing the first CD.
 
You may think that like other compilation CDs (and other editions of the Balance series) that disc two may go for a different direction, maybe chillout, experimental or eclectic but not Danny Tenaglia. It sets off where disc one ended with straight up techno, Danny obviously didn’t get the memo. Architectural’s opening track 04.1 is overlapped with Funkndy’s Station and has a quirky speak and spell vocal coupled with a banging techno bassline, if disc one left you wanting more then you didn’t have to wait long. This disc is definitely a step up from the first, the techno pounds courtesy of Regis, The Yellowheads and Antigone as Mr.Tenaglia seems to be preparing a Berghain audition CD to promote his new heavier angle. You can imagine at this stage TBC HQ was rocking as this CD epitomises our love for techno. We are introduced to a raft of new producers and artists across disc two but the quality and relentless techno is maintained. There are parts where you are treated to a nice euphoric blissed out piece of electronica like in Dax J’s Dreamscape (aptly named) but it is no surprise when the bass kicks back in, these little interludes and changes of style are signs of a very experienced club DJ who knows how to make a set flow. Midway through the disc Gregor Tresher’s Nightcolours is another nice tempo change, an uplifting tech-house track with a catchy electro key melody in the background. The latter half of disc two does see the one and only criticism of the mix as the direction and flow does seem to become erratic with the track selection becoming more diverse and quite difficult to follow which does affect your enjoyment. The techno is maintained but at the cost of the flow which is a shame when the previous disc and a half was flawless. It has to be said the final track UFO by Exploit is a serious track, fast pace, quirky alien/space sounds, a nice breakdown and a haunting feeling throughout, played loud it is excellent. Despite the strange ending to disc two this mix remains an excellent addition to the Balance series and a TBC favourite (not one for our neighbours though!).
 
Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot (2014)
Watergate has been a big player in the CD catalogue series representing the sounds of their amazing club by the Spree in Berlin. The series has included mixes by Ellen Allien, Tiefschwarz, Kerri Chandler (previously reviewed in our Playlist articles) and Solomun. They have managed to harness the sounds from the DJs selected, who are normally residents at the club at a given time, perfectly and this has meant the series continues into its 17th edition. This outing we were excited to see Pan Pot chipping in and finally being asked to grace the CD series as they have been long standing residents at the club and have provided many a great nights entertainment for TBC when we have been on our travels. The Pan Pot sound has changed over the years and as they have developed they have become harder in style pushing into the techno genre more and more, which of course has pleased us no end. This Watergate CD has come at a perfect time for Pan Pot who seem to be on the crest of a wave, releasing consistent production gems and their recent Mobilee Back to Back compilation was a superb addition to their back catalogue.
 
This mix is excellent from the start with tracks from Radio Slave Don’t Stop No Sleep and Shall Ocin’s Lurking Wolves to get you hooked and transfixed from the start. The energy level builds, the bass gets harder and the sounds more evil. Lurking Wolves is a particular highlight as this is a straight up club stormer with evil sounding synth stabs and a marching bass line, what you would expect from a Mathew Jonson or Maceo Plex number. The mix moves on and cranks up the techno and bass with tracks from Whyt Noize and Mark Broom, the latter titled Nucleus is an evil building track which sounds excellent loud with a number of effects, sounds and samples thrown in by the ever impressive Mr.Broom. We are then treated to the first of Pan Pot’s fine production pieces that feature in this mix titled Substance which is an electro techno stormer that we would expect from Anthony Rother, punchy synth noises build and tease to create a sinister atmosphere on this track. In keeping with the style of some of the earlier tracks it is no surprise that Maceo Plex’s Conjure Bass is featured just after the half way point of the mix. This track is one of many of the amazing production line that Maceo Plex has, he manages to churn out superb electro techno tracks for fun and Conjure Bass is up there with his best pieces of work. It has had some serious airtime as its transcends techno, house and the more urban style DJs and is one of the more mainstream tracks included by Pan Pot. When you hear it you will understand why – the bass, its progression, the squelches, the hand claps and its evil synth keys contribute to yet another Maceo Plex masterpiece. See you down the front for this one with the Watergate LED ceiling going crazy above you. The mix ends with a consecutive run of amazing tracks; Josh Winks now retro Are You There which has been rejuvenated by Ben Klock, Martin Eyerer’s Reckless and two superb Pan Pot collaborations with Slam and Vincenzo, Conductor and Fiction Inc. respectively. What an end to a super new addition to the Watergate series and a must have for any techno, Pan Pot or Watergate fan.
 
Balance Pres. – Kolsch (2014)
The Balance Presents series has been around for a few years now and has been an interesting addition to the normal Balance series release. Originally with the Presents Electric series which was a more leftfield electronic club series (one of the best was from Agent 86) and later the more DJ orientated releases from Jozif and Guy J – both are excellent. The single disc format means that the DJ only has 70/80 minutes to present their skills and sounds which has seen the series consistently deliver providing a peak time representation of the DJ’s style and music selection. In regards to the Kolsch addition of the Balance series we were excited at TBC to see one of our favourite DJs added to the catalogue and if you have seen him live this CD is a great representation of his live DJ sets. Energetic, progressive, euphoric and tough in places, there are lots of melodies and vocals thrown in for good measure keeping the mix diverse and balanced. If you haven’t been able to see Kolsch then this CD is a great starting point but be warned you will want to see him live once you have heard this.
 
The mix itself really kicks off when Its All Over by Pional (John Talabot remix) graces the speakers, this track is epic. When John Talbot is involved it usually means gold and this is excellent. It then descends into a few crazy techno tracks which were right up TBC’s street albeit a slight surprise so early on by Kolsch to drop these bombs. Track 3 is called Freeze by Danny Daze and this is followed by Patrice Baumel’s  Mile High Gang. You are then allowed to relax with the almighty Radiohead Videotape which is just beautiful before the CD gets into the groove with the more traditional Kolsch sound. His Punchbuggy track, Adrian Hour’s Chordgresion and the euphoric Odd Parents Learn to Fly (Maceo Plex Flight Home Remix) sum up the Kolsch sound perfectly. Kenny Larkin chips in with Plankton which helps to bring the mix down in tempo and is a nice broken up, blissed out house track. The Anthemic Caribou track Cant Do Without You (Tale of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix), which is similar in style to the Odd Parents track earlier, is then brought in for a great festival anthem moment. Even the concerning inclusion of a Coldplay track which has been remixed by Kolsch works well within the mix and suits the Kolsch style. All in all this is a great new addition to the Balance series and another great release from Kolsch. We have enjoyed this CD many times at TBC HQ since its release.
 
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014)
When TBC discovered Anthony Rother’s label Datapunk and the incredible series We Are Punks we became instant mega fans of his. This series is the foundation for electro techno. Bodzin, Huntemann, Romboy, DJ Hell, Kiko, Billy Nasty and Anthony Rother all feature on the first compilation with production work that will blow your mind. The series became a collection with vol.2 and 3 being released with equally amazing content. Having discovered this series we delved deeper into his production work and his back catalogue is impressive, presenting an electro pioneer with experimental, techno, poppy infused electro which peaked with Popkiller, his most famous album. This isn’t to say there aren’t other gems; My Name is Beuys Von Telekraft is epic, his Fuse compilation is also amazing and This Is Electro (1997 – 2005) live album is stunning, including a live DVD set from Fuse in Belgium. His last few release were more of a chilled electronica affair and we were worried that the big hitting Anthony Rother may have disappeared but boy were we wrong. Verbalizer is Mr.Rother’s rebirth, this album is an exemplary piece of production. Start the album and listen from start to finish and you get the sense that he produced the album as a liveset, it flows perfectly from electro stormer to electro stormer. There are a few tracks that change up the pace of the album but they work so well you are please he has placed them where he has.
 
The album starts with Next which seems like a sound levels check with electronic sounding effects as he sets up his production kit ready to unleash his new monster productions. When Syncope kicks in you first get an idea of where this new album is going and you can’t help but smile and have a little dance. This track has a great pace, builds and builds with an infectious beat and then unleashes a grumbling monster electro techno bassline that harks back to the We Are Punks heyday. Zigby is not as intense but it has that Rother feel with its haunting electro sounds and goes at a nice pace to progress the album. Fire Viber cranks it up a notch and sounds similar to the Bodzin and Huntemann tracks of old with a nice Rother edge, sticking with the haunting electro style but picking up the pace and the bass levels creating a feeling of tension (which emphasises the haunting style). Invader descends to a heavier more freaky electro techno vibe with scary acid squelches which sets this track apart from the others. You still feel like you are on a journey through the electro world of Anthony Rather. Truthmaker moves the album into a more marching techno beat while still maintaining the same style on the album. This track would sit well in a good pace techno set and with its nice euphoric breakdown, which runs alongside the marching techno beat. It is one of our favourites on the album and one we hope to hear out when clubbing. Monophonia acts as a bridge track between the heavy previous track and the end of the album, the pace is slowed but the crazy electro sounds remain and they ebb and flow throughout the track taking you on a mini journey. Don’t be fooled, this track is by no means a filler or a chillout track but it does help the albums progression. Logical is track 8 and it is another of our favourites, it is a track that you could play at the start of your set as it has a great build up at the beginning but it could equally be played at peak time as the track progression is excellent to entertain the crowd or just yourself and the speakers if you are at home. Buffer Breaker again cranks it up a notch. A futuristic sounding electro monster with great evil synthesiser sounds and space like keys. The breakdown in this track is pure evil, thats all we can say, you need to hear this one. Man From Space ends the album with an uplifting progressive techno track that wraps up Verbalizer perfectly. This album is a must own and we cannot praise it enough, welcome back Anthony Rother. We just hope we can see him again live soon as his performances are like gold dust.
 
Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian (2014)
This is one of our more leftfield selections for our best of playlist as club night compilations and anniversary albums are not normally anything special and while they provide an addendum to a great night if you were there or a sample of the night to those who were unable to attend they generally do not excel with tune selection or mix quality. This Sankeys album is different though. Having not attended the club for some time but being a big fan of the club since the mid 2000s when TBC frequented the Tribal Sessions nights which at that time were one of the best nights out in the country, we have always been interested in their releases, nights and events. Luckily this led to a great find with Sankeys 20th Anniversary CD mixed and selected by Darius Syrossian. We had not really listened to Darius before but knew him to have a good reputation due to his residency at Viva with Steve Lawler.
 
This compilation is a double disc affair which exhibits a first disc almost solely made up of Darius’s own tracks and productions. He does throw in the odd track by another to spice things up; Green Velvet’s Bigger Than Prince and Todd Terry’s Bounce to the Beat but they are all remixed or edited by Darius. We were more than impressed with this start to the compilation as it both surprised us, introduced us to Darius and got us dancing away at TBC HQ. The style of the mix is house with a chunky but uplifting style, lots of groove and funk is thrown in for good measure to entertain the Sankeys crowd. It would have been great to have been there and experience this set. Well done Darius! The second disc is more like the traditional anniversary CD with all the greatest tracks, some which I experienced at the club back in the day. Thick Dick, Loco Dice, Cobblestone Jazz, Argy, Green Velvet and Gus Gus feature, the latter with a track called David which is an all time classic from back in the day.  The combination of a great production set and a classics set all mixed over two discs is a great concept from Sankeys and it’s a refreshing angle on this type of compilation, One which works so well we have it featured in our shortlist. You won’t be disappointed with this one and its great for a house party.
 
The Verdict 
When it comes to selecting a favourite from above it is clear from the in depth reviews that we felt passionately about each selection and in turn this makes choosing a favourite difficult and probably one of the most difficult for a while. It doesn’t help that we have a production album thrown in with a few great compilations because it is hard to compare and then choose a favourite when the options are so different. Balance have to have a special mention as they have two mixes in the shortlist courtesy of their two streams of mix CDs; the big brother full Balance CD from Danny Tenaglia and the younger sibling Balance Presents series by Kolsch. To have released two great mixes in a short space of time is testament to their artist selection criteria and the series’ heritage. It was difficult to choose but we would have to go with Anthony Rother’s Verbalizer as our favourite. To come back with such an amazing and relentless production album structured in such a way that you feel like you are experiencing a live set is something else, a different level. We hope that you can have a listen to this album and experience his magical production touch.
 
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014) *
 
Thanks for reading, look out for our best of 2014 shortlist soon!
TBC

TBC Review – BBC Essential Mix of the Year 2014

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

The shortlist:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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