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.

Fanciulli2

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 February 2014

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New/Current

Dj Kicks – Brandt Brauer Frick (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Kolsch (2014)*

BBC Essential Mix – Friend Within (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – DJ Snake (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – MK (2014)

FabricLive Vol.73 – Pangaea (2014)

Various Artists – Bleep pres. Top 100 tracks of 2013 (2013)

Various Artists (Kompakt records) – Pop Ambient 2014

Groove Podcast 26 – Helena Hauff (2014)

Defected pres. In the House – MK (2013)

Defected près. House Masters – Henrik Schwarz (2014)

Different Sides of the Sun – Hot Natured (2013)

Little Red – Katy B (2014)

Watergate vol.15 – Kerri Chandler (2014)

Naturally – Dana Ruh (2014)

Various Artists (50 Weapons) – #50 Weapons RMX 01-09 (2014)

Live @ Robot Heart Halloween Party, NY City – Tom Middleton pres. Retro Futro (2014)

Live @ Output, Brooklyn NYE 2013 – DJ Tennis (2014)

Classic

Fabric vol.8 – Radioactive Man (2002)

Various Artists – Giorgio Moroder on the Groove Train Vol.1 – 1975-1993 (2012)

Mixmag Presents Duck Sauce – Armand Van Helden & A-Trak (2009)

Innovator – Derrick May (1998)

It is finally time for our first playlist in 2014. I hear some of you saying “what’s taken you so long…it’s almost the end of February!” but as ever it’s quality over quantity plus it has taken some time to recover from the TBC Loved Up party on the 15th of February and all the preparation that took over at TBC HQ in January and the start of this month.

2014 has been slow to get going on the music front, we almost felt spoiled towards the end of 2013 and the annual review showcased what a year it was for new music. Nonetheless here at TBC we have been busy listening to as many new releases as possible, sourcing the new albums and more leftfield offerings that techno and dance music has to give and enjoying the many podcasts and radio shows on offer. I must say that it has been the radio shows and  live sets that have been dominating the airwaves at TBC HQ and this has been helped by DJs excelling in their NYE sets (and of course saving and posting on the internet – see the links above) and superb January of Future Hero Essential Mixes from BBC Radio One curated by Pete Tong and selected by Annie Mac and Skream & Benga. February has seen more on the album and compilation release front with two of the best coming from our favourites DJ Kicks and one of the best Berlin clubs Watergate. Lets hope that things pick up into March and onwards into 2014 so Spring/Summer has some gems to be enjoyed and included in our upcoming playlists.

Enough of the waffling and rambling and on to the playlist reviews:

Dj Kicks – Brandt Brauer Frick (2014)

2013 was an amazing year for Dj Kicks culminating in some esteemed reviews in the dance music annual ‘Best ofs’ and TBC selecting the John Talabot mix as our favourite for 2013. Having delivered such a high standard in 2013 they have set the bar high for the 2014 roster. First up are Brandt Brauer Frick who originate from Berlin and provide a group performance live show factor to the newest in the long running series of mixes. The mix is an intriguing mix of experimental, disco, house, minimal, electro, techno, urban and leftfield electronic music and progresses at varying speeds and intervals to create an eclectic compilation of tracks. The mix harks back to the older DJ Kicks where you were treated to a diverse selection of tunes emanating from both the DJs personal collection and preferred styles of music and the dancefloor/live performance venue. While not feeling as ‘polished’ as the offerings from 2013 this is highly enjoyable and there are some great treats;

-Rollercoaster by Dollkraut is a haunted western sounding, groovy number

-Transition by Galaxy 2 Galaxy & Atlantis features an amazing ‘Transition’ vocal that has been sampled many times and is accompanied by a funky baseline

-To Catchy by Dj Do Bass provides a fast, disco/funk track

-Wooden Knuckles by James Braun is a straight up TBC electro anthem

-Now U Know The Deal 4 Real by Machinedrum is a slick vocal & urban number

All in all this is another high quality release by DJ Kicks and a great introduction to Brandy Brauer Frick who we expect a great deal more from and hope to catch one of their live performances in 2014.

BBC Essential Mix – Kolsch (2014) & BBC Essential Mix – MK (2014)

The Future Heroes series curated by Pete Tong in January for the BBC Essential Mix is always a good way to start the New Year. Current BBC DJs including Pete Tong himself present their future stars of 2014 and normally result in a new DJ being aired for the first time over a 2 hour mix. This time round the first mix came from one of TBC’s ‘Ones to Watch’ in 2014; Kolsch. In keeping with his album 1977 the two hour mix provides more of the same and builds on this with a great collection of progressive techno and house for our enjoyment. ‘Euphoric’ is one word to describe this mix, Kolsch manages to encapsulate euphoria with epic sounding tracks, ghostly vocals, moody build ups and breakdowns. A great mix of Kolsch tracks and edits along side some of the best artists in electronic music; Matthew Jonson, Moderat, Ame, Cajmere, Omar S, Technasia, Deetron and Robert Hood. The track list looks like a playlist from TBC HQ with some of our favourite artists featuring. We cannot wait to see Kolsch this summer at Melt.

Following the Future Heroes January was a cracking house mix from MK who many of you may not have heard of, including us at TBC. Marc Kinchen was a big player in early 90’s house but disappeared in the Mid 90’s not resurfacing in the world of house music until 2011 when he released the first of several Defected CD’s (one of which is included in the playlist above). We are pleased he is back as he has been remixing and producing his way through the house music scene leaving party destruction in his wake, which is evident in his essential mix. Some of the tunes and mixes do verge on the ‘cheesier’ side of house but who doesn’t  like a bit of quality cheese now and then?!

FabricLive Vol.73 – Pangaea (2014)

Fabric continue their mammoth CD series, which is now up to #74, with the Friday night instalment of  ‘Live’ which is brought to you by one of the most popular & upcoming underground DJ’s Pangaea. One half of Hessle Audio’s founders (with Ben UFO) and championing the harder sounds of urban, dub, techno and dark/ghetto sounding genres (there are too many to keep track of nowadays, i’m getting old!) this FabricLive doesn’t take long to start banging and it doesn’t cease until track 27 is complete and the CD finishes! This mix is relentless, is best enjoyed loud and well terrorise your neighbours, flat mates, girlfriend/wife/partner. Pangaea provides a mix which puts most of the Fabric series to shame (apart from Ben Sims in Fabric 63 which is amazing) and seriously stamps his authority on the mix CD genre. Shifted, Speedy J, Drumcell, Alex Falk and Oscar Mulero feature for the avid techno fans and there are lots of additional artists to enjoy including Pearson Sound. Having previously been disappointed with Pangaea when seeing him live in Sheffield this mix more than makes up for that and will sit proud in the CD collection for the upcoming months and in the Fabric CD family.

Watergate vol.15 – Kerri Chandler (2014)

Volume 15 of the Watergate series is literally hot off the press and is the newest of the featured mixes this month. Having read a review of this CD on one of the larger music websites and seeing the poor score it was given we were a little apprehensive at TBC HQ when this was first played. Our apprehension was very misplaced, we should have respected the house & techno legend that is Kerri Chandler to deliver a quality mix. The latest in the Watergate series is superb. Quality house and techno tracks that you would expect to hear at Watergate and dance your ass off by the Spree in Berlin under the amazing ceiling light feature grace this mix from start to finish. Huxley, Kerri Chandler (himself), Italoboyz, D’Julz and Subb-an contribute to this excellent addition to the Watergate collection.

Live @ Output, Brooklyn NYE 2013 – DJ Tennis (2014)

At TBC HQ DJ Tennis has become a legend with his amazing live sets (previously featured was the amazing Panorama Bar mix) are a surefire way to start, boost or end a party. The tune selection is always top draw with moody progressive, vocally beautiful, banging electro and groovy techno tunes being incorporated via some of the best producers and remixers of the moment. The diversity of the mix and ability to move from genre to genre and back again, flawlessly, is testament to this great DJ. The one things that gets to TBC is the elusiveness of Mr. Tennis, where can we get involved and when will we finally see him live?! We hope it is soon but as long as the mixes keep coming we will continue to promote, plug and adore. We highly recommend following the link to the mix from Soundcloud both liking the mix and following this DJ.

I would love to have featured and reviewed more mixes from the playlist however hours seem to have passed and readers may have switched off by this point (hopefully not though) and it is also time to wrap the latest playlist up and select the TBC favourite, our first in 2014.

Summing up each playlist and deciding on our favourite always ends up with some heated debate, reconsideration and sometimes a ‘U’ turn or two. In this case the final favourite was not even considered when we first started writing however having spent the whole day re-listening to each of the featured mixes our opinions changed considerably. One thing to mention is the serious quality of each of the featured mixes, we would recommend that each is sought out and enjoyed. Our final decision was to place the Kolsch Essential Mix on top this month. A single paragraph review is not enough to do this mix justice, we think it may be a big year for Kolsch and if he can deliver in his live shows this year he will be on the top of everyones ‘must see’ list as Dixon was in 2013. We have included a link to the tracklist below just to show how good this is, we would recommend this mix is your first point of call. Follow the link and enjoy!

Well done Kolsch, congratulations of being the first favourite at TBC HQ in 2014.

https://soundcloud.com/everybodywantstobethedj/the-essential-mix-future-stars

Thanks for reading, we hope that you enjoy the playlist as much as we have and look forward to the next instalment which is of course To Be Confirmed.

TBC