TBC Playlist 2017 Annual Review Part Two

Part Two

It is now time to select our favourites from 2017 and write a short review of each explaining our selection process. The process of selecting our favourites at TBC is always challenging due to personal preference, musical taste, the context of the listening experience (where and when you listened to the album or mix) and whether the selection will stand the test of time and repeat listens. When looking back at previous favourites and our picks from years past we can safely say that we still listen to these mixes today and have done so recently. They have each stood the test of time and we would still recommend getting involved in these now classics.

2016 – RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

2015 – Fabric 84 – Mathew Jonson

2014 – Defected Pres. Nic Fanciulli In The House – Various Artists

We have reviewed our playlist over and over again to whittle down to our favourites and this year we have picked out a short list of 10 from which we will select the top 3 and the winner for 2017.

  • Planetary Assault Systems – The Lights Years (reworks)
  • Ellen Allien – Nost
  • Balance Pres. Natura Sonoris mixed by Henry Saiz
  • Bicep – Bicep
  • Sasha – Refracted Live
  • Nic Fanciulli – My Heart
  • Adam Beyer live at Awakenings Festival 25th June 2017
  • RA #596 mixed by Oscar Mulero
  • Essential Mix by Helena Hauff
  • Essential Mix by Bicep

 

  • Planetary Assault Systems – The Lights Years (reworks)

Luke Slater is a legend within the techno community for quite simply destroying dance floors with his heavy acid tinged, full on techno. Whether his production comes via his actual name or one of his many aliases you are sure to be on to a winner with any of his production albums, compilation, EP’s or LP’s. Under his Planetary Assault system moniker he quite simply produces bonkers rave-like techno that you would expect to hear in the basement at Tresor, strobes going off, smoke machines on full, bass bins shaking the floor like an earthquake and 135BPM beats blaring from the speakers. This is two decades of classics remixed and edited for 2017 by some of the scenes hardest and heaviest producers; Fengler, Function, Steve Bicknell, Slam and Planetary Assault System special P.A.S. Live edits. If you want to be pulverised by some of the best heavy techno then step right up, turn up your speakers and get involved. If you want to scare someone during a mix then throw one of these beasts in and to be honest there aren’t really any bad tracks on this mix so you would be unlucky to select one that wouldn’t do the job.

Temporary Suspension remixed by Slam, Surface Noise by P.A.S. are the two stand out tracks if you had to choose and there is also a treat at the end of the release, having managed to survive the 13 selected monsters, with an hour long megamix of the Planetary Assault System gems, a nice little bonus.

Have a listen to some samples on the link below.

  • Ellen Allien – Nost

Many of our TBC followers wouldn’t be surprised to see an Ellen Allien album make the end of year playlist however considering the fact that we are super fans of the Bpitch label legend this album is not what you would expect having listened to previous production albums. The last few albums Lism , Dust and Sool were all experimental electronica ranging from house, techno, pop, chillout and dub. The albums before this with Apparat (Orchestra of Bubbles) and the solo albums Thrills, Berlinette and Stadtkind were all more electro influenced with Thrills being the stand out album with classics such as Brain is Lost – still a TBC favourite. Ellen’s eighth production album since 2001 has taken us on a journey and finally we have an album more similar to her single releases and live sets. It’s techno time!

The opening track sums up my previous words perfectly with Mind Journey which takes you on a bass heavy journey accompanied by an evil lyric “this is not a mind journey…”, with an epic bass line. The theme generally is a more stripped back, basic techno structure that sucks you in and you cannot help but be captivated by the albums transition from storming track to another storming track accompanied by a little dance and grin of satisfaction. 2018 already has a number of remixes from this album lined up and we are very excited at TBC to dance to and play these tracks out in a club.

Mind Journey, Innocence, Call Me, Mma and Physical are stand out tracks but each carries it own weight.

Enjoy the samples from the Bpitch Soundcloud page below.

  • Balance Pres. Natura Sonoris mixed by Henry Saiz

Since his big hit Balance series volume 19 in 2011 and one particular release in 2008 titles Hello, Infinite on his Artificial Paradises EP (Renaissance) Henry Saiz has been on the TBC radar and we have kept out eye out for new albums, events and singles. His Reality Addendum production album in 2014 followed by its numerous remix collections has been featured in our progressive DJ sets for some time and are still in fact being played today. In 2016 we met the 303 event organisers from Liverpool in Croatia and they are good buddies with Henry Saiz so we have been spoiled with a few epic nights at their club listening to his epic progressive, balearic, percussion infused disco and, in some instances, unique style music (that features heavily on his Natura Sonoris label).

The Balance Series has been enjoyed by TBC since 2003 with the legendary James Holden 005 edition and we have lost count of the instalments that we own in our mega CD collection, its worth checking the series out if you haven’t done so (but if this is the case where have you been?). Henry Saiz has brought his label to town on this special Balance presents edition of their mix series and it is like a match made in heaven. A legendary CD series asking a DJ who already has a critically acclaimed instalment in the series plus a label that we cannot talk highly enough for its originality, bizarre-ness and its high quality of artist selection and music production. The 2 disc mix is perfectly balanced (pardon the bad joke) with its dreamy, percussion lead, balearic/summery feel music that takes you into a progressive soundscape that you could quite easily meditate to, pre-party to or get your groove on, just alter the bass response on your speakers and the master volume. All we can say is that this mix is epic, a true classic style compilation CD that shows off good music, production skills, track selection and some great labels and artists.

Sonder by Joep Mencke, Goliath by Tentacle and Ventura by Hal Incandenza all feature on disc one with superb edits and mixes either by other producers or spliced with other tracks by Saiz himself.

Disc two is almost solely Henry Saiz production or remixes so the whole disc is excellent but our favourites are the soundtrack-esque Prophetess, the epic vocal lead, trancey Light, Woodhouse by NVSBL and Death Drive blended with The Pendulum.

Enjoy a sample below:

https://soundcloud.com/balanceseries/balance-presents-natura-sonoris-mixed-by-henry-saiz-preview-edit

  • Bicep – Bicep

Since their Feel My Bicep podcast Bicep have come a long way, their 2012 Throne of Blood compilation mix, their 2014 BBC Essential Mix and a great number of superb production tracks such as Stripper and Just show their development in style, production quality and growth into all round electronic scene powerhouses. You can see them play disco on a boat in Croatia, a rave set in a warehouse, techno and house at a festival or bide their time until 2017 to produce and release a truly epic debut production album Bicep which they play at their Live shows. Their choice of label for the album . . . Ninja Tunes, was one which left a few people puzzled but when you hear their production sound and style this album harks back to an era of urban electronic production that Ninja Tunes are famous for and that in retrospect makes perfect sense to show off Bicep’s production skills and excellent to put out an album that can be enjoyed by such a diverse audience, old to young, urban scene to electronic scene.

The album itself needs a good few listens, one with headphones, another loud and in a party situation and the final one in a studio environment with a good balance of bass and treble. Once you have racked up a few listens through the album your appreciation to the 12 track album builds and builds, we even thought back to Orbital, Hybrid and Underworld production levels in the early naughties and nineties. This is a must have album from 2017 and one that will be around for many years to come.

Orca, Kites, Vale and Aura are stand out tracks.

Check out the link below to sample the tracks:

https://feelmybicep.bandcamp.com/album/bicep

  • Sasha – Refracted Live

If one of your first clubbing memories back when you were 18 was the Airdrawndagger album launch party at Heaven in London, you have listened to the original Renaissance Mix Collection from 1994 or seen this person DJ back to back with John Digweed for 4+ hours on two occasions you will get very excited when Sasha brings out a new song, mix, CD or is booked at a night or a festival. However somewhat amazingly we weren’t aware of the Sasha Refracted tour even though it is a continuation of the epic Scene Delete album on Late Night Tales released un 2016 and reviewed on the TBC website. What is happening to us, our finger is off the pulse! Well we need to make up for missing one of the most ridiculous live events ever where Sasha has reconstructed his tracks from Scene Delete and selected classics (yes Xpander is in there!) to be played with a full orchestra, Charlie May on keyboard and a whole host of synthesisers, drum machines and other classic and electronic instruments.  We purchased the full, all singing all dancing, Blu Ray and double disc set in its fancy textured boxset in order to revel in Sasha’s masterclass. This was Sasha’s first ever fully live performance and wow doesn’t do it justice.

It would be cheating to mention the Blu Ray video in this article as it isn’t fair against the other entries but it really is amazing, the high definition cameras and sound is simple unbelievable.

The album is made up of two discs, the first is Scene Delete reconstructed for the show with live vocals and of course live instruments and some crowd noises that, unlike other live albums don’t detract from the music itself. We won’t spend too long on this disc as we have already reviewed the album but this version is stunning, the orchestral strings and percussion add a new layer to the tracks and the live vocals are spot on.

Baracus with its bass breakdown around the 2 minute mark, Detour with it’s haunting vocals, Time After Times percussion and keyboard magic and Rooms featuring John Graham (A.K.A Quivver) on vocals stand out.

The second disc is classics from the Sasha era including one from Airdrawndagger all those years ago. Hearing the classics in this new way has that feel of nostalgia that many have tapped into with this new classical/orchestral take on classics but at the same time revitalise classics in their purest form.

Battleships, Belfunk, Burma (by Lostep is the original artist) and Xpander are stand out.

It is hard to sum the overall album up due to the nostalgic value this holds at TBC plus being swayed by the magic Blu Ray video but Sasha has really hit the mark and excelled himself, once again, with Refracted Live. Please enjoy the link below and go and get this album.

  • Nic Fanciulli – My Heart

Nic Fanciulli is one of Maidstone’s finest exports and being a Maidstonian myself it is great that he continues to build his brand and excel within a competitive electronic DJ environment. He hosts the Social event all over the world having started it in the humble Mote Park in Maidstone, is very good mates with Joris Voorn who often plays at small events in Maidstone bars and clubs and continues to loyally support Maidstone FC in the Conference Premier. Back in 2014 we selected Nic’s Defected in the House series as our favourite release and since he hasn’t released any full length mixes or major EP’s or singles, however in 2017 Nic finally graced us with his debut production album My Heart and you have to say patience is a virtue and this was worth waiting for.

In a career that has spanned around 20 years, since TBC first saw Nic playing funky house in River Bar for the Club Class warm up at Ikon, Nic has evidently honed and developed his sound and matured as a producer as My Heart oozes class and detail in the production work of each track. This is also a full length LP of 16 tracks that includes great interludes and flows nicely from deep house with superb vocals to dirtier, harder dance floor tech house tracks which is something that TBC greatly appreciated in an LP.

Imitations is a superb summers day time deep house track with a great male vocal, 100mph is a groovy deep house track with haunting keys and vocal, Twisted and The First Step are quality house tracks with catchy keys and groovy baselines that would be welcome at a house party, at a festival or in the club. Wrong picks things up a bit with a tech-house feel, The Perfect Crime is a nice progressive house uplifting track and Resistance harks back to acid house with an acid groove. Saying (featuring a great vocal cameo from Damon Albarn) and My Love brings things back down with deep house and an uplifting summery feel and you can have a break having got to the I’m Tired interlude. After Time and Sunshine 101 move back to the uplifting progressive house vibe and again show a great balance in production skill to vary and change across the LP. Little L has a tough tech house groove and satisfying bass line while The Light is an epic vocal lead dreamy that would sit well in a Moderat set, just great electronica. When you reach Under Stars you are in the outro and the album fades out but you feel that you need to listen again and appreciate a true gem of an album, we have done this a few times at after parties and when reviewing the album in this article.

Highly recommended and great debut album, have a listen to the album by following the link below.

  • Adam Beyer live at Awakenings Festival 25th June 2017

Awakenings is on the top festivals in Europe, they host a few parties every year either at the indoor Gashouder or the outdoor Sparrenwoude (we would highly recommend checking out some of the videos on Youtube as both are spectacular). The line ups are somewhat over the top with almost all of the top techno artists across all of the sub-genres of techno featuring and 2018 was a festival that TBC almost attended due to a friends stag do event in Holland however we were unable to make it. Luckily almost all of the mixes are recorded by BE-AT.tv which means you can easily access the best mixes and in this case we have a stormer for you from none other than the Drumcode head honcho Adam Beyer.

Adam Beyer has spent a great deal of time building and developing the Drumcode label and its artist roster so the last few years have not seen as much of a buzz around his tracks, mixes, albums or festival/event sets however this Awakenings set was the buzz on the internet and on social media from those who went telling their mates who couldn’t attend how much they were missing out! When we heard about his set from our friend who attended we went straight to Soundcloud (see link below) and got involved in typical TBC style in the early hours of a Saturday morning, Techno Breakfast time.

This mix has it all, which is essential for a festival set (having heard many over the years both live and via streaming or download), Drumcode artists, new material, a Depeche Mode remix from Thomas Schumacher and Victor Ruiz, the classic Vitalic Le Rock 01, the 80’s classic Pump Up The Jam and stormers from Boxia with Point of No Return and Spektre with Forged in the Heart of a Laserbeam. Add to the great track list (link below) the crowd noises from the festival, some ice cannons and other pyrotechnics you can hear in the mix plus the great transition from techno stomping to dance your ass off party tracks to classics you can sing along to like a little kid this mix epitomises the festival live set. As it is hard to put the whole mix into words we would highly recommend listening yourself on the link below.

https://www.1001tracklists.com/tracklist/1tvwm5jk/adam-beyer-day-two-area-w-awakenings-festival-netherlands-be-at-tv-2017-06-25.html

  • RA #596 mixed by Oscar Mulero

TBC have been fans of Oscar Mulero for a few years now albeit he has been djing and producing since the 80’s in his native Spain and across the world. When you listen to his production work it becomes quickly evident why we like him so much as he makes loud, heavy bass, banging techno, enough said! He runs the label Polegroup that has hosted artists such as Exium, Jonas Kopp, Reeko, Christian Wunsch, Lewis Fautzi and Perc which is quite a roster from the harder end of the techno spectrum. I was lucky enough to attend a night in Barcelona in 2017 where one of his label DJs played and it was banging, some of the artists he has signed to his label or invited to his nights are just superb techno dj’s and producers. Could you withstand the audio onslaught?!

In 2017 we were fortunate that RA enlisted Oscar to provide an episode of their podcast and this is simply stunning techno. Heavy and moody at the start progressing to the more full on, bass heavy, storming techno within around the 10-15 minute mark. Turn on your sub-woofer for some great bass frequency production work and a DJ utilising the EQ levels of the tracks to maintain a relentless bass line. Sciahri presents Insanity at around the 15 minute mark that does exactly what it says on the tin, this is pure insane techno. Oscar Mulero himself follows this track (and provides a few others later on too), along with a monster from Steve Bicknell called Harmonious Balance and later a remix from Planetary Assault Systems of a Lucy track, there are too many great techno tracks to name without writing down the actual track list. We must warn you that this is the heavier end of techno and could scare some people away but it is simply a great techno artist compiling and blending heavy, fast and dubby techno at its best. Enjoy the link below but beware, this isn’t for the faint hearted.

  • Essential Mix by Helena Hauff

2017 was the year that Helena Hauff rose to fame and held an almost stratospheric status in electronic music. She hosted a BBC Radio One residency show, debuted on the BBC Essential Mix show, played club nights and festivals across the World all while playing the electro end of the techno spectrum and in most instances just straight up electro, which has never really been mainstream in electronic music. This is quite a feat when you consider that she is also not a prolific producer having only released one production album in 2015 and a handful of singles and EP’s. Therefore she has risen to her current status off the back of her pure desire to promote her favourite genres, her superb mixing style and an almost geeky level of music crate digging for both new and old electro.

TBC were very excited about this Essential Mix having rated her Mixmag In Session mix in 2016 very highly and we were not let down when we finally got to Helena’s debut essential mix (we very much hope there will be more). Our excitement even lead to an after party at our flat where the full 2 hour mix was played at high volume with our sub-woofer turned up to max, this was pure exhilaration! The mix oozes class and feels like a sci-fi film soundtrack or computer game with the flow and mixing style that accentuates the bleeps, squelches, vocal samples and kicks that are prominent throughout. When the mix hits Transparent Sound at around 16 minutes with No Calls From New York, which is an evil sounding, break beat-esque rave track, the mix really cranks up and you almost feel like Helena is showing off her tune selection while not scaring people off with the more eccentric, eclectic end of the electro genre. TBC had to find this track, a cheeky steal from this mix, and have played many times since (something we had to do with a few tracks in this mix). As the mix nears 25 minutes W1bo presents Utopia Planitia things really start to pick up with a great bpm pace change and an uplifting electro track that is simply brilliant. The mix goes on to feature The Exaltics, Drexciya (twice), The Hacker, Aux 88, The Horrorist, Alien FM, The Advent and DJ Stingray which is literally the glitterati of the electro world for the last 15 years in dance music and the mix continues to grow, develop, ebb and flow throughout not feeling like a simple tune-fest but a perfectly crafted blend of superb electro and techno. The second hour is definitely more techno and at the harder end of the music spectrum with a particular favourite from Paul Blackford called Fallout played over an Adam Beyer Untitled track which is almost a tribal style electro monster track.

We literally can’t say enough about this mix, it even won Essential Mix of the Year! Have a listen with the link below and enjoy.

  • Essential Mix by Bicep

This is the second feature in our 2017 playlist from Bicep and it comes in the guise of one of our favourite radio shows the BBC Essential Mix. This was also Bicep’s second essential mix for Pete Tong with the first coming way back in 2014 and boy have Bicep come a long way since then in regards to sound, career progression and the overall quality that is evident across the 2 hour mix.

The mix starts at the lower end of the electronic spectrum with chilled, blissed out yet uplifting tracks that sit between chillout, nu-disco and deep house. At around the 25 minute mark Bicep step it up a gear with tracks from Giraffi Dog, Hammer, Tons of Tones,  Lake People and Norwell that flow perfectly and bring an old school feel with a great groove, squelches, breaks, kick drums and some superb keys, each of these tracks are ones you will want for your own collection. This shift in the mix brings us more in line with the sound that Bicep are harnessing and developing today, similar to the feel on their self titles album (reviewed earlier). As the mix nears the hour mark the old school feel remains but the bass becomes a bit heavier and the break beats continue with the epic Touch Absence from Lanark Artefax and flows into the hour mark where a more electro sounds emerges from the break beats from Abyssal Zone by Djedotronic, who are stalwarts in the electro scene, via an epic trance like track from Claude Speed called Ambien Rave. The electro sounds dominate for the next few tracks, raise the energy levels up and make you want to dance about and shake your ass like you’re at a rave, its contagious. Into the last half hour the mix takes on a more bassline, garage sound which is a nice touch as TBC are fans of this scene from many years ago and its works well with the rave, breaks and electro from earlier. Dan Cough’s B Jam into Urban Myths Makin Me Feel is a great mix that you would expect from a garage DJ, the diversity of Bicep is truly on show here. A classic from CJ Bolland is included around the 1 hour 40 mark called The Tower of Naphtali which is an R&S classic and again we hark back to the rave era and one of its most famous labels. The mix draws to a close but not before an Apex Twin number and two final tracks to ease you to the end with God Within Raincry being a great vocal chanting trance like breakbeat track and Modaji with Belle Epoque a blissed out closing track , what a mix!

The biggest failing of this mix was that it was released in December 2017 and missed the Essential Mix of the year poll where Helena Hauff took the crown (see above), as this mix would have definitely given Helena a run for her money. However do not be deterred by us using the word failing in this mini review as this mix is superb and one of our favourite essential mixes ever. The progression of Bicep is clear to see in this mix and we cannot rate it highly enough. Enjoy with the link below.

TBC Playlist 2016 Annual Review

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

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

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

The 2016 Playlist – 50

HVOB – Trialog

The Field – The Follower

The Range – RA Podcast #521

Sadat Bahar – RA Podcast #507

Underworld – Barbara, Barbara, We Face Shining Future

Chemical Brothers – Born In Echoes

Get Physical Pres. Body Language Vol.17 by WhoMadeWho

Cosmic Machine – Various Artists

Unknown Landscapes – Vol.3 mixed by Exium

Junior Boys – Big Black Coat

Dj Supermarket Pres. The Ladies of Too Slow to Disco

Stephan Bodzin – Powers of Ten Remixes

Moderat – 111

John Digweed – Live in Montreal (6CD pack)

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

Pig & Dan – Modular Baptism

Fabric 87 – Alan Fitzpatrick

Fabric 88 – Ryan Elliot

Eskimo pres. Yellow Collection – Various Artists

Wolfram – Wolfram

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

RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

Floorpan – Victorious

A Sides Vol.5 – Various Artists

Global Underground Pres. Nubreed Vol.9 – Habischman

Cocoon Ibiza mixed by Carl Craig and Sonja Moonear

Trus’Me – Planet 4

Marcel Dettmann Pres. Dj Kicks

Marco Bailey – Materia Ibiza XL 2 – Various Artists

Global Underground – Twenty

London Underground – Various Artists

Pure Intec mixed by Carl Cox and Jon Rundell

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

Stil Vor Talent Kotbusser Tor – Various Artists

Tuff City Kids – Adolescent

Tiger and Woods – On the Green Again

Michael Mayer – &

Majestic Casual Vol.3 – Various Artists

Marsheaux – Ath.Lon

Space Ibiza pres. 2016  – Various Artists

Balance Pres. Alex Niggemann – Various Artists

Mixmag In Session – Helena Hauff

BBC Essential Mix – Rodhad February 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Pig and Dan April 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Stephan Bodzin June 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Solomun July 2016

BBC Essential Mix – The Avalanches August 2016

BBC – Essential Mix – Mano Le Tough October 2016

BBC Essential Mix  – Bedouin October 2016

BBC Essential Mix – Ellen Allien December 2016

Older Classics/Alternative – 18

Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

DJ Hyper Various – Bedrock and Wired/Re-wired

FAZEmag mix CD’s – The full collection

Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness

Holly Herndon – Platform

Solar Bears – Advancement

Sasha – Scene Delete

Trus’Me – Working Nights (2007)

Permanent Vacation pres. Safari – Various Artists

Henry Saiz  – Reality Addendum

Fatima Yamaha – Imaginary Lines (2015)

Fatima Yamaha- Fatima Yamaha EP (2012)

Dekmantel Podcast Vol. 66 Delta Funktionnen

Balance 009 Paolo Mojo – Various Artists

Balance 008 Design Masiello – Various Artists

BBC Essential Mix  – Valentino Kanzyani (2007)

BBC Essential Mix  – Oliver Lieb (2001)

Anthony Rother – This is Electro (2005)

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

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

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

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

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

RA Podcast #525 – Dr Rubenstein

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

Track list and Link to listen the mix below:

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

Marcel Dettmann Pres. Dj Kicks

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

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

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

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

London Underground – Various Artists

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

Have a listen to the release below:

Mixmag In Session – Helena Hauff

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

BBC Essential Mix – Solomun July 2016

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

Tracklist link:

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

BBC Essential Mix – Ellen Allien December 2016

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

The Verdict

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

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

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

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

TBC

TBC Promotional Reviews April 2016

ALND43_Artwork

Albums/Compilations

Scene Delete by Sasha (Late Night Tales)

Panorama Pacifico by Satin Jackets (Eskimo Recordings)

On Vacation by CFCF (International Feel)

Magma by Agents of Time (Ellum)

Mechanical Sparrow by Stella feat. O Martin (Eskimo Recordings)

Diary of a Madwoman by Lauren Lane (Edible Music)

Albums/Compilations

Scene Delete by Sasha (Late Night Tales) – TBC FAVOURITE ***

Sasha : Scene Delete

Released on April Fools Day 2016 from the ever impressive Late Night Tales who have been on a roll over the last few years with amazing releases from Royksopp, Jon Hopkins, Nils Frahm and Automatic Soul (Tom Findlay of Groove Armada), this LP from Sasha was compiled over a two year period from tracks produced by Sasha while on the road touring that did not quite fit into his standard house and techno style. Sasha offered Late Night Tales a great opportunity to put out a soundtrack-esque electronica master piece. The similarities to ‘This Binary Universe’ by BT is a good thing with lullaby style tracks, classical melodies and atmospheric beats and percussion. Sit down, turn up the bass or get your headphones on and bliss out, this is perfect for the super chilled after party or a quiet Sunday.

Panorama Pacifico by Satin Jackets (Eskimo Recordings)

Since TBC discovered Eskimo Recordings and all of the disco joy that this label brings we have been fans of Satin Jackets who are stalwarts of Eskimo as their releases are consistently represented on the seminal Eskimo Recordings collections (Blue, Pink, Orange and Green to date). We have long anticipated a production album from Satin Jackets which is due to drop on the 8th April and the album delivers their signature sound but in some ways fails to exhibit anything further from Satin Jackets which we had hoped for having heard the best songs on the album already via other releases. The stand out tracks are Feel Good, Cala Banana, You Make Me Feel good and Shine On You of which the latter is simply superb and one of our favourite Eskimo Recording tracks of all time. A production album where 4 of the 12 tracks are excellent is a good debut for Satin Jackets but we hope that they can excel further on their next release.

On Vacation by CFCF (International Feel)

https://soundcloud.com/international-feel/cfcf-on-vacation-snippets

CFCF a.k.a Michael Silver is a new artist to TBC but on researching his back catalogue he is a very busy bunny, recording under multiple aliases, producing scores for film soundtracks and producing for his own LP’s (under the CFCF moniker he already has 6 albums to his name since 2009!). International Feel is a rather eclectic balearic label that sometimes focuses too much on bizarre electronica with an array of rare percussion and tribal instrument accompaniments. This latest release however, really hits the spot. A perfect blend of chillout, percussion, jazz influences, guitar and key combinations, blissed out sounds and quiet but effective bass lines. The opening two tracks Sate Padang and Arto are the standout tracks on the LP and you will be inspired and forced into a meditative state when you immerse yourself in this CFCF experience.

Magma by Agents of Time (Ellum) – TBC FAVOURITE ***

https://soundcloud.com/agents-of-time/sets/ell034-agents-of-time-magma The great production trio Agents of Time continue in a rich vent of form with ‘Magma’ which is a two track release on Ellum (Maceo Plex’s label). Magma is a roaring and rasping progressive tech-house track that builds and flows while maintaining an excellent bass line which pulses throughout the track. The B Side is ‘Obsidian’ which is the perfect accompaniment to ‘Magma’ and makes it obvious why Maceo Plex signed this trio up for the new release on his label. ‘Obsidian’ is not as expressive as ‘Magma’ but the breakdown is superb, a subtle yet bass line lead build up explodes around the four and a half minute mark into a stormy, electronic breakdown. Highly Recommended.

Mechanical Sparrow by Atella feat. O Martin (Eskimo Recordings)

Atella provide this release on Eskimo and ‘Mechnical Sparrow’ is straight up Eskimo material with a low BPM, dreamy track and a great vocal from O Martin. The Club Mix offers an improved BPM and more house based structure which strikes similarities to other Scandinavian production artists of recent times. Man Power strip backs the original for a dubby, electronica remix which offers a surprisingly alternative yet interesting version of the track. The club remix is definitely the most favourable and a great release for Eskimo overall.

‘Diary of a Madwoman’ by Lauren Lane (Edible Music)

Eats Everything’s new label Edible has a very interesting release from Lauren Lane in ‘Diary of a Madwoman’. The title track is a great catchy house number with a nice breakdown, sinister style keys and vocals which haunt the track while giving it an edge. Overall the track has a great tempo and bass line. ‘Fomo’ is track two and while continuing in the same vein as the title track doesn’t really hit the same level. The last track ‘The Right Kind of Weird’ is more in keeping with the overall feel that Lauren Lane seems to be aiming to deliver. This is another catchy house track with a great bassline, freaky vocal samples and a great collection of samples, drums and noises. A solid third release for Edible Music.

https://soundcloud.com/kidnap_kid/sets/moments-ep

TBC Playlist 2015 Annual Review – Part Two

TBCReviews2015aThe TBC longlist which is made up 82 electronic albums, mixes etc. and 9 alternative offerings. We have attempted to put in a chronological order so that you can easily review the list and source the albums you like:

BBC Essential Mix – Eric Prydz and Jeremy Olander

Lake people-  Purposely Uncertain Field

Eats Everything – Fries With That

BBC Essential Mix – Waze & Odyssey

BBC Essential Mix – Joris Voorn

John Tejada – Signs Under Test

Nang – The Array Vol.5

Argy & Mama – Dominonation

Bpitch Control Best of 2014 – Various Artists

Zoo Brazil – Songs for Clubs vol.3

Dj Kicks – Nina Kraviz

Juju & Jordash – Clean Cut

Levon Vincent – Levon Vincent

BBC Essential Mix – Eric Morillo

RA Podcast Anthony Naples

Andre Galluzzi – Alcatraz

Anthony Naples – Body Pill

Model 500 – Digital Solutions

Watergate 18 – Butch

Future Disco Vol. 8 – Various Artists

Masterpiece – Armand Van Helden

Fabric 80 – Joseph Capriati

Noir – Noir

Balance 27 – Magda

Global Underground 2015 – Various Artists

Oliver Schories – Fields Without Fences

MDR Compilation – Various Artists

Omid 16B – Reincarnations

Crazy P – Walk Don’t Walk

RA Podcast 459 – Solar

Rebel Rave Vol.4 – Various Artists

Mix for Tsugi – Barnt

Defected pres. Master of House – Frankie Knuckles

Cocoon Pres Zehn – Chris Tietjen

Lauer – Borndom

BBC Essential Mix – Claptone

BBC Essential Mix – Patrick Topping

BBC Essential Mix – Julio Bashmore

BBC Essential Mix – Sven Vaeth

Miami Horror – All Possible Futures

Laurent Garner – La HOME Box

Strictly DJ T – 25 years

Eskimo Recording The Orange Collection – Various Artists

Ruede Hagelstein – Apophenia

Balance Pres. Fur Coat

Flight Facilities – Down to Earth

XLR8R Podcast – Walker and Royce

Unfinished Business Vol. 1-3 by Luke Solomon

Live at Robert Johnson – Lifesaver Compilation vol.2

RA Podcast 464 – Paula Temple

Underground Sound of Ibiza Vol.2 – Various Artists (Bedrock)

Warehouse Rome – Various Artists

A-Sides Vol. 3 (Drumcode) – Various Artists

Dj Supermarkt Too Slow to Disco 2

Stephan Bodzin – Power of Ten

20 Years of Henry Street Records

Berghain 07 – Function

BBC Essential Mix – Hot Since 82 (Ibiza Space, special extended mix)

Man Power – Man Power

Julio Bashmore – Knockin’ Boots

Enter Ibiza 2015 – Various Artists

Space Ibiza 2015 – Various Artists

XLR8R Podcast – Helena Hauff

RA Podcast 484 – Bjarki

HNNY – Sunday

Cocoon Compilation O – Various Artists

Aphrohead – Resurrection

Catz ’n Dogz – Basic Colour Theory

Fabric 84 – Mathew Jonson

Faze DJ Set #40 – Stephan Bodzin

RA Podcast 491 – Sasha

BBC Essential Mix – Lee Burridge (Burning Man special edition)

BBC Essential Mix – Seth Troxler

BBC Essential Mix – Ben Klock

Ostgut Ton Zehn – Various Artists

BBC Essential Mix – Maceo Plex

Yoshitoshi Ibiza – Sharam

Global Underground 41 Naples – James Lavelle

Balance 28 – Stacey Pullen

Beyond Borders: Berlin – Dave Seaman

Sound of the 16th Season (Cocoon Recordings) – Sven Vaeth

R.I.P. 50 Weapons #40-50 – Various Artists

Alternative

David Gilmour – Rattle That Lock

Dr. Dre – Compton

New Order – Music Complete

Jean Michel Jarre – Electronica Vol.1

Jean Michel Jarre w/Gesaffelstein, Massive Attack and Tangerine Dream – Limited EP releases from new album Electronica Vol.1

Marsheaux – A Broken Frame

Emika – Drei

Chemical Brothers – Born In The Echoes

FACT Focus Podcast Vol.1 – Serge Gainsbourg

 

The Shortlist:

The TBC chosen few are below and there are some stormers in here, where possible we have also added a link so that you can listen to and enjoy yourself while you read the article. We would recommend you source the remaining albums asap as they are excellent.

As ever there are some superb albums/compilations/mixes that just miss out but I feel it would be fair not to mention them. 2015 has seen some excellent Resident Advisor Podcasts in particular Paula Temple, Bjarki, Solar and Sasha, where respectively each provides a glimpse of a brilliant DJ. Paula Temple provides the hardest techno in her special style, Bjarki a new breed of techno/rave party music (one to watch in 2016), Solar (A DJ we met in Stadtbad in Berlin and he gave us a bundle of free drinks tokens, what a legend!) provides an excellent mix and Sasha making his RA debut at the ripe old age of 46 for RA #491. MDR, Ostgut Ton, Cocoon and 50 Weapons all released collections in 2015 and they each excel in their own way with some real gems to be had plus some fancy collectors editions boxsets! Armand Van Helden released his Masterpiece mix which includes one of the great CDs of all time… the Yacht mix, you have to hear this mix, it is superb with old-skool rock, disc, perfect when you are chartering your yacht or just partying hard! Ruede Hagelstein, Stephan Bodzin and Laurent Garnier all released excellent production albums, the quality of electro and techno on these EP’s is testament to their production quality and in the latter case, their status in the scene in spite of their seniority and extensive experience. James Lavelle released his third Global Underground instalment with Naples vol.41 of this mega series. Lavelle is an all time favourite of TBC and this mix doesn’t disappoint with superb remixes of old UNKLE tracks, more recent tracks from other artists and the double disc mix is electronica enjoyment to the max.

Levon Vincent – Levon Vincent

TBC have been fans of Levon Vincent since he hit the big time in the techno scene around 2011 with his masterful Man or Mistress EP, he has been around since about 2002 producing tracks and not until 2015 did he finally release an LP. At first impression this album seemed a different angle for Levon as it approaches from a more deep, atmospheric, electronica direction and it didn’t really register on TBC’s radar. However give this album a few listens, turn up that sub-woofer and really immerse yourself in this LP and its a different story. You will be pounded by bass, taken on an electro journey with progressive, techno, minimal and house style tracks that show off Levon’s range and diversity in production. Don’t be fooled there are some crazy techno tracks on here so it is not a subdued, chilled listen but the range across the LP is excellent. The stand out tracks are:

-The Beginning is the opening track of the LP, it is an uplifting track that builds and booms away making it perfect for an opening of a DJ set, perfect for a Berghain style mix, which erupts with trance synth keys towards the second half of the track.

-Junkies on Herman Strasse has a sheer brutal techno bassline and storming/angry style.

-Mor Mona, My Beloved Cat_Rest in Peace is a chilled, progressive electronica track that takes you on a journey filled with nice keys and some nice twinkly, space-like sounds.

-Woman is an Angel is the last track on the LP and oozes class production with a superb bassline, uplifting electronic synthesiser keys and an evil yet epic feel that brings you to the end of the LP, the perfect transition throughout the LP from start to finish.

 

Berghain 07 – Function

Function can only be described as one of the all time favourite TBC Berghain residents, why you ask? Well our first trip to Berghain was hosted by Silent Servant plus Regis and Function and there simply are no words to describe this evening. The techno was off the scale, hard, heavy, atmospheric, epic, crazy, evil… it had it all! Sandwell District actually hosted the main room for over 18 hours, from Saturday AM until very late Sunday. Fast forward a few year and Ostgut Ton has revolutionised the mix CD by providing the mixed file free of charge on their website. This is a revolutionary step because the mix CD is holy sacrilege since Sasha and Digweed pioneered them in the 90’s with the Renaissance series. Many would think this is a crazy leftfield approach from Ostgut Ton but after their superb Ryan Elliot Panorama CD they have taken the forefront in digital music realising the free download is a gateway to their club, record label and brand which is well worth the free WAV format download.

Function has entered the Berghain series after some serious releases courtesy of Dettmann, Faki, Fenglar and Klock but he seems to avoid their status and standing by creating an epic mix that encapsulates what Berghain is all about: serious techno! Tune selection which pushes the sound system to its limits and the clubbers to their extreme limits. This mix, if you haven’t been to Berghain, is the perfect introduction and its free to download so please visit the website and get involved.

The tracklist is typical of Function who has cemented his standing in the techno scene with Dettmann and Klock et al as a pioneer of the musical genre. His tune selection, mixing and style is just breathtaking. Pretty much the full spectrum of techno is included; DVS1, Broom, Planetary Assault Systems (Luke Slater), Carl Craig, Silent Servant, the list goes on and even includes classic artists such as CJ Bolland – a techno/rave pioneer who many looked up to and were inspired by in the 1990’s.

TBC challenges any of our readers, fans and friends to listen to this mix and not be blown away by its aggressive techno assault ranging from the present to the classic and all the in-between. Function even takes the mix on a psychedelic/acid journey towards the middle of the mix which highlights his great style and his ability to span many genres of techno/electronica while maintaining your attention and exhibiting his own particular approach to the Berghain series which each particular resident has brought to their own mix.

TBC’s particular highlights include:

  • CJ Bolland ‘Horsepower’ as it is simply a classic electronica track which fits in very well with the current day techno style. it may be dated but is doesn’t feel out of place on this mix.
  •  The transition from Cleric – Concrete (31:39)
 to Blue Hour – Common Ground (33:24)
 between tracks 10 and 11 is simply stunning, seamless transition between techno stormers during heavy levels of bass and a pretty rapid BPM. Mind-blowing techno DJing.
  • The section where Function plays Bicknell, Planetary Assault System and Allen tracks together from tracks 14-19 is a serious test of your techno credentials, can you handle it?! This is hardcore techno at its raw best.
  • Silent Servant ‘Noise Treatment’ is the penultimate track and it is Berghain epitomised, crazy, bass heavy and intense. This track on the Function One speaker system would challenge your body’s ability to maintain its control and push you to your limits.

There are points where this mix verges on the techno limits but the diversity and transitions throughout ensure you aren’t scared off or stifled during your audio entertainment session. To put it simply there aren’t really the words to describe this mix. Just like Ryan Elliot did with his Panorama Bar mix Function has matched and exceeded with his Berghain mix. Don’t miss this one! If you haven’t experienced Berghain in all its glory this mix is a great place to start, turn up your speakers and get lost.

Fabric 84 – Mathew Jonson

Mathew Jonson has been a TBC favourite for many years and remains an elusive DJ/Producer as we have never seen him live. However this elusiveness only adds to Mathew Jonson’s persona and grandeur because for a decade he has produced some of electro and techno’s greatest tracks. Marionette, Decompression and Typerope are defining tracks within electronic music since the early naughties. It is hard to remain elusive, churn our production pieces and achieve a level of consistency like Mathew has done over the last 14/15 years, not many have been able to keep up or challenge him. Many have tried; Maceo Plex, Julien Jewell, Petar Dundov, Joris Voorn but Mathew Jonson retains that standing which many envy and pursue.

It would have been easy to create a mix CD that would blow you away when Mathew Jonson is at the helm but he doesn’t simply provide a great mix in this instance with Fabric but showcases how others should approach production and DJing. Fresh tracks, live edits, new mixes which rejuvenate classic old tracks, a progressive style which epitomises Mathew Jonsons’ style while remaining satisfying and uplifting for the listener whether they are seasoned or a rookie in the scene. The tune selection is solely Mathew Jonson focused, either produced, edited or remixed and it works perfectly. This mix managed to reignite my Fabric collection which was looking a little tired and generic.

The live mix was recorded at Fabric during  their crazy Birthday weekend in 2014 where they open non-stop throughout Saturday and Sunday. It seems that those who attended were treated to one of those exemplary performances which usually occur and are talked about as if they were folk-lore, “were you there”, “did you see Mathew Jonson at Fabric in 2014”, “his live set was simply mind-blowing”. Normally you would brush these comments aside but Fabric were lucky enough to be recording this live set for their 84th instalment of their Fabric series and boy does this mix deliver.

Fabric have been somewhat lacklustre in recent years, their mixes have not really delivered, big DJ’s have lost their way and generally they have fallen fowl of the level they set early in their series history. In this case Mathew Jonson blows this recent bad spell away with a breathtaking mix.

It is difficult to select highlights however Decompression is a TBC favourite and this features in a new guise twice along with an urban, garage mix which enables Mathew Jonson to explore a dubby, garage style which particularly excited us as this an old school genre from the 90’s is not often revisited by current DJs. This nostalgic angle is well integrated and flows very well within the mix moving us on to a more housey style which finishes the mix culminating in a great Acid remix of the legendary Inner City Good Life.

We wish we could post links to this mix but you have to enquire about the mix and get involved because it is simply stunning. Go to the Fabric website for a 7/8 quid bargain, you won’t be disappointed.

Tracklist /
01. Cobblestone Jazz – Northern Lights
02. Mathew Jonson – Dayz
03. Mathew Jonson – Learning To Fly
04. Mathew Jonson – Marionette (The Beginning)
05. Units And Measurements feat. Deadbeat – Octopus Brains
06. Tobias. – If (Mathew Jonson & The Mole Remix)
07. Mathew Jonson – In Search of a New Planet With Oxygen
08. Mathew Jonson – The World Will Come Around
09. Mathew Jonson – Automaton
10. Mathew Jonson – Decompression (Mathew Jonson Acid Cut)
11. Mathew Jonson – Decompression (Mathew Jonson Force Remix)
12. Mathew Jonson – Ghosts In The A.I. / Decompression (Mathew Jonson Mash Up)
13. Mathew Jonson – Imagination
14. Subb-an feat. S.Y.F. – Say No More (Mathew Jonson Remix)
15. Mathew Jonson – Cause Baby It Just Feels Right
16. Mathew Jonson – That Girl Can Dance
17. Mathew Jonson – That 101 Is Mine
18. Mathew Jonson – Feels Like Liquid
19. Mathew Jonson – Body In Motion
20. Kevin Saunderson feat. Inner City – Good Life (Mathew Jonson’s Acid Mix)

BBC Essential Mix – Ben Klock

Since TBC’s first trip to Berlin we have been obsessed with the Berghain family; Dettmann, Klock, Faki, Fenglar, Fiedel, Nodge et al. It is very difficult to not be captivated by the scene that this club, its residents, Ostgut Ton (the record label) and Berlin itself have created. The booming techno, its controversial door policy, the 48 hour plus parties, Panorama bar, the garden and its dark seedy sex dungeon (with the event called Snax). Of all of the residents Ben Klock remains the most elusive to TBC as we have experienced all the other DJ’s mentioned above at various times in recent years. Ben has released a number of mixes over the years including FACT #31 in 2009, Berghain #4 in 2010 and Fabric #66 and Tsugi #246 in 2012 and FACT #470 in 2014 all of which exhibit a tough techno sound with influences of house thrown in; percussion in particular. His style and flow within his mixes is synonymous of Berghain while differentiating himself with the other residents. When we heard that Pete Tong had drafted in Ben Klock for the essential mix we were very excited at TBC, especially after Marcel Dettmann’s offering in 2014 and we were not let down by this 2 hour techno journey.

The mix features many techno heavyweights Josh Wink, Edit Select, Spencer Parker, Planetary Assault System (Luke Slater) and Cajmere along with the lesser known Klaus Wiese, Antonio Ruscito, Pastaboys, Yotam Avni, the list goes on and on with around 37 tracks being included on this superb mix over 2 hours. The start of the mix bleeps and pulses with the great atmospheric tracks from Wiese and Wink merged together but soon pulses into techno and bass with Edit Select (a favourite of TBC for his unbelievably dark  and epic remixes of other producers techno and his own techno stormers) via his own track ‘Hi Line Extraction’ and his remix of Antonio Ruscito’s ‘Immagini Dai Sogni’ which are also blended together. This opening shows the thought that Ben Klock went through to create this  mix and his attention to detail when blending and developing the set. It almost becomes difficult to ascertain the tracks being played due to the level of overlapping between tracks but this factor made this mix particularly enjoyable as you felt like you were there live in the club, experiencing the master at work. This style of mixing is synonymous with a DJ at the top of their game and creates an end product which is greater than the sum of its parts, which when you listen to some of the tracks on their own replay makes you realise how much extra Ben Klock brings to the table not only here on the Essential Mix but whenever he plays live.

The mix highlights are:

-The opening 15 minute medley of tracks is stunning

-Pastaboys – Deep Musique feat. Osunlade (Trus’me Spritz Mix) – 14-18 minutes in

-Spencer Parker – Rights for Men x 2 tracks including the Adriana Lopez Mix at around 35 minutes

-Yotam Avni – This Is How x 2 tracks including the Sterac Remix – around 45 minutes

-Mike Dunn – Dance you Mutha (Ju Edit) – the original is from 1987 on the legendary Trax records – around 56 minutes.

-Woody McBride- All Night (Techno Mix) into Dax J – The Invisible Man into (unknown) – B1 into Dirty Basscore – MBass around 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes is Acid techno heaven.

This mix can be summed up simply as stunning, there is an obvious reason why this won BBC Essential Mix of the Year, just listen for yourself and you will see what we mean. To be honest if you haven’t heard this mix already where have you been?!

BBC Essential Mix – Maceo Plex

TBC have been fans of Maceo Plex since around 2010 when he first surfaced courtesy of Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels label who signed and promoted him. We heard his early tracks via his first LP Life Index which provided a more house, techy vibe than we are used to now where Maceo is firmly rooted in electro/tech/house carving a genre almost specific to himself – a niche.

Maceo Plex’s production work over the last few years including his Maetrik alias have provided TBC with enough techno/electro fuel to power many a party. Every production is flawless including his remixes, which helps draw similarities with Mathew Jonson (see the Fabric review above) who is an electronic music scene legend. We cannot wait for his new album Solar in 2016 which includes the epic Polygon Pulse (we hope!).

The mix which aired in November 2015 kicks off early with Radioactive Man Uranium, a TBC favourite being played at our first ever event, which is just superb, great but creepy vocal, evil synths and electro bleeps powered by a sublime bass line.

Polygon Pulse from Maceo which kicks in around 12 minutes is a progressive vocal masterpiece perfect for the late morning, sunrise festival set. The vocal, uplifting strings and progressive combination is exhilarating.

Stephan Bodzin Power of Ten (Maceo Plex remix) at 32 minutes is another great example of Maceo’s production genius, taking an already superb track from Stephan Bodzin to the next level.

Bxentric Patch Valley 42 minutes is another uplifting gem with superb keys, strings and bassline. This moves into Sefton – The Road Not Taken then into Vangelis Blade Runner End Titles and then Unknown – Bloodsport (Maceo Plex Remix) which provides 10 minutes of euphoric music.

The remainder of the mix maintains the Maceo Plex style and then blisses out into the final 20 minutes to wrap the mix up nicely. This mix is a superb entry by Maceo after his mini mix last year at T in the Park festival which firmly sets his place within the industry as a frontrunner in electronica and tech-house up there with the likes of Mathew Jonson which is testament to the skills on show.

Playlist December 2013

P1000864Breach – DJ Kicks (2013)

Oliver Huntemann Pres. Funf – Five Years Ideal Audio inc. mix by Andre Winter (2013)

Joseph Capriati – Self Portrait (2013)

Various Artists – Weapons of Choice #30-39 – 50 Weapons (2013)

Pete Tong b2b Eats Everything & Sasha – Warehouse Project 20th Anniversary BBC Essential Mix (2013)

Harvard Bass – Stay True (feat. Green Velvet) (2013)

Various Artists – Selected Label Works 4, Permanent Vacation (2013)

Various Artists – Selected Label Works 2 & 3, Permanent Vacation (2010 & 2011)

Trentemoller – Lost (2013)

Nina Kraviz – Mr. Jones (2013)

ZZT – Partys Over Earth (2011)

Fenech Soler – Rituals (2013)

Various Artists – Pete Tong Collection (2013 – Triple CD)

Dexter – The Trip (2013) 

Claude Von Stroke – BBC Essential Mix (2013)

Midnight Magic – Midnight Creepers (2013)

Rudimental – Warehouse Project 20th Anniversary BBC Essential Mix (2013)

Paul Woolford b2b James Zabiela – Warehouse Project 20th Anniversary BBC Essential Mix (2013)

Rudimental – Home (2013)

Drexciya – Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller VI (2013)

 John Digweed – Live in Argentina (2013)

Various Artists – 10 Years Crosstown Rebels (2013)

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

Kolsch – 1977 (2013) *

Bloody Mary – Wilde Podcast #013 (2011)

Bloody Mary – Fabric Promo Mix (2013)

The Classics

Sneaker Pimps – Becoming Remixed (1998)

Soulwax – Most of the Remixes (2007)

Armand Van Helden – Ghettoblaster (2007) – first album at casa de Roffey in 2007

Tom Middleton – Sound of the Cosmos (2002)

Aeroplane – BBC Essential Mix – 500th Anniversary Mix @ Circus Liverpool (2010)

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas to all you TBCers who have been so kind to join in and run through our December playlist. There have been some excellent releases during the holiday season, we have cracked out some older gems and had a good old root around on the internet for the best podcasts and radio shows. The list features over 30 albums, live sets or mixes that we would recommend for a festive party, chilling out with family over Christmas or to be cranked up and blared out in true TBC style over the New Years celebrations. Hope you enjoy and have a great Xmas break.

In this months list we have got some great diversity for you with the traditional end of year collections from Permanent Vacation (Disco/House) and an old school collection from Pete Tong (house, rave, techno, trance), Anniversary radio shows from BBC Essential Mix celebrating 20 years at the Warehouse Project in Manchester (3 weeks of WHP Essential mixes were aired at the end of 2013) along with the new releases and ‘the classics’. We have even thrown in some Hip Hop from Dexter (German artist), Urban from Rudimental, Electro-Indie from ZZT (Tiga’s band named after their favourite band ZZ Top) & Fenech Soler and some experimental electronica from Trentemoller. All in all we have been very very busy at TBC getting through all this music to ensure that we could bring you a bumper Christmas playlist that our loyal TBC fans deserve.

The shortlist this month:

Armand Van Helden – Ghettoblaster (2007) – Starting with a classic, and boy is this a classic and a half, from the legend of New York Garage and House music Armand Van Helden. Having been looking through some old CD’s and skimming through some recent mixes (including his Duck Sauce Essential Mix with A Trak in 2013 and some old Tiga shows) we found Ghettoblaster which has so many good memories for us at TBC HQ as it was the first album played when me moved into our current apartment in 2007. What a party that was and what an album this is. Great party disco/electro tracks that you will be singing, dancing and generally going crazy to once this album is played, trust me we have succumbed to this many a time! A highly recommended listen especially with NYE just around the corner and for anyone wanting to recreate a NYC loft party vibe from either the 90’s or naughties.

Breach – DJ Kicks (2013) – 2013 has been a big year for DJ Kicks and Breach (A.K.A Ben Westbeech) which in some way makes this combination on the recent Dj Kicks compilation a match made in heaven. Dj Kicks started the year of with a mix from Maceo Plex (A.K.A Maetrik) which was a solid release but failed to really hit home, however the later 2013 release of John Talabot was where Dj Kicks really showed off with one of the best releases this year and, not to rest on the laurels, they then squeezed out one final release in the year from Breach. The latter release is superb and has been enjoyed on multiple occasions this month both in TBC HQ and out and about on our travels . This mix starts with the blissed out house we are used to from Ben Westbeech, progresses onto spacey, disco vibes, then into some more gritty urban feeling tracks before culminating in the samba-esque, steel drum extravaganza of Sabre Nightdrive to Bolland. If you miss this Dj Kicks you will be missing out and if you own all three from 2013 you can give yourself a pat on the back for some amazing music procurement this year and some great aural senses.

Various Artists – Selected Label Works 4, Permanent Vacation (2013) – The annual collection releases from record labels can sometimes  be seen as a ‘cash-in’ opportunity by many of the avid collectors of each EP, LP or single release and to many as including some of the not so revered tracks from the past year which you have to delete or skip as to avoid when listening. If you know of Permanent Vacation (PERMVAC) you will know that this is not the case with their Selected Label Works series of releases, the German Disco record label knows how to show off their wares. The recent volume 4 was highly anticipated at TBC following the enjoyment the previous volumes of this series have brought to us not only in the sheer quality of each release, that leave you bopping and swaying about until the collection is finished, but the education it provides in new artists and the nu-wave of disco that continues to be released via PERMVAC. The artist list on their releases is nothing short of impressive, including; Roisin Murphy (formally in Moloko), Tensnake, John  Talabot, Mano Le Tough and Arto Mwambe. This is well worth the investment while sitting round your family’s this Christmas as it will have everyone (including your Gran) dancing away or for a quality selection to kick off your NYE celebrations.

Kolsch – 1977 (2013) – This guy is going to have a great 2014 in our opinion at TBC. Not only is 1977 an amazing debut release but he is being tipped by Peter Tong for big things in 2014 including the first BBC Essential Mix in 2014 which is a great accolade for Kolsch who has played the dark horse in 2013. 1977 was released in the middle of 2013 and was quickly found by TBC who have enjoyed in multiple occasions since. The production is sublime and the music ranges from house to a trancey/progressive sound which suits an early warm up or a post clubbing chill out session. There is some great variation on this album and you will have your favourites; Der Alta reminds us of Pocket Piano from Dj Mehdi (RIP),  Siberpfeil hints of a Bpitch/Apparat-esque haunting, epic sounds, Loreley and Zig remind us of Booka Shade and there are urban, electro numbers along with serious quality house tracks. The ability to produce tracks from such a range of styles while creating an album that flows well and always keep you hooked until the end on your first album really sets Kolsch off on the right foot. Here’s hoping that in 2014 he continues to progress and transfers his sound to radio shows and live shows for all of our enjoyment. One to Watch!

John Digweed – Live in Argentina (2013) – The legend John Digweed continues to release mix compilations, record label collections, live mixes and a radio show at a scary, unrelenting rate. Historically I have enjoyed Renaissance, Northern Exposure, Global Underground, Bedrock releases and BBC Essential Mixes of which I still treasure many. Having seen ‘Diggers’ live on many occasions and witnessed some of the best mixes I have ever heard I always look forward to a new ‘Live Mix’ CD or radioshow. Unfortunately having seen and heard a lot of ‘Diggers’ over the years I am also aware of the more mundane, less enjoyable side that can sometimes end up in your CD player or PC playlist. This results in a great deal of apprehension when another of the ‘Live at…’ mix cd is released especially as the previous entries have varied from amazing to the more middle of the road release that just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. To my delight the new collection recorded in two locations in Argentina; Metropolitano in Rosario and Mandarine Park in Buenos Aires, over 4 CDs is superb. It doesn’t take long for the bass to start thumping, we are treated to a great journey through progressive (some Trancey numbers), house and but mainly not straying too far from Techno which we at TBC particularly enjoyed. If you can find yourself a few hours, large speakers and get through the full box set you will find yourself well and truly pulverised by this mix, a great addition to Mr.Digweed’s Live series.

Dexter – The Trip (2013) – The left field selection in December comes from Dexter a German Hip Hop artist, this  is the third album released by Dexter in his career. We stumbled upon this album while perusing a selection of releases and from the first listen have been captivated by the Hip Hop style that Dexter presents. Harking back to a DJ Shadow-esque trip hop/hip hop style that reminds us of early Mo Wax releases in the 1990s this album brings a modern and current spin to this style as enjoyed via the Gorillaz in the early 2000’s . Chilling at home is where this album is best enjoyed, the bass and melodies in the tracks will have you hooked from start to finish. If you are looking for an alternative album for an Xmas present, have a hankering for some quality new Hip Hop or just fancy a change this is a great place to start. Looking forward to more from Dexter.

It has been very difficult to make a choice for the best of Decembers playlist and this has divided opinions at TBC HQ. This is down to the sheer quality of music this month and this makes picking a favourite very difficult however after some extended deliberation we have gone with our selection due to its quality and varied production exhibited throughout the album:

Kolsch – 1977 (2013)

Merry Christmas everyone, have a great holiday and New Year. TBC are off on their travels for a few weeks to Thailand so will see you in the New Year for tales of our travels & exploits along with our selection of the best from 2013 along with our favourite release of the year.

TBC