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 September 2014

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

FAZEmag in the Mix #27 – Adana Twins (2014)

FAZEmag in the Mix #28 – Adriatique (2014)

Wankelmoods Vol.2 – Wankelmut (2014)

DJ Kicks mixed by Will Saul – Various Artists (2014)

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

Tsugi Podcast #337 – The Emperor Machine (2014)

Defected Pres.Dimitri from Paris in the House Disco – Various Artists (2014)

Mister Saturday Night pres. Brothers & Sisters – Various Artists (2014)

Let Love Begin – Nicone (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Amine Edge & Dance (2014)

Enter pres. Ibiza – Various Artists (2014)

RA Podcast #426 by Oliver Hafenbauer – Various Artists (2014)

DJ T Pres. The House that Jack Built Vol.1 & 2 – Various Artists (2012)

Playground Mix #100 by Hal Incandenza (Henry Saiz) – Various Artists (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Finnebassen (2014)

Spread the Word – Agents of Time (2014)

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists (2014)

Full Pupp Pres. 10 Years of Full Pupp by Prins Thomas – Various Artists (2014)

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

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls (2014)

Classics

Kitsune Tabloid by Digitalism – Various Artists (2008)

Kitsune Tabloid by The Twelves – Various Artists (2011)

Kitsune Tabloid by Phoenix – Various Artists (2009)

Times Like These – Alden Tyrell (2006)

Journey of the Deep Sea Dweller #1-4 – Drexciya (2011-2013)

Eskimonde pres. A Decade of Eskimo Music – Various Artists (2012)

Eskimo Recordings Vol.3 – Various Artists (2001)

Run With Me – Kiki (2004)

Welcome back TBC followers to the latest instalment of the TBC Playlist. Once again we apologise for the delay between the playlist blog entries however 2014 continues to be a busy year at HQ. Summer 2014 saw extended 31st Birthday celebrations for myself and the adventures of the European festival and clubbing experience. This time round we sampled the wares of Berlin, in particular Melt festival in July followed a by a week of “relaxing” in East Berlin. I’m sure Betty Bitch will be telling you all about this adventure so I will not spoil anything but you may understand why we have been slow on the website updates. The best thing about a long break between Playlists is that we can offer an extended selection and we have been able to thoroughly enjoy and critique the best albums, mixes and releases of the last few months.

The September Playlist features a great diversity of music from the obvious techno selection to electro, house, progressive, disco and even features a new genre which has been a particular highlight of our summer ‘G-House’ or Gangsta House as it is more commonly known. We have some of the best artists of recent years; Dettmann, DJ.T, Nic Fanciulli, Digitalism & Dimitri from Paris, as well as some newer, lesser known, artists for you to discover; DJ Supermarkt, Adana Twins, Amine Edge & Dance, Finnebassen, Ten Walls, Drexciya and Oliver Hafenbauer. We hope that you enjoy reading the latest playlist and discovering some new albums/mixes and artists for your enjoyment.

While trawling through the latest releases and back through the collection to our last playlist in June it became evident that there have been some amazing mixes released as CD compilations from the ‘Big Boy Labels’ Fabric, Global Underground, DJ Kicks and Defected but also from other record labels such as Minus, Mister Saturday Night, Poesie Music (Wankelmut) and Full Pupp. The electronic releases were also strong from the BBC and Pete Tong in the Essential Mix, the Resident Advisor Podcast and one of our new favourites FAZEmag (the German equivalent, albeit a lot more credible, than Mixmag in the UK). Unfortunately there are only two artist production albums that feature this time round but both are worth checking out; Nicone are signed to Still Vor Talent an amazing electro label that was set up by Oliver Koletzki and Agents of Time who are an Italian group releasing their debut album that provides a great deep house, progressive and ‘haunting’ sound.

We would also like to speak a little bit more about the Classics selection this time round, as to avoid the sense of them just being ‘thrown’ into the playlist without a proper mention. The classics this time are made up from some older gems that we found in our collection courtesy of Kitsune and their amazing Tabloid series which has three superb editions to enjoy from Digitalism, The Twelves and Phoenix. We also have a legendary electro collection from Drexciya (we sourced and bought 2 of this series on vinyl while in Berlin which was a treat) , Alden Tyrell and Kiki. Both the Kitsune and the electro collection provided some great entertainment as they are great for party music and are a great insight into artists and record labels that represent the pinnacle of their genre of music. You will not be disappointed in these classics, they are timeless. The last of our classics selection is Eskimo Recordings, we previously featured their Blue collection (2014 release) in our June playlist, and there isn’t a single release of theirs that doesn’t hit the mark. The two selections are Vol.3 collection from 2001 which includes a Frankie Knuckles classic and Eskimonde which is an anniversary special 5 disc collection of singles and 2 excellent mixes from The Glimmer’s. We will have some exciting news relating to Eskimo Recordings soon from TBC, they are fast becoming one of our favourite labels.

Now finally on to the best of the Playlist selection:

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

This is the third Playlist instalment in a row where a Fabric CD has featured and I had previously stated that this CD series was “hit and miss”, therefore you could say that Fabric are on a roll. I maintain my “hit and miss’ appraisal of Fabric as a CD series as they do not consistently deliver like Global Underground or Balance but I would definitely recommend you keep your eye out for future releases especially with Erol Alkan due up on the FabricLive series. Anyways, thats enough about the series as a whole, on to the Marcel Dettmann instalment. As with his BBC Essential Mix that we selected as our favourite mix from the June Playlist, this Fabric CD is another amazing addition to the Dettmann discography spanning back to 2008 with his first Resident Advisor podcast. Marcel’s MDR record label features heavily in the mix which allows his label to be showcased as one of the forefront in the techno genre, add to this tracks from Ostgut Ton, M-Plant and Dekmantel and you have a raw, comprehensive and relentless collection of techno for your enjoyment. At no point in this mix will you fail to be impressed; whether the mix is building, tracks are being blended to create an amazing techno landscape or you are being pummelled by a monstrous techno track. It is an experience to witness a DJ master the 70/80 minute mix limitation of a CD and this is the second time Marcel has done so, the former being his Conducted mix CD, so we cannot recommend this CD enough.

Too Slow to Disco – DJ Supermarkt (2014)

In 2008 at Bennicassim (Spain) festival we experienced a single DJ play the main outdoor stage, where acts like Roisin Murphy, Morrissey and My Bloody Valentine were due to perform over the weekend, and he totally blew us away despite only taking up enough room on the stage for his CDJ’s and a mixer plus some space to bust some grooves and pull some shapes. DJ Supermarkt has avoided the big time DJ status while maintaining an almost legendary status by those who have experienced him at one of the many European festivals. This legendary but also elusive DJ had not crossed the paths of TBC again until this year when in April he released a new compilation titled ‘Too Slow To Disco’ and announced a European Tour which saw him grace the UK with his presence, this left TBC HQ very excited. In July 2014, after waiting very patiently for a few months, we finally got to see DJ Supermarkt play live at Dry Bar in Manchester and purchase a nice shiny and signed copy of his album on Vinyl. Unfortunately the event in Manchester was only attended by around 13 people which made it very awkward with TBC jumping around at the front like lunatics however we were informed by the man himself that this “made his night” and therefore we saved any embarrassment. The album itself is best introduced by the words on the website link below so I will not waste any time on this and get straight on to the music itself. We were able to enjoy a few of the tracks off the album live at the gig and our favourites from the album; Ned Dohemy – Get It Up For Love is a dreamy, spaced out number, Rupert Holmes – Deco Lady is a quirky, slow number with a great guitar solo that could have featured in a 70’s film, Nicolette Larson – Lotta Love is a catchy country rock inspired disco track with a raspy female vocal and Don Brown – Shut The Door is a catchy, happy disco traffic with a great male vocal.  This album provides a great introduction to DJ Supermarkt but only a little dose of what he can deliver in one of his famous DJ sets. It is one of our more leftfield recommendations but you will be unable to avoid a big smile and shaking your ass to this one which makes it perfect for TBC. We have included some links to the album website and DJ Supermarkt’s blog so that you can get your disco fix.

Start

http://howdoyouare.com

Global Underground #40 by Solomun – Various Artists (2014)

The GU CD series has been on a long break, we have had to wait four years since the last release by Dave Seaman and when you are used to a steady release frequency since 2001 from the likes of Oakenfold, Warren, Sasha, Digweed, Deep Dish, Lavelle and Howells, a four year break makes you think the worst. With the likes of Renaissance going bust after a long history of amazing CD releases it was time to worry for Global Underground also. Our concern however was misplaced as Global Underground are back with a great new release from Solomun entitled Hamburg which is his home town (the album includes a great booklet introducing Solomun’s mix which the GU series is famous for). The first CD is a more chilled, progressive offering which shows us a slightly different side to Solomun for all those who have enjoyed his previous two mixes in 2012; BBC Essential Mix and his Watergate CD vol.11. The second CD is a much more upbeat and club friendly offering which you will want to turn up loud and get dancing too. Particular highlights of the second disc are Solumun’s own track Medea and the classic Radio Slave track My Bleep (Roman Flugel remix). I am not a big fan of the chilled vs clubby CD’s, as has become the norm for many mix CD double disc collections, however in this case I enjoyed both discs and therefore would highly recommend the latest GU mix #40 and hope we don’t have to wait another 4 years for the next instalment.

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

Ever since the year 2000 when i first began to go clubbing I have followed the career of Nic Fanciulli, from a young resident at Club Class in Maidstone, who also provided great Friday night entertainment at the River Bar Club Class pre-party with his infamous funky house DJ sets, to a residency at Ministry of Sound, a collection of Global Underground and Renaissance CDs, a superb DJ duo tour with James Zabiela called ‘One plus One’, his own nights in Ibiza and now even curating his own festivals at The Social in Maidstone, Kent. It is great to see that Nic remains at the forefront of dance music which is testament to both his DJ and production abilities. The latest Defected pres. release follows a recent purple patch of releases from Defected which includes MK, Henrik Schwarz & Dimitri from Paris (also featured in this Playlist). The Nic Fanciulli edition is another double disc release which does not fall subject to the normal chilled vs upbeat formula (as discussed earlier) and instead is packed with great house and techno from start to finish. The first disc has a more house music focus whereas the second includes some tougher techno tracks however both CD’s are as likely as one another to fuel a great pre or after party. We have enjoyed both discs of this release on more than one occasion and got ourselves in trouble with hotel staff at one point when enjoying at too high a volume in the early hours one morning in Manchester. This mix is definitely up there with previous releases from Mr.Fanciulli and will cut the mustard against the best mixes from the last few years.

BBC Essential Mix – Ten Walls (2014)

This mix only just made this playlist as it only aired on the 13th September however it has earned its place on this Playlist and will be in the running for one of our mixes of the year along with BBC Essential Mix of the year. We were excited that we had the opportunity to see Ten Walls at Melt Festival this year only to have our hopes dashed by an early set in the sweltering heat in Ferropolis that we couldn’t make it to, however Pete Tong came to our aid by lining up Ten Walls (alias of Mario Basanov who had a string of releases over recent years) for the Essential Mix. 2013 was undoubtedly the year of Gotham which rocked every dance floor globally and was the tune of the year for a lot of DJ’s. This resulted in 2014 being a year where every festival and club even has been clamouring for Ten Walls. The follow up tracks to Gotham haven’t disappointed either with the Requiem EP on which Requiem and Mongol are amazing tracks and then Walking with Elephants which has been equally as impressive. Ten Walls decided not to fill his Essential Mix with his own tracks, which is nice for a change as they always seem to be an easy publicity exercise for upcoming DJs to promote their new album. Instead he fills his mix with an amazing ensemble of house, progressive and techno tracks that leave you wondering why you missed him play at the big summer festival! Wow what a mix this is, tracks from Atom TM – Ich Bin Meine Maschine, Moderat – Bad Kingdom (DJ Koze remix), &ME – After Dark are stand out tracks and are great memories of the big tracks this summer past. He even slips in a great sample from the video game Mass Effect which satisfies the geekier fans (like myself). Please listen to this mix, we will put a link below and hope that it works so that you can enjoy.

Wow that was an epic Playlist review, all due to the high quality of the best of the selection which we have enjoyed listening to again and again while writing this blog article. My fingers are hurting from all the typing! Now it is time to put our necks on the line and actually try and pick a favourite from this superb short list. It would be easy to just pick the Ten Walls mix as it was the last mix we heard before writing the article or choose DJ Supermarkt just for the experience we had while discovering the album and attending the release tour party. However we had to put a bit more effort into our selection process and this made it difficult, as it always ends up being, but this month we have to give it to the mix which has remained as exciting every time we have listened to it (and boy have we listened to it a lot since we first received it in the post). The mix provides two individual party sessions over two discs, you would do well to find a better double disc compilation from the last few years and we have been buzzing about this CD ever since we first partied away into the night to it. This Playlist’s top album is:

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

Congratulations Mr. Fanciulli you have earned the star next to your album and here’s looking forwards to your next mix CD. Hopefully we will catch you out and about soon as it has been a while since we last saw you live.

Thanks for persevering with this long Playlist and hope you have enjoyed our selection.

TBC