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.

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 December 2014

P1000863
Kompakt Vol.14 – Various Artists (2014)
Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia (2014)
Balance 26 – Hernan Cattaneo (2014)
Panorama Bar Vol.6 – Ryan Elliot (2014)
Get Lost VII – Craig Richards (2014)
Stil Vor Talent Berlin – Schlesisches Tor – Various Artists (2014)
Fabric Live 77 – Erol Alkan (2014)
Rainbow Disco Club – Prins Thomas (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Anja Schneider (2014)
I Love Techno 2014 – Brodinski (2014)
Defected Pres. House Masters –  Masters At Work (MAW – 2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Bicep (2014)
Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot (2014)
Get Physical 12th Birthday at Watergate Live Set – Dj Hell (2014)
Play 05 Vienna – Oliver Huntemann (2014)
Abaporu – Gui Boratto (2014)
Nobody Knows – Joris Voorn (2014)
Reincarnations Vol.2 – DJ Koze (2014)
Reverse Proceed – Slam (2014)
Blurred – Huxley (2014)
Satellite – Sam Paganini (2014)
Tropical Autumn A Laid Back Mix of Modern Sad Beach Disco  – DJ Supermarkt (2014)
Monoliths – Dustin Zahn (2014)
Acid Thunder More Definitive Original Acids and Deep House 1985-1991 – Terry Farley (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Steffi  (2014)
Weekends & Beginnings – Mister Saturday Night (2014)
The Inevitable End – Royksopp (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Huxley (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Jon Hopkins (2014)
FACT Magazine Podcast November – Ben Klock (2014)
RA Podcast #368 – Marco Shuttle (2014)
Zone 18 Love/Kraft Pt.2 – The Hacker (2014)
Future Disco Pres. All Day Dancing – Various Artists (2014)
Long Play – Paco Osuna (2014)
Slowly Exploding 10 years of Perc Trax 2004 – 2014 – Perc (2014)
Chapters of Green Velvet Collection – Green Velvet (2014)
Annie Mac pres. 2014 – Various Artists (2014)
Balance Pres. – Kolsch (2014)
Cocoon Pres. Sound of the Season 15 – Sven Vath (2014)
Beats in Space 15th Anniversary -Tim Sweeney (2014)
Elaste Vol. 4 Meta-Disco and Proto-House – Various Artists (2014)
XLR8R Podcast #371 –  Floorplan (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Joy Orbison (2014)
BBC Essential Mix – Caribou (2014)
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014) *
10 Years of Systematic – Various Artists (2014)
Content – Ralph Lawson (2014)
Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian (2014)
 
Classics
Times – David August  (2013)
RA Podcast #115 – Patrice Baumel  (2008)
11 Years Cocoon Recordings Selected Remixes and Retrospective Mix – Patrick Kunkel (2011)
CLR Reconnected 02 -DJ Emerson (2012)
CLR Reconnected 01 – Monoloc (2012)
 
 Intro
 Good Day TBC followers we are now bringing you articles thick and fast to make up for our slow end to 2014 and slow start to 2015, we hope you can keep up. This time round it is the return of the regular TBC playlist slot and as the last instalment was published in September we have some catching up to do. We will also follow this article with our pick of 2014 which to be honest has been a great year for electronic music and TBC.
 
Since September there has been a huge tranche of album, compilation and podcast/radio show releases which simply overwhelmed us at TBC. As you can see from the playlist above we have been struggling to keep up with the sheer quantity while ensuring that we sniff out the new releases, listen to them and capture the best ones for this article. It is also worth noting that due to the BBC Essential Mix overload that we had in December (see our article https://technobreakfastclub.co.uk/2014/12/12/tbc-review-bbc-essential-mix-of-the-year-2014/) where we had a lot of commitment to these mixes, dedicating some serious time to the 2 hour mixes along with repeat listens to enable us to review and choose our favourite, we have been playing catch up ever since! Almost immediately after publishing our last article we had the new Balance from Danny Tenaglia to enjoy along with an almost forgotten (we missed it in the last playlist article) Panorama Bar mix from Ryan Elliot in its new free download guise from the Panorama Bar website. There are also a couple of record label compilations from some of our favourite labels; Kompakt, Systematic, Perc Trax, Still Vor Talent and Cocoon along with some great new production albums from some of our favourite producers and DJs from the last few years Anthony Rother, Slam, Joris Voorn, DJ Koze and Gui Boratto. There were also some newer artists; Sam Paganini on Drumcode, Huxley, Paco Asuna, Dustin Zahn and David August plus some curveballs for TBC which includes Annie Mac, Tim Sweeney’s amazing Beats in Space Anniversary CD, a Sankeys anniversary release from Darius Syrossian and Royksopp’s last ever album The Inevitable End. Please note that the BBC Essential Mixes and Mister Saturday Night’s Weekends and Beginnings will not feature in the shortlist below as they have been reviewed in a previous article, they may well feature in the ‘Best of 2014’ article however. It is clear to see from the names mentioned above that we have been spoiled over the last few months at TBC HQ. We have enjoyed listening to the releases above on our travels over Xmas and partying over the festive period.
 
We will be keeping the same format as normal with a selection of our favourite releases that will be highlighted above for easy identification and reviewed along with our selection of the best release for this playlist selection. This will also provide the last of our selections for 2014 and the shortlist will be put forward for the Best of 2014 article to follow.
 
Balance Vol.25 – Danny Tenaglia (2014)
Having first heard about Danny Tenaglia at the end of the 1990’s when he released his Global Underground Athens compilation (around this time is when I first got into listening to electronic music) this latest edition of the Balance series is somewhat of a treat for myself and a great addition to the series. Danny Tenaglia is a dance music legend, he has held residencies at the most famous clubs including Twilo in New York, toured the world playing to the masses and released a number of critically acclaimed tracks, albums and compilations without over saturating the market with quantity over quality. TBC have been fans for sometime and some of our favourite classics tracks and mixes are by Danny Tenaglia which include his most famous production track Music is the Answer and the compilations Back to Basics 10th Anniversary, Global Underground Athens and London, Choice a Collection of Classics and Futurism.
 
You could say we were excited when we heard Danny Tenaglia was adding to the Balance series with volume 25 but as you can deduce from the introduction above that would be an understatement. The mix is spread over 2 discs and it doesn’t fail to live up to expectation or to the hype that we placed upon it. Disc one starts with the signature Tenaglia sound, a tribal beat which builds with a great hypnotic groove, bass and percussion through tracks from 04LM, Ugo Carrano, Reboot, Talismann and Cowboy Rhythmbox. By the time he gets to Alpha Phase’s Dirtro II and MRI’s ES Geht Um Mehr the speakers start to grumble and the techno picks up pace. It builds and progresses and soon turns into a techno stormer mix peaking with Nicole Moudaber’s Movin’ On which is a truly epic thunderous bass filled track. The Basement Jaxx track was a surprise inclusion but the Michel Cleis remix of Mermaid of Salinas is superb tribal techno, perfect for the last leg of disc one. I’ll Do You by Thomas Schumacher starts to bring the disc to a close with a dubby, electro, vocal track which is a typical Schumacher track, well produced and in an alternative style without being difficult to include in this type of mix. Dadub’s Existence (Kangding Ray remix – one of TBC’s favourite techno producers) leaves you ready for more with a heavy, tribal techno track while suitably closing the first CD.
 
You may think that like other compilation CDs (and other editions of the Balance series) that disc two may go for a different direction, maybe chillout, experimental or eclectic but not Danny Tenaglia. It sets off where disc one ended with straight up techno, Danny obviously didn’t get the memo. Architectural’s opening track 04.1 is overlapped with Funkndy’s Station and has a quirky speak and spell vocal coupled with a banging techno bassline, if disc one left you wanting more then you didn’t have to wait long. This disc is definitely a step up from the first, the techno pounds courtesy of Regis, The Yellowheads and Antigone as Mr.Tenaglia seems to be preparing a Berghain audition CD to promote his new heavier angle. You can imagine at this stage TBC HQ was rocking as this CD epitomises our love for techno. We are introduced to a raft of new producers and artists across disc two but the quality and relentless techno is maintained. There are parts where you are treated to a nice euphoric blissed out piece of electronica like in Dax J’s Dreamscape (aptly named) but it is no surprise when the bass kicks back in, these little interludes and changes of style are signs of a very experienced club DJ who knows how to make a set flow. Midway through the disc Gregor Tresher’s Nightcolours is another nice tempo change, an uplifting tech-house track with a catchy electro key melody in the background. The latter half of disc two does see the one and only criticism of the mix as the direction and flow does seem to become erratic with the track selection becoming more diverse and quite difficult to follow which does affect your enjoyment. The techno is maintained but at the cost of the flow which is a shame when the previous disc and a half was flawless. It has to be said the final track UFO by Exploit is a serious track, fast pace, quirky alien/space sounds, a nice breakdown and a haunting feeling throughout, played loud it is excellent. Despite the strange ending to disc two this mix remains an excellent addition to the Balance series and a TBC favourite (not one for our neighbours though!).
 
Watergate Vol.17 – Pan Pot (2014)
Watergate has been a big player in the CD catalogue series representing the sounds of their amazing club by the Spree in Berlin. The series has included mixes by Ellen Allien, Tiefschwarz, Kerri Chandler (previously reviewed in our Playlist articles) and Solomun. They have managed to harness the sounds from the DJs selected, who are normally residents at the club at a given time, perfectly and this has meant the series continues into its 17th edition. This outing we were excited to see Pan Pot chipping in and finally being asked to grace the CD series as they have been long standing residents at the club and have provided many a great nights entertainment for TBC when we have been on our travels. The Pan Pot sound has changed over the years and as they have developed they have become harder in style pushing into the techno genre more and more, which of course has pleased us no end. This Watergate CD has come at a perfect time for Pan Pot who seem to be on the crest of a wave, releasing consistent production gems and their recent Mobilee Back to Back compilation was a superb addition to their back catalogue.
 
This mix is excellent from the start with tracks from Radio Slave Don’t Stop No Sleep and Shall Ocin’s Lurking Wolves to get you hooked and transfixed from the start. The energy level builds, the bass gets harder and the sounds more evil. Lurking Wolves is a particular highlight as this is a straight up club stormer with evil sounding synth stabs and a marching bass line, what you would expect from a Mathew Jonson or Maceo Plex number. The mix moves on and cranks up the techno and bass with tracks from Whyt Noize and Mark Broom, the latter titled Nucleus is an evil building track which sounds excellent loud with a number of effects, sounds and samples thrown in by the ever impressive Mr.Broom. We are then treated to the first of Pan Pot’s fine production pieces that feature in this mix titled Substance which is an electro techno stormer that we would expect from Anthony Rother, punchy synth noises build and tease to create a sinister atmosphere on this track. In keeping with the style of some of the earlier tracks it is no surprise that Maceo Plex’s Conjure Bass is featured just after the half way point of the mix. This track is one of many of the amazing production line that Maceo Plex has, he manages to churn out superb electro techno tracks for fun and Conjure Bass is up there with his best pieces of work. It has had some serious airtime as its transcends techno, house and the more urban style DJs and is one of the more mainstream tracks included by Pan Pot. When you hear it you will understand why – the bass, its progression, the squelches, the hand claps and its evil synth keys contribute to yet another Maceo Plex masterpiece. See you down the front for this one with the Watergate LED ceiling going crazy above you. The mix ends with a consecutive run of amazing tracks; Josh Winks now retro Are You There which has been rejuvenated by Ben Klock, Martin Eyerer’s Reckless and two superb Pan Pot collaborations with Slam and Vincenzo, Conductor and Fiction Inc. respectively. What an end to a super new addition to the Watergate series and a must have for any techno, Pan Pot or Watergate fan.
 
Balance Pres. – Kolsch (2014)
The Balance Presents series has been around for a few years now and has been an interesting addition to the normal Balance series release. Originally with the Presents Electric series which was a more leftfield electronic club series (one of the best was from Agent 86) and later the more DJ orientated releases from Jozif and Guy J – both are excellent. The single disc format means that the DJ only has 70/80 minutes to present their skills and sounds which has seen the series consistently deliver providing a peak time representation of the DJ’s style and music selection. In regards to the Kolsch addition of the Balance series we were excited at TBC to see one of our favourite DJs added to the catalogue and if you have seen him live this CD is a great representation of his live DJ sets. Energetic, progressive, euphoric and tough in places, there are lots of melodies and vocals thrown in for good measure keeping the mix diverse and balanced. If you haven’t been able to see Kolsch then this CD is a great starting point but be warned you will want to see him live once you have heard this.
 
The mix itself really kicks off when Its All Over by Pional (John Talabot remix) graces the speakers, this track is epic. When John Talbot is involved it usually means gold and this is excellent. It then descends into a few crazy techno tracks which were right up TBC’s street albeit a slight surprise so early on by Kolsch to drop these bombs. Track 3 is called Freeze by Danny Daze and this is followed by Patrice Baumel’s  Mile High Gang. You are then allowed to relax with the almighty Radiohead Videotape which is just beautiful before the CD gets into the groove with the more traditional Kolsch sound. His Punchbuggy track, Adrian Hour’s Chordgresion and the euphoric Odd Parents Learn to Fly (Maceo Plex Flight Home Remix) sum up the Kolsch sound perfectly. Kenny Larkin chips in with Plankton which helps to bring the mix down in tempo and is a nice broken up, blissed out house track. The Anthemic Caribou track Cant Do Without You (Tale of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix), which is similar in style to the Odd Parents track earlier, is then brought in for a great festival anthem moment. Even the concerning inclusion of a Coldplay track which has been remixed by Kolsch works well within the mix and suits the Kolsch style. All in all this is a great new addition to the Balance series and another great release from Kolsch. We have enjoyed this CD many times at TBC HQ since its release.
 
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014)
When TBC discovered Anthony Rother’s label Datapunk and the incredible series We Are Punks we became instant mega fans of his. This series is the foundation for electro techno. Bodzin, Huntemann, Romboy, DJ Hell, Kiko, Billy Nasty and Anthony Rother all feature on the first compilation with production work that will blow your mind. The series became a collection with vol.2 and 3 being released with equally amazing content. Having discovered this series we delved deeper into his production work and his back catalogue is impressive, presenting an electro pioneer with experimental, techno, poppy infused electro which peaked with Popkiller, his most famous album. This isn’t to say there aren’t other gems; My Name is Beuys Von Telekraft is epic, his Fuse compilation is also amazing and This Is Electro (1997 – 2005) live album is stunning, including a live DVD set from Fuse in Belgium. His last few release were more of a chilled electronica affair and we were worried that the big hitting Anthony Rother may have disappeared but boy were we wrong. Verbalizer is Mr.Rother’s rebirth, this album is an exemplary piece of production. Start the album and listen from start to finish and you get the sense that he produced the album as a liveset, it flows perfectly from electro stormer to electro stormer. There are a few tracks that change up the pace of the album but they work so well you are please he has placed them where he has.
 
The album starts with Next which seems like a sound levels check with electronic sounding effects as he sets up his production kit ready to unleash his new monster productions. When Syncope kicks in you first get an idea of where this new album is going and you can’t help but smile and have a little dance. This track has a great pace, builds and builds with an infectious beat and then unleashes a grumbling monster electro techno bassline that harks back to the We Are Punks heyday. Zigby is not as intense but it has that Rother feel with its haunting electro sounds and goes at a nice pace to progress the album. Fire Viber cranks it up a notch and sounds similar to the Bodzin and Huntemann tracks of old with a nice Rother edge, sticking with the haunting electro style but picking up the pace and the bass levels creating a feeling of tension (which emphasises the haunting style). Invader descends to a heavier more freaky electro techno vibe with scary acid squelches which sets this track apart from the others. You still feel like you are on a journey through the electro world of Anthony Rather. Truthmaker moves the album into a more marching techno beat while still maintaining the same style on the album. This track would sit well in a good pace techno set and with its nice euphoric breakdown, which runs alongside the marching techno beat. It is one of our favourites on the album and one we hope to hear out when clubbing. Monophonia acts as a bridge track between the heavy previous track and the end of the album, the pace is slowed but the crazy electro sounds remain and they ebb and flow throughout the track taking you on a mini journey. Don’t be fooled, this track is by no means a filler or a chillout track but it does help the albums progression. Logical is track 8 and it is another of our favourites, it is a track that you could play at the start of your set as it has a great build up at the beginning but it could equally be played at peak time as the track progression is excellent to entertain the crowd or just yourself and the speakers if you are at home. Buffer Breaker again cranks it up a notch. A futuristic sounding electro monster with great evil synthesiser sounds and space like keys. The breakdown in this track is pure evil, thats all we can say, you need to hear this one. Man From Space ends the album with an uplifting progressive techno track that wraps up Verbalizer perfectly. This album is a must own and we cannot praise it enough, welcome back Anthony Rother. We just hope we can see him again live soon as his performances are like gold dust.
 
Sankeys 20th Anniversary – Darius Syrossian (2014)
This is one of our more leftfield selections for our best of playlist as club night compilations and anniversary albums are not normally anything special and while they provide an addendum to a great night if you were there or a sample of the night to those who were unable to attend they generally do not excel with tune selection or mix quality. This Sankeys album is different though. Having not attended the club for some time but being a big fan of the club since the mid 2000s when TBC frequented the Tribal Sessions nights which at that time were one of the best nights out in the country, we have always been interested in their releases, nights and events. Luckily this led to a great find with Sankeys 20th Anniversary CD mixed and selected by Darius Syrossian. We had not really listened to Darius before but knew him to have a good reputation due to his residency at Viva with Steve Lawler.
 
This compilation is a double disc affair which exhibits a first disc almost solely made up of Darius’s own tracks and productions. He does throw in the odd track by another to spice things up; Green Velvet’s Bigger Than Prince and Todd Terry’s Bounce to the Beat but they are all remixed or edited by Darius. We were more than impressed with this start to the compilation as it both surprised us, introduced us to Darius and got us dancing away at TBC HQ. The style of the mix is house with a chunky but uplifting style, lots of groove and funk is thrown in for good measure to entertain the Sankeys crowd. It would have been great to have been there and experience this set. Well done Darius! The second disc is more like the traditional anniversary CD with all the greatest tracks, some which I experienced at the club back in the day. Thick Dick, Loco Dice, Cobblestone Jazz, Argy, Green Velvet and Gus Gus feature, the latter with a track called David which is an all time classic from back in the day.  The combination of a great production set and a classics set all mixed over two discs is a great concept from Sankeys and it’s a refreshing angle on this type of compilation, One which works so well we have it featured in our shortlist. You won’t be disappointed with this one and its great for a house party.
 
The Verdict 
When it comes to selecting a favourite from above it is clear from the in depth reviews that we felt passionately about each selection and in turn this makes choosing a favourite difficult and probably one of the most difficult for a while. It doesn’t help that we have a production album thrown in with a few great compilations because it is hard to compare and then choose a favourite when the options are so different. Balance have to have a special mention as they have two mixes in the shortlist courtesy of their two streams of mix CDs; the big brother full Balance CD from Danny Tenaglia and the younger sibling Balance Presents series by Kolsch. To have released two great mixes in a short space of time is testament to their artist selection criteria and the series’ heritage. It was difficult to choose but we would have to go with Anthony Rother’s Verbalizer as our favourite. To come back with such an amazing and relentless production album structured in such a way that you feel like you are experiencing a live set is something else, a different level. We hope that you can have a listen to this album and experience his magical production touch.
 
Verbalizer – Anthony Rother (2014) *
 
Thanks for reading, look out for our best of 2014 shortlist soon!
TBC

TBC Playlist February 2014

P1000863

New/Current

Dj Kicks – Brandt Brauer Frick (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – Kolsch (2014)*

BBC Essential Mix – Friend Within (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – DJ Snake (2014)

BBC Essential Mix – MK (2014)

FabricLive Vol.73 – Pangaea (2014)

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

Various Artists (Kompakt records) – Pop Ambient 2014

Groove Podcast 26 – Helena Hauff (2014)

Defected pres. In the House – MK (2013)

Defected près. House Masters – Henrik Schwarz (2014)

Different Sides of the Sun – Hot Natured (2013)

Little Red – Katy B (2014)

Watergate vol.15 – Kerri Chandler (2014)

Naturally – Dana Ruh (2014)

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

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

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

Classic

Fabric vol.8 – Radioactive Man (2002)

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

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

Innovator – Derrick May (1998)

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

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

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

Dj Kicks – Brandt Brauer Frick (2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FabricLive Vol.73 – Pangaea (2014)

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

Watergate vol.15 – Kerri Chandler (2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TBC