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.

Promotional Reviews February 2015

VIVa115_artwork

Happy New Year TBC followers, this is our second and very belated post for 2015. Apologies for the delay but with the festive period, a busy January and a disrupted February we have been unable to publish anything new until now. ‘Quality not quantity’ and ‘patience is a virtue’ are both sayings that come to mind in this time and fear not as we are bringing you a brand new promotional article now and this will be followed shortly by the end of year playlist for 2014 as well as our ‘Best Of’ 2014 article. This coupled with a very active 2015 for new music and you will see a lot of activity over the next month or so.

This article is being brought to you by a one armed, lame TBC writer as I unfortunately fell victim to the icey conditions in Sheffield in January. I slipped and managed to break my shoulder resulting in a long lay off, currently 3 weeks but due to be 4/5 in total, and extended rehab spanning a few months! It wasn’t pretty and I would not wish this injury on anybody. It hasn’t been nice, the pain has been bad and the partial lack of use in my left arm is frustrating. On the positive side I have had plenty of time to listen to music including an array of new promotional material from One Records, Eskimo Recordings, Culprit Records, Hot Creations, International Feel, Crosstown Rebels, Firehouse, Viva Music, Hot Trax, Rebellion and BLDG5 Records. I have also had access to plenty of pain killers to take the edge off so every cloud and all that. I hope you enjoy the article, the structure will be a short review for each of the 13 records and I will then select the TBC top 5 with a favourite which will get some extra write up.

This article has been a joy to write and we have enjoyed listening to the new records from artists such as Subb-An who recently completed his Essential Mix on BBC 1 and two great offerings from one of our favourite labels Eskimo Recordings. Skream also chips in with a new release – he has become an interesting prospect in the house and techno scene since his transition from dubstep. All this plus an array of new artists that have excited and entertained us at TBC HQ over the last few weeks.

Subb-An – Warp (One Records) 

Two great tracks on this EP; Warp and TV. Bass heavy, chunky tech-house with the A-side Warp focusing on a more stripped down groove and bassline while the B-side TV really excelling with its reverberating bassline and haunting vocals from Jacob Phono. This is Subb-An’s first release on the label he co-founded. Great first release and looking forward to the next one already.

Du Tonc – Every Song (Eskimo Recordings)

What you come to expect from Eskimo Recordings; they have such a nose for artists that deliver their signature sounds and with such a timeless quality. Du Tonc provides an uplifting summery pop/disco track with a great male vocal. Reminiscent of an Aeroplane/MGMT track which is testament to how good this track is. The only downside is that this is a single track release only.

Maxxi Soundsystem – Medicine EP feat. Name One (Culprit Records)

Culprit have a great array of artists who have featured over recent years; Lee Curtiss, Adriatique, Shonky, Subb-An and Hot Natured. Droog, a collective of DJ’s, have done a great job in developing their label. Uk based Maxxi Soundystem provides a three track release for Culprit titled the Medicine EP.The tracks sit in a nu-disco, house genre with a great vocal on each track from Name One. The title track is the standout track with wonky disco/electro infused house that accompany the vocal perfectly.

Denney – Pimp Out (Hot Creations) 

This is a two track release from Denney on Hot Creations (always such a busy record label) with Pimp Out. The title track is a catchy, nice paced and infectious house track that verges on G-House with its ghetto feel. There is even time for some acid house samples to leave this track sounding slightly old school-esque. The B-side Low Frequency has a slightly slower pace but where it slows down it adds groove and a superb acid squelch. The vocal is far more ghetto which again leaves this house near the G-House genre. Overall a great release from Denney and we could imagine dancing away to this one at Kater Blau in Berlin.

Satin Jackets – Shine on You (Eskimo Recordings)

As with Du Tonc Every Song, Eskimo Recordings are able to churn out quality disco and house with ease. Satin Jackets are stalwarts for Eskimo featuring on the label for a few years now and Shine On You doesn’t disappoint. This is a 5 track release of Shine On You and remixes: Radio, Original, Mighty Mouse, Ben Macklin Remix & Dub Remix. Ester’s vocals are perfect for this uplifting, summery, emotional and atmospheric pop/disco track. Mighty Mouse chips in with a more energetic and club ready remix while Ben Macklin slows things down to create a remix that oozes disco sophistication.

Double Knots – Double Vision EP (International Feel)

“Imagine Tangerine Dream soundtracking Miami Vice through Todd Terje’s ears” is the summary of this EP on the press release, nuff said. This is a three track release, on International Feel who specialise in the more alternative side to electronic music, from Double Knots. Each track is slow, atmospheric, cosmic disco that seems to come from a film score which is testament to the production quality on offer here. Its hard to pick a favourite but I would say the title track Double Vision mixed by Toby Tobias as it reminds us of a DJ Supermarkt Too Slow To Disco track, lets see those disco fingers!

Skream – Still Lemonade (Crosstown Rebels) 

Crosstown Rebels, as Hot Creations above, continue to churn out quality releases. This time Skream offers his Still Lemonade track with a remix from Redshape on the B-side. Skream’s transition to house and techno from dubstep shows that a quality producer can perform in any genre of music. The original is a progressive techno stormer which builds to an electro infused breakdown. The bassline, drums and synths are epic. The Redshape remix cranks it up a notch and leads the track into a more full on techno track with a thunderous grumbly bass.

https://soundcloud.com/factmag/skream-still-lemonade-redshape-remix

Kim Ann Foxman – Firehouse 002 

The second release on Kim Ann Foxman’s new record label Firehouse and Kim delivers more solid house production as she develops her style since pursuing a solo career outside Hercules & The Love Affair. A 5 track release, Open The House with 2 remixes from Eli Escobar, The Lady is a Vamp and Eye See Me. The Eli Escobar remix is the stand out track as it spices up the house formula to provide an uplifting feel with strong beats, key and percussion. The Lady is a Vamp is a quirky B-side with freak show-esque horror sounds and effects. Eye See Me completes the diverse record with a cosmic, futuristic sounding progressive track with a nice breakdown.

Mark Jenkyns feat. MC Chickaboo – On Me (Hot Creations) 

This is yet another Hot Creation release and another quality one at that. Mark Jenkyns provides us with a 4 track release named On Me which has 3 iterations; original, club tweak and Skream remix plus Like This. The vocal is the standout element to this track courtesy of MC Chickaboo. The Skream remix is the best of the 3, providing a club ready, well produced and polished track remix. The remix builds and develops around the vocal perfectly with an excellent breakdown for the dance floor.

Monday Club – Blackout (VIVa Music) 

Steve Lawler’s record label provides the next release from Monday Club who are Luke May and Paul Sidoli. They have been on the electronic music scene for some time and are a duo of high calibre. Blackout is a 5 track release; Blackout has two mixes (one from the recent on form Luke Solomon), Footprints and Girls Jacking. The theme for this record is ‘Accciieeeed’ and lots of it. Each track features the signature acid house sounds and squelches. Blackout has an old Speak and Spell computer vocal, Footprints is rave with a great male vocal and Girls Jacking is the most party track and does exactly what is says on the tin ‘jack’. Hard to pick a favourite as each is a solid release, the Solomon remix was not his best and doesn’t take Blackout to a new level, shame.

Raumakustik – Raider (Hot Trax)

Hot Trax is a sub-label for Hot Creations to release some tougher techno style tracks and Raumakustik provides Raider with a remix by the head honcho at Hot Creations Jamie Jones. The original is a marching tech-house track with heavy drums and effects that build, warp and reverberate the dance floor or speakers or both. Jamie Jones provides a tougher take on the track more towards techno focusing on the key elements of the track to produce a more bass heavy, sub-shaking track.

Dino Lenny – Dont Believe (Rebellion)

Another sub-label this time for Crosstown Rebels and Dino Lenny who has 90’s notoriety from remixing INXS, Underworld, Missy Elliot & Timbaland. He steps up with his newest production Don’t Believe. A two track release with Plastic Man on the B-side which is right up the street of Maceo Plex or Ten Walls which means this track is one that TBC like. The A-side is deep, progressive with haunting vocals and roaring chords that create a sinister sounding track. The B-side is dark and moody with keys that provide a ‘wub…wub….wub”  throughout. Progressive again in style with an array of effects, sounds and vocals. Couldn’t choose between the two as they are both excellent productions.

Garden City Movement – Modern West EP (BLDG5 Records)

The most alternative music offering of this article and to be honest it wasn’t strictly TBC material but we are always open to new music. Garden City Movement are an alternative urban group who produce experimental, urban sounding, dubstep,grime and pop crossover. A five track release with the title track being the weakest offering as it was just too cheesy. Each of the other 4 tracks were interesting with uplifting dubby track Rebellion and an alternative disco track with balearic sounds called My Only Love. Sorting Things Out was a crackly hubby number with nice percussion and beats while When We Had It Easy provides a broken beat pop record. Sorting Things Out was probably our favourite but the whole record was a nice alternative offering.

Our Top Five, in no particular order:

  1. Subb-An – Warp (One Records)
  2. Denney – Pimp Out (Hot Creations)
  3. Skream – Still Lemonade (Crosstown Rebels) 
  4. Mark Jenkyns feat. MC Chickaboo – On Me (Hot Creations)
  5. Monday Club – Blackout (VIVa Music)

Just choosing a top five has been difficult as there are some great records covered in this article. Dino Lenny’s Don’t Believe and the Eskimo Recordings releases were very close to squeezing in. Unfortunately we had to shortlist otherwise we would just be selecting every release from the 13 which is not only lazy but a failing when writing up a review article. In the shortlist we have a great Subb-An record on One Records (who were kind enough to share this promo release with us). He has been on a roll recently with his Essential Mix on BBC that was well received – we are sure he will have a good 2015. Denny is a new artist to TBC but his sound isn’t and this release is a great addition to our G-House collection, we can’t fault a good G-House record as we have become hooked since discovering the genre last year via Amine Edge and Dance’s Essential Mix and our experience at Kater Haus in Kater Blau, Berlin. Skream provides a sample of his upcoming album, which is to be released via Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels label, with Still Lemonade. This is a well produced club stormer with a great remix from Redshape, we challenge you not to be impressed with this record and we can’t wait to hear it out in a club. Mark Jenkyns is another newbie to TBC but MC Chickaboo isn’t as she featured on one of my all time favourite songs by Timo Maas which I loved so much back in the day I even invented a dance called the ‘Shifter’, I am not joking! On Me and Like This are great tracks plus the Skream remix is superb, he is on a roll at the moment. Monday Club was the surprise of the bunch as we weren’t expecting much from this one but it has provided the most fun at TBC HQ with the warehouse rave tracks, great acid house style and quirky effects, vocals etc. including the excellent ‘Speak & Spell’ vocal effect on Blackout which is so retro its excellent.

As you can tell from the positive words above selecting a favourite is difficult and to be honest has divided opinion at TBC HQ as it is between Monday Club and Skream and both are excellent. The remaining entries in the shortlist have to be commended and it is great to see such a great selection of new tracks from just the 13 we have been lucky enough to review. Having spent a great deal of time listening to each of the favourites we had to go with Monday Clubs latest EP Blackout. The duo have created a superb 5 track EP that captures the Acid sound and warehouse party vibe perfectly. Each track would be well received at a party but could be equally enjoyed at home on a nice bassy sound system. The reason this release sets itself apart from Skream’s release, only just mind you, is that Monday Club deliver on three different tracks and even throw in a Luke Solomon stripped back remix along with an Acapella mix for good measure. It isn’t often an EP provides entertainment from start to finish so not only is this the best release it is also the one with the best value for money. Please have a look at Monday Club’s Soundcloud page below and check out Blackout once it is released, unfortunately there isn’t a streaming link we can offer currently.

Congratulations to Monday Club – Blackout (VIVa Music)

soundcloud.com/mondayclubmusic

Many thanks for reading and we hoped that you enjoyed. We will be back soon with more on TBC.

We would like to thanks Maouris, One Records and all of the individual record labels mentioned above for the opportunity to review their latest releases.

Nick