With countless blogs, magazines and websites compiling their end of year lists, I thought I would hop on the bandwagon and share with you a handful of lists revealing the music that moved me and many others throughout this year.
If you dug deep enough, 2013 has been great for lovers of electronic music, with a consistent stream - and sometimes excess - of sounds with various new styles and takes on old sounds carved out and explored. This list will focus on 10 mixes that have had a strong impact based on their concept, innovation, selection and all-round vibe. It has been a challenge to try and order these, as they are all winners in their own right.
10 - Sven Weisemann - Mixmag In Session
Sven is super talented. He recently released a record - ‘Inner Motions' - this year on Mojuba, demonstrating his ability as a producer to make a versatile, wide-ranging album. His live performances are something to behold and he has even done a stint of exclusive piano concerts, re-affirming just how talented Mr Weisemann is. Unsurprisingly, he is also a master when it comes to DJ sets. A serious record collector and selector, Sven Weisemann can easily cast a spell upon the listener through the medium of a DJ set. This exclusive DJ set for Mixmag shows Sven creating a blissful atmosphere structured from beatless, ambient soundscapes to the pummelling, yet ethereal dubby techno from the likes of Vester Koza, Tob Jona et al, winding the mix down with lush house cuts and grooves. This is Sven Weisemann’s masterclass in schoolin’ “deep ‘ouse” posers.
9 - Trushmix 39: DJ Sotofett then Ron Morelli
When Sotofett or Morelli and mix are in the title, my ears will always prick up. DJ Sotofett can play tracks as far-removed from the dancefloor and still make them work for the dancefloor. L.I.E.S. bossman Ron Morelli has a finely tuned ear considering the sublime output of his label this year and the tracks that often fill out his DJ sets. He has a knack of making records sound so much more interesting because he’s playing them, this is partly down to his skill as a DJ in selecting the most interesting and out there songs that most DJ’s would never have the imagination to fish and play out. DJ Sotofett warms up the first 50 minutes with trippy tropic vibes (Bobby Konders - Massai Women), uplifting Italo, Synth-pop re-edits (New Muzik - Warp [Ilo Edit]), and house gems (Dee Dee Brave - Mookie’s Bio - as produced by Kerri Chandler). Ron Morelli tears up the next hour + a 1/2 continuing in a similar vein with lush house grooves, progressing into 90’s futuristic house music from the likes of Gemini and the odd curveball from the likes of the Human League thrown in. A blinder of a mix.
8 - You’re A Melody #1 w/ Floating Points, Jeremy Underground Paris, Red Greg)
This was taken from a night that Sam Shepherd (Floating Points) put together at London’s Plastic People featuring London DJ/record collector Red Greg and My Love Is Underground’s Jeremy Underground Paris. The recording strictly features 7”s of Funk, Soul Disco and other rare grooves being played on two EMT turntables. No beat-matching here, just an exceptional selection of musical rarities that would intrigue any crate-digger.
7 - Roof.fm Nr. 60: Pépé Bradock
I highly regard Pépé Bradock. Every single track, remix, album, compilation, mix he has ever published have been of the highest quality, simply flawless. Listening through his discography, his sound takes in many styles from, Ambient to Jazz, Classical to Techno, House to Hip Hop, and quite literally, anything else in between. This mix was a nice surprise considering Pépé Bradock mixes are sparse on the internet. This podcast for the Swiss Roof.fm series soundtracked most of my summer with its blend of smooth to free-jazz from staple names such as Pharaoh Sanders, Sun Ra and Herbie Hancock to the summer-kissed Soul music of Al Green, Patrice Rushen and Teddy Pendergrass. Pépé’s the man, he takes you on a journey without resorting to any House or Techno 12”s.
6 - Little White Earbuds Podcast #152: Prince of Denmark
The Enigmatic Giegling affiliate Prince of Denmark and his LWE podcast entirely composed with P.O.D. productions - many from his LP ‘The Body' - and exclusives was one of the standout mixes from this year. If you're clued-up you may be aware of his other alias Traumprinz. The output from both of these aliases is phenomenal. I feel that both Prince of Denmark and Traumprinz will both be that significant kind of producer whose music I will always appreciate and buy - regardless of whether I’ve listened to it properly or not - because I feel where they are coming from, musically and dig their never-ending exploration of old styles with a thinking-outside-of-the-box-approach. Considering a lot the mix is made up from one of the records that will feature in a top albums of ‘13 list (soon come!), naturally, this mix completely deserves its spot on this list.
5 - FACT Mix 385: Prosumer
4 - Donato Dozzy: Electronique.it Podcast #200
"Dear DJs and producers from Rome, … There are small parts of many of you in this mix: not long edits, but elements of records. The whole mix is composed of these little fragments, and because of that, I dare you to find yourselves here. Nice guys and assholes, self-centered and selfless, laidback and tormented: here you are all together."
These are the words of the Italian Techno wizard Donato Dozzy, describing the approach towards his contribution for the electronique.it podcast series, it sounds like nothing else. Donato has developed the mix entirely from the music the city of Rome has had to offer over the years from Experimental Prog-Rock band ‘Goblin’ to the Hard Trance of ‘Shadow Dancers or ‘Fun Fun”s Italo-Disco to Stelvio Cipriani’s scored soundtrack for obscure cult movies. Creating an amalgamation of 4 or 5 tracks at a single time, the result, an outrageous full-blown, trip like no other.
3 - XLR8R 315: Oneohtrix Point Never
Having been an avid follower of Daniel Lopatin’s Oneohtrix Point Never since his 2009 ‘Rifts’ compilation, I have always been on the lookout for future OPN records cropping up. His Warp-released ‘R Plus Seven’ was a standout record from this year, due to Lopatin’s ever-increasing innovation and change of direction, whilst maintaining a signature sound. His XLR8R mix which pre-empted the release of ‘R Plus Seven' highlighted Lopatin's capability and willingness to put some completely bat-shit crazy ideas - that many would shy away from - to the test, and it paid off. He sits the sounds of three six mafia next to timeless Warp via Forgemasters. There is also experimentation in non-music sounds, with the use of clips from Channel 4's 'Three Minute Wonder' TV show and artist Mark Leckey's short film 'Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore’. Many would think these tracks wouldn’t blend well together, but Lopatin sets the tone making these off-kilter transitions seem perfectly natural. There is also a 10 minute section with Daniel Lopatin showing some appreciation for Oni Ayhun’s gorgeous, tearjerker OAR003 (which is a winner in my books). The abstract vision of Lopatin’s music is also presented throughout this mix, making him one of the most interesting artists out there.
2 - Blowing Up The Workshop 12: Galcher Lustwerk - 100% Galcher
The White Material imprint and all its affiliates were constantly surrounded with hype on blogs, forums and whatever else in 2013. It is easy to be drawn in by the hype, but the limited, vinyl only releases and this mix from Galcher Lustwerk, eradicate any lingering scepticism. 100% Galcher is, well, 100% Galcher Lustwerk material (originals, exclusives etc.). His ‘Tape 22' EP on White Material released back in May, instantly blew me way. Critics may have considered the spoken word lyrics and rapping as corny, but, Galcher Lustwerk took House and Techno music and flipped them upside down on their heads, reinventing them with a sound that felt 100% Galcher, a sound that could easily accompany those hazy post-party get-downs. Hoping that he wasn't going to be a one-trick-pony, Tape 22 fed my curiosity to see what else Galcher had to offer, everything on '100% Galcher' delivered. It's been on heavy rotation since, and it still bangs. All I (and many others) ask for now, is for this to see a physical release. Please.
1- RA 363 - Marcellis
Marcellis is a super low-key, underrated producer. He has only had a sparse string of releases including on the Lowtec’s fantastic Workshop. The Dutch producer had a great 2013 dropping a blissful EP on ‘Millions of Moments' and crafted the greatest RA podcast I heard all year. Like his sound, I can't really describe what wins me over with this mix . Its psychedelic, odd-ball atmosphere is definitely my bag. Maybe the fact I struggle to pigeon-hole Marcellis, is why I dig what he does so much. Like most of the mixes in this list, Marcellis's mix flows freely, from genre to genre bpm to bpm, he mixes DJ Samo into a way-ahead-of-its-time tropical Paul McCartney b-side without sounding dis-jointed. I can’t say anything else but good things for this mix, so I think I’ll just leave it at that.