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Last year I decided to compile my favourite albums of the year in response to the wealth of music out out on New Year’s Eve. So this year, in addition to this idea (which will return next week) I’ve opted to single out individual tracks from any format (but with a bias for standalone singles, EP’s and other formats over tracks that may already make my album list).
As always, I’m far more interested in allowing you to listen to the music and enjoying it for yourself, so I won’t write at length about each track, but I will share a brief thought on my feelings about it an why it made the list. Even now I’m listening to music that could have made the list had it not featured on an album I’m including in the top 10 next week! Nonetheless, in reverse order, I present to you my top tracks of 2012!
20. Inside The Ride - Royal-T
Some 2-Step vibes on an album I’ve been mightily impressed with. Rich chords and imposing bass that was far from instant love in parts, but I grew to appreciate the track in its entirety!
19. Streets of Rave - Cyantific
Classic Prodigy-esque vibes from D&B peddler Cyantific mixing up that early 90’s rave style with some more contemporary bass synthesis and manipulation. Lighters in the air!
18. My Lovin’ Is All About You - Dojo Cuts feat. Roxie Ray
Some seriously infectious funky soul from Italy here. That guitar riff is relentless and plays my heartstrings every time and has yet to fail to put a smile on my face.
17. Au Seve - Julio Bashmore
You’d need to have been living under a rock to have missed this one. Super-crisp house music at its best - excellent use of vocal snippets, harmony, simplicity and space.
16. Fumes - Om Unit
The whole EP is incredible, but this particular track sticks out for me simply because of its intricacy, attention to detail and grove. Heavy-hitting but not overbearing hip-hop vibes with skilful use of chords to shift the tone mid-way.
15. Elevate This Sound - Calyx & TeeBee
A mournful D&B tune which matches its lyrical depth with immediate production and an arresting, punchy bassline.
14. Sinking - Part-Time Heroes
An adept exercise in weaving arrangements written for string quartets with jazz, electronic breakbeats and some powerful sub-bass. The result is pretty breathtaking. Prepare to get swept away!
13. I Feel Good (James Brown Flip Up) - Tall Black Guy
A very late addition to the list which is simply a thorough education on what hip-hop is supposed to sound like: Intelligent, engaging, bright, bassy, using samples cleverly and respectfully and in this case, in a way that doesn’t rely too heavily on their recognizability to carry the production.
12. Tenderly - Disclosure
Apparently I was living under a rock for this one! Massive vibes from the brothers who specialise in 2-Step and house, this tune features ultra-heavy broken beat and sports a thumping bassline in an incredibly intelligent and yet dancefloor-friendly way.
11. We Are One (Nu:Logic Remix) - Logistics
A pulchritudinous effort from the Gresham brothers on Matt’s breakbeat number. Heavy junglist vibes all over this made it one of my “sit up and pay attention” tunes this year.
10. Fire (Mr. Scruff Remix) - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Bass and brass coming together in harmony on this one! Caused some serious trouser-wobbling for people at Floripa earlier in the year and you can hear why - fabulous performances and a deft touch from Mr. Scruff on the remix side of things!
9. Rebel Music - Plastician
An almost surprise entry to the rankings, given another tune on the EP caught my attention first. However, a combination of top class lyrical delivery, captivating writing and thunderous production caused me to plump for this emotive piece of dubstep.
8. Drawing Straws - Netsky
Ultra-tight production and writing from Netsky here. One that has featured on many a car journey over the months since it release!
7. Seraphim - Simian Mobile Disco
Instantly danceable, warmly written chords and a groove that won’t leave you alone, SMD have cracked open a sub-disco/hip-hop-inflected monster with a massive sound that fills the room.
Free download here: https://soundcloud.com/simianmobiledisco/seraphim
6. Laughing At Clouds - Frederic Robinson
Delicate drum and bass could sound somewhat oxymoronic. However, these days with producers like Frederic Robinson putting out off kilter and yet warmly inviting tracks like this which have a sense of hope and joy simply cannot be ignored!
5. Fletcher Moss Park - Matthew Halsall
Glorious jazz from the young composer/arranger/trumpeter/genius incorporating fairly a small number of instruments to create huge sounding pieces, this being a fine example of why I love the genre - as it showcases how beautiful it can be.
4. Keep On Loving Me - Onra
Heavy electro disco thunder is the order of the day. I rarely played a set this summer that didn’t include this fabulous, funky updated re-edit.
Free download with Label Love 4: http://labelloveworldwide.bandcamp.com/album/label-love-vol-4
3. The Golden Section - Technimatic
The fact that this track is only number 3 in this lost shows how high the standard is this year. Effortlessly simple but engineered and produced to impossibly high standards, “The Golden Section” brings a real sense of elation and elevation each time I listen to it. When I finish my degree early next year, this is the first thing I plan to listen to in order to celebrate.
2. Magdalena - Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bàrbaro
Tropical soul from Tru Thoughts’ finest. I’m endeared to this tune, not least because there’s a lot of truth to the lyrics as well as rich arrangements and spine-tingling harmonies from Ms. Russell.
1. Flight - Hidden Orchestra
What can I say about this track to do it justice? A combination of jazz, film score, breakbeat, electronica, folk and a whole host of influences I’m sure to have missed, set in the context of the Scottish Highlands, featuring duelling drummers, an incandescent use of harp and a tapestry of instruments and sounds that lull you uncompromisingly through a journey featuring a spectrum of emotion. When I first heard it, I realised it was something “special” (understatement) and a true testament to independent music which tells beautiful stories without resorting to words.
Well that’s all. I’m sure there’s more great music on the way in 2013, and in the meantime, you can check out my top albums of 2012 in a week’s time!
Music to light up your night with contributions from Logistics, Om Unit, Benji Boko, Ambassadeurs, Villem & much more!
All 6 Sunset Sessions mixes, from the promo through to the final DJ Set! Enjoy!
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To all of you who came along to see me and others perform at Sunset Sessions over the weekend, a big thank you for your support! Massive shouts to those who put the event on, provided hospitality, light and sound so that we could be seen and heard - without them, it’d have been a very dark and quiet night. If you heard a tune that you’d like to listen to again, then you can check them here! Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a few recordings out too, all in good time!
1. All You’ve Got (feat. Ru C.L, Hau (Koolism) and Yungun) - Katalyst
2. Can I Kick It? (Boilerhouse Mix) - A Tribe Called Quest
3. Music Takes Me Up (feat. Alice Russell) - Mr. Scruff
4. Hope Deferred - Dr. J - Download
5. Tchaparian - Hot Chip
6. Kiara - Bonobo
7. Too Hot To Hold (feat. S.P.) - Break
8. Show Me The Lights - Friendly Fires
9. Cruel Intentions - Simian Mobile Disco
10. Lazer Dick - Wagon Christ
11. Watch Me Dance (feat. Roots Manuva) - Toddla T
12. Super Soaker - Louis La Roche
1. The Luck Without - Throwing Snow
2. Whistle Crew - Rusko
3. Physical Stamina - Hint
4. Badness (featuring Skream) - Zed Bias
5. Crush On You - Nero
6. Night - Benga & Coki
7. Before Dawn - Dr. J Download
8. Take Me Away (Linton Brown Remix) - Haji & Emanuel Free Download
9. Orangeade - Royal-T
10. Scapegoat - Randomer
11. Fire (feat. Ms. Dynamite) - Magnetic Man
1. No Problem - Chase & Status
2. Mr. Happy - DJ Hazard & D*Minds
3. Love Has Gone - Netsky
4. Voices Of A Distant Star - Reso
5. Diplodocus (Kill The Noise Remix) - Noisia
6. We Are One (Nu:Logic Remix) - Logistics
7. Cross The Line (feat. Ayah Marar) - Camo & Krooked
8. If We Ever (feat. Diane Charlemagne) - High Contrast
9. Heaven (Nu:Tone Remix) - Emeli Sandé
10. Lk (feat. Stamina MC) - DJ Marky & XRS
11. Tremendo Boogaloo (Fluid Mechanics Remix) - Manteca
12. Judgement Day (featuring Cyantific & I-Kay) - Danny Byrd
1. Re-Rewind (The Crowd Say Bo Selecta) - The Artful Dodger
2. I Wish (Plump DJ’s Remix) - Skee-Lo Free Download
3. Feeling For You - Cassius
4. Yeah Yeah (D. Ramirez Vocal Club Mix) - Bodyrox
5. Must Be The Feeling - Nero
6. Flashback - Wolfgang Gartner
7. Gobstopper - Plump DJ’s
1. Earthquake (Radio Edit) - Labrinth feat. Tinie Tempah
2. Neva Soft - Ms. Dynamite
3. Higher Ground - TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke x Lunice)
4. Badungdeng (Clean Version) - Sleepin’ Giantz
5. Oliver Twist - D’Banj
6. Shutterbug (Jack Beats Remix Krafty Kuts Re-Reub) - Big Boi
7. Not So Blue - Quantic
8. Red Alert - Basement Jaxx
9. Beat The Clock (Ableton Contest Submission) - GeneticBros
10. Sweet Shop - Doctor P
11. Bass Cannon - Flux Pavilion
12. Eastern Jam - Chase & Status
13. End Credits - Chase & Status feat. Plan B
14. One More Time (Cyantific Bootleg) - Daft Punk
15. Ooh Wee (featuring Ghostface Killah, Nate Dogg, Trife & Saigon) (Amended Version) - Mark Ronson
16. Joints & Jam (Album Version) - The Black-Eyed Peas
17. Gangster Tripping - Fatboy Slim
18. Dirty Harry - Gorlilaz
1. Flight - Hidden Orchestra
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I’m playing Sunset Sessions festival in Colchester a week today! Get a taster with the promo mix right here!
My debut album is out today! You can download it for free or name your price from http://drjpresents.bandcamp.com
Thanks so much for all of the support to those who’ve (already!) got it or tried to buy it ahead of its release!
Dr. J Presents: It Begins Tonight (Influences Minimix): Get an insight into what made “It Begins Tonight” what it is with this 25 minute showcase of the key influences and inspiration for it on Mixcloud now!
Here’s an opportunity to sample the entire album (out 2 weeks today from http://drjpresents.bandcamp.com) as a FREE DOWNLOAD from SoundCloud. Check out the widget here and tracklist is below:
1. It Begins Tonight
2. Triplet State
3. Trust (feat. Iman)
6. Disentanglement (feat. Lauren Hill)
7. Questionable Motives
8. Before Dawn
9. Hope Deferred
10. Unspoken Words
11. Home Grown
12. Nowhere To Hide
On Saturday, I had the pleasure of playing the 25th Birthday party of a very dear friend of mine in the wilds of Kent. Thinking about it, I’ve known them for 7 years this summer - crumbs! Time flies! Anyway, my set for her party is as follows. Had a lot of questions and positive requests, which is always a joy (not to mention a relief) as a DJ who is keen to play great music!
Dr. J Presents: Anne’s 25th Mix
1. Talking Me Down (Domu Slow Mix) – The Rebirth
2. Dy-na-mi-tee – Ms. Dynamite
3. Prelude – Bonobo
4. Kiara – Bonobo
5. Holy – Part-Time Heroes
6. The Journey – Unforscene
7. The Time Is Now (Edit) – Moloko
8. Tell Me What To Do – Johnny Hammond
9. Swahililand (LP Version) – Ahmad Jamal
10. Waltz Up – Five Corners Quintet
11. Baby And Me – Sara Mitra
12. Afreaka – The Rhythmagic Orchestra
13. Pastime Paradise – Ray Barretto
14. I Need A Dollar – Aloe Blacc
15. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
16. Can I Kick It? (Boilerhouse Mix) – A Tribe Called Quest
17. Music Takes Me Up (feat. Alice Russell) – Mr. Scruff
18. Frontier Psychiatrist – The Avalanches
19. Valerie (feat. Amy Winehouse) – Mark Ronson
20. Ooh Wee (featuring Ghostface Killah, Nate Dogg, Trife & Saigon) – Mark Ronson
21. Get Up (I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine) – James Brown
22. Step It Up (feat. Alice Russell) – The Bamboos
23. Work It Out – Speedometer (Beyoncé)
24. Like I Love You – Justin Timberlake
25. Ain’t Nobody (feat. Sharlene Hector) – Jack & Juke (Chaka Khan)
26. Rapper’s Delight – Sugarhill Gang
27. Get On The Floor – Michael Jackson
28. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Daft Punk
29. Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix) – Cornershop
30. Red Alert – Basement Jaxx
31. Not So Blue – Quantic
32. Heaven – Emeli Sandé
33. Do Your Thing – Basement Jaxx vs. Metropole Orkest
34. It’s Dancing Time – Mr. Scruff & Quantic
***Interlude for Michael’s Set***
35. Hush Boy – Basement Jaxx
36. Tremendo Boogaloo (Fluid Mechanics Remix) – Manteca
37. Gold Dust (Radio Edit) – DJ Fresh
38. Cross The Line (feat. Ayah Marar) – Camo & Krooked
39. If We Ever (feat. Diane Charlemagne) – High Contrast
40. Katy On A Mission – Katy B
41. Badness (feat. Skream) – Zed Bias
42. Crush On You – Nero
43. Watch Me Dance (feat. Roots Manuva) – Toddla T
44. DVNO – Justice
45. Pick Pocket (feat. Laura Vane) – Diesler
46. Rock Your Body – Justin Timberlake
47. Pastime Paradise (Reprise by Request) – Ray Barretto (Stevie Wonder, aka Gangster’s Paradise by Coolio feat. L.V)
48. Sexual Healing (Edit) – Hot 8 Brass Band (Marvin Gaye)
49. Killin’ – The Apples (Rage Against The Machine aka Killing In The Name Of)
50. Nuthin’ But A G Thing (Dre En Cumbia) – Quantic Y Su Conjunto Los Miticos Del Ritmo (Dr. Dre, aka Nuthin’ But A G Thang feat. Snoop Dogg)
51. No Diggity – Hackney Colliery Band (Blackstreet feat. Queenpin)
52. Fire – The Impellers (Jimi Hendrix)
53. When The Sun Goes Down – Lack Of Afro (Arctic Monkeys)
The Wind Down
54. Look Around The Corner – Quantic & Alice Russell With The Combo Bárbaro
55. Folded – Part-Time Heroes
Covers have the original artists in brackets and underlined.
Mixcloud (Mixtapes and Live Recordings): http://www.mixcloud.com/drjpresents
Soundcloud (Original productions & remixes): http://soundcloud.com/drjpresents
Free Music & Releases: http://drjpresents.bandcamp.com
I hope that you enjoyed it!
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Track of the Week Returns! This one’s a banger, taken from his 2010 self-titled debut, Pirate Bay by Netsky has been one of those staple tracks for my D&B sets over the past few years, and as soon as you listen, I think you’ll know why.
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