Friday’s podcast is here! Featuring music from Five Corners Quintet, 20syl, Ohmega Watts, Matthew Halsall & the Gondwana Orchestra, Quantic, Mr. Scruff, Calibre, Technimatic, Jungle & brand new music from yours truly! Check it out! Dr. J Presents: Tales From The Groovechamber (Volume 6) to Mixcloud.
I was asked to DJ at the summer fair for the school I’m currently working at. Never one to disappoint, even little kids can enjoy quality soulful music!
1. Archipelago - Quantic
2. Sunshine - Sleepin’ Giant
3. Backyard (Kidkanevil Remix) - Belleruche
4. Kodama - 20syl
5. All of the Lights - Hackney Colliery Band
6. Una Nota - Question
7. Soul Stew - Leonard Dstroy
8. Dream Sequence (feat. Colette Chantel) - Ohmega Watts
9. Innovators (Nostalgically Speaking) - Homecut
10. Ooh La La - The Wiseguys
11. Deaf Mick’s Throwdown - Clockwork Voodoo Freaks
12. Intergalactic - Beastie Boys
13. Fire (Mr. Scruff Remix) - Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
14. 8th Wonder (Pressure Drop Remix) - The Sugarhill Gang
15. My Lovin’ is All About You - Dojo Cuts
16. Happy - Pharrell Williams
17. Goliath - Monophonics
18. Mampama - Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars
19. Westbound Train - Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno
20. Liquidator - Harry J Allstars
21. Happy (Cairo’s Reprise) - Pharrell Williams
22. Au Seve - Julio Bashmore
23. Flawless (ATFC ReRemix) - The Ones
24. Music Sounds Better With You (12” Club Mix) - Stardust
25. Loving You Is Easy - Camo & Krooked
26. Puppy - Netsky
27. NRG (Skrillex, Kill the Noise and Milo & Otis Remix) - Duck Sauce
28. Lights On (Single Mix) - Katy B feat. Ms. Dynamite
29. Dancing - Omar & Zed Bias
30. Be Happy - Other Echoes
31. Dundas - Jafu
32. Calle F - Mala
33. Night - Benga & Coki
34. Sweet Shop - Doctor P
35. Badness (Featuring Skream) - Zed Bias
36. Take Me Away (Linton Brown Remix) - Haji & Emmanuel
37.Somebody to Love - Rusko
38. Throw Ya Hands - Danny Byrd
39. Homeless Romantic (Nu:Tone Remix) - Itch
40. Days Go Slow (feat. Miri) - DJ Marky & S.P.Y
41. Night Vision - Technimatic
42. Second Sun - Calibre
43. Racing Green - High Contrast
44. Stay With Me (Shy FX Remix) - Sam Smith
45. Tremendo Boogaloo (Fluid Mechanics Remix) - Manteca
46. Gold Dust (Radio Edit) - DJ Fresh
47. Count On Me (feat. Moko) [Andy C Remix] - Chase & Status
48. You & Me - Disclosure
49. Superstylin’ - Groove Armada
Thanks to all the people who gave lovely feedback on the day (and since!) Glad you all enjoyed it!
This month’s #JoiningTheDots features brand new music from The Impellers and Cookin’ On 3 Burners! Super fresh cuts alongside gems from the vaults, as served by yours truly!
Just uploaded Dr. J Presents: Joining The Dots (Episode 27, July 2014) to Mixcloud. Listen now!
Friday 18th July at 8PM, LIVE podcast goodness from yours truly, featuring new music from my forthcoming album! Details here: https://m.facebook.com/events/669163933176540 Tune in here: http://mixlr.com/drjpresents
Just uploaded Dr. J Presents: Tales From The Groovechamber (Volume 5) to Mixcloud. Brought back from the dead, and presented to you in full (musically speaking, sans VO’s) May’s podcast features music from Quantic, Reso, Daft Punk, James Talk, Hint & Zed Bias, Mr. Scruff and new music from me!!
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Featuring Erykah Badu, Fatima, Lack of Afro & Juliette Ashby, Lanu, Brainstorm, Groove Armada, Mark de Clive-Lowe and more, this month’s show is a thunderous and bassy affair! Shouts to all who tuned in!
Dr. J Presents: Joining The Dots (Episode 26, June 2014) on Mixcloud. Listen now!
I Want You To Stay (feat. Kim Dawson) [Dr. J Remix] - The New Mastersounds
My recent entry into The New Mastersounds’ remix competition. String-laden broken beat vibes! Enjoy!
Source: SoundCloud / drjpresents
Hey there folks!
As we enter 2014, I thought it’d be good to share, as I do each year, my top tracks and albums of 2013. Apologies that this is getting to you all later than usual, between getting a new job, a tonne of stuff for Church, finding time for some actual rest and getting ill over the past few days, I haven’t had time to put fingers to keyboard until now!
Anyway, enough chatter! Here comes my top 25 individual tracks of the past year! I extended it from 20 as there were (at least) 5 tunes that I couldn’t bear to part with. As usual, a host of styles and tempos are represented. So, without further ado, I give you my choices:
25. Love Undone (feat. Taylor O’Donnell) - Lost Midas
Beauty is something that I esteem in music. It may be true that it is in the ear of the beholder but as far as I’m concerned, this tune has it in spades. Wonderfully pitched toy-box-like samples, warm yet punchy bass, silken vocals and delicate percussion peppered on top. Marvelous listening,
24. Wrong Turn - Flevans
This caught my ear early on in the year and as music from a producer I was already familiar with I had high expectations. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for the direction Nigel Evans was going to take on his Take What You Need EP, much more electronic than the stuff he’d released on Tru Thoughts in years past. Superbly tight breakbeats, thick electronic basslines and enough breadth in the synths to keep things interesting but not so broad as to lose its razor-sharp focus. Dancefloor-focused and deftly executed.
23. Basilisk - Fred V & Grafix
Recent additions to Hospital Records, these lads introduced their first full release on the label in quite some style. Tucked away at the end of their Goggles EP, Basilisk is a bass-heavy stomper of a tune. Drumstep weight which marries delicate piano riffs with a nigh-upon oppressive bassline and intricacy from the guitar parts, using both clean and distorted variety to achieve a wonderful balance for what they describe as (and I have to agree with them) a “dancefloor smasher”, albeit tongue-in-cheek.
22. Distant Oceans Pt. II - Ross McHenry
When the preview for this album appeared via one of First Word Records’ e-mails, it was the clip of this tune live that made me most excited about the release. It blends jazz, funk and hip-hop together perfectly. At the drop, your head just naturally wants to nod as the acoustic and electric pianos blend with the bass and drums to drive the early-70’s groove before it takes off into hyperspace. Deft work on the wind instruments justify the comparisons with the more experimental artists of the era and the combination of the sounds for me, brings a smile to my face. Every time.
21. Gloves Off - Teotima
Another cut from the First Word stable, this too came through one of their newsletters and I was intrigued enough to give them a listen. I’m glad I did! From the string-soaked intro and surreptitious guitar laid gently on top to the sudden, threatening groove punched through the peace by the rhythm section, further augmented by the flim-score string section, everything about this tune screams ‘class’! There’s more, but I don’t want to spoil it for you. I’ll leave it at that.
20. Something In My Heart - Röyksopp
Another latecomer to the party, an old favourite of mine, Röyksopp (has it really been 12 years since Melody A.M.? Wow!) Dropping a brand new single since their masterful, if a little dark sequel to 2009’s Junior in 2010’s Senior, they have really struck a chord with me in the B-Side to Running to the Sea here. Hip-hop-esque beats, gated synths, walls of bass and spine-tingling falsetto from Jamie Irrepressible. all ticks in my book.
19. Count On Me (feat. Moko) [Andy C Remix] - Chase & Status
I’ll be honest, Count On Me was (and still is) the first Chase & Status tune to turn my head and reach for Shazam in a while, and if wanting to get hold of the original was a positive sign, then hearing Andy C’s take on it was a great big neon sign saying “OH YES”! Bringing his usually tight production, junglist approach to the drums and thick, punchy bass stabs and warbles in just the right way and with enough variety in the arrangement takes a tune I enjoy listening to and makes it a tune that makes me want to jump up!
18. Lift Me Up - Rusko
Now those of you who are familiar with Rusko would probably know him more as a dubstep producer. However this year, he’s taken to upping the tempo into Drumstep/D&B territory and the results have been quite pleasing in my opinion! Lift Me Up manages to balance the colourful and even playful with the fearsome and venomous in terms of its sound palates without sounding utterly ridiculous (except for when it wants to be!) Expect trancey arpeggios (yep, not normally my thing, but it works), saw-toothed bass and leads, pizzicato synth-strings and cataclysmic drums leaping from one tempo to another at a moment’s notice, whilst all sounding fantastic!
17. Let’s Start - TY
Having joined Tru Thoughts recently, TY has released a triptych of EP’s under the title Kick, Snare and an Idea and the results have been positive for the most part .Obviously as someone who abhors bad language, there have been some moments that I’ve personally found regrettable. However on this cut, apart from a throwaway comment about the Sabbath, the tune itself commands an air of respect from the start with its sneaky shuffle in the rhythm, the ascending bassline and steady keys riff, it all makes for an engaging listen.
16. Carry Me On (feat. Chrom3) [Club Mix] - Brookes Brothers
I’m always happy to hear when the Brookes Brothers have brought some new music to the table and from its delicate guitar intro to its distorted bass drop, Carry Me On is pure sunshine. Chrom3’s rap on the radio edit keeps the positivity flowing in the mid-section, and the brothers’ arrangement on the whole leaves you as the listener in a place where you want to listen again, even before the tune is finished!
15. Breakdown - Marquee Mayfield
As I mentioned on Joining the Dots back in December, this tune was sent to me by an outside party from the Internet, and I’m glad he did! Jamiroquai-esque vibes are always going to go down well with me, and from the ever-so-slightly overdriven bass, lush string arrangements, delicate rhythm guitar parts, rich horn section, modulated keys and strong vocals arrested my attention from start to finish.
14. Take The Space Trane - Mark de Clive-Lowe and the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra
Another early bird last year and one that came out of the blue from the Tru Thoughts stable. To be honest if I could afford to have a band like this (if not this band) at my wedding, then I would sign them up right now. The standard of the performance is impeccably high - it’s a big band that blends jazz, funk and electronica and makes it work. And when I say ‘makes it work’ I mean they SCHOOL IT. This particular tune draws upon the big band, Latin jazz, soul sensibilities I love and then drops some Brukstep. Because. They. Can. And it sounds magnificent! Swing for the 21st Century. And how.
13. Loving You Is Easy - Camo & Krooked
I can’t help but feel that this has been the year of surprises, musically speaking, Loving You Is Easy definitely fits this category well. C & K are fairly well established in the D&B community, not least since dropping Cross The Line in 2011 to critical acclaim. Zeitgeist, their most recent offering shows us a little more of their creative depth, and this tune showcases that amply. What seems to be a fairly standard (if warm and happy) disco tune morphs effortlessly into pulchritudinous minimal house filtered back into said disco without batting an eyelid. Cue a double-take from me on the first listen. Instant love.
12. Stimulation - Disclosure
Probably one of many tunes of their much anticipated (and perhaps massively overplayed) album, Stimulation for me is a tune that stands out on an album that has its fair share of singles and radio material as one of the deep cuts (no pun intended, but acknowledged.) Infectious, funky, sneaky and moreish are the words I’d use to describe it. Tight drum programming, generous percussion a bassline oozing with weight and harmonics to fill the room, topped off with simple, yet effective vocals, making for some great house music. Right up my street.
11. Midnight Love - Dimension
Next up, some music from a producer who’s new to me personally. I came across this on a Hospital podcast at the beginning of the year and spent the rest of my time trying to find it/wait for it to come out! Sampling Mary J. Blige’s No More Drama, Midnight Love channels the old-school R&B vibes into a shuddering D&B beast with powerful low frequency oscillations throughout.
10. The Man - Omar
From the low-end ring of the clarinet held fast to the uber-confident bassline in the intro, everything in this cut points to it being a boss. Live instrumentation, Omar’s silky, yet heartfelt vocals on growing up into manhood via faux-maturity pull everything together while the horns and strings illustrate without being over-grandiose. Uplifting, true soul music. Much needed and much welcomed.
9. Creeping Around After Dark - Hackney Colliery Band
Before I start, I have to say that if you haven’t seen these guys live, go and do it. Now, with that out of the way, this tune gets my gong, simply because it’s mental in the best possible way - 7/8 time signature, Afrobeat rhythms, instantly danceable, upbeat, jaunty yet menacing melodies cannot fail to bring a mischievous smile to your face whilst spinning your partner round the living room. And why not?
8. All The Things - Nu:Logic
The brothers Dan (Nu:Tone) and Matt (Logistics) seem to have a knack for producing good things when they get together. This was most certainly true of their first album together What I’ve Always Waited For which proved a real drum & bass masterclass when it dropped in March. This tune for me was the highlight of this album (though I love pretty much every one on the album to be fair) however, this I just didn’t expect (there it is again)! Earth-shattering 808’s at the drop, bendy growling synths, wispy samples of children playing, and thunder-clad drums. Art that makes everything around you vibrate.
7. The Big Payback (BIGBack Slap-Up Re-Edit I) - Tall Black Guy
I love artists that take the work of artists they love and re-frame it for an audience that can love both the original and the new work. Tall Black Guy is one of a few such artists that takes real pride in being able to do this well, and with this rework of The Godfather’s The Big Payback, he has achieved something special, digging deep for the elements that make you know that James Brown is in the house, but adding his own groove, heavy syncopation, sturdy bass and starry synths to make the whole thing shine.
6. Throw Your Hands - Danny Byrd
Probably my tune of the summer. (Although his collab with Brookes Brothers) made a last-gasp effort on Golden Ticket, the album to which they both belong. From the first play on the Hospital Podcast (there that is again) I fell in love with this tune, with it harmonised bassline, 8-bit arpeggios, catchy hook and coda chords, everything about this tune says that the sun is shining: Get up and rave! I still can’t listen to this and not smile and as far as I’m concerned, the best music always has the power to do that, influence your mood, no matter where you are.
5. The Motor Is Running - Tall Black Guy
He’s back, this time with a masterpiece of his own. The Motor Is Running is just hip-hop, done right. Soul at its core, rhythm guiding the ship, melody, the sweetest of fruits, but only because the bass has engendered the fattest of roots. No lyrics, just beautiful music. Written for the drive at dusk on a summer night when the street lights are just coming on as the sun has set, this piece gives Motown flavour a very, very good name.
4. The Time Is Here At Last (feat. Hybrid Minds) - Etherwood
Med School Music’s Etherwood has announced himself with much (deserved) acclaim via his delightful (and I mean it is FULL of delight, start to finish) self-titled debut. It was difficult to pick just one track to share here as the whole thing is worth checking, (and to be honest, there’s another freebie which is incredible out there at the time of writing which could have pipped this to this spot) however, what does it for me has got to be the emotion the tune conjures. From the mixture of woe, hope and expectation from the delicate acoustic guitar in the intro, to the honest vocals ahead of the drop which makes the tune do no less than soar. Tight production tops of writing from him and Hybrid Minds which evokes captures the essence of what the vocals actually say. For me this is a powerful example of what separates ‘good’ from ‘excellent’.
3. Be Happy - Other Echoes
Nick Gresham, younger brother to Dan Nu:Tone and Matt Logistics is on to a winner here. This 2-step, honey-dripping slice of bass-banging goodness was my soundtrack to Germany on mission last summer, and it earned its way into the role. Sharp production values, clicky drum values keeping things moving along at a decent pace, but not so fast to be uncomfortable, long-attack pads and, jaunty keys and organ stabs come together to raise a smile and make you want to take the tune at its word.
2. Homeless Romantic (Nu:Tone Remix) - Itch
A freebie out of the blue from Red Bull Music Academy which Nu:Tone got his hands on to remix, and he’s delivered a stunner. A friend of mine heard the drop when I was setting up for a DJ workshop earlier this year and she turned to me and just said “deep”. He’s brought his distinctly clean ethic to the tune and given it warmth and depth without being overpowering. I’m not a massive fan of the original, but this take knocks on transcendent. Intelligent use of vocal and soundscape effects knocks this tune out of the chemosphere.
1. Gunshotta (Om Unit Rollers VIP) - Machinedrum
Talk about unlikely winners, when I first heard this tune, I didn’t actually like it that much. But, it’s a grower. Om Unit has done a real work of art in this remix. Blending his hip-hop production style to half-time drum & bass and jungle touches to a ferocious original production from Machinedrum, he has managed to do more with less. Whether pitching samples of the vocals to create a unique melody over the haunting 2-part bassline in the lead movements or reintroducing elements of the original bassline in the breakdowns, filtering to perfection, he knows what he’s doing. Oh, and those breaks, diving in and out of each other, glitching and parrying with one another? Straight up genius, pure and simple.
And that’s it! I hope that you enjoy checking out these tunes, it was a pleasure to come across them and a joy to share them with you! My top 10 albums are up next!
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I know a few folks have been waiting a while for this one, so apologies for those who have been wondering what they were listening to! Enjoy!
Songs at the request of the Bride and Groom in italics.
Part 1 (Entrance and Dinner, Playlist)
1. Prelude to a Kiss – Alicia Keys
2. The Sun In September – Matthew Halsall
3. Songbird – Eva Cassidy
4. Soul Bird – Lizzy Parks
5. Come What May – Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman
6. From This Moment On – Shania Twain
7. Leaving – Part-Time Heroes
8. Paradise – Coldplay
9. Yellow/Green – Examples of Twelves
10. To Build A Home (Live at the Royal Albert Hall) – The Cinematic Orchestra
11. When I Fall In Love – Nat “King” Cole
12. Waltz Up – The Five Corners Quintet
13. Raindrops – Basement Jaxx vs. Metropole Orkest
14. The Rose – Westlife
15. Lazy Moon – Groove Armada
16. Lovers’ Carvings – Bibio
17. Better Together – Jack Johnson
18. Tell Me What To Do – Johnny Hammond
19. Good Humour Man – Blue Mitchell
20. Sidewinder – Unforscene
21. Give It Away – Zero 7
22. Come On My Soul – Rend Collective Experiment
23. Flight – Hidden Orchestra
24. Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast - RYXP’s Milde Salve – Steve Reich
25. Cirrus – Bonobo
26. Swahililand (LP Version) – Ahmad Jamal
27. Boi Peixe Theme feat. Boi Peixe – Beta Hector
28. Up Sticks – Eliphino
29. Springtime (feat. Claire Laurent) – Scrimshire
1st Dance and Dancing
30. Next To Me – Emeli Sandé
31. Valerie (Feat. Amy Winehouse) – Mark Ronson
32. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
33. Crazy In Love – Beyoncé/Love Like This – Faith Evans
34. Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine – James Brown
35. Hard to Handle – Patti Drew
36. You Give Me What I Want – Laura Vane & The Vipertones
37. Suit & Tie – Justin Timberlake
38. Just (feat. Phantom Planet) – Mark Ronson
39. Get A Move On – Mr. Scruff
40. Live Those Days Tonight – Friendly Fires
41. Music Sounds Better With You (12” Club Mix) – Stardust
42. One More Time – Daft Punk
43. Don’t Stop (feat. Aya) – Miguel Migs
44. Pastime Paradise – Ray Baretto
45. Higher Ground – Stevie Wonder
46. Ooh La La – The Wiseguys
47. Little L – Jamiroquai
48. Dare – Gorillaz
49. DVNO – Justice
50. Do Your Thing – Basement Jaxx vs. Metropole Orkest
51. Take The Space Trane – Mark de Clive-Lowe and the Rotterdam Jazz Orchestra
52. Acceptable In The 80’s – Calvin Harris
53. Take Me Away (Stonebridge Remix) – Haji & Emanuel
54. Barbra Streisand – Duck Sauce
55. It Just Won’t Do (Pacha Edit) – Tim Deluxe
56. Superstylin’ – Groove Armada
57. Bring Back The Funk – Krafty Kuts
58. Bounce (feat. Kelis) – Calvin Harris
59. Heaven – Emeli Sandé
60. Broken Record – Katy B
61. Gold Dust (Radio Edit) – DJ Fresh
***Lewis and Rebecca depart***
62. Gold Dust (Radio Edit) – DJ Fresh (Reprise)
63. Human Nature (Makoto & Specialist 2007 Remix) – Michael Jackson
64. Paradise (Dr. J Remix) – Coldplay
65. I Need a Dollar – Aloe Blacc
66. Happy Up Here – Röyksopp
67. 8th Wonder (Pressure Drop Remix) – The Sugarhill Gang
68. Fish Market Dance – The Rhythmagic Orchestra
69. Ain’t Nobody (feat. Sharlene Hector) – Jack & Juke
70. She Said What? (feat. J-Live) – The Quantic Soul Orchestra
71. One Love (People Get Ready) – Bob Marley
72. Cherry Oh Baby – Eric Donaldson
73. Red – Daniel Merriweather
74. Lean On Me (Live at Carnegie Hall) – Bill Withers
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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!
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