Highlights of 2017: Tracks
Shinichi Atobe- Regret [DDS]
The opener to Shinichi Atobe’s third album, From The Heart, It’s A Start, A Work Of Art, is the perfectly titled 'Regret'. The track harmoniously marries the lightest percussion with flickering, ethereal melodies and a variety of sporadically deployed subtle keys work. It’s testament to Atobe’s considered production that a near-10 minute track can do so little and still make such an impact.
LTJ Xperience - Beggar Groove [Irma Records]
Italian DJ/Producer Luca Trevisi, aka LTJ Xperience was one of the first Italian DJ's to spin house beginning his career in the '80's as a resident in two of the most famous Italian clubs of the time, Kinky in Bologna and Cap Creus in Imola. As you can probably imagine, the veteran has a never-ending discography under a collection of aliases and it is 'Beggar Groove' that is his most sought-after production After the track's initial 12" release in 2012 on Small World Disco, last year finally saw the funky bass groove released on CD, digitally and again on vinyl thanks to Irma Records.
Beatrice Dillon & Call Super - Fluo [Hessle Audio]
Beatrice Dillon and Call Super’s combined efforts on their Hessle Audio collab’ paid off massively. 'Fluo' is a beautifully fluid, and heart-warmingly light groover. There’s a nice left-field touch incorporated into the track’s tech-house feel. It’s ultra dynamic with so many different elements and plenty of shifts, whilst all the while being laid over a nice constant kick drum that’s got a delicate hook that locks you in for the whole eight and a half minutes. Throughout, the track feels intelligently crafted - at first with its incredible 3-minute build releasing into a fritting of scattering electrifying energy, and then with the cool drip-like keys and experimental samples swinging in and out. Starting with the subtle introduction of a wind instrument, the wild free-jazz break down is a very unique stamp making it unlike any house track released last year.
The Disciples Of Jovan Blade - Take Me Away [Mojuba Records]
A smooth, soulful deep house anthem from the alias of the more well-known Detroit head, Terrence Parker. Starting off with an infectious baseline that runs right through the track, perfectly offset with simple vocals, punchy yet harmonious piano chords and a groove fuelled hi-hat drum pattern. Our attention is soon rewarded as we turn our energy to the sensational overhead clap. A simple yet, stand out track from last year.
Tunnelvisions - Tanami [Atomnation]
'Tanami' is a gorgeous track from Dutch production duo Tunnelvisions. This beautifully melodic piece could be classed as a sort of psychedelic house- rich, with tribal undertones. A lovely ethereal tune that surprises and enriches, and does real justice to the fantastic Atomnation, the label on which it was released.
Artwork - Let Go Of This Acid [Unfinished Records]
Artwork's first release for 15 years and it was well worth the wait. 'Let Go Of This Acid' caused quite a stir since it raised it's head online un-officially three years ago with no news of a release. Last year, finally that all changed, Art let go of the acid that can tear the roof off any situation. A memorable highlight of 2017.
DAPHNI – TIn [Jiaolong]
In October 2014, Dan Snaith aka Caribou unveiled a magnificently frame worked piece of music in his Essential Mix for Pete Tong that inspired the underground dance scene while showcasing his best work. Amongst a motivated tracklist was, ‘Tin’, under his alias Daphni which sparked large enthusiasm for a release. A full two years later, he finally reciprocated with an EP and then an album on his own imprint, Jiaolong.
Illustrating his impassioned range, 'Tin' makes use of a hyped up, crunchy drum beat and a ‘sexy as hell’ Aailyah vocal to produce a mesmerising summer banger. It’s hard to resist, but why would you? Check out the rest of the album while you’re at it, the man can do no wrong.
Objekt - Theme From Q
Selecting this track may seem unimaginative but there is no doubt that it was a standout electronic track of last year. As one of the most technical producers in the scene (certified by a role as a Native Instruments developer), this track flaunts a unique style that transcends the boundaries of breaks, 2-step and techno to fuse a high-impact dance floor weapon that still packs a punch despite its omnipresence at every festival, nightclub, boat party, house party, and probably every ‘Best of’ list since its release.
Joe - Tail Lift [Hessle Audio]
Joe’s much talked about, much played ‘Tail Lift’ is peak time madness delivered in a very unusual package. The combination of carnivalesque, off kilter synth lines before breaking down into an extended percussion work out is a hard hitting example of what makes Joe such an interesting producer. Consistently experimental without being self-indulgent, his tracks are rarely easily forgotten.
Merchant - Tumble down (Extended Mix) [Ostra Discos]
Originally released in 1987, thirty years later to celebrate the landmark Ostra Discos re-released the brilliant 'Tumble Down', but with two new versions, one of which is the eight and a half minute extended mix. Fun and fruity vibes that are unmissable.
Vicram – Squirrel Acid [Crowdspacer]
Unduly understated, but an absolute gem from Vicram. Warm and melodic acid fizzing in an out of consciousness makes this truly one for all occasions – from easing the floor in gently to sheer escapism at the peak of the night. First brought to our attention through Jennifer Cardini and Fort Romeau on their BIS show, gaining serious traction from Mr Smagghe and The Black Madonna; a delight. Not bad for your first release!
Lanark Artefax - Touch Absence [Whities]
Taken off the Glasgow artist’s first effort on Whities, Lanark Artefax produced the label’s finest moment of 2017, and potentially delivered the most outstanding work of the label’s back-catalogue. The track devastates with hard, two-step pads overlain a killer Drexciyan-esque electro roll and harks back to the early works of Autechre, and certainly bares resemblance to some of Silicon Scally’s production. With props from Aphex Twin himself, its in no doubt that this one will remain a classic for years to come.
New Jackson - Electric Blue [Cin Cin]
Ireland have been popping out a steady stream of stellar producers in the past few years and New Jackson is just another one to add to the (block)chain. David Kitt is the name and he certainly isn’t new on the scene having been around for the past twenty years. He's a bit of a musical chameleon having had stints with bands Tindersticks and other solo albums on Rough Trade and Blanco Y Negro. Recently under the new alias of New Jackson he has been picked up by Hivern Discs and Permenant Vacation, and releasing his album From Night to Night on All City Records. But back to ‘Electric Blue’ - the track itself is a cosmic roller coated with an ethereal haze great for early mornings.
DJ Clouds - United Booty [Dr Banana]
Dr Banana came steaming in on the flying scotsman with this release! 2017 was a year of hard hitting broken beat and arm raising claps for Dr Banana. I pick this eagle among pigeons with its sublime breakdown of rolling piano chords fit enough for the House of Lords. Laser displays and dashboard noises have you at warp speed without a sign of slowing. A number one 7" for any collection to raise the noise.