Following on from our end of the year celebrations and traditional lists, we’re back with the number one delivery of our top tracks selection of 2015 and we’re ready to splash a bit of spring air in your frozen pools! The playlist is a groovy selection of lighthearted Chicagoan tunes sprinkled with a good dose of club-wrecking bass lines slapping hard, Berlin style. So come on and jump on board for this first ride of the year and let’s just blow away the cold for a minute!
1. STL ‘DUB’S END (GRAD_U BACK TO THE MACHINES DUB)’
Lithuanian remixer Grad_U breathes in some light into STL’s bathed in shadow original. Strings resonate and collide in a constant series of dub flexions. An organized mess of harmonic brilliance.
2. VAKULA ‘JOYWIND’
Vakula returns with ‘A Voyage to Arcturus’, a very different project based upon David Lindsay’s sci-fi novel from which it takes its title. Birds are singing, an enchanting flute takes the lead. A marvel of funk-soaked bass lines and stellar groove interlaced.
3. FLORIAN KUPFER ‘I FEEL YOU’
Flo Kupfer delivers his new solo effort on William Burnett’s W.T. Records, a multi-faceted release right in the vein of his previous plates. Reviving the inimitable high-pitched vocals that illuminated ‘Feelin’, ‘I Feel You’ is an off-kilter hell of a perfect love tune.
4. VRIL ‘PORTAL 7’
The follow-up to Torus, released a year ago on Giegling’s offshoot Forum, is pushing things a bit further. Taking his 4/4 science off to upper heights, Vril nails it from start to finish. Rugged and uncompromising, Portal will wake up the most sluggish of techno aficionados out there.
5. OMAR S ‘I WANNA KNOW (FEAT JAMES GARCIA) (VOCAL MIX)’
An old-school and highly-infectious tune in pure Omar S style. Exhilarating vocals pulsing, sneakers shuffling. The FXHE honcho is still on top of the roof!
6. KYLE HALL ‘MUST SEE’
A repress but still. Kyle Hall has that extra-something to his tracks, a masterful sense of interweaving layers and percussions so lazily that synths come clashing ashore without ever feeling negatively disruptive to the main groove. Still vanguard 5 years after.
7. UNTOLD ‘DOFF’
The Hemlock Black christening release opens with an obsessive main percussion reminiscent of Portishead’s ‘Machine Gun’, the reverbed riff giving some dimension to the sound design. Untold, the sound architect at his best.
8. HASHMAN DEEJAY ‘MOZAIC’
For a debut album, Hashman Deejay’s Sandopolis gives a solid impression and ‘Mozaic’ is a perfect example of the growing mastery you can feel in the producer’s recent compositions. Subtly juggling with a two-step groove and his very own spaced-out synth melodies, the guy’s got a bright future ahead of him.
9. ALEX COULTON ‘RECALL’
If one producer seems not to receive as much love as he’d deserve to get, it’s Alex Coulton. After the excellent ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘War Games’, the Manchester native drops yet another killer release with that new EP on Tempa. An orgy of crazed bongos and brick-heavy bass lines, the recipe of happiness.
10. OZEL AB ‘DIGITAL NATIVES’
The musical scope of Lobster Theremin’s new signing seems to open on the infinite. The textured musicality of his synthlines crossed with a certain ability to create a sound cosmogony of his own make of it one of the most exciting prospects of early 2015.
11. SWERE ‘SWERE’
Ngly and Florian Kupfer team up for a three-track plate of goodness on L.I.E.S. The duo delivers a consistent collaborative effort that manages to blend together both of their sound genetics quite naturally. Obscure and mind-invasive material all the way.
12. SOLPARA ‘SWING’
There is something instantly charming about the way Solpara composes his tunes. The Booma collective affiliated knows his stuff when it comes to building subtly evolving melodies over darker sands. A touching melancholia combined with a certain taste for forward-moving groove-machines reminiscent of the early Nicolas Jaar.
13. SUBTYL ‘B2 UNTITLED’
Amongst the long list of young labels proposing a convincing string of releases by unknown producers from around the globe, Berlin-based outlet Baroc deserves to be pointed out. The quality of this release doesn’t depart from their past and forthcoming catalogue additions, Subtyl proving all the good we thought of his tunes back when we first heard of him on Soundcloud.
14. X (AKA TEREKKE) ‘B1 UNTITLED’
Terekke may record under another name, sign his releases under a faceless X, his sound is still easy to identify. For his first record out of L.I.E.S. radius, the man once again drops a killer plate of hazy and smooth house to dream and dance to.
15. AROY DEE ‘CITY OF OTHERS (CLIFF LOTHAR’S SUBWAY DUB)’
Cliff Lothar’s re-sketch of Aroy Dee’s ‘City of Others’ makes for a perfect trippy and lazy ride through bubbling landscapes and echoing souvenirs. Like a breadcrumb trail, the synth chords will take you back to the surface in all finesse.
16. DJ SPRINKLES + MARK FELL ‘FRESH’
Chiming softly before deploying a long, unaltered speech of Socialist politician Tony Benn, that new track by DJ Sprinkles and Mark Fell is the perfect remedy to the drab days of winter. Gold as always with the sprinkling Sprinkles.
Matrixxman’s first incursion on Dekmantel results in a very solid four-track plate of defibrillating techno, pads rising from the depths eventually wrapping up fast-moving patterns of percussive frenzy. The guy knows no low.
18. REZZETT ‘GOODNESS’
The Trilogy Tapes affiliated duo returns with another stupendous release. Textured-down and flayed layers subducting like a tsunami of VHS glitches, manga punch samples slapping the surface without ever calming down. An insane circus.
19. ARTTU ‘EVVY STEPS’
Royal Oak carries on with its faultless series. Unleashing terrific breaks and an implacable game of swing-moves, ‘Evvy Steps’ is a straight dancefloor killer. Don’t sleep on this, it is BIG.
20. SHINOBY ‘THERE R NO RULES, FEAR IS UNKNOWN AND SLEEP IS OUT OF QUESTION’
Recently selected by Prosumer for his Fabric mix, that endlessly-titled tune from Verona-based techno craftsman Shinoby unravels an infectious mixture of mental techno and hard-beating claps and kicks that won’t let loose on you till the night is over.
Artwork by Franz Ackermann ‘Going Uphill’ (2013) 260 × 566 cm.