Best of 2012 – Part 1
To celebrate the end of the year I have prepared a list of my favourite music releases from 2012. As some of you know I am an eclectic DJ meaning that I buy and play music from more than one genre. I am glad I do since the output of quality releases was as low as never. However, there still were some gems that I am happy to have found and that make life even more pleasurable than it already is 🙂
Since there haven’t been any darkpsy/psycore releases (maybe for some parts of the Lubra Instincts compilation on OSOM Music) worth mentioning, I will focus on my favourite releases in the deep progressive area.
my favourite label, Zenon Records from Australia, released some quality music again. The best ones for my taste were the debut albums from Hypogeo from Italy and Pick from Israel. Pick is the first (and only?) producer from Israel to release on Zenon and he definitely deserves it. I can’t say that I like all the tracks on the albums (some are not dark enough for my taste) but it definitely sounds fresh and psychedelic and is very well produced. Hypogeo’s album is less diverse and more dark and is one the best examples of proper dark progressive trance.
After his debut album on Zenon, Merkaba aka Yaygon Lamagier (also known as Kalya Scintilla) is back with another 7-track-digital only release called Language of Light. In my opinion his best work to date, more diverse basslines, very uplifting sounds and though-provoking samples make for a very nice trip.
Besides these artists albums there has been especially one compilation which caught my attention this year: Surrealistic Desire compiled by Zartrox from Brazil and the aforementioned Pick. It collects tracks from a wide range of internationally acclaimed artists such as Radioactive Cake, One Tasty Morsel or Onionbrain.
And last but not least from the borderline between progressive trance and techno an artist worth mentioning is Ellis Thomas from England. In 2011 he already released a free EP on Ektoplazm and he follows up with a full-length album called Drippy Creatures. Very straight but still liquid music. Check it out !
Some people say that drum’n’bass is dead, but they’ve been saying it at least for ten years now. It could also be argued that electronic music is dead but I believe that it is in a state of transformation and the best is yet to come. But the times when I was checking the record store every week and listening through dozens of interesting releases every month are definitely over. Fortunately there still exist some producers who are not only very crafted engineers but also innovative composers.
If you’re looking for cutting edge banging dancefloor mayhem, then Current Value is definitely your guy. This year he released another album, this time on Barcode, and it’s a concept album about on of my favourite scientific topics – Quantum Physics. There is hardly a filler on the whole album and if you like your beats crisp and chopped and your bass filthy and heavy then you need to get this release.
If you’re looking for more listening-friendly and less dancefloor-oriented brokenbeat action then I recommend you to listen to Octane & DLR’s album Method in the Madness. Although some tracks are surely too cheesy for my taste, I was pleasantly surprised by the innovative approach to production these guys have displayed. Almost every track sounds totally different from each other, something that is very rarely achieved in artist albums nowadays. I am sure some of it is due to the fact that most of the tracks were produced as collaborations with either other producers or Mcs/vocalists but it is definitely also a proof of the studio skills of these guys.
Just before the end of the year, one of the veterans of the hardstep genre, Mr. Tech Itch himself, has released a new EP and it is some of the best stuff he has produced in ages. Failed Evolution features 5 tracks and some of it sounds like a journey back in time when reeces basslines and tramen beats were still popular. Not sure how much this will appeal to the young crowd but it’s a nice treat for the nostalgic crew.
I don’t really listen to hardcore but this month two of my favourite drum’n’bass producers, Hidden & Eye-D from the Netherlands, have released a new studio album (Dogs are Listening) under their HC alias, Outside Agency, so I had to give it a listen. And I was very pleasantly surprised. Although this is proper Hardcore and not some Crossbreed story, it is very diverse and full of raw power. Fav sample: „humanity is obsolete!“ Recommended!
I’ll be back next week with part 2 featuring my favourite releases in dubstep and techno.