Monthly Archives: December 2013

Human Drizzle’s Top 10 Tracks of 2013

Having bid a fond farewell to 2013, it’s time to reflect on the year’s key musical moments. The brouhaha this list caused amongst the specially-appointed Human Drizzle panel will take time to die down but, as time goes on and wounds heal, we would welcome your thoughts in the usual places (the comments below, and here and here).

Oh, and listen to them on our Best of 2013 playlist. It’s lovely.

1. CHVRCHES – Lies (Tourist Remix): It’s always difficult to put one tune above all others after a year like 2013, but we’ve had to do it for you guys. For you, the reader. We think this rework of bright young things CHVRCHES (who also blew us away live) by HD favourite Tourist, deserves that acclaim. It’s a slow-burning, ear-worming piece of vocal house and it hasn’t left us since it landed in our inbox all those months ago. Expect an awful lot more from both artists in 2014.

2. Paul Woolford – UntitledAlong with Todd Terje’s ‘Strandbar’, ‘Untitled’ was the summer house anthem of 2013. Released whilst Paul Woolford was prepping the primal ‘Soul Music’ under the Special Request moniker, it was heralded by pretty much everyone who clapped ears on it. A thrilling combination of crushing bass and slapping kick-drums leads into the echoey piano loop, which is then chopped and re-chopped over the track’s six minutes. Together this produces hands-in-the-air euphoria on a scale that was rarely matched this year.

3. Breach – Everything You Never Had (We Had It All) (Ft. Andreya Triana)Ben Westbeech had quite the year. Human Drizzle were perhaps in the minority when we didn’t fall arse over tit for ‘Jack‘, Breach’s huge hit in the first part of 2013. However, when we first heard ‘Everything You Never Had’ on T Williams’s Rinse FM show, we were spellbound. It may not be fashionable to say it, but the final drop is pretty much perfection in terms of what we would want to lose our shit to in a club.

4. Wayward – Love Jones: The hot-as-you-like London-based label Aesop’s third release came in the form of ‘Love Jones’, by London duo Wayward. The infectious vocal loop and glorious piano intertwine wonderfully, gradually building to a heartfelt crescendo. Very much looking forward to hearing more from these guys in 2014.

5. Agoria – ScalaRegular readers will know HD’s feelings towards Innervisions, and that we are partial to the odd piano-driven house banger too. So, when French producer Sebastian Devaud aka Agoria released ‘Scala’, a piano-driven house banger on Innervisions, it was highly likely to be welcomed into our top 10 with open arms. Innervisions have been releasing elegant house and techno since they started out, but they seemed to reach new highs in 2013, with Ten Walls’ ‘Gotham‘, Marcus Worgull and Peter Pardeike ‘Lenoix‘, and then the exhilarating ‘Scala’. After lush synths open the track, ‘Scala’ pauses to finally introduce a rolling piano line that is just perfect. No surprise that it was a monster hit at the end of the summer.

6. James Blake – RetrogradeDespite an eye-catching collaboration with RZA in 2013, James Blake was at his most intoxicating on ‘Retrograde’. The track constituted less of a departure from 2011’s eponymous album but it is a gorgeous piece of haunting, fragile, atmospheric music.

7. Midland – Trace: When it first came out, ‘Trace’ was unlike anything else we had heard. A warped, indecipherable sample repeating over and over on top of an infectious beat, it builds to a shuddering crescendo that melted the dancefloor every time it was dropped. It feels as fresh and exhilarating now as it did on first listen. Released on one of our favourite labels – Aus Music – Midland’s biggest hit so far is an instant classic and has paved the way for his meteoric rise. 2014 promises to be a huge year for Harry.

8. Todd Terje – Strandbar (disko): In Todd we trust. This summer we were treated to the return of Mr. Terje. The unstoppable producer penned over eight minutes of D.I.S.C.O fun that soundtracked festivals far and wide. With the recent release of ‘Spiral/Q’, he shows no sign of slowing down. HD royalty.

9. George Fitzgerald – I Can Tell (By The Way You Move)This one was everywhere in 2013, and rightly so. Taken with the thumping remix by renaissance man Paul Woolford, the tune stands out as house with one eye on the future. Bring on his new album on Double Six.

10. Clean Bandit – Dust Clears: It’s been a huge year for Clean Bandit and, with their live show winning plaudits and recent single ‘Rather Be’ heading for chart success in January, you suspect 2014 is going to be even bigger. ‘Dust Clears’ is an altogether gentler affair, but its lush melodies and brilliantly barmy video epitomise what we love about the band.

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Marcus Worgull & Peter Pardeike – Lenoix

You are all probably gearing up for your Christmas hols by now. In the process, you’ll no doubt be shelving your self-respect as you sit in your office, bedroom or on the tube listening to Cliff Richard Christmas songs, telling yourself this is what this time of year is all about.

Please.

We celebrate Crimbo a little differently here at HD. Whilst we’re partial to a bit of Wham! at this time of year – George Michael is the most talented male vocalist of the late 20th Century in our eyes – we still know that there are tunes to be found, and they won’t necessarily be the sort that you can stick on between Mariah and Shakin’ Stevens whilst you try and photocopy your arse at the office bash, if you know what we mean.

Step forward Marcus Worgull and Peter Pardeike. Innversions have had an incredible year. Brilliant live performances have propelled label-head Steffan Berkhahn aka Dixon to number one spot on the Resident Advisor top DJs countdown, a gong we can find no error with, and he was ably supported by long-time collaborators Kristian Beyer and Frank Wiedemann of Âme. On top of this there was the towering success of Agoria‘s ‘Scala’, a gorgeous, driving piece of piano house, fitting perfectly into the mould of intensely beautiful tracks that have become the MO of Innervisions releases.

There was also Dixon‘s shudderingly epic Essential Mix which really has to be carefully studied if you haven’t already.

One of the tracks that Steffan featured in his mix back in September was ‘Lenoix’ by Marcus and Peter, although at that time no one outside of the label knew what the track was, even though it stood out as a highlight amongst many great moments over the two hours. It’s a quietly monstrous banger, building stealthily to a brilliant crescendo.

The good news is that it’s already out and you can grab it from all good retailers. The bad news is your gran might not like it when you insist on playing it whilst waiting for Death Comes to Pemberely to start on the Beeb this Xmas. She should know better.

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Lane 8 – How I Feel

This new Lane 8 track should really propel him to the household name he deserves to be. Regular readers of these pages will know – we like him a lot and are stoked that the US super-label French Express have recruited him for this next release.

Yes the sample may be overused, but we’ve no qualms when it’s this measured and downplayed. Get your mits on the free download right here, right now.

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Mixes

Mixes, mixes everywhere. If you’re keen for a longer listen, here are some of our recent faves. There’s a hefty amount here so take your pick:

The fantastic Gilles Peterson plays tribute to Nelson Mandela in a special one off mix.

Second in the series, another mix from Tensnake that is jam packed with house stompers:

Seasons greetings from one of our faves US producers, Lane 8 – apparently to be enjoyed with a nice cup of tea, this one:

When Pete Tong met Eats Everything in this b2b mix celebrating 20 years at the Warehouse Project:

HD alumnus Clancy gives off vibes-a-plenty in this recent mix he did for Earmilk:

Two excellent uploads from Mixmag recently – an 80s disco and funk-inspired selection from Medlar and a relentlessly fun-filled ‘In Session’ by Grum:

Urulu sets one up for Brooklyn-based label Let’s Play House:

Vondelpark release a collection of unreleased demos for your listening pleasure:

And lastly, this is a lot of fun – Skream’s recent Boiler Room at the Bussey Building (great tee).

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Bit Funk – Soul Satisfaction EP

Yet more goodness from Bit Funk.

We featured the fantastic title track last Friday, now the Brooklyn producer’s giving away the rest of his recent ‘Soul Satisfaction’ EP. Not only does it feature another sample-heavy, feel-good hit in brand new track ‘Beside’, but he’s giving away a ‘Club Mix’ version of ‘Soul Satisfaction’ too. Download the whole EP here.

Word has it he’s due a visit over this side of the pond ‘late Winter early Spring’.

Get excited.

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Sampha – Can’t Get Close (Jacques Greene Edit)

11 days into the Lucky Me Advent Calendar, and today’s offering ain’t too shabby at all.

It’s Jacques Greene’s edit of Sampha’s ‘Can’t Get Close’, a track written for the South Londoner’s father who died when he was just nine years old. The original’s an emotive piece and Greene keeps the important vocal intact, but extends it out and adds a most welcome piano loop. Lovely.

And the original:

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BANKS – Change (Dream Koala Remix)

This guy, Dream Koala.

Not just a pretty name. His sweeping, epic electronic style has pricked our ears since the grand, Terence Malick-inspired ‘Tree Of Life’ and the slow build of his Julia Losfelt remix.

He’s now applied his taste for grandeur to ‘Change’, a new one from the highly-praised US songstress BANKS. Rather unexpectedly, her fragile vocal does just the trick with Dream Koala’s trademark urgency. Enjoy:

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HNNY – No

Yet another genius rework of an RnB classic.

Stockholm producer HNNY is back with ‘No’, a TLC-sampling rework. Having recently played this in his Boiler Room set in Stockholm, it’s the third release on his own label Puss joining ‘Boy’ and ‘Exactly’. No matter what the mood, he never fails to impress:

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Real Nice Presents…

We don’t need to tell you Xmas is the season of goodwill. It’s a time for giving and it’s a time for parties.

We do need to tell you, however, that London-based label and DJ duo Real Nice are very much getting into the spirit of things and living up to their moniker.

Capping off a decent year releasing records in style, they’re currently giving away seven days worth of free music – they kicked off proceedings yesterday. On the team sheet we’re treated to the likes of Benedict Jackson, eLDOKO, A&O and the duo themselves. Many of those involved have featured on these pages before, and we’ll give you a gentle reminder next week when their generous offering is drawing to a close. Otherwise give them a follow on Twitter to get a day-by-day account. Check out yesterday’s for a taster:

rnr

 

More importantly – the weekend. This Friday sees Real Nice take over the excellent Loft Studios in North West London for what looks set to be their biggest event this year.

Pleasurekraft will be headlining and an extensive Real Nice Recordings line-up will be in support – Benedict Jackson, Croz & Krywald and Real Nice. Check out the following for a tasty selection of what to expect. And while you’re listening, head over here to bag your ticket now before they run out – this one’s gonna be popular.

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Clean Bandit – Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)

When we saw Clean Bandit live last month, we wrote this:

“A track that will presumably be called ‘No Place I’d Rather Be’ reeks of chart success. It encapsulates Clean Bandit’s blend of 90s nostalgia and contemporary sensibilities, of intelligence and fun, and (at the risk of sounding like Louis Walsh) it has ‘hit record’ written all over it.”

We were wrong about the title, but we stand by the rest. It appeared on Thursday, is called ‘Rather Be’, features Jess Glynne on vocals, and is Clean Bandit’s most pop moment to date. It’s a very easy listen and, with another stonking video and a genuinely anthemic chorus, it’s hard to see ‘Rather Be’ being anything other than absolutely huge.

Quite right too, if you ask us.

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