Tag Archives: Top 10

Human Drizzle’s Top 10 Tracks of 2014

So here we are. With the curtain now well and truly down on 2014, it’s time to reflect on the year that was. A customary part of this process is the fairly arbitrary ranking of the year’s music into some form of list. After the usual rancorous debate, we have settled on our top 10 tracks – all of which can be found in our mouth-watering Best of 2014 playlist. As always, please share your thoughts on both via the usual channels – and here’s to an even better 2015.

1. Caribou – ‘Can’t Do Without You’ (Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix): 2014 proved to be an annus mirabilis for Caribou, with the release of widely-heralded new album ‘Our Love’. Its first single was given the dancefloor treatment by Italian duo Tale Of Us and their Life and Death counterpart, Mano Le Tough. The result was a mind-blowing techno trip that, like all good remixes, picked up the qualities of the original and gave them a lift in all the right places. Epic stuff.

2. Ten Walls – ‘Walking With Elephants’: We first heard ‘Walking With Elephants’ right at the start of the year and we were blown away. At the time, many a commentator was proclaiming it the track of 2014, even at that early stage. And here it is, missing out by a fraction on the Human Drizzle top spot. There is a beautiful sadness to Ten Walls’s work that is present here, floating behind the space-horn and crashing bass that has become his calling card. Ultimately, ‘Walking With Elephants’ just never gets boring, no matter how many times you hear it.

3. Mount Liberation Unlimited – ‘Clinton Space Funk’: Confession time. We failed to pick up on the brilliance of ‘Clinton Space Funk’ when it first appeared earlier in the year. Part of being an adult, though, is accepting when you’re wrong. We now know this track is a beauty and it deservedly sits in our top three. Championed by everyone who came across it, ‘Clinton Space Funk’ provided one of the many highlights of xxxy’s Human Drizzle Presents set at Plan B in December.

4. Jamie xx – ‘All Under One Roof Raving’: When VICE wrote their ​Guide to London in June, they eschewed the customary playlist of local artists in favour of simply posting Jamie xx’s Boiler Room set from that month, on the basis that it “pretty much sums London up right now.” This track closes that set and, whether or not the track was intended as ‘a Scottish Referendum anthem‘, it is a stunningly affecting homage to UK music from a man making some of the best of it in 2014.

5. Jon Hopkins – ‘Abandon Window’ (Moderat Remix): Jon Hopkins had it right: “I honestly think this is one of the best remixes I’ve ever heard. Play it loud.” Built around a drop that never comes (and yet you don’t miss it), this is a piece of theatrical electronica for the ages. Given the year Jon Hopkins has had (his Essential Mix was a belter), it was tough only putting a remix in here but give this a listen and we dare you to tell us we’re wrong to include it.

6. Real Lies – ‘North Circular’: If you’ve been near a radio this year you’ve probably heard these lads’ breakout single, ‘North Circular’. With its lyrical treatment of London gyratory life and atmospheric backdrop, it’s been perfect listening for autumn/winter – and appeals to fans of guitars and electronica alike.

 7. Flight Facilities – ‘Two Bodies’: Flight Facilities’ debut album was four years in the making and since day one they’ve been garnering fans for their versatile, fun-filled, bouncy pop tunes. They’ve added real gravitas to their work here with the soothing, catchy and downright emo ‘Two Bodies’. The Aussie duo aren’t fooling around, and this one’s been on repeat since its September emergence.

8. Sailor and I – ‘Turn Around’ (Ame Remix): This tune first emerged in January as a rip from Mexico’s BPM Festival, and it took until June for the official version to emerge. It was worth the wait. The arrival of the synths after two minutes of sparse build-up is one of the finest moments of 2014 and the whole track is a wonderfully-measured piece of emotive dance music.

9. Lauer – ‘Stigma’: Lauer returned to Tim Sweeney’s Beats In Space label in September with ‘Stigma’, the B-side to the driving force that is ‘Hands & Feet’. It’s a compelling listen with an underlying 80s feel, so good it was dropped by both Fort Romeau and our very own Hot Karl at Plan B for Human Drizzle Presents. Memorable.

10. Aquilo – ‘You There’: Lakeland duo Aquilo swept us off our feet in 2014. ‘You There’ is a change of pace from much of this list, but it’s a gorgeous record that deserves to be heard. With its gentle piano line and simple lyric, it is testament to the power of good songwriting, without the frills.

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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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Human Drizzle’s Top 10 Tracks of 2012

‘Tis the season to make lists and, whilst our sensible side would call into question the validity of comparing tracks in this way (what are the criteria?), our other side thought it would be fun. So here are our top ten tracks of 2012, in order. If you disagree, please let us know in the comments, on Twitter or Facebook. We won’t take it personally, promise.

1. Julio Bashmore – Au Seve2012 was Julio Bashmore’s year, and the ‘bam bam bam, bam bam bam’ of ‘Au Seve’ sent dancefloors loopy across the globe this summer. It somehow managed to retain the the bass-led, atmospheric subtlety of Bashmore’s other work, whilst simultaneously becoming nothing less than a singalong anthem.

2. Todd Terje – Inspector Norse‘Inspector Norse’ has been equally ubiquitous this year, and with good reason – with Terje’s cosmic squeaking and killer hook bouncing their way into the collective consciousness with joyous abandon.

3. Jai Paul – JasmineWhen Jai Paul released his second ever record in April, a lot of people got very excited. Was this finally going to be his year? Sadly not, as we still await a third – but in the meantime ‘Jasmine’ remains one of the most compelling tracks of recent times.

4Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Cyril Hahn remix)Cyril Hahn is one of our favourite artists of 2012, having produced a series of excellent remixes for SolangeHAIM and Alpines as well as this aching, melancholy interpretation of Beyoncé and co’s R’n’B staple.

5Dan Croll – From Nowhere (Ben Gomori’s Staring You In The Eye remix): The title of this track is appropriate, in the sense that neither artist had crossed our radar before we heard this. More’s the pity, because it’s a triumph: combining layered production with fantastic melodies and a vocal that doesn’t leave you.

6. Casino Times – I Wanna KnowSlothBoogie first brought this to our attention, and it’s been in our heads ever since: a rolling house track with genuine groove, it’s addictive. This duo are going places (and TEED’s a fan too).

7. Duke Dumont – The Giver: Another contender for personality of the year, DD has mastered some incredibly infectious beats this year. This house anthem is a party starter, boasting one of the most recognised vocals of the year. Listen out for this early 2013 release too, it’s going to be EVEN BIGGER.

8. Jessie Ware – 110%: What a year it’s been for Jessie Ware. She heralded the spring with this gem of a tune: on an album with many highlights, ‘110%’ stands out as three and a half minutes of pop perfection.

9. PillowTalk – The Real Thing: There’s been some great samples this year and this track sees the San Fran trio from the Wolf + Lamb family do the nip and tuck on Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s classic ‘Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing’. If this song don’t make you smile big, you’re dead inside. It’s glorious.

10. Ultraista – Gold Dayzz (Maribou State remix): Maribou State’s rework of Ultraista is a thing of great beauty: a fragile start gives way to warm synths and gorgeous melodies in one of the most pleasant tracks of the year.

And they can all be heard on our Best of 2012 playlist. It’s a real treat.

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