It’s that time of year when we can’t escape the ‘Top 10 [insert category/genre/media platform here]’ lists of 2013, round-ups of the best offerings throughout the year from the publication or writer’s perspective. Well, here’s another one to add to the pile! Rather than being a comprehensive, pretentious or by any means official list, the music makers below are those who have produced tracks, mixes and albums which have been in some way meaningful or memorable to myself and James. Since we have spent pretty much every month of 2013 at a festival, gig or DJ set, you could say this is quite an eclectic mix – if you’re a fan of the choices or never heard of artist names or track titles, I urge you to have a listen. Whether you’re into filthy glitch bass beats or more chilled out electronica, the aim of this blog is purely to share just some of the incredible audio offerings we’ve come across…Any more, please comment on the post or tweet me @SpamellaB! Enjoy…
TOP 10 ALBUMS
The Neighbourhood – ‘I Love You’ We saw this incredible American alternative rock band at Live At Leeds back in May and were blown away by their stunning, emotional performance. Highlight tracks: ‘Sweater Weather’, ‘Female Robbery’, ‘Let It Go’.
Bonobo – ‘The North Borders’ A wonderful, chilled out album taking you through an atmospheric musical journey. After seeing the British musician, producer and DJ, also known as Simon Green, at Beacons Festival in August, we were simply blown away and still can’t get enough of the album.
Break Science – ‘Seven Bridges’ We both love anything that incorporates heavy dub beats with a dirty bassline, infused with hip hop vibes and glitch explosions, so discovering Break Science was a musical treasure. Escape into ‘Seven Bridges’ and you won’t be able to resist getting your bass face on.
Defunk – ‘Welcome To Groove City’ James and I have become obsessed with this ‘glitch hop’ genre, so much so that GlitchHob.Net on SoundCloud is now a standard source for anything filthy, bassy and dubby. This is where he discovered the incredibly talented Defunk, who effortlessly merges dubstep and glitch intensity with funk and classic music from the 30’s and beyond.
Pretty Lights – ‘A Color Map Of The Sun’ Derek Vincent Smith is simply a musical genius, a ridiculously talented American producer whose combination of heavy dub bass/electro undertones, layered with hip hop infused melodies and jazzy, soulful vibes is insanely addictive. James and I, along with my best mate Laura, were lucky enough to see him perform tracks from the Grammy-nominated album and hang out with him and his crew in Manchester on my birthday; this album will always remind me of one of the most incredible nights of my life.
James Blake – ‘Overgrown’ When we’re in a chilled mood, James Blake’s haunting voice and emotional melodies are just what we like to hear. A stunning album which everyone should have in their collection.
London Grammar – ‘If You Wait’ Continuing the chilled-out vibe, we saw British trip hop trio at Live At Leeds and were blown away, particularly by Hannah Reid’s spine-tingling, haunting voice as it filled the venue. Since then, tracks like ‘Hey Now’ and ‘Metal & Dust’ have enchanted us…the whole album is certainly worthy of a listen.
Rudimental – ‘Home’ We promise, it was just down to coincidence that out of the TEN festivals we went to this year, Rudimental were playing too…That’s simply testiment to the British electronic music quartet, who smashed music events all over the world and for us, never failed to put on a show. This album is a reminder of jumping around in a field at Parklife and the beaches of Croatia at Hideout Festival, to name but a few!
Kill Paris – ‘To A New Earth’ I’m a dubstep lover at heart – there, I’ve said it, don’t judge me. I always argue that with any genre, you will always get shit versions which damages its reputation to outsiders; unfortunately, there is a lot of rubbish in the dubstep world. However, there are glimmers of geniusness which offer hope and prove that, yes, this certain genre is pretty f*cking good. Kill Paris’ crazy, glitchy, bassy audio offerings are exactly that – months on, I’m still obsessed with this album. Give it a chance!
Fenech Soler – ‘Rituals’ Both James and I have been fans of the British electropop band since they formed in 2006, although admittedly they’d gone off the radar for a while. Seeing them perform at Gorilla in Manchester back in November, however, restored our love for them and reminded us of their catchy electro infused music following a passionate performance. A strong album taking them back to their roots.
More top albums/recommended from Twitter
Panty Raid – ‘Pillow Talk’ Another one James and I love on the glitch hop scene.
‘Defected In The House Ibiza 2013’ This compilation album transports us back to summer!
Arctic Monkeys – ‘AM’ Proof that Alex Turner & co are still going strong, thanks @christof_94.
Haim – ‘Days Are Gone’ From what I’ve heard of this American indie rock band, I like – think I might need to invest in this album if @christof_94 says so!
Dinosaur Pile Up – ‘Nature Nature’ Thanks to @thebrainroom, this alternative British rock band have landed on my radar and another which I need to invest time in to listen.
Johnny Marr – ‘The Messenger’ It would be a crime to miss out this Mancunian legend, as reminded by @JonWilkins, and he’s right!
TOP 5 MIXES
Kill Frenzy – ‘Dirtybird Ibiza Opening Promo Mix’ Just over an hour of pure house infused awesomeness, whenever I listen to this at whatever time of day, it makes me visualise the craziest of pool parties in the White Isle – bring on 2014!
Oliver Schories – ‘My Summer (part 2)’ Absolutely stunning, gorgeous choice of tracklist for an hour of sunshine infused chilled vibes from the talented producer.
Fenech Soler – ‘Diesel Only The Brave Mix’ James and I were lucky enough to attend the final Battle of the DJs hosted by Diesel at Deaf Institute in Manchester, where finalists Duke Dumont and Crystal Fighters went head to head. This offering from the lads is an hour’s worth of some of the best tunes from the year, which I personally think deserved to put the band through. Still a winner though!
Bondax – ‘XLR8R Podcast’ These Lancashire lads have done bloody well for themselves in 2013, and as this eclectic mix of tracks shows, they know their stuff when it comes to music. An addictive hour-long mix you’ll fail to get bored of!
The Glitch Mob – ‘More Voltage‘ I’m cheating here as this mix was released back in 2011, but oh my it’s one of the BEST mixes out there and one which I am still loving to this day, despite having played it over a hundred times. An hour or pure incredibleness of glitch, bass and dub from the kings of the genre.
Now for the hard bit, a list of our favourite tracks throughout 2013, ones which have had us dancing and jumping around to, whether in our flat or at a festival, or singing our hearts to…So, without much more writing (for me) or reading (for you), just click on the links and listen for yourself – trust me, there’s some decent stuff. Most of these are on my SoundCloud ‘Likes’ list – give us a follow if you’re on it yourself!
Fred V & Grafix – ‘Games People Play’
Jakwob – ‘Fade’
Stay Positive – ‘The Blood Brother’ (EP)
Huxley – ‘Diesel’
Klangkarussel – ‘Sonnentanz’
Robotic Pirate Monkey – ‘Bandit’
Banks – ‘This Is What It Feels Like’
Gorgon City – ‘Ready For Your Love’
TÂCHES – ‘Don’t You Know’
Skream ft. Sam Frank – ‘Rollercoaster’
Rachel Row – ‘Follow The Step’
Wankelmut & Emma Louise – ‘My Head Is A Jungle’
Le Youth – ‘C O O L’ (Ben Pearce remix)
Storm Queen – ‘Look Right Through’ (MK remix)
Chromeo – ‘Over Your Shoulder’
Eagles For Hands – ‘Peaks’
Kidnap Kid ft. Lotti – ‘Thin Lines’
Andy C – ‘Workout’
Wilkinson – ‘Afterglow’
Francesco Rossi – ‘Paper Aeroplane’ (MK Gone With The Wind remix)
Seven Lions ft. Ciscandra Nostalghia – ‘Serpent Of Old’
George Maple – ‘Fixed’
Laura Mvula – ‘Sing To The Moon’ (Klangkarussel remix)
Thank you 2013 for being so generous to our ears and music experiences, bring on the year ahead for plenty more!.