, - on 5/1/11
It says a lot that station manager James described these selections "not as labours of love but labours of commitment." Safe to say then that lashings of thought, time and effort went into these picks, outlining, in all their glory, his top 5 (and a bit) choices for 2010's most havin' it electronic artists.
Few producers command the same level of respect that Koze does. As a producer his tracks are almost instantly recognisable, often dark, usually twisted, always memorable. He’s highly sought after as a remixer, either putting his unique take on a track, or focusing in on one element of the original and taking it to somewhere completely new; both Caribou and Mathias Kaden saw the benefits of a Koze remix over the last 12 months. Clearly a fan of quality over quantity he keep’s his productions and remixes down to a minimum making each release that much more special. (The inclusion of Koze’s Sbooty on Cocoon J was likely responsible for a big percentage of the album sales)
With just one release previously, 201 saw Koze’s (with Marcus Fink) Pampa label excel, highlighting Koze’s A&R skills. A perfect example of this, Axel Boman’s Holy Love EP was undoubtedly one of the releases of the summer. Twisted, stripped back house, soulful 4/4 par excellence and balearica all on one EP, this was another example of why Koze and Pampa refuse to be pigeon holed. Finishing 2010 with Nathan Fake and starting 2011 with an LP from Isolee, the label will definitely continue to turn heads in 2011.
Even as a DJ, Koze is in a class of his own. Instantly recognisable and unafraid to push the envelope and take a set to uncharted heights. One of the truly exciting techno DJs around at the moment.
Tiger & Woods
Aside for from releasing a couple of vinyl only re-edits, which promptly sold out, little has been given away about the duo of Larry Tiger & David Woods. October saw the live debut at Robert Johnson which has been followed up with gigs all over Europe. Their first appearance in the UK at the Warm party at Plastic People was unsurprisingly busy and and satisfyingly fantastic. There are so many things to love about them, vinyl only, jokes, mystery, crate digging, and top-notch music. Also worth checking on Editainment are Cleo & Patra and recently Pop & Eye.
(And if anymore proof were needed of their skills, Resident Advisor have picked up on them and you can now download the latest RA podcast from T&W HERE.)
Along with the likes of Osunlade and Dennis Ferrer, Karizma is one of the old house guards who’ve really seen resurgence of late. Or more to the point, whose uncompromising approach to house has seen them find favour with a wider range of DJs (re)discovering real house music. As measure of his talent and come back this year, you’ve been equally as likely to find Karizma supporting Radioslave, Giles Peterson, Luna City Express or Louie Vega. And when he’s behind the decks you know about it. Jacking the filters, dropping accapellas and generally doing it like they used to. With a hard edged productions and drums that are second to none, he’s as at ease producing and playing dark and stripped back as he is playing soulful. A welcome return.
The Revenge/ Burnt Island Casuals/ 6th Borough Project/ Ooft
Admittedly this is cheating slightly to chart The Revenge as well as his collaborations, but the input from DJ Harri, Craig Smith and Ali Herron creates noticeably different outcomes on BIC, 6th Borough and Ooft respectively.
His release rate has been nothing short of prolific this year, with about 60 releases as The Revenge alone on Beatport, not to mention collaborations and unreleased material. While he put’s out so much, the standard rarely drops, as Jimpster said earlier this year “he keeps churning them out, but as long as they keep sounding this good, I’ll keep playing them”.
With a hugely wide range of supporters, part of the mass appeal is the ability to produce such a range of tracks ranging from 80bpm slo-mo chuggers to peak time acid house. It’s all massively playable and highly workable. You’d be hard pushed to find a DJ who doesn’t own and play at least one of The Revenge’s tracks. Above anyone else in 2010 The Revenge and all collaborations was my one real ‘go-to’ producer.
Here are a selection of some of the highlights:
Archie Bronson Outfit – Chunk (6th Borough Rmx) - Domino
Mario Basinov – Do You Remember (The Revenge Rmx) – Future Classic
Ooft – Red Zone – Foto Recordings
6th Borough Project – Drop The Bomb (GW Edit) - Edit The Edit
Craig Bratley - Birdshell (Burnt Island Casuals Rmx) – Instruments Of Rapture
Joey Negro – Beyond The Dance (The Revenge Mix) – Z Records
As a DJ he stands apart from many producers-cum-DJs (at least those that are this prolific). Spinning, for him, isn’t secondary. Never content playing the latest promos he’s a real crate digger as comfortable playing poolside as he is in a dark sweaty club. Furthermore his Garden Festival and Pulse Radio podcasts have been a couple of favourite mixes this year.
As a genre, tech house has undoubtedly suffered from a dilution, and a massive influx of ableton-by-numbers house music. Emerson, however, is one artist that consistently stands out from this crowd. Again, a producer who has an instantly recognisable sound, his cheeky peak-time take on the genre has seen him snapped up by trendsetters Upon You and My Favorite Robot as well as injecting fresh life into the label as a core artist on Get Physical. As a DJ he plays for the floor without resorting to usual tried and tested tracks and his experience over the years puts him head and shoulders above so many of the producer-come-djs that clutter the market.
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