Tiger Stripes – Sisters (Original Mix) [January 2014]
Releasing in January makes it quite difficult to appear on end of year lists, but then when you make music this good I don’t really think list like this are a priority. The remix by TINI, on the same EP, has been getting a lot of love, but this track really is the highlight. I actually heard this out in January and it has stuck with me the whole year, that melodic rolling bass line never lets up and then Leroy Burgess and his soothing vocals come in and tie the whole thing together. The track is both haunting and calming at the same time. Its gentle nature belies the ferocity of emotion which it could unleash on you if played at the right time, in the right setting and on the right system. I was lucky enough to experience it in such an environment and it isn’t something I’ll quickly forget.
Traumer – Hoodlum [July 2014]
This track comes off of Traumer’s second EP of the year and is the other track on this list released on the Desolat label. Traumer’s earlier release of 2014, Takt, is absolute madness and a couple of tracks of that EP, Azure and Dayzero in particular, where arguably better. Hoodlum has just been getting so much love since its release though, and it is a complete blinder. Another track where the bass absolutely rolls for its entirety but Traumer throws in some funky, jazzy sounds for our entertainment, giving the whole piece a real uplifting vibe. That base keeps rolling through the three minute mark into that long, slow crescendo that just crashes over you and brings you to your feet no matter when and where you hear it. Despite its funky undertones, it still has enough grittiness to be an extremely versatile tune.
Daniel Avery – All I need (Roman Flugel Remix) [September 2014]
Anyone who knows me, knows that I absolutely adore Daniel Avery. I still maintain that he is the best DJ I’ve ever seen behind the decks, and his ‘Drone Logic’ EP was a huge highlight from 2013. Naturally then, any remix of his work is going to catch my attention, when it’s Roman Flugel doing the honors then you know you definitely want to pay attention.
All of this back story however, is pretty irrelevant in the face of what has actually been produced, because when something is this good it really doesn’t matter who was behind it or who’s listening to it. I must admit that I still prefer the original, but this has just received such positive feedback and it really does hit hard, from those playful sounds in the middle section to the powerful crescendos, it really is a killer of a track.
Dark Sky – IYP (Original Mix) [June 2014]
This is so powerful, so huge and so dark that it’s lack of recognition doesn’t really surprise me. Taken off the Brothers and Sisters album, the Dark Sky team from London have created a genuine monster. That menacing bass line screams out at you with ferocity, rolling in an unstoppable fashion whilst being covered in layers of snyth and topped with those ambiguous sounds. The resulting effect, creates huge drops, a constant assault on the ears and an unforgettable track. This was showed to me at some point in 2014 by a friend and it instantly became a favourite of mine, its inclusion on this list has much more to do with how good I think it is and how much I’ve loved listening to it, than with how successful a track its been this year. Take nothing away from the Dark Sky boys, I’m sure they’re extremely pleased about it, but it hasn’t received anywhere near the kind of love as some of the other tracks, there is just something about it that I can’t resist.
Andre Bratten – Trommer Og Bass [ March 2014]
Going back before summer 2014 had even hit us, Andre Bratten came out with this beautiful number that has had major love since its release. Firstly, its production is so tight and professional, it has quality flying out of it. That chunky instrumental is slowly built up, layer by layer, into beautifully constructed crescendos that hit like waves throughout the track. From start to finish, it really is one of the finest stunners that 2014 had to give.