2014 POV and mix by Philth
On the last day of the year it was time to have a look back on 2014 from a personal POV.
And to check out Philth‘s end of year mix, at the end.
But first things FIRST:
This was ten years after 2004, itself a stellar year for D&B… ‘True Romance’ by dBridge & Vegas? From 2004.
‘PUR/Cold Halo’ amongst many more by Calibre? Yep.
Check Fabio & Grooverider’s compilation for the Arena from the time, for a glimpse of the amazing year that 2004 was. And 2014? The Arena itself completely relaunched afresh later in this year: a new look and feel… all change!
Back to Philth, early on in 2014 we chatted about The Beasts. We love the bit about foxes…
We also caught up with otherwordly producer extraordinaire Seba… who was once a mix guest on Flight‘s show, a stunning mix at the time resonating still. Fast forward a little bit to Sam KDC‘s mix on Flight’s show in 2014, one of the personal highlights of the year. A true ‘wtf’ moment, best played LOUD.
If you loved this take on D&B (or even if you chose not to class it as D&B at all) then you were in for some amazing output from the Samurai camp: we spoke to Clarity a few times (note the Hell’s Gate ep, natch) and he dropped a mix to coincide with the release of his Infinite album.
We also caught up with Fre4knc and got knocked out by ‘The Source’. And the stunning artwork, standard for the label and its affiliate, Horo.
On the subject of atmosphere and amazing beats, we were lucky to get some insight into Nucleus, to check his method and influences. Bit rare.
31 Recordings has recently dropped the Future Beats compilation featuring artists with unmatchable scope and approaches to sound – Ruffhouse, SCAR, Nucleus and Paradox, House of Black Lanterns and of course Vromm… who came out of nowhere it seemed: check the piece and the sound.
The legendary Digital spoke to us and dropped a mix during a very full, electric year.
New producer Phase spoke about his work with Demand.
Blocks took us super deep with the massively haunting, resonating Seance ep on Narratives
Polish duo Handra stepped up with a totally grassroots, organic take on the template via Addictive Behaviour. Totally by surprise. More wicked artwork.
Florida duo Banzulu came in infectiously strong on none60.
Blu Mar Ten‘s Kimyan Law and Frederic Robinson both pursued unchartered territory in respective, unexpected, resourceful ways. Kimyan Law’s Coeur Calme was a great late year release, not to be slept on.
Tom SMall: similarly phenomenal: who could shake ‘Lineformer’ when it stuck?
There was also a certain tune by Break called ‘Groove With It’. Tune of year?
It’s mentioned here in a discussion about his release on Playaz.
The renegade Bristol vibe appeared earlier, via N3GUS…a killer chat… and great pics: inside the production area with Jakes, no less.
Response simply floored the place. WHAT a release: so cold.
Hyroglifics, Acid Lab, Static (the stunning Something about Nothing ep featuring the enigmatic Frank Carter III),
Nuage, Mystic State (check ‘Deadwood’), Transparent, Shiver, M-Zine & Scepticz, Red Army and Kolectiv produced amazing works via Flexout, Retraflex, Violation, Proximity, Microdot, Faded, Dust Audio, Diffrent and Critical‘s new Binary imprint to name a few.
New collective G.H.O.S.T emerged with ‘Syrup’, and some beautiful, handcrafted vinyl releases.
On the topic of worldviews… who could beat Bredren‘s answer when it came to a suitable mental image for their sound?
Roadstory of the year? No intro necessary. Just check Taxman‘s horror.
On the Playaz (and affiliated) front, Hazard casually dropped an ep that confounds on each new listen: which track is THE one? ‘Death Sport’? ‘Mk Q’? Each is incredible.
Prestige contemplated actual World Destruction and dropped a mix from a great height.
The compilations front was rich to say the least: one word…
… and the We Gotcha compliation simply set the scene on fire; Bristol’s beloved Intrigue institution shut us down with those lists and the Andy C story; Logarithmic 2 on Retraflex showcased a stunning underground lineup… as did the Futurist on Faded.
Bailey took us through the Warehouse Music compilation on Chronic. It goes without saying that Planet VIP was a 2014 essential… and as for the Brazil input that is inherent in many V-related releases?
We are fans of Brazil too.
Actually on the ‘more’ front, that would include a certain UrbanDawn too, the architect behind one of the releases of the year: have a glimpse back… what a stunning release on Bad Taste.
Dabs showcased his Hubble-esque Theory of the Avantgarde spectrum in dizzying depth featuring Grotesque, ArpXP, L33, Kush T and more PLUS we dropped that on Halloween too! maybe to fit in with the ‘Totentanz’ tune? Hmm!
From Dabs to dubs? OK then…
Ant TC1 discussed Dispatch‘s dubplate concept and took us behind the scenes of a gritty pre-digital era.
Xtrah also delivered for Headz… and did anyone see the link between the dBridge and Vegas ‘True Romance’ mention at the top of this piece?
(answer contains ‘Platinum’)
Blocks & Escher also delivered on Headz. Note the unsubtle Terminator battlefield reference in the piece: YES.
Integral also steps in here: a SCAR connection, a Steo/AI connection with Headz too (if you know) and a great chat with Glenn from AI about Integral.
Back to radio, Friction‘s Radio 1 show is as essential listening as ever… the first to play a certain ‘Suicide Bassline’ by Mefjus, whetting our appetite for THAT Emulation album on Critical: essentially delivering unheard-of levels of next-levelism.
We also loved Goliath and particularly ‘Artefact’: Enei as incredible as ever. And, connected: fellow Russian collective Burelom took us deep into then-winter. Their Subsiduary Audio Plants continues to deliver strongly.
And on the controversy front? We spoke to Phace & Misanthrop about Sex Sells… and noted a cameo by Mefjus here too… as WELL as alongside the Zombie Cats via the hardcore Hungarian Eatbrain collective… & more from them soon.
Even MORE controversy? There was the issue of Lynx‘s unparalleled guilty pleasure, tying in with his Take Back The Night/Shimmy on RAM (also releasing the massive Nil By Mouth by Audio)… a strong kick start to 2014 which also saw him release THIS monster via Hospital, later in ’14.
But that’s it for now.
Over to Philth for some final words!
(Philth pics by Chelone Wolf)
‘This is my End of Year Mix, a look back at the tunes that have been doing it for me this year. The most striking thing for me is the sheer variety of sounds to choose from as a DJ.
D&B is in a very healthy place at the moment; the genre has grown to the point where there’s space for everybody to do their own thing, it seems like there are fewer people following trends, much more thoughtful and honest music is being made.
Nowadays there is D&B to suit every mood, and I’ve tried to show the different flavours in my mix. But the mix is still very personal, these are the tunes that I have loved in 2014 – and I hope that everybody disagrees and has their own personal favourites.
We’ve moved away from being a scene driven by anthems to a scene overflowing with fresh music, and I look forward to hearing what 2015 has in store for Drum & Bass. Happy New Year!’