Unlike some previous years, 2013 didn’t see the emergence of a new ‘super genre.’ However, very much in character with underground music, this year seemed as diverse as many before it, with great tunes from across the electronica spectrum. Here are my top tracks of 2013 in no particular order! If you like the sound of any of them, why not support the artist and buy the track? All what is listed here should be available via Beatport.
1. Nicole Moudaber – Roar (Intec)
As the track title suggests, this is a booming, barnstormer of a track from Techno stalwart Moudaber. With hints of euphoria and high female tones this is a track is best enjoyed with Roast Beef, Venison Sausages, or alongside ex-Arsenal starlet and current FC Augsberg goalkeeper Alex Manninger.
2. Felipe Valenzuela & Dani Casarano – 1000 Tones (Melisma)
Oh yes, this REALLY is the track of 1000 tones. South American bright young things Valenzuela and Casarano dazzle their audience with minamalist lashings of elderflower and pomegranate, cheese and fruits of the Citrus Tree. This tune is best served with Pan Fried Salmon, sweet potatoes, cardamon and Costa Rican footballing sensation, Paulo Wanchope.
3. Floorplan – Chord Principle (M-Plant)
American Techno pioneer Robert Hood was, through his side-project Floorplan, responsible for producing this organ heavy gem. This production is best enjoyed with crisps and alongside everyone’s favourite Ukranian, Andriy ‘The Wind of Passion’ Shevchenko.
4. Rustie – Slasherr (Numbers)
Scotland’s Rustie burst onto the electronica scene this year with this bass music slammer. Best served at between 23 and 25 degrees celsius with the lights on, this is best served ‘as it comes’ with generous helpings of soiled mattresses. Ronald ‘Little Snowflake’ Koeman is said to be a fan.
5. Samuel L Session – Dystopian Life (Raw Mix) (Klap Klap)
You’ve had the meatballs, you’ve had the furniture and in 2013 you might have had this track from Sweden’s Samuel L Session. To really experience this piece of atmospheric Techno, serve with panfried scallops on a beach in Scarborough.
6. Foals – My Number (Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs remix) (Warner Bros.)
This lovely melancholic number from Oxford born producer TEED (real name Orlando Higginbottam), is as much at home on the dancefloor as it is in the lounge whilst you’re doing the washing up.
7. Emptyset – Trawsfynydd Nuclear Power Station – Snowdonia, Wales (Subtext)
Without doubt the most experimental track on my list, this cheeky little ditty from British duo Emptyset was recorded at the above named decommissioned Nuclear Power station using the resonances of the building’s interior. Clever stuff, and a real treat to listen to. For best results, listen at 3am in pitch black darkness, or in a quintessential Georgian tea shop.
8. Royksopp – Running to the Sea feat.Susanne Sundfor (DJ HMC remix) (Dog Triumph)
An unlikely electronic coalition between Norway and Australia combine here to produce a track as tempestuous as the title suggests. Don’t be fooled however into thinking you’ll be unceremoniously tossed like a unloved Caesar Salad; this is an offering which whilst being sufficiently stormy, is also warm like a well functioning log fire.
9. Len Faki & Johannes Heil – Maniac (Figure)
Slightly terrifying yet enchanting, this main room dominator by Germans Faki and Heil really catches the attention. Uncompromising yet useful in a number of situations, such as jogging, this is what I call ‘al dente techno.’ For a laugh, try bursting into your 87 year old granny’s bedroom at 4am playing this at full blast.
10. Tessela – Hackney Parrot (Poly Kicks)
As well as being known for it’s prolific Cider production, the South West is also known for churning out its fair share of Electronica. This year was no exception, with West Country beat masher Tessela announcing his entrance with Hackney Parrot, a track which epitomises the emergence of UK bass music this year. The special request VIP is also worth a cheeky gander. To fully appreciate this shanty, play at full volume outside your car window in the balmy afternoon sunshine, or whilst playing Scrabble at your parents on Christmas Eve.
11. And.Id – Eternal Return (Mobilee Records)
Over to Greece now and we here we have a track out on Anja Scheider’s Mobilee Records which lingers on the palate whilst offering a floaty finish, whatever that means. This is an example of memorable, creative and original tech house which will is sure to please the listener.
12. Marc Romboy @ KINK – Over and Out (Systematic Recordings)
A track which brings back memories (perhaps) of Kennth Wolstenholme’s iconic ‘they think it’s all over’ 1966 World Cup line. This tune is one that is more ‘up high’ than ‘down below.’ This offering also further cements Bulgaria’s KINK as a main electronic music player. Enjoy with figs.
13. Monika Kruse feat. Robert Owens – One Love (Nick Curly remix) (Terminal M)
Once again, Tech House mainstay Curly demonstrates his consistency with his remix of this splendid house offering. Presenting veritable smacks of vanilla and mint, this should be best served with Kansas Fried Chicken, a bird of paradise and Rotterdam’s answer to Lionel Messi, Winston Bogarde. Thus, greatly enjoyable even despite the creepy lyrics!
14. Ben Sims – Smoke & Mirrors (Jerome Sydenham’s Carbon Dub 2013) (Drumcode)
Techno heavyweights Sims and Sydenham team up to offer an upfront piece of techno cheesecake. Fun fact; Sydenham is a place in ‘Sarf’ London and has three national rail stations, Sydenham (which also has an overground line), Sydenham Hill and Lower Sydenham.
15. Maceo Plex – Going Back (Ellum Audio)
Established underground producer Maceo Plex through his own label Ellum Audio has here succeeded in creating something that is both brooding and weighty whilst also being suitable to jive to. As versatile as a Swiss Army Knife.
16. Talbot Wood – Dream Sequence (Curle Recordings)
New entrant to the scene Talbot Wood impresses here with this dreamy (hence the name) tech house meander. This Belgian producer could be someone to watch come 2014.
17. Mike Parker – Lustration Six (Megalith) (Prologue)
2013 saw US Techno mainstay Mike Parker launch his album (his first full length in 12 years) ‘Lustrations’ on German label Prologue. Lustration Six is my highlight, hence its inclusion here. Repetitive, either annoyingly or brilliantly depending on your preference. Lustration Five is also a pleasure to listen to.
18. Technasia – I am somebody (Suara)
Moving onto more subtle climbs, Technasia (real name Charles Siegling) gave us this track, part of the ‘I am Somebody’ EP. This tune succeeds in being both subtle and compelling, drawing in the listener in the process, therefore producing on the listener an expression rather like the Cat on the EP front cover.
19. Bonobo & Grey Reverend – First Fires (Maya Jane Coles remix) (Ninja Tune)
Coles continues to demonstrate her distinctive and exciting production skills with this remix, out on London label Ninja Tune. Groovy, Catchy, Danceable are all adjectives that would suitably describe this unique little number.
20. Mark Reeve – Weird Faces (Stripped down remix) (ELEVATE)
Heavy in many senses of the word, this is an atmospheric and throbbing Techno number from Germany based Brit Reeve. As DJ Judge Jules might say, ‘so sweaty you’ll need to bring a de-humidifier.’
21. Francesco Tristano – Ground Bass (Kirk Degiorgio remix) (Detsche Grammophon)
22. A.Mochi – Squeal 3 (Figure)
23. Sam Paganini – Chocolate (Drumcode)
24. Inner City – Good Life (Ian O’Donovan remix) (KMS Records)
25. Chase & Status – Count on Me (Virgin EMI)
26. KINK & Rachel Row – Follow the Step (KINK Bass and Beats Mix) (Defected)
27. Gary Beck – Video Siren (Bek Audio)
28. Foremost Poets – Reasons to be Dismal? (Steve Bug edit) (Pokerflat Recordings)
29. Milton Bradley – Far Beyond the Quiet (Do Not Resist The Beat!)
30. Gary Beck – Stranger (Cocoon Recordings)