End of year lists can be a right ball ache if you feel obliged to cast a wide net, or represent popular opinion. And for a wee moment there we fell into that trap. Tracks like Ten Walls’ ‘Gotham’, Mano Le Tough’s ‘Primitive People’ (Tale of Us remix) and Paul Woolford’s ‘Untitled’ very deservedly belong in any ‘best of’ review, but for Beating Off Music’s inaugural round-up we had to stick with the ones that moved us the most.
Here find only tracks that made us leap from our work desk and begin a home office dance, scream TUUUUUNE to an empty house or phone a friend we were so awestruck by their sheer affecting genius…
Henry Saiz – Walking On A Wire [Eklektisch]
Clare says: Definitely not a surprise inclusion considering our exultant rave about the track in ‘Why hasn’t Henry Saiz asked me to move in with him yet’ last month, ‘Walking on a Wire’ sits alongside the Spaniard’s ‘Honey Wine’ as his most brilliant masterstroke to date and also shows he’s more than capable of producing a big room crowd pleaser to compliment his dreamy back catalogue. Ridiculously good.
Good Guy Mikesh & Filburt – Place Of Love (MP Edit) [Ellum Audio]
We say: Like a really good first kiss this track leaves you breathless, emotional and craving more, more, more! (check out our Musical Crush piece on this track here). Somehow striking a perfect balance between celestial and fist-clenchingly epic, we might even go as far as to dub it the modern electronic version of a certain heavenly choir of Angels.
Ella Fitzgerald – Blues Skies (Maya Jane Coles Remix) [Verve Records]
Clare says: Maya had another mighty year in 2013 with the release of her debut album ‘Comfort’, but it was this remix of Ella Fitzgerald’s classic that saw her deft skill for combining a catchy vocal hook with bass-laced dancefloor sensibilities that saw me hitting the repeat button the most and bombarding Lydia with how-good-is-this-track giddy texts.
Guti – Hope [DTFD]
Lydia says: The vocals and percussion showcase Guti’s classical jazz capabilities but there’s no denying that with a bass like this, part of his heart belongs to house and techno. This is a perfect soundtrack to a moment of joy or when you need a boost (standard from this loveable Argentinian). My own memories of this track accompanied by an Ibiza sunrise, great company, fancy dress and a paddling pool make it one of my favourite and most evocative tracks of the year.
“I do believe music can influence people, inspire them and make them better. ‘Hope’ was an honest anthem to life. Positive vibrations!” – Guti
Dominik Eulberg – Opel Tantra [Herzblut Recordings]
Clare says: Euphoric techno tailor made for ravers reared on trance, Papa Sven was always going to make this Dominik Eulberg moneyshot his own this summer. During one outing to Cocoon I remember climbing my friend Jeremy like a beanstalk (he’s tall y’know) before punching the air like Olympians on point of impact.
Thor – Yellow Sky Over Reykjavík (Baikal Remix) [Connaisseur Recordings]
Lydia says: The muffled drums creeping in then dominating this tune definitely upgrade this from ‘Shazam the hell out of it’ to ‘THIS is the sort of track this blog is about’ status (hence why it was the focus of our first blog post). The breakdown gives me goose bumps, the vocal use sends shivers down my spine and if you don’t pull your best ‘arghhh this TRACK!’ expression to this then you’re dead inside. The ultimate face-scratcher.
“I never have a vision when I make music, for me it’s like doing a puzzle on intuition. I’ll keep on trying new approaches until something special enough happens. Once that‘s established I follow that lead and hope for the best.
Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t!’ – Baikal
Rodriguez Jr. & And.ld – Roads [mobilee records]
Clare says: I am absolutely convinced ex-Youngsters member Rodriguez Jr. is one of the most gifted dance music producers to navigate a Logic session. This trumpet-led gem completed with mobilee label mate And.ld is simply the most sublime record I’ve heard all year, achieving the rare feat of being both melancholic and uplifting all in stupidly good seven minutes. I must have listened to this 50 times and it still has an incapacitating affect.
Ten Walls – Mongol [Life and Death]
We say: ‘Gotham’ and ‘Requiem’ were no doubt bigger, but it was this bad boy that had us looking at each other with awe-stuck disbelief. That twisted Middle Eastern flute combined with the harmonizing pads conjured an almost celestial vibe and made many a dancefloor moment throughout summer. When it was finally released in November it was like we’d finally got to the front of Heaven’s queue and it actually was all it’s cracked up to be.
Rich Nxt – Livin A Vibe [Fuse London]
Clare says: Pure ear porn, good and proper. But as with anything from London’s Fuse crew you’ll do it justice if you’re listening with top-notch headphones or speakers. Rich is an incredible talent and his formative years weaned on jungle records really shine through on this funky stripped back cut with the most PHWOOOAR-inducing drop of 2013. The first time I heard it I had to interrupt a skype meeting to enjoy a blissed-out dance around my room. A few months on and I could still happily roll around in that delicious bass like a pig in mud.
“I finished the first draft of this for the outdoor FUSE events back in September 2012. I was into stripping a few bars of tracks down to the kick and bassline last year and when I tried it on this one and made the drop, I knew it would end up being the one. When I went back to finish it, I was like ‘shall I do the drop again??’ But of course it lost the impact doing it more than once. Instead I experimented with bringing bits of groove at different times for the other drops. I also had lots of fun overlaying various synth counter melodies in different places!”– Rich NxT
Joseph Capriati – Fratello [Drumcode]
Lydia says: If there was ever a track to defy the ‘soulless repetitive sweaty men music’ stereotype that techno is sometimes lumbered with then this is it. The artist (who gives the best bear hugs you could ever wish for), the title (meaning ‘brother’ in Italian), the stunning piano that juxtaposes that thumping bass… The whole thing is full of passion whilst still packing a heady punch.
Guy Gerber & Clarian – Claire [Visionquest]
Clare says: This feels more like a genius musical composition than a dance track. I was at Wisdom of The Glove afters and spent about 40 minutes nervously working up the courage to ask Guy to play it (he had a reputation for being quite an odd ball character and I didn’t know how he’d react.) When I finally did man up, he was the perfect gentleman. He never did end up playing that day, but we still have a really tripped out chat about his glove and taking long metaphorical walks through the dessert, before some snobby American cow came up and asked if he “needed saving”. Chill out, definitely not in the spirit of Ibiza, lady!
Fango – Caballos (Despajados Mix) [Degustibus]
We say: As you can guess from our last blog post ‘Who the Dickens is Fango?!’ we’re huge fans of this wonderfully crazy Venetian drummer-turned-dance music genius. Like Venice itself holds an air of the magical unknown, so does he, hiding behind a mask of mystery but letting his insane tracks do the talking.
Ali Love feat Kali – Emperor (Maceo Plex Last Disco Remix) [Crosstown Rebels]
We say: Maceo really does have the Midas touch as yet another track affiliated with him goes straight into our list. Already a beautiful track, this house music juggernaut puts a hauntingly delicious and decadent spin on things. When Pan Pot dropped this at Amnesia Opening it went down an absolute treat, and will stay in our heads (and hearts) forever- also one of the first tracks we both raved to together – sentimental or what?)
Steve Lawler – Avaida (The Organ Track) [Viva Music]
Clare says: Prog bomb alert! This brings back spine-tingling memories of VIVa Warriors first season at Sankeys Ibiza in 2012 and was one of Lawler’s late night go-to tracks, meaning there was a nice buzz surrounding its release when it finally dropped in February. Whenever I hear it, I’m transported back to that heaving Playa D’en Bossa basement where a certain gurn-filled contentment hung in the air.
And the 2012 exception we all slept on…
Molisans Brothers – Transformation Aineli (Markus Fix Remix) [eMBI Music]
We say: Although this song was actually released in 2012 (featuring on Dixon and Ame’s ADE Boiler Room) it’s only been in 2013 where it has started getting the praise and play count it truly deserves. With Tale Of Us, Maceo, Basanov and other major flavours of the summer rinsing this remix at Enter each Thursday this song has become a huge part of our musical year and deserves a hefty mention.
“We are very happy to see you’ve chosen this song, it makes us so proud! Transformation Aineli was the first EP from our label eMBI music, so it’s full of emotions. Today it’s not easy to start a independent label and not many believed in me and my little dream, so I wanted the first EP to be a bomb! Transformation is very multifaceted and constantly evolving. It starts deep, then you get warm vocals and tech house beats. The remix is a great example of the label: giving unknown but great producers a chance to establish themselves on vinyl.” – Molisans Brothers
…And that’s it from us for 2013. But don’t fear – a new year simply brings new tracks for us to lose our shit to. See you in 2014!
Clare & Lydia x