Sunday, January 25, 2009
favourite sets from 2008
this cartoon is from a site called toothpaste for dinner, which i've been enjoying recently... anyway, i've had this post half-finished for a couple of weeks and it is now starting to get seriously out of date as we have almost made it through the first month of 2009 (how did that happen?!). well since i'd already written the post, i figured i might as finish it... i'll get some new sets up soon, as they've been some beauties floating about. so, without any more delays, here are some of my favourite mixes, podcasts and recordings from 2008. five preliminary points to note, though:
(1) i have very purposely not included any of the mnml ssgs mixes here. for starters it would make the list much, much longer. also, i have great respect and appreciation to all the artists who have contributed mixes so i am not going to play favourites.
(2) for a lot of the people on this list (eg dozzy, steffi) there are multiple sets of theirs that belong here, but i've decided to limit it to one per artist. actually, in many ways this is a semi-complete list of my favourite DJs and live acts from 2008.
(3) a few of these sets aren't actually from 2008, but i only discovered them last year so they are being included.
(4) the list is not ranked. the order is random.
(5) i've provided working links as many as possible. if anyone wants to fill in the blanks, feel free to post them. and of course, please add to this list in your comments. i'm very interested to hear what your favourites have been.
ok, here we go.
steffi - panorama bar mix II. half a year ago i'd barely heard of her. now i'm in love. what defines her style - and indeed this is something that makes all the panorama/berghain djs stand out - is the perfect feel and intuition she has. she's just got the groove. you can feel that she really knows every single record in her case. like everyone on this list, she knows.
seth troxler - bunker podcast 33. while i did say the order is random, i put seth after steffi because for me they have similar strengths and charms - the intuition, the feel that defines their sets. i've said this before, but what really strikes me about his DJ'ing is how mature it is for someone who is still relatively young. there is real depth and inspiration in the way he plays. this is someone who definitely has a very bright future after 2008 very deservedly being a breakout year.
shed - bodytoniclive. in true sesame street fashion, lets keep with the letter 's'. if we are talking about people that had a breakout year, i dont think anyone had a bigger one than shed. 12 months ago he was not on many people's radars, by december he was on top of a couple of RA's 'best of' lists. not bad, huh? and thoroughly deserved to. i chose this over his excellent bunker podcast dj set because it better represents what made him one of the big stories of 2008.
silent servant - el baile mix. yes. no rest from 's'. this mix really shows the breadth of the man's tastes, going well beyond the sounds he and sandwell district are known for. beyond there being some real classics in this mix, it is also an a great introduction and education into minimal synth and nu wave. nice.
stott, andy and claro intellecto - RA podcast. a bit of a stretch to include this as my last 's'. i am not sure if this fully showcases how good either can be, but i do like this recording and come back to regularly. a good year for these guys undoubtedly, even though i find it frustrating that people have been rating claro's album in their end of year charts. he is a great artist, but i found the album incredibly mediocre. he has, and can, do much better as this 'cast shows. also, i should take this opportunity to say much respect to RA for their podcasts in 2008. i thought that on the whole they did an excellent job of presenting a range of bigger and lesser known names, as well as covering a fair range of styles and sounds.
donato dozzy - mix for radioactivity show. to be honest, i think i marginally prefer the set he recorded for electronique.it, but because they are only make their podcast available to members (booo!) i can't post a link for it here. if anyone has a download link for it, please post it because the set is magical. the mix he did for the radioactivity show is another goodie and both are a bit better than his RA'cast i feel. anyway, not too much more to say about dozz - you've heard me rave about him enough here. an amazing dj and person. much respect.
convextion - livepa @ faktion. might as well post the artists from labyrinth together. i prefer the set he played in japan, but that is most likely just because i experienced it in the flesh. convextion's being doing quality stuff for a very, very long time (rod modell told me since '92) so it's great he is finally getting some much-deserved love. very rich, textured sounds all perfectly put together.
peter van hoesen (aka 'the hose') - process part 78 mix. LWE very justly annointed him one of their 'breakout artists' of 2008, and i think the hose and his label, time to express, will continue onwards and upwards in 2009. peter's done some tremendous mixes this year, but i've chosen this modyfier one because like the mix from silent servant above, it displays a real breadth and depth of musical knowledge, which i greatly respect and admire. plus he plays 'dead eyes open' pitched down. fuck, that is sooooo cool.
cio d'or - vanille 11 mix. this is from 2007 (i think), which made me tempted to post her modyfier set instead, but ultimately i had to include this one because it has been one of my most listened to mixes in the last couple of months since i chanced upon it. cio is another DJ you can tell really knows and loves her records. each one of her mixes is so carefully put together and composed. everything fits so well, the set as a whole is perfectly weighted and balanced. cio has promised a ssg mix for us in 2009 and i am really, really excited about how it's going to sound. i can't wait!
benjamin brunn - livepa @ westwerk. most of what i could say about brunn i said recently in introducing his contribution to the mnml ssgs mix series. but to summarise: warmth. warmth is the word i would use to describe brunn. his music feels like the musical equivalent of a big friendly hug. and we all need a hug now and again.
marcel dettmann - houztek radio 1.2.08. the debate over his recent RA podcast was very interesting - it really seemed to divide people. i've only listened to it a couple of times (well i guess that says something) an think it is a good mix, but he's done much better. like this one. i think mix gives one of the best representations of his sound as a DJ, at least from what i've heard. i've definitely listened to it more than his berghain 2 mix. it coheres perfectly and the last 10-15 minutes are just amazing. much respect to the dettmann. really hoping to see him spin somewhere in 2009.
eli verveine - carebear mix. this is actually about 4 years old, but i only discovered it in 2008, so i'm putting it on the list. sometimes i wonder whether i like this just because it has one of my alltime favourite tracks, and an old plastikman classic. but there's definitely more to the mix than that. eli is able to give her sets a very close, personal feel which i love. i know it's not the case, but it feels like she's made the mix for you. how can you not like that?
rising sun - random circuits mix 09. a real strength of the random circuits mix series, and indeed their site as a whole, is that they often highlight quality people you might not be aware of. this mix is the perfect example of that. i must admit, before listening to it i didn't know who rising sun were. now i do. and i like. this is a mix that always brings a bit of sunshine to my office. inviting house sounds that bring a smile to your face.
leonid - LWE podcast 04. this one beats out the even tuell mix as my favourite from LWE. my description of this one is basically the same as the one i just gave for rising sun. a new name for me, opening my ears with a well crafted mix of lovely house sounds. i don't think it quite got the love it deserved. it's a great mix.
prosumer - beats in space mix. since we are on the house tip, might as well slot the 'sumer in here. anything i might say will look half-hearted compared to teleost's praise, so i suggest reading any of the100 posts or so he has written on prosumer instead.
moritz von oswald with tikiman @ shanti, moscow 11.04.08. sorry, i am starting to run out of motivation to give proper write ups of these mixes. but really, this one speaks for itself. moritz: the master. and much, much respect to for sound+ making this and many other amazing sets available.
nd baumecker @ berghain 9.2.08. while baumecker may normally hang out at panorama, here he makes it very clear that he can mix it up with the big boys on the berghain floor. this is a long mix - about 4.5 hours from memory - and his ability as a DJ really can be heard in the way he manages the set as a whole (even if i think he plays a record twice. tut tut). perhaps better than any mix i've heard this captures the intensity of berghain.
shackleton @ breezeblock. i know people have been raving about him for a while. but i was slow catching on. it was only with his 'soundboy's ashes get hacked up and spat out in disgust' ep released early in the year that i began to understand. often, though, i find i best connect with sounds through DJ sets and livepas. it's normally the way i introduce myself to a new sound or artist. and so it was with shackleton. with this recording it really hit me how talented this guy is, and how unique and different what he is doing is. i remember having a moment listening to this on my headphones after doing some shopping. i just stopped walking and stood there for a minute in shock. i could feel my mind expanding. i guess that is enough for it to qualify for my top sets for the year...
well i guess that is good a place as any to finish. there are other sets i could add to this list, but i think this is more than enough. please add your own thoughts, lists and links in the comments.
new stuff from 2009 soon!