Deco – Timescales – Deceast (and it’s totally free!)
Album of the Year: Alix Perez – Chroma Chords
This album is just too damn good. It is paced well and has an excellent mix of styles and genres. I can easily place this album into the sacred pantheon of Wormhole, Timeless, Balance of the Force, Sleepwalk, and Mysteries of Funk. Long players always have to reach that certain air of mystery and sheer genius in writing to me and this album has it all. However, I do want to point out that so many full lengths came out this year that have that same quality and all of them are fantastic but Chroma Chords just took me on a journey time and time again.
Runner Up (tie): Hybrid Minds Mountains LP and Shogun Audio’s Way of the Warrior 2
12″ of the Year:
I could not pick one. It was a killer year for DNB tunes. Metalheadz came back to prominence like no other moving strength to strength. I can’t wait to play a lot of these tunes slated for release next year. Warm Communications and Spearhead were also strong with new releases that covered all the styles within DNB and that was nice to see again. The Mako release on Warm and Halycon on Spearhead were in my 12’s of the year and the tunes speak for themselves.
Highlights of the Year for me
– Ulterior Motive are going to be a force to be reckoned with. Remixing Klute ‘We R the Ones’, then setting the classic ‘Obsession’ by Future Cut on absolute fire. These guys are stripped down mechanical funk and I love the focus on the beats. Featherweight VIP is such a beast. Elephant Tune was dubstep BEAST that caught me by surprise but also proved how versatile many dnb producers are.
– Marcus Intalex was a BADMAN. Dropping a release on Headz, signing up Chimpo’s EP for release on Soul:R, and doing the Trevino alias that was unleashing some techno fury. Love it and am looking forward to more from him.
– The return of the original hardcore sounds that spawned Jungle/Drum and Bass with the 36hz crew, Manix dropping a new album, and even the new Jonny L getting sick with it.
– Hearing a variety of music in the clubs again with people mixing it up, not just trying to murder the system all night. People are actually starting to learn what the job of an opener is! Lets keep it up.
– The arrival of Deep Field Audio was welcome. These guys are the truth and have great material to back up the statement. Another new label I am stoked to hear in 2014.
– The Kickstarter campaign for the Project Trendkill album was a great success!! It was killer album with no filler and Gridlok/Prolix even gave away the sample pack for one of the tunes off the album for making a fundraising goal! How awesome was it for those guys to give away some hard earned and made samples. I hope to see more of these campaigns in the future to help out the talented artists/producers that could use a little help to get the music out there. I tip my hat to you guys. Respect.
– I thought it was cool to see Subtitles, Toolroom, and others putting out digital compilation albums. You got your money’s worth and then some with some of these albums boasting 30 tracks in addition to a bonus mix. The Toolroom compilation had 100!! The digital market is here to stay and its cool some of the labels are jumping ahead to offer people great value for their money.
BUY THE MUSIC!!!
Once again I want to send love to all my Shadowboxing family and to all of you that check us out from time to time. 2014 is going to be even better! More Shadowboxing Exclusives to come!!
Have a great New Year and Be Safe!!!!