The Futurist’s ‘Best of 2008’ – Part 1

These releases are the best ones from 2008, presented in no specific order and are equally good in different ways. Featuring both CD’s and vinyl’s, I hope this gives you a comprehensive overview from this past year.

Shed – Shedding The Past (CD & 2xLP)

Label: Ostgut Ton
Catalog#: ostgut CD06  /  OSTGUTLP02

Tracklist:

1. Intro
2. Boose Sweep
3. Another Wedged Chicken
4. Flat Axe
5. The Lower Upside Down
6. Slow Motion Replay
7. Waved Mind/Archived Document
8. That Beats Everything!
9. ITHAW
10. Estrangé
11. Ostrich-Mountain-Square

+ ‘Sweep Dreams’ on the vinyl release

Buy here: CD / Vinyl

This is easily the best album of 2008 – the present has never sounded so contemporary and old-school at the same time.

Taking the purest form of techno, reducing and expanding it, putting his feelings into it and experimenting with it creates a really great album with all tracks expressing their own attitude and position. The main ingredient in this album is the huge amount of influence that clearly shows how deeply rooted Shed is in what he’s doing, there is really no compromise in the wall of sound – jumping from atmospheric ambient numbers, through rough 4/4 beats and percussion down to broken beats infected Detroit techno, Shed delivers a very special piece.

My favorite tracks are:

Another Wedged Chicken

Flat Axe

The Lower Upside Down

ITHAW

Estrangé

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r-1262950-1206987178

Silent Servant – The Blood Of Our King

Label: Sandwell District
Catalog#: SD 09

Tracklist:

A: Doom Deferred

B: Disciple To Master

Buy here

Silent Servant, with the coolest artist name ever, shows his best side. ‘Doom Deferred’ is a synth monster that grows over a steady 4/4 beat and atmospheric shapes and noises, creating a powerful puristic track. ‘Disciple To Master’ is a bit more reduced number with a broken structure and darkened beats, equally good to the A-side. Massive one.

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Unknown – Seldom Felt 2

Label: Seldom Felt
Catalog#: SELDOM FELT 002

Tracklist:

A: Catscan

B: Catscan Remix

Buy here

“Seldom Felt is a brand new label with no set geographical location. The only place you can find them is on the dance floor. No minimal, no Ibiza, no sunrises, no ketamine, no Myspace, no repress.”

As always with white labels, there’s quite a lot of discussion around who’s behind the tracks. For me, this doesn’t really matter – except when the tracks are such killers as the one’s over at Seldom Felt. My best guess is that Marcel Dettmann has done the remix, but I have no idea about the original.

This release is absolutely one of my all time favorites. The killer structure and power on both sides keeps you on your toes, as the raw electro melody from the original kicks in, you fall over backwards. The remix reduces the original to it’s darkest elements, kicking down the tempo a notch and transforming it into a 6 minute energy blast.

If you can get this one, do so.

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Jaydee / Second Phase – In Order To Dance Remix Sampler Vol. 2

Label: R & S Records
Catalog#: RS 0804

Tracklist:

A: Jaydee – Plastic Dreams – Audion Can’t Go Home Mix

B: Second Phase – Mentasm – Redshape CTX Mix

Buy here

The second remix sampler from the 2008 issue of ‘In Order To Dance’ features a tripping groove from Audion and a hard hitting techno remix from Redshape – both frequent in my DJ sets (although Redshape’s remix is currently getting played more!)

Jaydee’s classic is revamped into a soft and rolling Cadenza-like house track with added vocals and melodies. Very little is used from the original track and it has a completely different sound over the original, which came as a welcome surprise. Mellow strings!

Redshape on the other hand creates a excellent remix on Second Phase’s ‘Mentasm’, adding more dust and rawness to the track and restructuring the main melody.

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Unknown – Wax No. 10001

Label: Wax
Catalog#: No.10001

Tracklist:

A: Untitled

B: Untitled

Buy here

In June a suspicious reduced techno release came to my attention after a friend showed it to me. Rolling grooves with house infected attitude, created with a touch of techno, made this 12″ something special. To my disappointment, it showed up on Beatport a while back (together with Equalized #001) – white’s should stay on wax, just because it’s simply cooler.

The A-side is a proper tech-house(?) number with specific details and a horizontal energy that progresses over the entire length of it. The focus is always steady and the small changes in the sound makes it interesting all 8 minutes.

As for the B-side, things are getting more rough. Lash sounds that hits your eardrums with maximum power seems like it’s almost enough with the track going on like that forever, then the hi-hat kicks in…

Just give this one a listen, through-on-through, and you’ll hear what I’m on about.

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Zomby – The Lie

Label: Ramp
Catalog#: RAMP015

Tracklist:

A: The Lie

B1: Dripping Like Water

B2: The Lie – LV Remix

Buy here

Zomby takes Sizzla’s voice from ‘I Was Born’, twisting them and chopping them up and putting it on a stepping groove – creating one of the best tracks of 2008.

Being an anthem-like tune, they are often eroded over time and lose their energy after a while. But, I get the feeling that this one’s so special, that it will be around for ages without getting old. Intense synthlines together with a hard-edged dubstep beat and a both melancholic and angry vocal creates a rough track that will destroy the floors.

On the B-side, ‘Dripping Like Water’ let’s you “come and meditate on bass weight” on a haunting stepping groove with rave-like sounds and attitude – gwan track. LV’s take on ‘The Lie’ transforms the original into a more tripping version, with tense bass and with more percussion. Excellent remix, couldn’t have asked for a different sound!

Zomby is a artist to look out for in 2009.

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Omar-S – The Further You Look – The Less You Will See

Label: FXHE
Catalog#: 432 B / 432 F

Tracklist:

B: The Further You Look – The Less You Will See

F: Tecky Alexander

Buy here

Omar-S is a man of real soul. His ‘Psychotic Photosynthesis’ showed that he is capable of creating timeless analogue house music with incredible depth.

This one’s even deeper. With ‘The Further You Look – The Less You Will See’, a steady hypnotic groove with swirling synths and a slow bassline creates a magic piece. The ever building structure is always there and keeps you focused.

On the flip, ‘Tecky Alexander’ has a 80’s vibe and a happy groove, bringing the B-sides of Bernard Badie’s classic to mind. Tripping synths that falls down from everywhere with a jumpy kickdrum and percussion fills up the spaces between the melodies. It’s a trip!

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Radio Slave – No Sleep – Part Four

Label: Rekids
Catalog#: REKIDS 022

Tracklist:

A: Tantakatan

B: Grindhouse Tool

Buy here, Shed’s remix 12″ here.

My favorite part of the ‘No Sleep’ series from Radio Slave. ‘Tantakatan’ is a jacking breakbeat house track with a tripping piano, stabbing snares and deep, mechanical bassline. Shed’s take on ‘Tantakatan’ (REKIDS 031) turns up the tempo and adds a bit more jungle-wise beat (listen to it here below).

‘The Drunken Shed Mix’

‘Grindhouse Tool’ on the flip has been in my mind since I first heard it in November 2007. This is one of the most haunting tracks of 2008 – imagine it on a really loud sound system in a darkened warehouse/club and you’ll know what it’s all about. Rolling beats with a chopping hi-hat, lash percussion and a trombone that’s at the height of evil. Don’t bother with the remixes of ‘Grindhouse’, they’re nothing compared to the tool.

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