2013/01 : Recollections of yesteryear

One of the more comfortable aspects of maintaining this revue (as I like to think of it) is of course the utter necessity of compiling a best-of whenever possible. And what better cause to do so than to recall a year that’s just made its way into history, especially when the harvest is scarce and most of the producers are still in hibernation. But before we now engage in reliving 2012’s highlights, I’d like to discuss one recent tune that’s got a little something its current contemporaries are missing: Vortek’s remix of Spenghead’s Large Concrete Cube, which has been issued alongside the original and Cubism’s remix on Wednesday. Now while the latters reside somewhere in the wide area between Breaks and Glitch Hop (-I’m not completely fluent with the applicable nomenklatura-), our item of interest adds about 50 BPM and settles somewhere along the sweetspot of tense and mellow drum & bass. Don’t let the 90’s tech-intro fool you: though all musical basis for the track remains fairly simple, the composition is quite well crafted, and the production is thoroughly outstanding. The most prominent feature however is the subtle vibe that comes rolling along the all-engrooving half-time feel and smooth subbass line; and even though Vortek is Australian and hence not subject to winter dormancy right now, the manufacture of a quality tune such as this must never be taken for granted (even among awake producers), and thus we should at least bring it to our attention.

Spenghead – Large Concrete Cube (Vortek remix, Adapted Recordings)

Furthermore we will take a glance at the Subsphere selection of 2012, and a rather quick one too as the subject’s dullness suggests. For everywhere you go now, it’s just people compiling, displaying their compilations and discussing the one’s they have stumbled upon. ‘It’s a compiling world’ you might say, and rather compelling too, so ere I waste more time and space with vacuous complaints, I might as well introduce you to my top ten listening experiences of last year.

Though the order is completely random, probably my number one track of 2012 is Fields’ Behind the Curtains: none other has achieved such a vibrant display of space travel. (You will eventually know what I mean.)

Then there’s Rockwell’s Constantcomplexrhythmicsound, probably his best track so far, but certainly the most programmatic tune in a while.

Naturally, Phace & Misanthrop must needs be part of any best-of; I chose their track Progression, not only for its unquestionable inherent qualities but also the perspective it provides for the genre’s most forward thinking duo.

Larrge’s Apep too is part of last year’s main discoveries; his frantic dances with basses are unparalleled.

Another gem for information fetishists was Andy Pain & Z Connection’s Bonesnatcher, whose blend of percussion-plays and deep pressure bass today is as fascinating as ever.

The most anticipated tune of the year was Maztek’s Galactica for me, so it seems only right to give this monster a place among the elected.

Taken from Octane & DLR’s Method in the Madness album, Set Up the Set features Script alongside one of the biggest basses, strangest vibes (in the best possible way) and funniest intros of 2012.

Also from one of the finest albums this year, Audio and InsideInfo’s grooving Recluse is my personal favourite from Soulmagnet. (But Headroom is not far behind.)

The third track from an album is Nothing I Can Say, the most up-to-date old school-sound from Calyx & Teebee’s other-award winning All or Nothing.

Finally, B-Key’s Man of Science (with a release on the 29th of December 2011 initially designed to avoid any year charts) concludes the Subsphere best-of. Few still hold up the flag of jungle, yet no one does it quite as Mr. Birch.

As to the album of the year I bow to Octane & DLR for Method in the Madness (reviewed here), which not only depicts all facets of their genuinely mad method but serves a broad sweep though the possibilities of nowadays amazing electronic music. This and the secrets it still reveals with each listen will in all probability rank it with the classics one day.

So what more can I say but give you a last pathos-laden glimpse into the past before the fresh waves of 2013 wash away the crumbling remains of yesteryear? But then again, what’s it matter? So just let me equip all of you with my best wishes for the time to come, and my gratitude – not only for reading this revue (as well), but for being committed to the music. Because for what it’s worth, that is what makes the difference.

Subsphere Best-of 2012:

Fields – Behind the Curtains (Utopia Music) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aLEL4amTRs

Rockwell – Constantcomplexrhythmicsound (Shogun Audio) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nuHAX6QBZo

Phace & Misanthrop – Progression (Neosignal) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiePy2EIREg

Larrge – Apep (Icarus Audio) – https://soundcloud.com/larrge/larrge-apep

Andy Pain & Z Connection – Bonesnatcher (Extent Recordings) – http://www.beatport.com/track/bonesnatcher-original-mix/3721135

Maztek – Galactica (Renegade Hardware) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k402xB5uuIk

Octane & DLR feat. Script – Set Up the Set (Dispatch Recordings) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hawXA7SuY_4

Audio & InsideInfo – Recluse (Virus Recordings) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry134w2JQc8

Calyx & Teebee – Nothing I Can Say (Ram Records) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvEGS4lewcc

B-Key – Man of Science (Scientific Wax) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWulqmwYdSM

Octane & DLR – Method in the Madness (Dispatch Recordings) – https://soundcloud.com/anttc1/sets/octane-dlr-method-in-the-3

Your yearly best of: http://www.facebook.com/subsphere

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