Top 15 Compilations of 2012
Whilst electronic music as a community and an industry continues to adjust admirably to the Catch-22 nature of the internet, one camp that remains under duress is compilations. With major distributors now selling mixes, the majority of artists or labels regularly pushing out promo-packed free podcasts and ever more streaming options to watch DJs tear up booths and carve new niches all from the comfort of your hangover-recovery-room, the compilation finds itself at an increasingly crowded party. Thankfully however, 2012 still brought a wealth of exciting projects onto our ipods and into our pre-drinks. Here are ten of DT’s favourites.
15: Robert Hood – Motor: Nighttime World 3
As explorers go, there are few with the credentials and class of our first entry, Robert Hood. As one of the pioneers of minimal techno, he has been an artisan and craftsman of high calibre and stature for nearly two decades now. This release epitomises his sound, his roots and the reason why he has such a loyal and engaged following. This is melodic minimal mastery pure and simple; whether it be the introspective and mesmeric ‘Motor City’ or the pulsating power of ‘Drive’, this is a proper belter.
14: Erol Alkan – Bugged In/Bugged Out
Ever-evolving artiste extraordinaire, Alkan continues his conquest of the stereo space with his now ever-present Bugged series. With a double disc that has an ‘in’ and an ‘out’ mix for divergent moods he effortlessly fuses old and new, rave and folk, tech and soul, and continues to break artists and acts like they flow to him in a constant stream. If it weren’t for the strength of the other comps in this list, Erol would be sitting on the throne. Given his provenance and heritage in this regard, however, I’m sure he’ll be in amongst it again next year…
13: Future Disco – Poolside Sounds
Future disco, New Disco, Nu Disco. It has many names but every artist, label or promoter who steps into this ring knows it carries hidden risk. Disco was singlehandedly responsible for some of the very best music and sub-scenes still around today. It’s also responsible for the cliches that so many artists, tracks and psuedo-sophisticated bars have fallen victim to. Future Disco – Poolside Sounds is a study in How To Get It Right, a fantastic collection of mellow grooves that positively smell of suncream and cold beers, with artists including Maya Jane Coles, The 2 Bears and Crazy P filling out a well-designed tracklist.
12: Maya Jane Coles – DJ Kicks
It’s hard to believe that Coles has only really been on the scene as a prominent artist for a little under two years, considering the slew of releases, awards and accolades that she has her name to already. The raw, stripped back core of her sound is given warmth and texture through layer-upon-layer of subtle sounds and vocals that build intrigue and lustre. ‘Money’ (Chasing Kurt) embodies this mix; warm, raw, dark, inviting, there are not enough adjectives to describe the peace and turmoil that co-exist in this and all her work… She manages to produce music that speaks to the soul of the listener playing on their fears and dreams in equal measure and delighting in the process.