Another year is over, and it’s time again to celebrate my favorite tunes of the year.  This is the 5th annual Recap, following the 4 years past:

I didn’t think I would do a Top 5 list this year, but I always like taking the time to think about the music that has excited me over the last year.

Like all of the previous posts, I’m using this space to highlight some of my own influences – which have come in the form of individual tracks as well as mixes from standout DJs on podcasts and promotional mixes around the web that I’ve listened to through the year.

Please enjoy this selection of mixes and tracks from these hardworking artists, and if possible, support them any way you can.  These lists are in no particular order.

Top 5 Tracks:

  1. Kiesza – Hideaway – I think the best house songs of the last 10 years or so are not the ones with the big breakdowns and the excessive flair of “EDM”, but those that break it down to the basics.  “Hideaway” works because of it’s laid back yet complex production value combined with Kiesza’s raw talent.   I was introduced to the tune with the fantastical video – recorded in one single camera shot.
  2. Sohn – Artifice – Sohn is an artist that popped up this year, seemingly out of nowhere, but left a strong impression on me.  He’s an artist who is gifted with both singing ability and technical production skills, which “Artifice” showcased well.  This song lacks classification only because it’s unlike anything I’ve heard in the last several years.
  3. Disclosure – LatchTechnically a “leftover” from 2012, this didn’t get major airplay (and subsequently chart) in the States until this year.  When I first heard about Disclosure I wasn’t sure if I understood the hype, until I heard this track.
  4. Triceracorn – Porcalain(Recue mix) – Another one that came out near the end of last year, I didn’t catch it until early 2014.  I learned about this from another introduction to Recue, but this track was most certainly his standout work.  I’m still waiting for the “formal” release on this one.
  5. Above and Beyond – A Thing Called Love (Acoustic, Live from Porchester Hall) – Above and Beyond’s acoustic shows and subsequent live release were such a surprise move, but a unique pleasure.  To have all of the fancy production stripped away and rely on the singers, the musicians, and the music, really shows how well A&B’s music stands on it’s own (as they discussed in the DVD).  I liked all of these acoustic renditions, but I liked “A Thing Called Love” the best.

Top 5 Mixes:

  1. ME003 – Richie Kaboogie X mynameisjOhn –  The “Mix Exchange” is a new series, but one I’m quickly becoming fond of.  2 DJs square off for each episode, and each one interviews the other in an article which accompanies the mix.  There’s a stark contrast between these two artists, with Richie Kaboogie sligning some dark techno and mynameisjOhn delivering a diverse hip hop mix with different styles.  I look forward to more Mix Exchanges from Rudimentary Records.
  2. Krafty Kuts – Golden Era of Hip Hop Part 1Although more known now for his breaks work, Krafty Kuts is an excellent hip-hop DJ and turntablist.  The track selection really did showcase the “Golden Era”, and Krafty Kuts’ skills give the listener a great deal to get excited about.
  3. Electronic Explorations 325 – MonoakRecorded live from two MPC‘s, and “there is no compression, external FX or mastering. ”  An impressive set, based on these constraints.  It’s nice to find an artist that still finds a way to be innovative.
  4. Lady Waks – In Da Mix 270 – Lady Waks is my new favorite DJ!  Since the first one of her mixes I heard, I could tell she’s giving the breaks world a big wakeup call.
  5. Technikal – History of Hard Trance – Some of my favorite tunes of all time are showcased in this mix.  Truly, a classic set of euphoric hardtrance.