“MUSIC IS THE ANSWER” – SPECIAL EDITION REVIEW
31ST DECEMBER 2009
Well, what a year it has been for music, amidst one of the biggest global economic downturns, we have been privileged to witness not only some superb tracks, compilations but also scintillating sets for a whole host of D.J’s across gAylist/land London. So, this is our look back on 2009, with for us, MUSIC definitely being the answer.
So, where do we start?, Well, probably at the head of 2009, focussing on the years notable D.J. live sets, which kicked off with three parties & performances on New Year’s Day that were to influence our year in more ways than one, as Brent Nicholls, Nick Tcherniak & Paul Heron made an average Matinee good. And these three were set to lead us astray a plenty, with the central theme being Barcode, whether it be outings to Industri, to Soho or to Vauxhall, all three managed to play the sort of music & sets that had us in naughty moods & hedonistic happiness. Indeed, they failed to disappear from our radar all year, with sparkling performances from Paul at many a Matinee party, but especially at the May Bank Holiday event, Nick playing one of the great b2b sets of the year at Trade/Orange with Steve Thomas on August Bank Holiday, then repeating it at Trade’s 19th birthday bash, while Brent excelled even his high standards, first at Matinee’s August Bank Holiday spectacular, then again at “The Next Chapter”.
So, what about the rest, and believe us there are plenty to mention, although real highlights of the year have to be performances from Mikey D at Beyond (more than one), Jamie Head, both alone at Beyond & Profile Bar, but the simply amazing b2b set at Trade/Orange of theirs on August Bank Holiday. Then we have to mention Hi-Fi Sean for an absolutely stupendous set at Orange Summer of Love in May, Phil Hewson for entertaining us with an impeccable performance at Hustlaball and not forgetting the performances of Italian D.J./Producer Danny Verde, who’s career really took off in 2009 & his appearances at Matinee’s August Bank Holiday party & then “The Next Chapter” were real highlights. Other quick mentions have to go to Pagano, Alessandro, Fat Tony, Hugh Stevenson, Steven Artis, Mattias, D’Johnny, The Sharp Boys, Oliver M & Pier Morrocco, all who had an influence on our year through super sets, wherever they were.
Now we come to the two remaining D.J’s yet to be mentioned, with no round up being complete without including the legend that is Steve Pitron and we cannot begin to list the amount of staggeringly incredible sets we have savoured from him over the years, 2009 being no exception. Notable performances were at SuperMartXe’s 1st Anniversary party, at Beyond Belief in September, Orange Summer of Love in May, but the best of his was at Beyond last weekend (20th) when he literally set the main room alight with an outstanding set of perfect proportions, putting him really close to the top of the pile of our choices this year. But the best set of 2009 for us (although it was a close run thing) goes to Guy Williams, who triumphed at DTPM’s “The Bitch Is Back” party, truly rocking Paramount to its foundations. He has had a brilliant year musically and for us remains a real draw at Matinee, has played a major part at Trade, has had measured success with Hoof, Reverse & Black Rabbit, but it his set at DT that really stands out, an awesome experience indeed.
So, with the D.J’s sets covered, what about the tracks that took our musical world by storm this year? Well, there has been such a wealth & array of tracks within the sets of these D.J’s that made it big for us in 2009 and like the sets themselves, the choices were so extensive, we have spent hours deciding which tracks would make it. The best 10 have been difficult to decide upon, but our choices are made and are final. The question is, are they your favourites too? or if not, why not take a listen and see what you think.
Now, most likely the biggest track of 2009 has to have been Serge Devant’s “Addicted”, which has probably been played on every single dancefloor, at every single party/event we have been to this year, without exception and will go down as a classic anthem along with tracks like “Sunday’s At Heaven” & “Miracle”, but despite that it didn’t make our top ten. Oliver M dipped into the studio to produce a great track with Jean Philippe entitled “Strings Of Motion”, but that didn’t make it either, nor did notable remix works from D.J/Producer’s Pagano, Danny Verde & Steven Redant , which whilst made a big impact on the scene, Pagano’s “Back To The Future”, “Danny Verde’s “Let Me See Your Underwear” & “Express Yourself and Steven Redant’s “Discotheque” being biggies in their own right, failed to make it into our top choice as did Hi-Fi Sean Dickson’s remix of our fave 2008 track “Get Busy” even though stood out and still remains our favourite of his work.
So what did? Well, Arno Cost’s “Cyan” is there, as is Laurent Wolf’s “No Stress”, two absolute corkers. Then, Bingo Players vs Chocolate Puma’s “Disco Electrique” really hit the spot during 2009, as did the Velarde; Vitti & Luque track “Serious Emotions”, both which got serious airplay on dancefloors and in some of our favourite compilations, with D.J. Tatana’s “Spring Breeze”, really knocking on the door of our top five tunes of the year. The choice then became really difficult as the next two tracks filled a big part of our year, Julien Jabre’s “Vicious Circle” being a feature of more than one mix in our 2009 collection as was right there, as was Norman Dorat’s “Last Forever”, which looked destined to grab top spot as far back as April, we also wrongly predicting that it would be as huge as “Addicted”, , but in failing to do so, it slipped out of our top three (just).
So, we came down to those top three choices and what were they? Well, after much deliberating and considering all the others, three really did stand out from the rest and were tunes that played the biggest part in our musical journey across the last 12 months, although we can hardly separate them. Truly taking us & indeed the dancefloors by storm in just the last few weeks was Erik Morillo’s “Get Lifted” with the brilliant vocals of Deborah Cooper. Never has a record captured our imagination quite as quickly as this did (well apart from one) and this track looks set to play a major role in D.J’s sets not just over the coming New Year period, but well into 2010, but, after much self debate, it came a close third. So, what two tracks piped it to the post? Well, it just had to be there, a brilliant find by Paul Heron and one that became our favourite “hands in the air” tune of 2009, Zoe Baldwin’s “Release Me”, which we first heard at Industri back in June, but has slowly infiltrated many a set & was played twice by Fat Tony during his set at DTPM in November. We still go absolutely mad when it is played & Messrs Nicholls & Heron really know how to hit our sweet spot with it, selecting it as they do. But, as good as it is & as much as we love this amazing track, it failed to make number 1 (shock, horror!!).
So what amazing record knocked that off top spot? Well, Soul Avengerz’s “Drop The Bomb” did which in some ways was as much a shock for us as anyone. Now, have you scraped yourselves off the floor yet? Well, why did it make it over all those other brilliant tracks? The answer is simple really, it has been THE track which has on virtually every occasion this year, after leaving a club to make our way home, safely & securely kept us entertained, whether the journey was long or short. Since hearing it as far back as January, we have been truly enchanted by it and despite how good “Release Me” has been, how fabulous “Get Lifted” is, how amazing “Last Forever” was, “Drop The Bomb” is something extra special. No, you probably haven’t heard it in D.J’s sets or on dancefloors, it might just empty them, but it has been the one constant, the defining track of our clubbing journey this year and we absolutely love it!! By the way, if any D.J. out there fancies giving it some remix treatment, we will love you forever.
Well, with that shock over, what about the compilations of the year? And where can you find them? Well it goes without saying that many of the D.J’s mentioned in our best sets part, are also feature here, the first mention going to Nick Tcherniak, who we covered quite a lot this year and following one such post, were privileged to have our work included on his music site. We devoted a special post to both him & Steve Thomas, following their brilliant b2b & solo performances at Trade, SuperMartXe & DTPM and we were sent to heaven & back at Barcode on our birthday, as Nick played a ton of terrific tunes. We can’t single out one mix of his, but you can take your choice at http://nicktcherniak.podomatic.com. There was also the wonderful work of Steven Artis, a tore de force at Juicy & Barcode and he was absolutely tireless in the studio recording this year. We absolutely loved the combination of deep & dirty sounds with uplifting & funky house tracks, so typical of his sets, displayed perfectly in a whole series of his compilations, which you can find at http://stevenartis.podomatic.com. Another man really busy in the studio as well as on the dancefloors of our fave gAylist clubs in 2009, was Hi-Fi Sean Dickson, who was a real influence on us during the year, not just for his music, but the ongoing “mirrorball” antics we shared together. His compilation series of mixes, Tech Noir & Psychedelic House never ceased to hit the mark, as did his dedication to Juicy, so you should go take a visit to http://hifisean.podomatic.com
During 2009 we devoted other special music posts to tip top clubs Beyond & Matinee, focussing on talents including D'Johnny, Alan K, Jonny M and Steven Redant, also devoting one to post to the fabled Soho Live event, in which we featured a brilliant mix from Beyond star Mikey D, entitled “Get Lifted”, which was close to reaching our top two choices of the year. We recommended this at the time & continue to do in and short of insist that you add it to your collection, which you can still grab at http://mikeyd.podomatic.com. Other D.J’s we covered were French fancies Leomeo & Gaeten Scott, also including the lovely Eduardo de La Torre in three posts this year, all having produced some fabulous work & making an impact across the dancefloors of Europe.
But ultimately, it came down to two D.J’s and two of their mixes that fought for our attention this year. Interestingly, they were both right in the thick of it during many of the clubs & events we visited in 2009 and will probably continue to be during 2010. We covered their careers in a special post released earlier this month, but one that was well overdue and more than deserved to two unquestionably talented & accomplished names with the world of D.J’ing, especially in gAylist London where they are probably know to you the best. They are of course Brent Nicholls & Steve Pitron and deciding to put these two at the top of our compilation choices tree was one of the easier end of year decisions we had to make. We kind of said everything we needed to in our recent post, so it is now just down to the mixes that made it in, and whilst they have, between them produced a staggering 22 compilations, stretching to a complete 36 separate volumes (incl extended mixes), thus, incredibly racking up over 44 hours of music in the mix!! Steve’s Beyond “Ice” compilation was & is simply incredible, Brent’s Lo-Profile “Live” mix is fantastic, but both couldn’t quite match Mr Pitron’s “Addicted Vol 1 – Part 1”, released in March and Mr Nicholls’ “MMIX – Anthems of 2009” – released this month. Steve’s “Addicted Vol 1 includes two of our top 10 choices, not to mention that tune “Addicted” and Brent’s “Anthems” mix has no less than 6 of our top ten tracks, so the choice was clear, they had to be there. But which one came out on top? Well, to be honest we couldn’t separate them, as both got and still get unstoppable airplay every time we work & play, so it’s a dead heat! Catch Steve's "Addicted" mix at http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com & Brents "Anthems" compilation at http://djbrentnicholls.com/music
Right, well that’s it for our “Music is The Answer” posts for 2009 and we hope you enjoyed this special look back across the year. We cannot begin to describe how much music is a part of our lives and how very grateful we are to each & every D.J. out there who bring it to us. Furthermore, everybody mentioned in this review has a special place in our hearts & minds and we cannot thank them enough for their contributions to what has been a brilliant, fantastic, marvellous, superb & wonderful year of music. And to those that made our top choices, we salute you & long may you entertain us with you musical magic. (DISCO MATT)