Music | Bittles’ Magazine: The music column from the end of the world
With the year coming to an abrupt end it seems like the perfect time to celebrate some of the tunes which, over the last twelve months, have been making my ears leap with joy. By JOHN BITTLES
While heavyweights such as Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Liam Gallagher didn’t quite make the cut, here are the ten tracks which got me dancing, stimulated intense conversation and won over my sad little heart.
So, in no particular order…
Train Tunnel by Mark E.
Released as the A-Side to the eighth edition of his E-Versions series, Train Tunnel finds house luminary Mark E deconstructing a dusty jazz favourite to create a mesmerising groove which refuses to leave your head. Ten minutes of laid back smoothness, this brings back the glory days of James Lavelle’s excellent Mo’Wax label, yet still manages to sound like nothing else around.
Acid Love by DJ Pierre.
Acid house legend DJ Pierre has had a great 2017 with some killer singles and the long-awaited release of his debut LP. Preceding it was this new version of Donna Summer’s evergreen classic I Feel Love. While keeping the foundations of the original,DJ Pierre beefs up the beats, adding a healthy dose of 303s to help turn the song into an acid-flecked pounder certain to cause devastation on any dance floor.
Stalheim Mix by Skatebård.
Released on Skatebård’s own Digitalo Enterprises imprint, most eyes and ears were on the 16 minute long DJ Sotofett remix on the flip. Yet it was the bassline driven blast of joy that was his own Stalheim Mix which made this stand out for me. Loose, funky and beautifully paced, this is a song so good you’ll be torn between wanting to keep it to yourself and needing to share its moments of sonic wonder with all your friends.
Emu by Fort Romeau.
Released in September on the ever excellent Running Back label, Fort Romeau’s Emulators EP utilized E-MU II hardware to craft four deep delicious disco/techno tracks. The pick of the bunch is the driving piece of ethereal goodness which is Emu. Six minutes of lush progressive house with more than enough of a kick to satisfy even the most demanding of floors, this really is some next level shit.
Gotta Hold On Me by Psychemagik.
UK duo Psychemagik made a very welcome return to our dance floors this year with a double dose of fun in Gotta Hold On Me/Wildman. While Wildman packs a serious punch, it’s the feel good disco vibes of the twelve minute long A-Side which won over heads and hearts. Guaranteed to get even the most curmudgeonly to wiggle their butts with an inner rhythm they never knew they had.
Sons & Daughters (Love Creation Long Edit) by Neville Brothers.
Taken from the Love Creation 003 EP, this long soulful edit pairing a spoken word vocal with deep, hazy beats was a track I found myself listening to again and again. Showing how less really can be more, the Love Creation crew use just a few elements to produce something which already sounds like a timeless gem.
Soft Moon by CoastDream.
2017 was all about the sounds of lo-fi house with the likes of DJ Seinfeld, Ross From Friends and DJ Boring taking the nation’s dance floors by storm. Star of the show though was this title track of CoastDream’s third and best EP. The elusive Brazilian producer hasn’t released much so far, yet as the excellence of Soft Moon attests, this is an artist who understands the importance of melody and a killer groove.
It’s Foggy Outside by Harrison BDP.
The lead release from Artesian Sounds imprint, It’s Foggy Outside is a mid-paced house track which relentlessly worms its way under your skin. Containing little more than a soft melody, hazy beats and a lush spoken word sample, this underrated gem is the aural equivalent of a warm, heartfelt hug.
Classe2 (simpleversion) by Royer.
This year the label Mörk struck gold yet again with the gorgeous Detroit style synth-heavy jam of Classe2. Following celebrated releases on Closer and Lobster Theremin, with Classe2 Royer proved himself more than worthy of the hype with a track so deep you could get lost within its melancholy filled grooves for days. Taken from the fantastic Documented EP, this is dance music made with bass and heart.
Loose Legs by Demuja.
Released way back when 2017 was in its infancy, this piece of deep house joy sat as the last track of Austrian producer Demuja’s Mary Janes Theory EP. With its repetitive vocal sample, soft keys and a twisting acid line, Loose Legs is a track which proves that dance music really does have a soul.