‘Never Grow Old’ from Floorplan’s Paradise LP on M-Plant
In many ways this track epitomizes the musical character I try to bring to our parties – at once deep, dark and soulful. This is Robert Hood at his best, sampling Aretha Franklin under a high energy techno pulse. In the hands of any other producer it would sound pastiche.
The Last Mister Sunday at Gowanus Grove
I wrote about the summer Mister Sunday season this time last year, so I didn’t really want to cover old ground; but when I look back on 2013, the final party we did at Gowanus Grove sticks out significantly. In fact it was so special, I have no doubt I’ll cherish the memory to my dying days.
Justin and I always pack records that we feel are worthy of the last moment of the party, but we never plan which one we’ll play or, for that matter, who will play it. I’d packed quite a few records I thought would work before I left for an out-of-town wedding the Friday before the party. Rok One, my old DJ partner at Studio B, was DJing the wedding, and at the end of the night he played ‘All My Friends’ by LCD Soundsystem. When I came home to Brooklyn the next morning, I grabbed the record before heading to the Grove. If you were there on the day, you know what happened.
‘Birds Flying In The Sun Like U Know How’ from MM/KM’s self-titled EP on The Trilogy Tapes
In the Resident Advisor Exchange year-end roundup, Jordan Rothlein said some nice things about our parties and label. He did get one thing wrong, though. He said Justin and I don’t play Will Bankhead jams. Not true! I have pulled this superb slab of modern day funk from Mix Mup and Kassem Mosse more than a few times this year.
‘Yacht Cruiser’ from Lumigraph’s Yacht Cruiser EP on our very own Mister Saturday Night Records
I’m unashamedly proud of every record we put out this year, so I don’t mean to single any particular artist or track out for particular mention… but “Yacht Cruiser” from young Gareth Smyth (aka Lumigraph) was a track I couldn’t help playing over and over again once we got our hands on it back in February.
‘Juju’ by JD Twitch on the Autonomous Africa Vol. 2 EP
Keith McIvor of Optimo released the second of his Autonomous Africa records this year, and it was another excellent 12″. The highlight for me was this off kilter B-side cut from Twitch himself. I wanted to highlight, in some small way, the cause that Keith is promoting by releasing these records – namely that of empowering the people of Africa to solve their own problems. Have a read of his interview with FACT Mag to learn more about the record and the cause. The world of dance music can and should do more work like this.
I’ve been to Panorama Bar and Berghain many times, but my last visit was about 5 years ago, and although the legend continues, the talk about it not being what it was back in the day and the ongoing challenges with crowd curation had tempered my expectations before our gig there in September.
I need not have worried. It was an amazing night.
The crowd was impeccable, each contributing to the collective energy of the night in all the right ways. Justin and I played one of my favorite sets of the year, as we quickly became comfortable with our surroundings and relaxed in the knowledge that we had four hours to carve out our set.
Jon Hopkins’ Immunity LP on Domino
This was my favorite full length of the year. Not many long-playing electronic records succeed in developing a fully formed musical narrative, but Jon Hopkins nailed it. I started to listen to this while staying in London for two weeks when Justin and I were in Europe for a run of dates. It struck me as a unique record about living in London and the experience the city can provide for a long, late night of consuming music.
‘Raw Code’ from Pev and Kowton’s self-titled EP on Hessle Audio
I’m a sucker for percussion-heavy music. In many ways this was the sound of discerning dance floors in 2013, and that’s just fine with me.
My sister is a voting member of BAFTA, so every Christmas she collects all the DVDs she’s been sent, and my family spends Christmas watching the contenders, arguing vigorously on which films she (we) should bestow her precious vote. This year the movie that stood our for me was Nebraska. It’s beautifully bleak, shot in black and white, and it tells a story about middle America (both now and then), family life, old age and the American dream.
When this record first came out I was addicted to it for weeks. Sonically it’s immense – surprising at every turn, inventive and pushing boundaries not only of the mainstream but so called underground sensibilities as well. I struggle with the lyrcial content. At its worst it’s just plain mysoginistic and offensive, but at its best, it’s thought provoking and full of emotion. Lou Reed gave it the best review of any record I read all year.
Other Things Worth Noting
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds turned in probably the best record of their career, Push The Sky Away; Omar S continued to knock out Detroit classics (I haven’t stopped playing ‘The Shit Baby‘); Justin and I appeared in Resident Advisor’s Real Scenes: New York; Questlove’s Mo’ Meta Blues was a surprisingly refreshing and entertaining story of a musical career; and, on a completely different tip, having not played since high school, I got my mojo back on the tennis court.