Three days into 2012, and I’ve still yet to reveal my top tracks of the previous year, even though I’ve been battling with the list since September, knowing full well it’d be daft to leave such debating and deliberating to the last minute. Well, I’ve finally narrowed down the fifty or so faves of 2011 to only 10, having re-written and edited the list countless times, even making one final amendment just before hitting ‘publish’ on this post.
So after delivering Gideon’s personal top tracks of the year last week, I countdown what I believe were the 10 D&B tunes of 2011 – those which created total chaos on the dancefloor, welcomely rinsed by the most respected DJs, found their way onto most major D&B radio show/podcast playlists, and have in turn become favourites on my iPod – in no particular order…
DJ Fresh + Ram = a rather special combination. His ‘Future Jungle EP’ proved to be dangerous on the dancefloor in 2011, with ‘The Gatekeeper’ a definite fave; gully bassline business – Fresh at his finest!
With legend Robert Owens’ rich, soulful vocals, the infectious piano and glorious drums, ‘Beautiful’ evokes that Summer time feeling perfectly! And even, dare I crown it, the D&B love song of the year?…no melancholic, broken hearted whining and whinging over dark beats, just pure euphoric, happy vibes!
Marky & S.P.Y drop the latin-influenced flavours, and oh how they know how to do so, so very well, being experts in the sub-genre and never failing to deliver a good dose of sunkissed beats. ‘Yellow Shoes’ is an effortlessly gorgeous track, full of soul, and down right sexy – my favourite kind of drum and bass.
2011 finally saw the release of ‘Stomp’, as part of RAM’s momentous 100th release – a certified club banger, able to coax even the shyest of ravers to move their bodies, I dare you to try and resist a brocking out sesh!
Last year was very much all about Hospital Records and their wonderkids Camo & Krooked, with the duo’s second album ‘Cross The Line’ cementing their status as stars of the new school. Watching 4500 people jump wildly up and down to the LP’s title track when Camo and Krooked played live at Hospitality in London last September, was an awesome moment to witness, and Ayah Marar’s performance totally killed it!
‘Aria’ is an excellent example of the unmistakeable sounds of Rockwell – deep, thought provoking productions, layered with intelligence and warmth, yet wholly unpretentious. Simply put, Aria is a superb piece of music, a definite stand-out track of 2011.
The first time I heard ‘Insecticide’, I was hooked. The sense of urgency it creates right from the intro, but then very gradually builds after the first drop is a huge tease, making it addictive from the first 30 seconds as you anticipate the climax – dutty drum and bass crack.
I’m not even sure where to begin when it comes to talking about ‘Marka’, as it’s influence on the scene over the past couple of months has been phenomenal; challenging and pushing boundaries, encouraging healthy debate with it’s marmite-like effect, hypnotising die-hard ravers marching to its tribal beat, whilst also reaching the ears of tastemakers beyond D&B. Banana, piranha, whatever – having only been released at the end of 2011, I don’t think this is the end of the Marka effect…