Archives for the category ‘Staff Picks: Top albums of 2013’

Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #21

December, 31st 2013 12:30

Afrobeat Airways Vol 2Artist: Various Artists
Release: Afrobeat Airways, Vol. 2 (Return Flight to Ghana 1974-1983) 
Label: Analog Africa
Release Date: September 2013
Picked by: Ian Pither – Label Manager Believe Recordings

Following the success of the first installment back in 2009, Analog Africa return with the second volume in their acclaimed Afrobeat Airways series. Taking in more ultra rare high-life influenced 70’s funk, this is an incredible snapshot of some of the music that was igniting dance floors across the West African nation during this period. From more well know names like K. Frimpong and Nana Ampedu (leader of the mighty African Brothers Band), through to obscure cuts from the likes of Los Issufu and his Moslems and Waza Afrika 76, this is a timely reminder of the incredible body moving music that was coming out of Ghanaian dancefloors in the 70’s and 80’s. – Ian Pither

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Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #20

December, 30th 2013 12:30

Hook & The Twin - Never Ever EverArtist: Hook & The Twin
Release: Never Ever Ever
Label: Dancing Coins
Release Date: June 2013
Picked by: Victor Conradsson – Training Officer

Ah… one can get immune to standardised pop music, barely good enough to cover the sounds of washing machines in launderettes, but this pop will pop through you no matter what, and make your launderette erm… beautiful.

Catchy hooks, heartfelt lyrics, frenzied rhythms, clever production recalling the innovations of kraut-rock and the current productions of James Murphy, Bot’Ox and Joakim, and yet manages not to sound nu-ravey.

More adventurous than Phoenix, more energetic than Metronomy, and ruder than The Chap (ha.), both Hook & the Twin deserve to be heard. – Victor Conradsson



Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #19

December, 27th 2013 12:30

Alela Diane - About Farewell
Artist: Alela Diane
Release: About Farewell
Label: Believe Recordings /  Rusted Blue Records
Release Date: July 2013
Picked by: Ed Pearson – Marketing Manager Believe Recordings

Alela Diane would have to be my pick for 2013. Essentially it’s a heart breaking record about divorce and break-ups, but Alela manages to pull it off in such an elegant way. And after all, she ended up getting engaged after this and of course just had a baby – so there’s hope for us all! – Ed Pearson

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Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #18

December, 26th 2013 12:30

The Purist
Artist: Troumaca
Release: The Grace
Label: Brownswood Recordings
Release Date: August 2013
Picked by: Hannah Donovan – New Media & Communications Manager

Tropical vibes from Brownwood’s first ‘band’ signing Troumaca. ‘The Grace’ is a blend of great classic song-writing and the more soulful side of electronic bass music. Highlights include ‘Gold, Women & Wine’ and my personal favourite ‘Layou’. Cannot wait to see what they do next. – Hannah Donovan


Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #17

December, 24th 2013 12:30

Grass house album 100 x100Artist: Grass House
Release: A Sun Full and Drowning
Label: Marshall Teller
Release Date: October 2013
Picked by: Audrey Burg – Digital Assistant

Why did I pick ‘A Sun Full and Drowning’, the new debut album from London four-piece Grass House? Because this is the kind of album I want to listen to no matter what mood I’m in! It is joyful, peaceful and lively all at the same time. Have a listen! – Audrey Burg


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Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #16

December, 23rd 2013 10:30

Tsuba Deep Vol. 2
Artist: Various Artists
Release: Tsuba Deep Vol. 2
Label: Tsuba Records
Release Date: October 2013
Picked by: Panos Polimatidis – Label Manager

What a year 2013 has been for dance music – special mention to Tsuba for putting out my favourite release of the year! Tsuba Deep Vol.2 includes a blend of recent and past gems from top-notch producers who have played a vital role in keeping the Kent based label a key player in the underground scene. Since there have been so many great albums to choose from this year, I thought I’d pick this mixture of some of my favourite artists. Thanks Tsuba! – Panos Polimatidis

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Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #15

December, 20th 2013 12:30

Hjaltalín Enter 4
Artist: Hjaltalín
Release: Enter 4
Label: Hjaltalín
Release Date: September 2013
Picked by: Nick Parry – New Media Assistant

Iceland’s Hjaltalín crept onto UK taste-makers’ radars this year with their highly anticipated third album, following previous chart-topping success in their homeland. The 8-piece’s third record ‘Enter 4’ was finally made available outside of the band’s Icelandic home, and it’s one that has translated incredibly well upon UK ears and beyond. Full of warmth and beauty, intimate in places and darker in others, ‘Enter 4’ is a silky smooth, wonderfully constructed record, and shows that when it comes to creating compelling pop music, Iceland has it down to a tee. Lead single ‘Crack in a Stone’ and album opener ‘Lucifer / He Felt Like a Woman’ are the standouts for me; both delicate, sombre, and incredibly absorbing. – Nick Parry

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Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #14

December, 19th 2013 12:30

Goose - Control, control, control
Artist: Goose
Release: Control Control Control
Label: Safari Records
Release Date: September 2013
Picked by: Oleg Bounetsky – Label Manager

‘Control Control Control’ is a peculiar yet excellent mix of electronica and stadium rock. You may be familiar with hit track ‘Synrise’, but it’s the Soulwax Remix that’s the pick of the bunch and the one which will keep you humming for a while (even in your sleep). Their live reputation is sky high, though they offer more than just a concert; GOOSE refines each performance by creating a true experience of music, lights and tremendous energy. – Oleg Bounetsky

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Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #13

December, 18th 2013 12:30

Burnt Deep
Artist: Various Artists – Mixed by Leigh Morgan
Release: Burnt Deep – A Deep House Mix Series Vol. 1
Label: Believe Housecrate
Release Date: August 2013
Picked by: Steve Mill – Label Manager

A great mix from Urban Torque’s Head Honcho Leigh Morgan, showcasing the deeper side of house music currently ruling the UK underground club scene. This compilation series is one to check out for true fans of the exciting and re-evolving Deep House scene. – Steve Mill


Staff Picks: Top Albums of 2013 #12

December, 17th 2013 12:30

Artist: Hot Since 82
Release: Little Black Book
Label: Moda Black
Release Date: October 2013
Picked by: Lee Morrison – Head of Sales & New Business, SVP Neighbouring Rights

It’s not often I find myself listening to an album on repeat, but Little Black Book is one of the best dance compilations I’ve come across. It’s part of a new concept series from the brilliant Moda Black which aims to showcase some of the best electronic artists in the scene. The first installment from the fast rising Hot Since 82 features a mix of original and remixed tracks. Expect big things from this guy and from the label next year! – Lee Morrison