Lists, lists, and more lists. Everyone everywhere is posting a best-of list, so naturally being the anarchist that I am, I bring you mine. I've been rather quiet recently, but I've still been vigilant on the listening side.
2016 has been one hell of a year, both positively and negatively (Rest in power George Michael and Princess Leia), but the quality of music coming from both the underground and overground electronic scenes has been potentially one of the best yet. Personally, I've come across some incredible artists this year, and have fortunately been able to bring them straight to you via the Lights/Out Selection podcast.
So then, on to the list. I was going to originally do a mix, but I feel that by individually posting the tracks of the year, we can better analyze and admire said records. This list is a loosely in order, minus number one.
10) Agents Of Time - Obsidian [Ellum]
Agents Of Time have been on a tear this year. Where some release loads of music of decent to great quality, these three go the less is more route. An EP release on Ellum this year set the bar high for not only those fellow producers who listened to it, but also to themselves. Later in the year they remixed Sailor & I's 'Fire In The Moon', which showed the trio are able to constantly produce top notch music.
9) Monrroe - Days Like These [Soul Deep]
Originally released as part of a label sampler in 2015, January this year saw "Days Like These" get a proper solo release, which in turn was Monrroe's debut release on Soul Deep Records. Masterfully crafted, deeply emotional, the track's melancholic yet still hopeful vibe creates an instant classic.
8) Sante & Sidney Charles Vs. Derrick Carter - Where You At (Carlo Lio Washy Mashy Edit)
Stumbling upon the random Soundcloud account named Only The Dopest Techno was one of my better finds this year. This is the only track on the page, and not much else information is given. Fair enough, as this track does all the talking. A big warehouse tune with a chilling vocal is enough to get anyone going, but when that person is none other than Derrick Carter, you're in for a treat. Big ups to Carlo Lio for blending these beauties together.
7) Bad Company UK - Equilibrium
One of the biggest surprises in the bass music scene, and electronic music as a whole, was the return of the legendary Bad Company UK. After failed attempts at reuniting in previous years, the four lads finally came together to set things right, with their comeback track "Equilibrium." The record perfectly showcases the sound they created so long ago, but in a fresh and modern way that leaves us waiting patiently for the next beating.
6) FM-84 - Running In The Night With You
Another one of my random finds that has created a real fan out of me, "Running In The Night" from FM-84's debut album was the track of summer for me, and possibly every summer forever on. "Sun-soaked 80s inspired cinematic synth pop", is how the artist describes his music, and I couldn't agree more. Sun's out, buns out works too, but lacks the nostalgia.
5) Matador - The Enemy feat. Felix Da Housecat (Julian Jeweil Remix) [Rukus]
Matador has made 2016 his year. From releasing his debut album on his new label, to playing massive slots at the Enter parties, to becoming one of the few artists playing on a model1 mixer. His album was filled with incredible tunes, but the standout for me was "The Enemy." The rolling bassline mixed with angsty vocals really gets you ready to rave. Such a track is hard to top, but personally, I think Julian Jeweil really took the track to the next level. The bass is deeper and meatier, but overall the remix carries the energy of the original very nicely.
4) Hans Bouffmyhre - Renegade [Planet Rhythm]
Planet Rhythm is a label that needs little to no introduction. The legendary label was played host to just about every techno heavyweight since the 90's, and has shown no signs of faltering with quality. As such, Scottish visionary Hans Bouffmyhre left his mark on the wall with his release earlier this year, specifically with the track "Renegade." To me, it's one of those build up tracks that very clearly states you are about to take your raving to the next level.
3) MRDMRDMRD - Shards [Mord]
This year I was fortunate enough to get into Berghain. The night was a label showcase of Mord Records, an industrial-influenced techno label that releases nothing but freight train techno. While this track technically came out end of last December, I only discovered it earlier this year. It starts off fairly standard, with maybe a touch more grit than something a casual listener might choose, then just goes straight into game-over-see-you-later destruction.
2) Dax J - Reign Of Terror [Electric Deluxe]
Dax J has become one of my favorite artists this year. All of his tracks have such a great energy to them, that you can't help but groove. This is the first track I had heard by him, and after a bit of digging, each track I found after left me more and more excited to see what else he's done, or going to do. "Reign Of Terror" is a rather simple track, consisting of a massive kick, some hats, some textures, and a devastating acid line. Simple is best, and this track delivers on all fronts.
1) Slam - Structure [Soma]
So here we are. My selection for 2016 track of the year. Both Slam, and their label have become my go-to for top quality techno. They both produce a raw-yet-polished side of techno, only possible from living in a place like Glasgow. Slam put out an EP this year, with a track titled "Structure", that just blew me to shreds. It's absolutely punishing from the first kick. This is peak time techno. No frills, all thrills. The best part of this track is that, even while it's fully melting your face, it's so well produced that you can't help but admire it's quality.
So that's it, folks. These are the records that defined 2016 for the Lights/Out Selection. You can clearly see that While techno may make up a majority of this list, quality music comes from all over, and I and the Lights/Out Selection strive to ensure such sounds reach your eardrums. Have your own list of top tracks from this year? Reach out and let us know. See you in 2017.
Speaking of which, 2017 will see a bit of a reformatting for the show. We are currently exploring the best options in which to provide the show, Grooveo and Facebook Live have really changed the game. One thing is for certain, the Lights/Out Selection will continue bringing you the best and most bleeding edge music being put out right now, and exclusive, in-depth interviews with the creators behind the noise.