I finished off last year’s intro with “What does 2017 hold? Gawd knows but it’s surely gotta be a better one than last year” got that wrong didn’t I? But hey we did get Blue Planet II, more Stranger Things, fidget spinners and salt bae , so you’ve gotta cling on to what you can, right?
Top Ten House Tracks
Most Memorable DJ Gig
Deeptrak @ Klub Kokoo, Lodz, Poland
This was a bittersweet gig. Great, in that it was Tony and my first gig abroad as Deeptrak and the gig itself felt very fluid with us having 4 CDJ2000s to mess about with and we even had the club owner dancing on the bar. Always a sign of a good gig. Warming up for us was a DJ called Lukespin (Lukasz to his friends), a guy that has been very supportive of me (and Kinky Malinki) in Poland for about 10 years. Lukasz had been very ill the past few years, but meeting us from the airport and during the gig he was still all smiles, even though he had mentioned he was in quite some pain. I obviously didn’t know it at the time, but that was to be the last time I saw Lukasz as he passed away later on in the year. A harsh reminder that life is so short and to enjoy it whilst you can, just as Lucasz was that night. A great guy, great DJ and someone that will be sorely missed.
I’ve definitely put in some dancefloor (and field) work this year. I actually don’t think I’ve been out this much in about 10 years, so shows there’s life in the old(er) dog yet. I enjoyed WHP with Mura Masa and Printworks with Gorgon City, but they were lacking that extra bit of magic for me. So it came down to a toss up of 2 nights at XOYO: Dirty Bird with Von Stroke and Black Madonna’s residency. It was the latter that came up trumps for me with a B2B with Heidi that provided great synergy between the 2 of them that often felt like it was more like a house party than a gritty rave up.
Best House Album
Purple Disco Machine – Soulmatic
I think we’ve got to the point where an album by a ‘house music artist’ isn’t just a few of their hits plus whatever else they can grab off the hard drive that can pass as complete tracks. Lee Foss stuck out a corker of an album, but it was PDM’s LP that felt like the sort of thing that could easily sit alongside an album by an artist like Jamiroquai, who has house/dance vibes.
Sinead Harnett – Unconditional (Sonny Fodera Mix)
I was initially going to go with Franky Rizardo’s amazing mix of Marian Hill but that’s already in my Top 10 so I’ve got with this Sonny remix of the tsand out track on Sinnead Harnett’s new album on Rinse. Sonny Fodera has had a really strong last few years, along with his Frequently Flying album, he’s been keeping up his work rate with remixes like this beauty.
Top Ten Non-House Tracks
Best Non-House Album
Kehlani – SweetSexySavage
It may have been a crap year in general, but there’s been some amazing music and a load of strong R&B/soulful LPs by Mabel, Snoh Aalegra, Sampha, Mila J, Jordan Rakei and DVSN but Kehlani topped em all for me.
Fav Deeptrak Tune
A bit like parents aren’t supposed to have favourite children, but they still do, I can choose my particular favourite track that we’ve released. It was our last release of 2017. Something about the original vocal that I love, along with our beastly baseline that make this the pick of our output in 2017.
Best Twitter Follow
I guess I should move with the times and list a snap chat follow, but I don’t do snap chat, so I’m keeping it old skool and sticking with Twitter, and what?
Gotta be @fazemiyake by Faze Miyake tweeted by Faze Miyake. A fine blend of humour, topical chat, confidence in his music and general presence. Pretty much all you need in a twitter account.
Getting a bunch of DJs and music industry bods to run the Marlow Half Marathon to raise money and awareness for the British Tinnitus Association. We raised over double our initial £1000 target and even turned some of the gang in to runners, after having never run before, most notably Grahame Farmer editor of Data Transmission, who definitely had a bit of a journey whilst training and running the race. Tell you what though, as much as it was a lovely day for it and the course was good on the eye, it was a bitch to run.
St Paul & The Broken Bones – Kentish Town Forum
The lead singer may look like Alan Carr in Graham Norton’s jazzy suits, but he has a voice to die for and stage presence that would make a gospel preacher look shy and retiring. Couple that with some damn fine music and you’ve got the prefect recipe for a great concert.
Gotta be Get Out for me. Taking a ton of Horror movie tropes and twisting them about to provide what is sure to become a modern classic. Great direction, expertly acted and a unique story. It’s not often you get to apply those three important aspects to a horror movie.
I’m really not a fan of the level of hype attached to the brand, but Off-White came out with some really tasty makeovers in The Ten, with my fav being the Nike Air Presto. I don’t have a plug or the inclination to pay the reseller prices for them, so I’ll never own them, but they were still drop of the year.
Tips For The Future
On a house tip I think I think it’ll be a good year for Ben Rainey. He’s only been around a few years, but he’s young, hungry, talented and carries himself well. His work rate is very high and I’m interested to hear what he comes with in 2018.
On the rest of music, I’m gonna go with Age of L.U.N.A. and Princess Nokia, who I caught both live this year, knew NOTHING about either and was instantly transfixed by both of them. I’m quietly confident that it’s only a matter of time before they crank it up a notch.