Monday, 30 December 2013

Dance Music Album of the Year

2013...

...was a great year for quality dance music, so choosing our best dance album of the year is as hard as ever. What to choose from the likes of  +John Digweed, Live In Argentina, Balance 024, Digweed & Muir's Versus, Balance Presents Guy J, Sasha's Never Say Never and Involver 3 and all the rest?

But we always go with a top three, so we are having to be really brutal this year. We really like Balance 24 and loved Stelios Vassiloudis's Underground Sound of Miami, but we can't change our own rules. Therefore, in reverse order, here are our top three dance music albums of 2013:
  1. Involver 3, mixed by Sasha
    Once again, Sasha creates a typically smooth mix, while remixing each tune especially for the album. All three Involvers are milestones.
     
  2. John Digweed, Live In Argentina
    We said that we thought this was the best of the Live In series, so far - and we meant it. From disc 1, things build to a banging crescendo on disc 4. Amazing stuff! Like our review says, 2013 really saw Digweed put together some great mixes.
     
  3. Never Say Never, mixed by Sasha
    But 2013's best mix is a free CD, stuck on the front of a music magazine! Never Say Never is a truly infectious mix with a superb track selection. You really feel like each tune is there because no other was good enough. And that mix between Henry Saiz's I Can Feel It Coming and Bonobo's Eyesdown: incredible. Sasha never disappoints!
At the top we said it’s been brutal choice to narrow 2013 down to three releases. To be honest, we could have mentioned all of the mixes we’ve reviewed again here (plus a few things we didn’t) - we think 2013 was a really strong year for our music. Spadang does feel a bit harsh excluding the likes of Versus (which was/is immense) and Balance Presents Guy J, to name two other highlights.

Without a doubt, the best tune to be remixed in 2013 was Guy J’s remix of the Bedrock monster: Heaven Scent. So good it could have won “best of 2013” on its own. One of the best remixes Spadang has ever heard. Ever.


2012

Choosing a dance album of 2012 has not been easy - it's Feb 2013 now! We've heard a lot of great music and confining the nominees for this prestigious award, to a self imposed three, has been really tricky (just like choosing 2011's winner). But the winner has been clear for a while, even though something has appeared lately that nearly stole the award!

So here are our top 3 albums from 2012.

In reverse order our top 3 dance albums of 2011 are as follows:

  1. Live In Cordoba - +John Digweed 
    Another strong release from Mr Digweed, with his usual mix of tech house and housey techno. Track 1, disc 2 is awesome, making disc 2 our fave.
    Read the full Live In Cordoba review again
  2. Balance 022 - Funk D'Void
    The something that "appeared". In our review of this mix, we stated how stupid we are to have missed this one completely. In our brief time listening to it, Balance 022 has grabbed us and will not let go. Its collection of funk infused tech house has us hooked. We will be listening to it for a very long time to come. So close to the best mix of 2012. And we aren't massice Balance fans...
    Read the full Balance 022 review again
  3. Live In London - John Digweed
    With 4 discs of Diggers, you have to give a lot of time to get into this mix. But it is really worth it. Each disc builds on the previous one to deliver a real journey. If you are regular +Spadang | Dance music reviews  reader's, you will now how much we rate a good journey. This mix goes from London to New York and back. It really is that good. At four discs, it has to be our favourite. Never have we been able to have that much quality music, in one official package.
    Read the full Live In London review again

2011

Choosing a dance album of the year is tricky, as Spadang only reviews the best music. 2011, has been no exception!

So below, we have chosen our top 3 albums, from those we have reviewed over 2011. If any album is omitted, it's not because we no longer like it, but more because we decided to stick to a top 3! Otherwise we'd be reviewing them all again (on second thought, perhaps we should as they are ALL good!).

So, in reverse order our top 3 dance albums of 2011 are as follows:

  1. Balance 018 - Nick Warren
    Undoubtedly a Balance mix, but still has Nick Warren's infleunce of good tuneful music, fused with a more "Balance-like" vibe running through it. Disc 2 is our fave.
    Read the full Balance 018 review again

  2. Dig Deeper Phase 1 - Danny Howells
    A bumper release of quality tunes, and the mixed version is a fantastic journey with a energetic breakbeat/drum n bass finale.
    Read the full Dig Deeper review again

  3. 1000 Words - Guy J
    This has to rank as one of the best artist albums ever. A superb selection of tracks, with some beautiful melodies and thoughtful grooves. Brilliant stuff, from start to finish.
    Read the full 1000 Words review again
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