ONE YEAR AGO today, this humble little blog set forth into the vast thickets of the interwebs to bring you a wide variety of tracks to put your body and mind in motion.
It’s been a tremendously fun, challenging, and inspiring journey, and it was all made possible by YOU.
A HUGE THANK YOU to all those that have supported this site, your viewership and encouragement does not go unnoticed.
Now, to return the love, jazner brings you a collection of his favorite memories, tracks, labels, and artists of 2011.
Enjoy, thank you all again so much, and here’s to plenty more in 2012!
And please, if you like what you hear, don’t download it, go out and buy these records. As Ras_G says, “you don’t have the record till you have the record”, so get physical wit it and take these all for a spin!
Wake Ups (Friends of Friends)
40 Karats ft. Zackey Force Funk (Friends of Friends)
My dood Salva went on a major tear in 2011, dropping his debut LP, Complex Housing, and the Yellobone EP for Friends of Friends Music, as well as compiling a killer collection of tracks on Surreal Estate for his Frite Nite label, remixing Miguel Migs, Beans, DZA and many others, while being invited to Red Bull Music Academy. So proud of this guy, one of the hardest workers in the game who will surely see dividends in 2012 with a European tour alongside Shlohmo and many more goodies in the works.
Floating Points, the prime example of quality over quantity. Some of the most sensual, romantic, deepest and soulful tunes of 2011 came from FP, aka Sam Shepherd aka Eglo Records’ head. “Marilyn” (pictured above) is a bedroom / dance-floor crossover heater ranking as one of the best tracks of the year, with it’s counter part “Faruxz” generating an equal amount of love and smoothness. The single-sided record store release “Sais (Dub)” is a deep-house gem showcased on Fourtet’s Fabriclive 59 mix and one of jazner‘s most prized pieces of wax. The production on Fatima’s Follow You EP is emotional and heartfelt. And Shadows is complex, introspective, and incredibly moving. If you ain’t up on Floating Points, or Eglo Records, get on it, you will not be sorry.
Yuh Nuh See (Hotflush)
Sepalcure has taken the electronic world by storm. Seamlessly weaving juke, house, and UK bass tropes together on their self-titled debut LP and Fleur EP, both on Hotflush, Sepalcure has emerged as love personified, truly next level stuff. Machinedrum and Braille function as a real team, with neither artists’ style overtaking the others’ contribution. Each Sepalcure track has elements of both producers and fuse together as a genuine collaboration of equal parts. On repeat since it dropped, Sepalcure may be jazner‘s favorite LP of the year.
U Don’t Survive (Planet Mu)
Now U Know The Deal 4 Real (Planet Mu)
No surprise here. 2011 was the year of Machinedrum, aka Travis Stewart. Having been featured here extensively, Machinedrum produced some of the most exciting, alternative, and genre bending tracks in 2011, two of which are available above. Room(s) is the only album able to challenge Sepalcure as jazner‘s favorite of the year, although both feature Machinedrum so maybe it settles as a push. On top of Room(s), Machinedrum also dropped the Sacred Frequency EP for Planet Mu, as well as a grip of remixes, the best perhaps being the one he did for Scuba’s “M.A.R.S.”, featured on Scuba’s DJ-Kicks for !K7.
LV & Joshua Idehen
LV & Joshua Idehen’s LP, Routes, on Keysound, was on heavy repeat this summer, with “Tough” being the track that got the most love. It’s like a body in motion, rhythms of respiration, with sonic phrases breathing in and out, building on one another and functioning as a complex organism. Cannot listen to that one enough. Joshua Idenhen’s spoken word vocals add a human element to LV’s UK Funky beats and dub reggae shades. Definitely one that stuck with jazner in 2011.
Hands down the best show jazner has ever seen at Low End Theory. Death Grips tramples, thrashes, and spits in the face of genre. Exmilitary, and specifically tracks like “Blood Creepin” and “Lord Of The Game”, are eerie, abrasive, fresh and incredibly awesome. It’s alien and brings you to a place of true callowness and shock. Not to mention the download was given away for free (above), cuz they don’t give a fluff about your money. It’s no secret Zach Hill is an otherworldly drummer, but the electronic elements and hip-hop / punk flows take Death Grips to the next level. IT GOES IT GOES IT GOES IT GOES – 4 real.
Ginger (Water Birth) [Partisan]
Part bias, part legitimate love, BOBBY had to be on the list. My best friend, Tom Greenberg, a dude I’ve known since we were 3 years old, a dude I used to jam with in my garage as a teenager, is a big force behind the BOBBY collective, and I am so proud of him, as well as Martin, Paolo, and the rest of the collective. Their self-titled album is beautiful, unique, and brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. They were the main reason I went to SXSW, and the crew has since been featured on NPR, Interview Mag, and just recently finished up a Daytrotter session. Not to mention Molly Erin Sarle and Amelia Meath (two-thirds of Mountain Man), who recorded and toured with BOBBY, respectively, have since hit the road with Feist on her international tour, doing backing vocals. For those that have never heard BOBBY, just take a listen to “Groggy”. Gets me every time.
After seeing Pharaohs perform live a handful of times, jazner was so moved that he needed to contact Ale and Sam for an interview and do a feature for this site. The crew was even generous enough to provide an exclusive remix of their uber-jammer “Uhh Uhh”, also available as a free download. These dublab labrats combine all sorts of threads (house, jazz, psyche, you name it) and produce truly heady / groovy jams that take you to worlds you’ve never imagined. If you have a chance to see these guys live, do it, it’s a cathartic experience.
Magic Touch – “Clubhouse” w/ Honey Owens
Octo Octa – “I’m Trying”
Malvoeaux – “Sunsets”
Again, no surprise here. Amanda and Britt’s Not Not Fun sub-pseudo-disco imprint was full of 2011’s weirdest, wildest, and most wonderful electronic tracks. From the psychedelic jazzy house of Pharaohs, the straight foof of Magic Touch’s “Clubhouse” & Octo Octa’s “I’m Trying”, the Inner City-esque 80s electronic pop of Sir Stephen, and the off-kilter stylings of Ital and Maria Minerva, 100% Silk was an underground tastemaker that took electronic music to places it never imagined going. Releases sell out instantly, all without Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media, and the website only recently ditched the ‘blogspot’ moniker from its address. It’s DIY disco glam to the fullest, and pushes the boundaries of what will get people to dance. Cannot wait to get SILK-Y in 2012!
Friends of Friends Music
Salva – “Obsession” ft. B. Bravo
Shlohmo – “Places”
Sure, there may be some bias here, being that I do PR for Friends of Friends Music. Nonetheless, FoF took me out of the perma-chronic haze of Santa Cruz and plugged me into a world of incredible, groundbreaking new music and a whole community of genuine and friendly artists and industry peeps. Cannot give enough gratitude for this. FoF saw its biggest year to date, with the release of Shlohmo’s critically acclaimed Bad Vibes LP, Salva’s splash, and being Resident Advisor’s August choice for Label of the Month. Don’t think we’re sleeping for a second, though, cuz there are big plans for 2012…Stay posted!
These two tracks just kill it every time. Trance-y, but in the best possible way, Scuba isn’t afraid to touch on electronic music’s bastard genre and compose it in ways that are not only palatable, but delectable. Not to mention Scuba’s side job is running Hotflush, one of the best labels around. With a DJ-Kicks to boot, there was no way Scuba wasn’t making this post.
With Dâm, it’s more than the music. Don’t get me wrong, Dâm-Funk does boogie / G-Funk best, with the majority of his music available for free via Soundcloud or through places like Scion A/V. But Dâm produces music with one of the purest, most positive mindsets and attitudes around, which is such a relief in a game that can rely so heavily on ego and one-upmanship. Dude grinds harder than most, touring non-stop, playing shows in LA nearly every week, and never loses his focus. His gigs, whether solo or with Master Blazter, explode with fun and great energy. People are all smiles, they dance, and Dâm vibes off this, jumping into the crowd with his keytar, slapping 5s, and letting you know how grateful he is for the support. Simply put, Dâm-Funk is the man.
NOTE: Our thoughts and prayers are with J-1, his family, and his friends. The drummer of Master Blazter passed away in November, and it’s so sad to see him go. When I saw him perform last in November with Dâm, he was so on point, even breaking out an Amen-esque drum solo that blew the top of the El Rey. This world won’t be the same without him, but we know he’s in a better place, and will always have him in our hearts.
Heart Crimes (4AD)
The group that started it all for jazner got signed to 4AD, performed at CMJ, opened for Dâm-Funk, and made some real sexy, soulful jams in 2011. Hope to see more from the Aged bros in 2012!
Thanks again to all the viewers out there! Keep checking in, commenting, and have a great 2012!!!