Deepchord - Hash-Bar Remnants Part.2 (Soma)
For me, it's all about Amsterdam Remnant Part.3. Typical analogue warmth from Rod Modell here, especially when that pad and chords section comes in around about the 3 minute mark. Probably one of the best tracks he's done on his own for quite some time.
bvdub & Ian Hawgood - The Truth Hurts (Nomadic Kids Republic)
This LP features four tracks that killed me the first time I heard it. No prizes for guessing that Brock is at his emotional best as he teams up with Home Normal label owner, Ian Hawgood for 4 slices of amazing music. I refuse to call this ambient, as it's so much more, but it's more than likely filed in that section for the sake of shops and blogs. Amazing stuff and probably my fave LP of the year.
Sam KDC - Symbol #3 (Auxiliary)
I have to pick this release for this list. I would do even if I hadn't have signed the tunes - they are just that good. When Sam came to me with a bunch of tracks a while ago, I heard something in his music that reminded me a lot of my own. He had that raw emotion that he conveyed with ease through well written deep tracks. I'd be hard pushed to pick a fave from this release, I'm sure you'll agree. The problem for Sam now, is bettering this masterpiece!
Consequence - Test Dream (Exit)
In only a few years of releasing music, Consequence has established himself as a cutting edge producer with an ear for distinctive sounds and creative programming. This might be the last great release of this year, as it's out in a few days. My faves were Marlo and the catchy Lovershell. Top stuff once again.
Oak - Bedroom Community (Space Cadets)
This track is probably the epitome of everything good about deep music at 170 bpm. Creative percussion and an amazing bassline that ties together the warm pads. I can't write words to do it justice enough as it's just one of those tunes that instantly grabs you, sucks you in and leaves you wanting more. If you don't own it, you are missing out - simple as.
Perc - My Head Is Slowly Exploding (Perc Trax)
A total standout from his Wicked & Steel LP, which is also very strong. This track though... I can't remember the last time a techno tune had such a grip on me with it's percussion - actually, scratch that, I can - Polygon Window's Quoth many years back! Anyway, the drum hits were just ridiculous and that was me sold. Deadly stuff.
Various Artists - Mosaic Vol.1 (Exit)
I think dBridge can safely say this has been the best year Exit has ever had. It seemed each month there was a new release to pick up and the quality very rarely wavered. The first installment in the Mosaic series could serve as a perfect introduction to the Autonomic sound in general. There were so many gems to pick from on this compilation. Obvious nods will be Croms' Jan Hammer tribute, Invisible Cities, but my pick would have to be dBridge's Rendezvous which ticked all the right boxes for me. Essential listening!
Lamb - 5 (Strata)
This totally came out of nowhere, well, for me anyway. I had no idea Lamb were reforming, so seeing this pop up on the stores was a lovely surprise and I wasn't disappointed in what I heard. Not quite what I was expecting, but when a group vanish for a long period of time, it's hard to predict what you are gonna get. The last four tracks of Disc 1 on the limited edition double CD were just brilliant, ending with my fave from the LP, The Spectacle. I hope there's more to follow.