The Best of 2014!

2014 has really been quite a great year for electronic music. New artists arrived on the scene, fire singles were released,  even more fire albums were dropped, and DJs played countless gigs all over this big blue Earth. The three of us writers sat down and cranked out individual ‘best of’ lists. We each compiled our ’10 best sets’ of 2014. For this, we made our choices solely on sets that we witnessed in person. We then decided to tackle individual topics. Our resident trap lord The Lizard has assembled an amazing list of his ‘top 30 tracks’ of 2014. This list is full of heaters. We then have Max and his ‘top 10 artists’ of 2014, followed by my personal ‘top 10 albums’ of 2014. Here we go.

Top 10 Sets: Jordan

  1. Gesaffelstein @ Fonda LA
  2. Claude VonStroke @ Exchange LA
  3. DJ Mustard @ Hard Summer LA
  4. Brodinski @ Hard Summer LA
  5. Trippy Turtle @ Hard Summer LA
  6. Boys Noize @ Outside Lands SF
  7. ARMIN ONLY @ The Forum LA
  8. Baauer b2b RL Grime @ BUKU NOLA
  9. Shiba San @ Hard Summer LA
  10. Skream @ Buku NOLA

Top 10 Sets: Max

  1. Gesaffelstein: Ultra
  2. Dubfire: Live Hybrid: Time Warp USA
  3. Sven Vath: Time Warp
  4. Paul Kalkbrenner: Ultra
  5. Boys Noize: Voyeur Nightclub Philadelphia
  6. Claude VonStroke: Ultra
  7. Green Velvet: Morgans Pier Philadelphia
  8. Trippy Turtle: EDC LV
  9. Above and Beyond: Ultra
  10. Eric Prydz presents HOLO: Ultra

Top 10 Sets: Jared

  1. Cirez D at Ultra
  2. Gesaffelstein at Ultra
  3. Trippy Turtle at EDC Las Vegas
  4. Claude VonStroke at TomorrowWorld
  5. Above and Beyond at Ultra
  6. Eric Prydz b2b Deadmau5 at Miami Music Week
  7. Headhunterz at EDC Las Vegas
  8. Gesaffelstein in Los Angeles
  9. Paul Kalkbrenner at Ultra
  10. Claude VonStroke at Exchange LA

 

We have clearly been very lucky to attend some amazing shows, and many of them together! Some ultimate highlights include Gesaffelstein closing out Ultra Music Festival, in Miami, on Day 1 with an INSANE live set, Claude VonStroke bringing his signature Dirtybird sound to Exchange Los Angeles in August, and Trippy Turtle laying down one of the best sets of the year on a real small, intimate stage at the Electric Daisy Carnival, in Las Vegas, in June. There are countless more sets to look back on, tracks to search for, and memories to remember. Here are some of our favorite pictures, taken by us, from 2014!

DSC01281 Eric Prydz presents HOLO. Ultra Music Festival, Miami, March.

DSC01283 Welcome to Carl Coxes house! Ultra Music Festival, Miami, March.

IMG_1218 Gesaffelstein closing out Ultra Music Festival Day 1, Miami, March.

DSC01385 The Moose himself, Max! At Ultra, Miami, March.

DSC01432 My #1 set of 2014. Cirez D aka Eric Prydz. Ultra, Miami, March.

IMG_1462 Coachella! Indio, CA, April.

IMG_2974 The top dog, Claude VonStroke! EDC Las Vegas, June.

IMG_3057 An insane performance by Headhunterz! EDC Las Vegas, June.

IMG_4659 Claude again, the Dirtybird boss! TomorrowWorld, Atlanta, September.

IMG_4675 Beautiful Georgia sky. TomorrowWorld, Atlanta, September.

IMG_4680 Taking you to a new dimension. Time Warp USA, New York, November.

I love looking at those pictures. They never fail to remind me of how amazing these live shows really can be. But let’s not forget about the most important thing; the music! Taking us back through the year, via 30 individual tracks, is The Lizard himself, Jay Glenn.

30 Best Tracks of 2014 

  • Chesus- Special
  • Crookers VIP- NOTB
  • Dubfire- Exit
  • Fade Most & Andrew Diggs- Neutral Misplacement
  • Freddie Gibbs and Midlib- High feat. Danny Brown
  • Kill Frenzy- So Fine
  • Kill Frenzy- All Night Long
  • Tiga- Bugatti
  • Green Velvet & Patrick Topping- Voicemail
  • Disclosure- Latch (Lido Remix)
  • Brodinski- Ladyboy (Brodinski Remix)
  • Migos- Dope In My Sock (AC Slater Remix)
  • Nadastrom- Fallen Down (Justin Martin Remix)
  • Shadow Child ft. Doorly- Piano Weapon
  • Shiba San- Okay (Claude Vonstroke VIP Edit)
  • Todd Terje- Inspector Nurse
  • Trippy Turtle x Booty Beaver- Getting Wood
  • Wave Racer- Ryan Must Be Destroyed (Wave Racer Remix)
  • Weiss- I Believe
  • Boston Bun- Time Bomb feat. Liu Piu
  • Flash- Midnight Blue feat. Surahn
  • Oizo- iSoap
  • Cashmere Cat- Party Girls
  • Theophilus London- Can’t Stop
  • Chet Faker- 1998
  • Moderat- Bad Kingdom (DJ Koze Remix)
  • Phlip and Chris Lorenzo- Lights
  • Hrdvision- Prettier Than That (Hrdvsiovsiivosvsiosvin Remix)
  • B1Trus’Me- I Want You (Alan Fitzpatrick Remix)
  • Julio Bashmore- Rhythm Of Auld feat. J’Danna

 

Having listened to all of these firsthand, I can assure you that they are, indeed, bangers. (insert Aziz clip about bangers) The JayGlenn has an ear for music, and enjoys wetting his metamorphical beak with a variety of different genres and producers, as is evident in this list. It would behoove any electronic music fan to listen through these tracks, as they are all on point. Next, we have Max, with his top 10 artists of 2014 list.

Top 10 Artists

  1. Skrillex
  2. Justin Martin
  3. Seth Troxler
  4. Richie Hawtin
  5. Sven Vath
  6. Aphex Twin
  7. Claude VonStroke
  8. Alan Fitzpatrick
  9. Daniel Avery
  10. Jamie XX

Skrill got number one for me simply because of Recess and his humble power within the industry.  I have so much respect for Sonny Moore as an artist and was so impressed by the unexpected, unique way he dropped the album.  “All Is Fair In Love and Brostep” and “Stranger” will always be favorites for me.  Justin Martin got number two because of his incredible talent.  The guy releases so much music and all of it is FIRE!  His remix of “Stay” by Henry Krinkle is incredible and will be forever one of my favorite tracks.  The way he pours his heart into his craft to create unique, emotional sounds is tremendously admirable.  Seth Troxler got three from me because of his work ethic and the groovy, psychedelic sound he creates and plays during his sets.  He’s a pioneer for professionalism in this industry and only wants the best for his audience.  Richie Hawtin got the number four slot because of his June release of EX, under his Plastikman alias.  Even though most feel like this album was only a taste of a Plastikman album, I really enjoyed it and thought it was huge for new listeners.  Sven Vath got number five on my list because he turned 50 in 2014, marking 30 years of pioneering artistry.  His persistent love for music and DJing is so inspiring to me.  Aphex Twin is number six because of his September album release of Syro.  Richard D. James, the man behind Aphex Twin, said in recent interviews that “New Aphex Twin music [came] out now simply because [he] finally felt [it was] ready for the world—not the world feeling ready for the material.”  I believe you can hear this in his amazing album, which to many people consider as the album of the year.  Richard also stated that “The holy grail for a music fan, I think, is to hear music from another planet, which has not been influenced by us whatsoever.”  I urge everyone to take a listen to his work simply because of that!  Claude Von Stroke got number seven because of his amazing, Califuture EP he released earlier this year, his hard work running a groundbreaking new record company, DirtyBird, and his amazing DJ sets!  “Eye I Eye”  I feel is a true example of Claude’s and DirtyBird’s unique, powerful bass driven sound.  Alan Fitzpatrick got number eight because of his incredible remix of “I Want You” by Trus’me and his huge come up as a producer, releasing numerous tracks on many stand out labels including DrumCode and Cocooon.  This guy will one day be at the top!  Daniel Avery got the number nine slot because of his AMAZING, and I mean AMAZING, Drone Logic Album he released in October.  The young English producer created a melodically, acid driven album that sounds nothing like standard acid sounds of Chicago and Berlin.  Each track is as hip and exciting as the one before and incredibly danceable, I love it! “Naive Response” is my favorite track of the album.  Finally, coming it at number ten, is Jamie XX.  Jamie’s sexy flavor to dance music gets me so frisky!  So many DJ’s have included Jamie’s tracks in their sets this year just for that reason, and it is why I included him in my list.  “NY Is Killing Me” is a such HUGE track.  Hope you take a listen to these talented artists in 2015!

 

Finally, we have my list of the top 10 albums of 2014. There were a lot of great dance music albums released this year, so narrowing the list down to 10 was slightly difficult. It’s been a long year, however, so my favorite albums have risen to the top of my itunes, making the completion of this list less difficult. Some incredibly talented producers released albums this year, so check them out.

Top Albums of 2014

  1. Kill Frenzy- Taylr Swft
  2. Skrillex- Recess
  3. Guy Gerber and Puff Daddy- 11 11
  4. Deadmau5- While (1<2)
  5. Aphex Twin- Syro
  6. Plastikman- EX
  7. GusGus- Mexico
  8. Hardfloor- The Art of Acid
  9. Art Department- Natural Selection
  10. Dillon Francis- Money Sucks, Friends Rule

 

2014 was a great year, there is no denying this. But, I have very high hopes for 2015. Countless new albums are being finished up as I type this, just waiting to enter the universe and blow us all away. I await eagerly. Happy New Year, everyone!

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