Revision Music’s RAH & Senja have rounded up their favourite releases of 2018 and have also invited Sub City resident DJ, OMJ and collaborator, Naomi Xiao to share some of their favourites as well.
Full of variety with a Spotify playlist to sum it all up at the end. Roll through 2019!
RAHJimi Tenor – Order of Nothingness – Philophon
“When I heard My Mind Will Travel, I went mad. And then the teen party edit came out and I went blind. The whole album is a whimsical, mind bending trip, I’m taking breaks in between listens to make sure I don’t like it too much. One of the few albums where I listen from start to finish, no problem.”
FAUXE – I K H L A S – Chinabot
“FAUXE is by far one of my favourite producers, it shouldn’t matter where he’s from (Singapore!) – he adds to my growing list of local stuff to play at overseas gigs (slight flex). I always have people coming up to me to ask what language it is, who’s this or what are you?
IKHLAS, (which means sincere in Malay) is his release on Chinabot that features a gamut of genres from breaks to hip-hop, festooned with crackly samples of traditional instruments, dialogue snippets from old-school Asian movies.. never fails to disappoint and wonder.. head bop, mouth agape, furrowed brows you get the idea.”
Kansado – Futuro Tumbao – Darker Than Wax
“I had the pleasure of working on the EP (just on the promo front), and had first dibs to listen and do the album’s write-up. I can never resist the allure of an 808 /Afro-Latin swing. I also can’t resist dropping in the minute long don jose in my sets, it’s a great segue while I scramble to switch the vibe.”
Shinichi Atobe – Heat – DDS Records
“There is something to be said about enigmas. They toil away in secret, sometimes under candlelight, perfecting their magnum opus. After releasing it onto the world and disappearing for a long while, the cycle continues, perhaps after 13 long years.
Atobe is one such wunderkind. Having released his first EP, Ship–Scope, he was gone from the public eye until 2014, resurfacing with yet another reinterpretation of dub techno, the 2 LP long Butterfly Effect. I bought the record, rinsed the hell out of it while in my – slightly chilly, but sunny – garden in London, and (in retrospect, quite regrettably), gifted it to a DJ friend of mine after having my fair share of uplifting, warm techno? House? Dub techno?
Heat brought the same effect on me, sitting in my office in warm Singapore. Something just jerked me back to the times where I would listen to Shinichi Atobe’s Free Access Zone 5 on repeat while on the Northern Line on my way to uni. However, the contrast was stark – opener track So Good So Right’s warm poolside coconut synths vis a vis the cold, manufactured fuzzies that Free Access Zone 5 induces within the listener.”
Autechre – NTS Sessions 1 – 4 – Warp Records
“M8. M8888. So much love for this album. Masters of repetition and catchy melodies made from mostly nerdy machines, Autechre delivers yet again in this series. In this case, familiarity doesn’t breed contempt. I was told to keep this to three sentences after my last rambly one. So please listen to this record if you like machines. And experiments. And meaningful repetition.”
Mumdance – Shared Meanings
“When people ask me which DJ inspires me, I probably would say it’s Mumdance. This guy knows every genre like the back of his hand. His shows on Rinse, I daresay, are the most enjoyable out of the lot. They impart a lot of knowledge, and I’m someone who likes to be schooled. Mumdance’s b2bs span from electro (DJ Stingray), techno (Nina Kraviz, Surgeon), drum & bass (DJ Storm) and much more. The best DJs are the most versatile, the essence of which is compressed in this stellar album.”
OMJTim Reaper – Pony/Fridge Magnets
“You’ve probably heard this at pretty much every Sub City that I’ve DJed for this year. I’ve definitely overplayed it, but for good reason. Built around a Janet Jackson sample, rave pianos and the free-form chaos of breaks layered over a tight, bouncy four-to-the-floor rhythm, Pony evokes vicarious memories of early 90s warehouse raves. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting Fridge Magnets captivates with its chilly synths and rolling Amens. Sweeeeet.”
Bop – Untitled Patterns EP3 – MedSchool
“I’ve been absolutely obsessed with Bop this year. His series of Untitled Patterns EPs have been so enjoyable for me that I’ve briefly considered being a cheeky bastard and making Untitled Patterns EP1, EP2 and EP3 my top 3 for 2018.
There is literally more than meets the eye with these tunes. They may all have no title, but they are no joke — they pack serious heat for discerning ears. The soundscapes range from cerebral autonomic vibes to what can best be described as techno at 170 bpm. Fresh.”
Denzel Curry – TA13OO – PH/Loma Vista
“A sumptuous smorgasbord of effortless flows, relentless energy, and endlessly entertaining wordplay. With Shakespearean flair, young prodigy Denzel Curry delivers full-bodied lyrical poetry, punching a class above any of his face-tattooed, mumbling generational peers. Spicy.”
SENJA Blocks & Escher – Something Blue – Metalheadz
“We had the pleasure of hosting Escher at Sub City around Christmas 2017, a couple of months before this album dropped on Goldie’s label in February 2018. Replicating original Metalheadz ideas circa mid-nineties Platinum Breakz, this production duo updated the emotion of sound onto a canvas of blue. Often substituting Jungle drum breaks for live sounding percussion and drums, while still keeping classic Jungle rhythms, it all culminates into a chin stroking album for your headphones. My personal highlight is One Touch which reminds me (and many) of Vangelis in the first Blade Runner film.”
Children Of Zeus – Travel Light
“Children Of Zeus bring back vibey boom bap through their second album and the results are as amazing as their 2017 debut The Story So Far. This time the duo pay a little more homage to reggae and dub and UK sound system culture on the track Hard Work. Coining their sound as being some sort of fly Lo-Fi dusty street soul, this Manchester based duo are the leading light in British soul music.”
Skeptical – Enjoy This Trip – Exit Records
“An LP filled mainly with rave heat – minimal yet punchy drums along with Skeptical’s classic sound design expressionism brings forward clean and cold techno vibes without being pigeon holed into taboo neurofunk. I could not get away from Exit Records night stage at Dimensions Festival 2018, and Skeptical was the very reason why. His DJ set kept the dance on its toes throughout the night, just like this LP. Violet is a worthy mention on this LP, as it takes you away from the dance floor, to enjoy the tail end of any trip, with its down tempo and electric vibrations.”
Check out the Spotify playlist with track highlights from all releases below!