From prolific to protégé players, 2011 has proven an interesting podcast production playground, some new faces making it big, while a flood of familiar ones captivated us with their compilations. But the choices have been made & from a listing that reads like who’s who, we have chopped our champions down to just ten. But who & what made it into our Podcast chart of the year?
There is no doubting the prolific nature of podcast production in 2011, the plethora of music newsletters we produced, just a small indication of how busy some of the players that have made it into our chart this year have been. Then when we look down our exceptional eight producers that make up the tremendous ten podcasts come compilations , we see a handful of notable names that popped up in our chart last year, while 2011 has also very much been about us promoting our protégé players, whether they be based here in London, or across further reaches of the globe. So while this second part of our 2011 music review is very much about the podcasts, it is also about the producers, whether prolific in their production or simply part of the protégé player list that we hold so dear. But like the tracks review before it, this podcast reflection of 2011 saw us whittle a list of over thirty compilations to just ten, each one getting their own special mention in a music newsletter style format with those all important purchase point, podcast page or soundcloud site link, we taking a brief moment to encourage you to support each & every D.J./Producer & the tracks they use for promotional purposes or otherwise, by buying through legitimate channels such as Beatport & iTunes.
So let’s get straight to it and to the first of our exceptional eight whose year was quite stand-out compared to the last, not least as he landed a major contract with one of the biggest clubbing brands on the globe, Javier Medina securing his place with Matinee Group, this step change in his career seeing him start the year playing in front of capacity crowds in New York, while he was an intrinsic feature in the massive Circuit Festival in his home city of Barcelona, a 12 day event that took place in August. Add to that trips right across Europe for the brand, as well as projects away from matinee, including a guest appearance right here in London for Lovechild’s “Birthday” bash and 2011 has seen our brilliant Barca boy do plenty of travelling, while also continuing his residencies at home, including that for Dboy.
So, it comes as no surprise that his studio work has been playing second fiddle to his live performances, although Javier has been no slouch this year, amassing no less than 6 compilations along with three tracks, one with our Parisian pal Leomeo (more on that shortly), while his remix of Pagano’s “Perfect World” was among our favourites of 2011. However it’s podcasts we are talking here and Javier’s “Happy Tech House” release in May is the one that sees him slot into number 10 spot in our compilation chart, this “Spring” release certainly having that in its sound steps, we pretty much spinning around our study when we first listened to it, Mr Medina mixing in a string of styles that includes tech, progressive & tribal (his true love), while we are even blessed with a sprinkle of vocals, hence why we love it so much and one we are sure you will love to when you go to direct link http://soundcloud.com/javier-medina/happytechhouse2011, while volume 2, released last month is also worth a look.
So we are motoring and to our significant seventh who slots in at number 9 in our compilation chart, although for personal reasons we wanted to pop him in a little higher, but given the competition ahead of him it was difficult. Yet, having added him to our protégé players list (Javier is on there too) following our first meet on New Year’s Day here in London, our impressive Israeli, Guy Scheiman, has been a big part of our year, joining us in Barcelona for Delice Dream, was here in London for Hustlaball & close to our bedside when we were landed in hospital and hardly a week goes by when we don’t speak on the phone or Skype. However, Guy’s year musically has been pretty good too, the two London trips huge highlights, while back home he has re-established residencies to add to those he already has and has played for big brand FFF group too, while he was also part of Tel Aviv’s gay pride event and continues to be scouted by promoters far & wide.
But it is Mr Scheiman in the studio where we find a flurry of activity, his Soundcloud site packed with productions, whether it be track or podcast releases, meaning we would need a whole post to go through the 30 or so releases he has commissioned in 2011. But Guy made a tricky task of choosing which one to lay our Y.E. chart hat on a great deal easier when he gifted us a pulsating podcast back in October, marking the capitals’ clubbing circuit brand Lovechild landing a new home at Pulse, this mix edging out his Hustlaball devotion, as well as what is also an accomplished compilation, his “Dreams From Ibiza” podcast, which was inspired by his trip to the white isle in July. And, while we could have easily chosen our collaborative mix, “From Tel Aviv To London” as our Scheiman star here, it is the Lovechild mix that gets our vote and one you should add to your collection by going to direct link http://soundcloud.com/guyscheiman/guy-scheiman-october-2011-1 while a trip through the various sections of his Soundcloud site http://soundcloud.com/guyscheiman is also a must.
To our superb sixth now and superb is a phrase that truly befits this tremendous talent, a chap that has played across the capitals clubbing circuit for a hefty handful of years, cutting a significant stride for brands including Later, A:M, Orange &, most recently Onyx, his ties to the Orange Group meaning that hardly a weekend goes by without The Oli featuring somewhere in their schedule. But it doesn’t stop there, as he is called upon for specialist parties too, whether they be of the Fire or Area kind, his showing for Orange at the recent Saturday night spectacular at the Brixton Electric, one of the standout sets among a large list of others we have been privileged to witness. But perhaps our most memorable moments in Oli’s musical hands have been at Beyond, he occasionally being called upon to play in the main room (he is definitely main room quality), while he personally prefers in vibe in the terrace room, a smaller space where the atmosphere is a little more edgy and allows Oli to experiment a little, mixing up firm favourites with other bootlegs & remixes that give his sets added dimension.
And it is one of those sets to which we dedicate position 8 in our compilation chart, Oli’s podcast pressing from his performance in that Terrace room at Beyond in June, a two hour recording that does pretty much what we said just now, this music mixing maestro serving up a superb selection of samples, not least “Cross The Line”, “Esta Loca” & “Yalta Groove”, all having other tracks intertwined to give them a fresh appeal, while it also includes some of our top tracks of 2011, “Pressure”, “Enjoy The Ride” & “You Will Remember” , no’s 8, 6 & 2 respectively in our chart. Plus, as it’s a full two hours and has been lifted from Oli’s live set, you can virtually immerse yourselves in the whole Beyond experience, it very much reminding us of that actual day when we were savouring this very set standing close to Oli & the decks that were dishing out this dream of a dance session. So, to grab your piece of Oli at Beyond, head straight for http://theoli.podomatic.com/entry/2011-06-25T07_55_42-07_00 and sink into the sounds of our superb sixth.
Now we focus on our fabulous fifth, this Italian Stallion having had a stampede of a year globetrotting to all corners of the world, while also cutting a significant stride here in the capital, not least with his own club brand Deviate, which joined forces with awesome afterhours Beyond on a handful of occasions. However, breaking into the US market has probably been Pagano’s single most dynamic development, building on the successes he created during 2010, last year saw him play out in front of huge audiences in New York alone, a focus on the fab Francesco in the US’s biggest club circuit rag, Noise Magazine, an exceptional example of what sort of an impact he has made stateside. But back in Europe, we will never forget the reception he received at Delice Dream in May when a towering two hour set was culminated by the captivating crowd literally bowing at his feet & demanding more for this magnificent music maker. But whether it was the Ski Week, the Circuit Festival or Trade’s 21st birthday, our Italian Stallion was rarely out of the scene spotlight both at home & abroad, while his roots in London have seen him play out for brands including Orange & Onyx, the latter a vehicle he used to launch his new compilation back in November and marked a series of specially extended live sets that saw the place packed to the rafters each & every time.
So, given the magnitude of the first, which was released just over a year ago, with “Digital Generation Vol 2” we have number 7 in our chart, like the first, packed with Pagano productions, not least his wonderful re-work of The Freemasons’ “Watchin”, along with remixes of Eva’s “Not My Daddy”, Ralph Rosario’s “Fantasia” & Bjork’s “Big Time Sensuality. But moreover, he included some of his own productions which others have remixed (an accolade indeed) including his latin cum techno track “Hispanicity”, the magnificent “Mr Magic” & “Need” a track specially commissioned for this colossal compilation which is sure to follow in the footsteps of the former which topped Beatport’s charts & was even lusted on the main dance page of iTunes (need we say more). Plus, while we have included Pagano’s 2nd prolific compilation production in our “Podcast” review, we entirely acknowledge that is is a compilation that represents a top class producer at work, meaning this is no simple download, rather a for sale copy composition which you can grab/purchase either in mixed or unmixed versions (or both) from Beatport at direct link http://www.beatport.com/release/digital-generation-volume-2-mixed-and-unmixed/740829, a sneak preview (do you really need it) available at http://soundcloud.com/pagano/digital_generation_vol_2_sampler_preview, while Pagano has started this year with the release of a rare “podcast” devoted to his club brand Deviate, that on top of a Trade “compilation” that is on its way too, the man sure to make it into our 2012 chart as our outstanding professional producer of the year, as he does here.
Onward now and to our fantastic fourth and a new entrant in 2011 on our protégé player list, Celso (aka Junior) Moura turning his talents to the decks with quite remarkable results for one so fresh to the game. Plus, given the stiff competition within the capitals clubbing circuit, which all too often for burgeoning D.J.’s is pretty much a closed shop, Celso not only got a bite at the big club cherry in the form of two spectacular showings for home-grown brand Casa Latina, his prolific performance in the main room at the “Super Carwash” event a sign things to come, he also stamped his sounds on showings for Barcode on London Pride Saturday, along with a huge handful of plays for Profile & Lo-Profile that have set Celso on the road to sure-fire success. But he finds himself benefitting from a terrific tutor who will feature higher in this chart, a mentor who’s playing pedigree along with podcast production has steered Celso superbly and while some would argue that Mr Moura’s style is similar to his master’s, the injection of Brazilian beats & other tougher tunes does stamp Celso’s own signature on his set showings.
So given his protégé player positioning, we simply had to include him in our podcast review of 2011, his compilation created for Casa Latina’s “Super Car Wash” seeing him land position 6 in our chart, which Celso explained at the time of its release “…it includes some of my favourite tracks of the moment and takes influences from the great music coming out of Brazil & London…” the mix pitched perfectly blending those Brazilian come tribal beats with more upfront house to create a podcast worthy of its position in our chart. However, what is equally appealing to us in making this choice, is Celso’s inclusion of a handful of what we call “crowd pleasing plays”, not least a rapturous remix of the Eurythmics classic “Sweet Dreams”, making this a seventy minute mix to marvel at and one you can still grab for your collection by going to http://djjuniorspodcast.podomatic.com/. And in terms of D.J.’ing projects to come, while Celso (like many of us) balances a very busy daytime job with his love for his acquired art, showings for Profile over the NY weekend& just last Saturday seem to have secured his position as one of their favoured residents, while we predict him going places in 2012 and, as one of our few protégé players, we will be supporting him every step of the way.
So we are half way in our podcast chart, reaching our tremendous third and yet another protégé player of ours, although this individual has experience in the D.J./Production game spanning close on 20 years, being a truly international & globetrotting guy who seems to simply go from strength to strength, 2011 proving one of his busiest years yet, hardly a weekend passing by without Leomeo playing somewhere in the world. If we were to list the clubs & the countries he has touched during the year, we would need to devote a whole post to his performances, while with each & every music newsletter we issue, our Leo Leo never fails to miss out being mentioned. Having spent a few days with our Parisian pal in his home city in February, due to his exhaustive schedule, the one thing we haven’t benefitted from in 2011, is seeing him play live, although we are hoping to make amends this year. That said, there were plenty of opportunities before us last, Leomeo playing out right across Europe and even landed here in London, taking up a guest slot for social soiree splendour Room Service, while Canada The USA, Asia & South America were a feature of his considerable clubbing event calendar.
But, despite his hectic schedule, Leomeo never fails to dip into the recording studio, an equally impressive array of compilations marking his movements around the globe, we struggling to keep track of his productions. However, a glance at his Soundcloud site gives us some measure of comfort in our quest, as he has neatly arranged his productions into sections, although when deciding to chart him here, our decision on what to pick as his compilation of the year was already made. And in his “La Leche” mix, marking his superb showing for Matinee when it travelled to Paris over the Easter weekend, is a standout selection of sounds, very much mirroring his prolific performance, the emphasis here very much more on upfront house rather than the tribal intentions that are the natural roots of Leomeo’s style, one which in 2011 has seen him step firmly out of that shadow & mix in a whole load of genres in his performances & productions. So, while we have a catalogue of creative choices, it is his “La Leche” compilation at http://soundcloud.com/djleomeo/la-leche-the-mix-by-dj-leomeo which takes position 5 in our podcast chart.
Now we said this 2011 podcast review was as much about our protégé players as anything else and we arrive at our significant second in the form of the incredible Zach Burns who, had it not been for the one person above him, would have topped our chart, not least for the marches he has made during 2011, securing him as our premier protégé player of the year. From humble beginnings & showings for Heaven & Room Service, Zach has established himself as the star turn of social soiree splendour Gigolo, having been in the thick of the action since the launch back in May (more on that in a mo), while both Profile & Lo-Profile are his regular playing grounds, “Society” & “Playtime” forming part of his monthly roster, while a residency at the Edge, appearances at The Hoxton Pony & toe dips into Fire & Protocol for “Casa Latina” & “Le-Boy” also featured in his year. But it is to Lo-Profile that we draw our most memorable Zach moments, Gigolo aside, Mr Burns stepping in for an absent Mikey D & following on from Steve Pitron back in October that was very much a set & a night to remember. And, having tracked his progress, that along with his terrific talent for tantalising us with a tune, “Stupididsco 2011” became a bit of a Burns/DM anthem last year, it is no surprise to us that he has attained that premier protégé player position accolade.
So, choosing a podcast from his fifteen productions in 2011 was a decision that we mulled over for quite some time, as his monthly “House Sessions” are equally attractive in their making, Zach changing his style to suit the time of year, as well as reflecting on some of the set showings he has made across the capital & beyond. And that style is very much upfront & disco, intermixed with more tech yet melodic music masterpieces, we very close to choosing his “House Sessions 2011 (Top 12)” as our choice pick, one which takes a track from each of the 12 monthly compilation releases to create a Burns bonanza which, from the moment we played it, we couldn’t put it down, one which appears on his Soundcloud site at http://soundcloud.com/djzachburns/dj-zach-burns-house-sessions. However, given how much he moved us with his stunning set at Gigolo’s launch, we had to place his devoted podcast, “Gigolo Promo (Disco Sessions)” into position 4 in our compilation chart of the year, a sixty minute marvel that screams disco & Zach in the groove, so one definitely for your collection by going to http://djburns.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-11T12_00_38-07_00, while there is a full 2 hour version out too.
From our exceptional eighth we reach our phenomenal first, that word beginning with P not used lightly, while the letter P is very much relevant as (you have probably guessed already!) it is Steve Pitron that tops our compilation chart of 2011, not only that, but taking the first three places in our podcast positions, such has been the magnitude & magnificence of his mixes. But before we run down each of the three, we want to give a mention to a fourth and one we overlooked in 2010 but really caught our imagination at the time & since, as his WE Party podcast gets a posthumous mention and one that should have ranked highly then, although somehow missed the boat. And talking of boats, while 2011 was absolutely crammed with magical memories, scores of scintillating sets & outstanding outings in the hands of Mr Pitron, with the possible exception of Gay Pride at Barcode, one of our fondest outing days with the man & a compelling collection of clubbing faces, was on the Later Boat party in the summer, one of many huge 2011 highs, while he, more than many others in our lives, was right there during our lows, not least when we were landed in hospital in June.
So Steve has definitely been a huge part of our 2011, as have been the three podcasts he produced, each one truly towering in their own right, meaning choosing positions 3 to 1 wasn’t easy, not least that, between them, they account for a massive 26 out of our top forty tracks of the year, each one also part of our daily playlists as we spin around London’s roads. But a decision had to be made and in at number 3 is his “Afterhours 2011” mix, one which, for us, marked his podcasts attaining a new level of excellence and packed with brilliant beats from minute one to minute one hundred & one, standout tracks definitely “Live Your Dreams”, “Bitch Lady”, “Catch”, “Stupidisco 2011”, “Music In My Soul” & “Twist In My Sobriety”, while others helped the compilation contribute an unbeatable 11 tunes to our 2011 track chart, so a worthy number 3 & one that is surely in your collection, although if not, a visit to either http://soundcloud.com/stevepitron/steve-pitron-afterhours-march or http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/entry/2011-02-24T02_53_58-08_00 should seal the deal.
Then we come to position number 2 in our chart and this was a close call, not least as this compilation includes some of our favourite tracks of 2011, two that continue to erupt emotional tears whenever we hear them, while the short & sweet nature of “Summer Vol.1” compared to ”Afterhours” is also very appealing. So, you will have gathered this is Mr Pitron’s 2nd release of 2011 and like the first, contributes a fair few tracks to our Y.E. chart, “Starry Eyed”, “Offshore”, “One Look”, “Pressure”, “Fuck the Disco”, “Stupiddisco” (again), our most emotive track of the year, “Waiting For You” and “You Will Remember” which attained number 2 spot, quite appropriate given this podcast’s position. But, with another five terrific tracks apart from these, the podcast ticks all the right boxes & one we still haven’t been able to put down and while we never thought that “Afterhours” could be bettered, Steve certainly pulled a real gem out of the bag, perhaps representative of the purple patch he found himself within at the time of its release in early May, all meaning that it richly deserves it’s 2nd place in our compilation chart and should be in your collection by going to Steve’s Souncloud site at http://soundcloud.com/stevepitron/summer-2011-v1 or Mr Pitron’s Podomatic page at http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/entry/2011-05-28T12_01_35-07_00.
Well we have made it to our number 1 podcast of the year in our compilation chart of 2011 and Steve scoops the prize with what we hailed upon its release as his most accomplished piece of production work to date, a simply scintillating string of towering tunes that show off Steve’s skills for mixing in different genres to create a dynamic dance journey of a podcast. Kicking off with our track number 1 of 2011, “So Much Love”, it continues on that huge high note with another 21 terrific tracks, not least “Enjoy The Ride”, “Turn It Up”, “Nimbus”, “Lift Me Up”, “You’ve Got The Love”, “Diamonds In The Sky” & “Stronger”, all that made our top forty track chart, yet with so many others to savour, some more on the progressive & tech side of Mr Pitron’s playlists, like the brilliant “Sunken Bells Of Ibiza”, “Play This Song” & “Dancing In The Dark”, this scintillating selection of styles in the form of his “Summer Vol. 2” release, does very much take you on that dance journey we mentioned and, like Vol. 1, is one we simply cannot put down. Now some may argue that is not pure Pitron, while we would say it displays his deck spinning dexterity and why he is still at the top of his game, headlining clubbing events & main rooms now as he did when he first stormed the scene. So if you haven’t yet grabbed this significant slice of Pitron perfection, then head straight to http://soundcloud.com/stevepitron/summer-2011-v2, &/or http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/entry/2011-06-21T04_46_56-07_00 and see why it made it to our number 1.
Well that’s just about it for our compilation chart of 2011, well almost, as we couldn’t let the moment pass without a quick mention for our own podcasts, four of which were produced in 2011, although we were hoping it would have been more. Following the creation of our “Dance-tastic” series, the first release blended twenty of our top tunes of 2010, this being followed by our “Spring Bloomers” collection in what was trumpeted at the time as being “…the most anticipated marriage of musical minds since Benny & Bjorn, Lennon & McCartney…” and one where we chose the tunes & he blended them. And it worked extremely well, the next in the series “Summer Scorchers” going down a storm, even if one track ended up the root cause of our fall from grace break-up, the other protagonist possibly being our collaboration with another, creating our fourth compilation of 2011, “From Tel Aviv To London” (still available at http://soundcloud.com/guyscheiman/from-tel-aviv-to-london-disco), although plans to continue or “Dance-tastic series with our original playing partner hit the rocks, meaning both “Autumn Anthems” & “Winter Warmers” were scrapped. So, while all four of these podcast’s are right up there with the other ten in our compilation chart, given the circumstances, it didn’t feel right to rank any of them. However, we look forward to a 2012, which we have hailed as “A Year Of Reconciliation”, that marks our “Dance-tastic” series of selections with our original collaborator back in business.
Now that really is it for part two of our Music Is The Answer Special, rounding off what truly proved, musically anyway, as “The Best Year Yet”. (DISCO MATT)