Release: Bruce - I'm Alright Mate (Timedance)
2016 has been a productive year for Bristol-based label Timedance. Perhaps their strongest release courtesy of Bruce with his exemplary I’m Alright Mate EP. The title track from the EP is an incredibly satisfying journey through broken techno and is my Track of the Year. At first listen I was sceptical about this track, as two separate break-downs in which Bruce cuts the volume completely are surrounded by shrill white noise that doesn’t exactly make for relaxed home-listening. However, upon hearing Ben UFO devastate the Hydra with I’m Alright Mate back in October I was completely sold. The relentless drum beat and playful synths evoke an indescribable atmosphere on the dancefloor, punctuated with gun fingers.
Mix: Call Super @Dekmantel Festival 2016
There aren’t nearly enough superlatives to describe Joe Seaton AKA Call Super, Ondo Fudd & Elmo Crumb. With a consistent string of high quality releases and stellar DJ sets he was a contender for Track (Nervous Sex Traffic), Mix and Event (Housework at the Island, Bristol) of the Year for me. The Call Super mix from Day 3 of Dekmantel festival is my mix of 2016. His eclectic style is evident from the get go, as he mixes a Grace Jones track straight into Shed with such ease. It’s the sort of mix you put on in the background but end up spending the duration looking for IDs of every tune. A particular highlight for me is the transition from Robert Owens – I’ll Be Your Friend (Original Def Mix) into the beatless euphoria of Digital Justice – Profit (No Till), as this epitomises the final day vibe at any festival, which is captured perfectly in this moment. The way Seaton effortlessly mixes in a gimmicky track such as Detroit Grand Pu Bahs – Sandwiches without it seeming out of place reinforces the fact that he is a selector at the top of the game.
Event: Fabric x The Hydra @Studio Spaces
The recent RA in Residence night at the Hydra gets my nod for event of the year. Forget your conventional warm-up DJs, there are few better ways to get the ball rolling than sticking DJ Stingray in the booth at 11pm. The Motor City stalwart really set the tone for the evening, as his uncompromising, fast-paced techno created buzz of excitement throughout the room. An unexpected dubstep section towards the end of the set and an impressive visual display were particularly enjoyable. The highlight of the event for me was a masterful voyage through rave classics, hardcore and techno, provided by Head High.
For the most part it was a highly energetic fist-pumper of a set, however, he broke it down with some euphoric tracks with simple vocal hooks, such as Horizons of Darkness – Impure Thoughts, that brought a great sense of togetherness to the crowd. The closing track, Manix (Feat. Marie Antoinette) – Reach Out, was a standout and provided a perfect end to what was for me, the set of the year. The night was capped off by a superb b2b between Fabric resident Craig Richards and man of my dreams Ben UFO.
To read more click on the links below to read some of the Mantissa crew’s take on 2016: