Ebola. ISIS. Police brutality. Civil unrest. Hacking. Cyber terrorism. Climate change. Kim Kardashian. 2014 was as tough a year as they come. Reading the news was a challenging proposition, and for much of the year it seemed like the world was falling apart at the seams. With all of the tumult at least we had great music to soothe our aching souls.
As we collectively look ahead to 2015, we asked a range of DJs and electronic-music artists to reflect on this difficult year. Below 218 artists tell us how they’ll remember 2014 while sharing their aspirations for the new year.
This feature is dedicated to the memory of Frankie Knuckles, a progenitor of house music, DJ culture pioneer and one of the nicest men to ever walk the earth let alone hold court in a DJ booth.
How was 2014 for you? Really good. Last year I felt like I’d only really got my foot in the chor so there’s definitely been progress. I’ve had a few things come out on labels I really like and plenty more are set to appear in the new year so I’m feeling positive at the moment. I’ve probably flitted about between too many musical styles to really get established in a scene, but I’ve come to accept that is just my nature.
Highlights? I bought a French Bulldog puppy, and she is awesome! On the musical side of things, I’ve had some great feedback from a couple of legends on some of my tracks — that’s always a nice feeling.
Lowlights? I think probably everyone involved in music has days when they think they should just pack it all in and find a more stable income from somewhere. Except maybe Paris Hilton and the EDM gang — their income seems pretty stable. Usually if I take a couple of weeks off from it though, I realize how much I miss it and that first track you start making after a break gives you such a buzz you can never remember what had got you down.
Song of the year: Always seems songs released closer to the end of year get selected a lot for these things, so I’m gonna go for one that came on general release right at the start of January, Hackman’s “Change My Life.” Obviously there are too many tracks that are too different to pick an absolute favorite, but that would definitely be one of them. Emotional but still tough — I’ve been playing it all year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To get a real job
How was 2014 for you? It was a great year – I can’t complain! I had the possibility to tour around the world and to do shows in countries i never played before.
Highlights?The Keinemusik Euro Tour was great but also touring in Japan and Australia was really memorable this year.
Lowlights? There were no big lowlights. You can call me a lucky guy — life is treating me very well.
Song of the year: &ME’s “After Dark”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Go to yoga more often than I did this year.
How was 2014 for you? N/A
Highlights? For us the whole year was a highlight. But the highlight of the highlight was definitely our Brazil tour with this special gig at Warung where we had the honor to play the closing set. It was really awesome. You play into the sunrise and the club is packed until the very last minute. Definitely a night to remember. Our gigs in Melbourne at Brown Alley and Revolver were also something special. The vibe at those places is just unbelievable.
Lowlights? The Air France strike
Song of the year:
Take it Easy: For me it was Hodgson’s “One Spliff.” I love this song and Hodgson as a person! From the minute I listened to the demo I was convinced this would be smashing dance floors. And yes, It was heavily played by the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Catz n Dogz, Lee Foss and many others. A big success. 10 on 10 from me.
Friso: Hoodlum’s “Traumer.” From my first listen to the promo of the album I became a fan of this song. Don’t get me wrong, the whole album is nice, but this track is simply outstanding.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To play awesome gigs, always give our best and make more music than last year.
How was 2014 for you? It was an amazing year for me. I released a bunch of tracks, some of which charted pretty high on Beatport, Billboard and upfront charts. I played in front of 20,000 people and enjoyed hearing my very own tracks on dance radio. Overall, I had a banging year launching my career.
Highlights? Playing in front of 20,000 people, and finding that world-renowned DJs feature my tracks in their sets and radio shows.
Lowlights? Learning that I wasn’t going to make it to Tomorrowland’s main stage
Song of the year: Showtek’s “We Like To Party”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep making music and headline Ultra Music Festival
How was 2014 for you? A very long and intense year. I’ve had a radical change in terms of a personal approach to create my own renovated sound. Also, I’ve been cracking on with new challenges, trying to discover different ways to conceive the music itself. When life sometimes puts you through the wringer, I feel the urge to evolve both personally and musically speaking. My father used to say it’s better being lucky than rich, and this is why I daily thank the music for everything I have. Taking stock of this year, it was very good, eventually.
Highlights? First off, I kept working with Seismal D (a.k.a. Daniel Jaze), a true friend and business partner as well. We started to give lessons and lectures on mixing and post-production at universities and several other renowned music schools, which is a real demanding job, especially when you feel the responsibility to properly share your own experiences and knowledge with people who believe in your competence. Furthermore, the two of us have built up a new live project called Imago. We make techno only by using analogue stuff, whether while tracking at studio or live performing. This is so damn funny! Last but not least, I happily joined the Steyoyoke Records family, which was one of my main aims for 2014. We’ve already planned a new single, a music video and my brand-new album as well, definitely there’s a great and unique connection between artists and label’s crew so I am truly focusing on this project, too.
Lowlights? Family loss. I had to re-think and re-arrange my own life in some ways.
Song of the year: Sohn’s “The Wheel”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To follow my desires in which I’ll be moving from Italy soon and, of course, keep making the music I love.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been another great year for me. My releases for Drumcode and Cocoon all seemed to make big impression on people but it was my remix of Trus’me “I Want You” that was the real surprise. That track really blew up, especially in Ibiza, and I was not expecting that at all!
Highlights? The birth of my baby daughter. That eclipsed all the work stuff for sure.
Lowlights? I try to always keep a positive outlook on life. If things don’t work out then I like to move on to the next challenge and not let the bad vibes linger. However, the football World Cup was massive disappointment for me being an Englishman!
Song of the year: Floorplan’s “Never Grow Old”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Simple! In 2015 I will beat my good friend Reset Robot at tennis!
How was 2014 for you? It was a good year for me, especially doing a tour through South Korea, China, Thailand, Indonesia and then on to Australia, releasing music on Circle Music and preparing a new Disco Label called Republic42Music, which will see the light in 2015.
Highlights? My Asia/Australia tour
Lowlights? That music in general gets less and less value.
Song of the year: There are few ones
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep doing what you love!
How was 2014 for you? Absolutely life-changing
Highlights? Selling 10,000 tickets in a few days for my Wonderland Warehouse tour, doing Diplo & Friends, releasing my Calm Down EP, “I Want U” becoming number 1 on Hype Machine, signing with Astralwerks and Windish in America.
Lowlights? Missing my dog while touring
Song of the year: Jamie xx’s “All Under One Roof Raving”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Don’t put up with bullshit from people
How was 2014 for you? Fadi Naguib: 2014 has been a magnificent year. Very busy but not complaining!
Highlights? Becoming a dad and the release of The Other Shore, our new studio album. Also, mixing Ministry of Sound’s Trance Nation compilation, our Future Sound of Egypt 350 world tour and meeting so many great people.
Lowlights? Too much time on airplanes
Song of the year: There are so many to choose from — ReOrder and Standerwick presents Sky Patrol’s “Skyres”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stay happy and work hard!
How was 2014 for you? I had a great year. I moved my studio, and I’m really happy with the environment now. I spend most of 2014 in there.
Highlights? Two things: I played a show on my birthday and during the set, the whole audience chanted a birthday song for me. And, of course, the FIFA World Cup 2014.
Lowlights? Final episode of Dexter… to be honest, I can’t remember. I like to focus on the positive things in my life.
Song of the year: &Me’s “After Dark”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finish my solo album
How was 2014 for you? Probably the busiest year I’ve had so far with a lot of touring and releases. I can honestly say I’ve really enjoyed the past 12 months — it has not only exceeded my expectations but has shown me that hard work really does pay off.
Highlights? The Ibiza season with ANTS is for sure one of the major highlights for me, but I could mention so many positive highlights that have happened around my career in 2014 – it’s hard to list them all!
Lowlights? Thank god I haven’t really had any deep lowlights this year. Of course negative things do happen, but I always try to remember that everything happens for a reason and always try to take the positive from all situations. As long as you are critical only of yourself, you don’t take things for granted and you are realistic then there is nothing that can get you down. I’ve found the right attitude is to not look at things as lowlights and make the best of every situation.
Song of the year: There were so many great songs from 2014, but the last one that I really enjoyed that springs immediately to mind is Culoe de Song’s “Y.O.U.D” on Innervisions.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To enjoy everything as much as I have enjoyed it up until now.
How was 2014 for you? Amazing! The best year of my career so far. I played in some of the best clubs in South America, Central America, Asia and Europe, and I even got a summer residency in Ibiza. I also got a lot of support from the likes of Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin and John Digweed, who I have always massively looked up to as my heroes. And to top it off, I got to release on labels that I’ve always respected and loved. It really has been a dream year!
Highlights? My Let Me Take You EP which was released on Turbo Recordings. It brought big things to me. Also having Green Velvet remix one of my tracks was unbelievable! I’ve been listening to him since I’m 13 years old. I love him.
Lowlights? Losing Frankie Knuckles
Song of the year: Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To move to Europe ASAP and to finish my first album which I’ve been working on since September. And to eat healthy.
How was 2014 for you? Loved it. I released my debut EP as Antenna Happy on Reinhardt, which is a really exciting new label. It’s been a long time coming and most of the year was a real build-up to it.
Highlights? I have a three-year-old daughter so watching her grow this year has been an amazing experience, the best thing in the world really. On a personal level, getting my music making back on track after a long hiatus has been a real highlight. I’ve been building up to it for a few years now and it is starting to get some traction. I’m really happy about that. Oh, and the first sunny summer since I moved to Brighton — it started to make sense.
Lowlights? Thankfully, not too many. Nigel Farage and his gang are quite a depressing prospect. Black Friday was something we really don’t need. Being ill over the summer and having to miss Glastonbury wasn’t great.
Song of the year: Kate Tempest’s album blew me away from start to finish and her live show is amazing. My favorite electronic release was “Hachinoko” by Simian Mobile Disco and Roman Flügel.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t really have them as a rule, but I have loads of plans for next year, so I guess my resolution would be to get the live show nailed and start playing out again.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a very interesting and exciting year for me I took the year off of releasing music and turned my focus to the studio, writing music and training my voice as I am the vocalist for all of my productions coming up in 2015. This past year has also a transitional time for me. I went through a complete rebrand for Audrey Napoleon and Napoleon Nation with a launch of a new website, taking time to show more of who I really am, changes internally within my camp, and a change in direction on my upcoming music that is more back to my “roots.”
Highlights? I’ve been very blessed to have shared the stage and sat in the studio with so many that I admire and look up to this past year. Another moment that stands out is the launch of the Modern Cleopatra campaign with Ardency Inn in Sephora. It has always been a dream of mine to art direct a campaign like this as well as be the face of something that I truly believe in. And of course, my fans: Napoleon Nation. Without them I am nothing, and I couldn’t be more happy that they are with me on this ride.
Lowlights? I have so much to share musically and it has been incredibly tough for me to hold on to it and not share it this past year!
Song of the year: I don’t know about the whole year but for the past six months definitely Borgeous’ “Wildfire”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I want to release all of the music that I have been working on and produce a proper tour. I really want to be able to visit the cities and countries that I have never been to so I can meet the many members of Napoleon Nation that I haven’t been able to.
How was 2014 for you? It was great. Very eventful.
Highlights? Hugs from loved ones!
Song of the year: Sam Smith’s “I’m Not The Only One” and Lorenzo Senni’s “Superimpositions”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? What is love? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more.
How was 2014 for you? Full of change and a mix of emotions. I stopped running a party at Sugar called In The Deep End that had been going every week for over four years. It was a hard decision to make but opened the doors for me to try some new things. I also released my first solo record, managed to pull off a 700-person warehouse party in Adelaide, had HMC play in a private shed party, and more recently, moved to Berlin.
Highlights? The warehouse party, hosting Jeff Mills in a 200-person club, releasing my friends’ music on our label, moving to Europe.
Lowlights? Closing In The Deep End, breaking a rib, saying goodbye to special people in my life.
Song of the year: HVCK’s “Domino.” This seems like a cheat but even if I had nothing to do with releasing this record I still think it’s the best track I’ve heard in a long time.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Read more books
How was 2014 for you?
Thomas Mullarney III: We finished writing L1 in April and put in quite a bit of work on the follow-up to The Ways We Separate since then. It’s been a year to build out the studio, add some new software and get deeper in the equipment we own. If 2013 was our touring year, 14′ has been our year to write.
Jacob Gossett: 2014 was a heavy studio year. We’ve spent a lot of time writing and exploring new ideas. I’m really excited to start performing all this new material we’ve been working on.
Performing at Terminal 5
Inga Copeland drum ‘n’ bass set at Cameo Gallery
Building a website with the .nyc domain! (beaconband.nyc)
Finishing Infinite Jest
Finishing the EP. It was a long process and a lot of work. Finishing any complete body of work is a very rewarding feeling.
Mullarney: All the time I spent on hold with Time Warner Cable
Song of the Year:
Mullarney: Deadboy’s “Return, Haydn’s “Crystal Tears” (Instrumental), Benjamin Damage’s “Up,” Nathan Fake’s “Black Drift,” Audion’s “Dem Howl”
Gossett: Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Mullarney: Just realizing now how badly I need to change our Internet provider
Gossett: Expand the live show. There are a lot things opening up coming off this new set of songs. I really want to focus on how we can best translate all this new material.
How was 2014 for you? A year I’ll always remember. My New Year’s resolution last year was to make shit happen myself and take things into my own hands, and to realize the many ideas I had in my head. So to that effect, I quit my job in August to go freelance and have more time to work on my music and other related projects. I’ve just set up a label for my Monologues podcast which will launch at the end of January; I’m setting up an events series; I’ve launched a Kickstarter project; started a secret alias; set up a YouTube series that’s soon to launch, and signed pretty much everything I’ve finished music wise.
Highlights? Quitting my job! Scary, but exhilarating. That and recently signing stuff to labels I really admire like King Street Sounds, Blossom Kollektiv, ALiVE and Different Attitudes, and getting stuck into edits again. Was great to see how well my Marvin Gaye edit has been received, hitting the Top 20 of Hype Machine’s Remix Chart, the Top 10 of SoundCloud’s disco chart and getting played on Radio 1 by B.Traits.
Lowlights? Before I had all this stuff signed I had no less than four reasonably well-known labels all do a U-turn on stuff they had signed from me, or dissolve their business. It was pretty depressing for a while! I ended up giving some of those tracks away, and through hard graft eventually got many of them signed again by great labels.
Song of the year: Floating Points’ “Nuits Sonores” is up there.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Same as last year, plus “be patient”
How was 2014 for you? A decent year for me. It was definitely not the most productive year, but I feel like I grew a lot as an artist. I experimented with a lot of new sounds/styles in the studio and learned a lot about the way I want to make music and what kind of music I want to make.
Highlights? Going to Harry Potter World in Orlando was super rad (yes, I’m a nerd). Another highlight was getting one of the new Mac Pros. It’s such an amazing computer that really allows me to take my production to a whole new level. I also put together a nice studio space this year, so it’s been cool/weird going there to work. The video game Destiny also came out this year… it’s the first video game I’ve seriously played in like nine years.
Lowlights? Not being as productive as I should have been. I started out the year pretty strong working on new tunes and then just became distracted and uninspired. I guess that happens to everyone at some point, but it still makes you feel shitty. I guess I would have to list Destiny as a lowlight too. I’m so fucking addicted to it and I should probably stop playing it so much. One of my oldest friends recently moved across the world to Australia, so that was definitely bittersweet. There have been a lot of little shitty things that have happened this year, but I try not to focus on them and just to move forward. I’m definitely not the most positive person, but I’ve been trying to get better about that.
Song of the year: This is a tough one because I listen to music based on my mood, so I can’t choose just one track:
Alesso’s “Heroes” (Amtrac Remix); Alvin Risk’s “Monsters”; Clean Bandit’s “Real Love”; Ennio’s “Go Insane” and Pierce Fulton’s “Kuaga”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To put out lots of new music. I’ve gotten better over the past couple years at actually finishing tracks, but I still find myself taking way too long to realize that something is finished (or needs to be). Another resolution is just to be more positive in general. Another resolution is to just chill the fuck out and not stress so much over everything. I also want to do more things that make me uncomfortable. I think being out of your comfort zone makes you grow as a person and learn new things about yourself. I applied to be a test subject for this NASA sleep study thing, so if I actually get selected it should be pretty interesting. I’m pretty excited about 2015, I think it’s gonna be a good year… and the new Star Wars is coming out so hopefully that’s cool.
How was 2014 for you? Transformative
Highlights? Releasing my album, of course
Lowlights? Having my heart broken
Song of the year: “No Black Person is Ugly” by Lil B
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To travel and see the world.
How was 2014 for you? It was an amazing year filled with lots of travel and music. I really got to connect deeply with a lot of the people who have been supporting me through my many transformations and artistic shifts over the years. It’s truly amazing how music and art do bring us together and bind us to one another globally.
Highlights? I released Bedstuyle, my first full-length in seven years, and it was packed with collaborations with some of my favorite artists in the world! I also got to tour America a bit with some really good friends and we had a blast! I gave my first TED talk. I began writing my first book. On a side note, I perfected some recipes of traditional Bengali dishes with a bit of a twist and tried them out on people throughout the year. I’m pleased to say that I’ve been able to make many tummies happy this year!
Lowlights? This situation with law enforcement both in Ferguson and NY, and the law as it relates to minorities in this country — it doesn’t get any lower.
Song of the year: “Un Poquito Mas” by Captain Planet
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep pushing myself and all of the amazing artists around me to collaborate with one another and release music as often as possible, and then to take it on tour. We are in a time where we need to spread love and positivity as far and wide as possible. I’m working as hard as I can to play my part.
How was 2014 for you? It was wonderful and intense. Hohberg and I launched the Otherside and have completed our upcoming album. But everything around the album is still very much a work in progress, and I don’t want to give away too much yet. There’s definitely so much in the pipeline that I’m working on that I only really realize the year’s coming to an end, when you guys ask me to sum up the year! Then I know I’d better start buying Christmas presents for my nephews!
Highlights? Watergate. We had the Otherside launch, which I’m incredibly proud of. I played at Circoloco at DC10 and at the Love Family Park and I also released music on Desolat, Visionquest and Rebirth.
Lowlights? I’m a little sad Hohberg and I didn’t release the album this year yet. Still, the reason we didn’t release it is a good one, so I’m alright with the way things are. Plus, it builds up anticipation for next year. I just can’t wait to see how you guys dig the album!
Song of the year: Sebastian Mullaert’s “Chant De Paris”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Mama said knock ’em out. I resolve to do just that with my music!
How was 2014 for you? I had a really amazing year! I’ve played some of the best parties of my life. Met more great people, made and released some amazing music on great labels and wake up every morning with a smile on my face. I can’t complain!
Highlights? Opening for Deep Dish in Budapest at Balaton Sound, and playing for the largest crowd I’ve ever played for. I think it was around 17,000 people! It was one of those speechless nights.
Lowlights? Getting an ear infection, and a week later getting all four wisdom teeth out. Not fun!
Song of the year: Almost impossible to just name one alone, but I am in love with Italo Johnson’s “08.” Such a sick groove; it will never get old to me.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Same as every year — lose a few pounds!
How was 2014 for you? Great! My new album Hard 2 B Fresh dropped. It feels great to have new music and videos to push. 2014 was the year I cleaned house. Got rid of all the trolls in my circle, cleaned out the apartment and, in general, kept all toxic shit out of my life.
Highlights? Umm…Beyoncé’s album is pretty high on the list.
Lowlights? The Darren Wilson verdict
Song of the year: “Partition” by Beyoncé
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I have a new resolution every week! I just want to be more conscious of how I treat my body. Eat more fruits and veggies.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been amazing for us. It’s been a really interesting and big year. Looking back, we feel like we actually somewhat found our sound, even though we will always experiment.
Highlights? Creating our song “Sleepless.”
Lowlights? Being unable to release music in the first half of the year; however, that actually turned out to be the best thing for us!
Song of the year: It’s impossible to select just one, but Gorgon City feat. Katy Menditta’s “Imagination” is really good.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? We plan to spend as much time in the studio as possible!
How was 2014 for you? It’s been an amazing year, winning the Grammy for my remix of “Summertime Sadness” and then signing to Universal. I’ve travelled and played all over the world — it’s been pretty special.
Highlights? Winning the Grammy
Lowlights? Lebron James leaving the Miami Heat
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To work hard, train hard, release more music and enjoy the moment.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a great year. I definitely took some major steps in the right direction with my business and my personal life.
Highlights? For starters I reconnected with my partner Cliff Saint-Cyr (Hardtrax), and we started a new label called Import Tracks.
Lowlights? The passing of Frankie Knuckles. It was such a sad time for many of us in the music industry. He was loved by so many and he will surely be missed but not forgotten.
Song of the year: Clean Bandit’s “No Place I’d Rather Be.“ A perfect 10/10.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To get things done from start to finish and continue to build on all the progress made in 2014 .
How was 2014 for you? One word: CRAZY
Highlights? Playing alongside Steve Aoki, Dimitri Vegas and Like e Ve at Pacha Ibiza for Steve’s Aoki’s Playhouse residency. Plus, I’ve been working on a track over the last few months which is showcasing exactly who I am musically both inside the clubs DJing and outside. I’ll be able to share it with you guys early next year. Also interviewing David Guetta and Calvin Harris recently was a highlight, talking all things music/producing, and I got a piggyback off Calvin as I’m starting something on Instagram called #backcharlie.
Lowlights? Sounds cheesy, I know ,but nothing classes as a lowlight for me, even if something goes wrong or not how you wanted it to you learn from it and move on and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m always learning.
Song of the year: “This” by Sander van Doorn and Oliver Heldens. Oliver is making some crazy sounds at the moment, and I’m loving all of his work. This collab was genius.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To make lots more productions but firstly to get my new track signed and go on tour with it, DJing, and of course come over to the states to see you guys and play in some of your clubs.
How was 2014 for you? Very busy. I know everyone says that, but I’ve made more music this year than any before. I released my debut production album, Small Steps, for Breakin Bread in the spring and have since completed two further longstanding album projects, both due for release on BBE in 2015.
Highlights? Probably remixing Bilal (although that’s not out til next year). He’s among my all-time favorite performers and to see my name on the production credits for an artist who’s appeared on Grammy-winning records like Black Radio is obviously a massive honor. Also completing the Maylight album— it’s been a long time coming but they’re a fantastically talented bunch of musicians who I’ve loved working with and the record has come out great.
Lowlights? I guess the way a lot of clubs and even festivals have turned lately in terms of audience. A lot of places seem to be full of people who don’t care a great deal about the music, more concerned about being in the right place. I kind of need to feel like people really care about the music to enjoy playing to them and that’s been lacking sometimes recently. I’ve been a bit pickier about gigs this year and DJ’ed less with a view to spending more time making music and I feel pretty happy about that.
Song of the year: EVM128 feat. Omar’s “Beyond Revisited.” He’s a friend and makes incredible music, and Omar is also one of my all-time favorite vocalists. He’s remixed the first single off the Maylight album for us and it’s killer.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Take proper breaks/holidays. Left to my own devices I work too much. My last holiday was a week at home with headphones on finishing stuff off I didn’t get a chance to on my usual studio days. I’ve already booked some weekends out of London (not working).
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a difficult year for me. It’s been a year of rebuilding. I spent most of this year making an assessment of my past and planning the way I’d like to spend the next few years of my future — both musically and personally. I found my life partner, and by marrying her made a tremendous life change. This was a year of great education and a test of my determination. It was a year filled with the incredible euphoria of feeling whole in a deep, meaningful and loving relationship. In some ways, I’ve felt like I’m experiencing growing pains that have come from learning how to share my entire life and my personal space with another human being after “flying solo” for a very long time. In other ways, I’ve felt like my eyes were closed and now they’ve just been opened to the possibility that you can really find love if you believe you can. All in all, 2014 was a year I will not easily forget.
Highlights? 1. Getting married to my best friend of 25 years, Jacqueline Leiske, on June 2, 2014, and having the full support of both of our families. 2. Performing “Love Is Gone” with David Guetta on the main stage of the TomorrowWorld 2014 Festival in front of thousands! Felt like the good old days from back in 2000.
Lowlights? Throwing my back out twice this year. Ouch!
Song of the year: Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne’s “Rather Be”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To reinvent myself while experiencing total pleasure in the process.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a fantastic year – the number 14 is one of my favorite numbers. Got a lot accomplished, wrote a lot of music, learned a lot, had a few of my records hit the UK club charts and get support from some great DJs so I can’t complain.
Highlights? Launching a proper dance label called Crowd Records. Moved to a great new house and played a lot more DJ Gigs, including a gig with my good buddy Swedish Egil, which is always a good time.
Lowlights? Sadly, a good friend passed away over a girlfriend breakup. If you’re depressed, get help.
Song of the Year: Probably one of them for me is Zhu’s “Faded” or as second runner-up Oliver $ & Jimi Jules’ “Pushing On”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I have a couple, but mainly for peace in the world — it’s too damn crazy out there with everyone hating and killing each other.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a fantastic year. It was the tipping point for psy-trance and progressive psy-trance crossing over, not only in the U.S. but around the world. It is great to see underground music with integrity and sophistication reclaiming dance floors.
Highlights? The success of my label, Pharmacy Music, is one of my biggest highlights. It has grown from an outlet for my own productions into a leader in the underground dance music scene with over 100 artists. It was great taking label nights on the road for the Pharmacy: Phase 4 tour — highlights were Los Angeles and Buenos Aires.
Lowlights? The continued greed behind the EDM machine in America.
Song of the year: Stephane Badey’s “Cronos”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stop complaining about EDM
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been one of the best years in my career so far. In June we released my first album, Internal Conversion, on Polegroup, then our Project Spherical Coordinates together with Oscar Mulero went more than well. We also did some wicked gigs, and the year couldn’t have finished in a better way than with the release of my first CD mix, Unknown Landscapes Vol II.
Highlights? I’m feeling in very good form in the studio again, and I’m very happy with my new live set.
Lowlights? Spain is one of the most corrupt countries in the world
Song of the year: “The Illusion of Choice” by Lewis Fautzi
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I quit smoking a month ago so I want to keep next year smoke-free and, of course, to make a lot more music!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been an amazing year! I’ve been in the studio cracking on with making some killer tunes! Also dropped the new EP Animal Anger (which is available for free download). Me and Maxim [Reality] have been back to America touring which was a sick vibe and also been to Europe. It’s been a very productive year!
Highlights? The release of our EP Animal Anger. It’s been wicked seeing people enjoy the music and support the journey from the start!
Lowlights? I lost my nan to cancer. She was like a second mum to me so it’s been difficult dealing with that.
Song of the year: ”Rabbit Run” by Eminem
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I will be giving up hot sauce. I throw it over everything so it’s going to be a tough one for me!
How was 2014 for you? A great year for me on the music front. I’ve developed my skills and have been lucky enough to have remixed a handful of the world’s biggest artists.
Highlights? The first remix I did for Beyoncé (“Blow”) at the beginning of the year, or maybe celebrating my birthday in New York with my Peace Bisquit family.
Lowlights? It’s really been a great year for me musically and on a personal level, I’ve had to say goodbye to my grandfather who I was close with.
Song of the year: Secondcity’s “I Wanna Feel”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To develop my career more
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a fine vintage that felt like a coming of age for Claptone.
Highlights? As a spirit I was lucky enough to cover the planet many times and sometimes be in more than one place at once. Tiring even for Claptone, but truly a highlight.
Lowlights? That despite the love I saw all over the planet, the world is still at war.
Song of the year: Claptone loves Metronomy and the new album Love Letters was a pleasure to hear.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To do everything I can to open people’s minds, educate them teach them about tolerance by just loving them. Join me and make not only music count again, but your own life.
How was 2014 for you? It was amazing! We’ve been all over the world and it’s been nothing like all the other years of our lives.
Highlights? Playing the John Peel stage at Glastonbury was pretty massive for us.
Lowlights? The year has got the better of me so thank goodness for our Christmas time off.
Song of the year: Memo’s “Years and Years”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work harder!
How was 2014 for you? Great for the most part. It has flown by I have to say!
Highlights? Playing Istanbul and exploring the city which was incredible. Getting back into reading books and spending less time online has been a bit of a shift which has made me happier and healthier and more focused. Two new side projects and a very prolific d’n’b collaboration team up (which you will have to hear about in 2015) have all re-energized me musically too.
Lowlights? Liverpool were absolute rubbish in the Premier League this year
Song of the year: Jaymo and Andy George’s “Ice Cubez.” Drum ‘n’ bass wise probably the Break remix of “Moodswings” by Dom and Roland. Album of the year would be the Cern LP.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I gave up coffee this year and cigarettes last year but there’s no way I’m giving up on beer so I may have to stop eating salami.
How was 2014 for you? Good! I moved to Exploited, which is a very good label for me. They release music with feelings, emotions and they are not afraid to take risks. It definitely helps me to be creative to feel that I have such a good record label behind me.
Highlights? A gig I did in Bern at Das Zimmer. My girlfriend joined and we went by car so we took the opportunity to do a little road trip. We stopped and visited cities on our way without any plans. Freedom moments. Then we arrived in Bern and the club was amazing! Such a good vibe and lovely people! In other words: Simply a very good moment.
Lowlights?I moved my studio to a new place in the beginning of the year. I don’t like to unplug and move all my materials. It’s like the end of something.
Song of the year: Klaves’ “People”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Focus on live and try to finalize an album.
How was 2014 for you? It’s been a good year. I feel like I’ve established my sound and pushed some new ideas forward. Key to that has been setting up 2Swords to give me a platform to be in control of my music and when it is coming out. Seeing growing support from a big cross section of DJs has been great and playing on line-ups that represent that has been a lot of fun! I got to play a lot of golf too. And I’ve found a new love for darts.
Highlights? Getting Laurent Garnier onboard to remix one of my own fave productions, “The Fall.” Receiving his remix and hearing how good it was a really special moment for me. Doing a mini mix for Annie Mac on Radio 1 was also excellent. Discovering balsamic vinegar glaze (it’s sweet and syrupy and tastes good on just about everything).
Lowlights? Not making it to the White Isle this year. Fulham getting relegated to the Championship (England’s second league, although still better that the MLS #ouch). People calling anything with a beat either EDM or deep house.
Song of the year: Tricky one this. If I have to pick one I’d say Todd Terje’s “Delorean Dynamite.” Retro, but futuristic. Emotive, soulful music that sounds immense on a big system!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get fitter. Work harder. To always make music that I love, no matter what anyone else thinks.
How was 2014 for you? It’s been an amazing year, quite a lot of preparation and building work for 2015 but very excited to start seeing it all unfold in the new year!
Highlights? Remixing for Paul Oakenfold and the electro gods Mason and being a featured artist on MTV!
Lowlights? Been way too busy to focus on or have any lowlights!
Song of the year: There’s been some fantastic music this year across all genres, which is great to see! “All Of Me” from John Legend stood out for me though.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Continue with global domination. Oh, and drink slightly less coffee.
How was 2014 for you? Up and down but mainly good. Some remixes done, my first solo release on Loungin’ and more than a few gigs around the world. Would have love to have more records out but they are coming out in 2015 so can’t complain.
Highlights? Doing the live set with the LPZ crew at Berghain, no doubt. I will always remember quite vividly being just about to get on stage and seeing this massive queue of people trying to get to the venue. We were all smiles before, during and after the show.
Lowlights? As above, would have been nice to get more records out but if everything works out they will be released in 2015.
Song of the year: Most recognizable one was “’Can’t Do Without You” by Caribou, favorite one probably Fjaak’s “Don’t Leave Me”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To put more records out, move to a different city.
Highlights? 2014 was a fantastic year, my best one so far. Suara has consolidated his place on the scene, releasing fantastic music from top artists, making parties around the world (including amazing parties at Sonar and ADE) and having big success in his first weekly party in Ibiza. I released some of my hottest tunes ever: “Balls,” “Y.E.A.H.,” “That’s Not Happening,” “Profound Pleasure,” the remixes of Matter Of Time,” “Stronger,” “Imprint Of Pleasure or Bigger Than Prince.” I also have been playing around the World, including some big festivals. I couldn’t expect something better.
Lowlights? I would love to play more often in my country but you know, no man is a prophet in his own land, so I will keep working to consolidate my name in the Spanish music scene.
Song of the year:
Banger of the year: Traumer’s “Hoodlum”
Song of the year: Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You” (Tale Of Us & Mano Le Tough Remix) and Sailor & I’s “Turn Around” (Äme Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I just wanna be healthy to have the chance to keep working. I do what I love, so if I’m healthy I will be able to get anything I want. That’s why I expect from 2015.
How was 2014 for you? Exciting! We launched our collaboration with a number of productions that stormed the Beatport charts and got great feedback from many sides.
Highlights? Our joint Ibiza premiere at BoOom, and our remix for Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence”
Lowlights? Hmm… maybe David Guetta and Robin Schulz at #1 of the deep house chart
Song of the year: WhoMadeWho’s “Heads Above” (Maceo Plex Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More work, less party. Or was it the other way around?!
How was 2014 for you? It’s been absolutely una cazzo di bomba, which in Italian means very, very good.
Highlights? Finishing my album and then to see that people are really loving it already (and it’s not released yet) was one of the best feelings! Major highlight for sure.
Lowlights? 37 new white hairs in my beard
Song of the year: Drake’s “0 to 100”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Control the world from my couch with a beer in my hand.
How was 2014 for you? Expensive
Highlights? Putting out Soft
Lowlights? Putting myself into debt
Song of the year: Amnesia Scanner’s “As Live    ”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make a lot of money
How was 2014 for you? It has been the best year of my career so far without a doubt. I’ve played some amazing shows, traveled, met great people and most of all really been loving the music.
Highlights? Claiming the No. 30 position in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll. It was such a crazy moment when I heard — really, it’s hard to put into words. I was just so grateful to everyone who voted for me.
Lowlights? Nothing really major. I have had the occasional technical issue during sets but apart from that I have been really lucky so far… hopefully it continues!
Song of the year: Calvin Harris’ “Summer”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Find a better balance between social life and life as an artist.
How was 2014 for you? It’s been a really good year in the studio. I’m very happy for my new project — my first album — which will be unveiled in 2015. I worked very hard this year to achieve this project.
Highlights? My new collaboration with ADE Amsterdam and Blue Marlin Ibiza
Lowlights? My knee operation
Song of the year: Traumer’s “Hoodium”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I canceled new events for NYE. I need to rest after my operation. In January I go back raring to go!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a really great year for me. I got to travel quite a bit, and I played at some very amazing venues, including Rex club in Paris and Ministry of Sound in London. I also got booked for the second time at one of my favorite Michigan festivals, Electric Forest. It was an absolute amazing experience — they transformed this giant ranch into a magical place. It was also a great year for productions, as I expanded my horizons and signed records to more than a few super respectable labels, like Pig&Dan’s label, Elevate, Nervous Records, and I also have an EP coming out on Defected. I think I am going to name it No Place Like Home after the lead track “A Place Called Home.” Look for the music in early 2015. On top of everything else, I have also gotten really involved with helping our KMS label grow and expand over the past year. This has also been amazing, and has opened so many opportunities to nurture and work with new talented artists from all over the world. KMS is on fire!
Highlights? Wow, it is hard to narrow them down, but I will try: Playing Electric Forest festival B2B with my father, Kevin, in Michigan was a magical experience and gave me so much pride that I come from such an incredible family and I get to share these experiences with my dad. Not to forget, even being invited to play is an honor. Another major highlight this past year was our Origins stage at the incredible Movement festival in Detroit. It was so great to see it do so well even in our first year. Super excited to go round two next year. As you may know, Movement is the definitive Electronic Festival in Detroit and it is with great pride and respect that I get to play and participate.
Lowlights? I think I heard some English people say Mustn’t Grumble, so nope not too many lowlights to speak of it really has been a great year altogether….. but I will admit that losing my wallet in a taxi when I touched down in Ibiza this season definitely could be described as a low moment and a super bummer! But, all in all, it was a great season for Ibiza and great vibes all around.
Song of the year: Green Velvet & Harvard Bass’ “Shake It,” an absolute Floor Burner!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Finding time to get stuck into my album work in the new year and hopefully have it done for the summer!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was one of the best years of my life and career to date!
Highlights? I reached 100 #1 Records on the Billboard Dance Chart. I also released a single with one of my favorite singers, Andy Bell of Erasure (it went to #1). 2014 found me writing more songs than ever before, and I’m looking forward to more DA releases in 2015.
Lowlights? The only lowlights for me are generally in the world outside of music. I’m looking forward to a world where everyone is treated equally, whether it be marriage or treatment by law enforcement. I hope my children don’t witness the type of behavior we have seen so much of in 2014.
Song of the year: Steve Angello’s “Wasted Love”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To continue doing what I love (making music) and to inspire others and help others do the same.
How was 2014 for you? Pretty fun, still busy on the road but finally spending time in the studio too.
Highlights? Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Belgium (so many good gigs there), Monegros 20th, my own stage two weekends running at Tomorrowland, T in the Park, so many good gigs
Lowlights? Anything involving Hawtin, his ménage à trois with Bangkok Hilton, his album, his amour with deadmau5.
Song of the year: Honestly there are just too many to list. I will compile my best-of shows in a few weeks, always a tough job.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To spend more time in the studio
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was an interesting year in that for me personally it helped me identify what I wanted and no longer wanted as an artist from this current “music business.” I think there is a growing movement of artists, mostly established ones, that have decided to start taking more control of their work. The changes in Beatport, SoundCloud and Facebook, in regard to the massive changes in their business models, have really made some people think deeper about the content and work they are creating for others who are benefiting from that work more than the artists themselves. We no see other platforms like Bandcamp and Tunecore becoming a means for the artist bypass the label/distribution system and go directly to the fan base they’ve created with their content. I think this trend will continue and more tools will come to market, slowly but surely, that will give the artist greater control of their work and how it’s distributed.
Highlights? Getting started on my fifth album, making the decision to focus strictly on making music and no longer taking on DJ bookings.
Lowlights? Starting my fifth album and realizing how much the old label/artist paradigm is broken. The industry being more and more compartmentalized into smaller segments and controlled by fewer people. Facebook being the de facto way to communicate with your fan base while having to maneuver the inability to communicate with that entire fan base.
Song of the year: I don’t have a song of the year, Ibut would have to say that there is an album of the year: Slam’s Reverse Proceed. This album to me is pivotal. In a time where we are accustomed to throwaway tracks and so called “albums” this piece of work shows that having a concept and a vision can exist in a world that us used to stems and 140-character conversations. I’ve listened to it in its entirety dozens of times, and it takes me back to the days of listening to vinyl albums from start to finish. Concept albums still live and techno can be more than just a trendy genre that’s thrown around. There is hope for artists with a vision.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? To recapture the love I had for making music electronically and create something that will outlive me.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been a great year for me both personally and musically. I feel that I have grown in many areas of my life and the progress has been reflected in my music and those I have come into contact with.
Highlights? There are so many, but a few are at the forefront of my mind, which include the releases and remix work I’ve been able to achieve with some fantastic labels and artists. Most rewarding has been two EPs released on Mark Farina’s Great Lakes Audio (GLA) label and having him and DJ Sneak play some of my unreleased material in clubs around the world resulting in random tweets from people feeling my music. It’s quite humbling. Along with this, having the endorsement and support of people I have looked up to and admired for so long in this business has blown me away as many of them sought me out directly, which is so special to me. We are talking about guys like Mark Farina, Derrick Carter, DJ Sneak, Wally Callerio, Flapjackers, Joss Moog, Darius Syrossian, and so many more. All pleasant surprises for me and the ongoing communication has been great. I want to personally thank J. Paul Getto for giving me some of my first impacting exposure and unwavering support of my tracks along with great advice from a lot a great people.
Lowlights? I’m glad there are so few here. I would have to say the reality of my circle having to become smaller as more success has made its way to me. Some people really let me down in there response to this new attention in my life, which has been a bit of an adjustment, but very necessary. In the end, I’m grateful for the experiences and learned very quickly it’s a part of being successful and has only enhanced my ability to focus energy in the right places.
Song of the year: This is a tough one! I have to go with “On The Ropes” by Kid Enigma (Derrick Carter Club Edit) as I’ve thoroughly rinsed this tune out at many of my gigs. This track captures the essence of Jackin’ Chicago house vibes. Every time I play this tune people go nuts!
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Like it is every year: Focus on my own shit and stay true to me. As long as I’m not hurting people along the way, I’m gonna keep doing my thing!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a very good year so far. Lots of changes for me. The most significant: moving to Berlin. I’ve also released music on some of the labels I’ve always loved, like Diynamic, Get Physical, Noir Music and Third Ear Recordings. If I look back I couldn’t imagine all this happening when looking at 2014 from 2013. So it has been an exciting year.
Highlights? All the great experiences and all the lovely music that 2014 has brought.
Lowlights? There’s not much sun in Berlin if you compare it to Elche (Spain) where I’m from!
Song of the year: One of the tracks that I’ve been playing almost every set was “Fibi Maybe” from Super Flu (Mona Berry). I really love the feeling on it.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? 2015 is looking even better than 2014. So be ready for it: more music is coming!
How was 2014 for you? Fairly excellent. I’m feeling some transitions and growths, and that’s aways good.
Highlights? In August I did a West Coast tour that was mad fun and also it was very cool rockin’ with lots of homies when Starkey and I played Emissions Festival in May.
Lowlights? Nothing overly negative to dwell on. I had a pretty solid year, and I’m looking forward to smashing into ’15.
Song of the year: Ah shit, it’s virtually impossible for me to pick just one song outta the slew of tacks that I loved this past year. Damn maybe “High Rollah” by Conrank & Gita was def a top fave.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep my browser tabs to 15 or less and work on better self-focus
How was 2014 for you? It was really good! I had a few successful releases, including my first couple of original experiments. I’m also very happy to have met a bunch of amazing people and artists throughout the year!
Highlights? Definitely Germany winning the World Cup!
Lowlights? A couple of creative slumps, which are still plaguing me from time to time. But hey, that’s just life being life.
Song of the year: Difficult Question. In terms of success, definitely “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. But if I had to pick a personal favorite it would be Louis Mattrs’ “Oops x Wus Good”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be more thankful in general, because people (myself included) tend to forget that it is such a privilege to choose the things you want to do in life. Also, I want to pick up piano and singing lessons again to make my music more compelling.
How was 2014 for you? We had a great year! We released a lot of new Dirtcaps music and had the best gigs we could wish for. Our first tours in Asia and USA were great and playing both Tomorrowland weekends was a dream that came true. We also met a lot of new and cool producers to work with, and we think 2015 is gonna be even better.
Highlights? Like we said Tomorrowland was crazy! Our summer was one crazy ride! In July and august we flew over 60 (!) times to play our music throughout Europe. Also our release with Alvaro (Dagga) was a real highlight for us!
Lowlights? People who are lying and try to manipulate us. We are very lucky to work with a great team but we had to make some decisions in that matter that weren’t easy to take.
Song of the year: John Legend’s “All of Me”; DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What”; Yellow Claw’s “Till It Hurts” and Mr Probz’s “Waves”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make even more music and play in all your cities!
How was 2014 for you? Best year of my life. (Maybe I say that every year.) I bought a house in Minneapolis and travelled to a ton of places throughout the world. If 2015 is half as cool as 2014, I’ll be stoked. Less stoked but still pretty stoked… about half as stoked if you do the math on that.
Highlights? I got to DJ in Beirut, Lebanon. Just a few blocks from where I was born. I absolutely love that crazy country. And the kids there love to dance and party to good music.
Lowlights? Broke up with a lady.
Song of the year: One song? Screw you, I’m giving you two: Jungle’s “The Heat” and FKA Twigs’ “Two Weeks”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?Gotta live more in the moment
How was 2014 for you? It’s been an insane year! We started with a massive 65-gig/three-month tour with Excision and Ill Gates in North America, followed by lots of festivals in Europe and the U.S. over the summer, then jumped on our Endless Summer Tour that took us from Europe to North America and ended in Australia and New Zealand. We’ve definitively covered some ground! We also wrote a lot of new music. We did a collab with Zeds Dead and Bright Lights called “Where Are You Now” released on Mad Decent, our new EP will be released in early 2015 on Dim Mak and there’s more music coming after that. So you could say that we’ve had a pretty busy year.
Highlights? One that stands out is when we were chosen to be the official ambassadors of the Techno Parade in Paris (a huge one-day festival in the streets celebrating electronic music), and played for 300,000 people from all horizons. It was an honor and some much fun. You can check the video on our Facebook page and see how crazy that was.
Lowlights? Ravers that keep being irresponsible with their drug consumption
Song of the year: Tchami x Janet Jackson’s “Go Deep”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Quit smoking, drink less? Well, we’re probably gonna be just as dirty as ever, maybe even more.
How was 2014 for you? Undoubtedly a springboard for the pursuit of all our future goals. The year’s work culminated into a collective growth for us thanks to our team of professionals on all levels that helped us further our buzz and continue to get the Fenix name out to the rest of the world, and ultimately, make the music our first priority. This resulted in over 100 performances throughout the year all over the world and a huge engagement from listeners on all fronts, especially in the realm of social media, where we’ve succeeded and starting conversations to discuss past milestones, upcoming events, and get in touch with our audience in an unprecedented way.
Highlights? The various offers for collaborations and joint production tracks that have come in over the months, mainly from a great number of very well-known American and European artists. The partnerships we’re forging with many of these acts are certainly mutually beneficial and provides me with an unrivaled learning experience. From understanding the different tastes of listeners all over the world, to new production techniques, and even a better grasp of the creative process. Another huge achievement for me was walking away with the Best DJ honor at the 2014 MusicBox Awards. I was given the honor of heading up the first EDM performance to ever take place inside the palace’s walls. It’s certainly a benchmark for my career, and an indication as to how far the culture of EDM has penetrated the hearts and minds of the Russian people. To be the face of that, and be recognized for my talents with such a prestigious win, is something that I’ll never stop being grateful for.
Lowlights? I can’t really answer in a way that’s purely black and white. Every day is a learning experience for me – as an artist, an entrepreneur, and a fan of EDM – and each day is another stepping stone to eventually reach all my goals as a growing artist. But, I do have to say, as a huge lover of sports, I miss having the free time to just break free and have some fun doing that. I was huge into volleyball as a kid, and it’s always been an outlet for me when I needed to get away – just get my head in a game and not think about anything for a while. But what can you do…at the end of the day music is my first love, and it’s always calling. I can’t help but answer that call. Also sleep, I miss getting good amounts of that too.
Song of the year: Kronic and Krunk’s “Hey Ho” (J-Trick Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep doing what I’m doing, but on an even higher plane. I want to make 2015 all about unleashing my full potential, just go complete beast mode as far as performing, making connections and growing as an artist. If I can’t accomplish that, then I’m faced with stagnation and possibly never reaching the next level, and that’s something I just can’t afford. It’s a fear of mine, and fear’s a good thing to have in this game. It helps drive you.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a big year for me: two albums and my signature on BBE, one of my favorite labels.
Highlights? Playing for 2,500 people for four hours in a festival in Marseille, torks des Suds. A long set, a long pleasure.
Lowlights? Playing for 1,000 people at a festival in Istanbul, Turkey and 15 minutes in rain cancelled my set.
Song of the year: The Best of Band X on BBE. Obscure jazz/funk band that the label highlights after 30 years…amazing record.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To work more and more to achieve my goal and play my music everywhere
How was 2014 for you? It was a year full of new projects, collaborations a huge amount of great parties. We have started working on new music with Djuma Soundsystem, which got instantly signed to Steve Bug’s label Audiomatique. I have also launched a new event series called Komiks. We have been really lucky to invite to Prague such names as Catz ‘n Dogz, Patrick Topping, Ripperton and Maxxi Soundsystem. And last, but not least, Beef Records resident night at the Weekend Club Berlin continues growing bigger and bigger.
Highlights? Starting the Komiks event concept that connects contemporary art, visual shows, mapping and the best electronic music around. All that in Prague, Czech Republic’s best warehouse locations.
Lowlights? I try to stay positive…always! I don’t know of any particular bad things happening last year. Everything was going well. I just wish we had more sun over in Prague. We could actually skip winter altogether.
Song of the year Jamie xx’s “All Under One Roof Raving”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To have more time for studio. I gotta get my time better organized and give some structure to my work which is not always that easy in the music world.
How was 2014 for you? It was a pretty prolific year for me, with the release of my first ever Bass culture mix compilation, an EP with Cassy and a new single on Robsoul. I’m glad all these project received a warm welcome from both the DJs and media, so it was a very positive year overall.
Highlights? A lot of amazing parties this year so it’s hard to chose one but I would say that my return to Tokyo at Womb was particularly great.
Lowlights? The loss of an amazing human being from our scene.
Song of the year: Moodymann’s “Hangover”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To write my first album
How was 2014 for you? It was a very active and positive year. My label, Sounds of Earth, published some really cool tunes over the year. I toured Russia for the first time together with my friend Tini Tun. We had the second and third editions of our Picnic Day Party in Mexico City, and it is now becoming one of the most anticipated events over here. I started a new project named UV (together with 2up), and we quickly started publishing our tracks on good labels like Plasteline, Spring Tube, We Are Here Music, etc. We have a great live show now and it’s rocking. I got my artist visa for Germany, so I’m moving to Berlin very soon.
Highlights? The Picnic Day parties; my releases on Maktub, Flash Recordings, Optimized, etc.; and signing with Transitions Booking Agency
Lowlights? The violence and corruption in the Mexican government has reached its worst level. It affects the society in so many levels. It is sad in so many ways.
Song of the year: Kasey Voorn & Deepfunk’s “Where You Are” (Nhar Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Love, peace and music all over the world. Let’s rock.
How was 2014 for you? One of the best years so far, with more than 150 shows in one year, some of them were really amazing. Plus, we had the chance to play for the first time in some beautiful countries like India, Japan and Malaysia. On the production side, we released a couple of singles that received good feedback worldwide and some bootlegs as well. We also had the chance to work with a videogame factory that created “Bootzilla,” a mobile app based on the DJs From Mars brand. It was an experiment for us but it was surprisingly successful, reaching the app charts in Italy and other countries in Europe.
Highlights? Asian tour in November was great: we were two weeks in China, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia — great shows, great crowd, great food! Also, we had the chance to play some of the biggest festivals in Spain and Japan, and to play in the same stage of some of our heroes like Azealia Banks, Knife Party, Steve Aoki, Crystal Fighters, Flux Pavilion and many more…definitely some of the best shows in our career.
Lowlights? After being in the DJ Mag top 100 last year, we missed it in 2014. We are at #106 this year, which is a bit disappointing for us since probably with a few more votes we would have been in the top 100….but no drama of course, it’s the usual ups and downs in the music business. We have been in the game a long enough time to move forward and start working on new projects for 2015.
Song of the year: We can list 10,000 songs, but if we have to choose, we loved Porter Robinson’s new album Worlds — not just one track, but the whole concept behind it is great. Also new Knife Party’s album is totally amazing, still sounding like Knife Party but with new visions of sound. There would also be a long list of beautiful single tracks been released this year, including Zedd, deadmau5, Röyksopp, Foo Fighters, Wu-Tang Clan, but we would need a full book to name them all.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Less alcohol, less cigarettes, less junk food, more gym, more sleep (always the same, every year, and of course we already know we’ll cheat in the first week of the year so let’s just say MORE MUSIC, something we’ll be accomplishing for sure!)
How was 2014 for you? Unforgettable and far beyond our expectations
Highlights? Boiler Room x Way Out West Festival or Roskilde Festival… tough choice
Lowlights? Probably the monstrous technical breakdown on stage at WBW Festival in Dortmund
Song of the year: If you ask us tomorrow we’d probably changed our minds, but tonight it is probably “Nobody Knows” by Emilie Nicolas
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Celebrate more!
How was 2014 for you? It was a very insightful and interesting year. Starting off with the Brazil tour in January I was on all continents again and had some great shows. Being on tour so much I’ve also realized a need to pace down a bit as I missed spending time in my studio just making music and to develop my sound technically as musically. So I started with a renovation of my old studio place, bought some new synths and took a weekend off here and there.
Highlights? The bigger tours. Being abroad with a tough schedule one gig after another. I kind of liked this in between world this year. Was really intense but fun.
Lowlights? There are always some shows that aren’t this great but I forget quick. Lowlights are when you are crawling out of the studio after a hard day of work and don’t really know what you’ve done all day.
Song of the year: There’s no song of the year for me. Maybe some songs defined a sound a lot of people where copying. I’ve heard loads of Patrick Topping and Ten Walls sound-a-likes but this happens every season, I guess.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I hope the circus will continue in 2015 cause I love my job. Also having some family time and doing sport was very good for me recently. I want to keep that going. Musically I def wanna put some more stuff out in 2015. So I wish we all are staying inspired and healthy in 2015.
How was 2014 for you? It was actually a very good year. I re-focused on productions and label work, gave the Warp Brothers a new breath of life, had some amazing gigs and even found time to enjoy a little bit of private life, which I was lacking in years. Having a brand-new management and PR team gathered around me gave me a lot of additional energy and boost
Highlights? My gig at the EMF festival in France
Lowlights? That we didn’t beat Brazil in the World Cup 10:1
Song of the year: Seriously I can’t answer this question. They´re just too many great tracks, and every four weeks I have a new one. There is one that just popped up and even though it´s not a pure club track I love it: Santa Maradona F.C.’s “Give Me Sunshine.”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stop taking my former resolutions too serious and stop being mad about failing all of them.
How was 2014 for you? Great! In the beginning of the year, we moved our office. The new rooms are beautiful and very comfortable, a great atmosphere for creative workers. My team has grown which gave me additional space to focus on my own music projects and productions. And I had a great club tour in 2014: Dr. Motte on Acid. I was invited to nice clubs and fantastic events.
Highlights? The invitation by the German embassy in Prague for an electronic music event marking the 25th anniversary oft the fall of the Berlin Wall. I was very honored. Another highlight are two endorsements with Ableton and Roland Music who sent me studio equipment for using this for my new album, which will be released in the second half of 2015 in the context of my 30th DJ anniversary.
Lowlights? Too many good friends and great musicians passed away. The death of Frankie Knuckles is a great loss for the electronic music but in our hearts and in his music, he’s immortal.
Song of the year: Music has unfortunately become extremely fast-paced. Hard to find a track that keeps in mind for more than just a month. So much music gets released, every day! But there are some tracks that stand out of the masses. One of those in 2014 was definitely Balthazar & JackRock vs. Hakan Ludvigson’s “Meinungen Muessen Frei Sein.”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Clean out and clean up! In January it’s time to conclude unfinished projects and get ready for my DJ world tour Friede. Freude. Eierkuchen. // 30 Years of Dr. Motte. I look forward to playing in the U.S. again! Rave on!
How was 2014 for you? Amazing
Highlights? Signing a record to my favorite label
Lowlights? Not learning to surf
Song of the year: Röyksopp’s “Sordid Affair” (Maceo Plex Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Learn to surf
How was 2014 for you? It was a great year. We did lots of shows and worked on a new, more house-based sound, which resulted among others in our upcoming release “Horizon” on Big Beat Records.
Highlights: Definitely our Asia tour last spring. The gigs went great, and we met so many great people. We also found time for some sightseeing and shopping!
Lowlights: Also on the Asia tour, in India and we came back to out
Song of the Year: Galantis’ “Runaway.” This song (and the rest of their material) is sounding so fresh and it’s so well produced. We love it.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To do more gigs, and that’s gonna happen for sure as we already got lots of great new bookings for 2015.
How was 2014 for you? It was a very strong year for me, especially in terms of Cadenza Records and also Aether Artists. I have managed to achieve many of my goals, and I am extremely happy that I now have a warm and supportive group of people surrounding me which creates a perfect atmosphere for the development of ideas and has led to the launch of many great releases.
Highlights? Undoubtedly was my debut in Australia. I was so honored by how the crowd received me there. Thanks!
Lowlights? I suppose always being on the road is difficult, and on many occasions I miss home and sharing time with my family, as well as working in the studio. Ultimately 2014 was an amazing year though.
Song of the year: Aphex Twin’s Syro was the record of the year for me. It inspired me massively, and also made me recall my childhood, as well as transport me back to the early ‘90s. An essential record.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? As great as this year was I would like to discover myself more. I mean this both in terms of composing as well as playing music. I want to see what I am capable of, as well as make as many improvements as possible.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a very important year for my growth as an artist. I spent the year making loads of music, practicing and focusing on just making tunes.
Highlights? Setting up Emika Records
Lowlights? Not sure. Every difficult thing becomes inspiring if you look at it differently. Weirdly, I’m quite up for some struggling every now and again!
Song of the year: The Exaltics’ “Infinite Dimensions”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Cut down my online tech shopping addiction. I spend way to long looking at Thomann.de but it’s just so great!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a year of growth for us, a year of reorganizing, re-prioritizing and focusing like a laser on what it is that we wish to achieve within the next year and Life in general. Been a big year of change.
Highlights? Getting to remix a tune by one of our long time musical mentors, Ramin Sakurai, who was one of the founding members of Supreme Beings of Leisure. We were honored to do a remix of his forthcoming tune “Beautiful People” which will be dropping early 2015.
Lowlights? Although we don’t usually point out lowlights, we will point out something that was a striking observation, which is that the art of DJing as taught by the disco DJs, the art of key matching, telling a story with your music, getting lost in the mix and beat matching have been lost in the new generation of DJ’s. We attended a massive in California and saw that not a single DJ used their headphones to mix, none of the songs were phrased, a none of the songs were allowed to play for more than a minute at the most before the next buildup was being digitally beat matched in. This had a jarring affect.
Song of the Year: This is a tough one. How do you pick a single tune out of so many genres in your crate? In these sorts of instances we go with the feeling, so we’ll pick two tunes one that is a feel good gem and one that it is literally impossible not to dance to. The song that feels the most inviting, the most uplifting, and oh-so-warm and fuzzy is the Eugene Filatov Remix of Mario Basanov’s tune “Like a Child” featuring Athena Radford on vocals, a beautiful song, fantastic lyrics and a heartfelt delivery. On the other end of the spectrum, the tune that is the hands down winner for most motivating on the dance floor is “Okay” by Shiba San. This tune is like a depth charge of dope beats, wrapped in a layer of funky goodness and anchored to the deep with a sickity-sick-sick bassline. We’re literally dancing to it now as we write this…Kadango this is hot!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be a greater force in the world for positive change through inspiring music, to Fr33 more people on the dance floor and to reach out to more people in our local community. There is hope for humanity, yet it only exists if each of us does our humble part in reaching out in positivity to others.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was an incredible year. I had many cool things going on when I was traveling to my gigs. So I surely like looking back onto those past 12 months.
Highlights? Picking out one would not be fair to the others. As an artist I would say that my compilation Läuft.Weiter was a huge highlight, because I was able to place eight exclusive tracks of my own on this compilation. The many gigs at the clubs and festivals on my tour were amazing. I hardly speak about my private life, but definitely the birth of my daughter and my wedding count to my highlights 2014, no doubt.
Lowlights? I can’t really name any lowlights from this year. Sure, there are always things that get you down or bother you, but I am a positive thinking guy, and don’t want to change that on me.
Song of the year: There were many wonderful tracks this year. Picking out one is hard for me. Many talented artists grew within the techno genre. Definitely I have to name Alan Fitzpatrick. Drumcode released tons of awesome stuff.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I want to concentrate more on a couple of things like the production of new tracks, collaborations with other artists and on top of the list there will be hopefully a new Felix Kröcher album.
How was 2014 for you? A lot of hard work! A lot of it was preparation for 2015. We are in the final stages of finishing our first artist album that will be out early 2015.
Highlights? Our gig at Ageha in Tokyo. Working on some non-techno music for our album was both refreshing and inspirational.
Lowlights? Nothing in particular. We’re blessed that we can do what we do. Nothing serious enough to complain about.
Song of the year: Dosem’s “Ellipsis” and Alan Fitzpatrick’s “Organic”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Launch our label Loopglow the first week of January and release of our album on MB Elektronics in February. More Filterheadz music in 2015!
How was 2014 for you? Very hard but with great reward, thank you.
Highlights? Joining the Volume Group Management and Paramount artist rooster.
Lowlights? Many, but you can’t speak negative in this industry can you?
Song of the year: Mark Henning’s “Exit Avenue”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep making music from the heart!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a great year. I kicked the year off with two number one selling tracks: My first was “Say What” with Ninjury, which topped the Juno UK chart. My second was “Like That,” a collaboration with house-music titans Crazibiza and fellow Torontonian Jerome Robins, which hit number one on Traxsource. I also scored a top seller with Simon Doty. That cut, “All Out,” was signed by Toolroom UK and championed by Mark Knight.
Highlights? 2014 was the year I focused on my health by adopting a gym routine, soccer playing and healthier eating. A professional highlight for me was remixing house music legend Johnny Fiasco and his seminal classic “Work It.” I also licensed songs from one of my artists, Carlo Lio, to a major MTV film called Step It Up.
Lowlights? It can be frustrating when you’ve had huge songs like “Hi Friend” with deadmau5 or some of my other top sellers in the electro-house world. The reason being, that people attach that sound to you and pigeonhole you to that style. As a songwriter, I am very proud of those tunes but I have evolved as an artist and am much more dynamic than that one dimension of my art. I wish more people knew that.
Song of the year: “Eye I Eye” by Claude Vonstroke
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To let more of my actions do the talking
How was 2014 for you? Pretty crazy. Touring lots but also working on a full album, so very different head spaces to jump between so often. It’s been fun though!
Highlights? Headlining Red Rocks in Colorado, touring South America and remixing Star Wars
Lowlights? The usual: missing flights, missing sleep, missing family
Song of the year: Fox Stevenson’s “Tico”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Dress more outrageously
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a great year for us. We finally got to release our compilation album Next Jack Swing Pt. 1 and also found the time to compose, mix and master a whole bunch of new tunes that will be hitting your eardrums in 2015! On top of that, we went on two national tours that were more fun than our wildest dreams (here’s lookin’ at you Hey Champ + Zak Waters). We even found a new and fantastic management team to help us out. A lot of awesome stuff happened this year.
Highlights? This year, more than any other, we got out of our little guy shorts and put on the big boy pants. We’ve been much more focused, thinking about the long term, and also helping reach our personal and creative goals. In the live arena, we had a lot of great performances, but the highlight for me has to be playing to a nearly sold-out show at the Empty Bottle in Chicago. I (Robert) went to Northwestern, and being able to play to a packed house at the venue I idolized while a student was a special feeling.
Lowlights? This year we took some chances that we hadn’t taken in the past. For example, for the first time since 2009, we actually went on a grounded tour, in a van. When doing this type of touring, there is one big difference from doing “fly-in” dates: you have to play smaller towns along the way. I love playing small towns. We want to go all-American, driving in the Chevy van, rolling up to town in full rock ‘n’ roll regalia. The lowlight would have to be our last show in Milwaukee—the sound guy clearly had a problem. The venue’s sound system was not up to par, and to top it off, our parents came to check out the show. It was embarrassing to do a sub-par show like that in our hometown.
Song of the year: Slaptop’s “Sunrise.” It was the first single we put out on our new imprint, Ensemble Records in collaboration with +1 Records.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’m joining the Y. I saw a photo of myself lookin’ fly at Band Camp from 2002 and realized I slowly gained a belly. Time to get back into primo Band Camp form.
How was 2014 for you? The best year of my entire life
Highlights? Played in lots of festivals worldwide and got known by all the big producers
Lowlights? Too many travels
Song of the year: Dimitri Vegas, Martin Garrix, Like Mike’s “Tremor”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Will be in Brazil performing at Guarujá, ready to start the year with positive feelings and will be performing beginning of January with Hardwell in Brazil as well.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been busy… definitely more of a studio year for us really as we focus on our productions and remixes. We released three EP’s on Off Recordings, three releases on our own label and also tracks and remixes on KMS, Sex Panda, Toolroom, Bluefin and Rebirth!
Highlights? DJing in Ibiza and signing a new deal with Defected
Lowlights? When our coffee machine broke
Song of the year: Ten Walls’ “Walking with Elephants”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Watch less TV…. in standard definition
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been an incredible year for us — we had 12 top 100 Beatport hits, worked with some amazing people and really developed our Fully Charged brand and sound.
Highlights? Our Beatport top 10 hit with Richard Grey “Hey” which was supported by Pete Tong and so many other A-listers — an incredible feeling!
Lowlights? Missing our flight home from ADE from partying too hard! Sitting around the airport hungover waiting for the next available flight isn’t something we would recommend to anyone.
Song of the year: Coldplay’s “Sky Full Of Stars” (Hardwell Remix). At our shows we get everyone to get their torches on their phones out, put the lighters up or another glowing thing to light up the arena like stars in the sky. The atmosphere is just amazing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To work even harder in the studio and party with more of our fans worldwide
How was 2014 for you? A good year since Praxxiz released the Fever EP and Fever EP Remixed, with brilliant remixes by Pascal Feos, Ken Ishii, Eric Sneo and DJ Sur!
Highlights? In February Live On The Roadblog — my project as Saafi Brothers — was released and made it into the iTunes charts in various countries and other platforms. I performed on some real good events like Dr. Motte’s Birthday Celebration at Suicide Circus in Berlin or Hadra Festival in France and shows in my hometown Frankfurt at Tanzhaus West f.e., so musically it has been a great year so far.
Lowlights? Forgot about them, and I apologize for that
Song of the year: Phuture Traxx’s “Uluwatu” (Superstrobe Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stay happy, keep on rockin’ in my studio and on stage and spread love!
How was 2014 for you? It was EPIC.
Highlights? Coachella and Day of the Dead (HARD)
Lowlights? The Seafox Girl getting kidnapped from the Mayan Theatre. But she came back without a ransom request!
Song of the year: Duke Dumont’s “I Got U”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To perform our record in full.
How was 2014 for you? Stellar. We put out a new Hardkiss album and DJ’ed in a dozen cities. Who can ask for more?
Highlights? Practicing meditation, learning how to DJ on CDJs and putting both to work at my five-hour weekly DJ residency at Hawthorn in San Francisco.
Lowlights? Sick friends
Song of the year: Hansmann Klausing’s “Who Are You?”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’m gonna get a haircut every six weeks and get my teeth cleaned twice
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a crazy year! I spent a lot of time working on new music and traveling. I also moved into a new place in Santa Monica and being near the ocean has really helped inspire my writing.
Highlights? My favorite part is always putting out new music, my release “DNA” took a long time to finish but was totally worth it. I also gave away some exclusive remixes to my fans that have been so supportive. Monthly, I put out a podcast which I love doing. I put a lot of time and research into the tracks I choose, and it allows my listeners to be knowledgeable and up-to-date with all the coolest new music… and it will be like a little time capsule that we can listen to again in 10, 20 years.
Lowlights? At one point this year I had to take a step back and recall the essence of why I got into this business. I think it’s easy to get caught up in the ugly commercial side of things and that can bring you down if you’re not careful. I love making people dance, and you’ve got to make sure all the BS doesn’t get in the way.
Song of the year: Double Cream feat. Amie’s “Stardust.” I just had to put this out on my label because I love it so much. The Double Cream guys are fairly new at the moment, but they have some big releases coming up next year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I want to extend my fans’ involvement even further next year. I’m planning to host some remix competitions and also allow people to submit original vocals for me to feature on new tracks.
How was 2014 for you? We were lost but we have been found when our album came out.
Highlights? Releasing of our artist album Time on Lost & Found
Lowlights? We made a remix for a major label but before the release date it was cancelled
Song of the year: Guy J’s “Dizzy Moments”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To tour with our album and have some releases planned together and separate, so our resolution is to keep on going! We are really looking forward for 2015.
How was 2014 for you? It was an amazing year full of change and new beginnings.
Highlights? Completing and releasing my most ambitious musical project yet: Message From 04244, a diverse, 100 percent self-produced, mixed, mastered, vocalized, filmed, designed and edited piece of audio-visual storyboard art that I am very proud of.
Lowlights? No real lowlights that I can think of. I’m perpetually optimistic and forward-thinking.
Song of the year: “Okay” by Shiba San was the tune of ’14
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be in the best shape of my life in ’15 and to continue on my magical path of creating art.
How was 2014 for you? It was an amazing year. A lot of great releases and, of course, Ibiza, Sankeys and more. Just sweet. Everything was total success and progress from all points of view. I am curious what 2015 will bring.
Highlights? The whole Ibiza season. Some amazing parties in Romania, Bacau (my hometown) with Natural Rhythm crew, Timisoara with the Sound of the Future and many more.
Lowlights? I think there were none. Every goal I set for 2014 I fulfilled and I got even more stuff gained. From this point of view, no lowlights.
Song of the year: Kydus & DJ Dep’s “Cala El Verano”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Well, I think I’ll stick to the traditional way and spend it with my parents and family. I love to share experience gained all year in one night with my folks.
How was 2014 for you? It was a really great year for us. We did our first and second North American tour and saw more and more people at the gigs. Passing by Mexico, Central and South America. An important key is our Just This party, and we have been throwing showcases in Copenaghen at the Culture Box with artists such Âme, DJ Tennis, etc. and during ADE at Vondel CS Amsterdam in Vondelpark with Ripperton. We are keeping our JT party and fan base in Milan.
Highlights? Unforgettable moments like Last Night On Earth’s boat party with Sasha and DJ Three during the WMC, and our first time in Warung Beach Club in Brazil. Hitting some smaller magical spots such Wilde Renate in Berlin or The Panther Room at Output in Brooklyn was very special.
Lowlights? We always try to see in a positive way. A few events haven’t been so special or packed, but we always try to understand that is a difficult business and always do our job professionally with every kind of crowd.
Song of the year: There are some artists this year who have released some really interesting music that really contributed to the scene such as Recondite, Christian Loffler, plus some other interesting acts such Benjamin Damage or Doc Daneka.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To still make great music!
How was 2014 for you? It’s been another year full of learning for me. I’m getting my head around how the industry works, how the paperwork has to be done, what to do and not to do, how to keep goodwill and a positive image rolling along. All the boring stuff that has nothing whatsoever to do with music but ultimately decides whether you end up doing it for fun or for a living. While doing that I’ve managed to release some work that I’m really proud of and keep my head in the songwriting game.
Highlights? Finally getting to release Low Fi Classics with my collaborator Mr. Bird on BBE Records. Getting the record spun by some true luminaries of the soul scene was a nice endorsement: Craig Charles spun it on his Funk & Soul Show on BBC 6 Music, living legend of UK Soul Omar spun it on sohoradio.com, Jazzie B spun it on his Back To Life show and the producer Mr. Bird even got an e-mail from Afrika Bambaataa asked for a copy. When you set out to make something soulful and true to an old-school sound and feel? Having some of the finest purveyors of the original sound recognize its worth is perhaps the best and most genuine compliment we could have received, especially for a pair of British white boys like us.
Also, finally getting a music video out there that I’m comfortable with and that I had creative control over was a great experience. I’ve been in a couple of botched music videos before and hated the outcome so it was encouraging to find that I could be put in the driver’s seat and come up with something that worked.
Lowlights? Bobby Womack’s passing was my own personal musical low point of 2014. While I don’t wish to over idolize the past, I do still feel every time one of these great soul voices passes that we’re losing something we’re never going to be able to replace. I don’t see raw, gruff, sensual, masculine voices being let into the mainstream these days. I don’t see tales that reflect the reality we live in tolerated in the mainstream charts. We’re losing storytellers, people of substance and miracle workers and replacing them with auto tuned checkout girls with great abs and the result is the musical equivalent of a bucket full of sick covered in glitter.
Song of the year: The title track of Omar’s latest album, The Man, is an exercise in pure, restrained class by a cat who’s so on top of his game he makes it look effortless. The arrangements with which he seasons the slinky bass clarinet groove, the lyrics that praise life, love, loyalty and family and a simple but effective music video. All these elements and more combine to prove one thing: if the last tune you bothered to listen to from Omar was “There’s Nothing Like This?” you are officially missing out.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get management, get a publicist, get the band on the road. Sounds simple but in reality it’s a task akin to finding a needle in a snake full of angry cobras on crack, all of whom insist on calling you “bro” as they deliver their venom. I’m working on it though.
How was 2014 for you? It was a year full of new challenges
Highlights? A new eight-studio hub I’ve created in Paris. My first major release, which was also my first original vocal song, “Time To Be Alone.” And the big launch of my label, Guru.
Lowlights? Almost had a burnout because I never take rest
Song of the year: Joris Voorn’s “Ringo”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Take more time for myself. Keep making music with no boundaries.
How was 2014 for you? Really good. Full of great shows, productions and of course my Balance album
Highlights? The Miami boat party with Nick Warren, Burning Man, the Australian tour and ADE
Lowlights? Missed Creamfields UK for the first time in 13 years
Song of the year: Too many great ones to choose one
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To do it all over again in 2015
How was 2014 for you? We feel great about getting a new album out into the world, shooting a satirical pharmaceutical ad and having MNDR remix our single. It’s been a good year for Home Video!
Highlights? Born of lowlights, a highlight this year is that we’ve participated in some powerful protests, fighting issues from climate change to the racist cops. It feels like a powerful time for the people. Also, Collin hasn’t had coffee in a month.
Lowlights? See highlights
Song of the year: Caribou’s “Back Home”
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Master psycho-physical manipulation
How was 2014 for you? It’s been amazing. Travelling all around the world and enjoying every second of our lives. Also made sure that we had time to write on our upcoming album. Stay creative and met so many important and life changing people.
Highlights? There are so many. We had a blast on the Miley Cyrus tour and our first South American tour.
Lowlights? Always the stress and way too little sleep. And also love drama. But always good things come out of that.
Song of the year: Lowell’s “Cloud 69”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? We don’t really make one. They are made for breaking so we try to not promise something too important.
How was 2014 for you?
Doran Oppenheimer of InFiction: It was a great year filled with many releases, including our studio album, Callisto . We also continued to get great support for our remix of David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” Our newest single is titled “Come Back” and is debuting in January 2015.
Brett Miller of InFiction: This has been a turning point in my career, a blessing, a musical gift. A growth year musically that has propelled us as a group.
Oppenheimer: The biggest highlight was the release of our album and the partnership with our newest member, Brett [Miller].
Miller: Being signed to InFiction has definitely been a highlight. As producers, InFiction’s music has always been one of my favorites to spin in any DJ set. It’s a dream come true.
Oppenheimer: No lows, always highs!
Miller: Can’t think of one!
Song of the year?
Oppenheimer: Mr. Probz’s “Waves” (Robin Schulz Remix)
Miller: Kaskade and Moguai feat. Zip Zip Through the Night’s “Something Something Champs”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Oppenheimer: To focus on pushing our productions further and to get some more gigs!
Miller: To continue being true to our sound
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been a musically developing year form me. I finished building up my new studio together with Jens Bond here in Berlin, and since the summer I have been working very intensively in the studio and developed my sound a lot.
Highlights? The release Jens Bond and I issued on Heinz Music called “Sideways,” which was in the ten most selling tracks on Beatport’s minimal chart for over four weeks. The track was on position 2 for over a week.
Lowlights? I have a tendency to forget the lowlights so can’t really remember any
Song of the year: It’s a hard question, but if I should pick one it would definitely be: NTFO’s “Unudoitrei” (Rhadow Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stay focused, continue riding the creative wave, go home earlier.
How was 2014 for you? It was a get serious and stay focused time for me. My Berlin party phase was over and I had to really step up to the plate and make sacrifices. My music studio was fully functional and I had just set up a mixing console and cabled together most of my gear. This set-up was super motivating, and I really had to get over FOMO and lock myself away. It was sink or swim time for me and I had to push through it. Really utilize the gear I already had and dive deeper into my production.
Highlights? Releasing Spektrum, a five-track EP on Tim Xavier’s latest imprint Face to Face, and finishing the Archiv Vol. 1 the sample library pack for Face to Face which includes production from Lando, Deepchild, Tim and myself. For this we recorded our samples onto a dubplate then recorded it back digitally to add some warmth to the files.
Lowlights? Freezing my ass off for the start of the Berlin winter
Song of the year: UVB’s “Mixtion”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To work on a new live set incorporating more analogue elements and the bass guitar.
How was 2014 for you? A more difficult year than most, but things seem to be moving along nicely now. Strange times in general, for music and everything really.
Highlights? I saw Stevie Wonder perform the entire Songs in the Key of Life album. Puts everything else in perspective pretty quick.
Lowlights? American popular culture is sad. It may as well be run by Disney. Oh wait, it is.
Song of the year? I liked Beck’s Morning Phase record. He does his own thing. I can relate.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Drink more fresh squeezed juices. Grow in spirit, cut back on the pudding.
How was 2014 for you? It was a good year creatively and studio wise.
Highlights? Upgrading my studio to Pro Tools 11 and breathing new life into my workflow and creative process.
Lowlights? Several weeks and even months of software instability slowing my studio productivity to a crawl.
Song of the Year: Lovebirds’ “Path”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make records that move the crowd and inspire me as much as “Path” by Lovebirds.
How was 2014 for you? Like most years, 2014 was filled with ups and downs. That said, there’s a lot I have to be thankful for. I put out three great records on vinyl (“Closer” on Prosthetic Pressings, “Beat to Quarters” on Electric Deluxe and “Panic” on Soma), did some really cool podcasts (CLR, Pole Group) and played a lot of exciting shows. My Oktave residency at Smartbar is in full swing, and I have a lot to look forward to for next year.
Highlights? The Electric Deluxe showcase at Movement was a highlight, as were releasing the above mentioned records and podcasts. I love my Smartbar family and getting to work with that group is always a highlight. I got to play for Blank Code at the Works in Detroit twice, also a big highlight for me. I love playing in places like Detroit and Minneapolis, the Midwest techno circuit.
Lowlights? Nothing musical here, but the state of affairs in America right now is pretty dismal. It’s sad to turn on the news and see what’s going on across the U.S., politically and socially. We need big change here, and I’m very skeptical that we’re going to get it.
Song of the Year: This is extremely hard to answer. So many great tracks this and every year to choose from. If I were forced to give just one track in 2014, I would probably say “Slit” by James Ruskin on Blueprint. I played that track in almost every set since it came out.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I went back to the gym a few months ago and I intend on keeping at it, staying fit and taking good care of myself. The obvious answer is also to grow my music career from where it is now, of course. Every year I want to see progress from the year before — I think that’s healthy.
How was 2014 for you? This year has been absolutely incredible. Since I moved to Berlin, started my new project Jepe — which is a bit more underground than the Johnwaynes project I had — and some new doors opened. With releases on Get Physical, Brique Rouge and Something Different, I am very happy so far. I’ve started my own label, Blossom Kollektiv, and look happily forward to 2015.
Highlights? We managed to release four 12″ on Blossom Kollektiv and sign some good artists for 2015. I’ve got some releases in the pipeline and can’t wait to see them in stores soon.
Lowlights? Some last-minute gig cancellations, a lot of paper work and almost the whole summer without the sea.
Song of the year: “Never Grow Old” by Floorplan (a.k.a. Robert Hood). Probably the one track I played the most this year, followed by Talaboman’s “Sidera” and Orlando Voorn’s “Give Me What You Need,” which is a real deep house tribute I always play.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep building Blossom Kollektiv in a way that it can be a solid house label. Release a few vinyls on other labels and start to ski or snowboard. Ahhh, and maybe I try a vegetarian week. But I cannot consider that a resolution yet.
How was 2014 for you? It has been a roller coaster of a year. Such an amazing start to my career.
Highlights? Doing a headline tour was one of my biggest highlights.
Lowlights? I haven’t got a lowlight worth mentioning.
Song of the year: “Say You Love Me” by Jessie Ware has been my favorite song this year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To release my debut album
How was 2014 for you? Probably the best year of my life so far, certainly of my career. I’ve travelled a lot, worked with loads of new artists on the label and learned loads.
Highlights? My trip to Vegas and LA this summer. I’ve spent a lot of time in LA this year and I’m planning to move out there permanently next year. I love it, The scene, weather and people I met out there are all amazing. Feels like one of the dopest places to be for music right now.
Lowlights? Probably losing my passport in Berlin on my way to a show. I was with Massappeals, and we stopped to get some pizza on the way to the club. After that we got into a cab and my passport was gone. I had to play a show not knowing how I was getting home the next day and thinking I had to cancel a trip to the U.S. later that week. It’s probably the least fun I’ve ever had while DJing. I drowned my sorrows with a lot of vodka that night and was woken up with the worst hangover but the news that someone handed it in to the police and I got it back! If I ever find that person I owe them heavy!
Song of the year: Bobby Schmurda’s “Hot Nigga.” I didn’t get it on the first few listens but now the lyrics run around my head about once an hour. “ABOUT A WEEK AGOOOOOO”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To meditate every day, I started around a month ago and it’s the best thing. Everyone needs to try it. No hippy shit, it’s amazing.
How was 2014 for you? Some really good collabs with DJs: Rob Roar, Will Gold, Scott Mac, The Beat Thiefs. Working on an album with my management, Peace Bisquit, which is sounding great!
Highlights? Our remake of Olive’s “You’re Not Alone” reaching number 2 on the Beatport house chart and number 5 in the main Beatport chart. Getting my third Beyoncé remix (“Pretty Hurts”) promoed and released. Getting “Sonic Wave” on a PlayStation game with Rob Roar from Phonetic.
Song of the year: “Hideaway” by Kiesza
Lowlights? Going bald
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make as much quality music as possible, and learn how to dance!
How was 2014 for you? DJing, studio, Z Records… more of the same essentially but it’s been a really good year.
Highlights? Glitterbox in Ibiza and various other great parties I played at, years of searching for multi-tracks for Remixed With Love Vol. 2 eventually paying off and finally releasing Sean Mccabe’s album… that one especially has been way overdue.
Lowlights? Having lived next door to building site for three years I recently moved to a new place which I thought was going to be a sanctuary… only for the flat downstairs to be sold to developer and becoming very noisy.
Song of the year: Kenny Dope & Raheem DeVaughn feat. Rhymefest & The Fantastic Souls’ “Final Call”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stop wearing underwear over the top of my clothes.
How was 2014 for you? Well, thanks. I am working on mad projects inspired by the destruction of a culture I hold in such high regard.
Highlights? My friends and partners showing me that love and respect for art still exists and Nikes.
Lowlights? EDM festivals and all of the “artists” that are okay with being pussies with good navigation skills on the path to hyper capitalism.
Song of the year: I’m in Love with “Co Co”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep breathing
How was 2014 for you? It was a positive year for me, some great projects and opportunities came out of it for sure!
Highlights? Being part of a Billboard #1 with my remix of “Hustlin’” by Vassy, Crazibza and Dave Audé and “Angel” by Yoko Ono. Remixing artists Azealia Banks, Beyoncé, Cher, Michelle Williams and Britney Spears to name a few. Working on my EP, which should be out in the first half of 2015.
Lowlights? Not many lowlights, thankfully
Song of the year: I have two: Secondcity’s “I Wanna Feel” and Daniel Steinberg’s “Let Me Down” (Tube & Berger Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More original material
How was 2014 for you? Exhausting, demanding, creative and getting used to living at 35,000 feet.
Highlights? Making my project The Brighton Music Conference happen
Lowlights? The year flying by so quickly
Song of the year: Impossible to single just one out
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep supporting underground trance
How was 2014 for you? Good, thanks. Travelled all over the world, played music and released music.
Highlights? Awakenings, Crobar in Buenos Aries, Space in Ibiza and our Intec parties at Fabric in London
Lowlights? Getting really rundown and having to cancel a tour in the U.S.
Song of the year: Harvey McKay’s “Something Good”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Remember that I can’t do everything!
How was 2014 for you? Exciting, exhausting, ecstatic, erratic…. ermmm, I think I said this last year but I mean it again: I’ve never worked so hard in my life. Ever. But I like it like that.
Highlights? My best day out (most memorable anyway) was a bloquinho street party (block party) in Rio de Janeiro in February when a bunch of us spent a Saturday afternoon rolling round Rio drinking far too much with people constantly shouting “hey Supla!” at me and me constantly replying “papito.” Rather bizarrely I happen to look remarkably like an ‘80s punk rock Brazilian star called Supla (who’s still semi-famous and seems to compel people to scream at him everywhere he goes)…. Next Carnival I’m hoping to properly meet him (of course to shout “hey Supla!” but will he shout back?). Another highlight was DJing at Milkshake Festival in Amsterdam, a huge queer festival that was well organized, super-friendly and fun. The rest of the best was all about Berlin, specifically about Sisyphos, my home club and favorite club in the world.
Lowlights? Sisyphos closing for a few months in September as they finally tackled all the red tape/paperwork needed by Berlin city authorities. Waiting for it to re-open has been torture — nowhere compares.
Song of the year: “Requiem for the Crazyness” by Coyu and Ramiro Lopez. Played this in every set and every time the crowd went appropriately crazy. Perfect for looping, chopping up, slicing and dicing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? World domination and more holidays
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been a very exciting year for me. I’m having fun again, going back to that place which inspired my music career — underground house music! I recently signed with new management, so I’ve got some great people behind me. I’ve recently launched my new label this year, Playmade, which represents my deep house and underground roots. It was a busy year!
Highlights? Launching Playmade was a highlight for me as well getting immense support from the dance community and charts on some releases. My remix of “Change” by Ben Moon reached #11 on Beatport’s deep house chart and #8 on the Music Week club chart. I also had a #1 on Billboard this year with my remix of “Parachute” by Olivia Somerlyn.
Lowlights? I didn’t tour as much this year as I usually do. It’s all been about producing and locking myself in my studio. I should be back out there a lot more in 2015, so stay tuned for upcoming tour 2015 tour dates.
Song of the year: Green Velvet’s “Bigger Than Prince” (Hot Since 82 Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Find a balance between work and play. I’m looking forward to putting out all the underground and deep house tracks I’ve been working on!
How was 2014 for you? So many highlights this year but standouts have been Sankeys Ibiza and my gigs in Rotterdam and Amsterdam. I’ve really fallen in love with Holland.
Lowlights: The traveling — the only boring part of my job so I can’t complain!
Song of the year: A track that I’ve played all through summer is Hector Couto’s “Dreamer”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To learn some basic Dutch to get myself around when I’m over there
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a great year! I had a bunch of good releases with awesome collaborators and amazing gigs in different countries.
Highlights? My single “Back in the Days” feat. Bam (Jungle Brothers) came out in March on Exploited. After a couple of months waiting for Kraftwerk’s agreement, they allowed us to make it happen. Now I am very happy to have two legendary names on my release. Plus, in summer 2014 I started my own radio show called Secret Garden on Austria’s premiere radio FM4. I had a strong collabo with Kiki (BPitch control ) named “Warriors” (it’s an EP). I also toured through Brazil, South and North America which was such a blast — so many good parties, venues and promoters.
Lowlights? Due to crisis in East Europe and North Africa a few of my gigs got cancelled. It’s not about the shows but the situations in those countries are alarming and lead to a lot of violence and war. Personally I really hope for more peace and tolerance in 2015!
Song of the year: Ten Walls’ “Walking with Elephants”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Less sleepless nights. I’ll try to catch more sleep and do more sport.
How was 2014 for you? Pretty good! I was really busy with touring and studio work! And I made a lot of new tracks. I did some amazing tours and all the shows I did were amazing!
Highlights? Definitely Tomorrowland, Canada and Mexico! Had an amazing time at the Doorn Records bus tour. And Mexico was also really great!
Lowlights? Not really lowlights. Maybe the busy schedule but that’s part of the job.
Song of the year: Hard to say because there’s new music every week. I love the impact “Tremor” had on the industry and Martin [Garrix’s]’s life though! Amazing to see what a track can do.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More, more, more, more, music! I’m making music everyday, and I like to keep doing that!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was quite nice. We spent a lot of time in the studio, had some nice releases on labels like Suara, Snatch! and Get Physical and just launched our second label, KD Raw. This year was all about shaping the KD sound and concentrating on the things we love the most: the people on the dance floor.
Highlights? Patrick and I finally had the chance to play together in Lima, Peru — usually we play separate. It was a great party and we loved every second. After the great show we had the chance to watch the final of the world championship … that was a massive weekend!
Lowlights? Had to cancel our second U.S. tour due to some annoying circumstances
Song of the year: Josh Wink’s “Talking To You” and Radio Slave’s “Don’t Stop”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More party, less drama!
How was 2014 for you? Definitely a big year. I released my fourth solo album, After Forever, did a bunch of remixes for some great artists and played in venues that I love.
Highlights? Besides finding out that I will become a father, I think it was how my album was received and having the single “Apart” out in December with two brilliant Michael Mayer and Ewan Pearson remixes. These guys are of among my all-time producer heroes so it was a big personal experience to hear their versions of my production.
Lowlights? The current state of the world with wars, ebola and general torture of our planet.
Song of the year: C.A.R.’s “Idle Eyes” (Roman Flügel Remix) or Weval’s “Gimme Some….” I can’t make up my mind which one I like the most. Both are amazing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Everything to the bone. Discard the unnecessary.
How was 2014 for you? A whirlwind! Honestly, I can’t believe how much has been packed into this year. It’s been a great one overall. I’ve met lovely new people, and seen my musical direction take some surprising turns. It’s been a proper journey.
Highlights?Graduating with a masters from Royal College of Music, launching a new project called London Electronic Orchestra and getting an artist visa to stay in London.
Lowlights? Losing a close friend this fall.
Song of the year: This is a tough question. All things considered, it’s London Grammar’s “Hey Now” (Sasha remix). Living in London I fell in love with the original on BBC Radio 1. The remix is just perfect, and brought together an amazing indie-rock band with a legendary producer. So yeah, I’ll choose that one for today’s mood.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Revamp my studio and live set-up! After two years studying mainly orchestral music, I’m so excited to be back in the studio and working with analog electronic gear again. Sort of viewing things from a fresh outside perspective, so it’s an ideal time to mix things up a bit.
How was 2014 for you? Great! A resurgence of passions. I fell back in love with my original sound, melodic and emotional big room dance music! That led to a surge of inspiration in the studio that I haven’t felt since I started producing a decade ago.
Highlights? Gigs: San Sabastian Festival in Puerto Rico and Muse in Shanghai, China. Studio: My Perfecto release “Heart on Fire” and the 2014 update on my former #1 trance hit “Ghost in the Machine”
Lowlights? The amount of generic progressive-house that floods my promo box every day.
Song of the year: Landence’s “Rapid Fire” on IAMPHOENIX Records
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work even harder and have even more fun!
How was 2014 for you? It’s been a really good year. I was fortunate enough to marry the love of my life. She moved over to Berlin, prompting the completion of the San Francisco-based portion of our lives for the moment.
Highlights? I was fortunate enough to complete some really great music projects with Pan-Pot, Tiefschwarz, Flashmob, Sacha Robotti and Florian Kruse. I also had a few solo productions that peeps seemed to be feelin’ so at the moment, the train is steadfastly chugging down the tracks.
Lowlights? SF is dope. It was a hard place to vacate to be sure.
Song of the year: Federico Locchi’s “Odyssey”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Be a better me, and hopefully, in the process, to help make the world a better place as a result.
How was 2014 for you? It was an amazing year for me. I have a lot to be grateful for, and this year has helped me add fuel to the fire burning strong inside me. Staying positive through the waves of negativity is crucial.
Highlights? My wife Sarah and I have welcomed our first child, Eva, into the world. I have never felt so empowered. It’s amazing to see how much change can happen on a day-to-day basis. Releasing on DJ Sneak’s I’m A House Gangster imprint was such an amazing experience. He has such a great team he works with, and I feel blessed to be part of it now. My release on Plant 74, “The Unwavering Optimist,” has also done well. I have had two other releases this year, both on Bluetown Records. “Passion” and “Human Communication” which has a collaboration with Riki Innocente.
Lowlights? I no longer eat pizza weekly. Diets suck, and I want my deep dish back. I miss gyros, too.
Song of the year: Definitely “MJ” by Kenny Dope and Raheem DeVaughn. Monster!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To not have one. My goals have not changed because I chase what is in my heart and stay positive.
How was 2014 for you? Fantastic. I’ve been touring like crazy, met a lot of great people and had a good time. Just not so much time to be in the studio, unfortunately.
Highlights? My South America gigs this year. Every tour there is crazy and so much fun, especially in Brazil. I’m always really exited to go there.
Lowlights? Not really. Of course it happens sometimes that gigs/traveling does not go so well, but in general I always try to see things positive and do not complain much. I am really thankful to be able to do this job.
Song of the year: Jean Bacarreza’s “420”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Diet first, as every year. And then focus more on our label, LouLou Records. We have some great stuff planned for the new year!
How was 2014 for you? Well, it was exactly like bloody 2013 wasn’t it? Only a lot better and a little bit worse.
Highlights? So many good friends, new and old! The summer, especially visiting the magical island of Gotland for the first time.
Lowlights? Aaaaah low enough not to talk about on the Internet
Song of the year: Lorenzo Senni’s “Superimpositions, Baba Stiltz’s “Aches” and most of the PC music hits.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To get rid of that wart
How was 2014 for you? One of the busiest in terms of studio work, which has been great. Finally catching up on all the ideas that have been sitting in my head for the last few years. DJing wise, I have travelled a lot more as there seems to be more work outside the UK. Tours in Oz, NZ, Canada, Asia and the USA have kept me extremely busy. Starting to see the development of my new band project Wicked City, which has been really exciting. Very interesting year — a lot of change which is a good thing.
Highlights? I had three remixes out on OWLSA (Skrillex’s label), and my club shows in London at the Electric Brixton have been a huge success. My label Instant Vibes is growing and steadily building a solid profile. My Halloween show in Salt Lake City. Wicked City’s first ever live show at the Electric in Brixton to 1,000 was incredible. Judging the Red Bull Thre3style mixing competition in Baku, Azerbaijan with Jazzy Jeff and Z-Trip was probably one of the highlights of my life. Street Party for Snowbombing in Austria is always a highlight. But by far the biggest highlight was the birth of my beautiful daughter, Rosie-Ella Reeves.
Lowlights? Watching Liverpool loose too many games this season and losing Luis Suarez… and England’s poor showing at the World Cup.
Song of the year: Kill Paris’ “Falling In Love Again”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Always get more healthy and lose a little weight …. more gym action!
How was 2014 for you? It was a great year for us — very productive in the studio and we got the opportunity to play in very different and exciting places around the world. Also our releases got very good feedback too.
Highlights? We could highlight several special gigs: BBC Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards, D-Edge Club Sao Paulo, Air Club in Tokyo where we played twice this year, Watergate Berlin, SunceBeat fest, Worldwide Fest. Leysin and Sete.
Lowlights? Definitely the Air France’s strike was one of the worse moments this year. We’ve been 12 hours in the airport trying to come back home and we had to wait two days in Paris until the next flight back.
Song of the year: Seven Davis Jr.’s “Friends”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? We are happy because we are gonna start the year in Barcelona on New Year Eve and Madrid at Goa Club New Year’s Day Party so we’re gonna have fun for sure.
How was 2014 for you? Super busy and a year of change, moving house, studio etc.
Highlights? Playing back to back with Andy Moor at a few festivals this year including EDC UK.
Lowlights? Not having enough time in the studio
Song of the year: Andrew Bayer’s “Once Lydian”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get in the new studio as much as possible…but probably not much in January due to touring!
How was 2014 for you? Amazing. Our Label, Friday Fox Recordings, exploded onto the house scene, and I couldn’t be happier with how things are going.
Highlights? The love for real house music coming back; soulful, cool vibes are being appreciated by the masses again, and it’s so refreshing to hear of more and more folks forgetting the soul-less noises that have been prevalent in the past few years. The other big highlight has been our releases getting excellent feedback from some gods of the real house music scene – there is no feeling like it.
Lowlights? The grind. It never ends. Working two jobs, all hours. But I know it will be worth it. The other lowlight? Two words: Paris Hilton.
Song of the year: “Sparkling Controversy” by Floating Points. Brave, eclectic style and BPM. Literally blows my head off with every play.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep on keeping on. Get some Friday Fox releases on vinyl and DJ more, more and more with partner in soul Christian B.
How was 2014 for you? Roughly about 346 days long upon writing this
Highlights? No, my hair is naturally this shade
Lowlights? My last joke
Song of the year: Today’s “song of the year” is “Just Like Heaven’ by Vincenzo
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To make even more people smile than I did this year. Happiness is contagious
Little Shalimar of King Mono
How was 2014 for you? Amazing on a personal/professional level, and a pretty big bummer as a citizen of the U.S.A
Highlights? Pretty hard to beat the birth of my son! Also making Run The Jewels 2 and seeing the response to that was great, as were doing the doing the first King Mono shows.
Lowlights? Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Tamir Rice. Akai Gurley. John Crawford III.
Song of the year: Tough call, but I think I gotta give it to “Latch” by Disclosure.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t really do those. I’ll settle for being a good dad and producing a few good records.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was incredible, and I’m always looking forward to the future.
Highlights? Finally meeting Helado Negro. Discovering that King Krule has been a fan of my music was also pretty big.
Lowlights? Missing opportunities to play some rad shows because of school. That’s always the worst.
Song of the year: Song of the year is tough, there were a lot of good ones. Currently extremely into Florian Kupfer’s “Feelin”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Expand sound design/production credits
How was 2014 for you? Musically amazing, packed with gigs, lots of traveling. Top Surubing!
Highlights? As DJs, one of our highlights has been being residents for our second season at Ants in Ibiza, which for us, is one of the best parties in Europe; the Monegros Desert Festival’s 20th anniversary; playing at Space Ibiza for our first time in the main room and on the terrace, playing the most special set ever in Mauritius Island (a ten-hour set on a private island with the best atmosphere), our first South American tour….
Talking about production, our track “Talgo” that was released at the beginning of the year on Beachcoma, label of Fairmont, Metope and Sid Le Rock; “Fine” released on our label Suruba and “Brutus” alongside Edu Imbernon released on Suara with an Audiojack remix.
Lowlights? We don’t have any. It’s been a really great year for Los Suruba and we are really excited to see what 2015 will bring.
Song of the year? Gus Gus’ “Crossfade” (Maceo Plex remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep working really hard and playing the music we love. We really hope to play in more countries and perform for our fans worldwide.
How was 2014 for you? It was a mixed year for me. I haven’t been finding enough time to write music as I’d like due to many extrinsic factors, but I’m currently sat in Berlin in the studio for a week, so I intend to finish the year with some shit-hot tracks being written. On the flip side I’ve been managing some artists, who with my guidance have started to really develop and make progress, which is nice to see. It’s good to pass on all these years of experience to some young (and not so young) blood!
Highlights? We got to do an O&A remix of a personal favorite track, Kerri Chandler’s “Bar A Thym,” which I feel we did a great job on. It was great to remix such a classic and give it an up to date re-rub. Also getting into a new meditation program has really given me some great headspace to see life in a different light and has been quite empowering, which is nice.
Lowlights? There has been some serious lowlights on a personal level, bereavements and other shit, but these things just make me even more thankful for what I have got and being able to live and work in this industry.
Song of the year: If I’m completely honest I don’t have one favorite track, but I’m consistently blown away by Jimmy Edgar’s Ultramajic label. It’s a perfect blend of raw Chicago jack tracks, but with a relevant modern twist. It sits perfectly between house and techno, which is where I’ve always been placed as an artist/DJ. If I had to choose one track it’d be: Chambray’s “Ghetto Giants” on Ultramajic.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To claw back some time in my life to be able to spend more time being creative and to work more on my own projects which have been a little neglected recently.
How was 2014 for you? It’s been an amazing year, so much has happened. Played some wicked clubs in UK and Europe, remixed the likes of Armand Van Helden, Sam Smith, Oliver Heldens, Route 94, Chocolate Puma and had releases on Spinnin Deep, OFF Recordings and loads of music on my own label, Simma Black.
Highlights? Gig-wise it would be playing MOS London for Audio Rehab, Sankeys, Manchester for Covert and The Button Factory in Dublin. Music-wise probably all the support from Cameo on 1xtra for my new single “So Real,” my remix of Route 94’s “My Love” being pressed to vinyl and getting my own monthly show on Rinse FM!
Lowlights? Working maybe a little too hard, but hey there are probably much worse things to do.
Song of the year: Ten Walls’ “Walking With Elephants.” Huge!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Eat more fruit, stop being scared of elevators, go running and keep making better music!
How was 2014 for you? I’ve explored a lot of new ground working on a new sound. It’s been an important transition year. 2015 will bring about the natural evolution of this.
Highlights? To see many independent artists resist the allure of the marketplace. It is possible to maintain quality and obtain results without falling for compromises which warp your identity.
Lowlights? Ibiza with its politics and exasperated branding — it risks being the summer’s cliché, but unfortunately it’s become a fact of life.
Song of the year: Hundreds’ “Aftermath” (Robags Berchem Duff NB)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Athens, it’s my job to make the Gods dance. In exchange I’ll ask for some tips.
How was 2014 for you? The best year of my life from a business point of view! I’ve gained so much satisfaction from the records released and the DJ bookings!
Highlights? Pete Tong playing the world exclusive of my “Harmony” track on his BBCR1 radio show.
Lowlights? The economic crisis that has struck this year powerfully, even in Italian clubs, removing enthusiasm and energy from the promoters.
Song of the year Lilly Wood & The Prick’s “Prayer in C” (Robin Schulz Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I wish I could make a good song, perhaps with a large musical icon of the past. I have some ideas, but I will not say anything for good luck.
How was 2014 for you? Very busy year with live PAs and DJ dates more than long studio times. I became a dad again for the fourth time. Still trying to suck the most sap from life. I had a lot of vivid dreams this year.
Highlights? Difficult but I would say Welcome to the Future in Amsterdam, Aquasella in Spain, Whether Festival Paris playing live I really enjoyed, the Bunker DJ set with Optimo and just all the support from everyone.
Lowlights? Getting burgled in Holland and losing laptops and other gear. F%%kers. Phones at gigs. Vote for me.
Song of the year: Impossible. Too many good pieces
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To start smoking again
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a very good year for me. It has definitely been my breakout year as a producer. I have been releasing a lot of records on a bunch of really cool labels and playing out a lot. This is my year of building and creating a solid foundation so people in this scene can get to know my sound and understand my career direction.
Highlights? I was very stoked when Danny Howard played one of my tracks, “So High,” on Dance Anthems on BBC Radio 1, and also a remix that I did of “Pushin On”! It was also very cool that right when “So High” came out I was driving down Pacific Coast Highway here in California and with no warning my track start playing on the radio (on Beta BPM with Kramer on Sirius XM Electro)! It was just very cool to hear something that I had created being played on the radio and at that same moment millions of people were listening to my track too. There were also many gigs that I enjoyed playing very much, like the time at the Overpass which is an underground pop-up event. It was a great gig because people were really there for the music and we were feeding out each other energy. Also for sure I loved my gig at Pacha in NYC with Oscar G, and Drais Afterhours in Las Vegas was really cool too.
Lowlights? This weirdo blew right through a red light and crashed into my car. There was a lot of damage to the car, but at least no one was hurt. The guy was a musician too and late for a gig, so I kinda understood, but hey, slow down buddy, you might get there faster.
Song of the year: There have been so many good tracks this year, it’s hard to pick one. “Pushing On” by Jimmy Jules and Oliver $, “All Night Long” by Kill Frenzy, “Hurricane” by Sidney Charles, “Satisfy” by Cajmere and Dajae, and I could keep going on and on but it’s just too many good tracks out there!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be more present and to keep living life to the fullest! That sounds corny but it is the truth.
How was 2014 for you? Less DJing, more producing
Highlights? Fusion Festival
Lowlights? The Bavarian summer
Song of the year: Moodymann’s “Sunday Hotel”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Back to the roots (more acid/Chicago house, more vinyl — less Beatport charts, digital media
How was 2014 for you?
CJ Bolland: Very enjoyable, with the release of our new album and finally getting back on the road and out of the studio.
Tom Barman: Turbulent, eclectic, thrilling.
CJ: Belgium whooping you guys in the World Cup
Tom: I curated my first art exhibition in Holland. Very rewarding.
CJ: My mother calling me to inform me she had breast cancer. Luckily they caught it in time and she’s gonna be fine.
Tom: My friend being diagnosed with terminal cancer
Song of the year:
CJ: “Hawkmoth” by UK techno legends Plaid
Tom: “I’m Not the Loving Kind’ as sung by Mark Lanegan on Imitations
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
CJ: To stop making bullshit New Years resolutions that I can’t be bothered with and get on with it
Tom: Finish the script for my next movie before the summer
How was 2014 for you? It feels like it’s flown by. But looking back, a lot of things have happened/changed this year.
Highlights? Playing the main stage at Berlin Festival, recording with Röyksopp in Norway and finishing the new LP.
Lowlights? This year, the majority of our time time was spent writing and recording our second record, Maximum Entropy. We only managed to perform live a handful of times. One of the live shows that we did play was a total disaster! Definitely a low point. Without going into too much detail the show was full of technical failures that we were unable to resolve.
Song of the year:
Ryan: Clark’s “Winter Linn”
Tomas: A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s “Atomos IX”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Never use computers in a live setup again…. well, maybe.
How was 2014 for you? Best year in my career!
Highlights? Setting up my new team and doing a 50+ dates tour
Lowlights? Probably the lack of quality music being released
Song of the year: “Levels vs. Animals” (DJ Bassphaz0r Laptop DJ Off Key Mashup)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be more healthy!
How was 2014 for you? It’s been an amazing year and super busy, a non-stop year full of music, traveling and creativity. No complaints!
Highlights? I started the year recording the Church album and released it mid-year worldwide on digital, CD and vinyl; toured all over the planet, including my first time in Angola and covering six of the seven continents; collaborated on Harvey Mason’s new album and toured with him (he’s been a hero of mine for years so it’s something really special to be working with him); worked with Native Instruments helping launch their new S-Series product and taught workshops in LA, Costa Rica and Angola… and got to do studio collaborations with some really great artists.
Lowlights? Now and then not having enough time to rest and get in some quality family time at home!
Song of the year: Kimbra’s “Love in High Places”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep on with the creativity and productivity but not at cost to quality time, rest and family
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was exhausting. I mean besides the rigors of touring, I’ve been working harder than ever in the studio and on our label, Items & Things. It seems that these days you have to work harder and harder to stay afloat. Gone are the easy days of partying 24/7. I’m happy though because after all this time, I’m not getting tired of it and I haven’t lost the passion to create new sounds and styles. It’s still loads of fun.
Highlights? I really liked Sven Väth’s 50th birthday party. It was cool to see all the friends I’ve met over the years in one place and to catch up with them all. The party itself was also super fun!
Lowlights? I don’t remember any. I forget the bad stuff rather quickly. I think this year all the negative world news got to me.
Song of the year: I love when “Any Dream” from Rework gets played — it immediately changes the party and gets everyone going extra crazy. Super-fun track.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t wait until the new year to make improvements. Wait that sounds cocky — umm, I would like to release more stuff on other labels than my own.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was excellent. Many great gigs and family time.
Highlights? Shambhala Festival. Japan tour. Star Festival. Road trips with my girlfriend and son. World Cup.
Lowlights? Ebola. ISIS. Chicago Bears’ poor season. Not making it to Discolove Festival in Sicily because of delayed British Airways flight.
Song of the year: Too many great tracks to pick just one.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get Mushroom Jazz 8 out.
How was 2014 for you? Mainly it was an office year focused on logistics and developing new concepts that will be implemented in 2015.
Highlights? I celebrated my personal jubilee of living 20 years in Berlin and was invited to a wonderful open air rave at the Berlin Eastside Gallery on the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Wall. I still get goose bumps when I think of it.
Lowlights? I was too busy to be busy. That means that the masses of office work I did prevented me from a lot of DJ gigs I could have played. But that’s okay because I see it as a kind of investment for my new projects and that is what I’m really looking forward to.
Song of the year: Well, it wasn’t a particular song but an artist album: Tin Man’s ODE. He’s a very talented artist who has this special kind of sensitiveness that makes the difference between being a producer and being an outstanding artist.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get back to my old presence in Berlin nightlife with my own new concepts and events. And I will finally have more time for my own DJ gigs, again. 2015, ready to go!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a really good year for building some musical momentum on a personal level. Lots of different opportunities sparked other opportunities and so on.
Highlights? Just being able to keep releasing music through different outlets made this a great year for me.
Lowlights? The EDM explosion in general was a low for the community
Song of the year: Murlo’s “Vertigo”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep providing quality music in the face of the beast
How was 2014 for you? Wow, this year went really fast. I could list all these great gigs and amazing places I’ve been to etc…but what does this mean? I’ve been in this scene or biz for quite a while and talking about parties and such is kind of “same procedure as last year.” I don’t want to sound lame by saying this, but you get picture. Something that was really new and exciting for me, were the collaborations with other artists in the studio this year. Usually I’ve been a “lone fighter” when it comes to productions but this year I started to work with a couple of artists together. You might hear the results very soon.
Highlights? It is always very difficult to pick single moments to be the best or most mesmerizing ones as the whole “package” is the experience. And sometimes even the least promising events turn out to be amazing. Kind of very special to me this year were the 15th anniversary of Poker Flat Recordings, my home label, where the majority of my music has been released. Systematic Recordings celebrated an anniversary this year, too: ten years. I am closely connected with this label, too. I even did a remix for the very first release #001, and I was honored to play at amazing showcases for both labels this years. Happy birthday and thank you for the great support throughout!
Lowlights? In the past year the whole celebrity wannabe DJ affair got bigger than ever before. On one hand it’s a big compliment that the average Hollywood star promote themselves as a DJ in order to increase popularity. In the end that means we do something reputable. But on the other hand it’s a banalization of the culture which is behind all this. In my book it’s not only about having a fun night out and throwing hands in the air — for me the whole “movement” of electronic dance music has a cultural, ethnic and social background which makes it so powerful and desirable for me. Seeing all this wannabe DJs playing major gigs around the world in the name of “house music” just hurt my soul and heart.
Song of the year: Every year, as always, it’s too hard to pick the one most favorite track… but if I had to choose here, I’d rather pick a label than a single release. If there’s a label that was and is able to convince me almost with each and every release they put out and seems to follow a guiding master plan, a vision, then it’s Telrae. They do their stuff for quite awhile but this year in particular, having their promos in my inbox was always a delight and a refreshing reminder of why I am doing what I am doing!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’ve never ever had any New Year’s resolutions in my life as I think it’s stupid to relate changes and wishes to a certain date. Still, I am affected by the end of a year in terms of reflection: What have I achieved? Making kind of a “final” balance of the year. In these terms, yes, my resolution is to get better at what I am doing and to become a better human being.
How was 2014 for you? One of the most intense years we had so far. We’re extremely happy about all the touring, collaborating with other artists that have become friends and our output in general. We’re already hyped for 2015!
Highlights? It’s tough to name highlights because every day is a highlight when you do what you love, right? A true highlight are the fans that keep the Mat.Joe engine running. Thank you!
Lowlights? Early check-outs, delayed planes and no water
Song of the year: Patrick Topping’s “Forget” was played and heard quite often this year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More working, less twerking
How was 2014 for you? The first week in August was special: I did a couple of great gigs and received a really nice message from Octave One about my album which blew me away as my album is not techno.
Highlights? Since August things have been a lot of fun and my creativity has increased so for that I’m very grateful. Also making contact with a certain DJ that has supported me… she’s made me smile loads this year!
Lowlights? Not really had any proper lowlights. Even the most personal knock back for me felt good about in the overall scheme of things. Smile hard or go home you miserable toe rags!
Song of the year: Simian Mobile disco and Roman Flügel’s “Hachinoko”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make more music and perform more
How was 2014 for you? One of the best yet. Lots of travelling, lots of meeting new people in interesting places, and lots of time spent in an ever-expanding studio!
Highlights? The Don’t Be Leftout tour with Ryan Crosson, playing at Lost Beach in Ecuador and South Africa for the first time, and starting my quarterly residences at Verboten in New York and Spy Bar in Chicago. Also, my charity cycle ride from London to Amsterdam with Resident Advisor, where we earned money to build a music school in South Africa.
Lowlights? Cancelled flights and therefore missing shows. Happened more this year than any other year for some reason! Hate when this happens, and all 100 percent through no fault of my own!
Song of the year: DJ Bone’s “Cultural Variance”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be a good dad!
How was 2014 for you? It’s been great. I worked with a lot of amazing people and made some really great music.
Highlights? The release of our debut, the Taped Rai EP
Song of the year: Sia’s “Chandelier”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finish and put out or debut album!
How was 2014 for you? We spent a lot of time sunbathing on the shores of Ibiza. The women were fantastic. The beats were firing.
Highlights? We decided to take tailoring courses in Lyon for suit design. Jet skiing with Prince George was also nice. Beating Richard Branson in poker was reassuring.
Lowlights? Every time we heard a whack EDM song that dishonored the hard work of true electronic music pioneers. Saving only 36 kittens from shelter euthanasia this year.
Song of the year: “F For You” by Disclosure feat. Mary J. Blige
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To quietly cause a new revolution in house music
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been a very busy year, full of unexpected musical and sonic adventures, but more than anything else a lot of hard work in the studio. I have written more music this past eight months than in the previous two years combined, a lot of it for new projects that had me to explore new ground.
Highlights? This year I wrote around 40 pieces of music for a picture: turns out that scoring is something I am really drawn to. I love the creative dialogue the ability to support and morph the storytelling. It’s been really cool because it has forced me to break out of the “beats producer” angle to continuously go back and forth between the electronic sounds and very traditional writing and arranging, which is a big part of my background. I have worked on things as disparate as big orchestral themes, industrial rock, acoustic guitar solo pieces, Gregorian chant, gypsy violin themes, noisy sci-fi stuff… and some really out there stuff too. I had to really step out of my comfort zone and dig deep, learn new skills, refine old ones, dream up new workflows and techniques. Quite humbling really, I am looking forward to incorporating some of these new ideas into future releases. All the while we managed to finish a collab EP with DJ Vadim, which will see a release in 2015. I also started two new projects which took me to the U.S. For one of them I was just recently in Boston doing all kinds of 5.1 field recordings at MIT media lab, using some crazy looking science facilities as echo chambers and soundstages. Recording music where they normally test spacecraft, definitely a highlight there. The other new project is called Portals, it’s a collab with Elenna Canlas, a very talented keyboardist and vocalist who tours with Easy Star All Stars and is helping me explore a gentler melodic vibe; we just recorded a bunch of new material in London and NYC.
Lowlights? I have been so busy with soundtrack work and collabs that I have hardly had any time to push some other things forward. My new solo LP had to go on ice for a bit there, can’t half bake those kinds of things and overlapping too many projects is a recipe for disaster, that much I have learnt!
Song of the year: So much great music came out this year: Clark, FlyLo, Aphex, Bonobo, Dorian Concept, Machinedrum, Om Unit… so much excellence. I’d be hard pressed to pick a release, leave alone a track. Sorry!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To write loads of new music without paying too much attention to the general background noise of the Internet and social media, and probably lay off Chinese boxing for a while. I got punched in the nose quite hard recently and it really hurt.
How was 2014 for you? It was one of the messiest years ever! Got divorced, my house flooded twice, I got ill for a long time… but on the other hand I had amazing gigs and releases on HEY!, DFTD and Bedrock, so all is good!
Highlights? The HEY! beach parties we do in Scheveningen. I also just played in a jail last weekend, Alcatresh, amazing! Toffler Rotterdam: best club. Closing Mysteryland USA. All good vibes.
Lowlights? See my 2014 description, and to make things worse our beach parties had to close up after three editions. The police raided the place and found one person with some drugs on him! It was back to the ‘90s again.
Song of the year: Detroit Swindle’s “64 Ways,” and all remixes of Dan Crol’s “From Nowhere.”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To get my album finished… it’s about time!
How was 2014 for you? My signature on Exploited Records and all the new perspectives that it offered me turned 2014 into a great year! It was a year full of new challenges, friends and projects I’d like to keep very close to me for the next year.
Highlights? Having “Sweet Baby” out on Exploited Records for more then six months in the charts. Next to that my new studio space, and all the great people I met by touring around the world this year.
Lowlights? Sitting next to a newborn baby and being sick on a plane from Belgium to South America. Poor kid, but I was a wreck when I arrived.
Song of the year: Caribou’s “Our Love”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make it double as exciting as 2014!
How was 2014 for you? It was a bit of a transitional year— in a good way. I am enjoying being back in Orlando. Nothing against Los Angeles, but I am definitely an East Coast guy! 2014 was about new collaborations, new opportunities, and building on the success of the Caffeine events that X-Dream and I produce in NYC.
Highlights? The Hard Bass Massive event that we did in October was a huge highlight. The response was insane! Other highlights: playing at one of my favorite venues The Church in Denver, CO, DJing at New York Fashion Week and seeing Dennis Rodman at a show I played in Ft. Lauderdale. (Totally joking – that was not a highlight!)
Lowlights? I had a terrible eye injury in July (right before my birthday too). I was completely blind for about six hours and didn’t know if my vision would return! That feeling was even worse that the pain I experienced.
Song of the year: “Black Smoke” by Dyro
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Focus on getting my productions out to the media and having more of my tracks used for television and film. After that I will unpack the rest of these boxes!
How was 2014 for you? Reset, reboot, relight my fire!
Highlights? Touring Japan and Vietnam, moving house.
Lowlights? Moving house slowed down the launch of my new label, Microglobe Productions
Song of the year: Everything by Alex Niggemann
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To successfully launch my very own label, Microglobe Productions
How was 2014 for you? It was my best year so far. I released a lot of music, including some nice collaborations that all did great on the Beatport charts. I also played at a lot of great shows around the world, from a U.S. tour to Space Ibiza to Russia.
Highlights? That’s definitely my remix of Mason’s “Exceeder,” which I did with Umek and was released on Armada. The remix reached No. 1 on the Beatport overall and Tech House chart. I’m also very happy that I joined one of the best agencies, AM Only, for the North American territory.
Lowlights? I played in Russia in October and I almost had to stay there for a couple of days because of some ticket problems. Luckily I didn’t because the promoter paid for another flight ticket that was absurdly expensive, and after spending the whole day at the airport getting very frustrated, I missed my show just for a couple of minutes.
Song of the year: Oliver Dollar & Jimi Jules’s “Pushing On”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To release one track per month, get another Beatport No. 1, finish some great collaborations that were on hold for too long. I also want to learn something new related to music, so I’m thinking to take a class and learn to play a new instrument. Lastly, I’m preparing my radio show that is in the final stages, and of course, I want to stay healthy and happy.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was pretty good for me. I was able to see or to play alongside many DJs that I really like, such as Benji B, Bok Bok, Nguzunguzu and MikeQ. I tried something new apart from DJing by designing a hoodie for a clothing brand. I was also able to explore more about the club music industry in China, and I love it. I got to know more cool people in the scene and it makes me want to explore even more in the coming year.
Highlights? I shared the same stage with Grammy-award winner Imagine Dragons for the Transformers 4 world premiere in Hong Kong. It was the biggest show I’ve ever done.
Lowlights? My music style changed from mainstream to more underground this year. I played a lot of grime and bass, but it seems the scene still needs some time to develop in Hong Kong so parties aren’t packed even when there is a big act. I feel bad for the acts and party organizers.
Song of the year: Bok Bok’s “Da Foxtrot.” This song just makes me fall in love whenever wherever I listen to it.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’d love to explore more about the music industry in China and extend my connections there. Hopefully I can make the balance between commercial and underground music.
How was 2014 for you? Great! I launched my electronic music project under the name MOA and put out three EPs and a full-length album, featuring live sax and some cool collabs.
Highlights? I teach at Dubspot, a great DJ and production school in NYC and online. This year we opened in LA, which I pretty psyched about. Going out to the clubs in Berlin this summer was pretty epic too!
Lowlights? Some of the police brutality in the States is pretty shocking, and the way the justice system deals with it is just as bad.
Song of the year: Kyla La Grange’s “Cut Your Teeth” (Kygo Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Start touring and join a CrossFit gym
How was 2014 for you? A fantastic year! Wrote new music, released new music with Ralf Gum, The Pap. Woke up with breath in my lungs every day. Life is pretty alright right now.
Highlights? Got to write a song for one of South Africa’s and music’s greatest gifts to the world, Hugh Masekela, along with Ralf called “With Her Hand.” A major honor.
Lowlights? Some plans got foiled and another year passed with no album. It’s getting to be ridiculous now so I have resigned myself to the fact that it will happen when it does damn it. But that ain’t a pretty bad personal lowlight. With all that’s going on in the world, I am incredibly lucky.
Song of the year? Portia Monique’s “Grace”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finally face my fear of playing bass and singing simultaneously in public. I must do this and suffer the humiliation. There is, of course, the off chance that it might not sound that bad. I sing a lot better than I play but either way I’m doing it.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been very hard work but so much fun. Work hard, play hard.
Superfreq at Fabric in January, David Scuba’s set was mind-blowing.
Superfreq’s anniversary events in March in both London and Los Angeles.
Housepitality’s Frankie Knuckles tribute in May in San Francisco.
Superfreq at Gorg-O-Mish in Vancouver in May.
Sunglass Sundays in Washington DC in June.
Superfreq at Fabric in July.
Lola club in Shanghai and KYO in Singapore in July was an amazing weekend.
Superfreq secret warehouse party in Dallas in November.
Lowlights? Having to travel so much and only being in Los Angeles 50% of the time. I’m changing that for next year.
Song of the year: “Quiero Olerte Entre Las Piernas” by Midnight Perverts & Troncoso feat. Ely La Inmunda.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To push my acting & voice over work a little more as I’ll be spending more time in L.A.
How was 2014 for you? It was my best year ever in music. After the success of my first solo album and various house tracks, I am going into 2015 on a high!
Highlights? Achieving a number 1 solo album on the UK soul charts!
Lowlights? Not having my mother around to see it!
Song of the year Ten Walls’ “Walking With Elephants”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? None. To just continue to be who I am, as I am happy with me!
How was 2014 for you? I actually had an incredible year. Just got back from Central America where I had great shows in Mexico City and Panama City. This time I was even lucky enough to have some time for traveling to Puerto Escondido, where I surfed the world renowned Mexican Pipeline. This was something very important and personal to me… I wanted to show respect to Jay Adams, co-founder of the legendary Dogtown Crew member, who sadly passed away this year at this magical place.
Highlights? Oh yes, there were a lot of highlights. In terms of music, I am very happy and proud to have worked with so many great vocalists such as the wonderful Cari Golden, Stee Downes and even the rap legend Kurtis Blow. On the business side I also learned a lot this year, especially about building up and running a record label. My own label, Mother Recordings, is doing very well and gains more and more attention and followers. As an artist, I joined Berlin’s Jackmode agency exclusively who truly do a great job and send me around the world — this year four times to South America, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Mexico which was such a great experience for me, not only cultural, but also friends aspect. I´d say that BPM Festival was definitely one of 2014’s highlights for me!
Lowlights? I honestly spent some time thinking about this and really nothing came up that actually worried me so much this year. This could be due to the fact that I am a very relaxed person and it would take a lot to get me annoyed =. Ah no, wait… EASY JET — these guys did not let me travel with my ID within Europe (which is usually not a problem) which resulted in a ten-hour train ride to Rotterdam. But hey, the gig with Omar S. was great!
Song of the year: Eddie Amador’s “House Music” (Robosonic Remix). What a gem!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? It’s not really possible to plan a lot, that’s why I love this job so much, as it’s full of surprises. But on my label, Mother Recordings, I still aim to raise the quality bar from release to release. That’s why I still put out copies on vinyl because it’s dear to my heart and we don’t want to be just another digital label. So I’d just say, full power for 2015, whatever may happen.
How was 2014 for you? Radio show on more than 45 FM stations worldwide and online; In The Mood parties worldwide and my warehouse concept Mood RAW was a great success; two DJ and producer nominations and one radio nomination. That’s just the warm up for 2015.
Highlights? /strong> My B2B with Carl Cox all night long at Space Ibiza
Lowlights? Not enough sleep
Song of the year: Pharrell’s “Happy”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Oh no…not that “new year, new me” bullshit again
How was 2014 for you? Amazing
Highlights? You’ll see! Also, another year of meeting, working with, or chilling out with more and more of my inspirations as they get back on the grind…like Moroder, Kraftwerk, Blondie, Nile Rodgers, etc. I also enjoyed jamming with Skribble at the Taj Mahal. Also, it’s nice seeing my friends live their dreams.
Lowlights? Ain’t nobody got time for that
Song of the year: Ha. “Bubble Butt,” but I never played it once
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More karaoke
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been a great year for us. Finally releasing our album, In Return, and being able to travel around the world playing shows. It’s also just been a great year for music in general. So many new and emerging artists, it’s been really great being a part of an ever growing scene.
Highlights? Being able to play two sold-out nights in our hometown (Seattle) at one of our favorite venues, the Showbox.
Lowlights? Not sleeping very much
Song of the year: Brika’s “Expectations”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get out of our comfort zone
How was 2014 for you? All-new with the kick-off of my new label, Senso Sounds, and own booking agency, Kontrast Artists. It feels better than ever working with my young team in Hamburg. I didn’t even expect such a strong start.
Highlights? The recording and release of my PLAY! 05 Live in Vienna mix compilation, the success of Senso Sounds, my remix for Sian’s “Shame Cube track” and the FIFA World Cup.
Lowlights? Nothing worth mentioning
Song of the year: Dubspeeka’s “Fargo”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Still looking for the perfect beat!
How was 2014 for you? It was great, both inside and outside of music. I’m looking forward to 2015.
Highlights? Offering my free services by volunteering at a Hospice and after a three-year break starting to write new music.
Lowlights? Learning that someone I considered a friend really wasn’t.
Song of the year: Aphex Twin’s “Minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Spend more time helping others, making new contacts in the music industry (promoters, labels, agents), attempt to reunite with old friends.
How was 2014 for you? Great! Made a lot of progress. Finished a Reprazent album and an EP and finally got my own label, Onallee Records, off the ground. It’s been a lot of hard work and frankly I’ve never worked so hard in my life but I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve liked the singularity of purpose, the long days and nights in the studio… I suppose you have to really or you’re in the wrong game! 2014 smashed it so onwards and upwards in 2015!
Highlights? Achieving all my major creative goals for this year. I have a good team of people around me now, which I’m so blessed to have. Getting to work with Am:So (a.k.a. D.Product) was also a long time coming so I’m glad we finally got to do that. Playing an intimate gig at Metropolis Studios in London and being part of an insane lineup at The Warehouse Project Manchester are also top of the list.
Lowlights? Not many but trying to stay healthy and sometimes not having the support one would like comes to mind.
Song of the year: That is an impossible question! If I had to give a few shout outs though it would be to Odd Future because they are just ridiculously good as solo artists and as a collective, Black Milk, Madlib, The Weeknd, John Grant and Kate Tempest. The contender for best title though is certainly “Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything” by Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra… And a tune I liked immensely this year from Grades called “Owe it to Yourself” — the vocals were outstanding…still trying to find out who she is!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be myself, love as much as I can and enjoy life. The same as every year!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was ace. Had shitloads of fun, met some amazing new people, seen great places and made music with friends.
Highlights? My first little tour in Korea was definitely a highlight. I am a huge fan of Asia in general and the Koreans didn’t disappoint. Also being back in Ibiza for seven months was ace. Life is better in the sunshine.
Lowlights? Leaving my cat Kimo in Amsterdam for seven months while I was partying in Ibiza.
Song of the year: Instead of being snobby and picking a weird intelligent leftfield record, I will go with the one that rocked the most dance floors this year for me: Mr. Tophat & Art Alfie’s “Takelant”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Don’t sweat the small stuff
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was great for me. I released my first original song, “Calling Out,” in a while and also released a bunch of remixes I am proud of.
Highlights? Finishing my sophomore album which will be released in 2015.
Lowlights? A festival I played in Tennessee where I couldn’t actually play because they had three CDJs and no mixer. I was with my friend and fellow DJ viceroy and we just rode around in a golf cart instead and drank moonshine so it wasn’t that bad I guess.
Song of the year: “Classic” feat. Powers by The Knocks
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be a better person
How was 2014 for you? It was really busy, We finished our album, started a new radio show, completed a number of remixes and launched a label!
Highlights? Without a doubt finishing our album, Why 1 is One and 2 is Two – as it took us two years to complete.
Lowlights? The death of Frankie Knuckles was a shock, such a big influence on our scene. He is one of the few people you could really call a legend. RIP Frankie.
Song of the year: Gus Gus’s “Cross Fade” (Maceo Plex Mix). Every time we played it, the atmosphere seemed to go up a notch.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Probably to relax more and spend more time with our families and to finish album No. 2 already in the pipeline.
How was 2014 for you? It was a great year, with loads of gigs and great music. We also played with some wonderful people and did some great collaborations.
Highlights? Playing Ultra in Buenos Aires and playing with John Digweed in the legendary Fridge in London and in Melkweg ADE… Also, we really enjoyed getting in the studio with Monika Kruse and remixing deadmau5 twice, once as test pilot and as himself.
Lowlights? We have a great life and are privileged to live from our passion so we can’t complain.
Song of the year: Hinz & Ruhmhardt’s “Doch”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep on working hard, making better music, and making people have a good time and dance their asses off!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was amazing for me. I played more than 90 shows and got the chance to visit countries like India, Korea, Mexico and Australia for the first time. Most of it was pure fun and very inspiring for me and my music. Hope the next year continues in the same way.
Highlights? Definitely my India tour in April. I expected nothing but the scene there is good and a lot of people are interested in good music. I was stunned to see how many people knew me and my tracks. It was a good time there with keen promoters and great crowds.
Lowlights? Not spending enough time at home with my family, and not getting to see daughter growing up.
Song of the year: Definitely Space Echo’s “Soul Power.” It was the only track I played this year in almost every set beside my own tracks certainly. A fucking groove monster.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To enjoy my life. Everything happens so fast and it’s important to live in the moment. And maybe drink less alcohol as well.
How was 2014 for you? Richard Pike: Good, thanks.
Highlights? I settled down. Drank less. Got loads of work done.
Lowlights? Did less touring. Now I miss touring.
Song of the year: Tough one. FKA Twigs’ “Two Weeks” was a slow burner for me. Alex Cameron’s “The Comeback” is a sure-fire classic. Good to hear Aphex Tune back too.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Try to say yes more than no
How was 2014 for you? It has been great and intense one. Lot of good things happened to me.
Highlights? The summer: festivals, Ibiza, etc. It was crazy.
Lowlights? Actually, I can’t complain about anything. If I had some little unexpected obstacle, I’ve already forgotten.
Song of the year: The Japanese Popstars feat. Green Velvet’s “Matter Of Time” (Coyu Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep learning, improving, growing and enjoying.
How was 2014 for you? It was a great and successful year with a lot of great gigs and other positive news.
Highlights?Next to the birth of my second child, it has to be the release of my third album, In My City which made it to the #1 spot on iTunes SA over all genres.
Lowlights? Currently having a flu, while I go into the busiest month of the year regarding DJ gigs.
Song of the year? Roland Clark’s “Simple Things” (Joe Claussell’s Sacred Rhythm Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep on keeping on.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a great year, with lots of crazy travelling around the world — from the USA to South America, Holland to Asia and back, spreading my house to techno sound. My residency at Sankeys Ibiza was off the charts and it was great seeing my artists from my label, Say What Recordings, do really well. Plus, working together with DJ Sneak was a big treat. All in all, the year rocked! Let’s make sure 2015 will be even bigger.
Highlights? My residency at Sankeys Ibiza for the Magna Carta nights. I’m in love with Ibiza in general but the nights were always spot on and I love to play at that venue which has one of the best systems I ever played on. Musically you can go everywhere you want. In other words it’s a DJ’s wet dream.
Lowlights? Missing the first gig in my career as my passport was still at the Embassy. I hated this so much as I let the promoters down and mostly my fans. So I got myself a second passport so this will never ever happen again.
Song of the year: There were many songs that were awesome but the standout track for me was Fabio Alampi’s “Confiara.” I keep on playing this beast of a record … If it was on vinyl it would be destroyed and would sound like wood burning in a fireplace.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep doing a great job with my label and my gigs and to push myself and the brand to the next level. I want to make music and stay humble and blessed for the position I’m in.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was an intense year for me. Personally, I had more downs than ups, but I’m very satisfied with my career at the moment. I played loads of great gigs and met a lot of new and interesting people. So apart from the personal issues, 2014 was a good year for me.
Highlights? Mayday in Poland was really cool. Also I had a good time at Nature One at the Century Circus. But I have to say the most energetic and excessive nights I spent was always at my “home,” the Lehmann Club in Stuttgart.
Lowlights? Realized too late that business and career isn’t the most important thing in life
Song of the year: Puh… too many good ones. I think 2014 was a pretty good year for techno. Loads of new producers and labels came up or developed well. One of my most played tracks was a very old one by the way, John Starlight’s “Blood Angels.”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Try to live more consciously, less after-hours, less drinking… blah blah…all of it won’t work, but at least I have the resolution.
How was 2014 for you? Wow. it was a long, good year…it feels like it went by very fast. But had a great summer and spring and now autumn/winter is great. Musically I had the first year when I bought the fewest vinyl for years. Not that I didn’t find any. I was a bit lazy on buying vinyl, but still got loads of good music. Let’s see what 2015 brings.
Highlights? Planning my own new series called It’s Ours. More news coming in 2015.
Lowlights? Ibiza. In 2014 I didn’t play as much on the island as previous years.
Song of the year: Songs which are not mine I somehow don’t remember!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Celebrating in London with my boy Shane Watcha at cargo. And probably if we are still standing we´ll meet some of the Mobilee crew in the morning of the first 2015.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a year full of wonderful new experiences, exciting business endeavors and quickening creative adventures! I’ve played many amazing worldwide gigs in clubs, at festivals and even at gaming/computing events and met a wide variety of people and that feels just great! Something I am also really proud of is my bundle-series for a company called Groupees. At regular intervals I am compiling and picking my favorite games and music, putting it on sale for 14 days and connecting gamers and music-lovers while also supporting various charity-projects at the same time! So much fun!
And of course I was also very busy creating new music: My Remute24 series (tracks linked to news headlines) continues forever; I’ve put out a little best-of compilation called Classics, Too featuring a remix of my all-time Chicago hero DJ Rush; I’ve started a new sub-label called Remute.mod for some odd and forgotten home computer music and last but not least I’ve finished a brand-new album which is scheduled for X-Mas! It is called Yoshiwara, pretty different from all Remute stuff so far and will be released on cassette and CD via US synthwave label Telefuture.
Highlights? My Japan tour with the Carizma guys (plus hanging out at famous retro game shop SuperPotato afterward), some really interesting collaborations with vocalists and musicians (watch out in 2015!) and obtaining some rare old-school gear I was dreaming of since ages.
Lowlights? Crazy (cold) war tendencies all over the place, some gossip magazine “stars” trying hard to become DJs and, of course, lumber jack hipsterism.
Song of the year: The demo song of the Yamaha PSS-680 keyboard
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finally master my Ensoniq ASR-10 and create a theme tune for a video game that gets made.
How was 2014 for you? Great!
Highlights? Off the top of my head, finishing and releasing the final version of my Reverse Commuter album Exposure on Hallucienda — which had been in the works for quite some time — is a big one. Releasing the second Bell Gardens album, Slow Dawns For Lost Conclusions , on Rocket Girl is another one. I’m also very happy with what we released on my label Adjunct Audio this year. I also ate lots of good vegan food, drank some good wine, spent some time in the country — a fine year I’d say!
Lowlights? None that I can think of really
Song of the year: Morgan Delt’s “Barbarian Kings”
What’s your New Year’s resolution Getting out of the city and moving to the more peaceful and secluded San Jacinto mountains!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was one of the more bizarre and personally tumultuous years on record. Lots of endings, lots of new beginnings. Fantastic shows in the USA, Canada, and of course across Europe. Nonstop travel, from Cambodia to Idaho. Exhausting, but rewarding. Exciting new releases with labels as diverse as Face To Face to Get Physical, and everything in between. Berlin summer sunburn to grey winter brutality. 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of my first club show ever. I feel thankful, in awe, newly inspired by the ever-changing cultural landscape. I’m still in love with Berlin, after so many years. I’m aware of the preciousness and fragility of community — now, more than ever.
Highlights? It’s been a joy (after so many years) to become part of a crew like Face To Face — we are all buddies, kindred spirits, and (in the case of myself and Tim Xavier) have been in the game for such a long time now. This partnership has felt like a long time coming, and I’m so inspired by what I’m hearing from people like Jamaica Suk, who are a little newer to the release side of things. Tim has proven a ridiculously fun person to DJ back-to-back with, and I hope this continues. Antaeus (Lando) is a bonafide hero producer, and a bad-ass when it comes to playing Billy Ocean and PM Dawn at various after-hour bars. Good people. Kind people. They even tolerate my veganism. Aside from this, I’ve been working on a new collaboration with my dear friend Noah Pred who is another legacy artist, in his own right. On a personal level, my German speaking is crawling slowly along, and I’ve realized how important yoga is to me. Getting older, but healthier too. Surrounded by angels in the architecture. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall — in Berlin, as a resident — was an honor I’ll remember forever.
Lowlights? A lot of personal changes. and some pretty profound endings. I’ve had a few very close friends leave Berlin (primarily due to sickness and poverty), and this winter has felt incredibly lonely. Bookings in North America are taking off for me, but Berlin seems to be at peak DJ stage. I first played here in 2005, and it’s a very different city from then. Gentrification, rent rises, hussle… the ever-changing city, a haven in a Europe undergoing radical change. Seeing the radical slide toward the right-wing which my birth country of Australia has been deeply heartbreaking and unfathomable. It’s made music feel curiously more important than ever. I’m grateful to be safe, warm and fed. 2014 has reminded me of the simple, important things. DJ culture has felt so polarized — I have no time for aspirational careerism. Community and care for our art matters more now than ever. There’s a healing power in this art. I believe it, still.
Song of the year: I’m not going to lie, my songs of the year have all be major pop hits. I’ve rediscovered Paul Simon’s Graceland, Talk Talk’s 1988 hit “I Believe in You,” the new Jessie Ware album, and more recently D’Angelo’s superb Black Messiah. In the techno world, discovering new artists/tracks really breaking through has been a highlight. Fjaack’s “Attack” has shown me that the kids know what’s up. More shrouded artists like Yaleesa Hall “First Leyland” are bridging the worlds of more Chi-Wax style booty jams and functional techno, and, of course, our own (can I call her ‘ours’?) Jamaica Suk’s “Spektrum” has been furthering this narrative. There’s so much good music out there… more than I have room to talk about here.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be more gentle. To cultivate thankfulness. To laugh at myself more. To cook more for friends and strangers. To keep focused on the path of musical honesty, courage, gracefulness… and…brutal, ballsy techno. To offer what I can to the Face To Face as it grows and matures!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a mixed bag. Overall, it was a great year but lots of transition.
Highlights? Burning Man, playing with Thievery on top of the Robot Heart bus at sunset. Having the whole band there it was beautiful and surreal. Spending time with family and friends.
Lowlights? Watching the political and social consciousness of America. You feel like we’re moving backwards sometimes.
Song of the year: Tycho’s “Awake”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make more music
How was 2014 for you? It was awesome. I’ve been intensively touring, performing live and bringing my music to a larger audience. We’re now preparing new things for 2015 — a lot of new projects and opportunities are popping up.
Highlights? I am very proud of my single “Persistence Of Vision” released in June on Mobilee records. It has received great feedback. I didn’t expect so much and brought my music to an audience I had never reached before. Sometimes life brings the right things on your path at the right time.
Lowlights? The passing away of Mark Bell. LFO has really been a major influence when I began producing in the mid ‘90s. Their album, Frequency<,em>, is one of the reasons why I decided to learn how to use a sampler and produce music. Never had the chance to meet him personally, but I feel like he’s been part of my life for the last past 20 years.
Song of the year: Aphex Twin’s ‘minipops 67 [120.2] [source field mix]. It might looks like an arbitrary choice as loads of other great dance music tracks have been released this year. But it’s so good to see this dude coming back with such a forward thinking album. It’s beyond trends and genres. Some people still don’t give a shit about rules. That’s definitely how music should be, isn’t it?
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I need to find more time to spend in the studio. My laptop is packed of unfinished tracks and ideas I have been collecting while travelling these last past few years. I feel like I am ready to start working on my next album.
How was 2014 for you? It was a year for change musically and sonically. In this year, I’ve learned EDM in every aspect. While I’ve been accustomed to the production and songwriting standpoints primarily in other genres where lyrics and vocals are key elements, I’ve learned different components altogether. When it comes to EDM, I’ve discovered the research that is necessary to engage with your audience from a DJ’s perspective.
Highlights? Getting in the studio and creating my first solo EDM project, entitled Water.
Lowlights? Having an idea that I want to record, but I’m 300 miles away from an actual studio. Anytime I am away from the studio, it’s a lowlight for me. But I do gain inspiration from being out on the road and being in front of people.
Song of the year? “Heroes” by Alesso. That song is the song I listen to at 6:00am when I work out. It motivates me and makes me feel like a superhero.
What is your New Year’s resolution? To be better: a better producer, better songwriter, better listener, and better person. Just be better in every aspect of life.
How was 2014 for you? Amazing! For myself, and for the entire “melodic deep house genre,” I think 2014 can be seen as a turning point in the EDM genre, with the style now slowly moving to more melodic, percussion-driven house as compared to who makes the biggest “drops.”
Highlights? I think getting signed to Spinnin’ Records, the world’s biggest dance label, was the biggest turning point in my career. It was then that I decided to pursue music production and performing as my main and only “career.” Shortly after, I got added to the roster of AM Only and CAA, which are one of the largest booking agents in the world, and I got my first USA tour confirmed. All of this happened in just a couple of months so I guess the last couple of months as a whole can be seen as a one big highlight.
Lowlights? Unfortunately we weren’t able to get clearance for the first track I made as Sam Feldt called “Alien,” which is a bit disappointing because both me and the label really like the track. But no worries, a lot of new music will be out soon!
Song of the year: Sir Felix’s “Hope” (Nora & Pure Remix). Still the biggest track in my sets! Really original work!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Produce more (quality) music and play more gigs all around the world. I’m planning on building my own real studio (I’m now producing from my bedroom) to take my productions to the next level and have so many awesome collaborations lined up with talented artists and songwriters.
How was 2014 for you? Heavy traveling with very long distances mostly every weekend.
Highlights? Piknic Electronik in Montreal, but also this end of the year with me being very productive and inspired in the studio again!
Lowlights? My very long absence from the studio for more than a year.
Song of the year: Metodi Hristov’s “Step Outside.” I don’t know any house or techno DJ that didn’t play this underground DJ tool in their set!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To become even more positive than I already became this year!
How was 2014 for you? Simon: Really good. It has been a year of restructuring and making some changes internally but all really positive and exciting stuff. I launched a new label called Love Inc. in partnership with Pete Gooding and Andy Reid which has seen some strong releases over the summer. Max and I have also launched our brand new monthly radio show, Love Inc Radio, which we are pleased to say is being broadcast worldwide with a staggering amount of listeners tuning in monthly already. We have both been very productive in the studio and we’ve continued to tour all over the world, so we can’t grumble!
Highlights? Max: Again Pacha Ibiza was brilliant for us this summer, we love returning there year after year. It was our eighth summer there and it’s still our favorite club to play in.
Simon: Aside from that, watching the label start from scratch five months ago to now being on its eleventh release and achieving great support, chart action and love from people across the board has to be the highlight for me.
Lowlights? Simon: Losing our good friend and mentor Frankie Knuckles was a huge blow.
Song of the year:
Max: One of my favorite tracks was definitely Tenwalls’ “Walking with Elephants”
Simon: For a Song choice, as obvious as it is, for me it was Pharrell’s “Happy.” It was brilliant on many levels, technically released Nov 2013 but blew the doors off in 2014
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Simon: To stop smoking!
Max: I say it every year but this year I am definitely going to the gym more!
How was 2014 for you? Challenging and a time of change in many ways. In 2012 we had our first real buzz with the label leading to many showcases all over Europe, including Sonar and ADE. Exploited Records artists such as Claptone or Adana Twins play around four or five times a week at sold-out shows and festivals all over the world. We also had the honor to release two records of one of our heroes, DJ Sneak.
Highlights? We got approval from Kraftwerk to use a sample of theirs. Joyce Muniz did a track with Baby Bam from legendary ‘90s hip-hop group The Jungle Brothers which we named “Back In The Days.” It’s based around a loop from “It’s More Fun To Compute” by Kraftwerk. Since Kraftwerk liked the remake and have been fans of the Jungle Brothers they gave us permission to release the track. It was a historical moment for us.
Lowlights? We have a lot of haters now too….
Song of the year: Caribou’s “Can’t Do Without You “(Mano Le Tough & Tale Of Us Remix) and Tiga’s “Bugatti”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stop drinking vodka
How was 2014 for you? It was a fantastic year, many exciting moments and great memories. Personally, it was one of my favorite years so far when it comes to music because the music and the culture went back to the good times, especially with the vinyl coming back to life. We are all working as a team to make the next one even better.
Highlights? Sonar week and the Ibiza season were the highlights, starting the Shlomi Aber and friends concept was a great project to work on during the year and I enjoyed it very much. It brings up many ideas to be translated to actions these days.
Lowlights? I don’t see anything as lowlights. I think that I’m learning from every moment in life, especially from those others may called lowlights. I’m very optimistic and trying to concentrate on the half full glass. Lowlights are just the there to make the highlights even more memorable.
Song of the year: Floorplan’s “Never Grow Old (Re Planet). This track from Robert Hood’s Floorplan project is just fantastic. It’s the one I used to play somewhere around the third or fourth hour of my set. As I’m not playing vocals too often, this one brings the light to the floor and gives a small break from the darker groves.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’m expecting a baby in January. I’m very excited and just wishing myself to set the right example to my baby boy as much as my father was to me. I will release a new album next year and a mixed CD project for one of my favorite clubs in the world.
How was 2014 for you? A great year. I worked a lot, putting a lot of energy in gigs and in studio time as well. Ibiza this summer was great with the Music On and Paradise crews. I did my first tour in the USA in June and July, and I loved it. It was a great experience. I’m very grateful for these past 12 months. And the year is closing nicely with my second release on BPitch Control.
Highlights? Touring the USA was one of the highlights of 2014 for sure. I met so many wonderful people, and I learned more about the USA scene that I didn’t really now. It is always good to travel, also for the DJ set. When you get too comfortable with a scene or a place, traveling will surely expand your horizon. It seems very obvious but it’s not always an easy exercise. Last but not least, I started to expand my studio with few machines. I’m enjoying them quite a lot!
Lowlights? Probably after the summer was the hardest time. I was very tired after traveling so much. I wasn’t home for months at some point. Also finding time for the studio was hard. Sometime it is difficult to find space for it.
Song of the year: It’s very hard to mention only one. I don’t really follow the dates of release either, and I play a lot of old tracks too… I would say the entire Rumble EP of Diferit. I don’t think it is from this year though, but I play almost all the tracks so much the past months. I also loved the Archangel album, The Bedroom Slant.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To try focusing even more on the studio and invest more in it. Hopefully some new releases will come out of this!
How was 2014 for you? It has been a transitional year for us. We went from zero to hundred. We did not expect a lot to happen when we released “Long Days, Hot Nights” last spring and then all of a sudden, just hours after the track got put on Beatport, two major companies approached us for worldwide licensing. And now we got this huge window of opportunity and it comes with a lot of stress and joy at the same time. So to make a long story short, 2014 was sort of a dolphin.
Highlights? When Arthur Baker, producer of Al Green’s “Love Is The Message,” sent his feedback to “Long Days, Hot Nights” (Claptone Remix) saying: Another killer Claptone remix for a great song. Arthur Baker saying “Long Days, Hot Nights” is a great song felt like the greatest dolphin ever.
Lowlights? We would have preferred if the original “Long Days, Hot Nights” had been used in the official video instead of the Claptone remix. No offense, we like Claptone’s version and his remix opened a lot of doors for us but it doesn’t feel 100 percent real. Anyway, the marketing dolphin in us understands.
Song of the year: “Something” from Weval. Apparently there are no good dolphin songs.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To spend more time with friends and family and to reach a new level in dolphin meditation. And as a topping to this a worldwide top 10 hit.
How was 2014 for you? Interesting. Most of it has been spent buried in the studio finishing my album (that has now turned into two albums, a couple EPs and covers). So 2015 is shaping up to see a lot of Slow Hands!
Highlights? BreakFest in Medellin was amazing (very much looking forward to playing Festival Esterio Picnic in Bogota in March!). Recording bluegrass with my friends in Gold Town that I grew up with in Vermont. Tearing up Barcelona with the Crystalmafia ladies shooting video footage for my forthcoming single!
Lowlights? My musical direction has become much more organic in the last couple years, meaning more guitar, more ukulele, more voice. This has led to some sporadic negative reactions in the more “clubby” environments. I would never point a finger at any specific bad experiences, as I do appreciate anyone who spends the time and money to allow me to make a living playing music. That said, there was an experience recently where a girl came up to me screaming in my face to play “Drunk In Love” while I was in the middle of a guitar solo. At first I looked up wanting to kick her in the shin, but when I made eye contact, her utter oblivion just made me want to cry. I don’t want to date myself, but it often feels a bit like the younger generation has really lost touch with what live music is, at least within the electronic music scene. I hope that changes in the coming year.
Song of the year: There is this amazing San Fran musician named Alexi Glickman who makes music under the name Sandy’s. He released an album called Fourth Dimentia. The whole album is just amazing, but “Sisters” has been on repeat in my iPhone pretty much since the day it came out. Honorable mentions: “Way To Be Loved” by TOPS, and “Two Weeks” by FKA Twigs.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To quit smoking for real, get Gosling ripped and practice guitar more. I’d settle for just quitting smoking.
How was 2014 for you? It was a great year for Crew Love!
Highlights? Crew Love bus tour in Europe this April and Off Sonar party. Garden Festival in Croatia. Performing with George Clinton at our House of EFUNK party in Detroit. The tracks we produced with George/Funkadelic finally seeing the light of day!
Lowlights? The continued commercialization of house music culture
Song of the year: Zackey Force Funk’s “Glass Tear Groove”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make more music!
How was 2014 for you?
2014 has been great! We have been very productive musically with EPs out on Torque, Outpost Recordings, Oncet, Naked Lunch, The Zone Records, Recode Music, etc. and bunch of remixes alongside some nice gigs around the globe. Its good to see the techno scene pushing forward and back on the uprise again!
Highlights? TechnoFlash Festival in Spain and playing with minimal master Robert Hood in Cologne, Germany
Lowlights? No lowlights really. After 20 years doing what the do we have learned to take the rough with the smooth
Song of the year: Went to iTunes, clicked and plays Doc Daneeka and Benjamin Damage’s “Creeper” which was at the top of the list
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep on banging!
How was 2014 for you? A lonely year of serious introspection and reflection and finding myself again. A year of reinvention and growth and becoming someone new, the kind of person I can live with. It was a year filled with so many blessings I can’t count. Even though I am a serious underachiever and world loser, I somehow managed to accomplish a lot of my goals.
Highlights? Obviously releasing my Grey Skies EP has been massive for me. My best friend of 22 years finally came to visit me in Paris! I met my sweetheart; you know, the kind of person who changes everything. I acted in my first film! I can’t say much about it, except that it was an amazing experience. I cut off all my hair — super liberating and feels like all the dead weight and sad energy I was carrying around is gone. What else? Learning how to chant in Sanskrit and singing in French. Pretty cool.
Lowlights? Oh, man. Nothing specific I can put my finger on. I guess disappointing some people I really cared about and losing them. Being broke, down and out and sort of wondering when and if this will ever change. Letting fear and ego govern my head and heart sometimes. Worrying I am not a good person. Feeling unworthy of being loved. Struggling with substance abuse and you know the ever present “pain body,” the darker shadow saboteur.
Song of the year: “I am Not Afraid” by Owen Pallett. This song for me says everything. And I feel it is an appropriate song for my year. His voice is amazing. The lyrics bring me to tears. I wish I had been there when he was writing it.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep growing. To be happy and strong for the ones I love. To stop being my worst enemy. To embrace it all and not be bitter or hateful. To fall in love with life and my sweetheart more everyday. And maybe quit smoking.
How was 2014 for you? Great year, great releases on good labels such as Suara and awesome public feedback.
Highlights? Being approached by the labels we like. Certainly playing at Creamfields Brazil and opening for deadmau5.
Lowlights? Not going to Ibiza
Song of the year: Difficult one, lots of great songs this year. I would go for Whomadewho’s “Heads Above” (Maceo Plex remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Follow instincts, produce more and more, and finally do our first international tour.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 felt really slow, but was not nearly as tragic as 2013…so on my little relative scale, it was kwaai still. Got a lot done in the 890 days that made up this year.
Highlights? Forming Fantasma; finishing our EP and album; finally completing and showing this documentary that I’d been working on for three years; goofed and watching Ping Pong Summer. Spending a lot of time in Johannesburg. Moving to Stockholm. Wondering if I’ll ever fly first-class again…dancing in the first class cabin in them little Viet Cong pyjamas. Being back in economy class.
Lowlights? Being so slow to release music
Song of the year: I don’t have one song. I have a couple though: Rudeboyz’s “Akasemuhle,” Jumping Back Slash’s “Always Unfinished But Never Outgunned,” Petite Noir’s “Chess,” Hugh’s “Look Back in Laughter”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Be more positive. Get paid.
How was 2014 for you? Lots of life learning eye-opening experiences
Highlights? Watching my 21-month-old daughter grow
Lowlights? Getting on the plane and leaving my daughter
Song of the year: Sergio Fernandez’s “Into The Deep”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Manage my time a little better
How was 2014 for you? It was great
Highlights? My wife and I had a daughter which has changed a lot of things, but has been really exciting as well.
Lowlights? Don’t really have much to complain about.
Song of the year: The Golden Ratio Syrup release that I’m putting out on my new label, NOREMIXES, in January. Been listening to it nonstop since I got it. It’s kind of like one big long song, so it counts.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep up with the exercising. Between having a baby, doing the labels, working on music, etc. that’s usually the last thing on my list.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was pretty quiet for me musically speaking but great overall.
Highlights? I can’t think of any musical highlights but I became an uncle this year and that was pretty special.
Lowlights? It’s been 25 years since Pretty Hate Machine was released. I feel old.
Song of the year: I’m more into listening to albums these days and I think that Christopher Willits album a few months ago was outstanding. If I were hard pressed for a song I’d have to say the Superpitcher remix of Kapser Bjørke’s “TNR” was really cool.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Try and get back into the studio!
How was 2014 for you? Full with new experiences, new people, new music and great parties. I’m really curious what 2015 has got in the store for me.
Highlights? In autumn I founded my record label, IU2U. As a producer and artist it gives me the opportunity to present my own music without release plans from other labels. For me it’s a new side of the music business but I like to be independent and to do what I want when I want.
Lowlights? I didn’t really have any this year. Everything that happens is an experience, and I always try to make the best out of it.
Song of the year: It’s difficult to pick only one of them… In almost every set I play Harry Romero’s “Rapture.” I think sometimes less is more and this track brings maximum pressure with minimum elements.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To produce even more music. I’m looking forward to upcoming releases on my own label and spreading good vibes on upcoming events. Having a release with Dr. Motte is a plan….maybe it will be realized in 2015.
How was 2014 for you? Really busy, productive and filled with a lot of good steak
Highlights? Playing at Coachella and touring America supporting Charli XCX were incredible. Releasing my new EP called I Don’t Even Like You was a big highlight for me too as I’d wanted to release it for a while.
Lowlights? Anything David Cameron or Boris Johnson did or said
Song of the year: Skepta’s “That’s Not Me”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get addicted to more things in a better and more efficient way
How was 2014 for you? This has still been a training year. In part, every year must be like this, because learning is what keeps my mind fresh and my heart young. Some projects will see the light next year and some are being dropped during December. At the end of 2013 I finished my tour through Mexico and decided to stop “gigging” to focus only on my studio work. Things evolve slowly and I must be patient, take correct steps and don’t get stuck, projects must be cooked slowly to get what I am looking for. But sometimes I also decide to challenge myself to break my limits. I remember that, when the last release of burial was released about December 2013, I decided to make a remix in less than 24 hours and upload it, I finished it in 10 hours and it had good feedbacks during this year in spite of being unofficial. You can still listen to the result on my SoundCloud.
Highlights? My first official release on Factor City out on December, it’s a project that was finished almost two years ago!! Finishing an edit I made for Sohn’s “Lessons” — this has been one of the most ambitious tracks I ever made, and finally I got what I was looking for. I really enjoyed my gig at Razzmatazz. I have a good surprise for next year that excites me, a new video that I really believe in.
Lowlights? Maybe the death of my grandfather. He was like a father for me, now it’s my time to keep, improve and transmit all what he thought me.
Song of the year: I will choose one, but there are many more, if I had to answer the same question next week the answer would probably change: Martyn feat. Four Tet’s “Glassbeadgames”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I try to think in my resolutions everyday, not specially in NYE. I actually write them down and then hung them up at home so I always remember what I am here for. The only thing you usually get from NYE is a big hangover.
How was 2014 for you?
Thomas: We had a really amazing year. We DJ’ed a lot together this year, and really have a fun intuition and improvisation to our sets now.
Timothy: A big blur
Thomas: Playing a deep Brooklyn Holi Festival party has stuck with me all year. The sheer quantity of paint in the mass of writhing people is burned into my brain.
Timothy: We signed our first record deal! Details coming soon.
Thomas: I didn’t wear as much Spandex as I’d hoped to
Timothy: Having some remixes/DJ sets taken down by SoundCloud. Fuckers!
Song of the year:
Thomas: Kill Frenzy’s “No Panties”
Timothy: Shiba San’s “Okay”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Thomas: Learn all the words to the full Busta Rhymes catalog
Timothy: Swim the East River from Williamsburg to Manhattan. Or as far as I get before the coast guard arrests me.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was wicked for us as Alex moved house twice and Oli had two dodgy cars and a dodgy girlfriend! But on a whole, musically, it was great to see the house sounds do a full circle out of the underground and pushed the dubstep scene out of the way. Also, it almost verged back into the fidget sounds where we started, plenty of 909 and 808 sounds and big pianos mixed with some tasty basslines! So yeah, a wicked year!
Highlights? It had to be the release of our EPs on Vicious Bitch Records as this was a new angle for us in 2014 with a slower BPMs and more added bass-heavy tackle with great support from all the big DJs we wouldn’t expect. Not forgetting us playing the Ministry of Sound stage at YO1 and also the Beatherder festival! Medium-sized events, but unspoiled and with such a love for the music vibe going on. Also, ADE in Holland was wicked — great to meet some of the industry’s finest!
Lowlights? Doing a chili pie challenge with the four hottest chilies in the world in. Alex didn’t complete because he left some potatoes at the end so that makes Oli a winner! (However, we were both ill for few days) Also when we did a gig and the crowd wanted Afrobeat as we realized we were on the wrong stage!
Song of the year: Disclosure & Friend Within’s “Mechanism”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Now that Oli has done 24 months of no junk food (KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, etc.) his would be to continue that and for Alex he would have to say not to be sick in a champagne bucket all year as it’s just for drinks!
How was 2014 for you? It was an exciting year. After two years of production, I’ve completed and just released my studio album, Reinvention. It feels very satisfying.
Highlights? Releasing “Dancing On Top of the World” and “Alive” felt just amazing. It is like leaving some part of you to the world. Businesswise, getting a partner who is also a dedicated manager is just amazing. We established a large festival in Copenhagen after several years’ absence. It feels great to be back in my nation’s capital.
Lowlights? Leaving Ibiza and being able to be creative all the time.
Song of the year: I need to mention two: Myon & Shane 54’s “Summer of Love” (Inpetto Remix) and Ilan Bluestone & Jerome Isma-Ae’s “Tension”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep my integrity, focus on doing what I love, appreciate life and give back to the world.
How was 2014 for you? It’s been a great year for seeing some of my musical heroes perform live: Stevie Wonder, Kate Bush, Steve Reich and many others.
Highlights? Releasing some of my own music for the first time in seven years on my very first label, Peace Feast, which turned 20 this year!
Lowlights? Losing an old friend and fellow musical adventurist, Tom De Weerdt (a.k.a. DJ Low), to suicide.
Song of the year: Steve Arrington’s “Without Your Love”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Do a lot more of my own music and set up a brewery.
How was 2014 for you? Challenging and fun at the same time. This year I took on the old role of label manager while launching my new vinyl imprint, Face To Face Recordings (FIIF). I have cultivated a new tribe of amazing producers and artists on FIIF such as Deepchild, Lando, Forest People and the very talented newcomer Jamaica Suk.
Highlights? All the great upgrades my business partner Mike Grinser and I have made to our mastering studio. Mike and I implemented new hi-fi pieces of analogue gear to our signal chain and bought and refurbished a Neumann VMS70 record cutting lathe. It was more work that it sounds, but I feel accomplished and next year hold more travelling and time in the studio for my own productions.
Lowlights? No negative lowlights here… I just wish the Berlin winter was shorter!
Song of the year: DVS1’s “Black Russian” blew my mind. It’s also a tune that we mastered and cut at Man Made Mastering for Zak’s Hush label.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To build a new site for Face To Face and big up the label as much as possible.
How was 2014 for you? It was a very productive year. In February I started a new label We Are Here Music with Juan Zamanillo, focusing on supporting national and International talent. This year we had amazing releases with top producers like Quivver, Balcazar & Sordo, Chris Fortier, Miguel Puente, Issac, Jon Debo, UV, Rodrigo Cortazar, 116db to name a few. I’m very happy now remixing and producing music. It takes time to develop your own sound, and now I am in that stage were I am very happy with it and looking for some new sounds and new ideas while in the process of inspiration and creation. As an artist I’m always trying to push myself into new stuff and new sounds, I don’t like to put myself in a cage of a just one genre, I like good electronic music.
Highlights? Going to play at Ottawa Canada for the Winterlude Festival in February 2014; going to Russia in June to DJ with my partner Vazik at the Krasnoyarsk International Music Festival Of The Asia-Pacific Region; remixing music like Blue Amazon’s “No Other Love” as well as other very interesting projects like: Michael & Levan and Stiven Rivic, Öona Dahl, d00sh, UV, Itzone to name a few; opening up to together with my partner-in-crime Vazik when we played B2B to a great top DJs like John Digweed and Nick Warren; and my residency at the best electronic outdoors events in Mexico, The Picnic Day Party
Lowlights? I cannot think in a lowlight right now, unless counting the terrible time with the Mexican government. It is really bad what is happening right now in Mexico.
Song of the year: UV’s “Make It Better”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To push the label forward to be one the best underground record labels on this planet. I’m planning in produce my artist album, it’s going to be and adventure that I’d like to jump in. Me and my buddy, Juan Zamanillo, are also producing some new original music. We will reveal the name in the beginning of the next year. There is a lot of good stuff coming for 2015!
How was 2014 for you? It was a turning point for myself for 2014 years. My father died in 2013, and I decided to start Tominori Hoosya project and run from 2014. Tominori Hosoya is my real name and this name project has a concept
to make music for “my precious persons, things, memories and more.” I had some good releases this and the good opportunity to star my own label, TH Pressing.
Highlights? I started my own label. My feelings and situations pushed this my decision. It did not take much after I started after thinking. I got cooperation from many friends and had a great start. And my music world spread out by having begun it.
Lowlights? Nothing in particular. If I’m forced to say, I had to stop making music because something was wrong with my PC. But I will restart on next year.
Song of the year: Sorry not a house/techno track: Uyama Hiroto’s “Freedom of the Son.” Though this music is different from my style, his music inspires me.
What’s Your New Year’s Resolution? I want to releases works more good concepts. In addition, I want to release my music on many good labels. I send demos mainly to vinyl labels, not digital ones now. I wish 2015 is a busier year than this year.
How was 2014 for you? Amazing! Musical progression in the midst of a worldwide awakening of consciousness
Highlights? Protesting with thousands of people in the streets of NYC for change.
Lowlights? Hostile corporate takeover of our musical culture
Song of the year: Knife Party’s “Begin Again”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To continue to use my position to wake sleeping people up from their comfort comas and to make music as difficult as the times we live in.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has exceeded all my expectations. From releasing my first two EPs to starting my record label, Safer At Night, with some of my closest friends … it has been stressful and crazy but fun and really amazing overall. The reception has been really inspiring and amazing for both my music and the label…from fans to other DJs.
Highlights? Playing at Fabric for Fabriclive was definitely one and the Safer at Night party we threw in Chinatown just recently. Fabric has a reputation for being one of the best clubs in the world and it’s for a reason, and being able to play there with Curses and Walker & Royce for a label takeover was really special. The Safer at Night: Eclipse party was also really special because we had complete control over what we wanted the space to like and feel and smell like…from top to bottom. We were able to incorporate some interactive experiences and have complete control over the vibe. We also didn’t create set times or announce any of the DJs that were playing so it was really about the party and not about any specific artist which I think changes the entire focus and energy of the room.
Lowlights? Flying back to LA with US Airways. Don’t ever fly them even when the flight is cheaper if you value your time and sanity.
Song of the year: It’s hard to choose one so I’ll choose my three favorite at the moment: Damon Albarn’s “Everyday Robots,” Butch’s “LFO,” and Machinedrum’s “Safed”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Eat more and more gluten, as much gluten possible
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was pretty intense!
Highlights? Travelling worldwide and rocking out solid our third season of Special Case Event rooftops in St. Petersburg, not to mention great releases on my label, Plant 74.
Lowlights? Let’s not dive into that, but they were all personal things.
Song of the year Livio & Roby’s “Pa Haus”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep grinding and rising and keep putting out music especially for my new vinyl-only limited label Tripmastaz (by numbers). The first release will be out within next month.
How was 2014 for you? Fabulous! The year started off at its usual pace and then quickly picked up steam. The whirlwind kind of started in March coincidentally, right after WMC in Miami. Soon after the conference I got word that I was going back to Ibiza for the summer season. So the next couple months were spent preparing to be in Europe for four months.
Highlights? I loved being in Europe for the summer with my family part of the time. I was able to work every week as a resident performer of Café Olé at Space every Monday night and gig all over Europe on the weekends. When I wasn’t on the road I was at the beach or enjoying a great dinner or just hanging with family and friends. Once I returned at the end of September it was still full on with the work schedule. My monthly deep house event in Baltimore, called Deep Sugar turned 11 years old and that was a lot of work running those parties remotely from Europe. I also had gigs immediately on the schedule in Moscow and Dubai and collaborations that I needed to get back to work on. I feel like 2014 has been a significant stepping-stone or jump off point for the next stage of my evolution as an artist/singer/songwriter and DJ. It’s exciting to witness and be aware of what’s happening when it’s all in play.
Lowlights? There really has been no negative side to any of the things that have happened this year because most have benefited me in one way or the other.
Song of the year: My song of the year for the last two years is “Finder” by Ninetoes. Every time I hear it, it just makes me feel good…like I don’t have a care in the world. I just want to dance and let the sunshine in.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t really make specific resolutions at the new year because I’m very Aries in my nature. I’m always pushing boundaries and willing to experiment or work harder at something or try something in a different way. I’m constantly looking for a challenge, improvement or change.
How was 2014 for you? It’s been a very busy and amazing year, full of enriching experiences! Besides working as a DJ and event promoter here in London, and recording Beats n Bacon for Italian Burger Radio, my album Word Citizen has been released on the label of my dreams, BBE, also on a limited edition vinyl! So, a year of accomplishments, I’d say.
Highlights? The amazing feedback from radio worldwide. The love I have been shown from London to NYC and also in Italy, where I’m coming from. The visual aspect of my album (logo, videos, cover), taken care of by NightbyNight, which is leaving everybody impressed (and that’s without seeing the LP inner artwork!), and last but not least my transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Lowlights? The lack of energy in some months. Taking care of every aspect of my musical career can be draining sometimes. There could have ben more live shows, but I’m working on a big tour for 2015, so stay tuned!
Song of the year: “Since I’ve been Gone” by Greg Blackman & Mr. Bird (BBE) and also “The World Belongs To You” by Essa (First Word)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More self-discipline, try to become a vegetarian (aargh, prosciutto, I already miss you!) and to accomplish most of my 2015 goals.
How was 2014 for you? It was a monumental year for me with a second #1 in the Billboard charts with “Hustlin’” (my collaboration with Crazibiza and Dave Audé) and a worldwide platinum record with David Guetta & Showtek, I can’t complain. It was a good year!
Highlights? Going platinum and #1 around the world, with “Bad,” a tune I wrote and was featured on with David Guetta and Showtek. The video is at over 200,000,000 views on YouTube. My single, “Hustlin’” (my collaboration with Crazibiza and Dave Audé), going #1 on the Billboard Dance Charts, and my international top 10 features with Scooter and DJ Antoine features. And I am about to jump on a plane to Australia to do a national tour with Showtek for Stereosonic.
Lowlights? Personal life stuff…gotta stop sometimes and take it easy. Can’t do everything!
Song of the year: “Waves” by Robin Schulz & Mr. Probz
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be more on time land to get another platinum #1 record around the world!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been the busiest year I’ve had in my career so far. It was basically a relaunch as I had experimented with many genres over the years of many labels, and I decided it was time to get back to playing/making the house/techno crossover thing again. I re-initiated my relationship with Planet E and set up debut releases on Cocoon, Poker Flat, Bedrock, Osunlade’s Yoruba label (debut in early 2015) and coming up early December is my debut for Ovum. I actually managed two singles for Poker Flat and secured Carl Craig and Josh Wink remixes during the year as well as numerous remixes of my own so yes its been an extraordinary year for releases, probably the most I’ve ever done. Notably I didn’t release an album in 2014 as I had released two in the 18 months previous, but I am now working on the next album which should be ready in 2015. I also debuted at ENTER for Richie Hawtin this year after being asked to do a special one off set for him, so 2014 has been a fantastic year.
Highlights? ENTER, Cocoon, Poker Flat and Ovum debuts. Also getting married in the summer in a private mansion in a forest with classical musicians was just a little bit of a highlight!
Lowlights? The realization that the electronic music scene is now so bloody picky and single minded that I cannot just make music and release it under Vince Watson. So in 2015 I have two aliases coming for different music and Vince Watson will be keeping its house-techno crossover roots. It’s a lowlight purely because I love the idea that music should be an open ended, open minded part of our lives and not something rigid and put into a box.
Song of the year: Olafur Arnalds’ “Only The Winds” (Ryan Davis From Far Away Variation). This remix is one of the most beautiful pieces of electronic music I’ve heard for a long time. Stunning. Inspiring. Melancholic. It’s one of those tracks a producer wishes he had made.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finally do last year’s resolution which is the resolution from the year before. In truth resolutions are simply there to be broken, so I actually have dedication to whatever I set out to do during the year and follow though with that instead of making one per year. If I did have to make one, it would be to take my music up one level from the year before, mainly through focus and attention to detail and many 24-hour sessions in a sweaty studio full of empty chocolate biscuit packets.
How was 2014 for you? It’s been an incredible year for us releasing our third album and getting to do loads of cool shit off the back of it.
Highlights? Gotta be the 40-date international tour. It was our biggest one to date.
Lowlights? Early morning flights — pain!
Song of the year: Dizzee Rascal’s “Pagans”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Go harder than last year! Bang!
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was one of my more quiet years travel wise, but also the busiest! I have been working on a ton of new records, so I’m definitely looking forward to releasing them in 2015.
Highlights? Miami music conference in March and having some time off travelling to work in the studio!
Lowlights? While not exactly a lowlight, probably the lack of travelling! I really enjoyed my previous tours in the U.S. and Canada so I am hoping to be back very soon next year.
Song of the year: Really tough question to answer — I liked a lot of records this year. All of Kryder and Tom Staar’s stuff was bang on. I also really loved Sunlight feat. Years & Years’ “The Magician.” That track has such a great vibe to it!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Continue to always push my sound and ideas to the best that they can be. I am currently doing my own mixdown and mastering as well so that is something that I have been working to really improve on this year and will continue to do so throughout 2015.
How was 2014 for you? It has been such a great year for me! It’s kind of been a rebirth in a lot of aspects. Finally reaching some ears with my music again now that the trends are changing more toward my sound away from the EDM crap that took over for last decade. It’s always nice to get some respect from larger labels after 20 years. In the business you continuously question yourself and why you do what you do. It was nice to be able to question myself this past year and have a clear answer again. With some successful releases on labels such as DFTD (Defected) and Cajual it definitely helps to reach the audience and such an honor at the same time. I love music and anything that helps me continue to produce/DJ is a great thing and very welcomed. I am blessed in so many ways and music is one of the greatest blessing I have had in my life.
Highlights? My release with DFTD with Guti remixes, winning the honor of Chill Out Artist of the year with my Poncho Warwick alias on Beatport.com for my “Tainted Jazz” release after being runner-up the previous two years. I even made it onto the iTunes pop charts in Argentina for my OG version of “Who Will Comfort Me” which was pretty cool. I don’t see my name next to Taylor Swift, John Legend and Stevie Wonder too often so when you do it’s a bit surreal. Being able to continue doing what I love after 20 years is always a highlight!
Lowlights? Pretty scarce this year thankfully. I have had a wonderful year and am trying to concentrate on the positive things in life now after a decade of struggling with my lowlights to do what I love.
Song of the year: There is so much good music being released once you dig through the mountains of crap. When you find the gems they are priceless. I would have to say there wasn’t necessarily a track of the year but a few producers that have been putting out gold right consistently: Green Velvet, Doorly and Oliver $ all have been putting out some jams that been on replay.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To start the year strong with my new album and to work twice as hard this year as I did last. I am looking to finish another album by summer and to do some touring in Europe, South America and Asia. My New Year’s resolution is basically the same as the last 20 years: To work as hard as I can so I can continue to spread love with my music.
How was 2014 for you? There were ups and downs. Life is life.
Highlights? The sound is changing again into what I enjoy personally! In the past couple of years listening to club promos was really a tedious job for me. These days I can find great inspirations listening to new sounds again.
Lowlights? Marketing became more important than music. It was always an important part of the music business but this year it’s even more about FB/Twitter/Instagram/DJs posting their dinner table, etc. and getting more likes on those posts than on the music itself!
Song of the year: There were a couple of songs. I can’t really decide which I would call song of the year. Maybe Kiesza’s “Hideaway”?
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To waste less time on unimportant stuff. Especially to play less Tetris!
How was 2014 for you? Great! It was the year where we solidified so much of what we were trying to build. I felt this year I solidified more of my voice and what I wanted to say with our project. When you’re working in music a huge part of it in the beginning is banging on doors, and I felt this year was a great year for those doors opening!
Highlights? This was the year where I started hearing my stuff when I was outside of my studio — which was really exciting — on the radio or hearing another DJ play my tune at a festival. So it was rad for me this year to be humbled by other people supporting my art. I also got married which was awesome. I didn’t think I was ever going to get married since I was so driven by business so to find that person that gets me and to be in that place makes me feel I’m blessed.
Lowlights? I don’t have many lowlights. I/m always looking at the future and how to make it better. I guess my only issues or “bad days” are when I feel like there isn’t enough of me and want to be in more places that I can.
Song of the year: Gesaffelstein’s “Hellafornia”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I was reading an article the other day and it was a collection of stories from different nurses from hospitals and homes for the elderly. They said overall the thing that most people said they regretted on their deathbed was either working too much or not letting themselves be happy. I was thinking about that for myself and for me it’s the opposite in the sense that I work like crazy, but I’m so happy doing what I do. I think the only regret I would have is not stopping and “smelling the roses,” in those great moments. So I think that’s going to be my New Year’s resolution: To try to stop more in great moments and realizing how great they are.
How was 2014 for you? Nathan Coles: 2014 has been a roller coaster of a year and that’s for sure! Wiggle hit 20 years and we’ve certainly been milking the hell out of it and playing some great gigs!
Highlights? Our 20th birthday has to be one of them and releasing the Wiggle For 20 Years mix compilation on Fabric. The album release party at Fabric was also amazing.
Lowlights? My wife being diagnosed with breast cancer.. it doesn’t get much lower than that.
Song of the year? Noah Pred featuring Rosina’s “All Alone” (Nico Stojan remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To give Wiggle Records and my new villa rental company loveibizavillas.com more of a push.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was a great year for me as an artist really worked on developing a new sound for myself.
Playing with the Viva Music family at the Viva Warriors Party at WMC. Also, working on my first full-length artist album titled, BLK + WHT, due out next year.
Lowlights? My hard drive crashing and losing over 100 projects and main sound library. Ouch!
Song of the year: Baunz’s “Out The Window” (Walker & Royce Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Take better care of my health and back up the back-up of my back-up hard drives
How was 2014 for you? Awesome year, busiest I’ve had I think! I’ve slogged it away in the studio (even through the baking hot summer) and nailed a plenty of EPs as well as working on my bands Ghosting Season and worriedaboutsatan. I’ve been in hibernation a lot, which has given me some quality time to experiment with new sounds and digest an unquantifiable amount of other people’s music. Now I’m just dying for these releases to surface!
Highlights? I had a track featured twice in one edition of Mixmag (top techno tune of December and fourth best track of 2014 to play at midnight), which was totally unexpected and I only discovered this through a photo someone sent! I was featured amongst Caribou, Mano Le Tough and a bunch of people I’ve looked up to for a few years. I just sit in my studio tinkering with machines so it’s an odd feeling that someone might be listening on the other end.
Lowlights? One of my synths (Roland SH101) broke while I was recording a take and it completely screwed up the moment. It’s been repaired now, but I’m still in a foul mood with it.
Song of the year: I absolutely love “Interrupted (N1)” by Gavin Miller, and I open just about every set I do with it. It’s a beatless interlude kind of thing played on an old organ with a really nice guitar riff. It’s uplifting but also extremely ominous.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep my studio tidy. I complain when things are breaking, but I think it’s because I might be falling over all the clutter.
How was 2014 for you? 2014 was the year of the beard, Kale salad and everyone else getting back into techno music. Otherwise pretty grande, evolution of the Crew, loads of “choons.”
Highlights? Off Sonar Crew Love Party in Barcelona, signing our first PRE-NUP, writing a punk track about rich Brazzilionaires.
Lowlights? We love the lights kept very low actually. It’s sexier that way, we like to “think positively” so we’re not gonna mention any low points.
Song of the year: “Get Lucky”? Wait, that was last year. Anything off of the new Taylor Swift album. Truthfully, we haven’t heard it, but people are raving about that.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More interviews. Less talking, more dancing. Less techno, more soul. More wine.
How was 2014 for you? Crazy. We saw half the world with our music. The other half is up in 2015.
Highlights? EDC Las Vegas. Sometimes everything is just right. The sun went down over the dessert and the crowd went up. The set we played went really well. That night everything fell into place. Goosebumps material. No emo.
Lowlights? We were asked to play at a World Cup party in Rio for the finals by our favorite sports brand. It didn’t fit the schedule and childhood dreams were crushed. Tears for Rio. First world problem tears though.
Song of the year: Jack Ü’s “Take Ü There”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To make a song as good as “Take Ü There” by Jack Ü
How was 2014 for you? One of the most significant years of my life. Started out with my own pop-up club in Tel Aviv called Resek, established Avadon as one of Israel’s leading techno events, released some great music for Ovum, Transmat and Be As One and played at Tresor for the first time.
Highlights? Shifted & Sigha party in Tel Aviv during Gaza War.
Lowlights? Getting refused by Dasha Rush to marry me
Song of the year: Floorplan’s “Never Grow Old”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get another tattoo
How was 2014 for you? Really great. I became a father, which was the highlight of any year ever! Workwise it’s been amazing too: endless incredible gigs, releases on great labels like Loco Dice’s Desolat, and my Circus Recordings label and Circus events have been the best and busiest to date. Ibiza was immense too, so, yes, a good one!
Highlights? My son Theo Jule in the house!
Song of the year: Kydus’ “Free Spirit” and Roachford’s “Work it Out” (Henrik Schwarz remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be the best shape both in body and mind, work and play by my birthday in April
How was 2014 for you? 2014 has been a big year for me. I’ve loved every minute of it and it has been incredible to watch dance music grow so much over this past year. Very proud to be a part of this scene.
Highlights? Shows at Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld, Green Valley, Guaba Beach Club, Amnesia Ibiza as well as hosting my own stage V Sessions. My DJ Mag entry at #55 was a big moment for me, plus the huge amount of positive feedback I’ve had from the fans this year has been incredible.
Lowlights? The only lows I can think of is not being home as much I would like to be because of my busy touring schedule, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to happen in my career.
Song of the year: Alesso feat. Tove Lo’s “Heroes (We Could Be)” and Duke Dumont’s “The Giver”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep on working hard so I can keep on doing what I love the most: Making music, doing shows all over the world so I can keep connecting with my fans on a global level.