WORDS: Chester Cornford

Jay Donaldson aka Palms Trax sparked London label Lobster Theremin with his modern take on vintage house sounds and the essential 'Equation EP'. He’s delivered a stream of remixes, and more recently, two EPs on Dekmantel; but there’s far more to the 24 year old than his skillful productions.

Originally from just outside Bristol but now living in Berlin, his burgeoning and notably successful DJ career has seen him regularly booked across Europe, as well as further afield in places such as Tokyo and more recently, Australia. Widely regarded as one of the best young DJs in Europe, his sets capture crowds and take them on a journey through a variety of sounds, reflecting his personal style and taste.

Joining DJ Sprinkles, Sparky, Denis Sulta, Big Miz and a host of residents for a highly anticipated appearance at La Cheetah this New Year’s Eve, we asked him to share his top ten favourite releases of 2015, and he certainly did not disappoint:

1/ DEGO - DON'T STOP (LET IT GO) / SAVE IT TILL LATER (Neroli)

“I don't think this has even come out yet, but I will play the A-Side for as long as I live. Modern classic! B-side is ace too, plus it's on Volcov's label so all in all a certified winner.”


2/ JOAQUIN JOE CLAUSSELL - A WORLD IN NEED (Sacred Rhythm Music)

“Have to admit, that barring a few classics, I wasn't too clued up on Joe Claussell, but this record has had me ploughing through his pretty overwhelming discography. Still yet to find anything that I love as much as these two tracks though; this version of 'With More Love' is about as close to perfect as I can imagine.”


3/ FLORIST - PHENOMENA EP (All Caps)

“Who knew that it was possible to top ‘Atlantis to Interzone's use of the Yamaha DJ voice? Only thing I can think to say about 'Marine Drive' is that it gives you those undeniable feels.”


4/ T.R. "EARLY” EARL - BAD BUSINESS EP (Nsyde)

“This snuck under the radar a bit; I think it even evaded the MixesDB wizards for a short while, but I suppose that’s what you get with a store-only release. Was also quite pleasantly surprised to discover this was the work of Christopher Rau. Three beautiful house tunes, simple.”


5/ STEVE LEGGET FT/ GREG BLACKMAN - AQUARIUS (Apartment Records)

“Always really liked Apartment Records' output, but the Mark Hand remix on here is just so good that every time I hear it I feel as if I've ascended to Maximus' field of wheat and I’m just sat there grinning at a robin.”


6/ PEVEN EVERETT & STACEY KIDD - GROOVE THANG (Minuendo Recordings)

“So ‘Body Jerkin’ is a bit of an anthem, isn't it? Big up Pev.”


7/ PABLO MATEO - OLD CARS IN NEW MAN (LACK)

“Anyone that listens to my Berlin Community Radio show will know that I rinse all of Pablo Mateo's tunes, but he just makes so many of them and they’re all great. For fans of old school, definitely pre-'I Wanna Know' Omar S.”


8/ LNRDCROY - MUCH LESS NORMAL (Firecracker Recordings)

“Yes, technically this didn't come out this year, but Firecracker did such a good job of reissuing it that it had to be included. Plus, a year on and nothings topped it.”


9/ HELM – OLYMPIC MESS (PAN)

“PAN had a blinder of a year so it’s a little hard to pick a favourite (honorary shout outs to Lifted, M.E.S.H., Errorsmith and Mark Fell), but this clinched it for me. Some powerful bus journey moments.”


10/ VARIOUS - AFRICA AIRWAYS TWO: FUNK DEPARTURES 1973-1982 (Africa Seven)

“Reissue time! I think this is my favourite of the year. Not out for so long but it compiles some absolute heaters from Guinea, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast and more. Apparently there's a third volume coming early next year, so strap in.”

Palms Trax plays La Cheetah NYE 2015 with DJ Sprinkles, Sparky, Denis Sulta and Big Miz. Advance tickets are sold out, but check the Facebook Event page and Resident Advisor for re-sales. Palms Trax ‘In Gold’ EP is out now via Dekmantel.

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