The overwhelmingly positive reaction to Slam’s first album since 2007’s ‘Human Response’ was completely justified and proved exactly why they’re still one of the biggest names in techno. Comparable to a supersonic journey into the outer regions of space, the album’s fluid and ethereal opener sets the stage for a deeply immersive experience, making it one of the year’s most essential electronic releases.
From the futuristic, tension building intro of ‘Leggo Riddim’ to the haunting beauty of the Julia Juban assisted ‘Paradise’, Inkke’s incredible ‘Crystal Children EP’ stamped on the hype and underlined the talent. In a year when grime hit the mainstream, it was producers like Inkke who kept the underground hot, and this forward thinking release boasted some of the biggest club tracks of the year.
With so much to live up to after 2011’s seminal ‘Glass Swords’, Rustie’s second effort was always going to be compared and criticised, but while some talked of ‘competing visions’, we heard dexterity, diversity and moments of sheer brilliance. From the confrontational stomp of ‘Attak’ to the shimmering beauty of ‘Paradise Stone’, ‘Green Language’ is exhilarating from start to finish.
For the third year running the Autonomous Africa series has produced one of the most distinctive and exciting releases to feature in our chart. With Midland joining JD Twitch in running and promoting the charity label, the third instalment was supported by a series of events culminating with a special Boiler Room at Glasgow’s Sub Club. Rhythmic, percussive and live, ‘Autonomous Africa 3’ set the dancefloor on fire.
It may have taken almost two years to arrive, but S-Type’s highly anticipated ‘Rosario EP’ certainly delivered. Preceded by a super-slick, hype-building trailer, the release offers a futuristic collision of bass-heavy beats and razor sharp synths, finding the perfect balance between maximalist euphoria and next level funk. When the quality is this high, Bobby Perman can afford to take his time.
Supported by everyone from Skream to The Chemical Brothers, Jasper James’ debut EP on the ever reliable Optimo Trax was remarkably assured and definitely worth the wait. Boasting three analogue weapons (including an additional remix by the ‘Hillhead Young Team’), the EP’s finest moment is arguably ‘Listen To My Buttons’ - a widescreen roller built for the main room.
The more we listen to this release, the more infatuated we become. You may not be completely familiar with Arm Watches Fingers, but we’re fairly confident you’ll be hearing a lot more from him in 2015. His self-released ‘Sensi Cut EP’ is fantastically strange, but the detail is immense, brimming with otherworldly sounds and off-kilter drum patterns.
Wonderfully weird and undeniably fresh, every time we hear Joe Howe’s extended ‘EXEP’ EP, we can’t help but smile. Released back in April on equally eccentric French label, Sound Pellegrino, it came as a breath of fresh air amid the club heavy material we’re used to, providing eight tracks of bouncy, chip-pin funk. If for some reason you’re bored of electronic music, then it’s time to connect with ‘EXEP’.
With releases on Glasgow Underground and Nonlocal, MermaidS have been busy in the studio this year, refining their sound with each release and attracting some very positive attention in the process. The ‘Handsome Stranger EP’ was one of the highlights, incorporating deep, mesmerising grooves and expertly implemented samples.
Having had the pleasure of hosting Sad City on our stage at Simple Things Festival, we can tell you that his performance was nothing short of scintillating, enveloping the entire room with beautiful soundscapes and mesmerising loops. His second release on Phonica Special Editions takes us to Lisbon via a series of field recordings, with delicate, intricate textures creating an almost celestial atmosphere.
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Please note that although numbered, this list is not in order and we've tried to reflect Glasgow's electronic spectrum as widely as possible. It was extremely hard to pick just 20 and there were also many more releases we wanted to include - the list will just have to be longer next year!