Top Tunes Of 2010

It is very, very difficult for me to compile a list of just ten tunes that made my year, as it seems there was a fantastic new tune almost every other day, but I have given it a go.

10. The Gathering – In My System (Jef K Remix) – Very deep, very soulful house track that is just quite beautiful.  Introduced to me by Ricardo Villalobos at fabric in March, really enjoyed listening to it, such a good track.
9. James Flavour – Who’s In The House – This to me is garage.  Most other people call it house.  But this has such a garage feel to it and I really enjoyed it, and I cannot understand why anyone would not want to dance to this beauty.
8. Benoit & Sergio – Walk & Talk – Alas, no Youtube link for this one, but it is the track that goes “my baby does k all day, doesn’t wash her hair, doesn’t wash her clothes”, very laid back and smooth, will be a huge tune of early 2011 I suspect.
7. Johnny D – Love Me Or Leave Me – I love everything that he does, but this track had so many wiggles and squiggles that really brought out the weird wrist and elbow dancing in me, not such a good tune for the winter, but it was excellent in the summer
6. Tensnake – Coma Cat – Some may be surprised that I would put such a popular record so high up, but it really did connect with me, and I loved how it brought a slower, disco sound to the masses, and deserves such recognition.  It really is quite a magical track – perhaps not one I want to dance to now, but I do love hearing it.  And especially enjoy watching the teasing lesbions video which goes with it.
5. Luna City Express – Mr. Jack (Robags Edna Mompf Remix) – So much jacking house this year, so much good basic house tracks which sound very late 90’s with a modern twist, and this was the pick of them for me, quite dark, but really chunky, something to really get my dancing feet stuck into.
4. MMM – Nous sommes MMM – I might be putting this so high because it probably shouldn’t feature in my top ten at all, but I really enjoyed the rave synths of this track, one to really annoy the super cool deep house people whose music I admire but sometimes I do want to hit them with a piece of wet fish, and this track does this quite delightfully.

3. Die Vogel – Blaue Moschee – Although it does sound rather tired to my ears now, this really was quite a spectacular track that Sven Vath played at that crazy night at matter back in April that had everyone marching along, absolutely devastating and a hell of a lot of fun.
2. Shimmy Sham Sham 002 – A track that few picked up on, this I discovered early in the year and after such a harsh winter, it filled me with hope and joy – much fluffier than anything else I like, quite beautiful.  Really do not understand why it has not been a bigger tune.
1. Art Department – Without You – This just has to be my number one.  The second that I heard it at a friend’s penthouse flat from a Jamie Jones set, I knew I loved it.  This just has everything going for it.  So amazing, so dark, so dirty, so groovy and dare I say it – so sexy.  Also Resident Advisor’s number 1 tune of 2010 which surprises me that they agree with me!

There were so many others that I could have picked but I think this best represents what floated my boat this year.
Every time I discover a new track I put it on my top tunes blog.
Looking forward to lots more new exciting music next year.

Review Of 2010

I am going to allow myself a little time to reflect on the past 12 months, for I believe that if one does not reflect on what has happened, one cannot achieve the best outcomes in the future.  When I reach a conclusion, I like to review the process, to see what has been achieved, and how it can be done better, next time.

2010 has for me been quite a turbulent year, nothing disastrous but troubles I could have done without.  I took decisisons which I believed were for the best, but didn’t give me an easy life.  But I never wanted an easy life!  If I wanted an easy life, I would have stayed in Hull, got a council house, a meaningless job/unemployment benefits, three kids with three different mothers, and spent every day in the pub being angry with everyone else who has achieved something in their life.

But no, I have decided to try to make something of myself, despite society throwing objects in my path – or more specifically, the Labour government of 1997-2010 giving everything to those who sit on their backsides and little to those who work hard.  So the best outcome by far in 2010, the one thing that makes me happiest, is the fact that we now have a government which supports people like me.  One that encourages growth, enterprise and decency. One that tells people to get off their backsides and contribute.  Which I probably need to do a bit more of.  Point taken, Mr Cameron.

I really enjoyed the election, I loved that so many people got interested in what is going on in the country rather than blindly going about their lives.  I didn’t get my preferred outcome of a Conservative majority, but instead I got a Coalition government – which with my liberal leanings, is probably actually a better outcome than I originally wanted.  The election also saw my blog get quite popular – a lot of people looked at my blog on election day.  Maybe I helped!  David…Maggie…you owe me 😉

My blog has been one of the best things of my year.  My sometimes inane witterings have allowed me some sanctuary from insanity, and I truly believe have had a positive effect on my life.  Though I also do have to be careful of what I write, as I have found out as much as it can be quite exciting when for example Sven Vath put a link to my review on his Facebook page…it can also be not so good, for example when a flippant comment which I am pretty good at can come back to haunt me!  I’m perhaps too honest and open for my own good sometimes.  But as I said earlier, I don’t like to make life easy for myself.

I think my biggest disappointment of the year has to be the lack of holidays.  That I were not able to make my annual pilgrimage to Ibiza, did cause me some internal suffering.  However, previous years I went twice so maybe in 2011 I will go three times to make up for it.  And I did have some quite excellent adventures in this country – especially Cocoon In The Park in Leeds which was fantastic and I thoroughly recommend everyone to buy a ticket when it comes about next year.

Also memorable were weekends in Canary Wharf, Manchester and Stuttgart.  And many, many nights, and days at the Oakford Social Club, which has now almost become my second home.  Not forgetting too, a couple of excellent nights out at fabric.  Which also had a somewhat turbulent year.

Musically, I have struggled to keep up to date with what is coming out as there is so much amazing music being produced at the moment that it is almost impossible.  But I am trying, and I am getting a lot out of it.  My new blog which showcases the tunes that I discover that I think are particularly excellent I think will take over from my original blog, in popularity, at some point in 2011.  I am quite excited about it.  I do love my music.

That is another thing that purterbs me – why do I seem to have only had a handful of really good night’s clubbing this year?  Probably because I do have to travel to find such a night.  I desire more good clubbing nights next year.

What else happened?

Oh, there was the World Cup.  I enjoyed watching it, I spent quite a lot of time sitting on a very comfortable sofa, drinking beer, watching football.  Because I could.  And because I am a man, and therefore I should.  I was glad that England didn’t win.  Can you imagine John Terry and Wayne Rooney being held as heroes, like Bobby Moore or Jack Charlton?  No.  A lack of dignity.  A lack of decency.  A lack of respect.  So if we send such characters to represent us, we should not expect or want, a good return.

I cannot really think of anything else.  Despite some turbulence and unnecessary trauma at times, this year has been ok.  I started it happy, I end it happy.  It could have been better.  But then again, I could have drifted along and not strived for something better.

I do get the sense that most people have been through the grinder recently, most people have had tough times.  I was expecting this a few years ago, before the credit crunch hit, as historically, recessionary periods are tough in many ways.  I am also expecting things to get better.  I’m not often wrong (though I don’t rule out the possibility that I am totally deluded).

I think if I was going to give 2010 a rating – I would rate it 6 out of 10.  2009 was 3 out of 10 at best, as it was a pretty shit year, albeit with some highlights.  2006 to 2008 were probably around 8 out of 10.  Prior to that I don’t think any year was higher than a 5.  So I think I have to be satisfied with a 6 out of 10 rating for my year.

It was a pretty good year, not what I hoped, not what it could have been, but pretty good.

I wish anyone still reading a successful and joyful 2011, I’m going to have a good one – you can too.  Much love as always xxx

Updated Weather Forecast

Do I have anything interesting to say about the weather?  As I am sure you are appreciating that right now it is particularly uninteresting out there.  We were due a period of boring weather.  It all goes in cycles.  A boring, cloudy, dull phase was long overdue.

I look upon it as a chance for the atmosphere above us to have a rest, gather thought, and decide what it is going to do next.  And it will do something significant soon I feel, once it has got over its hangover, as it did get a bit crazily drunk during December.

Friday, you will not be shocked to hear, will be cloudy.  I don’t rule out a few breaks in the cloud later in the day though.  6’C.
Saturday will see a band of rain come down from the north, nothing significant, but it will introduce that colder air once again, 5’C.  Cold again overnight, -2’C.
Sunday should be a crisp, sunny day, 1’C at best.  But sunshine.  And the sun is now getting stronger, believe it or not.  Though you won’t notice that until the end of February.  Cold overnight, -3’C but not the deep cold we had of previous weeks.
Monday sees high pressure getting squashed as low pressure moves in from the north, an unusual direction, but this is an unusual winter.  Cold, 0’C.
Tuesday, there could be some snow, more likely up north or the midlands, but it could get down south too.  I don’t expect huge amounts, but enough, cold in the easterly wind, 2’C.
Wednesday, any wintryness should clear away, fairly bright but cold, 1’C, -4’C overnight.

And this is where it will get interesting.

The Atlantic is going to get going at the same time as cold air from the Arctic is ready to push down.

Any time from Thursday, more likely Friday, will see decent storm systems come in against lots of cold air.  Where they meet, expect a lot of snow.  And I mean, a lot of snow.  Day after day.

Whether this will be as far south as Reading, I am unsure of.  It is borderline.  Previous winters I would say no chance, this winter I say good chance but not definite.  But I expect some central and northern areas at least, to get plasterings of snow, perhaps up to 2 feet.

It won’t be as cold as it has been though.  And for those in the far south, it will be too mild for snow, and will be rain.

And I think come the middle of the month, mild weather will spread across again.

Ready to set us up for something even more spectacular in February perhaps???  Though the end of February may see the first daffodill.  Maybe.  Just maybe I see a warmer than average start to spring, I expect to be able to confirm that within a few weeks.

Still going for a cool but nice summer, and 10 cold winters, though this one to be the worst until 2014-15 I think.

I hope that satisfies your weather forecasting demands and desires.

What Is Shed Music?

I am a little purturbed and confused right now.

I like a genre or two, and I have been known to create a couple of genre names such as ‘backdoor trance’ or ‘semi-detached house’ but they actually had music to go along with them.  There was a reason behind such names, there was an understanding of what music it was.

The attached link takes you to a flyer advertising a night with no less of a DJ than my hero Sven Vath playing, with other Cocoon favourites and some local Birmingham DJs too.

If you scroll to the bottom of the flyer, it advises music of; techno, minimal, house, progressive, tribal, future garage (I can just about grasp this concept) and shed.

What is shed music?

Please can someone enlighten me.

It would be much appreciated – I do not want to feel that I am potentially missing out on a new genre of music.

I would be much obliged.

I have e-mailed Cocoon to see if they know the answer but I am suspecting it might be an English thing.