The Furtive 50: 2011
It’s that time again, the time when we unleash the homing pigeons, send out the smoke signals and invite you all via the means of the internet to vote on your chart toppers from the past year. We get all the losers that hang around on our forum as well a plethora of our favourite DJs, producers, road sweepers and the bloke who used to shout “be a winner not a sinner” at Oxford Circus to vote for their favourite tracks of the year as well as their number one album. This year we saw the return of deep house, the death of nu-disco and the increase in records that allow us to argue... is this Balearic? The judge’s decision is final.
1. Todd Terje – Ragysh (Running Back)
Member of Norway’s disco mafia and one time lord of the edit Mr. Terje tops this year’s chart with an absolute belting piece of original material. It was played by DJ's across the entire spectrum of dance music (except maybe Tïesto) and despite its name being complete gibberish, the track makes perfect sense.
2. Mark E – Call Me (Dixon edit) (Merc)
Sampling Diana Ross and edited by Dixon, Mark E falls one short of being this year's king of the DJhistory castle. Is it a booty call or a tale of long lost love? You decide.
3. Quintus Project - Night Flight (Lexx edit) (Derwin)
Found in a bargain bin in Berlin and edited by Switzerland’s biggest export since Toblerone, it’s an angelic slice of melodic brilliance and in a year when all sorts of nu-Balearic fluff was released this really stood out.
4. Virgo Four – It’s A Crime (Caribou remix) (Rush Hour)
Rush Hour resurrected the Chicago legends Virgo Four and let Caribou lose on one of the re-discovered tracks.
5. Todd Terje – Snooze For Love (Running Back)
Todd clocks in with his second entry in the top five proving that if you snooze you don’t always lose.
6. White Elephant – Sir John (Redux)
Some people labelled this Balearic-by-numbers but it certainly sounded epic when opening the Low Life boat part afloat on the Adriatic.
7. Torn Sails – Birds (Tiago remix) (Claremont 56)
Tiago patched up the holes in our sails and launched us all into the wide blue yonder. Or something like that.
8. Psychemagik – Valley Of Paradise (Psychemagik)
David Crosby's ‘Orleans’ was already arguably (let’s not go there) the most Balearic song ever made. Pyschemagik ramped the Balearic-ness up to 20 and unleashed an edit fit for any sunset
9. Julio Bashmore – Battle For Middle You (PMR Records)
The most famous ginger in British dance music, his formula is apparently get some old house sounding ting and stick a huge-ass bassline over it. It seems to work.
10. Justin Vandervolgen – Needs Ending (Golf Channel)
This year we all thanked Justin for actually finishing this and for again showing that an edit doesn't have to be a lazy excercise in song production.
11. Apiento – The Orange Place (World Unknown)
World Unknown have been throwing some amazing parties down in Brixton (the new Dalston?). They decided to start a label upon which this appeared.
12. The Rapture – How Deep Is Your Love (Emperor Machine Remix) (DFA)
New York’s favorite post-post punk-funk hipsters returned after an extended hiatus and got all dressed up in the emperor’s new clothes to turn out one of Bill's favourites.
13. Teengirl Fantasy – Cheaters (John Talabot's Classic Vocal Refix) (Hivern Disc)
Theme tune to the Bill Brewster fan club. If you sign up, you get a free signed tea cup and a year’s subscription to Anglers Mail.
14. Jeremy Glenn – New Life (Pereus’ Summer Of 83 Remix) (Future Classic Australia)
New life, new year, the soundtrack to many a failed resolution? Or just of stonking slice of retro inspired electronic pop.
15. Steve Moore – Zero Point Field (L.I.E.S.)
Despite this being really long, we still hear cries for (Steve) Moore! Epic, stark and hauntingly beautiful.
16. Omar S feat Colonel Abrams – Who Wrote The Rules Of Love (FXHE)
Omar S and Colonel Abrams deliver a syrupy slab of organic, emotion-charged, laidback house music that even Cupid would be proud of.
17. Lana Del Ray – Video Games (Interscope)
A massive video, a massive track and a massive pair of lips. Lana Del Ray made every boy playing Resident Evil feel like a sex god for four minutes.
18. Bubble Club – The Goddess (International Feel)
It’s the second year in a row Bubble Club has taken residence in the top fifty, with more gorgeous vibes sent direct from Uruguay. Not to mention that massive bassline of course.
19. Soft Rocks – We Hunt Buffalo Now (Andrew Weatherall remix) (ESP Institute)
Brighton’s crate diggers supreme became hunter-gatherers. Aided and abetted by Mr. Weatherall, they proved to be more rock than soft.
20. Joe Goddard- Gabriel (Greco Roman)
The Hot Chipper turned hot stepper on this post-garage ode to the biggest baddest angel of them all. Stop harp-ing on mate.
21. Boof – Joi Is Smiling (Running Back)
We really hope that Maurice Fulton’s latest alias is named after Michaal J Fox’s non-blonde love interest in Teen Wolf. Even if it’s not, Joi wasn't the only person smiling when this played.
22. Four Tet – Pinnacles (Text)
Last year Kieren Hebden was all over our Furtive 50 like a forum member in a record shop bargain bin. This year it’s just the one for the thinking-man’s Tïesto.
23. Locussolus – I Want It (Lindstrom & Prins Thomas remix) (International Feel)
Imagine Harvey, Thomas and Hans-Peter on the beach, wearing Speedos orderering a cocktail with a sparkler in it, listening to this.
24. Adele - Rolling In The Deep (Jamie XX Shuffle) (XL)
The housewife's favourite, got slapped upside her head by this almost reggaton reworking from Jamie XX.
25. Cottam – Sunrise Sunset (Hunee remix) (Use Of Weapons)
2011 saw something of a comeback for organ breakdowns (as opposed to failures) and this had one of the best of the lot.
26. CD vs CD - I Really Do Believe (CD vs CD)
Sampling Etta James, this was last years rave-elation, dropped by a secret producer, bassbins across the world, were watched in anticipation.
27. Jonathan Wilson - Desert Raven (Bella Union)
Despite ravens not being native to the desert, Jonathon Wilson managed to cunjure a stunning pysche-folk masterepiece without a single reference to Beefeaters or the Tower of London.
28. Max Essa – Feel It In Your Body (Is It Balearic)
We argue constantly over the Balearic-ness of things, “Is this telephone Balearic?” or “These Spanx are definitely not Balearic”. This was simply mega.
29. Pacific Horizons - Beaches Of The Black Sea (Pacific Wizard Foundation)
The body of water might be named black but this is all about that monment before the sky turns the same colour.
30. Levon Vincent – Man Or Mistress (Novel Sound)
While the gender of your lover may be confusing, this isn’t. It’s a straight up dancefloor behemoth. It starts massive and gets gigantic. Huge, then.
31. Almunia – New Moon (Claremont 56)
The men who share a name with one of the worst goalkeepers to grace these shores banged out a class album on Mudd’s Claremont 56 of which this was the lead single.
32. Michael Kiwanuka – I'm Getting Ready (Communion)
This year saw a big increase in the amount of votes for folky shizzle (must have been in the Guardian or summat) Mr Kiwanuka adds to the list with this beaut.
33. Alena – Changes (Ron Basejam remix) (ISM)
No idea who Alena are but she/they were remixed to splendid effect by one half of Crazy P’s production duo. Not much change there then.
34. Omar S – Here's Your Trance, Now Dance (FXHE)
There is talk of a trance revival, this won't happen. Omar S is onto a winner by drawing in all the trance idiots with the name and slamming them with a massiver slice of underground house.
35. Virgo Four – It’s A Crime (Hunee remix) (Rush Hour)
Debate raged throughout the year as to which was the best remix of the Chicago pioneers (also see number four in the list), opinions were divided and people stood their ground on both sides but ulitmately it would have been a crime to not squeeze both in.
36. Gil Scott Heron/Jamie XX – I’ll Take Care Of You (XL/Young Turks)
Something old and something new, a young upstart takes care of an old fella. Bit like we do with Bill after too many London Prides.
37. Motor City Drum Ensemble - L.O.V.E (!K7)
Lead single from anther great DJ Kicks compilation. Listen to the seriously amazing drums on this bad boy from Danilo Plessow. We love it.
38. Matias Aguayo – I Dont Smoke (Kompakt)
For all those that are two weeks into giving up, saying these words doesn’t sound nearly as gratifying as you thought it would, does it?
39. Rub N Tug – Scanners (Live edit) (RNT)
If you like 11 minutes of twisted, psych-rock with a bit of disco-not-disco flair all played by by a band made up of a who’s who of New York's underground disco glitterati, then salvation can be found here.
40. Suzanne Kraft – Turning (Running Back)
Sharing a surname with a brand of plastic cheese slices isn’t usually a surefire route to stardom. Suzanne is turning that on its head.
41. Fudge Fingaz – What Works (Vakula remix) (Firecracker)
A finger of fudge was more than enough to give the kids a treat. Luckily that same rings true for us adults, even if the connotations of the phrase have become slightly ambiguous..
42. The Francis Inferno Orchestra – I Need It (Nicholas Basement remix) (Join The Dots)
Two of the stars of the year (one Australian and an Italian) combined to light fires in basements all over the world, which by the way is exceptionally dangerous and something we are in no way suggesting you attempt.
43. Crystal Fighters – At Home (Fusty Delights remix) (Zirkulo)
We can’t make out if the Crystal Fighters sound really hard, or simply some kind of odd combination of Street Fighter and The Dark Crystal. We are praying for the latter.
44. Robert Owens – One Body (Kaine Reinterpretation) (Needwant)
House legend returns and is remixed in a very deep way by Kaine who is mates with Kathy Diamond and of whom big things are expected in 2012.
45. Cos-Ber-Zam – Ne Noya (Daphni mix) (Jiaolong)
If you like weirded-out afro beats all underpinned by what sails close to being some sort of post-dubstep rumblings then then you should have bought this already.
46. Factory Floor – Two Different Ways (DFA)
Sprawling blue collar math-dance music that while conceived in a factory was far more at home on the dancefloor.
47. Wolfram feat Haddaway – A Thing Called Love (Legowelt remix) (Permanent Vacation)
Remember ‘What Is Love’? Thankfully for all involved this is much, much better than that.
48. Noir & Haze – Around (Solomun remix) (Noir Music)
This probably started more sets than any other track this year. Wanna make a big entrance? Let the crowd know a new kid’s in town? Then this will do it every time.
49. Toro y Moi – Still Sound (Car Park)
Put this on, crank up the thermostat, change the bulb to a one hundred watter, close your eyes and fool yourself that you are still on a beach, drinking a beer, not sitting in your lounge in Bethnal Green waiting for Celebrity Big Brother to start.
50. Poolside – Do You Believe (Future Classic Australia)
This must have been played at more poolsides than you could shake an armband at. Literally invented to be played in the sunshine, we all danced in our speedos like there was no tomorrow.
1. Almunia – New Moon (Claremont 56)
Clearly stealing the name from the second book and thus trading off the success of the Twilight saga, Almunia released this stunning debut on Claremont 56. Full of over-dubbed disco, heavy guitars and pyshed-out grooves, this is a lesson in subtlety and patience. It’s a gorgeous album that combines both late night chilling vibes as well as chugging dancefloor workouts.