LWE’s Top 10 Overlooked Tracks of 2008

For our second year end column, LWE’s editor-in-chief, Steve Mizek, digs up his top 10 overlooked tracks of 2008.
Thousands upon thousands of tracks are released each year, followed by remix packages, online exclusives, reissues and more. So it’s inevitable that a number of great tunes and remixes get passed over, escaping even the most obsessive fans and blogs. Still, there are a handful whose absence in collections, year end lists, crates and blog posts is a bit inexcusable. So here are ten of my favorite tracks from 2008 which have been erroneously overlooked.

01. Ben Klock, “October”
[BPitch Control] (buy)

Ben Klock’s “October” may not be as majestic as “Dawning,” his collaboration with Marcel Dettmann, but this forgotten BPitch Control single is just as finely produced and body-rocking. Equally pounding and caressing listeners’ ears, “October” builds an ethereal soundscape for a laser-guided synth line to explode through and bring the dance floor to a boil. Hopefully this perfect slice of Berghain techno is a sign of things to come in Klock’s forthcoming album.

02. Niggemann & Poppcke, “L’aurora” (Agnès Chicago Take)
[Moonpool] (buy)

Few remixers were as strong and consistent as Agnès in 2008, and this oft-overlooked cut is the crown jewel. True to its name, the tune is influenced by the work of Ron Trent and Chez Damier, with Prescription-strength synth stabs tugging wallflowers onto the floor. But Agnès is never beholden to his influences, so he adds orchestral flourishes and segmented vocals to give the tune a well rounded finish. Few tracks from 2008 were as much a pleasure to play to crowds than this remix.

03. Mixworks & Alex Picone, “Berlin Dub”
[Mixworks] (buy)

This unlikely collaboration between newly minted Cadenza artist Alex Picone and a shadowy Detroit duo is a slice of simple perfection. Its incisive synth line hits like a scalpel wielded by a butcher, slicing with a stinging precision reminiscent of Wolfgang Voigt’s Studio 1 project while muffled bass rumbles below. Besides being one of the highlights of Ame’s Fabric mix, “Berlin Dub” got lost in the shuffle. Rest assured it’s still got bite even when buried.

04. Lee Jones, “As You Like It” (Recloose remix)
[Aus Music] (buy)

If the original “As You Like It” was a little flabby, Recloose’s under appreciated remix trimmed back all but the taut, housey muscles which lay underneath. His sample-studded production matches up nicely with Jones’ own aesthetic but with a much larger dose of funk, the outer space kind to be specific. Easily one of the best segue tracks I played out this year, and that’s no small compliment.

05. Daso, “Pars Tensa”
[Connaisseur Recordings] (buy)

Looking back, it is and it isn’t difficult to see how Daso’s masterful B side, “Pars Tensa” was ignored. It ignores all popular palettes for a strange juxtaposition of Flamenco guitar strums and a throbbing 909 bass line which growls behind playful guitarwork and scissoring hi-hats. Keep doing it your own way, Daso; it’s more more interesting that way.

06. Scott, “Memory Core” (Paul Frick remix)
[My Best Friend] (buy)

Paul Frick is my hands down personal favorite emerging producer in 2008 and his cheeky remix of “Memory Core” is exhibit one as to why. His artistic vision is impeccable, having only rearranged the original elements in a vastly more compelling way; and his clever, unabashed sense of humor, which never crosses into novelty, is the cherry on top. Don’t let this stay lost under the banner of digital exclusivity.

07. Dave Shokh, “Chlam”
[Rompecabeza] (buy)

I heard this first at Berghain during Ben Klock’s 8 a.m. shift and it made me rush through the still crowded floor to beg him to reveal its identity. Shokh-ing, indeed, “Chlam” is an immense builder that swells with intensity as it hammers the dance floor before collapsing upon itself. So good and uncelebrated it almost makes me feel bad for this.

08. Luke Solomon, “People, Places, Thoughts and Faces” (Ajello remix) [REKIDS] (buy)
In a year given to disco edits and vocal house proclivities, all the glittery bounce and funky space imparted by Ajello’s Luke Solomon remix ought to be taking up space in a lot more crates. It’s been my great pleasure to tease dance floors with this fantastic remix all year before dropping it in the mix and seeing smiles light up.

09. Intrusion, “Intrusion” (Phase 90 Reshape)
[echospace [detroit]] (buy)

Fist-pumping, floor-stomping, world-beating reshape treatment from Phase 90 takes Intrusion’s self-titled debut from bedroom to dark club basement in seconds. Easily my favorite side of echospace vinyl this year.

10. Telespazio, “Telemetric” (Arto Mwambe’s Guitar Down remix) [Tiny Sticks Records] (buy)
It would be fair to say Arto Mwambe’s thunderous “Telemetric” remix lacks subtly because bombast seems to be the point. But even with crashing piano chords, soaring synths, snare rolls and whimsical vocals, there are finer, less obvious facets (like the string slide noise) which testify to the duo’s production finesse. “Deep-house” audiences still hungover from their minimal binge may cringe at its boldness, but this house head shouts for more.

harpomarx42  on December 15, 2008 at 7:46 PM

03. Is it really that overlooked?
08. I can’t help but feel happy when I hear this.
10. I love how retro it sounds, and if you edit out the ‘this is how we do it in 08 baby’ you’d think it was a SR/Nu Groove cut from 94.

littlewhiteearbuds  on December 15, 2008 at 7:50 PM

I think it’s quite overlooked; because if Ame hadn’t put it in their Fabric mix (where many seemed to ignore it anyway) it seems few would know it exists.

chris  on December 15, 2008 at 7:59 PM

yes yes yes to number 1

both sides of that 12″ are amazing, and i think it was quickly forgotten after scenario and klockworks 3

sam500  on December 16, 2008 at 1:00 AM

Are there no sound clips for these tracks?

littlewhiteearbuds  on December 16, 2008 at 6:50 AM

That’s correct. Many of them have already been featured elsewhere on the site, so search around.

Craig Gordon  on December 16, 2008 at 6:55 AM

Really disappointing you never put these tracks up for streaming.

“L’aurora” was one of my biggest tracks this year and Agnès is clearly one of the years defining artists.

littlewhiteearbuds  on December 16, 2008 at 8:30 AM

Look, I don’t have mp3s of all these tracks and the majority have already been offered as streams in past reviews and charts (just enter the track title into the search field above). The rest can be found on Beatport or Juno if you’re that curious.

james kartsaklis  on December 16, 2008 at 10:13 AM

FWIW, I first heard “L’aurora” on this here site. A few others have been featured, as well.

Couldn’t agree more with the Ben Klock record. I ordered that + the Mixworks EP from Juno and received them on the day of a party I was playing, literally just in time. Doubt either record will be leaving my “play” crate for a long while.

Dave Bloom  on December 16, 2008 at 10:33 AM

Yeah, just beatport em, lazybones.

LWE, thanks for a great year of reviews. Really dig the site.

Dave Bloom

hutlock  on December 16, 2008 at 12:05 PM

Ben Klock’s LP that hits in January is aces, BTW. REALLY good stuff. Hopefully we remember it this time next year…

Joe H  on December 16, 2008 at 3:17 PM

Kudos on Dave Shokh, “Chlam” I think this would have been lost forever in a glut of minimal releases on an unheard label if you hadn’t have pointed it out. I for one have never heard it. Cheers.

UFOtoZion  on December 16, 2008 at 3:41 PM

this is terrific, we need more lists like these!!

“best of” lists are generally a snore.

sam500  on December 17, 2008 at 12:29 AM

No worries re. the clips. I just got used to you spoon feeding them to us on previous posts 😉

kuri  on December 18, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Lee Jones “As you like it” (Recloose remix) – top remix that ups the funk quotient and as you said is great at stradling the house/techno divide.

Pierre-Nicolas  on December 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM

About #1, here is an interview with Ben Klock speaking about October (Jan 08) :



Nightowl  on December 20, 2008 at 11:12 AM

i totally agree with your first record, ben klock – october. this records techno sound is carved out with subtlety – timeless. i even forgot that it is a 2008 release, at a first glance i thougt it was already in 2007 that it came out on bpitch control. and i am very glad that you put the outstanding arto mwambé remix of télémetric in your list.

i guess, another record / track that wasn’t in a very focus is the radio slave remix for “the tribute” by content (a.k.a. jesse rose). the original version is – imho – totally dull, and the remix just to blow your mind off. another radio slave landmark.

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