30. Arapaima, Ghostek, Anthony Drawn & Liar - Week 3 (Origami Sound)
Origami Sound's experiment in collaboration reached a peak with this four-way effort on Week 3, a dark, moody piece of 4x4 garage.
29. Venture - Moments Of Nostalgia (Kelle Remix) (Soulstep Records)
From Nostalgia EP
Night Tracks designer Kelle took Venture's peaceful original to another level, shaking up the percussion that removed some of the hypnosis and added a more mournful feel to the piece.
28. Transportation AAD - Pagoda (Darkestral)
From Darkestral EP
Forget all the hype over his work with Joy Orbison and the SUNKLO series, Boddika's best work was this entrancing ambient collaboration with label head DRKSTR under the Transportation AAD moniker. This proves that he didn't lose it when Instra:Mental called it quits...
27. Kahn & Neek - Dubchat (Hotline Recordings)
When the curtain finally fell on the mysterious, landline based Hotline Recordings, Backchat/Dubchat was unveiled. Whilst the A-side is impressive fare, it was "Dubchat" that suited Night Tracks better, proving that dub, dancehall and grime can and should be mixed at all opportunities.
26. Sipp & Steamgoat - In Between (Broken Bubble)
Anybody longing for the days that James Blake didn't spend so much time at his piano should look no further than Sipp & Steamgoat's Valor EP. This experimental piece shifts and warps unrecognisably throughout, leaving you wondering whether the sub-heavy last minute is really the same, haunting piano piece you started out with.
25. The xx - Chained (Young Turks)
Whilst it might sound like I'm knocking Coexist by claiming that the best tune on the album was the one that most carried the vibe of their first album, I'm not. This tune was just the best representation of The xx on their sophomore effort, intimate, but danceable and the guitar at two minutes is both sudden and welcomed, and it's probably the best vocal effort on the album to boot.
24. Sorrow - Distant Recall (Project Mooncircle)
From 10th Anniversary Compilation
I pride myself on the fact that I don't often miss out on essential vinyl releases. If only that was the case for the now really expensive 10th Anniversary Compilation put out by Project Mooncircle. If I didn't like any of the other tracks (I do), I still wish I bought it if only for probably my favourite Sorrow track, potentially indicative of a grimier future for his sound. Project Mooncircle, if you ever want to give me one of these for nothing, get in touch.
23. Burial - Ashtray Wasp (Hyperdub)
Burial's first solo release in quite some time was one of his most divisive works yet, testing the faith of even die-hard Burial fans. However, I think that this exposed some of Burial's influences that AREN'T El-B, and the world was better for it. Shifting away from garage to a lot of 4x4, this "mixtape" style of presenting his work found a big fan in Night Tracks.
22. Radikal Guru feat. Cian Finn - This Applies (Hatti Vatti Remix) (Moonshine Recordings)
From The Rootsteppa Remixed
Cian Finn's message of peace was contrasted with 2-step beats and dark speed garage bass on Polish producer Hatti Vatti's standout remix. Coupled with Kahn & Neek's Dubchat, this was a tune that made me really think the sound palettes of Dub music and UK Garage or Grime can work amazingly well.
21. Burial - Rough Sleeper (Hyperdub)
From Truant/Rough Sleeper
I had to hastily make room for this release the moment I heard it. One of Burial's best releases this year, Truant/Rough Sleeper arrived unexpectedly this December with no fanfare or hype. An additional exploration of his non-UKG influences alongside the Kindred EP, this mini-album from Burial was capped by the ghostly chords at the open, and the traditional Burial sound reprise at the close.
Eyes peeled for 20-11 in the next few days.