The turkey is in sandwiches and the grandparents have muttered the last of their old timey slurs, it’s time for the largest digestion of the season… The Rye Wax LISTIES 2018!
End of year list fatigue has reached its highest point since records began, with scientists now forecasting a 50% rise in people copying Boomkat lists by 2029. Apathy towards industry opinions is rising in line with PewDiePie subscribers, analysts say. Traditional gatekeepers also looking into the possibility of closing the gate and bricking it up by late next quarter, as it is speculated that new-gen influencers are planning their assault on the gate’s relevancy.
Another minor flood, some seepage in the office we’d rather not talk about and a summer that we won’t see the likes of again until at least February have made this a tricky time down in Rye Wax. Through it all though, always has there been exemplary tunes to turn to, to cradle gently in our bosom. Albums that took us out to Secret Cinema, made us hide Cherry B’s in our cowboy boots, don capes and microdose. Pure, recorded magic which lifts the spirits in dark days (or darkens the mood when things are going eerily well). Below lies Rye Wax’s faithful staff with much music to share. These are those very arrangements we speak of above. May they raise your spirits and slay your dances in times of need.
Check back later for more categories our staff pulled out of their arses but for now it’s time for…
The Listies for BEST SINGLES / EPS
CLAIRE SMITH (SOUVENIR)
Weird Weather - Leather Chair
Very much extended family, Weird Weather (Duncan Thornley & Laurence Horstman) have emerged from the murky mixing studios of London to release two of the waviest 12’s of the year – Bamboo Room via Emotional Especial, and Leather Chair on Going Good, which gets the nod here. Keep em peeled, these lads have a lot of hi-grade 10/10 material on the horizon.
“Going-right-for-the-jugular killer dub wonk” – Claire Smith
Upsammy - Another Place
Another producer who has been tirelessly dishing out nothing but the best club flavours all year. Upsammy’s efforts on the Whities Blue series and Die Orakel have been in heavy rotation on the underground airwaves but it is her luscious EP on Nous’Klaer which made it onto our list. “Can’t get over how good this is” says Claire.
Grim Lusk – SUNP0101 – Domestic Exile
Pussy Mother member Grim Lusk fires onto Domestic Exile with an EP that is wrong in all the right ways. Wigged out percussion that ebbs and sways over thunderous pulses and atmospheric drones but always with fundament…dynamite!
Leslie Winer & Jay Glass Dubs – YMFEES - Bokeh Versions
Bokeh Versions and Jay Glass Dubs continue their extremely fruitful relationship with YMFEES, pairing JGD with 80s NYC fashionista, Basquiat flame, artist and musician, Leslie Winer, and the results are as ethereal as you would expect. Meditative, minimal Dub, TOP! Shouts to the Bleaks crew ;)
GRRRR – TAX12002
Sounding halfway between a digi dub odyssey and a Foley recording from a Fred Dibnah show, this tribal dub from GRRRR on Dutch label Tax Free 93 is fun from start to finish.
Elements of Joy – Magnétiques
Originally a cassette release on his own label Body Theory, Elements Of Joy (Aka UVB) gets a vinyl master from brokntoys, bringing his ode to post-punk and industrial onto the platter for the first time.
Clara! y Maoupa - Meneo
Flying the female flag high in the reggaeton circuit, Clara! teams up with Maoupa Mazzocchetti for an EP on Les Disques De La Bretagne that never failed to get bootys wigglin’ this year.
Escape Earth - Exosphere EP
More friends of the shop, Ritual Poison bosses BufoBufo and Corporeal Face join forces and emerge from a crusted husk as… Escape Earth... adding more credence to the recent “Ritual Poison = cop on sight” mantra going around the shop (ed: first C.O.S shout of the list, more to follow) .
Simo Cell – 5 Party Mix
Simo Cell chugs it the fuck out on this cheeky foray into sub-100bpm technoooo on the always beautifully scatty BFDM.
CS + Kreme - Cold Shoulder - Trilogy Tapes
The third release for CS + Kreme on the impeccable Trilogy Tapes is as haunting and delicate as you would hope. Two sprawling slabs of audio gold, with added sax that Raymond Chandler would approve of.
Rian Treanor - RAVEDIT (The Death of Rave)
Eee by gum! Inspired pointillist edits of usually bait party pumpers courtesy of Sheffield rave prodigy and the most complex MaxMSP plugin Mark Fell has ever made, Rian Treanor.
Duckett - Emperor's New Clothes EP
Rhythms deemed “all a bit too regular and pedestrian” for the masochists over at Boomkat (xx), meaning this release could actually be playable to a room of people looking to get loose. Sanza-Step and Perc-Bop on Berceuse Heroique!
Tom Richards - Pink Nothing (Nonclassical)
Two studio sessions and a live recording unfold over this fantastic Nonclassical release from modular whizz Tom Richards – a big hit down here in the shop since its release and one that will be heard for a long time to come.
Iridite Productions – Simple Solutions To Complex Problems
Dub and Detroit permeate through this slab of Glaswegian gold, with Production Unit’s monstrous 5 Clap Rush being the standout track with its Alka-Seltzer-claps and bubbling synths.
Toma Kami – Slither EP
A stellar year it was for the fine young Toma Kami – head honcho at the mercurial Man Band Records and Livity signee – his Slither EP sauntered into clubs this year, causing heads to both turn AND nod. Meditative Bristolian-esque rhythm with a cheeky French twist: Top Shit.
VA - DNR All-stars volume 1
God bless DnR! Four slammers from the likes of Sky Joose and El-B make this a must-check for fans of everything UKG.
Parkway Rhythm ft Boyd Jarvis - Broad Street Pressure
Boyd Jarvis, who sadly passed this February aged 59, empties the last of his gold-dust onto this incredible Parway Rhythm bopper. Poignant now but this release will be keeping people smiling and dancing for a long, long time, just as Boyd would’ve wanted.
Ploy – Ramos
Dirtier than its namesake, silkier than Sterling in a smoking jacket, with more kicks than a dug-out brawl and less fucks given than Mourinho – we don’t really expect anything less from Ploy, a new-school sensei of the shepard tone stress techno track. File under “This one goes to 11”
Bawrut – 1-2-3-4
Complete acid overspill here on Ran$om Note from Bawrut – some of the catchiest 303 lines of the year, with added talking-synth parts taking you str8 back 2 da mainframe.
WATSON (FYI CHRIS)
Nazar – Enclave EP
A late release on Hyperdub came from Angolan producer Nazar who, feeling current Kuduro to be “too upbeat”, went about redefining what the sound could be, swapping the usual percussion out with the sound of silenced pistols, uzis, and haunting background vocals. The results are unnerving but also club-ready. “recounting the stories of numerous airstrikes endured by his mother, aunties and older sisters” – essential listening. Shouts to Shannen SP for her vocals on this too!
5ive – Planet B EP
Powder has started her own imprint. From now on, checking for new Thinner Groove should be a top priority! First up is the owner of the modern library referencing label Snaker, and Samo DJ collaborator - 5ive, who serves up a eminently varied and tempered EP, keeping the vibes throughout with drifting melodies and uplifting flourishes.
Aphex Twin – Collapse EP
Obvious choice is obvious, but it really feels like the current-gen of experimental producers has really given RDJ a kick up his armoured assault vehicle. Definite shades of Jlin and Gqom on this one with the trademark playful precision of Aphex, making it one of the best releases he’s done in aaaaages!
Perko Pair – NV Auto
Very nice to see (friend of the shop) Perko finally getting his music out and about via Glasgow’s mighty Numbers, and it’s totally worth the wait. With 6 gilt-edged cuts, filled with all da breaks and nifty synths you could ever need. TIP!
Lord Tusk – Communique EP
Ever individual, the prolific Lord Tusk spent the year releasing a cavalcade of top-tier music. The Communique EP sees him exploring dub-4-dancefloor in every direction. Worth it alone for the blissful Shyne Eyed Gal…
Tom Of England – Care to Destroy
Tom Of England chops and slows the Black Arabs Sex Pistols medley from The Great Rock n Roll Swindle into an absolute bomb track, playable in almost any situation – guaranteed to shake the cobwebs off even the most stubborn of dance floors. Hands in the air, ya filthy animals!
TOM UNLIKELY (Rye Wax / Fold)
VTSS - Self Will
A blistering mission statement from both VTSS (resident at infamous Warsaw party Brutaż) and new label Intrepid Skin. EBM and techno catharsis of the highest quality, with a personal edge.
Veronika Vasicka - In Silhouette
Veronika steps out behind the shade of her incredible labels (Minimal Wave / Cititrax) to hand Regis and his Downwards label an old track of hers which is lovingly supported by new mixes from Regis himself, Paul Kendal and Chasm – From slow-wave, sludge-chug to hi-nrg – toptoptop!
Golden Filter - Talk Talk Talk
A frankly essential release for anyone into anything synth-pop, Rye Wax extendo-fam Penelope Trappes and Stephen Hindman deliver another classy and powerful EP, bolstered by a huuuuuuuuuuuge Cooper Saver remix.
Aboutface – Coordinates #1
Aboutface begins a concept we can all get behind – impossible to find music referencing very specific geo-locations! This first release comprises two sprawling ambi-house groovers based on locations in Mexico and Lincolnshire – we’d say keep a look out for this geez over the next 12 months…
Overmono – iii’s Front
Undoubtedly one of the labels of the year, Whities rounds the year off with a behemoth release from brothers Truss and Tessela under their Overmono moniker – you will be hearing this one for a looooong time. (NB: apparently we hear on the grapevine that the magnificent 12” sleeve for this record was made at a loss, Factory Records style, so definitely support the digi release!)
Piezo - ANSIA002
Luca Mucci AKA Piezo keeps squeezing out some of the most unscrewed tunes around, and in the track Parrots, he created a hybrid booty bass kaiju tune that morphs into a ridiculously slick cascade of synth bliss, punctuated by perfect pops of 808 toms over seven minutes. Shades of deamondz on the outro - More elements than a Singapore Sling, handled with care and brought together perfectly. (…click play for fucks sake)
Sin Falta - Diamonds EP
Rumoured to be Kassem Mosse on the Moss Side community forums, this is fucking gorgeous heavy weight low end testing beats from Sin Falta on Andrew Lyster’s Youth label. It’s all scud missile subs with varying levels of disjointed analogue beeps and belches, scattered across the void, most excellent.
Linkwood – Fresh Gildans EP
Linkwood needs to calm down. To anyone well aware of the prodigious talents of Nick Moore, this release was a little surprising. “150 electro bumper?” But soon enough you could never imagine Linkwood NOT making 150 bumpers, fucking course he can.
RACHAEL (Il Telefono)
FYI Chris – PAS
FYI Chris’s mad atomic air raid siren chug jam makes it on the list c/o Rachael, who can often be heard playing it at minus eight, which is a great tip if you ever want to make the str8 thru few at happy hour freak out. Find it on the A side of the Snod Hill EP.
(p.s. Thanks Rachael :3 )
Super Drama – Drama Theme EP
Some forever shop family unite on this release as our beloved Super Drama Boys march ever on towards big tings with their Drama Theme EP and recruit Bell Towers for an exquisite remix of Irreplaceable Taste
Rroxymore - Thoughts Of An Introvert Part 2
The second instalment of Rroxymore’s Thought Of An Introvert series on Don’t Be Afraid brings us three more exuberant tracks that would rather not come to your party right now if they were being honest, but will end up coming out due to popular demand anyway. Leave them to binge watch something later though…
Murun B & Ivor E - Murun & Ivor EP
Shop bae’s and proprietors of the excellent Ears Have Eyes, Murun B & Ivor E have combined to great effect on the fifth release on the label. Chunky, late-night fodder for basements, floors and afters alike!
Glowing Palms – RK#14
Ruf Kutz OG and incredibly nice fella, Glowing Palms does it again with a sumptuous collection of synthy bouncy house for those who party like no one has clicked attending. Top shit from Manchester as always.
Sagat - Off Center
Fractured rhythms with a pointedly UK flavour from the Belgian producer Sagat. He blessed us in May with three absolute bullets via BXL that have caused a fuss on more than one occasion down in ze basement. Tense but playful – like a musical danger wank. TIP.
Nathan Fake - Sunder
A cacophonous barrage of emotive synths is just kinda Nathan Fake’s thing and his EP on Ninja Tune was no exception. Smacking you right in the 4am feels, there is no one better at making the end of night emotional rollers than Mr. Fake.
Delian League - Orbitals EP
The delectable Room II Records continue to lay the foundations for a very classy catalogue with this release from Montreal newcomer Delian League. Dusty, jacking ballroom-esque grooves with much grunt (especially on the B-side), yet delicate when it needs to be – this is more than worth a check. We’re all looking forward to seeing where Room II takes us in the new year.
FFF & Coco Bryce - Falling In Love
More jungle fetishism executed with love and care from Dutch skank-peddlers FFF & Coco Bryce. We get one absolute beaut from each of them here - If you like your amens played at (the proper speed of) ~160bpm Myor Massiv stamp = Buy On Sight
Chris Coupe (FYI Chris)
Phaserboys - Phaser Boys EP
Like a dip in the pool on a lunar base whilst your refuelling your ship. That fact-finding mission to outpost b-122 can wait a while, Aki Vierboom and Gregor Darman have set phasers to fun for this mega release on Aiwo.
Gallegos - Mad As Hell
Them there Banoffee Pies guys have uncovered a real gem in Gallegos. The young producer has steadily released a string of club tracks that demand the immediate attention of any dancefloor. Tunes to hug your mates to as your swinging jaws synchronise, top.
Mars 89 - End Of The Death
Another entry for the magnificent Bokeh Versions – who only ever explore the very outer reaches of sonic entanglement. Mars89’s End Of The Death is a bleak and powerful stretch of dub-infused club wreckers with nods to all kinds of sci-fi, cult films and video games. Fucking brilliant.
Katerina - Just When You Thought It Was All Over
After contributing a few tracks to Cómeme compilations in the past, Katerina drops her debut EP and it has all the swagger you would expect if your familiar with the radio and DJ work of Helsinki’s finest. Emotive and powerful ideas, no-wave nods and industrial edges make this as fine a debut as we’ve heard all year!
J ZBEL/Low Jack/ U 202 - Rends L’argent
Lyon’s BFDM label teams up with some label called L.I.E.S to produce a split EP that features J ZBEL ramping up the rave-nostalgia sounding much like trying to find your tent at Global Gathering after one too many 'ludes. The flip features dancehall melancholia from Low Jack and a pulsating noise assault from U-202.
Pangaea – Bone Sucka
Yet more perfectly weighted rave weaponry from Kevin McAuley, with an added off-kilter Mr G flavoured deep roller on the flip. After close to 12 years in the business of blowing minds, Hessle Audio continues to be one of the most exciting labels in the world. Here’s to another 12.
That brings us to the end of the Singles and EP shout outs! A big nice juan to all the staff for contributing, and all the artist and labels for sharing all this goodness with us over the year. We can’t wait to hear what is round the corner.
FYI - The only real way of making them winners is to support the artists and labels in any way you can. Catch a gig, buy some merch, most of all – buy the music!