As 2015 approaches, it’s time again to wave farewell to the year that was. And what better way to do so than to celebrate some of the best tracks of the year! It wasn’t easy, but we at Night Vision headquarters have carefully deliberated, debated, and finally, decided on what we believe are the top 15 tracks of 2014. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
15. Paleman - The Day
Label: Swamp 81
2014 was a breakout year for Manchester’s Paleman, with several releases on Loefah’s Swamp 81 label, as well as a headlining slot at Merritt’s Bass Coast music festival. The Day is a slow, meandering, behemoth of a track with rich bass and a hypnotizing vocal that never fails to get the dance floor moving a full foot lower when it drops.
14. Karin Park - Shine (Hannah Wants & Chris Lorenzo Remix)
Label: State of the Eye
2014 found the king and queen of Birmingham’s “jackin house” movement not only riding, but building upon the explosive momentum created by their breakout hit“Dappy” back in 2013. Of all the quality releases they put out this year, their remix of Karin Park’s “Shine” stood out above the rest. The dark tone set against Park’s ethereal vocals lends itself perfectly to both the club and after party listening.
13. Jesse Rose & Trozé - Chocolate
Label: Play It Down
Play It Down boss Jesse Rose teams up with the mysterious Trozé to deliver a funky, bassy, impossible-to-get-out-of-your-head cut dedicated to chocolate. To listen once is to listen a thousand times.
12. Woz - Cherry Hill
Label: Black Butter Records
What do you get when you combine deep, dark, UK bass aesthetics with ominous tech-house synths? The answer: a genre-unifying thumper by the name of Cherry Hill. It’s impossible to not nod along with this one.
11. Jamie xx - All Under One Roof Raving
Label: Young Turks
Every release from Jamie xx is an occasion to which all of us here at Night Vision look forward, and “All Under One Roof Raving” is no exception. Following in the footsteps of the hit “Far Nearer”, he delivers another steel drum classic, albeit this time with a more sombre, introspective tone.
10. Moderat - Bad Kingdom (DJ Koze Remix)
Label: Monkeytown Records
In his treatment of Moderat’s “Bad Kingdom”, DJ Koze preserves the weighty bassline of the original while vocal tweaks convey a ghostly, distant quality. The result: an instant house anthem.
9. Fur Coat - There's No Time
Label: Hot Creations
Deep, dark, and sexy—these are the sounds of Fur Coat. This tune is best experienced out in the open desert, planted firmly in front of the Robot Heart bus. Failing that, turn the lights down low, rub some dirt on your face, and get the sub crankin’.
8. Caribou - Can't Do Without You (Tale of Us & Mano le Tough Remix)
Label: City Slang
Last year, Tale of Us took on Mano le Tough’s “Primative [sic] People” to dazzling success. This year, the two teamed up to remix the lead single from Caribou’s highly acclaimed album “Our Love”. Softened in some areas, intensified in others, their rendition complements the original with its elongated, yet familiar route through the soundscapes of “Can’t Do Without You”.
7. ODESZA - Sun Models
Label: Foreign Family
The winter months can be rough; it’s dark, it’s cold, and life as a whole slows to a crawl. Thankfully we have music to help us through the tough times, and Sun Models never fails to put us back in a summer state of mind. Lay back, close your eyes, and let this one wash over you. Only 6 months to go….
6. Hercules & Love Affair feat. John Grant - I Try To Talk To You (Seth Troxler Extended NYC Mix)
Label: Moshi Moshi Records
House music’s iconic class clown Seth Troxler perfectly transcribes Hercules & Love Affair’s “I Try to Talk to You” from electro-pop hit to club anthem with his extended “NYC” remix. Despite clocking in at over twice the length of the original, Troxler’s take never feels stale or repetitive; in fact, it’s quite the opposite, as we find ourselves wanting more and more with each listen.
5. Alicia Keys - You Don't Know My Name (The Same Remix)
Label: Self-Released (Free Download)
If there’s a flaw in this song, we haven’t heard it. Pitched down Alicia Keys vocals over a buttery-smooth guitar riff—this tune transports you straight to your happy place. We had this one bumpin’ all summer long and haven’t stopped since.
4. Dusky - Inta
Label: 17 Steps
The kick, the bassline, the vocal—everything about this song is perfect. And just when you think it can’t get any better, the interlude hits. It’s not often that we talk about an interlude as the highlight of a song, but…..what is there to say really, you just have to listen! No one has mastered the interplay between deep, dark bass, and delicate, soft vocals like Dusky (well…maybe one, but you’ll have to keep reading all the way to #1 for that). The London duo absolutely nailed it with the debut release on their own 17 Steps label, and we cannot wait to bring these beauties back to Edmonton.
3. Redlight - Gold Teeth
Label: Lobster Boy
Sometimes a song takes a few listens before it resonates, before it really takes hold—Gold Teeth is not one of those songs. The vocals serve as signal to everyone around: get to the dance floor. You want to make sure you’re deep in it when it hits. What. A. Chune.
2. Ten Walls - Walking With Elephants
You know those songs that you seem to hear everywhere? The ones that every DJ at every festival is playing? Most producers can only dream of writing such a song; Ten Walls writes them exclusively. In 2013, he gave us both Gotham & Requiem. In 2014, he gave us Walking With Elephants. Orchestral strings float atop pachydermic bass (yes, you read that correctly) in this gargantuan odyssey of a tune. 2015 is still weeks away, yet something tells us we ought to reserve a spot in next year’s list for the mighty Ten Walls.
1. Henry Krinkle - Stay (Justin Martin Remix)
Ahhhh, Justin Martin….is there anything left to gush about the man that hasn’t been gushed already? He’s a proven expert when it comes to dance floor bombs, yes, but what really draws us in here is his mastery of the soft touch. His rework of “Stay” hits all the right feelings and none of the wrong ones. It’s beautiful, it’s melodic, and never feels cheesy or inauthentic. There’s even a sample of his parents’ wind chimes in the breakdown—further evidence of the personal connection he embeds in his music. Justin makes music for all the right reasons, and we love him for it.
You can also listen to the whole list from front to back with this YouTube playlist we made!