Its only now with 2014 comfortably in the rear view that we can really begin to take stock of it. For us at least it was a bumper year; one which kicked off with the launch of our new site just under 12 months ago and went on to take in countless festivals and events, some great mixes, loads of features and a whole lot more. More generally, last year saw ‘electronic music’ – to use that dangerously wholistic label, go from strength-to-strength in both an artistic and commercial sense. Although you could bemoan the lack of any true zeitgeistial movements such as in years gone by, there was an undeniably huge amount 0f new music to listen to on an almost daily basis – no matter what tickled your fancy.
Filtering down what the ‘best’ releases, artists and moments of 2014 was starting to cause a lot of rows over in the Hyponik offices during the last few weeks. So many in fact, that we’ve decided to pass the buck entirely and allow you; our readers, to choose for yourselves. Naturally we’ve had to wittle things down into a series of shortlists – a thankless task in itself that will surely have some of you indignant with rage. For those of you that don’t end up chucking your computer across the room in disgust at the ensuing categories, we really appreciate your votes and we hope to hear more from you in 2015 – thanks to everyone who continues to support what we do!
2014 was an expansive year for the longplay format – from mainstream crossover success to experimental Techno better geared for the living room than the dancefloor, we saw a fruitful array of albums come together in harmonious cacophony that truly displayed just how much is possible in the spectrum of sound today.
Single handedly crafting the biggest tune of the year is no small task. The ability to change the dynamic of a room by filling it with inexplicable feelings is a good indicator, but more often than not it boils down to effective melody. Here are some of our favourites which we heard DJs big and small play out this year to go that extra mile and keep us all firmly on our toes throughout these past four seasons.
Track Of The Year
In years gone by we may have felt the need to split this into several categories; ‘Best compilation’, ‘Online Mix of the Year’, ‘Best Mix CD’ etc. Those sub divisions have finally become essentially redundant in recent times – a fact exemplified best by a certain German powerhouse’s decision to discontinue their acclaimed CD mix series and transfer things wholly online. There’s now no real distinction in quality between bought mixes and digital ones available free of charge – a definite headache for labels and some artists, but a gift that keeps on giving for us, the music listening public. Here’s what made the grade for us in 2014.
Mix Of The Year
What makes a great DJ? The best selectors out there today are those who leave their imprint on a club, festival or space’s dancefloor each and every time they helm the controls. Those who do so weave a sonic tapestry, connecting the dots between cult classics with what’s interesting and often unheard today, all the while bringing the dancers on a journey throughout. Deciding the best DJ in the world is an odious task but some people had better years than others. Here’s who we thought made real impact last year, now take your pick.
DJ Of The Year
This year we witnessed all encompassing energy in ancient amphitheatres, precision perfect showcases of light and sound across Euroland and all hell being raised in a church in Hackney. It’s common knowledge that a lot of music is best and sometimes only listenable when heard live and it’s the pairing of great sound with unique space and above all unique improvisation that brought some performers out on top.
Live Act Of The Year
Running a record label has never been at once more complicated or as simple as it was in 2014. An infinite array of formats coupled with an ever shifting market of record buyers presented endless challenges, although technology also allowed for those with a simple idea and great music to succeed. The following imprints went about their business in different ways – although each of them made us sit up and take notice all the same.
Label Of The Year
With obscure YouTube channels and undiscovered Soundcloud links a dime a dozen these days, you’re now more likely than ever to get some smart arse chiding you for arriving late to the party with a given producer or group. There does however come a time in the career of any artist when they unequivocally make the leap from just another name on the tracklist to a genuine ‘big deal’ in their own right. Here we show some love to 10 acts that have broken through in the past 12 months.
It’s often said that cinema is the perfect medium to fully immerse oneself in subject matter. From complex emotional issues to unprecedented insight into the lives of some of the world’s most reclusive musicians, we’re big fans of documentary film here at Hyponik. Here are ten films that moved us one way or another last year. Which was your favourite?
Film Of The Year
Results will be announced next Wednesday 14th January. Thanks for voting.