The Best Dance 12''s of 2014

As picked by our Clubs team, a selection box of delectable bars we'll be raiding again far beyond 2014

Feature | 19 Dec 2014
  • Clubbing Highlights

It’s that special time of year again when trees start dressing like wanton mistresses, street saxophonists blare tooted versions of Let It Snow outside heaving marketplaces, and dear old St. Nick reluctantly makes his way out to the barn with a tub of reindeer grease.

What’s more, it’s also a chance to delve into the past 365 days to recall what exactly has been spewing out of The Skinny’s system this year. So, without further ado, allow us to present this patchwork of our top 20-ish EPs/singles of 2014, in no particular order...

Leon Vynehall – Music for the Uninvited [3024]
Returning to Martyn’s label for the second time, Vynehall reached another level with this record. Inside the Deku Tree might be the best opener of the year, a catalyst for goosebumps that nods to Zelda in the process. [Daniel Jones]

MannMadeMusic – Rough Times [Shadeleaf]
Operating out of Sheffield, Shadeleaf are definitely a label to keep your peepers on, as is the forger of this awesome Motor City-inspired EP, Ian Mann. If You Don’t Do It is a slice of low-end mastercraft that KDJ would’ve probably come up with had he been a native of Wearside. [DJ]

Waldemar Schwartz – La Taza De Oro [Golf Channel]
Golf Channel were already one of the best in the biz before Bogdan Irkük got involved under his WS alias. Perfectly timed in early July, two nu-disco burners fuelled by a warped perception of sexiness. [Jack Burns]

Ruf Dug – Ruf Kutz #009 [Ruf Kutz] 
Ruffy and his label always have tricks up their respective sleeves, but Ask Me After Midnite by Glowing Palms is the best yet. A cover of Skream's seminal Midnight Request Line, reimagined as an ESG-style post-punk disco bumper, with full approval from the Croydon disco convert himself. [John Thorp]

San Proper – Leave It Up to All of Us [Voyage Direct]
Despite being long-time mates with Tom Trago this was San Proper’s first donation to the Voyage Direct cause. A record that proves the Amsterdammer is more than just a pretty set of nails; he’s a master of extended grooves. [JB]

The Black Madonna – Stay/Venus Requiem [Nite Owl Diner]
The Black Madonna books Chicago's Smart Bar, so she’s very knowledgeable about oft-forgotten US dance scenes. The Barbara Mason sample subtlety deployed on this is spine-tingling. [JT]

Various Artists – Voyage Sampler #001 [Voyage]
Andy Hart’s fledgling imprint got out of the traps well with this sampler of lo-slung jams. Max Graef and Tartelet boss Muff Deep also do themselves justice on a hypnotic track that roughly translates as Shit Sausage House. [DJ]

Hauke Freer – XK [Oye]
As 50% of Session Victim, Hauke Freer is no stranger to directing vibey arrangements. Stepping away from the duo’s live work ethic, this release sees Freer veer into serious chop-chop territory. Must-have stuff. [DJ]

Jack J – Looking Forward to You [Mood Hut]
Vancouver’s Mood Hut brought in one half of Pender Street Steppers, Jack J, to roll out some therapeutic vibes on one of the most popular releases of the year. That B-side bassline could easily go on ’til kingdom come. [JB]

LK – Ruff Draft #002 [Ruff Draft]
Cottam scored a winner by getting attention-shy LK to donate three tracks to the second incarnation of Ruff Draft. Flick it to 45 for lead track Valentino, a bustling, eyes-down affair spread over the course of twelve minutes. [DJ].

Floating Points – Sparkling Controversy [Eglo]
Sam Shepherd conquered us all with King Bromeliad back in March, and followed up perfectly with this dubby garage re-fix of his 2011 behemoth ARP3. Despite the single-sided disappointment, its added punch is intoxicating. [JB]

Jitterbug – Workers [Uzuri]
Approaching most six-track EPs is like opening a bag of Revels, not every selection is to taste. Hats off to Lakuti for getting Jitterbug back on board to prove this theory wrong. Versatile revelry on both sides. [DJ]

Jouem – Episodes ⅜ [Mojuba]
The third instalment of Sven Weisemann's epic Episodes octaptych. Organic, evolving and emotional as always, Weisemann cuts to the dancefloor core on the A, leaving room for more easygoing fare on the flip. [JB]

Traumprinz – All the Things [Giegling]
One of the most beautiful club records I've ever heard, the cathartic title track is also accompanied on the flip by an electro-acoustic spoken word piece during which an ex-acid fiend called John finds peace in Jesus. [JT]

Unknown Artist – Silver Ash #002 [Silver Ash]
Sophomore release from the mysterious imprint. Everyone banged on about the Fluxion remix but, for me, Karri is a class above. Beautifully pressed on a clear 10" slab – (who needs the extra few inches?) – a must for any fans of pulsating dub. Bouncy one. [DJ]

Johannes Heil – Transitions [Figure]
Four 'Transitions' of thumping, transcendent techno, first heard on Daniel Avery's stellar Essential Mix and pitched deep down by myself and many others for the remainder of the year to still energetic effect. Massive. [JT]

Floorplan – Never Grow Old (Re-Plant) [M-Plant]
2014 marked 20 years in the game for M-Plant, and it seemed only fitting that bossman Robert Hood stepped forward with some hot-to-trot Floorplan material. Never Grow Old was huge last year, and the Re-Plant version speaks for itself. [DJ]

Moleskin – Turnt On [Goon Club Allstars]
Goon Club seemingly specialise in a sort of leftfield grime sound that I've only scratched the surface of, but this is technicolour bonkers: sounds like a Soundstream record that Wiley might adore. [JT]