Monday, 19 December 2011

Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Claudio Lillo)

Here's the last staff chart from us - Claudio's best tracks of 2011, in some particular order:

1. Call Super - And It Was [Five Easy Pieces]
Dark, haunting, psychedelic and druggy. What more could you ask for in a house record?
And it Was! by Five Easy Pieces

2. Floating Points - Marilyn [Eglo]
Remember the first time I heard this at Deviation. I went crazy.

3. Royalty - Twilight Fades [Five Easy Pieces]
I've listened to this tune over 200 times this year. Love it.

4. Eliphino - More Than Me [Soundthink Sounds]
It's amazing when a good friend of yours makes a brilliant tune. Nice work on this one, Tom!

5. Motor City Drum Ensemble - Basement LOVE [!K7]
Can't get enough of those kicks.

6. The Weeknd - House Of Balloons/ Glass Table Girls [self-released]
The switch up is priceless.

7. Dirg Gerner - Loose Lights [Ho Tep]
Vibes upon vibes. No wonder Mr. Peterson is all over this.

8. Alfabet - Roundabout [Rush Hour]
Hypnotic bongo loop and crazy keys are all I need.

9. Daphni - Ye Ye [Text]
Probably my favourite record of last year. Everything about this tune is amazing. I bought 2 copies when it first came out. Then they repressed it. Haha.

10. Tune Yards - You Yes You [4AD]
It was either this or 'Powa' off her new record. Really love the drums on this one though.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Ben Start)

I've spent much of the year looking backwards and also immersing myself in the music of my roster, stand out tracks from each artist I represent could have appeared on this list but I the interests of fairness I've gone outisde the roster. − Ben Start

1. Recloose - Techcumseh [Rush Hour]
Stand out track in another strong year for the all conquering collective behind Dutch shop Rush Hour.

2. Juk Juk - Winter Turns Spring [Text]
Shimmering electronic folk music that claws at your heart strings.

3. Life's track - Life's Track 08 [Bosconi]
Slowish house but with dirty garage toens, picked up the Hessle 116 and upwards mantra and scootered through Italy with it.

4. Virgo 4 - It's A Crime (Caribou Remix) [Rush Hour]
An obvious one but the effect on the floor as this one unravels is amazing. Watch out for the Junior Boys remix.

5. Session Victim - Good Intentions [Retreat]
Had Move D reaching for his hanky at Freerotation...

6. Arkist - Fill My Coffee [Apple Pips]
Low slung Bristol boogie meets bass, at once timeless but a great snapshot of the year that was 2011.

7. Moodymanc - Black Paint (Larry Heard After Dark Mix) [Tsuba]
Chugging Larry Heard remix that really puts the Gil-Scott Heron vocal through its paces.

8. Floating Points - Arp 3 [Eglo]
I listened to the intro again and again before I let myself hear that bassine. Truely epic.

9. G. Marcell - Groove With Me [Aesthetic Audio]
Majestic raw organic sound, cinematic. If Attenborough documentaries turned to techno they'd do a lot worse than this.
Groove With Me by G.Marcell

10. Martyn & Mike Slott - All Nights [All City]
Stark and stripped back urgency with a hefty bass pulse.

Monday, 12 December 2011

The Secret Agency 3rd Fabric takeover 17/12/2011

With just three weeks left of 2011, here's a heads up of how The Secret Agency will be seeing the year out. We are very pleased to announced our 3rd Fabric takeover, taking place on Saturday, 17th December.

First up, joining us will be Keith Worthy. This Detroit house producer has been releasing some of the strongest deep house music since 2007. Having put out only five EPs on his own Aesthetic Audio label, it isn't hard to understand that Keith emphasises on quality over quantity. Expect some deep-down-the-ocean vibes for his set.

Holding the techno flat will be DJ October, who joined TSA family this year. This Bristolian is the boss of the long-running Caravan label, as well as the head honcho of Tanstaafl, which he co-runs with John Osborn.

DJ October - 'Hyper Space, Human Race' [RawFloorMix - Unmastered] 320 by october

Our final guest is secretsundaze's resident James Priestley. Having been busy with secretsundaze 10th birthday tour around Europe, USA, Japan and Russia, James has also recently compiled a mix CD for the label with partner-in-crime Giles Smith.

Excitement is definitely mounting among us at TSA HQ. It looks like it's gonna be a hectic but no doubt rewarding weekend. This will be a special one, we hope you can make it.

Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Karen Ka Ying Chan)

 Our intern Karen's most loved tracks of 2011, in alphabetical order:

1. Chicago Skyway - Bad Driver (Aroy Dee Edit) [M>O>S Deep]
Chi-sound is the best sound. Yes, Chicago Skyway (real name Sean Hernandez), as you may have already guessed, is actually from the windy city. He makes deep, raw, and jackin' music. There's so much energy in this track I can't get enough of it. The original version isn't released yet, but M>O>S label boss Aroy Dee has done a pretty amazing job on the edit.

2. Delta Funktionen - Another Dimension [Ann Aimee]
What a banger! Heavy, heart-throbbing... it's just BIG. You gotta put this tune on really loud and bounce to it, right now.

3. Dexter - Great Northern Driver [Clone Basement]
I couldn't decide if T.H.I.N.G. (featured on the same EP) or this track was better. But I like the heavier, bassier, more acid-y sound of Great Northern Driver. Dexter never disappoints because he doesn't really stick to a certain sound. Check also his Clone Clown-released 'Space Booty/ Fat Skinny People' 12", it's got a completely different, more electro-y and breaks kind of vibe.

4. Ital - Culture Clubs [Lovers Rock]
This song sounds really weird, druggy and hypnotic. It's a bit off-key and off-beat too but that's what makes it so special.

5. Instra:mental - Vicodin (Skudge Warehouse Remix) [Naked Lunch]
Alex Green (one half of Instra:mental) is one of my favourite producers. Everything he's done this year - whether as Boddika or Instra:mental, is just huge. Not to mention the brilliant Resolution 653 album. The original version of Vicodin is amazing, and Skudge further establishes it into a deeper, darker, bassier track. Grand Prix on the flip is really nice too.

6. Magic Touch - Clubhouse [100% Silk]
Not Not Fun imprint 100% Silk have done incredibly well this year. This track samples the vocals from Clubhouse's 1991 track Deep In My Heart. It's exactly the kind of music I wanna dance to in a club. Real house-y, real good.

7. Pangaea - Hex [Hemlock]
Super thick and intense percussion. Scary and bizarre vocals. Pangaea has literally transformed words like 'agressive', 'angry', 'dark' and 'scary' into dance music, and it works really well.

8. Seahawks & Autre Ne Veut - Don's Rainbow [Ocean Moon]
Seahawks' cosmic yacht rock + Autre Ne Veut's mesmerising, twisted vocals = mindblowing. The melancholic melody sweeps me away like a sadness in life. So good it hurts.

Don's Rainbow - Seahawks & Autre Ne Veut from Seahawks music on Vimeo.

9. Teeth - Shawty [502]
Three words: dark, sultry, and (subtly) provocative. The vocals really add to the whole track as well. The music video is worth checking out too, it's equally seductive. The FaltyDL remix is not bad either.

10. Unknown Artist - People Of Earth [Amp Art]
Picked up this record at Phonica at the beginning of the year, I really like the groovy and soulful downtempo electronic/funk sound it's got. Beautiful.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Juno's Deep House Recommendations Best of 2011

The nice fellas from Juno have featured Brawther's 'Do It Yourself' EP on the top of their best-of-2011 deep house chart. 

Our boy Ethyl's 'Three Feet High' single (which he splits with Huxley) comes 14.

Well done boys! 

Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Jono Mallett)

The second staff chart is brought to you by our intern Jono, find out what his 2011 top 10 tracks are:

1. Behling & Simpson - Left Behind [Futureboogie]
What a year for Futureboogie, having finally setup their reord label with a string of super solid releases. This one is the standout track on the imprint for me, so far. I actually rarely listen to it, as it's on constant loop in the back of my mind. Simply amazing.

2. Maxi Mill - To The Next [Rush Hour]
Really nice bouncy goodness, Bububuum!

3. Move D - Your Personal Healer (Hydraulic Guitar by Juju) [Uzuri]
A track to completely lose yourself to.

4. Delano Smith - Lost In Detroit [Apparel Music]
Keep finding myself always coming back to this track whenever I DJ. Killer record.
APL005 Delano Smith - Lost in Detroit by Apparel Music

5. Lee Jones - Moment (Alt Mix) [Aus Music]
A pretty fresh release but one of my tracks of the year all the same. Shame it never got a vinyl release as this one if digital only.

6. Session Victim - Good Intentions [Retreat]
A real classy track by two of my favourite vegetarian Germans, who played one of my sets of the year at Freejive's 4th birthday. I think 'cool' is the most apt word to describe this tune.

7. Wbeeza - Coast Spotting [Third Ear]
Simple and almost trance-like but very effective. Is minimal-trance a genre? If it is, apparently I like it.

8. Little Dragon - Ritual Union [Sony]
This is more of a mod to the album as a whole, so I chose the eponymous track on the LP to represent. I could listen to (and look at) Yukimi Nagano all day long.

9. Midland - Through Motion (Tevo Howard Remix) [Aus]
The original is superb but this remix by Tevo Howard is something else. The gentle keys and vocals sit really nicely on the subtle bassline. Kinda like acid on valium.

10. Steffi - Sadness [Ostgut Ton]
Haunting and beautiful.

What do you think so far? What're your favourite tracks of 2011? There will be more staff charts posted on Monday, keep your eyes peeled. 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Staff Chart: 10 best tracks of 2011 (Tom Ham)

This is the festive season, which is also the time when the internet is swamped with end-of-year lists. We, at The Secret Agency, would like to share with you some tracks that we've enjoyed, and in many cases, still astounded by, throughout this year. Kicking things off is our agent Tom...

(In no particular order)

1. Appleblim - Moon Light [Vitalik]
Appleblim doesn't really release much solo material, and this is his first since his Skull Disco days. Releases on Vitalik Recordings in conjunction with We Love, entitled 'We Love Vitalik' more like this pelase, Blim, though I doubt we will see it :)

2. Arkist - Fill Your Coffee [Apple Pips]
Superb release from Arkist, firmly putting him on the map as a diverse and strong producer.

3. Bass Clef - I Think You Are Ready Now For The Eternal Point Of No Return [MAGIC + DREAMS]
Awesome tune. Also check the video made, it kinda goes hand in hand with this tune.

4. Clams Casino - All I Need [Type]
Releasing his 'Instrumental mixtape' gave a whole new take on what the original production were indented to do, originally coming out as a free download then finally getting the vinyl release it deserves.

5. Floating Points - Arp 3 [Eglo]
Capping off 2011 with an awesome EP, keeping him as hot property of the Eglo campus.

6. Four Tet - Pyramid [Text]
Sums up Four Tet's earthy take on dancefloor music. Produced for his Fabric mix to encapsulate the atmosphere of the parties held at Fabric. Job done.

7. Juk Juk - Winter Turns Spring [Text]
Massive debut release, grabbing the attention of many and getting released on Four Tet's Text Recordings.

8. Lucky Paul - I Thought We Were Alone feat. Milosh ( Gadi Mizarhi & Eli Gold - Money vs. Gold Remix) [Wolf + Lamb]
Great debut release for Lucky Paul, though I think this remis pulls out all main points of the original and makes it work for the club environment.

9. Radiohead - Codex [XL]
I could have put many songs from 'The Kings Of Limbs' down here, but this one felt right for the list. Radiohead continue to blur the lines of genre and continue to appeal to so many.

10. The Weeknd - What You Need [self-released]
A great year for 21-year-old Abel Tesfaye, aka The Weeknd. Two albums down, and one to go and all for free! The first is my favourite entitled 'House Of Ballons' with tracks like The Morning and The Party & The After Party delivering a narrative and soundtrack to the all too familiar drug induced stupor.

There are more best-of-2011 charts coming your way next week, stay tuned!