Ed.: If you, like those of us at CDM, find yourself again at the precipice of new musical possibilities, now is a wonderful time to get you bearings. It means as producers and music lovers that we try to find sounds not just to imitate or accept passively, but that can push us further. In German, there’s a wonderful New Year’s greeting that has no direct translation – “Guten Rutsch!” means literally a good “slide” into the new year. Matt Earp aka Kid Kameleon helps us navigate that slide, from the old to the new, that’s at the heart of musical creativity. -PK

I had a great time writing my end of the year roundup for CDM – it’s always gratifying to be able to point out some new tunes and new artists that listeners might have missed. And happily, lots of people chimed in with further music for everyone check out as well (and a whole lot of love for the Yosi Horikawa album … and rightly so!).

But in the spirit of Music Into 2014, words are a lot more meaningful when accompanied by sounds. So I took my “Top 10” as a starting point and created a mix based on some of those releases. I added in a few other slightly lesser-known artists as well, plus a few bigger names to glue it together. All tracks from 2013 (as far as I know). The focus is on the listening end of the spectrum – dense beats, synth driven, slightly syrupy and psychedelic future sounds. I guess this was the sound that touched me more than any other in 2013 and I saw it weave its fingers through a dozen different genres with amazing results (although if anyone wants to take a crack at a single “genre” tag for entire thing, I’d be grateful – I’m always looking for the right word!). The mix shakes out to settle into hypnotic groove by the end thanks to the stunning TM404 and similar stuff.

Track list for New Leaves and a few pointers/thoughts/artists to check/shout-outs after the break. Hope you enjoy it!

The track list goes a little something like this:

01. Klātu – Ambievert [Self Release]
02. Microburst – Flare (Lotide remix) [Svetlana Industries]
03. Shigeto – Detroit Part 1 [Ghostly International]
04. Julien Mier – Je t’ecoute (Alphabets Heaven Remix) [King Deluxe]
05. Miyuki – Yume (BitterTV After Death Mix) [Self Release]
06. Yosi Horikawa – Bump [First Word Records]
07. The Bear and The Sea – Human Loop [Neuva Forma]
08. Lapalux – Guuurl [Brainfeeder]
09. Vegpher – Parallel Depth [Progressive Form]
10. Om Unit – Corridor 2013 [Civil]
11. Ulrich Schnauss – I Take Comfort In Your Ignorance (ASC Remix) [Scripted Realities]
12. Ferrein – Hover [Musik Gewinnt Feunde]
13. DFRNT – Moon [Echodub]
14. TM404 – 202/303/303/303/606/606 [Kontra-Musik]
15. Adverb – Sea Breath [Dewtone]
All but four of the links above lead to spots where you can directly purchase these releases.

Selected Notes:

Shigeto‘s the man. Do we really need to write any more than that? I think not.

Lotide (USA) has quietly been making some stellar music this year, interweaving contemplative, fluttering beats and found sounds in a unique way. His Moonless album on Astro:Dynamics is well worth checking out.

I really don’t know that much about Miyuki (Russia) – I was lead to her stuff through a couple comp appearances and became hooked on her weird, dark, glittering releases, all done through Bandcamp. Well worth your time to check her (and the people who remix her) out!


The Bear and The Sea (Portland, OR)’s full length Trees Like You on Nueva Forma was a standout moment for the label – crunked up BoC-inspired stuff, perfectly executed – I’ll never get enough of this sound.

If you haven’t checked out DFRNT (Riga, Latvia)’s Patience yet, do it! I could write a whole long piece on what’s so great about this album, but it’s better if you just dive in yourself.

Vegpher (Japan) was a late-in-the-year discovery for me (actually after I wrote that article) – I knew his previous stuff as Four Color but hadn’t checked out his beat project. Amazing. His album Plus on Progressive Form is further evidence that I have to get to Tokyo as soon as possible.

The Ulrich Schauss (German-born, now in London) I Take Comfort In Your Ignorance Remix release is the most mind-boggling assemblage of names of 2013 – at least for someone of my particular background. It even heralded the 2nd coming of Arovane! The ASC remix points to Schnauss’s very early DnB roots, which he’s re-explored in the last couple years. Music to my ears.

And yeah, Adverb (Spain) is just one of the slew of artists that you should check out on Dewtone (their most recent from Purl & Deflektion is current required listening).