2018 in Review

2018 has been a decent year for drum & bass, a very good one for all things prog & deep, but an unmistakably legendary one for ambient music. Here are my toplists:

=== Top 25 Planetarium tracks of 2018 ===
Nils Frahm – The Whole Universe Wants to Be Touched / Sunson [Erased Tapes]
Gavin Miller feat. Aaron Martin – Upper Course I [Lost Tribe]
Bell Mountain – Vermilion (Red/Orange)
Nils Frahm – Kaleidoscope [Erased Tapes]
Shuta Yasukochi – Yoru (Alex Bober Remix) [Archives]
Nils Frahm – All Melody [Erased Tapes]
Cass. – 1000 Superdolphins [Into The Light]
Jacob Pavek – NOME [Unperceived]
Hotel Neon – Inward, Side A
Nils Frahm – A Place [Erased Tapes]
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Mandy Love Theme [Lakeshore]
zarr. – Hiraeth [Stereoscenic]
Yui Onodera – Cromo 3 [Kompakt]
Hammock – The Night You Caught on Fire [Hammock]
Hotel Neon – Shadow Sites [Archives]
Solidarity Hymn – For a Wandering Beam of Sun
Endless Melancholy – Postcards [dronarivm]
Hotel Neon feat. Slow Meadow – Cold Suns
Pausal – Lateral Contact [hibernate]
Angus MacRae & InsaDonjaKai – Afar [Thesis]
Anthéne – Whatever Fire Is Burning [Polar Seas]
Akito Misaki – May
Endless Melancholy – Amaranthine [dronarivm]
Mordançage – Monuments Fall [Facture]
Jacob David – Loft [Moderna]

* Spotify does not include: zarr. – Hiraeth [Stereoscenic] | Pausal – Lateral Contact [hibernate] | Angus MacRae & InsaDonjaKai – Afar [Thesis] | Anthéne – Whatever Fire Is Burning [Polar Seas] | Akito Misaki – May. First two Nils Frahm tracks and Hotel Neon’s 3-part “Inward, Side A” are treated as one.

The second and final “Best of Planetarium 2018” part will be released on January 18.

=== Top 25 Helioscope tracks of 2018 ===

Monolink – Father Ocean (Ben Böhmer Remix) [Embassy One]
Pjusk & Porya Hatami feat. Anne Garner – Kviskra [Fnukk Fonogram]
George Fitzgerald feat. Tracey Thorn – Half-Light (Night Version) [Double Six]
Hydra – Amber (Vintage & Morelli Remix) [FSOE Parallels]
Martin Roth – Hypno Seq [Anjunadeep]
Mr Raoul K – African Paradigm (Kaito Remix) [Compost]
Roy Rosenfeld – Love from Afar [Lost & Found]
Joe Miller & Daniel Verhagen – A Sudden Taste of Redemption [Dream Culture]
A.M.R – Flight [Silk]
Michael A – Look Closer [Replug]
Movement Machina – Nakatomi [Zerothree]
eleven.five – To Mean It (Intro Mix) [Silk]
Antic – Touch of My Soul [Anjunadeep]
Guy J – Airborne [Lost & Found]
lycoriscoris – Kite [Anjunadeep]
Dusky – The Captain [17 Steps]
Naden – Waves [Silk]
Cubicolor – Counterpart [Anjunadeep]
Dee Montero feat. Meliha – Headspace [Anjunadeep]
DJ Koze – Pick Up [Pampa]
Kevin di Serna – Horizons [Endless]
Kev Sheridan – Alone in Berlin [Maeve]
Eli & Fur – Parfume (Dosem Remix) [Anjunadeep]
Mat Zo – Meaning Lost All Words [Anjunabeats]
Detroit Swindle – Cut U Loose [Heist]

This year’s “Helioscope Yearmix” will be released sometime between January 16 and January 20.

=== Top 15 Distant tracks of 2018 ===
High Contrast – God Only Knows [3beat]
Bop x Subwave – Clair de Lune [Microfunk]
Keeno – The Comet [Hospital]
Ólafur Arnalds – inconsist [Decca]
Break feat. Celestine – Last Goodbye [Symmetry]
SpectraSoul feat. Dan Moss – Burst (Calibre Remix) [Ish Chat]
Camo & Krooked feat. James Hersey – Like I Do (Nu:Logic Remix) [Mosaik]
Break feat. Kyo – The Edge of Time [Symmetry]
DJ Patife & Vangeliez feat. MC Fats & Stamina MC – Living Together [V]
Camo & Krooked – Come Together (Bop Remix) [Mosaik]
Camo & Krooked – Tagtraum (GLXY, Satl & Malaky Remix) [Mosaik]
Blu Mar Ten feat. Robert Manos – Keep It Together (Calibre Remix) [Blu Mar Ten]
LSB feat. Kinross – Roots [Footnotes]
Camo & Krooked – Passion (Dan Dakota Remix) [Mosaik]
Mitekiss & Mr. Porter feat. Emilienne Chouadossi – Viewpoint [Hospital]

Image art by : http://galaxiesanddust.deviantart.com/

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Helioscope’s 2017 Essentials

In anticipation of the Helioscope Yearmix 2017, here are my 15 favourite tracks of 2017 from all formats on the Helioscope (main) channel combined. This ranges from deep house (Golden Age) over progressive house (Idolatry / HR) to balearic trance (WBU). Planetarium is excluded, but you will find another list of this style solely for Planetarium with the release of the third Best of 2017 mix in about two weeks from now.

#15 : Petar Dundov & Henry Saiz – Infinite Promises [Balance]

#14 : Way Out West feat. Liu Bei – Oceans [Anjunadeep]

#13 : Movement Machina – The Flame [Silk]

#12 : Tontario feat. Sarah de Warren – Northern Confessions

#11 : Hosini – Laomedeia [Anjunadeep]

#10 : Movement Machina – Soul Muse (Gai Barone Remix) [Mango Alley]

#09 : Suren Unka – 030

#08 : Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons – I Found You [Crosstown Rebels]

#07 : Kiasmos – Shed [Erased Tapes]

#06 : eleven.five & Dan Sieg – Found [Silk]

#05 : Way Out West – Tuesday Maybe (Guy J Remix) [Anjunadeep]

#04 : Ken Hayakawa – War Drums (Hiroshi Watanabe Remix) [Upon You]

#03 : Grum – Price of Love [Anjunabeats]

#02 : Guy J – West on Mars [Bedrock]

#01 : Fairchild – The Light in You [Anjunadeep]

Image by : http://unsplash.com/@chichay0309

Helioscope Awards 2016 : Progressive / Trance

Presenting you the final award category of 2016: Progressive and Trance.
This is quite possibly the clearest victory for a label and its artists:
Across all nominees and winners, Silk Music dominated it with quality output all year long.

Best Track

Movement Machina – Face Yourself [Anjunabeats]
Dan Sieg – Horizons (Stendahl Remix) [Silk]
Boom Jinx & Soundprank feat. Katrine Stenbekk – We Know (Vintage & Morelli Remix) [Anjunabeats]
Our Stolen Theory – Warmest Day (Talamanca Remix) [Silk]
Eskai – Tides [Silk]
Jallen – Venture (LTN Remix) [Elliptical Sun Melodies]
Andre Sobota – Jump [Kyubu]
Clameres – Nova [Colorize]
Yglo – Fridays [*back home]
Movement Machina – No for an Answer (Andre Sobota Remix) [Mango Alley]
Vintage & Morelli – Afterglow (Mizar B Remix) [Silk]
Sam Davies – Sunbound [Silk]

Best Artist

Vintage & Morelli
Andre Sobota
Matt Fax
We Are All Astronauts
Mizar B

Most Promising Newcomer

Movement Machina
Sam Davies
Jesse Bullitt

Best Release

Vintage & Morelli – My Rose Enchanted Destiny [Silk]
Various Artists – The Routes Are Infinite / The Light Trails Lead Us [Mango Alley]
Various Artists – Silk Remixed 06 [Silk]
Gregory Esayan – Pilgrim’s Diary [Silk]
Various Artists – Coastal Selections 001 [Emergent Shores]

Best Label

Silk Music
Mango Alley
Emergent Shores
Perplexity Music

Art by : http://unsplash.com/@timmarshall

Helioscope Awards 2016 : Deep / Tech

Best Track

Dusky – Ingrid Is A Hybrid [Polydor]
Way Out West – Tuesday Maybe [Anjunadeep]
Dusky feat. Pedestrian – Spruce [Polydor]
Lindstrøm – Closing Shot [Feedelity]
Pacifica – Memory Man [Drumpoet Community]
Way Out West – Set My Mind [Anjunadeep]
Quivver – Call [Sudbeat]
Bonobo – Kerala [Ninja Tune]
Croquet Club – Andante [Anjunadeep]
Robert Babicz – Where Are You? (Aparde Remix) [Traum]
E&P feat. Jinadu – Sundroina (Olderic Remix) [Moodmusic]
Sahar Z & Navar – A Prelude To [Lost & Found]
Hosini – Lucid Dreams (GHIZ Retouch) [Shanti Radio Moscow]
Subconscious Tales – Helligkeit [Balkan Connection]
port-royal – Whispering in the Dark (John Tejada Remix) [n5MD]
CamelPhat – Raabta [Suara]
Agoria – Up All Night [Sapiens]
Jeremy Olander – Roots (Henry Saiz Remix) [Vivrant]
Cornucopia – The Day You Got Older and Stronger [Shanti Radio Moscow]
Timelapse – System (Kiani & His Legion Remix) [Akbal]

Best Artist

Jody Wisternoff (Way Out West)
Guy J (Cornucopia)
Gai Barone
Jamie Stevens

Most Promising Newcomer

Subconscious Tales
Stereo Underground
Kiani & His Legion

Best Release

Dusky – Outer [17 Steps / Polydor]
Patrice Bäumel – Balance [Balance]
DJ Koze – Pampa Vol. 1 [Pampa]
Various Artists – Anjunadeep:08 [Anjunadeep]
Gorje Hewek & Izhevski – Whelm [Shanti Radio Moscow]
Cornucopia – Cornucopia [Shanti Radio Moscow]
Sahar Z & Navar – Breathe Deep / A Prelude To [Lost & Found]
Matthias Vogt – Through This Madness / Heavens Gate [Anjunadeep]
Dave DK – Val Maira Remixe [Kompakt]

Best Label

Aus Music
Lost & Found
Sudbeat Music
Proton Music
Bedrock Records
Shanti Radio Moscow
All Day I Dream

Art by : http://instagram.com/jude_allen

Five modern pop / ‘chillwave’ tracks you might have missed from 2016

In anticipation of the Helioscope Yearmix 2016 release – my god, so early? – here are five personal favourites from last year which I couldn’t really place in either of the three big rewinds (Helioscope, Planetarium, Distant).

Middle Kids – Edge of Town

Hammock – Unspoken

Stumbleine – Bowery

FM-84 feat. Ollie Wride – Don’t Wanna Change Your Mind

Brett – California Nights

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Helioscope Awards 2016 : Ambient / Modern Classical

Awarding my personal favourites from the genre spectrum of ambient, modern classical, drone and chillout (mostly covered by Planetarium) in five categories.
Highlighted in bold is the winner, the remaining ones are ranked by their importance to me personally.

> Best Track

In comparison to the other genres, the list for this award became incredibly long, but I felt this was the essential selection of tracks which should not be missed by any fan of this music.

Alexander Arnold – Lake Bell
Arovane & Hior Chronik – After Tomorrow (AMX) [astrangelyisolatedplace]
Twincities – Good Black Spring [dauw]
Lav & Purl – The Present Moment (Still Version) [Eternell]
Strie – 87 Billion Suns [Serein]
drombeg – Tumulus [Futuresequence]
Slow Clinic – I Miss Everyone [Archives]
Petrels – A Little Dust [denovali]
Jóhann Jóhannsson – Kangaru [Deutsche Grammophon]
nonkeen – re:turn! [R&S]
Eluvium – Strangeworks [Temporary Residence]
AEONN – Initiate
SineRider – To Care When No One Else Does [Silk]
Jason van Wyk – Coherence [eilean]
Purl – Sagan (Warmth’s Place of Peace) [Eternell]
Ruhe – Heritage
Porya Hatami & Arovane – uun [Time Released Sound]
Glacis – 23 March [Facture]
Otto A Totland – Storfjord [Serein]
Nil Ciuró – Magnetic [1631]
i.yugen – Light a Lamp [Dewtone]
The Green Kingdom – Haze Layers [dronarivm]
Hotel Neon – Chains [Facture]
Jason van Wyk – Stay [eilean]
Wil Bolton – Dot to Dot [eilean]
Solo Andata – Porcelain Blue [12k]
Robert Farrugia – Encoder [Archives]
Slow Meadow – Some Familiar… [Hammock]
Ólafur Arnalds – Öldurót [Mercury Classics]
Marihiko Hara & Polar M – On the Silent Way [mü-nest]
Kirill Nikolai – Reconstructions, For Lack of Anything Else [Facture]
Willamette – Four Films (Films Four) [Scissor Tail]
Lav & Purl – Gateway to Ecstasy [AMONE]
Nomad – Autumn Warmth

> Best Artist

Olan Mill
Slow Meadow
Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie
Jóhann Jóhannsson
Wil Bolton
Jason van Wyk
Chihei Hatakeyama

> Most Promising Newcomer

Nil Ciuró
Marihiko Hara & Polar M

> Best Release

Jason van Wyk – Attachment [eilean]
Dead Light – Dead Light [Village Green]
Marihiko Hara & Polar M – Dance [mü-nest]
Hotel Neon – Remnants [Facture]
SineRider – Twilight [Silk]
drombeg – Earthworks [Futuresequence]
Ed Carlsen – The Journey Tapes [Moderna]
Wil Bolton – February Dawn [eilean]
Danny Clay – Stills [IIKKI]
Will Samson – Lua [12k]
Twincities – …plays the brown mountain lights [dauw]
Alex Smalley – JAN SBR 15 [Rural Colours]
Tim Linghaus – Vhoir [Moderna]

> Best Label

eilean Rec.
Rural Colours
Erased Tapes
Hawk Moon Records

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