Best of 2014

Happy New Year from all of us at Netlabelism Magazine. It’s the first Music Monday #MM of 2015, and what better way to kick it off?

Our staff chose their 3 favourite releases of 2014. It’s always a rolling ride through multiple genres, you’re sure to discover an abundance of new music to love. If you wish to expand your collection of great music, always visit Netlabelism.com first (please remember to add us to your feed reader)

Enjoy the selection, have a great year.


Warren Daly

#3 Dullatron – Musica Universalis EP
Release date: 10/11/2014
Label: Cut Records
Panu Posti from Finland a.k.a Dullatron crafts dub influenced minimal techno. His compositions are shear brilliance, and they’re long. He breaks the ‘radio edit’ mold, as he transports you on 17+ minute journeys. FYI, you’ll be putting this E.P on repeat as soon as it’s played out. Keep the Cut record label, and Dullatron on your radars in 2015. Download link

#2  Cousin Silas & musicformessier – Leaving the I​.​S​.​S
Release date: 28/09/2014
Label: Self Release / Bandcamp
David Hughes a.k.a Cousin Silas is a sound alchemist, team him up with the post-rock outfit musicformessier from Hungary who produce ‘acoustic space art’, and you’ve got yourself another winning combination.
This release is mesmerizing, the balance of lush guitar melodies and layers of ambient sound-scape is perfect. Cousin Silas and musicformessier have created a capsule of sound that encompasses the sound of space past, present, and future. Download link

#1  Damoikea – All my circuits E.P
Release date: 14/06/2014
Label: Boxfade
Damien Tubbritt a.k.a Damoikea is evolving, just as electro continues to evolve. Embracing modern production techniques, where he mutates bass driven acid bass-lines, funk, and driving rythms to form a primed salvo of superb electro. A robotic army of machine funk commandos are preparing an intergalactic assault. Be prepared. Download link

Simon Haycock

#3  Newretrowave – Equinox EP
Release date: 29/08/2014
I have very recently started playing the fierce and action-packed arcade game Hotline Miami, a brutal top-down rampage with a tasty 80s-enthused soundtrack. The game and soundtrack has dissolved my mild distaste for garish 80s sounds, and Simon VB’s review of NewRetroWave’s incredible compilation came at exactly the right time. This is a wonderful showcase of adept retro synth mastery, and like Simon, I just can’t stop listening to it. in-depth review
Download Link

#2 The crisis project – Compress / Omission
Release date 26/11/2014
This melancholic hip-hop enthused double-A refines a wide range of influences down to something concise, original and compelling. Since my last Crisis review three years ago, they have focused on injecting extra vocal content into their vibrant compositions, which is proving to work extremely well. As a result of developing themselves into a stunning live act, their ever-growing UK following is set to multiply rapidly. Andy, Harri, and Jason’s ability to push boundaries and seamlessly meld musical and visual styles makes them a worthwhile group to keep an eye on. Download link

#1 Owsey & Resotone – A smile from the west (ep)
Release date 16/04/2014
The first time I heard this, I was instantly in love with it. Chillwave has really developed as a prominent genre over the last 10 years, and these guys prove time and time again that they are masters in their field. Heavily loaded with excellent musicianship, and riddled with such beauty and compassion, we are truly fortunate that these two highly skilled artists are honouring a vital netaudio tradition and allowing listeners to download this for free. For me, this truly is music from the gods, and now the bar has been set so astronomically high, I am in eager anticipation of anyone coming close to this in 2015. in-depth review Download Link

Albert e. Trapezoid

#3 Becuz – Epilog
Release Date: 10/07/2014
Label: Kanal 30
When I discovered Becuz earlier this year I felt like I had stumbled on to Indonesia’s answer to Sonic Youth. This album is full of odd tunings, distorted guitars, and epic tracks. This music grabbed me immediately from the opening moments and held me spellbound. Crank up the volume and enjoy the ride. Download Link

#2 Wolfgang Merx – Security
Release Date: 13/01/2014
Label: weareallghosts
This is a really varied set of mostly electronic music that rewards the repeat listener by revealing different nuances. There are moments of ominous drones and instrumental distortion, but there are also some more light and airy moments. Sometimes the tunes are more melodic, sometimes more abstract…and sometimes both in the same song. Download Link

#1 Various Artists – United as One
Release Date: 20/09/2014
Label: Joint release on Dubophonic and Dubkey
Dubkey meets Dubophonic. These top tier reggae Netlabels release a collection of songs created by collaborations between artists from each label. This cross-pollination features great musicians, creative producers, excellent riddims, and a uniformly excellent collection of songs. Whether you like straight ahead reggae tunes, versions, or dubbed out tracks, it’s all here. Much respect. Download Link

Chris Hilliard

#3 Esbe – Late Night Headphones Vol. 3
Label: self-produced
The review for this one actually covers multiple albums from Esbe, but they’re all solid. To put it simply, Esbe offers loads high-quality hip-hop mixed with Electronica. Do yourself a favor and listen to all of his stuff. Download link

#2 NewRetroWave – Equinox EP
Label: NewRetroWave
I was surprised when Simon Van Bockstal reviewed this one. Not because Simon reviewed it but because it was so different from everything else I’d listened to all year. This album reeks of energy, the 1980s, and synthesizers, and the tracks are all very catchy. It’s a solid #2 on my “Best of” list for 2014. Download link

#1 Niteffect – Dark Glow
Label: Export
There has been some really great stuff from 2014, but Niteffect’s Dark Glow sits on top. It’s a 20-track album filled with delightfully dark tracks and themes. The beats are solid and samples are excellent. The bold cover art represents the album well. Easiest 5 star rating from 2014. Download link

Warren Written by:

With a background in pirate radio, clubs and festivals, Warren Daly made the move from DJing to creating and performing his own music and live visuals as the curtain closed on the last millennium. His experience in the Irish music scene led him to co-found record label Invisible Agent, releasing its first 12" vinyl in 2004 before making the move to an all digital catalogue as an internationally-focused netlabel which he now runs from Phnom Penn, Cambodia.

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