As 2014 comes to a close, we’re giving you an inside look at artists that we thought did the best! Ranging from Best Artist and Best Music Video to Best Label and Best Album, we’re certain that you’ll find something that makes a lasting impression on your musical tastes. Scroll down to see who made the Best Of 2014 list – and don’t forget to check out the honorable mentions!
Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, has continuously dazzled us throughout the year! From operating the stellar label, Boysnoize Records, and touring around the world to launching massive releases (like his Alarm EP and Out of the Black – The Remixes) and creating wicked, collaborative projects (like Handbraekes and Dog Blood), the German maestro never ceases to amaze us. Every year he brings something new to the table, managing to outdo himself again and again! Honorable mentions go out to Mac Stanton and Mr. Oizo. Stanton, for his tremendous remix work, stunning management of So French Records, and support for the french electro scene. Oizo, for his outstanding releases throughout 2014 (Wrong Cops, The Church, and #2 under the Handbraekes moniker), a film production (Wrong Cops), and Eric (of course).
We’re so proud of So French Records! Really, they manage to put out some of the best disco, funk, french house, and electro in the world. Some of our favorite releases from this year include Soul Machine – 1967 (Atrey Remix), Mr. Moustache – FR IV., Revolte – You Are A Weapon, Thony Ritz – Star Riders, and Kn1ght – Recovery (Mac Stanton Remix). And don’t forget about the wonderful event that label head, Mac Stanton, threw in Paris this past November. What a night! Honorable mentions go out to La Valigetta and Yunizon Records – both labels boast remarkable artist rosters and they’re issuing some spectacular tunes.
Best Musical Group
Norwegian duo, Lemaître, have been absolutely phenomenal throughout 2014. They’ve produced some of the most unique, electronic music, fusing elements of funk, disco, indie rock, and french electro! We 100% love it. Just listen to their Singularity EP! On top of that, they’ve just completed a fantastic, North American tour. There’s truly something special about them – that’s why they deserve to be and they are the Best Musical Group of 2014! Honorable mentions go out to Oliver and The Noisy Freaks! 2014 was a big production year for Vaughn Oliver and Oliver Goldstein, as the duo released a number of tracks on Boysnoize Records, Fool’s Gold, OWSLA, and more. As for The Noisy Freaks, their Straight Life album and ensuing remix competition were glorious.
Best Music Video
What just happened? That’s all I could think after seeing Etienne de Crécy’s music video for his single, Hashtag My Ass. Not going to lie, it’s definitely an interesting concept, full of the right amount of creativity! Pair that up with an awesome soundtrack – that’s what made 2014’s selection for Best Music Video easy. Well done, sir. Well done. Honorable mentions go out to Pharrell Williams’ Gust Of Wind music video and DANGER’s 1:30 music video. Collaborating with the iconic, French duo, Williams’ produced quite a sensational video – floating Daft Punk heads and all! DANGER’s 1:30 video was exceptional as well, marking the sharp return of the enigmatic musician.
Best New Artist
Rare. That’s how I would describe Pride’s talent. Creating some of the most distinct blends of disco, funk, and electro, this french touch maestro will surely pave the way in this genre for many years to come. Just listen to J’me Casse or Le Jour Promis. Seriously, this musician is nothing less than incredible. On top of that, the producer just rounded out the year with a magnificent win in So French Records’ You Are A Weapon remix competition! Honorable mentions go out to deep disco musician, Arthur Younger, and french electro duo, Bastion. In particular, Younger burst onto the electronic music scene with his remix of Clean Bandit’s Rather Be – he certainly made an impression on us! As for Bastion, the Parisian producers have developed some high energy french electro pieces, similar to that of Ed Banger greats, Justice.
Best Release (Album)
Chromeo has been inspiring a funk-driven lifestyle for quite sometime! This year, however, Dave 1 and P-Thugg took it to the next level, launching their White Women LP. Released on Last Gang Records, the 12-track album astonished us on so many different levels. It’s one of those records that you can put on repeat and still manage to get a new reaction from every time! White Women was definitely my pick for Best Release (Album) the moment it came out. Honorable mentions go out to Uppermost for Evolution and Yelle for Complètement Fou! Evolution brought us a solid rinse of french electro from the Parisian producer, but we also think it turned over a new leaf for him. Left Unsaid, the last song on the album, was much softer than the other featured tracks, giving us reason to believe that it spurred the creation of softer sounds, like Rise. Complètement Fou was a close second in this race, as we’ve always been fans of Yelle and their work.
Best Release (EP)
So Goood! That’s the best way to describe JANSKI Beeeats and his EP, The Beeeast. Out via Den Haku Records, the four-track release features a wicked collection of electro and techno, which will come as a treat for anyone that enjoys some modular madness! So Goood is our favorite on the release, though Prison is full of intoxicating sounds too. Simply put, this is the Best Release (EP) of 2014. Honorable mentions go out to Etienne de Crécy for Hashtag My Ass and Pyramid for The Phoenix! See above for info on Hashtag My Ass. As for Pyramid and his EP release, out via Kitsuné – it’s quite the introduction of a new era for french electro!
The amount of attention NEUS garnered with this remix speaks for its position as Best Remix of 2014. With over 10 million plays and 160 thousand favorites, there’s not much to explain. If you haven’t heard it, you’re truly missing out on a sweet combination of disco and funk! Honorable mentions go to J.A.C.K for his remix of Stromae’s Ta Fête and Christine for her remix of Poom’s Les Voiles. J.A.C.K totally took our breath away, giving Stromae a stylish rinse of french electro. As for Christine, the Rouen-based producer threw down some delicious grooves over Poom’s original.
Best Single of the Year
Sovereign marks Kavinsky’s comeback into music production! For any Record Makers or Ed Banger Records fans, this was monumental for you (just as it was for us!). The synthwave artist put down some immensely eargasmic, yet remarkably dark sensations on this one. Honorable mentions go out to Montmartre for Inside Of Me (Re-Work) and Mr. Moustache for FR III. In particular, 2014 really showed another side of Montmartre, as they displayed their versatility in production – their rework is clear proof of that. As for Mr. Moustache, he’s always been on our radar as a talented, multi-genre musician! FR III is no different, as it reveals the Czech artist’s musical prowess.
As 1/2 of the iconic rap group, The Cool Kids, Chuck Inglish has already done enough to make his mark in the music realm. However, he continued to get in the studio, collaborating with significant acts, such as Lemaître, Chromeo, and more! This is why Inglish undoubtedly deserves Best Vocalist of 2014. Honorable mentions go to Dana Jean Phoenix and Ronika for their respective works! Phoenix has been making waves this year working with outstanding artists, such as Final DJs, Timecop1983, Dizkodeath, and many more. Ronika has been just as superb, coming out with quite an extraordinary album, Selectadisc.
Hope you enjoyed this year’s “Best Of!” We’re definitely looking forward to what next year has in store! Congratulations to all that have been selected or mentioned.
[Header Photography by Alcala Photographic]