2011 Review

So here it is, a snapshot of the events of the year from my perspective. It’s been a great one for personal development, a REALLY interesting year musically – the UK once again shown the world it is the hub of genre bending sonic innovation. It’s also seen us take another step closer to the loss completely of physical formats, not just for music but for movies and games too.

Point Blank Online

The continued success and growth of Point Blank Online has taken up a lot of my energy but it’s been incredibly worthwhile; we’ve beaten our targets and the outlook for 2012 is incredibly exciting. I can’t divulge the course content i’ll be creating at the moment but the schedule over the year is looking next level, trust me. Here’s one of my favourite video tutorials where I took Shalamar’s classic “Night To Remember” and twisted it up into a nu-disco vibe using Ableton Live and Novation’s Launchpad.

My Releases

This was a good year, the highlights being the Ben Westbeech collaboration on Strictly Rhythm “Something For The Weekend” and also my tribute to the main room at the Ministry Of Sound on Soulfuric Trax, “The Box” – currently featured on David Morales top ten for december on Traxsource.com

Track of the year – Eats Everything “Entrance Song”

I’ve been influenced by a diverse range of sounds this year and this track was a real highlight. It’s fair to say that straight up american sounding soulful and deep house has bored me a little bit this year whilst the UK influenced stuff has been far more exciting. I hope in 2012 the soulful/deep house producers push the envelope a bit, perhaps it’s time for the new blood to step up?

Traxsource.com Chart of the year

Featuring the Eats Everything track at number one this chart is a snapshot of the vibes i’ve been into this year. You can see it by clicking on this link

Album of the year – Thundercat “Golden Age Of The Apocalypse”

This is the album i’ve listened to most, in fact I bought it twice by mistake on itunes but didn’t care. I love the production from Flying Lotus and the dark, twisted musicality of thundercat’s many layered bass guitar parts. It’s not to everyone’s taste but I love it; it’s been the soundtrack to my life since its release, especially on my longer runs (i’m training for the London marathon).

Hardware of the year – Native Instruments Maschine

I just got this at christmas so it makes it into the 2011 review by the skin of its teeth. For me it’s brought back the fun into beatmaking. It might surprise some of you but i’ve been using my laptop qwerty keyboard to make music (including the box and the organ solo!) since I moved into the new place in June – the reason being I don’t have enough space for a proper setup anymore. The pads on Maschine are fantastic and i’m especially loving the pressure sensitivity. What this means if you can use the built in note repeat with varied modulation according to how much pressure you are applying whilst holding a sustained note on the pad. For vintage hardware lovers the MPC and SP1200 audio emulation are wicked, definitely spot on for the 90s vibes that are popular once again.

Software of the year – Reason 6

This caught me by surprise but i’m glad to see it; the merging of Record and Reason to create Reason 6. I’ve always had a soft spot for Reason; coming from the old school studio world I love the hardware analogy. Being able to patch in cables to handle audio routing is like coming home for me.. you can always ‘see’ the signal path and abuse it as you wish. The new devices are great and the timestretch adopted from record is fantastic.