Compiling a “top 10” list is always risky business – it’s like laying yourself completely bare and is a magnet for vitriol. So just to clarify this is a completely subjective opinion based on personal taste rather than accepted wisdom although many of the below are bona fide classics – why not include them though?
The list started out as a top ten of techno but it was hard not to bring in some more techy or minimal numbers (or whatever you like to call them) however I think this balances the selection nicely moving from heavyweight, no holds bared tracks to something more melodic to ease the mood.
To save any arguments over which track is best the list has been compiled chronologically. Rather neatly it covers most parts of each decade from 1990 however it ends abruptly in 2006 with multiple tracks from that year – when I spent most time record shopping in Phonica I think. No doubt there have been a plethora of note worthy tracks since 2006 however none I felt sat well alongside the below. Enjoy and feel free to comment!
1. The Suburban Knight - The Art Of Stalking
Released 1990. Written mixed and produced by J Pennington. Pretty dark! Don't play this one to your mother.
2. Plastikman - Spastik
Released in 1993 and written by Ritchie Hawtin. Iconic to say the least.
3. Dave Clarke - Red 1
Released 1994. Written, produced and engineered by Dave Clarke. Another classic from the old guard.
4. Jeff Mills - The Bells
Released 1997. Produced by Jeff Mills. Heavy!
5. The Horrorist - One Night In New York City (Chris Liebing Remix)
Released 2001. I first heard Mauro Picotto play this in 2001 and it was one of those tracks you never forget – it’s essentially a fairy tale story gone dark set in New York City.
6. Ricardo Villalobos – Dexter
Released 2003. Written and produced by Ricardo Villalobos.
7. Mathew Jonson - Marionette
Released 2005. One of those introspective get lost in the depths 4am tracks.
8. Extrawelt - Titelheld
Released 2006. This track has got everything – it’s rumbling, growing, dark, melodic and even uplifting.
9. Stephan Bodzin - Pendulum
Released 2006. Building, menacing, killer kick.
10. Ellen Allien & Apparat - Jet (Ben Klock Remix)
Released 2006. Layered, melodic, beautiful and only 2800 Youtube hits!