Our most popular articles published this year – plus a few bonus picks of our personal favourites.

2013

Features

What Is [Live]? The New Generation Of Live Techno – Hardware-driven live shows are back. Is it a reaction against the ubiquity of laptop sets or a desire to create a more authentically live experience? Kristan Caryl investigated.

Interview: James Holden – In the studio with the experimental techno producer, discussing the making of The Inheritors and Holden’s uniquely thoughtful approach to dance music.

My Studio: Legowelt – A tour of Danny Wolfers’ incredible studio, featuring an array of lustworthy gear, production tips, plus some of the most incredible interior design we came across all year.

Interview: Goldie – “All round, art in its pure form? You can’t really fuck with me, to be honest.” Attack editor Greg Scarth had a tense encounter with the drum and bass legend.

Roger Linn On Swing, Groove & The Magic Of The MPC’s Timing – “Just good solid engineering and creative beat-making.” The man who helped invent the MPC, LinnDrum and DSI Tempest offered a unique personal insight into the technology which has helped define electronic music.

How To Get Your Demo Heard – Making music is the first step, but if you want to get your tracks signed you’ll need to approach labels. How do you do it? How do you increase your chances of getting your music released by the right label? We spoke to a selection of great dance music labels to find out.

My Studio: Mathew Jonson – “It sounds like the angels flying down from the sky.” The Berlin-based producer showed as around his incredible hardware-packed studio.

Dreaming Of Wires: The Return Of Modular Synths – As the excellent I Dream Of Wires documentary was released, we examined the resurgence of the modular synth market. Artists including Factory Floor, James Holden, Junior Boys and Kirk Degiorgio explained their love of this unique approach to music creation.

The Danger of Being Retro: Revivalism In Dance Music  – It was impossible to avoid the trend for retro dance in 2013. We investigated, with insight from the likes of Bicep, Todd Edwards, Eats Everything, Larry Heard, DJ Pierre and more.

Technique

Passing Notes: Sampled Chords – Drawing on examples from Theo Parrish, Milton Jackson and Bicep, our resident dance music theory expert demonstrated how sampling a chord and replaying it at different pitches can be an incredibly effective way to add a unique harmonic structure and old-school flavour to a track.

The Breakdown: Breach – ‘Jack’ – ‘Jack’ was one of the biggest dance hits of the summer, but before it shot to the higher reaches of the UK singles chart we spoke to Ben Westbeech about how it was made and examined what made it such an effective club and festival anthem.

Passing Notes: DAW & Drum Machine Swing – One of the fundamental tools of electronic music production is also one of the most misunderstood. We explained how the swing setting in your DAW or drum machine works, and how it can be used to define the groove of your productions.

Ten Tips For Better Basslines – No explanation needed. Our no-nonsense rundown of ten essential pieces of advice for producing and mixing bass was one of the most popular tech pieces of the year.

Beat Dissected: Jackin’ House90s Jersey GarageFound Sound 2-Step and Rough House – Our Beat Dissected series proved as popular as ever in 2013. These four beats were among our most read technique features of the year.

Walkthrough: How To Use Reverb In A Mix – The most popular walkthrough of 2013 was our comprehensive run-down of the techniques used when adding reverb to a track. From subtle ambience to cavernous drum echo, we showed how it’s done.

Attack’s Favourites

What Makes A Great Label? – It seems like every week in 2013 another new label was launched. But what does it take to stand out? How can labels set themselves apart from the rest and become cultural icons? We spoke to some of the best dance labels to find out.

Top Tracks: Kris Wadsworth – “Did you really think I was going to lie like other people and try to pass off some sort of dance music as the first electronic music I ever heard? That is ridiculous.” A hilariously honest Top Tracks selection from the straight-talking producer.

Model Behaviour: LA-2A Emulations vs Hardware – Compression expert Gregory Scott put a selection of LA-2A emulations to the test in this detailed discussion of the pros and cons of hardware versus circuit-modelled plugins.

The World’s Most Desirable (And Valuable) Electronic Music Gear – Holy grail drum machines, priceless prototypes and samplers that cost as much as a house. It’s all here to drool over. We looked at some of the most sought-after music gear ever made.

Interview: Neville Watson – “You want to be able to know you can pay your rent… People are a bit too scared of being seen to sell out. Well, who’s to say they bought in in the first place?” In the studio with the master of retro-tinged house, on production techniques and the meaning of being underground.

Interview: Kirk Degiorgio – “Derrick May’s often said that he’s mentored guys like myself and Carl Craig but he never ever showed you how to do anything.” We met the British techno pioneer for a poke around his studio and a chat about his unique friendship with the Detroit masters.

Dave Smith On Synth Evolution – In an in-depth interview with one of the godfathers of analogue synthesis we discussed the evolution of keyboards, the future of analogue and the legacy of MIDI.

15th December, 2013

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