Out of sheer boredom if you're ever curious how many genres of electronic music I actually listen to this might be the post to reference. I'll take you through a genre-by-genre breakdown of my favorite tracks of 2010 with minimal blah, blah, blah, but massive amounts of ♫, ♫, ♫! I'll preface by saying I'm aware of the ridiculous amounts EDM subgenres I'm generalizing to, but we all have better things to do than be pretentious. :)
Ready? Alpha-order, let's go!
Booty/miami, progressive, tearout, funky and the subgenres go on, but topping that list is the glitchy/subbassy breakbeat masterpiece by Pretty Lights. I don't know much about this dude other than he came out of virtually nowhere and sampled his way into my heart. I highly recommend you go to his website and download all his free albums.
Ultimately I consider the "dance" genre an umbrella for remixed, 4-to-the-floor, pop music - but it's not quite as cheesy as Europop. Whatever, it's guilty pleasure tunes and I suppose if there's a proverbial "queen" of this genre it would be Kylie Minogue. Normally I would have to revoke my Europop comment at this point, but it's the Stuart Price remix with that ridiculously catchy piano hook. Did I mention it's SDP??
So this is probably the second hardest genre for me to pick because I listened to HUGE amounts of quality DnB this year. I mean, just count the number of producers who released albums in 2010: Danny Byrd, Chase & Status, Drumsound & Bassline Smith, DC Breaks, Pendulum, Blame, Netsky, DJ Fresh, The Qemists . . . I could go on. Unfortunately I didn't do a Drum & Bass mixtape this year so I have a TON of wicked tracks in the queue, including this face-melting, euphoric, kickerstarter by Phetsta.
You can save your anti-Skrillex commentary for someone who cares. While I find a lot of the guy's fans to be douches, I cannot deny he knows how to build a solid drop. Thank god he left FFTL to pursue his own passions; 2010 was his year afterall.
I have a tenuous love/hate relationship with electro. More often than not I am bored to tears by run-of-the-mill, saw-toothed offerings of Le Castle Vania & Deadmau5 wannabes, but every few months someone shakes me out of my hater-face and gets me to bump. I'm more inclined to favor Redial-style riff-electro so it's no surprise that the electro I like sounds like Ender's Game on steroids.
On occasion, a rare electro-house tune begs my attention...
Umm, I only have one request: Can all MJ tributes be this fucking awesome? It's possibly better(?) than what it samples...I didn't just...no! But those basslines are sex for ears!!!
Sometimes when I'm listening to new music I get all flustered deciding what genre to tag it. My internal debate goes something like this:
"Dang, that bassline! So funky! Wha-? Is this disco? Or house? But it's too funky for just house...but it's house. Not Armand Van Helden or Pryda house, but true Chicago style house, except more modern. Crap, do I need to do one of those hyphenated 'funky-disco-house' things? Ohmygod, there's horns! Love! What was I saying? Aaah, bridge riff! Ok, I'm just putting house already."
Yes, this actually happens and it's always about this funky-house sound. Now you can join my club:
I love the Cassian/Miami Horror remix so much that I sometimes forget how bloody brilliant the original is!
Usually I hear "Indie Dance" and my mind immediatey conjours images of The Twelves and Classixx. This year I added a solid half dozen consistently good artists to that list, with my favorites being Gigamesh and Gemini Club. The Gigamesh remix of "I'll Get You" starts with the sound of children laughing, throws down some sick feel-good riffs, and has one of the best build-ups/climaxes I've ever heard in an Indie Dance tune. Period. Parrrrty pants.
Give it till the 5 minute mark, then tell me you don't love it!
Why hello most-difficult-genre-to-choose-from! I should point out that mashup is not so much a genre as it is a production technique since often the point of a mashup is to defy genre. It would be pretty shameless to pimp my own mashups before talking about mashups that bested mine, but seems I just did. Oops. Anyway, as much as I love hearing good mashes of the flavors-of-the-week, my favorite bootlegs blend recogniable 80s/90s/00s tunes in fun/creative ways, hence Mashup-Germany takes the cake on this one.
Oddly enough, my favorite genre was easiest to pick! The fact that Bestrack made a Russ Chimes production EVEN BETTER, is in my opinion, award in itself. Gah, I love this sound so hard, I never get tired of hearing it! 4:18, I have plans for you baby.
Admittedly, I've been doing a pretty poor job of keeping up with this genre as my interests have vastly diversified since I first got into electronic music. That said, one female producer in particular has captivated me throughout the entire year, stringing me along with her beachy, progressive house/trance sound. That artist would be the rhapsodic Dinka. I could literally start a playlist with all her tracks (over 50!) and just let the entire thing play out without ever feeling compelled to skip to the next song. She's that good! Anyway, top pick is "The Quietest Moment" because it has some of the most gorgeous euphoric melodies she's ever composed! Do purchase her latest EP Violet as it's worth every penny!
Phillip is Daniel Kandi's protegee, so of course I'm going to covet him!
Plus, the requisite Anjunalove! Oli continues to make massive hands-up, although his remix of Shapes is still untouched in my books.
If all music eventually fit this category the scene would be super-saturated with either really good or really bad tunes. Consider this my category for the really good ones that cross so many genre hoops they are officially out-of-the-box.
First up, Bird Peterson's remake of "For That Drama" from his Drankenstein mixtape which is supposed to be 15 tracks of southern hip hop remixed over Bird's favorite trance samples. I know, WTF right?? But it's SO FLY.
TC tagged this as "Drum & Bass" on SoundCloud, but anyone who's heard more than 30 seconds of this monster summer banger knows it's not just drum & bass - there's some crazyass subbass, half-time 2-step rhythms, and this bizarre boy-band pop acoustic guitar riff. The first time I heard it I was all, "What genre is this and why does Rihanna sound awesome?" By the second play, I didn't care, I was raging as hard as my sub-5-foot frame would allow.
I guess that sums up my Best of 2010. Here's to a bright 2011!