GDD™ 2010 Roundup, Part V: Techno, Techno, Techno.

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Here we are at our final installment in the GDD™ 2010 Roundup. Below you’ll find sneevs and Matt’s picks for all things house and techno with a couple visitors from other genres that we couldn’t resist noting. Live shows, tunes, albums, and even a very special GDD™ Artist of the Year Award. Comment and let us know what you think.
Best Tracks of 2010
*All tracks with Beatport purchase links are in 160kbps.

Top 25 √+ Approved
More Excellence
Breakthrough Artists
Blood Music
GDD 3.0 😉
Best Releases
Best Live Acts
Carte Blanche
Riton + Mehdi were the acid jacking Carte Blanche this year, tearing through a much talked about world tour with 4 CDJs, a Roland TR-909 Rhythm Composer and even EP collaborator Kid Sister herself on stage. We were so taken by their deliciously curated juxtaposition of old and new — squelching acid basslines, classic house and techno anthems, mashing and remixing on the fly — that after seeing them in LA we immediately drove down to San Diego to catch their final show. Bonus points for T shirts of each other’s face, a fan made Carte Blanche flag and kissing Kid Sister on stage.
Groove Armada
Along with Ghostland Observatory GA are proof that more lasers > less lasers. They’re also the leaders of the whole more trumpet > less trumpet movement. Raging dance party from start to finish when these folks get in the building. The energy at their shows is inspirational, try to tell me this video doesn’t give you chills.
Plastikman
Encircled in a massive circular LED curtain the man/myth/machine Richie Hawtin buried himself in an impossibly complex control deck of computers, synthesizers and midi triggers this year to give audiences a rare glimpse of his darker alter ego, Plastikman. Quite literally rattling us to the bone with a subsonic bass bath at Coachella, his surreal techno puppeteering behind a cage of light chilled and glistened. The audio visual experience was deliberately not about the man but the show and the ever ambitious Hawtin devised a system of smart phone apps only activated during the show, proposing an exclusive set of visuals and unique audience interactions. The consensus was that no one’s app worked but when you’re pushing the bounds of technology with each performance, not everything can.
Underworld
Where do I begin? The new tracks sound flawless live and old tracks are still pure gold. Destructo brought the pioneers and legends to a typically younger crowd because he wanted to educate them about where the music the kids love came from. Hopefully you were all listening if you were there, because Underworld taught quite the lesson. Electronic gods without a doubt.
Orbital
Yes, 2010 truly treated us to every act we had previously accepted as simply being born too late to ever be able to catch. With head lamps and another impressive array of technology encasing them, Orbital blew us away with a stunning little sonic voyage climaxing in the shimmering classic Halcyon + On + On touched up with Belinda Carlisle – Heaven is a Place on Earth + Bon Jovi – Living on a Prayer. Bonus points to the fans in Coachella’s Sahara Tent who brought in hundreds of glowsticks and orchestrated the eruption of said glowsticks during ‘Satan’ in the middle of the crowd.
Chemical Brothers
Legends. If you didn’t catch them this year, don’t make the same mistake next year. With a headlining slot the last night of Ultra Music Festival in March, I’m willing to bet Chemical Tom and Chemical Ed will be making their way to the desert in Indio come April. Missing their previous live installment from a few years back the anticipation for this show was incredible for me, and I in no way was let down.
Booka Shade
As long as they keep doing it, we’ll keep naming them a top act to see live. Unmatched in translating the energy and intricate melodies from the records to the live setting, innovators in the performance of electronic music.
Dada Life
Maybe we’re partial to our two favorite Swedes because we had the distinct honor of throwing the inflatable bananas and champagne bottles into the crowd at Nocturnal Festival but I can personally attest to the fact that the energy these two throw at the massive crowds they consistently engage is unmatched. Case in point: they rage so hard while they play that their onstage jumping shook the entire stage enough to knock their ever present champagne bottle on its side. Party.
LCD Soundsystem

From the first eruption of bass in the opener ‘Dance Yrself Clean’ to hugging the homies and jumping up and down during ‘All My Friends’ until the ten minute epic ‘Yeah’ fries and scrambles your insides LCD Soundsystem is an awesome live experience. Oh and I guess I have a thing for Nancy Whang. Nance, call me babe.

deadmau5
Yes, playing in a giant LED cube with a helmet displaying visuals with animations mouthing the vocals and melting away as the track digitally erodes gets you a spot on our list. We expected “another deadmau5 set” and were completely blown away by what was unveiled.
2010 GDD™ Artist of the Year Award
Boys Noize

Seemingly not satisfied with slaying dancefloors across the globe with compelling, high energy DJ sets, Alex Ridha definitely stepped his game up in 2010. The superstar tandem of him and Erol Alkan teamed up yet again to provide two superhits, in “Avalance” and “Lemonade.” Then he had to create one of the best releases of the summer remixing for the legendary Chemical Brother’s “Swoon.” When autumn rolled around he pumped out one my favorite tracks of all time, “Yeah,” along with the b-side “1010,” a marquee track of the current acid house revival (soon to be led by the BNR Super Acid Compilation release this January.) All the while the man managed to run the best label in the game, start a new sub-division of that label for up and comers, begin to put together the pieces of a brand new live performance slated for debut in mid-2011 (pray for Coachella) and have a smile on his face the whole damn time. Oh, and he played the Tron premiere. Here’s to you, Alex, and to an even bigger and better 2011.
With that being said, what a year for techno and all of electronic music! Thanks so much for being with us this year. Feels good to look back, stay up in 2011.
All our very best to you and your new decade,
sneevs & dirty dirt
Bonus List: Things we wish would stay in 2010…
• Anything being described as “tropical.” We liked the whole steel drum thing over the summer. We like latin influences on a beat. Go ahead and sample world music all you like, heat things up, just don’t call it your tropical remix.
• Rave whistles. As always, no rave whistles. Dan Justice will reprimand you.
• People dying at festivals. On a serious note, let’s take a moment to respect those we lost this year all over the globe. Unsafe festivals and talk of “rave bans” in California is unacceptable. If you see someone in trouble worry about the legal consequences later and please do the right thing. Stay safe in 2011 everyone, we love ya.

Comments

Comments

27 Responses to GDD™ 2010 Roundup, Part V: Techno, Techno, Techno.

  1. goldcoastmixx says:

    AWESOME POST!!!! Loved the roundup. Hate to say it, but where's Nero??? Those guys killed with their BBC Essential Mix. Thanks for mentioning the festival deaths at the end of the article. People need to start taking safety into their own hands and start being responsible for their own actions. Banning raves is ridiculous and will only push them underground where medical staff probably wouldn't even be present. Dumb idea.

    Anyways, on a more positive note I was proud to rep my GDD tank at a New Years Eve party, couldn't think of a better way to bring in the new year! GO 2011! You guys rock

  2. troy kurtz! says:

    nero was covered in pt 1 of our wrap-up

  3. pHiLthy says:

    No mention of Para One's "Animal Style/Nevrosis" EP? Hey Today's "Talk To Me" EP or Djedjotronic's "Bit This Thin" EP?

    =0

  4. Anonymous says:

    i was hoping i would scroll down to see boys noize as GDD artist of the year :) when you consider the whole package of producing, djing, and remixing there really is no one better. Yeah was the feel good song of 2010 i hope he really brings the heat in 2011 with a coachella live set!

  5. Matt P says:

    Nice post guys, you were spot on with those song lists. Even though its pretty new I'd add Invader by Disco of Doom and I was kind of surprised Liquid by Clouds didn't get any recognition. Other than that, very solid techno roundup (my favorite genre covered thus far)

  6. andrew mrvos says:

    /agree with pHiLthy….was stoked to see d.i.m.'s track on the top, think that was my favorite song this year. great post!

  7. Seanp123 says:

    carte blanche and LCD soundsystem were the only two of your best live acts list i didn't have the pleasure of experiencing this year, but damn you guys are spot on with your choices. i'm glad you put so much emphasis on the old school acts that are in their mid 40's and are slaying audiences way harder than all these techno babies.

    in my opinion my top 5 live sets of 2010 were:

    1. Plastikman (Coachella)
    2. Underworld (Hard Haunted)
    3. Boys Noize (EDC)
    4. Groove Armada (EDC)
    5. The Chemical Brothers (Hollywood Bowl)*

    *the only reason they're not higher up is that the pretentiousness of the hollywood bowl could only be broken for about 55 mins, mostly due to chromeo wasting precious set time with a ho-hum performance that got barely 1/20th of the crowd dancing.

    anyways, crossing my fingers for all of those acts to appear at coachella.

  8. Seanp123 says:

    honorable mention:

    green velvet at nocturnal!

  9. Patrick says:

    And thank you GDD for leading us through the entire year.

  10. t.rock.paris says:

    No Joris Vorn? No Umek? Barely any mention of Popof, but you guys made Boys Noize out to be the greatest techno artist ever.

    You guys have a strange view of techno. why are you linking everyone to beatport if you clearly don't follow their charts?

  11. t.rock.paris says:

    i should also mention, most of your list is house music. and be sure, i am not saying boys noize isn't good, i have just always considered him to be an electro pioneer, but not techno.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Everything you're saying sucks ^

  13. Peter says:

    Favorite round up post.

    Make more teeshirts.

  14. pHiLthy says:

    Although it basically came out in 2011, Popof's latest EP "Wax Machine" is the tits too.

    Harvard Bass used 2 tracks off it in his HARD NYE Mix hah.

    This is my favorite of the 2010 wrap-up posts as well.

  15. dirt mcgirt says:

    the day i use a publicly generated top download chart to tell me what good music is i'll stop listening to music. personally, even though i realize they were two of the biggest tracks of the year, i don't think joris voorn's the secret or the beachball remix are that good. just sayin'. umek on the other hand just happened to miss the cut in favor of 45 amazing other songs. it's no disrespect.

    also, there are two popof tracks in our top 45 songs from an entire year, which two different people tried their hardest to agree on. one of what, three artists with more than one song on our list? and that's not mentioning him at all?

    please don't assume that we in any way think of 'yeah' as "techno." what boys noize is doing for EDM as a whole is what got him so much love. and launching BNR Trax is gonna continue to bring "techno" to more kids (who would probably otherwise ignore those tracks) just cause it has his stamp on it. and hopefully in a short time we'll be rid of chainsaw synths, dubstep, and car alarm bang0rz.

    everyone else thanks for the love.

  16. stevie.e says:

    thank you guys for all the comments, we really put a lot of love into this one and had a great time writing this.

    as for t.rock.paris, come on. give us a single genre that this list of techno, tech house and techlectro (if that's what you consider boys noize) all fits under and we'll rename the post that. we didn't put this up to argue genre boundaries, boys noize makes jackin' techno and joris vorn didn't make the cut for us.

    these are our picks for the year, not beatports. beatport is the best place to purchase electronic music in the history of humankind, not necessarily the best place to find out what's going on.

    this isn't a democracy, this is a techno dictatorship. if we wanted your opinion we would have made a poll. JUST SAYIN. <3

  17. t.rock.paris says:

    OK, I read your respons

    Still, you posted so much of electro and house and dutch and call it techno. swedish house mafia not swedish techno mafia, then some songs you send a beatport link to buy and it goes to electro house genre, that should indicate something.

    This blog is legit, but you have not considered a global opinion of music, it is clear that California has a unique view. after this post i do not see you the same.

    Thanks,

    t.rock from paris

  18. stevie.e says:

    we're not saying every single thing we post is confined to techno. go back and read the post:

    "Below you'll find sneevs and Matt's picks for all things house and techno with a couple visitors from other genres that we couldn't resist noting."

    House and techno. The majority of what we posted here and the focus of all of matt and my style we consider techno or tech house, we called this roundup techno because that's what we focused on and what differentiates it from the rest of the roundups.

    we consider DIM techno. sorry if you were confused by beatport labeling his track "electro house." if you really have an argument here, go through and identify the genre of every single track we posted and prove that it's inconsistent with us covering "all things house and techno with a few visitors from other genres," and for the most part posting techno and tech house.

    keep in mind who our broad reader base is, we're covering the dirty side of techno that you'll hear out. I listen to Kompakt, microhouse and deeper/weirder things all day and I think it's great, that doesn't mean I have to post it all here. you're at GDD, we cover what's biggest in electronic music. if you want a more unique experience go read kidcityblog.

    so that being said if you really think you have an argument successfully complete the challenge I've outlined above and we'll officially admit that you're right. we call it techno and it's been working pretty well for us while living in both california and berlin.

  19. dirt mcgirt says:

    Stevie see how much less fun we'd be having if we had just changed it to "Part V: Techno, House, Tech House" like I asked?

  20. Slubot&Indospice says:

    boys noize usually defines his stuff as indie dance or nu disco. that's why he's, time and again, beatport's top indie artist of the year. first of all, why give GDD guff based on beatport's genre assignments. Why is beatport correct? Secondly, most of the sub-genre's under the main genre of 'intelligent dance music' (wikipedia it) were originally conceived during a time when people weren't using mostly computers and the instruments used defined the sub-genre along with rhythm patterns and DJ set techniques. Dubstep had half speed with a missing 4th beat bass using reggae melodies. Acid used 303 rhythm machines and an 808 drum machine. House was arena shit with 4onthefloor. Would you prefer GDD do 30 different top 25 lists all of electro, electro house, tech house, progressive house, deep house, dubstep, drum and bass, breaks, electronic, house, dutch house, minimal, indie dance, disco house, pop-remix, dance. they made 5 posts of mostly the largest genres and tried to be inclusive on all of them to accommodate their picks. Their picks. Write your own blog. And take your time to cross-reference your picks with beatport, trackitdown, itunes, zero", and neighborhood record stores.

    *ParaOne BNRT004 are both stelllllAR! And actually, being honest, there could've been a whole post about top 25 tracks release on BNR. Best label ever in 2010.
    *Anti-rave legislation is totally regressive and will hurt kids, families, communities, as well as the progress the IDM/Techno music community has made since the early 90s.
    *We all need to really help each other at shows, which we do, but honestly with the bigger shows the planning really needs to improve. Went to TAO, entrance and exit were terribly coordinated.

  21. Slubot&Indospice says:

    boys noize usually defines his stuff as indie dance or nu disco. that's why he's, time and again, beatport's top indie artist of the year. first of all, why give GDD guff based on beatport's genre assignments. Why is beatport correct? Secondly, most of the sub-genre's under the main genre of 'intelligent dance music' (wikipedia it) were originally conceived during a time when people weren't using mostly computers and the instruments used defined the sub-genre along with rhythm patterns and DJ set techniques. Dubstep had half speed with a missing 4th beat bass using reggae melodies. Acid used 303 rhythm machines and an 808 drum machine. House was arena shit with 4onthefloor. Would you prefer GDD do 30 different top 25 lists all of electro, electro house, tech house, progressive house, deep house, dubstep, drum and bass, breaks, electronic, house, dutch house, minimal, indie dance, disco house, pop-remix, dance. they made 5 posts of mostly the largest genres and tried to be inclusive on all of them to accommodate their picks. Their picks. Write your own blog. And take your time to cross-reference your picks with beatport, trackitdown, itunes, zero", and neighborhood record stores.

    *ParaOne BNRT004 are both stelllllAR! And actually, being honest, there could've been a whole post about top 25 tracks release on BNR. Best label ever in 2010.
    *Anti-rave legislation is totally regressive and will hurt kids, families, communities, as well as the progress the IDM/Techno music community has made since the early 90s.
    *We all need to really help each other at shows, which we do, but honestly with the bigger shows the planning really needs to improve. Went to TAO, entrance and exit were terribly coordinated.

  22. Anonymous says:

    awesome post guys. You've got a new reader

  23. MONSTRZ says:

    Do genres really make that big a difference? Good music is good music.

  24. Handrew says:

    tru dat monsterz, while this list isn't what would be considered traditional techno, that's not the point as stevie pointed out, and besides electronic music is so diverse now hardly anything fits into exactly one category, and in regards to beatports classifications, the genre is chosen by the particular label releasing it thats why you'll see something released as techno or whatever and then may be re-released later on a compilation under a different genre more suitable to that particular labels audience, and lastly t.rock quit taking yourself so seriously, music snobbery is the death of music. -serrano

  25. stevie.e says:

    you guys all rule. even t.rock, IF he completes his homework assignment!

    slubot&indospice said it more eloquently than I ever could, the fact of the matter is that genres are changing and becoming less important. no longer is a genre defined by the instruments used or a rigid arrangement pattern for a song to fit into. techno is a stylistic choice, an aesthetic, a movement in music and very different from what it was originally.

    originally techno came out as house musics darker, more repetitive cousin. that's an aesthetic choice to me and when the aesthetic of minimal techno gives birth to a genre like tech house, which I most simply consider the transcription of a minimal techno aesthetic onto the style of house, you're taking house and making it darker, colder, more repetitive, weirder, "techy."

    techno is a state of mind and a movement, just like dubstep is. techno is the one pitched down vocal sample rewiring your mind. the underground club operating without a permit you gave a password to get into. getting cursed at in german for even mentioning bottle service. dancing by yourself for hours on end in a sweaty, bobbing crowd of individuals with the same vacant smirk on their face. if you were even allowed into watergate, berghain or tresor in the first place, techno is your ass getting thrown out for giving the DJ shit for playing tech house in a "techno" club.

  26. Slubot&Indospice says:

    Rave isn't some sole, destructive entity bent on drug binges and irresponsible water consumption. Rave is a movement, a place and culture of friendship. Proper behavior is regulated not by force or coercion but by mutual understanding and non-aggression. The music an expression of the hidden drives and unexpressed emotions of the newest generations.

    Chaos is simply the lack of an organized structure which allows true peace to exist. Freedom is the ability to act according to one's wishes, which can only occur in conditions of great responsibility. The self is what we can control, but that control must not aggressively interfere with others' selves: the non-self.

    The music is an outlet for that. Keeping the beat ensures peace, but the crowd experiences chaos. Track selection is completely free, but is done so responsibly to maintain peace and chaos. Finally, the DJ is one entity and the crowd is another. Two selves cooperating and adjusting to tracks selected to create a turbulent tranquility.

  27. Slubot&Indospice says:

    Rave isn't some sole, destructive entity bent on drug binges and irresponsible water consumption. Rave is a movement, a place and culture of friendship. Proper behavior is regulated not by force or coercion but by mutual understanding and non-aggression. The music an expression of the hidden drives and unexpressed emotions of the newest generations.

    Chaos is simply the lack of an organized structure which allows true peace to exist. Freedom is the ability to act according to one's wishes, which can only occur in conditions of great responsibility. The self is what we can control, but that control must not aggressively interfere with others' selves: the non-self.

    The music is an outlet for that. Keeping the beat ensures peace, but the crowd experiences chaos. Track selection is completely free, but is done so responsibly to maintain peace and chaos. Finally, the DJ is one entity and the crowd is another. Two selves cooperating and adjusting to tracks selected to create a turbulent tranquility.

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