It’s official – my Holy Ship! cherry has been popped. Three days on the 4th largest cruise liner in the world with some of dance music’s most devoted attendees was one for the record books (now I do it all again in February). It’s pretty incredible to be in such close quarters with some of the most talented DJ’s around the globe, and I think this shared connection allowed for a lot of risks on the turntables, that, or the expected three sets from each performer willed them to dig deep into their collection. Either way, the music was incredible, as was the setting and the vibe. So swell in fact, I’ve put together my Top 10 Tracks as heard on Holy Ship! 2015 (January Sailing).
Flume was slotted for the sail away set – meaning as soon as the boat took off he would be the first artist to set the vibe. A hefty assignment, FOR sure. With everybody all ears and antsy on the pool deck as Miami was fading from eyesight, Flume went with the perfect throwback.
#9 Boys Noize b2b Djedjotronic
On the flip side – the last song of the ship is equally as important. Sealing the deal on a successful sailing with the perfect 1-2 punch was Boys Noize and Djedjotronic with the wicked combination of “Sweet Dreams” and “Club Going Up On A Tuesday.” Talk about coming out of left field, and I really don’t even like that Makonnen cut.. but there is something about just having gone 72 hours straight on this boat and the time switching over to Tuesday AM and watching these two dudes duke it out and close with that track. A fitting farewell.
#8 DJ Falcon:
If you don’t get excited any time you see DJ Falcon’s name on a bill, you’re doing it wrong. The dude is a legend, and he never disappoints. Night 2 in the Galaxy Disco for the Boys Noize Records party was a pretty tumultuous evening for the ocean. Major swells were rocking the boat semi-viciously from side to side and the whole crowd responded to the ebbs and flows with the electric slide. Big moment.. and the tune to accompany said second in time?
#7 Annie Mac
First time catching this iconic DJ and she happened to be hosting her own party (Brits Aboard) in the Galaxy Disco. Besides being one of the most bad ass chicks behind the decks, she picks a mean MP3. After a scorching set that had the whole crowd on their toes she hopped on the mic to say, “I know it doesn’t really fit but it’s one of my favorite songs of all time and I have to play it.” Those who caught her set on the Pool Deck on day three may have also heard it again, but no time was more fitting than the packed house in the Galaxy Disco.
GRiZ is da biz. Every time I see this guy wailing on his Sax onstage I am left with my jaw on the floor. Add to the fact that he is mixing a set and working the crowd over at the same time makes for an other worldly performance, and the fans know it. They were pouring into the Pantheon Theater all set until they were spilling over the balcony to catch one of the last sets of the ship. The big standout moment for me, though, was when he hopped on that new Mark Ronson tip and rinsed the new single “Uptown Funk” (my current theme song) complete with his own rendition with a scorching Saxophone solo. Mark Ronson better get at this guy for a remix because I had to drop everything to do a little jig.
#5 Justin Martin
The most beloved member of the Ship Fam had a little surprise in store for the pool deck on the final night, a surprise that included a 2 hour extended b2b set with Guy from Disclosure. OOF. With an extensive Dirtybird Discography, I was ready for some major heaters from the funky SF house label. My prayers were answered with the Eats Everything Re-Beef of Tiga’s “Let’s Go Dancing.” A v rare tune that can’t be found anywhere and had only been heard once by myself prior to this moment, and that was from Eats himself. You can’t really follow up with much after this, it’s THAT big.
#4 What So Not
Emoh Instead? Emoh always. This guy is the realest. Wanna know how I know he is the realest? Because he is the only person I have ever heard drop this in a set. Major swoons..
#3 Guy (Disclosure)
I was pretty astounded at Guy’s DJ abilities. Not that I thought he was going to be bad, it was more in the depth of song selection that took me by surprise. This Fatima Yamaha jam had me whip out Shazaam to get these ducks in order in what was my only Shazaam of the weekend. Big ups Guy, you went in..
#2 Busy P
If Busy P ever needed another career, I think he would do quite well in the stand up comedy world. The dude had everybody busting up on the Pool Deck where he rung in the third day with an early set. Ripe with classic rock and throwback jams – everybody was dancing with their fist in the air and a drink in the other. By far his greatest moment was when he hopped on the mic and said, “So you all like deep house, yah? How about some deep purple?” Then went straight into..
#1 Armand Van Helden
A private island filled with the entire ship and Armand Van Helden going back to back with Guy from a prop Pirate Ship, crystal clear waters, and white sand beaches, everybody was on that turn up tip. Anything they played would have been a hit, the vibe could not be diminished, but it reached it’s peak when Armand went old school with his library and dropped this classic gem.