When Granddaddy Dirt himself asked Troy Kurtz and me to collaborate for Part II of the GDD™ 2010 Roundup, at first I thought, Fuck yeah! Who wouldn’t want to tag-team with Troy? But after realizing that I couldn’t name a single song out of Troy’s Top 5 Producers (shame on me), I decided to go rogue like I did back in elementary school because I didn’t work well in groups for projects. Check out my top picks for the year after the jump.
Top 5 Tunes (That You Probably Slept On)
5. New Young Pony Club – We Want To (Mickey Moonlight Mix) [Purchase]
First heard in one of Erol Alkan’s Radio One 6 Mixes, I never knew how much I liked this remix from recent Ed Banger Records artist Mickey Moonlight until I heard it again…in a dream (no shit). Feel-good with rockin’ percussion, this is the way indie dance remixes should be done.
4. The Krays – We’re Ready When You Are (feat Ebony Bones)*
This collaboration between French pals Yuksek and Brodinski really got me excited about dance music again. Crunchy vocal disco house that’ll make you groove, especially if you’ve been in the mood for some 2007-style blog house.
3. Ed Solo + JFB – I Need You [Purchase]
Featured in Troy Kurtz’ Haute and Bothered Mini-Mix, trust me when I say that the sub-bass in this dubstep ballad will take your breath away. Every time I dropped this one of my DJ sets, at least one person ran up to the booth and asked me to ID this chune.
2. Bag Raiders – Not Over
Straight from the debut Bag Raiders album (which I’ll go ahead and say was my favorite of 2010), be sure to add this one to your “Fuckjams” playlist on iTunes. Poppy and very well-produced, good luck getting this one unstuck from your head.
1. Digitalism – Blitz*
Okay, so maybe not everyone slept on this one, but I was so stoked that Digitalism ignored current trends and stuck to their guns for this single. “Blitz” is (thankfully) no big departure from the rest of their work on Idealism but still manages to sound fresh, complete with epic builds and beefy drops.
Top 5 Producers
5. Boys Noize
Okay, I think we can all admit that we were a little underwhelmed by Power, but like with “Lights and Music”, once again Alex Ridha’s remix (this time of “Swoon” by the Chemical Brothers) blew the original out of the water. Follow that up with the release of 1010/Yeah and I smell an even bigger year on the horizon for Boys Noize.
4. Porter Robinson
The biggest thing to come out of North Carolina since Petey Pablo, what else is there to say about this electro prodigy? Porter’s first single “Say My Name” was glued to the top spot of Beatport’s electro house chart and earned support from the likes of David Guetta, Tiësto, and The Crystal Method. If you missed it earlier this year, check out my interview with Porter.
If Rusko made dubstep hoards of new fans last year, then this year it was definitely Nero. Their use of synths and vocals normally reserved for a genre like trance have definitely made dubstep more accessible to the masses (especially the ladies). Add a Radio One Essential Mix that opens with a dubstep remix of “Stress” by Justice that was dying to be made and Nero has had one hell of a year.
Drum ‘n’ bass legends Pendulum enjoyed huge crossover success this year, winning over legions of electro house listeners this year with “The Island pt II (Dusk)” (which quickly became the go-to single for opening deejays who still wanted to burn the headliner but felt that “Warp 1.9″ didn’t have the same punch anymore). I also recommend listening to the dark yet poppy “Set Me on Fire” from their album Immersion, which was released in May.
You can be mad that his entire debut EP devoured the Beatport Top 10 and beat out your favorite tech house track, you can be mad that they don’t make dubstep like they used to, but if you want to deny that it was Skrillex’s talent alone that took him to the top in less than one year, you’re just plain hating. With solid support from the likes of Deadmau5, Nero and 12th Planet, Skrillex’s talk-box synths and sweet distorted melodies have undoubtedly pushed the envelope for brostep.
Best Live Set
Vitalic + Teenage Bad Girl at 103 Harriet, San Francisco
First, I’ll let this video speak for itself.
While pound-for-pound Vitalic’s V-Mirror visuals aren’t up to par with someone like The Chemical Brothers (who I saw a couple months earlier), I can honestly say I enjoyed Vitalic’s entire presentation much more. The visuals weren’t too complicated yet still fun to watch while Vitalic seamlessly mixed updates of all his classic songs. Catching a live set from Vitalic typically reserved for larger festivals intimately in the main room of 103 Harriet, which comfortably holds only a few hundred people, was a rare treat. Hadn’t heard much about Teenage Bad Girl all year but their DJ set impressed me and segued nicely into Vitalic’s performance. At this point, a Coachella appearance from him might be wishful thinking on my part, but if given the chance to see the V-Mirror performance, I can’t recommend it enough. Thanks again to my friends at Blasthaus for putting on this awesome show.
So there you have it, my top picks for the year. Hope you enjoyed reading Gotta Dance Dirty™ today and throughout the year. Stay safe this weekend and we’ll see you next year.
*As featured on my super awesome 2010 Festivus mix