I’ve found no “best of 2013” music lists that contained anything even vaguely my taste. This year has also seen dance music “Jump the shark” like it did back in 1979, where EDM has really become an acronym of Electronic Disco Music and should really be called Electropop, it mostly has no soul..
The list that put me over the top this year though was “The 25 Best Songs of 2013 (The Entire Year)” by time.com’s Melissa Locker @woolyknickers which contains almost nothing palatable, a few ok tunes, and a couple of down right offensive tracks. As far as I can recall, I’ve never done a music list before, since I had a free evening. I’ve grouped in logical, to me, musical styles. Also, I’ve included tracks that were new to me in 2013 and included the year of release where they were previously released. Because music makes you feel good!
- Sun – Two Door Cinema Club (Late Night Tuff Guy remix)
- Skyfall – Adele (DJ Electronce Sucker Punch remix)
- Losing You – CJ Hilton (Fred Everything remix
- I Want You Back (Dimitri from Paris Supa Funk Brakes Mix) –
- Love Inc. – Booka Shade
- Battleships (Sasha Beatless Mix) – Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka feat. Abigail Wyles
- Waste Love – Kaskades Ice Mix
- Hypnotized – Oliver Kolezki feat. Fran (Original Mix)(2009)
- Haleshop – Booka Shade
- Telecaster – Gui Borratto(2010)
- U Were The One (Original Mix) – Kulkid
- Fall For You feat. April Sandy Rivera’s Classic Mix – Kings of Tomorrow
- Make me feel – Ange(2011)
- Everybody wants something – Akabu feat. Alex Mills, Joey Negro Strip Mix.
- DUI – Gareth Emery, Ashley Wallbridge(2012)
- Spectrum [feat. Matthew Koma] – Zedd
- Symettries –
Austin Leeds, Paul van Dyk
- Clarity [feat. Foxes] – Zedd
Dunno what to call it
There has been interesting development in uptempo pop/dance music this year. Lots of tracks that are a mix of folk/blue grass, electronic, acoustic, and are very heavily orchestrated and include drops from dubstep or 60’s soul more than traditional dance music. Avicii got totally panned for doing a live set incorporating significant non-electronic elements at Ultra Music Festival in Miami. With the exception of the John Cale track, here is a great selection of the genre, it’s great music, it’s just not pure dance, or for that matter EDM.
- Hide – Little May
- Not Giving In (feat John Newman) – Rudimental
- Waiting all Night (feat Ella Eyre) – Rudimental
- Love me Again – John Newman
- I want to talk 2 U – John Cale(2012)
- Think of You – MS MR
- Wake me up – Avicii
- Free – Rudimental
- Cheating – John Newman
Back to mine
- Welcome to my world – Depeche Mode
- Baddest Blues – Beth Hart
- She – Laura Mvula
- Another Night In – Tindersticks(1997)
- Don’t Wait – Mapei
- Out of my head – John Newman
Lost and Found
- Ordinary Joe – Terry Callier(2008) – Terry was re-discovered by the UK music scene in the late 1990’s, and his story is a classic example of the British soul scene and the complete eco system that supports unknown and new soul and dance music. Wikipedia mentions this briefly. I actually prefer the Japanese Modal Soul producer Nujabes version. Terry died from cancer on October 27, 2012 and so the start of 2013 saw a lot of retrospectives and re-edits. This 2007 live recording of Terry in London is great, you can feel the soul, he starts by saying “welcome home”.
- Relax(Jazzed) – Blank and Jones. I first came across Piet Blank and Jasper Jones work 10-12 years ago on a number of the early Cafe del Mar, and Hed Kandi Chill out compilations. They’ve produced an interesting series of downtempo albums in the Relax and Milcharbar compilation series. Earlier this year I was looking for their mix of Angels by Sara McLaughlin on Amazon.com and came across the the first Relax compilation. Amazon helpfully also suggested Relaz(Jazzed), this is a jazz version of a number of tracks from the Relax compilations, featuring tracks from Edition 4. It’s fabulously downtempo Jazz, beautifully played on instruments by Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr. If I was looking for an album of the year, this would be it.
Greg Wilson continues to crank out a brilliant collection of mixes from his live sets which contain either his re-edits, re-mixes or those by a cadre of the top folks from the soundcloud crew. Greg’s 4.5 hour mix from December 12th Berghain in Berlin is a classic example.
Sven Neer, a local favorite ways to keep up with emerging club music now has a regular gig at Lazer Trance, StereoLive in Houston and for the most part isn’t posting to Soundcloud anymore. A new discovery for unconventional mixes has been DJ James Bubblefunk out of Thailand. I’ve particularly enjoyed his themed mixes.
Mix/Compilation of the year though is the Sasha beatless continuous mix from Involv3r. My favorite track is the beatless version of Battleships, but the whole 43-mins is packed full of minimal tracks, that work great together.
Music video of the year is John Newmans’ Love me again. This is my late teens, the tempo, the clothes, the Northern Soul theme, the teenage angst, set in a nothern town its a take on Romeo and Juliette. Brilliant. I get to see Newman in San Francisco in January, the tickets were just $15.
A great place for new music, especially mixes has been the London based oki-ni mix series on both soundcloud and mixcloud. I prefer the mixcloud version, as mixcloud includes and auto-generates track names which helps find the individual tracks.
Finally, for early 2015 I’m looking forward to getting advanced releases from Tiko based on his first EP release, and hopefully, forthcoming album which he has been working on also in Berlin.
Disco will never be over. It will always live in our minds and hearts. Something like this that was this big, and this important, and this great, will never die. Oh for a few years, maybe many years it will be considered passe and ridiculous. It will be misrepresented, caricatured and sneered at, or worse, completely ignored. People will laugh about John Travolta, Olivia Newton John, white polyester suits and platform shoes and going like this! [Mimics Saturday Night Fever pose] But we had nothing to do with those things and still loved disco. Those who didn’t understand will never understand. Disco was much more, and much better than all that. Disco was too great and too much fun to be gone forever. It has got to come back someday. I just hope it will be in our own lifetimes. – Josh Neff, Last Days of Disco the movie, 1998