TOP 10 Tracks of 2009 (in no particular order)
1. Tiga – What You Need (The Proxy Remix)
-Proxy stands atop this list for a reason. This is a list of my personal favorites, with no consideration of anything besides what I was feeling the most this past year. Proxy is the ace in the deck – I bumped a shitty bootleg of this tune for a long time and instantly fell in love with it. @GetMeGingy linked me a horrible quality youtube video of Proxy dropping it live long time back. Thanks for whetting my appetite, u douche. One of my hands down favourites of the year, and an epic collaboration. Turbo is the tits. What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Who knows, but It probably sounds something like this.
Honorable mention to Zombie Nation – Shottieville (Proxy Remix)… Zombie Nation + Proxy = EPIC WIN. Next Honorable Mentions to Proxy – Indian Film (his best original production of the year) and another big time honorable mention to Mystery Jets – Half in Love With Elizabeth (Proxy Remix) – Foamo killed this track in 2008 and Proxy took it in a whole other direction while still using that unforgettable hook perfectly. Foamo really killed it too, so I applaud Proxy for having the cajones to follow that remix up with another of his own. He did not disappoint, and never does – another reason why Proxy is probably my favourite solo producer out there right now. Nobody does it like he does and I cannot get enough of his sound. Long live the Russian Federation, I am stoked on his label plans. These three tracks were all big for me in 2009.
2. Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo
– This song is bound to make it on so many lists I feel it needs no explanation…but I can’t resist. Innovative, Beautiful, Unique… finding itself somewhere between Dubstep, Vocal House, and UK garage, with a soft ravey feel that everyone can dig. I’m loving the rabid drums that drive the track onward. If there were a number 1 original of 2009…this tune could take a run at the spot. Nuff’ said.
3. Hudson Mohawke – ZoOooOm
– This guy is literally starting something. All ears should be turned to the Mohawke right now. If you have slept on him this long, it’s about time you wake the fuck up. Whatever you wanna call it…instrumental hip-hop, wonky, dup hop, hifi glitched out gangsterness, I don’t give a fuck, but its dope as anything out there. The drums in this track are so organic sounding, they are sickly cool, and the build brings all these seemingly out of place hifi glitched out elements together so perfectly as soon as the first kick comes in that its bound to blow away any first time listener when it all comes together. Freestyle to this tune. Fuck to it. Work out to it. Drive to it. Live it. Whatever. Just bump it whenever and wherever the fuck you can.
4. Blue Foundation – Eyes on Fire (Zeds Dead Remix)
– I don’t know what to say about this tune that hasn’t already been said…Skream has been bumping it along with countless other Dubsteppers because it is a fantastic production, a brilliant remix from the bare bones up, and one of the heaviest tunes that can still be called ambient and melodic. It is one of those tunes that really makes you appreciate what can be done with a remix. Zeds Dead has literally blown up onto the scene out of nowhere with this one and their arsenal of deadly remixes and hard-hitting originals, and they aren’t fucking around. They are pushing out some seriously synthesized filthiness, laying down basslines so big that panties are getting wobbled off all across North America. Every single one of their productions is top quality, and their diversity is unmatched in Toronto. Rock on Zeds Dead. The people are listening.
5. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – 40 Day Dream
– This song is magical. This group is blowing up and I love it. Long live organic music. Long live hippies. Hooray for flower power and folk tunes. Their album is a trip and a half and this song is my favorite on it. It starts and ends with smiles, and is filled with nothing but jolliness throughout. Rock on Alex Ebert. The people are listening to you too. (Link to my other post on them)
6. La Roux – In For The Kill (Skream’s Let’s Get Ravey Mix)
– This song carried more weight in 2009 than any other Dubstep release. This track shows that La Roux deserves everything she has received (and explains how she became the most remixable ginger on the planet). It introduced 90% of new North American “Dubstep fans” to the genre, and solidified Skream as the best in the game to people who didn’t even know the game existed…then got played out hard by everybody because of its undeniable amazingness. This is top 10 material, even though everyone is downright sick of it, for the fact if nothing else that I have seen people masturbate to the last 30 seconds. I shit you not.
7. Deadmau5 – Strobe
– Strobe was one of those tracks that grew on me more and more over the year. At first I only appreciated it, respected it, and applauded its tightness, but today it has become one of my absolute favorites. This song is pure Mau5, with long slow builds, subtle layering, and flawless composition throughout. Nothing lacks or wants, and when it finally drops after seven minutes, nobody is disappointed. This tune is a gem and it deserves to be bumped again and again until you feel the same way I do. Try it, I dare you. I have heard hearsay that this track peaks like a drug, and hits you the same way the pills would, and some say that listening to it while peaking is orgasmic… but I know nothing of any of this. All I can say I know for sure is that listening to this tune while peaking on all drugs at once and having sex in a speeding vehicle while handcuffed to the steering wheel blindfolded is about as good as it gets. Seriously though, this is a brilliant musical composition.
8. The XX – Intro
– You just picked up the XX album (illegally most likely), and you are ready to find out if the hype is for real, or if its just more disposable blog-fuckery. You hit the kush, lean back, and press play. The intro kicks in: there are no discernible vocals and no hooks. Its just one big build. And it just keeps building. By the time you hear the first song end, you know for sure: this album is about to blow you the fuck away. When the intro ends you aren’t sure if you want to go back and hear it again (just to make sure you weren’t dreaming) or if you should keep listening on. Its one of the best debut albums I have ever heard. It took the world by storm, and for good reason. Though this is not my favorite stand-alone track on the album, it deserves to be here. It is a brilliant musical composition, mature and engaging, exemplary of what the XX does best – sending the listener into a catatonic state of pure musical pleasure. It is the perfect beginning to the ambient trip that follows. Some artists forget the necessity of a good album introduction…these guys fucking nailed it.
9. Wolfgang Gartner – Fire Power
– This song did for “Electro” what penicillin did for Syphilis. Here’s an even better metaphor: Wolfgang is the Doctor Dre of Electro Music, dropping his own personal Chronic on the world and saving the genre when it looked like it was on its last breaths. His diversity is astounding, and he kills every sound he touches. B. Rose of Golden Gloves once drunkenly proclaimed, “He is the tits, and the ass”. Well said. Honorable mention to Wolfgang Gartner – Latin Fever – this guy is setting a new standard with productions this tight. Check out my post on Fire Power from earlier this year
10. Boy Crisis – Dressed to Digress (Nero Remix)
– These guys are two of the best producers in the world right now.Â They have never ceased to impress me with their high quality productions and phenomenal remixes. They are my favorite remixers of the year. This tune has been on every Dubstep mix I have made for anyone this year.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Honorable mention to The Streets – Blinded By The Lights (Nero Remix) – The original track by the Streets has been a long time love of mine, and the video for it is nothing short of unbelievable, so when I heard one of my favorite production duos had taken a UK hip hop gem and stepped it up a notch, I was taken to pleasure town. Skream & Benga dropped it @ Wrongbar this summer and some guy next to me fell to his knees and found God. Choons.
10 HONORABLE MENTIONS
1. Florence and the Machine – You’ve Got The Love (The XX Remix)
– One of the best remixes of the year. Totally enjoyable on all levels, and one that never ceases to get dance floors moving. Nuff top 10 lists will big this one up.
2. Radiohead – Reckoner (The Twelves Remix)
– Emerged near the end of 2008, but stayed on my most played for the year and then some. Their Episode 2 Mixtape was as good as they come. This tune makes people happy. The Twelves are two of the coolest Brazilians on the planet.
3. Mansion – Gasaida
– If you live in Toronto, this is one of your favorite tunes of the year. The feel-good anthem of the summer infected everyone in the city on some dance floor somewhere. Violca kills the production, and the track title takes the name of the lead vocalist Cedric Gasaida, who eats the beat alive, disco style. The boy has the voice of an angel. Fact. This tune is the tits. Fact. If you don’t bust out a smile when you hear Cedric screaming for it on the floor, then you have no heart. Fact.
4.Â Radiohead – Pyramid Song (Zeds Dead Remix)
– Balls to you if you hate. This song is one of the dopest remixes I have heard…ever. Thom Yorke’s haunting vocals laid down over a fast-paced electro-dub wobbly dancefloor destructor, but still maintaining the ambient, soft, sweetness of the original, is nonetheless heavy hitting and hard as nails all at the same time. Zeds Dead took one of the best songs of the last decade and did it justice. Bravo.
5. Kevin Saunderson – The Human Bond (Claude Vonstroke’s Rave Recognize Rave Remix)
– Claude Vonstroke had a big year. This remix is top notch. If you slept on it, download it now. I highly recommend it. One of my absolute favorites for any time “after hours”.
6. 16 Bit – Shallow ft. Joanna Newsom
– Hands down one of the most beautiful Dubstep tunes I have ever head. 16-Bit has diversity down to an art. Honorable Mention to Chainsaw Calligraphy, listen to this then that, and recognize that there is some heavy and unique talent at work here.
7. G-Tronic – Iron Man
– Heavy choon. Best played when ragingly drunk. Mothers and children beware: this one is a monster.
8. Emalkay – When I Look At You
– Probably the most “reloaded” tune of the year. Stop and start city – deservedly so. It is just that good. Anyone who has heard it dropped right live knows, this tune sets it off to a whole other level every time.This video features Benga dropping it @ Mod Club in Toronto @ Arcade Fridays. This video is high quality. BIG TIME Honorable mention to Joker for any of his productions or remixes this past year.
Honorable mention. The song after Emalkay in the video is Joker – Tron – This shit is what I get purple to. He deserves his own spot on the list, but I couldn’t decide which tune to showcase so I stayed away entirely. Probably a poor choice in the long run, as I notice some stuff that seems soft here in comparison. Re-Up the Honorable mention to Joker in that case, this time for Joker – Gullybrook Lane – one of his best original productions. There. Now I don’t feel so bad about forgetting him.
9. Crystal Fighters – Xtatic Truth (L-Vis 1990 Remix)
– L-Vis 1990 has gotten a lot of love this year. I am going to hop on that bandwagon and give them some more, cause they earned it. This remix took one of the best vocal samples of the year and turned it into a slice of minimal cherry cheesecake that is just too sweet to not keep coming back to again and again. It’s all about the drums here, and it builds so well that by the time the vocal comes out, it just stands as a compliment to the rest of the remix. Highly listenable, tough to play out because it’s so damn simple and enjoyable, and a big time dance floor favorite of mine from 2009. Plus the drop @ 3:30 is too much fun. This was an instant after hour’s classic for me.
10. Deadmau5 – Ghosts N’ Stuff (Live @ Hard haunted Mansion)
– This videoÂ has pulled in over 1,000,000 hits on Youtube for good reason. His entrance combined theatrics, booming funeral melodies, and a sick vocal sample that undoubtedly sent shivers down spines all the way back to the rafters. Ghosts N Stuff is accessible to nearly any fan of dance music, with melodic electro-ey basslines and a heaviness that never gets overwhelming, just jaunty goodness throughout, while still maintaining that Mau5ey feel we all love. With an EPIC introduction to what apparently was an unforgettable set, this young Canuck shows here why he is considered one of the best DJs in the world. Honorable mention for Nero’s dope remix of this tune, taking it to places I couldn’t have ever imagined.
[audio:Tiga – What You Need (Proxy Remix).mp3,Zombie Nation – Shottieville (Proxy Remix).mp3,Proxy – Indian Film.mp3,Mystery Jets – Half In Love With Elizabeth (Proxy Remix).mp3,Joy Orbison – Hyph Mngo.mp3,Hudson Mohawke – ZOo00OOm.mp3,Blue Foundation – Eyes On Fire (Zeds Dead Remix).mp3,Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros- 40 Day Dream.mp3,La Roux – In For the Kill (Skreams Lets Get Ravey Remix).mp3,Deadmau5 – Strobe.mp3,The xx – Intro.mp3,Wolfgang Gartner – Fire Power (Original Mix).mp3,Boy Crisis – Dressed To Digress (Nero Remix).mp3,The Streets – Blinded By The Lights (Nero Remix).mp3,Florence and the Machine – Youve Got the Love (The xx Remix).mp3,Ragdiohead – Reckoner (The Twelves Remix).mp3,Mansion – Gasaida.mp3,Radiohead – Pyramid Song (Zeds Dead Illuminati Remixga).mp3,Kevin Saunderson – The Human Bond (Claude Vonstroke’s Rave Recognize Rave Remix).mp3,G-Tronic – Iron Man.mp3 ,Emalkay – When I Look At You.mp3,Joker – Gullybrook Lane (Instrumental).mp3,Crystal Fighters – Xtatic Truth (L-Vis 1990 Remix).mp3]