Well this list was hard. Last year I did a top 20, this year it’s a top 10 + 10. The top 10 will not be ranked, however there will be two tiers, my top 10 and my +10. This list probably doesn’t even include everything; I’ve probably missed songs that I like more than some of the songs on the list. I lost a lot of music this year with the crashing of my hard drive into a metaphorical wall. In any case I went through my iTunes and pulled out a handful of the songs that hit me hardest. I have excluded Dubstep and you can check my post on “The Top 10 Dubstep Remixes of 2009” since I decided to isolate that genre this year.
Florence and the Machine – You’ve got The Love (The xx Remix)
Charted by Grindin’ as one of their top songs of the year. It is easy to include on any top 10 list this year for any, and everyone. A breakout remixes by a breakout group. The remix was actually done by Jamie and it is such an imaginative recreation that it has lead to a resurgence of interest in the original, the real original, as well as Frankie Knuckles remix from back in the day. Both the Frankie Knuckles and The xx remixes were played at the Classixx show at Wrongbar 2 weeks ago. This was my first time hearing it in a dance club, and while a lot of people might say that this is too chilled out for the dance floor, underutilized at best and often just ignored, it needs to get spins on big systems for big crowds that will easily respond to the masterful musicianship that created this beautiful blend of sonic bliss.
Drop the Lime – Devil’s Eyes (Classixx B-Live Remix)
Taking a different direction that the rest of their production this tropical remix of Drop the Lime is perhaps Classixx most original re-interpretation of another person’s music. Possibly my favorite artist of 2009, Classixx have been masterminded remixes and original material that now leave me with great expectations. I expect people to forget about grinding chainsaws and seek something beautiful. I expect Classixx to become a main stage artist. I expect a shift in electronic music to occur at the beginning of this next decade. I expect Classixx to lead that charge, and make music to tan to that’s music to dance to.
Yacht – Psychic City (Classixx Remix)
Oh that bass line, so funky, so simple, so Classixx; oh how I love Classixx. The soft vocals taken from the original are paired soft synths chilled out drums and a tempo that lets you imagine sitting around after a long night, with the sun rising on beach, loved ones in your arms, beers in hand. I’ve already sung their praises as artists, no need to do it again.
Damn Arms – Destination (Cassian Remix)
Possibly the most unheard of remixer in the list, Cassian out of Australia has easily become one of my favorite producers. With remixes for a lot of local acts including Miami Horror. I immediately craved more information after hearing their remix of Make You Mine, which makes me realize that song could be on this list too but oh well I’ve already come up with 20. Along with Classixx, Miami Horror and The Twelves (Shit I could make a list of just those 3 artists that would blow me away) their sound is filled with love on a hot summer day.
Friendly Fires – Skeleton Boy (Grum Remix)
Disco shit. Grum has had some major remixes this year. I can’t help but post this remix of Skelton boy. Mostly because of the initial reaction I had to the song. At this point I may recognize it as undeserving of this spot if this list was meant to be critical and objective. I just love this song, love the way he interpreted the original and am putting it in my Top 10 tracks of the year.
Royksopp – Happy Up Here (Breakbot Remix)
Amongst a plethora of other remixes for a the song that got so much love for its many interpretations, Royksopp takes the prize for me. Melodic and harmonious it’s Justice on a beach. I am really obsessed with this music and beach metaphor, possibly because its cold right now in Canada, possibly because I am looking forward to a 2010 that is filled with disco dance music that could be played day or night, Kudi knows what I’m talking about.
Passion Pit – The Reeling (Calvin Harris Remix)
One of the most loved remixes by one of Electronic music’s best producers. Calvin Harris makes me want to dance, one of the most consistent producers in the game. I can’t think of a song that he’s produced that I didn’t love immediately and doesn’t impress me when I come back to it later on. Oh nooooooo, Oh nooooo…
Miike Snow – Animal (Mark Ronson Remix)
In direct competition with Fake Bloods awesome remix of this song, Mark Ronson’s creative re-imagination of Miike Snow’s Animal provides an analogue interpretation of a digital world. Nothing less that what we would expect from one of today’s most influential producers, Mark Ronson manages to sneak onto a list dominated by dance music, 4/4 time signatures, synthesizers, filters, and everything else in between.
Keys n Krates – One in A Milli (Keys n Krates Aaliyah Live Remix)
What would a remix list be without the re-inventors of the remix? Keys n Krates have taken remix art to another level. While everyone will give Girl Talk a lot of credit as one of the most influential masters of remix art in music, Keys n Krates live, and we don’t mean Ableton Live, are taking remixing in a new direction. Live sampling and scratching of tracks from Jr. Flo’s Krates provide the hook while Matisse paints a melodic picture on Keys, but don’t forget the fact that Adam Tune’s drums provide the intensity that makes these guys move a crowd, physically and emotionally. An act to look out for in 2010 with upcoming releases of original material, it could be a Tremendous year.
Peaches – I Feel Cream (Proxy Remix)
The drums, the drums, Proxy is a great DJ who has yet to grace Toronto with his presence. These killer war drums, pounding bass and buildups will get everyone raving to Peaches melancholic vocals. Proxy ladies and gentlemen, is there anyone else in music that sounds like him? If they do, calling them a poor mans version would be insulting him.
La Roux – Quicksand (Mad Decent Remix)
This song marks our entry into the +10 department and while there is meant to be two tiers this song got held back by what’s ahead of it. It’s a class with a really high average so even some of its brightest members can’t graduate in the top half. One of those hear it and heart it songs, it didn’t take me long to call this remix one of my favorites.
The Juan MacLean – One Day (Surkin Remix)
The wonder kid from France has killed numerous remixes and original productions. Acid house synth-line in the background, and the killer vocals sampled from The Juan MacLean in the front and this song bumps taking cues and paying homage to major movements in House.
MSTRKRFT – Heartbreaker (Wolfgang Gartner Remix)
MSTRKRFT have been the darlings of former remix lists. Wolfgang Gartner goes after this song and pushes John Legends Vocals in the stratosphere. While MSTRKRFT’s Fist of God walked the bridge to the lighter side of electronic music, Gartner’s spastic but killer use of bass, synths, make the original bump harder, build better, move faster and in the end its stronger.
The Virgins – Rich Girls (Le Castle Vania Remix)
Oh yeah, it is actually by him. Normally known for driving roaring synths, Le Castle Vania goes disco to make this one of my favorite remixes of the year. Nothing else he has produced would grace my list, however by going in a completely different direction that expected I’m forced to show my love for a great track. Pressing play means time to dance uncontrollably
Man Like Me – London Town (Foamo Remix)
Foamo doesn’t get enough love from me. With his magical touch London becomes a town that I can’t help but dance in. Again, the second half of this list is filled with stuff that hit me hard immediately, that made me dance, might not be revolutionary, but it is what it’s suppose to be, good dance music.
Annie – Anthonio (Designer Drugs)
Maybe its because they dug deeper on this one, but the guys from Designer Drugs make the list with a remix, despite the fact that they aren’t normally my favorites. Well produced and popular these guys have grown immensely in the past few years. Still not doing it for me on the regular I couldn’t help but boogie to this one.
Zoo Brazil and Adam Sky – Circle Jerk (Milano 309 Mix)
When people talk about who is going to explode out of Toronto next there are a lot of names that get a lot of play and love from blogs etc. With the more blog-housey crowd Barletta may lead the charge, Mansion has been getting love over the course of the past year, Zeds Dead have exploded getting love from every bass music aficionado on the planet, and last but not least Azari and III are looked upon as leaders amongst a new school with a different set of pop sensibilitied. If you want to know who is likely going to come out of the gates in 2010 to become an international sensation, look no further than Milano. Mario J has been at the center of Toronto’s music scene for almost 20 years. His past projects have always left a profound imprint on the shape of this city. Whether it was Industry nightclub that I wasn’t around for, or Circa’s Randomland that brought this music to the forefront of Toronto’s nightlife; everything he has touched has left its mark. This project, Milano, is likely to allow him to step outside of the city and leave an impression on the world. He has played with the worlds biggest DJs, booked them, and in 2010 will be one of them. An album on Tiga’s Turbo Records, touring, and weekly residency at Arcade Fridays in Toronto will all contribute to his ascension to being known as one of Toronto’s biggest offerings to Electronic Music in recent years. Oh yeah, this remix is good too.
Dre Skull – Gone Too Far feat Sizzla (Buraka Som Sistema Remix)
I’ve got to add this one for good measure. Buraka Som Sistema’s sound has been making me move and this remix that features one of my favorite Jamaican voices, Sizzla, has to be included in this list. Chopping up vocals, with strong buildups and a powerful drop Buraka Som Sistema get on this list and definitely deserve it. I cut their remix of Dance Dance Dance because while it is definitely awesome it doesn’t have the same level of individuality as this cut.
Mayer Hawthorne – Green Eyed Love (Classixx Remix)
Couldn’t put three Classixx tracks in the top 10? Could have, maybe should have, this song deserves all the praise I’ve given every track by this artist form LA. Falls a little flatter than the top two but has its own merits due to the fact that it remakes one of my favorite original songs of the year by one of my favorite artists of the year.
Bronnt Industries Kapital – Object and Purpose (M.A.N.D.Y and Booka Shade Remix)
M.A.N.D.Y make The Social sound better than any artists to grace their sound system. Get Physical’s releases always strike me as more than amusing. Amazing, deep and soulful I can’t help but show love for their sound. Better for bouncing in a club than listening at home, M.A.N.D.Y remains one of my favorite DJ acts of 2009.[audio:Florence and the Machine – Youve Got the Love (The xx Remix).mp3,Drop the Lime – Devils Eyes (Classixx B-Live Mix).mp3,Yacht – Psychic City (Classixx Remix).mp3, Damn Arms – Destination (Cassian Remix).mp3,Friendly Fires – Skeleton Boy (GRUM Remix).mp3, Royksopp – Happy Up Here (Breakbot Remix).mp3,Passion Pit – The Reeling (Calvin Harris Remix).mp3, Miike Snow – Animal (Mark Ronson Remix).mp3, Keys N Krates – One in a Milli (Keys n Krates Aaliyah Live Remix).mp3, Peaches – I Feel Cream (Proxy Remix).mp3, La Roux – Quicksand (Mad Decent Remix).mp3,The Juan Maclean – One Day (Surkin Mix).mp3,MSTRKRFT – Heartbreaker (Wolfgang Gartner Remix).mp3,The Virgins – Rich Girls (Le Castle Vania Remix).mp3,Man Like Me – London Town (Foamo Remix).mp3,Annie – Anthonio (Designer Drugs Remix).mp3, Adam Sky and Zoo Brazil – Circle Jerk (Milano’s 309 Remix).mp3,Dre Skull feat. Sizzla – Gone Too Far (Buraka Som Sistema Remix).mp3, Mayer Hawthorne – Green Eyed Love (Classixx Remix).mp3,Bronnt Industries Kapital – Objects and Purpose (M.A.N.D.Y and Booka Shade remix).mp3]