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John Roman’s Top 10s of 2009

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Dec 27, 2009

Friend, producer and DJ John Roman came up with a very cool list of top 10s. He has been working on a few interesting new projects recently, taking his production beyond the blogs. His remix of Nadastrom’s “Save Us” was charted by Brodinski and has been getting spins by Solo, Congorock, Douster, and Nadastrom over the past little while. He will be releasing new works on Strech Armstrong’s label”Plant Music” in the New Year. With sincere love I am happy to say that Roman exploded onto the scene more fervently than many other local artists. Anyway, here is his list and two of the tracks we have previously shared on the site along with Ready for This one of his latest chunes.

TOP 10 POPULAR DANCE TRACKS
The tracks that got played everywhere, by everyone.

1. Pon De Floor – Major Lazer

Its pretty much everyone’s number 1. It opened the eyes of the electro world to the idea of rhythm. We all watched the SXSW Youtube video. We all tried to play (or remix (Beataucue’s start)) the radio rip of “How I Like It”. Dance music right now would be much different without this track or Major Lazer.

2. Warp 1.9 – The Bloody Beetroots

Hate it or love it by now, “Warp 1.9″ had absolute massive hype coming out. And while hearing requests for it or seeing a bunch of drunk bros lose their shit to it can be frustrating at times, its huge for a reason and to deny it this spot would just be hipster preteniousness.

3. Moombah (Afrojack Remix) – Silvio Ecomo & Chuckie

Right behind “Warp 1.9″, Afrojack’s remix of Moombah was the universal dance floor killer in the past year. It defined the whole dutch house movement along with “Let the Bass Kick” (which did not appear on this list because this did), and that deep kick/tom is undeniable.

4. Lyposuct – D.I.M. & TAI

Another track that everyone was looking forward to, “Lyposuct” was always a go-to to fire things up without selling out. Simple but powerful in its ideas, it was accessible while still creative.

5. Anyway – Duck Sauce

Just a fun track. Although I think Final Edition deserves more praise than Armand and A-trak. But as the same goes for hip-hop sampling, there’s a difference between saying “I could do that” and actually doing it.

6. Kontact Me – Boys Noize

7. Bangkok – Boris Dlugosch

8. Waves – Erol Alkan & Boys Noize

9. I Think I Like It – Fake Blood

10. What You Need (Proxy Remix) – Tiga

TOP 10 MOST INFLUENTIAL DANCE TRACKS
These are the tracks, most of them recent, some not, that were most influential in the direction my production has been taking. If you’d like to hear what exactly that sounds like, come to Circa Saturday night!

1. Hey! (Nadastrom Hot Latin Dub) – Diplo & Laidback Luke

Nadastrom’s remix of “Hey!” was really the first tribal/minimal tracks that I could get into and made me appreciate the importance building a groove. It also showed me how creative you can be when remixing, and that the impulse to play off the main themes doesn’t have to be a necessity.

2. Dis – DJ T.

“Dis” by DJ T. is just a perfect track. It strips down every element to its rhythmic essence. There’s no clashing or crowding, everything on this track fits and serves a specific purpose.

3. Latin Fever – Wolfgang Gartner

Anyone who I’ve produced with or DJ’d with in the past year knows how I feel about this track. The rhythm is so hard and on point, it is impossible not to move when this track is dropped. And the breakbeat before the drop? Wolfgang is on another level.

4. Rabid – Dubfire

So dark, deep and clean. “Rabid” creates such an atmosphere with such few but needed elements. Not necessarily Dubfire’s best work (his remix of “Grindhouse” is one of my favorite dance tracks of all-time) but its certainly better than most anything else.

5. Stranger to Stability (Len Faki Remix) – Dustin Zahn

This 12-minute track is an absolute rave monster. Over the course of the track it passes through minimal deepness, breakbeat energy and techno intensity. “Stranger To Stability” fires me up when I’m listening to it on my laptop; I can’t even imagine it in a big room.

6. Hyph Mongo – Joy Orbison

7. Hey Hey (DF’s Attention Vocal Mix) – Dennis Ferrer

8. Spraycan – Renaissance Man

9. London to Paris – Mowgli

10. Vocal Chords – Claude Von Stroke

TOP 10 LISTENING TRACKS
The non-dance tracks I found myself listening to most in the past year.

1. Maybe So, Maybe No – Mayer Hawthorne

Mayer Hawthorne was the new artist of the year, absolutely. For someone who grew up always listening to sample-based hip-hop and digging in the past and falling in love with the original artists, this was such a welcome surprise. “Maybe So, Maybe No” is a lush arrangement, and really shows Mayer’s command of soul music conventions. Also, unlike a few cuts from his debut album, Mayer’s vocals sound comfortable and full of personality here.

2. You’ve Got The Love (The XX Remix) – Florence and the Machine

Basically anyone I knew that heard the XX this year immediately liked them, and I’m no different. Their remix uses all of their signature features; the play between vocalists, the UKG swing drum programming, but added some new elements from Florence to make both acts sound better. The construction is perfect. The sample chopping is present without being excessive and the production is moving without losing any danceability.

3. House of Flying Daggers – Raekwon feat. Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, Method Man)

Raekwon came back STRONG this year. I’ve always been a huge fan of Wu-tang, Rae and Ghost especially, so a sequel to Only Built 4 Cuban Linx seemed too good to be true. It’s music like this that makes me want to get back to hip-hop again. If it wasn’t for new technology making the sound so clean, they could’ve put it out as an unreleased track from ’93 and fooled me. Plus Raekwon totally steals the spotlight on this: “Deep pockets…”

4. Beach House – Cave Singers

Among my most played tracks since I came back to school this fall. Simple and beautiful, it was like my “White Winter Hymnal” of 2009. Great songwriting in every way, I think this will be a piece with some staying power for me.

5. Psychic Chasms – Neon Indian

“Psychic Chasms” has been on repeat for months without getting old. Magical electronica, personally I prefer the instrumental, but its still a nice piece with vocals. Neon Indian have some very interesting ideas, and unlike a lot of their indie contemporaries, they know how to experiment without being completely inaccessible.

6. Beggin’ (Pilooski Edit) – Frankie Valli

7. Cult Logic – Miike Snow

8. Summertime Clothes – Animal Collective

9. Enjoy The Sun – Theophilus London

10. Fire Ant – Bibio

[audio:John Roman – Ready For This.mp3,Mayer Hawthorne – Maybe So Maybe No.mp3, Florence and the Machine – Youve Got the Love (The xx Remix).mp3,]

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The Monarch

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