Tuesday Top Ten #53: April midtempo deep house and disco chart

This week’s top ten features a collection of midtempo house and disco jams that I’ve been piecing together for some opening sets on the bigger stages I’ve been playing lately. My goal is to break records, keep my sets accessible and funky primarily by selecting tracks with vocals, and never compromising with respect to song quality.

It’s more important than ever, I think, to support artists that are making music with soul and heart. Sure it’s a great feeling to get a huge response from your crowd by playing Knife Party, but it’s way more gratifying for me and a greater success to play something that perhaps most of your audience hasn’t heard yet, but they really get in to.

I think that was the major success of my gig on Saturday at The Hoxton. I played a solid opening set of mostly midtempo house, ramped up the energy just high enough near the end so that the headlining DJ could knock ’em dead, and played probably a dozen or more records that most of my Avicii-loving audience hadn’t heard (disclaimer: I did not play Avicii), while interspersing my selection with house classics to keep the energy and engagement up.

Hope you guys like the selection this week!

10: Subb-an – What I Do (Burnski “Tulum” Mix)

The vocals are what really make and drive this track. The layering and arrangement are both complex, but the simple phrase “what I do” really gives the song a centre for the listener.

9: Ramiro Lopez – My Lady Music

Another great midtempo track with a rolling groove that’s perfect for an opening set… or the after party!

8: Lawnchair Generals – Don’t Stop (Looks Like Dub)

This rolling disco tune could easily find it’s way in to a tech house set with the right presentation. It has an energy that feels like it’s been suppressed, as though it’s ready to burst out of the speakers.

7: Treasure Fingers – Rooftop Revival (Kastle Remix)

This one is a free download from Scion A/V – head here to grab the whole EP.

6: Soul Clap – Lets Groove On

Loving this one for the classic 80s percussion and the lyrics “I took out time to write rhymes and get live as fuck.”

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5: French Fries – Yo Vogue

I am digging on vogue/booty/trap house HARD right now. Really wish there was more of a market for the stuff in Toronto. Pretty much every party I hit up during SXSW threw down a little of each, and the response was always great. This is my fave right now, and I think the most accessible because the vocals are catchy, the rhythm sounds like 4/4, and the half-time second break is extremely exciting. Still.. this will be relegated to opening sets in my catalogue, at least as long as I’m playing in T.O.

4: Friendly Fires – Hurting (Tensnake Remix)

This blew up at my gig on Saturday when I dropped it during my warmup set. It’s one of those tracks that you hear for the first time and think “damn, I recognize this!” Awesome vocals and a light summery rhythm.

3: The Mekanism – Can’t Believe

This relaxing number is just begging to be played outside on a sunny day next to a pool, patio, or rooftop. Goes especially well with sunsets.

2: Sacha Robotti – The Major

A great track for an opening set. Funky, with an energy that makes you feel like you’re on the cusp of something exciting.

1: Fur Coat ft. Cari Golden – You and I

I could wake up and go to sleep to this song. Addictive vocals and a hypnotic + deep rhythm that ebbs and then envelops you in cycles.

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