Get your straps on for some good ol’ big room techno. Check out this blazing techno track by Mark E, featuring some nice electro, disco and acid influences. Was a favorite track of Sven Väth in his Cocoon sets of this season and really became a lethal peak moment when mixed with this crazy Japanese guy’s “C2M”.
Check out the Dance Department ADE special for more Cocoon goodness. And while you’re at it, also enjoy the latest installment, with De Man Zonder Schaduw (The Man With No Shadow).
Modeselektor‘s got a new album out! These guys are like the epitomes of Berlin cool, and their gigs are always a blast, so I had a couple of listens. The overall feel of Monkeytown is Modeselektor experimenting some more with some non-techno styles and directions in electronic music of the past few years. Glitchy 8-bit sounds, dubstep/garage sounds from the UK, and all the while mixed with the trademark fat bass drum of the Berlin duo. Examples are the chilled-out Blue Clouds and Grillwalker.
I’m not very fond of every foray of the duo into gangsta hip-hop though: Pretentious Friends is cool, but Humanized kinda sucks. Also, the tracks with Thom Yorke, Shipwreck and This sound more like Radiohead than anything else (and boring too). Still the production is, as always, impeccable. In addition to the dirty bass, there’s lots of cool synth sounds and spacy vibes to enjoy.
All in all, Monkeytown is not as original or unexpected as Modeselektor’s previous ones; it’s way more in safe water. Still it’s quite allright. Here’s hoping that Modeselektor won’t lose their edge. Please don’t put too many gangsta rappers and avant garde rockers in front of those techno beats, guys!
There’s a couple of old-fashioned highlights on the album though, that we don’t wish to withhold. Be sure to check out Modeselektor’s take on R&B, Berlin, and the Moderat-like track War Cry. The tracks YouTubed below are definitely my favourites though (and stick the most to the traditional Modeselektor sound):
As a producer or performer Erol Alkan never really did much for me. As a remixer however he has been on top of his game lately. This rework of a decent indie track by Tame Impala is great. It takes the song to a new level. When the Daft Punk-style riffs kick in at 2:00 in the song really takes off:
Here’s more good stuff: a new track from a ‘mysterious’ outfit that goes by the name of Just a Number 05272011. I’d describe it as a mix between The Knife, Hot Chip or Destroyer, and Crystal Castles, topped with a dose of world music (lots of tribal drums and happy musical instruments). In other words, good stuff. Listen to this:
Purity Ring’s Ungirthed is already one of my favorite tracks of 2011, and some really cool stuff must come out in order for that track not to end up on my best-of list this year.
Now listen to this brilliant, equally crazy remix of Ungirthed by Mancunian artists Christian AIDS. These days it’s really easy to make a track sound arty just by putting some noise and glitch in it, but these guys (just like Purity Ring themselves) really know what they’re doing.
Here you go, my top 10 of 2010. It has definitely been a good year in quality pop music!
(Nice list btw Adriejan. Though I must say I was a bit surprised by it as well, because the only tune I’ve heard you playing all year is this one. Oh well, gotta keep up the hipster appearence I guess.)
For me this has been the year of the revival of acid and rave. In dance music, artists like Boys Noize, Housemeister, Fake Blood (and in a way, Richie Hawtin) dusted off the old 303′s and 808′s and fully embraced this part of dance music history. But who would have thought that the smiley faces would also turn up in indie? Artists like Delorean, Pictureplane and Teengirl Fantasy took all the happy vocals, house piano’s and acid synths and poured some hipster sauce on it. This track by Teengirl Fantasy is the epitome of this resurgence of house. The old soul vocals are mixed brilliantly with the uplifting rave vocals and a slow but strong beat is the icing on the cake. The result is an extremely powerful track, which works great on the dancefloor in the early hours.
Beach House is a very good young band. This song from their debut album Teen Dream especially caught my attention. After I heard them playing an amazing live version it became my absolute favorite. The high position of this song on the list is also based on my iTunes “played” count of this song. Be sure to also check out other tracks from Teen Dream!
Crystal Castles (II) is a great album and I like most of its songs. Vietnam, Suffocation and Violent Dreams, I all love them. Empathy is just a tad better than these songs in my opinion. That’s why this is the one that made the list.
Pantha Du Prince spent months in the Austrian Alps to work on the Black Noise album. The result was fantastic and this song is the best of the lot. I love the way it swells up in the beginning. Worked well on the “Big Wheel” stage at Melt!
At first I was pretty negative about MGMT’s second album. Months after its release I gave it another good listen and it turns out that there are actually quite a few good songs on it. The title track is my favorite. It’s very relaxed and soothing.
The masters of electronica were back in 2010 with Oversteps. This is the best track from the album in my opinion. It takes many unexpected turns and you need to listen to it at least five times to fully appreciate its richness.
It was a must to see The National live in 2010. About this song, what can I say? It’s both uplifting and melancholic, which is true for many great songs. When you look back in ten years at 2010, this will be one of the songs you remember.
It was hard to pick the best song from Real Estate’s debut album, because there are many great tracks on it. Suburbaban Beverage and Green River could easily have occupied this spot on my list. I finally went with Beach Comber though because it’s the most catchy and it’s still fresh after listening to it dozens of times. (I know, this album is from November 2009. I put it on this list anyway, because I can)
Below is my bonus list. These are the tracks that just didn’t make it to my top 10, but are worth your while nonetheless.
Fresh from the press: the Boys Noize remix of David Lynch’s Good Day Today. The original track (which can be listened to here) was already pretty brilliant – let alone that it was created by one of the most illustrious movie directors ever – and the remix by the Berlin electro meister is also delightfully done.
The creature in this clip looks like something from a Guillermo del Toro movie. Nice song too, and that’s from Belgium. Wonder what they do down there that they have original bands, while up north we don’t.