1. Radiohead | Idioteque
I have to start this list with a Radiohead song as that band shaped my Musical Landscape from a very Young age. I was into Mainstream Hip Hop (Jay-Z, DMX, etc.) until I picked up the guitar when I was about 13, that started me down the rabbit hole of Dave Matthews Band and Phish (give me a break, I was 13). I saw a Radiohead video marathon when I was 15 and was Absolutely Blown Away by what I heard. I went out about, bought their albums backward from Hail To The Thief to Pablo Honey. I listened to nothing but Radiohead for the entirety of my High School Experience and it basically sent me to more Techno-y outfits all the way to the very Club laden things I am into today. Idioteque is a Perfect Example of the things I Love about Radiohead. The Pusling Beat, the Strange Meter on the Vocal Delivery, the Stark Harmonies on the Chorus, the Shaker Freak out at the end, all come together to make one Amazing Song on a Perfect Album.
2. Boards Of Canada | Happy Cycling
The Natural Progression from Radiohead to Techno has to take a start at BOC. Music Has The Right To Children and Geogaddi are still two of the Best Albums I have Ever heard. The Sound Design on both of those albums is so Fantastic that they still sound more than Relevant a decade plus old. This song always stuck with me but there are 20 songs that could have been represented here. The Woozy synths, the Simple Hip Hop beat, the SEAGULLS!! Just a great track that feels too short at almost eight minutes.
3. Massive Attack | Mezzanine
Sounding very dated with the Trip Hop, lazy Vocal deliveries, this album still sounds Relevant despite that. The Angry Guitar Lines that come in on the I could be yours whispers are Terrifying and Insidious all at the same time. The little Hypnotic guitar flourishes were always great Visual Headphone candy. Say what you will but I still love a good break down, and this song doesn't skimp with Cheesy Casio tones and all.
4. Aphex Twin | Fingerbib
Lots of hours were spent with Selected Ambient Works, Vol. 1 & 2 as well as Drukqs. I just think Aphex Twin really hit his sweet spot with the Richard D. James album and the ...I Care Because You Do. This song really represents the pairing of Weird Beats with a Pretty Melody. And this song has a bounce to it that isn't usually present on Aphex Twin songs. I aspire to write a melody as Simple and Affecting as this.
5. Gorillaz | El Mañana
Damon Albarn is Genius and adore his outputs across Blur and all of his side projects. But with all his singles and Classic Brit Pop albums, nothing has stuck with me more than this song. Saw that day, I lost my mind, Lord, I'm fine, maybe in time, you'll want to be mine... Just so Simple and so Heartbreaking! The way Damon slurs it out in his chest voice just adds to the Depth of the song. Pair that with a Surprisingly Powerful Cartoon video (go watch it) and this will Forever be one of my Favorite Songs.
6. deadmau5 | Strobe
Say what you will about EDM and button pushing and gimmicks and any other things you might say about the whole scene. This song is as Powerful as any song I've ever heard. Mixed for plays in a Dance Club this song is more suited as a sit back, close your eyes, soak it all in by yourself listen. Syncopated Rhythms and Swirling Piano melodies make it Gorgeous to listen to a Dance track with no beat for 6 minutes only to drop (I use that turn Lightly) into an Unexpected Release of Beauty. deadmau5 gets a lot of Heat, but I will forgive him because he made this song.
7. Animal Collective | The Purple Bottle
The many different variations of Animal Collective dominated my College years. Many ears tended to gravitate towards The Beach Boys, Sun Drenched Harmonies of Panda Bear. But my ears were always attracted to the woops and Emo Screams of Avey Tare. This song is no exception, Great Melodies and really Fucked Up Lyrics that paint such Weird Picture, only to be capped off but a coda full of Joyful WOOOOO's that would make anyone Smile. Animal Collective have taken a lot of Interesting Sonic Choices and I like to try and bring some of that to my Dance stuff as well.
8. Daft Punk | Something About Us
Being a DJ or whatever, it's hard not to be influenced by the Long Shadow that Daft Punk has cast over the scene. But where most people would gravitate towards the Stadium Anthems, I love and adore a Sweet Little Ballad with some Funk Bass and Tasteful Keyboard Lines. Chalk this up to another so-Simple-why-didn't-I-write-it, but the lines I might not be the right one, it might not be the right time, but there's something about us... It's just so Affecting and really speaks to a lot of situations that I (and probably many) have been through. Add a nice little Guitar Line and this sweet little song sits nicely in a catalogue of Dance Kings.
9. Wolfgang Gartner | Push & Rise
Simple and Infectious. Two words that sum up this song Perfectly. Just a looped Vocoder Pattern of a nice Distorted Keyboad Stab makes this song a staple in any of my sets for years now. Wolfgang has a ton of songs that could be on this list and his productions always stay on the side of Heavy without needing to incorporate too much Dubstep wobble and whatnot. This song is the Catchiest Thing you will hear on this list.
10. The Chemical Brothers | Star Guitar
We will close out this mixtape with another Classic in the Dance World. Another song with the Perfect Balance of Being Able to Rock a Stadium all the way down to some earbuds. The Chemical Brothers have always been such a Wizard with Sound Design. The Woozing Synths to the Kick Rhythm to the Claps that I have stolen on many different tracks. It's another example of a song that is as Emotional as any song with words that I have heard. The Quick Tension release that goes on throughout this song just keep the Momentum Forward and make for a Fantastic listen.