1. Beaumont | Vampire (feat. Elle Pierre) (Clancy's Super-Noir Remix)
This comes courtesy of Electronic Rumours, a blog and label run by a super nice guy Clive. This landed in my inbox a few months ago and I’ve been obsessed by it. It’s the best mix by a country mile in an already strong package, so definitely recommend checking out the rest of it. The remix merges lots of musical ideas dear to me, it has a nice bouncy Italo feel against some no-nonsense House grooves and a great catchy Dream Pop-type Vocal sample. What’s nice is it doesn’t give the whole game away within the first 32 bars and rewards the listener later on with some Euro-tastic pianos. Over all it’s like sniffing amyl nitrate at a Magician concert if he was around in 1992.
2. Donna Summer | Love Is In Control (Finger On The Trigger) (Chromeo & Oliver Remix)
Normally, Oliver are so close to the mark it’s painful, the (extremly rare) EDM clanger remix they do, they ouze Quality, Musicianship and great Song Writing. Paired with Chromeo, it begs the question why they don’t just form a super group. The foursome blow the back doors off of this Donna Summer mix, and in honesty, I can’t think of 4 people who would have done a better job. It’s a turbo charged computer Boogie track that could have soundtracked any montage durings the 80s hay-day of Hollywood motivational movies. Yum!
3. Lone | Airglow Fires
It’s kind of rare to hear Production that kind of blows you away, especially as when it does, the song is normally so souless and drab, you could die of boredom trying to catch the tune or spot any sign of musicality. The latter cannot be said from R&S’ Lone. I don’t know tones about this guy, so I’m not going to claim I do, but this record really stuck out for me. R&S’s history speaks for itself, and they’ve clearly still got an ear for talent. This track has both catchy melodic ideas that are serious ear worms and a really fresh approach to the arrangment and groove. So hard to classify into a particular genre. Perhaps that’s what makes it great. Contender for tune of 2013.
4. Dumb Dan | Ele (Jesper Samuelson 2013 Remix)
This turned up in a Chris Jylkke mix some time back, and that guy is known for the odd tune spot as far as I’m concerned. I fell in love with this Ibiza sunset vibraphone slow jam. Turned out it was a free download too! Jesper seems to be in with the Spirit Soul Archive guys, which it’s definitely a good springboard for this sort of Music. For the record, this track blends perfectly with Perseus' Jeremy Glenn remix. I know some people think this post-Coma Cat stuff is milked, but I still hold a candle. Great track to open up with.
5. Jill Scott | It's Love (Roman Rauch Dub)
This came on one day in the Cafe where I worked, and I had to embarrassingly ask the nonchalant barista what it was after Shazam failed me. I’m a big Jill Scott fan, and I’m loving all the deep, Jazzzy bootlegs that arise from her a capella's (see also Detroit Swindle’s Love Rain). I wasn’t really familiar with Roman Rauch before, but I dig this slower-than-slow homage, it’s right up my street. Jill Scott’s voice just keeps getting recycled and it works so well. It’s the totally opposite of her polished, shiny R&B stuff, but maybe the juxtaposition is why it works.
6. Alloapm | Gorilla Slighly (Keenhouse Rework)
After signing an Alloapm EP to my label Heavy Disco, I wanted to do a bit of research and came across this Keenhouse remix. In fairness, and with all due respect, I think this shits on the original, but not becasue it’s bad, just becasue the remix is so good. Keenhouse is one talented man, and his Jazz-House stylings come through loud and clear in this. A man after my own heart, this sounds like Sonar Kollektiv’s back catalog rolled into one. Has all the right improvisings with a great jackin’ groove and lovely analog sounds. I will struggle to get bored of this track.
7. Monte | You Should Know
Monte is basically Jan Hammer reinvented for the 21st Century. Really authetically 80s, but not cheap sounding, musical, Disco. It’s clear this guy know his stuff when it comes to Music. This track, again, cropped up in a Chris Jylkke mix, and I’ve been hooked since. It has a (normally) tired old pitched vocal, but it works perfectly in this scenario, with some beautiful chords and digital workstation synth layered across it beautifully. In an era where so many people are looking back to all the rough House sounds of New Jersey and Chicago, Monte is looking squarely at Hollywood and Miami and doing it with such style.
8. Mitch Murder | Breeze
In a similar vein to Monte, this is gated reverb doused, 8th note bass, Linn Drum driven 80s Electro Pop. Mitch has tones of stuff on his Soundcloud, and it was hard picking something out, but Breeze has to be the most uplifting thing I’ve ever heard. Opening with some introspective polysynth chords and a solid bass lines, this track has a keytar melody that would make even Leonard Cohen gurn with optimism.
9. Trentemøller | In Progress
I’ve been a casual fan of Trentemøller for a while. I knew bits of his crackly Ambient Techno, but never really checked out the more deep stuff. I was put on to this EP recently, and it’s been a revelation. So much boring Deep House (or should I say deeeep haaaaussse) is littering the airwaves, largely down a mix of Crosstown Rebels, Hot Creations et al and this track reminds me of what I feel the genre is really about. A hypnotic groove with a real sense of depth and emotion, not just a boring Juno bassline with some cheap girl next door vocal mixed with raybans and shufflers.
10. Ali Jamieson | Pepper (Moustache Machine Remix)
I kind of grimace writing about my own music, but seeing this as I’m getting this opportunity to speak publicly about it, it’s a good opportunity for a plug. My EP (Undisclosed) was out on a Spanish label, Neonized, and I was pretty happy with it, though for me, the stand-out mix is from the Parisian wonder kid, Moustache Machine. Apart from his killer bootlegs (Madonna, Lucky Star in particular) this guy has a properly good ear for a remix and some super guitar chops. He took my laid-back Tropical Disco jam and made it into an 808-laden Italo Miami Beach anthem. Keep an eye on this dude!
+11. Floating Points | Love Me Like This (Nonsense Dub)
It’s hard for me to do any list without at least one track from Floating Points. The Eglo Records co-owner has a sparse but extremly consistent repertoir. This edit from his pre-Eglo time was out on Planet Mu, and really turned me on to his sound in the earlier days. He lets a simple synth basso ostinato groove for the duration while looping elements from the original, building the track in a more linear fashion than the original’s arrangment. It climaxes with some of the dopest piano playing in a House record (if you can call it that, clocking in somewhere around 100bpm). As edits go, this is well up there.
+12. Jupiter | Mama Used To Say (Junior Cover)
I’m a huge fan of the original of this, and was on the verge of doing a re-edit myself. After a short search I found that Jupiter had not only beaten me to it (by about 4 years), but also put the subject to bed as far as I’m concerned. In their typical driving, Funky thick analog orchestration with beatiful Euro-glam singer, they’ve really nailed this. Such a hard track to cover and while not bastardising the original, there’s enough originality in the make-up of it to stand on its own.
+13. BICEP | Vision Of Love
Somehow, BICEP has gone under my radar for years. Well aware of their blog, I’d never managed to catch their releases until $tripper. This is an example of the retrospective look at House and Garage that riddles the Beatport Deep House charts, but instead of soul less pitched vocals, naff sounding drum samples and a minor chords re-sampled, BICEP have really energy and soul in their music. The two from Northern Ireland clearly know their apples, after running the sucsesful FEEL MY BICEP blog for years. The tastemakers have gone on to hone their production and their output is pretty damn strong.
+14. Cassio Kohl | Broken
Who’d have thought you could sample Romeo and get away with it? I love Romeo, it’s probably my favorite Basement Jaxx song, and this uses it perfectly. It’s a jackin’ mid-tempo House number, where all the pace comes from the groove. The reese-bass plods along and normally this kind of thing slows a tune right down, but the cleverly sampled vocal hook and rough crusty Garage break give this tones of energy. A reminder that the hook is king.
+15. Steve Reich/Kronos Quartet/Pat Metheny | Electric Counterpoint: III. Fast (RYXP True To Original Edit)
Most people would know the original as that track The Orb sampled in Little Fluffly Clouds. The orginal is written by Godfather of Minimalism Steve Reich (check first movement of Dessert Music for some expansive harmonies!) written for Pat Metheny, a mid-to-late seventies and beyond Jazz Fusion guitars. The original 3 pieces are stunning in terms of Composition and atmosphere.This is how to do counterpoint without it sounding like a GCSE Music exersise! It’s no wonder Röyksopp have made this edit. It just adds to it and makes it possible to use in DJ sets. There’s nothing clever and distracating about what they’ve added, just a solid boom-bap and some tasteful post production.
+16. KLar&PF | Endless
This is released on Pole Jam, a collobaration between Satin Jackets’ Glam Jam artists and Welsh label Pole Position Recordings. This is their first joint venture, a vinyl release (daring!) of 4 tracks from Klar&PF and Deepsound Express. It’s a cool, sensitive and sensual after-hours type record. The whole thing’s ace, and was hard to pick a stand-out track, but I was feeling this one the most today. Perfect end to the night.
+17. Current 93 | Patripassian (feat. Nick Cave)
I’m not hugely into Nick Cave (shock, horror!), but this collaboration with Experimental Folk Current 93 really took my breath away, creeping up on me as I drifted off to sleep to Last.fm’s Ambient tag. I totally get why girls cream themselves over Nick Cave’s voice now. This hauting Gregorian chant motif, neither major nor minor fades in and out, with Cave reading some sort of Neo Patripassianism poem in his Australian drawl. It freaks me out as well as makes me feel like everything’s going to be okay. Lou Carpenter couldn’t do this.
+18. Lovebirds | Want You In My Soul (feat. Stee Downes)
Coming in at just under 9 minutes, this is an absolutely stunning bit of Music from Lovebirds. This has everything, a perfect arrangement, again, not giving all the ideas away too soon, it’s got chords I envy, a great vocal that’s not cheesy, and packed full of really tasteful ideas that just up the intensity verse on verse. Falling somewhere between a Deep House and Nu Disco, it doesn’t lean too far one way or the other, but still has some much originiality and emotion, you don’t really feel classifying it does it any justice. Another great track to close with. Euphoric and without being cringe, ballad without being all emo.