The 50 Best Tracks Of 2014…So Far
#40 Motez – Promise Me
The man with the sexiest basslines in house music is aiming for the charts with this instant ear worm. Following up attention-grabbers like last year’s booty-house edit of Gas Pedal and his remix of the Madison Avenue classic Don’t Call Me Baby, this time around the Adelaide producer has added to the ever-growing canon of modern piano house. If you had any doubt that the classic house sound is back with a vengeance then look no further; and between Motez, Lancelot, Nicky Night Time and Beni, Australia’s pretty much leading the charge right now. [Nick Jarvis]
#39 Elliphant – Revolusion
After plenty of success in her home country, nomadic Swedish singer Elliphant blazed onto the international stage within the first minute of April’s fiery Revolusion. Much like the EP that it comes from (that’d be the Look Like You Love It release through Mad Decent featuring the likes of Skrillex and Diplo) Revolusion is overflowing with rafts of blaring noise and foreign sounds that pile one atop the other through the song’s three-ish minutes.
The tipping point is Elliphant herself as a vocalist, performer and riotous firebrand; her unshakable presence just drips with attitude and somehow manages to scale above the busy production. You couldn’t accuse Elliphant of not being loud enough, but damn it if you’d take her any other way after hearing this.[Dave Ruby Howe]
#38 Drunk n Luv – Diplo remix
In the aftermath of Valentine’s Day, a suite of new remixes emerged for Beyonce’s amorous anthem Drunk In Love. While The Weeknd turned heads with his slow-burning version, and Kanye West added a questionable new verse, dance fans went straight for the handiwork of Diplo.
The Mad Decent boss has a proven track record for shapeshifting remixes, whether it’s an assignment for Psy, Sleigh Bells or Grizzly Bear. His take on Beyonce – re-imagined as Drunk N Luv – gives the trap-referencing tune a thorough dancefloor reworking, adding some serious bass and rave horns (and a particular emphasis on the immortal “surfbort” line). You can be sure this one has soundtracked many a house party since it dropped. [Jack Tregoning]
#37 Maelstrom & Louisahhh – Night Clubbing
Louisahhh described Maelstrom to inthemix as her “musical soulmate,” so it’s no surprise the pair made magic together on Night Clubbing. It’s not their first time producing side-by-side – that was the Playmode cover Make It Happen from late last year, also great – but this is their first original creation together and that’s something special. Night Clubbing is Bromance doing what Bromance do best: dark and tripped-out techno destined for the hours between 3am and sunrise, when you couldn’t possibly be anywhere but out. [Katie Cunningham]
#36 Royksopp & Robyn – Do It Again
When two of our favourite Scandinavian acts finally sat down to write a proper mini-album together, the results were always going to be great, but Robyn’s indie-pop attitude and Royksopp’s studio smarts have reached their combined catchy peak in Do It Again.
They’re calling it “their accidental pop song,” an ode to a lost night on the tiles “inspired by a night out in Bergen,” and it’s already been remixed seven times by everyone from dance legend Moby to debauched Italian disco duo In Flagranti and prog-house producer Deniz Koyu, but we’re plumping for the original’s catchy goodness. [Nick Jarvis]
#35 Juan Maclean – Get Down With My Love
Like so many other veteran indie-dance acts from Cut Copy to Four Tet, DFA stalwart John Maclean has lately picked up the tempo and pumped up the energy by mining the big-club sounds of the ‘90s. No wonder; it was a time when dance music seemed revolutionary and it was possible to hear the same records on the radio and at raves in dirty warehouses.
Get Down With My Love is big and bright, milking peak-time power out of thumping percussion, trippy echoes, ecstatic “feelin’ in love” happy-house diva stabs and Nancy Whang’s hypnotizin’ vocal. It’s still got enough of Maclean’s clever post-rock sensibility to remind you it’s not some lost bootleg from Junior Boys Own or Azuli, but when you play it at 3:30 on Sunday morning the difference won’t matter. [Jim Poe]
#34 Golden Features – Tell Me ft. Nicole Millar
If the “Australian Sound” is characterised by surf video-worthy chill vibes and colourful trap production, then the emergence of Sydney producer Golden Features provided the movement with a neat counterpoint. Let off the chain on an unsuspecting public as part of a free self-titled EP in February, Golden Features’ calling-card hit Tell Me shook the cage hard enough to amass a few hundred thousand plays and some overnight attention from around the world.
The mystique around the identity of Golden Features didn’t hinder the project’s appeal at the start; curious listeners stuck around for the thick, pulsating and dark house music on Tell Me. With a floaty vocal lead from feature-artist in-demand Nicole Millar (see her pairings with Peking Duk, Cosmo’s Midnight and Emoh Instead) the track has an unmistakable mean-streak to it with the thudding bass and whirring alien synth noises. [Dave Ruby Howe]
#33 Jessie Andrews – You Won’t Forget Tonight
Jessie Andrews’ Twitter bio describes her in just two words: “Modern woman.” It’s a pithy description for a lady with plenty of irons in the fire: yes, she’s an adult actress, but she’s also a model, jewellery designer, mix series curator, DJ and producer. A good one, too – You Won’t Forget Tonight with Comets We Fall is a great piece of music from an artist who’ll gladly go on record about loving “any kind of house music.” Want more? Andrews teamed up with Fei Fei to remix the Blood Orange track You’re Not Good Enough earlier this year and it’s another must-listen. [Katie Cunningham]
#32 Foster The People – Best Friend (Wave Racer remix)
Sydney solo producer Wave Racer cracked it big in 2013 with a series of hyperactive, video game inspired originals, and has since spent time consolidating his rising star status with a string of A grade, 1000% all killer remixes for the likes of Ryan Hemsworth, Panama and Flight Facilities. The cherry on top comes with Wavey’s just bowed remix of Foster The People’s indie-pop jam Best Friend, which has been so difficult to dislodge from between the ears that it’s snuck into this list ahead of the producer’s sole original for the year, Streamers.
This remix just radiates deliriously happy vibes. Seriously, mad props to whoever A&R’d this one because Wave Racer’s rainbow-like production tricks are the perfect match for the sweet toothed pop hooks of a band like Foster The People. I mean, you gave him a children’s choir to work with, of course this is going to be great! [Dave Ruby Howe]
#31 Tchami – Untrue
Parisian Fools Gold and OWSLA-affiliate Tchami deals in fresh-sounding, bass-driven futuristic house music, as best exemplified by Untrue, this delicious slice of deep, echoey, atmospheric house with a dancefloor-moving riff that kicks in halfway through. He’s just finished up supporting Skrillex on his US Mothership Tour, one of the Frenchman’s first forays into the States, so it’s a safe bet that Untrue is just Tchami getting started this year. [Nick Jarvis]
#30 Skrillex – Recess
Irrepressible bass enthusiast Sonny Moore surprised many with his debut LP this year, which swings from the dancefloor-crushing wobbles and laser stabs we know and love of tracks like Try It Out to the wonky, Mr Oizo and Madlib flavoured Doompy Poomp.
But for his album’s title track, Skrillex went all-out: as we said in our review earlier this year, “It all starts out as a hip hop party, then Fatman Scoop shows up and the next thing you know we’re in the throes of a Skrillex throw-down, as the lasers are set to stun, the bass shakes the pit of your stomach, and the singing angels pop up now and then to remind us to ‘Fight until we can’t fight’. In short: mental.” [Nick Jarvis]