Wednesday 31 December 2014

Top Ten Dance Songs 2014

The last day of the year and there's one final item of business for this blog to transact. It's tradition.

10. Loving Me Wrong by Stanton Warriors

9. Delorean Dynamite by Todd Terje

8. F For You by Disclosure feat. Mary J Blige

7. Conjure Superstar by Maceo Plex (NSFW!)

6. Love Taking Over by Dusky

5. Rather Be by Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne

4. Flicker by Porter Robinson

3. All I See by Bondax

2. Now I Feel Good by Starsmith

2014 was dismal for all sorts of reasons, and that was true for dance music too. This year not one single piece of trance made the list, which is disappointing as 2013 was something of a triumph. Less soaring and more snoring has been the scene. It's like no one was really trying, or were purposely falling short. Alex M.O.R.P.H.'s My Heaven came the nearest, but even that succumbed to running on vapours mid-way through. 

If anything, the mainstream of club/Ibiza bop-a-longs has been even worse. Superstar DJs continue to disappear up their backsides with EDM releases that vary little from one another. Chimes? Check. Pryda snare? Check. It's like being back with formulaic eurodance circa 1993, except not as good. It's been five years since Calvin Harris came up with anything listenable and even longer for Tiesto, Above and Beyond, and friends. Sort it out. As for the likes of Aoki and Avicii, I think we can write them off.

Thankfully (thankfully!) house music has stepped into the breach. It's been threatening for a wee while but 2014, at last, has seen a renaissance if not a new golden age of house. Sounding all low tech, deep, and a little bit nineties, small wonder a shedload went overground and reaped justified success. The trajectory of Disclosure, who are threatening to become regular fixtures in my end-of-year gathering, typify this. But undoubtedly the biggest hitter to make the picks are Clean Bandit's Rather Be. A clean, uncomplicated bouncy house anthem with compulsory diva vocals it proper cleaned up at the beginning of the year, and rightly so. Some superb work, however, kept to the shadows. Stanton Warriors, Dusky, and Bondax, wrapped their beats in a healthy coating of nostalgia. Maceo Plex's contribution from his Conjure sequence is the filthiest dancefloor sleaze I've heard since KIKO's gothy Slave of My Mind. Todd Terje sounded like he'd been out on the razz with Giorgio Moroder - no bad thing. And Porter Robinson slammed us face first into a wall of sound. Lastly, Starsmith's Now I Feel Good proper knocked my socks off. Its deceptively low-tech sounds deserve, no demands to be better known.

What about number one? R. Kelly isn't a name who hear much these days, thankfully. Yet Waze & Odyssey lifted the opening vocal from Bump 'n' Grind and crafted a perfectly mindless house monster around it. This is my track of the year, so crank it up.

Do you have any favourites?

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