Here’s the extended version of the Remixes/Dance section of my top five, with commentary and numerous honorable mentions.
1. Phoenix – Trying to be Cool (Chainsmokers Remix)
100X better than the original to my ears (no disrespect, Phoenix!).
2. Bloc Party – Truth (Digitalism Remix)
Classic Digitalism at work: a ridiculously long build before the D.R.O.P.P.PPPP Frequently utilized on the treadmill.
3. Major Lazer – Get Free (Bonde do Role remix)
Loved the original, love the extra kick in this remix even more.
4. Du Tonc – Darkness
Slick as f**k French discohaauuussss — one of my songs of the summer.
5. Holden – Renata
I nearly went with the minimal, abstruse “Gone Feral” from the same album by one of the more interesting and experimental EDM producers around.
Honorable Mention — RAC spotlight:
RAC is probably my favorite producer at the moment, claiming the throne long-occupied by Stuart Price/Jacques lu Cont. His remixes are so consistently good that it seemed unfair to choose only one.
His single “Let Go”(featuring Kele of Bloc Party on vocals) was also popular but I prefer the remixes. Alas, a quirk of unfortunate scheduling meant I missed his only DC appearance of the year.
* Capital Cities – Safe and Sound (RAC Mix)
A lively mix of one of my son’s favorite songs of the year…lucky for me I managed to get him into this version.
* MNDR – Feed Me Diamonds (RAC mix)
By now you’re getting the picture…nothing too fancy but perfect craftsmanship.
* MS MR – Think of You (RAC mix)
Yeeasssshhh…breakdown is so good I wish it would go on forever. (Explicit word in chorus.) Not on Spotify so I substituted last year’s amazing remix of Houdini by Foster the People.
Honorable Mentions – Others:
* Avicii — Wake me Up
Sorry, but this inescapable song was legit…certainly more of a summer anthem to me that Get Lucky or that awful Robin Thicke song. ;-)
* Claptone – Wrong
A house song organized around a sample from Still D.R.E.? What’s not to love – just play it.
* Dim Sum – Coucou Disco
More spacey French disco that is in no way or perhaps entirely indebted to Daft Punk…
* Foals – Bad Habit (Alex Metric Remix)
The original from this underrated band is great in that uplifting-yearning way, but I’m slightly partial to this remix.
* Hey Champ – Cold Dust Girl (Gemini Club Remix)
A late entrant to this list, the remix starts out normally enough but turns into a party unto itself.
* Katy Perry – Dark Horse
Those who know me will understand how KP’s new album was in heavy rotation at my house (though I suppose the album was inescapable everywhere); but the anthemic, oddly-abbreviated chorus grabbed me and wouldn’t let go for a solid two weeks.
* Maya Jane Coles – Easier to Hide
This young DJ-turned-producer has really begun to hit her stride with some subdued house. Everything brings a more plaintive vocal (from Swede Karin Park, whose reminds me of Lykke Li or the Knife’s Karen Dreijer) and a hint of menace in the groove. Ms. Coles also produced a terrific remix of the standard Blue Skies (Ella Fitzgerald vocal).
* Pryda – Rotonda
This track from Eric Prydz’s alter-ego might have made the top five had it not taken me so long to locate it. Glad I finally tracked it down…ironically, in his February Essential Mix that was named the year’s best by Mr Pete Tong.
* The XX – Reunion (Edu Imbernon Remix)
I found this gradually-building groove, and especially the slow-mo-club-ready bouncy riff that shows up around 2:30, a heckuva lot better than the original.
* Yoko Duo – Kept on Walking (Dave DK Manchester Super Jam)
A late entrant to this list, and another mellower track that practically unspools from the headphones, it’s a worthy closer to the 2013 playlist.