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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Year-End Lists and Have a Metal Xmas!

If you haven't yet made your way to Big Shot magazine's revamped site, now is the time. The New York-based dance glossy that I write for on the regular recently went web-only and Big Shot honcho Darren Ressler has given the site a slick makeover that kicks major ass. Check out my year-end list below and read all Big Shot writers' lists here

Dave Wedge
The lines between pop and underground dance music continue to be blurred. Just listen to the latest hits by Usher, Ke$ha or Taio Cruz. Many of these would have been considered straight up house a few years ago. Today they’re on Seacrest’s Top 40 countdown. Is this a bad thing? I don’t know. Frankly, if I’m in the kind of place that’s playing Top 40, I’d much rather hear some decently produced housey-pop than cliché-ridden poser rap or Nickelback. Madonna was the first modern pop star to embrace house but now no pop artist puts out a single without a string of remixes from a who’s who of the dance music glitterati. Shit, superstar DJs like Dave Audé, Jason Nevins and Liam Keegan are making a living off remixing hot new pop tracks. As a result, much of the best electronic music of 2010 has an undeniable pop edge while most of the year’s best blend genres to deliver eclectic dance floor gold.

Here’s my favorites of the year, many of which boldly spit in the face of convention and inspire with bold creativity:

1. Shit Robot / Cradle to the Rave
New York club legend delivers his 10 years-in-the-making debut and smashes it out of the park. The electro-pop glory of “Take ‘Em Up” gets my vote for track of the year.

2. The Glitch Mob / Drink the Sea
Like The Prodigy and The Chemical Brothers, these L.A. kids know how to put on a live show and embrace the idea of an electronic-based “band.” And if “Take ‘Em Up” ain’t the song of the year, then “Drive It Like You Stole It” sure as shit is.

3. Skrillex / Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites
Former hardcore kid Sonny Moore gives us a veritable buffet of electronica hybrids, from house to dubstep to alternative hip-hop to electro. Can’t wait to hear what he comes up with next.

4. Deadmau5 / 4 x 4 = 12
He’s quickly becoming the second most recognizable mouse in entertainment but no sellout here. Deadmau5 brings the heat on instant classics like “A City in Florida,” “Everything Before” and the spine-tingling “Sofi Needs a Ladder.”

5. Chromeo / Business Casual
Speaking of dudes unafraid to inject a little pop into their mix, this Montreal duo brought in La Roux for a track and kept it sexy. “Don’t Turn the Lights On” and “Night by Night” are near-perfect electro-pop party anthems.

6. Uffie / Sex Dreams and Denim Jeans
A disciple of Peaches and Princess Superstar, Uffie combined Miami bottle service swagger with French touch. The result is a sweaty electro-pop orgy.

7. Swedish House Mafia / Until One
Like Rush on turntables, this holy triumvirate of deck demons inspire awe while remixing everyone from Justice to MGMT to Daft Punk to Robyn S.

8. Miami Horror / Illumination
Searching for that perfect mix of disco-house and indie-tronica? Look no further than these Australians, who gave us the gorgeous “Sometimes,” a soul-soothing lounge jam more addictive than that Miley Cyrus salvia smoking video.

9. Holy Ghost! / Static on the Wire EP
The nu-disco-fired title track was one of the tracks of the year while you simply can’t hit the repeat button fast enough every time you hear “Say My Name.”

10. Felix Cartal / Popular Music
Representing Dim Mak, this Vancouver DJ/producer’s latest has power, melody and a thunderous dance floor thump.

And in the spirit of Xmas, here is my list of the best metal Christmas songs from the also newly-revamped DigBoston website . . .

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