Posts Tagged ‘Top 50’

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Black Books – The Big Idea

December 23, 2010

10. Black Books – The Big Idea.mp3

A slow-building, burning from the inside epic, The Big Idea grows and grows, coming on like a sunrise telling you it’s time to get home. It’s a creeper, smoldering under some simple synth lines and evocative guitar growls. Just when you think that’s as far as it’s going, the chorus arrives, expanding temporarily before ceding to the rising guitar.

The real magic begins in the second chorus when it drops to just vocals and a synth swirl. Then the guitar returns, switching gears from “understated” to “dominating”, while Black Books’ lead singer Rosco’s vocals rise to the challenge, delivering a line that’s more desperation than promise:

You can have anything you want.”

Check out Black Books from this local library.

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Siriusmo – Einmal in der Woche Schreien

December 22, 2010


11. Siriusmo – Einmal In Der Woche Schreien.mp3

(Or watch this for added charming WTF-ness:)

Too quirky for dancefloor DJs. Too fun for chinstroking IDM wallflowers. Not quite broken enough for glitch. Too off-center for breaks afficionadoes. Where the fuck does this fit in?

Maybe it doesn’t. Siriusmo just wants to make you smile. Enjoy the ping-ponging helium vocal samples. Trip along with the multiple tempo shifts. Shove your head in the bassbin every time he goes down low. Walk away humming the melody. Push play again. And again. And again.

And he does it all under a title that nearly namechecks a leftfield therapy method. Loosely translated: “Scream once a week.”

Good advice. Great track.

More from the self-proclaimed “Plasterer of Love.”

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks

December 21, 2010

12. Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks.mp3

Foster the People turn in the greatest summer tune of quite possibly all time (you heard me, surviving Beach Boys), chock full of kids who want to grow up to be urban cowboys and draw down on all the fancy kids with their shiny new footwear.

Nothing makes you feel more invincible than being transported back to your adolescent days of indestructible shit-talking. Never mind that being a teen also meant an endless amount of shit-taking. As soon as the tormentors backs are turned, you’ll start singing under your breath:

All the other kids with their pumped-up kicks
You better run, better run
Outrun my gun

Adopt these adorable Foster kids!

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Housse De Racket – Gwendoline (Gemini Club Remix)

December 20, 2010

13. Housse de Racket – Gwendoline (Gemini Club Remix).mp3

French electro-rock duo Housse de Racket places themselves in the able hands of Gemini Club who take some choice loops and extra thump to turn Housse’s energetic pop into a swaggering, stomping monster able to hold its own among such house titans as Daft Punk and MSTRKRFT.

It’s the bassline that’s the real killer, providing a propulsive undercurrent upon which gated/reverbed vocals jostle for position with viciously whip-panned microbursts of ecstatic noise. There’s a bigger-than-Big-Beat-in-its-heyday 4/4 banging away underneath it all, occasionally highlighted by some raucous hi-hats and cowbell.

C’est le rock non-stop!

Own your own Housse!

Gemini Club: Member’s Only.

The rest of Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Miniature Tigers – Gold Skull

December 19, 2010

14. Miniature Tigers – Gold Skull.mp3

The Tigers offer you their full attention (“I’m turning off my cellphone“) and some armchair REM analysis (“Dream of gold skull“) while copping a chord progression from the Statler Brothers which suits the dead-end meandering of the tune just fine.

Chillwave songsmith Neon Indian mans the knobs for this laid back track, buffing the uber-catchy near-pop gem to gleaming translucence. The lyrics don’t add up quite right but somehow still manage to convey the feeling that sometimes the only way to get away from it all is to draw the shades and stay the fuck home.

Pocket Tigers.

The rest of top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Tommie Sunshine Quaalude Edit)

December 18, 2010

15. Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) (Tommie Sunshine’s Quaalude Edit).mp3

The Arcade Fire return with a new album, a new video experiment in Google mapping and an entire internet’s worth of remixes. None of them (not even the original) touch the heights of Tommie Sunshine’s airtight production, which wastes not a single beat, build or infectious synth line.

More than a bit like tying your heavy heart to a bouquet of helium balloons, despite the attached “Quaalude” descriptor. It’s grinning-like-an-e’d-up-idiot, straight-up dancin’ music.

To the Arcade!

Catch some rays!

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Rick Ross – B.M.F. (Caligula Remix)

December 17, 2010

16. Rick Ross – B.M.F. (Caligula Mix).mp3

The thing about Rick Ross: he tells it like it is. Every MC is “streeter than thou,” but Ross says what everyone else keeps hoping he won’t. His delivery is so laid back it hardly seems threatening, but that’s always the case with those whose bite far outweighs their bark.

Rozay puts on another seminar in coke dealing 101. When not introducing leftfield blow slang (“I got the Archie Bunker/And it’s so white I might just charge you double“), he’s pointing out how your dealership just ain’t cutting it (“You just affiliated/I bought it ground up/You bought yours renovated“).

But what’s most disturbing to moral alarmists isn’t the random violence and drug pushing. It’s the simple truth that resonates even louder thanks to Ross’ give-a-shit laconic drawl: “My niggas/Crime pays.”

That’s dangerous.

Meanwhile, Caligula oscillates and vibrates all over the background, filling the space between the beats with electronic squiggles and unbalanced bass.

This is for my poor niggas.

This is for my rich niggas.

Got a hundred on the head of a snitch nigga.

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Acid Washed – Acid Washed (DANGER Remix)

December 16, 2010

17. Acid Washed – Acid Washed (DANGER Remix).mp3

Acid Washed go all eponymous with a track that mixes Italo-disco with Goblin, sounding not unlike Zombie Zombie pumped full of amyl nitrate. Adding zigs and zags is DJ/producer extraordinaire DANGER (whom we last heard dramatically reworking a chunk of the Scarface soundtrack).

Separately both producers are forces to be reckoned with. Together they’re nigh invulnerable. (Bonus points if you catch that reference.)

The keyboards and kick drums create a track that is at turns both ominous and gorgeous, filled with drops and builds that turn it into the aural equivalent of having your ass handed to you by the prettiest thing on the dancefloor.

ACID.

DANGER.

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks (Sidney Frost’s Redneck Mash Mix)

December 15, 2010

Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks (Sidney Frost’s Redneck Mash Mix).

18. Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks (Sidney Frost’s Redneck Mash Mix).mp3

Sidney Frost, who splits time between Minneapolis, MN and Moab, UT, briefly forsakes his minimal techno stylings for something that unabashedly dismisses the grey matter and heads right for the ass, which will soon be headed to the nearest dancing surface with no regard for your better judgement/dancing ability. The beefed-up thump would make Bonham proud, if only he weren’t so busy rolling in his grave. Coverdale/Page, indeed.

Frost on Resident Advisor.

Frost on Facebook.

Frost on Beatport.

Frost on Nixon.

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT

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Top 50 Tracks of 2010: Crocodiles – Hearts of Love

December 14, 2010

19. Crocodiles – Hearts of Love.mp3

San Diego’s Crocodiles deliver on everything they hastily but sincerely promised on their debut album, Summer of Hate. Everything about Sleep Forever is tighter, brighter and just generally better.

Hauling in influences from all over the late-’80s-early-’90s altrock scene (most prominently Echo & the Bunnymen), the Crocodiles craft sun-kissed pop with enough of a noisy edge and lyrical bite to cross the line from “disposable” to “essential.”

Hearts of Love is all hook, beginning with the pounding opening drumbeat which meshes with iridescent chimes to form an aural yin/yang right in the dead center of your brain. Once you’re sucked in, the reverbed vocals pour acid all over the sugar, thanking “God above for draining hearts of love.”

It all comes together like a Phil Spector boy band armed with a dash of feedback. (The “me and my love will surf the streets all day” line clinches it.) The track detaches from the bedrock beats and heads for the upper atmosphere, trailing bad vibes like so many feathers from a free-falling Icarus.

“Oh, when I die
When I disappear
Leave my troubles behind”

These Crocs look good on everybody.

The rest of the Top 50.

-CLT