Top 29 songs of 2012
It’s that time of year when everyone gets all worked up about end of the year polls and curses out the website or blog for not putting their favorite dj, band, album, song, whatever in the lists. People take these things pretty serious. Too serious in my opinion. But maybe that’s cus I’m not in any of these polls (tiny violin plays). Well, it’s my turn to piss some nerds off. Here are my Top 29 songs of 2012….
29. Clams Casino “Coldness” [Sha Stimuli]
28. SpaceGhostPurrp “No Evidence”
27. Robag Wruhme “Pokatoll”
26. How to Dress Well “Blue Crystal Fire”
25. Tyler the Creator x Toro y Moi “Hey You”
24. Barker & Baumecker “Spur”
23. San Laurentino “Somewhere Under the Stars”
22. Major Lazer “Get Free”
21. Jabu & Kahn “Still”
20. Iron Galaxy “Attention Seeker”
Thanks to my buddy, Jamie Fry, for this one. No idea who it is but it ended many a sets for me this year. At 3min 50sec, shit gets real.
19. Gacha “Remember”
Sounds like Mount Kimbie, only Mount Kimbie hasn’t done anything in what seems like years. What’s up with that? Regardless, this song is beautiful. Perfect for that ongoing movie inside your head. More on that in a minute…
18. Nathan Fake “Paean”
I hear some Boards of Canada in there. That’s always a good thing. Nathan Fake is a pretty ridiculous producer. We met once. He probably doesn’t remember.
17. Daniel Rossen “Untitled (2009)”
Daniel Rossen is a huge part of Grizzly Bear. I say huge cus when I go back and listen to his old recordings or his earlier project, Department of Eagles, I realize that he is pretty much writing all the Grizzly Bear songs. Or maybe I have no idea what I’m talking about. Anyways, this song was on repeat a lot. I know it says 2009 but he just gave it away this year. Deal with it.
16. Donato Dozzy & Neel “S.T.” [VFTL Rework]
I’ve been playing Donato Dozzy records for as long as I’ve been Djing (aprox. 14 years). I’m a huge fan. This was the best song on the Voices from the Lake album, which is an amazing album that I think many people overlooked.
15. Funk E “Carpe Diem”
I played this track at a gig in Brooklyn over the summer and the bouncer ran up to me and was like “What the fuck is this?! This shit is HHAAWWWWT, yo!” (that’s me trying to spell “hot” in an urban accent). That has never happened in the history of dance music. The bouncers are usually dying to get out of there and go home. Realizing I had just made history, I decided to do the right thing and give the man the CD which had this song on it as well as few more “hawt” tracks.
14. Vessel “Court of Lions”
I just found out about this guy a few months ago when I decided to listen to his RA Podcast. Aside from my podcast (RA007), from like the beta version of the site, I hardly ever listened to another one (except for tINI’s, which is brilliant, and the recent Apollonia one which I also love.). Needless to say, his podcast is awesome and I immediately became obsessed. Which got me thinking, maybe I should listen to more podcasts. Whatever. So yeah, his new album came out a few weeks or a month ago and guess what? It’s like, totally fucking killer.
13. Koreless “Lost in Tokyo”
Jamie xx put this on his Essential Mix (which is the greatest essential mix of 2011.) and mixed it so flawless, so god damn perfectly with Floating Points “sais”, that I thought it was one track. He fooled me! A seasoned vet! I was embarrassed and ashamed. The two songs belong together but are equally amazing on their own (Sais was my number one track of 2011.). Koreless is another super young, super talented british producer who I’m looking forward to hearing more from in the coming years.
12. When Saints Go Machine “Mannequin”
I threw this one in my “Songs for the Movie I Soundtrack” folder in my itunes. For when the day comes that Hollywood asks me to start soundtracking movies. That day will come and this song will be in it.
11. Claro Intelecto “Still Here”
Jesus, this song. Oof. Fucking heartbreaking. If there was a counter in itunes for how many tears were shed to a song, this one would be on top.(I may have used that joke in last years poll.) This one is going in the movie as well. The last scene. When the girl leaves, the love interest dies, or the boy finally grows up into some twisted goth freak and burns all the toys in Toy Story 7.
10. Grizzly Bear “Gun-Shy”
Guess what? I love Grizzly Bear. Some of you already know this. Some of you don’t. Most of you probably don’t care. But when I found out that they were finally coming out with a new album this year, I simultaneously lost my mind and got super nervous. What if it didn’t live up to my expectations, which are notoriously way too high. What if the album was a letdown? Holy shit, who cares, it’s a new album! But seriously, what if it sucks? Well, it didn’t. It was brilliant. This song is one reason why.
9. Holy Other “U Now”
I love this guy, girl, guys, band, people, I don’t know who makes up this group. I think it’s one guy. Regardless, this was another highly anticipated album. I love the darkness and the heaviness of everything they/he do/does. It’s got a calming effect on me. Wow, I sound like a sociopath. Moving on…..
8. Stumbleine “Ember”
Another one from Jamie Fry. He sent this out of nowhere on skype one day. Both of us having no clue who this group is. Another amazing Bandcamp discovery (read on for one more below). Lots of R&B samples (Beyonce may be in there.). I think the word “melancholy” is the best word to describe this. This could also be in the movie soundtrack. Speaking of, does anyone else walk around with their ipod/walkman/portable music player with the music blasting, pretending that they’re in some romantic drama and the music playing is currently soundtracking the scene/moment in their life?
7. Burial + Four Tet “Nova”
Did you think there wasn’t gonna be a Burial song on this list?
6. Foreign Fields “When the Willow Tree Died”
This band is the greatest discovery of 2012. This was passed on to me by someone special and like fire in the wind (that saying makes zero sense.) I passed it on to many others. The first moment was during the world premiere of my Private Stock radio show on Pulse. I played this song and Guy Gerber, Tale of Us and Dj Tennis (name dropping) all trainspotted and asked what it was. Soon after I was in Ibiza with Greg from Thugfucker (dropped something) and was playing this in my hotel room during an afterhours. He subsequently lost his mind and immediately asked for the album. I told him to buy it on bandcamp and support the band. Shit was like $3 or something. Long story short, everyone loves Foreign Fields. Go here and buy the album and then pass it on to your friends.
5. Andy Stott “Leaving”
Andy Stott is a genius and this song is incredible. What a way to close out the new album. I could have chosen 4 other tracks from this album it’s so good. Top 5 of the year for sure.
4. Frank Ocean feat Andre 3000 “Pink Matter”
This was a surprise. I didn’t think I would be into Frank Ocean. I don’t know why. Looking back now, it makes perfect sense. There’s a lot of great songs on this album. There’s also some shitty ones. But hey, that was bound to happen. I had it on repeat for at least 2 weeks though. Andre 3000’s verse is incredibly spot on.
3. Atoms for Peace “Other Side” [Stuck Together Remix]
And you thought there wasn’t going to be a Radiohead song on this list??? Come on! Ok, so this isn’t Radiohead but it’s pretty god damn close. Atoms for Peace is Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich (along with Flea, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco) who belong to Radiohead and who do everything perfect (except for Thom’s Djing. Yikes. We’ll save that for another day.). I stood next to Thom in a VIP tent in Lisbon this year. I stared at him, awkwardly, hoping for a chance to say something which would have surely came out equally as awkward. I never got a chance. Thank god for that.
2. Actress “N.E.W.”
I can’t even deal with how good this album is. And then to top it off I recently saw him DJ on Boiler Room and he’s stupid good at that too! His mixing was a bit suspect but he was mixing songs that you would never be able to mix and taking chances like it was nobody’s business. He’s got skills. All around skills. Michael Jordan of electronic music. This song could play forever. This album will stand the test of time. All hail Actress. You’re really good at what you do.
1. Grizzly Bear “Speak in Rounds”
So, two Grizzly Bear songs in my top 10? Got a problem with that? Didn’t think so. Basically, I had heard the opening track “Sleeping Ute” as well as “Yet Again” when they released them months earlier, so this song was the first real new track on the album for me. I got chills and the hairs on my neck stood up when I heard Ed’s vocal arrangement come in. When the pace kicks up I nearly started crying. Yes, crying. I was in Schonefeld Airport waiting to catch a plane to Saint Petersburg, Russia, hanging at the gate, sitting next to a typically gorgeous, terribly dressed russian girl who was clinging onto her fat russian boyfriend. And then the lyrics “in the cradle of my unruly jest you belong.” came in and I thought, how fitting. Bravo Grizzly Bear, bravo.