I moved these songs around quite a bit but the songs that ended up in the top ten stayed pretty consistent (for the rest, see Best of 2010 Dance Songs Top 25
). Last year I focused strictly on remixes but this year I mixed it up, presenting my favorite dance tracks, regardless of whether they were remixes, mashups or original songs. I did this because there were some exceptional dance songs which didn’t fit the traditional “remix” that just had to make the list, starting with number one.
1. Fake Blood vs Richard Vission – I Think I Like That (Coda Collins Smash Up) (5:38)
Reasons This is the best remix of 2010:
- The opening line “My body rocks a rhythm. You beat my drum hard.”
- At exactly one minute there’s this insanely awesome beat drop that chomps down on my body, chews my brain and spits me out as a dancing maniac
- At exactly one minute and thirty seconds Fake Blood brings out synthesized violins that will make whatever is left of my sanity joyfully explode
- Fake Blood’s song sounds like a the shattered glass of a disco ball. So disco, so modern.
- The lyrics sound like a Japanese anime trying to do James Bond “You want a kiss now baby? Oh fucky-fucky you! You’re dressed to kill me-kill-me. And if I die tonight, at least you thrill me-thrill-me.Oooooh!”
Ok, so it’s a little unfair to put a mashup at number one, but it really was my favorite of the year. I suppose if you must, you could put the emphasis on the Fake Blood song. But it’s a fine mash! This mashup combines these two songs seamlessly, producing something much better than either work alone. The beats for the original Richard Vission song are not bad, but they’re no match for Fake Blood. And Fake Blood’s beats, tight as they are, have a cold, clinical quality without any lyrics. Luciana’s vocal styling are as motivational as a Jane Fonda workout video. Finally, it’s a perfect mashup in that there’s such an overlap of themes other DJs must say, “I wish I’d thought of that!” Here’s the two songs separately, to decide for yourself:
Fake Blood – I think I Like It
Richard Vission & Static Revenger Starring Luciana – I Like That
2. Uffie feat. Pharrel Williams – Add Suv (Armand Van Helden Club Remix) (4:44)
I’ve been waiting for a great Uffie remix since I first heard Uffie. When Ke$ha first came on the scene, the blogosphere spat that she was just a copy of Uffie. The problem with this assessment is that though Uffie’s rhymes are solid, her beats are lacking. And along comes Armand Van Helden with what sounds to me like the second best remix of 2010.
If there’s one thing Armand Van Helden knows how to do, it’s a build up. The problem with a long build up is you need something at the end to justify all that fuss. You can always tell the kids on drugs at the club when the relish the build up more than the base drop. For everyone else, the build-up is just a sweet misery that makes the bass hit you that much harder. When those sirens rise, they better have a hell of a beat to land on. There’s bravado in such a buildup. A long tease is only satisfying if the DJ puts out. It’s a ballsy move that Helden makes even ballsier by having the word “banger” announced in that rest before he gives it to you. And he hits it hard.
3. Lemâitre – The Friendly Sound (3:54)
You’re going to think this is the new Royksopp single, but it’s better than any of what Royksopp has put out recently…at least from what I’ve heard. I’m not a huge Royksopp fan. Anyway, it’s a very new group from Oslo, Norway. They don’t even have a Myspace or recording contract yet. “The Friendly Sound” begins with beach noise in the background, then that “Eple”-like melody, then the beat. It’s glitchy with sounds of breaking glass and bleeps and bloops, like 16-bit Mario dropping a deuce. Lovely harmonies round out this oh-so friendly sound. It gets even better around 2:36.
4. Lost Valentinos – “Nightmoves” (Aston Shuffle Remix) (5:54)
I like the vocal stylings on the original track. He has a deep booming voice that pitches high in the refrain. But the original track sounds too much like something you might have heard on Sprockets
. It’s not bad, but the Aston Shuffle remix keeps what’s great about it and takes it to the level of ultra sickdom. When “Nightmoves” starts with the deep voice and low build up you think it’s going to be a deeply sexy slow jam. Just when you’re pondering how that deep-voiced singer can hit such a high note there’s that same long build up and righteous harmonies, now thick with the Aston Shuffle ambiance. It’s beautiful but not so beautiful that you fail to realize how wrong you were: Aw fuuuck it’s a stomper. There’s always a late addition to the list and this one crept up and up, stomping it’s way past many a fine remix to land at number four. Still not sure if it shouldn’t have been higher on the list.
I heard this in a shop in Japantown and new tracking it down would be a top priority when I got home. I was pleased that Black Eyed Peas had taken the time to rerecord the vocals from the original Dirty Dancing hit, rather then just sampling them. But to my surprise the version I’d heard in Japantown wasn’t the original but a remix. Such a shame because now is as good a time as any to get a retro treatment of everyone’s favorite Swayze flick. Unfortunately, the original Black Eyed Peas version is, well, awful. Guetta’s mix is scratchy and glitchy in all the right places: the echo on her voice before that sweet beat drop, the occasional sick vocal distortion of her voice—you can just see this blowing up the greatest summer beach party of your life.
6. Katy B – Louder (4:36)
Rumor has it Katy B is going to be the one to bring dubstep to the mainstream. Let’s hope so, as dubstep is a genre that is delivering way too many trite remixes lately. Here layered vocals and 8-bit inspired trills open up the song til a subtle loop of her British accent saying “louder” teases the beat drop. What’s unusual to me about this one is the way the the deepest, bassiest part of the song is the melody. It’s as if the bass taking over what the melody usually does, driving the song forward. It’s a fresh take on an overplayed style that has me turning the nob to the max.
7. Kid Cudi – Pursuit Of Happiness – Steve Aoki Dance Remix Intro – Dirty (6:14)
This Cudi mix doesn’t start out too exciting but at around the one minute mark you get a taste of the beast Aoki has birthed: Fuzzy rising sirens that introduce fuzzy heavy beats. The vocal sections are lovely and melodic, a nice respite from the assault of Aoki’s monster beats. It’s an onslaught of sick banging bass tempered by Cudi’s soft and friendly stoner rap. Within this there are small tweaks, like the trill that reintroduces the melody at 1:17, the delicious quarter rest at 1:39, and the laser at 2:51 that give this remix a polish that sets it apart from the other bangers 0f 2010.
Technically, this track is both too old and too new for this list. I first discovered it on AWMusic
where it was posted on the last day of 2009 (worse release date ever). Which should, unfairly, make it a song of 2009. As this was before Lady Gaga was huge and Brittany was still the name on everyone’s lips, I could see this chick was going to blow up. And she did, to gargantuan sizes that have us all cowering in fear that a giant-sized Ke$ha is going to rampage Los Angeles Godzilla-style, shedding hail-sized pieces of glitter in her wake.
I kept waiting to hear this one on the radio, appropriately bleeped. Or at least in the clubs. Because it’s so mega hot and what DJ wouldn’t want to play this song? I like “Tik-Tok” but this one is waaaaay better. And I think we can all agree that the rest of Ke$ha’s hits have been no match for “Tik-Tok.” So I did my homework to make sure the song was indeed released in 2010 and I couldn’t find it on Amazon, iTunes or the album itself. What gives?
Yeah, so it’s an unreleased track by Ke$ha. An unreleased track that’s twice as hot as anything from her you’ve ever heard. Even if you don’t like Ke$ha, give this one a listen. It has the mighty power to turn your party into a filming of Girls Gone Wild (hopefully without the nasty anti-feminist camera guys!).
Often a great remix will surpass the original to the extent that the song it is based on can sound hollow in comparison. That happened to me when listening to “Night By Night” recently. Where was the epic synth? Where was the back-and-forth vocals after the climax (“she says I’m—I say she’s—She says I’m”)? They perfectly capture the drama of an argument in a way the original never did. Chromeo is best known as one among many 80s revisionist bands, and this remix keeps that spirit while creating a darker, fuller sound that is unmistakably 21st century.
10. Metric-Twilight-Galaxy-Death-to-the-Throne-Remix (5:37)
I’m a sucker for Metric and this is hands down Death to the Throne’s finest mix to date. Frankly his mixes can be too sick for my taste but here he adds lasers and synth to take Twilight Galaxy to a positively astral dimension. He shows off his skills without demolishintg too much of Emily Haine’s lyrics. The original song is not even remotely a dance number, DttT essentially produced entirely new music to back up the song. As a Metric fan, I hate to say it but the remix is a much better song than the original. True to Death-to-the-Throne form, there is a very sick section to the song, as well there should be leading into the climax of a great remix.