The Top Songs of 2013 playlist continues, with the ten best dance songs playlist. By “best dance songs” I don’t mean “biggest bangers.” Anyone quality producer can lay down a floor shaker and even anthemic crescendos a la David Guetta and Calvin Harris are starting to sound tired. While the tracks below will make your hips shake, they also combine the zeitgeist of EDM right now and the direction dance music is heading.
The Best Dance Music of 2013
First posted August 2013 by Earmilk
As I mentioned in the previous post, this year’s crop of best dance tunes had a lot of retro remixes, but you’d not confuse this Clark Kent remix with an earlier dance era. Sure it opens with a ghostly a capella and follows that with a synth that could have come from 1984, but when the dubstep drops in you know this to be firmly 21st century. The washes and the thick bass make the song sick, and I’m just as impressed how he mixed Robinson’s simple piano melody with that very different-sounding synth. But mostly, somehow the Clark Kent remix makes this song sound so much more haunting than I ever thought Smokey Robinson could.
First posted April 2013 by the Astral Plane
I promised Cashmere Cat would make this list and here he is at number nine. I listened to this remix so much that I went and checked out Miguel, but it turns out what I really like about this song is 100% due to Cashmere Cat. Those looking for bangers may be disappointed to see this track on the list, it’s really an early-evening song. But the best isn’t always the hardest, and I think Miguel is doing unexpected things with his mixes. I love his use of the squeaky bed springs, a tongue-in-cheek reference to sex that’s much fresher than the clichéd sound of a woman moaning. One of the growing trends of 2014 is slowed-down vocals, and this mix demonstrates this nicely. When you first learn mixing, playing with pitch is an easy way to kill a party so I’m doubly impressed to see it done effectively. I also like the way he picked out the particularly fun couplet of this song and focused on it, without making the vocals sound repetitive. Probably because of all that synthy magic he’s mixed together to make this into one delicious soup.
First posted in January 2013 by Disco Demons
Speaking of early-evening songs, this Wild Belle remix is probably the slowest jam on the list. Yet I can’t help but want to sway when that disco groove kicks in at :50. What’s sophisticated about this remix is how he perfects the original. It’s a good song, but a little repetitve, and Employee of the Year drops some of that, focusing on the strongest lines of the song. “It’s Too Late” would make a great closer (or opener), or a funny ditty for washing dishes, walking the dog, or romancing a first date. Probably too short at just over three minutes, which is all the reason to play it again. If you like this low-tempo number, you should probably check out my best indie pop list.
First posted January 2013 by Manalogue
Let’s pick up the pace a little with some house music. What really grabs me about this song is the fantastic vocals. His gospel-worthy voice combined with the short trumpet frill makes this 2013 song sound like it could have been a remix of some old 70s vinyl from the rummage bin. The group is Italian, so I can’t tell you much about them, all I know is that his enthusiasm is infectious.
6. Phoenix – Entertainment (Kastra Remix) (5:12)
First posted May 2013 by Surviving the Golden Age
I was disappointed by Phoenix’s newest effort after their breakout fourth album. The songs didn’t have that addictive quality that made me want to sing along despite the inexplicable lyrics (to be fair, they’re French). All that is quickly forgotten with Kastra’s irresistible electro remix. The song peaked at number 11 on the US alternative charts, but it’s Kastra’s remix that reminds me what makes electro so exciting and fun. Continue reading Top Songs of 2013: Best Dance Music TOP TEN