08 January 2009

2008 in Music.

BEST OF 2008

01 Blank Dogs/On Two Sides
02 Grace Jones/Hurricane
03 Kanye West/808s and Heartbreak
04 Wendy & Lisa/White Flags of Winter Chimneys
05 TV on the Radio/Dear Science
06 Ladyhawke
07 Girl Talk/Feed the Animals
08 m83/Saturdays=Youth
09 Lula/The Underground Sound of Portugal and Me
10 Ben Folds/Way to Normal
11 Janelle Monáe/Metropolis: The Chase Suite
12 Lindstrøm/Where You Go I Go Too
13 P!nk/Funhouse
14 Kleerup
15 Cut Copy/In Ghost Colours


01 Divide & Kreate: Kanye West – Love Lockdown & The Knife – Silent Shout. West's Autotune exorcisms never sounded so perfect as when put up against The Knife's nervy icescapes. Absolute perfection.

02 Cut Copy: Lifelike – So Electric & Fleetwood Mac – Never Forget. From the Australians' masterful So Cosmic mix, this is the kind of inspired pairing of disparate elements that made Girl Talk famous and makes even the most jaded disco denizen pitch a tent and weep a shiny, glittery tear.

03 DJ Earworm: Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone & Depeche Mode – Photographic (Rex the Dog Dubb). There's so much inspiration here that I shudder to think at what we'll get next. There's some key-changing stuff going on here as well, moving beyond mashuppery and into production elements, and damn it's a fine piece of work.

04 Torero BP: P!nk – So What & Guru Josh Project – Infinity. Short, sweet, and to the point. This takes two great pop tracks and makes them into something more than the sum of its parts- which should be the goal of any quality mashup. Well done.

05 DJ Earworm: Lady Gaga – Just Dance & New Order – Confusion et al. Near-exhaustive in its use of countless themed samples, but this actually works better and suits the vibe of Lady Gaga's track better than any of its official mixes.


01 Interpol – The Heinrich Maneuver (Phones). Like nothing either Phones or Interpol have done before, an electronic skirmish between quavering indie angst and deepest electrohouse expanses.

02 Bodies without Organs – Barcelona (Oscar Holter). Who'd have thought that Swedish pop at its most glistening could be so effortlessly turned into aggro Bodymusic? Holter's Ebb-y synths set off Martin Rolinski's vocals magnificently.

03 Kylie Minogue – Wow! (CSS). Pop glory, goofy and still timeless.

04 Sam Taylor-Wood – I'm in Love with a German Film Star (Mark Reeder). Finally, a retro-80s mix that sounds like it could actually have been popular in the 80s. Moody, propulsive, and smoothly energetic.

05 Kreesha Turner – Don't Call Me Baby (Digital Dog). Retro-pop turned dancefloor dominator by the careful application of exquisite synth programs. The diva house anthem of the year.

06 MGMT – Kids (Soulwax, Pet Shop Boys). Versatile for dancefloor kinesis and introspective disco moments with this pair of mixes, MGMT justified the hype with this enveloping anthem.

07 Hercules and Love Affair – You Belong (Riton Rerub). The spirit of Inner City and late-80s house steams out of this mix's grooves, percolating and pummeling with velvet snare hits.

08 Alphabeat – Boyfriend (Pete Hammond). The Remix comeback of the year, with ex-PWLer Hammond taking his sequences for Bananarama's "I Can't Help It" and making twenty years of dancefloor trends collapse in a glorious storm of handclaps and synth bells.

09 Britney Spears – Break the Ice (Doug Grayson). There was no better combination of Ms. Spears' breathy coo and hard-hitting programming; slight glitchy undertones that highlight what was great about the original production, while at the same time crafting a new context for its soundscapes.

10 Robyn – Be Mine (Ocelot). When this mix gets going, cutting up, resampling, and reweaving Robyn's vocal into a tidal wave of emotional uncertainty, it has the kind of power that few tracks ever really achieve- and it's all thanks to having a strong melody to play with.

11 Moby – Live for Tomorrow (Tocadisco). Part of the onslaught of stellar Moby mixes in '08, this is simultaneously progressive and nervous, with itchy sounds and the kind of boom-boom that worked on countless kinds of floors.

12 Da Groove Doctors featuring Tommie Nibbs – All We Need is Love (Out of Office). Passionate soul singing and stellar keyboard programming add up for this big hands-in-the-air track. Vocalist Nibbs (along with songwriter Duane Harden) provide the kind of passionate vocals that play so well against icy waves of keyboards, and the Out of Office crew take something good and then make it spectacular.

13 Sharleen Spiteri – All The Times I Cried (Eazy). Former Texas vocalist makes good with this twitchy floorfiller, and the synth stabs provide a provocative contrast with her rock-solid contralto.

14 Björk and Antony – The Dull Flame of Desire (Modeselektor Remix for Girls). As experimental a dancefloor pairing as one could want, with an appropriately out-there clubversion for Modeselektor. I find Antony's voice more at home with these icy digital beds of sound than with some of his more analog endeavors of the past year, but it's always a delight to have his ethereal voice kick it in properly hedonistic strobelit fashion.

15 Joey Chicago – Jane. As grand a filtered mix of Jefferson Starship's "Jane" as one could hope for. Not an official mix, to be sure, but representative of the kind of creativity that more White Label-makers should use in their track selection.


01 TV on the Radio – Family Tree
02 Lady Gaga - Paparazzi
03 Madonna - Heartbeat
04 John Legend featuring Andre 3000 – Green Light
05 Ladyhawke - Magic
06 m83 – Kim & Jessie
07 Big P.O.P.E. featuring Wale – Don't Go
08 Lindstrøm – Grand Ideas
09 Girls Aloud – The Loving Kind
10 Stars - Barricade
11 Alphabeat – Fantastic 6
12 P!nk – Please Don't Leave Me
13 Ben Folds – Lovesick Diagnosis
14 Snoop Dogg – Sensual Seduction
15 Jordan Lehning – You Don't Even Know Her
16 of Montreal – St. Exquisite's Confessions
17 Wendy & Lisa - Invisible
18 Glasvegas - Geraldine
19 Jennifer Hudson – If This Isn't Love
20 Usher featuring Young Jeezy – Love in this Club
21 Grace Jones – Williams Blood
22 The Killers - Human
23 Rex the Dog – Maximize '08
24 Goldfrapp – A&E
25 Helicopter Girl – Alien for Breakfast

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