This is the best of 2011! Well, actually it is the best of the alternative tracks that I found this year. Altogether I've played 102 tracks this year, divided over 5 podcasts for 'Kattekwaad'. This adds up to an amount just over 6 hours of playtime for this year. I enjoyed making each set, I hope you have enjoyed listening to it! For this Top 10 I decided not to dig deep in those 102 tracks to find out which were the best, but I decided to collect the ones that missed out on the podcasts. So these are actually the leftovers, but don't be mislead by that fact because they're still good!
I've cheated a bit regarding the release dates (but hey, mischief is all in our name), not all tracks are from 2011, most of them are but some of them are from late 2010. I figured these tracks are always the ones that miss out on all the top year collections, so I give them a chance in my set. The first release is from November 2010 and the latest from September 2011, the overall span does not exceed a year, I tried to be consistent in that way to make up for my little trip to the end of 2010. Anyways enough about all the facts and figures, press play if you haven't already, and start listening, I hope you'll enjoy it.
1. Daft Punk - End of Line
Bombastic track, good way to start the show. This is the kinda track that feels like a soundtrack all the way through, it empowers people. I imagine this track to be the marching song of the 99% in some way. Great track, I am not sure about the remake of the film though.
2. Electric Wire Hustle - Again (Scratch 22 Remix)
Hell yeah! If found this track on Motor City Drum Ensemble - DJ-Kicks Mix (2011) and was hooked right from the start, great melodic stuttering rhythm and the vocals are just a soulful topping on the whole. Perfect track, makes my day brighter every time I hear it.
3. Art Department - In the Mood
Lovely track for looping, those of you with a focussed ear might already have noticed that this track was mixed with Daft Punk and looped all the way during 'Again'. Art Department have an edit or remix or mix in their latest Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 of this track, which is even better (Note to self for 2012: need to find that edit!). The essential mix is definitely worth listening to if you dig the more deep soulful house sound. Check it out here: <a href="http://soundcloud.com/r_co/art-department-essential-mix" target="_blank">http://soundcloud.com/r_co/art-department-essential-mix</a>
4. S.E.C.T. feat. Ben Westbech - In the Park
Instant classic, at least for me. It is featured on the Wolf + Lamb vs Soul Clap DJ-Kicks Mix (March 2011). I imagine Candy Dulfer doing the sax on this track which gives it that extra sexiness ;) But to stay on topic, this track is all about spring time for me. Chilled beer, hot sunny day, chilling in the park, late evening BBQ's, all accompanied by great friends. Need I say more!?
5. Blood Orange - Dinner
Soul Clap had this track in one of their 2011 top lists, I 'borrowed' it from them, but hey…this track deserves some play time right!? And if I missed it's release, maybe someone else missed it also and I am doing that person a favor now, right!? :)
Anyways, Soul Clap have definitely been one of my heroes this year, or actually two heroes I might add, Soul Clap is Eli and Charlie, which also make up for the E and C in S.E.C.T. from the 'In the Park' track listed above (the S and T are respectively Sergio Santos and Tanner Ross). I would highly recommend people looking for a soulful sound in house to listen to Soul Clap's 6hrs set (yes SIX hour set) together with Wolf + Lamb, it's a pearl, including many (forgotten) classics. You can find the set on SoundCloud.
Part 1: <a href="http://soundcloud.com/r_co/wolf-lamb-vs-soul-clap-live" target="_blank">http://soundcloud.com/r_co/wolf-lamb-vs-soul-clap-live</a>
Part 2: <a href="http://soundcloud.com/r_co/wolf-lamb-vs-soul-clap-live-1" target="_blank">http://soundcloud.com/r_co/wolf-lamb-vs-soul-clap-live-1</a>
6. SBTRKT - Hold On
Wow. Brilliant vocal sound, I belief the singer on this track is Sampha. Lovely RnB/Soul flavored track, although normally it sounds much more speeded up. I've changed the tempo from 130 BPM to around 115BPM. My apologies to all those puristic SBTRKT fans who think I shouldn't have done this, but let's be honest, the slow tempo suits the calm singing better. It is in my understanding that SBTRKT has quite a performance with a huge African mask, another to do for me in 2012: see him live! For the lovers of this track, there should be a remix release of Matthias Meyer, haven't found it yet, if you do, please let me know, it's also good, that I know!
7. Mano Le Tough - Take It Back
One of my favorite producers. His podcast for RA inspired me last year to do my first podcast voor 'Kattekwaad'. Ever since then I am hooked on BPM's between 100 and 120. This track is from his 'Stories EP', which is probably the best release for me for 2011, 'From the Start' is also from this EP and I used that one in my 'Clap Clap Circus' podcast. Mano le Tough has a certain quality to put an enormous amount of feeling in a track, which is either positive or has a more dark character. But it doesn't matter which way the track goes, you can still dance to it. I don't know why, but this particular track reminds me of the holidays. You know when you are on your way home from holidays and have these mixed feelings, your happy about the memories and the fact that you are going to see missed ones again, but at the same time you wished you could have stayed for just a couple of more days. It's all in this track!
8. Benoit & Sergio - Full Grown Man
This track takes me back to my childhood. Not the lyrics of course, '…do a little cocaine with me, drink a little wine' are not the phrases that I heard in my environment when I was young. No, it's the overall sound and feeling which reminds me of Paul Simon, from Simon and Garfunkel, you probably know, if not here's a hilarious clip with Chevy Chase and Paul Simon: <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq-gYOrU8bA&ob=av2e" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uq-gYOrU8bA&ob=av2e</a>
9. Discodeine, Matias Aguayo - Falkenberg (Pilooski Edit)
Great track, I wonder why I haven't heard this one much on the dancefloor. Maybe I just haven't been to the right dancefloors although that seems highly unlikely I guess. Anyways, lovely instrumental steeldrum dance track, nothing more to say.
10. Jamie XX - Far Nearer
More steeldrums! Jamie XX from 'The XX' is probably one of the most anticipated artists from 2011, after his remixed album of the late Gill Scot Heron (1949-2011) it looked like he got premium status all around the globe. It is in my understanding that this track featured as an exclusive at Benji B Show on BBC1, after which in a couple of hours it was bootlegged all over the internet. While it might be just a hype, it's definitely a fresh sound and we will probably hearing a lot more of this artist in the future. But for now, the best thing to do is is just to sit back enjoy this track and dream of good summertimes to come, cause it's all sunny in this track!
Thats all for now folks!
Have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you next year