It’s the end of the year so you know what that means: it’s time for end-of-the-year album “Best Ofs”! Everyone worth their blog/music site is going to be dropping their nominations for the top records of 2013, and these lists are going to pop up basically every day until the new year. I’ll get to my own compilation of best albums eventually, but to tide you over until then here are eight amazing songs you should have in your heads at once. It’s up to you to decide which ones you like best, if you like them at all, but personally I think “Collider” is one of the stand out tracks of the year. Check that one along with all the rest below.
1. “Collider,” Jon Hopkins
“Collider,” from Jon Hopkins’ Mercury Prize nominated record Immunity, one of the best of 2013, sits at the intersections between intelligent dance music, techno and electronica. Hopkins was the keyboardist for Imogen Heap, hits us with an insistent techno-like pulse while still keeping things cloudy and full of static fury. The music video alone is completely engrossing and visually arresting.
2. “If I Will,” Zomby
If deep bass is your thing, then you’re going to love this track from Zomby, a UK based producer of electronic music. Check it out on his recent record With Love which has 17 titles on it, though they’re all pretty short. Like little electronic shock waves.
3. “Rebound,” Dornik
“Rebound,” the second single from British producer Dornik, is kind of weird sounding but that’s what makes it awesome! It’s like Michael Jackson meets an 80s synthesizer meets a punk rock show?
4. “Telegraph Avenue,” Childish Gambino x Ta-Ku remix
Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, does it all: he wrote for 30 Rock, does stand up, acts, and raps as Childish Gambino. because the internet, his second record on a major label, drops on December 10th on Glassnote Records. Ta-Ku, remixer extraordinaire, has already remixed “Telegraph Avenue”
5. “Come Thru,” Drake x James Blake remix
You know a remix hits the spot when you like it better than the original. It’s hard for James Blake, BFFs with Drake, to go wrong: he’s got a voice like heaven, and his cooly ethereal beats takes you all the way there. I always look forward to James Blake remixes of rap songs if just for the genius electronic polish he adds to them.
6. “Pulse Incomplete,” Shifted
Pure techno madness.
7. “Mr Jones,” Nina Kraviz
Nina Kraviz is everything, if you didn’t already know. The title track from her upcoming release Mr. Jones, out December 9th on Rekids, delivers bombastic, housetastic groove that will fulfill your every need. What I want to know is, who is “Mr. Jones” and why does everybody keep making songs about him? (See Amy Winehouse).
8. “Bank Head,” Kelela
I’m certain LA-based indie R&B singer Kelela is going to blow up in 2014. She’s already featured on Solange’s spectacular Saint Heron R&B compilation and, even more importantly, she’s doing a lot to show how experimental electronic music and R&B can learn from each other. One listen and you will want to go on whatever sonic journey Kelela takes you on — trust me.