Top 25 Singles of 2014 so far

You better stop, children what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
No but like, seriously, what the fuck was that? It was hella loud, yo
– Buffalo Springfield, “For What It’s Worth”

There have been a lot of records this year in the burgeoning BANG! BOOM! CRASH! subgenre, where the samples and/or drums are so loud they feel like they’re jumping out of your speaker and hitting you in the face, even at low volume. But the best of them remain undeniably musical, and even catchy. Evian Christ and Bok Bok are tops in this department, through different approaches; the American upstart is relentlessly melodic even with his noisiest bits (a skill he shares with Skrillex, of all people) while the Brit turns even the rawest repetitions into R&B, whether it’s with 80s quiet storm synths or the very Aaliyah-like vocal stylings of Kelela.

Looking down the list, melody is the thing, however subtle. It’s there in Martyn and Four Tet’s twinkling kalimba samples, Toronto’s Jex Opolis’ Zither EP (especially “On The Cliffs” with its stabs of vocal “aaaahs” and gently burbling drums), DMX Krew’s oddly compelling lounge-pop and even H-SIK’s amped-up breakbeat science. I used to think a hummable tune was optional, even quaint, but maybe the years of minimal tech – and the waning of the prog house sound in favour of who knows what in EDM-land – have made it more palatable, if not outright necessary.

You’ve got your grime-oriented and just plain weird producers in there, of course – Mumdance coming with a couple of collaborations (with Logos and Pinch respectively) that make it sound like there’s a vacuum cleaner and/or a rogue mobile phone behind the boards, as well as Phon.o, Lakker and L-Vis 1990 all delivering sides that are more not-there than there. But the tunes predominate, however simple — from Vitalic’s uncharacteristically pop-oriented take on Paul Kalkbrenner’s “Altes Kamuffel” to the chugging grooves from Melchior Productions Ltd., Todd Terje and KHLHI (a.k.a. Four Tet).

*Oh, and in light of the Polaris Music Prize short list announcement, it’s worth remembering that – without taking anything away from Jessy Lanza’s accomplishment – there’s plenty of Hot Canadian Electronic Action happening outside the album sphere. Jex Opolis, Tiga and Hobo on this list, plus Adam Marshall’s New Kanada label (and Graze alias), Guillaume and the Coutu Dumonts, Caribou’s Jiaolong imprint, Lunice, Kaytranada etc. Don’t sleep on the frozen north.

1. Evian Christ – Waterfall (Tri Angle)

2. Bok Bok – Your Charizmatic Self EP (Night Slugs)

3. Martyn – Forgiveness (EP) – (Ninja Tune)

4. Jus Now – Bare Wine (feat. Swappi) / Vodou Riddim (Gutterfunk)

5. Jex Opolis – Zither EP (Good Timin)

6. H-SIK – Sonic Rage / No Promises (Black Acre)

7. Sam Russo – To The Brink / Wanderer (Air London)

8. Jamie XX – Sleep Sound (Young Turks)

9. Mumdance & Logos – Legion / Proto (Tectonic)

10. Alex Coulton – Murda / Break Pressure (Black Acre)

11. Gerry Read – Shrubby (Aus Music)

12. KHLHI – Percussions (Text)

13. Komon and Appleblim – Jupiter EP (Aus Music)

14. Paul Kalkbrenner – Altes Kamuffel (Vitalic Remix) (Paul Kalkbrenner Music)

15. Juju & Jordash – Waldorf Salad/Third Planet from Altair (Dekmantel)

16. DMX Krew – Hot Punch / My Metro (Fresh Up)

17. Pinch & Mumdance – Turbo Mitzi / Whiplash

18. Melchior Productions Ltd – The Return Of The Cosmic Kids (Aspect Music)

19. Lakker – Containing a Thousand (R&S)

20. Todd Terje – Spiral (Full Pupp)

21. L-Vis 1990 – Ballads EP (Night Slugs)

22. Tiga & Audion – Fever (Remixes) (Turbo)

23. Flava D – Home / Hold on VIP

24. phon.o – Cracking Space Pt. 1 (50 Weapons)

25. Hobo – Mind Games (Soundz)

Mix: Dark Days

dark-days-web

You may wonder why I only post reviews of albums on here and not singles. Or you may not. Anyways I’m explaining here, so STFU for a minute. I don’t review singles because, if I like them, odds are they end up in a mix like this. Thus I feel compelled to point out how totally fucking bananas-awesome Wesley Matsell and Gerry Read’s latest singles are, which is obviously why I included them. Also the Recondite track, which isn’t new. Did I mention you should listen to this? You should listen to this.

Click here to download from Mediafire

1. Pearson Sound – Raindrops pt. II – Raindrops
2. Kelis – Jerk Ribs (Mount Kimbie Remix) – Jerk Ribs (Remixes)
3. DMX Krew – My Metro – Hot Punch / My Metro
4. Recondite – Riant – Bleep: The Top 100 Tracks of 2013
5. Lucy – leave us alone – Churches Schools And Guns
6. Neneh Cherry – Everything (Villalobos & Loderbauer: Vilod high blood pressure mix) – Everything
7. Dave DK – Woolloomooloo – Perfect Like You / Woolloomooloo
8. Wesley Matsell – Future Beacon – Total Order of Being
9. The Lionheart Brothers – The Drift (Frisvold & Lindbaek Remix) – The Drift
10. The Analogue Cops – Second Disco Crime (ft. Steffi) – Heavy Hands
11. Christian S – Number One – Pitch Rider
12. Boddika & Joy Orbison – More Maim – More Maim / In Here
13. Pinch & Mumdance – Turbo Mitzi – Turbo Mitzi / Whiplash
14. Sam Russo – Wanderer (John Tejada remix) – To The Brink / Wanderer
15. Gerry Read – Shrubby  – Shrubby
16. Snow Ghosts – Secret Garden (Matthew Herbert’s Wash It All Away Instrumental) – Secret Garden
17. Pearson Sound – Raindrops pt. I – Raindrops

Deemo – Dark Days by Deejaydeemo on Mixcloud