Top 10 Dance Collections of 2008, Both Mixed and Unmixed
By Randall Roberts
Any knucklehead with DSL and a laptop can now make an electronic track. With a half hour of clicking and fiddling, you can sample enough cheesy beats and mashups to clog arteries from here to Berlin. Simple dropdown mouse maneuvers can transform electro tracks into progressive house tracks (from dry and synthetic to wet and gushy), rhythm tracks can be tempo-tweaked with an upward toggle to change a Timbaland beat into a Chromeo one. Add some T-Pain-esque pitch-correction vocals to your between-track banter for that 2008 feel (actually, please don’t). The rail guiding it all: that four-on-the-floor stomp. Herewith: nine collections of dance music (and one licentious exception), some of them mixed into sets, others unmixed for your own sampling pleasure.
Simian Mobile Disco
At least four different Fabric mixes could have landed on any reputable list of the year’s best dance collections. Depending on your mood and your hormonal levels, either Metro Area’s syrupy Demerol disco mix, M.A.N.D.Y.’s 25-track thumpfest (featuring Yello, Gui Burrato and Booka Shade), or DJ Yoda’s insanely diverse FabricLive mix (Violent Femmes, Jurassic 5, Bell Biv Devoe, Adam F, Wiley), could effectively wobble your azz. Simian’s stands a little above the rest (save one – see below) in its audacity, inclusiveness and ability to celebrate electro and house without resorting to the stupid futuristic robotic stuff. The set opens with Japanese 1970s cheeseball Tomita, features the year’s best dance track, Hercules & Love Affair’s “Blind,” transforms “Suite Equitra” by the late NYC street composer Moondog (who’s having a very healthy afterlife as a mixtape MC) into a dancefloor stomper, hits on current faves Deadmau5, and digs deep in the crates to uncover genius inventor/musician Raymond Scott. It closes with a great threesome: Plastikman’s “Spastik” into Green Velvet’s “Flash” into (of all things) the Walker Brothers’ “Night Flight.” This mix will totally transform your rush hour slog home from work.
(from Simian Mobile Disco’s FabricLive.41 mix)