As much as our bar, club & event yearly round-up reviews have become a tradition, our look back at any year would not be complete without our full on reflection of the music & the D.J.’s that have made our year, indeed, without the music and without the D.J.’s, the bars, clubs & events would not exist as they do and we would have little to report on, save for our weekly recommends posts & our D.J. focuses, of which there have been many throughout 2010. But it has been an interesting year on the music front, a year that has seen the resurgence of retro-tastic tunes remixed, remodelled or remade, it has been a year with plenty of newcomers, while we have certainly spread our musical wings, focussing on a breathtakingly huge amount of D.J.’s, based both home & abroad. So, amidst a continuing tough global economic & political climate, plus amidst all the controversy that was waged in our world, 2010 more than any other year meant that music was definitely the answer for us, hence this nod to the D.J.’s, their sets, their tracks & their compilations in this our final music review of this year.
So let’s get going and with the best place starting in January, we race through 2010 picking out our D.J. performance highlights, As One sporting our first outstanding achiever, when Alan K simply blew our mind with a superb set, erupting Fire’s main room & leaving us walking away with our first anthem of 2010, Celada’s “Underground”. That was swiftly followed by Phil Marriott, who impressed us hugely with a mammoth 4 hour set at the Onyx afterparty that immediately followed, and it was with Mr Marriott that we were to form a special friendship & bond, not least at Profile Bar on Friday’s. February saw two terrific turnouts by Trade veterans, first Steve Thomas at DTPM’s Valentine party at Jalouise, then Gonzalo Rivas with a sparkling set at Orange’s “Citric Seduction” event, both showing that they haven’t lost their magical touch to move us on the dancefloor.
Forwarding to May, the trio of Leomeo, Danny Verde & Phil Romano, short of stole the London Global Dance Festival show in the Muccasssassina room at the main event, although 2010 was littered with international star performances too, a veritable feast of talent landing in London for that LGDF party, other outstanding highlights being Dikky Vendetta’s performance at Onyx, Chris Bekker at Beyond & Ivan Gomez at the “official” LGDF afterparty, although Berlin based but home-grown talent D’Johnny’s set was superbly standout. Other international stars that did it for us in 2010 included Eduardo De la Torre, who was brilliant at Beyond during the summer, Leandro Becker who shone at The Week in London and then followed it up with another prolific performance in Paris for the Supersized Pool Party, while Andrei Stan stunned us with stonking sets at both Matador & A:M.
Talking of Spanish, a host of Spaniards also had their say too during 2010, with Carlos Gallardo doing it for us at both Hype & WE Party and the steamy & sexy Hugo Sanchez starring spectacularly at more than one SuperMartXe event, showing his raw talent to match his ravenous looks. But it was Javier Medina who was definitely our find of the year, making his impressionable mark in May and soon following it up with personal appearances in London for As One & Lovechild, he ending his year on a high, landing a contract with massive club brand Matinee. But you would be forgiven that we focussed too much on international talent through 2010, as there were plenty of home grown D.J.’s that hit our radar in 2010, some established, some new, Michel Mizrahi, Terry Vietheer, Jc Christopher, Norbert M, Lee Harris, Zach Burns, Dimity K, Chris Brogan and Jamie Hammond included in a long list on new(ish) talent, all making strides & impressions in this terrific twelve months of tunes. However, the established names were definitely rocking our world throughout 2010, the endless list including Paul Heron, Jamie Head, Nick Tcherniak, Phil Hewson, Tony English, Nick Evans, Terry Bryan, Guy Williams, Fat Tony and plenty more that set us in as spin.
2010 also saw us expand our specialist focuses, going all female first with our “Foxy Ladies” special looking at Mis-White & Minx, we looked in on Spain covering Gonzalo Rivas, Ivan Gomez, Nacho Chapado, Steven Redant &, our main man Javier Medina, but also turned Italiano with two specials, including Pagano, Alessandro, Micky Galliano & Gabriele Cutrano, Danny Verde never escaping our attention, while it was another Italian that made his impression on us, first at LGDF & then at Hustlaball in Berlin, Fabio White’s set there one of the big highlights of our five day foray. Our focuses also included a couple of nods to Beyond, homage’s to Lovechild, to new Spanish hit WE Party, as well as spreading our wings with our music newletters which filled most of the last few months of our year, our “Blighty Based Boys” & “Energetic Euro’s” including the biggest names that made our 2010, as did our final post of the year, “Big Guns & Baby Boomers”. But our D.J. bio’s & focuses still remained our single most passion of the year & with the opportunity to focus on plenty of talent for LGDF, we went into overdrive, pieces of our work featuring on official websites & D.J. pages.
But we digress from our hot sets of the scintillating 365 days of sound and whilst so many were memorable, our scales were definitely tipped by The Oli at Lovechild’s “Makin Hay” in July, while Brent Nicholls enchanted us with a full on nu-funk frolic, also in Lovechild, but August, Pagano also doing it for us at the third of Logan Schmitz’ private party UP & then again at Onyx “Digital” in September, while Luke Howard definitely displayed nu-disco dexterity at Paradise 45 in November. Then there was a stunning set from Terry Vietheer at Barcode Vauxhall’s 4th birthday, this south London spot being the scene for a brilliant back-to-back performance from Nick Tcherniak & Hifi Sean, close on the best back-to-back set we had seen all year, although some of our best performers of the year were to come out of the gaff next door, Area being responsible for Orange afterparty’s & Onyx, but of course the biggie, Beyond, pretty much bringing us full circle on our star sets selection, Jamie Head being one of three standouts from a score of others, Mr Head’s performances for Beyond in the Terrace going down as some of our favourites, although his best being at Orange back in May.
But as good all these people were during 2010, it is the duo of Steve Pitron & Mikey D that top our pile, we having been lucky to witness some very special back-to-back performances from them both, a handful at Beyond, but for us, their best at Brazilian import The Week in September. Individually, Steve impressed on countless occasions not just at Beyond, but also at Orange events, at WE party’s launch in December & then delighted us at Lo-Profile in the same month, although his standout set was at Beyond “Tokyo” in October, his anthem filled two hours simply stunning, we reporting on his set at the time in flowing form, including saying “…The man is genius and words cannot describe just how much, our best way to show appreciation of his art is to dance “…in our spot…” knowing that the man knows we are there and, in the words of one anthem, “…let the music pump right through me I can feel it in my bones…” & “…come on now show me pretty ladies how you really like to dance…” as in Steve’s hands do we dance or what…”. But Mikey D was just as prolific on a number of occasions too, like Steve really shining at Beyond, especially in December, when he stepped in for an unwell Mr Pitron, the whole two hours leaving us breathless in admiration and for us edged all his others, making the choice so very difficult. However, it is Steve Pitron that sways top spot for us, that “Tokyo” triumph back in October being our set of the year..
Well, that was the D.J.’s, so what about their compilations and having reported on so many artists during the year, we can count well over 300 that were covered in our focuses & newsletters. There were devotions to a long club brands including Beyond, Hustlaball, Lovechild, Matinee Red & Blue and SuperMartXe, which in turn led to mentions for specific D.J.’s, many of whom have already been mentioned. Yet with so many to wade through, we had to be pretty ruthless, the likes of Paul Heron, Hifi Sean, Terry Bryan, The Oli & Gonzalo coming really close to our top choices, but failing to make it into our final five. From a host of international stars podcasts & mixes, we had so excellent recordings to chose from, which like their domestic counterparts knocked hard on our top five, Leomeo, Eduardo De La Torre Steven Redant, & our find & newcomer of the year, Javier Medina, just missing out from a position in our choice picks. Then there was Pagano, his “Digital Generation” compilation having originally been scheduled for release in September, although with furied negotiations with label producers as to what tracks would make it onto the mix, this incredible collection of tunes has been out just four days, so is sure to feature large in 2011.
So who & what did make it?, well Nick Tcherniak did, landing in at number five with his “Matinee” mix, which included smash hits “The Answer” & “Deep Water”, this glorious 116 minute marvel opening up with a delicious remix of Rino Cabreara’s smash “Creapola”, but included a host of others, not least another Tcherniak & Thomas collaboration, “My People”, which on this compilation was given the Alan X “Peephole” remix treatment, so just had to be in our top choices. The remaining four all held & continue to hold very special memories for us, and whilst some were released much earlier in the year, it was the final four months that sealed all their fate in being our top picks of 2010. And you can still get hold of Nick’s fabulous nod to Matinee by going to http://nicktcherniak.podomatic.com/.
Danny Verde landed our number four spot with his incredible compilation, “Escape From Paradise” which filled our ears on our way to Berlin when we hooked up with him for Salvation there. Indeed from a host of records that included his awesome rework of Madonna’s classic track “Vogue”, a funk-tastic remix of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, an even more incredible rehash of the dance diva hit “Hideaway”, the two that really made it a truly standout & spectacular composition were Danny’s own records “Let Me See Your Underwear”, which was remixed with breathless results and then the pinnacle of perfection, the uplifting & euphoric “Till We See The Sun” which brings back magical memories of Danny, Berlin and many more whenever we play it. So, we salute Mr Verde for this amazing mix which you can grab at http://dannyverde.podomatic.com/.
So, we come to our top three and ones that we found extremely hard to separate, each one marking special moments in our year for varying reasons, but all three filling our ears from the minute they were released. Indeed right up to the wire we couldn’t tear them apart and for good reason, as Steve Pitron, Mikey D & Brent Nicholls produced some amazing work throughout 2010, indeed our top 40 tracks of the year are littered with records they have delighted us across these terrific twelve months of tunes. Steve Pitron stormed into top slot back in the early summer with his aptly named “Summer 2010” mix, but then came out with an absolute corker in his “WE Party Podcast” which exceeded even the might of his previous composition. With tracks “Show Me Your Love”, “Get It Up”, “Dreamer”, Don’t Give Up”, “Back To The Dancefloor”, “Souk” & “Blow Ya Mind”, our mind was well & truly blown by this piece of Pitron perfection, not one of the 28 tracks failing to hit the mark. Having plugged it on no less than eight separate occasions, we will make it nine by saying, if you haven’t got this in your collection then get it now at http://stevepitronsessions.podomatic.com/.
As for Mikey D’s delectation, it is rare for the man to hit the studio’s and compile a full on mix, although when he does the wait is worth its weight in gold, “Lose Control” once again proving just why this man is still at the top of his game behind the decks. This mix dominated our trip to Paris in September and dominated our ears for much the time both before & since and no surprise, as with tracks like “Seek Bromance”, “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”, “Bodyshine”, “Air Miles” & “Diamond Life” the list of 13 also included remixes of two records that made our top ten, “Happiness” and “Release Me”, while Mikey was definitely the answer by including our tagline tune on his compilation, “Music is The Answer” featuring large. So good is this mix that it held top spot in our minds eye right up to the wire, although with the strength of the other two, made separating it too difficult, but we cannot recommend this to your collection enough, which you can still download by going to http://mikeyd.podomatic.com/.
Then we come to our third and one of a staggering 22 mixes that Brent Nicholls complied in 2010, many which could have made it into our top five, were it not for the other four. His “Let’s Chant” compilation for example was incredible, as was his “Aural” mix & his devotion to his appearance at Beyond Pervert. However, it was his “Get On MyGayFace” mix that made it to our top three, like the others, littered with incredible records from start to finish, the 15 track composition originally created especially for members of the new social networking site , MyGayFace”, hence the title on the mix. However, such was the demand for this amazing mix, Brent released it onto his website for general download, although we were lucky to get our own copy on the day of first release, it immediately pressing all of our musical buttons, not least with records “Upside Down”, “I Just Can’t Hold Back” & “Et Moi”, from two artists that really did it for us in 2010, Audio Jackers and Lissat & Voltaxx. But it would be a mind-blowing remix of “Release Me” and then an even more majestic Mollela version of Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina’s heart wrenchingly stunning “Stereo Love” that ended up securing this compilation in our top three, one which you can get for yourselves by going to http://djbrentnicholls.com/web/music/.
So was it a dead heat three? Well we couldn’t separate Steve Pitron & Mikey D, but at the eleventh hour in our summing up of our year of music, Brent Nicholls edged the other two, not just in recognition for his impressive amount of releases in 2010, but when it came down to the wire, it was the “Stereo Love” track made that essential difference, as more than any other record in our year, it held & continues to hold the most memorable moments in our travels, whether to or from a club or out on our two wheels, but especially during our trips to Berlin & Antwerp for which both “Stereo Love” & “Get On MyGayFace” will always remain synonymous and very much number one.
So we come to our tracks of 2010 and are we glad we took the advice of a close friend at the top of the year, from day one listing down those records that moved us most on the dancefloor & elsewhere. And was the list extensive or what, as we catalogued well over 100 tracks by the most varied of artists and musical genres. There was dance, house, tech, progressive, uplifting, nu-funk, nu-disco, retro-tastic, rehashed & remade, but naturally we had to break the list down, eventually settling on our top 40, which we have listed at the end of this special reflection, although as we did last year, we hone in on our own top ten, a choice that does not include the major dancefloor hits of the year, in fact excepting possibly one or two, the list could not be further away. However, what each track has in common, are floods of memories of our music-tastic year, although before we run down our top ten, just a quick mention goes to some of the tracks that didn’t quite make it, the whole top 40 being a really tight affair.
First to the ones that missed out but still stood out, Chris Montana filling our ears out in Essex in November with “Don’t Give Up”, while the baseline definitely took control for a while thanks to Dr Kucho back in June, Sandy Rivera really capturing our imagination with “Hide U”, while Audio Jackers made quite an impact with their remix of “Just Can’t Hold Back”, as well as their own hits “Upside Down” & “Check It Out”, the latter missing our top ten by just one place. Others that featured large in our year included Leomeo’s amazing “The Sound Of C”& Dennis Christopher’s “No More Lies”, as well as Rebeka Brown with her hits “Offshore” & “Show Me Your Love”, all which would have been worthy of top ten slots, were it not for the strength & importance of our chosen ones, even the brilliance of Lizzatt & Voltaxx failing at the last hurdle, despite both “Et Moi” & the amazing re-work on the classic “Now Or Never” a track that looks like going places in early 2011.
So to our top choices and in at number ten is Danny Verde’s incredible remix of Pagano & Wayne G’s “Trapped” featuring the amazing vocals of Peyton, a record which featured large in Brent Nicholls’ incredible compilation “Let’s All Chant” which was so close to making our top five, this record filling our ears while spinning around the roads of London and also got plenty of airplay in our ears while in Berlin, so deservedly made it into our top choices, consigning his other smash “Till We See The Sun” to 12th place. Next up is the Dave Aude remix of “Happiness”, a track that came in for a lot of stick from some, yet made it (in a different form) onto compilations of our two of our top three and erupted the dancefloors of Beyond & The Week, so rightfully takes in place at number nine. In at eight comes the truly amazing “Let The Love Take Control” by Milk & Sugar, another example of a rehashed tune that had plenty of fresh intentions, hitting our ears as early as March but not really featuring on the dancefloors, although due to its special meaning, made a top ten certainty. Onto number seven and a little known track, yet one with so much meaning in our year, Diagram Of The Heart very much captivating us with their hit “Dead Famous” which was never destined to make the dancefloor, but was enthralling enough to reach the spot it did. Then continuing the melodic & meaningful theme at number six is Medina’s “You & I”, a record that reoccurred right through the year whenever we were faced with controversy, giving us suitable comfort in our time of need, thus making it into our favoured few.
So to our top five and first in is another example of a track that did not have dancefloor credibility in 2010, but had so much meaning for us, as it represented a record that allowed our mind to escape & our frayed nerves to relax, Richard Earnshaw’s remix of Kenne Kursmoshi’s “Take Me Back”, taking us back to those dreamer late spring & summer days when it filled our ears. In at number four is not quite a record of 2010, but one that played a huge part in our year, having rediscovered a Brent Nicholls compilation classic “Disco Electrique”, which includes the tremendously rousing track “All Night Long”, John Dalhback remixing Mousse T’s tune superbly and, was it not for the lack of 2010 credentials, this would have hit the top spot. Then we come to number three and to be honest, as with the last track, it could have come top, as “Release Me” while firmly in 2008/09, still got major dancefloor airplay throughout 2010 and will surely go down as one of the all-time dance anthems, a number of versions making it big this year. However the Mind Electric remix that Brent Nicholls tracked down was our favourite in a crop of others, close on toppling the original as the best, but as good as it was, it only made it to third spot. So to our second and one which was first until our Antwerp trip, Pirupa’s “Sweet Devil” making an immediate impression as far back as January & continued to surface right through the year, a funk-tastic & full on minimal vocal track that gets our feet tapping and our dance juices flowing every time we hear it. “Sweet Devil” marks a style of music which we got completely hooked on during 2010, nu-funk, so modelled by Brent Nicholls throughout the year and a trend that a few others followed, but one that made his offering so fresh & appealing, as is this track which, while number two, is our definite top nu-funker of the year.
So to our number one and by now it should be pretty obvious, as the record which stole our heart & our emotions throughout 2010 was “Stereo Love”, one that, interestingly first came to our attention on Steve Pitron’s compilation “Ibiza Opening Fiesta’s” back in May, the opening & rousing version of Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina’s smash by Dave Ramone right up their, so much so that it has deservedly got the b side to our number one, the Molella remix that will forever be our tune of Berlin & Antwerp but so much more. Indeed it was this record that decided our top compilation, so it has to take top spot in our track chart, a forty record collection which we have included here as a postscript. Plus, watch this space, as we are hopeful of a special mix of our top thirty to come out in the early New Year, so will be sharing that with you as soon as we can.
Well that’s it, our 2010 music reported & reviewed, save for a final mention for our musical moment of 2010 and whilst all of the above, the D.J.’s the compilations and the tracks have meant so much, even the vinyl moment at Berghain (check our review) in Berlin or “Stereo Love” couldn’t topple our best bit, although it did come close with our amazing Antwerp trip. However, being welcomed into the Beyond main room D.J. booth by Steve Pitron for our birthday, and “Doing The Disco Matt” to what will probably be labelled as our record, “Release Me”, did it for us, pure unadulterated enjoyment & ecstasy that we will never forget. So, 2010 we salute twelve terrific months of music and if 2011 is anywhere near as good we will be in heaven. (DISCO MATT)
So, here is out top 40 tracks of 2010, some dancefloor hits others just hits in our books, but all very much worthy of their place in our premier picks.
1. Molella remix of Edward Maya & Vika Jingulina – Stereo Love
2. Pirupa – Sweet Devil
3. Mind Electric remix of Zoe Baldwi TV Rocks – Release Me
4. John Dalhback remix of Mousse T’s – All Night Long
5. Richard Earnshaw remix of Kenne Kursmochi’s – Take Me Back
6. Medina – You & I
7. Diagram Of The Heart – Dead Famous
8. Milk & Sugar – Let the Love Take Over
9. Dave Aude Remix of Alexis Jordan – Happiness
10. Danny Verde remix of Pagano & Wayne G’s – Trapped
11. Audio Jackers – Check it Out
12. Danny Verde Radio Edit of Blake Lewis’ – Till We See The Sun
13. Chocolate Puma vs Bing Players – Disco Electrique Revisited mix
14. Lissat & Voltaxx remix of Tom Novy’s – Now Or Never
15. Norman Dory remix of Sandy Rivera’s – Hide U
16. Denzel Park vs Karina Chavez – World Go Round
17. Dennis Christopher remix of Nightstylers – No More Lies
18. Leomeo – The Sound Of C
19. Miguel Picasso Feat Rebeka Brown – Show Me Your Love
20. Alan X Peephole remix of Tcherniak & Thomas’s – My People
21. Rebeka Brown – Offshore
22. David Amo & Julio Navas remix of Interative’s – Who Is Elvis
23. Dr Kucho – Let The Baseline Take Control
24. Lissat & Voltaxx – Et Moi
25. Gabriel & Castellon – Deep In My Sax
26. Audio Jackers remix of Weekend Players’ – Just Can’t Hold Back
27. SNS – So Alive
28. Audio Jackers – Upside Down
29. Jason Riva – To Start Again
30. Sgt Slick – Back On Black
31. Shapeshifters remix of Candi Station’s – Musical Freedom
32. Peter Rauhofer remix of Zander Bleck’s – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
33. DJ Madskillz remix of Christian Smith & Reset Robot’s – Air Miles
34. Arumba – Filthy Rich
35. Jay C – Souk
36. David Penn- The Miracle of Love
37. Chris Montana – Don’t Give Up
38. Audio Jackers – Party People
39. Juanjo Martin & Albert Neve – Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough
40. Rossini Pain Feat Kaysee – I Will Be