Since the end of the year is quickly approaching, I thought I'd do a bass chart for my top 10 tracks of the entire year of 2013. These 10 songs were made by my 10 favorite producers who have all been extremely influential this year in the world of electronic music.
One thing I found interesting is that none of these producers can be lumped into one specific genre or sound, and all of them experiment with a wide variety of styles. That being said, here are my top 10 songs of 2013.
1. Do you...(Cashmere Cat Remix) - Miguel
Cashmere Cat is a prime example of an artist whose music defies genres. By combining elements of R&B, hip-hop, and electronic music Cashmere Cat has created a sound that is truly unique and unprecedented. The catchy vocal sample from Miguel brings this all together.
2. Killa Cats - Kaytranada
Kaytranada's music tends to be on the minimal side of things, but what he creates still sounds full and complete. The choir sound, bass line, and bell sample in this track all merge into one cohesive, lo-fi, head-bob inducing work of art.
3. You & Me (Flume Remix) - Disclosure
I first heard this remix when I saw Flume at the Echoplex in January this year, and upon returning home I scoured the internet in a futile search for it. 5 months later, Flume uploaded the track to his SoundCloud and it currently has over 6 million plays. Additionally, Flume won 4 ARIA's (Australian equivalent of the Grammy's) this year. I'm glad to see he's getting the recognition he deserves.
4. Hurricane - Eprom
Eprom earned a spot in my top 10 with his captivating style of bass music that combines elements of dubstep, hip-hop, and 8-bit/chiptune sounds. I first used a SubPac in conjunction with this song, and it was an incredible experience thanks to the heavy, rising bass line that Eprom crafted.
5. Between Villains ft. Viktor Vaughn and Earl Sweatshirt, Flying Lotus (aka Captain Murphy)
Although this isn't exactly a dance music track, it still falls into the all encompassing category of bass music with its roots in beat culture. Viktor Vaughn (aka MF DOOM) and Earl Sweatshirt add their free-from lyrical genius to this beast of a beat making it one of the biggest tracks of this year.
6. Birth Control - Mr. Carmack
Mr. Carmack is one of the top producers merging hip-hop and dance music, and this track proves it. "Birth Control" begins with a seemingly generic yet well made bouncy, trap beat, but at about a minute in Carmack differentiates himself from the trap producer herd with warm pad sounds and an entrancing arpeggiated lead.
7. Prom Nite - Sinjin Hawke
Although relatively unknown, Sinjin Hawke has been merging hip-hop and dance music with a more progressive, melodic flair years before modern instrumental trap came around. "Prom Nite" opens slowly as Sinjin Hawke gradually builds a lush sonic soundscape initially filled with chimes and a rising lead which transition to a huge choir section right before the massive, trapped out horn samples come in with a bang.
8. Green Gardens (Djemba Djemba Remix) - Laura Mvula
Djemba Djemba's music is "born from a state of permanent contradiction, held together by one underlying and adaptive principle: rhythm" according to his bio. This statement is an excellent description of his sound which varies from J-Dilla inspired trap sounds, to melody rich music, like this remix with its warm, pulsating pads and synths that ebb and flow over the beat.
9. SWTRWTHR - Alex Young
Alex Young is another artist who has an extremely eclectic sound ranging from trap to big room house to songs like "SWTRWTHR," which demonstrates not only his versatility as a producer, but also that he's brave enough to release more ambient music that isn't centered around the ubiquitous drop.
10. Gunshotta - Machinedrum
This year, Machinedrum released his Vapor City LP which was designed as a complete audio-visual experience immersing the listener in the fictional Vapor City area via music, images, and videos. Machinedrum's Vapor City Live show at The Troubador was an impressive display of his technical abilities as he played guitar, sang, triggered samples in Ableton, played a keyboard, and triggered the animated videos of Vapor City all in sync with a live drummer. It's exciting to see electronic music producers pushing the boundaries of live performance like this, and I'm hopeful 2014 will yield many more live shows similar to Machinedrum's.