2023: tracks of the year

Another big year, yes yes:

Oklou – God’s Chariot (SH Remix) [Welt Discos]

What’s such a big deal about a skippy garage-ish beat, a kind-of-an-organ bassline, and a sing-song vocal? Well, pretty much everything; the SH remix veers between Two Shell, early Jacques Greene, the “feels” of the original ballad, and the post-pandemic desire for Big Tunes with totally perfect aplomb.

Silvia Tarozzi & Deborah Walker – La Lega (featuring Coro delle Mondine di Bentivoglio)

Not a Big Tune, but another entry in my personal subcategory of folk music vs contemporary music. Tarozzi & Walker appear to have done the very difficult thing of doing nothing more than multi-tracking a song, adding a simple string part under it … and ripping my heart out every time I hear it.

georg-i – Statis

An unrepentant, spectacular DJ tool – 100% roaring, rubbery bass hits, with just enough weird noises over the top to make the whole thing unpatronizing.

CRJ – Call Me Maybe (AYA Edit)

You didn’t seriously think I’d spend a year without Carly Rae Jepsen on this list, did you? The Big Hit gets run through AYA’s modular, with predictable and spectacular results.

Suzanne Kraft – DJ Safety Track

This choppy, German / Detroit sort of record, on a very very hot summer’s day at Mr. Sunday, came within a millimeter of sending me into an altered state of consciousness.

Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes – Bad Luck (A Dmitri From Paris Disco Re-Edit)

Ronnie Baker on bass, at his finest – the edit makes a big tune even bigger. Even when you can sort hear the joins, they’re bringing the best parts back.

Minor Science – Workahol

Well, this is nothing more than a really big post-90’s “nuskool” bass music record … but, like, really, really, really, really, really, really big.

Pangaea – Installation

a) another BANGER ALERT; but, b, more interestingly, I think more and more that the reason this record works is the sampled speech, and how the emphases in the speech don’t quite line up with the boom-tss boom-tss drums, cheesy lead, and just-off-kilter-enough bass part.

Very, very honorable mentions to a long list of amazing tunes this year; all of the below are either in the BANGER or SNEAKER BANGER category:

  • Olof Dreijer – Rosa Rugosa
  • Jam City – LLTB (feat. Wet)
  • Sofia Kourtesis – Madres
  • Shanti Celeste – Shimmer
  • Anz – Clearly Rushing
  • Ghost Assembly – I Miss Your Love
  • Louie Austen – Hoping (Herbert’s High Dub)