Caleb: Few artists have killed it this year as consecutively as Detroit Swindle. Whether it was releasing their debut album, dropping some of the most played and irresistible remixes of the year, acting as resident taste makers for Heist or even choosing the perfect artists to remix their own tracks, 2014 has absolutely belonged to Detroit Swindle. They’ve made a clear mark in the dance scene that’s impossible to ignore and only set themselves up for more success in 2015.
Honorable Mentions: Leon Vynehall; Max Graef
Zach: Duke Dumont is an obvious choice. And while I wanted to say The Magician or Kiesza or Gorgon City, I chose the Duke because his grapple on dance music this past year was unwavering. Each track he released was dancefloor fire and his reputation as a DJ was further cemented after slaying venue after venue with ridiculously energetic sets. Therefore, whenever I think of who had a colossal 2014, his name is the first one that comes to mind (especially considering this is the year of the re-emergence of the “90′s sound”).
Honorable Mentions: Kiesza, The Magician, Tiga
Shawn: Unlike fellow Blisspoppian Zach, I’ve got to give this year’s selection to the supernatural himself, The Magician. Although he didn’t drop an album this year, his collection of singles, like “Sunlight,” and remixes of Mausi, Javeon and others were a level above the competition in the entire house scene. His gorgeous array of deep, melancholic mix tapes to uplifting pop nu disco has elevated his name in 2014 as one of the premiere names in indie dance, not too mention the rave reviews he’s been given during his live sets.
Honorable Mentions: Duke Dumont; Odesza; AMTRAC
Philco: German producer Oliver Dollar is a clear favorite for artist of the year. The stand out hit “Pushing On,” composed in cooperation with Jimi Jules, was an omnipresent track in the underground House scene for the greater part of the year. It was the second most Shazam’d track during Ibiza’s 2014 season due to the extensive play out it received from DJs on the island. The song topped off at number 5 on the UK Dance chart, and broke the top 20 on both the UK Singles and US Hot Dance charts. That being his most notable contribution for the year, he also had several other hits which made him stand out among crowds and major names who kept his tracks in frequent rotation, including Dennis Ferrer and Carl Cox. These include his remix of Hercules and Love Affair’s “Do You Feel The Same?,” remix of Ed Ed’s “I Got (Something You Need),” and his collaboration with Cajmere (AKA Green Velvet) on “We Can Make It Work.” He was also one of the most talked about DJs in Ibiza, heading countless nights of the House juggernaut Defected Records’ residency at the newcomer club “Booom.”
Honorable mentions: Jonas Rathsman, The Magician
Tracks come and go. Legacies survive and then fade. But neither of these seem to apply to Blisspop’s founder, Will Eastman, seeing as he’s been on a real hot streak this year. Last week saw the release of his newest track, a collaboration with fellow Washingtonian i.V., and it is the kind of soulful, smart-house we’ve come to expect with Eastman. With that being said, it may very well be one of his crowning achievements.
Sampling Brandy’s seminal pop hit “Almost Doesn’t Count,” the track opens with a series of bright arpeggios before crashing into symphonic vocal samples which then drop into a kick drum fueled fever dream. And as Brandy sings that “we’ll be running back,” one gets the feeling at the halfway mark that they may have actually escaped the cruel, cruel world. A therapeutic tonic for the malaise of everyday life – and the current affairs at hand in the aftermath of multiple counts of violence in our country – Eastman and i.V.’s “Finally Brandy” is a necessary listening experience.
Listen to the track after the jump and visit i.V. or Will Eastman’s SoundCloud pages for a download link.
Set Mo have had a great year, with a series of killer remixes and an excellent debut single. The Australian duo have one upped themselves, dropping one of our favorite tracks yet as part of the new Stoney Roads compilation. “Let’s Cruise” is an easy and addicting deep house groove that’s as seductive as it is danceable. The vocals make it easily recognizable and the piano stabs add the perfect amount of extra bounce. The track’s also up as a free download in conjunction with the rest of the (excellent) comp. Grab it now:
Here’s the perfect week starter for you. Water Face is pushing some of the freshest music I’ve heard. Seamlessly mixing nu disco and soulful house leanings, his tracks are super funky, irresistible, and warm feeling. Fans of the French Express guys will find alot to like here, and the production quality is top notch. The Dj mix is quite enjoyable as well so make sure to cue in now. You’ll be seeing this name a lot in 2015.
We love option4 so much our mom’s are constantly asking when we’ll bring him home so she can meet him. Seriously, the Denver producer is so on point it’s hard to rival him. His latest remix is one of his best yet, twisting an indie pop track courtesy of Kid Astray, into a hip hop flavored deep house banger. It’s an unstoppable force of dance floor goodness and the perfect tip to get you in the mood for the weekend. Check it out below: