The holiday season promises us time to slow down. However, family gatherings can be draining, and in the background, time is ticking down to New Year’s Eve. In the midst of packing, seeing relatives, tracking down scattered friends and trying to piece together our lives in general, it’s easy to walk away exhausted for reasons we’re not so sure of. Music is a great solution to this problem. No matter how you’ll spend your holiday, may the contents of this article be the beacon guiding you home through long hours of driving and bring you new energy for the new year.
Whether it be house, dance, techno or one of many other subgenres, electronic music is unique in the way it is performed and distributed. For some types of electronic music, the dynamic experience of a live DJ set can’t be replicated. For some artists, their most popular mixes might be made into a single track or EP, while others might release a standalone single or even an album made separately. That being said, there is really no flow to this list. Without distinguishing between different sub-genres or release formats, here are eight dance, house and electronic bops for your ears. Disclaimer: Not all of these are strictly electronic.
1. The Miami Collective: “Never Gonna Give Up” Arduini & Pagany Funk Remix
The Miami Collective, a group known for mixing and remixing funk disco, early house and dance tracks for their electronic releases, featuring dance/electronica singer, Angie Brown.
2. The Miami Collective: “Mindbuster” (feat. Jocelyn Brown, Oliver Cheatham)
Another great track, remixing early dance/house singer Jocelyn Brown’s “Mindbuster.”
3. Chris Lake & Green Velvet: “Deceiver”
By British DJ and producer Chris Lake. You may know him from his electronic releases of “How Deep is Your Love” and “Boneless.”
4. Anti Up: “Hey Pablo”
Here’s something from a side project of house music giants Chris Lake and Chris Lorenzo.
5. Aphex Twin: “Ageispolis”
“Ageispolis” is the fourth track on Aphex Twin’s 1992 debut album, “Selected Ambient Works 85-92.” Otherwise known as Richard Davis James, the electronic musician hailing from Limerick emerged from the ‘90s techno scene to become one of the most influential artists in electronic music.
6. Benny Benassi Presents the Biz: “Hypnotica”
Released in 2003, Benassi’s album “Hypnotica” will get weird but will probably never get old. The Italian DJ and producer is best known for the 2002 hit “Satisfaction,” but the whole album is truly worth a listen or several. Key tracks include the above mentioned “Satisfaction,” “Love is Gonna Save Us,” “Able to Love” and “Let it Be”.
7. Aero Manyelo: “Home EP”
The South African electronic artist’s “deep” sound is said to come from the jazz influence of his father. You have to listen to “Black Blue Green” and “Wish I had a home,” and “Niniwa” is even better. The EP gets better with every song.
Fun fact: The cover art on Aero Manyelo’s 2019 single “Had it all” looks mysteriously like the cover art on Kanye West’s 2019 “JESUS IS KING.” See for yourself.
8. Stromae: Racine Carrée
The hugely popular Rwandan Belgian artist’s infectious blend of synth pop, house and hip-hop reaches an all-time high in his second studio album, “Racine Carrée” or “Square Root.” His lyrics tell stories of heartbreak from economic and class conflict, to losing his father in the Rwandan genocide. You’ll probably have to translate him from French, but he makes for an electrifying listen regardless of what language you speak. Highlights from his electronic releases include “Papaoutai” (Dad, Where Are You?), “Tous les mêmes” (All the Same) and Ta Fête (Your Party). Dig in.