LWE’s Top 25 Tracks of 2009 (20-16)


20. Ben Klock ft. Elif Biçer, “OK” (Kenny Larkin Remix) [Ostgut Tonträger] (buy)
Together with Robert Hood, Kenny Larkin proved on Ben Klock’s One remixes that nobody exemplifies groove quite like Detroit. The cross-continental melding of minds saw Larkin defrost Klock’s “OK” with swelling warmth and a bass line that wound itself all the way to the horizon. High wire strings gave the remix a sense of drama, while faultless percussive turns saw halting snares, clipped shakers and languid hi-hats entwine themselves through the fabric of the track. Coaxing an animalistic cry from his hardware, Larkin had already succeeded in creating a stunning take on “OK” by the three minute mark, but then topped it all off with a gorgeous piano solo that continued for the remainder of the track, adding a graceful fragility to the feverish pace set by the other elements. Not just one of Larkin’s finest moments but one of 2009’s as well. Stunning!
(Per Bojsen-Moller)

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19. Floating Points, “Love Me Like This”
[R2 Records] (buy)

Cultural trends are often about reevaluating the past, and one of the healthiest musical trends of the past couple years has been a reconsideration of the synth-pop, boogie-funk, and electro of the 1980s. It should no longer be viable to consider reference to that decade automatically pejorative (“That’s so eighties!”), with evidence like Floating Points’ “Love Me Like This” — perhaps the most auspicious debut of the past year — to the contrary. A sensitive deconstruction and reconstruction of Real II Reel’s raunchy boogie jam of the same name, the track is dreamy, funky, and spacey all at once. Unlike the least distinguished edits flooding the market, this one includes a generous dose of Londoner Samuel Shepherd’s own active ingredients, with a mutating bass line and jazzy synth accents brilliantly altering the internal structure of the funky guitar and soulful refrain. This is not a canny hack job riding a great sample source to success; it announces the arrival of a major talent. (Shuja Haider)


18. Ben Klock, “Subzero” [Ostgut Tonträger] (buy)
2009 was a year largely devoid of really good anthems. Sure, “Silent State” was beloved by many; Michel Cleis’ “La Mezcla” found its way into an absurd number of DJs’ crates, and many rushed to declare their love for Wax’s “No. 20002-B.” But when it came to big, instantly recognizable club tunes, few captured the imagination as thoroughly as Ben Klock’s sensational “Subzero, balancing subtle melodies and warehouse ready percussion like a man on a wire. Its tight pacing and surprisingly lush sound design build a palpable tension that feels like you’re standing on a precipice, unsure of your next move. And when the mammoth kicks land and those scything effects carve up the stereo spectrum, even the most timid clubber will want to pump their fists like the Techno Viking. So while other tracks can rightly claim to be popular, few have the kind of anthemic potential “Subzero” emits in its first minute. (Steve Mizek)

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17. Shake, “Indagoo” [Morphine Records] (buy)
If techno was bebop, Anthony “Shake” Shakir would be Thelonious Monk. Even his titles — try “Mood Music for the Moody” — show a trace of Monkish wit. Shake is not yet as widely recognized as the music’s Birdlike originator and Dizzily active popularizer, but the upcoming Frictionalism compilation gives his status as reclusive, idiosyncratic genius a due upgrade. That doesn’t mean, however, that Anthony Shakir is content to rest on his laurels — his Levitate Venice EP is proof Shake is back with a vengeance. “Indagoo” is the most astonishing of its four tracks; the crooked lope of its bass line, the whimsical hornlike interjections, the gentle boogie of its piano vamp adding up to a sum that could have emerged from no other brain than Shakir’s. Though Shake has often remarked that he doesn’t really dance, “Indagoo” shows how ably — and how uniquely — he can make the rest of us do it. (Shuja Haider)

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16. Margaret Dygas, “Invisible Circles” [Perlon] (buy)
Following the quite abstract and also rather enjoyable “See You Around” for Non Standard Productions, many wondered where Margaret Dygas’ wide-eyed experimental sound would take us next. Her answer, splitting the difference between the prickly functionalism of her Contexterrior debut and the woozy esoterica wafting from her NSP 12″, arrived in a Perlon sleeve. The disorienting dirge “Invisible Circles” keeps DJs and dancers are kept on their toes with metallic rhythms meted in unusual patterns and pulse-quickening tone stabs. These alone could catch ears; but when heard amid the cacophony of knuckle-cracking snare bursts, gritty, disembodied voices bleeding into the mix and generous dollops of reverb, listeners are mentally transported to the scene of an occult sacrifice ceremony. It’s the kind of track you’d drop if you wanted to shake a dance floor from its whatever-fueled daze. Dygas has shown a propensity towards defying and exceeding expectations with each new release, and with the ferocious “Invisible Circles” she’s confirmed her most predictable trait is finding unforeseen, enjoyable ways to flex listeners’ heads. (Anton Kipfel)

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harpomarx42  on December 15, 2009 at 12:19 PM

I like where this list is going. I would have placed Love Me Like This within my top 5, but I’m glad it’s listed. I feel that it may still slip under some radars. Shame, because Floating Points is awesome.

Mr Kaizen  on December 15, 2009 at 10:47 PM

few entries prolly should be higher i.e subzero

but good stuff overall

adamm  on December 18, 2009 at 3:20 PM

decent list, although I would have put the robert hood remix instead of the kenny larkin remix. hood freaked that track.

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