Best of 2010 Spotify playlist

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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Yurr we are then, the obligatory end-of-year thingywing. As anyone who’s ever asked me for my all-time favourite song/album will know, I’m not very good at ranking things. It blows my mind that anyone can definitively say what their favourite song is.

So rather than do a Top 100 and whatnot, I’ve compiled a Spotify playlist of the best music of 2010.

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50% Deadmau5 + 50% Neon Hitch = 10000000% good

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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In a rare matching-up of mine and the music blogosphere’s music awareness, the weekend saw this collaboration between Deadmau5 and Neon Hitch – “I Can’t Behave Myself” – take up residence in the part of my brain marked “////AS GOOD AS BISCUITS//;;;O9IUIAOI”.

Old Mouseheed softens his manglesome production considerably and – as on last year’s masterful “I Remember” – replaces the headfarks with a killer melody and on-the-money female vocal. This time it’s from Ke$ha’s pal and soon-to-be-popstar Neon Hitch.

BREAKING NEWS: Big Dog D-Cam has just passed a ruling that will, if you claim not to like this song, automatically SLASH your already piddling brain capacity by a further 38%.

Deadmau5 & Neon Hitch – I Can’t Behave Myself by PlaylistU.com

[via Winnie Cooper]

I didn’t know that Hot Chip & Bernard Sumner didn’t know what love was

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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I am a bit ashamed that this collaborance has seemingly passed me by, but better late than never I surpose.

I’m sure I’m about the eleven killionth blowhole to opine that Hot Chip are the 21st century’s answer to New Order. Bedsit melancholy crossed with dancefloor euphoria is a tricky blighter to pull off, and the Chip are one of the few acts to have gone some way to following in the Order’s footsteps without appearing drearily contrived.

So sing several hosannas for the fact that Bernard Sumner and Hot Chip have got together and released a single called “Didn’t Know What Love Was” in aid of… Converse. If that makes you feel a bit icky, you old fashionedy, then you’ll be happy to know that the tune is free, so none of your groats will end up in the hands of what may/may not be an evil multinational conglomoblah blah blah.

The song itself is a little bit lovely without being remarkable, I think, pleasingly combining the best of both parties and sounding not a million miles from Barney’s Electronic side project with Johnny Marr.

I think it’s nice that Bernard was not made to do any dancing in the video. His shadow grows no less, as my Gramps would say.

Download “Didn’t Know What Love Was” from Converseblog.com

It’s Monday, so Pharrell Williams will be boning you now

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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It’s always pleasing when a video lives up to the ridiculosity of the song it accompanies. So well done N*E*R*D, and Pharrell Williams in particular, for stepping up to “the plate” with “Hypnotize U”.

As with every song that has ever featured Pharrell, this song is about boning. Specifically, Pharrell’s boning. More specifically, Pharrell’s boning of “u”.

“Touch it girl, touch it girl, touch it girl – ah,” he demands. It’s the kind of approach that only really works if you’re an innernational popstar, as you’ll soon discover if you try it in the aisle of your local supermarket. And just in case you think the “it” to which he refers could be a kitten, or a nice rug, or some plush flock wallpaper – I’ve checked, and none of these items appear in this video. Except for some plush flock wallpaper.

While Phazza starts the clip having a good old scrub, he soon exits his wooden, mirror-fronted shower cubicle to be confronted not with a cloud of water vapour or a noisy extractor fan, but approximately a dozen panting, writhing Tommy Hilfiger models. And, er, Phonejacker (2:02).

When it comes to the inevitable divide you find with N*E*R*D songs – they tend to be either amazing or utter ballhole – “Hypnotize U” may actually end up in the former category. It’s got an insistent, 808s and Heartbreaks something about it which reduces the preposterousness of the lyrics by a small but important amount with each listen.

Shame the once great Neptunes are now followers of production methods rather than leaders, but at least this is better than the utter ballhole that was “Hot-n-Fun”.

Does Pharrell remind anyone else of Adam Sandler when he wears a pork pie hat and denim jacket at 3:33 onwards?

Buy N*E*R*D tracks at 7digital (I wouldn’t bother with whole albums, they’re invariably disappointing)

R.I.P. Solomon Burke

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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If you shuffle off this mortal coil having left something this good behind, you know you did life right.

Some words and a playlist intended to prove the magnificence of Chic, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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For the last month or so I have found myself listening to a lot of Chic, and Chic-produced musics. “Chic?!?!?!??” will say the cooligans, “Aren’t they spangly disco nonsense what only gets played at Christmas parties and such and such and such??!?!?”

Well, yes and no. And no again. Because if there was an award doled out for Most Overlooked Clever Buggers In Music, well, Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic would… probably be overlooked for it. So I’m going to do my own wee bit to try and explain why the pair deserve at least a dozen props from listeners of music all over this dumb old world.

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Aeroplane’s “Superstar”: available with or without added Chromeo

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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I am rather excite about Aeroplane‘s forthcoming album, which is probably the first time I’ve felt that way about a Belgian act.

Aeroplane are the people who did this amazing remix of Grace Jones, this amazing remix of Friendly Fires, this amazing remix of The Shortwave Set, this amazing remix of  Coyote, this amazing mash-up of Friendly Fires and some Frenchie… You get the idea. You’re not stupid.

They’ve also done some tray bong full-length mixes which will appeal to anyone who likes a splash of disco on their dance music. I’ve been listening to this Essential Mix for the last two months or so now!!!!!!!!?

Aeroplane – 500th Essential Mix (Live from Circus Liverpool) by Aeroplane (Official)

At the end of September their debut album “takes off”, and expectations are that it will be “plane” brilliant.

*pauses for audience laughter*

As if that weren’t good enough, they’ve roped my favourite electrofunk overdue-an-albumers Chromeo to remix their new single “Superstar”. Here it is:

Don’t you dig that “This is a preview” line? Here’s the original version, sans Chromeo:

Aeroplane – Superstar by Hypetrak

Aeroplane’s album will be called – uh-oh!!!!!!? – We Can’t Fly, and is out on 27th September. “Superstar” is out on 13th September.

Buy Aeroplane music by winging it over to 7digital

Aeroplane on MySpace

Cee Lo Green swears like an angel

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell, Video

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This video for Cee Lo’s new song arrived in my inbox via an email from an address labelled “FU”, which makes far more sense when you listen to the song. You should do this at high volume, but possibly using headphones as it contains, and indeed revolves around, mouth naughties.

It’s pretty bladdy brilliant, and continues Ceelo’s ability to marry infectious, upbeat soul stylings with utter lyrical misery. On this occasion however, with his Xbox/Atari metaphors, it’s hard to take him too seriously. Listen once and be hooked.

Buy Cee Lo musics at iTunes, if you like

Get Ur Freak On: Spotify playlist from R&B’s golden age

Free Downloads And Streams, Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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I’d never had the stomach for R&B until the mid-90s. I couldn’t be doing with all that “ooh baby” nonsense, see. But as my taste matured (that is, extended beyond Oasis), American R&B suddenly became something very different to the syrupy nonsense churned out since the heyday of New Jack (and Jill) Swing.

While it seems ridiculous to be getting all nostalgic about an era that only really ended four or five years ago, it’s worth revisiting what any right-thinking fan genuinely believes was a golden age for pop music.

Timbaland, Missy Elliott, The Neptunes, Dr Dre and Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, among other producers, suddenly seemed to be in monthly battles to see who could create the snappiest, poppingest, hookiest snatch of “urban” music to hit daytime radio. Who won? Well, can you guess, readers? ‘TWAS US, DA LISNUZ.

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What music do your neighbours listen to over and over and over and over again?

Pop Heaven / Pop Hell

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Since I moved flat, my new Brazilian/Portugesian neighbours have been a regular source of – how shall I put this – “vibrancy”. Mainly this entails the kind of screaming matches, door-slamming and apparent furniture-throwing that has me pondering my moral duty.

Luckily my morals often tend to lose out to my sense of Not Wanting Any Trouble-ness – you might recognise it as cowardice – and so I haven’t called any authorities yet.

The other notable thing about the neighbs is that one or other or both of them appears to be obsessed with Tupac.

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