This was probably the hardest genre to pick a #1 tune of the year. So many releases, remixes and collaborations and so many new djs/producers emerging. Two of the most notable newcomers are featured here. Skrillex gets my vote for best electro song of the year but I didn’t know which one to choose from. He dropped his debut album and has been touring with Deadmau5 while holding down 8 of the top 10 most popular downloads on Beatport for awhile, not too shabby. He is paving the road with his melting pot of sound incorporating electro, house, dubstep and hardcore rock into his music. A true pioneer that definitely deserves to be recognized as the best new comer of 2010.
Runner Up: Porter Robinson is another newcomer who came out of nowhere to turn the electro/house scene on its head. This is my favourite of his productions this year and we can expect much more from this young guy.
As I prep for the annual New Years blowout I think back to the past year in House music. The genre has burst into the mainstream with artists like David Guetta, Alex Gaudino, SHM and Chuckie breaking out into the top 40. Deadmau5 dj’ed the MTV Music Awards, Swedish House Mafia collaborated with Usher at the VMA’s… what is the world coming to? A lot of people get down on artists like Deadmau5 for ‘selling out’ and there seems to be a lot of respect lost for those who choose to bring their music to the mainstream. We as music fans despise when our beloved artists are known and loved by the masses. The result is a rejection of anything the ‘sell out’ touches and can even lead to a distaste for the genre of music as a whole. I wonder if the rise of House music in the mainstream will lead to an extinction of the genre within the years to come. Will the EDM fanatics push away from House and influence the development of new genres? Or will the mass population take over as reigning house heads? Regardless if Guetta keeps releasing top 40 hits, and Deadmau5 continues to become so commercialized that little kids are dressing up like him for Halloween, my love for House music will never stop.
On that note, my pick for best house track of 2010 is anything but mainstream. This is a relatively unknown remix that has been listened to countless times over the past year. It brings a disco feel to it and has a very nice buildup that will make you dance uncontrollably. Unreal vocals from VHS or Beta mixed with some heavy hitting house beats… turn this shit up!
Runner Up: Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP came out of nowhere with this dance floor filler. This is easily one of the most played out tracks of 2010. I was a late fan of this one but none the less it made big waves this year.
Easily my favourite EDM sub-genre and definitely one of the most popular. Prog house fans are all about the buildup and the big drops. This was definitely the hardest category to pick from so I went to my Itunes most played list. My pick goes to the Axwell & Henrik B Remix to the already excellent tune from Adrian Lux. ‘Teenage Crime’ got a lot of love on the beatport charts and for good reason. This one goes through a roller coaster of buildups and drops and is another example of Axwell’s ability to turn everything he touches into gold.
Runner Up: Max Vangeli & AN21 had absolute monster years and earn my vote as best up and comers in the house industry. This is just one of their bombs from 2010
Also called Dirty Dutch, this sub-genre of House music originated in the Netherlands from the unique sounds of Chuckie, Afrojack, Alvaro and Sidney Samson (to name a few). The distinct repetitive and high pitched synths common in Dutch house were a major hit at WMC 2010 and have led the way for a major dutch movement throughout the house scene.
I detested the dirty dutch upon first listen but it along with dubstep have grown on me throughout the past year. My pick for best track goes to Afrojack for his monster- ‘Take Over Control’. My pick for breakout dj/producer definitely goes to Chuckie as he has been responsible for bringing this genre into the limelight with some big time remixes including the one below.
I will be making the rounds with my favourite tracks of 2010 categorized into the most popular genres of electronic music. Prog House, Tech House, Electro House, Dutch House, Dubstep, DnB, Minimal, Trance, and Breaks will be covered over the next 6 days.
First up, dubstep. This genre has quickly made its way into the mainstream in 2010. It has traveled from the UK, to your parents car radio with no end in sight. With guys like Rusko, Skream, Nero, and High Rankin making big moves this year, we can only expect dubstep to take off and transform into many new things in the years to come. The melting pot of genres has led to many djs and producers crossing over into the dark side with Deadmau5, Skrillex and even Ambassador Beats favourite Adam K dabbling in dubstep.
My vote for best dubstep track of 2010 is Nero’s remix to Plan B- The Recluse. With Nero also getting the nod for breakout artist of the year.
Runner Up: High Rankin and Evolve or Die take the Sarah McClaughlin tranced out classic and turn it on its head. Big tune!
Drum & Bass
Drum & Bass has quickly grown on me within the past year and I can credit the fellas over at Hospital Records for getting me hooked. High Contrast was the first dj/producer to peak my interest with his remix to Adele’s ‘Hometown Glory’ (see below) and since then I have grown fond of the sub DnB genre of Liquid Funk. The melodic, atmospheric sounds and soothing vocals attached to the typical 160 bpm gives the more aggressive sounds a new feel. Then along came Netsky to the Hospital Records team. In 2010 he released his debut album which won Best Album at the DnB Arena Awards where he also took home best newcomer producer. Hospital Records won best Label and for good reason. They have successful brought DnB back into the limelight and to the forefront of electronic music. My vote for best Drum & Bass track goes to Netsky- Escape.
Runner Up: Nu:Tone & Logistics give the UK rapper some much needed energy on this one.
First off, both these tracks were not released in 2010, but I do have justification for this. Breakbeat has been in a steady decline since the rave scene of the early 90’s and has become synonymous alongside Drum and Bass and Dubstep. As of late, artists who typically produce jungle, dnb and dubstep are using breakbeats throughout their productions. Case in point, Skream’s remix to the popular track from La Roux. This track has been huge for breaks and was even featured on an episode of Entourage this year. With acts like Magnetic Man, Sub Focus and Nero all crossing over between these sub-genres of electronic music, we can only expect breakbeat to make its way back into the limelight.
Runner Up: This tune packs some unreal bass and energy. At first listen it sounds straight DnB but it definitely encompasses that prototypical breakbeat pattern. Crank this
Mashups have easily become one of the most popular ‘genres’ of music within the past year. The art of mixing together 2+ songs has led to an abundance of djs and producers emerging into the forefront of electronic music. The surge in demand for mashups has led to a vast array of quality, with most of it verging on bush league. Few artists have proven to be consistent in the mashup world and my vote for best mashup artist goes once again to The Hood Internet. Their mashup of DMX vs. The XX is by far the best mashup of the year and shows how two polar opposites can mesh so well together.
Runner Up: Pheugoo’s mashup of Adele vs. The Prodigy has the perfect buildup and the perfect breakdown.
Well it’s that time of year, when we look back on the year that was and the music that brightened our days. 2010 was a great year and had a lot of surprises and good times. I’ve been spending the last couple days going through all the music I listened to this year, which is no easy task. I’ve narrowed my favourite albums list to a top 32 and am progressing from there.
I am going to break it down into three broad genre based top 10 album lists. A Rap/Hip Hop Top 10 featuring Drake, Shad and of course Kanye West. A Rock Top 10 that holds Underoath and I The Mighty, and finally an Indie Top 10 which hosts Two Door Cinema Club and many others. Each list will be released a few days a part to allow you to fully check out each list in it’s entirety. Remember this list is no one’s but my own. You may not agree with my picks but it is my job to bring you what I enjoyed in hopes that you find something that you missed but will love.
Along with those I will also be posting a Top 10 Songs of 2010 list. The Conductor and I will be doing a 2010 Wrap Up Webisode that will be posted on New Year’s Eve. It will have my top 5 favourite songs as well as The Conductor’s top 5 picks. That’s a lot of music coming at you in a short amount of time, so forget your finals and pay attention to Ambassador Beats. I’m going to start things off with my Rap/Hip-Hop Top 10 so enjoy and check back for our yearly wrap up in the next few weeks.
Click on read more to check out my Rap and Hip-Hop Top 10 list
Alright, so this isn’t really “new” material, but it is a mashup album of The Notorious B.I.G. and The XX. I jammed out to this album a lot and really reaffirmed by love of Biggie. There are 10 dark tracks that give a new light to Biggies material. It’s not for everyone but if you can get into it, you will really enjoy this album. Each song is well done and well produced and easily cracks my top 10.
Check out my favourite tune off the album, Juicy-R. The second song on the album mashes up Juicy and VCR respectably and will have any Biggie fan wanting more. If you were lucky enough to download it when it was offered, awesome, if not check out the album by clicking here.
Juicy-R – The Notorious B.I.G. vs The XX
This may not be considered a Rap/Hip-Hop album to a lot of people, but since the majority of the samples are from recent releases I have no problem including this album in my top 10. I actually picked up Dirty South Dance 2 the day before my birthday and used it as my own personal soundtrack for a while. This was just another release in a year dominated by Canadian Artists.
A-Trak remixes Drake’s Money To Blow perfectly and this song was huge this year. The Conductor used it on The Rinse and it has been all over. I love this song and the album is for sure worth checking out.
Loonies To Blow – A-Trak
Kickin Incredibly Dope Shit is the latest mixtape release from Mac Miller, but this tape holds it own and very well could be an album. Now that Mac is out of high school we should only expect great things from him. If you didn’t know any better you would have no idea that this wasn’t his debut album release.
Senior Skip Day has a filthy beat and showcases Mac Millers stoner-rap style. Since this is a mixtape, it was offered as a free download which you can pick up by clicking here. Watch for big things from this guy in 2011.
Senior Skip Day – Mac Miller
Although Lil Wayne spent the majority of 2010 behind bars, he was still featured on over 25 songs, 15 music videos and released an album. If he can do all that while severing time, I feel like I am wasting my time. But whatever. I Am Not A Human Being isn’t the best album in the Lil Wayne catalogue, but it does have some outstanding tracks and will fill the void until Tha Carter IV drops in 2011.
With You features Drake and is a chilled out track from Wayne. This album leaked and still went on to sell more than a million copies. That is normally unheard of, but Lil Wayne is that big right now. Check out With You below and go buy this album, you won’t be disapointed.
With You – Lil’ Wayne featuring Drake
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 12 months, you know who B.o.B. is and have heard some of his top 10 radio smash hits. B.o.B. scored big with tracks that featured Eminem, Halley Williams, Bruno Mars and Rivers Cuomo. I picked this album up the day it dropped and have been amazed ever since.
I left it in the car one night and got a call from my girlfriend asking what CD was playing because she loved it. She now knows every word and we still regularly listen to it on longer rides. Nothing On You was the song that started it all so that is a good one to share.
Nothin’ On You (feat. Bruno Mars) – B.o.B.
Earlier this year Shad was named the number 1 rapper in Canada, ahead of Drake and even ahead of Kardinal Official. That is a huge compliment and although he hasn’t had the mainstream success in the States, Shad is high up in my list. His raps are so smart and so well produced. It’s not the generic bitches and ho’s verses that we have come to expect from the rap game.
TSOL has been on constant rotation since it dropped in May and finally got a US release in October. Keep Shining is an example of Shad thinking outside of the box and writing a rhyme about the lack of women rappers. No other words are needed, this tune and album are amazing.
Keep Shinning – Shad
Yes, I know this is actually an album preview, but with 8 tracks, most would be none the wiser. The Preview offers a glimpse into what to expect from Chiddy Bang in 2011 and has some of my favourite tracks on it. Opposite of Adults really shot these guys to mainstream success with their music being featured in everything from video game commercials to college radio playlists. I can luckily say I was ahead of the curve on these guys, if only by a month or two.
Bad Boy is easily my favourite song on The Preview and features a sample from Darwin Deez. I played this song on my first ever appearance on The Rinse so it holds a special meaning to me. Check it out below.
Bad Boy – Chiddy Bang feat. Darwin Deez
The only album released this year to sell more than 3 million copies, Recovery really put Eminem back on the map after a couple shaky albums. This album lead to stadium shows with Jay-Z and general returned acceptance by the music community. Eminem has been featured on some of the biggest albums this year, including spots on Nicki Minja and Rihanna’s releases.
Takin To Myself kind of covers what Eminem has been going through and an apology for the last two records. I think it is the best song to listen to if you haven’t checked out this album yet and just want a taste of what it offers.
Talkin’ To Myself – Eminem
How can Drake not be near the top of the list? He had a HUGE year and did more in one year than any Canadian rapper before him. He released a number 1 album, was featured on every TV network and was one of the largest draws of the year.
It’s amazing how a year can change someones life and Drake is the perfect example of that. A well mannered Canadian half-jew is taking over. Big up to Lil Wayne for seeing the potential in Drake and telling him to just be who he is. Also click here to check out Thank Us Later, a free remix album that takes on the entire album, its outstanding.
Unforgettable (Feat Young Jeezy) – Drake
How could it be any other? Easily the album of the year, and the come back of the year. Kanye quietly and carefully crafted one of the best albums in years and made it successful without going the radio single root. By building up hype and releasing a free single every week for three months, Kanye made a number 1 album appear out of nowhere.
Everyone thought that his career was over and no one would touch him after the whole VMA incident but Kanye really showed them. This album is amazing cover to cover and even comes with a 35 minute short film in Runaway. It is my favourite album of the year. Check out the Power music video below.
Well that’s it. My Rap/Hip-Hop Top 10 of 2010. I hope you enjoyed it and found something you may have missed out on. Be sure to stick with us as Ambassador Beats has big plans for 2011. Enjoy.
Indie Rock is such a large ranging genre. It literally means independent rock and can be applied to any number of different bands and sounds. So I will do my best to round up my top 10 Indie albums from the past year. Click on Read More to check out my list!
I really lucked out with this band. I discovered Let Live and Let Ghosts early in the year and then was overjoyed when they released Everything Under The Sun. This album is a mix of excellent song writing and piano driven melodies. The first thing I thought of when I heard Jukebox The Ghost was that Freddy Mercury had reincarnated and was playing in an Indie band.
I really enjoyed this album and its something different from the generic rock that is overloading the airwaves these days. I highly recommend this album to anyone who is looking for something new. Check out their single Empire below.
Jukebox the Ghost – Empire
Vampire Weekend had another monstrous year after they released Contra. Although I didn’t like it as much as their debut there are definite high spots. These guys are redefining their sound as well inspiring a lot of musicians around them to do the same. A lot of songs of this record got the remix treatment and one of the biggest was a mix of Giving Up The Gun and a tune from M.I.A.
Vampire Weekend also gained some commercial success with Holiday being featured on nation-wide radio and television commercials. I guess its no longer called selling out, instead its now called staying relevant. Whatever it is, Contra is an excellent album and well worth the listen.
Vampire Weekend – Giving Up The Gun
Let It Sway is the perfect follow up album for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and was one of the most played albums for me this year. Especially Sink-Let It Sway. I fell in love with the simplicity of the song the first time I heard it and some new aspect jumped out each and every time I listened to it.
Most people original listen to SSLYBY because of the name, but the outstanding musicality keeps people coming back. This album has a mix of different guitar mixes from acoustic to heavily distorted. If you are looking for something off the beaten path and want a band to show off to your friends, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is a great place to start.
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Sink / Let it Sway
I’ll admit it, the only reason I listened to this album was because of the title Clinging To A Scheme. My best friend growing up was in garage band named The Scheme. They were awesome and they have the honest of being the first band I ever had a T-shirt for. So I have to thank them for creating that name and allowing me to find this amazing band. The Radio Dept are a chilled out Swedish rock band that have been pumping out tunes for 15 years.
Clinging To A Scheme is their third full length release that is a mix of indie-rock and 80s electro rock. This year I really got into Euro bands and I have to thank The Radio Dept for that. Clinging To A Scheme should be the first album you got and get when you finish reading this list.
The Radio Dept. – Heaven’s on Fire
It’s never easy to make an album after having massive amounts of success. There will always be the comparison and the questions if the band can produce another monster album. Kings of Leon stepped up to the plate and knocked this album out of the park. They could have changed their sound and gone distinctly pop, but they stayed true to their roots and produced a southern rock album.
Songs like The End and Beach Side make this album stand out and show the growth the band has made after their mainstream success. I really enjoyed this album, and though it doesn’t touch Only By The Night, it is for sure one of the best of the 2010.
When Max sat down and decided to record songs for his fans, I don’t think he would have ever expected the reception he received. Max Bemis And The Painful Splits started as 10 songs that Max was so excited about, he desperately wanted to share them with his loyalest of fans. So he recorded these songs in his living room and only sold the CDs at Say Anything shows.
What came out was a collection of raw and beautiful acoustic guitar songs that just cut to the core. I was amazed the first time I heard this album. It reminded me of the Dorm Room Demos that Max recorded when he was cooped up in a NYC apartment stoned and drunk. Whenever anyone asks for some acoustic songs I now point them to this album. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Max Bemis And The Painful Splits – Do The Dohnk
Although this album wasn’t terribly well received by the critics, I personally loved it. The mix of guitars and synth was just what I was looking for when I stumbled upon these guys. This album is a unique listen and Man Alive is a mix of a whole lot of different sounds. The running joke is that the name Everything Everything really applies to their music. You can be prepared to get a little bit of everything when you listen to them.
Man Alive is their debut album which leaves a lot of promise for this band in upcoming years. I really expect them to grow into something special and produce a lot of excellent music in the future, until then we have Man Alive to enjoy.
Fang Island is one of two bands I listen to when I study or do homework. I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing unless there are no lyrics. There are a few lyrical lines in this self titled album but those are second to the music. This album is filled with so much going on that it is easy to see why lyrics are not that important. Easily one of my favourite albums of the year it is one to pick up and listen to over and over.
The running guitars and tightness of the band are amazing. I was blown away when I first heard this album and each time I listen to it I find myself dancing around and rocking out, which isn’t easy to do when trying to study. I don’t care what kind of music you listen to, give this album a once over and I guarantee that you will adore it.
Fang Island – Welcome Wagon
Coming to the end here, and the last two created the hardest decisions. But Champ is an amazing album, probably one of my favourite of all time now. Breakneck Speed, Favourite Colour, Favourite Food and End of A Spark just put this album in a different category. This is the type of album you listen to from cover to cover and it feels like a complete musical experience. I love this album.
The word play is so smart and the music is so well though out and created. I’ve been listening to Tokyo Police Club since the very beginning and its awesome to see how much they have changed and expanded their musical horizons. I have ever album, EP, B-Side, and demo they have released and cherish each and every copy. I suggest you go out and do the same.
Well here it is, my number 1 favourite Indie album of 2010. How could it be any other? Two Door Cinema Club changed my music preferences and made me expand my horizons. Tourist History is an outstanding album and I listen to it almost daily. Each song on the record is amazing in its own way and offers something new and exciting.
Tourist History is my favourite album of 2010, bar none, and I will always remember this album. 2010 was a great year for me and Tourist History was my soundtrack through most of it. Go listen to this album right now.
Two Door Cinema Club – I Can Talk