Episode 028: January 2011 – Top 10 of 2010

27 hours of music.  270 individual tracks. 28 guest interviews. 38,000 downloads. 2010 was a monster year for us over here at Fresh Produce, and this show is the culmination of all that hard work. Choosing a paltry ten kick-ass crazy good tracks out of hundreds is daunting to say the least; but then again, there are *always* those few that just seem to rise above the rest. To use a country bumpkin term: the Cream of the Crop. This is your top 10 of 2010.

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[download] or stream the full show below:

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/audio/podcast/freshproduce028_01-19-2011.mp3|titles=Fresh Produce: Episode 028 – January 2010]

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Featuring music from Eric Prydz, Gui Boratto, Pig & Dan, Sultan & Ned Shepard, Christian Smith, and much much more.

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1. CARL CRAIG – AT LES (CHRISTIAN SMITH’S TRONIC TREATMENT REMIX) [TRONIC]

Since the first time playing this one on the show all the way back almost a year ago, it was obvious this would have to be the track to open the top 10 show. The original is at least 16 years old, a dreamy breaks track that could easily be pegged as a standout from the legendary Carl Craig’s “More Songs About Food and Revolutionary Art” which dropped on the equally fabled Planet E in 1997, but appeared in compilations and dancefloors as early as 1994. Christian Smith really takes it to another level – it’s the same song in every aspect, just expanded upon…updated to a new age of electronic where the sounds are fuller, warmer, and more expansive. Amazing work.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/at_les.mp3|titles=Carl Craig – At Les (Christian Smith’s Tronic Treatment remix)]

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2. CIREZ D – GLOW (IN THE DARK DUB) [MOUSVILLE]

Eric Prydz, the man behind Cirez D, is a phenom. By his own admission, this moniker represents the darker side of his sensibilities, the sweatier, sexier side…for the sake of simplicity, we’ll call it the techno side. 2010 was definitely a huge year for techno, one of the many reasons we really found ourselves identifying that chart as the go-to for the good shit. Here, the UK superstar absolutely perfectly showcases what I really think are his two biggest weapons: basslines and synths. Perhaps the two best of the year as a combination in this one here…which really is incredible since that’s about all this track really is. Simplicity, in this case, has bred a masterpiece. Massive track.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/glow_dub.mp3|titles=Cirez D – Glow (In the Dark Dub)]

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3. KING UNIQUE – 2000000 SUNS [BEDROCK]

Bedrock is amazing to me: every single year they manage to be smack dab in the middle of *everything*. So does, for that matter, Mr. Matt Thomas whom you may better know as King Unique. He was right on this show last year with one of our top 10 picks, and here he is again with that same epic Science Fiction sensibility. Another one of those tracks that as soon as clips started leaking from Diggers shows that was instantly declared a hit and one of the best of the year. No argument here from us – hands down one of, if not *the* best, original tracks that King Unique has ever released.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/2000000_suns.mp3|titles=King Unique – 2000000 Suns]

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4. MONIKA KRUSE – WAVEDANCER (PIG & DAN REMIX) [MINISTRY OF SOUND]

Pig & Dan will go down in history with the likes of Gabriel & Dresden as one of the best remixer duos in the history of music. They release at what is at any glance a breakneck pace; you can hardly believe how many tracks they’re putting out. Then you listen to them and are even more flabbergasted to find that every one of them could take on virtually any other track on the market and win on the dance floor. This is hands-down their biggest track of the year – made a huge splash on the German Love Parade compilation as the fateful event’s unofficial anthem and it’s just grown from there. It takes the cake for us, no contest, as the most badass track of the year. That bass drop mid-track is all the proof one needs for that nomination.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/wavedancer.mp3|titles=Monika Kruse – Wavedancer (Pig & Dan remix)]

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5.  SANDER VAN DOORN – REACH OUT [DOORN RECORDS]

As the years advance on and on, Sander van Doorn traditionally known for his hard trance anthems has continued to dabble more and more in the more progressive, subtle-minded, and slower paced side of things. Not to say that this track is slow-paced by any means in our estimation, but it’s a decent cut down from the 140-bpm+ land where he’s usually living. “Grasshopper” was perhaps the first comercially successful of those ventures, and we’re not sure if this was meant as a direct successor, but that’s the way it’s ended up. Massive big room synth stabs and vocal cuts, “Reach out” is irrepressible and has the sole intent of making the dancefloor jump. It’s also, by the way, not even his biggest hit of the year…that honor would belong to his booty of The XX’s cult hit “Intro”.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/reach_out.mp3|titles=Sander van Doorn – Reach Out]

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6. ALAN FITZPATRICK – INVOLVE [BEDROCK]

This one was a shoe-in, pegged it as soon as it premiered on the show. It’s no secret that Alan Fitzpatrick had an amazing 2010 – his debut artist album “Shadows in the Dark” which came out mid-year on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode imprint was instantly a hit and is still dominating the techno charts with some majorly dark and driving fare. Our choice for his best of the year, however, was in a slightly different vein, which really made it all that much more impressive. Something he wrote specifically for the Bedrock 12 EP release, it’s driving backbone a rising gated melody-line was really reminiscent to the 10-year classic “Airtight” by Max Graham. Doubt it was intentional, but it reminded us that good songwriting never gets old…sounds like a over-worn adage, but it’s true.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/involve.mp3|titles=Alan Fitzpatrick – Involve]

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7. FAITHLESS – NOT GOING HOME (ERIC PRYDZ REMIX) [ULTRA]

Chosen as the listener-favorite for 2010, our introduction to this particular big room monster was as the closing track in Miami, WMC, at the annual Sasha + Digweed night at Mansion. If you’ve never attended the event, it’s an experience to say the least. Sound system is top notch, the crowd is *massive*…capacity at the venue is 1500 and every square inch of it is filled with sweaty freaks from every corner of the planet. So it was quite a statement, choosing this one to end the night – we had to have it. Shouldn’t have been surprised really to find that it was from Eric Prydz…might be the biggest most epic-sounding remix he’s ever done. Apparently you guys all agree…this is YOUR biggest track of the year!

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/not_going_home.mp3|titles=Faithless – Not Going Home (Eric Prydz remix)]

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8. KASKADE – FIRE IN YOUR NEW SHOES (SULTAN & NED SHEPARD REMIX) [ULTRA]

My God…this makes two tracks in a row from the super-commercial making-the-underground-puke record label Ultra. Bring on the “sellout” comments people because we really don’t give a shit. This original rocks my bones, the vocal is amazingly done and the production is badass…put Sultan & Ned Shepard onto that and the result is our pick for the best club/festival track of the year. It’s really not even a close contest, the two Canadians take it to a level I’ve never heard from them before and really turn what was a nice, rockstar-type badass track and fashion and anthem. Enough explaining, just listen and try to argue with that.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/fire_new_shoes_sultan.mp3|titles=Kaskade – Fire in your new shoes (Sultan & Ned Shepard remix)]

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9. HOT CHIP – I FEEL BETTER (MAX COOPER REMIX) [FLASH]

We make no secret here of being madly in love with the “Berlin techno” sound that the likes of Apparat have championed over the past several years…mainly because of the genre’s penchant for *really* experimenting with what can be done rhythm-wise with every aspect of a track…vocals, synths, drums…it’s all up for grabs. Emerging as a truely world-class talent in the new wave of this melancholy group is Max Cooper who really had his biggest year ever and has completely blown us away with this particular cut. I mean, just listen to the original (which by the way has a pretty hilarious video) and then this remix and see the absolute genius behind the ground-up rework. That, and the bass drop around 1/3 of the way in is pure money. 🙂

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/i_feel_better.mp3|titles=Hot Chip – I Feel Better (Max Cooper remix)]

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10. MASSIVE ATTACK –  PARADISE CIRCUS (GUI BORATTO REMIX) [VIRGIN RECORDS]

I could sit here and say that it was tough to pick the top track of 2010 this year, but we’d be lying. It really was a no-brainer, just like it is every year. This song has transcended every genre and barrier…I mean, it was in a Lincoln commercial. It’s a bit of an anomaly since it got it’s start circling the internet as a free download. Its youtube audience has passed 1,000,000 views. But really when you get down to it, we chose it because it’s good. Gui Boratto has always been good, but this track stands out as one of those that just sounds effortless. It’s a perfectly done synthesis of the “live” and the “sequenced”…the James Bond-type guitar, Hope Sandoval’s sultry vocal, his plodding percussion supporting the clever and thoughtful lyrics, and then to top it off he brings in the orchestra to raise the drama. It’s just plain and pure songwriting and, at the end of the day, that will trump the crowd-thumping party music every time. Congrats to Gui, truly one of the scene’s most innovative and well-polished talents – looking forward to more.

[audio:http://www.freshproduceonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/paradise_circus.mp3|titles=Massive Attack feat. Hope Sandoval – Paradise Circus (Gui Boratto remix)]

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Well thank you every so very very much for making 2010, our first year, such a special and successful one — we hope that our list entertained you, it was certainly entertaining to put together. Some changes are coming for our show, ones that we’re excited about, so stay tuned as we launch into our new full  schedule in February. In the meantime, think outside the genre box, buy your music, and keep it fresh. We’ll see you in a couple weeks! 🙂