Monday, December 23, 2013

Every year we name the Top 20 tracks that we bumped throughout the year, whether that be in class, at home or in our cars. As our studio focuses on Hip-Hop, Dance, RnB and K-Pop, the list reflects that focus. Hit us up with some tracks that we've inevitably missed, because we can't get around to listening to everything!  Merry Christmas!

Pure Funk 
Top 20 Tracks 
of 2013

1. Ciara

Body Party

Based on the early 90's hit 'My Boo', this sexy smooth RnB jam ended up being too slow for the clubs and too raunchy for the charts. Which is a shame, because it contains one of Mike Will Made it's best beats and perhaps Ciara's sexiest vocal performance (which is saying something). Don't forget to check the video too, featuring Ciara's real-life beau Future trying to chat her up.

2. Kanye West

New Slaves

When I first heard this track as Kanye debuted it on SNL, I was not sure what I had just witnessed, which I'm sure was a reaction most people watching would've had. After several years of EDM RnB and '808s & Heartbreaks' style Hip-Hop, 'New Slaves' was a course correction sonically, and an layered call-to-action lyrically. It set the table for his polarizing album and equally polarizing rounds of talk-show appearances.

3. Daft Punk 

Get Lucky

Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers and Pharrell. We should be so lucky.

4. Kanye West 

Bound 2

The track is now better known for it's 'new uncanny' video and related parodies, but the song itself was an ode to the nostalgia of love and was couched in gourgeous soul samples and Charlie Wilsons angelic vocals. It's also hilarious too.

5. Blood Orange  

Never Good Enough

This track had me constantly hitting rewind for at least a month. Although the nimble bassline suggested a sultry love song, what we got was a tribute to a doomed relationship. "I never was in love, you know that you were never good enough".

6. A$AP Rocky Feat. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar 

F**kin Problems

So much to love about this song. Rocky holds his own against some pretty tough competition, Kendrick turns his pep talk into a pep rally, Drake drops down and gets his Nelly on and 2 Chainz drops in for the chorus as only he can do.

7. Rihanna 

Loveee Song feat. Future (Brenmar Club Edit)

This song lived with me for a couple months as Track 11. It wasn't until I got frustrated and googled it that I found out it was a sneaky bootleg from the ubiquitous Brenmar.

8. Katy B, Geeneus and Jessie Ware 


Calling your song Aaliyah is setting yourself up for failure. Luckily that's exactly what the song is about, as two of the best british dance pop singers of this generation find themselves having to leash their men around the ethereally untouchable Aaliyah. Part tribute, part floor-filling ode to jealously, the Batman and Robin of bass music weave back and forth through this slinky heater from bass vet Geeneus.

9. Alunageorge 

Just a touch (Brenmar Remix)

Alunageorge wore on me by the end of the year. Ubiquitous singles were flying all over the place and they began to wear out their welcome. Luckily Brenmar was around to beef up the already excellent Just a Touch and unleash it's potential as a dancefloor crusher.

10. Chance The Rapper

Chain Smoker

After a year in which he's supported Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, It's hard to believe that this track and all of Chance's success came from a mixtape. Acid Rap was a complete surprise when it came out, a Hip-Hop album influenced musically by Juke and any number of other regional sounds that provided a unique base for Chance's desperate sing-rap narratives. Chain Smoker illustrates the juxtapositions of his work, with footwork and a Bruce Hornsby sounding piano loop, with Chance going in with a vocal turn that sounds forward-thinking and nostalgic all at the same time.

11. Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E

Need U 100%

Leading the charge of the House brigade with Disclosure was Duke Dumont, a veteran DJ with a preternatural ability to craft instantly likeable tunes. The langurous vocals of A*M*E* helped out with that.

12. Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar


Pusha had 'dope' tracks this year, but none had the street-level feel of this stripped back banger. Then the white-hot Kendrick Lamar comes through asking if "you wanna see a dead body?" and it was done, son.

13. Sophie


How do you subvert EDM without becoming a joke or an instant target. Drop the bass and pitch up your unashamedly sincere vocals. A unique one-off that remains listenable because of the sum of its parts. Do it, it'll make you feel better.

14. Lorde 


No artist outside of Kanye caused more trouble this year. By becoming one of the first artists to strip back RnB to Bass and space instead of maximal EDM, Lorde had already done something drastically different from her peers. That she then laced her first couplet with disses to the Bling dynasty currently dominating Hip Hop and Pop pushed her over the edge. The right artist for the times.

15. Drake 

Worst Behaviour

Some virtuoso rapping from Octobers Very Own. Drake at his hardest, this track stood out amongst the rap balladry of #NWTS. When Drake gives space to the track and asks us to "Remember..." the track really comes for your money like ODB. Plus the video is hilariously awesome.

16. Kingdom feat. Kelela


Kingdom gifts Kelela a spacey, bassey beat that presages Yonce's latest musical direction and signals a new force in RnB.

17. The Range 

Metal Swing

I put on the Range's debut album Non-Fiction with no expectations of what I was about to hear. It very quickly sucked me in, and this slow-burning bass-driven piano looped track worked its magic immediately. That the instrumental is interrupted bya repeated fractal vocal clip of a cockney grime artist querying a threat in rhyming slang is just relish. Give in.

 18. Disclosure


Somehow I actually missed Latch on its first go around, but I certainly made up for it once I picked up Disclosures stellar debut album Settle. Sam Smith's yearning vocal is leant extra sincerity via the insistent house rhythms cooked up by the Lawrence brothers. I won't be letting go of this tune for a long time.

19. Rhye 


The violins, the falsetto and the lyrics that could sound ridiculous if spoken directly to an actual person. But driven through the airy vocals of canadian singer Milosh, you find yourself unable to resist the coo. You'll be a fool for their belly.

20. Justin Timberlake

Suit and Tie (Four Tet remix)

I had to get some Justin on here somehow, even if its via a Four Tet remix.

Honourable Mentions

CL – The Baddest Female, Blood Orange - Chamakay, Disclosure - White Noise, The Juan Maclean - Feel Like Movin', Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines, G-DRAGON – Coup d'Etat, A$AP Rocky - Peso, Kanye West - I'm on it, Kelela - Do it again, J Cole - Power Trip, Jay Z - BBC, Drake - Started from the bottom, Schoolboy Q - Collard Greens, Young Jeezy - RIP, Rustie - Slasherrr, Disclosure - When a Fire starts to burn, Chance the rapper - Good Ass intro, DJ Snake - Bird Machine, Justin Timberlake - Don't Hold the Wall, Ace Hood - Bugatti, Mystikal - Hit me, Beyonce (almost all of her album)