Best of 2013: The Hottest Jams of 2013

60. Slava
“Girl Like Me”
Raw Solutions (Software)
He may have been born in Moscow, but rising producer Slava Balasanov’s sound is pure Chicago. Balasanov moved to Chicago when he was 12, and his impeccably chopped footwork is best highlighted by the frantic-yet-sultry sound of “Girl Like Me.” He laces a barrage of percussion and deep sub-bass swabs over a mantric, Chipmunk-y Ciara sample to absolute perfection, zigging and zagging wildly without ever losing the ever-present syncopated backbeat.

59. Doc Daneeka
“Walk on In” (f/ Ratcatcher)
Walk on In Single (Numbers)
The Berlin producer’s expansive, scorching dance-floor filler is everything a great house cut should be. At first, it bubbles along, sucking you in and setting the mood, and just when you’re ready for a change, it flips it and builds to its crescendo. The runway-ready, diva-licious vocals meld perfectly with the relentless backbeat and undulating synths, resulting in a glorious, throwback club anthem.

58. Mutual Benefit
“Advanced Falconry”
Love’s Crushing Diamond (Other Music)
Nomadic singer-songwriter Jordan Lee has more than a little of the Sufjans about him, and his breakthrough LP is full of the stately, orchestral chamber-folk/pop that made Stevens such a star. “Advanced Falconry” nails the gleeful earnestness-meets-nostalgic melancholy that makes my 21 year-old heart happy and my fingers want to call my friends and tell them how important they are to me. No matter how old I get, I hope I never stop being a sucker for this stuff.

(Read more, after the jump.)

57. Jessy Lanza
“Strange Emotion”
Pull My Hair Back (Hyperdub)
The Ontario-native’s engulfing drip-ballad is the kind of song that’s easy to to get lost in. The sonic representation of the album’s title (ed. note: it’s about boning), “Strange Emotion” gently guides you in and slowly sinks its teeth into you, keeping her in your mind long after the music’s subsided. Musically, it lives in that ambiguous ether between R&B and electronica, effortlessly floating from movement to movement.

56. Sampha
“Too Much”
Too Much/Happens 7″ (Young Turks)
Sampha Sisay has one of the truest voices in music today, and the solo version of his brooding Drake collaboration shows it off beautifully. Over a sparse piano arraignment (also played by Sampha), the South Londoner lays his soul out, gliding between an expressive tenor and an mellifluous falsetto with consumate ease. He started stealing the song on Nothing Was the Same and finished the job here.

55. DJ Koze
“Homesick” (f/ Ada)
Amygdala (Pampa)
Hamburg-based Stefan “DJ Koze” Kozalla’s first solo album in nine years expertly toes the line between experimentation and cohesion. As vast as his influences are, the veteran producer puts them together seamlessly — most notably on this Kings Of Convenience-borrowing track. Kozalla throws a languid, twinkling arraignment and characteristically busy percussion over the folksy vocal melody — resulting in a track that retains the melancholy of the original while giving it fresh life.

54. TOYS
“Hey Boy”
Hey Boy (Self-Released)
Easily one of the most slept-on new groups of the year, the Parisian duo (Paul Prier and Bastien Doremus) waited until November to release their best track. “Hey Boy” is built around an unshakeable vocal sample, and as it moves, cascades of synths wash over the listener, forming an acutely expressive slow-burner that says so much with only two clearly audible words.

53. Daniel Avery
“All I Need”
Drone Logic (Phantasy Sound)
2013 saw few albums more infectious than the Bournemouth-native’s engulfing tecnho masterclass. England’s South Coast might not be the sunniest shoreline on the planet, but Drone Logic evokes images of lazy, Balearic sunbeams breaking through your blinds. It seems arbitrary to pick out just one song from the incredibly consistent LP, but the darkly seductive vibes of “All I Need” will do just fine.

52. Forest Swords
Engravings (Tri Angle)
Another album that’s better than the sum of its parts, Matthew Barnes’ impeccable successor to 2010’s outstanding, Dagger Paths, cemented the Liverpudlian as a master of creating moods. Lead-track, “Ljoss,” is packed with lush strings and the kind of far-away vocal sample that’s impossible not to get lost in.

51. Kwes
ilp. (Warp)
The Southeast-Londoner had been threatening to release his debut for a few years, and ilp. proved to be more than worth the wait. Its second track, “36,” is the kind of earnest, progressive R&B cut that we’ve come to expect from the multi-instrumentalist. The video is also well-worth a watch, as it perfectly visualizes the innocent, breezy vibe of the song.

Posted on by TP1.COM in Best Of '13, Featured

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