Since leaving home and starting at university, my music taste has undergone a complete transformation. In first year, I didn’t really pay attention to the music played in clubs except when it was noticeably bad. This was much the same for most of second year when I was still happy to visit Klute on nights out and listen to the indie music that I preferred at gigs. Then, through continual exposure to house music from my boyfriend, my initial opposition to the genre was gradually worn down and I finally began to understand why he liked it. I even made it until 5am at Tank, an underground club in Sheffield that only plays house music, and I really enjoyed myself. After I started listening to house, I then began to get into hip hop which is far more readily available in Durham and particularly popular when combined with £1 Jägerbombs and Sourz shots at Cheapskates. Yet now, as if my music taste hadn’t changed too much already over the past couple of years, the club nights I get most excited about are those featuring upcoming DJs and the latest remixes to grace the electronic scene.
Electronic music is hard to define and pin down as it’s effectively any electronic take on a pre-existing genre, from disco to house to gospel, but it’s this variety and freshness that makes it so interesting. It is fully up-to-date and inspiring due to its experimental and innovative nature, thus resulting in exciting new music that recalls much-loved styles at the same time. It also works in two ways by producing upbeat dance music perfect for parties and nights out in equal measure to calm lyric-less tracks that provide an ideal background to work and revision. In this way, it works in both public and private environments with some tracks lending themselves to clubbing and others to quiet reflection at home.
However, as good as listening to pre-recorded electronic music is, nothing can beat going to see one of these upcoming artists or DJs live when their energy and impulsive decisions make every night different and exhilarating. No one knows exactly what their set will be like, and it’s far cheaper than going to a gig yet so much more fulfilling than your average night out. I recently went to see Denis Sulta at The Night Kitchen, a warehouse venue that was formerly a cutlery factory, and it was one of the best nights I’ve ever had. Not only do these DJs often play in the coolest venues, but they’re the coolest people and play the coolest music so it’s definitely worth tracking these events down, even if you do have to travel slightly further afield.
To find the latest cutting-edge tracks and new artists, I’d recommend Resident Advisor who define themselves as ‘an online music magazine and community platform that’s dedicated to showcasing electronic music, artists and events across the globe.’ Their website (https://www.residentadvisor.net) is comprised of three sections, Magazine, Events, and Music, so you can easily keep up to date with new reviews, club nights, and songs. They recently published a feature on their Top 50 Tracks of 2016 (https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/2862) which I’ve been working my way through and finding the best songs to add to my new electronic playlist on Spotify (I’m a true convert). Some of the artists they suggest are still a bit too weird and alternative for me, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day soon I start to appreciate them just as much as, or even more than, the more popular musicians.
I’ve listed a few of my current favourites below which I think are some of the catchiest tracks I’ve heard this last year. They’ll have you singing them in your head for days, and seriously upping your standards for future nights out.
– My overall favourite, ‘Tell You No Lie’ by Floorplan (rated 10th in the RA Top 50 Tracks of 2016 and a great piece of groovy disco)
– ‘It’s Only Real’, ‘A.A.S – Nite & Day Mix’, and practically anything else by Denis Sulta
– ‘Make A Move On Me’ and ‘The Phuture Ain’t What It Used To Be’ by Joey Negro
– ‘CRYBABY’ and other songs by ABRA
– ‘Domino’ by Oxia
– ‘Side to Side’ by Les Loups
– ‘I Just Wanna’ by Mall Grab
– ‘Final Credits’ by Midland
– ‘Ducks In The Kiddie Pool’ by Click | Click