Among all the movers and shakers putting on shows this New Year’s eve in New York City, Avicii and his backers at Pacha New York and At Night delivered the flashiest. Clad in something other than his signature plaid for just one night, Tim Bergling delivered a peformance that, like his choice of wardrobe, left some things at home and brought others to the table.
1. John Dahlback feat. Erik Hassle – “One Last Ride” (Tommy Trash Remix)
John Dahlback placed snugly in our yearly top artists list this year at #49 (along with musical compatriot, the prolific Tommy Trash, who landed at #34). His work seems to be favored by Swedes all over: Swedish House Mafia, we’re looking at you. “One Last Ride” combines strong, emotive vocals with hard-hitting instrumentation. What’s delightful is that the vocals aren’t there for the sake of vocality; they provide a more heart-tugging nuance than the usual fare.
2. ASH – “Papa”
“Papa” proves that Avicii’s manager excels at more than management and bookings. It wouldn’t be incorrect to say that most in the audience weren’t quite sure what to make of the oozing funkiness of the track, but once the punchy synth kicked in, the frenetic body shaking that followed left not much room for doubt.
3. Yenson – “My Feeling” (Deniz Koyu Remix)
This is an underrated number, one that we noted in tastemaker DJ sets several months ago. It was a great track then, and it’s still a great track now – just that hearing it live in such a prominent set had us doing a double-take. It’s comforting to know when something deserving gets rescued from the dustbin of history, and we hope to hear more of the same from Deniz in the near future.
4. Steve Angello – “Teasing Mr. Charlie” (w/ “Tom’s Diner” a cappella)
With a second track in his set that nodded to acid house and the TB-303 of yore, we glanced at our watches, wondering if the talented Swanky Tunes had come on for their closing set. They hadn’t, and we were all the more delighted. “Teasing Mr. Charlie” is Angello doing what he does best in so many of his other side projects – we approve of what he and his pseudonym “Mescal Kid” are doing with the yet-unreleased “I Need You.”. The Tom’s Diner a cappella was well-executed and fit in rather well with the instrumental.
5. Alesso – “Raise Your Head”
Awash in white noise and prescription-strength bass, “Raise Your Head” is not for the faint of heart, but rather something ultimately more ferocious that takes all comers without hesitation. Our editors lavished praise on the track when it was released, remarking on its anthemic nature – it’s vicious in clubs, but given space to roam, “Raise Your Head” competes with Nicky Romero’s mix of “Flash” in the big room.
Photos: Andrew Spada