Writer: Stefano Lariccia
What ten electronic songs made the biggest impact in 2005?
A large part of what we call music nowadays is electronic sound. The number of tracks produced every year, is now counted in the millions. The popularity of electronic music has grown since 2005. Rave parties used to be strictly underground affairs. In today’s society, this once mysterious and frowned upon ritual has become a ubiquitous product sold like any other.
Unlike today, the DJs did not have mainstream pop culture support, but they were on their way to becoming global stars. Taking a look at the big trends of the time, Dubstep left Grime behind. Originating in London’s basement culture, the genre became a worldwide phenomenon.
In 2005, iconic bands like the LCD Soundsystem and Modeselektor made their debuts, while legendary groups like Depeche Mode and Daft Punk returned. So, let’s get down to business and get digging into the list.
LCD Soundsystem – Daft Punk Is Playing at My House
Quite simply, a stunning debut record by Indie New York superstars. A perfect blend of electro and rock. Lots of drumming, rocking vocals and those distortions just cutting into the sound. History says that LCD leader, James Murphy, wanted the Daft Punk playing at a basement concert in NY, for a rock documentary. In the end, the dream did not come true, but hey, we got this song.
M.A.N.D. Y vs Booka Shade – Body Language
The real hit of summer 2005, this track was massive. Whether you call it microhouse, electro or minimal, the result is the same. When you can hang a song on a phenomenal riff, you can afford to keep things simple. The catchy melody keeps going and going (while exotic sounds like flutes and accordions add some motion to it). The result is a very danceable piece of music. This is the song that put the German team behind the Get Physical label on the map.
Chemical Brothers – Galvanize
Despite being released at the very end of 2004, it reached its height in 2005. In fact, it was one of the biggest electronic songs of the year. A very stylish and cool production reminiscent of the duo’s early sounds. On the vocals, Q-Tip, a great hip hop artist. The sounds are tough but very listenable, the progression after the central break is energetic, but also kind of subtle in the way it grows under your skin. It was criticized as an unoriginal effort by the “Brothers,” but we think it is a great Big Beat track. (“In dust we trust”.)
Sven Vath vs Antony Rother – Komm
This is electro tech at its finest. Anyone who graced the Amnesia dancefloor at Cocoon’s parties that summer may recognize this. Sven’s lyrics beckon you to embark on a dreamy journey in the midst of the night, and that’s exactly where this track leads you. The bass and the main samples are precise like an assembly line machine, always marking the tempo and creating a crunchy bed of sound. It is the melody, instead, that provides a perfect carpet for a magic ride.
Tarantula – Pendulum
This is jump music! A massive DnB release of the year. Everyone played it, even twice a night. This was the first single to come from the Australian supergroup’s debut album, “Hold your colours”. Syncopated, distorted, the processed vocals are perfect (pierced in the layer of production). If you ask any DnB fan what the real banger of 2005 was, they will say – Tarantula!
Modeselektor – Kill Bill Vol. 4
(A stoner voice mutters something in Berlin’s slang to introduce us to this track.)
From then on, we have pure , Modeselektor style. An extremely fast beat with a glitchy melody, that guides us through a series of loops that the track revolves around. The likeability of this track proves that your brain enjoys patterns. This song is taken from the band’s debut album, “Hello Mom”, released by Ellen Allien’s record label. This track is so good that even Thom York has dropped it in his sets.
Four Tet – A Joy
Many amazing leftfield albums were released in 2005. The list can’t be completed without including the work of the English artist Four Tet, Kieran Hebden. This song is pure creativity. This piece is not your average piece of music, the instruments and samples overlap in a crazy, but incredibly organic arrangement and the result is hypnotic. Full-on Jazz electronica with irregular tempo.
Skream – Midnight Request Line
It is one of the most iconic tracks in Dubstep history. Skream reinvented the genre by introducing new elements and attitudes. This is dark, gangster in nature, and the shot and half-tempo bass obviously owe a lot to Grime. At the same time, it displays some trippy synth effects. Compared to the rest of Dubstep music at that time, the result is much “lighter” and happier. The key to its success is the perfect simplicity and the energy it transmits on the dancefloor.
Richie Hawtin – The Tunnel
This is an odd one. It is taken from “DE9 Transitions”. I think this is a unique album. Richie Hawtin and other artists contribute to it, but they are all cut and sewn together. They are overlapping to such an extent that it is difficult to differentiate them, so they are creating something new. So relentless, so linear, and so hypnotic it almost becomes baroque. It seems to just continue forever, with its minimalistic approach that nevertheless completely fills the space between your ears. A minimalistic reel that just goes on forever.
Daft Punk – Technologic
What do you think of this track? In this song we find a traditional Daft Punk tune, with an enhanced vocoder voice, nice sample, and big guitar. It is filled with that particular energy that made the French Duo so renowned. Unstoppable lyrics, emanating with unhuman precision from a robot, describe a series of human actions aimed at absorbing and comprehending the technology around us.