So we've reached that time of year - the end - when mashup DJs put together their "best of..." mashes. I probably won't review most of them, but two names put out entries I have to cover, so we'll start with those. Next up (probably next week) we'll have some long-form pieces.
DJs from Mars, 40 songs in 3:30. What else do you want to know? It doesn't have exactly the classic DJfM stompy feel, but it's definitely framed as a dance banger, though the ending slides a bit. I think it's positioned as the sort of thing you'd play for a set finale - at least, that's how I would use it.
DJ Earworm's "United State of Pop 2015" uses 50 tracks in a 5:15-long mash that is much less intense than the DJfM's entry but still gives a good sampling of what's been pop this year. Earworm's take is still danceable but not a house banger by any means. As with so many of these year-end things I feel like there hasn't been a ton of great new things to carry the mix. Most of what I'm liking in mashes these days mixes new pop with older classics, which these best-of obviously can't do.
In case you are somehow unfamiliar with the basic form of the house dance banger let me link you one. I don't link most of these because they're all pretty similar. Triton here turns in a perfectly serviceable entry, with minimal vocals and maximal house beats. I can't put my finger on precisely why I like this one and not other standard bangers, but this one sticks well with me.
Remember a couple months back when I claimed Avicii had giant brass balls for (daring to) remix/update "Insomnia"? Well stand down, Avicii because here comes the unknown Sash, doing their remix/club mix and it's really damned good. It's got the same basic feel, vocals, and builds as the original but with more BPM and some up-to-date electronica. Clocking in around 6 minutes feels better, too.
"Colors" is nowhere near the classic level of "Insomnia" but it's a well-loved club anthem and seeing it get a touch of new life is nice. Vicetone's version is sweet - nearly love-song levels - and I like the lush sounds.
Speaking of sweet, Patrick Baker's "Gone" was a gently breathy summer night track from a few months back. Now comes Vijay and Sofia remixing it. I still think the autotuned strings bit is a little saccharine but I like the basic rhythm of the track and Baker's voice is pleasant.
Chasing some old links I came across this and thought "How could I have missed a DJs from Mars doing Deep Purple mash?" Turns out I did spot it back in July but that link is now dead so I'm going to give you this, the updated version that they did for the Bootzilla compilation. I hope this one survives because it's got so much of what I love about the DJs' work. Good stompin' beats, and a nice mix of the modern vocals with the classic backing guitars. Like all DJs from Mars tracks the key question is "Are you chair-dancing now?" Um, yes.