Our look back at all things 2010 continues this week as we highlight some of the year’s most overlooked tracks. In this edition: club anthems.
Discodeine Featuring Jarvis Cocker, “Synchronize” (from the Synchronize 12″)
DFA sorta just snuck this collaboration between the French DJ duo and everyone’s favorite pop sociologist out there in 2010, and it more or less slipped by unnoticed. Granted, slipping by unnoticed is a favored songwriting tendency for Cocker, and amidst the syrupy disco strings and pulsating house piano of “Synchronize,” he offers one of his uniquely sly thick descriptions–this time about the interpersonal machinations that go unseen on dancefloors. That’s why Jarvis is here, and that’s why we love him: he leans against the wall sipping a drink, noting his subjects writhing away to “organized noise,” oblivious to each other at first. That’s until one of them times their move just right, with the music, the beat, and the motion of that other person–if you haven’t been lucky enough to actually do it, you’ve dreamed you could–and then suddenly, your heart starts beating in time with the drums. Jarvis: he slips out and grabs a cab.
Mark E., “You (Full Vocal Mix)” (from the Get Yourself Together 12″)
Diana Ross’s 1978 single “You Were the One” is transcendent like so many of her legendary disco tracks. 32 years later, we notice that it’s got two key shortcomings: first, it’s about 4 minutes too short. Second, she gets to the chorus waaaaaaay too soon. Birmingham-based house DJ Mark E. has thankfully rectified these heretofore unseen problems with this track on which, let’s say, he lets the beat build. We don’t hear Lady D until four-and-a-half minutes in, and even that appearance only comprises some rolling, repetitive vocables at first. We’ve been hypnotized by his slow build, so it’s okay. But no one’s ready for the way he revs up the track’s second half until the whole thing just explodes in joy at its conclusion, when we finally get to that chorus we’ve been teasing ourselves with for so long. I’ve only danced to this song on headphones so far in 2010, but I get a certain sort of thrill imagining the absolute destruction “You” can wreak on an actual dancefloor.
Scissor Sisters, “Invisible Light” (from Night Work)
Jake Shears and co. buried the best song on Night Work at the end of the record with 2010’s most telltale cover art. It makes sense when you listen to it–this thing is designed to just annihilate everything that comes after it. “Invisible Light” is, plain and simple, 2010’s most indulgent, dramatic, lavish, and just plain weird dance anthem–the sort of thing around which Weekend Update’s Stefon could craft an entire exegesis. It pulls from the usual realms–Shears vacillates deliriously between a Neil Tennant-delivered monologue on the verses and Barry Gibb’s honeyed yelp on the chorus–and adds just the right dash of Animotion’s classic “Obsession” for good measure, but that’s only part of its thrill. Every second of this monster just drips epic, like those big budget Frankie Goes to Hollywood camp classics that early MTV had to play, but had no idea how to decode. Open up your joy and the sailors climb the walls–fucking Gandalf is in the building.
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This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 29, 2010