2014 Dance Grammy Nominations

Here are the 2014 Dance Grammy Nominations:

Category 9 – Best Dance Recording

Duke Dumont ft A*M*E & MNEK – “Need U (100%)” – Downtown/WIN
Calvin Harris ft Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing” – Columbia/Ultra
Kaskade – “Atmosphere” – Ultra
Armin Van Buuren ft Trevor Guthrie – “This is What It Feels Like” – Armada
Zedd ft Foxes – “Clarity” – Interscope

Category 10 – Best Dance/Electronica Album

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories – Columbia
Disclosure – Settle – Cherrytree/Interscope
Calvin Harris – 18 Months – Columbia/Ultra
Kaskade – Atmosphere – Ultra
Pretty Lights – A Color Map of the Sun – 8 Minutes/20 Seconds

Category 79 – Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

Delerium ft Michael Logen – “Days Turn Into Nights” (Andy Caldwell Remix)
One Republic – “If I Lose Myself” (Alesso vs One Republic)
Bruno Mars – “Locked Out of Heaven” (Sultan + Ned Shepard)
Bob Marley and The Wailers – “One Love / People Get Ready” (Photek)
Lana Del Rey – “Summertime Sadness” (Cedric Gervais Remix)

Looking over the 2014 Dance Grammy Nominations, it is refreshing to see nothing completely embarrassing (Al Wasser, Baha Men), but rather a pretty accurate summary of what DJs played, people danced to, and what we bloggers wrote about. Sure, there are some notable absences: major festival records (Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Showtek, Audien, Cazzette, Passion Pit, Martin Solveig), the pop crossover (Krewella), and the most notable – where is Avicii? On the bright side, there are nominations for independent and import releases (Duke Dumont, Armin van Buuren, Pretty Lights) which shows how the cutting edge dance music scene is changing the sometimes stodgy Grammy mentality. It’s also great to see Cedric Gervais get recognition for a remix that started in the festival scene and crossed over to become a massive pop hit globally. On the bigger scene, Daft Punk also got nominations for Album of the Year and Best Pop/Duo Group (bringing their cumulative lifetime total to 13 nominations).

My predictions – “Sweet Nothing” / Daft Punk / “Summertime Sadness”

My personal favorites – “This Is What it Feels Like” / Disclosure / “If I Lose Myself” and “Locked Out of Heaven”

SONGS OF THE DAY: The Young Punx – “Girls Like Disco” and “Harlem Breakdown”

Those who love Daft Punk realness and can’t wait for the forthcoming DJ Cassidy album will be excited to hear what The Young Punx have come up with.? At first, when I heard the discofied “Girls Like Disco,” the authentic ’70s sound threw me for a loop as these were the crazy cartoon characters that rocked my dance floor with “MASHITUP!” just a few years ago.? Times and inspiration change, and producers Hal Ritson and DJ Nathan Taylor did their own take on ’70s funk using their full band and vintage recording gear.? The tracks sounds authentic for the time yet modern for today, with a bouncy energetic feel- a la Crazibiza.? “Harlem Breakdown” is getting a lot of buzz, with Mixmag declaring it Song Of the Month, and it’s easy to hear why.? It’s full-on classic disco, produced masterfully.? It sounds real and full and vibrant – something you just can’t get from plugins.??? The manic energy from their previous releases is channeled into pure creative artistry.? For club consumption, Mark One (Texas) and Rocoe (Reset!) keep the disco vibe full and center and add a bit of house to the proceedings.?? There is also a harder version of “Girls Like Disco” call “Boys Like Bass,” which the more electro-minded will call their own.? As always with the Young Punx, the visual presentations add a unique spin, with “Girls Like Disco” capturing middle-aged Chinese women line dancing and “Harlem Breakdown” bringing back their long-time collaborator, the beloved cartoonist Han Hoogerbrugge, whose creativity never ceases to blow our collective minds.

Image Courtesy of MofoHifi Records.

SONG OF THE DAY: Bombs Away – “Better Luck Next Time”

I was talking to a record promoter on the phone and thought I was hearing my favorite track of the moment, Lazy Jay’s “On the Rocks,” playing in the background. When I asked what it was, it ended up being “Better Luck Next Time” by the Australian pranksters Bombs Away, the duo best known for their cartoon videos and party boy antics. “Better Luck Next Time” features the duo rapping and sounding like a cross between Example, Hypercrush and LMFAO with a bit of effected vocals (? la ’90s Daft Punk) over a commercial, yet progressive-sounding track. For me, it’s all about the genre-spanning mixes by Joel Fletcher (alternating trap, banging electro, and progressive phrases), a MOTi mix (full-on aggressive electro with staccato, accented vocal bits) and Reece Low (bounce and trap). It’s a solid package of tracks that just make the duo “explode” all over the world.