A brief escape from the gravity of it all – Miguel Otárola

A brief escape from the gravity of it all – Miguel Otárola

Recording Solid Foundations with my co-host MRNC offered a respite from a year filled with loss, tension, rage and anxiety. The opportunity to share music that uplifts, energizes and overwhelms was a blessing, whether we were mixing in the KFAI studio, from our respective homes or together in MRNC’s basement.

I no longer live in Minneapolis, though I hope I can share some guest mixes for Solid Foundations from time to time. Below are some of my favorite dance tracks that came out this year, most of which I played on the show. Most are also available on Bandcamp, a platform that values the work of artists.

This year brought so many lessons to Minneapolis. After yet another police killing, less than a mile away from where George Floyd was taken from us, I can only hope that we start to grasp what they were. We haven’t learned them yet.

Favorite dance music of 2020

Anunaku & DJ Plead – 032 – DJ Plead came out with a ton of great music this year, including a great EP in October. Still, this collaboration was my favorite. Some very risky, hypnotic, bass-heavy drum tracks.

Anz – “Loos in Twos (NRG)” – Three incredible drum tracks. Some of the most fun I had mixing this year.

Baauer – “HOT 44” – There are lots of gems in Baauer’s latest album. Tracks like this one are what make me miss live shows most.

DJ SWISHA – “Shake n Bounce (feat. BASSBEAR!!)” – Bounce bounce bounce bounce bounce bou–

Four Tet – “So Sick (KH Version)” – If you know, you know.

India Jordan – “Rave City” – Just some incredibly catchy, retro filter house. Loved driving around to this one.

Jayda G – “Both Of Us (Jayda G Sunset Bliss Mix)” – Piano house lives!

Josey Rebelle – Josey In Space – Worth listening to the entirety of Josey Rebelle’s entry into the Beats in Space mix series.

Joy Orbison – “GR Etiquette (‘09 Mix)” – Not technically a new one, but one that really hit me in my feels, particularly this year.

Kareem Ali – “Night Echoes” – One to get lost in. (Also, shouts out to Phoenix.)

Kush Jones – Strictly 4 My CDJZ 11

Kush Jones came out with a LOT of music this year, but this is the strongest collection of the bunch, pound for pound. Fast, light and atmospheric.

Logic1000 – I love the energy and emotion in Logic1000’s songs and look forward to what she has coming next year. My favorite of the bunch from this year was the B side “Blossom.”

Pangaea – “Like This (Volt Mix)” – Probably my favorite bassline of the year.

Robert Hood – “The Struggle (Original Mix)” – This one is a must-listen for anyone who lives in the Twin Cities.

Shinichi Atobe – “Yes” – I always do a little happy dance to this one.

TAH – “Mo’s Eat the Two” – A very raunchy track that I could not play on the radio sadly. I will never get tired of this Kool & the Gang sample.

wheelbite – “Lisa” –  Big ups to Evan, this track is a wonder. My only complaint is that it’s too short!