Various Artists

Annie Mac Presents 2013

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Mainstream, but with good taste, is the way BBC Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac plays it, especially when it comes to the annual overview that bears her name. Annie Mac 2013, or AMP 2013, is a high point for the series, offering a set of cutting-edge dance tunes that are still floor-fillers with Disclosure’s “When a Fires Starts to Burn” being the quintessential cut. Does Disclosure’s infectious hit fall into the category of EDM, house music, Girl Talk-type cut-up electro, or all of the above? The last one is probably the correct answer as the electronica of 2013 has gone in every direction with no dominating scene, with Gotsome offering wonky-pop hip-hop on their party starter “Bassline,” while Gorgon City go with deep, rich house on the sultry “Real.” Breach’s “Jack” jacks its body in the spirit of dirty Chicago house, Rudimental increases the pressure with their drum'n'bass burner “Waiting All Night,” while Jessie Ware is the sound of smart pop for club people on her great “Imagine It Was Us.” The Joe Goddard remix of Breach’s “Everything You Never Had” is an epic genre journey in itself, going from Tangerine Dream’s idea of new age to Massive Attack-sized soul and all with an indie-electro beat underneath; plus it deserves special mention that the mysterious house producer known as Route 94 shows up with an exclusive track, “My Love,” which swings like Count Basie and cries out like Mahalia Jackson. It all hangs together thanks to Annie’s finely tuned B.S. detector, so if you want to know “what’s good” in dance music circa 2013, go elsewhere, because this one is just about the excellence.

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