Strictly Rhythm 2011 Review
2011 has been an eventful year in dance music. With the likes of Swedish House Mafia and Deadmau5 holding sway in mainstream house, the status quo of the last few years was rudely interrupted by a pincer movement of the exploding dub step scene on the one side and the stealthy but sure creep of nu underground house/sleazy house.
While Skrillex and Nero took dub step to the commercial centre-stage and Avicii and Alesso joined Afrojack in the premier league of house, the underground’s fascination with the late ‘80s and early ‘90s blossomed with the likes of Azari & III, Jamie Jones, Lee Foss and Maya Jane Coles providing evidence of a thriving and multi-faceted scene.
For our part, we took what some considered a left turn with UK singer/ songwriter/ DJ/ producer Ben Westbeech, who for his part moved in a housier direction with his second album There’s More To Life Than This. Reactions to the album and singles Falling and Something For The Weekend were glowing all around, the latter landing on daytime radio in Italy as it went crossover. It was the year’s biggest breakthrough house producer Avicii who kicked things off for us with his double mix set Avicii presents Strictly Miami, while next generation French DJ Norman Doray followed with Norman Doray presents Strictly Ibiza to Amsterdam; both plundered the vaults for their early inspirations while strutting the contemporary stuff on the second session. In between, one of our favourites Australians helmed Strictly Dirty South.
Singles-wise we covered traditional diva house with The Only One by Kim English meets Blacksoul, Jozsef Keller & Pete-R, snagged an excellent soulful outing from the talented Donae’O with I, got melodic with Ghosts Of Venice’s Without You, Yasmeen’s Love (with Sandy Rivera) and Rise (with Danism) and kept it firmly for the floor with Wally Lopez and NKDj’s Running Out, Tom Flynn’s Opera House and DJ Chus & Oliver Moldan’s U Got 2 Have It. And next? Mauvais Cliché’s Stop Watching Me and Dino Vs Hardrive’s quirky I Wanna Be Like Talking Heads are among those jostling for release in the new year – check Strictly’s Christmas Crackers for a cheeky preview.