top 5: exotic dance songs
    • WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 12, 2009

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    Picture it: a meticulously careless and artsy Brooklyn loft, American Apparel on every sweat glazed, shoulder blades and hipbones visible body, cigarettes and PBRs in between each dismissive wave of a hand, cheap red lipstick and black lined eyes. Half the room hovers around the iPod plugged in to expensive speakers, and the host in a glitter coated, perfectly molded dress grins as she changes the song. The scratch of a fake vinyl--a childish voice starts: "do the D-A-N-C-E, one two three four fives..." Oh, oh, no. Not Justice. Not now, not here, not again. The room becomes one of frozen hipster zombies desperate to hide their horror at the poor host's unforgivable mistake.

    Yeah, we know. It terrifies us too. That's why we've got you covered with some of the best songs to blast at those end of summer parties, impossibly catchy and guaranteed to make even robots dance, sweet and sassy and unexpected, remixes and covers of super hip artists with other super hip artists. Not quite painfully trite and overplayed, but painfully fun and refreshing. And most of them are from exotic enough lands where even if questioned, a one sentence bio about any given artist should prove your total legitimacy. You're welcome.- Laura Yan

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    Little Boots-Stuck on Repeat (Fake Blood Remix)
    Normally no one pays a musician's branding of genres on Myspace the slightest attention (and rightly so,) but when it comes to British DJ/electro master Fake Blood and his classification of himself as grindcore/electro/idol, it seems like there is no better description. Especially the latter two: electro idol is a status he well deserves. Renowned for his genius remixes, and his ability to do so so well that in his remix of British-the-next-Goldfrapp-electro pop star Little Boots's "Stuck on Repeat," he makes the singer sound like she sings his name when in fact it is purely his mixing abilities. But it is his mastery of the song, adding spinning lights and colors, an edge to the distant, galaxy spanning original, which while a quality electro song on its own, with the help of Fake Blood turns from attempted melodrama to blissful, fast paced, addictive ecstasy in song form.

    Yelle-Qui Est Cette Fille? (Robyn cover)
    In case you didn't know: Yelle is France's most absurdly adorable, adorably explicit, explicitly brilliant and catchy electro-dance pop star, and Robyn is the Kelly Clarkson of Sweden (in the ability to create impossible to criticize perfect pop songs like "Since U Been Gone" sort of way), sweet and sassy, hip and edgy and pop in the best of ways. So imagine the delight of the world when the two superstars became friends--sort of. That is to say, "Je m'appelle Yelle, elle s'appelle Robyn." That is to say, as soon as Yelle kicks off her francophone cover of Robyn's version of "Who's That Girl?", with an introduction that is this simple and effective, turning the genuine, resigned but strong girl pop anthem of Robyn into a fierce, infectious, signature Yelle dance anthem, with jerky keyboards and a pounding beat, scratchy echoed verse openings bound to be in your head for too long.

    Friendly Fires-Paris (Aeroplane remix featuring Au Revoir Simone)
    Okay, sure, Friendly Fires, the UK response to Cut Copy, is fun and electro and cute and hip and all. And "Paris" is a pretty, synchronized striving toward "epic" song and everything, youth and escapism played out in swirls of electro, but when the sweet, quiet indiepop collective US girls Au Revoir Simone comes into it, and the Aeroplane remix is born, then this song turns into something beautiful. Now, in the clean keyboards, the melody has space to breath, and Au Revoir Simone's pretty girl vocals reassuring, "one day, we're gonna be in Paris, I promise" you want to believe them. Instead of a ridiculous thought pressured into song form, this is a promise, this is hope and dreams and make believe, but with a conviction that the make believe will come true if you just hold on long enough. This is watching the stars from the rooftop and realizing that one day you'll see the same stars in Paris, with that French girl or boy and that future, painted in the vast black night sky, and you smile and dance and sing and this time next year, we'll be forever more, and this, all of this, the stars and the song and the moment, is for us, just us.

    Ladyhawke-Paris is Burning (Cut Copy remix)
    Ladyhawke might sound like she came out straight out of the eighties with a kinship for the likes of Santigold, but when Cut Copy scratches and repaints "Paris is Burning," it is all modern and edge, disco and drums, a yearning forgotten in the rush of the moment. In the playful escape of the synthesizers, in the anticipation twinkling to the chorus, claps and distance installed in an echoey path toward a revelation, a revelation in an explosion of colors and Cut Copy's version of the melody, full and pounding and rich and alive, bursting with the colors of the flames as Paris screams all night long, and a listener can't help but agree as feet move to the manipulated melody of what has turned into a perfect dance song.

    The Little Ones-Lovers Who Uncover (CSS remix)
    From the frenzied opening of Brazilian hipsters dance pop rockers Cansei de Ser Sexy remix of the relatively tame, expected catchy indiepop of Los Angeles based The Little Ones, you should know something's going to go off sometime in the duration of this song. It is a dramatic make over from the happy, melodic original, which while perfect for a Saturday afternoon and filled with claps and shout along choruses, is hardly the sort of song that will get guests on edge at a dance party. Thank god for CSS, painting it in strobe lights and spikes on platform heels, rainbow colors and nu-rave hooks that won't let up, claps infused into the pulsing beat, now insistent and demanding, shouts and melody that tighten around your brain and attacks your body until you can't help but dance with pumping fists and closed eyes, ecstatic only to be celebrating and alive.

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