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Hercules And Love Affair (#110 of 3)

Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2017

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Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2017

Brendan Walter

Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2017

Even the resilience of retroism was, this year, tinged with the irony of watching those not knowing the past being doomed to repeat it. But in a grasping-at-straws moment, grim reality checks, bubblicious-pop contraptions, stripped-down folk-soul, and, yes, Old Music 2.0 seemed to coexist on a playlist sending signals of life from the Upside Down, or at least one designed to help us feel some type of way. So even though, as our list of the year’s top singles reveals, we more often than not had to travel all the way to Japan and England to satisfy our memories of hip-thrusting better days that we may never see return, the pleasure of the perfect three- or four-minute escape will never be quashed. Though we’re at the point where even Katy Perry knows we’re all metaphorically in chains.

10 Greatest Frankie Knuckles Tracks

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10 Greatest Frankie Knuckles Tracks
10 Greatest Frankie Knuckles Tracks

Though he was born and raised in the Bronx, Frankie Knuckles (née Francis Nicholls) called the Windy City home. Known in dance music circles as the Godfather of House Music, the DJ/producer is credited with helping to popularize Chicago house in the wake of disco’s greatly exaggerated demise, paving the way for the genre’s domination of the pop charts in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Cutting his teeth alongside DJ Larry Levan in the ’70s, Knuckles spun regularly at the Warehouse in Chicago, went on to open his own club, the Power Plant, and remix hits by everyone from Michael Jackson to Inner City.

House Playlist A Skillz, Kim Ann Foxman, & the Pains of Being Pure at Heart

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A Skillz, “Beatles Minimix.” Adam Mills (a.k.a. A Skillz) is taking over the U.K. one house party at a time, marrying his seemingly endless catalogue of influences with a riotous funky-breaks flavor. His latest effort was produced for BBC Radio 1xtra to celebrate the Beatles’s influence on urban music, and despite its rather stunted seven-minute length, it still somehow manages to pack the same staggering punch of its sprawling hour-long bretheren. Almost all of the Fab Four’s classics are revisited, coupled with deft hip-hop samples (see Jurassic 5’s flute loop over “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” @ 0:40) and some dancefloor-friendly remixes from Skillz (see his pulsating take on “Come Together” @ 6:32, or his “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” medley @ 3:12 onward). For Beatles fans, or for anyone with a funky bone in their body, it’s time to jump on the A Skillz bandwagon. Huw Jones