The internet has been abuzz the past couple days with notable nominations for the 2016 Grammy Awards. And, since social media has become a luxuriously customizable experience, all news I’ve come across has centered around electronic musicians being recognized. Either the electronic music community is very excited Jamie XX and Caribou received nods, or they know that, because the award show lands on the day after Valentine’s Day this time, we’ll all be tuning in as sadder, hollower versions of ourselves and the distraction will be sorely needed.
Upon checking out the nominees for Best Dance Recording, I realized I wasn’t familiar with even half (i.e. any), so I’m doing my musical due diligence. Keep in mind, this is an award with a colorful array of past recipients: from the helmeted dons of house music, Daft Punk, to … Baha Men. Here are all the thoughts I had while listening through the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording 2016 nominations. Well, minus the approximately 20 times I thought, “I wonder what the Baha Men are doing at this very moment?”
“We’re All We Need”
Above & Beyond Featuring Zoë Johnston
1. I thought this is dance music, why am I listening to downtempo electronica?
2. Oh wait. There’s the beat. This bpm is setting me up for a well-executed fist pump
3. If I were Above & Beyond, I would be all I need, too. I wonder if “we” includes the help, the entourage, the ghost producers and the string of interchangeable pool boys they’ve definitely never harassed
4. How is this song already ending? Since when did electronic tracks end before the 14-minute mark?
The Chemical Brothers Featuring Q-Tip
5. Already very different from Moby’s “Go”
6. Already much more danceable than Moby’s “Go”
7. Did they just use the same breathing sample from Britney Spears’ “Slave 4 U”?
8. Sorry, Above & Beyond, this track already makes me want to dance, not weep at my lack of a private jet and sensible human emotions
9. Laser effects! Yes!
“Never Catch Me”
Flying Lotus Featuring Kendrick Lamar
10. Is this a dance track? How do people dance these days? Do I need to go to Burning Man to understand?
11. Kendrick Lamar would make an amazing drum ‘n’ bass MC. Just sayin’!
12. Dorothy, we’re not in Baha Men territory anymore
13. If anything this weird wins a Grammy, respect won’t even begin to describe what I’ll feel for the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
“Runaway (U & I)”
14. This feels thematically similar to the Above & Beyond track I just endured
15. Childlike voices singing over electronic music? I thought we left this in 2007 with Justice
16. Wow, a 10/10 on the fist pumping scale
17. It’s taking every bit of restraint I have to not hit “next” and listen to “Peanut Butter Jelly”
18. Is it a 20/20 on the fist pumping scale if I use both hands?
19. Not entirely sure how to pronounce this track’s title. Am very hesitant
20. What’s with the 2015 trend of sneak attack electronic songs that start off like a ballad? I’m not looking to get down with tears in my eyes. I mean, unless my Long Island is running low
21. This song slingshots quickly from sleepy to jungle. I’m confused
22. Seeing as two songs nominated for Best Dance Recording replace “you” with “U” in their titles, I’m convinced these were strategically selected by stodgy music listeners to make electronic music fans look like uneducated, moronic — Oh, shit! Lasers!