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2012 Dance Grammy Nominees


The 2012 Grammy nominations are quite impressive. A wide diversity of electronic dance music artists are nominated, and we even have Skrillex nominated for Best New Artist. With five nominations, Skrillex definitely leads the pack. If you look at the grammy.com website, you will see Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album listed as categories number 9 and 10, which is a nice bit of respect for our genre. Though, it might be time for them to update their category filters: "Dance" makes sense, "Disco" really doesn't. With the 35 million subgenres of electronic dance music, even we can get confused from time to time.

Here are the nominees for the dance/electronic categories:

Best Dance Recording

Deadmau5 & Greta Svabo Bech - "Raise Your Weapon" - Ultra Records
Duck Sauce - "Barbra Streisand" - Downtown Records
David Guetta & Avicii - "Sunshine" - Virgin
Robyn - "Call Your Girlfriend" - Interscope Records
Skrillex - "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" - Big Beat/Atlantic
Swedish House Mafia - "Save The World" - Astralwerks

It is so nice to look at this category and see nothing embarrassing. There is no who "Let the Dogs Out" or any top 40 pop songs that masquerade as dance records. The nominations are by truly electronic artists who focus on making dance music. While some may deride "Barbra Streisand" as a cheesy novelty record, it started as an underground club record and then exploded all the way to crossover. The fact that it went from a Boney M cruise ship classic to Armand Van Helden and A-Trak's computer all the way to Glee is a pretty major accomplishment. I thought the novelty slot would go to "We No Speak Americano." It's also nice to see all of the international heavyweights represented in the category: David Guetta & Avicii, deadmau5, Skrillex, and Swedish House Mafia. Special kudos to Skrillex for getting five nominations including Best New Artist. The only choice of question is "Sunshine" by David Guetta with Avicii. It has yet to be released as a single and isn't really gaining major buzz; I am guessing it was chosen for credibility as Avicii is the boy wonder that everyone is drooling over. I guess we should give Virgin credit for not going with the obvious Usher single which would have probably guaranteed the win due to the major name which would have resonated with the mainstream commercial voters. Of course, being a massive Robyn fan, it's great seeing her nominated for her first #1 club hit in the US. Who knows, if all the big name voting pools will cancel each other out, she might have a chance at a win. A few songs are noticeably absent - Afrojack ft Eva Simons' "Take Over Control" (it was released October 2010 - so it fit the eligibility period), Martin Solveig ft Dragonette's "Hello," and, as much as I hate to say it, LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."

Best Dance/Electronica Album

Cut/Copy - Zonoscope - Modular Recordings
deadmau5 - 4x4=12 - Ultra Records
David Guetta - Nothing But The Beat - Virgin Records
Robyn - Body Talk, Pt. 3 - Interscope Records
Skrillex - Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites - Big Beat/Atlantic

This category seems just about perfect with its range of nominations that represent a variety of flavors of electronic dance music. It was also pretty obvious between friends that we got three and half right. The half being Robyn as we were thinking Body Talk would be nominated. On second thought, it was probably not submitted or allowed because it contained previously released material. I thought that Wolfgang Gartner's album as an artist would get the nomination because it is easily the best electro release of the year. It may have possibly been excluded because of its Sept. 20 release date. But after looking at the eligibility period, that wasn't the issue. I am guessing that people couldn't see past that horrid Will.I.Am single to see the true masterpiece that the album was. Kudos go to Cut/Copy for grabbing the slot as they fly the flag for all the great artists on Modular (Presets, Sneaky Sound System). I could easily see this award going to David Guetta simply because of the huge mainstream support across the industry of his strong artist album, although it would be amazing to see either deadmau5 or Skrillex snatch it with their massive underground support.

Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

Benny Benassi - "Cinema" (Skrillex Remix) - Ultra Records
Daft Punk - "End Of Line" (Photek Remix) - Walt Disney Records
Foo Fighters - "Rope" (Deadmau5 Mix) - RCA / Roswell Records
Leona Lewis - "Collide" (Afrojack Remix) - RCA Records
Rihanna - "Only Girl (In The World)" (Rosabel Club Mix) - Island/Def Jam

Ah, the annual WTF nominations as Best Remixed Recording is usually the category where the really odd things pop up. Though I wouldn't have selected everything on here, each makes some sense. The Skrillex mix of "Cinema" became a massive hit out of nowhere becoming the first dubstep track to come close to crossing over here in the states. When Nashville kids start requesting a record en masse, you know something is up. The Leona record gets love in both its Avicii production and Dirty Dutch remix. While I personally think Afrojack's mix lacks energy and the Cahill remix is far superior, this might offer comfort for his shocking snub in the Best Dance Recording category. It was obvious that Tron was going to get some Grammy love from the EDM community and I was suspecting it might be in the album category, but this works even better. Also, did you ever think you would see underground drum and bass producer Photek show up on a Grammy nomination list? That's pretty cool. Thanks to an eligibility loophole which allows songs released in September to be nominated for two years, "Only Girl (In the World)," which won "Best Dance Recording" last year is back . Here as the token pop remix - the dated sounding Rosabel mix mistakenly gives credibility to the tired tribal sound that unfortunately infects the Billboard Club Chart. The Bimbo Jones remix is far superior, but I am guessing there was a memo passed around to ignore the UK commercial remix teams of Bimbo Jones, Cahill, Steve Smart, & Westfunk. To take a rock record and make it electro is a really cool idea and Deadmau5 nailed the Foo Fighters remix, so I am not surprised to see it get the nomination it deserved. What surprises me more is the absence of remix nominations for R3hab and Alesso, though maybe a single dirty Dutch nomination is enough to keep everything balanced.

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