Opinion
2 min

From the Speakers

Deko-ze gets to know Denise Benson

DJ Denise Benson presents her top 10 tracks of the moment

Featured DJ: Denise Benson      

Hometown: Toronto (via Grafton, Ontario)

Bio: DJ and journalist Denise Benson has long mixed beats, words and ideas. The award-winning club DJ has produced a wide range of events, held down numerous residencies (Dyke Nite, SHE, Bent, Synchro, Savour . . .) and played at dozens of top Toronto venues over the past two decades. She’s a party rocker with an ear for the underground, known to please crowds while blending diverse, soulful sounds and connecting electronic music’s past to the present and future. Along with Cozmic Cat, Denise co-produces red-hot queer women’s monthly Cherry Bomb, which celebrates seven years this June. Denise is also at work on a book titled Then & Now: Toronto Nightlife History, an extension of her popular web series for The Grid. Watch for it this fall, via Three O’Clock Press.

1. Kiesza – “Hideaway” 

A “now” take on ’90s house (think Crystal Waters, Black Box, Robin S) by a woman originally from Calgary. Massive fun.

2. Duke Dumont, featuring Jax Jones – “I Got U (Tensnake Remix)

A new-school house producer with deep roots. This is happy house with soul, bass and wobble.

3. Vario Volinski – “Falling in Love

Sweet, deep house. Romantic and sexy as hell.

4. Sam Smith – “Money on My Mind” 

Breakbeats, piano, soulful vocals and massive hooks — dare ya not to sing along. I so wish more pop music could sound like this.

5. Marcos Carnaval, Mario Bittencourt, Rio e-Carnival – “Bitch, Let Me See You Work” 

A big room-stormer that balances tribal percussion with heavy synths. Think Brazilian Carnival in a dark, late-night dancefloor context. Hot.

6. Miguel, featuring Wale Bennie and the Jets” 

A totally inventive bass-heavy soul cover of the Elton John classic. Absolutely does the original justice.

7. Martyn & Four Tet – “Glassbeadgames” 

A collaboration between two of electronic music’s most adventurous producers, this bass-heavy bit of beauty makes every part of my body move in all the right ways.

8Noah Pred, featuring Rosina Circles and Circles” 

Former Torontonian Pred creates some of the most precise and moving tech house you’ll hear. This collaboration with LA vocalist Rosina is deep, dubby and perfect.

9. Kelis – “Jerk Ribs (Will Saul Remix)

I love the new Kelis album, start to finish; this wicked, percussive remix with the start-stop rhythms brings the lead single to the dancefloor.

10. Rihanna – “Stay [MSR Soca Edit]

Perfect for an evening’s close. Fresh.