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The Knocks – “Brightside” & Other Classic Hits – Essentials

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The Knocks – “Brightside” & Other Classic Hits – Essentials

I remember, vaguely, the talk in Hanover High School when it became known that Ben Ruttner, a couple years younger than I, had found success as a DJ. Christened in the music world “B-Roc,” there was talk of opening for DJ Shadow and Beyonce. But these were the days of punk rock and Biggie and I turned my attention to more saccharine diversions. Flash forward to now: you can imagine my happy surprise when I discovered that Mr. Ruttner, along with James “JPatt” Patterson, was one of the two core members of the DJ duo the Knocks. He’s also the CEO of HeavyRoc music, which produced, among other successes, College’s “A Real Hero” from Drive. Between gold medalist Hannah Kearney and B-Roc, it should be clear that Hanover, NH has something good in the water.

The Knocks’ last big hit, “Dancing With The DJ,” was awesome. It had a carefree joy that could only have come from fusing the sounds of ESPN’s Jock Jams (remember that?) with the best of the Bee Gees. Along with Penguin Prison’s “Multi-Millionaire,” it kept my hopes alive for a sustained resurrection of disco pop. They’ve just released another single, “Brightside,” which sustains the expected goodness. So here’s that new single, and a set of my favorite Knocks productions – they certainly have a diverse set of sounds they’re comfortable working with. Love the takes on classic soul, in particular. Here’s to you, Ben.

We should start with a few Knocks originals: “Brightside,” “Make It Better, “Blackout,” and “Dancing With The DJ,” The latter is the song that got me into this duo in the first place – still such a great dance piece. It should be a crime not to play it in a club.

The Knocks – Brightside

The Knocks – Make It Better (2018 Mix) [Official Audio]

The Knocks – Blackout

The Knocks – Dancing With the DJ (2011 EP Version)

Last February, the Knocks released a set of covers and remixes of old R&B and soul hits – Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, the Supremes… the good stuff. I’m of the opinion that not nearly enough music from that era is revisited by current DJs. Clearly, these guys are of the same mind.


Ain’t Too Proud To Beg – The Temptations (Cover)

It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point that the duo has put out a set of great remixes and mashups. You know what I think might be the most refreshing thing about these? NO DUBSTEP!!!!

This mashup of Ellie Goulding (who just toured with them) and Daft Punk is a good place to start:

Ellie Goulding vs Daft Punk There’s Something About Us Under The Sheets (video)

They put out a remix of one of the most redone songs of the past couple years – Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks.” Unsurprisingly, their version is one of the best.

Foster the People – Pumped Up Kicks (The Knocks Remix)

Here, they added a funk guitar and disco-funk beat to give a nice new dimension to Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead.”

Passion Pit – Sleepyhead (The Knocks Remix).wmv

And… oh my God. We have to end with their take on the Jackson Five’s “The Love You Save.” It’s hard to have too much of this sound.

The Jackson 5 – The Love You Save

The Knocks is an American electronic music duo consisting of Ben "B-Roc" Ruttner and James "JPatt" Patterson. They are known for their own releases on labels such as Kitsuné, Big Beat Records, Neon Gold and Atlantic Records and for their remixes featured on HypeMachine, Beatport, and various DJs' set lists. Wikipedia

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