The Best Aussie Dance Tracks Of All Time, As Picked By Golden Features
Spoiler: 'Shooting Stars' is one of them.
Last Friday, Sydney producer Golden Features released his debut album, the dark and pulverising SECT.
The record was a long time in the making for the man born Tom Stell, who first exploded onto the scene back in 2014 with his punchy self-titled EP.
In the years since, Stell has risen to become one of Australia’s premier dance producers (a peer of Alison Wonderland, What So Not, and Hayden James), and has chalked up festival slots on just about every major event in the country.
SECT is a fully realised debut — a twisted and enthralling amalgamation of all of Stell’s influences, from Queens of the Stone Age to AIR to the back-catalogue of Ed Banger records.
“I keep reaching back to that 2007 era when producers weren’t all crabs in a bucket, fighting to counterfeit the latest hit,” says Stell. “I abandoned a lot of software in favour of hardware as an attempt to limit sound design possibilities, and more importantly I settled on an ethos for the entire record. It’s simple.
“Underneath all of the production flex, does the song stand on its own? I’ve changed through writing this and I don’t think I could have achieved what I wanted if I hadn’t.”
To celebrate SECT’s release, we asked Stell to dig back through his record crate and come up with his favourite Australian dance releases of all time — a way of giving props to the tracks that inspired him as a kid, to songs from the artists he cut his teeth alongside on the Sydney nightclub circuit.
All together, the list makes for a banging listen. Get stuck in.
#5. Bag Raiders — ‘Shooting Stars’
This song holds such a special place in my heart. I was so lucky when I started DJing that I was surrounded by some incredibly supportive guys. They would throw these wild parties down at Bronte beach and I’d come down and DJ.
This song would get played four to five times on those nights, and people would lose their minds. Makes me smile whenever I hear it.
#4. Flume — ‘Holdin On’
Everything changed after Flume’s debut album. And this song is the cornerstone of it for me.
It was incredibly inspiring to see somebody go against the grain, carve their own path and thrive. Since then everybody has tried to emulate him but nobody can quite capture what he does. Everybody needs to get their teeth out of Flume.
#3. Peking Duk — ‘High’
It was hard to pick one particular song from the Duk’s — there’s just way too many burners. This song just reminds of how good music can get when people as talented as Adam and Rueben lock onto an emotion.
I don’t think there’s a soul on this planet who can write better hooks than these guys.
#2. RÜFÜS — ‘Innerbloom’
‘Innerbloom’ is a masterpiece. I’ve really got no words to describe it. Anybody who’s heard it already knows, it’s just special.
#1. The Presets — ‘This Boy’s In love’
Apocalypso was one of my introductions to dance music. I got a fake ID at 16 purely to see the Presets play Shore Thing at Bondi on New Year’s Eve.
I remember having anxiety for weeks leading up to the event from the fear that I might still not get in. That show set me on the path that I’m still on today. When ‘This Boy’s In Love’ came on, it was all over.
Maybe my favourite song of all time.