DJ Carl Michaels Presents: 10 Reasons to Pause That Beyonce Album

G Philly is excited to debut a new monthly music column from Gayborhood DJ Carl Michaels. 

dj carl michaels

So here we are dumped into the purgatory of “the rest of winter,” grasping at something — anything — to look forward to. The good news? There is a ton of good music out there to keep you warm while you wait for spring.

First, a little about me: I DJ about three nights a week in Philly, and have been playing here and around the country for about 17 years. I’m not a music snob. I believe there is something for everyone, and musical taste is shaped by experience. I love pop music as much as I enjoy more underground sounds, whatever that means anymore considering the explosion of Electronic Dance Music (EDM). And I don’t care if something is just coming out or is older. These are the things moving me right now, and in turn, moving my dancefloors.

Side note: I’m going to try to steer clear of the obvious. I know you’ve heard the Beyoncé album. You don’t need me to tell you about it. But here are some tracks that may make you want to put it on pause for a minute. Listen to the playlist on Spotify, or enjoy each track in the videos below.

“Running Back to You” by Perseus With a one-sentence bio that reads “record-making baby maker,” U.S.-based Perseus makes emotive, slow-burning house beats. And every release is a winner. This one samples Ashanti’s “Foolish.”

“Love Me Again” (Kove Remix) by John Newman He sounds like Mark Morrison (“Return Of The Mack”) but he’s a white British dude. The Kove remix is drum-and-bass, but I like ending my sets with it. Synthesizer madness.

“Hotwire” (Sonny Fodera Remix) by Colette Colette is the L.A. transplant who cut her teeth in the ’90s Chicago house scene. This is sexy and smooth and may well be my song of the year. I play it every time I DJ.

“Black and Blue” by Miike Snow At this point several years old, I can’t go without including this in my inaugural list. Sublime music by three super hot British dudes.

“Concert Pitch” by Empire of the Sun One of the best tracks on the new album, Ice On The Dune. If you missed them at the Made In America festival over the summer, you missed something special.

“Saturday Night” by Natalia Kills Natalia Kills is equally edgy, hard and fun. She deserves so much more play than she gets. This is one of the more pop-y tracks from her second album, Trouble.

“Replay” by Zendaya Guilty pleasure. It reminds me a little of Keri Hilson’s “Energy,” which is an old favorite.

“Gypsy” by Lady Gaga I don’t need to tell you about this, but let me make one thing clear: This is one of my favorite pop songs, like, ever.

“Fame” (Fred Falke Remix) by Axel Le Baron and Kurbatov French producer Fred Falke has a knack for injecting emotive basslines into anything he puts his hands on. Love this.

“Radioactive” by Rita Ora This came out last year but didn’t get much play in the U.S. Rita Ora delivers a strong pop vocal that is a solid dance floor stormer.

Want more? DJ Carl Michaels can be found online at He DJs weekly at Voyeur Nightclub.