2012 has been an interesting year in dance music, and just about every blog in the blog-o-world has voiced their two cents on the best and brightest artists, albums, and tunes of the hugely diverse past 12 months. Whether it be popularity or quality, everyone has a different way of deciding their top tracks. We chose to base our list both on average interests of the team, overall track quality, and musical influence. Popularity of the track is not a factor.
How it Works:
Metrojolt’s Top 25 Dance Tracks were calculated by polling contributing members of the team and calculating average scores from personalized top 25 lists. Each author nominated 5 of the best quality dance tracks of the year, and of the large group nominated, ranked a personal top 25. The final list displayed here represents the average score of each track ranked.
With all that out of the way, here are Metrojolt’s picks for the top 25 best dance tracks of 2012:
#25: Cascade – Tommy Trash
#24: Days To Come – Seven Lions
#23: Treadstone – RL Grime
RL Grime is really a jack of all trades. With already a popular following for his alias Clockwork, RL Grime has come out from the shadows as a perpetrator of trap and bass music. ‘Treadstone’ breathes with billowing kicks and high pitched synths pushing it forward, and quite frankly, it brought RL Grime on the map.
#22: Now Let Me See You Work – Joe Brunning
Tribal, hard and simple. That’s all you need with a base poundin’ Techno track like Joe Brunning’s ‘Now Let Me See You Work’. When I first heard this at Carl Cox’s set at EDC Vegas, the vibe was incredible. The entire crowd couldn’t stop dancing and the anticipation during the countdown is entirely epic.
#21: Monitor – John Roman
John Roman had an incredible year. His 3 original EPs were each phenomenal. Infrared, Petrified and Monitor each included multiple of my top techno tracks of this year. Monitor is the perfect display of John Roman’s talent for creating a complete track out of one very simple idea.
#20: LOVE TRVP & BA$$ – Juke Ellington
#19: Petrified – John Roman
#18: Booty Clap – Kill Frenzy
Recently signed to Claude VonStroke’s Dirtybird label, Kill Frenzy came out swinging in 2012. With his club signature ‘Booty Clap’ record, Kill Frenzy situated himself among the funk connoisseurs of electronic music. Immediately, it’s infectious rhythm hits with a bouncy house vibe and slows down to that booty bumpin feeling, making it an international club hit.
#17: Astral Projection (Destructo Remix – Boys Noize Edit) – Strip Steve
#16: Higher Ground – TNGHT
Does it need explanation? TNGHT changed music, or at least bass music, in 2012. Simple as that. This track represents the explosion of the subgenre in 2012 – without this track, I’m sure a few others on this list wouldn’t exist.
#15: Drama (Sinjin Hawke & Canblaster Remix) – Noveau Palais
Just another amazing track from two artists who, over the past two years, have taken over everything that is bass. This track has vibes ranging from amazing, low-key bass to upbeat and groovy house music. The masters have done it again!
#14: XTC – Boys Noize
#13: Shut Up (John Roman Remix) – Proxy
#12: Shockwave (Gesaffelstein Remix) – The Hacker
#11: Rhythm Sticks – SCNTST
Every year I find a new teenage producer to envy the shit out of. Last year it was Morter Radeon. This year it was SCNTST. 17 year old SCNTST’s entire debut album, Pre-Melodic Structures, was fire. With that understood, Rhythm Sticks was a stand out.
#10: Transcendence – Mumbai Science
To be honest, ‘Researchers’ would be on this list instead of ‘Transcendence’ had it not come out a week before the start of 2012. ‘Transcendence’ is deep, hypnotizing future techno that will surprise you with its minimalism.
#9: Ricochet – Casino Gold
Casino Gold’s track of year ‘Ricochet’ mysteriously leads you into a perfect mix — Bad Life Records style coupled with Casino Gold acid. A list recapping the best of 2012’s EDM wouldn’t be complete without a blaring 303 somewhere.
#8: My Intention Is War – Disclosure
One of Disclosure’s hottest tracks to date; this upbeat and rhythmic masterpiece has been played out by dj’s across the world. My Intention is War takes you on a journey from start to finish, as does every cut by Disclosure. This is one of their many songs that made them deserving of Beatport’s #1 Artist in 2012.
#7: Yo Vogue (Claude VonStroke Remix) – French Fries
Claude Von Stroke is a god. It’s no secret that his label Dirtybird has been cranking out the top booty bumpin tunes to date, and with when we first heard the original from the illustrious French Fries, we couldn’t hold in our excitement. So why did we pick the Claude VonStroke’s remix instead for our top 25? Well, among ghetto-funk inspired vocals that hit hard with a deep voice, it’s all just a bit funkier. Be sure to check out the original too!
#6: Water Jump – Daniel Avery
Daniel Avery has been well known for years in the UK from his residency at Fabric. 2012 thrust him into the spotlight with the release of the Waterjump EP. ‘Water Jump’ was a startlingly unique future techno release. Headed by the title track, the release was a brilliantly modern nod to techno’s past.
#5: What I Might Do – Ben Pearce
You could not escape ‘What I Might Do’ in 2012. Whether it be low-key deep house sets or high-energy tech, this Ben Pearce track acted as an anthem throughout the entire year. The Anthony Hamilton sample is absolutely brilliant, bringing us back to classic vibes through a fresh, modern look. This is what deep house should be, and I would easily site ‘What I Might Do’ as a major catalyst for the huge amount of quality deep house constantly coming out in the second half of 2012.
#4: Running (Disclosure Remix) – Jessie Ware
Spoiler alert: this is not the last Disclosure track in our top 25. Their understanding of how sounds work together is unparalleled in 2012, and leads to insanely groovy grooves like this one. The first time I heard this was in a Justin Martin mix – the climax comes out of nowhere, stops you in your tracks, and forces you to pay attention to it’s funkiness. That’s not to forget the original – Jessie Ware has had quite the year as well. The combination of these two artists is far too perfect to be left out of our top 25.
#3: Don’t Go – Justin Martin
Dirtybird annihilated 2012. Whether it be Claude VonStroke releasing a constant stream of unique originals and remixes or Justin Jay playing phenomenal opening sets at every party in L.A, one was never far from the hip-hop inspired basslines of the Dirtybird crew. Within this explosion of quality tunes, the biggest highlight was without a doubt Justin Martin’s Ghettos & Gardens, featuring ‘Don’t Go’, another staple in the tech house circuit. It just has so many great elements…the vocal samples, percussion, and synth work is easily one of the most creative jams of 2012.
#2: Baby I Got That – Bondax
2012 was the year for U.K. duos. Bondax and Disclosure led the way in the invention and revival of both classic and modern garage sounds, creating a unique and phenomenally groovy niche in dance music. While Disclosure focused on a clubbier style of future garage, Bondax found their sound through disco style grooves and a heavy emphasis on sampling. ‘Baby I Got That’ is the epitome of Bondax’s sound – summertime jams for sunny days of dance. Anyone that doesn’t immediately start dancing when this track comes on is made of stone. Brilliantly produced and wonderfully arranged, it comes as no surprise that ‘Baby I Got That’ made such a mark on our list.
#1: What’s In Your Head – Disclosure
There really isn’t a whole lot of argument, this is one of the best, if not the best track of the year. It’s almost an undisputed fact – blogs all over the place have been naming ‘What’s In Your Head’ the best track of 2012. It perfectly encompasses the future garage sound that made such an impact this year and showcases the best and grooviest parts of the genre. The garage synth line is so simple and so funky…then that long break hits and somehow manages to change the song entirely and still be the funkiest thing ever. The two young kids making these tunes are easily the most talented and most creative producers of 2012, and we expect huge things from them in 2013.