Electronic music is one of the most rapidly evolving genres in the industry today. With a constant influx of fresh new tracks from everyone and their grandmother, it’s nice to look back and reflect on the gems that stood out from the crowd. Everybody’s top picks will surely be different, but here’s my list. All of the following songs have had a profound affect on my development as I’ve gotten more and more into EDM in the past year. Check ‘em out!
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To this day, “Fire Inside” by Gemini remains one of the dopest electro house tracks I’ve ever heard. It’s the perfect dichotomy of lush vocal sections and brutal bass drops. Even if the first half of the drop doesn’t get you hooked, the second half is sure to be a home run when he breaks into that dirty triplet rhythm.
Knife Party’s Rage Valley EP was quite possibly one of the best and most successful releases of the year. All four songs are absolute bangers, but for me it’s got to be “Centipede.” This was the first track I heard off the EP, and it might just be the heaviest. I’ve always loved how the drop in this song actually reminds you of centipedes…squirming around…with all of their little legs…ugh, I need to stop thinking about this!
Time to chill things down a bit. I’ve been following PrototypeRaptor for quite some time now, and his remix of deadmau5′s classic track “The Veldt” is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. The ethereal piano sounds are stunning, the string section in the middle is heart-wrenching, and the Fender Rhodes-style comping towards the end is breathtaking. Oh, and did I mention the vocal sample from Daft Punk’s “Digital Love”? Everything about this song is absolutely perfect. Please, give it a listen.
Zomboy really found his big break this year with the release of The Dead Symphonic EP. Personally, I have to say that it could easily rival Rage Valley. Sacrilege, I know, but Zomboy’s music speaks for itself. I could really pick any of the six songs off the EP to go on the list, but I finally managed to choose the first one, “Nuclear (Hands Up).” It starts off with some laidback dub vibes, but finishes with some intense drumstep beats. Overall, an amazing tune.
Another rising star this year was GRiZ. Crashing into the scene with the release of Mad Liberation, GRiZ boasts a unique electro soul, “future funk” sound. One of my favorite tracks off the album is of the much calmer variety, “Fall In Love Too Fast.” Although all of his music is great, I picked this particular song because it’s got a truly original sound and is one of the funkiest jams you’ll ever hear.
Everyone loves Wolfgang Gartner. For me, he played a huge part in drawing me in to the whole EDM scene. As he stated himself, “Love & War” and “Nuke” are some of the best music he’s ever made (in his opinion), and I would definitely have to agree. ”Love & War” became an instant classic for me since, boasting that classic Wolfgang sound, but much more developed than his previous releases.
This song was released all the way back in February, which seems like an eternity ago in the EDM community. Nevertheless, it still remains one of my favorite tracks of 2012. Feed Me absolutely kills it on the first drop, and Gemini definitely lives up to the hype on the second. This was an amazing collaboration, and I would love to see the two of them work together again in the future.
James Egbert definitely takes the cake for the best remix of a classic tune. Reaching all the way back to the ’70s, he’s brought new life to the music of disco hall of famers Earth, Wind & Fire. Egbert does a phenomenal job of giving it that bangin’ electro house flair without detracting from the original energy of the piece. The drop on this song is so impossibly GROOVY, it’s impossible to not jump up and dance!
Aleksander Vinter, better known as Savant, is not necessarily a DANCE artist, per se, but he does release some mind-blowing electronic music. Oh, the things I would do to just get a glimpse of how this guy’s mind works. I can easily say that he’s one of the most creative producers on the scene right now, and “Sledgehammer” is one of the best and grimiest tracks off of his new album, Alchemist. It starts with a classically-influenced harpsichord section that is sure to throw you off guard, and then slams in with the drop without warning. Definitely worth checking out!
Of course, Krewella’s Play Hard EP was a high point of the year, but the Play Harder EP of remixes was arguably even better. For me, the Cash Cash and DJ Kalkutta remix of “Alive” was one of the best tracks on there. First they hit you with a beautiful melodic “pre-drop” section, and then finish the deal with a huge drop worthy of R3hab. This song is not just great; it’s also incredibly versatile.