So, instead of jerking around with the words best or top, I’ve decided to collect 12 pretty excellent tracks that meant something to me in 2012. Quality tunes I’m not sure got out into the greater internets but definitely deserved to, and Soundcloud gave me access to all of them. So, here they are, in no particular order.
This is what I hope all pop music sounds like eventually. I’ll just leave it at that. TheFatRat is what I hope all of Z100 sounds like by 2014.
Example is one of the artists that my general adoration for all things Flux Pavillion has led me to. A fantastic vocalist that links up with all of the right bass-related minds across the pond, this collab with Flux is a cadanced march of awesome. The triumphant wobble of Flux with the strongly accented & attituded vocals makes for a righteously good time, amplified by the excellent drum work throughout, especially two minutes in when it explodes into further sweetness.
This track was heavily explored as it was my November Earworm of the month, and really should have gotten as famous as that Internet Explorer track. The amazing D&B breakdowns mixed with the soulful vocals makes me smile thinking of the future of Drum & Bass, especially here in the states.
I cannot overstate how excited I am that an artist like Seven Lions sprung into existence in my awareness in the last quarter of this year. The combination of Dubstep, Chillout & Trance elements is one of the biggest untapped sounds in EDM right now, simply because of how bonkers it must be to produce. However, when done competently, the result is some of the most stunning vocally infused mind-shattering bass I’ve heard in years. I could do an entire track list on this guy. Get it into thy face. (Also, the video’s crazy too, see below)
PrototypeRaptor is an artist I first discovered on OverClocked Remix , a site I have over a decade of love for. This remix is one of the biggest weapons I’ve ever encountered to malaise. The addictive poppy beat combined with the smart piano work gives it this west coast uptempo beat that smacks of fashionable people grooving to the party just as it’s getting started. The break outs around 2:40 and 3min are fantastic and deserve all of the scrutiny of electrohouse DJs everywhere.
Carlos Serrano takes the soulful house on the meter and cranks it up. The mashup hits you in all the feels, and really gets at what both tracks were originally reaching for and capturing in their own way. It got a bunch of attention, but who knows whether this will ever make it to a sunrise dance floor. Perhaps a bedroom…
WARNING: This track is fast, and that is not a joke. This is Freeform UK Trance, a genre that can best be described as what happened when Happy Hardcore stopped doing E and hit the gym and started doing yoga. There’s a muscle and a talent behind this sound that I personally get VERY much down to. Skip the first 2 minutes if you just want to hear the astonishing build. The Lawrence Fishburne vocal sample starts off wobbly, pulls into liquid Drum & Bass then into trance. Dancing on the head of a pin, and pulling you along ever faster until you’re running around 🙂 Enjoy.
This ethereal, dreamy ambient wafted into my mind at the beginning of the year and just kind of stayed around, drifting in and out. The production value is off the charts and it’s the perfect addition to any chill-out set.
One of the only major label signed artists on the list, I find the track, which wasn’t one of the pumped singles on iTunes/radio, is a good example of what ostensibly “non-EDM” artists can do with EDM elements to create some very compelling tracks. Fun. did this a bunch as well, and I look forward to what people come up with.
I discovered MitiS when I was in a very dark place this year and his astonishingly well produced chillstep, massive dubstep and drum & bass are definitely one of the things that got me through. This guy oozes talent, and I can’t wait to hear people finally get a taste of him when we shove it into enough people’s faces. A giant walking on clouds.
I found Arkasia after being introduced to 23, a similarly astonishing artist. The 3 of them form this triangle of orchestral & massive dubstep that is the best thing that’s come out of the last few years of dubstep production. Arkasia’s track uses the greatest vocal sample in the history of film, the Great Dictator speech that Charlie Chaplin gives. While pulling into amazing massive orchestral dubstep and drum/bass beats. Lots of DJs & producers have used the sample, few use it well.
If you don’t know Nosaj Thing, you will very soon. This West Coast producer is going to be very very big. There’s a sweetness to the work that I think will connect with a lot of people in a classic way. Can’t really describe it, but I think you’d agree.
HAPPY NEW FREAKING YEAR!!