There’s only one day left till New Years, and as we get closer to ushering in the close of a decade, these top tracks are only getting better and better. 2010 has been a fantastic year for house music. The house veterans (read: Martin Solveig, Benny Benassi, etc.) pumped out bangers that took all comers. And we gobbled up with enthusiasm the offerings of some fresh faces, like the talented Porter Robinson. This melange of old and new has kept things fresh, putting EDM fans in an enviable position heading into the new year.
11. Armin van Buuren – Not Giving Up on Love (Original Mix)
With all this talk of “artist reinvention”, it’s tempting to overlook possibly the biggest Cheshire cat in the industry, Armin van Buuren. While some lamented his more mainstream-leaning music, many more welcomed it with open arms. The number one DJ in the world has been hard at work in 2010, with an LP, Mirage, taking the dance world by storm.
12. Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime (Axwell & Henrik B Remode)
The original was good – this remix is fantastic. Axwell has been on fire this year. His eye for great production has been spot on, giving the most plebeian of tracks a royal makeover. This progressive gem has enjoyed the support of rising star Avicii, who seems to like playing it in his sets. Be on the lookout for more of Axwell later on in our Top 50.
13. Afrojack – Replica (Original Mix)
We took a gamble putting Replica in the top 15 because it’s still relatively new and we’re not sure how long it will get played. We expect it to get played at every NYE party and if it’s still getting thrown into sets at ULTRA then it will be worthy of top 15. Replica shows Afrojack’s accelerated and continued evolution (a la Chuckie’s remix of “Bumpy Ride”, with its dubsteppy wobble). He’s adapted his sound from what he’d been producing not even half a year ago. It makes us all the more excited for what’s to come.
14. Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP – We No Speak Americano (Original Mix)
Here it is, in all its glory: a track that has transcended age groups, musical preferences, and regional tastes like no other in recent memory. First, two questions: who’s ever heard of Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP? And what was it about this song that warranted its being picked up by mainstream Top 40 radio? When you hear a dance track sandwiched between a Katy Perry track and an Usher track, you know something’s up. While we can’t answer the first, we can say a few things about the second. A looped sample in a language that the majority of listeners are unable to understand (much less identify) does its dance with a catchy melody. It’s memorable and gets the head bobbing. Basically, the song is a simple pleasure, and if it’s to be loved for anything, it ought to be for its simplicity.
15. Swedish House Mafia feat. Tinie Tempah – Miami 2 Ibiza (Original Mix)
Writing about this track, it’s tough not to make comparisons. Frankly, it’s probably not the epitome of SHM production. And the track sounds inspired by “One.” But what makes it most notable is its function, rather than its sound. Tinie Tempah’s vocal work brings a hip-hop flavor to electronic music, and it’s an impressive thing. In doing so, Swedish House Mafia bridged the gap between the two crowds – between the two worlds, in some cases. In 2010 we’ve seen the beginnings of hip-hop tracks adopting a more electronic sound. It is a trend, it seems, that will more fully blossom in 2011.
16. Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek (Afrojack Remix)
Afrojack makes yet another appearance on our Top 50 with this absolute banger of a track. The song starts off innocuously enough, with Heap’s familiar ethereal vocals. Before long, though, a distinct “Afro-drop” smashes you in the face (in a good way). The track made waves when he dropped it at the Size Records pool party at WMC 2010. All in all, a solid, no-nonsense Afrojack remix.
17. Steve Angello – KNAS (Original Mix)
There’s something I have to admit: I didn’t like this song when it first came out. It sounded too tame to be any good. Then I heard it played on loud speakers – and everything made sense. KNAS is a dancefloor destroyer. It’s been the subject of countless edits, remixes, mashups, and bootlegs. For an especially good one, check out the Inphinity & Kalendr bootleg “KNAS D.A.N.C.E.”, a favorite of Kaskade in his live sets. The 14th-ranked Angello’s been keeping busy lately, both with his solo productions and remix work, on top of a loaded tour schedule. A busy man, but we have yet to see his business diminish the quality of anything he does.
18. Dirty South feat. Rudy – Phazing (Original Mix)
Remember this from your summer playlists? It’s a spectacular number that put Dirty South on the map once again. The ultimate cruising song, Phazing’s irresistible guitar riff and catchy vocals still sound fresh. It’s been picked up by Tiesto and Norman Doray and given the remix treatment, resulting in some interesting takes on an already interesting song.
19. Alex Gaudino – I’m In Love (I Wanna Do It)
From the moment this song was released, it became all the more clear that it was destined for greatness. Incorporating poppy, Rihanna-esque vocals over a more progressive backdrop, it’s a song that fails to exhaust the ears. Gaudino had clearly been biding his time for this one; his hits “Destination Calabria” and “Watch Out” exist hazily in the memory. We’re thankful for the refresher, though.
20. Chuckie, Hardwell feat. Ambush – Move It 2 The Drum (Promise Land Remix)
“I like the way you move it to the drum.” With these words, and an infectious beat to boot, Chuckie and Hardwell unleashed a beast of a tune that would quickly become Dirty Dutch canon. This particular mix of the song combines an uplifting piano melody with the rawness of the original beat. It was released officially on Chuckie’s Dirty Dutch vol. 2 compilation, available here.