Dancing Astronaut’s Top 50 Artists Of 2011: 21-30

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So far this week, we have established our criteria for ranking the year’s top artists and have divulged our rankings from 50-31. Today, we’re back with another 10 of our picks for the top 50 Artists of 2011. This portion of DA’s Top 50 Artists is composed of some well-seasoned EDM veterans, as well as some kids who are barely legal; but, one thing that they all have in common is that they make music that we can’t get enough of. From progressive, to trance, to tech-house, to electro, the following artists are some of the best around, and if you look at what they have accomplished this year, it’s hard to argue with where they rank on our list.
So, without any further ado, we present artists 30-21.

30. Arty

Russian prodigy Arty has burst onto the EDM scene with quite a force in 2011. Signed to Above & Beyond’s Anjunabeats, he has released some monster tracks this year and played some amazing shows, proving that he’s definitely deserving of his spot on our list. His remix of Dirty South & Those Usual Suspects’ “Walking Alone” was absolutely amazing, and his collaboration with Mat Zo, titled “Mozart,” is impossible not to love. His beautiful chord progressions and big room sound have captivated listeners everywhere, and leave them constantly yearning for more. In 2011, Arty received support from some of the biggest names in EDM, including Armin van Buuren, Thomas Gold, and Cosmic Gate, and if he keeps pumping out massive tunes like “Around the World,” he is sure to become one of the biggest names of 2012.

29. ATB

In 2011, ATB ranked as number 20 on DJ Mag’s list, and while we are knocking him down a couple notches, we certainly aren’t ignoring his accomplishments in the past year. Along with a world tour that saw dates in six different countries, ATB released his eighth—yes, eighth—album “Distant Earth,” which saw collaborations with trance legends Armin van Buuren and Dash Berlin. ATB has been a truly inspiring and influential artist in the EDM world, and his contributions to dance music have resulted in a long and fruitful career. But don’t be mistaken, just because he has been in the game for quite some time doesn’t mean that his entertainment value has decreased. In fact, we covered his set at Lavo NYC back in November and, to say the least, we were thoroughly impressed with his show. Hopefully 2012 will see more great music from ATB; we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.

28. Zedd

Zedd has been labeled as an “up-and-coming” producer for far too long, and with huge releases like “Shave It” and “Stars Come Out,” as well as being crowned our “King of Fall Massive,” it’s finally time to acknowledge his arrival to the EDM big leagues. 2011 saw Zedd traveling all over the world with some of the biggest names in EDM, playing on tours alongside Deadmau5, Porter Robinson, and Skrillex. Despite spending much of his time on the road performing to sold out arenas, he managed to produce some of the best electro tracks of the year. Along with a handful of originals, Zedd created a number of the year’s hardest hitting remixes, including Swedish House Mafia’s  “Save The World,” Lady Gaga’s “Marry The Night,” and Diddy Dirty Money’s “Ass On The Floor.” Take a listen to just one of his songs, and you will realize how talented this 22 year-old really is, and how he earned his spot on this list.

27. R3hab

If you didn’t hear the name R3hab in 2011, you were either deaf or didn’t have a pulse. This man was an absolute EDM dynamo this year, churning out one club-shattering remix after another at a pace that was thought to be impossible. Oh, and don’t forget that his name was attached to some of the biggest songs of the year, including his remixes of the Billboard-topping “Give Me Everything,” and LMFAO’s “Champagne Showers.” Despite his reputation as a remixing king, R3hab also co-produced some of the biggest tracks in EDM, including “Sending My Love” with Swanky Tunes, “The Bottle Song,” and “Prutataaa” with Afrojack. Aside from his huge productions, R3hab is also an unrivaled performer who guarantees an amazing experience every time you see him. Be it at a festival, or a club like Ruby Skye or Pacha NYC, we promise that you won’t walk away disappointed. DA and our readers got to know R3hab really well in 2011, are excited to see where 2012 takes the dirty Dutchman.

26. Mark Knight

When we think of the tech-house genre, there is one face that we automatically associate with it: Mark Knight. In 2011, Mark Knight produced arguably the biggest tech-house remix of the year, as he put his spin on Florence & The Machine’s “You’ve Got The Love” and set dance floors everywhere ablaze. Aside from the incredible success of that track, he also produced songs alongside Tiesto and Manuel De La Mare, and witnessed the large-scale emergence of Toolroom Records, the label he spearheaded back in 2003. Influencing other artists such as Funkagenda, Knight has left an indelible mark on EDM, which is why we have ranked him number 26 on our list.

25. Martin Solveig

Riding his wave of success from 2010’s crossover hit “Hello,” Martin Solveig continued to bring his commercially viable brand of house music to radio stations and dance floors all over the world in 2011. This past year, Martin had two more smash hits in “Ready To Go” and “Big In Japan,”  both of which received remix treatments from the likes of Hardwell, Arno Cost, Ziggy Stardust, Les Bros, and more. Just a couple weeks ago, Dancing Astronaut covered Martin’s performance at Pacha NYC and it was easily one of the most memorable shows that we’ve ever been to. His ability to cross between radio-friendly tracks and less commercial EDM provides an experience that appeals to just about everybody. It’s undeniable that Solveig’s music has been instrumental in bringing house music to mainstream audiences, and whether you think that’s a good thing or not, we are thankful for Martin’s contributions to dance music. 

24. Dada Life

Dada Life may be the craziest duo in EDM. Between their sausage-fattened dance tunes, and all the champagne and bananas, these two Swedes definitely know how to party. In 2011, the Dada boys remixed Duck Sauce’s “Big Bad Wolf,” Chuckie’s “Who Is Ready To Jump,” and David Guetta’s “Little Bad Girl” to name a few, but it was their two originals that took the EDM world by storm. Both the original and vocal mixes of “Happy Violence” were absolutely huge, sparking mass hysteria in every club that they were played, and their newest single “Kick Out The Epic Motherfucker” currently sits atop Beatport’s electro house chart. It is hard to argue against these two with such an impressive resume, and to think that all of this happened in just one year. As long as Olle and Stefan keep making massive tunes, there’s no doubt that fans keep doing the Dada.

23. Nero

2011 finally gave dubstep fans what they had been waiting nearly a year for: Nero’s first full-length album Welcome Reality. Since recording their BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix back in November of 2010, the London-based duo teased us with unreleased tracks that showed few signs of official release. But, on August 16 Dan and Joe dropped one of the best albums we’ve heard in a long time. From front to back, “Welcome Reality” was a game-changer and truly a musical masterpiece; seriously, how else would a dubstep act have their music performed by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra? With a tracklisting that included “Innocence,” “Guilt,” “Promises,” “Crush On You,” “Me & You,” and “Reaching Out,” it seemed like Nero could do no wrong in 2011. To finish out the year, DA will actually be presenting Nero at Ruby Skye on December 29th, and obviously, we couldn’t be more excited.

22. Sander van Doorn

You could basically sum up Sander van Doorn’s year with one word (even though it isn’t really a word at all) — Eleve11. Quite simply, it is one of the best full-length dance albums that we’ve heard, which is no surprise since it came from Sander. Including tracks like “Drink to Get Drunk,” and his collaboration with Laidback Luke titled, “Who Is Wearing the Cap,” Eleve11 delivered some of the year’s biggest dance tracks. Moreover, we would be terribly remiss not to mention “Koko,” the album’s standout track, whose melody has infected the minds of many and destroyed dance floors everywhere. Aside from releasing his album, Sander also hosts a radio show on Sirius XM’s Electric Area channel, bringing listeners the hottest EDM tracks every week. With all of this happening in 2011, Sander was an easy choice for our 22nd spot.

21. Eric Prydz

Eric Prydz is easily one of the most dynamic producers in EDM, and despite his numerous aliases (Pryda, Cirez D, Eric Prydz), his productions impress under any moniker. This year, Eric released a number of tracks under different names, but all of them were stunning in their own right. His ability to span genres from tech-house, to dark progressive tracks, to the feel good “2Night” is why we have him in our 21st slot. Oh, and let’s not forget “Personal Jesus 2011,” or his remix of Digitalism’s “Circles,” both of  which proved that Eric Prydz is still one of the best artists out there. No matter what name Eric decides to go by, one thing is for certain, the guy is an amazing producer, and deserving of any and all accolades that he receives.

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