The very nature of a countdown is bound to spark controversy. With the thousands of tracks released in 2011, our choices for the Top 50 will undoubtedly leave a bad taste in the mouths of some of our readers. We tried our best to define our criteria but the fact remains that everyone, even the editors at Dancing Astronaut are going to disagree. We debated for hours, imaginative name calling ensued, feelings were hurt, egos were bruised, and a small animal may have been harmed. After countless hours, we set aside our differences and personal tastes to bring you the Top 50 most influential songs of 2011. These are the tracks that dominated the US dance music scene and whether you love them or hate them, we can bet that you heard them.
Check out our picks for 50-41 after the break.
50. Michael Calfan – Resurrection (Axwell’s Re-Cut Club Version)
We called it. This track is an anthem. Some of you disagreed, but when Swedish House Mafia dropped this track at Madison Square Garden any doubt was quickly extinguished. The piano roll on this track sends chills up your spine, and as the guys of SHM put it… goosebumps never lie.
49. Zedd – Shave It (Original Mix)
Anton Zaslavski has been pumping out complextro track after complextro track for most of 2011, but his crowning achievement was “Shave it” – a gritty electro house track that was remixed by Kaskade and Tommy Trash and saw support from many of EDM’s biggest names. Zedd is the Beethoven of complextro and “Shave It” is his 5th symphony.
48. Kaskade ft. Rebecca & Fiona – Turn It Down (Original Mix)
Rebecca & Fiona’s gorgeous vocals transcended EDM on this dance heavy track. Easily accessible, “Turn it Down” was a high watermark on an already impressive 2011 for Kaskade. Even your Mom likes this one.
47. Tiesto & Marcel Woods – Don’t Ditch (Original Mix)
“Don’t Ditch” was one of our first introductions to Tiesto’s new sound. This collaboration with Marcel Woods is a bouncy, electro track that proved to the masses that the almighty Tiesto could do more than just trance — and he could do it well.
46. Fatboy Slim – Ya Mama (Push The Tempo) [Moguai Remix]
After completely revitalizing Afrojack’s “Bangduck,” Moguai went ahead and remixed a 10 year old Fatboy Slim track, breathing new life into one of the premiere electronic acts of the last decade. Moguai’s artful remixing meshed with Fatboy Slim’s sampling resulted in one of the most fun and danceable tracks of the last year. Shake what ya momma gave ya!
45. NERO – Crush On You (Knife Party Remix)
You might have heard it from your best friends, but in case you didn’t Knife Party’s remix of “Crush On You” was one of the hardest hitting tracks of 2011. The original was a masterpiece in its own right, but the second that the boys of Knife Party got their hands on “Crush On You” we completely forgot about NERO’s original. Using a sample from The Jets track of the same name, Knife Party proves that the combination of 80’s pop and dubstep is a match made in wobble heaven.
44. Afrojack & Steve Aoki ft. Miss Palmer – No Beef (Original Mix)
This track found a permanent home in our iTunes back before it had a name and well before Miss Palmer lended her voice to Afrojack and Aoki’s pitch-bended rocker. Dubbing themselves Afroki, the video for “No Beef” embodies the Vegas party culture, showcasing the wild style life of two of Vegas’s biggest names. This is a party track, plain and simple – if you don’t like it then you don’t like fun — and we don’t like you.
43. Third Party – Duel (Original Mix)
Third Party proved that they were a force in progressive house when they released “Duel” back in May. This track might win best build up of the year, it is spiritual and has the ability to take a set to whole new heights. Not only was it their single biggest release it was also dropped by anyone and everyone. Look for this to drop in Miami more than a few times.
42. Dada Life – White Noise/Red Meat (Original Mix)
Dada Life had plenty of huge tracks and remixes in 2011 firmly planting themselves at number 24 on our Top 50 Artists lists. “White Noise/Red Meat” is the Dada Life mentality in a nutshell, it’s heavy hitting, unapologetic, and downright insane. Not to mention that the official video is fucking BANANAS.
41. R3hab & Swanky Tunes ft. Max C – Sending My Love (Original Mix)
R3hab and Swanky Tunes were two of the most prolific acts in 2011 and their collaboration on “Sending My Love” absolutely destroyed the US club scene. Meshing R3hab’s chainsaw madness, Swanky Tunes flawless melodies and Max C’s passionate vocals this track is testament to the talent of everyone involved.
Check back tomorrow for our picks for 31 – 40!