It’s inevitable that countdowns will always spark controversy, that’s just the nature of the beast. Some tracks will be snubbed, some overlooked, and some ranked higher than you may have expected. We’ve already gone over our ranking criteria at length but despite our own self-imposed guidelines, 2012 proved to be more difficult to rank than years past. With the EDM explosion officially in full swing throughout the year, the sheer number of releases was mind numbing, and — consequently — nearly impossible to rank. There has been no greater challenge for the editors at Dancing Astronaut than creating the list of the Biggest Tracks of 2012.
10. Skrillex – Breakn’ A Sweat (Zedd Remix)
As if Skrillex’s collaboration for RE:Evolution with the remaining members of The Doors wasn’t incredible enough, complextro maestro, Anton Zavlaski, went and turned this one up to 11. A staple of countless sets throughout 2012, Zedd’s remix of “Breakn’ A Sweat” saw support from every artist worth their salt in the electro landscape.
9. Tommy Trash & Sebastian Ingrosso – Reload (Original Mix)
Needless to say, when we heard Tommy Trash and Sebastian Ingrosso were collaborating on a track we knew the end result would be massive, but it wasn’t until we first heard “Reload” that we realized just how massive it really was. One of 2012’s most consistently successful producers teaming up with a godfather of the EDM explosion was a match made in audio heaven.
8. Porter Robinson – Language (Original Mix)
“Language” is Porter Robinson’s masterpiece, his 5th symphony of upbeat electronica, stunning vocals, and charming electro grit. Despite the previous success of “Unison” and “Vandalism,” this track solidified Porter’s presence as a dance music juggernaut. One of our favorite tracks of 2012, “Language” is everything a dance music production should be. Balanced, poised, and downright infectious.
7. Pryda – Allein (Original Mix)
Eric Prydz has already appeared twice on our countdown, with each successive production more impressive than the last. “Allein” is inarguably Prydz’s quintessential production of 2012. The word beautiful doesn’t often apply to dance music, but for Allein it’s the perfect descriptor. Matching his multi-layered pure progressive style with a sample from Polarkreis 18’s “Allein Allein,” Eric Prydz successfully struck a perfect balance between the commercial ED-pop of today and the well-produced progressive that launched the US EDM boom.
6. Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl ft. Georgi Kay – In My Mind (Axwell Mix)
No matter what genre of dance music you prefer, there was no escaping Axwell’s remix of Ivan Gough and Feenixpawl’s career defining masterpiece in 2012. A go-to for nearly every main stage US festival set from Ultra, to Coachella, to EDC Las Vegas, “In My Mind” infected the collective psyche with Georgi Kay’s pristine vocals and Axwell’s big room panache. Despite it’s excessive playtime throughout 2012, we bet even the most jaded of dance music-auteurs find themselves singing along to the chorus whenever this song comes blaring through a sound system.
5. Zedd – Spectrum (Original + Remixes)
Matthew Koma’s vocals absolutely steal the show on Zedd’s “Spectrum.” Released officially on Clarity, Zedd’s breakthrough hit transcended his usual complextro style, affirming the classically trained producer’s wide breadth of talent. One of the most remixed tracks of 2012, “Spectrum” was transformed countless times by some of dance music’s greatest talents. Both it’s powerful original, and subsequent remixes plant Zedd’s “Spectrum” firmly at number 5 on our countdown.
4. deadmau5 – The Veldt (Original + Tommy Trash Remix)
There was a ton of debate when discussing whether deadmau5’s original or Tommy Trash’s could be attributed to the runaway success of “The Veldt.” The story behind the production of Joel’s 2012 crowning achievement was enough to warrant the track a top spot, but after the long-haired Aussie got his hands on the track, his adrenaline-induced production style launched it into the dance music stratosphere.
3. Hardwell – Spaceman (Original Mix)
As Dancing Astronauts maybe we are a little biased towards a track called “Spaceman,” but let’s be honest, Hardwell’s biggest release of 2012 may also be the biggest of his career. Few tracks evoked the level of energy that “Spaceman’s” high-pitched Dutch style did on festival stages worldwide. Dominating Beatport charts in 2012, “Spaceman” became an anthem during Miami Music Week and continued on its stage-destroying rampage throughout the summer festival season.
2. Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound (Original Mix)
You knew it was coming, the track that every time you hear it all you can see are robotic dogs running through a desert. Remember, this is biggest tracks of 2012 and, despite any bias you may have towards the biggest dance music act of all time, Swedish House Mafia’s “Greyhound” was an absolute juggernaut. A marketing marvel, “Greyhound” ignored the pop house crossover and went for a full blown progressive anthem as the soundtrack to Absolut’s EDM-fueled ad campaign.
1. Nari & Milani – Atom (Original Mix)
When the Swedish House Mafia dropped “Atom” at their landmark Madison Square Garden show, the dance music world suddenly became awash in Nari & Milani’s thunderous original. With its shuffling bass line and monolithic percussion, “Atom” supplanted itself in sets from artists of every genre. It quickly scaled the Beatport charts, making the previously unknown duo into one of the hottest remixing commodities of 2012. The two Italian producers had created a sound that ran rampant through 2012’s scene, inspiring countless imitations and earning “Atom” top honors as our Biggest Track of 2012.