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.
Love them or hate them, overplayed or under-appreciated, here are the songs that defined the 2012 EDM explosion, numbers 50-41.
50. Cedric Gervais – Molly (Original Mix)
Cedric Gervais’ top single of the year was a tongue-in-cheek electro track heavily laden with organ chords and obvious drug references. While the song was successful in its own right, it may be best remembered for Madonna’s on-stage emulation of its narrative at Ultra that spawned a social media feud between the pop star and our favorite opinionated producer deadmau5.
49. Eric Prydz – Every Day (Original Mix)
Eric Prydz’s “Every Day” showcased all of the elements we’ve come to expect from the progressive house titan. It is classic Prydz: larger than life synths, sparkling melodies, impressive production, and delicate vocals from John Ciafone to bring it all together.
48. Arty, Nadia Ali & BT – Must Be The Love (Original Mix)
Nadia Ali is a hit-maker, plain and simple. Last year’s clear-cut top EDM vocalist lent her talents to Arty and BT’s airy collaboration “Must Be the Love” and elevated it to festival main-stage status. The two producers weren’t too shabby either, bolstering Ali’s soaring voice with layers of ambient melody and driving chord progressions.
47. Hot Natured and Ali Love – Benediction (Original Mix)
Hot Creations head honchos Jamie Jones and Lee Foss teamed up with vocalist Ali Love on this catchy number that made waves in 2012. The track is archetypal of the duo’s sound, sporting confident chordwork over a classic no-thrills house beat that perfectly complements Love’s sensual voice.
46. Nicky Romero – Generation 303 (Original Mix)
It’s hard to go wrong sampling the Chemical Brothers, especially when you’re one of EDM’s brightest talents. Dutch star Nicky Romero had a landmark year in 2012 and this acid-house-inspired reboot of “Block Rocking Beats” was one of the significant reasons why.
45. deadmau5 – There Might Be Coffee (Original Mix)
A haunting organ procession introduces this standout track from Joel’s sixth studio album > album title goes here <. “There Might Be Coffee” is a representative reminder of the reasons why deadmau5 has risen to the ranks of dance music’s elite, containing a lush sonic palette of melodies and synthesizer tones and a refreshingly unconventional arrangement. What would be a career capstone for lesser artists is just another good track with a goofy name from one of EDM’s best and brightest.
44. Mat Zo ft. Linnea Schossow – The Sky (Extended Mix)
No one consistently churns out quality melodic trance like Anjunabeats. The label had a strong outing in 2012 and Mat Zo was a significant contributor to its success. His poise and production skills were quite evident on this lovely track, featuring the ethereal voice of Linnea Schossow.
43. Dog Blood – Next Order (Original Mix)
Skrillex and Boys Noize joined forces on a genre-defying monster of a track that melds elements of acid house, breakbeats and noise in a smashing cacophony of electro-laden bliss. Did we mention the video featured a dancing astronaut? Lots to like about this one.
42. John Dahlback – Life (Original Mix)
“Life,” is in line with the progressive house offerings we’ve come to expect from the John Dahlback. The track is an uplifting, full of harmonious riffs, melodious synths and a fiery bass line that rears its head during the drop. Whether driving down a long open road, standing in the crowd at a packed venue, or sitting in front of a computer screen there is a place for this song.
41. Armin van Buuren – We Are Here to Make Some Noise (Original Mix)
The consensus king of the trance world got in touch with his inner electro artist on this energetic big-room anthem. Combining a growling lead bass with trance synths and a vocoded hook, “We Are Here to Make Some Noise” found Armin exploring new sonic territory in a crossover track, much like fellow trance icons Tiësto and Sander van Doorn before him. Certainly a sign of the times.