So here we are, at the end of another year. One year older, One year wiser, And yet another great year of incredible music! This year has blessed us with some of the greatest EDM releases to date. It has been a time of happiness, with events such as Deadmau5 finding that very special mouse, and it has also been a time of sadness, with the journey of Swedish House Mafia coming very sadly to an end.
As we were lucky enough to survive the end of the world, we now have another full year that we can look forward to, with more incredible releases, the discovery of new artists and producers, and the continuation of a lifestyle! So to celebrate this, I thought that I would put together 10 tracks that in my eyes have been part of making 2012 the unforgettable year that its been, that you guys can share and have a listen to as you get ready for your NYE celebrations!
NUMBER 10: AVICII - SUPERLOVE (ORIGINAL MIX)
Put your heart-shaped fingers in the air! Avicii I feel has gained that NUMBER 10 spot with Lenny Kravitz for a remix that is truly a progressive house masterpiece. With a soulful chorus done by the unique voice of Kravitz and melodic beats that have become a staple of Avicii’s tunes, “Superlove” was a sure fire hit at this summer’s festivals. Despite my feeling that Avicii has gone way too mainstream with his collabs with Madonna and his release of his Ralph Lauren brand, his signature sound such as this track that never fails to get me smiling, and the fact that I know he is an extremely talented producer, entitles him to my forgiveness. This is a great tune that will definitely not be forgotten.
NUMBER 9: SKRILLEX - BANGARANG (ORIGINAL MIX)
2011 was a great year for Skrillex. Not only did the electronic producer receive 5 Grammy nominations (one for best new artist) but this 23 year old musician has won over the hearts and minds of a new generation as well as enraging the previous. Few musicians can claim the titles “highly revered” and “violently despised” in the same breathe. Skrillex’s work in dubstep is similar to the work of Spanish conquistadors — whereby a larger force invades a smaller yet flourishing civilization appropriating styles and exploiting aspects for commercial gain. Personally, I generally find myself screaming whenever I hear dubstep, along with the dreaded trap, however, I find that Skrillex is the exception, which may be on account of his dedication and obvious talent. So here we are at your NUMBER 9 track!
NUMBER 8: KASKADE FEAT. NEON TREES - LESSONS IN LOVE (ORIGINAL MIX)
Kaskade, the biggest DJ from the U.S. on the world scene, had a big year, selling out stadiums and driving fans crazy. His Coachella set last April was one of my favorites of the year (http://soundcloud.com/kaskade/kaskade-live-at-coachella-2012). Although his last album, "Fire & Ice," came out in October 2011, this track was, in my opinion, his best of 2012. A great production featuring Neon Tree's and the source of countless remixes, this is your NUMBER 8!
NUMBER 7: ALESSO AND DIRTY SOUTH - CITY OF DREAMS (ORIGINAL MIX)
Dirty South and Alesso absolutely tore up the summer and just as it reached its end, they came together to create one of the most beautiful, euphoric songs of 2012. I haden't been that excited about a collaboration in a very long time and their release of "City of Dreams" definitely lived up to the highest expectations. Dirty South's long-time partner in releases - vocalist Ruben Haze created a beautiful hook that flawlessly glided over emotional guitar strumming. The song suddenly expands bringing on Alesso's stuttering, tremolo synth lines that bounce over top of the song. This all follows to bring in the melody of the drop and right in that moment ladies and gentlemen, you had festival material. This release was incredible and in my eyes will never grow old. NUMBER 7!
NUMBER 6: DEADMAU5 FEAT. CHRIS LAKE - THE VELDT (ORIGINAL MIX)
“The Veldt” was inspired by a short story written by Ray Bradbury in 1950. The plot focuses on a family of four, living in a house, called the “Happylife Home” which is filled with the latest technology, handling every aspect of a functioning household. The story revolves around the children’s love for the “nursery”, a virtual reality room which transforms into any place the children can imagine. The plot itself seems to describe this incredible track. A chance for you to sit there and escape into fantasy. The story behind the making of the track is another interesting tale; ironically being made possible only through the advances in digital and social media technology. Deadmau5 was conducting a UStream and playing out the demo’s of the track when fans urged him through Twitter to go and check out a vocal bootleg done by the British vocalist Chris James. The lyrics, and vocals impressed him so much that he got straight on the phone and worked out the production of the track in a marathon 16 hour session with Chris. The track itself is beautiful. There is no other way to describe it. The tribal percussion intro, which progresses ever so smoothly into the main track is just the perfect compliment to the way The Veldt was meant to be told. The lyrics by Chris stay original to the story, adding vivid visual imagery. This track for me stays very close to my heart and I believe to be on of the most amazing productions of 2012. A thoroughly deserved spot at NUMBER 6!
NUMBER 5 - MARTIN SOLVEIG - THE NIGHT OUT (ORIGINAL MIX)
For a guy who wears a headband way too much of the time, Martin Solveig knows how to write a good tune. Little did I know, but the French DJ/producer is already onto his fifth studio album. He’s been diligently going about his business but it wasn’t until the catchy track called Hello drifted onto the airways that I started paying attention, and then I understood the talent of this guy! It turns out the man knows a thing or two about infectious pop/house beats and in the lead up to his latest album Smash, he’s filmed a series of amusing videos . The Night Out has been the source of countless remixes by the likes of Madeon and A-trak, and completely tore up the charts this summer, being broadcasted over multiple festivals worldwide. CHeck out the NUMBER 5 spot!
NUMBER 4: ZEDD - SPECTRUM (ORIGINAL MIX)
Russian/German producer Zedd burst onto the scene this year when Lady Gaga selected him to open on her "Born This Way" tour, but the selection came with good reason. One of the best amongst the large crop of under-25 European DJ prodigies, Zedd showed his chops with a full debut album of amazing tracks on Interscope. Spectrum featuring the voice of Matthew Koma immediately stormed the charts and with the incredible melody and vocals, being played everywhere worldwide and with everybody getting an earfull of it, this is your NUMBER 4 track!
NUMBER 3: IVAN GOUGH AND FEENIXPAWL FEAT. GEORGI - IN MY MIND (AXWELL MIX)
Australia represents EDM on the world music scene with the most ubiquitously played track of 2012 (thanks mostly to its inclusion in a KIA motors ad). Still, prior to its commercial success, producers Gough (TV Rock) and Feenixpawl (Aden Forte & Josh Soon) created a song that spoke universally to EDM fans the worldwide. The music video, featuring an endless summer theme of girls skateboarding in the desert, instantly cemented the song's legacy. Then Axwell rocked up and transformed the track into an even greater production, despite that being near impossible. This track is unforgettable and will forever remind me of the 2012 summer. Definitely my NUMBER 3!
NUMBER 2: INGROSSO & ALESSO _ CALLING (LOSE MY MIND) FEAT. RYAN TEDDER
Hands down my #2 anthem of 2012, this beautifully crafted track was this year's "Levels" (Avicii's huge hit and my #1 song of 2011). The combination of mentor (Ingrosso), with mentee (up & comer Alesso), adds to the poetic beauty of this track. There was rarely a big festival or small-town DJ who didn't incorporate this track into a set, and it mashes up beautifully with just about everything. No need for any more description, just sit back and listen to your NUMBER 2!
NUMBER 1: SWEDISH HOUSE MAFIA - DON'T YOU WORRY CHILD
So yes, I know that this could have been seen to be coming but for me this is my track of the year for 2012, for so many reasons its hard to explain, but I will try and explain a few. Firstly, due to the fact that Swedish House Mafia have blessed us with the most incredible tracks over the past few years, creating a huge following and transforming the EDM world in so many ways. Secondly, I was luckily enough to see the debut of this track that was first broadcasted over the UK from Milton Keynes, which was one of the most incredible and emotional performances i've seen to date. The music video will give you the smallest of ideas, of just how amazing that night was. Then when I saw it again at Tomorrowland this summer, it again stole my night, just going to show the amazing production that it was. I have seen proof that this track really can make grown men cry, and anyone who thinks i'm lying, just have a look at the Tomorrowland video below. So here we go people, an emotional and unforgettable end to 2012. All that is left to say, is have an incredible New Years eve, wherever you are in the world, and I wish you all an incredible and music filled 2013. Much love, Sam.