Another year, and time again to celebrate my favorite tunes of the year.  This is the 3nd annual Recap, having done the first one in 2010, followed by another in 2011.

Like all of the previous posts, I’m using this space to highlight some of my own influences – which have come in the form of individual tracks as well as mixes from standout DJs on podcasts and promotional mixes around the web that I’ve listened to through the year.

Please enjoy this selection of mixes and tracks from these hardworking artists, and if possible, support them any way you can.  These lists are in no particular order.

Top 5 Tracks:

  1. Eric Prydz – Every Day – Without a doubt, my most favorite release of the year.  I could write several pages about why I think it’s the best house track to be released in years, but let me leave it at this:  House works best when it’s kept simple.
  2. Masamune – Knockin – I believe this just showed up in my Soundcloud feed one day, as part of a greater compilation called Heavy Electronic Music vol. 1.  Although not a major release, I liked the subtlety of this track and found “Knockin” to be a profound dubstep release this year.
  3. Wideboys – Addicted to the Bass(Tantrum Desire mix) – This track was my first exposure to Tantrum Desire, although I was surprised to find out this artist had been around for a while.  Along with other releases, this track put him in good standing to replace the Pendulum-sized hole in my heart.
  4. Doctor P & Elite Force – Watch Out(Revamp) – Elite Force released a great follow up to his novel RVMPD albums this year, called RVMPD2.  The whole album had several songs I liked, but “Watch Out” stood out for me.  The original lacked a sense of pace that Elite Force managed to really nail down in this version.
  5. Alex Clare – Too Close (Theory’s Room To Breathe Dub) – The original was a big hit that many people might be familiar with; frankly I didn’t care for it.  However, this, like most any musical problem, was fixed with an injection of laid-back dub reggae.

Top 5 Mixes:

  1. Autechre – Live at Flex 1996 – Obviously, this was not a mix released this year.  However, I found it notable for two reasons:  One, I have been exposed to very little Autechre over the years and found it to be a good introduction to their body of work; and two, I was able to give this mix my full attention for the duration of the  set, and I can describe it only as hallucinogenic.
  2. Super 8 and Tab – Data Transmission Podcast 208 – These two represent a new wave of big-room trance.  Joining Above and Beyond’s Anjunabeats label surely gave these guys the recognition they deserve.  I’m a big fan of their “SuperTab Radio” podcast, but the mix they did for Data Transmission early this year was what caught my attention.
  3. Bad Boy Bill – Behind The Decks Radio Show 12 – As one of Bad Boy Bill’s biggest fans, I was so happy when he started this new podcast series.  Podcast mixes like these are such a great way for artists to modernize and connect more directly with fans.  There’s not a single one of this series that I haven’t liked – but this one sounded the most like a “classic Bad Boy Bill” mix with a fast pace, tight scratching, and a mix of old and new sounds.
  4. Resident Advisor RA.326 – Apparat – Sounds like lo-fi electro and 80’s pop without the vocals.  Incredibly dreamy, laid-back, and pleasant.
  5. UFO! – Radio UFO! Momba Mix – UFO! has always been one of my favorite drum and bass artists for the diverse perspective he brought to the table.  He’s been a major player in the “Moombahton” scene for a while now, and this mix brought forth some of the elements that are familiar to the D&B UFO! fan, like his signature use of film samples.