EDM was bigger and badder than ever this year.
Of course, this also means a lot of garbage is being produced. But thankfully, there are still loads of artists who take their craft (and the dance floor) seriously.
Let's take the time to look back and celebrate those artists who delivered with monster tracks, EPs, and even full albums. If we don't reward them now, we'll only ever get more cheese.
10. Zedd's "Spectrum"
In 2011, this Russian-German DJ-producer worked on official remixes for pop goddess Lady Gaga and then he joined the megastar for her 2012 tour. But his biggest success to date would definitely be "Spectrum," a progressive and edgy electro-house anthem released June 1 on Interscope. No doubt teenagers will be finding themselves to its massive builds while driving on highways late at night for years to come.
9. Nari & Milani's "Atom"
They're not pop superstars, but this Italian electro duo produced one of the year's biggest hits with dark, driving single "Atom." Chances are, if you're an avid partier, this track's been a highlight of about 60 percent of the DJ sets that got you uhntz-uhntz-ing in 2012.
8. Swedish House Mafia and Knife Party's "Antidote"
These are two of the biggest names on the EDM scene. And this song was inescapable all year. Oh, and what a kick-ass music video, eh? Too bad Swedish House Mafia are calling it quits. At least Knife Party will be going strong for the forseeable future.
7. Skrillex's "Bangarang" EP
He's an award-winning producer and the reason your little brother loves dubstep. Some people like to hate on Skrillex, but there's no denying the intensity and quality of his productions. He continued to shut the haters up with the release of his "Bangarang" EP, featuring the massive title-track as well as epic hard-hitters like Doors collab "Breakn' a Sweat," Wolfgang Gartner feature "The Devil's Den," and the lovely "Summit" with Ellie Goulding. All in all, you could call the seven-track release a triumph, but we'll call it No. 7 for now.
6. Martin Solveig's "The Night Out"
Fuck being one of the best songs of 2012. This is one of the pop/nu-disco/electro-wave songs of beat-freaking ever! French cutie Martin Solveig totally kills it on this track, and he sings his own hook and everything. And if the infectious beat wasn't enough to make this a huge track, the adorable music video featuring stars like Zedd, Madeon, A-Trak, Laidback Luke and Dillon Francis pushed this bitch into the stratosphere. We'd spend the night out with Solveig any time, as long as he puts this song on.
5. Diplo's "Express Yourself" EP
Dammit, Diplo did it again! Everyone's favorite Floridian white boy went hard with the release of his "Express Yourself" EP. The six-track instant classic starts off big with the NOLA bounce-inspired title track, inspiring thousands of girls across the country to practice their booty clap.
4. Boys Noize's Out of the Black
In a world where most producers are happy to release singles and EPs, this German remains a maverick committed to delivering full-length LPs that shit on what everyone else is doing. Harkening back to the hip-hop and hard electro styles of Oi Oi Oi, Boys Noize's Out of the Black is a 12-track masterpiece perfect for bending corners and murdering dance floors. Amazing tracks like "What You Want," "XTC," "Ich R U," and "Got It" featuring the one-and-only Snoop Dogg make this album a must-hear for all EDM fans.
3. Justin Martin's Ghettos and Gardens
We're living in the era of the banger, but not every moment of your happy dancing life can be spent throwing 'bows and spilling drinks. Sometimes, it's closer to 4 a.m. and you just want to vibe. Enter Justin Martin's Ghettos and Gardens. From start to finish, this full-length, 12-track record is a work of art, but it's some of the grooviest audible art of all time. The title is fitting, because this LP beautifully juxtaposes the shit that makes you want to fall in love with the shit that makes you want to dance like a slut. Dirtybird indeed.
2. Madeon's "Icarus"
Holy shit, this is one of the best epic soundscapes we've ever heard in our lives! And this Frenchie bro is only 18 years old! But he's made big waves with his "Pop Life" mash-up, then 2012 single "Icarus" solidified his ascension to the master ranks. At this year's Ultra Music Festival, the giants of the scene stood watching him work, totally speechless. Expect big things from this kid.
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1. Flosstradamus's "Original Don (Remix)"
Look, all these other songs and albums and EPs are great and all. But without a sliver of doubt, Flosstradamus's remix of Diplo's "Original Don" is the song of 2012. Released in January, this was the trap beat heard 'round the world. Now the forefathers of a whole damn electronic trappin' movement, these guys got themselves banned from playing free shows in their hometown of Chicago, because their big sound inspires riots. Decades from now, when the kids wanna know about EDM in 2012, just play Floss's "Original Don" and drop it low when you're in the trap.