This has definitely been a great year for music. Electronic sounds have gained more traction in America than ever before, and it’s an exciting time to be sure. Personally moving to LA has been very uplifting, and I feel like the pulse of dance music is all around and inside of me. I’m very much looking forward to finding more inspiration in the coming year, and sharing it with the world. (That means you!) Full disclosure: this list is probably biased as a couple of these folks on here I’m working with on projects.
I used YouTube embeds rather than Soundcloud as the streams load faster (multiple SC embeds tend to clog a page.) If you dig the music from these artists please support them! Buy their tunes, follow them on Twitter and Soundcloud, like them on Facebook, join their mailing lists, go see them play live and most importantly tell your friends about them. It takes a lot of time and effort to create brilliant work and a great artist in a vacuum does the world no good.
So without further adieu, here’s 10 songs from 2012 I’m in love with!
1. Disclosure ft. Sam Smith – Latch
Disclosure moved mountains this year, and is the pinnacle for me. So heartfelt, perfectly produced, gorgeous.
2. Julio Bashmore – Au Seve
This young buck started his own label Broadwalk Records this year, after some notable releases elsewhere. I really love the call-and-response in this tune, and am generally excited to see groove-based production making a big push as opposed to massive builds and drops which of course is popular as well.
3. B. Traits – Fever (Eats Everything Glandular Remix)
I got to catch Eats Everything’s first US gig with Daniel of LA Riots in tow at Monarch in SF – a 300 capacity room with a Void sound system. The lineup was just Eats and Claude VonStroke. What a night! This remix of his grabbed my attention immediately, and influenced a lot of the tracks I’ve written – especially the interplay of percussion as melodic bass sounds interspersed with arpeggiated synths.
4. Major Lazer ft. Amber of Dirty Projectors – Get Free
Not one for my DJ sets, but man did this song speak to me. I experienced a lot of financial struggle and creative growth simultaneously this year. At moments it was really difficult to continue pursuing my musical aspirations between my own internal resistance and external obstacles. Really related to every word of this tune, and still gives me chills.
5. Anna Lunoe & Touch Sensitive – Real Talk
Rad to see Anna move to the states this year and absolutely tear it up. This song she did with Touch Sensitive captured everything I love about 1990′s house – uplifting vibes, gorgeous piano riff, groovy bass line.
6. LOL Boys feat. Heart Streets – Changes
LOL Boys released this top-notch work and then broke up. That’s what I call ending on a high note! Jerome has continued to push forward as a solo artist under “Jerome LOL” in addition to launching Body High with Samo Sound Boy. I really dig the jazzy vibes in this tune, and if you haven’t figured it out yet I’m a sucker for some soulful vocals.
7. Tommie Sunshine feat. Fast Eddie – Chicago
Tommie has successfully bridged the gap between rave culture and today’s EDM explosion. He’s very outspoken, and I dig the fact that he has a deep reverence for his musical roots and takes time to share them with his fan base. This track is a throwback to the days of hip-house and features one of the originators of that sound. It’s on the more banging side of the spectrum while still clearly being a house jam – this one works very well for me on a busy dance floor.
8. Chris Malinchak – So Good To Me
I fell in love with this the instant I pushed play. It is so deep, warm, and groovy. Chris is a new face for me and I can’t wait to see what else he comes out with. He’s on the French Express label which dubs itself “protectors of the feel good.” You’ll see why when you listen to this.
9. Poolside – Harvest Moon
I’m cheating here, this came out before 2012 but I can’t resist including it. Really incredible to watch these friends rise this year. (I met Jeffrey Paradise on the scene in San Francisco and had the opportunity to play his legendary party Blow Up a few times.) This version of Harvest Moon does such great homage to Neil Young’s original, replete with gorgeous swells, bubbling arps and lush falsetto vocals.
10. Usher – Climax
Another superb Diplo production here. Also not one for most of my DJ sets but I listened to this song so many times. Perfect breakup anthem.