2012 was a pretty good year for dance music. For every Tommy Trash or Ingrosso threatening to drag in into the mire, there was a Tom Trago or a Prosumer able to raise it to the heights.
Here are my top ten tracks of 2012, in no particular order..........
1. TOM TRAGO - USE ME AGAIN (CARL CRAIG REMIX)
Disco and techno meet in one almighty, uplifting track. Worked magic in both the underground basement rooms and the peaktime Ibiza Amnesia sets. Huge.
2. SANTE FEAT. LORENZO HALL - HOMEGIRL
Soulful rnb vocals may have been overdone in 2012, but when they work (see also Dusky - Flo Jam), they WORK.
On the right side of the cheese divide, Sante brought the soul with a strong vocal, and the simplest but catchiest piano hook on the year.
3. KINK - EXPRESS
A track I heard on Beats In Space mixes for maybe 2 months before finally identifying it, this was a real favourite in a year of already massive tracks from Kink. Dark, moody and funky, the sound of a train never sounded so good.
4. JETS - SIN LOVE WITH YOU
As if Machine drum and Jimmy Edgar weren't good enough separately, they combine here to form JETS. This rework of Thelma Houston's 'You Used to Hold Me So Tight' was always going to be down my street, as I love the original. But this is next level. 11/10.
5. TODD TERJE - INSPECTOR NORSE
Inspector Norse definitely split opinion in 2012. It's described as 'too euro', 'cheesy', 'novelty record' on one hand, but 'fun','destroys any floor' and 'genius' on the other.
If you ask me, it's Todd revisiting his track 'Eurodans' from about 5 tears ago, and giving it a new twist.
I heard Agoria play this at Pitch Black at Trouw in Amsterdam, and Ive got to say, it was the track of the night. Quirky disco/house doing damage.
6. GEEEMAN - BANG'T
I played a lot of Detroit and Chicago-inspired stuff in 2012, and this one was the pick of the bunch. In-your-face and driving house, with that 90's synth running through, this devastated even the most po-faced dancefloor.
7. GEORGE FITZGERALD - LIKE A CHILD
This year saw a barrage of garage-influenced names break through. Breach, Disclosure, Mosca and Midland all led the way. When George Fitzgerald popped up with 'Child' on Aus Music, my initial reaction was 'heard it before - next!'
Repeated listens from UK clubs to the dancefloor at Space Ibiza convinced me other wise.
It was the best of the lot. The perfect balance of dark/light and of retro/future.
8. RONDENION - DEVOTION
I came across this track by accident, and Im so glad I did. Deep disco-funk from Japan, like a smoother version of cut-up french house for 2012. Bliss.
9. KRL - DECAY
The star of 2012. Wolf Music has been one of the labels of the year as well. This was the pinnacle of his sound.
10. DUKE DUMONT - THE GIVER
A dj whose tracks I used to love, then seemingly turned into a bore. Then in 2012 went awesome again. His remix of Aluna George is incredible, but his own track The Giver, had to be one of the best tunes of 2012.