Best Of 2011

House

It has been an incredible year for House music and EDM in general. If we calculate success based on music awards such as The Grammy’s then we can easily see how house music has captivated the masses.

We can turn on the radio and hear the latest David Guetta collaboration or MTV and see Porter Robinson gracing the headlines of ‘Best Artists Under 19’. Regardless of how it is perceived, House music has been catapulted into the mainstream and to me this is a huge win.

It is hard for some die hard house heads to swallow the mainstream success of acts like Swedish House Mafia and Deadmau5 and the typical ‘sellout’ label always gets thrown out. But is it bad that our favourite type of music is now EVERYONE’S favourite type of music? Does it take away from our identity?

With 2012 right around the corner let’s throw out the debate and just enjoy house music being taken to the next level.

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

The Winners:

My #1 pick was a no-brainer. I’ve said it countless times that ‘A Little Louder’ was THE summer anthem for me and my Itunes play count doesn’t lie. An underrated track to say the least. 

Kid Massive- A Little Louder (Extended Version)

Sonny Wharton gets the #2 nod for his stellar remix of Innerpartysystem’s ‘Not Getting Any Better’. A chunky base line and a techy feel made this cut a highly addictive track. The buildup is outstanding, drops on the money and defines what I really love about house music. 

Innerpartysystem- Not Getting Any Better (Sonny Wharton Mix)

Honourable Mentions:

Nicky Romero’s remix of ‘Flash’ was one of the most popular tracks of the year. It wasn’t THAT popular in the sense of topping charts and music awards but the amount of times this track has been mashed has been incredible. A staple in Avicii and Kaskade sets I think its safe to say it got the deserved air time. 

Green Velvet- Flash (Nicky Romero Remix)

Another underrated track comes from Canadian born Etienne Ozborne and Germany’s- Chris Montana. A techy/tribal infused gem that was a staple in my 2011 sets. 

Chris Montana & Etienne Ozborne- Columbian Chants (Tribal Mix)

Electro House

Electro House has seen its fair share of attention this year. It has quickly transformed from being one of the most popular sub-genres of electronic music to being one of the most blurred genres out there.

Electro has almost turned into a secondary category that only accompanies dubstep and is rarely seen in its purest form. With a new crop of artists like Porter Robinson, Zedd and Mord Fustang- Electro has become a stepping stone in the melting pot of EDM.

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

The Winners:

Mord Fustang has been very successful in keeping his productions melodic while maintaining the harder elements of electro house. With tracks like ‘Milky Way’, ‘Electric Dream’ and ‘A New World’ he brings in big bass drops and a touch of dubstep. My #1 pick for Electro House track of the year has to go to ‘Lick The Rainbow’.

Mord Fustang- Lick The Rainbow (Original Mix)

I don’t even need to talk about the year Porter Robinson has had. From high school obscurity to opening for Tiesto… From big remixes and his debut album on OWSLA he has been at the forefront of the Electro House movement and has been instrumental in its transformation. With some very strong tracks on his Spitfire EP, his remix of Spencer & Hill- Less Go is my #2 pick of the year.

Spencer & Hill- Less Go! (Porter Robinson Remix)

Honourable Mention:

Beatport has categorized ‘Strange Behaviour’ as both dubstep and drum n bass but it has that genre crossing electro feel that we have become accustomed to. This track has been released both on Mau5trap Records and UKF and deserves the honourable mention position.

Feed Me- Strange Behaviour (feat. Tasha Baxter)

Progressive House

I am going to firstly address the fact that ‘Levels’ is not on our Best Of List this year. Yes, it is an anthem, possibly the ‘anthem of the year’ but its level of popularity, the fact that Flo Rida sampled it, and its overall airtime has pushed it onto the list of ‘tracks I don’t want to hear for another year’.

In other news, Sweden has officially become the breading grounds for the best house music artists in the world. Two of it’s model citizens- Avicii & Alesso had the type of year that could only be dreamt of.

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

The Winners: 

On top of Levels, Avicii released ‘Fade Into Darkness’ and our #1 pick for Prog House track of the year- ‘Blessed’. Releasing it under a new Tom Hangs moniker and then remixing his own track, this is an under appreciated song in my books. Under appreciation= less airtime= less Flo Rida= less Leona Lewis= TRACK OF THE YEAR

Tom Hangs ft. Shermanology- Blessed (Avicii Edit)

At the end of 2010 everyone was pumping up Alesso as the artist to watch in ’11. With the March release of his Dynamite EP, several HUGE remixes (see below) and a collaboration with Seb Ingrosso, he blew up. ‘Calling’ quickly became a festival hit and the mashups/bootlegs/remixes began to pour in.

He capped off 2011 with another crowd pleaser- ‘Raise Your Head’ and easily gets our vote for #2 Prog House track of the year.

Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso- Calling (Original Instrumental Mix)

Honourable Mention:

It boggles my mind that his Good Love remix hasn’t gotten more recognition but nonetheless it remains a staple in the 2011 house list and once again shows the calibre of his productions.

DEVolution- Good Love (Alesso Remix)

Trance

It’s been a weird year for Trance music and it’s die hard fans. As genre lines blurred and the evolution of ‘Trouse’ erupted, it became increasingly difficult to categorize real Trance music.

With trance titans like Tiesto crossing over into electro/house we were left scratching our heads and wondering, is this trouse? progressive trance? Or should we even bother defining genres at all anymore?

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

The Winners

My #1 pick for best Trance track of the year was an easy one. I can’t count how many times i’ve listened to HEFTY and how inspirational it has been. Whether it’s been motivation at the gym or that extra push to get out of bed in the morning this is hands down the song of the year for me.  

Dezza- Hefty (Original Mix)

Above & Beyond have had a stellar year to say the least. The 10 year anniversary of Anjunabeats, their 2nd studio album- ‘Group Therapy’ and a world tour is a productive year in my books. Their standout track ‘Sun & Moon’ is amazing on it’s own but the remix from Kim Fai is out of this world. This track still gives me goosebumps and is my #2 pick. 

Above & Beyond- Sun & Moon (Kim Fai Club Mix)

Honourable Mention:

Dash Berlin is a trance icon and continues to bring that stereotypical ‘trancey’ sound. His collab with Jonathan Mendelsohn is nothing short of stunning and deserves the honourable mention spot. 

Dash Berlin ft. Jonathan Mendelsohn- Better Half of Me (Club Mix)

Mashups

It has been a busy year in the Mashup world to say the least.

As the popularity of the ‘genre’ exploded so did the quality and calibre of mashups. Everybody and their brother went out, bought a mac, downloaded a pirated version of _____ software and began crafting ‘mashups’. Or simply placing vocals over an instrumental.

With the influx of new mashup artists, a divide became apparent. We began seeing more of the Girltalk esq productions with more complicated blending and layering. Thankfully, the bar was raised by guys like D.veloped, R3K and 3LAU (to name a few).

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

The Winners:

R3K’s ‘remix’ was a aural and viral hit this year. With our beloved Cudder taking a breather this mashup really filled the void and takes the cake for #1 mash of the year.

Kid Cudi- Falling Star (R3K Remix)

D.veloped was getting the #2 spot but it was a tough decision on which track. I loved every one of his mashups this year but none got more plays than ‘Throw Some D’s On That Blink’- nostalgia at its best.

D.veloped- Throw Some D’s On That Blink

Honourable Mentions:

The White Panda capitalized on the success of M83’s- Midnight City with the addition of Kanye into the mix. Meanwhile Ken Loi came out of nowhere to create a seamless mashup between Oasis and Pryda which was played out by Tiesto among others.

Oasis vs. Pryda- Wonderwall 2Night (Ken Loi Bootup)

The White Panda- Midnight Life

Dubstep

I think it’s safe to say that Dubstep owned 2011. It’s emergence in the mainstream is nothing new for the Brits but as Skrillex hit every media outlet this side of London, it literally blew up the scene. Now every tween is throwing away the Bieber albums for the latest Skream joint.

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

The Winners:

There wouldn’t be a Best Of Dubstep 2011 without Skrillex on it somewhere. The kid has had an unbelievable year. The Mothership Tour, 2 EPs, OWSLA, Countless collaborations and 5 Grammy Nods… C’mon. My #1 pick easily goes to his remix for Benny Benassi and Gary Go. The perfect combination of melody, breakdowns and bass.

Benny Benassi ft. Gary Go- Cinema (Skrillex Remix)

Nero tops the Best Of list for two years straight. Their remix of Plan B’s ‘The Recluse’ is still hot shit and this year’s #2 pick goes to their sexy remix of one of the year’s hottest tracks.

Calvin Harris- Feel So Close (Nero Remix)

Honourable Mentions:

This list could be 10 tracks deep but in the spirit of a quick and concise list we’ll keep it to three. Bassnectar had another great year, Adventure Club are on FIRE and Minnesota continues to drop quality dimes. 

Ellie Goulding- Lights (Bassnectar Remix)

James Vincent McMorrow- We Don’t Eat (Adventure Club Remix)

Sander Van Doorn- XX Booty (Minnesota RMX)

Tech House

Tech House is a sub-genre that is very dependent on two things: mood & calibre of sound system.

The minimalistic and repetitive sounds can do wonders for your night or they can drive you absolutely nuts. After seeing guys like Jay Lumen and John Acquaviva earlier this year our appetite for tech house skyrocketed.

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

The Winners:

Alex Kenji and Federico Scavo both had an incredible year. Kenji topped the charts with releases on Hot Fingers, 303 Lovers and a new remix on the Bingo Players label- Hysteria. While Federico tore up the beatport top 10 with his monster rendition of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers- Otherside.

As was expected there collaboration was a huge success in the house charts and remains our #1 pick for track of the year.

Alex Kenji, Federico Scavo- Get Funky (Original Mix)

I can credit John Acquaviva for wetting my tech house palette. His set at DEMF 2010 was the highlight of the weekend and due to releases like ‘Good Music’ we have stuck around. ‘Good Music’ takes the #2 spot and showcases the minimal techno style that is predominant in his productions.

John Acquaviva, Alex D’Elia & Nihil Young- Good Music feat. Dan Diamond (Original Mix)

Honourable Mention:

Muzzaik gets the honourable mention spot for the alley-oop from Kid Massive. We were already obsessed with the original mix so it didn’t take much to make us a believer in the remixes. The breakdown at 3:45 says it all…

Kid Massive & Peyton- A Little Louder (Muzzaik Remix)

Odds & Ends

Wrapping up the best tracks of 2011 hasn’t been easy. Over the past 12 months thousands of tracks were released in varying styles and with the popularity of genre blending, categorizing them has been a daunting task.

After revealing our Best Of’s Trance, Dubstep, House, Prog House, Electro, Tech House & Mashups we decided to highlight some of the tracks that just missed the cut.

For the sake of this ‘Best Of’ series and my sanity, we have picked our favourite tracks of 2011 based on genres categorized by Beatport. With that being said, our picks are purely based on personal taste and they give remixes the same weight as an original track.

Progressive House

Florence & The Machine vs. Mark Knight- You’ve Got the Love

Deadmau5- Aural Psynapse (2nd Edit)

Drum n Bass

Blu Mar Ten- Whisper (feat. Kirsty Hawkshaw)

Moombahton

Toddla T- Take It Back (Dillon Francis Remix)

Hip Hop

Drake- Over My Dead Body

Dub Hop

Illa Scorsese- Rude

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