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White Noise: Best Tracks of 2012: 25-1

Friday, 4 January 2013

Best Tracks of 2012: 25-1

After two weeks of rounding up the year, here are White Noise’s very favourite tracks of 2012. It was murder to try and arrange these great tracks into some semblance of an order, but whether you agree or disagree with the countdown, you’re sure to find a lot of music to love here, so check it out!

25 – T. Williams – Think Of You
Fusing dance music and pop sensibilities rarely comes up with an end result that pleases either fanbase. But on that rare occasion, such as this anthemic closer to Williams’ great Pain & Love EP, everything falls into place perfectly. It’s impossible to tire of Tendai’s sensuous vocals and the snappy 2step beat pattern. Calling this one ‘catchy’ would be both an understatement and the highest possible compliment. EP Review.

24 – Objekt – Cactus

Objekt said thatCactus was never really meant to be taken seriously; it's just an irreverent bit of fun taking the piss out of wobble dubstep.” However seriously he intended it to be, the havoc this impressively detailed tune wreaked on dancefloors at the beginning of the year was the stuff of legend, and the track still sounds as great today as it did on first release. EP Review.

23 – Elgato – Luv Zombie

With only two releases to his name, both on tastemaking label Hessle Audio, Elgato’s leftfield bass excursions, defying genre tropes, have always been something to look forward to. With an earworm vocal loop and nervy atmospherics, Luv Zombie drops in its latter half into an intensely vibey number that moves the mind as much as the body.

22 – Lorca – Love Like This

The Church boys who’ve been running a great night at Corsica Studios in London entered the label game with this white label refix of Faith Evans refix from up-and-comer Lorca. Mashing those instantly recognisable vocals with Nuyorican Soul’s soaring strings, this killer House cut got more play than almost any other track at White Noise HQ this year.

21 – Jam City - …Now We Relate

The Night Slugs genius made the top of our Best Albums list, but it was on Classical Club Mixes, the dance edition of some of his album’s more propulsive cut that we found his best tune. A tune of truly epic proportions, the perfect drop just before the 5-minute mark is something that has to be heard to be believed.

20 – Joy Orbison, Pearson Sound & Boddika – Faint
This unexpected post-everything tune from an unholy trio of producers was as strange as it was brilliant. A genius vocal sample and dangerously spare percussion made this one blow up dancefloors all the way up to the mind-bending static that closes out the track.

19 – Hackman – Forgotten Notes

UK producer Ben Hackman had a fairly quiet one in 2012, but it didn’t stop him releasing this slow-mo Bass masterpiece. Great sampling and lush chords established a powerful groove as emotive as any other dance release this year.

18 – DJ Q – Brandy & Coke

DJ Q is one hell of a versatile producer, and it was hard to pick from his bassline excursions and junglist cuts. But this Brandy-sampling Garage track was unbearably fresh, as deftly produced as it was catchy. (Audio is the VIP edit, which is basically the same. Free download)

17 – GoldFFinch – Funky Steppa

One of White Noise’s favourite 2012 dicoveries was this Belgian duo, who knack for weaving unusual sounds into their deftly-produced Bass numbers resulted in this total smasher, where sirens and vocal loops played second fiddle to a superb pitch-shifting woodblock rhythm. EP Review.

16 – Julio Bashmore – Au Seve

For the second year in a row, Bristolian Bashmore’s love of bouncing basslines and catchy vocals created one of the year’s most ubiquitous dance hits. This track’s no-nonsense approach just goes to show how effective the genre can be in its simplest form.

15 – Huxley – Let It Go

Huxley’s love of big House sounds was a perfect fit in 2012, and this monster single’s unstoppable bassline and infectious vocal had us grooving right up into the new year. EP Review.

14 – Omar S Presents Aaron ‘Fit’ Siegel – Tonite (Detroit Mix) feat. L’Renee
Omar S and his FXHE label were unstoppable this year. Nowhere was this more apparent than on this powerful classic House number. Addictive piano and sax samples kept this one riding a wave of happy dancers throughout the year.

13 – Pearson Sound – Untitled

It’s been a quiet year for David Kennedy, one of the UK’s freshest producers. But that didn’t stop him from putting out this nervy slice of excellence. Twitching percussion and a showstopping descending melody made this tune stand out from the competition.

12 – Tom Demac – Critical Distance Pt. 2
Demac showed wobble done very right on this monstrous House roller. Primal cries and a loping 4/4 establishes a strong groove under that overpowering, floor-destroying bassline.

11 – Moodymann – Why Do U Feel

One of the House scene’s true legends delivered the goods on this fragmented dance track. Both modern and timeless, the souful vulnerability of this raw cut shone out over rough beats and slick vocal cuts. EP Review.

10 – Andrew Ashong – Flowers

Proof that Theo Parrish is as good at recognising talent as embodying it, his release (and production) of Andrew Ashong’s Flowers created one of the year’s most addictive slow-house jams. Chilled vibes and great acoustic instrumentation made this one of the year’s defining sunrise jams.

9 – Head High – Rave (Dirt Mix)

No one disputes Shed’s legendary status within the Berlin Techno scene. But it still somehow came as a surprise when he put out two of the year’s very best tunes on a single 12”, with the gritty B-side’s crunchy percussion just taking the edge.

8 – Nitetime – Teddy’s Jam

This dusty House number stood out for us by trading as much in melancholy as in feelgood vibes. The moody synthwork and basslines felt like House that had lost its sheen, wearied by the weight of the genre’s past. Add the phenomenal late entry of those descending piano chords, and you’ve got one of the year’s very best tunes. EP Review.

7 – Bicep & Ejeca – You

Though the Bicep duo have earned acclaim for their 90s throwback stylings, this single with Ejeca on Aus had us a lot more excited here at White Noise. Phenomenal vocal sampling and cinematic synthwork drove this propulsive bass number to instant-classic status. EP Review.

6 – Blawan – Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage

This nasty Techno roller created one of the UK club circuit’s strangest sing-alongs to date. The inspired vocal (copped from The Fugees) was only the icing on the top of a raw beat pattern and billowing horror-movie effects.

5 – Todd Terje – Inspector Norse

Last year saw Nowegian disco connoisseur Terje returning to the scene with a vengeance with his Ragysh EP. In 2012 he blew that 4-tracker out of the water with Inspector Norse, an unstoppably feel-good synth bounce that built up to one hell of a climax.

4 – Anthony Naples – Mad Disrespect

The highest position for a newcomer on our list, this shuffling House number suited every occasion. Mellow enough for chilling out but punchy enough to kill on the dancefloor, this cut felt utterly timeless.

3 – Joy Orbison – Ellipsis
Another year, another phenomenal club anthem from Joy Orbison. This tune seemed almost like a mission statement for the young producer, never doing less than his ‘own thing’, Joy O rejects trendy genre stylings and goes right for the jugular. A dusty house roller with a winning vocal sample is more than good enough, but that piano loop made this one of the unfathomably brilliant producer’s very best.

2 – Burial – Ashtray Wasp
William Bevan bookended the year with a magnificent pair of releases that signalled a true return to the scene. The evolution of his sound towards unconventional sonic structures could have been an unwise move, but we've learned to always put our trust in Burial. With the closer to the superb Kindred EP, Bevan created one of his best songs to date. With a new eye for cinema and drama, Ashtray Wasp led the listener by the hand through a fractured sonic landscape whose desolation was only equalled by its beauty. EP Review.

1 – Andrés – New For U
Forgive us for not being original with our number one choice. With a heart-melting string sample, former Slum Village DJ Andrés ruled 2012 with this stunning single. Effortlessly fusing Disco, Soul and House into a tune as life-affirming as it was bittersweet, New For U was an inescapable summer success story from a man who formerly toiled as one of House music’s great unsung heroes. 

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