It’s been an incredible year in the world of electronic music as it continues to gain prominence in the United States and throughout the world. Since starting Belligerent Bulldog over the summer, Ryan Martin and Preston Barclay have been bringing you their top HOUSE / EDM tracks every month and it only seemed natural to collaborate on a Top 50 for the entire year. With different tastes, there were inherently disagreements, but we are pleased with the final list as a worthwhile summary of the views of the entire community. Naturally, we wish more quality tracks could receive the praise they deserve, but only 50 songs can call themselves the best of 2012.
Earlier in the afternoon we brought you tracks 50-41, but here’s the next ten as we get closer to the best of the year.
40. Calvin Harris (feat. Ayah Marah) – Thinking About You
PB: Calvin Harris’ 18 Months was one of the best albums all year, and with headliners such as “We Found Love” and “Sweet Nothing”, it’s easy to see how some of the other tracks like “Thinking About You” could get lost in the shuffle, but that would be a travesty. Briefly in November, “Thinking About You” was my most listened to song, and I love the instrumental and electronic collaboration, perfectly intertwined throughout the song.
RM: “Thinking About You” is a classic Calvin track that didn’t blow me away, but didn’t dissapoint me at the same time. Giving Calvin solid vocals to work with, as Ayah Marah did in this track, is a surefire recipe for success. This track wasn’t near my personal top 50, but is a solid listen regardless.
39. David Guetta & Alesso (feat. Tegan & Sara) – Every Chance We Get We Run
PB: The second song off of David Guetta’s Nothing But The Beat 2.0, it’s hard not to love the voices of Tegan & Sara over Guetta & Alesso’s collaboration. I love the build up and the drop as well – ingredients to a song to land in my top 25.
RM: The fact that an Alesso track didn’t land in my personal top 50 tells you just about everything you need to know about how deep I thought 2012 was. In my opinion this track has all the features to suggest this track was basically Alesso’s own, regardless of the collaboration with Guetta. Not a great track to play in a live set, but an awesome one to listen to at home or play in the car.
38. Arty, Matisse & Sadko – Trio
RM: I’m a huge fan of “Trio”, and Arty for that matter. One of the more uplifting tracks of the entire year “Trio” is a track I return to time and time again when I’m stumped on what to listen to. I’m a little surprised this track never received a vocal version as it seems like it could thrive with one, but then again the original is so good that nobody really needs a vocal version.
PB: Although it didn’t land in my top 50, “Trio” is an excellent and uplifting progression from Arty and the duo of Matisse & Sadko. My only real gripe with the song is that it feels a little repetitive at times with one of those unnecessary long outros, but it’s still a quality track.
37. Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes – Here We Go
RM: If you need motivation to do anything, look no further than “Here We Go”. The Swedish House Mafia endorsed song is the ultimate crowd pleaser and there’s really few tracks that fit live sets more perfectly. Swanky Tunes and Hard Rock Sofa sometimes make tracks a little too edgy for my liking, but “Here We Go” strikes the perfect balance between edginess and mass audience appeal in my opinion, creating a truly exemplary track. Hopefully more tracks like “Here We Go” are on the horizon in 2013.
PB: To me, “Here We Go” was the ultimate head banger in electronic music in 2013, and I mean that in a good way. Initially, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes’ intense style, but grew to love it, and the drop is terrific on “Here We Go”. I also loved some of the duos other tracks this year including remixes of David Guetta’s “Just One Last Time” and Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo’s “Let’s Go”.
36. Eric Prydz – Every Day
RM: I usually tend to listen to mostly progressive EDM tracks but for whatever reason Eric Prydz’s “underground” production style appeals to me greatly. I started listening to “Everyday” nonstop in July and haven’t looked back since. The steady, melodic beat and vocals match perfectly to create a track that puts me in a great mood every time I hear it. Eric Prydz is one of the biggest perfectionists around and “Every Day” is certainly a perfected track.
PB: It took me awhile to warm up to Eric Prydz’s style, and although it couldn’t quite crack my top 50, it reminds me a lot of Prydz’s first hit “Call On Me” with its underground trance-like feel.
35. EDX – Everything (Feat. Hadley) (Original & Cazzette Remix)
PB: It’s rare that I love the original and its remix almost as much given significant differences between the two as well, but both EDX and Cazzette nail their versions of EDX’s original of “Everything”. While the original is a softer and more elegant song, Cazzette turns it into a more upbeat dance track, and both work terrific.
RM: While most of the tracks in our top 50 are fast paced tracks, “Everything” is quite the opposite, a laidback, chill track with commendable vocals. While it is certainly meant for a different setting than most songs on the list, “Everything” is nevertheless a solid addition.
34. Skrillex (feat. The Doors) – Breakn’ A Sweat (Zedd Remix)
PB: Switching gears entirely from EDX, we have Zedd’s remix to Skrillex’s “Breakn’ A Sweat”. I’m not usually a fan of dubstep, but often I make an exception with Skrillex, and Zedd’s inclusion makes it even better. Excellent balance of progressive buildups and instrumentals leading to heavy hitting dubstep elements.
RM: Like Preston, I’m not much of a Dubstep fan. While I can appreciate the skill of artists like Skrillex, I can only really take their music in small dosages, so a remix from an artist like Zedd is a necessity for me. “Breakn’ A Sweat” is a track that is still more hard hitting than my typical favorites but still is one of my favorites of the year.
33. Hardwell – Spaceman
RM: Hardwell is yet another artist who had a huge year in 2012 and “Spaceman” is the crowned jewel from the master of drops in my opinion. I’ve heard rave reviews about Hardwell live sets and their fast paced nature and earth shattering drops, and with masterpieces like “Spaceman”, it’s apparent why. “Spaceman” was pretty high on my personal list, one of the jams of the year indeed.
PB: Hardwell’s “Spaceman” was a frequent play in Spanish clubs and it’s not hard to see why. A solid anthem.
32. Zedd – Follow You Down
PB: Outside of Alesso, no producer did more for me in 2012 than Zedd (stay tuned). His album Clarity was truly incredible and probably edges Calvin Harris’ 18 Months and deadmau5′s < album title goes here > for my favorite for the entire year. “Follow You Down” heavily features synths in both the buildup and drop and I think it works tremendously. One of my top 20 tracks of the year and the highest of mine to appear in our countdown so far.
RM: I was a fan of Clarity and Zedd is one of the truly emerging artists in EDM but “Follow You Down” was never one of my favorites. The track offers some promising, uplifting synths but overall the track wasn’t really near my personal top 50.
31. Cicada & Third Party – Feel
RM: “Feel” is certainly one of my favorite songs to see live. Between the uplifting vocals, extensive build ups, and terrific drops, the song fits perfectly in just about any set and is certainly the type of track that puts you in the mood to go crazy. Third Party is a duo to watch out for on Size Records and “Feel” is a track that you can expect to hear for a long time.
PB: “Feel” was a song I was turned on to late in the year and it narrowly missed my personal top 50. Excellent almost hopeful or inspiring buildup with solid vocals on top.
Check back tomorrow at 2 pm eastern for tracks 30-21 of 2012.