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Top 50 tracks of 2017

From the ongoing refinement of house and disco, to techno's domination of the mainstream, the return of electro, ebm and new wave, and the resurgence of jump-up d&b, dance music has continued to thrive and empassion this year. Picking just 50 tracks has been a nightmare but every single tune in this list is solid gold so crank your system and enjoy... 

50. Joe
‘Tail Lift’
Hessle Audio

49. The Black Madonna
‘He Is The Voice I Hear’
We Still Believe

48. Medlar
‘Shake It’
For Discos Only

47. Fixate x Skeptical
‘The Rig Monkey’
Exit Records

46. Kiwi
‘Marmora’s Theme’
17 Steps

45. Makcim & Levi
‘1055ML’
Lazare Hoche Records

44. Inland
‘Coriolis’
Counterchange

43. Oli Silva
‘Women’s Weekly’
The Nothing Special

42. Boy Harsher
‘Westerners’
Ascetic House

41. Mall Grab
‘Pool Party Music’
Hot Haus Recs

40. Gijensu
‘Eurotrash’
Industrial Techno United

39. Djinn
‘Dark Reference’
Foundation X

38. Stenny 
‘P-Zone’
Ilian Tape

37. Karizma
‘Work It Out’
Lumberjacks In Hell

36. Dusky
‘Cold Heart’
17 Steps

35. Detroit Swindle
‘Can’t Hold It’
Heist Recording

34. Remco Beekwilder
‘LSD’
Monnom Black

33. Alix Perez & Skeptical
‘Without A Trace’
Exit Records

32. Vincent
‘How I Feel’
Klockworks

31. Marcus Intalex & Spirit
‘Acid Monday’
Inneractive

30. Pinklunch
‘On The Floor’
PRE-

29. Halogenix
‘Blej’
Critical Music

28. Pepsi Slammer
‘Mike alert’
Dope Plates

27. Dukwa
‘Thoughts feat. Mar G’
Numbers

26. Tom Demac
‘Sink or Swim’
Hypercolour

25. Ross From Friends
‘Crimson’
Magicwire

24. Special Request
‘Stairfoot Lane Bunker’
Houndstooth

23. Nina Kraviz
‘Pochuvstvui’
Trip

22. IM KELLAR
‘IM KELLAR’
Moustache Records

21. Mark System
‘Obnox’
Exit Records

20. Krikor
‘Zulette’
L.I.E.S. Records

19. Gian & Massi
‘Gloaming Haze‘
LACK

18. Hodge
‘Swing For The Fences’
Hemlock

17. Bungle
‘Cocooned’
31 Recordings

16. Lanark Atrefax
‘Touch Absence’
Whities

15. Four Tet
‘Planet’
TEXT

14. Floating Points
‘Ratio’
Pluto Records

13. Daphni
‘Tin’
Jialong

12. Neil Landstrumm
‘Schwartze Tür’
Moustache Records

11. I Hate Models
‘Cyanure Dance’
Khemia Records

10 . Mr. Tophat feat. Robyn
‘Trust Me’
Smalltown Supersound

A deft mix of gurgling synths, dreamy pads and otherworldly vocals, ‘Trust Me’ really is something special. The work of Swedish producer and Karlovak Recordings bossman Mr. Tophat, it’s the kind of track you can truly get lost in on the dancefloor — it’s both hypnotic and persistent in equal measure. Vocals are supplied by electro-pop princess Robyn — a huge star in her own right — though her melodies seem to be more of a background feature than the main event. The star of the show is the tune’s squelching acid bassline and weird, whacked-out breakdown, which takes up a good three minutes of the tune’s epic 10-minute duration.

09. Sakro
‘Nyctophilia’
Raum...musik

Sakro followed up a prolific 2016 with five quality releases this year, which affirm the young Mexican producer amongst the upper echelons of the minimal scene. And ‘Nyctophilia’ is the standout cut from three-tracker ‘A Time To Explain’, which marked Raum...music’s 100th release with some of Sakro’s strongest productions to date. With an eternally descending pad warped against a rising bass lick, this cut of loopy minimal house has been doing serious damage on dancefloors all year — and was a standout at Romania’s Sunwaves Festival in May. Title-track ‘No Time To Explain’ on the flip has been a favourite of Villalobos all year, and there really isn’t much higher praise.

08. Bicep
‘Glue’
Ninja Tune

Bicep have had a pretty good year, what with their self-titled album landing via Ninja Tune in September to widespread critical acclaim. And while the plinky-plonky trance of ‘Aura’ may have been the initial teaser for that, it’s ‘Glue’ that has been untouchable in our books. A lazy 2-step that oozes groove, paired with layer upon layer of stuttering synths, it’s topped with an occasional vocal poking through the haze. It’s a love letter to abandoned industrial estates and streetlights seen through a rain-soaked car window. Dusty and forgotten, sleek and modern.

07. Camelphat & Elderbrook
‘Cola’
Defected

Love it or hate it, you cannot ignore this monster dance hit from Camelphat on Defected. Those sleek and slender vocals from Elderbrook are so catchy they even helped this deep tech-house groove reach the UK top 40, around the time the track got picked by numerous Top 100 DJs as their biggest tune of 2017. But don’t let the commercial success of ‘Cola’ put you off. Built of chunky bells, bulbous bass and eerie synth-lines, it’s an expertly produced tune that truly put the Camelphat duo on the map.

06. Baba Stiltz
’Snowwhite’
Studio Barnhus

For all the YouTube listens ‘Snowwhite’ missed out on in 2017, it made up for with its dexterity. But while the online community may have slept on this wiry, winding minimal masterpiece from the ‘Is Everything EP’, dancefloors certainly haven’t. Able to send a dancefloor into a trance-like séance with its hypnotizing groove, before transforming it into an explosion of hands in the air without it getting cheesy (or weird), it’s characterised by its off-beat rhythm, clicking snake-oil textures and playfully surprising steel-drum synths. A thing of beauty.

05. Senyaka
‘Don’t Judge Me Bad’
Rush Hour

2017 saw Dutch underground shop/label/ distributor Rush Hour hit 20 years old, with a series of releases from Ron Hardy, Vincent Floyd, Sumy and more. But the biggest breakout track for the imprint came through a re-release of legendary South African musician Senyaka Kekana, with a two-tracker taken from hard-to-find 1987 album, ‘Fuquza (Dance)’. A-side cut ‘Bayanyoyoba’ sounds way ahead of its time, but it’s the boogie-infused funk of B-side ‘Don’t Judge Me Bad’ that has been the darling of radio shows and festival daytime sets through summer.

04. Perc
‘Look What Your Love Has Done To Me’
Perc Trax

Taken from his stunning ‘Bitter Music’ album, a take-no-prisoners statement encompassing insular mental quarrels and wider political commentary, this was picked up by everyone from revered techno spinners like Ben Klock to up-and-comers like Charlotte de Witte and her fellow Belgian, Amelie Lens. Its unrelenting, hammer-on-steel percussive thrusts are insidious — sonic tendrils creeping into the mind, where they hold a vice-like grip for the duration.

03. Textasy
‘Illusions Of The Mind’
Natural Sciences

In the year where rough ‘n’ ready electro was growling from speaker stacks everywhere, with the likes of Helena Hauff and DJ Stingray leading the way, it’d be wrong not to give a nod and a wink to one of the tracks that’s been cleaning up on those dancefloors. This cut from the Texas-born, Berlin-based Textasy had dystopian atmospherics, an aggressive kick-snare combo, squelchy stabs and a menacing bass switch-up.

02. Fatima Yamaha
‘Araya’
Dekmantel

Fatima Yamaha dominated end-of-year lists in 2010 with ‘What’s A Girl To Do’, and here he is doing it once again. Falling somewhere between a Dario Argento hammer horror soundtrack and a Todd Terje anthem, Fatima Yamaha pulled out the big guns for Dekmantel with ‘Araya’. Almost too big for some DJs — and certainly not for the warm-up — it’s huge in every sense; a concoction of intense Italo arpeggios, an epic Theremin hook and a monstrous bowel-inducing bottom line that even Jean Michel Jarre would be proud of, this is proggy disco drama in excelsis.

01. Gerd Janson & Shan
‘Surrender’
ReGraded

Once Midland had blown 2016 away with ‘Final Credits’, he decided to do it all over again in 2017 by unleashing this bombshell from Running Back boss Gerd Janson and partner-in-crime Shan. ‘Surrender’ is pure disco dynamite. With its epic filtered bassline, it rises and rises until eventually exploding into a euphoric hail of glitter fit for Studio 54. Drawing upon Rainbow Brown’s 1981 vintage cut ‘Till You Surrender’ for the drop, this ace disco edit became an instant classic, huge at many of the summer festivals.

Want more. Check out our top albums of 2017.

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