Favorite Music of 2011 - Part 1 - Tracks

2011 was probably the best year for music for me. With Electronic Dance Music's popularity at an all time high, the genre has gotten a large amount of attention, and DJs and artists have been working non-stop at getting their names out there, and promoters have been going over the top all year round to bring the world's greatest talent to their city.

There has been some amazing new music, mixed in with fantastic local talent and events. Over the course of 2011, I've seen almost all of my favorite DJs and heard fantastic new music, and plenty of oldies as well, and they have opened my ears to some fantastic talent and music that made the perfect soundtrack to 2011.

Here are my favorite I heard throughout the year. Almost all of them I was introduced to in a live setting, or later heard them live.

1. Guy J & Henry Saiz - Meridian
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zl3AawovEoU

This massive track debuted towards the end of the year, but had support from John Digweed since Spring. As he shopped it around, he knew he was sitting on something big, and made it part of the 100th release on his record label, Bedrock.

It has beautiful atmosphere that continues to build and build with a unique electricity.

2. David August - Hamburg is for Lovers
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9O5yOAfEwA

Another massive track that Sasha shopped around as part of his Never say Never residency at Ushuaia in Ibiza. This distinct track always shone through the tracks he was mixing, and was the highlight of a several track build. It has that perfect summer Tech House feel.

3. M83 - Midnight City
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX3k_QDnzHE

From start to finish, Midnight City exudes energy. It has this classic feel-good sound. I can't help but smile whenever I hear it. It's a perfect follow-up to many of M83's other amazing hits, like Teen Angst and Couleurs.

I saw them at First Ave in Minneapolis, and when they started playing this song, the entire club erupted in cheers, and jumping, and dancing, and smiles everywhere.

4. Nick Warren - Beunos Aires
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrDc0W-Epc8

Another distinctive progressive track from the very best in Progressive House. Beunos Aires has a very smooth undertone that hooked me the moment I heard it. It guides the track, and them slams you with the melody. It's a really hard banging track, but the light melody likes to disguise itself as something else. It's interesting, and works together amazingly well.

When Nick Warren played this song in Chicago, it made my day. It made my year. Different one of my favorite moments I've experienced in Dance music. :)

5. Maxime Dangles - Dihaiz
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63rqsFsGlwA

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I would say this is my favorite purely hard track of the year. When a DJ throws down this track, there's no way to ignore it. It rips through the scene and everyone pays attention. The amount of raw energy captured in this song transfers itself to the audience, and mayhem ensues.

Carl Cox played this one at North Coast and everyone flipped out. Everyone was on their feet hopping around.

6. Ott - Adrift in Hilbert Space
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_LuQvTiVfg

It starts off for a perfectly light atmosphere, and then that initial guitar riff hits. It throws shivers down my spine. The vocals and synth further capture my attention. And then the song guide me on a journey of sound. This is definitely one of the most beautiful tracks I've heard all year. And hearing Ott perform this live was very special. All the melodic bits pop, and it's an atmosphere I can't escape from.

7. Rone - So So So
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPkUKw9DIlw

So So So is a symphony of melody. It's spacey and easy to lose yourself in. Unfortunately, it's too short!

8. Omid 16B - Rain
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5twD9V3P60

Rain is ridiculously smooth, with an electric hard energy. As the song progresses, the energy diversifies and iterates on itself, creating a unique atmosphere other tracks WISH they could replicate. It continues to pound, and pound, and pound. This song is relentless and amazing.

9. Summer (Brendon Collins) - Phantom
listen : http://soundcloud.com/tuliparecordings/summer-brendon-collins-phantom

Another fantastic and unique track from Brendon Collins, and my favorite track of his this year. Sasha played this one in Chicago, and it was definitely the highlight of the second half of the night. It's spacey and hypnotic. The build-ups are super smooth. I love it. :)

10. Eelke Kleijn - Insane in the Mainframe
listen : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdDUGyoRnC0

Another relentless and banging track from last year, with the most amazing build I've heard all year. The build teases and teases, and then punches you in the face. This was another track I came across thanks to Sasha's performance in Chicago, and absolutely another highlight from that night.