The Top EDM Albums & Tracks Of 2012
Zedd - "Clarity"
By Jeremy Blacklow
I'll be the first to admit that Year-End "Best Of" lists are completely subjective. That being said, following is one dance music fan's very subjective list of the best Electronic Dance Music albums & tracks of 2012 (followed by a list of my favorite mainstream remixes).
Top 10 EDM Albums of 2012
10) Steve Aoki – "Wonderland"
Aoki's been at it for a long time and is finally getting the worldwide notice he deserves. With stellar tracks including "Ladi Dadi" (Wynter Gordon) and "Livin' My Love" (feat. LMFAO & NERVO), Aoki kicks off my list this year. He's got a Best Electronic/Dance Album Grammy nom to back it up.
9) Skrillex – "Bangarang" (EP)
I'm the first to admit that no song makes me cover my ears more than "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites," but I'd be remiss not to include Skrillex on this list, especially after he cleaned up at the 2012 Grammys. And yes, "Bangarang" really came out at the very end of 2011, but the truth is, I believe Skrillex developed musically in 2012, and no longer is relying solely on huge dubstep drops anymore. Plus, Ellie Goulding likes him a lot, so he can't be all bad, right?
8) "Mash Of The Titans" (compiled by Panos T)
You can't buy this EDM mash-up compilation anywhere. It's completely bootlegged...it's also completely incredible. I suggest seeking it out on your own.
7) Ferry Corsten – "WKND"
The Dutch big-room invasion at its best. Corsten has the experience and history to know how to produce great music, which will last beyond the next big festival. This album's got staying power.
6) Tiesto – "Club Life: Volume Two Miami"
There's a reason why Tiesto is always at the top of the "Best DJ" lists. Just listen to his remixes and productions from 2012. From Coldplay's "Paradise" to the Naked & Famous' "Young Blood," he knocks it out of the park yet again.
5) Diplo – "Express Yourself" (EP)
The best thing about Diplo is that he produces music that combines various influences to create a sound that is like no one else. This 6-track EP proves his talent, case in point.
4) Deadmau5 – > album title goes here <
Despite Deadmau5's very controversial year (his war vs. raver culture, his war vs. Madonna, THAT Rolling Stone cover article), Joel Zimmerman still produces great music. When everyone was "zigging" in 2012, he "zagged" with "The Veldt" (feat. Chris James), one of the most sonically beautiful masterpieces in electronic music to come along in years, and certainly not what I expected next from him. I didn't like this album as much as 2011's "4x4 = 12," but that doesn't mean it wasn't still magnificent.
3) Swedish House Mafia – "Until Now"
I'll admit, every time I hear mention about Swedish House Mafia's "One Last Tour," I offer up my best Liz Lemon-inspired masterpiece eye roll. How do you give a huge farewell tour for an EDM "super group" that has been around for a whopping 3 years? But when you listen to the songs compiled on the Deluxe Edition of "Until Now," the hype becomes justified.
2) Calvin Harris – "18 Months"
The mainstream didn't really know Calvin until a little song came along called "We Found Love" in late 2011, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Hit after hit followed throughout the year – "Feels So Close," "Let's Go" (feat. Ne-Yo), "Sweet Nothing" (feat. Florence Welch) – by the time "18 Months" came out, some fans felt they had already heard most of the tracks that were going to be on the album. Cue "I Need Your Love" (feat. Ellie Goulding) and the album's real hidden gem, "Thinking About You" (feat. Ayah Marar). Is there anything Calvin couldn't do in 2012?