The discussion in regards to the judging criteria for this chart was a bigger process than putting together the chart itself. How do you weigh commercial success against production value? We tended to shy away from this year's trends and focus on quality behind the mixing desk. This list isn't to be viewed so much as our take on which songs were the most impactful in 2011 but more so as a countdown of the tracks that will continue to influence the soundscape and look forward to shape the sounds of 2012 and beyond. We look forward to your insight in the comments section.
#60. Borderline - Stay [Turbo]
Tiga called Stay "The best record Turbo has signed in ages". We'd have to agree. The Spanish duo's techno monster was a highlight in Julio Bashmore's Toronto show. The groove takes you on an ominous journey through panned out groans and lazer fills. Don't let tempo fool you this one can move a dance floor with the best of them.
#59. Renaissance Man - What Do You Do When You Do What You Do (Sei A Remix) [Turbo]
Staying on the Turbo techno theme, this time it's Finnish duo Sei A on the remix of Renaissance Man's What Do You Do When You Say What You Do. Put on your headphones and close your eyes, there's a ton going on in this mix. The blown out breakdown adds contrast to the eloquent layers forming the main loop.
#58. George Fitzgerald - Silhouette [Aus]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvUve2OGW5c
Big garage house jam from Fitzgerald. Some of the warmest synth stabs we've heard this year get phaser treatment. Zero in on the percussion, high hats in particular... the reverb dulls out the snap to give them a silky smooth texture so not to overbear the mix as is the case in lots of garage these days.
#57. Shadow Dancer - Parallax [Boys Noize]
Perhaps the biggest talent on a stacked Boys Noize roster. This opus of his Murder Room LP takes on an emotional story telling feel that we wish we could have seen from Daft Punk on the Tron OST. The talk box sounding lead at the 2:10 is next level good.
#56. Christophe & Lukas - Reel Love [Futureboogie]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehfknrn_A5g
Woooo this is a house jam if there ever was one. In a time where it's all about how dirty you can sound and kids buying ableton before they know what a wheel of fifths is Christophe & Lukas bring us hope. Clean grand piano stabs take on chord progression that gives you chills as the vocal samples make us want to move way more than anything Oliver $ topped that Beatport charts with this year.
#55. John Roman - Sala [Plant]
Forging a path into tribal techno in 2011 John Roman settled into a sound lying somewhere between Bambounou's drumminess and Myd's tribal tech glued together with flipped on their side vocals a la Timbaland. Laidback Luke's twitter love of Sala was just the beginning of this track's rise supported by the likes of Carte Blanche, Brodinski and Congorock.
#54. Brodinski - Let The Beat Control Your Body [Bromance]
The lead single on the debut EP by Brodinski's Bromance Records. One of the most original sounding synth leads of 2011. Featuring vocals by Louisahhh!, Let The Beat hits a perfect balance of interesting sound design, catchy melody and mass appeal.
#53. Das Glow, Strip Steve - Calcium [BNR TRAX]
Big orchestral timpanis made Calcium a hit in the festival circuit. The hard driving industrial pulsing gets a bit of the edge taken off by the swing of the hats. Everything comes to a frenzy around the 4:50 mark where synth dives make you feel like UFO's are doing fly byes as the song erupts into all out warfare.
#52. Disclosure - Blue You [Digital]
Did we hear a boatload of portamento, pitched vocal garage this year? You betcha. Was at as well done as Disclosure's Blue You? Not a chance. A favorite of Annie Mac's take this song straight from the club to your bedroom, it hits the sweet spot in either. I'd drop a download link here but I'd be doing you a disservice when you can grap the whole EP for free on their Facebook page including the also fantastic "My Intention Is War". LINK
#51. Virgo Four - It's A Crime (Caribou Remix)
The first four minutes of this song is cool in all. We appreciate indie bands as much as the next person but it's 4 minutes in to this 8 minute anthem where this song takes off. 303 basslines take this song on a journey into technodom while the drum patterns at the 6 minute mark would make any dj loathe attempting to use it as a mix out point.
Stay tuned as we count down ten more tracks each day leading up to our top 10.