A pseudo-countdown of top picks and underrated favourites made for the love and not the pay check. Well... not the biggest pay check. 2013 was the year when house finally crept to the top of the pop charts with a new wave of artists reclaiming its throne of dramatic four-on-the-floor hits. Can't help but thank the Brits for making people realize that pop music could sound good again. That's not to say the U.K. was doing all the work this year, no-one can talk techno without mentioning Germany's gross domestic product blaring out of Europe's revered clubs like Berghain and Trouw.
The push and pull between Europe's dance giants has made the culture become increasingly commercial and increasingly weird—so this year's crate can be found in all corners of the dancefloor, pressed against sweaty warehouse walls and torturing festival barricades. And just like all of our crates in the past, it's about giving props to white-label experiments and accepting honest radio hits.
#100. All Night (Tuff City Kids Remix): Spectral Sound
"Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you're into jazz". The late Lou Reed couldn't have said it better, and German duo Tuff City Kids put those words to work in their remix for Osborne's EP on Spectral Sound. Amazing how that house feeling can be captured in something so remarkably simple.
#99. It's House (ft. Tyree Cooper): Soo Wavey Records
Another smooth and simple house jam, but this time California's Vin Sol rubs a soothing line analog pads. His collaboration with legendary rap house MC Tyree Cooper is one for the spas, with massaging 808 rhythms and warm Juno leads that make you want to sit back and just laze.
#98. Back (Original Mix): Boysnoize Records
An artist sure to place somewhere on this list every year, Djedjotronic has always managed to adapt to the changing face of dance music, and his Kaiko EP is no exception. "Back" distances him away from his banging electro past towards more floor oriented techno, and the results are smashing.
Massimo Di Lena & Rio Padice
#97. Modulo RZ (Original Mix): Clone Royal Oak
Just one of the many tracks we'll be placing from Clone's sister imprints. "Modulo RZ" is a 12-bit Akai jam that has all the lo-fi thump we love in our favourite hip-hop records. It's as awkward and burpy as it gets, and you can even see how it's made.
#96. Jacques In the Box (Chicago Bordelo Remix): Ed Banger
If there's anything that this grisly remix tells us it's that Laurent Garnier knows how to fuck a 909. His Chicago Bordelo moniker couldn't be more fitting with the track's helter skelter bassline and borderline cheese factor. It's all about concept with this number, let the theme immerse you.
#95. Passenger (Original Mix): Delsin
Found in the second installment of Delsin 100th releases anniversary, this jacking techno cut from Mike Dehnert has the painstakingly simple arrangement and divine sound design to elicit a primal reaction from a crowd hopped up on Funktion-One's and lasers.
#94. U U U (Original Mix): WNCL Recordings
We can't help but admire what London's J. Tijn is injecting into techno right now. His U.K. bass influence and knack for aggression make for some fiery numbers, so when he decides to take a breather in "U U U", the result is something between chill and psychedelic.
#93. Water (Reduced): Night Slugs
A teaser for his recently released A/B til Infinity EP, "Water" revealed a new direction for Canadian producer Egyptrixx. Its drabby palette of dark techno sounds are sure to churn some bodily fluids, and its just a sample of what you can find in his tastefully textured album.
#92. A Is For Acid (Perc Redux): Perc Trax
Yet another slamming beat by London's favourite warehouse henchman Perc. His remix for "A Is for Acid" has all the old school drum machine sounds that made its ancestor "Acid Trax" so great, the 707's toms, the 727's agogo, and who can't forget that cheery rave whistle.
#91. That Girl (Original Mix): Wicked Bass Records
Back to more haunted Chicago house, Innershades is a Belgium producer on the rise, and his old school inspired trax have been turning revered heads like Locked Groove and Bicep. "That Girl" may not be the track that makes everyone throw their hands in the air, but it does have that jacking nostalgia many desire.