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.
A Made Up Sound
#90. Endgame: A Made Up Sound
The rave inspired release from Dave Huismans as A Made Up Sound has stayed strong all year with its sputtering synth lines and repetitive drum patterns that are a throwback to the old school. Arguably his heaviest output yet, Dave's A Made Up Sound delivers some disco flavoured techno in at number 90.
#89. Slaves' March: Bleep
Anytime Marcel Dettmann features on the EP you know it will deliver, and there is no exception when he and Stroboscopic Artefacts head honcho Lucy took hold of the Bleep Green Series and ran with it, Lucy providing an intensely deep, washed out darkness which compliments the A Side techno classic from Dettmann perfectly.
#88. Tantakatan (Mr. G's Nightwatch Dub): Rekids
The re-release of Radio Slave's 2008 hit "Tantakatan" got a makeover from Mr. G who took this deep groove and amped it up a notch, providing a thumping baseline that stays steady while chord stabs and guitar plucks ring in and out on this true to form Nightwatch Dub courtesy of Rekids.
#87. Linux: 50 Weapons
As we've already eluded to, Marcel Dettmann doesn't put his name on anything less than stellar. He had a massive year and his release on Modeselector's label 50 Weapons was dark and heavy just like we would expect. Pounding techno with a Dettman twist.
#86. Can't Love You More: Music Man Records
Deetron's 2013 consisted of multiple releases on respected labels such as Aus Music, Defected, Eskimo Recordings, Crosstown Rebels, and of course Music Man Records, which sees his "Can't Love You More" highlight an EP that really epitomizes Deetron, trippy playful synths full of emotion.
Rrose is proving once again that Berghain techno is more relevant now than ever, with tracks like "Shrouds" that take you on a dark journey with varying levels of intensity, but the feeling remains the same. Mysterious and gloomy, this delay-laden techno bomb is meant for the underground.
#84. Protocol: Fifth Wall Records
Matrixxman has risen from relative obscurity this year with tracks like "Protocol" which features an abundance snares and hi hats and no shortage and rhythm. Out on Brooklyn's Fifth Wall Records, this intense percussive output is one for the crates.
#83. Wants: Aus Music
With releases this year on Aus Music, Turbo, and Convex Industries, its safe to say that Sei A is here to stay. A sure fire bet to impress but guaranteed to be a surprise, the British producer Andy Graham's outputs have ranged from peak time stripped down techno to bass driven deep house such as "Wants", enjoy.
#82. Luft: Ultramajic
Apparently another moniker of the always unique Machinedrum, Aden's release on Jimmy Edgar's Ultramajic label is a timeless trip, taking a percussive intensity and wrapping it with vocal and chord stabs before winding it up in typical Ultramajic fashion.
#81. Track 3: Enemy Records
Originally signed to Minus and now contributing to the success of heavier labels like CLR and Enemy Records, Psyk had a big 2013 with floor stompers like "Track 3", a relentless journey through the underground that just doesn't quit.