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.
Dense & Pika
#30. Colt (Original Mix): Hotflush Recordings
Paul Rose (Scuba) and his Hotflush Recordings can do no wrong. With artists like Joy Orbison, George Fitzgerald and Locked Groove regularly dropping releases on the label, the onslaught continues with the London natives Dense & Pika, who's piano drenched "Colt" delivers on all fronts.
#29. Burning (Keep Calm Mix): Power House
Shed enters the list again as yet another moniker, this time his Head High project returns on Power House and delivers with a well placed effort of warm chords coming from the German producer. A follow up to the highly acclaimed "Rave" release in 2012, "Burning" feels right at home in our Top 100 Crates.
#28. Lion King (Original Mix): Indigo Area
With support from the likes of Ben Klock, Jonas Kopp, and Ben Sims, this track was a huge player earlier this year. Oldschool techno at its finest, "Lion King" is relentless with it's four to the floor beat and intricate percussion that feels like Jeff Mills meets Robert Hood.
#27. Hackney Parrot (Original Mix): Poly Kicks
"Hackney Parrot" served as this year's rave inspired throwback complete with Kathy Brown's vocals on loop and a hard hitting rythym that makes UK's Tessela a new force to be reckoned with. Out on his own Poly Kicks label the release kicked off a huge 2013 for Ed Russell.
#26. Gotham (Original Mix): Innervisions
Out on Dixon/Ame's Innervions label in early June, the first big release from the relative unknown Ten Walls struck a chord with the hearts of many this year. Dark & epic would be the best way to describe the sound of Mario Basonov's alter ego, and following up with "Requim" on Life & Death a few months after makes Ten Walls one of the biggest new artists of the year.
#25. Never Grow Old (Original Mix): M-Plant
Robert Hood's ongoing grasp on the techno world continued this year with surprisingly his debut album as Floorplan, the detroit techno mastermind's house inspired moniker that since 1996 has served as an outlet for releases with a bit more emotion and this year finally compiled things onto the ten track Paradise album on his M-Plant label.
#24. Fall Back (Original Mix): DFA
Released through DFA Records and being the first original material in over a year from them, Factory Floor's "Fall Back" was intriguing from its inception. Coming through with retro synth programming and a vocal riff that feels destined for DFA, this is timeless techno from the London trio.
#23. Big Room Tech House DJ Tool - TIP! (Original Mix): Nonplus Records
Joy Orbison's "Big Room Tech House DJ Tool - TIP!" is barebones and then some. A pulsating sub bass makes up the majority of the track while some light percussion and a vocal moves things along, but somehow it became one of the most played out tunes of the year and deservedly so.
#22. 10x (Original Mix): 50 Weapons
Another weapon from you guessed it, 50 Weapons. The Modeselektor imprint laid it on heavy this year with big releases including Benjamin Damage's "10x", a techno gem that got its fair share of remix work from some of our favourites like Truncate and lands Ben at number 22.
#21. True South (Original Mix): Aus Music
Will Saul's Aus Music this year became one of the most sought after destinations for releases after catapulting the careers of producers like Dusky, Midland, Bicep and more, and Glimpse hopes to be the next. Booming kicks and a simple bass line fall right in line with the dark and creepy vocal.