If we're already making boisterous claims and wild accusations, we going to say that progressive house had the biggest commercial success this year. Of course fame comes with a price, and often those lesser known and incredibly talented artists tend to get buried under the avalanche of bangers and mash. For this Best of 2013 we've decided to throw a smorgasbord of tracks at you, both those that marked every set on every continent and a number from artists who you'll be hearing more of in 2014. With that being said, find a mish-mash of each variety below, then our top 10 at the very end!
Case & Point – "Alive" (Feat. Lara Woolf)
Hardwell, Dyro – "Never Say Goodbye" (Feat. Bright Lights)
Calvin Harris – "I Need Your Love" (Feat. Ellie Goulding) (Nicky Romero Remix)
Mikkas & Amba Shepherd – "Finally"
Steve Angello & Matisse & Sadko – "SLVR"
Dave202 – "The Edge" (Feat. Robbie Hazen)
Rebecca & Fiona – "Union" (Sleepy Tom Remix)
Lush & Simon – "Adrenaline"
Seven Lions & Myon & Shane 54 – "Strangers"
Calvin Harris, Hurts, Alesso – "Under Control"
Popeska – "New Kings" (Feat. Luciana)
Francesco Rossi – "Paper Aeroplane" (Tom Staar Remix)
Hard Rock Sofa – "Rasputin"
Mat Zo – "Pyramid Scheme"
The Rapture – "Sail Away" (Digitalism Remix)
Sultan & Ned Shepard, Fedde Le Grand – "Long Way From Home"
deadmau5 – "Suckfest9001"
NERVO – "Hold On"
Michael Calfan vs. John Dahlback – "Let your Mind Go" (Feat. Andy P.)
10. Armand Van Helden, Duane Harden – "You Don't Know Me" (Michael Woods Remix)
Micheal Woods could be put up for a host of tracks: the December trio of "Ctrl", "Alt", "Delete", "Platinum Chains", and "Black Thong" all come to mind. However, his remix of "You Don't Know Me" captivated listeners through its heavy progressive house nature, yet clear disco funk. On top of this, the crisp midline and siren that Woods crafted for the track puts it on an entirely different level. Another banner year for the English electronic producer.
9. Andrew Bayer – "England"
American producer Andrew Bayer is one to watch in 2014. Growing up as an avid electronic music fan and getting classically trained in a multitude of platforms, Bayer is poised to conquer all sorts of music in his path. The first instance we saw of this tis year is through his single "England," originally introduced on anjuna beats vol 10. It's a powerful progressive track with a range of movement, and a precursor to the other dub step and electro that we heard from Bayer throughout 2013. Releasing his album "if we were you, we'd never leave" to critical acclaim as well, we are sure that the way his creativity defined the up and coming in 2013 will continue on a larger scale this year.
8. Kryder – "Aphrodite"
London-based producer Kryder held a mostly under-the-radar persona until 2013 became a year where his talent forced the mysterious artist to surface more frequently than ever. Boasting multiple hits and collaborations that were immediate chart toppers, "Aphrodite" was one of the same story. His first release on Axtone Records, the track is one that is uniquely Kryder, but also uniquely Axtone. Perfect for festivals and headphones alike, "Aphrodite" is a perfect example of why Kryder had a great year.
7. Alesso vs. One Republic – "If I Lose Myself" (Alesso vs. One Republic Extended Remix)
We're not sure if a festival exists in 2013 that didn't have this song. Hyperbole of course, but the heart-wrenching, vocal-laden work of Alesso and OneRepublic continues to be almost inescapable. Owing to emotive lyrics and a show stopping break, the April release will go down in dance history as one of the most loved tracks of the decade. Whenever Alesso drops a track, we listen, and "If I Lose Myself" is why.
6. Bass Kleph – "Less Is More"
My first introduction to Bass Kleph came years ago, when I stumbled across his playful, vocal-centered track, "Spend My Money". But this year became a reawakening for the artist who joined Tommy Trash and Wolfgang Gartner on the Hounds of Hell tour, on top of ear-catching releases. Though we had to make a hard decision between "Less Is More" and "Back To Funk", the former felt more appropriate for this list as a thundering progressive house tune. Unsurprisingly, the Australian electronic producer started 2014 with a monstrous track "Raise Up Lights", already asserting his dominance in the New Year.
5. Henrik B, Niklas Gustavsson & Peter Johansson – "Echoes"
This trio of producers came together to make an unforgettable track that resonated with us throughout the year. First catching our attention when dropped by Avicii at UMF, "Echoes" came out on Le7els two months after the Miami festival. With simple, layered vocals and uplifting chords, the song imparts a lighthearted and carefree attitude.
4. Pryda – "Power Drive"
Eric Prydz has been an unstoppable force in the industry for many years. However, this year truly cemented him in the hearts and minds of a new generation of dance music lovers. Producing formidable tracks, stunning crowds with EPIC 2.0, and getting dirty under the guise of Cirez D proved beyond a doubt that Prydz can do anything. Fitting then that we chose "Power Drive" as his track of the year, a song that demonstrates artistry through both finesse and pure force. On top of his many aliases, Prydz has introduced the world to Fehrplay and Jeremy Olander through his Pryda Friends imprint, two talented producers who can go nowhere but up.
3. Sander van Doorn – "Neon"
Sander van Doorn assured us at EDC Las Vegas that dance music would never become trite. "Neon" proved he was right, a festival-ready anthem that wowed through smoothly contrasting highs and lows. Making a return to the melodic progressive house he made his early successes through, "Neon" took three years to produce just right, and was really worth the wait. His label, DOORN Records, has kicked off this year with the attention-grabbing "Charger" by Merk & Kremont and Amersy and will be sure to impress with a heavyweight roster.
2. Axwell, Sick Individuals, Taylr Renee – "I AM"
2013 saw a new kind of Swedish house music; the kind from a separated Swedish House Mafia. Exploring their personal preferences, Steve, Axwell and Seb really maximized growing the opportunity to grow their own labels. This brings us to Axwell, who had the most releases on his Axtone outlet and saw some of the most success. This track was one of our favorites for its uniquely Axtone style: a powerful drop that focuses on melody and not instant gratification, emotive and addicting vocals from Taylr Renee, and a special dose of winding bass from Sick Individuals. Axwell's solo career post SHM is proving to be great for everyone, making "I Am" is one of the most memorable of 2013.
1. Kaskade & Project 46 – "Last Chance"
Ryan Raddon's 8th studio album, Atmosphere, gave listeners of all genres something to sink their teeth into. Soft lullabies could be found in "Floating", minimal in "SFO to ORD", and of course all the progressive one could want. Though the album's title track stole hearts when Kaskade opened Ultra with it, "Last Chance" quickly became a fan favorite after the release six months later. Working with Canadian duo Project 46, the opening song speaks of not-so quiet desperation before diving into soaring highs and unforgettable chord progressions. Kaskade's ability to transfer emotion through his work continues to make him one of the best electronic producers out there.
Let us know a few of your top tracks in the comments!