We’ve already given our comprehensive rundown of the top 100 tracks of the year. But since many of the decisions made for that list were informed by the manner in which they were deployed on dancefloors, we decided to hit up the people responsible and ask some of our favourite DJs to tell us about their favourites. See their picks below.
Special Request Ploy 'Garys' (Hemlock Recordings)
"My record of the year is Ploy's 'Garys' on Hemlock. I've been using it as a tool underneath, and over the top of various tracks, and it has a certain versatility to it that means I think we'll see it being played well into 2018.Straight to the point action with a real lift-off at it's heart; I love it!"
Batu Octo Octa 'Adrift' (Avalon Emerson Furiously Awake Version) (HNYTRX)
"This one definitely grew on me after playing it in clubs this year. It's kinda subtle but a proper builder on a dancefloor. People are really vibing by the end but you need to give them 5 or so minutes to reach that point, I really like that. Mediative but also upfront!"
LSB DRS ft Patife & Vangeliez 'I Will' (Soul:r)
"The tune has a lovely feel and I loved it form the moment iIfirst heard it and the message in DRS' lyrics become more pertinent every single day. It's been a tough year for the scene, particularly for everyone connected to Soul:r and the Manchester scene in general, and if the 'I Will' EP is to be the last release on the label the message is very fitting, let's all just spread love."
Sinjin Hawke & Zora Jones Alex A-Game 'Braver' (Swing Ting Smooth Edit) (Swing Ting)
"Love love love this song - it's one of those ones that gives you tingles everytime you hear it, the perfect last tune at the end of a sweaty club night. Swing Ting's one of the best doing it right now and there's something about this minimalist juxtaposition of rhodes chords against Alex A-Game's rythmic vocal performance that makes the song so incredibly special. 10/10."
DJ Bone DJ Bone 'Black Patterns' (Len Faki Hardspace Mix) (LF RMX)
"I didn’t pick this to toot my own horn. I picked this because it means a lot to me every time I play and hear it. Len asked me if he could use this as the first release for his special label LF RMX where all money goes to charity for children. So it’s not only a great remix but serves an amazing purpose as well. Len’s remix adds that dancefloor quality but keeps the accents of emotion from the piano riffs. I’ve played it in every set since he sent it to me. I love techno that kills the dancefloor but also has soul."
Nabihah Iqbal Azura 'Paraiso '89' (World Building)
"I love it because it has a bold and indulgent intro which builds up slowly but the wait is worth it because when the drums come in under the piano hook it 100% makes everyone want to dance."
DJ Python Gabi Losoncy 'Security Besides Love' (Recital)
"Gabi Losoncy from Philly is one of my favorite artists going on right now. This particular release resonated with me as it was my favorite thing to listen to when I was alone - it kept me company. Her recent release on KYE is also amazing."
Honey Dijon Honey Dijon 'The Best of Both Worlds' (Classic Music Company)
"I chose my album ’The Best of Both Worlds' on Classic Music Company for my favourite record of 2017 as it was a project very close to my heart. I had the pleasure of working with so many wonderful artists that were happy to share their talent with me and it was a joy to be able to share this expression with so many other people. House music has been the backbone of my entire life and it was a real moment for me to be able to put this together this year."
Flava D Goldie 'Redemption' (Metalheadz)
"There's a lot to say about this track. I love the way 'Redemption' starts off really atmospheric and takes the listener on a journey, going from d'n'b and then winding down into soulful house. It's one of the most experimental tracks I've heard in a long time; Goldie really broke boundaries with this one. The different textures and layers that merge in and out of this song give me shivers, especially the chords that come in at the section from 5:28."
Sega Bodega Lunarios 'Xcape' (ft. Boy)
“A lot of good music from everyone this year so it was hard to choose but this one has to take it. The chords are perfect, the melodies are perfect, the relationship between Boy and Lunarious is amazing, how they give space for each verse then do that little duet towards the end. When the "you call my name" bit comes back at the end it makes me lose it, and the drums picking up even more at 01:18 is mad. Can't really fault this tune; I lose interest in music pretty quick and this is still going strong."
Jubilee J Hus 'Did You See' (Black Butter)
"J Hus' 'Did You See' makes me cry literally while I am playing it on stage. It's a problem. 'Common Sense' is such a beautiful album and there are so many gems to choose from on there, but this is definitely the one for me. I could not be happier that this album and song has been a part of my year, it's the vibe that we all need and watching J Hus get so much deserved attention has been magic."
K-HAND K-HAND 'Boiler Room Teaser' (Acacia)
"When the 'Boiler Room Teaser' track on my 'Project 6' EP was first aired last year it made enough social media noise to last for at least a decade! I was just having fun with it in my Boiler Room set and decided to have a little video made and voila! Received huge feedback worldwide."
Noncompliant fnKey 'Like In The Good Old Days' (Chicago Jaxxx)
"This one just embodies all the things I love about Midwest rave vibes: it's dirty, bouncy, jacky, bangy, and bassy all at the same time, with a hint of humor, and it's also REALLY fun to play! I was trying to steer away a bit from dark, dark, darkity darkness (yawn) in my sets this year and this one really hit the spot."
Byron The Aquarius John Beltran 'The Returning Dance' (De:tuned)
"This song is one of my favorites. It touches me in an emotional way: listening to the frequencies, synths, and smooth pads takes me back to them M1 days. It reminds me of Larry Heard; the rhythms send tremors through my bones when I'm racing at midnight in the country side of Alabama across mountain roads in the Mazda Miata. It's got that midnight riding vibe - a sexy, melodic track."