2006 was a vintage year for dance music. Dubstep, electro, minimal and, erm, fidgit house were all having purple patches that produced some of the best tracks of all time. It's been a decade since then and many of the records have stood the test of time. Here are 13 of the finest...
The Knife 'Silent Shout'
The Knife aren’t the most obvious source of a dancefloor belter, bearing in mind the Swedish sibling duo’s penchant for pushing their sound to abstract, and at times bewildering, extremes. But the combination of fizzing synthpop and a pulsating techno core made the title-track of 2006 album ‘Silent Shout’ an assured late-night smash. The disorientating vocal line and glittering outer melody add a mystical edge to the functional foundation, elevating the track from disposable club cut to immersive classic. The continued relevance of ‘Silent Shout’ was given the Sven Väth stamp of approval late last year when he included it on his ‘The Sound Of The 16th Season’ Ibiza compilation alongside the likes of Floorplan and DJ Koze.
Burial 'Distant Lights'
Not many nail a warped, distorted vocal quite like Burial does. Many have tried, some have succeeded, but the truth of the matter is that no one comes quite close to William Bevan when it comes to the abstract. Just his second release, 'Distant Lights' on Hyperdub is a dusty, nighttime trip conjuring images of desolate city life. Sampling both Destiny Child's 'Emotion' and video game Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it was part of his debut, self-titled album and set the tone for 2007 follow-up 'Untrue'. And we all know what a melancholy treat that is. "Now that I need you," the vocal wails. Well, Burial, it's been a while and we're pretty hungry for more tunes from one of the most treasured producers in a decade.
Ricardo Villalobos 'Fizheuer Zieheuer'
Even among Ricardo Villalobos’ hallowed discography, this one stands out as exceptionally special. There’s not a great deal of variation across the track’s 37-minute(!) runtime, but those oom-pah-pah brass layers and the sparse-yet-constantly-shifting percussive line worms its way into your head with unshakable tendrils that wrap around your brain stems, making ‘Fizheuer Zieheuer’ an intoxicating listen. It’s ambitious, challenging, divisive, genius. Essentially, it’s Ricardo Villalobos down to a T, which explains its enduring popularity. That, and its convenience for DJs needing mid-set toilet breaks.