The list you've all been waiting for and one that needs little introduction.
These are the tunes, the songs, the remixes and the anthems that have dominated the year in music.
The top 100 tracks were voted for by Mixmag staff, contributors and freelancers and our list showcases the immense talent that's been on show this year. If you've been in the clubs, on the dancefloors and at the concerts in 2017, then you will no doubt have been enthralled and inspired by the following cuts, just like we have.
2017 has been a wild year but the one constant, has of course, been the outstanding quality of music.
Here we go.
Get the Best Tracks of 2017 playlist right here
100 John Maus ‘The Combine’ (Ribbon Music)
John Maus’ ‘The Combine’ is the apocalyptic, agricultural anthem we didn’t even know we needed this year. Gothic, moody, yet undeniably catchy, the existential track – and indeed album – marked the triumphant return of the experimental synth-pop artist.
99 Redlight ‘City Jams’ (Hot Haus Recs)
Bristolian producer Redlight offered up pure, rave-ready vibes this summer on his uplifting Hot Haus Recs EP. Lead tune ‘City Jams’ showcased a shift towards more house-oriented sounds, and left dancefloor havoc in its wake.
98 Unknown Artist ‘Blessed Are The Meek’ (Just Jack)
Anonymous moniker? Check. Hand-stamped label? Check. Rough kicks and a belting, presumably uncleared, vocal sample? Check. This has all the hallmarks of a rollicking white label. And rollick it does.
97 Halogenix ‘Blej’ (Critical)
Fizzing and frantic enough to turn the most calm mind anxious, ‘Blej’ is a blistering slice of d’n’b from one of the genre’s most exciting young producers. It buzzes, it whirs, it punches. Basically, it doesn’t let you rest for a minute and you’ll be wanting a breather by the end of it.
96 Danny Daze & Shokh ‘Aire’ (Kompakt Records)
Frantic, furious and aimed to thrill, Danny Daze & Shokh knew what they were doing when they created ‘Aire’. Lasers were set to stun and the rumble of the bass on a soundsystem that can handle was enough to send crowds wild this year.
95 Laurent Garnier ‘1-4 Doctor C’est Chouette’ (Speicher)
Garnier x Kompakt’s sub-label Speicher is of course a match made in heaven and a proven hit so it’s unsurprising that ‘1-4 Doctor C’est Chouette’ snuck into our top 100. Garnier just doesn’t stop does he.
94 Tiga ‘Woke’ (Turbo Recordings)
“On the Beach at night alone I threw my telephone into the sea and now I see that I was woke.” Tiga does it again with one of the catchiest tunes of the year.
93 Horse Meat Disco feat ROY INC. ‘Waiting For You To Call’ (Horse Meat Disco)
Was HMD’s first release ever going to fail? Obviously not. Plump, plush disco from everyone’s favourite troupe.
92 Turno ‘The Invaderz’ (Charge Recordings)
Turno’s screw-facing, brain-melting roller ‘The Invaderz’ is the delirious drum ‘n’ bass offering that appeased genre fans new and old this year thanks to a slamming vocal sample and even harder-hitting drum work.
91 Mark Jenkyns feat Mizbee ‘Sirens’ (Hottrax)
The percussion on ‘Sirens’ is so tight it can lock any crowd into a relentless dancefloor groove. Pumpy, driving house music at its finest from Mark Jenkyns with Mizbee adding the soulful vocal croon to make your heart melt. Pure heat found on Hottrax.
90 Golden Teacher ‘Sauchiehall Withdrawal’ (Golden Teacher Records)
Harking back to the punk-disco days of Talking Heads, ESG and Gang Of Four, Glasgow’s Golden Teacher released one of the year’s most interesting albums with their debut ‘No Luscious Life’. The sauntering ‘Suciehall Withdrawal’ is the pick of the bunch with its syncopated percussion and up-front attitude.
89 Isolee ‘Pisco’ (Maeve)
The lore behind ‘Pisco’ begins when The Drifter first heard the rumbling Isolee track during a set at a festival in Switzerland. Instantly mesmerized, he was determined to find out more about the then-ID, eventually convincing the minimal house pioneer to bring a full EP forth to The Drifter, Mano Le Tough and Baikal’s label, Maeve at the top of 2017.
88 Dinamarca ‘Paraíso’ (Staycore)
Staycore co-founder Dinamarca released an EP earlier this year that danced around the bleeding edges of club, trance and euphoric rave goodness – pushing the scene’s ever growing excitement for sounds new and old to the max. ‘Paraíso’ is a particularly emotional offering packed with heat, history and hedonistic vibes.
87 Kelela ‘Onanon’ (Warp)
‘Take Me Apart’ is an LP of emosh cuts and ‘Onanon’ is one of the most goosebump inducing. We’ll put that down to its shape-shifting rhythm and huge, driving bassline, which aims straight for the heart. Kelela never misses.
86 Objekt ‘Needle & Thread’ (Objekt)
It was the B-side of this record that really took off to ubiquitous club status but ‘Needle & Thread’ still racked up plenty of airtime. The way in which the textures steadily grow and grow, creeping towards breaks-laden climaxes is masterful craftsmanship and a surefire NRG raiser on the dancefloor.
85 Kiwi ‘Marmora’s Theme’ (17 Steps)
Ever wondered what raving in an air hangar in 1989 felt like? This will probably give you a little taster. Kiwi goes in hard with the pianos and subtle acid stabs for unprecedented euphoria. Keep smiling.
84 Jessie Ware ‘Midnight’ (Goldie remix) (Island Records)
The combination of one of modern day pop’s finest voices and a d’n’b icon just works so well. Jessie’s powerful, crisp vocals sit among Goldie’s moody drums and bass so comfortably that this could easily be a chart-storming original.
83 Kah-Lo ‘Fasta’ (Time/Last Gang Records)
Nigerian singer Kah-Lo and UK producer Riton are a match made in heaven. Following on from 2016’s ‘Rinse & Repeat’, their latest collaboration, ‘Fasta’, combines African drums and bouncing house with Kah-Lo’s unique vocals toasting over the top. It’s featured in mixes from the likes of Soulwax to Annie Mac, and it sure as hell is a club-ready smasher.
82 Mumbai Science ‘Jasmine’ (Mumbai Science Records)
Since launching onto the scene in 2010, the Belgium boys have been churning out crisp, indie electro that is undeniably characteristic of Mumbai Science. In September, they released ‘Jasmine’, which combines a deep percussive backdrop and high energy chimes. It’s an absolute dancefloor weapon, topped off by a voice that tells us to ‘enjoy this trip’.
81 Powder ‘Heart’ (CockTail D'Amore Music)
You know it’s going to be a retro trip when a Sharon Stone sample from Saturday Night Live in ’92 opens the track. Powder ensures it sicks, putting together Stranger Things-esque synths and mischievous squelches for a nostalgic bundle of cosmic funk.
80 Hercules & Love Affair feat Faris Badwan ‘Controller’ (Mr INTL)
New York’s nu-disco heavyweights Hercules & Love Affair threw themselves back into the scene with the release of their long-awaited fourth studio album in September. ‘Controller’ is a dark groover which encompasses the group’s influence from 80s pop, electro, techno, and post-punk, which they added to with a feature from Faris Badwan of The Horrors.
79 Dusky ‘Cold Heart’ (17 Steps)
With a release as big as Dusky’s 2016 album ‘Outer’, whatever was to follow already had the cards stacked against it. Thankfully, what arrived was the ‘Cold Heart’ EP which came out on their own 17 Steps, leading with a title track that grooves thanks to a skilled juxtaposition between an echoing, Naked Music NYC sample and a warm, billowing bassline.
78 Karizma ‘Church Chords’ (In-Beat-Ween Music)
Retaining the gospel vibe of ‘Work It Out’, the organ-driven ‘Church Chords’ brings the funk. It’s a stripped-back, eclectic jam that sounds killer in the mix and shows what a return to form Karizma had this year.
77 Sweely ‘Around’ (Distant Hawaii)
An absolute bomb, Sweely brings a fat slab of thumping deep house to Lobster Theremin sub-label Distant Hawaii. A hypnotic spoken word vocal, eerie samples, melodic chords and bumping drums make for a track that is prime for peak-time in the club.
76 Fit Of Body ‘56k’ (Ransom Note)
Coming in hot from deep in the Atlanta underground comes Fit Of Body with a sensual analogue jam titled ‘56k’. It’s a raw, sexy ballad for the late night warriors who refuse to leave the dance. Damn, it’s a good day when tunes like this get dropped.
75 Sleazy ‘Sex Jam’ (Tag Out)
To come out of the gate with a debut EP as raw as ‘From Quebec, With Love’ takes a bold persona and that’s exactly what Sleazy is obviously ready to deliver. The Montreal duo took on the nearly forgotten and certainly underappreciated monotone vocoder style of synth pop, sprinkling on their own dose of salacious lyrical goodness.
74 Carl Craig ‘Sandstorms' (Versus Version) (InFiné Music)
Detroit master Carl Craig released this reimagined version of his 2004 ‘Sandstorms’, performed beautifully alongside classical pianist Francesco Tristano.
73 Sampha ‘No One Knows Me Like The Piano’ (Young Turks)
From sidekick to starlet, Sampha truly arrived on the world stage in 2017 thanks to tracks bleeding with red-raw emotion like this one. The last song he ever played for his mother before she passed away from cancer, it’s a paean of home comforts and a tearjerker in the truest sense of the word. Absolutely beautiful.
72 Talamanca System ‘My Past Is Your Future’ (International Feel)
Sparkling blue water, hot white sand, the unending embrace of clear summer sun: this is Ibiza and Talamanca System make music to soundtrack the crisp days and balmy nights of the island. Pure romance, Balearic style.
71 Joy Orbison ‘Fuerza’ (Hinge Finger)
Joy Orbison can do no wrong. His solo EP return after a five year span of collaborative-only releases saw the producer exploring new territory with a delectable, rugged synth groove-led effort on the B-side.
70 Patrice Bäumel 'Engage’ (Afterlife)
Patrice Bäumel drops another production, ‘Engage’, on the Tale Of Us-curated Afterlife label. Pure, consistent and enchanting with magnetic clapping percussion.
69 DRS & LSB ‘Angels Fall’ (White label)
We lost legendary drum ‘n’ bass producer Marcus Intalex this year, something that shocked all of us. Two of those closest to him, DRS and LSB, paid tribute with this heartfelt ode. DRS’ lyrics are poignant and LSB’s production is mellow and ghostly for the most part, before exploding into a crashing of percussion that Marcus would be proud of.
68 Octo Octa ‘Adrift’ (HNYTRX)
Octo Octa’s 2017 album ‘Where Are We Going?’ was filled with gems from across the musical spectrum, from the vigorous bombs to the moody soundscapes. ‘Adrift’ leans toward the latter end of the spectrum, with a sonic profile that lifts the listener to a cosmic realm of atmospheric techno bliss.
67 Lee Gamble '23 Bay Flips’ (Hyperdub)
One of the most exciting releases of the year, Lee Gamble’s colossal foray onto the Hyperdub roster resulted in the majestic, multifaceted ‘Mnestic Pressure’. ’23 Bay Flips’ is brief, glitchy glimpse into the project – think disorientating drums, conceptual chaos and otherworldly vocal noise.
66 Jad & The ‘Strings That Never Win’ (Toy Tonics)
There is only one tiny flaw in Aussie producer Jad & The’s feel good ‘Strings That Never Win’ - the strings actually do win. And by a big margin. Sitting somewhere nicely between glitzy orchestral disco and fiddler in the local pub, the strings make this track what it is: an unabashed summer stomper.
65 Nina Kraviz ‘Pochuvstvui’ (Трип)
Our DJ of the Year’s most hypnotic track of 2017 and a perfect showcase of where her sound is at now. Rolling, sinister and bubbling with angst, this is Nina, and indeed her label Трип, at their absolute best.
64 Brame & Hamo ‘Clarence’ (Smooth Mix) (Brame & Hamo)
Gripping rhythm, a captivating piano melody, hazy vocals and warm horn bursts at the perfect moments, Brame & Hamo’s ‘Clarence’ (Smooth Mix) is a track out of the golden age of house. It’s a smooth and sexy jam with strong dancefloor appeal.
63 KH (Kieran Hebden) ‘Question’ (TEXT)
The track everyone wanted a piece of when Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, was rinsing it in his sets, ‘Question’ finally was unleashed to the wolves in 2017 and its soulful brilliance spread far and wide. The single sided 12” is already legendary among the initiated diggers and is a reliable DJ weapon that will likely never go out of style.
62 Denis Sulta ‘Nein Fortiate’ (Sulta Selects)
To mark the first release on Sulta’s own freshly minted imprint Sulta Selects, he presented ‘Nein Fortiate’, a slithering track that might just float away on breezy synths if it wasn’t for a deep and rooted bassline. Understandably, the track’s balanced contrast between grounded four-on-the-floor and ethereal melodies made it a shoe in for coveted spots in sets from Ben UFO, Four Tet and more.
61 Octo Octa ‘Fleeting Moments Of Freedom (Wooo)’ (HNYTRX)
Be aware that you might come out of listening to this one resembling a cartoon character that’s just been electrocuted - it sizzles with that much energy. Just when you think it’s drained of all life, a cheeky wheelback occurs and it’s straight back into the fruitiness.
60 OXIA ‘Domino' (Matador Remix) (Sapiens)
Matador takes the undeniably classic ‘Domino’ by OXIA and gives it new life, maintaining its iconic chord progression and incorporating new layers of distant vocals, string instruments and dark undertows.
59 Fort Romeau ‘Emu’ (Running Back)
Take one listen to Cin Cin label boss Fort Romeau’s ‘Emu’ and tell us, which best describes it? “Disco informed”? “Trance-induced”? Or perhaps “another exercise in dance floor synthesis?” The answer would, of course, be all of the above. The 12” released on Gerd Janson’s Running Back and served as a vintage-infused love note to the E-MU II, a classic ‘80s sampler and workstation synthesizer.
58 Octo Octa ‘Daylight’ (Friendzone!)
This year Octo Octa supplemented her fantastic LP ‘Where Are We Going?’ with bangers like ‘Daylight’, showing off her intuitive way with pure, no bullshit deep house. This’ll make you feel blissed out, like when the first rays of dawn sun break through the crack in the curtains (or the shutters at Pano).
57 Tessela ‘Hackney Parrot’ (10 Ton Mix) (Poly Kicks)
You know the original, you love the original, you’ve felt the original rattle through you on a big system. This year Tessela returned with a new version of ‘Hackney Parrot’ that incorporated glitzy rave synths alongside those classic vocals and crashing drums. Hard not to fall in love all over again with this one and if you’ve not heard it in the rave yet, we feel sorry for you.
56 Matthew Herbert feat Zilla ‘Brand New Love’ (Special Request remix) (Hypercolour)
Special Request can always be relied on to bring the bass-loaded badness with his remixes. Taking on Matthew Herbert and Zilla’s woozy, cinematic ‘Brand New Love’, he crafts sweeping strings along the top and packs the foundations with a sub-bass punch that could rival Anthony Joshua.
55 Thick Dick ‘Welcome To The Jungle (Andrea Oliva Remix)’ (SONDOS)
Andrea Oliva takes 2010’s ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ by Thick Dick to a new level, enlisting a stretching, deafening drop and heightened percussion to create a hitter ready to ignite dance floors and warehouses alike.
54 Denis Sulta ‘Dubelle Oh XX’ (JVIP) (Sulta Selects)
This year, the rising Scottish star stunned us with the release of 'Nein Fortiate' and 'Dubelle Oh XX' on his Sulta Selects imprint. The latter track was found in the sets of fellow Glaswegian counterpart, Jackmaster and he even shared his own VIP version that takes the track down a deeper, glitchier path.
53 Minimal Violence ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’ (Lobster Theremin)
Hyper percussive riffs, tripped-out atmospherics, subtle acid stabs, deep resounding bass, ‘Can’t Stop Loving You’ by Minimal Violence is a rave track that sends people into a mad frenzy, every time. Play with caution.
52 Jamiroquai 'Automaton' (Deetron Remix) (Virgin EMI Records)
Swiss producer Deetron cuts and flips the title track off Jamiroquai’s eighth studio album, bringing a deeper, shaking rendition of the original.
51 Blawan ‘993’ (Ternesc)
Blawan only dropped one solo release this year but, fuck, did it deliver. When we premiered ‘993’, our listeners collectively lost their shit to its pounding kick drum and snarling bassline. DJ of the year Nina Kraviz did too and included it in her BBC essential mix.
50 Randomer ‘Smokin’ (L.I.E.S)
Randomer returned to L.I.E.S this year to unleash yet another iteration of unabashed, mind-bending club experimentation. Packed to the bubbling brim with kinetic energy, oozing electro nuances and industrial sound design, ‘Smokin’ plays out exactly how the name would suggest.
49 Honey Dijon feat Charles McCloud ‘Personal Slave’ (Classic Music Company)
Honey Dijon’s remarkable debut album ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ showcased a host of intriguing collaborations, taking her sound across a stylistic spectrum. ‘Personal Slave’ with Matrixxman (as Charles McCloud) is the mood of a sweaty, sultry dancefloor at 4am distilled into track form.
48 Tom Demac ‘Sink or Swim’ (Hypercolour)
Tom Demac’s transition from producer and DJ to live show wizard is almost complete and ‘Sink or Swim’ promotes the typical rowdy and relentless electronic music we’ve come to expect from him. Perfect for a dancefloor that needs an injection of energy.
47 Helena Hauff ‘Gift’ (Ninja Tune)
Submit yourself to Helena’s machines and cleanse yourself with the raw, unbridled electro that they create.
46 FineArt & My Nu Leng ‘Border’ (Maraki Records)
A banger of monolithic proportions, this collaboration between Bristol duo My Nu Leng and drum ‘n’ bass figurehead Friction under his FineArt alias was made to set festival season alight this year. With lashings of dark, menacing bassweight complete with an infectious vocal loop, ‘Border’ is a prime example of the electrifying power of killer collaborations.
45 M.E.S.H. ‘Search. Reveal.’ (PAN)
M.E.S.H. constantly fucks with preconceptions of ‘club music’. On his latest joyride, he’s gone all out on the twisted drum programming, delivering a beat that’ll reprogramme your mind as well as your dancing feet.
44 Baba Stiltz ‘Can’t Help It’ (Studio Barnhus)
Studio Barnhus prides itself on super fun records and this is one of the most entertaining yet. It’s a sugar-coated trampoline of house featuring a vocal worming its way in and out of the slippery, hard-to-contain synths.
43 Mella Dee ‘Techno Disco Tool’ (Warehouse Music)
2017 has been pivotal for Mella Dee. He released his Sister Sledge-sampling ‘Techno Disco Tool’ on his Warehouse Music label, and it has become an essential tune to whirl dancefloors into a frenzy. The South Yorkshire producer’s influences are clear, depicted by the EP’s neon green artwork and hand-stamp design of the legendary Doncaster Warehouse, which was a stomping ground for hardcore, house, bleeps, techno and everything that now encompasses Mella Dee.
42 Illyus & Barrientos ‘Takin’ Over’ (DFTD)
Prime soul and funk from Illyus & Barrientos on a banging house track featuring vocals from Imaani. The production was tapped as an Ibiza favorite, bursting on dancefloors across the world.
41 Mall Grab ‘Pool Party Music’ Hot Haus Records
What a massive year for Mall Grab! Mixmag cover star, gigs all around the world, releases on respected labels like Hot Haus Recs. The list goes on. He even had Joseph Capriati dropping his ‘Pool Party Music’ at the main stage of Movement this year. House, techno, grime, the man can do it all, and he’s only just getting started.
40 Jlin ‘Black Origami’ (Planet Mu)
We premiered ‘Black Origami’, the first track to be taken from Jlin’s second album of the same name, and it announced her graduation from footwork into a hyper-rhythmic sonic world all her own.
39 Radio Slave ‘Another Club’ (Rekids)
This year Rekids boss, Matt Edwards, aka Radio Slave, dropped his debut LP and with that came ‘Another Club’. The track rolls out a taut, stabbing bassline underneath the pitched-down drones of Lady Gaga which flow into a hypnotic call to action: "Next place, no sleep, another club”. It’s the perfect stomper for a basement rave, and this track smashed up dancefloors around the globe this summer.
38 Shanti Celeste ‘Loop One’ (Peach Discs)
The track that launched one of the year’s top labels, ‘Loop One’ has been on loop in 2017 for good reason. Another exercise in dusty breaks, ‘Loop One’ packs Underworld euphoria and holistic chanting into an exploratory cut that bolded, italicised and underlined Shanti Celeste’s reputation as a producer this year.
37 Camelphat & Elderbrook ‘Cola’ (Defected)
After becoming the undisputed dancefloor track of the summer and receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording, it might be hard to believe that Camelphat’s addictive ‘Cola’ track took four months to get signed. The tickling, slow-burning track was born from just three hours spent with vocalist Elderbrook, eventually finding a home on Defected after a BBC Radio 1 debut in June and the rest? History, in the making.
36 Burial ‘Rodent’ (Hyperdub)
This time last year, it would have been nigh on impossible to predict the succession of innovative, provocative releases Burial would go on to release over the space of the past 12 months. ‘Rodent’ was our star of the show, with that signature vocal slicing and a not-so-familiar saxophone sample making it one of the more uplifting productions in the Hyperdub mainstays discography.
35 Kelly Lee Owens ‘Lucid’ (Smalltown Supersound)
Welsh vocalist, producer and songwriter, Kelly Lee Owens, released her self-titled debut album in 2017 on Smalltown Supersound and ‘Lucid’ is our top pick. The eerie production wraps itself around Owens’ ghostly vocals in lurid wisps, resulting in a free-flowing ebb of dark ecstasy.
34 Adana Twins ‘Uncompromising’ (Diynamic)
Thundering, booming, explosive: any iteration of these adjectives would only begin to scrape the surface of what Hamburg duo Adana Twins achieved with their powerful March release, ‘Uncompromising’. It was hand-selected by Diynamic boss Solomun, who included the single on his eighth installment of ‘Four to the Floor’ after becoming a crowd-chosen favorite during his set at The BPM Festival at the top of the year.
33 Damian Lazarus ‘I Found You’ (Crosstown Rebels)
Since being played as the closing track of Damian Lazarus' mind-altering Day Zero festival in Mexico, 'I Found You' took over as one of the most highly requested productions of the year. The track marked the return of Lazarus’ band project The Ancient Moons to his Crosstown Rebels label.
32 Yaeji ‘Drink I’m Sippin On’ (Godmode)
You know you’ve got a fucking good EP on your hands when the office is forcefully divided over which track is best. But Yaeji’s vibes are so goddamn smooth and inviting it’s impossible to not feel absurdly attached to them. ‘Raingurl’ is the conventional house hit, but ‘Drink I’m Sippin’ On’ is for those who know “that’s not it”.
31 J Hus ft. MoStack & MIST ‘Fisherman’ (Black Butter Records)
A holy trinity of UK rap’s brightest stars joining forces on an emotional piano ballad with a hook about bucket hats. Iconic.
30 Shanti Celeste ‘Selector’ (Peach Discs)
If you’re feeling menacing then this is your jam. “Selection, selection, selection,” so the vocal sample goes, backed up with hefty bass whacks to add to the troublemaking attitude and give us a proper weighty workout.
29 Fatima Yamaha ‘Araya’ (Dekmantel)
One of Dekmantel’s most anticipated releases this year came from the Dutch king of melodic electro, Fatima Yamaha. ‘Araya’ follows 2015’s epic ‘What’s A Girl To Do’, with big, swooping synths that cut through a shuddering bassline to make a deliciously bold melody that is just as jubilant as it is peculiar.
28 Joe ‘Tail Lift’ (Hessle Audio)
Joe’s return to Hessle Audio after a four-year absence affirmed he’s still one of the best in the game for weird, off-kilter club records that thrill and flummox in equal measure. The tripartite rhythm foregrounding ‘Tail Lift’ sounds like a clown car traffic jam. And yet, banger.
27 Maya Jane Coles ‘Cherry Bomb’ (I/AM/ME)
For the past three years, it’s been an absolute drought of new productions from UK standout Maya Jane Coles. In April of this year, she finally broke the spell with her aptly-titled four-track EP ‘Won’t Let You Down’ on I/AM/ME, which came equipped with the wobbly, saucy tune ‘Cherry Bomb’ which roped us back into a love affair with Maya with just one listen.
26 Kelela ‘LMK’ (Warp)
We were on our knees waiting for Kelela’s debut album ‘Take Me Apart’. Lead single ‘LMK’ marked a triumphant return for the singer, who came through with her signature, red-hot lyricism and banging bass bumps.
25 Goldie vs Ulterior Motive feat Natalie Williams ‘I Adore You’ (Metalheadz)
It only took 20 years, but 2017 was the year Goldie completed his hat-trick of albums. His return was spearheaded by ‘I Adore You’, an emotionally-charged vocal drum ‘n’ bass anthem with Ulterior Motive. Note: you may have to hold back tears.
24 The xx ‘On Hold’ (Jamie xx remix) (XL)
Former cover star and member of one of the most hyped bands in the world, barely a year goes by where Jamie xx doesn’t do something that gets the whole dance music world talking. Off the back of a new album from the xx, the remixed ‘On Hold’ into an emotional, tropical banger, one that’s hard not to raise a smile and a fist to with joy.
23 Lone ‘Crush Mood’ (R&S Records)
This year Lone’s been on some next level form and his ‘Ambivert Tools’ have been some of the highlight releases on R&S Records. Two volumes of dancefloor fire followed but the highlight is undoubtedly the mammoth, cheer-inducing ‘Crush Mood’.
22 Mount Kimbie & Micachu ‘Marilyn’ (Palms Trax Remix) (Warp Records)
Palms Trax was on a tear in 2017, delivering smooth, shimmering, and infectious soundscapes that provoked all the feels when caught in the dance. It was only fitting that Mount Kimbie, Micachu and Warp Records tap him for a remix, and this one’s a beautiful stunner.
21 Minor Science ‘Volumes’ (Whities)
‘Volumes’ casually lures you into its lair with airy, bleep-laden textures then hits with a pneumatic bass onslaught so raw and intense it could crumble a nuclear shelter. An incredibly impactful one-two. File under: mediative bassweight.
20 Shanti Celeste ‘Make Time’ (Idle Hands)
Back in January, Shanti Celeste told us she only makes music in the morning when she’s in a good mood. If this is the product, then we want what she’s having for breakfast. A reflection of 2017’s penchant for broken beats, ‘Make Time’ skanked its way into our hearts with smoked-out atmospheres and a dub-indebted bassline.
19 Arca ‘Desafío’ (XL Recordings)
This spring, the music world rejoiced in a shared, joyous moment as experimental artist Arca debuted his singing voice for the first time on his self-titled XL Recordings release. The juxtaposition between challenging the listener and submersing them in an ethereal crescendo of emotion was no more apparent than on delicate love ballad ‘Desafío'.
18 Four Tet ‘Two Thousand and Seventeen’ (Text Records)
Four Tet’s latest album ‘New Energy’ is a touching, emotion-laced work of art and ‘Two Thousand and Seventeen’ is the jewel in its twinkling crown. Although a photo of where Kieran Hebden recorded the LP became one of the funniest memes of the year, it’s easy to forget just how lovely this track is. One listen and you’re quickly reminded.
17 Marquis Hawkes ‘The Basement Is Burning’ (AUS Music)
If you heard ‘The Basement is Burning’ by Marquis Hawkes in the club this year, chances are everyone was dancing their heart out, throwing their hands in the air and going absolutely mad! Released on AUS and premiered via Mixmag, it’s one of those unforgettable tracks that simply delivers magic on the dancefloor.
16 Sasha feat Poliça ‘Out of Time’ (Kompakt)
Sasha’s Kompakt debut is a bit of a modern day time capsule; transporting listeners straight into the golden era of trance-meets-techno that had bodies moving through the late ‘80s and ‘90s. A rumbling bassline is offset by the breathy vocals of singer Poliça, which adds the final touch to this emotional prime time number.
15 Patrice Bäumel 'Glutes’ (Afterlife)
One of the most sought-after tracks of the year, Dutch talent Patrice Bäumel wowed the club world with his dissonant and obscurely addictive ‘Glutes’, tapped by Tale Of Us’ Ajfterlife for its release.
14 Bicep ‘Aura’ (Ninja Tune)
Bicep’s single ‘Aura’ was released ahead of the Belfast duo’s highly-anticipated debut album. An impressive track cleverly bouncing between dark grit and melodic expansion.
13 Skee Mask ‘Routine’ (Ilian Skee Series)
Ilian Tape is famed for its mesmerising techno soundscapes and Skee Mask’s ‘Routine’ is one of the Munich label’s finest releases to date. You could get lost for days in those textures. A real beauty.
12 J Hus ‘Did You See’ (Black Butter Records)
If you didn’t see what J Hus did in 2017, we feel for you, truly. The East London MC and his producer JAE5 were a juggernaut force for good vibes, never failing to induce an ecstatic grin and bop with the colourful production and infectious vocals of tracks like ‘Did You See’. It was the soundtrack of black Benzes, white ones, and just about every other car rolling through London with the windows rolled down this summer.
11 Todd Terje ‘Jungelknugen’ (Four Tet remix) (Olsen Records)
Back in February, Four Tet graced us with the arrival of his version of Todd Terje’s ‘Jungelknugen’. Although the original is still unheard, this eight minute track entices its listener with heightened euphoric builds and a mighty plodding drop. A masterful rework from Four Tet.
10 Yaeji ‘Raingurl’ (Godmode)
Red-hot, drunk-in-the-club vocals plus a whomping house beat. Like all the best bangers, it’s simple and precise, making you want to hit the floor quicker than you can scream “Make it rain!”
9 Lorenzo Senni 'The Shape of Trance To Come’ (Warp Records)
Building, bright, liquid synths, this is a euphoric, trance-inducing helium rush.
8 KiNK ‘Perth’ (Running Back)
This is house music like they used to make it. Chunky kick-drums gradually give way to a looping four note disco sample, with keys and horns adding to the funk.
7 Special Request ‘Brainstorm’ (Houndstooth)
This relentless future-retro rave anthem comes with enough low-end bass rumble to power a small country – and with added Paul Woolford piano energy.
6 Avalon Emerson ‘One More Fluorescent Rush’ (Whities)
Relentlessly arpeggiating, euphoric, atmospheric, melancholy and ethereal, all at once.
5 Lanark Artefax ‘Touch Absence’ (Whities)
Showcases Lanark’s soundscape-crafting mastery: an IDM-informed journey into a post-apocalyptic world filled with angelic breaks and awe-inducing drum rolls.
4 The Black Madonna ‘He Is The Voice I Hear’ (We Still Believe)
Realising The Black Madonna’s dream of “bringing together an ensemble of live musicians,” this is a string-drenched, Frankie Knuckles-style, Def Mix-esque masterpiece.
3 Gerd Janson & Shan ‘Surrender’ (Regraded)
Continuing the 100% hit-rate of Midland’s ReGraded label, ‘Surrender’ is rich in emotional resonance, combining heartfelt vocal samples with deep, warm disco textures.
2 Bicep ‘Glue’ (Ninja Tune)
'Glue’ stays ahead of the curve while retaining old-skool rave influences. The blueprint for Bicep’s euphoric live shows, it’s a rolling, gliding, building, melodic anthem.
1 Objekt ‘Theme From Q’ (Objekt)
Released back in March but still going strong, this is a quintessential banger, loaded with garage swagger, an exceedingly naughty organ hook, peak-time bass pressure, a pinch of humour, and sheer audacity. Objekt is usually at home in experimental dance music circles, but this ode to a legendary, now defunct, Berlin club united the scene and was rinsed everywhere from Ibiza terraces to sticky London warehouse parties. Irresistible.