My Favourite Dance Floor Tunes of 2016
When this time of year rolls around I get a wee bit reflective, and I find this very useful. I believe that so much can happen in the space of 12 months that if you don’t stop to consciously think about all the experiences and lessons you’ve witnessed, the true value of those things will go to waste.
So when I find myself in this pensive state, I like to take some time to look back on the year that was and plan for the year ahead. I’ll be continuing this process over the next few days, but before moving on I thought I’d take this chance to think about some of my favourite dance floor tunes of 2016, and share the top 10 with you.
10. Serum – Species
Chuggin’ in at number 10 is a dirty little roller from Serum. Nothing too fancy about this one, I think that’s part of it’s charm. Just forward-moving percussion, a catchy lead with nice texture and a sub that gets you moving in the club.
9. Whiney – Guardians
Coming off S.P.Y’s 2016 mixtape is this murky number from MedSchool newcomer, Whiney. The 21-year-old has had a string of releases this year and I personally think ‘Guardians’ is one of his best. Crystal clear, interesting percussion, great control on the low end, nice movement in the lead sound and put together in a spacey, grimey mix. Love it – watch out for PLENTY more from this guy in 2017 and beyond.
8. Annix – Paper Feat. Gumster
Slowing things down at number 8 with a halftime face-scruncher is Playaz badman, Annix. I love how this track doesn’t muck around; just a little itty bitty intro and BAM, you’re greeted with an abrupt kick, a dirty bassline and the agonising cry of an electronic elephant. Big ups to Gumster with the rhymes on this one too, not sure if you can draw deep meaning from the lyrics but they sure are catchy.
7. My Nu Leng, Flava D – Soul Shake (1991 Remix)
1991, the mysterious producer signed to Chase & Status’s MTA Records, is another newcomer forcing his way onto my favourites list with this banger of remix. This track is nothing too ground-breaking, but it does exactly what it’s supposed to do i.e. hits HARD with punchy drums, nice movement in the bass and the right amount of creepy, metallic, mechanical vibes. Perfect for that surprise switch in your set.
6. Dossa & Locuzzed – Shag
Now, this one coming from fresh Viper Recordings duo, Dossa & Locuzzed, is plain and simply a guilty pleasure. The cheeky undertones are great, as are the punchy drums, but the thing that puts this track on the list is the obscenely obnoxious lead that rolls through the drop. It might not be everyone’s cuppa tea, but I think any reasonable person would have a pretty hard time trying to stand still if this came out of the speakers. I, for one, can’t resist. Groovy tune. Full stop.
5. Lisp – Got Me Down
This creeper coming in at number 5 is the second track from S.P.Y’s mixtape on the list and it’s ALL about the low frequencies. I’m a sucker for an old-school(ish) bassline and in my opinion, this tune nails it with a nice mix of bass edits, tasteful use of reverb and clean, simple percussion driving the whole thing along. Can’t get enough of it – big up Lisp!
4. Camo & Krooked – If I Could feat. Joe Killington
After a long hiatus which had me wondering if they were gone for good, Camo & Krooked have reappeared with a huge release on their very own label, Mosaik Music, powered by RAM and BMG. For me, this tune has everything: massive radio-ready vocals, catchy AF hook, uplifting build and a drop into that forward-thinking signature sound that C&K have well and truly made their own. Keep an eye out for their album dropping in May 2017, I reckon it’s gonna be pretty special.
3. Metrik – Terminus
This tune dropped very early in 2016, but if we’re talking dancefloor favourites of the past 12 months, the list would be complete without this textbook Metrik belter. One of the main things I love about this track is that it goes in hard on the midrange with no apology. This might get a few chin-strokers offside but if you throw it on a club system, when the build stops and the beat drops not a soul in the house is standing still.
2. Tantrum Desire – Tesoro
Number 2 on the list comes at you from a name that is very responsible for me getting hooked on the 170’s, Tantrum Desire. Tesoro, which came off Technique Recordings’ Summer 2016 Compilation, is a tune I find really hard to describe. It rolls but it’s quite a roller and it bangs but it’s not quite a banger. I guess if I had to sum it up in one word it’d be FUNKY!
1. Numa Crew, Robert Dallas, Petah Sunday – Impossible (Brian Brainstorm Remix)
And finally, grooving into top spot on the list of my favourite dance floor tunes for 2016 is… a bit of a dark horse. Like many songs on the list, this one’s nothing ground-breaking, but every time this remix from Brian Brainstorm comes on I am compelled to strop, drop n boogie. To put it simply, I love everything about this tune: the reggae / dub vibes infused into the intro, the sneaky little build and that vocal hook with a wicked bassline just plugging underneath. This one gets the number one title because it is an A-grade, certified, ridgy-didge, dancefloor filler. What more could you ask for?