BEST OF 2012: Party Music
Party music in 2012 was one big cluster of genre-bending goodness. New releases from favorite artists did not disappoint, while inventive producers and DJs creatively provided a diverse landscape of club anthems.
Members of the old guard held it down, but 2012 saw the rise of newcomers unafraid to blend street swag with dance music. The result has been the continuance of pounding global bass, a sprinkle of '80s synths and drumbeats and a brilliant revival of '90s house and R&B.
Oh, and let's not forget the vibrant comeback of trap music and its not-so-subtle influences on pop and indie. From the mobbing and booty-shaking bangers to the wavy tracks that made you go 'Damn, I'm faded,' here are some great songs for a New Years Eve party and an overview of notable party-related developments in 2012.
Azealia Banks Rules The World - Banks hit hard with her smash single "212," but it's been subsequent tracks such as "Jumanji" and "1991" that have kept our attention. She also has a knack for delivering kooky but highly-seductive videos, which is a plus. Her high energy and unapologetic attitude are palpable in her songs, which makes Banks a go-to for all the divas and divos wanting to be fierce for the night.
Brenmar Is Dope - What more can be said? As a producer and avid remixer, Brenmar has lit up the scene. He's like the reincarnation of everything great that we thought had died in 1998. He'll two-step you, house you and force you to make it clap all on one track. Simple titles such as 'R&B' or 'club' just aren't sufficient for him and some of his peers, but one thing is certain: He's brought straight swag to the dancefloor.
Solidisco - This DJ duo from Buffalo, NY simply can't be overlooked. Solidisco has delivered one sexy, lush remix after another and it's obvious they're not going to stop anytime soon. Personally, I'd love to see the duo bringing the house down at a sweaty summer festival in 2013.
Diplo - He's Diplo, and always will be – forever and ever.
All Hail G.O.O.D. Music - It's kind of hard to go to a party and not hear a G.O.O.D. Music track in some form. As a label and collective, GM has titans of hip-hop, some of the best new talent and an admirable collection of young producers, like Hit-Boy, who murdered the charts last year with "Niggas In Paris" and delivered equally well this year with "Clique." Kanye West boasts that he can 'build Rome in one day,' and he's done it here – musically speaking at least.
Avan Lava - With the recent debut of the intoxicating video for "Sisters," Avan Lava has reminded listeners that its Flex Fantasy EP still packs a punch, even though it came out nearly a year ago. I'd vote it as my favorite EP of the year, especially for dancing. With only a handful of tracks, Avan Lava comes off as Prince, multiplied by six and jack-full of liquid-sex funk. The momentum of this EP will carry on for awhile, but Avan Lava needs to keep making sticky and wicked music forever.
Dancing Is Getting Intense - Despite acts like Brenmar, Avan Lava, Teen Daze and Solidisco providing plenty of funk and house grooves, party scenes could not escape the clutches of trap, drill and bounce music. As a result of this and other aspects of YOLO culture, dancefloors have been turned into mob scenes, much purple drank has been consumed and many eyes have been taken-out by swinging hair.
This isn't entirely a bad thing. You'll never feel more accepted than when you're chanting the lyrics to "Bandz A Make Her Dance" with your rowdy comrades in a crowd. Nothing brings people together better than a twerk-off. Somehow the community-building ratchet madness that was once reserved for basement parties in Atlanta or Oakland has now found its way into venues and clubs around the world, so put your drink down and take your earrings out. Or just get the hell off the floor whenever our man 2 Chainz comes on.
M.I.A.- Bad Girls
Kanye West ft. Pusha T, Chief Keef, Jadakiss and Big Sean- I Don't Like (Remix)
Azealia Banks - Jumanji
Mykki Blanco - Wavvy
Kirko Bangz - Drank in My Cup
Diplo ft. Nicky da B - Express Yourself
Justin Timberlake ft. Beyonce - End of Time (Brenmar Remix)
Miike Snow - Devil's Work (Dirty South Remix)
Passion Pit - Constant Conversations (St. Lucia Remix)
Tegan and Sara - Closer
St. Lucia - All Eyes on You
Avan Lava - It's Never Over
Usher - Climax (Flosstradamus and Diplo Remix)
G.O.O.D. Music - Clique
Icona Pop - I Love It (Solidisco Remix)
2 Chainz ft. Kanye West - Birthday Song
Alex Care - Up All Night (Nadastrom Moombathon Remix)
Zuzuka Poderosa - Psicodelia (Nego Mocambique Remix)
Martin Solveig - The Night Out (A-Trak Remix)
Teen Daze - Let's Groove
Kilo Kish - Navy
Miike Snow ft. Lykke Li - Black Tin Box
Crystal Castles - Affection
Le1F - Yup
Wrkd ft. Los Rakas - Purps
Juicy J ft. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz - Bandz A Make Her Dance