Best Dance Tracks of 2011

We’ve already published our favorite albums from 2011 here, but this year we want to give you a little more. Here are the tracks from 2011 that are most likely to set the dance floor on fire.

25. The Ting Tings – Hang It Up [Shook Remix]

Shook brings his signature squelchy bass sounds and immaculate production techniques to this funky remix of The Ting Tings.

24. Les Loups – Side to Side [L’Étranger Remix]

German production trio Les Loups crafted a nu disco gem with “Side to Side”, and L’Étranger brought it to the next level.

23. Gin Joints – For Tonight [Neon Workout Remix]

When the remix artist has a name like “Neon Workout,” you know you’re in for some retro jams. This track does not disappoint, and extra credit for sampling a dial-up modem – who’s ready to log on to AOL and tie up the phone line?

22. Principles of Geometry – L.A. [Joakim Tape Edit]

Epic synth builds, hypnotizing grooves, and funky vocoder effects are the highlight of this Joakim edit of Principles of Geometry’s new track. Make sure to check out their new album which drops later this year.

21. Sepalcure – Pencil Pimp

Sepalcure is all over everyone’s best-of lists, and for good reason. “Pencil Pimp” combines world beats, heavy bass, and mournful vocals to create something much bigger than the sum of its parts.

20. Penguin Prison – Don’t Fuck with My Money [Krush Remix]

I’m sure we all can sympathize with Penguin Prison on this! Never before have I heard cowbell used so well in an indie dance track.

19. Surrender – Conflicted

The term “nu disco” gets used quite often to describe a certain genre of electronic music, but few tracks deserve the title as much as this one. The huge string samples and four-to-the-floor beat take me right back to a 1970s dance floor.

18. Justice – Ohio [Daze Remix]

Justice received heavy criticism after changing up their sound on their most recent release  Audio, Video, Disco. Thankfully, there are plenty of talented remixers loose in the world who can take that source material and morph it into their own devious creations.

17. Kavinsky – Nightcall [Dustin NGuyen Remix]

Kavinsky’s “Nightcall” has all the makings of a killer dance tune except the most important one – a danceable tempo! Clocking in at 90 BPM, the track crawls along, earning itself the new genre of Zombie Disco. Remixer Dustin NGuyen brought things up to speed for those of us still among the living while also preserving the feel of the original.

16. T-E-E-D – Dream On

This young UK producer is one of the most followed artists on SoundCloud, and his track “Dream On” shows his comfort both behind a microphone and behind the studio desk.

15. Katy Perry – The One That Got Away [Plastic Plates Remix]

I know what you’re thinking: “Katy Perry, are you f—ing kidding me?” Well, no. This tune is a testament to the power of remixing, as the masterful Plastic Plates has turned a sugary pop anthem into a dance floor boogie.

14. The Magician – I Don’t Know What to Do [Fabian Remix]

There are so many stellar remixes of “I Don’t Know What to Do” out there that it’s hard to pick a favorite. However, Fabian’s version comes out on top due to its super-fat synth sounds, creative arrangement and clever manipulation of the original song’s chord progression.

13. Machinedrum – GBYE

A new IDM classic, “GBYE” is an exciting step forward for the genre and electronic music in general. Props to Star Slinger for having the cojones to drop this into a DJ mix.

12. Cut Copy – Blink and You’ll Miss a Revolution [Toro Y Moi Remix]

Cut Copy’s Zonoscope was definitely a grower, but over the course of the year it has become a favorite for many. This excellent remix by Toro Y Moi adds some funky, chillwavy-ness to the lighthearted vibe of the original.

11. SBTRKT – Wildfire

“Wildfire” was inescapable this year, and thankfully so. The more attention that can be drawn away from noisy brostep and brought to creative bass music like this, the better.

10. Hooray for Earth – True Loves [The Hood Internet Remix]

Revered Chicago mash-up artists The Hood Internet have placed more emphasis on remixes and collaborations lately, much to the delight of their fans. This remix of Hooray for Earth’s “True Loves” tricks you during the intro into thinking that a typical House-style drop is imminent, then hits you with a killer 6/8 stomp.

9. Local Natives – Airplanes [The Polish Ambassador Remix]

Local Natives had a stroke of genius when they decided to release the stems of their album Gorilla Manor for free online, effectively opening up infinite remix possibilities to anyone with the desire to do so. This excellent take on “Airplanes” by The Polish Ambassador is one of the better remixes to arise from that experiment.

8. CITIZENS! – True Romance [Gigamesh Remix]

It was difficult not to put multiple Gigamesh remixes on this list, as everything he touches seems to turn to gold. His version of “True Romance” transforms the piano pop of the original tune into an indie dance monster.

7. Virgo Four – It’s a Crime [Caribou Mix]

This Caribou mix of Virgo Four sounds like it could be a B-side from Swim. That says it all.

6. Digitalism – Blitz

“Blitz” hits you over the head from the beginning with heavy synth and drums and just doesn’t let up. This entire album should not be missed!

5. Radiohead – Good Evening Mrs. Magpie [Modeselektor Remix]

The standout track from Radiohead’s TKOL RMX 1234567 project, Modeselektor turns “Good Morning Mr. Magpie” into an evil, club-ready banger that boasts ridiculous amounts of bass.

4. Claes Rosen – Into the Bloom [Luiz B Remix]

While this track was just released in mid-December, it’s already become a favorite and earned dozens of listens. Remixer Luiz B uses vocal samples and synth melodies to create an uplifting and fun track that makes the perfect soundtrack to a sunny weekend afternoon.

3. Oliver – I Need You

Production dream-team Oliver, made up of  Vaughn “U-Tern” Oliver and Oliver “Oligee” Goldstein, has released some of the biggest original tracks and remixes in the indie dance/nu disco world this year. “I Need You” is possibly their best effort to date.

2. Neon Indian – Polish Girl

While Alan Palomo claims to have written the entirety of 2011’s Era Extraña while under self-imposed isolation in Finland, you wouldn’t know it when listening to “Polish Girl.” The song bleeds synthpop in the best possible way.

1. The Morning Benders – Cold War [Star Slinger Remix]

This rework of “Cold War” by the Morning Benders is one of the most striking examples of a remix totally transforming the original tune. Practically unrecognizable until the chorus vocals come in (albeit heavily pitch-shifted and slowed down), it shows Star Slinger at his finest. Plus, it was part of an EP which was released to benefit the victims of the earthquake in Japan. How could you not be on board?

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!


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