2012 saw electronic music gripped by a frustrating contradiction.
While the internet offered more choice than ever, shattering established genres into multiple niche scenes, more and more DJs opted for the same tried and tested sound. House has been a dynamic force, but a lot of influential tastemakers seem willing to be absorbed into the same homogenous mass.
Not so Daniel Avery. Recently completing a mix for the FabricLive series, the London based DJ has crafted an identity through using left field sounds in an up front way, through developing and honing his own sound rather than following in the path of others. A maverick spirit in a scene increasingly dominated by DJs continually looking over their shoulder, we asked Daniel Avery to pick ten of the year's finest - and often over looked - dance tracks.
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Cowboy Rhythmbox - Shake [Comeme]
Easily my most played tune of the year by Richard X and Nathan Gregory Wilkins on the (still) criminally overlooked Comeme label. Club tracks don't sound any bigger than this.
Pal+ - The Forest [One Eyed Jacks]
Photonz are probably my favourite new DJ/production duo around at the moment and their label, One Eyed Jacks, is also something very special.
Hounds Of Hate - Purple Stuff (ZODA CADE Remix) [How The Other Half Lives]
The biggest of big room records, this was my secret acid weapon all year. ZODA CADE are definitely ones to watch in 2013.
Silent Servant - Invocation Of Lust [Hospital Productions]
Trippy synthwave techno that just keeps going and going. Something in which to get truly lost.
Scott Fraser - A Life Of Silence (Timothy J Fairplay Remix) [Bird Scarer]
Two huge new talents to properly emerge this year teaming up to create a thing of pure beauty. Fairplay and Fraser would be at the very top of my Ones To Watch In 2013 list.
Boston Bun - Housecall [Ed Banger]
I know for a fact that a load of DJs ignored this as it came out on Ed Banger. Whilst they were all desperately hiding their Soulwax t-shirts at the back of their wardrobe, they missed out on one of the most exciting club tracks I've heard in ages.
Headman - Be Loved (Death In Vegas Remix) [Relish]
It's very good indeed to have Fearless back, especially when he's making dancefloor bombs like this.
BUBBA - We Need A Break [Clouded Vision]
I could have picked a whole pile of stuff from Matt Walsh's amazing Clouded Vision label but I went with this BUBBA track as it's the perfect example of the oddball acid house I can't get enough of. It works every time.
Eskimo Twins - Ariam [Days Of Being Wild]
Just a huge, unique dancefloor record to emerge right at the end of the year. I get asked what this is every single time I play it.
Hardway Bros - Mania Theme (Andrew Weatherall Remix) [Is It Balearic?]
More goodness from down the bunker. This is probably my favourite Weatherall remix for a while and further proof that 110bpm can sound heavier than any other form of dance music.
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Catch Daniel Avery at Bugged Out Weekend 2013 (January 18th - 20th)