Dubstep has continued to grow and break new ground in 2012. All the competition has provided us with a fruitful selection of quality productions, with increasing influence from other genres. Without further ado, here are our picks for the Top 15 Dubstep Tracks Of 2012!
ShockOne – Chaos Theory (Dubstep Mix)
ShockOne - Chaos Theory (Dubstep Mix) [Viper]
To start our list off we have some the hard hitting dubstep mix of Chaos Theory by Australia’s ShockOne. With enhanced percussion and ripping basslines, this menacing juggernaut is described best by its movie-like voice sample: "an uncontrollable force, tearing at the very fabric of our reality." Viper Recordings sets the quality bar pretty high for their releases, and with this one they really gave us something to crank up the volume for.
,Feed Me feat Gemini – Whiskers (Original Mix)
Feed Me feat Gemini - Whiskers (Original Mix Edit) [Mau5trap]
Whiskers is the finely tuned and highly polished result of when you combine Gemini’s rapid melodies with Feed Me’s jagged basslines. Like a raging caged animal, this tune roars with intensity on the drops; every bar is filled with acute details that highlight Feed Me’s talent for sound engineering.
Camo & Krooked – Hot Pursuit (Funtcase Remix)
Camo & Krooked - Hot Pursuit (FuntCase Remix) [Hospital]
Remixing drum & bass into smashing drumstep usually turns out quite well. This year Funtcase (pictured) did a wicked job of transforming Hot Pursuit by Camo & Krooked; his version gets even wilder and makes the most of the police sirens and aggressive voice samples yelling “Give Me All Your Money."
SkisM – Experts (Original Mix)
SKisM - Experts (Original Mix) [Never Say Die]
A proud tribute to hard bass culture, SkisM’s Experts wields a mean attitude and begins with a fitting Pantera voice sample. Not for the faint of heart, this is the type of track that makes crowds go wild and erupt into moshpits. Accompanying it came a popular music video that pokes fun at all the internet trolls on YouTube.
Utah Saints vs Drumsound & Bassline Smith – What Can You Do For Me (Tantrum Desire Remix)
Utah Saints vs Drumsound & Bassline Smith - What Can You Do For Me (Tantrum Desire Remix) [Ministry Of Sound]
Bringing old school dance music into the 21st century, Drumsound & Bassline Smith nailed it with their drum & bass makeover of 1991’s What Can You Do For Me by the Utah Saints. Morphing it even further into beastly dubstep came Tantrum Desire (pictured). His creation begins by soaring up high with uplifting energy before charging down with unspeakably hard drops.
Vaski feat Ava – Insane (Original Mix)
Vaski feat Ava - Insane (Original Mix) [Rottun]
Breaking into the top 10, Vaski came out in full force this year with the big hit Insane out on Rottun Recordings. Ava’s spectacular voice meshes nicely with its bone-crushing bass and catchy rhythm; her range stands out by switching from sweet and soothing to passionate and powerful. It’s pretty tough to take this one off repeat.
Seven Lions feat Fiora – Days To Come (Original Mix)
Seven Lions feat Fiora - Days To Come (Original Mix) [OWSLA]
Seven Lions blew away the scene this year in a huge way. The rising SoCal producer came out with several genre -rossing remixes of Above & Beyond and Tritonal that won over over trance and dubstep fans alike. His excellent Polarize EP on Viper Recordings also highlighted his seemingly limitless potential. After getting everyone’s attention, he was invited to be a part of OWSLA label family where he soon premiered his blissful collab with Fiora called Days To Come; this celebrated “dreamstep" tune begins as a dive into the deep end and later splashes its way out with uplifting harmonies.
Major Lazer feat Flux Pavilion – Jah No Partial (Original Mix)
Major Lazer feat Flux Pavilion - Jah No Partial (Original Mix) [Mad Decent]
Heavy hitters Major Lazer and Flux Pavilion brought the dub back to dubstep when they teamed up to make Jah No Partial. This reggae-infused banger punches hard and gets rowdy; its relatively calming buildup makes the sudden bass drop all the more effective. With this caliber of production, we can definitely look forward to Major Lazer’s Free The Universe album coming out on February 19th.
Monsta – Holdin’ On (Original Mix)
Monsta - Holdin' On (Original Mix) [OWSLA]
Another OWSLA release that was particularly impressive was Monsta’s debut EP. Label founder Skrillex described singer Skaar’s voice as “he just sounds like f*cking angels are singing". We definitely can agree there; their beautifully rich anthem Holdin’ On is such a tremendous joy to listen to. These guys are definitely one of the year’s top breakthrough acts.
Nero – Won’t You (Be There) (Original Mix)
Nero - Won't You (Be There) (Original Mix)
Nero detonated dancefloors this year with their explosive track Won’t You (Be There). The torment in Alana Watson’s voice is especially vivid and gives the track a dark and haunting atmosphere. Additionally, it makes great use of sweeping pads that further embellish its spacey, room filling ambiance.
Knife Party – Centipede (Original Mix)
Knife Party - Centipede (Original Mix) [Earstorm]
Following up on their last rockin’ jams Bonfire and Fire Hive, Knife Party included Centipede on their hugely popular Rage Valley EP. This devastating tune makes excellent use of narration taken from the Discovery Channel, in a similar vein to how they used samples for Destroy Them With Lazers and Internet Friends.
Infected Mushroom – U R So F*cked (Original Mix)
Infected Mushroom - U R So F*cked (Original Mix) [Dim Mak]
Who saw this coming? Israeli psy-trance band Infected Mushroom surprised the world this year with an absolutely brilliant dubstep tune, U R So F*cked. The production quality is pristine and crisp, and gets progressively crazier as the song moves along. Near the end of the track, all hell breaks loose as they scream at the top of their lungs.
Skrillex feat Ellie Goulding – Summit (Original Mix)
Skrillex feat Ellie Goulding - Summit (Original Mix)
Skrillex shared some of his softer side this year by teaming up with UK pop singer Ellie Goulding for Summit. Full of charming vocals and lovely melodies, this duet has both Sonny and Ellie taking turns on the mic–it’s a joy to listen to all the way through. (Photo credit: Rukes)
Bassnectar & DC Breaks feat Mimi Page – Breathless (Original Mix)
Bassnectar & DC Breaks feat Mimi Page - Breathless (Original Mix) [Amorphous]
Bassnectar is not only one of the most likeable and modest producers out there, he’s also one of the most talented. This year he teamed up with Mimi Page and released Butterfly on his extraordinary album, Vava Voom. This Fall they followed with Breathless, an epic drumstep composition that stands easily as one of his greatest masterpieces.
Excision & Downlink – Headbanga (Original Mix)
Excision & Downlink - Headbanga (Original Mix) [Rottun]
Arguably responsible for the popularization of hard dubstep in the USA and Canada, the spirit of Excision’s (pictured) legacy can be best described by the statement "I’m a f*cking headbanga," the main sample in his Downlink collab Headbanga. With massive sub-bass and high-pitched hip hop-esque synths, this ruthless beast forces the Earth to shake and then crack open when it drops. Headbanga truly deserves our number one spot. Be sure to catch Jeff on his upcoming 100,000 Watts Execution Tour.