Year in Review | Top Songs of 2013
#21 – 30
by Joshua P. Ferguson
Dialogue Inc's favorite way to end the year is upon us. As the sun sets on 2013, we conclude our Year in Review with the songs that defined it for us. From downtempo through disco, bass, house, and techno, it was as year as good as any in recent memory. Much of the scene has gotten over the affront some feel "EDM" is to the music we love, and bass music in particular forged new worlds and helped connect others. Nostalgia for the energy and even the relaxation of the '90s spelled a resurgence in classic sounds from ambient through drum 'n' bass, and the impact of it all was so pervasive even a stadium-sized rock act like Arcade Fire couldn't even resist getting in on the action.
30) Evenings "Still Young" — Yore — Friends of Friends
From our earliest days listening to electronic music, we've been particularly drawn to its chill side and Virginia native Evenings' particular brand of folksy downtempo was impossible for us to ignore.
29) Âme "Erkki" — Music for Autobahns — Rush Hour
As two of the principal influencers behind the Innervisions label, Âme has been featured in this list its fair share of times in years past, but it was as refreshing as ever to find them crafting a hypnotic electronic burner like this one. It has Kristian Beyer and Frank Weidemann written all over it, and yet it's unlike the lion's share of the duo's catalog, making it a stand-out track on an already stand-out compilation.
28) DJ Steef "Bad Luck" — Editorial Records
An edit that topped our 2012 list as track of the year, and while they didn't rank as highly this year, they were no less prominent a part of our musical tapestry. Editorial Records and DJ Steef played a key role in that fact, especially this one here, chugging along with looped blues chords, its thick boogie thump, and gritty vocals.
Trends in dance music run as hot and cold with Dialogue Inc as they do in dance music in general, but the one thread that's never left us is deep house. This angelic cut from German duo Die Vogel, with its airy drum patter, lilting flutes, and orchestral horns was one of the prettiest we discovered this year.
26) Fort Romeau "Stay True" — Ghostly International
This year was the year London producer Fort Romeau came into his own. Releasing multiple singles for Ghostly, hitting up Boiler Room, and churning out dozens or remixes, he was a tough act to ignore. And yet, none of that compared to the slo-mo Italo chugger he drummed up here.
25 ) Goth-Trad "Born to Know" — Deep Medi Musik
In a lot of ways, calling something 'dubstep' in this day and age doesn't carry much weight, but if we were to try and outline what we still consider the root of the sound it could have been encapsulated in this track and its flying arpeggios, precision drum programming, and the persistent rumbling low-end.
24) Tale of Us "Another Earth" — m-nus
Techno has been a bit of an acquired taste for us, something that we've always appreciated in principle but longed to appreciate as much in person. Tracks like this stunner from Italy's Tale of Us have done much to break that barrier down: minimalistic, driving, and boasting a searing synth line that permanently burned itself into our minds.
Murky, thick, and brightened by an impeccably selected soul sample, this one from London-based technoist Glimpse proved just how reliably the Aus Music label is eschewing most things trendy in dance music while still keeping the pulse of what's good.
22) Shlohmo "Later" — Friends of Friends
We're not sure if trap was the moombahton of 2013 or if that's what we said in 2012; either way we paid as little attention to it as possible. And yet this track from LA beatmaker Shlohmo, which, with its low-slung beat and rolling drums and squelchy melody is really only tangentially trap, had no trouble cutting through the white noise.
21) Grown Folk "Just Wear It" — Young Adults
Crossing the pond to help the Friends of Friends and Young Adults network make what was an undeniably strong mark on music in 2013—see #s 30 and 22—London's Grown Folk nailed this soaring and soulful deep house turn and became the highlight of YA's House Slippers mix compilation in the process.