The 50 Best Tracks of 2022 | A selection by Beatportal (2024)

Table of Contents
Two Shell – Home Kerri Chandler, Lady Linn – You Get Lost In It [The Warehouse Project] Eliza Rose, Interplanetary Criminal – B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All) Pariah – Caterpillar Fred Again.. – Kammy (like i do) TSHA – Dancing In The Shadows (feat. Clementine Douglas) HAAi, Jon Hopkins – Baby, We’re Ascending Aquarian – Sam Handwich HoneyLuv – 365 (Harry Romero Remix) Hudson Mohawke – Behold Dusky — Flo Jam (Denham Audio Remix) Shanti Celeste – Cutie Nia Archives – Baianá Anna Lunoe – Alright John Loveless, Gramrcy – Highdive Bicep – Water (feat. Clara La San) LF SYSTEM – Afraid To Feel Sally C – Downtown Nikki Nair, Nala – The World Is Always Ending Objekt – Bad Apples Eris Drew – Day After A Night With U Sofia Kourtesis – Estación Esperanza (feat. Manu Chao) Moby – Go (Anfisa Letyago Remix) HAAi, Fred again.., Romy – Lights Out Skin On Skin – Burn Dem Bridges Confidence Man – Holiday (Erol Alkan Rework) Ngoni Egan – Ikalanga Camo & Krooked – No Way Out (feat. Mira Lu Kovacs) Axel Boman – Hold On Rhyw – Honey Badger Marko East – The Perfect 6 Min Abs Workout Watch The Ride, Nia Archives – Mash Up The Dance Hamdi – skan*a Little Dragon, Keinemusik – Saving My Love (Palms Trax Remix) Jamie Jones – My Paradise KH – Looking At Your Pager Schacke — Lost Summer (Kyiv Sunrise Mix) Farsight, Breaka – Flow State Jaden Thompson, Seth Troxler – Talking Walls TSHA – Giving Up (feat. Mafro) DJ Hank – Lift Gate Swami Sound — Back In The Day (feat. CVMILLE) Justin Hawkes – Better Than Gold (feat. Andrew Hellier) Hammer, KILIMANJARO – Muleña (Tornado Wallace Remix) Sworn Virgins – The Male Man Dopplereffe — Neural Impulse Actuator – Mirror Neuron Nicky Elisabeth – Fading Sharda – It’s A Love Thing DJ Python – Angel Skream, Jansons – World Is Empty You might also like References

With the help of our contributors, we celebrate the 50 best tracks of 2022.



The 50 Best Tracks of 2022 | A selection by Beatportal (1)

Dec 5, 2022



Beatportal Staff and Contributors

So, how did we compile this list? None of the songs chosen are based on sales. Instead, we reached out to Beatportal contributors from across the world, and they helped our editorial staff pick the 50 best tracks of 2022, which are listed below in no particular order.

Check out the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 playlist on Beatport.

Two Shell – Home

Genre: Bass / Club
Label: Mainframe Audio

The enigmatic electronic production duo Two Shell dropped their first EP, ‘Access’, on Livity Sound in 2019, but 2022 was the year that they become one of the most talked about names in the underground club scene. While their mysterious presence has undoubtedly added to the intrigue (they often wear veils over their faces during DJ sets, and their first interview self-destructed within 24 hours), the music that this unknown pair create is just as exciting and intriguing. Fusing elements of hyperpop, house, pop and techno, the sonically-futuristic ‘home’ – with its shuffling pitch-shifted robotic vocal and wobbly synths – sounds like what would be playing at a cyber-rave in the year 2050. — Ben Jolley

Kerri Chandler, Lady Linn – You Get Lost In It [The Warehouse Project]

Genre: Deep House
Label: Kaoz Theory

Frankly, any of the tracks from New Jersey house legend Kerri Chandler’s latest album could have made the final cut here. Each one packs his famous kick drum punch and comes with emotions that are so raw and real you just cannot ignore them. Though that has been his style for almost 40 years, he is still finding freshness in the form. This tune in particular – recorded literally on the dance floor at Manchester’s The Warehouse Project – hits the perfect sweet spot between his driving, well-swung and sweat-inducing drums and the heart-swelling soul of Lady Linn’s aching vocal. It’s truly as good as house music gets. — Kristan J Caryl

Eliza Rose, Interplanetary Criminal – B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)

Genre: House
Label: Warner Records

Many tunes are said to be the track of the summer, but this one really was. What started in June as a viral TikTok sensation soon became the most Shazammed track in the UK and eventually climbed to Number 1 in the UK charts in September – still an all too rare feat for female producers in dance music. It’s a genuine cross-cover success as likely to be heard ending festival sets as banging out of your local Tesco Express at 11PM, all thanks to Hackney-born Eliza Rose’s coy vocal hook, a 30-year-old Lisa Lisa sample and the shuffling drums, neon chords and 90s basslines of Manchester producer and DJ Interplanetary Criminal. — Kristan J Caryl

Pariah – Caterpillar

Genre: Techno (Raw/Deep/Hypnotic)
Label: Voam

“Caterpillar” isn’t the most surprising thing English producer Pariah released in 2022—that would be Man with the Magic Soap, the metal- and hardcore-influenced record he made alongside longtime partner-in-crime Blawan under the name Persher—but it is the track of his that leveled the most dancefloors this year. Fueled by snappy, high-stepping percussion that intermittently bursts like popcorn kernels above an open flame, the song is essentially a pulsing techno cut, but it’s the bassline—a drawn-out digital groan that could be mistaken for the guttural yawp of a sci-fi Beowulf—that makes “Caterpillar” a truly unforgettable affair. — Shawn Reynaldo

Fred Again.. – Kammy (like i do)

Genre: Dance / Electro Pop
Label: Atlantic Records

It’s been Fred Again..’s year again. It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment he exploded onto the global psyche, but it definitely had something to do with his unbelievable live Boiler Room performance, his killer collabs with Swedish House Mafia and Future and the drop of his third album Actual Life 3 on Atlantic Records. Every track on the album’s worth a mention but “Kammy (like i do)” manages to sum up the full spectrum of Fred Again..’s production charm. With vocals from singer-songwriter KAMILLE the track treads the line between club-ready and bedroom-shimmy, blending elements of pop, bass and indie electronica to create a straight-up dance music anthem. The biggest electronic artist of the moment, no doubt. — Alice Austin

Listen to the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 on Beatport.

TSHA – Dancing In The Shadows (feat. Clementine Douglas)

Genre: Electronica
Label: Ninja Tune

There really aren’t many young artists who have blown up as much as TSHA has this year. She’s gone from being a relatively unknown artist to a globally adorned act responsible for arguably one of the albums of the year, Capricorn Sun. As TSHA’s debut LP, it’s packed with freshly cooked big hitters, and ‘Dancing In The Shadows’ is undoubtedly one of the tracks shining brightest. It’s a real masterpiece of electronic music fusing euphoric melodies with the underground sounds of the rave. Clementine Douglas’s vocal ties the track together perfectly, giving it a wonderful ethereal feel you can’t help but want to rewind again and again and again. — Jake Hirst

HAAi, Jon Hopkins – Baby, We’re Ascending

Genre: Electronica
Label: Mute

The title track of fast-rising Aussie artist HAAi’s debut album is a dreamy, euphoric peak rave moment stunner, co-written and co-produced with Jon Hopkins. “We don’t need your time / we don’t need your sympathy,” HAAi sings as the music swells into an energizing frenzy. “I could be the whole symphony,” she accurately asserts. The six-minute track builds, bubbles, beeps and swells with a symphony of soothing and enchanting sounds. This is the soundtrack to an incredibly impressive year, and it’s impossible not to travel to a sun-soaked daydream with this big tune in your ears. HAAi’s music is dreamy, euphoric, experimental underground rave, and this album, exemplified on the stunning title cut, is her heavenly version of this. — Ana Monroy Yglesias

Aquarian – Sam Handwich

Genre: Electro (Classic/Detroit/Modern)
Label: Dekmantel

All hail Aquarian! The Canadian-born and Berlin-based artist’s potent and breakneck studio concoctions that weave through dark techno, leftfield bass, jungle, drum & bass, electro, and more have earned him a loyal and rapidly growing fanbase. This is especially true following the release of his two-part EP release on Dekmantel, Mutations I & II. Appearing on part one, the track “Sam Handwich” plays on the popular auditory illusion of 2018 — the “laurel” or “yanny” debate. Despite which frequency you might be hearing, Aquarian’s highly propulsive drum work and cataclysmic LFO synth that swims around the alternating phrase is rowdy in all the right ways. — Cameron Holbrook

HoneyLuv – 365 (Harry Romero Remix)

Genre: Tech House
Label: Black Book Records

Harry Romero continued his remix purple patch well in 2022 with mixes for Hot Since 82, Honey Dijon, K-Klass and now this superlative house mix for Honey Luv, which took the charm of the original and ratcheted the heat up another thirty degrees. Look out for a collaborative single from the duo on Bambossa early 2023, which will no doubt have more “dope drums’! — Ralph Moore

Listen to the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 on Beatport.

Hudson Mohawke – Behold

Genre: Trap / Wave
Label: Warp

Seven years after releasing his sophom*ore studio album, Lantern, Hudson Mohawke returns with his tertiary solo record, Cry Sugar — the Glasgow producer’s sonic exploration of the dichotomy between pain and joy through experimental dance music inspired by the European rave scene. HudMo manages to capture tender moments as he navigates the chaotic state of the world, and “Behold” is his cinematic celebration of love, boasting an outcry of vehement vocals, shattering class samples, and bombastic drums. In his recent Mixmag cover story, HudMo said he was “trying to find little sparks of joy amongst the general feeling that the world is just blowing up in every f*cking direction.” — Arielle Lana LeJarde

Dusky — Flo Jam (Denham Audio Remix)

Genre: Breaks / Breakbeat / UK Bass
Label: 17 Steps

Thanks to artists like MK and Julio Bashmore, in 2012, deep house had a proper moment. Dusky’s ‘Flo Jam’ encapsulated this golden time with its low-slung bassline, floaty vocals and twinkling synthline. It was the track that gurgled from speakers across clubs and house parties — in Dublin, anyway. This year, however, Sheffield-based producer Denham Audio added his own flavour to the original. Sped up to 140 BPM and packed with breaks-led percussion and the occasional backspin, “Flo Jam (Denham Audio Remix)” is a more modern take, but it still retains the timeless vibe as the original. A punchy and potent offering that honours a classic tune with style. — Niamh O’Connor

Shanti Celeste – Cutie

Genre: House
Label: Hessle Audio

Making joyous music comes naturally to Shanti Celeste, so it’s no surprise that “Cutie”—the lead track from the Chilean-born, London-based producer’s first record for Hessle Audio—instantly became the most effervescent tune in the vaunted label’s catalog. Full of pastel colors and powered by a delightfully rubbery bassline, it’s a bouncy slice of house music with an infectiously sassy strut, but it’s the song’s quirky vocal—which has been tweaked to a point where it sounds like a friendly android from a Japanese anime series—that makes “Cutie” sound not just fun, but downright adorable.ShawnReynaldo

Nia Archives – Baianá

Genre: Drum & Bass
Label: Hijinxx/Island

From Beyoncé’s homage to house and disco on RENAISSANCE to Eliza’s Rose chart-topping anthem ‘B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)’, 2022 will be remembered as a year when dance music infiltrated the mainstream. Like Rose, Nia Archives has proven that crossover success doesn’t need to come at the cost of compromising your creative vision. The Bradford-born DJ, producer and singer-songwriter has spearheaded a jungle revolution of late: launching her own record label, remixing PinkPantheress and dropping a steady stream of buzz-worthy records. A recent stand-out is September single ‘Baianá’, a samba-flavoured club cut pairing rapid-fire breaks with the infectious sound of Brazilian ensemble Barbatuques. — Michael Lawson

Listen to the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 on Beatport.

Anna Lunoe – Alright

Genre: Bass House
Label: NLV Records

Anna Lunoe, the Sydney-based producer, DJ, podcaster, and radio host, once shared via social media a glimpse of her young son, Rocky, in headphones cheerfully shouting “Alright!” into her studio microphone. The result of those shouts is the lead sample on this bass house groover filled with youthful glee (as well as the same word as the title). It’s that same youthful glee everyone seeks when they arrive on the dancefloor and everyone can always count on Anna and her music to help them find it. Just give it a few minutes. — Harry Levin

John Loveless, Gramrcy – Highdive

Genre: Indie Dance
Label: Phantasy

When released in June of this year on Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound, we called “Highdive” by Berlin-based producers Gramrcy and John Loveless the “Dark Horse Tune of the Year.” Having garnered support from the likes of Justice, Peggy Gou, Gerd Janson, HAAi, Palms Trax, and even Mel C from The Spice Girls, we’re confident we made the right call. Loveless and Gramrcy’s unapologetic track has it all — killer groove, phaser-heavy drums, and an unpredictable break in the track that harkens back to the big electro records of the bloghouse era. It’s a decent into madness and a dance floor weapon of the utmost potency. — Cameron Holbrook

Bicep – Water (feat. Clara La San)

Genre: Melodic House & Techno
Label: Ninja Tune

2021 was the year of Bicep, with the release of their stellar sophom*ore album, Isles, and the sojourn into their transportive and triumphant otherworldly rave soundscapes continued in 2022 as they toured their immersive live show. After months of playing ‘Water’ —which they specifically created for a euphoric peak in the show—they finally dropped it in October on Ninja Tune. It’s led by Clara La San’s emotive, enchanting vocals; her fourth note-perfect collab with them. The track’s sparkling synths morph into vintage video game territory due to the use of the MEGAfm synth, whose chips were used to create the sounds of the SEGA Megadrive and Genesis consoles: so now you know. — Ana Monroy Yglesias

LF SYSTEM – Afraid To Feel

Genre: House
Label: Warner Records

The euphoric dance-pop anthem ‘Afraid To Feel’ managed to stay at Number 1 in the UK charts for seven – seven! – weeks – the longest run of any dance act this decade. It’s one of those tunes that really shouldn’t work – a dusty old soul sample, a sentimental slow build with jazzy flutes and keys and some radical tempo changes. But it does, partly because of the pure joy that comes from that stylistic switch-up when things shift to gloriously simple but effective soulful house grooves from Scottish duo LF SYSTEM. It’s fun, full of feeling and a tune that makes any crowd take instant flight: and this year, while it was utterly unavoidable, it never lost its charm. — Kristan J Caryl

Sally C – Downtown

Genre: House
Label: Big Saldo’s Chunkers

It seems like the electronic world was ready for the arrival of raw bass bumper Sally C. Not only does she always display impeccable taste, she’s also one of the hottest house music producers of the moment, with this early summer release doing serious damage at DC10 and across Europe this season. We can’t wait to see what she drops next on Big Saldo’s Chunkers. — Ralph Moore

Nikki Nair, Nala – The World Is Always Ending

Genre: Breaks / Breakbeat / UK Bass
Label: Dirtybird

Over the last couple of years, Nala’s spitfire, angsty shouts have taken centre-stage on her own bouncy productions as well as collaborations with fellow house warriors like Walker & Royce and Ardalan. But on ‘The World Is Always Ending’, she fills the role of bop singer with a tone that could almost be considered sweet (despite the dismal title). From there, Beatport Next graduate Nikki Nair lays down a pure electro drum pattern punctuated with jittering synthetic accoutrement to form a happy mixture that makes the apocalypse seem like just another day (or preferably the day after). — Harry Levin

Objekt – Bad Apples

Genre: Bass / Club
Label: Objekt

Speaking to Beatportal earlier in the year, July’s digital cover star Objekt explained that ‘Bad Apples’ – the lead single from his most recent EP, Objekt #5 – had been partly inspired by heavy metal. “You don’t write a really scuzzy, 16th note, distorted bass guitar riff and stick it over a dancehall beat without drawing some connection to rock music,” he elaborated. In line with much of the Berliner’s output, the track is bracingly unconventional, drawing inspiration from The Bug’s mutant dancehall amongst other things yet still winding up sounding unmistakably like an Objekt record. — Michael Lawson

Listen to the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 on Beatport.

Eris Drew – Day After A Night With U

Genre: House
Label: fabric

House power couple Eris Drew and Octo Octa spent the better part of the year sharing their love of house and each other with the world through their joyful vinyl B2B sets. In September, they put that energy to wax with Drew’s ‘Day After A Night With U’ and Octa’s ‘Stars & Water’, the debut release on fabric Originals. The former is a perfect dose of ’90s rave, featuring a warm soul sample that declares: “I’ve found a real one.” Drew made this track at the start of the pandemic, after sharing a loving night together on the beach. — Ana Monroy Yglesias

Sofia Kourtesis – Estación Esperanza (feat. Manu Chao)

Genre: Afro House
Label: Ninja Tune

Sofia Kourtesis, the Berlin-via-Lima producer, emerged in 2019 with a pair of wonderfully wonky house records on oddball label Studio Barnhaus. And while those records showcased an exciting producer who could make curious and inquisitive dance tracks, it was this year’s EP for Ninja Tune sublabel, Technicolour, that really signaled her arrival. The joyous lead single, ‘Estación Esperanza,’ sounds like a manifesto. Gentle hand drums, a slightly off kilter horn line, and bright bells and chimes abound as she interpolates the legendary singer Manu Chao to make one of the year’s most effective, but subtle political protest songs. — Henry Ivy

Moby – Go (Anfisa Letyago Remix)

Genre: Electronica
Label: DG

Anfisa Letyago’s meteoritic rise has been nothing short of graceful. She built her label, toured internationally, and managed to remix Moby’s rave opus ‘Go’ along the way. Sensibly, Letyago has kept the structural integrity of the original: the bone-chilling synths and strings but boosted the 1992 track with her dub-laced breed of techno. Letyago’s ‘Go’ makes you dance feverishly but stop just for a second to think. Nothing feels forced; that’s not her style, and she even made the acidic modulations and beefy bass a head boppers delight. ‘Go’ is an nod to a legend and a whisper into the world’s ear that Letyago has plenty more work to do. — Grant Albert

HAAi, Fred again.., Romy – Lights Out

Genre: House
Label: Atlantic Records

It may have been released almost 12 months ago, but ‘Lights Out’ remains one of this year’s heaviest hitters. An unbreakable rush of euphoric energy pieced together by three of dance music’s finest, you can tell how much fun the trio had; each artist’s contribution elevates the track further – from HAAi’s acid lasers to Fred’s XX-style piano keys and Romy’s angelic, tear-jerking lead vocal. With the gradual build-up, restraint and eventual release sonically representing the range of emotions felt during lockdown, the hedonistic club anthem also became a fitting soundtrack to the world’s long-awaited return to raving: and it is now here to stay. — Ben Jolley

Skin On Skin – Burn Dem Bridges

Genre: Techno (Raw/Deep/Hypnotic)
Label: FFRR

Look, I know – ‘banger’ is by far the most overused word in dance music, to the point where 2022 saw the release of a ‘Banger Dictionary’ to help us all curb our use of the word. But sometimes it is simply the most accurate term for the job, and the gleeful rush of ‘Burn Dem Bridges’ from Steel City Dance Discs affiliate Skin On Skin fits squarely in that category. Originally teased during Skin on Skin’s incendiary Boiler Room at AVA Festival this year, it was the highlight of the set and had lost none of its power by the time it saw an official release a few months later. — Will Gulseven

Confidence Man – Holiday (Erol Alkan Rework)

Genre: House
Label: Heavenly Recordings

Do not underestimate the power of ConMan. With two feet firmly in the rave and pop spheres, and a perfect balance of stillness and sexiness, “Holiday” inspires you to head-bang and bow down to its euphoria. See them live. I have almost 10 times, and I have never looked back. The band, for the record are Sugar Bones and Janet Planet, Reggie Goodchild and Clarence McGuffie, and they like to strut. And it was at the latter end of last year that Phantasy boss Erol Alkan put his distinct twist on this earworm of a tune, reshaping it wonderfully as a euphoric dance floor weapon that all DJs can get behind. — Grace George

Ngoni Egan – Ikalanga

Genre: Techno (Raw/Deep/Hypnotic)
Label: United Identities

A quirky offering from Rotterdam-based DJ and producer Ngoni Egan. Featured on his debut release, Re Teng, via Carista’s label United Identities, the Irish artist delivers the bright and bleepy ‘Ikalanga’, and it goes down a treat on the dancefloor (witnessed first-handed during Ngoni’s Herrensauna set in Tresor during the summer). Ngoni samples his own voice on the track, although it’s not clear what exactly he’s saying, and maybe that’s the point. The playful melody, quick-fire claps and chunky kickdrums are powerful enough to upend any dancefloor—buckets of energy for those who like their techno from the bouncier end of the spectrum. — Niamh O’Connor

Listen to the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 on Beatport.

Camo & Krooked – No Way Out (feat. Mira Lu Kovacs)

Genre: Drum & Bass
Label: MODUS

Over the years, Camo & Krooked have built a reputation for being purveyors of big room, boundary-pushing sonics topped with powerful vocals, and ‘No Way Out’ is up there as one of their best. They spent months teasing it as a dub in their sets while fans (myself included) wondered what the hell that euphoric production was sending goosebumps up the spine. Mira Lu Kovacs’s vocal plays a big role in inducing those feels. It’s simply stunning. The way it builds up so softly before launching into a heavy drop is a masterful contrast sending the emotions on a rollercoaster – especially mid rave. — Jake Hirst

Axel Boman – Hold On

Genre: House
Label: Studio Barnhus

One of the most common functions of music has always been to assuage the feeling of worry. To ignite within the listener a deep and resolute belief that everything is truly going to be alright. Well, with ‘Hold On’, Axel Boman has delivered this feeling in the most transparent and the most effective way possible. Not too fast, but crucially not too slow either. The lyrics float along a sonic river of light kicks and harmonious pads, so calming and pleasant it’s almost like a guided meditation for the dancefloor, making an undeniably convincing case to simply “hold on, hold on.” — Harry Levin

Rhyw – Honey Badger

Genre: Techno (Raw/Deep/Hypnotic)
Label: Voam

Though he’s never been known as much of a prankster, Rhyw goes full P.T. Barnum on “Honey Badger,” the carnivalesque title track of his debut outing for Blawan and Pariah’s Voam label. The song itself is a relatively stripped-down affair, in the sense that the English producer dispenses with unnecessary accoutrement and puts his percolating drums center stage, but “Honey Badger” is no mere DJ tool; it’s closer to towering techno classics like “Spastik,” albeit in a way that sounds like Plastikman pulling Guy Fieri into the studio after starting his day with a bowl of Fruit Loops and rocket fuel — Shawn Reynaldo

Marko East – The Perfect 6 Min Abs Workout

Genre: Melodic House & Techno
Label: Hours

Badsista was responsible for one of the year’s most memorable Boiler Room performances. Playing at Barcelona’s Primavera Sound, the São Paulo-born artist embodied a kind of playful anarchy as she careened through everything from rhythmic baile funk rips to punishing proto-hardcore. Arguably the most memorable track – and certainly the one that caused the biggest reaction amongst those on the dance floor – was ‘6 Min Ab Workout’ by Israeli artist Marko East. Both strikingly unique and utterly riotous, this turbo-charged rave weapon is characterised by a striking vocal that arrives immediately on the drop. Simply put, it doesn’t sound like much else. — Michael Lawson

Watch The Ride, Nia Archives – Mash Up The Dance

Genre: Drum & Bass
Label: Rinse

When it comes to drum and bass songs that have done the rounds this year and more, “Mash Up The Dance” on Rinse Recordings has to be up there as one of the most played D&B tunes of 2022. Whether you were at a club, a festival or listening to the radio, Nia’s infectious lyrics will have blessed you somewhere, and most likely put a smile on your face and a jive in your step. There’s a beautiful rawness and simplicity to the tune. It makes you want to dance no matter the occasion, and especially after multiple years of event cancellations and empty clubs, dancing is all we’ve wanted to do! It’s no surprise why so many DJs across D&B and beyond draw for the tune in their sets. — Jake Hirst

Hamdi – skan*a

Genre: 140 / Deep Dubstep / Grime

Rising UK star Hamdi has sent bass and dubstep fans head-banging into oblivion this year with his highly anticipated scorcher, “skan*a.” You’ll find the track all over TikTok, and it has been supported by the likes of Zeds Dead, GRiZ, Of The Trees, and Skrillex, to name a few. The Duploc crew shows no signs of faltering in its mission to keep cutting-edge dubstep alive and well, and Hamdi’s “skan*a” can undoubtedly be looked at as the pinnacle of their achievements in 2022. — Cameron Holbrook

Little Dragon, Keinemusik – Saving My Love (Palms Trax Remix)

Genre: Nu Disco
Label: Keinemusik

Make no mistake, this track is not a case of “too many cooks.” Keinemusik’s “Saving My Love” was already a memorable highlight from their 2021 album “Send Return” partly due to the soft vocals of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano. This spring, Palms Trax added additional production including a rearranged drum section and an infectious “Inspector Norse” — like arpeggio bass line on his remix to the track from &Me, Rampa and Adam Port creating an uptempo disco work out that kept many dance floors busy. In a year that saw the Keinemusik crew putting out a number of great releases (such as Rampa’s “Les Gout” and Adam Port’s “Forms of Love”) as well as producing two tracks for Drake’s album, this is the one that sparkled brightest for me. — Heiko Hoffmann

Jamie Jones – My Paradise

Genre: House
Label: Defected

Jamie Jones had another fantastic year as a house music maven, with his Paradise parties flourishing across the world (especially at Amnesia in Ibiza) and his label Hot Creations recently scoring a recent Beatport number one with Riva Starr and Todd Terry. And while the super-soulful ‘My Paradise’ landed on Defected rather than his own imprint, that didn’t stop it being the soundtrack to dozens of morning sunrise sessions. — Ralph Moore

KH – Looking At Your Pager

Genre: Bass / Club
Label: Ministry Of Sound

Kieran Hebden wears many aliases, but this time the artist most popularly known as Four Tet took his KH moniker out of the wardrobe to release “Looking At Your Pager.” Sampling Kiely’s verse to “No More (Baby I’ma Do Right)” by 3LW, the track follows Hebden’s patented percussive track work. The hi-hats and claps teeter—a speck of dust could turn it into unsynchronized madness. The buildup is candied by Kiely’s vocals and warm pads, and womps growl like early dubstep homages. Whether you know him as Four Tet or KH, Hebden has proven he is dance music’s ultimate renaissance man. — Grant Albert

Schacke — Lost Summer (Kyiv Sunrise Mix)

Genre: Techno (Raw/Deep/Hypnotic)
Label: Standard Deviation

Curated by Kyiv-based imprints Standard Deviation and Mystictrax, the two labels joined forces, inviting 65 artists to contribute to their outstanding V/A, РАЗОМ ЗА УКРАЇНУ / TOGETHER FOR UKRAINE released just a few weeks after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. All profits were and continue to be donated to humanitarian aid in Ukraine. On Schacke’s contribution, ‘Lost Summer (Kyiv Sunrise Mix)’, the Danish artist pens a shimmering, heart-felt creation, clocking in at just under ten minutes. It’s a poignant track evoking hazy vibes and post-rave sunrises, just like the title suggests. Bittersweet on all fronts. — Niamh O’Connor

Listen to the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 on Beatport.

Farsight, Breaka – Flow State

Genre: Bass / Club
Label: Scuffed Recordings

Two of 2022’s standout producers teamed up from across the pond to release ‘Flow State’, a homage to the club and a big up to bass music. San Francisco’s Farsight has gained a following with his versatile productions that bounce between trap, dancehall, Jersey club and everything else in between, while Breaka’s spent the best part of 2022 tearing the UK a new one with his nostalgic UKG, bass-heavy productions. With ‘Flow State’ the pair blend their playful production styles to create a bouncy break-filled track that’ll turn any dance floor inside out. — Alice Austin

Jaden Thompson, Seth Troxler – Talking Walls

Genre: Tech House
Label: Crosstown Rebels

Continuing to solidify himself as one of house music’s most talked-about young talents, Beatport Next artist Jaden Thompson paired up with Detroit’s own Seth Troxler on Crosstown Rebels to present a fresh and punchy release, “Talking Walls.” Inspired by a “mad idea” from Jaden Thompson about “being inside a room and imagining the walls were able to hear everything,” he sent the beat to Seth Troxler, and the studio magic commenced. If the club’s walls could talk, they would say the same thing — this one’s a banger. — Cameron Holbrook

TSHA – Giving Up (feat. Mafro)

Genre: Electronica
Label: Ninja Tune

There’s no doubting that, this year, electronic producer, DJ and songwriter TSHA ascended to become one of the biggest names in electronic music. With singles taken from her stunning debut album Capricorn Sun dominating daytime radio playlists and landing her billboards in the US, the cathartic breakbeat rumbler ‘Giving Up’ is one of its many stirring highlights. Written in collaboration with her partner (the equally-talented one-to-watch producer Mafro) when the couple had “little space to breathe”, the track transforms those all-too relatable challenges of lockdown into an emotional rave anthem that soars on feelings of determination and unity. — Ben Jolley

DJ Hank – Lift Gate

Genre: Electronica
Label: Hyperdub

More than a decade has passed since DJ Rashad (and a handful of other producers on both sides of the Atlantic) successfully built a bridge between footwork and the UK bass continuum, and that pipeline continues to produce all sorts of intriguing hybrids. “Lift Gate,” the hurtling lead track from Chicago-based artist DJ Hank’s City Stars EP, pulls from the gleaming sound palettes of ’80s Japanese ambient and ’90s video game soundtracks, but with its shimmering arps and finely chopped R&B vocal fragments, it ultimately sounds more like a turbocharged take on UK garage. Shawn Reynaldo

Swami Sound — Back In The Day (feat. CVMILLE)

Genre: UK Garage / Bassline
Label: Notes By Design

Donned “the father of New York City garage” by SoundCloud earlier this year, Swami Sound fuses New York drill and UK 2-step for his fresh take on the genre. Layering lamentable lyrics about heartbreak over the gloomy atmospheres that surround the track’s pulsating beat, Swami Sound’s self-released “Back In The Day” is the quintessential introduction to the Bronx-based producer’s brooding approach to house music. As he reigns in a new era for garage in the States, Swami Sound acknowledges, “It’s not a novel thing because garage house that started in Paradise Garage and Club Zanzibar definitely has a place.” — Arielle Lana LeJarde

Justin Hawkes – Better Than Gold (feat. Andrew Hellier)

Genre: Drum & Bass
Label: Pilot

If there are two genres that no one expected to work together in the same track it’s country and drum & bass…that is until the fast-rising American D&B artist, Justin Hawkes, made it happen. With the help of his uncle, major label recording artist Andrew Hellier, providing vocals, and his father, Guy Hellier, tracking mandolin and acoustic guitar, Hawkes crafted “Better Than Gold,” a track that takes all the honky-tonk one can find in a Nashville saloon and wraps it around high-velocity D&B that would make even the most seasoned Bristol head sneer with joy. — Harry Levin

Hammer, KILIMANJARO – Muleña (Tornado Wallace Remix)

Genre: Dance / Electro Pop
Label: Remmah

Was this made this week or thirty rave years ago? The original Hammer (Rory Hamilton) single was pretty special. But it was the sneaky rave-ready remix from Tornado Wallace and KILIMANJARO on the flip that caught the ears of everyone from Cici to key tastemakers like Skream. With its surging acid breakbeat energy and spiralling Leftfield-esque vocal sample (this feels like an ‘Inspection Check One’ for 2022), it became an instant club classic.— Ralph Moore

Sworn Virgins – The Male Man

Genre: Nu Disco / Disco

Quinn Whalley of the riotous electro duo Paranoid London first debuted his indie house/disco project Sworn Virgins alongside fellow member Craig Louis Higgins Jr. back in 2018 with “Fifty Dollar Bills” — a slippery, spoken-word dance floor jam that immediately garnered attention from underground players worldwide. With a wholly unique sound that is frantic, cheeky, retro, acidic, and sexual to its core, the pair kicked off 2022 with the lead single to their Stranger Hands EP on Soulwax’s DEEWEE imprint, “The Male Man.” The humorous lyrics of a dirty and out-of-control “male man” (who could also be a mailman?) running amok lends itself perfectly to the track’s funky guitar riffs, slinking bassline, and sparse synth arrangement. Unadulterated fun with this one, and bound to put a smile on your face. — Cameron Holbrook

*** (a quick note: this track technically dropped in December of 2021, but having already published last year’s list by the time this juicy tune came out, we felt it was appropriate to include it here)

Dopplereffe — Neural Impulse Actuator – Mirror Neuron

Genre: Electro (Classic/Modern/Detroit)
Label: Leisure System

Chilling electro via Sam Barker and Ned Beckett’s excellent imprint, Leisure System. Following Dopplereffekt’s previous album Cellular Automata in 2017, the duo of Gerald Donald — formerly of Drexciya — and Michaela To-Nhan Barthel produce goose-bump-inducing, cinematic sounds on their LP Neurotelepathy. There are prominent themes of artificial intelligence throughout the album, from the artwork to the track titles, but if we strip it back to just the music, “Neural Impulse Actuator – Mirror Neuron is a knockout track. A creepy vocal swirls around the soundscape, while an acid-flecked melody and light-sabre-like bassline add a freaky feel. A disturbing yet delicious mutation by the enigmatic duo. — Niamh O’Connor

Nicky Elisabeth – Fading

Genre: Melodic House & Techno
Label: Anjunadeep

If you’ve been anywhere near a European festival this summer, then you’ve been within arm’s reach of Nicky Elisabeth. 2022 has been the Amsterdam-based DJ and producer’s break-out year, with her first EP snapped up by lords of the deep house dance Anjunadeep. Nicky’s stand-out track ‘Fading’ is a dreamy house production with the artist’s own ethereal vocals turning it into a radio-ready pop-leaning track. Joris Voorn’s a fan – his remix of ‘Fading’ is a euphoric, trance-inducing floor-filler custom-built to be played at peak time. So don’t take your eyes off Nicky Elisabeth for a moment: there’s clearly a whole lot more to come. — Alice Austin

Sharda – It’s A Love Thing

Genre: UK Garage / Bassline
Label: Kiwi Rekords

Garage has been back in a big way for a number of years now, and that is in large part down to Kiwi Rekords and its iconic founder Conducta. Under his charge, the return of UKG has been a revolution more than just a revival, and Sharda’s ‘It’s a Love Thing’ is the latest proof of that. It has impossibly feel-good vocals chopped and skewed over drums that bounce like a rubber ball. Add in some serious bass weight and balmy synth work and you have one of those juicy gems that get fists pumping and smiles forming in seconds. — Kristan J Caryl

DJ Python – Angel

Genre: Electronica
Label: Incienso

A near-eleven-minute electronic overture would usually test one’s patience. But when you dissect DJ Python’s track ‘Angel’, the results are not typical. Few producers can make music that feels as club-ready as it does yoga-playlist friendly—yet DJ Python (AKA Brian Piñeyro) always splits the difference. Over the eleven minutes, Piñeyro skinny-dips in euphoria via the ethereal synths and a wailing kick that hits your ears—and soul. The pads cry out, and a vocal loop guides you like a compass. Nothing is off-limits; everything feels right when listening to music suitable for the choir of the electronic church. — Grant Albert

Skream, Jansons – World Is Empty

Genre: Electro (Classic/Detroit/Modern)
Label: CircoLoco Records

Supported to the hilt by Pete Tong, Cici and the entire Circo Loco crew, that Diana Ross sample (“my world is empty without you, babe”) was the secret sauce of this instant club classic. Smartly underpinned by old school acid tension and pure electro bass/drum swagger, the extended mix took it to even higher heights. Expect to hear more of this record as we head towards 2023. — Ralph Moore

Listen to the 50 Best Tracks of 2022 on Beatport.

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