The end of the year is nigh, and with it comes many uncertainties: Santa’s unflinching judgement, the Sophie’s choice of which New Years Eve Festival you should go to, and the even more soul-destroying decisions you face when picking out your favourite tracks of the year.
What’s certain is that in Sydney, dance music has had an incredibly healthy 2016. If there was a trend in electronic music this year, it was a rejection of the status quo dictated by a massive influx of festival-friendly EDM producers during 2012-2015.
An emergence of underground stylings, intelligent house, touches of grime and percussive techno seeped into electro this year, bringing a variance Sydney hadn’t seen for so long. Summarising the entire movement into a few tracks would tear apart any tech head, so today we’re using FBi Click as our spirit guide, and naming the best tracks of 2016 from each of their Best Producer Nominees.
The Sydney dance scene saw it’s healthiest mutations in recent memory over the course of 2016, and nobody championed the movement more than FBi Click.
Dro Carey – Elevate feat. Cadell and Chocolate
After dipping his toes into just about every electronic genre under the sun over his career to date, Dro Carey busted out his meanest track yet just over a month ago. Featuring London’s Cadell and fellow Sydneysider Chocolate, Elevate is as beefy as it gets, a chunky grime hook dominating the underbelly of the mix.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/285227435″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Nina Las Vegas – EZY
Nina Las Vegas has hit it hard in 2016, starting her own label NLV Records as well as pumping out enough high energy tunes to power an aircraft carrier. A highlight of the year is her tune EZY. Like all of her tracks, it hits hard and fast with thumping bass, hi-end synths and enough sonic variation to keep the munters guessing.
Sam Weston – Never Been In Love (Part II)
Since breaking off from ALBA, Sam Weston has had a blinder of a year. Dropping two EPs through Soothsayer (a Sydney label deserving the ton of praise they’re getting), Don’t Save Face and Never Been In Love are both killer releases that proved Weston’s chops as a solo producer.
Never Been In Love (Part II) is still fresh at ten days old, but an absolute standout. With a righteous, hi-hat heavy beat and enough house pizzazz to make the sun rise, this track sits elegantly on the fence between a 7am set closer and a midday, vibey summer dance track.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/294044041″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Swick – All The Way feat. Marcus Whale
Before 2016, Swick was a behind-the-scenes character, quietly chipping in with the likes of Diplo and Tkay Maidza, as well as copping sampling honours from Jennifer Lopez. All The Way brings Marcus Whale in on vox, a deadly collab that’s stacked with subsonic bass lines, bright synth lines and top-shelf vocal hooks.
Seekae – Turbine Blue (Swindail Remix)
Around this time last year Cosmo’s Midnight singled out Swindail as one of the best producers in Sydney. The last year has done nothing if not proved Cosmo and Patrick right, with Swindail’s online profile exploding to the world stage.
One of the songs of the year, Turbine Blue is unfortunately a bit of a downer (it’s a Seekae song, after all). Swindail’s mix combats the doldrums of the original track, arcing it up with funky flavours and a boppy positivity that he seemingly conjured from thin air.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/293573440″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Digging these tracks? If you’ve got a favourite, don’t forget to vote in FBi Click’s Best Producer category. You’ll be doing one of these artists, and the Sydney scene, a big old favour.