Night Tracks of the Year: 10-1

So we've come to the end of 2012, a great year for Night Tracks in general. There's a hell of a lot of tracks that were great that didn't make the top 50, and I would've liked to write about those too, but I've only got so much time. Here we are at the top 10 tracks of the year. If you missed out the others, check them here; 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11.

10. Ghostek - Easy Changes (Shipwrec)
From Easy Changes

Whichever way Ghostek chooses to go, whichever guise he chooses to work under, 2012 was probably his best year yet. We saw a lot of older tunes get released, and obviously a few vinyl releases. NOTHING topped Easy Changes for Ghostek this year though. This tune, whilst not as moody as others, was classic Ghostek. Touching and heartfelt, while retaining an attitude that others find hard to replicate.

9. Mirror State - Conscious (Broken Bubble)
From Extension

Mirror State was another producer that, in my mind, reached his current peak in 2012. Alongside his show on Sub.FM, which might be one of the best shows on the net, he dropped Extension, a release on Broken Bubble that showcased some of his best work yet, and topping that was this tune. "Conscious", at its core is simple, sparse drum loops, pads and a sunken vocal sample. Alone it's gorgeous, but as part of the EP, it's simply amazing.

8. Detz - March (Free Download)
From Soundcloud

Detz's immensely popular "Months" series (where he created, and gave away, a tune each month) did wonders to boost awareness of the talented garage producer, and each tune could be written about, but one stood out to me by quite some way. Despite a slew of retro-leaning 2-step releases this year, no single tune reminded me of listening to commercial garage tapes as a kid more than "March". It's hard to explain this tune, you just need to understand the vibes. Look for Detz to have an even bigger 2013.

7. DB1 - Vanguard (Hidden Hawaii)
From Static/Vanguard

Being honest, either tune on this 12" could've featured here. Felix K's label, Hidden Hawaii, hits gold on every release, and they had a lot of releases this year. DB1's Vanguard however was something else. If all music sounds like this in the future, I'll be content. Dub Techno taken up a notch, sped up, spaced out with the heaviest sub you'll hear. What more can you ask for?

6. Patterns In Plastic - Balloons Don't Always Fly (Kelle Remix) (Self Release)
From BDAF Remixes

Who would've thought that the design wizard behind all of Night Tracks was capable of making bangers on this scale? The remix album of Balloons Don't Always Fly was an amazing compilation filled with bigger names than Kelle, but his tune stood out to me from the moment I heard it. Blending "real instruments" with electronic seems to be something he excels at, and his BDAF remix is almost the epitome of Night Tracks.

5. Burial - Loner (Hyperdub)
From Kindred

This was probably Burial's most important tune of the year. Hear me out. I've touched on how I'm a big fan of this new mixtape style of Burial tune, so that's a positive. However, the synth line in Loner coming from a man that supposedly isn't a fan of overly electronic sounds shows that Burial DUN GIVE A FUK what came before, and it went some way to show just how disappointed the people that just seem to want Burial to recreate Untrue over an over again will be. After Loner, I just don't know what the next Burial releases will sound like, and that's a good thing. One more thing; I think this picture sums it up best.

4. Sangam - Codes (Con Amore Recordings)
From Codes/Stygian

Con Amore were quick to pick up on the stunning simplistic genius created by Sangam. Check out Codes. I honestly don't think there was a mix I made this year that didn't have this tune in somewhere. Quintessential Sangam. This tune is sparse, haunting, ghostly and heartbreaking. Seriously, this is up there with the last minute and a half of Shell Of Light. Judge for yourself. If this doesn't touch you on some level, then you must be a statue, so big up.

3. Atsubox - The Feeling's Changed (Modulate Recordings)
From Crossed Roads EP

This tune is mind-blowing. No over exaggeration there. No tune this year has immediately grabbed me and made me say "...Woah!" as quickly as Atsubox's The Feeling's Changed. I've followed these guys, both as a collaboration and individually, for some time now, and this was a major step up in my eyes. They have crammed more drums into five minutes and forty-nine seconds than previously thought possible, which has left scientists baffled. Listen for yourself. If this tune did anything, it at least gave me a nugget of trust that Skream and Benga haven't FULLY sunken to the gashest of gash in their music tastes.

2. Clubroot - Left Hand Path (Lo Dubs)

When I got a call to arms from Lo Dubs to help make sure this record went ahead, I whipped out my wallet immediately. Clubroot capped off his album trilogy with III - MMXII and right there, after the ambient opener was Left Hand Path. Now, since his first album, I've always thought that nothing he ever made could match Lucid Dream, but this might have done it. Surpassed it even. This tune is just about the perfect ending for the best series of albums dubstep has ever seen. The world didn't end in 2012, but this tune would've definitely been playing for me as the asteroids fell. After listening, just make sure you remember there's more to come from Clubroot yet.

1. Jehst & Klashnekoff - Night Breed (Sangam's Dusk Remix) (Free Download)
From Soundcloud

I have genuinely had whole days at work where I listened to this tune on repeat for hours. Sangam has obviously featured on this list quite heavily, but its with good reason. His flirtation with grime (that I've been lucky enough to be involved with at times) is something that helps him stand out. He doesn't compromise though, re-contextualizing the vocals with his own, slow-paced instrumentals. With his simplistic beats, Sangam has stripped away all the swagger and brash bravado of this original and made it a tribute to someone who's worn down, scared and worried for what's happening to his home. It becomes less a series of bragging into a commentary on the thoughts of Britain in 2012. Find me a remix that flips the meaning of a tune as much as Night Breed and I'll eat my hat. Big up Sangam.

"Feelin' insecure with my thoughts impure, this city's sick like disease and it can't be cured..."