The 10 Best Chill Dance Tracks of 2016

Who stood out in 2016 in the chill electronic variety - deep house, melodic house, tropical house, neo-soul, downtempo, and nu-disco. This chillcuterie curated by resident palm tree worshiper Ben Houston.
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Who stood out in 2016 in the chill electronic variety - deep house, melodic house, tropical house, neo-soul, downtempo, and nu-disco. This chillcuterie curated by resident palm tree worshiper Ben Houston.

So let loose and just relax, 2016 was a year, we can leave it at that. Here is what stood out in 2016 for the best chill dance tracks.

And the awards go to...

THE BAD AND BOUJEE AWARD:

“Yours feat. Raye” SG Lewis, PMR Records

If you have one artist to look out for in this article it is SG Lewis. The young UK based singer and producer is poised to pounce on the scene and catch everyone up to what too many have been missing. His Yours EP is a soulful force, highlighted by minimal but dynamic live instrument electronic elements and exceptional vocals from Gallant, Dornik, Bishop Nehru and the lovely Raye. Sharing a label with Disclosure and Jessie Ware, touring the world from Coachella to Glastobury, and getting love from JT and Pharrell, SG Lewis is on the rise.

THE GOOD GOOD GROOVE AWARD:

“Dark Days (Classixx Remix)” Local Natives

What better way to celebrate both groups having a sensational, new album filled year than with a collab project that masterfully mashes both their essential sounds. Boy did these gents have a great 2016, releasing top notch Sunlit Youth and Faraway Reach featuring some of the freshest, fine tuned productions and paired with a big game festival touring season including Panorama, Primavera and the upcoming Coachella 2017. Cannot wait to get wiggly to these tunes under that wild Indio desert sun.

THE PAPAYA AWARD:

“Silhouette” Goldroom, Downtown Records

Very proud of the godfather of the sunshine synth soaked sound for releasing his first album and really amping up the stage presence with a killer live show. He produces, jams the guitar, and even sings. In case you didn’t know, his name is Josh Legg, and you can thank him for this chart I write. He started this style and remains ahead of the game always.

THE HIGHWAY 1 & IN N OUT AWARD:

“What Do You Want” Justin Jay feat. Josh Taylor, Black Butter Records

The youngest Dirtybird homie, Justin has come into his own and finally, FINALLY dropped this hotly anticipated track he’s featured in live sets. The pairing with singer Josh Taylor has spelled for a mesmerizing year for the young talent, putting out a collab album at the tail end of the year and setting up for what I hope to be a 2017 of live touring. A man can dream right?

THE FLUFFY CLOUD THAT LOOKS LIKE A GIRAFFE AWARD:

“Falling” Cubicolor, Anjunadeep

There’s something magic brewing with the soundscape makers, Cubicolor. This Dutch trio hit the scene running with their debut album Brainsugar and it’s not like anything you’ve heard. There is something secluded yet shining about their variety of tracks and I’m hoping for this glowing group to keep getting brighter and bigger.

THE SPICY MARGARITA AWARD:

“Endless Love” Aérotique & I’essay, Aérotique

Melodic house cheese at it’s finest, this track reminds us of simpler sandy days and that’s exactly where I want to be now that I’m at the peak of my whiteboyness. The tropical and melodic genres are cooling off the Kygo instrumentals, Hallelujah, and finding it’s best grooves when lit up with a bumpin' deep house step. Switzerland’s Aérotique and Germany’s I’essay can stand as one of the proud bunch that step up the game of this evolving, obnoxiously lovable genre.

THE CHILLOW AWARD:

“Break Apart feat. Rhye” Bonobo

Bonobo releases his highly anticipated album Migration today and we all are jumping for joy and into the stratosphere with his lush and intricate compositions that carry us aloft to dance with the stars. He gave us a little taste last month with this shimmering stunner featuring the undeniably brilliant Rhye, just the first of many tunes featuring some of the best voices in music. His latest “No Reason” with Nick Murphy aka Chet Faker is already a candidate for best of 2017 and “Outlier” is no slouch on the ears either. This track was the best way to make me look forward to the year ahead.

THE YELLOW LAB PUPPY AWARD:

“Closer” Ali Robertson

Only three songs under his belt in 2016 and he had me believing. Ali Robertson’s voice is infectious, you want to let its raspy croon play over and over til you get sick of it. He’s teased an EP in the next couple months and I’m gonna go all in saying it’s gonna tear open the sky because the sky’s the limit for this young Brit.

THE STICKY SEAWEED AWARD:

“Innerbloom (Lane 8 Remix)” Rüfüs Du Sol

Two of my favorite acts of 2016 decided to bless up our ears with one of the best remixes of the year and it’s absolute liquid hot magma fire flames. Mr. 8’s “This Never Happened” show at the Fonda Theater in LA was one of the preeminent electronic shows I’ve been to and fully revealed his incredible talent. He closed the three hour, no-phones-allowed set with this humdinger and it brought the room to a vibing symphony of dancing bodies.

THE MIXED BLUE AND RED ICEE AWARD:

“Diving With Whales” Nora En Pure


Nora is feelin it (not to be confused with LIT because that word stays in 2016). She’s about to play Coachella (after missing her first spot on the lineup due to visa issues), she’s firing off some of the best weekly mixes with her Purified series and I’m praying to the heavens that she’s gathering her rosebuds for a debut album. I have a strong feeling this is the year of Nora En Pure. For Poseidon’s Sake, she made a damn song mixing in whale sounds! What a beach babe.

PARTY ON!