The 25 Best Techno Tracks of 2016

These 25 techno tracks helped define the electronic music landscape in 2016
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Dense & Pika

Dense & Pika

Welcome to the final techno chart of 2016 where I sort out the tunes that made the biggest impact on dance floors and festival fields all across the globe. 

Happy Holidays my fellow techno heads!

1. "PLANET E (DENSE & PIKA REMIX)" - TIGA [COUNTER RECORDS]

The status of British techno duo, Dense & Pika skyrocketed in 2016 thanks to a handful of top shelf productions and remixes that found their way into the playlists of some of the best in the scene including Pan-Pot and Adam Beyer but it was their mammoth sized makeover of Tiga's "Planet E" which may have single handedly propelled the duo to techno stardom.

The phenomenal yet sinister remix caused any tune within techno genre to pale in comparison due to it's punchy yet thunderous kick drum that was complemented by an unusual yet remarkable syncopation of hisses and puffs. Add to that a pitched down vocal and an alarming synthesizer which progressively builds into an octave shifting crescendo and we have Dense & Pika's absolutely wicked makeover of "Planet E."

2. "PONTIAC (CLUB MIX)" - SASHA [LAST NIGHT ON EARTH]

Back in April, Sasha released his first full length album in over three years and to my dismay, the album was completely ambient sprinkled with downtempo rhythms. 

The critically acclaimed LP was titled Scene Delete and the star of the album was the ethereal beauty of a tune, "Pontiac." A track that took on a life of it's own thanks to his own well deserved club edit that he was rinsing on dance floors everywhere well in advance of it's official release. Therefore, once the magnificent edit was unleashed to the world in June, it caught on like wildfire all throughout the Summer!

"Pontiac" won't just go down as one of the best tunes of the year. It will also be known as one of Sasha's finest creations this decade.   

3. "GROWLER" - PIG&DAN [DIYNAMIC]

Diynamic's sixth edition of their Four To The Floor series featured this floor filler from Pig&Dan that was rightfully hammered nearly every single night at every single club in every major city across the globe. So to say this track was big this year would be understatement. "Growler" was ridiculously massive!!!

4. "DUM DUM" - PATRICE BAUMEL [KOMPAKT]

Dutch producer, Patrice Baumel made is third ever appearance on Kompakt earlier this year with a stunning release that included a pair of dance floor gems that both made a significant mark in 2016. One being the immaculate, dance floor smash, "Surge" and the other was this unconventional, yet stunning composition "Dum Dum," which of course wasn't as popular with the floor as "Surge." However, the track itself is absolutely brilliant and certainly one of a kind thanks to a calypso backed rhythm and an indistinct vocal sample that work their way into a crescendo of crashing percussion and out of this world spliced vocal samples.

5. "PHASOR" - NICK CURLY & STEFFEN DEUX [KNEE DEEP IN SOUND]

Mannheim's Nick Curly may have had bigger success with "Helter Skelter" on Truesoul but his collaboration with younger brother Steffen Deux back in August was a class example of the Nick Curly Mannheim sound.

Everything about "Phasor" was immaculate. It's rubbery yet sturdy groove anchors the hypnotic yet minimal melody and the funky guitar licks create a contrasting quality that elevates the tune to a pedestal of near perfection.

6. "COUNTING COMETS (RUEDE HAGELSTEIN REMIX)" - MARC ROMBOY [BEDROCK RECORDS]

In 2015, Marc Romboy lit up the legendary Bedrock imprint with a pretty amazing tune that had an equally amazing title, "Counting Comets". Then just under a year later, Marc's compatriot Ruede Hagelstein was given the daunting task of applying his own touch to this already brilliant tune and the end result is astounding! File this one away in your 10/10 folder.

7. "TRACK 10:30 (H.O.S.H. REMIX)" - ANDRE WINTER PRESENTS D-SAW [SENSO SOUNDS]

The 20th anniversary of Andre Winter's cult hit, "Track 10:30" saw a re release this past March which featured four remixes that were all brilliant in their own right. However, the immaculate re rub from German producer, H.O.S.H. stands well above the rest. A remix that I will boldly dare to call perfect. 

8. "IN THE (LAST) MOMENT (ROBAG'S PONK PRAMEN NB REMIX)" - AUDIOFLY FEAT. GEORGIA LEWIS [CROSSTOWN REBELS]

You may find yourself levitating half way through Robag Wruhme's mind blowing remix of Audiofly's "In The Last Moment."

9. "EDGING FORWARD" - DENSE & PIKA [DRUMCODE]

Dense & Pika made their debut on the mighty Drumcode imprint with this unconventional composition they appropriately titled "Edging Forward."

10. "COLD SUMMER" - PARIDE SARACENI [TRUESOUL]

London based producer Paride Saraceni first caught my attention in 2014 with his underground goody, "Dissolute" which Maya Jane Coles smashed to bits in many of her sets. Fast forward to earlier this year when he grabbed my attention yet again with another stormer for the dance floor titled, "Cold Summer" which came courtesy of the fire hot Truesoul imprint. 

This is deep-hard-tech-house at its finest.

11. "DESTROYER" - AUDION [K7 RECORDS]

Audion's "Destroyer" was more than just another techno track in 2016. It was a banging tune that transcended genre and filled floors all across the dance music spectrum. 

12. "IN YER FACE (BICEP REMIX)" - 808 STATE [FEEL MY BICEP]

Legendary rave pioneers 808 State sought out throwback specialists Bicep for this marvelous update on their 1991 classic, "In Yer Face," and the result is absolutely exquisite.

13. "146" - HUMAN MACHINE [CONNAISSEUR RECORDINGS]

The Human Machine recording project garnered a ridiculous amount of buzz around this absolutely phenomenal tune "146" which dominated the early part of the festival season.

14. "PELICAN'S FLIGHT" - BAIKAL [MAEVE]

To say that The Pelican's Flight EP from Maeve co founder, Baikal was a rare treat would be an understatement because the elusive producer has only released a handful of material over the past five years or so. As a matter of fact, it is only his second ever solo release since his premiere release on Maeve back in 2012. The man only puts out phenomenal music so don't be surprised if you don't hear from him again until maybe 2020.

15. "PHOENIX" - LUCA AGNELLI [DRUMCODE]

The banging side of techno often tacks flack these days for not incorporating enough creativity into their productions but Luca Agnelli's "Phoenix" was and is anything but typical thanks to a melodious synth section that syncopates both gracefully and playfully on top of a very aggressive kick drum.  

16. "IN THE REDS" - CIREZ D [MOUSEVILLE]

Eric Prydz' mid 2016 banger "In The Reds" will go down as one of his hardest hitting tunes to date!

17. "ENERGY FLOW (DJ KOZE'S SPLASHER REMIX)" - MANO LE TOUGH [PERMANENT VACATION]

Mano Le Tough's 2015 full length Trails featured "Energy Flow" which later received two undeniably brilliant remixes from Koze including this particular one that resonated all throughout 2016.

18. "FRIDAY NIGHT DANCING" - ALAN FITZPATRICK [WE ARE THE BRAVE]

Alan Fitzpatrick may have caught most people's attention in 2016 with "We Do What We Want" but "Friday Night Dancing" simply goes off on another level.  The tune features a reverberated Jamaican vocal along with a mind bending synth propped up against the backdrop of an extremely compressed kick drum. 

19. "BANG THE BOX (SLAM REMIX)" - JACK MASTER [SOMA RECORDS]

Scottish techno legends, SLAM remixed Richie Hawtin's timeless, 23-year-old banger that fittingly stutters the word "BANG."

Yes. One of Richie Hawtin's former aliases was in fact Jack Master.

20. "SLEEPLESS (STEPHAN BODZIN REMIX)" - PAN-POT [SECOND STATE]

Although released in December of 2015, Stephan Bodzin's magically analog remix of Pan-Pot's "Sleepless" will without a doubt resonate for years to come as a 2016 classic.

21. "PHALANX" - RECONDITE [HOTFLUSH RECORDINGS]

Recondite has been gracing the techno universe with his easy paced, melodic techno since 2011 and his two track release on the mighty Hotflush this past March has clearly elevated the man's stature. Especially the title track "Phalanx" which clearly stands in a league of it's own thanks to a very unique style which I can only describe as deep and dark, sexy techno.

22. "VISION (RODHAD REMIX)" - RADIO SLAVE [REKIDS]

East Berlin's Rodhad makes a very strong contender for remix of the year with this beautifully ominous rendition of Radio Slave's bell jingler, "Vision."

23. "CHAIN REACTION" - RODRIGUEZ JR. [MOBILEE RECORDS]

The extremely talented Rodriguez Jr has been hammering "Chain Reaction" in his live sets for some time now but it wasn't until just last month when it was finally unleashed to the masses for personal enjoyment.

24. "MUTTER" - KONSTANTIN SIBOLD [RUNNING BACK]

Historically once defined as German acid trance, Konstantin Sibold's ten minute plus techno epic, "Mutter" was one of the most charted underground tunes of 2016. 

25. "GO (TIGER STRIPES WHITE TAIL REMIX)" - MOBY [DRUMCODE]

Swedish techno guru, Tiger Stripes took the bold step of audaciously remixing Moby's mega classic "Go" and turning it into his own and he did so by merely only leaving in the "Twin Peaks" vocal sample and adding a whole new arrangement of melodious synth stabs that played rhythmically on top of an immensely compressed, punchy kick-drum. To put it plainly, this tune goes off!!!

Stream the entire chart as a playlist!

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