We kick off our year end lists with some techno for the last techno chart of the year. In the face of a global pandemic, electronic music's most thriving genre continues to spread like wildfire. Anyone and everyone is sinking their teeth into it and reasonably so. We continue to enjoy its' edginess and explosiveness thereby filling in for those clubs and festivals we so desperately miss.
1. "DUSTING FOR SMOKE" - DANIEL AVERY [MUTE]
With just two albums to Daniel Avery's credit before this year, it sure was a treat getting two more in 2020. The first being an ambient produced collaboration with Alessandro Cortini and the second, a solo effort titled, Love +Light, which was was hands down, the album of the year in one swollen with so many other great ones. Additionally, it featured what some would call the techno track of the year including yours truly. The outstanding recipient of the accolade is listed as track #2 and it absolutely rips the full-length wide open following the ambient opener, "London Island" leading the listener into a virtual room of bleep-y techno characterized by white noise and reverberated, crashing kick-drums. Daniel Avery's signature, electro-influenced, techno is on full display here, and on the album as well.
2. "THE CURE" - ROBERT HOOD [REKIDS]
With over a quarter of a century of techno production under his belt, Robert Hood is showing no signs of slowing down. His tenth studio album, Mirror Man dropped last month and it might just be his best yet. Fourteen tracks in all were including especially the earth-shaking, album closer, "The Cure." A dazzling highlight of not only Robert Hood's personal work in the studio but of 2020's best techno. It doesn't get much better than this.
3. "I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU" - MSTRKRFT [ANTIFRAGILE MUSIC]
Electro masters, MSTRKRFT are back at it in 2020 going full-speed ahead. The electro roots are still there but they've gone ahead and adapted the harder edge of techno this time to get their point across. "I'm In Love With You" was a total highlight of theirs this year and one that I'm hoping to lose my mind to in a dirty warehouse sometime in 2021.
Read our review of their album Black Gloves.
4. "TIMBER (MACEO PLEX REMIX)" - COLDCUT [ELLUM]
23 years after its' release, Maceo Plex puts his own spin this Coldcut classic which was originally intended to address climate change and deforestation. Sadly enough, the message is still relevant and more important than ever. Not to mention, Maceo's remix is devastatingly good.
5. "SCHALTKREIS" - ROVE RANGER [LOBSTER THEREMIN]
German producer, Rove Ranger took a chapter from the early days of hard trance on this 147 BPM, rave-worthy tune. It's the fourth and final cut off of his 101010 E.P. via Lobster Theremin and it's utterly amazing!
6. "INFJ-T" - VONDA7 [ART | WERK]
Taken from her Peace Transition E.P., VONDA7 turned in this delightful piece of techno which is a complete, breath of fresh air. Forget the aggressiveness, the over-the-top drops, and the sinister vocal samples. Delicate, gorgeous melodies gliding across sequenced, steady rhythms is simply an unrivaled equation when it comes to dance music.
7. "THE WAY YOU FEEL" - LONE X KETTAMA [R&S RECORDS]
R&S Records faithful production wizard, LONE hooked up with newcomer, Kettama in the studio after meeting him through the orchestration of a back to back set of theirs at Glastonbury in 2019. Three magnificent tracks came out of it including this dazzling collaboration they titled, "The Way You Feel."
8. "STRANGE WORLD (JOYHAUSER REMIX)" - PUSH [TERMINAL M]
Trance strikes again as yet another classic from the once shunned genre gets a beefy update to match today's sound. "Strange World" is the title of the tune from the year 2000 and the Belgian duo, Joyhauser did a spectacular job of bringing it up to date 20 years later. One of the best in 2000 and now one of the best in 2020. Bravo!
9. "CHAPTER FOR THE AGNOSTIC" - PETER VAN HOESEN [CENTER 91]
In case you were wondering what the future of techno sounds like, Peter Van Hoesen has the answer right here. It's a tune like no other with other-worldly sounds that create a lot more questions than answers. Undoubtedly, the most original techno to drop in 2020.
10. "AXIS" - JULIAN JEWEIL [DRUMCODE]
Julian Jeweil's Schema E.P. on Drumcode from back in January featured this absolute banger! It's titled "Axis" and it pulls no punches whatsoever with its' thunderous kick drum and acid synth. This is peak-time techno at its' finest and it hits harder than other Drumcode track in 2020.
11. "SANAT KUMARA & LADY VENUS KUMARA" - HYBRASIL [HYBRASIL]
Judging by a 2018 online video of him playing at a festival, Berlin-based producer, Hybrasil had been sitting on this deep and hypnotic beauty for a couple of years before self-releasing it this past March and boy was is it worth the wait.
12. "PARADISE LOST" - PIG&DAN & VICTOR RUIZ [DRUMCODE]
As a result of the lockdown, many different musical collaborations have been brought to life including Drumcode heavyweights, Victor Ruiz along with Pig&Dan who collaborated for first time on the Consciousness E.P. last month. The result was an outstanding three-track package that included this next-level, hybrid of techno and trance.
13. "ATHENS RAVE CULTURE" - 11 VOID [ARC RECORDINGS]
Hard trance is the name of the game on this exceptional tune courtesy of Greek production duo, 11 Void.
14. "INJECTION" - ALIGNMENT [KNTXT]
For just the 8th release on Charlotte De Witte's KNTXT imprint, she's invited Alignment back for a second outing that was outright stacked with huge tunes. Four in all are were included especially this 140 BPM beauty which is absolutely divine.
15. "MY RULES" - BART SKILS [TRUESOUL]
After a significant, six-month break from releasing music in 2020, Truesoul returned in October with this highly-dynamic, techno courtesy of Drumcode favorite, Bart Skils! It was his first release on Drumcode's sister label, Truseoul and it marks a new direction for the Dutch producer who's normally on the big-room side of things.
Stream the chart uninterrupted via the playlist below: