Adam Kissick for NPR
Laurel Halo, seen here performing at the 2013 Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, released one of our favorite dance tracks of the year.
Laurel Halo, seen here performing at the 2013 Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit, released one of our favorite dance tracks of the year. Adam Kissick for NPR
Over the past few years, dance music has been making major inroads into the pop-music world. Mainstream productions are pulling ideas that have been prevalent in underground house and techno for decades into singles that ride high on the pop charts. But unlike pop singles, which often are meant to be listened to on their own, dance music "songs" are usually presented and consumed as parts of larger bodies of work: mixes. They act as puzzle pieces or building blocks for a continuous thread of music, and depending on their placement in this thread, the songs take on different contexts and meanings.
Over the course of 2013, we spent hours and hours listening to these blocks, at our desks, in nightclubs and over bedroom speaker systems. We've chosen ten tracks that stuck with us throughout the year. These are ten pieces that, for one reason or another, improved the mixes they were found in. These cuts sometimes served as a blast of sunshine that woke us from a hypnotic state, and other times pulled our limbs and minds into darker terrain. They all share one central trait: They made us move.
You can hear all ten below, or, in their natural habitat — as part of our own hour-long mix — at the top of the page.
Top 10 Dance Tracks Of 2013