best of

12. Spectrum (Razihel Remix) – Zedd

Zedd’s “Spectrum” was one of the most uplifting and wonderland-esque tunes to hit the electro house scene this year, and it proved to be just as prime real estate for a dubstep remix too. Italy-based Razihel took the mesmerizing vocals and piano melodies and superfluously combined them  with an epic and relentless bass routine. The wobbles in this song echo the vocals perfectly, almost speaking in a hellish-manner through the speakers, something not too many artists can be seen doing these days.

11. Phoenix Down – Meta

Seattle and Poland based duo Meta came out of nowhere for me earlier this summer. Their second of two EPs, titled Lost Beta, is filled with an unprecedented combination of ambient sounds and bass noises. The track “Phoenix Down” had the most significant impact on me, as its orchestral introduction seemed to have the power of a brewing tsunami before it crashed with the most alien of whooshes and subterranean bass whirls. Every bass hit is an escalation of chaos, and I still listen to this song daily since its release.

10. Hitman – Benga

Being the video-game junkie I am, I have utmost appreciation for Benga’s mid-fall release “Hitman” (named after the critically-acclaimed series Hitman for PS3 and Xbox). Definitely one of the most epic introductions to a dubstep song I have ever heard, the dark and deep bass noises from the UK guru amalgamates its raw sounds with a mesmerizing and haunting groove to make a very murder-friendly tune. As one friend eloquently put, “This is the song of nightmares.”

9. Churched Out – Helicopter Showdown

The “kings of chaos,” Helicopter Showdown, further secured their title with the release of “Churched Out”: one of the most berserk and hap-hazardous dubstep songs of the year. To this day there are very few dubstep artists who can efficiently combine seemingly off-timed bass noises with hard and professional sounding drums like HS, and it’s songs like this that make me appreciate their keenness for bassanity even more. Soft, ambient, dream-like soundscapes couldn’t precede the pure mayhem of this song, which allows me to give this track to take the “Wait For The Drop and Have Seizure” award.

8. The Brink – Figure

If you happened to catch Figure’s performance at Red Rocks for Global this summer, you know that the drumstep powerhouse brought what many would agree was one of Colorado’s best EDM shows of the year. It was at this performance that we were able to see the true tour de force that is our Chicago-based, horror movie-loving friend, and it was also here that we at The Dankles first heard his biggest song of the year, “The Brink,” live. Taking a break from his usual, evil “Monsters of Drumstep” approach, this raunchy drumstep tune is filled with chainsaw synths and extra-gritty laser noises ready to rip through any speaker system and stab you deep in your bass-loving gut.

 7. Diplodocus (Kill The Noise Remix) – Noisia

Kill The Noise is one of those artists who will break almost any and every boundary in modern day music to make a song. I think his remix of Noisia’s “Diplodocus” is his best example of that, as artists from all different genres openly gave appreciation and thanks for his input on this already banging tune. With almost offensive snare hits and drum kicks, combined with bass noises that seem to dip in and out of the conscious universe, KTN held no bars on this one, and it definitely deserves a position of the Top 12 Dubstep Songs of 2012.

6. Helium (VIP) – Doctrine

Very few words come to mind when describing this song, as listening to it to provokes loss of basic human functions and thought processes. What I can tell you about this song, however, is it was a great day when I found it, as it also initiated my appreciation for Doctrine’s multi-faceted musical abilities. Although this track is straight heavy dubstep through and through, there is enough adversity in it’s layout to probably overwhelm and kill a large horse if given proper headphones.

5. Make My Whole World – Trolley Snatcha

The first time I heard this song live, it was at Ultra Music Festival in Miami this year and it was definitely one of the biggest highlights of the weekend. During the infamous Doctor P and Flux Pavillion set, people lost their innards to this bass-whistling banger, raising their hands and jumping to the impending rise in bass tones and oscillations. Trolley Snatcha proved himself worthy of a top 2012 track within weeks of this release, and it has held this spot ever since.

4. Crowd Control – Excision and Downlink

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbiuqRxAG5c

Anybody who happened to attend Excision’s mindblowing and ear-shattering X tour this year heard this classic as his opener, and by god was it heavy. Within seconds the 100,000 watt system took over crowds as its obliterating synth stabs and kick drums began to build into an inevitable face-melter. Despite being 5th in my list, I’m 100% confident in saying this was the heaviest dubstep song of 2012, and I know I am not alone in this one.

3. Vava Voom (feat. Lupe Fiasco) – Bassnectar

The one and only Bassnectar had quite a big year this year, with his album Vava Voom setting records on the charts for what seemed like weeks on end. His first single off the album, similarly titled “Vava Voom,” was the definitive dubstep track of the year, with O.G. as fuck lyrics by the freestyle maniac Lupe Fiasco. It was easy to tell within seconds that something heavy was lurking within its early hip-hop grooves. Man the first time I heard that vrooooooom I lost my shit, and even to this day I will ever appreciate his implication of the “CUCKOO”.

2. Hit Me – Zeds Dead

It was impossible to ignore the Canadian duo Zeds Dead in this top dubstep tracks of 2012 list, as they released two EPs of seismic proportions: Adrenaline and The Living Dead. My final decision came down to choosing between “Hit Me” and “Crank,” off of each EP respectively. Personally, I will never be able to close on a final top track by them from this year, but what led to my decision in choosing “Hit Me” was my deep appreciation in old school UK dub. This track showed elements of 90’s breakbeat, 2 step, and modern day American dubstep, all of which struck a special chord in me–or as Zeds Dead eloquently put it, it Hit Me.

1. Inhumane – Skream

Skream. Anybody who considers themselves a modern day dubstep fan can appreciate the true power and talent in this UK dubstep pioneer. After releasing over 20 singles–not including mixes–features on albums, and his work with the chart-topping group Magnetic Man, the track “Inhumane” has remained my favorite dubstep song of 2012. There is something about the chainsaw-revving like manner that lulls me into a dark and lullabied groove, and I appreciate the technical omnipotence that this bass titan exudes within this 5-and-a-half minute jam more than I can articulate.

About Alex Goodwin