Cuervo’s Best of 2012...

We here at The Drop know that now is the time for polls, and lists, and voting and overall reflecting upon 2012.  For electronic music in America, just like 2011 before it, 2012 was clearly the biggest year yet, and there is no doubt this momentum will spring us into 2013.  With a two weekend Ultra, EDCs popping up in more cities, new festivals all together, and of course my personal favorite touch, the rise of underground music into the mainstream.  Now this last bit has yet to see a serious surge, but with the dedication that artists such as Richie Hawtin and Loco Dice took upon their CNTRL EDM College Campus tour, it wont be long before we hear some minimal techno on at house parties…hopefully.  For me specifically 2012 was the biggest year in dance music I have ever had.  This is not simply because of the scene in America, but because my taste changed entirely.  Many criticize those of us who went from the mainstream to underground saying we only did it because “EDM” has become so popular and we want to be “cool.”  I don’t want to harp on this point, because it is stupid, but I want to say this; I implore all who read this to go to one “underground” show.  This can be the most popular of the underground, say Carl Cox, and deny me this one fact.  They simply work harder.  That is why I have come to love the underground.  Paying $100 dollars to watch Swedish House Mafia play the exact same set in every single city across the world for their “One Last Tour” instead of demanding to know why they don’t work like they did to vary it up every night like back in 2009 is the fault of their fans.  Perhaps those of you who went to Sensation New York, which was thought to be jam packed with “mainstream” names and instead saw Joris Voorn or Nic Fanciulli can come to appreciate exactly what I mean.  We must remember one thing, and please take this the right way, DJing is not that hard to do, but being a DJ is.  The actual act of playing two songs at the same speed, not to sound like Deadmau5, is not the difficult part, the difficult part is reading a different crowd every single night, adding live elements into your set to give you more control over the music, being dedicated to never play the same set twice, and always being on the forefront of new music and techno[logy] (see what I did there) is what we should be rewarding DJs for.  If we only reward DJs for producing the most popular hit, then the art of DJing is lost forever, same goes for praising Carley Rae Jepson because “Call Me Maybe” was such a smash.  No one is fighting the argument that she is helping move female vocalists forward in the world, she is simply a pop star.  I started my 2012 with The BPM Festival, admittedly never having heard of 90% of the artists on the lineup.  Next thing I knew I was backstage watching Dubfire, Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, and more spin their hearts out for 5+ hours, even Steve Angello brought game like I had never seen before.  I finished my 2012 in Europe, experiencing what it was like to remove screaming 16 year olds from the picture, and be thrust into crowds that truly are only at the festivals to appreciate the music (yes, this is the main difference between WMC and Amsterdam Dance Event…screaming underage children, or lack there of).  Needless to say, my eyes were opened, and I will not be able to look at dance music the same way ever again.  For me it was a year to learn to truly appreciate some of my already favorites, and grow to love a new world of what we now call “EDM.”  Below I will rate on a 5 basis my favorite DJ sets of the year (Live Set’s included), my favorite festival’s of the year (conferences included), my favorite tracks of the year, and finally I will give a top 5 DJ list based off the work they did that impressed me in 2012, and nothing more.  I appreciate all fans of “EDM” and anyone who has ever shared an electronic song with your friends, of any sort, I salute you.  Electronic Dance Music is the music of the future, and it is a movement our generation can cling to and call our own, my only hope for 2013 is that we do not let it become stagnant due to its popularity, but as fans continue to be motivated to dig deeper, explore more, and continue to keep this genre alive.

Cuervo’s Favorite 5 DJ Sets of the year:

5. Sven Vath (Ultra Music Festival Saturday Night, Miami Florida)

4.  Carl Cox (Global 500 Awakenings @ Amsterdam Dance Event)

3.  Dubfire (The BPM Festival SCI+TEC Showcase @ Blue Parrot Playa Del Carmen Mexico)

2.  Boys Noize LIVE (I <3 Techno Festival, Belgium)

1.  Richie Hawtin B2B Dubfire (The BPM Festival @ Kool Beach Playa Del Carmen Mexico)

Cuervo’s Top 5 Festivals Attended in 2012:

5. Ultra Music Festival (Miami, Florida)

4. I <3 Techno (Ghent, Belgium)

3. Movement Festival (Detroit, Michigan)

2. Amsterdam Dance Event (Specifically Awakenings Events) (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

1. The BPM Festival (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico)

Cuervo’s Top 5 Tracks of 2012:

5. Night And Day (Dusky Remix) – Hot Chip

4. Spooks (Original Mix) – Matador

3. Kemistry (Justin Martin Remake) – Golide

2. XTC (Original Mix) – Boys Noize

1. Party Non Stop (Original Mix) – Pirupa

Cuervo’s Top 5 DJs Of 2012 (Remember, these are not MY FAVORITE of all time these are those who impressed me most through production, personal live experiences, or simply effort towards progressing the scene in 2012)

5. Nic Fanciulli

4. Justin Martin

3. Richie Hawtin

2. Dubfire

1. Boys Noize