As we’re closing in on the end of another decade, we’re taking a look back at the years that made it. Following some major milestones for dance music, 2010 was a golden year for dance music. Having already gained a huge amount of steam in Europe and slowly spilling into the US, some amazing music was released and captured fans worldwide. We’ve compiled what we believe to be some of the best and most impactful music of the year. From the rise of Avicii and Swedish House Mafia to David Guetta’s commercial crossovers, 2010 was a year to remember and we’ve done exactly that with 10 from 2010 below.
Swedish House Mafia feat. Pharrell – One
Arguably their breakthrough track, the Swedish trio had a huge impact on dance music with this single. Its originality and energy brought a lot of attention to their brand, and recruiting Pharrell made a serous statement. His vocals were actually recorded in Australia a year before release and were originally done for another record. It went a crazy 7x platinum in their home country of Sweden, with a few similar accolades collected around the world.
Afrojack feat. Eva Simons – Take Over Control
One of the songs that definitely brought Afrojack into the limelight was his iconic release ‘Take Over Control’ featuring Dutch vocalist Eva Simons. The track was picked up on radio stations around the world after smashing it;s way up beatport charts and on the mainstages and dancefloors everywhere. The song was a slightly more commercial twist on Afrojack’s signature sound, but it’s that balance which made the track as big as it was.
‘Take Over Control’ was a number-one single for six weeks on the Billboard Dance charts and Afrojack’s first placement in the Billboard general charts. The song also went platinum in both Australia and the United States.
deadmau5 – Strobe
Where do you start with ‘Strobe’? It’s easily one of the best pieces of dance music ever written. Clocking in at 10:35, it is not a length that would usually capture such attention and success. The instrumental hooks you with its incredible melodies and sound design. Originally uploaded onto his YouTube channel in late 2009 with the title ‘Then We Stood Still‘. It was only officially released on his album ‘For Lack of a Better Name’ as the 10th and final track.
Tim Berg (Avicii) – Seek Bromance
Before Avicii released ‘Levels’, we all likely heard ‘Seek Bromance’ at some point, under his alternative producer moniker and real name Tim Berg. Whilst this was a big release for his career, not all of the attention carried over to his main alias; Avicii. It went #1 in many territories achieving platinum is Tim’s home country Sweden and was awarded gold in multiple other regions. It was featured in an Electric Daisy Carnival trailer later on which helped gain it a lot of its traction. An often unknown fact about this song is that EDX was involved in the production in an uncredited role.
Adrian Lux – Teenage Crime (Axwell & Henrik B Remode)
Axwell & Henrik B teamed up for their remode of the already amazing ‘Teenage Crime’ by Adrian Lux. Released on Axwell’s own Axtone Records, the reception for this record was well deserved. Its placement in this list could go either way between the original and the remode. It featured incredible guest vocals from Linnéa Martinsson of Lune. The remode became a staple in Swedish House Mafia’s sets as well as many other artists around the world. The original achieved success in the commercial side of things – charting in 5 different countries.
Skrillex – Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites
Skrillex’s ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ was released in his first album of the same name. After nine years, it has recently been back in the spotlight. It’s actually been proven to be a mosquito deterrent! The track was one of the first real breakthroughs into the mainstream that Skrillex had, hitting double platinum in America and platinum in Canada. It also hit #1 in the Australian charts.
Pendulum – The Island
Australian group Pendulum shocked the world with their 2010 album ‘Immersion’, with track on the album such as ‘Witchcraft’, ‘Watercolour’ and ‘The Island’, unsurprisingly the album as a whole was a success. However, the track that impacted the scene the most was undoubtedly ‘The Island’. The original, along with the Steve Angello, AN21 & Max Vangeli remix – really impacted the dance scene as was played extensively. Tiësto also officially remixed it, as well as Madeon winning the remix comp!
Martin Solveig & Dragonette – Hello
Hitting #1 on the charts and/or platinum in multiple countries, ‘Hello’ was a very big track in terms of dance music traversing into the commercial and pop space. For his second collaboration with the trio that is Dragonette, ‘Hello’ has a big focus on its vocals but the icing on the cake is the instrumental that was a fresh sound at the time!
Calvin Harris – You Used To Hold Me
After already having a few hits under his belt, Calvin Harris followed up with ‘You Used To Hold Me’. The track is notable as it was the last time he regularly sang on his own tracks, therefore focusing more on the production side and letting guest artists handle the vocals. The track charted prominently in Scotland, Ireland, Australia and England. This was the first of many singles that brought Calvin Harris into the limelight, making him eventually one of the biggest artists in the world.
Flux Pavilion – I Can’t Stop
UK based artist Flux Pavilion had his single ‘I Can’t Stop’ go practically viral in 2010 through dubstep imprint UKF and was released on his own label with Doctor P; Circus Records. This became a huge track from Flux Pavilion, propelling him into the electronic scene and subsequently becoming a prominent artist. With a collective play count of over 200 million, ‘I Can’t Stop’ is still getting praised today.
As you can tell from the above, 2010 definitely had a lot of quality records that impacted the electronic music scene. It’s never easy compiling a list such as this. There will always be great tracks that you’ll have to leave out. Swedish House Mafia teamed up with Tinie Tempah for their follow up to ‘One’ where they embraced a more commercial sound. With over 100 million streams, ‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ was an incredible track for both parties and kicked off a healthy start to hip/hop and dance collaborations. The track is in my top 5 tracks ever. Axwell also released his incredible production that is ‘Nothing But Love’ that of course became a staple in Swedish House Mafia’s sets for years to come. Tiësto and Diplo partnered up for ‘C’mon’ which was the lead track for Tiësto’s compilation Club Life, Vol. 1 – Las Vegas. A vocal version with Busta Rhymes was released in the following year.
Arguably the most successful track from this entire article was ‘Memories’ from David Guetta and Kid Cudi. The track was a smash hit in most places around the world and added to David Guetta’s introduction to a more commercial audience. It wasn’t just David Guetta that benefited from this release, this one, among other Guetta releases were a huge factor in dance music infusing into pop music and substantially growing it’s overall audience. Besides, his hit ‘Seek Bromance’, under his moniker Tim Berg, Avicii broke into the scene through Australian label Vicious Recordings with ‘My Feelings For You’. It was a killer house record in collaboration with good friend Sebastian Drums. Italian artist Congorock broke into the scene with ‘Babylon’. Released by A-Trak’s Fool’s Gold Records, it was played through the scene and was definitely a fan favourite.
The 10 tracks listed, along with the honorable mentions discussed above are featured in our Dance Classics Playlist below.