It is that time of the year. It is time to wrap up the best music in 2020 and we are kicking off our best of the year charts with progressive house. We will be rolling these out with new charts until the end of the year. Music has kept us all connected throughout the twists and turns of 2020 and there were so many excellent progressive releases that delivered. This month we made the December chart a "Best Of" the year to spotlight all the favorites. Take a listen to these picks that should all belong in your crate collection.
See past charts here.
1. "RESCUE ME (ORIGINAL MIX)" – CID INC. [REPLUG]
Earlier in the year, Cid Inc. returned to Replug Records with a two-track artist showcase as his original project of 2020. With his track "Rescue Me" he has fashioned a strong foundation, flanked by layers of finely tuned percussion and rhythmic pulses. Charging forward, siren-like synths descend over the framework, adding a radiant glow as the breakdown commences. Moments of euphoric reflection encapsulate the centerpiece, before melting down to a trail of vocal fragments and charged beats.
2. "CATFISH (ORIGINAL MIX)" – GUY J [LOST & FOUND]
With an unconditionally futurist state of mind, Guy J exposes an amazing rhythm patterns, trance-inducing ambience and rich audio palette in "Catfish," which progressively ascends into an ecstatic culmination of impressive music-making.
3. "WITH YOU (ORIGINAL MIX)" – ALEX O'RION [SUDBEAT]
After a strong year of releases on Hope, Replug, ICONYC and more, Alex O'Rion returned to Hernán Cattáneo's label Sudbeat with his four track Alone EP. Taking the listener in a variety of moods the release comes to a close on "With You" bringing you in for a gentle and playful landing.
4. "MANGINOT (ORIGINAL MIX)" – KHEN [LOST MIRACLE]
Khen joined Sébastien Léger’s imprint, Lost Miracle, with his label debut featuring the two track Manginot EP. Melodies and lush pads make this a stand-out release with the title track being a must for progressive house lovers.
5. "IT'S AN EXTREME LIFE (ORIGINAL MIX)" – ISSAC [LAST NIGHT ON EARTH]
Stepping up on the prolific Last Night On Earth label is rising Mexican talent Issac. Having been supported in the past by label founder Sasha, Guy Gerber and Dixon (to name just a few), it’s no surprise to see his hypnotic dancefloor tracks being released on LNOE. "It’s An Extreme Life" delivers more complex rhythms, where layers of recurrent guitar scratches congregate amongst twinkling bell sounds and trippy, glitched out drum tops. The ten-minute composition builds gradually up to a minimalistic breakdown that exposes the harmonic rhythms of the track’s epicenter.
6. "JUNO 99 (ORIGINAL MIX)" – BOG [BEDROCK RECORDS]
BOg, the uniquely creative, multi-tasking, Paris-based, Romanian DJ, Producer, Label Owner and Artist, makes his long-awaited return to Bedrock with the dynamic Corso EP. BOg adds an imaginative smattering of squelch and hi-hat hiss to proceedings, to create another delicious recipe for "Juno 99," as his second original track builds on a similar, joyously melodic blueprint, whilst exploring a deeper, more linear furrow.
7. "BE ONE (ORIGINAL MIX)" – BRIAN CID [ENDANGERED]
After an EP on Audiofly's Supernature label, and a remix on Fur Coat's Odd:ity, Brian Cid is back on his own creative outlet Endangered with "Be One." Discussing the track's inspiration Brian explains: "After experiencing a deep travel in my worlds within, I became One. One with my energy & sounds. Vibrations. On this journey, we are taking a ride where the atmosphere opens up as broken sky, and the rhythms of the land breathe deep in your body. A healing shower of sounds with a live, analogue and digital feel; a sea of possibilities."
8. "HOPES & FEARS (ORIGINAL MIX)" – JUAN DEMINICIS [SERENDEEP]
Serendeep opened their eleventh release by warmly welcoming Argentina's foremost electronic music talents, Juan Deminicis with a debut three-track release "Space and Time." Since the launch, he has released on the genres finest imprints such as Armada Music, Lost and Found, Sudbeat Music, Replug and many more. "Hopes and Fears" is the second track on the release and it increases the energy level by layers of drums that are ascending overtime and phasing vocals providing the framework of an ideal dance floor groove.
9. "PRESENCE (ORIGINAL MIX)" – SLEEPY & BOO [COLOUR AND PITCH]
Colour and Pitch welcomes Sleepy & Boo, longtime stalwarts of New York's underground music scene, with three finely crafted deep and contemplative house cuts that comprise the Decoding Reality EP. Their track "Presence" delivers a deep and progressive chugging house feeling with mystery inlaid in arpeggios and melody.
10. "SPACE CONSCIOUSNESS (ORIGINAL MIX)" – ROGER MARTINEZ [MEANWHILE RECORDINGS]
Continuing to place themselves as one of underground dance music's esteemed labels, Meanwhile Recordings celebrates their third release with an EP from one of Holland's finest artists Roger Martinez. "Space Consciousness" opens proceedings with its mesmeric melodic arpeggio backed by metronomic kick. Hitting its stride, a perfectly weighted bassline joins the throng with its mirrored phrasing. Maintaining a relentless energy throughout, subtle percussive flourishes and clever motifs create a work of intensity and creativity.
11. "ELEPHANT DUST (ORIGINAL MIX)" – CLARIAN [BEDROCK RECORDS]
Internationally renowned producer, songwriter and audio engineer Clarian makes his Bedrock debut with the unforgettably emotive "Elephant Dust." The Montreal-based musical mavens intense creativity is perfectly supplemented with the remix skills of the labels resident studio masters, John Digweed & Nick Muir. With over a decade of producing the finest left-field dance music, appealing to a myriad of unconventional music appreciators, Clarian's music shares a thoughtful simplicity and otherworld quality that is exceptionally wonderful. "Elephant Dust" rides on a subtle swinging deep throbbing bass that resonates with gloriously evocative layers of synth-laden melody, building into an incredibly atmospheric framework of otherworldly excitement.
12. "HERZ (ORIGINAL MIX)" – ROBERT BABICZ [BABICZSTYLE]
Translating to "heart" in German, "Herz" holds a special place in Robert Babicz catalogue. The nearly six-minute endeavor begins with subtle hints of cinematic instrumentation, eventually making way for an exhilarating string build up and bass drop, along with a propulsive, funky four-on-the-floor beat. The shimmering new release is uplifting and filled to the brim with palpably raw emotion and soul.
13. "MYSTERY (ORIGINAL MIX)" – MICHAEL A [LAIKA SOUNDS]
Belarus based artist Michael A is a powerhouse producer and Genesis Music label owner whom is continually releasing on prestigious world-famous labels such as: Sudbeat, Proton Music, Replug and more with track support from the likes of Hernan Cattaneo. His latest track "Mystery" combines melody and groove in a beautiful progressive composition released on the LAIKA Sounds label.
14. "KALEIDOSCOPE (ORIGINAL MIX)" – 8KAYS [RENAISSANCE RECORDS]
Iryna Shvydka, formerly known as 8Kays, has come a long way, forming and progressing her sound into distinctive fusion of heavy punctured bass leads, twisted together with melodic progressions. Her latest release on UK label Renaissance Records includes "Kaleidoscope," which takes you on a solid melodic techno ride.
15. "IT WAS A MUSICAL THING (ORIGINAL MIX)" – CHOOK [MANGO ALLEY]
A new decade dawns and an unprecedented challenge for the underground dance fraternity awaits. Unable to serve as the meeting place for like minds and kindred spirits, ADE succumbs to a global pandemic of dislocation, separation and border closures; history rewritten in a fleeting moment of time, forever etched in hearts and minds the world over. Luxembourg based artist Chook delivers his new original "It Was A Musical Thing" as a spirit unbroken rises from Mango Alley and its fifth ADE compilation. A musical thread drifts across the continents uniting artists and fans in a triumphant stand against an invisible threat.
Stream the whole chart here: