Nightlife in 2012: Did I leave my bra in the booth?
2. John Talabot, FACT Mix 315 A spectacular year for the Spaniard, whose expansive take on the decades-old Balearic sound already had him pegged for a 2012 favorite, even before he dropped excellent album Fin, which toyed with melancholic UK bass sounds and yielded my second favorite tune of the year, hopelessly romantic "So Will Be Now" with Pional. But this mix for FACT showed that the dark underpinnings of witchy house and the sunstroked uplift of Ibiza could be reconciled via a tingly rush of subtle, brilliant psychedelia. Trippy, lovely, and the right little bit of creepy.
3. Plan B, "Ill Manors" I detested The Prodigy the first time around — they were goofy twats who had nothing to be angry about. No surprise "Firestarter" was played for the Queen at this year's Olympics opening ceremony. So much for anarchy in the UK, although Azaelia Banks mashing it up with "212" at Coachella was fun. UK rapper-singer Plan B managed to weld the Prodigy (and nascent drum and bass) revival to the real world anarchic energy of last year's UK riots, his Tchaikovsky-sampling tune shivering with council flat rage, ambivalent violence, Olympic protest, and youthful nihilism. Watch his self-directed, horrifically poignant shoestring video, then laugh at the Grammys as accolades rain down on Romain Gavras' extravagant ripoff for "No Church in the Wild."
4. Rrose, Smoke Machine Podcast 069 Electronic Body Music for our time, rippling with muscular textures and ethereal trap doors.
5. Justin Martin, Crackcast 019 For all the diversity of the local scene, the Dirtybird crew is still our major player on the global dance music stage. (Of our three big breakout acts this year, Safeword is rad, Poolside is cute, Pillow Talk leaves me cold so far.) Fine, I adore them. Nobody else sounds like they're having more fun while slyly executing tricky, emotionally satisfying bass maneuvers like Claude VonStroke and his stable. This year was stellar for the fiendishly clever Justin in terms of addictive mixes (his album "Ghettos and Gardens" was good, too, but I took issue with the insensitive tone of some of the promotional materials). This podcast, along with his Fabric and Clash ones, never left my iRotation.
OTHERS: MK, Old School Classics Mix; Le1f, "Wut"; Azaelia Banks, "Fierce"; Fantastic Mr. Fox, "San'en"; Andy Stott, "Luxury Problems EP"; Dutch Uncles, "Fester"; Ripperton, "Let's Hope"; Sailor & I, "Tough Love (Aril Brikha remix)"; Jessie Ware and Julio Bashmore, "110%,"; Disclosure, "Latch"; Prince Club and Steve Huerta, "Can't Let Go"; Bwana, "Baby Let Me Finish (Black Orange Juice Remix)"; Stereogamous, "Feel Love Anew"; Little People, "Aldgate Patterns."