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The top 30 club tracks of the decade

By Beatport News Editors
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Look back at the last decade of electronic music and it’s hard not to be optimistic. The whopping number of club anthems, and hands-in-the-air moments of dancefloor bliss released during the noughties was staggering, and serves as a reminder that, despite the large influx of releases since the dawn of digital, there are still exciting and timeless dance anthems being made.

Here we take a look back at the last 10 years of club music by highlighting our favourite 30 club tracks from 2000 to 2010, so join us as we remember how the noughties sounded.

Horsepower Productions ‘When You Hold Me’ (Tempa) [2000]


The track that heralded a new era for UK dance music, ‘When You Hold Me’ was a turn-of -the-millennium slice of genius that borrowed from a myriad of UK bass genres including garage, drum & bass, and 2-step – but it sounded like none of them.

At the time of its release the term ‘dubstep’ had yet to be coined, and it is only in the last few years that ‘When You Hold Me’ has been recognised as the starting point of the now borderless UK bass scene. Influential, in countless ways.

James Holden ‘Horizons’ (Silver Planet) [2000]


At the turn of the millennium, the euphoric stadium trance sound of the late 90s gave way to a subtler and more musically intricate trance scene that British magazine Mixmag at the time coined as ‘dirty trance’.

James Holden’s ‘Horizons’ on Silver Planet captured dance music’s new found enthusiasm for all-things dark, and helped lay the foundations for the progressive house revolution of the early noughties. Holden was just 19 when he released the track.

Laurent Garnier ‘The Man With The Red Face’ (F Communications) [2000]


Widely considered to be one of the most important soulful techno records ever written, Laurent Garnier’s ‘The Man With The Red Face’ fused the wild abandonment of improvisational jazz with the machine-driven sounds of Detroit techno.

Quite simply, it was masterful.

Kings Of Tomorrow ‘Finally’ (Defected) [2001]


Sandy Rivera and Jose Burgos achieved instant Ibiza anthem status with the brilliantly soulful house gem ‘Finally’. With singalong vocals, deep house chords, and lashings of funk, it’s one of the most uplifting afternoon dance serenades ever put to wax.

X-Press 2 ‘Muzikizum’ (Skint) [2001]


British house trio X-Press 2 kick started their second coming with the single ‘Muzikizum’, which the group also used as the title for their hugely successful 2001 album that included the singles ‘Lazy’ and ‘Smoke Machine’.

Like a cross between early UK rave music, and NYC-flavoured tribal house, ‘Muzikizum’ begged for a chorus of air horns. And it got plenty in 2001.

Green Velvet ‘La La Land’ (Music Man Records) [2001]


It was meant to be a wake-up call to drug addled clubbers, but became an anthem for kids on ecstasy. Green Velvet’s ‘La La Land’ was a bold attempt by Chicago’s Curtis Jones to address social issues through electronic music, quite remarkable, when compared to today’s politically apathetic, agenda-free music scene.

Funk D’Void ‘Diabla’ (Funk D’Void’s Heavenly Mix) (Soma) [2001]


Techno heaven in the noughties sounded like Funk D’Void’s ‘Diabla’, the track that put Scotland’s Lars Sandberg on the map. With one of the most awe-inspiring drops in techno, it went from robotic breakbeat to thunderous melodic bass techno, and it remains one of the most exciting nine minutes a DJ could play.

Layo & Bushwacka! ‘Love Story’ (XL Recordings) [2002]


The definitive piano house anthem of the early noughties, Layo & Bushwacka!’s ‘Love Story’ brought Londoners Mathew Bushwacka and Layo Paskin (co-owner of the now defunct The End nightclub) widespread acclaim.

A perfect blend of house, soul, and Balearica, it was perfectly suited to dance music’s growing love affair for all things daytime and sunny.

Shmuel Flash ‘Chilling Moments’ (Bedrock Records) [2002]


A profound record for progressive house, and an important one for John Digweed’s Bedrock Records, Shmuel Flash ‘Chilling Moments’ was one of the most magical and sublime electronic house tracks of the decade. A dark and ethereal trance gem.

Tim Deluxe ‘It Just Won’t Do’ (Underwater) [2002]


Tim Deluxe conquered Ibiza and clubland the world over with his funky house anthem ‘It Just Won’t Do’, a possible contender for happiest dance record of the noughties.

There was something about its trumpets and lickity-split vocals that screamed SUNSHINE all over. It never once failed to raise a smile on my face.

Luciano, Quenum ‘Orange Mistake’ (Cadenza) [2003]


Chile’s king of exotic electronica Luciano, swan dived into the minimal techno whirlpool with ‘Orange Mistake’, a strange circus-flavoured minimal house anthem written alongside Frenchman Quenum.

Along with his remix of Argy ‘Love Dose’, it’s now considered one of the minimal movement’s most important cuts.

Dennis Ferrer & Jerome Sydenham ‘Sandcastles’ (Ibadan Records) [2003]


One of the noughties most elevating house records, Ferrer & Sydenham’s ‘Sandcastles’ remains a timeless dancefloor classic. It had it all – a distinctive piano melody, singalong vocals, and moments of pure joy. Not to mention, those strings.

Linus Loves ‘The Terrace’ (Breastfed) [2003]


‘The Terrace’ by Linus Loves was written in dedication to Space Ibiza’s infamous outdoor dance arena the Terraza, which was the pinnacle of late 90s and early noughties clubbing decadence, before the island’s authorities forced the club to turn it into an indoor space.

The euphoric French house-styled disco trip perfectly captured the special carnival atmosphere of the Terrace, which throughout much of the early noughties, was unrivalled anywhere in the world.

Moodymann ‘Shades Of Jae’ (Peacefrog) [2004]


Moodymann aka Kenneth Dixon Jr. blew his deep house compatriots out of the water with his 2004 album ‘Black Mahogani’, which included the magnificent house gem ‘Shades Of Jae’.

With its soul-drenched chords, hypnotic male vocals, and brief but exciting moments of drum mayhem, it was without a doubt, one of the best deep house records of the decade.

Soulwax ‘E-Talking’ (PIAS Recordings) [2004]


It’s not you, it’s the E talking so goes Soulwax’ ‘E-Talking’, which reverberated across the electro-driven dance scene of the mid noughties, as a post rave nod to hedonism and dancefloor debauchery wrapped in frenetic bows of French rock. Justice came next.

Alter Ego ‘Rocker’ (Klang Elektronik) [2004]


One summer during a boat party in London, Fabric’s resident DJ Craig Richards dropped Alter Ego’s filthy belch of electro noise ‘Rocker’ as we passed the Houses of Parliament, and I could have sworn that the entire British establishment puked into the Thames in disgust.

It was perhaps the biggest f*** you dance moment of the noughties.

Andre Kraml ‘Safari’ (James Holden Remix) (Crosstown Rebels) [2005]


James Holden’s jaw-droppingly intricate remix of Andre Kraml’s ‘Safari’ set a new benchmark for melodic techno, and helped pave the way for a new generation of melodic masters including Gui Boratto, Robert Babicz, Stephan Bodzin, and Extrawelt.

Ame ‘Rej’ (Innervisions) [2005]


The unmistakably dark melancholic melody of Ame ‘Rej’ echoed throughout much of the noughties. Rich and intoxicating, it sounded like something wholly new. With microscopically precise minimal rhythms, and enchanting corners of change, it swept across clubland majestically. A class above all else.

Booka Shade vs. M.A.N.D.Y. ‘Body Language’ (Get Physical Music) [2005]


Arguably the track that kick started the electro house revolution, ‘Body Language’ catapulted Booka Shade, M.A.N.D.Y., and their label Get Physical Music into the upper echelons of electronic music, and set the blueprint for an entire generation of electro house producers.

Lindstrom ‘I Feel Space’ (Playhouse) [2005]


The father of the Scandinavian nu disco scene took Ibiza by storm in 2005 with his shimmering disco opus ‘I Feel Space’, which set the benchmark for the modern disco scene.

Instrumental disco never sounded so good.

Trentemøller ‘Physical Fraction’ (Audiomatique) [2005]


Steve Bug helped launch the career of one of noughties’ most popular electronic musicians by releasing the perplexingly slow electro house hit ‘Physical Fraction’ on his Audiomatique label.

Denmark’s Trentemøller then went on to conquer the world with his unique blend of dark melodic techno and indie-laced electronica, which included the stupendously fun remix of Royksopp’s ‘What Else Is There?’.

Theo Parrish ‘Falling Up’ (Carl Craig Remix) (Third Ear) [2005]


A momentous remix from Carl Craig ensured Theo Parrish’s ‘Falling Up’ became one of the noughties’ most sought after tech house tracks.

It was a slice of musical genius from the Detroit man, who undoubtedly will go down as one of the boldest electronic music producers of the decade.

Solid Groove ‘This Is Sick’ (Front Room Recordings) [2005]


Dave Taylor’s mighty electro house hit ‘This Is Sick’ fused Switch’s penchant for sample fidgetry with one of the nastiest, yet surprisingly cute, basslines of all time. Sick indeed.

Adam Beyer ‘A Walking Contradiction’ (Plus 8) [2005]


Swedish techno star Adam Beyer smashed his way onto the international scene with the genre-defining shuffle techno EP ‘A Walking Contradiction’.

By applying a minimal aesthetic to his hard techno roots, Beyer set the blueprint for a new techno movement that the likes of Dubfire and Richie Hawtin found themselves digging deep into in the latter part of the decade.

Mathew Jonson ‘Marionette’ (Wagon Repair) [2005]


One of the saddest, most heartfelt techno records ever produced, Mathew Jonson’s ‘Marionette’ offered a epic dancefloor journey of sweat, tears, and human tragedy. And all without vocals.

Marc Houle ‘Bay Of Figs’ (Minus) [2006]


Hawtin’s Minus imprint drove the minimal techno scene throughout the noughties, and Marc Houle’s ‘Bay Of Figs’ was one of the imprint’s most important releases.

With its incessant air-raid siren, stripped back techno rhythm, and wonky FX, it served as a definitive call-to-arms for minimal techno fans, and helped make Minus one of the biggest labels in electronic music.

Claude VonStroke ‘Who’s Afraid Of Detroit?’ (dirtyBird) [2006]


With street swagger, dirty urbanised tech house beats, and a melody that was impossible to ignore, Claude VonStroke captured the zeitgeist brilliantly in 2006. A whole community of breaks fans defected to electro house soon after this record hit the clubs.

Bobby Peru, Paul Woolford ‘Erotic Discourse’ (2020 Vision) [2006]


Picking up where Adam Beyer left off, Paul Woolford’s ‘Erotic Discourse’ took the shuffle techno concept and stripped it back even further to a single bubbly synth sound, before throwing an entire arsenal of FX at it.

In the process, Woolford proved that minimal could also sound hugely maximal.

Larry Heard presents Mr. White ‘The Sun Can’t Compare’ (Alleviated) [2006]


The mesmerizing acid lullaby ‘The Sun Can’t Compare’ was a love song like no other – a darkly passionate ode that worked just as well as a 6am haze moment, as it did for a rare tender session of dancefloor love between couples.

Johnny D ‘Orbitalife’ (Oslo) [2008]


Few will contest that Johnny D’s ‘Orbitalife’ opened up a new frontier for house music, one that bordered both the techno and deep house worlds.

With its rolling bassline, serene breakdown, and constantly evolving drum patterns, it was the definitive anthem for the late noughties tech house movement.