The fast-moving electronic-music scene is always full of movers and shakers. And from year to year, some come, some go—but some truly stay the course, and fortunately, greatness knows no boundaries of age. This year’s must-hear artists run the gamut from 21-year-old upstarts to true statesmen of experimental dance music. The only requirement for making this list was making the Beatport News staff flip its collective lid with awe—and these 10 artists did just that. Check them all out below.
10. Jamie Jones
The Hot Creations head just kept rolling along this year with the awesome full-length Tracks From the Crypt, and he promises much more next year from his Hot Natured compatriots.
9. Richie Hawtin
Techno’s statesman took CNTRL in more ways than one this year. From his groundbreaking CNTRL: Beyond EDM educational tour to his first-ever Ibiza residency with ENTER., it’s as if Hawtin’s never even heard the phrase “rest on his laurels.”
Along with his impeccable sets all over the world, Dixon continued Innervisions’ welcome domination of the house world.
7. Dense & Pika
The shadowy UK producers kept us guessing (about their identity) and dancing in dark halls all year round.
Beatport Play’s shining star had a banner year, touring with Lady Gaga and really coming into his own with Clarity. The future is bright.
5. Max Cooper
Ever the experimenter, Max Cooper brought abstract instrumentation to the dance world with aplomb—and wowed us more than once.
4. Amon Tobin
With his ISAM live tour and Stunt Rhythms LP under his Two Fingers guise, Tobin was an unstoppable force this year.
3. Andy Stott
Stott had one of the most highly lauded live shows of 2012, and that’s to say nothing of his brilliant Modern Love LP, Luxury Problems.
The young Australian took chillwave to a whole new level—and audience—signing to Future Classic and building on the momentum of his huge “Sleepless” tune.
By this time next year, Disclosure will be its own genre—with reams of imitators unable to attain the fresh, garage-influenced sounds that these two British youngsters mastered in 2012. We can’t wait to see how they change the game in 2013.