Here are the 25 greatest tracks of 2016, according to Crack Magazine.
Visit 2016.crackmagazine.net for more end of year coverage over the coming weeks.
DRAKEOne Dance ft. Wizkid & Kyla OVO Sound / Cash Money / Young Money
As well as giving him his first solo number one single, One Dance encapsulated Drake’s world-pop vision – where genres and styles from all over the world fuse together to make hits which burst with an all-encompassing, global allure. Wizkid’s afro-pop vocal with Kyla’s UK funky stylings provided the backdrop for this passionate ode to dancefloor therapy, and One Dance was the chart-topper you were never sorry to hear.
METRONOMYOld Skool Because
For Metronomy’s Summer 08 album, Joe Mount retreated into the hedonistic fantasy of his indie disco days. While the concept wore thin across the LP, Mount perfected his tongue-in-cheek funkiness with lead single Old Skool – a goofy floor-filler with precise percussion, an irresistible bassline and turntable scratches that had no right to sound this great. Those who claimed they weren’t feeling this one were probably bullshitting you.
LAST JAPANAscend ft. AJ Tracey Coyote Records
Following years of intermediate successes, Last Japan has been finding his stride. Ascend was a glacial echoing of distant sci-fi synths and hovering hi-hats. With this ethereal instrumentation cast against AJ Tracey’s rapid delivery, Ascend was another stunning example of what’s possible when leftfield producers team up with the UK’s greatest MCs.
MIDLANDFinal Credits ReGraded
Appearing on Midland’s new, disco-indebted label ReGraded, Final Credits was this year’s lowkey summer soundtrack, melting dancefloors across Europe with its giddy vocal sample, euphoric synths and dusty disco drums. By the time the track’s second wind kicked in, you felt the kind of soaring summer heat that’ll have you gleefully embracing strangers.
RAE SREMMURDBlack Beatles ft. Gucci Mane EarDrummers / Interscope
Way before Hilary was doing the #MannequinChallenge, it was obvious Black Beatles was destined to be a hit. There was a kind of melancholy extension of the party-rap formula which Rae Sremmurd have perfected, promising a future for them which goes far beyond frat parties and trailers for Seth Rogen movies. A stargazing anthem which will surely outlive any hashtag.
DJ TAYEBurnin Ya Boa ft. DJ Manny Hyperdub
In 2016, footwork embraced its avant-garde possibilities while remaining loyal to its traditions. Burnin Ya Boa included the signifiers which fuel the Chicago dance – fluttering hi-hats, a palpitating kick drum, a sliced and looped vocal sample. But it also saw Taye and Manny’s samples harness together an emotionally complex mood, with blissful guitar strums giving way to an achingly melancholic saxophone. A transcendental moment.
MARK SEVENThe Fatal Flaw In Disco (u-4-ria) World Building
After 30 years of house music, it takes something special for a track to cut through the noise and leave an impression. Mark Seven has the experience to know what works, and The Fatal Flaw In Disco hit on every heart-warming trope going. Vocal chops, warm chords and MIDI sax all fed
into a perfect dose of heartfelt dancefloor escapism. Isn’t that what house music has always been about?
RIHANNAWork ft. Drake Roc Nation / Westbury Road
As with many ingenious pop records, it’s hard to figure out exactly what makes Work so remarkable. Maybe it’s the buried sadness – “Nobody text me in a crisis”. Maybe it’s the simplicity – the subtle genius of one lithe synth line looping over and over. Whatever the magic formula is, Work blessed us with an infectious, puzzling, unforgettable single from a superstar we’ll never deserve.
RadioheadTrue Love Waits XL
The final act of Radiohead’s album return was to open the memory box and finally present us with the definitive version of this mythologised fan favourite. Re-imaging the song in context of Thom Yorke’s own break-up, here True Love Waits was somewhere in limbo, with clocks ticking behind and the line “just don’t leave” giving a song that used to reach for atonement a new mournful presence. The person in question had left a long time ago, and the dusty presence of this song is all that remains.