It's tough to recap a year that, looking back, feels packed with EDM news; every day seemed to bring another groundbreaking single, milestone announcement or festival line-up. To help us sift through it all, in the hopes of telling a cohesive story about 2012, we did what we usually do: turned to Twitter. The social network has become a central hub for dance music, with artists, promoters and industry leaders using it to break news and premiere new tracks, and fans gaining unprecedented access to their favorite DJs at the same time. We scoured the Twittersphere to break down the year in dance music, 140 characters at a time. Click past the jump for the full run-down.
The trap takeover
The year kicked off with two game-changing tunes: Baauer's "Harlem Shake" and Flosstradamus' remix of "Original Don" by Major Lazer. The tracks ushered in the trap trend that rose to prominence in 2012. A head-banging mix of heavy bass and hip-hop's snare-filled drums, trap felt like a close relative of the dubstep tracks that ruled 2011. Expertly produced remixes of well-known songs like "Pacha on Acid," "Rattle" and "Epic" helped bring the sound to festivals throughout the summer. Flosstradamus and Baauer, along with fellow trap trailblazers like the anonymous UZ and Luminox, kept the releases and surprises coming. By December, the highly-anticipated RL Grime remix of "Satisfaction" by Benny Benassi—Ultra Records' first trap release—immediately topped the Beatport charts.
Pendulum called it quits
, "The Knife Party thing is going so well we don't really feel like going back to junior school anytime soon." No complaints here.
Deadmau5 kept busy on Twitter and Tumblr
Rolling Stone cover story and bled over to Tumblr after he had to clarify his remarks. On the subject of DJs' live performances, he told the mag, "Even Skrillex isn't doing anything too technical. He has a laptop and a MIDI recorder, and he's just playing his shit. People are, thank God, smartening up about who does what, but there's still button-pushers getting paid half a million. And not to say I'm not a button-pusher. I'm just pushing a lot more buttons." He later explained his live setup on Tumblr and
that "the EDM world button pushers… fuckin hate [him] for telling you how it is." When not riling up fellow DJs, mau5 also trolled Pauly D, berated Playmate Tricia Evans and, most surprising of all, proposed to Kat von D over Twitter after the couple had briefly split up the month prior.
"Button-pushing" became a dirty word, and DJs defended their craft
EDC blew fans away
Swedish House Mafia announced breakup—and massive farewell tour
Prydz returned to the U.S.
Calvin Harris had a superstar year
Calvin Harris' much-anticipated LP
18 Months finally dropped this fall, and it sounded more like a greatest-hits compilation than an artist album. Harris melded his production, vocal and songwriting skills with a pop sensibility that's garnered the album mainstream success both overseas and stateside. In the U.S., his Florence Welch collab "Sweet Nothing" has been steadily climbing both Billboard's Dance/Mix Show Play and Hot 100 charts and, impressively, getting substantial Top 40 radio play. While many of the remaining tracks on the album are well-known to dance fans ("Awooga," "Bounce," "Let's Go"), new tunes like "Drinking From The Bottle" will surely become club and festival classics.
...and so did Zedd
Clarity, marked Interscope's first serious foray into the electronic space. It also stretched the limits of what dance music can—and should—sound like, with tracks ranging from outright club bangers to four-on-the-floor love ballads (most notably, "Hourglass" and the album's title track). The DJ/producer also hit the road with Lady Gaga for the Asian leg of her Born This Way Ball and co-produced Justin Bieber's current chart-topping single. He's also produced multiple beats on Gaga's forthcoming album.
DJMag's Top 100 list was more controversial than ever
Both old and new, festivals ruled
Ultra Music Fest expanded along with the rest
Dillon and Diplo got weird(er), and so did everyone else
"Walsergate" confused and amused fans and DJs alike