In 2017, the conjoined worlds of house and techno culture unequivocally transcended the underground. With artists like Bicep and Sasha attracting mainstream attention, and labels like dirtybird and Diynamic bringing in hoards of new fans, house and techno culture experienced what will likely be regarded as its most visible and fruitful year yet.
Though genres rooted in decades-old traditions and structure, house and techno continued to evolve at a remarkable rate this year. One such example was the digital eruption of lo-fi house, a sub-genre driven on the back of YouTube algorithms, viral videos, and grainy, yet relentlessly catchy hooks. Offline, tribal house and techno saw a massive resurgence, thanks in large part to European imprints like Innervisions and Keinmusike pushing their low-key brand of hypnotic, afro-centric dance floor tracks.
On the release front, there were no shortage of standout tracks this year to speak of. From Stephan Bodzin’s latest bomb, “Strand,” to Patrice Baumel’s inescapable “Glutes,” 2017 saw a seemingly endless slew of stellar offerings. When compiling our list of best house and techno tracks of the year (that are arranged in alphabetical order), we judged on a criteria of both production quality and overall impact. These aren’t necessarily the tracks that sold the best or got the most recognition (although some of them certainly did), but rather the ones that consistently won over dancefloors and helped define genres in 2017.