Music would be nothing without numbers. A solid one-two-three-four is the bedrock of any great dance music anthem, and if you’re ready to start playing with half notes, syncopated rhythms and time signatures, you’re ready to unlock the full potential of numerical nuance.
Numbers can be fun, and some electronic musicians have found ways to play with the old international language in fun and funky ways. Today, we celebrate dance songs with numbers in their names. It might not teach you to count higher than four, but it will get you groovin’ on the dance floor.
Here are our picks for the best songs with numbers in the title that the genre has to offer.
Giraffage – “19 Hours” Feat. Harrison Lipton
This track from the Bay Area producer’s LP Too Real is the perfect post-breakup anthem, thanks in large part to vocalist Harrison Lipton’s great storytelling. You’re checking your phone every five minutes, still unable to adjust to the truth that this person is gone for good, until you take a turn, and you realize life goes on – and so does the beat.
The mysterious French producer doesn’t subscribe to traditional track naming techniques. He time-stamps his tunes, whether it be indicative of the time he wrote or finished the song, or some kernel or clue into the strange cinematic musical universes he creates. “11:02” is a favorite from his debut album ??, pronounced “Taiko.”
Mura Masa – “1 Night” Feat. Charli XCX
One of Mura Masa’s signature chipper, tropical rhythms gives Charli XCX the perfect foundation upon which to build her ode to budding romance. She’s not the kind of girl who usually falls in love, but there’s something special about this one night she can’t stop reliving. One ain’t the loneliest number anymore.
Duke Dumont – “Need You (100%)” Feat. A*M*E
A funky bassline, crashing percussion and a spirited and soulful performance from fellow Brit A*M*E helped this 2013 groove push the UK garage revival movement onto dance floors worldwide. It’s got a swagger that can’t be ignored, even if it won’t be helping you with your fraction homework any time soon.
Daft Punk – “One More Time”
Hands down one of the greatest dance music songs every written, “One More Time” topped radio charts around the world and remains an iconic bit of nostalgia for turn-of-the-century dance. It’s the only slow breakdown a DJ can get away with playing all the way through, and you doesn’t love to sing along to Romanthony?
Justice – “One Minute to Midnight”
A climactic finale to the French duo’s influential debut album, “One Minute to Midnight” is a smoldering line of bassy synths that’ll have you breathing hard on the edge of your seat. It slinks back into the shadows from whence it came. It might not be a sonic allegory to the old Doomsday Clock, but in our hearts, it is.
Deadmau5 – “50 something cats”
We all know deadmau5 loves cats, in particular his cat, Mr. Meowington. We’d like to think Mr. Meowington laid the vocals down for this wild, genre-blending track from the 2017 compilation album stuff i used to do. You’ve never heard deadmau5 quite like this before over a trippy, syncopated beat with lots of electric orchestral weirdness and, of course, cats.
REZZ & k?d – “Fourth Impact”
Humans live in a world of three dimensions, but this eery techno collaboration from dance’s resident paranoiac and the question-mark k?d wants to shatter your very perception. It’s dark and devious with a sense of adventure. It would be the perfect soundtrack for a video game level involving a blind walk through a haunted jungle. Developers, get on that.
Deorro – “Five Hours”
Take a ride on a roller coaster of sound. Deorro’s 2014 single takes off slow and climbs like a rocket toward the sky. It’s catchy synth melody lured a collaborative after-version with Chris Brown called “Five More Hours,” but we think the vocal-less original is fun enough to enjoy on its own.
Vitas – “7, The Element”
A video post to social media helped this 2001 Russian dance song find new life as the meme that should never go away. Make a fool of yourself trying to recreate his incredible mouth noises. Vitas is at once an operatic genius and a surreal musical troll. If he ever decides to tour the United States, we wouldn’t dare miss it.
Cashmere Cat – “9 (After Coachella)” Feat. MØ & Sophie
Cashmere Cat could have taken any direction with his debt LP 9, but its title track lives perfectly at the intersection of radio-ready brilliance and absurd artsy exploration. It’s hook is an industrial wasteland of electronic groove, while the MØ brings an edgy cool to the track’s pop pretty melodies.
Audien – “Eleven Eleven”
It’s “Eleven Eleven,” make a wish for an interstellar pool party so you can best experience Audien’s classic house jam. Shiny textures light the way down a path of kickin’ beats on this sprawling, nearly eight-minute single. It makes us want to crawl inside 2010 and stay dancing under its bright euphoria forever.
Porter Robinson – “100% In The Bitch”
Before he gave birth to a new kind of cutesy, emotional storytelling future pop, Robinson was just a promiscuous kid making killer dubstep, electro house and everything else he fancied. He probably wouldn’t call “100% In The Bitch” official Robinson canon, but this song about numbers is still a classic piece of an era all dance fans should appreciate.
Salva – “40 Karats” Feat. Zackey Force Funk
Here comes a real head bopper for all the funky bass lovers. Ripped from Salva’s 2011 album Complex Housing will have you leanin’ straight to your jeweler to cop 40 karats of your own solid gold. This is a tune hard enough to turn the wankiest dude into a bonafide G, and it still packs plenty of oddball steez.
Four Tet – “Two Thousand and Seventeen”
Shout out one of the strangest and most glorious years, lovingly put to rest and commemorated with this jazzy, space-out composition from one of electronic music’s most interesting minds. New Energy was a banging album from start to finish, and “Two Thousands and Seventeen” is one of the coolest cuts. Smoke some hookah and get lost in these vibes.