A truly all star single has the ability to galvanize the entire realm of electronic music. Singular tracks can inspire a slipstream of multi-genre remixes, get tens of thousands of people at an event dancing, singing and screaming in unison, and make previously unknown producers internet famous overnight. Innovative, emotive and just downright catchy tracks are the engine that power the world of electronic dance music and propel the culture forward.

Regardless of what genre you’re into, 2014 saw a long list of standout songs from both well-established producers and artists that blew up just this year.

These are our top 20 singles of 2014.

20. Carl Cox & Nicole Moudaber “See You Next Tuesday” (Mood)

There is no doubt that Nicole Moudaber is the reigning techno queen. 2014 was a huge one for the goddess from London, with “See You Next Tuesday” being far and away the highlight of not only her year, but for the techno community as a whole. Teaming up with journeyman Carl Cox, “See You Next Tuesday” is a 10-minute techno track dripping with sweat. Prime for Berghain, the Manchester Warehouse Project, and everywhere in between, it will be on rotation for many years to come. The aggressive, steady beat, the minor twitches here and there, and the bassline that hits five minutes in all come together to make one of our favorite techno tracks of 2014. —Kevin Camps

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19. Super8 & Tab “No Frontiers” (Anjunabeats)

The lead single from their follow-up studio album, Unified, sees Super8 & Tab make a valiant pass at taking the big room movement head-on through the grips of emotive production work. With “No Frontier,” Miika Eloranta and Janne Mansnerus, joined by familiar face and frequent collaborator Julie Thompson, find themselves on the frontline of the push-pull predicament of the modern trance scene. Between the piercing piano notes, Thompson’s well-armed vocal delivery, and the resilient synth riff, this is the pivotal trance tune of the year, with no real contenders in sight. Shots fired, yes… but no one else can keep up with the Finnish duo’s finely tuned, lovelorn anthem. —Sam Yu

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18. Maceo Plex “Conjure Sex” (M_nus)

After the sweeping success of his Conjure One EP this year, Maceo Plex immediately followed up with Conjure Two, which dropped on Richie Hawtin’s label, Minus. Hawtin says that Maceo Plex bridged the gap between the stripped-down sound of Minus and the atmosphere of ENTER.Ibiza—which makes sense, as this track is not for the faint of heart. It roars to life when what sounds like a Boeing 777 drops into airspace while piercing synths gradually get louder, until a frenetic clap pattern builds to the most menacing bass blast of the year. As quickly as it comes, it’s gone for another 24 bars before he detonates the festival-destroying behemoth again. Not very sexy, you might think, but Maceo peppers in some orgasmic screams before climaxing with yet another sadistic bass hit. It’s recommended that you have a cigarette and cold shower ready once the track stops. —Troy Kurtz

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17. Loadstar “Stepped Outside” (RAM Records)

First appearing as a standout tune on the sixth installment of Andy C’s Nightlife mix series, Loadstar’s “Stepped Outside” is one of those rare tunes that sticks with you after a single listen. Centered on a smooth and haunting male vocal, the rolling beats and thick bottom-end bring on the shivers in such an exquisite way. A bass lover’s treat through and through, this is one of those tunes that crosses over genres—not only for the heartache lyrics and warm, melodic hook, but for the way the song evolves throughout—making it destined to be a future classic you can listen to over and over again.

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16. Oliver & Alex Metric “Hope” (OWSLA/Big Beat)

Another fantastic addition to 2014’s back-to-roots movement is Oliver and Alex Metric’s old-school-meets-new-school house killer “Hope.” What started as a rework of a long-lost track from ’92 quickly moved to a full and proper release, due to the huge response from audiences everywhere. A bit rougher around the edges, and decidedly more funky and grooving than many tracks of similar ilk, “Hope” hits hard and sucks listeners in with its insanely catchy hooks and beats. Premiering on Annie Mac’s BBC radio show, and seeing a release on OWSLA by way of Big Beat, Oliver and Alex Metric’s masterwork has seen a surge in exposure and support—all of which seems well earned, considering the song’s ability to induce heavy sweat from dancefloors the world over.

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15. Dusky “Yoohoo” (17 Steps)

Dusky have established themselves as the unchallenged leaders of the “nu-deep” house movement over the past few years, taking the classic deep house sound in a direction that’s altogether a little more euphoric. But with “Yoohoo,” they blew the roof off more than ever before. Packing enough of a punch to take them all the way to the very top of the Beatport charts, it’s essentially a full-blown piano rave anthem that pulls out all the stops—a stomping groove, big synth stabs, and a vocal sample from heritage dance act Kosheen. Bigger than big. —Angus Thomas Paterson

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14. Eric Prydz “Liberate” (Pryda Recordings)

No matter what genre you favor, we can all agree that good music makes you feel something. It washes your innards over with sensations you just can’t describe, and “Liberate” is a song that does just that. Whether you’re celebrating a big accomplishment or dealing with a major setback, this is the tune to turn to. Prydz creates a soundscape that is both soothing and uplifting, complementing a strong bassline with delicate, melodic underpinnings. While “Liberate” was kept in Prydz’s arsenal of unreleased tracks for months before its official release, he unleashed it just in time to make it a summer 2014 anthem to remember. —Anum Khan

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13. Bassnectar “Noise” (Amorphous Music)

The first single off Bassnectar’s latest album (Noise vs. Beauty, his highest-charting LP to date), “Noise” demonstrates the rare ability to slow down, speed up, rise, drop, and fuse all of the elements the DJ has built his sound upon without losing listeners in the process. The song’s foreboding hook by Atlanta-based rapper Donnis—“I do what I wanna do, I do what I liiiike”—seems to aptly summarize what Bassnectar has done during his rise as one of dance music’s biggest stars. Melding multiple different styles into the song, the DJ demonstrates that he’s willing to take risks to advance himself and see his sound go to farther, wider and more epic places. “Noise” demonstrates that as far as Bassnectar has come, he’s also stayed the same. —Daniel Kohn

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12. Shadow Child & Doorly “Piano Weapon” (Polydor UK)

When Shadow Child started sneaking “Piano Weapon” into his weekly Rinse FM radio shows earlier this year, the internet went ablaze with varying levels of expletives and “Track ID?!” requests. So naturally, when the track finally got released several months later, it shot straight to the top of the charts. When you break it down, it’s a no-frills house track with a booming kick and rolling sub-bass, but it pulls heavily from a nostalgic piano riff that tugs on the heartstrings. After noticing that they had a pretty major hit on their hands, they decided to do a vocal rendition called “Climbin” that was cowritten by the Grammy-nominated singer MNEK. Whether you’re a fan of the original mix or the vocal cut, there’s no denying that “Piano Weapon” will be etched into the all-time list of classic house tunes. —Troy Kurtz

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11. The Magician “Sunlight” (FFRR)

Any tune titled “Sunlight” by anyone called the Magician had better be upbeat, breezy and catchy, or someone’s getting sand kicked in his face. Belgian producer Stephen Fasano—who used to be part of DJ duo Aeroplane—did not disappoint. Like an Ibizan tsunami, “Sunlight” rolled in on a 4/4 rhythm, steady hi-hats, swelling synthesizers, and a filtered vocal. The sonic wave builds to a frothy crescendo and then crashes into a serene breakdown before rising again, taking your serotonin with it. It’s an undeniable grab at the summer jam award, and like Groovejet’s “Spiller” and other seasonal classics before it, it works because the Magician wears his tricks on his sleeves with pride. After all, who wants to think deep thoughts when love (and the scent of tanning butter) is in the air? —Jorge Hernandez

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10. Major Lazer ft. Sean Paul “Come on to Me” (Mad Decent)

Diplo’s cartoonish, ‘80s-inspired cybernetic commando, Major Lazer, collaborating with Sean Paul on a track? What more could you want? “Come on to Me,” off Major Lazer’s Apocalypse Soon EP, was just the Jamaican dancehall electro fusion we’d been hoping for all year. Combining Sean Paul’s machine-gunning lyrics with Lazer’s blasting beats was like dropping a moombahton Molotov on the dancefloor; it got a fire burning that we won’t soon forget. Thanks for saving the day once again, Major. —James Rogers

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09. Shiba San “Okay” (dirtybird)

As a fresh name on the scene in 2014, the mysterious Shiba San took the dance world by surprise despite his reputable years in music production within the hip-hop realm. His defining moment came when he teamed up with San Francisco label dirtybird and released “Okay.” With “OK” as the only audible phrase in the G-house track, Shiba San managed to capture dancefloors and imaginations with this melodic earworm. “Okay” would go on to become the unavoidable track of the year, finding its way into sets by Jimmy Edgar, Claude Von StrokeDestructo and more. Now that San has successfully spun “Okay” into a megawatt hit, don’t be surprised if the simple word “OK” triggers a few impromptu dance moves. —Camille Cushman

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08. Porter Robinson “Flicker” (Astralwerks)

That time when Porter Robinson learned how to ease off the electro gas and churned out Worlds, an ambient and euphoric debut album that will likely be forever remembered from the “EDM boom” years. When Robinson grabbed a sample from Japanese anime television series Waiting in the Summer and went all J. Dilla with the sped-up soul sample, “Flicker” was the result. Less of a happy accident and more of a really dope occurrence, it’s on point. —Marcus Dowling

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07. Andy C ft. Fiora “Heartbeat Loud” (RAM Records)

Andy C’s first release since signing to Atlantic Records, “Heartbeat Loud” combines Fiora’s ethereal, subtly powerful voice with Andy C’s powerhouse production. The track leads in with robust piano chords that immediately let listeners know that what’s coming next is going to be both melodic and dynamic at the same time (it is Andy C, of course). Its skillful combination of seemingly unlike elements is why the track gets a nod on our best-of-the-year list. For those looking for a grimier, bassier version of the song, be sure to check out the “Heartbeat Loud” extended mix. —Anum Khan

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06. Oliver Heldens “Gecko (Overdrive)” (FFRR)

Dutchman Oliver Heldens scrambled the UK garage-to-pop/house formula with future house, and out shot “Gecko (Overdrive)” to the top of the charts. Effects on Becky Hill’s voice strip it of some of its soul, but that’s not the point here. This one is hard and dirty, more than thick and sensuous, allowing it to excel in an expanded lane. Funky and fanciful, its unrestrained embrace of electro elements really makes it one of 2014’s top overall productions for certain. —Marcus Dowling

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05. RL Grime “Core” (WeDidIt Records)

While already well established in his home base of L.A. and beyond, 2014 was the year RL Grime went next-level via his debut LP Void and its lead single, “Core.” The sonic equivalent of shooting lightning through your fingertips, the track demonstrated not just the raw power of trap music, but the notion that the genre could be as sophisticated as it is aggressive. Sampling Egyptian Empire’s 1991 anthem “The Horn Track” and Trick Daddy’s “Nann Nigga” (with the deliciously unhinged hook, “Who do the shit that I DO?!”), “Core” gains steam with each rise and fall, going minimal at just the right moments and letting all hell break loose with satisfying precision. —Katie Bain

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04. Calvin Harris “Summer” (Sony)

You’ve heard it blaring everywhere, from rooftops to festival main stages to the radio; even your mother sang it that one night you regretted taking her to karaoke. There’s a reason why Calvin Harris presides over the pop charts. The Scotsman’s productions create a mutual dialogue with audiences have the mesmerizing ability to make you listen to them over and over again. Dubbed a “million-dollar hit,” “Summer” is one of the most-streamed songs on Spotify, with over 218 million plays! Featuring uncontested yet raspy vocal hooks, euphoric and mystic big-room melodies, and warm, throbbing four-on-the-floor drums, this track was meticulously designed to become an inescapable gem of 2014 and for many summers to come. —Rishabh Bhavnani

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03. Ten Walls “Walking With Elephants” (BOSO)

Close your eyes and press play, and you are guided through a sonic safari while listening to “Walking With Elephants” by Ten Walls. Whether played in the club or with headphones on at home, the song has the ability to transport you to a new space and time. As one of the most-played tracks at Ibiza this past summer, the track took off as an international hit and helped to fuel the deep house explosion of 2014. Starting off with a short, orchestral-focused intro, the track dives quickly into the distinctive, slow-attack bassline that Ten Walls is known for. The record keeps its symphonic qualities throughout and encompasses all the elements of a big club track, while maintaining a level of intimacy that keeps the listener hooked from start to finish. —Joe Wiseman

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02. Oliver$ & Jimi Jules “Pushing On” (Defected)

Very few records manage to get slapped with the title “instant classic,” but without a shred of doubt, “Pushing On” is one of them. Making their debut on Defected Records, Oliver Dollar and Jimi Jules together gave birth to one of the most celebrated tunes of 2014. The collaboration, in many ways, is a tip of the proverbial hat to Chicago house, as it bolsters raspy, soulful iterations over a moody bassline and singular piano chords that hit at the tail-end of every other bar. Suffice to say, it was nearly impossible to sit through a house set this year without this one being pushed on you. Not a complaint, just a keen observation. —Sam Yu

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Follow Jimi Jules on Facebook | SoundCloud

01. Duke Dumont “Won’t Look Back” (Blasé Boys Club)

This year has seen a revival in bringing back the lost zest in house music. The secret: blending the old with the new. British producer/DJ Duke Dumont, head honcho of the Blasé Boys Club imprint, is leading that charge and redefining the dance charts. Nominated for his second Grammy in two years, the once ringtone-producing house god spent years honing his craft before creating some of the catchiest floor-busting anthems in recent times. In “Won’t Look Back,” Dumont brings pumping garage beats, Italo piano melodies, tight-knocking basslines, and pulsating synths laid over Naomi Miller’s soulfully explosive, gospel-like vocals. It’s commendable songwriting that cannot be ignored, and with the release of his debut album slated for next year, Dumont won’t be either. —Rishabh Bhavnani

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