Traxsource Top 100 Artists of 2016

2016 was a superb year for house music and indeed for all its varied musical offspring – this year’s releases from the Afro, Soulful, Tech-House, Nu-Disco, Techno and Deep scenes all developed in their own interesting and unexpected ways and continued to delight and amaze us. One of the best things about running Traxsource is that we get a genuine overview of the flow of releases over the year and 2016 was definitely a vintage one. It’s always an interesting few weeks in the Traxsource offices at this time of year, as we use our year’s data, stats and A&R prowess to pinpoint the very finest of the year’s product. Evaluating so much quality music inevitably involves some kind of compromise and disagreement, obviously not everyone can make it to the #1 spot, but we think our list is a good reflection of where the scene is at now: vibrant, global, inclusive and exciting, with fresh new takes on the original Chicago and Detroit templates dropping every week, keeping dance floors moving the world over.

So here it is, our list of the Top Overall Artists on Traxsource 2016.

100: Skapes
99: Zepherin Saint
98: Jesse Perez
97: Coeo
96: Emanuel Satie
95: DJ Mes
94: David Anthony
93: Dantiez
92: M. Caporale
91: Deetron
90: Golf Clap
89: Chus & Ceballos
88: Shur-I-Kan
87: Kevin McKay
86: Eric Kupper
85: Kiko Navarro
84: Brame & Hamo
83: Boris Dlugosch
82: Jullian Gomes
81: Supernova
80: Crookers
79: Floorplan
78: Franky Rizardo
77: Studioheist
76: Opolopo
75: Green Velvet
74: Till Von Sein
73: Todd Terry
72: &ME
71: Alan Fitzpatrick
70: Osunlade
69: The Black 80s
68: The Deepshakerz
67: DJ Fudge
66: thatmanmonkz
65: Hot Since 82
64: N’dinga Gaba
63: Pete Herbert
62: Joseph Capriati
61: Mark Farina
60: Mike City
59: Enzo Siffredi
58: Sante Sansone
57: Homero Espinosa
56: Manoo
55: Illyus & Barrientos
54: Ron Basejam
53: Sean McCabe
52: Hector Couto
51: Dr Packer
50: Oliver Huntemann
49: Claptone
48: Shadow Child
47: Cristoph
46: Sam Divine
45: Kai Alce
44: Iban Montoro & Jazzman Wax
43: Mr. V
42: Doorly
41: Saison
40: Purple Disco Machine
39: Pig&Dan
38: Lovebirds
37: Kerri Chandler
36: Mihalis Safras
35: Atjazz
34: Low Steppa
33: Black Loops
32: Rhemi
31: Vince Watson
30: Man Without A Clue
29: Nachtbraker
28: Loco & Jam
27: Kraak & Smaak
26: Kenny Dope
25: Pablo Fierro
24: Detroit Swindle
23: Bicep
22: Full Intention
21: Joeski

20: Kink

One of Techno’s most popular live performers and talented producers, KiNK was an artist who continued to impress in 2016. He turned out plenty of quality raw, rolling Tech House, Deep House and Techno which included biggies like his remix of ‘Tout Va Bien’ from Matthias Meyer (Liebe Digital) and his ‘Chorus’ on Midnight Shift, which together with his continued live success easily earns him a high placing in the overall Top 100.

19: Soul Clap

It was a great 2016 for the Boston duo Soul Clap who continued to deliver the eclectic goods this year. Highlights included working with the legendary Louis Vega on his Grammy-nominated ‘Staring…XXVVIII’ album, successful release of their excellent ‘Soul Clap’ long player, and not forgetting their ‘Rise’ remix, a superb update of the Eddie Amador Yoshitoshi classic.

18: Demuir

Demuir is currently riding high having picked up the Traxsouce #1 Jackin House Producer for two years in a row. This year he treated us to release after release of bumpin’ Jackin goodness on the likes of Guesthouse, Simma Black, I’m A House Gangster and his own Mikita Skyy label. He also dropped a full length album for Sneak’s Magnetic label, featuring 14 original cuts and dubs which picked up plenty of DJ traction. Aside from his own production success, it is also worth noting just how many other respected DJs and producers are playing Demuir’s productions; clearly a sign of the man’s talents.

17: DJ Spen

Long time playa DJ Spen gave us plenty to be happy about this year. Always reliable as a quality producer, running Unquantize and Quantize recordings and steadily turning out some of the finest tunes on the soulful scene, this year Spen gifted us many great musical moments. We particularly dug his stellar remix of Spencer Morales and Randy Roberts’ ‘Without Your Love’ and his ‘Warriors Dance’ track with David Anthony was huge on the Afro scene.

16: Riva Starr

What a year for the DJ, producer and Snatch! label boss Riva Starr who released a steady stream of quality releases including a superb edit of Groove Armada’s ‘Superstylin’, firing EPs on Cajual, Defected, Moon Harbour, Toolroom etc, and who finished off 2016 with with alter-ego ‘Soul Speech’ (which is still exclusively available from us) as the overall #1 tune on Traxsource this year.

15: Miguel Migs

2016 saw Miguel Migs further consolidate his position as one of the scene’s major players. His label Salted Music gave us some particularly tasty slices of Deep House this year and, amongst a busy release schedule, his continuing collaborations with the talented chanteuse Lisa Shaw resulted in the sublime ‘Waterfall’, which is currently tearing up the more discerning dance floors worldwide.

14: Dubfire

Deserved winner of Traxsource’s #1 Techno Artist this year, Dubfire shows no sign of slowing down – in fact this year he’s done the opposite. Aside from delivering some serious heavy hitters on Senso, Bedrock, Spectral Sound and of course his own imprint Sci+Tech, Dubfire also turned his talents this year to his live show. 2016 saw Dubfire launch ‘Hybrid’, a hugely successful live event that wove audio and visual elements together to create a stunning sensory experience.

13: J Paul Getto

J. Paul Getto was a man who was everywhere this year, with a consistent run of raw, funky dance floor winners on some of best labels on the scene, including Clueless Music, Glasgow Underground, Body Heat and Guesthouse. J.Paul’s drive and admirable work ethic has paid dividends for him in 2016, with several Traxsource #1’s and seemingly everything he produced ending up in the Traxsource Top 10. J.Paul’s Fogbank label has consistently been at the forefront of the house music scene and is building up a distinctive, cutting edge artist roster. Out of the many quality releases from J.Paul this year, perhaps the pick of the bunch was the relentless ‘Push Me Around’, a collab with Clueless Music owner Man Without A Clue, which always seemed to guarantee a packed heaving floor whenever it was dropped, but again, you could take your pick from an ever-growing catalogue of highly effective dance floor tracks. It’s great to see J.Paul reach the heights his hard work and production skills deserve.

12: Jimpster

UK Deep House don, Freerange boss, uber-producer, and dedicated DJ Jimpster grabbed himself the #2 spot in our Deep House Artists 2016 list. He had another year of seriously deep releases and remixes – his ‘Something Wit Jazz’ re-rub on Razor-N-Tape was massive, as was his remix of thatmanmonkz’s ‘Take U 2 My House’. Also, let’s not forget the fact that Freerange celebrated 20 years in the biz this year too, a feat to be respected and illustrating their continued commitment to quality in the scene. It also gave us a chance to reacquaint ourselves with some of their superb back catalogue and it was an absolute joy to hear DJs dropping Jimpster’s sublime remix of Marc Romboy’s ‘Elif’ again.

11: Josh Butler

There was plenty of good stuff from UK producer Josh Butler this year – he launched his much anticipated new label ORIGINS RCRD and promptly released a smash in the shape of his ‘Indigo’ track from the ‘Heroes of House’ EP, a collaboration with house original Marshall Jefferson and Avotre label boss Sante. Josh put out really well received EPs on Defected, Strictly Rhythm and the high-sheen future-tech of his ‘Link’ EP on Joris Vorn’s Rejected also got plenty of attention. His various releases this year showed Josh’s ability to turn his production skills to many different genres, stretching out across Tech, Soulful and House. We love his sound and are looking forward to plenty more quality house music from Josh in 2017.

10: Demarkus Lewis

2016 was a fantastic year for the irrepressible Demarkus Lewis, whose name has popped up in a number of our end of year charts. One of house music’s all-rounders, he put some serious house tunes this year, across a few different genres. We always look forward to a new release from Demarkus’s Grin Music label, & this year he didn’t disappoint, with his trademark-sound remix of Martha Wash’s ‘Catch the Light’ & the supa-soulful ‘Axis Turnt’ ‘from Aspire Sound’ both standing out.

9: Sandy Rivera / Kings Of Tomorrow

Unleashing tune after tune this year, the unstoppable Sandy Rivera was a big presence in house music in 2016. His label deepvisionz showcased a host of next-level house music, including his own superb productions ‘Closer’, ‘Long Time Coming’, and ‘So Good’ – and of course he was also involved in the massive David Penn / LZ collab ‘Listen Again’ too.

8: Gene Farris

Another producer whose name comes up in this year’s Top Artist lists across a few different genres is Chicago’s Gene Farris, who this year let us know that the underground is in good health. His remix of ’Let A B!tch Know’ was a slice of dark tech funk that blew up for Gene this year, one in a series of releases that ranged from shimmering disco epics to serious 4 am stormers. 2016 also saw the release of the sublime full-length ‘In The Screen’ album on Relief.

7: Hyenah

International man of mystery Hyenah has had a great end to 2016, being nominated our #1 Afro artist of the year. In a short space of time, Hyenah has launched himself onto the scene & carved out a decent reputation for raw, original house music. We saw plenty of quality gear from him this year, with a couple of killer EPs on Freerange, & he brought his trademark forward-thinking Afro-tinged production chops to releases on many other labels including Poker Flat & Dennis Ferrer’s Objektivity.

6: Eli Escobar

2016 was definitely Eli Escobar’s year – he is Traxsource’s #1 Nu-Disco/Indie artist 2016 due to a flurry of excellent productions across the Deep, Soulful and Nu-Disco genres. His second full-length album came out on Classic to much DJ excitement, and releases on Defected, Toolroom, Papa, BBE, not to mention his Night People label made sure that Eli’s tunes were getting serious club play for the entire year. He also was absolutely killing it on the remix front and we loved his remakes of Amp Fiddler’s ‘Soul Fly Pt. 2’, Tim Deluxe’s ‘Jas’ and Ricardo Baez’s ‘Tribute to L’.

5: Joey Negro

It’s no surprise to see Mr Negro’s name in this list – His long awaited ‘Remixed With Love Vol 2’ compilation dropped this year to great DJ delight, and his Z Records continue to deliver those exquisite disco-bombs that he seems to produce so effortlessly. Joey also released plenty of tunes and remixes on the likes of King Street, Defected, LW, and Papa and continues to add to his ever growing discography!

4: Fred Everything

We were very pleased to see Canadian DJ and Producer Fred Everything at #1 in the Traxsource Best Deep House Artist 2016 – his release schedule this year really has been phenomenal – to mention just a few of his releases from 2016, ‘Believe’ and ‘Searching’ on Defected, his EPs on his own Lazy Days imprint, and his sublime ‘O/her’ EP on Atjazz: hit after classy hit. Fred is an artist absolutely at the top of his game, completely in touch with the desires of the dance floor – it’s a great combination and has resulted in some of the best music of his career – so far: we are of course looking forward to what treats he has in store for us in 2017.

3: Dario D’Attis

Winner of the Traxsource Tech House Artist 2016, 2016 was the year in which Swiss maestro Dario’s years of DJing and production really came to fruition, as his trademark restrained but relentless Tech House releases hit hard again and again. Killer EPs and remixes on DFTD, Lapus, Defected and Poker Flat showcased Dario’s grasp of big room dynamics and got the attention of dance floors and DJs alike.

2: Louie Vega

Setting the bar high, constantly delivering inspiring new music, completing fresh and exciting projects, contributing so much to the scene – we really couldn’t leave Louie Vega out of this particular list. In another ridiculously productive year, we’ve picked out a couple of particular favourites: his mix of ‘Bourgie’, Bourgie’ from John Davis and the Monster Orchestra was just that – a monster, and of course Louie Vega rounded off another fantastic year by picking up a Grammy nomination for Best Dance / Electronic album for his collaborative project ‘Starring… XXVIII’ – The bar gets ever higher.

1: Sonny Fodera

Having already been voted the Traxsource #1 House Artist of 2016, Sonny Fodera has also made it to #1 Best Overall Artist of 2016 too. In a whirlwind year, Sonny unleashed a slew of brilliant dance floor releases, whilst also fitting in hi-octane DJ appearances all over the world.

It’s been a steady rise for Sonny, who has achieved his success through a combination of talent, hard work and an uncompromising passion for house music. This has resulted in an impressive discography, which was neatly represented in his ‘In The House’ compilation for Defected, which dropped at the start of the year and featured his own tracks and remixes from artists like Claude VonStroke, Tiga, Eats Everything, Low Steppa and Gene Farris. Sonny continued to release new music in 2016, with tracks and remixes on Relief, Farris Wheel, Emerald City Music and Sweat it Out.

Stand out tunes from Sonny this year included a pair of sexy vocal tracks, ‘Feeling U’ featuring Yasmin and ‘Over This’ featuring Shannon Saunders. His firing re-rub of ‘Take It Easy’ from Gershon Jackson was big too and we also have to mention his dark basement dub with James Puentes ‘No Reason’, which dropped on Cajual and proceeded to smash underground dance floors up all over the world.

He has become such a prolific artist that we could have chosen several other tracks that illustrate the signature production sound that has been so successful for him in what really was a stand out year. So congratulations to Sonny Fodera, he’s clearly a talent who has already contributed much to club culture and will continue to do so in the future, and we’re really pleased to see him achieve so much this year.

releases on Traxsource.