Behind The Beat: Beatport Curation’s Best of 2023

With Behind the Beat, we get to know Beatport’s expert curation team, who highlight their favorite tracks, artists, and labels of 2023.

21 min
Behind the Beat 2023 Beatportal Header 1536x718
Jun 20, 2022
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By
Beatport Curation Team

Check out our curators’ favorite picks in every genre with our Beatport Curation Best of 2023 playlists on Beatport.

Beahind the Beat Raphael Pujol 1000x1000

Raphael Pujol

Curating: House, Tech House, Home Page

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

St David, Riva Star, Cinthie, Dam Swindle, Confidential Recipe

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Rekids, Heist, Nu Groove, Snatch, Moxy

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

St. David – The Message [Body’N Deep]

This track is just incredible. The energy it brings when the kick comes in, the raw classic US ’90s house, and the full-on emotion that the harmonic elements bring have made this an absolute anthem for house music in 2023, and St. David is a force to be reckoned with. He is absolutely on fire, and his music is the best out there.

Cinthie – Piano Heaven [Heist Recordings]

Look no further if you want an emotion-packed record that will light any dance floor on fire. Full of energy, this classic piano house track delivers everything a DJ can dream of. People go wild every time. This one is going to be on rotation for a long time. Cinthie reminds everyone why she is the best.

Beahind the Beat Ross Jackson 1000x1000

Ross Jackson

Curating: Electronica, Techno (Peak Time/ Driving), Techno (Raw/ Deep/ Hypnotic)

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Fergus Sweetland, Cousin, Polygonia, Purelink, Apiento

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Balmat, QEONE, Athens Of The North, Sungate, Molecular Recordings

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Satoshi Tomiie – Proody-106 [Phonogramme]

Ever the class act, Satoshi Tomiie delivers an absolute missile of a track in “Proody-106.” Rolling, skipping basslines set the tone while dubby chords and synth squelches litter the highs. Built for the dance floor, this is a prime example of what classy, deep techno can be in 2023.

Altinbas – Biosfera [Observer Station]

Just as the label artwork suggests, this is proper cosmic techno in the vein of Convextion, Jeff Mills, and others who have set their sights skyward. Lush pads and delicate percussion play over a relentless beat. Hypnotic in the best sense of the word.

Beahind the Beat Yann 1000x1000

Yann Bonnet

Curating: 140 / Deep Dubstep / Grime , Bass / Club, Bass House, Breaks / Breakbeat / UK Bass, Drum & Bass, Trap / Wave

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Erotic Cafe’, VISLA, Bianca Oblivion, Sam Binga, Logan

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Critical Music, Nasty Bros, Overview Music, Le Ciel Records, 83

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Calyx, Logan_olm – Cobra [Critical Music]

It’s one of the tracks of the year on Critical Music! The legend Calyx and one of the most promising MC this year, Logan, join their forces on Cobra, a drum & bass dance floor weapon. Sick!

Burna, Magugu, Deveilman, Madman – Fight Club (What A Shame Pt 2) [Nasty Bros]

UK Funky banger alert on Nasty Bros with “Fight Club (What A Shame Pt. 2)” from Burna featuring Magugu, Deveilman and Madman. Tune!

Beahind the Beat Lis Sarroca 1000x1000

Lis Sarroca

Curating: Deep House, Nu Disco / Disco

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Kolter, Tour Maubourg, Amy Dabbs, Tucillo, Velvet Velour

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Craigie Knowes, Smallville Records, House Cookin’ Records, Heist Recordings, Point Neuf Records

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Rossi. – Feel It [Beeyou Records]

A UK house with bleepy elements courtesy of fresh producer Rossi. Spans everything from breaksteppy hard house to UKG, urging the floorbound masses to “feel alright” through an impenitent repetitive insistence in vocal sample form.

Compassa – Japa Passa [Compass Joint]

Brand new label by Tom Trago and Charles Levine, it vibes with FM synthesis and a dancefloor interpretation of Disco-electro-Caribbean-techno-futuristic flavors! Rhythms and melodies are born out of a pureness of heart and designed to bring positivity and joy. It makes me think of dancing between palm trees, swaying in hammocks, and frolicking across sandy beaches.

Beahind the Beat Will Gulseven 1000x1000

Will Gulseven

Curating: Electro (Classic / Detroit / Modern)

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Imogen, Greta Levska, Poly Chain, Sister Zo, Client_03

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Mechatronica, Steel City Dance Discs, Dionysian Mysteries, WARNING, Pretty Weird

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

DJ Girl – So Hot [Planet Mu]

Detroit’s DJ Girl has been bubbling up in the last few years with appearances on Planet Euphorique, Worst Behavior, and her own Eat Dis imprint, all of which felt like they were leading up 2023’s Hellworld. The EP — perfectly paired with its release on Planet Mu — draws variously from electro, techno, footwork, hyperpop and IDM, offering few chances to catch your breath over its eight tracks. “So Hot” is my pick from the release and one of the weightiest electro tracks I’ve come across this year.

Hudson Mohawke & Nikki Nair – Set the Roof (feat. Tayla Parx) [Warp Records]

The undisputed track of festival season 2023, “Set The Roof” was the signal that summer had begun when it dropped on Warp back in May. HudMo and Nikki Nair’s production breathes new life into the UK garage template while Tayla Parx ties the track together with that *chef’s kiss* singalong vocal.

Beahind the Beat Jeanette Kats 1000x1000

Jeanette Kats

Curating: Dubstep

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Diesel, Crankdat, Infekt, Sippy, Ray Volpe

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Disciple Round Table, Bassrush, Monstercat, Sounds of Mayhem, Rude Service

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Space Laces – Survive [DistroKid]

Space Laces continues to evolve year after year, and 2023 was no different. He showcases his individuality on “Survive,” which proves that dubstep can still be hard-hitting without being too in-your-face.

Crankdat – B.T.W. (The Whistle) [Monstercat]

This track is the perfect example of how to successfully experiment within a genre. I love how Crankdat incorporates elements of other genres into his music while keeping dubstep at the forefront of his sound. This is a straight-up crowd-pleaser.

Beahind the Beat Tom Peters 1000x1000

Tom Peters

Curating: Indie Dance, Melodic House & Techno

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Abuk, &Me, Tal Fussman, Joyce Muniz, Skatman

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Innervisions, Duro, RSPX, Borders Of Light, Higher Ground

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Samet Gunal – Poolboy (Musumeci Remix) [DESSERT]

An absolute highlight in my sets this year was the remix from Musumeci for Samet Gunal. It’s just good vibes all the way through with classic house chords, strings, and high-energy vocal cuts with an ecstatic feeling, recasting “Pool Boy” as a timeless remix.

Dave Seaman – Pretty Doohikey (Hardt Antoine Remix) [DESSERT]

Dave Seaman brought classic sounds in a modern framework, beautifully augmented by Hardt Antoine’s mechanical twist. That remix had the boys gagging.

Behind the Beat Adriane Jackson 1000x1000

Adriane Jackson

Curating: Minimal / Deep Tech

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Kosh, Snad, Burnski, Kepler, Oward

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Limousine Dream, Beeyou Records, Constant Sound, Chat Noir Rec., Sucre Discos

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Kosh – Break It Until You Make It [Casa Voyager]

Kosh has been at the top of my list this year when it comes to true electronic artistry. His versatile, genre-bending productions never fail to inspire me and his latest release on Casa Voyager sets a great example of this. “Break It Until You Make It” is a carefully crafted fusion of traditional breakbeat and house flavors with a stripped-back, minimalistic production style. The forward-driven FM bassline takes the spotlight on this track, very speedy yet very funky. The tripped-out FX is the icing on the cake with siren noises that make you feel like you’re in a high-speed police chase, 10/10!

Nachtbrakter – Dondoni [Nachtbrakter]

Nachtbraker is no stranger. He has had a number of strong releases over the last ten-plus years in Deep House and continues to grow and develop as an artist. His Dondoni EP on his own imprint really shows his ability to stay current without deviating from his roots and core sound. The title track gave me strong feelings of nostalgia, reminiscent of ’90s prog house fused with NB’s unique, Dutch production style. A real journey of soundscapes from start to finish.

Beahind the Beat Andrew Ortiz 1000x1000

Andrew Ortiz

Curating: Dance / Electro Pop, Funky House, Mainstage

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Dom Dolla, Wuki, Alex Mills, John Summit, Eli Brown

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Three Six Zero Records, Thrive Music, Tomorrowland Music, Spinnin’ Records, Revealed Recordings

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Dom Dolla – Saving Up [Three Six Zero Recordings]

Dom Dolla set the tone for his year with the release of “Rhyme Dust” in early 2023 and followed that up with his summer release of “Eat Your Man” with Nelly Furtado. He finishes his year just as strongly as he started it with my favorite track of his, “Saving Up.”

John Summit – Where You Are [Experts Only]

John Summit was already putting out incredible music, but this track took his career to a whole new level. With its March release date, “Where Are You” was already being mentioned as an early contender for “Track of The Year.”

Beahind the Beat Daniel Sokolovskiy 1000x1000

Daniel Sokolovskiy

Curating: Trance (Raw / Deep / Hypnotic), Trance (Main Floor), Psy-Trance

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Basil O’Glue, Maruwa, Ovnimoon, Amazingblaze, Alpha Tracks

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Forescape Digital, Sourcecode Transmissions, Borderline, slash.label, Stereo Society

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Ovnimoon, Hedustma – Escitalotrance [Forescape Digital]

This track sums up what I would call a proper serious and hypnotic deep trance in an absolutely astonishing manner. With a duration of more than ten minutes, it is mesmerizing and makes your mind float to outer space.

Freedom Fighters, Modus (ISR) – Soph [Stereo Society]

Slightly reminiscing of the old classic Platipus sound, this track elevates it to a whole new level with a forward-thinking arrangement, clever sound design, and a super sleek mixdown. Absolutely fabulous!

Beahind the Beat Ghedion 1000x1000

Ghedion Behonegne

Curating: Afro House

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Bun Xapa, Awen, Kitty Amor, DJEFF, Nitefreak

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

RISE, Madorasindahouse, Stay True Sounds, Cacao Records, Kazukuta

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Emmanuel Jal, KEENE, Angelos – Budah [Madorasindahouse Records]

“Budah” captures the sun-soaked joy and undeniable danceability of Afro House at its summery best. Emmanuel Jal’s hook is about as simple and devastating as an earworm as we have heard in the genre, and the production by KEENE and Angelos is sleek and polished. This track has future classic written all over it.

Bun Xapa – Berlin [Rise Music]

2023 was the year that Bun Xapa announced himself as a star. “Berlin” was every Afro House DJ’s secret weapon throughout the year until its recent release, and it still continues to do damage to dance floors globally. Stylistically, it captures SA’s latest new iteration of dance music called 3step (a hybrid of Afro Tech and Amapiano) and is sure to be on rotation for quite some time! A verifiable bomb!

Beahind the Beat Paula Ortega 1000x1000

Paula Ortega

Curating: Progressive House, Organic House / Downtempo

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Hernan Cattaneo, Tantum, Guy J, Estiva, Tom Baker

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Bedrock Records, Meanwhile, Hoomidaas, Anjunadeep, Global Underground

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Tom Baker – Clockwork [Stone Seed]

“Clockwork” surprised me due to its nuances. It touches on different styles close to techno and minimal but with all the strength and groove of progressive house.

Modul Kollektiv – Awake [ZEHN Records]

This track shows the width of the genre and its possibility to mix with another genre’s sound palette. A very good example of how and where Progressive House is looking at the moment and how it is moving forward — seeing that the progressive intention remains untouched.

Beahind the Beat Steve Robinson 1000x1000

Steve Robinson

Curating: Jackin House

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Demuir, Dope Demeanors, Vincent Caira, Teddy Wong, Some Too Suspect

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Purveyor Underground, Robsoul Recordings, Guesthouse Music, Groovphoria Records, Moxy Muzik

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Demuir – GFY [Purveyor Underground]

It will come as no surprise to find a Demuir track here, given his remarkable output, including two albums released in 2023 among other significant releases. Featured on his second album, Under The Waning Moon, the track “GFY” is a fantastic example of a Jackin House track that ticks every box.

Dope Demeanors – Schoolie [Smokin Joe Records]

Dope Demeanors have also been on a hot streak, showcasing an impressive output in 2023. This track exemplifies one of their standout productions from this year. It’s raw, underground, with an old-school vibe that, for me, can work on any dance floor.

Beahind the Beat Phodiso Raboroko 1000x1000

Phodiso Raboroko

Curating: Amapiano

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Chley, Stixx, Charisse C, Vigro Deep, Young Stunna

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Universal Music Pty Ltd., Sound African Recordings, TAYO Projects, Legend Live, New Money Gang Records

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Tyler ICU, Tumelo.za – Mnike (feat. DJ Maphorisa, Nandipha808, Ceeka RSA & Tyron Dee) [New Money Gang Records]

“Mnike” — directly translated as ‘give them’ in isiZulu — is the type of song you play when you’re getting ready to go out with friends, on your drive to the party, and on your way to the second location. Its heavy bassline, pulsating rhythm and catchy vocals are perfect for getting you to move your body or bop your head, whether you like it or not. It’s no wonder why this track made headlines worldwide, topped global charts for weeks on end, and received multiple gold and platinum status awards in many different countries.

Sol Phenduka, KsoulRsa, Anga Diago, Nvrth – Lonely Nights [Solomzi Creations]

I love this song because it represents the vulnerable and soulful side of Amapiano that you wouldn’t typically hear in clubs or festivals. This style of Amapiano is what we call in South Africa “private school Amapiano” because of how expensive it sounds. The vocalist complements the song well because she sings about an issue that she’s been facing in her relationship with her man, which ties in with the expensive style of the sound that forces you to sit down in a lounge, pour a glass of a fine drink and just think about life.

Beahind the Beat Tommy Vaudecrane 1000x1000

Tommy Vaudecrane

Curating: Hard Dance / Hardcore

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Rooler , Mad Dog , Hysta, Krista Bourgeois, Vortek’s

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

PRSPCT Recordings, Omny Lab, Minus is More, Masters of Hardcore, Dogfight Records

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Mad Dog – No Gimmick [Dogfight Records]

Mad Dog has been one of the game-changer artists in Hardcore for years now. With his downtempo project, bringing down the tempo in hardcore he has once again changed the game and brought a new dimension to hard music. “No Gimmick” is the perfect example of where hard music will be going in the next years

Kronos, Rooler – FCK DAT! [Agressive Records]

One of the best hardstyle tracks of the year. Full power on the dance floor with this amazing track by two of the best producers of 2023. If you want to bring hell to the dance floor, “FCK DAT!” is a must-have.

Beahind the Beat Valerick Lantin Beaulieu 1000x1000

Valerick Lantin

Curating: Hard Techno

My Top Five Artists of 2023:

Luciid, Somniac One, Clouds, AERT, CANCEL

My Top Five Labels of 2023:

Green Fetish, R-Label, Audiocode, Cause Records, Broken Strain

My Two Favorite Tracks of 2023:

Clouds – Mutate On Site [R LABEL GROUP]

I’m a huge fan of the Futuristic Cyberpunk Universe from Clouds, and Mutate On Site sends me straight to it every time I listen to it. A complex bass that drives the whole story, glitchy vocals sending alert messages, and a trancy lead… we enter in darkness.

Somniac One – Buzz Pollinator [Perc Trax]

“Buzz Pollinator” is the fastest track from Somniac One’s EP debut on Perc Trax. A high-octane release containing, in my humble opinion, one of the best breakdowns of 2023; the astonishing sound design brings back a straight-to-the-point kick that only Kristina has the secret to.

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