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The 40 Best Dance Tracks of 2013 So Far

The year in dance music so far has been all about strange bedfellows, deep-seated urges, and going back to basics. It’s weird times for dance music; no obvious Next Big Thing looms on the horizon. Search parties have been sent out, yet scenes and sounds fragment and regroup, invest and recoup. The business press would have you think that stakes is high, and maybe that’s true for the suits, who’d like to freeze-dry the culture and zip it up in vacuum-packed bags, like that astronaut ice cream you can buy at amusement parks. Down on the ground, though, the tinkerers are building rockets in their garage. And where dance music used to be defined by place-names — Berlin, Ibiza, London, New York — these days, anyone with an Internet connection can track its path across the galaxy. PHILIP SHERBURNE