Few artists had a year like Fred again... Between his moving Coachella performance, his absolutely bonkers Boiler Room, and releasing his third solo album Actual Life 3, the London DJ/producer dominated dance music—in the sincerest, most sensitive way possible. He helped reintroduce not just a sense of real humanity into dance music, but also an intimacy and physicality so sorely needed after a couple pandemic years of mostly dancing on our own. He also helped blur club music’s subgenres even further across some of this year’s key tracks, such as the sleek, piano-led electro-pop of “Lights Out” featuring Romy and HAAi; the propulsive, bassy cut “Jungle,” which he made with Four Tet; the emotional directness of “Delilah (pull me out of this)”; and the atmospheric "Turn On The Lights again..” with Future and Swedish House Mafia. “I think the feeling that I’ve become really obsessed with is taking very fleeting moments and exposing as much beauty as is in them,” Fred told Apple Music earlier this year. House in general continued to tap into the euphoria of returning to the dance floor, which you can hear in highlights from SHM (who properly returned to the fray this year with an actual debut LP), John Summit, and Kaskade and deadmau5’s Kx5 collab. And speaking of that recommitment to getting physical, tracks such as Eliza Rose & Interplanetary Criminal’s “B.O.T.A. (Baddest Of Them All)” and LF SYSTEM's “Afraid to Feel” nudged tempos up a few BPMs to ensure that we weren’t just dancing, but sweating too. Check out all the biggest tracks that lit up danceXL this year, and add your favorites to your library.