30. Deadmau5 feat. Rob Swire – “Ghosts N Stuff” (2008)
After a steady, decade-long ascent, 2008 was the year the mau5 became The Man, by releasing three singles that would go on to reach No. 1 on the Billboard dance charts. But “Ghosts N Stuff” was the biggest banger of the bunch, with Knife Party’s Rob Swire sculpting his chorus melody using the sleepy hook of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and Deadmau5 jolting it to life with electro-house horsepower and church organ jolts.
29. Skrillex – “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” (2010)
Like his famously asymmetrical haircut, Skrillex’s early signature single is all business on the left, party on the right. It begins with sweeping, classically inspired synth melodies and heavily processed but poignant vocals — until, 40 seconds in, our Sonny pushes it all over the Mt. Everest of drops. What follows is an epic, back-and-forth battle for the fate of, if not humanity, then at least dubstep. (Spoiler alert: the bros win.)
28. DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber – “Let Me Love You” (2016)
Along with “Sorry” and “Where Are Ü Now,” “Let Me Love You” completes the holy trinity of pitch-shifting, tropically flavored comeback singles from Justin Bieber’s recent apology tour. But instead of stewing its simmering emotions into ecstatic release, DJ Snake slithers the other way, couching the song’s plaintive chorus in a low-key breakdown that invites you to sing and snap along.
27. Kid Cudi – “Day ‘N’ Nite” (Crookers Remix) (2009)
The difference between Kid Cudi’s original “Day ‘N’ Nite” and Crookers’ electro-house remix is, well, the difference between night and day. Where the Cleveland MC’s 2008 single is an account of insomnia and familial strife set to a skeletal beat, the Italian DJ duo boot Cudi out of the bedroom and into the club — and suddenly a line like “The lonely stoner seems to free his mind at night” takes on a whole new meaning.
26. Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill in Ibiza” (Seeb Remix) (2015)
In EDM’s version of “American Pie,” Mike Posner narrates a depressive episode that revolves around trying to impress Avicii by taking drugs backstage. The music doesn’t die, exactly, but it does mellow out: In Seeb’s remix, colossal trance has deflated into tropical house and the phrase “a sad song” is looped and looped.
25. Lilly Wood & The Prick – “Prayer in C” (Robin Schulz Remix) (2014)
For evidence of EDM’s awesome/destructive power, see “Prayer in C.” The original 2010 version by French folk duo Lilly Wood & The Prick is painfully slow and achingly mournful, even including sad flutes. For his remix, German producer Robin Schulz ditched the flutes, jacked the tempo, and built everything around the tune’s snaking guitar line, resulting in a punishingly catchy tropical house track that ended up charting around the globe. It’s one of those songs you know even if you don’t know you know it — which you wouldn’t, were it not for Schulz.
24. Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha – “In the Name of Love” (2016)
23. Duck Sauce – “Barbra Streisand” (2014)
22. Fatboy Slim & Riva Starr feat. Beardyman – “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” (Calvin Harris Remix) (2013)
21. Disclosure – “When a Fire Starts to Burn” (2014)