Well 2015 has come and gone, providing dance and electronic music fans around the globe with an onslaught of new music to listen to for years to come. New artists have emerged as key players while veterans of the game showed us why they’ve been so successful for so long. Future House was easily the sound of 2015 while Trap has hung around way longer than I expected and this “Future Bass” phenomenon, thanks in large part to many Australian producers, is certainly a mainstay sound. One thing we also learned is that live instrumentation – the basis behind all music – is ever-present in dance/electronic music and we’re soaking it up (I’m looking at you Odesza, Gorgon City, Rüfüs Du Sol, and Goldfish).
Something that us co-founders of MMIBTY have made a tradition of over the years is putting together our “Best Of” lists, that take the best releases from the past year and arrange into groupings according to genres, break-out artists, etc. As you can see from Yula’s Best of 2015 list, we’re breaking that mold this year. Instead, each writer is gathering his or her own personal list to share with you and that’s exactly what I’ve done below.
Check out my top-20 favorite songs from 2015 (in no particular order) as well as artists I thought killed it, and a few who you should watch out for in 2016! At the bottom of the post you can find my playlist and my 2015 Year Mix. Let me know what you think and enjoy!
Top 20 Songs of 2015:
Jack U – Where Are You Now (ft. Justin Bieber and Cans)
Major Lazer – Lean On
CamelPhat – Constellations
Eats Everything – Dancing (Again)
Purple Disco Machine & Boris Dlugosch – L.O.V.E.
Claptone – The Music Got Me
Disclosure – Bang That
Will Clarke – Spandex
Valentino Khan – Deep Down Low
Jamie XX – Loud Places
Chris Lake Remixes/Edits (let’s be honest, he kills it. “How Deep Is Your Love”, “California”, and “Uptown Funk” in particular)
Alex Metric – Drum Machine
Martin Solveig & GTA – Intoxicated
Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body (Tchami Tribute)
Sugarstarr ft. Alexander – Hey Sunshine (Antonio Giacca Remix)
Diplo. Yeah, I know, he’s been around for a while, people know about him, he’s old news blah blah blah. Actually, Diplo may be a veteran of the game, but he’s one of the few artists who keeps things fresh and keeps things evolving. Diplo is constantly on the hunt for the next sound. Whether Diplo (real name Wesley Pentz) is producing tracks for himself, producing tracks for other artists, DJing live, hosting his radio show, or performing with Major Lazer or Jack Ü, he always comes correct. I’d say he’s one of the hardest working men in music – let alone dance music. And this year with radio hits stemming from his groups Major Lazer and the newly-formed world sensation Jack Ü, it’s clear Diplo killed 2015. Of course he had help (looking at you Skrillex (and Diplo agrees)), but there really isn’t anyone else I could have crowned for this.
Of course there were plenty of other artists who killed it in 2015 and they are certainly worth mentioning here. Included in those mentions should be Gorgon City, Odesza, and Lane 8. Gorgon City continue to release hit after hit and this year they showed us they’re not just masters of the studio or behind the decks, but they also bring a fantastic live act to the stage. Gorgon City can create pop masterpieces or get grimy with some serious UK House music – and everything in between. Really looking forward to continued tunes from the boys.
Odesza. Not much you can say about this Seattle duo that hasn’t already been said. Odesza this year are what Flume was last year: everywhere. Headlining every Summer festival, selling out massive tours, and being a part of everyone’s playlist, Odesza certainly have captured lightning in a bottle with their unique sound and excellent live performances.
It may be a surprise to you that I put Lane 8 on this list. But if you pay attention to the Deep House scene it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that Daniel Goldstein is an honorable mention for 2015. The soft-spoken producer/DJ is one of the most talented individuals on the Anjunadeep label and this year he released his debut album Rise (which we covered HERE). Lane 8 also toured and sold out shows all around the country, with a very loyal fanbase that continues to support him for good reason. Keep your eye on Lane 8 in 2016 as he’s just getting started.
Artists to Watch in 2016
When you reflect back on the past year, you consider who were among the best, but you also consider who are primed for big years when the calendar flips to a fresh set of downs (did you like that football analogy?). These might be artists who are completely new to the scene, or ones who continue to make a name for themselves. Whatever the reasons are, the following artists are ones I think you should pay attention to in 2016:
Hotel Garuda – infectious originals and remixes
Hermitude – thunder from down under!
Grum – been around for a while but finally catching fire with his Trance/Progressive style