The 100 Best Tracks of 2015
From deep house to techno and radio-ready EDM, this year producers at home and abroad have given us a mountain of tunes worth putting on repeat. It’s never easy playing favourites, but in the spirit of the end-of-year, we’ve gone to work selecting the gems that will live on as classics. So grab your headphones, turn up the volume and dive into the 100 best dance tracks of 2015.
#100 Axwell /\ Ingrosso – On My Way
When Swedish House Mafia pulled the plug on their multi-million dollar operation in 2013, the former trio took two distinct paths. Steve Angello started mouthing off about the state of dance music and releasing ‘purer’ progressive house tracks like Payback (which ranked in our list of last year’s best), while Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso paired up to keep the vocal EDM coming. And when you’re this good at it, who can blame them? On My Way is Axwell /\ Ingrosso’s first anthem as a duo, but with a whole album on the way, it won’t be their last. [Katie Cunningham]
#99 Claptone – Dear Life ft Jaw (Claptone night remix)
Berlin’s mighty masked house man Claptone went straight for the piano-pop-house jugular on the original version of Dear Life, but his own Night edit dubs things down a little, scrubbing off some of the sweetness and replacing it with loopy, techy late night goodness. [Nick Jarvis]
#98 Alison Wonderland – Games
“This song is not a club jam,” party pro Alison Wonderland warned when the video for her latest single Games dropped. She wasn’t lying – unlike the festival-ready I Want U and U Don’t Know, the latest (and best) track from Ms Wonderland’s debut album wasn’t designed for the dancefloor. Pop wins out over trap here, proving even Grey Goose’s number one girl can turn down sometimes. [Katie Cunningham]
#97 Nick Hoppner – Relate (Black Madonna remix)
Resident and talent buyer at Smart Bar, Chicago’s Marea Stamper has steadily built an international reputation as a dancefloor destroyer with sets that range from disco to techno to electronica and back again; and her wide-ranging tastes are reflected in this bomb.
Its jacking beat, pumping organ and fierce percussion and handclaps have the rugged soul of a ’90s house classic; while its moody swirling synths and acid lines give it a darker techno feel. It’s perfectly built to transition between moods and modes and across musical barriers. It’s also one of those remixes that entirely eclipses the original, but Höppner himself must approve – the Berghain and Panorama Bar resident has been hammering the track in his peaktime sets lately. [Jim Poe]
#96 Duke Dumont – Ocean Drive
Duke Dumont told inthemix that his latest chart-topper Ocean Drive is “probably the most pop song I’ve done to date…but the funny thing is that it’s probably the song I’m most proud of.” He’s right to be proud – it’s a perfect slice of pop music, rooted in his house sensibility. [Nick Jarvis]
#95 Sleepy Tom & Anna Lunoe – Pusher
The rise and rise of Anna Lunoe continues unabated in 2015, a straight testament to what can be achieved when you seize your ambition “by the balls and have the guts to follow through with it,” as Anna told inthemix when we spoke with her earlier this year. Aided by a relocation to LA and a non-stop touring schedule around the US, Anna’s debut EP All Out killed it last year, and she kicked off this year with another big, summery house anthem, this time working with Vancouver’s Sleepy Tom, who took a step away from the Jersey Club territory he’d been dominating to help deliver a bass-led house anthem to Fool’s Gold. [Nick Jarvis]
#94 Sam Feldt – Show Me Love (EDX’s Indian Summer remix)
Sam Feldt’s rework of the immortal ‘90s house classic Show Me Love took out the original’s powerful gospel diva vocals and propulsive beat, and replaced them with a ponderous piano line and chillaxed tropical house breakdown. Like a macaroon, it was pretty but insubstantial. Happily, EDX’s Indian Summer remix gave the tune back a shed load of the original’s power and energy, while still remaining very 2015. Just add in some epic build-ups, a huge-sounding four-to-the-floor beat and a pitched-down chorus hook to harmonise with Kimberly Anne’s (slightly nasal) vocals, and you’ve got a future house burner that’s a worthy update of the original. [Nick Jarvis]
#93 Kill the Noise with Feed Me – I Do Coke
If there’s anyone you can count on to poke fun at drugs and dance music’s culture of excess, it’s Kill the Noise. I Do Coke does both of those things – hell, it comes complete with racking up sound effects between the vocal samples – but it’s also a straight up banger and an exciting new shade of bass from KTN. The fact that it’s a collaboration with his friend and producer Feed Me probably didn’t hurt, either. [Katie Cunningham]
#92 Kilter – Want 2
Certified local hitmaker Ned East teamed up with brand new Sweat It Out recruits Porsches back in May for this slinky little slice of white-boy-electro-funk, peaking our interest in just who these Porsches guys are (hint: this isn’t the only time they appear in this list). Together with Kilter, they make a formidable team. [Nick Jarvis]
#91 Running Touch – What’s Best For You
The mystery-cloaked figure behind Running Touch is just one of the lucky freaks of nature who can seemingly turn their hand and master any number of musical styles. Whether it’s abrasive guitar stuff, hard-partying club music or downtempo and introspective moments, this guy’s worthy of twisting the adage and calling him a master of all trades.
It was with that kind of a free spirited approach to creativity – like a trove of sounds waiting to be unlocked – that saw Running Touch bolt from the gates on What’s Best For You, an energy-hit of thick deep house beats and surging layers of electronics. Such is the productivity of the Running Touch project that the chameleonic Melbourne producer has already changed his skin on some late-2015 material, but regardless of where Running Touch goes next and what it sounds like, we should be pretty stoked that we got this one when we did because it’s an absolute belter. [Dave Ruby Howe]