The 100 Best Tracks of 2015
#90 Martin Solveig & GTA – Intoxicated
They might seem like an odd pairing at first: the always-evolving festival veteran Martin Solveig and Miami’s bass-loving upstarts GTA, but the result is a ridiculously fun sing-along that pairs a big-room beat with trap tropes for a tune that’s just as big, fun and silly as its name suggests. It’s was one of the most Shazamed tracks in Ibiza this season, and it’s a safe bet that we’ll be hearing it a lot more in this hemisphere as well all festival season long. [Nick Jarvis]
#89 Calvin Harris & Disciples – How Deep Is Your Love
In 2015, Calvin Harris is unlikely to care if you think he’s a sell out. These days the world’s highest paid DJ is too busy breaking Michael Jackson’s chart records, pulling bigger crowds than anyone in Vegas and riding inflatable swans with Taylor Swift.
And, of course, he’s in the middle of a platinum-selling single streak most producers could only dream of. This year, Calvin’s contribution to the world’s FM radio stations came in How Deep Is Your Love, a track that lent more towards UK house than festival-ready EDM, and one of his most sophisticated hits yet. No one’s doing pop dance music better, but you don’t have to take our word for it – 268 million YouTube plays can’t be wrong. [Katie Cunningham]
#88 Agoria – Alluvion
Aluvion offered another example of how Innervisions weren’t afraid to climb towards trancier territories this year, and it was also one of the most realized examples of a very particular melodic techno sound that the likes of Stephan Bodzin and Tale of Us also enjoyed plenty of success with.
Aluvion was arguably the most impactful of them all, not to mention the most melodic, epic effort we’ve heard yet from France’s Agoria. From the opening twinkle of bleeps that greet its rising synth swells, to those mad rushes of melody that swell in its latter parts, it was drama and deepness in equal measure, and it made for a winning combination. [Angus Paterson]
#87 Golden Features – Baxter
The masked man Golden Features walked away with the industry-voted inthemix award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year in 2015, and with good reason: he’s gone from unknown to massive in just over a year and keeps on turning out these completely unique-sounding bass-driven burners.
When he dropped his debut EP early last year, it seemed so improbable that an emerging producer could come out with such a fully-rounded sound and four killer tracks on one EP, people were sure Golden Features was a side-alias for some already-famous name. But no, he’s really just a 23-year-old Sydney guy getting his first solo project out there: and if he keeps turning out intense, heavy-weight tunes like Baxter, he’ll be going from “breakthrough” to superstar in no time. [Nick Jarvis]
#86 Valentino Khan – Deep Down Low
So rinsed was Valentino Khan’s breakthrough track that it practically became a meme – if you went to the club this year and didn’t hear Deep Down Low, did you really go out at all? Khan’s OWSLA stomper is a DJ tool to be sure, but with a bassline that compelling, it’s one we can get behind. And if the original doesn’t have you sold, well, there’s about two hundred remixes to wade through instead… [Katie Cunningham]
#85 Craig David & Big Narstie – When The Bassline Drops
When Craig David showed up to MistaJam’s Radio 1 show and dropped a freestyle over Where Are Ü Now, grime don Big Narstie was so impressed he invited the former pop star into the studio to put together the first new Craig David material in years; it’s an instant two-stepping UK Garage classic with a very grimy breakdown. [Nick Jarvis]
#84 Dusky – Skin Deep
While Dusky finished off their year with a deeper, more heads-down offering in the form of their Lydia EP, their smash Ordinary World EP from back in July offered an alternative stylistic pivot that saw them competing with Eric Prydz in the unbridled euphoria stakes. It was by far the raviest collection of anthems Dusky had put their name to, and Skin Deep was the dancefloor bomb at its centerpiece.
While it might have been garnished with deep house conventions, this was really quite a thin veil, as you only needed to hear Skin Deep on the dancefloor to recognize it as one of the most euphoric house anthems we’d heard in a long time. [Angus Paterson]
#83 Madeon – Pay No Mind
Launchpad prodigy Madeon delighted fans with the broad musical palette and left-field indie rock collaborations on his debut LP Adventure earlier this year, and Pay No Mind with Passion Pit’s frontman Michael Angelakos was a clear stand-out. Speaking with inthemix back in March, Madeon described the collab as “magical and easy and wonderful,” and the result is super shiny disco that owes no small debt to the revivalist work of Daft Punk. [Nick Jarvis]
#82 Maribou State – The Clown (Axwel Bowman remix)
This moody and darkly beautiful indie-house hybrid made the playlists of top DJs across many formats, but was perhaps most noteworthy as a highlight on Matthew Herbert’s freakishly brilliant Essential Mix. Like Herbert at his best, German deep-house maestro Axel Boman creates a simmering intensity with off-kilter percussion, haunting piano chords and weird synth bleeps, while snippets of the original vocal drift in and out like ghosts, sometimes barely audible and devoid of meaning, and sometimes pleading, “I did what I had to do.” If you hear this track just once you won’t soon forget it. [Jim Poe]
#81 Mall Grab – I’ve Always Liked Grime
Coming out of nowhere with the best track title of 2015 is Mall Grab, a producer who hails not from London but the mean streets of Newcastle. His low-fi, late night beats have earned attention abroad as well as at home – even Pitchfork and RA jumped on his Elegy EP – but it’s I’ve Always Liked Grime that has our vote as one of the year’s best. If this is the future of local dance music, colour us very f*cking excited. [Katie Cunningham]