It’s been another scorcher of a year for electronic music, and our year-end list is looking more diverse than ever. Here’s the first helping of 2015’s best cuts, as we run down from #65-40.
65. House of Doors – Starcave [Mood Hut]
Pacing burner from the Mood Hut camp, capped off with a catchy reedy synthline.
64. Lipelis – Weirdshit Xu Paelk [L.I.E.S]
The best of Lipelis’ strong edits collection on LIES, a dangerous bassline and Thai vocals make for a scorching piece of wonky funk that lit up many a dancefloor.
63. Ekman – GMMDI (Breaker 1 2 Remix) [Berceuse Heroique]
One of the year’s darkest scorchers came from Breaker 1 2, who many will know better as Greg Beato. His flip of Ekman’s GMMDI is black as pitch, with a raw rhythm and lethal synthwork.
62. Palmbomen II – Leo Danziger [Beats In Space]
The affecting coda to Palmbomen’s LP on Beats In Space was short but heart-rending, a bittersweet dirge for a fantasy funeral.
61. Entro Senestre – Rosegold [W.T. Records]
ES’ neon-soaked outing on W.T Records came with this propulsive opener, a moody house roller to rival Detroit’s finest night-drive anthems.
60. Imaabs – Voy [Naafi]
Few tunes this year got dancefloors popping as surely as this one from Chile’s Imaabs. It may be short but its punchy drum section and pinch of dramatic synthwork would get your gran throwing shapes from her chair.
59. Kornél Kovács – Pantalón [Numbers]
Kovács’ discoid anthem with its tunnelling bassline and nonsensical Spanish vocal line is catchy, fun and huge.
58. Kirk The Flirt & Peter Pressure – Never Ever Give Up [1080p]
In another strong year for 1080p an LP from Berlin’s Physical Therapy stood out with a selection of prime club cuts. The strange whistling hook and deep pads made this cut the highlight.
57. Call Super – Migrant [Houndstooth]
JR Seaton’s ace two-tracker was another refinement of his elegant sound. Here the melodies and effects come to life as a dense rainforest, a sound that makes you want to crawl inside and nest.
56. Mark Barrott – Saviours Or Savages [International Feel]
The I-Feel label head put out one of his best balearic cuts to date with these swooning melodies and crystalline synthscapes.
55. Foreign – B1 [BAROC]
The edgy BAROC imprint came out with some real thunder on Foreign’s raw machine-driven outing. The A1 is dancefloor killer but it was with the ghostly ambience and lost animal cries of the B-side that he struck platinum.
54. Chaos In The CBD – Midnight In Peckham [Rhythm Section]
Bradley Zero continued to tease out the jazzier side of house on Rhythm Section this year, with a starring role played by this Kiwi duo. Trumpet and piano serenade each other over a dusty drumtrack in this timeless cut.
53. Andrea – Outlines [Ilian Tape]
It’s not easy to make a techno track that’s both epic and raw, but Andrea managed it with the soaring synths and canny rhythms of Outlines.
52. Adesse Versions – Pride [Numbers]
Deadly in its simplicity, here Adesse Versions paired a diva vocal with the most vicious piano line this side of Prosumer.
51. Local Artist – Feelings [Rhythm Section]
One of the wonkiest cuts to come out of Canada’s house scene in 2015, Feelings was an unlikely anthem whose curious effects and hazy ambience shone through a scene crowded with similar artists.
50. Kasra V – Last Order [Make Love In Public Spaces]
Heavyweight house that lopes along with a searing bassline and a cinematic sense of drama.
49. Obas Nenor – Change Got To Come [Mahogani Music]
Either side of Nenor’s ace 12” on Moodymann’s imprint could have made this list, but we favour the darker B-side, which shifts from a dirty dancehall riddim to catchy twilight disco in the blink of an eye.
48. Bleaker – Hype (Funk) [Unknown To The Unknown]
Another example of deadly simplicity was Bleaker’s flip of a classic on Hype (Funk). A propulsive rhythm track, a brief late melody and that loopy vocal make for raw dancefloor killer.
47. Sabre – Ghetto Prophet [Royal Oak]
Portugese duo Sabre knocked it out of the park with this maximalist house epic, masterfully building tension with operatic drums and polished synthwork to an enormous climax.
46. Suzanne Kraft – Flatiron [Melody As Truth]
The enormously talented Suzanne Kraft dropped some gorgeous ambience and guitar work on his Talk From Home LP, the centrepiece being this blissed-out cut, all smoky riffs and featherweight percussion.
45. PCK – Amen Garage [The Final Experiment]
Everything that Shed touches is gold, and this year we were particularly wowed by a high-octane slice of jungle under a new moniker, PCK. Lightning-fast breakbeat juggling and an urgent vocal meant that this one’s power more than made up for its brief length.
44. The Horn – Villager [Workshop]
The first reissue to enter our list is this ’96 synth piece that featured on Workshop’s ace mixed artist release early in the year. Why does it deserve to come back after twenty years? The reverb-drenched melody conjures a lingering nostalgia, the snappy electro beat the bittersweet need to move on. More emotions than your average album, all in seven minutes.
43. DJ Koze – XTC [Pampa]
Koze’s annual entry into the year-end list is unusually straight. On first listen it’s a normal (though subdued) deep house cut. Then you hear those jagged synths, the constant bass pressure, the misty ambience, and that ambiguous vocal that creeps under your skin. He’s got you.
42. Sound Stream – Bass Affairs [Sound Stream]
With his release rate of seven singles since 1999, any year that Sound Stream drops a release is a blessing. His is disco-house polished to perfection, oozing funk and charm, dynamite on the dancefloor.
41. Paxton Fettel – Dots On The Skyline [Greta Cottage Workshop]