Winding down 2015 wouldn’t feel complete without making a fickle attempt at listing my favorite tracks of the year.
Consolidating a specific number of your songs is not only difficult, it’s unfair.
There are literally hundreds of stellar cuts produced by musicians around the world at an exponential, depressing pace. So instead of looking at the songs we already hear stealing radio airwaves and strangling our brains, I decided to find which underground EDM songs dominated 2015.
While the EDM realm experiences spontaneous ups and downs of certain genres, artists, and trends — its underground scene will always remain consistent in making music for the dance floor. And by definition, you won’t have to worry about them being a guilty pleasure.
So let’s get on with dancing. Here are our 10 best underground EDM songs from 2015.
Low Steppa – Drums Rockin
Will Bailey, a.k.a. Low Steppa, had a massive 2015; finding success through releasing chart-topping records and a popular radio show on Rinse FM. Released on his own imprint Simma Black, “Drums Rockin” combines Bailey’s deep bassline stylings with a classic Chicago house sample.
Monkey Safari – Walls
Slow and steady, bold and mesmerizing. Monkey Safari is two brothers who are surely taking over dance floors with their uplifting and production-heavy tracks. “Walls” is one of those songs you can put on repeat for an hour and never get sick of it. With official remixes by Guy Gerber, Moby, and Josh Wink, it’s hard to deny “Walls” being one of the year’s best underground EDM songs.
&ME – Woods
Berlin-based &ME continued to make his mark in the house and techno scene in 2015. “Woods,” the slow-building b-side from &ME’s ‘Trilogy EP,’ grabs you from the start with hollowed out percussion and jungle samples. Picking up pace and led by a buzzing analog synth, the track hits a euphoric tipping point and delivers an absolute belter.
Stephane 1993 – Saffron Smoke
This is probably my favorite Boysnoize Records release of 2015. Stephane 1993 released a somewhat underlooked techno EP at the beginning of the summer called ‘Holovision’ and filled it with four very distinct tracks. Out of those four, “Saffron Smoke” is the real gem.
Maceo Plex – Solar Detroit
Maceo Plex is a producer I’ve always shared a connection with simply because we come from the same city. Now, he may take up residencies all over the world and much prefer to call cities with richer musical history like Detroit home, but that doesn’t make my attraction to his music any different. “Solar Detroit” is another flip side track that’s almost soundtrack-worthy with its epic synth lines and rustling effects.
Bicep – Rays
The Feel My Bicep boys flexed on 2015 with the release of their “Dahlia” EP. Enlisting the help of Hammer on the EP’s title track, my two favorites off Dahlia were the ones Bicep boasted solo production. Hands down one of the best house tracks in 2015, “Rays” is a soulful pick-me-up that turns into dance floor destroyer with its bassline punches.
Dominica – Gotta Let U Go (2015 Edit)
This track is actually a remix of the Dominica original done by Bicep, but their bootleg received official treatment known as the ‘2015 Edit.’ Before its release, this rework got washed out all over the world, being played by the biggest producers as an uplifting kick nearing the end of their marathon sets. The vibes on this are unreal.
Steve Lawler – House Record
“House Record,” a tech house thumper from Steve Lawler, poked its head into DJ sets towards the end of 2014, but this past year is when Hot Creations officially unleashed this monster. Appearing at #10 on Resident Advisor’s 100 most charted songs of 2015, “House Record” is holding a spot in many best-of charts – easily qualifying for our top underground EDM songs list.
Tale of Us & Mind Against – Astral
If music is meant to be a journey, Tale of Us & Mind Against achieved that special feat with their co-produced track “Astral.” For nearly seven exhilarating minutes, “Astral” plays a game of back-and-forth — pushing forward with thick bass drums and easing its way back with light, airy synths.
Hot Since 82 – Veins
As hard as it is to acknowledge a song as the best of the year, Hot Since 82’s string of 2015 releases finds itself highlighted by one specific track. “Veins” does everything I want in a song: A great build up, manipulated female vocals, and an enormous dance floor bassline. “Veins” is the b-side of Hot Since 82’s ‘Damage/Veins’ release out on Truesoul.