[15 to End 2015] Ninja Dom’s Best of the Year

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As a sweeping generalization, 2015 will go down as a year dominated by collectives. Future Classic, Hegemon, Moving Castle, Soulection, HW&W, Wedidit, Monstercat, and French Express pooled their talents together to commandeer the music scene this year. The technical aspects commonly associated with “Future” crept into the DNA of producers, becoming a topical theme across genres from the most obscure to the most mainstream.

In particular, and as one of the most recent additions to the TMN staff, it has been quite a journey both as a contributor and music fan since early April. Without the collaboration of the entire staff – the guidance of editors and advice of my fellow writers – year one as a ninja would not have been possible. Along the way I’ve covered tours, shot music festivals, and met some of my favorite artists, who have graciously exposed me to their own intricate webs of sound. That being said, below is my best effort to reduce thousands of great tracks released this calendar year down to a manageable number. Enjoy the tracks below, in order of release date, and see you all next year!

Oceaán
Veritas (Young & Sick’s Mixed Feelings)
Although it has nearly been removed from all channels of the internet, this remix of Veritas is a fluid tune, incorporating contrasting techniques in a way that set it apart this year.

OBESØN 
Mon Amour
This is both my favorite song ever and the answer to the hypothetical question “if you could only listen to one song for the rest of time…”

San Holo
We Rise
Deserving of a spot on all lists, this has been the de facto party-starter and pregame anthem since it’s release in February.

Alison Wonderland
Run
The title track from AW’s debut album taps into the talents of fellow producers Djemba Djemba and AWE in creating this hooky, electronic masterpiece.

Mura Masa
When U Need Me
For an artist focused on quality over quantity, this is Mura Masa’s greatest creation to date.

DIVERSA
Burning House
Burning House is the most powerful release of Diversa’s, serving as a benchmark for the current wave of Drum & Bass producers to measure up against.

Jamie xx
The Rest is Noise
Jamie XX has been graced with near unanimous approval of his album In Colour; The Rest is Noise incorporates his most polished elements in a lengthy rainbow-colored instrumental.

Tory Lanez
Acting Like (Prod. by Shlohmo)
Another up and coming artist out of the blooming Toronto hip-hop scene, Tory Lanez, enlists the help of Shlohmo in putting together this dark, rhythmic jam.

Golden Vessel
Borrowed Time (ft. Tiana Khasi)
Melbourne locals Golden Vessel and Tiana Khasi teamed up to create one of the most enchanting and soulful pieces of the year, bar none.

Thundercat
Them Changes
As the most groovy track of the summer season, this was also an introduction and revival of the nostalgia-pumping funk genre, which used to dominate the charts.

Tame Impala
The Moment
Parker shows off his adaptability on this one; in cutting the downtrodden lyrical content against a synth-driven bridge full of cheery guitar riffs and rhythmic hand claps, the single is inextricably linked with the bridge in fellow Australian band Pond’s recent release, “Medicine Hat”.

Moi Je
Fais Rien (PETIT BISCUIT Remix)
Although the title literally means ‘do nothing’, it is nearly impossible to hear this remix by Petit Biscuit and not be tempted to move by the upbeat tempo.

Khai
Do You Go Up
This bubbly, minimalist tune is carried on the strength of its hook and the catchy vocals of its creator.

SevnthWonder
Maria Im Drunk (Ft. Deverano) (Travis Scott Cover)
As the most notable track by the best up and comer out of 2015, this remix displays a vision and creativity beyond SevnthWonder’s years.

Finding Hope
Wonder
With roots in the ambient genre, down-tempo is the most calming style of music. The deep, pleasant reverie continues through Wonder and does not end until the close of the song.

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[15 to End 2015] Ninja Jordan’s Best of the Year

endoftheyearJordan

2015 marks a new era in music. I know that’s a grand claim, but hear me out. We haven’t seen this kind of experimentation and innovation in many, many years– so much so that I’m taking it upon myself to title 2015 the year of the Phoenix. *Insert smoke bomb quick change effect here.*

The concept of quality music has entirely re-birthed itself and with it the consumer base’s understanding of artistry has grown ten-fold. Artists like Grimes and Kendrick have experimented with elements that have been foreign to any of their previous works, Thundercat has stepped on the scene in a mainstream way that I would have never thought possible, and the Biebs has actually issued public apologies for his shenanigans and it is on that principle that I include him on this list. Just kidding, he just made a great track with the help of good ol’ Wes and Sonny.

But I feel weirdly proud of all of them. And with that, I bring you my list of the best tracks of 2015. Hope you enjoy.

Skrillex and Diplo
Where Are Ü Now (with Justin Bieber)

I know this song is everywhere all the time, but credit is due where it’s deserved, and thanks to this track made Bieber 10x more attractive. Probably ‘cause Diplo touched it. Mmmm Diplo.

Shlomo
BURIED
“Buried” provides a haunting introduction to one of his best works so far, Dark Red, that I to this day cannot stop blasting, and sometimes I put a sheet over my head and lurk around to it and that’s not strange.

Viet Cong
Continental Shelf
Off their self-titled EP, “Continental Shelf” best encapsulates the emergence of a new age rock band that just seems to know what the freak (it might be 2015 but my lingo’s stuck in ’05) is up.

Psychemagik
Mink & Shoes feat Navid Izadi
A new kind of dubby club music—this track just makes me feel like straight struttin’ and was one of the hottest releases in electronic.

Lane 8
Diamonds ft. Solomon Grey
This whole EP was just a great release for electronic music, and “Diamonds” is a beautiful example of the finesse Lane 8 put into this work.

Major Lazer & Dj Snake
Lean On (Feat Mø)
I had the privilege of being on the Mad Decent tour this summer and watching the things that this song does to a crowd every night is incredible– this track gets my best vibes vote, and Wes gets the chillest life vote.

Rae Sremmurd
No Type (Prod. By Mike WiLL Made It & Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd)
Alright, this song just speaks for itself. Next.

Courtney Barnett
Pedestrian At Best
My god I love the genre she pioneered with this release, and I love how incredibly distinct she’s made her character within every single thing she bestows upon us. Also possibly one of the most clever lyricists of 2015: “I think you’re a joke, but I don’t find you very fuuuuunnuuunnuunnuuunnny.”

Jamie XX
Loud Places (ft Romy)
Jamie xx has always been a favo(u)rite of mine, and we send him our deepest congratulation(u)ns for the work of art he’s given the music wo(u)rld with his EP In Colour, and especially the track “Loud Places.” Also sorry for making fun of u.

Thundercat
Them Changes

Jesus, this song has the most talent I’ve seen since Jordan. The depth of this track is astounding and I thank Thundercat for his supporting role in Fly Lo and Kendrick’s works, but I’m so happy he’s made it big with his own stuff this time around.

Deru
1979

This song is much heavier than the rest and the artist is not well known, but Deru’s “1979” along with the rest of the EP is a work of genius—especially when you read how he recorded it. Just awe-inspiring.

Bored In The USA
Another real talk post—Father John Misty you are inspirational and prophetic and thank you for delivering this ballad to us. The quality quotient of this song is so high that I’m convinced it will be listened to for decades.

Grimes
Fresh Without Blood/Live In The Vivid Dream
Grimes kicked major ass with Art Angels and “Flesh without Blood” instills in me the happiness, weightlessness, and honestly hope that no other song in 2015 has. She is 100% the role model that all women, and all people because eff gendered statements Jordan, need.

Tame Impala
Let It Happen
Woof, this is getting intense. “Let It Happen” wins the best alternative song of the year, hands down. I haven’t heard a breakdown like this since never.

Kendrick Lamar
u

And finally, closing out the best of 2015, comes the best track off of the best album of the year in my opinion, “u”—a song that explores consciousness, vice and transformation like no other musical work I’ve ever heard. Kendrick’s theatrical performance in “u” sends the listener to their deepest and realest state—one of the wonders of musical composition that I am probably most thankful for.

And with that… here are Jordan’s top 15 tracks of 2015 listed from 15 to 1. Hope you enjoy.

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[15 to End 2015] Ninja Jake’s Best of the Year

endoftheyearJake

As we end 2015 I still think about the first day of it. I’ll never forget waking up to the Kanye West x Paul McCartney x Rihanna collaboration “FourFiveSeconds” and wondering what it would lead to. I certainly didn’t think my Macbook would give out one bittersweet evening this year. It was no easy task giving up my perfect iTunes library & curated playlists of “downloaded” music for my, now groomed, Soundcloud & Spotify accounts. We all had to make adjustments, and most of it was fun. Slacker Rock won me over. See ya in 2016.

Mick Jenkins
Your Love (Prod. by Kaytranada)

Shut your eyes & pout to this cut with production courtesy of Kaytranada.

RNDYSVGE
getbackbby
The kindle to your campfire.

Obenewa
He
Find my favorite chorus of the year on this powerful cut.

Mac Demarco
The Way Youd Love Her
Undeniably cool, the soundcheck all-star had an amazing 2015.

Tor Miller
Hold The Phone

It would have been a crime to keep Tor off this list with his tremendous ability on the keys.

Raf Riley
Hiding Place
The self-proclaimed “overall decent chap” delivers my favorite beat of the year.

Eltiano
Dou
 Elton, please make more music.

oriJanus
I Want You
Taken from Soulection’s SADE compilation, oriJanus is masterful.

Inspired & The Sleep
In My Labyrinth Mind
This San Diego duo strikes gold with their psych-pop bender.

Good Morning
Cab Deg
Royal gentleman Good Morning take the crown for activating the most senses.

Zak Abel
Alchemy
“I can taste your poison on my lips.”

Benny Sings Feat. GoldLink
You And Me
This is the kind of collaboration that happens in your wildest dreams.

HONNE
Loves The Jobs You Hate
Easily listened to HONNE more than any other band this year.

Jorge Alvarez
Rap Cant Save You (prod. prime.cut)
Future trendsetter with slick flow, looking forward to more tunes from Jorge.

Kali Uchis
Ridin Round (Produced by DJ Dahi)
Kali with the ultimate “put the top down” tune, revamped by DJ Dahi.

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[Electronic] Snakehips x Tory Lanez – Dímelo (Ganz Flip)

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Snakehips x Tory Lanez
Dimelo (GANZ Flip)

Merry Christmas to all the Ninjas out there! Today we come bearing gifts.

Early yesterday morning longtime favorite and friend of TMN, Jordy Saämena, released his latest work of art. In our exclusive interview with Ganz and his management team this past summer, Saämena referenced a desire to move away from his signature flip-style. In addition to producing more original works, he also noted his intentions to grow the newly minted collective The Hard Headed with up and coming producers out of The Netherlands.

In taking a momentary step away from those longterm plans, Ganz unexpectedly dropped another flip to end 2015 with an electronica-fueled bang. By sampling one of the most popular hip-hop tracks of the year, he turns Tory Lanez’ “Dímelo” into a club-raving anthem.

The Dímelo flip is a blend of two of the more notable breakout artists this year, combining the smooth rhyming vocals of rising star Tory Lanez with the dynamic technical aspects of previous Ganz works. Take the advice of the TMN staff and add this one to the snowboarding playlist. Happy holidays!

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[NEW] The Weeknd – Low Life (Feat. Future) + Pass Dat (Remix) (Feat. Jeremih)

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Low Life
Future + The Weeknd
Pass Dat (The Weeknd Remix)
Jeremih + The Weeknd

Capping off the biggest year of his career, The Weeknd decided to play the part of Santa Clause tonight and drop off a few Christmas gifts for all his loyal fans in the form of two new singles. The first track, “Low Life”, finds the Canadian crooner teaming up with Future, who’s had a pretty memorable year all his own, while the second is a remix of Jeremih‘s “Pass Dat” off his most recent project, Late Nights: The Album. Both tunes fit right in Abel’s wheelhouse, as his vocals sound right at home on the hazy, trapped out instrumental provided by  Metro Boomin on “Low Life”. On the other hand, we couldn’t have asked for a more natural fit for a remix of Jeremih’s laidback stoner anthem. Stream both tracks above and stay tuned for more from The Weeknd as we head into 2016.

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[TMN Premiere] Tyler Hawkins – From That Land (EP)

FROM THAT LAND COVER REVISED
Tyler Hawkins
The People

You might recognize the name Ninety if you’ve been following us over the last couple years. The Bay Area-based duo, which consists of Tyler Hawkins and Mikey C the Man (MCM), first caught our attention in 2014 with their unique brand of sunny, west-coast hip-hop. Today, we’re excited to bring you the premiere of emcee Tyler Hawkins’ debut EP, which both establishes and serves as the perfect introduction to his sound.

With all production handled in-house by MCM (of Ninety) and oft-collaborator Yung H33MFrom That Land plays out like a dedication to the past, present and future of the Bay’s hip-hop scene. Each of the project’s seven tracks possesses its own vibe without losing site of that broader mindset. Laid-back, classic-styled cuts like the “The Come Up and “101 (Cruisin’)” find contrast on harder-hitting tracks like “Options,” which has a subwoofer-rattling bassline. Aside from a diverse set of beats, Hawkins’ various emotive flows, which hit their most ambitious on “Dreamin,” are what truly tie the project together and further contribute to that overall Bay sound.

The EP’s finale, “The People,” with its addicting Last Lynx sample sees him taking that inspiration a step further carving out a sound all his own. Stream the rest of project below–you can also grab a free download on Bandcamp.

Tyler Hawkins
From That Land (Intro)
Tyler Hawkins
The Come Up
Tyler Hawkins
Options
Tyler Hawkins
Yakkums
Tyler Hawkins
Porn Beat (Interlude)
Tyler Hawkins
101 (Cruisin)
Tyler Hawkins
This Is For...
Tyler Hawkins
Dreamin
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[Chicago Giveaway] Just Blaze @ The MID – 12/18

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With the holidays right around the corner, we’ve decided to put our Ninja Claus hats on and give some lucky Chicagoans an early Christmas present! In the spirit of the season we’ve teamed up with React Presents to award TWO PAIRS of tickets to see legendary producer Just Blaze this Friday at The MID, where he’ll be supported by Jahlil Beats and local acts like Stefan Ponce, Zebo and Barragon. The rules are simple. All you need to do is fill out your email address below along with your first and last name and hit submit. Entrants must be 21 and over to enter. Winners will be notified by email with instructions on how to obtain their tickets. Please remember to bring a valid photo ID with you to the event in order to redeem your prize.

If you would like to find out more info about the show or purchase tickets yourself, make sure to head over to the official event page and follow React Presents on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud to keep up with all the latest news and announcements!

Just Blaze
Inhuman Nature
Beast Program X Just Blaze X Mysto & Pizzi
Are You High?
Just Blaze x Baauer
HIGHER

ENTER GIVEAWAY TO WIN JUST BLAZE TICKETS

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