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 & Sicks Mixed Feelings)’
’Alison Wonderland – Run’
’Mura Masa – When U Need Me’
’DIVERSA – Burning House’
’Jamie xx – The Rest is Noise’
’Tory Lanez – Acting Like (Prod. by Shlohmo)’
’Golden Vessel – Borrowed Time (ft. Tiana Khasi)’
’Thundercat – ‘Them Changes”
’Tame Impala – The Moment’
’Moi Je – Fais Rien (PETIT BISCUIT Remix)’
’SevnthWonder – Maria I’m Drunk (Ft. Deverano) (Travis Scott Cover)’
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)’
’Viet Cong – “Continental Shelf”‘
’Psychemagik – Mink & Shoes feat Navid Izadi’
’Lane 8 – Diamonds ft. Solomon Grey’
’Major Lazer & Dj Snake – Lean On (Feat Mø)’
’Rae Sremmurd – No Type (Prod. By Mike WiLL Made It & Swae Lee of Rae Sremmurd)’
’Courtney Barnett – Pedestrian At Best’
’Jamie XX – Loud Places (ft Romy)’
’Thundercat – ‘Them Changes”
’Grimes – Fresh Without Blood/Live In The Vivid Dream’
’Tame Impala – Let It Happen’
And with that… here are Jordan’s top 15 tracks of 2015 listed from 15 to 1. Hope you enjoy.
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)’
’Mac Demarco – The Way You’d Love Her’
’Tor Miller – Hold The Phone’
’Raf Riley – Hiding Place’
’Inspired & The Sleep – In My Labyrinth Mind’
’Benny Sings Feat. GoldLink – You And Me’
’HONNE – Loves The Jobs You Hate’
’Jorge Alvarez – Rap Can’t Save You (prod. prime.cut)’
’Kali Uchis – Ridin Round (Produced by DJ Dahi)’
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!
’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.
’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 H33M, From 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”
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