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

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Even though I’ve been writing for TMN over the past five years, I certainly don’t expect any of you to have me or my musical tastes pegged. In fact, I’d much rather you see this site as a whole, enjoying the eclectic blend that all the ninjas bring to the table. But, if you have paid attention, you’ll know that I love nothing more than hunting through submissions, SoundCloud, BandCamp, tweets, and smoke signals to try and find the best and brightest emerging artists.

2015 brought a few new acts to the scene that I simply couldn’t get enough of, a few of which made it into this year-end playlist. In addition to those, my musical world was blessed with albums from artists who haven’t released something in quite some time, including one band that surfaced after a six-year hiatus.

My 15 favorite tracks are listed below in no particular order because that would be painfully difficult and time-consuming. Instead, I’ve compiled them in a way that should provide you with an enjoyable listening experience, start to finish. If you’re unfamiliar with any of them, I’ve included a one-sentence description that should help highlight what to expect.

Patrick Watson
Places You Will Go

Patrick Watson continues to further the question that he could be an alien sent to mesmorize the human race.

Mew
Satellites (Edit)

Mew is finally back, in full form, and it’s magnificent.

Day Wave
Drag

This new act took the blogosphere by storm, myself included.

James Vincent McMorrow
How To Waste A Moment

Upbeat number with from the golden-voiced singer/songwriter, who also became one of my favorite live acts to watch in 2015.

Still Parade
07:41

A little 70’s funk and pop mixed in with gorgeous vocals landed this newly released track into my best of 2015.

Viola Beach
Swings & Waterslides

This new act put out a track that’s ideal for a raucous night out, an adventurous road trip, or your next backyard BBQ.

The Watermelons
Best Of You

One listen to this catchy-as-hell song will have you singing along with ease.

The Score
Oh My Love

These guys will soon be heard across radio stations, shopping malls, commercials, and major motion pictures with their extremely infectious pop.

JR JR
Gone

Perfect tune for a montage of you and your special someone frolicking through a field.

Jack Garratt
Breathe Life (Radio Edit)

This memorable track displays what we love most about Mr. Garratt – the unknown.

The Hunna
Bonfire

Catchy Brit-Pop that will be coming to a stadium or festival mainstage near you in late 2016/2017.

Drenge
We Can Do What We Want

If you ever feeling like a drunken episode of lawlessness, put this on.

Gallant
Talking In Your Sleep

Sexy, seductive, and alluring, this tune sticks with you longer than unwanted relatives.

Bobby Nourmand
The Sound

A combination of haunting deep house, a timeless movie, and iconic vocals.

Bon Voyage
Booshie

Sometimes I like to party, and this song is the cause for most of those times.

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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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JR JR – Gone (The Knocks Remix) [TMN PREMIERE]

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JR JR
Gone (The Knocks Remix)

Detroit indie-pop duo JR JR have had quite the 2015. Their self-titled album, which dropped in September, feels like their most polished work to date proving cohesive both sonically and in its lyrical content. “Gone,” the project’s lead single, exemplifies that refinement striking a flawless balance between inspirational and downright addicting. Seeing as JR JR have found themselves in regular rotation with the TMN staff, we’re beyond excited to be bringing you a remix of their hit single from fellow-Ninja favorites The Knocks.

The Knocks have been seemingly everywhere this year as well starting with the release of their So Classic EP which has been followed by numerous stellar remixes and the first singles from their upcoming debut album. Although more electronic in sound than JR JR, the Brooklyn duo similarly toe the line of mainstream without sacrificing a drop of integrity. While The Knocks’ recent originals fall squarely in the realm of electro-pop, their take on “Gone” sees them flexing their versatility crafting a massive bass-house tune. Contrasting vastly from the original’s playful sensibility, The Knocks’ re-imagination is fueled by a massive, brooding bass line that brings to mind their recent collaboration with Alex Metric and takes the song from a sunny summer day to a club dance floor. Kick your Friday off right with this one above–you can buy JR JR’s 2015 album here.

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[Electro/Trap] Kygo – Stole The Show (iSHi Remix)

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Kygo Feat. Parson James
Stole The Show (iSHi Remix)

As this writer pens this post from a wintery wasteland in Denver today, I couldn’t help but feel the bounce from Stockholm’s iSHi. Kygo’s original track “Stole The Show” has already made the viral rounds with its standard chart-topping Tropical-House gleam, but on his latest revision, iSHi rides an inverse wave and flips it into his own gritty blend of larger than life electro sounds and hip-hop infused cadence. Quickly entrenching himself in the minds of dance fans worldwide behind anthems like his Pusha T. featuring “Push It”, it’s clear to see why as iSHi manages to tastefully craft a tune that is completely his own brand of wobbly, boisterous dance music, while pitching out the vocals and keeping intact the perfect amount of original stem work so as not to alienate those Kygo diehards either. Step up your Tuesday for a moment with iSHi’s “Stole The Show” remix above.

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[Deep-House/Future] Cosmo’s Midnight – Walk With Me ft. Kučka (KOA Remix)

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Cosmo's Midnight
Walk With Me ft. Kučka (KOA Remix)

Let’s face it, for a lot of you ninjas out there, Fridays are designed for dancing out whatever stresses may have built up over the week at work or school. So, it is indubitably our duty to help supply the perfect tracks to help shift out of your Mr. Anderson persona and into your inner Neo (if you don’t understand The Matrix reference, I’m getting too old).

Pacing off today’ selection is just a gorgeously tuned, gliding slice of club-house from mysterious Sydney based production collective KOA. With only one tune released under the KOA moniker thus far; an original record, “All of My Love”, which was featured on the excellent label sampler Teen Idols: A Future Classic Compilation, the enigmatic troupe make their first foray into the world of remixes with a lushly crafted and understated house-y take on Cosmo’s Midnight single “Walk With Me”. On their revision of “Walk With Me”, KOA delightfully represents their take on that globe-sweeping Australian indie-dance sound made so popular by the same imprint championing them, Future Classic, through a groove-first synth line and the subtle sweeping roll of deep sub bass. Which, set against those flitty vocal chops, plays like the perfect pairing. We can’t get enough of this one today, so start loosening up and get into the Friday spirit with KOA’s “Walk With Me” remix above.

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[Deep-House] Thousand Fingers – Take Me Down (Loulou Players Remix) [TMN Premiere]

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Thousand Fingers
Take Me Down (LouLou Players Remix)

From the moment  Jérôme Denis -or Loulou Players as we’ve come to know him as both an artist and label boss-  unleashes that pulsating, subterranean kick-drum,  which came careening through our monitors with the amount of force of a raging waterfall, we knew we were in for a proper underground house romper. Taking the stems from Thousand Fingers, (whom you most likely have heard via his other project as one-half of the almighty Paradisko) and his debut single “Down”, Denis has added another brilliant official remix to a burly and pristine dance catalog. Both Loulou Players and Loulou Records‘ entire stable have for years displayed a fondness for the rough-n-tumble analog bass sounds associated with the most thumping  tech-, deep- and G-House, and that aural aesthetic shines through brightly on his revamping of “Down”. Loulou Players rides a distinct line between dark atmospherics and accessible, contagious bounce; tactfully pinning a cathartic bassline to Thousand Fingers’ wonderfully malleable stems which both keeps the original’s soul intact while reshaping it into an underground monster. And who can resist that pitched down, and desolately hypnotic vocal loop? Not us. We’ve been hearing Thousand Fingers’ original record and this thumping remix in the clubs for months, and it was high time we got to bestow it upon our lovely readers.

Thousand Fingers’ debut EP Down is set to release on December 14th via High Above the Ground, which includes the aforementioned Loulou Players remix, Thousand Fingers’ original and another revision via Mexican techno bender Mijo. For now however, you can stream Loulou Players’ remix in the form of a ‘TMN Premiere’ before anyone else.

 

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[Club/House] Martin Solveig – « +1 » (feat. Sam White) (Blonde Remix)

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Martin Solveig
« +1 » (feat. Sam White) [Blonde remix]

We’ve been right in tune with Bristol’s hottest house pair, Blonde,  and their steadily expanding slate of releases for over a year now -and for completely good reason. Since the moment they stormed onto the underground dance landscape with the backing of vaunted dance imprint FFRR, we were hooked on their bouncy, future-tipping take on that epic, U.K. club-house sound. Today, the U.K. power-house (get it?) returns with a tasteful remix of Martin Solveig’s most recent single “« +1 »”, and within its first four-bars we knew we were consuming another beautiful Blonde tune. A peanut-buttery thick kick-drum bursts from the shadows immediately while Blonde’s recognizable pad work and carefully cut vocal chops fill in the rest of the intro. Of course, we wouldn’t be writing about this one if there wasn’t more, and oh is there. Blonde wraps a craftily swung deep-house bassline around understated shuffling hi-hats and booming sub-bass for one of the stickiest hooks you’ll have the pleasure of consuming this month, and when the deft duo lets that original vocal out to play, it’s all hands on deck. Kick off the last day of November with another one of Blonde’s wonderfully executed remixes above, and try not to shake your hips.

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