Tale of Us turned Plastikman’s “EXpand” into a dark, deliberate, and contemplative techno track with their remix. They emphasized the piano, created a perfect breakdown, and demonstrated a masterful understanding of how to create intricate rhythms with percussion. For these reasons, Plastikman – “EXpand (Tale of Us Remix)” wins best remix of 2015 in my book.
Toolroom Records’ Rhythm Distrikt 12 compilation earns best LP/EP of the year. Rhythm Distrikt 12 features ten heavy hitting and occasionally melodic tracks – each one warrants high praise.
Honorable Mention: Various Artists, “Kitties on Trance (Sample) [Suara].”
Track of the Year
Scuba’s “Glacial” is my favorite track of 2015. With exquisite effects, automation, and a perfect track structure, Scuba demonstrates the merit in keeping melodic and other elements of music simple.
Honorable Mention: KMLN, “Walam.”
Best New Artist
Chicago based band MONAKR is my pick for the best new artists of 2015. Founded in February, MONAKR quickly came out with the melodically intoxicating “Diamond.” They followed up “Diamond” with “Calling Out” and a brilliant cover of Massive Attack’s “Teardrop.” Watch out for MONAKR in 2016.
Artist of the Year
Matteo Milleri and Carmine Conte of Tale of Us are hands down my favorite artists of 2015. I wrote up every single Tale of Us release this year for one reason: each of their productions is a unique stroke of genius. Expect big things from these Berlin based techno superstars in 2016.
Favorite Show of the Year
BLISS: Last Call was a very special night in every way and it was my favorite show of the year. September 26, 2015 marked the 15 year anniversary of Will Eastman’s BLISS party, and Will sent the party off well with a memorable 6 hour set at U St Music Hall. For his solo set at this last BLISS party, Will played his favorite tracks from 2000-2015, roughly sequentially. Listen to the set here:
As their slogan goes, Suara is “all about music and cats.” We also adore felines here at Blisspop, but that’s not why Suara is my favorite label of the year. Over the past 12 months months, Suara has consistently released a diverse selection of top underground tunes. Check out these highlights:
DC is filled with talented artists. Often when people think of culture and the arts, they look to New York. But if you travel a few hours down I-95 to our nation’s capital, you will find a noteworthy concentration of artists. I know many talented artists in DC, and each of them deserves an honorable mention. But for the sake of brevity, I am naming one DC artist who I think you should watch: DJ Lisa Frank (a.k.a. Morgan Tepper). I had the chance to hear Morgan play multiple times this year and each time she floored me. Her ability to read a room and select tracks based on that reading is impeccable. As a techno enthusiast, my taste in music aligns closely with hers. Watch for DJ Lisa Frank in 2016.