I think it’s pretty cool that out of 10 songs, 8 of these are original tracks. While I love remixes to the moon and back, all these original songs coming out show the true strength of the electronic talent these days.
This playlist is 11 tracks because I had to include the Soulwax remix of David Bowie’s “Heroes.” There’s not much to say about the man that hasn’t been said in the past week, so all I’m gonna say is that he was a special man and he will live on forever through the music that he inspired and the genres he affected and the way he made us feel.
He gave us permission to be weird when we needed it most, and it changed the world.
1. Star Slinger — Sketchy Boys in the Back of the Bus
Star Slinger goes from melodic pop to fucking fantastic beats in this new EP, and I think this song title is especially appropriate, because these tracks sound sketchy. You’ll see what I mean. I’ve always enjoyed Star Slinger, but I love this evolution more than anything he’s done. I was hooked from the first listen.
2. Elian Mor — Roasted Veggies
Oh em gee, a woman! Women are few and far between in the arts (for obvious reasons), but especially so in the electronic world. Finding a great woman producer and/or DJ is pretty hard, and I do try to keep an extra special eye out. Anyway, I loved this song immediately — it’s warm and soothing, with a strong beat that’s amplified by every layer of the track. It’s so winter: I want to sit by the fireplace and lay on the floor and listen to this track or some shit like that.
3. Chaos in the CBD — Constraints of Time Travel
Just top notch deep house that takes you on a journey. I get lost every time I listen to it. Church is a record label you’ll be hearing a lot of this year, from me and from everywhere else. Everything I’ve heard under their umbrella, I’ve loved. This one in particular.
4. Thomash — Foliaderie
This track is simple, with a template that has been used a thousand times. The song is percussion that flutters through and around the song, in such a gentle pretty way… It reminds me of someone, but I can’t put my finger on it. Wait… I think it might be The Books. That, and someone else… if it reminds you of anyone, let me know.
5. Yael Naim — Walk Walk (20syl Remix)
I just can’t stop playing 20syl. He was in my best of 2015 playlist, and is starting off 2016 strong, it seems. He is really, really good, and while this track is a bit more straightforward, his unique approach to production is gonna propel him to fame this year. Just you wait.
6. Sfire — Sfire 3 (John Talabot’s Tribalist Remix)
Rule no. 23 of electronic music: you can never go wrong with John Talabot. The man was, is, and will always be a legend. There’s not much else to say.
7. Lane 8 — Frau
Lane 8 is gonna be huge in 2016. He steadily got bigger and bigger in 2015 thanks to a quality set of productions and remixes, that while working under a certain style of his own, managed to be pretty diverse. In 2014 he was flirting with poppy, warm house (not quite tropical but nearby), and went with a bit darker house in 2015, improving with every track. “Midnight” is a mark of a mature new sound, with just the nicest groove throughout the track. It’ll carry you somewhere if you let it.
Bonus: Listen to “Undercover” ft Matthew Dear from earlier in the year.
8. Hubie Davison — Sanctified
Yummy, fun disco. Not nudisco, just 2016 disco.
9. SunSquabi — SquabCat
An artist out of the west coast beats/bass scene, they call themselves “hydro electronic funk” whatever that means. Somewhat of an STS9 vibe, a little bit of Griz, and something that’s just their own. Every time I listen, I like it more.
10. Seb Wildblood — Bonsai Care
How this guy has only 3,600 SoundCloud followers I do not know. I only found him thanks to one of the super nerdy electronic FB groups I’m in… but mark my words, he is going to blow up in 2016. I’ve loved every track of his that I’ve heard, but this one came out this morning, happened to be on the top of my feed when I cracked open my computer, and it’s the best he’s produced so far. Props to you. I hope you have many more tracks in 2016. Also, come to San Francisco kthxbye.
Extra special bonus track:
11. David Bowie — Heroes (Soulwax Remix) 🙁
Two of my favorites, Bowie and Soulwax in one. I love Soulwax’s “remixes,” though they should really be called edits. They do minor adjustments and let the original speak for itself. Which, in the case of Bowie, that speech is very loud and wonderful and once in a lifetime. Thank you for everything, Bowie. You made the world more special and weird, and so much better.