Welcome to the best drum & bass tunes from 2015. Just like last year, Tabitha Neudorf and I (Barrett) tag teamed this genre to get two perspectives into one of our favourite types of music. You can always expect my list to be filled with tremendous drops, contagious rhythms, and heavenly harmonies. You can always expect Tabitha’s list to be filled to the brim with pretty vocals, addicting melodies, and catchy baselines. So no matter your taste of DnB, we’ve got something here for you. And if you’re not familiar with the genre, I’ve starred some goodies that will open your eyes to the unique and long-lived genre of drum & bass.
Bensley – Fandango
Bensley is from Toronto, Canada, my hometown! This track is SO different and so catchy. Did you know Bensley was signed to Ram Records without any prior releases, fans, or hype of any kind? Just a demo is to thank for this partnership.
Calyx & TeeBee – Where We Go (Ft. Doctor)
For those of you that appreciate abstract drum & bass tracks, look no further than this firecracker from one of the genre’s most desireable production duos. Calyx & TeeBee might not yet be considered a household name, but one thing is for sure, they aren’t ever afraid to push the musical limits to the max. In case you were expecting some type of cookie cutter composition, think again. Prepare yourself for plenty of brain-rattling twists and turns, because “Where We Go” is about as predictable as next year’s weather patterns.
Culture Shock – City Lights (Ft. Bryn Christopher)
Culture Shock had little trouble capturing my heart during his triumphant 2015 campaign. When the year began, this musician was nothing more than a blip on my out-of-date DnB radar. Fast forward 12 months later and I can barely make it through an entire day without bumping this artist’s massive bangers. I can vividly recall when “City Lights” first hit the airwaves, I was rinsing and repeating this song so much that is was straight up silly. Trust me, give yourself a 30 second sampling of Culture Shock and my addiction will be beyond self-explanatory.
Delta Heavy – Ghost
Out of all my favourite DnB acts, Delta Heavy released some really creative stuff this year. This track is one of my favourites. It’s hauntingly beautiful (pun intended) and the music video is FANTASTIC. Shout out to Clippy, the Microsoft Word Office Assistant and every Internet fad ever created.
Ekko & Sidetrack – Alone Without You (Ft. Samahra Eames)
Well, if we were handing out an award for the most obscure names to make it onto this year’s esteemed list, I reckon that Ekko & Sidetrack would probably run away with the title belt. However, whatever this drum & bass pairing appears to lack in notoriety, they more than make up for with their entertaining and energetic productions. Constructed around a fantastic vocal contribution from Samahra Eames, “Alone Without You” is overloaded with raw emotion and passion. This red-hot tune won’t just set your eardrums on fire, it’ll burn them to a crisp.
Etherwood – Revive (Ft. Logistics & Eva Lazarus)
What would 2015 have been without Etherwood’s Blue Leaves album? Significantly worse, that’s what! Luckily, that’s one scenario we’ll never have to play out. Now, in regards to selecting a single track from this release, I’d be lying if I said “Revive” didn’t pop out at me immediately. Leaning on some help from Logistics (another personal favorite of mine), these producers do the unthinkable and create the kind of musical masterpiece that you only hear about it myths. Just lay back, close your eyes, and relax as Etherwood handles all the heavy lifting.
Feint – We Won’t Be Alone (feat. Laura Brehm)
This track comes from a label that’s intuitive in whichever genre they decide to work with. Monstercat is a perfect label for any type of electronic music fan; whether you’re a beginner, or a seasoned veteran, their tracks are appealing to all. And Feint’s “We Won’t Be Alone” is no exception. This track resonated with me so much in the latter part of 2015, and any song that’s capable of looping in my head, and me enjoying it? That deserves some recognition.
Friction – Freak (ft. Josh Barry)
Different type of music video, more impactful I’d say. I’ve always been a fan of Friction and this track is one of my favourites of the year.
MNEK – Never Forget You (Kove Remix)
This remix tickled a heart string for me in 2015. Emotions are so interesting. Reading them, feeling them, seeing them on other people. Seeing how they fit, how they affect and how they influence decisions is so intriguing to me, especially my own. This song took an already good song and paired it with a beat that I had no hope of ignoring.
Koven – Get This Right
Here’s another beautiful music video. The vocals Koven are capable of are what really get me every time. This would be another great intro to Drum ‘n’ Bass track for any curious ears that want to explore the genre.
Krakota – In The Area (Ft. Lifford)
If you happen to be a musician that put out a drum & bass mix during the course of 2015, chances are that “In The Area” probably snuck it’s way onto one of your tracklists. Unmistakable vocals come to us courtesy of Lifford, only adding to this addictive song’s already seductive allure. The balance between light and dark is nothing short of remarkable. DnB is so often divided down the middle nowadays – you have liquid on one side, and then there’s neuro/jungle on the other. That being said, Krakota found a way to combine the most ideal elements from each side of the spectrum. The end result is truly spectacular.
London Elektricity – Singing Ringing Tree
I would have included this entire album if I could. But I picked this track because of the music video, it’s perfect. London Elektricity is the founder of one of the most prominent Drum ‘n’ Bass labels out there, Hospital Records. Who doesn’t love adventures with rubber chickens?
Ivy Lab – Sunday Crunk (Mefjus Remix)
Grab yourself a chair, because something tells me that you’re going to require a nice, long sit after fully processing this unorthodox production from Mefjus. Besides boasting one of the more unique names in the music industry, this artist also has one of the more distinct sounds currently in circulation. When you hear a Mefjus tune, you recognize it right away. While 2015 was littered with enormous releases from this particular musician, it was his crunchy remix of Ivy Lab’s “Sunday Crunk” that brought legions of neuro fans to their knees. All hail the king!
Netsky – Rio
Netsky has been a long-time favorite of avid drum & bass supporters around the globe. To say that his top-notch sound has become universal is a humongous understatement. The battle-tested DnB veteran has been in the dance music game for ages now and he has the scars to prove it. Coupled with a creative music video, “Rio” is far and away one of the most sensational tunes from the 2015 calendar year. Between the powerful piano chords and vibrant horn section, this terrific song makes for one hell of a wild ride. Hold on tight and don’t let go.
The Prototypes – Under (feat. Ayak)
This track reminds me of an early Krewella song. Back when the three of them were still a happy family. Another great intro track that’s super catchy.
The Prodigy – Nasty (Spor Remix)
The Prodigy. Spor. That’s all I really have to say about this choice.
Spor & Memtrix – Darkest Hours
Not only did Feed Me’s alter ego make a glorious, long-awaited return, he did it with style. Designing a full-length album is no easy challenge, but leave it to this ultra talented producer to make it look all too easy. Containing 13 of the most memorable bass tunes to emerge during this past year, Caligo set the precedent for DnB releases across the board. The follow-up to this aural assault was “Darkest Hours,” a killer collaboration with rising star Memtrix. The successful single received no shortage of attention, and furthermore, it solidified Spor’s path on the comeback trail.
T and Sugah – Unreal (Ft. Ayve)
It’s no secret that I constantly fall head over heels for liquid drum & bass. More specifically, anything from Liquicity – one of YouTube’s most legitimate music mediums. Showcased alongside a bevy of other beautiful tunes on Liquicity’s Alchemy compilation, “Unreal” was one of T and Sugah’s most valuable contributions to 2015. Once you click that play button, the never-ending euphoria won’t take long to encompass your entire being. If you instantly feel like you’re being lifted up towards the heavens, don’t worry, that’s a completely normal reaction. Embrace it. Enjoy it. And most importantly, immerse yourself in it.
Aprés – Chicago (Technimatic Remix)
Leave it to me to add a remix of a tune called “Chicago” into the equation. In all honesty though, my geographical location had very little to do with this decision. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Truthfully, I find it somewhat baffling that Technimatic has not received more exposure prior to now, but it’s become fairly obvious that this is one DnB duo you cannot continue to disregard. Determined to invade your speakers sooner or later, these two gentlemen serve as a perfect representation of everything that is right with easygoing drum & bass. It’s in your best interest to monitor Technimatic’s next move, as very few musicians have a brighter future ahead.
Wilkinson – Breathe (feat. Shannon Saunders)
Another one of my favourites of the year. So beautiful, so classic. Wilkinson has been a favourite of mine for a while now, really excited to see what’s in store for him next year.