Despite what some of the naysayers suggest, 2015 was a landmark year for the genre of dubstep. After lurking in the shadows for the course of the past couple years, make no mistake about it, this once celebrated form of music is back on the rise and prepared to claim it’s rightful position atop the EDM hierarchy. Think of this past year as the snowball that started the avalanche, setting in motion a series of events that will allow this innovative style of bass music to be thrust back into the limelight in 2016.
While it seems a bit absurd to try to sum up a whole year of music with a list of 25 tracks, we did everything within our power to apply a fair and unbiased approach in our selection process. Of the tracks that appear below, some dominated the festival circuit, some captivated the underground scene, and some just happened to be personal favorites. What we got in the end was a second to none collection of face-melting bass music. Remove the nails from the coffin, because the dubstep resurrection is already underway.
Aweminus & Phiso – Sheer Cold
It’s only appropriate that we kick off this bass-bloated summary with what many individuals considered the largest dubstep tune of 2015. “Sheer Cold” contains drops so enormous that they’ll make Kristaps Porzingis look like freaking Muggsy Bogues. Aweminus and Phiso might not yet be household names to those outside of the dubstep community, but our instincts tell us that 2016 is going to propel both of these madmen to unparalleled heights.
Badklaat – Head Crush
Badklaat has been baking up savage beats for years now, so it should come as no shock that “Head Crush” found its way onto our illustrious list. With more than a few releases under his belt during the 2015 campaign, we made sure to exercise diligence when it came to selecting a saucy submission. Needless to say, this skull-squashing track is all that and a bag of chips. Dig in!
Zomboy – Game Time (Barely Alive Remix)
Remixing a Zomboy original is no easy task, but reconstructing what many view as his most notable work to date, now that’s a real game changer. Having said that, the dudes behind one of bass music’s most talented duo’s didn’t just hit a towering home run, they tattooed a moonshot three counties over. Break out those binoculars, because all eyes need to be on Barely Alive. Oh yeah, and their entire We Are Barely Alive album wasn’t too shabby either.
Datsik – Troynado
Who doesn’t appreciate the Firepower Records head honcho? Nobody. And while some of Datsik’s newer releases don’t resonate with us quite as much as they used to, every once in awhile he unleashes a tune that reminds us of the good old dubstep days. Take “Troynado” for example, in a year that was littered with watered-down, generic-sounding bass compositions, this producer brought his classic style back to the forefront of the genre with a vengeance. Let’s hope that this trend carries over into 2016.
Datsik & Barely Alive – The Blastaz
What happens when a dubstep icon decides to combine his skills with one of the genre’s hottest groups? Simply put, “The Blastaz.” In case we didn’t already give Datsik & Barely Alive enough of a glowing endorsement, here it is again. They’re amazing! They’re fantastic! They’re everything that the future of bass music should embody! And this brilliant piece of music sums it up pretty damn well.
Downlink & Twofold – Darkside
2015 was dominated by Star Wars hype, that’s no secret. Which is precisely why 0% of you should be surprised to see a song on here that features samples from the popular franchise’s latest installment. Downlink has taken quite a few strolls around the bass music block in his day, whereas Twofold is still settling into their grimy surroundings. Together, these three gentlemen sent us straight to the slaughter with one of 2015’s most bloodthirsty creations.
Dubloadz & Trampa – Ruff Stuff
This is our first Trampa sighting, but far from the last. Oddly enough, “Ruff Stuff” was this musical maniac’s latest release during the 2015 calendar year. Featured on Dubloadz’s Lost In The Sauce EP from Disciple Recordings, this kickass collaboration is incomparably nasty. Imagine the fiercest sounds on planet earth, then multiply that by 1000, and you’ll only begin to touch the tip of the iceberg that is this mammoth tune. It’s a certified speaker-shredder!
Eptic – Spellbound
One of four tracks showcased on his impressive Immortal EP, “Spellbound” was quite possibly Eptic’s most generous contribution to the dubstep world over the course of the past 12 months. Surrounded by heavy-hitters like “Ectoplasm” and “Jurassic,” this magnificent song still managed to stand out like a severely sore thumb. The build-ups are packed with suspense, the drops are covered in caution tape, and this artist’s no-fucks-given attitude is abundant throughout. Don’t call it heavy, just call it Eptic.
Excision & Downlink – Robo Kitty
Excision’s Codename X LP was arguably one of the most stacked releases from 2015 – both in quantity and quality. “Robo Kitty” became an instant fan favorite, thanks much in part to his partner in crime, Downlink. We’d also regret not giving “Shadowflame” a much-deserved shout out as well. After all these years, Excision is still paving the path for producers attempting to find solid ground in a turbulent dubstep scene. Hats off to him.
Excision & The Frim – Night Shine (Ft. Luciana)
“Night Shine” is a breed of collab which we rarely get to witness – mainly because Excision is a fairly busy man and if he takes time out of his hectic schedule, you best believe it’s for a good damn reason. Well, we couldn’t think of a much better reason than teaming up with the The Frim. While this past year was slightly more quiet on the dubstep front for this peculiar music-maker, he still did some major damage every time he chose to enter the studio. The noises that emanate from this psychotic track are not human, you’ve been warned.
Ganja White Night – Blackberries / Wild Vine (Ft. Grimblee)
If you happen to be half as obsessed with the guys behind Ganja White Night as we are, then you’ll understand why this dual selection was completely necessary. Helping to make up ⅔’s of their spectacular Blackberries EP, both the title track and “Wild Vine” exhibit the kind of characteristics we’ve come to appreciate in under-the-radar dubstep. It’s wildly unpredictable, incredibly addictive, and downright dance-inducing bass music.
Megalodon & Virtual Riot – Fatal Fist Punch
2015 was a huge year for both of these dubstep masterminds. How Megalodon and Virtual Riot only appear on this list a couple times is beyond us, but it’s somewhat comforting that this deadly submission was able to make the final cut. “Fatal Fist Punch” is a collab so catastrophic that it causes planes to fall out of the sky and automobiles to drive off the roads. Heck, it probably even sunk a few boats for good measure. Dubstep destruction follows these two deviants around like that stray dog in need of a meal. Who’s hungry?
Modestep & FuntCase – Damien
Dubstep (and bass music to a lesser extent) nowadays has become much too formulaic. There’s an introduction, the first drop, a bridge, the second drop, and then an outro. That’s a pretty standard breakdown. So, leave it to mainstays like Modestep and FuntCase to say, ‘fuck off, we’re doing this our way!’ And that’s precisely what you get with “Damien,” a collaboration that sounds like it was engineered specifically for a movie score. Between its orchestral build-up, vicious vocal sample, and perhaps the most intimidating drop of 2015, this tidal wave of a tune leaves an unprecedented wake of destruction in it’s trail.
Airborne – Zomboy (MUST DIE! Remix)
Look, we can sit here and supply you nice people with some long, drawn-out explanation as to why this track qualifies as one of the year’s best. But why bother? It’s a MUST DIE! remix of Zomboy. We repeat, a MUST DIE! remix of Zomboy! Well, we’ve done our job, now you do yours. Listen!
OmegaMode – Space Junk
We would guess that most of you have never seen a live OmegaMode set. However, we’re willing to wager that the vast majority of you have been fortunate enough to experience a live Skrillex performance at one point or another, which means you’ve probably got down to some OmegaMode without even knowing it. Having become a staple in numerous artist’s live shows across the globe, this determined youngster clearly doesn’t plan on slowing his roll anytime soon. “Space Junk” may very well be your first encounter with OmegaMode, but you should definitely expect more run-ins with this dubstep behemoth in the near future.
Phiso – Wasteland
Is there a dubstep force more evil than Phiso? We doubt it. Headlining his ridiculously disgusting Wasteland EP, this self-titled track didn’t just steal the spotlight, it consumed it entirely. After receiving an insane amount of praise from his peers during 2015, the compliments just continue to get hurled in his general direction. Most recently, Cookie Monsta took to Twitter to voice his affection for this burgeoning producer’s crazy compositions. Every piece of music that Phiso touches deserves more recognition than we could possibly provide.
Phiso, Aweminus, Acting Damage & Ripple – Four Horsemen
Sometimes when so many songs pile up over the course of a year, we tend to neglect some of the best of the best. That is not the case with “Four Horsemen.” While this track was technically released all the way back in January, it proceeded to carry the dubstep torch throughout all of 2015. Four-way collabs are difficult to come by, but four-way collabs that feature this degree of ferocity, those are nearly impossible to stumble across. Lock yourself into this next level tune!
Samplifire – Misty
For those of you that kept up to speed on dubstep-related activities during 2015, you should be beyond familiar with Samplifire by now. For those of you that didn’t, this is your official crash course in bass music excellence. The young French producer has been murking beats right and left, not to mention the attention he’s been garnering from those inside the industry has been off the charts. It’s extremely challenging for a musician to catch on this quickly, but Samplifire has made it look effortless. Besides being an exceptional original track, “Misty” received a variety of wicked remix treatments. Remember this kid’s name, because he’s just getting started.
GTA – Red Lips (Skrillex Remix)
Every part of us wanted to avoid including this remix in our yearly recap, but if we did that, we’d be doing a disservice to everybody who embraced dubstep this past year. So let’s just keep it short and sweet. It’s Skrillex, it’s a stunning rework, and despite the fact that this song got beat to shit in live sets everywhere, it’s still more than worthy of your respect. Sonny wasted little time hopping back into the ring with his latest release, a top-notch remix of Torro Torro’s “Make A Move.” Be sure to check out that gem too.
F3tch & Spag Heddy – Spooks
During the first half of 2015, it was basically impossible to attend a live bass music performance and not hear “Spooks” rinsed out in some form or fashion. Whether it was flying solo or mixed together with another remarkable tune, this track clearly left a lasting impression. Spag Heddy has initiated a rapid ascent to the top of dubstep’s upper-echelon (see his Here I Am and Gypsi Thug EP’s). F3tch on the other hand, has remained a bit more low-key with some of his contributions. Nonetheless, this combo effort is guaranteed to make you jump around like a kangaroo. It’s scary good!
Trampa – Black Scorpion
We told you that Trampa would return for more action, and we weren’t lying. All three of the following selections come to us courtesy of one of dubstep’s most dangerous bandits. But what makes “Black Scorpion” unique you ask? Well, it’s the only track to come straight from this musician’s mind and his mind alone. The others are collaborations. As for this mental sub-mauler, it stings your eardrums with a wide range of piercing sounds. Don’t be shocked when you’re aural passages swell up like a balloon.
Trampa & Cookie Monsta – Move The Crowd
Does Trampa ever make a bad decision? The obvious answer is a resounding no. So when this producer placed a call to Cookie Monsta, “Move The Crowd” became something of an inevitability. We can assure you that this barbaric beat will snap your spine, sever your limbs, and send bits of your brain splattering all over the place. Yes, it’s that tenacious. Please allow the dubstep lunatic inside you to run wild, because that’s exactly what these two titans would want.
Trampa & SKisM – Black Hole
This is our final tune from Trampa, we promise. Linking up with the Never Say Die Records bossman himself, both of these heavyweights uncork a pure party-starter. “Black Hole” won’t just get you sweaty, it’ll leave you more drenched than Michael Phelps. We could continue to distribute more in-depth explanations as to why Trampa had a bigger and better year than anybody else in the dubstep industry, but rather than waste your precious time, we’ll let this five-star production speak for itself.
Zeds Dead & Megalodon – Wit Me Dub
Zeds Dead doesn’t dabble in dubstep nearly as much as they used to, but when the well-known duo decides to bust out the big guns, you would be smart to watch out for the havoc that is sure to ensue. While their VIP of “Hadouken” gained some significant traction, it was actually their collab with Megalodon that made us freak out like a fourth-grader undergoing an overwhelming sugar rush. With contrasting styles that blend together flawlessly, “Wit Me Dub” is a beautiful fusion of both artist’s strongest traits. This bass music bruiser is the real deal.
Zomboy – Resurrected
Starring alongside MUST DIE!’s remix of “Airborne” on Zomboy’s Resurrected EP, the menacing title track manages to light an uncontrollable fire inside every eager listener. Next to cats and pizza, zombies might be dubstep’s next most popular theme. With an intro (and outro) designed around a perfectly suited vocal sample, nobody should be caught off guard by the staggering drops that materialize shortly thereafter. There’s a life-threatening bass music virus on the loose, and it’s spreading like wildfire.