Exciting year for EDM artists

Unknown producers breakout; NERO disappoints

This year has been one of the most exciting years for electronic music that I have experienced since my obsession began in 2010. Unique hits from previously unheard of producers, such as OMFG and marshmello, combined with huge releases by electronic music’s greats, like Skrillex and NERO, made this year one to remember. But what releases really lived up to the hype? In this notebook, I’m going to provide a quick catalogue for all of the big electronic hits so far in 2015.

To start with the positives, let’s go over the albums and tracks that are certainly worth a listen. If you’re the type of listener who enjoys hard hitting bass and drum patterns, then Into the Sun by longtime music producer Bassnectar is certainly an album to check out. My personal favorites on the album are “Blow (2015 Version)” and “Sideways (feat. Zion I).”

If you’re more into a relaxed listening experience, I certainly recommend listening to “In Colour” by Jamie xx. The Long Play favorites, “Gosh” and “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (feat. Young Thug and Popcaan)”, are unique and beautiful in their own ways. The entirety of the album is also good to put on in the background while you’re doing homework; the simple sounds and soothing melodies occupy the mind just enough to keep focused.

Perhaps what I’d call the surprise release of the year is “Someday Somewhere” by Mura Masa. The Extended Play is just seven songs, but each song is truly a masterpiece. The song “Lovesick,” which hit me hard on the first listen, is probably my favorite song of the year. If you get nothing else out of this notebook, I would implore you to check out this EP and the track “Lovesick” in particular.

A good place to start on individual song recommendation would be with the king of remixes: Flume. Although his album is still in the works, two of his releases, “Some Minds (feat. Andrew Wyatt)” and “Lay Me Down (Flume Remix)”, warrant constant listens in my library. Another few songs to check out would be OMFG’s releases. Coming out of nowhere, she released “Hello” at the beginning of this year with instant acclaim. Her three releases since have not let down either. The last person worth mentioning in a positive light would be marshmello. The anonymous producer from who-knows-where has been on fire recently with big name remixes and stellar singles. Although there is no EP or LP rumored on the horizon, his music is definitely worth a listen on SoundCloud.

So what about the negatives of this year? As great as this year is for electronic music, there have to be some releases that just didn’t live up to hype. The first album that comes to mind would be NERO’s “Between II Worlds”. I loved NERO’s first album, but the follow-up just wasn’t anywhere near what the talented group should have produced. After waiting three years for new NERO releases, we received an LP of just 12 songs, many of which were produced years ago. From the remaining tracks, there isn’t much to get excited about. “Between II Worlds” was certainly my biggest disappointment of the year so far.

Back in February of this year, Skrillex and Diplo released their first album under their super group moniker Jack U. Looking back on the album over a half year later, I was hoping for a bit more from that legendary combination. Although certainly not bad, “Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U” lacked the originality and crazy drums that I have come to expect from those two; it was just an average release. Despite this, Skrillex and Diplo haven’t turned in bad years overall. Skrillex has released five remixes and several singles (some as just a producer) that are certainly worth checking out. Most notable is “El Chapo” by The Game. Diplo also released an album with his group Major Lazer that has given us the hit “Lean On (feat. DJ Snake and MØ)”. Skrillex and Diplo had a busy year with some hits and some misses, and it has been exciting to watch unfold.