Top 100 Artists of 2015

What a fantastic year 2015 was for not just real house music, but the underground dance scene as a whole. The standard of musical production across all the genres was the best it’s been for many years, with some seriously old school sensibilities being seamlessly interwoven with the latest production techniques.

More and more fans around the world also began to find THEIR sound too this year. Whether it was discovering a penchant for smooth soulful grooves, getting out their seat to some Afro beats or finding a space on the floor for some bass heavy Tech House, there really was something for everyone in 2015.

With so many DJs and producers on top of their games over the year, it was always going to be a difficult job choosing the crème de la crème of the last 12 months. However, through a blend of good old fashioned A&R, data driven stats, sales, office discussions (plus a few arguments!) and of course damn fine releases, here are our choices for the Overall Top 100 Artists of 2015.

100: Philip Bader
99: Tigerskin
98: Ross Couch
97: Robert Hood
96: Franky Rizardo
95: Coeo
94: Juliet Sikora
93: Marcel Dettmann
92: Quinten 909
91: Terrence Parker
90: DJ E-Clyps
89: Josh Wink
88: Faze Action
87: The Deepshakerz
86: Nachtbraker
85: Eric Kupper
84: thatmanmonkz
83: Man Without A Clue
82: Tale Of Us
81: Art Of Tones
80: Kenny Summit
79: Souldynamic
78: Homero Espinosa
77: Terry Hunter
76: Tiga
75: Golf Clap
74: Giom
73: Kraak & Smaak
72: Raffa FL
71: Electronic Youth
70: Crazy P
69: Catz ‘N Dogz
68: Metodi Hristov
67: Sean McCabe
66: HNNY
65: The Checkup
64: Noir
63: Ron Basejam
62: Joeski
61: Rhemi
59: youANDme
58: Kai Alce
57: Sonny Fodera
56: Pete Herbert
55: Gene Farris
54: Demuir
53: Karizma
52: Re-Tide
51: Nils Penner
50: Carl Craig
49: Sam Divine
48: Ralf GUM
47: Detroit Swindle
46: Hector Couto
45: Demarkus Lewis
44: Lovebirds
43: Richard Earnshaw
42: Miguel Migs
41: Soul Clap
40: Enzo Siffredi
39: Deetron
38: Manoo
37: Harry Romero
36: J Paul Getto
35: Radio Slave
34: Dario D’Attis
33: DJ Spinna
32: Hot Toddy
31: Todd Terry
30: Till Von Sein
29: Steve Bug
28: Black Coffee
27: Session Victim
26: Kenny Dope
25: Robosonic
24: Josh Butler
23: Fouk
22: Tim Deluxe
21: Riva Starr

20: Bicep

Belfast duo Bicep have had a great 2015 with releases on First Choice, Strictly Rhythm, Aus Music and of course their own label Feel My Bicep. Their sublime ‘Just’ was one of the biggest tunes of 2015 with serious support from the likes of &Me, Brame & Hamo and Andy Daniell, whilst the ‘Only Love Can Set U-Free’ track sent audiences into a spin across the globe. These boys just get it. The end.

19: Fred Everything

Fred Everything impressive release schedule in 2015 featured tracks and remixes for all your favourite labels. His Shur-I-Kan collaboration ‘Common Ground’ (check the dub, its deep!) has been tearing up the dancefloors all year, as his own Lazy Days imprint continued to go from strength to strength. Special releases for us were the subtle tones of ‘Gentle as the Sun’ and his latest release ‘Searching’.

18: Atjazz

Martin ‘Atjazz’ Iveson’s 2015 output was the same as every other year; outstanding. ‘Fox Tooth’, ‘Mama Kosa’, ‘Oh I (Miss U)’, the list is endless. Just click on the link and get involved, it’s hard to describe the Atjazz sound, just go and listen yourself. We are daily!

17: Doorly

Doorly makes house that garage DJs can play and UK G that house DJs play! ‘Its About The Music Man’ finds him in fine eclectic form, mashing up old school breaks, sparse synths and Chi-town beats to great effect. With releases on Moon Harbour, Onelove, Toolroom and Hot Creations just to name a few, it’s safe to say that Doorly was one of the real success stories of 2015.

16: Sidney Charles

One of the busiest DJs on the circuit, it’s surprising Sidney Charles finds the time to drop any tracks! In between flights he still managed to release fire on Avotre, Moda Black and Truesoul, with his ‘Power of The Undeground’ on DFTD and ‘Forever’ on Hot Creations all finding their perfect place on the world’s dance floors.

15: Opolopo

With a steady stream of remixes and original productions, Opolopo really made the soulful house scene his own in 2015. Stand out remixes included Portia Monique’s ‘Ain’t Scared of You’, Ferry Ultra’s ‘Let Me Do My Thang’ alongside releases on Reel People Music, Z Records and King Street. If you want to understand Opolopo, go and listen to ‘I Think I’ll Do Some Stepping’ with Sandy Barber, then come back and talk to us. Opolopo is the man!

14: &Me

Keinemusik stalwart &ME was the name on the lips of house music’s most forward thinking connoisseurs in 2015. Stand outs for us were the sublimely hypnotic ‘Woods’ and of course his remix of Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons ‘Vermillion’.

13: Oliver Dollar

Berlin’s Oliver Dollar could do no wrong in 2015. ‘Shout Away’ with Chuck Daniels was a dance floor bomb that picked up support from the likes of Kevin Saunderson, Cajmere and Joey Negro to name just a few. With further releases on Defected, Azuli, Cajual and Relief, his recent remix of Boris Dlugosch’s ‘Keep Pushin’ brought a real zesty freshness to the house classic and don’t sleep on his remix of Gene Farris’ ‘Move Your Body’ on Cajual.

12: Joey Negro

Dave Lee killed 2015, it’s as simple as that. ‘Do What You Feel’, originally released in 1991, was given a delicious 2015 re-rub courtesy of the man himself. Released on his own Z Records, support came in from Todd Terry, Golf Clap, DJ Spen, Julius Papp and many other serious taste makers. Other killer releases including ‘Free Bass’, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ and ‘I Can Feel Your Body Rock’ to ensure that 2015 was yet another huge year for the Z Records supremo.

11: Adam Port

Adam Port’s 2 track EP ‘I Never Wear Black’ on Keinemusik was caned all summer by DJs worldwide, with both the title track and the ‘E Sound Edit’ receiving worldwide acclaim. 2015 has seen further releases on Pet Recordings, Kompakt and Moon Harbour, who have all been gobbling up Adam’s unique disco-infused techno that is always blended with irresistible flair.

10: KiNK

One of Bulgaria’s finest exports, KiNK is one of the scenes most in demand producers and remixers.With a slew of releases on Ovum Recordings, Freerange, Running Back and ITH to name a few, KiNK’s live sets hold the key to understanding how he creates unparalleled enthusiasm on stage. Every time he uploads a new video we’re hooked by this man’s creativity and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us in 2016.

9: Supernova

Lapsus Records owners Supernova pushed out some serious heat through their own label in 2015. Still willing to share the love though, they also found time to also fire out releases on King Street, Material, Z Records and Moon Harbour. We loved their remix of Audio Junkie’s ‘Right Love’ on their own imprint, but be sure to check out their remix of Joey Negro’s classic ‘Do What You Feel’. One of the best re-rubs of 2015.

8: Jimpster

Freerange boss Jimpster had a great 2015, with his output of releases as strong as any year in his two decades career. Alongside the fire on his own imprint, he still found time to release tracks this year on Suol, Avida Music and Apersonal . Stand outs included ‘English Rose’, ‘Head Spin’ and his sublime remix of Till Von Sein’s ‘Booty Angel’. A REAL Deep House legend.

7: DJ Spen

Basement Boy DJ Spen enjoyed an amazing 2015. Joining forces with Louie Vega for ‘Why Can’t You See’ featuring the sweet, soulful vocals of Sheila Ford and released on Spen’s own Quantize Recordings with amazing reinterpretations by Atjazz, Joey Negro, Dimitri from Paris and Kenny Dope. Other stand out moments ‘Fire’ and ‘Everybody Get Up’ with Gary Hudgins and the sublime ‘No Good For You’ featuring Hanlei. One of the true greats of soulful house music.

6: Brame & Hamo

An absolutely massive year for our number one Deep House Artists of 2015, Brame and Hamo. With releases on Detroit Swindle’s Heist Recordings and Dirt Crew, it was their smokin ‘Hotshot’ release that really tore up the dance floors with big support from Waze & Odyssey, Till Von Stein and Mark Farina to name just a few. With the recent launch of their own label Splendor & Squalour, we can’t wait to see what else the boys have in store for us in 2016, as they continue to push the boundaries with their eclectic style.

5: Low Steppa

Low Steppa is a real breath of fresh air in house music. His no nonsense approach to DJing and production is what you want to see from a man that is totally on top of his game. His UK Bass productions have popped up this year in the playlists of Grant Nelson, Zane Lowe and Huxley. The recent ‘Kontrol’ with Martin Ikin was our kind of rough, tough and wicked stuff, whilst his re-rub of the 90s classic ‘Deep Inside’ brought the old school NYC flavor to a brand new set of fans this years. Low Steppa, we salute you.

4: Pablo Fierro

Our number one Afro House Artist of 2015, Vida Records label boss Pablo Fierro fired out a slew of releases on King Street, Nervous, Nulu and SOLE Channel. Pablo’s music can also be found in films produced by some of the most recognized directors of Spanish cinematography, as well as writing his own lyrics and playing a number of instruments. The man lives and breathes music and it’s this kind of passion that rightfully see him in our top 5 Artists of the year.

3: Mihalis Safras

Our number one Tech House Artist of 2015 was the irrepressible Mihalis Safras, with his Material imprint also standing out this year. Huge tracks such as ‘Barrage’ on Knee Deep In Sound and the recent ‘Power’ release on Saved Records really pushed the boundaries in terms of creative content for this hardworking DJ, artist and label owner. We’re really looking forward to seeing what Mihalis and Material have in store for us in 2016.

2: Louie Vega

Number one soulful artist and runner up in our overall list of 2015 is the evergreen Louie Vega. His studio was a veritable revolving door of collaborators this year, with Adeva, Jocelyn Brown, George Clinton and even Kendrick Lamar popping up on Vega joints in 2015. With a brand new album due out in 2016 featuring a star studded support cast, it seems that Louie Vega isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s something we can all be very thankful for.

So there you have it, our choice of the Top 20 Artists of 2015.

A magnificent list to compliment a truly magnificent year for underground dance music. With so many great producers, both old and new, throwing down so many innovative tracks this year, we really can’t wait to see what musical masterpieces they have in store for us in 2016.

And the Artist of the year, 2015, is…

Purple Disco Machine

Our number one Artist of 2015 is Germany’s very own Purple Disco Machine. With releases on Peppermint Jam, Defected, Get Twisted Records, Love Inc, Nurvous and Kitball to name but a few, PDM was the name on everyone’s lips this year. His ‘L.O.V.E.’ collab with Boris Dlugosch is an absolute killer slice of disco infused house, whilst ‘Song for O’ was one of of the biggest tunes of Ibiza 2015.

Purple Disco Machine proudly wears his disco influences on his sleeve and produces warm, sun-kissed tunes; all glitter balls, soft melodies and tight production. Released on London’s Get Twisted label at the end of August and featuring the soul vocal of Natalie Conway, ’Soul So Sweet’ had classic summer anthem written all over it. With its uplifting chords and crowd-noise breakdown, it was a massive track at many of the world’s festivals this year.

If 2015 had a shape and a sound, it would be a Purple Disco Machine.

Purple Disco Machine releases on Traxsource.