1. Private Agenda – Paralysed
Sounding something like a mash up of Ce Ce Peniston, Crystal Waters, and Wham! (no, come back!), this is pure pop delivered via the South American house music label International Feel. An unexpected gem straight out of left field. Nice live video too.
2. Arches – New Love Feat. Karen Harding
Big, hands in the air summer holiday house courtesy of The Magician’s Potion label, this one did the business all year on the dancefloor, or just when I wanted an extra kick in my step walking to the shops. The video is hilariously bad though!
3. Mondowski – Cry Wolf
Sparse, slow, somewhat industrial electronic house from Headman / Manhead / Robi Insinnia’s spin off label Relish Industria, this instrumental is a successful exercise in repetition and layering deserving ever second of its 8:26 runtime.
4. The Juan Maclean – Simple Design (Deetron Remix)
This one may have sneaked out in 2014 but was picked up and rereleased in 2015 by Defected of all people. This Deetron remix was one of two I wanted to include (the other being a remix of Todd Terje) but there can be only 10 (+ 1). Avoid the radio edit and stick with the full 7:23 version for the synth wig out at the end.
5. The Chemical Brothers Feat. St. Vincent – Under Neon Lights
In truth I could have picked at least three more tracks from the latest Chemical Brothers album Born In The Echoes (Reflexion, Go, Wide Open) but this is the one that grabbed me immediately and I still listen to the most, possibly as it echoes the Dig Your Own Hole era tracks to my ears at least. Nice laser projections in the video.
6. Ghostpoet – X Marks The Spot (Boxed In Remix)
The moody synths and half spoken/half sung lyrics grabbed my on first listen and I’ve been coming back ever since. Sounds great loud in a club even if it brings the vibe down a little!
7. Miami Horror – Love Like Mine (Cleopold Remix)
As far as I can tell this is a remix of a collaboration done by the collaborator, and it’s better than the original. Strange. 3 minutes of earworming electro pop that I’ve ended up humming to myself on far too many occasions.
8. Jamie xx Feat. Romy – ‘Loud Places’
One of those lyrics that speaks to every clubber with an ex ever. Preach! Haha. Romy is on top form lyrically and vocally and Jamie xx’s music matches the mood perfectly. Sad, defiant, and upbeat at the same time, like all the best songs. Full video treatment and over 8 million views!
9. Daphne And Celeste – You And I Alone
You would have gotten some odds on me including a track by Daphne And Celeste in this list a year ago I can tell you. Yet here they are thanks to a Max Tundra led revival, a cool video, an irresistable back story, and a (possibly) urine inspired clear yellow 7 inch. Once you listen to the song, go check out the “Daphne And Celeste Getting Bottled At Reading 2000” video!
10. Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
The video certainly got a lot of attention for all the reasons, right and wrong, but don’t forget the great song behind it. Between this, the Soulwax remix of Let It Happen, and their incredibly faithful cover of Kylie’s Confide In Me, Tame Impala made quite the impression this year.
(+1) Le Galaxie – Love System (Ghostboy’s Love Rhythm Remix)
Being asked to remix a track by friends is always an honour. When the track has already established itself to be a recent classic then you’ve your work cut out for you. This one went in a completely different direction to the one I expected when I started it, but I love the results, even if I do say so myself. Well if I don’t plug it who will?
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.