As 2015 winds to a close, we're realizing that it's been a truly action-packed year for electronic and dance music. THUMP will be looking back at the highs and lows all month, and today, we are starting with our top 50 tracks of the year. The selections on this list reflect a year typified not only by fantastic production and innovation, but one where the lines between genres and scenes got blurrier than ever before.
It begins with what sounds like a trash compactor pounding down an entire city—crunching glass and metal filtered through a mechanical whirl. Then, a blood-curdling scream sets off blasts of machine warfare, and a child's voice cries out repeatedly. Finally, a deafening hail of machine gun fire drowns out everything before fading into an eerie ring. It could be the soundtrack of our favorite video game. But that's little relief when the horror on the screen and on the ground are one and the same.
Only a few hours after smashing his performance at Toronto's OVO Fest with Drake—who gave the song its irresistibly goofy intro—Skepta did it again in a packed club where sweat was practically dripping from the venue's walls. While music outlets continue to argue about the resurgence of grime's popularity in North American clubs, Skepta proved the only stamp of approval he needed was from his fans.