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end-of-year-2015

This year, FACT Magazine offered me the opportunity to compile a “25 Best Club Tracks Of 2015” list and after weeks of agonizing over the selections, it went live last week to many readers’ consternation. Unfortunately, a good deal of tracks that I would have liked to include didn’t fit in to the feature’s scope, which was more of less limited to club-focused material and original works (a self-imposed limitation). The following 25 tracks either aren’t aimed at the dancefloor, fit the club-theme or just didn’t quite fit the rubric for the column. Like the FACT list, we’ve kept this one in alphabetic order and considering that these songs come from across a ridiculously wide spectrum we felt there was no need to order them otherwise. Hit the links below to listen to each respective track and enjoy. Big thanks to anyone and everyone who has stuck with us, enjoyed our releases and/or followed the FACT column.

Acre – Always Crashing

Acre x Justine Skye – Never Physically Leave (Prince Will Edit)

Angel-Ho – Yah Cunt

DJ Haram & Mhysa – No Ordinary Love

DJ NJ Drone – Banger (Fools)

Elysia Crampton – Lake

Faro – Hold U (Hi Tom Edit)

Fis – Kal

GAIKA – Sodium

Haleek Maul – Medicine (ft. Kit) [prod. Haleek Maul & Shy Guy]

Iglew – Urban Myth

Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf – Spirit

Joey Labeija – Euphoria

Kadahn – Arc Eye Matter

Kuedo – Cellular Perimeter

Lotic – Heterocetera

Mechatok – Mass Appeal

Mr. Mitch – Dru (Peace Edit)

Rabit & Myth – Lonely Backseat Love

Pan Daijing – DISEASE 疾

Pitcheno – K1. 不明白” (feat. Organ Tapes)

Smurphy – Missing2MyBB

Strict Face – Into Stone

Teeflii x Mr. Mitch – 24 Hourz x Feel (Rabit Blend)

Tim Hecker – Stab Variation (SHALT Edit)

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Traditionally a stronghold for house and techno forms, Northern Europe is slowly becoming fertile ground for a wide range of producers mutating Caribbean, South American and West African into their own idiosyncratic aesthetics. Even Scandinavia, hardly thought of an outpost of black or brown culture, is home to several important outposts, all part of an interminable trend that points to the mucking up of monolithic dance forms (for the better). Few individuals have managed to bridge the many gaps between the hegemonic clubs, labels and scenes that striate modern European dance music, but Munich-based artist Mechatok has, somehow, effortlessly infiltrated both worlds. A recent adoptee of Stockholm’s intoxicating Staycore crew (Dinamarca, Ghazal, Toxe, Mobilegirl etc.), Mechatok has developed a remarkable unique sound that touches on many trans-continental motifs, but rarely settles on one consistent groove. Unlike, many of his contemporaries, a Mechatok track often trots along at a leisurely pace, eschewing snares almost entirely and never giving in to an ad lib-heavy approach.

Often sitting around 120 BPM, Mechatok bases many tracks around rhythms like the tresillo and often utilizes round, wooden-sounding percussion, a welcome change from the metallic soundscapes that dominate contemporary club music. That isn’t to say that tracks like “Regio” and “Gulf Area” aren’t machinic, just that Mechatok’s sound palette offers a welcome reprieve from the monotony that marks much of the material we come across. It’s an aesthetic that can already be described as distinctly his own and one that has garnered the attention of Munich’s Public Possession, better known for Balearic-tinged releases from Bell Towers, Samo DJ and Tambien, who will release his debut later this year. Several of the tracks from that release can be found in Mechatok’s excellent Astral Plane mix, an original-heavy 30 minutes that goes a long to explaining how both he has managed to entrance figures as disparate as PP label heads Marvin & Valentino and Mssingno. Moving at a breakneck pace, the mix weaves through gqom, weirdo rap from Haleek Maul and Young Thug, implacable chants and a bevy of Mechatok originals, rarely sitting down long enough for the listener to feel comfortable, but always retaining enough percussive thrust to keep the body moving. Along with the aforementioned Public Possession release, expect plenty more to come on the release front from this promising young talent who seems to be bridging just about every sound, scene and movement we currently enjoy.

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