| The best of 2015
[dropcap]It[/dropcap] is close to Oscar time, but who cares when the music of 2015 was far better than the cinema (with the exception of Star Wars, The Martian, and Ex Machina.)  Dais Records showcased their great A&R with Them Are Us Too, and Drab Majesty, Scandinavia showcased Agent Side Grinder‘s Alkimia, and newcomers Sanne De Neige, Avant! Records released Qual and Drift., Lebanon Hanover released their best album yet. Not only were there many great releases from younger bands—New Order and Killing Joke both released some of their best work in over a decade.

But first let’s start by celebrating the newcomers. Post Punk aged really well, if we see 1976 as a starting point, and continues to be inspirational to a huge number of great bands. Listen to some of those we loved the most.

Best new bands of 2015

Second Still

A great unsigned NYC area Post-Punk band, looking forward to hearing more.

Sanne De Neige

An elemental duo from Sweden, conjuring a primal sound that blends Disintegration-era Cure with a distinctly Scandinavian sound. Extremely well produced.


Nathalia Bruno’s foray into solo work following her former band Phosphor is an electropop dream hazed in pink hue.


Speaking of Phosphor, Hélène de Thoury’s solo project is spellbinding whirl of cinematically captivating synths that underscore moments of intense emotion.


William Maybelline’s solo project is called Qual for good reason—the music distills excruciating torment through electrodes and tourniquets. It’s a good thing.

Codex Empire

Mahk Rumbae’s (Konstruktivists / Oppenheimer MKII) new project’s reckless Techno/Industrial dancefloor attacks have been proven to be irresistible.

Them Are Us Too

A brilliant duo from Santa Cruz California, who sound like Heaven of Las Vegas-era Cocteau Twins meets The Sundays. Cash’s guitar Kennedy’s soprano are of the stuff that makes legends.

Top Albums:

Agent Side Grinder – Alkimia

Agent Side Grinder’s fifth album Alkimia was a grower. Though as I first didn’t really like it, after being blown away by the more experimental predecessor Hardware, it was impossible to resist ASG’s new-found catchiness—the swedish six-piece has bloomed into a full-on Synth Pop/Post Punk band, and it cannot get much better than this. This Is Us, Into The Wild and For The Young are smash hits par excellence. (Aleks)

Lebanon Hanover – Besides The Abyss

Larissa Iceglass and William Maybelline’s 2015 LP Besides The Abyss is not only a clever wordplay, but also their best album yet, and warrents their growing popularity.  Two of our editors favorite songs from last year in constant rotation in the office were the haunting lament of Dark Hill, and the  refreshing use of saxophone throughout The Moor.

Drab Majesty – Careless

The Pandrogynous persona Deb Demure released their otherworldly Gothic-Rock/Synth/ New-Wave debut LP Careless this past summer, and the amazing track The Foyer from that ablum has already become a cult classic.

Carter Tutti Void – f(x)

2015 was certainly an excellent year for Industrial enthusiasts. The Coil reissues, and the “new” album Backwards, are only two reasons—the other one(s) are Chris Carter’s and Cosey Fanni Tutti’s new project Carter Tutti. The elder statesman and-woman of Synth experimentalism are still hungry, and the excellent end to Chris and Cosey, Carter Tutti Plays Chris and Cosey, did not exactly prepare me what they released eventually, the second Carter Tutti Void album, featuring Factory Floor’s Nik Void. f(x) displays the three-piece at its best, playful, experimental and challenging. (Aleks)

New Order – Music Complete

The best album of the Joy Division heirs since Technique, for sure. The synth came back, and songs like Tutti Frutti or Plastic are exactly what I love about New Order. It’s upbeat, it’s got the slight hints of Melancholy that they will certainly never get rid of, and the absence of former bass player Peter Hook is not really audible as Tom Chapman (Ex-Bad Lieutenant) does an excellent job. Sure, not every song is on point, but New Order made an impressive comeback. (Aleks)

Killing Joke – Pylon

Killing Joke have released their sixteenth studio album, “Pylon”, with the original lineup of Jaz Coleman, Geordie, Youth, and Big Paul, and it’s one of their best.  Listen to the excellent track Euphoria below, one of the best songs of the year.

King Dude – Songs of Flesh and Blood (In The Key Of Light)

King Dude has already proven than there is more about him than just runes and satan. After broadening his sound with Fear in 2014, a rock-driven record, Songs of Flesh and Blood (In The Key Of Light) can easily be called the Dude’s best album so far. Getting deeper into Americana and Folk songs, with nods to Nick Cave and Tom Waits, the broadening of his sound did good things. What started out as a really good Death in June copycat turned out to be a great thing of it’s own and one of the most interesting and style-defining Neofolk acts of this decade. (Aleks)

Tempers – Services

Tempers from NYC revive the spirit of alternative music through the talented song writing of Eddie and Jasmine.  Check out our interview here.

The Soft Moon – Deeper

The Soft Moon made an impressive statement with Deeper. After conquering the Post Punk world by storm with their self-titled debut in 2010, their 3rd effort shows them at their peak—the resonating bass lines and the mechanised drumming became key elements of many new bands, and slowly, Luis Vasquez leaves the restrains of his underground following behind without actually making radical changes about his sound—quality succeeds. (Aleks)

November Növelet – This World In Devotion

2015 was an excellent year for Industrial enthusiasts indeed, and Galaktorrhö contributed a lot to it, with Subliminal’s and Da-Sein’s new releases—but their roster’s biggest highlight of this year was the long-awaited release of November Növelet’s third album, This World In Devotion, after an eight year hiatus, only interrupted by the EPs Sacred and Heart of Stone in 2008 and 2012. Haus Arafna’s sexy and twisted side project always delivers. (Aleks)

Black Egg – Melencolia

UsherSan already earned his merits in the music world with Norma Loy and DZ Lectric & Anthon Shield, to name the most prominent ones, and Adan & Ilse, and of course his most recent outlet, Black Egg, that debuted 2013 on [aufnahme + wiedergabe]. Legacy From A Cold World was a great start back then, and Melencolia follows the path of total electronic darkness, with a significant broadening of Black Egg’s bleak minimalistic sound, integrating more forward-going stompers. (Aleks)

Vowws – The Great Sun

Vowws are cinematic industrial/synth/rock duo with a passion for film-making that is reflected in their music.  Check out our interview here.

Special Mention (songs we love):

Motorama’s album Poverty with Dispersed Energy

The Harrow’s album Silhouettes with Love like Shadows 

Frank The Baptist’s As the Camp Burns with Diogenes Travels

Editors’ In Dream with The Law (Featuring Rachel Goswell from Slowdive)

Guest Top Picks for 2015

Aleks Schatten (Electronic Music Editor at

Top 10 (and a little more) list

  1. Coil – Backwards [Cold Spring Records]
  2. November Növelet – This World In Devotion [Galaktorrhö]
  3. Agent Side Grinder – Alkimia [Progress Productions]
  4. King Dude – Song of Flesh and Blood (In The Key of Light) [Not Just Religious Music]
  5. Carter Tutti Void – f(x) [Industrial Records]
  6. Black Egg – Melencolia [aufnahme + wiedergabe]
  7. Ancient Methods – Turn Ice Realities Into Fire Dreams [HANDS Productions]
  8. Distel – Nord [Beläten]
  9. Pure Ground – Standard of Living [Avant! Records]
  10. Hante. – Her Fall and Rise [Stellar Kinematics]
  11. The Devil and the Universe – Benedicere [Rustblade]
  12. New Order – Music Complete [Mute]
  13. Blush Response – Future Tyrants [aufnahme + wiedergabe]
  14. Bourbonese Qualk – Lies EP [Mannequin Records]
  15. Headless Horseman – Headless Horseman 007 [Headless Horseman]

Honorable mentions:

  • Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls [Profound Lore Records]
  • Maoupa Mazzochetti – Untitled [Mannequin Records]
  • Musumeci – Harry Batasuna (An-i Edit) [Mannequin Records]
  • Keluar – Panguna [Zone Records]
  • Regis – Manbait [Blackest Ever Black]
  • The Coil reissues that kept me from listening to any other music for weeks [Threshold House]

Alessandro Adriani (Mannequin Records)

No particular order:

  • Powell – Insomniac 12’’ [XL Recordings]
  • ADMX-71 – Coherent Abstractions [L.I.E.S.]
  • Föllakzoid – III [Sacred Bones Records]
  • An-i – Gutz 12’’ [Cititrax]
  • Lena Platonos – Γκάλοπ LP [Dark Entries]
  • Beau Wanzer / Corporate Park – Untitled [Not On Label]
  • Charles Manier – American Manier 2xLP [Bopside]
  • Various – Trevor Jackson presents: Science Fiction Dancehall Classics 3xLP [On-U Sound]
  • Bourbonese Qualk – Bourbonese Qualk 1983-1987 2xLP [Mannequin Records]
  • Ford Proco / Coil – Expansion Naranja 12’’ [Mannequin Records]

Joey Blush (Blush Response)

In no particular order:

  • Autechre – AE_Live [Warp Records]
  • COIL – Backwards [Cold Spring Records]
  • Abdulla Rashim – A Shell of Speed [Northern Electronics]
  • Synapscape – Rhythm Age [Ant-Zen]
  • Drew McDowall – Collapse [Dais Records]
  • Huren – MRTVI [Zhark Records]
  • Orphx – The Sonic Groove Releases Pt. 2 [Hymen Records]
  • Ontal – Entropia [Ad Noiseam]
  • Swarm Intelligence – Rust [Ad Noiseam]
  • Vromb – Choreographie [Ant-Zen]

Read our interview with Blush Response here

Philipp Strobel [aufnahme + wiedergabe], DEATH # DISCO, Endorcism

  • November Növelet – The World In Devotion [Galakthrrö]
  • King Dude – Songs Of Flesh And Blood – In The Key Of Light [Not Just Religious Music]
  • Cold Showers – Matter Of Choice [Dais]
  • Agent Side Grinder – Alkimia [Progress Productions]
  • The Soft Moon – Deeper [Captured Tracks]
  • SNTS – The Rustling Of The Leaves [SNTS]
  • Pure Ground – Standard Of Living [Chondritic Sound]
  • Ke/Hil – Zone 0 [Tesco Organisation]
  • Prurient – Frozen Niagara Falls [Profound Lore Records]
  • Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat – To Live Vicariously [Zealrecords]

Read our Catching up with… [aufnahme + wiedergabe] article here