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The Top 50 Albums of 2015

The LPs that really mattered this year

  • Mixmag staff
  • 17 December 2015
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10 Levon Vincent 'Levon Vincent'

The glacial sounds of Levon Vincent's debut spread themselves across his moody, sparse techno arrangements, helping to build an LP as playful with sound as it's serious in intent.

9 Hot Chip 'Why Make Sense'

Hot Chip prove their staying power by not fixing what ain't broke. From the funk of 'Started Right' to euphoric house of 'Need You Now', this is their best album in years.

8 Helena Hauff 'Discreet Desires'

Inspired by the dark, chilly sounds of obscure warehouse techno, Helena Hauff's debut is proud of its references to the past without ever sounding tired of itself. A pleasure.

7 Maribou State 'Portraits'

Maribou State reined back the weighty bass on a live show-ready debut that oozes spine-tingling groove on tracks like 'Rituals' and glittering, knee-trembling vocals like on 'Steal'.

6 Chemical Brothers 'Born In The Echoes'

One of the best-loved dance duos in history returned to what they do best: intelligent, festival-filling dance music, all weird riffs, glitzy melodies and psychedelic trips.

5 Hudson Mohawke 'Lantern'

Amping everything up from his debut, 'Lantern's' is all about gospel choirs, huge beats and 70s soul reworks, everything happening at very high voltage. Oh, and Elton John's a fan!

4 Kendrick Lamar 'To Pimp A Butterfly'

The hip hop album of the year, equal parts funny, political and woebegone. Kendrick spat over jazz and funk rhythms to boggle the mind - so good we nearly forgot about Dre.

3 Floating Points 'Elaenia'

'Elaenia' took Floating Points' calm, scholarly vibe to new heights. Weaving analogue synths with gentle basslines while still working on big systems, it's a real antidote to EDM.

2 Julio Bashmore 'Knockin' Boots'

Moving beyond the 'deep house' sound, the house revivalist seemed in soulful mood, the tracks sitting as easily on daytime radio as in an EZ set. The soundtrack to the summer.

1 Jamie xx 'In Colour'

With his debut album, the XX producer established himself as a solo star in his own right. Whether it was Space Ibiza club bangers like 'Gosh', the lullaby bounce of 'Sleep Sound', or 'I Know There's Gonna Be Good Times', an inescapable dancehall summer anthem, 'In Colour' blended its varied palette into one concise statement. And 'Loud Places' with Romy really was one of the biggest feelgood moments of the year.

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