2016 was a big year for future bass. The genre exploded into the mainstream and became a constant throughout the year. Despite claims that the genre has become played out and tired, there are still a select group of producers who are pushing the envelope and exploring new sonic territory.
Although I usually just pick my 10 favorite songs of the week, its difficult to condense an entire year into 10 tracks. Instead, I've decided to showcase my favorite track from 10 of my favorite producers this year.
1. RÜFÜS DU SOL - INNERBLOOM (WHAT SO NOT REMIX)
RÜFÜS Du Sol's "Innerbloom" was a top contender for song of the year among indie music fans. As such, I felt it was only appropriate to list its future bass/EDM counterpart courtesy of former Flume collaborator Chis Emerson aka What So Not. Despite Flume's absence from WSN, Emerson has proved he has more than enough talent to carry the torch.
2. TOURIST - TO HAVE YOU BACK [MONDAY RECORDS]
Although not a conventional future bass producer, Tourist has a similarly intense emotional content conveyed via saw waves and minor 9th chords. He accurately sums up his sound as "sad dance music," a term which I still love to hear.
This is his biggest single off his album, and the entire release is one of my favorites of 2016.
3. MURA MASA - WHAT IF I GO? [ANCHOR POINT]
Although he was relatively quiet in 2016, Mura Masa still managed to release one of the best feel good jams of 2016. This track has healing powers and can turn an absolutely dismal day into the best day of your life.
4. KALI UCHIS - RIDIN ROUND FT. TORY LANEZ (OSHI REMIX)
This is without a doubt his best work in 2016. A bright and bouncy uplifting anthem.
5. HEX COUGAR - HOW DOES IT FEEL
While many future bass artists continue to push the same formulaic sound on their fans, Hex Cougar is constantly evolving and pushing what remains of future bass into unknown territories.
6. RL GRIME - AURORA [WEDIDIT RECORDS]
Although RL Grime is festival trap's poster child, he's also one of the few artists constantly innovating and making moves that push the boundaries of what trap or future bass can be. "Aurora" has sweeping synths and lush chords that merge with minimal yet brutal trap drums are a perfect example of this.
7. KRANE X JUPE - QUARTZZ [SESSIONS_2.2]
KRANE is another producer constantly experimenting in trap/future bass, and it's led to a tremendous amount of success for him in 2016. This next year should be even bigger for him.
8. MEDASIN & X&G - THE ZOO (FEAT. JOSH PAN) [ELYSIAN RECORDS]
These three artists are all pushing trap and future bass in their own respective ways. Medasin usually is more chill leaning in his productions aside from his collaborations with these two acts. X&G have crafted an extremely unique sound that feels tribal and organic yet futuristic at the same time. The enigmatic Josh Pan has managed to captivate countless audiences with his genre defiant sound and social media presence.
"The Zoo" is the best embodiment of the group's work. It feels like an all out sprint through an urban jungle.
9. FALCONS & EKALI - I WON'T LIE FEAT. VANESSA ELISHA
These two producers experienced a tremendous amount of success in 2016, especially Ekali, who skyrocketed to fame over the course of the year. The two have an extremely natural approach to music, which creates a much more fluid feeling of movement.
10. MR. CARMACK - PAY FOR WHAT [ALEXANDER LEWIS TROMBONE FLIP]
Alexander Lewis and Mr. Carmack have been two of my favorite trap producers for the past few years. Both have crafted extremely unique niches within trap and future bass, and I can't wait to see what's next for them in 2017.
Stream the entire chart as a playlist!