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RA Poll: Top 40 live acts of 2015

  • RA's readers pick the top live acts of the year.

    What are the fundamentals of live electronic music performance? Exclusively playing your own music is the obvious one. Unlike lots of their record-spinning, beat-matching counterparts, most live acts would consider themselves producers first and performers second, so much of their craft is deciding how to best present their music to the world. Do you scale back and just use a laptop? Do you bring the studio to the stage? Or do you, like one of the artists in this year's list, round up an 11-piece ensemble? That's the beauty of performing live: there are no limits. As you scroll, you might notice that we've done things a little differently in 2015, doubling the number of acts from 20 to 40. We basically thought it was time to open up the field, shining a light on more of your favourites. It means that you've now got UK rave icons next to an Icelandic techno duo; a seasoned composer rubbing shoulders with a karate-chopping house-head; a hooded industrialist up against an

    acid maestro. As for the top 20, there are seven new entries, plenty of old faces and a brand new number one.

    • Headless HorsemanAn anonymous techno artist in a veiled hoodie who speaks in the third person. How to stop that from being silly? Make the music totally badass, which is precisely what Headless Horseman does.
    • PremieskuPremiesku play live without computers, and they're constantly adding new equipment to their arsenal to keep themselves challenged. It's what keeps their minimalist house fresh, and what makes them one of Romania's best exports.

    • The Chemical BrothersIt may only be Tom Rowlands onstage these days, but 2015 was proof that the Chemical Brothers put on as show-stopping a performance today as they ever have.
    • Todd TerjeIn 2015, Todd Terje's already great live show got better. With a back catalogue loaded with hits, the Norwegian artist showcased his tropical sound with the help of a band and dancers.


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