2018 has been an incredible year. Russia hosting the FIFA World Cup gave us a reel of football highlights, Spotify went public with an opening market cap of over $26B, and Apple became the first company to surpass a $1 Trillion valuation.
Though besides the different achievements in sport, business and politics, the year also delivered some massive tunes to our playlists. Peggy Gou made her Ninja Tune debut, Bicep got a remix from Four Tet, Paul Woolford released with Pete Tong’s FFRR imprint and George FitzGerald gave us the goods once more.
While there has been more music than any one person could even enjoy in full, we have put together our list of ten of the years biggest tracks. A balanced mix between a few unknown club cuts, right through to the obvious choices, here’s our best of 2018.
10. Special Request – Brainstorm
Paul Woolford makes his first appearance on our list, this time with the Special Request moniker. His return to the fabric London affiliated label Houndstooth for his Belief System LP includes the highly impressive Brainstorm single. The usual Woolford standard of production shines through on this one, and has become the stand out track from the album.
09. Hi-Fi Sean – The Music ft. Celeda
Classic Music Company
Hi-Fi Sean delivers a stunning throwback house anthem that features great vocal work from ‘Music Is The Answer’ star Celeda. The infectious single finds him add Derrick Carter and Luke Solomon’s Classic Music Company to a catalogue that already includes Glitterbox and Defected.
08. Maribou State – Turnmills
Named after the London nightclub that closed its doors a decade ago, this years release of Maribou State’s Turnmills single found itself as the duo’s first release since 2015. Brought in partnership with the #Savenightlife campaign, the track was put out on Counter Records, who have released the works of RAC, ODESZA, Chrome Sparks and Howling among others.
07. Krystal Klear – Neutron Dance
Making his debut for Running Back this April, Dublin’s Dec Lennon, better known as Krystal Klear, dropped a quadruple pack in the form of his The Division EP. Within the release you’ll find Neutron Dance, a stand out, nostalgia-tinged weapon that has since went on to get remixes from Paul Woolford, Fango, Mano Le Tough and Running Back boss Gerd Janson.
06. Erol Alkan – Spectrum
Renowned London based electro talent Erol Alkan returns with a two track EP that features Spectrum and Silver Echoes, the opening production offers a simplified, synth driven club cut that comes on his own Phantasy Sound, an imprint previously graced by top producers like Daniel Avery, Red Axes and Gabe Gurnsey.
05. Paul Woolford – Hang Up Your Hang Ups
Cocoon, Hotflush, Planet E and Mute Records, Leeds native Paul Woolford has been around the block when it comes to putting your stamp on influential dance music imprints and his 2018 outing on Pete Tong’s Full Frequency Range Recordings for Hang Up Your Hang Ups which features vocals from Kim English found him deep in fan appreciation.
04. Bicep – Opal (Four Tet Remix)
Belfast’s own Bicep secured their place amongst dance music royalty following the 2017 release of their self-titled debut album. Since then album inclusion Opal found itself getting a remix from iconic UK producer Kieran Hebdan, aka. Four Tet. The remix became an essential track throughout the year and has since been streamed over 5 million times on Spotify.
03. George FitzGerald – Burns
Double Six Records
Known for previously putting out music on Hotflush, Hypercolour and Aus Music, British producer and ManMakeMusic boss George FitzGerald really made his mark this year with his second full length album, a stand out track from which was Burns. Coming via Double Six, a label under Domino that has also put out work from Jon Hopkins.
02. Kolsch & Tiga – Hal
A highly addictive collaboration between Denmark’s Kolsch and Canada’s Tiga, HAL has been a common inclusion among many playlists and DJ sets. It came via Kolsch’s IPSO imprint which he launched in 2016 and was packaged with Still So High and First Blood to make up the full HAL EP.
01. Peggy Gou – It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)
Korean sensation Peggy Gou caught the attention of everyone with her Ninja Tune debut for the highly impressive, double sided Once EP. This year also saw her play Coachella, and join BBC Radio 1’s residency. The track has since been remixed by the likes of I:Cube and Jay Daniel.