Unlike the mellifluous quality of our highest rated tune of the year, "Cloud Nine" by Mind Against, 2018's best techno was characterized by a much bigger, booming sound that seemed to dominate the landscape. Trance even had a hand in it by getting re-introduced to techno with a much harder edge minus any predictable EDM qualities. In short, 2018 was bangin'!
1. "CLOUD NINE" - MIND AGAINST [AFTERLIFE]
Italian techno masters, Mind Against kicked off their year with an auspicious, sophomore effort on Afterlife. A release that saw two original productions by the duo. One being the title track and the other was this magnificent orchestration of melody titled "Cloud Nine." A fittingly titled tune that artfully expressed melody with the slightest of ease better than any other this past year. It was indeed the very best techno track that 2018 had to offer.
2. "CARTI HOUSE" - MARTIN BOOKS [CARTI RECORDS]
"Carti House" by Berlin's Martin Books may have flown below the radar this year but don't count it out for one second on that account. The tune is devastatingly raw and sleazy. An absolutely, perfect banger that may just be a little too much for the average melodic techno ear.
3. "HARD LIGHT" - DENSE & PIKA [HYPERCOLOUR]
While everyone else is taking the formulaic route down techno avenue, Dense & Pika have been taking the road less traveled by adopting their own unique approach to the widely appreciated genre with unconventional drum-kicks and occasionally euphoric soundscapes as demonstrated here on "Hard Light."
4. "MULTICELLULAR" - ENRICO SANGIULIANO [DRUMCODE]
Italian techno talent, Enrico Sangiuliano dropped his astounding, debut L.P. on Drumcode this past June. The album is titled, Biomorph and this particular tune, "Multicellular" isn't just the highlight of the album. It's without a doubt, one of the most jaw-dropping tracks of the year. An all-out banger with a splash of euphoria that really deserved single treatment if you ask me.
5. "CAFE DEL MAR (TALE OF US RENAISSANCE REMIX)" - ENERGY 52 [RENAISSANCE RECORDS]
Trance came full circle this year by getting reintroduced to the masses as a sub-genre of techno rather than its own separate classification. An unintentional evolution that was inevitable thanks to music's association with 20 year nostalgia. And with that, techno's most beloved artists have begun to fully embrace the genre like Tale Of Us here with their own modern twist on the anthemic classic "Cafe Del Mar." A superb, if not perfect take on the original. Good enough to go down as the top remix in the tune's 25 year history!
6. "ONE STEP BEYOND" - RAITO [BOYSNOIZE RECORDS]
With its hands-in-the-air piano chorus, amen breaks, sirens, and whistles, Raito's "One Step Beyond" expertly captures the ravey sound of 1992 better than anyone I've heard in recent memory.
7. "MYSTERY LAND (SPEKTRE REMIX)" - Y-TRAXX [KRAFTEK]
This trance choon from '98 received an aggressive, makeover from UK techno duo, Spektre, which saw heavy spins from the likes of Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, and Maceo Plex. Safe to say this one was rather huge in 2018.
8. "ROME FUTURE" - ADAM BEYER & LAYTON GIORDANI [DRUMCODE]
Adam Beyer's production with Bart Skils, "Your Mind" may have been a bigger tune for the Drumcode label-boss but his collab with Layton Giordani was just a bit more prolific. Certainly not as catchy as the former but its vocal sample along with its utterly sinister synthesizer section is absolutely filthy.
9. "SOLID BUZZ" - INDUSTRIALYZER [SECOND STATE]
Portuguese producer, Industrialyzer rocked 2018 with "Solid Buzz." A banging tune which features a weighty kick-drum and an insane pattern of rhythmic fills to complement this outstanding tune.
10. "CATARSE" - WEHBBA [DRUMCODE]
The beauty of this lovely effort from Brazilian producer Wehbba is nearly unrivaled with its reverberated melody that floats ever so gently on top of a pulverizing kick-drum.
11. "PROJECT ZEUS" - DENSE & PIKA [KNEADED PAINS]
Arguably one of techno's most profound duos, Dense & Pika returned to their own imprint this past February with their signature, dusty-techno vibe on a tune mysteriously titled "Project Zeus."
12. "THE EVENT" - ALIAS [DRUMCODE]
Harvey and Ryan McKay had another go on their Alias project in 2018 and the result was a trio of outstanding tunes including this brilliant belter they call, "The Event."
13. "TOGETHER" - VONDA7 [LAST NIGHT ON EARTH]
14. "HYSTERIA" - GIACOMO RENZI [JAM]
Giacomo Renzi's "Hysteria" is a seven minute journey that begins with a hypnotizing vibe but about halfway through you will start to notice the tune transform into a devastating dancefloor-banger that is guaranteed to make the crowd absolutely lose it.
15. "SPACEWALKER" - COLLECTIVE STATES [HIGH TIDE RECORDINGS]
Southampton duo, Collective States round out the best of the year with this exceptionally buoyant tune crafted strictly for the ass on the floor.
Stream the best techno of 2018 uninterrupted via the playlist below: