In a year dominated by bland, sample-heavy, tech-house, it's only fitting that we showcase the best of what the genre had to offer as opposed to the biggest ones which were unnecessarily jammed down our throat. Artistry, accessibility, and uniqueness were all taken into consideration while catchiness took a back seat.
Shout out to Paul Woolford, Weiss, Dusky, Cristoph, and Camelphat. All artists who made some notable contributions to the year but narrowly missed the cut.
1. "IT MAKES YOU FORGET (ITGEHANE)" - PEGGY GOU [NINJA TUNE]
Very few tunes of the Summer transcend that distinction but Korean-born, Berlin-based producer, Peggy Gou turned 2018 upside down with her January released, Ninja Tune debut, "Itgehane." A catchy, Korean language, sun-kissed anthem with a warm and groovy vibe which features a somber yet charming vocal provided by the artist herself. A surprisingly impressive accomplishment in a music world full of guest vocalists.
2. "NEVER TALK TO ALIENS" - JESSE PEREZ VD DJ MIND-X [DFTD]
Miami's own, Jesse Perez took on this little known trance tune from the late '90s and arranged house music magic. He dropped the big room build, took out the extended breakdown, slowed the tempo, and injected one very chunky rhythm. Although, he did in fact leave that very gorgeous melody in which is guaranteed to stick your brain like glue.
3. "TOGETHER" - CINTHIE [803 CRYSTALGROOVES]
Berlin stalwart, Cinthie released this unbelievably good tune on vinyl back in October and it just saw it's digital release this month. However, the tune is absolutely large and it's significantly better than 99 percent of the music that's been jammed down your throat this year. Due mainly to an absolutely wicked bass-line which the producer penned herself and yes, this information has been confirmed.
FACT: You haven't heard a bass-line this good since the heyday of French, filter-house.
4. "PICK UP (12" EXTENDED DISCO VERSION) - DJ KOZE [PAMPA RECORDS]
5. "ALWAYS" - RIVA STARR FEAT. JOCELYN BROWN [TRUESOUL]
Riva Starr's smashing debut album on Truesoul was kicked off by the lead single, "Always." A garage-inspired tune focused on making the floor move. Nothing more, nothing less. Pure, unadulterated house music at its best.
6. "ULTIMATUM" - DISCLOSURE FT FATOUMATA DIAWARE [UNIVERSAL-ISLAND]
Malawi's Fatoumata Diawara lent her infectious vocals to what was Disclosure's first new production in a very long time. Certainly a return to their dance-floor focused roots while embracing the current African sound which has infiltrated the present landscape of house music.
7. "HAL" - KOLSCH AND TIGA [IPSO]
8. "HYPER SECONDS" - LONE [R&S RECORDS]
Among other things, the highlights of 2018 for LONE were the second and third editions of his Ambivert Series and on his second one issued back in February sat this stuttering kicker, "Hyper Seconds." One of the most euphoric tunes to hit the street this past year. And just like most of LONE's productions, it stands up there with some of the best from the early '90s golden era.
9. "LEFT EYE LEFT" - KOLSCH [KOMPAKT]
Kolsch just keeps pushing out one brilliant tune after another and "Left Eye Left" is just more proof that he's fully able to consistently craft nearly perfect pieces of electronic music.
10. "AT NIGHT (PEGGY GOU'S ACID JOURNEY REMIX)" - SHAKEDOWN [DEFECTED]
One of the top vocals tunes of the early 21st century was treated to a sparkling new makeover courtesy of the artist responsible for our top house tune of the year.
11. "CONTROLLER" - CHANNEL TRES [GODMODE]
Channel Tres is a Compton based producer who channeled the Detroit vibe with a subtle hint of '80s west coast electro on his breakout tune, "Controller."
12. "AS ABOVE SO BELOW" - &ME [PAMPA RECORDS]
Pampa Records finally welcomed &ME to their elite crew with a pair of tracks including this ravishing ear-worm that is worthy of playing very loud and getting lost to.
13. "HIDDEN PAST (FORT ROMEAU REMIX) - AMIRALI [DARK MATTERS]
It may have flown below the radar this year but Fort Romeau's otherworldly remix of "Hidden Past" is a five-star, spine-tingling gem that sparkles and shimmers with the utmost beauty.
14. "LITTLE LOVE" - PRIMITIVE TRUST [AUS MUSIC]
Following a two month hiatus, the incomparable Aus Music imprint opened up 2018 with the third and final collaboration between label-boss Will Saul, and Tee Mango. Together known as Primitive Trust. The result was this deep and murky production known as "Little Love." A tune that isn't just one one of the best of 2018, but one that's expected to last a very long time thanks to its classic sensibilities arranged in a such a blissful manner. Ten out of ten this one is.
15. "DEEP SPACE" - FRANKY RIZARDO [8BIT]
Back in February of this year, Defected favorite, Franky Rizardo made his debut on 8bit with a trio of severely good tunes including this atomic bomb which I've declared as one of the best of the year. No predictable samples, nothing unoriginal, just straight up heat on the floor. A tune that stood so much larger than everything else within the tech-house spectrum.
Stream the best of 2018 uninterrupted via the playlist below: