Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018Skrille 1

Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.

2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.

We also saw a creative collective of remixes surface in 2018, including Rinzen‘s compelling take on deadmau5 and Rob Swire‘s hit “Monophobia” and Skrillex‘s intoxicating rendition of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode.” We celebrated the return of Gesaffelstein with “Reset” and welcomed new projects from Diplo in LSD and Silk City. We welcomed collaborations from Ekali, Medasin, and Elohim in “Forever,” Tiësto, Dzeko, Post Malone, and Preme in platinum smash hit “Jackie Chan,” and ZHU and Tame Impala in “My Life.”

Ultimately, though, we’ve narrowed 2018 down to 30 tracks that stole our hearts and smashed streaming records.

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Dancing Astronauts Top 10 Albums Of 2018

Since the advent of recorded music, albums have reigned as the supreme vessel through which artists put forth their most hallowed creations and define their oeuvres. In the modern era of streaming, wherein declining royalty rates demand that musicians tour incessantly and the necessity of instant gratification demands a correlative, unending supply of singles and remixes, the process of producing a full-length record is perhaps more daunting than it’s ever been.

However, the LP is far from a dying art form, as legions of artists have duly proven in the past year. In the realm of dance music alone, 2018 saw an abundance of stellar, individualized efforts, providing our editorial team with quite a difficult feat in selecting a Top 10. Below, we’ve compiled ten innovative, stylistically diverse, and evocative albums that shook the scene and stirred us so resoundingly that they manage to stand out among a formidable pool of contenders.


Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018San Holo Album1 Review
10. San Holo, album1

Since its founding in 2014, San Holo’s bitbird label has made monumental strides, helping propel his releases — along with those of artists like DROELOE and Taska Black — to notoriety. Perhaps the label’s biggest buzz this year was that of San Holo’s inaugural LP, appropriately titled album1, which made its debut in mid-September. After pouring months of passion into the record, San Holo wasted no time incorporating live instruments in album1, kicking off the compilation with a wistful guitar melody in “everything matters (when it comes to you).” This theme continues throughout the album’s 12 tracks, with each song exuding pure emotion and spirit. In its entirety, album1 is sonically pleasing and a fresh breath of air in an often monotonous EDM scene.

Words by Robyn Dexter

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Pleasurekraft Friends Lovers Other Constellations Hi Res Art
9. Pleasurekraft, Friends, Lovers, and Other Constellations

It’s hard to believe that, prior to this year, Pleasurekraft had yet to release a full-length record. The transnational duo have been regarded as lodestars in the genres which they’ve graced for practically a decade, thanks to their acutely analytic approach to producing. The past few years have marked an evolution of sorts for the Kraftek label-heads, as they’ve shifted toward establishing their cinematically-infused brand of cosmic techno. And, their inaugural LP, Friends, Lovers, & Other Constellations, which kicked off the duo’s year in January, showcases their progress from its opening act (the genre-defying “Interiors”) until its closing bow (the similarly mellifluous “Last Transmission”).

Words by Will McCarthy

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Justice Woman Worldwide Hi Res Art
8. Justice, Woman Worldwide

After a two-year gap following the release of Woman, French electro luminaries Justice returned in 2018 with Woman Worldwide, a “live” album — perhaps, more accurately an homage or counterpart — to the live production which accompanied their much-lauded third studio LP, rebuilt in the studio through what Xavier de Rosnay described to Dancing Astronaut as a “proper Justice record.”

De Rosnay and Gaspard Augé didn’t spend their lapse between albums by writing “new” music. Rather, they spent this time fine-tuning every minute of the their live performance, ultimately recreating the Justice concert experience in their studio. The final product speaks for itself: Woman Worldwide has yielded the duo’s third Grammy nomination, and showcases what wound up being one of the most in-demand touring electronic music performances of recent years.

Words by David Klemow

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Rufus Du Sol Solace Hi Res Artwork
7. RÜFÜS DU SOL, Solace

Weaving a follow-up to an acclaimed album is a formidable task for any artist to face. It has to be different enough from its predecessor to keep fans’ attention, but it also has to retain the signature sound that initially drew people in initially. After gaining major recognition from 2016’s Bloom, Rüfüs Du Sol were faced with that exact challenge.
On Solace, the Australian trio stepped up every part of their production process. Tyrone Lindqvist’s vocals are more emotional and over-stated than ever before, while the instrumentals are crisper and full of new textures. Though the vocal-house formula of Bloom and their debut album, Atlas, is still intact, what Rüfüs Du Sol have presented with their third record is a growth of their sound to the precipice of perfection.

Words by Anthony Manganiello

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Rezz Certain Kind Of Magic Review
6. REZZ, Certain Kind of Magic

Rezz’s Certain Kind of Magic solidified the mau5trap mainstay into the electronic music history books with her gritty synth-work, head-banging rhythms and uneasy melodies that juxtaposed uncertainty and confidence throughout the LP. Looking forward to 2019 with a grip of festival headlines, the Canadian artist took the rock tinged genre into a new realm with a cohesive haunting narrative centered around a carnival in hell. Rezz even took to an emo rock, acoustic track, “Toxin,” with the Berklee College of Music artist Fytch to showcase her versatility and early influences.

Isabelle Rezazadeh also used her album to shed a light on up and coming producers. Through promoting talents from the likes of 1788-L, 13, Deathpact, Kotek, and the aforementioned Fytch, the mau5trap favorite reaffirmed her dedication to highlighting industry newcomers in the face of her now-innumerable accolades.

Words by Chris Stack

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Rl Grime Nova Artwork
5. RL Grime, Nova

For the duration of trap music’s prominence as an EDM sub-genre, Henry Steinway has been a key figure, thanks to his unparalleled ability to weave simplistic, but devilishly effective pieces as RL Grime. Yet, some of the most evocative tracks of his career have resided in a more melodic realm. Such is the case with NOVA. In his sophomore album, Steinway looked beyond the dark melodies, aggressive, layered bass lines, and fast paced ascents characteristic of trap, to tinge traditional trap aesthetic with pop and hip-hop tints. His embedding of pop and hip-hop stylistics within the trap oriented inclusions of NOVA helped to further the appeal of thoughtful, trap-infused productions, marketing trap to listeners who might very well have written the sub-genre off as one simply “not for them.” For those who like pop, there was the digestible, vocal-centric single, “I Wanna Know” with Daya, which stood alongside hip-hop features such as the Ty Dolla $ign assisted “Take It Away” and the Chief Keef joint, “OMG.” Boasting a laundry list of highly demanded collaborators and the production deftness to warrant them, RL Grime’s sophomore showing effectively merged musical worlds, while expanding conceptions of what trap music might sound like, and to whom it might appeal.

Words by Rachel Narozniak

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Jon Hopkins Singularity Artwork
4. Jon Hopkins, Singularity

Throughout dance music culture, accolades such as “seasoned” or “veteran” are often thrown around all too liberally. After all, when the pace of an industry moves a mile a minute, a producer with two years’ professional experience can arguably be considered a “long-time luminary.”
That said, when an artist truly is a master of the craft, the results speak for themselves. Jon Hopkins stood out in 2018 as a truly veteran artist, with the release of his fifth studio album (and first in five years), Singularity. From energetic, mesmerizingly erratic pieces such as “Neon Pattern Drum” and “Everything Connected,” to more subdued, mystifying pieces “C O S M” and “Recovery,” everything on Singularity is indeed connected via the English artist’s unparalleled aptitude for creating mellifluous, lo-fi opuses.

Words by Will McCarthy

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Dillon Francis WUT WUT Album Art
3. Dillon Francis, WUT WUT

Dillon Francis’ WUT WUT feels like the culmination of his entire career thus far. A call-back to his first big hit, “Que Que” alongside Diplo in 2011, WUT WUT is a full circle return to Francis’ moombahton roots which perfectly describes where Francis has been, and, ultimately, shows off where he’s going. The record also feels like a rite of passage of sorts for Francis, who moved from merely being a superstar DJ to a taste-making A&R that has helped boost lesser known Latin artists into the spotlight in 2018 — a year in which Latin music experienced a head-on collision with mainstream pop.

WUT WUT has earned Francis a well-deserved Latin Grammy nomination, and while Francis’ moombahton revival project didn’t bring home the hardware this year, it not only kept artistically true to Dave Nada’s beloved blend of genres, it helped progress his flagship style and introduce it to a much wider audience in 2018.

Words by David Klemow

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Medasin Irene Artwork
2. Medasin, Irene

Medasin’s Irene takes all the right risks. The glistening offspring of the producer’s climb out of a deep, former addiction, the eponymous album was inspired by Medasin’s outpatient counselor, the real-life Irene. Sounding at times like underwater elevator music from a far away realm (“Ramen” or “Slinky Man”), and others radiating smooth, saccharine R&B (“Tired”), the project seamlessly reconciles its differences floating through its duration with effortless cohesion. Irene oozes Medasin’s invariable experimentalism, with minimal vocal interruption—though the two vocal features do add an accessible flavor to the otherworldly recipe—letting his playful, quixotic production do the talking.

While Medasin’s blissed-out, slow-motion rendition of Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still” won his fellow artist’s respect (garnering him official remix opportunities from the likes of Martin Garrix, Khalid, and more) Irene spoke to listeners, ravaging Reddit threads and streaming services alike months after its release.

Words by Bella Bagshaw

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Zhu Ringos Desert Release Date
1. ZHU, Ringo’s Desert

ZHU has certainly come a long way since “Faded.” The producer’s sophomore album, Ringo’s Desert arrived as a sensuous, cross-genre scorcher that showed off ZHU’s signature, haunting vocals, while all the time seeking to evoke the landscape of the desert. The album’s environmental influence taken into account, and considered alongside the album’s overarching lyrical narrative of love that leaves one bereft, left to wander in search of the kind of solitude that satiates, much like the drink of water dreamt of by the eponymous desert nomad, Ringo’s Desert easily constituted one of the year’s finest, most meticulously woven concept albums. With its breadth of musical emotionality and mainstream appeal via collaborations with heavyweights such as Tame Impala, it stands out from the crowd in an inimitable fashion.

Words by Rachel Narozniak

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Steve Angello Human Artwork

Honorable Mention: Steve Angello, Human

Steve Angello’s Human is a symphony of self-exploration. While the Swedish icon has proven himself a master craftsman of the album in the past, his newest album saw him pivot from the avant-garde take on dance pop crossover on his preceding record, Wild Youth, over to a personal journey fueled by electronica and rock inspirations. The 21-track Human is a tale of creating art out of therapy, as Angello explored his own relationship with spirituality and religion. The product is beautiful, moving and memorable — certainly something to be proud of as the remainder of 2018 shifted from a focus on Steve Angello to the triumphant return of his beginnings with Swedish House Mafia and their reunion in the next year.

Words by Steph Evans

Lunar Lunes: Oliverse releases ‘Somethin Good,’ Adventure Club take on Underoath, Shaun Frank creates ‘Shapes’ + more

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Lunar Lunes: Oliverse releases ‘Somethin Good,’ Adventure Club take on Underoath, Shaun Frank creates ‘Shapes’ + moreLunar Lunes E1540831560592

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

RÜFÜS DU SOL lead off volume three of the Solace remixes with a gorgeously atmospheric take on “Lost in My Mind” from Icarus. Prince Fox continues his string of recent releases with “Rock Paper Scissors,” and Approaching Nirvana returns with the emotive and melodic “Lost The Signal” with Cara Leigh. Summer Was Fun brings Lil Dweeb aboard for “Simple,” and Oliverse returns to Disciple for a formidable dubstep track, “Somethin Good.” Adventure Club tackle Underoath‘s “Some Will Seek Forgiveness, Others Escape” in a new remix. Fytch takes on DROELOE‘s “Step By Step” in the duo’s new remix package for The Choices We Face. Shaun Frank wraps up 2018 with a groovy house tune on Spinnin’ Records, “Shapes.”

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Listen to RÜFÜS DU SOL’s breathtaking Essential Mix debut

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Listen to RÜFÜS DU SOL’s breathtaking Essential Mix debutRufus Stassie

Pete Tong has been an outspoken fan of Australian trio RÜFÜS DU SOL since their break half a decade ago. He’s rinsed their music heavily across his platforms, doing his part to seal in their now-global domination in the live electronica sphere. Having just released their critically-acclaimed and deeply personal third LP, Solace, the timing synced perfectly for RÜFÜS to make their debut on the hallowed Essential Mix series. They made their debut during the wee hours of December 1.

The boys treat listeners to two hours of sounds that that inspire them, and to some extent, their latest album. It opens with TYB’s choice edit of Simian Mobile Disco’s “Mumurations,” before diving deeper into funk-based grooves of Weval and beyond. The mix is ethereal, yet eclectic, with multiple stylings of electronic music coming together with a common tie of sentimental melodies and floating sound design. Ultimately, RÜFÜS DU SOL’s Essential Mix debut is a class showcasing of where they’re at musically, and quite an intimate one at that.

 

LISTEN TO RÜFÜS DU SOL’s ESSENTIAL MIX HERE 

 

RÜFÜS DU SOL ‘Lost In My Mind’ video portrays the group’s strenuous emotional expedition

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RÜFÜS DU SOL ‘Lost In My Mind’ video portrays the group’s strenuous emotional expeditionRufus Du Sol Lost In My Mind 1

With the recent launch of their self-started label, Rose Avenue, a world tour, their new full-length album, Solaceand a cross-continental move from Australia to LA, it should come as no surprise that the members of RÜFÜS DU SOL have encountered some considerable emotional interference in the last year.

The Aussie electronic staples’ latest music video, accompanying the aptly titled, “Lost In My Mind,” from the latest LP, employs some not-so-subtle symbolism to give viewers a glance into the trio’s psyche. Shot in an LA industrial playground of sorts, a nod at the warehouse culture their music is so inherently intertwined with, the trio is crammed atop a drifting, dilapidated couch. The vessel carries them clean through warehouse walls, denoting the colossal career breakthroughs the increasingly imminent group have recently secured, though not without some emotional scarring and feelings of isolation–hence the residual soot and rubble plaguing the trio after every impactful encounter.

An artist’s tempestuous inner life is vastly more complex than fans can fathom from the outside looking in; and in RÜFÜS DU SOL’s case, sold out show after sold out show and sleepless nights spent toiling in the studio by their lonesome have not come without emotional detriment.

Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Tiësto, and Post Malone top 2019 Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina, Brasil lineups

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Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Tiësto, and Post Malone top 2019 Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina, Brasil lineupsLollapalooza Red Bull Tv

The three South American editions of Lollapalooza have announced their respective lineups for the 2019 festival season. As in previous years, Lollapalooza coordinators will present versions of the festival in Chile, Argentina, and Brasil. Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Lenny Kravitz, and Post Malone will headline each of the three installments. ODESZA, ZHU, Tiësto, Years & Years, GTA, and Steve Aoki round out a handful of the electronic acts to grace the lineups. The 2019 event billings are rife with genre-spanning talent outside of the dance realm, including Twenty One Pilots, The 1975, Ziggy Marley, and Snow Patrol.

Lollapalooza Chile will be held at O’Higgins Park in Santiago from March 29-31. Lollapalooza Argentina will simultaneously run at Hippodromo de San Isidro in Buenos Aires. Last but not least, the final South American Lolla leg in Brasil will take place from April 5-7 at Autódromo de Interlagos in São Paulo. See the full lineups for each installment of Lollapalooza’s Latin American stops below.

Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Tiësto, and Post Malone top 2019 Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina, Brasil lineupsLollapalooza Brasil 2019

Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Tiësto, and Post Malone top 2019 Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina, Brasil lineupsLollapalooza Argentina

Kendrick Lamar, Arctic Monkeys, Tiësto, and Post Malone top 2019 Lollapalooza Chile, Argentina, Brasil lineupsLollapalooza Chile 2019

Odesza Unveils SUNDARA Fest Lineup ft. Rüfüs Du Sol, Bob Moses, RL Grime & more

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Continuing their world domination far into 2018, ODESZA announces their first ever Foreign Family festival today. SUNDARA festival is going down March 13-16, 2019 in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Packages are set to go on sale next Tuesday, October 23. SUNDARA Festival – March 13-16, 2019 in Riviera Maya The wildly sought after festival released its

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ODESZA announce inaugural Foreign Family Collective festival Sundara, topped by RÜFÜS DU SOL, RL Grime, and more

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ODESZA announce inaugural Foreign Family Collective festival Sundara, topped by RÜFÜS DU SOL, RL Grime, and moreOdesza Lost Lake Jeff Kravitz

ODESZA announced earlier this year that they would not return to Red Rocks Amphitheater in 2019, thereby ending a consecutive four-year run of shows at the venue. The news led fans to speculate that the electronic duo could be plotting a momentous event in place of the annual Colorado show, more specifically, a Foreign Family Collective festival. Now, the duo have officially ended the speculation with the announcement of Sundara, set for March 13 – 16, 2019 in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

The label heads, and now festival organizers, are slated to headline the event, along with Alison Wonderland, RL Grime, and RÜFÜS DU SOL. Supporting talent for the inaugural beach festival includes Bob Moses, Tokimonsta, and Golden Features. Each act featured on Sundara’s debut lineup will play two different, unique sets across the three day event.

ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective label claimed an Electric Forest first in 2017 as the imprint hosted its own stage at the Michigan festival, programmed with talent curated from their imprint including Jai Wolf, Chet Porter, and Kasbo. ODESZA enthusiasts reasoned that the launch of a festival-style event would be a logical next step in Foreign Family’s progression, and as ODESZA has confirmed, a Foreign Family festival is now well within fans’ collective ‘line of sight.’

ODESZA announce inaugural Foreign Family Collective festival Sundara, topped by RÜFÜS DU SOL, RL Grime, and moreSundara Odesza Lineup

Gary Richards’s Friendship music cruise is hosting a four-person cabin giveaway [Enter Here]

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Gary Richards’s Friendship music cruise is hosting a four-person cabin giveaway [Enter Here]Friendship Music Cruise 1

HARD Events (HARD Summer, Holy Ship!) founder, Gary Richards is extending an invite to his sea-bound get together, the Frienship Music Cruise, consisting of merely a few thousand of his closest friends. One lucky winner will secure a four-person cabin aboard the awe-inspiring, amenity-filled Celebrity Equinox cruise ship.

Organized by Richards’s new AMFAMFAMF event brand, the cruise will sail from Miami to the Bahamas December 11-15. Lining the walls of the party-prepared vessel will be alluring acts from all ends of the electronic continuum, from Rüfüs Du Sol to Boys Noize to Anna Lunoe, to Destructo (Richards) himself. The giveaway is running through October 1. So for those seeking to indulge their penchant for warm-weather inside broad sonic landscapes and stave off stark winter woes aboard one of the most luxurious cruise ships on the planet, the Friendship Cruise has the answer.

Enter to win here. For more info on the festival itself, head here.

RÜFÜS DU SOL release most exploratory track to date, ‘Lost In My Mind’

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RÜFÜS DU SOL release most exploratory track to date, ‘Lost In My Mind’Lost In My Mind Rufus Du Sol 1

Of the recent triad of RÜFÜS DU SOL releases, the newest, “Lost In My Mind,” serves as a bold outlier, delineating itself from its atmospheric house predecessors, “Underwater” and “No Place,” out on Reprise Records.

“Lost In My Mind” uses tribal choral elements and hazy reverb to tell a downtempo tale of labored transcendence. The lyrics reveal a sense of confinement, as if lead vocalist Tyrone Lindqvist is trudging through a monotonous sea of barren landscape, only to realize he is walking in place. Epochal synth riffs soon wash over Lindqvist, imploring him to beat on.

The track suggests that good things must come in threes, as “Lost In My Mind,” the third breadcrumb on the trail to SOLACE — the Australian trio’s third album — has already garnered the support of Zane Lowe, who has secured the track for his World Record on Apple Beats 1. The SOLACE Fall Tour kicks off late October and will roll on for a solid month until near November’s end. The release date for the album itself has yet to be announced.

The album has been fashioned largely from sheer juxtaposition of the trio’s new home, the vacillating Californian terrain: a stark contrast of harsh desert and languorous coastline.