Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.
This week’s Beat Lab will take a slightly different format.
When I started using SoundCloud in early 2014, I made playlists weekly (read: obsessively). I’ve backed off a bit in recent years, but I still take time to collect songs for my yearly “best of” playlist, which I create every January and add to throughout the year. In late December for the past four years, I’ve narrowed it down to my 50 favorite releases of the year. They range from hard-hitting anthems to serene soundscapes, which truly sums up my music preferences.
I’ve discovered and fallen in love with many new artists this year, along with cherishing new releases from some of my previous favorites. I threw myself head-first into a bunch of synthwave tunes this year, leading to the discovery of tracks like Timecop1983’s heart-wrenching “Back To You” and A R I Z O N A‘s nostalgic “What She Wants.” This year’s drum & bass releases thrilled me, from Fox Stevenson‘s “Bruises” to Feint‘s “Shockwave.” I’ve loved every single thing Mat Zo has done this year, whether it’s Anjunabeats release “Meaning Lost All Words” (possibly my favorite song of 2018) or his infectious “Vice” drum & bass number. I’ve also loved everything from Goshfather this year, particularly his groovy disco takes on Drake‘s “Nice for What” and Lil Pump and Kanye‘s “I Love It.” Mielo had me hitting repeat on “The Wayfarer” over and over, and Au5 reignited my love for glitch hop with his take on APEK‘s “Supernatural.”
Without further ado, here are my 50 favorite songs of 2018, in no particular order.