Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 71 | Top Tracks of 2018

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 71 | Top Tracks of 2018Deters Beat Lab@0.

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.

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.