It brings me an ample amount of joy to make the following statement; 2018 is the best year dance music has had in a long time. Since the EDM bubble blew up in the late 2000s and the commercial and mainstream takeover we've seen in the 2010s, there has been a noticeable decline in the quality and innovation from our flagship artists. Of course, this isn't universal, there are always exceptions in the form of Flume's first 2 releases or Eric Prydz's Opus, but by and large, the crop of mainstage dance acts and our supposed industry leaders have made a noticeable trend of shitting the bed whenever it came time to drop a full length LP to follow up their initial success.
From Hardwell's cringy United We Are, Calvin Harris's Motion, Alesso's mundane Forever, to Chainsmoker's forgettable Memories Do Not Open and Steve Aoki's Neon Future releases, we've seen our favorite acts rise up with slews of premium singles and EPs only to lose their edge entirely once they hit the top of the mountain. This led to an industry wide shift from once known identity of “EDM” being mostly dutch, big room, progressive house music to a new wave of deep, tropical, and future house and bass music that has now taken the spotlight. Need any proof, check out EDC's kinetic field choices this year.
It's taken some time, but we're now seeing the results these up and comers finally getting the recognition and resources they deserve and has given us the best selection of music outside the underground that I can recall in years. Best part is, we're only halfway done. Check out the top albums of 2018 so far…
Oh, and of course the underground is also killing it as usual…
Don Diablo – Future (Hexagon)
Don Diablo makes his claim for the future house throne. Future delivers more than a full plate of thumping, soulful, bangers and stays just under the limit of commercial fluffery to stay dope.
Alison Wonderland – Awake (EMI)
The queen of trap's sophomore LP gives fans a more cohesive, dark, and emotional collection of festival ready beats than her debut. In one of the most saturated genres in the entire music industry, Awake brings some much needed life.
Kasbo – Places We Don't Know (Foreign Family)
EDM Sauce is no stranger to Kasbo and neither should you. This release doesn't rewrite the rules of future bass but uses solid, catchy songwriting to create an album that will keep you smiling the whole time.
Keys N Krates – Cura (Dim Mak)
At under 30 mins, it almost hard to call Cura a full album, but it shows off a soft and funky nature that we haven't seen much of the talented live/electronica fusion trio. Probably their most enjoyable release yet.
Sango – In The Comfort Of (Last Gang)
Sango's been one of the most inventive and underrated artists in the last few years and we more than welcome his 2nd album into our eardrums. Classic hip hop and electronica rarely sound better.
3lau – Ultraviolet (Blume)
EDMsauce has always loved Justin and honestly we couldn't be happier with Ultraviolet. 3blau delivers the model pop/EDM record that you wished many previous big room legends had done. Embracing experimental sounds and trying new things to create a great piece of art.
The Glitch Mob – See Without Eyes (Glass Air)
The famous trio has been a leader in the sound of bass music for years. See Without Eyes is as serene and beautiful as it is epic and brutal. This album puts alot of so called “dirty” and “hard” bass music to shame. A huge statement from the Glitch Mob.
Uppermost – Perseverance (Uppwind)
Uppermost's self released masterpiece has something for everybody. Hard electro, uplifting future bass, atmospheric electronica, you name it, it's on here and it sounds fantastic. Easily one of the best albums of the year.
Joe Ford – Colours In Sound (Shogun)
Joe Ford's debut separates itself from the herd by taking the best aspects of multiple DnB subgenres and creates of the most fresh sounding and solid releases of the year.
Moby – Everything Was Beautiful And Nothing Hurt (Little Idiot)
This album is vintage Moby, at least in terms of his productions. Moody, dark, and beautiful trip hop and downtempo that's based of the classic Slaughterhouse V novel. Amazing to see the veteran artist still delivering after all these years.
Kevin McKay – The Love Forever (Glasgow Underground)
Glasgow Underground label boss gives us everything we love about nu disco and house with a fun and quality debut album.
Daniel Avery – Song For Alpha (Mute/NA)
If you mixed ambient electronica with Boys Noise then you'd get Daniel Avery. This UK innovator is one of the best in the scene and this latest LP shows it.
Davide Squillace – Once Upon A Time In Napoli (Crosstown Rebels)
Veteran producer Davide Squillace returns with his first full length album in 7 years. It's top notch groovy deep house that lives up to the sky high standards you'd expect from a Crosstown Rebels release.
God.Damn.Chan – Slush (Alpha Pup)
Chan makes a statement with this experimental blend of trap and future bass. One of the coolest records of the year and a huge feather in the Alpha Pup records cap.
DJ Healer – Nothing 2 Loose (All Possible Worlds)
Not much is known about mysterious DJ Healer except that he clearly has a knack for imaginative house and techno music that fits in best somewhere in nature. Whether it's a long drive through the desert or camping the mountains, Nothing To Loose is the choice soundtrack for your spiritual journey this year.
Pleasurekraft – Friends, Lovers, & Other Constellations (Kraftek)
Pleasurekraft have been beloved in the underground scene for years. It only makes sense that they would save some of their biggest and best techno beats for their debut LP.
Hidden Empire – Mind Palace (Stil Vor Talent)
Mind Palace is unlike any other techno album in recent memory. Stil Vor is known for going off the beaten path but Hidden Empire veers way off course with this one. Hypnotic is an understatement.
Jon Hopkins – Singularity (Domino)
Most of Jon's originals aren't really danceable, but Singularity actually features some groovy, leftfield tunes as well as his trademark ambient mastery. This is one gorgeous sonic voyage that you definitely want to take.
DJ Koze – Knock Knock (Pampa)
It's great to see DJ Koze finally getting some spotlight! Weird in all the best ways, DJ Koze lets loose with this one. Each track is something totally unexpected and by the end you'll be marking your calendars for the next time he's in town.
Enrico Sangiuliano – Biomorph (Drumcode)
Drumcode is the gold standard of techno music and Enrico Sangiuliano is proving to be the label's goldenboy. Biomorph raises the bar unfairly high for the genre. It's one massive, jaw dropping track after another and will be a played in excess throughout the year.