We’ve revealed our DJs of the year, saluting the talents that spark dancefloors into action across the globe. Now it’s time to celebrate the next generation of inspiring artists and put our breakthrough DJs of the year on the podium.
These artists deserve all the respect in the world. Their efforts include helping to keep the dance scene interesting by injecting fresh ideas and sounds into clubs, cultivating local scenes and spotlighting underrepresented peers with tireless efforts, unifying worlds at cultural intersections, and being outstanding DJs who can whip dances into overload.
Check our picks for the top 10 breakthrough DJs of 2018 below.
He went from Bunker NY resident to world-touring DJ with multiple sets at Berghain this year, and was tapped to play Circoloco at DC10 and Circoloco’s massive Halloween party in NYC. Justin was one of the artists responsible for the resurgence of acid in music this year, and also shone for Horsemeat Disco.
Acclaimed mix series' have queued up for Lisbon-based Violet’s services in 2018, and her reputation for spinning dynamite sets has seen her secure a first US tour, land bookings including a Panorama Bar debut, and playing gigs in China and South Korea. She runs the Naive label and Radio Quantica, promoting new and marginalised artists.
Ryan Aitchison’s been in the game a while, but the runaway success of 2017’s ’Techno Disco Tool’ led to a huge year of DJ gigs for the Doncaster lad. From Printworks and Warehouse Project to Radio 1 in Ibiza and Lost And Found Malta, Mella Dee’s taken his house and techno excursions far and wide.
[Photo: Sherelle Thomas]
The Dutch selector’s mix of Detroit house, UK broken beat vibes and bass this year made for a stunning Dekmantel set, playing with Troxler at DC10, a triumphant secretsundaze debut and ubiquity at ADE, notably opening De School’s 62-hour party.
A breakout star of the burgeoning Ugandan dance scene, Kampire’s played everywhere from Diplo’s Africa showcase at Sónar to Shanghai and Tokyo this year. A core member of the Nyege Nyege crew, her mixes pummel through the shadowy end of global bass, whether South African gqom or mutant dancehall.
[Photo: Martin Kharumwa]
object blue switched from ‘one to watch’ to ‘do not miss’ this year. Her live and DJ sets weave the best of techno, murky UK bass and downright warped rhythms into a wonderful melting pot of sound and performance. Stand-outs include her dressing gown-clad set at No Bounds, and stops at Unsound, Printworks and Berlin Atonal.
[Photo: Eleni Stefanou]
As the electronic music and fashion worlds collide, Virgil Abloh may be the ultimate example of that synthesis. A fashion designer and the artistic director of Louis Vuitton, he’s now a bona fide global DJ and favourite of the Circoloco gang. And his alliance with Benji B and Black Coffee doesn’t hurt, either.
Peach merges wild house and techno with lashings of energy, and has taken Europe by storm since moving to London recently. Frequent appearances at Corsica Studios and The Warehouse Project, alongside trips to Lux Fragil and De School, have set her up nicely for a full-scale takeover next year.
The world opened up for Eris Drew this year as she went from relatively unknown outside of the US (albeit a Black Madonna-handpicked Smartbar resident) to levelling everywhere from Kala to Unsound to Panorama Bar and De School with her flawlessly mixed, breakbeat-heavy, positively charged rave sets.
[Photo: Angus Williams]