As much as we like to tackle divisive issues and face up to the facts when it comes to the talking points in electronic music, we also like to look on the bright side here at Ibiza Voice. For that reason we’ve decided to cast an eye over seven of the most sizzling releases of the year so far. From dance floor destroyers to immersive album listens, there has been plenty to get excited about already in 2018.
John Dimas - 'One Against Time' [Elephant Moon]
For a decade now, John Dimas has been serving up cult minimal tracks for DJs in the know. Earlier this year, the Greek artist distilled his 'personal musical journey' into a debut full length on Elephant Moon that showcases his dreamy sci-fi sound in all its glory. As able to do mystical downtempo tracks as well as he is mind-melting minimal rollers, it’s a stylistically diverse record that takes cues from IDM, hip hop, two step, electro, Detroit and d&b and turns them into all into infectious, atmospherics tracks that ooze class.
Troy Gunner - 'GUNNER 002' [Gunner UK]
It takes some confidence to start your own label with little to no profile, but that’s what Bristol based Tory Gunner has done. His second EP is as tough sounding as the artist’s own name and features three tracks of steel-plated techno with bulky bass and rattling hits. It’s chunky, visceral, warehouse sized material designed to decimate the dance floor and continues in Bristol’s fine tradition of innovating in the fascinating little spaces between genres.
Jayda G/Alexa Dash - 'Diva Bitch' [Freakout Cult]
This tune has been a big one on the circuit since Toronto’s break-out star Jayda G dropped it at Dekmantel last year. It finally gets full release including two different versions and an a capella and is sure to be huge well into summer. A throwback vocal jam with big piano chords and prickly drum programming, it’s the perfect mix of heart, soul and dance floor drive. Hopefully it will be the start of many new tracks from Jayda G, who is a DJ and producer who wears her heart on her sleeve.
Derek Carr - 'Knoe 5/1' [For Those That Know]
OK, so technically this is a reissue of record that came out late last year, but it still bangs. Derek Carr is a quietly excellent Irish producer who seems to be in a purple patch right now after more than eight years and five albums. This EP offers four tracks of slick and futuristic house music that doesn’t hang around. Cosmic synths warp round the busy drums and a sense of Detroit soul and serenity always oozes from his grooves.
Malin Genie - 'Altrica Bloom' [Malin Genie]
Malin Genie has proven himself a master of dubby minimal grooves over the course of plenty of solo releases, but also as part of Mandar. His latest EP rather broadens his sonic horizons, though: the music is still stuffed with deft little details—from squelchy synth smears to watery pops—but it is more fleshed-out with broad chords and rubbery bass. The vibe is late night, zoned out house music that offers enough for both your head and your heel to get stuck into.
Peggy Gou - 'Once' [Ninja Tune]
After a 2017 spent touring hard and playing every major club and festival going, Peggy Gou has finally had time to release some new tracks after fine early outings on Rekids.
And it was worth the wait, because this new three tracker marries dance floor utility with a very real sense of musical personality. The sound palette the South Korean artist uses is fresh, too: from the slippery electro of ‘Han Jan’ to the quirky, squelchy synth funk of ‘It Makes You Forget’ via the more cosmic tech house of ‘Hundred Times,’ these are colourful, charismatic tunes. Two of them are finished with Peggy’s own emotive and quirky vocals, too, and suggest her future in the studio is just as bright as it has been so far in the booth.
DJ Boring & Stanley Schmidt - 'VIENNA 001' [Vienna Records]
Just a year after his huge breakout hit ‘Winona’, Sweden’s DJ Boring is already exploring new ground away from he lo-fi house sound he was lumped in with. He’s doing so on his own new label, Vienna Records, with Stanley Schmidt, and together the duo serve up three new tracks that are loveably rough and ready. There is warped rave bass on ‘Stay Young’, thoughtful deep house with crisp snares and kinky drum programming on ‘Butterfly Walk’ and urgent techno funk on ‘I Neva Said It’ that all speaks to a pair of producers who are keen not to be pigeonholed.