Throughout 2018 has seen countless memorable performances around the globe, with each DJ bringing their own style, genre, tricks and flair to leave that lasting impression. Whether it’s an up and coming artist, an underground superstar or an impromptu b2b, its often rare to experience a set that will stay with you for years to come. However, we’ve compiled five stand-out performances from 2018 which we won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
Jack Swift & Devstar (Hideout Festival, Croatia)
A duo who’ve regularly featured at Hideout since the festival began in 2011. During the past 8 years the double act have mastered their craft, leading to a residency with London heavyweights ABODE, and recently making their debut on the infamous Amnesia terrace. Hot off the plane from Ibiza, they closed proceedings at Kalypso, with a b2b masterclass.
Renowned for exploring an extensive library of tracks and selecting records which span over the decades, the opening track “Burning” by MK was an instant crowd pleaser. With the venue beginning to pack out, Devstar span another house classic. This time Hot Since 82’s 2014 remix of “Bigger Than Prince”, leaving our heads bopping along to the iconic vocals. With their crowd now hooked, the technically gifted pair ran through the gears with their famous chop, cut and mix trickery.
Blending various tracks together with ingenious loops, quick-fire wrist flicks and surely burning a hole in the cue button. A stand out moment came from Jack Swift playing an acapella of Ultra Nate’s “Free” over Cuartero’s stomping tech house track “Nosy Neighbours”. The unforgettable vocals echoed around the venue with every raver singing along, before the tech heavy drop erupted through the speakers – what a moment.
Bicep (WHP x MIF, Manchester).
Manchester’s Warehouse Project played host to one of the most successful underground musical acts of the last few years, with iconic tracks such as “Glue” & “Opal” in their locker we already knew a night to remember was in store.
From the opening moments before barely a sound had been made, the roars and cheers of the crowd signified the anticipation for the performance which followed. Drawing their 4000 strong fans into the set, the duo orchestrated a nail-biting opening half, with some of their most coveted tracks filling the first 30 minutes. The iconic vocals of their “Higher Level” remix echoed through the concrete walls of the venue, before teasing a prolonged intro of the crowd pleasing “Just” as the stage’s lighting and mesmerising visuals silhouetted the duo in command of the dance floor.
Further into the set saw the sound system put to a real test with “Aura” blasting it’s way through the speakers. No stranger to some of the harder hitting tracks, BICEP upped the tempo as we began to reach the final moments of the night. Drawing on some splitting techno matched with a kaleidoscope of lasers and strobes left the crowd in awe. The performance came to it’s end (or so we thought) with the room almost pitch black and a rapturous applause the only sound remaining.
Of course they’d left the best till last. Jumping back on the controls opposite each other, the opening melody of “Glue” rang around Mayfield Depot. An eruption of cheers from the crowd followed before a blanket of colour lit up the Mayfield Depot and left the hairs on the back of our necks standing. A magical ending to an incredible night.
Eats Everything b2b Nic Fanciulli b2b Pan-Pot (Source Maidstone).
For Nic Fanciulli’s birthday we were gifted an unexpected impromptu b2b after a mammoth 13 hours by the birthday boy himself, which merged different genres to create a exhilarating show for all in attendance. With the artists in question all celebrating in style, the energy became intense; leaving the crowd feeling part of something truly special.
Combining modern tracks such as Solardo’s “ Be Somebody” with 90s classics like Baby D’s infectious vocal banger “ Let Me Be Your Fantasy”, the crowd was left in awe and invested throughout. It didn’t stop there either, Eats Everything dropped the 1992 monster tune “Out of Space” by Prodigy, this change of pace, genre and style was unforeseen and the crowd erupted once the iconic vocal build-up dropped. The amalgamation of tech house, stomping techno, rave classics and the DJs partying with the crowd meant that entire venue was on their toes for each and every minute.
Paco Osuna, Drumcode (Tobacco Dock, London).
A man with over 20 years of experience in the game and the brains behind the creative outlet; Mindshake Records. After the formidable duo of Dense & Pika set the standard with some explosive selections, we couldn’t wait to see what Paco had prepared for the concrete jungle of Tobacco Dock. Orchestrating a thrill-fest from the very start, Paco unleashed an ingenious compilation of high-octane energy through the underground space.
Siege’s recent release on Toolroom, “Only 1” set the tempo of the set, giving us an insight into what was to follow. Towards the dying moments of the performance saw things take an especially darker turn, with “I Can Feel It Rising” by Secret Cinema and Egbert. The fiendish sounds sent shockwaves into the car park and left the crowd in an altered state of mind. A breathtaking showing from Paco, and one of our picks of the year.
Mella Dee b2b Mall Grab b2b Denis Sulta (Lost & Found Festival, Malta).
The final day of the sun-kissed Malta festival Lost & Found had come, but not without it’s surprises, as an impromptu b2b2b was on the cards from Mella Dee, Mall Grab and Denis Sulta. Three young and exciting DJs, bursting at the seams with energy, ready to give the festival a memorable ending. Spanning across a mass of tempos and sub-genres within the house and techno spectrum, we were taken on a journey of disco infused groovers, classic dance anthems and bass-ridden techno.
You honestly couldn’t predict what was going to come next. SLAM’s monstrous remix of “Bang The Box” by Jackmaster was met by blasts from the Co2 cannons, whilst Mella Dee’s trademark “Techno Disco Tool” lightened the mood with it’s upbeat vocals. The feel-good drop was met perfectly by a shower of confetti into the crowd. Denis Sulta then added an electro twist with Felix Da House Cat’s “Silver Screen Shower Scene” (try saying that fast five times), an exhilarating track to keep the crowd motivated during the final stretch of the 4 day party. A highly polished performance from the trio, which had our musical taste buds tingling!
A truly incredible year for electronic music, with these five forming just a small number of the notable performances which are now ingrained to our memories. Bring on 2019!