Best of 2018 | Justin Barini-Rivers’ Picks
Golden Features, “Woodcut ft Romarin Remix (Kult Kyss Remix)”
This was the coolest remix out there for me this year. Original vocalist Romarin re-imagines song as part of her project with producer Haxx. This almost seems too good to be true as a fan of both projects. The vibes are immaculate. This is worth a few listens. Kult Kyss is really making moves and I’m super excited to see what 2019 holds for them.
One True God – Colt 45 EP
OTG is making remarkable music. There are so many artists who start projects every year, but even from the first track, I knew this was something different. The production level is extremely high, but what caught my eye is the arrangement and sound design. The control over the tension and momentum is amazing. These tunes will hit dance floors properly for years to come. It’s hard to pick a favorite song, but for me it’s Kevin Spacey.
Best New Artist
1788-L flipped the dubstep scene on its head. Riddim gave the genre some new life and seems to have brought some more fans to the genre, but overall the scene is stale. 1788-L has brought a new sound and style that hasn’t been felt in dubstep for years.
Track of the Year
Josh Marko, “Hear Thee”
Josh Marko released this back in October. I found it while casually looking on youtube and it’s stuck with me since. There is a dark edge to this tune that has so much class. Anyone can say they make dark music. As a producer, I envy the production level and the overall skill Josh Marko possesses, but as a fan this song is literally all I want to hear on the biggest speakers you have. Thank You Josh.
Artist of the Year
Tom Stell from Australia keeps turning heads years after his self titled EP. SECT and his remix of “Falls” by Odesza is better than what that most producers make in a lifetime. In a world of singles and remixes, Golden takes a step back and truly picks his punches.
Favorite Show of the Year
Werk Ethic (all of them)
As a DJ, I am fully aware of how many parties there are in Washington, DC. Very few have the quality and follow-through that Werk Ethic has. Ken Lazee and Nick Garcia have birthed a true party. No gimmicks, just good music and DJs who truly care about their craft.
Label of the Year
This was hard for me, but I knew my answer once I heard the OKNF compilation they released on Christmas. It’s full of heaters. The standout track for me is the first tune from Ocean Roulette and Riffa. I’ve been fans of both of their music for some time, but damn, this tune is clean.
DC Artist to Watch
I’ve known Nick Garcia for years. His music always astonishes me with its creativity and execution. He is also one of the best engineers or producers out there right now. It would be difficult not to mention his “Werk Ethic” parties with Ken Lazee, which also happen to be my favorite shows this year.