DJ Awards 2018 winners

In life, turning 21 is considered a defining rite of passage. It signifies that final flourish when you blossom from duckling to swan, it marks the hour when you take the last leap into full blown maturity; it’s a marker of what’s to come. That same rule applies to the DJ Awards, Ibiza’s annual foray into the world of prize bestowing, which this year – its impressive 21st – shook things up with a new venue, new presenters, and of course, a new roll call of winners who duly dazzled and impressed in the year leading up to the event.

The brand new host for the island’s biggest prize giving ceremony was HEART Ibiza, a venue that seamlessly fuses food, gastronomy and art, and thus, was a fitting choice for the prestigious ceremony. On Tuesday September 11, 2018, it was home to the island’s crème de la crème of music talent for the night, who were all kept enraptured by the eternally powerful live performance of Barbara Tucker and one shamelessly glittery disco theme. On presenting duties were island legend, musical maestro and all round nice guy Graham Sahara, whose effortless charisma bounded off the stage, and Katie Hayley Knight, whose presenting credentials and ease in front of a crowd mark her as an upcoming star.

As in previous years, it was those striking Kryptonite statuettes in all their fluorescent green glory that were up for grabs, which more than just an ornament used to adorn another shelf, represent the shifts and stature of the music industry – as it stands, right now. An essential process in rewarding those who’ve played pivotal roles in music over the past year and beyond, awards were voted for by the public and a special panel of experts. But it wasn’t all so serious – the night itself was full of fun and laughter and an easygoing rapport between the presenters that made it one of the most refreshing and entertaining DJ Awards we can remember. Bravo to everyone for breathing new life into the event, and of course, bravo to all the winners, outlined below.

And the winners of the Music Awards are… (as voted by dance music loving members of the public from around the world.)

Bass – Andy C
Quite possibly the most famous drum’n’bass DJ in the world – not to mention one of the genre’s most influential stars – Andy C is a much deserving winner of this category. He’s also, quite rightly, considered one of the greatest DJs of all time – the prize went to the right man.

Deep house – Black Coffee
It’s not the first time he’s won this award and it almost certainly won’t be the last – Black Coffee continues to make waves on the island and across the globe with his unique house sound. It’s been another hugely successful year for his Saturday night soirée at HÏ Ibiza – next year expect more of the same.

Electronica / down tempo – DJ Koze
It’s no surprise DJ Koze waltzed straight out the door with the best electronica DJ prize, his tune ‘Pick Up’ has been heard on repeat on pretty much every dance floor on the island this summer.

House master – Roger Sanchez
Best known for ‘Another Chance’, his single that swept the globe in 2001, Roger Sanchez has won the ‘best house’ category four times. It seems overdue then, that he was finally awarded the coveted house master title.

House artist – Camelphat
The duo followed up the Grammy-nominated single ‘Cola’ with their first ever HÏ Ibiza residency alongside Eric Prydz, and now, the DJ Award for best house artists. Quite the year.

Melodic house and techno – Solomun
Given his reigning supremacy at Pacha, where his Sunday night residency is now in its sixth successful season, there was only ever one man who’d take home this prize.

Tech house master – Jamie Jones
Hot off the back of winning this much-deserved award – Paradise is still a sell out, week in, week out at DC-10 – Jamie Jones went on to play at the charity-based Musicians Against Animal Cruelty event at Ushuaïa a few days later. A worthy winner.

Tech house artist – Patrick Topping
Patrick Topping has been a mainstay at Paradise this season, holding rank alongside the likes of veterans like Jamie Jones, the Martinez Brothers and Skream – this acknowledgement sees his credentials as a tech house player confirmed.

Techno master – Joseph Capriati
Few DJs can keep you stomping well into the early hours like Italian maestro Joseph Capriati – and that’s exactly what’s kept him headlining techno line-ups across the globe for the past decade. He also gets points for once polishing off a bowl of spaghetti while still behind the decks.

Techno artist – Ilario Alicante
The kind of DJ who’s been plying the turf quietly in the background, Ilario Alicante has always found a safe space at Cocoon Ibiza, but this year his schedule included appearances at Unusual Suspects, ANTS, elrow and Paradise, among others. A timely win.

Trance master – Paul van Dyk
He’s been nominated for a Grammy, been voted the world’s number one DJ, and is there any trance track more iconic than ‘For An Angel’? The very definition of a trance master.

Trance artist – Ben Nicky
One of the genre’s most in-demand DJs, Ben Nicky tours globally, spreading a love of trance to new audiences, injecting his own, unique subtext to the quintessential trance sound.

Progressive house – Hernan Cattaneo
The Argentinian DJ continues to be one of the most recognisable names in progressive house, racking up dates around the world, all after discovering a love for house music in 1980s Buenos Aires.

Breakthrough – Max Chapman
Londoner Max Chapman is currently hotfooting it around seemingly every country in the world showcasing his unique sound, one that’s earned him the respect of Paradise, Eric Prydz and elrow crowds this year, and now, a DJ Award.

Electronic live performer – Stephan Bodzin
A classically trained musician, DJ and label owner, Stephan is famed for his eclectic, mesmerising live performances, often alongside a full orchestra. A talented maestro well deserving of the accolade.

International DJ – Carl Cox
The man, the legend, the force that just keeps on giving. This prize was always heading in the direction of Coxy.

Newcomer – Alex Kennon
A name that’s popped up increasingly on Ibiza line-ups this season, primarily at Hot Since 82’s A Labyrinth Story at Pacha, Alex Kennon’s star is surely on the ascent – this award confirms it.

SPECIAL INDUSTRY AWARDS – voted by a panel of industry leaders

Dance nation – Argentina
Touted among DJs as one of the most hyper, hedonistic crowds in the world, more and more of them are making the trip across the Atlantic to this music-infused country to find out for themselves.

Electronic music pioneer – Masters at Work
Two native New Yorkers who’ve spent a lifetime producing tunes using a combination of the most innovative tools and infectious beats – together, under a variety of guises, they’ve produced hundreds and hundreds of tracks. As revered now as they were back in the ‘90s, the duo is a musical gift for us all to consume.

Ibiza DJ – Clara da Costa
Catching a glimpse of the seminal Ibiza film, A Short Film About Chilling, back in the ‘90s, Clara vowed that she would move to Ibiza and become a DJ. Fast forward 20 years and she’s still here, heading line-ups and contributing to a scene that continues to evolve.

International festival – Caprices Festival
The annual festival that takes place on the snow-capped mountains of Crans-Montana in Switzerland, Caprices continues to attract the biggest names in dance music to the mountains, where everyone gets together for a four-day fiesta atop the slopes.

Ibiza music event – Storytellers Chapter 2
Held at Cova Santa in August and headlined by Ricardo Villalobos and Damian Lazarus, Storytellers was a celebration of art, performance and music that came to Ibiza following sold out performances in Tulum and Barcelona.

Ibiza night – Resistance
The global party brand touched down at Privilege for a second year this summer, bringing it with sensational line-ups that included Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox and Adam Beyer, and enough people to fill its cavernous main room.

Outstanding achievement – Sven Väth
With a career spanning over 30 years, the creation of Cocoon, and widely touted as one of the nicest guys in dance music, it’s no surprise that Papa Sven walked home with the most prestigious award of the evening. Only playing on vinyl, and with a faultless selector’s eye that always hits the spot, Sven is partly responsible for cultivating the underground Ibiza scene as we currently know it – he’s much to be thanked for.

Producer – Archie Hamilton
A key member of the Fuse crew as a DJ, Archie’s status as a producer has risen steadily, with releases on Get Physical, Crosstown Rebels, Be Chosen, Pleasure Zone among many, proving that his diverse discography continues to grow.

Record label of the year – Deeperfect
Counting Stefano Noferini, Leonardo Gonnelli and James Dexter among its label representatives, Deeperfect are churning out new releases at a rapid rate, the latest, Leon Presents Deeperfect Ibiza 2018 is a definitive season sound.

Track of the season – ‘Your Mind’
Adam Beyer and Bart Skils’ thought-melting techno stomper, ‘Your Mind’, has been all over dance floors in every club on the island this summer – those otherworldly, hypnotic vocals have been impossible to miss.

Photography courtesy of DJ Awards