Following the publication of our Best Albums of 2018 we now turn our attention to the trusty format of the 12-inch extended player.
EPs generally have between three and five tracks and a length of over 12 minutes. They are considered less expensive and time-consuming for an artist to produce than an album. That being said, the extended player is an artefact in itself, often cased in beautiful artwork and adorned with extras such as posters, stickers, comic books or liner notes.
Sadly we cannot feature every EP that we love, so without further ado here are our Best Extended Players of 2018.
10. Simo Cell – Party 5 Mix
A polyamorous blender of styles, this second 12″ for the Lyon-via-Marseilles operated imprint mashes and mixes a wide span of influences and audio sources, hugging the bend between techno, breaks, dub, dancehall and Bristolian bass meanders with further expert precision and repeatability. One to cement the Frenchman’s reigning position as one of the deftest shots to roam the clubs these days.
Released: 8 October 2018
9. Francis Harris – Minor Forms
‘Minor Forms’ EP features two original tracks from Harris’ own hand, complemented by two remixes from IDO co-founder Valentino Mora, who delivers his first reworks ever since shifting monikers. If Francis Harris’ emotive handwriting still works wonders, it’s Valentino Mora’s take on the US producer’s sound that makes this EP a must-listen from start to finish.
Released: 23 February 2018
8. Beau Wanzer – LIES121
Beau Wanzer’s ‘LIES121′does not disappoint, offering up five tracks of EBM, screwed-up industrial, noise and further unidentified electronics that show exactly why Beau Wanzer is one of the most innovative experimentalist in the game.
Released: October 2018
7. Oneohtrix Point Never – Love In The Time Of Lexapro
Following the release of his acclaimed album ‘Age Of’ in June, Oneohtrix Point Never released a four-track extended player via Warp in November, encompassing the unreleased composition “Love In The Time Of Lexapro” that has featured throughout OPN’s world tour. It also features a stunning rework from Ryuichi Sakamoto.
Released: 23 November 2018
6. Barker – Debiasing
Barker’s ‘Filter Bubbles’ is a beautifully fluid dancefloor tool formed from fluorescent synths that circle endlessly in head-spinning polyrhythms. Bringing to mind the visionary sound design of fellow envelope-pushers Second Woman, this one’s an effervescent bubblebath of sound that you won’t want to get out of.
Released: 1 June 2018
5. Dman – Workshop 25
Workshop 25 features six handpicked tracks traversing the lines of acid house, downbeat and experimental techno. The tracks were produced between 2012 – 2014 and were originally produced for weeklybeats.com, a 52 week long music project in which artists compose and publicly release 1 song a week for the entire year.
Released: 31 August 2018
4. Second Woman – Instant / Apart
Collaborative duo Second Woman is made up of Turk Dietrich, formerly of ethereal dream-pop shoegazers Belong, and Joshua Eustis of much-loved electronic act Telefon Tel Aviv. The two abandoned the melodic leanings of their earlier projects in 2016, joining forces in order to produce glitched-out, experimental IDM under a new name. ‘Instant / Apart’ is a four-track extended player for Berlin’s Tresor Records that applies their mutated futurism to a more conventionally rhythmic template.
Released: 23 March 2018
3. Aphex Twin – Collapse
After a flurry of hype from three dimensional billboards popping out of walls in London, Turin, Los Angeles, New York City and Tokyo – Aphex Twin released his four-track ‘Collapse’ EP earlier this year via Warp Records, presenting some of his best work to date. Let’s hope for another release, or an album before 2020.
Released: 14 September 2018
2. Loidis – A Parade, In The Place I Sit, The Floating World (& All Its Pleasures)
Back in May, Loidis aka Huerco S. aka Pendant dropped a sublime experimental three-tracker on Hank Jackson’s imprint anno. We’ve had it on repeat ever since and even to this day we are still in awe of its beauty. Huerco S first shared a slither “In The Place I Sit” on his broadcast for Red Light Radio in 2016 and we’ve been hooked ever since.
Released: 1 May 2018
1. Vril – Haus
Vril continues to dumbfound with yet another loop-based release of stargazing, dubby techno with a fresh slice of ambient on the rim. Released with no prior announcement along with a couple repressing’s of past Giegling releases, ‘Haus’ fulfils the wish of those who’ve wanted to hear the now-legendary title track from the producer since it was slipped in over three years ago on his mix for Resident Advisor.
‘Haus’ the obvious highlight on the eponymous release, echoes the very best sentiments of Shinichi Atobe’s early work, the psychedelic dissociation of Prince of Denmark’s ‘8′, and dub leads straight out of the most melodic tracks from Porter Ricks. As far-fetched as it might be, small bits and pieces poke through the foggy murk of the mix to reveal synth parts that even call back to 90’s R&B with just enough swing to provide a groove that you absolutely can’t deny.
Released: 25 July 2018Aphex TwinBarkerBeau WanzerDManFrancis HarrisHuerco S.Oneohtrix Point NeverSecond WomanSimo CellValentino MoraVrilAnnoBrothers From Different MothersGieglingL.I.E.S.Ostgut TonScissor & ThreadTresorWarp RecordsWorkshopAmbientDeep HouseEBMElectronicExperimentalIDMLeftfieldTechno