Hyponik Awards 2018: The Winners

The results are in.

After a two-year hiatus, we returned to our Hyponik Awards poll this year to champion what has again been an incredible year of music. The response to each of our 8 categories has been overwhelming, mounting to over 5000 votes with fans of all nominees showing strong support.

Whilst a number of our picks are clearly personal favourites of our own (shout out Dua Lipa), the acts and imprints shortlisted by us were chosen to spotlight those that we felt had a particularly prolific year, and judging by the reception the awards received it looks like most of you can agree! See all of our the results below.

Album of the year: Skee Mask – Compro (Ilian Tape)

Bryan Müller’s second album under his Skee Mask alias, Compro deservedly took the bulk of the vote in a record that saw Müller fully come into his own via a dreamlike journey of blissful soundscapes, calculated drum programming and haunted rave euphoria.

Over the last 12 months  the versatile Munich-based producer and DJ has reach new heights of artistry across both categories, and Compro will be remembered in many years to come as a record unafraid to re-write the rulebook and take a proven sound to exciting new places.

Honourable mentions:

Bruce – Sonder Somatic (Hessle Audio)

Morphology – Traveller (Firescope Records)

Tirzah – Devotion (Domino Recording Co)

Track of the year: Ploy – ‘Ramos’ (Timedance)

Whilst 2018 saw Batu’s Timedance imprint continue to push their mangled club sonics to the front of inventive UK club music, perhaps none delivered the messaged more fiercely than Sam Smith’s return as Ploy to the label with ‘Ramos’.

After outings on Hessle Audio and Hemlock, Ploy’s third episode on the Bristol imprint demonstrates urgency and ‘floor control in courageous fashion, with a frantic assault of swinging snares and rolling toms firing towards club meltdown and proving most lethal when reaching tipping point. More than likely many a DJ’s savour in propelling the dance floor, ‘Ramos’ makes your track of 2018.

Honourable mentions:

Overmono – iii’s Front (Whities)

Zuli – Trigger Finger (Haunter Records)

Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa – One Kiss (Columbia Records)

DJ of the year: Nez 

An underground Belfast hero who’s been a leading activist of Northern Ireland’s burgeoning dance scene since way back when, we were introduced to Nez at AVA Festival earlier this year and after witnessing the chaos he caused at the Boiler Room stage, did our homework to find the man is a bit of a legend on his home soil.

Heavily involved with the organisation of renowned parties like DSNT, Beat BBQ and Scope and heading up the vinyl only label, Computer Controlled Records, Nez will perhaps be the most surprising addition to our list of winners, especially in a group amongst established heavyweights like Helena Hauff and Objekt. But it seems as though we’re not the only ones to be stunned by his cutthroat brand of unforgiving techno, as his fans stepped up in weight to ensure he takes the award home in our most popular voted category.

Honourable mentions:

Helena Hauff



Live act of the year: Giant Swan

Bristol duo Harry Wright and Robin Stewart together make up the much hyped experimental unit Giant Swan. Having built quite the cult following from the psychedelic intensity within their music and live shows, their improvised performances explore the outer edges of rhythmic noise and industrial techno, twisting guitars, vocals, pedals and dysfunctional synth machines to their most extremes and in turn delivering an explosive energy never quite the same as before.

In a year where they’ve managed to also release music on Whities, Haunter Records and Mannequin whilst rigorously causing damage on countless dance floors across the globe, Giant Swan continue to demonstrate the raw power that can be crafted from dance music when executed with punk embedded in the spirit.

Honourable mentions:

Sim Hutchins

London Modular Alliance

DMX Krew

Label of the year: Whities

Once an offshoot of Young Turks, Nic Tasker’s Whities label can now stand as one of the finest outlets of progressive electronic music since its beginnings four years ago. Home to a unique family of artists like Minor Science, Lanark Artefax, Avalon Emerson, Coby Sey and Reckonwrong, 2018 has seen the imprint in stronger form that ever, delivering a staggering 10 records via both the regular platform and their Blue label series.

Whether the breakbeat mania of Overmono, the outsider pop of Reckonwrong, or the ghostly techno of Quirke, Whities has developed a philosophy that allows artists to grow into their own identity, which in turn continues to make them one of electronic music’s most exciting and surprising labels on the scene.

Honourable mentions:

Ilian Tape


Par Avion

Breakthrough act: Peach

Since moving to London from Toronto, producer and DJ Peach has enjoyed a rapid rise as one the undeground’s most exciting new faces. Originally championed by Midland with a production contribution to his ‘Intergraded’ imprint for emerging artists, the Canadian has been busy turning heads with a highly-spirited and refreshing approach to DJ’ing that stays clear of any genre affiliation and plays only by the rule of making people move.

Her extensive tour schedule this year has seen her hold her own against a number of leading figures across the global dance community, and we’re more than sure she’ll be continuing to undo dancefloors well into the future.

Honourable mentions:


Object Blue

Forest Drive West

Mix of the year: Mumdance – Shared Meanings

Since bursting onto the scene in 2009, Jack Adams as Mumdance has relentlessly challenged the blueprint of dance music, both through his leftfield production and tessellating sets. Billed as the “natural next step” from Jack’s memorable mix series Radio Mumdance, Shared Meanings is Adams’ sixth major mix project in as many years, and is, in some respects, equally as bonkers as 2017’s output. As the “foundations of any culture”, the mix’s title alludes to commonalities amongst the boundary-pushing artists involved. Consisting of 32 unreleased tracks, what may seem unnatural and off-kilter on paper has been sown together by the expert ear of Adams to generate an unwavering intensity and organic flow.

It’s difficult to describe the sonic tapestry woven by Mumdance due to its shape-shifting personality, but the quality of mixing and broad stylistic identity make the mix an easy listen. Sidewinding through periods of blissful beatless ambient, bone-crunching techno, spirited drum n bass, and mind bending acid, the mix is a one stop shop for boundary pushing dance music. Featuring music from Bambounou, Galaxian, Imogen, Sleeparchive and Chevel, as well as a Mumdance & Logos collaboration, you can see why Shared Meanings is so progressive and avant-garde.

Honourable mentions:

FABRICLIVE 100 Kode9 & Burial


RA Podcast: RA.614 Sync 24

Best club series of the year: Pretty Pretty Good

Envisioned over a drunken conversation on a night out, Sheffield-based friends Dan (Kudan) and John (Yak) started their Pretty Pretty Good brand in early 2015 after agreeing a number of their favourite artists needed to come and play in their hometown. Fast forward to today and the party-collective have hosted just about every respectable act across the underground electronic circuit, growing their influence across the major cities of the North whilst finding regular home at Peckham’s Rye Wax.

With a work-rate second to none, they’re clearly a favourite across the club network, and we salute PPG for keeping true to their vision and helping ensure UK nightlife continues to moves forward with inventive methods.

Honourable mentions:


No Symbols

The Hydra at Printworks

Man of the match: Sim Hutchins

We’d like to give a special mention to audio-visual artist and live act nominee Sim Hutchins. The Local Action and UIQ affiliate’s meme game over the past week has proved second to none, shedding social warfare on his peers and brazenly warning fans that if they didn’t vote for him they’d likely receive multiple Lynx Africa/Impulse body spray boxsets this Christmas.

Check out a few of the Essex flag-bearer’s finest creations below…

Thanks to all those who voted and for your continued support on Hyponik. 

Happy 2018! ✌️

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