Traxsource Top 50 Soul/Funk/Disco Artists of 2018

2018 is the first year that we have compiled a Top Soul / Funk / Disco (SFD) Artists chart, a sure sign of the enduring popularity of the foundation genres of House music. Many artists who’ve made house and disco for years are slowly turning their hand to the more sophisticated charms of Soul and Funk, and there is also a whole new generation who make the lush instrumentation, heartfelt vocals and authenticity of Soul music central to their sound. And of course, the last few years have seen Disco make a big, big comeback, as the continuing success of parties like Glitterbox attests to. So for the first time ever join us in celebrating the Traxsource Top Soul / Funk / Disco Artists chart!

50: E. Live
49: Thommy Davis
48: FSQ
47: Kiu D
46: Le Visiteur
45: HP Vince & Dave Leatherman
44: In Flagranti
43: Mannix
42: The Family’s Jam
41: Loves Last Episode
40: The Reflex
39: DJ Spinna
38: Hotmood
37: Greg Wilson
36: Qwestlife
35: Faze Action
34: Kenny Dope
33: Fatnotronic
32: Josh Milan
31: The Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra
30: Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee
29: Discotron
28: Underdog Edits
27: The Patchouli Brothers
26: Young Pulse
25: PappEdits
24: Spencer Morales
23: Late Nite Tuff Guy
22: C. Da Afro
21: Phonk D
20: Bosq
19: Coeo
18: Alan Dixon
17: Kon
16: Opolopo
15: Jorge Montiel & Juan Laya
14: Marcel Vogel
13: Stephane Deschezeaux
12: JKriv
11: Los Charly’s Orchestra

10: Reel People

A year of really strong releases for Reel People. Big news for the pair this year was the release of their full-length album ‘Retroflection’ on their own Reel People Music imprint. 12 tracks of impeccably produced music featuring a host of guest vocalists, recreating classic Disco, Soul and Boogie songs. Taken from the album, both ‘I’m In Love’ featuring Navasha Daya and the mid-tempo stroll of ‘Buttercup’ featuring Tony Momrelle from the album did well for them. Aside from the album, their sun-kissed Balearic-esque remix for Zoi! featuring Dornik ‘Lifelines’ stood out this year too.

9: The Shapeshifters

The Shapeshifters (Simon Marlin) had another successful year with a #1 in SFD for ‘Try My Love (On For Size) with Teni Tinks on Glitterbox and with his floor-filling remix of Mousse T’s ‘Melodie’ for Peppermint Jam. Dr Packer remixed The Shapeshifter’s ‘When Love Breaks Down’ for his Glitterbox album this year and continuing the Glitterbox connection, Simon also rocked Glitterbox Ibiza’s dance floor this summer too.

8: DJ Spen

Soulful house master DJ Spen also hit the Disco and Soul side of dancefloors this year with hits on his mighty Quantize Recordings, and a total of four tracks in the SFD Top 200. His faithful update of ‘Love Sensation’ on Quantize breathed new life into the much-loved classic, its joyful euphoria in neat contrast to the restrained sophistication of Spen’s ‘Sweetest Pain’ remix for S.E.L. and Gary Hudgins.

7: Yam Who?

UK production duo, DJs and label owners Yam Who?, aka Questlife, had an outstanding year for SFD releases, picking up several hits on their own Midnight Riot label and Glitterbox, Including the #1 overall for their re-edit ‘Pick Up’. They remixed 90s indie-dance classic ‘I’m Free’ from the Soup Dragons to great effect and their rework of Moussa Clark’s ‘Still Feel The Rain’ was another highlight in another great year for Yam Who?

6: Mousse T

German producer and songwriter Mousse T kicked off the year with a big #1 in the overall chart, the catchy ‘Rock The Mic’ on Glitterbox. He was on album duty in 2018, with the release of his full length ‘Where Is The Love’ on his own Peppermint Jam label and a ‘House Masters’ compilation album for Defected. Mousse T also put out several quality remixes in the last 12 months across several genres, in what was another productive year.

5: Dr Packer

Dr Packer had plenty of chart placings in Nu Disco and House this year, but lots of his work falls very neatly into the SFD genre too. He saw plenty of SFD action this year with nine chart placings in the end of year Top 200. The good Dr had a recent SFD #1 on Midnight Riot with ‘Fire’ and Glitterbox scored a big hit with his remix of the Shapeshifters anthemic ‘Try My Love On For Size’. We also really liked his nostalgia-drenched re-work of Doug Willis’ ‘Skate Dancer’ and his retro remix of ‘The Journey’ from Kiu D. With releases on Z Records, Salsoul, Big Love and Masterworks Music, Dr Packer’s career continues its upward trajectory.

4: Dimitri From Paris

2018 was a great year for Dimitri from Paris, with a headlining season for Glitterbox in Ibiza and several Glitterbox releases including his ‘Le Chic’ remix Album. The album featured 20 classic Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards compositions, given that magic French touch, and if anyone was going to be able to get good results from material of this calibre, it would be Disco stalwart Dimitri From Paris. Working from the original tapes, he was able to reveal previously unheard musical elements and put together a reverent, outstanding collection of music. Dimitri managed an impressive seventeen tracks in the SFD Top 200 including three #1’s in the genre. His joyful re-rub of ‘Needin U’ on CR2 and his Glitterbox Re-Touch of Ron Hall’s ‘The Way You Love Me’ epitomise his big, orchestrated disco sound that is proving so popular.

3: Louie Vega

Grammy-nominated Louie Vega once again controlled all things Soulful, Afro and Disco this year with his massive Nervous album ‘NYC Disco’ and his own label Vega Records. The album featured re-works of classics from the likes of soul legends Luther Vandross and Leroy Burgess. Taken from the album, Louis’ re-edit of Sylvester’s ‘Dance (Disco Heat)’ hit #1in SFD and dominated the charts year long. Aside from many other chart placings in House, Soulful and Afro, Louis also hit overall Traxsource #1 with the feast of soulful vocals ‘He Promised Me’ with Bebe Winans feat. Tobbi, Tommit & Kiandra Richardson.

2: John Morales

John Morales has ended up with nine tracks in the SFD top 200, testament to the high quality of his recorded output. In a prodigious year, he claimed an SFD #1 for the soaring strings and killer vocal of his M&M remix of ‘Can’t Fake the Feeling’ by Reel People. John’s richly orchestrated remix of the Teena Marie classic ‘I Need Your Lovin’ from Spencer Morales feat. Tasha LaRae was another stand out track this year. He turned in a supa-hot remix for S.E.L. and Gary Hudgins, the restrained space-jazz vocal track ‘Sweetest Pain’ and his euphoric take on ‘Step Into My Life’’ from The Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra on Far Out was really popular too. Not forgetting the smooth-funk of John’s take on ‘Magic’ from Yogi & Mo’ Funk (Peppermint Jam). All in all a year of great music from John and a well-deserved #2 position.

1: Joey Negro

Sitting at the top of the chart is the artist variously known as Doug Willis, Jakatta, Raven Maize, Sessomatto, Akabu, Z Factor, The Sunburst Band: Joey Negro. Joey was 2017’s Traxsource #2 overall artist and this year he continued his ongoing mission to conquer the world with pure, unadulterated Disco. His Z Records imprint released the third instalment in his acclaimed compilation series ‘Remixed With Love Vol. 3’. The album featured lovingly repurposed songs from Soul and Funk legends like Patrice Rushen, Gwen McCrae, Change and The Fatback Band and dominated the SFD charts all year with seven #1s. Joey’s remix of ‘Cathedrals’ from D.C LaRue also made it to the Traxsource overall #1 as well.

Joey turned in plenty of highly successful remixes in 2018, and his rework of Harvey Mason’s 1979 classic ‘Groovin’ You’ was just one of many big tunes he put out this year. Taken from the Z Records Presents Ibiza 2018, a compilation that heavily featured material from Joey’s various aliases and which also contained his sparkling hi-octane remix of Al McKay’s Disco anthem ‘Heed The Message’.

Joey Negro’s continued success is at least partly down to the sensitive approach he takes to remixing classic soul and disco songs, always aware of the seminal nature of the material. His superb take on Patrice Rushen’s ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ is a great example of this, an impeccable rework, which updates a classic whilst remaining true to the essence of the original. A master of his craft, we’re lucky to have him: this year’s #1 Soul/Funk/Disco Artist of 2018, Joey Negro.

Releases on Traxsource.