The Best Of British awards at London’s Steel Yard went off in spectacular fashion in the middle of December. The event has become more than just an industry festive get-together — it’s a full-on celebration of all that is great about the vibrant, multi-cultural UK music scene, when in many other respects the UK has gone down the pan in recent years, as host Emerald said in her intro to the awards.
Ben Hemsley picked up the Best Producer gong, played a trancetastic set, and now graces our cover as we head into 2024 still reaching for the lasers. The Geordie boy wonder’s story is expertly told by Harold Heath from page 46 onwards.
Immediately following that, we profile all the other Best Of British winners, including our pick for Outstanding Contribution — the only category that wasn’t put to the public vote — which deservedly went to Rinse FM.
Elsewhere in this issue we meet queer collective Horse Meat Disco as they celebrate two decades in the disco house game (page 87); look at the intersection between dance tracks and video games (p94); pick out future stars we think will soar in ’24 in our Ones To Watch feature, with all nominees having a mix aired on BBC Radio 1 in January (p105); and a lot more besides. 2024 is going to be a good year, I can feel it in me bones.