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Fantastic Four

This issue's hottest four names in dance music

Ethereal electronic ace…

Where do old ravers go when the serotonin runs dry and the lights of the lasers lose their sparkle? If you're New Zealander Bevan Smith, aka Signer, who cut his teeth in the early '90s rave scene, then it's into the ephemeral world of post-club electronica.

Now onto his third album, 'Next We Bring You Fire', released as a download and limited vinyl run of 500 on 7th December through Carpark Records, Signer's swirling clouds of ghostly instrumentation and floating, gossamer vocals retain a tangible sense of ecstatic club adventures gone by.

Beginning with the almost beatless awakenings of the dreamy 'Nord All Black Keys', the album reaches the peak of its pleasurable sorrow with 'We Should Touch Teeth', before 'Don't Be A Forest Cow' cuts loose with nostalgic seams of ambient hardcore energy only to slip back into the tranquil surrender of 'Unprotected Walls.'


Max Cooper
Max Cooper
Intelligent techno producer…

Whilst the ever-changing technological advances in DJing have raised the entrance bar a few IQ points, it's fair to say it's not up there with brain surgery. Or indeed mathematical modelling research on the evolution of networks of genes — an area that Max Cooper specialises in.

Combining his DJing and production career with a day job as a geneticist, Cooper's 'Harmonish Serie EP' on Traum Schallplatten got 30,000 hits on YouTube for its video by visual artist Whiskas fX. The follow-up 'Stocastisch Serie', out now, shows off what he calls 'multidimensional beats' with harmonic techno grooves that are seemingly sucked into wormholes in space and time, before being transmogrified and spat back out.
With the warped 'InhaleExhale' out 7th

December on VeryVeryWrongIndeed, his remix skills are being sought out by cerebral electronic acts Hot Chip and Fuck Buttons, ensuring a studio-cum-laboratory somewhere filled with lofty talk and even loftier sounds.


Mat Zo
Mat Zo
Drum & bass & trance…

If there's one thing that unites the diametrically opposed camps of drum & bass and trance, it's the single-minded devotion of their fans to the scene's DJs, fashions and customs. Which makes 19-year-old Mat Zo a dazzling anomaly.

A precociously talented young musician, Zo came to prominence in 2007 after his remix of über trance god Tiësto's 'Driving To Heaven' appeared on the 'In Search Of Sunrise' compilation. Above & Beyond promptly snapped him up for Anjunabeats and December sees the launch of not one, but two new singles with 'Default'/'Rush 2009' out on the 14th and '24 Hours' on the 28th.

Such productivity hasn't stopped him pursuing another career in drum & bass, however, drawing props from Annie Mac and Zane Lowe. Working under the moniker MRSA for Hospital Records, his single 'Different' is out now, its infectiously uplifting melodies slowly working towards the dream of junglists in fluffy boots.


The godfather of tech house…

With a decade of nightclub hopping under his belt, and a long-standing residency at London's Retox, DJ/producer JB has built up a rather large black book, as his forthcoming 'Collaborations' project shows.

An ongoing venture aimed at attracting the cream of tech house and techno, part one features six remixes from A Guy Called Gerald, Ziggy Kinder, Colin Dale, Asad Rizvi, Nils Hess as well as Leslie Lawrence, JB's partner behind Ifidota Music, who are releasing the tracks.

With such big name hook-ups in the offing, JB's own profile has also been expanding with gigs in South America and Dubai, and regular spots at Fabric, adding to his reputation as a guaranteed club rocker.

And 'Collaborations' part two is already in the pipeline with Dan Curtin, Howie B, Hip-e and Pure Science amongst those lining up to work with JB, the hardest working man in dance music.