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11 emerging artists you need to hear this February

The latest and greatest DJs and producers rising to the top this month. From stomping techno and jazzy breaks to experimental reggaetón and melodic house, here's February 2022's list of upcoming talent you should be keeping track of

Ell Murphy
Ell Murphy

South-East London DJ and vocalist Ell Murphy has been making waves with her multi-genre mixes and releases. Behind the decks, she combines both disciplines to deliver a unique performance style. You can catch Ell singing live over her high-energy selections on the airwaves and across the UK, with notable sets for FOLD, HÖR Berlin, as a Balamii resident and at Fabric and Motion. 

Ell’s studio output is just as exciting. In 2021, she released her debut EP on Time Is Now, featuring collaborations with DJ Crisps, Stones Taro and Highrise, and receiving widespread acclaim and Radio 1 support. She also co-wrote and featured on TSHA’s ‘Flowers’ EP and released collaborations on Dansu Discs and her own label Jucey Tunes. This year expect tracks with Angel D’lite, Giulia Tess and LUXE, and her next solo EP with Mani Festo, set for release in May on Jucey Tunes. Dan Brashaw

For fans of:Club Glow, ELKKA, Kele Le Roc

Echo Brown
Echo Brown

By his own admission, Echo Brown doesn’t like “leaving opportunities on the table.” This mentality partly explains how, in less than two years, the North Carolina-based producer has become one of liquid drum & bass’ most exciting young talents. His ‘Midnight Static’ EP drops on Lenzman’s The North Quarter on 11th February, a blistering five-tracker he describes as “a very good representation of the direction I’m headed in.” Part-nostalgia, part-minimalist futurism, the release is imbued by the collaborative creativity and artistic tutelage on offer at The North Quarter. Lenzman features on the superb, analogue-inflected ‘Nokia Days’, while [ K S R ] adds a vocal flourish to the classy, soulful flow of ‘Motion’. 

Echo Brown believes in “having humility in one’s efforts and accomplishments, and understanding that there’s always more to do,” a refreshing mindset in the hype-driven landscape of modern music, and one which tees up a potentially electric 2022. Ben Hunter

For fans of: Alix Perez, Redeyes, Zero T
Photo: Nate Mescher

Naty Seres
Naty Seres

DJ and producer Naty Seres draws inspiration from her deep love of dance music, tracing from her discovery of drum & bass and psy-trance, right up to the sound she is aligned with today — hypnotic techno packed with groovy and broken rhythms. In 2021, the Berlin-based artist co-founded the label Never Not Now as a platform and creative outlet to support ideas by emerging artists. 

For her thumping productions, Naty uses a hefty set-up of modular systems, as heard on her releases for System Revival Records and Atmophile Electronics. Later this year, Naty will appear on ‘Never Not Now’ with her upcoming EP ‘If There Is One’. Signed to Berghain’s resident DJ roster, she is due to return to the booth as soon as legally possible with her record bag in tow. In the meantime, check out Naty’s mix via Terminal V for a solid dose of techno, breaks and old-skool rave. Niamh O’Connor

For fans of: Overmono, Helena Hauff, Umwelt
Photo: The Naked Moon

Tatie Dee
Tatie Dee

We first heard word of Chloe Quelennec, aka Tatie Dee, after her thumping vinyl set at Djoon late last year. The DJ enlisted soulful four-to-the-floor and jazzy breaks for her warm-up at the hallowed Parisian venue, adorning a room of seasoned dancers with bubbling bass and generous kick-drums courtesy of ‘90s house. The mix was rhythmic and warm, with both angular and rounded peaks — the perfect opener for Black Loops, who followed hours later.

It was three years into DJing that Dee decided to move from digital to vinyl. This self-imposed limitation, she believes, helped hone a sound and mixing style that may otherwise have taken longer to arrive at. “I started to play vinyl a year ago and, because it’s expensive to buy tracks, I had to select what I really love,” she explains. “I had to focus.” Ria Hylton

For fans of: Luke Unabomber, Cinthie, Black Loops

Anabel Arroyo
Anabel Arroyo

When Anabel Arroyo moved to London in 2018, she thought she would stay in the UK capital for just a few months; four years later, she’s not only still there, but has become an integral part of the city’s techno scene. A resident DJ at FOLD, the club could be her second home, where she remains a much-loved fixture at its Sunday service, UNFOLD. 

As a DJ, Anabel creates electric energy on the dancefloor, gliding between chilling techno and straight-up bangers — all mixed with laser precision. Previous releases on Fluctuat Records, LABURNŪM and Loopstage display her talent as a producer of raucous rhythms made for a club setting. Next up, she’ll return to her native Spain for a night with the LASTER crew in The Bassement Club, Madrid, and join her fellow FOLD residents at Adroit club, Zurich in April. Check out Anabel’s HÖR Radio set for a slice of stomping techno guaranteed to get you going. Niamh O’Connor

For fans of: D.Dan, Tasha, Blawan
Photo: Eva K Salvi

Jacklyn
Jacklyn

London-born, Newcastle-based Jacklyn’s sound is fast-paced, rhythmic and pulse-racing, with an abundance of soul. Her release ‘No Fear’ on Acid Waxa combines an eloquent piano solo and Nina Simone’s voice alongside pummelling techno beats — a vibe that’s also channelled through her DJ mixes. Often displaying heavy-hitting selections from her record collection, her mixes travel through the deepest dub techno, with hints of 303 acid, plenty of pounding rhythms from the TR-909, and the classic sounds of Detroit.

Her monthly radio show on Slack’s provides a solid foundation for her talent, and the soon-to-be-revealed Ghetec club nights will be where you can find her playing alongside established acts in her hometown. The first will be on 26th February alongside OK Williams, Boo, and Annie Marron at Cobalt Studios in Newcastle Upon Tyne. The latest track that she’s revealed, ‘The Pale Blue Dot’, further defines her sound, with pummelling drums across a mesmeric spoken word sample, while minor chords create ultimate dancefloor tension. Anna Wall 

For fans of: Floorplan, Zenker Brothers, Nene H

HoneyLuv
HoneyLuv

Before Los Angeles-based DJ HoneyLuv became a resident of LP Giobbi’s Femme House series on Twitch, she was an NCAA basketball player — and a Navy sailor, too. That flexible nature is just one trait that’s contributing to her growing success (that, and a work ethic that’s tougher than diamonds). Originally hailing from Cleveland, OH, HoneyLuv educated herself on the Midwest roots of house music and today showcases those classic techniques in her original productions. 

Her 2021 club banger ‘P A I N’ (out on POPGANG Records), for example, offers a strong dose of peak-time bliss that melds iconic ’90s energy with deep, fervent drum lines. Stay tuned for forthcoming releases on a number of high-profile labels in 2022, or catch HoneyLuv drop a breakneck set next month at Insomniac’s Beyond Wonderland event in San Bernardino, CA, at the first-ever Project Glow festival in Washington DC or at DJ Mag's own Miami pool party at the end of March. It just may be “Luv” at first listen. Megan Venzin

For fans of: Gene Farris, Gorgon City, John Summit

Marlon George
Marlon George

There are few sounds sweeter than slightly spacey, casually jazzy, and fully groovy house music, and that’s what London’s Marlon George has given us with his ‘Intimate FR’ EP, just released on the venerable Parisian label Robsoul. Rhodes pianos glide over stripped-back Chicago-fied rhythms; filtered basslines lay down the funk; well-chosen, well-placed vocal samples provide the icing on the cake.

It’s the kind of music that George, who’s already played at London institutions such as fabric and 93 Feet East, has been honing for a few years now, via releases like 2015’s ‘My Fortune’ and last year’s ‘& The Tears’ EP, and he’s gotten very good at what he does. So good, in fact, that he’ll soon be making his debut on Gilles Peterson’s respected Worldwide FM radio station — which, for a UK dance music artist, is akin to receiving a blessing from the Pope. We suspect that’s just the beginning for this promising producer. Bruce Tantum

For fans of: Mike Dunn, Justin Martin, Jon Delerious

Meth Math
Meth Math

It’s been dubbed “demonic reggaetón” and, simply, “monstrous” by the press, but don’t let those descriptions scare you off — the music that Mexico’s Meth Math makes is scary-good stuff that happens to be a lot of fun. Old friends from Hermosillo, the trio is comprised of the artist and designer Ángel Ballesteros, pictured, on vocals, with Error. Error and Bonsai Babies working on the production side. Those latter two are mathematics teachers by day, hence the ‘Math” half of the name. We’re left to ponder the “Meth” part. 

Meth Math came roaring out of nowhere in 2020 via the eerie, disorienting ‘Pompi’ EP, with Ballesteros’s vaguely creepy vocals sitting atop crunchy beats and sparse, chiming synths, and last year’s goth-goes-hyperpop ‘Muro De Los Lamentos.’ But the trio’s latest, ‘Tambaleo,’ produced in conjunction with the London-based artist Sega Bodega, might be its best release yet — it’s a skeletal lullaby of a tune, all chiming keys, skittering rhythms and bright vocals, merging into something a bit sinister — a vibe reinforced by the track’s anarchic video. Bruce Tantum 

For fans of: Minimal Wave, Xeno & Oaklander

SOHMI
SOHMI

When Korean-American artist SOHMI wrapped 2021 with her minimal house melter ‘Time,’ she intended to make a statement. ‘Time’ is the first cut to appear on her Permission label, which SOMHI self-launched as a means to produce and release music on her own terms. It’s just the next chapter in what’s already been a prolific journey for SOHMI, who once served as resident DJ at LA’s techno club, Sound, and released tracks via reputable imprints such as Astralwerks, Yotto’s Odd One Out, and Danny Howard’s Nothing Else Matters. 

Her hit collaboration with longstanding house duo Booka Shade is yet another shining achievement — ‘Small Talk (Okay)’ made big waves after tastemakers Oliver Heldens and Eelke Kleijn applauded its fresh melody and warm synths, and it’s still racking up streams today. Those who want to catch her in the flesh will have plenty of opportunities this summer when she takes the stage at Coachella, Lightning In A Bottle and Electric Forest, just to name a few. Megan Venzin 

For fans of: DJ Tennis, Matthew Dear

not the father
not the father

not the father knows his way around bass-driven club cuts. Dirtybird Records, Box Of Cats, In Rotation, and Bite This! are just a handful of imprints that already champion his eclectic dancefloor fillers — the range of which speaks to his versatility in the studio. By layering his own deep, textured rhymes over energy-packed percussion, he’s built a fresh take on tech-house that makes him a surprising outlier in a crowded space. 

His new single ‘Bounce’ arrives via The Boat House on February 11th, and House Call Records is set to drop his next EP later this spring, but you’ll likely hear his deep and dramatic vocals featured in others’ work this season too – the dude gets around. Megan Venzin

For fans of: AC Slater, Jauz, Wongo