12 emerging artists you need to hear this July
The latest and greatest DJs and producers rising to the top this month. From blissed-out breaks, twisted bass and techno into metal-inspired d&b, trance and more, here's July 2022's list of upcoming talent you should be keeping track of
Amaliah’s Borne Fruits imprint is just as vibrant as her eponymous radio show on Rinse FM, every Monday from 6-7pm. The label, party and radio session champions breaks, house, jungle, bass, techno and garage, and the imprint’s ‘Club Entry Vol. 1’ V/A is the perfect introduction to the bouncy world of Borne Fruits. Featuring Bailey Ibbs, Jossy Mitsu, Reece Spooner, Amaliah herself and many more, the London-based artist knows how to bolster an array of intriguing talents.
Whether she’s programming a Borne Fruits club-night — she recently invited OK Williams and Angel D’lite to soundtrack The Pickle Factory — or featuring guests like Call Super on Rinse, Amaliah’s curator skills match her tenacious output as a producer and DJ. Next up, Amaliah is on the UK festival circuit with stops at Westival, We Out Here, Eastern Electrics and Waterworks, and she’s planning a string of European shows post-summer too. Niamh O’Connor
For fans of: Ciel, Anz, Shanti Celeste
First coming to our attention via expert selections on an EYA Records podcast two years ago, Loa Szala is a committed crate digger at heart, and it shows. Her monthly residency on Netil Radio — the Hachō show — is a solid example of her exceptional taste. Szala’s sets journey through the outer reaches of house and techno from the past and the present, with dreamy electro and breaks weaved in for good measure. Szala ran her first club-night — Medusa Bloom — when she was living in Tokyo, bringing the likes of Sammy D and Vlad Caia to play alongside her.
Now living in London, she’s a resident of Alien Communications, recently spinning for Picnic’s Boiler Room and Wetyourself at fabric, and is fast building a name for herself internationally, making her debut in Iceland for an Opia Records showcase, with upcoming gigs in Lisbon, Barcelona and Berlin. Szala is a DJ who has honed her craft; spending time on building a vinyl collection that is ever growing, and with a focus on blending records to perfection. Anna Wall
His latest four-track EP is called ‘BDYBSC’, but there’s nothing basic about Shaquille Beck McGosh’s heart-warming house bangers. As Prom Night, the emerging DJ and producer from Copenhagen, Denmark packs a depth of emotion into his gleaming productions. McGosh’s parents fled South Africa in the 1970s during apartheid and settled in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city.
He grew up mining their extensive record collection, and though he started DJing at just 14 years-old, his music has a nostalgia-tinted glow that draws on 1980s pop culture as well as classic soul, funk and disco. Written in collaboration with fellow Copenhagen-based artist Brynjolfur, ‘BDYBSC’ hits right in time for summer, with the swooping, sparkling arpeggios and retro R&B rhythms of the title track conjuring peak party vibes, while ‘Dr. Arpeggio’ injects irresistible hi-NRG flavour. Strong support comes in the form of remixes from Nordic heavyweights Storken and Kasper Björke, and a follow-up release is due later this year. Claire Francis
For fans of: Skatebård, Krystal Klear, Pender Street Steppers
Adelaide, Australia-based Featherstone has a talent for making records that are beautifully intricate, that feel at home on the dancefloor, with an abundance of emotion and soul. He has a penchant for hardware — and a love for his eurorack modular — and in 2015, he began performing live, revealing the dexterity he has in the studio with his beloved analogue gear. He runs a label called Ernest’s Way, a platform launched in 2020 to release his own music on 12-inch 180 gram vinyl.
He released ‘Chrysalis’ on the imprint at the start of the year, blending acid electro with deep, dreamy pads and plenty of sophisticated melodies. His most recent EP ‘Echoes’ is another slice of electro with elements of classic techno and house, due for release this month, with 005 already locked in for early 2023, plus an EP on Gated Recordings also to come. Keep your ear to the ground for more deep and bleepy analogue electro courtesy of Featherstone. Anna Wall
For fans of: Carl Finlow, Sync 24, Radioactive Man
There’s not many producers on the worldwide stage flying the flag for South Asian drum & bass and getting recognition for it, but IYRE is a name people in the wider electronic music scene are starting to catch wind of — and for good reason. In a couple of years, the Sri Lankan has cemented his name as a rising star in d&b with stand out releases on Goldfat and Pilot, including ‘Raindrops On My Skin’ and his latest ‘Light Of Hope’ EP. Maybe it’s the techy, atmospheric liquid he’s been spellbinding us with, or maybe it’s the way his music paints a wondrous picture of his homeland. Either way, there’s a lot to admire about IYRE right now. He’s only just warming up too. Expect IYRE’s future releases to show a moodier side to his production, as he continues to explore his sound, digging deep into his progressive metal influences. Jake Hirst
For fans of: Calibre, Mitekiss, Halogenix
Riva is a producer, DJ and internal member of the South Asian art and music collective Daytimers, and she continues to crop up at parties across London and beyond. The artist recently played at Manni Dee’s event Silk + Steel and at Samantha Togni’s party Boudica, and this summer, she’s on the festival tip at Gala and Body Movements. With a background in classical music and jazz, it was in the Middle East where Riva explored electronic music and began to use it as a medium for story-telling and protest.
Time spent living in Hong Kong and South Africa further developed her taste, and today she continues to weave inspiration from her British-Indian background into her sound. Her tune ‘The Power To Take You On The Floor’ on Big Dyke Energy is a stomper, and reflects the buoyant energy she displays in her DJ sets. Niamh O’Connor
For fans of: Luz1e, Helena Hauff, Hector Oaks
Photo credit: Tom Callemin
One of Zoey Shopmaker’s formative musical moments, growing up outside of Kansas City, Missouri, came when she first heard decades- old selections from her father’s collection. “In eighth grade, my dad introduced me to Pink Floyd, which was the first music I’d ever heard that evoked a real, deep emotional response in me,” she said in a 2021 interview for the Spontaneous Affinity website. “It spoke to a fundamental part of me that never quite fit with my surroundings.”
It might not seem like the crisp, sharply percussive groove music that she now makes as Sister Zo has much in common with ‘Dark Side Of The Moon,’ but there is a certain immersive quality to each — it’s the kind of music that lets you both lose yourself and free yourself. Shopmaker, a co-founder of the Kansas City queer/trans collective UN/TUCK, debuted with this past February’s ‘Screw Cheek’ EP, its four tracks brimming with across-the-board appeal to fans of bass music, footwork, techno, and more. She’s just released a new four-tracker, ‘Freak Shift’, on Martyn’s 3024 label — and it’s another winner, with a focus on arrangement, sound design and all-around dancefloor heat that’s rare, even for those who have been at it for years. We can’t wait to see what’s next. Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Martyn, Ben UFO, Jana Rush
The worlds of pop and electronic music collide perfectly in the output of CHYLD, a Boston-based producer and songwriter whose catchy hooks and studio skills are gaining traction with the Gen Z crowd. His second EP, ‘Be Patient’, dropped last month, and while CHYLD’s crystalline voice stands out as the EP’s distinguishing gold, his productions, too, demand attention. The Sleepy Kid Records label boss offers a compelling, stripped-back take on styles like future bass, funk, breakbeats, and hip-hop, and the lead single ‘Head Underwater’ featuring Chicago-based artist, Yung Sum, is a uniquely emotional record.
Effervescent in its composition and powerful in its lyrics, ‘Head Underwater’ details how true love can shine light on even the darkest of times. It’s a track that feels nostalgic, yet at the same time brand new, and in listening to CHYLD’s thoughtful creations, we can’t help but wish we had such a clear sense of self back when we were just young ’uns. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Charlie Puth, FINNEAS, The Postal Service
Let’s set the record straight — there’s nothing little about Lil Fish. Since releasing his debut LP ‘Fusion’ back in 2016, the French producer has pushed the boundaries of bass music big time, with bold productions that integrate elements of trip-hop, dubstep, jungle, hip-hop, and the occasional Bollywood sitar. That last feature encapsulates what Lil Fish does best, as there’s no denying his ability to pair fresh global accents with low rumbling vibrations, and always with propulsive results.
His new ‘Wild’ EP arrived via Gravitas Recordings in May, and it’s as adventurous as the title implies. Atmospheric and packed with ethereal strings and ecstatic chants, the six-track collection also boasts an invigorating bit of bounce. Listen to the second cut, ‘Arawana’, and be transported to a primal place where dancing is an involuntary and joyous response. Such qualities are common in the music Lil Fish listens to on his own time. He counts himself inspired by names like Amon Tobin, Flying Lotus and Boards Of Canada, and we won’t be surprised when Lil Fish in turn lends influence to the next generation of bass beat-makers. Megan Venzin
For fans of: An-Ten-Nae, CloZee, Dreamers Delight
UK-based producer Tita Lau is another one of those artists who stole the spotlight during the pandemic era, when she kept even the dreariest months of lockdown bright with her bouncy, bassy house beats. In case you missed her, Lau’s already placed No.1 on Spotify’s ‘Housewerk’ playlist, and has racked up releases on a number of high-profile imprints, among them James Hype’s Stereohype and Sonny Fodera’s Solotoko, as well as Spinnin’ and Armada.
She kept her hot streak going last month when her remix of Navos & Galantis’s ‘What It Feels Like (feat. YOU)’ hit airwaves, and again when Tomorrowland Music dropped ‘Rock & Roll’, an original groove that nods to Lau’s longtime love for fierce, female-fronted acts of the ’80s. However, a quick listen proves she hunted beyond Blondie or Pat Benatar for its lyrics. The chugging dancefloor heater instead borrows a string of recognisable words from Dobie Gray’s classic, ‘Drift Away’. Lau’s modernized, sultry touch will “free your soul,” just as intended. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Chris Lake, VNSSA, Will Clarke
There’s something inherently appealing about music, electronic or otherwise, that patiently unfolds, revealing its charms calmly rather than hammering the point home. That’s something that Gregorio Gunther Serasin, who makes music under the Yaar Kü moniker, seems to know well. On his new EP for the Venice, Italy–based label Caposile Music, tracks like the flowing ‘Aura’, the rubbery ‘Jobu’ and the serpentine ‘OBE’ all take their time, inviting the kind of deep listening that can serve as its own reward, with a bumping DeWalta remix of ‘Aura’ lending the EP a bit of dancefloor oomph.
Inspired by artists ranging from Burial to Cobblestone Jazz, Serasin began producing music in the mid ’00s; 2017’s otherworldly ‘Ichō’ EP, gave the world a teaser of his deeply meditative direction. But it wasn’t till 2021 that his sound started spreading further, first via the ‘Hāusme’ EP on Per Hammar’s label Dirty Hands, then via cuts on compilations from Ibiza’s Real Gang Records, Milan’s Micro Orbit, and Caposile. They’re all strong releases, and well worth tracking down — but the elegant new EP is his best work yet, brimming with the kind of emotive depth that’s hard to find. Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Gab Rhome, Lauren Ritter, Gui Boratto
Originally from Turkey, Ece Eryavuz moved to Belgium to focus on film studies. But as often happens with those into creative exploration, one medium wasn’t enough for her, and after she fell in with the local electronic music scene, she tried her hand at production. The results, as heard on her debut EP, ‘War On Innocence’, are wondrous. Released on 2MR, the three tracks — which hover somewhere between earworm Europop and gossamer trance while transcending both of those styles — possess a delicate ebb-and-flow vibe, managing to evoke a wealth of emotion while sticking to the right side of grandiosity.
“I’ve always had a soft spot for Eurodance, having grown up in Turkey and going on summer vacations where that was played at every beach and hotel bar in the south,” Eryavuz says. “Trance is likewise nostalgic for me. I associate it with traveling: being at an airport with futuristic architecture, or driving through tunnels with amber tungsten lights. To move from one place to the other, to become oneself... I carry these feelings when I’m making music.” Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Opus III, One Dove, Chicane