Berlin-based DJ and producer Anna Kost’s debut EP ‘The Very End Of You’ on Hotflush-offshoot Who Whom is the ideal intro into her raw but rhythmic taste. Released in April, it blends the styles of techno, bass and electronica, showing the Scuba mentee’s ability to make music that’s apt for a heaving dancefloor and more reflective listening. Take ‘Basics 005’ for a dose of gnarly broken beats, while ‘Disintegration’ and ‘H913’ offer an insight into her more experimental leanings. Anna spent most of lockdown finessing her skills as a producer, and it’s clear her dedication is paying off.
Additional releases are in the pipeline, with another EP on Who Whom in the works. In the meantime, her existing tracks on Soma and Warok Music display her affection for searing techno. Check out her Slam Radio podcast for a stomping session of dark and hypnotic textures with a ravey twist. Niamh O’Connor
For fans of: Barker, Umwelt, Helena Hauff
Hailing from Seoul, South Korea, the elusive producer and DJ that goes by the name of Pyramid Of Knowledge has steadily been building a repertoire under this guise since 2019. Well versed in the various shades of dance music, Pyramid Of Knowledge favours the darker kind; his recent outing, the ‘Three’ EP on Paris-based Hard Beach Entertainment, travels through pulsating trance, spacey electro and dreamscape IDM.
His latest EP, titled ‘Heart Of Silicium’, is out now on the much-loved Scottish imprint Craigie Knowes: expect intricate polyrhythms, gliding synthesisers, acid excursions and perfectly crafted electro beats. He also produces under the alias K.O.P 32, and at the beginning of this year delivered an exclusive seven-track cassette tape on his own Beyond The Bridge imprint that experimented with haunting techno, fast-paced tribal rhythms and a heavy dose of 303 acid across limitless atmospheres and intricate textures. Anna Wall
For fans of: Carl Finlow, The Exaltics, Reptant
Utrecht-born, Rotterdam-based and of Vietnamese heritage, Kim Nguyen, aka Kimmah, started out with a background of studying architecture. Over the last two years, her passion for urban industrial landscapes and photography has transferred to the art of mixing breaks and electro soundscapes.
Recently, she’s been focused on building her record collection, and appearances on stations such as Rotterdam’s Operator Radio reveal an affection for various strains of breaks and electro, with a distinct touch of Detroit and Miami. Her club sets are known to drive into fast-paced and energetic terrain, via acid techno and booty bass. As well as being a resident for the FOMO collective in Rotterdam, recently she’s been playing some of the Netherlands’ most prominent nightclubbing hotspots, including BRET in Amsterdam and PIP Den Haag in The Hague. Check out her recent mix for the Rye Wax radio show on Balamii for a foray into her world. Anna Wall
For fans of: Helena Hauff, mul/ANNA, Chloé Robinson
If you’ve heard any of Black Coffee’s 2021 sets (or seen his reel from Brooklyn Mirage) you’ll have heard Thee Suka, the South African Afro-house duo making waves with their debut MoBlack Records release ‘Mano Mano’. A staple for the Grammy-winning DJ, as well as acts such as the Keinemusik trio (Adam Port, Rampa, &ME), the track propelled Thee Suka skyward after teaming up in 2020 to form this formidable pair.
Soweto-born Tshepo “SucreSoul” Marong championed his own soulful dance music as a youngster, producing his first Afro-soul EP ‘True Identity’ in 2019. Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Thembekile “Kadjila” Bomela worked behind the scenes as Marong’s production assistant while travelling abroad as part of a gospel group. Their latest offering, ‘Aluwawa’, is a lively, nostalgic prayer, setting the scene for a string of new Afro-electric sounds to come following their handshake with Sony Music. Shiba Melissa Mazaza
For fans of: Zakes Bantwini, Darque, Kasango
East London’s Reece Spooner loves a cheeky banger — and oh how he bangs. Irreverent, carefree and always high on the NRG, Spooner’s sets recharge and reignite the dancefloor with a verve rare among his peers. From ghetto, jersey club, and acid jackin’ house to techno, breakbeat and modern-day rave, his palette is wide and leans heavy on the anthems. But chat to the Balaami host and you’ll soon see that, deep down, he’s a historian of the scene.
Having helped build Origins Sound — a beloved club night entering its 10th year — and founded flagship Dalston Superstore party Fiasco, he’s been joining the electro dots and sharing the knowledge for sometime. And nowhere is this more apparent than in his monthly radio shows, where sonic lore meets tongue-in-cheek. “We need more fun and less chin-strokery, inaccessible music,” he tells DJ Mag. “It’s all about vibes, accessibility and community.” Amen to that. Ria Hylton
For fans of: UNIIQU3, Louise Chen, OK Williams
Though Bolis Pupul’s music spotlights issues including racism, xenophobia and cultural identity, the Chinese- Belgian producer certainly isn’t averse to having a lot of fun while tackling heavy topics. Together with his “sidekick” and collaborator Charlotte Adigéry, he released the multicoloured, effervescent debut album ‘Topical Dancer’ earlier this year, cementing the duo as powerful electropop provocateurs.
Backed by none other than Soulwax, who released both of Pupul’s previous solo EPs on their DEEWEE label, his latest two-track effort encapsulates this affinity for unique and buoyant beats. Inspired by a desire to connect with his Chinese heritage, ‘Neon Buddha’ is a near-seven-minute-long boogie through swampy bass synths, glittering melodic flourishes and playful vocal samples. The hard-edged ‘Rendez-Voodoo’ retains Pupul’s signature quirky humour, while putting a contemporary spin on Belgian new beat. Both tracks mark his forthcoming debut solo album (due for release this year) as one to watch out for. Claire Francis
For fans of: Andrew Weatherall, Simple Symmetry, Marie Davidson
Ask REsy to share her favourite things, and the three-part reply that follows is simple: “music, people, and traveling.” As such, the founder and curator of New York’s Yes&Yay event production collective has found her happy place as a touring artist in today’s festival-fueled landscape. Her diverse sound lights up campsites and nightclubs at events as varied as Burning Man in Nevada, Art Basel in Miami, and Movement after-parties in Detroit, where she spins masterfully curated sets which have been described as “uplifting, soulful, organic, and effortlessly sexy.”
We saw it for ourselves just last month when she tore up the Oasis Stage at Love Machine’s spring event in Jacumba, California, where she dished out everything from deep house grooves to tribal-tinged Afrobeats, with no shortage of heavy basslines that proved to be just what the playa ordered. As it turns out that’s just the first of many more sun-drenched appearances still to come from REsy this summer, and her debut EP, ‘El Saltito Corazon’ is also in tow — so keep an oreja out for that. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Nora En Pure, Soul Clap, Yami Alade
Grammy-nominated vocalist and producer Benjamin David has had a busy few years, touring alongside names like Tycho and Big Wild, as well as landing on ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective label with releases like ‘HAUNTED,’ which dropped at the tail end of 2021. The emotive, lyrical stunner exemplifies just what David does best — meaningful, indie-crossover cuts that show off both his ethereal voice and talent for building enveloping worlds filled with deep synths and raw, percussive edges.
The single recently spawned its own remix pack featuring artists like edapollo, Liam Mour, and Banyan, and though all three have potent takes, we still prefer the original in all of its lingering, melancholic glory. We hear there’s new music in the pipeline which should make David’s upcoming live sets at Ultra Music Summit in Denver and Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas all the more engaging. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Bonobo, Caribou, Four Tet
We have two iconic musical entities to thank for Mr. Flip. The first is the seminal NYC hip-hop label Tommy Boy Music: As a 12-year-old, Flip (otherwise known as the New Jersey–born Phil McKenzie) learned the rapping ropes via his cousin, who at the time had a deal with Tommy Boy, and later joined his cousin in a three-man hip-hop group, which found little success. Years later, while living in LA, he met up with the second icon, Yoruba Records’ Osunlade.
The eventual result was 2020’s ‘Osunlade Presents Mr. Flip’ EP, four tracks that helped set the Mr. Flip template of hip-house vocals layered over Afro-house cadences. DJs ranging from Tony Touch to Josh Wink picked up on it, and the lead track, ‘Dance Circle,’ was an underground hit.
Mr. Flip is back in 2022 with the similarly-themed, exceedingly vibey ‘Hit Different’, complete with a varied quartet of versions from Kai Alce, Arrested Development’s DJ Kemit, Osunlade protégé Afefe Iku, and Transmat’s Kevin Reynolds. He has set himself a lofty goal for the single, along with a forthcoming LP.
“The idea of ‘Hit Different’ and the upcoming album, ‘Next Level Shit,’ is simply to change the game,” he explains. “‘Hit Different,’ and all of its remixes, do exactly what the title says. Hip-house has been done before, but in my opinion has never been done well. Osunlade and I are here to change that. Mission accomplished.” Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Osunlade, Nicodemus, Black Coffee
By day, Conor Mackey works at Brain FM, a company that makes custom-made music designed to help boost productivity. It must be a good fit, because the Chicago native who goes by the moniker Lynyn has been quite fruitful himself as of late — he’s got a new album coming out next month on Sooper Records called ‘Lexicon’, and it’s likely to set him apart as one of IDM’s next visionaries. Beautifully composed, the nine-track collection spans a wide variety of genres, meandering at times into glitch and d&b territory, while on occasion exploring realms such as ambient and footwork (and that’s really just scratching the surface.)
Having scored in the past for Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, it’s clear that Mackey’s knowledge of music theory and modular sound design is ahead of the fray, often culminating in fast-moving, intensely futuristic symphonies that will send tired minds into a state of fine-tuned hyperdrive. Those who’ve been battling burnout just may see their creative blocks finally dissolve — that is, if Lynyn has any say in it. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Amon Tobin, Aphex Twin, Squarepusher
You wouldn’t necessarily peg someone who’s attended the Royal Irish Academy of Music to end up as a techno head with a knack for turntablism, but that education was one of the steps along the way for the Dublin-based artist known as Reosc. Others included a slot on a local radio station while still in secondary school, and time spent running techno and drum & bass nights at the Temple Bar Music Centre in the early and mid-2000s.
Reosc toiled for years as a hip-hop beatsmith, but his 2019 enrollment in Elevator Program, the online production school run by Will Kinsella (better known as Hybrasil) led him to fully immerse himself in the warm embrace of straight-ahead techno. Specifically, he calls his sound “Red Box Style Techno,” named for the longtime Dublin club that would regularly host guests like Jeff Mills and Dave Clarke. That Mills reference should give you a clue as to Reosc’s sound: spacious and otherworldly, yet forceful and propulsive, and that’s what you get on his excellent ‘Reosc!llate’ LP, just released on Elevator Program’s in-house label. He claims to have plenty more material ready to go, too — bring it on. Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Jeff Mills, Ben Sims, DVS1
Is everybody ready for an “acid techno post-punk rave” explosion? We better be, because that’s what BĘÃTFÓØT has been working on since the Tel Aviv trio (tagline: “everything’s better when it’s faster”) burst onto the scene via 2018’s ‘De Vibez’ and ‘rich kidž GheTTo’ EPs. Helmed by Udi Naor, the cofounder and drummer of Red Axes, and aided and abetted by bandmates Adi Bronicki and Nimrod Goldfarb, the band has perfected a prismatic, no-holds-barred style of crazed party music, taking in influences that range from Joy Division to Aqua, and from Dream Theater to the Ren & Stimpy show.
In short, BĘÃTFÓØT’s music is a trip, and if you haven’t picked up the band’s recent self-titled EP, released on DJ Tennis’s Life and Death label, we suggest you do so expeditiously. As you might guess, the threesome’s live shows are unhinged as well, and if you’re the travelling type, you can catch BĘÃTFÓØT in Berlin, Barcelona, Novi Sad, and Leeuwarden this summer. Bruce Tantum
For fans of: The Prodigy, Justice, MSTRKRFT