House music as shimmering and crystalline as a diamond, but suffused with endless warmth? That’s the domain of London DJ and producer Flaurese. His 2020 debut track ‘Sake Of Lust’ caught the attention of Bonobo and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, appearing in their BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix that year. On his latest EP ‘Over My Shoulder’, released on his own imprint GAZE RCDS, his production nous shines even brighter. ‘Gaze At Me’ is a sublime, dreamy cut that works just as well for headphone listening as it does in the club.
Featuring a lovely, languorous vocal from collaborator and long-time friend Just Lil, the track is both rich and airy, with skittering hi-hats and glassy synths creating a prismatic ambience. On ‘In My Arms’, Flaurese again lets the vocals shine, enlisting CHARLTON and emerging voguing artist Jugu, while nodding to Harlem “house ball” history. Catch him in action as he plays a handful of DJ dates around London in the coming months. Claire Francis
For fans of: Ross From Friends, Patrick Holland, Jayda G
Photo: Sophie Jones
j.müller is nothing if not intentional. Poet, singer, producer, DJ — every new venture feels deliberate and un-compromised. Take her debut EP ‘j.müller 2.0’, released last month. The title suggests a renewal of sorts, and the music mirrors a spiritual and sonic journey that’s been two years in the making, each track brimming with supple layers of sound. And then there’s the lyrics, which, delivered with a wilful incantation, suggest an emerging worldview.
After years performing with slick pop-funk outfit Black Forest Ghetto, müller ventured solo for newer, DIY sounds. The result was 2018’s debut single ‘I Surrender i’, a lean production with a warbling bassline reminiscent of early trip-hop — a counter, perhaps, to the lush tones that used to surround her voice. Singles such as ‘rebirth’ and ‘b.a.w.n’ (badass woman now) slowly followed. And now there’s ‘j.müller 2.0’, which is, in a way, both a break and continuation. Sure the themes remain, but the sound points to a renewed inner journey. Ria Hylton
For fans of: Tracey Thorn, Batu, Four Tet
This summer saw Glasgow DJ/producer Hayley Zalassi step up for one of her biggest — and most unexpected — sets to date, when she took over from Ricardo Villalobos on the Sub Club stage at Scottish Festival Otherlands. “Playing after Ricardo Villalobos was fun... who even does that?” she said after the event, and the answer is, Zalassi does. In the last 12 months alone, she’s performed alongside the likes of Denis Sulta, Honey Dijon, Overmono, DJ Boring and Sally C on festival and club line-ups across the UK, and most recently helmed the booth at Motion in Bristol for Ewan McVicar’s debut Handpicked event with Optimo, Shannen SP and more.
In terms of Zalassi’s selections and sound palette on stage, it’s strictly party — high-energy club cuts and peak-time bangers mixed to perfection. Her own lively house productions have made their way onto Sarah Story, Jaguar and Danny Howard’s respective BBC Radio 1 shows, and in September, she recorded a mix for Radio 1 Dance Presents FLY. Who even does that? Zalassi does. Amy Fielding
For fans of: Big Miz, Jaguar, Patrick Topping
Photo: Michael C. Hunter
The creative universe of Kinnara : Desi La is exploratory, complex and often abstract. The New York-born, Tokyo-based artist creates sprawling experimental sound works; he often makes use of coding and AI processes to conjure his unique compositions, which push the parameters of club music, ambience and noise to their absolute limit. In the space of a decade, he’s put out 19 releases, each grappling with heady, expansive themes, including Afrofuturist art and architecture.
This prolific and fully autonomous approach is mirrored in Kinnara : Desi La’s visual work, which encompasses a vast catalogue of striking 3-D animations, as well as digital works to align with each new musical release. His May album, ‘CHROMATIC LACK OF GRAVITY’, which explored the life-altering global impact of Covid-19 through the metaphor of gravity being switched off, came paired with a 24-page PDF ‘zine of accompanying artwork. His most recent release, ‘CHROMATIC AMBIENCE OF GRAVITY’, is a (mostly) beatless companion piece to its predecessor, and is an ideal entry- point to his richly rewarding oeuvre. Eoin Murray
For fans of: Aho Ssan, Lamin Fofana, Merzbow
Lulah Francs was a singer before she started DJing, but in her teens didn’t feel she had the confidence to make a singing career happen. She then started clubbing, and thought DJing could be the thing for her. “Fast-forward four years down my DJ career and I finally feel confident enough to bring the two together,” she tells DJ Mag. But isn’t it a bit tricky doing both at once? “Well, we’re all very lucky to have loop buttons and perfect quantizing now,” she says, “so if there comes a point where two tracks are playing and they’re sounding groovy, I’ll usually stick it on loop to give myself a bit of time to pick up the mic and start giving it some welly.”
Influenced by Virginia and Roisin Murphy, Lulah had her debut release on Semi Delicious this summer, a vinyl-only label run by Demi Riquisimo. Her next one is a vocal feature for Gina Breeze on an EP on Eats Everything’s Edible label at the end of October. “It’s a real pinch me moment!” Carl Loben
For fans of: Ash Lauryn, Eden Burns, Virginia
We first came across Carly Zeng’s alluring DJ sets on the underground circuit in New York back in 2019. Now based in Berlin, she’s fast becoming a prominent name within the scene there too. She runs a series called Dissident; a queer-friendly party rooted in “celebrating diversity on the dancefloor” and gathering community spirit, envisioning unusual line-ups in intimate spaces across the city.
When it comes to her craft, she’s a dedicated digger, constantly seeking unearthed gems to spin in her sets, with a refreshingly versatile sound. Her recent recording for mix series Faciendo explores the sounds of house music with a ’90s edge, while right now she’s also delving deeper into the realms of trance, ’80s synthwave, UK hardcore and happy hardcore, and weaving these records into her club sets. As well as her upcoming Dissident parties, you can catch her spinning at White Noise in Stuttgart, Renate in Berlin and Ankali in Prague in the coming months — and there’s plenty more to come. Anna Wall
For fans of: Margaret Dygas, Melody, Ciel
In just a few short years, Coffintexts has mastered the art of coupling subtlety with intensity. The Miami-based artist, born Alexandra Muggli, has been producing music in her home studio since 2018 — but it wasn’t until last year that the world at large was clued in via a series of EPs brimming with restrained-yet-propulsive techno and electro, with ghostly hints of Miami bass occasionally making their presence known.
Muggli’s latest, a collaboration with fellow Miamian (and fellow rising star) Jonny From Space, is the ‘CIENFUEGOS’ EP. Out via her own observe participate label, it’s perhaps her strongest release yet, heavy with an otherworldly, tripped-out aura that’s hard to resist. Muggli’s a great DJ as well — she’s become something of a III Points mainstay over the past year — with sets that add a considerable hue of party-time abandon to her palette. Both in the clubs and in the studio, she’s a force to be reckoned with. Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Oscar Mulero, Jon Hester, Carl Craig
Photo: Yana Gueorguieva
Mindful music is having a moment, and that fact is not lost on Harvey Carter, a producer and songwriter known by his Tutara Peak moniker. Hailing from the UK's southwestern countryside, the rising artist hinted at the project in 2020 with ‘Daydream,’ a track released in support of the UN Refugee Agency. Soon, his lush, downtempo arrangements gained the attention of Flying Lotus, who dropped his breakout track ‘Raining Teeth’ with Little Snake, on the Brainfeeder label last year; the momentum continued in 2022 with the summer-set EP ‘Radiance,’ a collection that embodies the title with its immersive, instrumental landscapes and emotional aura.
Last month marked the arrival of the string and woodwind-stamped ‘Yukijo’ alongside Scottish artist, Aether, and in November he’ll unveil ‘If’ featuring indie vocalist Milan Ring, another gorgeous production that highlights a soothing and organic approach to sound design that’s sure to lift Tutara Peak’s international profile to new summits. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Flying Lotus, Mild Minds, obli
For someone who’s only been releasing music for a short time, Anish Kumar has certainly acquired some friends in high places. In spring of last year, BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac decreed his self-released, Brenda Lee-sampling ‘Little Miss Dynamite’ to be The Hottest Record In The World; by that fall, Mac’s fellow Radio 1 DJ, Pete Tong, had named the piano-led stomper ‘Blackpool Boulevard,’ a collaboration with Barry Can’t Swim released on Ninja Tune’s Technicolour imprint, as his Essential New Tune. The likes of Four Tet, Daphni and Danny Howells are fans as well. Just how does a young producer like Kumar acquire that array of supporters?
“I have to pinch myself a bit daily,” he says. “To be interacting with people that I’ve always looked up to means I’ve made the right decisions.” It helps that he’s very good at what he does, needless to say: This past summer’s ‘Postcards’ EP, with tracks ranging from moody deep house to pumping, gospel-tinged disco, was a revelation, while the just-released ‘Bollywood Super Hits!,’ a collection of hands-in-the-air Bollywood disco edits, is dance music at its most joyous. There’s more in the pipeline as well — it’ll be interesting to see what he’s got in store next. Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Gavin Froome, JohNick, Bappi Lahiri
At just nine years old, Nigel Quah asked to borrow his sister’s laptop on the rare evenings she didn’t need it to complete schoolwork. He used those precious moments to craft the rudimentary sounds that would eventually become the foundation for the Foxela project he launched in 2016. Five years later, the rising Singaporean producer has clocked more than 80 releases on labels like Trap Nation and LoudKult. This month, the 20-year-old dropped ‘Oasis’ via Monstercat’s Instinct sub-brand — a deep piano house groover with passionate lyrics about finding refuge in love. It comes as a follow-up to September’s arpeggio-rich single, ‘fallen,’ that’s all about finding hope in heartbreak’s aftermath.
These rapid-fire dancefloor fillers are just a couple of reasons he was selected to play alongside fellow powerhouses Weird Genius and Hoaprox at the imprint’s All The Matters Closing Party, that took place in partnership with the Singapore Grand Prix Season earlier this fall. With such bookings, and six million streams later, it seems big sis deserves a big thank you. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Joel Corry, MK, Navos
Here at DJ Mag, we try to stay abreast of emerging genres, but “2090” — the self-coined classification Venessa Michaels uses to tag her tunes — is a new one for us. So, what is it exactly? According to the LA-based producer, who’s appeared at West Coast festivals like Coachella and Splash House, “2090” blends various forms of club music with Y2K-inspired hip-hop and pop elements. Painting with colours from the late ’90s and early aughts, her output is equal parts nostalgic and fresh, and those who want to experience those hues in all of their sonic glory should pop on ‘Spirit On Mine,’ Michaels’ first original release in over a year.
The collaboration with singer-songwriter Luck arrived on October 14th and harks back to the glory days of 2000s R&B — it’s a hazy, guitar-tinged cut packed with stripped-back future garage power, that also happens to be the lead single off of her forthcoming LP ‘Sent From Saturn’, due out in the coming months. Keep an ear out for ‘Needed U’ — hitting streaming platforms on November 18th — for another apt introduction to her sound. Megan Venzin
For fans of: Anna Lunoe, Bklava, Todd Edwards
It’s a long way from Hector J Rodriguez’s youth to where he is today, both in terms of miles and in terms of music. He was born in New York City, growing up with the genres of salsa, merengue, freestyle, and hip-hop; now based in Seattle, his productions bear little obvious resemblance to the sounds of his younger years. Take his recent ‘La Falsa’ EP, for instance: Released on the experimentally-minded Tremulant label, its four original cuts are ambience-filled, melodically-rich panoramas that glide between deep house and dub techno. It’s music that billows, rather than slams. (The EP’s two remixes of the title cut, from label-mates monotropa. and Joe Bellingham, add a touch of grandeur to the proceedings.)
But take a jaunt through Rodriguez’s Bandcamp and SoundCloud mix, and you’ll find that he’s a versatile producer, remixer, and DJ, as at home with stripped-down techno as he is with flowing, filtered material or trance-kissed sounds. He’s become something of a stalwart on the Seattle scene in recent times — the rest of the world awaits. Bruce Tantum
For fans of: Max Cooper, Christian Löffler, Christopher Rau