MJK has been storming ahead with his refreshing blend of dubstep, grime and speedier techno — a sound he describes as “treading the line” between the genres, which is becoming something of a signature as he continues to experiment and excel. Recently, the London-based artist has shown face on HÖR Radio, and laid down a smooth mix for Ilian Tape featuring tracks from Jurango, Parris and Bluetoof, as well as a couple of new ones from himself. His most recent mix for Just Jam’s relaunch showcases his ability to bring undertones of 140 nostalgia in a dizzying forward-thinking manner.
Having mastered three-deck mixing, MJK has already played among the likes of Metrist, Kush Jones, and quest?onmarq, and often goes toe to toe with Neffa-T and Oblig, as well as holding down his regular Rinse FM show. Recent gigs have included re:ni and Laksa’s re:lax party at Ormside Projects, and joining the KYSO Sound and Percy Mingle crews at Corsica Studios. He’ll be making his fabric debut in October for a B2B2B that won’t disappoint, and heads to Berlin at the end of the year for an exciting unannounced label showcase. He’s also been getting his head down in the studio, working on music with Skee Mask, featuring vocals from Riko Dan. The four-track EP will be out later this year on Obligated Records, cementing the sounds showcased in his sets. RIHANA OSMAN
For fans of: Oblig, Bluetoof, Jossy Mitsu
Ryussi (rye-oo-see) caters to house heads of the deep, melodic and funky persuasion. We caught the DJ/producer at this year’s Body Movements, where they built an empty room into a warm, trippy space, much like their productions.
Ryussi was on the singing and song-writing circuit before producing, even performing at the London 2012 Olympic torch ceremony, but it was a club night in her home town that triggered a love for all sounds electronic. “My mate took me to see Pete Tong at Taste The Punch and it clicked,” they tell DJ Mag. “That’s how I wanted to translate my music, that’s what felt right to me.” She bought a Numark controller, Logic Pro and a midi keyboard with the last of her student loan, and became a Taste The Punch regular, witnessing the likes of CamelPhat, Mark Knight and Faithless behind the decks.
That was some seven years ago, and they’ve never looked back — with over 12 releases under their belt, including recent EP ‘Dream Before You Wake’, and having graced the decks at Body Movements, Secret Garden Party and opened for HE.SHE.THEY.’s Amnesia party this year alone, Ryussi feels more and more like one to watch. RIA HYLTON
For fans of: Analog Soul, Anna Wall, Suze Ijó
Emanating from a musical family (her dad was a DJ), Norwegian DJ/producer Meera has been producing herself and DJing since the age of 13. She plays and creates the most beautiful, shimmering, minimal techno, peppered with haunted, half-heard found sounds and oblique sonic shifts. In early 2023, Crosstown Rebels boss Damian Lazarus heard her debut release ‘Grevling’ on the VOD label, and has been hammering it in his sets all summer. He reached out to Meera for more music, and the result is the two-track ‘Telefon’ EP that’s just been released on Crosstown offshoot Rebellion.
The widescreen title track is more out-there than a flooded Burning Man, while ‘Slowdown’ — which features Meera’s own vocals for the first time — is off-grid, twinkling hauntology in excelsis. “I like things sounding a little organic, analogue and textured,” Meera tells DJ Mag. “I use a lot of analogue emulation VSTs [audio plug-in software interface] and I tend to stick to the same sample libraries, which helps it sound more cohesive. Most of my perc also sits slightly off the grid — if it sounds janky, it’s perfect.” Meera played her first gig outside Norway at Damian Lazarus’s night at Hï Ibiza recently, and reportedly smashed it. “There’s nothing about this new artist that I don’t believe in,” Lazarus told DJ Mag recently. CARL LOBEN
For fans of: Layla Benitez, Bedouin, Damian Lazarus
Bangor-based producer, HART, has been steadily carving her own niche in the UK hip-hop scene, since the release of the ‘MATTER’ EP back in 2017. The ill Records artist remained somewhat on the periphery following her first couple of EPs, but the arrival of her debut album, ‘MOON JAZZ’, in 2022, finally saw HART receiving the critical acclaim she deserved. One of the first things that stands out about HART’s music is her proficiency with sampling, whether it be melding erratic and mournful horn solos, or breathing new life into 1930s Broadway revue songs. Another characteristic is the enjoyment HART gets from production — an infectious pleasure that seeps into every aspect of her music.
In contrast to HART’s jazz-soaked beat-making, this year has seen her exploring the darker corners of UK garage, under her new alias, Nyphaea. Her first single, ‘Enigma’, bears all the hallmarks of a UKG classic, as pitched-up vocals intertwine with moody sub-shaking basslines, while her forthcoming ‘BAKU’ EP will further showcase her ability to embrace and thrive in new musical avenues. Though sonically divergent, HART’s work under both guises is united by an undeniable passion for her craft. Keep your ears peeled. TIM FISH
For fans of: Kuartz, Hydrogenii, Hentzup
Since debuting in 2016 on Spunk Records with the ‘No Connections’ single, and through subsequent releases on Time 2 House, Lisztomania, Kooley High, and others, BNinjas hasn’t strayed from his core style: muted deep house with nary a sharp edge in sight, leaning towards minimalism but never monotonous. But far from standing still, he’s spent his time refining that sound — and his latest, the three-track ‘Shake’ EP, is as graceful an example of his subdued sound as we’ve heard, with elegant, Detroit-inspired chords, and synth lines sitting above fluid bass and pared-down rhythms. It’s lovely stuff, placid in feel but with enough oomph to fire up a dancefloor with the right soundsystem.
BNinjas is originally from the South African township of Kagiso, which translates to “peace” — fitting, given the serene vibe of his music. Working at the Johannesburg record shop Vinyl Joint, he was immersed in music; later, an uncle’s gift of Reason 5 set him on his path. With hugely affecting releases like ‘Shake’ to his credit, it’s a road that will likely take BNinjas far. BRUCE TANTUM
For fans of: STL, Roman Flügel, Hraach
Marcus Schössow and Thomas Sagstad met at a house party in Helsingborg, Sweden, some 20 years ago, and this summer welcomed a project that’s been in the makings ever since. When you’re as in-demand as these two — who’ve worked alongside Kaskade, Swedish House Mafia, and the trio’s offshoot Axwell /\ Ingrosso, on solo terms — it can take some time before a debut album materialises. Well, it appears good things come to those who wait, and melodic house fans are embracing anamē following the release of their ‘Beautiful World’ LP, which arrived via Anjunabeats on August 25th.
In line with the collaborative spirit they’ve championed, the dreamy, vocal-forward collection features names like Steve Smith (of Dirty Vegas fame) on the title track, as well as Dutch indie band Vaarvel (as Shobi) on the elegant ‘Closer’, among others. Listen across the 12 cuts, and it’s clear anamē’s grooves are the kind for blasting in awe-inspiring settings. Anyone who attended the inaugural Anjunabeats Outdoors series can attest to that — anamē appeared on the line-up for the imprint’s new event concept, which took over picturesque venues in cities like New York City, Denver, and Montréal in recent months, to rave reviews. Talk about a beautiful world, indeed. MEGAN VENZIN
For fans of: Lane 8, Marsh, Le Youth
If you’ve ever walked the streets of Bushwick after dark and stumbled upon a beat-blasting school bus, then there’s a good chance you’ve experienced Remniqe — they’re one of the CitySoul collective’s resident DJs, and a staple of NYC’s vibrant dance music scene. Influenced by a background in jazz and rock, Remniqe’s sets get their flavor from a variety of unpredictable ingredients: some breaks here, a little drum & bass there, and a dash of diva-doused pop for good measure.
But, when producing, it seems that Remniqe doesn’t stray too far away from their four-to-the-floor bearings. August ushered in the release of their debut EP, ‘Breathing Underwater’, on RVDIOVCTIVE, offering listeners a taste of their flowing, genre-agnostic style. The three-track collection flutters on the groovier, atmospheric edges of deep house, and is as beautiful as it is bangin’ — it also touts an inspiring message of resilience. In Remniqe’s words, “The EP title, ‘Breathing Underwater’, is about surviving and persisting in unfamiliar, hostile environments, and learning to adapt and thrive.” Remniqe is thriving without a doubt — that’s wholly evident when they host the monthly Till Late series showcase at Brooklyn’s SILO (tickets available here). The next one takes shape on October 19th, and should be just as vibey as their cool new cuts, so be there. MEGAN VENZIN
For fans of: Dusky, Maya Jane Coles, Tinlicker
Listening to ‘U Need’, a new cut from Vallechi, one is transported to the early ’80s, when crisply percolating synths, hi-NRG rhythms, and sumptuous melodies ruled over many of the world’s dancefloors. But the track, coming out via Discotexas on 5th January, isn’t a mere exercise in nostalgia — like most of the Portuguese producer’s work, it’s a deeply emotive tune, with the kind of hazy melancholic glow that comes from dreamy reveries of long-lost loves and newfound passion.
That’s the general aura of most of Vallechi’s thus-far succinct discography — only a handful of releases deep, it’s full of sweep and depth, sounding like the work of someone who’s been honing their craft for years. Give a listen to a song like the wistful breakbeat-driven title track from the recent ‘Hold’ EP, for instance — this is the kind of music that reaches deep inside and stays with you. Vallechi hopes to concoct a “one-of-a-kind dream universe, inviting the listener to engage with the deeper mysteries of existence” — an impossibly lofty goal, maybe, but we wouldn’t bet against it. BRUCE TANTUM
For fans of: Boy Harsher, The Blaze, Fused