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Eight emerging artists you need to hear: July 2024

The latest and greatest DJs and producers rising to the top this month. From funk-inflected electro and rapturous trance to bumping garage, batida and beyond, here’s July 2024’s list of upcoming talent you should be keeping track of

Photo of Ella Knight wearing a spotted black and white coat on a blue background
Credit: Aaron Walker
Ella Knight

Rising DJ, singer/songwriter and founder of the female-focused agency Madame Jazz, Ella Knight has the scene at her feet. With a Boiler Room set already under her belt, she took her London-born Ella’s House Party event to Glastonbury this summer, with guest DJs Garrett David and Grace Sands (Ella hails from Nottingham, the birthplace of DiY Sound System, of which Sands is a founding member). Ella’s eclectic style incorporates jazz, soul, house and garage. Her Madame Jazz brand promotes and celebrates women in jazz and soul, with a particular focus on instrumentalists. “For me, Madame Jazz is all about developing a dynamic and inclusive musical community,” says Ella. “I love creating line-ups where established musicians support and inspire newcomers, and vice versa.”

She cites warming up for Kerri Chandler at his Kaoz Theory night as an unforgettable experience — “Sharing the stage with someone who has so profoundly influenced my music is more than I could ever ask for” — and credits her strong support network as an important influence. Her mum works in fashion and her dad in music: “My parents have always believed in me, without being forceful, which has been wonderful,” she notes. “It’s given me the freedom and self-belief to carve my own creative path.” As well as a packed itinerary of international festival appearances this year, Ella is planning to take Madame Jazz on tour — connecting, collaborating and celebrating with a wider network. RACHEL IMMS

For fans of: Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu, Cinthie

Photo of von BÜLOVE wearing glasses and a pink headscarf on a blue background
von BÜLOVE

von BÜLOVE sets are full of slick, body-popping jams; from funk-inflected electro to bugged-out breaks and deep, groove-laden house, her selections feel understated and full of detail at the same time. The DJ has been on the Bucharest scene for well over a decade, witnessing the (ro) minimal scene at its peak, before co-launching the Queer Night Bucharest party series in 2010, which still runs biannually. In 2016, she took things further with Corp, a platform promoting local female-identifying and non-binary artists, and with it a regular podcast (Corpcast) detailing topics relevant to Bucharest ravers.

But life wasn’t always this music focused. A former architect, BÜLOVE worked in planning for years before giving it up for a number of “ideological and practical reasons”. She has, however, found the perfect blend between the exacting discipline of that field and a love for sound in her work as an acoustician. Her Unanim Acoustics company, co-run with her brother, fits out private studios across Europe — so far, the pair have redesigned suites in Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, as well as locations closer to home. But it’s BÜLOVE’s ear for productions that punch, pop and crackle, her feel for bright melodies and playful rhythms, that put her on our radar. RIA HYLTON

For fans of: CCL, Jaye Ward, DJ Voices

Photo of Xylitol wearing a white shirt on a blue background
Credit: Fran Young
Xylitol

Astral arpeggios that spiral off into infinity; intricate bleeps and bloops that ping around your synaptic pathways; soaring Alpha Centauri synths; all underpinned by tearing hyper-speed breakbeats and bumping garage rhythms. These are the brilliantly synthesised elements that feed into the music of Xylitol. The moniker of UK producer Catherine Backhouse, AKA DJ Bunnyhausen, on the surface, her mix of jungle, hardcore and UKG beats with the kind of galactic synth work you might hear in the cosmic records of 1970s German bands like Cluster or Harmonia shouldn’t work. Put on her new ‘Anemones’ album for Planet Mu, however, and you’ll find the perfect meeting point between the swoon of head-trip harmonics and dancefloor beats.

“While jungle and kosmische musik don’t seem like obvious bedfellows, there was that strain of jungle techno, you could call it dolphin jungle — tunes like Rupert Parkes’ [Photek] ‘Drift To The Centre’ or Orca ‘Intalect’ — that had this all-encompassing stillness and this intense rhythmic propulsion at the same time,” Backhouse says. “With this album, I’m trying to honour that moment when the intersection of cosmic music and breakbeat science seemed the most natural thing in the world, and bring it to the present.” Imagine a trippier take on ambient jungle and you’re halfway to capturing Xylitol’s mesmerising sound. BEN MURPHY

For fans of: LTJ Bukem, Aquarius, T.Power

Photo of Bamao Yendé wearing a white vest on a blue background
Credit: Pablo Vabene
Bamao Yendé

Underground musical artist, DJ and producer Bamao Yendé, founder of Boukan Records, crafts a vibrant fusion of kuduro, batida and funk, infusing his tracks with percussive and pulsating rhythms, and infectious melodies that capture the dynamic energy of the dancefloor. The French artist’s most recent EP, ‘Time To’, marks his debut on Club Djembe, and features four original tracks, plus his ‘Donkey Kong 98’ version of ‘Dios Mio’, showcasing a vibrant mix of eclectic electronic elements, and delivering an exhilarating listening journey. The lead track, ‘Time To’, opens the EP with an infectious ddhol drum beat, and the bouncy ‘Gyal’ electrifies the dancefloor with its captivating soca rhythms. Meanwhile, ‘Dt Spk’, featuring Viso, blends Portuguese and French lyrics, crafting a club hit.

On his earlier EP, ‘Polizia Romantico’, Yende delved into batida, UK garage and R&B fusions, highlighting genres that are often overlooked in the Parisian nightlife music scene. With his unique and boundary-pushing sound, Bamao Yendé is set on a path to greatness. YOHANNA DELAPORTAS

For fans of: DJ Lycox, Vanyfox, Pongo

Photo of Maya Randle wearing a black tracksuit and posing on a chair against a blue background
Maya Randle

For six years, Birmingham-bred artist Maya Randle worked as a chef. During tireless 14-hour shifts, she pored over ingredients, experimenting with the right combinations to make tastebuds sing. Nowadays, she’s pushing other senses into overdrive with her deeply emotive take on dancefloor drum & bass. On her forthcoming ‘composure’ EP, arriving on the independent New York City-based Pack label on 11th July, Randle’s pop appeal is front and center. This is particularly true in the cut ‘Set Me Free’, which pairs fluttering piano keys with warm, enveloping vocals. Lush and beautiful, it packs seriously sentimental depth into its tight two-and-a-half-minute package, much like the remainder of the extended player’s eight tracks, all magnificently textured. Another standout is ‘one more time’ with Milkz0121.

This comparably minimal treat satisfies with its stripped-back structure — a tune that makes us suspect that if her meticulous attention to detail was as strong in the kitchen as in the studio, the foodie scene’s lost a real one. Lucky for dance music fans, there’s a whole new crowd hungry for the sonic delights that this rising star whips up. MEGAN VENZIN

For fans of: Chase & Status, Koven, Sub Focus

Black and white photo of Dr. Sud in the studio placed on a blue background
Dr. Sud

Gregorio Marigliano, who makes music as Dr. Sud, has been releasing tunes for a few years now, zeroing in on a lush jazz-kissed style that’s innately alluring. Chords are rich but never overwhelming; synth leads are soaring but never wonky; rhythms are full of lively flourishes but never stray far from the dancefloor. It’s a sound that the Rome-born, Berlin-based producer has been perfecting for a few years now. Tracks like 2020’s ‘Hold On’ (on the Closer To Truth label’s ‘Chapter Five’ compilation) and the following year’s ‘Vesuvio Flip’ (on Juicy Traxxx’s ‘Juicy Spring Sampler’) were laid-back deep house gems, while last year’s ‘Heading South’ EP added a variety of breaks to his repertoire.

All of those releases were top-tier, but his latest, the about-to-drop ‘Point Of View #4’ on the Italian label Cognitiva Records, is another level, with its two original tracks, the polyrhythmically uplifting ‘Breakfast Sun’ and the tumbling ‘Desert Wind,’ augmented by a trio of remixes that bring out the best in the tunes, courtesy of Turbojazz & Broke One, Gary Superfly, and Reekee. Both sumptuous and subdued, it’s another step in what could be a long career in music. BRUCE TANTUM

For fans of: Atjazz, Fred Everything, Jazzanova

Black and white photo of SKETCH wearing a hat on a blue background
Credit: Immi May
SKETCH

Talk about auspicious debuts: ‘Khayal’, the self-released first single from SKETCH, is a thing of wonder. Born in Singapore and now based in London, her Malay / Indonesian heritage runs through the track, with shades of gamelan ensembles and kompang percussion gliding over a syncopated kick to spellbinding effect. She cites trance as one of her early influences, and ‘Khayal’ does share some of the DNA of real-deal trance: it’s a transportive, deeply mesmerising tune.

SKETCH has been spinning for a few years now, with a sound that cycles between various subdued rave-tinged breakbeats and propulsive house and techno grooves — a 2023 mix for the Origin Tapes series, which leads off with what sounds like an early, dubbier iteration of ‘Khayal’, is a particularly worthwhile listen. But if ‘Khayal’ is any indication, she’ll also have a long studio career as well — she’s already got a follow-up EP in the works, due out by the end of the year, and we can’t wait. BRUCE TANTUM

For fans of: Skee Mask, Shed, Olav Basoski

Photo of Matt Martinez posing against the sunny sky on a blue background
Matt Martinez

If your name is Matt Martinez, it might seem like your logical trajectory is from the Bronx to the booth. However, this son of a Paradise Garage veteran and sibling to a famous familial pair (yes, those Martinez Brothers) took a slightly different path before landing in the nightlife realm. His first occupation — working on elevators — had its ups and downs, and after receiving a gentle nudge from his family, he finally enrolled in audio engineering school, where he learned how to weave together the melodies that permeated his childhood home.

Emerging technically astute from that education, Martinez now holds his own in high-profile venues like Hï Ibiza, where his Wild Corner sets leave no house sub-genre unturned. One captured last June, for example, sees the youngest Martinez veer between New York classics, Afro-house heat, hip-hop heaters, and disco gold, all with a signature touch of soulful swagger. Those sensibilities will likely transfer to his soon-to-arrive productions (we hear he’s currently in the studio working on his Nervous Records debut). When they do, it will be crystal clear that Matt is writing his own unique chapter in a legacy-laced story. MEGAN VENZIN

For fans of: Honey Dijon, Loco Dice, Mochakk