12 emerging artists you need to hear this December
The latest and greatest DJs and producers rising to the top this month. From thunderous techno and languid house to colourful bass and EBM, here's December 2019's list of upcoming talent you should be keeping track of
Yura Khlop, aka SE62, is a permanent fixture within Kiev’s dance music scene. After being invited to play alongside Mike Huckaby in 2015, he joined the family of core residents at the city’s clubbing institution, Closer. As a producer, his releases date back to 2009; reaching labels outside of his native Ukraine, Khlop’s early EP on My Love Is Underground — one of his most defining moments as an artist — earned him attention across Europe, leading to gigs alongside Jeremy in Paris and further afield. His sound pays respect to classic Chicago and Jersey house music — his EP on Hot Haus Recs last year encompassed Jazz-N-Groove-style chords, pumping percussion and a hip-hop infused B-side. There will be more releases in 2020 that he’s yet to reveal, and during the winter months he’ll be on warm-up duty at Closer for the likes of Seth Troxler and Patrice Scott.
For fans of: Brawther, Point G, Anton Kubikov
São Paulo-based DJ, producer and promoter Amanda Mussi is making moves on many different fronts. As well as being a skilled selector who mixes up acid, techno and electro, she runs the Alt-bookings agency which promotes cultural exchanges in South America’s underground, has hosted her own party Dûsk for five years and is a strong presence in the queer scene.
All this has led to her breaking out of South America and playing key clubs in New York, Berlin and Moscow, as well as being asked to play for Ben Klock’s Photon in her hometown. She’s just as busy on the release front too, with a debut EP on Renato Cohen’s Massa Records and a hard techno follow-up in November on Unterwegs with Brazilian legend The Lady Machine.
For fans of: Amelie Lens, Charlotte de Witte, Anastasia Kristensen
Mexico-born but Vienna-based LDY OSC describes herself as “a frontier-busting scrambler of sines” and we couldn’t put it better. She has long been drawn to the rage of industrial, the darkness of wave, and the visceral thrills of punk, but she distills it all into music that is spacious and eerie, dubby and tripped-out.
More than a decade after falling in love with electronic music, and nine years after majoring in music and sound engineering in New York City, she has toured with Artefactos De Dolor alongside Todd Sines and Archetype, and is now focused on her solo career. She’s released on The Bunker New York as well as Swedish label Kontra-Musik, gaining support from Lena Willikens. There is a brilliant weirdness to LDY OSC’s music that is intriguing and unsettling, keeping you on edge as her dystopian grooves unfold. It’s the perfect sound for the turbulent times we live in.
For fans of: Lena Willikens, Kassem Mosse, Mozhgan
Originally from Amsterdam but now London-based, DJ Soraya Brouwer is behind the influential Truants music website. Celebrating 10 years of operation in 2020, Truants was set up as an outlet where Soraya and friends could shout about their favourite sounds and DJs. “Truants is an independent editorial platform,” she says. “The ambition was to create a space where one can freely talk about and discuss music without any outside interference. We all met via music messaging blogs and forums, so we have carried over this collective hive-mind mentality to everything we do.”
Soraya’s beguiling DJ sets enlivened dances from Morocco to Finland in 2019, encompassing the melodic, warmer sides of underground house and techno. “When I first started DJing, I was mostly mixing hip-hop and electro, so I like to think that my taste is quite eclectic,” Soraya adds. “It’s important for me to use my DJing to showcase music by new artists, but I let the crowd dictate what they’re feeling.” Check out her recent mix for Discwoman, which ranges from languid four-four to heavier EBM and electro.
For fans of: Elles, Powder, Nite Fleit
Ninja Tune imprint Counter snapped up the new EP by UK producer TSHA, and one listen will demonstrate why. Filled with the kind of loose-limbed, organic grooves that Ninja artists like Bonobo specialise in, TSHA’s ‘Moonlight’ EP has live-sounding percussion and acoustic string-plucks amid its warping synths and four-four kicks. The delicate mbira grooves and melancholy tones of highlight ‘Me You’ indicate her gift for making accessible-yet-heartfelt rhythms; a combination that has seen TSHA recently recording a mix for Beats 1 radio and picking up plaudits from Pete Tong to Billboard magazine.
TSHA’s ascent has been speedy: amid her busy summer of festival and club gigs, Bonobo himself included her 2019 single ‘Sacred’ on his ‘Fabric presents’ mix, and George FitzGerald added the same tune to his Radio 1 residency show. Big things clearly beckon.
For fans of: Peggy Gou, Caribou, Ross From Friends
After a spell in Paris to buy himself some space and time to make music, away from juggling day jobs and running labels, Alec Falconer is back in London. He’s still producing, of course, and is now making moves on labels like Dr Banana, Rue De Plaisance, and GOSU’s EXT-series with heady, punchy, minimal house and garage tackle, built to hook crate-diggers and back-room ravers alike.
As a DJ, Falconer likes to surprise and subvert. “I’m always interested to see what I can get away with,” explains the boss of 2X, a white label outlet. “When someone asks you an ID and the response makes them say, ‘Reaaaaaally?’ I love that.” Whatever he plays, he gets the party going, and has played cult spots in Georgia as well as secret boat parties in East London. As someone who can make up to six tracks in a week, be prepared to hear lots more from this talent in 2020 and beyond.
For fans of: Slow Life, Nicolas Lutz, Sonja Moonear
Based out of Victoria, British Columbia, AppleCat self identifies her sound as “cosmic carnal fairytale bass.”
Dark, brooding, and consistently mesmerizing, AppleCat believes that an individual with an artistic passion has a simple choice... “feed it, or be devoured by it.” AppleCat is currently exploring new grimy low-end sounds in preparation for a Spring 2020 Californian tour. She’s also in the process of curating the next phase of two-event series; Erotica Electronica & Deep Space. The first is meant to be a non-intimidating look inside the worlds of alternative sexuality and music.
Created to facilitate a deep exploration into one’s psyche; these events are meant to free patrons from typical societal constructs. AppleCat’s second major series focuses purely on music; the darker and more bass driven, the better.
For fans of: Rezz, 1778-L, Pretty Lights
Red Bull Music Academy alumni Lewis CanCut has made a name for himself by blending percussive house and tropical disco. Over the years, the Melbourne native has held residencies at clubs like Revolver, The Espy and First Floor, and has played festivals like Golden Plains, Merideth, Future Music and Summer Dayze.
Aside from his solo career, Lewis is also known for being a part of Melbourne tropical soundsystem Congo Tardis #1. The Scattermusic label boss has released on imprints like Mad Decent, Moshi Moshi and Ministry Of Sound. In late October, his ‘Air Condition’ EP came out via NLV Records. The EP, which features TIGARAH and Jordan Variant, sees Lewis at his finest, delivering masterfully produced, genre-defying sounds.
For Fans Of: Donatachi, Nina Las Vegas, TIGARAH
Lizzy Jane is shaking up dance music with her hard-hitting dubstep originals. Her productions have reached audiences far beyond her hometown of Orlando, by way of events like Space Yacht and Spring Awakening Festival. Based in Florida, Jane holds a residency at The Ritz Ybor in Tampa, a position that has catapulted her local star status. Recently, she’s taken to New York City, supporting names like Adventure Club, Virtual Riot, and Knife Party. From her first production, a remix of Swarm’s ‘Nothing’, which she released shortly after she began learning how to produce, to her newest track, ‘My Heart’, Lizzy Jane always takes pride in showing fans her journey through music. On the side, she runs a mix series called ‘The XO’ where she’s hosted Emalkay, Nitepunk, and Snowmass, among others.
For fans of: 12th Planet, Joyryde, Ghastly
Sita Abellan is not your usual techno DJ. Outside the booth, the Murcia native is also a fashion model with an impressive portfolio, featuring magazine covers and fashion shows. A true renaissance woman, Abellan is also a jewellery designer, with her latest collection, Lilith, being worn by the likes of Jorja Smith and Billie Eilish. Bridging her love for music and fashion, Abellan has been designer Jeremy Scott’s resident DJ for several years. She’s also toured the US alongside Felix da Housecat, and has played venues like Ushuaïa and DC-10, and festivals like Sonar Mexico, Lollapalooza Argentina and Holy Ship. In early 2020, she’ll add Friendship and Monterrey’s Tecate Pa’l Norte to that growing list of high-profile worldwide appearances.
For fans of: Adiel, The Martinez Brothers, Felix da Housecat
There are few words to describe MIME’s unconventional rise. This masked New York native was discovered on SoundCloud and booked for his first show at Hardrock Vegas when a promoter direct messaged him. Just a couple of days later, he was headlining a show in New York, and after a year, playing across the globe, including an appearance at Storm Festival in Shanghai. And he did it all without the assistance of a manager or agent.
His productions were initially inspired by hip-hop, but MIME eventually made the leap to house music and released remixes of Sean Paul’s ‘Get Busy’ and M.I.A.’s ‘Paper Planes’ before being commissioned to create official remixes of ‘Creep on Me’ by Gashi (feat. French Montana and DJ Snake), and ‘I Don’t Belong in this Club’ by Why Don’t We (feat. Macklemore)
For fans of: 4B, Kittens, BIJOU
Willaris. K’s international reputation is beginning to catch up to his notoriety within his home of Australia. Using techno, ambient and experimental as its building blocks, his performances from festivals and his recent headlining tour have found their way into the viral conversation for their new, but veteran- like energy. Willaris. K hasn’t always wanted to be a producer, only recently making the transition after connecting electronic music with his work as a high-voltage electrician.
His seven-track EP, ‘Alchemy’, debuted in 2018, showcasing a focus on constructing mood through an ebb and flow, moving in only a way that electronic music can move. Willaris. K has an EP out now via Astralwerks, and is currently on tour with RÜFÜS DU SOL.
For fans of: Kölsch, Bicep, Tale Of Us
Copyright Thrust Publishing Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.djmag.com as the source.