Lady grinning soul
R&S off-shoot Meda Fury continue their mission to uncover house music's most prodigious talents, this time shining their light on Lady Blacktronika, aka Akua Marcelle Grant. Raised in San Jose, California, where she frequented the Bay Area's clubs during the '90s, she's now based in Berlin. But her pedigree as a producer was spotted back in the days of MySpace by Mike Huckaby, who remixed her 2007 release 'It's All About Survival', a track obliquely referencing her experiences of street life.
With two albums to her name, and a tempo-crossing style stretching from beatdown to classic US deep house, her latest 'Oh So Cold EP' concentrates on the dancefloor, while also utilising her beginnings as a vocalist.
The title track is fittingly crystalline and haunted, while 'Just Myself To Blame' throws minor Detroit chords over a pulsing bass and 'Closer Look' switches the mood with a bright ear-worming arpeggio. Perhaps best though are 'Akusa Heart', with its stuttering, polyrhythmic African percussion and the driving 'Trim The Breaks', a high tension ride of opposing stabs and floating chords powered by rolling snares and swung bass.
SOUNDS LIKE: Mike Huckaby, DJ Qu, Theo Parrish
Hard grooving techno
Nought to do with Disclosure, WHYT NOYZ is the now solo project from David Sidley that begun back in 2010 and hit the ground running shortly after, catching the eye of Richie Hawtin — who instantly signed it.
Stylistically speaking, there’s a real honesty with his output, having produced a strict sound of pounding low-end, brash-hatted, weird and wonky synthesized and groovy techno, but it’s not only Minus who admire WHYT NOYZ. SCI+TEC, KD Music, Alleanza and Tronic have all released EPs from the Midlands outfit.
2015 has seen a number of various artist inclusions but it’s the July-released 'Heart Strings EP' that stands head and shoulders above the rest; four meaty slices of techno that will guarantee to get you moving. Catch him warming up for Richie Hawtin on his world tour and if you’re lucky, at a UK gig very soon.
SOUNDS LIKE: Reset Robot, Dubfire, Adriatique
What about Bob?
Bobby O’Donnell is a name already established amongst serious Leeds clubbers. However, the Mint Club and System resident is now making his name well known on the continent.
With an auditory dispatch inherent in commodious, moody deep house, Bobby has unleashed his analogue productions through Fred P’s Boards imprint as well as through his own label Strobewax, which he runs alongside fellow System resident, Annie Errez.
His back catalogue of groove-infused, mystical underground cuts have landed him with an impressive release lined up on Steve O’ Sullivan’s Mosaic, which is set for release later this year. Keep an eye out for the name Bobby O’Donnell, this guy is going places.
SOUNDS LIKE: Steve O’ Sullivan, Jamal Moulay, Nima Gorji
Music scenes may fade, but none ever truly die, at least not whilst Ipman is around. Herefordshire's offering to the revivalist revolution, Jack Gibbons is rewriting the history books in his own savage language, bringing '90s rave and soundsystem culture back into the post-dubstep ecosystem, and wielding the ability to unleash relentless force at a moment's notice — a skill his Wing Chun Master namesake would be proud of.
Previously scoring releases through Osiris and Tempa, Gibbons is set to drop his debut album, 'Depatterning', this September via Pinch's pioneering Tectonic imprint.
An indefinable barrage of sinister garage, gut-busting breaks, techno and dubstep (complete with real dub!), the album has not only stamped the name Ipman firmly into our minds, but sent a ten-tonne roundhouse at our chest-plates too. A dedicated member of the ever-growing army of granular and modular synth-users, Ipman is destined to become the weapon of choice for hardware addicts around the nation.
SOUNDS LIKE? Killawatt, Bruce, Pangaea
Better than Okay
Bumpy b-lines and seductive spoken melodies combine on Janis' brand-new EP, 'You Can't See Me'. It's the seventh release to drop via Chicago imprint Argot, and sees the Frankfurt-based producer play with sultry vox and oozy chords — every track on this EP is guaranteed to make ears prick on the dancefloor.
Not content with just producing, Janis also heads up his own stellar imprint, House Is Okay, alongside his long-time pals Homeboy & Oliver Achatz, that's hosted releases from Eddoh, plus several of Janis and Homeboy's own EPs. Set up with “the intent to release quality dance music for the listener, dancer and DJ”, we can't wait to hear what's coming next from Janis and the House Is Okay crew.
SOUNDS LIKE: Detroit Swindle, PBR Streetgang, Leon Vynehall
THE WILLERS BROTHERS
Whatchu talkin' about, Willers?
These two loveable brothers from the norf might play as Egg LDN residents every weekend, but that hasn't stopped them branching out. Favouring chunky, stripped-back groove-based house, you can bet your bottom dollar on one of their slow-building DJ sets.
Their productions are just as consistent. Teaming up with Paolo Macrì for 'Follow The Rep EP' on Beagle Traxx most recently, we're presented with three deep, druggy, dubbed out cuts with heady touches of acid. They've also put out solo stuff on Yoruba Grooves and remixed DJ Dep for Carpe Diem Music, but we get the feeling things are just getting going for them Willers Brothers.
SOUNDS LIKE: John Dimas, Diego Krause, Apollonia
JAD AND THE LADYBOY
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Don't be fooled by Jad And The Ladyboy's slightly bizarre title, Jad (real name Jad Lee) is serious about his tunes. A multi-talented instrumentalist and producer, he's also part of Brisbane-based indie outfit MITZI and girl/boy duo, Twiggy Lashes.
When he's not jamming on guitars he's crafting tracks for ultra-cool German labels Toy Tonics, Exploited and Sonar Kollektiv, plus collaborating with vocalists Stee Downes and soulful New York crooner, Mark Borgazzi. He's also just been added to DJ Mag's Fresh Kicks crew — check out his mix and Q&A via the DJ Mag website.
Sounds like: Psychemagik, Mark E, Tensnake
POLITICS OF DANCING
Politics Of Dancing specialise in slammers. The fiery French DJ duo — aka well-known Parisian party promoters S.M.A.L.L and PACO — have launched an imprint of the same name, playing host to tracks from Manchester's System2 plus remixes from Julien Sandre and Mome.
It's on their own productions where P.O.D really excel, with their 'Crack House EP' gaining some serious support with Ibiza techno dons including Apollonia and Ricardo Villalobos. Next up, they're playing dates with Mr Ks in Paris and Tuccillo in Spain, plus spinning on our brand new mix series, Fresh Kicks. Stay tuned!
SOUNDS LIKE: Weiss, Darius Syrossian, Hector Couto
Retro house rollers
Following releases on Correspondant and Astro Lab, Jimmy After's sound stands out. His latest jam, 'The Letter EP', is a stupidly good four-tracker that caught our eye almost immediately, and is set for release on super-cool New York imprint, Throne Of Blood.
'The Letter EP' sees Jimmy offer up two superb originals of warm, slow-stepping house; there's something distinctly retro-sounding about After's carefully crafted productions. The package also comes with two remixes from LA mainstay Daniel T from the Cosmic Kids, and Parisian legend, Crackboy — both are worth a spin. Fans of Jimmy should also dig up his past release on London imprint Days Of Being Wild — it's available for free download via Jimmy After's Soundcloud page.
SOUNDS LIKE: The Revenge, Late Night Tuff Guy, Tom Tom Club
Snapped up by Ralph Lawson and the 2020 Vision gang for the 'Dusk EP' (out this month), London's Lakosa has also dropped spaced-out grubby techno onto Tender Hooks as well as rumbling deep house onto 2nd Drop (both via collabs with Rick Grant). And judging by the stuff delivered to Yoruba Grooves and KINA Music as a solo artist, it's clear his take on house borrows from the darker, more dystopian burrows of dub-techno.
The new release for 2020 Vision finds his sound refined; still dubby and swarming with sub-bass, but perfectly layered and more cleanly produced than ever. Lakosa is a class act, you should get to know!