Kenny mix it? Yes he can!
Born and bred in Leeds, British producer and DJ Billy Kenny has been kicking up a storm since moving to Hanover, Germany. Not your typical Berghain-style DJ, the prolific producer broke through with 2014 release ‘Work’ and has had recent releases on Dirtybird, including ‘Sweat it Out’ which delivers on slick heavy-bass house styles. Currently touring the globe in 2016, the rising DJ expertly shapes choppy house sets with a tendency to craftily slip in techno, garage, Afrobeats — even drum & bass — here and there. Billy’s been in high demand too, playing alongside wildly-hyped house DJ, Hannah Wants, at Ibiza Rocks this season and he’s ready to showcase label ‘This Ain’t Bristol’ which he’s bringing to Berlin later on this year.
SOUNDS LIKE? Hannah Wants, Justin Martin, Will Clarke
While bass-heavy blends of techno, house and grime are providing a seemingly endless stream of quality tunes at the moment, the increased popularity of hybridisation naturally demands fresh experimentation, particularly from newcomers wishing to make an impact. London's Kouslin is a producer more than willing to put his own spin on proceedings, planting his feet firmly in the club, while keeping his head in the lab. Despite few official releases, he's garnered key support within the UK underground; his recent 'Suga's Drums' EP for Mdnght — a heady dancefloor two-tracker infused with tribal rhythms and vox — resonating with tastemakers such as Toddla T and Ben UFO. Continuing in this vein, Kouslin is launching his own label Le Chatroom this month, with a mantra based around open-mindedness. Joining him on the debut release are Galtier and Sheik, resulting in three tracks of carnivalesque, polyrhythmic madness. Ears peeled for this one!
SOUNDS LIKE? Kowton, Batu, Pearson Sound
Ströme and funky!
Dance music has just got a whole lot more impressive! Starting off as bandmates in the German techno band ‘LaBrassBanda’, Ströme are now poised to conquer the electronic world as a piping-hot new disco(tech) duo. Using a huge modular synthesiser, the pair conjure euphoric kosmische melodica, made of tough drums-kicks, lush lunar harmonics and rubbery synths that are simply just addictive. Their first official EP release on Compost Records, ‘Nr.1’ (out September), offers three tracks of intimate bleepy techno guaranteed to immerse you in a deep, funky hypnotic trance every time you hear them. Their live analogue show is already the next big thing on the German dance scene and there's an album planned for February. Watch this space!
SOUNDS LIKE? Todd Terje, Metro Area, Jay Shepheard
Wise beyond his years
Despite making his debut releases on Butane’s Alphahouse and Little Helpers labels last year, Tunisian Ben Aus’ sophisticated compositions don’t reflect an artist at the beginning of his career, already finding their way into the record boxes of Anja Schneider, Joris Voorn, Steve Lawler and Matt Tolfrey, to name just a few. Aus returns to Alphahouse in September with his ‘Under Volcan’ EP, a four-tracker of groove-led tech-house cuts made up of intricate percussion, hypnotic sequences, warping synths and melodic sweeps.
Chances to see him spin have been limited outside his North African homeland as yet, but a number of solid podcasts indicate that once ‘Under Volcan’ inevitably blows up following its release at the end of the summer, it won’t be long before he’s making waves on a global scale.
SOUNDS LIKE? Joseph Capriati, Paco Osuna, Anja Schneider
Detroit’s (new) new wave
Generation Next is the aptly-titled moniker of Tre Strickland, son of Detroit producer Big Strick, who started making entirely analogue music at just 14 before seeing his debut release as an 18-year-old with his self-titled 12” on his father’s 7DaysEnt label in 2013. What has followed is a steady stream of masterfully-crafted deep house cuts on the imprint including 2014’s ‘Nocturne’, last year’s ‘Ender’ and this summer’s ‘Our Time In Different Lives’.
Music clearly runs in the family, as Strickland is also the cousin of none other than Omar-S, who the young producer has been working with as well as the likes of OB Ignitt and fellow Detroit youngster Jay Daniel. Alongside Kyle Hall, that group form a new wave of Detroit prodigies making understated house music that follows in the footsteps of Theo Parrish, John Beltran, Marcellus Pittman and countless others, deservedly putting the world’s attention back on the Motor City.
SOUNDS LIKE? Kyle Hall, DJ Qu, Ron Trent
Young gun for hire
Professional Gigolo is the Italy-born Essen-based producer, known to the taxman as Emanuel Morciano, who has been turning out releases built around spacy synths, shuffling grooves and cosmic energy on labels like Hudd Traxx and Isendit over the last 12 months. He returned this summer with his ‘Ligeia’ EP on Steve Bug’s Audiomatique Recordings, as well as an edit of Pino D’Anigio’s Italian disco gem ‘Ma Quale Idea’. The two releases demonstrate his versatility as producer, ranging from Norwegian cosmic disco to dubbyM funk-fueled house.
Morciano has built a solid reputation for himself on the decks too, playing alongside a slew of talent from Essen including The Unhottest, Ahmet Sisman, Cramp and Simon Hildebrandt at local venue Goethebunker, as well as warming up there earlier this year for KiNK. His sets ride a line between spacey deep house, skewed tech and warped disco, and suggest the Professional Gigolo name isn’t going to be contained within Germany for much longer.
SOUNDS LIKE? Prins Thomas, André Hommen, Nebraska
Greazy does it
When Vancouver producers HxdB and DJ Cure first joined forces back in 2014 — producing the booming halftime number 'Sound The Alarm', which became the official remix contest track for that year's Shambhala Music Festival — something clicked. Enough so, in fact, that the pair decided to team up permanently under the new alias Greazus, and fun times ensued. Scoring releases for Vandal LTD, Hospital Records and most recently Critical Sound (remixing a track for Redders' new EP), the duo perfected a roughneck, juke sound, often collaborating with Detroit's Sinistarr.
With their upcoming four-tracker for London label Diffrent Music (titled 'Greazus <3 U', of course) the Canadians are stripping back on percussion and pushing bass to the forefront. Militant, ballsy and built solely for the purpose of devastating dancefloors, this is not one to miss! Time to get greazy!
SOUNDS LIKE? Sinistarr, Fracture, Om Unit
If you've been to a bass house rave anytime in the past few years, chances are you've heard a Majora track. Splitting his time between Bristol and Berkshire, 23-year-old Daniel Evans-Jones has honed a sound that's easiest described as the epitome of UK club music, echoes of UK funky, garage and even drum & bass permeating each track to the core. Dan's catalogue is a varied one, with label's like Kry Wolf's Sounds of Sumo, sat alongside Serive and even Tessier-Ashpool, whilst the records themselves have found their way into the bags of the nation's finest, spun by the likes of DJ EZ, Hannah Wants, Dusk & Blackdown and Mistajam to name but a few. With his new rough 'n' ready 'Urges'/'Lint Roller' EP for Roska Kicks & Snares bringing pure fire to the floor, plus a tour with label boss Roska set for the autumn, Majora is on track to become a... well, major player in 2016.
SOUNDS LIKE? Roska, Conducta, Harry Judda
House in motions
Crossing the shores to the UK in 2014, Canadian DJ Brendan Neals aka Motions started his rise through the dance music's ranks ever since his first ever release, on Skream's Of Unsound Mind. Now based back in Montreal he collectively works on his label 00:AM, managing to bag his favourite DJs such as Prosumer and Nautiluss to come party in the Canadian city. His next is a return to the label that launched him; the A-side, 'Makin' Me Wait', is a soulful banger, 'A Fool's Beat' is a powerful melodic disco and 'Solstice Symptoms' delivers the perfect foundation to warm up any night (think: atmospheric pulses, melodic beats and plenty of acid). Already playing alongside The Black Madonna, Palms Trax and Lauer, Motions will hopefully be returning to the UK in 2017 – be prepared!
SOUNDS LIKE? Audion, Tuff City Kids, Krankbrother
Spice up your life
We love a spot of Laksa, be it in the form of a tasty noodle soup or a record from one of the UK’s hottest new producers. Debuting with a three-tracker for Beneath’s Mistry label last year, Laksa may have kept a low profile on a personal level — all we know is the enigmatic artist is Bristol-born and London-based — yet caused a storm musically. Titled ‘Draw For The’, the EP conjures up a strange sense of unease through playful, unpredictable drum-work and the haunting effects of delay. This utterly hypnotic, vaguely madness-inducing sound is continued in Laksa’s forthcoming follow-up; written after the recent vote by UK MPs to bomb Syria, ‘66 Rebels’ (the name referring to the 66 Labour members who voted in favour of bombing) offers chaotic layering that perfectly sums up our uncertain times, the artist’s fury boiling over by way of an unyeilding percussive creschendo. Gripping, raw and wholly unique — we’re already hungry for more!
SOUNDS LIKE? Pangaea, Objekt, Peverelist