Having missed out on the poll last year by seven places, Dutch noise warrior Warface makes his debut against the backdrop of a world that indeed seems to be facing war. Quips (and geo-political problems) aside, with gabber seeping into the world of underground techno, Warface's sound — which mixes familiar elements from the world of EDM, high-pitched pop vocals, computer game-like melodies, with pounding, distorted hardstyle kicks — reflects a similar turn towards harder, more aggressive music on the main stage.
Check 'Welcome To The Jungle' for a trip into the bushes from which it sounds like there'll be no return, or his face-melting 160bpm set from Intents Festival 2017 (labelled on SoundCloud, we're guessing ironically, 'Warmup Mix') to hear an artist less bothered about his Spotify plays than tearing the audience a new one.
It's Youri Claessens who is the public face, but his partner Remco Prevoo (aka DJ Triax) has helped produce Warface's back catalogue, which already includes two albums, 2014's 'Art Of War' and 2015's 'The 9 Circles'. Often performing in a trademark mask that's part Darth Vader, part World War Two soldier, there's no doubting that Warface looks the part. And having mobilised his troops, this year his campaign was successful.