New year, who dis? A new batch boundary-pushing rising artists determined to conquer 2018, that’s who. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be amping up our FACT Rated coverage vital new acts you need to care about with lists and interviews introducing you to the most exciting newcomers set to storm the year ahead. Welcome to Rated Season.
The club music hopefuls guaranteed to fire up the dancefloor this year.
Club music continued to evolve at a breakneck pace in 2017. But what does 2018 hold for the scene? We’ve listed 10 artists we’re tipping for greatness over the next 12 months, from hardcore-influenced music from Stockholm to heady club rhythms from Cairo.
Skunky hip-hop, hectic rave and dense, narrative-rich atmospherics aren’t an obvious collection styles, but 1127 has brewed an potent concoction the three across mixes for Seagrave, Ceramics and Boiler Room. The Cairo producer and DJ is part a wave producers including Zuli, Kareem Lotfy and Onsy that prove there’s far more than electro chaabi coming out the Egyptian capital.
Chicago’s Ariel Zetina balances the city’s rich house music tradition with the influence a new generation artists pushing club music forward. 2017’s London Jade-featuring ‘Addy’ became a Midwestern anthem and we anticipate even more high-speed dancefloor energy from Zetina in the coming year.
2017 was Príncipe Discos’ best year to date and DJ NinOo’s two contributions – the languorous ‘Ambientes Leves’ and the brisk, insatiable ‘Saudades do Russel’ –were two huge reasons why. DJ NinOo might just be the artist to bring kuduro’s feverish swing to the masses.
2017 saw a rise in popularity hardcore dance music outside its traditional base (see: Country Music, Gabber Eleganza, Casual Gabberz), but few artists exemplify this trend quite like Stockholm’s HAJ300. Working both within and outside four-on-the-floor arrangements, HAJ300’s anarchic tracks and live recordings fer an insanity-inducing torrent distortion and emotional energy.
House Kenzo are ten described as an art, dance and production collective, but the Texas-based outfit is also an extension the performative vogue tradition that has dazzled on festival stages and clubs across the USA. Expect their collaboration with Rabit’s Halcyon Veil – which kicked f in 2017 – to continue to flourish in 2018.
Few producers master one genre, let alone two, but Newark’s Mvstermind emerged in 2017 as a standout purveyor both flex dance music and Jersey club, striking a balance between the measured heft the former and the all-out aggression the latter. Contemporaries such as Hitmakerchinx, Uninamise and Epic B all had a breakout 2017, but the coming year might just belong to Mvstermind.
Oli XL is behind Stockholm’s cutting edge W-I label (Celyn June, Chastic Mess, Lokey) and REDUX club nights, providing a Scandinan outpost for artists to flaunt the latest in cybernetic club sounds. His solo work, whose tightly coiled drum experiments put a sly, functional spin on generative abstraction, is also fantastic.
OLY’s music has developed significantly since the self-released Náyade EP was released in 2015, demonstrating a panache for flipping familiar rhythms into lithe, elastic dancefloor burners. The Mexican producer has also shown an ability to craft more abstract, blown out sounds, finding a community in like-minded artists Siete Catorce, AMAZONDOTCOM and Perro Sucio.
A staple the New York club scene, DJ, producer and writer Riobamba’s holistic approach to the dance music sounds Latin America made waves in 2017. Last year she signed to the Discwoman booking agency, so it’s fair to assume she’ll be breaking outside NYC in 2018.
$JAYY was put on the map collaborations with UNIIQU3, SWISHA, DJ Tray and Ase Manual, and the Cartel Music Group representative is primed to make a big statement 2018. The Jersey native is comfortable with footwork and hip-hop production, but club music is where he shines. Expect him to be everywhere in 2018.
Gabe Meier runs The Astral Plane. Find him on Twitter.
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