Cheeky Bubblers: Nine acts you need to hear this September
The latest and greatest DJs and producers rising the top this month. From percussive house, bass and breaks to galactic ambient and electro, here's September's list of next-gen talent you need to know...
Poté has already been on quite the journey, both literally and musically. Until the age of 12 he lived by the beach in St. Lucia, then moved to the rather less blissful North West London. Initially he produced South African gqom and baile funk influenced tracks for Lisbon’s Enchufada before a trip to Brazil turned him onto the funk carioca scene, which in turn reminded him of the soca radio stations he grew up hearing in St. Lucia.
The result is a debut album — ‘Spiral, My Love’ — that distills all these influences into something new and fresh. It mixes Caribbean heat with a futuristic production style and Afro drumming in spacious, emotive ways. It comes on Benji B’s Deviation label and features a track co-produced by Damon Albarn, as well as a vocal from ascending Ghanian-English rapper Kojey Radical, and comes after a European tour supporting Bonobo. Poté, then, is an essential new talent.
For fans of: Buraka Son Sistema, Muzi, Natureboy Flako
It's no secret that the music scene in Lisbon is thriving; and right now BLEID is one of the artists at the helm. She prefers to veer away from the traps of social media and instead expresses herself through varying forms of sound. Her live performances effortlessly weave breaks into techno and back again, blending atmospheres and fast-paced drum sequences. Just take her recent mix on Radio Cómeme as an example. You'd be hard pushed to pigeon-hole her DJ sets into any one genre, and that goes for her productions too. Her EP alongside fellow Lisbon resident Violet on naïve harnesses influences from jungle, UK hardcore and acid house, whereas her self-titled work on Labareda explores noise and slow-burning atmospherics. Alongside gigs as far-ranging as Czech Republic and Berlin, she holds a residency in her hometown at the feminist liberated techno party, Mina. Although she may prefer to keep her face firmly out of the limelight, BLEID is a name you'll be hearing for a long time to come.
For fans of: Lena Willikens, Redshape, Violet
Coming from an emotional state of dysphoria and general disorientation, Jessica Smurphy’s latest self-released work under the newly minted Upgrayedd Smurphy moniker is a joy of disjointed electronic dance music. ‘#Peninsula’ is firmly left-of-center but never alienating as it pairs pitched and time-stretched vocals with rambunctious percussion and a deluge of sinuous synth work. The LP opens with ‘Piramide’, a grainy but explosive development of hard swung beat production, and quickly drives through its tracklist of broken down bangers before pacing itself near the halfway mark with ‘Bahia’ and the title track. ‘#Peninsula’ plays as a single suite making for an entrancing and texturally unfurling headphone listen that also feels very intuitive and live. The very ‘in the moment’ aspect of the album was further matured through a series live performances with dancers, eventually evolving into a second recorded iteration also out now called ‘#InterDimensionalMagic’.
For fans of: Errorsmith, Nídia, Low Jack
Jessica Beaumont AKA Breakwave, is behind one of the UK’s most invigoratingly different club events: Meine Nacht. A small-scale, secret underground party that invites the freshest DJs to play in unorthodox venues around Liverpool, there’s a clandestine rave edge that adds to Meine Nacht’s appeal. “The location is not announced until the day it is going to happen,” Beaumont says. “I have hosted parties at art galleries, an old supermarket, a canteen and an old bakery, with guests such as Call Super, Pearson Sound, Skee Mask, Tasker and Courtesy. The event happens when it happens, and that’s usually when I come across a suitable space.”
Breakwave’s own DJ sets are a compelling and danceable blend of non-linear beats, from electro to jungle, and the many sub genres that have since sprung from them. “I’m into a lot of different stuff, so I think that comes across in my mixes,” she says. “I’m interested in blending styles, soundsystem culture. There’s a lot of new music using older styles: ideas mutate and become the sound of today.”
As well as co-running the excellent Deep Sea Frequency label with Or:la, Beaumont will soon launch a Meine Nacht imprint, and promises music of her own soon too.
For fans of: Afrodeutsche, Pangaea, Objekt
‘Economy And Failure’ is producer Brendan Dougherty’s remarkably sweet and minimal collection of considered DJ tools. Following his last release on Entr’acte, ‘Sensate’, Dougherty keeps things simple on this new outing with just a pair of headphones and a laptop as the production of the record is equally sparse. Despite such few parts rumbling around the stereo field, ‘Economy And Failure’ has a fullness that can be at times tear-inducing just as much as it calls on the body to move. ‘Perfecter’ is a clear highlight and a gorgeous piece of audio expounding on three percolating synth licks. Later on in the album ‘Doom The Mooch’ sputters on a reel bass and distorted melodies. The economic approach to composition and form reflects the title quite well, showing a person in a situation of dire straits squeezing endless amounts of possibility out of very rigid circumstances and the few devices at his disposal.
For Fans of: Gabor Lazar, Theo Burt, Lorenzo Senni
London born but based in Manchester via Liverpool and Madrid, Anz has been bubbling under for a couple of years and is now on the cusp of blowing up. Last summer her debut EP on Chow Down showed a real ability to take a loose grime template in myriad new directions. The four tracks leaned on steel drums, warped bass, digi-dub, stark minimalism and plenty of other UK reference points to really make an impact and get your body popping.
Since then, Anna-Marie Odubote has continued to establish her NTS show as one of the best (including picking up a Mixcloud award for it) as she races through sounds and scenes with real ease and energy. She first starting making beats aged 13 after growing impatient with jazz piano grade exams and now promises more tunes are in the works, while she also debuts at The Warehouse Project on 26th October.
For fans of: Batu, Jamz Supernova, Sherelle
Parisian DJ, producer and sculptor Erwan Sene appreciates the weirder side of electronic music. Making his name in the city’s effervescent underground, playing at spots such as Concrete and La Station, he’s shaped an individual style somewhere between mechanical grind and software gloss. On Sene’s recent guest show for Rinse FM France, he delved into the strangest machine sounds, from slo-mo electro to dark wave and oddball beatless material, connecting them all together with a fastidious ear for detail.
Influenced as much by Oneohtrix Point Never as he is by electronic pioneer Muslimgauze, Sene’s new EP for Berlin label Unknown Precept, ‘I Heard You Laughing’, finds him exploring the murky peripheries of lo-fi IDM. Created using arcane Russian drum units such as the Formanta Rokton UDS, ‘Trade Union’ is an unsettling merge of industrial clank, ambient sounds and fuzzy textures, its psychedelic blips and metallic drums like exploring a subterranean network of corrugated piping. “My wish was to create a powerful and ample sound with saturated elements,” Sene says, “creating an ambivalence between two aesthetics: a lo-fi approach and a more digital harmonic management. Industrial sounds install a kind of tension.”
Look out for new material and a sculpture/sound project soon.
For fans of: Lanark Artefax, Not Waving, Raime
Steel City Dance Discs is Mall Grab's vinyl-only label dedicated to, as he puts it, “emotional club tools”. The label's latest release by Melbourne's Nite Fleit is exactly that. It's a four-track EP delving into twisted electro and acid techno set to shake up club soundsystems the world over. Surprisingly, this marks her first solo EP, even though her work bears the expertise of a well-seasoned producer. Before that, she teased us with remixes of Jun Kamoda and Xanga on Montreal's Multi Culti. Alysha Fleiter, aka Neit Fleit, quickly made a name for herself on the DJ circuit in Australia with sets leaning towards industrial techno, EBM and gritty electro. It's clear that she's about to do the same across Europe; last month she supported Mall Grab at Whoosah in The Hague, Dabadaba in Spain and landed a guest spot on Rinse FM. Over the next few months find her club-hopping through London, Scotland, Liverpool, Leicester and Southampton, and we're certain there's plenty more to come.
For fans of: Volvox, Sync 24, Roza Terenzi
If you’re from Dublin and inclined to listen to the rougher, rowdier side of techno, you’ll have heard of Tommy Holohan. If you’re not, you may have caught the young producer play in London’s Corsica Studios or discovered his unruly ‘Ros Eó’ EP, released on Civil Disobedience Records back in July. Basing his first CDR release around ideas which pay homage to scenes from his hometown of Rush, you can almost smell the burning plastic in ‘South Beach Burnin Bins’, with its amalgamation of crusty hardcore, slamming techno and gnarly jungle laced throughout the track and EP itself. Pushing this sound further, Holohan’s Rave Selekts imprint acts as a platform to showcase new music in his own time and it’s just as well — Holohan’s schedule includes a date at Ireland's Electric Picnic, an upcoming debut vinyl release on Haven and ongoing residency with the Dublin based Techno and Cans crew.
For Fans of: Aphex Twin, Dax J, Altern 8
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