This Saturday sees Data Transmission’s Class of 2016 hit the Big Chill House – the event’s fifth consecutive year in Kings Cross. As always, the line up promises to showcase the very best future stars of the dance music world, from Defected upstart As I Am to fast rising Frenchman Urbymn and bootleg king Archie B, with extra special guests Rhythm Masters dropping in to wish us an especially happy eighth birthday. Before Data Transmission touches down at the House on January 30th, however, we decided to look at eight other artists who we think are about to enjoy the biggest of 2016s.
We need to talk about Shift Work. No, we’re not recommending you start working nights – we are of course talking about new Houndstooth signings of the same name who we’re tipping for a very, very big 2016.
Having seriously impressed with their debut EP on Optimo Music last year, the analogue loving pairing then served up a four track package for Fabric affiliated label Houndstooth complete with remixes from DVA Damas and Factory Floor. Titled ‘Document II’, the EP further showcased the duo’s perfect blend of intricate creativity, interestingly textured soundscapes and a raw power the likes of which we’ve not heard for some time. With a number of hot releases set to land in the coming months – unfortunately we’ve been sworn to secrecy regarding unveiling their details – we’re as sure as sure can be that their name will be one on the lips of fans and critics alike this year.
Every once in a while a small label you have no previous experience with comes along and blows you away with a release. More of a rarity however is when said independent imprint continues to blow you away on a regular basis with their following releases. For us, Limehouse based analog imprint Akute Records with their slew of inbound records – upon listening to their inaugural release we contacted the label to see what else they and imprint poster boy Dempa had in the pipeline – appear well set well be such an example.
A fascination with modular synthesizers and other analogue hardware runs through Dempa’s work, and he himself describes his method as “bringing life to the machines.” Bearing this in mind, it’ll come as little surprise when we tell you his mixes are vinyl-only. His selections vary between old and new material, dipping his toes into grainy melodic house and moody futuristic techno, all the while building a potent concoction of dusty percussion, entrancing synth-work and reassuring analogue crackle. Remember the name, you’ll want to look out for it next time you go vinyl shopping.
Already respected among her peers in the industry as a talented solo producer with releases o a number of cool underground labels and a host more about to drop imminently we thought it was about time you got to know her too. With roots in jazz and rock she quickly won us over as fans with her unique brand of impressionistic techno that pushes boundaries whilst showing respect for the ideals of the genres founding fathers. Put simply she’s destined for big things. Remember where you read about her first.
When it comes to finding new artists, there’s not many places better to keep your ear to the ground than Berlin. One of the city’s brightest new lights is Ansgar Rudolf, better known as ASA 808, and with the Spotlight Mix he delivered for us last year it was easy for us to see why.
First popping up in 2008 with his hasta la otra méxico! project, Ansgar stepped into the limelight after his stargazing ‘túrána hott kurdís’ video scooped the NASA APOD award later that year.
Although a classically trained musician with a penchant for jazz, a keen interest in electronic music pushed Ansgar to create ASA 808. Having drummed up a loyal following with his Toys club nights at Prince Charles, Ansgar has started now flexing his production skills too. 2015 saw the release of his wonderfully eerie Ignorance EP via George Fitzgerald‘s ManMakeMusic, a record that insured our spotlight was firmly fixed on ASA 808 and will continue to do so this year.
There seems to be a growing urge amongst electronic producers to be unclassifiable, to genre-hop and remain broad in both influence and output. Whether this says something about the general open-mindedness of the creative population, or it’s a calculated attempt to frustrate pernickety journalists, we’re enjoying this progressive blurring of boundaries, and that’s exactly why we also enjoying the work of GhostChant.
Touching on everything from trappy hip hop to indietronica and RnB jams, GhostChant – real name Joe Cornwell – covers a vast amount of sonic terrain and ties it all up neatly with an eclectic, future garage bow. Intricate production and effortless emotion were the name of the game on his debut album, Sincerity, for BBE Records and when it comes to his performances, Joe’s direction is very much the same. He performs both live and as a DJ, and his intriguing choices have already led to support slots alongside Zed Bias, Paleman, Gold Panda, Submotion Orchestra and Four Tet, the latter of which was at Hong Kong’s Clockenflap Festival. Expect to see him haunting a venue near you soon.
If you’re an up-and-coming producer whose debut release is commanding the attention of Roman Flügel, Mano Le Tough and Bicep, it’s safe to say you’re doing something right. Hailing from Belfast, LOR is doing just that; his focus on hypnotic melodies and subtle experimentation gaining support from big names across the world of techno and underground electronica.
LOR’s aforementioned debut release was a 3-track set of remixes, on which the Irishman put his spin on tracks from three very different musical heavyweights: Derrick Carter, Arthur Russell and Kraftwerk – the latter of which particularly piqued our interest here at DT.
Accompanying each track was a video also created by LOR. The producer has a penchant for building complex patterns from simple computer code, so he knock up entrancing clips that look halfway between MS-DOS and a Spirograph set.
It’s rumoured that those canny folk over at Get Physical – and a host of other esteemed imprints – have already asked to hear some original material from LOR, so keep up-to-date with this hotly-tipped talent because we’re expecting him to be all over the place in 2016.
Solardo is a name that’s been coming up an awful lot recently, and for all the right reasons. The collective moniker of MRK1 and James Eliot, it has come to mean the exciting new face of UK dance music, unleashing cutting edge house and techno to devastating effect.
After Solardo’s breakthrough single, ‘New Jam’, first turned up in the DT office, it didn’t take long for us to jump on the Solardo bandwagon. Signed to Viva Music, the track went on to become an Ibiza anthem over the summer, picking up heavy play from well, pretty much everyone.
With one of the most hectic release schedules we’ve ever seen planned for the coming year, we’re certain you’ll be hearing plenty more of Solardo in 2016. So don’t wait until the hype train has left the station jump straight on and kickstart your love affair with their fresh faced take on house and techno now. You won’t regret it.
At Data Transmission, we know it’s important to look beyond our borders for new talent… well, sort of. Heading just across the sea to Northern Ireland, there’s a bubbling dance culture ripe for picking and we’ve found just what we’re looking for in the form of Chris Hanna.
Having cut his teeth on the Belfast circuit, including a lengthy residency at the city’s Shine club, Chris has gradually extended his reach across the UK. With a handful of tracks out via Made Fresh Daily and Extended Play, Chris is now ramping up his production game and having made the most auspicious of debuts on fellow Irishman Ejeca’s Exploris imprint, looks set to further up the levels in the coming year. Get to know.