2015’s seen Stereosonic shake up their line-up in a big way. Headliner heroes like Armin van Buuren, Axwell /\ Ingrosso and Major Lazer are still there, but this summer there’ll be just as many new, boundary-pushing names making their Stereo debut. To make sure you haven’t missed any of the acts in Stereosonic’s new class of cool, we’ve picked out ten recruits we think are on track to steal the show at this year’s festival. Because from the techy-house of Hannah Wants to radio-ready hits from Galantis, the quality on this year’s bill runs deep.
LA’s Sam Vogel, AKA Jauz, is a dab hand at tinkering with syrup-slurred, chopped and screwed trap beats and putting some very vicious wubs on top of them, as his Diplo & Friends Guest Mix from earlier this year attests. This is where a youth spent listening to Atlanta rap, dubstep and old school jungle gets you – a broad musical palette to draw from whether you’re DJing or producing, and subsequent releases on Mad Decent, OWSLA and Buygore…even though you’re still finishing music production school. Jauz will bring the party.
If you aren’t already on board with the genius of Hannah Wants, now would be a good time to get familiar. The Birmingham-bred talent swept the UK and Europe in 2014, and this year has her poised to take over the rest of the world. The Brit’s credentials are certainly solid: she’s a resident at Amnesia Ibiza, her mixtape series rules Soundcloud, Pete Tong tapped her for an Essential Mix and she’s one of the rare new names who keeps it old school as a DJ first, and a producer second. And as for what Hannah – err – wants? “I want to be the biggest and best I can be. I want to gain a solid reputation around the world for my live DJ sets and mixtape series. I want to start my own tour next year. I want to get more into radio.” We’ve no doubt she’ll do all that, and more.
Montreal’s Snails deals in industrial grade bass music: a speaker-shaking dubstep/trap hybrid he calls ‘Vomitstep’ that’s already attracted the attention of names like Skrillex and Diplo. They called on him (and New York toaster Taranchyla) to add some extra heaviness to their Jack Ü laser-fest Holla Out, while his latest EP Free The Vomit has seen him on the road around the USA and destroying festivals like Electric Daisy Carnival. If you want to see the ground shaking like the ‘big one’ has finally hit the San Andreas Fault, then Snail’s set is where you need to be at Stereo.
It’s no accident that Galantis are as good as they are. Just look at who’s behind the handiwork: Miike Snow’s Christian Karlsson and Style of the Eye’s Linus Eklow teamed up for the project circa 2013, after cutting their teeth producing for little known names like Usher, Katy Perry, Britney Spears and Madonna. The union of two of the world’s most in-demand producers was bound to be big and sure enough, the Galantis hits haven’t stopped coming. In the first half of 2015, they’ve already given us chart-climbers in the form of Gold Dust, Runaway (U&I) and Peanut Butter Jelly, all of which you’ll find on their just-released debut album. Stereosonic marks the first ever Australian tour for the Swedes, and it’s one we’ve been hanging out for.
Cut Snake hail from Australia, but you might not know it. Gold Coast-bred Paul Fisher and Leigh Sedley went straight to Los Angeles to kick start their career, and the move has paid off. In just a few years, the boys have gone from virtual unknowns to certified Next Big Things with a non-stop tour schedule and a major label deal to boot. They’ve got the personality, too – Cut Snake are earning as much rep’ with their on-screen antics and “zero f*cks given” mantra as they are for their on-point house-ish tracks, like breakthrough hit Face Down and the deep and dirty Jungle Shrimp. About time they came home for a Stereosonic-sized victory lap, then.
DJ, producer, label head, adult actress, jewellery designer, model…Jessie Andrews has a lot of irons in the fire, but dance music is her passion. The Miami-bred, L.A.-based multi-talent has spent the last couple of years putting in some serious face time in clubs – as well as ticking off bigger shows at Coachella and Ultra Music Festival – proving her skills as a selector with a taste for disco and “any kind of house music”. Make it front and centre for her set and you might get to hear some of Jessie’s handiwork, too – Andrews has just released her driving new EP Usually Deep and is busy building up ZIVS, the imprint she founded to be able to share music when and how she wanted to. This is Andrews’ first Australian festival tour, and you can bet she’ll rock it.
For everyone who isn’t a hardcore fan of hard dance, the name Headhunterz might be unfamiliar: but for committed stompers, he’s pretty much the biggest name in the game (especially since former champions Showtek made a move sideways into big-room sounds). Dutchman Willem Rebergen, AKA Headhunterz, has stayed (mostly) true to his hardstyle roots, but he’s also branched out to collaborate with bass and trap acts like Krewella and Yellow Claw, as well as mainstage stars like Hardwell – so you can expect a festival set like Stereosonic to feature plenty of outrageously heavy hardstyle kick drums, but also enough genre variety to keep a diverse crowd entertained.
If you find yourself flagging in energy at Stereo, do yourself a favour and go see Tom Loud’s ridiculously fun, rather silly and endlessly dance-worthy audio-visual show Hot Dub Time Machine: “The World’s First Time Travelling Dance Party”. Loud has put together a show combining archive footage on the big screen with live audio mixing that takes you through the history of dance, from the Charleston, the Twist and the Mashed Potato right through to the modern day. Expect a whole lot of classic tunes and good times.
As one of Anjunabeat’s top guns, Andrew Bayer’s sound has always swung across multiple genres, from emotive, melodic trance to cinematic electronica and crisp electro-pop and future-house, but always characterised by sharp, intelligent production and sparkling sound design. If his set earlier this year at Ultra Miami is anything to go off, Stereo crowds can expect a healthy dose of his outstanding EP from earlier this year Do Androids Dream; we certainly hope so, at least, because it’s an EP custom made to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
Another round with the man behind Okay, everyone’s favourite dancefloor burner? Don’t mind if we do. Shiba San’s graduating from the club to the stage with his first Australian festival tour, making the trip out with his Dirtybird label head Claude VonStroke to give us all a masterclass in the art of bassline-heavy house. The tour will also be a good chance to get to know a producer who’s managed to stay mysterious since blowing up – hell, we don’t even know his real name. And as for Shiba San’s mission statement? “My joy comes from being able to make the exact kind of music I want to make, and to have no one telling me to change this or that.” Respect.
Saturday November 28 – Sydney
Sunday November 29 – Perth
Saturday December 5 – Adelaide
Saturday December 5 – Melbourne
Sunday December 6 – Brisbane