25 Locals Who’ll Rule 2017

At the end of each year, certified dance music tastemaker DAVE RUBY HOWE gives us his hot tips for the emerging local producers set to dominate the year ahead. In previous years, he’s predicted the ascendance of superstars like What So Not, Alison Wonderland and Wave Racer, as well as fast-risers like Golden Features, George Maple, Kilter and Carmada; read on and get the jump on the artists whose SoundClouds you’ll be stalking in the 12 months ahead.

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 #25 Feels

What do you get when you pair up two percussionists with an unscratchable itch for tinkering with new equipment? You get Feels, the Perth duo of Elise Reitze and Rosie Taylor, who together are making some wonderfully frenetic and eclectic electronic music. Though they’ve only been releasing stuff for the last year, it’s been pretty enchanting stuff and you get the feeling these two are onto something good.

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#24 Ninajirachi

We don’t expect Ninajirachi to achieve total world domination in 2017, given she’ll still be in high school next year. Nonetheless, Gosford-based producer Nina Wilson is a worthwhile inclusion on this list for the consistency she’s shown in this past year, with a steady output of intelligent and quirky electronic tunes that have caused the right ripples across the web. If she’s been this good before even turning 17, imagine the potential that lies ahead.

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#23 Golden Vessel

Brisbane’s Golden Vessel has been sculpting his guns as studio head since his mid-teens, so much so that his 2016 EP Before Sleep was six tracks of pure flex mode. An avid collaborator, GV has already worked with local legends like Woodes, MTNS and Lastlings, nabbed the support slot for Willow Beats, and backed up successful trips to Bigsound and EMCPLAY with a freshly inked record deal that’ll keep him on the up and up (and up) for 2017.

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#22 Frost

You’d probably feel like the best thing since three ply dunny roll if you got the chance to remix dance titan Zhu as a young producer. That’s exactly what Sydney producer Nick Frost – who just goes by Frost – got to do earlier in 2016 with a nodding deep house rework of Automatic from Zhu and AlunaGeorge. But that was just a appetiser for what Frost had to offer this year, with the producer’s self-titled EP keeping things dark, deep and soulful. Here’s hoping we get more of the same in 2017.

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#21 Leftenent

Though they might not have been aware of it at the time, fans listening to Alison Wonderland’s 2015 album Run would’ve heard the handy-work of Antonia Gauci on that record, with the Sydney artist lending her engineering talents to the LP.

With a formidable studio resume I’m pretty excited that we’re now hearing some of Antonia’s own solo work under the guise of Leftenent. The project’s debut tune Control operates on chilly electronic whirs, before a warm gust comes in during the chorus. Also worth checking out is Antonia’s darker synthwave stuff in the trio simply called Gauci.

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It was pretty sick that Netflix just up and did a sequel to Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, right? Well now we have the perfect soundtrack for when the streaming giant decides to blend mysticism and martial arts with a dystopian, tech-dominated future for the inevitable follow up set in 2072.

Sydney DJ and producer SINIQ throws down with metallic textures on his trap tracks – and does so with alarming frequency, this guy just doesn’t stop working! Fittingly (for me and this analogy), SINIQ’s discordant thrusts are done strangely elegantly and you could imagine some old school warriors slicing the heads off some robots in bewildering slow motion to something like Luminary.

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#19 Kult Kyss

The bloodline of new Melbourne act Kult Kyss goes back to their previous incarnation as dark synth pop duo DEJA. In their time as DEJA members, Rromarin and Haxx popped out a slew of tasty tunes and played festivals like Listen Out and Beyond The Valley – but in bunkering down in the studio to record an album the duo discovered a new direction and gave birth to Kult Kyss. On their debut tune under the new guise, Get Up Boy, the pair have dialled up the darkness and drama by indulging in European influences like The Knife and Booka Shade.

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Photo credit: Luke Dobrovic

#18 Piecey

Sydney up and comer Piecey – the moniker of Patrick Carroll – comes with a venerable list of influences like Stimming, Kollektive Turmstrasse, and Shigeto. As such he’s no stranger to turning bibs and bobs or extraneous field recordings into throbbing and nodding cuts like Junust and Luck. The former of those tracks has a real sinkhole effect, swallowing up the listener and everything around them.

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