25 trail-blazing producers set to rule the season
20. Golden Features
He might be new to the scene – what with the first Golden Features EP only arriving in February – but the buzz around this Sydney identity is hard to ignore. His tracks are definite burners, triple j is all over him, DJs around the country are singing his praises and with more originals and a stack of remixes on the way, you can count on Golden Features material being a fixture in sets coast-to-coast this year.
Oh, and as for the mystery around him? Golden Features might still be wearing a mask to his shows, but in April Sydney’s Tom Stell outed himself as the producer behind the project. “I didn’t want my face plastered over things just because I prefer to have a character that I speak through,” he explained. ”[But] I don’t want people to be hung up on the anonymity thing because, in my mind, it’s not important. It’s the music, the artwork and the message that’s being sent through that are the most important. ”
THE TRACK YOU’LL KEEP HEARING: Every track on the Golden Features EP would do well on a dancefloor, but we think the one that’s destined to be rinsed is Guillotine. It’s got one hell of a bassline.
Manhattan producer Branchez has evolved over the course of two years from down-tempo, soulful hip hop to the kind of smart, filtered club trap we know and love from acts like What So Not (no surprise, then, that Branchez remixed the homegrown duo’s track High With Me, was invited to do a Diplo & Friends guest mix at the end of last year and makes regular appearances on the line-ups of HARD events).
Branchez’s real break-through moment was when last year’s Shake featured in Skrillex’s 2013 Essential Mix, the Most Played Essential Mix in Historyâ„¢. Signed to move-making bookers The Windish Agency, he’s now turned out remixes for the likes of Mat Zo and TOKiMONSTA, knocked out an internet-dominating Rihanna bootleg and just finished touring all over the States with Giraffage – just warming-up for what’s set to be an even bigger summer.
THE TRACK YOU’LL KEEP HEARING: In an unlikely turn of events, Branchez brought the saxophone to trap with Shake, while his 2012 hit Treat You Right also dominated dancefloors with its hand-clap percussion and big bass. We’re anticipating that his latest Told Me will follow in its predecessors’ footsteps and, with its chilled atmosphere and anime sample, be making plenty of appearances this Northern Hemisphere summer in sets from the likes of Ryan Hemsworth and Lunice.
18. Thomas Jack
If you’re feeling in need of a beach vacation, Thomas Jack is here to bring it to you. The 20 year-old homegrown producer has been making waves with his lush brand of “tropical house”, a cool blend of house and downtempo infused with jazzy saxophones and tribal drums.
The uphill climb for Jack began less than a year ago with his first single, The Final Speech. After a successful run on the Hype Machine charts, the producer kept the momentum rolling with remixes of Lorde’s Royals and Adrian Lux’s halcyon throwback, Teenage Crime. Though he has only a few original tracks to his name at the moment, his many mixes – including his new Tropical House series – have kept him on the radar.
THE TRACK YOU’LL KEEP HEARING: With Jack’s plans to hit North American festivals Lightning in a Bottle and Electric Forest in the coming months, a track like Symphony is just the ticket. Its New-Age-meets-the-dancefloor flutes, dramatic sax interludes and rumbling bassline will surely enhance the already breathtaking environment of both festivals.
Friends of Friends boss Paul Salva – just Salva to his fans – has long been a staple in Los Angeles’ ever-evolving dance community. “I’ve experimented with every single sound I came across while coming up,” he writes in his bio. “I didn’t know what I wanted because I loved everything.”
With an equal love for rap and dance music, trap inevitably became his claim to fame, bringing the genre onto mainstream radio through his and RL Grime’s wildfire remix of Kanye West’s Mercy in 2012. Since then, he’s built a strong resume, having linked up with rapper Freddie Gibbs, Jamie Lidell and DJ Shadow, toured with RL Grime and tested his taste-making chops as a resident DJ on BBC Radio 1.
THE TRACK YOU’LL KEEP HEARING: While Boys Noize can make enough noise on his own, Salva’s remix of Push Em Up offers a touch of street cred. The uptempo, uber-bouncy track was unofficially christened by Diplo and Skrillex during their Jack U world festival debut, and will undoubtedly have its moment this year as Salva heads out on tour with Diplo, A-Trak and Cam’ron.
16. Route 94
Rowan Jones named his Route 94 project for the road that bridges Chicago and Detroit, the birthplaces of house and techno, respectively. But before Jones took on the house project, he initially made his name in dubstep as Dream, with work championed by Skrillex, Chase & Status and Skream. Now, the 20 year-old UK producer is making fans out of peers in a whole different realm.
Following remix duties for Storm Queen’s colossal single Look Right Through and MK’s Always, Route 94 broke through earlier this year with the release of My Love, which debuted in the top spot on the UK Dance Chart before reaching #1 in two other countries. Having already accomplished a feat many wait years for, Jones has a bright future ahead of him.
THE TRACK YOU’LL KEEP HEARING: Pounding a dancefloor near you will be Fly 4 Life, which Route 94 recently re-released on Defected. Classic soulful house meets shadowy techno in this dancefloor weapon that’s recently been brandished by the likes of Annie Mac, MANIK, NT89 and Groove Armada.