30 Internationals You’re Going to Love in 2014
2013 is the year that producer George FitzGerald exploded in the dance music world. Pete Tong singled him out as a “Future Star” earlier this year when handing over the hallowed decks of the esteemed Essential Mix, and he’s released on influential labels such as Hotflush Recordings, Aus Music and Domino, while his bass-heavy blend of house, techno and garage has seen him get major airplay from the biggest DJs on the biggest stages.
FitzGerald has also been at the helm of his own record label, Man Make Music, since 2007, meaning that we have more to anticipate from him aside from his own productions. With a four month-long residency at BBC Radio 1 about to start, so too will George FitzGerald’s reign over 2014. [Krystal Rodriguez]
Hot Since 82
Leeds-based producer Daley Padley, AKA Hot Since 82, saw his status propelled into the stratosphere this year as house music’s “next big thing,” and it’s a safe bet the momentum will continue in 2014. It’s a rise built on his talent for crafting absolutely massive tunes. Unveiling his alias with Let It Ride a few years ago, the dance music world has been devouring everything that’s come out of his studio since. Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Pete Tong, Guy Gerber, Sasha…you name them, they’ve been playing his records.
Hot Since 82â€²s niche is underground house engineered for big rooms, showcased consummately on his Little Black Book release this year. It’s a major call, but his talent for crafting high-impact records has shadows of Swedish powerhouse Eric Prydz. It almost goes without saying he’ll be one of the leading names to watch in 2014. [Angus Paterson]
British producer Ollie O’Neill has a simple way of making mature trap music: He builds upon repetitive patterns that focus on bars instead of drops, layering in elements to create a thorough, thick sound. The Brighton producer combines fierce hi-hats, mean snares and hefty bass with spacey vocals and cloudy yet infectious synth work.
The resulting tracks sound as if they were made by someone who has ruminated over the process of creating music, how it should sound and how to create intricacy that’s not intimidating. Which makes the fact that Hucci is only 17 all the more surprising and impressive. If this is the music he’s making now, we can only imagine what he’ll sound like with an additional decade under his belt. [August Thompson]
When naming his new single Sphere as the Record of the Week on their Group Therapy radio show, Above & Beyond astutely described ilan Bluestone as the “man of the moment here at Anjunabeats.” For the army of Anjunabeats devotees, though, the track was already a favourite after A&B debuted it to a live global audience of millions at their ABGT050 London show in late October.
It was a satisfying conclusion to a definitive year for the U.K. trance producer, whose attention-grabbing run of smashes includes the unmistakeable Sinai, as well as his explosive collaboration with Jerome Isma-Ae, Under My Skin. The defining thread running through his work is a powerful electro heft that blends seamlessly with genuine trance melodies; it’s a rare touch that pleases even the purists. [Angus Paterson]
If Dirtybird is the White House of booty-shaking bass, then consider J.Phlip its First Lady. J.Phlip has been able to call many dance music meccas her home, growing up just south of Chicago and alternating between San Francisco and Berlin. She’s currently supporting Dirtybird boss Claude VonStroke on his massive international Urban Animal tour after a U.S. run, but has a few dates of her own coming up this year, including appearances at South Africa’s Cape Town Electronic Music Festival and Ultra Music Festival in Miami. [Krystal Rodriguez]
Javeon McCarthy – known simply as Javeon – is the newest addition to PMR Records, whose roster boasts a number of fast-rising acts like Disclosure, Cyril Hahn, Jessie Ware and Two Inch Punch. The Bristol-born singer, who describes his music as a combination of R&B, soul and underground dance music, has worked with L-Vis 1990 and Julio Bashmore, and had his own work remixed by the likes of Shadow Child, Eats Everything and T. Williams. With a debut album due out the summer of 2014 and the PMR family behind him, Javeon’s potential is undeniable. [Krystal Rodriguez]
On a record label founded by Kode9 and kept famous by Burial, one would expect Hyperdub darling Jessy Lanza to be just as dark and bass-affectionate. Instead, it’s quite the opposite. The Ontario native stands out amongst her female peers with her coquettish brand of experimental R&B and breathy vocals; she’s just as inspired by SVW as she is by Drexciya. Her debut album, Pull My Hair Back, received top marks from critics who have named her “one of the year’s best debuts.” Her soft, mesmerising voice will warm the coldest soul; appropriate, then, that she’s begun her debut European tour in the dead of the northern hemisphere’s winter. [Krystal Rodriguez]
It takes guts to remix Missy Elliott but, not long ago, Jesse Slayter and Saint took her classic One Minute Man and gave it one very turnt-up twist. The remix capped off a stellar 2013 for the Louisiana newcomer, in which he rose from a Soundcloud star to a member of the newest wave of trap/bass upstarts; he started the year with a Harlem Shake remix and ended it by collaborating with ETC!ETC! on an official re-work of Dillon Francis’ and TEED’s Without You. Slayter’s work – largely remixes and bootlegs – will attract the ear of anyone who comes upon it. And not just because he posts most of his music for free.
Slayter’s young age and enthusiasm makes him a constant social media presence: He chronicles his production process on Vine, writes emoji-laden Facebook love letters to his fans and tags his frequent Instagram posts with ”#swag.” But don’t let his light-heartedness fool you; if you see Slayter perform live, you might never stop hearing Beat it Up in your head. [Jessica Goodman]
Justin Jay is another one to watch on the Dirtybird label. The Los Angeles-bred DJ and producer has traveled the world, played in Ibiza and opened for some of the biggest names in electronic music – and the guy hasn’t even finished college yet. Jay released his debut EP on Dirtybird back in 2011, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that his Static EP helped him gain traction.
Pegged by both Pete Tong and Claude VonStroke as a “Future Star,” his penchant for booming bass and deep, soulful melodies has served him well, gaining him major underground cred with a release on Cali-centric label Culprit. Jay already managed to snag a slot at TomorrowWorld, with upcoming appearances scheduled at Snowglobe NYE and BPM Festival. There’s no doubt this young Dirtybird is ready to spread his wings and soar in 2014. [Krystal Rodriguez]
Lxury is one of those acts that you may not have heard of…but have definitely heard. Also known as Londoner Andy Smith, Lxury caught dance fans’ attention when his first single J.A.W.S. debuted during Disclosure’s BBC Radio 1 Essential mix, with many thinking it was a track by the Settle stars themselves.
The Disclosure connection does remain, however: Lxury is signed to the Lawrence brother’s burgeoning Method Records. Since his impressive introduction to the dance world, he may have dropped the “u” in his name, but his knack for creating shimmering, sexy house has remained (do listen to his damn good remix of CHVRCHES’ Lies). We haven’t heard much from Lxury to date, but it’s enough to plant him on our must-watch list; with the right vocalist, he might just make the next White Noise. [Jessica Goodman]