Future stars of electronic music

By terry church

In a music scene, where sounds are predominantly aimed at those with expendable energy, the young run free.

Just as emerging technology shapes today’s club music, it is the untainted minds who bring the newest ideas and the most enthusiasm to the dancefloor. They are the lifeblood of the scene.

Yet electronic music is at odds with much of the technologically determined world, where they say you should never trust anyone over the age of 30.

Instead of embracing the up and comers in dance music, there is a general perception that an aging group of DJs and artists continue to dominate the club scene, leaving no room for fresh talent to rise.

Today we celebrate the future, and hope to challenge this notion, by asking 12 established DJs – some of whom have been at the top of their field for over 20 years – to name their future stars of electronic music.

Tommy Four Seven

We asked Dutch techno pioneer Speedy J to name his future star of electronic music.

I think Tommy Four Seven will make it big.

What makes him so special?

Tommy has an amazing talent for sound design, his tracks are produced with incredible attention to detail, but they’re still also really deep, sexy and work great on the floor.

Considering his age, my bet is that he’ll be big in a few years.

How did you first hear his music?

I have been following him since his first releases on Brique Rouge and Shooting Elvis.

Which Tommy Four Seven track is your favourite?

‘Surma’ showcases his talent the best. It’s really well produced and crosses over between techno and house.

It’s a deep, full on dancefloor cracker and it’s quite catchy at the same time.

How do you plan to help him?

We’ll do more releases by him on Electric Deluxe, and I’ll play the fuck out of his tracks!


Pinch is a big fan of Joker

We asked dubstepper Pinch for his future star of electronic music.

That’s a very easy question for me to answer – it could be none other than Bristol’s very own Joker.

What makes him so special?

He’s already on the path to great things and this last year in particular he has demonstrated a momentum that has been gathering pace exponentially.

His music is so refreshing and his own thing entirely – it sits closest to dubstep by tempo association but the colour and vibrancy he has brought to the scene has been infectious – even sending his melodic shockwaves across genre boundaries!

I think what most impresses me about his work is that it manages to walk the difficult tightrope between being completely underground yet totally accessible to people outside of those scenes. I think Joker could be the first producer in years to make some interesting, forward thinking popular music given just a little more time.

How did you first meet Joker?

I met Liam just over five years ago when he was 15. I met him through a friend of mine who also cut dubplates for a living – Henry at Dubstudio.

He clocked that Joker’s grime (the closest scene to his sound at the time) was similar to some of the things I was getting cut so he decided to introduce me to his music.

He would come along to the nights I put on in Bristol claiming to be 18 for three whole years before I went along to his 18th birhtday party! Even early on you could hear that although he hadn’t fully cracked it at that point, he had the potential to go far.

Which Joker track is your favourite?

Too many! I love his Kapsize collaborations with Rustie (‘Play Doe’) and Ginz (‘Purple City’) but I think my personal favourite is ‘Untitled_rsn’ – a totally off the wall insane track that sounds like it has gone through a cement mixer several times!

He has another monster on dubplate at the moment called ‘Tron’ that is completely destroying dancefloors right now – 2, 3 time rewind style!

How do you plan to help Joker?

To be honest I don’t think he needs a huge amount of help anymore but in the past I’ve driven him about to pick up equipment, emergency lifts here and there – lent him a bit of cash for synths/equipment – got him playing at nights in Bristol, introduced him/his music and passed a few remixes his way.

I’ve always thought that Joker’s a very talented guy who just needed a bit of help finding his way in – now he’s got there I reckon it won’t be long before he steams far ahead.


We asked Friction, one of the most technically talented DJs in drum & bass, to name his future star of electronic music.

SpectraSoul will be future heroes I think, because they’re capable of making quality beats, be it drum & bass, or dubstep.

How did you first hear their music?

Dave from SpectraSoul was originally label manager for Shogun Audio about two years ago. He started learning the ropes about making music before hooking up with his friend Jack to start SpectraSoul. In the three years since they’ve started they have progressed at light speed to become one of the hottest properties in DnB.

What’s your favourite SpectraSoul track?

They’ve had some great tracks out like ‘Melodies’ on Exit Records, but my favourite track forthcoming from them is their remix of ‘Overtime’ by myself and K-Tee, due out on Shogun in March.

How do you plan to help them?

When they first started out I would help them out with little bits, but to be honest these days it’s them who help me out most of the time!


We asked US techno champion Dubfire to name his future hero of electronic music.

I’d say MiniCoolBoyz.

What makes them so special?

They’re a couple of young Italians from near Milan who have the talent and drive to achieve success within the techno and house communities.

Their sound is very unique: rooted in house but with a nod to current and emerging production techniques. And most importantly, their music ALWAYS kills on the dancefloor!

How did you first hear their music?

Friends of theirs have always passed me CDRs of their tracks and I was amazed at the level of quality on the vast quantities of music they have been making.

What’s your favourite MiniCoolBoyz cut?

There are two which I recently snapped up for SCI+TEC – ‘You’ and ‘Rimmer Man’, both of which I hammered all summer long, to be officially released early next year.

[The track featured in the player below is MiniCoolBoyz ‘Come Come’].

Avicii, Afrojack, and SonicC


Training tomorrow’s heroes: Laidback Luke

We asked Dutch house hero Laidback Luke for his future star of electronic music. He gave us three.

I see a great future for Afrojack, Avicii, and SonicC.

What makes each of them so special?

Obviously these guys are ridiculously talented and have a good ear for music. The most important thing for me is their mentality. These are good kids and people we can rely on in the future.

How did you meet each of them?

I met all three of them on my forum on actually. I’ve been training Afrojack and Avicii for years on my forum.

SonicC is fresher, but he handles my advice very well!

Collectively they have had quite a few releases. What are your favourites?

Afrojack ‘Pon De Floor’, which is next level Dutch stuff! For Avicii, ‘Ryu’, which I put out on my own label Mixmash. It was massive for us, and it was a Pete Tong Essential New Tune.

SonicC’s ‘Stickin’ is a nutty Dutch style meets ‘Be’ kind of track. I’m putting that one out on my Mixmash label also soon. It has already been hammered by people like Diplo and Crookers.

How do you plan to help them?

I just hope they can rely on me for guidance and advice. Linking them through my network is an important thing as well. I have linked Afrojack with David Guetta for instance, and it would be great to have those kinds of options open for Avicii and SonicC.

Jordan Suckley

Photo by Sean O’Dell

We asked Britain’s Eddie Halliwell to name his future star of electronic music.

Jordan Suckley. He’s a talented lad and I’ve seen him DJ quite a few times. Hopefully he’ll go all the way.

What makes him so special?

He is a great performer and gets the crowd fully fired up. Jordan has a great attitude and is passionate about what he does.

How did you first meet?

A few years ago, I met Jordan at a gig where we were both playing. I was impressed by his passion straight away.

What’s your favourite Jordan Suckley track?

His track ‘Flames’ is an exceptional trance/techno hybrid, a dark and spiraling journey. It’s a proper banger!

How do you plan to help him?

I hope to have Jordan play at my future Fire It Up club events. He has already played a few and he did a fantastic job for us.

The Glamour

Hervé is producing for The Glamour

We asked Britain’s electro house lord, bassline protagonist, and all round production whiz Hervé to name his future star of electronic music.

The Glamour, a band from the US. They’re brilliant.

What makes them so special?

They are a band (of two!) and they make great pop-dance-electro-disco that is also quite unique. I always say they sound like a Daft Punk meets Hall & Oates!

They have radio songs and weird wonky non radio stuff and they both DJ and work really hard. I think they’ll make a really cool album. Check the ‘Cheap Thrills Vol.1’ compilation to hear some of their weirder jackin’ jerky music, with the exclusive track ‘Rubbin & Bumpin’ on the comp.

How did you first hear their music?

My mate Kai from the Mystery Jets played me a demo just under a year ago, and I thought they had a lot of potential. 

What’s your favourite The Glamour track?

‘Loveburn’ (also Max Morrell has done an awesome remix!).

How do you plan to help them?

I’ve signed them and I’m producing their singles and some of their album.

Alan Fitzpatrick

We asked Swedish techno don Adam Beyer to name his future star of electronic music.

Right now, I would say Alan Fitzpatrick.

What makes him so special?

He has done two amazing EPs for me recently (one to come out very soon) and he is so determined to make it.

He still has a day job but somehow manages to deliver tune after tune after tune! He is also an already experienced DJ and has the right people behind him, so I would say his future looks very bright.

How did you first hear Alan’s music?

I heard a few things he did on Beatport and also through promos, ended up playing them, got in touch and asked him if he wanted to make something for Drumcode, and the rest is history.

Which Alan Fitzpatrick cut is your favourite?

I would say his soon-to-be-released Drumcode record (DC59), ‘The Face of Rejection’.

I like it because his sound has evolved from his previous material and it’s very much in line with the kind of techno I am looking for at the moment. It’s almost like he is reading my mind!

How do you plan to help Alan?

I am going to push Alan through my Drumcode parties in the future, and he is debuting for us at Berghain’s Drumcode Total bash in December – he will play for us a lot next year.

He is also currently working on an album for Drumcode which I am very exited about. Hopefully that will give him the exposure he deserves.


Magda is a fan of Hobo

We asked Minus’ head girl Magda to name her future star of electronic music.

Hobo is destined for big things – he is very talented.

What makes him so special?

Versatility. He has made tracks from chunky disco to sparse house to techno and has a special ear and sensitivity for performing to a crowd. 

How did you first discover Hobo?

I heard of demo of his, and it completely blew me away.

Which Hobo track is your favourite?

‘Midnight’ [taken from Hobo’s debut album ‘A To B’, released on Minus in December 2008]. It’s in between several genres and has a thick groove.

How do you plan to help Hobo’s career?

I’m bringing him on tour with me at the moment, so hopefully he gets some exposure.

Ummet Ozcan

We asked tech trance hero Sander Van Doorn to name his future star of electronic music.

Ummet Ozcan is the one to keep an eye on!

What makes him so special?

Ummet started out making sound banks for well-known synths, so he’s a master in soundscaping and modulation, which you can hear in his productions.

Besides that, his productions have very strong lead sounds and pretty much all of them are bombs!

How did you first meet Ummet?

He posted me a demo which immediately grabbed my attention.

Which track of Ummet Ozcan’s is your favorite?

‘Time Wave Zero’ is his biggest release so far. It’s magic.

How do you plan to help him?

I’m mentioning him quite a lot in interviews, and besides that I’m planning to invite him to join me at a few gigs on the 2010 ‘From Dusk Till Doorn’ Tour.

Seth Troxler

The life of the party: Seth Troxler

We asked Get Physical girl and BBC Radio 1 host Heidi for her future star of electronic music.

My future star would most definitely have to be Seth Troxler.

What makes him so special?

Seth has an amazing approach to this scene. First thing is he doesn’t take himself too seriously. That is so important to me as there are so many DJs and producers out there who do, and it’s a major turn off. He’s really diverse and knows a lot about all the genres of music.

His productions and remixes make a dancefloor fall to pieces and the guy has ‘the look’. Totally off the hook and completely out there!

Plus he’s really young and has already established himself as one of the hottest DJs around.

How did you first meet Seth?

I met Seth in 2007 at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Matthew Dear introduced us. I didn’t remember this meeting as I was a bit worse for wear. Let’s just say jetlag and booze are not my strongest point.

We met again in the late summer and he was pissed I didn’t remember him. I don’t know how I couldn’t have…the guy was wearing Run DMC glasses, a cowboy hat with a big afro underneath and cut-off, super short, shorts. That is a look one should not forget.

But when I moved to Berlin last year we started hanging out a bit and that was that. He was making really amazing tracks that fell into my hands.

Which Seth Troxler cut is your favourite?

I like pretty much every track he has made or collaborated on. This year I played his mix of Kiki’s ‘Good Voodoo’ on Bpitch to death. It was a remix collaboration with Ryan Crosson and Lee Curtis as Visionquest.

The hook of that track was on loop in my head for months. It’s one of the sexiest tracks I’ve heard in years. I also love ‘Blackclap’ on Esperanza, and, and, and… I could go on.

How do you plan to help Seth?

I don’t think this guy needs any help. He is well on his way to world domination, in the sexiest way possible, ladies watch out!

Kenneth Thomas

We asked British superstar Paul Oakenfold to name his future star of electronic music.

Kenneth Thomas out of Detroit is a very talented producer.

What makes him so special?

He takes a very well crafted approach to his DJ sets and has a great ear for cutting edge tracks. His versatility in the studio to float from one genre to the next also allows him to reach many different people with his sound.

How did you first hear his music?

I was big on a number of his early productions and eventually brought him onto the team at Perfecto.

Which Kenneth Thomas production is your favourite?

Probably the first track I had of his, ‘Preen’, but his remix of Jan Johnston’s ‘Sleeping Satellite’ for my label was a really nice piece of epic trance.

How do you plan to help him?

Beyond mentoring him on his way up, I will continue to bring him on my North American tours and champion his productions.

Thanks to Beatport Berlin’s doggie Elvis, for allowing us access to photograph him.