Despite a longstanding presence in electronic music, it was not until recent years that Unsub (aka Lily Alice Kaitlyn Luck) began gaining international exposure, with her remix of Ill-esha’s “Only Fair” doing some damage on the Beatport charts in 2011. After spending almost six years developing her sound under a number of different monikers, including Alexis K, Kidsader, Reiko Che, Josie Gets Naked, Slightly, and Sub Affair, the Wellington, New Zealand-based producer decided to combine her different projects as Unsub in 2012. Inspired by the likes of Massive Attack, Peaches, Burial, and Jimmy Page, Unsub has been garnering attention for her post-rock-influenced take on dubstep and bass music. Her 2013 four-track EP Methodology was released last month to wide acclaim, and we can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Some call the music that Bondax make “club-ready pop music.” But whether compared to Disclosure or The xx, it’s clear that the Lancaster, UK-based R&B- and soul-house duo are hitting their stride early, with tracks like “Wet Summer” and their remix of Rudimental’s “Not Giving In” catapulting them into the spotlight. Producers George Townsend and Adam Kaye aren’t even 20 yet, so expect big things—including their latest track, “Gold”—to bubble up throughout the year.
Berlin-based Dana Ruh has been a DJ and producer since 2005, but it was quitting her day job to focus solely on music last year that really kickstarted her career. Not only did she relaunch her Brouqade label with a new team and EP, but she also laid down some original tracks for Cocoon Recordings. And one such track, “Voyage,” produced with friend Andre Galluzzi, has placed her in the spotlight with its driving, dark, late-night vibe. It’s a perfect track to connect a deep warm-up into a hypnotic, dark tech set, so we’re psyched to see what she comes up with this year.
Producing only sporadically throughout her understated career, Switzerland’s Eli Verveine has built a respected reputation as a DJ who exists somewhere between house and techno, piecing together exquisite, immersive sets that build tension in measured steps and then release it with elated electronic impulses. With a few more productions in the works and plenty of dates already set, 2013 appears likely to be another fruitful year for Verveine, one in which the Swiss artist will continue honing her craft while quietly taking her place as a leading figure within the world of sophisticated dance music.
Australia provided some of the freshest sounds for our weary eardrums in 2012, and 2013 is already shaping up to be another musically defining year for the land down under. One live act we expect to step right into the limelight is Brisbane-based Wolfwolf. Armed with an MPC and recently signed to Nurvous Records, this future-funk master is poised to make huge waves in the dance music scene in 2013, so keep an eye out.
As a crossroad to the widespread boundaries of European culture, Slovenia has come a long way since the days of the iron curtain. Mike Vale, the nation’s latest club-oriented export, has served dutifully in extending its eminence with his own studio delicacies. Surrounded by music from an early age and quickly established as a devout aural messenger for house music courtesy of early collaborative duties alongside national peer Umek for 1605 and Great Stuff, Vale’s leaps and bounds remain all the more convincing given the undeniable passion that he exhibits. Thrown forward by his debut chart-topping take on Prok & Fitch’s “Symphony,” Vale’s subsequent remixes for Deadmau5, Pleasurekraft, and Alex Kenji have established him as a resolute house advocate willing to push the limits. Beatport News caught the fast-rising DJ/producer fresh off the decks at London’s Ministry of Sound to trace his musical development and the road ahead for 2013.
Duke Dumont (aka the UK’s Adam Dyment) hit the ground running last year, providing one of the quintessential house-head anthems of 2012 when he released “The Giver,” which DJs the world over rinsed it for eager hordes. Not only did “The Giver”‘s original usher in the Duke’s success, but Turbo Recordings label boss Tiga lent his rare remixing chops to the track, creating a bone-chilling version that involuntarily induced shimmies and whirls. The nascent days of 2013 have already been treating Duke Dumont kindly. He provided his skills for a BBC1 Essential Mix, when Annie Mac named him her pick for this year’s Future Stars series. Not too shabby for a guy who has spent a lot of quiet time producing in the countryside with a view of livestock. Look for him to continue producing a carefully curated catalog of house gems in the months to come.
2012 was undeniably the year of Ryan Hemsworth. The Canadian producer of the moment, who earned early acclaim for his work with Chicago duo Supreme Cuts and Oakland rap group Main Attrakionz, rose to fame quickly as the release of his hip-hop-fueled debut solo EP, Last Words, proved to be one of the year’s highlights. Finishing off 2012 by dropping a fun, synth-driven, electro-influenced number, “BasedWorld”—a nod to rapper Lil B—on New Year’s Eve, and following that with the release of the video for “Colour & Movement,” an emotive, minimalist edit of German indie project The Notwist’s “Consequence,” there seems to be no stopping this young producer.
Although he was previously known for his productions as Grahmzilla in outfits Bassanova and Thunderheist, as Nautiluss, Toronto’s Graham Bertie has become a quick favorite of the bass-music underground. Last year he released a string of tracks on Tiga’s Turbo Recordings, including the widely hailed Habitat EP, a slab of four gritty and raw techno tunes. Needless to say, we’re excited to see where his new solo turn takes him in the year to come.
DJ Q is certainly no newcomer to the world of club music—the UK producer born Shollen Quarshie was a leading figure during the heyday of bassline (a particularly R&B-infused vein of UK garage) and has forged his own style in the years since. Still, it seems DJ Q’s second coming is upon us, as his recent records for London’s Local Action and the ace Unknown to the Unknown imprint have proved invaluable resources for jocks looking to inject some skip into their bass-loaded sets. Fortunately, Q shows no signs of letting up, and his continued dedication to a prolific—yet still very high-quality—output assures us even more silky, soul-touched steppers in the year to come.