Artists to Keep an Eye on in 2017

by Isabel Thomson Officer

If we can take anything away from 2016, is that it was a pretty awesome year for music. A lot of very talented producers really accelerated their careers and put out some amazing releases, EP’s and took on some seriously hectic touring schedules around the globe. Things look to only be speeding up these producers of deep house and techno and we couldn’t be more excited to see the journey they take us on in 2017. The following artists have all made some pretty amazing contributions to electronic music over the past couple of years and 2017 looks to be even bigger for them. Here are our top picks of artists to watch this year; all of whom are doing something different and unique with how they produce music and sound.

Aera

When we interviewed The Drifter back in August, Aera was one of the up and comers on his list of artists to keep an eye on, and we couldn’t agree more. The Berlin based producer made his debut on the highly coveted Innervisions label with his incredible EP ‘Running Hot’ over last summer. The six track EP was met with solid enthusiasm from both fans and the industry. The title track which is filled with cosmic melody rolling from start to finish quickly became one of our favorite dancefloor anthems.

‘Spaced out dance music full of hope’ is how this Belgian producer and DJ describes his sound. Originally from Luxembourg, Cleveland splits his time between Brussels and Berlin. His track Rio was in our opinion one of the defining tracks of 2016. To date, Cleveland has released three tracks on Batti Music, a debut EP on Oskar Offerman’s WHITE label and a follow up EP on John Talabot’s Hivern Discs in early January last year as well as a Boiler Room set in September 2016. With upcoming tour dates that included the infamous Berghain on February  4, 2017 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for the young producer.

We were thrilled when we were able to host Davis alongside Andre Lodemann at House of Yes last year.  The talented Brazilian producer is one of the underground's most respected artists, his work shows a clarity of vision and production prowess that is second to none. Davis is also the mastermind behind the label In Their Feelings. Most recently, he contributed to Innervision's acclaimed Secret Weapons series with the stunning ‘Blind’, with Cameo Culture providing the beautiful vocal track. Davis’ esteem as a DJ is equally well deserved, with an ability to create a journey and tell a story through his sets from warm downtempo, to addictive grooves, to blistering peak-time moments. 
He currently holds a residency at ODD, has already graced the decks at the UK’s Fabric, as well as making artist appearances at the Robert Johnson and festivals like The Garden Festival, Unknown, Hide Out and ADE. We are big fans of Davis and frequently count his releases and mixes as stand outs from the noise and will continue to do so into 2017.

This exciting up and coming Danish producer blend haunting melodic synths with unique percussive elements resulting in driving techno grooves. With boasting releases on revered labels such as Innervisions, Objektivity, AEON, Noir Music and Sun Over Histories, adopting a new moniker Tlak, Denis Horvat has propelled himself into the global spotlight. 
His latest release ‘Rondo Master’ embodies everything that we love about this rising techno maestro. We wrote about his ‘In Hertz’ EP released on Exit Strategy back in April as one of our top releases for that month as we can’t get enough of his dark melodic forward-thinking techno productions. We’ll be watching this guy closely in 2017 for sure. His remix of Alex Niggemann’s ‘Silhouettes & Sparks’ came out on February 3rd, via Balance Music.

The mysterious producer Hyenah emerged into the electronic music scene in 2014 causing a stir in deep house circles with a debut EP, ‘The Wish'. He remained one of the hottest underground talents in 2016 and with no doubt will continue to wow us in 2017. Championing the Afro house movement, in 2016 Hyenah was named the artist of the Year for the genre on Traxsource, had two tracks on Beatport’s annual deep house top ten, and the Frankey & Sandrino remix of his ‘The Idea’ was the most charted track of the year on Resident Advisor. Want to see what all the fuss is about for yourself?
Then catch him at our upcoming NYC party at House of Yes Into The Jungle on February 17. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite here.

Where to start with this multi-talent? Hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, Jimi Jules is without a doubt one of our favorites coming up on the underground dance music scene artists. A jazz musician, a producer and a DJ, this rising star has produced over 100 demos and more than 35 tracks. His debut full-length album ‘Equinox’ was released via Zukunft Recordings back in October 2016 and it was so impressive we just had to include it in our October album previews round up. He currently holds a respected residency at Watergate Berlin, Hive Club in Zurich and made several appearances at Ushuaia, Ibiza over the summer.

One of our highlight parties of 2016 featured Krink on the decks at House of Yes. The Berlin based German producer released his latest EP ‘Two Sides’ in November and we loved it so much that we named it as one of our Amazing Releases for 2016. Blending driving techno with percussion, bass and twisted melody, his productions range from dance floor club bangers like ‘Transit’ to more minimalistic productions like ‘Two Sides’. We were also fortunate to chat with Krink for Fiction Lab and are honored that he was able to share an exclusive mix for our Labcast!

Known for his blend of electronica, house and techno, that mixes thick bass lines with bright synths, LOR has without a doubt fast-tracked his way to greatness and we are excited to see what unfolds for him in 2017. To date, he has remixed classics by Kraftwerk, Arthur Russell and Derrick Carter and has released music on Atomnation, Cin Cin, NVH Records and a debut solo EP on Berlin’s Exit Strategy. Based in Belfast, his 2015 resumé included a set on Belfast Underground Radio, a feature on Roman Flugel’s Boiler Room Set and his BBC Radio Essential One and the ‘one to watch in 2016’ according to Data Transmission. 2016 was even bigger for the Belfast producer with sets at Tramlines, Celtronic, and AVA Festivals. Counting Ame, Dixon and Mano Le Tough as fans, 2017 will no doubt be another big one for LOR.

Since breaking onto the scene in 2013 with his impressive ‘Off The Grid’ EP, this extremely talented and charismatic Dutch craftsman Love Over Entropy just keeps going from strength to strength. Known for impeccable production skills and unique creativity, he has been circulating buzz in the underground electronic music world for quite some time. He’s been remixed by the legendary Dixon and spent much of 2016 touring all over Europe including sets at Pitch Festival, ADE, the infamous Berlin club Watergate, and in December he was on the bill for the SoHaSo three year anniversary in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Back in June, we wrote about his stunning Sea EP released on SoHaSo. Now we are obsessing over his repatterning of Fabio Montana’s Ortygia. Keep a close eye on this guy; things can only go up from here for this deep house maestro in 2017. We are truly honored to host Love Over Entropy as part of the SoHaSo showcase in New York on March 11th.  Tickets can be purchased through RA here.

Stepping away from our European roots takes us to Mexico with the talented UK born Man Power. Named as XLR8R’s artist of the year in 2015 following his highly celebrated self-titled album, the talented producer has had an exciting couple of years. Launching his own label Me Me Me in 2016, he already counts DJ Tennis, Axel Boman and Red Axes as contributors. His genre production is a mix of hypnotic progressive nu-wave disco, and driving melodic deep house. A highlight track for us is his fun and upbeat ‘Tachyon’ which was also remixed by DJ Tennis who then put a darker percussive twist on the original. With such a unique genre-crossing sound we are looking forward to see what Man Power does this coming year.

This arpeggio driven producer from The Netherlands is one of the most exciting talents on the European circuit at the moment. Counting Kristian of Ame as a fan who describes his sound as ‘tender techno at its best’, Mattheis’ productions are ethereal and dreamlike following arpeggio, melodic progressions. One of our favorites is ‘Herds’ from his latest album ‘Kindred Phenomena’ which showcases his incredible talent for creating beautiful, intricate and truly melodic and uplifting sounds. Another standout track that we loved from him in 2016 was Osi - Nous’klaer 008 that took his ethereal melody and turned it into a great club anthem demonstrating his ability to create music for a variety of soundscapes. With multiple releases behind him including a latest album, a mini album ‘Luminous Frames’ signed by London duo ‘Walls’ and released on Ecstatic Recordings, and after touring ferociously in 2016 we are excited to see what lies ahead for him in 2017.

Another German favorite is MUUI who is known for is standout live sets that feature analog machines with synths paired with a melodic house and techno creations. A diverse and dynamic artist who is as comfortable pumping out warehouse bangers as he is creating dreamlike floaty soundscapes, MUUI is without a doubt an exciting producer to watch in 2017. Progressive, ethereal melody that fuses with driving bass is really the only way to describe his sound. Regularly featuring in the Beatport top ten, MUUI counts Marc Poppcke, Guy J, Sacha, Marco Carola and Hernan Cattaneo as fans of his work. Also the head honcho at his label Paranoid Dancer, we were blown away with his release ‘Vrijeme’ on his 2016 album ‘Following Today’ and counted it as one of our best new releases from January 2016. We have no doubt 2017 will see this amazingly talented producer take it up another notch with his incredible sound.

This Portuguese-Mozambican producer, originally from Oporto Portugal now based in London, is one of our absolute favorite newcomers on the scene. With his signature sophisticated, bass heavy and drum-focused sound, Trikk established a name for himself in the underground music scene. Trikk has come a long way since his first releases back in 2012 on Man Make Music. With a slew of impressive releases on Optimo Trax, Lossless, Hypecolor, Drumcode, Pet Recordings and recent debut ‘Florista’ EP on the Dixon & Ame’s celebrated Innervisions, Trikk continues to rise.