On Our Radar: October 2020

Welcome back to On Our Radar, Beatportal’s monthly roundup of the DJs and producers we can’t get enough of.

6 min
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Oct 15, 2020
Richard Akingbehin
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Whether making soulful house or shelling down a set of rowdy breaks, LUZ1E always nails that fine balance between innovation and the satisfyingly familiar tropes of the old school. Her most recent releases — the Ridin EP on Shall Not Fade and Cybernetic Movement four-tracker on International Chrome — are prime examples. She has an encyclopedic knowledge of the music’s roots and is open to combining elements from different genres. The result is a plethora of fresh cuts which will find favour with a wide range of DJs. The Frankfurt-born artist isn’t afraid of cranking up the tempo either. Across one EP, you’re likely to hear atmospheric, 120BPM house while on the next, you’ll get an earful of acid and breakneck electro. A distinctive touch runs through it all, but she likes to keep her fans guessing. It makes her a go-to for colourful and energetic club music.

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Elias Mazian is the kind of DJ you could have soundtracking a summer barbeque or a packed dance floor at 6 am. He has an eclectic taste and ear for a great song that transcends genres, generations, or any geographical scenes. The Dutchman is a self-confessed romantic and mastermind of the Private Hearts radio show. In a DJ set, as in life, he expresses himself with flair and passion, often turning to an iconic record when the moment strikes. Mazian has played some of the best venues in the world and held a popular residency at one of Amsterdam’s most storied venues, Trouw. As a producer, he favours quality over quantity. The handful of stand-out releases he has to his name peaked this year with a stunning, vocal-heavy, synthpop album Vrij Van Dromen.

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DJ, producer, singer, Rinse FM radio host, and ambassador for fellow female and non-binary artists, Bklava seems to do it all. Her debut single “Cntrl” was released last year — a collaboration with garage legend Wookie that featured her infectious vocal work. The release marked Bklava as a key voice in the new generation of UK garage and led to her signing to Ministry Of Sound for “Back To Then,” another club anthem backed with a remix from the one and only Todd Edwards. Whether singing in a recording studio or on the microphone during her DJ sets, Brighton’s Bklava has that unforgettable touch, which turns her vibey bassline beats into hits. Aside from the music, she is doing great things to uplift others in the music community through her platform, Spin Suga.

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Austrian-born, Manchester-based artist salute is taking influences from proud UK exports: grime, garage, and the new London jazz sound. He recently released a trilogy of EPs, which helped him process some years of grieving. The three records showed different sides to salute’s sound, from the R&B — which he furthered with his mini-album My Heart to lively, Kiwi Records style garage, 2010-era pitched vocals and deep house. His journey started with the FIFA Street game soundtrack and has taken him to Maida Vale studios for FACT TV and landed him Annie Mac’s Hottest Record. In a UK garage scene bursting with talent, salute’s tracks always stand out. Expect plenty more to come as he works with vocalists and expands his bright sound world.

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2020 hasn’t been the happiest year for IDA in terms of her steadily-growing gig schedule or Sub Club residency, ACID FLASH, but it has brought the long-planned launch of Sävy Records. The in-demand Finnish DJ, who now resides in Scotland, has tapped Ryan James Ford for the first release on her new label, and it bangs. Sävy will allow IDA to put her energy behind the decks, visual inspirations, and eclectic tastes onto wax, whether that be through techno, electro, trance, or ambient. With a Boiler Room tour, Mixmag “one to watch” tag, residency at a Glasgow institution, and now a record label to her name, it seems nothing will stop IDA’s rise to the top.

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Originally from New York and now residing in London, house producer Hollis Parker is all about authentic house and the old school way of doing things. His name is an ode to his native New York, and the music birthed from there — Hollis as a shout out to the Queens neighborhood and Parker as an ode to the legendary musician, Charlie Parker. Bringing all sorts of hip hop, jazz, and jazz fusion samples into his production, mostly done exclusively on the MPC, Hollis Parker has locked into a tried and true house music quality, but with a totally contemporary and fresh approach. Having just released his debut album, Newscapism, the wisdom of Hollis Parker’s production attitude reveals a pulsing and stylish body of work that is here to help you curate your coolest of vibes.