On Our Radar: January
With his latest release on E-Missions — the label he also helms — Brooklyn native P.Leone leaps out from the crowd once again. The six-track Raw Emotion EP is, as its title suggests, a force of nature; pure rave energy harnessed with without a hint of irony. That’s not to say it’s hands-in-the-air from beginning to end. Tracks like “Precious Standards” showcase P.Leone’s softer side, while “Factory Free,” the EP’s only true 4/4 track, would work just as well towards the end of the night as in the middle. The Berlin-based musician has also released on labels like Radio Slave’s Rekids, and Spencer Parker’s Work Them Records, while E-Missions has dropped heat from False Witness, Tred, Rush Plus, and label co-founder CAIAZZO. Following a busy 2019 tour schedule, P.Leone has gigs coming up in Sydney and Los Angeles. Though if Raw Emotion is any indication, we’ll be seeing much more of him very soon.
With support from Laurent Garnier, George Fitzgerald, Skream, Pete Tong, Michael Mayer, Patrice Bäumel, Maceo Plex, and Kölsch, and a 2019 gig calendar that saw him play Razzmatazz in Barcelona with Boys Noize, XOYO with Dusky, Night Tales with Radio Slave, as well as in Mumbai and Egypt, the UK’s Third Son must be doing something right. His latest release, a three-tracker on Polymath, speaks to why his support comes from such high places. Despite playing with well worn concepts, tracks like “The You In You Isn’t The You You Thought Was In You” feel bright and fresh, and would easily slide into sets by all kinds of DJs. He’s also released on Dusky’s 17 Steps, has been remixed by TERR & Nathan Micay, and has an upcoming EP on Matthew Herbert’s label. And it’s easy to see why. The warmth and strength in his best productions belies his youth by many years.
When she was 16-years-old, UK techno wunderkind IMOGEN was thrown out of her first club gig for being underage. Now, four years later, the 20-year-old DJ-producer has shared stages with the likes of Nina Kraviz, Special Request, Ellen Allien, Legowelt, Charlotte De Witte, Ben UFO, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, and others. With so many dance veterans taking notice and lending their support, IMOGEN looks ready to lead the next generation of techno lovers into the future. Behind the decks, her blend of sinister techno, breaks, and drenched electro is making the underground take notice in a big way. So far she’s showcased her production chops with three tracks, including her debut single on Mumdance’s Different Circles compilation, Shared Meanings, and the 20-year-anniversary compilation for fabric London (where she recently landed a residency). It’s still just taking shape, but IMOGEN’s musical identity is focused, mature, and razor-sharp. She’s releasing a new remix for Louisahhh soon and is bound to have much more to offer us in 2020 and beyond.
Liverpool-based artist Simon Keat (AKA Reedale Rise) has been releasing a steady stream of emotive techno and electro since 2015. A serious studio dweller that spends countless hours jamming on his MPC, Korg Monotron, Yamaha DX100, and other pieces of hardware, Keat has slowly but surely started to tour his exquisite live show throughout Europe. Inspired by Detroit electro innovators, like Drexciya’s James Stinton and Model 500, his charming and aquatic strain of electronic music makes for easygoing dance floor vibes that keep you moving while putting your mind at ease. After releasing on labels like Frustrated Funk, Where We Met, and Subwax Excursions, he dropped his widely respected debut LP Luminess Air in 2018 via Kondi Records. The latest EP from Reedale Rise, Barbary Coast, came out on Ornate Music this past December, and there is much more in the works from this noteworthy machine manipulator.
Along with artists like Pender Street Steppers, Nathan Micay, D. Tiffany, Yu Su, and Jacques Greene, Ex-Terrestrial is one of Canada’s leading lights. Following the release of his ethereal debut EP Paraworld via 1080p back in 2016, Ex-Terrestrial began to set his sights on the dancefloor with the creation of NAFF — a label piloted by himself and Montreal artist Priori. In 2018, Ex-Terrestrial delivered three jaw-dropping EPs: Euphorbia on Lone’s Magicwire; Portal Vision on NAFF; and Urth Born, which became the first release on Pacific Rhythm from a non-Vancouver based artist. Building up his discography with odd sci-fi grooves, dense soundscapes, and smooth breakbeat jams, he released his bold and coherent debut LP Gamma Infolded in November of 2019. Both Ex-Terrestrial and his NAFF imprint are essential points of reference for Canada’s electronic music renaissance — which is still very much in its heyday.