As we end a truly odd and challenging year, we've asked some of our crew and extended family to look forward, onwards and upwards - sharing some musical excitement!
Jack Beattie: pq
Nilihoxica's synth-extrodinaire pq is a talented producer in his own right. Equally at home creating intricate club-ready hits as he is expansive drones and ambient journies, pq's catalogue is already an extensive and exciting listen. His grime productions for Uganda's Ecko Bazz have been played by the likes of DJ Stingray and Lauren Laverne, while lesser know productions under his own moniker have garnered support from such underground heavyweights as AYA and Disfig. With a wicked remix of Swordsman Kitala out recently on Blip Discs, there's no better time to get stuck into the music of pq.
Will Soer: Celiiine
This is the new alias of DJ extraordinaire Jossy Mitsu. Like her 6 Figure Gang co-member Fauzia, Jossy has taken her time to work out a distinct, personally expressive sound before putting out any productions, resulting in an introductory ep of ‘rain music’ named Wet Play. It’s the sound of an incoming storm.
Joel Baker: Namasenda
Sweden’s next generation eurobeat specialist. I was put on to her earlier this year when we were still aloud to properly party. It’s safe to say that at Bangface her tracks (some of which actually date back a few years) were on repeat whenever we were back at the chalet, but since lockdown occurred I’ve continued having those same tracks on repeat. She’s had a few releases signed to PC music and this year (on her second release with them) collaborated with A.G. Cooke! I’m very excited to see how she’ll further her style in 2021. She’s so good at what she does that I bought the t-shirt tbqfh!
Richard Meaney: Cooke
The Manchester-based producer is one of the shining lights of the UK’s minimal scene. Managing three label and event brands - Tranquil, Cactus and Saver, Cooke has also released on labels such as The Lab, Not Allowed & Faze Audio.
Kortzer: Slave to Society
Although a well established producer and artist, Slave to Society is without doubt one to watch out for in the year ahead. Expect some heavy, heavy releases...
Francesco Pastorelli: Katatonic Silentio
Ironically enough, one positive side-effect of club closures during 2020 has been the opportunity for many artists that do not focus on traditional club sounds to capture more public interest. Many of these artists have dedicated time to introspection-led production. Katatonic Silentio is a Milan based polyhedric artist who’s been dedicating herself to apocalyptic music long before the pandemic made it cool. She's already captured many ears with her first releases on Cyberspeak and Bristol Normcore in the last couple of years. To give you an idea, lined up for beginning of 2021 is a complete remake of 2019 album Prisoner of The Self on Bristol Normcore, with 5 remixes by incredible artists such as Stenny, Zuli, Herva, Walton, Kinlaw and more. And, a bird told me she's cooking something up for a big label from Germany...
NK INDUSTRY: Duppy
Hailing from South London, prodigal grime artist Duppy has all of the winning qualities: old school flair, new school execution, self-aware poise, true microphone presence - and a voice that does nothing but cut through on a mucky live set. He's had a big 2020, including most recently a 10/10 performance for Oblig's Christmas set on Rinse FM, so I'm definitely looking forward to what he's got coming up in 2021.
Tom Moon: Wesley Joseph
Wesley Joseph is an up-and-coming rapper and producer based in North West London. His debut single Imaginary Friends was released in April and represents a unique twist on alternative rap, with hints of R&B, soul and jazzy elements. Since then, he’s put out two further singles, both accompanied with highly professional music videos entirely directed by himself. His DIY approach to things - all of his tracks are self-produced with self-written lyrics - demonstrates a 23 year old with a clear vision and sound that is both original and inspiring. This is also shown in the delivery of his lyrics, with a flow that brings to mind the likes of a hybrid between Frank Ocean and Andre 3000. Working with the likes of Leon Vynehall and Joy O, he promises to expand on his mission to not be pigeonholed into one specific genre.
Neutral Territory: DJ DeepLooking through my record collection, there’s several techno & electro artists that stand out as having had a busy 2020 and who I’d expect even more from next year: the likes of Airod, Luz1e, Julian Muller, Sepehr for starters. But for my actual pick, I’m going to select an infamous artist whose releases still really inspire me. DJ Deep continues to put out eclectic and interesting electronic music, highlighted by the recent Fosph EP which would be a contender for my fave release this year. The subtle yet raw dance floor energy of Escape makes it the best track, showing exactly what this artist is about. Despite already being big in the game, I expect more to come from this legend!
Medallion Man: Parallel Action
A brand new project from a legendary producer. Jude Greenaway’s new Parallel Action alias was introduced to the world at the back end of 2020 via his debut single 10/10 - a collaboration with rapper Charlie Boy Manson and co-released on Loose Lips & C7NEMA100. His productions are an incredible blend of head-bumping soundsystem bangers, trip-hop influences and soundscapes, made by someone whose ear so clearly has delved into outstanding sonics from various genres. His full EP with Charlie Boy Manson is dropping on vinyl in early 2020 and he then has a full album, which features collaborations with a range of artists, following later in the year - don’t miss it!
Ian Charles Carter: Puma Blue
If you know me you you know I’ve been raving about Puma Blue for a few years now. After a slew of EPs and Live albums. 2020 saw the the release of some new singles and 2021 will see the release of Puma Blues Debut Album ‘In Praise of Shadows’. There’s obvious comparisons to the likes of Jeff Buckley and Radiohead yet Puma Blue wraps all of this nicely in a modern package. This is a new sound, not a copy cat, with influences from Neo Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz and minimal electronica to name a few. I have a feeling the release of this album will bring much deserved mainstream attention to Puma Blue and I’m excited to see where it’ll take this extremely talented artist.