At the beginning of every year, the clubbing landscape looks ahead at what’s to come. With so many artists now on the circuit, it’s often difficult for artists to break through and make their mark. However, talent does eventually shine through and some artists quickly make waves within their cities.
At Trommel, we are known for supporting underground acts. We pick quality instead of quantity. With that being said, we’re taking it one step further and supporting acts who we think are pushing the scene forward away from the hype and confetti of the mainstream.
Trommel writer Andrew Leese was set the task of picking out 10 names who he thinks are doing good things right now. He picked 12.
Some of these acts may already have influential booking agents or released EPs on established labels. Others acts may be on the verge of breaking through or finally getting the recognition they deserve. To put it simply, think of this as more a guide than an “essentials” list.
Let us know who you think is pushing forward by mentioning us on Trommel’s social media channels.
Classically trained pianist Adam Longman Parker aka Afriqua is one of the most exciting names in electronic music right now. Under his Afriqua guise, Adam has managed to combine dreamy pads and percussion, creating an instantly recognisable deep house sound. His latest release on the legendary R&S Records follows on perfectly from previous releases on Cure Music and Mayak Russia.
After hitting the US at the back end of 2017, Adam has already joined Rhadoo and Steve O’Sullivan in Tulum in 2018 and is set for his biggest year yet with a date at Concrete in Paris already confirmed.
Eglo Records founder Alexander Nut has been getting recognition from all the right places for the last few years now. The UK artist is already gigging out every weekend and is a regular on London radio show NTS after featuring on Boiler Room and Rinse FM in the past. You only have to look at the lineups he’s being booked on to realise Nut is a true selector, championing soul, broken beat and whatever else happens to take his fancy in his sets.
While Trommel’s main love is, of course, minimal, there is still space for listening to something more experimental. Tune into Alexander’s NTS show every other Sunday evening for some late night futurism. If Floating Points or Byron The Aquarius is your thing, you’re in for a treat.
At only 20 years old, Casey Spillman has been making music since he was in his early teens. Over the last year, Casey’s sound has matured from bassline house to stripped back, hypnotic minimal grooves. Following his debut release on Draft LTD, Spillman is focusing his energy on more music with his Wednezday Flavourz’ series and an incoming release on 4Plae records confirmed for later this year.
After playing out regularly in London for the past few years, Casey played the main room of London’s crown jewel Fabric early in 2018, showing us it’s only a matter of time before this young man is gigging regularly outside of the city, starting with a gig in Manchester at The Nest.
Listen in to Casey’s guest mix alongside ADMNTi on Hoxton FM.
Just over a year ago, HAAi pronounced Hi, was still an unknown artist in London. Now HAAi is Phonox London’s Saturday night resident and a regular on London’s Rinse FM Radio. With several all night long shows already under her belt, this London-based Ozzie is well versed in house, techno, acid, disco, and afro-house as well as more unusual worldly sounds.
If you lock into her Coconut Beats show on Rinse, you’ll often hear her own esoteric tastes as she shares the knowledge she has built up over many years of digging across Africa and Europe. At the end of 2017, HAAi launched Coconut Beats as a record label; dropping her third solo release ‘Feels’.
Head down to Phonox on a Saturday night for an education in all things electronica and beyond.
Harry McCanna has been working his way around the London scene, forming relationships with the crew at Half Baked and beyond. With the influence of London pub Lion & Lamb growing; McCanna is one of a few handpicked DJs pushing the venue’s sound forward championing stripped back grooves.
McCanna is a classic example of London’s underground scene. He runs a label and event named Undersound, he’s one half of North-South Records and his mixing on the decks is tighter than most artist touring full time.
All the London heads know about McCanna but going to that next level takes time. With productions coming on Half Baked Records and Entity in 2018; this could be the year all that hard work pays off.
Twenty-six-year-old Matt Farrow is creating quite a buzz in the city of Leeds under his alias Kepler. The MASS resident is part of a small community pushing the minimal sound in the city, following the lead of big boys System. After learning his craft inside the four walls of Mint Club, Farrow has shared lineups with Ricardo Villalobos, Zip and Rhadoo.
Now Kepler is part of the team at MASS, who in the last year has been pushing the scene forward with a series of events at The Wire. Alongside the highly rated Jack Wickham, Kepler has shared the stage with the likes of Z@p, Spacetravel, Cezar and Cristi Cons and is now finding his productions in the record bags of some of his inspirations.
Back in 2014, Greek underground artist Lex was booked to play Output’s Panther Room in New York. Since then, Lex has been steadily gigging in his hometown of Athens after learning his trade at Radical Soundz record store.
2018 could well be the year that Lex breaks through. His latest production as Lex & The Longtail on London-based record label Signature Records is straight-up fire, receiving support from selectors Rossko, Rich NxT, Djebali and Fabe.
Having already supported Miss Kitten at SEDS in Athens this year, this shows us at Trommel the talent is there. Afterall, not everybody gets the opportunity to play at a spot like Output. Now Lex needs to put it all together and make himself known outside of his hometown of Athens. This fire EP is a good start to doing exactly that…
Oshana has been doing her thing since 2012 but last year her career went to a whole new level. With the Yoyaku Agency handling her bookings, New York-born Oshana has become an adopted member of the Partisan movement that is making waves across Europe and beyond.
As an indication of how far Oshana has come since 2012, last July; the Berlin-based artist played Robert Johnson (Frankfurt), Concrete (Paris) and Club der Visionaire (Berlin) within the space of three days before jetting off to Malaysia and South Korea for two dates the following weekend.
If you’re new to the name and want a head start on her productions – check out Dream Frequencies on Yoyaku as your go to. Going back a bit, one of her breakthrough productions I See Through You was featured on the highly regarded Fabric mix by Raresh in 2014.
Oshana plays live at the brand new UP Festival in Prague in May.
Before his release on Chris Carrier’s Adults Only label in 2017, Pierre Codarin had only appeared on his own self-titled imprint. Since launching the label, Codarin has earned himself an army of support with minimal tastemakers Raresh, Molly and Valentino Kanzyani all playing his records. Support has also come from the tech-heavy Radioslave and the versatile selector Jackmaster.
2018 is looking promising for the British/Italian producer (with a French name). Coming off the back of his release on EWax with Julien Sandre is the 5th release on his label before a debut release on French label Laate. This one comes with a remix from Le Loup.
Look out for a Trommel exclusive coming soon.
North-East producer Martyn Hodgson is a man on the rise. Under his alias TIJN, the In Haus Wax label owner has released a number of consistent releases on FA>IE Records, Curtea Veche & Unblock. His releases have found themselves in the record bag of some of the industries finest, receiving support from Dyed Soundorom, Enzo Siragusa and Rich NxT over the last 12-months.
With his productions getting everybody talking, it won’t be long until you’re seeing the name TIJN on posters across Europe alongside some of minimal techno’s leading tastemakers.
Vinyl Speed Adjust
Quality productions are two words synonymous with Romanian duo Vinyl Speed Adjust. And whilst their music broke-through a few years ago with releases on Visionquest and Pressure Traxx, Eddy and Levi are still enjoying a gradual ascent to the forefront of a new ilk of Romanian artists.
2018 has started off well with shows in London, Bucharest, and Frankfurt. Now the guys are now looking forward to a trip across the pond in February, as they embark on a 12-gig tour at some of The Americas’ most revered underground bastions. The tour spans across both North America and Mexico, including dates at UnMute in Miami, TBA Brooklyn in New York, Dialogue in Los Angeles, Flash in Washington DC and Spybar in Chicago.
Gigging aside, we can also expect to see some brand new wax hitting the shelves over the coming months, with 12″ releases on their own music outlet ‘VSA Records‘ and Italian label ‘animæ‘. With their discography having now surpassed 20 vinyl-only records, it is fair to say that you should have at least one Vinyl Speed Adjust collector’s item in your record bag by now.
Check out the Trommel premiere of ‘We Don’t Belong Here’ on VSA Records. Out 15/02
Ever since Move D discovered Willow’s music at Gottwood a few years ago, the Manchester-born London-based artist has been touring across Europe mixing eclectic and experimental records together one-by-one.
As an artist, Willow isn’t scared to push boundaries and test the dance floor. Her RA mix takes you on a personal journey of her musical influences; somehow arranging music from Joy Orbison, Seven Davis Jr, Kowton, Marcel Fengler, Prince and a Missy Elliot dub into a seamless one-hour vinyl-only mix.
After a year of finding the balance between touring, producing, and keeping her head straight; Willow is set for another groundbreaking year that already features confirmed gigs at Berghain for Workshop, Robert Johnson and a return to Gottwood Festival in the U.K.
Header Image: Khris Cowley (Here & Now)
Afriqua – Camille Blake
HAAi – Alex Donnel Luca
Lex – Alexandros Petsavas
Pierre Codarin – James White