It’s quickly become one of our favourite Trommel traditions – our New Years resolution. Now onto our third year, we put forward 12 growing artists from our beloved scene who we think you need to keep a close eye on and if they’re playing in your city, or release a new record, they deserve your attention.
Our 2021 edition came out under…unusual circumstances, with clubbing calendars only taking up 3 or so months of the year in most countries thanks the pandemic. For the most part, 2021 has been on a reduced schedule, clubs in the UK only opened in July whilst other western European countries followed later on and other countries around the world have been up and down to say the least.
The past five or so months have been a whirlwind of emotion to say the least. Goodbye sit-down raves, the past few months have been a hazy celebration of clubs re-opening in normal circumstances and a stark yet beautiful reminder of what this is all about.
Without further ado, we present our 12 artists to watch in 2022, one artist for every month of the year as per usual. This a special selection of talented diggers, creative musicians, and all-around great artists who we can’t wait to see grow. Do not miss these artists!
Parisian trio 192 GmbH, consisting of International Mac, Frd, and Reusbi, first appeared on radars due to their YouTube channel, 192 Uploads. Uploading rare and obscure tracks with absolutely no pretence that some of these gems should remain hidden and be kept away from public knowledge.
The Berlin-based trio still maintain their YouTube channel, although they’re playing out their delectable records more than uploading them these days. There’s been recent debuts at Berlin institutions Club der Visionaere and Hoppetosse, and an unfortunately-cancelled UK debut for London-based party Acme, but there’s no doubt they’ll be back sooner rather than later to showcase their delightful section of weird, quirky, and outright outrageous records from decades gone by.
The collective have also recently started a label, aptly named 192 Rec, adding fresh material to their collections of older records with a first EP from Cesare Muraca.
The French artist has been catching attention this year not just for his eccentric fashion taste behind the decks, but with his deep cuts, versatility, and ability to get a dance floor moving. The Berlin-based DJ has been cultivating a notable presence for a number of years, with a slick and spacey mix for London’s Cartulis crew, as well as running Paris’ cult favourite record and clothes shop ‘Te Iubsesc’ from 2013 until 2018.
It was of course outside the online realm where Dawidu impressed us this year. His set at the inaugural Nostromo Festival served as an eye-opener for his talent as an artist and his deep understanding for how to move a crowd, both in a dance floor pandemonium sense and a deeper sense. It was his back-to-back with 2020 edition favourite Alec Falconer that cemented our thinking that Dawidu is one to watch thanks to his pumping and carefree selections which blended excellently alongside Falconer’s brand of wacky of house and breaks.
More info on Dawidu
The Berlin-based duo first burst onto our radars with their sublime Champions League EP on DJ Masda’s seminal Cabaret label back in the middle of 2019. Since then, Enrica Falqui and Dea Dvornik have gone from strength to strength, both individually but more so when they team up as ERIS.
With a debut for Rings of Neptune (ERIS agency) party at Club der Visionaere back in July, there was the beautifully blistering set at Brave Factory Festival in Kyiv, which was followed up by one of the best Trommel podcasts of the year. Not to mention, their debut for The Ghost’s Halloween party aboard the MS Hoppetosse stole the show even playing alongside the D’Julz and Gene On Earth.
We’re not sure what 2022 holds for the Berliners at this point, however, based on what we’ve seen from both in the studio and on the decks. We’re very excited for them to break beyond the realms of the German capital.
Italians do it better so the old saying goes, and it’s still standing the test of time. Jooice resident Gabbs is this year’s finest example of that. He’s been developing his craft with Rome promoters Jooice for a number of years now, but has began breaking out into fields outside his native Italy recently.
There was a recent debut at a Slow Life showcase at Club der Visionaere in the summer, which goes without saying is no mean feat for a seminal party and one that’s very careful about the guest DJs that play alongside Laurine and Cecilio. There were also whispers of a blinding set at ADE for Picnic, and, our favourite, his set at Star Lane Pizza Bar for Jooice’s showcase in early November. With the Italian spinning soothing Italian house, head-spinning edits, the perfect antidote to a hungover Sunday.
The London-based producer has been steadily rising over the past few years with his co-founded label Nothing But Nice, which has acted a steady base for his own releases. The two releases on the label, his Thinking Backwards and Mission of Vision EPs, solidified his name as a growing producer and one who’s playing a key role in breathing new music and sounds into the a scene that can be a bit too reliant on older music.
In 2020, Andrew expanded beyond Nothing But Nice horizons, releasing on Voigtmann’s Subsequent and Gene on Earth’s Limousine Dream, the first producer outside of the figurehead to do so. It’s a testament to his talent that Andrew was given the keys to such a milestone, and it felt safe to assume Limousine Dream was being kept as a place for Gene to solely release his music, but his A Slice Of Nice EP showcased why the American felt easy about opening his label up to the blossoming producer.
There wasn’t just a debut on Limousine Dream the label, but a debut for the party platform, too. In both the Berlin and London editions, Andrew played alongside the likes of Sugar Free, The Ghost, and Dyed Soundorom which signified a producer who’s beginning to make waves as a DJ. Sets for OPIA’s 2021 closing party as well as a date at Lion and Lamb alongside Dr Banana further illustrates his growing talent.
Moroccan born and Berlin-based Malika is another artist who’s managed to cultivate a curiosity within the scene through word of mouth and online mixes. The recording of her back-to-back with scene veteran Andrew James Gustav gave an insight into what Hoppetosse is like at it’s weirdest and most wonderful, as well illustrated she can easily hang with one of the best in the scene.
Her Dimensions mix illustrated her solo talent, with smooth mixing accompanied by even smoother, rolling tunes, sprinkled in with choppy UKG and punchy house. It wasn’t just online, though, she knocked our socks off at Bizarre Trax’s bank holiday party back in August, even alongside the likes of KRN and Markus Sommer.
A quickly growing knack and reputation for being a party starter is doing the Moroccan artist no harm and we can’t wait to see her in 2021, especially after her unfortunate cancellation at Butter Side Up’s 10th Birthday at Pickle Factory.
Slovenian artist Mayell has been steadily generating a name for himself over the past couple of years. With a steady flow of gigs in his native Slovenia, mostly associated with the blossoming LuckIsOn crew, who throw some of the finest and most creative parties in Europe.
Word had began to trickle down after sets at nights like Markus Summer and Phil Evans’ Pager night at Robert Johnson in Frankfurt, Ethel and Sugar Free’s Sobremesa in Berlin, and Patrick Poitz’s Lize night at Hoppetosse. His name was on our lips pre-pandemic, but it was only after everything began to open up, and a chance meeting of LuckIsOn hosting a room at HOME London back in October, that we got to see his magic in person.
A stunning combination of unique-sounding, older records and his own breath-taking productions, leaves you wondering whether what you just heard was produced three decades or just last week in his studio. Of course not in a dated sense, but in a sense that timeless music that could come from any generation is being crafted.
After our feature with Offenbach crew Traffic Records in November, in which Martyne said of Mayell, “There is huge potential on his hard drive and inside his mind.”, we can’t lie and say we’re not excited. There’s an up-coming EP on Traffic Records, and there’s doubtless more to come, and personally, we cannot wait.
For obvious reasons, we can’t play favourites with our Trommel podcasts. However, we’ll make an exception on this occasion. We’d be telling an outrageous lie if we didn’t say Melody’s podcast for the 57th edition of Trommel InSession didn’t blow us away. A stunning blend of pumping house, ethereal breaks, and glossy techno, all within an hour.
Her inclusion in our artists on the rise list is well overdue, she’s been catching our attention as a resident for the RA+RE party in Paris for a number of years now, playing alongside fellow talented artists Charlotte and Ethel. Her ability to seamlessly hop around genres and styles, pulling together music that’s decades apart, and creating a DJ set that demonstrates the sheer amount of amazing music out that speaks to her talent as a selector.
A special mention has to go to when Ethel and Melody play back-to-back, the two French artists possess an incredibly unique synergy and understanding that few back-to-backs have, case in point thei recent set for Mood Waves at Hoppetosse back in October. Special.
The Berlin-based artist has been a steady riser of the past couple of years, and it wasn’t easy to break out during the pandemic, especially in a city as competitive as Berlin, but then most DJs aren’t as talented as French selector So-Fi.
A recent co-sign from none other than Jane Fitz, who said So-Fi’s set at Nostromo was one of her favourite this year, can safely be backed up by every time we’ve seen her play. We can also confirm that her Nostromo set was something special and felt like it was coming from an artist with double her experience behind the decks. Close ties to Matthias’ Superliminal party series in Berlin have also helped expose her to a deserved wider audience, with bookings outside the homogenous digger capital of Berlin sure to follow thanks to her esoteric selections of acid, techno, and breaks.
We’ve made little secret of our love for London-based party crew Spaced. Whilst we’ve enjoyed sets over the years from the likes of Christian AB, KRN, and The Ghost, the formation of the crew’s solid base comes from their roster of residents, who after years of steadily rising, are beginning to breakout into corners previously unexplored.
Tho, whose dazzled us with his sets alongside DJing partner Loren, has began to make serious headway in 2021. His set alongside back-to-back with Loren on the opening weekend of clubs in the UK was the perfect antidote to clubs being closed for the 16 months in the UK.
Sitdown ‘raves’ served a noble purpose at the time, but from the moment we set foot in Pickle Factory on the 23rd July, the sensations of being in a club came streaming back. It wasn’t just that one night at Pickle, though, Tho’s sets have become regular in the English capital, and with a treasure trove of obscure records, it’s unlikely that he’ll fail to impress whenever you see him.
A debut at clubbing institution Closer was a particular 2021 highlight, but it’s sets on home turf in London which have consistently filled us with that special kind of dance floor joy. When you regularly play in a city and become tied to it, there can be a danger that you fail to surprise or fall into similar patterns, that’s not the case with Tho. Even after seeing him a multitude of times, if anything, it becomes harder and harder to figure just how deep his record collection can go.
The undisputed podcast champion of the world? Maybe. Probably. Could very well be. The London-based DJ has been steadingly rising through local gigs and online mixes over the past few years, but in 2021 Vass has broken out into wider circles since clubs re-opened.
Gigs for local institutions Art of Dark and Cartulis have begun to shine a bright spotlight onto the rising DJ. Luckily for him, and us, he’s got plenty of records to showcase. His back-to-back with Cartulis co-founder Raphael Carrau at Lion and Lamb was a personal favourite of Trommel’s in those hazy first few months of post-lockdown partying. A recent mix for Desyn’s Faciendo series shows that whilst he’s broken out into the club circle, the podcast king is still up to his old tricks.
From sit-down raves at The Cause, to that back-to-back with Carrau down the boozer, Vass has impressed whenever we’ve seen him. His set at FOLD for Art of Dark just before Francesco Del Garda in late December was as strong a confirmation as possible that Vass is a serious selector with a serious record collection, and the only way for him is up.
It’s been two years since we tipped Parisian DJ Miclea as one of our artists to watch, and we’ve been feeling pretty good about our selection ever since. But at the same time, shame on us for not featuring Wendy in the same edition. Paris has become the most significant playground for those who like their music more obscure. Miclea and Wendy are two rising stars at the forefront of the scene, with the duo often playing back-to-back, but Wendy’s also forging her own path and cementing her status as one of the most fun DJs to hear play in the game.
A style that matches the shining French scene, deep cuts, quirky baselines, scintillating keys, there’s an endearing warmth to the records Wendy pulls out. A cunning and carefully curated selection of ’90s Italian house, quirky UK prog-house, and anything that’ll have you breaking out into a big grin as she works her magic.
More info on Mayell