11 Techno Artists to watch out for In 2019
2019 has been a good year for Techno. With the scene that was once relatively underground, it is now emerging and is being featured on the mainstages of multiple music festivals.
Yet, it has managed to retain its niche. As the scene keeps growing, it leads to the more artists coming out from under the wraps with more music as well. We list down 11 acts who we think will absolutely nail it this year with their music. Read on!
1. Object Blue
London-based producer and DJ object blue released her debut EP Do you plan to end a siege? on TT in 2018, with single “Act like it then” being named as tracks of the year by Resident Advisor, Mixmag and FACT magazine. She continued her exploration of experimental sounds and dancefloor rhythms with REX EP on Let’s Go Swimming, charted as one of top 2018 releases by Soulfeeder and FACT magazine. After becoming a Rinse resident, live sets at Corsica Studios, Berlin Atonal and Unsound Krakow, as well as DJing Printworks and No Bounds Festival, she was nominated by Hyponik as Breakthrough Act of the year.
Ziúr is a Berlin-based DJ/producer, dedicated to combining different sonic textures and brainy beats into a functional dancefloor framework – clearly intended for loud sound systems (and preferably accompanied by a fog machine) but without any strict loyalty toward a certain BPM or subgenre. In 2015, Ziúr self-released her first mixtape. Titled /xuːx/, seamlessly mixing seven instrumentals and two vocal collabs, with Brooklyn’s Samantha Urbani & Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and San Francisco rapper MicahTron. The tweaked follow-up single “Lips” and its video dropped just as Ziúr joined Peaches on a string of European tour dates. In 2016, Ziúr played across Europe with Kablam, Amnesia Scanner, Patten and DJ PayPal, but she took even bigger strides in the studio. Following her contribution to Peaches’ remix album (which The Fader called “perhaps the record’s most exciting moment”), she released her official debut EP, Taiga (Infinite Machine), which was praised by Mixmag: “Her mutations blenderize hunks of techno, trance, and noise… her productions sound like little else out there.” Resident Advisor rated it as “one of experimental club music’s most formidable new records”
3. Remco Beekwilder
Fairly new to the scene, but already way ahead of his game. With his signature sound, clearly rooted in nostalgia, the Dutchman quickly marked his own place in the electronic scene by playing at some of the leading clubs and events such as Awakenings, Reaktor, Berghain, and Tresor. Early 2018 the Dutchman formed his label EMERALD, releasing records from himself and others. Humbly pushing forward his vision of electronic music whilst trying to stay loyal to the rave.
4. Gunnar Haslam
New Yorker Gunnar Haslam is a rare talent with a unique intellect. Trained in particle physics and signal processing, he first began DJing and producing music as an undergraduate at NYU. He met Ron Morelli, the founder of L.I.E.S. records, while shopping at A1 Records in the East Village and Ron released Gunnar’s first record in 2013, the highly-acclaimed Mimesiak LP. Since this first release, he’s been highly prolific, putting his career as a physicist on the back burner while going deeper into the world of synths and maintaining a steady outpouring of music spanning acid, techno, ambient, and home listening. You have probably heard or danced along to one of his multiple EPs on Delsin, Argot, Mister Saturday Night and Efdemin’s Naïf label, or are familiar with his collaborative work with Tin Man as Romans, who released an EP and recent LP on The Bunker New York.
5. Derek Plaslaiko
Many DJs have reputations defined by a certain place and time. Not so for Derek Plaslaiko, whose 20-year career behind the decks has seen him gather a loyal fan base wherever and whenever he may be. Some will know Derek as a favorite of the mid-90s Detroit warehouse scene, which lead by a personal invite from Carl Craig to appear at the inaugural Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2000. Others recognize him from his near decade-long residency at New York’s Bunker parties. Wherever one picks up Plaslaiko’s story, maybe during his days dealing discs in Detroit’s famed Record Time dance room or possibly the years spent moving serious weight at Watts and Syntax Distribution, the one constant is top-shelf musical taste, as defined by Plaslaiko’s personal heroes—names like Laurent Garnier, Daniel Bell and Zip, and colleagues including Carlos Souffront, Jason Kendig and Mike Servito—and a passion for music that over-rides the usual trappings of the modern DJ industry.
6. Fumiya Tanaka
Through his long career over 20 years as a DJ and a track maker, Fumiya Tanaka has been the most prolific artist on the front line of the Japanese Techno scene. His signature DJ style unfolds in simultaneous response between the sound with a solid groove and the dance floor is extraordinary. Still, the floor orientated simple groove prevails, his recent works and his selection of the music have been refined after his experimental and more house groove music under the aliases as Karafuto or Indivisual orchestra towards furthermore musical expansion. The various elements are combined in his sound and sometimes two opposed elements exist in a minimal format which is a reflection of the innovator’s desire to seek the new possibilities. After moving to Berlin he performs worldwide including his local Panorama Bar in Berlin and other parties and festivals in Europe i.e. England, France, Romania, and Russia.
7. Zenker Brothers
The Berlin-based duo, Zenker brothers are one you should definitely keep a watch for. It was the elder one of the brothers, Dario, who first found his way into Munich’s flourishing scene of electronic dance music during the late nineties. He was a huge fan of Hip Hop and Dub when he stumbled into the neon lights of the omnipresent Goa parties that got staged in many clubs. His first set of turntables was a gift from his parents at the age of fifteen and he quickly found himself at the other side of the dance floor. In 2006 his younger brother Marco, who also was an enthusiastic supporter of Hip Hop and Reggae music – apart from being quite a talented skateboarder -, went to see Dario perform and fell in love with the unique vibe of Techno and House parties. This night was a crucial turning point in any sense. It was only a question of time when these two artists and brothers would canalise their creativity and start to work together. In 2007 they founded the label Ilian Tape with some long lasting friends, in order to establish a platform for their own productions, and in 2012 they started playing their notorious B2B sets. Rooted in the legacy of Detroit and Techno, House, Dub, Rap Music, and Breakbeats, the two brothers managed to define their own trademark sound over the years with their own productions, and their own way of running a label by building a fundament with patience. The brothers never forget their roots, where they came from and the essential meaning of a well-known Munich proverb: “Live and let live”, so furthermore they transcend the musical legacy of their hometown into the new millennium, shaping and forming it the Zenkerian way towards something very unique and – even more important – connective.
Saschienne is the duo of Julienne Dessagne and Sascha Funke, signing responsible for a uniquely genre-bending body of work that is as intricate as it is propelling – an expertly balanced blend of both the abstract and the concrete. Pooling the forces of different musical backgrounds, Funke and Dessange formed Saschienne in 2012, debuting with their sublimely subtle full-length “Unknown” on Kompakt. Already, Funke himself was no stranger to the advanced techno club circuit, with much-acclaimed releases on Kompakt and BPitch Control under his belt, while singer and producer Dessagne subsequently developed her own electronic solo project between exquisite post-industrial leanings and hedonist dance culture, releasing EPs on Optimo Music and Hippie Dance as The Twins. In 2015, the pair followed up their debut album with the EP “Golden Prints”, delving deeper into the twisted realms of somber, yet strangely soothing electronic music. Also touring with an array of synthesizers and drum pads, their leftfield techno/pop live show has been continuously described as a showstopper – those who know, know.
Weval is a collaboration between two pals from the Netherlands – Harm Coolen and Merijn Scholte Albers. Both Harm and Merijn got their start in the film industry, which is where they met in 2010. When they found out they shared the love for the same sound, they decided to pool in and form a duo to produce music. Merijn’s musical background is mainly trip-hop, while Harm is influenced by house and jazz music. The two combined their different backgrounds into a unique sound for their first EP, “Half Age” on Atomnation, released in March 2013. Shortly thereafter, they premiered their live show at Pitch Festival 2013, after which more shows followed. The duo is working hard on their new EP which will be released on the legendary Kompakt label.
10. Murat Tepeli
Murat Tepeli’s trade is poise. In his sets, he creates the perfect harmony between ecstasy and ass shaking on one hand and gentle emotion and elegance on the other. In his production, he often pairs melancholy with the necessity to dance, opulence and reduction, loud and quiet. Professionally, Murat Tepeli walks the tightrope of being a DJ in the Club and a surgeon in the operating theatre. He combines these extremes with playful energy and manages to put the full range of emotions and experiences into his sets. Through his energising sets in clubs such as Zukunft, Fabric, Rex, and Paradiso, at festivals in countries like Poland, Israel, and India, with regular gigs at Panorama Bar and a residency at the Cologne-based Pulstar nights, Murat Tepeli built himself an international fanbase. With his mixture of physicalness and emotion, his sets are always representing the pulse of life, a beating heart full of emotion.
“I love it when the dancefloor is magnetised by a simple and sexy baseline and then groovy percussion picks you up and drives you to ecstasy. When you close your eyes, a voice touches your soul, you start to sing along and then a smile, sometimes even a tear, appears on your face, that’s when you lose yourself and your emotions in the music. That is the foundation of my house.”
A dominant force on the Brooklyn underground scene, Ariana is known for tough, stripped-back techno and groovy, acid-flavored sets. She has been a busy DJ and event producer since 2006 and in that time has shared the decks with many international stars including The Black Madonna, Marcel Dettmann, DVS1, The Hacker, Legowelt and Mike Servito. Based in NYC since 2011, she holds two monthly residencies: JACK DEPT. NYC at Bossa Nova Civic Club is a top event of the notorious hotspot that’s focused on an acidic house party vibe featuring standout DJs and producers from across the burgeoning American scene. The mighty UNTER party pushes the harder edges of techno and in just a year has won accolades as the best after-hours in New York.
Which ones do you think we should keep an eye out for? Don’t forget to let us know in the comments’ section below.