BEST TECHNO ARTISTS 2019
2019 is a year that saw the techno scene boom.
From the genre making it to the mainstages of multiple large scale festivals, artists being invited to play across various events and almost having touched commercial success, the genre continues to grow leaps and bounds and shows no signs of stopping. That being said, this year also saw us being introduced to multiple new acts that made it big this year. We list down 10 who had an impactful year. Read on to see who made us to our list!
Charlotte De Witte
Belgium’s Charlotte de Witte produces dark, driving techno that focuses on stark, pounding rhythms, occasionally incorporating shreds of haunting melodies or vocals, as on EPs such as 2018’s The Healer.
Born in Ghent, de Witte first started to DJ in 2010, when she was 17. She initially adopted the pseudonym Raving George so that people would concentrate on her DJ skills rather than her gender. Initially, she played electro-house and EDM, and got her first big break by winning a Studio Brussel DJ contest and spinning at the Tomorrowland festival in 2011. She returned to the festival several times and became a resident DJ at Studio Brussel, in addition to performing at other festivals such as I Love Techno and Pukkelpop. She appeared on the cover of DJ Mag in 2017, and recorded an Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 in 2018.
Over the year, she announced her new label KNTXT and played shows in association with major festivals such as Awakenings, Tomorrowland, etc and has roped in multiple globally reputed acts for the same.
Tale Of Us
This tale dawns in Milan, where Karm and Matteo met at a very young age. The Lombardic capital will turn out to be the preface of their success story as they now reside in Berlin, their inspirational verge.
Born in Toronto, Karm moved to Italy when he was just a child. It was at the tender age of ten when his parents took him to a classical concert that he felt “true love at first sight.” He dreamed of becoming a pianist but eventually settled for law school. Matteo left New York when he was just a year old and spent his late teens booking techno artists for his loft parties. After Karm quit law school, the pair met while studying music production at the SAE Institute. There, they bonded over a mutual love for music and discovered their complementary talents, thus marking the origin of Tale Of Us.
Amelie Lens is a Belgian electronic music DJ, record producer, and co-owner of the Lenske record label. She is signed to the Pan-Pot imprint Second State records, with whom she has released several singles and EPs, the most successful to date being 2017’s Contradiction EP. She has also recorded for the Drumcode and Elevate labels. Her live sets tend towards bass-heavy minimal techno, mixing classic acid and tribal house influences with more contemporary European techno sounds.
Lens has toured extensively across Europe and North America, including a 2017 appearance at LaPlage de Glazart in Paris, and at the 2018 Awakenings festival in the Netherlands.
Adriatique’s DJ performances, as well as their productions, are long, meditative, relentlessly building affairs, ever challenging the listener with subtle twists interrupting their hypnotic groove. There is more to the duo than just a well-oiled electronic music machine, however. They also live together, draw plans together, and support art in all its forms together.
After almost a decade of joint work, 2016 saw the fulfillment of Adrian and Adrian’s long-held wish: the founding of their very own music label annex platform for the arts. Called Siamese, their imprint releases Adriatique’s own music as well as productions by others, as long as it adheres to the Adrians’ creed: that music should be meditation. Going above and beyond the average for a label, Siamese also supports visual and performance artists, organizing club nights that place these collaborators in the spotlights just as much as the musical stars.
Gerd Janson is running the German label Running Back together with Thorsten Scheu (aka Glance). Like many kids who have grown up in the early 90s in the South West of Germany, Gerd Janson was a regular guest at Mannheim’s legendary Milk Club. Although this venue was most popular for putting jungle on the map in Germany, Gerd always used to wait eagerly for the early morning hours when the pace slowed down and the US styled house was the ruling sound. In the following years, his deep love for house and disco music was fed in Frankfurt’s Wild Pitch Club by Heiko MSO and Ata. In 1998, Gerd Janson finally had his first DJ residency at Darmstadt’s Café Kesselhaus.
Gerd Janson has been serving the hottest house and disco cuts at Frankfurt’s Robert Johnson where he has been hosting the Liquid club nights together with DJ heavyweight Thomas Hammann for the past few years. Without a doubt, Gerd Janson is one of the hottest talents on the German DJ circuit.
From a Spandau-Basement experiment to a now well-established force in contemporary techno: The rise of the smoked-out musicians that go by the name of FJAAK has been nothing short of spectacular so far.
With eleven singles & EPs, two albums and a couple of compilation appearances under their belt, FJAAK can look back on a large discography (compared to their still relatively young ages) that packs quite a punch. Easily moving through House, Techno, Rave, Ambient & Breakbeat, one can only wonder what the trio will release next. The only thing guaranteed: It will always move a dancefloor.
Clubs of this world are familiar with FJAAK. They’ve taken their pulverizing live show across the whole world and played in every club worth mentioning. Their strong Instagram (possibly the best in the game) has lifted them onto the radar of every weed head on the planet, making sure every show is packed out.
Through both time in the studio and time on the road, Jamie Roberts has dedicated the last decade to developing his alias, Blawan – and in the process, he’s created a universe within techno that’s all his own. Roberts grew up in Barnsley, the UK and from an early age was etching out his musical path as a drummer – a relic of the past which should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his productions. Indeed, his discography as Blawan illuminates a natural fluency for rhythm, whether straight, stridently syncopated, or swinging somewhere in between.
Dixon has always maintained the importance of delivering an authentic message. This striving for a unique identity has driven an obsession with making personal edits, tweaking tracks until they fit just right. Sometimes it means striking the right balance between educating and entertaining the crowd. But mostly it involves staying open to new ideas, following the urge to explore and trusting the same instincts that were formed in the very first years of his career. It’s a unique combination that has helped to create intimate, compelling and above all lasting memories on and off the dance floor.
Peggy Gou is a South Korean-born DJ and producer based in Berlin. During the 2010s, she became internationally renowned for energetic DJ sets, which dreamily flow through various styles of techno, house, and electro. Her own tracks, such as the acclaimed 2018 single “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane),” are vibrant, joyous productions that echo vintage deep house and post-disco without sounding like a throwback.
As a DJ Ellen Allien has enormous skills and resources, sourcing and collecting music for many years. A techno lover from the start Ellen comfortably blends and weaves a pattern of her own hypnotic Berlin techno, acid, freak jack slammers, and classics. Absorbing the space and the energy of the dancers, she creates something mysterious and captivating for the here and now. Extraterrestrial Allien Dance is taking place. Ellen Allien holds residencies in the clubs Nitsa, Barcelona and Circoloco at DC10, Ibiza and is a regular in clubs such as Madrid’s Mondo. She started her already infamous bi-monthly ‘We Are Not Alone’ raves at Griessmühle in her beloved and vibrant native town Berlin that will guest in other cities around the globe too – just as her in-store record shop happenings under the name Vinylism.
Of course, it was difficult to keep the list restricted to only 10 names, however, we did our best to list down artists who really pushed the boundary this year with their music. Who were the most impactful ones for you this year? Let us know in the comments below!