We’ve gone to great lengths to speak to as many people on our list as possible about their plans for the coming year, so we’ll keep this introduction brief. Some names you’ll be familiar with, other we’ve never featured before. They may not make it onto daytime radio or headline arena tours by the end of the year, but all of them captured our attention in a big way last year and we’re hugely excited to hear what they’ve got in store for 2014. So, in alphabetical order (and yes, we noticed half of them begin with ‘A’)…
Adesse Versions was one of our favourite newcomers of 2013. Baayi was all over festival sets last summer (even if it took us another six month to realise!), which was then followed up by the excellent Pressured EP. Powerful vocal and percussion samples seem to be the common thread in his productions, but there really is no pigeon-holing a sound which traversed the house spectrum. Adesse’s next work is titled Just Freaks In The Dark EP, a white label release on 17th February, which he describes as “more crafty underground edits, this time around the theme of sex and sleaze”. We’ve had a listen and both of those elements are most certainly present; expect it to take hold of the darker recesses of the dancefloor this Spring.
We couldn’t put the list together and not feature someone from Bristol, so Admin is our tip from out west. 2013 was a great year for Adam, with releases on Boogie Futuro, Glasgow Underground and Chasing Unicorns and we were delighted to welcome him alongside Andrés at our Christmas party. We’ve been given a peek into his double-digit collection of unreleased tracks, and while we can’t reveal much, we’re predicting labels will be fighting to sign them this year. With all this going on, Adam’s trying to knuckle down with the final year of his degree. He’s going to need some jedi focus, because the labels that have inquired so far are enough to make anyone want to pack in studying altogether.
Al Dobson Jr
Al Dobson Jr is one name on this list yet to be featured by us, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been following his movements closely. We first met him at the Friday Late: Peckham Takeover at the V&A Museum, where his set in the main foyer went deep into far-off territories from all over the world. These global sounds inform the beats he makes, which aren’t in abundance online, but can be heard on the Japan Project or the Hit & Run 2013 sampler, free to download here. Another clue of his growing stature, is the attention Jr is receiving from some important tastemakers. He’s already got two Boiler Room appearances under his belt and his last EP with Tenderlonious sold out at Sounds of the Universe in a week; and this is without getting to his schedule for 2014. First up is an EP on Kutmah’s label Izwid, followed by another with the newly-formed Rhythm Section records, run by Boiler Room’s Bradley Zero. Perhaps not one for worldwide fame this year, but we’re really into what Jr’s doing so will enjoy watching him bubble under in the coming months.
This young Australian producer is another newcomer who really impressed us in 2013. Erskin Falls EP and Embassy Cafe LP (see tracks below for tasters) were two beautifully crafted, soul-tinged homages to early house, further securing our faith in Melbourne as a hotbed for musical talent. This year, Fox has plans to tour Europe, with dates in the UK, Netherlands and Germany penned in. There will also be a follow-up to Embassy Café coming out – another nod to a popular late night dining destination, Café Romantica will be out on on Dopeness Galore.
We’ve been getting in a spin over this London songstress for a couple years now, and it’s been great to see her having the same effect on so many others. Support slots with Daughter and Matt Corby last year have provided a strong foundation for what we think will be a landmark year for Annie Eve. Plans for 2014 are being kept under wraps but the fact that she’s joining Communion on their ten city New Faces tour next month is a very positive sign for the year ahead.