New year, new artists to watch. Back by popular demand, Dancing Astronaut’s annual class of artists to watch underscores 25 of the dance/electronic genre’s most enticing future achievers. From unique underground wavemakers to soon-to-be festival big shots, spanning bass to techno with so much in between, we’re proud to continue our Artists to Watch feature for a third consecutive year—enjoy.
Words by Rachel Narozniak
In its most nascent stages, L8NCY was an anonymous undertaking. Chandler Leighton, the voice and the writer of lyrics to lauded productions like “One More Day” and “Lonely,” wanted a creative outlet to indulge her dance/electronic sensibilities, one where her songs would stay hers, and one that could co-exist with her artist project—without interfering with it. The conditions for their concurrence, she concluded, would require her to be faceless and nameless in the context of L8NCY, pronounced “latency.” 
“At first, I was gonna do L8NCY without saying anything. I wasn’t going to put my picture on it or attach my name to it. I was going to wear a wig on stage, like I was going to be completely ghost about it,” Leighton told Dancing Astronaut in her May Supernovas interview
But plans change, and on the evening of May 21, the one part of this statement that remained true pertained to the wig. With a bright scarlet substitute set atop her head, Leighton strode onto EDC Las Vegas’ bassPOD stage to put both a name and a face to L8NCY. She debuted the side project with a live rendition of “Reflection,” distributed via Bear Grillz‘s Rude Service label, during his set with Kompany.
In the seven months that have followed, L8NCY, a project that positions Leighton alongside her L8NCY co-constituent, producer and co-writer Brennan Lony, has vaulted to the live setting; Leighton and Lony played their first set as L8NCY at the Ogden Theatre on November 23, where they opened for Blanke. Amid L8NCY’s transition from studio to stage, Leighton and Lony fashioned a demure cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” with Crypto and guested on Jason Ross‘ “Slow It Down,” released on August 5 via Ophelia Records. The single marked L8NCY’s third all-time release. As it matures, the L8NCY project will embrace elements of pop, deep-house, and trance, says Leighton, whose involvement makes now as good a time as any to buy in to a creative undertaking poised for expanded success in 2023.
Words by Ross Goldenberg
It’s not every day that three brothers are able to hold a collective goal to push dance music forward under a single banner, but Sentinel have been doing just that since the late-2010’s through collaborations alongside progressive greats like Third Party and Marcus Santoro. 2022, however, was a year in which the tide began to turn for the Australian trio. After unloading a pair of unofficial remixes for Swedish House Mafia the year prior, Sentinel abruptly found themselves on Dancing Astronaut’s list of the most-anticipated IDs of 2022 at a time when no one knew to whom the ID in question belonged. We quickly learned that not only Sentinel were behind it, but that it was also undoubtedly their biggest release to date: a collaboration with Alesso that would go on to be known as “Only You.”
The production, which began on our record of IDs and subsequently caps off the year on our tally of the top tracks of 2022, put Sentinel directly under the dance music limelight with a silver platter of nostalgia-brimmed progressive house. A few months after the release of “Only You,” Sentinel reunited with Alesso for an official rework of “Words” that doubled down on the momentum they’d ridden since the end of March. It now seems like Sentinel are about to use 2022 as the jumping-off point into a year that will reconfirm their Artist to Watch placement time and time again. To this, they’ve even alluded: “[we’re] just getting started,” they wrote in their Spotify Wrapped post earlier this December.
Words by Zach Salafia
Despite putting out only three official releases to date, ALEKO has made a name for himself as one of the premier up-and-coming producers in the Southern California area. The San Diego-based artist is the fifth member of the San Diego Waterboys, alongside 2021 Artists to Watch ISOxo and Knock2 and 2022 Artists to Watch, FrostTop and RemK.
ALEKO has impressed with his high-energy sets featuring his own unique trap and bass flair, as Dancing Astronaut can attest, after catching him at Knock2’s ROOM202 show in Los Angeles this past summer, as well as at HARD Summer during his performance as part of ISOxo’s NIGHTREALM stage takeover.
Musically, ALEKO has a couple of high-profile official remixes to his name, including 2021’s take on “Wonder” by yetep and most recently, his remix of Boombox Cartel’s “Fatal Attraction,” released this past summer. He’s also sitting on an ID with one of our Artists to Watch in 2022 (Rossy) that’s sure to be included in our list of the most-needed IDs of 2023.
Words by Ross Goldenberg
COVID-19 put the brakes on the blueprints that many artists had mapped out, but the opposite was true for HoneyLuv. When the pandemic put live music on an indefinite pause, the former NCAA basketball player and United States Navy sailor decided that it was time for an artistic pivot from the R&B and hip-hop path she’d been toeing in favor of a head-first dive into a lifelong favorite genre: house. Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch in 2022 LP Giobbi—as well as a handful of event brands—helped HoneyLuv realize this aspiration through livestream series put on during the COVID-19 pandemic. The momentum that HoneyLuv set and maintained two years prior paved the way for 2022 stints at Coachella’s Do LaB, EDC Las Vegas, Okeechobee, Lightning In A Bottle, Beyond Wonderland, Skyline Festival, Escape Halloween, HARD Summer, and even two sets at The Brooklyn Mirage. And this isn’t even remotely close to where her year ended; the year also played host to what is arguably her biggest release to date, her Black Book Records debut, “365 (Thr33 6ix 5ive).” With one more addition to her Insomniac Records residency on December 9—“Sway” with Dope Earth Alien—HoneyLuv has all the pieces in place to make 2023 a full-on breakout blitz.
Words by Alex Lambeau
Anyma, who makes up one-half of Tale Of Us, took Chris Avantgarde under his wing in 2022, and although this alone would be reason enough to watch Avantgarde’s next move, it’s not the sole supporting factor. Avantgarde’s collaboration with Anyma—”Consciousness,” released via Afterlife—has vaulted his name to the top of the industry and now, he’s got a second massive collaboration with Anyma in the works (“Eternity,” the opening track to Tale Of Us’ November Printworks set).
With the help of Eric Prydz’s remix, “Consciousness” undoubtedly became the most-supported melodic-techno single of the year around the world. Intertwining futuristic art and mesmerizing progressive synths, “Consciousness” was heard everywhere from Ibiza, Tulum, Beirut, and Los Angeles. Its prevalence changed the way the world saw the Afterlife label, with “Consciousness” becoming Afterlife’s biggest and most-shared tune to date.
While Avantgarde has been around since 2011, he’s had just over 10 songs to his name. Since beginning his career in the festival progressive house space, Avantgarde has since transitioned into the Afterlife style of deep progressions and melodic-techno. This tally of credits grew when Avantgarde ventured out of his comfort zone in November, joining Kevin de Vries for their joint EP, Mind Control, released via Drumcode. Although Avantgarde has only released three songs in the past two years, the German DJ has staged anticipation for his unreleased collaboration with Anyma, which is easily one of the most-anticipated IDs to come from the Afterlife label. Avantgarde and Anyma clearly bring out the best in one another, and what’s to come from them collaboratively and from Avantgarde singularly in 2023 will be worth watching.
Words by Alex Lambeau
Hailing from Italy, hard techno DJ T78 curates some of the most intense techno sets around, laden with heavy kick drums and fast tempos. A regular in the underground techno clubs of Berlin, Cologne, and Munich, T78 is a veteran in the dance/electronic music scene who’s produced under multiple monikers, including his hardstyle alias Activator. And although T78 has spent time in dance circles and is regarded as one of the leading figures in the rise of hard techno in Europe, he is still to-be-discovered by American audiences, hence his inclusion in Dancing Astronaut‘s list of Artists to Watch in 2023.
Under his own Autektone record label, T78 has pushed hard techno forward while maintaining some of its core elements, an effort that’s led the genre to slowly but steadily pick up steam in Europe. Betraying a heavier take on acid techno, T78’s tracks have been supported by some of the techno’s most-respected names, including Carl Cox, Charlotte De Witte, and Amelie Lens, who have turned to T78’s sound for hard-hitting switchups in their sets.
Although it’s well-established that techno tracks don’t always perform as well as they should on digital streaming platforms, T78’s portfolio has excelled of late, with a bevy of streams coming across 2021 and 2022. A year spent in the studio, relentlessly cranking out remixes and two Retro Future EPs, is partly responsible for this buzz, which will hum well into 2023. Of his 2022 catalog, T78’s take on Marco V’s “GODD” might have the most mainstream appeal, but the second and third volumes of his Retro Future EP series truly underscore his unique touch. Consider this your primer to T78 sound as it begins to infiltrate the United States.
Words by Rachel Narozniak
“Supah Fly is all about having the time of your life, not giving a f*ck what anyone thinks, and being bad as hell,” Nostalgix said of the EP, released via Thrive Music on November 18. But this confident, middle-finger-to-expectations, living life to the fullest ethos also embodies the presence with which the Iranian producer approached the dance/electronic scene in 2022, a year that not only raised her profile but also paved the way for her ubiquity in 2023. From slotting “Stitches” on Tchami and AC Slater‘s Confession X Night Bass compilation album to rubbing shoulders with Dr. Fresch on their House Call Records outing, “Ghost,” to situating her solo productions on Thrive Music and Night Bass Records, Nostalgix’s 2022 record is a robust justification for her inclusion on Dancing Astronaut‘s list of Artists to Watch in 2023. To this group she brings a distinctive sense of sonic flair punctuated by punchy, high-energy bass house sound design and saucy hooks often brought to life using her own voice.
It’s worth remembering that Nostalgix also contributed to dance/electronic music history this year; she is one of a few women to play EDC Las Vegas’ main stage (Kinetic Field) and additionally became one of the first two women to perform at EDC Orlando’s circuitGROUNDS stage, where she appeared alongside Wenzday for a back-to-back set. With her first headlining shows set for Los Angeles and San Diego in January and February of 2023 and a Supah Fly tour to boot, next year is already off to a strong start for an artist whose name is only becoming increasingly (and delightfully) inescapable.
Words by Zach Salafia
ODEA is perhaps best known for his remix of RL Grime’s “I Wanna Know,” and it’s no wonder why; the 2019 remix became a staple of Grime’s sets over the past few years and even had the honor of serving as the finale in many of them. Since the release of this landmark reconfiguration, ODEA has quietly honed his craft with highlights like a single on Boombox Cartel’s MONTA record label and a slot on RL Grime’s Sable Valley Summer Vol. 3 compilation.
2022 saw ODEA release a few originals of his own, including the Lowly.-backed “Aura,” but it was also the year of the remix for the Southern California native, who lent his creative hand to official remixes for Said The Sky’s “Go On Then, Love,” Dabin’s “Forever,” and William Black’s “Eyes Closed.” Although ODEA’s name has come to be synonymous with high-caliber recastings—particularly in 2022, a year that underscored his remixing prowess to the greatest degree yet—2023 will prove a defining year for ODEA, who can be expected to mature his sound across original productions that will almost inevitably pave the path to his true breakout.
Words by Ross Goldenberg
Anyone who has even kept the most minimal of an eye on the ever-shifting genre landscape that is house music in 2022 will have seen the name Mau P at least once. And while 2022 might have marked the project’s grand introduction, the talent behind it holds a veteran footing. Maurice West had unequivocally held a sizable portion of bigroom’s reigns throughout the mid-2010’s, but once the COVID-19 pandemic set in, he came to a crossroads in terms of the degree to which he could realistically take the project. His solution: begin from scratch and tap further into his affinity for dance music’s underground. To many, this might appear daunting, but Maurice West was willing to bet on himself, as well as his decorated history of releases that erased any ounce of risk involved. The decision paid off almost instantly, with the project’s debut original, “Drugs From Amsterdam,” pervading an endless sea of DJ tracklists over the summer while quickly qualifying as one of dance music’s most sought-after IDs preceding its August arrival. As we now head into 2023, Mau P is already sitting on a sequel to the Beatport No. 1 single—dubbed by fans as “That Bounce”—which has the potential to make for one of the most impressive pairs of debut releases that dance music has seen in a very long time.
Words by Cameron DeFaria
One of Chicago’s most notable up-and-comers Azzecca, born Allie Decastris, marched head-first onto the techno-house scene last June with her momentous debut single, “I’ve Been Waiting.” Since its release on Diplo’s Higher Ground imprint, the record has become a staple in club rotations nationwide. Fast forward to October, and the Dirty Disco curator would unleash two brand-new Higher Ground offerings, “Other Side” and “Need U More.” In a testament to Azzecca’s staying power, “Other Side” is already fast approaching half-a-million streams on Spotify alone.
Azzecca proved herself to be esteemed techno-house tastemaker in 2022 who continuously strives to push the envelope with avant-garde song structures and genre-bending sound design. Come New Year’s Eve, she’ll tend decks as part of a top-tier artist lineup for FNGRS CRSSD’s first edition of Proper NYE, set to ensue at San Diego’s Petco Park on December 31. In 2023, Dancing Astronaut anticipates another year filled with success for Azzecca, particularly as she plans to expand her female-forward event series, Dirty Disco, to cities around the world.
Words by Zach Salafia
Nikademis has slowly but surely turned into one of the hottest up-and-coming bass producers in the scene. 2021 was a banner year for the New York-based talent, who released an official remix for long-time supporter ILLENIUM, along with a trifecta of singles on Lowly. and a heavy collaboration with Poni on Kayzo’s Welcome Records. His aforementioned remix of ILLENIUM and Sasha Alex Sloan’s “U & Me” has since become a staple of our 2021 Artist of the Year’s sets (ILLENIUM). The 23-year-old has also garnered attention from the likes of WE ARE FURY (with whom he has a collaboration), Blanke, Big Gigantic, and more. His collaboration with Friendzone and Candace Sosa, which has already surpassed 2 million Spotify streams, adds further impact to his catalog. All the while, his music has also been heard on SiriusXM BPM while picking up editorial support from Spotify and Apple.
Nikademis is rounding out the year with his debut release on Insomniac’s Lost In Dreams imprint, “Next To You,” with nøll and Josh Rubin. At the rate that Nikademis continues to solicit cosigns from some of the most-respected labels and artists in the dance music industry, 2023 can be expected to be an even more momentous year for the rising talent.
Words by Ross Goldenberg
A spot on the Sentio tracklist with the STMPD RCRDS boss would more than likely propel anyone towards Artist to Watch designation. But Vluarr had already been making strides towards that status long before “Reboot” with Martin Garrix happened this past April. While the Dutch mind had been putting out originals as early as 2018, Vluarr first came onto our radar at the tail end of 2020 when Garrix deemed “Calling Out”—Vluarr’s collaboration with Seth Hills and Lucas Ariel—to be one of 10 highly-requested IDs in his digital set during Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve. Having built up a distinctive bass-house tone through a classically trained background that includes cello influence (he learned how to play the instrument when he was growing up) Vluarr has evolved into a STMPD RCRDs regular since the revelation of “Calling Out.”
2022 took Vluarr lightyears forward, with that Garrix pairing happening ahead of Vluarr’s debuts at Tomorrowland—where he went solo during weekend one and back-to-back with Seth Hills during weekend three—and Ushuaïa Ibiza—where he made supporting appearances for the label head himself. The year included a string of six high-quality originals to boot, most recently “Sober” with Brooks and Jay Mason. At just 24-years-old, Vluarr is doing everything in his power to help move house music forward on STMPD RCRDS.
Words by Zach Salafia
If TSU NAMI isn’t already on listeners’ radar as an artist to watch in 2023, she certainly should be. Her Spotify discography boasts only a handful of tracks released prior to 2022—among them, a collaboration with Artist to Watch in 2022 STAR SEED (“Ultraviolet“)—but this was certainly a breakout year for the Los Angeles-based artist.
She’ll cap off the year with a release on deadmau5’s mau5trap label, “When I Fall,” featuring Dancing Astronaut Supernova RUNN, to be released on December 13. “When I Fall” follows TSU NAMI’s her debut five-track EP, Ethereal (bitbird), as well as her official remixes for Mat Zo and OLAN’s “Colours” (Anjunabeats) and San Holo’s “bb u ok?” as part of his deluxe album of the same name.
In the live circuit, TSU NAMI has become a hot commodity for promoters across the globe. She’s become a regular at Brownie & Lemonade events in Los Angeles and played an opening stint for ISOxo’s NIGHTREALM finale at The Fonda Theater. She’s also lined up to play HiJinx in Philadelphia and OMFG! NYE in San Diego at the end of the year and in 2023, she’ll deliver an opening set for ILLENIUM at The Gorge.
Words by Alex Lambeau
Klangkuenstler might be the quickest rising techno artist to come out of Germany in years. A king behind the decks and maybe the most popular artist at the famed Bootshaus Night Club in Cologne, Germany, Klangkuenstler has truly proved why he was a leader in hard techno for 2022. A recent 8 hour set from Bootshaus, Klangkuenstler rammed high bpm techno into the faces of thousands of German ravers. Going viral on Instagram with his high energy sets, Klangkuenstler has quickly put his name into the mix as headliner status across the globe. There doesn’t seem to be many artists that can compete with Klangkuenstler’s almost headbanging cuts of techno.
Klangkuenstler’s approach to techno reaches new dimensions not previously explored within the genre. Using his own take on BICEP’s hit single “Glue”, the German DJ through a hard and heavy bassline over one of the most euphoric tracks in dance music. Weaving the characteristics of the tamest and chill sounds in dance music with the most intense is quite the skill. Having not played many shows in the United States thus far, Klangkuenstler is a must see if he makes his way to North America in 2023.
Words by Zach Salafia
An elite musical talent out of dance music hotbed Las Vegas, DRYDEN is the new alias of Dryden Brown, who previously released music under the name Lemay. DRYDEN recently put out his first official release in the form of his Minutes Past Vol. 1 bootleg pack, available via SoundCloud. The four-track collection features modern takes on classics like Nelly Furtado’s “Say It Right.”
DRYDEN prominently features the organic sounds of bass guitar in his music. In an exclusive interview, he told Dancing Astronaut that he drew inspiration from the music of the ’80s, including the legends he grew up on, like Michael Jackson and Earth, Wind, and Fire. This retro influence merges with a comparatively more modern flair that DRYDEN says is guided by the sounds of Justice and critically-acclaimed producer Ian Kirkpatrick. But no matter the inspiration, at the end of the day, DRYDEN’s music is unapologetically true to himself and reflective of who he is as an artist. “I want to build my own world and tell my own story,” he attests. Dancing Astronaut looks forward to seeing the sonic world that DRYDEN builds as an Artist to Watch in 2023.
Words by Ross Goldenberg
“Big melodies and massive beats.”
Before July of 2022, it would have been all but impossible to describe Volaris‘ approach to house music because the UK duo had yet to even publicly exist. But their Armada-backed debut, ”Through The Night” with Nightlapse and Nathan Nicholson, was all John Summit needed to hear before accepting them as the first artist to release on his newly minted imprint, Off The Grid Records, other than himself. As everyone is well aware, when an anonymous ID enters a tracklist from Dancing Astronaut’s 2021 Breakout Artist of the Year, there’s truly no preventing the hundreds of tweets calling for its release that inevitably pervade his Twitter notifications; this was what exactly happened after Summit shared a clip of him rinsing “Slow Motion” live from Ushuaïa Ibiza. The then-ID would go on to become a constant in Summit’s sets to this day. Volaris have since hiked their grand tally of original productions to five, with “Tygar,” “Take Me Under,” and “Purple Skies” each trailing Volaris’ Off The Grid showpiece. The duo’s Spotify Wrapped infographic confirms that they accomplished more in six months than some artists are able to in a lifetime. And as 2022 now comes to a close, it goes without saying that Volaris are about to move full steam ahead into the new year, considering that they are currently teasing an announcement for their biggest show to date, a pair of remixes for “absolutely huge artists,” and a release schedule that’s packed all the way until the one-year anniversary of their official formation.
Words by Alex Lambeau
Kevin de Vries has certainly established himself as one of the quickest-rising acts in melodic-techno. Not only did de Vries produce what can be considered Afterlife’s biggest tune of the year outside of Anyma’s work (“Dance With Me”), but he also ventured to another top label, Adam Beyer’s Drumcode. “Dance With Me,” made using a common splice sample, was one of the most-played melodic-techno tracks of 2022 and was a star of the Ibiza circuit specifically, where it was name Hï Ibiza’s song of the year. The single’s possession of one of the most compelling basslines to be heard on a modern melodic-techno production contributed to this heavy rotation both on and off the White Island. That considered, it’s no surprise that “Dance With Me” was picked up and played out by a bevy of acts, including John Summit, FISHER, and Tale Of Us, among others. Leaning into a much different sound than “Dance With Me,” Kevin de Vries and Chris Avantgarde’s collaborative Mind Control EP brought a darker sound with a greater emphasis on heavy techno drums to Drumcode upon its November 11 release.
Although de Vries is not exactly a producer new to the scene, he’s increasingly scored later set times within branded shows and larger headlining shows. On January 1, he’ll make the trek to the Pacific Ocean for what looks to be a first-time appearance at CRSSD’s Proper music festival. Given de Vries’ efforts to enlighten the American dance/electronic listenership about melodic-techno, he’s an artist worth seeing not only on January 1, but also in 2023.
Words by Zach Salafia
The man behind the “waves of melody, tides of harmony” motto, Stryer saw signs of early success ebb and flow in 2022, a year of tangible steps toward prominence that earns him Artist to Watch in 2023 status. A regular on Bear Grillz’s Rude Service label, Stryer and his burgenoning catalog boast two collaborations with Bear Grillz, whom Stryer cites as one of his biggest mentors in dance/electronic music. Among this pair is “Float” featuring Meg and Dia, which has already accumultaed more than 1 million streams on Spotify since it premiered on Dancing Astronaut in January.
Stryer has also received the backing of esteemed labels beyond Rude Service, such as Subsidia Records and Lowly., while picking up live and radio play out from ILLENIUM and Excision. To add further impact to his rising profile, the Denver-based producer is also fresh off his debut performance at Red Rocks Amphitheater in his home state of Colorado, where he recently appeared in support of Bear Grillz and DJ Diesel. His increasing exposure in all corners of the music industry considered, Stryer is well-positioned to continue his name-making campaign in 2023.
Words by Zach Salafia
VILLA merges melodic trap and hard-wave to create a style uniquely her own. She recently featured on Sable Valley Summer Vol. 3 with “void,” produced alongside juuku, and has also released on BLAQ VOID, where she debuted a couple new IDs as part of its SoundCloud mix series. On the live front, VILLA recently signed to booking agency United Talent Agency in a move that’s sure to see her lock in more dates in 2023 and beyond. Fans should be on the lookout for VILLA to start popping up on more lineups and should jump at the chance to see her brand of trap in a live setting, especially considering the recent swell of interest in trap catalyzed in recent years by artists like ISOxo and Knock2. Despite only recently moving to Los Angeles, VILLA has already made an impact on its scene that’s owed in part to support from famed promoter Brownies & Lemonade. She promises “lots of new music” to come, including a “couple things planned” before the end of the year. Regardless of when she releases new music, Dancing Astronaut will be here for it.
Words by Ross Goldenberg
Who exactly are Space Ducks? It’s something many STMPD RCRDS followers—and dance music listeners as a whole—have been thinking about since July. When Martin Garrix made his way back to Boom for his second main stage slot at Tomorrowland, he added a track to his USB that didn’t surface in his set during the festival’s first weekend of production. That ID was “Panic.” While we don’t have a direct answer surrounding the identity behind the outer space-hosted duo—although it’s all but confirmed to not be Garrix and Alesso (for those still aboard that theoretical train)—it’s not necessary in the slightest when it comes to determining why this elusive entity is deserving of Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch denomination. In the wake of their siren-doused debut, Space Ducks have added to their budding catalog with a trio of free downloads made available via their SoundCloud—one for Sam Smith, one for A$AP Rocky, and one for Nicki Minaj—which continue to finely flesh out what their tech-house personality will encompass moving forward. And Dancing Astronaut is tagging along on Space Ducks’ odyssey as one of STMPD RCRDS’ next A-list acts.
Words by Cameron DeFaria
2022 saw the release of techno-house producer Burko’s debut EP, Infrared, which landed in mid-January via Kino Village. Since then, the “medieval house” DJ has tended decks at a plethora of esteemed venues and music festivals, including San Diego’s Beach House Festival, Love Machine Festival, the iconic Spin Nightclub, and even EDC Las Vegas. Most recently, the burgeoning talent joined forces with none other than Autograf, plus German singer-songwriter Malou, for an electrifying joint effort, “Vertigo,” released via Armada Music in November.
Looking ahead, Burko is planning to dispatch a string of records alongside Dublin dance veteran Sian; the two DJs are currently preparing a number of “Sian & Burko” billed shows for the new year. Having received impactful nods in 2022 from respected artists and music publications alike, including support from Spotify’s “Operator” and “Fresh Finds” playlists, Burko’s trajectory should not be overlooked as he gears up to make career-defining strides in 2023.
Words by Rachel Narozniak
Though Estonian producer Dino Shadix embraces dinosaur-themed imagery both in the title of her artist project and in her Disciple Round Table-distributed Lil T-Rex EP, there’s nothing prehistoric about her talent. Shadix’s sharp ear for dubstep, riddim, and bass sound is backed by a bevy of noteworthy label cosigns. Prior to placing the Lil T-Rex five-pack on Disciple Round Table, Dino Shadix made appearances on Ophelia Records’ Advent Volume 5 compilation (with “MAD HEADBANG” with MADGRRL, 2022), Subsidia RecordsDusk Vol. 3 compilation (with “Hydra,” 2021), and Disciple Round Table, where she debuted with “Gloom” (2021). These benchmarks are built on Shadix’s triumph in a remix competition hosted by Viper Recordings in 2019 and, to put it plainly, point to her unequivocal ascension across the bass spectrum. Buoyed by original, inventive sound design as crisp as it is wave-making, Dino Shadix’s dubstep footprint will only keep expanding in 2023—take note of it not later, but now.
Words by Ross Goldenberg
“The story will begin tomorrow.”
Exactly two years ago, the dance music world learned the name Grigoré. In the time that’s followed, the Russian producer has unfolded into one of the brightest names on a deep roster of This Never Happened talent that’s emphatically commanded the melodic-house space. With four This Never Happened EPs already to his credit—Illusion, At The Edge Of The World, Nautilus, and his November addition It’s All Fiction—Grigoré quickly rose to fan-favorite status on the label, routinely appearing in Lane 8’s seasonal mixtapes and camera-less show tracklists. He’s also delivered an abundance of music outside This Never Happened, growing a catalog rife with his techno-tinged flavor of melodic-house. 2022 appeared to be year that Grigoré truly came into his own, with a total of 18 tracks cashed in across a range of EPs, one-off outings, remixes—including ones for Le Youth and OCULA—and an slot on the This Never Happened boss Reviver Remixed package just a week before his recognition as a Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch in 2023. With support now growing beyond the This Never Happened nest to include artists like CamelPhat, Yotto, and even David Guetta, there’s no reason to believe that Grigoré couldn’t take the gradual next step toward the full-time touring arena in 2023.
Words by Melisa Yuriar
San Diego-based electronic dance music producer Ren Carter has an ear for sound.
Characterized by ostensibly integrated samples of natural elements and syrupy, humanizing vocals interspersed among rhythmic bass lines, the 22-year-old talent’s growing discography is one to watch closely heading into 2023.
Carter originally gained notoriety online with his song “Frog,” a single that he created by sampling a TikTok of a frog croaking and building a highly-engaging, bouncy house soundscape around it. Although he continues to carve his own uniquely-flavored niche when it comes to dance music production, Carter is also notorious for his remixes. Often found blending raucous trap beats with deep, resounding tech house and drum ‘n’ bass elements, Carter and his song selections reflect his music style to be as winding and fluid as it is adventurous.
He documents his journey through the music industry and his daily life in a weekly vlog, taking fans along for the development of more viral dance tracks. Listeners can follow along to watch his evolution in real time amid his steady ascension in dance circles.
Words by Alex Lambeau
Although Goom Gum might be relatively unfamiliar to the American crowd, their songs have been played out across the world’s biggest stages. At Ultra Miami 2022, Tale of Us headlined the Resistance Megastructure stage, where they manned what would become one of the most-talked-about performances of the week. One of the set’s brightest highlights was Tale of Us’ inclusion of an unknown ID that later turned out to be Goom Gum’s and Stylo’s “Tempter.” Arguably one of the most upbeat and energetic tracks of the performance, the ID led thousands of attendees into an uproar at the revelation of its impactful bassline.
When it comes to melodic-techno, many old-school ravers are of the opinion that this compound of “melodic” and “techno” doesn’t make sense, on the basis that euphoric melodies don’t fit within techno sound. While stripped-back trance (commonly used as a synonym for this melodic-techno style) could be an appropriate definition for this in-demand sound, this new Afterlife-supported style of music invokes beautiful melodies and common techno drums that would justify its classification as “melodic-techno.” Goom Gum have one of the most unique sounds within this genre and tend to lean toward the trance side of this type of sound. With their emphasis on chord progressions and heavy continuous basslines, Goom Gum are able to weave the Afterlife sound into their own upbeat, booming melodies, making for a kinetic take that’s current and uniquely their own.
The Russian DJs are unsurprisingly primed for a massive 2023, and while they’ve yet to put out a release on the Afterlife label, their highly-anticipated ID with Argy, “Pantheon,” premiered at Tale of Us’ Printworks show. Choir-like vocal roll over the ID’s progressive synths, creating an entrancing atmosphere. Having already released more than 10 singles in 2022, Goom Gum are sure to be heard on the biggest stages in 2023.
Tags: aleko, artists to watch, Artists to Watch in 2023, Azzecca, Burko, Chris Avantgarde, Dino Shadix, DRYDEN, Goom Gum, Honeyluv, kevin de vries, klangkuenstler, L8NCY, mau p, Nikademis, nostalgix, odea, sentinel, space ducks, stryer, t78, TSU NAMI, Villa, vluarr, volaris

Categories: Features, Music
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