First up we have Kiwi. The south London resident has made his name over the past few years promoting excellent nights throughout London as well gaining notoriety for his choice DJ sets which consistently nail exactly the right mood for whichever night he happens to be playing. 2013 saw his production game step up a level with releases through Deep Shit (the label run by members of Foals & Friendly Fires), Needwant and remixes through Kitsune amongst others. With the gigs becoming ever more high profile and support from the likes of Daniel Avery, Erol Alkan and Andrew Weatherall this young south Londoner is poised to for even greater things over the coming months.
Ghost Culture came out of nowhere on the second half of 2013 with the release of Mouth/Red Smoke through Erol Alkan’s Phantasy label. These deep acid cuts sounded as though the early 90s had come back around with a hefty dose of originality stirred in, just in case anyone dared to use the word, “throwback” and were all the better for it. Now starting to become more of a regular on the DJ circuit and an album almost ready to go, again through Phantasy, 2014 should be a defining year for Ghost Culture and a very exciting one for our ears.
With the UK house & bass scene bigger than ever thanks to the success of acts such as Disclosure & Bondax and labels such as Black Butter & PMR, we’re predicting this trend to continue to grow in 2014. Happily, this will to the benefit of artists such as our next pick, Panda. blending huge, rolling basslines with gentle house pads and 2-step rhythms Panda really are the sound of now and one look at the release roster speaks for itself. Having records out through the likes of Sounds Of Sumo (Mele, Canblaster), Cool Kid Music (Toyboy & Robin) and Black Butter (Rudimental, Gorgon City, Maxxi Soundsystem) is no small achievement so early into a career and sets a precedent we expect them to more than live up over the forthcoming months.
Javeon is one of the newer faces to PMR, who are most noted for championing Disclosure, Jessie Ware and Julio Bashmore. While the previously mentioned artists might be more noted for their dancefloor domination, scintillating basslines and garage, 2-step & 90’s house influences (well, perhaps not quite so for Jessie…) Javeon brings a different flavour to proceedings. While the beats still regulate themselves around a 4/4 template, there is far more of a sultry air, with the bass running deep, while soft pads simmer away under Javeon’s delectable r&b infused vocal melodies, creating a much more laid back afair that still has enough punch & drive to keep a dancefloor moving comfortably. With production and releases having been very limited thus far we are hoping for a step up in output over 2014.
The final choice was a tricky toss up between two of my favourites who have really come to fruition over the course of 2013 and seemed like a fairly impossible choice. So, basically, i’m going to cheat and pick both of them, as they’re part of the Crew Love team and tour together frequently i’m voting this a fair call. Anyhow, it really has been quite the year for Nick Monaco and Navid Izadi with various releases out through Soul Clap Records & Wolf + Lamb, they have brought their funk and soul infused jams to a brand new and global audience with plaudits all round. While Nick’s sound harks back to a more traditional, stripped back 90s style while Navid has a groove-fuelled, funk based affair going on that makes many of wonder if he isn’t actually the second coming of Prince himself! Either way, the momentum this pair have at the moment should see them become unstoppable party starting machines and we, for one, can’t wait to be there on the floor with them.