After careful observation of the international club circuit throughout 2017, we’ve processed the data and crunched the numbers to determine who we’re going to see more of in the year ahead. Some of them are “breaking through” to festival main stages, while others are amping up their touring schedule through underground nightclubs the world over. They’re all poised to make significant moves in the coming months.
Last we saw Danish techno selector Mama Snake, she was headlining a weekend night of Budapest’s UH Fest in the local nightclub Lärm as part of the SHAPE-affiliated Apeiron Crew. With fewer collective bookings on the horizon, the stage is set for Snake to focus on her unflappable solo DJing and joint label, Ectothrem, with fellow former Apeiron affiliate Courtesy. Over the past year, their imprint has churned out techno anthems charted and championed by the likes of EB.Radio contributor Johanna Knutsson and recent Played Out subject Savile. This has helped to propel the label proprietors, who have already logged a gig at Berghain this year.
2017 was already something of a breakthrough year for Jasss, with regular appearances at Berghain’s Säule floor, an album out on iDEAL and an EP on Mannequin, idiosyncratic contributions to popular mix series and dates throughout Europe. We expect things to really kick off for her this year, as all signs point onward and upward. She’s on board with our beloved SHAPE program and is scheduled to appear at Berghain’s main floor as part of CTM Festival this weekend.
We rarely make Kraków-related content that doesn’t at some point mention local hero DJ Olivia, whether we’re counting down the Polish artists playing Unsound or compiling a guide to the city’s music scene. As a resident DJ at the famous experimental festival, booker at Szpitalna 1, host of the We Are Radar party series and Chrono Bross collective member, the SHAPE 2017 alum has a lot going on in Kraków. Olivia’s experience pays off with a fluent knowledge of electro and techno stylings, which you can get a feel for in her recent addition to our Played Out column.
Charlotte de Witte
We’ll admit that Ghent’s top techno export is breaking through on a different scale than most of the others on this list. Charlotte de Witte’s slate of releases on labels like Sleaze, NovaMute and Mary Go Wild Black as well as her residencies at Brussel’s biggest club Fuse and Belgian radio station Studio Brussel have propelled her to festival main stages. With a bag full of no-nonsense techno, there’s no doubt she’s ready for those contexts.
In some senses, Inga Mauer already broken through. She’s already filed high-profile mixes, played throughout Europe and at festivals like Dekmantel, held down a radio show for Cómeme and put out records on taste-making labels like Shtum. But judging from her potential, we suspect Mauer’s still got a long way to go. You can catch her at our Telekom Electronic Beats Clubnight in Essen with Helena Hauff on February 17.
Over the past few years, Berlin-based Dis Fig has contributed in no small part to the sub-scene organized around dismembering club music conventions. Her musical Curriculum Vitae speaks for itself: she’s a member of the Purple Tape Pedigree crew alongside one of our longtime musical crushes Celestial Trax, hosts CALL DIBS on Berlin Community Radio and is involved in one of our favorite local parties, Trade.
For us, Borusiade feels like home. We’ve followed her career since she was involved in the SHAPE program a few years ago, and we’ve noticed that the world is finally starting to catch on following releases on Minimal Wave’s Citi Trax imprint and the announcement of her forthcoming album on Cómeme. She’s contributed greatly to Romania’s compelling moody alternative techno scene (which you can read about here), although she’s now based in Berlin.
We started hearing a lot more about Tokyo’s rising DJ talent Powder following a fall 2017 tour of Europe and a few dates in North America, including a much-discussed set at New York festival Sustain-Release. Although her style is fundamentally oriented toward house, she manages to entice techno heads as well through sheer eclecticism and a taste for the odd and wonderful.
Although you may not have heard about Saoirse until 2017, the Irish DJ has been quietly grinding for years. Her gig schedule last year was pretty packed, and she’s already got dates in at least six different countries booked for 2018.
Toronto’s Ciel ended 2017 with a bang that will launch her into a busy 2018. In the last few months of the year, her debut EP came out via Shanti Celeste’s Peach Discs label and she signed to Discwoman’s booking agency. As a result, her name has come up a lot in the music press recently—including other publications who agree that she seems poised for a big year.