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Ones To Watch 2014 (Electronic Edition)

Electronic-Ones-To-Watch-2014With more and more new artists, producers and DJ’s constantly cropping up on the electronic scene, it can be a bit of a daunting prospect trying to keep tabs on the most promising talent. We at Hit The Floor have come together in order to comprise a list of 22 of the most exciting acts that are set to explode in 2014, so sit back, put your headphones in, and prepare to discover some incredible artists that are surely on their way to great things over the course of the next 12 months.

My Nu Leng: Bristol based duo My Nu Leng, which consists of James Irving and Tommy Rukus, are really starting to turn some heads. Since releasing ‘The Grid/Hips N Thighs‘ 12″ on 887 Records back in 2012, where they received massive support from none other than James Zabiela, the duo have really started to cement their sound. Early last year they released their debut ‘Elite‘ EP on Black Butter Records as a free download. Later that year they followed it up with a second release on Black Butter, the phenomenal ‘Contact‘ EP, which contained four huge bass-heavy bangers. The collaborative track ‘Levels’ with Taiki & Nulight, would have to be the stand-out tune on the EP, containing a sample saying ‘Blud, the levels are very high‘ before dropping into some standard My Nu Leng madness, the track perfectly captures the duo’s hard-to-categorise sound. The boys aren’t slowing down any time soon as they plan yet another release: the ‘Masterplan‘ EP, which is forthcoming on Black Butter Records. The EP will be dropping on February 17th, and will no doubt be absolutely massive. Look out for the EP and look out for My Nu Leng, because they’re going to smash up 2014. (Words by Tias Morgan)

Mak & Pasteman: Where do we even start with Mak & Pasteman? At the turn of last year the bass-duo from Leeds decided to take a break from their solo projects to focus on a collaborative one instead, and what a decision that was. With huge releases on LobsterBoyNaked Naked and under their alias M.A.P, their bass-heavy tunes will leave you with an ear missing. Throughout 2013 they also received extensive radio-play from Mary Anne HobbsRedlightB-Traits and the Swamp 81 imprint. As well as producing their own tracks from scratch, the duo from Leeds aren’t exactly shy of remixing other artist’s tunes. With reworks of Kanye West‘s ‘New Slaves‘, Kendrick Lamar‘s ‘Swimming Pools‘ and Whitney Houston’s ‘Its Not Right But It’s Okay‘, they once again show their incredible versatility and ability as producers. Mak & Pasteman still have so many unreleased bangers its scary, ‘Progressive Electro Funk Massacre‘, ‘Bodywork‘ (which is actually forthcoming on LobsterBoy), ‘North West‘, ‘Dither VIP‘, the list just goes on. Although a few of these will definitely just be left for the ravers, let’s hope 2014 sees a release for some of them. Get used to hearing the name, because Mak & Pasteman are making movements and 2014 will be their biggest year yet. (Words by Tias Morgan)

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Walton: Signed to Hyperdub, Manchester’s Sam Walton, aka Walton, is another Northern boy that we should be proud of. Making deep house-inflected bass, Walton doesn’t compromise and is just as likely to drop faceless techno cuts as he is grime. His productions are garagey and spacey, not unlike label mate Burial, but his releases in 2013 more than outweigh Rival Dealer in terms of quality. Walton has picked up the baton of british electronic music, forging together those styles honed in Bristol, London and Manchester to create his own niche that we should all be a part of. And his live shows are second to none. Listen to: ‘Baby’. (Words by Elizabeth Mary Ward)

Grimes: After signing a lovely deal with Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation label, you can more or less expect Grimes to go absolutely supernova in 2014. Her latest album ‘Visions‘ was arguably one of the most critically acclaimed electronic AND pop albums of 2012. And with her defiant personality, and leftfield take on electronic pop, you can bet your ass that her new album will wipe the floor! (Words by James Matthews)

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Ben UFO: The thing that’s most impressive about Ben Thompson, aka Ben UFO, is that he has made a name for himself solely by DJing; he hasn’t even entered the world of production yet. Making up one third of up and coming record label Hessle Audio, expect to hear everything from dubstep, techno, house, garage and much more when this guy is behind the decks. He was the first DJ to play material from the likes of Blawan and Joy Orbison who have gone on to be massive figureheads on the house and techno scene – simply put, Ben UFO knows a tune when he hears one. Catch him and the rest of the Hessle Audio crew on www.rinse.fm every Thursday night from 9pm – 11pm GMT. (Words by Sean Cloherty)

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Pearson Sound: Strictly speaking, you should already know about Pearson Sound (previously known as Ramadanman). Following some massive releases in 2010, David Kennedy has done nothing but grow on the electronic underground scene. He’s remixed a track and opened for prestigious band Radiohead, and is very much a key component in the creation and running of Hessle Audio. He’s recently released a beatless 7″ via his own label Pearson Sound label entitled ‘Raindrops‘, which substitutes the usual rhythmic flow in favour of bubbling synths. A daring move which proves Pearson Sound is as forward thinking as he is exciting. (Words by Sean Cloherty)

Pangaea: The third and final member of Hessle Audio goes by the name of Pangaea. He may not be as well known as his Hessle partners, but in all honesty this is what makes him all the more intriguing. Early releases such as ‘Router‘ made it instantly clear that this would be an artist shaping the future of electronic music after the dubstep hype faded, and huge mixes for FACT MagazineResident Advisor and Fabriclive blend the sounds of everything from house and techno to 90’s rave music and reggae. Keep an eye on Kevin McAuley, we are yet to see the best from this promising talent. (Words by Sean Cloherty)

Pharmakon: I have heard some out there electronic music in my time, but nothing… and I mean NOTHING gets more scarier than this. Making Aphex Twin look like a sissy, Pharmakon is an American experimental minimalist electronic / noise project fronted by Margaret Chardiet. After releasing the critically acclaimed ‘Abandon‘ EP last year with a handful of selected tour dates and supports, expect to hear a fair bit more from this lady. But I warn you… this is not for the faint hearted. Imagine the sound of a woman scorned in the fiery bowels of a digital hell. (Words by James Matthews)

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Midland: We can safely say that the recent releases from Midland have been impeccable. Archive01Drumtrak and Trace are a few of his more recent releases that are guaranteed to get you moving, whether it’s in a packed out club or just bobbing your head as you walk down the street. With the massive confusion that comes with all the sub genres of electronic music, it seems as if Harry Agius has scrapped it all and made exactly what he wants to make, especially since creating his own label entitled Graded, which brings more breathing space and less restrictions. A genuinely unbiased producer that seems to thrive from bringing us the best tunes from around the world, he definitely has the potential to blow up in 2014. (Words by Sean Cloherty)

Sidney Charles: Sidney Charles is making big waves on the underground techno scene at the moment, most notably for his production skills. He currently flies just below the radar, but as the techno scene continues to grow, expect to see great things in the coming months. (Words by Nick Watson)

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Green Velvet/Cajmere: Green Velvet, or as he is also known under a different alias, “Cajmere” has been well respected on the scene for a few years now, however, only recently with his releases “Satisfy” (Cajmere) and the enormous 2013 hit “Bigger Than Prince” (Green Velvet), has he gained the real recognition he deserves. Add to that his flawless sets at some of the world’s biggest events, and you have a musical genius set for big things in 2014. (Words by Nick Watson)

GRiZ: GRiZ is talented. No, I’ll correct myself. GRiZ is really, REALLY talented. Releasing entire albums for free, all in the name of his passion for music, is potentially the reason he isn’t as commercially known as maybe he should be. GRiZ blends the chilled genres of classic jazz with some serious, stomping bass. Oh, and he’s only 21! As he gains recognition from big players in the industry, expect to see some seriously good tracks released from the man himself this year. (Words by Nick Watson)

Kill The Noise: When someone is frequently in the studio collaborating with Deadmau5, Datsik, Dillon Francis, Skrillex and many more, you know he has some serious talent. The thing that makes Kill The Noise so unique, is his ability to see past the present state of music and define the future sound. Making unique music with everything he produces, many artists have drawn inspiration from Kill The Noise. (Words by Nick Watson)

Tensnake: After releasing one of our favourite house tracks of all time, “Coma Cat” in 2010, we thought Tensnake was going to be a one hit wonder that faded away overnight. However, after seeing him play an incredible set at Hideout Festival in Croatia this year, as well as production of a new album (“Glow“, released in March) that includes a collaboration with man of the moment Nile Rodgers, we can honestly say nothing excites us more. (Words by Nick Watson)

Jai Paul: He can only really be “One To Watch” for 2014, because when else is gonna release some music? Waaaaay back in 2010 Paul’s brother is thought to have leaked “BTSTU” which went on to be played on Radio 1 by Zane LoweReggie Yates and the mighty Fearne Cotton. Drake freestyled over the track and Beyonce also put the sample to good use. Paul was quickly signed to XL Recordings and has been chilling ever since. Until, that is, he decided to leak his entire album online. XL dragged all the links off line but one thing is certain: it was a brilliant album. Think a slightly less morose James Blake and you’re still nowhere near what this guy is about. 16 bit Sega samples, and Prince like crooning makes for an album that will dominate 2014. WHEN it’s released. XL have proven they know a thing or two about music, so we’re betting they put Jai Paul‘s album out and it becomes the soundtrack to your 2014. (Words by Aaron Page)

Hudson Mohawke: It feels a little redundant to put G.O.O.D Music signee, one half of TNGHTHudson Mowhawke on this list, as he’s had an amazing 2013 contributing to Kanye West‘s “Yeezus” and managing to become the poster boy for the electronic trap sound that exploded last year. Mohawke makes the 2014 list simply because we have a feeling he’s about to get even bigger! His last album “Butter” was released in 2009, and his EP “Satin Panthers” in 2011. His buzz has been steadily building to fever pitch in 2013, so 2014 feels like the perfect time to drop an album and rule the world. (Words by Aaron Page)

Baauer: Baauer’s signed to LuckyMe which is kind of all you need to know. But this being HTF we’re liable to give you a little more before we send you on your way. Other than being a monster producer, Baauer’s claim to fame is as the creator of 2013’s “Harlem Shake“. Don’t let that put you off though, his beats are dark glitchy and most importantly the perfect conduit to deliver heavy bass lines. (Words by Aaron Page)

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RL Grime: RL Grime is the next producer up from the maddeningly talented collective WeDidIt. Just so you know the type of shoulders he’s rubbing with: WeDidIt consists of Shlomo, Groundislava and D33J. The producer became widely known when he teamed up with producer Salva for Kanye West’s massive “Mercy“. RL Grime’s name was lent to remixes for Chief Keef, Rihanna and even Drake. 2013 saw the release of his EP “High Beams” to a tonne of acclaim (basically because it was hard as hell). Even rapper Problem put in an appearance on “Secondary” giving the project a much needed level of gangster that RL Grime‘s electronic trap/post grime beats were only to happy to assist with. Grime’s currently working on his debut album for 2014, and will clearly do big things with it. (Words by Aaron Page)

Credit: Mehdi Lacoste

Jay Daniel: Who? I hear you ask? Well the 20 something Detroit native is just about the most amazing thing in electronic music at the moment and it would be a real shame if you didn’t know about him. Producing and DJing from a young age, a chance meeting with techno legend Derrick May (at ten years old) convinced Jay that music was his calling. A few amazing releases alongside Kyle Hall and Omar S later, and Jay Daniel is a name that makes any electronic music connoisseur worth their weight in wax tingle down the spine. Producing, fun, fast and forward thinking techno, you can find many a drum machine or melodic synth in a Jay Daniel EP. ‘Scorpio Rising‘, released in 2013 sold out convincingly on Juno and his live shows have been echoing a similar pattern. As for DJ sets, mixes for Juno and Deviation show the man’s musical prowess, mixing choice jazzy cuts and hip hop beats into Detroit techno greats with a bit of Luthor Vandross thrown in for good measure. Keep an eye on him this year, if you don’t want to be a doughnut. Listen to: ‘No Love Lost’. (Words by Elizabeth Mary Ward)

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WerkhaWerkha, aka cumbrian lad Tom Leah is officially one of Topman’s men to watch in 2014. But ignore them and listen to me instead; he really IS one to watch in 2014! Werkha’s creations are known for their smile-inducing tendencies and dance demanding rhythms. Toeing the line of afrobeat and jazzy house, the last two years have seen him win praise from Gilles Peterson as well as every blogger who owns a macbook, and with a recent signing to the incomparable Tru Thoughts, 2014 really is going to be a big one for Mr Leah. Listen To: ‘Sidesteppin Ft. Bryony Jarman-Pinto’. (Words by Elizabeth Mary Ward)

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FKA Twigs: This lady is a phenomenon waiting to happen. Twigs is one of the most mysterious and elusive individuals in music today. Her sound is that of a blend of the most sultry trip-hop, gorgeous ambient, and paced experimental music all rolled in to one. She has already released two four track EP’s, which have turned more than a few heads to say the least. And with the release of a new video ‘Hide‘, I for sure cannot wait what she pulls out the bag for her debut album. This is the female artist that the world is waiting for. One of the best kept secrets in music today… but for how long? (Words by James Matthews)

So there you have it, 22 of the finest acts that are on their way to huge things in 2014. But this is only the beginning! Use these suggestions as building blocks to expand your library of artists, and let us know of your own finds or particular favourites in the comments below!

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