Ben Sims is a rare breed. He goes back and stands tall amongst the big techno DJs of the nineties: Dave Clarke, James Ruskin, Jeff Mills , Robert Hood, etc. But somehow he never got the stamp of an old-school deejay. The dexterity, energy and sheer musical prowess he possesses just never gets old. The skills this man has at the turntables are uncanny. Fast and surgical mixes in a relentless flow, that only few can rival.
Karl O’ Connor is probably the most influential Techno producer from the U.K. He is an artist in the most timeless fashion. He doesn’t give a shit, doesn’t do promo, doesn’t do facebook, reinvents himself every 6 years with a complete new sound and has every Techno producer out there admire him. Whether the repetitive mantra assault from the mid-nineties, the boys-and-bollocks theatrical in-your-face sonics of British Murder Boys with Surgeon, the groundwork for the current industrial vogue in the mid-noughties with Sandwell District or the beautiful darkness on Blackest Ever Black, it’s all brilliant, and it’s all Regis.
Reeko is a ridiculously gifted producer at the top of his game right now, composing Techno which creeps over a blue sky like thick thundering clouds. Every gust of sound is striking and well-placed. He's playing a back-to-back set with Exium, adding some solid punch to the picture. This is the sound of Pole Group, brought by the protagonists of Spanish Techno.
There is something brooding in L.A. Techno and you can be damn sure it traces back to Developer, dictating the pulse of the city with over 20 years of experience as a DJ under his belt. A very grainy and heavily analogue sound is consistently exported from L.A. oversees and marked by the quality stamp called Modularz, the label run by Developer and home to releases by Oscar Mulero, Jonas Kopp, Truncate and pretty much everyone who is hot right now.
Francois X is the manifestation of the Parisian techno Renaissance. He is playing records for over fifteen years, making him a very respected figure in the young Parisian scene. His style as a deejay can be described as an intense, fueling Voodoo techno, which enchants himself as much as the crowd. As a producer, he is quite new, but his records got immediately picked up by Marcel Dettmann and released on his MDR label.
The Decadance-man, the marathon-man, the king of the after-hours and the madman who plays as much with his big-ass crazy smile as with his recordbag. Every Pete show is a techno treat, whether it’s a 12-hour rollercoaster or 1-hour explosion. The Ghent icon gathered his cult status by bringing the party under every conceivable situation, for 100 or for 2500 people, he doesn’t mind, as long as he makes you dance. And that he will.
Deetron is one of those artists who does not sit comfortably in one box or another. Productions which zigzag between House and Techno, vocal or rough, he does it all with flair. First and foremost though, Deetron is a DJ, an entertainer. The Swiss House veteran learned his trade as a hip-hop DJ and still mixes his muscular productions fiercely with three decks at the same time. Check out his legendary Balance mix and try to figure out which CD was recorded with vinyl and which one was recorded with CDJs. Whatever the method, a Deetron set is surprising, uplifting and performed with impeccable precision. "I want my sets to build and build and then break it down altogether. Even if that's risky. Honestly, I'm just bored of too many uniform, functional DJ sets." Amen.
The magnificent Jeremy Underground is one of the only DJ's on Resident Advisor 2015 top 100 list who is not a producer! God knows that's a hard trick to pull. He is a true crate digger, one that spends his time in record shops and second-hand fairs instead of in the studio. The label head of My Love is Underground is a genuine selector, he only cares about playing you good music you never heard before, whether it’s House, Disco, Soul or Funk, it’s meant to dance to and be surprised.
Lauer has a very distinctive style: a playful, dreamy kind of House, heavy on the synths and lazy basslines, with a slight nod to eighties delight. It has Frankfurk written all over it. Asides from his killer solo work, he is also known for his productions with Gerd Jansson as Tuff City Kids and the Arto Mwambe project.
You don't find them much fresher than Anthony Naples, these days. His tracks are jammed with all sorts of beautiful & danceable weirdness and propelled by grooves tighter than a screwdriver. As boss of Proibito he is steering one of the most forward-thinking labels in the USA right now. Definitely a must-see.
It’s easy to see why Bafana is one of the most sought-after house DJs of Belgium at the moment. A Bafana set is a surprise. A delightful surprise with rough house cuts, vocal-heavy selections of black house music and the freshest hazy sun-infused tracks on offer. As long as it has character, musicality and a human warm touch to it. Guaranteed good vibes.
Lunar is the resident DJ of Abstrkt, amongst the most successful & exquisite house parties of Belgium. A Lunar set is a coherent piece of meticulously mixed house music, propelled by a melodic core and with a very natural understanding of how a set should progress. Slower bits move and twist around a forward pushing pulse, leading to an imploding climax. There is a clear love for Italo-disco, German synth pop, arpeggio’s and warm throbbing baselines. This is ecstacy.