The November edition of Ones to Watch delivers a bounty of talent from around the world, with artists hailing from the UK, Canada, Australia and the States. The music these five producers make is similarly diverse, with this collection of up-and-comers delivering sounds that range from lightly ethereal to fully body rattling.
Whatever sonic mood you find yourself in this month, as the days get shorter and the cold settles in, we’ve got something you’ll be grateful to have in your rotation. Let’s dig in.
Australia has given the world a bevy of beloved and accomplished live electronic bands, Empire of the Sun, Cut Copy and PNAU among them. Most recently, Australia’s reputation for mastery of the crossover genre expands with brother/sister duo, Lastlings. Bursting with robust bass lines that are contrasted against Amy Dowdle’s gracefully ethereal voice, Lastlings’ music shines in its balance between sultry, get-up-and-dance energy and a tantalizing slow-burn feeling, as heard on tracks like “Last Breath” and “Deja Vu.”
Amy and Josh Dowdle share diverse artistic backgrounds, playing piano and guitar, respectively, during their formative years and also dabbling in modeling campaigns with brands including Reebok, Black Milk and more. The siblings have put their collective creative experience to work, directing their own press shoots and conceptualizing their image alongside their sound. Already having played festivals like Coachella and Splendour in the Grass, Lastlings are most recently fresh off touring North America, opening for fellow Australian band Rufus Du Sol.
That choice gig certainly won’t be the last you hear of the duo in 2019 though, as they are signed on to support Two Door Cinema Club for their Australia dates this fall and have dates at Beyond the Valley and Wildlands coming in December. They’re also scheduled for a proper homecoming performance at Sydney’s Field Day on January 1 and will relese their debut LP later in 2020. — VALERIE LEE
“The more you learn about something, the more you realize you know nothing about it,” said Denis Sulta in a 2018 interview about first immersing himself in electronic music. “And at that point I realized, ‘Oh shit, there’s so much for me to explore here.’” The Glaswegian DJ/producer has a thirst for knowledge and experimentation that is an unspoken requirement of the ever-evolving club world. Once determined to be a professional freestyle skier, Sulta found his calling while working weekends at dance-music institution Rubadub Records. He eventually began producing and tried a bit of everything including hip-hop, moody techno, sample-based house and euphoric disco.
After racking up early releases on Dixon Avenue Basement Jams and Numbers, he founded his own label, Sulta Selects, in 2017, followed shortly afterward by its Silver Service off-shoot. This year, he secured a status-cementing gig at BBC Radio 1’s Residency program and a record deal with Ninja Tune. Sulta’s forthcoming EP, Aye Spoake Te Sumwuhn & They Listenhd (Nov. 8), takes listeners on an adventure that at among its twists and turns is engulfing, glittering, atmospheric and just plain joyful. A tribute to the people and places that have shaped him thus far, it proves that the more we hear from Denis Sulta, the more there is to explore. — KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
Toronto bass producer Slooze may keep a low profile — he only recently started posting images of his actual face last month — but his in-your-face sound is inescapably loud. After posting his first track to SoundCloud December 2017, Slooze is currently riding a wave of momentum, with remixes for Seven Lions and Zeds Dead x NGHTMRE to his name. Last month, he made his festival debut at Insomniac’s Halloween-themed Escape: Psycho Circus and supported Ghastly on his The Haunted House Tour, the latter of which marked Slooze’s first-ever live shows.
Slooze is a breakout talent in the midtempo bass scene, a sonic trend led by headlining acts like Rezz and rising artists like 1788-L and Blanke. Slooze’s sound — beefy low-end mixed with intelligent sound design and trippy, multidimensional noises from a dystopian future — holds more layers than a wedding cake. On his newly released Instinct EP, he takes this multilayered approach one deeper: As his “first real project,” he wrote in a recent Facebook post, Instinct weaves an interconnected sonic story within its five tracks. It’s an impressive, mesmerizing release that’ll take you on a ride through the cosmos. — JOHN OCHOA
We first jumped on the Otira bandwagon when Skrillex and Boys Noize featured him on their 2019 Dog Blood EP, Turn Off The Lights. The four-track release is a brain crusher from start to finish, and tribal rave throw-down “Kokoe” is one of its most sonically explorative. Who was this relatively-unknown UK hardcore producer working with two of the biggest names in the game? Turns out Porter Robinson is a big fan, too, and soon after, Otira was tapped again for a remix of The Bloody Beetroots and Steve Aoki’s “Warp 1.9” in celebration of the anthem’s 10-year anniversary.
In October, he dropped a a debut EP on Dim Mak called Soundboy Burnin‘. The project’s four tracks are a head-knockin’ love letter to early rave sounds, with elements of hardcore, jungle, gabber and breakbeat coming together in a frenetic surge of power destined to set fires in the club. We heard Tchami drop one of his tunes in his headline set at ADE. Word is clearly catching. Don’t miss out. — KAT BEIN
The Georgia bass duo first blasted into our consciousness over the summer, with the release of their fantastically heavy sophomore EP, Ghost Planet. This month, they’re once again setting fire to the sonic radar with at two-part remix package of the EP featuring edits by Bro Safari, Jacknife, Bishu, OG Nixon and many more. The Remixes Pt. 1 was out via Bassrush Records on November 1, with the second installment dropping like a bomb this Friday, November 8.
These releases come in the midst of the duo’s ongoing Ghost Planet tour, which sees them playing club shows across the US through late December and capping off their big year with a set at Insomniac’s SoCal New Year’s Eve festival, Countdown. — KATIE BAIN