Stockholm based Dinamarca is as chairman of the cutting edge label STAYCORE a culture crossing legend. With his Latin and Caribbean invaded club music, he creates an extremely fresh new era in underground club culture. Dinamarca defines STAYCORE’s intense, activating sound; mixing trance, reggaeton, kuduro, gabber, nostalgia and futurism.
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Like so many music stories, this one begins in the early 80s, or 1983 to be precise. That was the year that Jeroen Van Der Star now more commonly known as DJ TLR, played his first DJ gig. As he recalls: “Somehow I have always played records. I think my first time was when I was twelve spinning bargain bin Culture Club and Grandmaster Flash and Stevie Wonder 7″es for my classmates on a single turntable with a microphone”
It was an inauspicious start to a long and colourful career. Following his high school days, Jeroen and his friends first played at jungle parties but soon began to come under the influence of The Hague’s squat parties. Organised mainly by the Acidplanet collective, these events brought together all the freaks residing in the Dutch administrative capital.
As the 90s morphed into the 00s and the West Coast of Holland started to gain recognition for underground electronic artists like Legowelt, Orgue Electronique, Alden Tyrell and Rude 66. Around the same time, TLR set up the pre-social media Global Darkness web forum to connect with like-minded electro/jack-aholics around the globe and concurrently established his own label, Creme Organization.
Originally home to local artists like Danny Wolfers – under his various guises – and Orgue Electronique, the label has since welcomed producers from around the world, including Bangkok Impact, Alexander Robotnick, JTC and Willie Burns, while releasing acclaimed albums from D’Marc Cantu, Neville Watson and DJ Overdose.
On the road most weekends, the best place to catch TLR’s grainy interpretation of electronic music is out among the freaks. “I don’t have a favourite place to play really, because it’s always different, even in the same clubs – but I like places that are dark, have a booming sound system and a rowdy crowd” he says.
Sounds like the perfect combination for the crème de la crème of West Coast selectors.
Founded in 2012 by school friends MM and Sudanim, Her Records has grown through processes of collaboration, correspondence and artistic exchange between a tight-knit yet internationally situated core crew. The most striking feature of the label, in light of its humble years and South East London beginnings, is the strength of the artistic convictions behind it. There is an aesthetic consistency and attention to detail – sonically, visually and altogether culturally – that underpins a multifarious and outward looking vision for electronic music both club-focused and otherwise.
Industrial cities, especially those in decay, tend to play host to a melting pot of electronic musicians. As so in the city of Aalst (Belgium), a former textile giant, where Thomas Blanckaert kickstarted a music escapade as Innershades a few years ago. In little time his tracks were picked up by prominent record labels such as Crème Organization, Pinkman and Hot Haus Records, many of which are now of cult notoriety.
Strongly influenced by the pioneers of Chicago & Detroit, Thomas created a sound of his own with dynamic productions ranging from raw house and techno workouts to melodic electro gems. A similar eclecticism can be found in his DJ sets which brim with enigmatic selections that will prick the ears of any avid identifier. Needless to say, with productions celebrated by tastemakers worldwide, Innershades is one of Belgium’s most exciting new exports.
Since first appearing on Her Records Vol. 3 in June 2014, Kid Antoine has rocketed from relative obscurity to a position as one of Europe’s most hotly tipped young producers. Hailing from Copenhagen, KA is the first non-British member of the Her Records crew, partnering with the London outfit to release the critically acclaimed Proximity EP in 2015 and follow-up single Bodypaint a year later. In just a few years, KA has developed an immediately recognizable sound that continues to grow and mutate, a tightly coiled effervescence that bangs as much as it weaves, bobs and twists through physical space.
With a series of undeniable releases, plus more on the way, and the backing of some of dance music’s most revered institutions, it’s clear that Kid Antoine has asserted his place in an upper echelon of boundary pushing club producers. Where and how he’ll progress over the coming years is an exciting premise, but it’s clear that a force has emerged from Copenhagen.
Residing from the picturesque confines of Lisbon, Gonçalo Salgado, the face behind the moniker Lake Haze, has been standing his ground in amongst the flurry of producers and DJs appearing out of mainland Europe in the previous five years. After linking up with DJ Haus in 2014 and presenting his UK Garage-flavoured Force of Nature EP to the growing fan base of Unknown To The Unknown (Haus’ prestigious imprint), Salgado had lodged his foot in the door, with an elevated platform with which he could do what he liked.
From there is when Lake Haze began to take shape and formulate his own sound. His crispy, doom-laden rhythms give way to delicate moments of entrancing bleeps and chords, all uniting to form a sound that was apparently too much for DJ TLR to resist. Two mesmerisingly textured EPs on TLR’s Crème Organization later and Lake Haze is a name that a growing fan base prays to hear new material from on a regular basis. His last record on Shall Not Fade sees a shift in sound for Lake Haze, encompassing the low fidelity ethos of the Bristol’s imprint in his typically luscious manner.
Lake Haze carreer is still young but he already shared the dj booth with artists like Legowelt, Orgue Electronique, A Made Up Sound, Kangding Ray and others.
Under the moniker Miley Serious – a distant tribute to uninhibited mainstream pop – Aurore Dexmier, the young DJ and member of the TGAF collective, is renowned for sweat sets drawn from a melting pot of influence – mainly represented by NY vibe house, UK garage, Chicago house, and the lo-fi sound. Spotted by various new media (Boiler Room, Overdrive infinity, Nylon Japan…), Miley has evolved in a universe where borders and intermediaries have long disappeared, exploring the world both digitally and on the road while touring in the four Corners of the globe (Japan, Russia, USA, Europe…).
Mina is an artist whose reputation has steadily amplified over the years thanks to two acclaimed EPs for Enchufada and remixes for Mixpak, NLV Records & Man Recordings. Influenced by her love of afrobeats, dancehall and UK funky, Mina’s vibrant and melodic tracks fuse together all kinds of syncopated rhythms from around the world. Outside of the UK Mina has collaborated with vocalists and producers from Peru, Sierra Leone and Ghana, where she also ran a music production workshop for women, as well as recent tour stops in Mexico City, Paris, Oslo & Milan. Recognised by FACT Mag as a ‘producer to watch for 2016′, Mina has garnered consistent praise from the likes of Branko, Toddla T, Jamz Supernova and Nina Las Vegas, serving only to further confirm her status as one of the UK’s most exciting rising talents.
Territory: Worldwide (Excl. Americas)
Few artists have managed to rise from relative obscurity to being a leader in their scene quite like DJ MM, from starting nascent club outfit Her Records with Sudanim at age 17 to holding down Rinse FM slots, headlining nights both sides of the atlantic and smashing Boiler Room gigs.
As both a DJ and producer, MM has approached club music with a near-reckless flair, leaping between styles without breaking a sweat, all the while churning out undeniable hits like 9th Ritual & Reflector Pack. With a incendiary debut EP and white label recently released on his own Her Records, a vinyl offering on New York’s rising Purple Tape Pedigree and one-offs shared via labels such as Staycore, Mixpak and Fade to Mind, it’s clear that DJ MM has only begun to show us all he’s got.
It began in Venezuela 30 years ago – filling suitcases with amazing latin records to bring back to Europe. And it continued ever since; private warehouse visits in the US, dusty back street basements in South America, houses and garages in Africa, and lesser-known spots in Europe and Asia. Mr Bongo bring eclectic and unexpected Brazilian, Latin, African, Jazz, Soul, Reggae and Psychedelic flavours to the dance-floor with a seemingly bottomless stock of weird and wonderful selections.
Photo by Kevin Luckhurst
With an uncompromising aesthetic Suda burst into the club music consciousness with a string of successful singles and EPs. Co-operator of bubbling south London label Her Records, Sudanim announced his arrival with 2014’s The Link EP and has been on an upward trajectory ever since, garnering features on releases from Sound Pellegrino, Mixpak, Local Action and Crazylegs. Later that year came the Pleasure Flood EP, an accelerated take on the angular club forms established in The Link and a look into the jarring, if not downright apocalyptic, end of experimental dance music. 2017 saw the release of Hives, a six-track EP of tangled club rhythms that was the result of two years of graft.
A regular on Rinse FM, Suda’s sets deliver the same punch heard in his releases, as exemplified by bomb shelter sirens, cavernous booms and a penchant for razor-sharp, crystalline synth-lines. And it’s that ethos, a willingness to disregard convention and disarm the listener, that makes Suda such an enticing and necessary presence in the dance music world at large..
In little time London based artist Tash LC has established herself as an assured DJ, host and presenter across both radio and club mediums.
Tash finds herself at home on the airwaves with residencies on Worldwide FM and Radar, balancing highly palatable afro-jazz and highlife broadcasts with more up-tempo meetings of Kuduro, Gqom, and esoteric club sounds. With the backing of some of dance music’s most influential institutions and an effortless ability to command a dance floor, Tash is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most exciting new talents.
Hailing from London, The Busy Twist is a collective focused on rejoining the dots between Afro, Latin and UK Bass music by developing a sound which not only melds the sonic genealogy of all three palettes but also presents such crossovers faithfully. Their debut EP ‘Friday Night’ with Soundway Records is preoccupied with the ever-decreasing gap between London and Ghanian music in an effort to capture the vibrancy and warmth shared by both cultures. Beyond the banks of West Africa a resonance with Columbian roots is increasingly present in their music – a link they have developed over a series of trips to the country in recent years, and furthered by productions alongside locals Nidia Gongora and Chongo de Colombia. The group continue to commission remix work for Palenque Records, Systema Solar and Ghetto Kumbé, and with a slew of original releases scheduled for 2017 there is no doubt you will catch The Busy Twist raising temperatures on dance floors worldwide in the not so distant future.
Via his globally influenced label, Blip Discs, Tom Blip’s debut record ‘Wrong Guanco’ spent a large part of last year providing everyone from Bonobo to Joy Orbison with their peak time drum workout at sets across the world. The eclecticism of this musical imprint gives somewhat of a hint of his wide tastes as a selector, and has rightfully put the young DJ on the map.