It’s that time of year again… Music pundits have dusted off their crystal balls to frivolously forecast some hot picks for the year ahead.
Return to any type of forecast feature in 12 months and you’ll find that some selections have hit, but many others have missed. Such is the nature of predicting the future. Especially in a time when acts blow up quicker than you can say ‘faded’. All it takes is one particularly inventive track that sits happily across various genre DJ sets and you’ve got a global household name.
One thing that is consistent with any of these type of lists – and has been since ever – is that writers sometimes look too far into the future and pick super-new artists who won’t blow up for another year or two to come. With that in mind there are some artists in this list who you will already be more than familiar with… We just reckon they’re going to set the bar even higher this year.
So here you are, 15 ones to watch that the UKF editorial team think will have an exceptional year and be hard to avoid. We’re going to return to this in December and see how accurate our predictions have been. Bottom line – whether they smash 2015 or not, they’re all super talented and make freaking amazing music. Which is what really counts.
Let us know who YOU think will smash 2015 to pieces!
Although he’s a household name, Culture Shock looks set to kick on and truly assert himself as one of the best in the business in 2015. Back in September, the RAM hotshot pledged to up his game in the studio in this interview after a relatively quiet period, and stayed true to his word with a string of big releases; most notably Raindrops. It sounds like an album is forthcoming this year, which could quite potentially include the highly anticipated track City Lights. 2015 could finally be the year Culture Shock gets the props and spotlight his peers and fans have wanted for years. (Robin Murray)
Since 2012, the Santa Cruz native known as G Jones has been bubbling in the background, securing a prime position in Northern California’s underground scene with his genre-defying forms of bass music. Combining elements of dubstep, hip-hop, glitch, grime, and pretty much any genre under the sun, G Jones began taking strides in 2014 with his continued production of forward thinking, hard hitting, dance floor oriented tunes.
Enlisted with a coveted spot on Bassnectar’s NVSB Remixes album, an opening slot for Lorin and Tipper during Bassnectar’s 360˚ NYE event, and a consistent year of touring, I feel it is safe to say that 2014 was a year of monumental growth for G Jones. Equipped with a slew of unreleased material and a head full of steam from the previous year, G Jones is undeniably an artist to watch as 2015 unfolds. (Andy Lee)
After originally catching my eye in 2012 with the release of his Tension EP on Never Say Die, French producer Habstrakt has continued to demonstrate his prodigious level of production and dexterity across all genres. While Habstrakt spent the majority of 2012 and 2013 releasing bass music akin to most releases we have come to expect from the NSD camp, 2014 saw Uncle Habby sprint into the spotlight with a variety of top tier releases.
Across all of his releases in 2014: his collaborative EP with NSD cohort Megalodon, his remix of MUST DIE!’s championed record Hellcat, his remix of Skrillex’s Dirty Vibe or his countless free downloads via the NEST, Habstrakt proved that his ability to create remixes and originals with an infectious groove transcends all genres and tempos. This last year was just the start for Habstrakt, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears perked. (Andy Lee)
Martin Vogt, better known as Haywyre, is certainly one to watch in 2015. His Two Fold Pt.1 album released on Monstercat last year garnered attention from some of the biggest names in dance music, including Noisia, Krewella, Kill Paris, Big Gigantic, Minnesota, and Porter Robinson. He went on tour with Gramatik and Mat Zo. And amongst fans, his Smooth Criminal video went viral. And rather presciently, Mat Zo called him out as a new name to look out for in our interview with him last year.
This year, he is going on his first solo tour. Fittingly titled the Two Fold Tour, he’s set for nine stops in North America. What we love about Haywyre’s sets is his incorporation of live music. Martin is a trained pianist, and his music beautifully synthesizes electronic music with classical and jazz music traditions.
And of course, this year we can expect some groundbreaking new releases. We couldn’t get many details of his forthcoming material, but we know Haywyre’s sound seems to improve with every delivery. A very promising talent. (Chelsea Burka)
Peppering both our channels and events with tight two-steps, deep bass and velvet electronic soul throughout 2014, Icarus are guaranteed to do more damage throughout 2015. The UK duo’s debut official release – Missing You, released last month on the Subsoul & Friends EP – won instant radio support from Annie Mac, Pete Tong, Mistajam and DJ Target, and this is just the beginning… A run of dates in the UK and US will follow in the first part of the year before more releases. We have it on good authority that an album is in progress too. Guaranteed to fly through 2015. (DJ)
As a Colorado native and avid bass music listener, I’ve found that over the years, when an artist begins to create a buzz in Denver, it is time to stop and listen. In 2014, San Francisco native, Nick Miller, more commonly known by his stage moniker Illenium, began to create quite a stir with his emotional blend of melodic bass music.
Citing notable influences from acts such as Seven Lions and Zeds Dead, Illenium’s originals and remixes ingenuously intertwine hard-hitting bass with poignant melodies to create something that is incredibly impassioned yet delicate. In 2014, each Illenium release continued to set a new standard and I couldn’t be more intrigued to see what this rising artist has in store for 2015. (Andy Lee)
Jauz lives up to his name in many ways: While his original namesake killed swimmers, this Jauz simply kills it full stop. His behaviour has been similar to a great white, too… For the last year he’s lurked just beneath surface level, flashing his tail fin to make his presence known. And this year he’s about to jump out of the water and bare many more of his razor-sharp teeth. Each gnasher is made wholly of bass. And if you look closely you can see the gory guts of the genres he’s been munching. House, garage, dubstep, future bass… After two big feasts with Mad Decent and Buygore (plus a whole slew of free downloads) the world is his menu and he’s going in for seconds. For an idea of how well this LA youngster knows his stuff, check this all-encompassing mix for Diplo & Friends or his latest UKF upload Big Man Ting. Watch out for a collab with Diplo and heaps more from the Sharkfam founder very soon. (DJ)
Krakota went from a promising producer to an integral member of the Hospital family in 2014 thanks to the release of Xylo; a two-track EP demonstrating just why the imprint came calling. With two of his tracks featuring on the huge Hospitality 2015 compilation, as well as a new single lined up for the beginning of March, it’s shaping up to be a promising year for one of Hospital’s freshest signees. (Robin Murray)
South London house producer Lxury has all the tell-tale signs of an artist that’s about to blow up in a big way. Boasting unique, detailed production and instantly catchy tunes that you can’t help but dance to, the producer is all set to continue his past successes into the New Year. He’s also signed to Greco-Roman, also known as the label that propelled the success of the likes of Disclosure and TEED, among others. That got your attention, huh? (Mike Atkin)
Metalheadz lynchpin and Utopia Records boss Mako had a banger of a start to 2014 with Hungry for Atmosphere, and this year has arguably got off to an even better start with the release of Inner Revolution; a track which has revved up the excitement levels of drum & bass heads for the year ahead. With an EP and album on the way further in the distance, it’s going to be an exciting year for this talented producer. (Robin Murray)
After spending nearly the last two years formulating and perfecting his unique sound, Irishman Eoin O’ Broin is ready to take on 2015 and release some seriously unique and original music. He understands what it takes to stand out from the rest in an industry where copycats are a dime a dozen. With two remixes ready to go and five new originals, you’d think he would be set for 2015. Instead of stopping there, Noisestorm will also be introducing his brand new side project called Inner Order. This ambient/chill out alter ego is looking at self-releasing an EP at some point this year. Is there anything this guy isn’t doing?
He won’t be sticking to a genre, or even a BPM for that matter, and he plans to make music for a diverse crowd. He’s focused on making a cohesive set of tracks that are all different and unique in their own way.
Quality over quantity seems to be his motto and we’re really excited to see what he comes up with for 2015. (Tabitha Neudorf)
Ditching a particularly fine line of distinctive dubstep for juicy synth-soaked, glitch-riddled disco funk, Circus-signed duo Outrun teased us with two shin-kickingly funky remixes last year – Seinabo Sey’s Hard Time and Flux & Francis’s I’m The One. Heavy in the low-end (like all good funk should be) but sprightly enough for the house, disco and glitch heads, both re-rubs stood out a country mile over the generic slew of deep house cuts we experienced last year. Expect to grab their first originals very soon and plenty more this year. For a real picture of where they’re at – and some sneaky peaks of their original material – this EDM Sauce mix is a peach. (DJ)
Henry Steinway has been a forefront player in the trap/bass/house/big room scenes for a couple years now and isn’t leaving anytime soon. I included him as one of the artists to watch in 2015 simply because of his talent in so many areas and his constant presence in the industry. Whether he’s producing as the bass heavy RL Grime or as the bouncy big room Clockwork, Steinway stays focused and committed to his style and always being one step ahead.
Steinway has no interest in becoming generic or cheesy and this is how he sees the world of EDM currently. He won’t focus his energy on whether or not a track is going to catch on; he’s more focused on himself and his own creativity. He is constantly looking for new inspiration and creating new sounds that make others follow in his footsteps.
With the release of his album VOID in November 2014, it’s easy to say 2015 will only hold bigger and better things for RL Grime as well as Clockwork. His unique talent has brought him to success and he’s bound to have a huge upcoming year that’s already kicked off with his massive free edit of TNGHT’s Acrylics and the second leg of his epic US tour. (Tabitha Neudorf)
This Aussie duo made some big moves in the scene last year with their supremely hard hitting, often beautiful blend of trap and future bass – and it’s no surprise that their music has earned them support from huge names such as Skrillex and What So Not. Their debut EP remains one of my favourite releases of last year – and I cannot wait to see what these boys come out with next. Just make sure Slumberjack isn’t a name that you sleep on in 2015. (Mike Atkin)
Vomitstep harbinger, Snails pretty much owned 2014 with agenda setting originals such as Stomp, Dirty Raxxx, killer collabos with HeRobust and Antiserum and an almighty remix of MUST DIE!’s Hellcat. In fact the Canadian artist made such an impression throughout the first half of 2014, his debut US show was at none other than HARD Summer. Leaving a slimy, heavily resampled trail from Kannibalen to OWSLA and back again, we have no doubt his unique sound will be even more unavoidable throughout this year… It kicks off next week with a free bootleg of Lil’ Boosie’s Crazy with Brillz and might –just might – be followed by the long-awaited Jack U collaboration tentatively titled ID.