Drum ’N’ Bass Acts to Watch in 2018
We shook down Metalheadz label manager and Dispatch label owner, Ant TC1, to give us the most promising drum ’n’ bass artists to watch out for, in 2018.
Oscar (aka Sustance) has been sending me demos non-stop at an alarming rate and I’m snapping up probably 95% of what he sends! He just seems really on it, and has a surprisingly honed sound that gives off an impression to anyone listening, that he has been at it for a long, long time.
I first met him at Outlook Festival 2016, before he sent me anything or me knowing who he was. But it’s clear upon my reactions to the demos, that he knew when the timing would be right to start sending me music. He brings a fresh sound and people seem to love his music. He constantly ranks high in the sales charts too.
I’ve already got two EPs confirmed from him in 2018 and the quality bar seems to keep shifting higher and higher. I’m looking forward to people hearing these two releases when they land.
Benny is responsible for giving underground DnB one of the first true anthems in years – ‘Low Blow’. I’m talking literally EVERYONE across the scene has been playing this tune.
I find it hard to remember a time when people have asked me to send a track over, ahead of release, as much as this. Benny just keeps getting better and better. He’s really nailed that dancefloor appeal, tune by tune, without going too far or trying too hard.
This is the type of sound and style that’s hard to replicate or nail so, in a nutshell, Benny, the crown is yours and I think you’ll be wearing it for some time. He is another one that’s not only talented but annoyingly young too!
I met these guys when I did a gig in Basel earlier this year with Arkaik (see below) and their studio set up was actually in the basement of the Sommercasino venue.
It was clear that the pride they take in their sound (and sound in general, judging by how amazing the rig was on the night) that the boys are clearly perfectionists, as well as being the types, I imagine, that take a very, long time to let something out of the studio and be submitted to a label.
They have struck high here, as pretty much everyone in the scene knows of the label [they’re signed to], Critical, and to get a full artist EP signed to them out of the blue is no easy feat.
My favourite from this EP is ‘Valhalla,’ which is actually the last track on the release. I had a big patch of my sets starting with this. The guys execute brutal, minimal and very original funk with great effect. I’m looking forward to hearing more from them in future.
Arkaik is an artist who really focuses on time and puts care in to his music.
He has a very, minimal style so his execution, punch, EQ and all-round mix down is absolutely key to this style. And quite simply, he nails it.
His ‘Shapes’ EP was a standout success for us in 2016 and his next EP ‘Timelapse’ is gearing up for a December release date. We’re excited to get this out there and to see what people think of it. He is another artist with a very unique style.
Not only that, his track names are pretty spectacular. Who else out there has the balls to call a tune ‘Steve’! Props to Arkaik.
You hear many artists trying to pull off that deeper, more musical style to the best of their abilities. The stand out artist [for that sound], who we all look up to, is Calibre. For me, GLXY not only nails that [particular] style so well that they are quite honestly knocking on Calibre’s door somewhat. They also provide a fresh take to this sound. In some of their tracks, GLXY’s basslines kill me as much as the soul they inject into their music.
It’s pretty special when you see artists come to fruition by hearing their remix work for the likes of London Elektricity and Submotion Orchestra seemingly out of nowhere. That has to mean something (it does to me anyway!). It’s no surprise to me their tracks have done so well in the limited amount of time they’ve been doing this.