Against all odds, Ireland has pushed its way to the forefront of electronic music in recent years. Ireland’s dance music scene has been consistently producing a wealth of new talent from various genres, and several new success stories in 2023 proved that the new faces in Irish dance music are shaping the future.
Dance music and electronic music is at the forefront of contemporary Irish music in 2023. With a full roster of international touring artists, as well as a solid foundation of labels, club nights and platforms that are garnering international attention, it seems like Irish dance music is stepping up a gear.
Ireland’s shift from murky basement haunts to techno gigs at the 3Arena & RDS means that a whole new generation of ravers are being exposed to traditionally underground music, especially in Irish cities which don’t draw any comparison to Berlin, Amsterdam or London, which meant for many years rave culture was very much restrained from the public-eye.
With the new explosion of dance music culture across Ireland, comes a new assortment of fresh producers and DJs. 2023 has seen a number of new artists burst onto the Irish club circuit, bringing with them fresh ideas and new sounds.
We present 8 newcomers that defined a new generation of Irish dance music in 2023.
Irish techno enigma Havik has been on our radar for some time, and 2023 has been a fruitful year for the youngster. Havik’s minimalistic and driving take on classic techno has made him a force to be reckoned with and has landed him on labels such as Intra Records, AKTIVV, Concrete Tbilisi, SYXT and more as well as receiving regular support from industry heavyweight MARRØN.
Fuaim resident and Dublin club regular Becky has been turning heads all through 2023. The youngster’s eclectic taste spans prog, dubstep, trance, techno, electro and more. Becky’s varied sonic palette has meant she’s been able to slot into several high-profile slots across Forbidden Fruit, Otherside Festival, EP and more. A career highlight came in August when Becky was chosen as the winner of the Locked On Records mix competition and was selected to play at the coveted UK festival Boomtown.
Although Erik is far from a newcomer, 2023 was the year he had fully committed himself to switch lanes from industrial to the more funky territories of hargroove-inspired techno. Erik followed up a spate of self-releases to critical acclaim with two EPs and a handful of VA releases and remixes. In a surprisingly short period of time, the Disintegrated boss has built a sound that is instantly recognisable and dancefloor-focused; this takes hard grit and attention in the studio.
Staying on a classic techno tip, another new name pushing vintage-style techno has been Dublin’s Emmie. Honing in a loop-driven sound that is derived from the 90s, Emmie has been one of the most exciting new techno DJs within the past 12 months. Possessing a deep knowledge of Dutch and Neopolitan techno, the young artist has been able to share her collection of classic techno at parties such as Oblivion, Research, and more.
Dublin-based Slim is a familiar name to many within the dance music scene in Ireland, yet 2023 was the year the much-loved local selector would push on and share his deep love for rolling grooves with wider audiences. The past 12 months have seen Slim put out a number of lush mixes on his monthly show on DDR, Slow Burners, as well as frequently playing across the capital city for Human Error and Tengu alongside securing a residency with Dublin house crew, Limitless. A sharp ear for avante-garde dancefloor cuts and a dedication to the dig means that Slim’s sets remain consistently fresh.
Still relatively unknown, young DJ and producer, Kjiinn has managed to craft a unique style that is steeped in the sound of Chicago house. A number of skippy house, techno, jungle and garage grooves released via his Soundcloud and Bandcamp have been met with critical acclaim from dance music purists. Kjinn’s creativity and ability to defy genre limitations knows no bounds and the future is looking bright for this mysterious Irish producer.
Dublin Digital Radio resident S-Agenda’s broad compass for dancefloor focussed grooves has meant she’s been playing across Ireland’s capital frequently as of late. Bouncing from house, techno, trance and rave, the young DJ has built a solid repatoire as a DJ who is rooted in the definitive sounds of club culture. S-Agenda’s psycedalic take on hypnotic and slippery sounds has seen her play alongside infustry heavyweights Floorplan and Sunil Sharpe, with plenty more plans in the pipeline.
Cork-based techno assassin HOOLIGAN has been one of the most consistent DJs, producers and curators stemming from The Rebel County in 2023. The Kriptik Cork boss has been at the helm of Cork’s rave resurgence, putting a magnifying glass on the Cork scene through high-quality noncomformist parties in undisclosed locations. In addition to his work as a lineup curator for Kriptik, he has been keeping himself busy in the studio, releasing tracks with Diffuse Reality, Research, and Motz Berlin. HOOLIGAN’s production and DJ skills are centred around the idea of rawness and authenticy and this shines through everything he touches.