It’s April and it’s still cold and wet.
With that being said, it seems as though people all over the globe have embraced the impending party spirit that’s sure to accompany the summer months. It has been a busy month for some of electronic music’s elite names and we’ve only gone and ranked them again. With Peggy Gou dethroning Denis Sulta last month, we see whether she retains her crown, or is there yet another new name at the helm of the power rankings? Read on to see.
The criteria that’ll be taken into account every time we sit down to draw up the rankings are;
- The number and scale of shows played every.
- Any releases that artist drops between the time the rankings are updated.
- Any mixes belonging to that artist that’re dropped within the allotted time.
- Any other reasons that would help/hinder an artist’s reputation.
The Mancunian has enjoyed a very active month with his second release on Slam’s Soma Records following up the success of his first EP on the legendary label. His announcement for Higher Vision’s techno stage also ups his value, as well as the busy three months ahead which he recently revealed too.
Boring has successfully shaken off the weighty label of ‘lo-fi’ house after his initial online emergence. He has developed one of the most refined and versatile sounds in house and everything he makes is dance floor ready. His new label, Vienna Recs, enjoyed a successful launch at the beginning of the month and just ushers him into honorable mention status.
25. Joy Orbison (New Entry)
No one is in the UK producer’s league when it comes to uniqueness and it really is a headscratcher as to why it took him so long to release on the unique label that is Hessle Audio. His collaboration with saxophonist Ben Vince is just the right amount of weird for us and is a testament to the producer’s flexibility.
24. Nastia (New Entry)
The Ukrainian star has been loitering around the peaks of electronic music for quite a while now, which makes her debut on the power rankings a surprise, given that it took this long. Her debut Boiler Room set was one of the stand out sets of the month, where she brought fierce intensity to a stage that was later to be inhabited by the legendary Boys Noize. Big sets also came in the shape of a spot at Time Warp and in Miami alongside Ellen Alien and Peggy Gou.
23. Overmono (New Entry)
The duo of Truss and Tessela is something that should’ve happened a long time ago, but thankfully, it’s here now. Their remix of Jonny L’s Piper is a work of art, especially when it’s sharing the stage with remixes from Peverlist and Zomby, and their upcoming show in Phonox alongside Mumdance is a party we wish we could attend. Their appearance on Ben UFO’s Rinse FM show is another string to their bow, while their own work with a saxophonist for Boiler Room again gets another tip from our hat.
22. Mella Dee (-2)
The Doncaster DJ has been one of the most active individuals on the scene for the past while now and while things are beginning to go down a gear or two, he still held his own over the past month, appearing at Shine in Belfast along with a special appearance at Red Bull Music’s Free Gaff. Just as we were taking stock of the month, he announced a new EP coming on his burgeoning warehouse music imprint which keeps him firmly in the ranks despite dropping two spots.
21. Kobosil (-3)
You can’t follow up making the soundtrack for a Stone Island commercial every month and that’s predominantly why Kobosil slides ever so slightly down the list. Despite that, he still dropped an exhilarating EP from up and comer Parallx on his label and obviously spent the month playing at some of the biggest events techno has to offer, not to mention dropping a fresh remix for Amelie Lens’ new label.
20. Josey Rebelle (New Entry)
After a month spent outside the rankings, Josey Rebelle is back once again, with her residency in the Pickle Factory at the heart of her ascension. Another appearance alongside DJ Stingray did no harm either with a Scottish show accompanied by Palms Trax under her belt too, plus a mix for about.party being another element to her varied CV. Playing as much as she does while holding down a weekly 3 hour show on Rinse FM is entirely impressive and almost worthy of a Power Rankings birth on its own.
19. Sunil Sharpe (New Entry)
The Dubliner is back as a force to be reckoned with following the announcement of a debut Tinfoil album that will be with us this weekend. His collaborations with fellow countryman DeFeKT are of course jaw dropping, but his consistent solo tour schedule is what sets him apart from some of his challengers, punctuated by his upcoming return to Boiler Room at AVA Festival this summer.
18. Honey Dijon (-11)
The Chicago native is still as active as ever, but a Boiler Room as notable as her Sugar Mountain appearance will always be hard to follow up. Her upcoming show in the Button Factory guarantees to be one of the parties of the year, while her latest collaboration with pop wonder boy Sam Sparro proved to be an interesting match up.
17. Midland (-6)
The Graded boss had a quiet month in terms of the lofty heights we’re used to seeing from him, but with that being said he still kept it fresh with a new EP coming on his sub label Intergraded from Edinburgh natives Hi & Saberhagen, who are launching the collection with a huge party with local collective Overground. Midland also announced that limited prints of some artwork relating to his work will be going on sale, including the splendid poster for his Phonox residency.
16. Call Super (New Entry)
The Hessle Audio regular finally makes it onto our radar with a standout Boiler Room straight from Seoul. That, as well as his appearance for cult-favoured collective Out to Lunch here in Dublin are definite ticks in the right boxes. His most recent Hessle EP with Beatrice Dillon has been one of the best releases of the year and his debut will be a welcome one for all lovers of all things alternative.
15. Stranger (+2)
Stranger is unique when it comes to techno. On the one hand he is mysterious and ambiguous which fits pleasantly alongside the classic faceless vibe we have come to expect from individuals operating within the genre. With that taken into account, he is still producing one of the most vibrant sounds we have heard in a long time and has taken it a step further with his TAFKAMP alias.
The latest release from the rave moniker came on the Rotterdam native’s latest label, Revenge Techniques, and is a polished medley of ghetto, rave and hardcore influences, which is also magnificently showcased in his set from Unpolished, also under the ambiguous name. All of this while smashing the Rotterdam Rave in his backyard and being announced for Higher Vision makes this a stand out month for the Monnom Black-signee.
14. Ben UFO (-1)
The Hessle top boy is in a league of his own this year and his residency at XOYO is quickly becoming one of the most exciting gatherings on the planet. Upcoming gigs in the London venue will include an all night set from the label head, as well as appearance from Hessle Audio mates Call Super and Joy Orbison, among a cast that will include Courtesy, DJ Stingray and lots more.
13. Daniel Avery (+1)
‘Song for Alpha’ finally dropped and despite not being a club hit like his debut album, he never really intended it to be. Avery sits at a unique spot where he can control his own image and sound within electronic music and isn’t victim to any labels thrust upon him. This uniqueness and the bold experimenting that’s evident from top to bottom throughout the new LP nudges him gently further up the standings, but the lack of ‘wow’ factor doesn’t see him crack the top 10.
12. Helena Hauff (New Entry)
Hauff has been one of the stand out stars of this year and there’s no question about it. She was asked to do the special honours of mixing Crack Magazine’s 200th podcast and did a cracking job of it too. Between her and DJ Stingray’s efforts, they have almost single-handedly catapulted electro back into the mainstream’s focus. Thankfully, we got a sneak peak at the upcoming release from Glaswegian producer Galaxian that is forthcoming on her Return to Disorder label, and it will definitely be a big hit when it drops.
11. Ross From Friends (New Entry)
Surprisingly, this is Ross From Friends’ debut on the power rankings and a well deserved one at that. Similar to the efforts of DJ Boring, the Englishman has carved out a formidable spot among house music’s elite, first of all with the release of his EP on Magicwire last year and now with a massive debut on Flying Lotus’ BRAINFEEDER label that showcased all the weird and wonderful sounds he has to offer. Couple that with his appearance on the cover of our sister mag, District, and he’s hit a tidy home run.
10. FJAAK (=)
Techno’s one and only boy band continue to remain fresh after the release of one of the biggest tracks of the year, ‘Onslaught’ on their new, self-titled label. Their huge show in District 8 didn’t go unnoticed and the upcoming EP on their label (Aptly dropping on the 20th of April) is going to be yet another set of staple techno tracks they have to add to their stacked catalog.
9. I Hate Models (=)
France’s hottest export is making waves in the industry and terrorising dance floors worldwide while he’s at it. His latest release on Rave or Die is a classic I Hate Models masterpiece, but his real impressive stuff came behind the decks this month as he blew the roof off a sold out Hangar, after sharing the stage with Slam and more in Glasgow. This is of course without mentioning joining us for his first and only interview to date too. Major brownie points.
8. DJ Seinfeld (New Entry)
Seinfeld is back making music after his album ‘Time Spent Away From U’ allowed him to enjoy a honey moon of massive gigs. His latest release drop on Or:la and Breakwave’s Deep Sea Frequency label and was given a special preview in the Derrywoman’s latest Boiler Room in Moscow and will be officially released before the end of the month. His 6 hour set in Phonox seemed like a mammoth affair and was the icing on the cake after yet another busy month for the Swede.
7. Amelie Lens (New Entry)
Amelie Lens has quickly emerged as one of the biggest names when it comes to big room techno. The Belgian spent this month playing everywhere she possibly could, which has become a theme of hers of late, and after big releases on labels such as ARTS she decided to launch one of her own, which included a remix from fellow Power Rankings member and Berghain resident Kobosil. Despite having her detractors, her recent donation to Animal Rights in Belgium from her Exhale stage at Techno for Humanity was a pleasant move from the rapidly rising star.
6. Peggy Gou (-5)
The former queen of the power rankings slips back to 6th after snagging the number one spot from the seemingly dethronable Denis Sulta. The month wasn’t a quiet one by any means, accompanying Nastia and Ellen Alien in Miami and playing at festivals such as Terminal V in Edinburgh and Snowbombing in Austria, all while releasing a new track in her return to Phonica’s white label. Unfortunately, her ‘Once’ EP was too big a release to follow up, a testament to the trail the South Korean is blazing.
5. Mall Grab (-3)
Similarly for Mall Grab, last month proved a difficult one to follow up after the success of his house collaboration with close friend Loods. With that being said, the Steel City Dance Discs head has kept his friends close in the shape of Loods himself and fellow Aussie Salary Boy with radio appearances as well as more Non Stop Feeling tour dates. Getting the nod for an RA mix was a special moment too and sees him just about squeeze past Gou for a place in the top 5.
4. Denis Sulta (-1)
The jester of electronic music is yet again missing from the top spot, but we don’t think it’ll be too long before he’s back on top. His Essential Mix went down with the typical reaction we’ve come to expect from any Sulta action; a mixture of love from his fans and disgust from his detractors. With that being said, the collection of tracks for the BBC showcased a unique attention to deep crate digging, placed side by side with playing some of the most well loved (and hated) dance records in existence. This month also seen him finally release the third installment of his Sulta Selects series and once again validated his place as one of the most polished house producers on the go at the moment.
3. Or:la (+2)
Or:la is ever so close to grabbing the top spot and if she continues at the rate she’s currently going at, she’ll have it in no time. Her captivating set at Red Bull Free Gaff is exactly what we have come to expect now from the Derry native, while her words with us this month also win her a couple of spots along the list. The new Seinfeld EP on her Deep Sea Frequency label will be one of the releases of the year and her brand new residency on NTS Radio got off to a magical start last weekend as she put together a pleasant combination of genres for her debut show (Which also featured some of the best artwork we’ve seen in 2018).
2. Nina Kraviz (New Entry)
The Russian, like any elite in any walk of life, is sometimes forgotten about in these conversations, due to the scale of events she is consistently present at. She closed out the massive Timewarp festival with her typical pulsating set and is also bringing her Trip label worldwide with her close collaborator Bjarki as well as techno legend DJ Rush. Simply put, Kraviz is one of the best techno is likely to see and this month seen her yet again flex her dominance among its elite.
1. Dax J (+5)
When it came to dominance and flexing, no one done it quite like Dax J. He unapologetically dropped what will be one of the stand out albums of the year in ‘Offending Public Morality’ on his Monnom Black label, which featured some of the most exquisite techno, jungle and even EBM that we’re likely to hear over the next 12 months. Not only that, but he closed out Poller Wiesen festival’s 25th installment two days later, all while dropping his Essential Mix debut on the same weekend. After releasing Thomas P. Heckmann’s ‘Body Music’ LP on Monnom Black this month too, we’d expect that Dax would have enough on his plate given his tireless touring schedule, but he casually announced that he’d be making his Boiler Room debut tonight, alongside the humble cast of Lady Starlight and Surgeon.
Dax J is rightfully the king of April and probably techno at that too, who else drops an album, an Essential Mix and a Boiler Room all in the same week?