New year, who dis? A new batch of boundary-pushing rising artists determined to conquer 2018, that’s who. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be amping up our FACT Rated coverage of vital new acts you need to care about with lists and interviews introducing you to the most exciting newcomers set to storm the year ahead. Welcome to Rated Season.

The club music hopefuls guaranteed to fire up the dancefloor this year.

Club music continued to evolve at a breakneck pace in 2017. But what does 2018 hold for the scene? We’ve listed 10 artists we’re tipping for greatness over the next 12 months, from hardcore-influenced music from Stockholm to heady club rhythms from Cairo.


1127

Skunky hip-hop, hectic rave and dense, narrative-rich atmospherics aren’t an obvious collection of styles, but 1127 has brewed an potent concoction of the three across mixes for Seagrave, Ceramics and Boiler Room. The Cairo producer and DJ is part of a wave of producers including Zuli, Kareem Lotfy and Onsy that prove there’s far more than electro chaabi coming out of the Egyptian capital.


Photograph by: Ratko Radojcic

Ariel Zetina

Chicago’s Ariel Zetina balances the city’s rich house music tradition with the influence of a new generation of artists pushing club music forward. 2017’s London Jade-featuring ‘Addy’ became a Midwestern anthem and we anticipate even more high-speed dancefloor energy from Zetina in the coming year.


DJ NinOo

2017 was Príncipe Discos’ best year to date and DJ NinOo’s two contributions – the languorous ‘Ambientes Leves’ and the brisk, insatiable ‘Saudades do Russel’ –were two huge reasons why. DJ NinOo might just be the artist to bring kuduro’s feverish swing to the masses.


HAJ300

2017 saw a rise in popularity of hardcore dance music outside of its traditional base (see: Country Music, Gabber Eleganza, Casual Gabberz), but few artists exemplify this trend quite like Stockholm’s HAJ300. Working both within and outside of four-on-the-floor arrangements, HAJ300’s anarchic tracks and live recordings offer an insanity-inducing torrent of distortion and emotional energy.


House of Kenzo

House of Kenzo are often described as an art, dance and production collective, but the Texas-based outfit is also an extension of the performative vogue tradition that has dazzled on festival stages and clubs across the USA. Expect their collaboration with Rabit’s Halcyon Veil – which kicked off in 2017 – to continue to flourish in 2018.


Mvstermind

Few producers master one genre, let alone two, but Newark’s Mvstermind emerged in 2017 as a standout purveyor of both flex dance music and Jersey club, striking a balance between the measured heft of the former and the all-out aggression of the latter. Contemporaries such as Hitmakerchinx, Uninamise and Epic B all had a breakout 2017, but the coming year might just belong to Mvstermind.


Oli XL

Oli XL is behind Stockholm’s cutting edge W-I label (Celyn June, Chastic Mess, Lokey) and REDUX club nights, providing a Scandinavian outpost for artists to flaunt the latest in cybernetic club sounds. His solo work, whose tightly coiled drum experiments put a sly, functional spin on generative abstraction, is also fantastic.


OLY

OLY’s music has developed significantly since the self-released Náyade EP was released in 2015, demonstrating a panache for flipping familiar rhythms into lithe, elastic dancefloor burners. The Mexican producer has also shown an ability to craft more abstract, blown out sounds, finding a community in like-minded artists Siete Catorce, AMAZONDOTCOM and Perro Sucio.


Riobamba

A staple of the New York club scene, DJ, producer and writer Riobamba’s holistic approach to the dance music sounds of Latin America made waves in 2017. Last year she signed to the Discwoman booking agency, so it’s fair to assume she’ll be breaking outside of NYC in 2018.


$JAYY

$JAYY was put on the map via collaborations with UNIIQU3, SWISHA, DJ Tray and Ase Manual, and the Cartel Music Group representative is primed to make a big statement 2018. The Jersey native is comfortable with footwork and hip-hop production, but club music is where he shines. Expect him to be everywhere in 2018.

Gabe Meier runs The Astral Plane. Find him on Twitter.

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