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12 emerging artists you need to hear: April 2023

The latest and greatest DJs and producers rising to the top this month. From sizzling breaks and snapping garage to shimmery techno, shapeshifting bass and beyond, here’s April 2023’s list of upcoming talent you should be keeping track of

Fresha in a blue shirt against a red brick wall
Credit: Jessica Eli Hill

Breaks, garage, techno and the occasional MC — Freshta melds it all, often veering from ceiling-shattering bass to ravey melodies in one swift blend. Born and raised in London, where she’s still based today, the explorative selector helms a monthly residency on Rinse FM, showcasing several UK-shaped genres on the airwaves. 

A recent session with MC Jammz confirmed that techno and electro, in the company of a solid MC, is a perfect match. Speaking to DJ Mag, Freshta says her Rinse shows allow her to try out new concepts and invite sonically diverse artists onto the airwaves for a b2b, and scrolling through her SoundCloud archive, this idea shines bright. MCs M.I.C, Manga Saint Hilare and Killa P have previously accompanied her immaculately mixed selections, while solo slots on Berlin’s HÖR Radio and New York’s The Lot display her dextrous DJ sets. This year, Freshta will delve into music production too. Keep an ear out. Niamh O’Connor 

For fans of: Main Phase, Madam X, Surusinghe

Surusinghe  holding a pair of leather black gloves to her face, wearing large dark sunglasses
Credit: Melanie Lehmann

Exploding onto Mall Grab’s label last August with her debut EP ‘GOOD GIRLS // BAD GIRLS’, Surusinghe caused quite the stir. The Melbourne-born, London-based artist produces hard-hitting percussive tracks that have thundered between club walls from Brisbane to Berlin. She describes her latest release on Steel City Dance Discs, ‘Likshot’, as a “progression of [her] sound after two years back in the clubs”. 

It’s an audacious and uncompromising project textured with propulsive drum patterns, crunchy metallic percussion, tantalisingly echoey vocals, and bass set to shake dancefloors and bruise soundsystems. Surusinghe’s fiery, high-energy sets have led to a brand-new Rinse FM residency; her show Suzuki Drifting With... will see her joined by an array of international artists. This summer she’s set to play a string of festivals in the UK and Ireland including FLY, Gottwood, Waterworks and Forbidden Fruit, and you can catch her this month in Austria for Snowbombing and at Village Underground, London. Georgina Findlay

For fans of: OK Williams, Chloé Robinson, Nikki Nair

Ayup Dub
Credit: Dylan James Moore
Ayup Dub

Originally from Nottinghamshire but now based in West London, Ayup Dub’s music has been getting attention from some of the UKG scene’s biggest selectors over the last year, most notably ‘Only U’ and ‘Baby Bwoy’, two discerning 2-step edits of R&B classics. With guest appearances on Subtle Radio, Mode London and Netil Radio, he has a slew of unreleased dubs currently doing the rounds that showcase his love for UKG, 2-step, grime and jungle, as well as the more soulful sounds of early Chicago house and techno.

His first official release, titled ‘Handle Your Business’, was recently dropped on Liverpool label Outhouse Sounds’ various artists compilation in support of Ukrainian aid. A fast-paced dancefloor slammer, it combines a huge, warping bassline with a classic dancehall vocal sample. With a debut EP slated for release before summer, Ayup Dub is sure to be doing damage on dancefloors through 2023. Rob McCallum

For fans of: Interplanetary Criminal, Introspekt, Girls Don’t Sync

Profile shot of Polygonia looking to the right, against a dark backdrop with soft green and orange light
Credit: Polygonia, aka Lindsey Wang

Polygonia hits the sweet-spot between deep and groovy techno, sparking a cosmic, shimmery feel on dancefloors, including Berghain, Tresor, Macadam, RADION and many more. Last year, the Munich-based artist founded her own label, QEONE, where she released tribal-meets-dub sounds by Dåggěr, Saša Delimar and Cafe de la Jungle. A series of label parties at her local club ROTE SONNE helped her grow the platform, hosting Svreca and Paula Koski, to name a few.

In autumn, Polygonia will unveil more solo productions by talented up-and-comers worldwide. One of these releases is a “sound design concept” compilation, while the other record is an “open call” V/A. Production-wise, her own music continues to blossom. Berlin-based imprint Midgar will deliver an EP by Polygonia, consisting of edits plucked from her live set at the 2022 edition of Monument festival. Plus, Bambounou’s Bambelabel will house her dreamy yet dark tracks this year. Niamh O’Connor

For fans of: Barker, GiGi FM, Rene Wise

Arthi against a natural green backdrop
Credit: Jay Sentrosi

With a love of DJing stemming from her dance and choreography work, Arthi Nachiappan looks to connect with crowds through an eclectic selection that includes dancehall, reggaeton, Afro house and Latin sounds. “There are no boundaries to what you might hear and [my sets are] a true reflection of my experiences,” she says. 

Arthi has played at events including Four Tet’s London all-dayer and Antidoto in Madrid, as well as performing alongside collectives from Keep Hush to Pxssy Palace. She also hosts a regular mid-week show on Rinse FM, delivering high-energy mixes of throwback classics and modern underground sounds. For 2023, Arthi is working on her new project, We’re Gonna Arthi Hard — an homage to Doneao’s UK funky anthem — which brings together her love of DJing and dance: “We’re going to have dancers and DJs lighting up the stage side by side across a vibrant mix of genres and influences.” Nathan Tuft

For fans of: Lil C, Girls Don’t Sync, Jyoty

Suki Sou in the studio
Credit: Willem Twee Studio
Suki Sou

Synth sorceress Suki Sou assembled an arsenal of rare and iconic machines at her home studio in the Peak District, including Buchla and Moog modular systems and ARP, Serge and Synthi analogue gear, to create her immersive debut album ‘Notes On Listening’. A homage to early electronic instruments and pioneering producers — think Suzanne Ciani, Pauline Oliveros and Terry Riley — the seven-track album feels like a healing, mind-clearing walk in nature. 

Synths gurgle, streams trickle and thunder rumbles on ‘Petrichor’, while on ‘Velocity Of Water’, Sou coaxes her machines into vibrant kosmische electronica patterns that recall the innovative German groups Harmonia and Cluster. Born in the former Portuguese colony Macau, and with Burmese, Japanese and Chinese heritage, Sou’s music also beautifully evokes sensory memories of her early childhood — as she puts it, “the smell of cigarette smoke from her grandmother’s room listening to Taiwanese pop star Teresa Teng in the rain”. A self-taught superstar in the making. Claire Francis

For fans of: Suzanne Ciani, Caterina Barbieri, Sofie Birch

Bass Temple sat on a black leather couch in a big fur coat and beanie hat
Bass Temple

Some producers manage to bind the primordial to the present, to weave the ancestral into today. Among that brood is Bass Temple, a producer whose ethereal beats have taken her from Hawaii, where she served as resident DJ of Out the Box — the Big Island’s longest running monthly bass music event — to her current home in Denver, where she’s become a familiar face at Cervantes Ballroom (she’ll return there this month to play alongside electro-soul producer, Michal Menert.) 

Her newest release ‘Ritual’ arrived via the Austin-based imprint Gravitas Recordings on February 24th, and it sees her trade in some of her slower, atmospheric sensibilities for a dark and drilling low-end that flows exceptionally well amid the crystalline tones of featured vocalist, LIINKS. It’s got all the trappings of a festival banger that’s sure to pop off when Bass Temple takes the stage at her home state’s Sonic Bloom in June, during which she’ll win over another conscious audience with her highly vibrational grooves. Megan Venzin

For fans of: An-Ten-Nae, CloZee, Govinda

Spag Ruckus sitting in front of a modular synthesiser
Spag Ruckus

Bass heads will remember Matheo de Bruvisso’s work with the French bass duo Dirtyphonics, where he produced under the alias Thomas Desbouvrie. Nowadays, he goes by a stranger name — Spag Ruckus — perhaps to match the energy of his equally jarring new productions, all born from a foundation of modular synthesis. Fans of the strange should be on the lookout for a forthcoming LP from the shape-shifting producer, from which a number of dynamic tracks are already available. First came the drum & bass–fueled ‘Hypnos’, followed by ‘The Chemistry’, with its fearless embrace of old-school acid elements. ‘Autopanic’ is his latest to arrive — it’s a decimating cut with an industrial rock edge, made even more enveloping thanks to the enrapturing vocals of Los Angeles-based musician Laurence Schroeder, aka Regal Standard. 

The cover art, which seemingly depicts an image of a man on fire from the inside out, is what AI spat out after being fed the song’s desperate lyrics. Surprisingly, this anxiety-inducing package hardly reflects how Bruvisso is feeling at this artistic juncture. “My aim with Spag Ruckus is to experiment without a format, to feel free to do what I like,” he says. “I want to explore unexpected structures, weird ideas, bizarre melodies and ambiances, have fun and surprise myself. I want the room to do all the things my previous collaborators didn’t want to hear about. Spag Ruckus is my freedom playground.” In that case — play on, and on and on. Megan Venzin

For fans of: Dirtyphonics, Nine Inch Nails, The Crystal Method

Credit: Sonia Balzak

Omar-S’s FXHE is best known for releasing the kind of raw house and techno that the label head himself makes — but there is the occasional release that strays from that template, and last year’s self-titled debut LP from HiTech was perhaps the prime example. The group’s trio of rapper-producer-DJs — King Milo, Milf Melly and 47Chops — came charging out of the gate on that album. Actually, “charging” may be understating it, with many of the album’s tracks topped out at well over 150 BPM, and possessed a heady sound that gleefully borrowed from ’90s ghetto-tech and ’00s footwork and jit, while avoiding any hints of genre-worship. 

With woozy chords and pitch-shifted vocals gliding over its revved-up breakbeats, it’s a case of serious heat that also happens to be tons of fun. That album, at least in its vinyl form, has long sold out — but the good news, we’ve been reliably informed, is that HiTech is back, with another long-player coming out later this year. We await with bated breath. Bruce Tantum

For fans of: DJ Rashad, DJ Stingray, DJ Assault


The South Africa–based MRali Recordings has, up to now, focused on releases from the label’s home country, with an emphasis on the deep, groovy, and Afro-kissed. For its latest EP, however, MRali searched farther afield — specifically to the English Midlands, where it found Luke Truth and Carrera, who work together under the LTC (UK) banner. 

The setting may be different, but the music found on the pair’s succinctly titled ‘The Deep’ still bears the MRali imprint of gliding melodies and rich keys, blanketed over deep and Afro-house rhythms. LTC (UK) has a secret weapon to add to that formula, though — Truth’s smooth and soul-drenched vocals, often layered into the kind of harmonies that can set off a serious case of goosebumps. Truth and Carrera have been honing the LTC sound for a few years now, having formed in 2018 and debuted their ‘Club Of Love’ album in 2020. (It’s on Bandcamp, and is also well worth tracking down.)

In the few years since, they’ve made waves via releases on Disco Balls, Pogo House, Seed Recordings, and DJ Spen’s Quantize — but ‘The Deep’ is likely to make the duo’s biggest splash to date. Bruce Tantum

For fans of: Ron Trent, Nuyorican Soul, Culoe De Song


Detalji draws in her influences from an expansive array of sources. On her just-released debut album, ‘Truly’, the Helsinki-based artist (real name: Krista Myllyviita) claims inspiration from such disparate sources as The Chemical Brothers and ‘Ray Of Light’–era Madonna, Grand Theft Auto and Crash Bandicoot, Twin Peaks and the Danny Boyle flick The Beach, just to name a few touchstones. But Detalji’s managed to synthesise those threads into something that’s fully her own, with sounds ranging from wistfully melodic ambience (‘Truly’) to churning, trance-kissed propulsion (‘Speed’); most of the songs exude a graceful elegance that feels a bit otherworldly.

Detalji’s something of a known entity in her native Finland — she was nominated for an Emma award (the equivalent of a Finnish Grammy) in 2020, and won a Femma award (given to Finnish indie artists) for Best Electronic Music in 2019. She’s also toured extensively, with stops that have included the Eurosonic fest, Iceland Airwaves and SXSW. But with the release of ‘Truly’, which she frames as “a love letter to club culture, joy, and queer love”, feels like Detalji is taking it to the next level — fans of evocative, emotion-drenched music will find much to love. Bruce Tantum

For fans of: Opus III, Helena Hauff, Ulrich Schnauss

Naz wearing black sunglasses, standing against a pink backdrop
Credit: Luke Deakin

Naz’s music career hasn’t followed a straight path, and perhaps that’s why she’s such a nuanced beat-maker today. After leaving music production for a decade, she returned to the craft in March of 2020 with her ‘Voodoo / Lost’ EP, which caught the attention of Above & Beyond, who’ve since stamped their Anjunadeep compilations with the Sydney-born, Amsterdam-based artist’s expansive productions. Last summer, she released her first standalone single, ‘Pluto’, offering listeners a taste of her darker, clubbed-up stylings — but she was far away from the dancefloor at the time of its genesis.

“‘Pluto’ started as a garage track over Christmas last year, when I was stuck inside with Covid on holiday in Cornwall,” Naz shares. “I fell in love with the vocal sample I had used, and I wanted something for the dancefloor that could blow some wigs off. And thus, this version was born. It’s been the catalyst of a clubbier and edgier sound for me.” It’s one of those beautiful cuts that came out of a socially distant moment — we’re betting her next one will be even better. Megan Venzin

For fans of: Above & Beyond, Matt Fax, Nox Vahn