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December: Six artists you need to check out this month

Sounds to see out the year

  • Words: Will Simpson, James Ball, Christian Eede, David Pollock, Michael Lawson, Luke Rodgers
  • 29 November 2018

Kelli-Leigh

Kelli-Leigh Henry-Davilla is already something of a veteran, having toured with Adele as a backing vocalist back in 2011 and appeared, albeit uncredited, on two 2014 UK No 1s: Duke Dumont’s ‘I Got U’ and Second City’s ‘I Wanna Feel’. It looks like 2019 might be the year she establishes herself as a solo artist. Recent single ‘Can’t Dance’ was an infectious slab of chart house which attracted many majors, but Kelli-Leigh favours an independent approach, releasing via her own Music Core label instead.

‘Ohlala’ is out on Music Core in January

[Photo: TOMASOSKI]

Bobby Pleasure

Self-proclaimed “vibe merchant” Bobby Pleasure’s debut EP ‘Bam Bam’ on Trouble Maker is full of tracks that draw on minimal and the huskier side of house – the style Craig Richards favours, and Bobby often DJs with him at London’s Lion & Lamb. Earlier this year he quit 2020Vision to focus on his non-profit collective and label, Needs, which has already raised money for Crisis and Mind.

‘Needs005’ is out now, with tracks from DJ Normal 4, Hodge and Red Axes

Deena Abdelwahed

Deena Abdelwahed merges broken techno and leftfield club sounds with percussive and vocal influences from her native Tunisia. As a regular at Berlin-based queer femme collective Room 4 Resistance’s nights, her high-energy sets have also helped establish her as a DJ. Now based in Toulouse and with a busy tour schedule, she was recently made a resident of Paris’ Concrete and recently released a debut LP of low-slung club music and abrasive experimentation.

Debut album ‘Khonnar’ is out now on Infiné

[Photo: Judas Companion]

Mad Miran

The past 14 months have been a whirlwind for Miran Belhanafi, the latest young DJ to emerge from Amsterdam’s conveyor belt of electronic talent. Despite first DJing outside her bedroom last September, rave reviews for her IDM, jungle and UK hardcore-indebted sets have seen her stock rise. Belhanafi will release a mixtape of ‘pre-2000 rave tracks’ in mid-December; gigs from Helsinki and Milan to Bristol and Bordeaux suggest her rep now stretches far beyond her home town.

Mad Miran plays PLU in Bristol on December 1

IDA

Finn Ida Kostulin’s Acid Flash parties have revived Chicago acid house for a new generation in Scotland. She started the night three years ago at Aberdeen’s Tunnels, booking guests like Nina Kraviz, Jeff Mills and Midland. Acid Flash is now at Glasgow’s infamous basement club La Cheetah. A resident at Slam’s Maximum Pressure and a regular at the Sub Club, IDA’s own tracks will be out soon.

IDA plays Maximum Pressure’s NYD party at SWG3 in Glasgow

MISSIN

Hailing from the city of Nis in Serbia, producer MISSIN (real name Djordje Jeremic) has been turning heads in the d’n’b scene. The 20-year-old favours dark, rolling basslines and crisp breaks, winning support from Noisia’s radio show and releases on York-based label Terra Firma. In October he performed alongside genre heavy-weight Emperor at the DIVIDID showcase in Amsterdam. He has new music coming on MethLab and will feature on the label’s new tour, Sentinel, with a wealth of kindred spirits.

‘Mistakes’ EP is out now on Terra Firma

[Photo: Shuriken Winter]

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