2016 was an interesting year to say the least. There were ups, downs and thankfully plenty of amazing music to keep us going in good times and bad. Now that the year is in our collective rear-view mirror, we asked 238 DJs and electronic-music artists — emerging up-and-comers to veteran stars — to reflect on 2016. Here are their musings listed in alphabetical order.
Artwork by Christian J. Petersen
909 Til Infinity
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a year where we got to release some of our favorite tracks on Psycho Disco, and of course, eat a lot of pizza. We also played our first official 909 Til Infinity gig together which was so much fun!
Highlights? Definitely just being able to release and write so much music. The whole project has been such a good release for us both.
Lowlights? The downfall of SoundCloud. It was such a great tool to share music with people but unfortunately it’s been getting harder and harder to use.
Song of the year: We were pumped about Adesse Versions’ “After Hours”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To run the NYC marathon next year. Of course we gotta change our diet and get rid of all the tacos and pizza, but these resolutions never really work out anyway, do they?
How was 2016 for you? There is a big difference between making music and copying stuff from other artists. This year I’ve been working hard to have a recognizable signature sound. My music is still inspired from other artists of course, but i’m very focused on trying to have my personal sign.
Highlights? I was in my nerdy room thinking about drum sequences, pads, leads, and so on. I just stopped for a moment and I realized that my tracks were supported and played by big artists which I respect a lot since the beginning of my passion for the music. I felt good and motivated to keep on improving my taste and production skills.
Lowlights? There was a moment when, all of the sudden, I thought to quit [making] techno productions. I felt without a reason to keep on going and for a while i started to listen other music like jazz and old hip hop. Luckily, after a couple of weeks, as fast as everything started, this paranoia disappeared and my mind was free again to arrange something new. In the end, it was good.
Song of the year: Sighs – “Christ Figures”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
It’s more a wish than a resolution. The wish [is] to be rewarded by many years of hard work. I’m also looking to collaborate with some other artists I feel that it’s time to try to share and compare my passion with somebody else and see what comes out.
How was 2016 for you? This year has been great so far. I did so many things and I had time for my music, traveling but also for Sincopat and Pobla. When I look back is like 5 years in one, days and nights had been long. My second album, Son Of A Thousand Sounds was finish and released this year and also several EPs I am personally really proud of. I feel myself really good with my music and defiantly will come just good things.
Highlights? Releasing my second album, the travels and the people I met. The big step forward of Pobla — the mastering and mixing company I founded years ago — and all the time and love I invest on this project is worth it.
Lowlights? Not having much time for my family and friends.
Song of the year: Vitalic – “Ooey”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To have ready my new live set is probably the first on the list, news and inspiring remixes, go a step forward with my sound. The best things are still to come.
Highlights? I definitely experienced the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. To name a few of the former: releasing my first single “Let Me Down Slow” and hearing it on the radio; traveling to Japan and Korea for the first time and making music with some of their incredible artists; playing my first show at the legendary Hollywood Bowl; and meeting and working with some of my favorite artists.
Lowlights? There have been no shortage of challenges. Things have been hard for my family, particularly with my dad finding out that unfortunately he has cancer. You would never know it if you met him though, he’s still to this day one of the most optimistic and happy go lucky people I know, and I definitely draw a lot of my inspiration from that.
Song of the year: “Hand Of God” by Jon Bellion. I’m a huge fan of his writing and career as an artist.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Why wait for the New Year? I just try to wake up every day with the resolve to make the most of every moment and share that happiness with the people I love. I am truly blessed to be able to make music for a living and get such wonderful comments from so many people, it is my every day goal to make sure that the faith my family, friends and fans have put in me is well deserved.
How was 2016 for you? It was a very mixed year musically, politically and personally.
Highlights? Finally releasing “Heygate” on OTB Records. That track had been around on my hard drive for years in various versions, and I’m glad it finally found a home, probably my favorite track to date. Also releasing “Dirt Fishing” on my own concept imprint No Real Value. Outside of music, I decided to go back to university, which is pretty exciting.
Lowlights? Brexit, Trump, fabric
Song of the year: Mack Ness – “Will Robots Write Hymns?”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get out of the city more, and spend more time in the mountains.
Albert Sterling Menendez
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a wonderful year! I was involved in the writing, production and recording of albums for artists like Shakira, Roberto Carlos and Ricky Martin, who now I’ve been on the road with. [I was] also was fortunate to release my own music with projects with Aaron Ross, Frankie Feliciano, Will ReelSoul and the newly released “Angel” with Sara Devine on the Dopewax label. Be on the lookout for more new music coming from the Sterling Ensemble under Dopewax!
Highlights? Being the musical director for the RiseUpAsOne border concert presented by Univision networks where I had the privilege to perform with an incredible list of artists including Miguel Bose, Lila Downs, Natalia Lafourcade, Fonseca, and many others.
Lowlights? Missed both my kids b-days, but I made up for it by taking them on a great vacation!
Song of the year: I truly love the new Anderson .Paak record
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To bring more love and respect between all people. No more violence, no more wars, let’s come together as a human race!
How was 2016 for you? Very good, so many nice people, interesting places, new and already known ones, and great new music.
Highlights? Staying healthy. Watching my baby Credo growing and reaching the next level. Seeing the Chinese wall for the first time was an impressing moment. Getting back on track on the tennis court.
Lowlights? Waking up early morning of November 9.
Song of the year: Nastia Reigel – “Figures In Brine”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Couldn’t say it any better as the Droid guys from Los Angeles: Eat. Sleep. Shit. Techno.
How was 2016 for you? Pretty quiet because I was not playing so many gigs which is actually great because I could focus more on producing new music and spending time with my family.
Highlights? Releasing my track “Paradise Lost” on vinyl. This track means a lot to me and i’m happy Made of Concrete gave me the opportunity to release it.
Lowlights? The political development worldwide!
Song of the year: Tissu – “Space Loop”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
How was 2016 for you? Pretty good. Did a cool remix on Estroe’s “Taxotere.” Further made a lot of new stuff that is gonna be released on Lessismore.
Highlights? Garden Party with my best friends, which was really crazy.
Lowlights? The family dog died.
Song of the year: My favorite track I found this year was Florian Meindl’s “8 Bit Romance (Radio Slave’s Deepest Space Remix).
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I never have one.
How was 2016 for you? I’ve finally split my work into multiple aliases by genre, so there’s been a lot of starting from scratch. While this process can be quite overwhelming and tests my patience from to time, overall it’s liberating. I have a day job I love so I have the luxury of being able to play around like that, letting gigs be secondary for a bit while I focus on creating new worlds. So with that said, 2016 has been a challenging and exciting year.
Highlights? My band KAMM just wrapped our second album, and we are already working on that new magic. That’s really the best project I’ve ever been part of, so every minute in studio with the boys is the highlight of my year. Also I’m training with a trumpet teacher again. That was such a huge part of my life for so long, feels really good to come back to myself.
Lowlights? He’s orange and I’m sick of his name and his everything, so I won’t say it.
Song of the year:
I think Lucy’s “Vibrations Of A Circular Membrane” probably had more repeat time than anything else I’ve bought this year. Another I love, in a completely different way, is the CLAAP remix of Mike Simonetti’s “Slave.” So simple, so subtle, so tight. I suck at answering this question.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stay on target.
How was 2016 for you? N/A
Highlights? My label launch party for Descend Records at Space Miami in May. Also, my label showcase party during Winter Music Conference at Heart nightclub, which actually took place before the label launch. During WMC, I also played Sunday School for Degenerates closing party, which was great. My tour throughout Columbia in July was another highlight of 2016, where I had the opportunity to play Baum, one of the best clubs in South America.
Lowlights? During Electric Festival in Aruba there was a massive downpour. Our party had to be moved inside, so we weren’t able to use the big stage. At another point during that festival, it also rained on my set… I grabbed a trash bag to put over the equipment and continued playing. There were a few shocks… it was one of those times where I’m glad I did it, but looking back I also ask why? [laughs]
Song of the year: Audiojack ft. Kevin Knapp – “Vibrate”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To continue growing as an artist and to continue growing my label and party brand Descend. Also, to continue playing more out of town gigs.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was kind of crazy. I played my first major festival, Ultra Music Festival in Miami; officially put my spin on one of dance music’s most iconic songs “Silence” by Delerium; and I signed an exclusive record deal with one of my favorite independent labels in the world, Nettwerk. I guess you could say 2016 was the start of living my dream.
Highlights? Outside of everything I just mentioned? Having artists I’ve looked up to for years — Tiësto, Don Diablo, Pete Tong, and others — play my music and mention my name in broadcasts. It’s an unforgettable feeling. I’m incredibly humbled and honored.
Lowlights? Realizing that not everyone who I considered a friend was truly a friend at all. I saw some people who were just opportunistic and were only around when they needed or wanted something. Understanding that was tough, because of how loyal I am and how much I value my friends, however, even though it hurt, it made me realize who my true friends really are, and I’m thankful for it.
Song of the year: It’s a tie between Black Coffee’s remix of Alicia’s Key’s “In Common” and Zhu’s ” Palm of My Hand”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Even though 2016 was amazing, it was definitely filled with some heartache. For 2017, I want to stop looking back, keep pressing forward, and live for the now.
How was 2016 for you? It has been pretty exciting for me. I’ve been touring since my second LP, Ceremonial came out in January and met lovely people all over the world.
Highlights? Returning to NYC for the first time in 14 years. I briefly studied at a university in Queens in 2002 and totally fell in love with the city. I wanted to come back as a musician, and it took a lot longer than I thought. I played at Pianos; it was emotional.
The moment I woke up in a wet tent at Glastonbury Festival and found out Brexit happened.
Song of the year: INGA – “Volunteered Slavery”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Return to NYC and eat a bagel at Baz.
How was 2016 for you? A year of change. I moved from Berlin to Barcelona, and evolved from being “just a DJ” into a solo music producer, so it feels like a new level of my artistic career.
Highlights? A lot of amazing gigs at Berlin’s Sisyphos or Barcelona’s Nitsa and also the first times seeing artists who I have respected for ages, like Scuba or Matthew Dear, play my productions.
Lowlights? I guess every producer knows the feeling of sitting in the studio and “banging your head against the wall” because you’re trying to get something done and it does not come out quite as you want it… but that’s part of learning a new skill!
Song of the year: Johannes Heil – “By Night (Part Three)”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Grow as a person and as an artist; do things and make decisions that make me and the people around me feel good on the long-term.
How was 2016 for you? Intense and filled with many changes. Sometimes life put me through the wringers, and I felt the there was an urge to evolve both personally and professionally. Analyzing this year carefully, it was progressively good — eventually.
Highlights? I toured in countries I had never played before. I was in Australia in March for the first time. I loved the audience and felt very connected with the country. I moved from Moscow to Berlin to build a more stable routine in the week before gigs. I met new inspiring people which I know I will keep a connection with.
Lowlights? Time passing. The loss of two dear friends.
Song of the year: DJ Sotofett – “Current 82” (12 Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be able to bring more meaningful and still moments in my life and those of everyone around me. To have the strength to provide my best contribution in making this world a more conscious one. To let the music speak louder and Iife interact, and through this language become one with the stars because when we all unite beautiful things can happen.
Andy Bass Agenda
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a great year for Bass Agenda and for electro as a whole. Bass Agenda has put out more vinyl than last year, the new talent on the label has been getting recognized by heroes of theirs and mine and the radio show continues to get support from lovers of authentic electro old and new — all I can ask for really.
Highlights? Dave Clarke’s Whip It events in February and in October at ADE. Both landmark events for the authentic electro community, incredible sets from everyone, a chance for so many people from around the world who are into this specialist niche music to get together. Plus, the ADE session was made all the more special by having Dez Williams playing live and representing Bass Agenda. Magical!
Lowlights? The general state of the human race, Brexit and the closure of fabric and what that could mean for the underground.
Song of the year: One that stands out for me is “Pleyako” by Kima (on Urban Connections – Fifth Element)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To continue not making New Year’s resolutions.
How was 2016 for you? One of the best years in recent memory. My release schedule has been prolific, and I’ve had some amazing shows. This election though, has been awful. I sincerely hope we can come together as a country united.
Highlights? My year began with a round the world tour with an amazing slew of shows. Best was on the beach in Bali at Karma Kandara. Incredible! Temple Nightclub in San Francisco was pretty awesome, too.
Lowlights? Election 2016. I think that says it all.
Song of the year: Tough choice! Either Leon Bridges’ “River” or Solange’s “Cranes in the Sky”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More sleep and lots of it.
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year as I’m super fortunate to live in a trippy little bubble on a mountain top in the clouds on the island of California! That being said, a racist shithead got elected POTUS — so we have that. And it’s hard to see the insane wars going on and innocent people dying. The world lost a lot of great artists this year, which always sucks. But life somehow goes on.
Highlights? Musically speaking, releasing two albums that I was very happy with — [a]pendics.shuffle on Adjunct Audio and an ambient record under my real name on Kompakt Pop Ambient with two more in the works that will be finished by early next year.
Lowlights? Yes, indeed. I keep the lights very low … it’s all about mood lighting at all times.
Song of the year: Morgan Delt – “I Don’t Wanna See What’s Happening Outside”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More nature. More music.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been the best yet for me yet and there are still some amazing things to come.
Highlights? I got to spend time and work with the artists I have looked up to for years like Kenny Dope, Todd Terry, Roland Clark and Junior Sanchez. Don’t mean to name drop but I’m still in awe.
Lowlights? The one or two minutes I thought I needed to worry about money. Fleeting moments.
Song of the year: Mall Grab – “Can’t Take It No More”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More gigs. More studio. Less smoking.
Ben Long (Space DJz)
How was 2016 for you? Very productive year for me. I made lots of music. Some of my best ever in my opinion .
Highlights? Touring Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and Brazil.
Lowlights? Breaking my wrist after 3.5 seconds on a skateboard and having a titanium plate inserted, then having to do three gigs with one hand.
Song of the year: Slam feat. Mr. V – “Take You There”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Not a resolution but a New Year’s mantra — it’s nice to be nice.
How was 2016 for you? My 2016 was been a very important year into my life. First of all, I came back to release after a “one year-stop” during which I tried to improve my sound, exploring my new techno influences. I also keep in touch with so many top artists, many of whom I had the pleasure to host in my podcast show, Barbur Room.
Highlights? I had the honor to meet one of my favorite artists ever, Kalkbrenner, and to begin a collaboration with his wife, Simina Grigoriu, that brought me, for first, to remix one of her track (“Nunchaku”) on Kuukou Records, her new own label, and then to enter into the Kuukou family. Of course, making this remix for her was an important step into my career, that gave me the opportunity to switch to more darker and dirty techno sounds. Another important thing is that Richie Hawtin is playing one track of mine, “Land of Secrets,” in his gigs.
Lowlights? Fortunately, 2016 has not scored special dark and low moments for me.
Song of the year: Two for me: Alex Schaufel – “Abyss” and Michel Cleis & Klement Bonelli – “Marvinello” (Radio Slave Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To reach my expectations and begin to bring my music around the world, because it’s my main goal ever since I started to get interested in the world of music when I was a teenager.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a wild rollercoaster ride. I had really great success with my second Octopus Recordings EP that was remixed by Enrico Sangiuliano. I had the privilege of playing some really amazing parties from BPM in Mexico to San Francisco and San Diego to this weekend in Boston and everywhere in between. I also started to really find my groove in the studio and have been happy with my production. I wrote close to one hundred tracks and played over 100 events, so overall I’d have to say this year was a success. I am really looking forward to 2017 because the tour calendar is already filling up and I have a number of releases that I’m really excited for.
Highlights? Spending several weeks in the Beatport Top 100 amongst my favorite producers; playing the Octopus party at the BPM Festival; traveling around North America and meeting hard-working, grassroots promoters and DJs who put everything they have on the line for what they love.
Lowlights? My dog passed away.
Song of the year: “Masquerade” by K.AL.I.L. on Electric Ballroom because it’s just pure dance floor fire!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To focus on being positive all the time because you get what you think about whether you want it or not, and taking each day one at a time and doing something creative every day. Working out? (yeah right, sure Barbuto).
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year! Finished a lot of open projects in and outside of music. Nothing like closure and progress.
Highlights? Had an awesome and memorable experience playing in Ensenada Mexico at Who’s Who Music Festival. Sets from dOP and Doc Martin at sunrise where great! Huge turnout and amazing views from the cliffs. Can’t beat that. Had a very productive visit to Amsterdam for ADE 2016. Long overdue face-to-face meetings with label heads and producers I’ve been dealing with for years.
Lowlights? No real lowlights to speak of. A disappointment here and there, but I wouldn’t call them lowlights.
Song of the year: Eats Everything – “Big Discs” (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work smarter.
How was 2016 for you? Grant Wheeler: Productive and exciting. We’ve been building the Body Language team with new and excellent personnel to help us grow collectively as a band but also as writers and producers. And with that, we’ve been writing with lots of amazing producers and singers, which has been very inspiring.
Highlights? Our Brooklyn show at House of Yes. Definitely [one of our] top five shows of all-time for us. Amazing energy. We brought out this giant wooden horse during our performance of “Really Love” and Ang rode it around the crowd while people went bananas.
Lowlights? This entire election cycle
Song of the year: Always hard to say, especially since I haven’t been listening to a lot of songwriter type of songs, mostly stuff built for DJs. “Piano Hand” by Chris Lake and Chris Lorenzo is an exciting direction for house music.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep writing music every day without hesitation or self-doubt and purely for the enjoyment of writing.
How was 2016 for you? I think we may say it every year but 2016 was one of the best so far! We are lucky to be in the position we are at the moment and although we spent a big part of the year inside the studio and on tour and away from home there’s been some amazingly good times!
Highlights? This year we’ve been lucky enough to spend around half the year touring and have seen some amazing countries, our US tours were definitely some of the highlights!
Lowlights? Airports [laughs]. We have spent more time in airports in 2016 than I would have ever thought possible; the upside is we’ve learned where all the power points are around the world.
Song of the year: The entire Flume album [Skin] has been on repeat for a few months non stop. It’s absolute genius!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To actually finish some more of the 30 tracks we have sitting around [that are] 80 percent complete!
How was 2016 for you? We spent a lot of time in the studio, got tons of new ideas and were released on labels like Connaisseur Recordings and ViVA Music. It was a solid year. Also, we are currently working on a dope new life concept that’s gonna be premiered in 2017 — better be prepared, we collected tons of material. And, last but not least, we improved the sound experience in our studio which is part of the infamous Riverside studio complex in Berlin Kreuzberg — we optimized the acoustics, built sound absorbers and collected some analogue gear. And, we finally got rid of all the empty bottles that were piling up in there.
Highlights? At Riverside Studios, we share a bathroom with some other dudes. It’s in a basement, the canalization is kind of odd. After someone apparently celebrated some sort of orgy in there, a huge clump of condoms caused a major flooding. Yummy. And, in August, we got the chance to attend the Black Sabbath concert at the Berlin Olympic stadium. We were particularly thrilled by the drummer, Tommy Clufetos — he is one hell of a living human drum machine. Outstanding.
Lowlights? David Bowie died, Prince died, Phife Dawg died, Maurice White died, Leonard Cohen died… it was a sad year and the world lost a bunch of musical masterminds that have influenced generations like few other musicians have done.
Song of the year: The soundtrack of Stranger Things.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Wear matching socks every day! And getting even deeper into house music.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a good year, as it’s been the 10 Years Of Symmetry anniversary that’s been a big part of the focus. I’m really pleased with how the album’s been received so a lot of the hard work’s paid off. I’ve had some wicked gigs too so it’s been a productive year.
Highlights? I’ve really enjoyed the Symmetry Live show’s I’ve done with Kyo and Mace. The recent one at Thekla in Bristol was one of my favorite gigs this year. Playing at Le Bikini in Toulouse was another great show.
Lowlights? Nothing major, really. I do like a moan but nothing sticks out, just general music industry nonsense.
Song of the year: Boston & Undersound feat. Vanity Jay – “Life Is”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I need to get down the gym or pool more often. The studio belly’s gotta go!
How was 2016 for you? Well, with the risk of sounding corny and cheesy, it truly was amazing on so many levels. In my personal life, I became a dad last November (2015) so 2016 was a year of getting used to a very new, challenging and loving situation together with my wife. Really, all the clichés are true! And on a musical level, it was amazing as well. I was taken under the wing of John Digweed’s Bedrock label and it’s really nice to be part of such an iconic label and being able to release two albums with them in one year! So yeah, 2016 has been stunning. And exhausting!
First there was the release of my album BackSlider in April on Bedrock that went down really well – press reviewers and DJs alike were unanimously positive. And, of course, the second highlight, to finish the year of perfectly – the release of my new album Echoes on Bedrock in December. This time it is even on CD as well, being part of the Bedrock 18 triple CD release. Alongside these releases I’ve had some amazing gigs in Beirut and Amman and played some cool festivals in Holland like Mystic Garden and Day At The Park. I also have nice memories to the Geheime Liefde festival, as I took my son to this one. His first festival and only being seven months old! [Laughs] Don’t worry, he had his hearing protection and my wife was sitting far away from the speakers in the grass, but still… great memories!
Lowlights? The downside of having a very busy year is being sort of burned out by the end of it. The last few weeks for me were all about doing as little as possible, to regain some energy and rebuild myself. Just taking a few steps back to prepare for 2017. In my private life it was busy to say the least, but musically it was crazy as well – two albums in one year was quite hard work. But I’m not complaining.
Song of the year: Jean Michel Jarre & Pet Shop Boys – “Brick England”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep moving forward with what I’m doing since BackSlider. I really feel comfortable with the music I’m making right now, as if it all came together since BackSlider. Some people from the scene, including John Digweed, even said I invented a new genre. It’s not purely ambient, it’s not 100 percent chillout, it’s not only cinematic soundscapes and it’s not just dance – it’s a mixture of all of these elements and has ended up being 100% C-Jay. I can’t think of anyone making what I make right now which is a good thing cause I don’t want to copy anyone. So, my New Year’s resolution will be to take care of myself and my body. And learn not to say yes to everything! [Laughs] Life is short, but I would like to go through it healthily, please. That’s what I learned this year.
How was 2016 for you? Good year. Soulsupplement Records (my label) celebrated ten years and 100 releases. I had another Great Lakes Audio release and my Sunday Night Residency Nacho House hosted some great DJs from all over the world.
Highlights? Hands down being backstage telling stories, cracking jokes and your run of the mill bs’ing with Farina, Doc Martin, DJ Dan and my boy Blanquito at EDC. Of course, being the only guy three stories up with Mark as he closed out the last 30 mins was cool…. like crazy cool.
Lowlights? My longtime friend and co-founder of Soulsupplement Records abruptly quitting without a single word after the Facebook message telling me that he was done. You could say that was the lowest point of the year.
Song of the year: Bertha – “Don’t Play”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To find that workable balance between my gig schedule and my production schedule.
How was 2016 for you? Super fun, I have no complaints!
Highlights? I played a lot of great festivals this year and started my new label, Neverwhere. I also had some great projects and remixes out, and focused a lot on expanding my studio and production techniques. 2016 has been all about self discovery and being true to myself as an artist.
Lowlights? This year was a challenge to stay positive with such a horrible election going on in my country. The lowlight was definitely Trump getting elected.
Song of the year: There was so much great music out this year, but I actually spent a lot of time going back and listening to older stuff, getting inspiration from artists like Drexciya, Kraftwerk, Nina Simone and Rhythm & Sound. My favorite albums were from LA-4A and Cassy, and my favorite track was ZK Bucket’s “Let Your Body Control The Beat” (The Drifter Remix).
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To continue to work on improving my DJ techniques and expanding the range of my music collection. Also, this year I stopped drinking alcohol and am having more fun then ever. I plan to continue focusing on my music and keeping a healthy lifestyle while on tour.
How was 2016 for you? If I had to describe it in one word, thats would be “bomb.”
Highlights? Really enjoyed the Ibiza summer season with Music On and of course The Final Chapter for Carl Cox at Space. Also some amazing festival like Sonus and Sunwaves.
Lowlights? I can’t even think of any … so that must be a good thing.
Song of the year: Marco Faraone – “Replace”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Most likely the same as every year, eat better and stop drinking [laughs].
How was 2016 for you? Excellent for me. I had the luck to make great DJ tours.
Highlights? The release of my new album.
Lowlights? Nothing in particular
Song of the year: – Bruno Mars – “24 Magic”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To make a tour in the USA
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was spot on for most of the year. I did some major gigging and traveling throughout the world. I made the big move to Europe and I now call Switzerland my home, which has always been a dream of mine! So it’s great that I can now check that box [laughs]. Also, looking forward to setting up my studio right here at home which should increase my productivity massively.
Highlights? Touring South East Asia was really special. I went to Manilla, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Although this wasn’t my first tour of S.E. Asia, it was super special. I met a lot of new friends, music lovers and got to tour around Manilla.
Lowlights? Seeing what’s going on in the USA in relation to the election. Coincidentally, I moved to Europe the day before the election. It breaks my heart to see all of the madness, because my family and friends are still there and also because I had hoped the USA could move forward in a more positive direction. So I’m just hoping for the best .
Song of the year: Hayze – “Believer” (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To learn French and immerse myself deep into Switzerland and France. And just breathe as much of this fresh air as I can and take advantage of the beautiful sites that surround me. And of course music, music and more music.
Charlotte de Witte
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has treated me well. It was my first year performing as Charlotte de Witte since I decided to change my name in the end of 2015. I used to be called Raving George and wanted to get rid of this male alter ego. I released a lot of music and got the chance to travel around the world, experience other cultures, meet new people, try other food. 2016 was pretty fucking amazing.
Highlights? An after party in New York called Bushwick Avenue. I had to play a set from 4 am until 6 am in the morning, open air, during sunrise. After playing my first gig that night, we took a taxi to what looked like a desolate industrial area in Brooklyn, stepped into this building and kicked off the after party. The atmosphere was just amazing. So intimate and pure. I loved it.
Lowlights? No personal lowlights worth mentioning here, but obviously the way the world is changing is. Both on an environmental and political level. I often play in Turkey, and I made some good friends there. It’s quite hard to see how their attitude and general mood has changed throughout the months I’ve known them. It was quite confronting at some points to feel the fear and anger of the people towards their regime or government.
Song of the year: Aggborough – “In A Sieve” (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Making more music, buy a laptop to be able to make music on tour (time management FTW), start working out more, eat less meat, maybe follow some cooking lessons or a wine waiter course.
How was 2016 for you? Every year seems to get better and better. With techno in general 2017 has had some good growth — the scene just keeps spreading and infecting the planet.
Highlights? Releasing my 100th Kombination Research release.
Lowlights? Fabric closing down and techno DJs trying to play house music. Don’t get me wrong I love house music [and it] was my first insight and influence. Like my ex-partner Mr G, we basically tapped into this tech-house genre 15 years ago when most techno DJs didn’t get it and were still hammering the “T.” I prefer to listen to house DJs playing house. Tony Humphries all night long please.
Song of the year: Johannes Heil & Markus Suckut- Exile EP.
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was another year with a lot of mixed-up feelings. Besides some real spooky things that still happened in the world of today, I met amazing people and I’m very happy to be healthy and to have some records out there with support from great artists around the world.
Highlights? Producing a big sample pack called Underground Cuts for Insert Coin Records from Madrid and I got a phone call in February from Kenny Dope. It felt so good and familiar to talk with one of my biggest heroes about music culture, innovation in sound and my tracks. Dopewax Records dropping “Beltram” in June 2016, and we rammed it to the techno top 100 Traxsource on number two. Def one for the books.
Lowlights? I broke my left thumb on a very painful way and my summer ended with three months of daily problems with a plastered arm.
Song of the year: Cassius feat. Cat Power & Pharrell Williams – “Go Up”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To build a new studio room and release new music for sure. Stay tuned.
How was 2016 for you? It was a bit of whirlwind. The first half of the year consisted of really heavy touring in South America and Asia, and the second half was consumed with my album release and touring mostly around Europe. My Tronic label has had its best year ever, and my weekly radio show is now on over 100 stations. I really can’t complain.
Highlights? Tronic Beach Festival during Sonar in Barcelona. A free beach party for a couple of thousand people dancing on the beach with an incredible vibe and energy. It was really special. Can’t wait for the 2017 edition.
Lowlights? The deaths of David Bowie, Prince. Brexit and the American election
Song of the year: Jack Master – “Bang The Box” (Slam Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Take a holiday with my family for two weeks! It’s so easy to get sucked into this business, especially when you love what you do. It’s really hard to decline gigs sometimes, but I will try to go on a nice two-week ski holiday in early 2017.
How was 2016 for you? I can say that it was one of my most productive years, with releases and remixes on Objektivity, Yoshitoshi, Bedrock, Glasgow Underground and of course my label Rhythmetic. I can’t complain:2016 was a lovely year for me.
Highlights? My Brazilian tour at clubs like Warung and D.Edge is something I won’t easily forget.
Lowlights? Thankfully nothing comes to mind. It was a great year!
Song of the year: Kölsch – “Grey”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep working in the right direction.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 is that which, when you stop believing in it, turns into whiskey and very one-sided conversations with politically incorrect public urinals.
Song of the year: David Bowie – “As The World Falls Down”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Deal with procrastination even though I can’t right now. I’ll look into it later.
How was 2016 for you? Grace: 2016 has been really exciting because we’ve been touring our first album, New Eyes, for three years and now we’ve just finished a bunch of new music in the studio and started to release it.
Highlights? Jack: It’s been really exciting that we just had a #1 in the UK. That’s been really cool.
Grace: Yeah, that is definitely a highlight!
Lowlights? Grace: I can’t think of any musical disasters. For me, it feels like such an exciting time for dance music. In the UK anyway, it’s been shifting so quickly the past few years. House has had a real big moment the last few years. Drum ’n’ bass even came back for a bit and now the dancehall elements that have come into main stream pop music is really, really exciting.
Song of the year: Grace: Drake’s “One Dance” would have to be. So amazing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Grace: Maybe [to] make music more quickly because it took us ages to make “Rockabye,” our new single. We’ve been doing it for months, just working on this one song.
Jack: Yeah, finish more music.
How was 2016 for you? This year has been one of the most important in my career. I decided to move to London, which has given me the opportunity to continue learning and growing as a professional.
Highlights? Sonar + D 2016; VARELIVE; Magnificent Seven launch event; opening Carl Cox, Space closing in the main with Carl Cox, Craig, Wink; 25 Years CV Tour, etc.
Lowlights? Space closing
Song of the year: Dubfire & Oliver Hunteman – “Humano” (Victor Ruiz Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More big festivals, more international tours, more Varelive and the launch of my 25th anniversary’s documentary film.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a great year. Apart from being able to enjoy people all around the world with my gigs and visit spectacular cities, it has been the year in which I have felt the music in a different way. This has given me the desire to be 24 hours in the studio. I have never lost the desire to make music, but you know that we all go through different stages in which we feel more or less comfortable with what we do. 2016 has exceeded my expectations. I have had numerous top positions in Beatport, especially “Balkia” (Suara Music) that since its release six months ago is still in the top 100. But the year is not finished yet. I think these last months and efforts will be the best part of the year – new tracks for 303 Lovers, Beatfreak Recordings and Toolroom and my new EP in Suara which will be on sale this December. All of this will assure a spectacular end of the year.
Highlights? I had the chance to play in amazing countries like Japan, Greece, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Egypt, The Netherlands, Portugal and Bulgaria. People love me and my music, and I love people as well. This makes me say that all the moments I have lived during this year, all of them, have been high [laughs]. Of course, from the production point of view, I have had really high periods this year, so many top positions in the Beatport´s charts and so many new released tracks on big labels such as Suara, Toolroom, Stereo Productions, 303 Lovers, Set About, Beatfreak Recordings, Sinetic and many more. Also, I have started to work very seriously with my own label, Beatfreak Recordings, and I already have very good releases from artists like Alberto Ruiz, Oscar L, Mat Sassari, Joe Red, Sergio Fernandez and more.
Lowlights? Well, like all people, we have our low moments. I am thankful to say that with regard to this question I don´t really have anything to complain about.
Song of the year: DJ Tennis – “Chirality” (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Because this year has been so great for me I just hope that 2017 will be at least as good as 2016…. I really believe that in 2017 there will be many surprises.
How was 2016 for you? Absolutely excellent year of progression, adventures and creativity. After couple of years of rearrangements, relocations and education, I got back to the game, moved back to Berlin and got to do what I love the most which is to produce and releasing records and playing shows. I also lunched a brand-new live act, got to take part for the first time in the creative process of producing a video clip for my music and to collaborate with some great artists.
Highlights? Surviving a car accident; releasing the Reject EP with Avi Caspi on Made of Concrete; and the amazing response and support we got from so many Djs and key figures in the industry. The release party of the EP in our hometown of Jerusalem and a 4,000 kilometer musical road trip I did with some good friends in a van around Europe.
Lowlights? Unfortunately, there were a few which includes mostly the death of some of the greatest musician heroes that walked upon this planet when there is no sign of appropriate replacement in the horizon… Seems like it’s the time for us the next generation of musicians and artists to push it to the limit and to learn from the great masters that were here before and left us to the heavens. The world urgently needs right now new figures to spread light and to give hope in this new world order when nobody knows exactly where humanity is heading to.
Song of the year: David Bowie – “Blackstar”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Live in gratitude, keeping the momentum and grow and expend in all levels. More shows, more musical output, more touring and basically more of everything.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was full of projects with my own label, RMR, and I had a lot of collaborations in productions. 2016 was definitely an inspiring year for me, especially with some shows I had during the year which were really perfect for collecting emotions and reflecting on my productions. I had new collaborations with Jay Denham, The Advent, Mark Broom, Ben Long, Alexander Kowalski, Sierra Sam and others — it’s always a special thing to work with these legends of the electronic scene and see their vision of electronic music. I also started to work with EPM for my label, and I’m amazed at how everything is going. This is the best thing to happen to me this year.
Highlights? Three highlights this year: First is my new collab with EPM, next was my first show at BPM Festival Playa Del Carmen in January and the last was my live performance for Fuse club in Brussels (Belgium). That was a magical moment which will stay in my mind.
Lowlights? As always the problem is to find the time to create and do all I want.
Song of the year: If I have to pick one record that really caught my attention it’s “Sounds Like Saturn’” by Ben Long on my label, RMR.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? From January I’ll focus on live performance in my upcoming shows. I’ve been working for a while on a special project to present live and this will start next year.
How was 2016 for you? We put out our first track this year so pretty good! A lot of graft went into this year, for me personally it’s the hardest I’ve had to work in the studio to really up our game. It’s been satisfying.
Highlights? Sasha and Digweed dropping our remix of Vessels [“Are You Trending?”] at Social Festival is pretty hard to top. Pete Tong playing it too was cool.
Lowlights? [The deaths of] Bowie and Prince easily. Was lucky enough to catch Prince at Way Out West in Sweden but never saw Bowie. Not even gonna start on the politics.
Song of the year: Sam Pauli & Paul Nolan – Atoms
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Be less hate filled towards our fellow man. Unlikely tbh.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was the best year of my life to date!
Highlights? A Grammy, and I co-wrote and co-produced Selena Gomez single “Kill Em With Kindness.”
Lowlights? Not enough time to finish everything I wanted to.
Song of the year: Mike Dunn, MNEK, Jax Jones – “House Work”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To spend more time helping other up-and-coming artists and producers.
David Satori (Beats Antique)
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a quite a full year. We headlined Red Rocks and finished our new album called Shadowbox and opened a store front by the same name.
Highlights? Red Rocks and opening our store Shadowbox
Lowlights? Having our bus engine blow up in the Arizona desert.
Song of the year: St. Germain – “Sittin’ Here”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Take more time off and go ride horses.
How was 2016 for you? It was a great time. I released my first album and the EP on Bush Records, and also a remix on KMS Records, where soon you will see my next EP. I played at a lot of events which gave me energy for long hours in my studio. I met through this year so many interesting people that I can’t believe in it! In addition, I mixed a few releases for the other artists (I produce the music not only for myself, but also for the others people). It was a great year!
Highlights? My first album, my performance at the biggest Polish electronic music festival, Audioriver, and people which I met this year!
Lowlights? Fortunately, I have not experienced this!
Song of the year: Boston 168 – “Revelation”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? At the moment I’m working at the remix for Kevin Saunderson, and I have a lot of stuff which I hope will be released in 2017.
Detroit’s Filthiest / DJ Nasty
How was 2016 for you? Busy, busy, busy. 2016 started out with a bang, releasing eight singles on my label plus two EPs.
Highlights? Getting positive feedback from legendary DJs and producers. Twenty years in the game, and I’m still reinventing my sound.
Lowlights? Frustrating to see how things have become more about popularity then the actual music. Your success is already predetermined by social media and blogs before your release. The more followers you have, the more hype you will receive.
Song of the year: Lee Walker vs. DJ Deeon – “Freak Like Me”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To work harder, faster, stronger and spend more time with my wife and kids.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a very exciting year for me. Musically, I managed to achieve a lot of the goals I set to myself. I learned a lot of new things, met great people and saw some amazing places.
Highlights? The release of my first EP The Source on my label, Parse Audio. The learning curve and effort I put into creating the label and releasing the tracks was truthfully worthwhile. I would also consider all the time I managed to spend in the studio as a highlight, constantly learning new techniques and developing my sound was incredibly challenging and interesting.
Lowlights? Musically, I think that the scene has become bit stagnated and need some change to move forward. Personally the lack of sleep and being able to produce at proper volume (due to neighbors) is a lowlight as well. The current political and financial crisis around the world doesn’t help either.
Song of the year: What comes to mind now for electronic music is Alex.Do’s Mercurio and for non electronic probably Radiohead’s “Decks Dark.”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Not getting bored is probably high on the list, right next to working in the studio as much as possible.
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year both professionally and personally. Music has helped me make connections and grow substantially! I’m so grateful to have those in my circle that help those along. Having sound support and feedback from the likes of Cassy, Sneak, and Honey Dijon have also been great along with the release of some great music. No complaints here!
Highlights? Huge support of Derrick Does Disco EP, which charted for several weeks and the dream collaboration with Mark Farina on the legendary Classic label, which was followed by the release of my TruSkool album on DJ Sneak’s label and hitting number four in the Top 100 album releases on Traxsource. This is all in addition to releasing on other prestigious labels like King Street, Henry St., Simma Black, and signing a vinyl release on Osunlade’s Yoruba Records coming in 2017! Lots of diversity in music back by strong support.
Lowlights? Tremendous loss of talent this year and the continued struggle of American law enforcement killing innocent black men.
Song of the year: Eli Escobar – “Chaka Khan”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Like it is every year: Focus on my own shit and stay true to me. As long as I’m not hurting people along the way, there is nothing wrong with wanting and being more for yourself to support others. This includes keeping negative/non-value people out of my circle.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was interesting that’s for sure. I had ups and downs, but I learned a lot and I’m super hype for ’17 and the adventures it will bring.
Highlights? I think I gained some clarity out of things I want in life. Also, I had a really dope tour October/November, and I worked on a slew of collabs, probably more than ever before, which has made music feel more fun lately.
Lowlights? Prince dying. Trump living.
Song of the year: My answer here would probably change every few weeks [laughs
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Change my artist name.
How was 2016 for you? A rollercoaster of a ride, both good and well… questionably good. I had some monumental moments at the beginning – Universo Paralelo and arriving on stage via a helicopter ride from Salvador straight into a sunset moment on the Bahian Beach was breath taking! Reconnecting with Sasha after a two-year hiatus from Never Say Never, and playing together on the beach in Ibiza at our free party was another highlight. And there were so many great experiences in between, especially my live shows (a new addition to my repertoire). However, 2016 has been a logistically difficult year – so many Mars retrogrades! So, I’m excited for 2017 to kick in!
Highlights? Rediscovering Ibiza as a holidaygoer. I chose to spend more time with the family and the island, not getting too lost in after hours and private villa stuff. The place where I live is of stunning natural beauty. Also, getting Percomania up and running and my new release on Sudbeat, not forgetting so many amazing gigs worldwide.
Lowlights? Being stuck in the Bermuda Triangle, cancelled flights. There are worse places to get stuck, but something about the Caribbean is eerie when you are stuck there.
Song of the year: For Sunset Ashram Ibiza sessions: Anything by Bedouin; for DJ sets with Sasha: “Swim” by Danny Daze; for solo DJ club sets: “Disco Revolution” by Luca Donzelli
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More gigs, more music, more time with the family — is that a paradox? And more discipline in my work and personal life. Small steps lead a long way!
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year, thank you. I basically started touring again more in 2016 after a break, and I feel great. The parties I played were medium or small but always full and with a great crowd.
Highlights? Sandbox in Egypt and Panorama Bar
Lowlights? Brexit, Trump and too many great clubs being shut
Song of the year: Låpsley – Operator (DJ Koze’s Extended Disco Version)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make more songs!
How was 2016 for you? We’ve had another great year of gradually reaching more and more people — we had some sick shows and tours and we’ve written what we reckon is some of our best music ever… So pretty damn good!
Highlights? Our tour of Australia and NZ was off the hook; we worked with Flux Pavilion which was an absolute pleasure’ and we got to remix and absolute stone cold classic garage tune. Can’t say what it is yet but watch out next year!
Lowlights? We definitely lost a lot of greats this year, from the music world and beyond. We try our best to never dwell on the negative things; there’s always so much more value in looking forward and focussing on the future.
Song of the year: Kanye West – “Real Friends”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stop finishing everything within two hours of the deadline … but we’ll see.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a busy year for my Motech label. We signed and released loads of great new artist and personally I had a very nice 12″ record released with a Truncate remix that did very well so that was nice. Also we signed a new young Detroit artist by the name of Mazepa, and we released his EP that is very nice and we have some very special releases coming from him in the future so look out for that!
Highlights? Personally for me when I released my new 12” “Take Me Away” was a highlight because I haven’t released a 12” of my own music in almost three years and the response was huge and it was more than I could have asked for. The remix on the EP from Truncate was met with huge support so I couldn’t have been happier. Shout out to Truncate for delivering such a great remix!
Lowlights? Donald Trump being elected president
Song of the year: I heard this tune by Phon.o – “Run” (Bpitch) during Movement Festival weekend and Phon.o was actually DJing at this little coffee shop in Detroit for a Bpitch Live Streaming day party. I heard the track and I asked him what this was and he mentioned it was his and I bugged out! I never heard of Phon.o until then but I’m sure glad I heard this track and met him because this track is super funky!
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
To be more productive and release more of my own music to be honest. I’ve been spending so much time pushing my own label, Motech, I kinda took a backseat to releasing my own music. 2017 is the 15-year anniversary of Motech so we are planning to release a various artist compilation as well as my new album, so stay tuned for that.
How was 2016 for you? After more than 10 years I finished my third artist album which makes it quite a happy year for me.
Highlights? The latest South America tour and my gigs at Sisyphos in Berlin
Lowlights? The closure of fabric in London.
Song of the year: Steve Rachmad – “Disturbance”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I wanna get quicker at finishing tracks and just make as much music as I can. And I wanna improve my tennis ranking as well.
How was 2016 for you? It was a good year for DJ gigs personally and as always witnessing new content for my Twitter account is a plus.
Highlights? The rise of the 45’s with the portablists movement, the return of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest … also digging the rise of West Coast Boogie.
Lowlights? The continued watering down of what a DJ is and the watering down of music genres.
Song of the year: Regardless of what I pick someone will hate it [laughs].
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep spreading the word, and that is the gospel.
DJ Happy Colors
How was 2016 for you? Dope.
Highlights? 2016 was definitely the best year for my music career, Most of my dreams came true, like Playing One of the biggest EDM Festivals, working with some of my favorite artists, signing a deal with Sony Music, and getting nominated to a Latin Grammy.
Lowlights? Losing my brother Big Makk
Song of the year: La Ocasión – De La Ghetto, Arcangel, Ozuna, Anuel Aa
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stay healthy so I can keep doing what I love.
How was 2016 for you? Can’t complain.
Highlights? Graduating with my Masters of Music [degree].
Lowlights? Spending a full graduate year on my music and thesis for the completion of my Masters.
Song of the year: Chocolate Puma & Tommie Sunshine – “Take a Ride”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stop twerking; be healthier; quit farting so much; get it done; and write, write, write, write and write.
DJ Le Roi
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year for me as a DJ.
Highlights? Daytime Nordstern party at Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland with Solomun and me only with 10,000 peeps! Or three shows in 24 hours in Berlin this summer. Only possible there i guess!
Song of the year: Echonomist – “Levitation”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To make more music than in 2016!
How was 2016 for you? Pretty cool until 11/9/16.
Highlights? The birth of my son Konstantin in January was my highlight that nothing can come close to. Musically speaking the release of my singles “So Much Time” feat. Lisa Shaw (Favouritizm), “GSK” (Deeptown Records), and my remixes of Speedboats & Big Explosions’ “Out Of Time” and Raul Midon’s “Sunshine.”
Lowlights? Musically, all the cheap so called “deep house” rubbish that kept flooding the big digital stores.
Song of the year: Dario D’Attis & David Aurel – “Cuentame”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To save the music industry with loads of classy releases.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a amazing comeback year for me!
Highlights? Having a bunch of tracks charted on the Traxsource Top 100 house charts!
Lowlights? Having to run my new record label, Roomba Traxx, on my own. Too much damn work.
Song of the year: Todd Terry – “Beat Like This”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To take my E-MU SP 1200 out of the closet and start using it!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been an amazing year! Theres nothing better than doing what you love as a job.
Highlights? Getting to travel all over the world, meet new people and experience different cultures has been a something I would have probably never had the opportunity to do.
Lowlights? When you’re on the road a lot of the time you do miss your home comforts and any kinda routine really goes out the window.
Song of the year: Raffa FL – “How We Do”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Arrive at least two hours before my flights so I don’t keep missing them!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a busy year. I endeavored to release a very personal musical project, Qingxi, documenting an ancestral quest both visually and musically. Additionally, the lounge I recently acquired, The Flat, has taken up more time than expected. It has been a fruitful project, but has also required a tremendous amount of time and energy to get on to the right trajectory.
Highlights? The release of Qingxi and subsequent performances.
Lowlights? Being taken away from the studio by other endeavors like The Flat and curating the Museum of Fine Arts Mixed Media events. Though those projects have been fun, I long for being back in the studio, working on the next project.
Song of the year: The Avalanches – “Sunshine”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? You guessed it: setting up my business ventures so that I can be in the studio more and complete a follow-up to One Hundred (Soular Productions, 2013)
DJs From Mars
How was 2016 for you? It was a great and busy year! We had more than 100 gigs around the world, released a lot of tracks (one of them on Deorro’s label Pandafunk), had some important shows (like the summer residency at the Flamingo Pool in Las Vegas), so a lot of hours on a plane and a lot of hours in the studio….not so many hours in a bed but, as someone said, “We’ll sleep when we’re dead!”
Highlights? Playing for the first time ever in Ibiza! We played basically everywhere in the world so far, from Australia to India, to Brazil, Vietnam, China, Japan, USA and every country in Europe, South Africa, and so on…but we never played in Ibiza before this year. But finally we had the chance to play at Privilege, one of the biggest clubs in the world, and this made us super happy. Also, the summer residency in Las Vegas at the Flamingo Pool was fun! Regarding the tracks, we were so happy to see on of our bootlegs played by David Guetta in several gigs including the one at Tomorrowland!
Lowlights? There were no actual bad moments this year, so if we have to choose the thing we hate the most, that would probably be the hours spent in the airports or on the plane without doing anything…it always feels like we’re losing time to work on some new tracks or think about new ideas! We know it’s not something that we can’t avoid so it’s like a “necessary evil” for us! We’re waiting for the day when we’ll be teletransported!
Song of the year: The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey – “Closer”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? We’ll try to release more original tracks. We already have some demos under construction, some changes of style, so as usual a lot of work and hopefully some good achievements!
How was 2016 for you? Interesting. It was my first year as a dad. I thought that this would have taken away a little of my time to the music, and that’s what basically happened. On the other hand, I found a new source of inspiration in my life.
Highlights? Certainly my releases are always a highlights for me so I would say Brainscapes EP on Engrave Ltd, Orion EP and a remix for Lars Von Licht both for Connaisseur Recordings.
Lowlights? Here I do not have to think too much. The terrorist attacks are now the lowlights of each year.
Song of the year: It is almost impossible to answer this question. Certainly the Italian duo Underspreche has impressed me this year. I had the pleasure to listen the next album due out in December on Optimo and it is amazing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To work hard.
How was 2016 for you? Lots of fun and work: Five remixes, two exclusive tracks, and a debut album with 12 tracks. Beautiful meeting and enjoying myself with artists, promoters, technicians, people, family, and friends. Real life is always better when we can share it all together, time goes by so fast. I think this year has been the most prolific, interesting, intense, stressful and happiest of my career. I keep house, techno and ghetto music as a main goal. And my passion hasn’t declined.
Highlights? Celebrating ten years old of fun with Don Rimini’s name; releasing my first album ever, which was an exciting Challenge; receiving fantastic feedback from artists I love, media, and people. I didn’t expected so many love and support. First experience as A&R at Ryme’s label BADLQQK Records (thanks, boys), and my first signature Dynamix “My House” has gotten great support. Hell yeah! And super proud to have released a remix out on the Chicago legendary label, Trax Records.
Lowlights? Terrorism attack in Brussels on the same day as my birthday. Sad. Fear and anger for the geopolitical situation and terrorism all over the world. Closing of London’s fabric and Prince, David Bowie, and DJ Spank-Spank joining Michael in heaven.
Song of the year: Kevin Over – “Virginia” (Noir Music) or Vin Sol – “Basement Game” (Clone Jack For Daze)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To work on video projects. I’ve seen a seven-year-old explain on a tutorial what you could do with a editing video program. Damn, I’m fuck**g too late in this game [laughs].
How was 2016 for you? It seemed to fly by in the blink of an eye [with] insanely busy touring which took me to some of the most stunning places on earth, made lots of new friends for life and released some music that i’m really proud of. It’s been a good one!
Highlights? Being part of Space Ibiza’s final season, hosting the main room on Sundays as Doorly & Friends.
Lowlights? Donald Trump, Brexit, fabric’s closure, and the general overwhelming anger there seems to be in the world right now.
Song of the year: Midland – “Final Credits”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Learn how to say no a bit more often and give myself a little bit of time off every now and then.
How was 2016 for you? Like a psychedelic roller coaster ride with big highs and big lows.
Highlights? Musically it was a good year. We lived in Baja California, Mexico for six months making our new album and video. It was an amazing experience.
Lowlights? The American presidential election
Song of the year: “Perfect Tree” by Chronixx with Eesah from the Roots & Chalice mixtape
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To bring more love, joy, compassion, and equanimity to our planet no matter what challenges we face.
How was 2016 for you? This year has easily been my best for touring plus the production side of things has been very productive to so all good.
Highlights? My recent tour of USA and Australia and getting asked for ID in New York.
Lowlights? My son’s football team getting beat by Glasgow Rangers.
Song of the year: Radiohead – “Ful Stop”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be a better dad.
How was 2016 for you? It was really good. We got a Grammy nomination for “Cumbia Anthem,” and I was able to release really cool music.
Highlights? Definitely the [Grammy] nomination. We were very surprised and honored to be nominated.
Lowlights? I’m happy and healthy! I can’t complain!
Song of the year: Anything by Wiwek [laughs].
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make more music, live a healthier lifestyle, make more music.
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year full of work in the studio, clubs and with my labels. I worked with a lot of great artists and labels … I worked on my first album, Structures, released in September on my label Nightmare Factory Records … it was a dream and you know … the first album it’s always something special.
Highlights? I think an album is a very important moment for an artist and for almost two years I have been dreaming of making it … I am really happy for this step and really happy for the result.
Lowlights? I don’t like to remember … Let’s move forward!
Song of the year: AnD – “Illusions”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep doing what I love … I have a lot of new projects for me and for my labels.
How was 2016 for you? It was a fantastic year personally but ending things off with this election here in the US, with Trump winning, has really cast a dark shadow over everything.
Highlights? This was the first full year of my son’s life and watching him grow and become a little toddler has definitely been the highlight. Releasing my second album on Classic [and] feeling like people really responded to it in a positive way has also been a tremendously rewarding experience. One other high point, and it might sound odd, but on the days Bowie and Prince died, I played last-minute tribute parties for them the night of. They were both exceptionally cathartic, uplifting nights. The power of music and its ability to heal never fail to amaze me.
Lowlights? Donald Trump
Song of the year: Monique Bingham – “Deep In The Bottom.” Just a mesmerizing haunting song that really stood out from the pack this year. Runner-up: Mr G. – “Transient”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t usually do these, but I’m going to make sure and throw a few events in NYC this year and raise money for organizations that will need the most support once Trump comes into office.
How was 2016 for you? Amazing. I recorded my symphony and my fans backed me and paid for the project! Lots of good vibes.
Highlights? I learned to unlock many sides of myself which I was repressing and deal with deep emotions, panic attacks and other stress related problems, from running a business to being highly creative and very ambitious all the time with no off switch.
Lowlights? Having burnouts and needing to keep learning and practicing how to manage this. It’s a hard lesson to repeat.
Song of the year: James Blake – “Radio Silence”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Be more real.
How was 2016 for you? In terms of music, my best year so far.
Highlights? Spending two months in Ibiza, enjoying the nature, and finding myself again. Releasing Moon Rocks (debut EP on Drumcode); remixing Moby; and being the best-selling techno artist of 2016 on Beatport.
Lowlights? Future house
Song of the year: Dubspeeka – “K304v2 Walk With Me”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep working and living with people I trust and share our love for music and life. Tour undiscovered areas.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a whole cadre of emotions — interesting, stressful, enlightening, trying, eye-opening, progressive, and, above all, self-affirming. I’ve loved the growth I’ve been able to push upon myself, but at the same time I need to be more studious and learn to let things go a bit more. After all my years of doing this I still feel like I’m learning more and more daily, but I’ve pushed my sound as both a producer and DJ and am not finished with the evolution of me.
Highlights? I had some pretty special trips around the globe as part of my job, but one of the best things to happen to me this year was my future wife and I adopted the most glorious little mini-dachshund and she’s made both of our lives so spectacular. Oh, and I started a record label.
Lowlights? November 8, 2016 will probably go own in history as one of the worst, stupidest, most unbelievable days of the lives of the people of Earth. I’m concerned about the future of the people of my home country, but also of the impact it’ll have on the rest of the planet. It’s just…wow.
Song of the year: I’ve been absolutely destroying DJ Deep’s “Surge” in almost every single set. It’s one of the best things of the year, for sure! But the new A Tribe Called Quest album is pretty amazing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? The short answer is “get better at finishing music.” I often overthink my productions and let them go a bit too long, so I need to trust my instincts and let them be finished. But there’s definitely going to be a lot of focus on my newly minted label with a release schedule I need to properly attend to.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was great! Crossed some items off the bucket list and traveled a bit. All in all it was a great year.
Highlights? Playing for M-Plant’s 20 Year show at fabric with a live set. It was an honor to be on the same bill with Robert Hood.
Lowlights? The closing of fabric. Donald Trump being elected as president.
Song of the year: Kendrick Lamar – “These Walls.” I know it was not from 2016 but I only heard it this year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work on hitting curveballs. In life and in the batter’s box.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a good year without many ups and down. I suppose it was a steady year.
Highlights? I received my mental coach diploma so I’m now able to advice people not only on creative and musical aspects, but also about personal issues, insecurities, life questions, etc. My travels abroad that gave me air and inspiration to continue with my music; both producing and releasing it on my label, Rosedale Records. The great feedback I received on those releases and especially the feedback on newcomers that I give a platform. Some of my Estroe Advice clients work really hard and it gives me big satisfaction to be able to do this.
Lowlights? None that I can think of although the election of Trump comes to mind.
Song of the year: Patrice Bäumel – Surge
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Take good care of myself and find the right balance between work and relaxation.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was an amazingly eye-opening year.
Highlights? Designing, creating and installing the entire sound design for Meow Wolf’s House Of Eternal Return with Mesa Recordings label-mates Mi, Brian Mayhall and David Last, releasing “Sza Geow.” Qitnessing the birth of my daughter, Eloise was the single greatest experience of my life — becoming a parent has given me a new understanding of love.
Lowlights? It’s hard to stay positive right now but now is precisely the time we must be and remain positive to our utmost ability.
Song of the year: Brian Mayhall – “Worm Whole”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To love and create with reckless abandon.
How was 2016 for you? N/A
My first son was born in 2016. That’s definitely my highlight of the year and of my life. Other than that I’ve released on Poker Flat and got remixed by Joris Voorn. Amazing year for sure!
Lowlights? Donald Trump is the new president of the USA.
Song of the year: Alex Kennon – “Last Call” (Karmon Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Nothing really. I am a happy man, non-smoker and beer drinker.
How was 2016 for you?
2016 was a very active year in terms of releases and new collaborations. We had the reissue of the long out of print Vibrant Forms II release as well as the new original material Vibrant Forms III release, all coming out from Subwax Bcn. In terms of writing it was a very productive year, with new ideas and things that shaping up as a new long play for the very near future.
The fact that we’ve created a new Vibrant Forms live audio-visual show, soon to be presented. It took some time but it’s done and it is a very organic performance. I am eager for people to see it.
Lowlights? The inability for an effective EU immigration policy to deal with the refuge crisis in Syria and the deaths of so many in the Mediterranean, Aegean Sea. The US elections and the rise of populism in politics, everywhere.
Song of the year: Wa Wu We – “Travellers”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Don’t expect change…act, question, analyze, and make up your mind!
Fort Knox Five
How was 2016 for you? Steve Raskin: 2016 was a transformative year for Fort Knox Five, having to regroup after the loss of co-founder Jon Horvath with a new passion and energy. We released a string of singles which featured some amazing remixes, and then compiled the Pressurize The Cabin Remixed album. Got a chance to tour through the US and Canada and bring the funk to Burning Man which was an incredible experience. And had the honor of creating a special collaboration with funk and soul legend Sir Joe Quarterman leading up to the DC Funk Parade.
Highlights? Dropping the 100th Release on our own label, Fort Knox Recordings. This milestone was extra sweet as the release is the Pressurize The Cabin Remixed album, which features 20 of our favorite remixers from around the world. Another highlight is definitely the fresh new funk tune “Don’t Go” we recorded with Joe Quarterman!
Lowlights? Nothing as low as losing another shining light from our musical family, Nicholas “Pumpkin” Alvarado, who passed this year and will be sorely missed.
Song of the year: GRiZ x Big Gigantic – “Good Times Roll”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep the funk alive!
French Horn Rebellion
How was 2016 for you? Robert Perlick-Molinari: 2016 saw the release of our third studio album, Classically Trained. It took us almost two years to put together the music, and we are so proud of what came out. We worked with a lot of great collaborators on it, including Doc from Ghost Beach (now Pink Flamingo Rhythm Revue), LEFTI (a.k.a. Alex Suarez, former bass player of Cobra Starship), and our friends Bee’s Knees. We also went on tour with Mystery Skulls and Digitalism, and played festivals in the U.S, Mexico, Canada, and the Dominican Republic this year. It’s been awesome. What a year!
Highlights? This show we did at SXSW. A fan, without our knowledge, brought a parachute into this sweaty, dirty basement dance party style show. We were rocking and rolling, the crowd was going wild, and when we were doing our last song, we looked up to discover the entire crowd completely covered by this magical parachute. That’s a moment we’ll never forget.
Lowlights? To be honest, we did more DJ tours this year than we have in the past, and after a few weeks, I gotta say, I missed the ‘ol band! Being a DJ can be lonely; being in a band is fun.
Song of the year: Crush Club – “Get Me Off”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Last year my new year’s resolution was to start working out. It’s been a year, and I’m still doing it. Maybe this year my resolution should be to stop working out.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a turning point for us after signing to Defected and Simma Black.
Highlights? Three number one’s on Traxsource!
Lowlights? Fabric being forced to close.
Song of the year: Crookers feat. Kym Mazelle – “A Place in My Heart”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Watch less TV in standard definition.
How was 2016 for you? Personal victories were bigger than public ones. A range of music pre-occupations kept me inspired — a new Hawke album in the can and a curated radio station from beaches around the world for Batiste Rhum. Next year I’d like to be on those beaches drinking rum and playing the Hawke album to crowds of naked lobsters, seahorses and dolphins.
Highlights? I finally figured out how to mix down a song and be happy with the result. Also got into shooting and editing video.
Lowlights? Digging through stems from my previous albums and realizing how shit the old mixes sounded. Lighting an endless supply of candles for a bunch of inspired heroes and family members who died.
Song of the year: The entire Avalanches album Wildflower was one big song for me. Nonstop joy and still going.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? When they go low, I go low.
How was 2016 for you? It was a special one with new exciting [travels] plus great ones I came back to play again, specifically Terraza in Athens or Sisyphos in Berlin that is always a mesmerizing experience or sonar off in Barcelona with Mobilee that was amazing. Lots of new music I have released this year, and the move I made to Berlin with my family, I was thinking about this [for] years but I finally did it.
Highlights? The birth of my little baby girl, Maya.
Lowlights? Terror in too many places in the world unfortunately. Let’s all make a party together and stop the bullshit and hate ‘cause music brings people together more then everything else!
Song of the year: Alex Dimou feat. Black Soda – “This Time” (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stop the race of life sometimes, and to enjoy what I have and achieved in life. Plus to open my label very soon!
How was 2016 for you? By far the best one yet. Everything has been falling into place this year and the shows have been great.
Highlights? Surprise set at Electric Forest closing the Observatory stage. We also had a crazy set on top of an RV for almost 2,000 people out in GA.
Lowlights? It’s really been an overall positive year, but traveling so much does take away a lot of your time for writing music or a personal life. Constantly readjusting things to keep the balance.
Song of the year: Bryan: Latmun – “Def ”
Hugh: Lenny Kiser – “Dial Up”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Definitely to put more new Golf Clap music out. We have a big touring schedule in front of us still, but we are determined to make a bit more time for it this year.
How was 2016 for you? Tom Findlay: Great, thanks.
Highlights? Some real personal highlights curating our own stage at Eastern Electrics was magic, as was playing for Ants at Ushaia. A number one on Beatport was an unexpected surprise, so thank you Riva Starr!
Lowlights? The demise of fabric, Brexit and now the madness that is Trump. In that sense 2016 has been a disaster, but amongst that shit show we still had a good time.
Song of the year: Always too many! But in terms of reaction and the joy of playing combined [I would say] “Fluent” by Audiojack.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Drink less, call my Mum a bit more, make some disco records — maybe all at the same time.
How was 2016 for you? I’ve been making quite a lot of music (including my debut album), all to be released in 2017, so it’s been a very productive year. However, because of this, I couldn’t focus much on the performance part of this business, but overall I did get to play in some cool gigs where I had loads of fun.
Highlights? Getting to know beautiful and cozy places like Bergen (Norway) or Provincetown and Nantucket (USA), where I had the chance to record most of the sounds for my album. To have played alongside Swayzak (one of my all-time references) and the whole Petra squad during Sónar week in Barcelona was also a big thing.
Lowlights? Having no money after spending it all while traveling and having gained a few extra kilos for neglecting my Mediterranean diet [laughs].
Song of the year: Dextro – “Break Off”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Learn to play the cello or meet Haley Joel Osment… or maybe even have Haley Joel Osment teach me how to play the cello!
Harleighblu X Starkiller
How was 2016 for you? Ce Garcia (Starkiller): Not bad at all. Have been able to stay very productive in our personal, as well as professional lives.
Harleighblu: It was one of my favorite years ever. Released two albums. Played my first American show in Hollywood, played all over Europe and recorded my next album at Red Bull Studios Berlin. It literally has been the gift that kept on giving, and I’m very grateful for the position it’s put me in.
Highlights? Ce Garcia: Number one: releasing our own album along with Harleighblu. That’s something we’ve had our eyes set on for quite some time. Second: traveling to Japan to perform with Adrian Younge and Venice Dawn. The country is beautiful, and their hospitality is beyond measure.
Harleighblu: Recording in LA and seeing my musical brothers Starkiller again. They’ve been such an integral part of my musical journey and I’ve only met them a handful of times! Was wicked hanging again.
Lowlights? Harleighblu: I would say exhaustion. Touring back to back is a blessing and a curse. With two album releases, my live schedule has been non-stop all year. At times I felt too ill or tired to play and had to power through — the plus side is that at least I know I can do it no matter what.
Ce Garcia: Having a few other projects not come to flourish they way you want them to. Being an artist, you spend a lot of time (and money) on things that you want to see created, and more times than not they just don’t take off accordingly; you can’t let that get you down. Sometimes being an artist is a double-edged sword, but you can’t let that stop you.
Song of the year: Harleighblu: That’s so hard! I’m gonna go with Anderson . Peak – “The Season/Carry Me/The Waters”
Ce Garcia: It’s either “S.O.S.” by Portishead, from the High Rise soundtrack or “Full Stop” by Radiohead from A Moon Shaped Pool. Those two tracks have dominated my iTunes since their release.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Ce Garcia: To take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself, and not have any trepidations when it comes to “trying something new.” To not listen to other people’s opinions when it comes to the music you’re making. Make the music you want to make, and the music that you want to hear, first and foremost, and hopefully everything else will fall in line.
Harleighblu: Similar to Starkiller: Always make the music you want. Always follow your musical heart. Don’t let other people’s opinions influence your journey or sway your dream and finally, sleep when you’re dead!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a very important year for me, both on a personal and professional level. On one hand it has been a busy time of change with moving house and studios and finally getting settled in a new ideal environment for me to live and work from and on the other it’s been a great year for taking my work to the next level and achieving some personal goals along the way! Reflecting back now and in the future, I will no doubt see 2016 as a turning point year for me in many ways.
Highlights? Both gig related: firstly, being invited to play at Elrow at their home in Barcelona for their sixth birthday. This was a party I’ll never forget, the Elrow family have absolutely smashed it this year and their birthday throwdown was no exception, an incredible day was had by all! The second involves Elrow again, this time a gig with them at the infamous and late Space Ibiza. I’ve been wanting to play this venue ever since I first went as a clubber some 16 or so years ago, as we all know it was the final season for the club so to get the chance to play was more than just a gig but something of a bucket-list ticker for me! Big ups to the Elrow family for making that happen for me!
Lowlights? I try not to hang on to any lowlights if there are any but if there was one I’d have to say moving studios earlier in the year. The results since the move have been amazing but the move itself and the time period of getting used to the new vibes/sound was a ball ache and halted both mine and my client’s work for a couple of frustrating months.
Song of the year: Mar-T and Luca Donzelli – “Disco Techno Revolution”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions. I just try and better myself every year in as many ways as possible, maybe to not seek and destroy a bottle of vodka after I finish playing so many sets/gigs so more Mondays are put to good use!
Henry Binns (Zero 7/Equador)
How was 2016 for you? Best year ever!
Highlights? Got married, had a beautiful honeymoon in Greece and made a baby! Also made the Equador album and nearly finished a Zero 7 album. Miracles!
Lowlights? Donald Trump, Brexit, more grey hair
Song of the year: Best old tune that’s new to me: “Arrow Through Me ” by Wings
Best new tune: “Pink and White ” by Frank Ocean
Best pop song either “Tilted ” by Christina and the Queens or “Bad Decisions ” by Two Door Cinema Club
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I say it every year … to learn Spanish. Got a place I go every year in Andalucia. The guys at the bar are sick of me talking like a five-year-old.
How was 2016 for you? N/A
Highlights? The first time I played Movement festival in Detroit! It was very intense but a nice experience for me.
Lowlights? Tight touring dates makes it very difficult to control my intentions. But when I overcome this, I feel confident again.
Song of the year: Dubfire & Oliver Huntemann – “Fuego” (Julian Jeweil Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To launch my #hitodiscovery project in which I will collaborate with upcoming young artists.
Horace Dan D
How was 2016 for you? It was a good year with new perspectives, new ideas and new projects. It was a good year meant to prepare the upcoming years. The future sounds good!
Highlights? There were few festivals that I enjoyed a lot, Snow Fest (Les 2 Alpes – France), Electric Castle & Delahoya – both in Cluj-Napoca (Romania). Also, I’m happy with the new collaboration with Simina Grigoriu and her label, Kuukou Records. The label is very fresh, but I can say that there are involved very professional people.
Lowlights? Maybe the lack of free time. I’m involved in too many things … I try to lighten my schedule to have more time for the studio work.
Song of the year: Enrico Sangiuliano – “Moon Rocks”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To have inspiration for releasing good songs and to play at amazing parties and festivals.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was definitely the best so far considering our young history. It was a year of challenges and expectations, releasing in a row on Connaisseur, Exit Strategy and Diynamic definitely made the results bigger than what we ever dreamed about.
Highlights? The incredible love and support we received; we can’t stop to say thanks for that.
Lowlights? The dystopic future imagined in most of the science fiction from the past century unfortunately it has been surpassed by reality. Greed and selfishness seem unstoppable engines of our decadence as a species. Every weekend we meet so many people, their smiles and their sense of community are the hope that beyond the mendacious marketing, beyond the fake cage of wellness, there is still the pride of belonging to a better world.
Song of the year: Toto Chiavetta – “Finally I’ve Met You”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep on having fun doing music together.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been an odd year for everyone I think but I’ve enjoyed it, particularly experimenting more in the studio.
Highlights? Finally getting to work with Roy Davis, Jr.
Song of the year: Anything by Pierre Codarin
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To put everything I have into my new album and DJ out of my skin.
How was 2016 for you? Aino: I think 2016 was a very emotional year. A lot of things have been going on in our personal life. Musically as well it has been a great year. It’s also been a good struggle.
Caroline: A lot of energy has been moving around and now I feel like we’ve found ourselves in the center of it. We’re a little bit more grounded.
Highlights? Aino: Releasing a new song “Brightside” has been one of the best feelings this year because it’s so true to ourselves and also it’s fun to show people what we’ve been up to. But also, Trolls was…
Caroline: Being involved in the Trolls movie was amazing…
Aino: Was a different experience. [laughs]
Aino: But just getting back, taking the time to get back in the studio again. And writing music, that felt very important for us.
Lowlights? Aino: We’ve been in LA more often and we love LA ,but I’ve been missing Sweden. Usually we are just touring and traveling around, but now we’ve been in the same place for three months which is a lot for us. It gives you time to land and makes you also miss home. I think that’s the low part.
Caroline: There’s been some drama… we even had to go buy Aino a pair of very expensive shoes in the middle of it. But I would like to say it all ended up good so thank you 2016 for throwing some shit at us, but gave us some really good stuff to write about in our new music.
Aino: Yes. Emilio Pucci shoes.
Song of the year: Aino: I mean, Beyoncé’s “All Night” is my favorite.
Caroline: So good.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Aino: I think I’m going to celebrate more. Yeah, celebrate smaller things.
Caroline: That’s a really good one. Because I think it’s dangerous to go ‘I’m not going to do this’…’I’m going to stop doing this’. I think it’s better to be like ‘I’m going to try to do this more’.
Aino: Celebrate with me.
Caroline: Yeah, I’m going to celebrate with Aino!
How was 2016 for you? Confusing.
Highlights? Putting the album out
Lowlights? Everything else?
Song of the year: Delroy Edwards – Born Rebels
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More music under other names.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a great year! I had the opportunity to collaborate with fantastic label (Soundscapes Records) that has become a family for me. I didn’t have much time to spend in the studio during this year, but each time was really very productive and creative.
Highlights? The two live sets at Kater Blau, an amazing club in Berlin. Being able to share your music with people from another nation, it’s wonderful. You feel that you can talk to them through a universal language. Amazing.
The earthquake in central Italy has been a sad event. We will not easily forget 2016.
Song of the year: Nicolas Jaar – “The Governor”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To release my first solo album. It’s all ready. I’m doing the mixdown.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been an amazing year in so many ways. I got to release my first single and break out as an artist which was a huge deal for me. Starting my journey towards where I want to be in the music scene. At the same time it’s been a year of growth. Looking at the world and what went down during 2016, I can’t help but to search myself and continue striving towards becoming more aware of the global issues. Hopefully we’ll all feel more inclined to solve them together. Nothing is more clear to me than that after this year has come and gone.
Highlights? The pinnacle of 2016 was releasing my first single, ”You Can Have It All.” It was nerve wrecking, but I’m so proud of the song and glad that all the work behind it paid off. Recording the video for the song in New York was also a first time experience that will make me remember 2016 as a fantastic year. I’ve met so many inspiring and talented people in the process, who made me very thankful for being able to do what I’m doing.
Lowlights? The morning after the election when I sat down at my breakfast table to check the news to see who had been elected president of the United States. That was a major low point.
Song of the year: Can I pick one of my remixes? Nah, kidding. Oh this one is tricky, because I have such a massive addiction to music. But I have to say ”Anytime” by Swedish songwriter and artist Amanda Alexander. It’s got one of those refrains that just sticks to your mind, and you find yourself humming along unprovoked time and time again.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To release an EP during 2017! I’ve got so much music that is just waiting to come out and play. I also vow to remind myself that I deserve to take a break and read a nonsense book once in a while [laughs].
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a really good year. I’ve signed my first major deal so I’m really excited to be working on an album. I feel like I have been releasing club music for last couple of years and I have been really happy with the reaction. Now I want to focus on taking my project the next step further. I have a lot of exciting music in the pipeline ready for next year, so 2017 is going to be very exciting!
Highlights? I played a few shows in Las Vegas with Calvin Harris this year which was definitely a highlight. That’s always been a dream of mine so to tick it off was amazing. I would love to do more shows in Vegas next year. What a crazy place!
Lowlights? I haven’t had any really low points this year, I think the main thing is staying focussed on writing the best music I can. It can be very tough spending days on end in the studio on your own, especially trying to come up with new fresh ideas. The music industry has changed so much in the last few years, people are consuming music so differently so keeping on top of everything can be tough, but worthwhile!
Song of the year: I loved DJ Snake’s album Encorethis year. I think his song “Middle” was my song of the year. It came out and didn’t stop growing. I was in South Africa in March and I heard it on all the local radio stations. A few months later I was in Los Angeles and it was all over the radio. It’s amazing to see dance music work all over the world and that song was undeniably one of the biggest dance hits this year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Fucking smash 2017!
How was 2016 for you? Deeply transformational.
Highlights? Every day is really a gift isn’t it? Whether visible or not, but it’s been a year full of many highlights for me. Thus far, I’ve had six solo original tracks release (on Eye Spy/King Street Sounds) as my goal was to get my productions off my hard drive. Additionally, I’ve written nine new tracks that I’m really proud of seeing through to completion. Happy to say the fruits of these labors started to help get my name out and my music took me to play gigs on the stunning island of Corfu, Greece, UK and Berlin (for the first time) — a few bucket list items checked! I also got signed by an artist manager, Christian Larsson with Soundz Limited, who I’m very grateful for. He sees something in me enough to take a chance and really help push me, to take my productions to the next level.
Lowlights? The election (sad face). Secondly, the realization that music is my great labor of love, but not sustainable income (yet) . . . I’ve gone back to work full-time, but very lucky to be a freelancer and in between contracts have been able to accomplish a lot with music. Oddly enough, I find myself to be more productive when I’m working as my studio/creative time is really focused. I have over an hour drive to work each way and the time in the car provides me with time and space to listen to my music on another sound system and also prepare for DJ sets.
Song of the year: Patty Griffin – “Forgiveness”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I prefer to use my birthday as a marker to re-invent a better version of myself, which seems to work better for me than January (always a fail). Right now, I’m working on becoming an awesome listener with the people in my life. A great track I found, by no coincident, reminded me that we show people love when we listen to them by nature musicians are pristine listeners. Also, I’m doing a new audio meditation called Headspace that’s really helping shift my wild train of thought. Having been diagnosed with ADHD, I’ve been brainwashed into believing I need prescription medicine to deal with my scattered mind. However, over the summer I had a concerned and caring friend who brought this awareness to me — this is not the way forward. My most important resolve is to be completely off this medication as it’s very addictive and only benefitting the pharmaceutical company at this point. Hopefully by next year’s interview I will say, “I’m done for good” — hence the reason I’m being public with this (wish me luck).
How was 2016 for you? Like most people, 2016 was a very difficult year. The election dominated my non-musical intellect, and the result of the election shook me to my core. I’m writing this only days after the election, and I am still in shock. Soon the shock and sadness will turn to anger. And anger I can work with. Musically, it was also a sad year, as we lost two of my most vital inspirations – David Bowie and Prince (amongst countless other musicians and entertainers who also passed this year.
Highlights? Personally, my music and performance career moved forward in 2016, and I had some accomplishments I’m proud of. I put out another record on Soma, and I have new records coming out next month on Lanthan Audio and Reclaim Your City. I debuted in great cities like Montreal, Columbus and Manchester (UK), as well as returning to Berghain, New York, Denver, Detroit and many other cities. In December I will play for Bassiani in Tbilisi, which I’m very excited about. Next year looks to bring more travel and new releases. I’m optimistic about music going forward – my country, not so much.
Song of the year: Although this was actually released at the very end of December 2015, Rødhad’s “Kinder der Ringwelt” was a track I played in nearly every set this year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions, but in 2017 I resolve to continue to pursue the outer boundaries of my musical mission, to challenge myself to become a better producer and performer, and expand my horizons culturally. Equally important is a commitment to help marginalized members of my community and country in the face of a dangerous and divisive US government administration.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was exciting for me. Had a bunch of great releases on awesome labels like Alleanza, Elevate and Get Physical. Also had several great gigs and have being very productive in the studio.
Highlights? My first live performance in Ghent. I’ve always considered myself a DJ but after doing so much studio time and playing my tracks a lot in my sets it was a natural thing to go live and after the gig I was quite confident that I wanted to do more as a live artist. It was such a great experience!
Lowlights? Personal; Passing away of my girlfriend’s grandmother.
Music: Two gigs got cancelled on the last moment on Kingsday. Was such a bummer because I was really looking forward to it. Fortunately the King celebrates his birthday every year so hope to have a good one in 2017.
Song of the year: Pig&Dan – “Growler”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More music! And perhaps a bit more gym time.
How was 2016 for you? Huge year of change for me.
Highlights? Hiking, biking, kayaking around Ibiza 200 km for charity; being a resident at Sankeys every Wednesday for the whole summer; playing acid house vinyl classics and feeling like I was 18 again; playing the closing of Space and touring much less, and getting much more sleep after 25 years nonstop!
Lowlights? Missing my family — so spread out around the world right now; the wrath of Brexit and being witness to the hatred and division that seems to be spreading through society at the moment.
Song of the year: Radiohead – “Daydreaming”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Surrender to all feelings and emotions, and letting it flow.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a pretty good year for me, my music, and Subspec. A number of my releases got some good attention this year, especially “i—“ on Subspec. Got lots of fire from other artists on the Subspec catalog this year and I think we’re really hitting our stride as we get ready to head into our sixth year. I’ve been getting more quality gigs lately and I’ll be heading to play Berlin and Croatia to close the year out.
Highlights? Catching up with the extended North American techno family in Detroit during Movement. This year for me was really focused on the after parties and logging a bunch of hours with friends I don’t get to see too often. Dave Clarke playing ‘Interceptor” on White Noise was a big boost for sure. I had one of the best pork tenderloin sandwiches I’ve ever had outside of Iowa while I was in Denver for a gig. Sometimes it’s the little things.
Lowlights? Man, 2016 was rough on music. Prince, Bernie Worrell, and David Bowie, to name just three, [died]. For a while it seemed like this year wasn’t going to let up. Funky gigging situations, but they usually make for good stories over a pint later. Biggest lowlight… US election, no question.
Song of the year: Max Jahn – “Sweat Tool”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep working on rolling with life.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a huge for growth and discovery. The team that has come together this year to back and support me on this journey have helped me hit goals that I never thought were possible and I can’t wait to see what we can do in 2017.
Highlights? Playing Splash House and EDC Orlando, Also getting tracks signed to Perfect Driver, Sweat It Out!, and one more big label I can’t mention yet! I have had my head down working so hard and these things have been incredible payback.
Lowlights? Learning to deal with the highs and lows of the music industry, this was my first full year living in LA and it definitely is a different world out here. I love the inspiration you can find but my heart is always in Chicago.
Song of the year: “Misbehaving” by Matthew Anthony & BOT or “Control” by Servante
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Probably to find more of a balance in life outside of the grind-time for friends, family, and maybe even some exercise.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was definitely a great year for me especially about music.
Highlights? The amazing collaboration with INNO for Escape Series 003; the friendship between me, Cem, Anna and all the Soundscapes Records family; the vinyl release on “Smile For A While”; the unforgettable gigs at Kater Blau (Berlin) and my lovely niece.
Lowlights? The political situation, terrorism, war and the big earthquake that struck and destroyed some parts of Italy.
Song of the year: Probably the last time that a track marked me a lot to become my best song of the year, was in 2012 with “The Resistance” by Scan 7.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To continue making music with passion and love, meet new positive and inspiring people and always remain a true person.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a year full of changes since I jumped from a music style to another still keeping the same thoughts.
Highlights? I have been busy with many great releases that kept my musical road. I released on Planet Rhythm, Guant and Flash Recordings.
Lowlights? I haven’t played that much since I’ve been busy in studio in order to focus on producing music… anyway I had the possibility to play in some gigs.
Song of the year: Dax J – “Escape The System”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To produce music to be released on great labels. Mostly I started playing as a resident DJ at Kepler (BA), and I will play in other gigs around Europe. Can’t wait for the new year to start to see my hard work be printed on big labels and go on with my work.
How was 2016 for you? Awesome! Not a cliché, but we were traveling a lot, released tons of our music and established our label, Ballroom, further, both with releases and label nights. We can proudly say 2016 is the year we went global with Ballroom, and is now seen as a strong force in the global dance community. We want to thank also all our artists and friends that put their trust in Ballroom for releases and shows.
Highlights? As every year, our Asia tours are so much fun, great places, outdoor parties at the beach, day and nighttime. Always a great way to start the year!n Looking already forward to our 2017 kick off!
Lowlights? A whole string of events that went down, due to the fact that promotors or clubs went bankrupt. Always sad for everybody involved.
Song of the year: Audion – “Mouth to Mouth” (Dense & Pika Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep on doing what we do and love, staying true to our art, keep making people happy, keep making us happy. Nothing more needed.
How was 2016 for you? With only three years [of experience] producing music and only 19, I’ve been fortunate enough to have released music on Red Bull Music (Cape Town Base).
Highlights? One of my most humbling achievements would be having to release music with the legendary Kenny Dope on his label, Dopewax Records. Having my track titled “8th Brother” featured on an EP by Surreal Sounds Music on one of the biggest music platforms in the world, Red Bull Music CPT in South Africa. Having my track titled “Ordinary Gatherings” featured on the new Dopewax Records compilation by the legendary Kenny Dope titled Dopewax Approved: Kenny Dope & Friends.
Lowlights? There was a time where i lost my laptop which had all my production files without any backup. That really was one of the bad experience for me as I had to start from scratch with making new music.
Song of the year: Culoe De Song – “Umoya”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work harder towards archiving dreams and goals.
Karol XVII & MB Valence
How was 2016 for you? The entire year 2016 has been really successful for us. Not because we’ve released a lot of music, but because we’ve finally managed to take care of our studio equipment. Frankly, we’re just coming to the end of arranging our second studio. We’re getting it adapted for our own use and hopefully we’ll be able to finish going through the final setup of all the instruments. All that has taken us about two years to complete, but we think it was worth the effort as there’s nothing better than new ideas formed by means of synthesizers fairly new to us. Two years ago, we made a resolution to get it all finished by the end of 2014, but we didn’t succeed in that then. Fortunately, the coming year will be greeted in our new work places.
Highlights? We’ve certainly noticed a return of vinyl records. Labels that used to release a lot of vinyl as well as new ones come back to vinyl releases, which makes us all here really happy. Because of that, we’ve bought a second pair of turntables. So, after so many years, we’ve returned to turntables by Technics, the same type we sold a few years back.
Lowlights? Generally, we can say that about the closure of fabric and other nightclubs on the island. When you hear stuff like that, you can’t stop thinking that everything starts to collapse. You’re afraid of the future of music you create. Also, some lowlights include funny things such as DJ top 100.
Song of the year: It hasn’t been a bad year for electronic music. That depends on what one likes obviously, but for us, it’s surely been a decent year.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Two years ago, we decided to set up our studios and all the equipment within a single year, but at that time, we failed to do it. For this reason, we shouldn’t make a resolution like this just in case.
How was 2016 for you? I try to not have bad years, so I’d have to go ahead and say it was pretty amazing. A few career firsts, some amazing music, and I didn’t forget to wear pants to a gig even one time so win, win, win.
Highlights? Selling out the Los Angeles Convention Center for a solo headlining show in under seven minutes was pretty surreal. Still feels a little bit like a dream.
Lowlights? I don’t really dwell on the low-down stuff, but did you realize that Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill turned 30 this year? That completely undid me for about 24 hours.
Song of the year: That’s an impossible question. Songs are great at different times for different reasons. There’s no one great song that stands out but that’s not to say I don’t have a favorite right now. I’m feeling Ravell’s “Get Away” currently and including it as much as I can, everywhere I can. It can play both deep and big, and fills the floor either way.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To get uncomfortable. 2017 is going to be about finding itches I didn’t know I had, scratching them, and seeing what happens.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been challenging! I released my London Electronic Orchestra album in May and there was a lot of pressure around that. Then living in London it was a huge disappointment when Brexit happened in June, and then fabric was closed in August. Then, of course, that vile, racist, sexist reality TV show host taking over as leader of the United States.
Highlights? Releasing my London Electronic Orchestra album and performing at the Royal Albert Hall Elgar Room
Lowlights? Brexit, fabric’s license being revoked, and Trump getting elected.
Song of the year: Honey Dijon feat. Seven Davis Jr. – “Houze” (Deetron Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Drink less!
Katlego Swizz a.k.a. xvii-Soundz
How was 2016 for you? It was a good learning curve musically, managed to learn a few ropes about how the digital world works and how we should maintain ourselves within the musical society, also bearing in mind about knowing your brand and what it beholds.
Highlights? Reviving my relationship with Kenny Dope
Lowlights? I have less of those cause I don’t have much room for them.
Song of the year: Kunzima – “Calling Akitchu”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To tour the world with music because I believe in it more than anything.
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year for us. After making the big move of leaving our homeland Panama and coming to Berlin, we finally feel integrated somehow into the local scene. At the same time this have helped us to connect on a next level with the amazing crowd from Panama and Latin America. Also, we’ve managed at the same time to produce as much as the year before and launch our new label project, Cacao Records, with our brother Gonzo-Gonzo. Feels like a good one.
Highlights? Event productions: Bocas NYE event, Rescue Beats, Anniversary Boat, Halloween Boat Affairs.
Music productions: Our Bocaraca EP coming out next year on Cacao Records and a remix we did for Terranova’s new imprint Connected of Rave Casualty from the big Flashmob DJ.
Others: Launching Cacao Records; getting into Riverside Studios; less street food.
Lowlights? Politics. The whole thing was super disappointing, specially in our own country; but definitely disappointing in the whole world as well.
Song of the year: Floorplan – “Tell You No Lie”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Less street food and find the time to make at least the same amount of tracks we did last year. Keep learning and growing the productions skills.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a year full of new experiences, new countries and sweaty parties. For me it was the first year playing nearly every weekend and my brain still needs some time to get it all sorted.
Highlights? Malta with the Blank guys, where I played with And.ID and Ray Okpara. It has everything that a great party consists of: great underground spots, ace weather, a bunch of nice people, and the best afterparty I had this year.
Lowlights? The hangover after ADE – the king of all hangovers!
Song of the year: Ross From Friends – “Talk To Me You’ll Understand”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I want to try and live a less technology-reliant life; I want to buying more records and dig even more for music.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a great year of change and life lessons for me. As it’s been a strange year for most of us who live in America.
Highlights? Going back to the name Kill Paris and releasing new music!
Lowlights? Losing so many rocket league games.
Song of the year: “Beautiful World” by Tennyson
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To go to Mars or the moon more often. I keep putting that off.
Kings of Tomorrow (Sandy Rivera)
How was 2016 for you? It has been nice. Managed to make a lot of music and start an album with my singer April. I felt very in tune with myself this year. I have kids and they do need a lot of attention, so I must do my best with the time I have available in the studio.
Highlights? Dropped a tune I loved making called “You Work Hard For Your Enemy” on Dirty Soul; signed two records to Defected that will drop in 2017; and I confirmed a collab with Jesse Rose that will be coming out on Defected’s DTFD label mid 2017. I am ending the year on a great note with this Poker Flat release of “KAOZ” and it comes with a solid remix from Dario D’Attis. My label Deepvisionz has done alright. I have given the label more effort since 2015. Having my tune “Finally” get played so much for the closing at Space and it being a big part of the last hour in Space with Carl Cox was lovely.
Lowlights? Too many great clubs closing around the globe like Space and Fabric. I do my best to stay positive at all costs. It’s easy to fall into other people’s odd vibes or self destruction. I got an ex-wife who is a thorn on my side, but I am slowly getting that thorn out
Song of the year: K&K’s “Peaceful Crowd” was the only record I know this year that has an immediate explosion with so many DJ’s playing in clubs and radio. With the house sound going back to its true roots, this record represents everything great about house music and the essence of how our crowds really are.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be the best father I can be. Do my best to keep my work flow going as good as I have lately. Do better at staying healthy and make love to my wife a lot.
Kissy Sell Out
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a fun year over here in east London! Released a few new singles, started a new music project under the name K.S.O. and started a new label called Stepper Man which launches properly in the new year. Got a good tan hanging with DJ Hype at Secret Garden Party; I was a bit of a rascal in Greece and the Maldives during the summer; embarked on a mini-tour of Romania for the first time; flexed my turntable skills on another episode of Pioneer DJ Sounds video series, and had some wicked guests on my Kissy’s House Party radio show. I also had my first experience operating a radio telescope measuring neutral hydrogen clouds orbiting around in our galaxy in between my studio work as part of my astrophysics extra-curricular activities.
Highlights? I became an ambassador for Decibel Nutrition meaning I had to do a bit of fitness modeling and hosted events across the country with Bear Grylls which was pretty mad!
Lowlights? Waking up one morning to hear that Britain had voted to leave the EU and witnessing Donald Trump becoming president were both pretty terrifying moments.
Song of the year: Hayze – “Believer”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Follow my heart and intuition a little more with my own productions as a lot of people are making records that sound the same these days, but I’ve managed to break out some exciting new ideas recently by throwing caution to the wind and it feels good! I also want to finish reading Lord Of The Rings as it’s been making a big dent in my DJ bag as I’ve been traveling around this year.
How was 2016 for you? Good so far. Played a lot of awesome gigs but also had time to relax. [It] was a good mix.
Highlights? Finished my second album, Vision.
Lowlights? I’ve had some problems with my finger. My capsule is injured. Two times three months in a bandage. Pretty annoying.
Song of the year: Keith Carnal – “Racidence”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Spread more love and happiness.
Kotelett & Zadak
How was 2016 for you? This year was definitely a big one. We’ve been very creative in the studio and never released so many tracks before. What made us even happier was seeing some of them being positioned in the top charts — that just made our year. At the same time we’ve been able tick off a lot of great locations from our wish list. Playing at amazing festivals and traveling to places we’ve wanted to visit for quite some time.
Highlights? One gig that definitely stood out because of the history we had with it. We were supposed to play at an Open Air in Tbilissi in Georgia in 2015. But once we got there Tbilissi suffered the worst flood in its history with several deaths just one night before the event. In respect of the victims the whole thing was canceled, of course. But in spite of everything, the hosts put so much effort into making us feel welcome and showing us around. We’ve spend some amazing days in Tbilissi and so we were more than excited to finally make up for our missed out gig this year. With a location on a hill on top of the city with amazing views and a chilled out vibe this open air was a highlight by any means.
Song of the year: David Bowie – “Space Oddity”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Heiko (a.k.a. Kotelett): I want to make Martin quit smoking.
Martin (a.k.a. Zadak): And I want to find better hide-outs to not get caught smoking by Heiko anymore.
Larry De Kat
How was 2016 for you? Donald Trumpet is el presidente, fuck yeah. I mean ,fuck damn. But he’s only a puppet. Just like me trying to do an effort, I guess.
Highlights? Donald Duck
Lowlights? Scrooge Trump
Song of the year: There’s this beautiful girl named Juno, and she sings like a diamond. She recorded her first take this year and I am serious and not only me, She’s not the unpolished kind of diamond, I can tell you a lil secret, you won’t be sorry for keeping your ears out for when you hear her name drop. One-hundred percent.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Hoping to be Gladstone Gander in 2017.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a good musical year for me as my first EP Analog Monolog was released on Leonizer Records.
Highlights? Mr. Oizo’s “All Wet” and Rendez-Vous’ Distance EP
Lowlights? Terrorism in France
Song of the year: Trentemøller – “Sinus”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work more on my modular synth!
How was 2016 for you? Every year is a mixed bag, but this year was particularly WTF in both the surprise blessing category and the surprise downfall. Every time I thought I could expect an outcome, I got hit with WTF.
Highlights? Headlining the main stage at Beta a bunch of times. I’ve played a lot of big clubs, but it’s a whole different kind of satisfaction when it’s the biggest nightclub in your hometown and all your friends are in the building. I also started getting into DJing at yoga parties like Daybreaker which is a fun way to even out my countless hours spent in nightlife with some daytime on the decks.
Lowlights? Pretty much everything I’ve seen on the news all year long. The politics, the violence, the deaths of great artists, the deaths of innocent people in our society for no reason. Now is a good time for artists to speak up through their work.
Song of the year: For DJing: Richard Vission and Bad Boy Bill ft. Jackie Boyz – “Everybody Jumpin’”
For listening: Chvrches – “Clearest Blue” (Gryffin Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
To make a difference. To bring musicians and music fans together to create a community and impact that transcends the simple purpose of partying.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was the best year yet. International tours, radio supported remixes and big jumps for my music group Doperoots make us even more excited for 2017.
Highlights? Either my European tour in the summer or finding out that my remix was hitting the radio without me being aware.
Lowlights? Donald Trump
Song of the year: A$AP Ferg – “New Level”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get some new releases out there and use music to see some new places of the world. More music, less distractions.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a good year, started my own little label (Wulf records) and released an EP (Rayon) and LP (Last Night On the Planet) on Ninja tune, so all in all pretty good.
Highlights? Becoming a godfather to my mate’s new daughter, Evie. Moving to Birmingham and working with some great artists like Rejjie Snow, Pyramid Virtua, and Jed and Lucia to name but a few.
Lowlights? Brexit and Trump, or as I like to call it Brump! Very confusing as to what the rest of the world is thinking! How can so many people seem to be against it but vote for it or just not bother?
Song of the year: I couldn’t pick out a single track so I won’t.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Release more music, drink less booze, have more fun!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was incredible for me. It started off with a bang by playing NYE in Sheffield with the guys from 99 Souls! This year was really just about getting the name out there as much as possible and getting my track “Higher” with Mike Mago out on Spinnin’ Records in March, definitely helped to achieve that. After a summer of focusing on remixes, autumn and winter are really gearing things up for next year with my Control The Masses EP out on Get Twisted and many other releases in the pipeline. I focused so much on remixing and really experimenting with different sounds, now I’m honing everything in and focusing on originals to smash out all next year!
Highlights? Definitely signing to Spinnin’ but I always remember the shows the most. I had an incredible time playing with Kristian Nairn at his Rave of Thrones event in London and then during the summer I played my first main stage at Mutiny Festival and my first boat party with the amazing guys at SubSoul! Cruising down the Thames blaring out bass bangers in the sun was such an amazing experience!
Lowlights? I tend to forget the low points as I try never to dwell on them. I’d just say that, like I’m sure every producer out there faces, it’s such a struggle to find people who believe in your music sometimes and understands where you’re coming from. Having a whole type of sound sitting in your tune archive and finding a label to believe and “get” it can be difficult! But I think we may have overcome that problem so hopefully it was worth the wait!
Song of the year: Have to say Kideko and George Kwali’s “Crank It.” The first time I heard it I knew that it would be an absolute beast of a tune and it definitely got deservedly hammered throughout summer. I’m sure it’s not going to disappear of anyone’s playlist for a while! Serious banger!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work harder and focus on more originals rather than remixes! As much as I love remixing, I’ve been a producer and writer of songs since I was about 15 and at the moment, I’m adding a lot more musicality back into my music. As much as I love the big bass bangers, my aim is to incorporate my love of the low end with a bit more variation and focus on the whole soundscape of a track rather than just focus on a big bassline!
How was 2016 for you? It’s been great!
Highlights? Five-country DJ tour of Central America, Mexico, Costa Rica Panama, Dominican Republic and Colombia. Had some great European gigs too, including Ibiza, Amsterdam, Stockholm and London. DJing on main stage at 51st State Festival alongside Louie Vega, Todd Terry, Roger Sanchez, and Marshall Jefferson. Also DJing with Hernan Cayetano, Cocodrills. Released a bunch of music on Dopewax and Cr2 Records. Music played by Pete Tong, Annie Mac, Danny Howard, Mark Knight, Roger Sanchez, Todd Terry and more.
Lowlights? My great aunt passed away. Space Ibiza closing. EU referendum result. US election result.
Song of the year: Serge Devant – Always On My Mind (Kornél Kovács Remix Dub)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To mediate daily.
How was 2016 for you? Prolific, especially in the studio. We’ve got a full album ready now for 2017.
Highlights? Definitely the studio time and the music we made out of it.
Lowlights? Prince and David Bowie’s death. What a shock for me this was.
Song of the year: Prince – “I Would Die 4 U”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Back touring in 2017 at a club near you!
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a year of uncharted territory, personally, creatively, and as a citizen of the US. It’s been so dope collaborating with so many incredible new artists, but it’s been challenging shedding pre-conceived notions of who I am as a musician. There’s no reason to limit yourself. Politically, I know many of us agree it is a scary time right now.
Highlights? Releasing a lot of music that people have responded to in such an exciting way; gearing up to release Casa Mirage EP; collaborating with Terror Jr on Bop City.
Lowlights? Election night
Song of the year: Major Lazer – “Cold Water” (feat. Bieber)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To embrace the “and,” not the “or.”
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been my most hectic and productive year to date. I looked in my folder of beat/song ideas in order of date recently and it kind of spun me out —one or two ideas a day on average. I’ve learned so much, developed a lot, started various projects and expanded my skill set. No regrets.
Highlights? Stevie Wonder live at Hyde Park on my birthday with my close friends and family. Does it get better than that?
Lowlights? Getting tendonitis in my arms. Luckily, I’m pretty much over this hurdle now! Standing in a field at Glastonbury with wet socks for what felt like three weeks but was probably only about six hours.
Song of the year: I love Solange’s recent album, Don’t Touch My Hair. It is one of my favorites.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Eat less red meat and dairy, waste less time on social media (stop scrolling vacantly), be cockier with my mixes — more distortion!
How was 2016 for you?
2016 was transcending year for me. I have grown a lot musically.
Trinidad carnival 2016, Tomorrowland 2016 and that one time I went to Joshua Tree.
Kobe retiring is my lowlight for sure.
Song of the year: Kanye – “Fade”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To have as much music out as possible. Tons of music to be released.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was, amazingly, probably my biggest year ever – and I’ve been doing this for a while. This year I continued to host my afternoon drive SiriusXM radio show on BPM. I also settled into hosting the #betaBPM new music show on Tuesday nights where I got to debut some amazing new music from established artists and newcomers alike.
Highlights? I played a bunch of major festivals, including EDC New York, but what’s really exciting for me is that 2016 was the year I got back into producing original songs. I released two tracks with NYC duo Disco Killerz. We self-released “Satisfaction” which has racked up 1.5 million plays on Spotify – but it was the follow-up, “Stellar,” originally released on NYC label Crowd Records, that really went boom. The Morgan Page remix of “Stellar” has been a huge song on BPM because our listeners have been responding so positively to the track. It was picked up by Armada a couple months ago and we are now approaching three million plays on Spotify – which kind of blows my mind. I just finished my third Disco Killerz collaboration, In The Music, which is coming out on Armada soon.
Lowlights? I think it sounds really pretentious when DJs complain about crappy airports and endlessly delayed planes … so I’m going to skip it.
Song of the year: The Chainsmokers had more than one huge track this year!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I haven’t even attempted to make a New Year’s resolution for over a decade. As Dirty Harry says, “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was pretty rad! We were very happy that our track “Owl & Wizzle” with Rodion and Mz Sunday Luv was released on Multi Culti as part of the Sun Gaze Moon Faze compilation; got premiered on Thump and the video directed by Dimitris Argyriou on xlr8r; our remix with Rodion for Digitalism’s “Destination: Breakdown” was released on PIAS; and we also did an edit of one of our favorite new wave tracks, Elisa Waut’s “Russia,” for Night Noise. We played almost 100 gigs all over the world, starting the year with a Mexico tour (and gigs in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Coincidance x Roadless Festival) and throughout the year played all over Europe: in London, Bucharest, Marseille, Barcelona, Basel, Athens, Thessaloniki, Riga and of course in Berlin. We got to play two huge festivals this summer: Melt! Festival and Lollapalooza, and our own bi-monthly event series TOFU – Too Old For Understatement that we are throwing with Sean Patrick continues to thrive.
Highlights? Our wedding in Greece by the beach among our best friends and families. We all had so much fun that we are actually considering to celebrate it with a mini festival every year somewhere in Greece.
Lowlights? The music scene experienced crazy losses this year. The deaths of David Bowie, Prince, Alan Vega and Leonard Cohen — all of whom were a huge influence for us growing up.
Song of the year: Red Axes – “Sun My Sweet Sun” or Autarkic – “Rotation! Rotation!”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Travel more and spend more time in the studio! Our motto continues to be “We Can Go Everywhere.”
How was 2016 for you? It was a great year for us. Absolutely positive. We worked hard and got good results and opportunities. We will finish the year getting a fantastic work team to consolidate the project during 2017 with interesting expectations and good vibes.
Highlights? Playing at Tomorrowland was fantastic! It was a privilege and an amazing professional experience — we proud of that. Touring for Mexico was another amazing experience, an enriching personal and unforgettable experience. Really fantastic. We have started a close collaboration with Exploited Records (Berlin) and teamed up with Nicole Banks of New Kind Agency (Philadelphia). They gave us important support.
Lowlights? This year has exceeded our 2015 expectations. Fortunately, we can say there are any lowlights.
Song of the year: Trentemøller – “Redefine”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? We wish and hope to work harder and produced good music and travel. We are excited about going back to Mexico and touring the USA.
How was 2016 for you? It was a productive and busy year. Good personal and professional growth.
Highlights? The release of the diverse EPs on renowned labels like Nervous, Dopewax and Henry Street.
Lowlights? The lack of time for tour dates.
Song of the year: “I Deserve To Breathe” by Adeva and Louie Vega
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To find a label who will trust me and with whom I will produce songs for singers like Marta Wash, Ce Ce Peniston, Barbara Tucker, Byron Stingily, Josh Milan, and love my wife more.
How was 2016 for you? N/A
Highlights? My debut at Viva Warriors in Sankeys Ibzia and getting major recognition from Groove Armada as they thoroughly enjoyed my set.
Lowlights? I hate to focus on negative things but if I had a lowlight — which is a new word in itself to me —would be not playing/going to enough festivals, but there’s always next year.
Song of the year: Latmun – “Def”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To do a season in Ibiza.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a strong year for me. Kicking it off with my Metals EP on Pan-Pot’s Second State label which led into a lot of exciting gigs in Moscow, London, Miami, Barcelona, Belgium, Amsterdam, Berlin, and many more. It feels like this has been the year i redefined and further strengthened my artist profile. To further support this I am really happy to kick off my own label at the end of this year focusing on the deeper techno side of things.
Highlights? Gig-wise I have to say playing the Studio Spaces in London was an amazing experience for me. Everything was just right. The location, the vibe, the heavy sweat and the openness of the crowd to harder and trippy beats. Obviously my other highlight is the launch of my own label. I was planing this for years now and am happy for the first vinyl to hit the stores in December with some deep techno tunes by myself and amazing remixes by my Second State sister Amelie Lens and my Droid Behaviour buddies Raíz from LA.
Lowlights? Time. I still have a full-time job designing DJ equipment for a Berlin-based company. It is really challenging trying to make my ideas reality during the late ours after work.
Song of the year: Moderat – “The Fool”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stop complaining about things and focus on the things that personally make myself happy.
How was 2016 for you? Full of projects and new ideas. I promote my own festival since 13 years now, Electron festival, and was touring quite a lot in between with my own project Mimetic.
Highlights? Geneva’s techno scene growing up really quick with a bunch of new club and events coming.
Lowlights? The world policy, the election of Trump and the proliferation of over sponsored festivals organized by business schools or brands who don’t know anything about music.
Song of the year: Kamikaze Space Programme – “High Rise”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More music, less business
How was 2016 for you? It was our best year yet for developments within and around our project. We found a lot out about ourselves, our direction and it felt good standing in the future we imagined so many months before.
Highlights? Playing a sold-out run of shows across Europe supporting Eden. A highlight would have to be Paris at Les Etoiles Theatre — it was the last show for us and with the mix of lack of sleep and high emotion we had a great show. The people really make the difference and the journey from before show to post show was one I would re-live over and over.
Lowlights? Having to wait until 2017 to drop new music to the ears of the fans we picked up across Europe. For us we have a lot of material that we want people to hear and that feeling is central to next years plans.
Song of the year: Daughter – “Numbers”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To experiment. We have lots of textures we keep in the lab but next year it’s all about pushing the boundaries of the sound we make from both my lyrical side and Jamie’s music. Stay tuned for that.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been amazing! Best year so far. We have played at the best venues in Ibiza over the summer like Pacha, Ushuaia, Sankeys and also for the closing of Space. We also released our first tracks. The first one, “Momento,” came out in March on Toolroom, and more recently we had “Milagro” out on Nothing Else Matters. Both had a great response and support so we’re very happy about that! We just back from our first tour after the summer which covered Barcelona, Lugano, Doha and Dubai. And now we are out again on Friday to the UK so non stop! We’re also doing South America at the end of the year, then we’ll start 2017 with BPM and a cruise party from Florida called Holyship, so we can’t really complain!
Highlights? Well, there were quite a few over the year. We played in Dubai for 8,000 people which was pretty amazing for us! But I think we’d have to say that being part of the last ever closing party at Space Ibiza has really been one of the biggest highlights of the year.
Lowlights? Nothing! No lowlights for Mambo Brothers this year!
Song of the year: That’s a difficult one! But we love what Butch is doing at the moment. “Dope’” was one of the tracks that really worked for us this summer.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? No more tequila in the booth!
Mandal & Forbes
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a great year for us. We started the new year with a huge show in Dubai alongside Judge Jules then again in October with David Zowie. We’ve had great success with our tracks “Sapphire” and “Gravity’” out on Mark Knight’s Toolroom label. We also had the pleasure of opening Ibiza’s summer season at Eden alongside Mark Knight & Weiss. We also have tracks due for release on Tough Love’s label Get Twisted Records. It’s definitely been our biggest year so far!
Highlights? Probably opening Eden this summer to 4,000 people. The vibe in there was amazing! We’ve been invited back again next year so we look forward to that.
Lowlights? Positive vibes only!
Song of the year: “Strobe” by ANOTR. Their productions killed it this year!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To spend more time in the studio. We have been traveling a lot this year doing shows, etc., so next year we definitely want to concentrate more on the music side of things. Who knows, maybe even an album!
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a very colorful year, full of variety. Even though world politics are slightly worrying, I discovered even more how important and beautiful love and respect between human beings is.
Highlights? Eating red fish curry on a little island in Thailand; seeing rhinos in Swaziland; watching a sunrise on a mountain peak in the Alps; perfectly soft-boiled egg for breakfast at home (probably 12 times in 2016); the live shows of Moderat, Douglas Dare, Daughter and Kneedelus; performing around the world with Anoushka Shankar, The Cinematic Orchestra, Nitin Sawhney and my own band; and last but not least, the release of my new video and single “A Step” featuring the amazing singer Pete Josef.
Lowlights? Most elections
Song of the year: Anohni – “4 Degrees”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Live and learn
How was 2016 for you? It was very intense due to a lot of overseas touring and the album production, but a happy one too as we finally made it. And after so many years of touring and working together it was great to hold this baby in our hands.
Highlights? Delivering the master to our label Get Physical after all those years
Lowlights? Choosing between so many songs and always thinking we were making the wrong choices.
Song of the year: Solange – “Weary”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Nothing too difficult: Spend more time with friends and family, spread love and good music. It’s doable.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been an amazing year for me. I really feel like things have progressed. I’ve started my own brand/label/radio show (Between2Points) and everything with that has been great. The monthly radio show has seen my influences like Slam and Monty Luke deliver guest mixes, the label has been an avenue for me to experiment musically than I had before, and our first event is in London at The Waiting Room this month.
Highlights? On the gig front I’ve done some amazing festivals such as the Faraway Festival in Peru on their Independence Day and the Social Festival in Maidstone which ended up being two sets as me and my friend Joey Daniel covered last minute for Ellen Alien. Production wise getting Mark Broom to remix one of my tracks puts a massive smile on my face that’s coming out on Suara soon.
Lowlights? To be honest, there were none at all.
Song of the year: The Truncate remix of DJ3000’s “Take Me Away.” I’m a massive fan of both artists and it’s just an unbelievable production.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To maximize all the valuable time that I have. I know it sounds cheesy and deep but time is the most precious thing we have.
How was 2016 for you? It was a good year of rebuilding and getting focused on music. I had a lovely summer with many great nights down at the Cross Club and Nomine’s Education and Bass in Prague.
Highlights? My release on Tempa Records and playing Live on Rinse FM, alongside my bro DJ Youngsta!
Lowlights? There has been some lowlights, reading letters full of lies and bullshit from my ex-bandmate. So sad.
Song of the year: CHVRCHES – “Leave A Trace”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To not get distracted from your path! Get your game face on!
How was 2016 for you? It was an interesting and busy year. Most of this year has been spent bringing together the melting pot of artists I have been working on music with over the past four years for my Collaborator project. This is an open-ended project on my new label Rhythm Assault where I write and produce music with my friends and favorite artists in the electronic scene. So far, I’ve released Collaborator records with Matthew Jonson, Guti, Ramon Tapia and DJ Tennis. Coming up in December, I have a big release with my long-time Collaborators Timo Maas and Loco Dice, and in January The Martinez Brothers and I have a monster of an EP. I’ve also been working on the Better Lost Than Stupid material. Live-wise, it’s been pretty great, playing at DC10 this summer and doing a big USA tour in July. It’s been a big year. Mostly thoughts it’s been a pleasure working with so many great artists, spending quality time making music.
Highlights? Getting a chance to work so many friends. I spent time in the studio with Dyed Soundorom, Tiga, The Martinez Brothers, Davide Squillace and Matthias Tanzmann working on our Better Lost Than Stupid project as well as hanging with Charlie and Eli from Sou Clap working on their album. The time I’ve spent in Ibiza and playing regularly for the Circo Loco family were also some great times.
Lowlights? It has to be Donald Trump becoming president of the US.
Song of the year: N/A
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions: Should I be a better person than last year? Solve world peace? Mainly, I’m just excited about next year finally releasing into the world so much of the music I’ve been working on.
How was 2016 for you? Great!
Highlights? Moving 10 minutes walk from my studio; working for Roland in Japan; finally releasing our Units and Measurements album after 10 years of editing; working at the RBMA in Montreal; Boiler Room and Mutek Tokyo with Midnight Operator, and joining the Hypercolour roster with Sebastian Mullaert.
Lowlights? Donald Trump being voted in by the Americans, and the Brexit referendum.
Song of the year: Abra – Princess. The whole album is great.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To act more conscious in regards to the way I live my life.
ME & her
How was 2016 for you?
2016 has been a great one for us. We extended our touring worldwide, we had our very first US tour at Do Not sit On The Furniture Miami and Electric Room in New York and were able to play for ADE Global Sessions in India. As well we focussed on some nice releases which will come out by end of this year/next year.
This year was full of highlights. It started with a great gig at Sala Sonora Bilbao followed by an India tour and ADE Global Sessions in Mumbai where we also attended the ADE DJ Cook Off Competition. We played some shows in our favorite club in the whole wide world: the Sisyphos Berlin. These gigs are always very special and emotional for us. And to mention another milestone, the famous French Family Piknik Festival in Montpellier invited us for a set alongside Sven Väth, Joseph Capriati, Pig&Dan, Marc Romboy, Maceo Plex and many more. Montreux Jazz Festival was also on our list, we had a super lovely honeymoon in Mauritius, we played the amazing Era club in Cape Town alongside Rodriguez Jr. and we had a sick ADE playing with Guy Mantzur and meeting our label families (Clarisse Records for example) and our friends from all over the world.
Together with our music protégé DefectX we had the possibility to play some of the coolest parties in our home town Zurich. He unfortunately suffers from “duchenne muscular dystrophy” and is only able to move some of his fingers (he is still pretty young – in the beginning of his twenties). But with this impairment, he is producing sick Techno music and it also does not stop him from organizing cool techno parties where we are playing alongside other great artists such as Oliver Huntemann or dubspeeka. We think he has a great potential and he teaches us a lot about positivity and gives us a lot of inspiration.
As Phuong moved to Asia for several months, playing and experiencing Quest Festival in her home country Vietnam was definitely one of her personal Highlights. We will be reunited for Sunburn festival in India end of December.
Music-wise we are really happy that we signed an EP with Hottrax and on Clarisse Records, as well our very special remix for Jan Blomqvist comes out on Armada Music mid of December and another remix for Miyagi on Einmusika Recordings. Also a lively darker tune will be released on Clarisse end of this year. We have a new EP ready where we got amazing vocals by our friend Richard Judge and where Lee Van Dowski contributed a killer remix for the instrumental version. It’s now on us to finalize the EP and to find a great label for our baby. So stay tuned.
Lowlights? Taking care of our music brother DefectX. Weeks ago he had to go to hospital and we were really concerned about that. We know that he is in an unstable health situation with his disease but we all prayed for him that he would get better soon and in the end he at least felt better a bit.
Song of the year: Phuong: Damian Lazarus & The Ancient Moons – “Sacred Dance of The Demon” (Gorgon City Remix)
Jen: Peter Pardeike – “Love Supreme”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Jen: No drinking when playing. I had my worst hangover two weeks ago. The people wrote me afterwards that my set was amazing but I cant really remember that one. But also we will continue to push our little music brother and will spend more time with the people suffering from muscle dystrophy ‘cause it has shown us that we can do something for these lovely people and their families and that our life is too great to not share our energy and love with people that might need it.
Phuong: To have no resolution — just follow your heart and enjoy and appreciate every minute in your life!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was the time to take up new challenges. I have notably launched my own label, Azzur, and helped OFF Recordings to develop a new artistic direction.
Highlights? Azzur, Off Sonar Showcase on the beach, Electro d’Uzes festival with Konvex & The Shadow, and the first EP on my own label.
Lowlights? Not so much… I feel very lucky to do what I’am doing. No time allowed for complaining.
Song of the year: Just Her – “Let Myself Go” ft. Kieran Fowkes (Konvex & The Shadow Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Eat less, work more! Ha-ha!
How was 2016 for you? Artistically, it was one the most exciting and rewarding years of my career and I’m grateful for that. But as soon as I’ve left my little bubble I’ve seen more fear and hatred than ever. I think it’s safe to say that 2016 will long be remembered as the year when things seriously started to go south.
Highlights? Working on my album & with so many friends and kindred spirits
Lowlights? The return of populism
Song of the year: Leonard Cohen – “You Want It Darker”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Become more politically active
How was 2016 for you? Blissful, new collaborations, exciting featuring’s, a new label, I can’t complain!
Highlights? Playing at NYC Webster Hall for the first time was big fun.
Lowlights? Some of my shows had been canceled in Europe due to the last months security situation.
Song of the year: Kanye West – “Ultralight Beam”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make it special!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was great! A nice mix of touring and studio time. I feel like I got the balance right this year!
Highlights? Remixing Janet Jackson has been a real thrill for me!
Song of the year: Dragon Suplex – “Mystified”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stop eating sweets!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was great. Touring was quite heavy. I repressed my catalog again, and the sales were great. No complaints.
Highlights? The Dimensions festival in Croatia, playing in Dubai, the Cratesavers party in miami, and the Movement festival in Detroit.
Lowlights? Showing up at hotels where the room has only been reserved, and not been paid for. God, I hate that.
Song of the year: Mike Dehnhert – “Losange”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be completely unharmed by Trump politics.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a great and intense year! Besides playing great festivals like Ultra Miami, Time Warp Germany, Ultra Europe, and a lot of other festivals worldwide as well, I played a few shows with Carl Cox for the final season at Space in Ibiza. Also did a really special (and sweaty!) Boiler Room session in Berlin in August.
Highlights? Playing at Love Family Park and watching the soccer world championship with all the artists in the backstage room! I like these moments when you not only share a great party but do something all together which is not related to spinning. BTW, Germany won against Italy in that game.
Lowlights? It was a highlight of course to play for Carl Cox at Space, but at the same I was very sad that this club is closed now and it was the final chapter of Carl Cox Music is The Revolution I played there for so many years, it was always great.
Song of the year: Alan Fitzpatrick – “We Do What We Want”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Not to have any resolutions. If I want to change something I change it now and don’t wait until NYE!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a very interesting year for me since there has also been some changes. In the beginning of the year I left my old flat in Berlin Mitte and moved to a new one in Prenzlauer Berg where I also built a new studio. I also played some really great gigs from Afterlife in Barcelona, Ibiza and London, Panorama Bar, Fusion Festival, Circoloco Ibiza and a bunch more. On the music side of things, I released a bunch of tracks on a few labels for the first time like Hotflush, Plangent, Afterlife and Dystopian so it was a very productive year for me.
Highlights? The release of my new album, The Untold Way, which was released at the beginning of November on the Berlin-based label Dystopian. Party-wise my highlights were for sure the Afterlife opening party at off week in Barcelona, my gig at DC-10 for Circoloco, and the Fusion Festival in Lärz.
Lowlights? The death of so many legendary musicians like David Bowie and Prince. Also, the death of the actor Bud Spencer.
Song of the year: My personal non-club song of 2016 is “Eating Hooks” from Moderat.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? At the moment I’m working on a live set up for 2017 which will be something to look out for. I will also keep on producing and working on music. In the new year I would also like to go more in the studio with different and more producers maybe also with artist from a different genre.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a fantastic year. Praise the Most High!
Highlights? There were so many awesome shows with my band Nappy Riddem. I also celebrated the 17th year of my homegrown music festival, Mustock, which features many amazing artists yearly, some returning acts and obviously new features yearly from all over. Also, I have been recording a lot of new music with Nappy Riddem, Fort Knox Five, The Basement Freaks, The Funk Hunters, K-Lab & Mellow Dowmz, Funkin Basstards and, of course, a bunch of solo stuff.
Lowlights? The most recent presidential election and my disappointment with the American people for being foolish enough to not take the opportunity to elect Bernie Sanders for the change we so desperately needed.
Song of the year: Anderson .Paak’s “Water Fall” has got to be my song of the year. Although, the whole album was mad dope.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I typically don’t do the New Year’s resolution thing. It is my design to wake up everyday and move forward to be the best and do the best that I can to be a better man and add joy to the world through my music and overall positive state of mind!
How was 2016 for you? I consider this year a sort of transition, a crucial moment in the development of my life. I concentrated myself to push on my side project Human Machine and i’m pretty satisfied of the result, I think we delivered some good tracks on Connaisseur, Exit Strategy and Diynamic. I also focused more on the consolidation and development of the projects where our team is involved. New seeds are being planted, the results are visible only in part but to make a good job needs time and looking at 2017 it seems to promise already good things.
Highlights? The release of my second concept EP Foundation on Engrave Ltd, not only a tribute to the sci-fi hero Isaac Asimov but mostly a chance to express my gratitude to my father for the inspiration he gave me with his love for the wonder. I would also underline the chance to play at Fairground Festival in Tunisia, Burn Electronica in Istanbul, Solomun + Live in Ibiza and our Connaisseur showcase for ADE. But 2016 greatest moment with no doubt it was my son’s first birthday.
Lowlights? Unfortunately, it was another year signed by horrible events. We as human being are responsible for that and whatever happens, anywhere it happens, i can’t avoid to feel myself involved.
Song of the year: Lindstrøm – “Closing Shot”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Do better than ever to improve myself as a person.
My Digital Enemy
How was 2016 for you?2016 has been great for us. We got to play EDC in Vegas, signed tracks to two major labels, Insomniac/Interscope and Nothing Else Matters. We did a guest mix for DJ Target on BBC Radio 1 and also got to collaborate with MNEK and Tink. Here’s hoping we can top it in 2017!
Highlights? All the above really!
Lowlights? The political climate in England and USA — it’s scary stuff.
Song of the year: Mark Knight – “Yebisah”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work hard and play even harder!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a great year for me both musically and spiritually. Lots of positive changes and re-connections with friends, family, and musical A-A likes.
Highlights? Playing in Paraguay at the Sequence Club, headlining Tresor twice in one year, and being healthy.
Lowlights? Waking up in the morning to find [out] Trump [is] the next President of the United States.
Song of the year: EPMD – “You Gots To Chill”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finally get my LP done.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 for me has been by far my most successful. I can honestly say it’s been amazing, and I am so grateful to each and every person that has supported me through this year and all the years before. From the release of my second album, to a number 1 with Louie Vega and touring with The Fatback band, Shalamar and Omar. If I can build on this year for 2017, I feel the world will be my oyster!
Highlights? My album launch and performing with Omar for the first time,.I have performed so many times this year with and without my band but I feel I am really coming into my own on a live level now.
Lowlights? Personal life can always be a roller coaster and with that said there are always moments that make you feel low, but I never let myself get to caught up in those feelings because I truly am grateful to be doing what I do .
Song of the year: “American in Chelsea” feat. Monique Bingham Remix by Sir Piers
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To keep building on the success of this last year by being more of my own boss in every section. I have ideas for another two albums and this excites me, so bring on 2017 and all in entails!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 had its ups and downs.
Highlights? I was traveling lots and getting to play my music in some amazing places around the world.
Lowlights? I lost two very dear friends who were more like brothers. I think about them all the time.
Song of the year: Romare – “Who Loves You?”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finally drop my fourth album!
How was 2016 for you? I haven’t slept yet.
Highlights? I’d have to say the amazing support of my new record “Work That Sh*t.”
Lowlights? I hated that I wasn’t in the studio as much as I wanted to be.
Song of the year: Go Cubs Go!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To put out a lot more music!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a very productive year for us. We played the inaugural year for SXM Festival; we released our first original production with Greg Pidcock and Moscow Noir, and we’ve started our own podcast series called Can’t Sleep.
Highlights? Having our first released track premiere in Mixmag, which was a big deal for us. And we had the chance to play alongside some of our favurite artists — Dixon, Ame and Guy J — at Toronto’s Electric Island Festival.
Lowlights? To be honest we haven’t had any low moments. 2016 was a great year!
Song of the year: Cornucopia – “The Day You Got Older and Stronger” (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To spend more time in the studio and create music that we can proudly say we believe in and share that with the world.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been for me a great year! First time at The BPM Festival and Mystic Garden Festival!
Highlights? I think the most important was my set at Mystic Garden festival. I am never going to forget it!
Lowlights? No, never. I like to think in a positive way, and to try to learn always even when something “bad” happen.
Song of the year: Dubfire & Oliver Huntemann – “Terra” (Joseph Capriati Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To still work like I have been doing till now. So simple!
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a year of changes for us, a year of transitions. We feel we’ve evolved a lot in musical aspects. As every year we’ve got some really nice shows visiting some countries we never been and all of this help us to feed our inspiration. We’ve invested a lot of time in the studio preparing things to start 2017 full of energy.
Highlights? We’ve discovered a lot of new people that we really like, enjoy and respect for what they do, and this is a huge positive thing.
Lowlights? One of us had a traffic accident that keep us stopped for more than three months, even though everything is okay with that, it’s something that’s better not to suffer again.
Song of the year: Room 506 (a.k.a. Ancient Methods) – “Drop Out”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Start a new label in 2017 where we’ll involve many of the artist we really love, so we’re really excited to manage this project and work for this. For sure is a thing we’ve been chasing from very long time and now it’s just about to happen.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was lovely.
Highlights? Lots of shows and wonderful new opportunities.
Lowlights? Although the current political state of the US is a bit tumultuous, I’m looking forward to the art that rises out from it.
Song of the year: Oscar Key Sung – “Hands” (Liar Optimix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep making tracks and pump out science papers.
Pablo del Monte
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a great year. My label, East Recordings, came into its own in its second year. We’re up to 25 releases now and the last 15 charted so I’m quite pleased.
Highlights? Marco Carola picking up on my track “House to House” meant it did serous damage. I kept getting sent video clips from various bloggers of Marco playing it at his Music On night in Amnesia throughout the Ibiza season.
Lowlights? The number of London clubs closing this year was depressing. I was booked to play Studio 338 the week it burned down.
Song of the year: Krankbrother – “Circular Thing” (Hot Since 82 Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To focus on quality over quantity release-wise. I’m planning a couple of EPs that will feature guest vocalists, which I intend to take my time producing until they are perfect. I’ll keep making sample-based dance floor tracks too, which usually take me about a week to make, but to take the next step in my career I need a really big record…so no pressure then for 2017!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been such an amazing ride and I don’t plan on getting off that same ride in 2017. I think this year was more so of a staple for the growth of the project that will allow me to push the boundaries of my music even more. From releasing my EP on Flosstadamus’ new label, to making my first headline debut in my home state at Billboard Hot 100 in NY, now I currently live part-time Australia with three residencies here; I will definitely hold onto the memories and opportunities I received this year.
Highlights? The amazing festivals I was able to be a part of such as EDC New York, Project Z, Haunted Fest, Billboard Hot 100 definitely were the highlights of my year.
Lowlights? Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it to a few shows this year due to either flight cancellations, sickness, or whatever various reason, but I’m always sad when a show schedule does not go as planned.
Song of the year: “Helix” off of Flume’s Skin LP.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Well, I have somewhat of a pre-resolution. I have been on a pretty strong diet for about two months now and plan on continuing it thru the New Year but wanted to get a head start. It’s sometimes hard to eat healthy and have a balanced diet while on tour, so it’s really important to make sure I’m looking out for my body and preparing myself both mentally and physically. Here’s to 2017, minus 20 pounds [laughs].
How was 2016 for you? It was in incredibly busy year with quite some changes. Bought an old house, did it up, built a new office and home studio and changed bookings agent. This year really flew by in a blink of an eye!
Highlights? Some very nice “firsts” for me like playing in Beirut and playing at Habitat in Calgary after having heard many great stories about both. It was also nice to start doing some Furrr & Hazendonk gigs again, relaunch our Melomane label and some new releases and remixes. And, of course, reaching the 200th release with my Manual Music label.
Lowlights? Trump for president, really? The idiots are winning, apparently.
Song of the year: Peter Pardeike – “Love Supreme”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t believe in such a thing. If you want to change something you should do it now, not wait until a particular date.
How was 2016 for you? 2016: the year of extremes. I’ve had some high highs and low lows, shed tears of joy and sadness.
Highlights? I’ve played some great gigs this year, too many good ones to list, and been to some fab festivals. I’m a lucky guy.
Lowlights? The death of David Bowie
Song of the year: An album: Hold/Still by Suuns
What’s your New Year’s resolution? You’re joking, right?
How was 2016 for you? For me personally it’s been a good year with a lot going on and keeping busy.
Highlights? Getting my album out was a definite highlight.
Song of the year: OFF feat. Sven Väth – “Electrica Salsa” (Roman Flügel Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I honestly don’t have one yet, but I’m sure I will come up with something before the end of the year.
How was 2016 for you? It was a fantastic year for us, a year of growth and success thanks to all the support we have had from people all over the world.
Highlights? On the release front we had a number one Beatport release on an amazing label like Dynamic; we also had a lot of success with our album on Elevate, and releasing on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode was a wonderful moment. We also had some great gigs this year like Tomorrowland with Adam Beyer and deadmau5 and playing Ushuaia Ibiza with Solomun was great fun.
Lowlights? The fact that wars still exist for economic reasons and the way we are treating our environment.
Song of the year: Mark Reeves – “Run Back”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To turn vegan.
How was 2016 for you? Genevieve Artadi: 2016 has been a year of creation for us. We went straight from making the album Distress Signals along with the music videos that go with it to writing a new batch of songs. We are both very busy with our lives outside of Pollyn, with me touring with Knower and working on a solo album, and with Adam being a father and director and whatever else amazing stuff he does. So we work together whenever we can and thankfully we like what we’re doing so far. For me individually, 2016 has been transformative. I’ll just say that I feel freer than ever before in many ways and am thankful for that.
Highlights? Showing the video for “Dark Tokyo” at the Flux Screening Series, and having to badly act in front of the crowd.
Lowlights? Adam DJ’ed a fancy pool party for Union at Line Hotel, and I got thrown in the pool. Adam said, “I can’t take you anywhere.”
Song of the year: Louis Cole – “Weird Part of the Night”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Put out the new album, figure out a live show.
How was 2016 for you? Very Brazilian and much album preparation stress.
Highlights? Each Brazil tour (Warung, D.Edge)
Lowlights? First year without a Panorama Bar gig.
Song of the year: The Black 80s – “And You Feel Something”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Put more time into musical ideas.
How was 2016 for you? I worked really hard. Now at the end of 2016 I’m preparing to open new record label with my pal from Georgia (Boyd Schidt).
Highlights? Definitely very busy festival season. Also, I took part in the project by Ballantine’s called Stay True. The project called Heartbeats. I constructed a device with a friend so that my music could have broadcast the rate of people who took part in performance.
Lowlights? I do not recognize and accept words like these.
Song of the year: Tangents – “Jindabyne” (Four Tet Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’m preparing to release my first album in my life. We’re planning a small tour with this album to promote it. What’s more I am now preparing a videoclip and, of course, a lot of things to do and preparations with a new label.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was quite a constructive year, full of good surprises for me on many levels. My first music video was released (“Going Back,” second single from my album Love Somebody on Hot Creations, in collaboration with Animal & Me and Arno Joey), and I’m really proud of it. It was co-directed by David Moerman & Emmanuel Desormeaux and it features a bunch of renowned French artists from diverse scenes, like Guy le Tatooer, Nilko White and Mike Garcia.
I was also lucky to perform in amazing places where I’ve never been before – most notably Bali in Indonesia and Duck Island in New Caledonia. Also, my tour in Latin America was a huge success, the crowds there are fantastic! Last but not least, I released my new EP President on my label, Form Music, and so far critics, both from the press and other DJs, have been very positive.
Highlights? There were many highs this year: Closing Carl Cox’s last night at Space Ibiza Back-to-Back with Julian Jeweil and my DJ set for Faze Magazine hitting the number one spot on iTunes’s Top 10 album charts.
Lowlights? Definitely the tragic events that happened at Fabric and Time Warp Festival in Argentina. My thoughts go to the victims’ families.
Song of the year: Andrea Oliva – “Vermona”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To develop Form Music; to release plenty of new tracks; and to keep working on my many ongoing collaborations and remixes!
How was 2016 for you? Probably the broadest year for me as far as travel, experience and playing music for people. It’s a year that I’ve toured three times with my live band across the States and Europe, performed in Cuba and Ecuador for the first time, and recorded in Denver and Santiago de Cuba. I’ve seen Sunrises in the South of France and moonlight on beaches in Acapulco. I can’t complain.
Highlights? Touring this summer brought us to some lovely locations, and we met some great fans and audiences. Once you’re in the swing of it, there’s something really special about waking up in a different place each day and performing, it can be taxing sometimes but most of the time it’s magical. My favorite time this summer was had in Barcelona. We managed to get the tour bus driver to park up at a camp site where we camped out for three nights, hanging our washing out whilst drinking cold cans of Spanish lager, local seafood and intermittent dips into the Barcelona night life.
Lowlights? Standing at JFK airport with eleven pieces of checked baggage and flight cases. I ended up having to travel on my own for that leg and navigate the airport with the band’s flight cases. That was a brutal experience but probably very character building in the end! The checked luggage fees were insane.
Song of the year: Too many to choose from, but let’s start with Michael Kiwanuka’s “Black Man in a White World”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To finish things I’ve started and try not to start any new things until I’ve done that! We’re currently building a new studio in Brooklyn, so the plan is to also make as much new music as possible in 2017.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been quite a year. It’s been like the beginning of the next chapter in my career; at times a bit scary with lots of changes but taking the leap is exciting and that’s where I’m at.
Highlights? I signed two singles to Danny Howard’s new label, Nothing Else Matters; had my first video shoot with Sony; launched my new project; and signed a publishing deal with Ultra Music.
Lowlights? The usual ups and downs of the industry, but without them you don’t get the highs.
Song of the year: One of the standout tunes for me has been Mark Knight’s “Yebisah.” It has all the right ingredients.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To have no fear, no limits, and no roof on my ambitions.
How was 2016 for you? Not as bad as everyone else would have you believe.
I invented a time machine. I’m writing this email from the future. Bowie’s second coming has happened, and he’s sorted the whole mess out like we knew he always would. Everything will be alright. I promise.
Lowlights? Too many to go in to. In the future, 2016 has been consigned to the annals of history as the year of bigoted dullardry, in a time before we worked out that the internet isn’t just for pictures of cats and willies.
Song of the year: Babyfather- “Meditation”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Party on.
How was 2016 for you? Eye-opening and filled with self realization, and motivating in terms of setting up short term and long term goals and finding new inspiration to create via the many facets of our art. This is also the year we announced publicly in our RBMA interview that Raíz would no longer be performing together in the same capacity as we had been in the past. In the pursuit of growing as artists, we realized it was time to develop ourselves individually as DJs and performers. As a result, our collaboration during the writing process has become more cohesive then ever before.
Highlights? Vidal: Making great strides toward overcoming longstanding depression and shifting major focus to music production. The results have been astounding. I found a new happiness immersing myself in that and keeping away from a lot of the other music related responsibilities I had found myself entangled in. Changing my physical lifestyle had a positive effect as well and inadvertently caused me to reflect on my own life and analyze obstacles with a more objective and critical eye. I became more socially aware as well as self-aware and continue to deconstruct and try to resolve my problems. This year was a new renaissance for myself as a producer and a person and I have been eager to share my knowledge with other musicians in and out of the studio in hopes of mutual mentoring. I look forward to sharing as much of this new music in 2017. Perhaps much of this growth had to do with the fact that my brother was gone for three months. We have never been apart for that long a period. t definitely pushed me to become more independent but also appreciative of our working relationship. We were included in RA’s real scenes LA. It was cool to be recognized for our accomplishments as Droid Behavior and Raíz for the last 14 years, and the hard work we put into creating a movement in Los Angeles. Successful Droid related events included stellar sets from some our faves Ben Klock, Dvs1, and LA debuts by Etapp Kyle, Kobosil, and Nick Hoppner. In Detroit, Headless Horsemen, Perc, Adam X, and Mike Gervais all played epic sets at our partnered event with Blankcode, Interface x Scene.
Vangelis: I had the opportunity to stay in Berlin for three months this year. Although already familiar with the city, I was able to peel another layer, meet some amazing people and appreciate all the good and bad things that make this place unique. It was also a chance for personal growth. I used the time to distance myself from the creative process which allowed new ideas and inspirations to develop organically instead of being forced. I also found new love this year. The intoxicating experience has been a source of light and bliss. It has taught me much about my own self and deepen my understanding of our independence and reliance on each other.
We also had some great times on the road especially at Tresor, Warsaw, Detroit and here in LA. We were included on a Red Bull Music Academy lineup to represent the latinos in techno, playing alongside old mates, Santiago Salazar, Dex, and Silent Servant. The support that our music has received this year, both on our label VRV, as well as on others, has been a source of positivity. Collaborating with our sister, including her artwork into the label’s image and message was also a big step toward the unique direction of this project.
Lowlights? It’s been a slow year for gigs. Overcoming some serious obstacles has not been easy and required much patience and energy. At times it begs the question, “WTF are we doing?” As difficult as it’s been at times, we acknowledge what we have the ability to control and lit a fire under our asses to make some changes so next year will be better.
Song of the year: Vidal: Future – “Perkys Calling.” Not one day has gone by I don’t play this song and feel something tugged at the heart strings.
Vangelis: Ohm… although not quite a song, the primordial frequency has taught me to ground and remained centered.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Work harder, work smarter and demonstrate what we are capable of musically. We have only just begun to scratch the surface.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been good. I’ve used this year to really put my head down in the studio and get back in to making club tracks. Really hyped about my end of year release “Jacked Up” out on Get Twisted Records.
Highlights? Collaborating with LO’99 and making something a bit unusual was a lot of fun, especially since it caught the eye of Bunny Tiger and resonated with so many people. I also started my own record label, Foxx Head Music, and getting the first release “Ambika” out was a real buzz.
Lowlights? I’ve finally outgrown my studio and have just moved into a bigger one. It’s sad because so many memories were made there, but I’m excited about this new journey I’m about to begin.
Song of the year: Gotta be Dusky’s “Ingrid Is A Hybrid.” Love what these guys are doing. If you haven’t seen their live show yet, you need to!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Sign some strong tracks and grow Foxx Head. I’d love to get it to a stage where I can throw some parties! Also sound good using my talk box!
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a great year with many fantastic things around our label Made of Concrete. We had good parties and met nice people which became part of our label family. Also we — Andreas Pionty and Fumée Grise — founded our collaboration project Rebar to create music and to DJ under one name.
Highlights? One-year MOC birthday release with our remixes which inspired our joint venture project, Rebar.
Lowlights? There are no lowlights only things to do better next time. The same cannot be said considering the social and political intercourse of 2016. However, the mistakes should be a valid starting point for an upstanding 2017 and this is our hope.
Song of the year: Andre Kronert – “Dirty Old” (Man Markus Suckut Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To have a focus on our own releases and play some nice shows together with our label family.
How was 2016 for you? It was good. I progressed musically, professionally, met many good people. I wish all my next years to be at least like this one!
Highlights? I played at best clubs and events here in Russia. My Konstruktiv label did a good job in 2016 with great artists, excellent music and huge support from techno community. A release on Arts and several contracts signed for 2017. And many more.
Lowlights? Unfortunately it was not possible for me to have gigs outside of Russia in 2016. Looking forward for 2017!
Song of the year: Developer – “The Charmer”
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
Rex The Dog
How was 2016 for you? Similar to how it was for a lot of people because of all this external stuff that has happened. War, people (famous and not famous) dying, politics in a massive mess everywhere. On the plus (and very local) side, Rex and I started playing tennis.
Highlights? Finding out there’s a DJ called DJ Tennis.
Lowlights? See question one.
Song of the year: Michael Mayer & Ed Macfarlane – “Mind Games”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Take action.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been focused mainly on working on our label Whistleblower Records with Reset Robot and Alan Fitzpatrick, working in the studio with Reset Robot and working on some solo productions.
Highlights? Being around people that are positive and blocking out any negatives.
Lowlights? Not having a proper holiday this year. 2017 will definitely consist of some down time.
Song of the year: Sit – “Angels”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? More studio time and a holiday.
How was 2016 for you? So far I’ve had a pretty good year. I’ve made some major life changes and I feel like I’ve grown a lot as a person. My music has evolved a lot over the past year because of all the changes I’ve been experiencing, and I’m happy with the direction it’s taking. Of course, everything kind of came to a crashing halt when Trump was elected, but I think the best thing to do is pick up the pieces, stay focused and keep moving forward. If anything, Ive realized that the outcome of this election has incentivized me to work even harder towards my goals and to work with my peers to build an even stronger community than we already have. I am part of a collective of musicians and artists called 99Sublime. Our goal has always been to bring people together and make our community stronger through the powers of music and art. This has only empowered us to work even harder to make sure that we spread love and positivity in this crazy time.
Highlights? There have been a few highlights this year. Moving out of my childhood home to my new apartment has been so liberating and its given me a sense of independence that has been amazing. Another thing that’s been great is that I’ve been getting a lot of DJ gigs this year, which is something that I really love to do. Another highlight was my trip to Paris and London. Both are amazing cities that I would really love to go back to and hopefully play some shows there next time.
Lowlights? As I said, the election of Donald Trump was definitely a lowlight. I try not to look at any experience as a lowlight though, just learning experiences that will make me into a better and stronger person.
Song of the year: This week it’s probably “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd ‘cause I’m a young boy living like an old geezer. Also Solange’s “Don’t Touch My Hair” is amazing. That whole album is amazing.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be a free individual.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has been a big year for me. I had the chance to release on some of my favorite labels like Hot Creations, Crosstown Rebels and Moon Harbour. Also my label SNATCH! Records reached an incredible peak this year, twice hitting the number-one spot.
Highlights? My remix of Groove Armada’s “Superstylin’“. It was number one overall on Beatport for a month!
Lowlights? Not enough time for my family!
Song of the year: I love Buz Ludzha’s “Basslines For Life” at the moment!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To push my sound forward and get the label to the next level!
How was 2016 for you? It was huge. So much good stuff happened.
Highlights? Scored a TV show, met some amazing new people, released an album and several remixes (including the Equador remix on Pegdoll), played some really great festivals and went to places I’ve never been before.
Lowlights? Some family/life stuff.
Song of the year: Radiohead – “Daydreaming”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Have more trust in the universe that things are turning out in a good way
How was 2016 for you? It was a very eventful year. I released music by my heroes Steve Rachmad (Sterac), DJ Rolando and Voiski on my label, Fossil Archive, and my wife gave birth to our second son, George.
Lowlights? Doing two marathon closing sets at Tresor in Berlin and being invited to play at fabric’s #Saveourculture 2 party in London.
Song of the year: Voiski – “Calyptraphorus”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To go running again.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been an extremely hectic in terms of gigs and travels. Feeling blessed to experience these inspiring moments and beautiful encounters all along the road. Also, my new live show concept Visualized hit the stage for the first time in March, after one year of development. The initial idea was to create setup for festivals and live stages, and put my performance out of the DJ booth, letting the crowd see what I am actually doing with my machines and keyboards. A totally new adventure for me. Finally, I have been busy in the studio, preparing my forthcoming album which will be released in May 2017.
Highlights? Performing alongside Solomun at Destino Ibiza was a pure moment of bliss: it was the perfect music, with the perfect people, in the perfect landscape. I remember flying back to France completely refilled with positive inspiring vibes after this night.
Lowlights? David Bowie passing away has been quite a big shock for me. He has always been a huge source of inspiration in terms of songwriting and innovations, and I expected a new album following up his stunning Black Star. One of the rare popular artists who have never stopped experimenting while reaching a mainstream audience.
Song of the year: That’s a mean question. There’s been so much great music being released this year. The first track coming to my mind is “Moorthon” by Frank Wiedemann on Innervisions because I am listening to it right now. Such a perfect track with the kind of of mesmerizing synths I love.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I definitely want to spend more time in the studio. I had to overlook this side for a couple of years and really need more time for experimenting and developing new ideas. I’ve been collecting so many ideas while traveling that I have loads of new potential new tracks to finalize in the studio.
How was 2016 for you? Musically, it’s probably been the best year for me.
Highlights? Having a major release with Sony, and I also liked working with Duane Harden.
Lowlights? Ibiza failed to deliver a new sound.
Song of the year: Jax Jones – “House Work” (feat. Mike Dunn & MNEK) (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To appreciate the moment.
How was 2016 for you? RY: 2016?! I thought it was 2006.
ME: Great! Digesting the fact we released on CUFF & Club Sweat!
Highlights? RY: Getting the chance to remix some big artists.
ME: Our label BADLQQK becoming a “good look,” getting support from legends like Loco Dice and Claude VonStroke.
Lowlights? RY: Then getting your remix denied by those big artists.
ME: American politics!
Song of the year: RY: Kanye West – “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”
ME: Dinamix – “My House”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? RY: Ha! I’m still working on my past resolutions!
ME: Make more music and to play more gigs!
How was 2016 for you? Overall, amazing. I had some great shows and became a father for the first time!
Highlights? Would say it was my releases: on DFTD last month and my release on Circus in December.
Lowlights? My “Enclose” tune. I expected this to do way more damage then it did.
Song of the year: Jonas Rathsman – “Complex” (Serge Devant Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’m spending my New Year’s at home with my family eating good and drinking good wine … then thinking of a masterplan for the 2017.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a really challenging year, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to look back on it without remembering how destructive and revealing it was. That being said, I learned a lot about myself and left America for my first time. This year also allowed me to release my debut album, Hoop Earring, which provides some solace.
Highlights? Seeing the clouds on a sunny day in London, and Hoop Earring materializing.
Lowlights? Continued and accepted racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia.
Song of the year: Youandewan – “Waiting For L” or SFV Acid – “Freeway”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To stop procrastinating.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 has defiantly been a big year production wise for me. I have been really focusing on creating and cultivating my own sound in the studio, and have a ton of releases coming out in 2017 that I’m super pumped for!
Highlights? Releasing my first big vocal track on Eclypse Records.
Lowlights? Chick-Fil-A is still not open on Sundays.
Song of the year: Ookay – “Thief”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stay focused and push the boundaries creatively as an artist.
How was 2016 for you? N/A
Highlights? To publish my first vinyl on Morr Music. Discovering Chicago footwork movement. Stranger Things series.
Lowlights? Too many great artists passed away!
Song of the year: All the songs on the LP Dang by Eola
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Sports. Make art.
How was 2016 for you? Quite short, actually. But then, filled with so many special moments and wonderful people. A lot of time in the studio and on the road, which is how we imagined and wanted it to be. If 2017 continues where 2016 ends, we’re a very happy victim.
Highlights? Coming back to the Room G studio in San Francisco to work on our third album.
Lowlights? Being mistaken for Scooter at a Transylvanian airport
Song of the year: Only an album that comes to mind now. The Stranger Things score.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? M: Mad Racket (Sydney, Australia)
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a sweet year for me, but for some reason I have a feeling that 2017 is going to be an even sweeter one! With that said though, I had a great year, made some great connections, had great shows, made lots of new music that I am very proud of, that it will be coming out soon.
Highlights? Going to Tokyo for the first time. Fans rock out, the food is exceptional, and the sake flows smooth.
Lowlights? I like to be a positive person at all times, and therefore I have learnt to only dwell on a life low for about a week, then try to totally forget about them. So to answer that, I have not had a low in over a week, and also don’t really remember anything from before then.
Song of the year: The Growlers – “Dope On A Rope”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Do way more yoga and get physically back in touch. Body is smashed and need that physical rehab!
How was 2016 for you? It’s been a year filled with change and new beginnings. It has been exciting, tiring and most importantly very liberating. I also wrote a lot of songs, and now I’m in the comfortable position of choosing the order of their release.
Highlights? I’m so happy to be back to doing mash-ups on my radio show, International Departures and to have made a new mega-mix. It’s been a while since International Departures has sounded this fresh. And when I did the track count on the mega-mix, I realized that I managed to squeeze almost 180 songs into one hour. To do that and not compromise on quantity was a big achievement.
Lowlights? I think anytime your band breaks up, it’s a low point. There was a lot that went down in the first four months of the year, but thankfully low points always pass.
Song of the year: Eagle I Stallian feat. Brandon Mignacca – “Between Dreams”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? 3440 pixels x 1440 pixels. Nerdiness aside, my resolution hovers around making exciting music, entertain people on a whole new level, and mashing up every great record that comes my way. Great things are coming!
How was 2016 for you? It was very good from a music standpoint. It’s been great to continue releasing with Aus Music and featuring a track on their ten-year compilation. There’s plenty more to come with another EP forthcoming on Aus early next year.
Highlights? Having “Minute” selected as BBC Radio 1’s “Hottest Record In the World” was a nice touch for sure.
Lowlights? I dislocated my shoulder earlier this year. That was pretty unfortunate. I’ve done it so many times now I can put it in myself. You’ve seen Lethal Weapon 2, right?
Song of the year: Bruce’s “I’m Alright Mate,” a driving, propulsive, bonkers banger on Batu’s Timedance label.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Probably to get on a bit of a health tip I guess. It’s time I looked after myself better.
How was 2016 for you? Really interesting, actually. We made some bold steps with my career DJ-wise, and the label as a crew. I reached some new territories and broke some rules, and we signed some really vibrant new talent to the label. Out 100th release is coming up and we put together a huge cooperative project with tons of artists and venues. We also stepped out the typical techno label realm and collaborated on some unusual projects outside of our music scene.
Highlights? Taking over major venues for Octopus showcases, collaborating with pro-skater Aaron Jaws Homaki, tattooing my face, pushing for new artists and the Octopus crew to their limits.
Lowlights? Watching the US democratic process turn into an episode of Judge Judy
Song of the year: Juhyun – “Acceleration” (Wigbert Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Break some more rules, stay hungry and not be afraid of trouble
How was 2016 for you? Fantastic. Full of milestones, new projects and lots of family time.
Highlights? Our daughter turned one. I came back to the stage with full speed after a long mommy pause and I founded a record label, Kuukou Records. It’s been eventful.
Lowlights? It’s been challenging to juggle all of these new elements in my life but it’s also been extremely rewarding. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Song of the year: Philip Bader – “Reaction” (Original Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To perfect my German grammar skills. Der Die Das Dem Den … it’s all a mess in my head.
How was 2016 for you? Not too bad. 2014 was the worst, then it got exponentially better from there. I was feeling pretty lost personally and creatively in 2014, but I kept working on my music through it all … 2016 represents finally figuring it all out for me.
Highlights? Finishing my EP, titled To Love, which will be released in early 2017. All the moments I spent getting closer to the finish line were the highlights.
Lowlights? All the moments that made me think that this world is going crazy. And there were a lot of those this year. Trump getting elected, the ruling party in Turkey trying to pass a bill to legitimize child sex assault if convict marries victim (didn’t pass, but the fact that it was proposed in the first place is unbelievable), all the violence and hate….
Song of the year: Bruno Mars – “24K Magic”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? In 2016, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that no matter where I am or what the situation I am in is, I will always be making my music. It’s a tough industry, but at the end of the day, I make music because I can’t even imagine my life without it. I’ve worked hard on figuring out my sound and I feel like I’ve finally found it. So, 2017 will be all about making more music and getting it out there the best way I can. That’s my priority.
How was 2016 for you? It was super packed! I released a lot of my new music creations. I curated a music festival in Berlin called Reclaim the Beats. I finally accomplished my dream of making and starring in my own vampire film which won Best Feature in Pornfilmfestival Berlin. In general, it was such a busy year full of all the things I love to do. Plus, making my return to doing live performances.
Highlights? Leading a studio session at Ableton Loop Summit was a lovely experience. It was amazing to connect with so many other music geeks and artists.
Lowlights? I’ve been working so much that I didn’t have a chance to take a proper holiday. I need to recharge.
Song of the year: Get Real – “Mind Yo Bizness”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To fit at least a full ten-day holiday somewhere in my schedule. Release on some other labels. Gain some booking agency interest.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was an amazing, albeit a challenging, year. I worked harder in the studio than ever before and made more music as a result.
Highlights? I am so excited for and proud of the album I finished this year. It’s called With Youand will be out in March of 2017 on my new label, Sunsquad Records.
Lowlights? I struggled this year, more so than in years past, with anxiety and depression which was hard.
Song of the year: Roman Flügel – “9 Years” (DJ Koze Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Do more, think less, learn to cook.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been one of our best years yet! We feel very lucky to be making music at a point in time where we can reach a worldwide audience so easily. On top of that the resurgence in the popularity of vinyl is something we really didn’t see coming. As independent artists it’s a dream come true to be able to manufacture and sell out as many records as we have in the last few years.
Highlights? We’ve worked with so many talented people all over the world and made a lot of new friends. Mark Farina used two of our songs on his new Mushroom Jazz 8 album, which was really amazing. We just released our new album, Made For The Underground with Pencils from NYC, which we are really proud of. We spent a few months animating a video depicting some boiled eggs robbing a bank. It took a really long time, but we’re very proud of how it came out.
Lowlights? Probably spending months animating some eggs.
Song of the year: Junior Mafia feat. Notorious B.I.G. & Lil Kim – “If They Don’t Die”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? We don’t ever make resolutions. If anything, we’ll just try to be worse than last year.
How was 2016 for you? Very busy but also good and productive. Got two releases done and had a few really amazing gigs.
Highlights? When I finally found out how to integrate that wonderful, old Waldorf Pulse into my setup.
Lowlights? Not enough studio time by far.
Song of the year: Randomer & Cadans – “Pyramid”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Spend more time in the studio and spend more money for odd, interesting synthesizers.
How was 2016 for you? It’s been an incredible year. I signed a major record deal with Universal; I’m very happy with all of my new songs, and also very happy with my new management. My team overall became really strong this year but most importantly I’m healthy and happy.
Highlights? Signing the record deal with Universal has definitely been the big highlight. The signing of the contract took about a year so this allowed me to stack up on music and now I have tons of songs to show the world. I think it’s very important to have follow up records in this industry. Another highlight has been the success of my new single “Trouble” in such short time. It’s been picked up by almost all the major dance radio stations and the feedback from the fans is incredible, I’m really excited where this record is going and for what is yet to come. The “Trouble” music video — I’ve always wanted to do a music video in the desert. I’m a very spiritual person and I think this video really showed that side of me.
Lowlights? Fortunately, not many but if anything I would say I was a little frustrated when I couldn’t release music due to the process of the record deal signing and because of that I felt a little disconnected from my fans. My relationship with them is the most important thing to me.
Song of the year: “Innerbloom” by Rufüs Du Sol. I’m in love with this record!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Stay healthy, sleep eight hours a day (this one is tough because artists are more creative at night), get involved in more spiritual activities such as meditating and yoga, lastly, quit smoking!
How was 2016 for you? Super good. The LA scene has been thriving and getting better!
Highlights? Prop 64 passing in California! Returning to play and hang at Sunset Campout, doing a b2b with Michael Mayer in the early morning hours of Gewolbe and then playing Panorama Bar the next night. DGTL at ADE was also one for the books. Spending some quality time in the studio with my good bud Phil Kieran. Getting engaged and my (not so) little brother coming to visit me in LA.
Lowlights? Drumpf in the White House. Is this real life?
Song of the year: Prins Thomas – “H” (The Orb Heaven or Hell Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To hit the slopes and beach a lot more.
How was 2016 for you? It was a very busy and great year. A lot of new things happened, and I finished my album.
Highlights? Great feedback from a lot of artists for my album and the launch of my label.
Lowlights? Too much business stuff was going on, so I had less time to produce.
Song of the year: 808 State – “In Yer Face” (Bicep Remix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Buy a house, build a studio in there, quite unnecessary things.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a massive year! There was some big music shifts in the industry that really helped advance my career. I feel that personally for me, 2016 really laid the groundwork for an even bigger 2017.
Highlights? I had an EP go to number seven on the iTunes Dance charts. I was also lucky enough to tour the North American festival circuit with Night Nation. Finally I picked up some great club residencies across the US with my team, SKAM Artist. Overall, there has been so many highlights from artist track support to radio play, it’s hard to cover them all.
Lowlights? I had a laptop take a stage dive into a crowd at a festival I was playing in Rhode Island. Needless to say, it didn’t make it!
Song of the year: Commercially speaking, I would say “Closer” by the Chainsmokers. Personally, I would say “Need You” by Dillon Francis & NGHTMRE or “Thief” by Ookay.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To be more prepared for laptops taking stage dives! But honestly, it’s always the same for me and that’s to stay positive. It’s easy to fall into a bitter mindset in this industry. Especially when you start analyzing others. I try to stay focused on my own hustle and stay confident hard work and good music will be rewarded.
How was 2016 for you? Honestly, it’s been a bit of a bummer year with the US election and all the talented artists we’ve lost. However, my son was born, and that’s obviously great. And I released some music I’m really happy with: “Odyssey Five” for Saturate and the Charting Stardust Original Soundtrack album.
Highlights? The previously mentioned birth of my son and music releases. It was also cool that I was Cool Lights’ featured artist of the month for November. They did some cool promo videos with me in the studio as well as at the OneSixty club night in Philly.
Lowlights? The US election
Song of the year: Tim Hecker – “Bijie Dream”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Get back on a fitness routine — typical.
Stephan Groth (Apoptygma Berzerk)
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a great year for APOP!
Highlights? In July we released the Xenogenesis EP, and in October we put out the Exit Popularity Contest album. The album was released on physical formats only! (LP, CD and cassette) by The End Records in the US and by Hard:Drive/Rough Trade in Europe. Another highlight of 2016 was touring in the US with VNV Nation.
Song of the year: I don’t have any favorite songs from 2016 apart from my own tracks. I’ve been occupied with my own music the whole year and have not really been paying attention to what else has been going on, so I have a lot of catching up to do.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To spend less time online and more time in the studio.
How was 2016 for you? One of my best production years ever actually. Released a new version of one of my artists albums and one of the singles remixed for 2016 went number one, but also another artist single earlier in the year hit number one and a bunch of remix hits so 2016 feels really amazing!
Highlights? I would say two artist single number ones on Billboard and playing some really awesome shows like Electric Picnic Festival in Ireland, Brighton Pride Festival and the monumental Hed Kandi Summer Closing in Osaka, Japan.
Lowlights? The day only has 24 hours — I need more!
Song of the year: Bob Sinclar – “Someone Who Needs Me” (Kryder Mix)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To deliver the best shows and music every time!
How was 2016 for you? Really amazing. I got on some solid new labels like Toolroom, Kinetika, Material Records and Viva Music! I spent hours in the studio and it paid off.
Highlights? Playing in cities all over the continent was definitely a highlight. Throwing a few really successful Blu parties over the course of the year, and most importantly moving back home to Toronto.
Lowlights? Losing Prince and Leonard Cohen
Song of the year: Pele and Shawnecy – “Sixtynine”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To kick 2017’s ass and see the world … and for my music to resonate with everyone next year.
Szkatulski & Kosmalski
How was 2016 for you? It was a very good year for us. A year full of inspiration and new challenges. We established many interesting contacts. We did a remix for another Polish duo who will show up soon. We decided to focus on the production of music.
Highlights? Damian wedding; release vinyl at Bouq Records with Matt Sassari and D-Deck; and a few other releases for Tenampa or Natura Viva.
Lowlights? Canceled last-minute holiday in Ibiza [laughs].
Song of the year: Patrice Bäumel – “Surge”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make more music. We would like to start working on a conceptual album.
How was 2016 for you? It was an incredibly exciting year for me. I had the pleasure to tour a lot and see countries I hadn’t seen before. I met so many nice, kind and open people and had the pleasure to work on a lot of exciting things and follow my dream.
Highlights? My gig at Baum Bogota. I’ve never been to Colombia before and it was a great experience. Can’t wait to go back. I played my debut in Italy this year and it was an incredible night…both the audience and I were like ‚what the fuck just happened?’ That’s how I love it! First time at Sonar was also a great experience.
Lowlights? 2016 seemed to be the year of right-wing populists. It’s not the biggest surprise if you think about how we all consume news today. It’s mostly through our Facebook streams, and we forget all the time that Facebook is all about showing us things that confirms our thoughts. It’s a filter bubble and we’re forgetting how to deal with other people’s opinions. Life is too complex for zebra-thinking.
Song of the year: Ólafur Arnalds – “Doria”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I’m not a New Year’s resolution kind of guy.
Tall Black Guy
How was 2016 for you? It was pretty dope. I got to play at a lot more shows this year and grow a bit more as a producer/musician.
Highlights? Doing my first NYE show in Chicago, completing my second full-length project, going to the PlayList Retreat for the second time and doing my first US tour.
Lowlights? Music has been good to me this year, so I’ve had no lowlights!
Song of the year: Skratch Bastid feat. Shad – “Limoncello”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To get better as a musician and a producer.
How was 2016 for you? Overwhelming.
Highlights? The birth of Cosmo Yu Terranova, my son.
Lowlights? Donald Trump
Song of the year: Playgroup – ”Play the Music”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Learn Japanese, move to Kepler186f.
How was 2016 for you? Hillman Mondegreen: 2016 was the first year we managed to pull together a full festival season. From a health perspective, it’s super nice to turn up to every show and know that there’s no real pressure to bring in a specific crowd. This makes festival season easy going compared to the trudge of touring your own thing to new places, as well as super exciting because you basically just get to bum around Europe in the sun for a few months. It’s been quite good! Hahah. But also in 2016, does anybody else think the world is spinning quicker this year. Fast!
Highlights? On the morning of Brexit I was alone in my tent and was awoken by a Spanish girl and English guy talking outside about how the vote would affect their relationship. She was speaking Spanish to him, and he was replying in English. It was the most fantastic way to learn the news, surrounded by brilliant, outward and expressive people who are interested in other cultures and ways of living. I wandered to the Pyramid Stage and Damon Albarn kicked the festival off with the Syrian Refugee Orchestra. Before they played he made an excellent, impassioned speech and then they performed “Out Of Time.” It was incredibly poignant. It’s hard for me to understand why I’ve put this in the highlights column, but I think it shows the resilience and brilliance of many people. On a more basic level, it’s been rad playing tonnes of shows with my mates in the band and meeting people all over the place. Most people who seek out bands to hang out with after shows are a specific kind of excellent person. (Just read this back and it sounds like a groupie comment. Wasn’t meant to be!)
Lowlights? First and foremost having to fly a lot. Humans belong on the ground. Why does everyone like flying so much, it’s fucking scary. And then after that the following. We got pulled over and drug searched three times in two days while touring Austria and Germany at the start of the year. It was fucking cold waiting outside the van for the police to not find anything. We also got mixed up in a serious drugs bust at Boomtown while being driven to our stage in the festival’s artist shuttle bus. Contrasting our European treatment, we were surrounded by about eight police and five security in the 30degree heat and none of them would give us water. They racially profiled one of our crew who has dark skin and subjected him to a more intense search to the others. Another lowlight was going round Europe and having people give you shit for Brexit, but we feel like ambassadors for the better side of the English culture and we’ve tried to engage people in it.
Song of the year: Kate Tempest’s new album is fantastic. The way she writes and speaks is completely inspirational. I think she’s always been let down by mediocre beat producers but this record has a much more solid and emotional underpinning. I’m so glad she’s managed to evolve her writing on from talking about the day to day lives of people into a more expansive vision of how they really fit and don’t fit into the system we were born into because it’s something that I feel and sometimes partly understand but can never express in a way that she came out with. She is the writer and probably the performer of our generation and I feel that now she has really come of age we have someone who can conduct that true osmosis that Malcolm X and Martin Luther King did in the great days of cultural revolution. She spends the album detailing one street in London at one particular minute. But “Tunnel Vision” which closes the album, puts her in the street and by some alchemy, you in the street. She has managed to begin to pick at the problem of our generation; that we know everything that we need to know but just cant seem to make ourselves care enough to do anything about it. She’s beginning to understand how to put you in there, how to make you feel for the first time, or perhaps just once again.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I feel proud that we have restructured all our social media and have created a non-musical advocacy wing on our Twitter page. We are expanding beyond just music and trying to encourage all of the great people in the world to keep doing it. There are some great advancements happening under all the fucking doomy headlines. Turn the fucking news off people! We’re going to take this spirit into 2017. I made a new album with the guys that will be released in 2017 that only details solutions to problems, and also only speaks in positives. This is my main resolution for the next step in my life; to be as positive as possible and to try to bring in good people and give them a platform to create positivity. We all need to try to do this. There are enough lists of negative things out there. One love.
How was 2016 for you? One of the best of our lives.
Highlights? We released our debut album, 55, and supported Justin Bieber on the European leg of his Purpose Tour.
Lowlights? Trump getting nominated.
Song of the year: Francis & The Lights ft. Bon Iver & Kanye West – “Friends”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make the best music we have ever made.
How was 2016 for you? Lalin St. Juste: It feels good to have new music out in the world with our album Flames & Figures. It’s something that means a lot to me. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year but getting out and playing shows brings much needed joy.
Highlights? Touring has been super fun. We’ve been having the sweetest connections with folks and that’s heartwarming There’s nothing like the exchange at a live show. It’s a continuum of energy that is life affirming and nourishing.
Lowlights? Got to shout out the election. This is a pretty intense time on so many levels.
Song of the year: “The Bird” by Anderson .Paak is gorgeous. That whole album has been on repeat. Honestly, there have been so many great songs and albums this year. It’s ridiculously inspiring.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I just want to continue to be more honest and vulnerable. The plan is to delve into music with more touring and making headway on a new album…both of these things will inevitably allow space to continue to unfold a process of self-realization and imagination that has been super healing and liberating for me.
How was 2016 for you? Awesome. I got to [issue] digital releases on Switch Off Records, industrial techno label from Hungry, with remix of GabeeN and Vegim and one vinyl 12″ on Parisian techno label Rive Droite Records. I played in a lot of gigs this year with Laurent Garnier, Terrence Parker, DJ Pierre, Regal, Boston 168, VSK, Jeroen Search, Furfriend, Kamikaze Space Program, Chris Moss Acid, Jaquarius….
Highlights? Playing live in front of 4,000 people with modular and acid rider in a huge warehouse from industrial revolution period, you can see the video here:
Lowlights? Not one
Song of the year: Raffaele Attanasio & Douglas J. McCarthy – “Credible Threat”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep on the same way as 2016!
How was 2016 for you? Hard. Fun. Crazy. Tiring. Exhilarating. One big learning lesson. It entailed lots of touring and traveling overseas. Some incredible shows. Met some inspiring people. And now that I’m back at home in Australia, I’m happier and healthier than ever which is amazing.
Highlights? Playing Tomorrowland; running the NYC Marathon; seeing one of my sisters graduate and the other make it into the Australian Hockey Team!
Lowlights? So many nights in hotel rooms alone. And jet lag — it’s a killer.
Song of the year: The Weekend feat. Daft Punk – “Starboy”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To prioritize my happiness and health! Make some great music. Run more marathons. Do more charity work.
How was 2016 for you? All in all, a great year that was filled with many good memories, new friendships, long parties and lots of great music. I can’t wait for what 2017 will bring.
Highlights? Playing Fusion Festival and experiencing it myself. Also a pleasure to see acts like Stephan Bodzin live first time. He was absolutely brilliant by the way.
Lowlights? I didn’t have any big issues concerning myself really.
Song of the year: Not easy to choose only one. A song that I just discovered this year and that I absolutely love is “Photon” by Deetron, but if there’s a new one that grabbed my attention it needs to be Francesco Chiocci’s “Nightmares” from the recent Secret Weapons series on Innervisions. It’s not an obvious hit but I could listen to it forever.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Make the best music I can and elevate my skills in playing live. Other than that, I want to be surprised by the new year!
How was 2016 for you? It was a year of change! A few tense moments early on but we’re ending the year on a super positive note. We’ve got a great team of people around us now & we’re making music that we love.
Highlights? It has to be our debut USA tour. It was amazing and the response was unreal. Were really looking forward to going back.
Lowlights? Our workload is immense, and we do as much as we can ourselves. Sometimes we need to bring others on board to try and lighten the load but we entrusted some of the wrong people and it had a detrimental effect. We’re in a great place now though.
Song of the year: Apexape – “Joy & Pain”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To create more amazing memories and to enjoy those moments a lot more. With everything going on you can sometimes forget to appreciate what’s going on around you.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a breakout year for me in terms of sets, releases, and building a music collective. My hardware arsenal has expanded, I’ve just finished building a new studio, and I am in a clear headspace to produce at a new level. This year has set the stage for my momentum moving forward and there are more surprises than I can keep track of in mind for 2017. Two concept EPs, remixes, live/DJ sets, and increasing the caliber of my visual performances await.
Highlights? Releasing “Underground//Real Fealty” as a spiritual follow-up to my first release; completing two EPs to be released in 2017; Sufjan Stevens’ overwhelming Panorama Music Festival set, and relaxing with Nicolas Jaar and the folks at Other People at the Sirens listening party were all major highlights. I was also honored to play one of the last shows to be hosted at Aviv in Brooklyn with my friends BLZE, Otodojo and SUGARQUOTE.
Lowlights? The loss of key talent in the arts that served as inspirations from my youth including but not limited to Prince, Bowie, Cohen, Wilder, and Rickman. Many venues that I knew and loved in NYC also closed down due to the ever-increasing cost of running DIY venues (RIP Aviv, Palisades, and more).
Song of the year: “Traveling Light” by Leonard Cohen
What’s your New Year’s resolution? A song a day keeps producer’s block away.
How was 2016 for you? This year was very unusual. It all started with the release of my solo album in the spring, followed by rehearsals with the chamber orchestra and excellent Mirror tour performances in Moscow, Kyiv, and other cities. The year is ending with the work on organizing the phenomenal Epizode festival in Vietnam.
Highlights? The work on the “Haze” music video, which was drawn by hand and its creation took more than a month. Also upgrading my studio with the purchase of the legendary Korg Mono/Poly. And of course, Sonar (Barcelona) made a huge impression this year.
Lowlights? I try not to pay attention to them, so I can’t remember anything specific.
Song of the year: Beyond the Wizards Sleeve – “Black Crow”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I want to continue working on new music and to release new singles, a new album, and to expand the geography of my performances.
How was 2016 for you? One of the best years of my artistic career. I’ve worked with great artists and I’ve edited on very powerful labels.
Highlights? Met people who have been worth it and have marked my musical personality.
Lowlights? Violence in the world
Song of the year: Rampue – “Adagio”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Be happy
How was 2016 for you? Productive. Rode off a bunch of remixes from my latest album, Voyeur, and also did some reworks for Fort Knox Five, Trotter, Empresarios and Kitten and The Hip plus finished a new ambient side project I’ve been dying to do. That’s out next year and called Pretty Pretty Pegasus.
Highlights? Playing in Beijing for the first time this year.
Lowlights? This dirty and divisive presidential election in the US. I’m going to need a vacation after this.
Song of the year: Late Nite Tuff Guy – “I Get Deeper” (Cassian Rework)
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep on keeping on and be excited for the future in what can be perceived as pessimistic times.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was fantastic. My new project under my birth name got established through various releases on top labels like Suara, Toolroom or Snatch!
Highlights? Annie Mac playing my music for more than four weeks in a row on her show on Radio1, struggling to pronounce my name right. Pure joy.
Lowlights? Nothing serious to remember.
Song of the year: Latmun – “Dance & Bop”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Spend more time with my son, lose weight (aaargh), release on labels that are on my radar and push new talents through my label, Talk of the Town.
How was 2016 for you? It was a great, very productive year and mostly non-stop. I released some really cool tracks on very cool labels. The re-launch of my label Sounds of Earth has gotten positive feedback; we have amazing artists and a fresh new concept that is making a lot of noise around here. The sixth edition of Picnic Day Party is around the corner; it is an event that keeps growing in many ways. I had two European tours in spring and summer and so many gigs in Mexico. My side project UV (together with 2up) is flowing nicely; I feel very happy, thankful and inspired.
Highlights? Playing at Fusion Festival’s 20th anniversary, two wonderful gigs at Sisyphos, Picnic Day Party and the announcement of the return of Radiance Festival on April 1, 2017.
Lowlights? No lowlights
Song of the year: Reinier Zonneveld – “Slow Loris”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Health. To find more time to produce more and more music. To do an unforgettable edition of Radiance 2017 and have more gigs around the world.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was a great year! Things really started taking off for me. Last year when I put something up on SoundCloud no one really gave a shit, but this year some people are actually interested in what I’m doing. I got some really well-received tunes out, which led to a couple of very nice shows in Paris, Berlin and an amazing beach party in Portugal. I made a lot of new musical friends on those trips and got to put a face on some people I’ve really looked up to because of their music. Turns out they were good humans as well as producers! Basically, I enjoyed pretty much the whole year.
Highlights? Many. There’s a really cool festival a few hours north of Stockholm called Skankaloss or the Gagnef festival (depending on who you’re asking) that we go to every year with the whole friend clan. I only played a short low key set there but I had so much fun just being there, and listened to so much great music (David Mears blew some minds, like I knew he would), that festival is always a highlight. Also playing in front of a massive crowd just before NU at Rituel in Paris was great. And of course playing in Berlin has been on my to-do list for a while so thanks Amselcom for making that dream come true!
Lowlights? Minor ones. I had a dead body wash up on the beach right in front of the house I was staying at while on a surf trip in Nicaragua. That sucked. Other than that I’ve got no complaints.
Song of the year: Again, many. But Bernstein’s “Babel” is definitely one of the bombiest bombs, and Lukas Endhardts “Babalaô” is one of the grooviest tunes in recent memory.
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I don’t really believe in those but I haven’t had nearly enough time to make music lately so I’m really hoping and intending on having more time to produce next year.
How was 2016 for you? It has been a great year. I had the pleasure to meet so many cool people who not only inspired me and I also became friends with them.
Highlights? My techno superhero Adam Beyer started playing my music this year. When I saw my track “Cosmos” on his Drumcode Radio Live #300 tracklist. I was overjoyed. “Cosmos” was part of my debut release on Pig&Dan’s Elevate and it reached number eight on Beatport’s Techno Top 10. For being a newcomer it was very surprising and exciting to receive that much love and support from everyone.
Lowlights? Nothing really, I only have good memories about 2016 which is not over yet.
Song of the year: Marco Faraone – “Climax”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? I really want to start going to the gym, looking for some motivation to take myself out of the house and away from roasted chicken and cheese cakes.
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was Great. I’ve released more than 25 original tracks after more than two years. I’ve reached top ranks [with sales]. A lot of great DJs have supported my work. I’ve debuted my old hardware machines (and bought some new ones). I’m really happy about how everything is going.
Highlights? My number two for more than two months for “Salt´N´Pepa” (Nervous Records) on Traxsource Tech House Chart; the massive support that “Suck My Jazz” (King Street) received by Laurent Garnier, Weiss (UK), Gene Farris, Terrence Parker, Mihalis Safras, and many more; and my upcoming tracks with Roush Label, Monique Musique and Safe.
Lowlights? Lack of gigs
Song of the year: Red Rack’em – “Wonky Bassline Disco Banger”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Keep on working and publish my music on labels that I didn’t on 2016.
Waze & Odyssey
How was 2016 for you? We kicked the year off at Panorama Bar in Berlin, so really you couldn’t get a better start. We’ve been busy in the studio and with our label, Street Tracks. We’ve recently hit our 25th release so it feels like a milestone of sorts with the label and we’ve really enjoyed working with the acts we have had in this year. The States and Canada feels really exciting at the moment from an underground club culture perspective. We have been spending a fair bit of time out across the pond absorbing the culture, hanging with friends and playing some great parties. When you scratch the surface there are some great crews in some great cities building some great scenes in warehouses, underground clubs. From after parties in Montreal to warehouse raves in LA, it’s been great to get to know more.
Highlights? We reference it a lot but for us Panorama Bar has been pivotal in our development as a DJ duo and it’s something we feel blessed to be asked to play time and again. Parklife festival for El Row was insane, definitely up there. Such an amazing set for us, we broadcast some of it on Facebook live and it just went nuts. The crowd, the crew — we love working with those guys, they’re an amazing family. Our stage The Pagoda at Secret Garden Party was really special, acts such as Edu Imbernon, Jonas Rathsman, Laura Jones, Eliphino, Urulu, Pedram and loads more all came and hit it! We had Cooper Saver, Sage Caswell and Jen Ferrer over for their first ever festival appearance together in Europe and they loved it. Great to see our LA friends in a field in England experiencing a UK festival for the first time.
Lowlights? It can sometimes feel overwhelming the amount of music out there and arguably a lot of it is sounding the same. We strive to create and find unique music with a groove and its own unique personality.
Song of the year: Midland – “Final Credits”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To spread the love.
How was 2016 for you? Good year for me, a lot of new work and collaborations.
Highlights? Having the most played track of summer 2016, supported by many big names like Marco Carola and more.
Lowlights? Haven’t managed to finish my album yet.
Song of the year: Mr.G – “Transient”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Finish the album and travel as much as possible.
How was 2016 for you?Gavin Miller: Yeah, it was good! Well, musically anyway. The world kinda felt like it was falling apart, and we picked the worst year to release stuff! Still, we put out our new record, Blank Tape, and toured lots, so we’re happy in a weird way!
Highlights? Definitely the album coming out! It’s been a long time coming, and industry-wise, we’d had the run around from quite a few people, so to just forget all that and do it ourselves was brilliant!
Lowlights? I guess being given a hard time from certain industry entities really gets you down, as you kinda wonder why you bother sometimes, but me and Tom aren’t the kinda people to just roll over, so it takes a lot to just take all that onboard, and carry on. That, Brexit, Trump, and the death of Bowie, etc.
Song of the year: One I really loved was “Tilted” by Christine and the Queens. Not afraid to say I do love good pop music, and this was really, really good. Love her style, and her production. Very Gallic, and very, very cool!
What’s your New Year’s resolution?
To make 2017 even better than 2016!
How was 2016 for you? 2016 was one of the best years yet for me! I had a blast making and playing music. I have a new album out, a new record label and two tunes pressed to vinyl. I’m really excited for the Smoked Out Soul Collective and the parties we’ve been creating. I can’t complain!
Highlights? Seeing Whales breach on the Pacific was a big highlight for me. That and playing Lightning In a Bottle Festival.
Lowlights? I don’t usually like to talk about lowlights. Words have power and I do my best to perpetuate the good things and be grateful for what I have. I will say I’m disappointed in the new leadership of this country and the ideals they represent. I’m an environmentalist, and I hate to see big business put before the health of the planet.
Song of the year: Flume feat. Kai – “Never Be Like You”
What’s your New Year’s resolution? Spread love. Live in the moment.
Zoe Jakes (Beats Antique)
How was 2016 for you? Well, crazy. The election definitely was a surprise. Fun though. Spent some awesome time at my new house in New Orleans. Best place on earth!
Highlights? Beautiful days going to the beach or hot springs and enjoying nature.
Lowlights? The election
Song of the year: Anything by ClapClap!
What’s your New Year’s resolution? To try and disrupt those patterns that get in the way of living life. Make every day count!