The Pacific Northwest is loaded with local talent, with tons of producers and DJs all making us proud to be from the PNW. From Vancouver to Portland, over to Boise and beyond, there’s no shortage of quality musicians. Lucky for us, many of those artists dabble in dance music, and have created quality original tunes, remixes, mixes, and more. The Northwest is one of the best regions in the world to create, and enjoy, music from all genres, and we consider ourselves lucky to be around for it all.
We also love spreading the word about our local artists. With so many great artists and tunes to talk about, you can’t really blame us. The last couple of years, we’ve come up with a handful of local acts worth your attention, and are continuing the tradition in 2016. This year has been one for the ages for Northwest dance music artists, and the combination of long-time talent and up-and-coming acts has us attending shows on a regular-basis, year-round.
Of course, we couldn’t name every worthwhile local artist in this piece, so please feel free to comment below with your favorite locals! We also refrained from naming locals we’d mentioned in past editions of this article. These locals have caught our eye, and ears, throughout 2016, and we can’t wait for what they have in store for the future.
There may not be an artist more deserving of being on this list than Levitate, also known as Connor Tho. The Seattle-based producer and DJ has been working with the best in dance music, releasing tunes regularly, and performing at a few of the country’s best venues. We’ve been following him closely all year, and will be for the foreseeable future as well. His Darknet EP, a collaboration effort with fellow Northwest artist Justin Hartinger, is one of our favorite releases of the year, and his collab with Bassnectar isn’t too shabby, either. The release of Level Up, which landed on Bassnectar’s most recent album Unlimited, marks the second time the duo have worked together, and we hope it’s a sign of more collabs to come. Levitate released what he calls his “favorite song he’s ever written” in New Breed earlier this month, and hinted at more releases coming before the end of the year.
On the DJing side of things, Levitate joined Bassnectar and more at “Bass Center Late Nights” in Colorado in July, and has performed at Foundation, Q Nightclub, and more this year. But you can hear his tunes far beyond his own sets, that much being proven by Excision this year at Shambhala, who played Level Up during his annual set at The Village stage. Excision’s been playing it in more sets beyond Shambhala as well, and we’re betting the same can be said for many DJs around the globe. Whether it’s in the studio, or on stage, Levitate is a Northwest artist that has our full attention, and should have yours too.
Levitate on Facebook
Levitate on Soundcloud
If releasing great original tunes and performing at incredible venues is worth following, then Justin Hartinger belongs on this list as much as anyone. The Seattle-based artist most recently performed at Magnifique, alongside Kaskade, Chromeo, Mija, and more at The Gorge, and has performed at Q Nightclub and The Crocodile throughout 2016. While his live-sets are one of the reasons he’s a Northwest favorite, Justin Hartinger’s releases this year have set him apart.Whether it’s his solo-work, like the Reminders EP or Gloria, or his collaborations with Levitate, Hartinger has been featuring in our personal playlists all year-long.
Justin Hartinger on Facebook
Justin Hartinger on Soundcloud