In the years where the underground electronic scene was relatively young, Congi members Gaz Frost & Tulip had a chance encounter at a mutual friend’s studio. Meshing their two musical tastes in order to create their singular sound, they seem to bring a lot of influences from childhood into the mix. Their talents shined in the genre of dubstep and so they tried out hip-hop, grime and jazz. Eventually the duo started making a name for themselves, even being selected for Future Bubblers, which is a talent discovery program run by Brownswood Recordings.
Their next full length album is likely to come out this year, and it looks like a wish they made last year is coming true. In an interview with Huck Magazine, they mentioned that wished to perform many live shows with the new album so they can share it with as many people as possible. Judging from some of the bookings they have globally, looks like they’re getting that wish.
Chris Lee Marshall didn’t start learning music production until he was in high school, however, he made it a part of his life early on. Reportedly, when he was in Kindergarten he insisted that the Space Jam soundtrack be played during nap time for the kids. We’re not sure if his insisting made it happen or not, but we are sure that was instrumental in making him the musician he is today.
Marshall (aka. Crizzly) has such a distinctive way of mixing hip-hop and dance music that it’s no wonder it’s been attracting the attention of well-known DJs. After playing EDC Las Vegas in 2011, he decided to go for a different tactic (in terms of getting his name out there). He took about 20 USB drives with his music and passed them out to some of the big name DJs. From his own words, “I was nervous, but I gave it to Diplo. He listened, and now he plays ‘Hard in Da Paint’ in his set.” After that has transpired, Crizzly found himself riding on a wave of success that was reaching further than he ever dreamed. In 2012 he went on a tour with 12th Planet and Flinch. He was also featured in Spin Magazine’s July 2012 issue.
Not long after was signed to labels Le Castle and Always Never, Justin Phillips (aka. Crywolf) released his debut album Ghosts. On the day of it’s release, the album soared to #18 on iTunes Dance Charts, #10 on Hype Machione and #1 on Dubstep.net. After all that success it’s no surprise that big name DJs started supporting his work.
After a while, he found that he wasn’t as drawn to the dubstep scene as he once thought he was. So, he bravely decided to make a change for himself by traveling to northern Iceland to get some inspiration. In his words, “You have to become before you can create.” His latest album, Cataclasm, debuted at #8 on Billboards Electronic charts, and it seems as though his change from melodic dubstep to indie electronica has not slowed his pace one bit.
About a year after Troy Beetle conceived Datsik, the artist met Excision at Shambhala Music Festival 2008. Following this, the pair started collaborating and it led to some releases on Excision’s Rottun Recordings label. He released his first official EP Nuke ‘Em in 2009 and in the same year he claimed ten #1 spots in Beatport releases.
In addition to all of the collaborations he was doing, Datsik founded the Canadian label Firepower Records. The record label was named after his 2011 hit with the same title. Insomniac has dubbed the record label “headquarters to the future sound of bass music” and it has given rise to many great acts such as Terravita, Getter and Protohype to name a few. Even though the dubstep legend’s Nina Nation Tour has recently concluded, he’s not showing signs of taking a break anytime soon.
Nick Annand came back to the break-beat scene after he found success with his debut track I Don’t Smoke (released on his own label Rat Records). When he came back to the genre, the sound was still in it’s early stages of development. Through London’s Flex FM he developed his own garage influenced break-beat night dubbed Beatfreaks. He even had a hand in setting up Thursday Night Throwdown and Breakbeat Connection, two successful and exciting London events.
His collab with Wizard on Breaks, Beats and Blondes brought international acclaim, as did his work with Ed Solo on Jungle Cakes. Not long after all this success, he revamped I Don’t Smoke with trap producers Specimen A and re-titled it Don’t Smoke 2014. With all of the labels and brands he’s attaching himself to, this is one DJ that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Defunk is an artist that refuses to be defined by a single genre, as he takes inspiration from all forms of music. You’ll never know if he’s going to throw in a swinging saxophone sound or if it’ll be a dirty drop. His love of heavy bass lines comes from his background in heavy metal, and yet, he didn’t hear the funky dark sounds of ghetto funk until he wandered into Fractal Forest. It was an instant love.
After watching a couple different tutorials by well known DJs (Stickybuds and ill.Gates) he went to work creating some funky beats. Electro-swing soon swept him up and so he started incorporating a lot of soul into his performances. Aside from music, Defunk works with the stage design company Space Invaderz. While he works with them for the summer, he doesn’t get much work done musically, however it is rewarding in other ways.
Delta Heavy are another impressive duo in the arsenal of great artists from the RAM Records label. In 2012, their hit single Get By debuted at #30 on the UK Indie Chart, as well as inspired covers by house producers Gorgon City. The animated music video for the same song has garnered over five and a half million views on YouTube.
Their dark and heavy DnB has many layers to it, and they have been compared to acts such as Chase & Status and Nero. Believing in quality over quantity, the duo have brought along only the most banging beats making bass heads rejoice worldwide.
Having been on the scene for over 20 years, it’s no surprise that Gary Richards has a large list of accomplishments. Richards, known by his stage name Destructo, was included on Rolling Stone’s “50 Most Important People in EDM” list and Billboard’s”EDM Power Players” list in 2014. The widely respected DJ and producer is the founder and CEO of Hard, a national music festival that has brought big-name artists like Deadmau5 and Justice to the forefront of electronic music.
Richards’ musical offerings have gone through a transformation through time. His most recent EP shows the recent transformation as Destructo has gone from hard hitting beats to a new sound he coined ‘g-house’.
Hip-Hop is very well represented this year at Shambhala, and Dilated Peoples is among that group. Despite not being a mainstream success in the U.S (even though they were from California), they have been very popular in the U.K. Their singles This Way and Worst Comes to Worst were in the top 40 of the U.K Singles Chart and they received a huge popularity Need for Speed: Underground and NBA Street Vol. 2.
Dimond Saints is a side project of two DJs, An-Ten-Nae and Releece. They’ve chosen a less-than-traditional route by not being associated with a label and by releasing the first chapter of their debut album Shingetsu as a free download. The first single that they released off of the album rose to #4 on Hypem.
The euphoric and dreamy sounds that they lay over strong bass lines are on the opposite end of the spectrum that An-ten-nae’s solo work is. He has stated that he likes how he has to think differently for both genres, as well as both genres present their own challenge.
DJ Brace has had a career in producing, DJing and turntablism for 15 years. His debut album Nostomania won a Juno award for Best Instrumental Album of 2009 and his success was pushed even further by winning many DJ titles. All of this eventually lead to him being named the 2016 DJ Online World Champion. If you’ve seen popular TV series Prison Break, you’ve likely heard some of his music. And if you haven’t heard his music before, be prepared for some popping beats and 90’s nostalgia.
DJ Craze has quite the unique claim to fame. He’s the only solo DJ that has ever won the DMC World DJ Championships three years in a row. Delgado was born in Managua, Nicaragua and when he was just three years old they fled the country to live in San Francisco, California. They eventually made the move to Miami, Florida where Delgado was influenced by the Miami Bass movement. Recently, he’s made a change from producing music with the elements of breaks and hip-hop to drum and bass.