All the editors at Best Drum and Bass came together to compile a list of our “20 artists who will dominate in 2016”, and we have to say that it was a tough task to narrow this list down to just 20 names. With all the immense power that has been surging through the drum and bass scene in 2015 we definitely had no shortage of amazing music, and we are confident that we have picked 20 names that will be sure to be making some amazing music this year! Check out our list below, and make sure to drop by our Facebook or leave a comment below this article to tell us if you agree with our picks or not!
Quite often we see success stories of artists switching from Drum and Bass to various other genres, but it usually doesn’t happen the other way around. This young gun from London came out swinging and stepped out of the Dubstep scene and into the Drum and Bass scene in a massive way in 2015 with his 2 dance floor killer tunes “Life Begins” and “Dark Matter”. Keep your eye on Invertex this year, because he is going to be on everyone’s playlist before the end of the year, guaranteed!
In case you have been sleeping under a rock for the past 6 months, Agressor Bunx is taking over the dnb world by storm! The Ukranian duo has some of the most up front, clean and just absolutely amazing sound designs that have hit our scene since those new guys Noisia dropped “Block Control” on Moving Shadow. They manage to hit the scene with a barrage of versatile yet amazing tune in the second half of 2015, and they show now signs of slowing down in any way. If their newest release on Eatbrain “The Order” is any kind of prelude to 2016, these guys are indeed the ones to watch this year.
Now you may be wondering what a legendary name such as Pish Posh is doing on an “Artists to watch” in 2016 list. While the New York badman has proven his worth time and time again as one of the USA’s best drum and bass producers, he has come back with full force to release what I feel like are some of his best releases in 2015. I feel like he is setting the stage for the most massive year of his entire career in 2016, and I know he is one you will need to keep your eyes on in 2016.
Benny fuckin L. What else is there to say about this guy? He is an absolute OG style bass line badman with some of the best sounds of all of 2015. Another one of the London family, Benny brings what so many of us are longing for in Drum and Bass. Melding that original jungle / drum and bass style but with an intense modern edge. I swear that every time Benny L drops a release, it sticks itself in my sets for months. Keep both eyes and a heat seeker on this guy in 2016, because he is going to be ON FIRE!
Colorado’s own Velos has a unique style that shines through in his tunes, and he seems to have been consistently be stepping up his game with every single release he had in 2015. Seeing releases with a wide variety of labels in 2015, his very up front yet techy style is pushing boarders and keeping him as a front runner in the USA drum and bass scene.
In case you haven’t heard yet, Pythius is the newest breakout member of the Blackout camp headed up by one of my personal favorite artists of all time, Black Sun Empire. This young techstep drum and bass producer came out with brutal force in 2015 with his “New Order” release that pretty much set the bar for him to be one of the biggest up and coming act’s of the year. I for one am beyond excited to see what he comes with this year, and while I don’t quite know exactly what he has up his sleeve yet. I know it is going to be nothing but straight amazing sounds!
Denmark’s own break dancing multi-genre producer RA:SKL has been flexing his chops throughout 2015, prepping for what is definately going to be a massive year. Another that managed to break the barriers and stepped from Dubstep to Drum and Bass, he brings a unique flare and style to the genre that ranges from techy to jump up styles. Be ready for this man to make some noise, because 2016 will be the year of the RA:SKL.
I first started paying close attention to Disprove after hearing his remix of Audeka’s “Dice N’ Flow”. Originally sounding like a protégé of neurofunk legends, Koan Sound, Disprove’s early work proved he had an elevated sense of sound design and a keen ear for superb production quality. Now primarily dabbling with drum and bass, Disprove has been showing up, often on big labels, with forward thinking singles and a consistent display of top notch production.
Smashing on to the scene with his double sided EP Jibber / Crane, Proxima was thrust into the spotlight for a few short weeks, all of it being well deserved. Displaying exceptional production quality, and sound design reminiscent to that of Mefjus or Noisia, Proxima has shown the drum and bass community a great deal of promise, and I think he’s only going to get better in the coming year.
I think it’s pretty much a rule-of-thumb that if Noisia is keeping an eye on an artist, you should be keeping an eye on that artist as well. Such is the case for young Signal. Releasing music on records like Critical Music, Invisible, Rise Audio, and Overtech, Signal has been putting in work, and it’s finally paying off. With a serious knack for deep bass and ghastly atmospheres, a Signal track sort of plays out like a Break tune with a really dark twist. In 2016 I’m expecting Signal further explore the deep realm of drum and bass, and to improve on his solo track mixdowns (all of his collabs have been really well mixed).
If State of Mind isn’t rinsing out Khronos tracks at every show then I’ll be damned. Khronos is like the younger re-incarnate of the super duo, sporting all the delicious compression techniques, aggressive melodies, and supreme drum work that made SOM popular in the first place. I still remember the first time I heard “Pandemonium” and thinking to myself, holy shit, why haven’t I heard of this guy before. Look for Khronos to (hopefully) land some big collaborations and continue releasing on larger labels in 2016 (he’s already had a single on Blackout).
Intrinzic hailing from Arizona has been perking up ears and catching a lot people’s attention with his signature blend of deep soulful sounds interlaced with futuristic tech edges. Another signature sound one can usually find in his music is beautiful, but haunting vocals. This music comes from a very special and deep place. With releases on Convex, Fluid State, Patrol The Skies, and Audio Theory there are more then enough examples of his special blend of music out there for you to check out.
Mister Shifter cut his teeth in the production game as one of the founding members of Random Movement and put out some of the most memorable drum and bass ever made. Now he is out on his own and making some pretty amazing stuff. His latest offering “Nowhere Fast” was scooped up for Fanu’s label Lightless and was a part of the New Tribe LP
This is another artist on the list that was part of a well established group that is now working on solo projects. As part of the trio Kryteria, he has put out music on Cause4Concern, Trust in Music, Viper, Ammunition, Abducted. Since going solo he has built up his following for his blend of tech and neuro with perfect balance of very clean production and gritty underside that drives his sound. As of late, he has had releases on Schedule One, Icarus Audio, Patrol The Skies, and Rust Out. 2016 is only going to see more top notch releases from the mighty HammerZz.
Jason Selden has been making music for 14 years and has been releasing music on a variety of labels under a handful of aliases such as Habit, Nemesis, Bad Chemistry, Ohm Resistance. 2015 saw releases with Patrol The Skies and DSCI4. So far in 2016, his collab with NC-17 ” 2 Ccol Scorpio” has been picked up by Drum and Bass Arena. His music is pure neurofunk, always has blistering drops that just pick you up move you right along with its powerful bass esand synths paired up with strong drum work that will keep you moving. Look out for some big things from him this year!
Two brothers in the barren desert of Las Vegas have been hidden away cranking out fire. Blacklab has been getting nods from Hospital, Formation, and Abucted, just to name a few. Their goal for the beginning of the year is to set themselves up to release a ton of heat later this year. These guys are two dogs you definitely want to keep watch on!
With a name so savage, you’d never guess that Zaiaku is a chill guy who just happens to make roughneck bangers. Having already seen releases on notable labels like Titan and Ammunition, Zaiaku shows no sign of slowing down in 2016. His tunes are directly inspired by life events, and you can tell that this emotion propels his tracks to the next level. Known to dabble in other grenres, he also lends his styling to Dubstep and Glitch Hop. With raw open format production skill and a hefty presence on the decks, Zaiaku is sure to bring the heat all year long.
Formerly the outfit known as Slogun & I-Oh, Southern California’s Kronology boys have been making big moves out of the west coast. Recently picked up by Technique Recordings, the dancefloor-minded duo aim to take their sound to new heights. Inspired by the flow of space and time, Kronology has already released a handful of tunes that will be considered classics in due time.
Crooked Soundz out of Souther Cali plans to make even more noise, stepping up his release schedule in 2016. Bringing hip-hop infulenced Jump Up flavor, he is sure to have crowds rocking it out. Anthony and his deep rollers are an assest for the west coast Jump Up crew most definitely. Watch for his releases both as Crooked Soundz and Falsemove, not to mention the occasional hip-hop production.
If you’re familiar with US Jump Up, the Sub Killaz should already be in your rotation. If you aren’t however, now would be a great time to start paying them some mind. The San Diego duo have been making moves over the past couple years, and 2016 seems to be their time to shine. Fresh off a release on Logan D’s Subway Soundz imprint, they aim to be playing internationally by the summer.