Every month, Insomniac spotlights five exciting artists across all the genres that comprise the electronic music realm—from the trenches of dubstep, the deep-bass bins of house, the unifying melodies of trance, and beyond. Dive into these musical geniuses, and continue your music discovery journey with the 5 Essential Artists series each and every month.
Hook N Sling
From: Los Angeles via Australia
For fans of: Tommy Trash, Fatboy Slim, Galantis
Releases: Insomniac Records, Ministry of Sound, Spinnin’ Records and more
Why you should be following: The real question is, “Why haven’t you been following already?” He’s loved by thousands, boasts a collaboration with Empire of the Sun, and counts tons of remixes for hitmakers from Lana Del Rey to Kaskade, Krewella and more on his résumé. His style is positive energy with a side of cocky attitude. His recent hit “Momentum” is an electro house speaker-rattler designed to get the stickiest wallflower jumping out of their skin, which might have something to do with why our own Insomniac Records had to sign him up.
Take a spin: Hook N Sling moved to L.A. and welcomed himself to the Insomniac Records family with this playariffic jam featuring twisted rhymes from superstars Far East Movement. It’s the perfect icebreaker for a daytime barbecue or pool party. It just smells like springtime and certainly comes fresh enough to last through summer. Make it a must in your road-trip playlists.
From: London via Bristol, UK
For fans of: Waze & Odyssey, Route 94, Low Steppa, Blonde
Releases: Lobster Boy, Polydor Records, MTA, Digital Soundboy
Why you should be following: A student of the UK garage school master program, Redlight caught a lot of attention for his breakthrough anthem, “9TS.” Reminiscent of Daft Punk’s “Teachers,” the steady groove is punctured by singsong vocals rattling off ‘90s-era musicians, fashion staples and even Alizé. It got him support from every DJ with a pulse, with heavyweights like Annie Mac making it a staple in their sets. He’s following up on his success with more funky house feels mixed with his personal style, which resonates with dirty London clubs and ‘90s R&B smash vibes. By the sexy sound of it, a superstar is being born. Take our advice, and be there before the blowup.
Take a spin: “Gold Teeth” picks up right where “9TS” left off. It features the same vocalist sleepily rambling once again, this time about the grind and its sweet rewards. She’s mesmerizing on top of the neck-jerking, body-rolling beat. A quick listen conjures mental images of smoky dancefloors and slow-motion gangsters flashing their grills. As hard as it may be to imagine, the track even shows growth, signaling Redlight as an artist that’s still on his come-up with yet more tricks up his sleeve.
From: Berlin, Germany
For fans of: Mano le Tough, Ricardo Villalobos, Plastikman
Releases: Innervisions, Ghostly International, Plangent Records, and more
Why you should be following: Simmer back down to the lofty sounds of Berlin’s heir to the hard techno throne. Recondite makes middle-of-the-night music for thinkers, dreamers and hard workers alike. He got his foot in the door releasing via his own Plangent Records, but it wasn’t long before homes like Ghostly International started calling. Those among you ready for a deeper musical experience need look no further than the experimental horizon of these moody blues. His 2014 LP Iffy is a great launching point. Give it a few spins, and prepare to catch the German machine-man performing a very special live set at EDC New York in May.
Take a spin: Fresh off the press comes “Serak,” a slow-boil creeper that gets into your bones and doesn’t let go. Its haunting, simple melody line is disjointed but beautiful. Yes, darkness can be lovely, and it certainly is when Recondite is holding the reins. When the percussion drops out, the chilling atmosphere carries you to quiet woods; but don’t get too comfortable. The spaceship is coming to beam you back to a dancefloor soon enough.
From: The Netherlands
For fans of: Headhunterz, Frequencerz
Releases: Scantraxx Recordz, Q-Dance, Be Yourself Music, and more
Why you should be following: If hardstyle is your jam, meet your new masters. Audiotricz is composed of two fellas turning crowds on their heads with the jacked-up monsters they call songs, but it’s not all hammering drums and red-eye synths. They tinge each banger with a soft touch of beauty, teaming up with angel-voiced vocalists on original releases and remixing big room house anthems from Hardwell, Nervo and R3hab. The duo just launched its Infinite podcast, which will keep you up-to-date on the freshest and bounciest the genre has to offer and feature originals and exclusive tidbits you can’t hear anywhere else. Definitely don’t miss them as they make their US debut at Basscon: Resurgence Saturday, May 2, at the NOS Event Center in San Bernadino, CA.
Take a spin: “Reawakening” is the perfect example of Audiotricz’s ethereal approach to the hardstyle genre. While the percussion is just as in-your-face as the hardest giants in history, the Atmozfere collab also brings the listener down softly with heavenly vocals and a breakdown long enough to get a sip of water but short enough to keep fans’ fists pumping by their sides. Welcome to the sonic frontier.
From: Brighton, UK
For fans of: Aphex Twin, Burial, Caspa
Releases: Hospital Records, Civil Music, and more
Why you should be following: Ray Kurzweil’s so-called Singularity is near, and we humans need some forward-thinking beats to bounce to as we rush head-first into the future. Reso is an artist with an engineer’s mind, and he applies that technological depth and fascination to his musical craft. To call them “songs” would be to downplay his achievements. Reso writes compositions with a textual richness and melodic dexterity so natural and yet scientific, it seems effortless. He bridges the gaps between drum & bass, garage, ambient and house so well, Hospital Records had no choice but to snatch him up and lock him down.
Take a spin: Honestly, you should listen to all 12 tracks from Reso’s new album, Ricochet. It’s a masterpiece production in its entirety, but if you must give one track a quick perusal, press play on “What Is.” Certainly, Reso digs deeper into drumsteppy madness, but we adore this track for its dual nature. It’s light and airy, it’s dark and stormy, it’s pulsating and pushy, it’s calm and beautiful. It’s multifaceted and hard to pin down, much like Reso’s catalog.