The oracles at EDM Sauce predict that 2016 will be another year where electronic and dance dominates the music spectrum. Anybody who disagrees need only look past the usual suspects like Spinnin Records, Ultra, Mad Decent, Black Hole, or Toolroom, and discover the real innovators who constantly push for more unique and eclectic sounds. There’s a large portion of EDM enthusiasts who have no clue where to find the best of non-commercial dance music, the stuff you rarely hear at most of today’s big name festivals. These labels provided us with the best of 2015 and are showing no signs of slowing down. Here’s EDM sauces top 10 labels that REAL dance music fans are excited about in 2016!
When they say all the best stuff comes from Germany, they aren’t just talking about the cars and machinery. This Ain’t Bristol may only be 2 years old but they’ve already released 3 fantastic compilations featuring it’s bright, energetic, hyphy brand of tech house. Very similar to the likes of bay area giant Dirtybird, they’ve even featured some of their artists like Ardalan and Billy Kenny.
Stemming from the rough, industrial style of Boysnoize Records, Jimmy Edgar‘s Ultramajic imprint has become of the best sources of top notch EBM (Electric Body Music, see full description) and techno beats. It’s a powerful sound to say the least and the label hosts numerous artists who are equally talented live mixers as they are producers such as Danny Daze and Chambray.
Italy’s Life & Death had easily some of the best releases in 2015. Veteran techno acts like DJ Tennis and Recondite as well as huge up and comers, Stephen Bodzin and Woo York, all made some of the most deep and abstract sounds we’ve seen in dance music. They finished 2015 strong with the incredible Tale Of Us and Mind Against collab “Astral”, leaving the best taste in our mouths possible.
It seems as though Madrid based artist Henry Saiz can simply do no wrong, and it’s no mystery why his Natura Sonoris label is always one of the best in deep house and techno. Specializing in very organic, airy beats with unrivaled atmosphere, Natura Sonoris’ releases may be few and far between but each one is a gem and will entrance you like so few songs can. Last year they featured beautiful pieces from Eekkoo, Flowers & Sea Creatures, and Saiz’s longtime friend and equally talented DJ/producer, Marc Marzenit.
Trip is the product of Russia’s hottest export and perhaps the most intriguing female DJ in the world right now, Nina Kraviz. Since the label’s start in 2014, it’s shown that it’s selections of dark, mechanical, and minimal techno makes for the ideal late night clubbers soundtrack. There’s a purity to the music that manages to have enough essence to avoid sounding monotonous like other similiar imprints. Trip’s elite remixes and EPs, especially Bjarki’s epic techno slammer, “I Wanna Go Bang”, made it a shoe-in for this list.
Much like the name implies, Canada’s 1080p label features the highest quality of rhythmic experimentation, a prime haven for inventive electronica. Releasing sounds that range from bluesy “brunch house” to ambient techno, and it makes for some of the finest chill out tunes you’ll find anywhere. It’s not just mellow downtempo works too, 1080p also comprises of raw, house and tech beats with evident worldly textures that’ll get your blood flowing with ease.
It’s more than just the kitty cover art that has made Coyu‘s label Suara the new standard for house music. Bragging rights include two of 2015’s biggest compilations, Kitties Wanna Dance Vol. 5 and Kitties On Trance, and contributions from Mark Knight, Prok & Fitch, Tube & Berger, Volkoder, Jeremy Olander, Tapesh, Oscar L (whose track “Alors On Danse” may have been the best tech banger of the year), Hot Since 82, Dave Seaman, Pete Tong, the list just doesn’t freakin stop! So yeah, its hard not to expect another year of house music mastery in 2016, especially with Kitties Wanna Dance Vol 6 already coming out.
Kompakt has always been on the forefront of innovation and last year was no different. Boasting a handful of spectacular albums from Kolsch (one of the most underrated artists on the planet), Blond:ish, Dave DK, Terranova, and longtime ambient legends The Orb. Their annual Kompakt: Total series of compilations is still going strong as ever along with a slew of new techno, deep house, and retro indie dance. Kompakt’s focus on making the best electronica no matter what bpm or energy levels has made it among the elite of the elite and more greatness will no doubt come from the German label this year.
One of the best examples of incorporating new and trendy styles without completely conforming. In doing so, Sweat It Out! has become one of the best labels in not just house but a variety of sounds. Featuring impressive works from What So Not, Cassian, and Yolanda Be Cool, who dropped one of the biggest hits of the summer “Soul Makossa”. There’s something for everyone here and this imprint will certainly find alot more followers in 2016.
The home of Australia’s best and brightest electronic musicians, Future Classic hasn’t just established themselves as one of the top names in electronica but the entire music industry. Led by the future bass wonder child Flume as well as all-star regulars; Chrome Sparks, Snakehips, Wave Racer, Chet Faker, Basenji, and Midnight To Monaco, they’ve created a timeless array of tunes comprised of indie rocktronica, glitchy downtempo, disco fusion, and insanely new age sounds that for the most part transmit a much needed positive and uplifting vibe. With Flume’s new LP on the horizon, Future Classic is on trajectory to becoming a truly household name for all music lovers.