If you are an avid techno music lover, there are very few things that are better than discovering an awesome new DJ with an awesome new track to add to the soundtrack of your life. The mainstream has its own appeal and successful DJs are usually famous the world over for a very good reason. But Josh Wink, Tiga or Carl Cox are sometimes not enough for the ravenously hungry music enthusiast, so looking deeper into the underground is probably the best source of fresh new artists and music.
So, let’s look at some guys and gals that are worth checking out and who have already been making a name for themselves as part of the blossoming techno underground from all around the world.
You cannot talk about the techno underground without mentioning Berlin and its thriving modern techno movement centered around its local techno mecca Berghain. And you cannot talk about Berghain without its resident DJ Ben Klock. If you are part of this scene, he might as well be an icon, not an underground veteran.
Take in some of Ben Klock’s live dj set and see why he’s a boss of this scene, and why you may want to start buying your plane ticket now.
This energetic German started his career with his signature marathon sets that helped him hone his skills to an amazing level. Besides skill, his performances offer a lot of soul and emotion and everybody that has seen him live agrees that he knows how to make any venue feel intimate. In recent years Ben has started touring more and his international popularity has steadily been rising. If you get the chance to catch him live, don’t miss it.
After Berlin, let’s look at South America. Adrian Hour is one of the most talented and hardworking DJs from Argentina. He leads the way as part of the Buenos Aires underground scene, but has already started making a name for himself worldwide.
Dozzy’s music and sets have a lot of depth and so does his personality – he actually has a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Rome and is known for his deep knowledge about music as well. He currently tours the world intensively and resides in Berlin.
Bulgarian DJ Strahil Velchev known as KiNK is a typical example of a talented DJ to start gaining some international recognition solely on the legs of his skills and his music. He started out in the Sofia techno scene but his unique approach to making modern music soon got him noticed.
KiNK loves both vintage and modern equipment and also likes tinkering with it to produce new and exciting sounds that are very different from what most other people do. He got his first real break in 2008 thanks to a home video of him tweaking a drum machine. It got him enough attention to start appearing in famous clubs all around Europe and his unique performances helped him create an international following. What you’ll see when you catch him live would not be expensive visual effects, but an artist and a performer who is one with his unconventional set of machines and controllers.
Techno DJs from the USA have been rising in popularity in recent years and one of the forerunners of the new generation of North American underground techno DJs has been Charles Duff also known as Matrixxman. His sound has been described as cold, mechanized and futuristic but by no means emotionless. His tracks explore the road to the singularity when humans and machines would be one and his musical style reflects that duality.
Here’s Matrixxman performing a killer DJ set at the Boiler Room, showing no mercy and taking no fucking prisoners.
Matrixxman has been releasing new music regularly and has been doing sets in a number of iconic locations around the globe. If futuristic techno is what you are looking for, this is certainly a DJ and an artist to keep an eye on.
Nigerian-born Lebanese lady Nicole Moudaber has been a star DJ for some time already. Besides her fierce DJ sets, Moudaber is known as an event promoter, a record label founder and a radio host.
Feast your ears on her live DJ set at Music Is Revolution in Ibiza.
Some might even argue that Nicole Moudaber’s prolific work has already lifted her out of the underground but her dedication to the techno scene keeps her close to the troops despite her success. She might not be “the most underrated DJ” as described by Carl Cox in 2009, but she still has a lot of room to develop and is always worth paying attention to.
The Techno Underground as a Whole
What’s beautiful about the underground is that is always full of surprises and there are a lot of other DJs to keep an eye on as well, so keep your hearts and ears open and keep searching.
A few other underground DJs worth checking out: Shlomi Aber, Oliver Huntemann, ANNA, Nikola Gala, Danny Daze.