■ DJ STINGRAY ■ Detroit’s DJ Stingray has a story that few can match: trained to DJ in the ‘80s by Moodymann, he got his start playing in “hardcore motorcycle bars” in his hometown, before an argument with the members of Drexciya led him to become their touring DJ. Dubbed “Stingray” by the duo, he soon found himself thrust onto the world stage, playing hard and fast electro in the signature Underground Resistance balaclava. Since then he’s founded Urban Tribe with Moodymann, Carl Craig and Anthony “Shake” Shakir, and has released a series of daring and unerringly unique productions. But more than anything he’s known for his DJing: a true force of nature on the decks, his old-school virtuosity brings the rushing energy of classic techno and electro into the 21st century.
■ AKUA ■ Discwoman’s Akua’s signature is a steely, rolling minimalism that pushes into gritty hardcore. Drawing on the classic, elegant starkness of Robert Hood, her sets find a cruising altitude at BPMs well above the techno standard. The Ghanaian-American DJ fearlessly draws on a rich history of fast-and-lean electronic music, recontextualizing these sounds to fit her voice.
■ ELLE DEE ■ Brazillian DJ Elle Dee is known for her fluid approach to DJing: she pushes the groove into deep space, with a taught, hypnotic energy that can unfurl for hours.