■ FJAAK ■ FJAAK started out as a “techno boy band,” a trio of weed-obsessed hardware geeks careening onto the European scene with a sound defined by unabashed exuberance. Now, a few years later and reduced to a duo, thankfully very little has changed. Where many would look askance at their youthful work and sternly reform into dull conformity, FJAAK have only extended and honed their colorful rave crosspolinations. Whether DJing, performing live or working in the studio, FJAAK relishes in the joys of a huge synth stab, a mammoth kick drum or a wriggly, overblown acid line.
■ UMFANG ■ Discwoman co-founder Umfang gives a distinctly American spin on classic hard, loopy techno. The Bronx-born, Kansas City raised artist is known for mixing with a daring sense of claustrophobia. Releases on Ninja Tune have explored the possibilities of stripped back, cooly-defiant sound design, and her label Thanks For Enlightening Me showcases the ultra-personal side of electronic music.
■ AKUA ■ Discwoman’s Akua’s signature is a steely, rolling minimalism that pushes tempo to the breaking point. Drawing on the classic, elegant starkness of Robert Hood, her sets weave high BPM rave tracks with an attitude that brings out the danger lurking beneath their surfaces. The Ghanaian-American DJ draws on a rich history of fast-and-lean electronic music, re-contextualizing these sounds to fit her unique voice.