■ PANGAEA ■ Kevin McAuley’s career has been defined by mutation. As one third of Hessle Audio (alongside Ben UFO and Pearson Sound), he’s helmed one of the most groundbreaking labels of the era. Hessle shepherded dubstep from its initial turn-of-the-millennium bass bin bleakness into a more startling, cross pollinated sound that splintered across the globe. As Pangaea, McAuley has been an engine of constant reinvention. His earliest releases were some of Hessle’s strongest, reveling in dank atmospherics and a classically-UK sense of longing. Since then, he’s embraced techno’s momentum, minimal’s grooviness, and IDM’s bubbling sense of discovery. 2014’s FABRICLIVE.73 plays with rhythm with an effortless fluency, a masterclass in percussive contrast and cohesion. More recently, tracks like “Cuba Vox” on his own Hadal imprint strip back the fanfare for some breezy rolling. More than ten years after his debut, Pangaea’s explorations refuse to slow down.
■ GALCHER LUSTWERK ■ Brooklyn-based Galcher Lustwerk became one of the most hotly tipped names in the underground dance music scene during the mid-2010s. The Cleveland-born producer's tracks combine deep house beats with his own subtle vocals often reminiscent of a more laid-back variation on late-'80s hip-house, creating a detached yet energetic take on the Midwest house sound. He is a member of the White Material collective, which was founded by cohorts DJ Richard and Young Male in 2012. Lustwerk's first vinyl release, Tape 22, appeared on the label in 2013, but it was his 100% Galcher mix of unreleased material for podcast series Blowing Up the Workshop that put him on the map among house fans. EPs Nu Day and Remixes followed on Tsuba Records in 2014. He then founded Lustwerk Music in 2015, kicking off the label with his EPs Parlay and I Neva Seen. He also released a few digital EPs of "driving music" under the name Road Hog. In 2016, Lustwerk released Scenes (2012-2015), a double LP by Studio OST, his side project with fellow White Material member Alvin Aronson. Lustwerk's debut full-length, Dark Bliss, appeared in 2017, and 200% Galcher followed in 2018.
■ LAUREN FLAX ■ Detroit native and NY mainstay Lauren Flax’s career moves with a remarkable fluidity. Her trip hop group CREEP made a strong impression at the start of the decade, releasing on Young Turks and producing tracks with Tricky, while as a solo artist she ran the gamut from pop collaborations with Sia to anthemic house anthems alongside MK. More recently, Flax has been exploring metallic hardware workouts and Chicago-style beatdowns for the Bunker NY. Her DJ sets trade in classic Midwest electroid funk and more steely, teutonic techno.