Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 15K: Vol. 28
5 Under 15k is a feature on Dancing Astronaut dedicated to spotlighting talented up-and-coming and largely undiscovered artists who we believe deserve more exposure. Each edition highlights five artists from a wide variety of genres with under 15,000 followers on SoundCloud or Spotify (at the time of writing).
2019 sees disco and funk making a huge comeback, and one of the artists leading this charge is French artist Valentin Lalonde, better known by his Kramder moniker. Lalonde draws inspiration from artists like Daft Punk and Justice, and it shows in his groovy originals and remixes. He can be found releasing on Tchami’s CONFESSION label, New York-based Uprise Music, and France’s noir sur blanc—among others. His most-streamed SoundCloud tune is “Groove Sauce,” which came out on CONFESSION as part of his Funktastic EP in May 2018. It’s effortlessly funky and well-designed, which made it an instant hit. More recently, Lalonde revealed a disco-infused edit of ABBA’s “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” which was met with wild praise from his fans.
Texas-based Justin Hellier has been producing music as Flite since 2011 and has steadily garnered a loyal following in the United States and beyond for his immersive brand of drum ‘n’ bass. He’s had releases on Monstercat, Liquicity, and Hospital Records, and he’s crafted everything from a remix of Habstrakt and Skrillex’s “Chicken Soup” to a bootleg of MC Panjabi’s “Mundian To Bach Ke.” Time and time again, he’s demonstrated his ability to whip anything into a drum ‘n’ bass lover’s dream—the latest of which is an attention-grabbing rendition of RL Grime’s legendary “Core.” When he’s not crafting creative takes on other artist’s songs, Flite is building his own dreamy soundscapes, like the otherworldly Calm Before the Storm EP that hit Liquicity this past June. The EP’s first track, “Decisions,” expertly demonstrates his production prowess.
Massimo Pezzetta’s Mazare alias has been popping up everywhere in recent months. The Italian producer has gained traction over the past few years through releases on Spinnin’ Records, Seven Lions’ Ophelia Records, and Monstercat. He worked closely with Maarten Vorwerk on “You’re The One” before kicking off the first of many Monstercat releases earlier this year. The beautiful “Where Do We Go” with RUNN introduced his melody-driven form of drum ‘n’ bass to a wide listener base, and he followed it up the emotive “Nothing More” with Luma before showing off a more powerful side of his production with “Berzerker” and “Battlecry.” He also lent his remixing talents to Seven Lions’ “Dreamin’,” on which he showcased his ability to maintain the emotion of Seven Lions’ original song while putting his own stamp on it.
UK duo LeBrock call themselves “a retro cinematic experience,” and what a fitting description it is. The pair have been reintroducing the ’80s to the electronic music community since 2015 with their dramatic synthwave compositions. Songs like their most-streamed on SoundCloud, “One Night,” show LeBrock’s raw ability to tug on listeners’ heartstrings and evoke strong feelings of nostalgia. Members Michael and Shaun have been featured multiple times on popular YouTube channel NewRetroWave, racking up thousands of plays and countless new fans. They released a new single, “Takes All Night,” in August, accompanied by an instrumental version that allows the listener to experience the song in two entirely different ways. LeBrock also recently announced a brief headlining tour that will take them to Leeds, Bristol, Peterborough, and London at the end of January.
Mike Hayes never had any formal training in the world of music, but he quickly found himself immersed in music production after picking up a copy of Logic Pro X just a few years ago. As HEYZ, he caught the ears of deadmau5’s mau5trap label, who signed two of his singles—”Quietly” and “Only Now”— in late 2017. The two techno-oriented singles had undoubtedly melancholy auras to them, but the producer’s sound has since grown to include more melodic aspects, which can be heard on works like “Daylight.” He released his Schedule 1 EP on mau5trap in 2018 and was also featured on episode 26 of the label’s “for lack of a better radio” show. In 2019, he signed his three-track EP, Human 404 to Bite This! and received enthusiastic response to tracks like “Castaway King” with MAYLYN.