The artist known as FreQ Nasty has over the last few years become known as the man behind a unique sound, championed by producers and DJ's alike - the person most likely to pull dance music out of the occasional creative cul-de-sac it finds itself in once every few seasons.
Born in the pacific Island of Fiji but brought up even further round the world in New Zealand Darin's musical upbringing was by his own admission unique. Not so much because his parents were into anything drastically avant garde, but because being that far outside the UK he was afforded the opportunity of growing up without the snobbery that comes with this country's obsession with musical categorisation. You can see this 'across the board' influence throughout Darin's work.
Virtual Boy (Alpha Pup records) http://wearevirtualboy.com
Hotwiring naughty synth lines and dancefloor-crushing beats with elegant harmonic textures and twisted, pop-cultured hooks, Virtual Boy craft a grimy, cinematic sound all their own on the group's debut EP "How Long Does It Take To Get To Space?," released July 21, 2009 on 1320 Records. But even before Virtual Boy had an official release, taste-making DJs spanning packed clubs to BBC Radio were spinning their atmospheric bangers, which owe as much to Bach and Mozart as they do to Ratatat, evoking Air as much as Virtual Boy's heroes-in-glitch Nosaj Thing and The Glitch Mob.
Proper Villains (Nightshifters/Play Me Records) http://www.propervillainsmusic.com/
Making waves in a genre that is already making waves, in 2011 Proper Villains is poised to help redefine dubstep. As we see dubstep break away from its underground roots, becoming more mainstream, Proper Villains is one of the standout artists of this year, unabashedly mixing pop sounds and dirty bass into dance floor-friendly mayhem.
Willy Whompa's laconic tenure in the DJ/production scene remains a well-kept secret. Hitting heavy from the gate, he fuses together a musical dialogue composed of originally produced glitchy mid-tempo purple goodness and hard hitting dubstep driven by heavily melodic ass-shaking basslines. This fresh-faced kid is sure to drop some visceral beats appealing to the eclectic eardrum.