FBi Click Best Producer
Sydney dance music has had its share of challenges in 2016, and with them has come a new spirit of creativity and community. These five nominees have the boldest visions for our city’s club music—now it’s your chance to choose which one moves you the most.
Eugene Ward, the man behind Dro Carey, is an ongoing fixture of Sydney club music. His dark, restless and percussive sound runs through the city’s veins. In May he released the EP Dark Zoo, bringing his creative vision into razor-sharp focus with a new sense of momentum. It’s a tour through some of dance music’s most shadowy niches, elevated by stellar vocal contributions from Kucka and FKL. Emerging with new clarity and precision this year, Dro Carey curated his own Boiler Room takeover, nabbed a coveted monthly slot on London’s Radar Radio, and cemented his reputation at home and overseas in the process.
Nina Las Vegas
For years, Nina Las Vegas has been Australia’s loudest and most esteemed champion of new dance music. Now, with her own record label and a stunning debut EP, she’s wholly embraced her niche and is influencing the scene’s trajectory in a much bolder way. NLV Records has gotten behind an exciting new wave of Aussie producers making high-energy, experimental club music, two of whom are Nina herself and fellow nominee Swick. From hyperdriven dancehall to four-on-the-four rave clangers, Nina Las Vegas’ Ezy or Never EP knocked us with a dizzying sparkle in April and we cannot wait for more.
Sam Weston first came to our attention as one half of Alba, a duo so tight we nominated them for this award last year. In 2016, Weston left Sydney for the South Australian desert, where he found himself, and a new brand of radiant, soulful house music. His first solo EP, Shiraz Voyager, came out earlier this year, revealing his own raw, swing-heavy sound. Now he’s returned from exile refreshed and focused, ready to release another EP on Soothsayer and take his place as one of our city’s best and most promising new producers.
Few knew the name Swick before this year, but that’s very surprising considering his resume. He’s not only dropped tracks on some of the coolest independent labels across the globe, but also collaborated with Diplo, been sampled by J-Lo and was crucial in the rise of Tkay Maidza. Thankfully, his spectacular Stamina EP brought all this to a head in May, showcasing every angle of the producer’s tough, sugar-tipped rave sound. Swick’s recent move from Melbourne to Sydney brought all this to our doorstep, making his collaboration with Marcus Whale all the more sweet, and definitely not hurting those Stamina team-ups with Stateside MC Spank Rock and Norclub angel Henrik The Artist. After a national club tour and a big gig at Splendour In The Grass this year, we’re excited to see what’s next for Swick.
This fresh-faced Northern Beaches kid spent 2016 building hometown momentum with a unique brand of jazz-inspired bass music that we can’t stop listening to. Unbeknownst to most locals, however, Swindail’s online profile has been going full throttle towards stardom since before he finished high school. With $5k of crowdfunding from his Swindail Goes To America EP, Swindail headed on a whirlwind tour of the States earlier this year. He collaborated with internet friends IRL for the first time, played one of the most rammed and culturally explosive parties in LA and somehow ended up at Skrillex’s house. Back in Australia, he toured nationally with Basenji, teamed up with Cosmo’s Midnight for a stargaze-funk remix of GoldLink, and is set to release the follow-up to this year’s clink-clonk classic ‘Two Stomp’ early next year. The future looks bright.