Spotlight: West Coast bass and video game-inspired trance from the Middle East - Features - Mixmag

Spotlight: West Coast bass and video game-inspired trance from the Middle East

In the next edition of our Spotlight series, highlighting emerging talent from around the globe, we salute five artists from Australia to Egypt and beyond

  • Words: Gemma Ross
  • 3 May 2024

Spotlight is our new series exploring evolutions in dance music and its emerging scenes, sounds, and artists, profiling the latest talent from across the globe

April was a titanic month for new music releases. Jungle connoisseur Nia Archives dropped her debut album ‘Silence Is Loud’, already a future touchstone as it climbs its way up the Top 20. Mount Kimbie were back on a lo-fi tip with their ambitious new album ‘The Sunset Violent’, while Justice made a long-awaited return with their first new record in more than seven years, ‘Hyperdrama’. Anticipations were also high for some huge link-ups last month too, from the worshipped collab between Overmono and The Streets, to a remix of pop icon Charli XCX’s latest release from dubstep heroes Skream and Benga.

If rap is more your jam, you’ve probably been keeping up on the back-and-forth feud between Drake and Kendrick over the past month, including the cease and desist case that came with Drake’s Tupac-imitating AI verse on his diss track ‘Taylor Made Freestyle’. And as we plunge deeper into the age of information (willingly or not), there was plenty of talk on AI in modern music, from FKA twigs’ court testimonial advocating for its use, to an open letter from more than 200 musicians backing its demise.

April in music boomed on a smaller scale, too, as we saw emerging talent debut on big bills with fresh UK breakouts like Jasper Tygner and Jockstrap hitting the Coachella Valley for the first time, and Glastonbury adding hundreds of small acts to its dance music stages over the past month. With Ibiza’s summer season looming and festival bills filling out in time for another gallivant around those big open fields, it’s stacking up to be a cracking summer for new music.

Every month in Spotlight, we note dance music trends and pick out five new, emerging artists who are helping to uplift the scenes they’re bursting out of, looking at their influences, their recommended works, and where they’re headed next, selecting projects that best represent the sounds they're finessing. This month, we’re headed back on a global trip looking at the artists we’ve been seeing more of on this year’s festival line-ups, each ready to take 2024 by storm.

Read on to find out more about Germany’s Bae Blade, India’s Chrms, Los Angeles’ Dara Genesis, Egypt’s Oldyungmayn, and Australia’s Zjoso.

Bae Blade

Dortmund-hailing newcomer Bae Blade is coming in hot with her dancefloor-commanding sets, ripping up high-energy house, rave and techno. She's nailed the balance, never failing to come locked and loaded with a USB packed full of club weapons to keep the crowd in a trance. “I’m just sharing what makes me happy,” she explains, “from a specific frequency, a mood, a scenario, a person”. Breaking out in 2020, Bae Blade has spent the past four years hammering down her ever-energetic selections, each stamped with the “Bae Blade seal of approval”.

Her productions have found homes on labels including Mutual Pleasure and Fantastic Voyage in the years since her debut, with plenty more to come this year - some even including her own vocals. “I’m also thrilled to have one of my tracks on vinyl for the first time,” she says. And, as a new Rinse FM resident for 2024, Bae Blade’s mixes are straying further from home this year.

Recommended work: Bae Blade ‘Mixed Feelings’

“My first EP describes me best and represents the genres I love to explore when I'm DJing. I believe it's the perfect way to say hello, in a sense - it encapsulates who I am as an artist and sets the tone for what's to come.”


Chrms is the generational producer inspired by his grandfather’s record collection, making offbeat, ethereal bass music with a nod to his Mumbaian roots. “I draw inspiration from my immediate environment, friends, the moon and the sky, and a bunch of visually striking science fiction movies,” he says. Sporting a sonic range of breaks, glitch, future bass and hyperpop in both his DJ sets and productions, Chrms is living proof that eccentricism is best-loved in the club.

Since his breakout at just 16-years-old, Chrms has gone on to play events from Lollapalooza India to Boiler Room Mumbai, and continues to make intricate, well-polished dance music while gigging. This year, Chrms is setting up for further success as he sits on plenty of unreleased music, which is due to make an appearance over the course of 2024.

Recommended work: Chrms ‘PILOT’

“My newest EP is my most cohesive and personal work, sort of a milestone for me as an electronic artist from India. It bridges the gap between my previous EP, ‘Lover Boy’, to a more experimental and leftfield sound. And it’s the first time I’ve used my vocals in my tracks!”

Dara Genesis

Suited realtor by day, slamming DJ by night, Los Angeles-based Dara Genesis is shaking up the West Coast with her blends of high-powered bass and grime. With roots in both New York and Trinidad & Tobago, Dara’s all-encompassing sound spans Latin club to trap and hip hop, with a particular love for the bass-weighted offerings she grew up with in Los Angeles - RL Grime and Skrillex being key influences. “Anything in that grandiose cinematic realm got me hooked back in the day,” she says. “These days, I'm so lucky to be surrounded by the most incredible producers and DJs around the clock, so jamming with them in the studio and at shows keeps me incredibly inspired.”

Following a run of shows around the Los Angeles area with fan favourite bass stars including Bianca Oblivion, ONHELL, and Nia Archives, as well as an appearance at femme-forward queer party Bass ‘n Babes in April, Dara Genesis is perking up for the year ahead. “I'm throwing down a set with the DoLaB team at Lightning in a Bottle in May, and after that, I'm going to be spending a lot of time in my hometown of NYC throwing and playing events to mix things up this summer,” she says.

Recommended work: Dara Genesis ‘Roses and Thorns Mix’

“Here's my most recent mix, it was recorded during a livestream event that my boyfriend was running in NYC. It's a good representation of my work because it spans about five or six different genres, which is definitely how I like to do things in any setting that I'm DJing in to keep things fresh and exciting.”

Photo: Juan Saez


Uncompromising in his leftfield style, Egyptian-Palestinian producer Oldyungmayn is putting out polyrhythmic goodness to the world - a unification of intricate sound design and video game-inspired trance. With influence from the Middle East and pre-millennia rave, you’re always guaranteed to hear some unique blends in an Oldyungmayn set. “Most of my inspirations come from watching horror movies and playing video games, specifically Bloodborne. There’s something mildly addictive to it, sort of like a staple track I would keep coming back to.”

Oldyungmayn is on a production hype this year, and as his name crops up more regularly on big line-ups in 2024, you’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the coming future - including an appearance at Leipzig’s WHOLE Festival and FIBER in Amsterdam this summer. “I’m currently working on a few different projects at the moment, exploring my options for labels, and thinking about which collaborations to pursue, and with whom,” he says.

Recommended work: Oldyungmayn ‘Crack Mix 544’

“My mix for Crack Magazine that went out in January was really fun to put together, and I appreciate that they included some of my comments with it. I think that DJing allows me to express myself without having to condense or summarise myself in words, but sometimes it’s needed, and I appreciate being given a platform to do so.”


Graphic designer-turned-DJ and radio host Zjoso is making a name for himself down under with his own brand of soulful dance music. Delivering a masterclass in UK funky and low-slung house at his regular event series, Tribqu, a home for deep groovers from the African diaspora and beyond, Zjoso is well-versed in curation and party throwing. And as it ticks over its 5th anniversary, Tribqu takes the helm of a beloved Skylab Radio residency, hosts stages at festivals around Naarm, and plans plenty more shows for the future with a potential tour across South East Asia.

Impassioned by quality soundsystems and record digging, Zjoso is equally inspired by art - given his background as a designer. “Naturally I’m drawn to things that look nice,” he says. “I love when a record has an image on the cover or nice use of typography and colour, or if it just looks interesting - it makes me want to know more about where it comes from and the story behind it.”

Recommended work: Zjoso ‘4.5 hour set at Club 77’

“This mix was taken from a session earlier this year in January at Club 77 in Sydney. It was my first time playing a 4.5 hour set in a club setting and I think this mix represents me in the way I like to play music, eclectically. I like to join the dots between genres, time periods and tempos.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

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