Spotlight: Woozy dubstep from Brooklyn and Brazilian-French neoperreo - Features - Mixmag

Spotlight: Woozy dubstep from Brooklyn and Brazilian-French neoperreo

For the first edition of our new Spotlight series documenting global trends and emerging musicians in dance music and beyond, we select five artists bringing something fresh to the table

  • Words: Gemma Ross
  • 15 March 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.

We’re living in a time where the intersection of dance music genres is more blurred than ever. Artists are finding experimental ways to rip apart and reshape well-recognised genres, creating new ones in the process and prompting unusual crossovers (see 3-step, amapiano, and hyperpop, for example). This nuanced approach to production and performance has birthed stars with styles of their own, from the intricate way CCL layers sonic textures into new contexts to the futuristic reggaeton of DJ Python, refreshing the usual suspect sounds you'd hear in the club.

In 2023 we saw the renewed growth of bass music from Miami. The style has been huge in the Magic City since first developing in the '80s and last year took off even more beyond its borders, led by fresh energy from the likes of INVT and Bitter Babe. There was also the revival of speed garage in the UK which charged back into the charts more than two decades since it first rippled through the UK. We're also seeing a fascinating spurt in the use of AI in production, while experimental and genre-defying festivals are growing in popularity and expanding their programming to platform nascent scenes. Which begs the question: what’s next?

There’s a lot to be said about the last few years in dance music, but we’re not dwelling on the past here. In the name of new talent, we’re running a new monthly feature to point you in the direction of the current leading sounds, and the ones you’ll be hearing more in 2024 and beyond. Every month we’ll select five artists who help 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.

First up, we travel across the map with Berlin’s 131bpm, Ghana’s Delasi, New York’s Krithi, Rio de Janeiro's PPJ, and Dublin’s Small Crab. Find out more about them below.


Blink and you’ll miss it; 131bpm is shelling out rapid-fire breaks and techno to the tune of, you guessed it, 131 BPM and above. His productions encompass a wide scope of influence, from ghetto tech to electro and breakbeats with a nod to the hard-edged techno of his native Berlin, and have landed him on labels including Body Language and Radiant Records since lodging his foot in the door in 2021. As a bastion of the queer club scene in Berlin, 131bpm has made an appearance at WHOLE Festival and held a residency at Milan’s LGBTQIA+ club night, Vitamina, since 2018.

“I get a lot of inspiration from the UK & US ‘90s house and rave scenes, especially when I’m digging for records either physically or on Discogs,” he explains. “It helps me discover so many hidden gems, and it's much more fun and gratifying than following a specific algorithm.”

Forthcoming for 131bpm in 2024, we’ll be seeing more of his unabating output with new remixes and releases on the labels that he loves, and a Panorama Bar debut this month alongside Coco Cobra. “I’m very excited as this dancefloor has shaped my musical taste for almost a decade, so I can't wait to play there,” he says.

Recommended work: 131bpm '2 Girls 1 Brain'

"'2 Girls 1 Brain' is inspired by the playful energy of the Body Language dancefloor and it has energy, bouncy drums, unexpected changes of genres, and an unintended voice note vocal from my good friend and Body Language's co-founder, Caitlin. I think it shows my versatility and represents me well as an artist."


Delasi is a self-professed sponge of his surroundings. Hailing from Ghana’s Koforidua, the rapper and producer draws from the natural workings of life: “The chirping of exotic birds outback where I live, the phone conversations on a bus, the rhythmic rumble of thunder slapping the earth, the sound of goat hooves scurrying away”. Although by no means a new artist, Delasi’s global recognition has just begun to peak, picking up support from Gilles Peterson at the beginning of the year who released Delasi’s latest album, ‘Audacity of Free Thought’ on his Brownswood imprint, and introduced him to a legion of jazz and hip hop enthusiasts.

On his records, Delasi combines R&B with lyrically profound rap, funk, and indigenous Ghanaian music, but most notably, dives into Ghana’s burgeoning hip hop playground championing up-and-coming talent. Up next, Delasi prepares to drop two new “jazz-focused” records which promise to sound a little different from his last, as he rounds off work on a forthcoming music documentary.

Recommended work: Delasi 'Audacity of Free Thought'

"I'd recommend my latest EP, ’The Audacity Of Free Thought’, which is out now and available everywhere."


Enter the world of Krithi, the Brooklyn-based DJ who has been quietly making bangers for the best part of a decade, endorsed by New York’s bass music flagbearers. Ever since the release of her eponymous EP in 2016, Krithi has had a steady output of music drawing directly from the dancefloor. “Whenever I hit a creativity wall, I go to a club, soak in the music that the DJs are spinning, and observe which rhythms and tunes get the most attention and energy from folks on the dancefloor,” she says.

Born in India’s Chennai, Krithi now works as a music tech educator and producer, and currently has her ears tuned to future-thinking dubstep that sounds just as distinct through a home stereo as a bassy club soundsystem. Her recent record, titled ‘Coping Mechanisms’, explores the ways she navigates depression, with each track a percussive deep-dive through bass and 140. This year, as she turns more heads, Krithi wants to work on DJing: “It’s still a new skill for me,” she says. “I’ll take any opportunity to work on it”.

Recommended work: Krithi 'Resonate'

"'Resonate', a track off my EP 'Uyirudan', probably represents me best as an artist. It's mostly South Asian percussive instruments that are tuned differently, chopped and sampled in different time signatures, and layered to speak with each other. I think I wanted to call it 'Talking Drums' while working on it, but 'Resonate' resonated with me a lot more (see what I did there?!)."


In a world full of electropop, it’s hard to find an act as distinctive as PPJ. Right now, the Brazilian-French trio are emerging like butterflies from a cocoon, eating up influence from the vibrancy of vocalist Páula's home city Rio de Janeiro. Baile funk, neoperreo and electropop all meet somewhere in the middle, inspired by carnival, Brazilian music, and “living in the moment”.

Made up of rontwoman Páula and producers Povoa and Jerge, the Paris-based PPJ is a project that crosses multilingual barriers. Singing in Portuguese, French, and English, Páula brings a high-NRG twist to the group’s live performances. “I’m permanently inspired by something: a little flute in a song, a live band show, the blues, missing someone, a love story, my friends, a carnival, a roda de samba in Rio, the Ceara,” she explains.

Following the release of their most recent EP, ‘Bloco Vol 2’, an eclectic and daring five-tracker, the trio have big plans for the year ahead: a live show at Paris’ Rex Club, writing sessions in Barcelona, and the release of new music. Watch this space.

Recommended work: PPJ 'Neném'

"It's hard to summarise PPJ in one track because each song is a new experience for us. But I think back to 2021's 'Neném'," says the trio's Jerge. "It gathers energy without HD sound, danceability without club sounds, and a varied soundboard while the bass and main riff remain the same. In my opinion, Paulá sings with different moods throughout the track, sometimes funny, mischievous, or emotional. Every instrumental track comes from one small and cheap synthesiser. All this means to me is that we can do a lot with very few elements, and I find it interesting to associate it with a philosophy of life."

Small Crab

With a discography of brain-rattling tracks, Dublin’s Small Crab is finding her footing in the experimental techno scene - and gaining plenty of recognition in the meantime. Percussive blends and drum-forward productions are rooted in her background as a drummer and have led her onto stages with the likes of Cameo Blush and Or:la in recent months, with forthcoming sets alongside the Zenker Brothers and Jay Carder still to come. “I'm naturally drawn to exploring a variety of textures in drum sounds and rhythms, making it a central focus in my creative journey,” she explains.

As a founding member of Skin & Blister, a platform for female, trans and non-binary artists, Small Crab is promoting community-building in her homeland of Dublin. This year she's leaning right into her experimental sound with new productions. “I’m taking my time to craft tracks with more depth and meaning beyond just being 'tunes for the club',” she says. “I aspire to evolve as a producer and infuse greater substance into my upcoming productions.”

Recommended work: Small Crab & Elpac 'Lacuna 002'

"This is my most recent release, 'Lacuna 002', on the Dublin-based record label Lacuna. It's a split EP featuring tracks in collaboration with Elpac, a Bristol-based producer who I greatly admire and currently consider one of my favourites. These two tracks effectively encapsulate the sonic direction I'm currently exploring and heading toward."

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

Next Page
Newsletter 2

Mixmag will use the information you provide to send you the Mixmag newsletter using Mailchimp as our marketing platform. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us. By clicking sign me up you agree that we may process your information in accordance with our privacy policy. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.