Traxsource Top 100 Deep House Artists of 2017

When it comes to timeless, emotive dance music, no other genre comes close to the irresistible style, musicality and groove of Deep House. This year’s Top 20 Deep House Artists of 2017 is a mix of well-known names and young guns, all of whom are pushing the music forward and developing it in new directions. When it comes to this particular genre, we’re talking emotive House music, that envelops you in a warm glow, that draws on the past but embraces the future, makes no compromise, and is always underpinned by that ever-present 4/4 groove. These are the artists whose music we feel most demonstrated those qualities this year – the Traxsource Top 100 Deep House Artists of 2017.

100: Q Narongwate
99: Pablo Bolivar
98: Tokita
97: Da Sunlounge
96: Steve Mc Cready
95: Phaze Dee
94: Boogie Rapture
93: Deepkeen
92: Michel de Hey
91: Deeplomatik
90: Memoryman (Aka Uovo)
89: Sebas Ramis
88: Roland Nights
87: Leigh Morgan
86: youANDme
85: The Revenge
84: Finest Wear
83: Animist
82: Ian Pooley
81: Karol XVII & MB Valence
80: Ivan Latyshev
79: Ben Sun
78: Tuff City Kids
77: Moodymanc
76: Iron Curtis
75: Felipe Gordon
74: Lay-Far
73: Project Pablo
72: Metropolitan Soul Museum
71: Demarkus Lewis
70: Baldo
69: Jazzuelle
68: Jakobin & Domino
67: Morgan Geist
66: Mr. V
65: Hurlee
64: Flabaire
63: Meggy
62: Peter Funk
61: Matt Prehn
60: Sebastian Davidson
59: Pezzner
58: Jullian Gomes
57: Demuja
56: Dirtytwo
55: Adam Port
54: Dusky
53: Leon Revol
52: Sue Avenue
51: Laurence Guy
50: Intr0beatz
49: Bas Roos
48: Fish Go Deep
47: Nacho Marco
46: DJ Simi
45: Stefano Ritteri
44: Soulphiction
43: Prunk
42: Guri
41: Nathan G
40: Andre Hommen
39: Lovebirds
38: Luke Solomon
37: Soledrifter
36: Eli Escobar
35: Session Victim
34: Nick Holder
33: Kapote
32: Karizma
31: Carlo
30: Rishi K.
29: Detroit Swindle
28: thatmanmonkz
27: Kerri Chandler
26: Brame & Hamo
25: Nachtbraker
24: Ouer
23: Coeo
22: James Benedict
21: Giom

20: DJ Aakmael

DJ Aakmael epitomises the rawer end of the Deep House production spectrum, his tracks made of old-school sounding synths and tough beats, that exists entirely separate from the wider world of dance music. This year, DJ Aakmael added to his discography with more Deep House tracks like ‘Take It Back’ on Scissor & Thread, a perfect example of his underground approach to interpreting Deep House. ‘Mood Capacity’ on Axe on Wax, ‘Dahlin’ on Monologues, and ‘Transit’ on Dimension also demonstrated his approach – essentially, like all the very best house music, these are tunes for dark basements at 3am.

19: Art Of Tones

Art Of Tones, aka Ludovic Llorca, is an always excellent producer with a unique, idiosyncratic sound. He had a good 2017 and his take on ‘In My House’ from Nickodemus, Lisa Shaw, Carol C & Bam (Wonderwheel Recordings) was superb, ending up in more than one tune of the year list. Then there was the dark jazz-funk of ‘Violition’, a collaboration with Nicolas Felices on Local Talk, and the crisp, clean groove of his ‘Queue De Cochon’ on Fred Everything’s Lazy Days imprint, both of which made an impact this year. Then, proving again his serious productions skills, and in contrast to pretty much everything else he released this year, Art Of Tones also produced the hooky, unique sounding ‘So Worried’ on Shadeleaf as well.

18: Till Von Sein

Till Von Sein is a talented producer, comfortable working across different shades of house who had some solid releases this year on Suol, Future Disco, Moulton Music and Carcao. The ‘Forever’ EP on Suol particularly caught our attention, featuring four tracks of melodic, forward-thinking deep/afro house, showcasing Till’s production chops. 2017 also saw Till Von Sein launching his own label Tilly Jam in November with a gorgeous sounding three tracker from the man himself.

17: Byron The Aquarius

Instrumentalist and producer Byron The Aquarius had a great 2017, with some really strong releases on labels like Eglo, Smile For A While, and Tartelet Records. He made a particularly big splash with ‘Leaving This Planet’ EP on Eglo, the lead track of which, ’Song For A Friend’ was a smoky, jazzy late-night affair that killed on the more discerning dancefloors this year. We really liked his reinterpretation of Monosoul’s ‘New Miami’ which dropped on Smile For A While, and if you’ve not heard his remix of Khalil Anthony’s ‘Needed You Bad’ then we strongly recommend that you check it out.

16: Chopstick & Johnjon

Chopstick & Johnjon are the masterminds behind Suol, an umbrella organization encompassing a label, artist management, booking agency, publishing, music production, mastering and events, all dedicated to promoting the Deep House sound. In April of this year, they dropped their ‘Last Night’ track as part of the Suol Summer Daze compilation, a moody, percussion-ridden deep journey through house. And at the beginning of December, they unleashed their anthem ‘What Is House Music’ featuring the vocals of the legendary CeCe Rogers. This year, Suol also released music from Till Von Sein, Tuff City Kids, Fred Everything, Atjazz, Black Loops and many more quality house artists.

15: Chris Stussy

Chris Stussy is an artist on the up who spent this year pretty much doing what he does best – putting out fat deep house grooves and party-friendly beats on a variety of quality labels. In January he treated us to his ‘Soul Patrol’ EP on a label that’s featured several times in this list, Large Music. It’s a strong three tracker with blissed-out title track leading the way. Then a collaboration with Bas Roos produced the funky ‘Ladies Night’ EP on the ever-reliable Robsoul imprint. Both the loose, low-slung title track and ‘Testing Me’ were serious dancefloor tackle. Prolific all year, Chris also dropped releases on Moulton Music, Nite Grooves, and PIV.

14: Crackazat

At number 14 we have talented UK multi-instrumentalist and electronic producer Crackazat, aka Ben Jacobs, who continued to supply us throughout 2017 with his jazzy, idiosyncratic productions. A super hot release on Local Talk in the shape of ‘Proton Blue’ might have been his musical highlight of the year, but if so, then the jazzy, skipping vibe of ‘Seven Steps’ on Eureka has to come a close second. He also delivered really strong remixes for Michel de Hey on Ovum Recordings and for Joey Negro for Z Records.

13: Homero Espinosa

Homero Espinosa ends 2017 on a high with a collaboration with Phaze Dee and Mikey V on the legendary New York House label Strictly Rhythm. Homero is one of the co-bosses of Moulton Music, who put out a series of deep gems with a West Coast vibe this year, including his a number of his own productions. His bass-driven dub of Powder Monkey’s ‘Holdin On’ on Doin Work was very tasty indeed, part of a superbly engineered three-track remix project released back in February. His re-rub of Till Von Sein’s sophisticated vocal track ‘Enjoy My Love’ on Moulton Music was really big for him this year too, and then there was November’s massive ‘Unconscious Therapy’ on Large Music, a driving, relentless deep house/disco hybrid in collaboration with fellow California residents Cris Herrera and Tokita.

12: Kevin Yost

Yet another year of quality music from Deep House legend Kevin Yost, a producer whose musical output never fails to impress. In a year of great tracks, his two releases on i! Records particularly stand out: his percussion-heavy ‘Return to the Deep’ (Beatkilla Rework Edit) with Peter Funk was massive, and his ‘Message of Peace’ was a taut, smart slice of deep house that got plays from DJs across the board. Kevin also released forward thinking quality productions and remixes on Leena and Berlin’s Mobilee Records, from tech house stalkers to melodic deep house, and all points in between.

11: Studioheist

2017 saw Manchester house soldiers Scott Lee and Andy Cain continue to put out plenty of party-focused, heavy-duty music on labels like Large Music, Nite Grooves, Moulton Music and Grand Plans. We loved the simple house groove of ‘Keeps You Going’ and their Large Music collaboration with Andre Espeut and, judging by the Deep House charts, we clearly weren’t alone in this. The pair also released another two-tracker on Large Music in the shape of their acid-tinged ’You’ which was an instant hit on its release. Studioheist also turned in a sterling re-work of Tom Ellis’ ‘For Five’ for the Nitegrooves Remixed EP, in a year in which they really consolidated their industry reputation.

10: Saison

Saison are Londoners Matthew Bandy and Leigh Darlow, who offered up a series of consistently fine deep house this year. Their ‘Come Together’ and ‘Downside’, both on the dependable Papa label, were particular standout tracks that showcased their grasp of what works on the dance floor perfectly. Aside from originals, their key-laden remix of Ivan Latyshev’s ‘I Wanna Dance’ on Large Music was a really big tune for Saison this year, as were their chunky floor fillers ‘Breath Life’ and ‘Something Made Me’ from ‘The Bias’ EP, released on their own No Fuss Records.

9: Fred Everything

Longtime house music hero, and last year’s Deep House Artist of the year, Fred Everything can always be relied on to deliver sophisticated dancefloor delights, and 2017 was no different. Fred’s re-rub of Jullian Gomes’ ‘1000 Memories’ featuring Slo (Atjazz Record Company) was simply sublime. Fred of course also runs the Lazy Days imprint, which has grown into one of the best House labels around, and in 2017 they released tune after tune of shimmering Deep House goodness. Fred’s re-do of Art Of Tones’ ‘Koniokola’ and his collab EP with Hollis P Monroe, ‘Colors of Dawn’ were both examples of his particular musical approach, all cleverly interlocking beats, samples and pristinely programmed synths, cooked to perfection. Quality.

8: Scott Diaz

UK house producer Scott Diaz dropped a series of top-notch dancefloor killers this year. His remix of Vanilla Ace’s ‘Get It On’ was soulful and funky in equal measure, and check out his remix of ‘Set Me Free’ by Round Shaped Triangles to hear a confident producer at the top of his game. He also continued to successfully run his own Grand Plans label which dropped the heavy-soul groove of Scott’s own ‘Mistreated’ in April this year. Scott released his music on the likes of Sub Urban and Blockhead Recordings in 2017 too, and you’ll see his name in the Jackin’ charts and the House charts as well, as everything the man touches apparently turns to gold. Buy on sight.

7: Lorenz Rhode

We were loving the work of producer and musician Lorenz Rhode in 2017, who puts together his particular blend of influences to produce a fiercely funky concoction that always works on the dancefloor. Check his Dirt Crew releases ‘On Top’ or ‘As I Said’ – both of which flew out of the store this year – as examples of his musicality and clear understanding of dancefloor dynamics. His re-rub of Lukas Lehmann’s ‘Q & H’ on Footjob also picked up some serious club play throughout 2017.

6: Rocco

It was a good 2017 for French Producer and DJ Rocco (Freerange, Defected, MN2S, Real Tone) who put out plenty of fresh sounding Deep House releases this year. He also launched his own label Memories, and the first release was his own old-school flavored take on Deep House, the gospel and breaks of ‘Someday’, which went straight to the Traxsource overall #1 spot. Rocco’s stripped down futuristic track ‘Only Drums’ on Atjazz record Company showed that sometimes, less is more, whilst the deep atmospherics of ‘Be Quiet’ on Tinnit Music also proved a winner. Another standout was Rocco’s sophisticated four-tracker ‘L Gee’s Stories’ which dropped on Art Feast Records and went down well with Traxsource’s Deep House fans.

5: Jimpster

Long regarded as one of the best DJ/producers in his field, Freerange and Delusions of Grandeur label boss Jimpster had another outstanding year in 2017, making a big contribution to the scene. Amongst a wealth of releases this year, he delivered the highly original ‘Step By Step’ on suol – a firing percussion and brass fest – and his minimal remix of Adam Port and Stereo MCs on his own Freerange was another strong performer. The label kept up an enviable release schedule of engaging house music that included the single ‘Crave’ in April, featuring the vocals of Florence Rawlings. This preceded the release of Jimpster’s full-length album ‘Silent Stars’, a gorgeous collection which clearly demonstrates why he’s considered such a deep house legend.

4: Atjazz

The famously meticulous productions of UK producer extraordinaire Martin Atjazz are well known in the house world. In 2017, Atjazz chose to release a series of nameless straight up house tracks, identified only by a number, and he’s currently he’s up to number 8. All were executed in his trademark perfectionist style, and Tracks 1 and 5 were particularly popular in what has proven to be a beguiling series of productions. This year, Martin also kept up the production pressure elsewhere and a special mention has to go to the jazz-flavored jack of the Atjazz Floor Dub of Karizma’s ‘The Power’ too.

3: Miguel Migs

House music stalwart Miguel Migs has been a firm favorite amongst Traxsource users since our earliest days. He started his Salted Music label in 2004, and he’s steadily built up a back catalogue of music that remains relevant and fresh with the passing of time. With Miguel it’s always about quality over quantity, no sound-alikes or bandwagon jumping here, just really good house music. Highlights this year included Miguel’s own ‘Broken Barriers’, another example of that pristine funky sound he’s perfected, whilst his vocal track with Coco Bonne ‘Misunderstood’ took Miguel’s sound to classy, soulful heights.

2: Sebb Junior

Another great year for Sebb Junior, a producer who has been making waves in the scene for the last few years, with his soul-infused cut and paste sample tracks. In what must have been a pretty hectic 12 months for the French producer, he managed to release enough good music to get an astonishing 9 tracks placed in the Deep House Top 200 of 2017. Out of the many chart placings, probably biggest for Sebb was his bass-driven glittering ‘Getcha Luv’ which dropped on Large Music and picked up serious sales and DJ play. ‘Keep The Bass’ on Miguel Migs’ Salted Music was a slow-burning, precision-built groove that was also massive for him this year, and a mention has to go to his ‘Everything’s Alright’ on Papa Records which did serious damage too. If that wasn’t enough, Papa Records also released Sebb’s full-length album this year. ‘Rewind’ dropped in November and featured eleven of his trademark sample-science high-quality grooves.

1: Black Loops

At the #1 spot this year is Black Loops, the Italian DJ, producer and drummer Riccardo Paffetti. Black Loops started out as a duo, whose first venture in house music was their infamous MILK parties in Tuscany, Italy, but since relocating to Berlin and going solo, Paffetti has built himself a solid reputation as one of House music’s most creative and progressive producers.

Black Loops had a superb year, and ended up with no less than six tracks in our Deep House Top 200, a testament to both his work rate and the quality of his productions. Here at Traxsource, we’ve been big supporters of the project since the beginning, so we were delighted to see Black Loops really fulfill that early potential this year, and we’ve been continually impressed by a series of high-quality productions and remixes that showed real originality within the Deep House sound.

The effortless, synth-flecked remix of ‘Won’t Let Go’ from Joey Negro & Linda Clifford was massive, picking up DJ support from all over: Farina, Low Steppa, Todd Terry, J Paul Getto and more. He sustained this level of quality throughout the entire year, and April saw the release of one of the EPs of the year, ‘4 The Lovers’ on Pets Recordings, three sublime tech-flavoured deep house tracks.

There was more disco-tinged deepness on a Black Loops collaboration with Colombian DJ/producer Felipe Gordon on Toy Tonics with ‘Mia Negrita’, a seriously beautiful piece of music, which showcased the development of his production capabilities. Black Loops also released music on Moda Black and Suol and in December he dropped the sublime ‘Higher’ on Neovinyl, a track which is all shuffling beats and smooth pads, a unique reinterpretation and a fittingly classy end to a year of red-hot releases.

We think that Black Loops’ star is really in the ascendant; he’s delivered tune after tune of effortlessly classy Deep House this year and the quality of his music has been reflected in download figures and DJ support. He has shown that he can turn out Deep House with real soul and emotion that can also make dancefloors bump, and he’s shown they can do it again and again – that’s why he’s at this year’s #1.

Releases on Traxsource.