Traxsource Top 100 Nu Disco / Indie Dance Artists of 2017

The Nu Disco sound isn’t really new, it just has a new name. One thing we can be sure of is that Disco didn’t suck, it totally ruled, and then it took over the world. Disco is the beating heart of house music, the roots of all the house we listen to today. It’s the sound of organic instrumentation, Rhodes keys, funky guitars, precision percussion and sweeping strings, but most of all, it’s the sound of losing yourself in the groove on the dancefloor.

What differentiates this genre from its late 70s/early 80s ancestor is the introduction of elements not so frequently found on the dancefloor. The Indie Dance scene introduced a host of genre-bending producers, whose work draws not only on traditional staples such as House and Disco, but on Indie, Pop, Balearic, Lounge and even Yacht Rock. With their typically laidback yet danceable tempos, and emphasis on feelgood grooves, the Nu Disco and Indie Dance genres have gradually converged and cross-pollinated, to a point where it’s hard – or perhaps even unnecessary – to attempt to draw a line between the two.

With DJs like Harvey, Horse Meat Disco and Aeroplane flying the flag for everything Nu Disco / Indie Dance, 2017 was a superb year for the scene, with track after track of irresistible musical delights, making it impossible for people to leave dance floors worldwide. Packed full of some of the finest productions of the year, here are the Traxsource Top Nu Disco / Indie Dance Artists of 2017.

100: P-SOL
99: DJ S
98: Pontchartrain
97: Shit Hot Soundsystem
96: Jacques Renault
95: Joutro Mundo
94: SIRS
93: Body Music
92: Dj Vas
91: The Possé
90: Deelicious
89: Man Go Funk
88: Jorge Montiel & Juan Laya
87: Alexz
86: Misiu
85: Le Babar
84: The Revenge
83: Hifi Sean
82: Margherita Cecchi
81: George Kelly
80: Nebraska
79: Severino
78: Hotmood
77: Michael The Lion
76: Jarred Gallo
75: Will The Funkboss
74: Giman
73: Werkshy
72: Ivan Jack
71: J&M Brothers
70: The Reflex
69: Mark Lower
68: Birdee
67: Life on Planets
66: Dirtytwo
65: Dave Leatherman
64: Fatnotronic
63: Dicky Trisco
62: Used Disco
61: Loz Goddard
60: Cody Currie
59: Slync
58: James Curd
57: Rayko
56: Ed Wizard & Disco Double Dee
55: Vhyce
54: Soul Clap
53: Horse Meat Disco
52: Harvey Sutherland
51: Aroop Roy
50: Faze Action
49: Yam Who?
48: Todd Terje
47: Snacks
45: Kiu D
44: Discotron
43: Boris Dlugosch
42: Satin Jackets
41: Tensnake
40: The Shapeshifters
38: Seamus Haji
37: Funkatron
36: Gerd Janson
35: Freiboitar
34: Micky More & Andy Tee
33: HP Vince
32: Luke Solomon
31: Opolopo
30: Babert
29: Sharam Jey
28: Cassara
27: Eli Escobar
26: Lovebirds
25: Art Of Tones
24: Tiger & Woods
23: Lorenz Rhode
22: Ziggy Phunk
21: Fouk

20: Dimitri From Paris

French disco evangelist Dimitri From Paris spent summer 2017 headlining the Glitterbox parties in Ibiza, where he could road test his numerous productions and re-edits in the glitzy surroundings of Hï. The suave Parisian released another succession of great sounding disco records this year, unashamedly paying tribute to the original disco sound, featuring lush instrumentation, layers of Latin percussion, sweeping strings and Philly-esque breakdowns. His dancefloor tear-jerker ‘One For Frankie’ with DJ Rocca was massive and we also enjoyed his Salsoul-esque ‘Ero Disco Theme’, both of them released on Gomma. The Glitterbox connection continued with his expert re-touch of Aeroplane’s huge ‘Love On Hold’, released on the club night’s eponymous label.

19: Kenny Summit

Kenny is boss of the ever-reliable Good For You Records, a label that has released music from luminaries like Frankie Knuckles, Eric Kupper and Eddie Amador. Amongst a year of great tracks from Kenny, his mixes of (his own alias) Chaka Kenn’s ‘The 9th Month & Mom Boobs EP’ on Good For You were huge, a pair of tracks as good as they were different; one a big-room, tech house stalker, the other a low paced, loose funky groove, demonstrating the ease with which Kenny can move between different genres and style. He also kept up the pressure with a string of successful releases on Nervous, Nite Grooves, Robsoul and Soul Heaven.

18: Samma Lone

Plenty of Samma Lone’s tunes graced the higher end of our chart this year, with most of them on his own brilliant Uptown Boogie imprint. Specialising in reworking and overhauling older grooves for contemporary dancefloors, he delivered a pair of massive party-destroyers in the shape of his ‘Good To Me’ and ‘Shake Time’, both dropping on Uptown Boogie.

17: Coeo

Following last years smash remix of ‘Light Star’ on Razor-N-Tape, German producers COEO unleashed a couple of really strong EPs on Toy Tonics. In January they dropped the strong four-tracker ’Mydonna’, and followed it up in October with the ‘Flesh World’ EP, three shimmering gems of disco house, that instantly picked up serious DJ traction.

16: JKriv

JKriv, the co-label boss of the superb Razor-N-Tape label, is another producer who you can trust to do a proper job of re-tooling a classic. The extremely catchy ‘The Queen on Her Throne’ was a big release for JKriv, a storming eight-minute bomb of a rework, and the ‘Eleanora’ EP, in collaboration with Free Magic, took some unlikely source material and turned it into three of the most original re-works of the year. JKriv also runs Deep & Disco, which put out two superb volumes of their finest releases from the last five years, Deep Cuts and Disco Trax.

15: Purple Disco Machine

This was another very successful year for Purple Disco Machine, (German DJ/producer Tino Piontek) who spent much of 2017 touring with Jamiroquai. Luckily, the prolific PDM found time to top the Traxsource charts with the infectious vocal hook of ‘Body Funk’. He also put out his full-length album ‘Soulmatic’ featuring thirteen tracks showcasing his production chops across several styles and featuring collaborations with artists like Kool Keith, Faithless, Hannah Williams and Boris Dlugosch.

14: Crazy P

Easily one of the UK’s best dance music live acts, Crazy P were all over the Traxsource charts this year, with big tunes out on Classic Music Company, Wolf + Lamb Records and Toolroom. Lush, pristine productions like their four-track ‘Truelight EP’ on Classic and their classy, brooding rework of Greg Paulus’ ‘Nightime’ were the order of the day in 2017 for Crazy P, as well as releasing excellent music on Yoruba, Fred Everything’s Lazy Days and BBE too. Crazy P are one of those acts who continually define this scene, whilst pushing and developing the sound too, and 2017 was a great year for them.

13: Ron Basejam

Aside from being a member of uber-disco-ists Crazy P, Ron Basejam is also a superb producer in this own right, with a distinctive, high-quality sound, characterised by the warmth of disco married to serious club grooves. Ron dropped EPs on Classic Music Company and Midnight Riot, and his ‘Sound of a Feeling’ EP on Jimpster’s Delusions of Grandeur label, with a superb T Mango mix, was one of the strongest Nu Disco releases of the year. His slo-mo acid interpretation of Crazy P’s ‘One True Light’ went down a storm this year too.

12: Casual Connection

Casual Connection, real name Lukasz Ru-Kasu is a DJ and re-edit culture aficionado, who achieved several Traxsource chart-topping hits this year, characterised by laid-back tempos, meticulous re-editing and quality additional production. He also runs the M2MR label which had a great 2017, releasing cut after cut of sparkling contemporary disco/boogie. A 2017 high point for Lukasz has to be the massive release ‘High Tension (Bless The Funk)’, a team effort with Traxsource Nu Disco artist of the year Dr. Packer which also featured original members of Brit Jazz-Funk outfit High Tension.

11: Stephane Deschezeaux

Springbok Records label boss Stephane Deschezeaux makes it into our Top Twenty having scored several chart-topping releases in the last 12 months. Whether it was serving up a succession of disco/funk flavoured cuts on Springbok, like the sublime vocal tracks ‘Destiny’ and ‘C’Yeah’ or dropping big club tunes on CR2 and Good Stuff, he couldn’t put a foot wrong this year. Stephane Deschezeaux’s pristine disco re-works and originals are definitely leading the way in the Nu Disco / Funk scene.

10: Aeroplane

Obviously, 2017 was a big year for Italian / Belgian producer Aeroplane, with his huge ‘Love On Hold’, featuring the vocals of Tawatha Agee, the legendary vocalist from Mtume, breaking out all over. ‘Love On Hold’ easily bagged the title of #1 Traxsource Nu Disco Track of 2017 and picked up DJ compliments from Joey Negro, Dr Packer and Opolopo and many others. The track, and the Dimitri from Paris remix it came packaged with, really catapulted Glitterbox Recordings to the top of the Nu Disco tree.

9: Folamour

2017 was definitely the breakout year for disco/house-hybrid specialist Folamour who had a huge release on Glitterbox with ‘The Power and Blessings of Unity’ EP featuring three superbly produced, string-laden disco epics. He also served up a full-length album for Classic Music Company, a meticulously crafted set of disco-flavoured tunes and Balearic grooves, as well as releases on Room for Bloom, TRONIC SESSION, Delicieuse and his Moonrise Hill Material label. We’re expecting good things in the years to come from Folamour.

8: Pete Herbert

Pete Herbert had a busy 12 months, remixing some superb tracks on Gomma, Nang and File Under Disco, with his re-rub of Mark Lowry’s ‘On and On’ via Dutchie Music being a particular standout. 2017 also saw Pete team up with Martin Denev to produce the superb ‘Made In The Shade’ album, featuring eight tracks of sun-drenched grooves, as well as finding time to launch his brand new label ‘Music For Swimming Pools’. Fittingly, the first release was a beautiful six tracker of Balearic delights from Reverso 68 (Pete and production partner Phil Mison).

7: Moullinex

Portuguese producer Luis Clara Gomes, better known as Moullinex, heads up the Discotexas label and 2017 saw the release of his full length thirteen track album ‘Hypersex’. The album is a feast of dancefloor flavours, from 4/4 glitter-ball stompers, through laid-back yacht grooves to Minneapolis funk. Among a prolific year, Luis also dropped a quality piano and synth dancefloor destroyer ‘Open House’, also on Discotexas, back in February.

6: Moon Rocket

Producer and musician Moon Rocket, Raffa Scoccia to his friends, had a great year in 2017. His own label Doomusic unleashed a steady flow of top-notch disco breaks from the man himself and he teamed up with the Re-Tide crew for several visits to the top of the Traxsource charts. His top-drawer collaboration with Re-Tide ‘Thousand Finger Man’ feat. Libby Baeeloo was massive as was his ‘Inner City Blues’ collab with Angelo Ferreri. Seriously funky.

5: Kraak & Smaak

Dutch trio Kraak & Smaak are a DJ/production/live outfit, specialising in funk-filled disco-esque productions destined to provide the perfect disco night’s soundtrack. We were particularly taken with their ‘Juicy Fruit Remixed’ album on Jalapeno, a killer 18-track affair which featured reinterpretations from producers like Eli Escobar, Snacks, Fouk, and Richard Dorfmeister, whilst their synth-drenched track ‘Hendo’ on Exploited sounded as good by the pool as in the club.

4: Hot Toddy

Crazy P member Chris Todd continued to put out plenty of disco-tinged tracks and remixes this year under his Hot Toddy alter-ego, including remixing some of the biggest records of the year. He put a Bohannon-meets-Moroder spin on Joey Negro’s ‘Stomp Your Feet’, turned in a sparkling synth-laden deep mix of Crazy P’s ‘In My Hands’ for Classic Music Company, and a frankly brilliant three tracker for House Of Disco in November. Quality.

3: Re-Tide

2017 was another great year for Italian trio Re-Tide, who hit big with more of their signature disco-fied productions. Huge for them this year was their anthem ‘Changes’ with Woody Bianchi on their own Cut Rec Promos label. Re-Tide hit the Nu Disco / Indie Dance top spot several times in 2017 and ‘Thousand Finger Man’ (with Moon Rocket feat. Libby Baeeloo), and ‘Track Two’ from Paradise Garage, again both from Cut Rec Promo – two standout tracks in what was a remarkable year of Re-Tide releases – flew out of the store on release.

2: Joey Negro

Perhaps the ultimate Disco Don, Joey Negro has been putting out high-quality disco-tinged gems since the early days of the house scene. The artist known to his friends as Dave Lee, dropped his sensational ‘Produced With Love’ album project, a feast of mid-tempo steppers and serious disco dancefloor bombs, featuring the vocal talents of Linda Clifford and Diane Charlemagne. Joey also put out a heap of big releases on his Z Records imprint including the string-laden ‘You Know How To Love Me’ featuring Phyllis Hyman, and the massive ‘Meat Me Down The Disco’ compilation, put together by Horse Meat Disco.

1: Dr Packer

At the number one spot in the Traxsource Top Nu Disco / Indie Dance Artists chart for 2017, we have the Australian DJ/Producer Dr Packer. In what was a superb year, Greg Packer turned out a series of original tracks and edits that simultaneously defined the Nu Disco sound and showed fledgling producers how to update the disco template. Quality is the watchword here, as demonstrated by his expert re-edit of Brooklyn Express, ‘Change Position’, which took a stone-cold disco classic and expertly updated it for contemporary dancefloors. Equally, his recut of the Shapeshifter’s ‘Lola’s Theme’ on Glitterbox and his uber-funky re-touch of ‘Running Away’ from Belezamusica on Seamus Haji’s Soul Love label, all demonstrate supreme confidence behind the mixing desk and an ear for what makes dancers move.

This year, Greg put out tunes on Glitterbox, Joey Negro’s Z Records imprint, Masterworks Music, Hotbox Boogie and File Under Disco, continually delivering delicious disco goods targeted directly at the dance floor. His track record this year shows a genuine sensitivity in his approach to updating older tunes, together with his commitment to putting out top quality, no-sell-out dance music. We’re delighted to have Dr Packer at the top of our Nu Disco / Indie Dance tree!

Releases on Traxsource.