Focus Five: Volume 69

If you’re looking for new artists, you’re in the right place. Focus Five is our monthly spotlight on five artists hand-selected by our editorial team. For the sixty-ninth edition, we’ve got some sexy techno, some serious UK vibes, boundary-pushing experimental bass,  a mix of 140, wave, and phonk, plus some entrancing ambient sounds. Whatever your mood, there’s at least one artist here that should meet your desires.


I think I’m in my techno era. Not just any techno, but the kind of sultry, sexy techno that makes you want to strip on the dancefloor. In the midst of all the YouTube and SoundCloud mixes I’ve been blasting at full volume for the last month, one artist has consistently stood out: DBBD. This Berlin-based aphrodisiac beat wizard is exactly the niche I didn’t know I needed to find. His collaborations with Miss Bashful have some of the most provocative lyrics I’ve heard in a minute; some of these tracks feature just absurdly raunchy lines, with bangers like “Everybody wanna fuck me, they heard I got that muschi muschi,” or “I get a lot of texts and they all want sex” (both of which are featured on their appropriately-titled Slut Bopz albums). DBBD’s latest solo album, Demon Hour, is itself a work of art. The tempo is fast, the production is clean, and the vocals are tantalizingly sexy. Next time you want to strut how hot you are, throw on some DBBD and let the beat do the work for you.
– BG


When looking for an artist for this month’s feature, I stumbled upon Harka, a North Yorkshire-based producer of footwork, jungle, deep dubstep, and everything in between. The name sounded familiar, so I did some digging, and turns out we premiered ‘Work Ya Body’ two years ago as part of Unchained Recordings’ Year of the Tiger collection. Funny how artists ebb and flow onto one’s radar.

Harka’s catalogue runs deep with tracks that embody the essence of British electronic music. While ‘Work Ya Body’ is a fast-paced cut tailored for the clubs, Harka actually reappeared on my radar thanks to Spotify’s auto-shuffle algorithm. When ‘Haste’ came on as I was mindlessly listening to whatever the algorithm had in store for me, I was taken aback. With a swagger reminiscent of Sorrow and an electric energy that is sustained throughout, this track got me back into the enthralling journey that is Harka’s discography. Every piece is unique, as the talented artist loves to explore various tones, tempos, and genres. A dive into his latest Dull Corner EP is all the evidence one needs to understand the versatility of this underrated artist.


Even though I’m not as involved in the experimental bass scene as I was years ago, from time to time I like to peek in and see which artists are trending and which are the hottest names around. Thanks to his new EP Home, released via SATURATE, Kunas was the new name that caught my attention this month. Described as “my way of creating music on my own terms” by Kunas himself, Home is the culmination of an artistic and personal journey of self-discovery that began when he moved to London in 2019. The story-driven nature of this EP is a key element that is instrumental in contextualizing Kunas’ stylistic and sonic choices. The tracks are perfectly designed, jewels of technical skill, but at the same time, they unfold unpredictably and epitomize a very human irrationality. Home is an EP that doesn’t express its full potential in casual listening (and without the right gear), but if you are used to the world of experimental bass and its philosophy, Kunas will certainly make you feel at home.
– A


I didn’t think I’d ever need a 140 flip of Sean Paul in my life… but after hearing skxllflower‘s “scorcha” I have to admit I was terribly mistaken. This may just be exactly what I have been missing in my life. Sean Paul’s infectious energy and reggae raps fit perfectly over the producer’s dark and dirty dub production creating this masterful mix of anthemic and filthy. It’s fresh, it’s fun, and it fucking slaps. What more could you want? If “scorcha”doesn’t do it for you, how does a wave/phonk bop on the Liquid Ritual sound? The euphoric ‘distance’ showcases another side of the artist’s sound while delivering masterfully. While a deeper dive into his discography shows everything from deep house to lofi, it’s the recent dub, phonk/wave, and UKG tracks that truly stand out. Just listen to ‘lean4real’ for further confirmation. We’re not the only ones taking notice, the NYC-based producer has recently been getting support from the dubstep legend Skream. When one of the scene’s pioneers and FUXWITHIT are both telling you to pay attention, you probably should.


The poetry and pure imagination behind zod’s creations are truly one to behold. His melodies combined with hard-hitting drums just take your breath away with every listen. Elevating your soul into the outer realm not yet discovered. For a while now, this artist has consistently delivered nothing but unique works. Through the wave and ambient fields of sound, his touch has completely star-struck listeners throughout. From a fun and everlasting breath of fresh air from his ‘descent,’ to a fast-paced anomaly of pure remedy throughout ‘remain,’ these are only a couple of examples to as why he’s one of the best in the game right now. With such a small following, he’s paving a wonderful path of glory and riches through his storytelling and breathtaking melodic structures. Always transporting you back in time while honoring what the future might hold.  So make sure to go check his work! Because you won’t regret what lies beyond. You’re in for quite the adventure!
– JD

Written by Alessio, Braden, Colin, John & Steph.