Techno was created and developed far away from the mainstream. The underground sound got its deserved popularity in the past few years but there is a lot of movement in sound with sub-genres and a lot of talent you may not hear about.
We believe underground producers and labels deserve special recognition, so we will be dedicating our new feature series to this cause.
In Lee Ann Roberts’ hands, even the hardest techno can have subtlety and soul. The Amsterdam-based, South African-born artist has become a prominent force in the global techno scene thanks to her fierce determination and vibrant creative touch. She leads with her own NowNow label – a self-reliant platform which nods to the South African colloquialism meaning ‘soon’, a call to surrender to the moment and follow where the music takes you.
It’s a mantra she’s lived by as her career has sharply risen, debuting on Spanish label Suara with ‘Miyamoto’ and instantly scoring number two on Beatport’s Hard Techno chart. She’s simultaneously been growing NowNow with her own productions dropping alongside remixes from verified legends like D.A.V.E. The Drummer, Jay Clarke and Dense & Pika.
Roberts’ first break came via her own show on Cape Town’s Mutha FM before she travelled to LA and found a home at legendary Hollywood nightclub AVALON. From Secret Solstice in Iceland to Caprices Festival, BPM alongside Jeff Mills, DGTL and Verknipt in Amsterdam to countless other gigs across the world, Roberts has continually progressed, road-testing her tracks in the pressure-cooker situations she finds herself in every weekend.
The vitality in Roberts’ sound undoubtedly comes from her broad outlook, inspired as much by the revolutionary misfits of rock as the visionary pioneers of electronic music. Her attraction to unusual and distinctive qualities in the music she makes and plays all add up to one of the most exciting forces in contemporary techno – a commanding presence that demands your full attention.