Benzel is a transatlantic team-up between Two Inch Punch and NYC super producer Benny Blanco. The pair met through a mutual friend and a creative partnership quickly followed thanks to their shared love for hip hop, soul and pop. Their first release was a deconstructed gospel cover of Brownstone’s 'If You Love Me' featuring a big Jessie Ware vocal. Having executive produced Jessie’s second LP Tough Love, they’re continuing to build their own artist project, which is a melting pot of the genres and styles they love, featuring artist collaborations from both sides of the Atlantic.
Before they hit their twenties, Guy and Howard were making house music that had the scene’s pioneers tipping their hats. We first reached out to the guys for a remix of Jessie Ware's Running - they casually turned out a track that had us all buzzing with excitement and a record deal quickly followed. Disclosure’s debut album Settle went on to sell over 1.5 million copies worldwide, crossing the divide between underground and pop with tracks like Latch, You & Me and White Noise. Guy and Howard’s influence on dance culture has been hugely significant, and their sound is proving to be seminal in its own right.
Dornik came into our lives by way of Jessie Ware. As the drummer in her band, he asked us to have a listen to some of his own music, and pretty much floored us with a couple of demos. His music weaves elements of RnB, shimmering 80s funk and oddball jazz funk, to create a sound that is rather special, and commands attention.
Confounding all expectations, Drones Club are one of the least predictable acts around right now. Musically, they make hard politicised beats, leaning on techno, industrial and pop. It all began with a collective philosophy that people have become automatons but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Sometimes there are the three core members, at other times they expand to a group of six. Their provocative nature has seen them likened to The KLF and Devo, and championed by Zane Lowe, Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens. They surprised London Fashion Week in their onstage get-up of balaclavas and boiler suits, have crashed Tory conferences and performed guerrilla gigs to the wonderment of London commuters. Their 'Rasa' EP transcends genre, featuring funky vocals, disco, and house beats. Not a group to second guess.
You can't miss GIRLI. Pink-haired, loud, and unapologetic in her point of view, she's instantaneously captivating and the opposite of style over substance. Her music is erratic, humorous, refreshing and necessary, and has already been tipped by Charli XCX. The likes of single 'Girl I Met On The Internet' and 'Girls Get Angry Too' will give most other MCs a run for their money, a snapshot of what it's like growing up in London as a young teenage woman, and former young MP for Camden. The latter is as sharp-shooting as anything Mike Skinner wrote on 'Original Pirate Material', except with a feminist, proto-punk agenda. “I'm gonna tell you something you don't wanna hear,” she spits. Except you will wanna hear it, over and over again.
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Jessie Ware was one of our first signings. She walked into the PMR office with just a few songs, but she had a voice and presence that intrigued us. Her debut album wasn’t made for charts or radio; it evolved naturally out of her closeness with producers Dave Okumu of The Invisible and our own Julio Bashmore. Devotion’s mix of vocal sophistication and disarming honesty resonated with critics and fans around the world, landing both Mercury and Brit Award nods. New album Tough Love is another confident step forward for the south Londoner.
Twenty-two-year-old DJ, producer, writer and multi-instrumentalist, Lewis first cut his teeth behind the decks in Liverpool with a residency at Chibuku. A student in sound engineering, he signed to us with a demo of Warm which would later become the most Shazam'd track of the year in the USA (10 million streams and counting) and be the start of a very exciting journey for this artist. A few releases later, his sound has secured fans in Lorde, Pharrell and Disclosure. Disclosure invited him to play Ibiza with them and remix their single, Pharrell described him as a “white boy with soul”, and Lorde told the world he was a talent. Sam Lewis recently collaborated with Pharrell's associate Chad Hugo on 'Meant To Be' too, a title that doubles up, we think, as a statement for his bright future.
Two Inch Punch
Two Inch Punch’s first solo EPs skilfully blended vintage soul with electronics. They were the early calling card of a producer who’s always after those elusive three & a half minutes of perfection. Following a series of on-point productions for artists like Metronomy, Lianne La Havas, Rudimental and La Roux, he landed his first UK #1 with Sam Smith’s Money On My Mind. Reared on soul and hip-hop, he's found a kindred spirit in New York prodigy Benny Blanco, forming a classic transatlantic production partnership as BenZel.
Aficionados of '90s chart dance will immediately recognise the sample on Zac Samuel's 'Never Letting Go', a reference to 'Never Gonna Let You Go' by Tina Moore. Given a Balearic twist, it's a collaboration with producer Moon Willis, featuring the luscious vocals of upcoming pop star Taya. Hailing from Brighton, Zac has been producing his own bright and thumping house bangers, while also remixing the likes of Kiesza, Years & Years and Zara Larsson. His PMR entrance came with piano-stabbing single 'I'll Be Pushin' On' via our own Beat Club singles project. Zac's early accolades are amassing and include: peaking Pete Tong's interest, being streamed by millions worldwide, and smashing up major festivals including Reading & Leeds, Wireless and Bestival.