“Long dramatic intros, melodic transitions, mashups and edits, and a rollercoaster of emotions.”
Best known for:
“Complex sound design, dreamy melodies, sample packs and YouTube tutorials.”
Tune of the year:
“Eliminate ‘Walk Away’.”

From: Germany

Rising star DJ/producer of 2021: “Leotrix.”

German DJ and producer Virtual Riot describes his sound as “dreamy wubwub music”, which goes some way to evoking the spacious atmospheres and spiky basslines that populate his dancefloor tracks. Moving between main room dubstep, EDM and electro-house, his profile has risen steadily in the last 10 years, with releases on Monstercat and Disciple. His ‘Chemistry’ EP hit the No.20 position on the Billboard dance chart in 2018, while his tune ‘Energy Drink’ has been streamed nearly 11 million times on Spotify.

Now a fixture of the US club circuit, in September, he released his second album, ‘Simulation’. In 2021, he’s been trying out some novel studio techniques, and fresh ways of presenting his music in the live sphere.

“I’ve been collecting some new gear and experimenting with some weird software to find new ways to create sounds,” he says. “I’m also planning to do shows in virtual reality and create some new content for my YouTube channel, maybe new tutorials. I’ve also been learning how to use Cinema4D, and have been making my own visuals for my live shows.”

How was your first gig back after lockdown?

“My first big show back was Hard Summer, and it was absolutely amazing. It felt good to get out of the house and see actual people again.”
How have the last 18 months changed how you view your work/life balance?

“The quarantine has given me a new outlook on life and many new ideas for where to take my music, and what to do next with the Virtual Riot project.”
What further steps should the industry take to combat climate change?

“For the music industry and live events, the best way to ensure a healthy earth would be to make sure to use only renewable energy to power stages, use electric cars and carts at festivals for transportation, and provide animal cruelty-free catering, with a minimal ecological footprint.”

What’s the best bit of tech you’ve added to your studio or DJ setup this year?

“A pair of Barefoot Minimain12s. They sound amazing, and give me both the clarity of studio monitors and the loudness of a club.”

What’s the best album you’ve heard this year?

“I gotta say ‘Nurture’ by Porter Robinson. His performance of it at the Secret Sky livestream and festival was absolutely beautiful.”