December 1, 2021
In October, Gray Area launched OCHO, an eight-hour journey through the global sounds of modern house and techno. In partnership with Diplo's Revolution and Sirius XM, listeners expanded their sonic palates with a day of diverse music and fresh beats. On December 11, 2021, OCHO returns to the airwaves with a new lineup featuring Dennis Ferrer, Yulia Niko, Gioliì & Assia, Dennis Cruz, John Summit, Dombresky, Archie Hamilton, and Arielle Free.
The lineup of innovative and forward-thinking artists is another shining example of Gray Area's mission to unite the international house music community and draw lines between its rich sub-cultures and sub-genres.
New York-born house music legend Dennis Ferrer heads the lineup. Ferrer established his footprint in the 90s as part of the early New York techno and gospel house scene. The genre-defining producer has throughout the years continued to push the envelope with a wide-spanning output that includes hits like "Hey Hey," "Sinfonia Della Notte," and "Whisper" with Disciples and James Yuill.
Yulia Niko's worldly sound is likely a result of her travels. The Russian-born artist discovered dance music in Sochi, wrote her breakthrough music in Greece and New York, and finally settled in Berlin, where she became a resident of the iconic Watergate nightclub. Her Detroit-inspired deep minimal tech has received acclaim from Jamie Jones and Lee Foss and earned her releases on Get Physical, Crosstown Rebels, and Objektivity.
Multi-hyphenate's Gioli & Assia combine their deep-seated background in live instrumentation and traditional music for a lush, passionate melodic experience like no other. What started as a manager/ client relationship has grown into a creative partnership that has developed beyond their imagination. Assia's lilting vocals float over the top of scintillating sonics that exemplify the lengths to which techno can be pushed.
Dennis Cruz is a singular force in house and techno. By the time the Spanish DJ and producer was 17, he'd already been in the studio with hip hop artists and rock bands crafting hits. However, he found a home in dance music weaving together thumping basslines, Latin-tinged beats, and a wide array of musical influences. Named the Beatport Most Charted Artist of 2016, his music draws support from icons like Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Roger Sanchez, and Marco Carola.
John Summit has been on a two-year tear, dropping hit record after record and dominating the festival circuit. Incredibly, the Chicago-based DJ broke through amid the pandemic with "Deep End" on Defected—the longest-running Beatport #1 of 2020. He has since collaborated with everyone from Gorgon City to Sofi Tukker and has seen releases on the industry's most lauded labels.
Dombresky has established himself as a dynamic purveyor of classy, uplifting, vocal-driven house music. The French-born, LA-based artist has dominated the Spotify playlists and festival stages in 2020 with landmark performances at Lollapalooza and EDC Vegas. And future classic releases on Insomniac, Armada, and Toolroom.
In 2019 Archie Hamilton released his debut album Archive Fiction, a milestone and breakthrough moment for the producer who'd already spent years grinding and building his two record labels, Moscow Records and Moss Co., from the ground up. His rough and tumble basslines and floating synth work were the first signal that a new brand of European house music maestro was taking over the game.
BBC Radio 1 presenter, producer, and DJ Arielle Free has risen to be an influential tastemaker in dance music. Often referred to as Scotland's answer to Annie Mac, she's diligently spent years creating her own space in dance music. Aside from being the daytime ambassador for Radio 1's iconic dance programming, her career as a DJ exploded in 2020 with performances at Printworks, Parklife, Glastonbury, and Creamfields.