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Electronic music has exploded in popularity around the world in recent years, and Cuba is no different. The scene is centred around the capital of Havana and driven forward by the following seven DJs.
One of the pioneers of Cuban electronic music, Joyvan Guevara Diaz is now one of the biggest names in the business. From putting on parties at the Atelier club earlier in his career, Djoy is now known for his work in founding the Rotilla Festival and the electronic record label Analogica. As an elder statesman, the younger members of the scene look up to him.
Another one of the older members of the electronic scene, Wichy is known as an innovative producer. He has been playing sets throughout Cuba since 2001, and he has collaborated with Cuban jazz artists and singers, such as Danay Suarez. He is a true stalwart of the Havana scene and one that plays sets regularly.
He may have been raised in Santiago de Cuba, but Jigue is now based in Havana where he mixes Afro-Cuban drum patterns and hip-hop or reggae vocals to great effect. His music is an intriguing mixture of traditional Cuban rhythms and electronic elements that really get the crowd moving. DJ Jigue is also part of Guampara Productions, the first independent hip-hop production company on the island.
While Djoy, Wichy and to a lesser extent Jigue have been around the block, the Dvazz Brothers represent a younger generation of electronic artists in Cuba. Their techno sound will appeal to fans of the M_nus label or clubs such as the Berghain in Berlin. Check out their debut EP The Age of Techno to find out what all the fuss is about.
Since 2012, this female double act, made up of Paula and Zahira, have been working on tracks together. They met at the first DJ course for women in Cuba and soon started making music. Think tech house, techno and house but with heavy influences from African rhythms, both from Cuba and further afield.
Instead of producing original tracks, DJ Thellus focuses on remixes. Born Ramsés Cruz Quiñones, he is known for party remixes of classics such as Boney M and The Bee Gees. Many of his remixes draw on electro-swing, making them good party tunes for when you want to get people dancing. It might sound a bit cheesy, but everyone loves a well-made remix of a stone-cold classic.
Another big name, DJ Kike Wolf is credited as one of the driving forces behind the techno and acid scene in Cuba. He often plays at various venues around Havana as well as at festivals on the island, such as Primavera, Rotilla, and Proelectronica. Fans of driving techno will be into his music, and he is an inspiration to others such as the Dvazz Brothers.