For one of the world’s quickest-rising DJs of the moment, Avalon Emerson has kept quite a low profile. She earned her musical chops while growing up in Arizona, playing in her friends’ bands and immersing herself in the natural beauty of the world around her. In her early twenties, she emerged as an aspiring San Francisco DJ at the turn of the ’10s while throwing free-form parties with her friends in the city and interning for XLR8R on the side, before delving into production, moving to Berlin, and discovering her crushingly beautiful melodic tendencies.
For three years, Avalon toiled before releasing her first single, “Pressure/Quoi!” via SF label Icee Hot, so when it came we already saw her bringing forth a fully-formed, sonorous techno sound that came with not one but two Tuff City Kids remixes to impart their prestige onto her debut. Her quick follow-ups launched the homegrown label Spring Theory and further cemented her influence on global dance floors, since her productions and wide-ranging sets were two different beasts, individually standing on their own merits.
But it was her first release in 2016, Whities 006, which saw Avalon Emerson’s renown within production and DJ circuits reach new levels. Its A-side, “The Frontier,” paired a blistering groove with sublime, soulful synthscapes, and its B-side crunched and rolled in all the right ways. The record took on a life of its own, pushing the success of nearly everyone involved. Nic Tasker’s Whities label has been ramping up lately, more than doubling the pace of its releases in the past year, and I’d wager much of that success was buoyed by the opportunities that Whities 006 created. Avalon, meanwhile, became a regular at Berlin’s esteemed Panorama Bar, not even a year after playing the venue for the very first time.
Now, she’s been jet-setting around the world for a near-continuous world tour for the past two years, crossing 100 shows per year in the most esoteric of territories. This week, she returns to Whities after a quick stint on Ghostly’s sister label Spectral Sound, and the impending Whities 013 looks fit to follow up her last release, Narcissus in Retrograde. On the A-side from 013, “One More Fluorescent Rush,” Avalon crafts rolling, spacey rhythms that bounce with each riff, and the B-side “Finally Some Common Ground” finds its sounds in a cycle, latching away from each other before finding cohesion again.
Meanwhile, Avalon continues her global travels, hitting Belgium, Ireland, Scotland, the UK, Spain, the Czech Republic, and France all in the next four weeks, sharing the friendly, lively soul she exudes through her curation and DJ sets. With DJ sets that extend far beyond the relaxed-but-incessant techno saunter of her productions, Avalon Emerson’s roll shows no signs of slowing down, and we are pleased to feature some choice cuts from her discography this week as part of our regular Artist Spotlight. Check them out below, and keep an eye out for Whities 013 out November 3rd.