Back in the good old days of vinyl, it seemed like every DJ with a love of four-four beats was toting a Nervous Records bag around New York City. That little sweating cartoon guy logo was ubiquitous in the late '90s and early '00s, but the label refuses to stay mired in the past and remains one of the biggest brands in dance music. Still, there's something a little old-school about the Nervous vibe. The label's releases are up on the latest technology yet hark back to a day when clubbing in Manhattan was actually about dancing. Nervous tracks remain full of big diva vocals, relentlessly thumping beats free of extraneous synths, and a hip-hop attitude and swing.
Two of its biggest stars, Oscar G and King Britt, are all over Conference this year. Oscar G, a favorite of the Miami downtown after-hours set, infuses a Latin vibe into his slightly prog- and tech-tinged sound. He continues to play in support of his 2009 artist album on Nervous, Deja. King Britt, meanwhile, is a lifelong shape-shifter, evolving from hip-hop into house into almost IDM turf. His recent release for Nervous, Intricate Beauty, is reportedly the last "conventional dance" record he will ever make, so make sure to catch his final hurrah with house during WMC.