Audien kicks off Escapism Tour at Chicago’s Concord Music Hall [Review/Photos]

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Audien kicks off Escapism Tour at Chicago’s Concord Music Hall [Review/Photos]Audien Julian1

Progressive house poster child, Audien‘s had this EDM game down pat for some 10 odd years now.

At just 27 years old, he’s among the most tried-and-true talent in the new wave of dance music’s ever-expanding rolodex. His most recent studio album released this year, Escapism, spanned the length of his technicolor production pedagogy. Within the LP, he by no means “reinvents the wheel” as he noted, but rather harnesses the progressive and dance pop prowess he’s been cultivating for a decade now, with some warranted experimentation to boot.

Audien’s Escapism Tour commenced at Concord Music Hall, a rather intimate venue known to invite a range of artistry in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. The Grammy-nominated DJ filled the space, which allowed for multi-platform lower-level and balcony vantage points of Audien’s aerial cityscape visuals—which felt fitting for the tour’s Windy City debut. Attendees got, unsurprisingly, a fair diversity of music, doused in nostalgia, with Audien’s own sprawling catalog filling the lion’s share of the track list.

Audien kicks off Escapism Tour at Chicago’s Concord Music Hall [Review/Photos]Audien Julian 1

What he may lack in stage presence he more than accounts for in song curation. Audien played to his eager, predominately early-20-something crowd with precision. He unfurled spirited selections accessible for any fan of popular music, like his future bass Halsey remix, “Colors,” and his collaborative venture, “Something Better” with country crossover trio, Lady Antebellum.

Mixed in with the chromatic dance pop landscapes of the set were, of course, progressive gems like Eric Prydz’s “Every Day,” and even some dubstep—as he’s known to sprinkle on his sets from time to time.

Audien kicks off Escapism Tour at Chicago’s Concord Music Hall [Review/Photos]Audien Noah Semeria 1

Audien’s tour will run through the end of this year, wrapping things up in in Vancouver on New Year’s Day. More information and tickets to the remaining stops are available here.

Photos by: Noah Semeria & Julian Romano

Saturday Night Session 031: Audien Presents Cookout Exclusive Mix and Talks Debut ‘Escapism’ LP

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Saturday Night Session 031: Audien Presents Cookout Exclusive Mix and Talks Debut ‘Escapism’ LP12651074 10153194318771673 7371433896995231521 N

It’s been a decade since Nathaniel Rathbun released his first single, and now fans are finally able to listen to the producer’s highly anticipated debut album. Rathbun, who is more popularly known as Audien, was the perfect embodiment of a feel good electronic music producer who could combine the best elements of pop and fuse them with the most energizing and euphoric parts of electronic music. Rathbun can create crossover releases that captivate listeners from the outset, and his music caught on at the perfect time as electronic music was becoming part of the mainstream.

While his work can largely be considered progressive house, Rathbun has versatile production abilities, and he has a flair for producing uplifting trance music in addition to his radio-friendly roster of crossover releases. All of these styles are captured within 11-track Escapism. Although it took him three years to finish the album, the time is reflected in the work he has put out, which can only be described as quality.

Highlights of the album are previously released single “Reach” featuring Jamie Hartman’s vocals. Hartman is a delicious deviation from Rathbun’s typical ethereal female vocalist, and the track imbues an iridescent strain of subtle, exceedingly accessible drum ‘n’ bass. “Escape” showcases Rathbun’s playful side with melodic trance notes framing a bouncy electronic progression. The drop is everything Audien fans look for in his live show, and the single can’t help but to induce a smile for the listener.

When asked how his creative process is different now compared to when he started creating music, Rathbun notes it is, “so much different. It’s more structured and serious, versus just having fun. That can be a good and bad thing, but the music I’m making now is far more substantial and has a musical story behind it. I still have just as much fun, it’s just less often.”

“Escape” seems to be a return to his original production inspirations, and he comments on how this is one of the singles from the compilation that is most personal to him. He says, “‘Escape,’ ‘Heaven,’ and ‘Reach’ have really crazy stories. They took a substantial amount of time to complete, but so worth it in the end. Those songs really embody the diversity and variety I wanted to have on the album. I try not to be so one-dimensional as a producer.”

Rathbun will be embarking upon an Escapism Tour to accompany to the full album’s release, and he has a refreshing take on what elements the tour will enlist in order to make it a worthy compliment to his newly released body of work. He says, “The Escapism tour is not a reinvention of the wheel, but more of a heightened and dialed in version of an Audien show, which simply put, is a ravey DJ show. I took all of my favorite things about a show and put it in one tour. I could have bought some drum pads or played piano on stage, but I decided to keep it true to me, which is that ultimate release of a traditional electronic show. That will NEVER go out of style.”

For those who want a taste of what they can expect from his show early, Rathbun crafted a one hour Saturday Night Session that infuses his album releases alongside old school electronic hits to get listeners ready for their nights. He notes that his Saturday Night Session will get listeners ready for a “party, release, forget problems, be with friends, love music kind of night.”

Photo credit: Rukes

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You have been producing music for over a decade. Why the decision to now release your first LP as opposed to continuing to release singles?
It’s been a while! Honestly, I’ve tried to put together an album for years, but my life got too busy, and I didn’t want to rush it. It’s honestly coming at the best time.

Is your creative process or your mindset different now than it was when you first started releasing music? If so, how is it different?
So much different. It’s more structured and serious, vs. just having fun. That can be a good and bad thing, but the music I’m making now is far more substantial and has a musical story behind it. I still have just as much fun, it’s just less often.

Can you tell us the intention behind your choice to name the album Escapism?
I want the album to feel like an escape from reality. I always try to capture that feeling in my music, and the Escapism Tour will be very cohesive with this idea.

Is there a release on the LP is most personal to you?
“Escape,” “Heaven,” and “Reach” have really crazy stories. They took a substantial amount of time to complete, but so worth it in the end. Those songs really embody the diversity and variety I wanted to have on the album. I try not to be so one-dimensional as a producer.

How is Escapism going to translate to a your live show? Any details to get fans excited for your tour?
The Escapism tour is not a reinvention of the wheel, but more of a heightened and dialed in version of an Audien show, which simply put, is a ravey DJ show. I took all of my favorite things about a show and put it in one tour. I could have bought some drum pads or played piano on stage, but I decided to keep it true to me, which is that ultimate release of a traditional electronic show. That will NEVER go out of style.

How long from start to finish did it take you to complete your LP and how does it feel to finally have it released?
3 years. SO GOOD!!

Where do you draw creative inspiration from and were there any specific creative motivators for this LP?
I 100% draw most creative inspiration from nature and being out in the world. Something about vastness, and emotional scenery resonates with me. I’m able to harness that and translate it into melodies easily.

What track on Escapism was easiest for you to produce and were there any that you struggled with completing?
The intro, “See You On The Other Side” .. I made that in literally a few hours. I think the best songs come together that way.

What is one thing your fans likely don’t know about you?
I love real estate, homes, houses, design, interior design. It’s all an art of it’s own and a side hustle for me.

What kind of Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listeners ready for?
Party, release, forget problems, be with friends, love music kind of night.

NMF Roundup: Audien reveals debut album, G Jones crafts an ‘Acid Mix’ of ‘Drift’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Audien reveals debut album, G Jones crafts an ‘Acid Mix’ of ‘Drift’ + more12651074 10153194318771673 7371433896995231521 N

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

After months of anticipation, Audien’s debut album, ESCAPISM, is finally here, bringing with it tunes like “Escape” with Nomra. G Jones kicks off the weekend in style with an acid mix of “Drift,” and Diplo adds a groovy backbone to Niall Horan’s “Nice To Meet Ya.” CamelPhat and Jem Cooke whip up “Rabbit Hole,” and drum ‘n’ bass powerhouse DJ Fresh taps Doctrine for “Control.” SNBRN brings the bass with “DMs” featuring Lucati and 1993, and Blasterjaxx links with Junior Funke for “Monster.” Grabbitz delivers another dynamic single on Ultra Music, “Roam With You,” and Nora En Pure continues her tour de force with “Fibonacci.” The Glitch Mob and 1788-L drag listeners to the depths on “Momentary Lapse,” and Tritonal and Henry Dark deliver “Shivohum.” The Chainsmokers release “Push My Luck,” and Dada Life take no prisoners on “Table Flipping Machine.” Friend Within can “Feel It” on his latest, and MUST DIE! unleashes some formidable dubstep on “FUNERAL ZONE.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Rukes

NMF Roundup: ZHU and partywithray join forces, Ekali and Kiiara deliver ‘Back To You’ + more

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NMF Roundup: ZHU and partywithray join forces, Ekali and Kiiara deliver ‘Back To You’ + moreEkali Crystal Eyes 1

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

ZHU and partywithray craft a sinister masterpiece on their new collaboration, “Came For The Low,” and Ekali and Kiiara are a dynamic duo when they come together for “Back To You.” Gareth Emery continues to bless the music world with his masterpieces with the installment of “Laserface 03 (Leaving You).” Nora En Pure has revealed her new EP, Homebound, and EDEN releases “projector.” The Knocks team up with Great Good Fine Ok for “Lucky Me,” and Audien brings some drum ‘n’ bass heat with “Reach.” Gryffin soars in his debut LP, Gravity, and Kaskade and Mr. Tape flex on “Come On.” Notaker crafts an otherworldly sonic journey on “From Dust & Ashes,” and Galantis unexpectedly team up with Dolly Parton and Mr. Probz on “Faith.” Moon Boots and Black Gatsby unwind for the weekend on “Whisper In The Wind.” Showtek and Gammer tell us how they really feel on their new collaboration, “EDM Sucks,” and Ryan Browne gives BIJOU and Tyler Graves’ “Crown” a rougher edge. Wilkinson shines on his new single, “Machina,” and Gramatik reveals Re:Coil, Pt. II, featuring tracks like “Don’t Give Up” with Ryan Shaw and ProbCause.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Bryan Van Wyk

Audien unfurls drum ‘n’ bass album fragment, ‘Reach,’ with Jamie Hartman

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Audien unfurls drum ‘n’ bass album fragment, ‘Reach,’ with Jamie HartmanPress Shot

Audien continues to summon excitement ahead of his debut album—thanks to the steady release of stellar singles from the imminent compilation. He has put out what he deems to be one of his “favorite songs” he’s ever created, per a recent tweet of his. The next offering in the auspicious succession on the road to release day is entitled “Reach,” featuring Jamie Hartman.

“Reach” opens with a faint piano backdrop that flows under Hartman’s vocals. Audien typically enlists ethereal, female vocalists, but Hartman’s voice is a delicious deviation from this standard. The track imbues an iridescent strain of subtle, exceedingly accessible drum ‘n’ bass, skittering briskly under Hartman’s sweetly galvanizing tenor.

“Reach” has garnered attention from the community even before its full release thanks to fellow DJs, like 3LAU’s praising of the piece. For those interested in catching Audien on his Escapism tour, tickets are available for purchase, here.

Dance-pop Audien resurfaces, with ‘Buzzing,’ ahead of forthcoming project

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Dance-pop Audien resurfaces, with ‘Buzzing,’ ahead of forthcoming project12651074 10153194318771673 7371433896995231521 N

Audien is back with his newest release “Buzzing,” featuring Nevve. The esteemed DJ-producer has steadily provided fans with euphoric tunes for almost a decade, but his signature feel-good sound has fluctuated between commercial-crossover releases and uplifting trance tracks. Heading into 2019, it seemed Audien may have been reverting back to his trance roots thanks to his momentous single, “Higher,” and collaboration with ARTY, “Never Letting Go,” out on Anjunabeats. “Buzzing” leads listeners to believe, however, the glittery, radio-ready stylings of the artist may have been reinstated.

The single is the first from a yet-to-be-named multi-track offering in the works. The producer recently spoke on his intentions with the forthcoming release:

“Diversity. I want to show that I can make many different styles of music, but tie them together with a common theme. Ultimately, I want to make people feel stuff, with melodies, and lyrics. I’m not reinventing the wheel, but I’m accentuating the art I’ve created for almost a decade. It’s the best form of what I’m known for.”

The track evokes pure bliss thanks to dance-worthy synth lines that blend brilliantly with Nevve’s infectious vocals. For Audien fans, “Buzzing” expounds on his long and star-studded tenure in the art of felicitous feel-good sound design, no matter the genre. Audien will be embarking upon a U.S. ESCAPISM Tour, so fans looking to experience his forthcoming project live can see if the producer is coming to a city near them below.

ESCAPISM TOUR

Nov 15 – Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL

Nov 16 – Believe Music Hall – Atlanta, GA

Nov 21 – Big Night Live – Boston, MA

Nov 22 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON

Nov 23 – The Showbox At The Market – Seattle, WA

Nov 29 – The NOVO – Los Angeles, CA

Dec 6 – Warfield Theatre – San Francisco, CA

Dec 13 – The Loft at Skyway Theatre – Minneapolis, MN

Dec 14 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR

Dec 19 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA

Dec 20 – Great Hall at Avant Gardner – Brooklyn, NY

Dec 21 – The Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX

Dec 27 – Stereo Live – Houston, TX

Photo: Rukes

NMF Roundup: ZHU and The Bloody Beetroots link for ‘Zoning,’ RÜFÜS DU SOL release new set of ‘Solace’ remixes + more

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NMF Roundup: ZHU and The Bloody Beetroots link for ‘Zoning,’ RÜFÜS DU SOL release new set of ‘Solace’ remixes + moreRUFUS PressShot LeFawnhawk 1

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

In perhaps one of the biggest collaborations to hit the airwaves on Sept. 6, The Bloody Beetroots and ZHU have teamed up for “Zoning.” RÜFÜS DU SOL have dropped off a new set of remixes for Solace, including an irresistibly groovy one by Hot Since 82. Grimes and i_o unexpectedly deliver “Violence,” and M83 returns with the dreamy “Temple of Sorrow.” Audien and Nevve bring blissful energy to “Buzzing,” and Cashmere Cat reveals “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.” Arty is on a journey to “Find You” in his latest, and Walker & Royce team up with VNSSA for “Rave Grave.” KOAN Sound’s new EP lands pm Sept. 6, featuring sounds like “Vibrant,” and Claude VonStroke unleashes a new original, “Slink.” Sullivan King has released a two-track EP, and Armin van Buuren and David Hodges link for “Waking Up With You.” Fox Stevenson finally uncovers “Dreamland,” and 3LAU remixes San Holo’s “Lost Lately.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: LeFawnhawk

Audien is back to captivating with a commercial crossover release after teaming up with Echosmith for ‘Favorite Sound’

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Audien is back to captivating with a commercial crossover release after teaming up with Echosmith for ‘Favorite Sound’Audien Echosmith

Audien and Echosmith have teamed up for new release “Favorite Sound,” and after listening to the infectious vocals paired with the euphoric drop, it’s hard not to imagine the track living out its title in the ear’s of many listeners. Sydney Sierota of Echosmith immediately captivates with a punchy vocal line that builds anticipation. The anticipation culminates with a high pitched buildup that is undeniably an Audien construction. Those who enjoyed the producer’s recent “Leaving You” featuring Michael S will find something to love in this new release.

This is not Echosmith’s first time collaborating with electronic music greats, having previously collaborated with Zedd for track “Illusion.” Audien is known for dabbling with commercial crossover releases thanks to his history of working with Lady Antebellum, Matthew Koma, and more. The release is out now via Cranberry Records.

Photo Credit: Red Music

NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein reveals ‘Hyperion’ in full, Seven Lions remixes Above & Beyond, Rinzen releases new mau5trap EP + more

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NMF Roundup: Gesaffelstein reveals ‘Hyperion’ in full, Seven Lions remixes Above & Beyond, Rinzen releases new mau5trap EP + moreGesaffelstein Jorge Meza Photos

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

This Friday’s slew of releases is highlighted by the much-anticipated release of Gesaffelstein‘s HyperionWe’re also welcoming yet another Gareth Emery and Ashley Wallbridge release, along with a calming new Baltra “Vocal” Remix of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs‘ “Energy Fantasy.” Seven Lions returns on a heartfelt remix of Above & Beyond‘s “Sahara Love” with Zoë Johnston, and Rinzen reveals a tantalizing two-track mau5trap EP, Prologue. Hardwell teams up with Mike Williams on “I’m Not Sorry,” and Pegboard Nerds return to Monstercat with the energy-packed “Gunslinga” with MC Mota. Boombox Cartel links with Karra on “Nothing to Hide,” and Dabin taps Inukshuk and Nevve on the journey-like “Another Day.” Audien and Echosmith craft a radio-friendly tune in “Favorite Sound,” and Lost Frequencies and Flynn “Recognise” each others’ talents in their new collaboration. Dance music pioneers The Chemical Brothers deliver a new original, “We’ve Got to Try,” and Shadient takes no prisoners in his new Gud Vibrations release, “Abberate.” David Guetta and Tom Staar team up for “This Ain’t Techno,” and Alesso unveils Progresso Volume 1 with tracks like “CONFESSION.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Jorge Meza Photos

Audien bursts into 2019 with new Calvin Harris remix

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Audien bursts into 2019 with new Calvin Harris remix12651074 10153194318771673 7371433896995231521 N

Audien is back. Twenty-seven-year-old Nate Rathbun ended 2018 on a high, dishing out a 40-minute “XMAS MIX” and joining Dancing Astronaut for a pre-Holy Ship! 12.0 playlist.

In 2019, he’s returned to shore with a fresh new remix of Calvin Harris‘ latest hit, “Giant” featuring Rag’n’Bone Man. The single gained some recent traction after Harris gave a live performance at 2019’s BRIT Awards, with appearances by Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, and Rag’n’Bone Man himself. So, Audien’s rendition is sure to give it another boost.

As his first release of the year, Rathbun steadily maintains the chill elegance of the original, putting emphasis on the keyboard progressions behind Rag’n’Bone Man’s dreamy vocal runs. Yet, the real Audien flare comes in lead synth form, dropping into a horn-filled deep house groove with added pitch vocals.

The Connecticut-born DJ heads to Ravine in Atlanta on March 8, which will be release day for his upcoming single, “Favorite Sound,” featuring indie pop band Echosmith.

Photo credit: Rukes