Habstrakt keeps it ‘Real’ on new single

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Habstrakt keeps it ‘Real’ on new singleHabstrakt Credit Habstrakt Twitter

Slowly but surely, Habstrakt has become one of the most consistent bass house producers currently working. He’s made his living by igniting simple bass riffs with a signature vicious timbre, giving his tracks a unique bite. The French phenomenon’s latest single keeps true to the trend, proving once again why he’s one of the hottest house acts out there.

“Real” comes a part of Habstrakt’s busy 2019, which included a slew of singles and his return to Monstercat. Habstrakt’s effort to close out the year features sharp house percussion patterns with a couple extra perc hits for some added bounce—plus a second-half switch to trap. The percussion sits under a classic Habby synth line and atmospheric screeches, while a drawling guitar riff reminiscent of his 2018 track “Vibin” opens up the mayhem.

Photo Credit: Habstrakt via Twitter

Wax Motif and Matroda pay homage to Missy Elliot in ‘Lose Control’

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Wax Motif and Matroda pay homage to Missy Elliot in ‘Lose Control’Wa Motif 1

G-house A-team Wax Motif and Matroda have aligned on their latest track “Lose Control,” which takes cues from Missy Elliott’s original party-starter released back in 2005.

The song is only the second official release from Motif’s newly minted label, Divided Souls, which so far has showcased only his own tracks, with some featured guests. The seminal track from the imprint invited legendary producer and rapper, Diddy, highlighting Motif’s ability to seamlessly blend the worlds of hip-hop and house.

The updated dance floor destroyer uses the familiar “Lose Control” vocal sample from the original before dropping into a package of heavy bass, arpeggiated plucks, and their iconic pitched-down vocals. The track takes a fresh turn on the original, which was produced by Elliott, with features from Ciara and Fatman Scoop. The rendition is gritty, strange, and destined for any low-light locale where house music is enjoyed.

Photo Credit: Leonardo Kaczmarek

Matroda updates Armand Van Helden classic, ‘You Don’t Know Me’

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Matroda updates Armand Van Helden classic, ‘You Don’t Know Me’Matroda

As a tribute to one of house music’s legends, swiftly ascending bass house producer, Matroda, has released his remix of Armand Van Helden’s infamous, disco-styled dance track “You Don’t Know Me.”

The remix teases a loop of the recognizable melody before Matroda adds his stuttering, G-house style. Complete with wubs, hard hitting percussion, and a groovy bassline, the modernized rendition gives the 1988 single a punchy reboot, paying faithful homage to the funky original. 

Matroda’s album of earlier this year, The RED Tape, alongside a headlining tour of the same name, is keeping fans busy until 2020, which assuredly has lots more music in store for the multi-talented, young producer.

Photo Credit: Virgo

BROHUG prolong scalding single release streak with ‘Ready’

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BROHUG prolong scalding single release streak with ‘Ready’46148015 306656459983941 3137297091293492866 N

There’s only one Swedish house trio who’s been coursing new music through 2019’s veins and they go by the name of BROHUG. Currently riding on what can only be deemed as a blistering release streak, the trio has officially accrued their third single in just 30 days. Following back-to-back hypnotic house numbers with “Addict” and the more recently released “Scorpion,” BROHUG evidently has a cache of unreleased music in the vault as they hand-deliver “Ready” through their very own BROHOUSE imprint.

Falling suitably in line with its four-on-the-floor predecessors, “Ready” is scrupulously assembled to be most impactful right within club doors. BROHUG exploits their consistently enthralling gritty house nature in tandem with rolling basslines and the trio’s delicately imbued harmonious meld. While it remains to be seen if the Swedes are constructing a full-length project or simply treating fans to an affluence of new music, BROHUG is enforcing a persuasive finish to the year’s close.

Featured image: BROHUG/Instagram

Habstrakt debuts first-ever music video, with Monstercat-housed ‘The One’

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Habstrakt debuts first-ever music video, with Monstercat-housed ‘The One’Habstrakt

Parisian bass music producer, Adam “Habstrakt” Jouneau, has returned to newfangled Toronto label housing, Monstercat, for his debut music video showing and adjoining single, “The One.”

The visual is set, first, on an ostensibly normal nighttime road, but soon contorts into a scorching, Mad Max-esque terrain. The track pulses fervently as the chaos of video’s whirlwind narrative and almost whimsically austere characters whip across the screen. Metallic synths grind and churn, while a heavily pitched-up vocal cut, compliments of Habstrakt’s close friend and longtime collaborative partner, Pauline Herr, skips atop the quixotic production.

The track itself traces Monstercat’s recent synergistic shift into scoring video games, namely the widely popular driving game, Rocket League. “The One” is currently being featured in the game’s official soundtrack.

Habstrakt makes storied return to Monstercat for an off-the-wall serving of ‘Lasagne’

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Habstrakt makes storied return to Monstercat for an off-the-wall serving of ‘Lasagne’EAEuGvWkAECC

Towards the closing mark of 2018, Habstrakt fired out an exceedingly ambitious resolution.

“I feel like I haven’t released enough music in 2018 and I’m about to change that,” he vowed.

While some artists may have playfully toyed with a similar notion in sole aspiration of appeasing their fan base, the French bass-house authority has remained true to his commitment thus far in 2019 with a horde of releases already to his credit. Nearly one month to the day following his debut appearance on NGHTMRE & SLANDER’s Gud Vibrations, Habstrakt is boosting the release counter for the sixth time in seven months with a spirited return to Monstercat for “Lasagne” alongside fellow Frenchmen, Bellecour.

With a thunderous denomination like “Lasagne,” expectations of a favorable future output are inevitably paired alongside it. The appetizing plateful of a collaboration promptly indulges listeners’ cravings, as Habstrakt and Bellecour combine their notable bass-house tendencies for a grungy synth-drowned creation. While the age-old aphorism harps, “quality over quantity,” Habstrakt has shown a producer shouldn’t necessarily have to choose one or the other.

Featured image: Jordan Marchand

‘If you really love something you push forward,’ Ephwurd on restarting the project as a solo venture after Datsik fallout [Interview]

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‘If you really love something you push forward,’ Ephwurd on restarting the project as a solo venture after Datsik fallout [Interview]Ephwurd 1

Just a handful of years ago, as bass house was weaving its not-so-subtle stylings into the worldwide electronic anterior, Ephwurd was swiftly ascending as one of the genre’s most exciting forces. Fielding a shredding, high-impact sound design and securing a wall-to-wall library of festival bookings, Ephwurd’s Basie Hauser and Troy Beetles (Datsik) were locked and loaded at the turn of 2017 to renew their rapidly accrued success heading into 2018.

But their momentum would soon flatline as resolutely as it began. Rumors of Datsik’s sexual misconduct gave way to full-fledged testimonials aimed at the Firepower Records label founder, spanning years of alleged abuse. Datsik stepped down from Firepower, his representation dropped him; and nearly overnight, the Ephwurd project came to an emphatic halt. Hauser promptly cancelled all performance stops and rightfully opted to take some time off to recalibrate.

“It was heartbreaking,” Hauser tells Dancing Astronaut. “There was a lot going on. When all that stuff happened I was like, ‘Okay let’s take a step back, reevaluate everything, and go from there.’”

A year later, Hauser is picking up where he left off—well, sort of. Describing the project’s relaunch as a solo venture, Hauser says he has every intention of perpetuating the bass house heart of Ephwurd into the revamp, though he’s keen on dousing it in more non-electronic experimentation. Born into a musical family, Hauser discovered firsthand and at a ripe age what success looked like in such a wildly competitive industry. His father, Tim Hauser, was a member of the Grammy-winning jazz ensemble, The Manhattan Transfer.

While resolving to keep the project alive as a one-man show, Hauser has allowed for time to rectify some of the residual apprehension surrounding the Ephwurd masthead. Since the Datsik news broke in March of 2018, Hauser has released just two Ephwurd-branded tracks: the uncharacteristically emotive, “Everywhere I Go,” and the aptly named collaboration with SWAGE, “Hectic,” which arrived early February.

The former came equipped with a letter to his fans last July, in which he addresses the claims brought against his former partner and the ways in which he and those associated with the project felt the reverberations directly.

“…Within hours after the news broke, everything we worked so hard to build had completely fallen apart…

Next to losing my father, those first few days were some of the hardest I’ve ever faced. I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone.

As for the accusations against Troy, that’s not the guy I know. Coming to the mutual agreement of removing him from the project was a heart-wrenching day for me, but it had to be done. I am respecting his decision to stay private and wish the best for him…” wrote Hauser.

Today, the “Check It Out” producer says his pipeline is brimming with new material. As of now, he’s putting finishing tweaks on 20 odd tracks, many of which will see release in coming months. His main goals: making sure the genre-specific sound doesn’t become too “stale,” and bringing Ephwurd’s former glory “up to date,” by way of borrowing from formerly untapped inspiration.

“I want to experiment with [genres], be it sampling old jazz or funk records or coming up with chord progressions that can be applied to bass house,” Hauser says.

A scandal of much lesser proportions than Datsik’s could be liable to end the career of all those formerly associated with the accused. But, for Hauser, turning the lights out on the Ephwurd project, which he affectionately deems his “baby,” was never an option. Despite any contention left in its wake, Hauser does not see Ephwurd as beyond salvaging. In fact, his perspective is quite the opposite.

“I thought about it for a long time,” Hauser says of his decision to breathe a second wind into Ephwurd’s sails. “At the end of the day, I put in so much time to this project: literally blood, sweat, and tears. I love this project… If you love something, you nurture it and you don’t just leave it. If you really love something you push forward, and deal with the good and bad and try to persevere.”

Below is a lightly edited transcript of Dancing Astronaut’s conversation with Basie Hauser on the future of Ephwurd. The interview was modified for clarity and readability.

Tell us about how you started making music, where did your journey begin?

My dad was actually a vocal singer in this group called The Manhattan Transfer. He ended up becoming an accountant and hated it so much that he quit his job and became a taxi driver, singing on the side. Eventually he started this group, The Manhattan Transfer, which went on to be nominated for/win like 16 Grammys.

I grew up traveling the world with him, going to jazz festivals, meeting all these legendary jazz performers. I’ve always been immersed in music. I like jazz, but it was never my favorite genre of music. Around high school, you know that time when you really discover what music you like. Everybody hears the Beatles or something and gets this immediate reaction like ‘Oh my God! This is amazing.’ For me that was when I heard Aphex Twin. My first time hearing electronic music was the likes of SquarePusher, Boards of Canada, these like early ’90s Warped Records artists. I went from hearing rock ‘n’ roll and jazz to this crazy production I’d never heard before.

Bit by bit, I started doing my research and finding elements like ‘Oh, I wonder what sampler this guy used to make this.’ This is before Ableton or Logic or DAWs were widely adopted by people. It was cool because I started learning a lot about analog synths and old samplers, kind of just figuring it out from there. And near the end of high school I discovered Ableton and I’ve been on it ever since.

Ephwurd experienced a huge upward swing in 2017. How do you plan to regain that momentum now as a solo venture?

Making as much music as possible. I’ve taken almost a year off now and every day now I’m either in the studio or even if I’m just lying in bed, I’ll have my laptop with me coming up with ideas to take to the studio later. At the end of the day music is the most important thing, and the more you have of it the better. I think consistently putting out content will probably help. Back in 2017 we were writing a ton of content and I think that’s what helped us so much. As long as you’re constantly making music you love, you just hope people will listen and follow.

Stylistically, what changes can we expect?

I want to keep the heart of the Ephwurd sound intact, but introduce new ideas; evolving as an artist always involves that. I’ve always loved funk music, so I want to experiment with that—be it sampling old jazz or funk records or coming up with chord progressions that can be applied to bass house. Finding ways to bring those genres to bass house. Experimentation is the key to growing, so I hope to do that for the rest of my life.

A genre gets stale if you hear the same thing so many times.

What forces drove your decision to continue producing under the Ephwurd masthead despite the potential risk of contention?

I thought about it for a long time. At the end of the day, I put so much time into this project: literally blood, sweat, and tears. I love this project; it’s my baby. If you love something you nurture it and you don’t just leave it. If you really love something you push forward, and deal with the good and the bad and try to persevere.

When the allegations against Datsik surfaced, and compelled you to step back for a while, how did that affect you individually?

It was heartbreaking. I decided Ephwurd had to cancel all [our] shows and to kind of take that time to regroup and rebuild everything. I think it’s been one of the healthiest things for me because I got to take the time to just be a human—taking the time with my family and friends, not just touring. I’d been on the road for the past six years, and it’s exhausting. The time off was a godsend because I was able to keep working on music and discover new things about myself. I’m actually really appreciative of it.

What can we expect from the revamp in 2019?

There’s a lot of stuff in the works, in terms of new music. From the past six months I have like 20 tracks that are finished but I want to make sure they’re the best they can be. You can expect a lot more music. New sounds and the old sound too, but bringing it up to date.

Hauser has asserted that he and Datsik split up the DJ/production work evenly; regardless, a segue to manning a solo act stands as a momentous task even without such a controversial catalyst. Fortunately for Hauser, he has industry know-how, unequivocal resolve, and redemptive battle wounds in his corner, affording him a chance to take back the success he only just began to taste back in 2017.

Ephwurd samples The Beastie Boys on earth-shaking ATRIP collaboration, ‘Check It Out’

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Ephwurd samples The Beastie Boys on earth-shaking ATRIP collaboration, ‘Check It Out’Ephwurd Atrip Check It Out Collab Single

Datsik‘s inevitable departure from Ephwurd hasn’t stopped Bais Haus from carrying the project forward as a solo act, with the ultra smooth summer jam “Everywhere I Go” serving as a first step earlier this year. Now, Ephwurd returns to the more explosive side of house with the ATRIP-assisted “Check It Out,” arriving via his own Eph’ed Up Records imprint.

Lingering on a deliciously menacing intro featuring distorted guitar strums and instantly recognizable Beastie Boys chops, the track forecasts a heavy dose of bass early on. The delivery comes fast and furious with a rumbling drop that builds layer after of layer of head-knocking percussion. ATRIP’s grimy sensibilities are the perfect addition, keeping things crackly, maintaining a driving appeal across the entire track. If “Check It Out” is any indicator of Ephwurd’s momentum as a solo venture, it’s safe to say the future is bright and bass heavy.

Masayoshi Iimori blasts off with searing bass house single, ‘Flow’

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Masayoshi Iimori blasts off with searing bass house single, ‘Flow’Masayoshi Iimora Flow Premiere Classe Single

Japanese dance music star Masayoshi Iimori has been popping up on playlists and remix packs all year long, including high-profile takes for RL Grime and Nick Catchdubs. The bass house producer rides in on that momentum with a grimy new single, arriving as the fourth ever release from DJ Snake‘s own PREMIERE CLASSE records. Aptly titled “Flow,” the track is an explosive combo of modernized dance floor electro and playful arcade-game flavor.

“Flow” cranks it up to 11 almost immediately, and maintains the ballistic cruising speed all the way till the end. The mortal combat mode synth stabs catapult the track towards bit crushed, searing drops. The cut borrows from bass house and nostalgic electro, then douses it in Iimori’s trademark flair for the weird and wacky. The artist’s style flashes equal hints of Dillon Francis madness and TNGHT distorted punch. Amazingly, both Masayoshi Iimori and the track’s newly founded label home are just getting started — but both entities smashed the gas from the jump, and show no signs of slowing down.

Sikdope comes through with vicious new club burner, ‘My House’

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Sikdope has been on a tear lately, building out his catalog of rattling bass-house weapons with a steady stream of new music in 2018. Fresh off the release of his latest uptempo monster “Back Again,” Sikdope has another new elbow-throwing statement piece ready for fans on “My House.” Boldly claiming the dance floor as his, the young Polish beatsmith drops off a high-octane thrill ride, and it’s already making its way into festival sets across the country, with early crowd-tests courtesy of Tiësto at Ultra Music Festival‘s main stage back in March.

The track is a pedal-to-the-floor bass house burner that showcases Sikdope’s increasingly fine-tuned ear for flipping classic progressive house tropes into merciless sonic battering rams. A barrage of hypnotic synths close in from every angle on “My House,” and if the track’s title is any sort of indication, Sikdope is proving to be an emerging force who’s got his eyes set firmly on the prize.