Launchpad is a playlist series showcasing music we love, hand selected by our staff. The tracks come from both emerging and mainstream artists; it’s all about the quality and the unexpected. If you’d like your music featured in Launchpad, submit it for consideration here.
This week’s Launchpad is meant to amp up the end of your weekend. Whether you’re going for a run, cleaning the house, or simply just reliving the highs of the weekend, this playlist has you covered.
DA Launchpad Selects: Quiet Disorder – “Back Once Again” This basshouse track comes out and smacks you right in your face from the first drop and doesn’t back down.
LUUDE – “Sticky Tape” Christian Benson from Perth, Australia combines a trap production with some equally heavy bass-infused drops, all while managing to include a vocal sample from Noisa’s “Entangled.”
Tracklist: Quiet Disorder – “Back Once Again” Discrete – “Livin’ at Manboo” Why So Serious – “Familiar” Cymatics – “Signal (M3RC Remix)” Satellite Empire – “Thrones (Last Heroes Remix)” Future Magic x Jilbare x PRZM – “Lawless” Lukas Oppenheimer – “Vision (feat. Ben Walter)” EJ – “Take Control of Me (Vion Konger Remix)” FAKETHIAS – “esc” Sober Rob – “EMP (feat. Alexander Lewis)” Inkline – “Carbon Play” LUUDE – “Sticky Tape”
Excision gave the bass community something to look forward to after announcing he would be holding his own music festival this past May. The festival, called “Lost Lands” will be held on September 29 – October 1 at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio. Fans and festival goers knew they could expect the event to have a prehistoric theme given the lineup artwork as well as the naming convention of the festival, however Excision has just given fans a first look into the festival site itself via his Snapchat.
The expansive festival grounds are in a beautiful field peppered with trees and covered by endless blue skies. If any location were to be festival-worthy, this one surely will be. Check out the full video below.
Gareth Emery, Standerwick and Hailene took 2017 by force when they released “Saving Light” and its powerful accompanying music video at the beginning of the year. Listeners and fans were swept away by the emotive power of the trance track, shooting it to No. 1 on Beatport — the first trance track ever to do so.
The trio just released a pack of remixes. Among them, Notaker‘s. St. Louis’ Notaker has steadily made a name for himself in the Monstercat and mau5trap community with impressive tracks like “Shimmer” and “Abyss,” respectively. After posting a video of the artist appearing to work on a “Saving Light” remix months ago, his fans went crazy, speculating what such a remix could entail.
The end result is a beautiful piece of music the likes of which we’ve never seen. What starts off slow and delicate delivers the listener straight into a mesmerizing glitchy drop. Notaker’s “Saving Light” rendition switches back and forth between dark beats and heavenly, symphonic builds that perfectly accentuate Hailene’s vocals.
Notaker’s sound design is second to none, and he continues to prove he’s a force to be reckoned with in the dance music community.
Anonymous beat maker Noise Cans recently released “No War” featuring vocal support from Jamaica’s Jesse Royal by way of Steve Aoki‘s Dim Mak imprint. The producer, also an affiliate of Jillionaire’s Feel Up Records family, lays down the groundwork for Yellow Claw’s latest remix, offering the Dutch duo the perfect canvas for their high octane sound. Yellow Claw weave their signature high energy jungle synths and rumbling basslines into the track, giving it an electric and upbeat break juxtaposed with Royal’s vocal work.
“No War” is the second single off of Noise Cans’ forthcoming Masquerave EP. The original piece, a mellow, island inspired reggae hybrid gets flipped on its head as the Barong Family production pair give it their best festival tent treatment with a double dose of fist pump. Stream Yellow Claw’s “No War” remix here.
Ekali just signed onto Skrillex‘s label OWSLA. Known for his earth-shattering bass and masterfully mixed hip-hop tracks, it comes as no surprise the artist is now working directly with some of music’s most influential acts. After playing Webster Hall’s final club night alongside Skrillex and Boys Noize on Aug. 5, Ekali now presents “Babylon,” a five-minute fusion of hip-hop and electronic music with one of rap’s most versatile—Denzel Curry.
Speaking with XXL ahead of the collaboration’s release, Ekali explained his stylistic choices.
“My objective with ‘Babylon’ was to create a world where rap and electronic coexisted without tipping the scales too far in either direction. I was hyped on the idea of producing an entire song around Denzel’s story instead of having him tell his story around my beat, so I ended up producing 99 percent of the song after Zel had already recorded his parts.
He continued, “It’s an approach to rap music that I’d never seen done before, so I wanted to know what that sounded like. Working in the room with Denzel was fast… he’s a real rapper. Most of the time we spent kicking it just playing shit back and forth. He wrote and recorded his parts for Babylon in minutes.”
Following up on Ekali’s remixes of Curry’s “Threatz” with a style similar to that of Flume and Vince Staples’ “Smoke & Retribution,” the latest rave-rap release is a flavorful heavy feature that’s simply waiting for its dance floor drop. Luckily, fans won’t need to wait long as Ekali also announced the “Babylon World Tour,” with 42 tour dates goes on sale this Monday, Aug. 21.
Three years ago, two of electronic music’s heavy hitters Kill The Noise and Mat Zo teamed up for the very first time to form a single and since limited project dubbed Kill The Zo.
Having released just one single together, “Part 1,” that exemplified Zo and Kill The Noise’s culminated creative capabilities, fans have been longing for more ever since. Three years later, the two have now revived the duo with a heavy-hitting track sure satisfy the quench of their longing audience in a downright dirty way on Big Gigantic‘s “Got The Love.”
The dynamic duo took the meaning of repurposing to a whole new level, incorporating a unique combination of sounds both within the track’s build and its smooth ending. Throwing in an atmospheric organ, guitar riff and vocals of Jennifer Hartswick, the already energetic track marches to the beat of a newly amplified drum.
Rrotik is a talent to watch who’s currently rising out of the Brazilian house and tech house scene. The producer has stood out from the large pack of aspiring DJs through his keen abilities at weaving sounds into addictive records that are built for spurring a festive mood.
His latest piece on Be Rich Records alongside Lliam Taylor is a testament to such skills. “Bounce Back” bounds along a raunchy bass-line and jubilant bursts of synths that ready it for the club or festival setting. Gritty sampling amplifies the track’s overall effect, adding to the already high energy it exudes.
Visionary— a word that wouldn’t be out of place when describing the dynamic duo of Reinhard Rietsch and Markus Wagner, popularly known as Drum & Bass group Camo & Krooked. Much the virtuoso production group, they fearlessly operate on the experimental vanguard of a genre which is converging into a dull blend of overused bass-lines and drum samples at an ever increasing rate.
This insatiable urge to constantly innovate and to renew the frontiers of classical Drum & Bass was clearly evident in their latest album, Mosaik. “We always strive to reinvent ourselves and Mosaik is definitely an exciting experiment, but we are glad we have been brave enough to go through with it without making too many compromises.” The duo also acknowledged the risks associated with releasing such music to a previously untested audience “as you never know how something so different will go down within your fan-base.”
“It was even more satisfying getting all the good feedback and to see that your following is ready to come along on your musical journey.”
It’s this enterprising attitude and style that shines through and captivates anyone getting into their music. Such energy and drive to better themselves as artists has been palpable since their 2013 LP Zeitgeist, where the duo introduced their “new sound with tunes like All Night and Ruhepuls,” while still featuring a lot of classic-inspired D&B pieces. After four years of fine tuning, their fully developed sonic signature has been brought to the fore in spectacular fashion on Mosaik. In particular, “We concentrated on our new trademark sound to be able to stand out from other D&B productions and have a handwriting that will be recognized as Camo & Krooked,” stated the outfit of their methodology for the album.
In fact, over “a year of studio binging” went into ensuring the album was “more grown up” — for they wanted to fashion a body of work that “carries lots of different emotions, rather than being just straight in your face as lots of D&B nowadays.” Camo & Krooked made sure to go the extra mile, buying analogue gear to add authenticity. “We fell in love with the vintage vibe, departing from the plastic culture of recent EDM to follow a more organic sound,” they advised of their vision for Mosaik. The last part of this statement rings especially true in recent times, where ti seems minimal effort goes into making chart topping tracks which are produced in order to be greedily lapped up by casual listeners.
Camo & Krooked are trying to depict the polar opposite of the message through their music. Their tireless work ethic and musical refinement is all but lost on listeners who mindlessly promote the same ‘plastic culture’ that they have tried to dispel through their music. Luckily, their endeavors haven’t gone unnoticed within the industry, as they were invited to deliver their maiden Essential Mix a few months ago.
“Doing an Essential Mix was on our bucket list for a very long time already, so it felt great to be able to tick this one off.”
A lot of work went into its preparation: “We have been listening to essential mixes of other big DJs for over 10 years and it felt like it has always been a proper statement by that individual artist, not just a regular DJ mix.” The majority of this the work was done after finishing their album. “We went straight into preparing the mix and had about 1 month until the deadline. We made that time worthwhile and worked every day and night to find some new mixes or dig for hidden gems. We finished it on the evening before the deadline and are happy with the result,” they noted of their last-minute completion.
The finished mix was just about as bold a statement as any of their contemporary work, as Camo & Krooked featured over 100 songs in two hours — a daunting task for even the most seasoned DJ. However, the number of tracks featured is immaterial, as duo believes that “it’s not about how much tunes you get into a mix, but about how well everything is harmonizing with each other.”
“It’s a fine line between keeping it exciting and over-mixing, but I think we found it quite well in this mix, especially since it includes some slower sections as well.”
Their Essential Mix also featured a considerable amount of unreleased music from their album Mosiak, which the the two fondly looked back upon as “an exciting experiment to reinvent ourselves.”
“We had quite a big spectrum of musical influences for Mosaik, for example Tame Impala, Moderat, Stephan Bodzin, Woodkid and many more.”
Mosiak also marked the release of their own label which shares the same name, simply because they “felt this album isn’t classical D&B anymore, [so] we felt the urge to create a brand for it without any preconception or already given boundaries.” The label was established within the existing framework of RAM Record and BMG, which allowed them to “find the perfect balance between creative freedom and a great network that we can make use of.”
Despite having achieved so much over the past decade and in 2017, Camo & Krooked refuse to slow down, hoping to capitalize on their momentum in recent months. ”At the moment we are working on our new live show that will have its first run in Europe in October. We will bring analogue synths, special midi controllers, live VIP versions and a specially produced visual show, we can’t wait to premiere it in Vienna on the 6th of October.” To add to this this, he duo have also lined up a remix version of Mosaik “for later this year and its shaping up to be very good.”
They had some choice words regarding their beloved genre as well, and feel optimistic about the future of Drum & Bass overall. “We think D&B has a great and solid fan base and is getting very popular — especially in Europe, [where] it’s part of almost every festival. We would like to see it steadily rise and become bigger over time, as this creates a loyal following that isn’t just gone when the next trend kicks in.”
“But it’s true that in comparison to the recent explosion of EDM, especially in America it’s still a very small cultural phenomenon. ”
It is clear that Camo & Krooked are rather analytical in everything they do. Every decision is carefully weighed, and every opinion is the product of a deep train of thought. It’s no surprise that they are at the forefront of Drum & Bass, and are already influencing the new generation of producers with their fluid, genre-transcending style. It won’t be surprising to find this intrepid duo at the helm of the inevitable revolution that will define the genre’s future — until then, just enjoy the maestros in action.
With the global bass music scene growing every year, Beatport has announced the addition of three brand-new genre categories. These much requested bass genres joining dubstep in the store include trap/future bass, garage/bassline/grime and leftfield bass.
The new categories were created by Beatport’s expert curation team after working extensively with leading artists, labels and press including UZ, OWSLA, Mad Decent, and Dim Mak, among many others.
Beatport has embarked on a comprehensive genre clean-up in 2017, moving over 1.5 million tracks to their correct categories. February also saw the new leftfield house and techno genre added to the store, showcasing high-quality underground releases and leading DJs to new discoveries. To celebrate the launch of these genres, Beatport is giving away free downloads of new bass tracks every week.
Beatport General Manager Terry Weerasinghe says,
We 100-percent recognize that we are really late to the game introducing these genres, but we have been working hard with key labels, artists and press from the bass community to build the best possible experience for DJs. We can’t make up for not having huge genres like Trap properly curated on the store five years ago. However we have now assembled a team dedicated to our bass genres, which means we can promote more bass artists and labels by giving them features like an international sales chart, profiled DJ Top 10s and regular artist and label spotlights, plus targeted social support and cross-promotion to our other key genres and global fan bases. We’ll also hand curate the best tracks every week, making Beatport the only store to give promotional merchandising slots to these genres week in, week out.
To celebrate the launch of these genres, Beatport is giving away free downloads of new bass tracks every week. The first round of free tracks includes “Introspection” by trap luminary UZ, from his album Layers. A new instrumental track from UZ’s Layers LP will be made available each week, along with more free bass tracks, at beatport.com/freetracks.
Midas has garnered thousands of streams on his releases since he started putting out music at the beginning of the year. The Washington D.C.-based producer’s unique artwork pulls the listener in, and the quality of the music keeps them listening.
Midas takes Ember Island‘s cover of Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” and gives it a dual personality. The first half of the track exudes chill trap vibes, while the second drop gets downright dirty — the juxtaposition totally working with the flow. With a clear confidence in his music, Midas is sure to go far.