Axwell goes deeper with twofold release, ‘Don’t Worry’

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Axwell goes deeper with twofold release, ‘Don’t Worry’Artist Image Awell2

As the return of Swedish House Mafia continues to dominate headlines, one member of the Scandinavian trio in particular is still hard at work on his own solo productions. Indeed, Axwell—real name Axel Christofer Hedfors — is back in the fold to prove he’s still firing on the release front, delivering his first cut of the year entitled, “Don’t Worry.”

This track arrives out on Axwell’s label, Axtone Records, in collaboration with Redfield, aka Neil Barrett. Being a seasoned producer with releases on Spinnin‘, Armada and Big Beat, Barrett is a welcome addition to the renowned label housing.

“Don’t Worry” continues the trend Hedfors has been following of late, regarding the sonically sophisticated sound his catalog has exuded in recent years. Rather than the sensational, tear-jerking EDM appeal of Swedish House Mafia, this track represents a talent for restraint. The bass line is tightly wound to the drums creating a comprehensive groove that supports warm synths and succinct vocals.

Big Beat highlights Los Angeles bass with latest ‘Ignition’ compilation

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Big Beat highlights Los Angeles bass with latest ‘Ignition’ compilationBig Beat Ignition Los Angeles

Big Beat‘s Ignition compilation series serves as a platform for highlighting cutting edge artists across multiple global metropoles. Its latest edition targets one of the biggest cities in the world for music, Los Angeles, honing in on its booming bass scene. Curatorial standards were high for this edition, with the label selecting the likes of Ekali & YOOKIE, the mysterious Deathpact, GTA, Dillon Nathaniel, and more each contributing a piece of fresh music to the mix. Collectively, the compilation effectively captures every facet of the current bass sounds bubbling up from the area—from electro-tinged, midtempo beats, to sentimental future bass, to merciless trap that crushes the eardrums in the most satisfying of ways. Ignition‘s diverse sonic profile translates to widespread enjoyment from any listener it touches. Order a copy here.

First Listen: Salvatore Ganacci offers up high-octane serving of ‘Cake’ alongside Big Beat compilation announcement

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First Listen: Salvatore Ganacci offers up high-octane serving of ‘Cake’ alongside Big Beat compilation announcementSalvatore Ganacci 2 1

For those who have witnessed one of Bosnian-born/Swedish Salvatore Ganacci‘s off-the-wall live sets, it turns out the DJ-producer brings the same energy to the studio as he does booty poppin’ behind the decks.

His latest single, the ferociously tempo-ed “Cake,” with Anjunadeep veteran, Megatone, arrives on the back of a larger animal and source of fervent anticipation: the mysterious compilation Big Beat uploaded to its SoundCloud page earlier this week. The song’s thunderous beat, squelching bass, and pitched-up vocal cuts are redolent of the omnipresent excitement sweeping across the electronic scene for Miami Music Week.

Now, to coincide with “Cake”‘s arrival, Big Beat is unraveling the track list behind the formerly anonymous compilation, surfacing some of the most sought-after names in the game from Ekali to Valentino Khan, Dillon Nathaniel to Deathpact. The compilation as a whole succeeds in mirroring the new single’s energy and pummeling electro fervor. Fans can find Ganacci ringing in the release on Ultra’s main stage this Saturday, March 30.

Big Beat Ignition is available for presale here, and for full download April 12.

Big Beat Ignition: Los Angeles track list: 

Deathpact – Koolaid
Fabian Mazur – Ready For The Show
Ekali & YOOKiE – Jundo
Gentlemens Club – Let U Go
Bro Safari & Tank Parade – Blitz
Salvatore Ganacci & Megatone – Cake
Snavs – Ghetto
GTA & Valentino Khan – Break Your Neck (Pt. 2 VIP)
Kontra – Guilt Trip
Nonsens – Come On
WATEVA – Haters
Dillon Nathaniel – Consciousness
Vampa – The Cave
Frost & ill-Esha – What I Feel

Big Beat Records celebrates Detroit on latest ‘Ignition’ compilation

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Big Beat Records celebrates Detroit on latest ‘Ignition’ compilationA1e88c7c B665 462f 9e8f 6011eaeb81b4

Big Beat Records has been a home to releases across many different sounds in dance music’s history. While its latest releases range from funky electronica á la Chromeo, bass from WHIPPED CREAM, or pop from Galantis, the label’s cross-genre style is inspired by its roots in house music. In their latest edition of the Big Beat: Ignition compilation series, they’ve chosen to honor that history by paying homage to the place that gave birth to the sound that started it all: Detroit.

On Big Beat Ignition: Detroit, the label has compiled an impressive track listing from house artists from across the globe, including Vanilla Ace, breakout star Rebuke, UK tastemaker Siege, and veteran Mike Vale. Hitting a range of styles and sounds, the compilation highlights house’s grounding in disco, hip-hop, and the warehouse parties in which its growth was nurtured.

Ekali releases inaugural EP, ‘Crystal Eyes,’ through OWSLA, Big Beat, and Atlantic [Stream Here]

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Ekali releases inaugural EP, ‘Crystal Eyes,’ through OWSLA, Big Beat, and Atlantic [Stream Here]Ekali Crystal Eyes 1

It seems with a single stroke of his pen, Ekali has swiftly solidified his leafy emblem near the crest of the EDM pyramid.

Securing momentous slots at both Ultra and EDC this year the Canadian producer seeks to consolidate his efforts with the release of his first-ever multitudinous body of work, the Crystal Eyes EP.

For an inaugural EP, it would be hard for an artist in the electronic circuit to fathom a better threesome of label-housings than an OWSLA, Big Beat, and Atlantic trifecta; Ekali has managed to acquire exactly that for this watershed notch in his still rather formative release history. A frequent and well sought-after collaborator, the Canadian producer hosts a series of esteemed guests to help the listener navigate the glistening Crystal Eyes topography, including K. Flay, Medasin, Elohim, and SLUMBERJACK. The release will coincide with a North American tour, making stops across major musical hotbeds in the US and Vancouver.

Ekali uses the EP to first and foremost demonstrate his ability to wander spacious experimental sonic terrains while primarily keeping one foot grounded in pop sensibility. His track with K. Flay, for example, sees the producer wield the songstress’s notoriously moody pop vocals to accentuate his woefully drawn out guitar chords and wistful synth twinkling. At the other end of Ekali’s emotional rainbow, with exquisitely nuanced support from Medasin and Elohim, “Forever,” invites the listener inside its halcyon fortress of bouncy, beat-privy idealism. Crystal Eyes is a glimpse inside Ekali’s all at once flourishing and fragmented inner world. The EP functions terrifically as a hallmark of Ekali’s affinity for wide-reaching emotion, unfettered energy, and a perceptive level of adventurousness when it comes to his ever-evolving sound design.


David Guetta’s double-sided ‘7’ is a timely portrait of dance music, spanning a voluminous 27 tracks [Review]

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David Guetta’s double-sided ‘7’ is a timely portrait of dance music, spanning a voluminous 27 tracks [Review]Cool Guy Guetta Photo Credit Ellen Von Unwerth

There often comes a time in great artists’ careers when they have acquired a certain level of devoutness from fans that allows them to truly feel free from the confines of an appealing facade or obligation to appease. Three decades into his into his artistic journey, David Guetta surpassed that milestone many musical epochs ago. Yet, with his Big Beat-housed, double-sided 7 album, Guetta endeavors to show the world there is uncharted sonic terrain worthy of the trek.

The two-disc album is certainly indicative of the different hats Guetta has worn over the years, most broadly as a ubiquitous dance-pop deity and more recently, the reveal of less radio-ready stylings from his alter-ego, Jack Back. Disc-one is Guetta as the world knows him — in all his prophesied pop eminence. Riddled with weighty collaboration, the first side of the venerated French powerhouse’s new studio work features a slew of larger-than-life joint efforts, including his previously released, immaculately sung “Flames” with Sia, a reunion preceded by their sublimely successful 2011 smash, “Titanium.” Guetta seems to cover all his streamability bases in this first portion, enlisting equally exalted dance pop sharks like Justin Bieber, Nicki MinajMartin Garrix on “Like I Do” and the Steve Aoki-assisted “Motto.” Guetta casts a wide net of appeal, following commercial counterparts like Major Lazer in sprinkling in some ever-so-timely Afro-pop, bolstered by the South African Black Coffee, on “Drive.”

Guetta’s recently unraveled side-project, Jack Back, drives home disc-two, which is comprised of groove-heavy, largely atmospheric tech-house. With winding, instrumental tracks like “Overtone” and “Afterglow,” it stands as an ambivalence-inducing paradox. On one hand, it represents the mainstream dance circuit’s acceptance of a more avant-garde product, of the scene’s most prominent figures’ willingness to deliver a raw, less-calculated extension of themselves. On the other — succeeding fellow icons like Calvin Harris, who recently announced he’d be receding back to his club-adept roots — this return to form can easily be construed as an overdue attempt to delineate oneself from the improbably saturated, monotonous sea of over-compressed bass drops. Tech-house, following progressive, future bass, and future house, takes its place among one of the most recent sub-genre crazes. The resurgence has been actualized by the likes of longtime devotees like Claude VonStroke, Carl Cox, and Green Velvet, who have been championing the jazzy, instrumental sound for decades. David Guetta plants his flag on side two. He’s earned the status to return to a less commercially viable aesthetic. What’s more, fans deserve something potentially more stimulating from such high-held superstars. Our palates are savvier than they were in 2010, and radio-ready blockbusters can only take an artist so far, and Guetta uses the back half of the gatefold to address that shift.

Yes, two years in the making, is Guetta’s seventh studio album. But the French DJ/producer wears the number as a badge of continuity.

7 is a magical number and represents a full cycle to me. When you’re just starting out as an artist you go step by step and it’s only positive energy; passion, love, challenges,” says Guetta. “…This is why ‘7’ is a perfect name to me, because I feel like I’m going back to my original energy which can be heard in this album.”

Existential turmoil aside, whether Guetta has been biding his time to showcase this doubtlessly more nuanced side of his artistic repertoire or he simply seized a timely opportunity to reinvent himself, performs as a spacious snapshot of contemporary dance music.

Chromeo join forces with The-Dream for second single from upcoming LP, ‘Bedroom Calling’

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Chromeo keep to a solid routine, with a regiment that commonly follows a basic pattern: album release, a year or two of touring, a year or two of studio work, rinse and repeat. 2018 is officially an “on” year for the FunkLordz, as the duo gears up to deliver their fifth studio album, Head Over Heelslater this year via Big Beat / Atlantic Records. Introducing their latest collection of infectious disco-pop crossover hits was “Juice” at the end of 2017, and now Dave 1 and P-Thugg are following up with the second single from the forthcoming LP, The-Dream-assisted, “Bedroom Calling.”

The track is a smooth, playful, sing-a-long-primed pop number, with The-Dream laying his magnetic songwriting abilities over Chromeo’s buoyant backing arrangement. Accompanying vocals from Dave 1 and vocoded accents from P-Thugg round the tune out, complementing The-Dream’s verse work on “Bedroom Calling” perfectly.