Porter Robinson: Calvin Harris was my inspiration for Virtual Self

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Porter Robinson‘s new “neo-trance” project, Virtual Self, has officially exploded into the mainstream. With appearances at Holy Ship!, Buku, Ultra, Spring Awakening, and Bonnaroo, the artist’s side moniker has now caught the attention of MTV News in a recent revealing interview.

Previously, a leaked insider e-mail from Robinson to his close friends had revealed his side project’s inspirations for blending trance, hardcore, techno, and more nostalgic genres. Yet, in a surprising twist, Robinson tells MTV that it was Calvin Harris‘ 2009 mega-hit, “I Am Not Alone,” that partly inspired his journey as Virtual Self to upset the electronic music realm.

The catalyst for mentioning Harris’ name was based on a previous tweet from the Scottish producer on his appreciation for Virtual Self’s instant classic, “Ghost Voices.”

“I was just really surprised when Calvin tweeted that out,” Robinson revealed. “I’ve never interacted with him before, ever, and even as Porter we never had any relationship. Often times people won’t even say that kind of thing when their buddies release new music, so I messaged him and I told him – and this is true – that I think his track from 2009 ‘I’m Not Alone’ was really inspirational for this project. It’s one of the only tracks from the last 10 years that sort of gives me that classic sort of trance feeling.”

Whether Robinson’s goal with Virtual Self was to even reach the mainstream remains unclear. In actuality, it seems Robinson detests the culture surrounding pop music, a terrain for which Calvin Harris so easily fits in. Whatever the case, Virtual Self has sparked a movement within the electronic realm that is changing the way music is experienced.

Via MTV News

Featured photo by Rukes

The Radar 105: From college dropout to platinum artist, Jay Pryor defies all stereotypes [Interview + The Radar Mix]

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Jay Pryor

Electronic music is many things, but being short on stereotypes is not one of them. From the stigma that electronic music producers don’t make ‘real music’ to bros wearing the ultimate wannabe DJ uniform, there is always something to make fun of. While many reject that these stereotypes are laced with reality, Jay Pryor is a living embodiment of the electronic dance music era and all of its stereotypes — in the best possible way. 

Jay Pryor is the bedroom producer who dropped out of college to become a famous musician after going to a Calvin Harris show on New Years Eve. Yes this really happened, and yes this worked out for him. Do not try this at home.

While Jay Pryor may not be a name electronic music fans recognize at first mention, it is a name that they likely will hear down the road. Think this promise is overstated? Pryor’s first major collaboration was one that he was not listed in the title for, but it has since gone Platinum. He was one of the masterminds behind hit single “Just Hold On” by Steve Aoki and Louis Tomlinson. Another mentor of his includes Nick Gale of Digital Farm Animals. To go from being a teen in Dublin at the skatepark on Saturdays to working with some of the biggest names in the electronic music industry, after deciding one day that electronic music was his calling, is an unusual story.

When considering where his future may take him, Pryor notes that he thinks the music industry is in a really inspirational place. He believes that now is the time for ‘fresh-faced’ producers like himself to come in with a new outlook and a unique style. While he picked up producing later on in his teens, Pryor has never been short on creativity. He even started his own graphic design firm when he was 15, and moving forward, he plans on designing his own music videos so that his tracks will be visually representative of his artistry.

Pryor is the exception, not the rule, when it comes to dropping out of college and becoming the next up and comer. He has defied all odds, and will be a producer to watch moving forward. He also is a featured artist for Dancing Astronaut’s The Radar series, where he has produced an energetic hour long mix showcasing past releasing and upcoming originals.

When did you become interested in music and start producing?
I started producing music 3 and a half years ago when I got back from a holiday with my friends after seeing Calvin Harris perform. I never really thought I had the confidence to create music and have an artist project, but once I started, my confidence quickly began to build. I realized this was the thing that people talk about, so I dropped out of college and started focusing on it full time!

Who are your musical inspirations?
Oh gosh, I’ll try and keep it short and sweet, but really I could go on and on about this. I really love where music is right now. There are a lot of fresh faced artists in the game that are bringing their own unique sound, look, and feel. Right now I’m really into Lil Skies, Bazzi, and also Tory Lanez – all those guys kill it. I also really have to mention Charli XCX too. She’s been crushing it for a minute, and her latest album is epic.

In terms of dance music, I love what DROELOE are doing. Brooks is someone I’ve looked up to for a while it. I’m also really excited by Virtual Self, which is Porter Robinson’s new moniker, and someone I used to constantly listen to when I started, and it’s dope to hear what he’s progressed to now.

Being 22 and co-producing “Just Hold On,” a track that has hit 400 million streams, must be pretty surreal. How does that feel?
Yeah, that was pretty sick. It didn’t really feel real until I saw it being premiered live on the X-Factor Final in Wembley Stadium. I’m forever thankful to Louis, Steve and their teams for that opportunity, and I just hope one day I can say I utilized that opportunity in the best way possible.

How would you characterize your style?
It’s hard to say right now. I’m writing a lot of music that is closer to my heart. I’m actually singing on a lot of my newer song ideas, and it feels really good. Of course, my music will always have dance influences and energy. But I want to portray an empowering message with my lyrics and a new sound. It’s epic, empowering, and makes you want to disrupt shit up. It makes you want to pave your own way, and do what feels right to you and only you. I can’t wait for you all to hear it.

Outside of producing music, what do you like to do?
Outside of producing music… I like writing music! But for real- I’m obsessed with art. I always have been. I actually started a graphic design company when I was 15, and I wouldn’t have gotten into creating music without it. I love everything visual as much as I love everything audible. I feel like a good brand represents your sound and message as much as the music does. I also helped write the treatment for my first music video, which I’m excited for you to see!

Learn how to recreate Calvin Harris and Frank Ocean’s ‘Slide’

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Calvin Harris slide

Mysterious ad, website points to new Calvin Harris single with PARTYNEXTDOOR

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calvin-harris

After the successful rebrand that begat the groove-oriented Funk Wav Bounces Vol 1., super producer Calvin Harris made a proclamation in early 2018 that he was leaving that sound behind. It did leave fans wondering, however: would he return to crafting chart topping smashes featuring the likes of Rihanna or veer into yet another unexpected genre.

Since announching his intentions to switch things up, Harris has relied on a series of mysterious moves to ramp up the hype In a tweet posted on his account February 4, Harris uploaded a video of a billboard that flashed a new logo, rotating skull, and the date 2/8/2018.

Compounding things is a Reddit thread where a user said he was directed to this webpage when following an advertisement with Harris’ branding.

Now, Harris has deigned to reveal the mystery’s endgame: a new single with PartyNextDoor — a featured artist on Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 — dubbed “Nuh Ready” is set for release on February 8.

While it remains to be seen whether Harris will explore a new sound, given his track record with the Canadian rapper, it is certain fans will be highly anticipating “Nuh Ready’s” imminent release.

 

Hakkasan Group extends Calvin Harris’ residency into 2020

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Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris topped Forbes‘ list of the highest paid DJs for the fifth consecutive year in 2017, but as 2018 begins to unfold, it seems that a sixth year at the number one spot on the list is likely as Harris rakes in a hefty sum for the renewal of his Las Vegas residency with Hakkasan Group.

Determined not to see Harris “Slide” out of the entertainment capital, the luxury nightlife brand has extended Harris’ Omnia Nightclub residency through 2020, an elongation that arrives at the price of £200 million (approximately $280 million USD). The figure breaks down to a pay out of a little more than £1 million each night that Harris performs at the world famous nightclub.

Harris fans traveling to the Strip can get exactly what they “came for” given the producer’s extended residency, and can purchase tickets to Harris’ upcoming shows, here.

H/T: Your EDM

Watch John Mayer sample ‘Slide’ during a live performance in San Francisco

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John Mayer

While Calvin Harris recently announced that he will be “movin’ on from Funk Wav sound” in 2018 via Twitter, the 70s inspired sonic stint that diversified Harris’ catalogue will remain an exemplar of a well executed aesthetic experimentation for years to come. The feel good “Funk Wav” vibes exuded by album staples like “Feels” have proven to be irresistible since Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1’s release, and it seems that John Mayer remains all aboard the “Funk Wav” train as evidenced by a recent performance in San Francisco.

Mayer has cultivated a reputation for spontaneously sampling songs during his live shows — in the past, Mayer has astounded audiences worldwide with unexpected mini renditions of Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen classics. As of late, however, Mayer’s tangents involve something slightly more current, Harris’ Frank Ocean-assisted hit “Slide.” Mayer wove Ocean’s vocals from the intro of “Slide” into a live version of “Moving On and Getting Over,” a track off of Mayer’s seventh studio album, The Search for Everything, released in April of 2014. A YouTube video captured by JDWorldReviews shows Mayer cover his original song prior to sampling Toto’s “Africa,” closing out the surprise dual sampling with the intro to “Slide.”

You can see Mayer’s live mashup here, beginning around the 5:40 mark.

 

DA Presents: 2017’s Producers of the Year

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Despite incessant predictions for the trajectory of the scene, 2017 marked a banner year for all things electronic music. As such, producers experienced more freedom to explore more new sounds with the end result not a fractious, rigid delineation between genres, but rather a continuum of experimentation that led to some of the most interesting and forward-thinking music of the year, with the addition of exciting new niches for artists to inhabit.

With this nuance in mind, Dancing Astronaut is proud to present a superlative class of seven producers who stood about the rest in a crowded space. From the more obvious, mainstream mainstays who continually wow to the breakout producers who surpassed everyone’s expectations, 2017 was packed full of impressive productions from this eclectic pack of standouts.

 

 


 

Rezz at The Observatory, photos by Sean Thomson

THE PRODIGY WHO EXCEEDED ALL EXPECTATIONS: REZZ

Isabelle Rezazadeh ripped into the electronic music scene in 2015 with an unparalleled juxtaposition of industrial techno and pummeling bass that immediately carved out an unforeseen niche in the mines of ominously-sinister, singular techno. While Rezazadeh has exuded a singular artistic vision from the very inception of her REZZ moniker, her unique, genuine vision has more recently seeped into all facets of her “brand” in a refreshingly distinct and similarly succinct fashion.

Having signed and released two EPs on mau5trap in 2016 — both The Silence Is Deafening and then Something Wrong Here — REZZ has since earned slots at premier music festivals and become renowned for her craft across the world.

Through her own music, REZZ has widened a sonic space where creative forces can continue to push the envelope in their own creative capacity. To a degree, REZZ’s envelope-pushing M.O. has aided in the present trickle down of underground music into the mainstream light. In both her alignment with underground pioneers and maintsage appeal, REZZ has aided a new generation of electronic music fans on their potential journeys to underground au courant. At the very least, she’s uncovered the lesser known, both stood behind and brought up the independent artists — which is encapsulated most recently in her collaborations with knodis and Kotek on her debut LP, Mass Manipulation. REZZ has also elevated the experimentally inclined that results in a healthy attempt to wreak havoc on the mundane. Surely, her music has driven many to explore what lies beneath the surface of popular post-EDM, but it has concurrently challenged its listeners to examine the very boundaries between the separate sects of EDM and dance music entirely.

Seminal tracks like “Edge,” “Voice In The Wall,” and “Purple Gusher” are some of REZZ’s most well-known tracks, all released in 2016. These solidified the notion that REZZ was truly finding her production footing in 2015. After an appearance on DA‘s 25 Artists to Watch list for 2016, REZZ was duly named our Breakout Artist of the Year one year later. Over the course of 2017 Rezazadeh has only continued to polish her authoritative skills and justify her selection.

If 2016 was the year REZZ defined her signature sound, 2017 marked her ascension into superstardom.

She spent the year honing in on her image, toured the entirety of the fall as a bruising headliner, announced she would be pivoting entirely towards nighttime shows in the following year to enhance the experience, and in turn, established a well-rounded, distinguishable decorum.

As REZZ took her dark, foreboding ouevre across the world this year, she stunned in her meticulous attention to detail, even going so far as to heed fans about watching the videos of her shows online, so even those who missed on the opportunity to experience her sets live could be mesmerized for themselves.

REZZ also elongated her artistic vision in 2017, in a capacity that was internalized for some time. She extended her artistic body of work with a visceral 60-page comic book co-created alongside Luis Colindres, a the Chicago-based graphic designer behind the Mass Manipulation album art and who has worked alongside Rezazadeh since her Something Wrong Here days.

REZZ has announced that she will be slowing down her touring in 2018, and despite her previously announced shows at Holy Ship!, Buku Music + Art Project, Bassnectar’s Chicago-based Spring Gathering, and a few other jaunts, it’s likely that she’ll be laying off on the more direct hypnotism of the masses. Still, even with a reduced schedule on the road, there are no doubts REZZ will continue her momentum into superstardom.

Grace Fleisher


 

Virtual Self

THE SUPERSTAR REINVENTION: PORTER ROBINSON –> VIRTUAL SELF

Porter Robinson‘s ability to reinvent himself at will is a testament to his storied success within the electronic music sphere. In addition to performing stellar solo DJ sets at festivals around the world, the mercurial producer moved into the year by embarking on the Shelter world tour with Madeon, which spanned North America before a few extraordinary dates in London, Amsterdam, Paris, Tokyo, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. The duo concluded the immersive tour with two back-to-back performances at Coachella, occupying the coveted sundown slot before Lorde and Kendrick Lamar. The Shelter tour’s impact on electronic music created waves, and was solidified as one of the most memorable live performances in EDM’s nascent history.

In the wake of the gargantuan Shelter tour, Robinson forsook his expansive, outwardly turned production and, not for the first time turned a 180, experimenting with a more introspective sound that birthed his alter ego Virtual Self. On the eponymous debut EP, Robinson created a unique sonic landscape in which computer era — the EP would fit perfectly as a soundtrack for video game from the 90s — is used as a basis to explore motifs and existential despair that establish an otherworldly narrative. Virtual Self utilizes psytrance, deep house, and computer-futura influences in order to evoke emotional purgation in the listener. Everything from the mysterious marketing behind the project to its expansive live debut is an off-kilter dive into the unknown.

Porter Robinson’s dive into the virtual abyss known as Virtual Self is one of the most audacious efforts for one of electronic music’s biggest stars recent years, and becomes even more audacious when one remembers that fans had been clamoring for new music from the producer since the release of his seminal LP, WorldsIt’s a testament to Robinson’s prodigious talent that by utterly subverting his fans’ expectations that he managed to give them exactly what they wanted.

John Flynn

 


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DEEP HOUSE’S MELODIC HERO: LANE 8

The years 2016 and 2017 have functioned synergically for Daniel Goldstein, the Anjunadeep prodigy and Pete Tong-distinguished Future Star who goes by the moniker Lane 8. 2016 would serve as the foundation for a major shift for the Denver-based artist as he established This Never Happened imprint, the label’s foundation followed by the concert series of the same name that derived its immersive nature from its restriction of cell phone use during performances.

Initially met with curiosity and, later, engrossment, the sell-out success of the This Never Happened initiative led Goldstein to extend the tour’s run into a brief summer session that visited Colorado, San Francisco, and New York City from July to September of 2017. Lane 8 effectively bridged the disconnect between listener and live performance in his removal of the cell phone screen from the interpersonal equation, re-engaging audiences, and re-personalizing the live experience.

Amassing a following over the years, listeners enthralled by Lane 8’s Anjunadeep and Suara releases, Lane 8’s conception of the This Never Happened imprint in 2016 would foreshadow the artist’s embracement of an increased independence in 2017, as Lane 8 went out on his own and announced his sophomore album Little By Little, due out Jan. 19 on his label. Concurrently, Lane 8 unveiled the impending album’s accompanying 35-date Little By Little World Tour.

Lane 8’s aural tones, complex choral progressions, and all around intricately produced releases rode an effervescent wave in 2017 that seems to be situated in the realm of the ever rising, the producer’s seasonal mixtapes and ensuing singles — think “Atlas” and “No Captain” — reflective of a continually maturing style that achieves peak after sonically pearlescent peak without plunging. 2017 surfaced as a sort of artistic Bildungsroman year for Lane 8 — one that had the whole world enthralled.

Rachel Narozniak


 

calvin harris 2017 42 west

THE FUNKY CURVEBALL: CALVIN HARRIS

Calvin Harris‘ status as one of electronic and pop music’s most gargantuan auteurs is undeniable. Whether it be a headlining performance at Coachella or his massive Las Vegas residency, the Calvin Harris brand has become synonymous with the hedonistic adventures of clubbing.

Wildly enough, however, Harris’ fifth studio album, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1marked a turnstile departure from the big room atmosphere that popularized him in the first place. If albums 18 Months and Motion were forthright efforts encompassing an expansive, festival prepped soundscape, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 acted as their virtuosic counterpart.

Harris’ status as an EDM legend certainly helped him in securing features from some of contemporary musics heavy hitters including storied R&B darling Frank Ocean, contemporary hip-hop hit makers Quavo and Offset of Migos, Pharrell Williams, Ariana Grande, Future, and Khalid, to name a few. The album encompassed a forward-thinking landscape of sonic textures, ultimately serving as a beaming playlist in which Harris is the producer and curator. With an unquestionable legacy as a maestro just as capable in the club as in the arena and on the main stage, Harris’ side journey into sunny, funk-influenced territory marked a an unexpected, bold artistic evolution — one that will certainly pay dividends for his long-term contextualization as a producer.

– John Flynn

 


 

drezo

THE GENRE DEFIER: DREZO

In the deepest, darkest, most clandestine corners of the electronic music continuum, Andre Haglund, aka Drezo, can be found in front of bewitched crowds with his self-proclaimed “evil downtempo.” Known for his disdain towards genre-assignment, the 26-year-old wielded his visionary, malevolent soundscapes in 2017 as a cudgel to rid the scene of its often formulaic, drop-obsessed predictability. After dropping out of college to pursue DJing, and eventually production, the “Drowning Pool” remixer caught the fateful ear of Dillon Francis’ alter ego/arch-nemesis DJ Hanzel, later linking up to go one deeper on a remix of Francis’ “Need You.”

In just three tracks, Drezo’s long-awaited Jaded EP, released mid-2017, enraptured the ears and blackened the hearts of even the most unsuspecting listeners. Seamlessly weaving electro, house, and techno through the tainted fabric of the nefariously sampled EP, the result is a rich and driving milestone in Drezo’s still incipient career.

To add to his already impressive release history in aligning himself with industry favorites like Mad Decent and OWSLA, this year Drezo was also featured on some of dance music’s hottest radio shows like Triple J Mix Up and BBC Radio 1’s Diplo & Friends, wherein listeners got a heady sampling of Jaded.

Looking ahead, the “Heaven” producer has announced his nationwide Evil Live tour, set to commence in early 2018. Additionally, Drezo and known like-minded comrade REZZ, have both recently hinted on social media about future collaborative work. According to Drezo, “The future is bright, but the music is dark.” After an incredible 2017, one would be hard-pressed to disagree.

Bella Bagshaw

 


 

Shigeto_1-Photo_Credit-Kristin_Adamczyk

THE PRODUCER POWERED BY COMMUNITY: SHIGETO

Shigeto stands as something of a an outlier as far as 2017’s top producers go. His tracks aren’t going to set records for most streams and it’s unlikely he’ll play the mainstages of the world’s premier festivals. It’s the release of his first new album in four years and his work building a community in his home base of Detroit, though, that makes the Ghostly International artist a deserving addition to the list.

The aforementioned album, The New Monday, is a triumphant, yet restrained, return to form for the producer. Much like 2013’s No Better Time Than Nowthe new LP sees Shigeto reservedly flex his chops across nine tracks. It also marked a homecoming for the artist, as Shigeto returned to Detroit after a multi-year sojourn in Brooklyn where his career took off. Unsurprisingly, the record takes a multifaceted approach that matches Motown’s diverse musical history. Shigeto flirts with genres as wide ranging as trip hop, techno, acid, and house and imbues them with his signature style — a combination of clever production flourishes and dipped in elements of jazz that recall his early career as a drummer. Though only nine tracks long, The New Monday is full without being forced, as the producer opts for compositions with long run times. with the shortest clocking in at just under three minutes while the longest, a heartfelt ode to his city and the album’s opener, “Detroit Pt. II” has a run time of nearly seven and a half minutes. This combination of tracks combine for an LP that is equally at home on the dancefloor or spinning on a record player on a languid summer day in Michigan.

Beyond the new album, though, Shigeto has taken things a step further in Detroit. He’s recently launched his own label, Portage Garage Sounds, that serves as a creative outlet for the city’s local musicians and also launched a free, weekly showcase at Motor City Wine dubbed Monday is the New Monday — the inspiration for his album’s title. Beyond his immense musicianship, it’s this focus and drive to foster a creative and supportive community in Detroit that makes Shigeto an exemplar of what an artist can accomplish, both in the studio and out in the world, in 2017.

Michael Cooper

 


 

ekali-press

 

THE INSURGENT TALENT WHO TOOK THE SCENE BY STORM: EKALI

Though he’s been steadily making a name for himself over the past few years, Ekali became a dance music household name in 2017.

The Canadian producer kicked off the year with a massive collaboration with KRANE just nine days into 2017 and has been gathering momentum since then.

He toured constantly throughout the year, but never slowed down his flow of fresh releases. With each new release comes an entirely new sound from the producer, as he refuses to shy away from challenges like taking on Porter Robinson’s “Language” with QUIX. His production invigorates — it effortlessly combines relatable elements of today’s mainstream electronic music with his own haunting, delicately crafted style.

His collaborations in 2017 have been massive, teaming up with the likes of TroyBoi for “Truth,” Denzel Curry for tour namesake “Babylon,” Opia for “Past Life,” and many more.

As he flexed his production skills throughout the year, Ekali also shone on a wide range of mixes in 2017, including three hour-long Awakening mixes, a Diplo & Friends mix, and a Triple J mix – all packed full of his favorite music at the time.

Instead of following trends, Ekali has been a trailblazer under Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint, creating a loyal and enthusiastic fan base that sold out many of his Babylon tour stops up until the end of December.

Just a few days before 2017 came to a close, Ekali further cemented his power status by releasing a huge collaboration with ZHU, “Blame,” which marries their styles in a powerfully unexpected way.

In a tweet posted on Jan. 3, the producer called 2017 “the best year of [his] life,” and says he’s ready to “give you an even better 2018.”

We can’t wait.

Robyn Dexter


 

Read More: 

DA Presents: 15 artists that rocked the underground in 2017

Dancing Astronaut proudly presents the 2017 Label of the Year

Calvin Harris just bought Steve Angello’s house in LA

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Calvin Harris is becoming so successful that he’s buying other DJ’s homes now. The notably highest-paid producer just purchased Steve Angello‘s former house in LA for an undisclosed amount.

The house was built in the 1940’s and was originally put on the market for $5.5 million in October. However, it’s been given a contemporary reboot, with four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and contains a grand living room that has an 18-foot ceiling surrounded by glass walls, providing incredible LA views. It also has a large porch/outdoor lounge area, a pool and a cutting edge studio on the second floor.

steve angello home

calvin-harris-new-home

calvin harris living room

calvin harris new studio

H/T: Realtor

Read More:

SZA – The Weekend (Calvin Harris Funk Wav Remix)

Calvin Harris pledged to remix a Spice Girls song if Australia legalized gay marriage

Steve Angello – Dopamine (Official Video)

What will Coachella’s EDM programming look like this year?

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What will Coachella’s EDM programming look like this year?

Coachella‘s status as a music festival has grown to become larger than life since its humble, European-inspired beginnings in 1999, and their yearly lineup is both a cultural statement regarding the current state of music and a presage to future trends.

The behemoth brand has always integrated electronic music into their programming, with artists like The Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold, Moby, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, and even Daft Punk helping to shape its reputation as an audacious tastemaker when it comes to curation. Until Coachella, electronic music had a hard time making it across the pond — it certainly never occupied such prime real estate as desert fields filled with upwards of 60,000 attendees.

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Coachella’s longstanding relationship with EDM has been as mercurial as the multifaceted genre itself, with its programming interests shifting in conjunction with the tastes of festival attendees. 2010 saw Tiësto occupy a sub-headlining set, playing after Muse on the festival’s main stage. Swedish House Mafia’s seminal 2012 performance has become solidified as one of mainstream house’s defining moments as a genre. Calvin Harrisiconic set in 2016 marked the first year that an EDM artist has headlined Coachella, a precedent that has since shaped the festival’s programming ethos. Its most recent iteration saw the most electronic artist names in both the second line and undercard areas of its lineup in its entire history.

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So, what will EDM look like at Coachella 2018?

As always is the case, Coachella’s internal forums and sub-Reddits have been crawling with speculation around the lineup since the end of last year’s festival in April. However, 2018 has been more silent in terms of credible rumors than in recent years. 33 names on the 2017 bill were confirmed by this time in 2016, including all three headliners. This year, a mere 8 names are confirmed, with only Beyoncé confirmed as a headliner due to her unexpected cancellation.

The Chainsmokers‘ potential elevation to headliner status catalyzed a lot of buzz earlier in the year, for example, but these rumors have since been proven insubstantial at best. Such hypotheses beg the question: Who aside from Calvin Harris does have the EDM star power to headline a festival as large as Coachella? One could only name a few potential candidates, really: the new ‘it boy’ Marshmello, Daft Punk, Zedd, and maybe Major Lazer or Skrillex off of a new album.

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The Sahara Tent

Most of the Coachella’s EDM selection tends to be confined to one of North America’s most storied destinations for the genre: the Sahara Tent. Since the festival’s recent attendance expansion, it has gone to great lengths to increase the amount of space between stages, removing bottlenecks and increasing traffic flow. However, it failed to predict that the jump in attendance would largely be from those looking to quench their collective thirst for EDM.

Massive acts like DJ Snake & Martin Garrix were placed one after the other in 2017, rather than being scheduled in conjunction with one another to help ease crowding. The same was true of Sahara mainstays Dillon Francis and Steve Angello, both of which played there once more at peak hours.

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The likely reason for this lack of counter programming stems from the fact that fans pay a great deal of money to see as much of their music of choice as possible, so directly countering EDM with more EDM would likely upset Coachella’s core demographic. Still, the Sahara Tent is nearly uninhabitable after sundown, and fans can’t even break into the tent to catch their favorite sets if this scheduling methodology persists.

Coachella’s online forum users have pointed towards the prospect of the festival adding another gargantuan tent similar to the current Sahara Tent, which could showcase similar styles of music while lessening the bottleneck effect in the Sahara. A more plausible option, though, would be the expansion of the current Sahara Tent to accommodate a larger number of attendees.

Regardless of how they tackle it, Goldenvoice must, and likely will address the overflow of wide-eyed festival goers flooding into the Sahara Tent in dangerous fashion.

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Second Liners

With so many dance titans occupying the second line of Coachella’s roster over the past couple years, its seems like the event has almost jumped the gun just a bit. Booking so many of EDMs hottest names means that there are now far less to look at for 2018, assuming there are no repeats — quite the conundrum indeed.

ODESZA appears to be one of Coachella fans’ most sought-after artists. Fresh off of a new album and accompanying tour, which saw them incorporate a drum line and other exciting elements into the mix, the seminal indie/pop electronica duo is likely going to claim one of Coachella’s top spots come Spring of next year. One could even go so far as to wager that they will fill the third name on the second line and occupy the same main stage sunset spot that Porter Robinson & Madeon occupied in 2017.

Since Kygo’s ascension to national stardom that essentially began in 2015, the Norwegian giant has garnered hundreds of millions of streams and has since gone on to popularize the “tropical house” sound and captured the attention of the masses. A key second line slot seems fitting for Kygo in 2018 — a step up from his 2015 booking — and the artist certainly has the clout to headline the festival’s second biggest stage: the Outdoor Theatre.

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Eric Prydz is another name that hasn’t played Coachella in years, and has since accrued a massive increase in popularity among the dance music community. With the release of Opus in and the debut of his new Epic 5.0 stage setup, Prydz is certainly a candidate for high placement on Coachella’s 2018 poster — there’s even a good chance he could occupy a similar after-dark set on the Outdoor theatre, à la Justice in 2017. Or, perhaps Prydz could headline the legendary Sahara Tent during a main stage set from The Chainsmokers.

One of trap music’s most elusive figures, RL Grime, has been on his headlining Nova tour for the last two months, which features groundbreaking visuals that are rarely seen in the trap world, or EDM world at large. The LA native, who has redefined trap music’s fundamental style, always ensures his sets are filled with a tangible verve. He could very well close out the Sahara Tent or perform second to last on Coachella’s Outdoor Theatre, especially if he releases an album in the foreseeable future.

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Finally, after their meteoric rise to mainstream recognition since Group Therapy, Above & Beyond is also primed to their long-awaited return to the Polo Fields — maybe for 2018 after the release of their Common Ground album. The trio is known for filling their sets with tear-inducing moments aided by sentimental visuals, and like RL Grime, would make for perfect counter programming in the Sahara Tent or placement at the Outdoor Theatre.

GRiZ has never performed at Coachella and, fresh off of the release of his newest album Good Will Prevail, the Michigan DJ and saxophone master is definitely evolving into an excellent booking choice. With live, instrumental-centric sets that are full of insurmountable energy, it’s only fitting that GRiZ occupies a coveted slot on the lineup. GRiZ seems to be on the cusp of second liners — he may be closer to filling a high spot on the third line — regardless, he might make his debut at the 2018 iteration.

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Yuma Yuma Yuma

As Coachella’s electronic programming progressed through the years, organizers soon felt a need to incorporate a tent that captured the essence of the underground dance niche. Thus, the Yuma Tent was birthed in 2013. The stage’s indoor setup features awe-inspiring lighting schemes, air conditioning, a giant disco ball, and even giant beds that sore feet can head to rest and soak in the sounds of top underground talent.

In years past, the Yuma Tent has featured such legendary acts as J.E.S.u.S (Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, and Seth Troxler), Richie Hawtin, The Belleville Three (Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson), Bicep, and Ben Klock, to name just a few.

So who will DJ in the legendary tent this year? Our bets are on the return of artists like those that comprise J.E.S.u.S. Others that are due for a return include Maceo Plex, Carl Craig, and Dubfire.

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Coachella’s Yuma tent selections continue to break ground within the electronic side of the festival sphere, but it will need to expand upon its current scheduling methodology in order to keep up with the growing factions that divide ‘popular’ underground leaders — like Hot Since 82, Solomun, and The Martinez Brothers — and their lesser-known counterparts.

Will bookers finally decide to pay homage to such pivotal acts as Len Faki, Amelie Lens, Rødhåd, Detroit Swindle, and The Black Madonna? The aforementioned underground acts have not typically made the cut in recent years; whether this is due to them not receiving an offer, or simply not wishing to play a mainstream festival like Coachella, is entirely unknown.

One thing that is for certain is that they would do well to expand their horizons in terms of the styles of techno and house they book, given the apparent lack of diversity in the Yuma Tent’s recent years. Ultimately, the stage is still defining its identity after only half a decade of existence, so who knows what it will have in store come April 2018.

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Undercard Hopes

Coachella’s most consistent aspect is its stellar undercard, and electronic music within this area of its roster continues to act as an integral force in its success. Acts like Nicolas Jaar, Tycho, Galantis, Kaytranada, Jai Wolf, and Four Tet all occupied its undercard last year. When one considers that even some of electronic music’s most established and hottest acts didn’t even make the second line, the festival’s depth becomes entirely apparent.

This year’s bill has the potential to showcase an array of tantalizing dance music up-and-comers. Some acts we predict will appear on the 2018 undercard include Virtual Self (Porter Robinson’s alter alias), Ekali, Big Wild, Gorgon City, Malaa, and Oliver, to name a few.

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A Cultural Phenomenon

Coachella holds strong in the festival sphere of influence, continually expanding its attendance rates and selling out each year thanks to bookings like Lady Gaga, Radiohead, Outkast, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

The festival is a glaring manifestation music’s current state and where its headed: this is especially true for its electronic programming, in which its talent buyers are faced with a more arduous task than ever to remain cutting-edge for the upcoming rendition.

Coachella’s upcoming lineup is most definitely going to be incredible no matter what, and we’re excited to see who makes the cut.

SZA – The Weekend (Calvin Harris’ Funk Wav Remix)

This post was originally published on this site

Calvin Harris’ funk train continues to steam full speed ahead, bringing SZA on board for a Funk Wav remix of “The Weekend,” a track off of the singer’s debut studio album, Ctrl. An extension of the groove that Harris proffered on recent release, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. I, Harris’ take maintains SZA’s viscous vocals, supplementing SZA’s ballad-style vocal approach with a series of tasteful piano notes that contribute to the re-imagination’s classification as a house funk number. Harris’ revamp shimmers with ‘70s inspired tones, rendering the remix a welcome sonic blast from the past.

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