Black Coffee, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, FISHER, and more top inaugural MDL Beast Festival ticket

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Black Coffee, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, FISHER, and more top inaugural MDL Beast Festival ticketMartin Garri Breach

A new addition to Saudi Arabia’s live event circuit, the inaugural MDL Beast Festival will be held from December 19 – 21 in Riyadh. The region’s largest music and culture festival, MDL Beast has curated a global selection of dance acts for its introductory event.

Headliners of the diverse, genre-fluid lineup include Afrojack, Black Coffee, David Guetta, FISHER, J. Balvin, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, and Sebastian Ingrosso, among others. Saudi artists such as the country’s first female DJ, Cosmicat, and production duo, Dish Dash, also top the MDL Beast ticket, exemplifying organizers’ commitment to programming that strikes a balance between local talent and international electronic heavyweights. Cosmicat and Dish Dash will be joined by 22 other regional talents.

In a statement, Steve Aoki expressed his excitement, “This summer I got to play in Saudi Arabia for the very first time; it was the most incredible experience that I’ll never forget. When I got the offer to play at the three-day MDL Beast Festival, I was thrilled to become part of it and be back in the region again. 

In addition to singular live sets, MDL Beast will also host a series of noteworthy back-to-back performances. Martin Garrix will take the decks alongside Tiësto, CamelPhat will share the stage with FISHER. However, these are just two of the illustrious joint appearances that will unfold at MDL Beast. 

“I’m so proud of the fact that we’re hosting this festival in Saudi; it’s a great reflection of the Saudi audience being able to experience the music they love, both local and international, right here in Riyadh.

As one of the first female EDM DJs here, I’m excited to be flying the flag and representing women on the scene. I can’t wait to share the stage with some phenomenal global talent and play for the MDL Beast crowd. This is going to be the set of my lifetime,” says Cosmicat.

The multi-sensory, multi-stage festival will pay homage to Saudi Arabia in its Saudi influenced stage design and production, which will be tailored to reflect the architecture of the region. Tickets to the first installment in the newly budding history of MDL Beast are available now, purchase here.

Black Coffee, Tiesto, Martin Garrix, FISHER, and more top inaugural MDL Beast Festival ticketMDL Art Final

Featured image: Rukes

CRSSD announces spring 2020 roster topped by Gesaffelstein, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Carl Cox, and more

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CRSSD announces spring 2020 roster topped by Gesaffelstein, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Carl Cox, and moreGesaffelstein Coachella 2019 Julian Bajsel

CRSSD returns for its eleventh edition taking place March 7 – 8 at San Diego’s Waterfront Park. Three stages will bring fans a characteristically diverse set of live musical experiences, and the first wave of artists on the spring 2020 billing stack up to be one of CRSSD’s strongest to date.

Gesaffelstein, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Carl Cox, Charlotte de Witte, Chris Lake, CamelPhat, and Nora en Pure are all featured on the lineup, along with a stellar cast of supporting acts. Dancing Astronaut Artist to Watch Ben Böhmer (performing live), Patrick Topping, and Majid Jordan are all booked, as well as planned back-to-backs from Brodinski and 2ManyDJs as well as Mark Knight and Technasia

New for Spring 2020 will be a partnership with neighboring hotel, The Guild, which will showcase CRSSD programming throughout the weekend. Tickets go on sale December 10 at 11:00 a.m. PT (2:00 p.m. ET).

CRSSD announces spring 2020 roster topped by Gesaffelstein, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Carl Cox, and more78473767 3113853491965014 1748190812052652032 N

Featured image: Julian Bajsel

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

CamelPhat and Jem Cooke fashion brand new hit, ‘Rabbit Hole’

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CamelPhat and Jem Cooke fashion brand new hit, ‘Rabbit Hole’Camelphat

Crossover darlings Camelphat rejoin vocalist Jem Cooke for a brand new earworm on Sony RCA. “Rabbit Hole” is just what its name implies, sucking listeners into a throbbing landscape filled with buzzing synths and vibrant grooves. Naturally, Jem Cooke’s warm vocal tones remain the track’s centerpiece; the melody she’s chosen for her lyrics is mysterious and hypnotic. From there, the rest of the tune falls into place, with harmonic peaks and valleys complimenting the sonic adventure Cooke takes consumers on through her verses. Cool but catchy, expect this latest addition to their collective discography to become their next joint hit.

Last time Jem Cooke and Camelphat joined, it was alongside Cristoph for “Breathe” on Pryda Presents. The record earned silver certification in the UK, and would place itself amond Billboard’s top 25 club tunes. More recently, Camelphat have continued their choice release selections through co-producing Duke Dumont’s latest record, and collaborating with Jake Bugg for “Be Someone.”

Camelphat co-produce Duke Dumont’s latest hit, ‘The Power’

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Camelphat co-produce Duke Dumont’s latest hit, ‘The Power’Duke Dumont 019 Credit Daniel Lee

Duke Dumont and Camelphat have both become icons in the past half decade, with both respective acts being behind megahits like “Ocean Drive” and “Cola.” Thus, it was only a matter of time before these two crossover magnates combined for a joint hit. They’ve presented us with “The Power,” featuring vocals by rising star Zak Abel.

Though Camelphat have taken a more behind-the-scenes role in the single, opting not to show off their names on DSPs and online markets, their imprint can be heard easily within. “The Power” is light, infectious, and vocal-driven—common ingredients of a Duke Dumont hit designed to perfection. A higher tempo house foundation implies Camelphat’s hand. Meanwhile, both artists’ knacks for creating catchy melodies and injecting accessibility into their works makes for yet another jewel within their production crowns.

Photo credit: Daniel Lee

Diplo co-produces Elderbrook’s latest, ‘How You Do’

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Diplo co-produces Elderbrook’s latest, ‘How You Do’Elderbrook Live YT Thumbnail

Elderbrook climbed the electronic ranks at a speed few have done before, particularly as a result of his Grammy-nominated, breakout collaboration with CamelPhat, “Cola.” The producer followed up the Grammy nomination with an enamoring EP Old Friend, and now he is out with his first single since then titled “How You Do.”

Elderbrook has cemented his signature sound with “How You Do,” which features the producer’s own smooth vocals juxtaposed with a pulsing house backdrop perfect for an underground club night. The track would have been a fitting addition to Old Friend, but it features surprising synthesized notes that bounce between the mellow house undertones that propel the track forward.

Elderbrook enlisted none other than Diplo to co-produce the track, which undoubtedly adds a new dynamic to Elderbrook’s final product with “How You Do.” The single is out now via Big Beat Records, with it likely becoming yet another major hit for the fledgling producer.

Photo Credit: Eva Pentel

CamelPhat partner with featured vocalist, Jake Bugg, for ‘Be Someone’

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CamelPhat partner with featured vocalist, Jake Bugg, for ‘Be Someone’Camelphat

CamelPhat assert their ability to “Be Someone” in the house sphere with the release of their brand new single alongside Jake Bugg. The result is a vocal-assisted instant anthem, much in the same vein as the outfit’s seminal, “Cola.” Similarly, the vocals in “Be Somebody” bow in sonic prominence to production.

The monotone vocal that Jake Bugg lends to the track contrasts with the airy atmospheric ascendence of the tune’s builds. The track’s underground influence is audible in the staticky titillation of the track’s descents and percussion, which foreground a memorable chord arrangement. Ultimately, “Be Somebody” is a cinematic production that is well suited for live play as it is the club dancefloor.

Calvin Harris celebrates 10th anniversary of ‘I’m Not Alone’ with set of remixes

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Calvin Harris celebrates 10th anniversary of ‘I’m Not Alone’ with set of remixes1 Cred Conor McDonell

Calvin Harris is celebrating the 10th birthday of his iconic “I’m Not Alone” from his second studio album, Ready for the Weekend, in fine fashion. He’s put together a four-track “repack” of the notable song, and released it via Sony Music.

The compilation includes two fresh remixes from CamelPhat and Thomas Schumacher. CamelPhat puts a subdued, contemplative spin on the track, opting to delve deeper into the song’s message with a steady techno-oriented bassline. Schumacher, too, opts for a techno take on the classic tune, crafting an intense, darker atmosphere around Harris’ recognizable melodies.

Also found on the compilation are two versions of the track from Harris himself: a 2019 edit and a 2009 remaster. Both freshen up the decade-old tune, bringing it roaring into 2019.

When it was first released, “I’m Not Alone” became Harris’ first UK No. 1 as a solo artist and has since become certified platinum in several places around the world.

Photo credit: Conor McDonell

‘Breathe’ gains a stripped down sonic sister as CamelPhat release ‘Just Chill Mix’ of Cristoph collaboration

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‘Breathe’ gains a stripped down sonic sister as CamelPhat release ‘Just Chill Mix’ of Cristoph collaborationCamelphat

CamelPhat and Cristoph‘s “Breathe” dresses down, to take a ruminative turn on former’s “Just Chill Mix.”

The melancholy that tinges featured vocalist, Jem Cooke‘s contribution on the original remains intact on CamelPhat’s alternate version of the titillating collaboration. The pace of “Breathe” lends a sense of urgency to Cooke’s pleading of the track’s lyrical hook, which CamelPhat temper in their latest mix. The comparatively slow, honeyed bpm of CamelPhat’s re-imagination of “Breathe” augments the haunting, ethereal quality of Cooke’s voice, as she languidly verbalizes the song’s lyrical narrative.

The downtempo orientation of CamelPhat’s “Just Chill Mix” foregrounds Cooke’s vocals, to focalize their soothing tone, without sacrificing any of the potency. An unimposing beat progression undergirds the number, to instill the namesake “chill” of the tune’s title.

Saturday Night Session 011: EJ scores the most unconventional residency there is, and talks being the anonymous musical face of Formula E

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Saturday Night Session 011:  EJ scores the most unconventional residency there is, and talks being the anonymous musical face of Formula EEJ Formula E

Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.

Becoming a resident DJ is the goal for many looking to achieve a fruitful and lasting career in the insanity that is the music industry. While locations like Vegas and Ibiza are the known industry hotspots, and the goal for many looking to cement their brand as a world renowned performer, high profile residencies also exist in other forms, which DJ and Producer EJ knows all too well. EJ is currently the resident DJ for Formula E, the global electric car-racing league that makes event stops throughout the world.

Previously, EJ was a Ministry of Sound veteran, but with his Formula E residency, he has turned ‘anonymous’ and chooses to perform in a mask not dissimilar to the racing helmets of those competing around him. His anonymity is a new dynamic for the artist, who has spent his entire career performing with no disguise.

EJ speaks about reinventing himself as an anonymous producer, stating, “originally, I wanted to create a DJ persona that could grow with the Formula E brand when I first started working with them, and bring a new audience to the championship through my music and performances.” He continues, “It was a bit of fun to be anonymous. I have worked in the scene for quite some time with Ministry of Sound so wanted a bit of a fresh look.”

What might be one of the most interesting things about his Formula E residency is how he performs, which is varied and non-traditional compared to the club and festival circuit many electronic producers perform within.

EJ mentions, “I play to the race itself when the cars are on track, creating the atmosphere to the grand stand spectators.” He continues, “Then there is the gaming zone which is pretty cool, creating the music backdrop to fans and the drivers racing each other on the computer game. Finally, there are my main stage performances. It all depends what country you are playing in with what style you go with.”

EJ has released a 19 piece soundtrack that is set to take center stage at the global street racing championship. He has released it on Ashley Wallbridge and Gareth Emery‘s Garuda, and both of Garuda’s founding artists have tracks included within the compilation.

While the Formula E residency has consumed a substantial amount of the DJ’s time, this has not stopped him from pursuing his DJ and production career in the more traditional sense. When discussing what his plans are for the new year, EJ comments, “It’s fantastic playing at Formula E, but I want to be on the festival stages such as Tomorrowland and Ultra. Headlining one of them would be fucking unreal! Also would love to get a number one.”

EJ also plans to release a full length album before the end of the year, which certainly bolsters his plan to reach number one. His Saturday Night Session proves him more than worthy for the mainstage with its collection of hit tracks like Cristoph and CamelPhat‘s “Breathe” and his own originals. As EJ puts it, the mix is certain to get listeners ready for “A good old rave up!” and it’s the perfect hour to get a good night going.

 

Photo Credit: LAT Images

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Why do you choose to produce/perform masked and anonymously?
Originally, I wanted to create a DJ persona that could grow with the Formula E brand when I first started working with them, and bring a new audience to the championship through my music and performances. It was a bit of fun to be anonymous. I have worked in the scene for quite some time with Ministry of Sound so wanted a bit of a fresh look. It’s not so anonymous now as I have been performing without the helmet on a few occasions and have also been in the press without it. The secret is out!

Can you tell us more information like, where are you from? What got you into music production and what inspired you to start producing trance music specifically?
I’m from London and still live here, but travel quite a lot. I love London. It will always be my home. I worked for Ministry of Sound for 10 years before working with Formula E, and have got to play at some incredible venues around the world. Before that though, I worked in Ibiza. It was Ibiza that really got me into music and DJing, however before living there, I was massively into the original trance scene. Although I have moved around genres through my career I have always still loved the energy of trance. Strictly though, I am not just trance. I play a lot of progressive house and even though my most recent productions have all be labelled trance, they kind of sit in the middle a little. I like to be able to move around between the genres. You will see a lot more of my progressive side in 2019.

You’re the resident DJ for Formula E, which is an unconventional yet very high profile gig. What is it like performing in that environment versus performing in a club environment? Do you have a preference?
Yeah of course it is very different. I have a few roles at Formula E when it comes to performances. I play to the race itself when the cars are on track, creating the atmosphere to the grand stand spectators. Then there is the gaming zone which is pretty cool, creating the music backdrop to fans and the drivers racing each other on the computer game. Finally, there are my main stage performances. It all depends what country you are playing in with what style you go with. Some are more commercial than others. With all of this you have to remember that essentially people are there for the racing not just the music, however I just played in Santiago and the crowd was awesome, actually coming to see me rather than just the racing. Clubs and festivals for now will always have the more dance music crowd, but it looks like this could be changing. I do love a fucking good club though!

Are you a fan of a particular Formula E team or driver?
Am I allowed to be biased? I’m always asked to be neutral, but I get along really well with Sam Bird from Virgin, Mitch Evans from Jaguar, and Antonio Felix da Costa from BMW. They are all good lads, and the teams are pretty cool. Sam’s at the top of the table at the moment though so let’s go with him!

Musically, what are some goals you currently have for yourself?
I really want to showcase my style of music and get it out there to the masses. It’s fantastic playing at Formula E, but I want to be on the festival stages such as Tomorrowland and Ultra. Headlining one of them would be fucking unreal! Also would love to get a number one. All my last releases have gone top 20 on the Beatport Trance chart, but wouldn’t it be cool if music swung back round again, and my music was in the main charts. That would be wicked! Some collabs with some sick singers would be great as well.

What can we expect from you in the new year?
Lots more music. I have a compilation out on 8th February called Formula E – The Soundtrack which is selection of tracks that you would expect to hear me play at a Formula E race. We have a Garuda night at Ministry of Sound in London on 1st March where I’ll be playing alongside Gareth Emery, Ashley Wallbridge, Kolonie and Nash. I have an artist album out some time before the end of the year, depending when its finished as I am also on tour with Formula E until July heading all over the globe to some fantastic cities.

What kind of a Saturday Night is your mix getting us ready for?
A good old rave up!