Over the years, Spring Awakening Music Festival has hosted a wealth of Anjunabeats artistry, from Arty, to Lane 8, to the label bosses themselves: Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki. But this year, the Above & Beyond-pioneered dance music destination is bringing its very own branded stage to the largest electronic music event in the Midwest, ushering in the summer festival season June 7-9.
Dancing Astronaut had a chance to catch up with some of Anjuna’s standout acts, all of which will perform at Spring Awakening’s brand new location, Poplar Creek in Hoffman Estates. The Illinois-bound Anjuna repertoire includes some of the fiercest faces in trance and progressive house, including Spencer Brown, who received rave reviews for his debut studio album released last year under Anjuna, Illusion Of Perfection, as well as veteran Anjuna acts like Grammy-nominated Andrew Bayer and longtime globetrotting duo, Gabriel & Dresden.
Tickets to Spring Awakening, as well as general festival information are available here. For more information on Anjunabeats, head here.
Spencer Brown “I am so pumped to be back in one of the most passionate music cities in the world for Spring Awakening. I will be bringing plenty of new unreleased music with me; see you on the dancefloor.”
Andrew Bayer “I love playing in Chicago. The food is great but the people are even better. Can’t wait to play at Spring Awakening for the first time.”
Gabriel & Dresden “We are super excited to return to Spring Awakening Music Festival. We performed at the first one in 2011 and that gig has always stayed with us. This time it’s going to be even more special because we get to share it with our Anjuna Family who always brings the good vibes and energy.”
Jason Ross “I always look forward to coming to Chicago – easily one of my favorite cities in North America. Performing on the Anjunabeats stage at Spring Awakening this year is going to be epic.”
Oliver Smith “Chicago is one of my favourite places to play. I have a strong following there and the fans are always so knowledgeable about the music. Can’t wait to visit Spring Awakening Festival for the first time too.”
Tinlicker “Very nice to be back in thé city of house music.”
Chicago’s premiere electronic music festival, Spring Awakening, has rolled out the official lineup for its branded stages: Destructo‘s All My Friends footing, an Anjunabeats onslaught, and SAMF’s longtime staple, the Bass Kitchen.
Anjuna will activate the three-day weekend, Friday, June 7, flaunting a fearsome inventory of trance, progressive, and melodic house from the likes of Spencer Brown, Andrew Bayer, Tinlicker, and more. Saturday will see the signature Bass Kitchen up in sweet sonic flames with a little help from Liquid Stranger, Dion Timmer, Spag Heddy, and more talent from the trap/dubstep dominion. Finally, Destructo will quite literally bring All his Friends for an AMFAMFAMF takeover Sunday, hallmarked by a performance by the label boss himself, Dombresky, Matroda, Dillon Nathaniel, and more in the bass-infused house hierarchy.
Spring Awakening, this year headlined by Excision, REZZ, Illenium, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, just to name a few, is setting up shop for the first time at its new home in Hoffman Estates, the 27-acre Poplar Creek, June 7-9.
Tickets to Spring Awakening, the full lineup, and additional festival information are available here.
Flume‘s surprise mixtape, Hi, This is Flume, is set to land any minute now, and as fans eagerly await the Aussie beat guru’s highly anticipated return, the good news just keeps pouring in. The Skin producer was just announced as a headliner at Lollapalooza this summer, signaling a huge swell in momentum for the beloved electronic experimenter. To hype the Chicago iteration of the festival this summer, Lollapalooza has dropped off a short teaser announcing ticket sales, featuring a brand new, yet-to-be identified cut from Flume.
The “Summer is Coming” trailer, which might even succeed in plugging Flume’s return more than the actual festival, features clips of the iconic summer gathering at Grant Park, soundtracked by the delightfully off-kilter clinks and clicks that only Harley Streten can do so well. Chopped vocals and rubbery percussive breaks come together with a charming, cinematic appeal in the new ID, and if the nameless track is any indicator of the impending mixtape Flume has promised, everyone is in for quite the treat.
The Hoffman Estates-held Spring Awakening will run June 7-9 at Poplar Creek, a 27-acre property (more than double that of 2018’s grounds, Addams/Medill Park). The new locale will likely equip the fest with the means to reduce noise pollution, overcrowding, cramped stage setups, and additional space-oriented festival conundrums. Since its first year as a multi-day festival, Spring Awakening has seen two different venue shifts. It was initially held in downtown Chicago at the hallowed Solider Field from 2012-2015.
Past installments of the React Presents hallmark event brought the likes of Alison Wonderland, Tiësto, Adventure Club, Skrillex, Dillon Francis, and Zeds Dead, just to name a few. This year’s chapter is expected to feature some 90 artists throughout its three-day span.
The entirety of the lineup is set for announcement Friday, March 15. Tickets to Spring Awakening are on sale now, here.
A brand new pressing plant called Smashed Plastic has pressed the first vinyl record in the birthplace of house music in more than 20 years. Located in the northern part of the Windy City, Smashed Plastic will press records for several local labels. One of the four investors who collaboratively established Chicago’s new Smashed Plastic is Andy Weber, a DJ, who outfitted the plant with a new vinyl press sourced from Toronto, Canada, manufactured by one of the two companies that make new vinyl presses worldwide. Weber’s investment is said to total around $200,000.
Smashed Plastic will make its full launch in January 2019, and for now will assist smaller scale imprints and Chicago-based artists with record pressing. The investors’ idea to open Smashed Plastic reportedly followed several conversations with local musicians, who expressed the challenge inherent in finding a vinyl presser who could quickly deliver new records.
Dim Mak headmaster and two-time Grammy nominee, Steve Aoki, is bringing an across-the-board congregation of label front-runners to Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom tomorrow, Nov 10, as he uncorks his thoroughly-anticipated album, Neon Future III.
The multi-pronged event will host the house-heathen, BROHUG trio, off-the-wall animated wobble bass from Bear Grillz, as well as further support from house beat devotee, Max Styler, and trap insurgent, Bok Nero. Of course, the EDM cake boss himself, Aoki, will secure the headlining seat––Neon Future III in hand, no doubt. Grillz’s NEIGHBORHOOD debut carries a particularly timely element, as he just last month released his bass-abundant Dim Mak EP, TOO LOUD.
In anticipation for the multifarious affair, Dim Mak has curated a playlist exclusively tailored to foreshadow what is sure to be an unforgettable endeavor.
Tickets to Dim Mak NEIGHBORHOOD can be purchased here.
Spring Awakening Music Festival, the largest strictly electronic music festival in the Midwest, is set on returning to Chicago for its eighth year this June–but with the festival’s home base for the past few years (after leaving its original Soldier Field housing), Addams/Medill Park, purportedly under construction, the fest has called an audible and has announced new digs at spacious Douglas Park.
However, it seems the Chicago-based event mega-brand, React Presents, jumped the gun big time announcing their relocation plans Monday, as the decision was apparently made without consulting the proper channels within the district. Now, the community and its officials are bristling at the sudden news.
To complicate matters further, Douglas Park has already played host to punk/alternative haven, Riot Fest this past September, and is hoping to celebrate its 15th anniversary by returning to the location next year. Riot’s organizers were praised by the community and its officials for working with the locals and community overseers prior to their move in order to assess environmental and community impact, highlighting the stark misfire on SAMF’s part. Although the situation may yet to have crossed over into irreparable territory, Chicago’s 12th Ward Alderman George Cardenas issued some firm pushback in regards to Spring Awakening organizers’ actions, telling the Chicago Tribune:
There’s a lot of things to consider here, which makes me upset. There was a lot of work that was done to ensure that Riot Fest was successful and all of a sudden, we get this unexpected news release from folks who are coming in without going through any process. It’s completely wrong.
Cardenas attributes his concern with SAMF’s preemptive announcement to his not wanting to see the community, “taken for granted.” However, he conceded he would still be willing to meet with the festival organizers to rectify the situation should they chose to reach out for his approval.
Paradigm Presents has carved its way into the Chicago club scene for years now, meshing swimmingly by way of its house-driven ethos, booking deep and eclectic talent. In the past, the brand has hosted venerable names like Thugfucker, Solomun, and Dusky at its meticulously curated soirees. Now, PP prepares for a particularly ‘DEEP’ Halloween, summoning some of the Burning Man Playa’s biggest names for what’s sure to be a mystical outing.
All Day I Dream owner Lee Burridge will be headlining the multi-environment HAUNTED DEEP, set to spook city-goers Friday, October 26 at Mine Music Hall. Burridge will be bringing his dreamy brand of house and fluid mixing skills to the table. Among the roster of 10 total DJs booked for the affair is MR C, who runs California institution, Superfreq, and his colleague Jay Tripwire. This is Burridge’s second appearance in Chicago in under two months, as September saw him bring the second-ever, immaculately decorated ADID to the Windy City lakefront.
A simple press run for David Guetta has turned into an all-out internet burn session against the French producer by October 22, 2018 — and even more so against ABC’s Nightline program.
According to Nightline and the original web copy by the ABC web team, Guetta purpotedly is the “grandfather of electronic dance music” who *apparently* “helped bring house to the US.” There was only one caveat in this tale: the crossover star didn’t bring house music to the United States at all. In fact, some might be shocked to hear that this popular genre of dance music and the vaguely-related pop version that Guetta purveys were actually born right here in the country, in the warehouses of Chicago. Dance music and all its contemporary offshoots wouldn’t even exist, had it not been for minorities and the LGBTQ community gathering together under the banner of house to escape persecution from the outside world. It’s disappointing — albeit, unsurprising — to see a large news organization like ABC choose the watered-down, whitewashed version of history around the sound when really it should be expressing pride in a home-grown movement. Nor did it help that Guetta’s response completely missed the mark as to why he’s the indirect subject of such widespread outrage.
A more accurate angle of the Nightline report would have been, “How Frankie Knuckles, Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk, and others brought house music to France/Europe.” Since this more accurate angle wasn’t taken, we here at Dancing Astronaut have decided to put our teaching helmets on and educate the masses on a few critical house essentials that actually helped shape the global rave revolution — no David Guetta required.
“My House” is one of the most, if not the most, sampled American house tunes of all time. It involves Chuck Robert’s famed “In My House” speech, and the original version proves to be far ahead of its time. “My House” by Rhythm Controll was originally released in 1987, and continues to capture the intrigue of dance fans worldwide thirty-one years later. The famed speech was also re-used and cemented into house fans’ cycle when re-patched with “Can You Feel It,” another huge anthem of the era.
If there’s one good thing that came out of the Guetta fiasco, it’s that he has good taste in classic house. The producer’s Instagram rebuttal pointed to the above record by Farley ‘Jackmaster’ Funk as the one that started it all for him as a young teenager in France. It’s one of the biggest anthems of its time, and for good reason — it’s a quintessential house tune at its core, down to its piano stabs and disco elements set to a 4/4 beat.
Acid house in particular is what caught Brits’ attention in Ibiza and kicked off the European rave movement that later birthed David Guetta. Phuture’s classic “Acid Tracks” was one of the biggest anthems of this era, and a pioneering track within the then-nascent subgenre of house. Its scintillating synthesis still raises hairs, and the original is still rinsed quite often throughout the international circuit.
Marshall Jefferson’s “Move Your Body” pretty much defined the house formula of the day. Many pieces aimed to emulate the catchiness of this song, but simply cannot come close to the original. It’s no wonder this record climbed the charts even before most people knew what house music was. Not to mention, the vocal sample manages to retain a sense of refined class in it despite its repetition that other house vocal clips lack today. Try not to feel transported into a euphoric, sweat-filled warehouse while listening — we dare you.
One of dance music’s very first wunderkinds was Adonis, who had a mass hit on his hands at the ripe age of 19 with “No Way Back.” Considering Trax was THE house label at that time (keen readers of this feature can note the majority of our picks came from here), it’s quite the accomplishment to have created a production that’s considered one of the imprints greatest releases of all times. Its encouraging clap samples, hypnotically-classic bassline, and stripped-down atmosphere makes it hit in all the right places.
It would be absolute blasphemy to not feature Frankie Knuckles somewhere on this list. The legendary, and sadly departed, producer and DJ is considered the actual “godfather” of house music and is credited by everyone except ABC for helping to make house a musical institution. His celebrity is so great that even ex-President Obama has been seen celebrating his achievements and contributions to the industry in the past. “The Whistle Song” is from 1991 — a good half-decade or so since he really broke the glass house ceiling. However, its breezy, happiness-inducing nature made it a fitting cap off to an already nostalgic list.
Following the release of his soulful I O U 1 EP earlier this month, Norwegian producer Lido has announced its follow-up in a new and inventive way. I O U 2 will be presented as a “visual EP” in November and shown in select theaters.
The film will be shown in Chicago at The Davis Theatre on November 5, followed by Toronto’s Fox Theatre on November 6 and Seattle’s Grand Illusion Cinema on November 7. After viewing the film, attendees will have the chance to participate in a Q&A with Lido.
I O U 2 will be “a visual EP about coming to a conclusion with ones true reality and feeling comfortable with oneself,” according to the ticketing website. Tickets are on sale here.