Chance the Rapper and Kanye West confirm joint album ‘Good Ass Job’

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Chance the Rapper and Kanye West confirm joint album ‘Good Ass Job’Screen Shot 2016 09 25 At 4 56 34 Pm Uffdoh

Chance the Rapper made a brief, but impactful announcement on his Facebook page on August 17. A thirty second clip entitled “Good Ass Job” shows Kanye West on stage at Chance’s Open Mike event announcing he is making Chance’s next album. It will, of course, be entitled Good Ass Job.

Recently, Chance ignited speculation on social media that the pair’s rumored joint album would use Kanye’s long forgotten tentative fourth album title. As it goes, Kanye’s fourth studio album planned to use the naming convention of his first three records, The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, and ultimately, a Good Ass Job was promised thereafter. The album was shelved in the wake of Kanye’s mother’s passing and a failed marriage, and eventually gave way to Ye’s 808’s and Heartbreak. Now Chance is putting rumors to bed, and hopefully setting the course Kanye set a decade ago straight, confirming Good Ass Job is officially on the way.

This album will see West continue on as producer in an impressive showing in 2018, releasing multiple albums for artists Kid Cudi, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor as well as his own. For Chance the Rapper, this confirms the forthcoming album he has been referencing throughout the year, and will be the first full length release for the Chicago artist since 2016’s Coloring Book. In 2018, Chano starred in a movie and released a handful of new singles, including “I Might Need Security.”

KAMI recruits Chance The Rapper and Joey Purp for ‘Reboot’ music video

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KAMI recruits Chance The Rapper and Joey Purp for ‘Reboot’ music videoKami Reboot Music Vid Press Shot

KAMI has been heating up Chicago’s hip-hop scene for a minute and with the release of the new Cole Bennett-directed, Chance The Rapper and Joey Purp-assisted music video for “Reboot,” the Chicago Fire Department should be on their toes like it’s 1871.

“Reboot,” the lead single from KAMI’s second studio LP Very Slight, set to drop September 14, features a stacked cast of Windy City torch carriers that boast a must-listen just by gracing the same track together. Now their collaboration comes with some well-deserved visuals. Cole Bennett’s fast-paced and fluid directing captures the energy of “Reboot,” an energy that demands attention with its resolute and unbridled style. The off-beat rhythm keeps the listener’s ear keen for what the line up has to offer. “Reboot” is flush with one-liners, callbacks, and hooks. Like Joey Purp says they, “put it all on a pendant.” 

What’s more — the “Reboot” video received support from the non-profit Refuge Foundation of the Arts, whose purpose is to create venues for artistic expression in places without the means. You can scope out the new video below.

 

Midnight Conspiracy to reconvene for one last reunion show at North Coast [Q&A]

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Midnight Conspiracy to reconvene for one last reunion show at North Coast [Q&A]Midnight Conspiracy 1

Every year, some of Chicago’s most all-embracing EDM, funk, rap/hip-hop, and indie event promoters — Silver Wrapper, Metronome, and Cold Grums — unite to piece together “Summer’s Last Stand,” North Coast Music Festival. Since 2010, the festival has returned to Union Park each Labor Day Weekend to house not only world-class acts from nearly every crevice of the musical continuum (deadmau5, Widespread Panic, D’Angelo, Portugal The ManGucci ManePretty Lights — just to name a few), but also a myriad of visual art installations, ranging from a live, psychedelic graffiti demonstration from Chris Dyer to a unique pop up gallery showcasing solely local Chicagoans.


After four years of silence, the double-headed Midnight Conspiracy is emerging from their low-lit cavern to release the beast for one last reunion show Sunday, September 2 at North Coast Music Festival. Though co-conspirators and native Chicagoans Mikul Wing and Louis Kha now devote their days to their rippling and emotive electronica project, Autograf, they’ll be firing up their colossal visual and sound structure dubbed “Eye Live” of a darker vein once more.

The duo’s visual component has always been an intrinsic element of the alluringly minacious Midnight Conspiracy experience. Rigged up to Ableton to keep time with their harmonic electro and tenacious bass productions, Wing usually controls the jarring LED display himself—often on the fly—while Kha controls more of the musical narrative.

Midnight Conspiracy eclipsed the electronic scene after securing a spot on the illustrious Ultra Records roster. Their driving, cinematic tracks like “Sentinel” and their visually complementary “The Eye” feverishly sprang to the top of EDM charts across the board. The group’s stupefying laser light has swept across not only Chicago’s other top-notch electronic-heavy festivals like Spring Awakening and even Lollapalooza, but also the very first North Coast in 2010.

Before they return for North Coast’s ninth installment, Midnight Conspiracy’s Mikul Wing caught up with Dancing Astronaut to talk the wedding of visual and sonic performance art, his ever-evolving artistic identity, and why the duo chose North Coast as a backdrop for their solitary reunion show.

Single-day tickets to North Coast are still available here.

Why did you guys choose to come to North Coast for this reunion set?

It was the first festival we ever played, which was the very first North Coast that ever happened — quite a while ago. We’ve known the North Coast people for a long time now. We haven’t done a Midnight Conspiracy set in three or four years, and the festival has always had a special place in our hearts. It all started in a very grassroots way, and those people still have ownership of it, which is really cool.

How do you think North Coast compares to other Chicago festivals?

Well, you have Lolla, the big one, obviously, and then Spring Awakening, which is just straight EDM. North Coast is cool because it has a more boiled fan base, and a much more diverse selection of music. They have jam bands, hip-hop, electronic — just everything all rolled into one. And it’s been around a long time, so it’s always been a fun fest for me to go to when I’m in Chicago.

Having not played a show together as Midnight Conspiracy since 2014, what thoughts are going through your head/what significance does the show hold?

It’s interesting because Louis and I are in both Midnight Conspiracy and Autograf together. So it’s not like we never see each other. It’s gonna be fun. We’re gonna do a lot of throwback tracks from the blog house era, some heavier bass music that obviously we don’t play with our current group, maybe some edits of our other tracks released a long time ago. We want to stay true to the old electro and the old bass music, and do a set that revolves around that.

What parts of yourself as an artist would you say are reflected in Midnight Conspiracy that maybe aren’t inside the Autograf project?

For me, it was a place and time of my life and musically what I was into at that point. Even within Midnight Conspiracy, we sort of started off doing disco music and then kinda went into doing bass music and electro: a gradual progression of what our personal tastes were. It’ll always hold a place inside of me. I think I’ll get a lot of nostalgia out of going back to it.

How does the visual production contribute to the Midnight Conspiracy experience?

We created all the visual art for both projects — both Midnight Conspiracy and Autograf. At this day in age, visuals and music kind of go hand in hand. The visuals would always be linked musically to whatever programs we were running. So they were always linked and we were able to control both simultaneously. It was almost like playing a musical instrument with the lighting, to have that control over both those things on the fly and change it up to match however we were feeling. Wherever the music was going, the visuals would follow. It’s a package deal. A big reason to go to a show is for that performance aspect.

How do you guys collaboratively do that in a live performance?

Usually one of us would control the music and the other would have control of the lighting. So for Midnight Conspiracy, usually Louis would control the music and then I would control lasers and lights. We kinda played off each other.

Frankie Knuckles’ beloved Chicago mural set for rebirth

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Frankie Knuckles’ beloved Chicago mural set for rebirthFrankie Knuckles Mural Chicago

Three years after its demolition, the beloved Frankie Knuckles mural is set to return to the Windy City in a new location.

The mural first appeared in Chicago’s Logan Square following the passing of the house music legend in March of 2014. After a little over a year, the tribute was destroyed after its host building suffered severe water damage. The vibrant tribute quickly became a landmark, attracting house heads from around the globe. The sudden removal of the mural dismayed the city’s art and music community, and it wasn’t long before the local street artist creators of the original launched a successful GoFundMe campaign to restore the tribute.

Knuckles is universally recognized as a central figure in the genesis of house music. After moving to Chicago from the Bronx in the late 1970s, he helped to expand and push the sound to new levels of recognition. The Frankie Knuckles Foundation announced Wednesday that a new permanent home has finally been found – and hinted strongly that the unveiling will take place on Frankie Knuckles Day (August 25):

“It is with great pleasure that we announce the relocation of this great tribute to our beloved Frankie. After months of meetings and various site visits we finally found a new home for it…thanks to the generosity of Levar Hoard and the B_line this beautiful tribute has a new home. We will be celebrating completion of their work next week on Frankie Knuckles Day Saturday August 25th…please join us as we celebrate. Details to be announced shortly.”

[Q&A] North Coast’s founder, Michael Berg, talks new developments and acquired wisdom

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[Q&A] North Coast’s founder, Michael Berg, talks new developments and acquired wisdomNorth Coast 1

Every year, some of Chicago’s most all-embracing EDM, funk, rap/hip-hop, and indie event promoters—Silver Wrapper, Metronome, and Cold Grums—unite to piece together “summer’s last stand,” North Coast Music Festival. Since 2010, the festival has returned to Union Park each Labor Day Weekend to house not only world-class acts from nearly every crevice of the musical continuum (deadmau5, Widespread Panic, Portugal The Man, Gucci Mane, Pretty Lights—just to name a few), but also a myriad of visual art installations, ranging from a live, psychedelic graffiti demonstration from Chris Dyer to a unique pop up gallery showcasing solely local Chicagoans.

Tucked between some of Chicago’s most vibrant and energetic neighborhoods, including Wicker Park, West Town, West Loop, and Pilsen, North Coast’s Union Park atmosphere is a happy paradox: a serene, intimate park setting, encapsulated by trees, penetrated by the awe-inspiring urban skyline seen overhead and some of the most in-demand performances of the summer. This year, North Coast touts a larger focus, including its first-time poolside pre-party each day, which itself will host a number of installations, as well as a stark increase of visual performers, like the Bam Creates crew.

Co-founder of North Coast, Silver Wrapper talent buyer, and longtime Manic Focus manager, Michael Berg, sat down with Dancing Astronaut to discuss how the festival has grown throughout its nine years of successfully capping off the brimming Chicago summer events season. He explains how the festival has garnered its serial-attendees by catering to the “original coasties,” who tend to prefer jam and indie acts—like this year’s securing of The Revivalists and funk legend, Jamiroquai, in his first midwest performance in over a decade—while not making the mistake of neglecting the younger crowd, booking budding Chicago rapper Juice Wrld and fan-favorite dance acts like DJ Snake, RL Grime, and Axwell ^ Ingrosso.

What was your initial vision for the festival? Did it turn out the way you conceived it nine years ago?

It did at first. What I’ve noticed is as the market and the festival landscape changes, our goals are shifting with them. As our fanbase ages, things change. We’re still very proud of it. It’s definitely under a metamorphosis right now.

Can you expand on that?

I think that if you went to the festival in the first year, and you were 21-years-old, now you’re 30. That’s a big difference in life as far as maturity and priorities. We’ve always tried to curate the show with a little bit of a younger audience in mind. When we’ve leaned toward the older demographic’s music in the past, it hasn’t translated as well.

But we really saw a different response this year with some of the stuff that we booked. It made us realize that our fans are growing up. You just have to be conscious of who you’re servicing, which goes all the way up and down the ladder from the artists and their agents, to the lifeline of the festival, the fans, who buy the tickets and represent the brand.

We want to be loyal to the original coasties; but we also want to find the balance between doing that and keeping forward-thinking, like booking acts that are maybe for our undercard this year, but are maybe going to be headliners in a year or two. A lot of times the people we book [for North Coast] a year later, will be on the main stage at Lollapalooza.

Aside from lineup curation, what other areas would you say the event has evolved in over the years?

Definitely the experiential part has changed dramatically. We’ve got a much bigger presence of visual performers and art installations. Something we’re introducing this year that we’ve never done before is a daily pool party. There will be a full curation of art inside the pool. It’s just going to be for a few hundred people per day, including the artists and their guests. But a few hundred people per day will have the opportunity to buy tickets to come to this four or five hour pool party. Bam Creates is going to take over the art and do a lot with that.

The one limitation we have with it is that the festival ends at 10 pm every night. There’s only so many hours of darkness, so the types of installations that we have at something like Suwannee Hulaween, our other festival down in Florida, where things glow at night or things with fire, we can’t really do as much of that at North Coast because the majority of the fest is daylight. So you have to do installations and activations that work in the day time.

What about the venue and the location has kept you there since the first year in 2010?

First of all, we have a great relationship with the city and the park district. It’s really just the perfect location and the perfect size for this type of show. The majority of people who are coming to this show, probably 85 percent, are coming from the greater Chicago area. If you’re looking at Chicago proper, it’s right in the middle of West Town, the West Loop, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Lincoln Park, Pilsen—all those neighborhoods that are hot spots. It’s very centrally located: easy to find parking, it’s right off a train line. If you’re coming from Northbrook, or you’re coming from the West suburbs or the South Suburbs, it’s right off the highway.

The neighborhood has been generally welcoming of us. So, it’s kind of one of those things like if it’s not broken don’t fix it. If we were to sell out in advance five years in a row, maybe we would consider moving up to a bigger location, but it seems to sell out by the weekend of the fest every year. It feels like we have the right size park for the right size crowd that we’re generating.

Another thing that I really like about it is it is a park and a lot of the festivals in the city feel very urban. North Coast is definitely an urban festival, but there’s still trees and it still feels like a park when you’re there. I love how when you’re watching the main stage, you can see the Willis/Sears Tower poking up beyond the trees. So it’s just this little visual reminder that you’re in the city of Chicago.

What’s the thought process behind the lineup, stylistically? I know a lot of people see it as a predominately electronic fest, but you guys bring so much variety.

It’s a pretty diverse festival. If you look at our top ten acts this year, there is definitely a handful of electronic acts. You’ve got Axwell ^ Ingresso, DJ Snake, Yellow Claw. On the immediate undercard, you’ve got RL Grime. So those are clearly our big dance acts. But then you also have Jimaroquai, Moon Taxi, Vulfpeck and the Revivalists, the Strumbrellas, and Robert DeLong which are more alternative, funky, indie types. Then Friday, we’ve got Miguel, who, on paper, is an r&b act, but if you’ve ever seen him, he’s more of a like a live act who plays with a sick full band. Then on the undercard that day you’ve got Byrce Vine, and Juice Wrld who is just exploding right now, a local Chicago guy in that emo rap/r&b style that’s so big right now.

On Sunday, we’ve got the return of Jamiroquai to Chicago for the first time since 2005. It’s the Midwest exclusive for them. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen, but he’s a huge 13-piece funk orchestra. It’s gonna’ be crazy and will close out the festival as the final set of the weekend. He’s doing five shows in the states for the first time in 13 years, and the only one that’s not on one of the coasts is us. It’s special to us as event curators that they chose us as their Chicago show.

We really are a diverse festival. I think there was more of an electronic presence early on. But right now it’s not too much of just one thing.

What other areas have you guys tried to improve on in more recent years?

If you look at the schedule, it all makes a little more sense. We’ve really honed in on, like if you’re there for dance music, and you get there at 2 pm you go from this stage to this stage and then you stay at one stage for the last two, or whatever it is. Or on the other hand, if you’re there for jam bands, you start at one stage then go over here for two sets. Basically every hour there’s non-conflicting stuff for you to see. Obviously once you get into a diverse lineup and a diverse crowd, which North Coast is a diverse crowd, inevitably there’s going to be some ‘Why’d you put this person on at the same time as this person?”

So you’re trying not to make it too hard on people who just want to go one day?

No, I think we’ve embraced the fact that it’s a single-day market, and that everyone wants to go to as many festivals as they can. Somebody might not like North Coast’s [lineup] on Friday, but maybe they’re not going to miss it on Sunday, and that’s cool with us.

Michael Berg is North Coast Music Festival’s co-founder. Tickets to North Coast are still available here.

Chance The Rapper announces purchase of local news site ‘Chicagoist.com’ along with four Lido-produced new singles

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Chance The Rapper announces purchase of local news site ‘Chicagoist.com’ along with four Lido-produced new singlesChance The Rapper By Mike Lavin @thehomelesspimp

Chance The Rapper is having perhaps the most memorable summer of his career. One might even say the 25-year-old Chicago-born rhymer and activist is out here living his best life. He’s in the studio with his lifelong hero, Kanye West, working on a joint LP, he’s slated to headline the Special Olympics 50th anniversary event in his hometown, and now he’s even engaged to be married to his longtime significant other, Kirsten Corley. Amid a packed summer itinerary, rumors broke that a Chance record was imminent, and while the Same Drugs” rapper batted down early reports, he soon followed up with four fresh new singles, crafted courtesy of Norwegian beatsmith Lido.

Brand new cuts, “Wala Cam,” “65th & Ingleside,” and “Work Out” mark the first time Lido and Chance have reconnected since 2016’s Grammy-winning Coloring Book mixtape. The fourth new piece from Chano comes by way of “I Might Need Security,” in which the Windy City-native reveals he’s purchased local news site Chicagoist.com which has sat dormant since late 2017, when the outlet’s staffers voted to join the Writers Guild of America East. As a result, Joe Ricketts, billionaire founder of TD Ameritrade and owner of the site, shut down Chicagoist as well as associated sites, Gothamist, LAist, and others. Now the local Chicago media outlet is relaunching in the hands of Chicago’s favorite son, and we’ve got four new singles to celebrate with.

Whethan and Oh Wonder talk Mamby On The Beach, new collab, + more [Q&A]

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Whethan and Oh Wonder talk Mamby On The Beach, new collab, + more [Q&A]Mamby Whethan 1

Since 2015, Mamby On The Beach has been allowing Chicago’s festival-goers to relish a diverse roster of acts right from the lakefront, the awe-inspiring Chicago skyline as its backdrop. Perched atop the sands of Oakwood Beach, Mamby is known for its eclectic lineup, which this year featured everything from Chicago rap deity, Common, to the indie accents of Cold War Kids, along with electronic titans like Gorgon CityDuke Dumont, and Jai Wolf

For some musicians, it might seem counterintuitive to tap a 19-year-old to partner up with for a first-time collaboration. For Oh Wonder, that couldn’t be further from the case.

After years of shooting down a plentitude of offers, the London-based alt-pop duo, consisting of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, took a chance on the Windy City’s own Whethan. Before long, “Superlove,” a radiant synth-pop track about a compulsory love, was born. To everyone’s surprise, Oh Wonder joined Whethan on stage after finishing up their own set to debut the song live for a packed crowd at Mamby’s Beach Stage—a jolt of warmth as the sun began to dip under the Chicago skyline.

Though young, Whethan, lesser known as Ethan Snoreck, is no ordinary teenager. In addition to being uncannily talented, at 19, he has played Coachella twice, worked alongside Skrillex, and is best friends—not to mention serial collaborators—with fellow Chicago-turned-LA-natives and young EDM royalty, Louis The Child. Both he and Oh Wonder joined Dancing Astronaut at Mamby to discuss inspiration behind “Superlove,” their similar ascensions to fame, what’s in store for the rest of 2018, and more. Whethan also spoke separately on tour-life as a teenager, his relationship with Louis The Child, and fine-tuning his unique sound.


How did you guys link up for this new collaboration?

Anthony: We were over in LA for a few weeks…

Whethan: I was a fan of their music for a long time, and someone said you should come to the room.

Josephine: And we did. And it was sick.

Who wrote the lyrics for the track, and where did the inspiration come from?

Josephine: A song is what you want it to be, right? I don’t want to prescribe a narrative to it if somebody’s enjoying it in their own way. But I think it’s the idea of when you’re so overwhelmed and in love with someone to the point where it’s a little bit creepy. To me, it’s like when you’re almost addicted to someone, like obsessive love. You think, like, ‘This is not good for me, but I don’t give a sh*t because I love you so much.’

Anthony: We were trying to be as creepy as possible.

You all have similar come-ups in the sense that you began experimenting with production, and started to receive recognition very early on. When you were putting those first few pieces together did you ever imagine that you would reach this level of success?

Whethan: I never imagined [this]. I was shooting blanks, just making little tracks on my computer at 15-years-old, and then next thing you know, different DJs started playing them at different festivals.

Josephine: Were you ever in the crowd?

Whethan: One time when I was really young.

Who was that for?

Whethan: Zeds Dead was the first at HARD Summer. I was like,

‘Woah, I guess my songs can be played that loud and on speakers that big.’

Because I didn’t even make music on monitors, pretty much just headphones and this weird bluetooth speaker. So I was like, ‘Oh, I can do this.’

Josephine: We just uploaded songs to SoundCloud for a year, just trying to build a portfolio. And then people were like, ‘You should come play these songs live.’ And we just kind of linked. Coming up on four years later we’ve just been touring constantly for four years. We put two records out.

Anthony: Didn’t expect any of it. So it’s all like a bonus for us.

Did the track turn out the way you guys wanted it to?

Josephine: Hell yeah.

Whethan: We worked extra long to make sure the version was the best it could be.

Anthony: We’ve never collaborated with anyone before.

Josephine: We’ve never worked with anyone on music. Ethan was super accommodating and awesome, and totally respected the fact that we were like, ‘Ah! We’ve never written a song and given it to someone.’ He made it sound better than what we could imagine.

Did you guys have reservations about collaborating in the past or did the right opportunity just never arise?

Josephine: We’ve said no to pretty much everyone over the last three years. Art is so personal. I think it has to be organic and come from the right place.

What can we expect from each of you for the rest of 2018?

Whethan: A lot of singles for me, personally, that might show the bigger picture of what the project will be, but I’m working on a project now. It doesn’t have a date or anything.

Anthony: For us, a bit more touring. And then we’re going to go home, write another record, spend some time in LA. Just make more music.

At this point, the conversation turns to Whethan, OWSLA recruit and critically lauded EDM wunderkind. Fresh off of his Mamby performance, we dove into an exciting day in the life of one of dance music’s newest torch carriers. 

How do you feel being on your home territory at Mamby?

It feels good. I feel like it’s been a little while, but it hasn’t been that long. I feel like Lollapalooza was so long ago. I’ve been home since then, but not actually playing. It’s beautiful. It’s sunny. It’s been a great day. We’ve got this nice beach. Got some people coming through for the set, so that’s always good.

You’re vocal about how much Flume and the guys from Louis The Child inspire you. Who’s someone else who’s been inspiring your music lately?

Lately, Ive been on a really big Calvin Harris buzz. I just look at his entire discography and he’s got so many songs that are so good and well-put together. I look up to him.

In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an artist these past few years?

Well I definitely did evolve. At first it was a lot more bass-heavy and almost instrumental music. But then I just started focusing on the actual songs: the songwriting and the lyrics. Artists like Oh Wonder who can really write a good lyric with a good vibe. So I guess I’ve been focusing more on pop kinda stuff, but I’m finding really cool ways to implement that in with dance music, too. When I first started it wasn’t really dance-y. It was kinda just like you can listen to it and bob your head. But I’m forever evolving.

What’s it like being 19 and playing huge festivals and being on tour?

It’s pretty crazy. It’s started to feel, not normal. It’s weird because I’ve only really been playing shows for like two years. I’ve just been blessed to be able to start to do really cool shows and travel to really crazy parts of the world. I got to go to South America and Europe recently for the first time, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I wasn’t touring. Being 19 is really crazy because I feel like the youngest person a lot of times wherever I go. I don’t let it get to me, though. I don’t even know what I’m going to be making in five years. People always tell me I have so much potential and room to grow, so much time.

There were a lot of events I feel like I missed out on because I just wanted to make music in my room. Now, I live in LA so I’m far from my family a lot. I’m in the same boat as a lot of my friends like Louis The Child who are also doing the same thing as me. Having fun to us is the same thing, just making music.

Photo Credit: EDM Chicago

See the summer street parties that are reinforcing Chicago’s identity as the birthplace of house music [Watch]

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See the summer street parties that are reinforcing Chicago's identity as the birthplace of house music [Watch]

Chicago takes 128 BPM to the streets via a series of Daley Plaza summer street parties that reassert the Windy City’s status as the birthplace of house music.

“We just wanna dance. House music is good exercise,” Chicago resident Bridget Kin said.

Included in Daley Plaza’s yearly, noon-time programming, the daytime dance parties draw Chicago locals to the area for an “unconventional lunch break” that doubles as a feelgood forum for Chicagoan camaraderie.

H/T: Mixmag

[Q&A] Meet the artists bringing down the house at Mamby: Moon Boots

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[Q&A] Meet the artists bringing down the house at Mamby: Moon Boots

Since 2015, Mamby On The Beach has been allowing Chicago’s festival-goers to relish a diverse roster of acts right from the lakefront, the awe-inspiring Chicago skyline as its backdrop. Perched quite literally atop the sands of Oakwood Beach, Mamby is known for its eclectic lineup, which this year features everything from Chicago rapper, Common, to the indie accents of Cold War Kids, along with ample electronic titans like Gorgon CityDuke Dumont, and Jai Wolf. Dancing Astronaut sought to get a closer look at a few of the festival’s cant-miss house acts before Mamby hits the beach June 23-24. 

Pulling his name ever-so-fittingly from a 1970s disco track by Orlando Riva Sound, Moon Boots (real name Pete Dougherty) is known for bringing his classic, boogie-fueled brainpower to modern house music. The Brooklyn-born Dougherty got his start in the Chicago house music scene, spending time in the city’s most storied house hot spots like Wrigleyville’s Smartbar—signing on with the “protectors of the feel-good,” French Express imprint not long after.

Dougerty’s music is intrinsically tinged with R&B, emanating through his use of soulful, original vocals and blissful chord progressions, which he masterfully blends with high-energy house beats. The result is Moon Boots’ all-encompassing, glistening dance creations. He has worked extensively with Anjunadeep in recent years, where in 2017, he released his first full-length album, the appropriately-named, First Landing. A product of his astral aesthetic, the album’s groovy, nu-disco center propels the listener through corridors of swimming kaleidoscopes of color and warm, sensuous melodies.

Upon his return to Mamby and the city that set him up for success, Dougherty will be bringing many of the vocalists featured on the album, as well as two members of the synth-pop group, St. Lucia. The performance will be the last of a string of live sets carried out by Dougherty and company; but before they hit the Beach Stage Sunday, June 24, Moon Boots sat down with DA to talk about his Chicago come-up, his disco roots, what he has planned for Mamby, and more.

Tickets to Mamby On The Beach, as well as the full lineup, can be found here

What prompted you to want to start making dance music?

I was into electronic music from an early age. The thing that tipped me over to make me really want to make it happened towards the end of college. I think it was the rise of blogs actually, right around 2005. I’d been getting into it before then, but that was when I thought, ‘I can actually do this.’ I was just completely obsessed, and still am.

Do you think you’ve found a permanent home with Anjunadeep?

Yeah, I think so. It’s been wonderful. They allow me to be me. That’s all I really want out of a label. And a sense of community. They really deliver on both of those things. A lot of talented artists too, of course. It’s been great.

You’re someone who blends a lot of genres in your music. Who are some of your biggest influences outside of dance music?

For biggest influences, I would still probably stay in the dance music world. There’s a disco producer named Patrick Adams. He’s one of the first that I heard with really lush and beautiful chord progressions. Then I started to really listen for that in a lot of older disco and early 80s disco/r&b records. Nile Rogers, too. The combination of just percussion, the hooks, the chords. The whole thing. The French touch scene definitely had an influence, especially early on, that sorta filter disco.

You lived in Chicago for a while. What significance does the city hold for you?

Big significance because it’s where I really started. I knew I wanted to try it out when I was in college, but it wasn’t until after I graduated college and I moved out there was when I started making music for real. The club scene had a big impact on me: going out in Wicker Park and finding Smartbar. I actually lived right by Smartbar for a while. My roommate worked there, so I’d go there like three days a week. And Debonair Social Club. So the scene had a big impact on me, just having a great time partying and being in that community to get a sense of where the music was going. Smartbar especially, connecting with real Chicago house music. And that still is with me.

Being a Mamby On The Beach veteran, what was your experience like at the fest when you played in 2015?

It was amazing. I hadn’t actually been to the site before. It was gorgeous. The vibe and the lineup were wonderful. I played right after No Regular Play and then J. Phlip came on right after. Both their sets were great. Wonderful time and great music. Of course at that time I was DJing. This time I’m playing live. So that’s what I’m really excited about. I can get into that if you want.

Please!

This is going to be the last live show for a little while, actually. We got offers for a few one-offs since doing the last few, but we had already booked seven shows. I didn’t want to get caught in doing a lot of one-offs because it’s just been really special. I think that we put a lot of rehearsal into it. So I think this is kind of the logical place to put it on pause for a little while after this until I finish the next album, and hope we start up again next year. I’m bringing two of the guys who are also playing later that day from St. Lucia, their main gig, a new guitarist, bassist/guitarist, synth pointer. I’m also taking four vocalists on the road with me: Black Gatsby, KONA, Nic Hanson, and Kyiki. And I’ll be playing keys, backup vocals, and dancing around.

Will we be hearing any new music at Mamby?

I am working on a second album. I will be playing some of that at the afterparty at the Virgin Hotel. You won’t be hearing it at Mamby. With a live set, I think it’s important to focus on the music that’s already out there.

What three acts would you recommend not missing this year at Mamby?

I want to see, since I can only come on Sunday, Jamila Woods. I think she’s great. St. Lucia, I want to see my bandmates do their thing. And I want to get down to Gene Farris, too.

Photo Credit: TracyGrahamCracker

[Q&A] Meet the artists bringing the house down at Mamby: Walker & Royce

This post was originally published on this site

walker & Royce

Since 2015, Mamby On The Beach has been allowing Chicago’s festival-goers to relish a diverse roster of acts right from the lakefront, the awe-inspiring Chicago skyline as its backdrop. Perched quite literally atop the sands of Oakwood Beach, Mamby is known for its eclectic lineup, which this year features everything from Chicago rapper, Common, to the indie accents of Cold War Kids, along with ample electronic titans like Gorgon City, Duke Dumont, and Jai Wolf. Dancing Astronaut sought to get a closer look at a few of the festival’s cant-miss house acts before Mamby hits the beach June 23-24. 

Sam Walker and Gavin Royce of Walker & Royce know that two house heads are better than one. The pair weaved through several of dance music’s most sought after labels, including Crosstown Rebels and Green Velvet‘s Relief Records, before finding an imprint they felt at-home enough to release Self Help, their first studio album, under: the equally eccentric Dirtybird Records. Even before the album’s release, its zany lead single “Take Me To Your Leader,” featuring Dances With White Girls, swept across festival grounds in 2017 like a quirky, four-on-the-floor Hallelujah chorus.

Walker & Royce put the fun back in dance music, with their animated sampling and groove-heavy club hooks. Though lighthearted, the duo’s music is anything but elementary, propelled by a meticulous, image-oriented sound design. Most recently, the two teamed up with another house habitué and dance music effigy, Chris Lake, for their percolating, two-track EP, Close Your Eyes. 

The guys sat down with DA to speak a bit about working with Lake, their group dynamic, and what they’re looking forward to most about Mamby before they hit the Mixmag Tent Sunday, June 24.

Tickets to Mamby On The Beach, as well as the full lineup, can be found here


How are you guys feeling about coming back to Chicago? You guys played at Spybar last year, right?
Sam: Yeah, literally one of the best gigs we ever had.

Gavin: We always love coming to Chicago to begin with. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s exciting to come back to Chicago in more of a festival setting, and then we still get to come back to Spybar afterwards.

How does working with the Dirtybird team compare to working at the other big dance music hotbeds you’ve worked with in the past?
G: With Dirtybird, and it’s nothing against the other ones, but I feel like we fit in more. It feels more at home for us, and more like a family. I’m sure other people have the same feeling about other labels. But with us it felt like the right place. They made us feel comfortable and not self conscious about what we wanted to do with the music. Even before we started doing the album, we were feeling that way. And then when that came up, we felt like it was really the right home for us to make the album we wanted to make.

You think your music fits in pretty well there?
G: I don’t think that we were typical Dirtybird. It fits in there, but is also kind of pushing the Dirtybird sound forward maybe, too. We kinda have our own unique sound. We don’t take ourselves insanely seriously with our music. We want it to be fun.

S: Sometimes we’ll start thinking about something when we’re writing music. We’ll think of like animated robots, but quirky, crazy, cartoony. And you almost have that sort of mental picture when you’re putting a track together—sonically fitting that image to couple it with.

What release would you guys say you’re most proud of thus far and why?
G: I can’t not say the full album. It was such an endeavor. We had this vision, and there was a time when we didn’t think it was going to come together the way we wanted it to. But it ended up coming together that way. When we’re doing EPs you definitely have a vision of what you want to be presented, but with this we paid so much attention to every aspect of it.

S: One of the cool things that happens with an album is when you’re not trying to write certain tracks, they happen naturally. I feel like some of our best dance music tracks came out of not trying to write them. The album gave us the ability to do that because we weren’t pressured into writing it.

What was it like working with another legend like Chris Lake on your last EP, and what spawned that idea?
G: Chris reached out to us a while ago and told us he had been a fan for a while. We had been familiar with Chris for many years and he recently kind of switched up his sound a little bit. He’s always made incredible music. I felt like our music started to really align together in the last year. So we got in the studio. The EP is better than I even thought it could be.

S: Also we were both working with Dances With White Girls. That was another connection. Chris’s sound started to move in a direction. Our sound started to move in a direction. It just sorta made sense. I’m really happy with what we came up with. And the weird thing about “Dance With Me” is we thought it was cool, but we didn’t think it would be this popular.

G: Both tracks are doing really well. “Drop Top” was kinda done last, and we didn’t think anything of that one either. But now we’re getting a really huge reaction.

How would you describe the dynamic of your musical partnership? Are there different things each of you brings to the table?
S: If we’re working on something, a lot of times, I’m probably overcomplicating it. I might just have some little sketch that I’m not sure about and Gavin will be like ‘Dude, that’s a track right there. We should finish that.’ Three months later, when it’s done, then I can’t believe I was second guessing it. At this point, we can get away with putting out something that’s a bit weird. And if it doesn’t go over, it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll do something else.

G: Our history is very much that Sam was always a producer and I was always a DJ. I started producing because I DJed so much. Sam and I had been friends for years. We started to help each other out on a few tracks. That’s how it kinda fell into place. Even now Sam is more in the studio kind of guy. And I swoop in and I help simplify things or help arrange things. It’s very yin and yang.

Any new music in the pipeline/will we be hearing any of it at Mamby?
G: We have a few unreleased remixes that we’re going to be playing at Mamby. We’ve been working on a few things. Another track with Sophiegrophy is in the works, who was on our album before.

Who are your three must-see acts this year at Mamby?
G: Richie Hawtin, who is an absolute legend.

S: Gorgon City. They’re playing a live set. I would also like to see Common, who is just something totally different from what we do. This is a cool festival for us to do. A lot of other festivals are electronic only. Mamby is a lot more wide open.