Marshmello‘s new production, “You Can Cry,” is the quintessential collaboration the world has come to love and expect from the Buckethead producer since he gave us his Khalid collaboration “Silence” in the fall of last year.
His more recent pop-punk plunge aside, Marshmello has found comfort once again in transitioning between the hefty promises of his co-conspirator, Juicy J, and even sought to add another layer of emotional depth with James Arthurs vocal chops. He’s situated himself between catharsis and bubbling bass drops on “You Can Cry” in what might be the perfect hip-hop crossover fit for the radio — and ultimately, that’s anything but a hard place to be in.
God bless Twitter. It’s a lawless breeding ground for the Internet’s worst moments, but among many other uses, it has become a powerful vehicle for speedy, viral marketing grabs and not-so-subtle distribution channel for our favorite artists. Whatever Lady Gaga and Boys Noize are up to with the recent exchange of some very juicy tweets — we’re already salivating for more. In just three tantalizing sentences between them, the day’s reigning techno don and pop megastar respectively may have confirmed the collaboration we’re likely not yet worthy of.
Yes, of course it did, but what could this mean? Perhaps BNR‘s head honcho is writing a new track on Gaga’s next project? Is the “Perfect Illusion” vocalistlending her iconic vocals to a dark, industrial masterpiece? They each sound like a long shot, but the writing is on the Twitter wall for us to relentlessly pick apart. Who knows what came from Lady Gaga’s rather careless episode in Boys Noize’s studio? Whatever they’re up to, Lady Gaga and Boys Noize sound like a strange match made in electro heaven, and we’re already hooked.
Hopefully ZHU and Kevin Parker have more shared work stocked away on a hard drive somewhere, because one single may not be enough. The Tame Impala frontman and enigmatic Mind of a Genius producer were slated for a new joint effort in 2018, and they’ve finally delivered their hotly anticipated new collaboration, “My Life,” a top-notch piece of indie-dance excellence that plays upon both artists most venerable qualities in a seamlessly complementary fashion.
It’s dreamy and palatably psychedelic, carried by Parker’s characteristically sublime vocal work — and while the composition isn’t ZHU’s typically cool, after hours-ready warehouse fare, the step outside of his comfort zone is certainly commendable. “My Life” leans more progressive house, at times even revealing a subtle trance inspiration, driven by its understated percussion arrangements, pronounced keys, and fluttering vocal loops.
Tame Impala’s last output was 2015’s Currents, though Parker has kept busy between records working with the likes of Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga, and SZA. ZHU on the other hand is continuing a white-hot output streak following 2017’s Adidas partnership and his newly inked deal with new Chinese dance label Liquid State. Hopefully a quick stop to smell the roses on “My Life” turned out more than just a single tune though, because Kevin Parker and ZHU make a quality pairing.
Since Oshi‘s emergence on the scene a short time ago, the young UK talent has established himself as a forward-thinking producer who often goes against the grain — a trait that immediately caught the attention of major players like Skrillex, Baauer, and others. If you’re familiar with Baauer’s production style, you’ll recognize an obvious, complementary link to Oshi’s work; a collaboration would be necessary to seal the parallels between the two beat makers. Now, the joint effort has officially materialized on “Frozen,” marking both producers’ first outputs of 2018.
Minimal use of chopped vocal samples and completely free of head-splitting bass drops, Oshi and Baauer proctor an intensely cinematic, futuristic hip-hop/trap hybrid on “Frozen.” Pitched down vocal arrangements and low frequency filters carry the pair’s knocking drum rhythms, as Oshi and his counterpart opt for a fairly reserved progression up until the track’s final break.
Josh Young deserves some serious respect for his boldness. The man left an incredibly successful dance music project as a former half of Flosstradamus, with the promise to himself, and his fans, that he was going to broaden his horizons and challenge himself. Well, since the launch YehMe2, the producer has done just that and avoided the leverage his former position at the head of HDYNATION would provide to his new project.
Now, YehMe2 has linked with A-Trak for a handful of exciting moves. The pair are on tour together as 2018 gets underway, and now they’re upping the ante with a two-track mini EP that includes a preview of a third collaboration to soon follow. Instead of gritty hip-hop and trap products though, A-Trak and YehMe2 opt for a more lighthearted approach with their Skat Men EP — comprised of both DJs actually scatting on the tracks.
Both “Neo Wokyo” and “Take Me 2 The Barbershop,” featuring rump-shaking aficionado Wuki, are simply fun, shuffle-primed uptempo cuts that don’t take themselves too seriously. The EP also includes a preview for the duo’s impending “Prayer Hands” as well. Strong club fare — probably not. Proper festival ammo — also unlikely. The two Fools Gold veterans couldn’t seem to care less though, and therein lies the joint project’s appeal. At it’s core, the EP is meant to be goofy and amusing, and it just made scatting a helluva lot cooler.
Bass maestros Zeds Dead and Ganja White Night teamed up for a smashing single titled “Samurai.” The track is haunting in essence, and breathes an air of suspense onto listeners’ necks before thrusting into chaos.
“Samurai is what happens when you bring Hans Zimmer to a rave,” described the two groups.
Zimmer would likely have a panic attack, though, if he witnessed the breakdown in “Samurai,” as the collaborators at hand have generated a palpable tenacity in the track’s high energy catharsis. Zeds Dead’s metallic tinged synths are drawn out by the dub-influenced nature of Ganja White Night’s undertones in what is best described as a head over heels trek into dubstep chaos.
During a recent performance in China, Zhu took the opportunity to officially confirm to fans that the collaboration does in fact exist and it is underway, and later confirmed in a statement by the “Waters of Monaco” producer’s management team.
Zhu’s exciting news didn’t stop there though. The aforementioned performance in China came as part of a launch event for a new Chinese electronic dance music label called Liquid State, which will host releases from Zhu, Alan Walker, and burgeoning Chinese artists, among others in 2018. Liquid State is backed by Sony and Chinese streaming and tech powerhouse Tencent Music Entertainment. The new imprint will develop dance content with the intent of leveraging Tencent’s streaming services QQ Music, Kugou Music, and Kuwo Music to distribute said content. The move was effectively sealed by a reported 10% equity swap between Tencent and Sony’s licensing partner, Spotify, in December. Tencent, by comparison, boasts nearly double the users as Spotify across their three platforms.
Virgil Alboh‘s moonlighting around electronic music has finally culminated in his official debut release, and he’s found the perfect collaborator for his first dip into the production game. Following up on their early 2017 OFF-WHITE MAYDAY collection, Alboh rejoins with Boys Noize for “Orvnge” and where last spring’s joint clothing project relied on the renown designer’s expertise, this time around the ball is firmly in Boys Noize court. Together they proctor a suspenseful, minimal rave tool, clearly inspired by the pair’s complementary aesthetics. The Illinois-bred multi-creative explains the track was,
“Birthed out of mutual admiration of our points of views in music and art alike, we made a track to score the moment,”
His Berlin-based counterpart drives the point home, suggesting that the BNR and OFF-WHITE camps will continue to collaborate in the future,
“This first track of ours sums up that awesome vibe we’ve shared in my studio in Berlin. It’s a club banger sui generis. And it’s the beginning.”
Alboh’s penchant for where dark and industrial meet electronic music first came through in his 2014 live tour concept for Flosstradamus. Now Alboh is behind the console, and Boys Noize Records could be a fitting home label for future releases.
Two of pop music’s most world renowned artists, Martin Garrix and Justin Bieber, have pending collaborations waiting to be released. According to @themartingarrixhub, an Instagram fan account dedicated to the Dutch superstar, Garrix and Bieber have two and possibly more tracks produced. In an interview with RTL last year, Garrix shared,
“We have lots of ideas but if we want to release one, we want it to be 200%. From the scale of 1-10, we think it’s 7-8. We want to release something which is 10 otherwise we won’t release it.”
The two spent a lot of time together when Bieber brought Garrix on his Purpose tour in Australia, and a collaboration would not come as a major surprise since both artists are managed by Scooter Braun. Bieber is already familiar with the dance community due to his past collaborations with Skrillex, Diplo, and Major Lazer. Fans can only imagine about what a collaboration between the two artists would entail, but undoubtedly, such a production would be one for the books.
Last year, rumors surfaced that Skrillex may be working with Jennifer Lopez after photos of the pop icon, Colombian hit maker J Balvin, and the OWSLA head honcho appeared on social media. Now it appears their collaboration has materialized, as concert goers in attendance at Calibash 2018 in Los Angeles were treated to the untitled track’s live debut during Lopez’ recent headlining set.
Lopez’ performance opened with an obligatory “Jenny From The Block,” though it wasn’t long until she was onto premiering new joint material made with LA’s favorite son that was a far cry from her 2002 sound, shouting out “her boy” Skrillex and priming fans to look for an accompanying remix of the new song as well.
Amidst a historic pop production tear that’s included Fifth Harmony, Poo Bear, Ty Dolla $ign in 2017, Skrillex has officially added JLo to his collaboration ranks with a new crossover cut marked by his now characteristically buoyant, sun-drenched island-inspired pop fare.