At the beginning of the decade, when electronic dance music was experiencing a lightning-speed growth spurt into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, commentators began to gravitate towards an economic buzz-term that had already permeated out of a number of different industries — a “bubble” was forming. EDM’s rapid global expansion was the subject of much speculation; what would happen when the proverbial “EDM bubble” inevitably popped? As the decade begins to wind to a close, the result has turned out to be considerably more positive than most of us anticipated. What would happen after the fanfare of the passing EDM fad? Well, the unremarkable would disappear, and out of the heavily diluted pool of semi-marketable talent would emerge passionate creators free to explore a lot more than just big room house and commercially viable electro-pop. The bursting of the so-called “EDM bubble” created a space where producers were able to sift through a wide chasm of influences to push electronic production to different spaces and audiences. In 2018, Medasin undoubtedly seized that opportunity, making him Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of the Year in 2018.
The Texas-native producer, lesser known as Grant Nelson, put together a rap sheet in 2018 that checks all the boxes for a breakout year — it started with a complementary remix of Portugal. The Man‘s inescapable shaker, “Feel It Still,” followed by timely reworks of Post Malone and Khalid‘s material. The high profile remixes then laid the ground work for one of the year’s most intriguing records in Irene. On Medasin’s debut LP, the producer soundtracks a coming-of-age story blurred in experimental escapism. The nine-track album isn’t packed with swelling breaks and notable collaborators — rather, it’s a personal collection of sonics that wears its emotions on its sleeve, which makes its chart-topping status atop the iTunes electronic rankings earlier this summer all the more deserved.
Beyond just proctoring one of the most noteworthy albums of the year, Medasin also proved a versatile performer that is on the cusp on graduating from the undercard and onto the billing’s top line. He helmed his first headlining tour in support of Irene, but also managed major support bookings including an appearance at ZEDD‘s LA Historic Park show this summer, and some of the country’s most in-demand festivals like HARD Summer, Lollapalooza, and Electric Forest. Beyond his own original works, Medasin expanded his catalog in 2018 with collaborations alongside fellow wave makers Ekali, Elohim, and Louis Futon.
It was a banner year in 2018 for the 20-year-old ALT:VISION recruit. In a year’s time, Medasin not only managed to find his stride and significantly hone his production capabilities, he also successfully brought electronic music in his own innovative direction and cemented himself as one of the genre’s brightest forward thinkers. Irene is only one component to Medasin’s breakout, but with the wealth of potential he’s showing at the onset of such a promising career, we’re excited to see what’s next for the burgeoning wunderkind.
Medasin is Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2018.
Alan Walker is back with another hit record for his fans. This time, the British-bred, Norwegian producer recruits Sophia Somajo to assist on his latest single titled “Diamond Heart” — with a cinematic visual to match.The record comes laced with Walker’s signature bounce, encompassed by Somajo’s smooth and sultry standout vocals.
Exploding on the EDM scene with his 2015 hit single, “Faded,” Walker is here to consistently provide strength, resilience, and hope through his art. “Diamond Heart” comes as the closing chapter to the talent’s recent endeavor, World Of Walker, which is meant to be an aural demonstration of where he’s at musically. He stated upon its release, “Walkers! I really can´t believe this is happening. It’s finally time for me to share the third and final chapter of the World Of Walker trilogy with you all. «Diamond Heart» features the very talented Sophia Somajo.”
In November of last year, hip-hop suffered a devastating loss in the untimely passing of Lil Peep to a drug overdose. Seven months later, hip-hop found itself in mourning all over again, with a similarly influential young, troubled artist taken before his prime when XXXTentacion was shot in South Florida, where he hails from. While the two late artists never knew each other, they both had one thing in common: music with ILoveMakonnen. Now, Peep and XXX have been posthumously linked on a new collaboration called “Falling Down.”
One month ago, Makonnen shared a snippet of the collaborative project on social media with the caption, “I am honoured to have co-written this song that X was inspired to be a part of, shortly before he died. Peep and I always believed that music heals and brings people together in a way nothing else can. When I heard X’s recording, talking about my dear friend Peep I could not wait any longer to share this.”
Makonnen reveals he co-wrote a song with Lil Peep prior to his death, which he later showed to XXX. The slain rapper is even on record before he died as remarking on Lil Peep’s work saying, “If I would have known he was so cool, I would’ve fucked with him sooner. It’s unfortunate because when people die, that’s when you… because the remorse kind of makes you check them out. It was like if would’ve watched interviews sooner, we were so alike. And it kind of bothers me.” Despite never meeting in life nor being alive today to share their work together, XXXTentacion and Lil Peep still managed to find one another for “Falling Down,” making for a bittersweet, reflective moment in hip-hop after an otherwise troubling year.
Maceo Plex revealed his revival of his Mariel Ito alias in the form two EP releases at the beginning of 2018. The first of the two came out in late January, showing off the more experimental, IDM side of Maceo — born Eric Estornel — that his older friends were missing. A work by the name of 2000-2005 was set to release through R&S Records in May initially, but the project got pushed back. Now followers can rest easy in knowing that 2000-2005 is readying for its launch at long last, on October 26.
Estornel states the project will feature ten tracks of pure electro and IDM made between the years 2000 and 2005, and carried sounds which “helped sculpt his taste growing up in the 90’s.” The Cuban DJ/producer continues, “Friends have been asking me for years why I ever abandoned [Mariel Ito] in the first place, and would egg me on to relaunch it. Last year, when I decided I wouldn’t continue doing my Mosaic party in Ibiza, I knew I would have more time to finally relaunch it and began writing new material.”
We’re hard pressed to find a better collaborative grouping lately than Dua Lipa, Diplo, and Mark Ronson. The pop sensation’s long-awaited pairing with Silk City finally landed earlier this month, and suffice it to say, “Electricity” definitely managed to live up to expectations with a magical blend of radio-ready dance pop, backed by Dua Lipa’s standout vocals.
While the official music video was released and currently hails over 23 million views, it seems the three artists want more. Now, they share a new vertical video for the record, taking viewers on a journey fit for an Instagram story. The four-minute clip sees Lipa performing the record in a black leather tube top, dancing the night away in a nightclub. The additional video serves as the perfect backdrop to keep “Electricity” in rotation for the rest of the year.
Dancing Astronaut is hiring — have you got what it takes to join the team? We are looking to bring in some well-rounded, fresh talent to assist in advancing our editorial team forward as 2018 begins to wind down, and plans for 2019 ramp up. If you’re a strong, experienced writer with a love of electronic dance music, please take a look at the open opportunity below. If you’re interested and qualified, please email your resume and a short paragraph detailing your prior experience and qualifications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time expectation: approx. 2 hours / day
Develop and manage relationships with publicists, labels, artists, and industry professionals
Maintain strong channels of communication both internally and externally
Develop strong, hands on communication with writing/editorial/social staff to facilitate the daily production of content
Strong writing background with the ability to quickly turnaround news posts
Ability to write in an informed professional/authoritative voice
Journalism background is a plus/preferred
Affinity for electronic dance music and hip-hop, must have your finger on the pop culture beat
Execute both long and short term content pieces and meet weekly/monthly content metrics
Demonstrated ability to meet both tight deadlines and long lead deadlines
Stay on top of current news (RSS feeds, social media, email)
Keen eye for brand-fitting news stories in tech, business, and other industry sectors
Daft Punk and The Weeknd are being accused of stealing the beat from their 2016 hit collaboration, Starboy,” which peaked at no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the top of 2017. According to TMZ, poet, singer, and songwriter Yasminah claims her record “Hooyo” is the blueprint for the trio’s joint hit.
Yasminah states she released “Hooyo” in 2009, and of course, “Starboy” came to fruition seven years later. The similarities are obvious: same chorus, same key, same tempo, and same claps on beats two and four. With the “Starboy” rhythm seemingly an obvious rip of the originally, thousands of fans and onlookers are siding with Yasminah with this one.
Two of Yasminah’s producers have already threatened lawsuits over the song, but they never made it to court. She believes that The Weeknd, real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, only knew of her song because of his East African roots. While The Weeknd was born in Canada, both of his parents are of Ethiopian descent. Yasminah is now requesting her portion of those settlements, which clock in at over $5 million. The “Starboy” music video currently has amassed nearly 1.4 billion views. Listen to both tracks below and make the comparisons for yourself.
Slushii is back with a brand new remix of Charlie Puth‘s “The Way I Am.” The new remix effort comes off of Puth’s recently released sophomore album titled Voicenotes, which managed to obtain a Gold certification within four days of its release.
Slushii uses the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter’s vocals as the centerpiece of the remix, accented by dreamy piano chords, weaving in steep drum builds before a stomping rave-ready break. Injecting Puth’s original work with a hefty tempo bump, the young LA-based beatmaker dips into crossover appeal, using the original’s radio pop groundwork to lean into electro house and happy hardcore territories. The record was premiered by Puth on all streaming platforms, along with a balancing acoustic version to temper Slushii’s fiery dance floor ignitor.
Malaa is taking no prisoners on the latest episode of Who Is Malaa. The enigmatic producer and signee of Tchami’s Confessions imprint has reached the 22nd edition of his series, and as per usual packs its half-hour duration with a beautiful fusion of deep grooves, tech, and future. Prominent basslines anchor the mix in place, as it starts off slow and crescendos into an explosion of house as it reaches its end. One fan even asserted on Twitter, “I wanna go rob a bank! ASAP,” in response to the heat Malaa brought forth in the mix.
This follows his most recent single “Bling Bling” which was released just last month. In addition to his forthcoming project, Illegal Mixtape Vol. 2, fans can catch Malaa on his Illegal Tour.
Pioneer DJ has officially announced a brand new, all-in-one DDJ-RR unit, designed to help new and aspiring DJs transition from the bedroom to the party, bar, and even the club. The system comes equipped with all the basic features including the traditional NXS2 set-up paired with a portable body that allows for easy mobility and lightweight capability.
This new unit follows their flagship DDJ-RX2, which was made for smaller venues and home use. The difference between the setups are clear, with the RR having fewer beat effects, fewer color effects, no touchscreen, and fewer performance pads. However, they come with dual USB ports for a seamless switchover and a seven-inch full-color screen. DJs also have the option of recording their mix straight to the USB from the hardware.
Pioneer told the press, “Unleash your creativity with the XDJ-RR and follow your dreams from your bedroom to the club.”In addition, the RR is 43% lighter than the RX2, making it ideal to carry with you anywhere and everywhere. Head to Pioneer’s website for more information.