Morgan Page reflects on his artistic evolution, fatherhood, and collaboration as he marks ten years in the dance music industry [Interview]

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Morgan Page reflects on his artistic evolution, fatherhood, and collaboration as he marks ten years in the dance music industry [Interview]Press Shot 2 Morgan Page

Being a touring DJ for over ten years is like being a professional football player at the age of 40. Most people can’t sustain the career for more than a few years, so for those who hit the 10, 15, and 20-year marks, they are often revered as the anomalies of the industry. The DJs and producers who have successfully it through the commercialization of the field are few in number, though Morgan Page is certainly among that class, building a decorated career on the key ingredient that dozens of others have failed to master — consistency. His journey has seen fair ups and downs, but since his breakthrough release “The Longest Road,” in 2008, the Vermont-native EDM mainstay has managed to remain relevant amid electronic music’s rapid global boom. He continues to release a steady output, and as a result, manages a brimming itinerary of shows at some of the top venues and festivals around the world year over year. Morgan Page recently sat down with Dancing Astronaut to look back on the last decade of non-stop touring action.

A Grammy-nominated producer, Page is the first to admit his career has not been free of strains. Page says he recognizes he is where he is today because he has not been afraid to reach for that he most desires. In fact, he attributes his Grammy nomination to his own self-cultivated initiative, explaining,

“I got [myself] my Grammy nomination. I submitted it myself; the label did not submit it. You have to take things into your own hands.”

While a Grammy nomination is no small feat, it is his personal life that has brought what he considers “his greatest collaboration yet,” to fruition. Not a song or sold-out tour, but his now-four-month-old daughter, Bea. Page spent years persevering his way to the innermost holdings of the industry, and countless more working to steady that spotlight — to stay relevant. However, Page says having a daughter has reconfigured his entire outlook.

Page says all the toiling and tumult behind him are most gratifying in that they have laid out immeasurable opportunity for his daughter. While he has resolved not to be a “stage dad,” he is optimistic that raising her in a musical environment will prove worthwhile.

“I’m going to do a lot to encourage her to do music. She can do whatever she wants, but I am going to encourage her not to settle for a realistic job. I’m definitely going to raise her my style. I just think it’s a very unique situation to have a kid in these times. There is this great studio right downstairs. Why not use it?”

Unsurprisingly, Page says his memories of walking his daughter down to his private studio are among his fondest to date, rivaled only by the experience of introducing her to his own music. In addition to growing up with state-of-the-art equipment just a stone’s throw from her bedroom, Bea will also have access to her father: a model of resolve and improbable success, as well as a wealth of industry knowledge.

Page speaks about his path to becoming an artist in a revelatory lens, bringing a formerly untapped dimension to his career retrospection. It’s both hope and hindsight that had yet to surface when Dancing Astronaut sat down with him a year ago. At that time Page did not know he would soon become a father. His reflections now posit his own efforts to secure success beside hypothetical musings of his daughter’s chances at a similar undertaking.

“It’s such an unlikely career, but I want to make sure it is possible. I never expected to make a living. I was never the resident DJ, and I was never given those opportunities. No one was like, ‘hey do you want to play in Avalon in Boston and see how it goes?’ No one gave me the time of day,” reflects the “Against the World” producer.

As an artist who has amassed a fiercely loyal following over the last decade, signed to an international label, that has managed to deliver a continuous output of music, Page is among an elite breed of industry players who have learned to navigate the circuitous industry staircase. He is not reluctant in the least to speak on the near impossible feat of attempting to make a living in this space without help from the record labels and management companies. Page asserted that of all the dizzying idiosyncrasies at work in the music business, the most complicated mechanisms at work here are humans. “I think human dynamics are harder than anything,” admits Page — an interesting acknowledgement from a career entertainer.

Morgan Page reflects on his artistic evolution, fatherhood, and collaboration as he marks ten years in the dance music industry [Interview]Morgan Page Live

Human dynamics are the most challenging part of collaborations, Page shares. Two well-known artists co-producing music isn’t always (or even frequently) born out of a happenstance encounter or coming to an agreement upon one party’s first inquiry; there are often other forces at work. Creating the music itself together, he says, can be the easiest part of the entire process. Management usually has their own ideas about how collaborations will come to life.

“If artists actually worked with one another it would be so much more simple. [With] management, it’s all a block because they are like, well my artist is worth ‘x,’ and then it’s a counter of what the other manager is saying their artist is worth. I think the hard part about collaborating is usually who stands in the way when two artists genuinely want to work together because the management will get into an over-protective ego war.”

Morgan Page reflects on his artistic evolution, fatherhood, and collaboration as he marks ten years in the dance music industry [Interview]Morgan Page Strut

The dance music industry may flaunt a lustrous exterior, but the behind the scenes, interactions are not always so resplendent. According to Page, artists often find themselves at a standstill while their teams go to war about what point font he or she is on a lineup. When it comes to a collaboration itself, the collaborators don’t even always get to sit in a studio and work together. Co-productions are also susceptible to dizzying artist schedules and personal preference.

“My collaboration with Swanky Tunes was fine, for example, because there was only one person I was dealing with. But it’s difficult. Everyone is touring. You don’t hear back for a month, and if you don’t hear back, either someone doesn’t like [the music] or they are busy,” recalls Page.

Page’s recent song with Swanky Tunes is a diversion from Page’s typically melodic style, and showcases how working with new producers can push an artist’s personal boundaries. The collaboration is an example of the shift of his personal interests when it comes to what satiates him sonically. He has been focusing on outreach with fellow producers, mentoring younger artists, and even returning to remixes, which Page admits he distanced himself from for a while.

“Some of the remixes are so off the mark, and from good producers too. The dynamic has changed a lot now where I think people don’t want to do remixes because stuff gets denied or things are done on speck. People will hire emerging names, and many are like, well unless it’s Rihanna and I’m getting $10 grand, people are so finicky. I’m like, it doesn’t matter, and I will go find an emerging name while I’m playing my radio show.

Not only is Page taking on remixes of his own again, like his reboot of Elephante’s “Come Back for You” featuring Matluck, but he will be releasing a remix package for “The Longest Road” in honor of the iconic track’s tenth anniversary. The first The Longest Road EP features three remixes: a brand new take from Steff Da Campo, the 2012 bootleg remix from Vicetone now receiving its debut official release, and the song’s most famous edition, deadmau5‘ unforgettable 2008 remix.

Morgan Page reflects on his artistic evolution, fatherhood, and collaboration as he marks ten years in the dance music industry [Interview]Screen Shot 2018 11 14 At 6.29.35 PM

While Page’s life remains in a constant state of flux both personally and professionally, he was immediately able to peg the catalytic record that catapulted him out of unnamed monotony, the fittingly named, “The Longest Road.” He stands firm that his daughter is by and large his greatest collaborative effort, but ascribes “The Longest Road” a close second. Like the electronic arena he knows and loves, Page’s priorities shift. His interests broaden. Yet, Page remains an unpredictable and immovable force in this inconstant arena.

Photo Credit: Morgan Page Instagram

deadmau5 drops off eclectic ‘mau5ville: Level 2’ project

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deadmau5 drops off eclectic ‘mau5ville: Level 2’ projectScreen Shot 2017 12 17 At 11.13.19 AM

2018 is certainly a good year to be a deadmau5 fan. After releasing his orchestral cover album, where’s the drop?, and the collaborative mau5trap-focused project, mau5ville: Level 1, the production extraordinaire has put out the next iteration of the mau5ville series, mau5ville: Level 2.

Providing an array of originals and remixes, deadmau5 taps his mau5trap family and some special guests on this new project. He starts off with a feature from fellow Canadian vocalist, Lights, on “Drama Free.” The dark and pulsing track is then given the UK bassline treatment by longtime deadmau5 remixer Chris Lorenzo. Followed by the experimental downtempo piece, “10.8,” with Mr. Bill, deadmau5 shows the true diversity in his production skillset. With both mau5trap veteran Monstergetdown and newcomer Gallya partaking in collaborations and remixes to close out the project, mau5ville: Level 2 is a testament to the deadmau5’s ability to break new talent while providing solid releases from mau5trap’s current roster.

NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens remixes CHIC, SLANDER and Spag Heddy team up, Ray Volpe flips Ookay + more

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NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens remixes CHIC, SLANDER and Spag Heddy team up, Ray Volpe flips Ookay + moreOcaso Festival Tamarindo By Pablo Murillo 06 01 2018 0525

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday.

This week’s releases are true stunners. After announcing a collaboration with Lights back in July, deadmau5 has finally unveiled “Drama Free” as part of his mau5ville: Level 2 EP. Oliver Heldens throws it back four decades by remixing CHIC‘s 1978 hit “Le Freak,” adding in a pounding bass to accentuate the original’s groovy beat. Bingo Players and Bali Bandits bring the funk with “Body Rock,” and SLANDER and Spag Heddy waste no time setting “Running to You” on fire. Ray Volpe puts his own spin on Ookay‘s “In My Mind,” while Party Favor taps Naïka for the hefty “Blame.” As part of What So Not‘s Not All The Beautiful Things remix package, AC Slater‘s put his signature bass-fueled house spin on the famous “Goh.” Kill Paris has put his own laid-back twist on Alison Wonderland‘s “Easy,” and Ross From Friends thrills with a take on Thundercat‘s “Friend 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: Pablo Murillo

deadmau5 tests new music in Berlin

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deadmau5 tests new music in BerlinDeadmau5 Mau5ville Level 2

Attendees of deadmau5‘s November 8 show in Berlin were in for a treat.

The mau5trap head honcho used the Verti Music Hall performance to crowd-test some new music, which one Reddit user captured to share with the world. The ID begins slowly, building anticipation with a warm, ethereal melody before exploding abruptly into a bright burst of synths. Backed by a dramatic progressive beat, this ID is purely mau5 in every way.

Though deadmau5 has been using the past several weeks to focus on his mental well-being, he promised fans he’d be in attendance at his Europe shows this month, which include performances in Dublin, Edinburgh, London, and Bristol in the coming days.

deadmau5 new ID live from Berlin! from r/EDM

Photo credit: F. Scott Schafer

deadmau5 updates fans on his well-being, confirms European tour dates

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deadmau5 updates fans on his well-being, confirms European tour datesDeadmau5 Hiatus Update

After announcing an indefinite hiatus from social media to focus on mental health, deadmau5 provided an update via Twitter for fans regarding his progress and the status of previously scheduled tour dates. According to the mau5trap boss, he seems to be getting exactly what he needs out of his commitment to his psychological well-being after receiving hefty backlash over his longstanding, highly controversial interactions with both peers and fans on digital platforms–most notably Twitter.

“With the support from family and friends, and the help of health professionals, I’m on the right track and I’m feeling better,” said deadmau5 in the post.

He also confirmed his upcoming performances at a sundry of upcoming European tour dates, but made it clear the update did not mean a return to the producer’s vice of choice (Twitter). With his label handling deadmau5 socials for now, here’s to hoping mau5 2.0 continues this bout of reflection and surfaces healthier than ever.

 

Photo Credit: Masterclass

 

deadmau5 to take indefinite hiatus

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deadmau5 to take indefinite hiatusScreen Shot 2017 12 08 At 12.32.49 PM

deadmau5 is going offline indefinitely, per a statement posted to Twitter.

He acknowledged his longtime struggle with mental health had taken a toll on him to fans, indicating issues had magnified over “the past several years” and a guilty feeling over not realizing his label’s vision. At the beginning and end of his note, deadmau5 offered an apology to those he’d offended in the past with unfiltered comments that he admitted were offensive. These two items are what ultimately led to his decision to “go off the radar and taking time necessary to work on myself.”

It’s unclear if by “going off the radar,” deadmau5 meant be taking a break from social media only, or his career/pursuits in general. He simply advised he’d be seeking professional help to aid him in his mission to become a better person. This departure follows up one where similar issues were cited in 2015.

 

deadmau5 to take indefinite hiatusDeadmau5 Twitter

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 59

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 59Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here.


Putting his own “post-apocalyptic horror house” spin on AWAY‘s “Honest to God,” Bloodtone returns in full force. The producer ramps up the energy from the original, bolstering it with a pounding bassline and down-pitched vocals. He calls the original “one of the my favorite electronic tracks that I have heard in the last five years” and brings his own creative flair to the piece by building a dark, eerie atmosphere. He gave a similar treatment to Alison Wonderland‘s “U Don’t Know” a few months ago and returns with an equally sinister reworking here.

F.O.O.L‘s new EP is one of the most fascinating bodies of work I’ve heard this year. Highway weaves its way from mystery-filled synthwave to high-powered electro, teaming up with collaborators like Laura Brehm and Anzo to complete the collection. After releasing the EP’s title track in June, fans knew to expect something dynamic and fresh from the Swedish producer — and that’s precisely what happened. The EP’s second track, “Escape Plan,” follows the synthwave path, thrilling with a frantic orchestral melody and backed by racing ’80s-style synths in the verses. The synthwave takeover is nigh, friends.

Oliverse recent joined the Disciple Records family, and he bursts onto the label with an EP that showcases his versatile production skills. The title track for the EP, “Get High,” is a powerful piece. Catchy vocals lead into a forceful, wobble-filled drop, pounding the ears with a perfect balance of old-school dubstep and contemporary elements. He makes an impressive showing for his Disciple debut, dropping a 30-minute mix just days before the release of Get High. From his Koo remix in 2015 to now, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed observing his experimentation across the EDM spectrum.

The release of deadmau5‘s “Monophobia” with Rob Swire in July led to an onslaught of remixes. Artists couldn’t wait to get their hands on the mau5trap masterpiece, and rightfully so. It’s been reworked every which way, but one in particular’s caught my ear. Essenger took the time not only remix “Monophobia,” but cover it as well. His take is a minimalist, garage-influenced one, leaving space for the listener to absorb the dreamy essence of his production and vocals. A guitar melody takes the place of the song’s plucky introduction, leading the unassuming listener into a dramatic synthwave switch-up about halfway through the cover. It’s a refreshing and compelling take on the original.

There’s just something special about this 11-minute piece from Chasing Dreams. I first heard it at the beginning of a Gorm Sorenson Silk Music mix and was captivated by its gorgeous ascending melodies and peaceful atmosphere. “The One Who Watches” begins with a simple piano melody and leads into harmonious chords, gently easing the listener into the serene soundscape that lingers long after the song has come to a close. It’s an uplifting, hopeful piece that’s part of Chasing Dreams’ Ascesa album, which has been described as “a lingering, gentle, pensive rise presented as a melodious milkshake of stories, experiences, and feelings.”

deadmau5 announces new mau5trap radio series on SiriusXM

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deadmau5 announces new mau5trap radio series on SiriusXMUnnamed 1

The mau5trap maven himself, Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5), has now vamped his very own weekly radio show, mau5trap radio, through SiriusXM. The first edition aired late last week, September 28, featuring a fitting, hot-button guest mix from Getter, who just recently released his mau5trap-certified concept album, Visceral.

The internationally-aired series is set to feature a sundry of other mau5trap talent, with debuts lined up from the label’s most auspicious acts, including REZZ, ATTLAS, No Mana, Rinzen, and more. The show has found a home on SiriusXM’s BPM (channel 51): a sacred staple in the electronic airwaves. This landmark achievement for Zimmerman and the esteemed imprint comes just one year after mau5trap’s momentous 10-year anniversary.

After a three-day period, each show will be plugged onto Mixcloud, where listeners can stream freely. Additionally, the show will air regularly across the globe, through the following mediums:

Germany – ENERGY NRJ
Turkey – Radyo S – Monday 11pm
Dubai – Dance FM – Tuesday 22:00 PM
Mexico – Beat FM
Cyprus – ENERGY NRJ (Prime time – Saturday agreed).
Bulgaria – Radio Nova (If music & Jingle only)
Thailand – Kiss FM
Russia – DFM – Saturday 23:00 Moscow Time
Sri Lanka – Fox 91.4 12pm Friday (Repeated 11am Friday afternoon, the week after)
Kiss Fm, Australia – Saturday 6.30 – 7.30pm

 

DA Presents: ’30 Days of Fright’ featuring REZZ, Gesaffelstein, Noisia, Drezo, and more [Playlist]

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DA Presents: ’30 Days of Fright’ featuring REZZ, Gesaffelstein, Noisia, Drezo, and more [Playlist]SPOOKS PLAYLIST 1

Grab a mask, slam back some candy corn, and get primed to get spooky: it’s October and officially witching season. Electronic music fanatics might be creatures of the night all year round, but there’s something so undeniably righteous about the Halloween season that makes the rapturous roar of dance music even more spellbinding. Whether in the form of diabolic dubstep or demonically deviant techno, the advent of electronic music has given the world some of its most truly terrifying tunes. In that vein, the Dancing Astronaut terror squad is proud to present 30 Days of Fright, our most dastardly dance music favorites for the spookiest month of the year.

By Asher Norris and Bella Bagshaw 


Surrender your consciousness and step inside REZZ‘s world of swirling asphyxia with “Relax.”

Feel your blood begin to bubble and your pulse hectically hasten as BlackGummy and Brooks’s “Neverdeader” breathes a bit of electronic hellfire.

Stream if you dare, as this flame-throwing dubstep track from Kill The Noise, “Black Magic,” will leave your eardrums scorched, but entirely satiated.

Zeds Dead offers up the score for entertainment of the entirely un-dead variety with their timelessly terrifying, “Demons.”

Careful – Megan James’s delectably delicate voice may seem perfectly benevolent, but make no mistake: lofty pipes like hers are witchy by nature.

ZHU plays maestro for all things that boogie and bump in the night with “Nightcrawler.”

Taste the psychedelic strangeness of An-Ten-Nae and Alice D.’s “Raindrops On Roses,” and fall into their preternatural purgatory.

Ever wanted to dance with the devil himself? Habstrakt‘s harrowing house track, “She Goes,” is an opportunity to do just that.

Zomboy invites you to venture through his dubstep-riddled zombie apocalypse with “Ressurected.”

Crowned prince of menacing sound design, Drezo sprinkles a ghastly vocal cut and some unearthly growls in one of his most downright evil releases, “Dead.”

Ivy Lab puts a wickedly delicious spin on an already-crazed Noisia classic, “Tentacles.”

Bask in the eerie ecstasy of Eekkoo and Forrest’s pulsating house production, “Preach.”

NERO solidifies their title as masters of destruction and drum ‘n’ bass with “Doomsday.”

Slithering and psychotic, Noisia’s “Lilith’s Club” will summon spooky sentiments from listeners across the board.

Catch a case of the techno scaries with Gesaffelstein‘s devilishly danceable “Viol.”

Magic Sword wields triumphant electrowave, “In The Face Of Evil,” to fend off even the most nefarious of forces in the days leading up to this All Hallow’s Eve.

Phantogram‘s off-kilter ambiance from “Funeral Pyre,” is the ideal supernatural soundscape, topped with seductive static and levitation-inducing guitar chords.

An undoubtedly foreseen, but fundamental addition to the list, deadmau5‘s “Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff” keeps the freaky, phantasmic fun flying all season long.


Float through the ectoplasm of The Upside Down with this exquisitely melodic synthwave track direct from the second Stranger Things soundtrack.

We’re not really sure what Moody Good is investigating in the malignantly-sampled “This Is The Investigation,” but we’re pretty sure it’s not natural.

Step inside Pryda‘s low-lit techno tunnel and experience the roaring mania of “Rebel XX.”

Those with a predilection for the creepy crawly end of the electronic continuum need only submit themselves to Knife Party‘s iconic “Centipede.”

Street Fever’s winding techno musings inside “Dispose” may be simplistic, but they’ll leave listeners reeling with haunted rejoice.

Feed Me‘s two-headed trap/dubstep hybrid “Pink Lady” will have you seeing phantom strobes well into the afterlife.

It’s virtually impossible to overload on REZZ tracks during any month, but it’s especially tricky this time of year. Her immortal state of “Delusion” thrusts listeners below ground, where the most formidable forces can frolic freely.

Virtual Riot unleashes a bloodcurdling, cinematic ruckus with zombie-apocalypse-themed, “Haunted.”

Names are not at all deceiving as Shadient takes Wavedash and Quest‘s unnervingly vocalized “Devil Music” for ransom.

Coast the un-departed synth-pop streets of Dance With The Dead’s chillingly regal “Nightdrive.”

Spirits loom overhead, as Stephan Bodzin’s “Singularity” permeates shuddersome sounds of uncertainty.

The evil computers of the underworld unite on Knife Party’s riot-conjuring, “Internet Friends.”


There’s too many spooky dance cuts to round up all at once, alas, we’ve got you going with a pretty good start. Keep the spooks in rotation all month long, and don’t forget to mix in “Monster Mash” a few times to get into the spirit of things this season. Stream the full 30 Days of Fright collection below.

deadmau5 is working on his film score debut

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deadmau5 is working on his film score debutDeadmau5 Mau5ville Level 2

The mau5 is “out of the bag” and in the studio working on the inaugural film score of his career. deadmau5 originally declared his interest in film score writing following the release of where’s the drop?, the mau5trap producer’s full-length orchestral album. “I’ve always wanted to go into film scoring,” deadmau5 said at the time of where’s the drop?‘s arrival. “I think that this is a better entry point because now I’m like fucking walking the walk, as opposed to fucking talking the talk. Which is all you can do before anyone would think that you are capable of scoring a film, you know what I mean?”

deadmau5 similarly expressed his hope that where’s the drop? would resonate with figures in the film industry. “Hopefully this kind of puts me on the radar with professionals in that area or even the public to want something like that,” deadmau5 stated, “It would be cool to custom-write music for some kind of story. That’d be cool.” Judging by deadmau5’s recent tweet, where’s the drop? certainly registered on the “radars” of film producers, as the mau5ville head has now landed his first film score. deadmau5 will compose the score for Constantin Film and Netflix’s joint production, Polar.

Photo credit: F. Scott Schafer