Tiësto remixed Ed Sheeran’s ‘Happier’

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tiesto ed sheeran

Tiësto remixed Ed Sheeran‘s “Happier,” off his 2017 best-selling album, ÷. This is a massive collaboration and the result is no surprise: it’s amazing. Tiësto sounds like he’s flexing his Kygo muscle, as the producer’s light, deep house cuddle’s Sheeran’s folksy voice with melodic, rumbling synths.

The king of trance kept to Sheeran’s minimal vibe, adding euphoric builds and a driving house beat to an originally somber vibe. The bed of ambiance hugs the track, letting listeners know, everything will be okay.

The remix was released off Tiësto’s AFTR:HRS label, which is his deep house imprint. The label boss has been producing vibes recently. His last release was an uplifting, hip-hop, pop track, “Jackie Chan,” with Post Malone and Dzeko. “Boom” featuring Gucci Mane is techno fire. Watch out 2018, Tiësto is out to have another stellar year.

Photo Credit: @tiesto/Instagram

Oliver Heldens delivers a deep house remix of Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa’s ‘One Kiss’

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oliver heldens calvin harris

Calvin Harris dropped three remixes of his most recent Billboard success “One Kiss,” with Dua Lipa. Oliver Heldens, ZHU, and Jauz each had the pleasure of remixing the Scotsman’s production.

Heldens gives the original his signature deep house, murky melodies. The distorted bass creates a stark contrast between Lipa’s optimistic, top-end pop vocals and the body-trembling, low-ends of the hook. With a bed of organ synths, Lipa’s voice produces that giddy anticipation of attraction while the drop pulls the rug out from under the listener, falling deep in love on the dance floor.

 

Monolink describes growing into his musical self and the inspiration behind ‘Amniotic’ [Q&A]

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In recent years, a new type of artist has been developing in Germany, one as unique as he is talented. This artist is called Monolink, and his music is a blend of his own voice, his guitar, and craftily arranged, satisfying electronica. His music has been so well received, in fact, that some are pointing to him as one of the most innovative new artists on the scene. After several years developing his  project and building out his repertoire, he released his highly anticipated debut album, Amniotic, on the boutique German imprint, Embassy One Records. We caught up with Monolink to see about getting a better understanding of who he is, and from where his music comes.


Amniotic is an interesting title for your debut album. Tell us about what that word means to you in this context, and why you chose it.
The title came to me when I was writing the lyrics for the opening track, which is also called “Amniotic.” Amniotic fluid is the liquid that an unborn baby lives in, and for the first months of our lives, it is the only reality we know, where we only float in our subconscious. The song is about being born, or maybe the moments right before, and I felt like it suited the whole idea of the album very well, since it’s my first full body of work.

You have such a unique sound. Who are some of your musical inspirations?
I always felt very much inspired by Nicolas Jaar and his approach to electronic music. For a long time, it was mostly based on sampling and editing old songs with new sound elements. To me, that sounded like the future, and a dystopian one, due to the quality of the old samples. When I heard Darkside’s (one of his side projects) first EP, it was unlike anything I had listened to before, and I knew this was something I’d want to do as well.

I was also always really interested in stories and lyrics. During the time I was playing as a singer-songwriter, my main inspirations were Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and all those old masters of words. So the whole idea for this project was to bring those two worlds together.

Tell us about how you got started making this form of live electronic music, coupled with your voice and your guitar. What lead you to start this project?
I guess moving to Berlin in 2009 had a strong impact on me. I was really inspired by the music scene here. The first years, I was playing in bars and on the streets, and I was all about folk music. I was then drawn into the world of electronic music, the clubs, and the whole community around it. It was completely new to me, and unlike anything I had known before—a different way of listening to music. There were still stories being told, not with words, but with energy and repetition. You would listen with your body, and not so much your mind. That fascinated me, so I soon started producing electronic music, taking material from the songs I had written before. I also realized I could play my songs live instead of just sampling them. I still wanted to play concerts and create a live music experience, but I also wanted to add a new layer of sound, letting people feel it and dance to it.

We know you’ve been out touring around the world for quite some time already. What’s one of your best stories from life on the road?
I once got to play for the queen of Thailand! After I finished school, I was traveling in Southeast Asia for some months, and I joined a Thai band in a little town close to Bangkok. We played cover shows in clubs and bars, until one New Year’s Eve, when we were booked to play the queen’s party, at her summer residency. It was a huge, beautiful place, all surrounded by a national park. When the queen arrived, the band had to stop the music, and we all got on our knees to pay respect. The queen, for some reason, was dressed up in a cowboy costume and walked right up to me (I was the only foreigner there). She asked me where I was from, and when I said, “Germany,” she laughed and replied to me in German, telling me that she studied in Switzerland. She then, for the rest of the night, made all her announcements in German, with me being the only one in the room who could understand her. It made me smile. This was long before I started Monolink, but still a story I like to remember.

After releasing a full-length album like Amniotic, what comes next for you?
I’m working on a full concert show with a band at the moment, which is really exciting for me. As much as I love playing at techno events, playing shows in concert venues will open up so many new possibilities: working with lights and visuals, creating a full body experience. We’re going to start touring in fall, and after that I want to start working on my second album.

We’ll close with a fun one. If you could have one artist remix a track from the album, which artist and which song would you choose? Why?
I would love to have David August remix. I can really relate to the music he makes; I feel like we have a very similar view on sound aesthetics. Which song is a difficult one, though. Maybe the opener, “Amniotic?” I don’t always like the way my vocals sound on record, but in that track, I love the way the harmonies work together. I think he would like it, too.

 

Feature Image Credit: Hailley Howard

Techno Tuesday: My Favorite Robot select the tracks that define their MFR Imprint

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Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

My Favorite Robot maintain an enduring mission: to spread love for more nuanced shades of dance music as widely as possible, all while refusing to define themselves under any one label. The result of this mission? A diverse repertoire of compositions, each containing a skillful balance of house, progressive, and tech elements that are fused into a cohesive whole. Their approach to musicmaking and their unique sound in general has led to the Canadian duo landing on multiple prolific labels, the likes of which include Last Night On Earth, Crosstown Rebels, and No. 19.

My Favorite Robot - 2018

Beyond releases on other labels, My Favorite Robot have one of their own, dubbed MFR Records. Their brainchild has come far from its humble beginnings, signing Kenny Glasgow, Clarian, Emerson Todd, and other greats into its fold over time, just to name a few. The label has just crossed into its milestone 10th birthday, moving at full speed ahead into its next decade of existence.

We wrangled the outfit ahead of embarking on their celebratory label tour, which kicked off mid-April, and got them to give us a list of what they’ve deemed to be label-defining releases over the years. Enjoy the selections!

 


2008 – My Favorite Robot – In The Dark

2009 – Kenny Glasgow – ‘Something Special’

2010 – Jonny White & My Favorite Robot – ‘Desensitize’ (Chloe Remix)

2011 – Nitin – ‘Blink Twice’

2012 – Fairmont – ‘Old Ways’

2013 – Tim Paris – ‘Outback, Stones, & Vinyl’

2014 – Clarian – ‘Unrest’

2015 – My Favorite Robot – ‘Glass To The End’

2016 – Jori Hulkkonen – ‘Black Books’

2017 – Rodion & Local Suicide – ‘Abu Dhabi (Los Mekanikos Remix)’

2018 – Sebastopol – ‘Friday To Sunday’

 

Remaining Tour Dates:

May 12 – Enter the Dragon [Munich, GER]
May 12 – Groove Club [Mexicali, MEX]
May 15 – Techno Taco Tuesdays [Las Vegas, NV]
May 18 – Solset at Firehouse [San Diego, CA]

Yolanda Be Cool assemble breezy new playlist ahead of Splash House [EXCLUSIVE]

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yolanda be cool

Palm Springs will undergo it’s semi-annual transformation into a dance-fueled desert oasis come June 8, as Splash House‘s first edition makes its rounds through its usual home resorts.

The Goldenvoice institution turns five this year, and to switch things up, lineups are staggered as well. June’s roster has just been unveiled, revealing a bevy of acts like What So Not, Duke Dumont, Dusky, and more that will take help guide festivities in the most raucous of fashions.

Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool will also be taking the decks over the weekend; however, they simply could not contain their excitement for the upcoming festivities. Appropriately, they’ve created a fresh new playlist for Dancing Astronaut that is pumped with tunes matching their musical aesthetic: mellow, grooving, and sunny. Within minutes, the vibe will be too infectious not to dance along to!

 

Shiba San throws down Chicago house in new ‘Off To Funk’ EP

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Dirtybird deity, Shiba San returns to Relief Records with his newest EP, Off To Funk, his second release on the Green Velvet-founded Chicago-based label.

The producer’s patriarchal presence in the house and tech scenes began after the release of 2015’s wall-to-wall club track “OKAY.” Since, he has embarked on world tours and worked alongside some of the most prestigious names in his respective genre, including Dirtybird label head, Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet himself, for their collaborative 2017 EP, Fearless. 

The four-track extended play, Off To Funk, features two original extended cuts, as well as two coinciding, shortened club mixes. The EP sees Shiba embrace the deeper, classic Chicago style house and tech elements that are so very characteristic of Green Velvet and the Relief imprint. In “Back To Funk,” a deep bass line thumps alongside rattling hi-hats and the repeated sample chop, “Back to funk/Freak the funk.”Comparatively, “Off” proves more melodic, with a colorful, highly texturized synth line alongside a crooning female vocal cut. Coming in with four new, satisfying club-ready house products, Shiba San has found a fitting home away from home on Relief’s roster.

Premiere: Inxec & Droog – Monstar

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Droog

Living across thousands of miles and an ocean isn’t enough to stop Droog and Inxec from making some collaborative gold. The LA-based duo have been working with the British native for years, fashioning house music containing a blend of mystical elements and entrancing melodies.

They’ve once more joined forces on Droog’s Culprit imprint, coming out of the studio with a brand new, five-piece EP with four originals between the two, plus a remix from the venerable Dance Spirit.

Din opens on a scintillating note with “Monstar,” which traverses through patches of seductive vocal clips, metallic hits of percussion, and dramatic melodies. Its unfolding is meticulously timed, with its creators subtly adding in layers of sound until a satisfying climax hits.

Due for an April 27 release, “Monstar” is likely to be rinsed throughout the festival season.

 


Pre-order a copy here

Lane 8 reveals horde of new music in his debut BBC Essential Mix

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Daniel Goldstein, better known as Lane 8, took to BBC’s Radio 1 Essential Mix to heighten an already watershed year in the producer’s career.

The two hour deep/melodic house mix is nothing short of a transcendent expedition through Lane 8’s past, present, and future. Despite his recent album release, Lane 8 showers the listener with unreleased tracks, starting with “Bluebird” a delicate, yet rousing collaboration with fellow This Never Happened artist, Anderholm. Lane 8’s Anjunadeep days seep into the folds via an acapella version of his 2014 “Diamonds” which he mashes with his own delicious rework of deadmau5‘s “Not Exactly.” Selections from his recent LP Little By Little not only makes frequent appearances, but are heavily remixed by the likes of Dirty South, Khaen, and Anjunadeep up-and-comer, Ben Böhmer.

Earlier this year, Goldstein released his Little By Little album via his very own, This Never Happened label. The imprint is predicated on its creator’s desire to deliver raw, authentic human experience and interaction. He is currently in the midst of his international Little By Little Tour, in which no cameras and/or phones are permitted to ensure fans “connect with each other and the music in the purest way possible.”

Photo Credit: Relentless Beats

Premiere: Undercatt – Vulcano

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Undercatt

The latest Diynamic act to offer insight into their current artistic moment via the Picture: series are behind some of the label’s most favored hits over the past couple years.

Undercatt — comprised of Italians Luca and Elia — have found their niche in ethereal, yet full-bodied shades of tech house and progressive. They’ve distinguished themselves on the global stage with infusions of hearty plucks, haunting choral effects, and lush percussion. Thus, it comes as no surprise these are brought together in in their contribution to Picture:.

In “Vulcano,” the two have a truly explosive piece on their hands. Metallic clangs accent throbbing, low-end synth roars, only to give way into a titillating bout of snare rolls and hard-hitting chords. The production is brimming with energy, with a design fit for carrying a set into peak time.

 

“Vulcano” and the rest of Undercatt’s ‘Picture’ is set for an April 20 release. Order a copy here

Thugfucker forges whimsical house mix ahead of Elements [EXCLUSIVE]

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Thugfucker were founded on the basis of uplifting peoples’ spirits with ethereal and mystical shades of house and tech. The outfit — now a singular act led by member Greg Oreck — rose through the ranks swiftly, making their mark on the underground world with their dynamic approach to sets and drive to create an ideal atmosphere at all their events. Thugfucker later paired with DJ Tennis to create their prolific Life & Death imprint, which helped break through the likes of Mind Against and Tale Of Us, among others.

Such an aesthetic has made Thugfucker a particularly highly-demanded entity within the transformational festival community. Oreck’s shamanic abilities with melodic manipulation have made him a staple at events like Burning Man and beyond. Come Memorial Day Weekend, he will make his return under his beloved moniker to Elements‘ second edition in Lakewood, Pennsylvannia.

Oreck stopped by the Dancing Astronaut offices ahead of his appearance at the festival to talk Thugfucker’s new beginnings, his sonic ethos, prized Elements memories, and more, in addition to providing us with an enticing mix to boost excitement in returning to Lakewood’s cozy confines.


How would you describe your musical ethos? How did you arrive there over time?
While it’s probably impossible to nail down something so big sounding as a musical ethos it is interesting (for me anyway!) to try and think about how I reached the point where I’m at musically. I was talking with Cosmo D from Nucleus a few years ago and I realized I could specifically draw a line from my friend playing “Jam On It” to me at age 12 to where I’m at now in my relationship to music (and dance music specifically) and it was an amazing moment to be able to talk with him about it directly. We’re all shaped by the various experiences we have throughout our life and I’ve been lucky to have a pretty wide variety of experiences that’s really exposed me to a lot. Too many musical movements and styles to try and make an exhaustive list but my whole life I’ve always found something to love in a wide variety of music and have been absolutely drawn to it so I guess that’s just who I am. One thing seems to always lead to the next but it only really makes sense while looking back at it. I remember calling into the radio DJ’s on the local alternative radio station so regularly when I was 12 years old that they got to know me by name. Who does that at 12? But I can’t imagine having been any other way so perhaps chalk that one up to nature versus nurture.

What draws you to the deeper, dreamier sounds of house and deep tech?
Hmmm, I’m not sure I’d be ready to subscribe to any specific genre labels as those are always moving targets that mean very different things for different people. However I wouldn’t deny that among the wide variety of music I find myself drawn to there is definitely a good sized space for some of the trippier sounds. More than anything I guess I love music that engages your mind and imagination while still making you move your body.. which cuts across a pretty wide swath of music overall and which, at the end of the day, is what dance music is really all about right?

It seems eclecticism is also a big motif of your sets and music. Is this correct? What are your tips for balancing the left field and a crowd who expects the hits?
It really depends on the situation. The crowd, the setting, the time of day, what’s happened before you’ve gotten there, what’s going on around you, what the crowd’s expectations are and what kind of relationship they have to you and each other can all have a big impact on how open people will be. Certain situations you can just walk in and they trust you and they’re really ready to follow you down the rabbit hole — so you can just jump right in and get playful. Other times you really have to work hard to earn that trust. The trust is what’s key.

When you’re throwing your own events you can have a lot of control over those factors and I really love to do that. In other cases I think as much as you can you just try and pick and choose the situations where you play to try to find the kind of environments where it’s possible to give people the best experience possible. Of course sometimes you just walk into a situation that’s a bit more challenging but in the end that’s the job of the DJ, to work with the crowd that’s there and the situation you find yourself in to create something special together. Just because you have an incredibly eclectic music collection put together over millennia or whatever doesn’t ever give you the right to bore people to tears. People come out after a hard week of work or whatever life has thrown at them and they come to dance for a release and an escape from all that. Something to lift them up and give them some proper dancefloor catharsis. They’re not just putting their hard earned money on the table, they’re giving you a big chunk of their time and that’s the most valuable thing any of us have. So you always have to honor that and remember that it’s not just about you, it’s about everyone in that space with you.

You two recently parted ways. What caused the part, and how does this affect the Thugfucker sound?
Really something pretty normal for artists working together so closely in a collaboration for so long. In a partnership there are always going to be certain restrictions because naturally you can only move forward on the things that you both agree on, and these restrictions bring both benefits and limitations. So it’s natural to reach a point where you have stories to tell and things to express outside the bounds of those limitations. Holmar reached that point and expressed his interest to go off and do his own thing and when you reach that point, that’s exactly what you need to do and I support him fully. I know this is going to be a great new adventure for him that’s going to bear some beautiful new fruit.

As far as how it will affect the Thugfucker sound, obviously it will continue to evolve which is something I’m proud to say it has been doing all these years. You always have to remain true to yourself but part of being a DJ comes from a relationship with music that’s always evolving. And I think that goes for all the DJ’s at a certain level, as far as I’ve experienced anyways.

Being out on the road these last few months has been incredibly inspiring and I feel like I’ve found a new flow and a new energy that comes from digging even deeper into music that I might not have had the chance to play before. It’s been super exciting to stretch myself in new ways and it feels like a really growing moment and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Similarly in the studio I’ve been feeling very excited to dig into new ways of working and have been back to working pretty exclusively with hardware lately just because that’s what’s really been inspiring me, not because I think there’s any one right way of doing things. I even started taking some music theory classes recently which I had always very consciously avoided as I felt it would take away some of the spontaneity and intuition from things. I remember hearing that Elvis Costello went back to learn music theory after 20 years on the road and despite some initial misgivings really loved it. For me it’s really been quite the same. I don’t think I could have done it before I already felt comfortable making my own productions as I appreciated having had to learn things my own way and on my own terms. But now it just feels like adding more tools to the toolkit which has been fun and motivating and a nice new challenge. It feels like the right time for it and I’m already very happy with the results!

This isn’t your first Elements festival. What are some fond memories from previous editions?
Last year was my first and it was absolutely stunning. The setting is beautiful and I ran into so many friends there from near and far which already says quite a bit about what they’ve accomplished in terms of the word getting out and people really talking about how special it is and traveling from far and wide to get there. Of course playing in the woods with DJ Three and Doc in the morning last year was amazing just because they’re both just such impeccable DJs and the setting was so beautiful as the sun was starting to shine on everyone through the trees. Talk about an environment where people are really ready and encouraging for you to give your all.. you just can’t help bring your A game in these kind of situations. I’m really looking forward to be back!

What else is coming up next for Thugfucker?
Right now I’m trying to walk the fine line between time on the road and time in the studio. I have some interesting long term plans (1 to 2 years out) which I’m very excited about but not really ready to talk about but in the short term I’ve been more energized to spend time in the studio then I have been in quite a few years so I’m trying to balance my time better so I can spend more time doing that. In addition to new Thugfucker material I’ve also been working on an ambient album with my old friend Eli Janney which has been super fun. Spaced out music for after the after-hours…

I’ve also started raising Alpacas which is a lot more work than I realized… Be sure to follow them on Instagram!