Marbs, Evan Casey, and Rinzen release their long-awaited ‘Torus’ EP to ring in Desert Hearts Black launch

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Marbs, Evan Casey, and Rinzen release their long-awaited ‘Torus’ EP to ring in Desert Hearts Black launchTorus EP Square FINAL 3000 1

It’s time for Desert Hearts to take a foray into the deep end, courtesy of founding crew member Marbs and family member Evan Casey. The two share a profound connection when it comes to their musical tastes and vision, and after years of friendship they’ve joined in launching their own venture, Desert Hearts Black. To commemorate this special occasion, they’ve teamed up with Rinzen for a powerful inaugural EP, Torus.

Its three tracks have been floating around for quite some time, with “Helix” notably earning a play during Deep Dish’s live-streamed Coachella Weekend 1 set. That particular piece is a heater of a piece, roaring into its climax with intense analog riffs and extraterrestrial progressions. Likewise, the EP’s title opener carries similar elements, packed into a heavier foundation that packs a sizable impact on the dancefloor. Finally, the middle track “Ark” is a lighter fare that shows off the three’s keen ear for hypnotizing melodies. Overall, an unsurprisingly impressive kick-off to what’s set to be a strong addition to the Desert Hearts catalog.

Order a copy of ‘Torus’ here

Techno Tuesday: Marbs brings Desert Hearts to the deep end with Evan Casey

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Techno Tuesday: Marbs brings Desert Hearts to the deep end with Evan CaseyTechno Tuesdays

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.

Many electronic music fans know Desert Hearts as one of the most light, fun-hearted brands around. Its leaders Mikey Lion, Marbs, Porky, and Lee Reynolds have made House, Techno, Love a global mantra as they’ve continued to bring people from far and wide into their quirky and radically inclusive movement. The music at each show often falls on the grooving, tech-fueled end of the house scale—an energized and accessible sound that further amplifies the brand’s ethos.

However, there’s always been a dark side to the Desert Hearts as well; in a musical sense, that is. Marbs has always marched to a slightly different beat than his Desert Hearts counterparts, treading deep into the rabbit hole of dark, driving, melodic house and techno. His penchant for underground sounds has made him an essential element during the late night hours at both the festival and tour stops worldwide, and a cult following has since grown around his treasured performances. Along the way, he discovered just how connected him and extended Desert Hearts family member Evan Casey were musically, and they began hitting the studio and doing “jam b2b seshes” together. The idea for Desert Hearts Black soon followed.

Desert Hearts Black now stands as a welcome subsidiary to the Desert Hearts catalog. With Marbs and Evan Casey at the helm pushing the name farther and farther outside its traditional aesthetic, they’re bringing Desert Hearts into a forward-thinking new chapter that is primed to receive international acclaim. Not to mention, a new niche finally exists for those craving the harder sounds that Marbs and Evan Casey bring to the table. They’ve paired with Rinzen, with whom they also share a strong chemistry, to create three-track Desert Hearts Black debut Torus that is a quintessential embodiment of what we can expect from the new venture.

Interested in diving deeper “Inside the Mind of Marbs’ and Desert Hearts Black, we sat with the crew member and his co-founder in candid discussion about what’s to come.

Techno Tuesday: Marbs brings Desert Hearts to the deep end with Evan CaseyEvan Casey Marbs Credit 2nd Nature
credit: Second Nature Photography

You’ve always favored deeper sounds, Marbs, but even your own taste has changed over the years to an even fiercer, darker aesthetic. What sort of set you off on this path deep into the underground rabbit hole? Did you have a life-changing moment at a show, discover a certain record and dive in from there, etc?

I wouldn’t say a specific thing or moment led me to the sound I’m playing now. I believe really strongly in the importance of ‘the journey’ in everything, not the places we begin or end, but the places in-between. When I first fell in love with good electronic music I was candy-flipping for my first time at Love Fest in San Francisco when they still brought the art cars into the civic center for an epic block party. I meant to see Deadmau5 and got lost and ended up at Lee Burridge. That day is when I discovered good tech house. Shortly after that I found Plastikman at Coachella and that got me into techno. Within the last few years I’ve found myself paying more attention to movie scores than I ever had before. People like Hans Zimmer, Johan Johansson, and especially the duo who did the soundtrack to Annihilation (Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow) began blowing me away. Then hearing elements of these sounds from producers like Stephan Bodzin, or from labels like Afterlife, started sparking creativity in my own DJing and Producing. I think a merging of all of this is what I’m really reaching for now. If MAETRIK and Stephan Bodzin got smashed together and out popped a cinematic concoction that hit both sides of this spectrum, I think that would be what I’m reaching for. Something in-between techno, tech house, and a movie score.

Continuing on that, how would you describe your music taste, in your own words?

Journey-driven, heavy-drummed, melodic techno and house that focuses on an experience both inwardly expanding and outwardly connecting. Techno doesn’t have to be so serious; we can enjoy these sounds with a smile on our face. Just because it’s heavy and sometimes darker, doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it. Desert Hearts is about connection and love. That vibe works for all of the genres enjoyed by our community.

How did you take your love for these sounds and develop your own unique artistic voice out of it? Tell us about your journey behind the decks and in the studio over the past years

I played deeper music when Desert Hearts first started. Then as we began touring I played a little more techy. More places were open to tech house in North America than Melodic Techno and Deep Tech at that time. I’ve always had an affinity for tech house, but my true love is in the harder more melodic sounds. I’ve noticed that over the last two years more and more dancefloors have been enjoying it when I went down the rabbit hole and played more journey driven music, so I kept following my heart and that path. My first release, Tusks and Tales, in 2016 was a combination of the deeper and more tech house driven music I began playing early on in my career. Now after putting my head down and really focusing on what I want my productions to sound like, I’ve teamed up with Rinzen and Evan Casey for my second release titled Torus and I’ve found my musical voice in a place that fits perfectly into my current sound and that’s a really good feeling to have. I’ve learned a lot since my first release and I took the time to really focus on what kind of music I want to create and I think that shows in this EP.

What are some labels you’re loving right now that really reflect your sonic ethos? Other than Desert Hearts Black, of course

There are so many labels I look up to, but a few that really resonate with me are Prisma Techno, Phobic, Tau, Afterlife, Rebellion, and Parquet.

On a similar note, what artists are really inspiring to you right now and why?

Patrice Bäumel has always been a huge inspiration both as a musician and as a person who carries himself in a manner that’s admirable. He’s humble, but also insanely talented, professional, and productive. Those are the qualities I look for in role models and idols.

I also really look up to Tale of Us and Mind Against. I have not connected with them in the way I have with Patrice, so I cannot speak about them outside of their talents, but what they’ve done to push genres forward is really inspiring. The future of this music, and all music, is the bridging and evolving of genres. These two duos are doing just that.

Evan and Marbs – how did you two meet and discover your mutual love for all things melodic and tech driven, and when did the idea to create an entire sublabel materialize?

Marbs: We first met at a warehouse party thrown by our good friend and DH co-founder Kristoff called The Psychedelic Lovebox. We were introduced on the dancefloor as people who needed to meet each other because of our similar tastes in music. Little did we know what that would develop into. Over the next few years we increasingly became closer, mostly through music, but also through getting to know each other outside of our love for music and discovering we resonated on a spiritual level as well. We quickly grew into best friends and ended up living together during Evans transition from San Diego to Los Angeles in 2018. That’s when everything really materialized. Then when Evan moved to LA he met Mike (Rinzen) and a good friend of mine had been telling me that I needed to get into the studio with Rinzen for some time, but I hadn’t met him or connected with him yet. After Evan and Mike met and started working together I joined in on a studio sesh with them. Quickly, after we met, we made Torus and we were blown away at the synergy between us. We completed the title track in two sessions, which was a lot quicker than any of us normally produce tracks. That fluidity and speed continued through the next two tracks on the EP. It just flowed.

After the completion of Torus I had brought up the idea that there should be a sister label to DHR, “like a black label or something.” We immediately loved the name Desert Hearts Black. Evan and I jumped on the idea, Mike gave us support and advice but wanted to focus on productions, so we followed our intuition and chipped away at the vision. A lot of hard work and a few months later Evan and I had made the idea a reality.

Evan Casey: That warehouse meeting was really cool because there was an immediate connection between Marbs and myself. I knew this community I had discovered was something really special.

As for the music, we just loved a lot of the same artists, and it really showed in the way we played and the tracks we pulled. Life and Death really changed everything for us; those dark sounds set a whole new mindset in motion about the experiences we wanted to have and also create. Then, over the years we became closer and closer, and well known within the community for sharing the heavier side of dance music.

We have always talked about having a space to share the darker, heavier sounds we love to play and experience ourselves. Desert Hearts Black has been a long time in the making, but only recently felt like we were ready to create and build it properly. We are both so excited to share the things we’ve been working on, and the great music we’ve been collecting. Exciting times ahead!

Can you two talk about the niche following within the Desert Hearts community for the sounds you guys push, and how it’s grown over the years?

Marbs: The late and early morning hours of the festival definitely breed a different part of the community. Everything from Techno to beautiful deep techy sunrises can be heard during those blocks. Every year the thirst for those hours grows. I was blown away by how many people were on the DH dancefloor this year through sunrise for mine and Evan’s b2b set. As the community grows with us their curiosity and maturity grow as well. I know when I first got into this music it took me a little while to find and enjoy it the way I do today. I assume it’s the same for a lot of people. Now we have this niche within the community more so than ever and it continues to grow constantly. What better way to water that plant than to create a DH sublabel that the niche can connect with without having to look outside of the community.

Evan: Its amazing! The amount of kind words, excitement, and love we got walking around the fest this year prior to our set was overwhelming. People sharing how much they resonate with our sounds and the weighted journey it takes them on into the late night. We are in very special company to have played a 4 hour set at DH and its something I will never forget, and like Marbs said, everyone stayed with us until the end! That niche following that I remember playing to at 4am in the freezing cold years ago, is now a massive dance floor fully engaged, its really special to see the growth and support. It means the world, and we truly hope to continue to foster that growth and those experiences moving forward with the new label.

You and Evan are behind a Desert Hearts set that will surely go down in Desert Hearts history. How often had you guys played back-to-back beforehand, and how did you prepare for those four hours?

Marbs: We had actually only played b2b a handful of times before that and I’d refer to those times as “jam sesh b2bs” more than official ones. We had talked about playing together many times and Evan actually had a dream while he was sleeping once (before we became close friends) about us DJing at Desert Hearts together. He said it was so vivid and lucid that it was profound and it made him think about us working together more seriously. Fast forward a couple years, we make Torus with Rinzen, decide to create a label, Evan asks me to be his best man in his wedding, and then the obvious next thing was for us to play together at DH. The only prep we did for the set was us creating genre specific playlists. The genres matched, but we organized our music in those playlists completely separately. That’s about it. We made an intro and the rest was impromptu, or free-styled.

Evan: That night was out of this world. What’s funny about this question in terms of preparation, I would say the connection and relationship we’ve built and the trust we have in each other is what really prepared us. Marbs is my brother, I know how he operates and how selflessly he gives to others. When you have that type of trust, everything just clicks. What I loved most about our set together at DH is how little we discussed things, but were just completely locked in. Pretty much just set a beginning moment, a closing moment, and then let the journey take somewhat of an organic and open direction. The dream Marbs spoke of was wild, its like I had already seen things unfold and knew that it would happen when the time was right. Its hard to explain beyond that, it was really powerful. So when the festival came around, we knew we had the music, we had the trust, and we had the community ready to journey with us…and honestly, it just couldn’t have gone better. Incredible memory that we will always hold.

What do you hope to accomplish in running Desert Hearts Black?

Marbs: We want the community to have more outlets without having to stray away from the Desert Hearts circle. DHB allows those in the community to experience Melodic Techno and House while still being surrounded by the DH vibe and energy. DHR is such a great representation of our community and Mikey Lion has done an absolutely incredible job at executing that. He’s been such an inspiration to me and has always been someone that has pushed me to grow and evolve. DHR reflects the tech and house groups of the community perfectly and I couldn’t be more proud of Mikey for creating that. DHB aims to do the same for the music that plays during the late nights and early mornings of the festival … the darker, weirder, deeper sounds. Something we want to focus on with DHB is that it’s not all going to be techno or melodic. Some of the releases may be more chill and ‘heady,’ others might be full blown techno, and sometimes they’ll be somewhere in the middle. The main goal is to just open up more opportunities for our community to create and grow.

You mentioned a bit ago how you two and Rinzen came together for Torus before, but can you tell us the full story on your union? What roles did you each play through the EP’s production?

Marbs: Evan started working with Rinzen when he moved to LA. Then I started joining them in studio sessions. Rinzen is very technical and has an incredible understanding of Ableton. He’s also brilliant with synthesizers. Evan has somewhat of a background in piano. I have a decent understanding on Ableton as well as working with synths, but the main contribution I think I have, as well as Evan, is the vision and idea of what we want to accomplish musically. I’ve been touring heavily and have an ear that I’m proud of, which creates a thirst in me for pushing genres into new areas. Something really happens when the three of us work together that doesn’t happen with other collaborations we’ve experienced. We’ve all agreed that it also doesn’t work the same when we are alone. The three of us all work the gear and swap in and out of positions, but the magic is in the merging of our minds and visions.

Evan: I like this story a lot because the way everything came together seemed by such chance but now seems meant to be in a way. A couple weeks before DH two years ago, I got an email from Rinzen who I’d never met, with some tracks he wanted to share. He said he loved what I do musically and thought I might like his tracks and have them for my DH set. The tracks were great, I thanked him and said we should link up soon. A couple weeks later, I went to his studio, we hung for a bit and then started to write a track. Two sessions together and we wrote Fractal, which got signed to Parquet! So needless to say we both felt we had found something special in this dynamic.

After sharing all this with Marbs, we thought let’s all try and write something together, as we have similar tastes all with a slightly different focus. The outcome of this well exceeded our expectations and we wrote the 3 track Torus EP, set to come out on Desert Hearts Black. Our chemistry in the studio is wild, and something we are very excited to continue pushing to new levels. A very special dynamic was born, and a major factor in the timing of DH Black.

Back to you now, Marbs—as someone pushing a sound not too commonly in the states, how has the reception been nationwide as you’ve toured around? Do you think that there will be a trickle down effect and melodic techno will become a niche as big in the states as it is in Europe?

I think with time, yes. When I first started touring with the rest of the DH core years ago, people were still growing into tech house in many markets of the U.S., so techno and melodic sounds weren’t as well received. Now every market we go to is into tech house and more people are showing interest in other sounds. I think as these groups grow and their tastes evolve that more and more people will get into other genres of house and techno. As I said earlier, the amount of dancefloors enjoying the harder more melodic sounds grows every year. This is bound to continue and as it does, DHB will provide a space where people can find this music. DH has been a doorway for a lot of the younger generations getting into electronic music. It’s served as a space where people can discover and grow with that music. DHB is an avenue where this can continue even for the people who walked through that doorway years ago.

Curious to know – has your evolving musical taste ever influenced the direction/look of your visual art? Do you think all sides of your artistry are intrinsically linked?

100%. My music influences my visual art and vise versa. If I ever feel blocked with one I do the other and 9/10 times it sparks creativity to get through the blockage. Everything influences everything, our moods, our environments, our relationships … so it goes without saying that music and art influence each other tremendously. I never do art without having music on, and I often create music after doing, or enjoying, art. It’s linked forsure.

What are the next things happening in yours and DHB’s pipeline?

Europe! I’ve toured a lot in the U.S. but now it’s really time for us to spread the DH love across the pond. I’ve began to dip my toes in over there having played both Sisyphos in Berlin and Secret Solstice in Iceland the last two years, as well as my London debut with the DH crew just two months ago. We also have Spain, Fiji, and Australia on the horizon this fall. For DHB, it’s only the beginning but we have some amazing releases lined up and we plan on Desert Hearts Black tour dates coming very soon so stay tuned!

Desert Hearts goes deep and dark with new sublabel, Desert Hearts Black

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Desert Hearts goes deep and dark with new sublabel, Desert Hearts BlackEvan Casey Marbs Credit 2nd Nature

Most know Desert Hearts as a fun-loving crew touting House, Techno, Love across the world. Crew members Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, and Porky often purvey a lighthearted, fun tech sound; but their fellow cohort Marbs has always maintained a deeper, more driving musical aesthetic. Together with Desert Hearts regular Evan Casey, the two have now manifested an entity fitting their collective mindset in Desert Hearts Black.

Desert Hearts Black will be a sublabel of Desert Hearts Records, meant “for those in our family who enjoy heavier, darker, more journey driven sounds,” according to Marbs. To capture this idea aurally, he and Evan Casey have tossed up a long-awaited single: “Torus,” their collaboration with Rinzen that is also part of an upcoming EP of the same name. The track has been rinsed to great success in all three of their sets for the past six-plus months, and it’s easy to see why; its psychedelically arranged melodies and pounding percussion send listeners straight into a different realm.

Those in LA will get the chance to celebrate the label launch in person through a special warehouse party in August where Thugfucker will also be a guest. More details are available here.

Photo credit: 2nd Nature

Premiere: Clyde P – The Gnawa March

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Premiere: Clyde P – The Gnawa MarchGNAWA MARCH EP Square

Clyde P has turned up the power for his return to Desert Hearts. The Gnawa March is an EP made for peak time, with Darius Syrossian even hopping on board for remixing duties.

The rising French producer entices listeners into his two-tracker’s title A-side with tribal inspired percussion that’s further amplified by his choice of vocal sampling. Its centerpiece however, is its low-end; a heady bassline adds gravity to the finished product while playing well to its implied theme. Ultimately, “The Gnawa March” is primed to become a summer anthem as it makes its way around the house music circuit.

Order a copy of ‘The Gnawa March,’ out on May 31, here

Home is where the Rez is – Desert Hearts photos by Juliana Bernstein, Jess Bernstein, Keiki-Lani, Jamie Adam Rosenberg, Jamal Eid, Peter Speyer

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Dancing Astronaut’s Guide to Miami Music Week 2019

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Dancing Astronaut’s Guide to Miami Music Week 2019Miami Music 1

Between Ultra Music Festival, Winter Music Conference, and the disorienting litany of poolside affairs throughout Miami Music Week, it’s easy to feel a little dazed, and a lot confused if you’re headed down to Miami this week. Don’t waste any more time poring over event flyers because Dancing Astronaut has lined up the best of the best for the 2019 chapter of what is feasibly the most essential week in the electronic music macrocosm. From Skrillex to smooth house, Dirtybird beats to plush poolside pop, we’ve got you covered.

Words/selects by Bella Bagshaw & Alex Krinsky


Brownies and Lemonade:

Where: Mana Wynwood Warehouse

When: March 28

Skipping Skrillex and Boys Noize‘s rendezvous under their Dog Blood joint alias would be a glaring oversight on any attendee’s Miami Music Week agenda. But the duo is just one of the active ingredients to this resplendent after-hours recipe, with Anna Lunoe hopping back-to-back with A-Trak, and Whethan, What So Not, and more for supplemental sweetness. Tickets to the show, running 10 pm-4 am March 28, are available here.

Monstercat Uncaged: 

Where: SQL Miami

When: March 31

Cat’s out’a the cage, as Canada’s premier electronic hub, Monstercat, heads to Miami—with an abundance of sharp-toothed talent in tow. Head to SQL March 31 from 10 pm-5 am to catch Kill Paris, Pegboard Nerds, RIOT, Pixel Terror, and more. Tickets available here.

No Sugar Added:

Where: The Sagamore Hotel

When: March 30

No Sugar Added—but ingratiating nonetheless—Miami-bound folk would be remiss to duck out on the 10-year anniversary of this yearly Diskolab staple. This year quarterbacked by Kaskade, Kayzo, Audien, Deorro, and Benny Benassi, the RC Cola Plant-held blowout jolts to the top of the 30+-party Diskolab agenda throughout the course of the week. Tickets to No Sugar Added, going down Saturday, March 30 from 10 pm to 5 am, are available here.

Repopulate Mars:

Where: Kimpton EPIC Hotel

When: March 29

Let tech-house take over Friday, March 29 while Chicago’s landmark Hot Creations label founder, Lee Foss and gang (MK, Max Chapman, Detlef, Huxley, and more) conquer the EPIC Hotel pool. From noon to 11 pm, catch this cosmic clan of four-on-the-floor stalwarts posted poolside, with an array of special guests scheduled to shake things up. Advance tickets are sold out, but a select number of tickets will be available at the door; so head over early.

Masquerade Miami w/ Claptone WMC 2019 x EPIC Pool Parties:

Where: Kimpton EPIC Hotel

When: March 30

Head to the 16th floor of the EPIC Hotel Saturday with a bathing suit and of course your finest masquerade mask in hand for what is liable to be the best pool party of 2019. Claptone, Dennis Ferrer, Weiss, Franky Rizardo, and Mat.Joe will be soaking up any residual Vitamin D and throwing down restorative beats from noon to 11 pm. Tan lines are inevitable after this one. Grab a ticket here.

Space Yacht: Welcome Records:

Where: 3100 Wynwood

When: March 28

Head over to the launch pad, 3100 Wynwood, Thursday night for lift off at Space Yacht’s Welcome Records party. Wander through the endless murals of Miami to find Wooli, Whipped Cream, 1788-L, Habstrakt, and more throwing it down from 10 pm until 7 am. Tickets to Space Yacht are on sale here.

Desert Hearts:

Where: Floyd

When: March 28

The Desert Hearts family will be congregating at Floyd at 11 pm Thursday at Floyd. This mind-melting set will have Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs, and Rybo & Lubelski to care for you throughout the evening and set you on the right track for the weekend. Desert Hearts Showcase tickets are available here.

All Day I Dream – Miami Grooves:

Where: Delano South Beach

When: March 29

If by Friday you’re ready for a lucid daydream, saunter over to the The Delano Beach Club from 12PM to 11PM. The All Day I Dream crew will be hosting Lee Burridge, Bedouin, Hoj, and Newman. Guaranteed disco cabana vibes. Tickets are on sale here.

Dirtybird Players Miami:

Where: Club Space Miami

When: March 29

Space will without a doubt be popping all week but Friday night very well may be the best “motion of the ocean,” if you know what we’re saying. Dirtybird is taking over for Dirtybird Players, and in classic family fashion the whole crew will be bouncing about the terrace and loft from 11 pm to the sun sheds light on all the beautiful faces. Expect to see Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, Walker & Royce, J. Philp, Steve Darko and more at this sold out sure-fire fun fest. Tickets are available here.

GET LOST Miami – 14th Session:

Where: Venue TBA

When: March 30

For 24 hours starting Saturday, March 30 at 5 am GET LOST will surely be the setting sun on Miami Music Week. With the location still yet to be announced, this one is for the troopers: the few who know they will never get enough. GET LOST will have an opening set by WIZARDRY (Damian Lazarus, DJ Tennis, and DJ Three), but that’s just the beginning; one can expect to see Diplo, Claude VonStroke, MK, Gorgon City, and many more. Grab tickets here.

Desert Hearts’ joint-founders Mikey Lion and Lee Reynolds set to return to Toronto’s CODA Nightclub

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Desert Hearts’ joint-founders Mikey Lion and Lee Reynolds set to return to Toronto’s CODA NightclubHaunted Hearts Juliana Bernstein7

Known for their nomadic and intimate-natured musical gatherings, the members of Desert Hearts has carved the pathway to a mixture of house and techno bliss. Collaboratively founded in the heart of the Mojave Desert by Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Porkchop, Marbs, & Kristoff McKay, the transition from a party to an international collective and record label has successfully turned heads in major corners of the world.

Though the crew may not always perform as a whole, label-founder Mikey Lion and brother Lee Reynolds are set to gather at Toronto’s beloved CODA Nightclub on February 9, bringing forth down a night of colorful eccentricity, and grooving tunes. As the two stop in ahead of their performance in Barbado’s Vujaday Festival from April 3-7, fans can revel in house, techno and love in preparation.

Tickets available for purchase online.

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Photo credit: Juliana Bernstein

Premiere: Joyce Muniz & Namito – Me And Da Beat feat. Quinta Young [Desert Hearts]

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Premiere: Joyce Muniz & Namito – Me And Da Beat feat. Quinta Young [Desert Hearts]Joyce Muniz Namito Press

Desert Hearts has signed two seasoned veterans onto its label that have jointly created what can only be described as, “a belter.” Me And Da Beat is a two-tracker from Joyce Muniz and Namito, two Berlin-based talents with a penchant for quirky, original productions. We’ve taken on the title A-side, which taps Quinta Young on the vocal end for a bouncy tech heater with hypnotic synthwork and hidden elements that pop out at opportune times to hold full attention throughout the piece. Trading in melody for acid tones and deep-voiced verses, “Me And Da Beat” thus serves as a veritable set weapon that can wreak some serious havoc on the floor. Both collaborators’ artistic voices are prominent in the collaboration—from the more alien-esque sounds that Joy often creates, to the tight control present in Namito’s productions.

Prior to coming together on Desert Hearts, Joy and Namito have both had a momentous 2018. The former enjoyed a landmark appearance on the Mixmag lab alongside several anthemic releases that have been rinsed heavily by Pete Tong and beyond. Namito challenged himself more than ever in finishing his autobiographical, multimedia LP Letting Go, with great success. The storytelling concept EP climbed straight to the top of Beatport’s Melodic House & Techno chart while receiving acclaim from across the industry for the immersive and well-crafted art it provided.

 

Pre-order ‘Me And My Beat’ here

Premiere: LEON – Working Out

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Premiere: LEON – Working OutLEON EP Square

Acid, 808s, and vintage lyrics merge into an instant classic with a timeless edge in “Working Out,” one of LEON’s latest tunes releases on Desert Hearts. The piece is a sizzler from start to finish, and indeed quite a workout, considering its jubilant atmosphere and catchy combination of elements make it virtually impossible to stand still while listening. “Working Out” is a nice closer indeed to an overall good EP; one might say it’s easy to fall Into The Groove.

LEON has become an expert when it comes to crafting tunes that work on the floor; the Italian artist spent years under Marco Carola‘s wing, and is still a favored member of the Music On family today. His influence has spread globally, with his viral Crosstown Rebels release “My Hood” earning a co-sign from Pete Tong and thus cementing his name in the house sphere.

 

 

Pre-order ‘Working Out,’ out on December 14, here

Jacky packs in heated punches through ‘Firepower’ [EP Review]

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Jacky packs in heated punches through ‘Firepower’ [EP Review]Jacky Firepower

UK native Jacky’s music is as boisterous and playful as his personality. Dancing like a fool comes easy with his tunes, whether it’s to his bouncy joint EP with Toochi on Roush, or his heads-down single, “Toggles” on Cr2. His virility translates to his sets as well, a trait that makes him a guaranteed fun listen and that has led to an even busier tour schedule over the past couple years. Like with others before him, Jacky crossed paths with the Desert Hearts crew not long ago and kindled an immediate friendship over their mutual personalities and music interests. They’ve “consummated” their relationship, so to speak, with a heated two-tracker called Firepower.

The EP’s title opener wastes no time in manifesting its large personality, shocking listeners with an electrifying soul vocal and buzzy synthesizers that intermittently pierce through its percussive underlay. Its fast tempo and tribal drum patterns soon give way to an even deeper, heads-down moment as its bassline comes to the forefront and a new set of vocals inches the tune’s progression toward a tense breakdown. The track’s distinctive chapters make for an entertaining listen that will breaks through the monotony in other tech house releases surrounding it.

“Now You’re Talking” is a harder effort from Jacky, employing stripped-down drum grooves and pixelated vocal edits for an almost psychedelic effect. More geared toward the afterhours, Jacky shows that he doesn’t need to rely on fluff to write an effective track. We imagine this one will be more of a silent killer that will make its way into quite a few fellow DJs’ crates.

 

 

Order a copy of ‘Firepower’ here