NMF Roundup: Illenium reveals anticipated ‘ASCEND’ LP, The Knocks and Whethan team up + more

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NMF Roundup: Illenium reveals anticipated ‘ASCEND’ LP, The Knocks and Whethan team up + moreIllenium

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

After months of anticipation, Illenium’s ASCEND LP has finally arrived, bringing with it tunes like “Sad Songs” with Said the Sky and Annika Wells. The Knocks and Whethan have delivered an irresistibly groovy collaboration with Crystal Fighters, “Summer Luv,” and Gorgon City and MK do the same on “There For You.” Diplo and Morgan Wallen reveal “Heartless,” and Madeaux unleashes his Club Demons EP on Fool’s Gold. Don Diablo puts his own spin on David Guetta and Martin Solveig’s “Thing For You,” and Martin Garrix links with Bonn for “Home.” Cristoph puts his signature stamp on CamelPhat and Jake Bugg’s “Be Someone,” and Deorro reveals “Retumba” with MAKJ after premiering it on Dancing Astronaut. Boston Bun flexes his remixing prowess on Leftwing : Kody’s “I Feel It,” and Hardwell returns with “Retrograde.” Flux Pavilion, Next to Neon, and A:M unveil their new collaboration, “Surrender,” and KRANE links with Malika for “Tell Me Why.”

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: Rukes

Lane 8 showcases serene soundscapes in new winter mixtape

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Lane 8 showcases serene soundscapes in new winter mixtapeDSC 0085 Copy

Lane 8 has squared away 2018 with the release of his winter mixtape. He’s gracefully arranged four lengthy mixes over the course of 2018 that uniquely embody the not just the nature of their respective seasons, but the transformative essence of those seasons changing.

Through his fall 2018 mixtape, Lane 8 sonically thread warm and bright vibrations together with the moods evoked of changing colors and longer nights. His summer mix set the scene for waves crashing on beaches and warm breezes. The spring mixtape took listeners into this year with grace, through a soundscape that pollen could dance on. With each mix Lane 8 has accomplished the personal, trying, and unique feat of giving a portion of time — and the change that happens during that time — a sonic stamp.

The winter 2018 mixtape is no exception. Through four hours of fluid mixing and careful, hand-picked arrangement, Lane 8 has given this winter his stamp. Starting in with his own remix of Virtual Self‘s “Ghost Voices,” Lane 8 starts guiding his listeners into the mix, gliding over the icy inhibitions and harsh winds of the season. By an hour and a half into the mix, he hits listeners with the Yotto edit of Fatima Yamaha’s haunting “What’s a Girl to Do.” Through the acts of Jon Hopkins, Rampa, Eelke Kleijn, Black Coffee, Dirty South, the crews of Anjunadeep, All Day I Dream, and many more, Lane 8 finds an enjoyable, quintessential feeling that unifies the chill of winter with the warmth within people who not only withstand the cold it but love it.

Lane 8 has been putting these seasonal mixes for a few years now, and with each passing year, they’ve become more refined and more needed, bringing out the best of each season. This winter mix evokes visions of fur rugs, fireplaces, and snow falling softly outside wooden-frame windows — cozy spots where one would hope to be posted for a quick four hours in the upcoming months. Now, thanks to Lane 8, those moments have a perfect soundtrack.

Dirty South shows his dark side on brooding ‘darko’ LP [Album Review]

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Dirty South shows his dark side on brooding ‘darko’ LP [Album Review]Dirty South Darko Album Review

Dirty South is a man of his word. He promised fans two albums before the year was out, and suddenly darko arrived right in the nick of time. Just a month after releasing the stunning XVthe cinematic house titan submitted yet another chapter to his long player history – and it’s unlike any project the producer has helmed to date.

For some, it may have made sense to release both fall albums as a double LP. Yet Dirty South’s decision to separate the two projects makes perfect sense when listening. Both are worlds apart in feeling, tone, and flow. XV was brilliantly bouncy, often bursting with waves of elation; darko, on the other hand, is something different with a more anxious mindset all its own. The mournful synth swells of “Temps” announce the project’s ethos immediately, and the feeling of unrest permeates throughout the rest of the journey. On “Cassetta,” the intro burns slowly before ascending chords spread the tension on thick. “Piksi” follows directly behind, which is shaping up to be one of the darkest tracks in Dirty South’s repertoire.

Despite the unity of darko‘s world, trademark Dirty South touches abound. While the beaming brightness of past hits like “If It All Stops” is nowhere to be found, the “Kino” shuffles and grooves as undeniably as any of the artist’s dance floor weapons. “Lava” is a rhythmic tour-de-force, despite snarling horn-like synth blasts tethering it firmly into the album’s aesthetic. But despite Dirty South’s mastery of vocal-infused efforts show in past releases on labels like Anjunabeats, darko remains starkly instrumental. The move feels calculated as the arrangements ebb and flow freely, leaving the listener to wonder if any lyrics could speak single-handedly for the soul of the record.

The producer admitting the record is his favorite to date could indicate this new sonic direction — also showcased in songs like his recent remix of Lane 8’s “No Captain” — is settling in to stay awhile. The relentless cohesion of darko is something Dirty South had yet to do at this level. As “Corda” looms into sight to cap off the album, it sets the mind on fire. There’s a sense that the gravity of the sum of its parts has seeped in, and the effect after listening to the LP’s entirety is vivid. It’s gripped in an atmosphere of anxious and electric yearning, soundtracking a feeling of introspection and raw hunger. Beautiful but stark, dark but restrained, mournful but energized; whether or not these tracks invade the same playlists and dance floors Dirty South has presided over all these years is irrelevant. For a statement as nuanced and unified as darko is a triumphant highlight in and of itself.

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

Lane 8 announces ‘Little By Little Remixed’ LP featuring Dirty South, ATTLAS, Fairchild, and more

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Lane 8 announces ‘Little By Little Remixed’ LP featuring Dirty South, ATTLAS, Fairchild, and moreLane 8 Little By Little Remies

If Lane 8‘s sophomore long player Little By Little was a mixtape (and he’s definitely fond of those), it would be worn out and dinged up from binge-listens by now. The album was certified feels front to back, with Lane 8’s trademark analog warmth oozing from every track. Although the “Little Voices” producer hasn’t held back on the new music front since the LP’s release, that didn’t stop him plotting to give even more legs to Little By Little with a full 10 artists already named for the project. The list reads like a who’s who of melodic dance music, with stalwarts like ATTLAS, Dirty South, and Fairchild alongside fresh This Never Happened label mates Ʌ V O U R E  and KHAEN. The remix album promises a fresh dose of deep and emotive takes, all reaching for a very high bar set by the original album material.

The stack of reworks is set to drop October 4. Lane 8 will fittingly be in the midst of the Little By Little North American tour’s second leg. Can’t wait until release day to hear those juicy remixes? Catching them tucked into an upcoming Lane 8 set is your best bet.

Dirty South’s third album ‘XV’ is an aural exploration [Album Review]

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Dirty South

Four-years after the release of Dirty South’s cinematic album, With You, Dirty South has re-entered the album release ring with XV.

The expression “the third time’s a charm” could be applied to XV, which is indeed the visionary’s third LP. Such an application, however, would err in its adjectival minimalism — for the art of XV’s craft warrants a stronger classification.

XV is a cerebral exhibition of Dirty South’s maturity as both artist and producer, and  is as fluid in its overall arrangement as it is complex in its construction. Put briefly, XV is the heart of Dirty South’s years of experience as an artist, and it beats duly with the wisdom and expertise that Dirty South’s activity in the electronic industry has conferred upon him.

Listeners familiar with Dirty South’s catalogue will know, and know well, that the producer’s previous albums, Speed of Life in 2013, Dirty South’s debut product, and With You in 2014, likewise were musical “charms” that effectively enraptured the electronic sphere. Speed of Life and With You evinced Dirty South’s possession of a golden touch in the studio, of not simply a talent for the conceptualization of euphoric progressive house productions, but an ingenious mastery thereof.

XV is no exception. The album effectively retains, exemplifies, and deepens hallmarks of Dirty South style: piercing, reverberating commercial house tones, rousing vocal work, inquisitively optimistic lyrical content, and complex chord progressions that enticingly drive the listener of XV from one track on the list to the next, until the album is finished. The work is furthermore miraculous in its sonic diversity, working with a variety of different sounds and associated moods over the course of its ten tracks to forge a release that remains impeccable and refined in its balance despite its roving.

Such fluidity between different tones can be witnessed in cuts like “Night Walks” and “Higher.” “Sonar” and “Love Story” surface as other sweet spots on XV’s track list. XV additionally invites the return of previous Dirty South collaborators, Rudy and ANIMA!, on “Higher” and “Love Story,” and “If It All Stops,” and “Next to You,” respectively.

XV is emblematic not solely of Dirty South’s command of the melodically entrancing, but of the Serbian-Australian producer’s longevity. Dirty South would release his first ‘official’ production under the “Dirty South” stage name in 2004—14 years later, Dirty South continues to enthrall listeners with ease, and last, but hardly least, with dexterity.