From trap-heavy beginnings, California-based Ookay has proven to be quite the versatile producer as of late with a more electronic, pop-leaning sound. This was most evident on his debut Wow! Cool Album!and continued on for a remix of Portugal. The Man‘s “Tidal Wave.” His latest single, “Bad Habits,” has received widespread approval and was accompanied by a fall tour announcement, putting him in a great position to round out 2018. Despite this streak, the multi-talented musician is taking no breaks in releasing a rework of Jay Rock‘s “Win.”
The Top Dawg Entertainment veteran climbed through the ranks this year with features on Kendrick Lamar‘s Black Panther soundtrack, causing Ookay to hop on the bandwagon. However, he’s decided to revert back to old ways for a second, complementing the bass-heavy hip-hop beat of the original with some pounding trap and dub hits on the remix. A live audience won’t know what hit them when the second drop comes to fruition, consisting of straight distortion and occasional robotic synths.
Ookay will embark on his “Bad Habits” fall/winter tour in November, with special guests Bonnie X Clyde, DNMO, and more.
The boys are back — and they’ve fastened a few guests to the sidecar for their latest bass-rumbling masterpiece, “We Could Be Kings.”
The track, in its essence, exemplifies Zeds Dead‘s inexorable ability to package such powerful and tender affect into jarring, bass-driven music. While the DNMO-accompanied “We Could Be Kings”‘s downtempo format may reach the listener with a bit less vehemence than one might expect from the well-seasoned duo, the subtle drum ‘n’ bass fills and decisive female vocals, compliments of Tzar, up the ante a bit — adding that familiar, rousing sense of emotional urgency. The final ingredient to the fierce paradox comes from the fluttering melodies laid alongside the boys’ signature static-heavy, winding bass lines.
Zeds Dead has been exacting their most earnest efforts lately towards furthering their Deadbeats label, by not only keeping up with regular guest-riddled SoundCloud mixes, but releasing under the imprint themselves with like-minded newcomers and established counterparts alike. Seventeen-year-old DNMO is a Deadbeats newcomer, fitting swimmingly with the under-the-radar brand of artistry Zeds Dead built the imprint to bolster. “We Could Be Kings” is the Toronto duo’s third track of the year under the Deadbeats emblem, preceded by Ganja White Night-starring “Samurai,” as well as “Kill Em,” featuring Redman, 1000volts, and Jayceeoh.
Over the past year, up-and-coming producer DNMO has shared his unique take on indie electronic with a stream of consistently solid singles. The Deadbeats signee is now back with “Rogue,” an airy and melodic take on his signature sound.
The track features Akacia, whose light vocals are a perfect fit for the rumbling bass that DNMO is known for. While “Rogue,” is a seamless addition to the artist’s catalogue, DNMO flexes his multi-instrumental production style with relaxed guitar and piano placed alongside scattered percussion, elevating the track to a new level.
Made Event‘s titanic New York-based festival, Electric Zoo, is celebrating its tenth birthday this Labor Day Weekend, August 31st–September 2nd. To mark the momentous double-digit occasion, the wildlife-themed event has added two more headlining artists in Alesso and Tiësto to join the star-studded cast of talent that already tops the 2018 bill: Kaskade, Marshmello, Martin Garrix, and Virtual Self.
Over the years, the Deadrocks event has become a sold-out family affair for Zeds Dead fans as they travel from all corners of the US to ascend upon one of the world’s most prestigious outdoor venues. Why? Because “DC” and “Hooks,” as the boys’ individual nicknames go, have been known to bring out surprise guests, premiere unreleased music, and unleash top-notch visual production upon their audience. One can bet the 2018 gathering will take no short cuts in celebrating Deadrocks’ fifth birthday, either.
In October of 2016, Zeds Dead released their long-awaited debut studio album, Northern Lights, on their Deadbeats imprint. Around the same time, DC and Hooks spoke to Billboard about how it just felt right to launch their first proper album on their own label, noting, “We didn’t have any major labels or anything helping us out at any point in our career. In this day and age, if you have your own fanbase, what’s the point of getting with a big label?”
It was only a matter of time before the Toronto duo launched a collaborative remix EP to their dedicated fanbase. Spanning eight tracks in length, the precise and conscientious project is deliberately-crafted to appeal to different tastes, with some unexpected and unique twists on the guys’ classic melodic bass tracks along the way.
The EP, taken in its entirety, represents a sonic journey of cross-genre enlisted talent from veterans and newcomers alike, ranging from Delta Heavy‘s rework of “Lights Out,” Zeds Dead’s future house take on their own ballad, “Slow Down,” and Ganja White Night‘s commanding rendition of “This is Me” — an instant fan-favorite.
Perhaps the standout remix off the EP, however, comes from fellow Canadian and rising talent CRi‘s recreation of “Too Young” into an atmospheric ambient house anthem.