Dom Dolla tops Dancing Astronaut’s 2019 Breakout Artists of the Year

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Dom Dolla tops Dancing Astronaut’s 2019 Breakout Artists of the YearDOMDOLLA 0329

As the turn of the decade inches near, a look back at earlier conversations surrounding EDM’s global boom reveal that all that talk about the proverbial “EDM bubble” bursting were, for better or worse, a bunch of malarkey. Because a consistent crop of inventive forward-thinkers seem to find their footing year after year, and 2019 was no different. With artists continually pushing the envelope in bold, original ways like the ones below, dance music is firmly secured to move into the next decade led by a group of bright torch-carriers that only now seem to be getting their real starts. Without further ado, we present Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artists of 2019.


No. 1: Dom Dolla

By: Bella Bagshaw

With just a handful of original releases under his belt to date, Dom Dolla has achieved near ubiquity in the electronic space this year. And it’s no riddle why. His deadly danceable tracks have incited festival fever across the globe, heard from Amsterdam to Chicago, to his original stomping grounds around Melbourne.

His bustling, wall-to-wall tracks, like “Take It” and “San Frandisco” received high-profile remix treatments this year from Dom’s most in-demand counterparts, like Walker & Royce, Eli Brown, Sonny Fodera–among countless bootlegs riddling the SoundCloud ether. From your local dive bar, to the club floor, to the 2019 worldwide festival frontlines you’d have been hard-pressed to avoid Dom’s pandemic success in the past year.

“Take It,” in particular, earned the young Aussie a nomination at this year’s Australian Recording Industry Association music awards. He appeared in the Best Dance Release category alongside familiar favorites like RÜFÜS DU SOL, FISHER, and PNAU. He just wrapped up his first-ever US tour, joined by the similarly popular Sonny Fodera. Dom recently told Dancing Astronaut he’s also working on some new music with his tour partner.

The “Be Randy” producer’s upward trajectory in just a matter of months is something virtually unprecedented in the electronic space—and music industry at large—where artists typically secure their following gradually, over years, or even decades. Similar pervasive pushes (like Chris Lake backing FISHER‘s overnight burst onto the scene or Malaa‘s full-on bank robbery of bass-heavy house) to center stage come along only every handful of electronic epochs, and even then, the climb is normally across a few years’ time.

That’s why without reservation, Dom Dolla is this year’s unchallenged recipient of Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artist of the Year category.

No. 2: Boris Brejcha

By: Josh Stewart

Boris Brejcha’s discography rightfully paints the masked man as a producer who’s been around the block. Nonetheless, there’s no questioning that the German phenom didn’t just breakout in 2019, but exploded with all cylinders firing. Brejcha broke out as both a DJ and a producer this year, with a headlining tour schedule that put the “high-tech minimal” pioneer on the main stage of Tomorrowland, selling out his first-ever US tour, and producing a full-length LP recently signed to Ultra Music.

But more importantly, 2019 stands as the year that Boris Brejcha’s breaks out as an artist. After years of bouncing between more standard minimal and techno ideas, Brejcha recently ditched convention and simply found his own sound, resulting in a distinct style that’s as playful as it is bold. It’s evident his fanbase agrees, with his Cercle set from this summer in France at Grand Palais amassing upwards of 8 million streams in just couple months.

There’s a small league of producers whose comfort and expertise in the studio are instantly apparent when listening to their music. Boris rightfully rests among them. While his production technique is responsible for his sound standing—particularly in how textured it allows his sets to be—it’s ultimately Brejcha’s willingness to ignore trends and simply hone his own craft that’s put the lifelong musician in the unique position to appeal to both newcomers to the scene and those who’ve developed deeper tastes. For example, he took a top billing alongside techno titans Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, and Ricardo Villalobos the day after the aforementioned Tomorrowland set.

Boris Brecha’s upcoming album on Ultra Music is expected in January, but recent singles “Never Look Back” and “Gravity” act as the perfect bite-sized confections until then.

No. 3: Dabin

By: Josh Hymowitz

Dabin has come a long way this year, proving that his risky decision to pursue the DJ/producer life was a much better choice than chasing a more intuitive law degree. Hailing from Toronto, the multi-instrumentalist closed out 2018 by joining a dream team collaboration with Slander and Seven Lions on “First Time,” a single that meddled its way into the live sets of their Gud Vibrations tour through 2019, when the single gained its preeminent success.

This propelled the now Montreal-based artist right into 2019, kicking off the year with his sophomore studio album Wild Youth, featuring critically acclaimed singles “Rings & Roses” featuring Conor Byrne, “In Flames” featuring Lexi Norton, and more on the Mr. Suicide Sheep-headed label, Seeking Blue. The album follows Two Hearts, his debut full-length project nominated for 2018’s Electronic Album of the Year at Canada’s JUNO Awards.

Following its release, he embarked on the 14-stop Wild Youth tour throughout the US, marking his debut headline tour route. His solo dates opened the door for support on Illenium’s Ascend tour, most notably opening for the Denver-based producer at New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden venue. It was at this sold-out spectacle where Dabin brought back Dab The Sky, his collaborative pairing with Said The Sky, performing the duo’s second formal release (then unreleased) “Hero.”

More recently, Dabin revitalized his sophomore LP with a 17-track remix pack including talents such as Trivecta, Ray Volpe, and Crystal Skies. His latest single “The One That Got Away” featuring Jason Ross and Dylan Matthew is out now and fans can look forward to some exciting news to catalyze 2020.

No. 4: BLOND:ISH

By: Rachel Narozniak

After 11 colorful years of collaboration, Vivie-Ann Bakos and Anstascia of BLOND:ISH went their separate ways. In January 2019, the production pair announced their amicable break, and their respective paths were clear: Bakos would continue on as the artistic lifeblood of BLOND:ISH, and Anstascia would pursue a solo course of action. 

BLOND:ISH had been the talk of the Playa for some time, a celebrated, sonic topic of conversation among underground enthusiasts. This would, and did, continue to be the case for BLOND:ISH under Bakos’ independent direction. An itinerant character of the live circuit, BLOND:ISH logged performances this year at both weekends of Coachella Music & Arts Festival, Art Basel, All My Friends, among other festivals and venues. She also nabbed slots at 2020’s SXM Festival and Zamna Tulum, to name just a few of her swiftly approaching endeavors.

Incisive reworks of Black Coffee’s “Wish You Were Here,” Kaskade and Diplo’s “Give Dem,” and even Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is” circulated, providing dance-worthy fodder for fans of BLOND:ISH’s desert suited style. All the while, BLOND:ISH’s environmental ethos sustained her “Bye Bye Plastic” initiative, earning her focus in a mini documentary dedicated to the anti-single-use plastic campaign. It’s next to impossible to provide a comprehensive list of all of BLOND:ISH’s accolade deserving activity over 2019, yet it’s equally as certain that these highlights illustrate Bakos as a Breakout Artist of the yYar who successfully and unceasingly kept the BLOND:ISH rhythm moving during her first year as a one woman show.

No. 5: Devault

By: Rachel Narozniak

Painting dark sonic soundscapes that blitz current conceptions of modern house sound, Devault has cultivated a cerebral aesthetic that, for the past year, has noticeably stood apart from other electronic releases. Part of the allure of Devault’s music rests in the sheer unpredictability of the style that it will embody. There are hallmarks of Devault’s sound, sure; mid-tempo electronica with tingling synths are two. Immersive melodies that ebb and flow, engulfing the streamer in the thoughtful idiosyncrasy of Devault’s dance music are another. Yet, the artistic delight of Devault is his tendency to continuously expand and redefine his sound. His sophomore EP, Sapphire, was an example. The output of Devault’s vocalized desire to “create something that pays homage to the music that got [him] so excited about electronic music in the first place, the new wave sounds of the 80’s, the French Touch, and the rave music of the 90’s,” Sapphire was Devault’s deliberate dabble in a specific and conceptual kind of sound distinctive from that of fellow EP, JADE. The two projects, both released in 2019, built on a wealth of preceding efforts that elucidated Devault’s inventiveness, warranting Devault distinction as a Breakout Artist of 2019.

Seismic Dance Event 2019 brought massive tech and house vibes to Austin, TX – photos by Alexis Sturm, Mario Garza and Edgar Valdes

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Seismic Dance Event 2019 brought massive tech and house vibes to Austin, TX – photos by Alexis Sturm, Mario Garza and Edgar ValdesEdgarValdes01

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Eli Brown turns up the tempo on his remix of ‘San Frandisco’

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Eli Brown turns up the tempo on his remix of ‘San Frandisco’Eli Brown E1574356760148

Played in festival sets and house mixes ubiquitously over the past year, Dom Dolla’s track “San Frandisco” now has a remix from Beatport dominator Eli Brown. The UK-based house producer and DJ takes the BPM up in the chart-topping single, which talks about San Francisco’s house scene and how it stems from its ’60s and ’70s roots back in the day.

The track adds a darker warehouse vibe to the already energetic track. With stomping percussion, undulating risers, and old school rave stabs, Brown’s remix plays nicely into any sets looking to take house fans further into the night.

On why he asked Brown to remix the track, Dolla states, “Eli’s sense of groove is relentless and this remix is no exception. I’ve been playing his weapons for years so it’s great to finally get his take on one of my own records and he has put such a nasty late night feel to it. Great bloke too, thanks for smashing it mate.”

Brown is currently wrapping up his Come Together World Tour, with upcoming dates throughout the UK and Spain. With releases on Repopulate Mars and Toolroom and artists like Carl Cox, Green Velvet and Claude VonStroke backing him to name a few, expect more stompers to come from the Bristol producer.

NMF Roundup: Madeon reveals ‘Good Faith,’ deadmau5 takes to the skies on ‘SATRN’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Madeon reveals ‘Good Faith,’ deadmau5 takes to the skies on ‘SATRN’ + moreDeadmau5 Cube 3.0

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.

At long last, Madeon’s sophomore LP, Good Faith, has arrived. Though it’s been long-anticipated, the electronic music community didn’t have time to anticipate new deadmau5, which dropped out of thin air on Nov. 15. Dillon Francis’ Magic Is Real makes a full appearance alongside these, tapping artists like Vera Hotsauce for “Barely Breathing.” MK and Sonny Fodera link with Raphaella for “One Night,” and Chris Lake and Solardo “Free Your Body” on their latest. GRiZ’s Bangers[4].Zip has arrived, featuring songs like “Tiger Kingdom Space Camp,” and MJ Cole’s remixed Flume and Vera Blue’s “Rushing Back.” Friction delivers some drum ‘n’ bass goodness on “Good To Me,” and Eli Brown puts his own spin on Dom Dolla’s “San Frandisco.” Snails, Kill The Noise, and Sullivan King team up for a new mega-collab, “Front 2 Back,” and NGHTMRE and Gunna bring the heat with “CASH COW.” Gammer returns to Monstercat for “Brostep Strikes Back,” and Klingande releases his long-awaited debut LP, The Album. Oliver Heldens links with Firebeatz, Schella, and Carla Monroe for “Lift Me Up,” and Dirty South and Marion Amira prove a formidable force on “All I Need.” Dillon Nathaniel goes deep on a new tech house heater, “Do It Again,” and R3HAB teams up with ZAYN and Jungleboi on “Flames.”

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: Visual Atelier

Walker & Royce take on Dom Dolla’s ‘San Frandisco’

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Walker & Royce take on Dom Dolla’s ‘San Frandisco’Walker And Royce Press Photo Trevor Thompson

Dom Dolla‘s “San Frandisco” was a gamechanger for the Australian producer. While he’d been on the rise for quite sometime before its release, the megahit secured his place among the global elite, raking in millions of streams and earning support from Pete Tong to Diplo. Now, the time has come for the piece to be re-worked, and New York duo Walker & Royce have stepped up to bat.

They’ve done a fine job in twisting “San Frandisco” into a piece of their own, taking the grittier house elements Dom Dolla laid on the table and integrating them into a steamy, extraterrestrial cut made for the peak time. Hollow synths and futuristic beeps are superimposed over the original’s melodic progressions, with cheeky vocal bits woven in at just the right moments to increase the song’s energy. The breakdown is breezy as ever, serving as sweet “eye of the storm” before Walker & Royce bring the chaos back post-drop. A suitable follow-up indeed to their enormous debut on Diplo‘s newly christened label, Higher Ground.

Photo credit: Trevor Thompson

NMF Roundup: Laidback Luke remixes Knife Party, Jason Ross and Dabin team up + more

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NMF Roundup: Laidback Luke remixes Knife Party, Jason Ross and Dabin team up + moreLaidbackLuke TimSnow 20140816 3

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 the release of their Lost Souls EP earlier this year, Knife Party have tapped Laidback Luke for a groovy remix of “Death & Desire,” and Jason Ross, Dabin, and Dylan Matthew team up for “One That Got Away.” Wave Racer has released a new single, “This N That” with LunchMoney Lewis, and Martin Garrix links with Dean Lewis for “Used to Love.” Walker & Royce tackle Dom Dolla’s “San Frandisco,” and Hot Since 82 takes it one deeper on “Tilted.” Arty lends his spirited hand to Gorgon City and MK’s “There For You,” and Axwell remixes Halsey’s “Graveyard.” Four Tet’s dingbat-riddled moniker unveils new content, and Nicky Romero, Mike Williams, and Amba Shepherd collaborate on “Dynamite.” REZZ and Malaa take no prisoners on “Criminals,” and Golf Clap deliver their iteration of “Let It Go” by Hood Rich and BRUX. NGHTMRE flexes on an interpretation of Habstrakt’s “The One,” and Herobust cranks up the intensity on “Smoke.” Chime keeps the Halloween spirit alive with “Haunted,” and Modestep sound the “Alarm” on their new single.

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: Tim Snow

NMF Roundup: ZHU and partywithray join forces, Ekali and Kiiara deliver ‘Back To You’ + more

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NMF Roundup: ZHU and partywithray join forces, Ekali and Kiiara deliver ‘Back To You’ + moreEkali Crystal Eyes 1

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.

ZHU and partywithray craft a sinister masterpiece on their new collaboration, “Came For The Low,” and Ekali and Kiiara are a dynamic duo when they come together for “Back To You.” Gareth Emery continues to bless the music world with his masterpieces with the installment of “Laserface 03 (Leaving You).” Nora En Pure has revealed her new EP, Homebound, and EDEN releases “projector.” The Knocks team up with Great Good Fine Ok for “Lucky Me,” and Audien brings some drum ‘n’ bass heat with “Reach.” Gryffin soars in his debut LP, Gravity, and Kaskade and Mr. Tape flex on “Come On.” Notaker crafts an otherworldly sonic journey on “From Dust & Ashes,” and Galantis unexpectedly team up with Dolly Parton and Mr. Probz on “Faith.” Moon Boots and Black Gatsby unwind for the weekend on “Whisper In The Wind.” Showtek and Gammer tell us how they really feel on their new collaboration, “EDM Sucks,” and Ryan Browne gives BIJOU and Tyler Graves’ “Crown” a rougher edge. Wilkinson shines on his new single, “Machina,” and Gramatik reveals Re:Coil, Pt. II, featuring tracks like “Don’t Give Up” with Ryan Shaw and ProbCause.

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: Bryan Van Wyk

Australia’s ARIA Music Awards unveil RÜFÜS DU SOL, Dom Dolla, FISHER, and more as nominees

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Australia’s ARIA Music Awards unveil RÜFÜS DU SOL, Dom Dolla, FISHER, and more as nomineesEddieNew Rufus 2

Each year the ARIA Awards represent the finest original acts to come from down under, often forecasting trends to come in the ever-evolving music industry. 2019 seems to be destined as the breakout year for Australian singer/songwriter, Tones and I, who managed to rake in eight nominations while riding the momentum of her inaugural release, The Kids Are Coming. ARIA is also thoroughly commending, RÜFÜS DU SOL who are nominated for Best Group of the Year, Album of the Year, and Dance Release of the Year for their latest LP, Solace.

Best Dance Release

Dom DollaTake It (Sweat It Out/Warner Music Australia Pty Ltd)

FISHERYou Little Beauty (etcetc Music)

Peking Duk & Jack River – Sugar (Sony Music Australia)

PNAUSolid Gold (etcetc Music)

RÜFÜS DU SOL – Solace (Rose Avenue Records/Sony Music Australia)

Other notable mentions include the folk-rock Teskey Brothers, as well as Julia Jacklin, whose recent album, Crushing, has been… well, crushing it. It earned her a laudable six nominations including Best Female Artist as well as Best Independent Release.

The 33rd annual ARIA Awards take place on Nov. 27 and will be hosted by Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian.

Featured Photo: Eddie New

The masked menace hits milestone 25th episode of ‘Who is Malaa’ mix series

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The masked menace hits milestone 25th episode of ‘Who is Malaa’ mix seriesMalaa Miing Fb Dancingastronaut

Who is Malaa? Conspiracies run rampant. But titles like purveyor of pernicious beats and mixer of maniacal melodies ring with resounding veracity nonetheless.

The French ski-masked menace just hit a noteworthy benchmark, the watershed 25th episode, in his longtime SoundCloud series, Who is Malaa. The mix collection has served as a vessel for Malaa to channel his multifarious musical proclivities, which range from minimal techno, to heady bass house, to his newfound affinity for on-brand nefarious mid-tempo (i.e., “Revolt“).

This latest installment exercises the length of the “Notorious” producer’s palette. From Eli Brown‘s whimsical, dancefloor-destined rework of up-and-coming Aussie powerhouse, Dom Dolla‘s recent “San Frandisco,” to Kage’s pandemic new “Virus,” to Martin Ikin’s soulful Beatport-topper, “Hooked,” the most in-demand house cuts of the moment are accounted for in the 30-minute milestone effort. The malevolent mix maestro’s mantra rings as apt prelude for this one: “You can listen to this shit at the club and go rob a bank afterwards.”

Seismic Dance Event unveils daily lineup, topped by Cirez D and TESTPILOT

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Seismic Dance Event unveils daily lineup, topped by Cirez D and TESTPILOTSeismic Dance Event I O

For the second year, Seismic Dance Event makes its return to Austin, Texas to bless attendees with two days of world-class performances. In September 2018, the inaugural event brought a stellar lineup to the Travis County Exposition Center, including Lane 8, Drezo, Golf Clap, Green Velvet, Sacha Robotti, and more.

In 2019, festival organizers look to build on last year’s success by bringing in headliners Cirez D and TESTPILOT, along with a piping hot array of other artists like Bicep, Idris Elba, Nic Fanciulli, Gorgon City, Nora En Pure, and more.

Now, the festival has revealed its daily lineups, featuring deadmau5’s TESTPILOT alias topping day one and Eric Prydz’s Cirez D moniker at the top of day two at The Statesman. Saturday, Nov. 16 will also feature acts like Chris Lake, i_o, and Rinzen, and Sunday, Nov. 17 will bring performances from Lee Burridge, Gorgon City, Dom Dolla and many more. Along from the dynamic lineup, the festival will also feature live painting and art installations, live performers, totem, and costume contests.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the glowing feedback from our debut year and now with this year’s lineup,” said RealMusic Events & Seismic co-founders Kelly Gray & Andrew Parsons. “Many US festivals tend to have very similar lineups so we really wanted to switch it up and cater to the more seasoned, underground connoisseur – and yes, believe it, in Texas.”

View the full lineup below and get tickets here.

Seismic Dance Event unveils daily lineup, topped by Cirez D and TESTPILOTSeismic 2019 PRINT

Photo credit: Seismic Dance Event