Recent collaborative counterparts, Ekali and 1788-L are among the most alluring names on the electronic agenda as of late. 1788-L, since his ascension through an auspicious feature on REZZ‘s “H E X,” has so far remained anonymous, at least by face. His off-kilter strain of glitchy electro is distinguishable to even the most untrained ear. Ekali’s fervent reception has landed him in some slightly larger arenas in the years since Skrillex remixed his “Babylon” original.
By way of their all-but-“R U I N”-ous brainchild, the pair succeed in scaffolding of one another’s diverging production styles for a complex and decadently maze-like sonic offspring. Drop one falls in 1788-L’s court, with its grinding, stop-and-go, mid-tempo electro, while Ekali ensconces the second breakdown with his invariably melodic DNA. Prophetic wind and piano synths join dizzying drum ‘n’ bass fills for a paradoxical delivery that melts monotony in its tracks.
The two have been teasing the track for some time, sprinkling it into their sets throughout Ekali’s Crystal Eyes Tour. Illenium offered up his edit of the track ahead of the release, bolstering anticipation for the original. “R U I N”‘s release comes with a Blade Runner/apocalypse-themed visual spearheaded by Quentin Deronzier.
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.
Star-studded collaborations rule this week’s NMF. Ekali and 1788-L have joined forces to craft a formidable, bass-heavy collaboration, “R U I N,” and Gareth Emery and Ashley Wallbridge continue their powerful slew of releases together with “Lionheart.” Netsky taps Lil Wayne and Bazzi for “I Don’t Even Know You Anymore,” and Zedd and Katy Perry deliver their radio-friendly “365.” Feed Me returns for the second Friday in a row with “Sleepless,” and Kygo releases his first single of the year with “Think About You.” GRiZ and Matisyahu take a stand on gun violence in “A New Day,” and Madeaux brings a sultry, dark atmosphere with “ADDICTED2.” Andrew Bayer delivers an “In My Next Life” mix of 2018’s “In My Last Life” on Anjunabeats. Goshfather puts his own disco-infused twist on Madonna‘s “Like a Prayer” in his new remix, and Liquid Stranger teams up with CloZee for the eerie “Ceremony.” Kill Paris debuted his new album for Valentine’s Day, touting collaborations with the likes of Fatherdude, Big Gigantic, and more, and Armin Van Buuren tugs at listeners’ heartstrings via “Lonely For You” with Bonnie McKee.
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.
Ekali released a new music video for his single “Forgot How To Dream” featuring sultry vocals from K. Flay, a single from his debut EP, Crystal Eyes, released late last year. Through lush synths and lethargic drums, the track glides along with K. Flay’s reflective candor into bouts of saddened guitar melodies and harsh percussion.
Now, with a new accompanying video feature, we’re introduced to a young Ekali, daydreaming about seeing his name in lights. Beautiful views, beach parties, and international travel cast a vision of happiness, luxury, and life experiences he hoped to fulfill. Now that he’s there, the lyric and video contrast imply that he’s reached his wildest dreams when he was a kid and is perhaps a little lost on what else he can dream up next. The “Babylon” artist has spoken openly about issues with mental health before, using his new video to showcase a beautifully introspective, melancholy narrative that depicts a mindset of those who’ve achieved their seemingly wildest dreams.
Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.
2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.
Ekali is full of holiday cheer and spreading it to aspiring musicians in his hometown of Vancouver.
Dropping a free pack of edits just before Christmas, the producer revealed that any donations made for the six tracks will be put back into the local music scene in the form of a studio space. In a December 23 tweet, he noted that he would be getting keys for the studio space in “just a few days” and would be “gearing it out” to give opportunities to an assortment of local musicians. Donations made for the six-track edit pack will be put directly into Ekali’s pro bono effort.
The songs include a “Mo Bamba” x ID edit, a “Divinity” x “Forever” edit, and much more. Download and donate here.
This is free by the way! Any $ you donate will go towards a studio space I am opening pro bono to mentor young musicians and provide them with a space to work in Vancouver.
Get the keys for the new studio space in a few days 🙂 Excited to start gearing it out and put a bunch of local musicians in there for free. I will be putting out another producer sample pack in the coming couple weeks by donation so you guys have a chance to contribute. <3
To finish the year, Ekali has released the sixth rendition to his Awakening mix series, cranking up the energy from his previously sentimental and emotional volume five. Included in this latest mix are two unreleased collaborations with 1788-L, “RUIN,” and an ID with YOOKiE. The mere announcement of these two artists shed a light on the heaviness through the string of songs.
Ekali recently came off touring with REZZ, which might account for the unadulterated energy coming from this mix. While the Canadian producer showcases his dual-threat nature in tossing blasting rhythms through distorted synths, he tempers this party fever with gorgeous synth melodies and soul-searching vocals for a full spectrum of emotions. Other artists featured on the mix are RL Grime, San Holo, Adventure Club, QUIX, TYNAN, Slumberjack, Skrillex, and many more modern-day hits for a perfect party mix.
Ekali‘s Crystal Eyes tour may have come to a close, but the producer is keeping busy with his very own Awakening Radio series. The most recent installment sees the swiftly-rising act hand selecting all of the tracks on Soundcloud that inspired him to start making music at the start of his career, showcasing his diverse range of influences in the process. It mix begins with a commanding rap track that falls into a delectable mix of hip-hop and other low-end music that culminated in Ekali’s artstic vision. Per the full tracklist he posted on Twitter, and it spans from Justin Bieber remixes to his own collaborations with Aywy.
Now, on October 26, one of his most anticipated shows of the year has arrived, as Gritti will take the stage with Valentino Khan and Dillon Francis at Light & Life’s Halloween Warehouse 2018. To prime attendees for what should be a freaky night in the depths of Brooklyn, Gritti has curated an Orbit Spotify playlist exclusively for DA.
The selection includes hard-hitting tracks from his current rotation, including favorites from his Drive EP, the Boombox Cartel and Flosstradamus team-up “ID,” “Crystal Eyes” from Ekali‘s 2018 debut EP, and more.
The third session of Ekali‘s SiriusXM Insomniac Channel’s radio session called Awakening Radio has just landed, and this session is particularly unique. The Canadian producer states he hand selected most of the releases for the session from producers who have little to no SoundCloud following, yet are releasing fantastic music. For those who like discovering unknown and up and coming producers, this radio session is just the place.
The mix features a variety of ear-perking remixes and mashups of mainstream tracks with a side of enamoring originals. He of course sprinkles in releases of his own — aptly-timed, considering he’s currently on his Crystal Eyestour in honor of the release of his full album of the same name. The next stop of his tour will be in Denver, Colorado, where he has two back to back shows on the 23 and 24. Ekali has been dropping unreleased OWSLA ID’s on his tour, most recently dropped Skrillex‘s collaboration with JOYRIDE before its full release.