It seems with a single stroke of his pen, Ekali has swiftly solidified his leafy emblem near the crest of the EDM pyramid.
Securing momentous slots at both Ultra and EDC this year the Canadian producer seeks to consolidate his efforts with the release of his first-ever multitudinous body of work, the Crystal Eyes EP.
For an inaugural EP, it would be hard for an artist in the electronic circuit to fathom a better threesome of label-housings than an OWSLA, Big Beat, and Atlantic trifecta; Ekali has managed to acquire exactly that for this watershed notch in his still rather formative release history. A frequent and well sought-after collaborator, the Canadian producer hosts a series of esteemed guests to help the listener navigate the glistening Crystal Eyes topography, including K. Flay, Medasin, Elohim, and SLUMBERJACK. The release will coincide with a North American tour, making stops across major musical hotbeds in the US and Vancouver.
Ekali uses the EP to first and foremost demonstrate his ability to wander spacious experimental sonic terrains while primarily keeping one foot grounded in pop sensibility. His track with K. Flay, for example, sees the producer wield the songstress’s notoriously moody pop vocals to accentuate his woefully drawn out guitar chords and wistful synth twinkling. At the other end of Ekali’s emotional rainbow, with exquisitely nuanced support from Medasin and Elohim, “Forever,” invites the listener inside its halcyon fortress of bouncy, beat-privy idealism. Crystal Eyes is a glimpse inside Ekali’s all at once flourishing and fragmented inner world. The EP functions terrifically as a hallmark of Ekali’s affinity for wide-reaching emotion, unfettered energy, and a perceptive level of adventurousness when it comes to his ever-evolving sound design.
Prime Social Group is back with their biggest unveil to date. Now boasting nine festivals under the Breakaway, Prime, Haunted Fest, and #Fest brands, PSG’s elevating the supreme curation the brand’s been exploring at the intersection of hip-hop and electronic music. This year, Breakaway Music Festival serves as an outright testament to the booking that’s taking the industry by storm.
The festival will return to Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park on August 24 & 25 and Columbus’ Mapfre Stadium on August 24–26, expanding into a three-day festival installment for the first time ever.
Columbus’ Breakaway Music Festival Columbus welcomes the Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Kaskade, live electronic innovators ODESZA, the modern 4/4 master Chris Lake, OWSLA’s own bass champion Ekali, Phantoms, Kayzo, and more. Columbus will also invite some of contemporary music’s most in-demand acts including pop maverick Halsey, Khalid, and Quinn XCII.
Breakaway Music Festival Grand Rapids will also host ODESZA, as well as Borgeous, NGHTMRE, Migos, and many, many more.
As PSG’s booking outreach continues, Breakaway Music Festival will only continue to serve as an emblem of the brand’s coveted understanding of its young audience.
Elohim, a word that traditionally refers to God but, to many fans, now represents a mystical goddess of music in the shape of a producer, singer and songwriter. With no full pictures of her face, and no solid genre to identify her by, Elohim takes music and melds into intrinsic masterpieces. Her voice creates a cohesiveness as her production twinkles from orchestral arrangements all the way to experimental synth pop sounds.
Now, a little under three years after releasing her first track, “She Talks To Much,” Elohim releases her 15-track self-titled album that does not disappoint. The album impressed with pre-released singles such as “Fuck Your Money,” “Panic Attacks” and “The Wave,” but those wouldn’t quite prepare fans for the excellence that would come with the full package.
The album rings with raw emotion; a conflict with her demons and her own skin, yet Elohim remains unapologetically herself, saying things like “All we are is all we are,” and “let me be who I need to be.” Her messages spread from self doubt to twisted romances and trying to be something you’re not. Which are met with light hearted beats full of impactful pads, incredible percussion and energetic productions, that have you feeling completely different about subjects like depression, and loneliness.
While Elohim speaks a lot on tougher subjects, her overall message seems to be one of triumph but most importantly love. Elohim gracefully embraces her flaws and imperfections, allowing listeners to realize they aren’t alone on this journey and that even though we fall down sometimes, it’s worth it to get back up. That sometimes we need to “let it go…hanging on to silly thoughts, they’re only in my head it’s not my heart.”
So in honor of Elohim’s album, take the weekend to love each other a little bit more, love yourself a little bit more, and accept that even through all the struggles…”the universe is yours.”
Few in electronic music can approach the legacy that The Glitch Mob carved out themselves — though, if there was one recent artist poised to make a run at legendary status, REZZ would be an obvious frontrunner.
Now, the superstars have collided, as REZZ has put unveiled her remix of The Glitch Mob’s “I Could Be Anything.” Featuring vocals from Elohim, REZZ’s reproduction is a departure from her normal seismically-charged productions. A loose feel is evoked through her use of a sliding, unfurling bass that climbs and falls throughout the production. It gives the remix a throwback feel, while at the same time it maintains a thoroughly contemporary feel.
For as highly anticipated a remix as this was, REZZ managed to both match and entirely subvert her fans’ outsized expectations.
Ekali and Medasin teamed up with Elohim to produce a stunning new original, “Forever.” With heartwarming lyrics, dreamy chord progressions, and relaxed beats, “Forever” is a moving creation with a delicate feel, bound to stir the hearts of listeners across the world.
Elohim’s smooth, airy vocals add a soothing dimension over breathtaking instrumentation, as the renowned artists master a sound that is both uplifting and melodic.
Canadian producer, Ekali, is known for his distinct, harmonic future sound, and has garnered worldwide support for hits such as his mesmerizing collaboration with Zhu, “Blame,” as well as his alluring single, “Past Life.” With innovative American producer, Medasin, the team has engineered a track that will undoubtedly captivate fans upon first listen. Ekali and Elohim are set to make appearances at Coachella this weekend bringing passion into their performances that will surely be full of surprises.
The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. 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.
Break out your Tigers Beat: The White Panda elevates the hottest rising boy band, save for Brockhampton, lifting Why Don’t We’s empowering hit single “Trust Fund Baby” to newfound heights with an injection of feel-good vibes and upbeat danceability that beckons innumerable repeats.
Raito digs into a bag of old-school garage tricks with a burgeoning breakbeat remix of Virtual Self‘s hyperactive, fantasy-themed electronic “Ghost Voices,” transforming the number into an even heavier, drum-sweltering beast.
Borgeous reupholsters Marshmello‘s “FRIENDS” with a most passionate swatch, ditching the track’s acoustics, and accentuating its passionate lyrics tenfold.
Though the track’s title and lyrical content is lacking sincere cerebral depth, SNBRN coalesces Peking Duk‘s “Wasted” into a digestible summertime tune, making the number’s monotone vocals and cringeworthy frat bro vibes a smaller, but bearable pill to swallow.
Marcel Dettman‘s burgeoning warehouse Mount Kimbie remix of “Four Years And One Day” meets streaming services as a meticulously crafted far cry from its shoegazey original.
The Glitch Mob slow things down with Elohim, showcasing their softer side, and highlighting their carefully calculated production capabilities.
Junior Sanchez embodies the essence that’s come to define him on “Forget” — always moving forward, without ever losing sight of where he’s been.
Sofi Tukker busts out a thrashing, ridiculously colorful new tune ahead of their debut album Treehouse out next Friday, April 13, elevating its anticipation to unforeseen heights.
ATTLAS is at home in the treetops and ensures listeners his glittery techno is a style which will only continue to define an era of mau5trap in years to come.
At long last Chris Lake has found his mind…. It seems this beat has taken it, and we’re glad to finally have it back, even if it was just for the sake of this one tantalizing tune.
Daniel Avery’s cavernous, contemplative techno album Song For Alpha has arrived. Perhaps best encapsulating the aforementioned, “Glitter” is a flurry from the club space, rife with atmosphere, and embedded influence of the greats that came before him.
Saving the best for last, Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and composer Ólafur Arnalds bestows his latest sonic gift “re:member.” Enough said.
While ascending artists usually come out of the gate ready to prove themselves with a SoundCloud full of music and a hungry drive, few make their entrance with a live show and a stacked artist team. For FANGS, producer Danny D’Brito, this is exactly what his foray into his solo music career looks like.
In fact, the artist recently enlisted one of the top agents in the industry, Ben Hogan, who represents the likes of NGHTMRE, Slander and Elohim, to take his career to the next level. Hogan was one of the many agents vying for the artist due to his ‘triple threat’ potential, which is a position even the most high profile producers in the game rarely face.
FANGS’ great ‘potential’ is the sum of a multitude of factors. He’s a self-taught musician who plays guitar, drums, bass, and the keys. He is a former member of the group Brass-Knuckles and opened his own recording studio at just 22. This collection of experiences led him to the fortuitous position he is currently in for his artist debut as FANGS.
The production quality of his releases speak for themselves, and FANGS’ newest track “Venom” will almost certainly find its home as a club hit with an other-worldly vibe and an upbeat tech-house backbone. Deep vocals propel the melody onward, and the dynamic track leaves the listener wanting more at its close. It also begs the question of what the artists’ live show will look like, as the track is practically manufactured to captivate an audience.
To accompany the track, the artist has released a glossy music video — premiered exclusively via Dancing Astronaut — with visuals that are equal parts harrowing and intoxicating. Poisonous snakes and models writhe across the screen as the track’s spare vocal refrain flashes atop the melee.
While “Venom” is distinctly tech house, FANGS’ future productions range from house to radio worthy progressive hits, lending him the versatility it takes to make it in today’s electronic music scene.
Dancing Astronaut spoke with the rising artist about what we can expect from his impending live show, how his team will be instrumental in his 2018 ascension, and his view on the industry today. Read the full interview below:
1. If you had to set specific goals for yourself in 2018, what would those be? What can we expect from you this year?
I feel the 2018 goal is really all about my music exploration! I’m really looking forward to finally bringing the FANGS live show out to the public. It’s been a lot of late nights curating and planning all the details for this upcoming year. We’re now just focusing on implementing my music in phases, and feeling out the markets and rooms we will launch in.
2. Your live show has been described as a ‘multi-dimensional’ experience. What does that mean, and when will we be able to see it?
I feel music and visuals make the perfect marriage in expression. My goal has always been to have my music tell a story and evoke feelings — I’m definitely keen on visuals helping to paint that picture. I just feel the two work so well together, so in my eyes, they are one in the same. That’s why I’ve made it a point to have all my releases accompanied by a music video or visual vignette.
With that said, when it comes to the live show experience, I want to be able to utilize all of our exploratory senses. I’d reference ‘Pink Floyd’s The Wall’ tour which is still going strong these days thanks to Roger Waters. He puts on a complete live musical and visual spectacle with a narrative from beginning to end.
I want to focus on incorporating projections, physical props and performers that help tell the story. We are currently working on some exciting plans and incorporating some unconventional technology that can potentially take my live show format to a new experience. 3. You’ve got quite a team behind you. You’ve also been in this industry for a while. How integral would you say having a stellar team is to an artist’s success in the commercialized electronic world we now live in? Having a stellar team is vital and the ultimate key to success for any artists’ career. It would be an understatement to say how proud and grateful I am for my management team, Summer Chàpin and Tom Williams, as well as my agent Ben Hogan at Circle. They are a constant inspiration to me and their belief in FANGS is what propels us forward.
There are many moving parts in this industry and it’s nearly impossible for one person to properly cover all the various aspects alone. I’ve got a team of professionals that are experts in their given field, which allows me to focus on producing the art. They help orchestrate my career and are the spearhead to so many new opportunities.
Having a team that is not only qualified, but that you consider family is essential for getting real skin in this game.
4. Does your previous experience of being a part of a production trio, opening your own music studio, and producing a variety of genres give you a different view of the celebrity DJ/Producer world than your peers since you have been involved in so many different layers of this scene? I have no doubt that when it comes to this world, experience can mean everything. I’ve experienced many high moments, and extreme low blows in my journey in music. Experience develops foresight and keeps your ego in check. You learn not to get too excited and interpret things for what they are. You take in your good and bad experiences as lessons to better your journey moving forward.
I’ve also had the opportunity to produce and collaborate in so many genres across the spectrum. It really allowed me to have versatility when it comes to not being pigeonholed musically and allows me to evolve freely with the times. You will learn a lot from others when collaborating. It teaches you how to work, listen and take criticism from others.
By understanding how others work, you get a better understanding of yourself. Some of the biggest producers I had the opportunity in working with were the most open minded and inquisitive people I’ve ever met.
5. What kind of music would we find you listening to at home when no one is around?
I’m definitely a student of music. I have a decent sized record collection spanning classical music to music from the 1930’s to today. It’s fair to say I listen to everything. Music is music.
The more variety I listen to and the more that absorbs into my brain, the bigger the palate I have to pull from when creating new music. When working in the studio, especially with songwriters, I tend to pull the most left-field obscure references that end up being totally relevant to the project at hand. I think it’s important for all artists to open their creative minds to the decades of music out there for us to feast on.
Don’t limit your ears to just the flavor of the week or month. Genres I’ve been listening to heavy in the last couple of weeks have been Industrial, Indie, experimental, electronic female artists from Nordic countries like Hanne Hukkelberg, Jazz / Bossa Nova, Trip Hop, Deep, Tech, G house and Metal.
Los Angeles-based producer duo Oliver has released an innovative LP titled Inner Circle: Remixes and Rarities. Saturated with their unique funked-out style, Oliver captures a distinct vintage sound infused with contemporary electronic elements. The LP includes four new tracks, as well as three remixes from their studio album, Full Circle, which dropped last September. Each new track on the LP showcases another side of the duo’s groovy approach to their work.
Filled with beautiful harmonic progression, the first original, “Big City,” flaunts a combination of melodies intertwined together to create a stunning contrast between bass guitar progressions and electrifying piano chords, all tied together by waves of otherworldly synths.
Their second piece, “Endless Conversation,” featuring Johnnie Newman, features uplifting vocals on top of dynamic bursts of percussion. The unwavering bass line is complemented by syncopated beats and an intriguing melody.
“Charisma,”the third original, is more downtempo than the other tracks and incorporates several layers of glowing synths with steady undertones. Jamie Lidell’s colorful vocals add an alluring dimension to the work, creating a sensual vibe with inviting lyrics and an irresistible beat.
In their last original, “Bygones,” Oliver flexes their signature sound, producing a hard-hitting melody layered over waves of unrelenting bass. In line with the style that has made the duo renowned, Oliver places a soothing interlude of minimalist sound in the middle of the piece, but then amps up the energy with a riveting build that leads into an intricate climax.
With their first release of 2018, Oliver once again flaunts their flawless production skill, elaborate technique, and mastery of combining vintage sounds with a style of their own in Inner Circle: Remixes and Rarities.
San Diego’s famous CRSSD Festival has partnered with the world’s leading file transfer platform, WeTransfer, to gift fans with a free batch of exciting content in lead up to the festival’s fall installment. Since its inception in 2009, WeTransfer has been committed to working with some of the world’s most creative minds to produce innovative and engaging content for their users.
This offering contains music from some of CRSSD’s hottest artists such as Hot Since 82, Lane 8, and Patrick Topping, but it also gifts a few unique pieces like Alex Wax’s signature vegan Pasta al Pomodoro recipe and a sake cocktail recipe from Richie Hawtin’s own ENTER.Sake brand. All of this content is available to download for free through the WeTransfer platform.
The CRSSD Fall 2017 WeTransfer Bundle includes:
Hot Since 82 KCRW Mix
Lane 8 Fingerprint (Anderholm Remix)
Richie Hawtin’s ENTER.Sake X Marks the Dot Drink Recipe
Patrick Topping Dr. Vibes EP
Phantoms Vodka Soda Recipe
Elohim Don’t Feed The Baby Tigers (Vol. 1)
Prok & Fitch Truth Be Told – AFTRWRK (Prok & Fitch Remix)
Lee K Lee K’s When We Dip Mix
Hito BBC Radio 1 : Hito b2b B.Traits XLR8R Podcast 505: Hito
Cooper Saver Cooper Saver’s XLR8R Mix
Alex Wax AIVI – HyperActiveMind iPhone Background Alex Wax – Vallarta (Original Mix) Pasta al Pomodoro Recipe (Vegan)