Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018

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Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018Moonrise Festival

Words by Rachel Narozniak, Josh Hymowitz, and Alexander Krinsky

As the ‘moon rose,’ the bass dropped across Moonrise Festival‘s four stages over the course of the Maryland’s event’s two-day occupancy at Pimlico Race Track. Diversely decorated with talent that spanned dance music’s many subgenres, Moonrise’s 2018 lineup drew a variety of acts ranging from MIJA to Timmy Trumpet to Zeds Dead, and a crowd comprised of fans with equally divergent tastes.

Dancing Astronaut went live on location for one of the final festivals of the 2018 season. What follows are ten artists who brought the Moonrise momentum, throwing down sets that made new fans out of attendees, and astonished longer term listeners.

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3LAU, Stellar Stage

Rachel Narozniak

3LAU broke out of the 2018 release gate with a fervor that was anything but tempered on his debut full-length outing, Ultraviolet. The 11-track offering asserted that the producer’s 2016 “Into You” remix only nascently evinced 3LAU’s astute ear for electronic experimentation, one that gained extended exhibition on Ultraviolet.

A standout in the current context of EDM, given the album’s distinctive spin on commercial house, Ultraviolet’s edge derived from its confident re-imagination of what music branded as “EDM” could sound like. Fast forward to August 13 at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Track, and 3LAU would translate the energy of Ultraviolet–but on a larger scale, of his career to date–to his live set at Moonrise Festival’s Stellar Stage. A robust showing rife with vivid bass, jumps into electro territory, and 3LAU classics–“How You Love Me,” for one–the set exemplified 3LAU’s maturity both as a producer in the studio, and as a performer behind the decks. 3LAU’s inclusion of Zeds Dead’s bass oriented flip of Touch” proved a highlight of the set.

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Diplo, Stellar Stage

Josh Hymowitz

Unfortunately, festivals don’t always proceed as planned. Festival organizers paused the first day of Moonrise about 30-minutes before Diplo’s hour-long set at the Stellar stage due to inclement weather. With reports of lightning a few miles out, and with thousands of people on the open grass infield of Pimlico Race Course, the city of Baltimore was bound to take precautions.

Attendees were moved to the grandstand until further notice, but once Moonrise resumed just after what would have been the end of Diplo’s set, ticket holders still got a 25-minute set from Diplo. Despite the limited time frame, Mr. Wentz to give fans everything they’d would want. He played all the hits, including “Revolution,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” his latest collaboration with Get It Right,” and more. The highlight had to be this Benzi Mashup, which blends the Smookie Illson Boot of “Club Action” (a go-to during Skrillex and Jack Ü sets back in the day) with the classic “We Like To Party” by Vengaboys and 4B’s “WHISTLE.” Diplo dropped craziness right into the sunset to prep fans for Kaskade.

Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018Chris Lake Rukes

Chris Lake, Celestial Stage

Alexander Krinsky

Chris Lake’s beats leveled the ground at the Celestial Stage. What started as a grassy field was ready for the pouring of concrete after Moonrisers were done thumping. Lake’s unique and often deep darker tracks were a welcome reprieve from the headbanging dub-sets throughout the day for many, that tech house can sometimes just be home.

Chris Lake served up style with toppings of hilarity with his collab track with Chris Lorenzo‘s “Pizza,” while simultaneously extending solid nods to the homies out of the Dirtybird collective by incorporating several of the label mates’ releases in his set, including–among others–FISHER‘s “Losing It.”

Photo Credit: Rukes

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MK, Celestial Stage

Rachel Narozniak

Give MK an hour behind the decks and a disco ball, and he’ll transform the grassy grounds of a race track into an open air house oasis. While Moonrise resides as one of the East Coast’s best festivals for big name bass performances, the event’s Celestial Stage effected the intimacy of an underground club in the middle of Baltimore.

When it comes to crowd captivation, there is indeed no better duo to initiate immersion than MK and Chris Lake. Lake joined MK at the decks for a surprise b2b that scaled the house to tech house continuum with each track of the set. Hearts palpitated to MK’s “17,” and all in attendance could unanimously agree that the b2b was one of the most serendipitous outcomes of August 11th’s rain related scheduling adjustments.

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Two Friends, Stellar Stage

Josh Hymowitz

Although they had one of the earlier time slots at Stellar Stage, Two Friends crushed their set in front of a huge crowd turnout.

It’s always bound to be a great performance from the duo, considering they’ve remixed every song millennials would want to hear at a party. Two Friends’ revamps range anywhere from The Killers to Blink-182 to Kanye West. Their remix of West’s classic hit, “Touch The Sky,” can be hard to find on the web nowadays due to copyright reasons, so having the privilege of seeing it live is always a treat, an an undeniable high point of Two Friends’ Moonrise set, at that. Luckily for fans, there’s still a few links out there for the remix, and those who missed out on the exclusivity at Two Friends’ set can still get in on the action with this rip of the rework.

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Emancipator, Lunar Stage

Alexander Krinsky

Douglas Appling has had an incredible talent for tying the flow of electronic production with live instruments since Emancipator‘s inception. Appling’s sound is eclectic yet grounded, provoking yet calming, and organic yet able to take the listener to a different planet. With his full live band, along with the heart of the Ensemble’s melodic flow violinist, Ilya Goldberg, Emancipator’s vibrations became one with the airwaves around Moonrise 2018. Rain would eventually begin to fall to the sounds of Emancipator’s ambient trip-hop on Sunday afternoon of the festival, and although the weather would briefly pause the party, there was a moment of pure stillness and near palpable peace at this set.

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JOYRYDE, Stellar Stage

Rachel Narozniak

JOYRYDE proved impervious to the weekend rain as he resumed Sunday activity at the Stellar Stage following the final day’s brief pause. The Skrillex collaborator greeted the Moonrisers who traipsed back onto festival grounds from the grandstand area with potent, punching bass from the very first track of his set, driving energy and adrenaline with bass lines that traveled from the decks, to race track grass, and up through the soles of attendees’ shoes.

JOYRYDE’s characteristically eclectic, bass-inflected aesthetic behind the decks commanded a distinctive brand of live energy accented with UK grime tilts and grittier turns.

Photo Credit: Run The Trap

Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018Illenium Coachella 18

Illenium, Stellar Stage

Josh Hymowitz

The Denver based breakout producer had one of the most talked-about sets of the weekend, and rightfully so, as Illenium‘s music boasts an ethereal sentimentality that provides an entirely unique live experience while creating a positive atmosphere amongst the crowd.

That being said, Illenium slightly switched gears during his Moonrise 2018 set, incorporating some heavy bass drops that signaled a departure from Illenium’s wheelhouse, the typical slow feels trip that listeners are familiar with. Although he stepped into some grittier territory for the set, a DJ’s unexpected maneuvers never fail to engross crowd members, and as such, Illenium’s Moonrise showing was probably his most notable performance to date.

A particularly noteworthy moment of the set included Illenium’s dropping of “Gold,” his highly celebrated collaboration with Excision, featured on Excision’s latest album, Apex.

Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018Rezz Certain Kind Of Magic

REZZ, Solar Tent

Alexander Krinsky

Hardly unexpected or surprising, Dancing Astronaut’s Break Out Artist of 2016 did not disappoint during her climactic Moonrise performance.

REZZ sent out heavy vibrations that transfixed the minds of those assembled in the crowd at the Solar Tent for the bass prodigy’s set. It was clear before Moonrise that REZZ wasn’t going to be playing around, and Space Mom indeed came strapped, loaded, and ready to break some backs with a ‘Certain Kind Of Magic,’ in the same titular fashion of her second studio album. Her dubbed out dark dance music absolutely slayed the Solar Tent, providing a proper finale for the festival’s opening night.

Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018KASKADE2014

Kaskade, Stellar Stage

Rachel Narozniak

To evade mention of Kaskade’s ‘Stellar’ showing on August 11 would be to overlook a set that evinced the electronic veteran’s reliability and limitless energy with an especial, if not glaring, clarity.

After sharing a portion of his originally allotted set time with Diplo following Saturday’s rain induced pause, Kaskade took to the decks to ensure that Moonrise goers would have some “Fun.” In many ways a ‘greatest hits’ styled set, longtime Kaskade fans enjoyed classic productions like “Disarm You” and “Something Something Champs Remix” interwoven among comparatively more recent releases like the Phoebe Ryan assisted “Almost Back.” Rife with atmospheric electro and pumping, progressive house festival drops, the set underscored the  ethereal caliber of a Kaskade set, one that endured even with unexpected adjustments.

Manic Focus drops huge Liquid Stranger remix, announces ‘Minds Rising Remixed’ track list

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Almost one year has passed since Manic Focus released his smashingly fun fifth studio album, Minds Rising. Since that time, John “JmaC” McCarten has laid down landmark performances at Hulaween, Envision, and the biggest headlining show of his career in his hometown of Chicago.

Now, JmaC announced his Minds Rising remix album, in which the electro-soul producer hand selected the remixers for the package with an emphasis on portraying the wide reaching styles of his wildly ambitious original. The LP includes the blow out halftime destruction of Liquid Stranger, the psychedelic beat-smithing of Emancipator, the bass infused jam rhythms of Sunsquabi and Wick-It The Instigator, the downtempo hip-hop stylings of Edamame, and many more.

To celebrate the forthcoming release, Manic Focus gives fans a first listen of the Prob Cause-assisted track, “Putting All of my People on,” remixed by WAKAAN label boss, Liquid Stranger. The track takes a more subdued approach to it’s original, replacing the deep horns and kick snares with warbly synth lines and the broken beat stylings of his free form bass stamp. Be on the lookout for the full album on May 10, 2018.

Mind Against Remixed Track List:
1.) Drop In (feat. Marvel Years & Chris Karns) (SoDown Remix)
2.) Putting All of My People On Feat. Prob Cause (Liquid Stranger Remix)
3.) Joy In The Noise feat. Psalm One (Daily Bread Remix)
4.) Stochastic Resonance feat. Statik (Emancipator Remix)
5.) Snap Like This feat. Artifakts & Erick Jesus Coomes (Wick – It The Instigator Remix)
6.) Pushing feat Psymbionic (Rave Boar Remix)
7.) Rage Fits Perfect feat. The MFin’ Band (SunSquabi Remix)
8.) Habit feat. Russ Liquid & The Rapper Chicks (Megan Hamilton Remix)
9.) Stronger feat. Late Night Radio, Jennifer Hartswick, Adam Deitch (Cofresi Remix)
10.) Timeless feat Carlile (Edamame Remix)
11.) Sowing My Zone feat. Ryan Viser (GoodSex Remix)
12.) Your X Now feat. Exmag & Borahm Lee (LWKY Remix)
13.) *BONUS TRACK* – Pushing feat. Psymbionic (R34L Remix)

Elements NYC returns with stacked 2018 lineup topped by Bassnectar, Emancipator and more

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BangOn!NYC‘s beloved Elements Music & Art Festival brand is returning to its Bronx home at Hunts Point this year for the event’s fifth installment, and this time, they’re gearing up for their biggest outing to date with newly reimagined programming for the summer shakedown. Returning with four elemental-themed stages and New York’s iconic skyline views as the festival backdrop, Elements has tapped Bassnectar with the day’s headlining duties, along with performances locked in from Emancipator, Snakehips, and a Dirtybird Players showcase of Claude VonStroke‘s west coast house heroes.

Taking place this year on August 11, the festival is incorporating a heavier emphasis on emerging technologies and interactive performances, and visual arts. The single day event is bringing over 20 performers to Hunts Point this summer, with some surprises still yet to be revealed. Now, with half a decade of Elements in the books, expect BangOn to pull out all the stops on the the 2018 edition.

Emancipator shares lush new visuals for “Baralku”

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emancipator

Lightning in a Bottle drops off diverse 2018 lineup

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Bradley, California’s uniquely immersive festival, Lightning in a Bottle, has revealed the first phase of its 2018 musical line-up, set to take place May 23–28.

In an increasingly monotonous festival market, LiB defines itself in defying the norm. The festival’s forward-thinking curation has presently landed a diverse array of acts from Anderson.Paak & The Free Nationals, to Zhu, GriZ, Fever Ray, The Glitch Mob, Sofi Tukker, TOKiMONSTA, Modeselektor (DJ Set), Emancipator, Nicole Moudaber, The Black Madonna, and more.

Lightning in a Bottle’s strive for diversity in its programming can be best summed in music director and co-founder Jesse Flemming’s words:

“We’re definitely not trying to play the same game we are seeing with all the massive festivals these days when we book our music programming. Forget the big names you can see at 10 other festivals this year. For us the goal is to craft a musical playlist that will perfectly guide people along the experience we’re trying to create. We book each stage to be its own separate journey on any given day and we try to diversify it as much as possible so when you’re wandering around during the weekend you can always find something just right for you. This has been our goal since day one and it continues to shape how we book today.”

More information and tickets to Lightning in a Bottle, which go on-sale January 18 at 10 am PST, are available here.

LIB 2018 Lineup - HiRes

Featured image by D Zetterstrom

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Emancipator taps into his scopious musical roots on the exemplary ‘Baralku’ [Album Review]

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Soon It Will Be Cold Enough… that Doug Appling will need to retreat indoors to adhere to a pattern that has long defined the perennial producer since he debuted his Emancipator moniker eleven years ago. This pattern of silent introspection is one that has, in turn, allotted an intimate offering of landscapist, waning, sonic multitudes.

Like a bear emerging from hibernation, Appling too awakens; batting his eyes, hungry, and ready to exude his reserved energy. For each time Emancipator resurfaces, he releases not just a full-length record — undoubtedly a gift — but a situated anomaly in electronic music. The very existence of a musical act like Appling is an oddity in itself, as he emits a transient hybrid of jazz, electronica, bossa nova, chillwave, and downtempo hip-hop.

Listeners are offered more than a simple glimpse into the psyche of Appling and his relationship to music, nature, creatures, and the seasons in his work; in fact, he gives them access to something far more profound.

Unlike his contemporaries who too attain ethereal elegance, Emancipator exudes tempos and fills rooms with a panache that has the veracity to bring his listeners to tears. He sheds a layer for his listeners, whether it be in the palpable nature of his music, or in his gorgeously employed violin. It’s likely he does so in hopes that his listeners will too.

Few artists manifest parallelable beauty or nail the longevity of a song like his work does. Undoubtedly, it would be difficult to observe or create in the spirit of the world as eloquently as Appling. His music serves as a reminder that there’s more to life than meets the eye, and that life’s grand mystique is all a part of the blissful process.

Each new Emancipator release serves as a communicable feast for listeners to join him in devouring, and after a long few winters of hibernation from the prodigious talent, a new release would be nearly impossible to resist indulging in. Luckily, he’s come forth with a new work, the full-length LP Baralku, which he will be touring extensively come early 2018.

emancipator

Baralku is distinct, and yet, it’s expectedly eloquent in thematic scope and the employment of Emancipator’s refined style. It’s also an aptly named work.

Named for an astral spirit island in the Milky Way where departed souls build fires to let their loved ones know they arrived safely in the afterlife, Appling exudes this blissful aura of beauty in the emotive embers left dwindling on the record.

“Music takes me to places, and each song is a spirit island on which its soul lives infinitely. To release a song is both a death and a birth at the same time.” 

He continued, “The sounds contained in each song have reached the end of their life process. The once shapeshifting collage of expression has been crystallized into a final form, no longer kinetic. Yet it exists in a state of permanent potential energy, waiting to be accessed in the form of music, just as the memory of a departed soul will always have the power to move us.”

Regardless of whether his music has directly hit on the concept by way of its names, its vehement quality has long emitted the sonic virtues of rebirth, renewal, and total desolation — all at once.

“First Snow,” a track on his debut album Soon It Will Be Cold Enough… is itself an encapsulation of this aforementioned multitude. Of course, it’s a celebration of the new season, of innocence, but like the album’s name, “First Snow” also emotively reminds us that with a first snow’s beauty also comes death — of vegetation, of the season, and of warmth. 

While his music is filled with stark multitudes like the above, it’s largely through enveloping sonic warmth that its impact strikes. Emancipator’s music drapes over his listeners, like a cozy blanket or a warm fire on a cold night.

On Baralku, he adheres to his archetypally poised encapsulation.

The album sets off on the impassioned epic “Baralku,” electronically-tinged in its commencement, the tune transforms into a speechless-rendering violin ballad. Appling sets the tone for the remaining thirteen tracks to follow with “Baralku,” an enormous feat he handled with precision. “Baralku” also hints that the culmination of tunes to follow will shine in their marvelously meticulous production. Additionally, he imbues a sense of sonic suspension, for in the track’s beginning, it would seem as if a violin would never be integrated, and yet, the instrument proceeds to serve as the track’s central force.

But such is the beauty of Emancipator’s work.

In the eleven years since the inception of his idiosyncratic amalgamation of styles, Appling’s generated steadily escalating buzz. On the strength of four previous albums — Soon It Will Be Cold Enough… (2006), Safe In The Steep Cliffs (2010), Dusk to Dawn (2013), and Seven Seas (2015) —plus several remixes and EPs, Appling has now achieved his most artistically integrated piece of work. Each work over the years has poured over his styles in a tastefully experimental fashion, but Baralku exudes a euphonious sap, oozing throughout the work in a multitude of facets.

Wherein the fusion of hip-hop is pronounced on the record  — in numbers like “Abracadabra” or “Udon” — the record also capitalizes on experimentality and nuanced flow.

“Baralku” even withstands impeccably effervescent transitions. From the aptly named situational awakening of “Bat Country,”  sonically reminiscent to waking in a field upon getting swarmed by bats, disoriented, and finally overjoyed in one’s own safety — to the open, waning quality of the jazz-tinged “Pancakes,” to the seemingly odd, but effortless marriage of the organ and banjo on “Rappahannock,” Emancipator elongates his established decorum.

Emancipator has situated Baralku as an unexpectedly autobiographical journey to the island of Baralku. Between his mastery of structure and improvisation, Appling reaches a multifarious destination  —  where the soul lives on in eternity, aware of life’s multitudes, embracing and reflecting on them wholeheartedly in the astral afterlife.

Baralku is available to purchase here.

 

 

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Emancipator shares title track off forthcoming record, announces supporting ensemble tour

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Emancipator enthralls many — time and time again — with his dulcetly-distinct tunes, as each outpouring explores a captivating niche of incomparable instrumental music.

Now, comes the third track off his forthcoming LP Baralku, out November 17, which also serves as the title track to his fifth full-length via his own label, Loci Records.

The classically trained artist’s forthcoming album is his first since 2015’s Seven Seas and hints at Appling’s most poignant release to date. “Baralku” follows singles “Goodness” and “Ghost Pong,” where each number perfectly encapsulates dimensions of the calming, texturized sound fans have come to know, love, and expect over the years.

Emancipator has also announced he will be heading out on the Baralku tour in early 2018 with his full live ensemble.

Emancipator

Tickets are available here

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Emancipator comes out of the woodwork on chilling new track ‘Ghost Pong,’ confirms new LP

 

 

Emancipator comes out of the woodwork on chilling new track ‘Ghost Pong,’ confirms new LP

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Portland-based producer Emancipator has, at last, emerged from his sonic seclusion. After sharing on Instagram earlier in June that his new album was done, fans have been patiently awaiting the day Doug Appling would unveil the new tunes.

Exploring the laid-back and sonically open side of electronic music that he became widely known for, Appling returns with a brand new track, “Ghost Pong.” Incorporating random field recordings, “Ghost Pong” is a chilling track that remains in the dark with its soulfully-executed quintessential violin integration.

While the details still remain unknown, Appling’s also confirmed his new LP — the first since 2015’s Seven Seas —will be out shortly.

“I’ve been inspired lately to return to making melodic instrumental Hip-Hop and this one has a chilling vibe to it which felt right,” Appling told Billboard in an emailed statement. “This specific song was born from a field recording when we had a ping pong table on tour with us.” Listen to “Ghost Pong” below.

H/T: Billboard

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