Saturday Night Session 031: Audien Presents Cookout Exclusive Mix and Talks Debut ‘Escapism’ LP

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Saturday Night Session 031: Audien Presents Cookout Exclusive Mix and Talks Debut ‘Escapism’ LP12651074 10153194318771673 7371433896995231521 N

It’s been a decade since Nathaniel Rathbun released his first single, and now fans are finally able to listen to the producer’s highly anticipated debut album. Rathbun, who is more popularly known as Audien, was the perfect embodiment of a feel good electronic music producer who could combine the best elements of pop and fuse them with the most energizing and euphoric parts of electronic music. Rathbun can create crossover releases that captivate listeners from the outset, and his music caught on at the perfect time as electronic music was becoming part of the mainstream.

While his work can largely be considered progressive house, Rathbun has versatile production abilities, and he has a flair for producing uplifting trance music in addition to his radio-friendly roster of crossover releases. All of these styles are captured within 11-track Escapism. Although it took him three years to finish the album, the time is reflected in the work he has put out, which can only be described as quality.

Highlights of the album are previously released single “Reach” featuring Jamie Hartman’s vocals. Hartman is a delicious deviation from Rathbun’s typical ethereal female vocalist, and the track imbues an iridescent strain of subtle, exceedingly accessible drum ‘n’ bass. “Escape” showcases Rathbun’s playful side with melodic trance notes framing a bouncy electronic progression. The drop is everything Audien fans look for in his live show, and the single can’t help but to induce a smile for the listener.

When asked how his creative process is different now compared to when he started creating music, Rathbun notes it is, “so much different. It’s more structured and serious, versus just having fun. That can be a good and bad thing, but the music I’m making now is far more substantial and has a musical story behind it. I still have just as much fun, it’s just less often.”

“Escape” seems to be a return to his original production inspirations, and he comments on how this is one of the singles from the compilation that is most personal to him. He says, “‘Escape,’ ‘Heaven,’ and ‘Reach’ have really crazy stories. They took a substantial amount of time to complete, but so worth it in the end. Those songs really embody the diversity and variety I wanted to have on the album. I try not to be so one-dimensional as a producer.”

Rathbun will be embarking upon an Escapism Tour to accompany to the full album’s release, and he has a refreshing take on what elements the tour will enlist in order to make it a worthy compliment to his newly released body of work. He says, “The Escapism tour is not a reinvention of the wheel, but more of a heightened and dialed in version of an Audien show, which simply put, is a ravey DJ show. I took all of my favorite things about a show and put it in one tour. I could have bought some drum pads or played piano on stage, but I decided to keep it true to me, which is that ultimate release of a traditional electronic show. That will NEVER go out of style.”

For those who want a taste of what they can expect from his show early, Rathbun crafted a one hour Saturday Night Session that infuses his album releases alongside old school electronic hits to get listeners ready for their nights. He notes that his Saturday Night Session will get listeners ready for a “party, release, forget problems, be with friends, love music kind of night.”

Photo credit: Rukes

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You have been producing music for over a decade. Why the decision to now release your first LP as opposed to continuing to release singles?
It’s been a while! Honestly, I’ve tried to put together an album for years, but my life got too busy, and I didn’t want to rush it. It’s honestly coming at the best time.

Is your creative process or your mindset different now than it was when you first started releasing music? If so, how is it different?
So much different. It’s more structured and serious, vs. just having fun. That can be a good and bad thing, but the music I’m making now is far more substantial and has a musical story behind it. I still have just as much fun, it’s just less often.

Can you tell us the intention behind your choice to name the album Escapism?
I want the album to feel like an escape from reality. I always try to capture that feeling in my music, and the Escapism Tour will be very cohesive with this idea.

Is there a release on the LP is most personal to you?
“Escape,” “Heaven,” and “Reach” have really crazy stories. They took a substantial amount of time to complete, but so worth it in the end. Those songs really embody the diversity and variety I wanted to have on the album. I try not to be so one-dimensional as a producer.

How is Escapism going to translate to a your live show? Any details to get fans excited for your tour?
The Escapism tour is not a reinvention of the wheel, but more of a heightened and dialed in version of an Audien show, which simply put, is a ravey DJ show. I took all of my favorite things about a show and put it in one tour. I could have bought some drum pads or played piano on stage, but I decided to keep it true to me, which is that ultimate release of a traditional electronic show. That will NEVER go out of style.

How long from start to finish did it take you to complete your LP and how does it feel to finally have it released?
3 years. SO GOOD!!

Where do you draw creative inspiration from and were there any specific creative motivators for this LP?
I 100% draw most creative inspiration from nature and being out in the world. Something about vastness, and emotional scenery resonates with me. I’m able to harness that and translate it into melodies easily.

What track on Escapism was easiest for you to produce and were there any that you struggled with completing?
The intro, “See You On The Other Side” .. I made that in literally a few hours. I think the best songs come together that way.

What is one thing your fans likely don’t know about you?
I love real estate, homes, houses, design, interior design. It’s all an art of it’s own and a side hustle for me.

What kind of Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listeners ready for?
Party, release, forget problems, be with friends, love music kind of night.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 116

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 116Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic—to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery—DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here


Grabbitz‘s latest release is an appearance on Ultra Music for the guitar-laden “Roam With You.” His heart-wrenching voice guides listeners through an emotive introductory verse before launching into a dramatic chorus. The second verse finds the artist harmonizing with himself to further the wistful tone of the piece.

Another Buffalo native, Snow-Key, takes to Future Vibes for a vibrant and powerful future bass-inspired piece, “716.” Likely a nod to the area code of that western corner of New York, “716” comes at the listener swinging after a relaxing introduction. Trippy bass and synth punches wallop the eardrums in an unexpected and enticing way, drawing the listener deeper into the dynamic world the artist has crafted.

Seven LionsOphelia Records plays host to Crystal Skies‘ newest set of tunes: the five-track Constellations EP. The duo have tapped collaborators like Satellite Empire, Gallie Fisher, and RUNN for the EP, and songs like “On My Own” prove that the EP is a gorgeous collection of songs. “Incredibly proud and excited to show you guys this EP,” the duo note in the EP’s description. “Some of our favorite music we’ve ever made and we hope you guys think so too.”

Sofi Tukker have remixed Laurent Wolf and Eric Carter’s 2008 classic, “No Stress”—something that seems to be a career highlight for duo member Tucker Halpern. “When I first fell in love with dance music and started to learn how to DJ, I remember the first ever playlist I made and ‘No Stress’ was on it,” he says in a press release. “I remember being so excited to play it in my first ever set, and it went OFF.” Their rendition is a groovy, up-to-date interpretation, allowing fans of the original to relive the original in a fun new way.

SNBRN comes at New Music Friday hot with a new collaboration with 1993, “DMs.” As sultry as ever, the producer has whipped up an irresistibly deep beat to pair with hazy vocals from 1993. While the vocals may sound passive, the lyrics are feisty, claiming “I got million-dollar deals in my DMs.”

Discovering Amsterdam through ADE’s wide venue menu [2019 Review]

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Discovering Amsterdam through ADE’s wide venue menu [2019 Review]ADE Laura Siliquini

Words by: Josh Stewart & Bella Bagshaw

For a festival older than many of its attendees (including a co-author of this review), Amsterdam Dance Event hasn’t lost an ounce of prerogative in the electronic music space across its 24-year tenure. Much like its increasingly international soil, ADE is voraciously traveled to by electronic infatuates across the globe. This year the industry-oriented endeavor garnered attendees from 146 countries—the most internationally visited installment to date.

But what makes ADE so painfully cool, is not only its chromatic agenda—spanning panels, parties, makeshift productions, and larger-than-life arena stops—but its locational litany. From train stations, to museums, to the warehouse spots, all of Amsterdam is ADE’s playground.

And it feels like the whole city is participating, too. Right outside the Schipol Airport, your humble narrator is greeted by a proverbial ADE cube humming above an information/check-in hut, ready for business at 8 am sharp. Once I secure my media pass, a 40-something cab driver promptly rattles off his week’s after-dark itinerary, with the enthusiasm of a tourist and the precision of a seasoned attendee.

ADE is unique in that it implores you to acquaint yourself with Amsterdam. It’s an unfettered celebration among the city’s quotidian. And that’s undoubtedly why the very best of the dance music business (Garrix, Tiesto, Guetta, Knight, Hawtin, Brejcha, you name it) return year after year. Here are some spots that made ADE sing this year.

Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, Dancing Astronaut‘s quintessential stop on the ADE agenda. The storied subterranean dwelling of the historic Dutch landmark make for a sublime dance music backdrop—invoking elegance and clandestine cadence all at once. Raw Rave sanctioned Boys Noize Thursday night for a long dance (the kinetic vernacular in Europe is actually swaying) in the dark, as Maceo Plex and Underworld had so notably done just a few years prior.

The hallowed columns cast great, oblong shadows through the crowd, while fog dances in time with Boys Noize‘s beguiling analog techno. It’s an altogether post-apocalyptic display; as if all the wide-eyed pedestrians who normally flood the area by day are gone for good and there’s nothing left to do but soak up the smoke and party (if you can maneuver to the bar, that is). The air buzzed with sweet and sweaty malice, beneath a collection of Rembrandts resting soundly upstairs, no less! The historic holdings are a smoldering embodiment of ADE’s ability to make Amsterdam’s cornerstone conventions come alive.

Paradiso

Of all the Amsterdam club locales, Paradiso is likely the most atmospherically adjacent to a US spot ADE has to offer. Though, its architectural grandeur is singularly European. The assuredly haunted ex-church, with its resplendent stained glass windows and intricately etched balcony arrangement, seems destined for a back-to-back DJ set from priest vestment-donning Tchami and his perpetually pernicious aural associate, Malaa. A far cry from the litany of icons Paradiso once welcomed—The Rolling Stones, Prince, Patti Smith, The Cure, Nirvana (just to name a few)—the duo’s Dutch rendition of No Redemption was, nonetheless, entertaining as hell.

The hard-house maestros topped giant LED cubes which lit up in sync with painstakingly on-brand visuals when the respective DJ took his turn. For Tchami, a storming jungle scene evocative of his recent melodic house sensation, “Rainforest.” For Malaa, the expected illicit and explicit imagery: lines of white powder, skin-clad, ski-masked women, and otherwise. PSA: Moshing to dance music is apparently not just an American phenomenon.

Above section by: Bella Bagshaw

Armada Office

Days before the release of his 7th studio albumArmin van Buuren opened the doors to Armada’s office, sitting on the city’s outskirts for a cranked-up ADE-themed recording of A State Of Trance. Attendees were welcome to wander the corridors of the iconic trance label’s home base, with over two dozen guest sets spinning between “The Club” and the infamous recording studio where Armin streams his weekly shows. The who’s who of trance ticket gave fans a chance to see tastemaker after tastemaker, mainstay after mainstay, bringing the likes of Richard DurandMarkus SchulzFerry CorstenSander van Doorn, and even BT, for eight hours of intimate trance bliss.   

NDSM Wharf

DGTL brought four nights of ADE-insanity to NDSM Wharf, a former shipyard with grounds big enough to house 10 soccer fields. As massive of a venue as it was, another few soccer fields probably could’ve housed the droves of ravers who kept the waterfront warehouse’s sprawling mainstage saturated. A headlining lineup of Richie HawtinRÜFÜS DU SOLBonoboOrbital, and Ben Klock back to back with Marcel Dettmann proved too tempting a ticket for thousands of ADEers. There’s no doubt that the music is the focal point of a week like ADE, but it’s hard not to see the event for the grand portrait of dance music that is when showing up to NDSM. Between the ferry from Central Station, that showcases much of the city’s forward-thinking architecture, to the street art that blankets the hip, developing wharf, and fresh fruit the warehouse served until wee hours of the morning, a trip to NDSM shines a light on many of the enchanting idiosyncrasies that make ADE so distinctly Amsterdam.

Discovering Amsterdam through ADE’s wide venue menu [2019 Review]TIMBUITING NDSM Ade
Photo: Tim Buiting/NDSM

Lil’ Central Station

ADE fever even spread to Amsterdam’s very own Central Station (think Grand Central), which was effectively party-fied by Audio Obscura for the whirlwind weekend. Tucked just a few stories below the rails that funnel people in and out of Amsterdam by the thousands was Lil’ Central, a cozy nightclub space with DJs that encouraged a bit of loco and a lot of motion. From Motor City Drum Ensemble‘s swerve-inducing Thursday night set to Tchami‘s afterparty the following evening, express tickets to a good time were wholesale at Lil’ Central. Every city has nightclubs, most even have particularly cool ones, but how many municipalities are willing to turn their central transport hub into an all-night rave?

I can only think of one.

Above section by: Josh Stewart

Photo Credit: Laura Siliquini

Good Morning Mix: Boombox Cartel drops ravaging ‘DIA DE LOS MUERTOS IV’ Mix [Stream]

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Good Morning Mix: Boombox Cartel drops ravaging ‘DIA DE LOS MUERTOS IV’ Mix [Stream]1004 Nights Boombo Cartel Courtesy T1000

In celebration of a rich cultural heritage, Los Angeles-based producer Boombox Cartel has released his highly-anticipated annual DIAS DE LOS MUERTOS mix. The Mexico native has long-dominated the bass scene with a multi-genre palate and variety of heavy-hitting sounds. Gaining massive recognition with tracks like “B2U”, the Mad Decent-signed act has toured extensively and collaborated with heavyweight bass counterparts including Flosstradamus, NGHTMRE, Bro Safari, and more.

Boombox Cartel performed at this year’s Lollapolooza and will make appearances at Lollapolooza Brazil 2020. Most recently, “All I Want” saw Boombox linking with California songwriter Griff Clawson.

Boombox Cartel’s fourth edition of the notorious DIAS DE LOS MUERTOS guarantees a bass-riddled landscape for the senses. Incorporating rap-tinged tracks, melodic-leaning breaks, and trap favorites, the one-hour mix will satisfy fans with Boombox originals like “Whisper” and “Moon Love” while simultaneously delivering dance mayhem. With no shortage of unreleased tracks queued, DIAS DE LOS MUERTOS IV is relentless in its showcase of Boombox Cartel’s bass arsenal.

Photo Credit: Olivia van Rye

Techno Tuesday: Ardalan and the philosophy of being ‘Mr. Good’

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Techno Tuesday: Ardalan and the philosophy of being ‘Mr. Good’Techno Tuesdays

Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

Duality is a concept instrinsically connected with Ardalan‘s life and career. Born in Tehran to parents with international professions, he spent his youth living between Iran and his stateside home in the Bay Area and adapting to each locale’s different societal norms. Oddly enough, it was through his friend in Iran that he discovered DIRTYBIRD, courtesy of Claude VonStroke‘s megahit, “Who’s Afraid Of Detroit?” Not long after, he attended the very first BBQ as a young teenager. He released his first track on the imprint alongside Justin Martin by age 19, forever cementing his status as label family and one to be watched.

It was through this newfound success, and growth into adulthood, that the Ardalan noticed the contrasting nature of human existence, especially in the way one might present themselves to the world versus the person within. Thus, Mr. Good’s story was born. The key lies in its title track, and the more sinister “Mr. Bad,” which are the yin and yang of the album’s story. Just as everyone has a “Mr. Good” that they show off to the world, there exists a “Mr. Bad” to balance it.

The album as a whole is experimental, a step away from the lighthearted shade of tech house one migh have expected from his longform debut. Ardalan is no one trick pony, however, and he pulls off his album and its multi-genre exploration off with polished finess. One might even say that Mr. Good is an entrance into a new sonic era for DIRTYBIRD.

We chat more about the themes of Mr. Good for this Techno Tuesday, additionally taking a gander into its tech side, Ardalan’s artistic journey, his dual lives, and more.

Mr. Good really gave you a medium to explore your sonic range. In doing so, has your overall style in studio and behind the decks changed at all as a result?

In some ways I believe it has. I feel like I am always constantly testing new ideas and taking risks to do something different. Whether it’s in the studio or behind the decks, I really enjoy challenging myself to find a new sound. It’s fun. I look at it like its a puzzle, but with sound! I love playing different styles and creating a journey out of a DJ set. When I am in the studio, I always find a way to use or create something different with each track. I’m now excited to explore uncharted musical territories!

Which songs in particular really pushed you to go outside of your comfort zone musically, and in what ways did they do so?

“Lifted” with Claire George. It’s the one track on the album that isn’t 4 on the floor. I’ve never made a drum n’ bass tune in my life to this magnitude, so when I started working on it I didn’t really know what I was doing or know if there was a rulebook of sorts that I needed to follow. I was just jamming on the SP 1200 and having fun when I realized I could just work with the loop in half time and turn it into drum n bass!

Your dance music discovery really began in Iran. Can you take us to the time of discovering Euro house and techno there and how this ultimately prepared you for your full launch into the music world upon reaching adulthood in the Bay Area?

When I was growing up in Iran, I really didn’t have any sort of knowledge for music. I was just hearing all these cheesy trance melodies and some 90s pop house on bootlegged cassette tapes and satellite televisions from Europe. I was exposed to hearing Persian music as well. In the late 90s early 2000s, my brother got into Progressive House and Techno music from artists such as Deep Dish and Anthony Pappa. I got a taste of that and instantly got hooked. I then moved to the Bay in 2004 and really got into Boards of Canada & Aphex Twin. I then moved back to Iran in 2005 and moved into my brothers old room. He left his old computer behind with all the music mentioned above still in it. I started going through it and found James Holden’s Balance 005 compilation and that changed everything for me. I got into microhouse / minimal around 2006 and moved back to the Bay Area in 07. That’s when I heard Claude Vonstroke’s “Deep Throat” and ultimately DIRTYBIRD!

On that note, you’ve also mentioned that you made an effort to imbue the music of your ancestry into the project; how have you executed this?

I tried to incorporate a track that had those elements but I ultimately ran out of time and didn’t want to rush it as I want to do it right and raw yet keep those Iranian elements balanced.. I will go back to it in the future!

Techno Tuesday: Ardalan and the philosophy of being ‘Mr. Good’Ardalan Shot By Grady Brannan1 1
Photo credit: Grady Brannan

The album process was a long one for you, and with some tracks taking months to finish. How did you get over these periods of writer’s block or override what was holding you back?

Most of the tracks were finished in the last three months of the album process. But it took me forever to finish “Mr. Good” with PartyPatty. It was the first track that I was seriously working on for the album. I had never done an album and I really loved “Mr. Good,” so I wanted it to be perfect and I constantly kept changing it. I literally have about 250 versions of it. I took a break from it and read an article about how “perfectionism” is self-harm . I took a break from it and made “I Can’t Wait” and two weeks later I took one last stab at Mr.Good and I was happy with it. I grew so tired of hearing it in my studio during the album process, but now on my album tour, it’s one of my favorite tracks to play! Other than that, What kept me sane in that period was hanging with my girlfriend and family. Any chance I could I would take breaks as needed from the studio. I would dedicate some time to doing something different which I think really helped the album process for me as a whole. I got addicted to this mobile game called PUBG and was playing it with different producer friends like Sepehr, The Fitness, Option 4, and even Doorly! I thought I wasn’t gonna finish the album because I was having so much fun playing it. But it took some stress out of the process and when I went back to working on the album. I felt recharged.

You’ve gotten your hands on a lot of new hardware for the making of Mr. Good. What’s next in that regard? Have you considered trying your hand at modular production?

I think I have enough gear for now. Modular is a commitment and I know i wont stop once I start. So I think I will have to mess with VCV RACK until my new studio is 100 percent treated and complete. I have now moved to a new apartment and I have a smaller room to work with. I have so much gear so I think I’ll be okay in that department for now. Next thing for me though is to learn my new room the same way I learned my old studio and treat the acoustics more properly.

A major theme of this record is the duality of humanity; you have to be ‘Mr. Bad’ to be ‘Mr. Good’. Can you describe how this theme has played out in your own life, and how you translated it into the album/musical format?

I just think we go through different phases in time. Everyone has some sort of internal battle. Not everyone is 100 percent stress free, maybe a few souls these days. We all have ups and downs. Whether its mental instability, hardship of some sorts, or depression. Without all these negative experiences, how would we learn what’s good or positive in life? Sometimes we just have to accept that were not perfect creatures but we can learn from it and pursue happiness. I think it’s kind of funny because the theme of the album became about self doubt in finishing my album. I was hitting a wall and I wanted everything to be perfect. I was like, “this track needs to be “Mr. Perfect.” I learned that it can’t be perfect. Sometimes you just gotta let go of that self doubt and be bad or get freaky with it. Sometimes you wanna be a Mr. Bad and not sleep. Sometimes you end up going to an underground warehouse and lose yourself in the music till the next morning. These experiences turn out to be good for the soul sometimes.

Going off of the above, a lot of these tracks were written well before the themes of your album came to mind. How did the process play out in pulling these ones out of the archives and fitting into the overall story you wanted to tell?

I wrote a lot of tracks that didn’t make it on the album. There are only two tracks that were made before the theme. I guess in some ways I managed to fit them in the story. After finishing the Mr.Good track with Party Patty, I got really inspired to create tracks from scratch and not go to the old projects. I will eventually release all those. I have so much more music that didn’t make the album.

Now that you’ve taken this leap into album territory, what are some of the next milestones you wish to reach career-wise, and what are you doing now to accomplish them?

I want to explore new sounds and keep making more music. Even releasing different versions of the album perhaps. I am also trying to lean on making my studio more jam friendly and produce “live”. I want to make the leap into the live performance world at some point as well. I think that’s the next step career wise. It will be a fun challenge but very rewarding once I take it more seriously.

What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned over the years as you’ve blown up, especially within the last five?

I’ve learned to be extremely humble. I have met so many amazing people and fans in every city and im truly grateful for that. I don’t like being alone for long periods of time. I appreciate the time I have when I’m home. The album process taught me to be positive and not stress about the little things in life such as not allowing myself to get mad or complain that the coffee shop at the airport didn’t have almond milk. I learned to get excited about the small things in life. It’s given me the tools to push through the stress of being a touring artist. I have been touring since I graduated college in 2013. I try and exercise as much as I can. I play soccer every week between gigs. It’s my biggest passion after music. I try and go for a run as much as I can and during tour life. I think Justin Martin has inspired me in that department.

You’re currently on one of your biggest, if not the biggest, tour run you’ve ever taken in support of the album. Which places are you most excited about playing the first time?

I am excited to play at Meow Wolf for the first time!

Any final words or thoughts you wish to share?

I just wanna say that it’s been so amazing to see peoples reactions to my new album. I am really thankful for all the support!

Order a copy of ‘Mr. Good’ here

Good Morning Mix: MK and Diplo are in high house music spirits at All My Friends

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Good Morning Mix: MK and Diplo are in high house music spirits at All My FriendsMaresdefault

In the benevolent spirit of All My Friends Music Festival, MK and Diplo took the decks together at the festival’s 2019 iteration to forge a sonic camaraderie by way of a back-to-back set. If the collaborative showing predated Diplo’s establishment of his house-centric new imprint, Higher Ground, the pairing might have appeared rather incongruent.

Yet, with Diplo’s choice to channel his late talents towards the house space in a more austere effort, the MK and Diplo matchup is natural—one sonic puzzle piece interlocks with another. Unsurprisingly, the duo’s live synergy is apparent from the set’s animated start to satiating finish.

Rife with upbeat house selects broadly situated in deep-house territory, MK and Diplo’s performance flaunts the producers’ shared ear for highly danceable cuts. As for Diplo specifically, the back to back, delivered from Skylight Row DTLA, is proof that he’s fit to spin alongside any established house entity.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 115

This post was originally published on this site

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 115Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here


It’s been a few years since the world has had new Tut Tut Child material. The artist has been mainly working on a side project, Forest Knot, since mid-2018, and prior to that, there hadn’t been a Tut Tut Child release since 2017. The London-based artist has broken his silence, though, with the release of his Pantheon EP, out now on Extreme Music. Its title track is a dramatic melodic journey and is sure to thrill fans of his previous works, as well as newcomers.

Rameses B, too, has a new compilation out Nov. 1. The Liquicity Records Eden EP showcases the artist’s strong command of the liquid drum ‘n’ bass realm, and he praised the label in a tweet announcing the EP, saying “it’s only natural to have this kind of release with them, liquid, emotional and something that represents all the good times.”

For Flite‘s latest venture, he reworked Jon Hopkins‘ 2018 track, “Emerald Rush.” He’s flipped the style into something new, and it’s completely captivating. “I absolutely LOVE Jon Hopkins’ music, he is such an influence on my own tunes,” Flite said in the track’s description. “I decided I would try and rework ‘Emerald Rush’ into a drum ‘n’ bass track. So much respect for his compositions, I hope I have done him justice.” 

The drum ‘n’ bass continues with Mazare and Philip Strand’s “Battlecry,” which debuted this week via Monstercat. Strand’s powerful vocals set the scene for the epic battle that about to take place, leading the listener into a dramatic build. Mazare’s fierce production takes over at the drop, packing a hefty drum ‘n’ bass punch.

Virtual Riot can make whatever he wants forever. The multi-faceted producer excels at whatever genre he’s producing, and for his newest, he returns to glitch-hop to play… Mario? “Bossfight Afterparty” is a brilliant three-minute combination of video game blips and bloops, polished with undeniably precise production. Your move, Bowser.

Rowdytown 2019: The tour stop that rocked Red Rocks’ world [Interview/Event Recap]

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Rowdytown 2019: The tour stop that rocked Red Rocks’ world [Interview/Event Recap]42929577 10156448788293145 7734400015992356864 O

Big Gigantic‘s Rowdytown triumph this year, to no one’s surprise (or chagrin) was weighty with saxophone, bass drops, 3D production, and more sax. Those who missed the venture, fear not: Dancing Astronaut had acute eyes on the Colorado undertaking, catching up with the group just ahead of their return to the hallowed Red Rocks holdings.

The titillating tour stop solidified just how Big G has been able to weather the exceedingly saturated dance music storm all these years. The crowd seemed to hum with an untethered enthusiasm that is so very characteristic of the group’s enduring following. The ensemble’s unflinchingly immersive and synergistic performance approach rendered the Red Rocks backdrop nothing short of transcendent. They employed a pristine blend of old-school, cornerstone Big G cuts alongside a wealth of new tracks from the past year: the ideal recipe to show fans where they’re going, but that they haven’t forgotten where they’ve been. Throughout the night, they brought backup instrumentalists on stage to help emphasize their jazz influence, an ideal accent to their crossover charisma.

The visual production itself deserves unanimous applause. Upon arrival, the staff handed each attendee a pair of white 3D glasses. Once Big G implored the crowd to put them on, each minute intricacy of the live setup (and life itself) seemed to swiftly fall into place. Guest vocalists, like Jennifer Hartswick, cranked up the intensity to 11. Dom and Jeremy jammed right alongside them in seamless tandem.

Dancing Astronaut had a chance to sit down with the two-pronged dance-funk prodigies to hear about how the 3D project came to life, the nitty gritty idiosyncrasies from the tour, and what’s next music wise.

Tell me about how you guys decided to go with a 3D experience for your new live tour set up and bring it specifically to Red Rocks

We basically wanted to just do something really different with our live show and after weighing our options we thought the 3D experience would be really sick [for the venue].

As a hybrid ensemble who’s been in the scene for so many years now, in what ways do you feel instrumental acts like yourself freshen up the electronic space?

I think we just add another dimension of possibilities to the studio and the live space in general. [We think] as a whole people have been catching on to that and it has been exciting for fans and artists alike.  

You guys have amassed a cult-status fanbase over the years, how do you feel you’ve been able to hold fans’ attention in such a frenetic time to be musicians? 

I guess from just really trying to be different, working hard to present fresh live shows and new music and also just connecting with our fans in tons of different ways whether it be at shows or doing community outreach. We’re always looking for ways to expand and grow and get new listeners. I think a lot of people know about us, but don’t ‘really’ know us or our live show and i think when we connect with those people on that level, something clicks.

You guys have released a number of singles this year. Is there a larger project in the works?

Yes very much so. Maybe even a couple projects. We have a ton of new music we’re sitting on and [will be] releasing something bigger in 2020. We’re so excited to announce everything, it’s coming up fast.

Red Rocks seems to hold a certain ineffable quality for fans. How would you describe performing at the space a whopping 16 times at this point in your career?  

Wow 16 times?? That’s incredible… We feel like two of the luckiest guys in the world, we can tell you that. We started out as a couple guys who would have given everything to sell out The Fox Theatre in Boulder and to hear that we’ve sold out Red Rocks 16 times is just crazy. Eternally grateful.

Are there things as far as the live show, your production or your music, that you are currently dreaming up? What’s next? 

Yeah we’re just about to roll out a concept with the music and live show very soon and we’re excited to bring a fresh take on everything we’ve been doing into the new year. 2020 is gonna be crazy.

Take the plunge with Goldroom on his new multi-faceted endeavor, ‘Plunge/Surface’ [Interview]

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Take the plunge with Goldroom on his new multi-faceted endeavor, ‘Plunge/Surface’ [Interview]Goldroom Press Pic

Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and producer Goldroom feels most at home on the water. He grew up sailing and has carried his love of the world’s oceans into his adulthood and his music career, crafting dreamy synth-pop tunes that are right at home with a balmy sea breeze to carry them from ear to ear. Josh Legg—known to the music world as Goldroom—has made a career of combining his passion for music with his love and respect for the water, and many fans know him best from his longstanding High Seas tours he’s been putting on for the past several years.

He put out his last record, West of the West, in the fall of 2016 and followed it up with a long bus tour with his band. In June 2017, he played a few Corona SunSets festivals, one of which was in Tulum, Mexico. Legg and the band had a day off and chose to spend it at the beach. The waters were mellow, and Legg decided to go bodysurfing.

“In a really surprising and unlucky way, I got tossed just
the wrong way and hit the top of my head on the sand,” Legg recalls. “I felt
the lightning bolts go through me, but I didn’t think I was that hurt.”

However, it became apparent over the next few hours that he
was more than just a little hurt. In fact, he’d broken his neck in two places.

“I lived in a hospital in Cancun for two weeks and then flew back to LA and lived in a hospital there for another few weeks,” Legg says. “Then I was pretty bedridden at home another month or so. Finally, I was able to begin working my way back.”

He remembers reading comments on social media saying “he’s done” and “he’s never coming back.”

“I felt a lot of personal pressure to get back out on the road,” he says.

But everything he did that autumn was “way too early.” Legg was managing his pain with painkillers, including an opiate called Tramadol, which doctors had told him to take daily for six months.

“Tramadol is pretty heavily abused by a lot of people and leads to bad things,” Legg says. “I was trying not to take it every day, and I didn’t. But even so, it led to a foggy year in my life.”

In a bit of an existential crisis wondering where the Goldroom project was going, Legg thought about the lengthy process he’d had preparing West of the West to make its way into the world. In his haze, he continued to write songs but wasn’t quite sure where things were going. The music to come out of this time period makes up what became the Plunge part of the upcoming LP.

“When I listen back to the songs that became Plunge, all I hear is haziness—but in a good way. It’s extremely representative of my 2017 and 2018, and I love that about this music. It’s just true to where my life was at.”

Around this time, Legg started to fall back in love with dance music. He’d always loved DJing, but the further he went with his Goldroom project, the less he’d found himself making club-friendly music.

“When I was finally able to start touring again and felt
healthy physically, I started to really fall in love with dance music in a new
way,” he remembers. “I think it coincided with a lot of disco and certain types
of house music that had kind of disappeared for a while and started to come
back.”

In his renewed excitement, he found himself thinking about the kind of music his idols sampled: slow, funky, and psychedelic. Then it clicked. He had made a record of just that for Plunge.

“Rather than sample other people, I thought I’d just sample
myself. And what slowly came about was the idea of sampling every single song
I’d made and making an alternative, French house version of it.”

These alternate versions would become Surface, the other side to the two-part LP.

Plunge sounds like my injury to me.

When I listen to Surface, I can hear myself getting healthy.”

Legg knew he was on to something, but he had to try his
concept out. Though he plays plenty of live shows with his band, he also loves
to DJ and thought he’d take a Surface
song out for a spin.

“The first one I tried was ‘Yellow Flowers,’ the sister song to the final single on the album, ‘Trust,’” he says. “Everyone was really excited about it, and that was the lightning moment. It became obvious that I could make [an alternate version] for all of them.”

Many of Plunge/Surfacetracks have debuted ahead of the LP’s full release on Nov. 1—like “I Can Feel It” and “Do You Feel It Now?” which are sister tracks and both feature singer Love, Alexa. While these two are fairly easy to see as related, Legg assures his fans that none of the versions of the songs on the LP are the “correct” iterations.

“As I was releasing these songs, I wanted people to have no idea what came first,” he says. “Neither is meant as a remix or original. They’re just each an individual song that is re-contextualized based on the other. Hopefully, you might even like both of the songs better because they both exist.”

West of the West was Legg’s first experience doing a slew of collaborations with other people. He prefers not to work through the internet bouncing stems and vocals back and forth, and would rather team up in the studio to work through the songwriting process. But for Plunge/Surface, Legg worked on many more tracks solo—and some of them sound much like they did the day he wrote them, like “Cocaine Girl,” which he says he wrote in four or five hours.

“I really wanted my sonic touch to be all over this record
because it’s a little weirder and a little darker… more human and messy,” he
says. “I wanted it to be that way.”

With the exception of new friend Love, Alexa, Goldroom chose to work with previous collaborators like Mereki, Chela, and Nikki Segal, whose voices you can hear on music from years ago, like “Only You Can Show Me,” “Fifteen,” and “California Rain,” respectively.

“Working with them felt like being at home, which was
something I really needed coming off my injury,” he says.

The key difference between West of the West and this new collection of songs is that it’s
“just much more Josh,” the producer says.

“It’s much more me… more raw and much more human. There’s a
lot more mistakes in the playing and in the singing. The vocal takes aren’t
perfected within an inch of their life. It’s purposefully messy because my
life’s been kind of messy.”

When asked how his life would be different if he hadn’t
broken his neck on that fateful day in 2017, Legg says it’s something he’s never
thought of before.

“I feel incredibly lucky that nothing worse happened,” he
says, after thinking for a minute. “A lot of people that break C6 and C7 [vertebrae
in the neck] end up paralyzed or they die. Realistically, I would’ve put music
out sooner, and I would’ve been playing live more often, but I have no idea
what the music would’ve sounded like.”

Even while he was injured, though, all he wanted to do was
get back out on the water.

“Even though it was the thing that bit me, I felt the need to get back there as soon as possible. It’s the place in the world where I feel like I get the most joy and bring the most joy. Because of my injury, I feel even stronger than ever that it’s my place in the world.”

Goldroom’s fall tour kicks off Oct. 30 in Portland. Find the full list of tour dates below, and keep an eye out for the debut of Plunge/Surfaceon Nov. 1.

Oct. 30 – Portland, OR at Holocene
Oct. 31 – Seattle, WA at The Crocodile
Nov. 1 – Vancouver, BC at Fortune Sound Club
Nov. 7 – Santa Barbara, CA at Soho Music Club
Nov. 8 – San Francisco, CA at Mezzanine
Nov. 9 – Los Angeles, CA at El Rey
Nov. 13 – Washington DC at Union Stage
Nov. 14 – Boston, MA at Sonia’s
Nov. 16 – Brooklyn, NY at Elsewhere

Photo credit: Jasmine Safaeian

ORBIT Playlist: Eli Brown forwards Fabric London performance

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ORBIT Playlist: Eli Brown forwards Fabric London performanceEli Brown 1 1

Eli Brown is teaming up with Ibiza superpower event brand, ANTS, this Friday, November 1, at landmark London club spot, Fabric. The performance will be part of ANTS return to Forms series—summoning the cream of the techno/tech-house heavyweight crop.

Navigating a highly saturated Bristol house scene, Brown was forced to find fresh ways to make a lasting mark. His singular sound subsequently began to take shape. He’s now known for his penchant for painted, energizing house offerings with a pernicious twist. With high-profile appearances on Ultra Records, Lee Foss‘s Repopulate Mars, and Mark Knight‘s Toolroom (among a sundry of others), it’s evident ears, other than ours, are craning to get a slice of Brown’s sound.

By way of Dancing Astronaut, the “XTC” producer has compiled a list of tracks, specifically for the occasion. In conjunction with the club-courting house/tech cuts, Brown has provided listeners with a bit of method to his delicious aural mayhem—attaching his intention behind each track selection. Stream below to find out what’s in store for Brown’s Friday showing at Fabric. Tickets available here.

1. Solardo & Eli Brown – XTC – I had to pick this tune as it’s been a massive tune for me over the summer… We just dropped the video and sick remix is coming very very soon so hold tight for that.
2.Cuatero – Pa chu – Love this tune, proper grooves by one of my favourite producers on Seth Troxler’s Play it Say it label… Need I say more?
3.Monoky & Luis Miranda – Leggo – If you’ve heard me play over the past two month you will have heard this tune. Definitely one of my go-to tunes, the bassline is so heavy it always destroys the club.
4.Nathan Barato – Talk on – Old Hot Creations classic but I recently put this back in my sets and still smashes it so hard so I wanted to include it for those who may have missed it first time around.
5.Sosa – DFCW – Massive tune by one of my favourite new producers…go check him out as he’s got a big future.
6.Patrick Topping – Turbo Time – Wicked tune from one of the best producers around. Every time Patrick does a tune its always different and unique, this is no different… Massive early ’90s vibes on this.
7.Jey Kurmis – Caz She Can – Jey Kurmis can do no wrong in my eyes, his tunes have a certain vibe to them that no one else can replicate and this is a perfect example of how to create a groove.
8.Richy Ahmed – Come With Us – Another tune that’s been around for a while but I love the vibe so much, sounds like nothing else and one that perhaps went under the radar.
9.Jamie River – Pesos – New producer whom I don’t know much about but if this is anything to go by then I’m sure he’s set to do big things. Love the Latin vibes on this, the flute sample in the breakdown always creates a special moment when i’ve been playing it out.  
10.Micheal Bibi – Garden of the Groove – Bibi’s back with another banger on Repopulate Mars, rolling grooves and massive b-line, this tune goes off believe me.
11.Rafa Barrios – Sense – Another big track in my sets over the past couple of months, love the energy on this tune.  Rafa always makes wicked tunes, if you’ve not come across him make sure you check out his other stuff.
12.Ronni Spiteri – Tell me Something – Wicked tune from Ronni who’s a sick producer from Southampton UK on one of my favourite labels, Alan Fitzpatricks We are the Brave!  Rolling Techno vibes…love it!
13.Eli Brown – 92 Thing – Probably my favourite tune of mine, slightly different sound than some of my other stuff but hopefully fans of my other stuff will still see the connection. Played by everyone from CamelPhat, Solardo, Carl Cox, and Adam Beyer over the summer, it’s been doing damage.
14.Raito – Sumer Of Love (Alan Fitzpatrick remix) – This tune has everything for me, wicked old-school vibes and a banger of a drop.. never fails to smash it.
15.Anja Schneider – Far Side of the Moon – Been playing this tune as my last tune of my sets recently and I love it, one of those tunes when you hear it in the rave you just want to put your head down and find a dark corner and get lost in the music!  

Photo Credit: Ushuaïa Ibiza