It’s only natural that DJs spend time with other DJs. Common interests are one of the surest avenues to friendships. So when DJ friends come together to celebrate something exciting like the release of a new album, it’s only natural that they spin some records.
In this specific case, the album that was released is Floating Points‘ new alternative electronic odyssey, Crush, and his friends who joined him to spin are Jamie xx, Ben UFO, and Daphni.
All four of these artists have a widely catalogued public history. The number of times they’ve shared the stage or the booth is quite extensive, and while spectators of their sets are separate from their personal chemistry, their sonic chemistry is the stuff of legends. This quartet is bound by an affinity for the unusual and unconventional. Their sets can’t be defined by genre. Only by feeling and mood.
Together they united on NTS radio, where each of them have spun time and time again to honor Crush with three hours of tunes that will have listeners hitting Shazam after every single track.
Floating Points just put his new album, Crush, on Oct. 18, and as was expected from the polymathic musician with a doctorate in neuroscience, it is nothing less than complex electronic bliss.
Floating Points—whose real name is Sam Shepard—is an artist unbounded by constraints both in the studio and on stage. In the past, he has booked an entire orchestra to perform his music. For the tour of his last album, Elaenia, he alternated between DJ sets, performing with a four-piece band, and a solo live show during which he operated intricate hardware.
For the tour of his upcoming album, it can’t be said whether or not he’ll adopt all the formats listed above at some point, but for now, we know a section of the tour will feature a show most closely related to the last of the aforementioned list. The tour will hit several well-known spots throughout Europe and the U.S.
The video below, which is a music video for the single “Anasickmodular,” displays Shepard at the helm of a studio’s worth of different musical machines. Unlike other live sets of similar nature, viewers can immediately grasp how his movements are actively manipulating the music in a haphazard yet human manner.
Hamil Industries, the production company behind the video had this to say about it:
“Floating Points show is based on the visualization of sound through manipulation of analogic technologies. It will combine light, cameras, and visuals triggered by soundwaves, that in turn modulate themselves, creating loops of image and sound working in perpetual feedback, harmony, and dissonance.”
View the full video and check out Floating Points’ upcoming tour dates below.
Nov. 13 – Paris, FR @ Elysee Montmartre Nov. 16 – Berlin, DE @ Funkhaus – SOLD OUT Nov. 16 – Berlin, DE @ Funkhaus – Late Show Nov. 21 – London @ Printworks April 15 – Brooklyn, NY @ National Sawdust April 16 – Brooklyn, NY @ National Sawdust April 17 – San Francisco, SF @ Gray Area
Tucked away in the grooves of Thailand’s verdant landscape is Wonderfruit Festival—a fleeting four-day festival that celebrates the cultural impact of art, food and music within sustainable communities. The festival has crafted its vision with one overarching goal in mind: to inspire others through their approach to sustainability and global change. The 2019 edition welcomes their lineup with performances from influential electronic acts such as Four Tet, Floating Points, and Craig Richards over December 12 – 16, 2019.
For the event’s sixth edition, Wonderfruit emerges with a weighted focus on curation. Select artists, performers and speakers are invited to host a brimming selection of activities focused on mindfulness and wellbeing, transforming the grounds of the country club into a welcoming and transformative oasis. Wonderfruit is built upon six intertwining principles: Art & Architecture, Music, Family, Farm To Feasts, Talks & Workshops and Wellness, each playing a vital role in the festival’s very existence and continued success in Asia.
Tickets and more information surrounding Wonderfruit Festival is available here.
Sam Shepard, better known as Floating Points, officially has announced his sophomore album, the long-awaited follow-up to 2015’s showstopper, Elaenia.
The upcoming LP, titled Crush, represents a departure from the soothing, atmospheric work that defined Floating Points just a few years ago towards a darker, more unapologetic club sound. The shift in styles, however, is likely to appeal to fans of his earliest, grittier work, while coming as no surprise to those who caught “LesAlpx” just a few months ago.
“It’s a little less organized than the garage-y tracks I made at the very beginning. This is me being more unhinged and rough,” commented the UK producer on his new material in an interview with The Fader.
The album announcement also comes with the simultaneous release of “Last Bloom,” which feigns a touch of melodic subtlety, but ultimately serves as a love letter to Shephard’s growing gear collection, as a hailstorm of syncopated percussion carries the full weight of the four-minute club burner.
Crush is scheduled to release on Ninja Tune on October 18 and will be accompanied by a three-stop European tour to celebrate the album. Find the tour dates and full tracklist below.
5 Under 15k is a feature on Dancing Astronaut dedicated to spotlighting talented upcoming and undiscovered artists who we believe deserve more exposure. Each edition of 5 Under 15k will highlight five artists from a wide variety of genres with under 15,000 followers on SoundCloud (at the time of writing).
If Claude VonStroke taps you to remix his undisputed classic, “Who’s Afraid of Detroit” then it means you have something special, and Wyatt Marshall (3,060) has something special indeed. Since the release of that remix last year he has delivered numerous house offerings that are as groovy as they are consistent. Whether it be on Dirtybird or his second sonic home of Percomaniacs, count on Wyatt Marshall for the funk going forward. Hop into his latest EP, My Temple, to get started.
It’s common to find that when one starts DJing before they start producing, their music typically invokes a sense of true freedom; as if the open format of DJing allows them to avoid being bound by traditional genre strictures. Nala‘s (1,197) debut EP, Sirens, does that and more. Beyond tapping four top-notch vocalists for pristine top-lines on the release, this EP is the launch of Unstructured, the collaborative imprint with LA’s Understated Recordings that Nala is curating herself.
Every artist has a defining release—that holy grail track on that one label that puts them into a newer, higher echelon of their craft. For Sueldo (399), that track is ‘OTS’ and the label is 40oz. Cult. Of late Sueldo has been supporting hardened dubstep artists like Gentlemen’s Club and playing well-known parties like Space Yacht. Now with the release of this single, he’s only going up from here.
Don’t let the humorous name fool you, Dadmom (2,323) makes some serious music. His latest EP, Infinity, is aptly named as it represents a very diverse musical palate executed with true poise. Each of the three tracks moves fluidly between different genre influences while demonstrating a flair for sound design.
The fact that Cooper Saver only has 4,965 followers on Soundcloud is a concrete example of why numbers like that are not at all indicative of an artist’s capabilities. Not only has he been booking artists like Four Tet and Floating Points at his Far Away parties for years, but he’s also been touring the world and remixing legends like Jacques Renault. Now he’s diving fully into solo productions and the results speak for themselves.
It’s been two years since Sam Shepherd’s last original release, but the UK-born musician, better known as Floating Points, is finally lifting off again with his new single, “LesAlpx.”
A departure from Shepherd’s freeform, jazz-garnished approach to electronic production that brought past releases Elaenia, and Reflections – Mojave Desert such widespread acclaim, “LesAlpx” is as club-centric as any Floating Points track yet. In a press release, Shepherd says that the new release came together “quite quickly, which helped to get rid of any desire to overthink the music – it’s essentially the sound of me having loads of fun with the machines in my studio and going back to basics.”
And while “LesAlpx” makes its return to the bottom line, it still holds tight the eccentricities that have defined Sam Shepherd as such a captivating producer. Unrelenting builds, shimmying percussion, and an utter playfulness on the knobs all add to the song’s signature Floating Points allure; but these same components become all the more spellbinding when woven into the latest single’s driving four-by-four beat and whirring bass.
Four of the most prolific audiophiles in electronica have come together to release a two-hour mix proving not only that music abides by no boundaries, rules, or expectations but also that artists, too, can share the AUX. Jamie xx, Four Tet, Floating Points, and Daphni took their talents to NTS Radio: an online underground radio station that clearly respects the Four Agreements with their tagline, “Don’t Assume.”
One record at a time, the mix tests the capacity of sound. Entering through an atmosphere of ambiance, the music traverses the boundaries of what one might find sonically appealing. Full vibrations run abound from all contributors, creating a space welcoming to infinite possibilities.
20 minutes in, the listener is in a completely different realm; abundant, soulful energy erupts. Jazz flute, funk horns, and vocals penetrate the space in an effortless sonic flow. The journey progresses into psychedelic rock, European folk, all while staying completely consistent in the task at hand. The mix isn’t demanding, but it does ask something of the listener: their mere attention. This is a mix not to hear but instead, to listen. With the mix, these four experimental geniuses have exuded a nod to true librarians of music with seamless poise.
With the rise in popularity of Croatia’s pristine nightlife scene and Ibiza’s continued reign as a clubbing hotspot, grandiose locations for house and techno are becoming commonplace in the electronic music ecosystem. Following this trend, Into the Valley festival has taken residence in the thousand-year-old Castle of Sohail on Spain’s Andalusian Coast for the fourth iteration of the event.
Acts like Floating Points, DJ Seinfeld, Peggy Gou, and Amelie Lens will be performing at the three day event on the alluring Castle, Theater, and Beach stages. Taking place from September 28th to 30th, Into the Valley festival is slated to be one of the top underground events of the season, looking to “further develop the format known as boutique festival and to invigorate the electronic music scene worldwide.”
The vibrant affair Primavera Sound has announced a stunning 2018 lineup. Over 200 artists across a bevy of genres front the eighteenth edition set for May 28–June 3 in Barcelona.
Primavera Sound lends a glimpse into generational references with a pulse on contemporary music. The bill presents a push towards comprehensiveness, grrrl power, and once in a lifetime experiences in the live event sphere. With zero small print in the eminently danceable lineup, attendees can look forward to performances from Four Tet, French duo The Blaze, Chromeo, Jlin, Mount Kimbie, and Peggy Gou.
DA Presents: 15 artists that rocked the underground in 2017
Dance music’s second wind persists at a seemingly endless rate. In fact, its current boom has resulted in a complete infusion of the genre and into the fabric of the mainstream; megastars like Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, and Kygo have helped shepherd in a new age of ubiquity and recognition from the masses.
The mainstream isn’t the only area of EDM that has flourished. A renaissance of sorts is currently underway below the surface, with subgenres like progressive, techno, and house exploding back into the public eye with new vigor.
As 2017 comes to a close, Dancing Astronaut undertook the arduous task of selecting 15 underground artists that were particular standouts throughout the past year — in our subjective opinion, of course. We also made special mention to two artists that consistently push music forward in their respective arenas.
Words by Christina Hernandez, Grace Fleisher, and John Flynn
Zak Khutoretsky, better known onstage as DVS1, has brought warehouse techno to some truly interesting places. The Berghain/Panorama Bar resident has pushed the sonic boundaries of techno in obvious places like London and Berlin, but has also found himself at more all encompassing festivals such as Florida’s Okeechobee, Belgium’s Tomorrowland, and Ibiza’s CircoLoco event. Equipped with an arsenal of more than 30,000 records, experience at some of the world’s most established techno clubs, and an admiration for purist techno, Khutoretsky has broken ground in the global technosphere by forming his own dark sonic landscape.
Words by: John Flynn
Amelie Lens is on the ascension as Belgium’s latest techno stalwart. After debuting on the Italian Lyase Recordings, Lens is paving her way as an impenetrable force in the genre. She’s finished off the year with her Stay With Me EP, which is a heightened juxtaposition of both the beauty and form of techno. In an utmost surrendering to the astounding, Lens boasts her ominously pulsating prowess, complete with a thrilling remix from the esteemed Perc.
Considering Lens’ 2017 standing with Drumcode labelmates, an occupation of copious underground lineups around the world, and her own nights at Labyrinth club in Hasselt, she brought her foreboding techno to a circuit where it will deservedly reign for quite some time.
Words by: Grace Fleisher Photo Credit: Guy Houben
Jeremy Olander had an undeniably powerful 2017 — a result following his creativity down a path that has since placed him among the ranks of fellow Swedes like Eric Prydz and Adam Beyer. The year saw his Vivrant imprint come into its own, defining its dark, progressive ethos with releases by Khen, Tim Engelhardt, and more recently, André Hommen. Additionally, the former Pryda Friend released some of his most well-loved pieces yet on his label, in the form of his Damon and Gattaca EPs.
His success extended outside Vivrant in plenty of other ways as well: in May, he made his debut on Bedrock alongside Cristoph, only to move onto Anjunadeep in December with a euphoria-inducing Crossed. Having also underwent an enormous year of touring, which included a residency in LA, it’s safe to say that 2017 was the year of Olander.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Floating Points — real name Sam Shepherd — has been a mainstay in experimental techno for quite some time, but it was only until this year that he began to boil to the surface of mainstream music. After releasing the wildly innovative Nuits Sonores/Nectarines, he released his debut album Elaenia much to the acclaim of critics. Performances at large scale festivals such as St. Jerome’s Laneway, Disclosure’s Parklife, and Pukkelpop under his belt, 2017 marked a capstone year for Floating Points.
Possibly the largest indication of mainstream infiltration, though, were Shepherd’s performances at Coachella this year, performing both with his expansive 11-piece live band The Floating Points Ensemble and in a packed Yuma tent for a three hour back to back DJ set with colleagues Four Tet and Daphni. Needless to say, 2017 marked a momentous year for the intellectual techno auteur.
Words by: John Flynn
With the release of her highly anticipated album, The Best Of Both Worlds, in the fall of 2017, Honey Dijon has delivered a testament to her extensive background and immense knowledge of dance music with a compelling bevy of material. As a black, trans woman, Dijon’s relationship with dance music is a culminated collection of necessity. Her music is beyond passion. In 2017, her cross-genre sets at Berghain, Space, Smart Bar, as well as her speaking out on issues of gender in club culture, solidified the need of cultural representatives like Honey Dijon in underground dance music culture. Considering Dijon’s involvement in the dance scene dates back to when she was 12-years-old, it’s likely that the future has even more in store, and thankfully so.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Bedouin‘s late 2016 Essential Mix served as an indicator of the kind of year the pair would have in the coming months. However, 2017 brought even more milestones than one might have expected, and secured their reign over the deep, desert-inclined tech realm. They have been utterly unstoppable in past months, charting releases on Cityfox, All Day I Dream, and Crosstown Rebels with their sought-after remix of Pink Floyd’s classic, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” While dominating the music sphere with a plethora of new records, Bedouin also broke new ground in the promotion arena with the foundation of their SAGA series Ibiza, which saw the likes of Guy Gerber, Damian Lazarus, and more transform Heart into a mecca for all things mystical. The duo will only continue to build upon their strong 2017 foundation until they’ve reached the top.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
I Hate Models
Green to the techno world, the mysterious nature of I Hate Models is part of the purist techno producer’s M.O. Steeped in nebulous synth work and carried by the gut wrenching thud of fibrillating pulsations, I Hate Model’s brilliant soundscape is the result of authentic emotions and nothing less than a perfectionist desire to create near perfect techno music. Their 2016 EP Warehouse Memories catapulted I Hate Models to stardom with the seminal tune “Daydream,” which amalgamates a rapidly paced, thunderous kick pattern with Detroit-inspired space synths and acid melodies. “Melancholy, nostalgia, passions, the suffering self,” reads their official Biography, “The expression of personal feelings” it continues, “The taste for loneliness, the desire to flee, travel, dream…” IHM’s State of Control EP was another step in their artistic evolution, further solidifying them as one of underground techno’s most audacious newcomers in 2017.
Words by: John FlynnPhoto Credit: Helena Majewska
Despite having over two decades of music production experience, and releases on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat, Guy Mantzur’s Plattenbank, and more, Chicola just released his debut album Could Heaven Be on Guy J’s esteemed progressive label Lost & Found earlier this year. The LP spans twelve tracks and is an eloquent exploration of the Israeli artist’s personal dealings. Could Heaven Be boasts sinister drum work, but soars in its serene, cinematic soundscapes. Such sophistication is exactly what has allotted Chicola’s impressive array of work and sustained friendships in the underground. Chicola’s delectable builds and swathing beauty are inching towards the work of Dixon, Sasha, John Digweed, and Hernan Cattaneo; which is certainly something we can’t wait to watch come into fruition.
Words By: Grace Fleisher
Venezuelan duo Fur Coat have asserted their authority in the melodic techno realm, helping pioneer the rise of this relatively new sound with innovative new music and in purveying it to the global masses. After opening their year with an EP on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth, they proceeded to carve an even deeper niche into the underground with the foundation of their Oddity imprint and the subsequent release of a breathtaking Genesis EP. While only containing two bodies of work thus far, the fact that Dubspeeka, Natural Flow, and Slam have signed work onto the fledgling label demonstrates its caliber moving into the new year.
Fur Coat’s recognition extended into the indie pop world in 2017, with the outfit being tapped for re-working both Röyksopp and Sailor & I into their own ethereal interpretation.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Charlotte De Witte
Charlotte De Witte spends most of her days traveling for gigs or at home in Belgium, where she is working steadfast to promote up and coming talent on her local radio show. Her native Belgian roots in the underground have provided a more than apt framework for the young DJ & producer to work from, but the world is also calling Charlotte De Witte’s name. The myriad festivals that De Witte has performed at in 2017 is striking: Dour Festival, Awakenings, Tomorrowland, EXIT, Oasis Festival, the list goes on. With four EPs under her belt in 2017, and a plethora of commanding live performances, Charlotte De Witte has solidified herself as one of techno’s most forthright newcomers.
Words by: John Flynn
Maceo Plex pupil and Argentinian techno phenom Shall Ocin has carved himself a unique niche in sinister techno over the last few years. Ocin has a knack for the foreboding analog, which is largely driven by the use of modular synths. The underground mainstay has even established his very own Clash Lion imprint. The label’s very first release was from Maceo Plex himself, albeit under his Maetrik alias. Shall Ocin’s doubled down on his diverse output of gut-wrenching techno in his latest EP Bounty Hunter. It’s brimming with atmospheric modulations, slow pulsating synth work, and an experimental analog amalgam. Ocin’s passion for innovation is clear, and with a demonstrated ability to continually work outside of his previous material — he’s even closed out the year with a Beatport artist of the week mix — Ocin’s proving to be an impenetrable installment in the underground circuit.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
The word “Rinzen” translates to “sudden awakening” — a definition that couldn’t be any more pertinent to Michael Sundius’ development under the moniker throughout the past year. He found a new home on Mau5trap beginning with his original debut “Renegade,” and has since shown the dance sphere just how deep his creativity runs. Years of hardwork culminated in Forbidden City — his first ever EP — which stole music afcionados’ hearts with its enchanting, yet sinister storyline that depicts a hero’s journey by way of cinematic string elements and clever synthwork. Not to mention, his skills attracted promoters at Brooklyn’s prolific club Output, who placed trust in him to spend the entirety of NYE weekend opening for both Cristoph and Eric Prydz. With a fire that burns stronger, tangible passion for his craft, and a strong sense of humility, we predict great things are in story for Rinzen after such a dynamic first year on the scene.
Words by: Christina HernandezPhoto credit: Michael Drummond
UK based Jay Donaldson — aka Palms Trax — has acquired a taste for a plethora of world influences ranging from Chicago house to European Nu-Disco, and everywhere in between. Donaldson has made waves with his Cooking with Palms Trax radio show (which has now become a full blown residency at Glasgow’s intimate , expansive boiler room sets, and performances at festivals such as Dekamantel, Glitch Festival, and CRSSD, as well as in such legendary clubs as Berlin’s Berghain. By amalgamating sounds from across the entire globe, Palms Trax’s sets feel like a voyage from nation to nation, plucking groove heavy flutes, synths, and drums from nearly every geographic region and time period.
Words by: John Flynn
Since the inception of Rødhåd’s first record on his Dystopian label in 2012, the underground purveyor has been praised by innumerable global mavens. Artists like Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Laurent Garnier, Sven Väth, and more, have praised Rødhåd as the king of the anti-establishment underground. He’s built his reputation on an immersive idiosyncrasy and delivered dramatic, engulfing sets at industrial utopias around the world. More recently Rødhåd’s slung out a cavernous catalog of brooding, cinematic techno. In 2017, the Berlin native delivered his enveloping 10-track album Anxious. The record’s an aptly-named theatric affair, which Rødhåd’s described as “the time we live in.” Expectedly, it served as an integral timepiece of the brooding, underground circuit, which will propel the brand of afflicted release to entirely new heights, and continue to allow listeners to lose themselves, only to discover new dimensions in the acts that will follow in Rødhåd’s foreboding footsteps.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Henry Saiz is an artist in every sense of the world, pouring his entire being into each production and going above and beyond to seek innovative new ways to compose music. Having succeeded in crowdfunding his expansive new audiovisual album project, 2017 saw the artist and his band travel to new realms to both create and roadtest new musical concepts. This endeavor bled into his outputs for 2017; at the tail end of September, he earned a nomination for the Essential Mix of the Year after making his debut on the series. Prior to that, he celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Natura Sonoris label with a rare second contribution to the Balance mix series. Progressive and electronica are having a moment currently, and Saiz has proved himself to be one of the leaders in this new revolution.
Words by: Christina HernandezPhoto credit: Chris Soltis
Special Mention: The Black Madonna
Marea Stamper told Resident Advisor in 2014 that she hoped to embody “the core values of inclusion and pure dance euphoria.” In the year of #MeToo, where women spoke out against their oppressors, and where sexual assault outings, misogyny, and political turmoil seemed to unravel on an endless timeline, The Black Madonna doubled down on the use of her platform as a voice for the voiceless. Her music amplified the voices of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Stamper’s sets raised up the central voices of club history — ones that have been forced to the periphery or silenced entirely — through a provocative exudence of acid house, disco, and outright emotion. In 2017, the Black Madonna seamlessly linked the past and the present through her track “He Is The Voice I Hear.” Dedicated to a string of disco legends —Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons, and Loleatta Holloway — the multifarious number rode out a spine-tingling idiosyncrasy, encapsulating her aforementioned goal — as if she hadn’t already — with an apt juxtaposition of anxiety and groove. Without uttering a word, the harrowing empowerment of “He Is The Voice I Hear” spoke volumes and epitomized the socioeconomic atmosphere of an entire year that had still yet to unfold.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Special Mention: Hernan Cattaneo
There’s a reason why Hernan Cattaneo is called “El Maestro” among fans. He possesses an uncanny ability to mix records, making seamless transitions and taking his audiences on a deep journey within themselves through each of his sets. While he serves as a continual pillar of inspiration within the progressive, and underground sphere as a whole, the Argentinian legend also had some key milestones in 2017 to date. His Sudbeat label saw an abundance of releases, and he was also able to assemble a powerhouse slate of artists to help kickstart the year with a Balance compilation. We imagine this incredible artist will continue to use his platform to proliferate top quality music as 2018 sets into place.