ODESZA announce inaugural Foreign Family Collective festival Sundara, topped by RÜFÜS DU SOL, RL Grime, and more

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ODESZA announce inaugural Foreign Family Collective festival Sundara, topped by RÜFÜS DU SOL, RL Grime, and moreOdesza Lost Lake Jeff Kravitz

ODESZA announced earlier this year that they would not return to Red Rocks Amphitheater in 2019, thereby ending a consecutive four-year run of shows at the venue. The news led fans to speculate that the electronic duo could be plotting a momentous event in place of the annual Colorado show, more specifically, a Foreign Family Collective festival. Now, the duo have officially ended the speculation with the announcement of Sundara, set for March 13 – 16, 2019 in Riviera Maya, Mexico.

The label heads, and now festival organizers, are slated to headline the event, along with Alison Wonderland, RL Grime, and RÜFÜS DU SOL. Supporting talent for the inaugural beach festival includes Bob Moses, Tokimonsta, and Golden Features. Each act featured on Sundara’s debut lineup will play two different, unique sets across the three day event.

ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective label claimed an Electric Forest first in 2017 as the imprint hosted its own stage at the Michigan festival, programmed with talent curated from their imprint including Jai Wolf, Chet Porter, and Kasbo. ODESZA enthusiasts reasoned that the launch of a festival-style event would be a logical next step in Foreign Family’s progression, and as ODESZA has confirmed, a Foreign Family festival is now well within fans’ collective ‘line of sight.’

ODESZA announce inaugural Foreign Family Collective festival Sundara, topped by RÜFÜS DU SOL, RL Grime, and moreSundara Odesza Lineup

Tennyson release uplifting remix of Kasbo’s ‘Your Tempo’

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Tennyson release uplifting remix of Kasbo’s ‘Your Tempo’Unnamed

Tennyson are known for their ability to craft tracks that are as jazzy as they are animated and uplifting. After breaking into the remix game by teaming up with Skrillex in 2015, the sibling duo have returned with a remix of Kasbo‘s 2018 single “Your Tempo.”

Adding in a smooth breakbeat, Tennyson bring a soulful touch to the poppy original. With full-bodied yet choppy synths and pitched up vocals, the brother and sister’s experimental production has resulted in a song that blurs the lines between future bass and R&B. Released via the ever-growing Foreign Family Collective, this track is sure to make an appearance on Kasbo’s upcoming North American and European tour.

ODESZA announce end of annual Red Rocks run, duo possibly plotting Foreign Family music festival for 2019

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ODESZA announce end of annual Red Rocks run, duo possibly plotting Foreign Family music festival for 2019Odesza Lost Lake Jeff Kravitz

A Foreign Family Collective music festival just might be within ODESZA‘s ‘line of sight.’

The duo recently revealed that they would not be returning to Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheater in 2019, thereby ending a consecutive four-year streak of annual shows at the venue. The pair assuaged any disappointment that their announcement inspired among listeners in their promise that they had “something big in the works” instead.

Fans have been waiting attentively to see what Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight’s next joint move will entail, though a festival venture seems like the most likely next move. ODESZA indicated interest in a festival featuring talent from their Foreign Family Collective label in a Reddit AMA hosted in 2017. Fans have speculated that the producers will not only debut a Foreign Family Collective festival in 2019, but will host the rumored event at another iconic outdoor venue — the Gorge Amphitheater, a space that ODESZA has yet to play.

Foreign Family Collective enjoyed an Electric Forest first in 2017 with ODESZA’s own stage, programmed with talent curated from their imprint including Jai Wolf, Chet Porter, Kasbo, and RÜFÜS DU SOL. Launching a festival-style event would be a logical progression, though as speculation continues to mount, ODESZA remain tight lipped. We’ll have to wait and see.

Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Big Wild shares new Foreign Family Collective audio-visual collaboration, ‘Ascension’

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Big Wild and Foreign Family Collective, the outlet for musicians and visual artists alike curated by the duo behind ODESZA, have released a new audio-visual collaboration entitled “Ascension.”

Ascension” is a journey into a world defined by both the beauty and conflicting dangers of technology. In the dystopian world, conception has been forcefully evolved into a machine-driven process, scored by an unreleased cannon of Big Wild’s computer crafted, metallically enhanced production, and synth prowess.

In Big Wild’s own words:

This art piece tells the story of an advanced society that’s become so mechanized and ruled by technology that it’s neglected the natural environment, which it in turn has to now rebuild. The painful irony of this situation brings to question our infatuation with technology and an increasing detachment from the natural world.

We wanted to create our own world and convey a simple but powerful message. I really wanted to experiment musically and collaborate with visual artists to create something unique. I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!”

Dancing Astronaut proudly presents the 2017 Label of the Year

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Runners-Up

foreign family collective

Foreign Family Collective

by Katie Daubert

There is no doubt that Grammy-nominated duo ODESZA claimed their status as some of the more cutting-edge producers in the dance music realm over the years. Following the release of their sophomore album, In Return, the team launched their own musical outlet, Foreign Family Collectivein 2015 in an effort to showcase a myriad of musicians and visual artists across a variety of genres. By creating the label, the two producers aimed to curate a platform that “doesn’t adhere to any one genre or style but rather focuses on originality and genuine expression.” Most notably, a number of the label’s output stood as the breakout releases for some of today’s top electronic acts such as Big Wild’s “Aftergold,” Jai Wolf’s “Indian Summer,” and RÜFÜS DU SOL’s sophomore album, Bloom.

With a full year of new releases on the books, Foreign Family continues to ascend as one of dance music’s leading innovatory labels in 2017. This year, the label procured a total of six releases ranging from Big Wild’s debut Invincible EP in January to Kasbo’s recent single, “Snow in Gothenburg,” while introducing only one new artist to the label this year with Yahtzel’s “Someone Else.” Foreign Family also landed it’s first-ever curated stage at Electric Forest featuring Tycho, Troyboi, Jai Wolf, Big Wild, Faker, Chet Porter, further reinforcing its tastemaker status within an established, avant-garde musical community.

Quality, not quantity, is Foreign Family’s principle virtue, giving every release the proper platform to resonate with the label’s core audience and grow holistically. And with every sonic output there lies a resonating reminder that the collective is not just curating a label but a community of music lovers and artists alike, all while maintaining a seemingly personal, yet shared compassion for the intuitive and celestial sounds of tomorrow.


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mau5trap

by Robyn Dexter

deadmau5-spearheaded label mau5trap has been a force to be reckoned with in 2017. The Canadian label celebrated its 10th birthday in 2017, highlighting the milestone with a 33-track anniversary compilation in July that featured tracks by ATTLAS, Matt Lange, Monstergetdown, Feed Me and many more. Joel Zimmerman himself hosted a birthday party for the label in Toronto, with a stacked roster of artist performances to commemorate the occasion.

One such artist was REZZ, who had another banner year with mau5trap. Her much-anticipated Mass Manipulation album dropped August and was closely follows by a world tour and even a comic book release. The album’s four singles were released every Friday leading up to the album’s release date, drumming up continued excitement for the unique artist’s debut album, which peaked at number 16 on the US Billboard Dance/Electronic Albums chart on release.

Artists like No Mana, ATTLAS, Rinzen and Feed Me wowed in 2017 with multiple releases, including successful EPs and singles. The label consistently cranked out a top-notch unique music over the course of the year, gathering new fans and exciting old ones along the way.

They pooled many of the year’s best songs into two We Are Friends compilations, which came out in March and early December. Other notable compilations included two more additions to the Foar Moar series and mau5trap X1’17 and X3’17.

With the momentum it’s built over the past 10 years, mau5trap shows no signs of slowing down in the next 10.


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DeadBeats

by Jabari LeGendre

Headed by maverick duo Zeds Dead, Deadbeats has been one of the standout labels of 2017. This past year, the dynamic imprint has cultivated some of the freshest new names in bass music like Shlump, DNMO, Champagne Drip, Chuurch, YOOKiE, and Rickyxsan. With an ever-expanding roster of innovative artists, Deadbeats is making its presence felt.

In the past year, DeadBeats has etched out some serious real estate for themselves in the dance music landscape. With the success of its first massive North American tour, which stretched from Miami to Calgary and featured the triumphant return of DeadRocks in July, the Toronto-based label has greatly expanded its sphere influence. Couple that with the release of the label’s two critically acclaimed compilation EPs and the launch of the new Deadbeats Radio show on Sirius XM’s Electric Area, it’s easy to see why this collective from the Great White North are on an inexorable march forward.

2018 is shaping up to be yet another huge year for this budding brand. DeadRocks, the label’s biggest annual event will return to the Denver hills, expanding to two full nights of madness from July 2-3. Zeds Dead are proven tastemakers in the world of electronic music. Their spine-tingling performances have helped them garner a massive global following. However, creating a palpable culture and style is perhaps the most important aspect of developing a label that can stand the test of time. With the growth this groundbreaking label has seen in the nearly two years since its inception, Zeds Dead are on a continuous march to take their vision and style to the next level.


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Anjunadeep

by Bella Bagshaw

In 2017, London-based label Anjunadeep has continued to produce and expound upon its unparalleled brand of deep and tech-house. Starting off in 2005 as a mere sidecar to Above & Beyond’s trance-leaning parent label and one of electronic music’s paragons of success, Anjunabeats, Anjunadeep has become an international staple in the lush, ethereal realms of house and techno. The label’s ascent coincides with the US’s gradual embrace of electronic music that is crafted for concentrated listening—migrating beyond its affinity for commercialized dance music.

American Anjunadeepian Lane 8 seems to continuously elaborate on his indelible variety of emotive, melodic deep-house, intermittently releasing tracks from his highly anticipated Little By Little album set to be released in January, accompanied by a world tour.

The label also capitalized on an opportunity to showcase some of its freshest faces, like UK duo Fluida, “The Light In You” artist, Fairchild, and Mat Zo-discovered, Luttrell, in the ninth installment of its veteran-crafted annual compilation series. Fluida made their Anjunadeep debut this year with their blissfully ambient Branches EP, which enigmatically floats between electronica and deep-house elements. Additionally, rapidly emerging artist, Luttrell, who also graced the compilation with dream-state-inducing “Wake Me Up Tomorrow,” has scaffolded off his 2016 breakthrough on the label, pushing the envelope with his otherworldly techno tracks.

Moving forward, the label recently announced it will be hosting its own debut festival, Anjunadeep Open Air: London in August of 2018, as well as hosting its own sea-faring, Anjunadeep Takeover during Holy Ship! 10.0 featuring sets from Lane 8, Yotto, and more.


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Winner – Monstercat

by Robyn Dexter

Breaking barriers and pushing the dance music envelope since its inception in 2011, Canadian independent label Monstercat is Dancing Astronaut’s Label of the Year. For the past six years, Monstercat has paved the way for listeners to discover dozens of new artists, garnering a massive following along the way. Led by a boundary-pushing team, 2017 proved to be the label’s best year yet. They brought on more than a dozen new artists, including Modestep, Kill The Noise, Bassnectar, Ragga Twins, Dirtyphonics, Gammer, Kayzo, Lookas, Ookay, Fox Stevenson, Slander, Sullivan King, and Gareth Emery.

Monstercat started 2017 strong with the launch of a massive anti-bullying campaign in accordance with the release of Gareth Emery and Standerwick’s “Saving Light,” raising thousands of dollars for an anti-bullying foundation called Ditch The Label.

February brought the label’s first-ever platinum record recognition for marshmello’s 2016 release, “Alone,” which has garnered millions of streams across platforms to date.

As festival season approached, the Monstercat team ramped up their efforts for shows at Amsterdam Music Event, EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland, E3, PAX East and Miami Music Week.

In the midst of festival season, Monstercat announced a partnership with Rocket League that resulted in the label releasing an album for the video game. The 18-song compilation featured songs from Slushii, Notaker, Tristam, WRLD, and more, and was released in accordance with the game’s two-year anniversary.

They capped off a successful summer by opening their headquarter doors in Vancouver for a Monstercat Compound event. The street party served as an opportunity for the label to recognize the community that has supported them over the years with free performances by Robotaki, Conro, Going Quantum and Grant.

In November, the team continued their worldwide reach with multiple shows in China, including a residency at Asgard Nightclub in Beijing that featured performances by JOYRYDE, Delta Heavy, Pegboard Nerds and Lookas.

As 2017 draws to a close, recognition for the label is coming in from all sides of the music industry. SoundCloud recognized Unlike Pluto‘s “Everything Black” as their Top Electronic Track of 2017, and the track was also Monstercat’s most-streamed on Spotify, amassing more than 10 million streams on the platform. Two weeks ago, the label turned the power over to the fans and asked them to vote on their top Monstercat tracks of the year. After a short voting period, listeners selected label OGs Pegboard Nerds’ track “Heaven Let Us Down” as their favorite release of 2017.

As years go by and music trends shift faster than most can keep up with, the Canadian label proves time and time again that they have finger on the pulse of the next best thing in electronic and dance music. By exposing their listeners to an unimaginable range of music from some of the industry’s most talented innovators, the Monstercat team has established themselves as fearless trailblazers in an unpredictable industry.

To celebrate their incredible year, Monstercat called on Dan Scarcelli, Head of Programming for the label’s weekly Call of The Wild show, to whip up this vicious mix packed with some of their hottest releases to date. Appropriately, the mix serves as the 200th edition of our long-standing AXIS mix series.

WARNING: Dancing Astronaut is not responsible for damage caused by spontaneous speaker combustion or reckless headbanging. Listen at your own risk.

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Kasbo – Snow In Gothenburg

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Since his breakout with “World Away“—released in 2015 on ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective—Swedish producer Kasbo has made quick work of developing a distinct sound. He’s since remixed artists from Big Gigantic to Vance Joy and spent time touring with the likes ofOdesza, San Holo, and Slow Magic. The producer’s spring touring schedule is still being fleshed out, but he has already been announced to play Hangout Festival and two weekends at Electric Forest.

On his newest single, “Snow In Gothenburg,” Kasbo showcases his artistically sensitive shadow, one that has lurked in the melodies of his tracks for years now. Drawing on influences in melancholic house, the song is an interpersonal journey full of atmospheric synths and waning vocals.

“The song itself is about loneliness and isolation, and the freedom of coming to terms with those feelings” says Kasbo of the track.  “Seeing the beauty of realizing that everyone has their own ways to go in life and that not everyone is supposed to have someone.”

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Louis Futon – Restless Sea ft Opia

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Louis Futon has been a remix machine of late, with recent flips of Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean, and Tyler, The Creator pointing his sonic compass into a distinctly R&B/hip-hop driven direction. For the producer’s newest single, out now via ODESZA‘s Foreign Family Collective, Futon has enlisted the chill, soulful vocal talents of progressive rock trio Opia.

The track, “Restless Sea,” is a chill trap ballad with vocals that call upon an R&B aesthetic and instrumentals that fuse this sound with a smooth alternative rock vibe. To match their soaring, gritty vocals, and highly metaphorical lyrics, Opia’s contribution to the track’s overall sound design delves to the deepest depths of effortless sincerity. Most of all, “Restless Sea” spotlights Futon’s love for the electric guitar, with passionate arpeggiated riffs over each drop that builds nicely over the track’s slow pounding drum work, highlighting the song’s deeply harmonic quality.

The entire track is a stunningly balanced journey into emotionally-driven soundscapes and genre-fusing future bass, with all the atomic energy of a fission bomb.

“I’ve been a fan of Opia for a long time and met DJ and Cole when I moved out to LA. I wanted to combine both of our sounds to make something big. This song turned out to be a personal favorite of mine, I’m a sucker for massive guitar riffs though.”

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ODESZA’s ‘A Moment Apart’ is evocative, organic, and profoundly resilient [Album Review]

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Tomorrow marks the exact three-year mark since ODESZA released their second LP, In Return. Today, September 8, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight have stepped out of the woodwork for their third full-length album, A Moment Apart, out on their Foreign Family Collective imprint.

The relentless touring that followed ODESZA’s sophomore LP gave way to rainy Seattle studio sessions in the winter of 2016, with finishing touches being made earlier this spring. The result is a 16-track treasure trove of indie-electronic gems that represents ODESZA’s artistic evolution and their penchant for raw experimentation.

“This newest album, I think, is a lot more about growth and progression and maturity. I don’t think we’re trying to reinvent the wheel, its really just about us pursuing our sound to the fullest,” Mills revealed in a recent interview.

Building upon their Pacific Northwest folk-inspired sound, ODESZA’s A Moment Apart plays with weighted atmospheres and shimmering synth lines while invoking familiar feelings of nostalgia, optimism and hope. “We kind of rediscovered [our] sound, in a sense, and reconnected to it,” says Knight, “It has flavors of what was, but is also something new and progressive.”

odesza-press

Photo courtesy of Avi Loud.

The album, is without a doubt, a statement that ODESZA’s dynamic range is worthy of pop mainstream attention. Only time will tell, but there are two thematic qualities as to why the LP works so seamlessly: close attention to form and genre, and a dedication to organic experimentation.

What is immediately evident off the Seattle-based duo’s humble masterpiece is its stunning ingenuity and its delicate balance between the ebullient and ethereal, from it’s dreamlike melodies and glitchy sun-kissed vocals to it’s crunchy drums with their large sweeping bass lines.

Take the album’s first couple of instrumental tracks, “A Moment Apart” and “Boy,” which ODESZA has been teasing in their live sets since early spring. The tracks stand as the instrumental launching pad for blasting off into ODESZA’s rich, corporeal sound – one which collapses both time and space dimensions – wrapping the listener into a cocoon of emotional longing for what was, what is, and what has yet to come.

As the album progresses, a clear picture is painted. A story begins to emerge in sound. Rather than making a statement of longing for summer, as with their previous Summer’s Gone LP in 2012, Mills and Knight bring listeners with them on an emotive, cyclical journey through the four seasons.

The album’s twelfth track, “Thin Floors and Tall Ceilings,” resembles the dark, rainy winters of the Pacific Northwest, while, at the same time, expressing a longing for summer, all packaged into one chilling ballad. With indecipherable synthesized vocals, which sound as if they’ve been rinsed through an old phonograph, the top lines slowly building over a powerful string section and pulsating timpani drums.

“Cuidad,” the following track, carries with it the warmth and glowing fervor of summer, with it’s more scattered tempos and upbeat appeal. The result is a playful track that is simultaneously lighthearted and fun while being both dark and daring, uplifting and, at times, melancholy.

Speaking to Dancing Astronaut on the LP’s development, Knight referred to A Moment Apart as the full embodiment of the seasons in Seattle, noting how location has an immense impact on their sound:

“Seattle is known for it’s kind of rock and folk and kind of indie scene so a lot of those elements make it into [our] music. And this album specifically is very organic and I think we were trying to hold on to more organic instrumentation and I think that is due a lot to where we come from.”

A Moment Apart is chock so full of rich narratives, and pulls from so many complimentary genres that one can easily see how they all come together into a seamless story arch. Chalk it up to Clay and Harrison’s expert understanding of form as well as their dedication to integrating live instrumentation while on tour, which includes their Northwest-bred band – complete with a crisply rehearsed drum line, a horn section, and lead guitarist and old college buddy, Sean Kusanagi, who also doubles as their filmmaker.

The album’s very organic, very introspective nature actually belies the raw energy of ODESZA’s consistently sold-out live shows. This live ethos cuts across the new album in dynamic, layered songs with raw overtones and cinematic appeal, such as the RY X-assisted track, “Corners Of The Earth,” the instrumental track “Meridian,” and the all-Spanish ballad featuring The Chamanas “Everything At Your Feet.”

Time and again, Mills and Knight have shown deep drive and humility for working with others. Indeed, the entire assemblage of work is filled with radio-ready hit collaborations with the likes of Russian pop-folk sensation, Regina Skeptor, and the reigning
“King of Soul,” Leon Bridges.

Clay and Harrison have admitted that they prefer to work with lesser known names for how they aren’t tied down to one specific sonic direction and thus more often willing to experiment with their organic soundscapes. Yet, perhaps the album’s most captivating song is the haunting Regina Skeptor ballad, “Just a Memory,” which the boys revealed, after an intimate hotel rehearsal with Skeptor, they completely stripped down the instrumentals to capture the raw energy with which she imbued the hotel room.

ODESZA and Leon Bridges Eric Tra

Leon Bridges performs with ODESZA at Bumbershoot. Photo courtesy of Eric Tra.

While it has received mixed fan reviews, the album’s fourteenth track, “Falls,” is an inspirational, uplifting ditty which fuses dream-pop ingredients with elements of world. With anthemic lyrics that are as palpable as it’s sound design, the track spotlights the smooth, soaring vocals of Sasha Sloan over a gentle horn section and the electronic duo’s signature drum work. Each added sonic layer becomes a new piece of the story that wraps the listener up into new plot lines rooted not in words and lyrics, but inside musical form itself.

A Moment Apart stands as a nostalgic and spiritually-adept magnum opus of lyrical and instrumental sound. It is a collection of tracks that are as euphoric and expressive as they are evocative and substantive. One might, therefore, go as far as to call the album a crowning achievement of ODESZA’s career, in its commitment to both musical convention and organic experimentation as well as in how it ventures to piece together spatial and temporal layers into a larger sonic storyline. Certainly, it is ODESZA’s most narrative endeavor to date. Or, in other words, it is the most nuanced, intentional, and fully-fleshed out project on their resume.

What stands out most about the album, however, is how it is overwhelmingly corporeal. A Moment Apart is, more than anything else, an immersive, embodied, all-consuming exploration of the inner self, one which begins at the ears and delves deep into the psyche, catapulting its listeners into both the happy and hard times, while tapping those universal memories to remind us we are both one and the same. The album reminds us that the human experience is as joyous as it is painful. It is both gritty and soft, both bleak and wildly colorful, cinematic and emotional, imaginative and real, raw, organic, and profoundly resilient.

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10 things we learned from ODESZA’s Twitter Q&A

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As ODESZA continue their ascent to larger-than-life status, it’s two front members, Clayton and Harrison, held an hourlong Twitter Q&A late last week. Fans bombarded the #AskOdesza hashtag in 140 characters or less, asking everything from personal favors such as playing at their wedding, to details on their forthcoming September album, to evene the possibility of a specially-curated ODESZA musical festival.

We’ve gathered ten of our favorite responses below:

1 . A typical day in the life for ODESZA consists of three essential elements.

2. There is another “NO.SLEEP” mix on the way.

3. The song that took the longest to make off the new album…

4. How they handle the transition from producing music to orchestrating their amazing live shows.

5. The possibility of a Foreign Family Festival is being discussed.

6. How long they plan to keep making music.

7. The craziest thing to happen during one of their sets was…

8. They’ll play at a fan’s wedding, under a certain condition…

9. Their digital audio workstation consists of…

10. Their “big break” wasn’t a big step at all, but more a series of baby steps to success.

Featured image via Ilesoniq.

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Big Wild announces Invincible EP with new single, “I Just Wanna”

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After spending the majority of 2016 dominating the festival circuit, California-based artist Big Wild enters the new year with a recently announced 5-track EP titled Invincible, out February 10th on Odesza’s Foreign Family Collective label. In tandem with the EP’s announcement, he’s also released the second track off the project “I Just Wanna,” joining the titular single, “Invincible” ft. iDA Hawk. The new track follows suit with Big Wild’s unrestrained display of impassioned energy by melding together lustrous synth work and sweetly cut vocals, while still diffusing a fresh tinge of adrenalized percussion.

To what is building out to be another breakthrough year for Big Wild, the rising producer has also announced his Invincible spring tour where he’ll be playing 27 dates from March to May. Pre-sale tickets are available now and general on-sale is Friday, January 13th.

“I Just Wanna” is featured in our Hot 25 Spotify playlist. Follow us for the hottest tracks in electronic music, updated every Friday.

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