Step aside, men: Study of pop music finds rise in sadness, upward trend in female chart toppers

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I’m gunna let you finish, Kanye, but uh…

Female singers with upbeat dance songs are far more likely to top the music charts nowadays, according to new findings by researchers at the University of California, Irvine. The study also found a downward musical trend in happiness and an increase in sadness.

The study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, examined 500,000 popular songs released in the UK over a three decade period, from 1985 and 2015, and categorized them each based on their mood.

“‘Happiness’ is going down, ‘brightness’ is going down, ‘sadness’ is going up, and at the same time, the songs are becoming more ‘danceable’ and more ‘party-like,’” co-author Natalia L. Komarova told The Associated Press.

Of course, researchers emphasize that a gradual decrease in the average “happiness” index does not mean that all successful songs in 1985 were “happy” and all successful songs in 2015 were “sad.” They were looking for average trends in the acoustic properties of music and the moods describing the sounds.

The overall mood shifts in the songs’ musical elements fall in line with past studies that have examined lyrical content changes over the years. They have found that positive emotions, on the whole, have declined; while indicators of loneliness and social isolation have increased.

“So it looks like, while the overall mood is becoming less happy, people seem to want to forget it all and dance,” says Komarova, a mathematician and evolutionary biologist who led the study. She added, “The public seems to prefer happier songs, even though more and more unhappy songs are being released each year.”

Some songs with a low happiness index in 2014 include “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith, “Whispers” by Passenger and “Unmissable” by Gorgon City. Songs from 1985 with a high happiness index include “Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen, “Would I Lie to You?” by the Eurythmics, and “Freedom” by Wham!

Additionally, researchers found the most successful musical genres of recent are dance and pop, with a “clear downward trend” in the success of rock, beginning in the early 2000s.

The researchers also found that the “maleness” of songs — or the frequency of male singers in popular music — has decreased over the last 30 years. “Interestingly, successful songs exhibit their own distinct behavior: They tend to be happier, more party-like, less relaxed and more likely to be sung by a woman than most.”

The same trends hold true for the US market, based on a preliminary review of data by researchers. A few 2014 hits that meet the study’s qualifications for successful pop music include Clean Bandit‘s “Rather Be,” Taylor Swift‘s “Shake It Off,” and Meghan Trainor‘s “All About That Bass.”

The findings arrive at a critical time when the music industry is grappling with issues of gender inequality, where men are overwhelmingly dominating the visible ranks of artists and songwriters, despite studies such as these, which show a strong cultural/consumer yearning for female dance/pop hits in the contemporary global music climate.

Read the fully study by UC Irvine here.

H/T: Stereogum

NMF Roundup: Like Mike releases a solo track, Hardwell manufactures the next mainstage hit, and more

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Like Mike goes solo with new release “Rewind” with smooth vocals and pop chords. “Rewind” is the perfect smooth summer track that is sure to grace radio stations across the world.

Todd Heller brings pac man to music with gaming synths and interesting chord combinations with cutting drops in new release “Ride It.”

Melodic chords flow through Max Styler‘s latest commercial house release with Ella Boh’s captivating vocals.

Hardwell has created an absolutely tremendous production with newest track “Earthquake” with Harrison.

Oliver Tree combines house, rap, and a commanding electronic backdrop to create unique track “Movement.”

Madnap puts a future pop spin on Win and Woo’s “Chasing Tail.”

Duo Super8 & Tab team up for a new single “Burn” featuring Hero Baldwin, which will be a part of their upcoming album Reformation Part 2.

VIRTU remixed Mark Johns and Imad Royal’s “Heart Shaped Box,” which initially slows down the tempo but falls into a bass and dubstep infused crazy drop.

Xan Griffin is doing a Zodiac series where he releases a song based upon each sign. He has released “Taurus” featuring Tedy for the grounded and practical Taurus’s out there.

Gorgon City has created the next dance floor sensation with new release “Go Deep.”

Mike Williams tries his hand at Commercial House and succeeds in new track “Give It Up” with its catchy drop and compelling vocals.

Shaun Frank and Krewella make a formidable production trio given the quality of new release “Gold Wings.”

In an unlikely remix, Steve Aoki tries his hand at remixing Matoma‘s “Lonely.” His remix of the track adds a bouncy chord progression that is hard to get out of the listener’s head.

Ravell teams up with Jack Trades and BAER for house tune “Feelin’ You.”

Slushii proves his tracks will never lose their bounce in new song”Through the Night” featuring Hatsune Miku with its gaming synths and high pitched chords.

Dubstep fans can get their fix with KAI WACHI‘s new two track ICHOR EP.

Lost Kings go full on pop as they continue to experiment with genres in new song “When We Were Young.”

Photo Credit: Love This Pic

Snowbombing Canada returns for second year as winter sports and dance music wonderland (photography by Justine Trickett & Giles Smith)

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Snowbombing Canada 2018

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Insomniac fills out robust 2018 EDC week with over 25 artists and 14 new shows

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Insomniac added over 25 new artists and 14 events to the fifth annual EDC week in Las Vegas, coinciding with the festival’s 22nd annual installment. 

In doing so, the festival welcomes 14 signature party experiences during the week of May 16–23, including the hardstyle focused Basscon Pool Party and two dubstep-fueled Bassrush parties, along with a variety of diverse headliners throughout the week. New programming includes a vast array of parties across the cities hottest nightclubs, including Elephante, Porter Robinson, NGHTMRE, Gryffin, Hot Since 82, Illenium, Yellow Claw, and many more.

Full programming details, more information, and tickets are available here.

Snowbombing Canada announces headliners ODESZA and Cardi B for 2018 edition

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Photo Credit: Andrew Whitton

From Montreal’s Igloofest, to the gone-but-never-forgotten Brrrrr Winter Music Festival in Toronto, Canadians are incredibly fortunate to host a plenitude of outdoor-winter events throughout the years. Though winter is close to being over and the inaugural start to festival season approaches, Snowbombing Canada is here to remind everyone that there’s never a wrong time to party in the snow.

Fusing the worlds of winter-sports and dance music into a winter-wonderland for four days and nights, Snowbombing Canada takes place from April 5–9 amidst Sun Peaks Valley; one of the hidden treasures of Canada’s West coast. With success in booking distinguished and complementary dance/hip-hop headliners, last year’s event saw Kaskade and Ludacris close out the event.

As the 2018 edition nears, fan-favorite duo ODESZA and hip-hop queen Cardi B are set to headline the “Forest Stage”, appropriately located in between the panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and towering trees. Boasting a plethora of additional acts like Black Tiger Sex Machine, Gorgon City and Troyboi, Snowbombing has curated a detailed lineup that suits the festival’s exuberant vibe.

Snowboarders and skiers are treated to the best of both worlds; shredding during the day and dancing at night. Activities like ‘Alpine Yoga’, ‘The Snowlympics’ and some cheeky ‘Chair Life Speed Dating’ add unique attributes that turn guests from attendees, into Snowbombing veterans.

Snowbombing Canada 2018

Festival passes, accommodation and transportation are all available online

Gorgon City release bass-driven house tune, ‘Motorola’

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Gorgon-City motorola

The days of the Motorola Razr are long gone, but aren’t forgotten.

UK duo Gorgon City have just released a bass-driven house tune called “Motorola,” in which the vocalist encourages an admirer to put their number in his Motorola.

The sultry vibe of the track glides along with the assistance of a deep bassline and subtle old-school phone ringtone samples. Evoking the nostalgia of the days when Motorola phones reigned supreme, Gorgon City have crafted a catchy, groovy number guaranteed to take over dance floors across the globe.

They’ve also released an accompanying hour-long “Motorola” mix, which can be found here.

What will Coachella’s EDM programming look like this year?

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What will Coachella’s EDM programming look like this year?

Coachella‘s status as a music festival has grown to become larger than life since its humble, European-inspired beginnings in 1999, and their yearly lineup is both a cultural statement regarding the current state of music and a presage to future trends.

The behemoth brand has always integrated electronic music into their programming, with artists like The Chemical Brothers, Paul Oakenfold, Moby, Kraftwerk, Aphex Twin, and even Daft Punk helping to shape its reputation as an audacious tastemaker when it comes to curation. Until Coachella, electronic music had a hard time making it across the pond — it certainly never occupied such prime real estate as desert fields filled with upwards of 60,000 attendees.

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Coachella’s longstanding relationship with EDM has been as mercurial as the multifaceted genre itself, with its programming interests shifting in conjunction with the tastes of festival attendees. 2010 saw Tiësto occupy a sub-headlining set, playing after Muse on the festival’s main stage. Swedish House Mafia’s seminal 2012 performance has become solidified as one of mainstream house’s defining moments as a genre. Calvin Harrisiconic set in 2016 marked the first year that an EDM artist has headlined Coachella, a precedent that has since shaped the festival’s programming ethos. Its most recent iteration saw the most electronic artist names in both the second line and undercard areas of its lineup in its entire history.

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So, what will EDM look like at Coachella 2018?

As always is the case, Coachella’s internal forums and sub-Reddits have been crawling with speculation around the lineup since the end of last year’s festival in April. However, 2018 has been more silent in terms of credible rumors than in recent years. 33 names on the 2017 bill were confirmed by this time in 2016, including all three headliners. This year, a mere 8 names are confirmed, with only Beyoncé confirmed as a headliner due to her unexpected cancellation.

The Chainsmokers‘ potential elevation to headliner status catalyzed a lot of buzz earlier in the year, for example, but these rumors have since been proven insubstantial at best. Such hypotheses beg the question: Who aside from Calvin Harris does have the EDM star power to headline a festival as large as Coachella? One could only name a few potential candidates, really: the new ‘it boy’ Marshmello, Daft Punk, Zedd, and maybe Major Lazer or Skrillex off of a new album.

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The Sahara Tent

Most of the Coachella’s EDM selection tends to be confined to one of North America’s most storied destinations for the genre: the Sahara Tent. Since the festival’s recent attendance expansion, it has gone to great lengths to increase the amount of space between stages, removing bottlenecks and increasing traffic flow. However, it failed to predict that the jump in attendance would largely be from those looking to quench their collective thirst for EDM.

Massive acts like DJ Snake & Martin Garrix were placed one after the other in 2017, rather than being scheduled in conjunction with one another to help ease crowding. The same was true of Sahara mainstays Dillon Francis and Steve Angello, both of which played there once more at peak hours.

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The likely reason for this lack of counter programming stems from the fact that fans pay a great deal of money to see as much of their music of choice as possible, so directly countering EDM with more EDM would likely upset Coachella’s core demographic. Still, the Sahara Tent is nearly uninhabitable after sundown, and fans can’t even break into the tent to catch their favorite sets if this scheduling methodology persists.

Coachella’s online forum users have pointed towards the prospect of the festival adding another gargantuan tent similar to the current Sahara Tent, which could showcase similar styles of music while lessening the bottleneck effect in the Sahara. A more plausible option, though, would be the expansion of the current Sahara Tent to accommodate a larger number of attendees.

Regardless of how they tackle it, Goldenvoice must, and likely will address the overflow of wide-eyed festival goers flooding into the Sahara Tent in dangerous fashion.

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Second Liners

With so many dance titans occupying the second line of Coachella’s roster over the past couple years, its seems like the event has almost jumped the gun just a bit. Booking so many of EDMs hottest names means that there are now far less to look at for 2018, assuming there are no repeats — quite the conundrum indeed.

ODESZA appears to be one of Coachella fans’ most sought-after artists. Fresh off of a new album and accompanying tour, which saw them incorporate a drum line and other exciting elements into the mix, the seminal indie/pop electronica duo is likely going to claim one of Coachella’s top spots come Spring of next year. One could even go so far as to wager that they will fill the third name on the second line and occupy the same main stage sunset spot that Porter Robinson & Madeon occupied in 2017.

Since Kygo’s ascension to national stardom that essentially began in 2015, the Norwegian giant has garnered hundreds of millions of streams and has since gone on to popularize the “tropical house” sound and captured the attention of the masses. A key second line slot seems fitting for Kygo in 2018 — a step up from his 2015 booking — and the artist certainly has the clout to headline the festival’s second biggest stage: the Outdoor Theatre.

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Eric Prydz is another name that hasn’t played Coachella in years, and has since accrued a massive increase in popularity among the dance music community. With the release of Opus in and the debut of his new Epic 5.0 stage setup, Prydz is certainly a candidate for high placement on Coachella’s 2018 poster — there’s even a good chance he could occupy a similar after-dark set on the Outdoor theatre, à la Justice in 2017. Or, perhaps Prydz could headline the legendary Sahara Tent during a main stage set from The Chainsmokers.

One of trap music’s most elusive figures, RL Grime, has been on his headlining Nova tour for the last two months, which features groundbreaking visuals that are rarely seen in the trap world, or EDM world at large. The LA native, who has redefined trap music’s fundamental style, always ensures his sets are filled with a tangible verve. He could very well close out the Sahara Tent or perform second to last on Coachella’s Outdoor Theatre, especially if he releases an album in the foreseeable future.

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Finally, after their meteoric rise to mainstream recognition since Group Therapy, Above & Beyond is also primed to their long-awaited return to the Polo Fields — maybe for 2018 after the release of their Common Ground album. The trio is known for filling their sets with tear-inducing moments aided by sentimental visuals, and like RL Grime, would make for perfect counter programming in the Sahara Tent or placement at the Outdoor Theatre.

GRiZ has never performed at Coachella and, fresh off of the release of his newest album Good Will Prevail, the Michigan DJ and saxophone master is definitely evolving into an excellent booking choice. With live, instrumental-centric sets that are full of insurmountable energy, it’s only fitting that GRiZ occupies a coveted slot on the lineup. GRiZ seems to be on the cusp of second liners — he may be closer to filling a high spot on the third line — regardless, he might make his debut at the 2018 iteration.

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Yuma Yuma Yuma

As Coachella’s electronic programming progressed through the years, organizers soon felt a need to incorporate a tent that captured the essence of the underground dance niche. Thus, the Yuma Tent was birthed in 2013. The stage’s indoor setup features awe-inspiring lighting schemes, air conditioning, a giant disco ball, and even giant beds that sore feet can head to rest and soak in the sounds of top underground talent.

In years past, the Yuma Tent has featured such legendary acts as J.E.S.u.S (Jackmaster, Eats Everything, Skream, and Seth Troxler), Richie Hawtin, The Belleville Three (Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson), Bicep, and Ben Klock, to name just a few.

So who will DJ in the legendary tent this year? Our bets are on the return of artists like those that comprise J.E.S.u.S. Others that are due for a return include Maceo Plex, Carl Craig, and Dubfire.

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Coachella’s Yuma tent selections continue to break ground within the electronic side of the festival sphere, but it will need to expand upon its current scheduling methodology in order to keep up with the growing factions that divide ‘popular’ underground leaders — like Hot Since 82, Solomun, and The Martinez Brothers — and their lesser-known counterparts.

Will bookers finally decide to pay homage to such pivotal acts as Len Faki, Amelie Lens, Rødhåd, Detroit Swindle, and The Black Madonna? The aforementioned underground acts have not typically made the cut in recent years; whether this is due to them not receiving an offer, or simply not wishing to play a mainstream festival like Coachella, is entirely unknown.

One thing that is for certain is that they would do well to expand their horizons in terms of the styles of techno and house they book, given the apparent lack of diversity in the Yuma Tent’s recent years. Ultimately, the stage is still defining its identity after only half a decade of existence, so who knows what it will have in store come April 2018.

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Undercard Hopes

Coachella’s most consistent aspect is its stellar undercard, and electronic music within this area of its roster continues to act as an integral force in its success. Acts like Nicolas Jaar, Tycho, Galantis, Kaytranada, Jai Wolf, and Four Tet all occupied its undercard last year. When one considers that even some of electronic music’s most established and hottest acts didn’t even make the second line, the festival’s depth becomes entirely apparent.

This year’s bill has the potential to showcase an array of tantalizing dance music up-and-comers. Some acts we predict will appear on the 2018 undercard include Virtual Self (Porter Robinson’s alter alias), Ekali, Big Wild, Gorgon City, Malaa, and Oliver, to name a few.

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A Cultural Phenomenon

Coachella holds strong in the festival sphere of influence, continually expanding its attendance rates and selling out each year thanks to bookings like Lady Gaga, Radiohead, Outkast, Kendrick Lamar, and more.

The festival is a glaring manifestation music’s current state and where its headed: this is especially true for its electronic programming, in which its talent buyers are faced with a more arduous task than ever to remain cutting-edge for the upcoming rendition.

Coachella’s upcoming lineup is most definitely going to be incredible no matter what, and we’re excited to see who makes the cut.

Gorgon City end the year with another jaw-dropping EP, ‘Groove On The Vinyl’

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Between launching their very own imprint REALM, announcing their expansive 22-date “Kingdom Tour,” and taking time to talk with DA on their ubiquitous sound, Gorgon City continues to develop masterpieces in the studio. Their latest creative endeavor comes as their fourth EP project, dubbed Grooves on The Vinyl, out now on REALM.

Totaling four tracks in length, the EP taps into the Detroit tech-house underground to bring these musical tastes into commercial club spaces. Minimalistic builds, rugged bass lines, and steely beats continue to make up Gorgon City’s signature sound stamp. From the 80s electronica inspired synth patterns of “Trouble” to the euphoric releases of “Get Together,” Grooves on The Vinyl does well to remind listeners of Gorgon City’s passionate mission for future-forward house.

 

Read More:

Gorgon City talk new music, DJ sets, and club culture [Interview]

WATCH: Catch head counselor Claude VonStroke’s full set from Dirtybird Campout West

Stream Duke Dumont and Gorgon City’s uplifting new collaboration, ‘Real Life’

 

 

5 artists you need to see at BEMF 2017

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5 artists you have to see at BEMF 2018

The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival is coming up next week, and although there are going to be plenty of incredible artists bringing their unique flavor to the three-day festival, we have handpicked 5 artists that you absolutely cannot miss. From bass-heavy showcases to deep house dynamos, the 2018 BEMF will once again assemble some of the most innovative names in dance music to the best venues all over Brooklyn. From October 12-14, BEMF’s tremendous array of artists will take over the borough – grab your tickets for BEMF here.

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Tokimonsta

Tokimonsta is ready to return to the forefront of electronic music after her recent battle with the serious brain disease Moyamyo. With her new album Lune Rouge out now, the Young Art label head is set to give fans a look into her extremely personal project, which she crafted during her recovery. BEMF goers will surely not want to miss Tokimonsta’s killer debut of her fresh new tracks, like “Don’t Call Me (feat. Yuna).” Tokimonsta will be taking the stage at House Of Yes on October 12.

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Justin Martin

Dirtybird figurehead Justin Martin always brings the party wherever he goes. The San Fransico powerhouse producer/DJ is infamous for throwing wild sets full of booty-shaking house beats. Justin has smashed festivals around the world from Shambhala to Oregon Eclipse Gathering, and now he has his sights set on BEMF. The icon has garnered a massive following of diehard fans and this set is definitely going to be one of the wildest of the weekend. Justin Martin will bring his one-of-a-kind style to Analog BKNY on October 14.
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Pete Tong

Pete Tong is one of the most well-respected tastemakers in the world of dance music. His BBC Radio 1 show has become a fundamental aspect of dance music culture, and the British DJ is by far one of the most influential people in the world of music as a whole. Whenever this living legend gets behind the decks you can bet that things are going to get hectic. It’s not every day that Pete makes appearances in the Big Apple so this set is definitely going to be a treat. Pete will be hitting Analog BKNY on October 13.

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Gorgon City

Since breaking onto the scene in 2012, Gorgon City have established themselves as one of the most innovative duos in the world of house. The London natives have become worldwide superstars thanks to their well developed UK garage sound and immersive live performances. Now they’re ready to change the game even further with their new label, Realm. Gorgon City will be headlining BEMF’s final Warehouse party with Green Velvet on October 14.
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Low End Theory

Low End Theory began as an experimental hip-hop and electronic club night in that takes place every Wednesday night at the Airliner in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. Residents Daddy Kev, Nobody, Gaslamp Killer and D-Styles will come together to bring an authentic West Coast bass vibe to the east coast and all bass music lovers will not want to miss this one. Catch Low End Theory at Paper Box on October 13.

Gorgon City talk new music, DJ sets, and club culture [Interview]

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Gorgon City have already reached great heights relatively early on in their career, yet it seems as though they are still just getting started. Shortly after Foamo (Kye Gibbon) and RackNRuin (Matt Robson-Scott) began gaining a little local traction in their native London, their combined effort swiftly propelled them to the top of the global dance scene. Now doubling as revered performers and chart-topping tastemakers, the British duo has big plans for the future.

The dynamic duo were part of an important movement in electronic music in the early 2010s, helping spur a global acceptance of house music into popular culture alongside acts like Duke Dumont, Disclosure, and Route 94. While America may have taken an extra moment to come around to this new sound, the movement has become intercontinental, with a ubiquitous presence in clubs and at festivals. Singles like “Ready For Your Love” and “All Four Walls” have definite mass appeal, though ultimately it would be unfair to pigeonhole the artists into their approachable sound. Gorgon City are here to represent and uphold the underground culture, while also making catchy music with quality songwriting:

“We love to be able to do a track that gets on the charts and the radio and the BBC playlist, but also we love playing at Amnesia every Tuesday and playing techno and house to thousands of people. We don’t really see ourselves in the commercial scene or the underground scene, we just see us as Gorgon City, like the act in itself. But we love being in the house music kind of family of DJs that we’re friends with. People we see in Ibiza every week, people like MK, Duke Dumont, and Solardo and people like that. We’re part of the same scene, we play together all the time. We might have a bit more commercial aspect to our brand but we’re still in that scene, in the UK house music world and we definitely feel part of it.”

A distinctly London act, both members of Gorgon City grew up on the vibrant jungle, drum ‘n’ bass, and garage scenes of the British capital. It was in these grassroots scenes that Gorgon City realized their desire to be involved in the scene: “It was those raves that really made us want to be DJs…When you see it happening at that young age, it’s like this crazy, mad world.” The duo’s music pays obvious homage to the past while maintaining a contemporary and innovative edge to their sound as a result.

Gorgon City are now exploring all the options that the scene has to offer after their debut album was met with wild success. Coming off a residency at Amnesia in Ibiza and a live show with Rudimental, the DJs are returning to the road for a tour of DJ sets across the United States and Canada, all while producing music for their upcoming project. Dancing Astronaut had a chance to sit down with Matt Robson-Scott and talk about club culture and new music just before they depart for on their North American tour.

You guys are heading out on a new North American tour of DJ sets, is there a different mentality behind your DJ sets as opposed to your live shows?

We DJ kind of constantly, whether we’re doing the live show or not, we’re always DJing. Whether its in Ibiza or at after parties for the live show. We basically play a lot of unreleased material, that what we’re going to be bringing to the tour in the States because we haven’t been there for a while so there will be a lot of new music from us in our studio, also from all the producers we’re loving at the moment. Also, we’ve got our weekly radio show, Kingdom, which we showcase some of the acts that we support, and also some will actually be supporting us on the tour. People like Camelphat, Solardo, Detlef, and like, we just bring an aesthetic of house and techno, tech house, some deep house as well. We’re bringing loads of amazing artists with us, its going to be like a proper event. Each party isn’t just going to be about us. Its going to be about all the acts that are with us. We’ve got really high caliber DJs coming with us from the UK and America, so its gonna be a fun tour with a lot of great shows.

What are your favorite cities and venues to play, and are there any specific places you’re excited to return to?

We always have an amazing time in San Diego; we’ve got an amazing following there. I don’t really know why, we just feel very welcome there and our shows sell out really fast every time. I think it might have something to do with CRSSD Festival, we’ve always had an in with those guys, and we did a great headline show a couple years ago there, maybe that helps. Also, we love playing in all the major cities, like New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago. And also we loving coming to Austin, Texas. We love touring in America, and I can speak for Kye as well, I know he’s really looking forward to this tour. He can’t wait to get back out to America, so we’re really looking forward to it. It’s gonna be a big one.

Do you notice any differences between American and European crowds? Do you find that you have to play a little different or can you expect something similar no matter where you play?

Yeah, it’s pretty much similar nowadays. I think, like a few years ago, before the UK artists started really blowing up in America, people like Disclosure, Route 94, and us, there weren’t so many house and deep house nights, but now it definitely feels like America is kind of in the same place as the UK and Europe, maybe before they were kinda more into EDM shows, just maybe less awareness of housey that was popping off in the UK quite a few years ago. At that time, it felt like America was a little bit in a different time than Europe, but now it kind of feels like one big global house scene. It’s really good.

You guys are from London, which has such a rich history in house and techno. In some other interviews, you guys mentioned how much you love drum ‘n’ bass, grime and dubstep. What were the building blocks that inspired you to star making music? With all the great clubs around, were there any live shows in London that you went to that kind of set you on the path of making music?

I think, for the first really proper gig that I went to, I went to see Cypress Hill when I was like really young, like 13 with my brother. When I saw that live, I thought, “Wow this is amazing.” But then obviously, when I got old enough to get into clubs – well, I mean, I wasn’t old enough I had a fake ID when I was like 16. There used to be a venue in London called Bagley’s, which is like a big warehouse in King’s Cross. It basically had lots of mad jungle, old school hardcore, and sort of like drum & bass and garage raves like every weekend. It was like a really crazy place. And that really influenced me and my friends to really get into London underground music culture, and then start producing tunes in our bedrooms. I used to use my mum’s computer in my house with FruityLoops. It was those raves that really made us want to be DJs of drum & bass and jungle, and I think Kye is the same. When you see it happening at that young age, it’s like this crazy, mad world. It was even crazier back then as well, this was like 15 years ago when we first started going to these raves. They were pretty mad. It’s a shame, because those kinds of parties don’t really happen in that much London anymore, because its like, there are no venues left. They’ve gone to become luxury apartments, and all that stuff, there’s only a few clubs left.

You mention all of these clubs closing in London. There have also been restrictions on clubs in Ibiza dealing with noise restrictions and beach access. Are there any better ways for governments and dance music to work together, or do you think it’s a situation where we’ll always be at odds?

It’s been a problem since the beginning of dance music. Whether they’re illegal or legal, obviously the UK have had that problem when there was a repetitive beat order introduced in the 80s, any gathering with repetitive beats had to have a certain license. To be honest, it’s not always the government causing the problems. In London, it’s actually residents. They complain to the council and its not actually the government going out of their way to stop these clubs from carrying on being in business. People who live in the area who move in, they’re older or they just don’t like loud music and people being noisy outside their apartment. That’s the main problem that we have over here, mainly just people. It’s a shame, because they’re probably just old, angry Londoners who want everyone to be quiet and not have fun anymore. It sucks, but we just need to…I don’t know… just not be so greedy.

 

All these developers just want to turn these clubs and warehouse spaces into luxury apartments. Its just money. And it’s happening in the US too. In Brooklyn and all over America. It’s just greed man. In the society that we live in, people just want to make loads of money, and nightclubs don’t make much money. They’re there for people to have fun, and maybe some of them make money but you know, its not as much as luxury apartments. I think people just need to keep pushing and keep opening new clubs and trying to find spaces in dark and derelict places and keep going. It’s mad, because electronic music is the biggest it’s ever been globally, but all the clubs are closing. Where is everyone going to go to listen to this music? It feels like everyone is going to be using VR in their living room watching raves from an iPhone rather than being there in person. Hopefully that won’t happen, everyone just needs to have a bit of balls and take risks. It’s difficult to open a nightclub, it’s one of the hardest things to do in the world. The business is intense. It takes a lot of investment, it takes a lot of risk, but people who take the risk are the ones that are fighting for us to be able to party. I’d love to open a club in London but it’s a nightmare trying to get it all sorted.

Let’s switch gears, I want to talk about some of your guys’ music. You had a bunch of singles released for your upcoming album, Kingdom, but it’s been quiet recently aside from “Real Life” with Duke Dumont. What’s the plan for the rest of the album rollout? I heard it was originally supposed to be two parts is there anything we can expect from this project in the near future?

Yeah, so we’re actually launching a new track next week with our new label. We’re launching a record label called Realm next Friday. It’s going to be our avenue for underground tracks that aren’t necessarily going to come out on the album. So we just wanted to get that done, and that’s going to launch next week in time for the tour, so that’s really exciting. We’ve basically got another record that we’ve finished, it’s another album that’s going to be coming out before the end of the year, or early next year. It’s going to be kind of the record of Kingdom, but it might not have that name. It’ll be under the Kingdom identity but it might be under a different name. We’ve finished all the music and it sounds great, we’re really happy with it.

Speaking of your music in general, your quality songwriting has led to popular success that many electronic artists do not reach. However, your mentality for your music and shows seems very club oriented. So, when you’re kind of straddling that line, where do you guys see yourself in the scene?

We love being able to do both sides of it. We love to be able to do a track that gets on the charts and the radio and the BBC playlist, but also we love playing at Amnesia every Tuesday and playing techno and house to thousands of people. We don’t really see ourselves in the commercial scene or the underground scene, we just see us as Gorgon City, like the act in itself. But we love being in the house music kind of family of DJs that we’re friends with. People we see in Ibiza every week, people like MK, Duke Dumont, and Solardo and people like that. We’re part of the same scene, we play together all the time. We might have a bit more commercial aspect to our brand but we’re still in that scene, in the UK house music world and we definitely feel part of it.

Talking a little bit more about your songwriting, you guys have cited Massive Attack as a big influence, you’ve talked about Radiohead and Jimmy Napes as well, all of who use live instruments. Do you feel that using live instrumentation adds to your production experience?

It definitely helps, when we started the live show properly it definitely affected the way we produce music, because you start thinking about how we’re going to play each part live, how it’s going to work as a live song. We just kind of really wanted to have the opportunity to translate all of our songs into a live setting. And the way we make beats as well kind of changed a little bit. It also just gives us more confidence about jamming and not caring as much about basslines and chords and stuff. Sometimes we’ll just jam out with our drummer in a rehearsal space creating new songs and stuff. It’s added to our various techniques of producing music.

You guys have released a huge amount of official remixes of your stuff, and you guys remix a bunch of stuff on your own. Do you ever play out remixes of your own work?

We definitely do, we’ve been playing the Solardo remix of “Real Life” a lot this summer, we always play the Weiss remix of “Imagination” in our DJ sets. There are certain tracks that we really love. The reason that we choose these artists to remix our tracks is because we’re big fans of them. When they deliver a banging remix we support it and play it a lot. It’s amazing to get our favorite acts to remix us; we’re really lucky.

On the topic of DJs that you’re fans of, who are your favorite Djs, producers, or live acts out there right now?

A lot are on our lineup for our tour, people like Camelphat, they’re really killing it in the UK right now. Solardo obviously are smashing it. There’s a guy called Eli Brown, who’s really good. He’s got some new tracks out that you should check out, we’ve been supporting him a lot. Disciples are doing their thing over here too. But really anyone on our lineup.

Is there anything you want the people to know about the tour or the album?

Check out the label! Realm is launching on Friday with our track “Primal Call.” That’s going to be an interesting release. We’ve also got another track dropping soon after that, another underground one so keep an eye out for that one. And obviously check out gorgoncity.com for tour dates and tickets for the tour.

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