Summer and festival season might be approaching their close, but aren’t going down to easily. Artists across the dance music board are operating at full throttle, maintaining extensive tour schedules until the final moments and keeping the heat alive musically with an array of fresh singles and numerous gig recordings. Valentino Khan is one of those juggernauts keeping energy levels up, and he’s just granted fans with an expeditious release of his HARD Summer set.
Though the festival itself passed by not too long before Khan shared his hour of throbbing, house-based beats, it easily stands as a highlight of the season for the performer. The producer puts himself and his tastes on full display, whipping his young audience into a frenzy with his raucous brand of electronic. He also threw in a few choice originals from the season, including “Deep Down Low.” Originally broadcasted live on Insomniac Radio, his time behind the Green decks is officially immortalized for all to enjoy.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has reported that one person died and 23 were hospitalized at the 2018 edition of HARD Summer, which took place at Fontana, California’s Auto Club Speedway the first weekend of August.
Nineteen-year-old Andrew Cole Click from Tracy, California was taken to an area hospital on Sunday, Aug. 5, where he was later pronounced dead. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
“It is with great sadness that we have learned a festival attendee has passed away following HARD Summer this weekend. We extend our deepest sympathies to the individual’s loved ones, and we ask that you keep them in your thoughts. The health and safety of those who attend our events is HARD’s utmost priority, and we take every measure to create a safe and enjoyable environment. We have no further information at this time, but we encourage the community to come together, support each other, and always look out for one another in light of this tragedy.”
Twenty-three other attendees were hospitalized for various medical issues. According to Los Angeles’ ABC7, two women remain in the hospital and are continuing to receive treatment. Eleven festival-goers were arrested over the course of the weekend, primarily for drug-related incidents.
The 2018 edition of HARD Summer brought more than 150,000 people to the speedway over the course of its two days.
HARD Summer 2018 has come and gone — the festival’s first year without founder of the HARD brand Gary Richards (a.k.a. Destructo) at the helm — and all seemed to go as planned. Recruiting some of today’s top talent in house, future bass, dubstep, and hip-hop, the weekend featured some powerhouse back-to-back sets from Dillon Francis & Diplo, Zeds Dead & Jauz, and A-Trak & Baauer. Travis Scott celebrated the release of his new album, Astroworld, and Mija dropped another set that completely embodies her “Fk A Genre” mantra.
With more sets from Marshmello, Ghastly, Louis the Child, and others, this weekend marked the beginning of a new chapter for the HARD organization. Check out some of the top sets of the weekend below.
After announcing that he would debut his collaboration with 1788-L at HARD Summer on Twitter, Ekali piloted the promised ID during his set at the festival’s Green Stage on August 5.
The trap oriented number sources its intensity from wallops of potent bass and gritty, grabbing rhythmic halts. Although Ekali did not offer an official release date for the single just yet, the joint project from the Vancouver favorite and 1788-L packs a powerful sonic punch that proves that the collaboration’s formal arrival will be well worth the wait.
HARD Summer is amidst its 2018 takeover of the Auto Club Speedway, and even if fans are unable to make it to the festival itself, the action will be streamed exclusively via LiveXLive. In addition to streaming festival, there will be backstage content, interviews and more.
Just a week away from HARD Events’ bread and butter flagship event, HARD Summer Music Festival, the festival giant has announced the launch of its very own label, HARD Recs. In conjunction with the newly minted imprint’s launch, HARD has put together a meticulously curated HS18 compilation, consisting of the Aug. 4-5 festival’s familial faces, as well as some swiftly-rising newbies.
HARD has allowed Dancing Astronaut a first listen at Ducky‘s “Down Low,” off the compilation. DJing in various nightclubs since she was 13, Ducky is known for her eclectic style, oscillating between harrowing hardcore and lulling downtempo. “Down Low” is a menacing dubstep piece that pairs crashing synth layers with pitched up vocalizing for a rave-primed set list weapon that showcases Ducky’s head-turning style ahead of her upcoming HARD Summer outing.
LA-based producer Daktyl hits on some chill summer vibes in his new single, “Oscillate,” featuring Janelle Kroll. Released on Counter Records, the multi-instrumentalist has been planning this release for a while, having played the track at “live shows for a year and a half now” according to a Facebook post.
Building on an assortment of acoustics and smooth vocals from Kroll, Daktyl quickly brings in bouncy electronics, deep bass, and light drum hits. This track perfectly aligns Daktyl’s sound with the new trend of chill electronic/future bass music.
Bursting into 2018 with a U.S. tour and the release of his Riyaaz EP, Daktyl is set for a big year. He’ll join Enschway on his “Friendschway 3” Australia/New Zealand tour throughout the month of July before a big performance at HARD Summer 2018 in August.
DJ, producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, it’s no question that Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo, has risen to A-list status in the music and entertainment industry. So, it’s only fair that The Oxford Union — one of the world’s most prestigious debating societies — welcomes him as a guest on their Q&A series. Oxford Union has hosted a wide range of international guests at the University, ranging from prominent political figures to the Game of Thrones cast and John Mayer.
“I never imagined my career would take me somewhere like this.” – Diplo
In this 56-minute long Q&A, Diplo essentially sits down in front of a room of Oxford students (most of whom are itching for him to check out their USB or at the very least sign it), and explains who he is, what he does, and how he got there. For those readers who are unfamiliar with his back-story and are interested, this is probably as good as it gets. But for those who are well-informed on all things Diplo — DA has picked out eight facts that we found interesting about Pentz in this Q&A.
1. He almost drowned in the Ganges River because his crazy friend Brent said it was safe to jump in.
“I was for sure I was gonna die in this river…I remember seeing a little girl pointing at me from the riverside screaming that there’s a dead guy in the water.” This story stems from Diplo explaining his early days as a 19-year-old collecting records in India. “I decided I had to get rid of Brent, he was crazy.” (@ 3:30)
2. He paid for a $1000, 6-month trip to India by selling vinyl records in England.
He starts the Q&A by talking about his first time in England (in perfect context), explaining how he managed to travel around the country and sell 100 vinyl records that he collected from the depths of India. “Back then, people were actually buying and selling records.” (@ 6:00)
3. He never thought being a DJ could be considered a career.
“When I was younger there weren’t people that said you can make electronic music or you can be a DJ and that’s how you can live your life.” This stemmed from explaining why he moved to Philly after growing up in Florida, since you “kinda go there to die.” (@9:30)
4. To this day, his father still thinks he deals drugs.
He gets into talking about how as a young person it’s hard to get into a truly creative job while affording to pay the rent and such. He then asks the room if their parents are happy with them pursuing creative careers and while some are, it appears Mr. Pentz Sr. still doesn’t quite understand how his son pays the rent. (@11:15)
5. A writing opportunity for FADER turned into a trip to Brazil where he learned how to produce music.
After writing a cover story about Atlanta hip-hop, Pentz was given an opportunity to write about Brazil for the editor of FADER. However, the editor decided he was a much better writer and would write a story about Diplo going to Brazil. “I was fascinated by this music called baile funk…it’s a combination of almost heavy metal and miami bass.” He utilized the premise of a big magazine story to get into the studio with Brazilian artists and, without knowing any Portuguese, was able to communicate through technical music terms and learn production programs. (@ 13:00)
6. Tiesto experiences jaw pain from smiling so much.
No, we cannot actually confirm this, but damn if he doesn’t look so happy up there.
Tiësto images taken from his Facebook page
He did actually ask Diplo how he performs without the smiles, since (as fans will know) he’s always looking so calm and collected on the 1’s and 2’s. “Tiesto came by to me and he’s like ‘how do you always DJ…and like…you don’t haveta smile the whole time like I do…’ It’s a show sometimes…but it’s still fun for me.” (@22:30)
7. His very first gig involved “tape cassette DJing” and scaring families away from the pool.
A student in the audience asks about his very first gig, to which he explains how he had no idea what he was doing an ended up getting cut off by the hotel. “I played whatever records I had…I didn’t realize you had to create a rhythm and an environment.” He goes on to say how back then there were no real examples of who he could look up to as a DJ or how to make a living out of it. (@39:00)
8. His longest day job was at Subway…and he didn’t like it very much.
“We got robbed so many times I had to quit.” He reminisces on that experience in explaining how blessed he is to make music for a living. (@46:30)
HARD Summer is pulling out all the stops for the upcoming edition of the festival, led by one of the event’s most memorable lineups to date. Slated for August 4 – 5, and returning to a familiar venue at Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway, HARD’s flagship event is sticking to their tried and true playbook of marquee dance and hip-hop match ups, laced together by the underground’s finest newcomer talents, dropping off a lineup of over 70 acts. Best of all, 2018 now is officially the year of the back-to-back.
Additional firepower from Mija, k?d, Tokimonsta, Madam X, Joyryde and many more round out one of HARD’s best bookings to date. And with the festival boasting added amenities, updated safety and comfort features, plus a hilarious trailer that pins Diplo as the “Dawson’s Creek looking motherf****r” he is, we’re looking at what could be the most over-the-top edition of HARD Summer yet.
Gary Richards (aka Destructo) has been grinding his way through the music industry since the early 1990s, curating festivals such as Hard Summer, Holy Ship! and more recently, Friendship, a new music cruise experience.
Now, as president of the major event producer LiveStyle, he’s bringing a whole new music festival to Los Angeles called All My Friends. The festival is presented by the company’s entertainment brand, AMFAMFAMF, and will be situated in the heart of downtown LA’s Arts District at ROW DTLA. The area is a unique location for an event of this magnitude, as it is essentially a creative space and shopping district. Attendees can venture outside the festival grounds and will have access to premium shopping, restaurants and 30,000 square feet of local artwork.
The festivities will be a two-day endeavor on August 18-19. Early bird tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. PST on Thursday, April 12. Tickets can be found here and readers can visit ROW DTLA’s website for more information.