Jason Ross blends styles with new single, ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’

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Jason Ross blends styles with new single, ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’Dont Give Up On Me

Jason Ross has had a busy year — and he’s not done yet. The producer has released a new single titled “Don’t Give Up On Me” featuring previous Illenium vocalist Dia Frampton. Ross has made a name for himself over the past years thanks to his ability to merge progressive trance and melodic dubstep, and the producer recently landed a spot on Seven Lions‘ Journey 2 tour as a result.

Ross continues to keep things fresh with “Don’t Give Up On Me.” He melds a future bass drop with trance chords to create pounding notes that overtake listeners’ consciousness. Ross spoke about creating the track in an official release, saying, “The track started off as a simple piano progression that can be heard in the intro of the track. This was around the time where I really started experimenting with the melodic dubstep sound, and I knew I wanted to take it that route. When you’re making a new genre of music that you’re not accustomed to, you really start to second guess yourself, but with this track, I knew it was something special and I was proud of how it turned out.”

The single marks his second release on Seven Lions’ Ophelia Records. Now fans can patiently wait for Ross’ headlining ROOMS tour and his accompanying full EP release, set to come out in early 2019.

Snowbombing Canada unveils 2019 lineup, featuring headliners Illenium and Cypress Hill

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Snowbombing Canada unveils 2019 lineup, featuring headliners Illenium and Cypress HillSNOWBOMBINGCANADA2018 JT 3291

Snowbombing Canada makes a grand return for the festival’s third edition, promising three days filled with winter sports, day and night activities, and an influx of talented DJs over the April 5-7 weekend. Hosted amidst the snowy mountain peaks of Kamloops, British Columbia, the annual festival is set to light up Sun Peaks Resort for one last run before the end of the season, complete with a talented array of artists that bring tinges of house, future bass and hip-hop to envelope the weekend.

Featuring nine unique stages that are located on the snowy peaks of the mountains to the dark and brooding tunnels to the underground haven, headliners Illenium and Cypress Hill remain responsible for closing out the nights, while being accompanied by a handful of reigning talent like Lane 8, Sasha, and Yotto to further soundtrack the festival. Marking the end of skiing and snowboarding season, Snowbombing Canada welcomes everyone from first-timers to experts on the hills for a winter sports and dance music spectacle.

Festival packages are available for purchase here.

Snowbombing Canada unveils 2019 lineup, featuring headliners Illenium and Cypress HillSnowbombing2019

Illenium announces 2019 Madison Square Garden show

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Illenium announces 2019 Madison Square Garden showDA WM 68

Good news for Illenials: it won’t be long before Illenium returns to New York City. The Awake producer concludes a consecutive three-night run of performances at Terminal 5 on December 15. Although Terminal 5 originally announced two Illenium dates, slated for December 14-15, the rapidity with which the tickets for both events sold prompted the venue to add a third set.

To those who didn’t get the chance to attend one of Illenium’s Terminal 5 dates, Illenium will revisit New York in 2019 to play a headlining Madison Square Garden show. “Yo, I got some news today that I’m not really supposed to tell anybody, but I really want to tell you,” Illenium told the crowd at Terminal 5’s December 14 booking. “I’m coming back next year and playing Madison Square Garden.” The Madison Square Garden appearance will mark the largest solo billing of Illenium’s career to date, placing Illenium among the ranks of other electronic entities to also play The Garden, like Swedish House Mafia, LCD Soundsystem, and Jack Ü. Illenium’s forthcoming 2019 MSG show evidences not only the “Feel Good” hit-maker’s popularity, but that of the dance genre, as DJs attract crowds large enough to fill arenas that accommodate tens of thousands.

Photo credit: Christian Miller

China’s Electric Jungle festival co-founder, Boyi Zhou, talks dance music culture, obstacles, and the wild time yet to come [Q&A]

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China’s Electric Jungle festival co-founder, Boyi Zhou, talks dance music culture, obstacles, and the wild time yet to come [Q&A]9 1 1

For the past few years, Boyi Zhou and his Jungle Events team have been toiling away, trying to carve out a vivacious, unfettered space in the Chinese event circuit for electronic dance music. While Zhou, the event brand’s marketing manager, and his team have tried to emulate a lot of the underground dance music culture they were indoctrinated into while studying abroad in LA, there is much about their nook of the EDM continuum that is inherently Chinese.

This month (Dec 8-9), Zhou and the Jungle Events team will return with another installment of what is now the largest dance music festival in all of China, Electric Jungle, projected to attract over 60,000 attendees. The team is combining its Goliath headliners, Skrillex and Martin Garrix, with a sundry of international, nuanced talent, like REZZ, Drezo, TroyBoi, and Illenium–just to name a few.

Like many electronic fests in the US, the Foshan Chuanlord Tourism & Leisure EXPO resort-residing Electric Jungle will be broken off into meticulously curated stages, including a Berlin-nightclub-themed techno stage, a bass stage, which will receive a one-day Monstercat makeover, and of course, a main stage. Zhou says, that while the nature of the festival may be unorthodox, especially within its respective culture, organizers want to preserve authentic Chinese tradition while on their home turf, wielding ancient Chinese monsters as a motif throughout festival grounds.

Also quite like in the US, festival organizers must fiercely delegate with local authorities to gain the privileges necessary for throwing an event of this scale–though, for Zhou and co., this is a much weightier burden. Standing on the precipice of, what is for the Chinese, still such an underground culture, the local government still doesn’t fully fathom Jungle Events and their counterparts’ intentions; though, Zhou says, that’s beginning to change. Zhou sat down with Dancing Astronaut to talk about not only how he’s mediating these profound obstacles, but also his initial infatuation with the LA “rave” scene, launching one of the first Chinese-language dance music blogs, and his observations of the Chinese electronic festival circuit at large.

Tickets to Electric Jungle as well as additional festival info can be found here.

How did the idea for the festival come about?

I was attending college in the US living in LA for six years and I went to a lot of raves. So I started a blog, Jungle EDM, one of the first all-Chinese electronic music blogs. Soon I had over 10,000 followers. Back then there were no blogs about electronic dance music in China. And there were no Chinese materials for translation. So I was the first one to translate all of the English dance music materials to Chinese. When I graduated, I came back to China and started my own festivals.

Can you compare the underground dance music scene you were indoctrinated into in LA to that of China?

I wouldn’t say it’s the same at all, but it’s growing really fast. In America basically, dance culture is the pop culture. But in China it’s a sub-genre or subculture of all other music genres.

Who are some of the biggest influencers in growing China’s dance music scene?

I would say the newer festivals, and the nightclubs. The nightclubs are doing really well. They’re hosting a lot of foreign artists bringing the culture to China.

Tell me about your Jungle team?

So the original founders are all from California. We all went to the same school. We met there. We all went to the community college first in Santa Monica and we transferred to different schools, but when we all came back to China, we decided to make the festival.

What do you predict your greatest challenge to be in executing a successful Electric Jungle this year?

Probably getting certain permits. It’s really strict in China. You can not go ’til after 10 pm, the curfew time. And the production is limited. You can not use certain effects like fireworks, or any variation of fire. Also, the audience capacity limits are very strict.

How are you guys working to mediate those issues?

Well, when we first came here to do this in China, the government didn’t really understand us. It’s getting better now. We are taking special precautions and working with the government to try to clear up the discord. They are trying to work with us and are working on giving us a little more room, so that we can ensure the production and safety are up to our standards.

Can you tell me about what your intentions were with lineup curation?

A lot of them fit the marketing needs. We selected a lot of the artists from the data analysis, from the stream players. In addition to them and the artists the founders selected for personal preference, there is also a lot of local talent. We are trying very hard to promote them. Those artists have a great advantage with the local demographic because of the language. A lot of the local artists are using Chinese language to make their songs, and they have their own fans.

Can you tell me about the theme and location of the festival?

It’s right next to Guangzhou. It’s the center of the Guangdong area: just one province in China. The benefits would be that it’s not the biggest city, so the restrictions are less. It’s close to the two biggest cities in China. Transportation and hospitality are a disadvantage, less hotels and trains, etc. It’s a small city to us, but would be relatively big in the US. I would say it’s something like Seattle. The festival will be held at a resort, complete with a theme park, mini zoo, and a hotel with a restaurant. We’re doing the festival in the parking, given its considerable size.

*This interview has been edited for clarity and readability.

Illenium surprises with new remix of Halsey’s pop hit ‘Without Me’

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Illenium surprises with new remix of Halsey’s pop hit ‘Without Me’Illenium Press Photo1

At long last, Illenium has just let go of his remix of  Halsey‘s pop hit “Without Me,” which he first teased during his EDC Orlando set. His take on the release adds numerous of his own elements while still retaining the original’s ethos. The rising producer spoke about the remix, stating, “I’m stoked to finally get this one out to the world. I’ve always been a huge fan of Halsey, so being able to put my own spin on one of her tracks was really fun. Super happy with how it turned out, and I’m really hoping that it connects with both our fans.”

Illenium drops Halsey’s vocals into his signature future bass foundation, creating a more mellowed feeling, and frames them with guitar riffs and cymbal clangs. As the song progresses, the artist pivots from the instrumental layers into a drop meant to send his large audiences into a heartfelt frenzy. He connects the instrumental and future bass sections with building electronic layers, tying the remix together into a dynamic whole.

 

NMF Roundup: Anti Up return, Above & Beyond team up with Spencer Brown, Gryffin debuts new original + more

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NMF Roundup: Anti Up return, Above & Beyond team up with Spencer Brown, Gryffin debuts new original + more946760854

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Anti Up have left the pizza at home and returned for a three-track EP, Hey Pablo, thrilling listeners with searing house beats and ever-catchy vocals. Above & Beyond have released their first original collaboration in eight years: a stunning Anjunabeats tune called “Long Way From Home” with Spencer Brown. graves teams up with EZI for a piece that’s equally beautiful and heavy in “I’m Fine.” ODESZA have released the deluxe edition of their seminal A Moment Apart album, featuring a total of 25 songs — including a hefty VIP remix of “Memories That You Call” with Golden Features. Mr. Bill returns to mau5trap for an eerie original, “Apophenia.” Keys N Krates have revealed a Live in Toronto version of their Cura album, visibly demonstrating they hold nothing back in their live productions. Bringing the feels as usual, Illenium has remixed Halsey‘s emotive “Without You” in beautiful form. And as Christmas draws near, Kaskade continues to add to his sounds of the season catalog with a few new holiday tracks, including “Little Town.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

NMF Roundup: Hotel Garuda delivers infectious melody on ‘One Reason,’ ORIENTAL CRAVINGS embody Alison Wonderland’s ‘Sometimes Love,’ Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ receives a disco edit + more

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NMF Roundup: Hotel Garuda delivers infectious melody on ‘One Reason,’ ORIENTAL CRAVINGS embody Alison Wonderland’s ‘Sometimes Love,’ Fatboy Slim’s ‘Praise You’ receives a disco edit  + moreAlisonWonderland SHAKYBEATS2017 0505 192823 8517 PP Copy

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday.

Electronic artists have blessed out eardrums once again with heavy-hitting percussive projects, sultry harmonies, catchy melodies, and crisp vocals. Fatboy Slim‘s festival classic, “Praise You,” receives a funky edit from Purple Disco Machine. Hotel Garuda lends his crafty melody-chop work alongside Imad Royal and Kiah Victoria, while Taska Black continues to show why bitbird is bending boundaries in the future bass space. Midnight Kids and Tritonal do what they do best with uplifting atmospheres and infectious melody drops. Former member of Krewella — Kris “Rain Man” Trindl — caresses Vikki Gilmore’s vocals amongst bouncing guitars and driving harmonies on “Take It Closer.” JayKode and ORIENTAL CRAVINGS go hard on their projects for Flux Pavillion & Doctor P‘s Circus Records imprint and a remix of Alison Wonderland‘s single with SLUMBERJACK, “Sometimes Love,” respectively.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Shaky Knees

ILLENIUM is redefining the live show game with Awake 2.0 & unveils his refreshing new single, ‘God Damnit’ [Interview]

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ILLENIUM is redefining the live show game with Awake 2.0 & unveils his refreshing new single, ‘God Damnit’ [Interview]1

The evolution of live performances in the electronic music world has been nothing short of a phenomenon. Artists across the board, from house to bass, have continually sought to broaden the bounds in which fans can experience their favorite music. Dating back to just the past couple of years, these efforts have ranged across an entire spectrum of legendary acts that have reached the apex of their respective fields, from Odesza’s ‘A Moment Apart’ tour, to Porter Robinson and Madeon’s collaborative ‘Shelter’ tour, to The Glitch Mob’s mind-numbing ‘Blade 2.0’ technology. These artists have found new ways to push the envelope and erase the unfortunate stigma in today’s society that DJs appear on stage with minimal effort and zero live elements or performance aspects. Now, as the calendar moves into the homestretch of 2018, the next phase of this industry-redefining movement has been unveiled at the hands of none other than ILLENIUM.

Following an upward trajectory that has propelled him into headlining status over the past few years, ILLENIUM has consistently topped the billing of some of the planet’s most renowned festivals to become a scorching topic of conversation. He’s cemented his all-star status with the release of two critically-acclaimed LPs in Ashes and Awake, plus a handful of chart-topping originals and an evolving live experience. The latter of the two albums marked a significant moment for ILLENIUM, who introduced his audiences to the ‘Awake’ live show concept amid his widely sold-out US tour. In calling upon the help of his two close personal friends in Dabin and Said the Sky, the eclectic trio granted those in attendance an unparalleled experience that set the bar high for what could be expected going forward in the realm of DJ performances. They transitioned away from the common use of solely CDJs during sets to the incorporation of an array of live instrumentation that gave the spectacle a much more authentic and emotional atmosphere.

The Denver resident began to tease a refreshed approach to his ‘Awake’ tour at the end of July after taking the past summer reinvigorate what he sought to offer on stage. After months of careful planning and what he labeled some of his most intricate work to date, ILLENIUM officially announced his inaugural ‘Awake 2.0’ appearance with a home state event at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The August event marked a historical moment in ILLENIUM’s burgeoning career, serving as his first-ever headlining event at the venue — a feat in which only some of electronic music’s most colossal titans have been able to add to their list of accolades.

While it wasn’t explicitly disclosed what to expect for the ‘Awake 2.0’ environment, ILLENIUM noted that he would be creating more of his darker and heavier live edits along with new music and some potential surprises as well. This turned out to be more than fans could have ever dreamed of, as ILLENIUM followed through tenfold on his promise by debuting an outright band setup with the help once more from Dabin and Said the Sky. The group rightfully took the next step in their artistic progression by utilizing everything at their disposal from a full drum kit to electric guitars to a grand piano.

As if this wasn’t enough excitement for his faithful and self-dubbed ‘Illenials’ community to savor, the artist brought along a special unreleased production during the show that was something his fans had yet to see from the limitless 27-year-old. “God Damnit” wasted little to no time seeing the light of day as ILLENIUM takes a leap of faith into unconquered territory for him to provide something refreshing that dance music devotees had yet be exposed to. Boasting an introspective hook toppled with infectious rap bars from rising lyricist Call Me Karizma, ILLENIUM plasters his trademark drums and haunting melodies for a crisp, intimate production that is primed to send chills throughout the human spine. In talking with us on why he decided to go a more hip-hop inspired route, he made it known that he was fully aware of the reception it may receive, but the story behind the song and the connection he felt with it erased all sentiments of doubt in pushing forward with its release.

ILLENIUM is poised to take his ‘Awake 2.0’ experience to three of the biggest cities in the United States to wrap up 2018 with sold out shows in San Francisco, Chicago and New York City as a continuation of his newly-defined live concept. Having already taken the original ‘Awake’ tour to the city that never sleeps in December of last year, the blossoming talent will be returning for a monumental three-night-stand that will surely be one fans will remember. In preparation of his multi-night journey back to the East Coast, DA met up with one of the biggest names in dance music to talk about expectations for his rejuvenated show concept, his newest release “God Damnit” and potentially working on something with his idol Porter Robinson.

The Awake 2.0 tour has really seen your full transition from a DJ to complete live performer. I can’t really think of any DJ who has done a full band setup before so can you talk a little about what inspired you to go this path? Did it make it easier to put together while working with close friends like Dabin and Said the Sky?

With the first Awake show, we definitely transitioned it to really be a live performance. It was so special and I was able to work with Trevor, who’s an insane musician, Dabin, who’s an insane guitarist and David also, who’s Trevor’s tour manager and does the drums. It was kind of this exciting thing to be surrounded by all these amazing musicians like that and I’m not that crazy of a live musician. Beyond the actual show, it’s really cool to have people that are opening the show to be a part of the main show where it’s like this special thing. For Awake 2.0, we kind of just put all of that on steroids. We have a full live drum kit and we have another guitarist come in so it’s just become an evolution of the Awake show especially because the music I choose to play so I don’t want it to be a rock show.

What was the experience like of bringing that Awake 2.0 experience to the iconic Red Rocks for your own headlining show?

It was really breathtaking honestly. It’s a really sentimental venue for me and I had my whole family there. Just to get the whole Awake 2.0 show ready, with everything from timecoding to rehearsals, it was the hardest work I think I’ve ever done live wise. Shows at this caliber will have lighting choreographers and stage choreographers, and we didn’t have anything so I was micromanaging everyone. It was really cool though because it was like my baby but I definitely learned a lot and think there’s ways we can perfect it even more. I felt like it was a perfect description of when things aren’t too perfect because sometimes you’ll see a show and it’s just too choreographed. The Red Rocks show felt like it had the perfect amount of imperfection.

You premiered a brand new ID during that set as well, which is definitely unlike anything you’ve done before but still has that classic ILLENIUM touch. Can you tell us a little more about that single & how that came about?

I love that song. This past year, I felt like I’ve been listening to a lot more variety of stuff. It’s emotional and I feel like it’s a really cool story, where it’s pretty heartfelt and raw. It honestly just feels like it’s a more raw version of my other music and I’m sure it’ll get ‘mixed reviews’. I think it’ll 100% be some of my fans’ favorite songs but the people that loved “Gold” and the Kill the Noise remix are going to be like “well, what the f*ck is this sad boy rap?”

Before you released your last single, “Take You Down” you spoke about how it was created from personal struggles that you’ve faced in your past. Did you find it difficult to open up like that or did you find relief in being able to share that with your dedicated fanbase?

100%. I feel like it’s a community now where it’s all about helping people out. I think a lot of fanbases or cultish communities get a bad rap because they love an artist so much that it turns some people off, which isn’t really a fair assessment because people are helping each other in this community. It’s a very personal thing that I was able to put out but that’s where I think I’m really headed with my music where all the stuff I’m working on now is a lot more personal and storytelling.

Through the release of both Ashes and Awake and of course all of the music since, it’s safe to say that you’ve fully mastered your trademark sound. Why do you think that your music has resonated with fans in such a personal way?

I think a lot of comes from the way I create music. I see music as this healing thing where I go in by myself and it’s like this serene area where I don’t feel any pressure and it’s emotional healing so naturally, that creates emotional music. I think that’s just how it works where people connect to that. There’s instances where I’m writing stuff and I just don’t feel it and I’m like “ok, I’m just gonna scrap it” but there’s also moments when I’m making something and I’m like “oh, this is tight”.

You’ve said in the past that your dream collaboration would be with Porter Robinson but is there also anyone else on your bucket list of people to work with?

I would love if Porter did some more Porter. He does his own thing and he fully sent it into the Virtual Self stuff, which is sick because it’s so innovative. He’s more innovative than I am; I think I write music for that healing process that I talked about and sometimes that just means writing songs and it’s as simple as that. I think some people write it where it has to be new, it has to be something they haven’t totally stepped on before. I would love to work with Porter though and I would love to work with Skrillex too.

We know that while your sets feature a lot of tracks that put you in your feels, you also include a lot of hard-hitting songs. Do you enjoy playing more emotional sets or do you prefer when you’re able to throw down a lot of trap and dubstep cuts?

I think too much of anything and I get sick of it. If I was to only play feels-y, vibe-y sets then I would be bored. If I was to only play headbanging sets, I’d be like “oh, I’m gonna die too”. I go back and forth between being able to play an Awake show and then play an afterparty where I have no plans and can just wing it. It’s nice to be in both worlds and I think collabing with the artists I have this past year has helped out with that.

Now looking at the other side of it, was producing harder style tracks always something you sought out to do? Do you think playing them live help to inspire you to collaborate with producers like Zeds Dead, Excision and Kill the Noise?

Those were my original influences like Bassnectar and Zeds Dead. I started out making more bass-heavy music and then when Porter released ‘Worlds’ and Odesza was releasing their music, I really fell in love with that sound so it all combined. I make so many heavy edits of my own music too.

It’s been a little over a year since you released Awake and we know you have your upcoming single “God Damnit” dropping very soon but are there any current plans for a third album in the near future?

Yes there is but I can’t really give much info but it’s definitely happening. I don’t really stop [laughs].

It’s safe to say we’re unbelievably excited that you’re coming back to NYC for 3 sold out shows in December. For fans that haven’t been able to experience Awake 2.0 yet, what would you tell them to expect?

It’s a new experience. If you saw the first Awake show it’s so different than that because I pretty much remixed the entire album and edited it. It’s really just what I for-see electronic music going to where it’s becoming not band-ish, but more than just a DJ. Nothing against DJing but I’m able to do things like showcasing friends too.

 

Photo Credit: Alexandra Gavillet

World famous streamer Ninja teams up with Astralwerks to create his own album

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World famous streamer Ninja teams up with Astralwerks to create his own albumNinjawerks

The fusion of gaming and electronic music is not a new topic, but the two industries are seemingly melding in new ways every other week. Electronic music labels have released labels specific for gamers,  and others have provided streamers with free music to pair with content as long as the audio is cited. What we have not seen much of yet is a gamer creating their own album, and few people have the following and connections to make a project like that actually materialize. Tyler Blevins, ex-Halo pro-turned-streamer named Ninja, is one of the few who does.

Ninja will be releasing an album in partnership with Astralwerks, aptly titled Ninjawerks featuring tracks from acclaimed electronic music artists, who will be soundtracking Ninja’s gaming world. The streamer spoke about the new partnership, saying,

“I’m stoked about this project, first because I truly love the music, but also because I think this is another big step towards bridging the gap between music, artists, and gamers. Our worlds keep getting more and more connected, and this feels like the next step. Hopefully this can become the soundtrack to gaming. It’s also amazing to partner with Astralwerks and Capitol Music Group, because they bring so much credibility to the album. I mean. Come on. Get your ears ready.”

We have seen ESL partner with Universal Music, and Monstercat partner with Rocket League, but the idea of an individual gaming influencer coming out with their own album is new ground. Given Ninja’s documented friendship with EDM superstar Marshmello, the forthcoming Ninjawerks will likely feature his helmeted producer pal. Ninja’s partnership with Astralwerks, puts him in the company of the likes of Illenium, Jonas Blue, and Alison Wonderland in addition to pre-existing ranks with artists like Axwell Λ Ingrosso.

Photo Credit: Ryan Taylor/Red Bull Content Pool

ILLENIUM to usher in the New Year beachside in California

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ILLENIUM to usher in the New Year beachside in CaliforniaIllenium Lost Lands Supplied By Team

Residents of Southern California have been invited for a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve gathering alongside the coast with ILLENIUM. Touching down in Huntington beach, fans of melodic strains bass can watch one of the genre’s greatest new talents output an unforgettable set that will start 2019 off on a good note. A to-be-announced special guest will be joining in on the festivities, which are organized by The Phantom PRJKT

Organizers of this party — which will also be all-white themed to amplify the atmosphere — made sure attendees are set with everything they need to ensure an ideal experience. Chilly temperatures come to mind when thinking about the beach at winter; however, the weather is no match for the heated tent or the non-stop movement that will inevitably occur at the hands of ILLENIUM and his co-performer. This ensures utmost enjoyment of the music, pleasantly set in a scenic beach backdrop.

ILLENIUM to usher in the New Year beachside in CaliforniaIllenium NYE Flyer

Purchase tickets here