Tchami and ZHU share back-to-back performance from HARD Summer

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Tchami and ZHU share back-to-back performance from HARD SummerZhu Tchami

The house music stars aligned over California this summer. Tchami and ZHU swept the decks, side by side, at the now Insomniac-owned HARD Summer for an hour of four-on-the-floor insanity amid the August heat.

Such a venerated pairing isn’t surprising in the least for those who’ve been following HARD’s iconoclastic narrative for the past decade (and change); and the titillating twosome certainly rose to the brand’s legacy. The dexterous duo treated the audience to standout renditions of each DJ’s eminent discography, like a “Guilty Love” remix and an Umek “Vibrancy”/”After Life” mashup.

The hour is chock-full of revered house cuts, alongside Tchami and ZHU staples. The performance is undoubtedly among the best sets of not only the bygone weekend, but the entire 2019 festival season.

Photo Credit: ZHU’s merchandise site

EDC Mexico reveals 2020 lineup featuring Diplo, Tiësto, Knife Party, Madeon, and more

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EDC Mexico reveals 2020 lineup featuring Diplo, Tiësto, Knife Party, Madeon, and moreScreen Shot 2018 11 21 At 9.53.42 AM

Less than a day before EDC Orlando 2019, Insomniac has revealed the full lineup for EDC Mexico 2020. Returning for a seventh iteration, EDC Mexico will take place at its home venue Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez from Feb. 28-March 1 as a three-day event this time around. In concurrence with its other Insomniac variations, EDC Mexico’s lineup packs a punch in offering an extensive selection of acts across all genres—featuring a spectrum from mainstream artists to rising talent and everything in between.

Diplo, Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Zedd, and David Guetta are among a few of many DJs gracing the festival’s bookings, as well as comeback artists like Knife Party and Madeon. Other beloved artists including Carl Cox, Vini Vici, Giuseppe Ottaviani, Walker & Royce, and Wax Motif are also slated to perform.

Tickets for EDC Mexico 2020 are on sale here. General admission three-day passes begin at $1,950 MXN. The Comfort Pass, PLUS • Enhanced Experience Pass, and SkyDeck package are also available to purchase.

Secret Project 2019: SoCal’s premiere house and techno event [Festival Review]

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Secret Project 2019: SoCal’s premiere house and techno event [Festival Review]Juliana Bernstein For Insomniac Events 9

For the underground dance music community, it’s commonplace to opt away from the perceived bigger forces in the scene. It’s all in the word “underground,” after all. Finding people who believe the best of the best is within in the lesser-known corners is not a difficult task; they reside in the dark warehouses, the hidden rooms protected by passwords, or in clandestine desert or forest clearings. These type of environments are held sacred among the community, and many wish they scene had never left them in favor of a more “corporate” direction.

What this aversion to the supposed mainstream doesn’t change is that these forces know what they’re doing, and Insomniac proved their excellence in underground dance music tastemaking once again with Secret Project 2019.

Since Factory 93 really began hitting its stride, the response in Los Angeles has been massive. Dozens of club nights and larger events have been popping up around the city all year. But all those events culminate in this one weekend that brings a lineup no Euro-snob could brush off. Not only were there some heavy-hitters like Insomniac books for their other huge offerings, but so too was a swatch of artists that represent every facet of underground dance music who were showcased in new, exciting ways.

Secret Project 2019: SoCal’s premiere house and techno event [Festival Review]Banfy For Insomniac Events 1

In general, at Insomniac events, it’s typical to see some sort of house or techno-oriented stage hosted by Drumcode, Moodzone, La La Land, or Paradise. Secret Project did not tap any of those. The only themed stage was DJ Tennis’ Life and Death on Saturday, or the day when the music fell just a bit flat to some attendees.

The common consensus around the festival was that Sunday packed most of the real heat, and this idea was reinforced by the fact that detractors of Saturday’s selections felt that the most anticipated artists of the day did not deliver at the top of their game. Some on social media voiced their opinion that Dixon played a bit meagerly set for his closing slot. Others argued that Loco Dice and William Djoko played it safe in their back-to-back. That isn’t to say Saturday was total bust by any means; one artist who really came through on Saturday were Ben UFO, the sole pure DJ on the lineup, who once again proved that producing your own music is completely separate from putting on a great show. Jayda G played an incredible disco set to a cheery daytime crowd, while Gerd Janson’s prowess in skillfully eclectic mixing was on full display.

Sunday, however, made up for any mediocrities and then some. From minute one all the way until the end of the night the music was dynamic and seductive. Beginning with Denis Sulta and his effortless nonsensical transitions (he closed with “I Remember”), everyone from there felt the need to top each other. Modeselektor introduced a kind of energy to the dancefloor that was equal parts punk rock and heavy techno. Ame and Kink shared a live set that broke all musical boundaries. And Four Tet, well he displayed a level of musicianship that is almost entirely absent from electronic music all while Nina Kraviz and Helena Hauff were dealing out earth-shattering techno.

Secret Project 2019: SoCal’s premiere house and techno event [Festival Review]Ivan Meneses For Insomniac Events 8

As good as the music was though, the music isn’t what made Secret Project the best house and techno event in SoCal. Every event out here books top-notch artists. From heavy-hitters like CRSSD and Insomniac events to those in the aforementioned password-protected hidden rooms. It’s easy to find a good party.

Secret Project rather, through its lineup and aesthetic, attracted the best people in the SoCal scene into one spot for the weekend. That’s what made it really special. Even someone with the most pessimistic impression of raves and ravers couldn’t say anything negative about the crowds. This was a group of thousands of close friends who all knew how to handle themselves. Everyone was there to enjoy the music and each other. Rudeness didn’t exist. Sloppiness (almost) didn’t exist.

Beyond that, the extra space for dancing was appreciated to the highest degree. There was no pushing. No shoving. No struggling to find your spot again. It was so easy to leave for whatever reason and come back five minutes later. The one water station almost never had a line, and using the bathroom was a painless experience. Some overzealous security guards were the only logistical snag, but everyone can understand the reasoning behind that.

Secret Project 2019: SoCal’s premiere house and techno event [Festival Review]Ivan Meneses For Insomniac Events 3 1

In truth things only improved from last year. Insomniac clearly knew they were on to something special after the inaugural edition and just made some slight edits that made all the difference.

Rather than go all-in on sensationalized VIP experiences, the upscale Arts District watering hole Apotheke was now open to all ticket types. And because this crowd was in it for the music, there was practically never any wait to get inside. If you wanted to take a load off and enjoy the lounge’s plush couches, simmering space heaters and impeccable service along with a delectable signature cocktail, all you had to do was take a jaunt. Plus the overhead view of the Spring Stage from the lounge was immaculate.

Secret Project was not an event meant to display the titanic influence of Insomniac. That’s EDC Las Vegas, and those events certainly have their place (EDC sold out faster than ever before this year). Secret Project was a labor of love. Love for underground dance music culture. Love for the Los Angeles dance community. Just pure love. It was in the air. It was in the music. It was in our hearts.

Photo Credit: Get Tiny, Banfy, Ivan Maneses for Insomniac Events

Dustycloud unveils dynamic 3-track EP, ‘Skyfall’

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Dustycloud unveils dynamic 3-track EP, ‘Skyfall’Dustycloud Janice.renee 1

Parisian Insomniac recruit, Dustycloud, has been making his mark in heavy house circles since his festival-affronting “Rebel,” of 2016. Over the last handful of years, he’s materialized on some of the most auspicious label housings in the electronic realm, including Ultra, CONFESSION, Zeds Dead‘s Deadbeats, and OWSLA.

His latest showing with Insomniac, his triple-tracked Skyfall EP, is testimony that his style may be ever subject to flux, though his cornerstone aural ingredients are here to stay. While “Find A New Direction” employs an uplifting vocal cut and groovy bass pluck, “Mighty” cuts right to the ear-chiseling chase, with serrated, staticky bass abound. But all three tracks harken back to the producer’s rumbling basslines, while still managing to range from funky to fierce within Dustycloud’s eternally danceable four-on-the-floor format.

“As time goes on I continue to find myself experimenting with new things, pushing my vision of what house music can be,” Dustycloud says of his latest aural offering. “With three really different tracks, the Skyfall EP is a culmination of my journey as an artist up to now.”

Photo Credit: Janice Renee

Charlotte de Witte and Chris Liebing deliver silky, acid-tinged EP, ‘Liquid Slow’ [Stream]

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Friendships born of techno are friendships that last. It’s a true statement that applies to casual listeners as well as two of the most prominent techno artists working today: Charlotte de Witte and Chris Liebing.

Ever since these two announced they were working on a track together at the end of 2018, they have never been apart for too long. The following March, the pair played back-to-back during Miami Music Week, and their set was broadcast as a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix. Then a few months later, they were booked to play together again at an official Movement Detroit after party. Now, they will soon play as a duo again at Insomniac‘s upcoming Halloween festival, Escape: Psycho Circus.

All of these collaborative encounters indicate that these two share a specific chemistry as artists, catalyzed by their time in the studio. Now the fruit of their labor is finally available to the public in the form of their Liquid Slow EP, out now on de Witte’s KNTXT imprint.

For those who haven’t seen de Witte and Liebing on the decks together, this EP makes their chemistry immediately clear. De Witte is known for her ability to revolve a set around tinges of acid, and Liebing is a champion of all things deceptively heavy. This EP is the middle-ground between those two descriptors.

Photo credit: Fille Roelants

Insomniac announces return of Camp EDC for Las Vegas arm’s 10th anniversary

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Insomniac announces return of Camp EDC for Las Vegas arm’s 10th anniversaryJamie Rosenberg For Insomniac Events 10 1

Camp EDC is back and better than ever for 2020, as Insomniac announces the festival feature’s return to EDC Las Vegas. The resurrected campground will see its third run outside of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway bowl, teasing a volume of exhilarating surprises and announcements for the upcoming installment.

Camp EDC has grown from an elaborate playground, to a full-fledged partier’s paradise within walking distance of the festival grounds. From luminous art installations to the four central Oasis swimming pools, Camp EDC treats its members with a whirlwind of amenities and activities to complete their weekend in the desert. 

What may have started as a mere complementary addition to the already over-the-top, three-day festival, has morphed into an elaborate outdoors extension of the EDC experience. Camp EDC operates with the same fixations as the flagship festival, with organizers maintaining they’ve erected the space on the values of positivity, love, and inclusivity. Each corner of the campgrounds offers a new sight in store, with the heart of the activities hosted in The Mesa. Marked with three mountainous structures, aptly named the Sol, Cascada and Tierra tents, each tent hosts a handful of scheduled health, wellness, and beauty activities throughout the day for campers to participate in. 

Daily label-hosted pool parties for this past year’s installment welcomed a slew of artists from Bassrush, Hard Records and Insomniac Records set to soundtrack each day. As campers trudged back to their tent sites, their walk was cut short from the sounds of 6:00 am after-parties hosted in the heart of the campgrounds. While the sun rose each morning, the campgrounds were reignited through high-energy sets from artists like Solardo and Dom Dolla and an elusive sunrise REDUX set from Kaskade

Moon Glow and Desert Rose (symbolic of GA and VIP) tent packages for Camp EDC will be available for sale on September 27 at 9:00am PT. Following last year’s model, festival ticket holders are able to purchase their Moon Glow or Desert Rose (symbolic of GA and VIP) camping passes separately to secure their spots in the campgrounds.

In advance of next year’s festivities, Camp EDC has revealed the official site maps for the Mesa, and campgrounds. For more information and to purchase camping passes, head here.

Insomniac announces return of Camp EDC for Las Vegas arm’s 10th anniversaryEdc 2020 As Camp Map R09
Insomniac announces return of Camp EDC for Las Vegas arm’s 10th anniversaryEdc 2020 As Mesa Map R12

Photo credit: Jamie Rosenberg

Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival is set to make its return in 2020 after missing 2019

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Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival is set to make its return in 2020 after missing 2019Okeechobee

After skipping the 2019 iteration of the festival, Florida’s beloved Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival (OMF) will return in 2020 to Sunshine Grove. Soundslinger, the founders of OMF, have partnered with North American festival leader Insomniac to bring the destination multi-genre music and camping event back to its picturesque home on March 5-8, 2020.

Okeechobee is known for its eclectic festival lineups, which have included artists like Travis Scott, Usher, and Khalid all of the way to ODESZA, Skrillex, and Kings of Leon in the past. In addition to OMF’s three main stages—Be, Here, and Now—dance music fans will gravitate once again toward Jungle 51, a dusk-’til-dawn dance party nestled in the heart of the jungle that has hosted some of the biggest names in house and techno in recent years.

During the day, OMF attendees will again be able to experience Aquachobee Beach, situated in the scenic background where Sunshine Grove’s jungle meets the white sand beach, that will give Okeechobee-goers the chance to catch daytime live music sets while swimming and sunbathing.

Passes are on sale for all ticket and camping types beginning Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. ET here. The festival has released a video to get fans excited for the 2020 edition of the event, which potential festival-goers can view below.

Photo credit: Tune Collective

Secret Project’s 2019 lineup is underground perfection—Four Tet, Modeselektor, Honey Dijon, Daniel Avery, and more

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Secret Project’s 2019 lineup is underground perfection—Four Tet, Modeselektor, Honey Dijon, Daniel Avery,  and moreIvan Meneses For Insomniac Events 2

Secret Project broke ground in LA with its first edition, hosting some of the electronic underground’s finest selectors in Chinatown’s urban center while providing a well-rounded experience with craft food and cocktail programming. The tradition continues in October, and one could even argue that the Insomniac festival’s sophomore billing is even edgier than its predecessor.

Honey Dijon, Modeselektor, Four Tet, Nina Kraviz & Helena Hauff, and Daniel Avery are a few of Secret Project’s headliners, already capturing a wide range of electronic music spanning from the left-field to deep house. Another huge treat is Âme; while the duo’s regularly touring half Kristian carried the group’s moniker in 2018, this time sees a very rare live appearance by Frank Wiedemann. He’ll be playing back-to-back with KiNK for what’s set to be an exceptional live showing. Finally, festival bookers recognize a wide array of burgeoning and buzzy talents in the form of Jayda G, Mall Grab, Denis Sulta, Gerd Janson, and more.

Secret Project’s 2019 lineup is underground perfection—Four Tet, Modeselektor, Honey Dijon, Daniel Avery,  and moreSecret Project 2019 Lu Full Lineup Final 1

Insomniac is now a majority owner of Miami’s iconic Club Space

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Insomniac is now a majority owner of Miami’s iconic Club SpaceInsomniac Club Space Announce Photo Left To Right Matt Teper David Sinopoli Pasquale Rotella Coloma Kaboomsky Davide Danese July 2019 Hi RES

Worldwide events powerhouse Insomniac have announced it has acquired an ownership stake in legendary Miami dance music institution Club Space.

All current management and operations of Space will remain the same, but this partnership will ensure the revered club, known for its days-long parties, will have a long-standing future in a market that is seeing many clubs of similar status being closed, including Brooklyn’s Output and Denver’s Beta.

“Space is one of the most iconic dance music venues in the US if not the world, and I’m excited that Insomniac is now a partner,” says Insomniac founder and CEO Pasquale Rotella. “Davide, Coloma and Sinopoli have done an exceptional job revitalizing this venue to be better than it’s ever been. They are passionate people that care about creating experiences, and share the same core values that Insomniac lives by. The Space Invaders team will still be running the show and together we will set the bar for entertainment in Miami. Space is another important piece of the Insomniac vision coming together.”

“The Space Invaders” to which Rotella is referring are Davide Danese, Coloma Kaboomsky, and David Sinopoli who took over management of Space in 2016. Since their arrival, the club has been completely revitalized, offering some of the most memorable parties in the US.

From Dirtybird‘s epic annual takeover during Miami Music Week, to marathon extended sets from Dixon and a slew of other veteran selectors, Club Space maintains one of the strongest reputations in Miami. Now with Insomniac, the scope of their parties will only expand.

“Our Space Invaders team is excited about this partnership with Insomniac,” says Sinopoli. “We have admired their work for a while now, and over the past year have gotten to know everyone on their team. They are young, creative, and most importantly, their focus is on constantly working to provide the best possible experience for their guests.

“We have worked tirelessly over the past three years to renew the energy inside Club Space and maintain a calm, safe environment while curating a space where people can enjoy a wide range of entertainment. Our Space Invaders team will continue to book the music and operate the club exactly as we have been. We believe that through this relationship with Insomniac we can continue to grow and secure our home at Space with a partner who has an aligned vision of the future of the Miami music scene.”

While Ultrais certainly still the event most synonymous with Miami— especially now that the festival’s contract with Bayfront Park is renewed— Insomniac’s presence has been growing in Florida as of late. With Live Nation at their back, Insomniac managed a sold out EDC Orlando 2018 and will expand the event to three days in 2019. It will be the first three-day EDC ever hosted outside of Las Vegas. Now with Insomniac’s ownership of Club Space, the company has is successfully cementing itself in one of the country’s most beloved party meccas.

Premiere: Anakim talks ‘The Oracle’ EP and taking an organic approach to music [Stream]

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Anakim is on a journey and that journey is starting to get real good.

His latest step forward on that journey? His new EP out on EIN2, The Oracle. These two tracks embody growth and decay with dastardly synths and heaving kicks. Like any journey that’s worth it in the end, both tracks keep listeners guessing, filling them with excitement surrounding what will happen next.

Anakim’s quest as a DJ and producer is a concrete example of how the music industry rewards artists who focus on doing things right rather than quick; full of favorable encounters, hard work, and refreshing achievements.

In the culture of Soundcloud and Ableton Lite, many producers adopt the “get rich quick” mentality, hoping that a formulaic mindset will lead to a hit record. Not Anakim though. Like other revered producers such as Jauz and Slander, he attended Icon Collective in Los Angeles, receiving a traditional education in music production. While he was there, he spent his time networking with other artists around his hometown of L.A., making real connections and becoming a staple in the scene.

Now after a few years of this prudent approach, Anakim’s getting booked at Coachella, he’s winning Insomniac‘s Discovery Project, and Above & Beyond are playing his tracks on AGBT. Yet after all this success, he hasn’t forgotten his roots as he just released a remix on one of his earliest labels, Understated Recordings, alongside impressive newcomers SOHMI and ASHE, lending his rising name to those who may be a few steps behind him on their own journey.

A class act through and through, we were able to speak with Anakim about his journey as an artist in addition to premiering The Oracle in full. Stream the EP and read his answers below:

1. What was the intention behind ‘The Oracle’ EP? 

A few months ago I happened to watch two movies in the span of three days: The Never Ending Story and The Matrix. In both those films the lead characters, Atreyu and Neo, are both looking for the oracle in their respective worlds. To be clear, an oracle is a person considered to be able to make prophetic predictions or have precognition of the future. That search for answers those characters embarked on about the world around them fully inspired me to create this concept EP called “The Oracle”. I think everyone can relate to searching for meaning in their own life at a certain point, so in a sense, this EP is a mini-soundtrack to various stages in that journey.

2. How did it feel to have Above & Beyond play one of these tracks on ABGT?

That was such a crazy moment for me. I saw Above & Beyond perform at my very first rave back in 2010. I’ve seen them about six times since. Their Trance Around The World and Group Therapy Radio shows have had such a huge impact on me over the years, they’re such iconic radio shows. I literally teared up with joy when I found out they supported The Oracle on ABGT 340. Could I have ever imagined as a raver in the crowd at their shows they’d one day be supporting my music? Not at all. It’s a milestone for me and definitely a feeling I’ll never forget.

3. What was it like for you winning the Discovery Project? How has winning enhanced your career as an artist?

Because I have such a long-standing history with Insomniac Events, winning the Discovery Project was always a major goal of mine. It’s completed a full circle for me, one that began as a raver attending literally every Insomniac event for about six years straight, from their massives to their shows at local clubs, to now having performed at Beyond Wonderland and EDC this year. Thanks to the Discovery Project I now have a good relationship with the biggest dance music promoter in North America and it’s given me an opportunity to not only play their events, but to release my music to their ever-growing fan base.

4. You just put out another remix on one of your first labels, Understated Recordings. How has it been for you to watch them grow recently?

Understated is family. Without them taking a chance on my Veins EP two years ago I’m not sure where I’d be. I’m so proud of how far they’ve come. Seeing them partner with labels like Astralwerks, they deserve all the success that has come their way and so much more.

5. What is one of your dream labels to release music on?

Anjunadeep, Last Night on Earth, Bedrock, and Outta Limits are my top labels I want to release on. It may take a little time, but we’re going to manifest this.

6. You are one among many graduates from Icon collective who has found real success in music. What is it about that program that you think is so effective in advancing artists’ careers?

It’s the tap water in that building, I swear. Really though, the instructors and mentors do such a great job at teaching the students not only the technical aspects of Logic and Ableton, but also intangible things like how to get into a creative state of flow, how to break through writer’s block, how to navigate the music industry, etc. Mix that in with a student body that eats, sleeps, and breathes music production, that is unconditionally supportive of their peers, and you have quite the recipe for success. Icon builds stars of the future and it shows.

7. What do you have coming up for the rest of 2019? Any tour plans to coincide with your impressive release schedule?

August 9th you can catch me performing at Sound Nightclub with Drumcode star Julian Jeweil and my good friend, as well as rising techno star, Sara Landry. I’m not at liberty to fully discuss what else I have going on for the rest of the year, but it definitely is something worth keeping your eyes on.