Good Morning Mix: Ekali gives unknown Soundcloud producers a platform in newest episode of Awakening Radio

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Good Morning Mix: Ekali gives unknown Soundcloud producers a platform in newest episode of Awakening RadioEkali

The third session of Ekali‘s SiriusXM Insomniac Channel’s radio session called Awakening Radio has just landed, and this session is particularly unique. The Canadian producer states he hand selected most of the releases for the session from producers who have little to no SoundCloud following, yet are releasing fantastic music. For those who like discovering unknown and up and coming producers, this radio session is just the place.

The mix features a variety of ear-perking remixes and mashups of mainstream tracks with a side of enamoring originals. He of course sprinkles in releases of his own — aptly-timed, considering he’s currently on his Crystal Eyes tour in honor of the release of his full album of the same name. The next stop of his tour will be in Denver, Colorado, where he has two back to back shows on the 23 and 24. Ekali has been dropping unreleased OWSLA ID’s on his tour, most recently dropped Skrillex‘s collaboration with JOYRIDE before its full release.

The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLA

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The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLATroy Acevedo For Insomniac Events 5

Amsterdam Dance Event generally sucks in all attention from the electronic music realm throughout in October. On the 13 & 14 of the month, however, the global spotlight turned Westward and onto Los Angeles, where Insomniac’s Factory 93 arm finally revealed its ‘Secret Project’ to the world. Taking place in a covert corner of Chinatown, the two-day gathering represented a step in a completely different direction for the brand — one that took the brand outside the box of its rave reputation, and into the radar of mature dance music aficionados.

Over-the-top lasers, LED screens, and confetti were replaced with industrial accents, allowing renowned underground dance acts like Peggy Gou, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Marcel Dettman, Carl Cox, and more to let their music be the true centerpiece of the show. Gone too were the bright colors and outlandish costumes one normally sees at massives from the brand, replaced with the dark colored palette favored by the veteran attendees. Factory 93 endeavored to put on a serious dance music event, and they certainly succeeded both sonically and visually. To tie it all together, edgy new cocktail bar Apotheke and David Chang’s iconic Majordomo restaurant worked in tangent to provide Secret Project’s VIP guests with an equally stimulating experience for the tastebuds. The saying, “a little goes a long way,” certainly applied in the case of this festival.

With a tasteful offering of talent where Carl Cox and Âme x Dixon took precedence over those normally dominating festival mainstages, and extra mindfulness paid toward local promoters who’ve grown the LA scene from its grassroots, it’s safe to say that what seemed like a risk for Insomniac certainly paid off. Is this the new boutique festival hub of the city that puts it on the map for techno tourism? Only time will tell. But in the meantime, we present some musical moments that defined Secret Project.


Kicking off the festival with Making Shapes, Lights Down Low, & Masha

In the vast majority of festivals thrown by mega-institutions, the promoters who hold the real credit for cultivating and maintaining the surrounding city’s vibrant dance scene are often left in the dust. Secret Project was intent on paying its dues, though, inviting Masha of NTS residency fame, and the venerable local LA crews Lights Down Low and Making Shapes along for the ride. Their jovial energies and cheeky grins were as infectious as their track selections, and really helped set the tone for the rest of the day.

The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLAIvan Meneses For Insomniac Events 3

Credit: Ivan Meneses

Roman Flügel brought a time machine to the show

Seasoned professional Roman Flügel is known to think differently when it comes to his set approach, mixing in an array of electronica from all ends of the spectrum into a mix that feels put together and authentic. This time around, he brought a slice of the 80s to Secret Project, filling the main stage space with synthwave and other off-kilter cuts that stirred heavy feelings of nostalgia. Despite the retro flare, however, Flügel did just fine in arranging each piece in a way that felt plenty refined and futuristic — as he usually does.

 

The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLAIvan Meneses For Insomniac Events 2

Credit: Ivan Meneses

Peggy Gou smashed the decks for late-afternoon domination

There were no prisoners taken during Peggy Gou’s set; instead, she opted to completely steamroll her crowd in the best of ways. After a grooving warm-up on vinyl by Octo Octa, Gou showed laser-like focus as she plugged her USB in and got to work behind the decks. She came out swinging, immediately obliterating the dancefloor in a pungent vocal house cut that was impossible to stand still to, and continued on this roll all the way through to finish. It was a veritable journey through house, techno, disco, and acid that left the crowd fiending for more when she was done.

The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLAIvan Meneses For Insomniac Events 1

Credit: Ivan Meneses

Bicep put on an angelic live performance that enchants viewers

With the Bicep boys having skyrocketed in fame over the past few years and solidifying their success with their critically-acclaimed debut LP, the bar was set quite high for their Secret Project live performance. Meeting these expectations seemed not to pose a hurdle. They made the most out of their one-hour gig, taking onlookers on an enchanting trek through breaks and quality house, with a hint of trance melody sprinkled in. The versatility and overall excellence of their mixing and live creation ultimately made Bicep a standout set of Secret Project, and left a distinctive afterglow that would carry on after the weekend was done.

The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLAIvan Meneses For Insomniac Events 12

Credit: Ivan Meneses

Tale Of Us melt minds while closing up shop

Like Peggy Gou, Italian duo Tale Of Us did not come to Secret Project to play nice. Rather, they played hard ball showed off the side of their artistry that is a perfect counterbalance to their usual ethereal flare. They doused their audience in moody melodies and atmospheric techno all throughout their two-hour excursion, raising goosebumps and shaking the ground beneath them in the process. Not to mention, their mixing was seamless, which only amplified the foreboding feeling of travelling deeper into the rabbit hole. Anyone in attendance can agree, however, that this was a trap that they had no desire to escape from.

The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLATroy Acevedo For Insomniac Events 1

Credit: Troy Acevedo

Âme x Dixon’s avant-garde boogie

Secret Project forced fans to make a tough decision when it came to picking a closer on Friday night, and there is no denying that Carl Cox absolutely annihilated his crowd. Luckily, the stages were close by in case the craving got too strong. However, we must tip our hats to Innervisions co-owners Âme and Dixon, who opted to treat their to an array of oddities and outlandish grooves that left some who were expecting a chugging house set scratching their heads before ultimately succumbing to the beat. But possibly the best part of all was their dance moves — these rivaled the music.

The Secret Project comes to light: moments that defined Factory 93’s debut festival in DTLAIvan Meneses For Insomniac Events 5

Credit: Ivan Meneses

 

 

Featured image credit: Troy Acevedo

Insomniac continues on toward world dominance with ALDA merger

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Insomniac continues on toward world dominance with ALDA mergerJake West For Insomniac Events 3 Min

What was once a renegade party in LA’s underground is now on the path to rivaling Ultra at the top of the dance music food chain. Pasquale Rotella has been steadily increasing his brand Insomniac‘s reach through both massive and boutique festivals across the United States, and is now moving toward the next step in becoming a global power with a 50% acquisition of the Dutch company ALDA. They’ve just finalized the deal, with the two brands moving forward as one to expand their reach and offer the best festival experience possible to fans.

ALDA has earned its stripes over the years as a leader in the European sphere, putting on events like A State Of Trance, New Horizons, and Electronic Family as well as events in 30 countries. Paired with Insomniac’s resources and both companies’ expertise in event organization, one can expect to see Insomniac’s international profile grow far beyond their current holdings. “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the Insomniac family. Pasquale and his team are true innovators when it comes to creating and executing festivals and music events. It has been our goal to provide dance lovers with high quality musical experiences, and Pasquale encourages this vision,” stated ALDA CEO and co-founder Allan Hallenberg of the merger.

Though Insomniac is likely to pick up some of ALDA’s edge in throwing events and applying it to their operation, ALDA will continue to operate as its own company across the pond.

 

H/T: Global News Wire

Photo credit: Jake West

 

Insomniac continues on toward world dominance with ALDA merger

This post was originally published on this site

Insomniac continues on toward world dominance with ALDA mergerJake West For Insomniac Events 3 Min

What was once a renegade party in LA’s underground is now on the path to rivaling Ultra at the top of the dance music food chain. Pasquale Rotella has been steadily increasing his brand Insomniac‘s reach through both massive and boutique festivals across the United States, and is now moving toward the next step in becoming a global power with a 50% acquisition of the Dutch company ALDA. They’ve just finalized the deal, with the two brands moving forward as one to expand their reach and offer the best festival experience possible to fans.

ALDA has earned its stripes over the years as a leader in the European sphere, putting on events like A State Of Trance, New Horizons, and Electronic Family as well as events in 30 countries. Paired with Insomniac’s resources and both companies’ expertise in event organization, one can expect to see Insomniac’s international profile grow far beyond their current holdings. “We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the Insomniac family. Pasquale and his team are true innovators when it comes to creating and executing festivals and music events. It has been our goal to provide dance lovers with high quality musical experiences, and Pasquale encourages this vision,” stated ALDA CEO and co-founder Allan Hallenberg of the merger.

Though Insomniac is likely to pick up some of ALDA’s edge in throwing events and applying it to their operation, ALDA will continue to operate as its own company across the pond.

 

H/T: Global News Wire

Photo credit: Jake West

 

Insomniac announces video game-themed music festival, PLAY

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Insomniac announces video game-themed music festival, PLAYInsomniac Play Festival

Year after year, festivals around the world increase their attractions more and more. The majority of the world’s biggest festivals don’t just offer music performances — they’re also at the forefront of entertainment, art, and cultural events. Looking to widen their scope even further is Insomniac, who just announced their inaugural interactive music and gaming experience: PLAY Festival.

Debuting in 2019, the festival’s founders promise “a slew of vibrant, immersive and exclusive experiences through multidimensional arenas that will allow fans to test their skills and challenge others in several gaming and arcade realms.” In their announcement, they revealed that some of the industry’s biggest names in hip-hop and dance music will serve as a “backdrop” for the attendees (“Players”) while they move from place to place throughout the festival. The event will also feature gaming competitions from top eSports gamers, musicians, and athletes.

Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella notes the similarities between the gaming and dance communities, citing their “inclusive nature” and “passion for total creative immersion.”

“PLAY Festival is an opportunity to connect these two colorful worlds and build an event that’s exciting, authentic, and inspires a new generation of fans,” he says in the festival’s announcement.

While no official date or location for the festival has been revealed yet, those interested can learn more on Insomniac’s site and follow the festival’s social media accounts to stay up to date.

Good Morning Mix: Slide into your day courtesy of Ekali’s second Awakening Radio Session

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Good Morning Mix: Slide into your day courtesy of Ekali’s second Awakening Radio SessionEkali Biseual

Ekali has released the second session of his Awakening Radio Series series on Sirius XM‘s Insomniac channel. He is currently setting off on a tour in celebration of the recent release of his Crystal Eyes EP, and fans wanting a taste of what’s in store for his live performance can dip into his radio shows and SoundCloud mixes.

The hour-long mix for Awakening Radio has calming aspects, along with an infusion of club-worthy tracks. The producer is known for his diversity in both original releases and his sets, and Awakening Radio Session 002 is certainly a tribute to this. House is predominant throughout, however electro, hip-hop, and bass make appearances, as well. For those wanting a smooth entrance into their day, look no further than Ekali’s newest radio session.

Photo credit: Brandon Artis Photography

Techno Tuesday: Jeniluv takes us beneath LA’s surface ahead of Secret Project Festival

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Techno Tuesday: Jeniluv takes us beneath LA’s surface ahead of Secret Project FestivalJeniluv Press

Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

Los Angeles’ vibrant underground dance sphere wouldn’t be where it is today without figures like Jeniluv leading the charge behind-the-scenes. The tenured DJ, producer, and music lover has been a prime fixture of both the San Francisco and LA scenes for a combined 20 years, moving back to LA permanently in 2007 to cultivate her Making Shapes events brand into the stalwart it is today.

Jeniluv is a respected figure for good reason; she’s never once compromised her passions, and continues to spend her time helping others up, either through booking, collaborations, or in showcasing the finest below-surface house, acid, and techno records one can dig for. It’s because of her deep understanding of and integration into the LA scene, and her proven history of successful event production, that Insomniac tapped her talents for their debut Secret Project Festival. The festival represents a whole new foray for the brand, pairing up with David Chang’s majordōmo to create an exclusive menu, and Apotheke for a cutting-edge array of cocktails. It’s an event for the more mature dance fans in their base, which is sealed into place with headliners like Carl Cox, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Dixon, Peggy Gou, and more. Meanwhile, Jeniluv and other LA crews have been brought on to not only bring a sense of authenticity, but also to show off just how thriving the city’s music culture is — if one looks deep enough.

We sat down with Jeniluv to quiz her a bit about her musical upbringing, her inspirations, playing Secret Project, and more ahead of the show. Last-minute tickets can be grabbed here.


Let’s get started with the basics: what was your path into the LA underground in the 90s? Did it happen by chance, or did you fall in love with the music and seek it out?
I was 15 years old and went to school in Long Beach, California. I collected classic rock records mostly; we listened to local emo or backyard bands like Sublime. We skated half pipe to punk rock and listened to Dj Drez hip-hop cassette tapes. I had never heard of House music, or dance music beats besides maybe 80s for example, or Everything but The Girl. One day, a latina girl I had a crush on walked up to me and asked me if I wanted to go to LA that weekend and hear some house music. I was like ‘Whats that??”

I jumped into her older brother’s car Saturday night and we headed to Echo Park to pick up a few of their friends. We stopped at a few places so they could spray some graffiti, before ending up on the east side at a warehouse on the railroad tracks. The music was not on yet, but people were arriving. I saw a crew of kids carrying several crates of records into the entrance, following someone. I remember feeling mesmerized by all the movement and the warehouse environment.

We were at an “Unlock The House” party, and once inside, the music started. Doc Martin was the DJ and his record crates lined the wall behind him, about 10 crates total. There were four turntables and a massive sound system pumping out bass like I’d never heard, sounds and rhythms both acid and tribal. “DEEP HOUSE,” they called it — and house music roots are deep in Los Angeles. The crowd was mostly chicano and local to Los Angeles. I was the loco white girl dancing on my first ecstasy that night and no one seemed to mind at all! I fell in love with house music and went “raving” every weekend. I am still good friends with those kids today, 25 years later we share dancefloors.

On that note, what drew you to electronica early on, and what is it about house/techno that has kept the fire alive for you for so long?
I found freedom. The music changed me as a person, the people embrace me as I am, the places I have traveled because of the music — and my global dance music family.

Can you spill a couple crazy rave stories from your time in the scene?
I need time to integrate my experiences but i just keep pushing on into more — it’s all a blur. Good times, bad times — this is a harsh and beautiful lifestyle. Most memories that come to mind are illicit, about death or too amazing to put into words.

You’ve made it on your own successfully as an underground artist for so long. The beauty is that you’ve done this while still keeping your integrity and humility. Do you have any words of wisdom to impart on younger artists about success/what it means, and what they can do to find this in their own careers?
If you love it, it will take everything you have to remain a part of it. To have it be what you do with your life, you will need to carve your own way into a rock. Don’t listen to anyone not worth listening to. Just do you — people respect that. Remain open to all kinds of music and your collection will build in many directions. Develop your own sound and style — people will catch on.

Who have been some of your biggest figures of inspiration throughout the years?
Doc Martin, Solar, Justin Martin, Jennifer Cardini, Juan Atkins, Move D, and DJ Harvey — to name a few for a variety of reasons… along with my current role model underground DJs and best friends in music, Heidi Lawden and Masha.

What is the current LA scene needing now (if anything), and what can we as fans do to help?
Its mayhem here, every weekend there are several parties with big line ups. We are one of the leading weekender hubs for dance music in the world, now. But what we need is a weekday scene.

Let’s pivot now into Secret Project territory – first off, have you ever played any events in Chinatown before? How has this area changed in your eyes over the years?
I have played at local Chinatown bar’s General Lee’s and Grand Star Jazz Club back when heavy disco laden nights like Sunny Side up and Full Frontal Disco frequented them. There used to be this big party in the alley next to the area where Harvey and Guy Gerber do their party — an alley take over as opposed to a block party, I forget who did that. It has a fun history, and promoters are taking more advantage of the unique daytime space now.

How did you get involved with Secret Project?
My partner in Making Shapes, SONNS, called me up and said we were playing together. I think initially we were going to do a back to back set, but now we have individual set times.

Aside from yourself (your set’s going to be awesome), who else should Secret Project fans be looking forward to most on the lineup that aren’t the main headliners, and why?
Octa Octa — live? Peggy Gou — good time! SONNS — LA prodigy and party boy.

What kind of set do you have planned for Secret Project? Are you going to douse us in acid, lay down some hard techno, some grooving house, a mix?
Depends on my set time, I have been buying, downloading, and throwing music in a folder waiting to dissect it closer to date. Probably early day stuff that’s interesting to both listen and dance to, beckoning you to the dancefloor.

What other aspects of the festival excite you most?
A two day line up in Los Angeles that is stacked with these artists just has not happened here before.

Do feel Secret Project has the potential to set a precedent for other large organizers to support local talent scenes?
YES

Finally, what else is coming up for Jeniluv in the near future?
Asia tour in February with Solar and DJ Nobu, also some snow boarding together! My new project ‘Psychicbody’ is a casual label, mix series and after hours event in Los Angeles. Also, The Dusk Festival, Southern California — tba

BREAKING: HARD Day of the Dead plots return to newly-refurbished original home at LA Historic Park in November

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BREAKING: HARD Day of the Dead plots return to newly-refurbished original home at LA Historic Park in NovemberPrydz Mau5 Hard Dotd 1

HARD‘s defunct Day of the Dead is officially back from the festival graveyard.

HARD’s Halloween offshoot event folded in 2015, though now the festival is set to relaunch, and it’s headed back to the brand’s original home at Los Angeles Historic Park in November. The Downtown LA park was home to the earliest iterations of HARD Summer and Day of the Dead, along with Swedish House Mafia‘s final performance in Los Angeles and other high-profile events. However, electronic events found a tough landscape in LA proper after a number of incidents across 2014 – 2015.

Prepare to get up close and personal with all of your favorite Day Of The Dead alumni on November 3. Notable alumni include Justice, Skrillex, Bassnectar, Deadmau5, Zedd, Calvin Harris, Pretty Lights, Knife Party, Major Lazer and many more. Looking back at past lineups, newcomers that are now headliners sprinkle the smaller fonts. The park is set for brand new amenities in the re-incarnation of LA’s favorite fright filled celebration.

At a Halloween festival where costumes are encouraged, HARD’s Day of the Dead is set to take creativity to the max. Stay tuned for sale and lineup information.

 

BREAKING: HARD Day of the Dead plots return to newly-refurbished original home at LA Historic Park in NovemberHard Day Of The Dead 2018 1

HARD’s dormant Day of the Dead Halloween festival set for 2018 comeback

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HARD’s dormant Day of the Dead Halloween festival set for 2018 comebackSkrille DOTDfinal 1184

Since HARD Events‘ inception in 2007 and the first HARD Summer Music Festival taking off in 2008, the brand has grown to exponential heights, launching a number of festival properties across North America and events abroad over the last decade.

In 2012, HARD premiered their Day Of The Dead Halloween festival, which replaced the previous HARD Haunted Mansion. The inaugural DOTD featured Justice, Knife Party, Major Lazer, Zeds Dead, Dillon Francis, Tommy Trash, Jack Beats and more. In 2015, after a number of logistic obstacles and hurdles, Day Of The Dead changed its age policy to 21+ to cater to an older crowd. That was the last Day Of The Dead festival presented by HARD Events.

Now, HARD’s social media is presenting “Dia de los Muertos,” translated from “Day of the Dead” in Spanish, in a collage of six posts containing cut-outs of festival days past. Dancing Astronaut reached out to HARD’s team for confirmation on DOTD‘s relaunch. Insomniac’s long-running southern California Halloween events have managed to remain intact, and now with HARD likely relaunching their Halloween-themed throwdown, it seems fans will have some tough decisions to face come fall.

Dreamstate SoCal stacks its 4th edition lineup high with B2Bs and new acts

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Dreamstate SoCal stacks its 4th edition lineup high with B2Bs and new actsDreamstate 2 ALive

Insomniac‘s trance brand Dreamstate has grown unbelievably over its short time on the dance circuit, expanding from its singular stage flagship event in San Bernadino to an international brand with festival stops in Australia and Central America — plus an ongoing rotation of themed events to boot. However, the aforementioned home of the brand remains as a steadfast leader of its events, and a good indicator of what’s to come. This year, Dreamstate bookers have picked quite the fresh lineup for the Southern California event’s fourth edition.

A variety of fresh, new acts have made the roster this time around — a usual for Dreamstate SoCal, which last year hosted the world debut of Key4050, among others. This year, Gareth Emery‘s new audiovisual Laserface show is indicated to be the most anticipated headlining performance, with other huge names like Paul van Dyk, Sander van Doorn‘s Purple Haze alias, and Ruben de Ronde likely joining van Dyk on the main stage. Two notable resurrections — First State, and Ferry Corsten under his System F moniker — are also on the list.

Two other notable new duos making their California debut are Gentech and Lost In Noise. The former is comprised of Mark Sherry and Scot Project, while the latter is a combination of Indecent Noise and Lostly. They’re joined by a multitude of other B2B performances as well, like Arctic Moon & RAM, Chris Schweizer & Heatbeat, and Sneijder & Sied van Riel, among others.

It’s also worth noting that there are fewer acts appearing on the lineup than usual. Pasquale and the Insomniac team have yet to reveal if they’ve scaled the event down to fewer than four stages, or if they’ve granted fan requests of longer set times — potentially to compensate for the wide array of B2B performances on the bill.

 

Photo credit: aLive coverage