Exclusive: Meet FANGS, the breakout artist with an all star team that’s poised to take 2018 by storm

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While ascending artists usually come out of the gate ready to prove themselves with a SoundCloud full of music and a hungry drive, few make their entrance with a live show and a stacked artist team. For FANGS, producer Danny D’Brito, this is exactly what his foray into his solo music career looks like.

In fact, the artist recently  enlisted one of the top agents in the industry, Ben Hogan, who represents the likes of NGHTMRE, Slander and Elohim, to take his career to the next level. Hogan was one of the many agents vying for the artist due to his ‘triple threat’ potential, which is a position even the most high profile producers in the game rarely face.

FANGS’ great ‘potential’ is the sum of a multitude of factors. He’s a self-taught musician who plays guitar, drums, bass, and the keys. He is a former member of the group Brass-Knuckles and opened his own recording studio at just 22. This collection of experiences led him to the fortuitous position he is currently in for his artist debut as FANGS.

The production quality of his releases speak for themselves, and FANGS’ newest track “Venom” will almost certainly find its home as a club hit with an other-worldly vibe and an upbeat tech-house backbone. Deep vocals propel the melody onward, and the dynamic track leaves the listener wanting more at its close. It also begs the question of what the artists’ live show will look like, as the track is practically manufactured to captivate an audience.

To accompany the track, the artist has released a glossy music video — premiered exclusively via Dancing Astronaut — with visuals that are equal parts harrowing and intoxicating. Poisonous snakes and models writhe across the screen as the track’s spare vocal refrain flashes atop the melee.


 

While “Venom” is distinctly tech house, FANGS’ future productions range from house to radio worthy progressive hits, lending him the versatility it takes to make it in today’s electronic music scene.

Dancing Astronaut spoke with the rising artist about what we can expect from his impending live show, how his team will be instrumental in his 2018 ascension, and his view on the industry today. Read the full interview below:

 


 

1. If you had to set specific goals for yourself in 2018, what would those be? What can we expect from you this year?

I feel the 2018 goal is really all about my music exploration! I’m really looking forward to finally bringing the FANGS live show out to the public. It’s been a lot of late nights curating and planning all the details for this upcoming year. We’re now just focusing on implementing my music in phases, and feeling out the markets and rooms we will launch in.

 

 

2. Your live show has been described as a ‘multi-dimensional’ experience. What does that mean, and when will we be able to see it?

I feel music and visuals make the perfect marriage in expression. My goal has always been to have my music tell a story and evoke feelings — I’m definitely keen on visuals helping to paint that picture. I just feel the two work so well together, so in my eyes, they are one in the same. That’s why I’ve made it a point to have all my releases accompanied by a music video or visual vignette.

With that said, when it comes to the live show experience, I want to be able to utilize all of our exploratory senses. I’d reference ‘Pink Floyd’s The Wall’ tour which is still going strong these days thanks to Roger Waters. He puts on a complete live musical and visual spectacle with a narrative from beginning to end.

I want to focus on incorporating projections, physical props and performers that help tell the story. We are currently working on some exciting plans and incorporating some unconventional technology that can potentially take my live show format to a new experience.
3. You’ve got quite a team behind you. You’ve also been in this industry for a while. How integral would you say having a stellar team is to an artist’s success in the commercialized electronic world we now live in?
Having a stellar team is vital and the ultimate key to success for any artists’ career. It would be an understatement to say how proud and grateful I am for my management team, Summer Chàpin and Tom Williams, as well as my agent Ben Hogan at Circle. They are a constant inspiration to me and their belief in FANGS is what propels us forward.

There are many moving parts in this industry and it’s nearly impossible for one person to properly cover all the various aspects alone. I’ve got a team of professionals that are experts in their given field, which allows me to focus on producing the art. They help orchestrate my career and are the spearhead to so many new opportunities.

Having a team that is not only qualified, but that you consider family is essential for getting real skin in this game.

 

4. Does your previous experience of being a part of a production trio, opening your own music studio, and producing a variety of genres give you a different view of the celebrity DJ/Producer world than your peers since you have been involved in so many different layers of this scene?
I have no doubt that when it comes to this world, experience can mean everything. I’ve experienced many high moments, and extreme low blows in my journey in music. Experience develops foresight and keeps your ego in check. You learn not to get too excited and interpret things for what they are. You take in your good and bad experiences as lessons to better your journey moving forward.

I’ve also had the opportunity to produce and collaborate in so many genres across the spectrum. It really allowed me to have versatility when it comes to not being pigeonholed musically and allows me to evolve freely with the times. You will learn a lot from others when collaborating. It teaches you how to work, listen and take criticism from others.

By understanding how others work, you get a better understanding of yourself. Some of the biggest producers I had the opportunity in working with were the most open minded and inquisitive people I’ve ever met.

 

 

5. What kind of music would we find you listening to at home when no one is around?

I’m definitely a student of music. I have a decent sized record collection spanning classical music to music from the 1930’s to today. It’s fair to say I listen to everything. Music is music.

The more variety I listen to and the more that absorbs into my brain, the bigger the palate I have to pull from when creating new music. When working in the studio, especially with songwriters, I tend to pull the most left-field obscure references that end up being totally relevant to the project at hand. I think it’s important for all artists to open their creative minds to the decades of music out there for us to feast on.

Don’t limit your ears to just the flavor of the week or month. Genres I’ve been listening to heavy in the last couple of weeks have been Industrial, Indie, experimental, electronic female artists from Nordic countries like Hanne Hukkelberg, Jazz / Bossa Nova, Trip Hop, Deep, Tech, G house and Metal.

SNBRN talks family love, new tech house EP ahead of Groove Cruise [Interview]

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After hit release “Raindrops,” Kevin Andrew Chapman’s career took off thanks to his house hits and dynamic live performances. The LA-based producer, who is more commonly known as SNBRN, has releases that span from deep to tropical house, giving fans from a variety of genres something to like.

Dancing Astronaut spoke to Chapman about everything from his favorite book to what he has in store for 2018, and his responses prove that the producer is more than meets the eye. When he is not creating music, SNBRN is an avid reader and family guy, noting how much he loves playing in San Francisco because family is able to come to his shows.

The enigmatic producer has performed all over the world — including fulfilling his teenage dream of playing at Coachella. He is performing on the sold out Groove Cruise this year alongside the likes of Markus Schulz, Dada Life, Thomas Jack. With a new EP on the way, and upcoming tour dates with 3LAU, the house connoisseur is setting the stage for a big year ahead.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW BELOW:
You recently tweeted “Reading books is sexy!” What is your favorite book?

Now that’s a tough one! My favorite book to gift that I’ve read a million times is Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative‎, and my current favorite book is The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

 

You became interested in music and music production at a very young age. Who and/or what genres of music were some of your inspirations for this interest? 

My inspiration as a kid came from rock music- Queen, Led Zeppelin & Sublime. As I got more into electronic music, Fatboy slim and Moby pretty much became my idols.

 

Do you have a favorite city and/or venue to play at? 

I would have to say San Francisco. Always an amazing vibe, and my family comes to every show. 

 

What has been the most exciting moment for you in your career so far?

Playing Coachella last year takes the cake! That has been a huge dream of mine since I was 16 years old.

 

What do you have in store for us in 2018?

I have passion project EP of tech house coming out early this year that I am really excited about. I’m also exploring new sounds and tempos for some bigger vocal singles coming out later in the year.

Meet the counselors of Dirtybird Campout East: Louisahhh

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Dirtybird Campout has grown past a simple gathering and into a phenomenon that has gained national interest. Claude VonStroke and his flock have created a truly unforgettable experience that harkens back to childhood memories while also offering an immersive transformational festival experience — complete with an endless supply of rage-worthy music. 2018 marks a milestone year, in which the Campout ventures eastward for its first time to enjoy a sunny jaunt in Florida amidst the winter months. Ahead of its East Coast debut, we assembled a batch of artist “counselors” from the roster and grilled them on camping memories, their careers, and more.

Since the inception of her teeth-clenching RAAR techno imprint alongside Maelstrom in 2015, classified as “a techno label for punk rockers, a punk rock label for techno-heads,” the French luminary Louisahhh has transcended the modern techno space and situated herself as one of the most unique, hauntingly evocative acts in the world.

Louisa Pillot is unmistakable in her earth-shattering deliverance, intertwining brutal, blistering elements of punk rock and techno not for the faint of heart. Her releases frequently splice her own vocals throughout, where she delves deeper into the cataclysmic world from which she exudes.

Presently, Pillot’s surpassed the aforementioned adverse nature of her previous tunes with a new EP, RAAR08 – A Trap I’ve Built,  which acts dually as her heaviest sonic embracement and deepest introspective work to date. It’s lead single, “Trap,” for example, wades through the dark cultural aspects many pass on confronting entirely in dance music realms. Pillot, rather, chooses to directly confront elements of rape culture, addiction, masochism, and deprivation, respectively. These are the very worlds through which Louisahhh!’s music explicitly bleeds, in fact, in spite of. Louisahh’s music is a sonic ambush.

“It is my intention that listening to these songs[her new EP], or DJing them, should be an experience that leaves the audience a little shaken up, something they can feel in their teeth,” she said of A Trap I’ve Built.

Louisahh will be shaking up listeners at the Dirtybird Campout East this year. Ahead of her performance, she took the time to chat with Dancing Astronaut about her sonic inspirations, some defining moments, camping essentials, and even shared a gnarly camping memory.

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What has been your proudest career accomplishment thus far?
“Starting the label RAAR with my partner in noise and disruption, Maelstrom, is probably the thing I’m most proud of thus far. I feel like being forced to live by the ethos of the label (benevolent anarchy, disruption for progress, creative innovation) makes me behave in a way that is more courageous and has more creative integrity.”

Where do you find the most inspiration to create new music?
“Life is always the engine for work; it’s been a slow learning process that I must go out there and live in order to have fodder for new music; that it’s important to be ‘in life’ and not just on the job constantly. At the moment, all the songs seem to be about sex and death and what it means to be a spiritual warrior.”

Describe a defining moment/time that inspired you to keep going down the road of electronic musicianship?
“Getting kicked off the decks in South Beach, Miami, on New Years Eve 2012-13 was really eye opening. I was still playing all vinyl and the promoter told me I wasn’t playing commercial enough after 3 tracks, and booted me. This was quite painful, but it really helped me assert why I do this, (and it’s certainly not to make bottle service clubs pop off), ultimately pushing me farther into making music that is challenging and brave and beautiful and aggressive, not just crowd-pleasing. This experience also made it clear that I couldn’t say no when the offer to move to France came a week later.”

What essential camping items can you not live without?

“I’m both a total wuss and a bold ruffian; as long as I can go running and stay hydrated, I’m pretty happy, but I don’t like bugs or carrying things. I’ll go with sneakers, water, and shelter. Maybe a kindle would be nice also; it takes forever for the batteries to die so one could be pretty content for a while without electricity.”

How would you survive if you were stranded in the woods for a week?
“I actually spend a lot of time thinking about this! I’m a vegetarian, so I eat mostly leaves anyway – the most important thing would be to find a fresh water source and make sure to check for ticks. I would try to use the time to write songs, meditate, work on my tree-climbing skills. If I could find a horse to befriend/steal, I might never go back to civilization.”

What are you looking forward to most about Dirtybird Campout East?
“My dad told me yesterday that he might join me in Florida for the campout, which if real, will be totally nuts. If that doesn’t happen, I’m really looking forward to spending time with peers and heroes and fans and spending time away from abysmal Paris winter.”

What is your craziest camping memory?
“Speaking of dads, we used to go on an annual father-daughter camping trip in Delaware with my school, and I brought home pet frogs twice (Tenta and Friday were their names). There was also a hectic canoe trip in which joyous leaps overboard were interrupted by the realization that the water was teaming with eels! Nightmare!”
If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
“I am a huge fan of Tiga and Green Velvet, so they’re at the top of my list. There are so many friends playing that I’m pretty certain that there will not be a dull moment, musically or socially. I’m super stoked.”

 

 

Photo credit: Marilyn Chambers
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Meet the artists of Costa Rica’s 2018 Ocaso Music Festival: Doc Martin

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Costa Rica’s new underground getaway, Ocaso Music Festival, is preparing to soundtrack the pristine Pacific playa with some of the underground’s most sought-after house and techno artists, January 4-7. In its second edition, Ocaso has become a prime destination for the global underground elite, offering a who’s who billing of beaconing industry titans. This year’s bill includes the infamously secretive Claptone, West Coast house originator Doc Martin, as well as Kenny GlasgowCarlo LioHECTORDirtybird’s Sacha RobottiHuxley, the Desert Hearts crew, and many, many more. Ahead of Ocaso, Dancing Astronaut’s teamed up with the festival for an ongoing interview series spotlighting the cultural hotbed’s alluring, world-class acts.

Doc Martin has served as one of the most innovative and integral DJs on the West Coast club circuit across a career that’s spanned far beyond two decades. Having started spinning house records in the early nineties in San Francisco, Doc Martin quickly began to ascend in the West Coast warehouse party reigns with his eccentric flair at the forefront of his music.

Years of spinning epic sets that amalgamated deep house, cosmic disco, acid, techno, garage, and soul at clubs in the district earned Martin acclaim for presenting a seamless intersection of what many believed to be vastly disparate genres. Martin began to play for large crowds at Flammable Liquid and Sunday Love in 1996, where he then relocated to Los Angeles.

By the mid-90s, he’d already had one Essential Mix and a club residency under his belt and was a rousing favorite amongst crowds around the world. In 1996 he contributed to the fifth volume of the United DJs of America compilation, and in 1998 he followed up with the rousing release of The House Music Movement.

His mantra may very well be to be spin everything, and he truly shys away from nothing. It should come as no surprise then that he’s toured with a surreal array of acts. From artists like The Basement Jaxx and Daft Punk, to shows with James Brown, Grace Jones, and Inner City, Doc Martin is “an artist’s favorite artist” type — adored worldwide for his barrier-breaking soundscapes.

The icon has held a multitude of residencies and played at virtually ever underground club in the world. From the Panorama Bar at Berghain, to Grasshopper in Detroit, and Q Bar in Thailand, he’s deservingly doused many of the most renowned institutions in the world with his fervent productions.

Doc Martin will be taking his tantalizing talents to Costa Rica’s Ocaso festival, where he will be playing at La Senda, in the Costa Rican Jungle on Saturday, January 6.

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What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?

“It was Doc’s Daily Funk on Groovalicious, Which was part of Strictly Rhythm back in the day : ).This Record was made in a Estate APT.(The Projects )in Hackney, London. I don’t know if I would play it, but I heard a few DJ’s in Europe drop it in the last couple of years.”

What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?

“There were a few. Being one of the first west coast guys brought over to the UK, and Playing Basics/Ministry/Cream/Full Circle/Ultimate Bass for Carl Cox. Being a tour DJ for Deee-Lite didn’t hurt either. I think I was the first California guy to hold residencies in NYC, which was unheard of at the time. Flammable Liquid was major as well. I got to experiment and build a new sound there. Way to many things to mention.”

What’re your thoughts on the potential of Costa Rica as a cultural hotbed for underground house and techno?

“Costa Rica has been great for a while now! I think it’s the rest of the world, that’s finally catching up. The people are into the music bigtime, and the vibe has been good every time I’ve played there.”

What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso Festival?

“If it was anything like last year, all of it. Everyone rose to the occasion. The Vibe was so thick last year, and getting to do 5hr’s on the Main stage to close it out was extremely special!”

If you could be another artist for a day, whom would you pick?

“Bob Marley of course! He put out the right energy to the world, Which is probably needed more than ever now! Especially if I got to do a live show on that day as him(Mind Blown).

If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?

“This is really an unfair question, as there are no weak links on the line-up. I would say Desert Hearts(See I was able to squeeze four into 1).Their vibe is thick! When we get together, Look Out!!!! Rodriguez Jr. is just in another world with his live show. Sublevel Live for the vocal, and vibe strength. Aargh there are too many good people on this line-up!!! Seriously for the musically inclined!!!

If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2018, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave
out and why?

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have two essential mixes under my belt. One of the unreleased tracks that Maceo Plex gave me, would be on there for sure!”

Ocaso festival will be held January 4 through January 7 in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Tickets, lineup, and more information are available here.

 

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Meet the artists of Costa Rica’s 2018 Ocaso Music Festival: Carlo Lio

This post was originally published on this site

Costa Rica’s new underground getaway, Ocaso Music Festival, is preparing to soundtrack the pristine Pacific playa with some of the underground’s most sought-after house and techno artists, January 4-7. In its second edition, Ocaso has become a prime destination for the global underground elite, offering a who’s who billing of beaconing industry titans. This year’s bill includes the infamously secretive Claptone, West Coast house originator Doc Martin, as well as Kenny GlasgowCarlo LioHECTORDirtybird’s Sacha RobottiHuxley, the Desert Hearts crew, and many, many more. Ahead of Ocaso, Dancing Astronaut’s teamed up with the festival for an ongoing interview series spotlighting the cultural hotbed’s alluring, world-class acts.

Known for his emblematic assortment of cosmic house and captivating, minimal techno, Toronto’s Carlo Lio deservingly runs with a prodigious pack of producers. Having teamed up with Nathan Barato in 2005, the two formed the aptly-named Rawthentic Music label. From its inception onward, Rawthentic’s aimed to redefine the true meaning of cutting-edge tunes. The label takes pride in its gritty sound and it’s surely evident in their artistic cultivation. Over the years, Rawthentic’s gained the vast support of dance music icons. Artists like Nicole Moudaber, Pig&Dan, Monika Kruse, and more, have even released on Rawthentic.

Traveling the world and spreading the gospel of pulsating tech-house, Lio credits artists like Dubfire, Carl Cox, and Loco Dice as his influences. He kickstarted his career with a remix of Dubfire and Oliver Huntemann’s “Diablo,” which without his hesitation, dominated the charts. A year earlier Lio had released “Breakfast In A Bag,” which had sparked the interest in him on the international circuit. After the Cocoon Recordings mix in 2011, Lio’s discography began to amass a multitude of labels. Dubfire’s SCI+TEC, Bedrock Records, MOOD, Desolat, Suara, Intec Digital, and Mindshake Records are just some of the few he’s released on.

While Lio’s talent in the studio spans over the last ten years, his music has also been captivating dancers, and touching down on dancefloors around the world in the midst. Though he looks to both Toronto and Barcelona as his home bases, Lio is the epitome of an international artist. Earlier this fall, he released a sinister techno EP called Psychout, showing once more that he lacks any intentions of ending his time in music. Lio’s stylistic curveballs in fact signify that he’s still batting high, and he will continue to be up for quite some time.

Carlo Lio will be playing at La Senda, in the Costa Rican Jungle on Saturday, January 6.

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What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?

“The first track I’ve every released was called “EVERYBODY”.. and it was on my label Rawthenic. But at that point it was Nathan Barato who owned Rawthentic and he actually signed my first track. Yes i would still play it in a show.”

What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?

“As for breakthrough, I would have to say in 2010 when I release a track called “Breakfast in Bag” which really got attention a lot of international attention & support and really set off my career.”

What’re your thoughts on the potential of Costa Rica as a cultural hotbed for underground house and techno?

I’ve always loved Costa Rica’s vibe and passion for the music. It always gets better and better every time I come back. I feel the potential is massive.”

What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso Festival?

“Just to feel the unique vibe the Costa Rican people have to offer. I’ve never played an actual festival there so I’m anxious to see how this goes on a much larger scale.”

If you could be another artist for a day, whom would you pick?

“Tough question, but I would have to say Luke Steele from Empire of the Sun. I love their music and would love to see how his mind works.”

If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?

“I would have to say Kenny Glasgow, Doc Martin & Rodriguez Jr. Huge talent these guys!”

If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2018, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave
out and why?

“Well with essential mix you always need to showcase your depth as a DJ and I think Boris Werner “Set it Off” (Makam Orchestra Drama Remix) is a timeless classic that would fit perfectly into the mix!”

Ocaso festival will be held January 4 through January 7 in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Tickets, lineup, and more information are available here.

 

 

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Meet the artists of Costa Rica’s 2018 Ocaso Music Festival: Kevin Knapp

This post was originally published on this site

Costa Rica’s new underground getaway, Ocaso Music Festival, is preparing to soundtrack the pristine Pacific playa with some of the underground’s most sought-after house and techno artists from January 4-7. In its second edition, Ocaso has become a prime destination for the global underground elite, offering a who’s who billing of beaconing industry titans. This year’s bill includes the infamously secretive Claptone, West Coast house originator Doc Martin, as well as Kenny GlasgowCarlo LioHECTORDirtybird’s Sacha RobottiHuxley, the Desert Hearts crew, and many, many more. Ahead of Ocaso, Dancing Astronaut’s teamed up with the festival for an ongoing interview series spotlighting the cultural hotbed’s alluring, world-class acts.

Kevin Knapp is one of tech house’s greatest chameleons. Between his coveted work with Jamie Jones’ renowned Hot Creations imprint, to Dirtybird, DFTD, Truesoul, and more; Knapp’s solidified an effervescently amorphous standing as a commanding force in the subgenre, dominating club floors across the world in the interim.

Knapp’s flourishing career dates back to his success in 2012 when his music was a fixture in the Bay Area underground. His beginnings behind the booth were at infamous parties like Satellite, Werd, As You Like It, and more. Quite similar to many artists before and after him, Knapp’s incubation period in the underground allowed him to get his footing. His eventual debut, “Like This,” on Matt Tolfrey’s Leftroom label was a powerful turning point for the artist, but it was his classic tech house tune “Stay Glued,” with Audiojack, that really kicked things off for the artist a year earlier.

From there, Knapp moved to Berlin and went on to debut a multitude of records, including his Hot Creations’  record “Heft” that became the catalyst for Knapp’s more global success. Relocating to Europe in early 2013 had brought about friendships with the likes of Pan-Pot, Tiefschwarz, and Sacha Robotti. Not only has Knapp become a fixture on the global circuit and somewhat of a club scene heavyweight over the years, but his collaborations have come full circle; he’s collaborated once again this year with Audiojack on a new piece called “Implications.” It’s through both Knapp’s willingness and wholehearted desire to represent the underground that he is poised to forever succeed.

Kevin Knapp will be playing at La Senda, in the Costa Rican Jungle on Saturday, January 6.

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What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?
“The First Label I ever released on is called Looq Records and it’s run by two of my good friends Jondi & Spesh out of San Francisco.  Jondi and I worked together in my initial studio days under a moniker called Slow Poke.  The first song we did was called Broken Line and at the right time, sure I’d play it.  I just dusted if off to answer this question and it’s still got a lil’somethin’.”

What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
“The first break through was a track called ‘Stay Glued‘ that I did with Audiojack.  The FCL remix for that cut put me on the international radar I guess.  When I landed in Berlin that’s how people knew me.  Releasing the track   ‘The Heft’ on Hot Creations in 2015 was definitely the biggest release I’ve had to date.”

What’re your thoughts on the potential of Costa Rica as a cultural hotbed for underground house and techno?
“I’ve actually not played in Central America a lot, but it seems to be happening more and more lately which is great!  I’ve not been to Costa Rica yet so I can’t really speak to that, but with BPM closing last year in Mexico it seems like there is likely some space now for other Central American countries including Costa Rica to step up their January game.  Everyone that I know who has been there, raves about the country, I can’t wait!”

What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso Festival?
“First off the opportunity to play tunes in the Costa Rican jungle sounds like once in a lifetime kinda stuff.  I’m also excited to see so many of my friends there.  I think Doc Martin and I are on the same stage on Saturday and we just recently met on a shared bill in Brooklyn for the first time just last month (if you can believe it).   It will be fun to see him again.  Also Tone of Arc, Kenny Glasgow, Claptone & my good buddy Sacha Robotti will all be there.  Costa Rica with the homies? Sign me up!”

If you could be another artist for a day, whom would you pick?
“Ice Cube”

If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
“Kenny Glasgow, I’ll be front and center for that.  He’s dope personified. Sacha Robotti – Don’t sleep on Sacha he’ll hurt ya! (yes, I mean that positively). Desert Hearts – I’ve heard about them a ton and I’ve never seen them so I’m pumped to finally check them out!”

If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2018, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out and why?
“‘Blah Blah Blah’ by Yours Truly on Hot Creations. It’s just burned down so many dance floors me this year.  It’s coming out next spring and just really speaks to where I’m at musically at the moment.”

Ocaso festival will be held January 4 through January 7 in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Tickets, lineup, and more information are available here.

 

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Ocaso Music Festival announces stunning house & techno-oriented lineup

Meet the artists of Costa Rica’s 2018 Ocaso Music Festival: Weiss

This post was originally published on this site

Costa Rica’s new underground getaway, Ocaso Music Festival, is preparing to soundtrack the pristine Pacific playa with some of the underground’s most sought-after house and techno artists from January 4-7. In its second edition, Ocaso has become a prime destination for the global underground elite, offering a who’s who billing of beaconing industry titans. This year’s bill includes the infamously secretive Claptone, West Coast house originator Doc Martin, as well as Kenny Glasgow, Carlo Lio, HECTOR, Dirtybird’s Sacha Robotti, Huxley, the Desert Hearts crew, and many, many more. Ahead of Ocaso, Dancing Astronaut’s teamed up with the festival for an ongoing interview series spotlighting the cultural hotbed’s alluring, world-class acts.

Championed by the likes of Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice, the Dirtybird flock, and more since an outpouring of early releases in 2013, London’s Weiss has established himself as a real house music mainstay.

His revered approach is a melange of delectable, old school jackin’ Chicago house sounds — rich in compelling percussion, funky basslines, and chopped up samples. Trends in house music come and go, but Weiss has withstood them all. His sonic garb is made of one-of-a-kind fabric that’s woven into the very seams of the genre’s ethos. From his funk-dabbling early hits like “You Treat Me Right,” to the disco-tinged, poignant vocals on numbers like “Man Gone,” to his more recent full-on tech house domination, Weiss has done it all with fervent flair.

In 2014 he ascended to entirely newfound heights when his “Guitar Man” release dominated the Beatport charts and went on to dominate the underground club circuits for the months to follow. Since then, he’s continuously surmounted his successes in a critically-acclaimed reception of each and every release. Weiss’ remix of Green Velvet and Riva Starr‘s “Robots” from 2013 and his Beatport-dominating single “My Sister” are still raved about and thrown into sets to this very day. Weiss ripped into the underground circuit with flair in 2014 and he hasn’t left since.

More recently, he’s showed no signs of slowing down. Weiss has released four EPs in 2017 and dominated an array of festivals over the last 12 months. After charting his continual success, it’s easy to see why Weiss’ popularity has withstood itself over the years. He’s an ambassador for real house music, the genre’s emotional impact, and is always sure to imbue his love for the craft in his work — which is surely something the dance world can always use more of.

Weiss will be playing at La Senda, in the Costa Rican Jungle on Saturday, January 6.

Weiss Press Shot 2015_2 (1)

What was your first label release? Would you still play it in a show?
“My first Weiss release was with Toolroom Records back in 2013 and it was an E.P. called Old School Bizz. Yes I would definitely still play it today and I still do play it in my sets! The track “Baby Talk To Me” did really well in terms of DJ & radio support but my favorite from the EP to play out to this day is ‘Old School Bizz.’”

What has been the biggest breakthrough of your career?
“That’s a tough question! Each time you achieve something you set as a goal is seen as a breakthrough! But I guess when the track ‘My Sister’ was released it really changed things for me, it went Beatport No.3 and was a pretty big club track across the summer back in 2013, DJ bookings started to increase quite a lot and it gave my career a real boost. I’ve also been lucky enough to have a lot of support from the get go from lots of major artists who I see as my heroes, DJ’s like Pete Tong and Carl Cox, so that’s been a big thing for me. Getting nominated for best breakthrough act at The DJ Mag awards a couple of years ago was pretty cool too.”

What’re your thoughts on the potential of Costa Rica as a cultural hotbed for underground house and techno?
“I heard music is a staple of Costa Rican life, so it comes to no surprise that when they put on a festival it’s talked about a lot with the locals. I know there are a handful of good venues that put on House & Techno nights but I think the potential could be great for House music to grow bigger and bigger in this country especially having that salsa, calypso vibe.”

What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso Festival?
“Well it would be the first time in Costa Rica for me so I’m very much looking forward to visiting this beautiful country and it would obviously be the first time playing in Costa Rica so I’m not sure what to expect which is always exciting. And just to experience the culture, people and the food!”

If you could be another artist for a day, whom would you pick?
“Probably Dr Dre or Quincy Jones, their studios are on another planet and the artists they have worked with over the years is like a who’s who list of the worlds best artists.”

If you could recommend three artists to catch from the lineup, who would you pick?
“Rodriguez jr., Carlo Lio & Huxley and of course, myself haha ;).”

If you were recruited to provide an Essential Mix in 2018, what’s the one song you couldn’t leave out and why?
“Quite often with the Essential Mix artists tend to do a current mix of songs but I’d definitely have to drop a classic or two in the mix, I always do when I DJ so it wouldn’t be right not to have one included! This classic would have to be Gat Decor “Passion”. Every time I hear it I’m taken straight back to the early 90’s and my memories of clubbing and record shopping as a young teenager! I play it every now and then in my current sets and it always goes off too!”

 


Ocaso festival will be held January 4 through January 7 in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Tickets, lineup, and more information are available here.

 

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Kove goes back to his roots with new EP, shares exclusive ‘Dig It’ [Interview]

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James Rockhill, known to the music world as Kove, has been taking the drum & bass world by storm since his beginnings as an artist in 2012. In the five years since his debut, Rockhill’s sound has morphed and transformed as he’s honed his sound. He’s toyed with house music for singles like “Jericho” and “Comin’ On Strong” in 2016, but his forthcoming collection of music takes him back to his fast-paced drum & bass roots. In From The Cold is a four-track exploration of the very essence of Rockhill as an artist, showcasing his raw, old-school style.

In From The Cold is out Nov. 24, and we have an exclusive first listen of “Dig It,” below.

Why was “Ain’t No Love” chosen as the EP’s lead single? How does it pave the way for the rest of the EP? 

I feel like it is representative of where I am musically at the moment so it felt like the right one to re-introduce myself with after the break I’ve just had. It’s got an old-school raw flavour to it in my opinion, which is a theme that runs through this EP and a lot of the stuff I’m making.

How long has this EP been in the works?

It’s actually been a relatively short turnaround with this one. I had the demo of “Aint No Love” knocking about for a fair while before anyone really heard it. Risky at DNBA got hold of it and suggested putting it out, and that really kickstarted writing DnB again for me. The rest of the tunes on the EP were written in the space of a few weeks and here we are now!

How does In From the Cold differ from your previous Nightfires collections?

The most obvious difference would be it’s all drum & bass. I really used Nightfires to explore different styles and techniques, such as exploring rock music through different vocalists and using guitars instead of synthesizers. There’s also a lot of house tunes on those EPs. With In From the Cold, I wanted to get back to the sound that I started out producing, going back to my roots so to speak.

What are you most excited about in today’s dance music scene?

Dance music is exciting at the moment. It seems to be equally looking forward and dipping back into the old school at the same time, which I think is a good place to be. There was so much talk of the ‘EDM bubble’ and its inevitable burst, but electronic music seems to be from strength to strength and diversifying all the time. It’s also interesting to see how much pop is becoming influenced by more left field styles like trap and the whole ‘SoundCloud rap’ thing, rather than pop-house being so prevalent.

What do you see for the future of drum & bass?

It seems super healthy at the moment. I don’t think you’re going to see it bothering the charts as much as it has been in recent years but that seems healthier for the more underground sounds. I personally think we’re going to see a bit of a resurgence in more melodic dancefloor tunes, much in the same way dubstep is hinting towards pre-2010 sounds.

What are your plans for 2018?

Plenty more new music! I’ve been on a writing spree recently so I can’t wait to get new beats out. Apart from that, I’m looking forward to getting back out on the road!

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Busy birds Walker & Royce touch down to talk the release of their debut album ‘Self Help,’ abandoning samples, and bringing hip hop vocals to house music [Interview]

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Six-years ago, birds of a feather Samuel Walker and Gavin Royce perched atop an egg of an idea. The Brooklyn-based duo’s musical nest hadn’t, however, been empty — Walker & Royce had been releasing music since 2011, when their track, “Future Lately” caught the attention of Damian Lazarus. The ‘yolk’ of this theoretical egg would center around the duo’s desire to develop a debut album, and years later, Walker & Royce’s musical incubation has culminated in a fully fledged product that is currently sending feathers aflutter: Self Help, the Dirtybird signees’ eleven-track debut album, officially released on October 20.

Claude VonStroke’s ‘tech funk’ undertaking, Dirtybird Records has proven itself to be no stranger to the public spotlight. The underground imprint witnessed a consecutive triumph in 2013 and 2014, taking home the title of “Underground Label of the Year” both years at the International Dance Music Awards. The Dirtybird collective likewise emerged as the triumphant entity in Mixmag’s recent ‘Label Of The Decade’ deliberation, where the label was identified as the most impactful imprint between the years of 2007-2017. VonStroke notably founded the label in 2005.

The collective’s continual industry influence is irrefutable, as is the brand’s expansion, what with the West coast label having newly announced the inaugural East Coast edition of its annual flagship West Coast Campout event.

As the flock of Dirtybird fans worldwide continues to grow, Walker & Royce find themselves responsible for some of this growth. A breakout hit originating from Self Help’s track list, the intergalactic tune, “Take Me To Your Leader” quickly became a house set staple upon its July release, appealing to veteran house music listeners and ears less accustomed to the genre alike. “We wanted to write music that was more accessible and less niche,” Walker says of the shared vision behind Self Help.

Walker & Royce’s determination to craft an album non-limiting in aesthetic has since shown itself to be a fruitful initiative. The album’s stellar sonic groove surfaces as one that invites all dance music fans to check their preconceptions of house music at the door in order to get down on the dance floor.

Dancing Astronaut flew in Walker & Royce’s direction to discuss the album’s release, the progress of the duo’s international “Self Help Tour,” and not to be neglected, the pair’s own preferred ‘self help’mediums prior to Walker & Royce’s ‘Dirtybird Players’ performance in Washington, DC.

First of all, congratulations on the debut album!

Thank you!

So how has the [Self Help] tour been going so far? You’re right in the thick of things right now.

We’re right smack in the middle of it, it’s really good. We’ve done clubs before, but it’s our first time doing a headlining tour, so it’s cool to be out every weekend. It’s a nice way to present our album.

Have there been any favorite moments so far while on this tour for the debut album, any revelatory moments being that this is your first headlining tour?

Walker:The campout was amazing [West Coast Campout]. We have a lot more to go, until January almost.

 

Royce: Well Christmas kind of ends and then we go to Australia as part of it [the tour].

 

Walker:I mean, Vancouver went off, Vancouver was amazing. We also have Holy Ship! that we’re doing, that’s coming up. The main thing for all these gigs is we’ve been doing this for a long time, but now’s the one time, the first time I feel we’ve been able to go in and be ourselves 100%, and people are into it, we’ve got people there that are into it rather than feeling their way through like “who are these people?” We can just be ourselves. It’s great, I feel a lot more adventurous now.

 

Royce: It’s good for us to get out every weekend, it’s kind of strengthening our ability. We’ve had abilities as DJs, but now the amount of DJing we’re doing is elevating our sets, it’s becoming second nature, it’s letting us experiment a little more, doing little things that we’ve always kind of said “oh we should do that,” or things we’ve done once or twice, but now we’re doing that a little more regularly.

A debut album is a major foundational work that offers a fuller look at an artist’s sound. Can you speak more to the vision of this debut album?

Royce: We knew we wanted it to work as an album more than just an EP, I think that was really important to us so that it didn’t come off as “here’s ten-tracks that sound really good in the club.” We wanted to have not maybe a story but a feel, we wanted it to really flow and be something that you listen to at home, not just in club situations. We also didn’t want it to be sample based—we got our own vocals, our own original stuff, that was the main thing.

 

Walker: There’s almost always some kind of vocal element in our music, and instead of sampling everything, we wanted to just get singers and write whole songs. And some of them [the songs] are more house tracks while some of them are not, some of them are more ‘poppy.’ I feel like we did what we wanted to do. We wanted to make some tracks that would be full vocal tracks and others that would be a little more different, like the first and last tracks on the album.

Like ‘Sunday.’

Yes

What was the song on the album that you most enjoyed producing?

Walker: It changes every week! There’s favorite in terms of easiest, fun.

So what then was your favorite song to produce in terms of personality, the one most reflective of your evolving sound? You did switch it up not too long ago.

Walker:Take Me to Your Leader is probably the best because it’s so vast, like sometimes a song takes awhile because you struggle with it, but this song took two or three days.

 

Royce:For me it’s the Sophiegrophy song, “My Own Thang.” It’s just this whole hip hop vocal. That normally sounds a little corny in house music, but I knew if we did it right that it would be really good. I didn’t think it was going to work and I kind of was almost like okay we’re just going to sample a little bit of it, and we ended up being able to use the full thing. I think it’s one of the standout tracks on the album.

 

Walker: We knew we wanted to make her look good, she gave us great stuff

 

Royce:It’s hard to use that kind of stuff on house music, it doesn’t really fit [house music] with hip hop vocals. A lot of people just sample a hip hop vocal and it’s not really hip hop but this was like she wrote this song, it’s not sampled it’s her song, she wrote it for us, and we wanted to treat it well.

Your set at the West Coast Campout emerged as one of the fan favorites from the weekend, and you notably played much of the new album there. From an artist’s perspective, what is it like to play at a Campout event?

Royce: It was amazing, this is the third campout we’ve done. The first one we played at 12:00 PM on a Saturday, there weren’t that many people. The second one we had a 5:30 PM set time which was on the first day and it was great, and this time we were right before Justin Martin on Saturday night and it was a little bit of pressure. This set felt more like a concert than anything we’ve ever done because it was really like presenting the album, it was the first time that we played almost all of the album tracks in the set, and we also had Dances With White Girls performing three songs with us so it had a little bit of a concert vibe, which was cool.

Can you disclose whether or not you will be at Dirtybird Campout East?

We can neither confirm nor deny.

It was worth a valiant effort to try to find out!

Royce: I see what you’re doing!

Whether or not we’ll see you at Campout East, can you share any details regarding any additional new music that might be coming out this year?

Royce: We have a remix of “La La Land” by Green Velvet that is supposed to be coming out before the end of the year. We told everybody it is, I really hope it does, you never know with these things, sometimes they get moved. We don’t have a release date for it yet, but it’s supposed to be coming out.

 

In any case, that’s something to look forward to.

You’ve  noted in a previous interview that the title ‘Self Help’ is a parody that satirizes the saturation of self-help books available for purchase. Outside of music, what’s your go to “self help” medium?

Walker: For me it’s walking.

 

Royce: I love walking. And I don’t do it everyday but I also meditate in the morning. I get up and I have this meditation app that’s like “breathe,” and I just sit there for ten minutes and it clears my head, it really does work. I should do it everyday, but I don’t do it everyday. The big thing for me about walking is that I really hate running.

I love the fact that you’re a duo and you guys basically gave the same answer, I guess you must be rubbing off on each other.

Royce: The other part of the “self help” thing too is it’s a parody joke and that’s our sense of humor, it’s a very New York sense of humor I think. It’s just honest, like we’re laughing at ourselves. It’s also like to do this, you really have to believe in yourself, it has multiple layers of meaning which is why we thought it was a really good name for this album.

 

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Questions & Pushups w/ GTA [INTERVIEW]

This post was originally published on this site

Firstly, you guys have so many diverse interests in music. You’re constantly talking about hip-hop, alt-rock, all these different things…. So we just wanna know, what artist or genre that you guys listen to would we be surprised to learn about? 

Wow…. there’s honestly been so many different artists that we’ve been inspired by together. I guess for ME (Matthew) someone that’s really inspired me, Manchester Orchestra! I just saw them play like, a few days ago and…. woah, they’re incredible. [How bout you Julio?] Oooh, I’d have to say BADBADNOTGOOD, it’s like this Jazz, super-cool, funky music…. that’s a terrible description of them, but they’re amazing. [Great answer Julio!]

Who are some artists in electronic music who are doing some shit where you’re like “Wow, this is so cool”? 

Some artists that we really fuck with right now, Party Favor, for sure. Wookie, also! [Julio grabs mic] Dombresky is super dope…. umm, Sofie, from the UK, SUPER FIRE. [Matthew speaking] Born Dirty, they have some really… weird shit… which I love. And of course…. Chris Lake, the legend. Tisoki! Some dubstep stuff…. killing the game right now! Oh an GTA! They do some pretty cool stuff I guess…. I wish we could be them….
One thing that we’ve noticed about you guys…. With everything so “sanitized” these days, you two seem to remain very raw and real about politics and your stances on social issues. Could you just speak on why it’s important to you guys to give a voice to these things? 

As far as politics and stuff goes, to each their own… it’s kind of what politics are about. [Matthew speaking] Personally, I know both of us like to voice our opinions, and I feel like that’s part of your personality… it’s part of you and what you believe in should be a part of what you talk about. I don’t know… it’s better to say something than be quiet and standby doing nothing.

[Julio speaking] I mean honestly though, we’re Hispanic and I think one thing we all naturally gravitate towards is rights and our people. We want to represent properly and at the end of the day, we just want people to be happy and enjoy life… enjoy good times. [Matthew] YES! Good Times Ahead! 

So what is your hope for your music? With your new album you just released, what are you trying to convey to your listeners and the world when they listen?

When we produce music, we really have just one goal: to put a smile on people’s faces. Just like it does for us when we make it…. When we’re in the studio, we really just make things that we are super excited about. It’s a regular occurrence for Julio and myself to just dance around the studio when we make music because we love it so much. If we can bring that feeling to you guys, then we’ll be happy.

Okay, we’d like you two to takeover the interview and ask each other one question to answer for your fans! (Check out above!)

 

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