Holy Ship! 12.0 was truly one for the books. With an even mixture of new and old faces across DJs and attendees, the vibe felt particularly special this time around, with talent from Mikey Lion to The Black Madonna all gushing about the magic that transpired over the weekend. The programming was as on point as the open, jubilant crowd, with a myriad of hidden stages, activity areas, and well-planned DJ sets happening all across the ship’s decks to create an even, enduring flow for all four days. Ultimately, the vibrant energy output by all involved—from the #shipfam, to the crew—made for yet another unforgettable voyage to the Bahamas.
While picking top moments of the festival feels akin to being forced to pick a favorite child, we masochistically put ourselves to the task and selected five highlights of 12.0. Without further ado…
JAUZ, Slander, and more at Bite This for an epic B2B
Credit: aLive Coverage
JAUZ went all out for his set at Bite This stage, playing more-or-less a producer’s set with mostly his own productions. While he’d already gotten off to a great start, onlookers got to witnessed something magical. Slander joined the bass house don on stage, followed by Holy Goof and Skepsis for what wound up being one of the most epic B2Bs of the weekend. We’re pretty sure people’s necks and feet still hurt from the chaos.
Claude VonStroke doing what he does best
Credit: aLive Coverage
Claude VonStroke played multiple times throughout Holy Ship! 12.0. Two moments were especially memorable, however. At the DIRTYBIRD private beach party, the label boss worked some serious wizardry behind the decks. This same atmosphere was present, and even more amplified, as the voyage came to a close and he took over the Theater stage with boisterous ease. The energy in the crowd almost created a full-on second wind.
NGHTMRE doing some damage on the Pool Deck
Ironically, NGHTMRE’s sailaway set was actually something out of a dream. Each tune he selected was an absolute knocker, be it his own original works, or numbers like Slander’s “Zombie,” which made the crowd completely lose it. Even more cerebral was that we got the chance to watch it from the 17th floor outside deck, which made the visuals completely surreal.
JOYRYDE brings out the hidden gems
Those in attendance of JOYRYDE’s two Holy Ship! performances were lucky enough to catch a special preview of his upcoming album, Brave. The swiftly-rising producer pulled out a ton of IDs in each, treating his onlookers to a fresh, unheard of aural feast. Pairing with the tunes was both of his crowds’ energies. There was no stopping of the wild dancing that night, and snatching snippets of the night to look back on afterward.
Heroic substitution by Habstrakt
Credit: Nate Vogel
Sadness could be felt across the Shipfam when news arose of Audien missing the cruise due to sickness. That being said, the Holy Ship! crew had an excellent substitute up its sleeve: Habstrakt. The classically-trained Frenchman read his crowd with ease, throwing down some three of the weekend’s most noteworthy sets that, while wildly varied stylistically and through track selection, remained connected in their wildness. One might even say him coming on board was a blessing in disguise.
Jauz has remixed Marshmello‘s hit collaboration with Bastille, “Happier,” almost entirely transforming the track, with the exception of Bastille’s vocal work. The Bite This helmer has made the track his own with a moody, albeit equally addicting, new take on Marshmello’s chart-topping hit.
Hushed vocals creep over chopping drums that serve as the backbone of the release. The original electronic notes are drawn out, with the tempo dramatically altered to suit JAUZ’s take on “Happier.” Bastille’s vocals are still a focal point for the track, with the emphasis on the opening lyrics as opposed to the catchy melody that hooks the listener in the original.
It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.
Anti Up have left the pizza at home and returned for a three-track EP, Hey Pablo, thrilling listeners with searing house beats and ever-catchy vocals. Above & Beyond have released their first original collaboration in eight years: a stunning Anjunabeats tune called “Long Way From Home” with Spencer Brown. graves teams up with EZI for a piece that’s equally beautiful and heavy in “I’m Fine.” ODESZA have released the deluxe edition of their seminal A Moment Apart album, featuring a total of 25 songs — including a hefty VIP remix of “Memories That You Call” with Golden Features. Mr. Bill returns to mau5trap for an eerie original, “Apophenia.” Keys N Krates have revealed a Live in Toronto version of their Cura album, visibly demonstrating they hold nothing back in their live productions. Bringing the feels as usual, Illenium has remixed Halsey‘s emotive “Without You” in beautiful form. And as Christmas draws near, Kaskade continues to add to his sounds of the season catalog with a few new holiday tracks, including “Little Town.”
As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.
Photo credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella
Red Light management took a loss this November in Moe Shalazi, who’s officially departing the firm to begin his own management company. Shalazi, who’s notably cultivated the careers of megastars like JAUZ, Marshmello, Ghastly, and more, will be taking all of his clients with him on his new venture. Both him and Red Light have yet to release official statements on their separation.
Shalazi certainly has the skillset to create a powerhouse agency on his own. Since helping Marshmello break into the EDM scene in 2015, he’s since helped him become one of the most followed crossover stars with $44 million in earnings this year alone, and a YouTube channel that’s now the platforms 36th most-followed. Moe got his start at a young age, making the leap from event promotion in his early twenties to artist management in 2014. Prior to his work with Marshmello, his first major breakthrough client had been JAUZ, who helped catalyze his move to Red Light Management.
We’re inching closer to Skrillex’s imminent return, and while his now-canonized debut LP, Recess, is nearing its fifth birthday, he’s carved out a Hall of Fame career since his momentous mainstream breakout. He’s become one of the most in-demand pop producers of the modern day, while managing to keep close to his post-hardcore roots, build on his electronic music legacy, and explore new sounds all at once. This year, in celebration of turning 30, Skrillex took a much-deserved year off, though a not-so-secret comeback is beginning to take shape, and signs suggest OWSLA’s head honcho could be primed to change the game all over again very soon.
In the meantime, label recruit JOYRYDE is snapping a shorter hiatus as well, linking up with the boss man for his upcoming album’s lead single — the long awaited “Agen Wida.” The pair more than deliver on their new joint effort, so to celebrate, Dancing Astronaut put together an additional 11 (unranked) Skrillex-assisted classics. See if your favorite Skrillex feature made the list below.
A few weeks after the release of his highly anticipated Rick Ross feature, “Purple Lamborghini” (not featured) for the ill-fated Suicide Squad soundtrack, Skrillex switched gears and went full experimental house with veteran French mastermind, Mr. Oizo on “End of the World.” Somewhere between cheeky setlist tool and thumping club cut, Mr. Oizo and Skrillex link up for a memorable house cut featured on Oizo’s 2016 LP, All Wet.
Featured on OWSLA’s 2017 label compilation, HOWSLA, “Chicken Soup” finds Skrillex linked with French bass-house linchpin Habstrakt. The collaboration originally received a live debut during a surprise Skrillex set at Coachella’s DoLab and would eventually come to be one of the biggest tracks of the year. Skrillex’s house output often takes a backseat to some of his heavier studio hallmarks, but “Chicken Soup,” launched Skrillex towards a considerable club-leaning kick, and has since grown to be a fan favorite within a sprawling catalog of monstrous bass hits.
Taking on Hundred Waters’ 2014 standout from Moon Rang Like a Bell, Skrillex reunited with Chance the Rapper, the frequent to breathe new life into “Show Me Love,” with help from vocalists Moses Sumney and Robin Hannibal. The remix, which became Hundred Waters‘ most commercially lauded track to date also served as Skrillex’s directorial debut, crafting a feel-good adventure feature for the cameras, rounding off the remix effort with a perfectly complementary video for “Show Me Love.”
The unconventional nature of Skrillex and Justin Bieber’s creative partnership was perhaps what made the duo so enticing at first. But after a proven knack for crafting hits together, there’s no denying that when the two link up, they’re bound for radio-ready gold. Such was the case on the tropical chart-topper “Sorry” from Bieber’s inescapable Purpose. The album wound up being a massive commercial success and catapulted Skrillex to untouchable pop producer status alongside Bieber for a second time.
Undoubtedly one of the most memorable cuts from the entire OWSLA catalog, the boss man orchestrated a super-collaboration remix of Yogi‘s “Burial” that will probably never get old. It’s just too damn good. It has even become Arby’s unofficial theme song. The 2015 posse cut came after the Aftermath-championed production outfit had already collected remixes of the track from Moody Good and Trollphace. So mashing every rendition together with the additions of Skrillex, G.O.O.D. Music president Pusha T, and a cameo from Denis Rodman in the music video rounded this one out at full blockbuster status for the final product.
What So Not and RL Grime‘s “Tell Me” will always be remembered as the defining emblem of the year trap music took over the EDM zeitgeist. The track is still a hallmark in both producer’s catalogs, though after their first booming collaboration, the world needed a second. In fact, it was practically demanded. So when RL and his Aussie counterpart finally did link back up, they brought along Skrillex for “Waiting,” which became one of the most anticipated tracks of the year in 2016. The track played on the same bombastic trap theme from a few years before, and managed to recreate most of the magic from trap’s extended moment in the sun.
Long before the Mind of a Genius roster was crushing the music world, Skrillex pulled up for “Working For It,” a now legendary posse cut with ZHU and THEY. handling vocal duties. The track combined ZHU’s twanging guitars and ludicrously crisp synth lines with signature Skrillex bass stabs. The result was a certified late-night ready club anthem that hits as hard on the thousandth play as it did on the first.
After striking Top 40 gold twice with Justin Bieber, and creating unique collaborations with artists ranging from K-pop heavyweight CL to Chance The Rapper on 2014’s Recess LP, Skrillex solidified a knack for bringing his productions into a featured vocalist’s unique world. 2017’s “Favor” is a prime example, as Skrillex and Vindata combine Jack Ü-inspired percussion with an lush instrumental that lets NSTASIA’s breezy lines float effortlessly on top.
Roc Nation rapper Vic Mensa is joined by Jahlil Beats and Skrillex for a collaboration that was essentially the OWSLA head’s 2015 follow up to “Wild For The Night” with A$AP Rocky. Scratching the itch to make another repeat-worthy rap-meets-electronic anthem, Skrillex and Jahlil Beats proctor a cinematic trap beat for Mensa to deliver his bars over, that winds up being one of Skrillex’s more unique, albeit less hyped, features in the rap space to date. The final product was then turned over to Zane Lowe for his debut premiere on the newly launched Apple Music platform.
Skrillex has a history of head-turning video concepts, though his animated joint with JAUZ for their Adult Swim Single “SQUAD OUT!” with Fatman Scoop may take the cake. The video is directed by Adult Swim veteran Adam Fuchs, whose credits previously included Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Ugly Americans for the network, as well as music videos for artists such as Flying Lotus and Neon Indian.
The video, unsurprising given its director, is an extension of Adult Swim’s trademark gonzo animation. It opens innocuously enough, with animated avatars of Skrillex and JAUZ riding an elevator. It doesn’t take long though, for things to get very weird. The collaboration was a standout to begin with, and the video made it even better.
To assist on The Game’s The Documentary 2, a follow up LP to his debut solo project from a decade earlier, the OWSLA boss served a trunk-rattling dose of bombastic bravado on “El Chapo.” The Recess producer brought his half of the Escobar-ian swagger with a latin-flavored horn loop and shattering subs providing the perfect backdrop for The Game’s snarling bars. The cartel homage was a little harder than the previous rap features in Skrill’s repertoire, but on his joint with The Game, he proves he can undoubtedly run with the big dogs on “El Chapo.”
Nearly six months after celebrating its landmark 20th anniversary, Ultra Miami has unveiled its exultant recap of the historic weekend surely no attendee has forgotten (at least not deliberately). The short picture boasts its seemingly endless stream of EDM hall of famers, including Tiësto, Steve Aoki, Oliver Heldens, and Dash Berlin: a mere fraction of the 2018 roster.
Inundated by glistening bikini bods, a thundering mass of pyrotechnics, and a kaleidoscopic sea of swirling artist emblems, the video may appear hyperbolic, albeit, only to those who have never had the chance to attend. The recap illustrates the round-the-clock celebratory nature of the fest, shifting from day to night with no loss of vigor, mirroring that of the perpetually enthused, perma-smile patrons. Additionally, those Ultra attendees brandish not only a full spectrum of artist memorabilia, but national flags from all ends of the universe, solidifying the festival’s overwhelming scope of attraction. Even Will Smith can be seen taking the sparkling city up on his eternal “Welcome To Miami.”
JAUZ has released his highly anticipated 23-track project, The Wise and The Wicked just in time for Labor Day Weekend. The conceptually-driven LP sees the bass producer and DJ flex his muscles creatively, envisioning a dystopian world complete with a full storyline narrative to support his music. Delivered in four “chapters,” the story tells of a world where the wealth gap reaches its limit and two castes of the population emerge, pitting the ultra rich against the ultra poor under the guise of anarchy.
While JAUZ’s signature style at times has a darker edge to it, The Wicked sees him push the ominous side of his explorative stylings further. Featuring impressive collaborations from artists like Example, Kiiara,Krewella, DJ Snake and Ducky, the album follows a story arch with a rise and fall, ending in a climactic resolution. The release of The Wise and The Wicked follows the release of previous singles “Super Fly” and “Acid or Techno.”
For months now, fans have been gradually exposed to the depths of JAUZ‘s experimentation with gumptious genre distortions. Just one day ahead of his BITE THIS-housed The Wise and The Wicked album release, JAUZ has shared another striking bout of ingenuity, “Acid Or Techno.”
With acid bass interwoven in the track’s writhing fabric, coupled with unrelenting tech percussion, the song certainly lives up to its twofold title. The echoing, retro vocal cut is also a nod at the acid house, which has been making such a robust resurgence lately—while the carnal energy level is all techno.
JAUZ recently told Magnetic Mag that he was taken aback by the positive reactions the track has been eliciting from the jump: “I happened to open it up to play it for Fred (Snails), almost as a joke, and he was like ‘Wait, this is actually so sick!’ That seems to happen to me a lot, where I’ll think an idea I’ve written is dumb and it actually normally ends up being the songs of mine people like the most.”
He goes on to describe the track as somewhat antithetical to the rest of his forthcoming album, as well as “what I imagine the wicked would be playing in an abandoned warehouse at 5:30 AM as the building is burning down around itself.”
Recently, JAUZ revealed that the concept for the album will take a narrative format. The Wise and TheWicked‘s tracks are to be split under sub-headings, including The Wise, The Wicked, and The United—each carrying an intuitive aesthetic quality. For instance, “Acid Or Techno” unsurprisingly resides with The Wicked, while his laid-back collaboration with Kiiara, “Diamonds,” lies with The Wise.
Jauz has been relatively quiet and cryptic with his social media movements lately, though the LA-based producer has now broken his silence with an exciting update. Fans can now move up to the edge of their seats with the official announcement of Jauz’ upcoming concept album The Wise and The Wicked, set to be released on August 31.
The “Squad Out” producer isn’t going with your average 12-track compilation and calling it a day, either. There will be 23 tracks on the album, and Jauz has structured them to fall within different ‘chapters’ because there will be three overarching themes to describe the album’s complexion. Jauz explained how and why he organized the album the way he did, stating,
“When I’m writing music, half of my brain wants to write fun, crazy bangers for parties, clubs, [festivals], etc. This is represented by ‘The Wicked.’ The other half of the time, I want to write emotional, intelligent, experimental music that feeds the ‘inner-artist’ in myself, which is represented by ‘The Wise.’ The middle ground, which is where I strive to really be, is a blend of the melodic, emotional parts of my music paired with high energy drops and climaxes. This is represented by ‘The United.’”
Collaborators on the album include Ducky, Krewella, and Adventure Club among many more. This is in addition to DJ Snake, Snails, and Example from releases “Gassed Up,” “Motherfuckers,” and “In The Zone” respectively that have already made their way out to fans in previous releases. The final track on the album, titled “Super Fly” featuring 666, is the last single that will be released before the full album is available.