Just a few days before his Vujaday debut in sunny Barbados, Jeremy Olander sat down with Dancing Astronaut to shed a bit of light on some new personal and label developments, as well as what he’s anticipating most about the destination festival.
A Swedish electronic stalwart after his years of cementing his name to the forefront of the house/tech scene, Olander also runs his own record label, the Stockholm-based Vivrant, which as of last year, secured an impressive nine of its then 14 EPs No. 1 spots on Beatport. Olander received global attention following a decisive recording contract with Eric Prydz‘s Pryda Friends imprint and auspicious tour spot alongside the prolific label boss. Now, the Stockholm native is looking to add the coastal Carribean Vujaday to his illustriously on-brand festival record, which includes map-spanning performances at London’s Steelyard, Sydney’s Electric Gardens, San Diego’s CRSSD, and Croatia’s Labyrinth Open, to name a few.
Olander will hit the Copacabana Beach Club Wednesday night, April 3, to jump-start the five-day affair. Tickets to Vujaday, which runs April 3-7, are still available here.
This is your debut performance at Vujaday Music Festival in Barbados this April. What excites you most about Vujaday?
I’m very excited for it. Some of my own personal favorites are on the bill and the location is something else. I also plan to have a few days off so I can explore what the island has to offer.
This year’s lineup is pretty stacked with genre-defining names like Sasha, Lee Burridge, and Bob Moses, to name a few. Aside from your own, what three sets would you recommend catching at Vujaday?
As you mention, Sasha is definitely one that I would check out myself. Aside from that, Moodyman and DJ Tennis are two masterminds behind the decks and I think you’ll be sorry if you miss those two.
Since its inception in 2015, your label Vivrant has seen the #1 spot on Beatport multiple times. Any new developments on the Vivrant front these days?
We just recently dropped one new EP and one new single, the Docks EP and “Shogun.” The other ones that are completely done is a new EP by André Hommen, which I’ve been playing out quite a bit. We also have a killer remix EP of Khen’s last release with Karmon and Magnus International, which is due soon. Apart from that I don’t want to spill the beans quite yet.
Tell me about the vision behind incepting your own label…
The initial vision I feel has been reached but as time goes on the vision keeps developing. I want to keep things interesting and over time, dip my feet in other creative areas outside of music.
Anything new in your pipeline (production or otherwise) for 2019?
I’ve been working on some really exciting stuff during the last weeks but I can’t tell you the news just yet, you’ll have to be patient.
What’s been your most memorable performance to date?
Wow, tough question. It’s really hard to pick just one. I have so many memories from touring, every show is special in it’s own way.
Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.
Bingo Players kicks off his 2019 releases with a groovy new original, “1000 Years.” josh pan and Dylan Brady have unveiled a mellow single from their forthcoming OWSLA LP, “Wheels,” and Myon hops on Gryffin‘s Gravity remix EP for a euphoric take on “Just For a Moment.” Bishu puts a booming future bass twist on QUIX‘s “Giving Up,” and Duskus crafts a dancefloor-ready take on DROELOE‘s “Only Be Me.” GTA, Dillon Francis and Wax Motif‘s “I Can’t Hold On” gets a formidable psytrance rework from Slippy, and Jay Robinson makes his mau5trap debut with “Nineteen81.” Ray Volpe flexes his dubstep skills on a collab with Armanni Reign, and Jeremy Olander takes listeners on an eight-minute journey with “Shogun.” LP Giobbi puts a fresh spin on Hotel Garuda‘s “One Reason,” and Bear Grillz kicks it up to 150 BPM for his new bass house/dubstep heater, “Flow.” Ryan Browne casts an eerie spell in his newest original, “The Reaper,” and Rameses B polishes his newest LP off with a gorgeous trance number, “Cyclone.”
The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).
It’s been a moment since the progressive world has been blessed with a Jeremy Olander release. The prodigious Swede has been enormously busy as of late, balancing his personal life with appearances on the Cercle series, managing a relentless world tour schedule, and of course, running his now-renowned Vivrant imprint. However, the wait always proves to be worth it, and such is the case with Olander’s brand new Docks EP.
The two-tracker shows off a new stage of Olander’s artistic evolution, in which he continues to synthesize new influences he’s picked up along the way into his own sound. Title track “Docks” opens things up on an atmospheric note, with a cavernous build and warm analog synth riffs that snake through layers of harmony and toned-down percussion. It’s explosive, yet introspective, built to keep heads down on the dance floor in hypnosis.
“Brando” is a bit more on the emotive side, with melancholic melodies that build in their power as the the tune progresses and eventually let loose into a dreamlike state post breakdown. Subtle hi hats make for a pleasurable touch. It would appear that Olander has been taking a page out of Stephan Bodzin’s book in this tune in terms of its overall emotive qualities and abundance of warm synths; that being said, “Brando” stands completely on its own as a bonafide Jeremy tune. Overall, Docks is another class EP from a top producer in his field, and it meets the standard one has come to expect from the progressive stalwart.
Order a copy of ‘Docks’ here
Jeremy Olander would never leave his loyal fans without new music for too long, despite pumping the breaks a bit after an elongated slew of releases following Vivrant‘s debut onto the world. Four months following his enormously sentimental Karusell EP, the Swedish icon celebrates summer by putting out a bittersweet edit of Kamaliza’s “Zanzibar.”
He settles the original’s vintage atmosphere and gripping vocals into a lush, 4/4 foundation, where he proceeds to tug at the heartstrings with haunting synthesizers and contrasting harmonies. That said, there’s still somewhat of a whistful air about Jeremy’s rendition that has, and will continue to conjure many hands-in-the-air moments on the dancefloor. This is a skill he’s demonstrated consistently over the years, so the effect his edit of “Zanzibar” is unsurprising.
Prior to Karusell and this edit, Jeremy closed out his 2017 with his Crossed EP on Anjunadeep. Vivrant also opened its doors to André Hommen for is Abakus project. Jeremy will be playing at San Diego’s CRSSD Fest on September 29-30.
Each piece of music Jeremy Olander output exudes the amount of care the Swedish producer places in its creation. Roadtested for extended amounts of time and painstakingly edited to top form, fans of his know that his work is worth the wait.
Olander’s Karusell EP is a testament to this methodology, with both of it tracks transforming into deep, ethereal progressive cuts that fit the producer’s current aesthetic. The EP’s eponymous A-side treads lightly on twinkling synthesizers, subtle chimes, and a bassline that serves as its backbone, evoking a light, joyful feeling among its listeners.
“Andköln” adds weight to Karusell, dressing its breezier with deeper, harder-hitting melodies and a more poignant arrangement. Buzzing notes post-breakdown give way to a gentle finish, making for a well-rounded conclusion to the EP as a whole.
Order a copy of ‘Karusell’ here
Deadmau5 has a proven A&R knack for spotting emerging talent, and historically, he’s equipped them to go off and take over their own corners of the ever-growing EDM empire. If the career trajectories of artists like REZZ or Skrillex serve as any indication, then we have another star on our hands with Rinzen.
The LA-based mau5trap recruit, currently riding his breakthrough wave on the recent “Prologue” tour, has now dropped off his debut mixtape of the same name, giving fans a glimpse at his crate of current personal favorites. Rinzen blends tracks from Mind Against, Adriatique, and Jeremy Olander, along with two unreleased original pieces and a handful of additionally sophisticated tech house selects.
This is The Prologue, my first-ever mixtape. It’s a 1-hour mix which features some of my favorite music of the moment, as well as two brand new Rinzen tracks.
I’m giving away the mix for free. If you retweet this post, I’ll send you a download of the mixhttps://t.co/Ashw21uRLZ
— Rinzen (@rinzenmusic) March 1, 2018
So far, the burgeoning beatmaker has delivered exceptionally conceptual projects, and “The Prologue” mixtape is no different. There’s an underlying theme of equal parts trepedation and thrilling excitement that plays across the hour-long mix as it dips into deep house, progressive, and tribal territories. The mix reflects the process by which Rinzen continues to find his footing in this first chapter of his career as he sets out on what’s clearly going to be a momentous journey for the emerging producer.
King Unique sought to turn back the clock for a nostalgia-fueled re-work to Jeremy Olander‘s “Shuttle,” and it is safe to say that he succeeded in his mission to do so.
Like a piece labeled “’94 Remix” might imply, this interpretation of “Shuttle” is rife with influences from the decade. The original track’s touching progression is doused in punchy, classically-inspired percussion and dramatic builds that develop across a multitude of soundscapes. Tying together the overall effect, King Unique adds nostalgic filtering and laces the finished product with subtle guitar flutters — vintage indeed. Despite its classic elements, however, the piece still fits perfectly into the present, and makes for a well-rounded take on Jeremy Olander’s beloved single.
“Shuttle (King Unique ’94 Remix)” will be released on February 23. Pre-order a copy here.
DA Presents: 15 artists that rocked the underground in 2017
Dance music’s second wind persists at a seemingly endless rate. In fact, its current boom has resulted in a complete infusion of the genre and into the fabric of the mainstream; megastars like Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, and Kygo have helped shepherd in a new age of ubiquity and recognition from the masses.
The mainstream isn’t the only area of EDM that has flourished. A renaissance of sorts is currently underway below the surface, with subgenres like progressive, techno, and house exploding back into the public eye with new vigor.
As 2017 comes to a close, Dancing Astronaut undertook the arduous task of selecting 15 underground artists that were particular standouts throughout the past year — in our subjective opinion, of course. We also made special mention to two artists that consistently push music forward in their respective arenas.
Words by Christina Hernandez, Grace Fleisher, and John Flynn
Zak Khutoretsky, better known onstage as DVS1, has brought warehouse techno to some truly interesting places. The Berghain/Panorama Bar resident has pushed the sonic boundaries of techno in obvious places like London and Berlin, but has also found himself at more all encompassing festivals such as Florida’s Okeechobee, Belgium’s Tomorrowland, and Ibiza’s CircoLoco event. Equipped with an arsenal of more than 30,000 records, experience at some of the world’s most established techno clubs, and an admiration for purist techno, Khutoretsky has broken ground in the global technosphere by forming his own dark sonic landscape.
Words by: John Flynn
Amelie Lens is on the ascension as Belgium’s latest techno stalwart. After debuting on the Italian Lyase Recordings, Lens is paving her way as an impenetrable force in the genre. She’s finished off the year with her Stay With Me EP, which is a heightened juxtaposition of both the beauty and form of techno. In an utmost surrendering to the astounding, Lens boasts her ominously pulsating prowess, complete with a thrilling remix from the esteemed Perc.
Considering Lens’ 2017 standing with Drumcode labelmates, an occupation of copious underground lineups around the world, and her own nights at Labyrinth club in Hasselt, she brought her foreboding techno to a circuit where it will deservedly reign for quite some time.
Words by: Grace Fleisher Photo Credit: Guy Houben
Jeremy Olander had an undeniably powerful 2017 — a result following his creativity down a path that has since placed him among the ranks of fellow Swedes like Eric Prydz and Adam Beyer. The year saw his Vivrant imprint come into its own, defining its dark, progressive ethos with releases by Khen, Tim Engelhardt, and more recently, André Hommen. Additionally, the former Pryda Friend released some of his most well-loved pieces yet on his label, in the form of his Damon and Gattaca EPs.
His success extended outside Vivrant in plenty of other ways as well: in May, he made his debut on Bedrock alongside Cristoph, only to move onto Anjunadeep in December with a euphoria-inducing Crossed. Having also underwent an enormous year of touring, which included a residency in LA, it’s safe to say that 2017 was the year of Olander.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Floating Points — real name Sam Shepherd — has been a mainstay in experimental techno for quite some time, but it was only until this year that he began to boil to the surface of mainstream music. After releasing the wildly innovative Nuits Sonores/Nectarines, he released his debut album Elaenia much to the acclaim of critics. Performances at large scale festivals such as St. Jerome’s Laneway, Disclosure’s Parklife, and Pukkelpop under his belt, 2017 marked a capstone year for Floating Points.
Possibly the largest indication of mainstream infiltration, though, were Shepherd’s performances at Coachella this year, performing both with his expansive 11-piece live band The Floating Points Ensemble and in a packed Yuma tent for a three hour back to back DJ set with colleagues Four Tet and Daphni. Needless to say, 2017 marked a momentous year for the intellectual techno auteur.
Words by: John Flynn
With the release of her highly anticipated album, The Best Of Both Worlds, in the fall of 2017, Honey Dijon has delivered a testament to her extensive background and immense knowledge of dance music with a compelling bevy of material. As a black, trans woman, Dijon’s relationship with dance music is a culminated collection of necessity. Her music is beyond passion. In 2017, her cross-genre sets at Berghain, Space, Smart Bar, as well as her speaking out on issues of gender in club culture, solidified the need of cultural representatives like Honey Dijon in underground dance music culture. Considering Dijon’s involvement in the dance scene dates back to when she was 12-years-old, it’s likely that the future has even more in store, and thankfully so.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Bedouin‘s late 2016 Essential Mix served as an indicator of the kind of year the pair would have in the coming months. However, 2017 brought even more milestones than one might have expected, and secured their reign over the deep, desert-inclined tech realm. They have been utterly unstoppable in past months, charting releases on Cityfox, All Day I Dream, and Crosstown Rebels with their sought-after remix of Pink Floyd’s classic, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” While dominating the music sphere with a plethora of new records, Bedouin also broke new ground in the promotion arena with the foundation of their SAGA series Ibiza, which saw the likes of Guy Gerber, Damian Lazarus, and more transform Heart into a mecca for all things mystical. The duo will only continue to build upon their strong 2017 foundation until they’ve reached the top.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
I Hate Models
Green to the techno world, the mysterious nature of I Hate Models is part of the purist techno producer’s M.O. Steeped in nebulous synth work and carried by the gut wrenching thud of fibrillating pulsations, I Hate Model’s brilliant soundscape is the result of authentic emotions and nothing less than a perfectionist desire to create near perfect techno music. Their 2016 EP Warehouse Memories catapulted I Hate Models to stardom with the seminal tune “Daydream,” which amalgamates a rapidly paced, thunderous kick pattern with Detroit-inspired space synths and acid melodies. “Melancholy, nostalgia, passions, the suffering self,” reads their official Biography, “The expression of personal feelings” it continues, “The taste for loneliness, the desire to flee, travel, dream…” IHM’s State of Control EP was another step in their artistic evolution, further solidifying them as one of underground techno’s most audacious newcomers in 2017.
Words by: John Flynn Photo Credit: Helena Majewska
Despite having over two decades of music production experience, and releases on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat, Guy Mantzur’s Plattenbank, and more, Chicola just released his debut album Could Heaven Be on Guy J’s esteemed progressive label Lost & Found earlier this year. The LP spans twelve tracks and is an eloquent exploration of the Israeli artist’s personal dealings. Could Heaven Be boasts sinister drum work, but soars in its serene, cinematic soundscapes. Such sophistication is exactly what has allotted Chicola’s impressive array of work and sustained friendships in the underground. Chicola’s delectable builds and swathing beauty are inching towards the work of Dixon, Sasha, John Digweed, and Hernan Cattaneo; which is certainly something we can’t wait to watch come into fruition.
Words By: Grace Fleisher
Venezuelan duo Fur Coat have asserted their authority in the melodic techno realm, helping pioneer the rise of this relatively new sound with innovative new music and in purveying it to the global masses. After opening their year with an EP on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth, they proceeded to carve an even deeper niche into the underground with the foundation of their Oddity imprint and the subsequent release of a breathtaking Genesis EP. While only containing two bodies of work thus far, the fact that Dubspeeka, Natural Flow, and Slam have signed work onto the fledgling label demonstrates its caliber moving into the new year.
Fur Coat’s recognition extended into the indie pop world in 2017, with the outfit being tapped for re-working both Röyksopp and Sailor & I into their own ethereal interpretation.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Charlotte De Witte
Charlotte De Witte spends most of her days traveling for gigs or at home in Belgium, where she is working steadfast to promote up and coming talent on her local radio show. Her native Belgian roots in the underground have provided a more than apt framework for the young DJ & producer to work from, but the world is also calling Charlotte De Witte’s name. The myriad festivals that De Witte has performed at in 2017 is striking: Dour Festival, Awakenings, Tomorrowland, EXIT, Oasis Festival, the list goes on. With four EPs under her belt in 2017, and a plethora of commanding live performances, Charlotte De Witte has solidified herself as one of techno’s most forthright newcomers.
Words by: John Flynn
Maceo Plex pupil and Argentinian techno phenom Shall Ocin has carved himself a unique niche in sinister techno over the last few years. Ocin has a knack for the foreboding analog, which is largely driven by the use of modular synths. The underground mainstay has even established his very own Clash Lion imprint. The label’s very first release was from Maceo Plex himself, albeit under his Maetrik alias. Shall Ocin’s doubled down on his diverse output of gut-wrenching techno in his latest EP Bounty Hunter. It’s brimming with atmospheric modulations, slow pulsating synth work, and an experimental analog amalgam. Ocin’s passion for innovation is clear, and with a demonstrated ability to continually work outside of his previous material — he’s even closed out the year with a Beatport artist of the week mix — Ocin’s proving to be an impenetrable installment in the underground circuit.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
The word “Rinzen” translates to “sudden awakening” — a definition that couldn’t be any more pertinent to Michael Sundius’ development under the moniker throughout the past year. He found a new home on Mau5trap beginning with his original debut “Renegade,” and has since shown the dance sphere just how deep his creativity runs. Years of hardwork culminated in Forbidden City — his first ever EP — which stole music afcionados’ hearts with its enchanting, yet sinister storyline that depicts a hero’s journey by way of cinematic string elements and clever synthwork. Not to mention, his skills attracted promoters at Brooklyn’s prolific club Output, who placed trust in him to spend the entirety of NYE weekend opening for both Cristoph and Eric Prydz. With a fire that burns stronger, tangible passion for his craft, and a strong sense of humility, we predict great things are in story for Rinzen after such a dynamic first year on the scene.
Words by: Christina Hernandez Photo credit: Michael Drummond
UK based Jay Donaldson — aka Palms Trax — has acquired a taste for a plethora of world influences ranging from Chicago house to European Nu-Disco, and everywhere in between. Donaldson has made waves with his Cooking with Palms Trax radio show (which has now become a full blown residency at Glasgow’s intimate , expansive boiler room sets, and performances at festivals such as Dekamantel, Glitch Festival, and CRSSD, as well as in such legendary clubs as Berlin’s Berghain. By amalgamating sounds from across the entire globe, Palms Trax’s sets feel like a voyage from nation to nation, plucking groove heavy flutes, synths, and drums from nearly every geographic region and time period.
Words by: John Flynn
Since the inception of Rødhåd’s first record on his Dystopian label in 2012, the underground purveyor has been praised by innumerable global mavens. Artists like Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Laurent Garnier, Sven Väth, and more, have praised Rødhåd as the king of the anti-establishment underground. He’s built his reputation on an immersive idiosyncrasy and delivered dramatic, engulfing sets at industrial utopias around the world. More recently Rødhåd’s slung out a cavernous catalog of brooding, cinematic techno. In 2017, the Berlin native delivered his enveloping 10-track album Anxious. The record’s an aptly-named theatric affair, which Rødhåd’s described as “the time we live in.” Expectedly, it served as an integral timepiece of the brooding, underground circuit, which will propel the brand of afflicted release to entirely new heights, and continue to allow listeners to lose themselves, only to discover new dimensions in the acts that will follow in Rødhåd’s foreboding footsteps.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Henry Saiz is an artist in every sense of the world, pouring his entire being into each production and going above and beyond to seek innovative new ways to compose music. Having succeeded in crowdfunding his expansive new audiovisual album project, 2017 saw the artist and his band travel to new realms to both create and roadtest new musical concepts. This endeavor bled into his outputs for 2017; at the tail end of September, he earned a nomination for the Essential Mix of the Year after making his debut on the series. Prior to that, he celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Natura Sonoris label with a rare second contribution to the Balance mix series. Progressive and electronica are having a moment currently, and Saiz has proved himself to be one of the leaders in this new revolution.
Words by: Christina Hernandez Photo credit: Chris Soltis
Special Mention: The Black Madonna
Marea Stamper told Resident Advisor in 2014 that she hoped to embody “the core values of inclusion and pure dance euphoria.” In the year of #MeToo, where women spoke out against their oppressors, and where sexual assault outings, misogyny, and political turmoil seemed to unravel on an endless timeline, The Black Madonna doubled down on the use of her platform as a voice for the voiceless. Her music amplified the voices of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Stamper’s sets raised up the central voices of club history — ones that have been forced to the periphery or silenced entirely — through a provocative exudence of acid house, disco, and outright emotion. In 2017, the Black Madonna seamlessly linked the past and the present through her track “He Is The Voice I Hear.” Dedicated to a string of disco legends —Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons, and Loleatta Holloway — the multifarious number rode out a spine-tingling idiosyncrasy, encapsulating her aforementioned goal — as if she hadn’t already — with an apt juxtaposition of anxiety and groove. Without uttering a word, the harrowing empowerment of “He Is The Voice I Hear” spoke volumes and epitomized the socioeconomic atmosphere of an entire year that had still yet to unfold.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Special Mention: Hernan Cattaneo
There’s a reason why Hernan Cattaneo is called “El Maestro” among fans. He possesses an uncanny ability to mix records, making seamless transitions and taking his audiences on a deep journey within themselves through each of his sets. While he serves as a continual pillar of inspiration within the progressive, and underground sphere as a whole, the Argentinian legend also had some key milestones in 2017 to date. His Sudbeat label saw an abundance of releases, and he was also able to assemble a powerhouse slate of artists to help kickstart the year with a Balance compilation. We imagine this incredible artist will continue to use his platform to proliferate top quality music as 2018 sets into place.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Jeremy Olander has found himself at the helm of a flourishing progressive house scene, much of it thanks to the work of his growing independent imprint, Vivrant. For his latest release however, the Swedish producer is leaving his home base to join the Anjunadeep family.
It’s not the first time he’s stepped out from Vivrant this year; back in May he landed on John Digweed’s Bedrock alongside Cristoph for their Last Dance EP.
For Olander’s Anjunadeep debut, he brings two tracks to the table: “Crossed” and “Araoz.” The former track, “Crossed,” which Dancing Astronaut is exclusively premiering, is a delightfully deep offering, making brilliant use of its percussion and lead progression. The track notably sustains its relentless groove across its entire seven-and-a-half minute arrangement, making it sure to go over well across dancefloors.
It’s a worthy addition to the Anjunadeep catalogue, and a stellar way to close out the year for Olander.
Pre-order Jeremy Olander’s new Anjunadeep EP here, which drops on December 8.
Jeremy Olander is currently embarking on a new Vivrant tour. Check out all his upcoming dates here.