New single ‘Magic’ marks the return of the ‘old’ KSHMR

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New single ‘Magic’ marks the return of the ‘old’ KSHMRKSHMR Press Photo Blue 2016 Billboard 650 1548

Is it 2013 or 2018? It’s hard to tell when listening to KSHMR‘s newest release, “Magic.” Those who have watched the evolution of mainstream electronic music will undoubtedly be taken back in time with the return of KSHMR’s old sound in his new release. Even the synthesized vocals match that of an older era, with the vocal pops matching those in David Guetta‘s “Bad.” Fans will immediately recognize Vassy‘s singing shining through a bouncy progressive framework with a big room drop propelling the track forward.

The happy tune comes with an interesting backstory, which the producer revealed recently in an interview. “The song came about originally with Adrian Lux. He and I got in the studio, maybe two years ago, and we started the idea. He came with the vocal and I tried so many things on the production, I think he gave up at a certain point because it seemed like we just weren’t figuring out the right direction for it. But, on my own, I just never gave up on the song, and eventually I made the version that you hear now. I asked Adrian if I had his blessing to put it out as me because at that point we hadn’t worked on it too much together. He said, yeah that’s cool, I just want to do a remix. I said that’s great, do a remix, and I’ll promote it as well. He’s a really talented guy, it’s kind of a shame we couldn’t have properly done the song together, but I’m really thankful that he allowed me to take it and do my production on it.”

Producer Sessions 006: Sounds of KSHMR Vol. 3

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Producer Sessions 006: Sounds of KSHMR Vol. 3Producer Sessions 1

CLICK HERE TO TRY OUT KSHMR’S NEWEST SAMPLE PACK.

Producer Sessions is a series from Dancing Astronaut meant to shine a brighter light on the producer community. Each volume will guide producers towards some of the freshest sample packs, plugins, FX, and presets out there.

A a staple artist on Splice‘s top 10 sample pack list, KSHMR, returns with the third volume of his massively popular sample pack series. With over 4000 sounds (1642 loops and 3081 one shots to be precise), the pack contains world instruments, risers, FX, crisp drums, and more.

KSHMR, born Niles Hollowell-Dhar, released the project file for his single “Burn” in 2015. This was quickly followed by the released of his marquee Tiësto collaboration ‘Secrets,’ leading up to the first two volumes in his sample pack series. Now that the third is here, and the newly minted label boss of Dharma Worldwide takes his producer-focused content to new heights.

In addition to the high quantity of sounds, DJ Mags #12 DJ in 2017’s annual ranking released two educational YouTube videos, one designed to be a drum tutorial and the other, an in-depth world sounds tutorial. KSHMR also released a new single “Good Vibes Soldier” featuring Head Quattaz, another vibrant hit inspired by the versatile artist’s internationally seasoned palate. Both of these videos are certified required viewing for budding producers.

Click HERE to start a 14-day free trial on Splice and start producing like the pros.

Background

A serious producer should have an extensive audio library, filled with a variety of organized samples. More and more companies like Splice are filling that need. These days, a subscription to Splice is a no-brainer for producers at any level. For $7.99 a month, Splice gives producers access to their entire 2 million + library of high-quality samples, loops, FX, and presets. At that price, producers get 100 credits per month to explore Splice’s massive library, save sounds they like, and download-to-own at a rate of 1 sample per credit.

Producers at the highest levels use Splice to find inspiration because it’s so easy with their massive library and quality partnerships. Some of the most popular sound designers have contributed to Splices’ library, including exclusive packs from KSHMR, Sonny Digital, deadmau5Amon Tobin, Zaytoven, KRANE, Lex Lugar and more.

Photo Credit: Joseph Pearson/Unsplash

NMF Roundup: Gramatik is full of surprises, Feint’s melodic whirlwind of emotion, Afrojack is rowdy and irreverent as ever, Alex Metric gets retrospective, + MORE

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NMF Roundup: Gramatik is full of surprises, Feint’s melodic whirlwind of emotion, Afrojack is rowdy and irreverent as ever, Alex Metric gets retrospective, + MORENMF 3

The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. 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.


For their debut Diynamic release, Alex Metric and Ten Ven bring melodic, UK garage, and a dash of acid house to their nostalgia-laden three-track EP, Transmission 1. 

Chicago duo Danny Cancino and Grant Stakenas, aka Htbx, tout an equal parts menacing and cinematic sound design in their new experimental house track, “Dj Qualls.”


Longtime Liquicity talent, Feint, has taken his transcendent drum ‘n’ bass to Pilot Records with his newest jolting track, “Mirror Signal (Destinations).”

This week’s woes fall away as Nicky Romero, Stadiumx, and Matluck’s progressive-inspired new tune, “Rise,” bleeds into the consciousness.

Ahead of his new Press Play EP, Afrojack lets chaotic bass infiltrate his newest track, “Bringin It Back.”

Their latest on Insomniac, Jupe and Reach fuse wonky dub and pummeling trap for their unconventionally screechy new single, “10 Years Later.”

Drawing from the frisky French Touch brand of house, Samaran’s latest on Big Beat Records, “A New Beginning,” uses its stop-and-go rhythm to incite widespread dance fevers.

Samantha Harvey lends her smooth and saccharine voice to Alex Adair and the Delayers trio’s new up-tempo bass-pop track, “Dominos.”

The forever-funky Gramatik has teamed up with serial REZZ-collaborator, Kotek, for their free-form, instrumental frenzy, “Vitalik Buterin,” in tribute to the blockchain wizard of the same name.

Fairlane enlists Nevve, whose voice can be found on tracks of scene favorites like Boombox Cartel and 3LAU, for his latest track, “Wildfire,” an atmospheric chill-step odyssey.

EDM world power, KSHMR‘s latest, “Good Vibes Soldier,” featuring Head Quattaz, is a reggaeton-influenced anthem drawing forth images of a warm-weather utopia.

Jack Back’s newest independent release, “Overtone,” is a winding, astral-inspired journey through deep house accents of the highest order.

KSHMR is a master at infectious rhythms, and he conquers with his Head Quattaz collaboration, “Good Vibes Solider.” It listens like a wonderful blend of tropical, Eastern, and big room influences that hit the right spots on the main stage dancefloor.

“C.Y.M” pounds us into submission with pungent tech trance kicks set at BPMs high enough to transport listeners to space. A classic effect of Mr. Jordan Suckley…

John Dahlbäck caps off NMF with his high-strung dance cannon, “Deep Inside,” out on Armada Music.

 

Photo Credit: Andrew J. Rauner

KSHMR returns to big room roots with newest release alongside 7 Skies

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KSHMR returns to big room roots with newest release alongside 7 SkiesKSHMR Neverland

KSHMR has teamed up with Italian producer 7 Skies for a new release, “Neverland.” This track sees KSHMR going back to his big room roots as opposed to his more pop-driven releases as of late. Paired with 7 Skies, whose diverse repertoire keep his fans guessing at what’s to come next, the two have created a monstrous new single that is built for the main stage.

Gleeful whistles open the song on a deceivingly calming note, before falling into the danceable big room formula that fans really crave when turning on a jam by these artists. An MC chanting 1:30 which propels the song forward into its mighty drop, which stirs a mental frenzy that results in fist pumping. The release is out now via KSHMR’s own Dharma Records, and it marks to first single the two producer’s have released together.

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike release Tomorrowland 2018 EP featuring Hardwell, Nicky Romero, KSHMR, and Bassjackers

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Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike release Tomorrowland 2018 EP featuring Hardwell, Nicky Romero, KSHMR, and BassjackersDimitri Vegas Like Mike Tomorrowland 2018 EP

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have released their Tomorrowland 2018 EP, featuring collaborations with Hardwell, Nicky Romero, KSHMR, W&W, Gucci Mane, Wiz Khalifa, and Bassjackers. Celebrating the two-weekend event, the Belgian DJ duo released seven tracks in 10 days.

The EP kicks off with “Unity,” a heavy collaboration with Hardwell. Festival synths and hardstyle rhythms take over, surprising listeners. Nicky Romero’s feature samples The Chemical Brothers‘ “Hey Boy, Hey Girl,” in another hardstyle heater.  “Opa” with KSHMR takes advantage of Greek influences using Bouzouki sounds and electro-house rhythms.

“Arcade Mammoth” is as big and wide as the title suggests. Plucking synths that lead into trance synth melodies is exactly what listeners would expect from this collaboration between Dutch duo, W&W, and the No. 2 DJs on DJ Mag‘s Top 100 DJs list.

There are two Bassjackers alliances on the EP, “All I Need” and “The Jungle.” Both combine elements of trap, electro, and bass music using trap rhythms and eclectic synth whomps.

The project culminates with a calmer verse than previous tracks. Around the two-minute mark, listeners are met with that signature hardstyle fans know and love from Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Wiz Khalifa’s vocals add a cooling contrast from the bigger synth play.

Photo Credit: @boythecollector/Instagram

KSHMR enlists Jake Reese on bright, pop-leaning tune, ‘Carry Me Home’

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KSHMR shared his beloved Jake Reese collaboration, “Carry Me Home,” that originally debuted at his Ultra 2018 set.

“KSHMR is such a legend,” Reese told Billboard in a statement. “To be working with him was truly an honor. I immediately got excited when hearing this track for the first time; it has so much energy, I wanted to creating a timeless vocal line for it. I feel we nailed it, let’s hope it turns into an evergreen just like many other KSHMR records have become.”

“’Carry Me Home’ started with the drop melody,” KSHMR added. “I was scared I wouldn’t find a vocal I loved just as much, but Jake Reese and (co-writer Joren van der Voort ) blew me away with what they wrote.”

Rich in both KSHMR’s pop sensibilities and big room tendencies, “Carry Me Home” is a promising fusion of KSHMR’s past and what’s in store for the future. With a monstrous drop and delightful vocals, KSHMR highlights his longtime production prowess and the potential for even more that listeners will surely see along the way.

KSHMR and Mark Sixma transform a Hans Zimmer classic in new ‘GLADIATOR (Remix)’

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KSHMR and Mark Sixma convene on a new collaboration that just might sound oddly familiar to some.

That collaboration is “GLADIATOR (Remix),” a revamp of Hans Zimmer’s “Now We Are Free.” The Zimmer classic originally appeared on the score for Gladiator, released in 2000. 18 years later, the song from the score receives a trance inflected reboot that makes use of atmospheric ascents and a strong supporting bass line. KSHMR and Sixma’s additions augment the force of the original’s vocal work, amplifying the song’s affective power.

New Music Friday featuring Marshmello, The Chainsmokers remixes and more

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Music festival

The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. 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.


Marshmello got back to his EDM roots in a brand new single with serene vocals from Leah Culver.

Indie duo Salt Cathedral test poppier waters with their tropical-infused single “No Love.”

Luca Schreiner offered a welcome twist on hip-hop auteur TYLERxCORDY’s viral track “Cheap Situation.”

Patrick Baker serves lush instrumentation and chill vibes on his latest EP, Dusk, courtesy of Armada


KSHMR gets funky on this bass-heavy disco noir number via his side project, The MVI.

Vicetone take it way back on their newest release, a high energy EDM track with Cozi Zuehlsdorff.

It’s hard to pick out the best re-spin from The Chainsmoker‘s newest remix package for their pop-punk crossover single “You Owe Me.”

Borgeous taps into classic electro melodies on his infectious new release — his first as a Casablanca Records signee.

Bingo Players and Goshfather team up for a high energy collab on new single “Everybody.”

Dannic‘s latest via Spinnin’ will have dance floors heating through festival season with its minimal structure and infectious drop.

Graves gets moody on a textured, future-bass inspired new release, a collab with bitbird cohort Duskus.

Klingande‘s collaboration with vocalist Krishane channels late tropical EDM vibes with a pitched up vocal and blissed out tribal-influenced instrumentation.

Hot Chip put their virtuosic twist on Troye Sivan‘s “My My My!” with this nuanced and funky house flip.

Sahar Z & Vic F provide a lush, ethereal progressive contribution to Anjunadeep’s fifth Explorations edition.

Swedish veteran Zoo Brazil makes his LNOE debut, closing out his EP with an entrancing, yet gritty “Socialism.”

Rebelski channels nostalgia and gentle meditation with this sentimental piece from his new ADID EP.

TWO LANES target the brain’s feel-good center with a euphoric future bass cut packed with jubilant guitar riffs and a satisfying drop.

Pop idol or mainstage act? DallasK combines divergent directions [Interview + Spring Break Playlist]

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DallasK Press

Orlando native Dallas Koehlke might not have been able to legally drink at 19, but that didn’t stop him from booking club sets across the country thanks to his infectious beats and mounting popularity within the electronic dance music scene. The young producer, better known as DallasK, followed his momentum and moved to Los Angeles with a plan to become the next big electronic music producer. If someone had told him that this move would lead to his production skills being the glue behind one of America’s hottest girl groups, and that his singing would be the one aspect holding his diverse roster of releases together, he probably would have found the idea outlandish.

Since Dallas’s move, now six years ago, the 27-year-old has continued to prove that his artistry can hardly be confined to a box. His diverse range of skills have opened doors for him to produce for pop’s biggest acts, release under his own moniker, and perform live as a vocalist. While his past is littered with heavy hitting electronic music collaborations with names such as Tiesto, KSHMR, and Hardwell, his future includes releasing a series of diverse singles that will singularly be held together with his vocals. Some will skew pop, others electronic, and his most recent release “Self Control” even has hints of the punk rock he listened to as a teen.

Koehlke spoke with DA about his unexpected entrance into the pop industry and how it is impacting his future in the electronic music scene. When asked whether he would like to be America’s next pop idol or a headliner at Ultra, the producer noted that his goal is to be a hybrid of the two. His ascent from electronic into pop is reminiscent of The Chainsmokers‘ journey, and it is not one we many artists successfully navigate. Despite The Chainsmokers’ immense success, the backlash they have received along the way as they have attempted to find relevance within both the electronic and pop fan communities has been severe.

Koehlke is optimistic about his future trying to bridge the two worlds together through his music, and if anyone is able to do it, he is a likely candidate. As someone who is ingrained in both scenes, Koehlke’s insights about the differences of a producer’s role in pop versus electronic music are unique. Read the full interview below, and check out DallasK’s exclusive Spring Break x Dancing Astronaut Playlist:


So tell me a little about your background.

I’ve been making dance music and touring as a DJ since I was 19 years old. I’ve done a lot of collabs with Hardwell, Tiesto, and Martin Garrix — people like that. When I moved to LA when I was 21, I met a lot of people and got into the producing songwriting world. I’ve been doing that in tandem with touring all of the time, making club records, and over the past year, I’ve been trying to figure out how I can combine those two worlds.

When I moved to LA, I never thought I would be writing songs, singing, and making pop songs for girl bands. That’s where I found myself, and I really enjoyed it. I figured as a DJ, I wanted to incorporate that because I felt like the music I was making as an artist wasn’t necessarily indicative of me as a person? So, that’s why I’m really happy with “All My Life,” and “Self Control,” because I think they are really indicative of my life. “All My Life” has all of the electro house and the drops, and “Self Control” is kind of indicative of the emo music I listened to growing up. Beyond that, the new stuff that is coming out in a couple of months will be similar and different, and I think my voice is the glue that ties is all together.

Was singing on your tracks intimidating for you? I know for a lot of people it is.

I think the thing that gave me the courage to do it is that my publishing company had an event where they wanted me to perform some of the songs I had written for other people. They were like, ‘you know you can accompany someone on guitar, or you can sing it, or someone else can sing it.’ I was of the mentality at the time that I wanted to challenge myself, and although playing guitar with someone else singing would have been cool,  I realized the way for this to be the most challenging was getting up there and singing. I had never done that before.

Even when I was in a band when I was younger, I would play guitar and bass. I was never a vocalist. So I kind of agreed haphazardly without really knowing whether I could do it or not. I practiced a bit, and then I performed “Work from Home” by Fifth Harmony, which I wrote the year before, and a Justin Bieber “What do you mean?” cover. It was pretty well received, and everyone on my team was like, “why don’t you sing- you should sing.” Then I backtracked and had all of this music coming out, and I was like, “well hey, why don’t I record these, and see if I like how I sound.” I’ve been producing for other artists, and all I’ve been doing is cutting people’s voices onto songs, so I have the knowledge of what to do. So I did it, and I was happy with the result. Everyone else was as well, so I figured that was the best way forward. It was still very nerve wracking with the live performance thing, and we are still developing the live show. Putting them out and seeing how people react is also very stressful, but it’s been good so far.

You’re career kind of began and was rooted in the electronic music world. Then you branched into pop production, and now you are even the vocalist on your tracks. In your ideal world, what does the future hold? Are you America’s next pop boy or are you headlining Ultra?

Um, that’s a really good question, and I think it’s some kind of hybrid that doesn’t really exist yet, but I’m working on it. I really do love djing, and I love the dance music community. The fans are so passionate. They always come to the shows, and they always come to the events. What I find with other kinds of music is that it is a more passive fan experience. There are alot of people online and around the world, and obviously everyone can’t be everywhere at every festival, but (with electronic music) I feel like it’s a real community, and I love that as like a live blueprint for where I see my show.

10 years from now, I hope I’m just still making dope music. I don’t know what the style will be. It’s hard to tell. If you told Kanye West when he made The College Dropout that he was going to make Yeezus 10 years after, and it was going to be all of this crazy production, and Daft Punk would be on it- he probably wouldn’t have been able to guess that. But yeah, I definitely see myself as some kind of a hybrid between a vocalist and electronic music producer. I think what I always really love about electronic music, especially with the live performance, is that it is just so powerful. Kind of like, it outperforms any other kind of music for me. I mean, if you’re at Coachella, and Arcade Fire is playing mainstage, and Skrillex is at the Sahara Tent — Arcade Fire is cool, but there is no contest. There is not going to be more energy at that stage than there is for Skrillex.

As electronic music becomes more mainstream and poppy, there has been real backlash from electronic music fans who claim that producer’s are selling out and the music is becoming formulaic. As someone who floats between both worlds, what are your thoughts on this?

I’m a fan of lots of different types of music. I see people who float between the two worlds because they are fans of music, and they don’t get caught up in a genre determining if they can like something or not. I see both sides, where people are like, ‘What is this- why are you making Revealed Records music?’ Then I’ve seen people be like, “Holy Shit, I love your old stuff, and this is really good too. I would have never expected you to make this and keep going with it.” But yeah, there are definitely people who are fans of one specific sound or one genre and want to be superiorist with that. I think with streaming platforms and people having access to so much music, genres are becoming a little less important, and that’s what makes it more feasible for someone like me to just make anything I want.

Is the creative process different for you when it comes to producing music for hip pop and pop artists versus creating your own releases? Or is it all the same creative energy for you?

It definitely has different energies, and I think in some ways making music for other people is more freeing because you aren’t restricted. If you’re the voice of something, it all comes back to you, and you are essentially responsible for that. But, if you are making a song for somebody else, and it has a sound you may not have as an artist, but it’s something you think is cool, it gives you the freedom to do that. I will say it is definitely more fulfilling releasing music as an artist, and that’s why I took this time to build my artistry as a singer and songwriter. When you give a song to someone else it becomes their song, and if you really do feel connected to it, but then it is theirs, it’s a weird kind of gray area where it can be very rewarding and very disenchanting in the same way, so making music as an artist is definitely more fulfilling for me. It does come with more challenges with what do I want my message to be, and what do I want to say. It is my voice and my songwriting on top of just making crazy productions and bangers. They are both fun. I enjoy both, and they both have their challenges, but I think being an artist is my favorite thing, and my way forward. If I write a song, and it’s pretty dope, but it’s not right for me, then that is pretty freeing because I have a million outlets to send it to. That gives me the ability to take more risks as an artist.

You’re also in a unique position when it comes to your perspective on the electronic music industry because you’re a part of the electronic music and pop music industries. Do you have observations on how these industries function differently or similarly to one another, and what that looks like?

I think the last few years, with streaming really becoming the way that people consume music, this has led to the music industry really getting turned on its head. Pop has always been focused on radio, right? That’s the way you would break an artist. Radio is still important, and it has plays, but streaming broke down the barriers and allows artists to reach millions of people easily and effectively. Even as an independent artist, you can do this without having a million dollar radio budget. That’s what was cool about electronic music. Because of the internet and YouTube, you’d go to a festival and hear a song, and other DJs would play it, it was kind of like this other way you’d view success instead of going down the radio path, which was like, you know how you became a mainstay in music in general.

With pop, they are more concerned with touring, radio plays, radio shows, and building fans online. That’s important to both worlds, but I think now, it’s the Wild Wild West. You just try stuff, and people connect to it, and if they don’t, you try something else. You know really quickly if it works. I think people have the freedom to do that now, which is really really important. Going back to dance music- a pop artist would make an album, and spend 6-8 months, and $400,000, and that album may not have any hits that people connected with. Then it’s going to take them 6-8 months, a year, 3 years, to do another album, and the record label probably isn’t going to want to put as much money into it because they didn’t make their initial investment back. With dance music it’s like, kids on the computer, going to shows, put something out, if it gets really big then great. If it doesn’t then great- I have another song that I am going to put out right now, and I think that’s the most exciting part of how that’s permeated to pop music now, and that level of quickness.

Is there a particular artist who, if you were to collaborate with this person, you’d be like- this is the pinnacle of my career, and I’ve made it?

Definitely Daft Punk, for sure. Kanye West probably too. But yeah, between those two and M83, that would be my big “wow, this is like as good as it gets.”

What can we expect from you in the next year?

Definitely more singles. I don’t have any plans for an EP or an album or anything like that. Like I said, I like the ability to move fast and see if things work, and I think my goal this year is to release more music than I have in all of my other years of making music combined, and just being able to like, put stuff out and feel like it has a home. Next couple of months it will be single after single, and I’m really excited about it.

In the meantime, Spring Break is upon us, and DallasK put together the perfect playlist to celebrate. Check out the playlist including his new single “All My Life.”

KSHMR – House of Cards

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KSHMR

KSHMR is expanding his sound in a more mellowed, yet equally attention-grabbing way. The former Cataracs member has paired with vocalist Sidnie Tipton for a dynamic, pop-infused number titled “House Of Cards.”

Similar to the famed Radiohead song of the same name, “House Of Cards” works a subdued romantic angle, in which Tipton’s warm, soulful lyrics of intimacy and risk-taking flow over catchy guitar riffs and powerful horns. Notably lacking in the big room elements that led to KSHMR’s fame in the mainstream, this new piece signals not just a potential change in direction for the iconic artist, but it also displays his productive range.