Holy Ship! Wrecked delivers on float-free party promise [Review]

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Holy Ship! Wrecked delivers on float-free party promise [Review]Holy Ship Chris Lake Credit Janeoconnor Insomniac

Over the last eight years, Holy Ship! has established itself as one of the premiere parties on the seas. The cruise ship festival has drawn thousands time and time again for a raucous time on the high seas. But in 2020, the festival remained on shores for the first time in its young history. Rebranded Holy Ship! Wrecked, the latest iteration left the cruise format behind in favor of setting up shop at the Hard Rock Resort & Casino in Punta Cana, directly on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic.

The big question heading into the festivities was clear: How would new digs at the Hard Rock compare to the proven successes of the cruise? In short, Holy Ship! Wrecked maintained their brand ethos while improving nearly every amenity the ship had to offer.

First things first, the Hard Rock resort is nothing short of immaculate. The grounds stretch in from the pristine beach for acres and acres, with everything from a golf course to a spa available to guests. Staff at the resort maintained staunch standards of courtesy and service, even when ravers ordered food at 4 am smelling like booze and sweat. Waiters perused the dance floors taking drink orders, a dangerously sweet convenience that contributed to many hectic nights.

Picking long time ship-goers’ brains proffered two main areas of approval of Hard Rock versus its seafaring precursor. First, the cruise’s relatively small room size was traded in for spacious suites complete with patios and hot tubs. Many attendees said in past years they tolerated the cruise bedrooms, but now they thoroughly enjoyed their accommodations. Second, Hard Rock’s wide variety of excellent quality food was a big step up from previous years. The all-inclusive ticket meant untapped access to droves of delicious food, a hugely important feature when dancing the days and nights away.

There was also emphatic satisfaction with many artists delivering multiple sets over the four-day experience. One of the biggest problems at festivals is the fear of missing out (FOMO) that comes with making the tough call between two favorite acts playing at the same time. Fortunately, artists’ sets were amply nuanced from day to day, making the lineup feel even deeper than it was. If you loved Jai Wolf’s The Cure To Loneliness set on the main stage, but not enough to opt into an identical performance twice in one week, you could find him doing a drastically different DJ set by the pool later on.

Throughout the festival, the tone was definitively set on a party mentality. The house-heavy lineup kept the mood light and the feet shuffling throughout, while the headbangers got their fair share of bass and trap DJs as well. A few artists with deviating styles were sprinkled in to give a reprieve from the four-on-the-floor rhythms, including the live instrumentation and singing of Big Wild and Madeon’s resplendent DJ set. Lane 8‘s Brightest Lights set at the main stage was another highlight on the week, a wildly successful performance ahead of his promising tour.

Holy Ship! Wrecked delivers on float-free party promise [Review]Big Wild Holy Ship Janeoconnor Insomniac 2
Big Wild in the Theater – Photo Credit: Jane O’Connor for Insomniac

Holy Ship! Wrecked featured seven stages around the grounds, each with a distinct feel to them. During the day, the Pool and Beach Stages were popular options, especially for the pristinely singular sunset performances (i.e., Chris Lake’s sublime sunset showing). As night settled in, shows moved to the Main Stage in the center of the facilities. The Main Stage wasn’t the massive spectacle synonymous with some of the world’s elite destination festivals, but was a great place to get the night started with its solid lights, visuals, and A-level sound system.

Holy Ship! Wrecked delivers on float-free party promise [Review]Holyship Mainstage Jane Oconnor Insomniac
Main Stage at Holy Ship! Wrecked – Photo Credit: Jane O’Connor for Insomniac

After midnight, shows moved inside to the four venues—Club Oro, The Theater, The Hive, Moon Bar—which dramatically varied in quality. The clear frontrunner of this bunch was Club Oro, a true club setting ideal for late night, sweaty dance parties, which the likes of Diplo and Gorgon City swimmingly supplied.

On first entering The Theater, the seats and grandiose pictures of rock stars on the wall gave an impression of a stage constructed for a much older, calmer crowd. However, the top-notch lasers and just-big-enough dance floor made it one of best atmospheres at the festival.

To get to The Theater, attendees had to walk through the most makeshift stage at the event. The Hive was a carpeted room with low ceilings and an absurd amount of reverb. It looked out of place, and frankly detracted from many artist’s performances. Yung Bae (whose sunset set was one of the highlights of the trip) had his set severely hampered by The Hive. Nothing he played in the space sounded quite right, but there was little he could change given the setting. Against all odds, some artists were able to get The Hive rocking. Most notably, Whipped Cream’s trap set ignited the weary room, a rare feat and a huge credit to her DJing prowess.

The strangest thing about these three stages was that the
only entry points to them were through an empty casino, which was open to the
general public. People talk about the magic that festivals can provide, but a
very quick way to kill that feeling is by walking through a well-lit casino
while a handful of locals scattered about play slots.

The final stage, entitled the Moon Bar, was separate from the other stages entirely. It was a pleasant-enough space, but for some reason it was never conducive to a good dancing atmosphere. Maybe it was its isolation from the other stages, or maybe it was passersby watching you dance through a window. It was common to see an audience of only around a dozen people in the Moon Bar during peak hours of the night.

All in all, Holy Ship! Wrecked capitalizes on an ideal amount of sensationalism. You’d be hard-pressed to find another festival who goes balls-to-the-wall with such style. However, if you’re looking for a high-in-the-sky level of full-bodied curation and artistic poise in an event, it might not be worth the high ticket prices to you. However, if you’re looking to splurge on one of the best vacations and dance parties out there, Holy Ship! Wrecked delivers.

Holy Ship! Wrecked delivers on float-free party promise [Review]Duck Sauce Main Stage Holy Ship Janeoconnor Insomniac
Duck Sauce at the Main Stage – Photo Credit: Jane O’Connor for Insomniac

Featured Image Photo Credit: Jane O’Connor for Insomniac

Madeon to bring Good Faith to Funk on the Rocks at Red Rocks

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Madeon to bring Good Faith to Funk on the Rocks at Red RocksMadeon Photo Cred Diego Andrade

In the midst of a full summer festival run, Madeon announced that he is bringing his Good Faith Live show to Red Rocks this May. Headlining the 7th annual Funk on the Rocks, Madeon will be joined by Chromeo with a full live band, Yung Bae, and Benny Sings

Tickets for the May 29 show at the scenic amphitheater outside Denver, CO go on sale January 31. Prior to Funk On The Rocks, Good Faith Live performances include EDC Mexico, Ultra Music Festival, and Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The tour is fashioned after Madeon’s sophomore album of the same name, which stunned the electronic ether with its 2019 release.

Chromeo has headlined every installment of Funk on the Rocks, with other performers including Jamie xx, ODESZA, and RÜFÜS DU SOL.

Earlier this month, Dave-1 of Chromeo teamed up with real-life brother A-Trak to release a remix as The Brothers Macklovitch. Concertgoers will have to wait and see if A-Trak will be a part of the live band, as he supposedly played keyboard at the band’s first show in 2003.

Both Bae and Sings will be making their first appearance at Red Rocks. Young Bae is best known for his debut album Bae, which infuses future funk with samples of 1980s Japanese “City Pop” tracks. Sings is a dutch pop artist who has been making music for over two decades.

Photo Credit: Diego Andrade

Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Kendrick Lamar top Osheaga Music Festival’s 15th anniversary lineup

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Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Kendrick Lamar top Osheaga Music Festival’s 15th anniversary lineup025 Osheagaday2 2017 Majorlazer Photosusanmoss

Canadian music and arts festival, Osheaga has lifted the veil on the lineup for its 15th anniversary. Headed by the Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Kendrick Lamar, the diversity of the 2020 event’s leading acts indicates that Osheaga organizers remain committed to curating an eclectic collection of cross-genre talent. 

Osheaga’s electronic selects include Seven Lions, Madeon, Cubicolor, EVAN GIIA, and Polo & Pan, among others. The decidedly indie-centric lineup also features Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, and Of Monsters and Men.

Leon Bridges, Lauv, French Montana, Charli XCX, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and Kah-Lo are additionally slated to appear—and that’s only the tip of the Osheaga iceberg. Osheaga’s milestone iteration will take place from July 31-Aug. 2 in Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal. Tickets to the festival can be purchased, here.

Foo Fighters, Lizzo, and Kendrick Lamar top Osheaga Music Festival’s 15th anniversary lineupOSHEAGA Lineup 2020

Photo credit: Susan Moss

Madeon proctors new mix for Triple J radio [Stream]

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Madeon proctors new mix for Triple J radio [Stream]Madeon Live

Madeon returns to the decks down under, bringing more than an hour of the French musician’s productions, DJ skills and most importantly, distinguished taste to Triple J‘s Mix Up.

“I’m going to be playing some dance music, some not-so-dance music, but just good optimistic vibes all around.”

Madeon’s Triple J mixes are classically packed with the goods, and the newest installment is no exception with a 36 song selection representing over four decades of musical gems. Sure, it may not surpass the 46 tracks in 33 minutes from the Good Faith producer’s infamous 2013 set, but the key here is that while the mix flows effortlessly from front to back, it never feels rushed.

The mix only features a handful of Madeon’s original productions but ends up representing his colorful tonality nonetheless, transitioning from upbeat grooves to more electro vibes before closing the set out with some hands in the air classics.

Listen to the mix in its entirety over on Triple J.

Tracklist

  1. Madeon – Dream Dream Dream
  2. Porter Robinson – Icarus/Fellow Feeling (Live)
  3. Todd Terje – Inspector Norse
  4. Madeon – OK
  5. Surkin – Ultra Light
  6. SebastiAn – Beograd
  7. Gesaffelstein – Orck
  8. Rezz – Edge
  9. Big Wild – When I Get There
  10. Mura Masa – Messy Love
  11. Oliver – Bygones
  12. Disclosure – Where Angels Fear To Tread
  13. Breakbot Feat. Irfane – Baby I’m Yours
  14. Toro Y Moi – Ordinary Pleasure
  15. Me & My Toothbrush – Right By Your Side (Original Club Mix)
  16. Alex Metric – Always There (Purple Disco Machine Remix)
  17. Kill Paris – Baby Come Back
  18. Kendrick Lamar FEAT. U2 – XXX.
  19. Skylar Spence – Fall Harder
  20. Flume Feat. Tove Lo – Say It
  21. Etienne De Crécy – Night (Cut The Crap)
  22. Flume – Holdin On
  23. Madeon – Be Fine
  24. Cozway – Windbreaker
  25. Gesaffelstein – Opr
  26. Madeon – All My Friends
  27. Tame Impala – The Less I Know The Better
  28. Birdy Nam Nam – Defiant Order
  29. Porter Robinson – Imperium (Live)
  30. Drake Feat. Majid Jordan – Hold On, We’re Going Home
  31. The 1975 – Sincerity Is Scary
  32. KAYTRANADA & Shay Lia – Chances
  33. Billboard – Shapes
  34. Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
  35. Phoenix – If I Ever Feel Better
  36. Earth, Wind & Fire – September

Featured image: Andrew Noh

Missy Elliot, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Tame Impala top Governors Ball 2020 lineup

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Missy Elliot, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Tame Impala top Governors Ball 2020 lineupKevin Parker Tame Impala Getty

The lead up to spring 2020’s festival season is beginning to heat up, and now, Governors Ball has thrown an impressive hat in the ring. The three-day NYC affair has locked in Tame Impala, Missy Elliot, Vampire Weekend, and Flume for headlining performance, along with additional firepower from Solange, Stevie Nicks, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Ellie Goulding, and Miley Cyrus—and that’s all before the undercard.

The event, running June 5 – 7 at its longtime home venue at Randall’s Island Park, also has scheduled performances from a wide variety of artists, covering indie, electronic, hip-hop, and pop with acts like Danny Brown, LCD Soundsystem‘s Nancy Whang, Oliver Tree, Carly Rae Jepsen, Madeon, Portugal. The Man, Swae Lee, Snail Mail, and more. Tickets to the 2020 edition of Governors Ball go on sale on January 17 at 12:00 p.m. EST. See the full lineup below.

Missy Elliot, Flume, Vampire Weekend, Tame Impala top Governors Ball 2020 lineupGov Ball 2020 Lineup

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 124

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 124Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic—to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery—DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.

Listen in playlist format here


AMTRAC and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs are a match made in heaven. Leading up to the release of his sophomore LP, Oddysey, AMTRAC has been trickling tunes out slowly to his fan base, including December’s “Between The Lines.” “Radical” makes a stunning follow-up to its predecessor, with dreamy melodies and infectious vocals from TEED.

Following the release of the Ship Wrek remix of “Problems” in November, A R I Z O N A have revealed a new remix from ASYLUM: a Cruise Control rendition of “Still Alive.” This groovy slow-burner has a slightly darker tone to it than the upbeat original, with deeper vocals and melancholy chords.

Last Island looks to be kicking off the new year in fine form by releasing the appropriately titled “New Things.” His first work of 2020 slows things down a bit, as the Scottish producer concocts a funky downtempo tune that would be right at home in a sunrise set.

Madeon‘s Good Faith has been remixed into oblivion since its release in mid-November, but artists continue to develop new and refreshing takes on the LP’s 10 tracks. One of the latest of these is camoufly, who’s added his own “kawaii bounce” spin on “All My Friends.” It’s sparkly, joyous, and smile-inducing.

Former Hero lends his thoughtful creative process to San Holo‘s “surface” via a new remix. The UK producer spends the majority of the track’s introduction building a serene soundscape for the listener to bask in. What’s unexpected, though, is the burst of energy just after the two-minute mark.

Coachella shares 2020 lineup: Rage Against The Machine, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Calvin Harris, Disclosure, and more

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Coachella shares 2020 lineup:  Rage Against The Machine, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Calvin Harris, Disclosure, and moreCalvin Harris Live

As usual, Coachella opens the new year with a bang. The festival’s full 2020 lineup has been revealed, and as promised, Rage Against The Machine, Travis Scott, and Frank Ocean top the bill, followed by a massive cast of today’s top acts…and a few surprises. Calvin Harris will return to Coachella, where he once commanded one of the largest crowds in the event’s history. The lineup also features Disclosure, Madeon, Louis The Child, Big Sean, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX, Run The Jewels, Lana Del Rey, and more.

This year’s lineup bears a particularly impressive electronic showing from across the spectrum—deadmau5 will perform as Testpilot, with TNGHT, DJ Koze, SLANDER, Peggy Gou, Lane 8, Fatboy Slim, GRiZ, TOKiMONSTA, and more. Notably, the lineup features the long-awaited return of A-Trak and Armand Van Helden’s beloved Duck Sauce project, and not the My Chemical Romance reunion many were expecting. Coachella’s two weekends will run April 10 – 12 and April 17 – 19. See the full lineup below.

Coachella shares 2020 lineup:  Rage Against The Machine, Frank Ocean, Travis Scott, Calvin Harris, Disclosure, and moreCoachella 2020 Lineup

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 123 | Top Tracks of 2019

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 123 | Top Tracks of 2019Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic—to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery—DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


When I started using SoundCloud in early 2014, I made playlists weekly (read: obsessively). I’ve backed off a bit in recent years, but I still take time to collect songs for my yearly “best of” playlist, which I create every January and add to throughout the year. In late December for the past five years, I’ve narrowed it down to my 50 favorite releases of the year. They range from hard-hitting anthems to serene soundscapes, which truly sums up my music preferences.

In 2019, I was fortunate enough to premiere a few of my absolute favorite tracks of the year, including The Midnight‘s remix of SYML‘s “Clean Eyes,” Com Truise‘s remix of Gold Fields‘ “Waterfall,” and Essenger‘s “After Dark.” (A big thank you to all the artists who choose DA as their platform to reveal new music—we love you!)

2019 was a stellar year for drum ‘n’ bass, exhibited in tracks like Kove‘s “Le Retour,” Koven‘s “Love Wins Again,” 1991‘s “Guiding Light,” Metrik‘s “Hackers,” and so many more. The genre took some fun twists and turns, which fans heard in Mat Zo‘s Latin-infused “Games” and Sub Focus‘ earth-shattering remix of Bring Me The Horizon‘s “Mother Tongue.”

This year saw the arrival of a slew of monstrous collaborations—some unexpected and some that simply made sense. Regardless, tracks like Sullivan King and Grabbitz‘s “Crazy As You” and Delta Heavy and Zeds Dead‘s “Lift You Up” blew my mind. I was delighted when Fox Stevenson and Feint teamed up on a remix of the former’s “Out My Head,” since it flawlessly combined both their styles.

Speaking of Fox Stevenson, the UK producer released his highly anticipated album, killjoy, this year, and it’s a dynamic journey through all sides of the producer’s capabilities. Goldroom wowed me with his double-sided, multi-faceted Plunge/Surface effort, which has quite a story behind it. I had a hard time picking a favorite from A R I Z O N A‘s nostalgic Asylum LP, which is gorgeous and heart-wrenching from start to finish. I also need to mention what was likely my most-listened-to album of the year, which isn’t on SoundCloud: Ollie Wride’s Thanks in Advance. It’s gold. I lived in the aforementioned albums this year, and I’m so grateful to the artists who made them for sharing their creativity with the world.

Without further ado, here are my 50 favorite songs of 2019, in no particular order.


A look back…

Dion Timmer gives Madeon’s ‘All My Friends’ the remix treatment

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Dion Timmer gives Madeon’s ‘All My Friends’ the remix treatmentDion Timmer

Earlier this year, Launchpad master and “Shelter” collaborator Madeon released a lighthearted electronic single featuring his own vocals: “All My Friends.” A soundtrack to the summer, “All My Friends” is what Madeon describes as, “music I was hoping I would be able to make someday.” Now that the original has had plenty of time to breathe in the spotlight, bass music don Dion Timmer has released his own dubstep-inspired take.

Staying true to his affinity for high-pitched vocals, as seen in Monstercat release “Shiawase,” Dion Timmer’s remix opens with both Madeon’s voice and the tempo of the song raised, creating a bouncy atmosphere. The first drop features powerful growls topped with sprinkles of bright notes creating a sort of contrast unique to Dion’s signature “Neon” sound. The second drop gives way to something a bit heavier, with the prior bright notes removed for the first half. Dion’s remix is sure to leave both headbangers and Madeon fans plenty appeased.

Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2019

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2019Madeon Top Tracks Eoy 2019

2019 has been a remarkable year for new music.

The past twelve months brought with them a collection of highly anticipated LPs: Madeon‘s Good Faith, Avicii‘s posthumous Tim, Gesaffelstein‘s Hyperion, Illenium‘s ASCEND, along with a Flume mixtape. Notable collaborations like REZZ and Malaa‘s “Criminals,” Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve‘s “Island,” and GRiZ and Subtronics‘ “Griztronics” hit the airwaves in blazes of glory. Supergroups like Dog Blood (Skrillex and Boys Noize) and Get Real (Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet) showcased the power of doubling up on brainpower. And, of course, countless singles had us hitting repeat more times than were calculable: Dillon Francis‘ “Still Not Butter,” i_o‘s “House of God,” Habstrakt‘s “De la Street,” Alesso‘s “Progresso,” and so many more.

In no particular order, we present a 30-track collection of our favorite songs of the year, chosen by DA writers and editors.