Marshmello’s foray into dubstep, “Sell Out,” feels like just that…

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Marshmello’s foray into dubstep, “Sell Out,” feels like just that…Marshmello Horse

World domination has always been in Marshmello‘s cards. Aside from his attention-grabbing masked getup, the business-savvy producer’s fluffy take on future bass, and later, sweetened pop collaborations made him accessible to an extremely wide base of music consumers. A tried-and-true formula doesn’t always equate to longevity, however, which is why it’s often crucial to diversify one’s sound to maintain relevance and mass interest (at least if the goal is to stay at the top).

Enter “Sell Out,” Marshmello’s newest collaboration with dubstep up-and-comer SVDDEN DEATH. First, a couple things before we dive into the track—one, ‘mello seems like a nice guy, and it’s always lovely to see A-listers helping elevate others’ careers with collaborations such as this one. Second, we know that Marshmello does enjoy a good dubstep tune or two based on his prior history.

With all the star power on “Sell Out,” however, one would expect the result to be original and refreshing. Simply put though, this track is neither. In fact, it sounds like it was thrown together on Ableton in under an hour with immensely cookie-cutter construction. “Sell Out” begins pleasantly enough, with euphoric melodies often present in a Marshmello production. Things only get increasingly bland from there, with a stereotypical sped-up build, and tacky vocals prompting preparation for the drop. What’s next? The usual cacophony of robotic synths and wild screeches that sound like they could have been taken from one of the innumerable pre-existing sample packs on the market. “Sell Out” feels long removed from the days when acts like Skream, Mount Eden, Rusko, and others took the dubstep sound into more avant-garde directions.

If Marshmello is truly interested in diving deeper into dubstep, authenticated success will require the bucket-headed producer to put more effort into thinking outside the box in order to really wow consumers, which, given his undeniable ability to produce hits, shouldn’t be asking too much. “Sell Out” comes off like an easy cop-out to increase variety and maintain Marshmello’s hold over the EDM world at large—perhaps his next foray into bass lands better.

NMF Roundup: Medasin returns with ‘Mr. Skitters,’ i_o teams up with Tommy Trash, Feed Me releases first single from new album + more

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NMF Roundup: Medasin returns with ‘Mr. Skitters,’ i_o teams up with Tommy Trash, Feed Me releases first single from new album + moreStatement Festival Annika Berglund

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.

Above & Beyond kick off New Music Friday in fine fashion with their new single, “Distorted Truth.” Tommy Trash and i_o unleash their much-anticipated collaboration, “Let Me Go,” and Medasin returns with his first original of 2019, “Mr. Skitters.” Diplo and Octavian make an impeccable team on “New Shapes,” as do Feed Me and Rosie Doonan on “Feel Love.” Hardwell and Dannic unveil “Chase The Sun,” and Au5 rounds out his two-track Energize EP with “Activate.” The Chainsmokers bring another pop-inspired number via “Who Do You Love” with 5 Seconds of Summer, and David Guetta, Brooks, and Loote gear up for festival season with “Better When You’re Gone.” Quintino can’t be brought down in his new single, and Pixel Terror return to Monstercat with “Ultima.” Tisoki delivers a fresh remix of Party Favor‘s “Blame,” and Jay Hardway takes off into the atmosphere with “Aliens.” R3HAB joins forces with Icona Pop for “This Is How We Party,” and Darude and Sebastian Rejman craft a euphoric dance number in “Release Me.”

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: Annika Berglund

Marshmello joins with Pritam and Shirley Setia for Bollywood-inspired EDM in ‘Biba’

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Marshmello joins with Pritam and Shirley Setia for Bollywood-inspired EDM in ‘Biba’Biba Marshmello Pritam

The end of January saw some huge developments in the Marshmello verse. First, fans found out that the masked fluff artist had completed his first hip-hop album. Curiosity is brewing fervently as to what’s in store. Early afternoon on Saturday, February 2, brought about his virtual concert within the Fortnite game, in which thousands of computer personas were treated to ten minutes of music and peace as Marshmello’s Fortnite persona performed his biggest hits.

There’s no stopping for the crossover star, however. In addition to making a deeper foray into the hip-world, it appears that Bollywood has also sparked his interest. Marshmello’s newest single, “Biba.” The star of the show is vocalist Pritam, who’s well-established in his home country of India. He sings the entire song in Hindi alongside fellow vocalist Shirley Setia, while Marshmello produces a fusion of EDM and Bollywood sounds as a fitting background soundtrack. Despite the language barrier for Anglophones, “Biba” is plenty catchy and able to appeal to the masses.

 

Marshmello set to perform Fortnite concert, teases forthcoming hip-hop album

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Marshmello set to perform Fortnite concert, teases forthcoming hip-hop albumMarshmello Cred CINDY ORDGETTY IMAGES

In addition to his talents in the studio, Marshmello is also a big Fortnite gamer. In 2018, he won Epic Games’ E3 celebrity invitational alongside streaming star Ninja. Now, he’ll be taking the digital stage for an in-game concert on the popular online multi-player game on Feb. 2. A leaked code revealed this information along with Marshmello skins, weaponry, dances and other surprises for players online.

In addition to the Fortnite news, Marshmello mentioned on Twitter that he has a hip-hop album finished. Having previously released with Roddy Ricch, Lil Peep, Migos, and more, this album could make some serious noise on the Billboard charts.

H/T: Billboard

Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018Skrille 1

Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.

2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.

We also saw a creative collective of remixes surface in 2018, including Rinzen‘s compelling take on deadmau5 and Rob Swire‘s hit “Monophobia” and Skrillex‘s intoxicating rendition of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode.” We celebrated the return of Gesaffelstein with “Reset” and welcomed new projects from Diplo in LSD and Silk City. We welcomed collaborations from Ekali, Medasin, and Elohim in “Forever,” Tiësto, Dzeko, Post Malone, and Preme in platinum smash hit “Jackie Chan,” and ZHU and Tame Impala in “My Life.”

Ultimately, though, we’ve narrowed 2018 down to 30 tracks that stole our hearts and smashed streaming records.

10 songs to listen for during Diplo’s Belly Up Aspen extravaganza

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10 songs to listen for during Diplo’s Belly Up Aspen extravaganzaDiplo 2017

Belly Up Aspen is none of Colorado’s premier winter music festivals, showcasing a diverse range of genres and artists of every caliber. Their calendar was stacked high in 2018 with memorable performances by Keys N Krates, Nora En Pure, Lost Kings, and Cold War Kids taking the same stage as superstars like Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, deadmau5, and Stephen Marley.

To top off a historic year, Belly Up will bring the one and only Diplo to the stage on December 29. From side projects Silk City and LSD, to releasing his first solo EP in four years, Wesley Pentz has had immense success this year, which all the Aspen Mountain skiers can celebrate. Here’s a playlist of ten songs attendees should look out for during the set:

1.Silk City, Dua Lipa feat. Diplo & Mark Ronson – “Electricity”

One of Wesley Pentz Jr.’s greatest moves this year was teaming up with legendary producer Mark Ronson. Silk City instantly popped into the spotlight, bringing in one of 2018’s hottest artists in Dua Lipa for this one. The track was pushed further with an “electric” music video.

2. Ape Drums – “Me Solta”

Miami-based producer Ape Drums is no stranger to dancehall, a genre that Diplo has coined from his Jamaican influence in Major Lazer. Drums is also a friend of the Mad Decent imprint with several features on BBC Radio 1’s Diplo & Friends. Here’s his latest release “Me Solta,” earning a SoundCloud re-post from Diplo himself.

3. LSD feat. Sia, Diplo, Labrinth – “Thunderclouds” (MK Remix)

The famed trio LSD made a lot of noise this year, with four official releases and an innovative, unique sound. “Thunderclouds” marked Diplo, Sia, and Labrinth’s third work of art, receiving a groovy house edit from MK. The Miami-raised producer has a tendency to go deep in his sets, making this remix a prime candidate.

4. Wuki – DADADADA (Holiday VIP) [wukileak]

It’s always easy to throw Wuki in the mix. The New Jersey-born producer already performed a “wukipediamix” for Diplo and Friends and has been heard in a myriad of past Diplo/Skrillex sets (having released tracks on Mad Decent and OWSLA). His wild reworks brought him into the spotlight, most notably his edit of Busta Rhymes’ “Look At Me Now” verse. Although, this one comes with a holiday twist primed for a pre-NYE show.

5. Wuki – Pon De Time [wukileak]

Here’s another gem from Wuki’s endless list of goodies on his WUKILEAKS SoundCloud page. This one stems from one of Diplo’s earliest tracks “Pon De Floor.” Mashed with the fan favorite “One More Time” from Daft Punk, is there even a question of whether or not he’d throw this in?

6. Diplo feat. Lil Pump, Juicy J, Famous Dex, French Montana – “Welcome To The Party”

 

This track serves as a perfect bridge between and hip-hop, featuring rap goliaths like Famous Dex, and fresh-in-the-limelight rapper Lil Pump. This electrifying single is sure to show it not only connects genres, but also jump starts a vibe. “Welcome to the Party,” was featured in Deadpool 2, one of the highest grossing movies of 2018, and Diplo would start off his farewell to 2018 with his imprint on one of the most impactful soundtracks of the year.

7. Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – “Sweet Nothing” (Diplo & Grandtheft Remix)

If Diplo is anything, it’s that hard to pin down, transcending expectation and genre. He’s an enigma that’s always working on some new project, but staying true to his nature. He’s also not one to forget the past.  Another classic Diplo remix from 2012, the year Calvin Harris’ “Sweet Nothing” with Florence Welch took hold. Diplo got together with Canadian producer Grandtheft for this one. 

8. Ellie Goulding feat. Diplo & Swae Lee  “Close To Me”

“Close To Me” features some of the industries best and brightest. Swae Lee’s vocals are starting to become familiar to fans across all genres, while Ellie Goulding has been riding with the scene from the start. This track is Diplo’s latest release and has major traction across streaming services sitting pretty at number one on Diplo’s Spotify under popular, with 73 million streams. Definitely keep your ears keen for this one.

9. 4B & Teez – Whistle (Nitti Gritti Remix)

Diplo re-posted this track on his secret SoundCloud account page “diplo approved,” and he’s been known to thread approved tracks into his sets. Additionally, Nitti gritti recently opened for Dillon Francis’ Brooklyn Halloween show and hosts multiple genre and drop changes. Diplo fans will surely recognize and get down to this track.

10. “Get It Right” feat. MØ

“Get It Right” is hot and fresh off the California EP. Diplo played this joint as recently as September 14 at the Brooklyn Mirage for Mad Decent Block Party and even brought out MØ to perform live. It’s flush with style and contemporary waves. One can only hope that Diplo drops it again for this New Years weekend set.

Ultra Miami delivers 2019’s phase one lineup topped by The Chainsmokers, ZEDD, deadmau5 (live) and more

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Ultra Miami delivers 2019’s phase one lineup topped by The Chainsmokers, ZEDD, deadmau5 (live) and moreUltra Music Festival 2018 Photo By ALIVE Coverage 2

Ultra Music Festival is going to be hard pressed to top last year’s Miami edition, but with the delivery of 2019’s first phase lineup it looks like the festival is aiming to do just that. This year’s event of course included Swedish House Mafia‘s not-so-secret headlining reunion and it was the last edition to be held at the festival’s longtime home at Bayfront Park. Now, with the move to Virginia Key, Ultra is pulling out all the stops, starting with a top-notch lineup that’s teeming with talent.

The first headliners announced include Martin Garrix, David Guetta, Tiësto, ZEDD, and Marshmello among others, and live sets are expected from deadmau5, who will be officially debuting the Cube 3.0 ODESZA, Louis the Child, and more. The first phase lineup includes a massive supporting cast as well, from Whethan to Jai Wolf, Kayzo to Phantoms with droves of acts in between. Shasha and John Digweed will share the stage, Richie Hawtin, Maceo Plex, and Carl Cox are slated to bring the underground flavor, and deadmau5 will pull double duty as Testpilot at Virginia Key Beach & Miami Marine Stadium over the weekend of March 29 – 31. See Ultra’s full phase one lineup below.

Tickets to Ultra Music Festival 2019 are available here.

SQUIRM throws a house spin on Marshmello’s ‘Happier’

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SQUIRM throws a house spin on Marshmello’s ‘Happier’Screen Shot 2018 12 13 At 6.45.21 PM Min

It appears that SQUIRM came across Marshmello‘s Billboard charter, “Happier,” featuring Bastille and decided to tinker with it. A celestial house makeover gives the original a boost of speed, cranking BPMs up to 127. Uplifting metallic synths dominate the melody with an accompanying bassline around a punching house track, showing quite the ecstatic alien producer.

While pairing with another artist who used anonymity to cover their work and define their brand, few have created a new world narrative for listeners to explore. SQUIRM is on that path with the robot’s mystic persona and storytelling, Traveller EP, which crash-landed out of nowhere. Sources say there’s a veteran dance music producer behind the creation, but SQUIRM could also just be a real alien looking for friends.

Marshmello showcases new direction in new Roddy Ricch collaboration, ‘Project Dreams’

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Marshmello showcases new direction in new Roddy Ricch collaboration, ‘Project Dreams’Marshmello Roddy Ricch

Marshmello has kept things interesting for fans this year, releasing everything from pop to rock to his old-school electronic style in new releases. This time, Marshmello heads in a completely new direction with his Roddy Ricch collaboration, titled “Project Dreams.” The masked producer has been teasing the collaboration online for more than a month, leaving fans wondering when the official release would come.

The track is without the electronic infusion fans have become accustomed to in Marshmello’s non-electronic collaborations, such as recent hit with Bastille, “Happier.” A subtle backdrop frames the track for Ricch’s vocals to lead the release. His rapping is the centerpiece of the track, showcasing Marshmello’s ability to produce tracks in a wide variety of genres. The Forbes 30 Under 30 winner continues to prove he cannot be put into a box, leaving fans to wonder what’s in store for the year to come.

Marshmello and Bastille release alternate version of ‘Happier’ music video

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Marshmello and Bastille release alternate version of ‘Happier’ music video20228889 1622687541083104 3624557739808384426 N

Marshmello and Bastille pivot away from the tear-jerking story of a girl and her dog in their release of an alternate version of the “Happier” music video. What they’ve come up with is something even more uplifting, albeit, quirky. It plays out like an animated slideshow, showcasing the artists and their work on the song rather than involving a specific storyline. Marshmello can be seen playing multiple instruments as sort of a one-man band, accompanying Dan Smith as he sings along. Per the masked DJs general odd aesthetic, the video makes sure to include a number of oddities that make for a more entertaining watch; including a cameo by some floating graham crackers. Where he and his team find inspiration for such things, we’ll never know — but props to them for a colorful alternative ending!