Famed Miami nightclub The Electric Pickle announces impending closure

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Famed Miami nightclub The Electric Pickle announces impending closureScreen Shot 2018 08 07 At 2.56.13 PM

Wynwood Arts District resident, The Electric Pickle will close its doors in June 2019. Venue owners and operators Tomas, Diego, and Mitch announced the nightclub’s impending cessation in a Facebook post published on the event’s official Facebook page.

“It’s been a crazy ride and we’re not done yet,” Tomas, Diego, and Mitch write, after acknowledging their mutual decision to forgo the renewal of the venue’s lease. “It’s time for a change,” the message continues, “We look forward to one more trip around the sun, filled with parties and memories.”

Those interested can get a look at The Electric Pickle’s event calendar leading up to the club’s June closure, here.

View The Electric Pickle’s Facebook post, here.

Photo Credit: The Electric Pickle

Rakastella ushers in its storied return to Miami with Phase 1 lineup

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Rakastella ushers in its storied return to Miami with Phase 1 lineupRakastella Credit Tasya Menaker

Art and dance music connoisseurs can rejoice in knowing that Innervisions and Life and Death‘s iconic joint event. Rakastella, is returning to its home of Miami during Art Basel on December 8. Hosted on the Virginia key, the event is primed to fulfill it’s title’s mission once more of “making love” by melding together stunning visuals and some of the finest house and techno into an immersive 14-hour show.

As DJ Tennis, Dixon, and Âme are the prime curators behind their labels’ event, the lineup is naturally cutting edge. The aforementioned acts will be headlining, joined by Job Jobse, DJ Harvey, and Red Axes. Apparat will also be making his Miami debut in the form of a DJ set.

Stay tuned as more of the roster is unveiled. In the meantime, purchase tickets here.

Rakastella ushers in its storied return to Miami with Phase 1 lineupRakastella

 

Featured image credit: Tasya Menaker

Miami city commissioner to Ultra Music Festival: pay $2M annual fee to city to renew Bayfront Park contract, or relocate

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Ultra Music Festival organizers will face a steep price tag if they wish to keep Miami’s veteran music event in its longtime location of Bayfront Park in the years to come.

The Downtown Neighbors Alliance (DNA) circulated a petition in July 2017 that called on Miami’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to return access to Bayfront Park — DNA residents’ “neighborhood park” — to downtown Miami locals. “Since the beginning of 2017, Bayfront Park has been closed to the public or in a state of disrepair for over 100 days because of mega-concerts like Ultra and Rolling Loud,” the document read. The petition surpassed 1,100 signatures when it reached the hands of Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo.

Now, the feud between downtown Miami dwellers and large scale Bayfront Park hosted music events like Ultra Music Festival will come to a head as Carollo presents UMF orchestrators with a financially oriented ultimatum: pay $2 million annual payments to the agency that oversees Bayfront Park, or take Ultra elsewhere.

UMF organizers’ previous contract permitted the festival to occupy Bayfront for a five-year period. In exchange, Ultra Music Festival paid the city of Miami a sum comprised of a usage fee and a ticket surcharge that was then tacked onto the cost of each individual UMF admission cost. The city collected an average of about $663,000 from UMF over the five-year stretch, notably enjoying an elevated profit of $742,000 in 2018. Given that Ultra’s contract expired in 2018, festival organizers will need to make swift and strategic moves if they plan to keep Bayfront Park as Ultra’s home location.

While Miami residents like Rev. Pedro Martinez continue to call upon city officials like Carollo to ‘stop the prostitution of the park to multiple events,’ Ultra lobbyist Ray Martinez reiterates the global value inherent in the festival that, in many ways, put Miami on the musical map. ‘Let’s look at the positives,’ Ray Martinez said, ‘We talk about Miami wanting to be a world-class city. Ultra is a world-class event. It is the Art Basel of electronic music.’

Rolling Loud is also expected to face steep fees if it seeks to return to the park in future years of festival production. Neither Ultra nor Rolling Loud have commented on the recent contract related complications.

Photo Credit: aLIVE Coverage

H/T: Miami Herald

Relive Miami Music Week’s unparalleled 2018 Get Lost Party – photography by Khris Cowley

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© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

© Photography by Khris Cowley for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)

Miami Music Week in a nutshell: capturing the ridiculousness beneath the glamour

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Mainstage-Ultra-Music-Festival-2018

Miami Music Week — the largest dance music industry event in America, and the world. In addition to the Winter Music Conference, which takes place that week, a plethora of outside club events dominate the city that culminate into Ultra Music Festival at its end. 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the festival, making for an even more energized atmosphere surrounding it.

Its enormous popularity among fans, industry professionals, and artists alike translates to an enormous invasion of the city, and thus an even crazier unfolding of developments. Surge prices for ride share services and taxis are near-unfathomable, drink prices are egregious, and ATM fees are shockingly high. Meanwhile, utter debauchery and chaos mean tense interactions between bouncers and patrons, wedding rings falling off celebrity’s hands, and of course, instances that in the past have included women talking to trees.

We compiled an array of images that captures moments like these, that show a deeper look beneath the glamour of Miami Music Week and Ultra Music Festival.

1. We hope you withdrew cash ahead of time….

Jackmaster discovered ATM fees at the small club Treehouse were set at $36. The fee was so high that he had to document it through Instagram, appropriately quipping, “Some cunt is having a laugh.” Note to self: withdraw copious amounts of cash prior to going out for the night, or else…

MMW Treehouse ATM Fees Jackmaster

2. Same goes for buying alcohol

Either the drink needs to have at least 4 shots, or it’s best to get toasted enough to last the whole event.

MMW Vodka Redbull_LI

3. A test in supply & demand

Not planning on drinking? You’ll at least need water to remain safely hydrated in the warm outdoor weather. Humane ideologies be damned — vendors throughout the week are putting necessity and capitalism to the test by charging upwards of $15 for a bottle of water at each event. Perhaps the hot new liquid to hide in a flask is H2O.

MMW Water Bottles

4. Not today, lawsuits!

This venue wasn’t playing around when it came to hosting an Axtone pool party. The question is, what can you bring?

Ultra Axtone Entry Rules

5. That awkward moment when…

You lose your 20-carat engagement ring while partying too hard to Above & Beyond

above beyond paris tweet

6. When the alcohol hits early

Pacing is the key to day-drinking, young Padawan.

ultra ratchet

7. On the other hand, 3 snaps for this brave raver

no drugs mmw

8. One thing to save money on: food

Plus side: food poisoning is potentially the new leading cause of seeking medical assistance at the music festival? Put that in your pipe and smoke it, media.

Ultra Food Poisoning
ultra sick2

9. An accurate depiction of Ultra attendees from an Uber driver’s point of view:

MMW Uber Depiction

10. And finally….the Great SHM Lighting Conspiracy of 2018

Why the odd camera angles? Error? Technical difficulty? Was it all fake after all? Who knows…

camera ultra
issues lighting shm
Feature Image Credit: aLive Coverage

Marshmello brings out Will Smith for live performance of ‘Miami’ at Ultra Music Festival [Watch]

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Will Smith

Marshmello’s Main Stage set at Ultra Music Festival exemplified the festival’s forewarning to “expect the unexpected.”

Marshmello crowded the Main Stage with a series of surprise special guests, including fellow Ultra 20 performers Slushii and G-Eazy, as well as Yo Gotti, Southside, Lil Uzi Vert, and the inimitable Will Smith, for a live performance of Smith’s 1997 hit single, “Miami.”

Photo Credit: Ryan Hadj

 

Paris Hilton loses engagement ring during Above & Beyond’s ‘Common Ground’ Miami show

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Celebrity Sightings in New York City - February 13, 2018

Above & Beyond’s emotive brand of dance music is that which demands many ‘hands in the air’ moments of joy during their shows. It turns out these moments are so intense for some that they end up losing valuable possessions — specifically, their wedding rings.

Such a an ironically tragic incident befell Paris Hilton on Friday night, March 23, during the trance trio’s Common Ground Miami tour stop. During the early morning hours in a bout of ecstatic dancing, the heiress’ 20-carat engagement ring reportedly flew off her finger and into the surrounding chaos, according to witnesses. Panic immediately ensued, with Hilton’s fiancé leading security officers in a search for the valuable bauble. They found it at the bottom of an ice bucket two tables down.

While the neither the couples’ camps nor the venue have been reached for comment as of writing time, Above & Beyond themselves confirmed the incident via a well-wishing Tweet hours later. Jono Grant also posted a picture of himself, Paavo, and Hilton after the show.

Jono Grant Instagram Paris

above beyond paris tweet
H/T: Page Six
Photo Credit: Raymond Hall/GC Images

Claptone selects his favorite non-party spots during MMW [Guide]

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Claptone

Miami Music Week is in full effect, with each day being filled to the brim with a wide array of events to choose from that satisfy any electronic lover’s fancy. However, the choices are so vast, that sometimes making a decision proves an arduous task.

Partying 24/7 is virtually an impossible task, however, and rest is absolutely crucial during any bit of downtime. For most new to the Miami scene or for those who rarely touch down in the city, Dancing Astronaut has enlisted Claptone‘s assistance in picking out spots to check out when craving a bit of relaxation among the chaos. The masked musician has compiled quite the list of places close to his heart, across a broad spectrum of activities.

While perusing the guide, we recommend giving his new single from FANTAST a spin:

Sweat Records

“While on the road, I long for new music. I love to get my fingers dusty, sifting through bins and piles of records, always making sure to bring a spare pair of my signature white gloves.
There happens to be quite a funky spot in Miami, a store called Sweat Records. They’ve got loads of albums and singles, and I always leave with at least one brilliant, new discovery.”

CJ’s Crabshack

“Oh dear! How I love the Crabshack! A family-run and operated eatery with modest design and ambience, serving a variety of crab and seafood dishes, only steps from the beach. How I love to feel the rays of the Miami sun, sitting on the sidewalk terrace. The perfect place for an afternoon with good friends and great food.”

Broken Shaker

“The Broken Shaker is quite the special space. For some reason, every time that I visit, interesting and peculiar things seem to happen. That is all I’ll say.”

Crusing through Biscayne Bay

“Many of you may, or may not know this – but I have sailed the Seven Seas a plenty. I grew up as a mariner, setting sail and attempting to discover lands still uncharted. These days, my nautical ambitions are much more modest. Whenever I am in Miami, I make sure to spend as much time as possible navigating through Biscayne Bay on my humble vessel.”

The Kampong

“This lesser-known, beautiful, flowing garden was designed as a laboratory for the observation and study of tropical plants in Miami. I often find myself wandering through their grounds, with my portable field-recorder in hand, registering the many organic sounds that can be heard, to later incorporate in my original productions. I cloak the call of birds and the rustling of the leaves in mystery, altering their tonality and timbre to the point of being unrecognisable, but still so special to me. The garden of inspiration.”

Guaguanco in Little Havana

“Six years ago, while strolling through Little Havana, I somehow found myself in a Cuban community centre for the arts. It was on this day that I had my first Guanguanco dance lesson with my very kind and astonishingly limber, sixty-seven year-old instructor, Griselda. Although it has been quite some time since my last lesson, I can still feel the rhythm and pulse that makes Cuban music so special. My experiences there led me to incorporate some Spanish-speaking lyrics on my upcoming album, Fantast. The ninth track, entitled La Esperanza, with it’s chorus sung in Spanish, forever reminding me of Griselda’s patience.”

Miami Music Week & Beyond: How Kölsch continues his global domination [Interview]

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Kolsch1

Kölsch didn’t prepare anything for his nine-hour residency sets at the Gewölbe Club in Cologne, Germany. “But that’s the beauty of it,” he reveals.

Known for his rousing, deeply emotive tracks, the Danish producer believes in both the freedom of music, and of his surroundings dictating his sounds. The aforementioned can certainly be said for the artist’s unparalleled open-air performance last fall atop the Eiffel Tower. His oeuvre has only continued to rewrite the rulebook of modern production, with each and every performance serving as a further testament to his craft and rinsing in the global circuit.

Kölsch’s music implements an articulate understanding of his surroundings, the solace of the times, whatever and whenever he may be drawing from — one he earned in part by growing up in the hippie community of Christiania. Though he’s revered for his countless remixes, each original work comes complete with clear sentimentality. The journey is always vibrant and picturesque, with the electronic composer offering his listeners a window into his soul or his past with each carefully crafted piece.

His most recent LP, 1989, was the final installment in an autobiographical series which embeds his finely-tuned craftsmanship with a newfound emotive elevation of his artistic output. Its sonic landscape is an intensified deployment of real-life orchestral sounds, marking a true ascension for the artist.

Unexpectedly, Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac has shown her undying support for Kölsch’s work, noting, “that man is sort of King when it comes to pianos and house music. He’s got a way of wrenching your emotions.” Of course, she’s right. From his last full-length’s gut-wrenching tearing through the bleak, loneliness that at times plagues adolescence, it may seem that there’s only one side to Kölsch; though a deeper dive into his discography proves the artist, like many, contains multitudes.

With a string of high profile festival shows and a stellar BBC Radio 1 show under his belt, his iconic status has showed no signs of stopping. He an Ibiza residency dubbed “In The Dark” at Hï Ibiza last season, played the iconic DC 10, Berghain‘s Panorama bar, and made his infamous Eiffel Tower live stream for five million people.

Dancing Astronaut had a chance to catch up with Kölsch amidst his global domination as he’s about to touch down in the states for Miami Music Week and will return in April for major performances at Coachella. During the discussion, he touched on his thoughts on the US dance scene, the extinction of EDM, how he remedies his sets worldwide, and more.

Shots by SOLOVOV.be

Congratulations on your absolutely incredible year! On top of your BBC Radio 1 domination and playing the main stage at Tomorrowland 2018 you’re approaching your first performance at Coachella. What can attendees expect?
I’m really looking forward to experiencing the whole festival.  I’ve never been, but many friends say it is an incredible festival. I can’t wait to play a killer set.  What you can expect is more of my charming self. That plus good techno records and my intensive competitive miming act is sure to be special. On another note, I don’t think the US is ready for my techno miming act, so I’ll just do the techno.

How do you feel about playing Coachella as opposed to Glastonbury in the UK or Tomorrowland?
Coachella is definitely on the bucket list I always wanted to play. I’ve been lucky over the years to play most of the festivals I dreamt of (Sonar, Melt, Dour, Tomorrowland, Timewarp, Awakenings, Glastonbury, and so on) I actually think that Coachella is the last major festival on my dream list I haven’t played yet, so I’m really excited.

More underground electronic artists seem to be playing at Coachella this year. Why do you think that is?
The downfall of EDM beckons for a new sound to rise.  In Europe, EDM is completely dead, and all big festivals have techno acts as headliners next to the headliner bands. Radio has also lost a lot of the power it used to have, and therefore, kids are finding their own new heroes online and through friends. I love the fact that there is finally room for new music at festivals. Be it techno, fresh Indie bands or hip hop it’s about time all festivals start realizing that mass SoMe Followers, doesn’t always result in guaranteed ticket sales. There have been way too many lazy bookings over the years, and I’m very happy to see that change.

You’ve recently had a successful residency at Gewölbe Club in Cologne, Germany. ISPO. Tell us about how that came to be and how it is playing that club?
IPSO stems from Ipso Facto. It ruffly stems from “by the factor off,” and is the name of my label. I’ve got a bunch of releases planned on the label, so I decided to expand the concept into a traveling residency. Its been going at Gewölbe in Cologne for 2 years now, and I usually end up playing very longs sets. Up to 9 hours. It’s such special club, as it has the only bespoke built Martion Horn Speaker system in the world. The sound is out of this world.

How does it compare to playing a venue like Ushuaia in Ibiza, for instance,  in terms of planning, energy, set length?
It’s a completely different beast. Playing in front of 12,000 people for 90 min demands a completely different level of discipline than a smaller club. There is not the same room for experimentation. Playing nine hours on a good sound system with the right crowd is any DJ’s dream gig. It feels like therapy to me.

Do you do anything to prepare for the up to nine-hour sets for IPSO in Cologne?
I don’t prepare anything, that’s the beauty of it. With the sound system at Gewölbe one thing I’ve been practicing other than slower tempo and energy, is starting my sets with tracks with a more open sound. Maybe tracks that haven’t been squashed in mastering, so there is more room, to intensify the energy later in the set. Its very interesting to experiment with building a set that way.

How do you see the current scene of electronic music in the US from your point of view?
After the extinction of EDM, the scene is fantastic. There is an amazing form of optimism in clubs all over the US. Suddenly there is room to move more freely and it seems a lot of the freaks are coming out again. People are exploring a new sound, and I just get so much great music these days from the states. I love that the scene has escaped the pigeonholing of style, sound, and attitude that was defined by EDM festivals. For a while there it felt like I was playing in 1997 at Mayday in Germany. It was depressingly hilarious to witness that the scene was so far behind. Thank god for the progress.

How does playing clubs where you can create a new chapter for the club compare to playing the Eiffel Tower like you did back in the fall? That seems to be a true once in a lifetime experience…Maybe the best open-air venue in the world…?
It was definitely a life-altering moment. I’ve had a long-lasting love affair with Paris. From early Laurent Garnier records, through Ludovic Navarre to the French Disco house era hailed by Daft Punk, it’s been a defining place for dance music. The last 10 years have ushered a different, and tougher time for the French. Terrorist attacks have sadly been all too frequent and I felt that I needed to illustrate how much we all love and support them. Just to play Acid Eiffel by Laurent Garnier, a record that influenced me so much in 1993, on the Eiffel Tower was extremely emotional.  Dance music may not be political, but on an emotional level we can all show support.

Was there ever a point in your career where you’d said, ok, I know I’ve made it if I’m playing here?
Well playing there was never even a thing I could have ever considered possible. I could have never event dreamt of that, as I got into this scene, so it was a very big deal for me. My French grandmother who is 93 watched the whole set on her laptop…that made me extra proud.

What tracks do you have in mind that you will definitely play at Miami Music Week?
I’ve got so many new demos in want to test out…currently working on a new IPSO collab with Joris Voorn that I will definitely play.
Also testing out stuff for my next Speicher 12”, so demo galore.

Which track do you have in mind for the anticipated b2b with Tiga at All Gone Pete Tong Pool Party?
It’s going to have to be our new tracks from our upcoming IPSO collab. It was such a pleasure working together. We had a great time in the studio.

Which track for the Kompakt at Space Party?
Maybe a Kompakt classic. I’ve been hammering Donnerkuppel by Robag Wrühme again lately, so maybe that one.

Do you have a track in mind for Get Lost Miami?
I’ll see how underground I can get away with playing there. I really want to take it far out, so I’ll be digging into my rarer records for that one…

And finally, where can we expect the Kölsch sound to move to in the new year? One of our all-time favorite quotes of yours is, “I was trying to make a Balearic version of Jeff Mills..” and it’s in reference to the making of “Calabria.” Obviously, a lot of time has passed since then and your music is consistently evolving, but considering your latest exclusive release other than the WhoMadeWho remix and now “Left Eye Left,” was 1989 — the significantly more emotive, final installment in the album trilogy — we wonder whether the grey shall clear and we’ll see a new side of Kölsch…
The Grey is well and over… I’m working on a lot of new material. Experimenting a lot right now with new demos, so let’s see what comes out of that…

Kölsch US Tour Dates:

March 22: All Gone Pete Tong Pool Party Surfcomber, Miami, FL
March 24 – Kompakt Club Space, Miami, FL
March 24-25 – Crosstown Rebels present Get Lost Miami, FL
April 15 – Coachella, Indio, CA
April 22 – Coachella, Indio, CA

 

Techno Tuesday: Yotto talks his sonic evolution, playing Miami, and using his air miles

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techno-tuesdays

Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

Yotto hardly needs an introduction in today’s dance sphere. Having risen seemingly out of nowhere, the Finnish talent caught the attention of Anjunadeep early on in his career and subsequently climbed the house ranks for his lush, melodic take on the genre.

He became much more than simply a wunderkind for Anjuna, however, forever keeping his blinders on and making music that brought him the most profound fulfillment. As a result, his forward-thinking approach to musicmaking cemented his credibility, and made him a well-respected member of the dance underground. Yotto’s name began appearing on prolific bills across the globe, with an increasing demand for his driving, hypnotic aesthetic. In 2018 alone he’s been tapped for his debut Essential Mix, while also releasing on an EP Joris Voorn‘s Green imprint.

As he prepares for his Miami Music Week appearances — which include a booking alongside progressive greats at the Rapture festival (tickets here), a gig at Do Not Sit On The Furniture, Ultra, and more — he graciously provided Dancing Astronaut with some insight on his artistic development, retaining balance among a chaotic tour schedule, and using his air miles for various things around the airport.


Tell us about your first Essential Mix – what was the story of your recruitment to make one, and how was the process for you of fashioning the mix?
Making an Essential Mix is one of those bucket list things that I’ve always wanted to do – BBC Radio 1 has been an invaluable supporter for my music so I think getting to do an Essential Mix came very naturally. For the mix I wanted to include a combination of stuff that I play right now and a lot of music that forms my musical DNA some in form of edits that I made just for the mix. In the end I just recorded the mix and added some intro and outro bits later.

What sorts of sounds, artists, and other factors have inspired your sonic evolution over the years?
Ahh many things! Most of my musical inspirations come from old, non-dancefloor electronic music like Boards Of Canada and Ulrich Schnauss. Listening to new, upcoming producers is also great for inspiration as they might have a less jaded view on producing and bring new, fresh ideas to the table. Dj-wise I was always a big fan of Sasha & Digweed, Desyn Masiello and Deep Dish.

It seems progressive has played a major role in your upbringing – from your days of influence from Sasha & Digweed, to falling in love with the classic progressive house sound, to now, where a lot of your music can be defined under the sub-genre. What is it about progressive that strikes a chord so deeply with you? Do you feel it’s having a moment again in the current dance sphere thanks to acts yourself (among many others) are helping to return its credibility to the mainstream?
I have never been a big fan of genres to start with, I’ve just always had a very passionate relationship with emotional, musically rich dance music. It can be disco, classic deep house, just a fat techy drum loop or the turn-of-the-century prog sound. I honestly don’t think that the more progressive sound ever went away. People just keep rebranding it – a lot of today’s “melodic techno” is 100% progressive house to me but sometimes people need to come up with new labels to form a new perspective on a sound. I think generally it’s a sound where people can find more to remember in a song, when the musical content is rich.

When did you realize the “music bug” had entirely bit you and that you needed to do music full time? Or did you fall into it unexpectedly? Tell us the story!
I did work for ages before actually giving in and working on music full time. It was always more or less a daydream but all good things have a way of coming if you work for it. It all happened quite organically after a few successful releases with Anjunadeep I was able to start touring and at that point there’s really no way to have a day job when you arrive home late every Monday and have to leave on the road again on Thursday.

Given your climb up the success ladder as of late, you must be finding yourself quite busy. How do you maintain balance and clarity among a chaotic work schedule? What is your self-care routine?
Good thing about being busy with music is having this hard-wired need to make music and listen to it all day long, so it does not feel like a burden. Chaos can be controlled, haha. Touring is tiring and sometimes very heavy, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to do it. Taking care of your health and family is essential. I try to do sports basically every day I’m not on the road, have recently been getting back into the swimming pool too so that should keep me going. Taking the dog out into the woods is also a perfect form of therapy. In all fairness I enjoy making music for a living so much that I think I’m cheating in life and should be taken in for questioning.

On that note, where do you see yourself taking your career in the future? Have you given any thoughts to running your own label? Are you planning a party series like Guy Gerber’s Rumors?
For sure, there’s no masterplan for it just yet but will definitely look into having my own label at some point. I get sent a lot of amazing music and would love to get that out there on my own too.

What is your philosophy toward making, and performing music?
I make and play music that I like, very simple. I believe that whatever music you make and play it should come organically and from a real place, otherwise there’s no point if you can’t enjoy it in a very honest way.

Where are your favorite places to play in the world, and why?
Everywhere! I must say I love South American crowds a lot, they have a great culture for dance music. Each city and every club has their own charm, so it’s hard to pick just a couple. Sometimes a festival stage feels amazing, sometimes a tiny basement in a small European town is exactly what gets you going.

Let’s switch gears to Rapture festival. It must have been an honor to be booked on the Soundgarden stage! How is it working with Nick Warren, and to know you were chosen to play alongside such heavyweights in your arena?
Nick is a legend, and the whole festival has a really good lineup from Luciano and Guy Gerber to a great combination of classic and modern progressive artists on the Soundgarden stage. I think that’s a great representation of where the sound is now and where it’s going in the future.

What excites you most about playing Rapture?
The lineup and the location, I’ve heard that it’s a beautiful part of Miami and feels great to jump out of the madness of South Beach and Wynwood for a bit during the Miami Music Week. Also a cold beer or two, hopefully a hot dog and maybe pancakes if they have any.

Now for your favorite question: what’s coming up for Yotto throughout the rest of the year?
More music! I’m excited about all the new music that I have ready to go. Will be going around all continents again over the rest of the year so I’m also looking forward to missing airplane meals and trying to figure out if I can buy candy with air miles.