First Listen: Crankdat unfurls emotionally charged, dynamic single, ‘Falling’

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First Listen: Crankdat unfurls emotionally charged, dynamic single, ‘Falling’Crankdat Steven Haddad

Crankdat has returned with newest single “Falling,” sure to be a new fixture in his live sets. The Ohio-based music maker is known for his multi-colored production propensity. Whether he’s releasing rock-ready electronic tracks, heavy-hitting dubstep, or lighter crossover tunes, Crankdat has a proven track record lending his green thumb to multi-genre production vines. “Falling” serves as a continuation of his audacious experimental pursuits.

Initially, the listener sees Crankdat tap into his ethereal side thanks to an opening primed with lofty vocals and matching, minimal bell synths, which allow the poignant lyrics to shine through. A minute into the release, a quickening of pace yields an uptick in energy and the entrance of exasperating video game synth work, a seamless addition to the release’s chosen label housing, Monstercat’s sprawling trophy case of game-y tunes. The drop sees Crankdat draw from a variety of inspirations including monstrous ad libs and an ebbing and flowing bass line that keeps the listener engaged through moments of reprieve from the harder-hitting elements.

Crankdat recently spoke to Dancing Astronaut about the release:

“‘Falling’ was a ton of fun to produce.  I haven’t done a melodic song since ‘Do You Mind,’ and I really wanted to make something powerful that also makes you feel something.  The last drop is one of my favorites I’ve ever done.”

“Falling” follows Crankdat’s two-track Halloween-centric EP, Fearworld, as well as his return to Monstercat records.

Photo credit: Steven Haddad

RIOT release debut album ‘Dogma Resistance’ on Monstercat + Exclusive Track Breakdown

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RIOT release debut album ‘Dogma Resistance’ on Monstercat + Exclusive Track BreakdownPress Pic RIOT

Monstercat veterans RIOT have finally released their most expansive project to the date, the story-based, sonic journey known as “Dogma Resistance.”

The ten-track studio album is accompanied by a visual comic that brings to life the story of protagonist Raymond Colt and his descendants in a story that fuses the past with the future, spanning from 1936 to 2045. Each of the album’s ten tracks are meant to represent a different piece of the science fiction plot line, kicking things off with the adventuruous assault of “Jungle Fury” and the drum & bass mayhem of “Disorder.” The duo explore a myriad of sound and inspiration on the album, incorporating Eastern mysticism on “Desert to Desert” with unrelenting bass on the climactic “Overkill.” The sheer scope of the sound and the story is an achievement in itself, and the duo have been tirelessly crafting this world for over a year and a half. We sat down with the duo to talk about the genesis of the concept and a track-by-track breakdown of each track on the LP.

‘Dogma Resistance’ is an album we have been working on for well over a year and a half now. The production from start to finish was one of the toughest challenges as producers that we have faced. Creating a seamless storyline in electronic music can sometimes be tough, we wanted to give the fans something more, something they would want to listen from start to finish on repeat over and over again.”

Overture 1990

We had this introduction to our album planned out for over a year and a half now but was one of those pieces we always came back to finalize again and again until we felt it’s completely done. It’s the intro to the storyline of Dogma Resistance and just like any fine intro to a book you really want to hook the reader/listener’s into what is coming up next. Combining the experience of our knowledge with cinematic melody and orchestra we were able to craft something we feel set the tone for the rest of the album.

Jungle Fury

“Pretty special and unique piece for us and will always have a place in our hearts. Jungle Fury is a mixture of heavy leaning pop chords mixed with our kind of dubstep and a pay trance drop at the end. We wanted to show our fans that pop progression, psy  trance and dubstep could all live in a track respectively while combining to make this piece of music.”

Disorder (Rebirth)

“Disorder was our very first original on Monstercat and will always be known as such. We always knew that one day we’ll get back to it for a 2.0 version and this album was the perfect opportunity. Disorder (Rebirth) is a non stop rage track from start to finish meant to be aggressive 24/7. It is the beginning of the Machine’s rise back to power, who the machine is or what it represents is completely up to you the listener.”

Blackwater

“Where do we start with this one? I mean, we are in love with story lines and video games that have great story lines and this was really created with the game Red Dead Redemption in mind. We wanted to bring to life a western themed original that slapped from start to finish but also kept in line with the story line we had created with a touch of multiple musical spectrums that live in harmony all together.”

Desert To Desert

“I mean who doesn’t like to be serenaded with an angelic voice right? We wanted to carry over the heaviness of Blackwater into the lightheartedness and start of Aiwa. We think Desert To Desert allows for the listeners ears to get adjusted and remember that there is beauty even in dark places.”

Aiwa

This track was unbelievably fun to make for us. The vocals at the beginning of the track are Tom’s vocals along with our roommate Eliran and we probably did about 30 takes to get it right and just had such a great time working on this track from start to finish. We are Israeli born and raised and we really wanted to connect where we are from (middle east) and the much love brostep/dubstep that is popular in the States.

The Mob

We made ‘The Mob’ when we were in this dark place and having writers block in the studio. We needed a way to release frustrations and there is no way better to do that then creating a track that just is gritti and grimey from start to finish. This to us represents the tough tenacity and resilience of people which in turn helps conquer the darkness or in this case the Machine.”

Last Stand

We connected the gritty anger that ‘The Mob’ brings by drowning out the bass with more melodic cinematic progression that shows you from darkness spawns light and happiness and hope!

Overkill

One of our fans most loved tracks. It is one of those tracks that people will always recognize us for. it’s also one of the tracks that took us forever to compose (over a year). On a deeper level it is the final chapter of the resistance against the machine. The final battle between mankind and those fighting for justice and those who don’t. Who wins? Well that is for you to decide.”

Take That

A joyous celebration of victory. We wanted to create a funky pop driven track that is very left field for us. The kind of sound tracks you hear at the end of a Marvel or DC movie when they’re rolling the credits. We love producing music and not genre’s and this was one we absolutely had a blast making. It was a challenge for sure, but in the end we felt there was no way better to end the album.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 115

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 115Deters 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


It’s been a few years since the world has had new Tut Tut Child material. The artist has been mainly working on a side project, Forest Knot, since mid-2018, and prior to that, there hadn’t been a Tut Tut Child release since 2017. The London-based artist has broken his silence, though, with the release of his Pantheon EP, out now on Extreme Music. Its title track is a dramatic melodic journey and is sure to thrill fans of his previous works, as well as newcomers.

Rameses B, too, has a new compilation out Nov. 1. The Liquicity Records Eden EP showcases the artist’s strong command of the liquid drum ‘n’ bass realm, and he praised the label in a tweet announcing the EP, saying “it’s only natural to have this kind of release with them, liquid, emotional and something that represents all the good times.”

For Flite‘s latest venture, he reworked Jon Hopkins‘ 2018 track, “Emerald Rush.” He’s flipped the style into something new, and it’s completely captivating. “I absolutely LOVE Jon Hopkins’ music, he is such an influence on my own tunes,” Flite said in the track’s description. “I decided I would try and rework ‘Emerald Rush’ into a drum ‘n’ bass track. So much respect for his compositions, I hope I have done him justice.” 

The drum ‘n’ bass continues with Mazare and Philip Strand’s “Battlecry,” which debuted this week via Monstercat. Strand’s powerful vocals set the scene for the epic battle that about to take place, leading the listener into a dramatic build. Mazare’s fierce production takes over at the drop, packing a hefty drum ‘n’ bass punch.

Virtual Riot can make whatever he wants forever. The multi-faceted producer excels at whatever genre he’s producing, and for his newest, he returns to glitch-hop to play… Mario? “Bossfight Afterparty” is a brilliant three-minute combination of video game blips and bloops, polished with undeniably precise production. Your move, Bowser.

Habstrakt’s ‘The One’ gets remixes from NGHTMRE, Effin, and more

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Habstrakt’s ‘The One’ gets remixes from NGHTMRE, Effin, and moreHabstrakt ByPatBeaudry 003 Resize

Habstrakt had a wild close-out to summer 2019, releasing “The One” alongside an official music video and tour announcement. Since then, the French producer has earned a spot on 1001 Tracklists’ Top 101 Producers list and is currently on his fall headline tour, ultimately taking him through four countries and more than 20 different cities.

To add some fuel to the live show, Habstrakt recently remixed NGHTMRE and Slander‘s iconic track, “GUD VIBRATIONS.” However, he’s stepped aside to let some other producers do the remixing with The One (The Remixes) EP. This batch includes reworks from NGHTMRE, Basstrick, Asdek, Effin, and more.

Released on thriving imprint Monstercat, fellow French producer Basstrick delves into a trap edit, while NGHTMRE’s take is one full of heavy dubstep. Checking off some other genres, Asdek (another French native) provides a bold house beat, while Effin sticks to his roots with dubbed lead synths on the drop. The EP also includes remixes from Unlovable and 22-year-old producer Nitepunk.

Habstrakt will join Boombox Cartel Nov. 1 for a Dia De Los Muertos show in Texas before heading to EDC Orlando on Nov. 8.

Photo credit: Pat Beaudry

Pegboard Nerds unleash ‘Heart of the Universe’ EP, featuring NERVO, Ragga Twins

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Pegboard Nerds unleash ‘Heart of the Universe’ EP, featuring NERVO, Ragga Twins5E3AC423 7A93 4E30 85C3 47808C7AEE49

What happens when a Grammy-winning producer combines forces with a kingpin of the Demoscene in the Norwegian underground? Pegboard Nerds prevails, and the Scandinavian duo has unleashed yet another extended play, Heart of the Universe, from the Monstercat netherworld. The project comes after their 2018 effort with their Full Hearts EP featuring Knife Party and Dion Timmer.

The eclectic project ranges from the groups recognizable extreme bass like on the heavy, “Exterminate” and the reggae brostep “Computa Hakka” featuring the Ragga Twins to a brighter lead single in “Crying Shame” featuring NERVO and a sparkling pop leaning pitch with “Solo” featuring Maria Lynn. 

Along with the audio project, the production veterans also released a physical comic book to accompany the EP. It’s the first chapter in their Heart of a Universe series.

Gammer harkens back to happy hardcore ‘This is the End’—featuring David Spekter

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Gammer harkens back to happy hardcore ‘This is the End’—featuring David SpekterGammer Press Shot Courtesy Gammer

DJ and producer Gammer originally made a name for himself in the UK hardcore scene, and in recent years, he has been diversifying his sound. His newest artistic chapter sees him breaking out of the subcultural fringe of hardcore and experimenting with new styles including dubstep, trap, and psytrance. He returns to his roots with “This is the End,” however—a track that he considers to be the “most personal song he has ever written.”

“This is the End” harkens to the happy hardcore sounds of old tht kicked off Gammer’s career. Despite a speedy BPM, the track is considerably lighter than the producer’s contemporary releases. David Spekter‘s heartfelt vocals are at front and center, juxtaposed with acoustic guitar bits and the frenetic, familiar synth stabs that once dominated both DDR and the rave scene of old. “This is the End” is out now on Monstercat.

Habstrakt debuts first-ever music video, with Monstercat-housed ‘The One’

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Habstrakt debuts first-ever music video, with Monstercat-housed ‘The One’Habstrakt

Parisian bass music producer, Adam “Habstrakt” Jouneau, has returned to newfangled Toronto label housing, Monstercat, for his debut music video showing and adjoining single, “The One.”

The visual is set, first, on an ostensibly normal nighttime road, but soon contorts into a scorching, Mad Max-esque terrain. The track pulses fervently as the chaos of video’s whirlwind narrative and almost whimsically austere characters whip across the screen. Metallic synths grind and churn, while a heavily pitched-up vocal cut, compliments of Habstrakt’s close friend and longtime collaborative partner, Pauline Herr, skips atop the quixotic production.

The track itself traces Monstercat’s recent synergistic shift into scoring video games, namely the widely popular driving game, Rocket League. “The One” is currently being featured in the game’s official soundtrack.

Justin OH impresses with bright, glitchy bass Monstercat release, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’

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Justin OH impresses with bright, glitchy bass Monstercat release, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’Justin Oh

South Korean producer, Justin OH, released a unique bass thriller, “Don’t Bring Me Down,” the sixth single from his forthcoming City of OZ album. The track that was debuted at Ultra and Tomorrowland combines bright synths, computer glitches, familiar wobbles, and airy vocals for a stark contrast from verse to hook. It’s unlike the standard dubstep, as the smorgasbord of sounds create an uplifting and menacing euphoria that curate a percussive, melodic breakbeat.

The Paul Oakenfold-discovered artist is known for his versatility as a songwriter, producing a wide array of electronic narratives from progressive house to hip-hop and future bass to dubstep. “Don’t Bring Me Down” leans towards the harder side, showcasing OH’s variability even within genre.

OH presents his cyberpunk reality at his live performances with a strong video component of his virtual world called “The City of OZ.” The new album will continue that storyline in the aural sense.

Kill Paris brings the nu funk on new heavy groove, ‘Played Out,’ featuring Dutch Robinson

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Kill Paris brings the nu funk on new heavy groove, ‘Played Out,’ featuring Dutch RobinsonKill Paris Press Photo

The bass hits strong on Kill Paris‘ new funky screamer, “Played Out,” released on Monstercat. With the help of vocals from Dutch Robinson, the Colorado-based producer brings his crisp production to slapping synth melodies. An added bonus is left in a final bridge with a wild guitar solo, a specialty of the talented multi-instrumentalist.

Earlier this year, Kill Paris released his sophomore album, Galaxies Within Us, which featured artists like Big Gigantic and FATHERDUDE, as well as two tracks with Wim Hof from the out-of-the-box creative.

“Played Out” is some nu funk, and some might call it “Groovy with a capital G” for how hard the bassline slaps. It also comes with a creative lyric video that falls in line with the retro sound.

Dillon Francis and Eptic ‘Let It Go’ on Monstercat

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Dillon Francis and Eptic ‘Let It Go’ on MonstercatDillon Francis Partying

Monstercat has signed on two powerhouses for its latest release. Dillon Francis and Eptic bring a hefty taste of moombahton to the label in “Let It Go,” an audacious piece high in energy and main stage appeal. The track starts off on a sentimental note, with soft synths and deep vocal melodies easing the listener in. Then comes the switch up: these feel-good elements lead into a wild soundscape filled with classic moombah rhythms and buzzing bass. These contrasting elements in “Let It Go” ensure a wild ride from start to finish that will surely be covering dancefloors far and wide for the coming months.

Both Dillon Francis and Eptic have been behind some notable collaborative tunes in 2019. Eptic made waves with DJ Snake earlier in the year with their kinetic “SouthSide,” while Francis continued to explore genre fusion in his piece with lovelytheband, “Change Your Mind.”