[Q&A] Meet the artists bringing down the house at Mamby: Moon Boots

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[Q&A] Meet the artists bringing down the house at Mamby: Moon Boots

Since 2015, Mamby On The Beach has been allowing Chicago’s festival-goers to relish a diverse roster of acts right from the lakefront, the awe-inspiring Chicago skyline as its backdrop. Perched quite literally atop the sands of Oakwood Beach, Mamby is known for its eclectic lineup, which this year features everything from Chicago rapper, Common, to the indie accents of Cold War Kids, along with ample electronic titans like Gorgon CityDuke Dumont, and Jai Wolf. Dancing Astronaut sought to get a closer look at a few of the festival’s cant-miss house acts before Mamby hits the beach June 23-24. 

Pulling his name ever-so-fittingly from a 1970s disco track by Orlando Riva Sound, Moon Boots (real name Pete Dougherty) is known for bringing his classic, boogie-fueled brainpower to modern house music. The Brooklyn-born Dougherty got his start in the Chicago house music scene, spending time in the city’s most storied house hot spots like Wrigleyville’s Smartbar—signing on with the “protectors of the feel-good,” French Express imprint not long after.

Dougerty’s music is intrinsically tinged with R&B, emanating through his use of soulful, original vocals and blissful chord progressions, which he masterfully blends with high-energy house beats. The result is Moon Boots’ all-encompassing, glistening dance creations. He has worked extensively with Anjunadeep in recent years, where in 2017, he released his first full-length album, the appropriately-named, First Landing. A product of his astral aesthetic, the album’s groovy, nu-disco center propels the listener through corridors of swimming kaleidoscopes of color and warm, sensuous melodies.

Upon his return to Mamby and the city that set him up for success, Dougherty will be bringing many of the vocalists featured on the album, as well as two members of the synth-pop group, St. Lucia. The performance will be the last of a string of live sets carried out by Dougherty and company; but before they hit the Beach Stage Sunday, June 24, Moon Boots sat down with DA to talk about his Chicago come-up, his disco roots, what he has planned for Mamby, and more.

Tickets to Mamby On The Beach, as well as the full lineup, can be found here

What prompted you to want to start making dance music?

I was into electronic music from an early age. The thing that tipped me over to make me really want to make it happened towards the end of college. I think it was the rise of blogs actually, right around 2005. I’d been getting into it before then, but that was when I thought, ‘I can actually do this.’ I was just completely obsessed, and still am.

Do you think you’ve found a permanent home with Anjunadeep?

Yeah, I think so. It’s been wonderful. They allow me to be me. That’s all I really want out of a label. And a sense of community. They really deliver on both of those things. A lot of talented artists too, of course. It’s been great.

You’re someone who blends a lot of genres in your music. Who are some of your biggest influences outside of dance music?

For biggest influences, I would still probably stay in the dance music world. There’s a disco producer named Patrick Adams. He’s one of the first that I heard with really lush and beautiful chord progressions. Then I started to really listen for that in a lot of older disco and early 80s disco/r&b records. Nile Rogers, too. The combination of just percussion, the hooks, the chords. The whole thing. The French touch scene definitely had an influence, especially early on, that sorta filter disco.

You lived in Chicago for a while. What significance does the city hold for you?

Big significance because it’s where I really started. I knew I wanted to try it out when I was in college, but it wasn’t until after I graduated college and I moved out there was when I started making music for real. The club scene had a big impact on me: going out in Wicker Park and finding Smartbar. I actually lived right by Smartbar for a while. My roommate worked there, so I’d go there like three days a week. And Debonair Social Club. So the scene had a big impact on me, just having a great time partying and being in that community to get a sense of where the music was going. Smartbar especially, connecting with real Chicago house music. And that still is with me.

Being a Mamby On The Beach veteran, what was your experience like at the fest when you played in 2015?

It was amazing. I hadn’t actually been to the site before. It was gorgeous. The vibe and the lineup were wonderful. I played right after No Regular Play and then J. Phlip came on right after. Both their sets were great. Wonderful time and great music. Of course at that time I was DJing. This time I’m playing live. So that’s what I’m really excited about. I can get into that if you want.

Please!

This is going to be the last live show for a little while, actually. We got offers for a few one-offs since doing the last few, but we had already booked seven shows. I didn’t want to get caught in doing a lot of one-offs because it’s just been really special. I think that we put a lot of rehearsal into it. So I think this is kind of the logical place to put it on pause for a little while after this until I finish the next album, and hope we start up again next year. I’m bringing two of the guys who are also playing later that day from St. Lucia, their main gig, a new guitarist, bassist/guitarist, synth pointer. I’m also taking four vocalists on the road with me: Black Gatsby, KONA, Nic Hanson, and Kyiki. And I’ll be playing keys, backup vocals, and dancing around.

Will we be hearing any new music at Mamby?

I am working on a second album. I will be playing some of that at the afterparty at the Virgin Hotel. You won’t be hearing it at Mamby. With a live set, I think it’s important to focus on the music that’s already out there.

What three acts would you recommend not missing this year at Mamby?

I want to see, since I can only come on Sunday, Jamila Woods. I think she’s great. St. Lucia, I want to see my bandmates do their thing. And I want to get down to Gene Farris, too.

Photo Credit: TracyGrahamCracker

On ‘First Landing,’ Moon Boots looks to the past to build towards the future

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Music, dance music especially, operates on emotion and intuition, it exists to generate reactions that writing and rhetoric cannot. Music, again, dance music in particular, is also profoundly contextual. A record that is written for loud clubs and late night dance floors may not exactly click when heard through earbuds on the subway, but, when listened to in its proper context, feels like a masterpiece.

Most of the time, when we at DA are reviewing an album, we listen to it alone, through headphones. sitting at home. Listening to music in this context invites analysis, invites rationalization, and can trick us reviewers into thinking that it is our duty to explain an album. We mention this because First Landing, the debut LP from Ajunadeep star Moon Boots, is an undeniably accomplished piece of music, but a difficult one to write about. It’s an album that isn’t looking to be explained. It’s meant to be danced to.

Moon Boots 2017 headshot purple

 

First Landing, although decidedly its own entity, is rooted deeply in the long disco tradition, and its greatest strength is its ability to deploy the techniques of old school disco, R & B, and soul, without losing its contemporary, current sound. Moon Boots demonstrates a prodigious understanding of tonality on this record, evident everywhere from the lush, complex chord progression that introduce the first song, “Fortune Teller,” to the melodic runs that bridge phrases in the album’s closer, “Red Sky.”

Like all great songwriters, Moon Boots both upholds and subverts our expectations of musical convention to maintain interest and hold our attention. Note the stair-stepping bass line that propels the verses of “Keep the Faith,” its elliptical syncopation, the way it runs through scale tones without ever settling on the note it seems to be leading to. Then, when the chorus hits, it gets right in step with groove, emphasizing chord roots and giving the choruses a richness and fullness that contrasts wonderfully with the counterpoint of the verses.

The album is full of deceptively clever uses of counterpoint, of divergence, that pervade it with a dynamism and complexity that more than make up for the predictable schmaltziness of the written-for-radio lyrics. The cast of guest vocalists all do a fine job, but it doesn’t really matter what they’re saying. Moon Boots treats the vocals as just another instrument in his arrangement, and seems, above all, interested in the timbre of the voices, in their harmonies and phrasing.

In its own way, First Landing is dance music at its most elemental. its interest lies only in its pure sound, and the response that sound evokes in the listener. It’s rhythm and melody, point and counterpoint, not in the service of something greater, but for their own sake.

First Landing is worth a listen, even if it’s through cheap headphones on your commute. But we think that a better way to listen to it would be somewhere you can dance, somewhere with lots of people, and speakers loud enough that you can feel the beat in your core. In that context, it might just sound like a masterpiece.

Read More:

Moon Boots gives his steps to success on the heels of his debut album, ‘First Landing’ [OP-ED]

Meet the underground talent of CRSSD Fest: Moon Boots

Moon Boots gives his steps to success on the heels of his debut album, ‘First Landing’ [OP-ED]

This post was originally published on this site

Over the past several years, Pete Dougherty has built a reputation as one of Anjunadeep’s most intriguing stars. Though he launched his career around the turn of the decade, Moon Boots broke through most resoundingly with his 2015 singles “Utopia” and “Red Sky,” which introduced his brand of complex, entrancing deep house to his broadest audience yet.

Two years later, Dougherty has honored his benchmark hits by featuring both of them in his debut album, First Landing. Released on Friday, August 4, the 10-track LP provides a thorough glimpse into Moon Boots’ stylistic penchants. Throughout the course of the record, a duality is present in Dougherty’s sonic brand.

Moon Boots 2017 headshot purple

 

The mesmerizing composition which defined “Red Sky” is further present in newer album singles such as “First Landing” and “The Life Aquatic.” Moon Boots also delves deeper into the soulful, R&B-inspired sound which pervaded the Janelle Kroll-assisted “Utopia” across the vast assortment of vocal-laden songs which make up the bulk of the LP. In particular, “Never Get to You,” “Keep the Faith,” and “Power” stand out as exemplars for this area of Dougherty’s inspiration – bolstered by lyrical contributions of Antony & Cleopatra, Nic Hanson, and Black Gatsby, respectively.

With a distinctly-crafted signature sound and a full-length Anjuna project to his name, Moon Boots has proven his astute understanding of how to succeed and evolve as an artist in the electronic realm. In the hopes of imparting his hard-earned wisdom onto the current generation of aspiring producers, Dougherty has taken it upon himself to outline his steps to success in this Dancing Astronaut Op-ed.

Moon Boots 2017 press shot red

Don’t get attached to your day job

There are a lot of different beliefs on this and my advice is no better than anyone else’s. Honestly it’s hard enough to find a good career these days, so if you are driven or lucky enough to get one, you might want to keep music as a hobby. But if you can’t or won’t get a good job, don’t hedge your bets. Pay your rent working as little as possible (bartending / serving / temping / tutoring / freelancing / DJ’ing bars & weddings) and spend the rest of your week on music for as long as you can get away with it. You won’t have the bread for a nice apartment or vacations, but you’ll be getting paid to go on vacation when you get booked on the road.

Get some hardware

If you’re just starting out on the laptop, get at least one piece of hardware, whether it’s a synth, sampler, drum machine or something else. If you’ve never spent much time browsing you might be surprised what you can get for <$500, both new & used.

Don’t download every software crack you can get your hands on

Learn the stuff you have. Get good at it. Find the sounds that a person casually diving through presets never would. Then think about getting other stuff.

Make music everyday

This is so important, especially when you’re starting out. Don’t let producing be like the guitar that gets pulled out of the closet a couple times a year. You won’t get anywhere unless you make music every day. For a few years. Be patient.

If you already know an instrument, use it

It always mystifies me when I hear producers say they play guitar or trumpet or violin or sing choir but don’t incorporate that into their electronic music. It will set you apart from your peers and will probably make it more fun.

Don’t pigeonhole yourself; listen to all kinds of music

Don’t listen to new club tracks in your chosen genre all the time. It will make your music boring and one-dimensional. Find whatever speaks to you, whether it’s disco, old school hip hop, old trance / progressive tracks, quiet storm, dub reggae, classic rock, classical or all of the above. Or none of the above. Take ideas from those styles — snippets of lyrics, bass lines, melodies, chord progressions, drum fills, production tricks, etc.. — and put them to use in your music.

Find a crew

Some artists seem to spring up fully-formed with no help. This is almost never true. If you don’t have a crew, find one. If you can’t find one in your local scene, look beyond it. This even goes for music capitals like London, New York, Chicago, Paris, Los Angeles, Berlin etc. When it comes to getting your music on the springboard it will need to get discovered, you may need to look beyond your city. Or you might be so freakishly talented you get signed to your dream label on your first track (but you probably won’t.) In any case, try and find a crew of people who love music just as much as you do.

Don’t be a total shut-in, but also don’t be a social butterfly

If you aren’t too young or too geographically isolated to go out to clubs, don’t spend all your waking hours in your studio. I can think of a bunch of tracks I never would have written if I hadn’t been out on a certain night. Support your friends when they’re playing and check out the superstars and legends whose ranks you will one day be joining if you keep at it. That said, no one’s gonna judge you (or care) if you stay home and work. Some people have a harder time staying in than others, but without a good work ethic, you’re probably not going to get anywhere.

When things really get cooking, you’re gonna find yourself oscillating between two extremes. On the one hand, you’ll need to be comfortable in big crowds and crazy late night parties. On the other, you’ll have days and weeks in front of your monitors without much social interaction. It’s a schizophrenic lifestyle. You’ll be a mess sometimes but remember that you signed up for this!

Don’t read too many articles like this

It’s easy to get writer’s block and think that someone else has the answers. Maybe you’ll be able to write that great track after you finish those e-books / complete that online course / learn music theory / start practicing yoga and meditation. Some of these are good uses of your time of course, but often you’re just putting more obstacles in your place.

Stay humble, don’t get complacent or bitter, learn new skills, enjoy the ride.

Moon Boots vertical press shot yellow 2017

 

Moon Boots’ debut album is available for purchase here.

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Meet the underground talent of CRSSD Fest: Moon Boots

Moon Boots – The Life Aquatic [Exclusive Stream]

Moon Boots – I Want Your Attention (feat. Fiora) (Original Mix)

Moon Boots – I Want Your Attention (feat. Fiora) (Original Mix)

This post was originally published on this site

Released on Anjunabeats, Moon Boots has brought the heat with a fiery new original titled, “I Want Your Attention.” The deep house masterpiece features dreamy vocals by Fiora as well as a catchy, glowing melody over a lively, rolling bass line. The American producer creates a laid back, yet groovy vibe in his piece, reminiscent of exclusive nightclubs and rooftop views.

Moon Boots spices up every release by experimenting with different sounds and vocalists, yet remains true to his style which showcases rich undertones and an overall relaxed feel. His last release, “Keep The Faith,” featuring Nic Hanson, highlights an R&B mood while maintaining deep, vibrant beats. Moon Boots’ latest, “I Want Your Attention,” is another testament to his artistry, yet another production that keeps listeners on their toes.

Read More:

Moon Boots – The Life Aquatic [Exclusive Stream]

DA Premiere: Elohim – Xanax (Moon Boots Remix)

Moon Boots – Red Sky (Original Mix)

Claude VonStroke, Mija, and more join the second phase of CRSSD’s spring lineup

This post was originally published on this site

CRSSD’s development has unfolded at an exponential rate. With four widely successful editions under its belt at San Diego’s picturesque Waterfront Park, the bi-annual affair heads into its third year with one of its most finely-curated lineups to date. Its first wave of artists embodied the festivals standards of booking the most forward-thinking acts across the not-so-commercialized dance music spectrum, from future bass pioneer Flume headlining the main stage, to deep house legend Lane 8, to techno tastemaker Rødhåd.

With two months remaining, CRSSD has added to their already stellar lineup with an enticing Phase 2 roster, which includes a slew of enticing names from the house, techno, and future bass communities. Heavy talents Claude VonStroke and Mija top the list, and are joined by Moon Boots, Cassy, Detlef, Heidi, and Point Point. British tech house star Latmun will also be joining the fray. Given the powerhouses set to perform for this edition, San Diego is undoubtedly the place to be on March 4-5.

CRSSD

 

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CRSSD Fest unveils 2017 lineup and it’s stacked

CRSSD Fest has reinforced its status as San Diego’s premier dance music festival [Event Review]

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