Ekali’s debut LP is no longer A World Away. The build up to the producer’s inaugural extended outing spanned several months, during which Ekali mercilessly spiked anticipation for the album’s arrival via the release of a series of singles. First came “Runaway” with Reo Cragun, after which Ekali continuously upped the ante with the high-profile Illenium collaboration, “Hard To Say Goodbye,” Wafia feature, “Be Fine,” and the Kiiara-assisted “Back To You.”
All good things must come to an end, including tantalizingly well-executed album teases, and with the conclusion of the sonic expense that preceded A World Away comes a piercing, 12-song showing that exudes Ekali’s low-end expertise. Replete with resounding bass and surging, swelling melodies, A World Away juxtaposes solo productions with collaborations featuring the likes of Nitti Gritti, Au/Ra, and more.
A World Away is supported by a tour of the same name. The live initiative will kick off in Seattle, Washington on Feb. 6. View a complete list of tour dates, here.
Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.
Challenge Troy Hinson and Jared Piccone to create a heavy metal track, and they could do it. Challenge them to create a hip hop track, and they can do it. Challenge them to create an electronic music track, and they can do it. The list goes on.
Few musicians have lived out careers quite as versatile as Hinson and Piccone have. The New York-based duo, who make up Black Caviar, have spent their years producing music in these respective genres. Although they have now shifted focus to a more electronic leaning sound, listeners never quite know what they will get from the group, which keeps things exciting.
The duo shed some intriguing light on how the fans of the different genres can contrast. They note, “Electronic music fans are so much nicer and well behaved… they are also a lot better looking than a metal audience.”
Hinson and Piccone’s latest project continues with their electronic music focus, and it is their first self-released EP ever. Titled Caviar Chronicles Vol. 1, the three-track compilation highlights their affinity for a good upbeat house tune, with all three tracks adding a unique flair. The EP is made up of “A Little Bit of Ecstasy,” “Glory Box,” and “Power Of Love.”
The duo speak on their decision to self-release, stating, “Being on a label is great but sometimes there is a lot of nonsense involved… it’s also becoming a lot easier to release music on your own. We really liked these songs and the package of an EP so we decided to give it a shot doing it ourselves.”
Caviar Chronicles Vol. 1 follows their first single of the year, “Mr. Vain.” Hinson and Piccone are off to a strong start to the year with four total tracks out before the end of January, but 2019 will be a big year to live up to. Black Caviar was enlisted to produce a track for the Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, and this ultimately led the duo to their first Grammy nomination.
Hinson and Piccone speak on the opportunity, saying, “It was amazing to be part of such a spectacular movie. It was a lot of fun for us to take a swing at doing a theatrical hip hop song, and it seemed it worked. We could never have imagined our song ‘What’s Up Danger’ would have resonated with people as much as it did. Having the record go gold and being nominated for a Grammy was bonus.”
In honor of the release of their EP, and in anticipation for Grammy night, Hinson and Piccone have produced a one-hour Saturday Night Session mix. When asked what kind of a Saturday night their mix would get listeners ready for, they state, “It’s a mix for everyone who loves house music. Whether you are getting ready to go out, relaxing taking a bubble bath, or mowing the lawn, we’ve got something in there for you.”
You guys have worked with such a diverse range of genres throughout your lives… metal, hip hop, and now you are known primarily as electronic musicians. How do people from your past lives (metal and hip hop) react to your current project as Black Caviar? I don’t think they are too surprised because even though we have played in different metal/ hardcore and hip hop projects, we have always loved all different genres, including dance music. I am sure they also know with metal and hardcore you can’t keep carrying on like a lunatic forever. It becomes so exhausting.
How does the electronic music scene differ from the hip hop and metal worlds that you used to be more of a part of? Electronic music fans are so much nicer and well behaved… they are also a lot better looking than a metal audience.
What inspired you to self-release Caviar Chronicles Vol 1 as opposed to signing the EP to a label? Being on a label is great but sometimes there is a lot of nonsense involved… it’s also becoming a lot easier to release music on your own. We really liked these songs and the package of an EP so we decided to give it a shot doing it ourselves.
What was it like being a part of the Spiderman: Into The Spider-Verse soundtrack? It was amazing to be part of such a spectacular movie. It was a lot of fun for us to take a swing at doing a theatrical hip hop song, and it seemed it worked. We could never have imagined our song “What’s Up Danger” would have resonated with people as much as it did. Having the record go gold and being nominated for a Grammy was bonus.
What are each of you most excited for in 2020? We have a stack of music that we are excited about releasing including a few hip hop tracks. Jared just got his real estate license, the market is super hot right now, so he’s excited to get in it. I have been working on my stand up comedy. I have been doing weekly guest spots at New York Comedy Club so if you are in NYC, come check me out sometime.
What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listeners ready for? It’s a mix for everyone who loves house music. Whether you are getting ready to go out, relaxing taking a bubble bath, or mowing the lawn, we’ve got something in there for you.
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.
Essenger‘s forthcoming album on FiXT Neon has been full of surprises. In his latest single release, “Lost Boys,” he recruits synth-rock trio Young Medicine. The nostalgia-inducing tune is full of twists and turns, creating an air of mystery in the beginning before building to include a plethora of dramatic rock elements.
Foxhunt‘s new album, Unhallowed, is an intense journey from start to finish. From hard-hitting “Macabre Magnifique” to the emotive “Memorium,” this 11-track LP has it all. As someone who loves electro-swing, a track called “1932” caught my ear. A pounding bassline contrasted with retro vocals and horns makes for such a fun listen.
Flite just continues to get better and better. His new two-track Liquicity EP is one of his finest releases to date, with the first half bringing “Joy” to the listeners’ ears right away. A dreamy melody drifts leads into a relaxing drum ‘n’ bass pattern, topped off by powerful vocals that proudly proclaim “I give you love / you bring me joy.”
Party Ghost takes a subdued approach to his newest piece of work, “Awake,” capturing the first waking moments in a delicate and contemplative manner. The producer says he was inspired to incorporate guitar elements into the track after playing consistently, and the result is peaceful and soothing.
I first fell in love with Matt Van‘s “Conifer” upon its initial release in early December and wondered how other producers would interpret his beautifully wistful tune. Summer Was Fun follows Direct and Mr FijiWiji in reworking “Conifer,” adapting the song in an upbeat and refreshing manner.
We’re one month into 2020 and Drezo (Andre Haglund) has begun to make good on his long-awaited promise of new material this year. Today, the Arizonian depraved dancefloor juggernaut shares his official remix for Valentino Khan‘s “Flip The Switch.” The original track comes from Khan’s 2019 House Party EP, released through Diplo‘s Mad Decent imprint. The frenetic EP features collaborations with Wuki, Chris Lorenzo, and Diplo himself.
Drezo takes the characteristically Chris Lorenzo garage-house track for a sinister spin through his haunted electro-house back alleys. The pitched-down vocal and perniciously playful top end swirl and swarm like a dancefloor plague. Last year, Drezo began rolling out his Omens EP series with a pulsing prologue, entitled “Afterlife.” The remainder of the first EP installment is expected to land this year, with at least one original track, “Sinister,” officially slated for next month.
Khan’s full House Party remix package features offerings from Ibranovski, Born Dirty, Tchami, and more.
The full Armajet soundtrack has landed through Noisia’s own Vision Recordings. The five-track project composed by Noisia is part of a new update from the real-time multiplayer shooter game available for PC, Android, and iOS. The game was initially released towards the end of 2018. Through thick layers of synth and syncopation, the drum ‘n’ bass torchbearers have curated a rich set of storytelling through their signature sound design. The Armajet soundtrack has been teased prior to its release via UKF‘s debut of “Decloak” on Jan. 21, and the arrival of “The Ascent” on Jan. 22 through an exclusive with Dancing Astronaut.
Since announcing their retirement, the Dutch trio still has gas in the tank, with a hefty world tour celebrating their evolution as artists over the past 20 years. The troupe is set to finish the year with shows from Hit & Run at the Concourse in Manchester through the Noisia Farewell Tour that passes through the UK, Italy, and the US. They will also be performing at Electric Forest and Lightning in a Bottle.
Nik Roos made a comment about the project: “Armajet is a game with its roots in ’90s twitch shooters. Hardcore, unforgiving, instant, inhuman. The match with our music was obvious. We didn’t have to work out much about what it needed to sound like. The music we made for it isn’t purely about Armajet itself, though. A lot of other elements come through: the frustration over our breaking up, my personal attachment to ’90/’00s twitch shooter genre (UT99 specifically), the ’90s trance sound of detuned saw arps, and the developing 3D game graphics of the time: futuristic, unnatural and new.”
Mija might best be described by her chameleonic quality as an artist. Constantly evolving and challenging her creative boundaries, she’s dipped into fashion and visual art while maintaining a successful career as a DJ and musician. She’s come a cosmically long way since her Bonnaroo sunrise set alongside Skrillex in 2014, and now she’s reaching another milestone with the announcement of her debut full-length studio album, Desert Trash.
Best known for her club/festival-primed electronic sound, Mija is ditching the decks for Desert Trash and the album’s ensuing tour. The record’s title track, steeped in 90’s inspiration, offers a raw, acoustic backdrop that features Mija’s writing, vocals, instrumentation, and production efforts. “Desert Trash,” sets a somber, vulnerable tone for the upcoming LP, accentuated by a new lyric video and imaginative art direction from Quasar Media. Introducing an exciting new chapter in Mija’s artistic development, her debut album should prove to be a deeply personal body of work when it lands in full.
Following his announcement of his Sixteen Oceansalbum earlier this week, Four Tet has unveiled the LP’s newest single, “Baby.” The track sees Ellie Goulding lend her vocals to a classically ambient Four Tet production. Preceded by his 2017 studio albumNew Energy, the 16-track Sixteen Oceans will join the English producer’s extensive discography as the 10th studio album under his alias.
Effortless vocal splices caress the effervescent textures crafted in “Baby,” with brisk percussion and downtempo chimes contrasting to create a serene, yet momentum-driving field. The rhythmic pace carries through almost the entirety of the track, before slowing down into an atmospheric interlude washed with calming nature sounds of bird song, river flow, and deep bells.
Previously released single, “Teenage Birdsong” will join “Baby” as one of the tracks on the upcoming album. Released in 2019, “Teenage Birdsong” has received two official remixes by Avalon Emerson and Overmono respectively.
Cinematic trap innovator Apashe has been working hard on his upcoming album Renaissance. Teasing fans with singles from the upcoming collection, Apashe has released the second track from the album, a follow up to his full orchestra collaboration “Distance.” This new release, titled “Uebok (Gotta Run),” taps female Russian rapper Instasamka for vocals, making for a fresh, edgy collaboration.
What’s more—Apashe has released an accompanying music video filmed during his recent Russia tour. Boasting an absurd amount of tanks, guns, soviet-era car drifting, bears, and a surprise appearance from Apashe’s mother herself, the music video is certainly an entertaining ride. Check out the full music video here, and keep an eye out for Apashe’s upcoming album Renaissance.
Not every rough cut work-in-progress played on a tour bus actually sees the light of day. But when Sandro Cavazza played Avicii an early version of something that he was working while the two were en route to Bayfront Park for Ultra Music Festival in 2016, Avicii heard something special and converted Cavazza’s draft just before he took the main stage in Miami. Almost four years after the ID’s debut, “Forever Yours,” which was one of ten new productions that Avicii debuted that night, has now officially received its shining moment.
Shortly after Avicii’s death in 2018, Sandro Cavazza expressed that idea of completing the Avicii co-venture, but only if he found the proper producer to do so. He found that match in Kygo, whom he had previously worked with a few months following the loss of Avicii on “Happy Now.” Says Cavazza,
“This version of ‘Forever Yours’ is a tribute to Tim that me and Kygo have put together to honor what he has meant to both of us. The music we made together has changed my life and my perspective of music. He was Kygo’s biggest Idol and biggest inspiration and that’s what has made this tribute possible.”
In a behind the scenes video of how this tribute version exactly came about, Kygo explained that collaborating with Avicii was always a dream of his, so “Forever Yours” is an endearing compromise for famed tropical house producer. While this rendition may not have resulted in a note-for-note copy of the unfinished 2016 demo, Kygo and Cavazza manage to maintain the original’s genuine, sincere essence.
All proceeds from the release of “Forever Now” will be donated to the Tim Bergling Foundation in support of mental health awareness.