Rest In Peace: some of our favorite Avicii highlights

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Dancing Astronaut is still reeling from today’s news. Our publication, like many others, would not be here today if it weren’t for this man. He was truly one of the pioneers of the genre, and one of the most talented producers and songwriters out there.

In 2011, Levels grew into more than a song. It was a track that signified the entire dance music genre and its growing popularity worldwide. From this song, Tim Bergling and his team built an entire career. They pushed the boundaries of live performances and stage productions from being behind an anonymous black DJ booth to being on the main stages of the biggest festivals in the world, with production value in lights and stage design to rival the biggest pop stars in the world.

Avicii always pushed his own boundaries, even as the leader of the “new school” of dance music. He performed a “live” set for the release of his album True, which was widely criticized at the time. However, as his songs became his most popular, and were accepted by the mainstream audiences around the world, he was lauded as a pioneer for his cross-genre pollination on tracks like “Wake Me Up.”

As the years went on, Avicii’s legendary status was cemented, despite his less frequent live appearances. Chances to see him live were rare, and thus all the more special. If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing his shows live, you know that his heart was always there, even as a quiet and mild-mannered Swede.

In some way, any fan of dance music or perhaps music more broadly has been touched by Avicii at one point. His name is known around the world. His character is revered by those inside and outside the industry.

While we take the time to let the news settle in so that we can reflect even more on his legacy, we leave you with some highlights from his career.


 

DJs across the EDM spectrum pay their respects to Avicii

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April 20, 2018 will forever be marked as a dark day in music history. One of the dance music’s biggest contemporary pioneers, Avicii, passed away at only 28 years-old following a prolific legacy that saw him help import the genre into the mainstream.

He inspired a countless amount of artists throughout his career, many of which we see dominating the main stage today. Not to mention, his influence can be felt heavily among the newer generations of dance fans. He stayed innovating until the very end as well, continuing to release new music after his retirement from touring that mashed up genres in ways previously thought impossible.

Naturally, his peers and admirers have taken to Twitter to express their condolences.

 


 

BREAKING: Avicii dead at 28

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Tim Bergling, known globally as Avicii, has passed away on Friday, April 20, his publicist confirmed in a statement. He was 28 years old.

“It is with profound sorrow that we announce the loss of Tim Bergling, also known as Avicii,” his publicist Diana Baron said in a statement. “He was found dead in Muscat, Oman this Friday afternoon local time, April 20th. The family is devastated and we ask everyone to please respect their need for privacy in this difficult time. No further statements will be given.”

The superstar producer returned in 2017 with a new EP, Avīci (01), after announcing his retirement from touring in 2016. His step back from the road came after he experienced a number of health issues — some even led to cancelled performances, most notably at Ultra in 2014 — as he reached the pinnacle of the music scene.

Rest in peace, Avicii. He will undoubtedly go down in history as one of dance music’s greatest.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available.

Get a look at Thom Yorke’s 360° audiovisual art installation, ‘City Rats’ [Watch]

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Thom Yorke has transferred his talents to audiovisual art.

Entitled “City Rats,” Yorke’s audiovisual art installation is a collaboration with composer Tarik Barri, and will open in Berlin on April 21. Yorke and Barri designed “City Rats” for the ISM Hexadrome, a structure outfitted with 54 speakers and six screens, and located in Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau museum.

The art installation will depict sounds as objects in 3D space. Fans can get a glimpse of the 360° project ahead of its Berlin debut via an exclusive preview that demonstrates how the installation works.

H/T: Mixmag

Renter of Calvin Harris’ California property files lawsuit against the producer

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Suffice to say, this is not “what he came for.”

The renter of Calvin Harris’ Sunset Strip home in West Hollywood filed a lawsuit against the producer and alleges that the property had a number of faults, including issues with hot water and heating, broken doors, and, ironically, a sound system that didn’t work. The tenant, Harry Moscatel, leased the residence for $35,000 a month, after putting down a $70,000 security deposit.

Moscatel’s lawsuit seeks to recover some of the money that Moscatel spent in his rent payments. The legal documents cite Moscatel’s identification as a legally blind man protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act as one of its arguments.

Moscatel has vacated Harris’ property.

H/T: Hot New Hip Hop

Kanye West announces imminent return with two new summer albums, with Pusha T, Kid Cudi, and Teyana Taylor in tow

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We’re all in for a damn G.O.O.D. summer.

Kanye West‘s recent return to Twitter hasn’t been all for naught. His sporadic bursts of activity on the platform always turn out to be entertaining, though this time around seemed like it was leading up to some sort of action from the G.O.O.D Music camp. Now, we finally have confirmation. The hip-hop giant announced in a flurry of tweets that he’s preparing to bless us with not one but two albums in June. West also shared that one will be a solo LP and the other will be a joint project alongside Kid Cudi called Kids See Ghost. The last time Ye dropped off an album in June, he gave us Yeezus in the summer of 2013. If history repeats itself, maybe we just officially rename the month to Yeezy Season moving forward?

The good news just keeps coming though. The Chicago emcee also announced new LPs from Pusha T and Teyana Taylor as well, with Pusha’s follow up to 2015’s King Push: Darkest Before Dawn landing on May 25 and Taylor’s album slated for one month later. Megastar rappers Drake and J. Cole both recently used social media as the vehicles for their next album announcements, with Cole opting a surprise drop this week and Drake gearing up for a chart battle against West in June. Hip-hop’s top heavyweights all seem to be mobilizing right now — June is really shaping up to be one for the books.

2018 Coachella Weekend 1 Highlights and Weekend 2 Preview

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As a regular attendee of Coachella for the last 7 years, I’ve seen plenty of changes at the festival. 2018 was no different. The last few years have seen the festival transition from something big to something enormous. With this growth and scale some plenty of improvements, as well as inevitable challenges.

At the end of the day, Coachella may rightfully own the title of one of the biggest festivals in the world. The stages and overall production value has increased substantially. It is now a truly multi-genre festival, ranging from dance to hip hop to rock to indie. Artists now plan their festival seasons around Coachella, and debut their new stage setups and tracks in the desert.

Below are some of my thoughts on the good, the bad, and the music from this year’s fest.

The Good

The Sahara tent is massively improved this year. The stage and tent now resembles those seen at Ultra, meaning that they are much wider than they are long. Overall, the entire stage and accompanying screens are much larger as well. Overall, this meant that the tent never felt like it was too full like it has in years past.

Beyond Sahara, there is a near constant option for dance music. The DoLab, Yuma, and the Heineken House are all heavy on the DJ end, not to mention the DJ parties that happen in the campgrounds.

The growth in the festival’s popularity means that anyone in the world will play this festival, even as just a featured guest. It’s not just an indie rock fest anymore: you can get surprise guests from the likes of Kanye West, Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, to the freakin WalMart yodel kid. Artists now plan their release and tour schedules around the festival, which means that the surprises are going to keep coming. So don’t rule out that Daft Punk performance just yet…

The Bad

With the tent change at Sahara, one of the most iconic views of the festival is now gone: sunset looking directly west. With the old design, the entire back of the tent was open and you would clearly see the entire Coachella landscape, mountains, palm trees, and ferris wheel included.

With the increase in the size of the festival, as well as the number of attendees, the ability to hop around between stages has been severely limited. It used to be that you could count on seeing acts back to back to back, even with little to no overlap. These days, that is almost impossible. With the stages pushed back and relocated, it can now easily take 20 minutes or more to navigate the maze of installations, people, pop ups, markets, bathrooms, and more.


Beyond the festival experience itself is the music. Hip hop saw another increase in presence this year, but that’s to be expected given the dominance of the genre over the last few years. Despite this growth, dance and electronic is still omnipresent, with three areas almost exclusively dedicated to the genre: Sahara, Yuma, and The DoLab.

The Music

Must see sets from the best in dance and electronic.

Friday Top 3:

Alison Wonderland

Highlight: Alison stepping to the side of the DJ booth to sing vocals on her track “Easy”

Kygo

Highlight: Jamie Foxx making an appearance to sing Kygo’s remix of “Sexual Healing”

Whethan

Highlight: Who knows if Weekend 2 is in the cards, but seeing the WalMart yodel kid live means we have officially reached peak Internet

Saturday Top 3:

Chromeo

Highlight: A daytime dance party at the main stage proves that Chromeo’s four-time billing at Coachella is no accident; their old hits are just as relevant today as their new releases

Ekali

Highlight: Debut of recently released “Forever” with collaborators Elohim and Medasin was a light break from an overall heavy, heavy set.

Snakehips

Highlight: This fast-paced set was punctuated by the entire crowd belting the chorus to “All My Friends” … how about bring out Chance next weekend, guys?

Sunday Top 3:

ODESZA

Highlight: The Intel/HP drone show, which was teased for the festival crowd on Friday, was a fitting addition to “A Moment Apart”

Illenium

Highlight: Utilizing every single inch of the massive Sahara screen’s, Illenium’s visual intro to “Crawl Outta Love” rivaled any graphic / music combo of the weekend

San Holo

Highlight: The bitbird leader brought the energy (and the crowd) for his Coachella livestream

Special Mentions:

ZHU’s set and RL Grime’s surprise slot at the DoLab mean that anything can happen.

LA party crew Brownies & Lemonade put on an all-star show at the Heineken House. If you haven’t been to one of their parties, it might be a good time to book a trip to LA.


Those that also went Weekend 1 — let us know what you think. For those of you going Weekend 2, we’re extremely jealous.

Photo credit: Jeff Zeller

BERGHAIN SCARE: German right-wing party AfD withdraws proposal to terminate the nightclub’s trade license

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Berghain took some heat recently from Germany’s primary right-wing political party Alternative für Germany (AfD), threatening to potentially disband the nightclub for good.

The initial proposal was submitted to the district office in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and requested a myriad of changes such as limiting opening hours from 10pm to 6am, and called for increased lighting and staff members.

The proposal referenced several issues with the establishment, including excessive drug use, sexual activity that leads to transmitted infections, and the tragic death of an American tourist who overdosed at the nightclub in 2017. It was released on Twitter by left-wing district council representative Maximilian Schirmer, demonstrating a call to action for users to oppose the requests.

However, Frank-Christian Hansel — a founding member of Berlin AfD — confirmed that the proposal has since been withdrawn, tweeting out that the proprietor behind the request (Sibylle Schmidt) was “party-free” and that the demands were “neither the line of AfD Freidrichshain-Kreuzberg, nor the Berlin AfD.”

In response to the Tweet, a user pointed out that Schmidt is additionally involved in event management, speculating that she may have had ulterior motives for the proposal.

H/T: Mixmag, Resident Advisor

Destructo announces debut headliners for inaugural All My Friends Music Festival

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LA is getting a brand new two-day summer music festival, programmed by a man who’s intimately familiar with the live events landscape in Southern California — after all, he helped build it. Destructo‘s new dance and hip-hop event, All My Friends Music Festival, slated for August 18-19 at ROW DTLA, has now announced its first-run of artists, topped this year by RL Grime, Gucci Mane, and Jhené Aiko on the first day, followed by headlining performances from M.I.A.Jamie XX, and house legend Armand Van Helden on day two.

Each headliner brings their own distinct appeal to the bill, from an ultra-rare Armand outing to Gucci Mane’s booming catalog of iconic southern rap hallmarks. Going back to a tried and true festival playbook, Destructo’s first AMFMF is shaping up to look a lot like early editions of HARD Summer with underground dance and rap hybrid bookings rubbing shoulders, matched with a central downtown Los Angeles location as the festival’s backdrop. Some considerable refinements are bound to be announced as the inaugural event nears its debut, and with a stacked first talent phase now announced, expect the rest of the lineup to follow and similarly enticing pattern.

International Music Summit finalizes 2018 international speakers programming

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Ibiza’s International Music Summit (IMS) announced the final speaker details for its 11th annual conference, set to take place just as the White Isle’s season kicks off, May 23–25th. Now, in association with Pioneer DJ, IMS brings together over 93 impressive voices from around the world. Twenty-three global artists and industry heavy-weights will bring further insight to the summit, covering every aspect of the diverse and ever-changing electronic music landscape.

Programming for the 2018 event will tackle mental health in the music industry, the landscape of digital media consumption, technology, and much, much more. The house music legend Todd “The God” Terry will speak for the first time at IMS for a keynote interview about his life and career in dance music, including his early years in New York. Honey Dijon will present a discussion on sexual harassment in DJ culture which in an open and frank capacity, IMS hopes to use to confront the realities of this issue in the industry and what we can all do to tackle it.

A full list of the new speakers is listed below. Delegate badges can be purchased here.

IMS Ibiza 2018 New Speakers:

Alexander Holland (Deezer, Chief Content and Product Officer, France)
Andrea Oliva (Artist, Switzerland)
B.Traits (Artist, Canada)
BLOND:ISH (Vivie-Ann Bakos) (Artist, Canada)
Christine Brown (Help Musicians UK, Director of External Affairs & Business Development, UK)
Declan McGlynn (Point Blank, Music Journalist, UK)
Freddie Fellowes (Secret Garden Party, Promoter, UK)
Honey Dijon (Artist, USA)
Jay Jay Revlon (DJ, Host and Cultural Events Curator, UK)
Jon Drape (Broadwick Live, Group Production Director, UK)
Julien Lesaicherre (Workplace by Facebook, Director EMEA, UK)
Katy Ellis (Anglo Management, Manager, UK)
Kurosh Nasseri (AFEM/Nasseric Inc, Founder/Attorney, USA)
Marina Blake (Brainchild Festival, Creative Director, UK)
Martha Pazienti Caidan (Resident Advisor, DJ/Radio Presenter/Producer, UK)
Matt Abbott (Label Worx/AFEM, CEO/Co-Founder and Exec Board, UK)
Matt Smallwood (Toolroom, Label Manager/Head of A&R, UK)
Matthew Adell (Native Instruments, Chief Digital Officer, USA)
Nick DeCosemo (Mixmag, Global Editorial Director, USA)
Pierce Warnecke (Berklee College of Music, Assistant Professor, Spain)
Rui Da Silva (Artist, Portugal)
Todd Terry (Artist, USA)
Vicenc Marti (elrow, President and Board Member, Spain)