Relive standout sets from Ultra Japan’s fifth anniversary: Oliver Heldens, Galantis, Afrojack, + more

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Relive standout sets from Ultra Japan’s fifth anniversary: Oliver Heldens, Galantis, Afrojack, + moreUltra Japan 1

The electronic world’s most celebrated music festival, Ultra, rang in the fifth anniversary of its Japanese installment last weekend, September 15-17 at its brand new home in Tokyo Odaiba Ultra Park.

The wildly attended Ultra Japan stands as testament to the EDM phenomenon’s sweeping, worldwide presence. Standout performances from the weekend include that of Oliver Heldens, Armin van Buuren, and Axwell Λ Ingrosso: all repeat Ultra offenders. Ultra Worldwide’s ubiquitous presence extends to 25 different countries, across several continents. Due to its ever-increasing popularity, the event has stretched from its two-day beginnings, into a full-fledged three-day soiree.

Oliver Heldens 

Armin van Buuren

Galantis

Afrojack

Axwell Λ Ingrosso

Nicky Romero

DJ Snake

Photo Credit: AsiaLive365

NMF Roundup: Sultan + Shepard take on Fatboy Slim, Klingande and Broken Back create ‘Wonders,’ BROHUG thrill in new Spinnin’ release, and more

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NMF Roundup: Sultan + Shepard take on Fatboy Slim, Klingande and Broken Back create ‘Wonders,’ BROHUG thrill in new Spinnin’ release, and moreOcaso Festival Tamarindo By Pablo Murillo 06 01 2018 0525

The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed.


A groovy introduction transforms Kungs and Stargates’ newest release, “Be Right Here,” and added electronic elements give the catchy release a new twist thanks to remixer Wax Motif.

Swedish trio BROHUG is out with a release for Spinnin’ Records, “The Hunt.” With its intense energy and kicking chords, this new track’s eerie atmosphere is sure to thrill and excite.

Sofi Tukker have followed up their 2017 Portuguese Treehouse track “Energia” with a “Parte 2,” featuring Pabllo Vittar. “Energia- Parte 2” is an infectious track — also in Portuguese, like its predecessor — that can only be described as dance-inducing.

Roger Sanchez and Park & Sons transport listeners into the disco era with groovy new track featuring commanding vocals from Julie McKnight titled “This Feeling.”

Commercial house meets experimental soundscaping in this genre-bending release by Friend Within titled “The Truth.” Friend Within blends a groovy bassline and bright horns with catchy vocals in his new Toolroom release.

Instead of adding a hard drop and intense synth layers as many remixers do with radio-crossover releases, AmPm has lowered the BPM of Nicky Romero‘s collaboration with Taio Cruz, and added melodic moments to give the release a calming effect.

Klingande takes listeners on an indie-electronic journey with Broken Back. With its silky-smooth vocals and laid-back beat, “Wonders” proves summer never has to end.

Sultan + Shepard never cease to surprise with their experimentation across genres and sound design. Their take on Fatboy Slim‘s “Gangster Trippin” will keep a club going until the early hours of the morning, thanks to its high-energy house chords layered over the original 1998 vocals.

The Him have skewed pop with their latest, “Nothing On Us.” It opens with catchy harmonized vocals that lead into bright piano melodies and a cheery house drop.

VALENTINE and West1ne team up for “Backpack,” which effortlessly fuses calming energy with a sizable dose of bass.

While not the usual suspect for electronic music lovers, MOD SUN has infused polarizing future bass chords into the drop of new release, “Burning Up.”

Photo credit: Pablo Murillo

Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero have chart topping potential with new Kiiara collaboration ‘Be Somebody’

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Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero have chart topping potential with new Kiiara collaboration ‘Be Somebody’Be Somebody Press Shot

Nicky Romero and Steve Aoki could have their next radio hit on their hands, enlisting Kiiara as the featured vocalist on their new collaborative single, “Be Somebody.” Ahead of the pair’s new track together, the Protocol label head and his Dim Mak counterpart swapped two remixes a piece on “Lie To Me” and “Me On You” respectively. Both Romero and Aoki have been leaning heavily into the pop world, and collaborations with the likes of Taio Cruz, Lil Yachty, and Louis Tomlinson between the two of them have propelled both artists into major mainstream appeal throughout 2018. This duo was bound to come together at some point, and Kiiara seemed like the perfect link to bridge the gap.

Fans may have expected a straight forward pop track, but the single features a strong house backdrop with intriguing soca-inspired accents supporting Kiiara’s vocals. While formulaic at times, the new collaboration is undoubtedly catchy as ever showcasing both producers’ knack for radio-worthy products. “Be Somebody” is out now on Ultra Records.

Afrojack releases highly anticipated 14-track EP, ‘Press Play’

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Afrojack releases highly anticipated 14-track EP, ‘Press Play’Afrojack Press Play EP

Afrojack has released his 14-track EP, Press Play, filled with festival anthems across various EDM genres. The veteran producers starts the EP in nostalgic fashion with “Bringing It Back,” taking listeners back to his early Dutch house days between 2009-2011. He hits a variety of genres meant to rock festival stages, with additions from Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero, and other unnamed producers.

Big room house dominates, while electro-house, bass house, and trap are sprinkled into the EP’s influences, and even Baltimore house makes it on the final track, “Pop That,” featuring Angger Dimas, MC Ambush, and Oliver Twizt.

Wall Recordings artists such as Chico Rose, ChasnerJewelz & Sparks, and DISTO are sprinkled throughout the project. It’s a fairly large EP project; however, breaking barriers is something the Grammy-award winning DJ is used to.

Photo credit: Rukes.com

Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero swap remixes with each other on ‘Lie To Me’ and ‘Me On You’

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Steve Aoki and Nicky Romero swap remixes with each other on ‘Lie To Me’ and ‘Me On You’Steve Aoki Nicky Romero Cake

Two mainstays in the pop-electronic crossover world, Nicky Romero and Steve Aoki have decided to swap remixes of two recent hit tracks from each of their respective catalogs. The producers both recently released radio-ready collaborations in Aoki’s “Lie To Me” featuring Ina Wroldsen and Romero’s “Me On You” featuring Taio Cruz. The Protocol and Dim Mak label heads each released not only one, but two remixes of the other’s track, completing an extensive swap resulting in four new remixes.

Nicky Romero reigns in “Lie To Me,” and carries it back to electronic music territory with his two takes on the track. Romero injects a gripping instrumental selection to his first take on Aoki’s groundwork. He adds a euphoric drop that is primed for live play, however he ups the ante considerably on an additional festival edit of the track. In the “Lie To Me” festival edit, electro synths are layered over a heavy, percussive framework.

Aoki’s spin on Romero similarly adds some club appeal to the largely pop-leaning canvas, but the pop elements still shine through the added house stylings. Aoki leaves the vocals untouched, and much of the song’s framework the same, though he does manage to lay his distinct method over the tune. Aoki then released a ‘Double Time Fun Time’ remix of the track, which kicks up the tempo a notch and adds some intriguing effects to Taio Cruz’s vocals.

NMF Roundup: Gramatik is full of surprises, Feint’s melodic whirlwind of emotion, Afrojack is rowdy and irreverent as ever, Alex Metric gets retrospective, + MORE

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NMF Roundup: Gramatik is full of surprises, Feint’s melodic whirlwind of emotion, Afrojack is rowdy and irreverent as ever, Alex Metric gets retrospective, + MORENMF 3

The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed.


For their debut Diynamic release, Alex Metric and Ten Ven bring melodic, UK garage, and a dash of acid house to their nostalgia-laden three-track EP, Transmission 1. 

Chicago duo Danny Cancino and Grant Stakenas, aka Htbx, tout an equal parts menacing and cinematic sound design in their new experimental house track, “Dj Qualls.”


Longtime Liquicity talent, Feint, has taken his transcendent drum ‘n’ bass to Pilot Records with his newest jolting track, “Mirror Signal (Destinations).”

This week’s woes fall away as Nicky Romero, Stadiumx, and Matluck’s progressive-inspired new tune, “Rise,” bleeds into the consciousness.

Ahead of his new Press Play EP, Afrojack lets chaotic bass infiltrate his newest track, “Bringin It Back.”

Their latest on Insomniac, Jupe and Reach fuse wonky dub and pummeling trap for their unconventionally screechy new single, “10 Years Later.”

Drawing from the frisky French Touch brand of house, Samaran’s latest on Big Beat Records, “A New Beginning,” uses its stop-and-go rhythm to incite widespread dance fevers.

Samantha Harvey lends her smooth and saccharine voice to Alex Adair and the Delayers trio’s new up-tempo bass-pop track, “Dominos.”

The forever-funky Gramatik has teamed up with serial REZZ-collaborator, Kotek, for their free-form, instrumental frenzy, “Vitalik Buterin,” in tribute to the blockchain wizard of the same name.

Fairlane enlists Nevve, whose voice can be found on tracks of scene favorites like Boombox Cartel and 3LAU, for his latest track, “Wildfire,” an atmospheric chill-step odyssey.

EDM world power, KSHMR‘s latest, “Good Vibes Soldier,” featuring Head Quattaz, is a reggaeton-influenced anthem drawing forth images of a warm-weather utopia.

Jack Back’s newest independent release, “Overtone,” is a winding, astral-inspired journey through deep house accents of the highest order.

KSHMR is a master at infectious rhythms, and he conquers with his Head Quattaz collaboration, “Good Vibes Solider.” It listens like a wonderful blend of tropical, Eastern, and big room influences that hit the right spots on the main stage dancefloor.

“C.Y.M” pounds us into submission with pungent tech trance kicks set at BPMs high enough to transport listeners to space. A classic effect of Mr. Jordan Suckley…

John Dahlbäck caps off NMF with his high-strung dance cannon, “Deep Inside,” out on Armada Music.

 

Photo Credit: Andrew J. Rauner

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike release Tomorrowland 2018 EP featuring Hardwell, Nicky Romero, KSHMR, and Bassjackers

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Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike release Tomorrowland 2018 EP featuring Hardwell, Nicky Romero, KSHMR, and BassjackersDimitri Vegas Like Mike Tomorrowland 2018 EP

Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike have released their Tomorrowland 2018 EP, featuring collaborations with Hardwell, Nicky Romero, KSHMR, W&W, Gucci Mane, Wiz Khalifa, and Bassjackers. Celebrating the two-weekend event, the Belgian DJ duo released seven tracks in 10 days.

The EP kicks off with “Unity,” a heavy collaboration with Hardwell. Festival synths and hardstyle rhythms take over, surprising listeners. Nicky Romero’s feature samples The Chemical Brothers‘ “Hey Boy, Hey Girl,” in another hardstyle heater.  “Opa” with KSHMR takes advantage of Greek influences using Bouzouki sounds and electro-house rhythms.

“Arcade Mammoth” is as big and wide as the title suggests. Plucking synths that lead into trance synth melodies is exactly what listeners would expect from this collaboration between Dutch duo, W&W, and the No. 2 DJs on DJ Mag‘s Top 100 DJs list.

There are two Bassjackers alliances on the EP, “All I Need” and “The Jungle.” Both combine elements of trap, electro, and bass music using trap rhythms and eclectic synth whomps.

The project culminates with a calmer verse than previous tracks. Around the two-minute mark, listeners are met with that signature hardstyle fans know and love from Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. Wiz Khalifa’s vocals add a cooling contrast from the bigger synth play.

Photo Credit: @boythecollector/Instagram

Nicky Romero enlists Taio Cruz for new crossover single ‘Me On You’

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Nicky Romero enlists Taio Cruz for new crossover single ‘Me On You’Me On You Nicky Romero Taio Cruz

Commercial house connoisseur Nicky Romero has teamed up with Pop star Taio Cruz for new crossover single, “Me On You.” Cruz’s vocals are as silky as ever, immediately luring the listener in with precise falsetto. Meanwhile, Romero works on the background, creating a complementary soundscape to Cruz’ vocals that layers electric guitar with upbeat electronic chords. The two have created a slice of energized pop euphoria — one that will see fans across the globe blasting it in their cars or soaking it up in the club.

“Me On You” serves as a continuation of Romero’s experimentation with more vocal driven and radio friendly releases, and it is out on Romero’s own Protocol Recordings. His last radio-friendly collaboration with ROZES, “Where Would We Be,” adopted a similar aesthetic, with a palatable, yet subdued future bass canvas serving as a nice launch pad for ROZES’ verses.

Ultra Japan announces robust phase one lineup topped by DJ Snake, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, and more

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Ultra Japan announces robust phase one lineup topped by DJ Snake, Axwell Λ Ingrosso, and moreUltra Japan 18

Again demonstrating its ubiquitous presence as a worldwide festival phenomenon, Ultra has locked in a stellar, multifaceted-as-ever billing for its fifth anniversary of the global festival’s Japan installment, to take place over an extended weekend on September 15-17.

Topping phase one of the 2018 bill are high-rollers Nicky Romero, DJ Snake, Armin Van Buuren, and Zedd, as well as all three parties from Swedish House Mafia, though they appear as their separate, respective acts: Axwell Λ Ingrosso and Steve Angello. Having the Mafiosos in the same place at the same time begs the question of whether fans could witness a surprise performance from the storied threesome who reunited earlier this year at Ultra’s flagship location in Miami. The initial wave of talent also includes the likes of Oliver Heldens, Cash Cash, and Eats Everything among others.

The Tokyo-based festival will return to Odaiba Ultra Park. Tickets can be purchased here.

 

Nicky Romero has ‘two folders’ of unreleased Avicii music

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Nicky Romero has ‘two folders’ of unreleased Avicii musicScreen Shot 2017 12 30 At 11.03.37 AM

Nicky Romero has “two folders” of unreleased Avicii music, but fans of the late producer shouldn’t expect the unfinished material to gain a posthumous release.

“I don’t know if it morally feels right to me to work on songs that the original composer have not approved,” Romero said of the unfinished productions during a recent interview at Ultra Singapore. “I know that Avicii was really a perfectionist,” Romero added, “and I kind of feel bad if I put something out not knowing if he really wants to put it out, So that’s kind of what holds me back, out of respect for him.”

Romero notably played Avicii’s collaboration with Chris Martin, “Heaven,” at Ultra Singapore.

H/T: Your EDM