NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens and Riton team up, No Mana remixes Kiiara + more

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NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens and Riton team up, No Mana remixes Kiiara + moreOlivierHeldens ByPatBeaudry 012 Resize

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

Oliver Heldens and Riton link with Vula for their new groovy collaboration, “Turn Me On,” and No Mana takes on Kiiara’s “Bipolar.” Kaskade takes his Meghan Trainor collab to another level with the release of a “club mix,” and The Knocks tap R&B crooner Gallant for “Exit Sign.” 3LAU caters to a wide audience on “Miss Me More,” and M83 follows up “Temple of Sorrow” with “Lune de fiel.” Armin van Buuren and Tempo Giusto take things up a notch with “Mr. Navigator,” and Sub Focus and Wilkinson prove to be a formidable drum ‘n’ bass duo on “Illuminate.” AC Slater delivers some new Night Bass heat with “Laid Off,” and DROELOE and Kalulu keep it light on “Broken Bricks.” After debuting the tune on DA earlier this week, Nora En Pure releases her remix of “Lost Souls,” and Machinedrum reveals new possibilities for San Holo’s “Lost Lately.” In another DA-debuted piece this week, Eli Brown rocks steady on “Come Together,” and Morgan Page and HAILENE tug at listeners’ heartstrings on “Footprints.”

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 this NMF.

Photo credit: Pat Beaudry

Exclusive: Nora En Pure breathes her piano-driven prowess into Eelke Kleijn’s ‘Lost Souls’

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Exclusive: Nora En Pure breathes her piano-driven prowess into Eelke Kleijn’s ‘Lost Souls’NEP 4

South African-Swiss queen of melodic/deep house, Nora En Pure has materialized on the auspicious Armada landscape with another transcendent dancefloor delivery in hand. Over the years, En Pure has raked in accolades for both her DJ and production prowess , as well as ample acclaim for her radio show, Purified. Though she’s demonstrated affinity for both club-conscious and sweeter, melodic stylings, it’s in the piano-driven endeavors where En Pure shines with the most invariable splendor.

Arriving a day early exclusively through Dancing Astronaut, the iridescent Armada affront takes shape in a remix of Eelke Kleijn‘s “Lost Souls,” featuring Ost. En Pure elevates the original’s subtle piano musings and drapes them across the remix’s forefront. The vapory house offering solidifies another celestial notch in En Pure’s prolific sonic catalog.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 101

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 101Deters 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


Jay Cosmic has returned to Monstercat under his Desert Star moniker to deliver a feel-good, catchy-as-hell new single, “Carissa.” With its ’80s atmosphere and infectious vocals, the tune makes for stellar sophomore showing from the Manchester artist under this name. “Carissa” follows “Foreign Land,” which landed in April on the Canadian label’s Instinct section.

Nanobii‘s first release of 2019 has arrived in the form of “Children of the Sky,” an original tune that features the artist’s own vocals and his signature happy hardcore beats. Fans of Owl City will delight in its uplifting melodies before being rocketed into a sky full of clouds. The accompanying artwork fits perfectly with the lighthearted tone this song portrays.

Calgary-based producer Stilz has had a career that’s spanned many years, packed full of nostalgia-inducing songs of the synthwave/cyberpunk persuasion. One of his latest to pop up on SoundCloud, “Future World (2016),” gives listeners goosebumps with its eerie, otherworldly theme, adding to the mystery with a deep, pulsing beat. It’s intoxicating and full of hidden components with each listen.

Nora En Pure has had a banner 2019 already, keeping up with her weekly Purified show and still finding time to release hits like “Birthright” and a remix of Sofi Tukker‘s “Fantasy.” Her latest, “Heart Beating,” debuted on Enormous Chills earlier this month and has a darker tone than its predecessors, making it primed for late-night club sets. Sultry, pounding bass and infectious vocals make this one irresistible.

At the beginning of July, Serbian producer Vintage & Morelli revealed a massive collection of songs to the world in the form of Hymn to the Night. Tucked among the 21 songs is “Last Of Us,” a sensational tune that features angelic choral stylings and a relaxed beat. Silk Music‘s classified it as ambient, but it’s so much more than that. “Last Of Us” weaves in delicate orchestral interludes and serene guitar soundscapes that are easy to get lost in.

Nora En Pure releases hot future house track, ‘Heart Beating’

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Nora En Pure releases hot future house track, ‘Heart Beating’64207300 2316106265163550 6047682980653039616 N

Nora En Pure is on a hot streak, as the artist just released her second single this year on Spinnin’ Deep Records. The track, titled “Heart Beating,” is a classic release from the South African native, featuring elements from her popular tracks yet unlike anything heard from the DJ before.

“Heart Beating,” while maintaining the quintessential Nora En Pure sound, is one of the most house-leaning tracks she has released to date. Still ambient and futuristic, “Heart Beating” has a pushing beat and is a departure from Nora En Pure’s most recent release, “Birthright,” which has a more ethereal sound. The track will certainly detonate in the deep house realm and is a perfect upbeat summer heater for the club scene.

Photo credit: @NoraEnPure/Facebook

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and more

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Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreWhat So Not

A thick cloud of uncertainty loomed over the months leading up to the 2019 iteration of Spring Awakening Music Festival. A venue change for any festival leaves a precarious taste on a prospective attendee’s tongue. With one location swap already in recent memory (the move from its iconic Soldier Field footing to Addams Medill Park in 2016), organizers of the Midwest’s largest strictly electronic music festival had plenty of work ahead them following the announcement that Spring Awakening would not only be on the move again, but would be altogether leaving Chicago: its longtime, hallowed home. The somewhat nebulous news of the upcoming edition landing about an hour outside of Chicago, in Hoffman Estates, was at first daunting, as seen in the discordant social media reactions from repeat patrons of the festival. There were quite a few qualms to assuage—indeed.

Though, with the latest chapter of Spring Awakening, React Presents proved that its hallmark event has deservedly endured the treacherous festival front, where so many promising productions have folded in recent years.

The most apparent ingredient in the June affair’s success was a lineup that obviously spoke to its audience. Trend-setting talent from the bass-centric house domain came in droves, compliments of quintessential electronic curator, Gary Richards, and his All My Friends stage takeover, while deeper, melodic appetites found plenty of fuel from a long length of Anjunabeats‘ renowned repertoire. All the while, scene staples like REZZ, Chris Lake, Rusko, Illenium, and last-minute addition to replace an injured Martin Garrix, Kaskade, made the 2019 ticket all-the-more difficult to turn down. In its aftermath, the bygone roster of this year’s Spring Awakening echoes the famed Field of Dreams adage: “If you build it, they will come.”

But besides a robust, wide-reaching lineup, Spring Awakening saw its 27-acre Poplar Creek festival grounds succeed in rectifying much of the sound-bleeding issues it’s experienced in past years. Some traffic stoppages at the entrance and exits (mostly confined to the event’s first day), and a smattering of mud (mitigated partially by organizers as the festival stretched on) throughout the venue proved to be the primary, isolated complaints from the 26-30,000 attendees the festival amassed each day of its three-day run.

This year, Dancing Astronaut sought to get the artists’ perspectives on not only the newest chapter of Spring Awakening, but its legacy in the national and Chicago event spaces. We sat down with both first-time performers at the fest and well-oiled veterans, rounding up talent from different ends of the map, including native Chicagoans (Porn and Chicken), Aussies (Dom Dolla and What So Not), even a Frenchman (Shiba San) for good measure. Here are their takes:

Nora En Pure

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreNora En Pure

Real name, Daniela Di Lillo, En Pure has traversed the Chicago club scene quite extensively over the years, though 2019 was the South African-Swiss artist’s first Spring Awakening. The “Come With Me” producer has been a revered name in the deep/melodic four-by-four realm for years, touting a length of accolades for her mixing proficiency, ever-apparent in her radio show/event series, Purified.

I love playing Chicago. It’s a great city for me to play: very music-driven. It’s very rewarding. You can play more elaborately and really try things.

Of the 2019 lineup:

…very diverse, I like that there are not too many similar acts to me, so I can play my sound and people can appreciate it. It’s a mix between that really uplifting stuff and deeper stuff… sticking to the melody.

Destructo 

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreGary

All My Friends label head and taste-making guru, Destructo (Gary Richards) returned to Spring Awakening this past year, with a trove of on-the-rise talent in hand. As one of the first festival organizers to book acts like Diplo and Skrillex at his Southern Californian and now-ubiquitous brainchild, HARD Events, Richards is certainly no stranger to simply figuring out what’s cool from the underground, and feeding it to the masses.

My parent company, LiveStyle, owns the festival. It was a natural fit to bring an All My Friends stage here. But also too I feel like every one of our festivals we do needs that bass-house lane. It was fortunate enough that we got our hand in Spring Awakening. It’s just really worked out. I think it’s important for the scene as a whole to make sure this festival stays healthy.

On what goes into curating a stage takeover:

Finding the new breed of producers, trying to showcase new talent and bring up new people. Dance music’s all about the new. I think the masses only know the tried-and-true names, and I’m trying to break through new people to keep it fresh, but also to help those young producers really shine.

What So Not

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreWhatSoNot3 1
Photo: Luke Eblen

One of the most omnipresent talents in the electronic ether, Australian-born What So Not was another familiar face at the most recent Spring Awakening effort, having played the fest in 2017. A driving source of innovation not just in his cross-genre niche, but the scene at large, What So Not’s most prominent cuts — like “Gemini” and his “Innerbloom” remix — continue to resound throughout festival grounds across the globe.

It’s a great festival to come out for. Last time I played, I think it was at 3 pm; really hot. They were struggling to move—staring into the sun. I remember being like, ‘Come on guys, let’s dance.’ They all just kind of laughed like ‘We’re trying!’ I’ve got some friends coming on a little bit later I’m really excited to catch, like [DJ] Snake. The Bass Tent looks like it’s going crazy. I want to go in there, put on a hoodie, and go get sweaty.

Shiba San

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreShiba San

A Dirtybird crown jewel and more-than-seasoned purveyor of infectiously animated deep and tech-house, Shiba San returns to Spring Awakening as one of the lineup’s most coveted acts. Having established his very own label, Basement Leak, along with several acclaimed EP releases, the Parisian producer has certainly been busy since his last Spring Awakening stop.

Spring Awakening was one of the first festivals I played in the US, around the time I played HARD. It was so packed, and very special. I started my house music with the ’80s house music of Chicago. Each time I play in Chicago, I remember where house music came from. Chicago is house music. I’ve been waiting on an offer to play Spring Awakening again for a while.

I think they do a good job of placing up-and-coming artists at good times and fair stages. It can be hard for smaller artist to play a big stage at 2 PM, and then no one shows up.

Dom Dolla

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and moreDOM DOLLA
Photo: AleksandarJason

Another Aussie, by the name of Dom Dolla, made his Spring Awakening debut this year. The “Take It” artist is quickly proving himself one of the most enticing propagators of the forward-thinking tech-house sound that’s taken American festival stages for ransom of late.

American audiences are super excited: house music is evolving so fast for them. Australia has quite a few established cultures. We’ve got our tech-house scene, a bass-house scene, a progressive/melodic scene, and all these established artists who tour within them. But dance music really only started to hit America in a commercial sense a few years ago. It’s been a really interesting tipping point observing what I can get away with in a set.

I’m performing a lot tech-ier here than I was a few years ago. I think the focus [at Spring Awakening] is very much on dubstep, trap, and that EDM sound, but I think they’ve picked their house artists really well, Shiba San, Chris Lake. It’s a distinctly American house sound, that Blackbook Records, Dirtybird sound, which I love.

Porn and Chicken

Spring Awakening 2019: takes from the talent, with What So Not, Nora En Pure, Destructo, and morePorn And Chicken

Having played the festival every year since its inception, Porn and Chicken are the invariable authorities on all things Spring Awakening. Known for their outlandish and voraciously attended event series (of which, unsurprisingly, visuals of porn and chicken are a cornerstone), the Chicago-based “dubstep-rock” crossover outfit has had one the most intimate vantage points of Spring Awakening’s progression.

We first played the festival on the Red Bull truck, which is no longer here. The stages are 10 times the size. This festival has grown as much as we have over the years. I feel like we were babies when we first played it. It’s been very interesting to see how the festival has matured, as we have as performers over the years. The festival’s identity is almost parallel to ours. [Spring Awakening has] faced so many challenges… But it’s bigger than it’s ever been.

The curation of the festival has always been electronic dance music, but throughout the years I think the sub-genres have been represented equally. You can find dubstep, you can find techno, you can find house, and everything else in between. It brings together all the best the world of dance music has to offer. I remember one of the first years we played: You could walk over and see Green Velvet on one stage and see Skrillex just across the way.

From the local level to the headliners, the festival takes care of you. They make sure that the local artists get a chance to shine.

Featured Photo: Rob Mondo

Nora En Pure delivers moving new single, ‘Birthright’

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Nora En Pure delivers moving new single, ‘Birthright’Nora En Pure Dont Look Back

When Nora En Pure played Coachella earlier this year, she opened her set with an emotive piece of music that fans would later come to know as “Birthright.”

“Birthright” made its widespread debut on May 24 via Enormous Tunes, featuring a moving piano melody and a subdued house beat. The ebbs and flows of the song are highlighted by scattered synth notes and percussion fading out into the background, allowing for the emotive elements of the track to shine through.

The South African-Swiss producer has released the single in two formats: a radio mix and an original club mix. Fans of longer-format dance music will delight in the seven-plus-minute length of the club mix, whereas those looking to a enjoy a more condensed form of the song can do so via the radio mix.

Photo credit: @noraenpure/Instagram

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 92

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 92Deters 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.


Honey & Badger and kramder burst in, guns blazing, on their latest collaboration, “Da Pinte.” This new CONFESSION release seems to be all power at first, but upon introducing a merry piano theme, it’s apparent this trio of artists know how to combine forceful beat with a groovy melody. Between the vocals, pounding bass, and infectious melody, “Da Pinte” has been stuck in my head all week.

Last Island‘s new EP is a work of art. The Scottish artist just unleashed his Sustain EP, which spans five tracks and sounds best when listened to cohesively. “Emerie’s Cave” serves as a clear introduction, leading into a whole collection of some of his best work, including the final track, “Let Stars Fall.” “I wanted to create a euphoric and synth rich sound with the feeling of traveling through into a new world,” he says of the compilation. And that he did.

Astrale has taken on the task of covering and reworking The Midnight‘s formative “Kids.” Starring Essenger on vocals, this duo have revamped the bittersweet nostalgia of the original into a piece that’s fully their own. The initial two minutes feel like an anticipatory build, dropping into a heavier bed of synths for a dramatic ending of the song.

Groovy beats and funky piano melodies abound on AMTRAC‘s new release, “Formal Disco.” Released via his own Openers Records, AMTRAC shines on this latest track, seamlessly melding a smooth bassline with an irresistible melody. He kicked off his 2019 with the more subdued “Just” in February, but he readies himself for the summer months with this more upbeat original, which he says is a “long overdue follow up” to 2017’s “Informal Disco.”

Nora En Pure consistently delivers a sweet-to-the-ears sonic experience, and her latest is no exception. “Birthright,” released in original club mix and radio edit formats, features a serene piano melody, propped up by a low-key backbone of percussion. At seven minutes long, the club mix is primed to serve as a soothing outro for a night of dancing or simply bring a listener peace during a stressful time.

NMF Roundup: Skrillex remixes Kelsey Lu, Drezo returns with ‘Afterlife’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Skrillex remixes Kelsey Lu, Drezo returns with ‘Afterlife’ + moreSkrille Live Aug 2017 Billboard 1548 0

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

The second-to-last NMF of May brings fresh material from Skrillex in the form of a Kelsey Lu remix. Drezo returns to drag his fans to the depths with a new original, “Afterlife,” and Spencer Brown delivers “Sapporo” as the title track for his new EP. Andrew Bayer brings two new tracks to Anjuna, including “Only You Boy,” and Kygo teams up with Chelsea Cutler for “Not Ok.” Chris Lake enters the summer months with a new groovy number, “Stay With Me,” and Nora En Pure fills her latest release with lush melodies and a breezy atmosphere. i_o takes on Above & Beyond in a formidable new extended mix, and Flux Pavilion joins forces with Nevve for “Lion’s Cage.” Borgeous links with RUNAGROUND for “Better Anyway,” and Chase & Status cook up some fast-paced drum ‘n’ bass on “Murder Music.” After debuting “Dragonfly” with DA earlier this week, Au5 releases his new LP, and Benny Benassi puts his own spin on Patrick Martin’s “Stranger Nights.” Curbi delivers some feisty new house music in “Flip It” and DVBBS rework Steve Aoki’s “Play It Cool.” Cedric Gervais returns with “Take You In,” and Don Diablo unveils a VIP mix of Jessie J’s “Brave.”

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 this NMF.

Photo credit: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Moonrise announces 2019 lineup, featuring Tiësto, Illenium, Nora En Pure + more

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Moonrise announces 2019 lineup, featuring Tiësto, Illenium, Nora En Pure + moreMoonrise

The two-day Moonrise Festival at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course will return for its sixth installment Aug. 10-11 with a wave of diversity in its lineup.

Streaming services are breaching new territory on the genre side of things, with viral charts becoming largely saturated by hip-hop acts. This festival season is starting to reflect these changes, with a prime example in Moonrise Festival. The genre-led ripple effect brings rappers 21 Savage and Smokepurpp, among others, to a largely electronic-based lineup at the race track’s infield.

Joining them are some of dance music’s top players, including Tiësto, Yellow Claw, k?d, Illenium, Nora En Pure, and more.

Purchase tickets here.

Photo credit: Alive Coverage

Opening day rewind: listen to live Ultra sets from Alesso, Tiësto, Dog Blood, and more

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Opening day rewind: listen to live Ultra sets from Alesso, Tiësto, Dog Blood, and moreUltra Music Key Biscayne Resident Backlash

From main stage marvels like Alesso and Tiësto, to collaborative heavy-hitters like Dog Blood, Ultra‘s opening day of production attracted choice electronic acts to the Miami flagship’s newfound home of Virginia Key. For dance music diversion, look no further than Dancing Astronaut’s live set roundup from day one of Ultra Music Festival.

Set highlights include Dog Blood playing out their latest single, “Turn Off The Lights,” and Alesso exerting the main stage strength of cuts from his recently released EP, Progresso Volume 1Nora En Pure, Nicky Romero, and Fedde le Grand each follow suit, lighting up Virginia Key and streamers’ speakers with their masterful mixing techniques and energetic stage presences. A thunderous day two of Ultra Music Festival festivities awaits, with Zedd, Tchami, Martin Garrix, 3LAU, and more scheduled to appear.

Nora En Pure, Main Stage

Dog Blood, Main Stage

Nicky Romero, Main Stage

Alesso, Main Stage

Tiësto, Main Stage 

Fedde Le Grand, Main Stage

Malaa, Worldwide Stage

Louis The Child, Live Arena