Featuring NERVO, The Knocks, and Alisa Ueno, Sofi Tukker produced the hit single, “Best Friend” last year, which features melodic instrumentation of saxophone, bass guitar, and intriguing percussion. Oliver Heldens has put his own spin on the slow-burning track, taking the piece to new, exhilarating heights. With a revved-up tempo, harmonic builds of colorful notes, and the bruising, distinct Heldens signature sound, “Best Friend” receives a glamorous deep house makeover from the Dutch producer.
His remix of “Best Friend” marks his second production of the new year, as Heldens’ previous collaboration with Dada Life, “Live Vibrations,” was dropped earlier in January. Heldens has been grinding out new music over the past several months, and with a ton of rumored unreleased music on the horizon, we are eagerly waiting for what he has in store for this year.
Miami Music Week is known for its overwhelming amount of heavy-hitting industry events culminating in Ultra Music Festival for the electronic music scene. Heldeep and Monstercat have announced their presence for the 2018 iteration of the music week in the form of Heldeep vs. Monstercat at Soho Studios on March 21. The event was announced after a series of angsty tweets between Heldeep founder Oliver Heldens and Monstercat founder Mike Darlington.
The imprints have announced a head-to-head event with some of their best artists “battling it out” for the crowds. Artist announcements are to follow, and fans wanting to watch this stacked battle royale can buy their tickets here.
“Love Vibrations,” an enrapturing collaboration by none other than house music’s heavy hitters Oliver Heldens, under the alias of HI-LO, and the enthralling duo, Dada Life, is out now on Heldeep Records.
Undoubtedly, when it comes to these artists, unpredictability dominates the production. Their mastery of deep house vibes contrasts with higher hitting synths makes for an irresistible combination of intense energy and melodic undertones.
“Love Vibrations” features unbridled, oscillating synths complimented by pulsating waves of dark bass progressions that is all tied together by intriguing vocal samples. HI-LO and Dada Life make for an incredible team, with each musician flaunting a different aspect of their artistry by contributing unmatched stylistic details. Although Dada Life has taken a hiatus from producing, their latest work will have listeners up and ready to go for what’s in store from the banana-tastic, champagne showering, beloved duo.
Spinnin’ Records compiled a sonic highlight reel in its Best of 2017 Yearly Mix, a product that spotlights the Dutch label’s most highly acclaimed releases of the year. Jam packed with year defining digs, the Best of 2017 Yearly Mix pushes a near three-hours of play time as it places singles from Alok, Lucas & Steve, and more among those produced by Spinnin’ crown jewels, Oliver Heldens, CID, and EDX.
A well balanced tribute to the tracks that contributed to the label’s ever expanding influence in 2017, the mix unites the auditory with the visual, displaying lyrics and clips from the featured songs’ music videos as the Best of 2017 plays in the background, making for a comprehensive review of Spinnin’s 2017 superlatives.
Those who follow Tiesto have become accustomed to his 21-year-old girlfriend Annika Backes popping up in his posts and stories as the two travel the world. The American model has been on the road with Tiesto for almost two years now, and yesterday the producer made it official that she will be joining him on the road for the rest of his life. Tiesto popped the question in the Maldives, and the two are now engaged!
Everyone from festival organizers to artists themselves have taken to social to express their congratulations to the couple. Oliver Heldens has even gone as far as to prompt fans to retweet him 5,000 times so that he can make a Tiesto and Annika meme account.
A big congrats from Dancing Astronaut to the newly engaged couple.
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.
Slander and Sullivan King team up for a mercilessly heavy-hitting dubstep collaboration, “Welcome to the Fire.”
HI-LO is back with a groovy bass track titled, “Men On Mars.” The single produced under Oliver Heldens‘ alias features a glowing build that leads into a striking melody, accompanied by an energetic beat and an otherworldly bridge.
Producing under the project since 2015, HI-LO is known for a riveting, dynamic sound that is easily discernible for it’s prominent signature style. Each piece is crafted with flawless attention to detail and is infused with a particular liveliness that makes dancing along entirely irresistible. With his latest, Oliver Heldens flaunts his unmatched skill as a seasoned master of bass music.
In his recent memoir Porcelain, house and techno trailblazer Moby reveals how his track “Go” helped to globalize electronic dance music to its current widespread acclaim. Chronicling Moby’s ascension from 1989-1999, the autobiography dedicates an entire chapter to “Go” where the artist layers “Laura Palmer’s Theme” from Twin Peaks over the B-side to his debut single “Mobility.” “Go” quickly became a 90s rave anthem and stands today as one of the most widely regarded remixes of all time.
27 years after the release of “Go,” Moby celebrates the art of the remix by enlisting over 40 producers to rework a handful of his most seminal tracks. In an initiative dubbed the Black Lacquer Remix Project, Moby calls on a wide range of artists with diverse electronic music backgrounds to rework tracks including “Porcelain,” “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad,” “Natural Blues,” and “Go.”
Under his HI-LO alias, Oliver Heldens puts a deep house twist on “Go” by adding thumping percussion and orchestral organ sounds to the original. The new remix embodies Helden’s HI-LO alias, revealed in 2015 to be “all about the groove, bass lines and the way the music builds up and gets people dancing.” Heldens employs bass house, tech house and underground UK house elements on the new remix, returning “Go” to the forefront of club music.
The Dutch Heldeep Records label-head joins a high-profile list of remix artists including Above & Beyond, Hardwell, Loco Dice and more on the Black Lacquer Remix Project. Listen to HI-LO’s fresh take on “Go” below, and dive deeper into his creative process on the remix as follows:
Have you read Moby’s recently released memoir, Porcelain?
Yes, it’s a fantastic book. I really enjoyed reading about the old days, especially from the perspective of a legend like Moby.
Are you familiar with the Black Lacquer Remix Project?
Yes I am. I think it’s a really cool project with Moby reaching out to a diverse spectrum of electronic dance music artists to re-work some of his most seminal tracks. Of course I’m very honoured that I could participate as HI-LO for the “Go” remix.
What does Moby mean to you?
Moby has been a huge inspiration for me. He’s one of the biggest-selling electronic producers of all time, with his roots in rave and techno bangers. I listened to his music a lot and I still do.
What does this track mean to you / why did you choose this track?
“Go” is regularly dug up and remixed for the modern dance floor, and it carries an emotional power that continues to resonate today. I thought it would be very cool to make a remix of it. I added a raw edge to the track with cool organ sounds, sweet percussion, deep bass action and a nice melodic breakdown.
Any tips for up and coming producers on the art of remixing?
Give your own swing to the song. Find your own sound that feels personal and don’t blindly follow trends. And of course do all of that with respect to the original track.
What about “Go” makes it so iconic? Is it attached to any memories for you?
“Go” is widely considered as one of the greatest rave classics of all time. I felt that the track had a right fit with my moniker HI-LO and of course I listened to the track a lot.
Describe your creative process for this remix. Where where you and how long did it take to create?
I’m not totally sure about where I made the track. I produce a lot while on the road. I do know that it didn’t take me too long creating the remix. I was simply very enthusiastic to remix “Go” into a version that fits today’s dance floors.
How does your remix of “Go” differ from other remixes you’ve done?
The track itself is already so cool. I added some sounds but tried to keep the original alive. Instead of mixing it into a house-y track I choose a deeper side with HI-LO.
If Moby were to remix one of your songs which one would you pick?
Oh wow, I would be very honoured. If it’s up to me, he’s free to pick one out of all of my songs.
Oliver Heldens is back — this time, with a collaborative single that’s already destined to hit the mainstream which he’s titled “What the Funk.” Over the past year, the Dutch powerhouse has developed quite a strong relationship with the gaming world, even creating his own channel called Twitch. It seems he intends to maintain that connection, as the track was premiered on the widely popular mobile game BeatFever. There’s also word that the music video for the track will be a user-generated piece, featuring submissions from fans all across social media.
“What the Funk” sees Heldens exploring new territory as a musician, with a unique sound that blends together pop, house and even a little 70s disco/90s dance influence. Adding in funky guitar riffs and keyboard synths under Danny Shah’s energetic vocals, Oliver creates an upbeat, feel-good track that’ll make listeners want to dance uncontrollably in any setting.
Labor day weekend marked this year’s second installment of Prime Social Group’s Breakaway Music Festival, an annual festival series that finds its home in cities in and around major league soccer venues. This year’s holiday weekend event found itself gracing the grounds of Columbus, Ohio’s Columbus Crew stadium. While the city has been recognized amongst the country’s fastest growing metropolis, currently standing at number three, a drive through the state may suggest a different narrative. The route to Columbus and much of the state of Ohio is ridden with farmland, the surefire sign of Midwestern heartland. Fortunately, Columbus could not be more of an antithesis to this pseudo-Ohio narrative. Prime Social group, in particular, is a driving force behind this “mundane-Midwest” myth-busting.
Photo courtesy of Alex Powell.
Prime Social Group is a full-service concert promotions group based in the city that focuses on college markets across the country. Some of its events exclusive to Ohio include a 90’s themed summer festival, the Ohio University Number festival, and the multi-city spanning Halloween-themed Haunted Fest which has booked acts for this year that include Hardwell, Yellow Claw, and more. PSG’s event set out to see a continuance of its Breakaway Festival later this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, where Zedd is set to headline. Prior to the Columbus event, it had stopped in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Tiësto, Slushii, Borgore, Jai Wolf, and Louis the Child are names that are slated to hit the stage later this fall in Columbus on behalf of PSG. Between a consistent envelope pushing booking team and a pronounced understanding of the idiosyncrasy that the college market desires, PSG’s rosters speak volumes for its respective cities’ entertainment markets. It’s safe to say the electronic music scene would not be the same in the Midwest—and certainly not in Columbus—without the companies’ efforts.
Columbus’ 2017 Breakaway return was an aggressive amalgamation of hip-hop and electronic artists, one that broke the boundaries of sonically-constricted line-ups. Priding themselves on booking up-and-coming artists that reach beyond the confines of genres, Prime Social group saw out that they achieved to create a breakaway experience in its own right. This year’s festival was a testament to that success.
Last year’s Columbus festival bill saw the likes of hip-hop’s ultimate sweetie, Chance the Rapper, as well as Dillion Francis, RL Grime, Alison Wonderland, Corrupt, and Gryffin. Filling in the hip-hop shoes of Chance’s aggressive annunciation meets poetic style this year was SuperDuperKyle. Most well known for his breakout single “iSpy,” featuring American genre nonconformer Lil Yachty—who was also at the festival—SuperDuperKyle brought forth an outrageously energetic performance. Çhanneling Kid and Play’s nineties aura was an artist who lured the crowd in for an auspicious evening. Followed up by 3LAU, Oliver Heldens, Lil Yachty, and then rave rap’s finest Travis Scott on the main stage.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Church.
Across the way, on the prime stage Friday evening was an undercard assemblage of equally impressive acts such as Crankdat, Shaun Frank, THEY., Malaa, and Getter. The prime stage exemplified a yearning for some of electronic music’s more heavy-hitting acts at the moment. The impressive array of hip-hop and electronic was a match made in heaven for its respective young audience and exemplified PSG’s audience understanding.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Church.
Despite massive amounts of rain dumping on Saturday’s attendees, the festival’s booking was a quintessential crowd pleaser. Starting off the second day with the heavy-hitting REZZ collaborator, the up and comer K?D, the afternoon was primed for an exhilarating experience. Leading up to the closing of the two-day festival was Galantis who was followed by Diplo on the main stage— whilst Mija and EDM’s favorite kitty Cashmere Cat closed out the prime stage. Columbus laid host to some of music’s most exuberant acts.
Photo courtesy of Tyler Church.
By bringing some of the world’s biggest names to the stage alongside supporting local and regional artists, the event was an energetic enigma. Despite being dealt mother nature’s infamous festival surprise the festival was an overwhelming success for its young audience and a telling testament of an ever-expanding company and cities’ success.