Back in 2015, French-Canadian bass maestro Snails was a featured guest on an episode of Skrillex‘s OWSLA Radio residency on Apple Music. Between bouts of friendly banter, the superstar DJs showcased two hours worth of tracks in their personal rotations, even going as far as previewing unreleased selects over the air for each other. One such track from Snails, affectionately nicknamed “Squishy Riddim” by Skrillex, is now finally getting an official release as “Break It Down,” on OWSLA, and while Skrill’s unofficial title didn’t stick, it still gave an accurate representation of what the listener is in for.
While the track hasn’t changed much since its infancy, the final product, which also features Space Laces and Sam King, comes with a striking new music video, serving as the follow up to Snails and Botnek‘s previously released “Waffle House” video. The accompanying feature, by Spanish filmmaker Ernest Desumbila, matches the track’s high octane kick with an animated 80’s-inspired sci-fi thrill ride which perfectly complements Snails’ belly-churning production style.
2017’s holiday season is a gift that keeps on giving. OWSLA announced on Twitter that Ekali and ZHU’s long awaited collaboration has not only been released, but it is available for free download.
The track, titled “Blame,” opens with characteristically ZHU vocals and pulsing synths as accents. An elaborate collection of chords roll into a delicate yet commanding drop taking the listener through a sonic journey. “Blame” is an interesting combination of low and high energy moments leaving the listener both soothed and energized after the tracks closing chord.
Ekali originally premiered the track at Life is Beautiful and later confirmed on Reddit that it was indeed a collaboration between him and ZHU. The track was released just as the Canadian producer’s Babylon tour has come to an end. Meanwhile, Zhu has been busy working on his collaboration with Adidas.
Hundred Waters made a radical statement about the typical festival model with the launch of their FORM event series, now gearing up for its fifth annual installment. Hosted in Arizona at an artistic micro-community known as Arcosanti, the event’s curators have refined an entirely unique festival experience since 2014 that breaks down the artist-attendee barriers of a normal music event, and envelops all participants under the tightly-knit umbrella of artistry and social discourse for what is has become one of the most absorbing events of the year. Last year, the event grew to over 1,200 attendees and brought the likes of Skrillex, Solange, James Blake, and S U R V I V E to the high Arizona desert. In 2018 Hundred Waters and company will return to Arcosanti, officially announcing FORM with a new trailer ahead of next year’s event.
FORM is slated to run May 11 – 13, 2018 at Arcosanti with Hundred Waters returning for programming and curation duties. Past lineups have brought a spectrum-covering range of performers to the incredibly intimate camping venue, from Bonobo to Thundercat, Tokimonsta to Father John Misty. Details on this year’s lineup are still under wraps, but the OWSLA trio are likely to bring another diverse cast of friends along for FORM’s fifth edition.
Earlier this year, OWSLA‘s electronic folk tro, Hundred Waters shared their third studio album, Communicating. The album reflected a period of change and growth for the group, and resonated as a closely personal account of the journey between the band’s sophomore record and their 2017 follow up. Now, as the year draws to a close, Hundred Waters offer an additional piece to the album by way of a new music video for “Wave To Anchor.”
Bright and upbeat, the tune features frontwoman Nicole Miglis’ whispering vocal work over a jubilant, fluttering break. Filmed entirely on location, the new music video for “Wave To Anchor” juxtaposes Miglis’ vivacious presence against a backdrop in the villages of Bulgaria, making for a visually striking accompaniment to one of Communicating‘s standout pieces.
Each year hundreds of artists go above and beyond in their merch releases, putting in creative efforts that offer their fans the opportunity to show their love in a vast variety of ways.
This gift guide celebrates theunmissable, unique merch of 2017. From ‘Tweeter paper’ to a limited-run comic book, this complete collection of product prowess is the perfect place to finish out the Holiday gifting. And while there’s sadly no longer an opportunity to “Have Dillion Francis Babysit Your Kid” or buy Diplo‘s limited-run “Cowboy” shirt, we’ve gathered an impressive merch array sure to bring plenty Holiday cheer.
Words by Grace Fleisher
Daft Punk Robot Helmet Ring
Robot rock? No — but a robot ring might do. The GM08 Helmet Ring is the only ring left in stock, but be sure to snag this sterling silver keepsake sure to withstand the most alive of raves.
REZZ’s 60-page psychedelic comic book is the most artistically sound, unique merch release of 2017. Not only is it true to her vision, it cements both her poised takeover of music and Planet Earth alike.
AWE has revealed a remix of Virtual Self’s ‘Ghost Voices.’
Virtual Self, a new alter ego from Porter Robinson, first released the track in his debut self-titled EP. Now, AWE flips the script on the track, altering its structural nature from a deep ballad to trap anthem and injecting his own blend of askew drum samples. AWE’s expansion of the original track is a testament to his experimental production M.O., an element which has certainly payed off on this rework.
The newest member of the OWSLA family, Ekali, has proven himself a breakout force this year. The Vancouver-based artist has not only released several explosive collaborations with Denzel Curry, ZHU, and Quix, but has also successfully launched his Awakening mix series, along with a fantastically-curated Triple J Mixup 2.0.
Now Ekali hopes to share some of his successive accomplishments with novice producers looking to start out in mixing. The producer took to his social channels with a six-track edit pack filled with mashups and other DJ tools that he’s been playing with in live performance. The standout track on the pack is Ekali’s “Neverbloom” mashup, which combines RÜFÜS DU SOL’s hotly-remixed ballad, “Innerbloom,” and Flume’s future bass anthem, “Never Be Like You.” The entire pack is available for download here.
Another amazing trick for mixing in key: you can mix a minor song into its relative major key.. which is 3 semitones higher. So Amin=Cmaj, and the opposite applies so Gmaj=Emin. Do this a lot in my awakening mixes 🙂
For his latest heater, Valentino Khan has teamed up with iconic Jamaican vocalist Sean Paul. With Khan’s stellar, crisp production and Paul’s signature reggae-infused vocals, the duo bring an endless summer vibe with “Gold,” out now on OWSLA.
For Khan, the moombahton beat of “Gold” takes him back to when he first started out in dance music.
“I wanted to make a really fun and danceable moombahton record,” Khan says of the track. “I had started out producing moombahton when I first entered the dance music scene, and it was cool to revisit my roots and make a great record with a really good vibe to it.”
“Gold” will be featured on the soundtrack of Major Lazer‘s forthcoming documentary, Give Me Future, out on Apple Music on Nov. 17.
Now, the quickly rising trap mastermind Party Thieves has given the Skrillex and Sonny J spin a rumbling trap rework.
While Skrillex’s remix relies on a slow build before exploding into full-blown dance floor aggression, Party Thieves injects a monstrous tempo into the tune right off the bat. Most notably, Party Thieves jumps between a variety of tantalizing tempos in his take, taking the track to another level entirely.
OWSLA-championed Aussie duo Carmada are slowly but surely making their stateside comeback, which kicked off in August with a joint venture alongside NGHTMRE titled “Embrace,” and a hilarious video short hinting at what’s likely to be a new EP from L D R U and Yahtzel in the near future. An impending EP seems even more likely with the release of Carmada’s Your Paradise By Night mix, stitched together by a handful of new IDs.
Carmada kick off their bout behind the decks with cuts from Delta Heavy, What So Not, and Valentino Khan, weaving through nearly 60 minutes of heavy handed goods from Botnek, Baauer, Zomboy, Pendulum and more. Ahead of Your Paradise Fiji, which is set for later this year from December 6 – 12, the duo patch together an aced hour-long mix worth repeated listens… that is, until Carmada bless us with the new music they have up their sleeves.