New Jersey producer Au5 is known for his transcendent melodic dubstep tracks on labels like Monstercat, Simplify, OWSLA, and more. Over the years, fans have come to expect beautifully vivid soundscapes from the producer, but his latest release is something a little different.
In a genre he’s calling “future trap,” Au5 has released his latest song “I Miss You,” featuring vocalist Kenny Raye, on Simplify.
“I Miss You” initially appears to be completely different territory for the producer, but upon a closer listen, the components that make Au5’s music so unique are still very much present. The chorus contains heavy-hitting dubstep elements, and Raye’s vocals expertly capture the emotion of the song.
Perhaps the best surprise of the HARD Summer Musical Festival 10th anniversary line-up was the news that Dog Blood would be topping the bill in 2017. As the supergroup side project conceived by Skrillex and Boys Noize, the two haven’t appeared together since HARD Red Rocks nearly two years ago.
On May 18th, however, Dog Blood took to their Facebook socials to express their excitement for HSMF, but also to announce to fans that it would be their only show in 2017. The announcement most likely comes as a joy to HARD founder Gary Richards, since Dog Blood is sure to draw in a massive crowd on their own. Now that it’s been confirmed as their first and only show in nearly two years, tickets should be start flying off the decks.
Maybe there’s a possibility for the return of Dog Blood in 2018? There’s no way to know for sure, but their HARD Summer appearance is sure to be the 2017 festival set to see. Grab tickets here to join Dog Blood August 5-6, 2017 at The Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
Though Jochen Sablon and Vincent De Boeck have prolific histories in the Belgian dance music scene, they’ve only just begun their venture into stateside consciousness. As Madou, the duo may be newcomers to the American music industry, but their tasteful production is likely to soon make a lasting imprint.
In their recently-launched project, Sablon and De Boeck proved their knack for combining an eclectic range of stirring garage, house, and downtempo elements with their first single, “Changing.” With this recent release, Madou began to define themselves as sitting somewhere in the stylistic nexus of Jamie xx, Four Tet, and Moderat.
Madou’s newest track, “Nowhere Else,” fuses these varied, sedate influences into a deep, warm melange of house and indie dance. The song’s sultry vocal line builds upon subdued bass patterns, stripped-back rhythms, timpani-like chimes, which culminate in an end product which is likely to garner significant attention in the coming months.
Already supported by The Magician in his Magic Tape 68, “Nowhere Else” is backed by OWSLA’s NEST.
OWSLA continues to stand in accordance with good people and good times in this four minute video, featuring some of best moments from their European showcase.
The tripbegins with Valentino Khan standing on the ledge of a giant crane before cutting to various scenes of Khan and Vindata‘s Branden Ratcliff roaming the streets of Europe from performing at renowned nightclub Favst to trying new treats at the Cereal Killer Cafe in London.
One of the more significant bits highlights Khan and Ratcliff taking a moment to acknowledge the music scene in Europe and how it helped develop their craft as producers:
“It’s just dope being influenced by people across the globe and they like inspire you to take what you grew up on and put a twist on it..and you know..bring what you have to the table.” – Ratcliff.
A key takeaway from this European recap is the true sense community between the artists who refer to OWSLA as “more than just a label” which is what makes this collective a driving force in today’s industry.
Skrillex‘s Leaving EP arrived four years ago today. The short three-track collection came seemingly out of nowhere, and rather than kick off a new year with high-octane bass and house bulldozers like Bangarang did at the onset of 2012, it catalyzed a stylistic departure for Sonny Moore that revealed a new dimension to his artistic complexion. The EP itself is a bit mysterious; it came at a time when fans were on the edge of their seats for a full-length project rumored to be called Voltagethat never came to fruition. As it goes, the surprise EP was reportedly finished in a hotel room mere hours before it hit the internet. Matching its enigmatic title with a short selection, the release left a lot of questions open about the OWSLA head’s direction for the coming year.
Leaving included a staple DJ tool that Skrillex allowed to surface live about a year prior, mashing up pieces of “Scary Monsters” and “Fucking Die,” now officially known as “Scary Bolly Dub.” The collection’s opening offering, “Reason” may be one of the best Skrillex b-sides out there. Finally, the title track laid the groundwork for a more pensive, introspective side to Skrillex’s music, paving the way for later tunes like “Fire Away” and eventually “Pretty Bye Bye.” When the EP’s tracklist is considered, albeit being short and sweet, Leaving may be Skrillex’s most underrated EP to date. Revisit it here.
Watching Emoh Instead continue to grow the What So Not project with such steady poise and upward momentum has been one of dance music’s more triumphant storylines over the last 18 months. The Australian beatmaker toured heavily behind the release of his debut solo EP under the What So Not moniker, Divide and Conquerthis year, and after a lengthy road stretch, has returned home as the year winds down. It seems the downtime is paying its creative dividends, as What So Not has announced he’s begun crafting his debut LP.
Nonchalantly delivering the news via Twitter in the middle of the night, with no timeline, let alone targeted release in sight, it seems as though the writing process is probably just getting started. Expect the OWSLA/Sweat It Out recruit to be back stateside in 2017 though, and expect him to bring a trove of new music with him. Emoh’s debut record is imminent, and with his former counterpart already establishing a mighty track record for top-notch LPs, we expect that Emoh is likely to follow.
Outside of the bass music umbrella, Boaz van de Beatz may not be a household name, but he’s got an indisputable track record in the studio as a serious force behind the boards. The 27-year-old Dutch beatmaker, real name Boaz de Jong, has long been touted as one of the sharpest, most forward-thinking producers in the game by heavyweights like Afrojack, Diplo and especially, Skrillex.
Boaz van de Beatz has been a longtime ace for the Mad Decent and OWSLA camps, helping popularize the cross between dutch house, big room, and trap like acts such as Yellow Claw and Wiwek. Now it seems Boaz and Sonny are finally putting their heads together for a long-expected collaboration.
Skrillex has been freeing up some coveted studio time as 2016 winds down; optimistically a new record from the OWSLA label head could be in the works. By the looks of Diplo’s Snapchat, it seems that Boaz’s uniquely aggressive production style could strongly factor into some new upcoming Skrillex music.
Beatz was featured on Sonny’s label showcase release, OWSLA Worldwide Broadcastat the beginning of the year with one of the collection’s strongest selections, “Flippo” which has become a staple in Skrillex sets since. Now the pair are in the studio together and further madness is sure to ensue.
Both “Molino” and “Wait Till Tmrw,” the first and last tracks on Mark Johns’ debut EP,Molino, begin with nothing more than soft synth chords to compliment Johns’ mystifying voice. It’s not a voice that belts, not a voice that flourishes or draws attention to itself. Rather, it carries both a gentle tenderness and an undeniable weight — an openness and emotional presence that give it an arresting sense of honesty.
It’s this sense of honesty that saves the EP from some of the pitfalls that might have sunk it. Molino is not exactly happy listening. It’s full of loneliness and heartbreak, a lingering gloom that could easily have been overdone and fallen into self indulgence. But Johns keeps the project grounded in her remarkable voice and crafty songwriting, and the EP manages to wear its heart on its sleeve without ever succumbing to melodrama or excess.
Musically, the EP is a soothing synthesis of electro, downtempo, and R&B, maintaining an aesthetic consistency that makes things blend together without becoming repetitive. The production is relatively straightforward, but it serves the mood and vibe of Johns’ lyrics well. Each of the EP’s six songs has its own character, and from the spaciousness of the title track, to the steady throb of “Chapstick,” and the syncopated groove of “Before You,” it contains enough variations on its central theme to keep the listener interested.
Molino is undeniably pop music, but it’s pop music with heart and brains. Jonhs sings catchy, radio friendly melodies, but fills them with lyrics that stand an obvious notch above the typical Top 40 hit. The result is an EP that’s accessible to almost everyone, from high-minded aficionados to casual listeners.
As the first singer ever to get signed to Skrillex’s illustrious and taste-making record label, OWSLA, it was clear from the very start of her career that Mark Johns was something special. Amassing a strong internet presence on the strength of a series of features and covers, the Singapore-based recently began unveiling her debut EP.
Following the release of two tracks from the project, titled Molino, Johns has dropped the third single from the EP, the swooning and luxurious “Wait Till Tmrw.” Constructed around the same blueprint of slowed down electro-pop beats and alluring, bittersweet vocal melodies as the other two tracks, “Wait Till Tmrw” is full of a lot more space, opting for sustained, emotive chords and a booming, half-time drum beat. As always, Johns’ voice is the centerpiece, and she navigates the song’s cascading melodic phrases with an earnest, intimate ease.
The Molina EP is set for release on November 4 on OWSLA.
2016 has proven to be quite the breakout year for young producers like Oshi and Cavalier. Riding the strength of their own creativity, these teenage producers have gone from being bedroom artists with a SoundCloud following to certifiable forces in the scene, working with the likes of Skrillex and putting out releases on OWSLA.
The two recently teamed up with fellow teenager Ezra for “Next Up,” a sparkling trap single that shows these artists are here to stay. Starting off with gliding, jazzy organ chords, the track careens into a slow, rumbling trap beat, full of thick, deep 808s and crisp, crackling leads. The track is full of interesting melodic colors, and balances numerous shifting layers on top of its consistent groove with ease.