Pendulum gave Reading Festival’s BBC Radio 1 stage a treat this weekend, with an hour straight of live favorites and deep cuts. For fans who couldn’t make it to the UK for their Pendulum fix, there’s good news — the band’s performance has appeared on YouTube in full. Their headlining performance tears through fan favorites from their 2010 LP Immersion like “Witchcraft” and “The Island Pt. 1,” alongside fan favorites like “Tarantula” and “Blood Sugar.” The crowd’s elated singalong with the vocal breakdown in “Watercolour” is a must see.
Rob Swire announced in 2017 that the live electronic pioneers were back, returning from a six year hiatus. The band announced tour and festival dates, with the promise that new music was in the works. So far, they’ve held fans’ appetites at bay with the release of an album’s worth of remixes in June of 2018 called The Reworks, with help from names like Noisia, Skrillex, ATTLAS and more.
Note – the first three minutes of the recording are audio only, before video kicks in.
The outspoken Pendulum musician took to the internet to answer fan questions on the release day of his collaboration with deadmau5, “Monophobia.” He covered everything from unreleased tunes to current EDM trends in the Reddit ‘ask me anything.’ Read it in full here.
1. He’s not a fan of current EDM trends, particularly trap.
2. There’s a 14-year-old Swire/Sub Focus collab out there somewhere.
3. Don’t bring an urn to a show.
4. He regrets every song he’s made for some reason or another.
Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer 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.
What better genre than disco for a Friday? French producer kramder astounds with this funky fresh original, “Indigo Bay.” With heavily processed vocals, an infectious mesh of groovy synths, and an irresistible retro beat, “Indigo Bay” adds to the producer’s growing armory of hits. His last appearance was in May on Tchami‘s CONFESSION label, ensuring this up-and-comer has a bright future ahead of him.
The release of Pendulum‘s remix album a few weeks ago seems to have inspired other producers to revive some of the Australian group’s hits, too. SYN, a mysterious producer who’s been making waves with remixes of hard-hitters like Slipknot and Metallica, has joined in the Pendulum remix fun with a “new rave” rendition of “Tarantula.” It’s energy-packed and intense, and still manages to maintain an old-school vibe.
Keeping with the revival of old tracks, Prismo has breathed new life into Kaskade‘s seminal “Disarm You.” The Texan producer adds a dramatic touch to the emotive 2015 track, flinging the listener into a bed of impressive synths at the first drop. He flies through styles throughout the remix, even dropping a sound bite from Jay-Z‘s “Public Service Announcement” before an intense dubstep-influenced second drop. His remix is a whirlwind of sounds and emotions, guaranteed to keep the listener engaged from start to finish.
Russian producer Stendahl brings a serene and peaceful environment with his latest release, “Sunrise,” on Silk Music. The song, part of his three-track Dystopia EP, paints a more pensive atmosphere than one would expect with an EP of the name it has. “Sunrise” is guided by a smooth-flowing piano melody, soothing vocals and a downtempo beat that’s easy to get lost in.
And now, the track I’ve been most excited for all week: The Midnight‘s new single. The synthwave duo began teasing the release of “Lost Boy” a week ago, drumming up excitement by pairing the emotive audio snippet with Stranger Things clips. Upon its release, it’s apparent that this might be one of their best pieces of work to date — even with the absence of their usual ascending saxophone melodies. “Lost Boy” tugs at the heartstrings and is highlighted by passionate vocals and soaring guitar themes. Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle have concocted the perfect dose of smoldering ’80s nostalgia, topped off with impeccable production to complete this four-and-a-half-minute piece of magic.
Drum ‘n’ bass dynasty, Pendulum, sent the EDM world reeling when they reunited for a live set at Ultra in 2016 after a five-year hiatus, with new tour dates and festival appearances following soon after. But as of this March, fans have been writhing in anticipation after the group announced there was a remix album in the works, consisting of both their most-famed hits and personal favorites.
Finally, the prolific collection has arrived, with offerings from some of the scene’s most profound presences, including Skrillex (the previously shared “The Island, Pt. 1 (Dawn)“) and drum ‘n’ bass counterparts, Noisia (“Hold Your Color”). Other outstanding offerings include that of Pendulum’s own dubstep duo Knife Party, consisting of the former’s founding members, Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, for a full-throttle hardcore remix of “Blood Sugar;” as well as a racing rendition of “Witchcraft” from Pegboard Nerds; and ATTLAS gets uncharacteristically dark for a “Streamline” switch-up.
Pendulum will be touring modestly this summer, making stops in Romania, Ibiza, and even the U.S., for all of which fans would be hard-pressed not to hear some of these new momentous revisions.
Drum & bass is in the air wherever UK producer, Feint, is found – his 2016 UKF Podcast not withstanding. The invigorating, female vocal-favoring, 45-minute segment is a technicolor whirlwind from all corners of the drum & bass spectrum, from deep liquid, to bouncy jump-up, to chaotic techstep. Feint packs a nostalgic punch in the melodic 99-track mix, with offerings from Pendulum, Sub Focus, Netsky, Metrik, and dozens of other masters of 160 BPM and above.
With releases on drum & bass authorities like Liquicity, Monstercat, and Subsphere, Feint’s smooth, melodic style has secured a spot on the the genre’s forefront.
On June 8, in accordance with the release of his massive Pendulum remix, Skrillex posted a few tweets looking back on the important role Pendulum‘s music has played in his life. He revealed that he was on tour with From First to Last when he stopped in a record store in Salt Lake City, where the store owner enthusiastically played him Pendulum’s iconic “Hold Your Colour.” After posting these tweets, Kaskade jumped in to reveal that Mechanized had been his store in college, and it may very well have been him who played the drum & bass track for 16-year-old Sonny Moore. The world truly is a small place.
I was 16 on tour with my band From First To Last playing Salt Lake City. there was a record store next door called “Mechanized” (RIP). The guy running the shop was super nice & eager to play me records & was far from the snobby reputation
the underground drum and bass scene was getting at the time. He played 2 for me that I ended up buying that day: DJ Baron “Operation Pipe Dream” & Pendulum “Hold Your Color.” I had already loved electronic music but after that day I told myself I would be a DJ
Over the years, several artists have bravely spoken up over their personal struggles regarding their mental health. Alison Wonderland has been extremely vocal about her ongoing battle with depression and emotional abuse. At the risk of romanticizing depression, Getter has shared some of his personal insights regarding his experience with mental illness and how, in some instances, it can inspire emotive pieces of art. British underground house veteran Steve Lawler even addressed the stigma of artists speaking out about mental health in the music industry in DA‘s Beyond The Booth 009 feature series.
To expound on these testimonies, a recent study’s findings indicate that musicians in particular are up to 3 times more likely to suffer from depression than the public. In the wake of Avicii’s sad and untimely death, the stakes for raising mental health awareness in the music industry are at an all time high — and for good reason.
“When it comes to mental health and well being, talking really is the key.” – Ben Verse of Pendulum
Enter: former Pendulum bandmate, Ben Verse, who is spearheading a series of drum & bass compilations which foreground issues of mental health and wellbeing. The first album in the series, titled MIND STATE Vol. 1, out now via Getahead Records, features 17 prominent artists and up-and-coming new talents in the DnB scene coming together to present a sonic journey celebrating life and raising awareness for those who are struggling and in need of support.
With over twenty years in the music industry as both MC VERSE and part of the platinum selling band Pendulum, Ben Verse has witnessed first-hand what effect the highs and lows, as well as pressures and strains, a life in the music industry can have on a person.
“At it’s worst, [my mental health] left me unable to leave my room, leave my house, unable to eat. I wouldn’t be able to sit in a restaurant or anything like that. It sounds funny, but at one point I found getting my hair cut really difficult. Just sitting still in that spot became a real source of anxiety for me. It’s a day-to-day thing. A few years ago, it got extremely bad and I had a breakdown. I was at my mum’s house. I was suffering really badly. I was on the edge and thinking about suicide. I couldn’t cope with anything. I felt like I’d lost my worth. I wanted out,” Verse expressed to Dancing Astronaut.
It is with this life experience and awareness that Verse approached AEI Group and Getahead with the concept of the MIND STATE compilation.
“The music industry is not a 9 to 5 job, it can be such an incredible rollercoaster. From traveling all over the world, finding yourself in different situations, meeting all sorts of people to giving it your all, we hope people will know they can reach out to others and work out a balance in their life — especially those younger artists,” Verse explained of the project.
The project’s end goal, according to Verse, is to raise money for a 24-hour phone support line for musicians hosted by partners Music Mind Matters, and Help Musicians UK (HMUK). “The first stage of avoiding mental illness is being able to talk to someone. For musicians to be able to call a number, have a chat, and share what they’re experiencing before it gets to last resorts such as drug or alcohol dependency to hide from the problem.”
Boasting 17 tracks from the likes of The Prodigy, D Bridge & Skeptical, Chase & Status, Sub Focus, Spor, and Artificial Intelligence, the first compilation album reflects the respect and unity that characterizes the bass community in the UK and across the world. Verse expands on how the album became a reality:
“This whole album happened insanely quickly. I wrote a list of people I know who might be into the idea. I called people up, met them at studios and it happened organically. Some people wanted to be involved but couldn’t be due to release plans. But when guys like The Prodigy are up for it, it really blasts the door open and it snowballed from there. Sub Focus, Chase & Status and so many more amazing names. we’re so honoured and really happy with it.”
“When guys like The Prodigy are up for it, it really blasts the door open and it snowballed from there.” – Ben Verse on The Prodigy
Especially in the wake of the #MeToo Movement touching the music industry in unforeseen ways — with sexual assault allegations made against The Gaslamp Killer and Datsik in particular — the project couldn’t come at a more timely cultural moment.
North Base, contributors on the compilation, jumped on the cause because of the gendered aspects of mental health and how men, in particular, aren’t encouraged to openly express their mental health status.
“When we heard Verse was compelling an compilation to support men’s mental health issues we had to be involved. This is an issue we are all very passionate about and something which isn’t discussed or highlighted enough. We have all had friends who have or are currently experiencing or have experienced difficulties with their mental health and sometimes we’ve only known about it after, due to the stigma attached to mental health, especially amongst young men. Anything we can do to support this cause has our full backing and we hope one day means mental health is as understood and accepted as any physical illness,” says North Base.
“Mental health amongst musicians and producers, especially those under extra pressure associated with touring, delivery and social media presence has often been something that has been glossed over with assumptions of a glamorous lifestyle,” adds Artificial Intelligence. “We feel that it’s really important to educate and raise awareness around the topic.”
The album, including nothing but exclusives, is also linked to the first ever 24-hour musical gathering focused solely on Mental Health, Wellbeing & Music, Getahead Festival, which is set to take place in London, June 13, 2018. All profits of the unique musical project will go to charity in support of those struggling with mental health.
When asked how the Getahead Festival was a cause that was near and dear to his heart, Verse went deeper into his personal struggles to remind young artists that they are not alone:
“Yes it is. Massively. I’ve suffered anxiety and depression for longer than I ever realized. I’ve always been an anxious person, but I didn’t come to realize how much it was affecting my day-to-day life until I was 21 or 22. I was dealing with it in different ways. I was on medication for a while, which worked for a bit but it didn’t solve the issue of where the anxieties would come from.”
Getahead attempts to push the envelope on the stigma of mental health by bringing together a gamut of top-tier artists, inspiring keynote speakers, engaging panels, and relaxing activities ranging from yoga and massages to live comedy. The organization has a mission to help a billion people positively impact their lives in the next 25 years.
When it comes to mental health and well being, talking really is the key. In terms of the MIND STATE Vol. 1 compilation, Verse explains that it is “about action and raising funds.”
“This is just the start,” says Verse. “We want to develop the Mind State concept into a series and unite artists from other genres for the same or similar causes.”
The Geatahead event partners, Help Musicians UK (HMUK) and its Music Minds Matter mental health service, offers a free & confidential support line for artists and music industry professionals. If you are struggling to cope with addiction, depression, hopelessness, or just want to talk about pressures of working in the industry, dial 0808-802-8008 or e-mail email@example.com.
For anyone struggling with mental health issues, please visit Dancing Astronaut‘s list of resources for seeking help and assistance.
The 12-track remix album will include reworks of iconic songs like “Watercolour” and “Witchcraft” from music greats like Skrillex and Noisia. From the looks of the diverse lineup of remixers, innovation and talent are sure to shine on this compilation of some of Pendulum’s most beloved tracks.
The Reworks will be the band’s first album in seven years, and releases will begin on March 16 leading up to the June 29 official release.
One of the global electronic sphere’s most acclaimed drum & bass acts, Pendelum, have announced its return via the release of a brand new album titled The Reworks, to be released in 2018. The project, due on March 16th, marks the end of the group’s seven year hiatus and is described as “unlike any other released by the band before,.”
To signify their return, the group have announced their first headline show since 2011 at the iconic London nightclub Printworks. The show sold out in under an hour and will be “both an auditory and visual spectacle for fans.” The group have also announced performances at two of the UK’s biggest spectacles — Reading and Leeds — in recent months.