ORBIT Playlist: Illenium selects some emotionally charged bass ahead of Breakaway Festival

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ORBIT Playlist: Illenium selects some emotionally charged bass ahead of Breakaway FestivalIllenium Coachella 18

On October 5, Charlotte, North Carolina will be transformed into a dance music haven when Breakaway touches down at the AvidXchange Music Factory Fest Grounds. With the roving festival brand’s arrival comes an array of top DJ talent, with the likes of Ekali, Fisher, and Kaskade all set to fill the dancefloor with their distinctive styles.

Illenium will also be headlining the event, and to celebrate, he’s kindly fixed up an exclusive playlist for Dancing Astronaut. It’s packed with to the brim with high-charged bass and flecked with sentimentality, emulating the curatorial prowess often seen during the artist’s sets. San Holo, DROELOE, REZZ, Seven Lions, and Adventure Club are just a few of the artists comprising this euphoria-inducing playlist; expect to hear similar tones during Illenium’s Breakaway set as well, alongside some new cuts from his latest LP.

The producer also shared some thoughts around the playlist:

“These are some of my favorite songs that I’ve been listening to lately along with a few tracks from my latest album ASCEND. I can’t wait to be back in North Carolina to play Breakaway on Oct. 5th and share my new album set with everyone!”

2019 has been a momentous year for Illenium from the very start. Not only has be been touring at a peak heavy schedule and testing out a new setup, but he’s also on the tip of his third studio album, ASCEND. September 21 marked a particularly special night in his career, with the beloved producer packing out Madison Square Garden during his album tour.

In under a decade, Prime Social Group has become the premier electronic music promoter in the East, South, and Midwest, consistently bringing high tier talent to the likes of North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, and more. Their calendar for 2019 alone boasted 11 festivals across the East, Midwest, and Southern regions of the states.

Make sure to grab a last-minute ticket to see Illenium at Breakaway in North Carolina here.

Photo credit: Nainoa Langer

Exclusive: Claptone chronicles first Ibiza residency, soundtracks the season [Interview/Playlist]

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Exclusive: Claptone chronicles first Ibiza residency, soundtracks the season [Interview/Playlist]Claptone

In an auditory age when an artist’s popularity is largely predicated on clicks, likes, and oversharing, secrecy is sexy—now more than ever. And who on the house music hierarchy has remained more surreptitious than Claptone?

Little is known about the man behind the beak who averages an improbable upwards of 260 performances per year, often traversing multiple continents for performances across a single weekend. Soaked in soul and powered by four-on-the-floor club grooves that range from pumped-up to plaintive, Claptone’s production has been tapped for official remixes from a litany of likeminded counterparts: from the Pet Shop Boys to—most recently—Mark Ronson (a forthcoming release). Despite the explosive success the plague doctor-themed project has secured since its 2012 inception, the Berlin-based Claptone camp solidified a fiercely coveted milestone, even among bluechip modern electronic acts, in 2019: an extended summertime tenure in the White Isle. Claptone’s first Ibiza residency touched down at one of the island’s quintessential after-dark playgrounds, Pacha. The perpetually poised puppet master attracted an auspicious flock to his Monday Masquerades, which spanned this past May-September and included the likes of Diplo, Duke Dumont, Eli & Fur, Shiba San, and Bob Moses (to name only a few).

While he’s lauded for laying low, Dancing Astronaut caught up with Claptone to get a closer look at the man who’s made his mark with myth.

Along with a stylized playlist to score the summer residency, Claptone shared insights on the bygone summer season, some fond moments at Pacha, and a bit about what’s hiding in his aural incubator. He also reflected on the longwinded lore breathing life into his immaterial persona. Claptone’s face may remain never to be seen, but one facet of the DJ’s smoke and mirrors act is certain—there’s substance behind the subterfuge.

Did Pacha live up to your expectations for your first Ibiza residency? Why or why not?

It was my first season and I didn’t have any clear vision of how it might be really. I only knew it’d be a great party cause I know my fans and the international popularity of Claptone. I knew they’d come and enjoy this experience and they did. To be honest for the first season it surpassed my wildest expectations. So many amazing people that appreciated all the quite various line ups I had been programming. The greatest compliment surely was that so many of these great DJs whom I booked like Todd Terry, Kerri Chandler, MK as well as DJs whom I couldn’t have on the bill like Solardo, CamelPhat, Paul Oakenfold, Roger Sanchez, Erick Morillo, Martin Solveig came in private on some Mondays to just enjoy the party and the great vibe of the night. That for me says it all.

Tell me about the stylistic approach you took to your summer residency in the White Isle…

I made a huge effort in growing the regular stage setup of my The Masquerade parties—the huge golden mask above the booth and the smaller masks with the LED-lit eyes hanging from the ceiling, to match Pacha and come up with interior design ideas to go along with that. Same with the dancer and performer costumes. I had tailors from Pacha as well as tailors from Torture Garden in London work out details on costumes and designs I came up with. That’s why in the end there are about 30 amazing characters from futuristic Venetian carnival to cinematic Eyes Wide Shut from classic Circus to Dia de los Muertos dancing, wandering or even flying through the club. 

Can you tell me about a particularly impactful moment or night from this past season’s performances? 

It’s hard to pick just one or two moments when you just had 19 weeks of mayhem on a Monday at Pacha Ibiza at your very own night with your very own concept The Masquerade. The pure fact that I was able to program the line up, invite and play with Armand van Helden, Andhim, Audiojack, Basement Jaxx, Bob Moses, Catz ‘n Dogz, Chus & Ceballos, Danny Howard, Danny Tenaglia, David Penn, Dennis Cruz, Dennis Ferrer, Diplo, Duke Dumont, Eli & Fur, Faithless, Felix da Housecat, Hannah Wants, Heidi, Illyus & Barrientos, Jon Hopkins, Kerri Chandler, Lars Moston, Maya Jane Coles, Mat.Joe, MK, Nhan Solo, Nora En Pure, Pirupa, Purple Disco Machine, Riva Starr, Route 94, Shiba San, Shir Khan, Sidney Charles, SG Lewis, Sonny Fodera, Tensnake, Todd Terry, Tube & Berger, and Weiss was such a game changer for me.

It’s tough to put that into words and even harder to pick a favorite moment. But the back to back with Diplo was certainly a highlight for me as this was my very first and to date my last back to back ever, [considering] it was Diplo playing house music in front of a super excited crowd. 

Any new music in the works you can speak to?

You know I love secrets, but, well, I’ll make an exception. I just finished some remixes that went to mastering the other day. You are more than welcome to look forward to what I did to Mark Ronson as well as Charlie Puth and Michael Kiwanuka. Fasten your seatbelt. 

Describe the significance of the golden-beaked mask and white gloves…

This mask is part of my personality, one of my many faces. Its origins lie in the old Italian city of Venezia and for me hints at the rich history and culture we all share and of course at the masquerade balls [we’ve held for] centuries. A social tradition which allows us to explore our identity and to fathom our freedom as individuals in performative play. One aspect of it is being able to question authorities and hierarchies, structures of self-sustaining power, question the ones we kneel down before.

The beak with its birdlike shape is giving me access to perform beyond human abilities. At the same time it ridicules pop idols, who think they are more than just human and love to run around presenting their tail feathers. The resemblance to a plague doctors mask is not by accident either. You are welcome to perceive me as some kind of sonic plague doctor. The mask was casted out of titan’s gold. Gold for me reflects the treasure that I found in music. It simultaneously ridicules the greed and materialism of your average rock star or Hip-Hop hero. Last but not least, wearing a mask is liberating and it’s shielding your privacy, extending your personal freedom. This, together with reflecting on the mechanisms of media and popular music, empowers me to be in charge of my image and perform my artistic identity much more consciously. The gloves I just wear to not get my hands dirty.

A great deal of secrecy ensconces the Claptone masthead, specifically in reference to your identity(s). Can you speak to this? 

Claptone declined to comment.

Photo Credit: Jackmode

ORBIT Playlist: Guy Mantzur & Khen supply a sultry progressive collection following their Bedrock release, ‘Where Is Home’

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ORBIT Playlist: Guy Mantzur & Khen supply a sultry progressive collection following their Bedrock release, ‘Where Is Home’Gm Khen

Two of Israel’s finest, the seasoned veteran Guy Mantzur, and next generation hero Khen, were brought together on John Digweed’s illustrious Bedrock imprint for another shimmering EP, Where Is Home. Their chemistry has only grown stronger in the nine years they’ve been collaborating; this latest effort shows two styles flowing effortlessly into one another for a clean, striking sound. Both of the record’s moody, yet distinctive tunes are primed to become set staples in the melodic realm.

Dancing Astronaut has brought them together for a follow-up round of creation, but this time they’ve been tasked with curation. The latest in our Orbit series is ideal for those who like their sounds silky and progressive. They’ve assembled a rich collection of pieces that are each a journey in themselves, from Eli Nissan’s polished “Arpu” to Whomadewho and Rampa’s effervescent vocal number, “Tell Me We Are.”

Mantzur and Khen share quite the history together, beginning with their mutual circle of friends in their native Tel Aviv. The former got his start during progressive’s golden period in the early aughts, eventually growing to become a top rated talent, label owner, and resident of the legendary Cat & Dog club. Thanks to his brother Vic F, Khen’s been immersed in the world of underground electronic from a very young age. He found himself in the same circles as Guy Mantzur by the time he reached his teen years, beginning his climb in 2010 after showing an equal knack for melodic arrangement. Their collective journey began that same year with “Dysfunctional Superstar.”

In 2016 they had a huge hit on their hands via “Children With No Name,” the lead single off Khen’s debut album that we had the pleasure of premiering. Expect no shortage of future anthems from these two as they continue fine-tuning their craft.

Photo credit: artist teams

Tycho designed an app to curate playlists based on users’ local weather

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Tycho designed an app to curate playlists based on users’ local weatherIphone Rain

Accomplished producer Tycho is diving into the realm for technology with the launch of a brand new a web application that is the first of its kind. The artist worked with app developer Lee Martin to create Forecast, the web application that designs playlists based on the weather in the users’ location.

The app is simple in its design, inspired by many of Tycho’s single and album cover artworks. As it is simple in design, Forecast is also easy to use. The application locates the user, and within seconds curates a weather-inspired playlist that can be saved either to Spotify or Apple Music. Whether you’re looking to lean into the rainy day blues or you’re reaching for poolside pop, Forecast is ready for action, so give it a try.

8.08 Day: A bass lover’s neck-breaking nirvana [PLAYLIST]

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8.08 Day: A  bass lover’s neck-breaking nirvana [PLAYLIST]808 Day

8/08 day is an annual cause for resounding celebration. The iconic Roland drum machine played a quintessential role in electronic, hip-hop, and pop’s development, with its imprint permanently stamped on a vast amount of top-charting singles of the ’80s and ’90s. While, the mechanism became antiquated by the turn of millennium, on account of oversaturation, lack of availability, and Roland’s plans to propel newer gear to the forefront, this was far from the end of its legacy. 

Fast-forward another decade: the 808 revival had begun. Rappers like Kanye West found that the instrument added a unique, crisp edge to the low-end of their productions, whilst dance music innovators like Aphex Twin found other creative ways to utilize the 808 for maximum impact. Today, a good deal of producers appreciate the vintage appeal it offers; so much so, that Roland even revived the 808 in 2017. 

We honor this musical staple with a series of larger-than-life tunes by Skrillex, Eptic, RL Grime, Dillon Francis, Bassnectar, Doctor P, Flux Pavilion, and more from heavy-handed listeners’ legion of 808 legends who have allowed this instrument to shine in the dance space over the years. In 808, we trust.

Sunday Morning Medicine Vol. 170, featuring Bob Moses, Kasbo, Hot Chip, and more

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Sunday Morning Medicine Vol. 170, featuring Bob Moses, Kasbo, Hot Chip, and moreSMM 2400

Sunday Morning Medicine is a feature from Dancing Astronaut’s Bella Bagshaw, dedicated to the mellower side of electronic music. She brings you her favorite therapeutic selections—old and new—in attempts to alleviate the often agonizing effects of a long weekend of partying.

Bob Moses has that rare amorphous sound that makes listeners want to dance, cry, and wonder all at once—which is oddly perfect for Sunday morning restlessness. “Enough To Believe” will surely offer its consumers bouts of all three.

Beach House singer, Victoria Legrand may be a jack of almost all trades, but she’s certainly a master of one: dispelling end-of-weekend woes with her dream-pop croons.

One of the earliest San Holo-sponsored bitbird offerings, Kasbo‘s “Found You” is a like a one-way flight to the sonic heavens—expedited.

Taken straight from Hot Chip‘s latest LP of the same name, “A Bath Full of Ecstasy” is an indie dance track in the iridescent, off-kilter vein Hot Chip has remained renowned for throughout their tenure in the studio. The track’s whimsical guitar strums and quixotic vocals catapult a sea of swimming colors through the listener’s unsuspecting psyche: a paragon hangover cure, if one ever existed.

ALT:Vision’s Laxcity is all too adept in the art of chill-out. Taken straight from his brand new EP, “Refined” is the nuanced, sonic equivalent of letting your hair down and getting lost inside some sunny Sunday musings.

Pregame for 4th of July shenanigans with this playlist

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Pregame for 4th of July shenanigans with this playlistLakeunionfireworks

4th of July is here, which for many translates to an array of barbecues, pool parties, and general debauchery that caps off with a wild fireworks show. Those who don’t have to work the next day often continue well into the night in the name of the USA’s birth. Thus, we at Dancing Astronaut thought we might help assist the festivities—and provide a versatile pregame soundtrack—with a collection of tunes fit for celebratory activities. Artists from FKJ, to Zedd, to Chemical Brothers are represented to take listeners from day to night.

ORBIT: Hayden James curates euphoria-inducing ‘Between Us’ playlist [exclusive]

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ORBIT: Hayden James curates euphoria-inducing ‘Between Us’ playlist [exclusive]Hayden James Credit Cybele Malinowski 1

Australia is a breeding ground for cutting edge electronic artists, and Hayden James is a shining example. He emerged into the international scene with his radio friendly “Permission To Love,” which immediately cemented his position as a crossover master. He’s since been capturing hearts around the music world with his knack for breezy soundscapes and silky texturing in each of his songs; it’s no wonder that when he announced he’d be putting out his debut LP, the world began waiting with much anticipation.

The moment has finally arrived, and Between Us is now out on digital shelves. Clocking in at 11 tracks, the album is an expression of everything Hayden’s come to embody sonically through his industry tenure. “Nowhere To Go,” his sultry single with NAATIONS, makes the track list, in addition to a strong slate of other collaborative pieces which include Running Touch, Boy Matthews, and Faar to name a few. One listen is all it takes to add a bit of euphoria into the day.

To mark this very special occasion, Hayden James has curated a special edition ORBIT playlist for us. Plenty of album singles make their way into the mix, plus a strong list of supporting tracks which include a Honey Dijon dub, a Kaskade and Gorgon City collaboration, Purple Disco Machine, and more. Spin during daytime for amplified summer sentiments.

Order a copy of Hayden’s album, ‘Between Us,’ here

Photo credit: Cybele Malinowksi

ORBIT: Brian Cid puts together hypnotic playlist ahead of Gather Outdoors [Exclusive]

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ORBIT: Brian Cid puts together hypnotic playlist ahead of Gather Outdoors [Exclusive]Brian Cid Credit Samuel Finzi

Brian Cid has a profound understanding of music that allows him to pull off whatever style he chooses with finesse and appeal. His expertise as an audio engineer was widely demanded in the pop world, with the New York-born artist fine tuning songs from the likes of Rihanna, Beyoncé, and Lady Gaga. When he made the transition into dance music, he refused to adhere to trends and instead began pushing the lush, intricate prog aesthetic he’s known best for today—a style of music that had really only been pushed by a select few European and Israeli figures. Cid’s forward-thinking ear has made him one of the most respected talents to rise out of the North American dance scene.

Brian’s next destination is Gather Outdoors festival, where he’ll be playing the Oak Stage. The stage, hosted by Member, boasts a wide array artists that specialize in deep, hypnotic sounds, including a special b2b from Holmar and Philipp Jung, Chaim, Francesca Lombardo, and Goldcap. Ahead of the occasion, he’s curated an exclusive playlist that features his own music, and other hidden gems that are bursting in melody, rhythm, and drive.

On playing the festival, Cid explains, “Nothing makes me happier than playing in NY, the city that saw me rise. Gather is precisely a gathering of old & new friends where we will be able to re-connect and make our bond even stronger. This playlist fits the mood I intend to bring to stage. It’s deep, upbeat with a bit of darkness. It will make you move for sure.”

Gather is Teksupport‘s inaugural festival venture, taking place in the picturesque and historical Catskills region of New York. The Brooklyn-based promoters have been widely responsible for a resurgence of underground dance music in the city, helping to bring iconic brands like Time Warp, Mosaic, and Cocoon stateside while also hosting landmark shows like Cirez D and Adam Beyer.

Learn more about Gather Outdoors and purchase festival tickets here

Photo credit: Samuel Finzi

Techno Tuesday: An aural biography of Andres Campo across 8 tracks

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Techno Tuesday: An aural biography of Andres Campo across 8 tracksTechno Tuesdays

Andres Campo has charted an elongated path through house and techno. The Spanish performer began booking his first hometown residencies at a ripe sixteen years of age, letting his sound simmer until he reached a global boiling point that saw him earning the support of his genres’ top players. Since breaking into the scene, he’s already been booked at marquee events like Zurich’s Street Parade, Tomorrowland, and more—in addition to helping break in venues like Printworks and becoming a regular at institutions like Watergate, Amnesia, and many more. It’s safe to say Campo is a modern revolutionary.

He just released a brand new EP, Forget, on compatriot Ramiro Lopez and Arjun Vagale’s imprint Odd Recordings—a searing double-header true to Campo’s deep dive into modern techno. The musician’s roots stretch far beyond what he makes, however; so, we sat him down to review a select number of tracks by artists that have played a great influence in his life to date. Campo shows off his expert curatorial sense that clearly began at a young age, digging in his memory bank to surface hidden gems like Piropo’s “Generation,” Alloy Mental’s self titled anthem, and more while explaining how each piece fits into his larger musical puzzle.

Vitalic – La Rock 01

“Well this was the first time I saw a dancefloor jumping like a proper punk concert! I love this track and it’s still kicking today. “

Alloy Mental – Alloy Mental

INTENSE AF!! This track has too much history in my Florida 135 sets, especially at the end of the night. I’ve been playing this since its release in 2005 – it’s such an anthem.

DJ Misjah & DJ Tim – Access

Picture it – me as a young stoned raver in the middle of somewhere happily stabbed by this heavy acid monster sound. Ahh nostalgia…

Kick-Side – Time To Blast (TS Mason Remix)

This was my past, hard house as its best. Nothing can beat this if you are on the dancefloor. I’ve played it tons of times at my residency at Coliseum, jump jump jump!

Piropo – Generation

This one breaks my heart… They called it euro-dance, well this track is so much more than that. It’s one of my favourites from my early years as DJ.

Mackenzie Feat. Jessy – Without You (Arpegia)(Club Mix)

While in Catalonia, Makina was a really strong style in my region (in Aragon). But in Pamplona, Basque country etc, trance was really well known; this track is in the same style as The Age Of Love. So good!

No faces meet dave 2002 – U know what

Well, this one drives me crazy. I’ve played this tons of times; at first I was apprehensive because it’s from my old school rave age, but believe me, nothing drives people as crazy as the break in this; BANGER.

DJ Looney Tune – The Egg

Imagine yourself high as fuck in a dark scary club with a proper sound system and this track wrapping around you; well I’ve been there before, and if hell is something like this, I want to stay there forever.

Andres Campo ‘Forget’ is now out on Odd Recordings. Get it here