Allow No Mana and EDDIE to lead you through the dark and shadowy corridors of their new collaboration, “Untitled Forever.”
The two mau5trap frequenters have returned to the famed label to unleash this latest offering, which proves to be a true amalgamation of their styles. Sinister in its beat and daunting in its melodies, “Untitled Forever” is an impressive showing from both artists, who’ve found the perfect haunting vocal to accompany their production.
With the release of the song, they’ve also put together an animated music video that shows the two producers working on the song and bickering about what to name it, finally settling on “Untitled Forever” after chucking hot Cheetos at each other.
The tune marks EDDIE’s second of the year on the label, following “Zombie Mannequin” in January and Spiritual Contraband EP in October. No Mana comes to “Untitled Forever” from his April Skin release with Electrocado and Julian Gray.
“Untitled Forever” is out June 21 via mau5trap. Pre-save it here.
Over the latter half of the past decade, Brennen Grey has poised himself as one of techno’s more enticing up-and-comers. Since 2016, the Los Angeles-based artist has appeared on some of the genre’s most coveted labels, including Carl Cox’s Intec and Sian’s Octopus. Yet, perhaps his star shines brightest on Pleasurekraft’s cosmically-oriented Kraftek imprint, who backed his momentous H is for Hercules EP in the fall of 2018.
Tomorrow, June 7, Grey will release his second record for the label, Reaper’s Theme. The titular piece sets an ominous tone for the four-track EP, and provides a proper introduction to any unfamiliar with the artist’s catalogue. Fortified by an unrelenting percussive spine, “Reaper’s Theme” is an embodiment of Grey’s signature blend of mystifyingly haunting melodies and sinister, big-room ambiences. Stirring synth-laden breaks provide brief respites from nefarious bass lines before ultimately joining forces in a riotous, but dignified culmination.
LA-based producer Kompany has stepped up with a battering remix of Space Laces‘ “Overdrive,” landing on bass powerhouse Never Say Die Records. The track thrashes from front to back like a Decepticon mosh pit, backed an accompanying orchestral track to support the gargantuan machine’s cinematic movement—and that’s just the first break.
The second part of Kompany’s “Overdrive” remix is a bass head’s dream—stacking cascading metallic synths that send a shiver down the spine. File this one under “heavy,” and even that’s an understatement. The sheer weight of these sounds are a testament to the sound design skills of this Icon Collective alumni.
The original track was the lead single on Space Laces’ Overdrive EP. While the original certainly packs it’s own punch, Kompany’s “Overdrive” makeover kicked things into high gear, adding another menacing bass hallmark to Never Say Die’s unabashedly outrageous catalog.
Clyde P has turned up the power for his return to Desert Hearts. The Gnawa March is an EP made for peak time, with Darius Syrossian even hopping on board for remixing duties.
The rising French producer entices listeners into his two-tracker’s title A-side with tribal inspired percussion that’s further amplified by his choice of vocal sampling. Its centerpiece however, is its low-end; a heady bassline adds gravity to the finished product while playing well to its implied theme. Ultimately, “The Gnawa March” is primed to become a summer anthem as it makes its way around the house music circuit.
Order a copy of ‘The Gnawa March,’ out on May 31, here
With the arrival of their new EP, Things We Were Raised By, Shae District execute their return to the electronic release ring toting a freshly developed sonic aesthetic that veers in a direction distinctly different from that of their previous efforts. The shift in overall sound that is perceptible on Things We Were Raised By is as much a recommencement of Shae District’s musical production as it is a redefinition of artistic identity. And as a delve into the six-track showing evinces, Things We Were Raised By is cohesive collection of individual cuts that seamlessly fade into each other, to form one fluid whole.
The EP was led by debut single, “Semsilia,” a melodic introduction to the Things We Were Raised By soundscape. An undulating, rhythmic beat sustained by bass, “Semsilia” surfaced as a buoyant number that easily lent itself to listener head bobbing. “Semsilia” appears as the third of the six EP inclusions.
Slated to release in full May 31, Things We Were Raised By opens with the cinematic mellifluousness of the aptly titled beginning song, “Intro.” The sparkling tones that characterize the gossamer sound that permeates the EP are well represented on the succeeding track, “Tangerine,” which also happens to be the most vocally oriented cut on the EP aside from the EP’s finale, “Sword and the Stone.” Listeners who delight in multi-instrumental arrangements will alight upon the johnnycola-assisted “Blossom” as an emblem of Shae District’s acute ear for interweaving multiple musical elements.
“Things We Were Raised By is in homage to all of the people who’ve impacted our lives on our journey to get where we are now” said Shae District constituent, Andrew Parpart. “[The EP] is also a nod to the artists who continue to inspire us,” Parpart added, citing ODESZA, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Jai Wolf, ZHU, and Tycho as key influences.
The second half of Shae District, Debjit Das visualizes Things We Were Raised By as an electronic growing experience, particularly in the songwriting sense. “[The EP] is a transition from pure production and Doing [alone] to […] learning more about songwriting,” Das told Dancing Astronaut. Das specified closing cut, “Sword and the Stone” as the “first very personal song” to emerge from the duo’s studio.
It’s about loss and learning to live with loss, something that we both experienced deeply and on multiple occasions in 2018.
Things We Were Raised By follows Shae District’s 2017 outing alongside Jai Wolf.
June 3 will bring about Boxia‘s debut studio album, A Night In The Life Of. As one of Drumcode‘s notable rising stars, expectations have been set high for the big release. Per the sound of it, the British artist is looking to top the bar and show off his diversity through a patchwork of club-focused tunes. Each are based around different nightlife characters he’s encountered throughout his years on the circuit or around specific memories, giving the LP a particularly expressive effect. The album span across the abstract, all the way to driving, darkened techno.
“Nights Become Days” falls somewhere in the middle of Boxia’s spectrum, and explores a more emotive side to his musicality. Like quite a few tracks on A Night In The Life Of, the single is melodic and almost trancey at times, putting listeners under a nostalgia-filled spell. Much like its title, “Nights Become Days” errs toward the euphoric side; a clear homage to times spent at a party that persisted into daytime hours. Not to mention, it’s a track that clearly means business.
Order a copy of “Nights Become Days,” via ‘A Night In The Life Of’ on Drumcode, here
The world finally got to see just how multifaceted of an artist Namito is through his first LP, Letting Go. Released on Ubersee, the expansive project which combined writing, art, and a sonic biography of his life stunned dance fans across the world. For his debut on Sabo’s Sol Selectas, the Berlin-based artist taps into his Persian roots to present a refreshed, and slightly psychedelic take on a classic.
“Stone Flower” takes vocals from an older tune out of Iran, and embeds them in a deep, 4/4 foundation. It’s dissonant and hypnotic, leading listeners down a metaphorical rabbit hole with lush rhythms, string accents, and entrancing basslines. Namito does well in fitting into the Sol Selectas aesthetic—and has crafted a top opening tune for his sets in the process.
In the days leading up to his Divinorum LP release, Colorado producer Au5 has been slowly unveiling singles from the compilation, showcasing his meticulous dubstep style in its finest form.
He follows up the releases of “Stargate,” “Divinorum,” and “Mesmerize” with the latest: “Dragonfly” with Evoke. The album’s fourth track leads in with a slow build and drifting vocals. Evoke asserts himself from the get-go, demonstrating the sheer power that’s to come from the remainder of the song. The bridge gives a false sense of calm before casting the listener into a deep sea of shimmering synths and bass at the drop. Over the course of the song’s seven minutes, Au5 takes his listeners on a tumultuous sonic roller coaster, soaring above the clouds and diving deep under the earth.
From the looks of “Dragonfly” and its predecessors, Divinorum will see Au5 illustrate his most detailed and intricate work yet, spanning 10 songs that’ve been three years in the making.
“Divinorum in this context translates to ‘[things] of the divine.’ The album is about a journey traversing through a series of different realms beyond reality,” the producer says of the compilation.
Divinorum will be the producer’s first solo LP since 2011’s Anchus Definy. Like Anchus Definy, Divinorum will be self-released and is out May 24.
Electronic music consumers over the last two decades would be hard-pressed to pinpoint an individual who’s impacted the dance music event space harder than Gary Richards. Since the 1990s, Richards (also known musically as Destructo) has taken his talents miles above their subterranean roots, largely helping shape the Southern Californian rave scene, relentlessly seeking new ways to secure dance music a more tangible, industry-wide foothold. From championing a quaint little get together, now known as Electric Daisy Carnival (incepted under the ‘Magical Mickey’ masthead, from when the event series bore Richards’ earmark in the ’90s), to hatching the now-legendary HARD Events, which bred the still fervently attended Holy Ship! and HARD Summer, he’s exuded a visionary’s proclivity for predicting (and propelling) the next electronic it thing oozing the je ne sais quoi that really makes an event stand above the rest.
Richards not only has a promoter’s penchant for garnering the excitement needed to get ideas off the ground, but a masterful musician’s tact to make them stick. A desire to liven up a scene subject to cyclical staleness served as the impetus for Richards’ most recent brainchild, branded AMFAMFAMF (All My Friends).
“The landscape is very competitive,” Richards said of picking up shop in 2017 after a decade at HARD to breathe life into yet another new endeavor. “There’s a lot at stake now and business people don’t want to see new things pop up. But dance music’s all about new and fresh and that really can’t be stopped.”
Though, despite the daunting nature of starting over in one of the most volatile industries in existence, the All My Friends event train gained almost instantaneous headwind, perhaps due to Richards’ own reputation preceding him. The first edition of the company’s cornerstone party, FriendShip Cruise, amassed thousands for its four-night maiden voyage aboard the Celebrity Equinox to the Caribbean. With it, came a colorful stream of genre-traversing acts, from Boys Noize to Busy P, RÜFÜS DU SOL to Rico Nasty. Richards’ seemingly curious curation must have struck a resounding chord, as the 2020 cruise is already 70 percent sold out.
In addition to a stint captaining Def American’s A&R sector under the emphatically accomplished eye of pioneer producer, Rick Rubin, driving innovation in the music industry is in Richards’ DNA. His father, Barry Richards, a concert promoter and prominent radio personality of the late ’60s and early ’70s, made sure his son’s sonic sonar was firing on all cylinders before he hit puberty, ensuring his kids got to catch everyone from Rick James to Black Sabbath. Barry himself is known for helping to introduce progressive rock to East Coast radio stations in his time. Quite ironically and somewhat timelessly, Barry certainly imparted his intuition and curative periphery to his son, as they stood on the precipice of a consequential musical uprising Barry never saw coming. Barry, it seems, believed Eminem when he quite comically announced “Nobody listens to techno,” on 2002’s unforgettable “Without Me.” Little could Barry have known at the time that Gary would famously sample the line years later for for his 2015 club sensation, “Techno.”
“My dad was always like ‘Don’t mess with that [electronic] music cause no one likes it,’” Richards said. “20 years later, he called me up and was like ‘Hey, what’s a Major Lazer?’”
With this perpetual irreverence for convention as a promoter/organizer, so comes Richards’ success as DJ-producer, Destructo; a success which can be characterized as a career-long dedication to discovering strange new ways to merge the house and hip-hop domains, which historically has been tough to do properly, even despite the two genres’ inextricably shared origins. Richards maintains his success as a musician is innately linked to his success on the business side of the coin.
“I think when you’re just a concert promoter you’ve never really been in the artists’ shoes, so you don’t really understand the nuances—especially DJing electronic music,” Richards said of his entrepreneurial edge amidst a capitalism-catalyzed sea of eager competitors.
Securing collaborations with rap icons like Ty Dolla $ign, YG, Yo Gotti, and Busta Rhymes, Destructo’s music soon became something of a G-house archetype: flippantly feel-good tracks for a night out up to no good. However, his latest record, a Dancing Astronaut exclusive, strides outside the hip-hop-predicated mold of his most notable works, for what Destructo himself dubs his “hardest-hitting track yet.”
“No Surrender” is a bass-driven battle cry primed for the perennially raucous festival frontlines. Bolstered by Parisian bass house duo, Loge21, the track employs Richards’ own thunderous, Sparta-inspired vocal cut. Destructo isn’t asking this time; he’s just cutting to the chase and coaxing listeners directly to dance floors.
AMFAMFAMF recently announced dates for both its Seattle and LA dates— Seattle will see a July 4 affair with Chris Lake and Justin Martin in tow, while LA’s October 19 – 20 event roster still remains a mystery. Though, as Richards’ newest festival property continues to build brand equity within a heavily diluted electronic events circuit, Richards’ is already sure of All My Friends’ longevity, noting it is one of his most important entrepreneurial accomplishments so far. “With that it’s the same Gary, just a different name,” says Richards. And if the last 20 years of dance music events are any indication—if it bears Gary Richards’ name, it’s going to be a hit.
“99 Portraits” is the latest in Andres Campo‘s collection of searing compositions. Off his upcoming EP, Forget, the track unabashedly punches its listeners in the face with wild, industrial percussion and minimal, yet cunning synthwork. “99 Portraits” is exactly the type of tune one built to satisfy peaktime cravings, and carries a sound not heard terribly often in Campo’s home region of Spain. It can also work as a jolt of energy in the morning for those who prefer their stimulants to be of the musical kind.
Campo recently launched a brand new EI8HT label alongside friend and longtime colleague, Eats Everything. Their aim as label holders is to both free themselves artistically and to support rising talent in their respective arenas. Outside of running a label, Campo’s reach has been swiftly extending across the West and beyond, with appearances at high level festivals and venues all around the world.