Tim Penner has had nothing short of a monumental year thus far, and his momentum is showing no sign of slowing down. He returns to his breakout label of JOOF Recordings seven months after his last ethereal release, The Temptress, with yet another stunning two-tracker.
The Gatekeeper sees Penner exploring new realms of sounds and breaking away from the status quo. Its eponymous opener is indeed multi-dimensional, opening with subtle, haunting melodies that line a prominent bass-line and cheeky percussion before blooming into a celestial masterpiece pumped with futuristic synth-work. It beauty lies in its development, which twists and turns through never-ending peaks and valleys that keep the ears engaged through its entirety.
Where “The Gatekeeper” is euphoric and emotional, “The Keymaster” offers a counterbalance of brooding intrigue. Simple, yet dynamic, the composition creates a tense atmosphere with gritty bursts of notes that are underlined by almost sinister arpeggios. Penner ensures this sentiment is carried on in greater degrees with each tier, building “The Keymaster” into a multilayered roller built for the darkened, afterhours’ dance-floor.
It’s safe to say the burgeoning Canadian act will only continue to build strength as his tenure within the underground realm lengthens. Having cultivated his Slideways label and podcast into a successful entity, he’s fully primed to take on the progressive scene as its next major talent.
Legenary duo Way Out West have been making quite the comeback on Anjunadeep, to their followers’ heavy contentment. In addition to providing global dance audiences with their hypnotic and well-rounded sets, members Nick Warren and Jody Wisternoff have also taken time in the studio to create some contemporary gems in the progressive realm.
Who better to remix Way Out West’s latest effort “Tuesday Maybe” than fellow titan Guy J? The Israeli producer got right to work on the original’s central hook and breakdown, embedding these already ethereal efforts nicely into a firm, deep, soundscape entirely his own. A grooving bass-line vibrates through the remix like a central artery, joining dynamic percussion and techy accents to take “Tuesday Maybe” in an after-hours direction — this of course is Guy J’s specialty.
Guy J’s remix to “Tuesday Maybe” is out on Anjunadeep on September 8.
Sasha began road-testing what soon became known as “Trigonometry” well over a year ago. The atmospheric, emotive record captured dance fans’ attention with its moving central hook and gripping arpeggios that flutter around the eardrums. It soon became a favorite among the Last Night On Earth crowd for its euphoric, almost cathartic atmosphere that makes one feel uplifted as they’re listening.
“Trigonometry” is finally out on digital bookshelves as part of his debut GameOvr on Watergate. Joining the aforementioned record is the EP’s title closer, which is more or less “Trigonometry’s” foil. Equally gripping, “GameOvr” is a more pronounced piece with strong kicks and driving synth action that makes it well-equipped for harder, after-hours sets. Cassy and LaFleur also make appearances on the EP as its official remixers.
Sasha has maintained a busy schedule this summer season, carrying out a residency with his renewed colleague John Digweed and touring heavily to reputable dance festivals across the globe. He also contributed to a new documentary on dance music culture titled The Agony & The Ecstasy.
Guy J does a wondrous job at capturing the original ethos of tracks he remixes in his own lens — such is the certainly the case with his most recent “Field Trip Remix’ of Third Son and Haptic’s collaborative piece, “Climb To The Sun.”
While the original follows a bit more of an 80’s-inspired direction with its instrumentation and structure, Guy J takes things into an even more emotive direction with drawn out, ethereal chords underlining sharp percussion that hits the ears at a pleasurable angle. That said, “Climb To The Sun’s” nostalgic vocals continue to be the centerpiece of his version as well, promoting a sense of calmed contentment with each listen.
Third Son recently released his debut LP 2042 on Microcastle, providing fans an intimate look inside himself by way of dynamic soundscapes and enticing melodies. His and Guy J’s shared affinity for quality progressive make them a perfect team to collaborate on a remixed track.
Denis Horvat’s breakthrough into the industry has been nothing short of astronomical. Though he’s been active for quite some time, his Cedevita EP in 2015 quickly caught the attention of quite a few prolific DJs, a few of which were Âme and Dixon who secured his rise by signing him onto their Innervisions imprint in 2016. Now, the producer has found his way onto another powerhouse label: Afterlife.
“Bruto” is the official title of Horvat’s Afterlife debut, a dark and brooding piece lined with intricate, arpeggiated synth undertones and cloudy melodies. Even more drama is added to the piece by way of subtle layers of samples that bounce around the soundspace, maintaining a firm grasp on the listener through its various peaks, valleys, and breaks. “Bruto” is quite a brilliant work coming out of Horvat’s burgeoning repertoire, just the quality one would expect to be chosen by Tale Of Us as an Afterlife release.
“Bruto” becomes available digitally through Afterlife’s Realm of Consciousness, Part II EP on June 16.
The track and compilation are available for preorder in digital and vinyl formats.
Hypnotic Grooves is Dancing Astronaut’s bi-weekly space for nothing but true, unadulterated trance and progressive. Only the highest quality sounds are valued here, curated with a mission to show the thriving, yet often underexposed side of these genres. The first half of each mix starts off deep and progressive, featuring music from labels such as Lost&Found, Last Night On Earth, and Sudbeat. Then, we venture into trance territory, travelling through various shades of uplifting, tech, and psy that display the music’s artistry and credibility in a climate where it’s widely disregarded.
Both the progressive and trance worlds have been brimming with quality releases as of late. Guy J’s Lost&Found imprint has had a slew of powerful progressive weapons, including the ever-evolving “Triptico” by the renowned duo Matteo Bruscagin & Visnadi in addition to a remix of theirs by the label boss himself. Jeromic Isma-ae and Alastor continue their streak of dark, technical progressive, while Crisptoph’s forays into Last Night On Earth and Bedrock demand the dance world’s attention.
Tech trance is heavy in this edition’s selection; titan Alex di Stefano returns with a heater on Kearnage Recordings titled “Don’t Back Down,” while The Noble Six formulated a hard, driving piece in “Chemicals.” On the uplifting side, both Bryan Kearney and John O’Callaghan dominate with much-awaited singles, one of which is O’Callaghan’s remix to “Two Trees,” by Ludovico Einaudiand the other being Kearney’s Plumb collaboration, “All Over Again.”
Israel is home to a bevy of cutting-edge progressive acts pushing the subgenre forward; one such artist is Guy Mantzur who is helping lead the charge. Having served as an integral part of the scene for many years, he’s perfected the art of creating minimal, yet melodic and impactful pieces which have consistently landed his work at the top of dance charts in addition to making him a sought-after collaborative partner with other titans in the scene. Additionally, his imprint PlattenBank has been a key access point for rising artists since its inception.
Mantzur returns to his label after his widely acclaimed “Children With No Name” single with Khen to release a stunning two-tracker titled Blooming Fields. He closes the EP on a brooding note with “Lullaby,” which paints an image of longing and introspection through the use of crisp, melodic bass underlining lush percussion and rolling kicks that maintain a consistent pace until the end. It presents the type of journey we’re used to hearing from Guy on his work: deep, intricate, and progressive.
Burgeoning Canadian producer Eekkoo has integrated his background in sound engineering to achieve a polished signature style, earning him a spot on Mau5trap early in his career. Eekkoo’s music has only gotten darker and more left-field over time as he explores the undercurrents of progressive and tech.
After working with Jeremy Olander on “Letters,” the two found their musical interests aligned, giving birth to a new partnership that has made Eekkoo the first outside artist to sign onto Olander’s Vivrant imprint for a new EP.
Nightingale is the resulting body of work, an expertly crafted three-tracker which only goes to show how well Eekkoo fits into the Vivrant fold. “Zwart,” the EP’s closing track, solidifies the tone set forth by previous tracks with tense synths and shadowy note progressions that foster a certain sense of suspense until the arrangement fades out. Upon listening to the track’s dark, tech-leaning progressive aura, it suddenly becomes clear as to why Olander selected Eekkoo as a colleague, and why they’ve worked so well remixing each other in the past.
“Zwart,” along with the rest of Nightingale, will be released on December 5. Preorder the EP here.
Argentinian progressive house leader Hernan Cattaneo is an expert at weaving together complex, hypnotic sets that effortlessly fit whichever setting he finds himself in. One of his specialties as of late has become his sunrise sets at Burning Man, a gig which he labels as one of his “highlight shows year after year.”
For his 2016 edition, Cattaneo taps into mystical, golden hour vibes, taking over the White Ocean stage for a three-hour journey through various shades of emotion communicated by way of progressive house. His mixing is seamless as usual, which gives a consistent element of surprise to his sets as each song sneaks itself in subtly as the set goes on.
Outside of treating followers to impeccable sets, Cattaneo’s Sudbeat imprint recently surpassed its milestone 100th release. The resulting EP was titled Algorithm and featured an original title track by Guy J and remixes from Henry Saiz and Hernan himself alongside fellow Sudbeat owner Raffa Graziano.