At the very tail end of 2017, Arty pulled off a surprise by releasing an hour-long trance mix under his Alpha 9 moniker.
It’s been nearly a year since the Russian producer revived the Alpha 9 name and began putting out tracks like “The Night Is Ours” and “Skin.” He cited creative reasons for bringing the old name back, wanting freedom to create all kinds of music.
“Closer to the end of  I noticed how much my music was different from what I’ve done in the past, and I felt like I had been neglecting my long-time fans and it didn’t feel fair. And that’s how I came up with idea of bringing the Alpha 9 alias back,” he said with the release of “The Night Is Ours.” “It gives me the freedom to not be bounded to a specific genre, allowing me to experiment and keep pushing my boundaries with Arty, while I can be as close as possible to my long-time fans using Alpha 9 moniker.”
His New Year mix is an emotive collection of music, flowing seamlessly from Arty tunes to Alpha 9 material. It kicks off with a new Alpha 9 track called “You and I” and takes the listener on a journey through the essence of Alpha 9/Arty as a producer.
DA Presents: 15 artists that rocked the underground in 2017
Dance music’s second wind persists at a seemingly endless rate. In fact, its current boom has resulted in a complete infusion of the genre and into the fabric of the mainstream; megastars like Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, and Kygo have helped shepherd in a new age of ubiquity and recognition from the masses.
The mainstream isn’t the only area of EDM that has flourished. A renaissance of sorts is currently underway below the surface, with subgenres like progressive, techno, and house exploding back into the public eye with new vigor.
As 2017 comes to a close, Dancing Astronaut undertook the arduous task of selecting 15 underground artists that were particular standouts throughout the past year — in our subjective opinion, of course. We also made special mention to two artists that consistently push music forward in their respective arenas.
Words by Christina Hernandez, Grace Fleisher, and John Flynn
Zak Khutoretsky, better known onstage as DVS1, has brought warehouse techno to some truly interesting places. The Berghain/Panorama Bar resident has pushed the sonic boundaries of techno in obvious places like London and Berlin, but has also found himself at more all encompassing festivals such as Florida’s Okeechobee, Belgium’s Tomorrowland, and Ibiza’s CircoLoco event. Equipped with an arsenal of more than 30,000 records, experience at some of the world’s most established techno clubs, and an admiration for purist techno, Khutoretsky has broken ground in the global technosphere by forming his own dark sonic landscape.
Words by: John Flynn
Amelie Lens is on the ascension as Belgium’s latest techno stalwart. After debuting on the Italian Lyase Recordings, Lens is paving her way as an impenetrable force in the genre. She’s finished off the year with her Stay With Me EP, which is a heightened juxtaposition of both the beauty and form of techno. In an utmost surrendering to the astounding, Lens boasts her ominously pulsating prowess, complete with a thrilling remix from the esteemed Perc.
Considering Lens’ 2017 standing with Drumcode labelmates, an occupation of copious underground lineups around the world, and her own nights at Labyrinth club in Hasselt, she brought her foreboding techno to a circuit where it will deservedly reign for quite some time.
Words by: Grace Fleisher Photo Credit: Guy Houben
Jeremy Olander had an undeniably powerful 2017 — a result following his creativity down a path that has since placed him among the ranks of fellow Swedes like Eric Prydz and Adam Beyer. The year saw his Vivrant imprint come into its own, defining its dark, progressive ethos with releases by Khen, Tim Engelhardt, and more recently, André Hommen. Additionally, the former Pryda Friend released some of his most well-loved pieces yet on his label, in the form of his Damon and Gattaca EPs.
His success extended outside Vivrant in plenty of other ways as well: in May, he made his debut on Bedrock alongside Cristoph, only to move onto Anjunadeep in December with a euphoria-inducing Crossed. Having also underwent an enormous year of touring, which included a residency in LA, it’s safe to say that 2017 was the year of Olander.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Floating Points — real name Sam Shepherd — has been a mainstay in experimental techno for quite some time, but it was only until this year that he began to boil to the surface of mainstream music. After releasing the wildly innovative Nuits Sonores/Nectarines, he released his debut album Elaenia much to the acclaim of critics. Performances at large scale festivals such as St. Jerome’s Laneway, Disclosure’s Parklife, and Pukkelpop under his belt, 2017 marked a capstone year for Floating Points.
Possibly the largest indication of mainstream infiltration, though, were Shepherd’s performances at Coachella this year, performing both with his expansive 11-piece live band The Floating Points Ensemble and in a packed Yuma tent for a three hour back to back DJ set with colleagues Four Tet and Daphni. Needless to say, 2017 marked a momentous year for the intellectual techno auteur.
Words by: John Flynn
With the release of her highly anticipated album, The Best Of Both Worlds, in the fall of 2017, Honey Dijon has delivered a testament to her extensive background and immense knowledge of dance music with a compelling bevy of material. As a black, trans woman, Dijon’s relationship with dance music is a culminated collection of necessity. Her music is beyond passion. In 2017, her cross-genre sets at Berghain, Space, Smart Bar, as well as her speaking out on issues of gender in club culture, solidified the need of cultural representatives like Honey Dijon in underground dance music culture. Considering Dijon’s involvement in the dance scene dates back to when she was 12-years-old, it’s likely that the future has even more in store, and thankfully so.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Bedouin‘s late 2016 Essential Mix served as an indicator of the kind of year the pair would have in the coming months. However, 2017 brought even more milestones than one might have expected, and secured their reign over the deep, desert-inclined tech realm. They have been utterly unstoppable in past months, charting releases on Cityfox, All Day I Dream, and Crosstown Rebels with their sought-after remix of Pink Floyd’s classic, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” While dominating the music sphere with a plethora of new records, Bedouin also broke new ground in the promotion arena with the foundation of their SAGA series Ibiza, which saw the likes of Guy Gerber, Damian Lazarus, and more transform Heart into a mecca for all things mystical. The duo will only continue to build upon their strong 2017 foundation until they’ve reached the top.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
I Hate Models
Green to the techno world, the mysterious nature of I Hate Models is part of the purist techno producer’s M.O. Steeped in nebulous synth work and carried by the gut wrenching thud of fibrillating pulsations, I Hate Model’s brilliant soundscape is the result of authentic emotions and nothing less than a perfectionist desire to create near perfect techno music. Their 2016 EP Warehouse Memories catapulted I Hate Models to stardom with the seminal tune “Daydream,” which amalgamates a rapidly paced, thunderous kick pattern with Detroit-inspired space synths and acid melodies. “Melancholy, nostalgia, passions, the suffering self,” reads their official Biography, “The expression of personal feelings” it continues, “The taste for loneliness, the desire to flee, travel, dream…” IHM’s State of Control EP was another step in their artistic evolution, further solidifying them as one of underground techno’s most audacious newcomers in 2017.
Words by: John FlynnPhoto Credit: Helena Majewska
Despite having over two decades of music production experience, and releases on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat, Guy Mantzur’s Plattenbank, and more, Chicola just released his debut album Could Heaven Be on Guy J’s esteemed progressive label Lost & Found earlier this year. The LP spans twelve tracks and is an eloquent exploration of the Israeli artist’s personal dealings. Could Heaven Be boasts sinister drum work, but soars in its serene, cinematic soundscapes. Such sophistication is exactly what has allotted Chicola’s impressive array of work and sustained friendships in the underground. Chicola’s delectable builds and swathing beauty are inching towards the work of Dixon, Sasha, John Digweed, and Hernan Cattaneo; which is certainly something we can’t wait to watch come into fruition.
Words By: Grace Fleisher
Venezuelan duo Fur Coat have asserted their authority in the melodic techno realm, helping pioneer the rise of this relatively new sound with innovative new music and in purveying it to the global masses. After opening their year with an EP on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth, they proceeded to carve an even deeper niche into the underground with the foundation of their Oddity imprint and the subsequent release of a breathtaking Genesis EP. While only containing two bodies of work thus far, the fact that Dubspeeka, Natural Flow, and Slam have signed work onto the fledgling label demonstrates its caliber moving into the new year.
Fur Coat’s recognition extended into the indie pop world in 2017, with the outfit being tapped for re-working both Röyksopp and Sailor & I into their own ethereal interpretation.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Charlotte De Witte
Charlotte De Witte spends most of her days traveling for gigs or at home in Belgium, where she is working steadfast to promote up and coming talent on her local radio show. Her native Belgian roots in the underground have provided a more than apt framework for the young DJ & producer to work from, but the world is also calling Charlotte De Witte’s name. The myriad festivals that De Witte has performed at in 2017 is striking: Dour Festival, Awakenings, Tomorrowland, EXIT, Oasis Festival, the list goes on. With four EPs under her belt in 2017, and a plethora of commanding live performances, Charlotte De Witte has solidified herself as one of techno’s most forthright newcomers.
Words by: John Flynn
Maceo Plex pupil and Argentinian techno phenom Shall Ocin has carved himself a unique niche in sinister techno over the last few years. Ocin has a knack for the foreboding analog, which is largely driven by the use of modular synths. The underground mainstay has even established his very own Clash Lion imprint. The label’s very first release was from Maceo Plex himself, albeit under his Maetrik alias. Shall Ocin’s doubled down on his diverse output of gut-wrenching techno in his latest EP Bounty Hunter. It’s brimming with atmospheric modulations, slow pulsating synth work, and an experimental analog amalgam. Ocin’s passion for innovation is clear, and with a demonstrated ability to continually work outside of his previous material — he’s even closed out the year with a Beatport artist of the week mix — Ocin’s proving to be an impenetrable installment in the underground circuit.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
The word “Rinzen” translates to “sudden awakening” — a definition that couldn’t be any more pertinent to Michael Sundius’ development under the moniker throughout the past year. He found a new home on Mau5trap beginning with his original debut “Renegade,” and has since shown the dance sphere just how deep his creativity runs. Years of hardwork culminated in Forbidden City — his first ever EP — which stole music afcionados’ hearts with its enchanting, yet sinister storyline that depicts a hero’s journey by way of cinematic string elements and clever synthwork. Not to mention, his skills attracted promoters at Brooklyn’s prolific club Output, who placed trust in him to spend the entirety of NYE weekend opening for both Cristoph and Eric Prydz. With a fire that burns stronger, tangible passion for his craft, and a strong sense of humility, we predict great things are in story for Rinzen after such a dynamic first year on the scene.
Words by: Christina HernandezPhoto credit: Michael Drummond
UK based Jay Donaldson — aka Palms Trax — has acquired a taste for a plethora of world influences ranging from Chicago house to European Nu-Disco, and everywhere in between. Donaldson has made waves with his Cooking with Palms Trax radio show (which has now become a full blown residency at Glasgow’s intimate , expansive boiler room sets, and performances at festivals such as Dekamantel, Glitch Festival, and CRSSD, as well as in such legendary clubs as Berlin’s Berghain. By amalgamating sounds from across the entire globe, Palms Trax’s sets feel like a voyage from nation to nation, plucking groove heavy flutes, synths, and drums from nearly every geographic region and time period.
Words by: John Flynn
Since the inception of Rødhåd’s first record on his Dystopian label in 2012, the underground purveyor has been praised by innumerable global mavens. Artists like Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Laurent Garnier, Sven Väth, and more, have praised Rødhåd as the king of the anti-establishment underground. He’s built his reputation on an immersive idiosyncrasy and delivered dramatic, engulfing sets at industrial utopias around the world. More recently Rødhåd’s slung out a cavernous catalog of brooding, cinematic techno. In 2017, the Berlin native delivered his enveloping 10-track album Anxious. The record’s an aptly-named theatric affair, which Rødhåd’s described as “the time we live in.” Expectedly, it served as an integral timepiece of the brooding, underground circuit, which will propel the brand of afflicted release to entirely new heights, and continue to allow listeners to lose themselves, only to discover new dimensions in the acts that will follow in Rødhåd’s foreboding footsteps.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Henry Saiz is an artist in every sense of the world, pouring his entire being into each production and going above and beyond to seek innovative new ways to compose music. Having succeeded in crowdfunding his expansive new audiovisual album project, 2017 saw the artist and his band travel to new realms to both create and roadtest new musical concepts. This endeavor bled into his outputs for 2017; at the tail end of September, he earned a nomination for the Essential Mix of the Year after making his debut on the series. Prior to that, he celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Natura Sonoris label with a rare second contribution to the Balance mix series. Progressive and electronica are having a moment currently, and Saiz has proved himself to be one of the leaders in this new revolution.
Words by: Christina HernandezPhoto credit: Chris Soltis
Special Mention: The Black Madonna
Marea Stamper told Resident Advisor in 2014 that she hoped to embody “the core values of inclusion and pure dance euphoria.” In the year of #MeToo, where women spoke out against their oppressors, and where sexual assault outings, misogyny, and political turmoil seemed to unravel on an endless timeline, The Black Madonna doubled down on the use of her platform as a voice for the voiceless. Her music amplified the voices of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Stamper’s sets raised up the central voices of club history — ones that have been forced to the periphery or silenced entirely — through a provocative exudence of acid house, disco, and outright emotion. In 2017, the Black Madonna seamlessly linked the past and the present through her track “He Is The Voice I Hear.” Dedicated to a string of disco legends —Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons, and Loleatta Holloway — the multifarious number rode out a spine-tingling idiosyncrasy, encapsulating her aforementioned goal — as if she hadn’t already — with an apt juxtaposition of anxiety and groove. Without uttering a word, the harrowing empowerment of “He Is The Voice I Hear” spoke volumes and epitomized the socioeconomic atmosphere of an entire year that had still yet to unfold.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Special Mention: Hernan Cattaneo
There’s a reason why Hernan Cattaneo is called “El Maestro” among fans. He possesses an uncanny ability to mix records, making seamless transitions and taking his audiences on a deep journey within themselves through each of his sets. While he serves as a continual pillar of inspiration within the progressive, and underground sphere as a whole, the Argentinian legend also had some key milestones in 2017 to date. His Sudbeat label saw an abundance of releases, and he was also able to assemble a powerhouse slate of artists to help kickstart the year with a Balance compilation. We imagine this incredible artist will continue to use his platform to proliferate top quality music as 2018 sets into place.
French producer Sebastien Léger is definitely an electronic music veteran in his own right, with almost 20 years of experience under his belt. interestingly, throughout the duration of his lasting career, Leger has stayed true to his experimental style— a trend that a worrying number veteran DJs tend to shun in modern times.
His latest remix of Henry Saiz‘s “The Golden Cage” is an eight-minute-long auditory voyage in continuity with his time-tested style. Using his abundance of experience, Leger is able to meticulously craft an intriguing soundscape, filled with an abundance of analog elements that give the remix character, a quality missing from a majority of songs in current circulation.
Katdrop may not be a household name quite yet, but with the release of his latest product, the emerging Chilean beat maker may have found his stride. Dropping off a melodic new dance piece, “Holding On,” Katdrop ropes together evident sonic influences from Porter Robinson and early Skrillex house fare on his latest single. The track brings emotive house elements together into a dance floor designed, radio-ready electro cut polished by infectiously catchy vocal arrangements.
“Holding On” comes by way of European house imprint, Tasty, which has proven to be a fitting home label for Katdrop’s growing catalog. Recalling the progressive house that dominated main stages at the turn of the decade, Katdrop’s newest piece suggests the young producer will be ready to ride the genre’s immanent resurgence.
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
French Express conductor Jonas Rathsman is a wizard when it comes to house music of the melodic variety. His love for such sounds runs deep, beginning at a young when the Gothenburg native got introduced to underground electronic whilst organizing hip-hop parties. By 2011, he’d been fully broken into the international scene, having made his name over singles like “Tobaggo” and “Love Is My Middle Name.”
Rathsman’s organic, heartfelt approach to music is more than working for him. He was named “Future Star of 2013” by Pete Tong on Radio 1, and has since climbed to the upper echelons of the house and tech realm with consistently high quality releases on labels like Crosstown Rebels and Diynamic.
His future is only looking brighter as he continues to grow into himself not just as an artist, but almost a “jack of all trades” type of participant in the electronic music industry. Having created his ELEMENTS brand initially as a mix series, it’s now grown into a full-on label, as well as a name for one-off parties around the concept that have been met with success.
The Swedish icon graciously provided Dancing Astronaut some insight into his career explosion and ELEMENT’s growth ahead of the newest podcast episode’s release.
You’ve always had a tendency to enjoy music that is more on the melodic side; whether soulful, piano house or melodically-infused tech. What has drawn you to this type of music in particular, and would you agree that these sounds are beginning to come “back into fashion?”
I feel like right now it’s very much about banging techno, at least in Sweden it is. For me, I need something with some sort of melody – uplifting or dark, it doesn’t matter. I can’t really listen to rolling, generic tech-house for more than a few hours as it doesn’t really speak to me. I guess I’m an emotional person and I need to have emotional music to be satisfied.
Innervisions is one label that I think is doing everything right and have been doing so for a long time. Every track on the label has its place – they worked out a winning recipe which is the perfect balance between romantic techno and emotional house. They’ve released so many amazing classics like Frankey & Sandrino’s “Acamar” or the Âme remix of “Howling”, priceless!
Tell us about your ELEMENTS mix series – did you start that up as a way to almost force yourself to seek new music from unexpected places? Or have you always had aspirations to create a consistent mix show?
I’ve always enjoyed making mix tapes. It’s tough and challenging, but it’s a really good way to keep you updated on new music; it’s easy to be lazy and just keep playing the same tracks over and over (this has never worked for me).
I wanted to make an ongoing mix series for a long time, it just didn’t work while having really young kids and touring – any spare time I had I want to spend with my family. Now that the kids are a bit older, I have some more time on my hands. About 18 months ago it was a good time to launch the ELEMENTS series and I wanted to do something that was an extension of my personality in a way. We are surrounded by so much nature here in Sweden, and I’ve always felt a connection to the natural surroundings – I miss that when I am away in big cities! So this is where the name ELEMENTS came from.
It’s really gone above and beyond my expectations as I get so much new music sent to me now! I listen to everything that is sent, so much of it is really amazing – it’s a really nice way to come across new talent. A lot of the artists who have submitted their tracks I’ve ended up signing on the label and because of that they keep coming back and sending me more material. I really feel like these newcomers who understand my family vision for ELEMENTS.
One guy that I’m really excited about is Mario Bianco that I recently signed and another is Mimram. They both make incredible music and will be featured in the next mix – I’m really excited about their stuff.
Where are your favorite places to find the best new music?
A lot comes from demos and promos, but I also buy a lot of music. I use WhatPeoplePlay a lot. Their staff picks are usually really good and it just suits me better. I also often reach out to DJ friends to see if they have anything fresh they’d like to share and that usually works quite well.
Speaking of ELEMENTS, you also launched your own record label by the same name. What was the moment that made you realize it was time to venture into this territory? What are some of the obstacles that have come as a new label owner, and how have you overcome them thus far?
Since day 1 I’ve wanted to turn the mix series ELEMENTS into a label, but I wanted to build the brand organically. We decided to launch it as a mix series at first and let people get to know the sound so that the connection with the releases would feel more natural.
People started to send us music for the mix series that was unsigned, and there was just so much good music that I really felt a need to start the label. When Kincaid & Sinal sent me “Long-Haul Flight Bathroom Romance Scene”, I knew it was time, it just had to be the first release on the label that didn’t have my name on it! My management team also provide a promotional service so it’s very easy for me to work with them in-house as they do all of the promotion for the label on top of managing me. It is really exciting what we can do for artists through the label with that in place. I want to help make a difference to artists careers and I feel that we can do that through the label, mix series and events. It was great to see Kincaid & Sinal get to number one on Beatport with their release – it is a testament to the quality of the music.
Setting up a label does come with its challenges though, as I feel it takes a lot of releases to become that ‘established’ label that every artist wants to release on. It’s up to us to do our work on the records and build it organically. I am really excited about what is to come with ELEMENTS.
Aside from your own lovely label, what are some other up-and-coming labels we should keep our eyes on?
There are a few for sure. Kindisch, MoBlack and Rise to name a few. A label that keeps coming back in my mixes is Oleeva – there is probably one track from each series that comes from that label as they are doing amazing stuff at the moment.
What does a day in the life of Jonas Rathsman look like? How do you balance out your label, mix series, studio time, and all your increasing gigs?
It is tough at times, I have to be honest. I have two boys aged eight and ten, so first and foremost I am a father and I really try to spend as much time with them as possible. The oldest one likes to sing, and the younger one likes to play bongos on pretty much everything. My youngest also wants a banjo and I was like ‘what?!’ I will buy him a banjo one day, probably when he’s grown up and moved out! They are so much fun at this age though,we’re best friends!
As I said, number one priority is always my family, so the day revolves around them really. I get up at 6:30am to make breakfast and take the boys to school. I try to keep my working day in the studio to 9am-5pm – I can’t be in the studio 24/7 and stay up all night, it just doesn’t work! I like to be back at home in time to cook in the evening, and I help the boys with their homework or whatever needs to be done, so my working day is actually quite short.
Between the hours of 9-5, time flies by so fast so it can be hard to find time to finish music. During these hours I have to make time for management talks and label planning as we speak regularly on planning the releases and what’s happening with my career. Plus, for the last few months I have been building a new studio space, which is finally nearly finished! If you follow me on Instagram, then you might have already seen some pictures and videos, but I’ll share something properly once it is done. The day is just way too short for me, but I try to make the most of it. I make sure that I stick to deadlines and get the mixes, label tasks and my own music done within them.
I also don’t like to be on tour for too long, so I try to make sure I’m never away for more than ten days in a row because I miss my family and of course they want me back home. It might sound strange, as a large part of my career is touring, but I try not to take gigs every weekend as I like to also spend time with the kids on the weekends. I always feel a greater sense of balance when I am at home more, and that helps to drive everything else.
Monkey Safari have endured quite a journey in fashioning their latest album Odyssey, which is set to release on their Hommage imprint on October 27. What began as a “listening album” project soon evolved into a project aimed at dance floors, where their hearts and minds truly lie. The result — an eleven-piece compilation of pieces that convey their personalities in sonic form while enrapturing listeners with driving, hypnotic elements.
“Boulonge Billancourt,” the LP’s third piece, embodies Odyssey’s ideology in its purest form. Its duration is quite long — around 11 minutes, to be exact — but seems to fly by in the blink of an eye. Within, the mind is swept off to an introspective place by way of subtle percussion and long, drawn out melodic progressions. String accents add a poignant edge to “Boulonge Billancourt,” while hints of acid synthesizers hum along its entirety and help to conjure images of a dreary, industrial city while listening.
The past several years have been monumental for the brotherly duo, who’ve fully embraced their proclivity for all things melodic and progressive. Their complex and deeply intelligent music has rocked crowds across genres, leading to their recruitment to release on labels like Bedrock, Solar Distance, and more.
Now in it’s 21st year, the mystique surrounding Burning Man and its ability to draw in the biggest names in electronic music have shown now signs of abating. This year was no exception, with contributions from Diplo, Skrillex, and a Burning Man favorite — Tycho’s sunrise set.
One particular guest to Black Rock City that has until now remained rather elusive has been the legendary Carl Cox. Thanks to the folks at The Radio Department, fans of tech-house can now hear Carl Cox’s first-ever guest mix (beginning at the 58 minute mark) on John Digweed‘s radio show, Transitions.
Recorded live from deep within the playa this past September, expect to hear a carefully curated mix of techno and progressive DJs who are pioneering their respective genres, including Dance Spirit, Satori, Markus Homm, Connan Mockasin, Tiefschwarz & Yawk, and more.
Jeremy Olander is one who manifests success for himself by sticking staunchly to his guns. Carefully biding his time after breaking out through Pryda Friends, the Swedish phenomenon grew into his true artistic self through a series of carefully-selected releases and through the foundation of his own imprint Vivrant in 2015.
His moves and undying passion have thus far brought nothing but success, with freedom to release as he pleases and nurture the next generation of progressively-inclined talent, and access to the top of the music industry with accomplishments like his own night at ADE’s 2017 iteration and also a residency at Sound Nightclub that will be wrapping up in December.
The blissful horizon that is 2017’s conclusion officially kicks off with the release of Gattaca, a four-track EP carefully compiled by Olander as the milestone tenth release on Vivrant. Gattaca opens with an impressive title track, which possesses a refined nature that is conveyed through gentle synth work and percussion. Its melancholic, yet hopeful atmosphere is one that Jeremy is expert at creating, and will easily lead to many hands in the air when rinsed on the dance-floor.
“Gaansvort” is even more poignant than “Gattaca,” raising goosebumps with a moving, almost trance-y progression and a soaring breakdown. Nine minutes seem to fly by as the body is quickly entangled in the piece’s intriguing layers and gripping notes.
“Galheera,” which closes Gattaca, is a veritable gem of the EP. Originally dubbed “Bahrein ID 02” by fans, “Galheera” is the type of production that pierces the heart with striking melodies and sweeping background notes that amplify the already heavily bittersweet effect. It serves as a catalyst to introspection and getting in touch with one’s emotional side, transforming dance-floors into deeply bonded communities.
Music made with the heart had a profound effect on the listener, and Olander’s deep process of writing songs translates into an infectious energy that captures hearts and leads to a committed fanbase of Vivrant soldiers. Luckily, the coming months will be bringing his gleeful spirit to many corners of the globe, including a Vivrant showcase at ADE, his final residency stop at Sound nightclub in Hollywood, and various stops across the United States.
19 year-old Tim Engelhardt has landed himself on top of the progressive game despite his young age. He has an innate sense of musicality that leads to magic in each of his productions — a trait that makes him one of the more recognizable acts of the new generation.
Having released on Diynamic, Vivrant, and even Anjunadeep this year, Engelhardt’s newest EP landed on HOSH’s fledgling Fryhide imprint. Reality is quite the four-tracker, exploring often poignant themes within each track’s melodies, pads, and rhythms.
“Heart Resonance” exemplifies the themes of the EP well, truly leading to goosebumps with its haunting central melody and slow, arpeggiated synthesizers. Chimes and UFO-like samples line the background, adding to the overall forlorn effect that is communicated through the composition. Here, Engelhardt demonstrates his expertise once more at layering sound together in a moving fashion.
Rhythm Cult, a brand new moniker created by production duo Paul Loraine and Richard Seeley, have earned the supreme distinction of debuting their new work as an outfit on none other than Sasha’sLast Night On Earth label. Thus, Brutal was born — an EP that shows off the producers’ duality across two separate mixes with a lighter, acid house-esque original of “Brutal” that soon gives way into a brooding techno dub mix.
No EP is complete without an expert remixer, and in this case, Petar Dundov was tapped for the job. Having already demonstrated his handle over all things melodic and progressive with releases on Sudbeat and Steyoyoke, the Croatian talent has succeeded in molding “Brutal” into a completely different beast of a track. He builds an airy foundation around the original’s acidic elements, deploying subtle, yet haunting vocal notes in the background to create an even more hair-raising effect. The finished work fits into the LNOE aesthetic seamlessly, and is primed to easily accomplish its purpose of dance-floor destruction upon its October 6 release.