Premiere: Anton Dhouran feat. Ed Begley – The Myth of Tarae (Third Son Edition)

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Third Son

The Myth Of Tarae is a veritable story in LP form, and a powerful porfolio of Anton Dhouran’s abilities as a producer. Therefore, he had to ensure that those he chose to remix his originals are equally adept at conveying, and enhancing his vision.

Third Son thus came as a shoe-on for the job. The classically-trained Brit has one MO: make good music. And that he did with his re-work to The Myth Of Tarae’s vocal-laden title track, using his usual level of trance-inducing brilliance.

He bases his interpretation around Ed Begley’s haunting verses, crafting a drawn-out progressive record around them. Subtle hints of synth fall gracefully around Begley’s voice, landing in a bed of intricate percussion. It builds slowly, but carefully, remaining driving all the way through. The final product is one built for a dimly-lit dancefloor, and a standout among the other remixes in the pack.


Pre-order a copy of “The Myth Of Tarae (Third Son Edition)” here

Feature Image Credit: Lauren Commens

John Monkman twists Kincaid & Sinàl’s ‘A Very Stable Genius’ into a dark club cut (review & Q+A)

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John Monkman

‘A Very Stable Genius’  is everything the title pays homage to, but in a good way. The minimal, yet eclectic cut is unpredictable and wild despite its relatively sparse elements, speaking to Kincaid & Sinàl’s excellence as producers. Enter John Monkman, and the piece descends deep into the low ends to become a foreboding club cut. The Beesemyer owner certainly knows his way around a decent remix.

In tangent with his recent remix, Monkman has also made his return to the United States for an expansive Spring tour. He accomplished a milestone Coachella booking at the Do LaB stage, and will soon be making his way over to Los Angeles as a headliner at the Mixed Brains party on May 12 (tickets here).

Dancing Astronaut nabbed him among his whirlwind schedule to quiz him on some goings-on whilst enjoying his new work.


 

Hey John, thanks for joining us! You recently debuted your live set at the DoLaB stage at Coachella. What was that experience like?
Hey, good to be here. It was ‘far out’ as the locals would say! Great energy from the Californian crowd, they know how to get down and the Do lab stage … yikes… what a production! looked incredible.

Could you tell us a bit about your set up and what inspired you to jump in that direction?
Ableton is at the core. Each track in the set has been broken into various clips (audio and midi) so I have options to control key elements from my arsenal. The Akai mpc40 is the main controller . At the moment I’m taking the Korg minologue with me as it’s great form making weird ambient atmospheres and pads on the fly + it’s super portable.

Main reason for the live is that it gives me the opportunity to take people on a journey of solely my original productions. It gives a different kind of focus in the studio.

 

After releases on the likes of Crosstown, Last Night On Earth and Noir, we’ve seen that recently you’re having some success with your own label Beesemeyer. Tell us a bit about your last remix for Kincaid and Sinal, “A Very Stable Genius.”
The audio from the original track is pure gold. Kincaid and Sinal are kings at infusing live percussion, interesting rich textures + original vocal recordings into their music. My favourite part from the original in terms of structure is the end section when it kicks back in, so I focused around that.. Structure wise it’s an extension of the original’s outro and then using sounds from the beginning of the track to build the new journey.

What’s next for the label? What are some goals you might have for it in 2018 and beyond?
Up next will be a single from me in June, it was just premiered on BBC radio one, which was a special thing to wake up to on a Saturday morning.

Anaphase have been busy cooking up new material over the recent months. They are working towards the follow up to their recent Cortex EP and we will be putting on a Beesemyer Party in London over the summer.
We heard through the grapevine that you got in the studio with the legendary ‪Pete Tong just before Coachella. What’s it like working with him in the studio and how long have you guys known each other?
We did yes, Pete and I met in the Matrix Studio in London just over 4 years ago. Our work flow just seems to get better and better. Pete’s been getting pretty nifty on NI Maschine so that’s playing an important role + various bits of kit such as the Prophet 6.
We know that you’ve done some experimenting in sound for some pretty cool companies like Dolby. What was that experience like?
Extremely eye opening! Systems like Dolby Atmos are clearly the tech of the future so great to be part of this in its way stages.
What else can we expect from you release-wise in the second half of 2018?
There’s my next release in June on Beesemyer Music. Pete and I are putting the final tweeks on the new one which we want out before August. I’m also working on an EP for Anjunadeep.

You’re on a little tour around the states this weekend and will be headlining Mixed Brains this Saturday in LA. What’s it like returning to California to play after living across the pond?

Yeah, it’s gonna be a good one. Just putting a few final tweeks on the live set at the moment. I’ve been saying this for a while now but the scene in the US is in a beautiful place so great to be asked back.

Techno Tuesday/Premiere: Brian Cid debuts new single from ‘Intriga’ EP, dives into his musical evolution

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Brian Cid

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.

Melody and rhythm embedded themselves deeply into Brian Cid‘s psyche more or less from the beginning of his life. As he continued to grow up, he realized that his calling was to follow the path of music, and he has certainly charted an intriguing path of a career that has since dropped him into the deeper realms of the underground.

There’s a certain quality to Cid’s arrangements that seems to click; each output flows harmoniously, and is deeply expressive of the place the producer was in while writing it. His expertise stems from early on in his career, where he spent time as a mix engineer for A-List stars including Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Lady Gaga, among others. However, he still sought something that would lead to a profound satisfaction. Such fulfillment came from beneath the surface of electronica, specifically in the deep tech and progressive realms.

Now, Cid has earned a reputation as a masterful, and heartfelt musicmaker who travels across the globe proliferating his hypnotic grooves. In his quest, he’s manifested quite a few milestones — one includes the creation of his very own ENDANGERED. party series and record label. His single “Plot Thickens” was also chosen by Tale Of Us for their prolific Fabric 97 compilation.

How did exactly he make such a dynamic leap from one end of the musical spectrum to the other? Cid divulges this information in a thorough, and inspiring read on his influences, his comeup, and his transformation into a bearer of melodically-inclined dance music. Additionally, he allows us to debut “Petalos Sole,” the third track of his brand new Intriga EP (order here). Per his usual aural aesthetic, the Brooklyn-born musician peppers the introspective tune with chilling chords and carnal percussion.

 


“It’s been quite a journey so far I must say, a big challenge, self infused goals, huge dreams, big falls and high rises, a profound journey to discover more about who am I and why I’m here. My new reality, through the exploration of land and people’s mind & soul. It’s been a long interesting one, and I’m just getting started!

Music for me has been my safe place since very young. My escape. My shield. I did not realize it until now but music takes me on a deep meditative state of high energy release. Although nothing happens by mistake, it all started as a curiosity with sound. The need to understand why every time I hear music, I would get in a state of hypnosis. Never mind the lyrics, it was always about the sounds. As an 8-9 year old I would lay on the floor next to my father’s stereo system in the living room and place both speakers on my ears. I would dive deep and feel the chord progressions, the sonic story, the textures. I realized I had the gift of being able to see sound as shapes and colors. The shapes create a personality, a character. As soon as I was able to put my hands on an instrument, it was on!

Music took me through college and then I landed in New York City in search of a dream… one more in the bunch, right? Well… I didn’t think so. My plan was to become a master of my craft, earn respect and recognition. Prove myself that I could be among the best and after all, I did have a big talent. I just didn’t know about it until I stepped professionally in the studio and banged record after record. Landed big projects with legendary artists and record labels I didn’t even know about. It was all out of instinct. Before I realized it I was in sessions with guys who ruled the music industry. Legends. As I made my mark after several years of hard work, gold and platinum records did not mean much to me anymore. What was once a dream became a boring reality. Human nature, no? Walking out of the studio with a pocket full of money and an empty soul was truly heartbreaking. I felt accomplished and ready to take on my next adventure: the electronic music world. The underground. No rules, no etiquette. Just an underworld filled with rebels, soul seekers, free beings, odd characters. This is where I belong. I’m finally home! I am not here to be ordinary, I am here to be extraordinary!

As I dove into it first as a producer and then as a DJ, my perception and intention started slowly to evolve. All this time I was after respect and recognition, but as my music started traveling far and people around the world started expressing to me how my sound would make them feel, I realized something… this is not about me, it was never about me. This is about THEM.

My journey took me to a place of ultimate power. The power to reach people’s soul, create an emotion, a feeling, a moment in time, a memory. Make them feel good about themselves, to open up, to accept and embrace themselves, to connect, to forget and fantasize. It’s a lot of things. So it was clear that it all became my calling, my purpose of existence, the meaning of my universe. Addicted to the smiles and the healing power of my sounds. But most importantly aside from the music, it’s a tool to create a special personal connection with you and continue to fulfill my own purpose.

I find it hard to put my music style into a specific category as I use elements of all genres. I don’t follow trends, barely listen to other’s music. I need to keep my ears clean and virgin, so I can write from the soul. Instead I wash my ears with jazz, world, latin, classics and new discoveries. The radio makes me sad so that’s untouched territory. A healthy mindset, positive attitude, appreciation and gratitude turns me into a music making machine. I live music. I breathe music. I am music in flesh. This has always been me, I am just now realizing it more and more. Nothing else matters anymore. Just you, me & the music… the journey continues.”

Featured image credit: Alina Fisher

Premiere: Quivver & Cristoph – In Name Only

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Selador

Selador has made it past the milestone half-decade line. The label — founded by progressive stalwarts Dave Seaman and Steve Parry — has become one of the most formidable in its arena, overseeing a consistent slew of caliber releases that have been rinsed far and wide throughout the underground circuit.

To mark the momentous occasion, the label has recruited twelve of its close friends and colleagues to fashion celebratory tracks to be released in a series of three EPs. Eric Prydz protégé Cristoph joins forces with the venerable John Graham (Quivver) to contribute to the first wave of releases, and what they’ve come up with is a forceful number suited for the afterhours which they call, “In Name Only.”

Their styles are both prominent in the finished product. Its chunky, techy base is doused in crisp, synths that slide downward into hints of classic vocals. These elements make for a dramatic, tense breakdown which detonates into a rocking conclusion. Once again, we find ourselves in awe at just how big a role good arrangement and mastering can play in a production.

 

 

Pre-order a copy of the EP, due on April 27, here

The Radar 106: Monoverse

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Monoverse

It’s rare in today’s climate to hear of reputable new trance acts rising out of the United States. Monoverse is one of those few, and is helping lead a new generation of producers who crave sounds of trance that aren’t currently dominating the market. He’s additionally known an incredibly hard worker, building his brand through consistent output and planting himself firmly on the East Coast circuit before being recognized by the Cold Harbour camp and breaking through onto the global sphere.

Since then, Monoverse has been on a seemingly unstoppable ascension in his career. His work can regularly be found not just on Cold Harbour, but also the iconic Future Sound Of Egypt, among others. He recently launched his Parallels brand through there, which he is now expanding into a party series as well for the finest in progressive trance.

Monoverse’s dedication to his craft and growing reputation in the scene made him a natural pick for this edition of the Radar series. In his mix, the burgeoning trance talent offers up a sonic interpretation of where his is musically at the moment, featuring a series of well-mixed selections — some of which are exclusive. We see the full spectrum of the Monoverse sound, in addition to a look at what the genre truly means in his eyes. The result shows an artist with no sign on slowing down anytime soon.


Tracklist:

01. Tonal Axis – Rainfall (Monoverse Remix) [Pure Progressive]
02. The Stupid Experts – Bittersweet [FSOE Parallels]
03. Liam Wilson – Always With Me (Mir Omar Remix) [Subculture]
04. The Thrillseekers – In These Arms (Gundamea Remix) [FSOE UV]
05. Gordey Tsukanov – Radioactivity [FSOE Parallels]
06. Revkin – No Release [FSOE Parallels]
07. Anden – Venice Grind [FSOE Parallels]
08. Emerge – Whisper [FSOE Parallels]
09. John Fisherman – Andromeda [Exia Underground]
10. ID – ID [FSOE Parallels]
11. ID – ID [FSOE Parallels]
12. Digital Rush – I Should Be Free (Instrumental Mix) [FSOE Parallels]
13. ID – ID [FSOE Parallels]
14. ID – ID [FSOE Parallels]
15. ID – ID [FSOE Parallels]
16. ID – ID
17. Attila Syah & Ramsey Westwood – Horizon [FSOE Parallels]
18. Alex Wright – Aswan [FSOE Parallels]
19. ID – ID
20. Monoverse vs. Eco & Jennifer Rene – Aria Running (Monoverse Mashup)
21. Thomas Datt – Fluid Karma [FSOE Parallels]
22. Farid & Hidden Tigress – Diamond Eyes (Enzo Remix) [FSOE Parallels]

Premiere: Clarian – Television Days (Guy J Remix)

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Clarian

Television Days already had a lot going for it prior to its release due to the fact that Balance signed it into its arsenal. The debut LP by Clarian explores soundscapes from the past and present, bound together in a cohesive aural tale that highlights the French-Canadian artist’s genre-defying tendencies.

Recently, the title single of Television Days was sent out into the electrosphere to be re-worked, with one of those chosen being the venerable Guy J. The progressive stalwart maintains the nostalgic synthwork and vocal edits of the original, but amps it up a but with driving percussion and a contemporary overlay. While Clarian has created a spot of sun in “Television Days,” Guy J takes it back to the shadows of the discotech.

 

 

“Television Days (Guy J Remix)” releases on April 20. Order a copy here

Jeremy Olander enchants in ‘Karusell’ [EP Review]

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jeremy olander

Each piece of music Jeremy Olander output exudes the amount of care the Swedish producer places in its creation. Roadtested for extended amounts of time and painstakingly edited to top form, fans of his know that his work is worth the wait.

Olander’s Karusell EP is a testament to this methodology, with both of it tracks transforming into deep, ethereal progressive cuts that fit the producer’s current aesthetic. The EP’s eponymous A-side treads lightly on twinkling synthesizers, subtle chimes, and a bassline that serves as its backbone, evoking a light, joyful feeling among its listeners.

“Andköln” adds weight to Karusell, dressing its breezier with deeper, harder-hitting melodies and a more poignant arrangement. Buzzing notes post-breakdown give way to a gentle finish, making for a well-rounded conclusion to the EP as a whole.


Order a copy of ‘Karusell’ here

Thugfucker forges whimsical house mix ahead of Elements [EXCLUSIVE]

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Thugfucker were founded on the basis of uplifting peoples’ spirits with ethereal and mystical shades of house and tech. The outfit — now a singular act led by member Greg Oreck — rose through the ranks swiftly, making their mark on the underground world with their dynamic approach to sets and drive to create an ideal atmosphere at all their events. Thugfucker later paired with DJ Tennis to create their prolific Life & Death imprint, which helped break through the likes of Mind Against and Tale Of Us, among others.

Such an aesthetic has made Thugfucker a particularly highly-demanded entity within the transformational festival community. Oreck’s shamanic abilities with melodic manipulation have made him a staple at events like Burning Man and beyond. Come Memorial Day Weekend, he will make his return under his beloved moniker to Elements‘ second edition in Lakewood, Pennsylvannia.

Oreck stopped by the Dancing Astronaut offices ahead of his appearance at the festival to talk Thugfucker’s new beginnings, his sonic ethos, prized Elements memories, and more, in addition to providing us with an enticing mix to boost excitement in returning to Lakewood’s cozy confines.


How would you describe your musical ethos? How did you arrive there over time?
While it’s probably impossible to nail down something so big sounding as a musical ethos it is interesting (for me anyway!) to try and think about how I reached the point where I’m at musically. I was talking with Cosmo D from Nucleus a few years ago and I realized I could specifically draw a line from my friend playing “Jam On It” to me at age 12 to where I’m at now in my relationship to music (and dance music specifically) and it was an amazing moment to be able to talk with him about it directly. We’re all shaped by the various experiences we have throughout our life and I’ve been lucky to have a pretty wide variety of experiences that’s really exposed me to a lot. Too many musical movements and styles to try and make an exhaustive list but my whole life I’ve always found something to love in a wide variety of music and have been absolutely drawn to it so I guess that’s just who I am. One thing seems to always lead to the next but it only really makes sense while looking back at it. I remember calling into the radio DJ’s on the local alternative radio station so regularly when I was 12 years old that they got to know me by name. Who does that at 12? But I can’t imagine having been any other way so perhaps chalk that one up to nature versus nurture.

What draws you to the deeper, dreamier sounds of house and deep tech?
Hmmm, I’m not sure I’d be ready to subscribe to any specific genre labels as those are always moving targets that mean very different things for different people. However I wouldn’t deny that among the wide variety of music I find myself drawn to there is definitely a good sized space for some of the trippier sounds. More than anything I guess I love music that engages your mind and imagination while still making you move your body.. which cuts across a pretty wide swath of music overall and which, at the end of the day, is what dance music is really all about right?

It seems eclecticism is also a big motif of your sets and music. Is this correct? What are your tips for balancing the left field and a crowd who expects the hits?
It really depends on the situation. The crowd, the setting, the time of day, what’s happened before you’ve gotten there, what’s going on around you, what the crowd’s expectations are and what kind of relationship they have to you and each other can all have a big impact on how open people will be. Certain situations you can just walk in and they trust you and they’re really ready to follow you down the rabbit hole — so you can just jump right in and get playful. Other times you really have to work hard to earn that trust. The trust is what’s key.

When you’re throwing your own events you can have a lot of control over those factors and I really love to do that. In other cases I think as much as you can you just try and pick and choose the situations where you play to try to find the kind of environments where it’s possible to give people the best experience possible. Of course sometimes you just walk into a situation that’s a bit more challenging but in the end that’s the job of the DJ, to work with the crowd that’s there and the situation you find yourself in to create something special together. Just because you have an incredibly eclectic music collection put together over millennia or whatever doesn’t ever give you the right to bore people to tears. People come out after a hard week of work or whatever life has thrown at them and they come to dance for a release and an escape from all that. Something to lift them up and give them some proper dancefloor catharsis. They’re not just putting their hard earned money on the table, they’re giving you a big chunk of their time and that’s the most valuable thing any of us have. So you always have to honor that and remember that it’s not just about you, it’s about everyone in that space with you.

You two recently parted ways. What caused the part, and how does this affect the Thugfucker sound?
Really something pretty normal for artists working together so closely in a collaboration for so long. In a partnership there are always going to be certain restrictions because naturally you can only move forward on the things that you both agree on, and these restrictions bring both benefits and limitations. So it’s natural to reach a point where you have stories to tell and things to express outside the bounds of those limitations. Holmar reached that point and expressed his interest to go off and do his own thing and when you reach that point, that’s exactly what you need to do and I support him fully. I know this is going to be a great new adventure for him that’s going to bear some beautiful new fruit.

As far as how it will affect the Thugfucker sound, obviously it will continue to evolve which is something I’m proud to say it has been doing all these years. You always have to remain true to yourself but part of being a DJ comes from a relationship with music that’s always evolving. And I think that goes for all the DJ’s at a certain level, as far as I’ve experienced anyways.

Being out on the road these last few months has been incredibly inspiring and I feel like I’ve found a new flow and a new energy that comes from digging even deeper into music that I might not have had the chance to play before. It’s been super exciting to stretch myself in new ways and it feels like a really growing moment and I’m having a lot of fun with it. Similarly in the studio I’ve been feeling very excited to dig into new ways of working and have been back to working pretty exclusively with hardware lately just because that’s what’s really been inspiring me, not because I think there’s any one right way of doing things. I even started taking some music theory classes recently which I had always very consciously avoided as I felt it would take away some of the spontaneity and intuition from things. I remember hearing that Elvis Costello went back to learn music theory after 20 years on the road and despite some initial misgivings really loved it. For me it’s really been quite the same. I don’t think I could have done it before I already felt comfortable making my own productions as I appreciated having had to learn things my own way and on my own terms. But now it just feels like adding more tools to the toolkit which has been fun and motivating and a nice new challenge. It feels like the right time for it and I’m already very happy with the results!

This isn’t your first Elements festival. What are some fond memories from previous editions?
Last year was my first and it was absolutely stunning. The setting is beautiful and I ran into so many friends there from near and far which already says quite a bit about what they’ve accomplished in terms of the word getting out and people really talking about how special it is and traveling from far and wide to get there. Of course playing in the woods with DJ Three and Doc in the morning last year was amazing just because they’re both just such impeccable DJs and the setting was so beautiful as the sun was starting to shine on everyone through the trees. Talk about an environment where people are really ready and encouraging for you to give your all.. you just can’t help bring your A game in these kind of situations. I’m really looking forward to be back!

What else is coming up next for Thugfucker?
Right now I’m trying to walk the fine line between time on the road and time in the studio. I have some interesting long term plans (1 to 2 years out) which I’m very excited about but not really ready to talk about but in the short term I’ve been more energized to spend time in the studio then I have been in quite a few years so I’m trying to balance my time better so I can spend more time doing that. In addition to new Thugfucker material I’ve also been working on an ambient album with my old friend Eli Janney which has been super fun. Spaced out music for after the after-hours…

I’ve also started raising Alpacas which is a lot more work than I realized… Be sure to follow them on Instagram!

Sasha, Evolved: A glimpse into the innovator’s next phase [INTERVIEW]

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Sasha_PressShot-1024x683

“A lot of artists are always looking for ways to do something different and perform in a different way,” mused Sasha, commenting on the integration of live elements into an electronic performance setting.

We caught up with the legendary artist — born Alexander Coe — amid an intensive studio session in preparation for his second round of re-Fracted shows in February 2018 at the iconic Barbican Centre. Not long ago, Coe became one of the very few dance-oriented artists to pull off a neo-classical reimagining of his own work in orchestral form. Now, demand has grown even stronger for him to expand his new live vision.

 

Sasha Refracted1
 

A Natural Innovator 

Hunger for innovation runs deep in Sasha’s veins. The music bug bit him at a young age, when he got his start learning how to play pop songs by ear on the piano. Years later, as an 18-year-old finding his creative direction, he happened upon acid house at famed establishments like The Haçienda in Manchester. Most Sasha devotees know the rest of the story — he wasted no time in building up his record collection and learning his way around the decks, eventually earning a gig at Renaissance and meeting John Digweed to form one of the most fabled dual acts in dance history. He’s also released several iconic dance anthems throughout his tenure as a solo artist.

A look at Coe’s personal discography shows just how willing and unafraid he is to deviate from the status quo and explore the full extent of his artistry. In 2002, he played around with left-field electronica soundscapes in Airdrawndagger, completely avoiding the conventional 4/4 time signature that shot him to fame in the first place. Sasha’s more dance-oriented Involver series saw him undertake the task of completely re-molding favorite songs of his into his own vision.

“Sometimes I know when I make a decision creatively, that it’s going to pull people away from me a little bit. But I might go down this route for awhile because I don’t want to make huge records right now. I want to go down this route and see where it goes.”

Then came Scene Delete, his seminal classical/ambient-leaning album on Late Night Tales. Reminiscent of a film score, grippingly poignant, and artfully arranged, this project was unlike anything Sasha had done before. “I count that record for sure as a marker of my career of where things changed,” he reaffirms when asked if he still felt if the project represented a splitting point in his career. “Now that I’ve actually performed in that space,” he continues, “I’m trying to think about how I can develop that…I’m definitely more focused now on what I can do with the live environment at the moment and seeing where that takes me.”

Coe’s endeavors have been immersive, to say the least. In preparing for his Barbican shows — which saw him adapting Scene Delete and some of his other classic work into orchestral format — he re-learned his traditional training, taking up the piano after decades without touching it and finding a mode of instruction that would ensure his lessons stuck. He’s ventured deeper into the technological side of live performance as well, navigating new equipment necessary to effectively adapt his dance-oriented music into an orchestral setting. “It wasn’t feasible to do this kind of live performance ten years ago, but technology has moved so forward now that we can recreate things live without risking equipment crashing halfway through the show,” he advises, with an air of gratitude in his tone.

Sasha’s vital reconnection with his instrument — which he admits has been his “biggest achievement of the Barbican show” — has also affected his outlook and approach toward music. Since growing into the piano, Coe regaled, “everything we were writing was coming from us performing.” He expresses his admiration for this organic methodology, stating, “when you get people in the room bouncing ideas off each other in the jam session, you get such incredible results.” To Coe, even one recorded rehearsal can yield bountiful moments that can turn into a full track — moments that are more difficult to capture “when everyone is sitting around a computer and fighting for attention.”

“There’s a real power when you find musicians to work together and that can buzz off each other and really react to each other.”

 

Sasha Anthony Mooney

Photo Credit: Anthony Mooney

 

Original Roots Remain

Though Sasha has spent a great deal of time exploring a different path in his career, he has no intention of shedding his dance-oriented roots; he is a DJ at heart, after all. “I still want to make a big anthem every now and then that I can play out and people are crazy for,” he asserts while describing his explorations of live performance.

A tangible example of the type of piece Sasha describes here is “El Jefe,” which he wrote alongside Alan Fitzpatrick. Of the joint project, he notes, “I’ve played a lot of his music and also have been booked on the same lineups quite a few times. Every time we’d meet up we’d always get along really well, until we decided to make a record.” Their styles complemented each other nicely: “It all came together very effortlessly, and it was very fun to do.”

Outside the studio, he remains in a state of “working out what [he’s] going to play for the weekend.” Coe is certainly not one to take the easy route when it comes to the art of assembling a set: “I could just turn up and play huge records that everyone knows and I’m sure I’d get a reaction, but that’s not something I’ve ever really done.” Instead, he chooses to challenge himself — particularly in the field of emotion. “There’s a perfect amount of melody and sentimentality that needs to be mixed into my DJ sets, and I never want to go too far with it, because that just ruins the set,” he elaborates. “Sometimes I might hold back a little too much, but yeah it’s that balance that I really strive toward getting right.”

“I like only a fifth of a gram of sugar in my tea, and if there’s just a little bit too much, I can’t drink it. So it’s a little like that with my DJ sets… It’s about knowing where to place records, and I think that’s where the craft of DJing come in.”

The feeling of being “in the zone” while behind the decks and melting the club into the palm of his hands is naturally a thrilling one for the producer; however, Coe’s core intention lies in “making sure that I’m doing something creatively fulfilling.” His mind is always on the move while mixing: “I’m always thinking, and pushing things, and trying new records,” he states. What the artist finds creatively fulfilling has thus far been proven timeless. “It’s funny to hear a lot of the music being played right now being called ‘melodic techno’…. sounds very close to what I was doing in the mid-90s, albeit a bit slower,” he confidently remarks. History might be repeating itself in a way, but Coe makes sure to mention that it is “a really exciting time for me at the moment.” He finds joy in the fact that quite a few people “are using synth melodies, and aren’t afraid to use melodies in general right now.”

Technology is also moving the past and present closer together, in more than just a melodic sense. He recalls his earlier statement on how new developments have opened a doorway to live performance, bringing our discussion full circle: “I’ve talked to quite a few people lately that have talked about doing live performances — whether it’s with real instruments, or with drum machines and synth boxes — and they all feel capable of doing it now.” He cites Mathew Johnson, Nils Frahm, Bonobo, and Jon Hopkins as personal inspirations for his own development in this arena.

 

Sasha Refracted

 

Sasha in the Future

The combination of the current direction of the electronica sphere with accessible technology has put forth a promising blank canvas for the ever-inventive Sasha to fill. In his recent explorations into classical musicianship, Sasha has been re-molded. “In terms of the core ideas, things are changing a lot now,” he acknowledges. While his love for imbuing emotion into his music will never change, he maintains, “I think the methodology of it is changing quite considerably, which is great.” Coe believes it’s of utmost importance to keep himself on his toes and moving in a forward direction. “Curiosity is really the driving force behind my philosophy of music-making.”

Such an outlook is what keeps him humble — another key ingredient in being able to improve and advance creatively. Even in his comfort zone of the DJ booth, “It’s very rare that I think to myself, ‘yeah, you got it!’” he confesses. This translates into his tendency to treat his compositions and performances with the utmost care and attention, ensuring that whatever he ends up doing next will have been meticulously crafted and perfected. Coe’s candor in general exudes perfectionism, and determination to continue the forward path he currently travels.

Regardless of where the future will take him, Sasha has posed quite the accurate theory about his artistic evolution: “I think over the next few years we’re going to be writing some very interesting and different music.”

Photo Credit (unless otherwise stated): Dan Reid Photography

Premiere: Florian Kruse & Hendrik Burkhard – We Own The Night (John Monkman Remix)

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John Monkman

Progressive and other melodic shades of house and techno are making their way back into the public’s heart, and John Monkman is at the forefront of this new cycle’s peak.

The British beatmaker has recently been enlisted by Noir to help define the new sound of his new NM2 imprint, and his contribution is a marvelously subdued re-work of Florian Kruse and Hendrik Burkhard‘s “We Own The Night.” He lays the grooves on heavily with a driving bassline, accenting it with an eerie, yet full-bodied synth progression that complements the already-shadowy vocals of the original. Given Monkman’s brooding, ethereal approach to his edit, the piece is primed to make its way into sets by the likes of Tale Of Us, Mind Against, and others of the like who specialize in proliferating this sound.

Outside defining his sound in the studio, Monkman’s career has only continued to blow up on the touring end. He was recently announced on the Do LaB lineup for Coachella, and will also be touring the American West Coast in May.