Rinzen and Evan Casey land on Parquet with a magical, ‘Fractal’

This post was originally published on this site

Rinzen and Evan Casey land on Parquet with a magical, ‘Fractal’Rinzen Evan Casey Fractal

It was obvious from his start that Rinzen is primed to lead the next generation of underground greats. He already earned a co-sign from Giorgio Moroder on his very first release, and since being picked up by the mau5trap crew, has been able to spread his musical vision across the states and more recently, Europe. Leaning toward the melodic side of house and techno, it comes as no surprise that leaders in this realm are beginning to recognize the burgeoning talent. Thus, his follow-up to an exploratory, tribal-inspired “Temple” on Chapter 24 records is a signing onto Solée’s iconic imprint, Parquet.

“Fractal” is a combination of Rinzen’s talents, and that of of his friend and colleague Evan Casey, resident of the famed Desert Hearts brand. It comes packaged in shadowy overtones, with sinister melodies and bursts of cunning arpeggios creating a feeling of angst in the listeners. Consistency is clearly the collaborator’s modus operandi in this production; rather than including a larger-than-life drop, “Fractal” drives the floor forward at a steady pace, finding impact in its Recondite-esque minimalism. The record is truly class — a standard we’ve come to expect from anything with Rinzen’s name on it.



Order a copy of ‘Fractal’ here

Rinzen releases cinematic new single, ‘Temple’

This post was originally published on this site

Rinzen releases cinematic new single, ‘Temple’Rinzen Press Shot 2017 1

Mau5trap veteran and Chapter 24 signee Rinzen is known for pairing his heavy sound with touches of cinematic beauty, from his dark collaboration with Monstergetdown to his indie leaning remix of Kidnap‘s “Skin.” Back with a single for Chapter 24’s new compilation, Rinzen has now released “Temple.”

Pairing with violinist Allesandra Veger, the LA-based producer adds a gentle, analog feel to the track while maintaining a solid groove. An ever-present vocal sample creates a steady pace as engaging melodies work their way into the track, breaking only for a vivid solo on the violin. Building tension as the calm before the storm, the song moves right back into it’s textured soundscape. Reminiscent of artists like Yotto, Rinzen once again shows his finesse for combining big sounds with gentle touches, and he’s only moving forward from there.

deadmau5 announces new mau5trap radio series on SiriusXM

This post was originally published on this site

deadmau5 announces new mau5trap radio series on SiriusXMUnnamed 1

The mau5trap maven himself, Joel Zimmerman (deadmau5), has now vamped his very own weekly radio show, mau5trap radio, through SiriusXM. The first edition aired late last week, September 28, featuring a fitting, hot-button guest mix from Getter, who just recently released his mau5trap-certified concept album, Visceral.

The internationally-aired series is set to feature a sundry of other mau5trap talent, with debuts lined up from the label’s most auspicious acts, including REZZ, ATTLAS, No Mana, Rinzen, and more. The show has found a home on SiriusXM’s BPM (channel 51): a sacred staple in the electronic airwaves. This landmark achievement for Zimmerman and the esteemed imprint comes just one year after mau5trap’s momentous 10-year anniversary.

After a three-day period, each show will be plugged onto Mixcloud, where listeners can stream freely. Additionally, the show will air regularly across the globe, through the following mediums:

Germany – ENERGY NRJ
Turkey – Radyo S – Monday 11pm
Dubai – Dance FM – Tuesday 22:00 PM
Mexico – Beat FM
Cyprus – ENERGY NRJ (Prime time – Saturday agreed).
Bulgaria – Radio Nova (If music & Jingle only)
Thailand – Kiss FM
Russia – DFM – Saturday 23:00 Moscow Time
Sri Lanka – Fox 91.4 12pm Friday (Repeated 11am Friday afternoon, the week after)
Kiss Fm, Australia – Saturday 6.30 – 7.30pm


Kidnap’s ‘Skin’ gets a heartwarming remix from Rinzen

This post was originally published on this site

Kidnap’s ‘Skin’ gets a heartwarming remix from RinzenKidnap Skin Rinzen Remi Artwork

“Skin” ushered in a new beginning for Kidnap, who finally felt as though he was stepping into his own as an artist and hitting his stride. He wielded his newfound power in this track, exploring profundity with moving, cinematic arrangement and dual vocalists.

A piece this special from Kidnap seemed primed to inspire others, and that it did. LA-based artist Rinzen was one of those who felt the effects of “Skin,” and was trusted with official remix duties for the tune. What resulted was a piece made for the dancefloor that maintained the emotive integrity of the original.

“I fell in love with Kidnap’s song ‘Skin’ when I first heard it. There was an honesty and fragility to the vocals that immediately had me hooked. I wanted to take that emotion and craft an anthemic club track around it.” – Rinzen

Echoes of “Skin’s” melodic structure remain in place, but are rinsed in the producer’s choice analog synthesizers to give off a Stephan Bodzin-esque effect. Despite a more livened and complex reinvisioning, one thing remains consistent: the vocals take center stage, and carry the sentimental weight of the piece. Rinzen once more demonstrates his keen empathy and respect for the projects he takes on in his “Skin” re-work — not to mention, his own growth in the process.

Rinzen ponders new worlds to help understand & appreciate our own with bewildering interplanetary voyage, ‘Exoplanet’ [EP Review + Interview]

This post was originally published on this site


Rinzen is traversing through the interplanetary realm at light-speed with his latest conceptual EP Exoplanet.

Rinzen’s undergone a most sudden awakening — seen through his continual creation of compelling sonic narratives — embodying the English translation of his Japanese moniker in the process. With a visceral pursuit of progressive house and compelling techno undulations, Rinzen’s music highlights the creative powers behind storytelling.

The LA-based, Mau5trap-backed artist’s passion is echoed by few in the Earth’s atmosphere. His fascination with expansive worlds began as a young child, with blockbuster fantasy films that have their own sets of laws such as “Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars,” and even “Harry Potter.” Now, Rinzen’s using his music to manifest his own mythical universes.

“When it came time to launch Rinzen, I spent a long time thinking about what I wanted to do with the project. The more I reflected on it, the more it became clear to me that I wanted to channel that same level of narrative and experiential depth as my favorite authors and filmmakers,” he told us. 

Similar to the stunning hero’s tale conveyed on his Forbidden City EP out late last year, which was Rinzen’s first outright step towards manifesting his artistic style, Exoplanet is too an integration of his love for storytelling and highlighting the world-building potential of music. The aural odyssey of an EP, which derives its name from the Earth-like planets beyond our solar system, voyages deep into the dueling depths of creativity and life’s wonders.

Rinzen contemplates life’s complexities on a universal scale in his newest concept release, out on mau5trap. He forays into mysterious new worlds through musical storytelling, while also diving into the feelings and uncertainties that constitute each individual’s creative universes.

Just as the Earth rotates around the sun, Exoplanet orbits the framework of the revered mythologist Joseph Campbell and his archetypal story pattern, the Hero’s Journey — a central element in ancient myths and modern-day adventures —  outlined in further detail in his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Like Campbell’s timeless three-act structure, “the call to adventure,” “the trial,” and “the return,” Exoplanet implements a structured narrative. It kicks off with a grandiose invitation to the stars, embarks on a cosmic voyage, and ultimately, returns to Earth with a new understanding and appreciation of familiar surroundings.

“I was searching for a theme for the EP and happened to stumble upon an article from NASA detailing our discovery of seven Earth-like planets orbiting a nearby star. I became obsessed by the idea of what it would be like to visit one of these planets for the first time,” he explained, and as such, Exoplanet was born.

Beginning with its title track, which captures this yearning inherent sense of wonder in the creative pursuit through its melody and long pitch bends, Rinzen paints a picture of his exoplanetary vision. Perhaps, if what he imagined were to exist it would be void of vegetation like “Star Wars’” Tatooine, or a burnt-orange desert dystopia like the Las Vegas’ ruins of a Ridley Scott film. Ultimately, the producer’s addition of beguiling nuances transports listeners to wherever they imagine.

Exoplanet is eerily inviting, with its driving melodies and its themes of light vs dark. This emulates deep thought on the unknown itself —  the inexplicable opportunities of the unknown are as equally terrifying as they are riveting and inspiring.

As the voyage continues, a descent into the exoplanet and “Search for Life” begins. Though the track does stand at face value as the collective search for intelligent life in the universe, Rinzen also explains that it can also be interpreted for its double meaning — “each individual’s search for meaning in their own life.”

There’s also some degree of Rinzen’s own “search” on the track. As he continues to flourish and develop artistically in the musical realm, his search for new worlds will present itself outwardly in the form of these conceptual journeys he forges. But, there is still much for him to explore musically and in his own hero’s journey.

Exoplanet is already the natural progression of Rinzen’s growth as an artist, and his refusal to follow trends or be boxed into a particular category. In terms of the textural approach, he’s subconsciously chosen to step away from the orchestral elements of Forbidden City. After having purchased a Moog synthesizer, it was only logical to write his new material directly on the new instrument.

“I do think it’s important however to be able to release a wide array of textures and styles, and so in that sense, I’m glad the EP ultimately took on a different sonic identity than Forbidden City,” he said.

The final installment in the story arc, “The Great Beyond,” reflects on the sheer sense of wonder when considering the universe and the beauty of larger cosmic events, but it also seems to equally explore the feelings that accompany large-scale creative pursuits.

“It was written right after the solar eclipse back in August of last year. I went out to Wyoming and was able to experience the eclipse in totality — which was simply awe-inspiring,” he tells us.

By looking to the stars on Exoplanet, Rinzen captures the blissful wonder that exists at the outer realms of creative pursuits. By leaving the new planet’s development and existing properties open to the interpretation of the listener, despite having admitted that he’s designed his own exoplanet in detail, Rinzen’s letting creativity run wild. Listeners have free range to imagine their own universes — whether it be iterations of Westworld, varieties of Vulcan, or beyond. Finally, he also communicates “that maddening drive within us to create art that is both bold and original.” Surely, it won’t be his last call to inspiration.

Could you give some background story on the inspiration behind each song on Exoplanet? We know you’re very specific about song names, and this seems to read incredibly true on this conceptual voyage in particular.

Yes! So I originally wrote the title track, “Exoplanet,” as an ode to creativity. The melody, with its long pitch bends, was meant to capture that sense of yearning inherent in the creative pursuit — that maddening drive within us to create art that is bold and original. When it came to the EP, I felt it captured a similar sense of yearning in our quest to uncover the answers of the universe.

The second track, “Search for Life,” refers to our collective search for intelligent life in the universe. It can also serve as a double meaning for each individual’s search for meaning in their own life.

Lastly, “The Great Beyond” was written right after the solar eclipse back in August of last year. I went out to Wyoming and was able to experience the eclipse in totality — which was simply awe-inspiring. I named it “The Great Beyond” to reflect that sense of wonder I feel when I think about the sheer size of the universe and the beauty of these larger cosmic events.

When we listen to the EP and consider it conceptually, scenes from the new Blade Runner & all of Tatooine on Star Wars come to mind. We’re wondering if there are there any specific works or experiences that had inspired you in your desire to build worlds, and then more specifically the one surrounding this EP?

Yes definitely. I think growing up in the time of blockbuster fantasy films like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, even Harry Potter, left an indelible impression on my mind as a kid. The way these movies would create these expansive universes, with their own sets of laws and nuances… I was fascinated by them!

When it came time to launch Rinzen, I spent a long time thinking about what I wanted to do with the project. The more I reflected on it, the more it became clear to me that I wanted to channel that same level of narrative and experiential depth as my favorite authors and filmmakers.

How did the discovery of the exoplanets in February inform this work?

I was searching for a theme for the EP and happened to stumble upon an article from NASA detailing our discovery of seven Earth-like planets orbiting a nearby star. I became obsessed by the idea of what it would be like to visit one of these planets for the first time. I even went as far as designing my own solar system and writing out the physical properties of its planets. I find that level of specificity to be helpful when designing the concept of an EP, even if those specific details are never released.

Do you see your Exoplanet existing as a world out in a nearby solar system, and then the listener exploring what this means, or is this more so surrounding the wonder of an interplanetary voyage and the possibility of an Exoplanet?

Good question. It’s a little of both actually. On a larger sense, the EP is meant to encapsulate our collective sense of wonder at the grand scale of the universe. On a more specific level, it’s meant to capture the feeling of discovering an Earth-like planet in a nearby solar system — one that could potentially be hosting intelligent life.

What’s the evolution of the EP mean to you?

I tend to build my EPs around the framework of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey.” It’s basically the idea that there is a universal narrative running through all our myths and stories. It’s the timeless three-act structure of “the call to adventure,” “the trial,” and “the return.”

When it came to Exoplanet, I wanted the progression of the EP to echo this structure . . . to begin with this grandiose invitation to the stars, to then embark on some sort of cosmic voyage, and ultimately return with this new understanding and appreciation of our universe.

The artwork behind each of your works also seems incredibly in sync with the concept. Is this true for Exoplanet?

Yes. I believe the artwork is nearly as important as the music itself. It’s an inherent part of the way we experience music, and I think great artwork can really take a concept or theme to the next level.

With this EP, I was fortunate to work with a talented visual artist named David Gao here in Los Angeles. He shares a similar fascination for otherworldly textures and did a spectacular job capturing the visual theme of the EP.

You dropped the orchestral elements on this EP vs Forbidden City? Was there any specific reasoning as to why? Or was this just what you felt to be the most conducive to a building this specific work?

That’s a very cogent observation! It wasn’t so much a conscious decision as it was a direct result of me purchasing a Moog synthesizer and consequently writing a bunch of songs with it.

I do think it’s important however to be able to release a wide array of textures and styles, and so in that sense, I’m glad the EP ultimately took on a different sonic identity than Forbidden City.

With my new work, however, I’ve found myself fusing these two sides of my production — combining my love of orchestral sound design with my newfound love of analog synths. Stay tuned for that…

EP Artwork Credit: David Gao

Photo Credit: Michael Drummond


Rinzen gives a glimpse into his personal crate with release of debut mixtape, ‘The Prologue’

This post was originally published on this site


Deadmau5 has a proven A&R knack for spotting emerging talent, and historically, he’s equipped them to go off and take over their own corners of the ever-growing EDM empire. If the career trajectories of artists like REZZ or Skrillex serve as any indication, then we have another star on our hands with Rinzen.

The LA-based mau5trap recruit, currently riding his breakthrough wave on the recent “Prologue” tour, has now dropped off his debut mixtape of the same name, giving fans a glimpse at his crate of current personal favorites. Rinzen blends tracks from Mind Against, Adriatique, and Jeremy Olander, along with two unreleased original pieces and a handful of additionally sophisticated tech house selects.

So far, the burgeoning beatmaker has delivered exceptionally conceptual projects, and “The Prologue” mixtape is no different. There’s an underlying theme of equal parts trepedation and thrilling excitement that plays across the hour-long mix as it dips into deep house, progressive, and tribal territories. The mix reflects the process by which Rinzen continues to find his footing in this first chapter of his career as he sets out on what’s clearly going to be a momentous journey for the emerging producer.


DA Presents: 15 artists that rocked the underground in 2017

This post was originally published on this site



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

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

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

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


Honey Dijon

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 Flynn Photo 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


Fur Coat

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


Shall Ocin

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 Hernandez Photo credit: Michael Drummond


Palms Trax

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

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 Hernandez Photo 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.

Words by: Christina Hernandez

Rinzen embarks on ‘The Return’ to the Forbidden City

This post was originally published on this site

The Forbidden City beckons; for its mysterious nature is hard to shake from the psyche. In “The Return,” Rinzen brings us right back to the universe created in his debut mau5trap in the most avant-garde of fashions.

Where Forbidden City charts the adventure of a hero’s journey through a secret, hidden realm, “The Return” offers a deeper exploration of the saga that transpired beforehand. It takes on a more analog form, utilizing a heady breaks canvas that locks listeners into the record while catalyzing goosebumps with a powerful, cinematic breakdown that envelops themes visited in the first exploration of Forbidden City. If there’s one skill Rinzen has demonstrated tenfold, it’s his ability to transport the mind into completely different dimensions.

“The Return” lands on mau5trap’s We Are Friends, Vol. 7 — a full circle of sorts for the exploding LA talent. His debut on deadmau5‘ imprint, “Renegade,” was part of the 5th edition of the beloved compilation series.



Purchase “The Return” here 

Feature photo credit: Michael Drummond


Read More:

Rinzen tells a stunning hero’s tale through ‘Forbidden City’ [EP Review + Interview]

Monstergetdown & Rinzen devastate with techno weapon, ‘Paradox’

Rinzen provides sinister original debut, ‘Renegade,’ on mau5trap

deadmau5 unleashes complete track collection from BBC Radio 1 residency on Spotify

This post was originally published on this site

Deadmau5‘s struck an underground gold mine, and luckily, he’s happy to share the wealth.

After an exciting string of announcements amidst the mau5’s final BBC Radio 1 residency show, the big cheese has thrilled fans with a more immediate gift. Fans of deadmau5’s radio show can relish in a complete collection of the music the artist slung out over the course of the last year thanks to the amusingly-named Spotify playlist “for a lack of a better playlist.”

From the music of Pryda, Gallya, ATTLAS, No Mana, Josh Butler, Rinzen, and many more, Mau5trap‘s gathered together the show’s complete 207-track long list that’s plenty easy to get lost in for 22 hours and 42 minutes if one feels so inclined.

Mau5trap’s looking towards an eventful new year. With fresh music from Joel Zimmerman, a new show, new signees, and more, it’s a good time to be a fan of the label, indeed.

Read More:

deadmau5 will have his own podcast in 2018

deadmau5 stuns in BBC Radio 1 residency finale, confirms ‘new music, new tours, & a new show of some kind’ for 2018

deadmau5 and fans raise $15,000 for Children’s Miracle Network on Twitch stream


Rinzen tells a stunning hero’s tale through ‘Forbidden City’ [EP Review + Interview]

This post was originally published on this site

Pressing “play” on a Rinzen production can be equated to stepping into a different universe. From the first hit of percussion to the closing note, the LA-based artist effortlessly lures listeners into his domain and traps them there with distinctively brooding, cinematic soundscapes.

Creative to his core, Rinzen’s purpose as an artist is to venture beyond the realm of dance music. “From an early stage of the project, I realized I wanted to create entire worlds with my tracks. Almost like building a landscape or environment and then telling a story within it,” he explains. Furthermore, his overarching vision involves creating these worlds with a mélange of mediums combined into a single plane.

“I think there are enough artists making purely club music out there — and there’s nothing wrong with that. I see Rinzen as my opportunity to try and make something different: to integrate all my interests such as writing, poetry, film, and music into one creative pursuit.”

Forbidden City marks the first step toward manifesting his artistic purpose. Landing on Mau5trap, the trilogy tells a hero’s tale discovering a secret temple and facing multiple trials within, “the conquering of which leads to a new sense of self-knowledge.”

It begins with its title track, which courses through beds of dramatic, sweeping orchestral elements and a distinctive bass-line. A sense of longing takes over the beginning, before the track picks up pace to become bolder and adventurous in nature. Indeed, it is entrance to the “Forbidden City.”

“The title track best exemplifies the overall tone of the EP. It hints at feelings of awe and reverence, yet also features more ominous undertones.”

“Belly of the Beast” brings forth the next chapter of the saga, where the listener, or protagonist, faces their true test. Tension fills the air as roaring synthesizers belt out a menacing melody that is pierced by flutters of keyboard and crisp high hats. If there’s one thing Rinzen does well, it’s certainly conveying a message by clever sonic manipulation.

Finally, Forbidden City closes with the powerful “Triumph of the Human Spirit.” The “beast” has been conquered, and victory is communicated by way of pungent kicks and a soaring breakdown. Yet, a sense of darkness lingers within the piece’s confines, signifying with stark cello accents that the protagonist will never forget what they overcame.

“Triumph of the Human Spirit” was interestingly enough a triumph for Rinzen himself. He explains how it was the toughest track he had to wrangle with on the EP, and that “it took a marathon 50-hour struggle (over the course of a few days) to complete it.” The finished product ties Forbidden City up in a tidy fashion.

“I’m hugely inspired by Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey,’ which is basically the concept that there is one singular narrative which all our stories and myths are telling. I wanted the tracks, and the track order, to follow this framework.”

Despite the closure of one chapter, however, this is merely the beginning of Rinzen’s story. “If all goes according to plan, he says, “these worlds that I’m creating will just get bigger and bigger. Eventually, I plan to bring these worlds on tour and accompany them with film.”

May his own hero’s journey bring success and enlightenment.



Photo credit: Michael Drummond

If we’re not mistaken, Rinzen means “sudden awakening.” What are some awakenings you’ve gone through as an artist?
From an early stage of the project, I realized I wanted to create entire worlds with my tracks. Almost like building a landscape or environment and then telling a story within it.

I think there are enough artists making purely club music out there — and there’s nothing wrong with that. I see Rinzen as my opportunity to try and make something different: to integrate all my interests such as writing, poetry, film, and music into one creative pursuit.

Give us the background story/inspiration behind each song on your Forbidden City EP. Also, get into why you grouped these songs in the way that you did. Is there an overarching story you’re looking to communicate?
“Belly of the Beast” was the first song I ever wrote on my Moog. I finished it right after travelling in Japan, with the beautiful, mystic scenery of Kyoto fresh in my mind.

“Forbidden City,” the title track, best exemplifies the overall tone of the EP. It hints at feelings of awe and reverence, yet also features more ominous undertones.

I wanted a big climactic finish to the EP, and thus “Triumph of the Human Spirit” came about. It was the hardest track to finish. It took a marathon 50-hour struggle (over the course of a few days) to complete it.

I’m hugely inspired by Joseph Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey,’ which is basically the concept that there is one singular narrative which all our stories and myths are telling. I wanted the tracks, and the track order, to follow this framework. It’s the idea of being pulled out of your ordinary reality into the unknown and facing a series of trials — the conquering of which leads to a new sense of self-knowledge.

How do you go about choosing names for songs?
I’m very specific about song names, and try to attach them to a concept portrayed by the track. Most of my track names come about from concepts I’ve read about in either fiction or philosophy texts.

You used heavy orchestral elements to help convey emotions in your EP. What draws you to such classical sounds in particular?
There’s something really timeless and enduring about classical music. I find myself listening to it more and more these days. I wanted to incorporate a bit of that influence into the EP. I see it as something that will only become more prominent in my music throughout the years.

Any last thoughts/things you want to say about this EP?
Ultimately, the EP is just the first step in my vision. If all goes according to plan, these worlds that I’m creating will just get bigger and bigger. Eventually, I plan to bring these worlds on tour and accompany them with film. Forbidden City is only the beginning.


Read More:

Monstergetdown & Rinzen devastate with techno weapon, ‘Paradox’

Rinzen crafts a poignant rework of ATTLAS’s ‘Aspen’

Rinzen provides sinister original debut, ‘Renegade,’ on mau5trap