Happy Birthday, Skrill! A playlist dedicated to a modern dance pioneer

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Happy Birthday, Skrill! A playlist dedicated to a modern dance pioneerSkrille Live Aug 2017 Billboard 1548 0

On this day in 1988, a dance music prophet was born. His name was Sonny Moore, and he would eventually grow into a living legend by the name of Skrillex. By 2010, he had a new subgenre of bass on his hands with groundbreaking records like 2010’s “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites.” It wouldn’t be long before he parted the proverbial Red Sea of the music industry and lead electronica into the promised land of the mainstream with his consistent innovation and ear for the cutting-edge. Now, Skrillex is partially responsible for ingraining dance music deeper into pop, with countless production credits to his name.

It’s only natural that we celebrate this icon’s birth with an homage to his craft: a 31-track-strong playlist of entirely his own productions, representing the years he’s lived on this Earth. Few tables were left unturned in our efforts, featuring everything from the classic “Cinema” remix, to more modern cuts like “Would You Ever.”

Happy Birthday, legend – we’re looking forward to continued greatness.

 

 

Photo Credit:  by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Skrillex and Boys Noize announce another show as Dog Blood by way of Sunset Music Festival

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Skrillex and Boys Noize announce another show as Dog Blood by way of Sunset Music FestivalSunset Music Festival Tessa Paisan 2017 147

Sunset Music Festival (SMF) will be returning to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL for its eighth consecutive year this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend. The phase-one lineup of the festival, suited for everyone from trance to dubstep fans, is out in conjunction with a pre-sale kickoff, for those looking to secure the most advantageously priced spot at Sunset.

SMF attracts approximately 60,000 fans over two event days each year. This year’s lineup will feature acts ranging from Kaskade and Audien to Alison Wonderland and Chris Lake. Dog Blood, comprised of Skrillex and Boys Noize, is certainly among the most auspicious features on the lineup. This is the duo’s second event announcement of the year, following their earlier BUKU Music and Arts Festival show announcement. Indeed, there is much to look forward to from SMF this year, as two of the scene’s most prominent labels, Anjunabeats and Deadbeats, will be found on Sunset grounds, hosting branded stage takeovers at the festival.

Unique to previous years, SMF is introducing GA Plus passes (in addition to standard GA and VIP passes) which will allow express entry on both festival days from 3 PM until midnight Saturday and Sunday. Presale tickets are available here.

Skrillex and Boys Noize announce another show as Dog Blood by way of Sunset Music FestivalSunset Music Festival

 

Welcome to the Jungle: the local event brand shaping China’s flourishing electronic music culture

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Welcome to the Jungle: the local event brand shaping China’s flourishing electronic music culture8

The air at China’s Electric Jungle music festival is rife with more than just thick blankets of meandering cigarette smoke. The untethered Chinese electronic festival goers beam with the enthusiasm of a culture not yet jaded by the “put-your-fucking-hands-up” of it all. 

China’s sprawling electronic music scene, while invariably unique (despite Western influences), follows the traditional counter-culture-becomes-the-culture plot. Among the local efforts to secure dance music widespread recognition, Jungle Events is most notable for working, not just to throw sensational, world-class festivals with the most sought-after electronic acts, but to promote camaraderie among its supporters.

“Jungle is one of the only domestic festival brands in China. The team is made up of Chinese ravers who want to establish a community of ravers in China, not just throw festivals,” says Chinese trance titan and perennial Jungle billing, Luminn, echoing the company’s distinct ethos.

Signed to Armin van Buuren’s army of global trance talent, Armada, Luminn (real name, JunLiang Fan) speaks ambivalently towards the influx of foreign festival brands embedding themselves in the Chinese market. As the first Chinese artist to secure a clean sweep of spots on the Ultra, EDC, and TRANSMISSION lineups, he posits with authority: Jungle stands out. 

It’s simple enough. The Chinese want to go to raves thrown by Chinese ravers. That’s not to say international muscle hasn’t amassed a robust following in recent years. Ultra China’s first swing in 2017 drew over 40,000 awestruck attendees to its inaugural weekend in Shanghai. The goliath outfits also make an effort to book domestic talent. EDC China’s official flyer from last year sprinkled the hometown heroes alphabetically alongside Alison Wonderland, Disclosure, and the lot—same-size font and all. 

“Rave:” an antiquated term on US or European soil. But inside China’s cocktail of fresh-faced organizers and authorities privy to the most arbitrary whims (event permits count for little), the tired term has earned its wings here. Even the most meticulously planned festival is an inspired act of valor for the Chinese—clandestine warehouse setting be damned. 

KSHMR, born Niles Hollowell-Dhar, reckons he’s performed in China more than any other country outside the US. Resting on the upper-most echelons of both the international big-room scene and Jungle’s most recent lineup, the California native revels in the laundry-fresh feel of China’s developing dance scene.  

“They are probably the most enthusiastic of any fanbase that I have around the world—showing up at the airports when I arrive, and even at the hotels,” says KSHMR. “There’s a vigor and a zeal to the Chinese people that I feel it’s a shame that a lot of the world doesn’t understand.”

Once the effects of the awe-inducing elixir comprised of Skrillex, REZZ, and Martin Garrix, (just a few of Jungle’s other active ingredients) subsides, we remember Jungle 2018’s auspicious undercard. Radiating sweet heat akin to her effervescent live sets is DJ Lizzy. Chinese-turned-New-Jersey-native, Lizzy Wang was the first female Chinese DJ to book a slot at Ultra. Inspirited by Newark’s omnipresent hip-hop culture, Wang started making music to relate to her more rambunctious American peers. Like a video-game heroine, she began unlocking levels of newfound confidence with every DIY production skill acquired from days spent poring over YouTube tutorials.

Wang attributes Jungle’s loyal following to its keen and ever-domestic ear. 

“[The Jungle Team] cares about what the Chinese ravers want to see on a lineup,” says Wang. “It’s about more than selling tickets.” 

Both the Jungle founders, a collective of former University of Southern California transfer students, and Chinese EDM at large, owe at least their root infrastructure to dance music conventions from the states; though what’s evolved since their most nascent notions of EDM world-building is unmistakably domestic. Luminn observes the recent rush of Chinese producers opting to include Mandarin and Cantonese lyrics in their tracks. 

As with nearly any art form, there is a degree of reciprocity inherent in Eastern and Western influences that travels through the global dance music scene. Just before his Saturday performance at Jungle’s most recent installment, globetrotting English-born, part-Chinese trap talent, TroyBoi spoke of his manifold use of Asian instrumentation in his productions (“KinjaBang” and “Souls,” are two of the starkest examples).

“I like to create a worldly sound, with an electronic/hip-hop backbone to it that will translate wherever I play,” he says. “It gives me an edge when I come to tour in places like China.”

In comparison to TroyBoi, the LA-based Drezo was one of the most unanticipated additions to the 2018 lineup. Sporting visuals suited for a biopic on Satan himself, and a nefariously pulsing electro/house sound to match, Drezo’s performance was certainly liable to send Jungle patrons into a head-scratching frenzy. Instead, Drezo’s prescribed dose of strange was just what Saturday’s Bass Stage ordered, accruing a commendable crowd that was as excited as it was confounded.

“Something about the atmosphere here reminds me of the [US] scene around 2011,” says Drezo just after his set. “They go crazy for everything.”

Repeat Jungle dignitary, Terry Zhong, a recent grad of Boston’s Berklee College of Music cites Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga’s blurring the lines of pop and dance music as a vessel for EDM’s Chinese infiltration. The Insomniac talent began fine-tuning his piano prowess at the age of five—since then cracking a sundry of local lineups, including EDC Guangdong, as well as prominent bookings throughout the domestic club circuit. 

“[The Chinese] are trying to emulate what’s happening in the US,” says Zhong. “But now we’re starting to grow our own dance scene, to find a Chinese PLUR.”

Sound familiar? 

 

Good Morning Mix: Zeds Dead threads together their favorite releases of 2018 for #079 Deadbeats Radio

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Good Morning Mix: Zeds Dead threads together their favorite releases of 2018 for #079 Deadbeats RadioZeds Dead Deadbeats 1

It’s often easy to forget that the most prominent producers are also fans and connoisseurs of their gifted counterparts. Using their ever-expanding Deadbeats platform, Zeds Dead resolved to extend a retrospective tip of their producer caps to their favorite records and fellow artists of 2018. “The Boys” dedicated their 79th edition of Deadbeats Radio to rounding up their personal favorites from the calendar year–sneaking in a few of their own concoctions, of course.

From Fisher’s ubiquitous hysteria-inducer “Losing It,” to lesser-known drum ‘n’ bass delight, Noisa‘s remix of Pendulum‘s “Hold Your Colour,” the iconic duo’s multifarious taste is palpable as ever. Their fervent love of hip-hop is observed with additions like Pusha T’s “The Games We Play” and Nas’ “Adam and Eve” featuring The-Dream. Make no mistake: bass music, in its seemingly infinite forms, is sprawled across their preference palette, even over a decade into their career under their now-hallowed alias; as the mix recognizes offerings from Rezz, PEEKABOO, Skrillex, Dion Timmer, to name a few.

Track List:

Zeds Dead & DNMO – We Could Be Kings (feat. Tzar)
Pendulum – Hold Your Colour (Noisia Remix)
Dillon & Batsauce – Keep Pushin’ (feat. Sadat X)
Friction – Stinker (feat. Riko Dan & Tantrum Desire)
Rezz & 1788-L – H E X
Nas – Adam and Eve (feat. The-Dream)
The Voidz – ALieNNatioN
Fisher – Losing It
Vato Gonzales – Bump & Grind (Bassline Riddim) [feat. Scrufizzer]
Funkin Matt – Aeon
Mozzy, Sjava, Reason – Seasons
TroyBoi – Hey Bo!
Ficci – Alone (feat. Yves Paquet)
Jim E-Stack – I Did the Best I Could
3lau – Touch (feat. Carly Paige) (Zeds Dead Remix)
What So Not – Beautiful (feat. Winona Oak) [ZEKE BEATS Remix]
Jorja Smith – I Am
AFK & Carbin – Boss (feat. Cody Ray) (Dirt Monkey Remix)
Travis Scott & Drake – SICKO MODE (Skrillex Remix)
Shades – ALARMA Ft Killa P
XXXTENTACION – SAD!
Dion Timmer – Shiawase
Gentlemens Club – Little John
Pusha T – The Games We Play
Gorgon City – Go Deep (Zeds Dead Remix)
A-Trak & Baauer – Dumbo Drop (Gammer Remix)
PEEKABOO – Maniac
ZHU – My Life

Photo Credit: Beatcue

See Skrillex play out new unreleased material at Contact Festival [WATCH]

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See Skrillex play out new unreleased material at Contact Festival [WATCH]Screen Shot 2017 07 31 At 7.24.07 PM

Now that Skrillex resumed playing shows, the dance music don has been teasing an abundance of unreleased material. One recent example was caught on New Year’s Eve at Contact Festival — an untitled edit of Skrillex’s infamous Benny Benassi “Cinema” remix — in Vancouver after first being played at Fuji Rock in Japan. While most are used to the hard hitting mayhem induced by his emo metal electronic upbringing, the unreleased tones seem to suggest a traverse towards the pop realm. With high-pitched vocal chops and and uplifting melody, the track turns the original from anger to pure bliss.

In 2018, Skrillex dove into the producer credit world, collaborating with big label superstars such as Camila Cabello, The Weeknd, Kimbra, Jennifer Lopez, and Lykke Li. He did an original remix for Travis Scott and Drake‘s “Sicko Mode,” worked with his original band, From First To Last, and collaborated with up and comer, Elohim, on more subdued OWSLA released tracks.

From the sounds of it, it seems Skrillex is in a happier, more comfortable place, making waves in some of the most distributed tracks on the planet.

H/T: DJ Mag

Skrillex’s undersung ‘Leaving’ EP turns six

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Skrillex’s undersung ‘Leaving’ EP turns sixSkrille Scary Monsters Nice Sprites Eight Years

We’re celebrating the sixth anniversary of Skrillex‘s toned-down three-track EP, Leaving, which was exclusively dropped to members of OWSLA‘s subscription service, The Nest, on January 3, 2013. The extended play became public on Sonny Moore’s YouTube and SoundCloud pages the next day.

“Scary Bolly Dub” is a rework of “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites,” an edit of the mind-melting original that Skrillex played live and circulated on the internet a year before its release. One can really hear the slowed-down likeness toward the end of the track.

“The Reason” comes in at a cool 100 BPM — a few energy notches below the usual 140 BPM dubstep mayhem listeners were accustomed to at the time. This tempo has relevance these days in the slower wobbles that REZZ and other dubstep artists have been popularizing.

“Leaving” runs with a complex percussion pattern, showcasing Skrillex’s innate drum proficiency that he uses today for big label credit releases. The EP was a bit of a departure from his normal raucous tunes, showcasing a more tender side to Skrillex’s production capabilities.

Skrillex and Wolfgang Gartner’s classic ‘Devil’s Den’ gets a 2019 revamp by newcomer LICK

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Skrillex and Wolfgang Gartner’s classic ‘Devil’s Den’ gets a 2019 revamp by newcomer LICKLick Perfoming Live Facebook

LICK may not be a household name yet, but that’s likely all about to start changing. The emerging Phoenix-native producer is the newest recruit to be called up to the Alt:Vision ranks, joining the likes of Wolfgang Gartner, Autograf, Drezo, k?d, and Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artist of 2018, Medasin, among others. To celebrate his freshly-inked deal, LICK took on Gartner and Skrillex‘s unforgettable “Devil’s Den,” for a brand new remix that introduces the up-and-coming producer in bold fashion.

The original track, found on Skrillex’s Grammy Award-winning Bangarang EP which just celebrated its seventh anniversary, has maintained a constant spot within Skrillex’s sets over the years. Now, with LICK’s rendition, the track has received a modern day mid-tempo revamp that’s equally suited for heavy live play, perfectly toeing the line between fresh and nostalgic.

LICK is primed for a breakout campaign this year with a Deadbeats-signed EP already slated for early 2019, as well as major festival bookings including Electric Forest later this year. Making a splash at the onset of 2019 with an aced “Devil’s Den” remix, expect LICK to stay on your radar all year long.

Iconic New York City venue Webster Hall announces 2019 reopening

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Iconic New York City venue Webster Hall announces 2019 reopeningSkrille Webster Closing Party Credit Scotty Hawk Nest Hq

Landmark New York City nightclub Webster Hall announced in the summer of 2017 it would close its doors after a historic 130-year run. The iconic nightlife institution shuttered in grand fashion with Skrillex, Boys Noize, and friends tearing the venue down on August 5, 2017 ahead of a planned closure that was expected to keep the space closed through sometime in 2020. Now, it appears Webster Hall is back — the venue announced its immanent return in 2019 in a social media post on January 1. Initially when AEG purchased the venue, the plan was to rebrand Webster Hall into a new sports and entertainment venue tentatively called Spectrum Hall, though its unclear what sort of entertainment programming Webster will reopen with later this year.

Webster Hall’s reopening announcement comes as a positive note after a string of notable nightlife hotspots closing their doors at the end of 2018, including Brooklyn’s beloved Output, San Francisco’s Mezzanine, and most recently Beta Nightclub in Denver.

Featured Image: Scotty Hawk for Nest HQ

Saturday Night Session 005: BRKLYN crafts heavy mix and talks the significance of releasing debut EP

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Saturday Night Session 005: BRKLYN crafts heavy mix and talks the significance of releasing debut EPUnnamed

Cameron Alexander and Cody Nadeau may be based in Los Angeles, but that hasn’t stopped the duo from creating feel-good music and quickly gaining momentum within the electronic music scene under moniker BRKLYN. The duo started to make a name for themselves after releasing “Steal Your Heart” in 2015, and from there, they have toured around the country opening for larger names like Audien as well as headlining their own shows. While their style fluctuates from progressive house to commercial crossover releases, they have found a way to keep each track they make fresh and original in a cluttered landscape of catchy vocals and predictable drops.

Both Alexander and Nadeau grew up playing the piano and the guitar, eventually joining bands that kickstarted their musical journey. They then joined forces to make electronic group BRKLYN, but their first shows under the moniker included the artists playing guitars during their sets and bringing out singers to perform live. The duo sat down with Dancing Astronaut and notes, “We will always play instruments and will always incorporate live instruments into all of our records and live shows.” In addition to infusing instrumentals into their live shows, every track they write is built on the foundation of a guitar or a piano.

While impressive that both artists create thanks to a foundation of instrumentals, they are quick to call out that claiming to play an instrument and infusing it with a live electronic show is becoming overdone to the point of inauthentic. When asked about their response to the stigma that electronic music artists are not ‘real musicians,’ the duo claps back, “You either write good tunes or you don’t. And you either have a killer live show that blows minds and creates experience, or you don’t.” They continue, “Now it almost feels like a gimmick. Everybody is so dire to prove they are talented musicians, so they started playing drum pads. I could never find the strings on those things.”

BRKLYN has released their first EP titled Things I’ve Learned with five tracks spanning from feel-good “Gotta Have It” to infectious “Good Vibe,” which has the capacity to be a radio fixture. Things I’ve Learned features collaborators including Zack Martino and Disco Fries among others. The duo spoke about what it feels like to finally have their first EP out, saying, “For us, an EP rather than just a single was something we always felt strongly about.” They continue, “We wanted to finish a body of work that our fans could listen to on repeat that captured this shared time in the world.”

In honor of the release, BRKLYN put together an hour long mix for Saturday Night Sessions, and the set takes the listener all over the map whether it be current hip hop releases or old school Skrillex infused drops. For those curious what a BRKLYN live show would be like, this mix is the perfect taste of what is to come.

Read the full Q&A with BRKLYN below:

_________________________________________________________________________

What jobs did you work before becoming full time musicians?

Cameron: Lighting technician at a local music venue called Chain Reaction.
Cody: I taught guitar lessons And was an Intern at Sunset Sound Studios in LA.

How important are instruments to your creative process when you start working on a new song?

BRKLYN: Live instruments have always been crucial to our creative process. Every song we write starts on a foundation of guitar or piano.

Although it is becoming better, what do you say in response to the stigma that electronic music artists are not ‘real musicians’? Especially curious since you both are skilled instrumentalists

BRKLYN: I think it doesn’t matter anymore, and the whole stigma is whack. You either write good tunes or you don’t. And you either have a killer live show that blows minds and creates experience, or you don’t. Now it almost feels like a gimmick. Everybody is so dire to prove they are talented musicians so they started playing drum pads. I could never find the strings on those things. But I do think there is a distinct advantage for writing records if you know how to play an instrument. For us, all we know is guitar and piano and instruments. We grew up playing in bands, and to gain any type of success or recognition, we had to be better at playing, writing, and performing than anybody else. During our very first BRKLYN shows we played guitars live in our sets and brought out singers. So, we will always play instruments and will always incorporate live instruments into all of our records and live shows.

How does it feel to finally have your debut EP out?

BRKLYN: It feels tight. We been crafting these tunes and felt it was ready to release into the world. For us, an EP rather than just a single was something we always felt strongly about. We wanted to finish a body of work that our fans could listen to on repeat that captured this shared time in the world. We are all tapped into the same energies and some of us are better at identifying what they are and others will know it and it will feel familiar or like an answer when they do experience it. I feel songs are that. So, we are very happy to share a mutual experience with our fans. And hopefully they are expanding and learning through our music just like we are expanding and learning through them.

What is one thing about each of you that your fans would not know?

Cameron: I want to have twins.
Cody: Hmm… One of my favorite places is being inside a theatre. Musicals, plays etc… Such a creative vibe in there.

What other hobbies keep you sane as you balance living the lives of touring artists?

Cameron: Exercise, meditating, and reading. My physical, mental, and spiritual health has been an important journey for me.
Cody: I love working out to clear my mind, running outside specifically.

What is your musical guilty pleasure?

Cameron: French Horn and Christmas music.
Cody: John Mayer has been my favorite artist since about 8th grade.

What kind of a Saturday night is your mix getting us ready for?

Cameron: This mix is tight! This mix will get you ready to blast off into another dimension that you didn’t know existed. This shit is hype and lit at the same goddamn time.
Cody: This mix is a little heavier for the pregame vibes. Throwing in some things y’all might hear at our shows!

Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018Skrille 1

Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.

2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.

We also saw a creative collective of remixes surface in 2018, including Rinzen‘s compelling take on deadmau5 and Rob Swire‘s hit “Monophobia” and Skrillex‘s intoxicating rendition of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode.” We celebrated the return of Gesaffelstein with “Reset” and welcomed new projects from Diplo in LSD and Silk City. We welcomed collaborations from Ekali, Medasin, and Elohim in “Forever,” Tiësto, Dzeko, Post Malone, and Preme in platinum smash hit “Jackie Chan,” and ZHU and Tame Impala in “My Life.”

Ultimately, though, we’ve narrowed 2018 down to 30 tracks that stole our hearts and smashed streaming records.