Will Swedish House Mafia reunite for Ultra’s 20th anniversary?

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There’s been no shortage of chatter over another possible Swedish House Mafia reunion since Ultra released their 2018 line-up last month. What a more opportune time after all than UMF’s upcoming twentieth anniversary edition, held in Miami’s Bayfront Park during March. In fact, if last year is any indication, it seems reunion rumors are becoming imminent during this time.


So why always with the hype? 

When EDM pioneers Swedish House Mafia bid their final farewell at Ultra Miami 2013, the trio opened a speculative can of worms for when they might one day return to the stage. As festival season officially kicks off in March with Ultra at the helm, this year has reignited the SHM rumor mill. Indeed, there have been several happenings hinting at what would be a monumental reunion to be sure. The first and most obvious indication is the appearance of Axwell Λ Ingrosso on the 2018 bill, which naturally evoked fan chatter that Steve Angello would somehow jump out of a cake on stage. However outlandish and unlikely, the speculation comes alongside the fact that SHM recently wiped its Twitter account clean, spurring Billboard to stir rumors that a reunion was on the books for 2018, according to sources close to the publication. Additionally, Steve Angello began following Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso separately on Twitter last month. But the most concrete evidence to a SHM return lays in a statement with Ultra CEO Russell Faibisch, who was recently named Magnetic Magazine‘s Industry Person of the Year. The honor came with an exclusive interview in which Faibisch spoke vaguely to this year’s special anniversary appearances,

“…something very big is in the works! Every year we pride ourselves on delivering for our fans special unannounced performances and surprises. But for the big 20th Anniversary, we knew we had to deliver something huge. Something unique that can only be seen at Ultra. It is completely under wraps. The only thing I can say is to Expect The Unexpected.”


swedish house mafia ultra 2013 rukes

So will a SHM reunion actually happen?

It’s possible, but highly unlikely. If these are in fact the only signs of a possible return, the responsible reaction to a reunion need be a highly skeptical one at best. There is also plenty of evidence to negate the trio’s return to the stage. First, Steve Angello won’t even be in the US during the time of Ultra 2018, which not only rules out chances of a SHM reunion, but any appearance during Miami Music Week at all. According to YourEDM, Angello confirmed to a fan in a DM that he is booked for gigs in Asia during the latter part of March. Second, when Billboard speculated a 2018 SHM return, the group’s longtime manager Amy Thomson categorically denied the news via Twitter. Third, while a possible SHM reunion seems inevitable, right now just isn’t the right time. While the group remain good friends, let us remember the trio originally disbanded five years ago because they felt what they were doing was artistically empty. As Angello told HuffPost,

“I think we felt like it had become a very big machine. I think the pressure … It just wasn’t having fun anymore. It was this humongous monster. We felt like tired.”

Thus, the possibility of an SHM reunion seems inevitable on the longer horizon. The moment can and will happen when Ingrosso, Angello, and Axwell collectively feel creatively compelled to create something substantively meaningful — sans any big anniversary line-ups, financial motivation, or commercial gain. As art should be.


So then, what’s the big surprise?

Several fan hypotheses have popped up on r/UMF over more practical predictions as to what we might expect from a twentieth anniversary line-up that says to “expect the unexpected.” First, there’s been speculation over long time friend Alesso joining Axwell and Ingrosso for some sort of SHM offshoot performance. Another possibility is the return of Avicii, as the star made his meteoric return to dance music just this past year. Additionally, Jack Ü is another likely performance to expect, since the duo comprised of Diplo and Skrillex made their debut at Ultra 2014. With Hardwell and Armin van Buuren’s huge b2b performance as Two Is One taking place at Amsterdam Music Festival 2017, hopes have also been high over a follow up performance among Ultra fans.

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It’s difficult to determine the many possibilities Ultra has in store for 2018. While the evidence to a SHM reunion seems bleak in the eyes of some, yet hopeful in the eyes of others, we find that speculation leads to expectation, and expectation leads to disappointment. To let go of expectation is to be content with whatever outcome Ultra Music Festival has in store for their 20th anniversary festival.

 

Photo credit: Jordan Lloyd

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Calvin Harris just bought Steve Angello’s house in LA

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Calvin Harris is becoming so successful that he’s buying other DJ’s homes now. The notably highest-paid producer just purchased Steve Angello‘s former house in LA for an undisclosed amount.

The house was built in the 1940’s and was originally put on the market for $5.5 million in October. However, it’s been given a contemporary reboot, with four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and contains a grand living room that has an 18-foot ceiling surrounded by glass walls, providing incredible LA views. It also has a large porch/outdoor lounge area, a pool and a cutting edge studio on the second floor.

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calvin harris living room

calvin harris new studio

H/T: Realtor

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TBT: A video of Eric Prydz throwing his drink at Axwell from 2008 has resurfaced

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A video has resurfaced to Reddit showing Eric Prydz throwing multiple drinks at Axwell at an after party for the Swedish Grammy Awards.

The video, which dates back to 2008, depicts a reportedly intoxicated Axwell fumbling a transition while behind the decks, to which Prydz seems to take great offense as the progressive house maestro proceeds to throw champagne and beer at Axwell.

Sebastian Ingrosso manages to save the transition but a small verbal interaction takes place between Axwell and Prydz, with Axwell tussling Prydz signature black beanie.

Screwing up a DJ transition may not be a federal offense, but it certainly would be if Eric Prydz were writing legislation. The sentence? Three glasses of bubbly straight to the face.

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Did Axwell Λ Ingrosso really ruin ‘Dreamer?’ An analysis

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Swedish progressive house duo Axwell Λ Ingrosso have released their long awaited single “Dreamer” after more than a year of anticipation. Following the release, fan reactions were a mixed bag of emotions ranging from purist contempt to wholehearted appreciation to downright confusion.

The basis of such stark difference in opinion stems from the decision to alter the track’s structural elements or, in layman’s terms, change its drop. Is Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s fanbase truly this vexed over the group’s decision to flip the script on the track?

The collective frustration and confusion was exacerbated by the sheer amount of time that fans spent anxiously awaiting the track’s release, during which fans obsessed over live rips or “ID’s” of the “original” track—which first debuted at Amsterdam Dance Event in 2016.

Progressive house purists claim that the Swedish producers completely stripped “Dreamer” of its identity, and that the group is making an overt attempt to latch onto electronic music’s flavor of the week.

To rebut, others claim that by altering their production M.O., the group is exhibis a healthy artistic progression marked by a willingness to produce a more forward thinking sound.

Since the disbandment of Swedish House Mafia following their final performance at Ultra in 2013, Axwell has been outward about his desire to shift away from the musical styles that characterized the progressive house zeitgeist in the early aughts of the 2010s. Axwell took to social media following the backlash to give his side of the story, noting that fans can listen to the multitude of progressive house tracks in the duo’s catalogue if they desire a more purist approach.

Recent complaints regarding Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s structural subversion of the track’s fundamental elements comes as no surprise, especially considering the group’s emotional impact on progressive house fans throughout the years. Still, the complaints beg further questions regarding how genre categorization and cultural context affects the way music is produced and, more importantly, consumed on a grand scale. Not only do artists create music with its structural and stylistic elements in mind, but many pay close attention to how said music will be perceived in a larger cultural context or within the dance music scene.

Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s newest track “Dreamer” could be characterized as an active attempt to voyage into new sonic territory, a chintzy attempt to piggy back off of the success of EDM’s hottest buzz names in an effort to remain relevant, or something entirely different. Although it isn’t fair to deem the track obsolete or jump to conclusions about the duo’s artistic intentions, fan concerns about “Dreamer” bring forth relevant questions about how context shapes a songs construction and, ultimately, its reception on a larger scale.

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Steve Angello will release a new album this year

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Former Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello has confirmed via Twitter that he will in fact be releasing a new album this year.

Tensions were high last year when rumors spread that the coveted Swedish House Mafia would be reunited, followed by a hefty lawsuit against Angello. Being the powerhouse that he has become, these small feats were no match for the producer. During the course of 2017, Steve Angello has performed at many distinguished events including Summerburst Festival, two international legs of Ultra, Digital Dreams, and Tomorrowland to name a few.

Fans can expect the new album to be released within the coming months. Not only is the album close on the horizon, but Angello confirmed “Feel At Home,” a track that debuted at Ultra 2014, will finally see the light of day on its tracklist.

H/T: DJ Mag

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Axwell / Ingrosso release invigorating EP, ‘More Than You Know’

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While Swedish House Mafia is now defunct, Sebastian Ingrosso and Axwell have continued their legacy-bolstering partnership as Axwell / Ingrosso. Teasing fans with a never-ending selection of ID’s and unreleased tracks during their live sets, the Swedish duo have finally debuted their explosive sophomore EP, More Than You Know. 

Basking in the success of their latest single “Renegade”, and the unique Instagram premiere of the accompanying music video, the pair have worked tirelessly and succeeded in maintaining the contagious musical aura that fans initially fell in love with. Changing their style up slightly, Axwell / Ingrosso have effectively broken away from their traditional musical style and took a chance into a softer, more heartfelt electronica sector for their track “Dawn”.

Both Axwell and Ingrosso have embarked into 2017 focusing on the production of the EP and playing minimal shows, effectively timing the mounting tension of their anticipated EP release with the kickoff of festival season. Seeing no delay to their continued success, the acclaimed producers will spend their summer closing out an abundance of festival stages across the globe.

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Multiple sources say Swedish House Mafia is reuniting in 2017; manager denies it

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According to Billboard, multiple sources close to Swedish House Mafia say the legendary trio is reuniting in 2017. The group’s longtime manager, Amy Thompson, however, is actively refuting these rumors: “there’s no reunion of Swedish House Mafia planned at all,” Thomson told Billboard. “Even if there was, it’s ridiculously private. They’re not playing at Ultra. There’s no reunion tour planned.”

Yet still, sources maintain that the trio is likely to make an appearance at Ultra Music Festival in Miami, as well as perform in Los Angeles and New York.

This marks the third time this year that rumors have emerged claiming the Swedish triumvirate is set to officially reunite next year — and the third time that the group has denied the rumors. Back in July, YouTube curator Proximity shared supposed insider knowledge about a 2017 reunion before Axwell Ingrosso subsequently refuted it. Later, in October, a deleted Axwell tweet once again stirred suspicion about a reunion before later being denied.

As one of the foremost dance acts of the last two decades, it makes sense than fans are clamoring for the trio’s return. Only time will tell if these rumors actually prove true.

Via: Billboard

Steve Angello is being sued for fraud allegations

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Steve Angello is currently embroiled in a legal battle due to allegations of fraud. Swedish news outlet Expressen reports, “Swedish House Mafia member Steve Angello, 33, has been sued for about 116 million [SEK] of an artist colleague and a former business partner.”

The 116 million Swedish Krona which the plaintiffs are seeking from Angello amounts to roughly $13 million USD.

According to Expressen, the charges levied against Angello include “fraud, broken business contract and crimes against property management.” Reportedly, the former business partner’s lawsuit claims that Angello’s actions “were deliberate and intentional, knowing that such behavior would damage the plaintiff,” and goes on to accuse Angello of covering up his fraud “by constantly repeating, and distorting information.”

The secondary plaintiff, referred to as “the artist’s colleague” throughout the report, claims to have been promised a monthly salary as well as a “five percent stake in a company.” Expressen does not specify the amount of the colleague’s agreed-upon salary, nor does it name the company in which the plaintiff was promised a stake.

Steve Angello seems ambivalent to the suit. The artist remarked to Expressen that the lawsuit “lacks grounds and is a lot of fabrications and lies…I do not think about this. Had there been something serious, I [would have] been familiar with it. But I do not care. There are no grounds.”

Angello also alleges to have filed counterclaims against the plaintiffs. However, Expressen reports that, as of the morning of November 1, neither Angello nor his representatives have filed any counterclaims to the Los Angeles Court wherein the trial is being litigated.

Dancing Astronaut will continue to provide updated information surrounding the suit as it arises.

Via: Expressen

 

Axwell denies Swedish House Mafia reunion rumors; claims tweet was photoshop

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The past 24 hours have been a whirlwind of emotions for Swedish House Mafia fans. Late yesterday, screenshots began circulating the web of a deleted Axwell tweet hinting at the return of Swedish House Mafia. The tweet read “The countdown to a new era has begun. Never too late to get back on track.”

Combined with a new logo containing the letters AIA and a date marked for Ultra 2017 (where the trio performed their final performance in 2013), it seemed all to certain that something was going to happen with SHM in 2017.

Now, however, Axwell has responded to the rumors claiming that the tweet was photoshopped. He wrote on Twitter this morning: “Doesn’t take much more than a wise guy with photoshop to start a rumor.”

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This is the second time Swedish House Mafia reunion rumors have surfaced in 2016 (and consequently been debunked). Back in July, YouTube curator Proximity shared news of a suspected Swedish House Mafia tour in 2017 before Axwell Ingrosso officially denied the rumor, saying “At this point we’re not planning on reuniting and we have really no further comments on what the future for SHM looks like.”

Axwell hints at Swedish House Mafia reunion

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In 2012, Swedish House Mafia catalyzed one of dance music’s most seismic events when they announced that they would be breaking up. The following farewell tour would last nine months, and prove to be one of the most commercially successful endeavors in electronic music’s history. In the trio’s wake, all three members have remained significant figures in the dance music realm; Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso have continued their partnership, while Steve Angello has seen further success in solo endeavors.

Axwell, who has previously noted the possibility of a reunion between the group, sent SHM’s legions of fans into a frenzy after posting a tweet which could suggest a resurrection of the influential trio.In the now-deleted tweet, Axwell states “The countdown to a new era has begun. Never too late to get back on track.”

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The cryptic message is accompanied by a revised version of the Axwell Λ Ingrosso logo, which adds a perceived “A” character to the two members’ initials. Fans have speculated that the second “A” symbol could suggest the formation of a supergroup with Alesso, because of his history of working with the producers, and his recent appearance with the duo at this year’s Amsterdam Dance Event.

The post also includes the date March 26, 2017, which marks Sunday of next year’s Ultra Music Festival – where Swedish House Mafia famously put on their final performance in 2013. Sources close to the group note that a reunion between the duo and Steve Angello is unlikely, and all evidence suggesting a revitalization of SHM with Alesso added to the roster is purely speculative. However, it’s safe to assume that something momentous is occurring within the ranks of Sweden’s most influential DJs. No matter the manifestation, March 26, 2017 is a date for SHM fans to mark in their calendars.

H/T: YourEDM

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