With rampant overdrive and reverb, the warehouse music Alex Ridha pulls into yet another Boys Noize mix grabs its listeners by the chest and throws them into a dark dance floor filled with sonic booms, thuds, and hisses. In the culture surrounding this music one can find leather-clad punks bouncing from dusk to dawn to repetitive acid-synth arpeggios in clubs around the globe. A complex melting pot of techno, punk rock, and disco house gives Boys Noize the unique sounds and image many associate with the project.
There is something beautifully sinister to be found in the sweaty incantations that a mix like this places over its listeners. In this featured mix for The Ransom Note, Ridha teases out samples from and remixes of tracks in Mayday, his latest feature length album. Listeners can hear vocals from “Overthrow,” “Euphoria,” and “Midnight” cutting in and out between hypnotic kick drums and erratic breaks.
In an interview with The Ransom Note that accompanies the release of the mix, Ridha opens up about the inspiration, motivation, and history behind his music. Tracing his roots back to the 1980s house with names like Farley Jackmaster Funk, Steve Silk Hurley, Marshall Jefferson, and DJ Pierre, Ridha accounts his early days in DJing as a 15-year-old in Berlin gay and house clubs.
The atypical culture surrounding Boys Noize mentioned above seems rooted in Rihda’s 1990s experiences, such as seeing 2manyDJs mixing techno with punk-rock by Iggy & the Stooges. Ridha ends the mix by mixing punk rock with techno, enigmatic of the Boys Noize project, but also historically ironic because Iggy Pop hated techno. When interviewers ask, “what does your music sound like,” Ridha responds appropriately: it’s like “punching into a sunny side up egg.” Ridha’s jovial attitude brings to mind the yellow smiley face symbol iconic to acid house and adopted under the Boys Noize name for nostaligic merchandise. The interview is full of comical remarks by Ridha, and the mix features a transformed vocal with his unique “drink more water” introduction, which is a recurrent trope throughout many of his mixes.
Deep house sensation Nora En Pure has hit the ground running in 2017 with an outstanding new EP, Conquer Yosemite. Despite the titular challenge, the release is a collection of free-flowing tracks from multitalented producer Daniela Niederer.
Opening track, “Diving with Whales”, has asserted itself as a fan favorite since it’s premiere on Pete Tong’s BBC Radio 1 show in December and sets the atmospheric tone for the rest of this stellar release. The ensuing tracks “Caught in the Act” and “Make Me Love You” gleam at every turn with thumping basslines and gentle piano chords, while “Freedom Lives Within” is laced with a relaxing tropical percussion.
“The Conquer Yosemite EP is a reflection of places you would want to go to experience overwhelming calm & peace,” Niederer told Dancing Astronaut. “‘Freedom Lives Within’ is the core of that feeling. When I am on the road I try to take in as many atmospheres and like to grasp places on a deeper level than the obvious, which I tried to incorporate into this EP.”
Between her immaculate attention to detail and indomitable spirit, Conquer Yosemite is Niederer’s greatest feat yet and is sure to light up festival dance floors–including her Coachella debut–all summer long.
2016 was the year that Swedish tech house tedium buster Dear David stepped out of the shadows and made with a stunning run of new material. In the wake of debut Sony Music single ‘Fever’ and a standout remix of Roby’s ‘Waterfals,’ the Stockholm native kickstarts 2017 with an indicator of the shape and stamina to come for the year ahead. With a longer, moodier and more patience requesting take on his signature fusion of progressive and tech house sounds, ‘Sunrise’ benefits for a steady building and delicately layered dose of well-oiled club music. With a second single anticipated for the first quarter of 2017, there appears to be a less-trodden middle ground ready to be championed in Dear David’s capable hands.
latest release on BiblioTheque Records pairs pristine progressive house elements with a driven techno layer for an added bit of edge. “My Love” bustles with stirring pads and arpeggiators that swim and submerge in a sea of buzzing synthesis. The unique combination is navigated effortlessly by the Swedish producer — nothing feels out of place here in this strange brew of dancefloor decadence.
Guy Gerber told Huffington Postthat music should be “strong and painful” when discussing his new collaborative project with LED designer and fellow musician Deniz Kurtel, titled “Here Comes The Rain.” The song exudes melancholic overtones thanks to a haunting piano progression and rattly sound effects in the background that do indeed speak to dreary, rainy days. Despite these aspects, “Here Comes The Rain” manages to maintain a dreamy atmosphere as well, peppered with rhythmic drums and moving vocal samples that give off a hopeful undertone which balances out its more sorrowful counterparts.
The track is slated for a January 27 release on Rumors, after circulating for roughly two years. Its long-awaited release comes at an opportune time, emulating emotions the dance world experienced around excessive violence that has struck the community as of late while and allowing a peaceful and moving foundation to work through them.
SHADED and Havard Bass are two artists whose distinctive styles caught Tiga’s attention enough to become regulars on his imprint, Turbo Recordings. The two acts have successfully combined their talents into a scintillating EP, entitled Time Wasting. The titular opening track kicks the EP off on a high note, which exudes Harvard Bass’ heavy influence, SHADED’s finesse, and is aided by Rossirock’s MC skills.
The above artists astutely chose Kenny Glasgow as a remixer, who strips the collaboration down to its core and reforms it into a deeper, hypnotic mix. Nuanced synths and eclectic samples take the place of more powerful elements present in the original, allowing its rhythmic underlay to play a more prominent role. The polished tone and enduring nature of the remix make Kenny Glasgow’s rendition of “Time Wasting” a good listen in multiple settings.
Time Wasting will be released on January 20. Preorder the EP, which includes Kenny Glasgow’s remix, here.
With a great group of friends comes a great distribution of responsibilities. One of the most important aspects of the music industry is its interwoven communities, and it’s immediately apparent that Justin Jay utilizes this facet dutifully and thoughtfully. Getting his start on Claude Von Stroke’s Dirtybird imprint, Justin Jay and his group of friends quickly grew big enough to start their own venture. Justin Jay & Friends have launched a label of their own, which shares its name with their debut album, Fantastic Voyage.
In an interview with Dancing Astronaut, Jay explained that just about every aspect of their album was a team effort. The production and instrumentation side saw the “Friends” portion of the group (Josh Taylor and Benny Bridges) contribute throughout the process, with additional help from Sacha Robotti and Ulf Blonde. The process through which the album was released was as much of a team effort as its conception. Fantastic Voyage was put out in a series of distinct segments – four main parts with an additional fifth “special treat” at the end – released by a total of five different labels.
True to its title, the album ranges far and wide across the musical spectrum, succeeding in taking listeners on an excursion through Justin Jay and all of his friends’ collective and individual creative mindsets. The rhythms of the album’s tracks stay mostly in the realm of house, but the amount of variety inside of these rough boundaries is truly impressive.
A heavy, tribal sound complemented with certain rock influences as can be heard in such tracks as “Karma,” “Can’t Complain,” and “Make You Mine,” while indie-style tracks like “What Do You Want,” “Turn Around,” and “Climbing Trees” explore more easygoing sensibilities. As the album further addresses funkier, more melodic perspectives heard in “Weatherman,” “Let Go,” and “Broke The Law,” the album covers a lot of ground stylistically.
Though many producers and musicians attempt similar amounts of variety as Jay and his cadre, the refined sound and production quality brought to each and every track on Fantastic Voyage shows that the combined creative faculties of the collective stand apart from the crowd. Alongside the rock and funk influences made prominent by guitarist Benny Bridges, and the indie influences brought in by the vocalist Josh Taylor, the album also sails the seas of tech house and techno at times. Tracks like “I See You,” “Indecision,” and “Karma (JJ’s Late Nite Dub)” show this side of the group’s creativity, likely due in part to contributions from Ulf Blonde.
The album can be streamed below, either as an hour-long continuous mix or as 12 individual tracks. Justin Jay has also embarked on the next stage of his adventure, the Fantastic Voyage Tour. Tickets are available here.
By all accounts, The BPM Festival has cemented its name as the world’s foremost tropical techno paradise. The festival is back this January for its tenth anniversary on the pristine shores of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This year, the legendary 10-day Caribbean affair has crafted a tremendous lineup of over 400 house and techno artists performing across various showcases, beach parties and sunset-till-sunrise jungle parties.
With an immense roster of both underground legends and emerging talent, The BPM Festival’s lineup can be a bit daunting to digest. While much of the focus goes towards heavy-hitter names like Carl Cox, Marco Carola, and Solomun, the entirety of the lineup is worth exploring in-depth. To help navigate the expansive billing, we’ve highlighted 10 artists to watch at this year’s festival.
All photos courtesy of aLIVE Coverage for TheBPMFestival.com
There’s a reason Patrick Topping is consistently ranked as one of the best DJs in the world — his penchant for funky basslines and celestial embellishments is commanding. The house maestro recently dropped off a holiday present in the form of a compilation album titled Paradise On Earth #01 Mexico alongside Nathan Barato mere weeks ago, proving the perfect warmup for his much anticipated appearances at The BPM Festival.
Ruisan DJ and producer Julia Govor has hoisted herself atop the techno world, gaining co-signs from top-tier tastemakers like Pete Tong, Richie Hawtin and Sven Vath, as well as landing major gigs at Movement in Detroit, WMC in Miami, ADE in Amsterdam and Timewarp, Awakenings and Electric Zoo in New York. The renaissance woman also released the well-received Open Possibility EP (via Body Parts/Mind Series) back in the spring with official remixes from Ricardo Villalobos and Kamran Sadeghi.
Fresh off a summer residency at DC-10 in Ibiza opening for Jamie Jones’ staple Paradise party, Hot Creations breakout star wAFF masterfully blends melancholic samples with the energy and funk of the label. In addition to originals like “Mike The Swamp” with Russ Yallop and “Flipback,” his three-track Sick Pleasure EP was among the grooviest releases of 2016.
While 2016 proved to be a tough year for many, others like house sorceress Lauren Lane can’t complain. Beginning with BPM’s epic closing beach party in January to Carnaval in Brazil to Burning Man and the closing parties in Ibiza, Lauren capped her stellar year with the release of the Mantra 304 project via Saved Records and her latest tech house track “Evelyn Glennie.”
Newcastle native Cristoph’s high-octane driver “Alone” — off his new conceptual album titled 8-Track — is symbolic of the state of his career: he’s in his own lane. While he may seem like an up-and-coming artist, multiple track and EP releases on Noir, Suara, Adam Beyer’s Truesoul, VIVa MUSiC and Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound prove him to a veritable force in the underground.
Kidnap Kid’s rapturous melodic house is best paired with an ocean breeze, so his appearance at The BPM Festival will certainly be a moment to soak in. The London-bred DJ and producer comes off an explosive year of touring and an onslaught of seasonal EPs including Stronger, which boasted the smash single “Like You Used To,” and the ethereal Moments project towards the top of 2016.
Between his Elements mix series, the massive “Cobalt” anthem released on Solomun’s DIYNAMIC label and hypnotic record “Complex” (which spawned seductive remixes from Serge Devant and Deetron), there are plenty of reasons to catch Jonas Rathsman in Playa Del Carmen — including his highly anticipated performance at All Gone Pete Tong at Blue Parrot.
Eagles & Butterflies
Eagles & Butterflies returns to The BPM Festival after opening for John Digweed’s Bedrock label showcase last year. With 2016 bookings including Coachella and Circoloco at DC-10 in Ibiza, the Innervisions producer has kept busy balancing a relentless stream of EP releases including Mysticism, Constellations and most recently Art Imitating Life, Vol. 1 — not to mention his elysian remixes of RY X’s “Deliverance” and Underworld’s “Nylon Strung.”
Victor Ruiz is one of Brazil’s hottest exports to hit the dance scene standing out with his dark, trancey techno that will drive you straight through after hours till sunrise. Victor’s standout sets of 2016 included Germany’s Fusion festival, Warung in Brazil and Berlin nightclub Sisyphos, in addition to countless remixes and a brand new two-track Nevermind EP.
Co-founder of the Southern California house and techno collective known as Desert Hearts, Mikey Lion has managed to help elevate the brand to a global audience including DH’s annual cross-country City Hearts winter tour and more recently spreading the group’s “House Techno Love” mantra to international destinations such as Brazil and Costa Rica. Among other 2016 accolades, the tech house crusader (usually adorned in an ornate steam punk hat) also dropped the infectious Into The Jungle EP alongside Sabo near the top of the year.
Boys Noize has had a marquee year to say the least. He released his fourth studio album Maydayto critical acclaim, with an ensuing post-apocalyptic live show that manifested itself as one of the top live performances of 2016. The German techno luminary firmly maintained his dominance in a year that saw techno widely stepping out of the warehouse and beginning to creep into the mainstream.
Before 2016 officially comes to a close, Boys Noize has shared a live set from one of his coveted Mayday shows, recording during his performance at Frankfurt’s iconic Robert Johnson nightclub. The two-hour recording is chock full of dark, eerie techno, shifting breaks, and wiry acid house. Commanding his crowd with syncopated drum beats and gritty tech loops, Boys Noize delivers two hours of flawless live mixing for his final offering of 2016.
Minimal Effort has set itself up as the premier New Year’s Eve destination for underground dance music fans in Los Angeles. Taking place at the Globe Theatre, three stages will host twelve hours of cutting-edge talent that includes Stephan Bodzin, Audion, Chrome Sparks, and more.
California’s beloved Desert Hearts crew will be having their own bash at Minimal Effort, and ahead of the event, the group’s de facto leader Mikey Lion has compiled his favorite dancefloor weapons from the past year to guide us into 2017. Having spent the year throwing a variety of widely successful City Hearts showcases across the nation — in addition to Desert Hearts flagship festival in Southern California — Mikey Lion definitely knows how to get the party going.
Mikey Lion said of the mix: “From Desert Hearts to Symbiosis, Brazil, & beyond, these were my favorite heaters that rocked 2016 for me. Can’t wait to finish the year off in Los Angeles at Minimal Effort NYE. House, Techno, & muthafuckin Love! We Are All Desert Hearts!”