HEYZ casts more dark magic with new mau5trap single, ‘Schedule 4’

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HEYZ casts more dark magic with new mau5trap single, ‘Schedule 4’Heyz Schedule4 Single Mau5trap

Any techno heads not currently aware of the consistent heat coming from HEYZ won’t be able to ignore the North Carolina-based producer for much longer. Although his 2017 debut offering on mau5trap‘s Foar Moar Vol. 3 compilation was a track titled “Quietly,” the arrival of HEYZ to the darker genres of dance music has been anything but. HEYZ has steadily unleashed meticulously crafted creations for the past year, crowned by a debut EP via mau5trap called Schedule 1 in February 2018.

“Schedule 4” arrives as a final aftershock from the Schedule 1 era. The song is a beautifully bleak journey through desolate soundscapes and seismic techno drops, with previous co-collaborator Genevieve Vincent of darkDARK providing ominous vocal ambiance. HEYZ’s direction for the track comes in crystal clear, as the producer explained his mindset during the creative process.

“Schedule 4 is a special track, and the perfect ending to the ‘Schedule 1’ series. With ‘Schedule 4,’ I wanted to recreate those surreal experiences I’ve had in clubs when a record hits so hard it takes your breath away. Genevieve of darkDARK’s vocals adds the perfect eerie touch to make the record extra dark and menacing.”

HEYZ frequently describes his sound as “power and beauty.” On “Schedule 4,” he brings the former element in spades.

Zhu’s ‘Ringos Desert’ is an invitation to a pulp western oasis [Album Review]

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Zhu’s ‘Ringos Desert’ is an invitation to a pulp western oasis [Album Review]Zhu Ringos Desert Album Review

It’s no accident that every first listen to a new Zhu project feels like a carefully guarded private screening. He is, after all, a master curator. The stage was set long before an audience fills the seats, the impending vision immortalized long before scenes were spliced and set in stone. It’s also no accident that Ringos Desert could be seen on the horizon for months in advance. The Mind of a Genius artist’s presence in the dance music world is as carefully crafted as his music, with omissions and inclusions carrying equal weight. What the man of mystery wants seen, heard, and known, is exactly what is received.

First came rumors in the spring of literal tons of sand ready for transport to stops on Zhu’s impending “Dune” tour, and a mysterious phone number rigged for a secretive BLACKLIZT set deep in the Mojave. In the midst of it all were releases — high profile singles like the Tame Impala-assisted “My Life,” and “Coming Home,” with Majid Jordan. More music followed, with the lion’s share ending up on the producer’s Ringos Desert, Pt. 1 EP. Zhu’s sophomore full length effort has crept into fans’ peripherals for the better part of the year – so just how different does a full listen feel? That’s the funny thing about the wilderness: No matter how many dunes one passes on the way to its center, looking out from the middle of an ocean of sand is a different existence entirely.

Upon arrival, Ringos Desert makes it immediately clear that its identity as an invitation carried over to the track list itself. The LP contains a large amount of powerhouse collaborators — eight, to be exact — with each packing impact. From heavyweights like TOKiMONSTA to relative unknowns like Karnaval Blues, Zhu’s call to the desert seems to have drawn a crowd before the album ever reached fans’ ears. That spirit of openness can be felt in every joint effort, as TOKiMONSTA personally attested to when speaking of her album appearance on “Light It Up:”

“It was truly special how this song came together in that it is very much the result of both our minds,” she said of the track. “Collaborating with Zhu was creatively effortless. We both knew exactly where this song could go and we got it there. I can’t wait for the world to hear it.”

Every song is polished to absolute perfection, each sound given dedicated space to exist like modern art in an exhibit. Tucked into the songs is a cheeky dose of western sonic flavor that seasons the entire album. The high-noon shootout whistles and echoing crow calls on album opener “Stormy Love” are unapologetic pulp, but there are subtler instances at play as well. Twanging guitar lines ranging from full-on distorted wails (“Desert Woman”) to sad cowboy strums (“Ghost In My Bed”) permeate the project, giving a human touch counterbalance to the grooves’ ultra-cool polish. Through golden hour slow-burners and starry dance cuts, that layer of crackle and dust deepens the thematic experience, feeling deliberate without gimmick.

The body of work is upper echelon electronic music pure and simple. Only a handful of artists possess the kind of vision and polish to make a body of work this consistent, and at the same step out fearlessly to push creative genre boundaries. But where does this primal call to Ringos Desert lead? The album has always been an invitation — but to what? The material embodies an expansive array of feelings and experiences; love, drugs, sex, pain, loss, doubt, and almost everything in between. Repeated listens can immerse in the moment and just as easily transport through potent escapism. That power is no accident — after all, Zhu has beckoned the world to the dunes from the very beginning. To listen is to join him beneath the stars and sun and feel without distraction or interruption. If not all who wander are lost, Ringos Desert proves not all who are lost need saving.

Bobby Nourmand crafts cavernous remix for New Mystics’ ‘Sparrows’

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Bobby Nourmand crafts cavernous remix for New Mystics’ ‘Sparrows’Bobby Nourmand Sparrow Remi

Bobby Nourmand‘s dominance of the dark and deep continues with a rumbling remix for indie artist New Mystics‘ mournful crooner, “Sparrows.” Nourmand expands his recent streak of haunting releases via his own freshly unveiled label Deep In The Night with the new remix. The producer has demonstrated a deft touch where vocals are concerned, but the lush bed of layers he crafts for New Mystics’ voice this time around may be his one of his best efforts of the year.

The mood immediately turns wistful, introducing “Sparrows” in a wash of vocal ambiance and bass as sounds of nature echo and swirl. New Mystics’ verses float lightly over a thudding kick and a warm sub bass, that seems to surround the ears from all angles. Dusty percussion rolls join the arrangement in the latter half, but the track’s appeal lies in the atmospheric intrigue until the very end. The result is an introspective blend of deep techno, dub, and texture making for another aced piece from Nourmand.

Good Morning Mix: Head down the techno rabbit hole with Charlotte de Witte

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Good Morning Mix: Head down the techno rabbit hole with Charlotte de WitteRencontre Avec Charlotte De Witte

Charlotte de Witte is an anomaly. Still considered to be a fresh face in the techno scene, de Witte has seen her technical prowess in the studio and in her live performances pay off, as now shown by her immense online following and booking power. A perfect example of such power are her latest gigs at Pukkelpop, a festival that brings in the greatest in techno and underground house to its stages in her home country of Belgium, and where she live-streamed her two-hour set from its Boiler Room stage. This set — now available to stream via Facebook — is a prime example as to why de Witte has been able to gain the respect she has throughout her relatively short career so far.

De Witte also graced the festival’s main stage for a second performance at peak time just the next day. As a little added bonus, she also streamed her set from the main stage — this one of course, only lasting an hour — at the festival the next day. Find both sets below.

This coal mine in Germany is becoming an underground techno club

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This Saturday, August 18 the techno underground will be eclipsing with irony in the city of Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, at, wait for it  a coal mine. The Zollverein coal mine industrial complex is a Goliath and has gone through many phases since it’s digging days.

While the first mine on the premises was founded in 1847 they were grinding out fuel and adding shafts until 1986. For decades two parts of the site, the Zollverein coal mine, and the Zollverein coking plant ranked the largest of their kind in Europe. This spot was considered an architectural and technical masterpiece and it earned the reputation of the most beautiful coal mine in the world. In 2001 it was inscribed into the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Now, this joint is going to get another hit of that oh-so-German innovation, only this time with sound.   

Telekom Electronic Beats and Düsseldorf-based promoters Baka Gaijin are joining forces again to throw another party on this beautiful architectural behemoth. The party will be featuring Ben UFO, Objekt, and Shanti Celeste. Despite these great names Baka Gaijin’s Alexis Fallis states, there is no need for big headliners, “because the venue is the headliner.” The UNESCO seems to agree.

However, being on the list of World Heritage Sites does come with some responsibilities; mainly to maintain them. Regardless of how respectful party goers can be, upkeep of this site is imperative. “I think you can throw a maximum of three or four parties a year there,” said Fallias, “It’s a heritage site and they want to protect it.”  Even if it’s only once or twice a year, a party hosting sounds that reflect the surroundings like the Zollverein and techno is not one to miss.


H/T: DJ Mag

Japanese Festival The Labyrinth is keeping its lineup a secret this year

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Japanese Festival The Labyrinth is keeping its lineup a secret this yearLabyrinth Fest Japan Credit Fest

With coarse hands born in industrial cities, techno has challenged and freed the minds of many and evolved in the process. Along with the growth of the dance, scene tech has reached the ears of many, now has developed a defined style — sleek, raw and effortlessly cool.

Though tech has connected with the mainstream the influence of the secretive places of its birth have never left. It remains elusive, unflinching, and mystical which makes it hard not to wonder what will be going down at Labyrinth Festival this year. Located in Japan’s Chubu prefecture, in the woods of Naeba, Labyrinth hosts an assortment of sound even deeper than the surrounding woods. One can tell from videos that this is a festival shrouded in a silk mist, one that allows the listener to feel the vibrations to their core. This cloak is hard to ignore, and it seems Labyrinth realizes this.

For 10 years Labyrinth has treated people to an intimate and one of a kind experience — often coupled with rain. Now, a decade later, Labyrinth is making a new play. The festival announced it will not be releasing any information on the lineup, saying “Mystery and surprise are key elements of artistic experiences, but expectations can sometimes get in the way…surprises can be more fun, so this year we are asking you to leave your expectations at home.” It’s clear that Labyrinth has the trust of the crowd they’ve developed over the years and is comfortable enough to experiment with the experience. What’s more techno than that?

Looking back on past years, they’ve hosted the likes of Peter Van Hoesen, Donato Dozzy, DJ Nobu, Claudio Fabrianesi and Patrick Russell. In playful fashion, the festival added that, “…five artists are playing Labyrinth for the first time this year; that an old friend who has not played since the days of Kawaba will happily be returning; and that the final day represents an important statement from one of the family…”

With trust, teasing, and a more than a little bit of a grin presented by Mindgames, Labyrinth is set for September 22-24.


Photo credit: Labyrinth Fest

Boys Noize reveals first release as ELAX, ‘Reaktor’ on Solomun’s Diynamic imprint

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Boys Noize reveals first release as ELAX, ‘Reaktor’ on Solomun’s Diynamic imprintBoys Noize Mayday Lil Internet

Boys Noize is shaking things up a bit, debuting an intriguing new project known as ELAX. Side-stepping his signature brand of warehouse-ready industrial techno, Alex Ridha’s new ELAX moniker bears an immediate resemblance to Boys Noize’s unmistakable production acumen, while leaning in its own, different tech-inspired direction. Furthermore, the project’s first release comes by way of Solomun‘s Diynamic imprint as part of the label’s Four on the Floor collection, as opposed to Ridha’s own venerated Boys Noize Records. On ELAX’s inaugural debut, “Reaktor,” Berlin’s genre-blurring mastermind makes starting from the ground up sound easy — but what else would one expect?

Pulsing synthwork and swinging percussion come together while textured electro rhythms hiss and buzz across the nearly seven-minute stomper. From menacing acid house takes with Dog Blood to lovably bizarre Handbraekes fare, Ridha’s always kept up a healthy repetoire of alternative outlets and ELAX is proving to be an exciting addition to Boys Noize already decorated career.


Good Morning Mix: Carl Cox performs at a French castle

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Good Morning Mix: Carl Cox performs at a French castleCarl Co

On July 16, techno icon Carl Cox took the decks at the Château de Chambord for a unique concert experience at the foot of the castle in the Loire Valley. With the backdrop of one of France’s most recognizable chateaus and flanked by the building’s 16th century French Renaissance architecture, Cox played a two-hour set while fans reveled in awe.

The event was thrown in conjunction with Cercle, a music live-streaming platform that has been wowing viewers with their collaborative events set in venues that are normally unusual for an electronic show to take place. With Château de Chambord as one of them, Cercle has also put on shows with Joris Voorn at the Gran Palais in the Champs-Élysées in Paris, and streaming live performances from remote areas like Stimming’s set from the Cordouan Lighthouse off the country’s west coast. Carl Cox’s performance was fittingly a larger, special occasion and had the beats and the view to match.

Detroit Sound Conservancy launches Kickstarter to reconstruct iconic Detroit sound system

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Detroit Sound Conservancy launches Kickstarter to reconstruct iconic Detroit sound systemClub Heaven Sound System

“Detroit’s sonic story is not over,” and the Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC) will see to the longevity of that “sonic story” via the restoration of one of Detroit’s most iconic techno sound systems, that of the now closed Club Heaven.

A non-profit group that supports Detroit’s “sonic heritage through outreach, preservation, education, storytelling, curation, and innovation,” the DSC looks to not only recover, but preserve Club Heaven’s sound system via a newly launched Kickstarter campaign that will fund the system’s renovation.

Seminal artists in Detroit’s techno movement, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson gifted the sound system to the DSC in 2017. The system previously occupied a Detroit basement for approximately 20 years before May and Saunderson transferred ownership of the sound system to the DSC. Now,  the group aims to rebuild the system via “electronic archaeology,” which entails replacement of the system’s cables, drivers, amplifiers, horns, and speaker cabinets.

“Since our founding in 2012, Detroit Sound Conservancy has preserved and celebrated Detroit music history from below,” the DSC said. “This means we spend our time telling stories that have rarely been heard outside of our own neighborhoods and local communities and have yet to be included in standard depictions of Detroit’s musical history. This includes stories of Detroit’s queer dance ecosystem from the late 1960s to the present day in which Club Heaven is a key moment.”

A prominent nightclub that doubled as a “safe space” for the queer population in its hey day, Club Heaven served as a sonic sanctuary for black LGBTQ youth, while simultaneously offering an outlet to DJs, club promoters, dancers, and other frequenters of the Detroit club circuit.

Donate to the Kickstarter, here.

Photo Credit: Mixmag

H/T: Mixmag

Claude VonStroke delivers his Movement set turned album, ‘Live In Detroit’

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Claude VonStroke delivers his Movement set turned album, ‘Live In Detroit’Claude Vonstroke Live From Detroit 1

Dirtybird don and Detroit native Claude VonStroke announced that he would release his headlining set as a live album after playing Movement Music Festival over Memorial Day weekend. Originally released on Apple Music, the set is now active on all streaming services and titled, Live In Detroit.

Jam-packed with VIP edits and deep cuts, VonStroke went all out, bringing the fans in his hometown some of the weekend’s most dynamic house and techno. From originals like “Grenade,” his industrial collaboration with EPROM and his previously unreleased, “Maharaja” to Wyatt Marshall’s techno remix of the classic “Who’s Afraid of Detroit,” Claude VonStroke has put together 85 minutes of the grooviest dance-floor tunes. With the album consisting of the DJs continuous mix along with 13 individual, unmixed tracks, the Dirtybird boss has blessed us all with this massive offering of house and techno bliss.