Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.
Australia bass heavyweight ShockOne makes his first appearance on Monstercat in fine fashion, teaming up with The Bloody Beetroots for “Run.” This dramatic electro single is a hefty one, coming from ShockOne’s upcoming second studio album, A Dark Machine. With pulsing synths and striking vocals, its ’80s undertones shine through the modernized electronic music themes.
A-Trak‘s “Work It Out” just got a disco-influenced refresher from Friend Within, and it’s as groovy as it sounds. In his rework, the UK producer has beefed up and lengthened the build-ups, drawing out the anticipation for the funky drop that follows. It retains the retro flair of the original, while adding an extra touch of zest that is sure to keep dance floors packed into the early hours of the morning.
Diplo‘s Higher Ground EP has received a variety of reinterpretations since its release in April. One of the latest of these is from Yotto, who’s given the moody “Win Win” a dreamy, more ethereal tone with its fluttering synth melodies and subtle incorporation of the original’s vocals from Tove Lo. Yotto pays close attention to his world-building in this remix, creating a fantastical and mysterious soundscape out of “Win Win.”
The journey back to the ’80s continues with scintillating synthwave releases from the likes of PYLOT. “Fearless” kicks off with the introduction of a striking bass, building gradually until it’s rich with full-fledged anthemic synth melodies. In the spaces between the powerful verses, listeners will find moody interludes that give an even more dramatic tone to the the overall song. Its retro and timeless qualities make it easy to latch onto.
Dreamchaser knows how to translate a rock song into a synthwave sensation, as exhibited in the Florida producer’s latest: a remix of Captives’ “Signs.” He’s removed the hard-hitting drums and guitar, favoring instead a subtle beat and powerful synths. Matt Flood’s vocals take center stage in this remix, allowing the listener to experience his vocals in a raw and emotional way. With Dreamchaser’s choice of instrumentals, it’s addictive.
Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, better known as the brainchild behind The Bloody Beetroots, has released his new Heavy EP. The Italian musician teased his new extended play with two collaborations: one with G-House hero, Dr. Fresch, called “Fkn Face,” that throws down as hard as the name implies and the other with Ephwurd, “Wildchild,” featuring heavy electro bass mayhem with guitar fills.
The Heavy EP is the first project since The Bloody Beetroot’s The Great Electronic Swindle in 2017, which merged rock elements with electronic music for a more electronic take on heavy metal.
Rifo took some to answer some questions about producing the EP.
What made you take the EP in this direction?
I felt the need to steer the project into a more electronic space. I love experimenting with new genres and finding a sound that belongs to me. That really resonates.
Did you have any inspirations for the album?
Just the music. It always drives me. I really explored with the new contemporary electronic texture and mixed it with the original TBB sound. I had a lot of fun.
What made you chose your collaborators?
Innovation and originality. The guys are on the EP are great!
Do you have a typical production process? If so, what is it?
I hate being in the studio for more than two hours a day. I’m a musician first and producer second, so all my ideas come by talking to people and living a life full of passions and hobbies. I start with a story, then I randomly mess around with synths and samplers on Ableton until I get a solid draft. That’s the foundation and I move from there.
What song took you the longest to make and why?
I don’t like to overthink it. I prefer to get straight to the point and feel it. The Heavy EP was quick to do. It’s simple, effective, and I wanted something to serve and support my DJ set. My collaborations with Dr. Fresch & Ephwurd were quick as well. They’re amazing producers with a lot of empathy for real music.
What was the most difficult melody to conquer and why?
I believe I spent more time with my graphic designers choosing the right artwork instead of overthinking on the perfect melody. I don’t know how to explain that, but music is very natural for me. It’s in my blood and it comes out so easily that i can’t even find the right words to express how I feel about it. It’s me, I guess.
What was your most memorable in-studio moment while producing the EP?
Definitely in the studio with Dr. Fresch. He didn’t have a functional keyboard to play. I was so bummed out, but he managed to make it work like a pro. Immediately following, I wrote that “Fkn Face” bassline with a smile on my face. Thank you, Tony.
Do you have any unique studio habits?
I like jamming before I start anything serious, and sometimes, I forget to open a session because I get lost in the jamming.
What hobbies do you have outside of music?
I have a second job as a photographer (thecultofrifo.com)—I’m also a certified CrossFit trainer Level 1. I like riding cars and motorbikes. Sometimes, I like to go to BBQs with friends.
What was it like creating the music you make in your in the small town of Bassano del Grappa?
I moved to LA three years ago, Venice Beach precisely as it feels like a small town. Bassano Del Grappa is where I spend my free time to recover from all this crazy business. It’s sane, it’s small, it’s cozy, and I love it.
What is your next endeavor as The Bloody Beetroots?
I’m excited to see where this new electronic journey will take me.
It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.
Skrillex has joined forces with TroyBoi to craft a hefty collaboration, “WARLORDZ,” and The Bloody Beetroots has finally revealed his full five-track Heavy EP. What So Not brings new material with “OOGAHDAM!” and Pryda delivers PRYDA 15 VOL I, containing tracks like “Warrior.” Seven Lions and Fiora take festival season by force with a festival mix of “Let Go,” and Kaskade puts his own spin on Jennifer Lopez’s “Medicine.” The Knocks recruit Nigerian singer Kah-Lo for “Awa Ni,” and The Black Madonna takes “About Work The Dancefloor” to new heights. Kove brings his shadowy style of drum ‘n’ bass to “Bearclaw,” and Lane 8 and Yotto have created a dreamy collaboration, “I / Y.” Armin van Buuren and Benno de Goeij make an appearance as GAIA, delivering the extensive Moons of Jupiter compilation. 3LAU and Bright Lights team up once again on “Down for Life,” and Matroda brings his signature thumping bass to “The One.” Darren Styles keeps happy hardcore alive with “Never Let Me Down,” and Vintage & Morelli is in “Bloom” on his newest release. Kraysh showcases his unique sound on “Void,” and Billy Kenny takes on Kyle Watson and Kylah Jasmine’s “You Boy.”
As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.
The Bloody Beetroots and Steve Aoki’s “Warp 1.9” defined an era of dance music for the early adopters of the EDM boom. That familiar ticking of the clock. The thunderous synths rumbling underneath. To this day, it’s one of the most crowd igniting drops of all time. And now it has been reborn. Blessed by Steve Aoki and reconstructed by Kayzo for a twist on the classic smash that feels like an adrenaline shot straight through the sternum. Everything you loved about the OG was left intact, but it’s evolved into something much more monstrous at the hands of Kayzo. After a decade since its release, a new generation of fans are about to get their faces melted.
Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, better known as the The Bloody Beetroots frontman and the entity itself, is releasing his new Heavy EP on June 21. To tease the project’s unleashing, the Italian artist teamed up with G-House hero, Dr. Fresch, on a new collaboration, “Fkn Face.” The track follows the initial single from the EP, “Wildchild” with Ephwurd, taking Rifo’s curiosity toward the bass house space, specifically exploring G-House on this new release.
This extended play marks the first project since 2017’s The Great Electronic Swindle, which merged rock elements with electronic music for a modern take on heavy metal that takes the energy to the highest peaks. This Heavy project sounds like the masked enigma is following a more electronic direction, diving into the crevasse of high-energy bass music.
Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.
Kill The Noise and Mija jump-start this post-EDC Monday with a formidable new collaboration, “Salvation,” and The Bloody Beetroots and Ephwurd deliver a powerful electro number in “Wildchild” from The Bloody Beetroots’ forthcoming Heavy EP. Honey & Badger and kramder return to Tchami’s CONFESSION for a groovy new track, “Da Pinte,” and Just a Gent makes “First Contact” in his new single. Wuki and Ship Wrek take on Daft Punk’s iconic “Technologic” in a new “Wukileak,” and Shaun Frank teams up with Lexy Panterra for “Where Do You Go.” Dombresky remixes LSD’s “No New Friends,” and the Nervo sisters are “Sober” in their new single. Summer Was Fun brings a fun summertime atmosphere in his new track, “Frozen in Time,” and BLEEP BLOOP flips Vince Staples’ “GTFOMD.” Joris Voorn delivers a radio edit of “RYO,” and Slow Magic takes on hit song “Old Town Road.”
Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo, the masked mastermind behind The Bloody Beetroots, has built a storied career on his brand of in-your-face electro punk-rock mayhem. Now he’s back and “in-your-face” might be the best way to describe the new video for “Saint Bass City Rockers,” which lands almost exactly one year after the track’s original debut on Dancing Astronaut. To accompany the twisting, cinematic electro piece, SBCR has put together a provocative new patchwork of visuals that hopscotches between some of today’s most concerning threats. Rifo admits,
“I tried to portray the climate of our times, however I couldn’t cover it all as every day there’s news to be ashamed of. Is this the world we want to live in? Closing your eyes is not an option, we must take action to make change. Until now, our best has not been enough.”
From Trump’s troublesome occupation of the Oval Office to political strife with Russia and North Korea, The Bloody Beetroots runs through it all on the standout track from last year’s The Great Electronic Swindle. Terror, technology, narcotics and more flash across the visual feature, underscored by Rifo’s wailing electro chords. Watch the unsettling new video below.
The Sex Pistols are undeniably one of the greatest punk rock bands in history, as their influence on both contemporary music and pop culture is inarguably ubiquitous.
While punk counterculture seeped into nearly every cultural crevice of the United Kingdom in the late sixties, it had yet to ooze into the streets of the United States for some time. Of course today, punk rock is a seemingly omnipresent cultural phenomenon in the US’s rock culture. This is not to say the counterculture was non-existent in the US before bands like the Sex Pistols’ sonic shipment overseas, but rather, full-blown anarchy vis-à-vis music was simply offset.
Certainly, as any punk pundit knows, it wasn’t just the music that catapulted bands like the Sex Pistols to the top of the industry or allotted for punk music to see the light of day. Rather, it was the movement’s ethos, specifically punk’s raw propensity for authenticity, its attacks on social conformity, and actions like the Sex Pistol’s continually neglected deference to the Crown.
Formed in London in 1975, the band initially lasted just two and a half years until 1978. They produced four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, during that time. Following this breakup, three band members went on to record songs for their manager Martin McLaren’s film version of the Sex Pistols’ story called The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, which depicts the journey of a band that went from fighting systems of oppression to one who had traded a pursual of “cash for chaos.”
It is with the Sex Pistols’ unfortunate demise — and opening up of a counterculture to the public eye that musical composer Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo found inspiration for his latest album under his Bloody Beetrootsmoniker. In it, he has cultivated an effervescent punk endeavor over the last decade that is explored deeper with each individual release.
Surely, it is with The Great Rock N’ Roll Swindle in context, that Rifo contextualizes the modern space electronic dance music resides in, too.
“I am absolutely defeated at defining any aspect of the EDM cauldron – at the moment, electronic music seems to be rather reductive and poor. EDM has become a useless and empty acronym. It deserves a deeper cultural structure and it is time to start working on it.”
Rifo has expressed a belief publically that punk died in 1977. This was the year the Sex Pistols attained mainstream popularity, and thus lost their edge in the process.
Rifo challenges EDM The Great Electronic Swindle (TGES),an industry he very much believes has lost its edge, too — much like the Sex Pistols sought to do during their time as an institution.
Rifo himself embodies much of what the early Sex Pistols encapsulated, with his boundary-less lifestyle and a long list of musical achievements, and it is through The Great Electronic Swindle that he asserts his demeanor.
Rifo may argue punk died in 1977, but for an artist to refuse to adhere to a genre by way of their outpouring, and to have managed to collaborate with legendary acts like The Cool Kids, Peter Frampton, Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee, and not to mention The Beatles’ Sir Paul Mc Cartney along the way, he’s about as punk as they come.
“I believe we’ve been experiencing parallelism at the same time: much of the electronic music we hear has become flat and those who often occupy the stage are just ‘figures’ and no longer ‘artist’,” Rifo asserted. From my point of view, I saw the emergence of electronic music from a very strong underground scene where there was a lot of real stuff and way less money than today. Knowing that the artists who are on the stage NOW are not the authors of the piece they are ‘playing’ – I think it’s a big scam.” Presently, as his music evolves to a higher sonically communicative niche, language — in all its gravity and fluidity — plays a pivotal role in the Beetroots’ furthered deliverance.
“The album is my way of alerting people about this scam, about these people who are not artistically legitimate. It has often happened to me, especially during the years of the SBCR project, to know about DJs and producers and to congratulate them on their respective hits and to hear that the piece in question wasn’t produced by them or even written by them. ”
Certainly, the fluidity of the Italian-born artist’s own outpouring hasn’t stopped him from connecting with audiences worldwide over the years. Almost immediately after he unleashed The Bloody Beetroots in late 2006, Rifo’s vision was amplified. Inspired by a lifelong love of comics and punk rock, the visceral kick of the Beetroots’ sonic outpouring has been featured prominently in pop culture.
The Bloody Beetroots discography features a dizzying array of successful EPs and two full-length albums: 2009’s Romborama and 2013’s Hide. Indeed, clubs, theaters, and festivals around the world have willingly laid host to The Bloody Beetroots’ incendiary live show. Between Coachella and Lollapalooza to Governor’s Ball and more, The Bloody Beetroots’ lively dance-punk has enthralled millions.
But Rifo’s tantalizing vision extends far beyond the sonic space. Rifo strives to engage his listeners; rather than veering towards singularity, or struggling to find the balance that pleases his audience on a multitude of fronts, his work is challenging—both intellectually and emotionally. TGES serves as an epitome of his means.
Fans are ensured the induced-introspection and extrospection is respectively cyclical. In turn, this degree of expectation, from both his listeners and himself, has enabled Rifo to work closely with a myriad of artists on his latest album.
“I had not planned to have so many singers on TGES but the story I wanted to tell required a broad range of nuances…above all, empathy. So I turned to friends who introduced me to friends with whom we developed this fantastic adventure called TGES. Each and every one of them tells a piece of my life story of the last four years, it was a long and arduous experience that made me grow a little more,” Rifo explained.
Frontman for the alternative rock band Jane’s Addiction and the creator of LollapaloozaPerry Farrel is just one of the standout acts that join Rifo on the album. Certainly, fundamentals of melody, harmony, and classical music theory are present on the resulted collaboration “Pirates, Punk, & Politics.” These elements were internalized for Rifo at a young age in his classical training and on TGES, they’re incessantly tapped into.
“As an artist I need to see the music as my primary element of expression, which takes time and can not be artificially reproduced,” he states.
Doubling down on the extensive body of work and pulling in an opposite sonic direction are two tracks from the Swedish songstress Greta Svabo Bech, known best for her deadmau5 collaboration “Raise Your Weapon.” Bech joins The Bloody Beetroots on two tracks, “Invisible” and “The Great Run.”
Ultimately, Rifo sought out artists he felt would create a challenging body of work. Henceforth, Rifo incorporated his collaborators’ ideas into the work, too. Often on the new record the working and re-working of numbers has become one with managing a sole vision.
“My Name Is Thunder,” released as a double-single with Rifo and Australian rockers Jet prior to the record, serves as a prime example — after all, there are two versions of the track.
“I knew this song needed a certain rock tone… a tone like Nic Cester of Jet had. We thought instead of someone ‘like Nic Cester,’ how about we get the real Nic Cester! Thinking he would be in Australia, it was fate that he lived just a couple hours away from me in Italy. I found him,” says Rifo. “We worked together, ate together, drank together and created something very powerful together. Around this time the Jet guys started talking and thinking about getting back together when Nic shared this with his bandmates, the idea came up to have all of Jet involved. Because of our different influences, we had different ideas on the mixing and from that, we came up with two versions.”
Of course, this expansive, genre-crossing creative body of work requires immense amounts of work, but such is Rifo’s M.O.
“You have to take the time to create something consistently relevant,” he stresses.
In an era of seemingly mind-numbing and instantly-gratifying tunes, dumbed down pop culture, and situational fleeting relevancy of hot subgenres, Rifo strives on The Great Electric Swindle to create a true counterculture — much in the spirit of the Sex Pistols, who inspired him.
TGES is thus a thoughtful investment of musical pieces, scraped and re-scraped, even lacking concise direction at times. It’s a record that gives way to a palpable culmination of energy, and it lends way to where things can be taken with a widespread re-integration of the underground.
“I want to open a little window onto the meaning of freedom, and what art and music should be in a society,” concludes Rifo.
“I’m convinced that a new, completely rational counterculture is emerging and it will rethink all the choices of artistic growth out of every music business rule. TGES will hopefully be an example for other artists who will make the choice of bringing back quality to electronic music. The more we are – the more we will take control!” he continues.
The Great Electronic Swindle doubles down as a celebratory round for the tenth year of The Bloody Beetroots and it is with Rifo’s continuously effervescent attitude that he delivers his most expansive, challenging music to date. And yet, candidly unsurprising, Rifo hints that this is only the latest chapter in a story that has just begun. “Anything is possible!” he ensures.
Masked mayhem maker and electro punk pioneer Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo has officially announced the release of the Bloody Beetroots‘ long-awaited third studio album, The Great Electronic Swindle. The new record will feature a slew of musical talent from outside of the electronic music spectrum, ranging from Aussie rockers JET to Anders Friden of In Flames to most recently, self-proclaimed EDM hater Perry Farrell on the album’s new single “Pirates, Punks, and Politics” released today with the album’s announcement.
Rifo, who is celebrating his masked moniker’s tenth anniversary in 2017, has always maintained a renegade association with electronic music, and his new album, loaded with collaborations, is expected to continue the artistic progression of the Bloody Beetroots’ rebellious relationship with dance music. Regarding the record’s unapologetic title, Rifo explains,
“The title is a tribute to the Sex Pistols and the film ‘The Great Rock and Roll Swindle’ directed by Julian Temple. It was a sign of the end of an era. The end of Punk. I want to reclaim that for electronic music because the business squeezed the genre so much that they delivered the end of electronic music itself. We are living in a great electronic swindle.”
The Great Electronic Swindle is due October 20 via Canadian imprint Last Gang. Stream the Bloody Beetroot’s latest, “Pirates, Punks, and Politics” here.
Earlier this month The Bloody Beetroots dropped an adrenaline packed single which alerted fans of the project to potential resurrection of the visceral project. Today, July 31, the producer proves he’s back in a big way with another gut wrenching release.
“Saint Bass City Rockers,” which makes its premiere as a Dancing Astronaut exclusive first look, is a sinuous instrumental track of cinematic proportions. Strung out over five minutes, the track’s narrative veers through a freaky, TR-303 laden intro straight into an intergalactic electro rock jam. Though the track’s synth backbone keeps the song pounding from start to finish, it features a number of sonic twists and turns and even some far east instrumentation.
“I imagined this voyage as I wrote the song,” says producer Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo of the track. “A long voyage, an electronic mantra that is articulated with different melodies, touching various spots around the world from California, India, Norway and England.”
Rifo’s aggressive, mask and leather clad alter ego has long been revered for his visceral, heavy synth brand of electronic music. This year marks the project’s 10 year anniversary and—after a few years of radio silence from the prolific moniker—Rifo is celebrating in a huge way with a series of releases and announcements that he will continue to tease out through the end of summer.
As his surprise release “My Name Is Thunder” continues to rack up an impressive amount of traction, many fans have been left speculating about a potential LP on the way. Whether Rifo’s reprisal is a long term one remains to be seen as the producer has enjoyed enduring success with his releases under his own name and a string of successful production credits as well.