Couldn’t make it out to Sin City this year for the most colorful festival in dance music? No problem.
As the sun has set on another ecstatic chapter of Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Dancing Astronaut rounded up the extended weekend’s most enticing displays from the May 17-19 festivities. From Alison Wonderland‘s trap-tainted main-stage return, to Tchami and Malaa‘s bombtastic joint takeover of cosmicMEADOW, to Skrillex‘s surprise Saturday guest appearance, there’s no shortage of memorable music to muse over for months to come. The bar for the imminent 2019 festival season has been set exceedingly high indeed.
Legendary music platforms Red Bull Music Academy and Red Bull Radio will shutter in October 2019. Red Bull Music Academy, founded in 1998, just recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in Berlin in 2018. Both platforms fall under the ubiquitous energy drink’s wide umbrella of brands, with RBMA and Red Bull Radio both being joint projects with consulting firm Yadastar overseeing the creative and curatorial duties on both projects. With Yadarstar and Red Bull’s partnership coming to an end, the two brands in the middle will now dissolve their current formats as a result.
Red Bull maintains it is still committed to supporting innovative music and up-and-coming talent, and that while the current structures of these two brands are being overhauled, new programming and formats will soon be introduced as a supplement. Red Bull Music and Red Bull Music Festival both remain intact—the latter of which has two iterations planned for 2019 in Tokyo and New York respectively.
It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With a refreshing amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today on the first NMF of 2019, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.
Perhaps one of the biggest releases of today is a mega collaboration from Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve called “Island,” which is packed with cascading melodies and powerfully emotive beats. Lost Kings have also arrived in full force, releasing their Paper Crowns EP, which is headed up by “Don’t Kill My High” with Wiz Khalifa and Social House. mau5trap has released their We Are Friends, Vol. 8 compilation, which features 35 tracks from some of the label’s best rising acts, including i_o, ATTLAS, No Mana, and more. Hardwell kicks off his 2019 releases with “Being Alive” with JGUAR, and Sofi Tukker delivers four remixes for “Benadryl,” including a breezy take from TOKiMONSTA. Ghastly and G-Rex have joined forces on the formidable “Heretic,” and Tom Staar puts a grooving twist on Oliver Heldens‘ “Fire In My Soul.” 3LAU taps the talents of vocalist Carly Paige on his newest, “Would You Understand,” and Galantis‘ “Emoji” gets a rework from BEAUZ in their new remix pack.
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.
LA’s Brainfeeder has celebrated its tenth anniversary in the best way for any label to mark a milestone: releasing a wonderful amount of new music. Started in 2008 by iconic electronic resident of the future Flying Lotus, Brainfeeder has since attracted some of the best out-of-the-box talents of the last decade, many of which are showcased on the imprint’s culminating compilation Brainfeeder X. The 36-track offering — with 22 new tracks in total — has been teased in the weeks leading up to its release, with artists like Ross From Friends, Thundercat, and FlyLo himself building hype with new singles that now have been released amongst a slew of other work.
The Brainfeeder X compilation will be flanked by a four LP box set and a coordinating live show to take place on December 15 in London. The compilation features highlights from Mr. Oizo, TOKiMONSTA, Daedelus, BADBADNOTGOOD, and more. Stream Brainfeeder X below.
ODESZA blasted back into focus this fall with the release of the horn-powered cinema that is “Loyal”– but that didn’t stop them reaching back to their 2017 track “Falls” for a grip of remixes by a fittingly star-studded set of names. Originally appearing on the duo’s fourth long player A Moment Apart, the Sasha Sloan-assisted cut was pure ODESZA from start to finish, with echoing vocal cuts and tribal percussion. With six stellar artists on hand to reimagine the song, it’s clear the track is headed for exciting new worlds on a stellar array of remixes.
UK-based trap and hip hop savant TroyBoi is up first with a minimal knocker of a rework, featuring sugary guitar strums and twinkling leads over knocking drums. Australian producer Golden Features swoops in next to dial up a menacing and spacey house take that packs equal punch and ambiance. TOKiMONSTA provides a standout addition by preserving the joy and depth of the original along with an injection of stuttering percussion and driving vocal chops. Ever the wildcard, Kaskade surprises with a majestic trap-infused take that lets the vocals soar over rich electro-tinged pads. Photay keeps the unexpected rolling with a rolling and experimental offering that glitches the original’s vocals into a synth like riff. The Glitch Mob wrap the journey up with their sizzling signature electro, capping off a remix pack that brings the ever expansive emotion of ODESZA into the throes of some of electronic music’s most creative minds.
This Saturday, September 29, ZHU has announced he’ll be taking Brooklyn by storm to showcase his new fashion line with TOKIMONSTA, SERPENTS & ATELIER, designed by the former’s own NGHTDAY COLLECTION.
The duo will not only be highlighting items from the new line, along with pop-up-exclusive merchandise, but will also be throwing down on a surprise, four-hour back-to-back set at the legendary Brooklyn Steel from 4-8 pm. The pop-up caps off three consecutive sold-out nights for ZHU in New York, with the better part of his newly commenced fall tour still ahead of him.
TOKI and ZHU have intertwined in more ways than one in these passed few months. The two doubled down on a seductively ambient track, “Light It Up,” which ZHU featured on his latest album, RINGOS DESERT.
On the Netflix original “explained” created by Vox, the show aims to explain why humans are able to uniquely master musicality relative to other animals. Researchers discuss how music can help people relearn how to speak and with patients with movement disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, move more fluidly.
Jennifer Lee, aka TOKiMONSTA, was featured in episode due to her brain injury which lead to two brain surgeries. She had been deeply ingrained in the music industry, but due to her prognosis, she was all of a sudden not able to hear. This made her a valuable subject, as the documentary continues to explain music’s sonic qualities and why musicians who are able to create musical perception have an extraordinarily unique ability.
Cut to TOKiMONSTA, who explained she was diagnosed with Moyamoya in 2015, a disease where blood flow to the brain is constricted. After her first surgery, she couldn’t talk or understand anyone else talking. She watched Portlandia to recover and soon realized she didn’t understand the music in the intro song. A second surgery was needed. Her brain eventually healed, and could understand music, but she still couldn’t produce music. She retaught herself in a three month period, ending the episode by saying, “I wanted to live every moment like it was the last day I’d be able to make music again.”
There’s been no shortage of new ZHU teases from the enigmatic artist’s hotly anticipated second album. The hype has reached fever pitch with singles featuring top tier collaborators, including a genius link with Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker for “My Life,” and a satin smooth joint effort with Majid Jordan, “Coming Home.” Now, ZHU has unveiled his master plan with a full track list, official cover art, and release date. Ringos Desert hits stores and streaming September 7 on his longtime home label, Mind of a Genius records.
The album’s 14 tracks include previously released singles, as well as material from ZHU’s spring EP,RINGOS DESERT PT. 1. Despite the track list’s heavy chunk of available material, the full experience promises plenty of future hits – including monster collaborators like Karnaval Blues and TOKIMONSTA. The same day his sophomore LP drops, ZHU will kick off his DUNE tour in El Ray, California. Can’t wait until September to hear the new LP? The “Working For It” producer has an ultra secret BLACKLIZT premiere party planned somewhere in the sands of the Mojave on August 31.
Fresh off the heels of an absolutely awe-inspiring RUMORS Coachella after-party, Guy Gerber‘s embedded his crystalline remix prowess on the saccharine vocal exudences of TOKiMONSTA.
Amplifying its textural affect and hypnotic bassline, Gerber molds TOKiMONSTA’s “Don’t Call Me” into a transfixing slow burn. By adding in layers of lo-fi guitar and a bellowing bassline, Gerber strips the track of its anguishing emotional detachment and plunges into a pool of emotional triumph and catharsis.