Relive Armin Van Buuren’s full set from Ultra Europe in Croatia

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Relive Armin Van Buuren’s full set from Ultra Europe in CroatiaArmin Van Buuren Rukes

For those that we’re able to make the pilgrimage to Croatia this year for the 2018 installment of Ultra Europe, fear not, a major festival highlight is now available for your viewing pleasure. The festival took place from July 6 to July 8, and, aside from trance king Armin Van Buuren, featured headliners such as Axwell / Ingrosso, DJ Snake, Galantis, The Chainsmokers, and more. Now, Armin fans can enjoy his full 93-minute live set from Ultra Europe on YouTube.

Attendees can relive the riveting experience while others are guaranteed a deserved dose of delayed FOMO, as the video captures everything from the suspenseful intro to Armin’s stunning visual effects. And, let’s face it, the veteran DJ icon’s signature full extension of his arms atop the stage is one of the most entertaining things to watch, it never gets old. Armin Van Buuren recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of his label Armada Music and he’s maintained a packed summer itinerary, heading to Belgium for Tomorrowland on July 21 and the UK for Creamfields on August 24.

Tomorrowland confirms 2018 live stream

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Tomorrowland confirms 2018 live streamTomorrowland 4

As in its previous years of production, Tomorrowland will bring the Boom, Belgium based action to the screens of those at home.

While the landmark electronic event previously announced its intent to live stream sets from Armin van Buuren, Afrojack, and Tomorrowland veterans Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike via its UNITE initiative, the festival will also include a variety of sets beyond those already included in its UNITE project.

Festival organizers have yet to formally release a complete stream schedule, but all Tomorrowland live streamed sets will nevertheless be available via Tomorrowland’s official website.

Tomorrowland will commence the first of its two consecutive weekends on July 20. The inaugural weekend of Tomorrowland’s 2018 edition will carry into July 22, with the second weekend slated for July 27-29.

H/T: DJ Mag

European air staff strikes threaten flights to Tomorrowland

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European air staff strikes threaten flights to TomorrowlandTomorrowland 7

Festival goers traveling to the second weekend of Tomorrowland, held in Boom, Belgium from July 27 – 29, may be facing flight cancellations following the announcement of planned strikes from Ryanair staff. Inbound and outbound flights from Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Belgium are the specific locations in question due to a 48-hour strike between July 25 and 26. The strike was announced last week by the workers union representing Ryanair cabin and ground crews, Fórsa.

This marks the second strike by Ryanair employees this month — following a years-long conflict between the airline’s professionals, The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), and Ryanair’s CEO, Michael O’Leary. The first strike occurred in the Dublin airport on July 12 for a 24-hour period. The news is of course worrisome for artists and attendees traveling to the world-class EDM festival, the annual theme of which was announced as “The Story of Planaxis” earlier this year. For now, travelers headed to Tomorrowland may need to make alternative plans.

H/T: DJ Mag

Tiësto releases three-track big room EP for ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’

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Tiësto releases three-track big room EP for ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’Tiesto Ed Sheeran

Tiësto has dropped another EP — but not for the reason fans may think. The three-track EP will be featured as part of the official soundtrack for an upcoming animated film, Hotel Transylvania 3. While the film may be rated PG, the music is as hard as it gets.

The first track, “Seavolution,” is a festival heater primed for the main stage at Tomorrowland 2018, comprised of some heavy bass and trap beats, while the second track, “Wave Rider,” seems to be a continuation of the first put into hardstyle mode. Track three, entitled “Tear It Down,” is another big-room house track that takes listeners back to 2011 when the hard-hitting sub-genre dominated the electronic scene, with steady and loud kick-snare combos under roaring synths.

The films have been box office successes, starring Adam Sandler as the voice of Count Dracula and, in its third installment, will feature supporting roles from Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Joe Jonas, and more. Check out the trailer for Hotel Transylvania 3, premiering July 13 and catch Tiësto at select festivals around the globe this summer.

Featured photo: @tiësto/Instagram

Catch some rays this weekend with the official video for Lucas & Steve’s ‘I Could Be Wrong’

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Catch some rays this weekend with the official video for Lucas & Steve’s ‘I Could Be Wrong’33335232 2188562671170815 8634556540541468672 N

Dutch duo Lucas & Steve have been turning heads this festival season with their new track, “I Could Be Wrong,” featuring Brandy. The uptempo track provides feel-good house vibes with uplifting piano chords and R&B rhythms from the famed vocalist.

The new music video is a perfect way to take in some happy summer feels, as a group of brightly outfitted ladies hit the streets on their skateboards. Their journey takes them through palm trees, under bridges, and by the surf, impeccably in unison with the sunset.

Lucas & Steve are touring the globe this summer, stopping at Dreamfields in the Netherlands and Tomorrowland in late July.

8 facts we learned in Diplo’s interview with Oxford Union

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8 facts we learned in Diplo’s interview with Oxford UnionDiplopress

DJ, producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur, it’s no question that Thomas Wesley Pentz, aka Diplo, has risen to A-list status in the music and entertainment industry. So, it’s only fair that The Oxford Union — one of the world’s most prestigious debating societies — welcomes him as a guest on their Q&A series. Oxford Union has hosted a wide range of international guests at the University, ranging from prominent political figures to the Game of Thrones cast and John Mayer.

“I never imagined my career would take me somewhere like this.” – Diplo

In this 56-minute long Q&A, Diplo essentially sits down in front of a room of Oxford students (most of whom are itching for him to check out their USB or at the very least sign it), and explains who he is, what he does, and how he got there. For those readers who are unfamiliar with his back-story and are interested, this is probably as good as it gets. But for those who are well-informed on all things Diplo — DA has picked out eight facts that we found interesting about Pentz in this Q&A.

1. He almost drowned in the Ganges River because his crazy friend Brent said it was safe to jump in.

“I was for sure I was gonna die in this river…I remember seeing a little girl pointing at me from the riverside screaming that there’s a dead guy in the water.” This story stems from Diplo explaining his early days as a 19-year-old collecting records in India. “I decided I had to get rid of Brent, he was crazy.” (@ 3:30)

2. He paid for a $1000, 6-month trip to India by selling vinyl records in England.

He starts the Q&A by talking about his first time in England (in perfect context), explaining how he managed to travel around the country and sell 100 vinyl records that he collected from the depths of India. “Back then, people were actually buying and selling records.” (@ 6:00)

3. He never thought being a DJ could be considered a career.

“When I was younger there weren’t people that said you can make electronic music or you can be a DJ and that’s how you can live your life.” This stemmed from explaining why he moved to Philly after growing up in Florida, since you “kinda go there to die.” (@9:30)

4. To this day, his father still thinks he deals drugs.

He gets into talking about how as a young person it’s hard to get into a truly creative job while affording to pay the rent and such. He then asks the room if their parents are happy with them pursuing creative careers and while some are, it appears Mr. Pentz Sr. still doesn’t quite understand how his son pays the rent. (@11:15)

5. A writing opportunity for FADER turned into a trip to Brazil where he learned how to produce music. 

After writing a cover story about Atlanta hip-hop, Pentz was given an opportunity to write about Brazil for the editor of FADER. However, the editor decided he was a much better writer and would write a story about Diplo going to Brazil. “I was fascinated by this music called baile funk…it’s a combination of almost heavy metal and miami bass.” He utilized the premise of a big magazine story to get into the studio with Brazilian artists and, without knowing any Portuguese, was able to communicate through technical music terms and learn production programs. (@ 13:00)

6. Tiesto experiences jaw pain from smiling so much.

No, we cannot actually confirm this, but damn if he doesn’t look so happy up there.8 facts we learned in Diplo’s interview with Oxford Union14324303 10153969062013546 3483846599505597973 O.jpg? Nc Cat=0&oh=a3df45a4111b75f7e46685be2d90a2df&oe=5BA03B2A

8 facts we learned in Diplo’s interview with Oxford Union21317625 10154995353208546 2265742250996168319 N.jpg? Nc Cat=0&oh=5fbf939e13434f73fa745287d90e299e&oe=5BABF6E4

Tiësto images taken from his Facebook page

He did actually ask Diplo how he performs without the smiles, since (as fans will know) he’s always looking so calm and collected on the 1’s and 2’s. “Tiesto came by to me and he’s like ‘how do you always DJ…and like…you don’t haveta smile the whole time like I do…’ It’s a show sometimes…but it’s still fun for me.” (@22:30)

7. His very first gig involved “tape cassette DJing” and scaring families away from the pool.

A student in the audience asks about his very first gig, to which he explains how he had no idea what he was doing an ended up getting cut off by the hotel. “I played whatever records I had…I didn’t realize you had to create a rhythm and an environment.” He goes on to say how back then there were no real examples of who he could look up to as a DJ or how to make a living out of it. (@39:00)

8. His longest day job was at Subway…and he didn’t like it very much.

“We got robbed so many times I had to quit.” He reminisces on that experience in explaining how blessed he is to make music for a living. (@46:30)

Diplo’s California EP is out now along and he continues to release music via side projects LSD (with Labrinth & Sia) and Silk City with Mark Ronson. See him perform at this summer’s biggest festivals including Tomorrowland, Moonrise, HARD Summer, and more.

Exclusive: Cosmic Gate debut their very first documentary, ‘Materia’

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Cosmic Gate

A new insight into Nic Chagall and Bossi — known collectively as Cosmic Gate — has materialized.

Materia means ‘matter’. . . the substance . . . everything around us,” explains Chagall about Cosmic Gate’s latest album endeavor to a cameraman at the beginning of his group’s first ever documentary. It follows the duo across the globe in pursuit of finding deeper meaning musically, and the purveyance of the new message that they wish to spread to international audiences.

Polished cinematography and in-depth interviews expose a supergroup who, despite their stardom, remain more passionate and committed than ever to their craft and in creating a positive impact for their audiences. Their ultimate goal with Materia? To synthesize all of the elements, or “matter” of their past & present music into a modernized sonic story whose message points to the next step in the Cosmic Gate evolution.

Each track’s production, they state, is a product of intense writing and re-writing and collaboration with a selection of singers. These are then arranged carefully into album form, in which they use their “creative freedom” to branch out and fully embrace what they wish — be it softer shades of vocal trance, or rougher, more cavernous tunes for the main stage.

“We love DJing and the whole club scene . . . we love producing. It’s our world!” – Bossi

That said, Materia is distinctively Cosmic Gate; by encapsulating their aesthetic so concisely into this new project, in turn they hope to help push the musical envelope further into the future. We then see this taking effect in their sets as they tour through ADE, LA, London, and Tomorrowland performing their new music in narrative form. To their delight, emotions captured on their fans’ faces shows open acceptance for what they have to offer.

Materia – The Documentary will be available through all streaming platforms on June 8. In the meantime, Dancing Astronaut has the pleasure of debuting an advance stream of this stunning audiovisual tale.

 

Charlotte De Witte on her intellectual bond with music, perseverance, and wisdom gained along the way [Interview]

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Charlotte De Witte

“My goal at that stage [of my career] was just to be happy with what I do . . . and to feel satisfaction in what I’m doing right now,” mused Charlotte de Witte on her earlier days. Little did she know when taking up the art of producing and DJing at the age of 17 that years later, she’d climb the ranks to earn a reputation as one of the top talents of the new generation of techno elite. “Music made me happy, and it still does,” she continued.

This simple, yet strong feeling that music she describes is one that drives many people’s musical ambitions. She grew up in Belgium, a place with electronic music running through its veins. Though often overlooked, the country played a major role in electronic’s development and integration into the mainstream in the earlier rave days, and remains home to some of the world’s most reputable festivals. Before “discovering the music [techno] on a more intellectual level,” de Witte enjoyed what she heard while going out with friends. She started her journey in electro, before “going out more and digging deeper into the music, and music culture/history.”

Charlotte De Witte

Photo Credit: Zook Photographs

What sets this budding musician, who is just hitting her stride, apart from others is her keen ear for arrangement. In her research and experimentation, de Witte has found her way into cooler, subtly industrial shades of techno. Her music is minimal in nature, but it’s through clever arrangement of each element that she is able to move her audiences. Her no-frills approach thus becomes purposeful. “…A couple elements like a kick, some percussion, and maybe a vocal…grabs your attention so well,” she explains about her appreciation for this sound. “That’s what I really love about [this] music — I can actually get lost in the emptiness of the track, you know?”

She had a solid methodology in place as well when it comes to forging pieces that fit her preferred aesthetic: “For me, it’s really important to have a good and functional low end. All the rest of it is kind of easy to make.” Her creativity flows afterward, lending itself to ear-catching vocal bits, and sparse, yet impactful synthwork. Audiences lap up each each output, indicating her profound understanding of her art, and her relatability to listeners.

Charlotte De Witte

Photo Credit: Boda Gábor

Moreover, de Witte’s persistence is a prime driver of her success today. At the beginning of her journey, she was vastly underestimated; not only in the sense of being a woman in a male-dominated realm, but also for her young age. After all, many instinctively discount young people at times due to the difference in life experience and perceived wisdom. Charlotte has turned a blind eye toward naysayers since the start, simply aiming to reach a satisfactory level by her standards and learn as much about her new scene of choice as she could. Eight years later, and we now see her set to host a stage at Tomorrowland (where she will be hosting a stage), and earn a top slot at the techno mecca itself: Movement.

Due to take over Movement’s Underground Stage for the penultimate set of the night, we sat down with de Witte for an interview, where we gathered her thoughts on the festival and dove deep into her growth and evolution as an artist.


Let’s start with you getting rid of your Raving George alias and showing the world that you were a kick-ass female artist. What are your words on deciding to make this change, and on women being respected adequately in the industry?
To be honest…I first started playing when I was 17, so I was very young. So I was both the only female in the underground industry, and I was also very young. Those two aspects didn’t make it very easy for me in the beginning. I do have the feeling that a lot of people tend to narrow it down on just the sex or the gender, especially. In my situation, [this] was not the case; it was both being a woman, and also my age. People love to talk about gender, and gender inequality in the music business, so to me this is an important side note because especially nowadays I feel like female artists are getting much more respect, and are being taken [more] seriously when they start compared to well, eight years ago.

Ah, you make a good point, that ageism is also an issue as well. Do you ever still find yourself having to prove that you have as much knowledge as other people, despite your age, then?
Not nowadays, but when I started because I was only seventeen. I was very, very young, which made it very difficult for me to be taken seriously. Combined with my sex, of course, that was also very tricky for me in the beginning. But now I’ve been DJing for 8 years, so that’s quite a long time. I mean I’m still very young — I’m 25 now — but, I don’t feel as insecure and new to the scene now as I did back in the day, so I think that’s what I’m trying to say there.

Yeah. So, how did you work to push through those negative assumptions at the beginning of your career? Or did you just persevere and have faith that one day people would take you seriously?
It wasn’t really my goal for people to take me seriously. My goal at that stage just to be happy with what I do . . . and to feel satisfaction in what I’m doing right now. I’m not really a person who gives up easily on herself, so that wasn’t the case in the beginning. But yeah — you should just stick through, and don’t give up when others try to shoot you down in any case. I try to look at things in a positive way. Music made me happy, and it still does, so I will not let people get me down that way. After all those years, people have tried to bring me down . . . they shut their mouth nowadays. I proved them wrong! [But] I was not necessarily thinking, “What should I do to convince these people, to prove them wrong?” It was just like, “Okay, I really love what I do, so I’m not going to stop in any case, whether they believe me or not.” You know?

When you were 17, did you realize you wanted to do this full time? When did that moment really arrive?
Not at all. I never expected this to be my life. It sort of happened, and throughout the years, I kind of discovered and found out that I really loved doing it and that it makes me happy, and that I must have some sort of talent in this because things were going really well. So yeah, things just happened, and you just go with the flow, and then at some point, you end up with a manager and you can play all your first festivals and really nice clubs, and you can start travelling. So yeah — you just go with it. Now this is my full time job, and my life! I’ve never had another job.

You’re a lucky one! It feels like over the past few years you’ve really blown up and reached ‘full speed’ in terms of touring and such. What has been the hardest part of adjusting to this new lifestyle so far, and what lessons have you learned along the way in terms of balance, self care, maintaining inspiration, etc?
[Over the past] two years I’ve started touring multiple countries in one weekend, and it’s really amazing to meet and get to know new people, their culture, and their food. Because I’m a massive food lover, I love trying new foods, local foods, and food cultures. But I did underestimate the impact it would have on my life. First of all, the lack of sleep is something that’s not easy on your body, though you can get used to it. I haven’t woken up next to my boyfriend on a weekend day for over two years now . . . but I’m kind of used to it in a way. I [also] underestimated the fact that I don’t see my friends and family as much as I would love to, and that’s one of the downsides, but you get so much in return. So that’s something that’s kind of hard — not necessarily the loneliness, but not seeing your loved ones as much as you want to.

I did kind of balance out my health — I’m not getting drunk at every single gig anymore, I try to drink some water, and I try to eat healthy in between — which is not easy, especially when all you have is airport food. I try to sleep as much as I can, too. I’m an easy sleeper; I can sleep wherever, whenever, so that’s a good thing.

That’s cool — you’ve basically learned to avoid the burnout before it happens.
Yeah — I mean, people talk about the burnout, but you never really know when it will hit you, right?

Well it seems like it’s far off for now, yes?
Yeah — so far so good! I’m feeling pretty good, so I’m feeling pretty happy. My voice is completely gone, but aside from that, I’m feeling okay.

We can imagine because you’re losing it every weekend! Let’s switch gears to your comeup and development of your sound. You began with electro, but now you’re kind of putting out cooler, almost industrial shades of techno. How did you get from point A to B?
Well, it’s just like evolution. That was 8 years ago, and I was only seventeen. I grew up and became an adult first, and now I know what I want in life. I think just by going out more and digging deeper into music and music culture history, it really was a logical step that you discover what you really like. Everything that’s happened so far is what’s gotten me to this point, if that makes sense.

Speaking of, you use a lot of classic trance in your work from fellow Belgians. Did you ever listen to that growing up, and did it help play a role in what you like today, or did you just discover it during your evolution?
Bonzai was a label from the 90s, so I was too young to be alive during this period of time — which is a shame, because I think I was born too late. Since I started going out, me and my friends always went to parties and even afterparties where I got in touch with that music. But it wasn’t until around five years or so ago that I really started digging deeper into Belgian music history and got to learn stuff about Bonzai and the rave scene. So I discovered it on more of an intellectual level than when I did when I was going out with my friends and just having fun.

It seems like Belgium is underrated when it comes to electronic music!
Well it is! It didn’t used to be. In the 80s and 90s we were huge, but we’re surrounded by really important countries for electronic music and cities like Berlin and London and Paris, so I we have quite a lot of competition going on. But Belgium is definitely underrated, because we make up a big part of dance music history.

Another thing you’ve said is you’re drawn to darker music because it touches deeper on emotion. We feel like another big factor is the cathartic, heartbeat factor of the drums. Do you think that might part of it too?
Kind of! I really love techno music because you can get into a trance by listening to a few elements. You’ll only have a couple things like a kick, some percussion, and maybe a vocal, and it grabs your attention so well . . . you know? It just feels simple and really simplifies everything. That’s what I really love about music — I can actually get lost in the emptiness of the track, and the purity of the track sometimes.

Less is more; you can interpret the music your own way! Yuu had trouble DJing at first, but now you’re feeling more comfortable with performing, and taking on longer sets. Where do you see yourself taking your DJ art next, and how do you deal with stage fright?
When it comes to DJing, for now I’ve just been focusing on what I’ll be playing through North America…I have Movement coming up, and that’s a big thing to take off my wishlist. I always wanted to travel as a kid, so I’m very satisfied that I get to do that and I get to do music. I will try to do this as much as I can and see the world.

I am thinking of doing an album, but I need some more life experience and I need to tour a little bit more. That’s not something you really want to rush, so I am taking my time with that. I’d like to start a label in the following years as well, so it’s all really vague [at this point], but I’m just focused on touring a lot and making time for production. It has been really difficult to find time in the studio because I’m constantly away, so that’s something I’ll probably have to take into account for next year.

On stage fright, you don’t lose it. Every single gig I’m always nervous. Depending on the gig, I’m more or less nervous, but that’s not something I think goes away if you’re a musician. You’re not a performer, you don’t have to stand up on stage holding a microphone, and you don’t have to put your hands up in the air, you don’t make the people follow you. You’re a DJ; your job is to just play the good music and make flawless mixes. So that’s why you don’t see me being very crazy behind the decks and drawing unnecessary attention to me. That helps when it comes to stage fright, because you’re not really performing. You’re just doing an intellectual performance with music.

You’re getting into your bubble when you’re playing every time; If I’m at a really big festival, after my set is done I often just stand there and I don’t really know what’s really going on because it’s all so overwhelming and crazy to be standing in front of thousands of people and see them dancing and going crazy to my music. It’s absolutely crazy, and I cannot get my head around it. It’s really intense. It’s amazing and beautiful, but it’s really intense. So you don’t really realize what’s going on in the moment, but instead, afterwards.

It must be crazy; sometimes it’s easy to pretend people don’t exist, but we can’t imagine this on such a grand scale.
Yeah! You can’t really pay full attention to what’s happening. I try to get in touch with the crowd and build a relationship with them. But to fully realize the amount of people standing there to see YOU is something I try not to do, because it’s too crazy!

When it comes to preparing for a set like that, what’s your process? Do you pick things on the fly, do you have a rotation of tunes, etc?
That’s kind of a hard one because I have a weekly radio show, and there I make a brand new set every week. I use entirely new tracks and do lots of research, but I think when it comes to playing clubs, especially at festivals, people that come to watch you are quite a broad audience — your goal as a DJ is to make people dance. So it’s really hard for me to pick a track for a festival, because you don’t want to go too commercial or too underground. And you want to play your own tracks. It’s really difficult, and that’s why I find it logical to plan a festival set because you want to keep everything in balance, and you want to keep the people dancing. It’s not easy!

And you have to figure out how to fit it all in a couple hours too.
Exactly. I have a lot of music. It depends on the day, what I’ve played in before sets, but actually if you think of it, you don’t have so many tracks that fit into that one moment when you’re standing on stage at a festival and people expect to be dancing, having the time of their lives. So you don’t really have that many tracks to choose from.

You make a good point! So we see you’re hosting a stage at TL. How did that come about, and who are you hosting/what ethos are you looking to build with your artist selection?
Well I played at Tomorrowland for the first time in 2011, and I’ve returned there ever since so we’ve developed kind of a working relationship. And then this year they hit me up and said, “Hey, let’s do a little KNTXT stage!” KNTXT is the name of my party that I host in Fuse, a club in Brussels that’s been open for over twenty years. My party is now about three years old, so to host a stage at Tomorrowland is really cool. Music and artist-wise, we want to keep it in the same line as KNTXT in keeping it fairly underground. We won’t be hosting big artists like Ben Klock or Nina Kraviz at our stage, but we do have DVS1, and there will be the fresh new generation of the techno underground.

This is your first Movement, right? How does it feel to be playing at the techno birthplace?
It’s crazy. I’m really excited for that one, especially because I will be around for two nights, so I get to explore Detroit. I can’t imagine the place; it must be so incredibly amazing, so I’m really looking forward to that one. When I was in the US recently for my tour, everyone was telling me that I would love Detroit, the people, and the clubs.

What is your process for writing music? What inspires you?
For me, it’s really important to have a good and functional low end. All the rest of it is kind of easy to make. For example, vocals — I can get really creative with those. I think that if your low end doesn’t sound just right, it could really ruin your track. It could be a make-it-or-break-it type of deal, so I always try to work really hard on my basslines, percussion, and background noise because that’s all really important when it comes to making techno.

That’s definitely a theme in your music; there’s a lot of white noise in the background. Final pressing question: We need an update on your life as DJ Nina (context here). Did you ever get a dog named Tiësto?
No! I haven’t had a dog in a really long time, actually. I would love to have another dog again — even if his name has to be Tiësto — but that’s not going to happen anytime soon because I am too busy.

Featured image credit: Marie Wynants

Grab last-minute tickets to Movement here

Gabriel & Dresden ft Jan Burton – Underwater (Tinlicker Remix)

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Since unveiling their chart-topping second studio album, The Only Road, back in December, Gabriel & Dresden have seen continued success. As a result, Dutch duo Tinlicker have offered a unique edit of one of the album’s highlight tracks, “Underwater.”

Released off Anjunabeats, the remix takes Jan Burton‘s bold vocals from the original, increases the tempo, and adds a steady bassline under dark, arpeggiated synths. Before a massive Tomorrowland appearance, Tinlicker will be joining Lane 8 on his “Remember the Future” tour on July 7 in Utrecht, Netherlands.

Hardwell talks performance prep, Tomorrowland, and his plans for 2018 [Q&A]

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At this point, Hardwell is virtually a household name. With millions of fans and no shortage of global airtime, the producer has leveraged his niche in this industry into a full fledged cult of personality. From his flagship charity concert to his United Nations initiatives to his perfume line (seriously), the producer does it all.

The superstar also, of course, finds time to make music.

At the end of any given festival weekend, the king of bigroom is always among the conversation of the top performances — he has long been known to melt the mainstage crowd with his unbelievably high energy sets that keep hands up high for hours. Loaded with some of the most massive IDs of the summer and edits that have fans’ mouths agape in awe, Hardwell’s performances seem to somehow take it up a notch each and every year.

Considering the producer’s unique status as a festival mainstay and EDM icon, we spoke with Hardwell about how he preps and what’s up next.

 


 

Your festival sets are always one of the most highly anticipated events of the EDM calendar year. How do you go about your preparation for these big shows and determining your tracklists?

The biggest struggle for me is to finish up the collabs and solo tracks just in time. I’m always changing up my intro so I have to prepare that as well and come up with new edits and mashups. I prepare these sets for months in advance.

You are finally returning to Tomorrowland this year after a few years of not playing. How did that come about and did your reunion with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike play any sort of role in your comeback?

Tomorrowland didn’t book me for a couple years after the small Twitter thing. We’re all good though and I’m really excited to be back at Tomorrowland. I also have that collab now with Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike. There’s no name for the song though and it’s not even finished yet, we just premiered it at their show.

Since last summer you dropped 3 EPs, what are your plans for 2018? Are you looking to make a follow up album or to just continue to release more EPs and singles?

I’m not really into an album anymore. I don’t think it’s really relevant for an EDM artists to actually release an album but today during my set you can expect a couple of songs from the Hardwell & Friends EP, Vol. 4. Some great collabs and not even with upcoming guys but bigger guys plus a couple of solo tracks and the new intro obviously. I’m really proud of my closing track too, which is a new hardstyle collab with Wildstylez.

Who is one person that you would love to collab with this year that you haven’t in the past?

If I had to pick one person, my dream collab would definitely be Pharrell Williams. I admire him as a producer, as a person and as a singer/songwriter. Everything he does, I am just a really big fan of him.

How do you feel about the current EDM and pop crossover that’s happening with artists like Zedd and The Chainsmokers? Do you think it’s here to last?

With EDM, it’s getting bigger and bigger. Don’t forget that dance music was an underground movement. People always say that dance music became mainstream but it’s the other way around. The mainstream got more into dance music so it was just a matter of time before the pop culture influenced dance music and the other way around. I like it though, it creates diversity and makes it more accessible for everybody, which makes dance music more interesting. If you’re a young kid and hear a dance record on the radio, it could automatically get you into techno and that’s great for dance music. As long as there is a proper underground and a proper mainstream, they will both benefit from each other.

We know you had a massive collab with Martin Garrix that had the entire world talking. Is that officially scrapped and do you have plans to work on something in the future?

It’s always great to collaborate with an artist like Martin, he’s a fellow Dutchman and we always have great fun bouncing ideas off each other – I don’t wanna say it’s scrapped as it may see the light of day yet. You know, we’re both very busy touring with shows non-stop and our own labels but we have a lot of creative fun together. We for sure hope to have something out in the future.

Who are some of your favorite upcoming producers at the moment?

SWACQ is a really cool producer from France, I played an ID of his in my ULTRA Miami set so I wonder if anyone can spot it! Harrison is a UK vocalist that I’ve also worked with before on my United We Are album and he’s producing his own music now with a future-bass kinda sound, different for him but it works – we also have a new track ‘Earthquake’ dropping together soon. Trobi is also a super-new artist who I’ve got some exciting music from in my inbox, a really fresh sound and It would be amazing to release something from him on my label Revealed, who knows!