Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018

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Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018Moonrise Festival

Words by Rachel Narozniak, Josh Hymowitz, and Alexander Krinsky

As the ‘moon rose,’ the bass dropped across Moonrise Festival‘s four stages over the course of the Maryland’s event’s two-day occupancy at Pimlico Race Track. Diversely decorated with talent that spanned dance music’s many subgenres, Moonrise’s 2018 lineup drew a variety of acts ranging from MIJA to Timmy Trumpet to Zeds Dead, and a crowd comprised of fans with equally divergent tastes.

Dancing Astronaut went live on location for one of the final festivals of the 2018 season. What follows are ten artists who brought the Moonrise momentum, throwing down sets that made new fans out of attendees, and astonished longer term listeners.

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3LAU, Stellar Stage

Rachel Narozniak

3LAU broke out of the 2018 release gate with a fervor that was anything but tempered on his debut full-length outing, Ultraviolet. The 11-track offering asserted that the producer’s 2016 “Into You” remix only nascently evinced 3LAU’s astute ear for electronic experimentation, one that gained extended exhibition on Ultraviolet.

A standout in the current context of EDM, given the album’s distinctive spin on commercial house, Ultraviolet’s edge derived from its confident re-imagination of what music branded as “EDM” could sound like. Fast forward to August 13 at Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Track, and 3LAU would translate the energy of Ultraviolet–but on a larger scale, of his career to date–to his live set at Moonrise Festival’s Stellar Stage. A robust showing rife with vivid bass, jumps into electro territory, and 3LAU classics–“How You Love Me,” for one–the set exemplified 3LAU’s maturity both as a producer in the studio, and as a performer behind the decks. 3LAU’s inclusion of Zeds Dead’s bass oriented flip of Touch” proved a highlight of the set.

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Diplo, Stellar Stage

Josh Hymowitz

Unfortunately, festivals don’t always proceed as planned. Festival organizers paused the first day of Moonrise about 30-minutes before Diplo’s hour-long set at the Stellar stage due to inclement weather. With reports of lightning a few miles out, and with thousands of people on the open grass infield of Pimlico Race Course, the city of Baltimore was bound to take precautions.

Attendees were moved to the grandstand until further notice, but once Moonrise resumed just after what would have been the end of Diplo’s set, ticket holders still got a 25-minute set from Diplo. Despite the limited time frame, Mr. Wentz to give fans everything they’d would want. He played all the hits, including “Revolution,” Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” his latest collaboration with Get It Right,” and more. The highlight had to be this Benzi Mashup, which blends the Smookie Illson Boot of “Club Action” (a go-to during Skrillex and Jack Ü sets back in the day) with the classic “We Like To Party” by Vengaboys and 4B’s “WHISTLE.” Diplo dropped craziness right into the sunset to prep fans for Kaskade.

Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018Chris Lake Rukes

Chris Lake, Celestial Stage

Alexander Krinsky

Chris Lake’s beats leveled the ground at the Celestial Stage. What started as a grassy field was ready for the pouring of concrete after Moonrisers were done thumping. Lake’s unique and often deep darker tracks were a welcome reprieve from the headbanging dub-sets throughout the day for many, that tech house can sometimes just be home.

Chris Lake served up style with toppings of hilarity with his collab track with Chris Lorenzo‘s “Pizza,” while simultaneously extending solid nods to the homies out of the Dirtybird collective by incorporating several of the label mates’ releases in his set, including–among others–FISHER‘s “Losing It.”

Photo Credit: Rukes

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MK, Celestial Stage

Rachel Narozniak

Give MK an hour behind the decks and a disco ball, and he’ll transform the grassy grounds of a race track into an open air house oasis. While Moonrise resides as one of the East Coast’s best festivals for big name bass performances, the event’s Celestial Stage effected the intimacy of an underground club in the middle of Baltimore.

When it comes to crowd captivation, there is indeed no better duo to initiate immersion than MK and Chris Lake. Lake joined MK at the decks for a surprise b2b that scaled the house to tech house continuum with each track of the set. Hearts palpitated to MK’s “17,” and all in attendance could unanimously agree that the b2b was one of the most serendipitous outcomes of August 11th’s rain related scheduling adjustments.

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Two Friends, Stellar Stage

Josh Hymowitz

Although they had one of the earlier time slots at Stellar Stage, Two Friends crushed their set in front of a huge crowd turnout.

It’s always bound to be a great performance from the duo, considering they’ve remixed every song millennials would want to hear at a party. Two Friends’ revamps range anywhere from The Killers to Blink-182 to Kanye West. Their remix of West’s classic hit, “Touch The Sky,” can be hard to find on the web nowadays due to copyright reasons, so having the privilege of seeing it live is always a treat, an an undeniable high point of Two Friends’ Moonrise set, at that. Luckily for fans, there’s still a few links out there for the remix, and those who missed out on the exclusivity at Two Friends’ set can still get in on the action with this rip of the rework.

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Emancipator, Lunar Stage

Alexander Krinsky

Douglas Appling has had an incredible talent for tying the flow of electronic production with live instruments since Emancipator‘s inception. Appling’s sound is eclectic yet grounded, provoking yet calming, and organic yet able to take the listener to a different planet. With his full live band, along with the heart of the Ensemble’s melodic flow violinist, Ilya Goldberg, Emancipator’s vibrations became one with the airwaves around Moonrise 2018. Rain would eventually begin to fall to the sounds of Emancipator’s ambient trip-hop on Sunday afternoon of the festival, and although the weather would briefly pause the party, there was a moment of pure stillness and near palpable peace at this set.

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JOYRYDE, Stellar Stage

Rachel Narozniak

JOYRYDE proved impervious to the weekend rain as he resumed Sunday activity at the Stellar Stage following the final day’s brief pause. The Skrillex collaborator greeted the Moonrisers who traipsed back onto festival grounds from the grandstand area with potent, punching bass from the very first track of his set, driving energy and adrenaline with bass lines that traveled from the decks, to race track grass, and up through the soles of attendees’ shoes.

JOYRYDE’s characteristically eclectic, bass-inflected aesthetic behind the decks commanded a distinctive brand of live energy accented with UK grime tilts and grittier turns.

Photo Credit: Run The Trap

Weekend standouts: 10 artists who showed up to show off at Moonrise Festival 2018Illenium Coachella 18

Illenium, Stellar Stage

Josh Hymowitz

The Denver based breakout producer had one of the most talked-about sets of the weekend, and rightfully so, as Illenium‘s music boasts an ethereal sentimentality that provides an entirely unique live experience while creating a positive atmosphere amongst the crowd.

That being said, Illenium slightly switched gears during his Moonrise 2018 set, incorporating some heavy bass drops that signaled a departure from Illenium’s wheelhouse, the typical slow feels trip that listeners are familiar with. Although he stepped into some grittier territory for the set, a DJ’s unexpected maneuvers never fail to engross crowd members, and as such, Illenium’s Moonrise showing was probably his most notable performance to date.

A particularly noteworthy moment of the set included Illenium’s dropping of “Gold,” his highly celebrated collaboration with Excision, featured on Excision’s latest album, Apex.

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REZZ, Solar Tent

Alexander Krinsky

Hardly unexpected or surprising, Dancing Astronaut’s Break Out Artist of 2016 did not disappoint during her climactic Moonrise performance.

REZZ sent out heavy vibrations that transfixed the minds of those assembled in the crowd at the Solar Tent for the bass prodigy’s set. It was clear before Moonrise that REZZ wasn’t going to be playing around, and Space Mom indeed came strapped, loaded, and ready to break some backs with a ‘Certain Kind Of Magic,’ in the same titular fashion of her second studio album. Her dubbed out dark dance music absolutely slayed the Solar Tent, providing a proper finale for the festival’s opening night.

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Kaskade, Stellar Stage

Rachel Narozniak

To evade mention of Kaskade’s ‘Stellar’ showing on August 11 would be to overlook a set that evinced the electronic veteran’s reliability and limitless energy with an especial, if not glaring, clarity.

After sharing a portion of his originally allotted set time with Diplo following Saturday’s rain induced pause, Kaskade took to the decks to ensure that Moonrise goers would have some “Fun.” In many ways a ‘greatest hits’ styled set, longtime Kaskade fans enjoyed classic productions like “Disarm You” and “Something Something Champs Remix” interwoven among comparatively more recent releases like the Phoebe Ryan assisted “Almost Back.” Rife with atmospheric electro and pumping, progressive house festival drops, the set underscored the  ethereal caliber of a Kaskade set, one that endured even with unexpected adjustments.

These are 10 hype-building songs to listen to ahead for Moonrise Festival 2018

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These are 10 hype-building songs to listen to ahead for Moonrise Festival 2018Moonrise

Moonrise Festival 2018 is shaping out to be one of Baltimore’s most exciting events of the year. The two-day festival — held at the Pimlico Race Course – is preparing for its 5th installment, which will feature a wide and diverse range of artists, catering toward fans of almost any dance music sub-genre. Performers include Kaskade, Zeds Dead, 3LAU, JOYRYDE, Ookay, GRiZ, Illenium, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Ekali, MK, and more.

In honor of the upcoming festivities, we’ve compiled a 10-track playlist that includes tunes from some of the weekend’s most anticipated acts — perfect for any pre-game or long road-trips to Baltimore.

1. Silk City (Diplo & Mark Ronson) – “Only Can Get Better”

The latest single from Diplo & Mark Ronson’s newest side project Silk City. This is definitely a collaboration attendees will hear during Diplo’s headline set at the Stellar Stage Saturday night. Ronson has since teased their second upcoming release, so maybe he’ll give fans a little taste at the festival?

2. DJ Snake & Mercer – “Let’s Get Ill”

One of DJ Snake’s hottest 2018 collaborations saw linking up with Mercer for a rapid, future house heater. Check out Snake headlining the Stellar Stage Saturday night alongside Kaskade, Diplo, Zeds Dead, and more.

3. Marshmello – “Rooftops”

Marshmello recently released his Joytime II album, which has been very well-received by the Mello Gang. “Rooftops” a groovy one from the album where the DJ/producer throws on his own 90’s punk rock-sounding vocals. He’ll take the Stellar Stage Sunday night and will likely close out the weekend.

4. SNRBN – “If I Can’t Have You” feat. Harloe

The LA-based DJ/producer, who will also be taking over the Stellar Stage on Sunday afternoon, where he will more than likely take his audience out of the racetrack an instead place them on a mental beach. His latest single “I Can’t Have You” accomplishes this feat in mere minutes.

5. Two Friends – “While We’re Dreaming” feat. Kevin Writer

We enjoy this 2017 throwback from the duo, who will be treating their guests to a heavy dose of their cheery brand of dance music.

6. Galantis – “Mama Look At Me Now”

“Mama Look At Me Now” is one of two tracks from Galantis’ latest EP release, and it gives us a taste of what’s in store for the mischevious Swedes’ infectiously raucous Sunday set.

7. Cashmere Cat, Major Lazer, Tory Lanez – “Miss You” (Akira Akira & Hikeii Remix)

This is one of the most poppin’ remixes of his hit collaboration “Miss You” with Major Lazer and Tory Lanez. Festival goers can expect to hear either the original or an assortment of remixes, yet knowing Cashmere Cat, he often has a strictly Jersey club section of the set, to which this fits perfectly. Check out his set at the Lunar Stage on Sunday.

8. Rezz & 1788-L – H E X

Rezz is blowing up the scene with dark synths and heavy beats that are nothing short of an innovative sound. Check out her latest release, which she’ll most likely use to destroy the Solar Tent atmosphere on Saturday.

9. Chris Lake, Chris Lorenzo, Anti-Up – “Pizza”

Anyone want pizza? No? How about after a few hours of constant movement and house beats at the Celestial Stage? Chris Lake will be headlining the house-geared stage Saturday night and will probably trap listeners into his set right as they’re deciding to leave for some pizza.

10. Eric Prydz – “Liberate” (Lane 8 Remix)

This remix for Eric Prydz’ “Liberate” is one of Lane 8’s hidden gems released back in 2014. He’s pushed out a lot of new music since then, but it doesn’t mean we have to stop showing this perfect blend of deep and melodic house some love. Check him out headlining the Celestial Stage Sunday night.

Purchase tickets via the Moonrise Festival website and if this song selection didn’t do justice, check out the festival’s 2018 Spotify playlists, which are curated by stage.

 

Two Friends’ latest track, ‘Bandaid,’ is a bubbly summer jam

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Two Friends’ latest track, ‘Bandaid,’ is a bubbly summer jamTwo Friends Press

Matt Halper and Eli Stones of Two Friends have been concocting their secret sauce for years now, being friends since the seventh grade. While most people can’t even retain their friends from middle school, these guys grew together to create a musical project that bounces with ease and makes the listener feel from the topline all the way down to the bass.

On their latest track, “Bandaid,” the guys infuse the track with groovy guitar and thumping percussion, along with well-tailored vocal samples, to deliver yet another energetic tune, perfect for the summer sun. The vocal speaks to recovering from a broken heart with another relationship that they will ultimately end once they have healed from the last one.

NMF Roundup: Gryffin pairs up with Iselin, Hardwell ‘shines a light,’ Two Friends ramp up for summer, and many more

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NMF Roundup: Gryffin pairs up with Iselin, Hardwell 'shines a light,' Two Friends ramp up for summer, and many more

The most important day of every week: New Music Friday. 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.


Gryffin pairs up with the lovely Iselin, and takes listeners on an emotional journey through “Just For A Moment.”

Hardwell combines moving piano, Wildstylez and hardstyle on his latest, “Shine A Light.”

Dutch producer Maurice West brings everyone to the dance floor with this big room heater.

Guitar riffs swirl as clocks tick, and then piano is introduced as powerful sweeps take you into Nicky Romero‘s epic synth-filled drop.

Bouncy synths, poppy percussion and catchy vocals dazzle Two Friends‘ track, “Bandaid.”

Said The Sky, Dabin and Linn pull on the heartstrings as they transcend listeners into a musical wonderland.

Mako makes magic in “Murder,” with powerful bass and elegant piano that entices from beginning to end.

Tom Budin gets grimy with his remix of JaySounds & Kwame’s “Legacy.”

White Panda and Loote make a song so effortlessly playful that replaying it just once won’t be enough.

Imad Royal shows his dark side with Elliphant on their intricate and interesting track full of gun sounds and chilling whispers.

MEMBA adds another chapter to their EP with the second release, “Keep It Up.”

LMBO creates a cinematic beauty by combining experimental elements along with chill trap ones in their Bronze Whale remix.

Eptic shows up in true Eptic fashion and drops a four-track EP that’s so not for the faint of heart.

High hats dance and Nicole Dash Jones sings as KC Lights builds a groovy house tune around them, perfectly complementing every note.

Squired releases a stutter-studded track engraved with hot rap verses and arrangement from the young artist himself.

Lloyd Macey delivers a late-night house tune with a kick that leaves you coming back for seconds.

Kidswaste releases an atmospheric and instrumental beauty under his alias Beauvois.

Liveliness radiates from Cazzette and Parson James through deep plucks and excellent melodies on “Missing You.”

If life is a highway, then hit the ground running with Conro on his latest jazzy summer tune, “Fired Up,” out now on Monstercat.

Love at first sight might not be a thing, but love at first Win & Woo and Cosmos and Creature sure could be on their horn-filled collaboration, “Beam Me Up.”

Hewan stuns from her compelling voice, to the captivating music that surrounds it on “Strip For Me.”

Aylen lets loose on “Jaws,” as he slings out energetic synths and percussion so groovy everybody will be moving.

Khalid received remixes for “Love Lies,” and Rad Hatter puts a dark spin on it with rolling bass and drops so fat, one might forget for good what the original once sounded like.

Exclusive: Kanye West – Touch The Sky (Two Friends Remix)

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Two Friends continue their 2018 tour de force with a fresh remix of a throwback. For their latest, the duo has revamped Kanye West‘s 2005 “Touch The Sky.”

They dust off the 13-year-old track and bring it back to life, playing up the original track’s horns (sampled from the Curtis Mayfield song “Move On Up”) and integrating a lively piano melody. Two Friends balance West and Lupe Fiasco‘s vocals with bright instrumentation, creating a spirited remix perfect for warm summer days.

Drink to this: Two Friends release pregame worthy Big Bootie Mix Vol. 13 [Free Download]

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Two Friends released their newest Big Bootie Mix, and they seemed to have had Friday night in mind when creating the one hour long compilation. Volume 13 of the series masterfully combines upbeat drop after drop, making it the perfect backdrop to get the night going, unless an early evening is the plan.

This mix comes after the duo’s recent remix of Dua Lipa’s “IDGAF,” and they have kindly provided fans with a phone number to let them know what they think of the mix.

Two Friends keep fans happy with another new remix of Dua Lipa’s ‘IDGAF’ [Free Download]

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two-friends-press

Keep em’ coming Two Friends.

The LA-based duo have released a new remix of Dua Lipa‘s hit track “IDGAF.” The high school best-friends rose to fame with their highly-esteemed remixes of tracks like “Mr. Brightside” and MGMT‘s“Kids” (played at college parties everywhere). Capitalizing off their previous successes, the duo have recently taken their talents to original works like “Just A Kid” with Kevin Writer.

Returning to what they do best, Two Friends have thrown a wavy spin on Lipa’s chart-topping pop single. Catch them in concert as they approach the final dates of their “Just A Kid” tour.

Two Friends bring the smiles in sweet new video for ‘Just A Kid’

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The young duo behind Two Friends, Matt Halper and Eli Sones, quickly grew from just kids making music in their bedrooms to one of the most promising dance music duos of late. Known for their viral takes on “Trap Queen,” “I Miss You,” and “Mr. Brightside,”  Two Friends have steadily become unprecedented masters in the art of merging cutesy pop and EDM.

With support now coming from the likes of The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, and many more, and with a whole host of original releases locked in for 2018, these two kids are set to dominate the EDM world this year and beyond.

Two Friends release vibrant remix of Charlie Puth’s hit single, ‘How Long’

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two friends

Hailing from Los Angeles, producer duo Two Friends have released a bold remix of Charlie Puth‘s hit single, “How Long.” Featuring colorful waves of synth, melodic builds, and playful rhythmic patters, Two Friends have taken the original to new heights by adding their own electronic flair to the piece.

Known for their eclectic dance-pop crossover signature sound, Two Friends have amassed widespread support for incorporating vibrant vocals from an array of artists into their pieces. One of their most renowned tracks, “Emily,” showcases the duo’s ability to master a genre-bending style, and highlights a lively production quality. With their latest take on Puth’s “How Long,” Two Friends gives fans a taste for what’s to come in the new year.


Jimmie puts UK dub spin on Two Friends’ hit single, ‘While We’re Dreaming’

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DJ/producer Jimmie returns with an official UK-style, dubbed remix of Two Friends‘ single “While We’re Dreaming” featuring Kevin Writer. This release follows the success of remixes for Portugal. The Man, Galantis, and more. The NYC-based producer is seeing millions of global streams and major buzz for his unique production style.

Jimmie takes the vocals and key signature from the original and adds his own melodic synths on the verses, taking it deeper on the drops with heavy bass rhythms under a catchy trumpet sample.

Read More:

Portugal. The Man – Feel It Still (Jimmie Remix)

Two Friends release playful visuals for ‘Just A Kid’

ZHU takes on Portugal. The Man with remix of ‘Feel It Still’