Boris Brejcha launches into 2020 with ‘Space Diver’ [Interview]

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Boris Brejcha launches into 2020 with ‘Space Diver’ [Interview]Boris Brejcha 01 Credit Florian Schmitt 1

Boris Brejcha may just be the biggest DJ you’ve never heard of. While the German-based musician has been a mainstay of the European club scene for years, he hasn’t managed to permeate most American soundwaves until just recently, having just wrapped up his first stateside tour in 2019. Thankfully, with his recent album Space Diver, hosted on Ultra Records, alongside an upcoming marquee set at Detroit’s esteemed Movement Festival, the cat is finally out of the bag. Brejcha is among the sharpest acts in the industry, and a must-see for any earnest dance music maven. His catalog is as deep as it is aurally amorphous. But the latest release serves as an incisive hour-long dissertation on why Brejcha currently resides among dance music’s most exciting names.

If you want to use traditional electronic genres as a scale, you’ll see parallels all over Brejcha’s music. The topline of tracks like “Lieblingsmensch” and “The Future” for example, channel the German producer’s minimal lineage, creating bounds of space on dancefloors that typically brim with audible clutter. On the other end of the spectrum, two of the album’s lead singles “Gravity” and “Never Look Back” capture the undeniable atmosphere of the trance buildup, elevating the tracks with melodies and elements so soft they seem touchable, ideal for those mid-set moments that make live sets so memorable.

The comparisons go on, with progressive elements in “Happinezz,” and the album’s title track. The tracks climb the intensity to an album apex, with pitch-shifting electro-synths that even off-the-wall Steve Aoki would deem high-energy. With that in mind, Space Diver may not hit home to purists of any one genre, or those with a particular dislike for another. But for those who are able to cast a wide net of personal tastes, it falls right in the stylistic potluck sweet spot.

Speaking to Brejcha, who rarely listens to dance music himself, it quickly becomes clear that he isn’t trying to fit into any preexisting niche.

“When I go to the studio I just produce the music how I feel,” says Brejcha. “So it’s not that I go [in] and want to produce techno or something, I just produce from the heart.’

This approach doesn’t only result in a stunning collage of electronic music, but allows Brejcha the confidence and creative freedom to stretch his wings as a musician. It sounds strange to sense an artist’s comfort in his or her creative space just from their end product, but Boris’s work shows a unique ability to head full-steam into an improbable idea, like “Space Diver”‘s funky pre-drop beat structure, with untethered finesse. He is uncannily comfortable in the unorthodox.

With all of this talk about walking the line between genres, it’s only fitting for Brejcha to have created his own—High-tech minimal. Of course, some take it upon themselves dissect and question the terminology (I’m looking at you, techno purists). But the term is really as much his own definition as it is an invitation for listeners to call the Fckng Serious label boss’s music whatever the fck they want. This approach of “Here’s some quality tunes, label ‘em what you want,” has clearly paid dividends though, as the recent traction has positioned him on some of the biggest stages in the world next to the biggest acts in all of dance music. Go to YouTube and filter the search for “Live DJ set” by view count in the past year and you’ll not only see Brejcha positioned among EDM gargantuans like Tiësto and David Guetta, but sitting at the top of the heap with his 2019 Grand Palais Cercle set.

The results may seem effortless, but Brejcha’s success tells a story about finding what you love and committing yourself to it.  

“It was my dream to become a musician…” says Brejcha. “I mean, I work almost all day but I love it, so it’s totally okay.”

His recent explosion on the global scene might paint him as a newcomer, but 15 years of releases and more than half a dozen LPs reveal an artist that has truly earned his stake. Taking a trip down memory lane, the very first video on Boris’s artist YouTube channel shows him playing a small Brazilian show back in 2008:

“It was the first gig in my life, with the shitty, small mask,” he says.

Scroll back up the page and it becomes evident that his entire journey to the top is cataloged for the world to see, from a semi-nude promo shot with his girlfriend at the time juxtaposed with his larger-than-life 2018 Tomorrowland set, which has amassed over 30 million views.

“It’s crazy man,” he says, reflecting. “I remember one time when I was in the studio with my ex-girlfriend and my best friends in the earlier days, just chatting around and doing some shitty things and some shitty videos just to upload to YouTube for 200 or 300 views.”

As the lyrics of “The Future” say however, “The future starts from here.” And between fostering the next generation of talent through his own label, Fckng Serious, and admitting to “another 2 or 3 albums” worth of material, it looks like we can all expect a little more Boris Brejcha in our futures.

After much anticipation, Space Diver is now out via Ultra Records.

Anabel Englund and Jamie Jones share soothing house feeler, ‘Messing With Magic’

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Anabel Englund and Jamie Jones share soothing house feeler, ‘Messing With Magic’Anabel Englund

LA-based Anabel Englund recently released a satiating dancefloor feeler, “Messing With Magic,” with Ibiza mainstay, Jamie Jones, through Ultra Records‘ Area 10 division. With a dark twist in the form of a brooding bass supporting Englund’s resonant vocals alongside heartbeat percussion, the track offers its due diligence with a sprinkle of light, uplifting piano chords. The verses dive back into a more menacing tone, as the hooks bring the piano house into play. An electro-techno synth line casually creeps in to add to the track’s nonchalant air.

“Messing With Magic” follows another Ultra release for Englund, “So Hot,” which received a remix from MK and Nightlapse. Her debut EP is set for release in 2020.

Boris Brejcha rips and tears with new single, ‘Lieblingsmensch’

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Boris Brejcha rips and tears with new single, ‘Lieblingsmensch’Boris Brejcha

Having just clocked in at No. 2 on Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artists of 2019, Boris Brejcha continues his hot-streak of genre-bending club releases with “Lieblingsmensch,” his next successive single on Ultra Records in almost as many months. Translated to “favorite human ever,” “Lieblingsmensch” ticks all the boxes that make his tunes so matter-of-factly Boris.

A healthy balance of in-your-face light/dark elements? Check. How about a bottomless toolbox of uniquely textured elements? Check. Melodic twists and turns? Those, too.

Sure, his style revolves around the build/drop dynamic, but between his understanding of dance music and sophisticated songwriting, even that takes a refreshing spin through the cosmic corridors of “Lieblingsmensch.”

Brejcha is no newcomer to the electronic zeitgeist. He’s been known for minimal and techier sounds since much earlier in the now dwindling decade. But those who have seen him behind the decks as of late likely remember this release for the lynchpin that it is in his current mix/live set setup.

Boris Brejcha’s upcoming LP, Space Diver, is expected out on Ultra Records this coming January.

Photo: TribalMixes

NGHTMRE taps Gunna for latest hip-hop offering, ‘CASH COW’

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NGHTMRE taps Gunna for latest hip-hop offering, ‘CASH COW’NGHTMRE Gunna

NGHTMRE is keeping his portfolio of music diverse with newest release “CASH COW” featuring Gunna. The single is a Hip Hop release, and it is a refreshing change of pace for listeners who are a fan of NGHTMRE’s ability to produce a wide variety of musical genres.

Many electronic producers have diversified their sound by releasing cross genre singles. These songs frequently enlist elements of non-electronic genres but fuse them with electronic drops. Unlike many electronic music producers who release cross-genre singles, NGHTMRE is known to release strictly Hip Hop singles with no electronic elements juxtaposed with his heavy hitting electronic output.

“CASH COW” is an example of one of NGHTMRE’s strictly Hip Hop releases thanks to its simple and catchy note progression that builds around Gunna’s lyrics. Gunna’s rapping serving as the focal point of the release, and the low BPM makes the track the antithesis of what fans could expect to be featured in NGHTMRE’s live sets. “CASH COW” would find a perfect home in a Hip Hop club.

The single follows NGHTMRE’s recent collaboration with Grabbitz, “Bruises,” which is contrastingly melodic. “CASH COW” is out now via Ultra Records.

Photo supplied by Ultra Music

SNBRN and Lucati release cool house heater, ‘DMs’

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SNBRN and Lucati release cool house heater, ‘DMs’SNBRN Press Image

SNBRN has teamed up with Lucati and vocalist 1993 on their new house cooler, “DMs,” released via Ultra Records. The track summarizes the important messages sent through social media direct messaging, or DMs as colloquially known. With a groovy bassline driving the sound, 1993’s voice swims alongside the walking low end melody as the house percussion completes the exoskeleton of the project. A surprise whistle playfully interrupts for a well-rounded house heater.

Hailing from Los Angeles, SNBRN is known for his catchy deep house sound. His originals such as “Raindrops” and “Gangsta Walk” with Nate Dogg alongside infectious remixes that include Bebe Rexha‘s “I Got You” are a testament to his delicate technique and playful narrative development. “DMs” looks to follow that trend, supplementing the artists deep house repertoire.

Boris Brejcha shares ‘Never Look Back,’ from upcoming Ultra album [Stream + Watch]

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Boris Brejcha shares ‘Never Look Back,’ from upcoming Ultra album [Stream + Watch]Boris Brejcha 01 Credit Florian Schmitt 1

German joker-masked king of High Tech Minimal, Boris Brejcha has unfurled another fragment, “Never Look Back” from his debut album due in January on Ultra Records.

A recent staple in Brejcha’s 100% originally soundtracked sets, “Never Look Back” imbues the FCKNG SERIOUS label boss’s penchant for bleeding the boundaries of striking techno, progressive house, and trance. His inspiriting, melodic earmark assumes the driver’s seat, yet again, alongside one of his cornerstone pitched-down vocal cuts. The production is nothing short of cosmic.

Having just wrapped up his first US tour and another successful branded soiree at Amsterdam Dance Event, Brejcha continues to permeate his unparalleled sound design to pandemic proportions. In addition to erecting his own music label just a few years ago, Brejcha made his Cercle debut this year at the Grand Palais, which has garnered over seven million streams on YouTube alone. Those who haven’t heard the news about the one-man High Tech Minimal army taking the global club front for ransom would do best to briskly familiarize themselves.

Photo Credit: Florian Schmitt

CRAY embodies dark pop on ‘seasons change and so do i’ EP

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CRAY embodies dark pop on ‘seasons change and so do i’ EPCRAY At Hard Summer Credit Her FB

CRAY has released a seven-track EP, seasons change and so do i, trading in her DJ gear to express her indie-pop side. The personal extended play is about her evolution as an artist while turning heartbreak into self love. The Twitch gamer and producer took a big step this year, signing to Ultra Records, where this project is signed. This signing helped her work with producers Dan Whittemore, Naderi, Alex Mendoza, and Cameron Hale to bring her darkened pop vision to life, joining her on her new sonic direction.

“This EP was written over a year and half period,” CRAY said of the project in a press release. “The first half of the EP was written when I was in a relationship and was struggling with being okay and happy and the end half I wrote when the relationship ended. It’s very much like a diary and that’s why the artwork is hand made and the songs have dates next to them to explain the journey of when I wrote them.” 

She adds, “This EP is almost a story of falling out of love with someone and back into love with yourself. It’s angry, sad, hopeful and powerful. My inspiration for this is directly from my experiences and my writing, each song is personal and true to me and the writing process was emotional for me but very therapeutic as well.”

CRAY is continuing to tour and play festivals in addition to intimate seasons change and so do i showcases in Los Angeles and New York City.

Photo credit: CRAY Facebook

Black Coffee and Usher link for a must-listen R&B afrobeat hybrid, ‘LaLaLa’ [Stream]

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Black Coffee and Usher link for a must-listen R&B afrobeat hybrid, ‘LaLaLa’ [Stream]Usher Coffee

Black Coffee throws scerene drums and melody at 2000’s R&B chart dominator Usher, in an infectious new after hours groove titled, “LaLaLa,” landing on Ultra Records. This is the first single from the South African producer since his 2018 track “Wish You Were Here,” and similarly Usher’s first offering of 2019.

“La La La,” carried by plucks and twirling air, is guided nicely towards a familiar, soothing pop-inspired backdrop. Then, joined with a vibrant afrobeat appeal, the track comes together to make for a sensual dance between voice and rhythm. Swinging percussion elements accent the track’s crooning vocals as the chemistry seems effortless between Usher and Coffee.

Usher’s last effort came last year on a joint album alongside Zaytoven, A. In that time, Black Coffee collaborated with David Guetta, Drake, and Alicia Keys, as he continued cementing his undoubtable legacy as one of Red Bull Music Academy‘s proudest exports.

Photo Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

4B – Told You

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4B – Told YouToldyou

4B is back on Ultra Records with a heavy-hitting single that serves as a battle cry for his forthcoming “Explosive” EP. A blend of hardstyle and trap, “Told You” is not for the feint of heart or the mellow-minded. This track is a sonic assault. Led by a percussion-heavy build and a driving bassline that stabs and serrates your ear drums, the 26-year-old producer has primed his party-ready and hard-hitting style with “Told You.”

If the rest of his EP is as “Explosive” as the name suggests then “Told You” is the fuse for a megaton bomb of bass.

Adventure Club enlist Said The Sky for atmospheric new offering, ‘Already Know’

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Adventure Club enlist Said The Sky for atmospheric new offering, ‘Already Know’Adventure Club

Since their ascension through the electronic ranks amid the US dubstep craze of the early 2010s, Adventure Club have maintained a fierce foothold at the helm of dance music’s consciousness.

Now the duo has aligned themselves with aural counterpart and one of the scene’s synergistic and new talents, Said The Sky, for their new collaborative track, “Already Know,” out on Ultra Records. In the few short years of his release tenure, the producer/multi-instrumentalist has rendezvoused with some of the most eminent like-minded melodic bass purveyors around, including Seven Lions, Illenium, and SLANDER.

“Already Know” exudes the equally delicate and robust nature of Adventure Club and Said The Sky’s melodic bass methods. The static-laden, atmospheric allure of the reverb-friendly production melds mellifluously with the romantic euphoria inherent in Carly Bevier’s vocal contribution. The release is another momentous notch in its esteemed creators’ veteran and nascent respective catalogs.

Photo Credit: Karel Chladek