Give Thanks Festival brings big beats to northern Califnornia with Kayzo, JOYRYDE, Kaskade, and more

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Give Thanks Festival brings big beats to northern Califnornia with Kayzo, JOYRYDE, Kaskade, and moreKayzo Credit John Davisson

Skip the awkward family Thanksgiving gathering this year and reach for an actual good time that doesn’t include your uncle’s weird political views or your dad’s indigestion complaints. Give Thanks Festival returns to northern California this year on November 29 – 30 with a stacked lineup of electronic music heavy hitters including Kaskade, Kayzo, Manilla Killa, 3LAU, and more.

The event, hosted at Cal Expo Fairgrounds, is bringing a solid cast of DJs to Sacramento, with Good Time Ahead, Getter, and more slated for the two-day throw down. Tickets to Give Thanks Festival are on sale now, click here for more info.

Featured image: John Davisson

Saturday Night Session 028: Justin Caruso reflects on the past and lays out his hopes for the future as he enters the next stage of his music career

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Saturday Night Session 028: Justin Caruso reflects on the past and lays out his hopes for the future as he enters the next stage of his music careerJustin Caruso Press

Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.

Justin Caruso has only been releasing music for two years, but in that short time period, he has already made a name for himself on the touring circuit and on the radio. A commercial crossover producer through and through, Caruso started his electronic music career with one of the best mentors an aspiring artist could ask for with Justin Blau, better known as 3LAU. The two went on tour together in 2016, and Caruso hasn’t looked back since.

The now 23-year old proceeded to amass over 50 million streams on streaming platforms across his collection of releases, and he has since gone on tour with the likes of Tiësto, The Chainsmokers, and now Loud Luxury. Few acts have the opportunity to tour with such a heavy-hitting roster of artists at the initiation of their careers, and its a tribute to the quality of Caruso’s original releases and remixes. When asked which tour Caruso would repeat aside from his own previous headlining tour, he notes, “I’d say I would repeat my first ever tour with 3LAU. It was such a wild feeling playing shows for the first time, and I’ll forever remember that tour!”

Caruso’s first headlining tour was in 2017, which he dubbed the ‘Can I dropout yet?’ tour. The producer, who was enrolled in University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, did ultimately make the decision to put college on hold in an effort to focus on his music career. He notes this is one of the hardest decisions he has ever made, stating, “This was very difficult not only for me, but for my parents as well. They weren’t fully on board at first, but once music became a full time job, they began to understand I needed to drop out. It really hit me when I physically had zero time to go to class as I was too busy touring.”

Caruso is out with new release “Can’t Live Without” featuring Wyn Starks ahead of his fill Good Parts Tour. Opening with soft keys and a melody that compliments the velvety vocals of Wyn Starks, ‘Can’t Live Without’ serves as the ideal end-of-summer track. The smooth transitions from silky melodies into an upbeat, future-pop driven sound shows Caruso’s strength at enlisting a top of the line vocalist and blending their voice with an atmospheric backdrop that creates a melodic whole.

He speaks on the new release, stating, “I couldn’t be more excited about this new release! I think ‘Can’t Live Without’ expresses the most raw form of love possible, and a lot of people can connect with that.”

Caruso also crafted his Saturday Night Session to highlight the best of his own releases blended with dance-worthy pop releases. The end result is an infectious mix that the listener can sing along to just as well as they can dance to. According to Caruso, his Saturday Night Session prepares the listener for a Saturday night that is, “whatever they want it to be, but for me, I’d say meeting up with your best friends and having a fun night you all always look back on.”

Photo credit: nexus

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You’ve been on tour with some pretty great acts- The Chainsmokers, Tiesto, and 3LAU to name a few. If you could only choose 1 tour to repeat (not including your headlining tour), which one would you do again?

I’d say I would repeat my first ever tour with 3LAU. It was such a wild feeling playing shows for the first time, and I’ll forever remember that tour!

Have you always been musical/what got you into music in the first place?

I’ve always loved music, but I didn’t really grow a passion for making it or DJing until highschool after a basketball leg injury. I had so much time to kill laying in bed that I started to mess around making mashups on my computer, and thats where the love began.

The theme of your previous tour is “Can I drop out yet?” We know you made the decision to put school on hold in order to focus on your music career. How difficult of a decision was this for you?

This was very difficult not only for me, but for my parents as well. They weren’t fully on board at first, but once music became a full time job, they began to understand I needed to drop out. It really hit me when I physically had zero time to go to class as I was too busy touring.

Let’s go into the future and imagine you are now 40 year old Justin. What kind of a career are you hoping to look back on?

I’m hoping my career is still going, and I’m owning a label at that time. I want to look back on a career that made me happy and something I can be proud of. I hope to continue to make music I love and enjoy.

What is something about you that your fans probably don’t know?

I’m a big gamer, and basically any free time I have goes towards video games. I usually bring video games on the road too!

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

One of my guilty pleasures would be loving Taylor Swift’s music, especially her new album

What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session getting fans ready for?

Honestly whatever they want it to be, but for me, I’d say meeting up with your best friends and having a fun night you all always look back on.

NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens and Riton team up, No Mana remixes Kiiara + more

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NMF Roundup: Oliver Heldens and Riton team up, No Mana remixes Kiiara + moreOlivierHeldens ByPatBeaudry 012 Resize

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.

Oliver Heldens and Riton link with Vula for their new groovy collaboration, “Turn Me On,” and No Mana takes on Kiiara’s “Bipolar.” Kaskade takes his Meghan Trainor collab to another level with the release of a “club mix,” and The Knocks tap R&B crooner Gallant for “Exit Sign.” 3LAU caters to a wide audience on “Miss Me More,” and M83 follows up “Temple of Sorrow” with “Lune de fiel.” Armin van Buuren and Tempo Giusto take things up a notch with “Mr. Navigator,” and Sub Focus and Wilkinson prove to be a formidable drum ‘n’ bass duo on “Illuminate.” AC Slater delivers some new Night Bass heat with “Laid Off,” and DROELOE and Kalulu keep it light on “Broken Bricks.” After debuting the tune on DA earlier this week, Nora En Pure releases her remix of “Lost Souls,” and Machinedrum reveals new possibilities for San Holo’s “Lost Lately.” In another DA-debuted piece this week, Eli Brown rocks steady on “Come Together,” and Morgan Page and HAILENE tug at listeners’ heartstrings on “Footprints.”

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.

Photo credit: Pat Beaudry

NMF Roundup: ZHU and The Bloody Beetroots link for ‘Zoning,’ RÜFÜS DU SOL release new set of ‘Solace’ remixes + more

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NMF Roundup: ZHU and The Bloody Beetroots link for ‘Zoning,’ RÜFÜS DU SOL release new set of ‘Solace’ remixes + moreRUFUS PressShot LeFawnhawk 1

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.

In perhaps one of the biggest collaborations to hit the airwaves on Sept. 6, The Bloody Beetroots and ZHU have teamed up for “Zoning.” RÜFÜS DU SOL have dropped off a new set of remixes for Solace, including an irresistibly groovy one by Hot Since 82. Grimes and i_o unexpectedly deliver “Violence,” and M83 returns with the dreamy “Temple of Sorrow.” Audien and Nevve bring blissful energy to “Buzzing,” and Cashmere Cat reveals “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.” Arty is on a journey to “Find You” in his latest, and Walker & Royce team up with VNSSA for “Rave Grave.” KOAN Sound’s new EP lands pm Sept. 6, featuring sounds like “Vibrant,” and Claude VonStroke unleashes a new original, “Slink.” Sullivan King has released a two-track EP, and Armin van Buuren and David Hodges link for “Waking Up With You.” Fox Stevenson finally uncovers “Dreamland,” and 3LAU remixes San Holo’s “Lost Lately.”

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.

Photo credit: LeFawnhawk

3LAU and Bright Lights reconnect for ‘Down For Life’

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3LAU and Bright Lights reconnect for ‘Down For Life’3lau

Many producers have that one song that not only catapults them into notoriety, but shapes what will be an avid and unwavering fan base. For 3LAU, that song was a joint venture with Bright Lights: “How You Love Me.” The track left its mark on both of the artists’ careers, and still remains a relevant fixture in the dance-pop performative space.

Five years after the track’s eminent reception, 3LAU and Bright Lights have crossed paths once more for “Down For Life.” The track opens to bouncing synths that frame heavily pitched-down vocals. The vocals are idyllically rendered to complement to the track’s pulsing house beat, inducing dancing from the outset of the track.

3LAU took to social media to address the fact that Bright Lights was not the centerpiece of the release, writing, “I was super nervous to release this song today because it might be the complete opposite of what you’d expect. Pitching down @brightlights333 vocals was an experimental decision, and it kept us from releasing the song for years until we got it right. So today, I’m incredibly thrilled by all the positive feedback from you, especially when we tried something new & out of our comfort zone.”

“Down for Life” is out now via 3LAU’s label, Blume.

Photo Credit: EDM.com

NMF Roundup: Skrillex and TroyBoi become ‘WARLORDZ,’ The Bloody Beetroots reveal new EP + more

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NMF Roundup: Skrillex and TroyBoi become ‘WARLORDZ,’ The Bloody Beetroots reveal new EP + moreSkrille Troyboi

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.

KFC’s Colonel Sanders threw down a five-minute main stage set at Ultra, and artists weren’t happy about it

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KFC’s Colonel Sanders threw down a five-minute main stage set at Ultra, and artists weren’t happy about itUltra 2018 Mainstage ALIVE Coverage

Ultra Music Festival has grown to be one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world, making the city of Miami a temporary home for the thousands of individuals that come flocking into the city. After the first day of the festival at their brand new location on the Virginia Key, festival-goers weren’t the only ones that had a lot to say about their experience thus far. Upon the festival’s main stage was KFC’s mascot, Colonel Sanders, who held a five-minute slot amidst the afternoon. Though the festival was characterized by a number of memorable artist sets, the promotional tactic was criticized by a number of artists, including Louis The Child and Alison Wonderland.

Speaking on the issue, the artists note that Ultra holds one of the most impactful platforms in the electronic music scene, and their stages should support hardworking, talented artists that work for the opportunity to perform at these events. Between the chaotic transportation issues at the end of night one that left thousands of attendees to make the hour long trek to the mainland, it looks like Ultra is just getting started.

Louis The Child

KFC’s Colonel Sanders threw down a five-minute main stage set at Ultra, and artists weren’t happy about itScreen Shot 2019 03 30 At 12.00.00 PM

Chris Lake

Luca Lush

Alison Wonderland and 3LAU
KFC’s Colonel Sanders threw down a five-minute main stage set at Ultra, and artists weren’t happy about itScreen Shot 2019 03 30 At 11.58.18 AM

Funkagenda

Opening day rewind: listen to live Ultra sets from Alesso, Tiësto, Dog Blood, and more

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Opening day rewind: listen to live Ultra sets from Alesso, Tiësto, Dog Blood, and moreUltra Music Key Biscayne Resident Backlash

From main stage marvels like Alesso and Tiësto, to collaborative heavy-hitters like Dog Blood, Ultra‘s opening day of production attracted choice electronic acts to the Miami flagship’s newfound home of Virginia Key. For dance music diversion, look no further than Dancing Astronaut’s live set roundup from day one of Ultra Music Festival.

Set highlights include Dog Blood playing out their latest single, “Turn Off The Lights,” and Alesso exerting the main stage strength of cuts from his recently released EP, Progresso Volume 1Nora En Pure, Nicky Romero, and Fedde le Grand each follow suit, lighting up Virginia Key and streamers’ speakers with their masterful mixing techniques and energetic stage presences. A thunderous day two of Ultra Music Festival festivities awaits, with Zedd, Tchami, Martin Garrix, 3LAU, and more scheduled to appear.

Nora En Pure, Main Stage

Dog Blood, Main Stage

Nicky Romero, Main Stage

Alesso, Main Stage

Tiësto, Main Stage 

Fedde Le Grand, Main Stage

Malaa, Worldwide Stage

Louis The Child, Live Arena

Cardi B, Skrillex, Kygo, Tiësto, and more top phase one of 2019 VELD lineup

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Cardi B, Skrillex, Kygo, Tiësto, and more top phase one of 2019 VELD lineupDjsnake Veld

A veteran of Toronto’s electronic events circuit, VELD Music Festival will bring a balance of dance and hip-hop acts to Downsview Park for the the festival’s 2019 iteration. The first phase of the two-day affair’s lineup features headliners Cardi B, Skrillex, Kygo, and Tiësto. Alesso, Loud Luxury, Zeds Dead, 3LAU, Ekali, FISHER, Shiba San, and Gryffin comprise just another handful of VELD’s additional electronic talent.

On the hip-hop end, VELD so far is locked to see performances from Kodak Black, Jaden Smith, Rich the Kid, and Ski Mask the Slump God, among others. While the star power is evidently in no short supply from start to finish of the phase-one lineup, more remains, as VELD has promised to reveal succeeding phases over the next few months. The all-ages event will take place on August 3 and 4. Tickets to the festival are now available, here.

Cardi B, Skrillex, Kygo, Tiësto, and more top phase one of 2019 VELD lineupVeld Music Festival

Photo credit: VisualBass Photography

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 80

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 80Deters Beat Lab@0.

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.

Listen in playlist format here.


Korean pop star teamed HYO up with 3LAU for the sassy “Punk Right Now” in late 2018, drafting both English and Korean iterations. Months later, the track has been given a bold rework by Madeaux, who’s put his signature dark, bold stamp on it with a booming bassline and formidable builds. His steamy style works effortlessly with HYO’s unabashed vocals, and the result is a remix that’s equally gritty and cohesive. Madeaux’s rework is part of a three-track remix EP also includes takes by KUURO and Raiden.

Dutch producer Maduk has returned with a brilliantly diverse three-track EP via Liquicity Records. In the EP’s opener, “Go,” Maduk teams up with vocalist Lachi to craft a euphoric drum & bass piece that delivers the listener directly to the heavens with spirited horns and soaring vocals. “I started working on ‘Go’ one year ago and the instrumental gave me so much energy and happiness right away,’ Maduk says in a release. “I have never recorded this many brass instruments (trumpet, saxophone, trombone, tuba) for a track before, so it’s very exciting!”

French artist Icy Lust has gone through a huge life transformation over the past year. The former web developer quit his job and moved to Paris study sound engineering at Abbey Roads Institute, something he calls one of the best choices of his life. “Lots of things started to get clearer,” he told DA. “Got surrounded with inspiring people, lost myself in deeply listening to music that enhanced my moods. I started to really ask myself what do I love, feel, and what kind of stories my brain builds through those records. It has been a whole introspection, and still is.” His newest track, out now via Tasty, takes place at this turning point. It’s a beautifully and deeply introspective piece, comprised of moody melodies and lush vocals. His future knows no “bounds.”

Essenger‘s clear knack for production and knowing what “works” shines brighter and brighter with each release. The Kansas City artist has only been releasing music under this moniker for less than a year, but he’s already made a name for himself with innovative originals and unique takes on songs like deadmau5‘s “Strobe” and WRLD‘s “Rooms.” His latest is an original called “Afterburner,” which he’s branded as a “synthwave/alt.” The single is much more than either of these classifications, however. He builds slowly, with emotive vocals and twinkling melodies. The chorus, however, takes off like a rocket, with a powerful guitar melody and racing synths. It’s a gorgeous blend of nostalgia-inducing synthwave and something that’s all Essenger’s own.

Party Ghost‘s latest is a brief but satisfying number, packed with all the elements that comprise an ear-catching piece by the California producer. “Thinking About You” marks his first release since December’s “Wraith,” which was a decidedly darker piece. This latest one has a wistful and dreamy atmosphere to it, sprinkled with lighthearted melodies and subtle bass. Distant vocals of “I’ve been thinkin’ ’bout you” weave in and out between a bouncing beat, creating the easygoing environment of someone caught in a daydream. Its message is simple and sweet.