Ask your average Skrillex diehard and they might tell you that the follow up to 2014’s Recess sometimes feels like it’s never going to come — Sonny Moore’s Detox, so to speak. Released on March 18, 2014, the wait since then for another solo Skrillex project feels like it’s crept by in dog years. Despite that, on the fourth anniversary of the OWSLA head honcho’s full-length debut, a circle back to the groundbreaking 11-track LP proves Skrillex’s bass sensibilities of old still undoubtedly stand the test of time. Recessis still a riveting adventure from front to back.
Since then, some of the album’s highlights have become core products in the Skrillex cannon of floor-rattling classics. Moore’s output hasn’t slowed at all since either. He’s spent the better part of these last four years building a rolodex of collaborators that include pop’s most dominating forces, from Jennifer Lopez to Justin Bieber, Ty Dolla $ign to Rick Ross. Nowadays, a considerable touring hiatus, along with a backhanded mention of studio work from Diplo suggest that perhaps a solo Skrillex could one day soon materialize. Skrillex stans may tell you not to hold your breath, but there’s really no reason to when Recess is still so damn good.
In his 15 years as one of the leading artists in electronic music, Australian songwriter, composer, record producer and DJ tyDi, née Tyson Illingworth, has seen, heard and done it all. Through his extensive discography, which includes five full-length albums, countless singles and remixes, and numerous EPs across diverse genres, he’s topped global charts, he’s
Shark squad, it’s time to prepare for some new music from the shark master, Jauz. Since the turn of the new year, we have been expecting an album to be released any day now from the trap DJ. He had confirmed that the album would be released somewhere in early 2018. It is currently the
For nearly a decade, Pleasurekraft charted their own singular course of chart topping singles that exist at the intersection of expansiveness and danceability. The electronica group’s seminal releases — such as “Tarantula” and “The Most Dangerous Game” — served to solidify Pleasurekraft as one of the global electronic sphere’s most inventive acts. Their brand of atmospheric techno gathered them support from such genre heavies as Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Nicole Moudaber, and more.
Now, the group have released their debut album, Friends, Lovers, & Other Constellations. The project shifts from the thunderous rhythms on standout singles such as “Tarantula” in favor of an expansive, atmospheric soundscape.
The LP is “something akin to a musical mission statement,” says the group. “To prove that there is more to dance music than just a 4/4 beat, cliche drug references, and party themed vocals.”
From Casey Gerald’s thought-provoking sermon on “G.O.D. (Gospel of Doubt)”, to the searingly cynical “Corpse Reviver Number 1″, this debut album is wholly visceral on a musical and thematic level.”
Remember the first time a kid from Chicago really challenged hip-hop’s status quo? He showed us how swapping 808s for chopped soul samples might actually be cool and that skinny jeans and neon Polos could be just as hip-hop as football jerseys and Cartier. He ushered in a new era of hip-hop by allowing himself to be weird and detailing his journey through the come up across three coming-of-age themed albums that have since cemented their places in the hightest echelons of modern hip-hop history. That kid was Kanye West, and nearly two decades after his emergence, his influence has shaped three of the genre’s brightest new torch carriers: Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, and now undisputedly, Towkio.
Each of these three young forward-thinkers are now pushing hip-hop into the future on those same principles, and at times, experimental appeal — though now Towkio is officially planting his flag with his debut LP, WWW. One listen through the new album, and it becomes clear that Towkio’s definition of hip-hop not only sets him apart from most of his contemporaries’, but also that it doesn’t necessarily adhere to current hip-hop conventions either; he doesn’t seem phased in the slightest.
Conceived between the journey from an emerging Chicago rapper to lamping at Rick Rubin’s mythical Malibu recording sanctuary Shangri La, Towkiosets the narrative in WWW.‘s first bars on “Swim,”
“New chapter, new page, made some money off the first mixtape. Now I’m living, good chillin by a beach that’s not a lake. Said the earth controls the moon so we control the waves.”
Relying heavily on these ideas of perspective, frequency and resonant connectivity, the foundational motifs go beyond just the track titles and lyrics. They are weaved into the record’s eclectic complexion of genres, roping together dreamy psychedelic intros, footworking breaks, funk, trap, R&B, and a healthy dose of his throaty vocal hopskotch. Creating the album took the “Drift” rapper to pyramids in Mexico, winding Hawaiian hills, and ultimately 92,000 feet into the atmosphere to quite literally drop his album from a visual vantage point that only a microscoping group of humans in history have ever witnessed.
Sonically, the record plays upon hip-hop’s new wave versatility, with a welcomed serving of pop appeal on tracks like “Hot S**t,” the Teddy Jackson-assisted “Symphony,” and a cheeky breakbeat cut on “Disco.” Louis The Child‘s contribution to the album, “Loose,” opens like it’s the much needed mid-record breather, before quickly tightening down and breaking into a rambunctious collection of bombastic kicks and tenacious spits.
The real respite, however, comes as one of the album’s final additions — a sleepy R&B piece alongside Grammy-nominated SZA called “Morning View.” Throughout its 13-track span, celestial trains of thought play a key aesthetic role in WWW.‘s compilation, culminating on pieces like “Alone” and “2 Da Moon.” Such a theme is not unlike the early outputs of fellow unconventionals like Kanye and Kid Cudi.
photo credit: Lenny Gilmore
Towkio showcases his inextricable acceptance of weirdness, and unapologetically declares it cool in his own way as well. It isn’t cookie-cutter rap music, and it wouldn’t be true to Towkio if it was. If still not skeptical about the Yeezy coming-of-age parallels, listen to him and Vic Mensa go in with brilliant, youthful defiance on “Forever” and tell me it doesn’t sound like the logically matured progression to West’s seminal classic, “We Don’t Care.”
On paper, WWW. is built by a team of sharp industry power players, with Lido behind the console raking in substantial writing and producing credits with Knox Fortune and frequent SZA songwriter Carter Lang, all beneath the legendary Rick Rubin’s watchful eye. Together, a seemingly motley crew of differently-wired creators have come together to aid in the delivery of Towkio’s triumphant longform debut — a relatable narrative of introspection and simultaneous emergence, all wrapped up in the underlying concept of the “overview effect” and how we relate to the daily risks we all take living on this big blue rock with one another.
Nowadays, the burgeoning rapper keeps his head in the stars, his feet in the California sand, and he’s survived a plummet from space that would humble anyone. Towkio has officially staked his claim in his corner of the ever-growing hip-hop empire, and in two more decades from now, who knows how WWW. will inspire an entirely new generation of rappers?
As Alison Wonderland continues to ascend in the electronic realm, she’s become a fixture in the global dance scene while slowly rolling out new productions. She’s allowed her live performances to speak for themselves — a wise decision — with an upcoming installment at Coachella a high point of anticipation. Another sign of her powerful production abilities and strength of her fanbase: she’s the highest billed female DJ set to perform at the festival in 2018.
Presently, Wonderland’s preparing to release her new album, AWAKE, and now released its very first track.
Unlike her most recent trap-ridden single, “Happy Place,” which found Wonderland in a place of considerable sonic comfort and calculated drops, “Church” is an empowering, future pop single. Its lyrics are challenging and demands that all comply to her utterance, “You better, treat me like church.”
Even though we’re just one month into the new year, there has already been quite a few new EDM albums released in 2018 already. On January 19th, Kayzo and Lane 8 released their highly anticipated albums, while Above & Beyond followed closely behind on January 26th with the highly anticipated ‘Common Ground’ release. The EDM
Over the course of the last seven years, Pleasurekraft has mesmerized the dance music community with a string of chart topping singles, spanning a variety of genres. The electronica group’s releases — perfect for dark dance-floors — are laden with subversive energy and a palpable verve. Through seminal releases like “Tarantula” and “The Most Dangerous Game,” Pleasurekraft solidified themselves as dance music visionaries. Their atmospheric techno soundscape garnered support from such genre stalwarts as Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Nicole Moudaber, and more.
Now the group have their sights set on global techno ascension, as they announced the release of their debut album, slated for release Feb 23rd, 2018. The project is “something akin to a musical mission statement;” reads an official press release. “To prove that there is more to dance music than just a 4/4 beat, cliche drug references, and party themed vocals. From Casey Gerald’s thought-provoking sermon on “G.O.D. (Gospel of Doubt)”, to the searingly cynical “Corpse Reviver Number 1″, this debut album is wholly visceral on a musical and thematic level.”
Pleasurekraft – ‘Friends, Lovers & Other Constellations’ Tracklist
The producer has officially begun to deliver on his promise of a new moombahton album with the release of its lead single “Ven,” featuring Puerto Rican songwriter Arcangel and Dominican rapper Quimico Ultra Mega.
The album is expected to be chock full of culture-blurring collaborations, with Francis actively traveling over the last year to find the most authentic supporting cast possible for his sophomore LP.
In a note to fans accompanying his first release of 2018, Francis explains,
“For the last 18 months I’ve been spending most of my time between shows at the studio. My goal was to have fun, inspire myself, and make something amazing, so when I got time in the studio I focused on making moombahton records. I asked Toy Selectah to help me source some vocals and we got into an amazing rhythm and I kept writing songs. We went to NY, Miami, Dominican Republic and Mexico City to work and it was some of the most incredible experiences ever. So here’s the first song off my upcoming album…”
Clocking in at the moombah tempo sweet spot, “Ven” drips and drops at 108 beats per minute, roping in heavy hip-hop influences, and carried by sharp hi-hat flurries and sinister Spanish spits from Francis’ Latin co-stars. Last year the “Hello There” producer regained creative control of his music when he parted ways with Columbia Records and we’ve now seen the first fruits of Dillon’s labor.
Kayzo — has officially released his debut LP titled Overload. The Los Angeles-based producer has climbed the ranks of electronic music, gaining notoriety for his non linear approach towards production. As is the case on his album, listeners can expect the unexpected, with songs often shifting tempo two or three times before ending.
Capuozzo’s injection of hard rock guitar samples into forward-thrusting dubstep ballads characterizes his artistic versatility. Seemingly non-related styles blend into a cohesive, yet tough sonic landscape. Overload’s eponymous second track, for example, sounds as though a rogue force is orchestrating the entire effort. Beginning with doomsday breakdowns, it shifts around the 2 minute mark into breakneck psy, flooding the listener with acidic production touchstones.
The album features vocal accompaniments from Micah Martin, whose voice emulates a 2000s punk singer — an apt inclusion to Kayzo’s industrial soundscapes. What starts out like a melodic build might transform into darkness in an instant, thanks to Micah’s assistance.
“The Overload album started with an idea of bringing the music I listened to in my youth and most vulnerable time with what I have been able to cultivate in the electronic space” Kayzo notes about his LP. “I grew up on rock and pop punk so for me it was really important to bring the musical sound that helped shape me as a kid with what I love now.”
Capuozzo’s tendency to err on the side of extreme audio textures is something that has come to define him as an artist. The synthesis of punk elements into the electronic sphere is a point towards the pure aggression embodied in nearly every track.
“I grew up on rock and pop punk so for me it was really important to bring the musical sound that helped shape me as a kid with what I love now.”
Kayzo’s debut album marks a steep departure from the electronic mainstream. Although sometimes its thrusts feel a bit overwhelming, its influences come from a genuinely authentic space, and their translation into the electronic sphere is a chaotic, wonderful mess.