[Q&A] Meet the artists bringing the house down at Mamby: Walker & Royce

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walker & Royce

Since 2015, Mamby On The Beach has been allowing Chicago’s festival-goers to relish a diverse roster of acts right from the lakefront, the awe-inspiring Chicago skyline as its backdrop. Perched quite literally atop the sands of Oakwood Beach, Mamby is known for its eclectic lineup, which this year features everything from Chicago rapper, Common, to the indie accents of Cold War Kids, along with ample electronic titans like Gorgon City, Duke Dumont, and Jai Wolf. Dancing Astronaut sought to get a closer look at a few of the festival’s cant-miss house acts before Mamby hits the beach June 23-24. 

Sam Walker and Gavin Royce of Walker & Royce know that two house heads are better than one. The pair weaved through several of dance music’s most sought after labels, including Crosstown Rebels and Green Velvet‘s Relief Records, before finding an imprint they felt at-home enough to release Self Help, their first studio album, under: the equally eccentric Dirtybird Records. Even before the album’s release, its zany lead single “Take Me To Your Leader,” featuring Dances With White Girls, swept across festival grounds in 2017 like a quirky, four-on-the-floor Hallelujah chorus.

Walker & Royce put the fun back in dance music, with their animated sampling and groove-heavy club hooks. Though lighthearted, the duo’s music is anything but elementary, propelled by a meticulous, image-oriented sound design. Most recently, the two teamed up with another house habitué and dance music effigy, Chris Lake, for their percolating, two-track EP, Close Your Eyes. 

The guys sat down with DA to speak a bit about working with Lake, their group dynamic, and what they’re looking forward to most about Mamby before they hit the Mixmag Tent Sunday, June 24.

Tickets to Mamby On The Beach, as well as the full lineup, can be found here


How are you guys feeling about coming back to Chicago? You guys played at Spybar last year, right?
Sam: Yeah, literally one of the best gigs we ever had.

Gavin: We always love coming to Chicago to begin with. It’s one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s exciting to come back to Chicago in more of a festival setting, and then we still get to come back to Spybar afterwards.

How does working with the Dirtybird team compare to working at the other big dance music hotbeds you’ve worked with in the past?
G: With Dirtybird, and it’s nothing against the other ones, but I feel like we fit in more. It feels more at home for us, and more like a family. I’m sure other people have the same feeling about other labels. But with us it felt like the right place. They made us feel comfortable and not self conscious about what we wanted to do with the music. Even before we started doing the album, we were feeling that way. And then when that came up, we felt like it was really the right home for us to make the album we wanted to make.

You think your music fits in pretty well there?
G: I don’t think that we were typical Dirtybird. It fits in there, but is also kind of pushing the Dirtybird sound forward maybe, too. We kinda have our own unique sound. We don’t take ourselves insanely seriously with our music. We want it to be fun.

S: Sometimes we’ll start thinking about something when we’re writing music. We’ll think of like animated robots, but quirky, crazy, cartoony. And you almost have that sort of mental picture when you’re putting a track together—sonically fitting that image to couple it with.

What release would you guys say you’re most proud of thus far and why?
G: I can’t not say the full album. It was such an endeavor. We had this vision, and there was a time when we didn’t think it was going to come together the way we wanted it to. But it ended up coming together that way. When we’re doing EPs you definitely have a vision of what you want to be presented, but with this we paid so much attention to every aspect of it.

S: One of the cool things that happens with an album is when you’re not trying to write certain tracks, they happen naturally. I feel like some of our best dance music tracks came out of not trying to write them. The album gave us the ability to do that because we weren’t pressured into writing it.

What was it like working with another legend like Chris Lake on your last EP, and what spawned that idea?
G: Chris reached out to us a while ago and told us he had been a fan for a while. We had been familiar with Chris for many years and he recently kind of switched up his sound a little bit. He’s always made incredible music. I felt like our music started to really align together in the last year. So we got in the studio. The EP is better than I even thought it could be.

S: Also we were both working with Dances With White Girls. That was another connection. Chris’s sound started to move in a direction. Our sound started to move in a direction. It just sorta made sense. I’m really happy with what we came up with. And the weird thing about “Dance With Me” is we thought it was cool, but we didn’t think it would be this popular.

G: Both tracks are doing really well. “Drop Top” was kinda done last, and we didn’t think anything of that one either. But now we’re getting a really huge reaction.

How would you describe the dynamic of your musical partnership? Are there different things each of you brings to the table?
S: If we’re working on something, a lot of times, I’m probably overcomplicating it. I might just have some little sketch that I’m not sure about and Gavin will be like ‘Dude, that’s a track right there. We should finish that.’ Three months later, when it’s done, then I can’t believe I was second guessing it. At this point, we can get away with putting out something that’s a bit weird. And if it doesn’t go over, it’s back to the drawing board. We’ll do something else.

G: Our history is very much that Sam was always a producer and I was always a DJ. I started producing because I DJed so much. Sam and I had been friends for years. We started to help each other out on a few tracks. That’s how it kinda fell into place. Even now Sam is more in the studio kind of guy. And I swoop in and I help simplify things or help arrange things. It’s very yin and yang.

Any new music in the pipeline/will we be hearing any of it at Mamby?
G: We have a few unreleased remixes that we’re going to be playing at Mamby. We’ve been working on a few things. Another track with Sophiegrophy is in the works, who was on our album before.

Who are your three must-see acts this year at Mamby?
G: Richie Hawtin, who is an absolute legend.

S: Gorgon City. They’re playing a live set. I would also like to see Common, who is just something totally different from what we do. This is a cool festival for us to do. A lot of other festivals are electronic only. Mamby is a lot more wide open.

Chris Lake and Walker & Royce team up for new EP, ‘Close Your Eyes’

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Chris Lake and Walker & Royce each spent the last few years refining their energetic and fun-loving approach to house music. While the Dirtybird duo and Black Book head honcho have enjoyed their individual successes, they decided to come together for their exciting, two-track Close Your Eyes EP.

The first track, “Dance With Me,” is a perfect showcase of both artists eclectic styles, featuring Walker & Royce’s iconic pitched down vocals and distorted rumbles reminiscent of Chris Lake’s “Lose My Mind.” The second offering, “Drop Top,” stands as another testament to the producers’ technical skill, with stretched vocal samples and lively synth work coming together to make a track worth many listens.

Ante up: stream full sets from day two of EDC Las Vegas

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Both the stakes and the temps were higher for EDC Las Vegas’ second day of production on May 19.

Attendees of Insomniac’s flagship Electric Daisy Carnival and at home viewers alike can relive their favorite sets from the festival, or catch up on the performances that they missed with Dancing Astronaut’s list of live sets from day two of the landmark electronic event, featuring showings from Marshmello, Jauz, Moksi, and more.

Listen to sets from EDC Vegas’ opening day, here.

Kygo, Kinetic Field

Jauz, Kinetic Field

NGHTMRE, Kinetic Field

Tiësto, Kinetic Field

Marshmello, Kinetic Field

Moksi, Kinetic Field

Chris Lake, Kinetic Field

 

Breakaway Music Festival announces two feverous lineups for Columbus & Grand Rapids

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Prime Social Group is back with their biggest unveil to date. Now boasting nine festivals under the Breakaway, Prime, Haunted Fest, and #Fest brands, PSG’s elevating the supreme curation the brand’s been exploring at the intersection of hip-hop and electronic music. This year, Breakaway Music Festival serves as an outright testament to the booking that’s taking the industry by storm.

The festival will return to Grand Rapids’ Belknap Park on August 24 & 25 and Columbus’ Mapfre Stadium on August 24–26, expanding into a three-day festival installment for the first time ever.

Columbus’ Breakaway Music Festival Columbus welcomes the Grammy-nominated DJ and producer Kaskade, live electronic innovators ODESZA, the modern 4/4 master Chris Lake, OWSLA’s own bass champion Ekali, Phantoms, Kayzo, and more. Columbus will also invite some of contemporary music’s most in-demand acts including pop maverick Halsey, Khalid, and Quinn XCII.

Breakaway Music Festival Grand Rapids will also host ODESZA, as well as Borgeous, NGHTMRE, Migos, and many, many more.

As PSG’s booking outreach continues, Breakaway Music Festival will only continue to serve as an emblem of the brand’s coveted understanding of its young audience.

Photo Credit: Tyler Church

Chris Lake Drops New Track and Video “Lose My Mind”

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There ain’t “Nothing Better” than a weekend filled with new house tracks, and this one doesn’t disappoint. After teasing fans on social media, house legend Chris Lake finally dropped not only the full song but the accompanying music video as well for “Lose My Mind”. The video is a hallucinating trip that coincides with the

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NMF Roundup: The Glitch Mob slows things down, Borgeous reups Marshmello, ATTLAS stuns, Daniel Avery delivers + more

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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.


Break out your Tigers Beat: The White Panda elevates the hottest rising boy band, save for Brockhampton, lifting Why Don’t We’s empowering hit single “Trust Fund Baby” to newfound heights with an injection of feel-good vibes and upbeat danceability that beckons innumerable repeats.

Raito digs into a bag of old-school garage tricks with a burgeoning breakbeat remix of Virtual Self‘s hyperactive, fantasy-themed electronic “Ghost Voices,” transforming the number into an even heavier, drum-sweltering beast.

Borgeous reupholsters Marshmello‘s “FRIENDS” with a most passionate swatch, ditching the track’s acoustics, and accentuating its passionate lyrics tenfold.

Ashley Wallbridge‘s uplifting Gareth Emery rework and effervescent trance tune aligns itself with an era of Armada‘s finest amidst its formal release.

With the vocal help of Tima Dee, Fareoh asserts his versatile studio reign once more.

Midnight Kids consider Shaun Frank‘s “Addicted” in a compelling new ’80s-centric dance-heavy decorum.

Big Gigantic ushers everyone to the dancefloor with a groovy new take on The KnocksFoster The People collaboration.

Though the track’s title and lyrical content is lacking sincere cerebral depth, SNBRN coalesces Peking Duk‘s “Wasted” into a digestible summertime tune, making the number’s monotone vocals and cringeworthy frat bro vibes a smaller, but bearable pill to swallow.

Marcel Dettman‘s burgeoning warehouse Mount Kimbie remix of “Four Years And One Day” meets streaming services as a meticulously crafted far cry from its shoegazey original.

The Glitch Mob slow things down with Elohim, showcasing their softer side, and highlighting their carefully calculated production capabilities.

Junior Sanchez embodies the essence that’s come to define him on “Forget” — always moving forward, without ever losing sight of where he’s been.

Sofi Tukker busts out a thrashing, ridiculously colorful new tune ahead of their debut album Treehouse out next Friday, April 13, elevating its anticipation to unforeseen heights.

ATTLAS is at home in the treetops and ensures listeners his glittery techno is a style which will only continue to define an era of mau5trap in years to come.

At long last Chris Lake has found his mind…. It seems this beat has taken it, and we’re glad to finally have it back, even if it was just for the sake of this one tantalizing tune.

Daniel Avery’s cavernous, contemplative techno album Song For Alpha has arrived. Perhaps best encapsulating the aforementioned, “Glitter” is a flurry from the club space, rife with atmosphere, and embedded influence of the greats that came before him.

Saving the best for last, Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and composer Ólafur Arnalds bestows his latest sonic gift “re:member.” Enough said.

The Do LaB taps Thugfucker, Luttrell, Brasstracks, Chris Lake, & more for Coachella stage

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RÜFÜS DÜ SOL Do LaB Coachella 2017 PC Daniel Zetterstrom

The Do LaB always runs a welcome oasis amid the Coachella chaos, fostering a chilled atmosphere with the most cutting edge house and tech talent set within their stage’s shady confines.

It feels like the company, which runs festivals like Lighting in a Bottle, Lucidity, and the Dirtybird Campouts, outdoes itself with its artist bill each passing year. They’ve booked a heavy array of talent across both weekends of Coachella’s 2018 edition, the likes of which include Ardalan b2b Sacha Robotti, Chris Lake, Lauren Lane, and Kasbo on Weekend 1. Meanwhile, Weekend 2 boasts Israeli talent Behrouz, alongside Brasstracks, John Monkman, Thugfucker, Patricio, and more.

 

dolab coachella 

Full Lineup:

Weekend 1:

Ardalan b2b Sacha Robotti

Britta Unders

CharlestheFirst

Chris Lake

Dimond Saints

DROELOE

EPROM

Fisher

Goldfish

Henry Pope

Kasbo

Lauren Lane

Luttrell

Oliver Koletzki

SoDown

Tor

um..

Willaris. K

Xie

Yahtzel

Weekend 2:

Anabel Englund

Behrouz

Brasstracks

Christian Martin b2b Worthy

Father Bear

Frameworks

John Monkman

Luca Lush

Mansion

Marvel Years

Melvv

Monolink

Moscoman

OSHI

Patricio

Pigeon Hole

pluko

Sage Armstrong

Thugfucker

Photo Credit: Daniel Zetterstrom

Lollapalooza announces 2018 edition with The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Vampire Weekend, ODESZA, more

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lollapalooza

The Midwest’s premier music festival, Lollapalooza, returns to Chicago’s Grant Park August 2–5 with a newly announced lineup for the behemoth, 4-day affair. Topping the 2018 bill are The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, Travis Scott, Logic, and ODESZA, and, most notably, Vampire Weekend — the band’s first live performance in four years.

Other high-profile acts include Tyler, The Creater, CHVRCHES, LL Cool J, Portugal. the Man, and Brit superstar Dua Lipa. The festival’s electronic and dance music bookings are just as thrilling, with a comprehensive roster of veteran and rising acts: Zedd, ExcisionDillon Francis, Galantis, Illenium, REZZ, Chromeo, Hippie Sabotage, Tycho, Zomboy, WhatSoNot, Malaa, Valentino Kahn, Petit Biscuit, Ghastly, Chris Lake, Herobust, and Space Jesus.

Lollapalooza also boasts an impressive undercard with Gucci Mane, Lil Pump, St. Vincent, and Aussie one-woman band Tash Sultana, who rarely tours the US.

With over a hundred names set to appear over the weekend, Lollapalooza truly has become an American institution with something to satiate everyone’s musical tastes. GA and VIP passes to Lollapalooza can be found here.

NMF Roundup: Carnage & Steve Aoki team up for ironic track, Deorro samples his son’s voice, Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Brooks team up + more

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rave-music-festival-1

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.

Carnage teamed up with Steve Aoki and Lockdown for “Plur Genocide.” The most impressive thing about this track is that it could be a contender to beat out The Chainsmoker‘s “Selfie” as electronic music’s most annoying track.

Anjunabeats released an epic remix by Cosmic Gate for Gabriel & Dresden‘s “Only Road” featuring Sub Teal.

The Funk Hunters dropped the second track off of their upcoming album with groovy “Party Rockin.”

Dash Berlin and DBSTF teamed up for catchy progressive track featuring Josie Nelson “Save Myself.”

Bailo has created the perfect radio hit and club drop with new release “Rush” featuring M.E. Swank and Sauce.

Everyone can breathe easy because that ID that Martin Garrix, David Guetta, and Brooks have been teasing for months is finally out, and it is just as good as we thought it would be.

Chris Lake infuses a surprising drop with pulsing chords in “Turn Off The Lights.”

G-House fans can get their fix with Dustycloud’s newest release “Move.”

DJ Zinc and Chris Lorenzo fuse piercing chords with smooth beats in their VIP Mix of “Gammy Elbow.”

Mokita’s soulful new track “When I See You” is the perfect electronic pop track to unwind to after a long day at work.

There is no lack of energy in Deorro’s hardstyle release “Offspring,” which samples his own son’s voice.

Danny Avila slows it down with his remix of Marshmello and Selena Gomez’s “Wolves.”

Photo credit: Chemilon

Chris Lake Gets Funky With Official Remix Of Chromeo’s “Juice”

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One of the best house DJ’s in the world, Chris Lake, has put his twist on Chromeo‘s new song “Juice”, turning their cheeky synth-laden California bop, into an incredible pulsating house banger. If I had to to pick someone to remix this track, Chris Lake would’ve been right at the top of this list.  This

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