i_o is the next notch in the long line of dance music prodigies curated by deadmau5 and his mau5trap domain. The smoldering techno producer’s latest EP on the label, entitled House of God, sees the burgeoning young talent perpetuate his driving, tongue-in-cheek niche in the exciting middle ground between fundamental genres.
As an imprint, mau5trap has never conformed to any preconceived standards of dance music. Following the lead of its founder, mau5trap releases live on either side of the line; alternating between everything from deep techno to upbeat house. With this latest EP, i_o proves he can toy with that line as easily as jumping rope.
The release begins with “Possession.” This track has been inflicting damage in clubs and festivals around the world all year long. It’s punchy kicks and deep grooves solidify its techno identity, but its boiler-plate voice work and accented drop make it an easily digestible fit for any crowd with a penchant for preternatural dancefloor activity.
“House of God” leans heavily on i_o’s darker inclinations, with an oscillating arpeggio sweeping across the duration of the track. A stark contrast from “Ghost in the Machine,” which borrows both its name and its inherent funkiness from the distinguished 1981 LP by The Police.
To close is “Come with Me,” i_o’s collaboration with mau5trap labelmate, Raito. This track defines all the best aspects of a techno track. Nothing happens immediately. New melodic and sonic ideas enter gradually, taking listeners on a journey which is fitting considering both producers involved are merely just beginning to embark on elevated aural adventures themselves.
Earlier this spring, deadmau5 unveiled his most ambitious cube design to date at Ultra Music Festival. The third edition of mau5’s iconic stage rig was one of the festival’s top highlights of 2019, and now, TIDAL is giving fans an inside look at mau5trap‘s memorable run at this year’s event in an exclusive new documentary, Wild Things: Life Inside The mau5trap.
Wild Things features mau5trap’s roster of forward-thinkers describing their methodologies and how their distinguished sonics materialize before the masses at Ultra. Giving a behind-the-scenes look at one of dance music’s foremost label authorities, deadmau5 and TIDAL reconvene for another compelling visual feature following several previous TIDAL X livestreams and the exclusive nine-part series, Orchestration.
With his earliest releases gracing the upper echelons of house labels in Dirtybird and Toolroom Records, there’s little doubt that C.H.A.Y.’s productions are ready for the big leagues. But as the majority of the young musician’s releases exist in the form of collaborations and little-known singles, fans have only caught glimpses, at best, of the Floridian’s greater artistic vision. That all changes with C.H.A.Y.’s newest EP, Travel Far, a 4-track record that takes listeners on a sonic journey to the precipices of conventional electro and tech-house—and even a few steps further.
Travel Far’s title track gives an immediate sense of C.H.A.Y.’s mature, iconoclastic approach to writing club music. It builds, and boy, does it drop, but it doesn’t revolve around the expected crest-and-trough blueprint. Rather, it establishes an aural template and employs a toolbox of instruments within it to elaborate on C.H.A.Y.’s bass-turbulent agenda. It’s a rare look, but one of the few that can give a nine-minute electro song true replayability. This approach, paired with syncopations that lend a nod to label owner/overlord, deadmau5’s 2008 Random Album Title, make “Travel Far” a potent opener to C.H.A.Y’s first mau5trap EP.
Soon, the listener saunters “Into The City,” a musical potpourri. The track enlists chopped classical melodies and noir shading with just a touch of 8-bit synthwork: an electro-house homage to the glitchy, bygone complextro of yesteryear—while offering something completely fresh in the process. On the production side, the amount of tonal textures weaved into the fabric of a four-minute song is aurally improbable, and a glaring sign that C.H.A.Y. is producing well beyond his years. The EP’s third song, “Crime” is undoubtedly (and fittingly) the swaggiest of the release. Swerving its way to late-night glory with its throbbing bass and galloping kick, but also brings another layer of patina to the release as a whole, as a track exclusively comprised of sounds from C.H.A.Y.’s analog outboard.
Travel Far returns to convention with its final tune, “Floxen”, which for better or worse, is the most mainstage track on the release. Here, C.H.A.Y. opts to embrace the build-centric style, which is where “Floxen” may fall flat for some, but its 3/8 rhythm and emotive vocals recorded by C.H.A.Y. himself do more than enough to keep the EP’s final tune afloat.
Simply put, Travel Far is an excellent outing from front to back. Each track manages to be memorable and thump to its own distinct beat, all while sharing common threads throughout. However, what really shines about the release is C.H.A.Y.’s astounding production skill and songwriting tendencies that are on full display, both of which paint a picture of a musician far more seasoned than one would expect from a producer so early into his career.
With an unashamedly distinctive approach to his bass music production, we’re pleased to have grabbed the mighty Bishu for Musical Guilty Pleasures this week. He just dropped a new single for Quality Goods and has lots more in the pipeline for 2019. Check out his selections below. 1) Skrillex – “Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites”
Couldn’t make it out to Sin City this year for the most colorful festival in dance music? No problem.
As the sun has set on another ecstatic chapter of Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Dancing Astronaut rounded up the extended weekend’s most enticing displays from the May 17-19 festivities. From Alison Wonderland‘s trap-tainted main-stage return, to Tchami and Malaa‘s bombtastic joint takeover of cosmicMEADOW, to Skrillex‘s surprise Saturday guest appearance, there’s no shortage of memorable music to muse over for months to come. The bar for the imminent 2019 festival season has been set exceedingly high indeed.
With Memorial Weekend fast approaching, Detroit’s beloved Movement Festival will enter its 21st year in the running, bringing forth yet another relentless wave of excitement in its showcase of diverse musical talent. Originally surfacing as a free event, Movement has grown from its beginnings into a nationwide landmark whose dedication to housing premier electronic music attracts music-lovers from all over the spectrum. In recent years, Movement has expanded immensely from its techno and house roots with its polarizing shifts in programming. This year’s lineup undeniably juxtaposes the underground mainstays with new blood, welcoming the likes of FISHER, Chris Lake, and Charlotte de Witte with local legends like Stacey Pullen, Carl Craig, and Octave One.
Encompassing over two decades of performances, curated stages, and transformative industry shifts, Movement has no shortage of monumental highlights that have been captured. As dance music prepares for Movement 2019, look back on Movement’s journey through the last ten years with the Dancing Astronaut team as we chronicle some of the best moments of the historic techno and house gathering.
2008: deadmau5, Beatport Stage
Racking up an attendance of 75,000 (up 30,000 from the previous year), Movement cemented itself as one of the most important electronic festivals nationwide in 2008. Right at the onset of deadmau5‘ peak touring period, Movement hosted the original helmet-wearing DJ on Saturday, May 24 at its Beatport Stage. Just two studio albums into his now-extensive discography, Deadmau5 made his Movement debut in the early stages of his career, spinning to a packed crowd that received his performance amicably.
2009: Carl Cox, Main Stage
Dance music titan Carl Cox brought the house down in a two-hour set at the-then Vitamin Water Main Stage, closing out a list of heavy-hitters from Day One. Already eight years deep into his yearly Space Ibiza residence and five years into his Carl Cox & Friends curated stage concept, the acid house veteran and his legendary party-throwing skills catered to new ears and techno-lovers alike.
2010: Plastikman, Main Stage
Marking Richie Hawtin‘s first Plastikman show in Detroit since 1994, the techno trailblazer returned under his Plastikman moniker to deliver an incredible main stage performance on Saturday, May 29 for the tenth anniversary of Movement Festival since its inception in 2000.
2011: Skrillex, Red Bull Music Academy Stage
Making his Movement debut on the Red Bull Music Academy Stage, Skrillex closed out Day 1 on Saturday, May 28 to what many will remember as one of the best sets of the festival. On the cusp of his seminal “Bangarang” release and coming off the success of his 2010 Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites album, the dubstep producer graced the humble, but notoriously diverse Red Bull stage in the midst of his blossoming career.
2012: Public Enemy and special guest Ice-T, Main Stage
Breaking its attendance record again with 107,343 fans coming out in 2012, Movement dipped its feet into hip-hop programming, bringing rap legends Public Enemy to the main stage. The performance given by the “Fight the Power” rappers has remained one of the most unforgettable pinnacles of Movement and spoken to the festival’s ability to curate acts that stray from the traditional techno and house genres while maintaining appeal to the Movement audience.
2013: Nina Kraviz, Underground Stage
Since her breakthrough in 2009, Nina Kraviz has been a frequent performer at Movement throughout the years and continued to bring her hypnotic style of music back to Detroit. The Siberian DJ closed out the Underground Stage on Day One of Movement 2013 to a massive crowd. The timing of Kraviz’s appearance also coincided with the release of her divisive Resident Advisor interview and the subsequent controversy.
2014: J.Phlip, Beatport Stage
Both a special night for J.Phlip and spectators alike, the Dirtybird staple stepped on the decks to celebrate her birthday and simultaneously closed out Movement’s final day on the Beatport Stage as a last minute fill-in for Boys Noize.
2015: Dog Blood, Movement Stage
Seeing Skrillex’s return four years later performing under Dog Blood with co-producer Boys Noize, Movement undeniably paid tribute to the rise of burgeoning talent in Skrillex’s graduation to a densely-packed main stage performance. Up until then, Movement had avoided slotting cross-over acts for main stage; however, the praised reception to Dog Blood proved an unlikely payoff that would continue to play an influence in Movement’s ever-expanding roster.
2016: Kraftwerk, Movement Stage
Movement 2016 not only celebrated its tenth anniversary relaunching under Paxahau Events, but also capitalized on its place as a leading festival by landing Kraftwerk — one of the most influential forces in modern electronic music and undeniably the most prolific booking of Movement in recent years. The German pioneers made their debut Movement appearance and captivated fans with their 3-D visual performance, solidifying their position as both innovators and improvisational artists.
2017: Richie Hawtin, Movement Stage
Electronic mainstay Richie Hawtin brought his new audiovisual show CLOSE – Spontaneity & Synchronicity to Detroit for a surreal 75-minute experience combining elements of DJ and live performance. The minimalist techno-champion presented his latest project Day One during his headlining slot on the main stage. The following nights saw Testpilot and Carl Cox as headliners.
2018: Claude VonStroke, Movement Stage
With the Dirtybird brand showing up consistently as a strong presence at Movement, it was only a matter of time before Claude VonStroke got his distinguished spotlight. The head Dirtybird chief closed out Movement’s main stage for the first time in 2018 before heading off on a world tour to Tomorrowland, Shambhala, Dirtybird Campout, and more. VonStroke also released a live mix album of his Movement set Claude VonStroke: Live in Detroit, paying homage to the city where he grew up.
Madeon was just 16 years old when he crafted his entrancing remix of deadmau5‘s “Raise Your Weapon.” He had just won a remix contest for Pendulum’s “The Island,” and in the months following this deadmau5 remix, the French prodigy would release his “Pop Culture” live mashup on YouTube, garnering him thousands of new fans and priming him to release “Icarus” at the beginning of the following year. (To date, “Pop Culture” has nearly 50 million views on YouTube.)
deadmau5’s “Raise Your Weapon” came out in May 2011, followed by official remixes from Noisia, Stimming, and, of course, Madeon. The young artist flexed serious remixing skills on this piece, packing the sultry number with energetic melodies and quirky twists and turns. Madeon’s remix quickly became beloved by deadmau5 fans, along with those who were discovering the teenage prodigy. Happy birth month, “Raise Your Weapon.”
Just weeks after debuting his new Cubev3 setup at Ultra Music Festival, deadmau5 has shared a brief recap for those who weren’t in the Miami crowd. In the three-minute video, he shows the work that went into setting up the impressive installation, starting with packing up the Cube in Toronto in February, along with snippets from sound-checking with Lights. Set to mau5ville: Level 2‘s “Drama Free,” the video drops with the chorus and shows an enthralled Ultra crowd going nuts to the new setup and Lights’ live performance of the song along with it.
deadmau5 is taking the monstrous setup on the road, making stops in Los Angeles, Chicago, Brooklyn and more this fall and in early 2020. Learn more and get tickets here.
Ultra Music Festival‘s second day of production was nothing short of explosive. Martin Garrix fans found an unexpected new Garrix single on major streaming platforms everywhere just minutes after Garrix took Ultra’s main stage. Sound familiar? It should have, for that single was none other than Matisse & Sadko and Alex Aris’ collaboration, “Mistaken,” which comprised the opening of Garrix’s Ultra set. Garrix’s swift progression from the live debut of an unreleased ID, to the formal release thereof, however, was but one of the many noteworthy electronic developments of Ultra’s second day.
From deadmau5‘s presentation of the cutting-edge technology that is Cube 3.0 for the very first time during his main stage closing set, to Zedd’s gritty remix of Swedish House Mafia‘s “Save to World,” not to mention Illenium‘s Ultra debut, day two of the Miami flagship kept live streamers and attendees alike engaged in their uncertainty of just what would happen next. Relive the festival’s momentous sequel to day one with sets from Zedd, Armin van Buuren, Illenium, NGHTMRE & Slander (Gud Vibrations), Tchami, deadmau5, and Martin Garrix.