The immersive two-day festival will have four curated stages, taking place in Rawhide Western Town & Event Center—Arizona’s massive 1880s western-themed entertainment venue. The venue is home to other Relentless Beats festivals including CRUSH Arizona, Decadence, Phoenix Lights, and many others.
There’s nothing more potent for an up-and-coming electronic music producer than an element of mystery; and Masteria doesn’t need a mask to achieve it.
Indeed, the Detroit-born artist has emerged in electronic ear view with the swiftness and precision of a winged warlock. In under a year, the shadow-friendly Masteria has gleaned support from just about the most auspicious players in his chosen, niche realm of house. This attention has yielded a decisive pair of EPs on Tchami‘s CONFESSION imprint, regular plays on both NightOwl Radio and Diplo’s Revolution, and most recently, an invite from Destructo to play at his branded AMFAMFAMF stage this year at Spring Awakening Jun 8.
In anticipation of his SAMF debut, Masteria has mixed a half hour of dastardly decadent groove-oriented house. From his new Billie Eilish “bad guy” remix, to a number of his own CONFESSION tracks, to a sundry of selects from equally ill-behaved counterparts, all nefarious aural ingredients are accounted for.
Masteria will also be playing the All My Friends after party with Destructo and What So Not Saturday Jun 8 at Spybar. Tickets to Spring Awakening and official after parties are available here.
Electronic music consumers over the last two decades would be hard-pressed to pinpoint an individual who’s impacted the dance music event space harder than Gary Richards. Since the 1990s, Richards (also known musically as Destructo) has taken his talents miles above their subterranean roots, largely helping shape the Southern Californian rave scene, relentlessly seeking new ways to secure dance music a more tangible, industry-wide foothold. From championing a quaint little get together, now known as Electric Daisy Carnival (incepted under the ‘Magical Mickey’ masthead, from when the event series bore Richards’ earmark in the ’90s), to hatching the now-legendary HARD Events, which bred the still fervently attended Holy Ship! and HARD Summer, he’s exuded a visionary’s proclivity for predicting (and propelling) the next electronic it thing oozing the je ne sais quoi that really makes an event stand above the rest.
Richards not only has a promoter’s penchant for garnering the excitement needed to get ideas off the ground, but a masterful musician’s tact to make them stick. A desire to liven up a scene subject to cyclical staleness served as the impetus for Richards’ most recent brainchild, branded AMFAMFAMF (All My Friends).
“The landscape is very competitive,” Richards said of picking up shop in 2017 after a decade at HARD to breathe life into yet another new endeavor. “There’s a lot at stake now and business people don’t want to see new things pop up. But dance music’s all about new and fresh and that really can’t be stopped.”
Though, despite the daunting nature of starting over in one of the most volatile industries in existence, the All My Friends event train gained almost instantaneous headwind, perhaps due to Richards’ own reputation preceding him. The first edition of the company’s cornerstone party, FriendShip Cruise, amassed thousands for its four-night maiden voyage aboard the Celebrity Equinox to the Caribbean. With it, came a colorful stream of genre-traversing acts, from Boys Noize to Busy P, RÜFÜS DU SOL to Rico Nasty. Richards’ seemingly curious curation must have struck a resounding chord, as the 2020 cruise is already 70 percent sold out.
In addition to a stint captaining Def American’s A&R sector under the emphatically accomplished eye of pioneer producer, Rick Rubin, driving innovation in the music industry is in Richards’ DNA. His father, Barry Richards, a concert promoter and prominent radio personality of the late ’60s and early ’70s, made sure his son’s sonic sonar was firing on all cylinders before he hit puberty, ensuring his kids got to catch everyone from Rick James to Black Sabbath. Barry himself is known for helping to introduce progressive rock to East Coast radio stations in his time. Quite ironically and somewhat timelessly, Barry certainly imparted his intuition and curative periphery to his son, as they stood on the precipice of a consequential musical uprising Barry never saw coming. Barry, it seems, believed Eminem when he quite comically announced “Nobody listens to techno,” on 2002’s unforgettable “Without Me.” Little could Barry have known at the time that Gary would famously sample the line years later for for his 2015 club sensation, “Techno.”
“My dad was always like ‘Don’t mess with that [electronic] music cause no one likes it,’” Richards said. “20 years later, he called me up and was like ‘Hey, what’s a Major Lazer?’”
With this perpetual irreverence for convention as a promoter/organizer, so comes Richards’ success as DJ-producer, Destructo; a success which can be characterized as a career-long dedication to discovering strange new ways to merge the house and hip-hop domains, which historically has been tough to do properly, even despite the two genres’ inextricably shared origins. Richards maintains his success as a musician is innately linked to his success on the business side of the coin.
“I think when you’re just a concert promoter you’ve never really been in the artists’ shoes, so you don’t really understand the nuances—especially DJing electronic music,” Richards said of his entrepreneurial edge amidst a capitalism-catalyzed sea of eager competitors.
Securing collaborations with rap icons like Ty Dolla $ign, YG, Yo Gotti, and Busta Rhymes, Destructo’s music soon became something of a G-house archetype: flippantly feel-good tracks for a night out up to no good. However, his latest record, a Dancing Astronaut exclusive, strides outside the hip-hop-predicated mold of his most notable works, for what Destructo himself dubs his “hardest-hitting track yet.”
“No Surrender” is a bass-driven battle cry primed for the perennially raucous festival frontlines. Bolstered by Parisian bass house duo, Loge21, the track employs Richards’ own thunderous, Sparta-inspired vocal cut. Destructo isn’t asking this time; he’s just cutting to the chase and coaxing listeners directly to dance floors.
AMFAMFAMF recently announced dates for both its Seattle and LA dates— Seattle will see a July 4 affair with Chris Lake and Justin Martin in tow, while LA’s October 19 – 20 event roster still remains a mystery. Though, as Richards’ newest festival property continues to build brand equity within a heavily diluted electronic events circuit, Richards’ is already sure of All My Friends’ longevity, noting it is one of his most important entrepreneurial accomplishments so far. “With that it’s the same Gary, just a different name,” says Richards. And if the last 20 years of dance music events are any indication—if it bears Gary Richards’ name, it’s going to be a hit.
Chicago’s premiere electronic music festival, Spring Awakening, has rolled out the official lineup for its branded stages: Destructo‘s All My Friends footing, an Anjunabeats onslaught, and SAMF’s longtime staple, the Bass Kitchen.
Anjuna will activate the three-day weekend, Friday, June 7, flaunting a fearsome inventory of trance, progressive, and melodic house from the likes of Spencer Brown, Andrew Bayer, Tinlicker, and more. Saturday will see the signature Bass Kitchen up in sweet sonic flames with a little help from Liquid Stranger, Dion Timmer, Spag Heddy, and more talent from the trap/dubstep dominion. Finally, Destructo will quite literally bring All his Friends for an AMFAMFAMF takeover Sunday, hallmarked by a performance by the label boss himself, Dombresky, Matroda, Dillon Nathaniel, and more in the bass-infused house hierarchy.
Spring Awakening, this year headlined by Excision, REZZ, Illenium, DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, just to name a few, is setting up shop for the first time at its new home in Hoffman Estates, the 27-acre Poplar Creek, June 7-9.
Tickets to Spring Awakening, the full lineup, and additional festival information are available here.
Gonza and Destructo (real name, Gary Richards) have been aligning production savvy for a few years now, beginning with Gonza’s remix of Destructo’s “4Real” in 2017. The pair soon followed up with a full-fledged collaboration, their off-the-wall club stomper, “Shots To The Dome.” In a similar vein, their latest, “Rubber Band,” fires slapping percussion and rolling bass lines from all cylinders. The house-heathen frenzy stutters its way into an infectiously ostentatious vocal hook, followed by an onslaught of strobe-reminiscent synth pulses and percolating bass.
While Destructo’s prolific involvement in the LA and national event circuit (founding HARD Events and since establishing his already-flourishing new AMF imprint and coinciding festival series) speaks for itself, Gonza continues working towards solidifying household acclaim. Known for his drum-bolstered live sets, Gonza certainly has friends in high places. In addition to snagging multiple auspicious releases on CONFESSION and Night Bass, last year he followed hard house patriarch, Tchami, on tour across the US. Gonza’s found himself in good company yet again, as “Rubber Band” denotes.
Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.
After confirming its new location and official headliners earlier this week, Spring Awakening Music Festival has released the remainder of the lustrous 2019 lineup.
Spring Awakening’s undercard, though there’s hardly anything lowly about it, spans some of the most accomplished names in techno, house, trance, and bass music. Anjuna-adept festival-goers will notice the generous number of names from Above & Beyond‘s hallowed home for all things trance and house music to celebrate the Anjuna-branded stage that will land at SAMF this year along with a menagerie of native talent, from longtime veteran Andrew Bayer to former The M Machine member, Luttrell, who just released his first album with the label’s subsidiary imprint, Anjunadeep. From Spring Awakening’s subterranean bass caverns will spawn Liquid Stranger, Rusko, TroyBoi, G Jones, and more across the sweeping, 60-artist ticket.
Announced earlier this week, Spring Awakening 2019’s headliners GRiZ, REZZ, Martin Garrix, DJ Snake, Zedd, and Illenium will touch down at Hoffman Estate’s Poplar Creek for the festival’s first year at its expansive new location June 7-9.
After embarking on a memorable maiden voyage in late 2018, FriendShip is set to sail the seas again in early 2020.
In a New Year’s Eve Instagram post, the festival shared the exciting news that FriendShip would be returning January 6-10, 2020. The Instagram post noted that “everyone on the Maiden Voyage will have first dibs” and promised “more details to follow soon.”
Approximately one year after the track’s release, Destructo aka, Gary Richards, has released an official video for “Loaded” featuring Memphis rapper, Yo Gotti. Crowned for tracks like 2016’s “Down In the DM” and 2017’s “Rake It Up” (illustriously remixed by Diplo and Party Favor), Gotti stood as the ideal candidate for another G-house-meets-hip-hop hybrid. The pair seemed to have seen it fitting to honor the holiday party season by giving the record an off-the-wall visual.
Directed by Tuck Tripp as a WorldStarHipHop exclusive, the video trails a distorted camera view of an irreverent, explosive Hollywood house party. There’s some additional, brightly colored animation at work, simulating the trails and hazy visual encircling of a hallucinogenic experience.
From curating a stacked lineup at his inaugural LA-housed All My Friends Music Festival, to collaborating with Chris Lake, Richards has made a lot of noise in 2018. He’s due to kick off the new year with his Let’s Be Friends Again tour.