Dom Dolla tops Dancing Astronaut’s 2019 Breakout Artists of the Year

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Dom Dolla tops Dancing Astronaut’s 2019 Breakout Artists of the YearDOMDOLLA 0329

As the turn of the decade inches near, a look back at earlier conversations surrounding EDM’s global boom reveal that all that talk about the proverbial “EDM bubble” bursting were, for better or worse, a bunch of malarkey. Because a consistent crop of inventive forward-thinkers seem to find their footing year after year, and 2019 was no different. With artists continually pushing the envelope in bold, original ways like the ones below, dance music is firmly secured to move into the next decade led by a group of bright torch-carriers that only now seem to be getting their real starts. Without further ado, we present Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artists of 2019.


No. 1: Dom Dolla

By: Bella Bagshaw

With just a handful of original releases under his belt to date, Dom Dolla has achieved near ubiquity in the electronic space this year. And it’s no riddle why. His deadly danceable tracks have incited festival fever across the globe, heard from Amsterdam to Chicago, to his original stomping grounds around Melbourne.

His bustling, wall-to-wall tracks, like “Take It” and “San Frandisco” received high-profile remix treatments this year from Dom’s most in-demand counterparts, like Walker & Royce, Eli Brown, Sonny Fodera–among countless bootlegs riddling the SoundCloud ether. From your local dive bar, to the club floor, to the 2019 worldwide festival frontlines you’d have been hard-pressed to avoid Dom’s pandemic success in the past year.

“Take It,” in particular, earned the young Aussie a nomination at this year’s Australian Recording Industry Association music awards. He appeared in the Best Dance Release category alongside familiar favorites like RÜFÜS DU SOL, FISHER, and PNAU. He just wrapped up his first-ever US tour, joined by the similarly popular Sonny Fodera. Dom recently told Dancing Astronaut he’s also working on some new music with his tour partner.

The “Be Randy” producer’s upward trajectory in just a matter of months is something virtually unprecedented in the electronic space—and music industry at large—where artists typically secure their following gradually, over years, or even decades. Similar pervasive pushes (like Chris Lake backing FISHER‘s overnight burst onto the scene or Malaa‘s full-on bank robbery of bass-heavy house) to center stage come along only every handful of electronic epochs, and even then, the climb is normally across a few years’ time.

That’s why without reservation, Dom Dolla is this year’s unchallenged recipient of Dancing Astronaut‘s Breakout Artist of the Year category.

No. 2: Boris Brejcha

By: Josh Stewart

Boris Brejcha’s discography rightfully paints the masked man as a producer who’s been around the block. Nonetheless, there’s no questioning that the German phenom didn’t just breakout in 2019, but exploded with all cylinders firing. Brejcha broke out as both a DJ and a producer this year, with a headlining tour schedule that put the “high-tech minimal” pioneer on the main stage of Tomorrowland, selling out his first-ever US tour, and producing a full-length LP recently signed to Ultra Music.

But more importantly, 2019 stands as the year that Boris Brejcha’s breaks out as an artist. After years of bouncing between more standard minimal and techno ideas, Brejcha recently ditched convention and simply found his own sound, resulting in a distinct style that’s as playful as it is bold. It’s evident his fanbase agrees, with his Cercle set from this summer in France at Grand Palais amassing upwards of 8 million streams in just couple months.

There’s a small league of producers whose comfort and expertise in the studio are instantly apparent when listening to their music. Boris rightfully rests among them. While his production technique is responsible for his sound standing—particularly in how textured it allows his sets to be—it’s ultimately Brejcha’s willingness to ignore trends and simply hone his own craft that’s put the lifelong musician in the unique position to appeal to both newcomers to the scene and those who’ve developed deeper tastes. For example, he took a top billing alongside techno titans Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, and Ricardo Villalobos the day after the aforementioned Tomorrowland set.

Boris Brecha’s upcoming album on Ultra Music is expected in January, but recent singles “Never Look Back” and “Gravity” act as the perfect bite-sized confections until then.

No. 3: Dabin

By: Josh Hymowitz

Dabin has come a long way this year, proving that his risky decision to pursue the DJ/producer life was a much better choice than chasing a more intuitive law degree. Hailing from Toronto, the multi-instrumentalist closed out 2018 by joining a dream team collaboration with Slander and Seven Lions on “First Time,” a single that meddled its way into the live sets of their Gud Vibrations tour through 2019, when the single gained its preeminent success.

This propelled the now Montreal-based artist right into 2019, kicking off the year with his sophomore studio album Wild Youth, featuring critically acclaimed singles “Rings & Roses” featuring Conor Byrne, “In Flames” featuring Lexi Norton, and more on the Mr. Suicide Sheep-headed label, Seeking Blue. The album follows Two Hearts, his debut full-length project nominated for 2018’s Electronic Album of the Year at Canada’s JUNO Awards.

Following its release, he embarked on the 14-stop Wild Youth tour throughout the US, marking his debut headline tour route. His solo dates opened the door for support on Illenium’s Ascend tour, most notably opening for the Denver-based producer at New York City’s iconic Madison Square Garden venue. It was at this sold-out spectacle where Dabin brought back Dab The Sky, his collaborative pairing with Said The Sky, performing the duo’s second formal release (then unreleased) “Hero.”

More recently, Dabin revitalized his sophomore LP with a 17-track remix pack including talents such as Trivecta, Ray Volpe, and Crystal Skies. His latest single “The One That Got Away” featuring Jason Ross and Dylan Matthew is out now and fans can look forward to some exciting news to catalyze 2020.

No. 4: BLOND:ISH

By: Rachel Narozniak

After 11 colorful years of collaboration, Vivie-Ann Bakos and Anstascia of BLOND:ISH went their separate ways. In January 2019, the production pair announced their amicable break, and their respective paths were clear: Bakos would continue on as the artistic lifeblood of BLOND:ISH, and Anstascia would pursue a solo course of action. 

BLOND:ISH had been the talk of the Playa for some time, a celebrated, sonic topic of conversation among underground enthusiasts. This would, and did, continue to be the case for BLOND:ISH under Bakos’ independent direction. An itinerant character of the live circuit, BLOND:ISH logged performances this year at both weekends of Coachella Music & Arts Festival, Art Basel, All My Friends, among other festivals and venues. She also nabbed slots at 2020’s SXM Festival and Zamna Tulum, to name just a few of her swiftly approaching endeavors.

Incisive reworks of Black Coffee’s “Wish You Were Here,” Kaskade and Diplo’s “Give Dem,” and even Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is” circulated, providing dance-worthy fodder for fans of BLOND:ISH’s desert suited style. All the while, BLOND:ISH’s environmental ethos sustained her “Bye Bye Plastic” initiative, earning her focus in a mini documentary dedicated to the anti-single-use plastic campaign. It’s next to impossible to provide a comprehensive list of all of BLOND:ISH’s accolade deserving activity over 2019, yet it’s equally as certain that these highlights illustrate Bakos as a Breakout Artist of the yYar who successfully and unceasingly kept the BLOND:ISH rhythm moving during her first year as a one woman show.

No. 5: Devault

By: Rachel Narozniak

Painting dark sonic soundscapes that blitz current conceptions of modern house sound, Devault has cultivated a cerebral aesthetic that, for the past year, has noticeably stood apart from other electronic releases. Part of the allure of Devault’s music rests in the sheer unpredictability of the style that it will embody. There are hallmarks of Devault’s sound, sure; mid-tempo electronica with tingling synths are two. Immersive melodies that ebb and flow, engulfing the streamer in the thoughtful idiosyncrasy of Devault’s dance music are another. Yet, the artistic delight of Devault is his tendency to continuously expand and redefine his sound. His sophomore EP, Sapphire, was an example. The output of Devault’s vocalized desire to “create something that pays homage to the music that got [him] so excited about electronic music in the first place, the new wave sounds of the 80’s, the French Touch, and the rave music of the 90’s,” Sapphire was Devault’s deliberate dabble in a specific and conceptual kind of sound distinctive from that of fellow EP, JADE. The two projects, both released in 2019, built on a wealth of preceding efforts that elucidated Devault’s inventiveness, warranting Devault distinction as a Breakout Artist of 2019.

Lunar Lunes: Louis Futon and The Philharmonix flip ‘Hey Arnold,’ Marshall Jefferson and Solardo deliver ‘Move Your Body’ + more

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Lunar Lunes: Louis Futon and The Philharmonix flip ‘Hey Arnold,’ Marshall Jefferson and Solardo deliver ‘Move Your Body’ + moreLouis Futon

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.

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Photo credit: Louis Futon/Facebook

DEVAULT delineates the vision behind his titillating sophomore EP, ‘Sapphire’ [Q&A]

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DEVAULT delineates the vision behind his titillating sophomore EP, ‘Sapphire’ [Q&A]Photo Aug 06 1 52 37 PM

There’s a grainy, sci-fi character to the technics of DEVAULT‘s sophomore EP, Sapphire. Sonically conceptual from start to finish, Sapphire harkens back to the retro, new wave sound of the ’80s and the emergent electronic styles of the ’90s. Sapphire comprises four cuts: its eponymous title track, “Saunter,” “Accept Yourself,” and “Scar.” Each of the inclusions would easily sound track an episode of The X Files.

I wanted to create something that pays homage to the music that got me so excited about electronic music in the first place, the new wave sounds of the 80’s, the French Touch, and the rave music of the 90’s all influenced this record.

-D

Crepuscular chord progressions tangle with tingling rhythms across the EP. Fixated beats pump away in the background, augmenting Sapphire’s spectral titillation. It’s time travel, without an H.G. Wellsian time machine to transport listeners a few decades in the reverse. Sapphire is the sequel to DEVAULT’s earlier EP, JADE, released in April.

DEVAULT expands on his vision for Sapphire in an exclusive interview with Dancing Astronaut.

DA: With Sapphire you said you wanted to pay homage to the music that first got you excited about electronic music, “new wave ‘80s sound, the French touch, the rave music of the 90s.” Once you had this idea, all that was left to do was to actually start crafting the EP. Where and how did you start?

Normally when I approach music it tends to be very spontaneous ideas flowing in the weirdest of times throughout the day. For these tapes, however, and for Sapphire specifically, I wanted to take a very premeditated approach. The visual concept, soundscape, etc. was all thought out before I even started to write the songs. I think this method helped me create a true world for each tape.

DA: You’ve got 4 tracks on this EP in total. Was there one that you enjoyed making the most or alternatively, was there one that you might have found a bit more demanding in terms of the production process? Which one was it and why?

I really enjoyed making “Accept Yourself.” Making fierce, energetic records has been so fun for me lately, as its a new place for me creatively. I normally tend to be on the melodic end, so testing myself in new waters has really revitalized my love for making music. The most demanding record was the title track, “Sapphire.” So many tiny details were involved to really make this record feel like it was out of a 80’s synth wave movie.

DA: Can you say a little bit about how the production process of Sapphire differed from that of JADE?

Sapphire is definitely a bit [more] mature compared with JADE, and I took a more simplified approach. Synth wise, I incorporated the same sounds from JADE but made everything sound a bit concise rather than [involving] a ton of textures. Sapphire was also a much more pre-thought [out] idea after learning from JADE and its world. I wanted Sapphire to feel like a full on 80’s soundtrack compared to the industrial sound of JADE

DA: It seems that with the making of each EP artists learn something about themselves during the creative process. Was this the case for you when making Sapphire, and if so what did you take away from the experience?

Totally, Sapphire was another step in me learning what music directly translates to a live show and what doesn’t. I think the music I initially put out with, say, my Stay EP was melodic and ethereal, but wasn’t quite hitting how I wanted it to [hit] live.

JADE and Sapphire in particular were a direct channel from me to the dance community. And now, after making music on two sides of the spectrum, I’m currently working on bringing the elements together, where a strong vocal and can stand hand in hand with a strong club record. 

DA: In your own words, how would you describe the sound of Sapphire and how does it fit into the sound that’s defined your catalog to date?

Sapphire, at its core, is a night drive/80’s influenced record that highlights different styles that immediately got me hooked on electronic music. It’s dark and energetic but on a continuous journey, as if you’re placed right into the middle of [a] Blade Runner/Tron film. Sound wise, its truly my version of the club music that I want to put out: something that can immediately be placed in my sets and [that] focus[es] on energy before anything [else]. 

NMF Roundup: Valentino Khan remixes Tchami, Gryffin teams up with Maia Wright + more

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NMF Roundup: Valentino Khan remixes Tchami, Gryffin teams up with Maia Wright + moreValentino Khan 3 White Rabbit

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.

Valentino Khan tackles Tchami’s “Rainforest” in his latest remix, and Gryffin teams up with Maia Wright for “Body Back.” Lost Kings tap Marc E. Bassy for “Somebody Out There,” and Adventure Club unveil their Death or Glory Sessions. David Guetta remixes Idris Elba’s “On Life” as Jack Back, and Sullivan King reveals his debut album, including tracks like “If My Eyes Are Vampires (Your Body Is My Sunlight)” with TYNAN. Fox Stevenson, too, has a debut album out on Oct. 18, featuring songs like “All Night,” and Hardwell teams up with Deorro, MAKJ, and Fatman Scoop for “Left Right.” Henry Fong encourages listeners to “Jump Up” with his new single, and Flosstradamus and Megatone deliver “Bounce Back” after premiering the track with DA. Faux Tales has released his ethereal Hiraeth LP, and Madnap and Luma have collaborated on “Faces.” YehMe2 and Wuki “Throw It” on their new collaboration, and vowl. and Brock Wilson jointly release “recluse.” Justin Jay puts his own spin on NGHTMRE and A$AP Ferg’s “REDLIGHT,” and Boombox Cartel and Griff Clawson reveal “All I Want.”

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: White Rabbit

Lunar Lunes: Nathan C remixes Flume, Flite takes on RL Grime’s ‘Core’ + more

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Lunar Lunes: Nathan C remixes Flume, Flite takes on RL Grime’s ‘Core’ + moreNathan C Press Photo

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.

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Devault Releases the JADE EP Along with Music Video

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Recently, DJ-producer, Devault, released his newest masterpiece, the JADE EP. Along with the project’s initial release is a new music video that was created for all 4 tracks of the project. JADE is introduced in the music video as a kind of simulation program that the characters are a part of. The music in the

The post Devault Releases the JADE EP Along with Music Video appeared first on EDM Sauce.

DEVAULT releases visual showcase to accompany his immersive, instrumentally focused EP, ‘JADE’ [Watch]

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DEVAULT releases visual showcase to accompany his immersive, instrumentally focused EP, ‘JADE’ [Watch]Devault 1500 1000

Orange County native DEVAULT has rapidly made a name for himself over the past two-years, thanks to enamoring original releases and high profile remixes for everyone from Alessia Cara and DJ Snake to Rihanna. The 22-year-old has demonstrated his prowess in house, deep house, and even bass-laced tunes, but he has been showcasing a new side of himself in 2019.

At the beginning of the year, DEVAULT teased upcoming four-track EP, JADE, and released the first track of the compilation, “RUNWAY,” earlier this month. The track was what the producer dubbed as his ‘most energetic record to date,’ and it was a worthy taste of what was to come on the EP as a whole.

DEVAULT spoke with Dancing Astronaut about the project, explaining, “The goal of Jade was to push the boundaries of my own sound, as I felt when it came to a live performance there was something missing. I wanted to create music that’s my own version of club music, almost like a haunting runway show where I’m the curator for the night.”

“After my first EP, I felt like I needed to expand and push myself into something less polished, more in your face and raw. Like the initial scene from my video of the group of men vandalizing the car, I wanted to let out this side to me and it feels liberating. It’s instrumental focused, and something where I plan on releasing more music in a similar fashion. A place where the music and visual experience goes hand in hand,” DEVAULT added.

JADE is comprised of four tracks: “MAFIA,” “BLADE,” “RUNWAY,” and “RAINSTORM.” Each tells its own story, but all are unified by a dark energy and instrumentally driven sound. The producer notes that the best way to truly appreciate JADE is for listeners to immerse themselves in the accompanying film for the EP. The film is meant to be an open-ended, engaging experience where viewers can watch the characters seamlessly transition from scene to scene, in sync with the music. JADE is out now via Geffen/Interscope.

DEVAULT broods dark energy on ‘RUNWAY,​’ the lead single from forthcoming ​’JADE​’ EP

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DEVAULT broods dark energy on ‘RUNWAY,​’ the lead single from forthcoming ​’JADE​’ EPDevault Live

DEVAULT has released the first taste from his upcoming EP, ​JADE​. The new song is called “RUNWAY,” and the theme follows a similarly haunting atmosphere from previous works. With intricate sound design paying homage to dark 80’s new wave, DEVAULT looks to bring forward his his most authentic and raw work.

The instrumental-focused JADE​ will lay the groundwork for a 13-minute menacing visual installment. In a statement, DEVAULT describes the project as “a place where the music and visual experience goes hand in hand​.”

Following a slew of official remixes for Rihanna, Alessia Cara, 6lack, Kehlani, and more, the Geffen / Interscope​ signee looks to start a new chapter after his moody and ethereal debut EP, ​STAY. ​

Lunar Lunes: Tchami and Ibranovski unleash ‘Omega,’ Delta Heavy and KUURO team up on ‘Replicant’ + more

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Lunar Lunes: Tchami and Ibranovski unleash ‘Omega,’ Delta Heavy and KUURO team up on ‘Replicant’ + moreTchami Future Fest Maria Boyadgis

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.

Perhaps March 25th’s biggest release is a fiery collaboration between CONFESSION‘s Tchami and Ibranovski by the name of “Omega.” DEVAULT puts his own mellow spin on Alessia Cara‘s “Out of Love,” and Oliverse cranks up the intensity on a remix of Emalkay’s “Fabrication.” Golf Clap keep things smooth and grooving with their new single, “Demo Tapes,” and Riggi & Piros join forces with MOTi for “Side 2 Side.” Delta Heavy reveal their 11-track Only In Dreams LP, featuring “Replicant” with KUURO, and CloZee puts her own worldly downtempo twist on Axel Thesleff’s “Eco.” Zack Martino takes on Armin van Buuren‘s “Lonely For You” with Bonnie McKee, and Sullivan King throws it back to 2005 with a hardcore remix of Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Grant returns to Monstercat for a contemplative new single, “Wishes,” and W&W and Maurice West link up on “Matrix.” MYRNE taps Sam Rui and Gentle Bones for “Call, Call Me,” and Amon Tobin previews his forthcoming studio album with the release of “Vipers Follow You.”

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Photo credit: Maria Boyadgis

Alessia Cara taps DEVAULT for official remix of ‘Out of Love’

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Alessia Cara taps DEVAULT for official remix of ‘Out of Love’Devault Out Of Love Remi

DEVAULT adds another high-profile remix to his slate of official remixes, this time in the form of his rendition on Alessia Cara‘s “Out of Love.” The producer shows he has mastered dark sonic foreshadowing as eerie chords lead into raw house notes, blending with stunning vocals to create a polarizing whole with his spin on “Out of Love.”

DEVAULT is known for a sound that can be all over the map. Whether he is producing hip-hop or tropical house, the producer manages to infuse his own unique and retro flair into his soundscapes. DEVAULT spoke about his remix in an official release, stating, “I was beyond thrilled to be given this opportunity to do a remix for Alessia, she’s so gifted. The goal was to take this vocal and give it more of a night drive feeling, and we created a small visual to connote that exact idea.”