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

This post was originally published on this site

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’

This post was originally published on this site

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.

Claude VonStroke announces first ever Dirtybird live album

This post was originally published on this site

On the afternoon before his debut headlining performance at Detroit’s annual Movement Festival, Claude VonStroke took to Twitter to excitedly deem the opportunity a “dream come true,” as well as a “major bucket list set.”

The combination of VonStroke having made almost a dozen appearances at Movement before eclipsing a headliner seat, as well as growing up in Detroit himself, “where it all started,” he says, opened the door for an unprecedented offering: a live mix album–a first for both VonStroke and his distinguished brainchild, Dirtybird Records.

The live-set-turned-album, Claude VonStroke Live From Detroit, endured four months of meticulous curation before VonStroke hit the Movement stage with nearly 150 pre-cleared tracks loaded in his DJ cannon.

“My set is very much an old-school style DJ set, all music no-one’s heard before, special versions, secret edits, all the stuff I’ve been saving just for this performance,” VonStroke says.

VonStroke accrued multiple VIP edits from within the tightly woven Dirtybird family, an unreleased VonStroke track, “Maharaja,” as well as a brand new remix of his iconic and highly applicable track, “Who’s Afraid Of Detroit?” from Wyatt Marshall.

Formerly known as Elevator Musik, Marshall turns the timeless, tech-house track into a more overt techno display, leaving the echoing, water drop-like synth melody intact over his robust, driving bassline.

The album is to be released June 15 exclusively through Apple Music.

Photo Credit: Shauna Regan 

Mija and Billy Kenny suit up for far out ‘Afterparty Planet’

This post was originally published on this site

Two esteemed members of the Dirtybird clan and known cohorts, Mija and Billy Kenny, have joined forces for “Afterparty Planet,” an intergalactic house expedition, this time through This Ain’t Bristol. The track serves as one fifth of Kenny’s Billy Kenny & Friends 2 compilation album, featuring a number of zany collaborations with the likes of Weiss, Bot, Wongo, and Anime Edge.

The vastly nuanced track features a number of eccentric tidbits, including whirling, siren-like synths and ricocheting samples, to complement a steadily bouncing beat. Following suit with nearly all of her other works, Mija lends the track her own alien-channeling vocal sample, that is equal parts outlandish and adorable.

Claptone transfixes in newly released Dirtybird Campout East set [Stream]

This post was originally published on this site

A new Dirtybird Campout East set has arrived, and it comes ‘straight outta’ the St. Cloud sonic archive.

As the Dirtybird collective sets its sights on the 2018 edition of its flagship event — the San Francisco-based West Coast Campout —organizers of the newly bi-coastal festival released Claptone’s Campout East set, spun live from The Birdhouse.

An enthralling outing that meshes Claptone’s soulful, noir groove with the distinct funk of the Dirtybird brand, Claptone’s set from the inaugural East Coast edition is a transfixing look back at East Coast Campout, and a glimpse towards the tones that can be expected on Claptone’s sophomore album, FANTAST, due out on June 8.

Read Dancing Astronaut’s exclusive pre-album release interview with Claptone, here.

Photo Credit:Andreas Waldschütz

DA Premiere: Mikey Lion & Sacha Robotti fire up the grill with ‘Glide,’ from forthcoming Dirtybird BBQ compilation [Full Tracklist]

This post was originally published on this site

Summer is upon us — and with the scorching summer heat means it’s barbecue time…at least for the Dirtybird crew. This year, Claude VonStroke has announced plans to roast up three lucky U.S. cities with house music mischief as Dirtybird BBQ plans to touch down in Los Angeles, Austin, and Oakland.

To celebrate the annual summer affair, Dirtybird Records is releasing a massive compilation, dubbed Filthy Flavor, full of familiar friends and fresh faces. The album brings that extra bit of sauce to get the flock fired up for the upcoming tour. Featuring Dirtybird favorites Kill Frenzy, German Brigante, Justin Martin, and Will Clarke, the all-star compilation kicks off with a booty shaking collaboration, titled “Glide,” by label mainstay Sacha Robotti and Desert Hearts head honcho Mikey Lion.

“Sacha Robotti and I work so well in the studio together and we made this track specifically with Dirtybird in mind,” Mikey Lion tells Dancing Astronaut. Lion elaborates,

“I feel like this release is a crazy full circle story because back in 2009, I accidentally stumbled upon Claude’s private birthday party with all of the Dirtybird Crew playing. Before that party I was playing hard, banging electro-house and that show really opened my eyes to much more sophisticated styles of house music. To have our track, “Glide,” be featured on the BBQ Compilation on one of my favorite labels is a major milestone for me.”

Similarly, Robotti was also excited to work with the crew at Dirtybird,

“After our “Ol’ Dirty Hearts EP” that Mikey Lion and I released on Desert Hearts last year, I’m very happy that our newest creation ‘Glide” found a home on one of my favorite labels ever Dirtybird. “Glide’ has been destroying dance floors wherever we played it, so we’re excited to share it with you on the Dirtybird BBQ “Filthy Flavor” Compilation! Thanks for your support!”

Marked by clean kicks, bouncy bass lines, and catchy synth progressions, “Glide” is the leading track off the album compilation ahead of Dirtybird BBQ, which will be smoking meats and spinning beats this weekend in Austin, Texas. Stay tuned for Dancing Astronaut‘s live Snapchat takeover Saturday, May 19th, beginning at noon CT.

 

Be on the look out for the full Filthy Flavor compilation, arriving Friday, May 18, with preorder available here. Tickets to Dirtybird BBQ are on sale now.

 

Full Compilation Tracklist:

  1. Mikey Lion & Sacha Robotti – Glide
  2. Bess Maze – Arp Symphony
  3. Ed Lee – Down The Rabbit Hole
  4. Josh Brown – Jazzy Drummer
  5. German Brigante – The Puzzle
  6. Kill Frenzy – Believe
  7. Kolombo – It’s Gettin’ Hot
  8. Hatiras feat. Isis Salam – Bags
  9. DJ E-Clyps – Sausages
  10. Justin Martin & Will Clarke – Back to the Jungle (VIP Mix)
  11. Codes – Birds & The Bees

Walker & Royce Team Up With Ardalan On Escapade EP

This post was originally published on this site

Returning to Dirtybird for the first time since their massive “Self Help” LP, Walker & Royce have joined forces with young star Ardalan on a two-track EP aimed for peak time dancefloor moments all summer long. The collaborative Escapade EP drops alongside the news of a freshly-founded powerhouse trio of the same name – an

The post Walker & Royce Team Up With Ardalan On Escapade EP appeared first on EDM Sauce.

Do LaB and Dirtybird end Dirtybird Campout partnership

This post was originally published on this site

Tristan Leto

Los Angeles-based festival producers Do LaB officially announced that they’ll be ending their longstanding partnership with the bass-bumping house label, Dirtybird Records.

Since the hatching of the Dirtybird Campout back in 2015, both the event and the organizations have each grown considerably. With three years of sold-out events, star-studded lineups, and over the top summer camp inspired programming under their belt, Dirtybird has now chosen to carry out the Campout independently from the Do LaB.

“Creating the wild and one-of-a-kind Dirtybird Campout has been one of the most rewarding experiences we’ve had the privilege to take part in and we’re very proud of the unique event we were able to build together,” Do LaB’s Co-Founder and President, Jesse Flemming said of the two’s partnership. “The Dirtybird community welcomed us with open arms, so hosting their amazing fans for the last 3 years has been very special.”

Fans of the Do LaB’s production can continue to take part in the team’s creative conceptualization at their flagship festival, Lightning In A Bottle, and Coachella.

Photo Credit: Tristan Leto

DA presents: 10 sets you can’t miss at Movement 2018

This post was originally published on this site

Words by Bella Bagshaw and Grace Fleisher

Despite a visibly shifting techno scene stateside, 2018 marks one of the most banner years for  Detroit, and America’s finest house & techno institution — Movement. With a booking that arguably serves as a controversial departure from the city’s roots, Movement’s 2018 programming captures the experimental essence of the times, a time where producers are gifted more creative freedom than ever to explore new sounds and the space between genres. As some techno becomes more and more of an amorphous body of music, free from rigid delineations, and a spectrum of experimentation emerges, there will always be those that prefer the pioneers lead the way.

No matter whether one’s an old techno head, a Drumcode-stan, or feeling the direction that Dirtybird is taking tech house, there’s one thing we can all agree upon — Movement will deliver. Ahead of the festival, Dancing Astronaut has taken to compiling the 10 sets not to miss. From the more obvious, Detroit-heavy mainstays who continually rep the city, to the purveyors of present and past innovation, 2018 promises to be an unmissable installment. Movement is techno history in the making. Don’t miss out. 

10) Shigeto

Photo Credit: Kristin Adamczyk

Movement 2018 marks a proper Shigeto homecoming. Beyond the Ghostly International artist’s booking, which will allow him to showcase his triumphant new album, The New Monday, Zachary Saginaw represents the exemplary booking of Movement’s solid undercard. An equally exemplary representation of what it means to be a musician in the modern age, Saginaw’s music is a union of classical training, energetic ambient programming, hip-hop, jazz, raw passion, and everything in between. His latest work was inspired by a return to the city of Detroit and is delivered with an unequivocal passion that meets Motown’s diverse musical history, which not to mention, promises a spectacular live show, complete with an impassioned fervor on the drum kit. Shigeto recently launched his own label, Portage Garage Sounds, which doubles as a creative outlet for the city’s local musicians and as a weekly showcase purveyor at the city’s Motor City Wine. He’s steeped in the breadth of what it means to be a working artist in the birthplace of techno and will undoubtedly do the city justice, playing everything from Motown to Danny Brown come his Hart Plaza descent.

9) Mija

Photo Credit: Ryan Farber

It’s more than likely Mija’s “Fk A Genre” mentality will take a backseat to her longstanding love for Detroit techno, if nowhere else but for her 2018 Movement set. Coming off her highly stylized HOW TO MEASURE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVERS EP, Mija can usually be found wielding buoying bass music these days. However, cleaning up the festival this year just behind Rezz, from 8-10 on Monday, she’ll be showing the Stargate Stage just how deep her omnipresent tech house tastes run. 

8) Dubfire

Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of both his illustrious solo career and the inception of his SCI+TEC label, internationally revered DJ, Dubfire is showing no signs of ware. The Iranian “Exit” producer will return to Movement for a two-hour 10-midnight headlining set. Fans would be hard-pressed to miss it, as the four-time nominee and Grammy-Winner is known to seamlessly summon sets straight out of the techno underworld.

7) Carl Craig

Photo Credit: Ryuya Amao 

Carl Craig can be described as an electronic music icon, a world-class dancefloor experimentalist, and an ambassador for his native Detroit, but no such term would suffice for the work and art the man has bestowed upon the city of Detroit — and really, the entire world of techno — over the last few decades. Having served as the co-creator and artistic director for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2000 and 2001, Craig’s served on the frontlines of the techno revolution in Detroit since its dawn.  With a plethora of releases under a multitude of aliases, Carl Craig has had more musical personalities than most electronic artists in their lifetime. Whether he’s serving up his deep commitment to soul, jazz, or techno come Memorial Day weekend, Hart Plaza is in for a treat. Craig will be reminding attendees that Detroit is the birthplace of techno, after all.

6) Ida Engberg

Photo Courtesy of Awakenings

One half of the techno’s Swedish power couple, Ida Engberg has been spinning her intoxicating web of minimal house and techno on the high-profile, low-nonsense techno label, Drumcode, spearheaded by her highly decorated husband, Adam Beyer for quite some time now. Born in the suburbs of Stockholm and coming up through the Swedish underground club scene, she has more than paid her dues. Don’t miss Engberg show the boys at Pyramid Stage how it’s done Saturday.

5) Helena Hauff

Photo Credit: Vitali Gelwich

Revered for her outpouring love for 80s synths, industrial, and cold wave classics, Helena Hauff is leading the avant-garde hardware movement in both electro and techno. As a supreme selector and enthusiast for a vast array of musical subcultures; her sets boast everything from punk to nu-wave, industrial, krautrock, and avant-garde electro. Hauff’s pushing the boundaries of what it means to exist as an artist.  She’s rooted in raw experimentation, and her Movement set promises a polar opposition to the perfect, polished mainstream.

4) FISHER

Photo Courtesy of Artist

Dirtybird Australian newcomer, Fisher’s iconic “Ya Kiddin’” track took on a life of its own last summer, rapidly becoming one of the most Shazamed anthems of the 2017 festival season. Since then, he has stunned with his Oi Oi EP, containing hits like “Stop It,” which has had everyone from Dirtybird Campout to Coachellamovin’ up and down side to side like a rollercoaster.” Follow the Fish Saturday to the Movement stage to get a piece of the funky frenzy everyone in house music has been raving about.

3) Nina Kraviz

Photo Credit: Luigi Pica

Perhaps the best way to sum up the work of the Russian dentist turned DJ, Nina Kraviz, is by taking a look at her quote “Music is a continuum connecting generations,” in her crowning piece as Mixmag‘s 2017 DJ of the year.  The cosmonaut dentist weaves through eras with ease, and with little to no novacane, too. Her Movement set will be one of her few performances stateside in the next year, and with her burgeoning, mutant techno, power-house bombs, and a few trance numbers, attendees won’t want to miss one of the most talked about stateside techno sets of the coming year.

2) Claude VonStroke

Photo Credit: Tim Jones

Dirtybird label head and founder, Claude VonStroke, will show fans who isn’t afraid of Detroit Saturday at the official Movement Stage. The Dirtybird crew is an unrelenting force at movement each year—this year notwithstanding—though VonStroke is sure to wield a massive set, as his proclivity for Detroit techno is hallmarked by his explosive, omnipresent appearances at Movement. His 2016 set at the fest for example, shook Detroit to its core when he teamed up with none other than Green Velvet at the Red Bull stage for one of their classic, unforgettable 90 minute b2b sets.

1) Charlotte de Witte

Photo Courtesy of the Artist

Charlotte de Witte is the name on the tips of the techno world’s proverbial tongue. With a style that remains as tied to the underground techno scene as it is trance, and Belgium — where de Witte’s from — she’s proving to be an all-around revelation for the state of techno. With a DJ set that’s guaranteed to keep the audience moving and a thunderously aggressive, stripped-down approach to her own music, de Witte is a multifaceted artist of the finest degree, and her Movement set will undoubtedly deliver on the thunderous nature of techno that so many desire.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Stephen Bondio

Shiba San throws down Chicago house in new ‘Off To Funk’ EP

This post was originally published on this site

Dirtybird deity, Shiba San returns to Relief Records with his newest EP, Off To Funk, his second release on the Green Velvet-founded Chicago-based label.

The producer’s patriarchal presence in the house and tech scenes began after the release of 2015’s wall-to-wall club track “OKAY.” Since, he has embarked on world tours and worked alongside some of the most prestigious names in his respective genre, including Dirtybird label head, Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet himself, for their collaborative 2017 EP, Fearless. 

The four-track extended play, Off To Funk, features two original extended cuts, as well as two coinciding, shortened club mixes. The EP sees Shiba embrace the deeper, classic Chicago style house and tech elements that are so very characteristic of Green Velvet and the Relief imprint. In “Back To Funk,” a deep bass line thumps alongside rattling hi-hats and the repeated sample chop, “Back to funk/Freak the funk.”Comparatively, “Off” proves more melodic, with a colorful, highly texturized synth line alongside a crooning female vocal cut. Coming in with four new, satisfying club-ready house products, Shiba San has found a fitting home away from home on Relief’s roster.