Whethan and Oh Wonder talk Mamby On The Beach, new collab, + more [Q&A]

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Whethan and Oh Wonder talk Mamby On The Beach, new collab, + more [Q&A]Mamby Whethan 1

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 atop the sands of Oakwood Beach, Mamby is known for its eclectic lineup, which this year featured everything from Chicago rap deity, Common, to the indie accents of Cold War Kids, along with electronic titans like Gorgon CityDuke Dumont, and Jai Wolf

For some musicians, it might seem counterintuitive to tap a 19-year-old to partner up with for a first-time collaboration. For Oh Wonder, that couldn’t be further from the case.

After years of shooting down a plentitude of offers, the London-based alt-pop duo, consisting of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West, took a chance on the Windy City’s own Whethan. Before long, “Superlove,” a radiant synth-pop track about a compulsory love, was born. To everyone’s surprise, Oh Wonder joined Whethan on stage after finishing up their own set to debut the song live for a packed crowd at Mamby’s Beach Stage—a jolt of warmth as the sun began to dip under the Chicago skyline.

Though young, Whethan, lesser known as Ethan Snoreck, is no ordinary teenager. In addition to being uncannily talented, at 19, he has played Coachella twice, worked alongside Skrillex, and is best friends—not to mention serial collaborators—with fellow Chicago-turned-LA-natives and young EDM royalty, Louis The Child. Both he and Oh Wonder joined Dancing Astronaut at Mamby to discuss inspiration behind “Superlove,” their similar ascensions to fame, what’s in store for the rest of 2018, and more. Whethan also spoke separately on tour-life as a teenager, his relationship with Louis The Child, and fine-tuning his unique sound.


How did you guys link up for this new collaboration?

Anthony: We were over in LA for a few weeks…

Whethan: I was a fan of their music for a long time, and someone said you should come to the room.

Josephine: And we did. And it was sick.

Who wrote the lyrics for the track, and where did the inspiration come from?

Josephine: A song is what you want it to be, right? I don’t want to prescribe a narrative to it if somebody’s enjoying it in their own way. But I think it’s the idea of when you’re so overwhelmed and in love with someone to the point where it’s a little bit creepy. To me, it’s like when you’re almost addicted to someone, like obsessive love. You think, like, ‘This is not good for me, but I don’t give a sh*t because I love you so much.’

Anthony: We were trying to be as creepy as possible.

You all have similar come-ups in the sense that you began experimenting with production, and started to receive recognition very early on. When you were putting those first few pieces together did you ever imagine that you would reach this level of success?

Whethan: I never imagined [this]. I was shooting blanks, just making little tracks on my computer at 15-years-old, and then next thing you know, different DJs started playing them at different festivals.

Josephine: Were you ever in the crowd?

Whethan: One time when I was really young.

Who was that for?

Whethan: Zeds Dead was the first at HARD Summer. I was like,

‘Woah, I guess my songs can be played that loud and on speakers that big.’

Because I didn’t even make music on monitors, pretty much just headphones and this weird bluetooth speaker. So I was like, ‘Oh, I can do this.’

Josephine: We just uploaded songs to SoundCloud for a year, just trying to build a portfolio. And then people were like, ‘You should come play these songs live.’ And we just kind of linked. Coming up on four years later we’ve just been touring constantly for four years. We put two records out.

Anthony: Didn’t expect any of it. So it’s all like a bonus for us.

Did the track turn out the way you guys wanted it to?

Josephine: Hell yeah.

Whethan: We worked extra long to make sure the version was the best it could be.

Anthony: We’ve never collaborated with anyone before.

Josephine: We’ve never worked with anyone on music. Ethan was super accommodating and awesome, and totally respected the fact that we were like, ‘Ah! We’ve never written a song and given it to someone.’ He made it sound better than what we could imagine.

Did you guys have reservations about collaborating in the past or did the right opportunity just never arise?

Josephine: We’ve said no to pretty much everyone over the last three years. Art is so personal. I think it has to be organic and come from the right place.

What can we expect from each of you for the rest of 2018?

Whethan: A lot of singles for me, personally, that might show the bigger picture of what the project will be, but I’m working on a project now. It doesn’t have a date or anything.

Anthony: For us, a bit more touring. And then we’re going to go home, write another record, spend some time in LA. Just make more music.

At this point, the conversation turns to Whethan, OWSLA recruit and critically lauded EDM wunderkind. Fresh off of his Mamby performance, we dove into an exciting day in the life of one of dance music’s newest torch carriers. 

How do you feel being on your home territory at Mamby?

It feels good. I feel like it’s been a little while, but it hasn’t been that long. I feel like Lollapalooza was so long ago. I’ve been home since then, but not actually playing. It’s beautiful. It’s sunny. It’s been a great day. We’ve got this nice beach. Got some people coming through for the set, so that’s always good.

You’re vocal about how much Flume and the guys from Louis The Child inspire you. Who’s someone else who’s been inspiring your music lately?

Lately, Ive been on a really big Calvin Harris buzz. I just look at his entire discography and he’s got so many songs that are so good and well-put together. I look up to him.

In what ways do you think you’ve evolved as an artist these past few years?

Well I definitely did evolve. At first it was a lot more bass-heavy and almost instrumental music. But then I just started focusing on the actual songs: the songwriting and the lyrics. Artists like Oh Wonder who can really write a good lyric with a good vibe. So I guess I’ve been focusing more on pop kinda stuff, but I’m finding really cool ways to implement that in with dance music, too. When I first started it wasn’t really dance-y. It was kinda just like you can listen to it and bob your head. But I’m forever evolving.

What’s it like being 19 and playing huge festivals and being on tour?

It’s pretty crazy. It’s started to feel, not normal. It’s weird because I’ve only really been playing shows for like two years. I’ve just been blessed to be able to start to do really cool shows and travel to really crazy parts of the world. I got to go to South America and Europe recently for the first time, which I wouldn’t have been able to do if I wasn’t touring. Being 19 is really crazy because I feel like the youngest person a lot of times wherever I go. I don’t let it get to me, though. I don’t even know what I’m going to be making in five years. People always tell me I have so much potential and room to grow, so much time.

There were a lot of events I feel like I missed out on because I just wanted to make music in my room. Now, I live in LA so I’m far from my family a lot. I’m in the same boat as a lot of my friends like Louis The Child who are also doing the same thing as me. Having fun to us is the same thing, just making music.

Photo Credit: EDM Chicago

Good Morning Mix: Guy J eases us awake with smooth progressive

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Good Morning Mix: Guy J eases us awake with smooth progressiveGuy J July Mi

A fresh Guy J mix is never one to skip over; each one is always stuffed to the brim with an array of fresh music and unreleased gems. Four months after his Spring mix in March, the progressive juggernaut is back at it again with an hour of sparkling melodies and lush percussion.

The “End Of Lost Cause” mix opens with a stirring ambient cut by Vittoria Fleet, which begins the emotive journey on a nostalgic, earthy note before chugging smoothly into some unreleased remixes of his Lost&Found colleague Chicola — courtesy of Johannes Brecht and Karmon. Soon, we’re taking on a journey through driving, hypnotic percussion, moving forward into a series of mysterious cuts put forth by other labelmates and of course, Mr. Guy J himself. His mix ends with its title track, dousing the mind with a bucket of sentimentality before gently coming to an end.

Enjoy the morning on a truly progressive note.

 

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 47

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 47Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


What better genre than disco for a Friday? French producer kramder astounds with this funky fresh original, “Indigo Bay.” With heavily processed vocals, an infectious mesh of groovy synths, and an irresistible retro beat, “Indigo Bay” adds to the producer’s growing armory of hits. His last appearance was in May on Tchami‘s CONFESSION label, ensuring this up-and-comer has a bright future ahead of him.


The release of Pendulum‘s remix album a few weeks ago seems to have inspired other producers to revive some of the Australian group’s hits, too. SYN, a mysterious producer who’s been making waves with remixes of hard-hitters like Slipknot and Metallica, has joined in the Pendulum remix fun with a “new rave” rendition of “Tarantula.” It’s energy-packed and intense, and still manages to maintain an old-school vibe.


Keeping with the revival of old tracks, Prismo has breathed new life into Kaskade‘s seminal “Disarm You.” The Texan producer adds a dramatic touch to the emotive 2015 track, flinging the listener into a bed of impressive synths at the first drop. He flies through styles throughout the remix, even dropping a sound bite from Jay-Z‘s “Public Service Announcement” before an intense dubstep-influenced second drop. His remix is a whirlwind of sounds and emotions, guaranteed to keep the listener engaged from start to finish.


Russian producer Stendahl brings a serene and peaceful environment with his latest release, “Sunrise,” on Silk Music. The song, part of his three-track Dystopia EP, paints a more pensive atmosphere than one would expect with an EP of the name it has. “Sunrise” is guided by a smooth-flowing piano melody, soothing vocals and a downtempo beat that’s easy to get lost in.


And now, the track I’ve been most excited for all week: The Midnight‘s new single. The synthwave duo began teasing the release of “Lost Boy” a week ago, drumming up excitement by pairing the emotive audio snippet with Stranger Things clips. Upon its release, it’s apparent that this might be one of their best pieces of work to date — even with the absence of their usual ascending saxophone melodies. “Lost Boy” tugs at the heartstrings and is highlighted by passionate vocals and soaring guitar themes. Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle have concocted the perfect dose of smoldering ’80s nostalgia, topped off with impeccable production to complete this four-and-a-half-minute piece of magic.

FSD Feature: A Quick Q&A with Kidd Kenn

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Words by Nandi Howard (@itsnandibby) There is something special about an organic come-up in a artist now. The artist that …

The psychology of planning one of the most successful party series in the world: elrow [Interview]

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The psychology of planning one of the most successful party series in the world: elrow [Interview]Screen Shot 2017 12 24 At 5.27.52 PM

To witness inversion of the underground at its most ingenious, house and techno listeners need not look further than an elrow event.

Long associated with the dimly lit dance floors of dark clubs, underground sound goes open air under the oversight of elrow, a family-founded party brand that dates back to 1870. As attendees of previous elrow events know and know well, the secret to elrow’s longevity in entertainment circles is no secret at all, but a perceptible emphasis on crowd immersion, specifically in a vibrantly colored, visually transfixing environment that engages audience members in a way that is entirely unique to elrow, and largely anomalous in the current context of electronic event production.

The psychology of planning one of the most successful party series in the world: elrow [Interview]Screen Shot 2017 12 24 At 5.27.52 PM

Photo Credit: Pablo Dass, Alex Caballero & Andrei Oprescu

Crowd interactivity takes center stage at an elrow event, where the performative nature of elrow’s production places stilt-walkers and puppeteers among those in the crowd, creating a constant and blissfully chaotic sense of activity that keeps pace with the live music.

An avant-garde entity in the electronic event market, elrow derives much of its influence in the increasingly popular trend of experiential nightclubbing from its deemphasis on the music as the primary point of focus, and its redirection of that attention to the thematics of event production. In addition to actors interspersed among the audience, elrow amplifies the affective quality of its high energy events with ornate stages tailored to the given event theme, massive inflatable decorations displayed throughout elrow’s often outdoor venues, and large confetti canons that provide the climax of an elrow affair, enveloping the crowd in brilliantly hued clouds of paper, the confetti drops occurring in sync with DJs’ beat drops.

The psychology of planning one of the most successful party series in the world: elrow [Interview]CHs Od W

Photo Credit: Pablo Dass, Alex Caballero & Andrei Oprescu

 

elrow is an immersive experience and I believe that’s what sets us apart. We don’t only focus on front of stage decorations, there’s always something happening around you, the decorations are all around you, floor actors walk around, stilt walkers, confetti showers

Victor de la Serna

 

The psychology of planning one of the most successful party series in the world: elrow [Interview]Screen Shot 2017 12 24 At 5.28.47 PM

Photo Credit: Pablo Dass, Alex Caballero & Andrei Oprescu

elrow’s maturity from a weekly, Barcelona based party series to White Island resident, and currently, to one of the most widely acclaimed party brands in the world–elrow has hosted more than 132 shows across 33 countries in 2018 thus far–evidences the allure of elrow, a name that signifies a larger than life electronic experience quite unlike any other.

elrow will bring its unparalleled production to New York City for the second time in 2018 come July 28, where the brand will follow its initial April appearance–elrow: The Residency Begins–with a 10 hour fiesta at the Brooklyn Mirage for Elrow Open Air. Those interested in attending the Elrow festivities can purchase tickets to Elrow Open Air, here.

Dancing Astronaut caught up with elrow’s Music Director, Victor de la Serna, to get a closer look at the psychology of planning the international party series ahead of Elrow Open Air.

___________________________________________________________________________________

Dancing Astronaut: Being that you’ve been with elrow since the beginning, involved in the booking for each event/residency branded with the elrow name, I’d love to hear how you’ve approached booking strategy wise/curatively for the theme of the current residency, “Nomads, New World.” Can you talk a little bit about what you take into consideration when booking with this theme in mind? I’m curious to know what “Nomads, New World” means to you, and how it affects how you book the artists who play the events, with this “Nomads, New World” concept in mind. Those familiar with elrow productions know that concept is crucial to how elrow envisions the given event, so thinking a little bit about concept in relation to booking strategy seems like a great place to start.

Victor de la Serna: I wish we could cater the DJ line up to the theme, but that, for the moment, is not possible I’m afraid… I always try to find DJs that are the right fit for the party, which means fun, uplifting music. We stay away from darkness and look for house and tech house as well as some techno DJs more on the funk side of things. However, in an ideal world where I would book artists according to the theme, in this case I would only program up and coming DJs. A very risky move for any promoter but, if we are looking for the new world, that’s what I would need. If we look at the Nomads part it would be far easier as all DJs could be considered Nomads with the amount of traveling they do.

Dancing Astronaut: Does your booking approach vary at all when it comes to lineup cultivation in the states? This is another question that ties in well with the “New World” branch of the thematic concept here. If so, in what ways does your booking method differ?

Victor de la Serna: You need to have a deep knowledge of your party and have a clear idea of what works and what doesn’t in each country and city. Each place has a different story and maybe a DJ that works great in Barcelona or Ibiza has never even played New York, so as a booker it comes the time where you can always go for the well established artists or try and bring someone that you know will work with the vibe of the party but might have never played that city before. The good thing about elrow is that even though the themes change, the vibe of the party doesn’t, so we are always looking for that kind of sound we know works well with the style of the party.

Dancing Astronaut: Given your experience with booking, and with Elrow, one of the most successful parties in the whole world, what do you consider to be absolutely essential when it comes to booking events/residencies that will flourish?

Victor de la Serna: When it comes to bookings we always come back to fun, energetic music. When it comes to events there should always be a strategy. You need to find a city where you can grow into a big format event, a residency or part of a bigger strategy within the country. Doing events for the sake of just doing events doesn’t really take you anywhere in the long run.

Dancing Astronaut: As Juan Arnau Sr. states in Elrow’s recently released mini-doc, “When you manage to make the audience the main show, then you’ve achieved success.” Actors and stilt walkers are evidently important to making Elrow audiences “the main show.” In your opinion, how else does Elrow strive to make the audience “the main show,” so to speak, and how does this set Elrow apart from other party entities?

Victor de la Serna: elrow is an immersive experience and I believe that’s what sets us apart. We don’t only focus on front of stage decorations, there’s always something happening around you, the decorations are all around you, floor actors walk around, stilt walkers, confetti showers, etc… so this is very different from a regular club night where all the focus has been put on the DJ. With each party we try to better ourselves and improve this experience, so two elrow parties won’t be 100% the same!

Dancing Astronaut: So to narrow our focus, elrow came to New York in April for its beginning event of 2018 at Avant Gardner. elrow is no stranger to New York City, yet when it comes to this year, these curated events, what specifically has elrow sought to bring to New York City this year that it might not have brought in its previous visitations?

Victor de la Serna: Every party we have done in NYC has been a totally different theme and we will carry on like this. The time we bring back a theme to New York will be because that theme has been changed, which happens every year. Each year we take out a couple of decorations, premiere a couple of new ones and refurbish and change all the existing ones. If you think about it, it works, as either you have not seen the theme before or it might be one of your favourites. We see that a lot of people also come back as they love the theme, so we just try and balance everything 🙂

Video Credit: Billboard

Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new music

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Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo 3

“Apparently I don’t share enough,” joked Mat Zo on Twitter ahead of his latest Reddit AMA. The iconic producer and proud has always has quite the cheeky sense of humor.

It hardly feels like he needs to share much at times, however, given his track record of bold, yet pristine releases that have made their way onto Anjunabeats and beyond. His ability to adopt any style — from drum ‘n’ bass, to trance — into his range with finesse while remaining grounded and good-natured has made him a household name across the dance spectrum, with many dedicated fans hungrily consuming all they can about him.

That said, Zo still shared plenty during his brief stop at Reddit, divulging details about upcoming music, offering advice and lessons he’s learned through his time in the industry, sharing his favorite Beatles song, and more.

DA has sifted through the pile and picked out the most insightful and intriguing factoids.

He believes dance music is cyclical.Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA1

Fresh Kill The Zo is on the way

Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA2

We heavily agree with his Beatles pick – how ’bout you?
Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA3

A poignant memory…

Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA4

ALERT!! He’s working on a third album. 
Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA5

Working with vocalists physically and through email both have their pros and cons. 
Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA6

It’s better not to try and force inspiration
Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA7

Avoid this common error. 
Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA8

 

His house inspirations include Junior Jack and Cassius.
Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA9

The best kind of virtual crate digging. 
Mat Zo had an AMA! Here are 10 exciting takeaways, including new musicMat Zo AMA10

 

 

Photo credit: Rukes

Producer Sessions 003: Noer the Boy – ModPack Vol. 1

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Producer Sessions 003: Noer the Boy – ModPack Vol. 1Producer Sessions

CLICK HERE TO TRY OUT THE LATEST SAMPLE PACK BY NOER THE BOY. 

Producer Sessions is a series from Dancing Astronaut meant to shine a brighter light on the producer community. Each volume will guide producers towards some of the freshest sample packs, plugins, FX, and presets out there. 

This week, Splice released a unique sound pack from sound design connoisseur Noer the Boy. The pack is called “ModPack Vol. 1,” indicating this is only the first of more yet to come from the sonic explorer. Inside the pack are 80 high-quality samples of bass sounds, percussion elements, texture, vox one-shots, and synth loops. Producers interested in murky, dark, experimental sounds will find this pack useful.

Noer the Boy recently released his Ganzfeld EP off Noisa’s DIVISION label. His avant-garde style has caught the attention of the drum n bass heavyweights. Support from the Dutch trio dedication to perfecting their sound design is a good sign that Noer the Boy is within good company. The Wisoncon-born, Portland-based producer is also part of DJ Shadow’s Liquid Amber imprint.

Ganzfeld is an experimental bass exploration with rhythm constraints and sharp focus on sound engineering that also gives us a taste of what’s to come in the inaugural ModPack.

The Ganzfeld Effect is a phenomenon where the brain attempts to fill the missing visual information by boosting neural noise because of increased exposure to an unstructured and constant stimulation field. This causes hallucinations, so the album is a series of hallucinatory adventures, and it certainly sounds like it.

Click HERE to start a 14-day free trial on Splice and start producing like the pros.

Background

A serious producer should have an extensive audio library, filled with a variety of organized samples and more companies like Splice are filling that need every year. These days, a subscription to Splice is a no-brainer for producers at any level. For $7.99 a month, Splice gives producers access to their entire library of high-quality samples, loops, FX, and presets, coming in at over 2 million sounds. At that price, producers get 100 credits per month to explore Splice’s massive library, save sounds they like, and download-to-own at a rate of 1 sample per credit.

Producers at the highest levels use Splice to find inspiration because it’s so easy with their massive library and quality partnerships. Some of the most popular sound designers have contributed to Splices’ library, including exclusive packs from KSHMR, Sonny Digital, deadmau5Amon Tobin, Zaytoven, KRANE, Lex Lugar and more.

Photo Credit: Joseph Pearson/Unsplash

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 46

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 46Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA music editor and staff writer Robyn Dexter. With a taste that can only be described as eclectic — to say nothing of a name that lends itself to punnery — DA is happy to present a selection of tracks personally curated by Dexter for your listening pleasure.


G-house guru BIJOU is back with another sultry heater, “Young & Reckless,” featuring Way. The new Dim Mak record continues the Arizona native’s tour de force through the burgeoning world of g-house. It’s stamped with a relentless bassline and and fierce vocals from Way. “The vocal with Way came from a long-standing relationship I’ve had with his manager that started out with me buying shoes from him at Finish Line,” BIJOU says of the track. “Fast forward to today and we have worked on numerous tracks together with this one being hands down our best.”


This week’s drum & bass find got me addicted so quickly. Foreign Concept’s rework of SKS’ “Thousand Lives” has a gorgeous air of mystery about it, and the UK artist does a stellar job of amping up the intensity in a way that’s both a little dark and euphoric. While the full track stands at more than five minutes, this three-minute preview is available as a part of Vandal LTD’s Modern Soul 4 LP.


Texan producer Prismo has morphed Satellite Mode’s subtle pop track, “Gave It All,” into something much more forceful. He toys with singer Jessica Carvo’s vocals, weaving them in and out of an intense pattern of bass he’s crafted. Prismo’s ability to juxtapose this powerful style of bass music with Satellite Mode’s delicate form of indie-pop further demonstrates his strong proficiency in electronic music in all forms.


Tom Budin continues his consistent release schedule with a version of Noy’s “Kamikaze.” This gnarly bass house rework hits hard from the get-go, shocking the listener head on at the minute mark with a speaker-shattering bass. The original, too, featured an astoundingly deep bass, but Budin’s morphed the track into a more dance floor-accessible rendition. New Haven’s verses maintain the fiery intensity of the original as Budin works his magic on the beat.


Matroda‘s teamed up with RICCI on his latest original, a feisty house offering on Dim Mak called “Caliente (Na Na Na).” The collaboration offers a clean combination of house and trap and shows both artists in their finest form: crafting the most hard-hitting bass house they can.

Techno Tuesday: Fur Coat on the right time to start a label, the state of melodic techno, and their future

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Techno Tuesday: Fur Coat on the right time to start a label, the state of melodic techno, and their futureTechno Tuesdays

Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

Sergio Muñoz and Israel Sunshine are two kindred spirits when it comes to dance music; they both prefer house and techno of the darker, more melodic variety. They were brought together a decade and a half ago over their mutual interests in their home country of Venezuela, where together, they eventually transformed into Fur Coat. Their journey hasn’t been without its obstacles; the two spent quite a long time cutting their teeth on the local circuit and honing their brand of house and techno into something that would stand out from the pack. In 2012, their debut in the international spotlight came when Damian Lazarus picked up their Space Ballad EP for Crosstown Rebels. It wouldn’t take much longer for them to become the juggernauts we know today, as their music was well-received by the masses and they soon found themselves on labels like Suara, Hot Creations, and BPitch control. More recently, they’ve notched a Balance series contribution onto their belts and have become regulars on Tale Of Us’ Afterlife.

There’s more to Fur Coat than their own artistic career, however; the duo have now ascended to the point of success where they can not only take their own music into their own hands, but also begin looking after others under them. In 2017, the deciding moment to start a label arrived, and thus Oddity was born. It’s still in its fledgling state, making Fur Coat excellent candidates to quiz on the trials and tribulations of being an independent label owner in the current dance music climate. We got them to divulge on the process of forming their label, tentative plans for the future, lessons learned, and more. They also gave us some exciting looks at what’s to come from Oddity in the future — including a new track that one “wouldn’t expect” from them.

Listen to their brand new EP on Redimension whilst reading on about their time as Oddity head honchos.

 


You were in the dance industry for over a decade before establishing Oddity. What was “the moment,” or what were the factors that led to you deciding it was the right time to start your label?
FC: Yes, we have been in the industry over a decade, even before Fur Coat. The moment to launch our label just came and felt right in 2017, although we had for over 6 months before been working on designs and forming what we really wanted to do with it. The motive behind this was that we could showcase a bit more from us, not only music wise but also art-wise. As we are doing vinyl, the physical copies have great artwork that we would curate and work on. This platform not only lets us decide if we want to put an EP or record out from us when we feel its right it also meant that we don’t always have to deal with the scheduling of other labels and also we get to decide fully the tracklist of each EP, V.A or whatever we are thinking putting out. We can also showcase new talent that we get music from, and get people on board to remix or even provide originals. So far we have had original music from us, Natural Flow & Mathame, and remixes from Slam, Roman Poncet, Dubspeeka, Locked Groove & Cassegrain!

Over that decade we discussed about having the label, but I think we were focused on other achievements and thought this wasn’t our main priority or that we didn’t have the time to do it right the way we wanted to. At this point in our career we are more established, our sound has evolved and this all came at a time when we felt it was right. It’s a label that each release has to be 100% as we want it with no rush, we don’t want to compromise by running on a super tight schedule, things happen when they are ready, so that is also a privilege we have.

Is there a specific sound/ethos you’re trying to promote with Oddity?
FC: Oddity is not only about Fur Coat’s sound which leans more towards a techno, groovy sound sometimes with melodies or more experimental; but also focuses on music we play and the music of artists that we like. We try with most of the music that we sign to have at least 1 track that is something that we would have in our sets, but also leave free space for the artists to experiment, not only focusing on dance floor oriented material. Each EP has to feel complete, thats why we also spend a lot of consideration on what remixers to bring onboard. Genre wise, of course it leans to techno, but we are always open for variations, although it has to fit in with us, what we play and what we like. By this we mean we aren´t closed to sign an ambient record as part of an EP for example.

On that note, where do you see the “Fur Coat sound” going in the future? Trying anything new/fun?
The Fur Coat sound has evolved since its beginning. We come from a background of house and techno. We never want to be put inside the box, so we are always in the search for new things, always trying to stay on top and keep it fresh. The past 4 years our sound has shaped more into melodic but groovy techno. We always try new things, there is a track from us coming on Oddity 004 that you wouldn’t expect from us, not dancefloor oriented at all. Although as we said before it would be a complete EP and a great remixer on board!

Who are the artists inspiring you the most at this moment?
Our inspiration doesn’t come directly from electronic music artists when we produce. But in terms of artist we like and that we like playing their records we can name a few and also some we have had on the label. We like a lot of Dubspeeka’s work, there is always space to have a track from him in our sets, the same with Roman Poncet who has been doing great work. ANNA has been doing killer stuff, and a remixer that we always try to play or that probably releases music that we always like is the great Radio Slave.

What have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned and challenges you’ve overcome thus far in being label owners?
Well, first of all we are two guys deciding what we sign to the label. Sometimes is hard to get to a concensus on what we want to sign, but the good thing between us is that we understand each other, and we can compliment one another. Sometimes I (Sergio) may find a track from an artist, and then Israel might suggest a remixer, so we discuss on this and try to make it as a team work. We always put on the table which names we want to have on the label, based on the music we have been playing and that fits our musical style.

On the art part, (Sergio) has good connections with some designers through a friend in Barcelona and we went through all the designing process with them.
So basically the most difficult part is pulling all of the details together to be ready send the distributor and arrange the release date. Usually our mastering guy (Xergio Cordoba) when we have the music ready masters the EP in couple of days but you have to have an appointment. Then the designer has to arrange all the titles, artists and remixers names etc. When all this is approved by us, and the artists are happy with the masters, we can deliver to the distributor and start the whole process. Sounds easy, but it takes a lot of time and back and forth, sitting down and listening and seeing that all is correct, to finally deliver it how we want it.

Sometimes you can have a schedule in mind, but due to certain factors and the fact we want to release on certain dates to get the promotion right this can get difficult! So if you are going to start your own label prepare for this!

Tell us about your biggest goals for the label – artists to sign, vinyl-only releases, label showcases/festivals, etc?
Well our format is Vinyl and Digital and we always have a vinyl only track. In a way it makes the vinyl more special to have you know? People who are supporting Oddity have come to us and given us great comments about the music, artwork and it feels nice that they have something extra when they are supporting the label.
On artists to sign, we have many names we want to have on the label, either as remixer or releases, or maybe in the near future a V.A so we can showcase a little more you know? But we don’t seek music directly based on artists, we seek music based on how it sounds and if we like it, specially for people who send demos. Basically we can reach out to a producer we like or just receive something from upcoming artists and combine it with an established remixer.

On the future the idea is to do Oddity showcases, first in clubs to grow the brand and expose the artists we are working with, in key cities with promoters who we usually work with. After that we want to organically expand and really see where things go!

Techno Tuesday: Fur Coat on the right time to start a label, the state of melodic techno, and their futureFur Coat Press Credit Their Team

Photo provided by Fur Coat’s publicity team

How do you feel about the role of a label in today’s music sphere? Sometimes it feels like there’s a growing gap between “mega labels” monopolizing things, and then streaming and such threatening the smaller labels. It seems hard to balance!
We can for sure see this gap growing but we feel that the role of a label is still the same as it always has been.. to find and release great music. To be fair the big labels were once also little labels and have worked hard of to get where they are at. Big labels on which we release have artists that have been working with them since the beginning but they also sign new talent, so working with them is about having the right music and having the patience for their busy schedule.

There is also the other side of the coin with smaller labels, the internet and all the tools available to people has made setting up and starting your own label fairly easy. You can see in Beatport so much music, and probably a lot that is very badly produced or makes no sense. So we feel hat the role of labels in todays music sphere is to actually really focus on quality rather than quantity.. Its very easy to pump out lots of tracks but you need to ask yourself weather you are a big label or small label weather or not your truly feel the music and this is something we focus on heavily with Oddity.

What are some plans you have for Oddity in the near future? Releases you can tell us about, etc?
Oddity 004 is the next one we have planned for this year which is an EP from us with a remixer that we really like and respect! After that we don´t have anything clear yet, as we are always receiveing music, but we probably want to do a V.A or maybe do an EP from an another artist. First thing on our mind currently is putting the final touches and recieving the remix for Oddity 004 to send to the distributor and start the whole process. As we said before, we take it very different from other labels, so we aren’t running on a super tight schedule, we just do our thing and aim to release the most complete EP no matter what time it takes.

Controversial question: do you agree or disagree that “melodic techno” is, in a way, trance reborn? Why?
We disagree that it is trance reborn, although it has elements that might feel ¨trancy¨ but we feel they are more like a journey or trippy. There are different structures, different sounds. Although we might have melodic stuff in our sets and in our productions, melodic techno really feels different than trance.

Not only there is a difference in BPM, but as I said before, classic trance is more raw and the production is different. In melodic techno you can find a bunch of different vibes, not only that with a “trancy” feel. Definitely producing it, making it interesting and getting it to stand out from the pack is not an easy work though…

 

 

 

Drai’s Beachclub July 2018: Full event calendar

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Drai’s Beachclub July 2018: Full event calendarUnnamed 1

Photo courtesy of Drai’s Beachclub

The summer momentum is still in full force following a memorable June at Drai’s Beachclub, a strong contender in the Las Vegas dayclub scene. Featuring high-profile acts in dance music, July’s roster offers a number of exclusive co-headlining shows like Zeds Dead + A-Trak, Destructo + TroyBoi, JSTJR + TWRK and more. Other standalone acts include Anna Lunoe, DJ Pauly D, GTA and more. Serving as the Strip’s only rooftop beach club, partygoers will be in for a treat each weekend this season with exclusive, power-packed sets from some of the world’s critically-acclaimed DJs and chart-topping recording artists.

2018 is set to be Drai’s Beachclub’s most important year yet as a top contender in the Las Vegas day and nightclub community. Boasting a round-the-clock calendar of events ranging from house to mainstream dance music to moombahton, there’s arguably a little something for everyone.

View Drai’s Beachclub’s exciting July 2018 calendar below, and purchase tickets here.

July 2018 Calendar of Events:

7/1 A-Trak

7/6 Quix | Ape Drums 

7/7 Zeds Dead | A-Trak 

7/8 Anna Lunoe with special guest Noizu

7/13 4B | Kittens 

7/14 Destructo | TroyBoi 

7/15 Savi

7/20 Audien

7/21 DJ Pauly D 

7/22 GTA

7/24 DJ Pauly D

7/27 JSTJR | TWRK 

7/28 Zeds Dead | TroyBoi 

7/29 Felix Cartal & Treasure Fingers