Medasin invites listeners to escape into a dreamy soundscape on new single, ‘Mr. Skitters’

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Medasin invites listeners to escape into a dreamy soundscape on new single, ‘Mr. Skitters’Screen Shot 2019 02 08 At 6.44.29 PM

Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2018, Medasin returns to the electronic release ring to submit his first original production of 2019, “Mr. Skitters.” Medasin weaves his characteristic melodic magic on “Mr. Skitters.” The downtempo tune unfurls with languid ease, its tranquil tone a soft embrace, and a warm invitation to listeners to go ahead and cue the “repeat” button. The smooth sonic bliss that streamers found on Medasin’s debut LP, Irene, appears anew on “Mr. Skitters.”

Medasin seamlessly intermingles a series of electronic elements and coalesces these constituents into refined technical unity. The unimposing bass that ebbs and flows as it undergirds the track and the gleaming synth work that rolls in waves throughout the single’s three-minute time prove responsible for much of the song’s dreamy character. “Mr. Skittles” is evidence that Medasin has found his wheelhouse, and remains therein.

Photo credit: Medasin/Facebook

Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2018: Medasin

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Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2018: MedasinMEDASIN IMG 1

At the beginning of the decade, when electronic dance music was experiencing a lightning-speed growth spurt into the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, commentators began to gravitate towards an economic buzz-term that had already permeated out of a number of different industries — a “bubble” was forming. EDM’s rapid global expansion was the subject of much speculation; what would happen when the proverbial “EDM bubble” inevitably popped? As the decade begins to wind to a close, the result has turned out to be considerably more positive than most of us anticipated. What would happen after the fanfare of the passing EDM fad? Well, the unremarkable would disappear, and out of the heavily diluted pool of semi-marketable talent would emerge passionate creators free to explore a lot more than just big room house and commercially viable electro-pop. The bursting of the so-called “EDM bubble” created a space where producers were able to sift through a wide chasm of influences to push electronic production to different spaces and audiences. In 2018, Medasin undoubtedly seized that opportunity, making him Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of the Year in 2018.

The Texas-native producer, lesser known as Grant Nelson, put together a rap sheet in 2018 that checks all the boxes for a breakout year — it started with a complementary remix of Portugal. The Man‘s inescapable shaker, “Feel It Still,” followed by timely reworks of Post Malone and Khalid‘s material. The high profile remixes then laid the ground work for one of the year’s most intriguing records in Irene. On Medasin’s debut LP, the producer soundtracks a coming-of-age story blurred in experimental escapism. The nine-track album isn’t packed with swelling breaks and notable collaborators — rather, it’s a personal collection of sonics that wears its emotions on its sleeve, which makes its chart-topping status atop the iTunes electronic rankings earlier this summer all the more deserved.

Beyond just proctoring one of the most noteworthy albums of the year, Medasin also proved a versatile performer that is on the cusp on graduating from the undercard and onto the billing’s top line. He helmed his first headlining tour in support of Irene, but also managed major support bookings including an appearance at ZEDD‘s LA Historic Park show this summer, and some of the country’s most in-demand festivals like HARD Summer, Lollapalooza, and Electric Forest. Beyond his own original works, Medasin expanded his catalog in 2018 with collaborations alongside fellow wave makers Ekali, Elohim, and Louis Futon.

It was a banner year in 2018 for the 20-year-old ALT:VISION recruit. In a year’s time, Medasin not only managed to find his stride and significantly hone his production capabilities, he also successfully brought electronic music in his own innovative direction and cemented himself as one of the genre’s brightest forward thinkers. Irene is only one component to Medasin’s breakout, but with the wealth of potential he’s showing at the onset of such a promising career, we’re excited to see what’s next for the burgeoning wunderkind.

Medasin is Dancing Astronaut’s Breakout Artist of 2018.

 

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Dancing Astronauts Top 10 Albums Of 2018

Since the advent of recorded music, albums have reigned as the supreme vessel through which artists put forth their most hallowed creations and define their oeuvres. In the modern era of streaming, wherein declining royalty rates demand that musicians tour incessantly and the necessity of instant gratification demands a correlative, unending supply of singles and remixes, the process of producing a full-length record is perhaps more daunting than it’s ever been.

However, the LP is far from a dying art form, as legions of artists have duly proven in the past year. In the realm of dance music alone, 2018 saw an abundance of stellar, individualized efforts, providing our editorial team with quite a difficult feat in selecting a Top 10. Below, we’ve compiled ten innovative, stylistically diverse, and evocative albums that shook the scene and stirred us so resoundingly that they manage to stand out among a formidable pool of contenders.


Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018San Holo Album1 Review
10. San Holo, album1

Since its founding in 2014, San Holo’s bitbird label has made monumental strides, helping propel his releases — along with those of artists like DROELOE and Taska Black — to notoriety. Perhaps the label’s biggest buzz this year was that of San Holo’s inaugural LP, appropriately titled album1, which made its debut in mid-September. After pouring months of passion into the record, San Holo wasted no time incorporating live instruments in album1, kicking off the compilation with a wistful guitar melody in “everything matters (when it comes to you).” This theme continues throughout the album’s 12 tracks, with each song exuding pure emotion and spirit. In its entirety, album1 is sonically pleasing and a fresh breath of air in an often monotonous EDM scene.

Words by Robyn Dexter

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Pleasurekraft Friends Lovers Other Constellations Hi Res Art
9. Pleasurekraft, Friends, Lovers, and Other Constellations

It’s hard to believe that, prior to this year, Pleasurekraft had yet to release a full-length record. The transnational duo have been regarded as lodestars in the genres which they’ve graced for practically a decade, thanks to their acutely analytic approach to producing. The past few years have marked an evolution of sorts for the Kraftek label-heads, as they’ve shifted toward establishing their cinematically-infused brand of cosmic techno. And, their inaugural LP, Friends, Lovers, & Other Constellations, which kicked off the duo’s year in January, showcases their progress from its opening act (the genre-defying “Interiors”) until its closing bow (the similarly mellifluous “Last Transmission”).

Words by Will McCarthy

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Justice Woman Worldwide Hi Res Art
8. Justice, Woman Worldwide

After a two-year gap following the release of Woman, French electro luminaries Justice returned in 2018 with Woman Worldwide, a “live” album — perhaps, more accurately an homage or counterpart — to the live production which accompanied their much-lauded third studio LP, rebuilt in the studio through what Xavier de Rosnay described to Dancing Astronaut as a “proper Justice record.”

De Rosnay and Gaspard Augé didn’t spend their lapse between albums by writing “new” music. Rather, they spent this time fine-tuning every minute of the their live performance, ultimately recreating the Justice concert experience in their studio. The final product speaks for itself: Woman Worldwide has yielded the duo’s third Grammy nomination, and showcases what wound up being one of the most in-demand touring electronic music performances of recent years.

Words by David Klemow

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Rufus Du Sol Solace Hi Res Artwork
7. RÜFÜS DU SOL, Solace

Weaving a follow-up to an acclaimed album is a formidable task for any artist to face. It has to be different enough from its predecessor to keep fans’ attention, but it also has to retain the signature sound that initially drew people in initially. After gaining major recognition from 2016’s Bloom, Rüfüs Du Sol were faced with that exact challenge.
On Solace, the Australian trio stepped up every part of their production process. Tyrone Lindqvist’s vocals are more emotional and over-stated than ever before, while the instrumentals are crisper and full of new textures. Though the vocal-house formula of Bloom and their debut album, Atlas, is still intact, what Rüfüs Du Sol have presented with their third record is a growth of their sound to the precipice of perfection.

Words by Anthony Manganiello

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Rezz Certain Kind Of Magic Review
6. REZZ, Certain Kind of Magic

Rezz’s Certain Kind of Magic solidified the mau5trap mainstay into the electronic music history books with her gritty synth-work, head-banging rhythms and uneasy melodies that juxtaposed uncertainty and confidence throughout the LP. Looking forward to 2019 with a grip of festival headlines, the Canadian artist took the rock tinged genre into a new realm with a cohesive haunting narrative centered around a carnival in hell. Rezz even took to an emo rock, acoustic track, “Toxin,” with the Berklee College of Music artist Fytch to showcase her versatility and early influences.

Isabelle Rezazadeh also used her album to shed a light on up and coming producers. Through promoting talents from the likes of 1788-L, 13, Deathpact, Kotek, and the aforementioned Fytch, the mau5trap favorite reaffirmed her dedication to highlighting industry newcomers in the face of her now-innumerable accolades.

Words by Chris Stack

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Rl Grime Nova Artwork
5. RL Grime, Nova

For the duration of trap music’s prominence as an EDM sub-genre, Henry Steinway has been a key figure, thanks to his unparalleled ability to weave simplistic, but devilishly effective pieces as RL Grime. Yet, some of the most evocative tracks of his career have resided in a more melodic realm. Such is the case with NOVA. In his sophomore album, Steinway looked beyond the dark melodies, aggressive, layered bass lines, and fast paced ascents characteristic of trap, to tinge traditional trap aesthetic with pop and hip-hop tints. His embedding of pop and hip-hop stylistics within the trap oriented inclusions of NOVA helped to further the appeal of thoughtful, trap-infused productions, marketing trap to listeners who might very well have written the sub-genre off as one simply “not for them.” For those who like pop, there was the digestible, vocal-centric single, “I Wanna Know” with Daya, which stood alongside hip-hop features such as the Ty Dolla $ign assisted “Take It Away” and the Chief Keef joint, “OMG.” Boasting a laundry list of highly demanded collaborators and the production deftness to warrant them, RL Grime’s sophomore showing effectively merged musical worlds, while expanding conceptions of what trap music might sound like, and to whom it might appeal.

Words by Rachel Narozniak

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Jon Hopkins Singularity Artwork
4. Jon Hopkins, Singularity

Throughout dance music culture, accolades such as “seasoned” or “veteran” are often thrown around all too liberally. After all, when the pace of an industry moves a mile a minute, a producer with two years’ professional experience can arguably be considered a “long-time luminary.”
That said, when an artist truly is a master of the craft, the results speak for themselves. Jon Hopkins stood out in 2018 as a truly veteran artist, with the release of his fifth studio album (and first in five years), Singularity. From energetic, mesmerizingly erratic pieces such as “Neon Pattern Drum” and “Everything Connected,” to more subdued, mystifying pieces “C O S M” and “Recovery,” everything on Singularity is indeed connected via the English artist’s unparalleled aptitude for creating mellifluous, lo-fi opuses.

Words by Will McCarthy

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Dillon Francis WUT WUT Album Art
3. Dillon Francis, WUT WUT

Dillon Francis’ WUT WUT feels like the culmination of his entire career thus far. A call-back to his first big hit, “Que Que” alongside Diplo in 2011, WUT WUT is a full circle return to Francis’ moombahton roots which perfectly describes where Francis has been, and, ultimately, shows off where he’s going. The record also feels like a rite of passage of sorts for Francis, who moved from merely being a superstar DJ to a taste-making A&R that has helped boost lesser known Latin artists into the spotlight in 2018 — a year in which Latin music experienced a head-on collision with mainstream pop.

WUT WUT has earned Francis a well-deserved Latin Grammy nomination, and while Francis’ moombahton revival project didn’t bring home the hardware this year, it not only kept artistically true to Dave Nada’s beloved blend of genres, it helped progress his flagship style and introduce it to a much wider audience in 2018.

Words by David Klemow

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Medasin Irene Artwork
2. Medasin, Irene

Medasin’s Irene takes all the right risks. The glistening offspring of the producer’s climb out of a deep, former addiction, the eponymous album was inspired by Medasin’s outpatient counselor, the real-life Irene. Sounding at times like underwater elevator music from a far away realm (“Ramen” or “Slinky Man”), and others radiating smooth, saccharine R&B (“Tired”), the project seamlessly reconciles its differences floating through its duration with effortless cohesion. Irene oozes Medasin’s invariable experimentalism, with minimal vocal interruption—though the two vocal features do add an accessible flavor to the otherworldly recipe—letting his playful, quixotic production do the talking.

While Medasin’s blissed-out, slow-motion rendition of Portugal. The Man’s “Feel It Still” won his fellow artist’s respect (garnering him official remix opportunities from the likes of Martin Garrix, Khalid, and more) Irene spoke to listeners, ravaging Reddit threads and streaming services alike months after its release.

Words by Bella Bagshaw

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Zhu Ringos Desert Release Date
1. ZHU, Ringo’s Desert

ZHU has certainly come a long way since “Faded.” The producer’s sophomore album, Ringo’s Desert arrived as a sensuous, cross-genre scorcher that showed off ZHU’s signature, haunting vocals, while all the time seeking to evoke the landscape of the desert. The album’s environmental influence taken into account, and considered alongside the album’s overarching lyrical narrative of love that leaves one bereft, left to wander in search of the kind of solitude that satiates, much like the drink of water dreamt of by the eponymous desert nomad, Ringo’s Desert easily constituted one of the year’s finest, most meticulously woven concept albums. With its breadth of musical emotionality and mainstream appeal via collaborations with heavyweights such as Tame Impala, it stands out from the crowd in an inimitable fashion.

Words by Rachel Narozniak

Dancing Astronaut’s Top 10 Albums of 2018Steve Angello Human Artwork

Honorable Mention: Steve Angello, Human

Steve Angello’s Human is a symphony of self-exploration. While the Swedish icon has proven himself a master craftsman of the album in the past, his newest album saw him pivot from the avant-garde take on dance pop crossover on his preceding record, Wild Youth, over to a personal journey fueled by electronica and rock inspirations. The 21-track Human is a tale of creating art out of therapy, as Angello explored his own relationship with spirituality and religion. The product is beautiful, moving and memorable — certainly something to be proud of as the remainder of 2018 shifted from a focus on Steve Angello to the triumphant return of his beginnings with Swedish House Mafia and their reunion in the next year.

Words by Steph Evans

Medasin’s debut album is innovative, warm, and pleasing to the ear

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Medasin’s debut album is innovative, warm, and pleasing to the earMedasin Press Irene E1533913276981

Grant Nelson, aka Medasin, is changing the scope of electronic music. After a flavorful edit of Portugal The Man‘s 2017 hit “Feel It Still,” Nelson was in high demand, earning official remix opportunities for Khalid, Post Malone, Martin Garrix, and more. In early 2018, he sold out eight of 10 shows on his first official headline tour, garnering enough positive traction to further develop his craft. Now, Nelson’s finally chosen to deliver Medasin’s most innovative work yet, gifting the world with his official debut album: Irene.

Back in January, Nelson released a full EP mix entitled “IRENE,” which, in his own words, were “16 original songs I’ve worked on over the past two years.” It was sort of a “pre-EP EP,” giving fans a little taste of what he had in store. However, listeners can expect some completely new content from the Dallas-based producer, as these nine tracks appear to be from an unknown arsenal. The album is versatile, in that it’s not only the perfect end-of-summer soundtrack, but also a great way to escape to some tropical paradise for a bit, collectively fusing Caribbean-influenced sounds with warm, electro goodness.

Steel drums are mixed with jazz-inspired tempos on “Ramen,” the album’s second track, setting the tone for a genre-blending journey. Jazz rhythms are also applied on “Slinky Man,” which utilizes light percussion and electronics, serving as a base for intriguing vocal samples. Other highlights include a smooth R&B track, “Tired,” featuring Sophie Meiers, and “Work For You” featuring Kaz Moon, which goes a bit harder with short staccato’d synths on the drop. On “Home,” listeners will recognize beloved synth melodies that can be traced back to hit remixes such as “Feel It Still.”

To complement his debut album, Medasin will head on phase two of his North American “Irene” tour, making his first stop in Canada on Sept. 27. Tour dates and tickets can be found here.

Medasin unveils ‘IRENE’ preview mix

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IRENE

As he gears up for the release of his new EP IRENE, Dallas-based producer Medasin treated fans to a mix that previews the 16-track collection, as well as his upcoming tour of the same name.

Clocking in at just under a half hour, the mix is a rough outline of what fans should expect from IRENE. The producer described it as a “pre ep ep” on SoundCloud before he puts the final touches on the tracks’ arrangement.

With this extensive, tantalizing glimpse in hand, fans are surely to be quite anticipatory of IRENE‘s proper release.

TRACKLIST:
1. intro
2. conspiracy theory
3. melody X
4. JOBA – sad saturdays (medasin remix)
5. melody X (house edit)
6. crack rock
7. hollowed
8. medasin & sakuraburst – ID
9. microdose
10. post malone – i fall apart (medasin remix instrumental)
11. zora’s domain
12. black
13. smallroomjam
14. beach trip
15. home
16. outro