Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens get otherworldly in ‘Luminous Spaces’

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Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens get otherworldly in ‘Luminous Spaces’Jon Hopkins Sonar Bcn 2017

Esteemed English composer Jon Hopkins and vocalist/DJ Kelly Lee Owens join forces for the unexpected release of the redolent “Luminous Spaces.” The project was first intended to be a Kelly Lee Owens remix of “Luminous Beings,” a track from Hopkins’ 2018 LP Singularity, but quickly gained its own identity with a redefining topline from Owens.

“I sent her the parts, but what she sent back just felt like something totally new, and had the potential to be so much more than a remix…” Hopkins writes in a recent statement.  “…I got a beautiful sense of nostalgia and a true heart-lifting joy the first time I heard it, and it was so painless to take it from there to a finished piece.”

Together, they repurpose the 11-minute “Luminous Beings” into something soft-spoken and transcendental, with just a touch of zest from ’90s electronica. In an interview with NPR, Hopkins once described the original piece as trying to “capture a feeling similar to the sensation of struggling through bracken and brambles, getting scratched, lost and confused, then bursting suddenly into a clearing to find there is nothing but space, clear air, stars.” With “Luminous Spaces,” that vision is finally realized.

This collaboration didn’t necessarily happen by chance, as Hopkins and Owens have been sharing billings for the past few years, including a sold-out show from last month, through the Manchester Warehouse Project at Albert Hall.

“Luminous Spaces” is out now digitally and will be available on vinyl Jan. 24.

H/t: NPR

Photo Credit: Sónar

Jon Hopkins & Kelly Lee Owens – “Luminous Spaces”

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Electronic musicians Jon Hopkins and Kelly Lee Owens have teamed up for a new track called “Luminous Spaces.” The song apparently started out as an Owens remix of Hopkins’ “Luminous Beings” but evolved into its own thing with time. Hopkins’ most recent album was last year’s Singularity, which we named one of the … More »

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 115

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 115Deters Beat Lab@0.

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory is a weekly collection of songs from DA managing editor 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.

Listen in playlist format here


It’s been a few years since the world has had new Tut Tut Child material. The artist has been mainly working on a side project, Forest Knot, since mid-2018, and prior to that, there hadn’t been a Tut Tut Child release since 2017. The London-based artist has broken his silence, though, with the release of his Pantheon EP, out now on Extreme Music. Its title track is a dramatic melodic journey and is sure to thrill fans of his previous works, as well as newcomers.

Rameses B, too, has a new compilation out Nov. 1. The Liquicity Records Eden EP showcases the artist’s strong command of the liquid drum ‘n’ bass realm, and he praised the label in a tweet announcing the EP, saying “it’s only natural to have this kind of release with them, liquid, emotional and something that represents all the good times.”

For Flite‘s latest venture, he reworked Jon Hopkins‘ 2018 track, “Emerald Rush.” He’s flipped the style into something new, and it’s completely captivating. “I absolutely LOVE Jon Hopkins’ music, he is such an influence on my own tunes,” Flite said in the track’s description. “I decided I would try and rework ‘Emerald Rush’ into a drum ‘n’ bass track. So much respect for his compositions, I hope I have done him justice.” 

The drum ‘n’ bass continues with Mazare and Philip Strand’s “Battlecry,” which debuted this week via Monstercat. Strand’s powerful vocals set the scene for the epic battle that about to take place, leading the listener into a dramatic build. Mazare’s fierce production takes over at the drop, packing a hefty drum ‘n’ bass punch.

Virtual Riot can make whatever he wants forever. The multi-faceted producer excels at whatever genre he’s producing, and for his newest, he returns to glitch-hop to play… Mario? “Bossfight Afterparty” is a brilliant three-minute combination of video game blips and bloops, polished with undeniably precise production. Your move, Bowser.

Solomun sees green with remix of Jon Hopkins’ ‘Emerald Rush’

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Solomun sees green with remix of Jon Hopkins’ ‘Emerald Rush’Solomun Factory 93

2019 has been one of the hottest summers on record, but that isn’t stopping deep house titlist Solomun from cranking it just a few more notches with his festival-ready flip of Jon Hopkins’ beautifully troubled “Emerald Rush”.

Fans of Hopkins’ 2018 LP Singularity will quickly recognize “Emerald Rush” as one of the more vivid tracks from the Englishman’s Grammy-nominated album, with its mechanical yet labored rhythm that barely manages to slosh along. Here, Solomun doesn’t change much, fleshing out drum patterns and pushing the vocal harmonies forward in the mix for a housier flow, but where the remix takes over is at the break around the 2-minute mark. Arpeggiating synthwork invites clubbers to get engulfed in Solumun’s dark forest of sound, where buzzing chirps, lucid hymns, and a pulsating, yet muted beat allow listeners to get lost in the remix’s atmosphere as it subtly crescendos towards a chunky drop that bolsters the signature sound of the original.

Solomun is currently touring Europe and will be throwing down a three hour set at Romania’s UNTOLD Festival on Aug 2. He is scheduled to return to the states in early November, with dates already scheduled in Brooklyn and Detroit.

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)

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10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Coachella 2019 W1 Charles Reagan

Each year, California’s premier music festival outdoes itself by booking an eclectic array of artists from throughout the dance music realm alongside its smattering of other genres. In 2019, these acts spread — perhaps more than ever before — throughout the event’s numerous stages, lending the opportunity to experience the diverse roster within equally diverse environs. While there are, of course, a number of fantastic performances from Coachella’s first weekend that are not represented on this list, we’ve narrowed down 10 sets which particularly impressed us.

Gesaffelstein

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Gesaffelstein Coachella 2019 1
Photo via Coachella 2019, by Julian Bajsel.

Anytime a Frenchman takes the stage in a metal mask, Coachella history is soon to be made. And, amid a lineup filled with prodigal artists from the festival’s past, Gesaffelstein stood out as one of the its most formidable acts. After releasing the pop-laden album Hyperion in March, fans weren’t sure what to expect from Michel Lévy’s Indio return — would he focus on his newer, more mainstream fare, or return to his darker days of yore? Once he took the stage, donned in a shimmering, Vantablack metal suit, little question remained. For the first hour of nightfall in Coachella’s final day, Gesaffelstein melded his new releases with classic favorites and overwhelming live edits, synchronized against an ominously spectacular visual production. Indubitably, a new era lies on the horizon for the harrowing luminary, and Coachella provided the perfect backdrop for its debut.

Gesaffelstein will play the Outdoor stage from 7:40-8:40 PM on Sunday, April 21.

Jon Hopkins

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Jon Hopkins At Festival Of Disruption By Tony Tenebaum
Photo via Festival of Disruption 2018 by Toby Tenebaum.

There are few acts in electronic who better embody the descriptor of “stunning” than Jon Hopkins. The British artist’s fusion of melodic ambient with erratic techno influences would set him a cut above the rest of his class, were there anyone else in his class at all. His Coachella set, which closed the Gobi tent for the weekend, dutifully matched the quality of his catalogue. Hopkins dove into mesmerizing, cathartic live edits of Singularity, his Grammy-nominated 2018 album, accompanied by a transcendent selection of video arrangements which culminated in one of the festival’s most emotionally evocative performances.

Jon Hopkins will close out the Gobi tent from 9:40-10:40 PM on Sunday, April 21.

Aphex Twin

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Coachella Aphe Twin 2019 Tony Soave
Photo by Tony Soave.

For years, Richard James has been one of the most hoped-for additions to the Coachella lineup. Anyone with a semblance of dance music knowledge knows that his Aphex Twin project is one of the most influential pieces of electronic music history. Because James’ last appearance at the festival, in 2008, predated the “EDM boom,” his 2019 appearance marked the first time that many recent fans have been able to see him perform. Suffice it to say, he did not disappoint. Standing before a surprisingly roomy Mojave tent crowd, Aphex Twin put forth more than 90 minutes of eclectically arresting garage, techno, EBM, IDM, and downtempo music. Piercing lasers and a hysteria of often-unsettling visuals accompanied his arrhythmic score in a chaotic fashion which demonstrably proved that Richard James’ bite easily equals the bark of his hype.

Aphex Twin will close out the Mojave tent from 9:05-10:35 PM on Saturday, April 20.

Nina Kraviz

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Nina Kraviz Coachella 2019
Photo via Coachella 2019, by Julian Bajsel.

Within the techno community, Nina Kraviz’s Coachella set was likely the most polarizing of the weekend. The Russian artist and Trip label-head is known for her highly energetic DJ sets, so the confusion at her decision to break from this mold in her live show debut is understandable. Indeed, for the lion’s share of her set, Kraviz dabbled more in avant-garde performance art, interacting bizarrely with set pieces more primed for a playhouse than a nightclub. However, once the peculiar producer moved on to the techno portion in her set’s second act, the patience of those who remained was duly rewarded. Kraviz’s cerebral, thunderous dance selections were awe-inspiring to say the least. And, when paired with the unique visual components which reflected her moves onstage, her set’s climax echoed Richie Hawtin’s stunning CLOSE performance, which debuted in the same Friday closing slot at Mojave two years earlier.

Nina Kraviz will close out the Mojave tent from 10:15-11:15 PM on Friday, April 19.

Âme

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Ame Coachella 2019
Photo via Coachella 2019, by Yana Yatsuk.

Anytime Âme graces an American festival roster, they are an absolute must-see. More accurately, “he” is a must-see, as generally, Kristian Beyer performs DJ sets without his partner, Frank Wiedemann. Seeing Âme in the Yuma tent at the height of Saturday afternoon is a sensorily peculiar experience. As a benchmark of Dixon’s coveted Innervisions imprint, Beyer’s deftly crafted mixes of soulful balearic house, deep techno, and tribal club music transport the listener to after-hours parties in the White Isle or Berlin. Therefore, it’s easy to forget that the sun is shining brightly just outside the walls of Yuma’s pitch-black interior. A trip to the bathroom during Âme is a smack in the face from reality, but this just makes the imminent return to Beyer’s darkened fantasy realm all the more delectable.

Âme will play the Yuma tent from 4:30-6:00 PM on Saturday, April 20.

Deep Dish

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Patrice Baumel Yuma Coachella 2019
Photo via Coachella 2019 by Lance Gerber.

Undoubtedly, Deep Dish is the best kept secret on Coachella’s 2019 lineup. For those unaware, the duo, which disbanded in 2006, is comprised of Dubfire and Sharam. The Yuma tent provided an impeccable setting for this storied reunion, which Deep Dish more than duly reciprocated throughout their 90-minute set. Ranging from the house influences of Sharam to Dubfire’s favored brand of apoplectic techno, the duo’s reign over Yuma stood out as one of the tent’s most diverse — and best — sets of the weekend.

Deep Dish will play the Yuma tent from 6:00-7:30 PM on Saturday, April 20.

Charlotte de Witte

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Charlotte De Witte Coachella 2019
Photo via Coachella 2019, by Miranda McDonald.

Over the past two years, Charlotte de Witte has grown from a hero of techno’s underground into one of the genre’s most sought-after acts for the festival circuit, and it’s easy to see why. During her prime Sunday slot, the Belgian DJ provided one of the Yuma tent’s darkest sets of the entire weekend — no small feat, considering her competition from ominous legends sharing the roster, such as Nicole Moudaber and Cirez D. From the moment she took the stage, de Witte plunged her audience into a uniquely aggressive realm, ensuring that all in attendance would be reinvigorated for the festivals final sets thereafter.

Charlotte de Witte will play the Yuma tent from 7:00-8:30 PM on Sunday, April 21.

Cirez D

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Coachella 2019 Yuma Tent Charles Reagan
Photo via Coachella 2019 by Charles Reagan.

In 2019, Coachella poured more resources into their preeminent onsite nightclub than ever before. The intricate lighting arrangements throughout the stage and ceiling of the Yuma tent exceptionally accentuated the deftly-curated soundsystem for each act on the weekend’s stellar lineup. With this pristine setup, Goldenvoice would be hard-pressed to find a better weekend closer than Eric Prydz. Impressively, albeit unsurprisingly, the Swedish icon artfully claimed the stage as his own during his sinister, 2-hour set as Cirez D. Prydz’s team masterfully executed the lighting system of the Yuma to its fullest potential, creating a monolithic experience which mirrored the environs of the artist’s former residency at Hï Ibiza. Though the bass often obscured the top-lines of Cirez D’s fast-paced, techno-heavy set, the aggressively sleek selections culminated in a larger than life experience, providing Yuma — indeed, all of Coachella — with the conclusion it deserved.

Cirez D will close out the Yuma tent at 10:00 PM on Sunday, April 21.

Four Tet

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Four Tet Debi Del Grande 1
Photo by Debi del Grande.

In the realm of live electronic music, an intricate visual production can be as defining (or more) an element of an artist’s set as the music itself. An artist’s decision to eschew any video or lighting component whatsoever is, therefore, quite the statement. As the sun set on Coachella’s second day, Four Tet shrugged off the visual effects at his disposal, opting to perform his entire slot in front of the Mojave tent’s black screens. With no other stimuli competing for attention, Four Tet’s eclectic selection of experimental house and garage-infused tech took center stage, leaving a masterful impact on all in attendance.

Four Tet will play the Mojave tent from 7:35-8:35 PM on Saturday, April 20.

Bassnectar

10 Stunning Electronic Sets from Coachella 2019 (Week 1)Bassnectar Coachella 2019 Family Photo
Photo via Bassnectar.

Chances are, those who catch Bassnectar’s closing Saturday night set at the Outdoor stage at this year’s Coachella won’t be seeing him for the first time. Over the last two decades, Lorin Ashton has cultivated one of dance music’s most dedicated fanbases. And, thanks to his high-octane brand of amorphous bass music and vibrantly chaotic visual productions, bass heads will attend as many of his shows as they feasibly can. However, Bassnectar’s set during the first week proved to be a unique experience in its own way.

2019 marks Ashton’s first Coachella appearance since he performed the Sahara tent six years ago, and the rare opportunity to witness the iconic artist from a spacious, open-air crowd is certainly one to be relished. During the first week, Bassnectar’s setlist echoed performances from one of his most beloved eras, the early 2010s. Perhaps due to his relatively brief time-slot, Ashton spent little time exploring his softer, more melodic influences. Instead, he opted to put forth formidable classics from his own catalogue alongside cuts from the likes of Gesaffelstein and a visually stunning, at times political, light show.

Bassnectar will close out the Outdoor stage at 12:05 AM on Saturday, April 20 (technically Sunday).

Featured image via Coachella 2019 by Charles Reagan.

Stormzy, Miley Cyrus, The Chemical Brothers, and Tame Impala top Glastonbury’s 2019 lineup

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Stormzy, Miley Cyrus, The Chemical Brothers, and Tame Impala top Glastonbury’s 2019 lineupMiley Cyrus

Glastonbury has dropped their highly anticipated 2019 lineup in full after months of tantalizing individual announcements. The first headliner announced for this year, revealed back in November 2018, Stormzy, will make history this summer as the first UK rapper to ever headline the festival. Now, the grime emcee is joined by The Killers, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Tame Impala, and Miley Cyrus atop the legendary British festival’s 2019 lineup.

Glastonbury, running June 26 – 30, has curated a stellar lineup for this year’s iteration of the festival, including performances by The Chemical Brothers, Wu-Tang Clan, Vampire Weekend, and Janelle Monaé. Budding internet-born superstar Billie Eilish, Rosalía, Diplo, Years & Years, Jon Hopkins, Hot Chip, and Damon Albarn‘s The Good, The Bad, & The Queen, among many others will also make their way to Worthy Farm this summer.

See the full lineup below.

Aphex Twin and Massive Attack set to headline Mexico City’s Ceremonia Festival

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Aphex Twin and Massive Attack set to headline Mexico City’s Ceremonia FestivalAphe Twin Collapse Ep

A city with a vibrant music scene and appreciation of electronic music, Mexico City has become a hotspot for touring electronic artists in recent years. Returning for the 2019 iteration of the event, Mexico City’s Ceremonia Festival has announced an exceptional lineup including performances from Massive Attack, Aphex Twin, and more.

In addition to the exciting headliners, Ceremonia has brought an eclectic array of electronic and indie talent to their esteemed festival. Jon Hopkins, Kaytranada, DJ Koze, and Modeselektor will provide a day full of grooves, as rebellious Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot and the unbelievably funky Khruangbin will hold down the fort with live band performances. With acts crossover acts like Yaeji, Rosalía, Ambar Lucid, and serpentwithfeet rounding out the lineup, Ceremonia is bringing a variety of must-see talent to Mexico City this April.

Aphex Twin and Massive Attack set to headline Mexico City’s Ceremonia FestivalCeremonia Fest 2019 Lineup

H/T: Consequence of Sound

15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019

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15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019Coachella Undercard Image Final

The release of Coachella‘s lineup is a highly anticipated event every year, with fans attentively looking out for their favorite acts and fresh new talent amid the festival’s legendary annual billing. Aside from the drama surrounding Kanye West‘s departure from his headlining slot, the festival released their full lineup to considerable fanfare this year. Presenting one of the most diverse and electronic-heavy lineups in recent memory, Coachella has drawn both praise and criticism for their underground selections and electronic skew.

With such a deep pool of electronic acts, this list is a guide to the most crucial sets from the bottom portion of the Coachella lineup. From the debut of techno newcomers to emerging producers and vocalists, Dancing Astronaut has selected the fifteen undercard acts that you can’t miss at Coachella this year.

Rachel Narozniak, Christina Hernandez, and Alex Krinsky also contributed to this article.


Four Tet

Known for his truly inspiring live sets, Four Tet consistently amazes crowds with thoughtfully curated shows in intimate venues, while also adapting his invigorating performance for larger festival audiences. Striking a balance between analog and digital, between funky and rigid, crisp and distorted, Four Tet displays his mastery of sound and space with every set he plays. The highest billed artist on this list, this show will please everyone from casual house and techno fans to audio aficionados, without sacrificing creative ambitions and impulses.

15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019Tet Live 2019

Rosalía

Singer, songwriter, and producer Rosalía released her sophomore album, El Mal Querer, at the tail end of 2018. Following up her mostly flamenco-leaning debut, Rosalía embraces textured electronic production behind her vocals, drawing comparisons to James Blake, Sampha, Blue Hawaii, and more. With her powerful voice, intensely executed choreography, and top notch production, Rosalía is a star on the rise, taking on what may be the largest performance of her career this April. 

SOPHIE

Few know their way around sound design like SOPHIE — a true master of eclectic electronica. Her groundbreaking album, Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides was a breathtaking evolution of her signature experimental sound, taking listeners on a wild ride across its nine tracks and eventually leading to her making Grammy history as the first transgender woman to be nominated for the honor. It was a true culmination of years spent exploring different soundscapes, and shows off a mature artist primed to continue leading the charge in her creative realm. Catch her on Friday for what’s set to be a hauntingly brilliant live performance.15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019SOPHIE

Jon Hopkins

While Grammy-nominated artist Jon Hopkins needs no introduction, the depth of talent on Coachella’s lineup makes it easy to miss even the most impressive of names. Infusing his live sets with synths and a variety of gear, Hopkins’ house and techno is filled with textures and subtleties that have gained global recognition. With an international superstar bringing an acclaimed live set to one of the largest stages in music, this set is guaranteed to bring entrancing vibes to the Polo Grounds.

Tara Brooks

With a career of performances spanning from Burning Man to Berlin, Tara Brooks is a perfect example of Coachella’s expanding body of house and techno artists. A Desert Hearts veteran with co-signs from Joseph Capriati, Sasha, and John Digweed, Brooks puts forth some of the best that deep and progressive house out there to date. Though an L.A. native, she will bring the experience of the world’s most coveted nightlife and festival scenes to Coachella this April.

Idris Elba

It’s a surefire fact that when people saw Idris Elba’s name on Coachella’s lineup most of them went straight for Google. Many articles were written up on the fact that the man who portrayed Stringer Bell, Luther, and Nelson Mandela was going to be spinning beats at California’s biggest festival. CNN actually put out the headline “Yes, Idris Elba is playing Coachella” no doubt to many clicks. The fact of the matter is DJ Big Driis has been spinning for a minute — since he was 14, actually. He told Dancing Astronaut not only about his strife balancing his image as an actor and sexiest man alive with his passion for dance music back in 2017. Though it may be unbeknownst to many, Elba has collaborated with Fatboy Slim, was remixed by Pete Tong, and remixed Skepta. Far from his first major appearance, the 007 prospect made his mark in Ibiza, Atlanta, played Glastonbury festival, and has his sets on YouTube. He’s got that English charm, major relevance across multiple fields, and the skills to back it all up. Besides, it’s Idris Elba — you don’t need us to tell you to go see him.

15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019Idris Elba Djing

Nora En Pure

Deep house and indie dance aesthetics intermingle with polished precision when Nora En Pure takes the decks. A melodic songstress, the South African phenom smoothly crafts live sensory experiences that invite attendees to delve into deeper house territory alongside the renowned producer. Nora En Pure’s catalog conveys her seemingly magnetic gravitation downwards to the lower boundaries of house music. It is with unparalleled finesse that the Don’t Look Back producer lifts her listeners from these deeper house stylings, to provide contrast in the form of airy, mellow sonic constructs that showcase Nora En Pure’s versatility, and the effortlessness with which she seamlessly bridges the ‘dark’ and ‘light’ tonalities of her music. Dulcet and fluid in the way that it unfurls, a Nora En Pure set is a Coachella must see.

Ross From Friends

Back in the 80’s Felix Clary Weatherall, better known as Ross From Friends, had a mobile sound system created by his dad, stationed in a van that bumped beats and toured around Europe, bringing a shared experience to music lovers wherever it wound up. Since his childhood, Ross From Friends wanted to create and connect like his father, through the use of music. However, one can follow in their father’s footsteps for only so long, eventually Ross From Friends carved his own path — one that led to a stage at Empire Polo Club. Only a few years ago Brainfeeder’s head honcho Flying Lotus casually recruited Ross From Friends and gave him the freedom to create with the advice, “make the album you want to make.”

In April of 2018, Ross From Friends released his Aphelion EP, displaying his sonic mobility while defining and fine-tuning his sound. Just four months later he put out his debut album on Brainfeeder, Family Portrait.

The Guardian deemed him “one to watch,” his sound has been compared to Jamie XX, Boards of Canada, and Four Tet. Fly-Lo gave him absolute freedom to astounding results, and that guy just knows. Whether the pull is musical curiosity or the desire to see an artist that is in the process of blooming, Ross From Friends’ performance at Coachella should not be missed.

15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019Rossfromfriendsportrait

Burna Boy

In 2018, Burna Boy went from local Nigerian treasure to a global phenomenon. Dropping his major label debut, Outside, on Atlantic Records and nabbing a feature on Major Lazer‘s “All My Life,” Burna Boy has been exposed to a whole host of new audiences. The energetic 27-year-old rhymer is making sure his presence at Coachella is known, already taking to his Instagram to demand that his name be printed larger because he is an “AFRICAN KING.” Eccentric and talented, Burna Boy is slated to bring down the Polo Grounds with his distinctive Afrobeat style.

Polo & Pan

French indie-electronic duo Polo & Pan spent much of 2018 on the road, with two US tours and gigs around Europe and the Middle East allowing them to fine tune their live show. Coming hot off the deluxe re-release of their debut album, Caravelle, the pair now have a deep body of work to play out to the masses in Indio. With a fleshed out stage set-up coming in 2019, Coachella may be Polo & Pan’s biggest and most impressive show yet.

CloZee

The French up-and-comer has breathed fresh life into bass music. Her avant-garde sound draws from a multitude of influences and her own classical training, making for captivating original productions and even more infectious live sets. CloZee’s growth has been particularly impressive as of late, where she released her long-awaited debut LP, Evasion, in 2018 and quickly earned slots at a variety of high profile festivals including Bonnaroo, Lightning In A Bottle, and even Coachella. We suspect her return to the Southern California institution will be pumped full of brand new music, and special edits of deeper cuts in her discography.

15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019DA WM 22

Stephan Bodzin

For house and techno lovers, Europe’s diverse club and festival circuit can leave American fans yearning for talent that often stays on the other side of the Atlantic. A prime example of this is esteemed German DJ Stephan Bodzin – though he tours relentlessly in Europe, playing his gripping techno tunes to engrossed crowds, a US appearance from Bodzin is a rare treat. With pounding bass, a melodic skew, and enough gear to fill an entire studio, Bodzin is set to tear down Indio with his old school style and boisterous swagger for one of his few US shows of 2019.

Rico Nasty

Since coming onto the scene in 2016, Rico Nasty has blossomed into one of the more colorful and abrasive characters in D.C.’s ever-growing hip-hop scene. Ranging from hard trap music to a punk take on rap, the 21-year-old and her rowdy personality are only boosted with production from Kenny Beats, one of hip-hop’s most in-demand producers of the moment, formerly of LOUDPVCK. With high energy music and a lively stage presence, Rico Nasty’s Coachella performance is a great opportunity to catch some of hip-hop’s finest rising talent.

Kölsch

Denmark-based DJ and producer Kölsch has built a path for himself by adding a melodic twist on four-to-the-floor techno production. Having graced the main stages of much of Europe’s techno festival scene and played a DJ set atop the Eiffel Tower, Kölsch has a deep catalog of work, most recently including his 2018 joint EP with Tiga. Bringing his anthemic sound to Indio, the Danish DJ’s set is sure to be one of many stellar techno performances headed to Indio this spring.

15 acts that define Coachella’s undercard in 2019Kolsch Dj Set Eiffel Tower Cr Adrien Combes 2017 Billboard Fea 1500

Superorganism

Bridging the gap between electronic and indie music, Superorganism defy genre in a completely unique way. Using a mix of harmonic vocals, distinctive sampling techniques, and electronic instrumentation, the band is sure to make an impression on any audience. Whether it’s jamming out on a funky synth or blowing bubbles through a straw, every track will be packed to the brim with intriguing textures. Check out their Tiny Desk Concert to get a taste of the creativity to come at the band’s Coachella debut.

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

The 10 Best Electronic Albums Of 2018

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The-Best-Electronic-Albums-Of-2018Over the summer, I found myself at Hammerstein Ballroom surrounded by more than 2,000 ecstatic Vocaloid fans, each equipped with a color-changing wand (something between a lightsaber and those conical lights that ground control uses to direct runway traffic at airports). Without much warning, the crowd would sync up their movements in spontaneous choreography along … More »