NMF Roundup: ZHU and partywithray join forces, Ekali and Kiiara deliver ‘Back To You’ + more

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NMF Roundup: ZHU and partywithray join forces, Ekali and Kiiara deliver ‘Back To You’ + moreEkali Crystal Eyes 1

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

ZHU and partywithray craft a sinister masterpiece on their new collaboration, “Came For The Low,” and Ekali and Kiiara are a dynamic duo when they come together for “Back To You.” Gareth Emery continues to bless the music world with his masterpieces with the installment of “Laserface 03 (Leaving You).” Nora En Pure has revealed her new EP, Homebound, and EDEN releases “projector.” The Knocks team up with Great Good Fine Ok for “Lucky Me,” and Audien brings some drum ‘n’ bass heat with “Reach.” Gryffin soars in his debut LP, Gravity, and Kaskade and Mr. Tape flex on “Come On.” Notaker crafts an otherworldly sonic journey on “From Dust & Ashes,” and Galantis unexpectedly team up with Dolly Parton and Mr. Probz on “Faith.” Moon Boots and Black Gatsby unwind for the weekend on “Whisper In The Wind.” Showtek and Gammer tell us how they really feel on their new collaboration, “EDM Sucks,” and Ryan Browne gives BIJOU and Tyler Graves’ “Crown” a rougher edge. Wilkinson shines on his new single, “Machina,” and Gramatik reveals Re:Coil, Pt. II, featuring tracks like “Don’t Give Up” with Ryan Shaw and ProbCause.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Bryan Van Wyk

Moon Boots hones in on artistic journey alongside second album, ‘Bimini Road’ [Interview]

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Moon Boots hones in on artistic journey alongside second album, ‘Bimini Road’ [Interview]Moon Boots 2019 Press Khitam Jabr

Artists are inherently prone to longwinded creative lulls. But it’s nearly impossible to pinpoint an extended drought from the Moon Boots camp in recent memory. Moon Boots’s latest long-form showing, his Bimini Road LP, released with his habitual label housing, Anjunadeep, accents the producer’s amorphous influence palette—ultimately giving way to his chromatic stylistic color wheel.

Having enjoyed a comfortable tread in his underground origins, Pete Dougherty (Moon Boots), knows as well as anyone that musical prowess doesn’t arise overnight, but rather progresses gradually through methodical craft mastery and unique amalgamation of influences. Building from his longtime love affair with pianos, Dougherty dabbled as the keyboardist of indie band, Hey Champ, before eventually finding his solo foothold in Chicago’s house scene. In 2011, he secured his first label release, “Gopher It,” consequently signing on with the then-coveted French Express; thereby catching the attention of his current label home, Anjunadeep. It was with the auspicious Anjunabeats subsidiary platform where he delivered his 2017 debut album, First Landing, to widespread acclaim.

While First Landing may have cemented the atmospheric groove that serves as the signature Moon Boots stamp in most listeners’ minds, the construction of those sonic qualities constitutes a much grander journey. Dougherty’s learned genre-blurring productions derives from his history of floating between complementary genres of disco, R&B, soul—all of which have served as essentials to honing in his own highly stylized strain of house.

His earlier releases see him rely heavily on disco rhythms and hearty R&B-inspired vocals, as seen in 2012 single “Aretha” to 2014 French Express nu-disco number, “C.Y.S.,” Dougherty’s groundwork in the funky house space never stifled him from flirting with pop-leaning tracks. Within his pop experimentation, Dougherty drew nuance from ’90s-esque Little Boots’ “Headphones” remix to the softer-toned “Don’t Ask Why,” which preeminently foreshadowed his venture into lighter, euphoric territory on First Landing.

As a body of work that rocketed the name Moon Boots onto the radar of dance surveyors far and wide, First Landing marked a watershed touch-down in Dougherty’s career. Now, Dougherty returns to his soulful roots with the delivery of his second studio album, Bimini Road, and accompanying testimony to the reward of deliberate patience. Fine-tuning his expansive repertoire with his cornerstone, full-bodied experimentation and equipping the endeavor with scintillating live show plans, Moon Boots is fully prepped for take off.

Moon Boots spoke to Dancing Astronaut about the inner-workings of Bimini Road, his modern influences, vision for the live tour, and more.

Congratulations on releasing Bimini Road. What are your thoughts so far on how it’s being received? 
I’m really happy with it. One of the things that’s really been the most rewarding to me has been seeing how people are latching onto different songs. One of the hardest things when you’re making an album is thinking like, ‘Oh God, what are the singles going to be?’ And for this album in particular, it was just, ‘I don’t know. I love them all.’ So it’s been nice to see, cause there’s quite a bit very different sounding tracks. Some people love, “Trance & Dental” and some people love “Gary’s House,” but I’ve just gotten nice messages on really every song on there. So people are listening through the whole thing.

You released an EP earlier this year, Keramas/Harpanet. You went into some darker territory there. What do you think ultimately led you to work on a project that was more stylistically similar to your First Landing

[First Landing] was my first experience making an album and I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, everything before that had really been singles. I hadn’t even really done EPs before this one, just really one track at a time stuff. I just found the format really rewarding and I have a great partner in Anjunadeep. They were like, ‘We love this. Let’s do another.’ And I said, sure. 

The visual assets for Bimini Road are incredible-looking. How did that all come together?

I put a lot of confidence in the artist. He’s actually done both albums now. His name is Markus Baga. He did such a great job on the last album. I sent him a PDF that I put together of different things about Bimini and Atlantis and colors that I like, whether it’s a painting or an ad I saw on the subway and try to distill that into basically a mood board, but a little more than like, images on Pinterest. Also just putting faith in him to execute. And then, we took our favorites and sort of molded them together to get the beautiful art that again, I don’t want to take too much credit for. 

I feel like obviously the vinyl has to get some recognition here on how well-done that looks too. 

Yeah, it’s great. Really beautiful. And Anjuna—they suggested the crystal clear vinyl and I was like, ‘Oh my God. I’m not so sure,’ but then when I got it I was like, ‘Oh, this is amazing. I love it.’ And it sounds great. There’s no compromise in the sound at all. It’s really well designed and heavyweight, looks and feels great. 

That’s awesome. I want to talk about the tracks. I feel like each one has some sort of backstory to how it all came together. Could you tell me about one track that you’re especially happy about with the finished product on? 

Well, I’m happy with the finished product on all of them. There’s one story I haven’t really had a chance to tell too much yet. That’s for “Gary’s House”, which is featuring Gary Saxby of the Harlem Gospel Choir. He’s been singing with the gospel choir for 20 or 25 years, something like that. He actually hit me up on Instagram last summer towards the end of the summer and said, ‘Hey, I really like your music.’ I can’t remember what he wrote exactly, but, he wrote that he loved the song “C.Y.S.” I looked at his profile and saw some videos of him singing, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is amazing…I got to come check you out. Could you put me and my then-fiancee on the guest list to come see you?’

And so we went and we saw them perform, it was amazing. Then, I had him come into the studio and just show him some soulful ’90s house things. I thought maybe it’d be up his alley and we just started writing. And it’s a very lyrically, simple song with a great message. He came to this part in the middle section, which he calls squalling—that’s the technical term for that style of gospel singing. It’s like Teddy Pendergrass, that what it reminds me of. I just remember the walls in my studio were shaking from how powerful his voice was. That was one of the most special collaborations on the album and a story that I’d like to get out there. 

That’s awesome that you connected because he reached out to you. On Bimini Road, you brought back a lot of like previous collaborators, but with the new features, how do you find yourself discovering these artists or connecting with them on writing these songs? 

Well with Nic [Hanson], Black Gatsby, and KONA, we’ve worked together before all those and they also sing in the live band. So we spend a lot of time on the road together and I just really loved them all. It was only natural, to work with them again. Nic, I originally met through my old studio. My studio neighbor was telling me about Nic when Nic was like a junior or senior at NYU. I felt like I couldn’t believe his voice.

Kaleena and Little Boots. I’d never met Kaleena before. I’ve known and I’ve been friends with Victoria [Little Boots] for a long time. I actually did a remix of hers; it was one of my first remixes, a track called “Headphones”. That was in like 2011 or 2012 and it’s very bright sounding. It was like on The Magician’s Magic Tape and it’s a really happy remix. With Kaleena and Little Boots, we worked together at this Mixmag studio retreat last October in upstate New York. And so that’s where both of those songs started.

Listeners and fans—they really love that you’re refreshing the dance scene right now with your disco-infused style. Who would you say you draw inspiration from in the modern day?

Eli Escobar is wonderful, especially when you’re talking about the disco soul sound. He really hits it out of the park. There’s a lot of great, without getting too into the weeds, but like a lot of great vinyl-only edit people. And so I do like to listen to a lot of edits, but generally it is re-edits of classic stuff. But for instance, Kon, the way he strips tracks down and happens to have all these multitracks, it’s pretty amazing.

On the more kind of house and club end of things, I really like and I’ve had for a while big admiration for what KiNK does. I mean, he’s just a really talented guy. Cinthie’s another artist right now who is making amazing stuff. In the more progressive world, I love what ARTBAT is doing. And Four Tet, I mean just for the range of his work, how he has his instantly identifiable sound but can play all these different styles and kind of make them his own. So he’s another artist I definitely admire a lot.

So are there things that specifically inspire you outside of music? 

There’s all these kinds of subconscious or subliminal things that have come to the surface when you’re working on music. And, I think everyone should just try to be like a well-rounded person, you know, enjoy good movies and good art and good literature, good Scifi, whatever it is. That all kind of works its way in there. But for me, I’d say I in earnest started the record after I proposed to my fiancee, now wife. And so I think that was on my mind quite a lot as I was finishing it. Just getting ready to this, next step in life and living our lives together and wanting to put something positive and, and full of love out into the world.  

So I mean, you did [the live show] last year. What motivated you to bring it back once again and can we expect any changes to the live setup for this coming tour? 

This setup is going to be fundamentally, visually the same. Last year was almost kind of like a test run that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be ready for. And then it was like booked and it was like, ‘Oh my God, okay. Trial by fire. Here we go.’ Now of course, I mean I did know enough in advance that I spent like several months really just working on it. But, I think the goal was always to start doing full tours… we only did seven shows last year and at the end of it, it just, it went so well and everyone’s just loving each other and getting along and we’re like, Oh God, I can’t believe we have to stop now. Because the people that I perform with, they’ve spent a lot more time than I have in a tour bus and and they’re just ready for it. And so now that we’re getting ready to do like a proper tour, I think it’s really coming together and we’re adding a lot of songs from the new album. Almost all of them. I’ve added more keyboards and have gotten better at ’em.

I would say I’m not just trying to recreate the songs, but really add something new and I guess bring the most out of everyone on stage and give some variety.

*This transcript has been edited slightly for clarity and readability

Moon Boots delivers tantalizing sophomore album, ‘Bimini Road’

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Moon Boots delivers tantalizing sophomore album, ‘Bimini Road’Moon Boots Press Photo Khitam Jabr 1

Groove has officially returned to town with the arrival of Moon Boots‘ sophomore studio album Bimini Road. Reconfiguring his soulful house blend for a newly inspired concept, the household Anjunadeep artist has stepped up his genre-fusing versatility for a refreshing dance floor statement composed of R&B hints, disco influences, and house foundations.

Drawing thematic lines from the ruins of Atlantis in Bimini at the Bahamas, the First Landing follow-up enlists the support of previous vocal collaborators Black Gatsby, Nic Hanson, and KONA, and dazzles with new features from Little Boots, Niia, Kaleena Zanders, and Gary Saxby of the Harlem Gospel Choir.

Bimini Road is about discovering something new, and escaping from the everyday,” the artist said in a press release. “It’s a journey without a fixed destination, a road that could lead to a mythical paradise that’s ancient and yet futuristic. Or it might not! But that mystery is worth exploring. I experimented with lots of new styles and sounds but kept it grounded in what I do best. It’s an album with lots of dancefloor moments and a lot of heart.”

Photo credit: Press Photo/Khitam Jabr

NMF Roundup: ZHU and The Bloody Beetroots link for ‘Zoning,’ RÜFÜS DU SOL release new set of ‘Solace’ remixes + more

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NMF Roundup: ZHU and The Bloody Beetroots link for ‘Zoning,’ RÜFÜS DU SOL release new set of ‘Solace’ remixes + moreRUFUS PressShot LeFawnhawk 1

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

In perhaps one of the biggest collaborations to hit the airwaves on Sept. 6, The Bloody Beetroots and ZHU have teamed up for “Zoning.” RÜFÜS DU SOL have dropped off a new set of remixes for Solace, including an irresistibly groovy one by Hot Since 82. Grimes and i_o unexpectedly deliver “Violence,” and M83 returns with the dreamy “Temple of Sorrow.” Audien and Nevve bring blissful energy to “Buzzing,” and Cashmere Cat reveals “FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.” Arty is on a journey to “Find You” in his latest, and Walker & Royce team up with VNSSA for “Rave Grave.” KOAN Sound’s new EP lands pm Sept. 6, featuring sounds like “Vibrant,” and Claude VonStroke unleashes a new original, “Slink.” Sullivan King has released a two-track EP, and Armin van Buuren and David Hodges link for “Waking Up With You.” Fox Stevenson finally uncovers “Dreamland,” and 3LAU remixes San Holo’s “Lost Lately.”

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: LeFawnhawk

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 106

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 106Deters 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


A new set of remixes of The Midnight draws near. The Midnight Remixed 02 arrives on Silk Music on Sept. 27, previewed by this exceptional rework of “Shadows” by Uppermost. The French producer bathes the duo’s original in light, bringing it out of the, erm, shadows, to give it a blissful new tone.

Grum‘s latest Anjunabeats venture is a rework of Luminary‘s “Amsterdam.” The four-minute introspective piece is saturated with emotive trance goodness, composed of dreamlike synths, accented melodies, and drifting vocals. It’s dramatic and infectious.

We’re just a week shy of Moon Boots‘ new album, Bimini Road, and the producer continues to drop hints of what fans can expect from his second studio album. Moon Boots taps vocalist Nic Hanson for “Clear,” crafting a clean-cut, soulful atmosphere, with a dance floor-ready beat.

Dabin and Essenger‘s original “Home” tugged at listeners’ heartstrings all around the world upon its initial release. Now, with Dabin’s Wild Youth (The Remixes) compilation making its debut, fans can experience songs like “Home” in a new light, thanks to talented producers like Mazare, who adds a whole new layer to the emotive core of the tune.

On Aug. 30, Danny Howard relaunched his Nothing Else Matters imprint and celebrated with the release of a new song: “If You Were” with Eli & Fur. This six-minute house heater is the perfect combination of sultry vocals and irresistible beats.

Moon Boots laces up for new album and tour with latest single, ‘Clear’

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Moon Boots laces up for new album and tour with latest single, ‘Clear’W UNP.5.17.MB 012

A sonic identity is one of the most important things for a young producer to develop, and even in today’s musical landscape can be difficult to come across. Is an artist’s new track identifiable as theirs without reading the track list? That is sonic identity.

While some artists spend years trying to find their musical persona somewhere between what’s trendy and what they enjoy, Pete Dougherty aka Moon Boots has got it all figured out. His newest single is a “Clear” departure from the funked-out dance floor-filling sounds of “Juanita” that garnered the Anjunabeats laureate industry-wide attention earlier this summer. R&B-inspired vocals from Moon Boots familiar Nic Hanson serve as the perfect complement to the soft, Julio Bashmore-reminiscent synth work from the Brooklyn native. As different as the direction may be, however, the destination remains the same: Moon Boots’ realm of effortless harmonies and nonchalant grooves.

Moon Boots’ second full-length album, Bimini Road, hits the streets on Sept. 6 and can be heard live just weeks later on the Bimini Road Live Tour. Learn more and get tickets here.

Lunar Lunes: Dr. Fresch remixes The Bloody Beetroots, Fox Stevenson reveals ‘Cavalier’ + more

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Lunar Lunes: Dr. Fresch remixes The Bloody Beetroots, Fox Stevenson reveals ‘Cavalier’ + more5E3A9046 Edit Edit 2 1

Each week, New Music Friday sweeps through with torrential force, showering streaming platforms with immeasurable amounts of new tunes. Just like Dancing Astronaut rounds up 25 of the biggest songs of the week for the Hot 25 Spotify playlist each New Music Friday, Lunar Lunes serves as a landing pad for SoundCloud users who want a whole new dose of tunes to kick off the work week.

The selection is updated every Lunes (Monday).

Moon Boots taps Kaleena Zanders for second release from forthcoming album

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Moon Boots taps Kaleena Zanders for second release from forthcoming albumMoon Boots Kaleena Zanders

The release date for Moon Boots‘ new LP, Bimini Road, creeps closer, and the New York native is gearing up for its full unveiling on Anjunadeep. He’s giving fans a taste of what’s to come with the album’s second single, “Juanita.”

“Juanita” is effortlessly groovy, tapping into listeners’ natural instinct to move their feet to the beat. A sexy vocal hook from Kaleena Zanders seals the deal, as her voice glides fluidly over the funky instrumentals the producer’s concocted. It’s a soulful and joyful piece of music, born of two artists joining forces at a retreat.

“Kaleena’s voice is so incredible and her energy is so infectious. You just have to see it to believe it.” Moon Boots noted in a press release. “I’m amazed thinking back on the session that turned into ‘Juanita.’ It was late at night and our sober daytime sessions had morphed into a full-blown party. Kaleena was saying ‘I need aerobics’ over and over while I was messing around on an SH-101. I asked if she could change it to ‘Juanita hold me.’ It shouldn’t work but it just does. I’m so grateful it was all recorded because it could have been a moment in time we laughed about and half-remembered. This is one of the club tracks I am most proud of, and none of it would be possible without Kaleena’s unstoppable energy and talent.”

Bimini Road is out Sept. 6 on Anjunadeep. Pre-order it here, and catch Moon Boots on tour with a seven-piece band here.

Breakbot, rosé and waterfront views await at New York’s Pinknic Festival [PLAYLIST]

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Breakbot, rosé and waterfront views await at New York’s Pinknic Festival [PLAYLIST]Pinknic 1

To some, the summer festival experience is all about embracing the grime and roughing out the elements for the weekend. But that couldn’t be further from the case for Derek van Bakergem and company, who will be bringing the fourth sparkling rendition of Pinknic, New York’s refreshing rosé-themed lifestyle and music festival, to Randall’s Island this weekend, July 19-20.

Waterfront views, food gardens of New York’s tastiest bites, and of course, rosé (or frosé, your choice), are all part of the Pinknic package, but the festival, which suggests a chic pink and white dress code, is also slinging some serious musical firepower this year. Talent like Mark Ronson, Breakbot, and Chromeo is enough to turn the heads of those inclined towards just the music festival aspect while still driving home Pinknic’s light-spirited summer sway.

Tickets to the festival can be found here.

Moon Boots drops jazzy new single ‘Tied Up,’ announces second LP, ‘Bimini Road’

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Moon Boots drops jazzy new single ‘Tied Up,’ announces second LP, ‘Bimini Road’W UNP.5.17.MB 012

With his debut album of 2017, First Landing, Moon Boots made a nuanced splash onto a heavily saturated house music scene with his eclectic disco-funk, four-by-four sound. Now, the Brooklyn-born producer plans to release his follow-up LP, Bimini Road this September—returning with a soulful new single “Tied Up.”

A departure from his recent tenure in more lysergic territory with previous EP Keramas / Harpanet, “Tied Up” and its blend of nu-disco and R&B melodies go back to his stylistic roots on First Landing. “Tied Up” features Moon Boots’ friend and fellow Brooklynite club staple, Steven Klavier. With jazzy chords and a groovy bass-line underlining the track, Klavier’s vocals croon in scat-inspired “doos” and “ahs” that resemble those of Nic Hanson’s on First Landing favorite, “Keep the Faith.” Airy and sweet, “Tied Up” is both infectiously fun and exemplary of Moon Boots doing what he does best: keeping the people dancing.

Bimini Road will bring back collaborators from First Landing, accompanied by a seven-piece band on the live tour. All shows will go on sale at 10 am, Friday, July 12 here. Pre-sale is available now.

Bimini Road is out September 6 on Anjunadeep.

Moon Boots drops jazzy new single ‘Tied Up,’ announces second LP, ‘Bimini Road’Image 1