STREAM NOW: Watch Idris Elba show off his DJ chops at Coachella’s Yuma Tent Weekend 2

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STREAM NOW: Watch Idris Elba show off his DJ chops at Coachella’s Yuma Tent Weekend 2Idris Elba Jerritt Clark

British actor, Idris Elba, made his mark as the pragmatic drug lord Russell “Stringer” Bell in The Wire and then again as the ruthless detective John Luther in Luther. In film, he played the revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and many other Hollywood roles.

The laymen might be surprised that Elba is also a passionate DJ, as he planted the ultimate professional crossover via his establishment of 7Wallace Music, his very own record label. He also released a new Netflix Comedy, Turn Up Charlie, about a struggling DJ and loosely based on his life.

Having crushed his house set at the Yuma Coachella Weekend 1 with top notch house selection, he looks to run this back for Weekend 2. Watch the action unfold live.

Photo Credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images

STREAM NOW: Watch Deep Dish tear down Coachella’s Yuma Tent

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STREAM NOW: Watch Deep Dish tear down Coachella’s Yuma TentDeep Dish Press Shot Credit Joseph Llanes

Coachella always brings out historic appearances. Akin to Aphex Twin‘s storied return to Indio after a decade, the festival was also able to get Dubfire and Sharam back together for their first time in five years following their 2006 split. Weekend one saw them spin a fluid set that balanced thumping deep cuts and euphoric, melodic tracks—including one of their biggest anthems, “Say Hello.” Now, they’ve reprised their spot at the iconic Yuma decks, where fans who might have missed out last week can re-watch the action. Expect a fresh new set from the two as the hour-long journey unfolds.

Photo credit: Joseph Llanes

Producer Sessions 010: ZEKE BEATS shares the inter-workings of his ‘Bad Robot’ EP [Interview]

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Producer Sessions 010: ZEKE BEATS shares the inter-workings of his ‘Bad Robot’ EP [Interview]Zeke Beats Press Shot Horizontal

Producer Sessions is a series from Dancing Astronaut meant to shine a brighter light on the producer community. Each volume will guide producers toward professionals in their field.

ZEKE BEATS released his Bad Robot EP off Zeds Dead‘s Deadbeats imprint, an experimental bass three-tracker that thrusts dance music’s more mischievous side to electronic music into listeners’ faces. With the horrifying, but fun lead single “Bad Robot” to the drilling bass sounds of “Fire Tonight,” and through the dizzying basslines in “The Mammoth,” this taste of music provides a peak into whats coming next from the up-and-coming low end conductor.

Prior to the EP, ZEKE BEATS contributed to the Peekaboo & G-Rex remixes with one of his own that contained an assortment of bass spinning sounds that certainly prove dynamic in the Australian producers unique sampling choices.

Below, ZEKE BEATS answers producer-focused questions about the EP.

Why did you call the EP, Bad Robot?

The single itself really sounded devious, mischievous and super robotic, so naturally I thought “Bad Robot!” Once that was established the whole artwork and branding of the EP really took shape.

Do you have a typical production process? If so, what is it?

I generally try to make a heap of overwhelming bass sounds. When I find something I really resonate with I generally become super motivated to keep going. Most of the time I use a blank skeleton and building upon that!

What was your collaboration process like with Avance?

It was fantastic. I was touring Australia and we met up in Sydney at the Poster Child studio and made the main parts of the song that one day! After that we sent back and forth a few times online to finish it off. It was a really fun track to make.

What was your go-to synth for the EP?

I didn’t really have a go to synth. I like to use a different array of synth, vsts, and hardware synths. Those being serum, operator, massive, and a little phatty.

What was you go-to MIDI controller?

I don’t use any midi controllers for production, just the inbuilt keyboard in Ableton.

Any special VST that really took the production home?

Fab filter proQ and Ableton’s glue compressor

Which song took the longest work and why?

“Fire Tonight” took the longest, mainly because I wanted to go more in depth on the second drop. I had already had a completed version of it but then went back to the track and totally transformed that section.

How would you define your sound?

Visceral bass which pushes the envelope of electronic music.

What DAW do you use and why?

Ableton because of it’s efficiency and super fast work flow.

What was the most difficult sound to conquer on the project?

Just generally trying to get the cleanest mix downs possible really, there was no one single hurdle.

Do you have any unique studio habits?

Hmm not really unique but I do like my coffee

What is your favorite in-studio snack?

Coffee and avocado toast lol

What is next for ZEKE BEATS?

I’ve got a few amazing collaborations in the works and generally a ton of new music ready to be released. I’d just started my Bad Robot tour 2-3 weeks ago which has been so unreal. Another couple weeks to go. But that’s about it. Lots more music, original & collaborations, and a lot more shows!

Photo Credit: Turk Photos

Kelsey Lu’s debut LP includes production credits from Jamie xx, Skrillex, and more

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Kelsey Lu’s debut LP includes production credits from Jamie xx, Skrillex, and moreKelsey Lu Main 1

Breaking through as a classical-leaning artist, nevertheless a cellist, is no easy feat. Kelsey Lu, however, is an unmistakably refreshing talent that has forged her own path in the neo-classical realm and has attracted collaborators like Solange, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and more. The musician released her latest LP, Blood, on April 19, which sees a deeper expansion into avant garde electronica. Skrillex and Jamie xx are credited as producers on the album, which is as bold as it is delicate and nuanced. Lu’s keen ear for genre blending and fearlessness around manifesting her own unique artistic vision have made Blood a resounding success within days of its release, and an exciting look into the continued trailblazing to be seen from her end.

Featured image courtesy of Kelsey Lu’s press team

Steve Aoki and Alok come together to recreate The Chemical Brothers 2009 original ‘Do It Again’

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Steve Aoki and Alok come together to recreate The Chemical Brothers 2009 original ‘Do It Again’Steve Aoki Alok Press Photo 2

Alok and Steve Aoki have surprised fans by not only joining to re-work
The Chemical Brothers‘ “Do It Again,” but also in selecting a piece of music that’s a far cry from what their respective followers might expect from such a collaboration. Both Aoki and Alok have a tendency to float between high BPM main stage electronic tracks and commercial-leaning hits. For Alok, his commercial side features poppy vocals and catchy note progressions, while Aoki has experimented with everything from rap to most recently rock.

The crossover artists’ iteration of the release keeps almost the same introduction, but the two adapt the original smoothly into their signature big room house sounds and highly emphasized low-end. “Do It Again” is out now via Dim Mak.

Featured image courtesy of Dim Mak

Saturday Night Session 018: Young Bombs explain their unique creative process and tell the story of how their artist name came to be

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Saturday Night Session 018: Young Bombs explain their unique creative process and tell the story of how their artist name came to beYoung Bombs 2

Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.

Canadian friends and self-proclaimed ‘bros,’ Martin Kottmeier and Tristan Norton have a lengthy history when it comes to creating music together. While many DJs set out from the start to be the next Calvin Harris, Kottmeier and Norton started their journey in an indie rock band. After discovering hybrid acts like Cut Copy, they started layering in synths and drum machines into their music, infusing an electric flair into their indie-sound. It wasn’t until a few years later that Kottmeier visited Sweden, where he notes that he “discovered a bubbling artist named Avicii’s demo “Spår”, which actually ended up being “Bromance.” That’s when we caught the EDM bug. From that moment on, we both knew this is what we wanted to do.”

Now known as Young Bombs, Kottmeier and Norton have been picked up by the same management team as The Chainsmokers, and in the last year alone, they have played the mainstage at Ultra as well as released no less than 85 remixes in addition to their own original track, “Starry Eyes.” Because their musical style has evolved over the years, doing remixes has often kept the duo engaged, allowing them to experiment with a variety of musical genres, tempos and moods.

If one were to expect a meaningful explanation behind their chosen moniker of Young Bombs, Kottmeier and Norton would be the first to admit the origin of the name is far from significant.

They explain, “Once upon a time, we temporarily formed a band with a friend. We say temporarily because it only lasted a day but that friend of ours came up with the name. After we parted ways we asked if we could keep it because we thought it was cool. He was fine with it. It’s a very inaccurate name. “Middle-Aged Bombs” would’ve been more appropriate.”

Kottmeier and Norton’s production process is nearly as unique as how they selected their moniker. The duo happens to have an assortment of talented videographer friends, and they draw sonic inspiration from the visual. They explain, “we often mute their videos on YouTube while creating music and draw inspiration from the visuals. Nature videos inspire us.”

Young Bombs aim to release new music every four to six weeks in the new year, which is aggressive, but if they can release 85 remixes in one year, its most certainly doable. The duo crafted an hour long Saturday Night Session, and they explain what the listener can expect to come, mentioning, “There’s three moods with this mix: the first is a bit more vibey and ambient; the second is energetic and slightly ironic; and the final third is sad and reflective. We wanted to capture the highs and lows of everyday life. Sometimes you’re on top of the world sharing a laugh with your friends, other times you’re lost in your own thoughts, contemplating everything. Hopefully this mix captures a bit of that.” If one thing is for certain, there is certainly a lot to expect from the up and coming group, and 2019 might just be the year they bring it.

____________________________________________________________________________

I know you both started your foray into music by playing in bands. Can you tell us about how you eventually ended up in music production and what that journey from band to Young Bombs looked like?

That’s a great question. Yes, we played in an indie rock band that initially was a guitar/bass/vocals classic type set up but as our musical taste evolved and we began to discover hybrid/electronic bands like Cut Copy and the Presets, we started  incorporating synths and drum machine elements into our sound. But it wasn’t until a few years later when I (Martin) went on a trip to Sweden and discovered a bubbling artist named “Avicii”’s demo “Spår”, which actually ended up being “Bromance”, that we caught the EDM bug. From that moment on, we both knew this is what we wanted to do. Tristan already had Logic on his laptop at this point so it was just a matter of figuring out how to make it haha. I think we’ve watched every YouTube tutorial ever made

Young Bombs- whose chose the name and what is the story behind it?

Once upon a time, we temporarily formed a band with a friend. We say temporarily because it only lasted a day but that friend of ours came up with the name. After we parted ways we asked if we could keep it because we thought it was cool. He was fine with it. It’s a very inaccurate name. “Middle-Aged Bombs” would’ve been more appropriate.

What is your dynamic? Both extroverts? One the loud one and one the quiet one?

I’m (Tristan) definitely more introverted and need my alone time to recharge. We both alternate back and forth a bit but Martin definitely energizes off of people. He’s like the Energizer bunny if the Energizer bunny looked like Jon Snow.

Who do you draw inspiration from when producing?  

We have a lot of talented videographer friends so we often mute their videos on YouTube while creating music and draw inspiration from the visuals. Nature videos inspire us. If we ever get stuck on a track we put on “Sailing” by Christopher Cross and let the smoothness carry our worries away. After one solid listen we’re usually good to go again.

You guys have done a TON of remixes. Are there certain genres that are harder to remix than others?

In a strange way the more that we bounce around genres/styles the more we keep the creative juices flowing and avoid our sound becoming repetitive. It’s always a fun challenge. Coming from a band background it only feels natural to cover different tempos and moods.

What can we expect from you guys this year? Do you have specific goals for yourselves and your career?

In terms of goals, we definitely just want to keep these originals flowing now. We’d ideally like to have a brand new release every 4-6 weeks and  make the best music possible. If we could sell out Wembley Stadium 5 nights in a row that would be great too.

What kind of a Saturday night is your Saturday Night Session going to get us ready for?

There’s three moods with this mix: the first is a bit more vibey and ambient; the second is energetic and slightly ironic; and the final third is sad and reflective. We wanted to capture the highs and lows of everyday life. Sometimes you’re on top of the world sharing a laugh with your friends, other times you’re lost in your own thoughts, contemplating everything. Hopefully this mix captures a bit of that.

Kygo and Rita Ora rendezvous for ‘Carry On’

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Kygo and Rita Ora rendezvous for ‘Carry On’Kygo Rita Ora

Tropical house tycoon, Kygo, and Rita Ora have teamed up for a new track, “Carry On,” to be featured in the brand new Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie.

The track arrives alongside an Ora-starring visual, in which the syrupy songstress sweeps across the screen in a Pikachu yellow trench coat. Shots of a dancing Ora flash between scenes from the actual feature film (out May 10), while Kygo’s redemptive piano melodies flutter about. Fittingly, Ora portrays the role of Dr. Ann Laurent in the movie itself.

The track is out now via Sony’s RCA Records, and will be featured in the movie’s official soundtrack, as well.

Slow Pulp – “High”

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Slow PulpIt’s been almost three years since we last checked in on Madison indie rockers Slow Pulp, but the band has continued churning since then. They’ve since moved to Chicago (I wonder if Slow Pulp/Slow Mass confusion abounds in the Windy City) and are about to release a new EP called Big … More »

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 87

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 87Deters 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.


Culture Shock continues to cement his name on the drum ‘n’ bass ranks, delivering heater after heater for the past 15 years. His latest installment is “Renaissance,” which makes its debut on Andy C‘s RAM Records. In this newest release, Culture Shock uses mighty female vocals to power the emotive aspect of the song and builds an intense, pounding rhythm around them. “Renaissance” marks the sixth part of his Sequence Series, which he kicked off in 2017.

Parisian house maven Dustycloud continues his reign of dance floor-primed numbers with his newest, “The Way.” Released via BIJOU‘s Do Not Duplicate Recordings, “The Way” is one of the first songs Dustycloud made after coming to America last year. “It’s a song about the journey because that’s been the best part, so far,” he notes in the song description. “Most people are afraid to do what they really want in life because there is a big chance they won’t make it, but it’s not about ‘making it.’ It’s about being able to do what you love, every step of ‘The Way.’”

Oliver Nelson and Tobtok have teamed up on multiple occasions, combining their talents to create a perfect blend of pop and house music. They follow up February’s blissful “Yellow” with a new single, “Something ‘Bout the Music.” This one leans more into the house realm than the pop-oriented “Yellow,” using a grooving beat to drive the song’s message home. These two Swedish producers continue to heat up dance floors around the world with funky numbers like this one.

Last week, Jay Cosmic announced a new alias and its forthcoming debut on Monstercat on April 16. What followed was his first release under the name Desert Star, kicking off with “Foreign Land,” a short-but-sweet pop-oriented piece that gives the artist a chance to express himself in a different way. “I kept realizing I was trying to find a middle ground while making music,” he told a fan on Twitter. “By splitting it up, I can make this one thing, and the new alias totally another.”

Tycho embraces 2019 with open arms in his first venture of the year, “Easy.” The easygoing piece is as breezy as the early warm-weather winds that usher in the spring season, sweeping the listener up in dreamy, drifting melodies and a relaxing pattern of percussion. Soft female vocals ebb and flow, too, weaving their way in between subtle guitar plucks. “Easy” gives listeners a first glimpse into the artist’s forthcoming LP, which is sure to be just as heavenly as its initial offering.

Frou Frou – “Guitar Song (Live)”

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Frou Frou - "Guitar Song (Live)"Frou Frou is the duo of producer-composers Imogen Heap and Guy Sigsworth. They linked up in 1999 and released only one album together, 2002’s Details, before disbanding in 2004. But they reunited last year and are back today with their first new song in 17 years. More »