Monstercat reveals ‘Best of 2019’ list, voted on by fans

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Monstercat reveals ‘Best of 2019’ list, voted on by fansMonstercat Best Of 2019

After a few days of hard-fought voting, Monstercat fans have selected their top 40 songs of 2019.

The Canadian label revealed that fans picked RIOT‘s “Blackwater” as their No. 1 song of 2019, followed by Bossfight‘s “Overdose” and Grant‘s “Wishes.” This is the second year in a row that RIOT has topped the Monstercat charts, with 2018’s “Overkill” making its mark last year. Other notable releases on the charts include Pegboard Nerds‘ “Gunslinga” and Pixel Terror‘s “Amnesia,” which follow Bossfight and Grant, respectively. Voting for the annual list opened Dec. 3 and closed Dec. 5, and fans were able to vote for up to 10 songs.

In addition to the label’s fan-voted Best of 2019 list, listeners can find Monstercat staff picks in the latest episode of Call of the Wild.

Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2019

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2019Madeon Top Tracks Eoy 2019

2019 has been a remarkable year for new music.

The past twelve months brought with them a collection of highly anticipated LPs: Madeon‘s Good Faith, Avicii‘s posthumous Tim, Gesaffelstein‘s Hyperion, Illenium‘s ASCEND, along with a Flume mixtape. Notable collaborations like REZZ and Malaa‘s “Criminals,” Seven Lions, Wooli, Trivecta, and Nevve‘s “Island,” and GRiZ and Subtronics‘ “Griztronics” hit the airwaves in blazes of glory. Supergroups like Dog Blood (Skrillex and Boys Noize) and Get Real (Claude VonStroke and Green Velvet) showcased the power of doubling up on brainpower. And, of course, countless singles had us hitting repeat more times than were calculable: Dillon Francis‘ “Still Not Butter,” i_o‘s “House of God,” Habstrakt‘s “De la Street,” Alesso‘s “Progresso,” and so many more.

In no particular order, we present a 30-track collection of our favorite songs of the year, chosen by DA writers and editors.

Dance-pop Audien resurfaces, with ‘Buzzing,’ ahead of forthcoming project

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Dance-pop Audien resurfaces, with ‘Buzzing,’ ahead of forthcoming project12651074 10153194318771673 7371433896995231521 N

Audien is back with his newest release “Buzzing,” featuring Nevve. The esteemed DJ-producer has steadily provided fans with euphoric tunes for almost a decade, but his signature feel-good sound has fluctuated between commercial-crossover releases and uplifting trance tracks. Heading into 2019, it seemed Audien may have been reverting back to his trance roots thanks to his momentous single, “Higher,” and collaboration with ARTY, “Never Letting Go,” out on Anjunabeats. “Buzzing” leads listeners to believe, however, the glittery, radio-ready stylings of the artist may have been reinstated.

The single is the first from a yet-to-be-named multi-track offering in the works. The producer recently spoke on his intentions with the forthcoming release:

“Diversity. I want to show that I can make many different styles of music, but tie them together with a common theme. Ultimately, I want to make people feel stuff, with melodies, and lyrics. I’m not reinventing the wheel, but I’m accentuating the art I’ve created for almost a decade. It’s the best form of what I’m known for.”

The track evokes pure bliss thanks to dance-worthy synth lines that blend brilliantly with Nevve’s infectious vocals. For Audien fans, “Buzzing” expounds on his long and star-studded tenure in the art of felicitous feel-good sound design, no matter the genre. Audien will be embarking upon a U.S. ESCAPISM Tour, so fans looking to experience his forthcoming project live can see if the producer is coming to a city near them below.

ESCAPISM TOUR

Nov 15 – Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL

Nov 16 – Believe Music Hall – Atlanta, GA

Nov 21 – Big Night Live – Boston, MA

Nov 22 – Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON

Nov 23 – The Showbox At The Market – Seattle, WA

Nov 29 – The NOVO – Los Angeles, CA

Dec 6 – Warfield Theatre – San Francisco, CA

Dec 13 – The Loft at Skyway Theatre – Minneapolis, MN

Dec 14 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR

Dec 19 – Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA

Dec 20 – Great Hall at Avant Gardner – Brooklyn, NY

Dec 21 – The Bomb Factory – Dallas, TX

Dec 27 – Stereo Live – Houston, TX

Photo: Rukes

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

BEAUZ Leaves Listeners Stunned With “Count The Hours” via Armada

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BEAUZ leave their mark on the highly-praised Armada imprint with the release of “Count The Hours.” Borrowing the vocal prowesses of Nevve and Kastilione, the artists team up to deliver a sultry and uplifting ballad. Following the success of ‘Sayonara’ ft. Maggie Szabo, BEAUZ does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. Gearing up

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Big Gigantic return with first single in three years, ‘You’re The One’

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Big Gigantic return with first single in three years, ‘You’re The One’Big Gigantic Press Pic June 2019

It’s been nearly three years since Big Gigantic‘s last solo endeavor. 2016 saw the emergence of the Brighter Future LP, but the world hasn’t had new Big G material since 2017’s set of remixes for Brighter Future. The wait is over, though, and the duo are back with a new single, “You’re The One,” with Nevve.

The talented songstress proves to be a perfect addition to the band’s horn-infused style, as her vocals lead up to an easygoing, trumpet-highlighted chorus. “You’re The One” will thrill longtime Big G fans, who can find comfort in the tune’s laid-back style and signature brassy elements.

“We’re so excited to start this next phase of Big Gigantic,” the duo stated in a press release. “We’re starting the process of looking directly inward with our song ‘You’re The One.’ The theme of the song is loving yourself, which in this day is something we could all do more of. We put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed, do the best we can, be the best we can & keep up with others around us. That pressure can easily turn from something positive and motivating, into something negative and uninspiring. It can lead to some dark places so it’s important to take a step back and remember to take time to love yourself.”

NMF Roundup: Skrillex remixes Kelsey Lu, Drezo returns with ‘Afterlife’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Skrillex remixes Kelsey Lu, Drezo returns with ‘Afterlife’ + moreSkrille Live Aug 2017 Billboard 1548 0

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.

The second-to-last NMF of May brings fresh material from Skrillex in the form of a Kelsey Lu remix. Drezo returns to drag his fans to the depths with a new original, “Afterlife,” and Spencer Brown delivers “Sapporo” as the title track for his new EP. Andrew Bayer brings two new tracks to Anjuna, including “Only You Boy,” and Kygo teams up with Chelsea Cutler for “Not Ok.” Chris Lake enters the summer months with a new groovy number, “Stay With Me,” and Nora En Pure fills her latest release with lush melodies and a breezy atmosphere. i_o takes on Above & Beyond in a formidable new extended mix, and Flux Pavilion joins forces with Nevve for “Lion’s Cage.” Borgeous links with RUNAGROUND for “Better Anyway,” and Chase & Status cook up some fast-paced drum ‘n’ bass on “Murder Music.” After debuting “Dragonfly” with DA earlier this week, Au5 releases his new LP, and Benny Benassi puts his own spin on Patrick Martin’s “Stranger Nights.” Curbi delivers some feisty new house music in “Flip It” and DVBBS rework Steve Aoki’s “Play It Cool.” Cedric Gervais returns with “Take You In,” and Don Diablo unveils a VIP mix of Jessie J’s “Brave.”

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: Santiago Felipe/Getty Images

Saturday Night Session 021: Elephante opens up about being a vocalist on more music moving forward and gives fans a look into a day in his life

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Saturday Night Session 021: Elephante opens up about being a vocalist on more music moving forward and gives fans a look into a day in his lifeElephante

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.

Every artist has a unique story when it comes to their foray into music. Some come into notoriety carrying out their lifelong dream of becoming an artist and others stumble into the career accidentally. Tim Wu, who is more popularly known as DJ and music producer Elephante, found himself sitting alone in a music studio at 25 through neither of these paths. He admits that, would he have been able to go back and tell his 16-year-old self that he would end up becoming a DJ and music producer, he wouldn’t have believed it.

Wu grew up an avid John Mayer fan, which ultimately inspired him to play in bands and write songs that he would perform on the acoustic guitar at local showcases in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Music has always been an incredibly big part of his life, but Tennis ultimately landed him at Harvard University where he played and locked in a career in consulting after graduation. When he wasn’t at his consulting job, Wu discovered electronic music production, and he became hooked. The more he produced music, the more miserable he became at his job to the point where he quit. He was so concerned about his parent’s reaction that he spent over a year lying to them about the decision to became a full time musician.

He reminisces on telling his parents he had stopped working as a consultant to pursue music, stating, “I think they were mostly confused, and obviously worried. Like what do you mean you’re gonna be a DJ? Can you get healthcare doing that? But at the end of the day, I think they knew how unhappy I was and that it was something I had to do, and were mostly just hoping I didn’t get hooked on heroin or something. I mean, can you imagine moving to a different country, working your ass off your whole life to give your kids a better life, and then having said kid tell you they were quitting their job to be a DJ? I would have murdered me. Now though they are super stoked – I brought them on stage for a couple shows and fans were asking for pictures with them and stuff, so I think they get a kick out of it. My mom still reminds me every time we talk not to do heroin though.”

The rest is history with Wu’s production career, although those who are familiar with the producer’s music would hardly be surprised to learn that Wu’s artistry grew out of his love of songwriting as a teenager. In a world where commercial crossover releases dominate the charts, Wu has found a way to bring vocals front and center in his releases without producing a stream of three note drops that leave the vocals and vocals alone to differentiate one track from the next. His body of work spans for folky “Come Back For You” featuring Matluck to beautiful “Catching On” featuring Nevve.

Wu recently released his own cover of “Shooting Stars,” which is the second release he has put out with his own vocals. Wu speaks about the decision to utilize his own vocals on his music, noting, “I was a singer-songwriter before I started producing music, so I’ve been singing for forever. But it was really important that my voice was the right one for the song, and I wasn’t just singing it for vanity’s sake. If someone else could sing it better, I’d have them do it instead.”

Those who have seen Wu perform live will recognize his rendition of the track, which has been cut in and out of his live performances since he made the cover in 2014. Now that he has begun to release music with his own vocals, Wu has developed a stream of covers that he will be putting out over the next few months.

Wu gives fans insight into his decision to utilize his own vocals, which is a decision more producers have seemingly been making over the past few years thanks to artists like Calvin Harris and The Chainsmokers singing on their own original releases. He states, “Especially after The Chainsmokers had so much success with Drew singing – there were a bunch of DJs who were like ‘oh I can sing too,’ and some really can, and others were like… should you though? And I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just doing it for the sake of it. Producing the songs I sing feels somewhat different, just because I know I always can go back and change the line.”

2019 will be a big year for Wu, who notes he has multiple projects in the pipeline. For now, he is still inducing euphoria through his live sets and original releases, including a high energy and genre-bending Saturday Night Session that takes listeners through a dynamic journey. When asked what kind of a Saturday night the mix is going to get listener’s ready for, Wu states, ” The best Saturday night of their life!!! You were planning on taking it easy, but instead you listen and are inspired to go out and you meet the love of your life and go get pizza with them and on a whim buy Powerball tickets and you win a billion dollars. That kind of Saturday night.”

_____________________________________________________________________________

Where do you draw inspiration from when you sit down to produce music? Can you give us some insight into your creative process?
Honestly, sounds and melodies and lyrics kinda just pop into my head at random times, sometimes in the shower, when I’m about to fall asleep in a hotel, when I’m listening to music or reading or whatever. I have no idea where exactly it comes from though. I’ve learned to write down or record a voice memo any time one of these little moments strikes, so by the time I’m sitting down in the studio I have a bunch of ideas that I’m excited to work on. Once I’m there, it’s all about just really diving in an exploring that idea – I’m always asking myself what comes next? What would be cool with this? I try to work away from the computer as much as possible – playing piano, jamming on guitar, writing/drawing in notebooks, whatever. And I just try to keep finding that next little cool moment, that next little sound, and then on the good days I come to 8 hours later and something exists that didn’t before. On the bad days the voices in my head are silent, and it’s like well, guess I’ll try again tomorrow.

“Glass Mansion” was your first time singing on one of your songs, and rumor has it you’ll be doing this more often moving forward. Were you nervous at all to jump into also being a vocalist? Does producing a track with your own vocals feel different than producing a track with someone else singing on it?
I was, but for different reasons than you’d expect. I was a singer-songwriter before I started producing music, so I’ve been singing for forever. But it was really important that my voice was the right one for the song, and I wasn’t just singing it for vanity’s sake. If someone else could sing it better, I’d have them do it instead. So it took a long time for me to write a song that I knew I absolutely had to sing, and really feel confident in that, and “Glass Mansion” was the first time I was like, ‘I have to do this.’ Especially after The Chainsmokers had so much success with Drew singing – there were a bunch of DJs who were like ‘oh I can sing too,’ and some really can, and others were like… should you though? And I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just doing it for the sake of it. Producing the songs I sing feels somewhat different, just because I know I always can go back and change the line, or change the phrasing or whatever, which can actually be kind of a negative. But over the years I’ve gotten better at understanding what works and really building the song around the vocals, whether it’s me or someone else, and not just slapping a beat over an acapella.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Yes, eating almond butter out of the tub. I’m doing that right now actually.

When you aren’t touring, what does a normal day in your life look like?
Ideally I’ll play some pickup basketball in the morning, then eat and hit the studio. I fucking love the studio. It’s what I’d want to do even if I wasn’t making a living doing it. You know how when you’re a kid you have things that you had to finish your homework before you can do, and that’s the thing that gets you through the day? That’s making music for me. It’s so much fun I’m still kinda baffled that I get paid to do it. 

You have a really interesting story- you went to Harvard, got a consulting job, and then quit to pursue music full time. You didn’t tell your parents that you quit for a while though. How did they react when you first told them, and how do they feel about your career as a musician now that you’ve become so successful?
I think they were mostly confused, and obviously worried. Like what do you mean you’re gonna be a DJ? Can you get healthcare doing that? But at the end of the day, I think they knew how unhappy I was and that it was something I had to do, and were mostly just hoping I didn’t get hooked on heroin or something. I mean, can you imagine moving to a different country, working your ass off your whole life to give your kids a better life, and then having said kid tell you they were quitting their job to be a DJ? I would have murdered me. Now though they are super stoked – I brought them on stage for a couple shows and fans were asking for pictures with them and stuff, so I think they get a kick out of it. My mom still reminds me every time we talk not to do heroin though.

What is one thing your fans don’t know about you?
I’m allergic to bees? And dogs and cats and horses and pretty much anything with fur. Which sucks cuz I love dogs. Can’t have it all.

What kind of a Saturday night is your Saturday Night Session mix going to get listeners ready for?
Best Saturday night of their life!!! You were planning on taking it easy, but instead you listen and are inspired to go out and you meet the love of your life and go get pizza with them and on a whim buy Powerball tickets and you win a billion dollars. That kind of Saturday night.

PLS&TY Shares Beautiful Music Video For Single “Motives” Along With Special Remix Pack

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PLS&TY recently released an uplifting new single that has really caught some fire. It is a tune that stands on it’s own and also features the likes of GANZ and Nevve who are undoubtedly killing the game in their own way. As if the the release of the song wasn’t enough PLS&TY also went ahead

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NMF Roundup: Tame Impala returns, JOYRYDE teams up with GOLD, Gorgon City deliver ‘Delicious’ + more

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NMF Roundup: Tame Impala returns, JOYRYDE teams up with GOLD, Gorgon City deliver ‘Delicious’ + moreJOYRYDE Photo Credit Koury Angelo

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.

Tame Impala returns for the first release since 2015’s Currents with the appropriately titled “Patience.” JOYRYDE continues to show 2019 is his year with the release of “YUCK” with GOLD, and Dabin reveals his sophomore album, Wild Youth, featuring tracks like “Home” with Essenger. Gorgon City deliver the tasty “Delicious,” and Illenium teams up with Kameron Alexander for the soulful “Pray.” Tiësto kicks off NMF with a bouncy big room number, “Can You Feel It,” and Blasterjaxx tap Jack Wilby for “Super Friends.” DJ Snake and Eptic take us to the “SouthSide” with their new bass-heavy collaboration, and Kölsch and Sasha deliver a meditative joint effort, “The Lights.” Zedd reveals a remix pack for “365” and Whipped Cream warps listeners’ eardrums on “Time.” Delta Heavy and Muzzy join forces for s hefty drum & bass tune, “Revenge.” Sofi Tukker paint a relaxing soundscape in “Fantasy,” and Lost Kings unveil a remix pack for “Don’t Kill My High,” which includes a rock-inspired take from Sullivan King. SNBRN gets ready for warm weather with “Feel My Love” and Maya Jane Coles takes on Hozier in her latest remix.

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: Koury Angelo