The vibrant affair Primavera Sound has announced a stunning 2018 lineup. Over 200 artists across a bevy of genres front the eighteenth edition set for May 28–June 3 in Barcelona.
Primavera Sound lends a glimpse into generational references with a pulse on contemporary music. The bill presents a push towards comprehensiveness, grrrl power, and once in a lifetime experiences in the live event sphere. With zero small print in the eminently danceable lineup, attendees can look forward to performances from Four Tet, French duo The Blaze, Chromeo, Jlin, Mount Kimbie, and Peggy Gou.
Real name Jay Donaldson, Palms Trax’ ubiquity in the dance world is becoming increasingly deserved as time carries on. He has bold sonic inclinations and an unabashed M.O. where he moves between genres and decades with ease — rare for someone as young as he. Despite being just 26-years-old, Donaldson’s encyclopedic musical expertise has situated him as an artist who’s talented beyond his years, if one were to see age as but a limit on such a thing.
Donaldson’s Essential Mix is steeped in a resplendent arrangement of classic dance tracks, from Angela’s 1984 “I Gotta Little Love,” to hidden gem house tracks from World Building records’ “Paraíso ’89” by Azura. His splicing of Azura’s track alone is a testament to his adroit crate digging, especially considering that Azura’s breezy Balearic business was extremely short-lived in the Italian house realm, she’s an act who’s slipped through the cracks for most.
Palms Trax has expressed he’ll be working on material for Dekmantel throughout the beginning of the new year and after listening to his deliverance of just the second Essential Mix of 2018, just following Carl Cox, one can only hope to see big things from Donaldson in the new year.
Guillaume Teyssier- Vortex Disco (Murray Lake Remix) Lord of The Isles- Geek Chic (Kuniyuki’s Journey Remix) Toulouse Low Trax- Second Trip JC Project- Andromedia Nicole Willis- Heed The Sign (Jimi Tenor Remix) Plus Instruments- Love Is Enough (Jamie Paton Remix) Angela- I Gotta Little Love Tony Moore DJ- Tonight Salentino- You’l Be In Paradise (Instrumental) Lemonade-Dancer On The Shore (Jex Opolis Dub) Collins- Autophobia Mario Moretti- In Love With Nebula Passarini- Wonky Wonky Wonky Uabos- Mystic Force Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft- Brothers (Mix Gabi) Lipelis- Children Song Colm III- Take Me High (Mansion Mix) Virginia- Blue Pyramid (Khidja Remix) Azura- Paraiso ’89 The True Underground Sound of Rome- Sonic Crystals Mr Raoul K- Africa (12″ Version) Ess O Ess- Cantillate (Chida Remix) Pussycat- Le Chat Lucy Montenegro- Lucy In The Sky The R- Higher Jeff Mills- Imagine DJ Normal 4- Purity 0% Thursday Club- Westway Bushwhacka!- 4 Da Night Jackson Changura- Niyekele Bob Holroyd- African Drug (Rhino Mix) Lars Bartkuhn- Elysium Nu Era- Octahedron Shokazulu- Part 4 Brown Sugar- I’m Going Through Changes Now Philip Balou- Ain’t Nothing Like The Love
DA Presents: 15 artists that rocked the underground in 2017
Dance music’s second wind persists at a seemingly endless rate. In fact, its current boom has resulted in a complete infusion of the genre and into the fabric of the mainstream; megastars like Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, and Kygo have helped shepherd in a new age of ubiquity and recognition from the masses.
The mainstream isn’t the only area of EDM that has flourished. A renaissance of sorts is currently underway below the surface, with subgenres like progressive, techno, and house exploding back into the public eye with new vigor.
As 2017 comes to a close, Dancing Astronaut undertook the arduous task of selecting 15 underground artists that were particular standouts throughout the past year — in our subjective opinion, of course. We also made special mention to two artists that consistently push music forward in their respective arenas.
Words by Christina Hernandez, Grace Fleisher, and John Flynn
Zak Khutoretsky, better known onstage as DVS1, has brought warehouse techno to some truly interesting places. The Berghain/Panorama Bar resident has pushed the sonic boundaries of techno in obvious places like London and Berlin, but has also found himself at more all encompassing festivals such as Florida’s Okeechobee, Belgium’s Tomorrowland, and Ibiza’s CircoLoco event. Equipped with an arsenal of more than 30,000 records, experience at some of the world’s most established techno clubs, and an admiration for purist techno, Khutoretsky has broken ground in the global technosphere by forming his own dark sonic landscape.
Words by: John Flynn
Amelie Lens is on the ascension as Belgium’s latest techno stalwart. After debuting on the Italian Lyase Recordings, Lens is paving her way as an impenetrable force in the genre. She’s finished off the year with her Stay With Me EP, which is a heightened juxtaposition of both the beauty and form of techno. In an utmost surrendering to the astounding, Lens boasts her ominously pulsating prowess, complete with a thrilling remix from the esteemed Perc.
Considering Lens’ 2017 standing with Drumcode labelmates, an occupation of copious underground lineups around the world, and her own nights at Labyrinth club in Hasselt, she brought her foreboding techno to a circuit where it will deservedly reign for quite some time.
Words by: Grace Fleisher Photo Credit: Guy Houben
Jeremy Olander had an undeniably powerful 2017 — a result following his creativity down a path that has since placed him among the ranks of fellow Swedes like Eric Prydz and Adam Beyer. The year saw his Vivrant imprint come into its own, defining its dark, progressive ethos with releases by Khen, Tim Engelhardt, and more recently, André Hommen. Additionally, the former Pryda Friend released some of his most well-loved pieces yet on his label, in the form of his Damon and Gattaca EPs.
His success extended outside Vivrant in plenty of other ways as well: in May, he made his debut on Bedrock alongside Cristoph, only to move onto Anjunadeep in December with a euphoria-inducing Crossed. Having also underwent an enormous year of touring, which included a residency in LA, it’s safe to say that 2017 was the year of Olander.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Floating Points — real name Sam Shepherd — has been a mainstay in experimental techno for quite some time, but it was only until this year that he began to boil to the surface of mainstream music. After releasing the wildly innovative Nuits Sonores/Nectarines, he released his debut album Elaenia much to the acclaim of critics. Performances at large scale festivals such as St. Jerome’s Laneway, Disclosure’s Parklife, and Pukkelpop under his belt, 2017 marked a capstone year for Floating Points.
Possibly the largest indication of mainstream infiltration, though, were Shepherd’s performances at Coachella this year, performing both with his expansive 11-piece live band The Floating Points Ensemble and in a packed Yuma tent for a three hour back to back DJ set with colleagues Four Tet and Daphni. Needless to say, 2017 marked a momentous year for the intellectual techno auteur.
Words by: John Flynn
With the release of her highly anticipated album, The Best Of Both Worlds, in the fall of 2017, Honey Dijon has delivered a testament to her extensive background and immense knowledge of dance music with a compelling bevy of material. As a black, trans woman, Dijon’s relationship with dance music is a culminated collection of necessity. Her music is beyond passion. In 2017, her cross-genre sets at Berghain, Space, Smart Bar, as well as her speaking out on issues of gender in club culture, solidified the need of cultural representatives like Honey Dijon in underground dance music culture. Considering Dijon’s involvement in the dance scene dates back to when she was 12-years-old, it’s likely that the future has even more in store, and thankfully so.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Bedouin‘s late 2016 Essential Mix served as an indicator of the kind of year the pair would have in the coming months. However, 2017 brought even more milestones than one might have expected, and secured their reign over the deep, desert-inclined tech realm. They have been utterly unstoppable in past months, charting releases on Cityfox, All Day I Dream, and Crosstown Rebels with their sought-after remix of Pink Floyd’s classic, “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun.” While dominating the music sphere with a plethora of new records, Bedouin also broke new ground in the promotion arena with the foundation of their SAGA series Ibiza, which saw the likes of Guy Gerber, Damian Lazarus, and more transform Heart into a mecca for all things mystical. The duo will only continue to build upon their strong 2017 foundation until they’ve reached the top.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
I Hate Models
Green to the techno world, the mysterious nature of I Hate Models is part of the purist techno producer’s M.O. Steeped in nebulous synth work and carried by the gut wrenching thud of fibrillating pulsations, I Hate Model’s brilliant soundscape is the result of authentic emotions and nothing less than a perfectionist desire to create near perfect techno music. Their 2016 EP Warehouse Memories catapulted I Hate Models to stardom with the seminal tune “Daydream,” which amalgamates a rapidly paced, thunderous kick pattern with Detroit-inspired space synths and acid melodies. “Melancholy, nostalgia, passions, the suffering self,” reads their official Biography, “The expression of personal feelings” it continues, “The taste for loneliness, the desire to flee, travel, dream…” IHM’s State of Control EP was another step in their artistic evolution, further solidifying them as one of underground techno’s most audacious newcomers in 2017.
Words by: John FlynnPhoto Credit: Helena Majewska
Despite having over two decades of music production experience, and releases on Hernan Cattaneo’s Sudbeat, Guy Mantzur’s Plattenbank, and more, Chicola just released his debut album Could Heaven Be on Guy J’s esteemed progressive label Lost & Found earlier this year. The LP spans twelve tracks and is an eloquent exploration of the Israeli artist’s personal dealings. Could Heaven Be boasts sinister drum work, but soars in its serene, cinematic soundscapes. Such sophistication is exactly what has allotted Chicola’s impressive array of work and sustained friendships in the underground. Chicola’s delectable builds and swathing beauty are inching towards the work of Dixon, Sasha, John Digweed, and Hernan Cattaneo; which is certainly something we can’t wait to watch come into fruition.
Words By: Grace Fleisher
Venezuelan duo Fur Coat have asserted their authority in the melodic techno realm, helping pioneer the rise of this relatively new sound with innovative new music and in purveying it to the global masses. After opening their year with an EP on Sasha’s Last Night On Earth, they proceeded to carve an even deeper niche into the underground with the foundation of their Oddity imprint and the subsequent release of a breathtaking Genesis EP. While only containing two bodies of work thus far, the fact that Dubspeeka, Natural Flow, and Slam have signed work onto the fledgling label demonstrates its caliber moving into the new year.
Fur Coat’s recognition extended into the indie pop world in 2017, with the outfit being tapped for re-working both Röyksopp and Sailor & I into their own ethereal interpretation.
Words by: Christina Hernandez
Charlotte De Witte
Charlotte De Witte spends most of her days traveling for gigs or at home in Belgium, where she is working steadfast to promote up and coming talent on her local radio show. Her native Belgian roots in the underground have provided a more than apt framework for the young DJ & producer to work from, but the world is also calling Charlotte De Witte’s name. The myriad festivals that De Witte has performed at in 2017 is striking: Dour Festival, Awakenings, Tomorrowland, EXIT, Oasis Festival, the list goes on. With four EPs under her belt in 2017, and a plethora of commanding live performances, Charlotte De Witte has solidified herself as one of techno’s most forthright newcomers.
Words by: John Flynn
Maceo Plex pupil and Argentinian techno phenom Shall Ocin has carved himself a unique niche in sinister techno over the last few years. Ocin has a knack for the foreboding analog, which is largely driven by the use of modular synths. The underground mainstay has even established his very own Clash Lion imprint. The label’s very first release was from Maceo Plex himself, albeit under his Maetrik alias. Shall Ocin’s doubled down on his diverse output of gut-wrenching techno in his latest EP Bounty Hunter. It’s brimming with atmospheric modulations, slow pulsating synth work, and an experimental analog amalgam. Ocin’s passion for innovation is clear, and with a demonstrated ability to continually work outside of his previous material — he’s even closed out the year with a Beatport artist of the week mix — Ocin’s proving to be an impenetrable installment in the underground circuit.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
The word “Rinzen” translates to “sudden awakening” — a definition that couldn’t be any more pertinent to Michael Sundius’ development under the moniker throughout the past year. He found a new home on Mau5trap beginning with his original debut “Renegade,” and has since shown the dance sphere just how deep his creativity runs. Years of hardwork culminated in Forbidden City — his first ever EP — which stole music afcionados’ hearts with its enchanting, yet sinister storyline that depicts a hero’s journey by way of cinematic string elements and clever synthwork. Not to mention, his skills attracted promoters at Brooklyn’s prolific club Output, who placed trust in him to spend the entirety of NYE weekend opening for both Cristoph and Eric Prydz. With a fire that burns stronger, tangible passion for his craft, and a strong sense of humility, we predict great things are in story for Rinzen after such a dynamic first year on the scene.
Words by: Christina HernandezPhoto credit: Michael Drummond
UK based Jay Donaldson — aka Palms Trax — has acquired a taste for a plethora of world influences ranging from Chicago house to European Nu-Disco, and everywhere in between. Donaldson has made waves with his Cooking with Palms Trax radio show (which has now become a full blown residency at Glasgow’s intimate , expansive boiler room sets, and performances at festivals such as Dekamantel, Glitch Festival, and CRSSD, as well as in such legendary clubs as Berlin’s Berghain. By amalgamating sounds from across the entire globe, Palms Trax’s sets feel like a voyage from nation to nation, plucking groove heavy flutes, synths, and drums from nearly every geographic region and time period.
Words by: John Flynn
Since the inception of Rødhåd’s first record on his Dystopian label in 2012, the underground purveyor has been praised by innumerable global mavens. Artists like Jeff Mills, Marcel Dettmann, Ben Klock, Laurent Garnier, Sven Väth, and more, have praised Rødhåd as the king of the anti-establishment underground. He’s built his reputation on an immersive idiosyncrasy and delivered dramatic, engulfing sets at industrial utopias around the world. More recently Rødhåd’s slung out a cavernous catalog of brooding, cinematic techno. In 2017, the Berlin native delivered his enveloping 10-track album Anxious. The record’s an aptly-named theatric affair, which Rødhåd’s described as “the time we live in.” Expectedly, it served as an integral timepiece of the brooding, underground circuit, which will propel the brand of afflicted release to entirely new heights, and continue to allow listeners to lose themselves, only to discover new dimensions in the acts that will follow in Rødhåd’s foreboding footsteps.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Henry Saiz is an artist in every sense of the world, pouring his entire being into each production and going above and beyond to seek innovative new ways to compose music. Having succeeded in crowdfunding his expansive new audiovisual album project, 2017 saw the artist and his band travel to new realms to both create and roadtest new musical concepts. This endeavor bled into his outputs for 2017; at the tail end of September, he earned a nomination for the Essential Mix of the Year after making his debut on the series. Prior to that, he celebrated the 10th anniversary of his Natura Sonoris label with a rare second contribution to the Balance mix series. Progressive and electronica are having a moment currently, and Saiz has proved himself to be one of the leaders in this new revolution.
Words by: Christina HernandezPhoto credit: Chris Soltis
Special Mention: The Black Madonna
Marea Stamper told Resident Advisor in 2014 that she hoped to embody “the core values of inclusion and pure dance euphoria.” In the year of #MeToo, where women spoke out against their oppressors, and where sexual assault outings, misogyny, and political turmoil seemed to unravel on an endless timeline, The Black Madonna doubled down on the use of her platform as a voice for the voiceless. Her music amplified the voices of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. Stamper’s sets raised up the central voices of club history — ones that have been forced to the periphery or silenced entirely — through a provocative exudence of acid house, disco, and outright emotion. In 2017, the Black Madonna seamlessly linked the past and the present through her track “He Is The Voice I Hear.” Dedicated to a string of disco legends —Larry Levan, Walter Gibbons, and Loleatta Holloway — the multifarious number rode out a spine-tingling idiosyncrasy, encapsulating her aforementioned goal — as if she hadn’t already — with an apt juxtaposition of anxiety and groove. Without uttering a word, the harrowing empowerment of “He Is The Voice I Hear” spoke volumes and epitomized the socioeconomic atmosphere of an entire year that had still yet to unfold.
Words by: Grace Fleisher
Special Mention: Hernan Cattaneo
There’s a reason why Hernan Cattaneo is called “El Maestro” among fans. He possesses an uncanny ability to mix records, making seamless transitions and taking his audiences on a deep journey within themselves through each of his sets. While he serves as a continual pillar of inspiration within the progressive, and underground sphere as a whole, the Argentinian legend also had some key milestones in 2017 to date. His Sudbeat label saw an abundance of releases, and he was also able to assemble a powerhouse slate of artists to help kickstart the year with a Balance compilation. We imagine this incredible artist will continue to use his platform to proliferate top quality music as 2018 sets into place.
Dekmantel is killing it right now. Mere days ago, the Amsterdam fun-maker posted an announcement for its second São Paulo festival, and now the team have dropped info on a third Selectors edition in Croatia, smack dab in Tisno on the Adriatic Coast. Just looking at the Google satellite view gives me the warm fuzzies. (Gorgeous location: CHECK.)
Dozens of artists have already been confirmed for the getaway. Among the artists performing are Mr. Scruff, Palms Trax, Donato Dozzy, Marcel Dettmann (also playing São Paulo), Mark Grusane, Lena Willikens, Hunee, and my personal favorite, DJ Harvey. (Tasty tunes: CHECK.)
TMT lawyers advise that we can’t tell you to quit your job, but should you want to go on an “extended vacation,” there are worse ways to direct your travel compass than with Dek’s festivals. (Obligatory legal disclaimer: CHECK.)
The five-day fest runs from August 23 to 27 at the Garden Resort for only 2000 lucky hedonists. Pre-sale starts at 12:00 CET December 7. Passes for both the day and night programs start at €130 for Early Birds and €165 for Regular Slackers. Both options give access to the day and night programs, but not the boat parties (!), which will be announced soon.
Check out the confirmed line-up down below, and read Dekmantel’s feature on a few of their selectors’ record buying habits at the official site, which contains loads more fest info.
Real talk: 2017’s been hard on everyone, and for those of us residing high up in the Northern Hemisphere, we’ve now got winter’s nonsense to deal with. Those first few snowflakes are nice at first (the beauty of mother nature, blah, blah, blah), but it turns into nasty slush pretty damn quickly. The options: 1) spend months trudging through a frigid metropolis; skin dry, nose runny, jeans ruined, or 2) rack up the Uber bills. It’d be great if there was an escape hatch to a place flowing with strong caipirinhas and sweet, mellifluous electronic music vibes keeping winter’s brutality at bay.
Don’t despair! That place exists, electronic fiends. In March — a month where spring says “I’m here jk lol” for most North Americans and Europeans — Dekmantel returns with its second, sunny São Paulo edition. Aside from the array of eclectic musicians, the two-day fest raises the bar with its unique venue: the abandoned Playcenter amusement park located in the middle of the city. (Easily accessible via trains!)
That’s right: on March 3-4, 2018, dozens of of finest names in electronica — including chillwave mastermind Four Tet, brain rinsers Modeselektor, DJ stalwart Nina Kraviz, Detroit techno veterans Marcel Dettmann and Palms Trax, and the electrofunk grooves of Floating Points — will basically set up shop amid the ruins of Jurassic Park! Also joining the cabal is a host of local Brazilian acts to expand your musical horizons — including Marcos Valle, a Brazilian pop institution with almost five decades in the game.
Head here for tickets and more details, and keep scrolling for a list of confirmed acts and a few shots of the incredibly spooky, Scooby Doo-esque location. (Many flights from the northern part of the world are under a grand – just sayin’ for all the jetsetters out there. And it goes without saying: you’ll return home with a rad tan. Até já!)
Dekmantel Festival São Paulo 2018 confirmed acts:
Four Tet, Modeselektor, Nina Kraviz, Marcel Dettmann, Floating Points, Mano Le Tough, Marcos Valle, Azymuth & DJ Nuts, Os Mulheras Negras, Midland, Palms Trax, Mall Grab, Antal, Young Marco, DJ Stingray, Danny Daze, Peggy Gou, Vladimir Ivkovic, Lena Willikens, Maria Rita Stumpf, Randomer, Anthony Parasole, Kobosil, Jayda G, Courtesy, Dekmantel Soundsystem, Bufiman, Elena Colombi, Interstellar Funk, Selvagem, Davis, Zopelar, Tessuto, Tako, Izabel, John Gomez, Cashu, Carrot Green, Marcio Vermelho, Tata Ogan, Tahira, Kinkid, Barbara Boeing, Leeon & Mansvr, Caio T, Gui Scott, Nascii, TYV