RL Grime and Graves Combine Forces in “Arcus”

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After six months, we finally have new music from RL Grime. Combining forces with Graves, “Arcus” was released last Friday and showcases the sound and feel we love from both artists. RL Grime has been teasing this collaboration for quite some time, so it’s great to finally have a crisp and clear version. RL Grime’s

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NMF Roundup: Medasin returns with ‘Mr. Skitters,’ i_o teams up with Tommy Trash, Feed Me releases first single from new album + more

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NMF Roundup: Medasin returns with ‘Mr. Skitters,’ i_o teams up with Tommy Trash, Feed Me releases first single from new album + moreStatement Festival Annika Berglund

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.

Above & Beyond kick off New Music Friday in fine fashion with their new single, “Distorted Truth.” Tommy Trash and i_o unleash their much-anticipated collaboration, “Let Me Go,” and Medasin returns with his first original of 2019, “Mr. Skitters.” Diplo and Octavian make an impeccable team on “New Shapes,” as do Feed Me and Rosie Doonan on “Feel Love.” Hardwell and Dannic unveil “Chase The Sun,” and Au5 rounds out his two-track Energize EP with “Activate.” The Chainsmokers bring another pop-inspired number via “Who Do You Love” with 5 Seconds of Summer, and David Guetta, Brooks, and Loote gear up for festival season with “Better When You’re Gone.” Quintino can’t be brought down in his new single, and Pixel Terror return to Monstercat with “Ultima.” Tisoki delivers a fresh remix of Party Favor‘s “Blame,” and Jay Hardway takes off into the atmosphere with “Aliens.” R3HAB joins forces with Icona Pop for “This Is How We Party,” and Darude and Sebastian Rejman craft a euphoric dance number in “Release Me.”

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: Annika Berglund

RL Grime announces new label, Sable Valley, and releases imprint’s first track, ‘Arcus,’ with graves

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RL Grime announces new label, Sable Valley, and releases imprint’s first track, ‘Arcus,’ with gravesRL Grime Brian Walker Photo Credit

RL Grime has announced his new label, Sable Valley, with a focus of showcasing up-and-coming talent, along with an Instagram message that inspires a new kind of listening. The trap trendsetter christens the label with a collaboration from himself and graves, “Arcus,” which debuted on RL Grime’s Halloween Mixtape 7. Through an orchestra of lush, oscillating synths, high-pitched vocals and building snares ride the energy upwards towards an explosion of trap rhythms under crawling bright synths.

Coming from and fore-fathering EDM trap’s peak era with massive festival hits such as Chief Keef’s “Love Sosa” and Kanye West’s “Mercy,” RL Grime honed his production skills to craft a stellar second studio album in NOVA which made it to the No. 1 spot on Billboard‘s Top Dance/Electronic Albums and led to a sold-out tour. He was able to flawlessly switch from rap-oriented remixes to collaborating with highly touted names in hip-hop such as Jeremih, Tory LanezChief Keef, and Ty Dolla $ign.

Now, Henry Steinway has opened a new venture in his imprint, with a promising message for a new kind of audio. In a statement, Steinway says, “Since the inception of RL Grime, I’ve had this goal in the back of my mind to start my own label. My Halloween mixes have always been an outlet for me to curate and showcase new music, but the natural next step for me was to start a label. My whole life I’ve been obsessed with the process of searching for and finding what’s next, and this is a way for me use my platform to highlight emerging talent that I believe in. ‘Arcus’ is the first release, and it felt like the perfect song to set the tone for what Sable Valley is about.”

 

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RL Grime Announces New Track With Graves “Arcus”

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July will mark one year since RL Grimes’ second album NOVA. Now, seven months later, RL Grime is releasing new music in collaboration with Graves. The track “Arcus” is set to debut next Wednesday, February 6th. Since NOVA, RL Grime has been rocking the festival circuit. But, we haven’t heard much new music from him other than

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BENZI unloads new ‘Girl Trapz 15’ mix featuring Flume, RL Grime, Rihanna, and many more

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BENZI unloads new ‘Girl Trapz 15’ mix featuring Flume, RL Grime, Rihanna, and many moreDwHjNFKVsAARfmw

BENZI, A favorite “make-out party DJ,” let loose the 15th rendition of his high energy GIRL TRAPZ series. Featuring 45 cuts and all-star caliber sounds from the likes of Flume, RL Grime, Rihanna, Calvin Harris and many more, Benzi continues to showcase his energized appeal on a platter of popular new edits paired with older gems. The future bass and trap mix is perfect for fake iPhone DJing, divorce ceremonies, keggers, pregames, slapping the bag, primetime, tailgates, frat parties, and even festival sets if a DJ forgets their go-to USB.

Known for his beloved edits, mashups, and bootlegs; BENZIis a BBC Radio 1 mainstay and Diplo & Friends stop-by who is also featured on Sirius XM #BANGUERS with BENZI. With crates running deep, there’s no telling what this genre chemist will come up with next, but what’s certain is uncontrollable head bobbing while organizing an impromptu party with all your friends. 

 

Igloofest Montréal to return for 13th edition of the winter event series, including headliners Diplo, Above & Beyond and RL Grime

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Igloofest Montréal to return for 13th edition of the winter event series, including headliners Diplo, Above & Beyond and RL GrimeIGLOO18 20180126 PETER RYAU LARSEN 044 2

Montréal is no stranger to icy Canadian winters, but that doesn’t stop the local troops from getting down in the snow. Returning for the 13th edition of the winter event series, Igloofest has announced their annual three-weekend takeover at the city’s Old Port, welcoming all as they embark on nine evenings of frosty festivities.

As the outdoor festival officially commences Jan 17 and comes to a close Feb 2, attendees have the ticketing capabilities to frequent one, or all nights of the multi-weekend frenzy. With previous years of success establishing Igloofest as one of the most prominent electronic events in Montréal, the 2019 edition continues to impress with a large-scale list of headliners, including the likes of Diplo, Above & Beyond, and Maceo Plex as notable billings for each respective weekend. Alongside the aforementioned acts, Igloofest boasts nights that bring out a double-dose of headliners such as longstanding techno masterminds Chris Liebing and Mind Against, and heavyweight trap heads RL Grime and Baauer over the course of two nights.

While some may shy away from the idea of an outdoor winter dance party, previous years have seen as many as 120,000 bundled-up attendees flock to the venue over a single season. Winter may not seem the preferred season for festivals, but Igloofest is here to disprove that narrow notion.

GA and VIP passes for Igloofest 2019 are available for purchase here.

Igloofest Montréal to return for 13th edition of the winter event series, including headliners Diplo, Above & Beyond and RL GrimeIgloofest Program

Photo credit: Peter Ryaux Larsen

Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018

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Dancing Astronaut’s Top Tracks of 2018Skrille 1

Paring down an entire year’s worth of songs is no easy feat.

2018 saw the explosion of songs like ZEDD‘s “The Middle” and Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa‘s “One Kiss,” dominating both the dance music charts and the radio airwaves. Ear-catching tracks like these, along with fan favorites like FISHER‘s persuasive “Losing It” and Anti Up‘s entertaining “Pizza” wiggled their way into festival sets around the world and — love them or hate them — stood out as notable tracks that do their part in immortalizing this whirlwind of a year.

We also saw a creative collective of remixes surface in 2018, including Rinzen‘s compelling take on deadmau5 and Rob Swire‘s hit “Monophobia” and Skrillex‘s intoxicating rendition of Travis Scott‘s “Sicko Mode.” We celebrated the return of Gesaffelstein with “Reset” and welcomed new projects from Diplo in LSD and Silk City. We welcomed collaborations from Ekali, Medasin, and Elohim in “Forever,” Tiësto, Dzeko, Post Malone, and Preme in platinum smash hit “Jackie Chan,” and ZHU and Tame Impala in “My Life.”

Ultimately, though, we’ve narrowed 2018 down to 30 tracks that stole our hearts and smashed streaming records.

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

Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 69

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Dexter’s Beat Laboratory Vol. 69Deters 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 a good week for drum & bass. Feint has teamed up with vocalist Heather Sommer for a brilliant new NoCopyrightSounds release, “Shockwave.” This new release dips back and forth between melodic drum & bass and heavier, wobble-laden interludes that make “Shockwave” appealing to fans of the full drum & bass spectrum. This track is feel-good drum & bass at its finest, and Feint’s production remains unparalleled.

Twenty-five-year-old Ram Records has released its annual drum & bass compilation, and with it comes a slew of exclusives and classics. UK producer Culture Shock makes his mark early in the 60-song collection with the emotive “There For You” as the second track. This touching track pulls the listener in right from the beginning with its infectious vocal hook and builds — with the help of some elegant synth melodies — into a welcoming drum & bass number.

RL Grime‘s NOVA has received an impressive array of remixes since its release in July. The final installation, released this week, features hot takes from artists from Vincent to Valentino Khan to Alexander Lewis, who’s crafted a heavy trap take on “Take It Away.” Lewis’ signature horns add an extra punch to the bassline and command a more authoritative and fiery atmosphere than the original, making it a standout on the latest remix compilation.

Hidden Face has had a steady stream of solid songs this year, never seeming to slow his release schedule. A stringed melody demands the spotlight in his latest, “Flowers,” which is backed by a steady deep house beat to drive it along. Intermittent snaps and twinkling notes comprise two brief interludes, giving the song an extra element of diversity. With countless releases this year, 2019 is sure to hold even more stellar work from the mysterious Parisian artist.

Tut Tut Child began a new project in August called Forest Knot, in which he creates a new song each month for a year. Each month since then, he’s been thrilling old and new fans with ambient and contemplative tunes he’s composed from years of traveling. He told listeners to “expect downtempo, explorative electronica, filled to the brim with real sounds,” and he’s delivered on that promise with a gorgeous tune called “We Walk Through The Streets Of Lisbon.”

NMF Roundup: REZZ & Blanke share ‘Mixed Signals,’ Gareth Emery provides a trance haven, Martin Garrix teams up with Julian Jordan + more

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NMF Roundup: REZZ & Blanke share ‘Mixed Signals,’ Gareth Emery provides a trance haven, Martin Garrix teams up with Julian Jordan + moreDA WM 89

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.

This week’s slew of releases came in hot, kicking off with a formidable new collaboration between REZZ and Blanke. Gareth Emery again teams up with songstress Emma Hewitt for the gorgeous “Take Everything,” and Valentino Khan thrills on a new rework of RL Grime‘s “Pressure.” Martin Garrix and Julian Jordan bring the Friday feel-good vibes with their new collaboration, “Glitch.” Gryffin is back with a new one, bringing along Stanaj for the ride. Ferry Corsten and Ilan Bluestone refuse to leave the dance floor in “We’re Not Going Home,” and CAZZETTE keeps the dance floor rocking with “On My Mind.” Arty is one of the newest to release on Ninja’s NINJAWERKS compilation with silky “Velvet.” The Chainsmokers bring “Hope” with their newest, and Ookay drops off the five-track Nice! EP. In the dubstep realm, 12th Planet and PhaseOne deliver the heavy “Taco Bout It.” Over in the drum & bass realm, Culture Shock pull at listeners’ heartstrings with the emotive “There for You.”

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: Christian Miller