Dusky show vulnerability with ‘Aset Forever’ release [EP Review]

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Dusky show vulnerability with ‘Aset Forever’ release [EP Review]Aset Forever Dusky

When tragedy strikes, the only thing to do is to keep moving forward. This is a reality that Alfie and Nick of Dusky were forced to face upon the passing of their close friend Jan “Aset” Francis in late 2017. In their time spent healing from their loss, Aset Forever manifested itself as catharsis across five tracks. It’s the first body of work seen from the illustrious duo since Square Miso, and also signals their readiness to move past their hardship and back into the swing of touring life.

They already showed their opposition against wallowing in self pity through the EP’s first single, “Amongst The Gods.” Clearly paying homage to their friend in this piece, it carries a more positive connotation hidden beneath its satisfying blend of breaks and deep house. Aset is in a better place now. This sweet edge to the sorrow continues on into “Ace,” a distinctly underground number whose acid tones evoke imagery of underground warehouses like the ones Jan Francis helped a nascent Dusky play in when their career began.

“Staunch” deals with the angrier side of loss, painting an eerie picture with creeping harmonies on the low end and synth moans that send shivers down the spine. “Angles” lightens the mood again, floating along bouts of breaks and ethereal melodies that ease the listener out of the dark place they were brought in with the tracks before. Its retro appeal and higher doses of melody are unabashedly Dusky. Finally, “The Captain” ties all the the emotions present in Aset Forever into a 1980s-inspired, bittersweet package.

 

 

Order a copy of ‘Aset Forever,’ out on the duo’s 17 Steps imprint, here

Justin Martin kicks off ‘Set It Off’ tour in support of official Strafe re-work

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Justin Martin kicks off ‘Set It Off’ tour in support of official Strafe re-workJustin Martin Press

Justin Martin has officially become the first dance artist to be granted the “official” title in his re-work of Strafe’s smash hit from the 1980s, “Set It Off.” For years, fans have happily received the remix — then an ID — during Justin’s set, anxiously wondering whether or not the track would be shared to the public. The excitement swirling the remix reached fever pitch, however, when it caught the attention of Strafe himself, who officially sanctioned Martin’s version of the piece. He joins the ranks of Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, and Lil Jon in this endeavor, which comes packaged alongside an even more energized club mix come October 12 on Dirtybird.

Such a milestone release calls for tour in celebration. Beginning September 29 and spanning throughout the rest of the fall season, Martin will be “setting it off” on dancefloors across the United States, from the West Coast to the East, and in between. To boot, he’ll be joined by a bevy of other stalwarts in the scene as well, including Latmun, Ardalan, Justin Jay, and his brother Christian.

 

 

Justin Martin kicks off ‘Set It Off’ tour in support of official Strafe re-workSet It Off Tour Justin Martin

Purchase tickets here

Photo credit: Facebook/Justin Martin

Still doing the D.A.N.C.E. a decade later: Justice on 10 years together, ‘Woman Worldwide,’ and what the future holds for the greatest dance-rock band of all time [Interview]

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Still doing the D.A.N.C.E. a decade later: Justice on 10 years together, ‘Woman Worldwide,’ and what the future holds for the greatest dance-rock band of all time [Interview]Justice Julian Bajsel Coachella C014875

Growing up with one French parent, as a child I was exposed to a more-than-healthy amount of Gypsy Kings. My Parisian mother, her questionable selections aside, always maintained music as a strong element of family life. However, somehow in raising someone who grew up to be a dance music journalist, my parents often have no idea what I do for work. Occasionally some dance music does break through their Baby Boomer consciousness though, and most often over the course of the last decade, it’s been courtesy of French electronic icons Justice.

Harmonizing the perfect blend of disco, classic rock tropes, and electro — the band’s inimitable catalog undoubtedly boasts a multi-generational appeal. Justice’s seminal debut album, †, was one of my first real forays into electronic music, and when I fell, I fell hard. It was essentially my parents’ introduction to electronic dance music too, so when I told my mother I’d be interviewing Xavier De Rosnay of Justice, a French dance legend she’s actually quite familiar with, she insisted on joining me. In fact, there was really no negotiating. Anyone else with a French mother, De Rosnay included, probably understands. So I had my mom present to help me interview one of the greatest electronic music minds of all time just ahead of Woman Worldwide‘s highly anticipated release.

Still doing the D.A.N.C.E. a decade later: Justice on 10 years together, ‘Woman Worldwide,’ and what the future holds for the greatest dance-rock band of all time [Interview]Justice Ww Live AnthonyGhnassia Credit

It has been almost two years since De Rosnay and bandmate Gaspard Augé’s critically lauded third LP, WomanNow, the two electro luminaries have followed up with a new “live” album — an homage, or perhaps more accurately, a counterpart — to Woman‘s live production, rebuilt in the studio as what De Rosnay describes as a “proper Justice record.” De Rosnay explains the record’s complexion, detailing, “After maybe six months of touring, we were really feeling the music we were playing on stage every night, and we just wanted to share it with the people who are interested in it. So we thought to record it and make another live album, but we wanted to find a way to make it different.” In those six months, the “Safe and Sound” producers brought Woman‘s flooring live manifestation to Coachella, Lollapalooza, Sónar, and home to Paris’ AccorHotels Arena to name a few. De Rosnay continues,

“We love A Cross The Universe and Access All Arenas, but they were meant to capture what its like to be at a Justice show. We knew people were frustrated, and so this time we decided to make a very clean version, very hi-fi version of it.”

Justice on wax compared to Justice on stage are two very different, polarizing experiences. De Rosnay boils down his relationship with that dichotomy, painting a picture of everything he and Gaspard wish they could do on stage being packaged up and brought to the studio to be fully actualized. Expressing a limitation on the minimal processing they can engage in live on stage, eventually, performance notes collected night after night were brought to the pair’s state-of-the-art studio in Paris with the intent to merge the two experiences. With the time, space, and resources needed to make their live show emulate the quality of a crisp, clean studio album format, Augé and De Rosnay were able to cherry-pick the best parts of their hair-raising live set and recreate them into Woman Worldwide. “It’s a version of what we’d like to do every night that we can’t do,” says De Rosnay.

Still doing the D.A.N.C.E. a decade later: Justice on 10 years together, ‘Woman Worldwide,’ and what the future holds for the greatest dance-rock band of all time [Interview]Justice Woman Worldwide Photo Cred Pascal Teieira 2

Among all the sonic chaos the two manage to pack into each LP, there’s an obviously meticulous nature to the duo’s work ethic. Surprisingly enough, the process of writing music actually proves to be much more organic and emotional for De Rosnay than calculated and measured. My mom chimes in, prodding in French about De Rosnay and Augé’s knack for perfectionism: “Are you happy with how the final product turned out?” I can feel my ears and cheeks getting hot.

“We are very happy with the album. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for us. Perfect isn’t the right word… its very accurate in terms of being what we originally imagined it to be. It is impossible to make a perfect record, but it’s very faithful to our idea. The records I love the most are not perfect in a technical term. As long as we connect to the music, then we can put it out.”

Since their 2007 debut, the band’s artistic development has naturally progressed between predominating styles and themes, however, it has always managed to hold a sense of genuine timelessness. “We don’t mind actually being tagged in one category. It’s not for some people. But we don’t mind the categorization. Every time we hear a new band, the first thing we do is try to categorize them,” De Rosnay admits. Though s heady, distorted electro backbone stands in direct contrast in many places to Woman’s futuristic gospel-glam core that came a decade later, both albums still undoubtedly look, sound, and feel like Justice. It’s been a gradual advancement of style, “Yeah, it’s a little strange,” starts De Rosnay, “on one hand, we always feel like we’re making the same thing. The disco element has always been there, like ‘D.A.N.C.E.‘ is straight disco with rock elements, perhaps just in a different shape. When we finish a record we never know if its too similar to what we did before.”

“Even if tomorrow we’re making a hard rock record, or a rap record, or even a reggaeton record, I think it will still sound a lot like Justice.”

Though, the two producers are far from the same wide-eyed DJs they were in A Cross The Universe touring the states for the first time a decade ago. Sometimes the leather jacket and stud-clad version of Justice seems like a lifetime ago. De Rosnay concedes that the pretenses of a full-length visual feature similar to the band’s unforgettable tour documentary seems unlikely nowadays. He sighs over the thought, “99 percent of music documentaries have a band as the subject and then people all talking about how great that band is, ‘oh they’re so cool’ or whatever,” De Rosnay laments. “We didn’t want to do that. We made A Cross The Universe for fun. We didn’t want to make a documentary that says we’re great. Making A Cross The Universe was like Jackass — we wanted anyone to be able to enjoy it and find fun [in it], even if they aren’t connected to the music we make. At the time I think I was 25, [Augé] maybe 27.”

Still doing the D.A.N.C.E. a decade later: Justice on 10 years together, ‘Woman Worldwide,’ and what the future holds for the greatest dance-rock band of all time [Interview]Justice O2 Briton Academy Credit Guifre De Peray

A Cross The Universe was really about what happens when you take a new French band and you allow them to indulge in the rock and roll cliches we’ve always been told about. But we made it knowing that ten years later, we’d be in a completely different place.”

De Rosnay maintains his characteristically cool, tight-lipped allure when prompted on a possible visual element to Woman Worldwide, “We’re always trying things. If it’s good enough, it’ll exist. For example, we tried to make a film for Access All Arenas and spent a lot of time on it, but it wasn’t good enough, so we didn’t release it. But we’re always trying to create a visual tie to things.” In planning ahead, De Rosnay and Augé prefer to savor the moment, but with a cycle of nearly five-year gaps between studio albums and nearly equal measures of time between live projects, with Woman Worldwide’s release, the duo’s pattern suggests a hiatus is due.

De Rosnay politely laughs at my mother’s nudging as she pesters him about taking, “les grandes vacances” after the duo’s tour concludes at Austin City Limits in October. Even deities make obligatory small talk with mothers. He counters, “Sometimes it feels like we’re on a permanent vacation, but at the same time we’re always working. It’s been two years since Woman was released and in the time since then, we’ve been touring. If we started working on the next album right after the tour and that takes a year and a half, it would be finished by late 2020 — that’s already four years between two albums without a break,” remarks De Rosnay. “We do disappear in a way, though, since when we’re recording we don’t play live.” Has any new music been written since Woman’s release? “…No.” Ah, that abrupt, yet ultra-cool French temperament.

Still doing the D.A.N.C.E. a decade later: Justice on 10 years together, ‘Woman Worldwide,’ and what the future holds for the greatest dance-rock band of all time [Interview]Alice MoitieÌ Credit Justice Press Shot

After a brief pause, De Rosnay does creep forward. “With Woman, we worked a lot on the live show. Then we toured and spent a lot of time working on Woman Worldwide, and now we’re working on… things. But it’s hard to start writing a new album when we’re still on the last one. One of the greatest pleasures of making music is being in our studio, together with time and space. We could work on laptops in hotel rooms and planes, but it’s not a thing we enjoy. That works for some people, we just like the pleasure of being in our own studio.”

Somewhere between nu-disco and New Testament, Justice have crafted, and then re-crafted, a certified masterpiece with Woman and the ensuing Woman Worldwide. Now that we might be nearing the end of a prolific chapter in the visionary Justice narrative, De Rosnay departs with a seemingly innocuous, yet perhaps foreshadowing salutation. “We hope this continues as long as possible, let’s cross our fingers. The door is always open.” Here’s to another decade of Justice For All.

Another cryptic Aphex Twin poster appears in NYC

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Another cryptic Aphex Twin poster appears in NYCAphe Twin Electronic Beats

Aphex Twin‘s plotting something big.

Last week, after a cryptic Aphex Twin logo was spotted on a poster in London’s Elephant & Castle tube, two other mysterious posters popped up in Turin, Italy, and again most recently on the side of Amoeba Music in Hollywood. Now, a fourth poster has been spotted in Manhattan at the intersection of 46th and 12th street.

With seemingly random plot points on a map now incuding Italy, London, New York, and Los Angeles, fans have begun to speculate about a possible run of live shows. Though fans aren’t entirely sure what to make of the teasers, the buildup is similar to that of his 2014 album Syro, which the veteran electronic musician announced by flying a promotional blimp over London. These similar tactics can’t help but suggest that whatever’s he’s got planned will be well worth the anticipation.

Another mysterious Aphex Twin logo appears, this time in Hollywood

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Another mysterious Aphex Twin logo appears, this time in HollywoodLa Et Ms Aphe Twin Stream New Ep Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments 2 20150123

Since his iconic logo appeared in both London’s Elephant and Castle underground station and Turin, Italy last week, Aphex Twin has been a hot topic of discussion, stirring hope for experimental music lovers everywhere. Now with a third placement of the logo — this time on the side of famed Amoeba Records, fans’ speculations seem to be amounting to something more concrete.

While Aphex Twin has not made any statements about the possible release, the Cheetah producer is quite familiar with guerrilla marketing tactics like this, having used a similar technique for his lauded 2014 album, Syro. While the artwork in Turin has lead some to believe that this could be a tour announcement (Aphex Twin headlines Turin’s Club to Club Festival this November), neither London nor Los Angeles tour dates have yet to appear. Though nobody knows exactly what Aphex Twin is actually up to, something about this mysterious new campaign suggests exciting news to come in the near future.

#aphextwin

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Elephante announces accompanying tour to sophomore album release ‘Glass Mansion’

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Elephante announces accompanying tour to sophomore album release ‘Glass Mansion’ElephanteStudioShootSamples 0057 RT

It’s safe to say that LA-based DJ and producer Elephante has had a busy year after scoring his first Vegas residency and releasing his sophomore album, Glass Mansion. The nine track album offered something for everyone, featuring everything from rock electronic fusions to dubstep to radio crossover releases. Unsurprisingly, the compilation hit over 10 million streams over a few short weeks post its full release.

Now the producer is announcing an accompanying Glass Mansion tour so that fans can see him perform the new album live. The tour will span 33 select cities, and a few stops have yet to be announced.

Elephante announces accompanying tour to sophomore album release ‘Glass Mansion’Glass Mansion Tour

The Glass Mansion tour is set to kick off at Moonrise Festival on August 11 and span over the next four months across the U.S. Those who would like to see Elephante in a city near them can purchase tickets via his website.

Ekali announces tour with 1788-L and Slumberjack

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As always, Ekali is on fire and is rising at an amazing pace. Today, Ekali announced his tour with 1788-L and Slumberjack. The tour is called the Crystal Eyes tour. Ekali is set to release a fourth EP sometime soon – also called Crystal Eyes – but details of the release are not out just

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Autograf’s Jake Carpenter shares heartfelt message on touring haitus

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Autograf’s Jake Carpenter shares heartfelt message on touring haitusAutograf

The Autograf trio, comprised of Jake Carpenter, Mikul Wing, and Louis Kha, have maintained a non-stop itinerary in the last three years since their emergence. Amid constant touring and studio time, the trio’s latest Caution:Live tour has found Carpenter largely absent, and he’s now cluing fans into the nature of his sidelining.

Recently Carpenter took to social media to share a heartfelt message to fans, describing suffering a severe mental breakdown that challenged his ability to tour with his band. Carpenter feared he “would tour again” though after an extended period of rehabilitation with friends and family away from the road, he’s preparing to rejoin Autograf once again. The Chicago-based producers hadn’t publicly spoken about Carpenter’s absence prior to the recent Instagram post.

Artist mental health has been a rising issue in recent years with the unrealistically strenuous nature of the dance music industry. With electronic music’s young talents emerging into the lightning-fast world of touring and promotion, hopefully we see artists take measures of self care away from the road like this more frequently going forward. Read Jake Carpenter’s full statement below.

Hey everyone ❤ We haven’t publicly said anything until now- but I was off tour for 5 months. At the end of 2017, after 3 incredible years of practically non-stop touring, I had a severe mental breakdown which forced me to miss our big headline tour. I didn’t think I would tour again- I felt a shadow of my former self. But being home and surrounded by my friends and family for 5 months, and taking care of myself and seeking out help has done me a world of good. I feel so incredibly blessed to have Mikul and Louis as bandmates and have so many talented people working on our team. Everyone has been very understanding of my need to take a step back from it all for a minute and I couldn’t be more grateful. Taking the time to go back to my roots making art and sculpture again has been very therapeutic. I feel balanced, stable, and healthy- and in the process got to spend lots of time in the studio writing music, sculpting, drawing, and creating. I can’t wait to share all the new projects we’ve been working on and I’m so excited to come back on tour and get involved with all of you guys again! Love, Jake 📸 @willselviz

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Virtual Self Fans Reveal Possible Locations Of Future Tour

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It’s no surprise that Porter Robinson’s project, Virtual Self, has blown people away since starting up last year. The self-titled EP and occasional festival appearances have left Virtual Self fans wanting more. After sharing a link to his website on Twitter yesterday, fans quickly found hints within Virtual Self’s site that point to a possible

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Zedd announced as support for Katy Perry on final WITNESS Tour performances

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Zedd announced as support for Katy Perry on final WITNESS Tour performances

Two of pop music’s most venerable forces are teaming up for a short run of shows, as Zedd joins Katy Perry‘s final shows on WITNESS: The Tour. Zedd, who’s commanded his own international touring itinerary, often times with multiple supporting acts billed beneath him, joins Perry as a special opening guest as her tour reaches Australia, capping nearly a year of consecutive touring for the “Chained to the Rhythm” singer. With Zedd’s high energy performance style warming the stage for Perry’s larger-than-life live production, fans in Australia are in for a treat.

Zedd is slated to open the Sydney and Brisbane stops, with Perry also roping in additional star power from vocalist Starley on a number of final tour stops as well. Zedd’s trip down under is hardly the first time major pop stars have employed the support of the world’s top DJs while out on tour though. Madonna’s 2012 MDNA tour included support from Laidback Luke, Martin Solveig, and of course Avicii among others. Martin Garrix and Justin Bieber have shared tour dates, and 2016 even found Skrillex opening stops for Guns N Roses.