Origins festival brings the underground to light in Arizona

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Origins festival brings the underground to light in ArizonaGoldrush18a 006

Relentless Beats is back again with a brand new adventure into the underbelly of dance music. Called Origins, the event is founder Thomas Turner’s homage to the sounds of electronica from where he draws his roots. The gathering will touch down in Rawhide Western Town on November 17 to help bring the underground to light.

The inaugural lineup sees This Never Happened owner Lane 8 headlining, along the live-infused sounds of Justin Jay, and quite a few other power players like Autograf, Nora En Pure, Duke Dumont, and more. Tickets are now on sale for as low as as $39 for GA, and $89 for VIP.

“The response we have received from the RBDeep brand is reflective of the growth in interest of deeper music, which made this the right time to take it to the next level. This is just the beginning for Origins, and I cant wait to see it evolve in the years to come,” stated Turner of Origins’ birth.

Origins festival brings the underground to light in ArizonaOrigins Fest



Maccie – “Dance For Your Queen” [EDM Sauce Premiere]

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Step back, because Toronto’s up and coming indie-pop icon, Maccie, is back with a fiercely feminine new single titled “Dance For Your Queen.” Most of us met Maccie when her last EP, “Primal,” climbed high on the charts with it’s lead single, “Bleed.” The musical collection was a ferocious testament to the artist’s vocal power

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Techno Tuesday: Jeniluv takes us beneath LA’s surface ahead of Secret Project Festival

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Techno Tuesday: Jeniluv takes us beneath LA’s surface ahead of Secret Project FestivalJeniluv Press

Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

Los Angeles’ vibrant underground dance sphere wouldn’t be where it is today without figures like Jeniluv leading the charge behind-the-scenes. The tenured DJ, producer, and music lover has been a prime fixture of both the San Francisco and LA scenes for a combined 20 years, moving back to LA permanently in 2007 to cultivate her Making Shapes events brand into the stalwart it is today.

Jeniluv is a respected figure for good reason; she’s never once compromised her passions, and continues to spend her time helping others up, either through booking, collaborations, or in showcasing the finest below-surface house, acid, and techno records one can dig for. It’s because of her deep understanding of and integration into the LA scene, and her proven history of successful event production, that Insomniac tapped her talents for their debut Secret Project Festival. The festival represents a whole new foray for the brand, pairing up with David Chang’s majordōmo to create an exclusive menu, and Apotheke for a cutting-edge array of cocktails. It’s an event for the more mature dance fans in their base, which is sealed into place with headliners like Carl Cox, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Dixon, Peggy Gou, and more. Meanwhile, Jeniluv and other LA crews have been brought on to not only bring a sense of authenticity, but also to show off just how thriving the city’s music culture is — if one looks deep enough.

We sat down with Jeniluv to quiz her a bit about her musical upbringing, her inspirations, playing Secret Project, and more ahead of the show. Last-minute tickets can be grabbed here.

Let’s get started with the basics: what was your path into the LA underground in the 90s? Did it happen by chance, or did you fall in love with the music and seek it out?
I was 15 years old and went to school in Long Beach, California. I collected classic rock records mostly; we listened to local emo or backyard bands like Sublime. We skated half pipe to punk rock and listened to Dj Drez hip-hop cassette tapes. I had never heard of House music, or dance music beats besides maybe 80s for example, or Everything but The Girl. One day, a latina girl I had a crush on walked up to me and asked me if I wanted to go to LA that weekend and hear some house music. I was like ‘Whats that??”

I jumped into her older brother’s car Saturday night and we headed to Echo Park to pick up a few of their friends. We stopped at a few places so they could spray some graffiti, before ending up on the east side at a warehouse on the railroad tracks. The music was not on yet, but people were arriving. I saw a crew of kids carrying several crates of records into the entrance, following someone. I remember feeling mesmerized by all the movement and the warehouse environment.

We were at an “Unlock The House” party, and once inside, the music started. Doc Martin was the DJ and his record crates lined the wall behind him, about 10 crates total. There were four turntables and a massive sound system pumping out bass like I’d never heard, sounds and rhythms both acid and tribal. “DEEP HOUSE,” they called it — and house music roots are deep in Los Angeles. The crowd was mostly chicano and local to Los Angeles. I was the loco white girl dancing on my first ecstasy that night and no one seemed to mind at all! I fell in love with house music and went “raving” every weekend. I am still good friends with those kids today, 25 years later we share dancefloors.

On that note, what drew you to electronica early on, and what is it about house/techno that has kept the fire alive for you for so long?
I found freedom. The music changed me as a person, the people embrace me as I am, the places I have traveled because of the music — and my global dance music family.

Can you spill a couple crazy rave stories from your time in the scene?
I need time to integrate my experiences but i just keep pushing on into more — it’s all a blur. Good times, bad times — this is a harsh and beautiful lifestyle. Most memories that come to mind are illicit, about death or too amazing to put into words.

You’ve made it on your own successfully as an underground artist for so long. The beauty is that you’ve done this while still keeping your integrity and humility. Do you have any words of wisdom to impart on younger artists about success/what it means, and what they can do to find this in their own careers?
If you love it, it will take everything you have to remain a part of it. To have it be what you do with your life, you will need to carve your own way into a rock. Don’t listen to anyone not worth listening to. Just do you — people respect that. Remain open to all kinds of music and your collection will build in many directions. Develop your own sound and style — people will catch on.

Who have been some of your biggest figures of inspiration throughout the years?
Doc Martin, Solar, Justin Martin, Jennifer Cardini, Juan Atkins, Move D, and DJ Harvey — to name a few for a variety of reasons… along with my current role model underground DJs and best friends in music, Heidi Lawden and Masha.

What is the current LA scene needing now (if anything), and what can we as fans do to help?
Its mayhem here, every weekend there are several parties with big line ups. We are one of the leading weekender hubs for dance music in the world, now. But what we need is a weekday scene.

Let’s pivot now into Secret Project territory – first off, have you ever played any events in Chinatown before? How has this area changed in your eyes over the years?
I have played at local Chinatown bar’s General Lee’s and Grand Star Jazz Club back when heavy disco laden nights like Sunny Side up and Full Frontal Disco frequented them. There used to be this big party in the alley next to the area where Harvey and Guy Gerber do their party — an alley take over as opposed to a block party, I forget who did that. It has a fun history, and promoters are taking more advantage of the unique daytime space now.

How did you get involved with Secret Project?
My partner in Making Shapes, SONNS, called me up and said we were playing together. I think initially we were going to do a back to back set, but now we have individual set times.

Aside from yourself (your set’s going to be awesome), who else should Secret Project fans be looking forward to most on the lineup that aren’t the main headliners, and why?
Octa Octa — live? Peggy Gou — good time! SONNS — LA prodigy and party boy.

What kind of set do you have planned for Secret Project? Are you going to douse us in acid, lay down some hard techno, some grooving house, a mix?
Depends on my set time, I have been buying, downloading, and throwing music in a folder waiting to dissect it closer to date. Probably early day stuff that’s interesting to both listen and dance to, beckoning you to the dancefloor.

What other aspects of the festival excite you most?
A two day line up in Los Angeles that is stacked with these artists just has not happened here before.

Do feel Secret Project has the potential to set a precedent for other large organizers to support local talent scenes?

Finally, what else is coming up for Jeniluv in the near future?
Asia tour in February with Solar and DJ Nobu, also some snow boarding together! My new project ‘Psychicbody’ is a casual label, mix series and after hours event in Los Angeles. Also, The Dusk Festival, Southern California — tba

Gorgon City’s remix of ‘Feel My Needs’ is an easy dance floor jumpstarter

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Gorgon City’s remix of ‘Feel My Needs’ is an easy dance floor jumpstarterGorgon City

Following the release of their critically-acclaimed album Escape, Gorgon City is back with a remix of Weiss‘ house jam “Feel My Needs.” With a widely successful sophomore album and a what appears to be steady new material stocked as well, the English duo has hit their stride this fall season, gearing up for a well-equipped 2018 tour.

The remix is sure to be a fan-pleaser, as Gorgon City stick to their UK underground house roots on this one. The producer duo throw in some beloved deep bass and quick drum hits, topping off their remix effort with interchanging piano chords and echoed vocals cropped from the original mix. The tempo is sped up a bit, which sets this up perfectly with the theme of most Gorgon City live sets. Jump into Gorgon City’s “Feel My Needs” remix below.

Check Out These 10 Tracks From June We Think Went Under The Radar

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Can you believe that we are it’s already July 1st!? Its full-blown summertime here in the US and with summertime comes tons of new music. Artists love to release music around this time of year in hopes to be that festival or summer anthem. With that being said, June was a month LOADED with new

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In Anima – Void Observatory (Pisetzky Remix)

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In Anima – Void Observatory (Pisetzky Remix)Pisetzky Void Observatory Remi

A melodic, trancier form of tech has been taking the dance world by storm as of late, with an outpouring of skilled artists made visible by the likes of Tale Of Us, Mind Against, Âme, Dixon, and more. In Anima are one such act operating below surface who are behind some destructive weapons in their colleagues’ sets. They’ve just signed onto the fledgling Barcelona-based imprint Venom Recordings with Void Observatory, in which the dup have served up three new originals alongside two remixes.

Rising Italian talent Pisetzky was chosen as one of the remixers, taking on the record’s namesake track and molding it into his own. He maintains the thunderous energy of the original, but focuses on a more muffled, yet sinister low end to accomplish this feat. The remix unfolds like a ride through the underworld, filled with chilling synth riffs, layers of tense sampling, and vibrating bass coming together in a cohesive and impactful union. It’s safe to say that Pisetzky has created a peaktime number in his rendition of “Void Observatory.”



Order a copy here 

Best Albums Of 2018…So Far

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It brings me an ample amount of joy to make the following statement; 2018 is the best year dance music has had in a long time. Since the EDM bubble blew up in the late 2000s and the commercial and mainstream takeover we’ve seen in the 2010s, there has been a noticeable decline in the

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Movement Afters? Dancing Astronaut is here with a comprehensive, yet well-curated guide

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Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching for the city of Detroit. Soon, thousands of house and techno fans will embark on their annual pilgrimage to Movement Festival in order to celebrate their music of choice in its very birthplace.

The festival itself is going to be quite the thrill; talent from all over the house and techno spectrum — from Dirtybird acts, to Ostgut Ton — will be represented, offering attendees a large menu of music to sample throughout its three-day duration. However, the festivities don’t stop at Hart Plaza. Detroit transforms into a party town each night of Movement, opening its venues up to the multitudes of caliber acts flooding the city alongside their fans.

Making a decision on the right party always tends to be an arduous task. To help refine the list, the Dancing Astronaut staff have chosen their picks for places to go when the late night kicks in.

Purchase last-minute Movement tickets here



The Annual smartbar opening party with Palms Trax, Tin Man, Garrett David, & more
Friday, 6:00pm-4:00am at the TV Lounge | Tickets

Movement is such a pleasant reminder that dance music originated in the midwest United States. For this party, Chicago institution smartbar invades the D for their annual takeover featuring a who’s who of DJs’ DJs. Get there early for the free BBQ, while supplies last!


Official Movement Opening Party with Ghostly International
Friday 9:00pm – 4:00am at the Marble Bar | Tickets

Ghostly is one of the shining success stories of modern Detroit music. Although they’ve moved their headquarters from Ann Arbor, Ghostly still reps hard for Detroit and this party is no different. Featuring appearances from Ghostly boss Matthew Dear, Firehouse NYC head Kim Ann Foxman, and a special b2b between Detroit selectors Mike Servito and Derek Plaslaiko, this will no doubt be a Detroit-heavy way to kick off the Movement weekend.


Official Movement Pre Party featuring Blank Code + SYSTEM + Communion
Friday, 10:00pm at The Works | Tickets

Blank Code, System and Communion are collaborating to bring their sophomore official Movement pre party to The Works. With a lineup that features a three-hour live set from Function, Dustin Zahn, Karl Meier, and more, this pre-party kicks off the weekend with a bang.

10 Years of No. 19 Music
Friday, 9:30pm at The Magic Stick | Tickets

Toronto label No. 19 Music is celebrating its 10th birthday with a stellar Movement pre-party. The evening will feature sets from Art Department, Kenny Larkin, Terrence Dixon, Ryan Crosson, Nitin, and Teeloo.

Modern Cathedrals – Eden IV
Friday, 9:00pm-9:00am at the Tangent Gallery | Tickets

Eden IV has put forth one of the finest all-techno lineups of all of Friday. Across twelve hours, the likes of Headless Horseman, Anastasia Kristensen, DeepChord, and more will be filling the Tangent Gallery with throbbing percussion and shadowy tones. This is an unmissable for those who like their techno raw and raunchy.


Soul Clap’s House of Efunk
Saturday, 11:00pm – Sunday 11:59pm at the TV Lounge | Tickets

Anyone who’s been to a Soul Clap party knows how fun they are — smiling faces, bumping beats, and a jovial atmosphere pervades the dancefloor as Charlie and Eli take the reins in their self proclaimed “second home” of Detroit. This year, they’ve outdone themselves booking legends such as electro Don Egyptian Lover, drum n bass king LTJ Bukem, Detroit OG Scott Grooves, and countless others.

Discwoman Detroit
Saturday, 10:00pm – 5:00am at El Club | Tickets

Discwoman has never messed around, period, but they are most definitely not messing around with their lineup for Detroit this year. Featuring a mix of some of the heaviest hitters from their ultra talented roster such as Juana, Volvox, and Shyboi, while also showcasing a different side of their sound with live performances from sonic poet Moor Mother, this party is going to be bumping well into the morning hours.

Dirtybird Players Official Movement Afterparty
Saturday, 11:00 pm at The Masonic Temple | Tickets

The Dirtybird Players are taking over the famed Masonic Temple on Saturday with a yet-to-be-announced lineup that’s sure to thrill and delight fans of the iconic house label. Last year’s performances included ones by Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, J.Phlip, Will Clarke, and Walker & Royce, so the sky’s the limit!

Octopus Recordings Showcase
Saturday, 9:00pm-4:00am at Bleu | Tickets

Sian and his Octopus colleagues will be packing Bleu in with their avant-garde techno sound on Saturday. In addition to a special set by Marsian — the new joint project between Sian and Marc Houle — Carlo Lio, Lee K, and more will be throwing down reverberating beats into the wee morning hours.

Texture Official Movement Afterparty
Saturday, 10:00pm at The Marble Bar | Tickets

In its second year, Texture and The Marble Bar team up to offer a “multi-disciplinary experiment to explore the intersection between light, sound, and space” at their Movement afterparty. With a lineup that includes Danny Daze, Lena Willikens and Randomer, they will feature “elite cutting-edge innovators from across the global underground along with forward-thinking local Midwest talent.”



No Way Back 2018
Sunday 11:00pm – 12:00pm at the Tangent Gallery | Tickets

Many consider this to be THE afterparty to hit, an immersive “truly Detroit” party that continues to evolve and gain steam from year to year. Now on their 11th year, No Way Back is a Detroit institution lovingly tended to by the core group of Erika, BMG, Patrick Russell, and a whole slew of insanely talented Midwest-rooted DJs. Get a taste of the heads-down no-frills Midwest flavor that started this whole thing.

OK, Cool
Sunday 11:00pm – Monday 11:59pm at the TV Lounge | Tickets

OK, Cool continues the weekend long party at TV Lounge where outdoor patio, inside club, and side alley all come into play with rockin vibes. Festive big man Eats Everything headlines while headier techno comes from the likes of Cosmin TRG and Ataxia. There’s also plenty of Detroit love in the lineup too, with Delano Smith and Eddie C also taking the controls for this blowout.

Nina Kraviz and Marcel Dettmann Official Movement Afterparty
Sunday, 11 pm Sunday at The Masonic Temple | Tickets

In the heart of Movement weekend, The Masonic Temples brings together heavy-hitters Nina Kraviz and Marcel Dettmann for an unforgettable evening. Under one roof, the Russian techno goddess and pioneering German producer, along with Helena Hauff and Luke Hess, guarantee an evening of ceaseless dance floor magic.

Seth Troxler b2b The Martinez Brothers, Loco Dice b2b Stacey Pullen
Sunday, 10:00pm at the Leland City Club | Tickets

In perhaps one of the most anticipated after parties of Movement weekend, Paradigm and Paxahau present back-to-back sets from Seth Troxler and The Martinez Brothers, and Loco Dice and Stacey Pullen. The party will rain a heavenly mix of house and techno upon attendees for eight hours.

Lost&Found Showcase
Sunday, 10:00pm-4:00pm at Bleu | Tickets

After all the techno and house-based grooves taking over Movement during the day, who wouldn’t want a bit of respite in the form of some of the best progressive in the game? Guy J, Khen, and Eagles&Butterflies will be leading the night into the early morning hours, putting forth what is sure to be six hours of hypnotic, enchanting, and melodic tunes.


Where Are My Keys
Monday, 9:00am – Tuesday 4:00am at the Marble Bar | Tickets

Any time Omar S shows up, it’s a reason to party! This entire lineup is insane though and features somewhat rare US appearances from selectors Move D, Osunlande, DJ Minx, and many others slinging rare wax on the decks. Please note this party’s late / early start time and be prepared for a marathon dance!


IT presents: 15 Years of the Bunker
Monday, 10:00pm – 6:00am at the Tangent Gallery | Tickets

The Interdimensional Transmissions crew is another one of these Detroit institutions that puts on landmark events throughout the year, especially during Movement weekend. For this year, IT has teamed up with New York’s infamous The Bunker crew for a lineup bursting at the seams, with a room even specifically for “come downs”. Techno legends like Adam X and Jane Fitz lead the way on this one, another standout event at the hallowed Tangent Gallery.

MoodRAW Official Movement Closing Party
Monday, 11:00pm at The Masonic Temple | Tickets

As Movement draws to a close, those wishing to keep the party going can continue their Monday night at The Masonic Temple, where MoodRAW will offer sets from Dubfire, Hito, and Nicole Moudaber. This star-studded lineup promises to draw in music fans of all persuasions and keep them on their feet until its 4:00am close.


Repopulate Mars Official Movement After Party
Monday, 11:00pm at The Magic Stick | Tickets

The Magic Stick closes down Movement weekend with a five-hour fiesta featuring Lee Foss, Moon Boots, Nathan Barato, Anabel Englund, Will Clarke, John Johr, and Dru Ruiz. The diverse lineup guarantees an evening of innovation from some of the industry’s key players.

Feature Image Credit: Bryan Mitchell for Paxahau

Get to know your Desert Hearts: Doc Martin & Lubelski

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Doc Martin

It’s hard to believe that Desert Hearts is already crossing into its fifth birthday. The Southern Californian transformational brand has grown from a humble, grassroots gathering into a veritable institution over its half-decade of existence, and only continues to thrive with its City Hearts offshoots. Now, Mikey, Lee, Marbs, and Pork Chop are celebrating their brainchild’s birthday in the most extravagant of fashions, holding the biggest festival to date and booking an equally immense lineup.

Damian Lazarus will be spinning a stirring four hour set, Doc Martin and Sublevel and SHADED will be bringing their live performances into the fray, and many other talented acts like Kenny Glasgow and Dance Spirit also making an appearance. Dancing Astronaut had the privilege of sitting down with a series of the talent on the bill, and hosting interviews that they conduct between themselves.

One thing Desert Hearts excels at is highlighting immensely talented local acts on its wistful stage. Our next two performers joining together for a joint interview are hidden gems who both call Los Angeles their home.

Heavily active members of the LA party sphere have probably heard of the distinguishable Doc Martin.He’s primarily known for its impeccable deep house curation and the intimate, good-natured vibes he fosters at each gig. He is also one part of Sublevel Live, alongside the vocalist Lilllia. Having been around since the dawn of raving, more or less, Martin knows how to command a crowd at any time of day, and consistently finds himself on the rosters of many transformational festivals.

Lubelski comes from the new generation of talent bursting out of his Southern Californian locale, and has made a name for himself as a part of the extended Desert Hearts family. His pyschedelic-inspired house & techno, splashed with a bit of obscurity, ensures his crowds are always moving and kept on their toes. He’s managed to grow a large network and solid reputation despite only a relatively short tenure producing behind his Lubelski alias.

Find out what happens when we pair old and new generations together for a discussion about their mutual industry.



Lubelski to Doc Martin:

Let’s go from easy to hard. What is your go to airline? This is one I’m still trying to figuring out. Also, what’s the farthest from home you’ve ever played?
I was flying United and I almost had 3 Million Miles with them. The last couple of years, Delta has been great as far as Service, Meals, Movies, and Comfort!!! As far as International Flights go I use a variety of Airlines….

Probably the longest flight was to Bali from LA.

What does an ideal gig look like to you? What’s the location? What’s the crowd like? This can be in the form of one of your favorite sets you’ve played or maybe one that’s in your head.
I think a great gig consists of an open, dancing crowd! Music being curated the right way, not just a bunch of names thrown together. I do prefer a good artsy crowd, that is open to great music. I also love long sets where I can play different types of music through the night and take the crowd on the full ride. Notable shows that instantly stand out are gigs at Cityfox, Circoloco, Desert Hearts,Oregon Eclipse Fabric UK, Sublevel, Deep LA, Subtract LA, Art of Sound, and most recently The Do Lab at Coachella.

Do you have a ritual for when you play or when you write music? If so, what is it?
When picking music to play I have a very particular ear. I’m looking for more of a vibe, than just a style of music. I listen to tons of tracks, and still play at home all the time. When making music, I will spend hours on just making a sound. Sometimes songs take a while to come together. I believe the most important thing is to stay extremely passionate about what you do.

You’ve been an absolute legend in the scene since the early 90s. What is one thing you miss about the early rave days that you don’t see around in today’s scene?
Things were a lot different in the beginning. The scene was a lot smaller. I was truly blessed, to be one of the first DJ’s to play in different cities around the country. Saying that, I’m having the time of my life right now. I’ve met so many cool people, while being on the road lately. It’s been a completely positive experience! I think it’s important to have fun, and always love what you do.

Has there been one definitive song for you that has stood the test of time that you still find yourself playing in sets every so often?
What an Impossible question to answer. I’m always looking for classics that maybe weren’t huge at the time. There are so many remixes that bring classics in to the now.


Photo credit: Charlie Winterhalter

Doc Martin to Lubelski: 

What’s the story behind the Lubelski name? asking for a friend 🙂
It’s kind of a long story but I’ll give you the short version. I used to go by another name that was derivation of my first name. Unfortunately it was taken by a Puerto Rican rapper that wanted more than anything in the world to be Latino superstar Pitbull. So in deciding a new name for myself, I wanted to go with something that sort of defined the origins of my last name. Lubell is a derivative of Lubelsky, where my family comes from in Poland!

Please give us a little background on your musical Influences that have helped you develop as an artist.
I’ve been playing instruments since I was just a kid. Always thought I’d end up in a band as a guitarist, but after years of trying to make it work with bandmates, I wanted to just do it all myself. As far as musical influences go, I’ve always been super inspired by guys like Moby, Fatboy Slim, and Led Zeppelin. They’ve always been artists that have tried to push the boundaries on what people considered to be good music and really defined generations of sound.

With so much music coming out on so many great labels. What is your favorite piece of gear and why?
There really is so much good music coming out. It always baffles me how people come up with some of the ideas for electronic music that they do.

I got to say my favorite piece of gear is my Doepfer Modular Rack. It’s the one piece of gear that I feel plays me, rather than I play it. It feels like I have to hold a conversation with it, if you know what I mean. It’s got its own character and is a bit haphazard at times, so it’s always refreshing to get lost in it and let the sounds kind of take me on journey.

How do you see the scene through your eyes?
Oof. This is a tough one. Without stepping on anyone’s toes, I feel like the scene is constantly at a tipping point. I feel because the scene is so saturated, it’s hard to say which direction it will go. Sounds, rhythms, and styles are all being overplayed and people are looking for the freshest thing. Artists like Four Tet, Jamie XX, Frits Wentink, and Danny Daze, I think, all have the right idea because they are focused on a forward thinking sound rather than whatever’s hot and just crowd pleasing, although I will say I still love party tech!

What are some of your favorite DTLA places/hangouts/Restaurants?
I love hanging out in Los Angeles Historic Park in Chinatown. It’s just outside of DTLA and a great place to look at the skyline and enjoy a sandwich ahaha

So many amazing restaurants in Downtown, it’s crazy…but to name a few – Tacos and Mezcal at Las Perlas, Sandwiches at Eat, Drink, Americano in the Arts District, Sushi at Enya in Lil Tokyo, and Mexican food at Bar Áma in the Old Banking District.

Who are you looking forward to hearing at Desert Hearts?
Sublevel Live, of course!!! Also Serge Devant, Damian Lazarus [4 Hr Set], SHADED, and my dude, RYBO.


Feature image credit: Danny Liao

Get to know your Desert Hearts: Lee Reynolds & Egyptian Lover

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It’s hard to believe that Desert Hearts is already crossing into its fifth birthday. The Southern Californian transformational brand has grown from a humble, grassroots gathering into a veritable institution over its half-decade of existence, and only continues to thrive with its City Hearts offshoots. Now, Mikey, Lee, Marbs, and Pork Chop are celebrating their brainchild’s birthday in the most extravagant of fashions, holding the biggest festival to date and booking an equally immense lineup.

Damian Lazarus will be spinning a stirring four hour set, Doc Martin and Sublevel and SHADED will be bringing their live performances into the fray, and many other talented acts like Kenny Glasgow and Dance Spirit also making an appearance. Dancing Astronaut had the privilege of sitting down with a series of the talent on the bill, and hosting interviews that they conduct between themselves.

Two stalwarts join us for Round 2 of interviews. The first is an LA staple, known for his connection to house music and the underground scene. We’re referring of course to Egyptian Lover, who has dedicated his life toward helping the scene thrive and sharing his soulful and grooving sounds to the world. Outside the warehouse sphere, he’s releasing on the likes of Hot Natured, Ninja Tune, and more, and even earning his Boiler Room stripes.

He partakes in this series alongside “Papa” Lee Reynolds, the English transplant who has since become one of Desert Hearts most beloved leaders. There’s something so youthful and infectious about him that rubs off on those he encounters and inspires them to maintain a positive mindset. Catch him on stage rallying a full crowd of dance-loving individuals at the festival, or any of his brand’s offshoot events. Together, they share fond memories of past gigs, offer a glimpse into their inspirations, talk shop, and more.


Egyptian Lover to Lee Reynolds:

What’s the feeling you get when you play a song and people scream (in a good way)?
That’s one of the experiences that I live for and what I hope to achieve with every track I drop. Trying to hit that perfect vibe and frequency that gets the crowd totally in the moment, on the same wavelength and gives them a chance to detach from the all the bad news — we’re fed with the government controlled media. When I get the crowd whooping like a bunch of wild humans, I feel like I’m doing my job. One of the best feelings you can have! I’ve definitely been brought to tears during DJ sets from the energy I feel from the dancefloor.

I myself still play with vinyl records, what do you play with and why?
I mostly play CDJs these days for the ease of use and because I travel so much. It’s nice not to have to lug around a 50 lbs box and to know I’ve got a thousand plus songs in my coin pocket so I can take the party in any direction it needs to go. I’ve been playing vinyl for about 27 years and actually played my first all vinyl set in over a decade a couple of weeks ago, but I have to say that I’m officially addicted to the black crack again! Funnily enough I did play “Egypt, Egypt” which has always been a staple throwback track for me and gets worked into a set a least a few times every year. Having to dig through my collection to get ready for the gig was such an amazing trip down memory lane…many tears of joy and goosebumps were had!

If you could go back in time and be in the studio with any artist and do a Lee Reynolds Remix, who would it be with and on what song?
Great question. Wow, so many good ones. Kate Bush, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode (ate my first acid at a DM show in London), Siouxsie and the Banshees (my first candy-flip), Grace Jones, The Clash, Bowie, Talking Heads, Fleetwood Mac, Bauhaus, Art of Noise, Bjork, Brian Eno, Giorgio Moroder, Echo and the Bunnymen, Gang of Four, The Human League, Liquid Liquid, New Order, Dead Kennedys, Prince, Queen, The Specials, Can, The Stone Roses.. I’d give my left testicle to have shared the studio with any of those legendary artists and I know my old brain is spacing out on many others. But ultimately it would have to be The Cure, my greatest ever musical obsession! Really hard to pick one song from their incredible discography but I’m gonna say Other Voices.

You are paid $10 Million to DJ a super private party. What are the first 5 things you buy?
1- Dream home for my parents
2- Three month worldwide adventure with my amazing wife Zoe and our incredible girlfriend Dani
3- The ultimate nightclub in my hometown of San Diego
not sure if there would be anything left by this point 😉
4- A plot of land to start my commune
5- A 12 pack of lager

What’s your favorite drink when you DJ? What’s your favorite drink at home?
Lager, lager, lager!!! I grew up in the UK and I’m know to kill at least a 12 pack on a daily basis. I try to steer clear of the hard liquor but that seldom works as I do love a bit of Tequila!

Egyptian Lover – Photo courtesy of artist

Lee Reynolds to Egyptian Lover:


“Freak-a-holic,” “Egypt, Egypt,” and “Sexy Style” are the first three of your tracks that pop into my head and all jams that I still play when I’m looking for some proper old school electro. They all make me feel you were having a really great time in the studio, which one of these was the most fun to produce and why?
I would have to say “Sexy Style” was the most fun. I always go to the studio with friends and at the time, my band. But this one weekend everyone flew to Las Vegas with Rodney O. So I was alone and booked the studio. I went in all by myself and created this track and did the vocals and when my band came back I played it for them and they lost their minds when they heard it. I felt good about it. I then released it right away. It was out in the stores within a couple weeks.

We all know that you’re the boss of the TR-808 but what’s your favorite synthesizer and when/where did you pick it up?
The amazing Roland Jupiter 8. I went into the Guitar Center and asked what’s the best synth you have? The employee said the Jupiter 8 by Roland but it’s expensive. I said “I’ll take it” and add the Emulator as well. His eyes got so big as I had them delivered to the Studio and recorded with them that day.

You been on the scene since the very early 80s and have had a huge influence on myself and many others. What inspires you and who are a few of the artists that influenced to start this journey?
My biggest influences came from Prince, Kraftwerk and the song Planet Rock. That song hit me way deep down in my soul and I knew I had to do something like that. The rap style came from Prince and by putting both of these two together you get Egyptian Lover.

I live in San Diego and I know that this city has shown you a lot of love throughout the years. Do you have a favorite venue down here and any funny stories about performing in my hometown?
I played the Kava Lounge many times and I absolutely love it. Very intimate. Once I was shooting a video there and my cameraman’s wife’s water broke and had her baby in San Diego. I finished my show and we all went to see the new born baby.

We’re super excited to have you at Desert Hearts this year. Can you tell us a little bit about your live set up, what your favorite DJ mixer is and what we can expect?
I’m gonna just do what I do best and that is Rock the House to the Ultimate of Par-tay-stivity. You will witness the evolution of The Egyptian Lover. My crazy DJ set with turntable tricks, playing records backwards, and then playing my 808 Live. Then performing my own songs. I like 4 channel mixers like the Pioneer DJM. I can plug my 808 right into it and have full control over the volume.