Meet the talent of Ocaso Festival: Lee Reynolds

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Meet the talent of Ocaso Festival: Lee ReynoldsLee Reynolds

Tamarindo, Costa Rica will ring in the new year with another dose of underground dance music with Ocaso‘s arrival on January 2 to the coastal town. The five-day festival has grown over the years into a veritable institution within the Central American house and techno scene, with curious travelers from around the globe visiting each year. 2019’s billing is a strong mixture of veteran and new performers per usual, with notable headliners including Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, Loco Dice, and Guy Gerber. Ahead of the festivities, Dancing Astronaut spoke to the artists to get to know them a bit better, and hear what excites them most about Ocaso.

Anyone who knows Desert Hearts brand is intimately familiar with the name, Lee Reynolds. Moving to California from his native England as a teen, initially for a career in BMX, he soon fell in love with house music and began DJing his local circuit. It was from there that he crossed paths with Mikey Lion, Porky, and Marbs years later — and subsequently decided to throw a renegade in the Mojave. A behemoth institution of House, Techno, Love was born that night and has since been named the “Best Boutique Festival of North America” by DJ Mag, expanded into a touring entity called City Hearts, and launched its own label.

Reynolds is a jovial character, whose virility and kindness have earned him the nickname, “Papa Lee” by fans. His joie de vivre is palpable behind the decks and on the dance-floor, where he’s seen dancing as hard as the audience he typically commands during his boisterous tech house sets. Prior to joining his fellow Desert Hearts on the Ocaso stage, he dropped by to tell us a bit more about his background.


Tell us about the moment/time period where you decided that a full-time music career was the only way to go.
Well, I became immersed in the underground dance music scene around 1992 and quickly started throwing events, honing my DJ skills and building a studio. However, I soon had two daughters to take care of and had to switch my focus to graphic design to pay the bills (a skill that would prove useful when we started Desert Hearts 20 years later). I never lost my passion for the music and continued to throw local events, building my body of music and dabbling in production, but it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I was able to fully make the transition from graphics to music. My studio has really come together over the past few years and when I’m now on the road that’s where you’ll find me, often times collaborating with the many talent artists in San Diego and LA. It’s been a long time coming but that makes me appreciate that much more! 2019 will be the year for me to unleash some of these tunes!

What’s your favorite part about the Costa Rican dance scene, if you’ve played there before? If not, what are you most curious about regarding the crowds, club culture, etc?
This will be my 4th or 5th time playing down there and it just keeps getting better and better! As a DJ I thrive on peoples’ energy and Costa Ricans have and energy and a zest for life that feeds my fire. Being a fairly new scene it comes with an open mind and lacks a lot of the stale ideas and cliches that hold back some parts of the world. They want to have a ggod time a now how to do it, if you play great music from a good place in your heart you will be warmly received. So my favorite part of the Costa Rican dance scene is the people… the outstanding natural beauty and wildlife is just a bonus!!!

Which of your records are you most proud of, and why?
That would be my next release coming out on Desert Hearts Records on February 8th. This will be my first real solo release and and I’ve been working really heard in the studio to get my tracks to a point that I’m 100% satisfied with, so I’m especially proud of this one! Of the releases I currently have out I would say that my last collaboration on DH with Memo Rex (someone that was really helped me take my production skills to the next level) is my favorite.

What’s in your crate right now that is knocking the dancefloor off its feet?
I try to switch up my selections from show to show and have just taken a little month long hiatus from DJing to focus on my productions. We have out big annual Christmas party in San Diego this weekend (December 22), so I’ll be breaking out a bunch of new stuff. A couple of my upcoming releases ‘It’s On’ and ‘Something Else’ have been getting a great reaction from the crowd, I’ve also been pretty stoked on Relief Records lately.

What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso festival?
Partying with my Costa Rican homies! Everyone down there has been so kind and welcoming to me and make me feel like family. Ocaso fest is extra magical and of course the country is blessed with outstanding natural beauty… so many reasons to be excited for this trip, but number on is the people.

Which artists do you recommend most from the lineup, aside from yourself?
I’m really excited about the line up for our event on Jan 3rd and have a few friends playing that I have got to jam out with for a while. My Desert Hearts partner in crime Mikey Lion always brings the heat and usually plays a lot of unreleased tracks from our label which is always a treat! Andreas Henneberg, Nathan Barato, Jon Lee, Nikita and the Lisbona Sisters would also be in my top picks.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that audiences might not know.
When I started DJing in 1992 my focus on the ambient sounds of the time and I made a name for myself hosting the chill out rooms at local raves. 26 years later and I’m more known for playing tunes that get people on their feet, however the psychedelic and left field side of techno still has a huge influence on me and I always try and incorporate this sound into my sets. I also had a past career as a professional BMX ramp rider, but I think most people are aware of this. Oh yeah.. I also have three grandchildren!!!

MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL.

 

Purchase last-minute Ocaso tickets here

Meet the talent of Ocaso Festival: Magdalena

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Meet the talent of Ocaso Festival: MagdalenaOcaso Festival Tamarindo By Pablo Murillo 06 01 2018 0182

Tamarindo, Costa Rica will ring in the new year with another dose of underground dance music with Ocaso‘s arrival on January 2 to the coastal town. The five-day festival has grown over the years into a veritable institution within the Central American house and techno scene, with curious travelers from around the globe visiting each year. 2019’s billing is a strong mixture of veteran and new performers per usual, with notable headliners including Jamie Jones, Damian Lazarus, Loco Dice, and Guy Gerber. Ahead of the festivities, Dancing Astronaut spoke to the artists to get to know them a bit better, and hear what excites them most about Ocaso.

Dance music has been a driving force in Magdalena‘s path for many years now. Like her brother Solomun, she couldn’t deny a life filled with it, taking helm of Diynamic‘s nightclub EGO throughout its Hamburg tenure and eventually getting behind the decks and into the studio herself. Her diverse, yet refined house sets are a nice balance of grooves, melodies, and and invigorating rhythms — a mixture that has captured the attention of clubbers worldwide and her positioning on top of the house realm. It comes as no surprise, given her years spent working behind the scenes, learning how to read the floor and having easy access to the most cutting-edge music bubbling up from the underground.

Magdalena’s aesthetic will fit well into the beachy setting of Ocaso, given her experience as an Ibiza resident DJ since 2016. This past summer, she achieved an island milestone in earning her very own night at the Blue Marlin, which she named SHADOWS. The residency saw her hosting the likes of La Fleur, Nick Curly, and Anja Schneider, and has since turned into an international affair with a namesake residency just announced in Tulum. Her upcoming release on Damian Lazarus’ Rebellion imprint feels like it belongs in the tropics.

The burgeoning talent tells us about her comeup, her Costa Rican expectations, and more in our discussion.

Meet the talent of Ocaso Festival: MagdalenaPress Photo Magdalena Supplied By Team

Supplied by Magdalena’s team

Tell us about the moment/time period where you decided that a full-time music career was the only way to go.
I always loved music and wanted to pursue a career in it, but I don’t think I really realized I could make it until our club EGO was becoming super successful, and I started to get booked to DJ abroad more and more.

What’s your favorite part about the Costa Rican dance scene, if you’ve played there before? If not, what are you most curious about regarding the crowds, club culture, etc.
I’ve never been to Costa Rica but I am really excited to go. There’s so much I’m curious about; the nature, the food, the people, how the crowd will be and the party scene there!

Which of your gigs are you most proud of, and why?
Oh wow what a question… I think the Cercle live stream at the Faculté de Médecine de Montpellier was a really important gig for me, as I knew the stream would go out on their huge channels, the event had sold lots of tickets and of course they usually have huge artists play for them. I almost didn’t make it to the gig; I had multiple last minute flight cancellations so ended up taking a combination of trains and buses, and arrived with just 10 minutes to spare before I was due to start! I had to change super quickly and do my makeup in this small toilet with all my make up all over the floor, before I literally ran to the stage to start playing. It was also a bit of a difficult sound situation at this beautiful and historic venue… but fortunately the gig was a success and I am proud that I was able to keep a calm head through all the stress 😉

What’s in your crate right now that is knocking the dancefloor off its feet?
I am really enjoying playing the tracks off my new EP, “Wildlife,” that’s due to come out on Damian Lazarus’ label Rebellion in December. I made them over the course of a year and have tested them out on a lot of dance floors to make sure I had got them just right. When I got a great reaction at our Diynamic off Sonar showcase I knew it was time to release them!

What are you looking forward to most about Ocaso festival?
Everything: good friends, good people, beautiful nature, exciting food, and I’m expecting good vibes with great music at the festival. These are all the things that make me really happy in life.

Which artists do you recommend most from the lineup, aside from yourself?
Of course Damian Lazarus, as I have him to thank for supporting my new release, as well as my good friend HOSH, who always kills it. There’s lots of upcoming artists on the lineup that I haven’t played with before, so I’ll be looking to check out the new talent as well.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself that audiences might not know.
I am a great Balkan dialect imitator!

 

Photo credit: Pablo Murillo

COMPOUND brings a slice of techno heaven to LA on December 8 with Lucy, Rrose, & more

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COMPOUND brings a slice of techno heaven to LA on December 8 with Lucy, Rrose, & moreLucy DJ Credit His Facebook

COMPOUND started in 2017 as a merger of LA’s top techno promoters and immediately became one of the most talked-about brands within the West Coast underground. The host a few choice events a year, with each consistently drawing in crowds of dance fans near and far who prefer darker, grittier forms of their beloved subgenre rarely seen around the region. Their anniversary now has passed, and to celebrate, they’re bringing Lucy, Rrose, and other special guests for a late fall all-nighter.

The Berlin-based Lucy knows his way around an industrial space; a regular of Berghain and purveyor of everything from polished, obsidian techno to carefully-designed ambient and electronica, his extended sets are consistently met with praise among the community. Not to mention, he’s the owner of one of the most forward-thinking labels in the current sphere: Stroboscopic Artefacts. The enigmatic Rrose is making waves for similar reasons, silently climbing the DJ ranks as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to set curation and performance. She’ll be pairing with Lucy at COMPOUND for the American debut of their brand new project, Lotus Eaters.

For those who won’t be at Art Basel, COMPOUND is definitely the top pick of the night for techno fans in Southern California. Grab tickets here before they sell out.

 

COMPOUND brings a slice of techno heaven to LA on December 8 with Lucy, Rrose, & moreCOMPOUND LA

 

Photo credit: Facebook/LucyOfficial

Techno Tuesday: Diving into the world of improv techno with 999999999

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Techno Tuesday: Diving into the world of improv techno with 999999999Techno Tuesdays

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.

It’s hard to believe that 999999999 (pronounced “nine times nine”) have been around for a mere two years. They’ve turned the underground scene on its head since they broke into it with brute force, proving just how fluid techno can be with an entirely-improvised set up with each performance. Not much is known about the mysterious pair outside the fact that they come from Italy and have a penchant for hard, acid-fueled industrial sounds — that’s why Dancing Astronaut decided to wrangle them in for a deep dive into their career. They dish on their preferred hardware, their creative process, and how they’ve found their way to the top of their niche.

Techno Tuesday: Diving into the world of improv techno with 999999999999999999 Facebook Photo

You guys are quite the enigmatic duo. How did you meet and decide to begin making music/performing together?
Originally we are from the same city, Venice. We were both djs and producers in our hometown, we have similar tastes in music and one day we decided to record something together and we were happy of the result, so we decided to launch our own project.

Are any of you classically trained? If so, what instruments did you play? And what made both of you fall in love with electronic music?
No, we don’t have any musical background, first instruments we played were synths and drum machines. It was only about training a lot with what we had. We fall in love with electronic music because before playing we were also clubbers and we were fascinated by this world.

Tell us about perfecting your process; ‘live improvisation’ sounds scary to the average music consumer, or even the average DJ. What key lessons have you learned in your journey thus far?
We didn’t like to play tracks from other people all the time, we preferred playing what we create with our instruments and of course improvise with them, different patterns and doing some cool things in real time. That’s the key of our performances.

Any pieces of hardware you favor in particular, both in the studio and performing live? Why is this? What about hardware you’d like to own or try out in the future?
We are using almost all Elektron stuff (Analog Rytm, Analog Four, Octactrak), perfect machines for live. And of course, for the acid sounds, the 303, not the original one unfortunately, but good clones like Cyclone TT303, Roland Tb03 and Avalon from Abstrakt Instruments. Many effects like reverb, delay and that’s all. I think we don’t need many other stuff, we prefer to use what we have but using all functionalities.

You are also known for your hard, acid-laced techno. What draws you two to this sound as opposed to others? Does it work easier in this format, is it more inspiring to you, etc?
As we told before, we were both djs and we were inspired by the old 90’s acid techno records and that’s what we want to recreate with our releases and live. That old school techno touch, few sounds but well mixed together.

You have released a couple things in the past to supplement your live sets. Do you have any plans of making releases a more regular thing, or are you going to stay firmly in the improvisation zone for the time being? What is your overarching musical vision?
Yes, of course we worked very hard for new records to be released in 2019. So you can expect many original tracks from us on our own label, many collaborations with other labels and artists with other tracks and remixes.

We’re interested to hear about your artistic journey, which we imagine might be a bit more ‘difficult’ for someone as niche and outside the status quo. How did you find your way onto so many prolific dancefloors already, and what are some hardships you’ve overcome in your journey to be full time musicians?
We were simply not happy on being dj on our hometown, where you have the chance to play only if you know somebody and not for your mixing skills. So we felt the need to be listened outside Italy too and the first logical step was to start making tracks and invest money on a new label. We did it and it went very well and it was so fast, we didn’t expect such a great feedback in a short time, but at the same time we believed so strong in this project, working hard every single day, so we are very happy of what we reached now. If you produce good music, you can always find somebody who can give you a chance and that’s what happened to us with our first gigs, then people saw we were good in performing live too and it was easier.

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?
YES

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