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Your EDM Premiere: Get Ready for WAVHART to Put You in a ‘Dream State’ [Play Me Too]

WAVHART have certainly caught Reid Speed’s attention with his unique mix of classic rave and modern jumpy beats and neuro-glitch synths. In fact, since his first genre-melding and mind-melting remix of Reid and Dr. Apollo’s “Aion” in late 2020, he’s released almost exclusively on Play Me or Play Me Too. With multiple singles on both labels through 2021 and 2022, it only makes sense that WAVHART’s debut breakthrough EP, To the End would be released on Play Me Too.

To the End is a three-track snapshot for those who may have been sleeping on WAVHART of both where he is now in his sound and how much he’s developed from his already high-quality tech on “Aion.” All three tracks are D&B at core, but it’s always fun to see new artists who don’t let themselves be bound by genre from jump; they’re generally much more free to just draw from anywhere, even when focusing on one particular beat style. The result is that the tracks in To the End are also not bound by subgenre, meaning there’s something for everyone here: jumpy, dancey beats, ravey ambient work and grimy neuro/speedcore vibes all flow together seamlessly.

The three-track To the End starts with its title track, a melodic vocal track featuring new-to-D&B vocalist, Igarah. This track blends minimal drum & bass, a more jump up-inspired D&B, ameny breakdowns and glitch/experimental syncopation. With the sort of nu metal vibe of the vox and ambient support sound, that’s already a pretty intense mashup but it just gets more genre-straddling from there. The EP closer, “Impulse,” in fact, is more breaks than D&B in terms of tempo and beat structure. It also incorporates some hardstyle-style house for the steppers among us. Ineterestingly, however, this track still feels very drum & bass-y due fo the many cuts and the design of the synths. It’ll have a lot fo D&B heads squinting at it, that’s for sure. That it, before the beat takes over and they find themselves dancing to it.

Our YEDM premiere today is the very much D&B track, “Dream State.” There’s no mistaking this one, beat, tempo or vibe. With a solid jumpy beat, however, it’s not your typical…well…anything. With the uber-high-pitched and ravey (almost gabber-inspired) intro, “Dream State” intentionally doesn’t prepare listeners for what’s about to happen after the drop: an absoultely filthy neuro-inspired glitchfest in the synths. It’s a wild ride from there as the track vacillates between the twinkly happy hardcore techno track and the evil neuro stinker. If your dreams sound like this track, friends, we’ll pray for you. In the meantime, it desprerately needs to be played as loud and fast as possible on a big festie rig, like, yesterday (we’re sure Reid Speed has done that a few times already).

Play Me Records · WAVHART – Dream State [YourEDM Premiere]

WAVHART is a lesson to D&B punters that we really should be past the days of strict adherence to subgenre or even genre by now. With an artist this creative and technically sound, why shouldn’t we let him go wherever he wants and follow his own vibe. If EPs like To the End are the result, we’d do well to completely shirk labels. They’re really nothing more than descriptors, anyway. Leave the words to us word nerd journalists and just get out there, find your vibe and party.

To The End drops this Friday, November 18 on Play Me Too Records. Click here for pre-order and pre-stream links.

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GORDO announced for New Year’s Eve at the Brooklyn Hangar

GORDO, recently crowned the world’s highest ranked Hispanic by DJMag, has just been announced as the headliner at the Brooklyn Hangar this New Year’s Eve in New York City. The event is a collaboration between Elements Festival and DEG Presents. The evening will also include sets from Golden Pony, Papyon, and more.

Following a year of highlights, including being crowned #1 producer on Billboard’s Hot 100 producers, by producing nearly half of Drake’s ‘Honestly Nevermind,’ and selling out shows in Latin American and all over the world, the artist formerly known as Carnage, is set to finish 2022 with a bang!

Find more and grab your tickets here, this for sure will be the place to be on New Year’s Eve in NYC.

Elements Festival and DEG Presents, New Years Eve 2022 with GORDO, Brooklyn Hangar, 2 52nd St, Brooklyn, NY 11232

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Boogie T Is Breaking Out the Bass On Monster Energy Outbreak Tour

Launched in 2011, the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour showcases the biggest new names in music each year amidst their culture-impacting, breakthrough moment. The Monster Energy Outbreak Tour is the largest national touring brand in the club and theater space, recognized as the ultimate tastemaker in the live arena, and currently consists of five annual music tours across multiple genres and one annual comedy tour. Notable alumni include Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, The Chainsmokers, Latto, Mike Shinoda (of Linkin Park), Cole Swindell, Logic, Kane Brown, Asking Alexandria, 21 Savage, and Lindsay Ell; to name a few.

Boogie T will be launching into the new year on the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour, starting in Chicago, IL on January 27. “I can’t imagine a better way to kick off 2023 than headlining the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour,” says Boogie T. “I’m so stoked to blast dubstep across the country with some of my best homies. No doubt this tour is gonna be the best one yet!”

Tickets for the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour featuring Boogie T will go on sale to the general public on November 18, 2022. See the full schedule below, and visit www.outbreakpresents.com for more information.

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Tomorrowland is opening up a whole new world with ‘Adscendo’

When you think festivals with yearly themes, if Tomorrowland isn’t at the top of the list, it’s possible you’re just not thinking hard enough. The annual festival in Boom, Belgium boasts one of the most impressive displays of thematic cohesion throughout their event each and every year, and next year appears to be no different as they announce Adscendo for 2023.

There isn’t a whole lot of information on Adscendo at the moment, as Tomorrowland does love to keep its dreamers in suspense as long as possible. However, a brand-new fantasy book has been written over the last two years, telling the full story of Adscendo, an important first milestone in Tomorrowland’s fictional journey, about to unfold.

For a chance to buy tickets during the different ticket sale dates for Tomorrowland Belgium 2023, people will need to pre-register via the Tomorrowland Account on adscendo.tomorrowland.com. Pre-Registration for Tomorrowland Belgium 2023 starts on December 7 at 15:00 CET.

Unlike 2022, 2023 will see the festival once again over just two weekends instead of three.

Ticket sale dates for Tomorrowland Belgium 2023

  • Global Journey Sale: starts on January 21 at 17:00 CET
  • Worldwide Pre-Sale: starts on January 28 at 17:00 CET
  • Worldwide Ticket Sale: starts on February 4 at 17:00 CET

Tomorrowland Belgium 2023

  • Weekend 1: Friday July 21 – Sunday July 23
  • Weekend 2: Friday July 28 – Sunday July 30

Photo via aLIVE Coverage for Tomorrowland

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Hix & Kelli-Leigh Team Up For Uplifting Anthem “Oh No You Didn’t” [Casual Jam Records]

Hix is regarded as one of the most exciting DJs around, known for his blistering high-energy club sets and massive festival performances. He has DJ’d on stage with some of the biggest names in the world, having supported David Guetta, Tiesto, Martin Garrix and many more. He’s signed a major label deal with Warner Records and his music has been backed by the biggest radio stations in the UK and Ireland, including BBC Radio 1, Capital Dance, Capital, KISS and many more. A highly-respected radio presenter in his own right, Hix also hosts The Evening Show on Northern Ireland’s biggest station, COOL FM, showcasing the hottest and freshest dance music around.

Kelli-Leigh’s astonishing career includes over 500 million streams on Spotify, 2 UK numbers 1s and 3 UK Top 10 hits. Her unmistakable vocals feature on the club anthems, ‘More Than Friends’ (James Hype), ‘I Wanna Feel’ (Second City) and the Billboard dance chart and GRAMMY nominated number 1 ‘I Got U’ (Duke Dumont & Jax Jones). But it’s her work as a solo artist that Kelli-Leigh is being recognised and celebrated for now, garnering a loyal fanbase and huge support from Kiss FM, Radio 1, Virgin Radio DXB, Sirius XM & Gaydio. Also no stranger to the live scene, Kelli-Leigh has taken to the stage at many of the UK’s most iconic venues, including London’s O2 Academy and the Roundhouse, performing alongside huge names like Adele, Jessie J and Leona Lewis in the process.

It’s only fitting that these two immensely talented artists have now come together for what is an addictive, uplifting anthem, titled “Oh No You Didn’t,” that is sure to be rinsed for many years to come. Kelli-Leigh provides a powerful vocal performance while Hix provides layers of infectious piano and house elements. “Oh No You Didn’t” shows Hix and Kelli-Leigh at the top of their games with no signs of slowing down.

 

 

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Midnight Pool Party Drops Electrifying Single, “Icon Energy”

Midnight Pool Party are a duo out of Sydney, Australia, known for blending elements of dance, disco, R&B and hip-hop to create infectious electronic music that has been likened to a mix between Disclosure, Hayden James and Cosmo’s Midnight. They started out with a “classic-disco” sound that quickly evolved into a more contemporary nu-disco/electro-house style. They continue to explore various genres within their songwriting while also experimenting with different vocal styles and techniques, an attitude that has earned them their own space in the electronic music genre.

They bring a lot of positive energy into all that they do, something that is perfectly reflected in their latest single, “Icon Energy“. If you’re a fan of Dom Dolla or Fisher, this is a track for you. Midnight Pool Party seamlessly blend their staple disco-inspired sound with infectious tech house energy. The result is really quite powerful and stands a part from a lot of tech house we typically hear.

“We wanted to step away from our usual disco sound and make a song for the clubs. I(Darren) spent a lot of time in the clubbing-world this year and that has been a big inspiration for our sound to head off into that direction for this release. Over the last few months, we’ve both listened to a lot of club-focused music from the likes of Fisher, Duke Dumont, Dom Dolla and Diplo. Lyrically it’s about surrounding yourself with people that match your energy because life is too short to let people with bad vibes in–basically it’s a banger with a strong message of self-confidence and good vibes!”- Midnight Pool Party

Listen below!

 

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Justin Miller Releases Genre-Bending Album “Lost In Sound”

Justin Miller’s recent album, Lost In Sound is a wonderful execution of weaving beautiful production layers with unique melodies.

There is something so entrancing about the sound on this project. It mixes pop, EDM, hyperpop, rap, and pretty much any genre you can think of. This is a project that is ahead of its time and it’s only a matter of time until people catch on.

The intro, “Miller,” sets the tone about the duality each track has to offer. The energy in his vocals is superb, while the production is hypnotic. “Waves” has this repetitive melody on loop that boon raps effortlessly on. Another highlight on this album is the ambient, energetic, and otherworldly, “Space.”

Every track has its own atmosphere and different layers that would require a more elaborate stretch to delve into. This entire project definitely goes against the grain for traditional mainstream music, but that’s exactly why it stands out from the rest and will be a memorable offering.

It’s undeniable that Justin Miller has ensured that listeners capture the full spectrum of his versatility when it comes to blurring the lines between different sounds. With so much creativity on tap, it’s inevitable that we can expect so much more from the talented artist this season.

Follow Justin Miller Below and Listen to Lost In Sound!

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Your EDM Premiere: D&B in the Azores? Impex’s Volcanic Neuro-crunch [Korsakov Music]

Even with all the technology and connectivity we have today, it can be surprising that EDM, and specifically D&B, can permeate into some of the most remote areas of the world. Case in point: the Azores, a collection of nine volcanic islands located dead centrer of the nortern Atlantic, halfway between Newfoundland and Portugal. Considered part of Portugal as one of two autonomous regions (the other is Maderia), the Azores could be claimed by any country, really, because they’re not terribly close to anything, but Portugal seems to have managed to maintain a Puerto Rico-style agreement with the Azoreans since the 16th century so that’s good enough for us.

These little factoids above do little more than to underline just how extraordinary that someone like Lisbon-born Impex, who now lives in the Azores, would even be into drum & bass, let alone getting attention from big banger labels like Eatbrain and Korsakov Music. This is all the more extraordinary when one considers Impex has only been releasing for three years. With tracks on Korsakov Music’s Future Stars Vol. 2 and Eatbrain’s recent Divergence IV compilation albums and  two with Korsakov’s A&R organ grinder monkey AL/SO on US label Boomslang Recordings, Impex’s neuro/dancefloor bucket list is coming along nicely considering his first track released in late 2019 on fellow remote island Tenerife-based Histeria Records (what is there, a secret island D&B network we were heretofore unaware of?).

This Thursday, November 17 is yet another milestone for Impex: his first EP on a big label. It’s no surprise, as Korsakov once again was the first big box to notice Impex, but what is surprising is it’s his second EP in just over a month. His debut The Minute EP dropped in early in October on UK underground label Dirtbox Recordings and showcased his more neuro/experimental side while the upcoming How Low is slightly more dancefloor-forward for the Korsakov crew, so it makes sens why the two EPs have been separated thus. Nonetheless, it’s pretty impressive that Impex is producing so many tunes of such diversity in such a short period.

Getting into How Low itself since it is what we came here to talk about. When we say it’s only slightly more dancefloor than the work on The Minute, it really is by a small measure. the tracks here are still aggressive, crunchy and unabashedly neuro in terms of synths and sound design, but the underlying beats and breakdowns are just a little more roller-y and ravey, respectively. “The Choke,” for example, has an old school starburst beat to anchor the almost industrial, late 90s rave synths. “Give Them Hope” also has roller vibes keeping feet on the dancefloor as the overline production gets more and more complex, with a heavily ornamented, Beethoven-esque synth line. This track would have to be on the dancefloor, because that’s the only way anyone could deal with this level of hype.

How Low‘s title track is our YEDM premiere today and seems to be sort of the bridge between The Minute and this EP, as it’s almost as out there as the tracks on that previous EP. This makes it also a great bridge between neuro and dancefloor, as it’s fast and hyped but technically risky and full of snarling, evil breakdowns that experimental neuroheads will love. Think Current Value-meets-Gydra-meets-dancefloor: you can get low and stomp to “How Low,” but you can also join the chin-strokers in the back and marvel at the composition of this track. It might be Impex’s best track in terms of tech and balance thus far, and he’s only getting started.

Korsakov Music · Impex – How Low

Needless to say, Impex is one neuronerds and dancefloor delinquents will want to follow, starting about two years ago. If How Low and The Minute are the level he’s already achieving, the D&B world at large can expect even more of the unexpected to come from this upstsart artist, remotely dropping some of the dirtiest tracks ever from a remote island chain in the middle of the ocean.

How Low drops this Thursday, November 17 on Korsakov Music. Check Spotify and Beatport tomorrow to purchase the full EP.

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Diplo, RÜFÜS DU SOL, and Beyoncé dominate 2023 GRAMMY noms for dance music

The 2023 GRAMMY Nominations were revealed this morning, with Diplo, RÜFÜS DU SOL, and Beyoncé being the only artists to crossover between the Recording and Album categories in Dance/Electronic.

Diplo, RÜFÜS DU SOL, Odesza, Bonobo and Beyoncé were nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album this round, all of them putting out stellar performances. While Odesza didn’t make the cut, apparently, for a Recording nomination, David Guetta & Bebe Rexha entered with their reimagination “I’m Good (Blue)” as well as KAYTRANADA ft H.E.R. for “Intimidated.”

Look below for all of the dance/electronic nominations and go here for the full list.

Best Dance/Electronic Recording

For solo, duo, group or collaborative performances. Vocal or Instrumental. Singles or tracks only.

  • BREAK MY SOUL
    RÜFÜS DU SOL
    Beyoncé, Terius “The-Dream” Gesteelde-Diamant, Jens Christian Isaksen & Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, producers; Stuart White, mixer
  • Rosewood
    Bonobo
    Simon Green, producer; Simon Green, mixer
  • Don’t Forget My Love
    Diplo & Miguel
    Diplo & Maximilian Jaeger, producers; Luca Pretolesi, mixer
  • I’m Good (Blue)
    David Guetta & Bebe Rexha
    David Guetta & Timofey Reznikov, producers; David Guetta & Timofey Reznikov, mixers
  • Intimidated
    KAYTRANADA Featuring H.E.R.
    H.E.R. & KAYTRANADA, producers; KAYTRANADA, mixer
  • On My Knees
    RÜFÜS DU SOL
    Jason Evigan & RÜFÜS DU SOL, producers; Cassian Stewart-Kasimba, mixer

Best Dance/Electronic Music Album

For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.

  • Renaissance
    Beyoncé
  • Fragments
    Bonobo
  • Diplo
    Diplo
  • The Last Goodbye
    ODESZA
  • Surrender
    RÜFÜS DU SOL
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DJ and Producer Gino Gomez speaks on his incredible career and using his production and events company to help other artists.

The famed DJ Gino Gomez has spun decks and wowed audiences across the world over the past decade. He is renowned for his retro-mashups and electro-bouncing sound and for making original tracks in collaboration with Andrew, his brother. Here’s the low-down on this man’s incredible career and how he’s helping other budding artists.

Gino grew up like many other music professionals, surrounded by musical-loving parents with diverse tastes in music and cultural history. His father’s Afro-Cuban blend and enjoyment of the Beatles made for a rich sound and the counterpart was his mother’s taste for Madonna and other pop sensations of the 70s and 80s period. Gomez’s mashups and overall musical vibe are a reflection of his childhood, blending nostalgia with a post-modern take.

Gomez’s creativity has enabled him to work with a guitarist from Gypsy Kings fame and other celebrities producing live recordings. This is quite a feat for any musician to gain attraction from the largest names around, yet Gomez did this. Furthermore, you can expect that he has a host of names in his address book that may help support future artists.

Everything was going great until Gino was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His life was interrupted, and Gino had to seek treatment in New York City. After well over a year of battling cancer, Gino questioned what he was doing. He decided to create a production and events business at one decisive point. This would allow him to give back everything he learned from his peers and throughout his highly successful career. Today he helps other artists with producing, bookings, event management, touring, and planning. This company called ‘Hurry Up Slowly,’ named after a fun phrase during that period, now helps many aspiring stars reach the big time.

Starting up a business has not stopped Gino from performing or creating original content, though. At present, he’s touring the world, including; the US, UK, Spain, and Greece.

Stream Gino on all platforms everywhere, and be sure to see him Live at a venue near you!

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Romy & Fred again.. team up for new collab, “Strong”

It was only a few weeks ago that Fred again.. finally released Actual Life 3, but the man apparently cannot be stopped as he teams up with Romy today for a new collaboration, “Strong.”

The song is brilliant and bright with hopeful melodies and chords, while Romy repeats, “You don’t have to be so strong” again and again, as if chanting a mantra.

Watch below.

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Rezz & Seven Lions release first collaboration “Arcturus” with more on the way

Yesterday, Rezz announced that she and Seven Lions were going to upload their debut collaboration, “Arcturus,” for free on SoundCloud. They collab has been played out live since at least November 2021 if not earlier.

According to Rezz, it hadn’t been released yet because it’s more of a “live” track.

“I released my OG version of the track in my NORS2 mix, and he had just released his album, but we decided, ‘fuck it,’” she said in a tweet.

We both like it but it is more of a “live” playable track where as we want to make a proper vocal/type track. Also it was in question cuz I released my OG version of the track in my NORS2 mix ~ and he had just released his album— but we decided “fuck it”
N feed the Ppl

— RΞZZ (@OfficialRezz) November 13, 2022

We’re also definitely gonna make a second track & make it more official for Spotify and everything — but our first track we made that we play out was asked by u guys a lot so ya, we’re giving it to U ^_^ https://t.co/3mnUb1BGsl

— RΞZZ (@OfficialRezz) November 13, 2022

Listen to “Arcturus” below!

 

Press Photos: Nicole De Khors (Rezz) & Dove Shore (Seven Lions)

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Maxwell Frost, 1st Gen Z member of Congress, reveals Porter Robinson & Madeon are his favorite DJs

When Porter Robinson’s Worlds and Madeon’s Adventure, their respective debut albums, came out in 2014 and 2015, Gen Z would have been around 12-18. Our first Gen Z member of Congress, Maxwell Alejandro Frost, was born 1997 putting him squarely at an age and time when hearing those albums for the first time would have made a significant impact.

Of course, both DJs had released music prior to their debut albums. And it’s likely that Rep. Frost would have been listening, as an uncovered tweet from 2017 reveals that the two iconic producers/DJs are his favorite. “They are really changing the way people look at DJs,” he said at the time.

And @porterrobinson and @madeon are my favorite DJs and they are really changing the way people look at DJs.

— Maxwell Alejandro Frost (@MaxwellFrostFL) April 24, 2017

It doesn’t seem like he’s shared much on Twitter regarding his affinity for dance music recently, considering he’s been busy on the campaign trail. But we hope to hear more from him about it during his term.

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Matroda Unveils An Epic Part 3 of His ‘Jack The House’ Trilogy

Matroda has truly crafted his own sound in the electronic music scene, seen as one of the new leaders that continues to push the scene forward. Over the span of his historic career, Matroda has topped charts with his infectious style of new-age house. Working with Blackbook Records label boss Chris Lake, Matroda’s debut remix of SNBRN’s “California” erupted the young artist’s following. Since then, he has gained the support of the world’s most renowned DJs and producers, such as Calvin Harris, Major Lazer, and Diplo. Additionally, he has dropped tracks on prime labels like Mad Decent, UKF, and Confession, while launching his own extremely successful platform Terminal Underground.

Matroda has now decided to unveil the final EP for his “Jack The House” trilogy. The EP kicks off with the addictive track, “Wasting Time”, and encompasses another previously dropped house heater, “Temperature”, as well as four new invigorating tracks. Each song showcases Matroda’s brilliance, like his VIP edit of “Mozart” that fuses classical piano with a penetrating bassline seamlessly. Meanwhile, “Main Ingredients” and “Body Move” embody enchanting vocals cuts and groovy hooks that are guaranteed to ignite dance floor. 

“Jack The House Pt. 3” shows Matroda at the top of his game with no signs of slowing down. Listen below!

 

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Bleu Clair Drops Spectacular EP, ‘New Age of House’

In just a few years, Indonesian-born artist Bleu Clair has become a household name in the tech house community. He has crafted his own unique style of house that radiates an unprecedented level of energy onto the dance floor. He seems to be just about on everyone’s radar, earning the love of the massive with support from renowned artists, such as DJ Snake, Diplo, Skrillex, and many more. His captivating basslines has led to collaborations with Matroda, AC Slater, and other top-tier producers. Tracks like “Disco Tool” and “Have Me All” shot up the Beatport charts, exponentially expanding Bleu Clair’s fanbase. Continuing his success across 2021, the gifted performer toured the US for his first time, landing spots at EDC Las Vegas, CRSSD Fest, and Seismic Dance Event.

Now, he’s back with his highly anticipated EP, ‘New Age of House’ and it’s yet another spectacular release from this young artist, who is truly unstoppable. Featuring some of his previously released singles, such as “Aura” with Jargen, “Sand Dunes”, and “Killer Bee” with OOTORO and chyra, the EP also adds brand new bangers to the tech house scene. Take “Love Capsule 2022”, a collab with Kara Chenoa, that is electric, jam as an infectious bass line and captivating vocal lead that cement this as a dance floor heater. Bleu also teams up with the renowned Dances With White Girls for “Peanut Butter”, delivering a hypnotic bassline, layered with tantalizing vocals and piano progressions.

Listen below!

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Multi-Talented EDM Artist ProdigysPicks Talks “On Fire” EP and Future Plans

You can be sure that “On Fire” will be heard during the international game. On this magnificent EP created for fans, brilliant recording artist ProdigysPicks puts on his finest performance. The newest EP he has released is what you get when quality meets creativity—something remarkable to listen to.

Each song makes you feel strong and shows that EDM is still alive. Trap, retro tastes, hard-hitting futuristic sonorities, and excellent flows are all explored on the album. Let’s face it, ProdigysPicks has saved the game since this is so uncommon these days.

In this day and age, when every song has become monotonous and it is difficult to distinguish unusual sounds, ProdigysPicks debut EP, “On Fire,” has been meticulously crafted in order to give the audience the highest quality music.

ProdigysPicks explained how he had put his heart, soul, and creative energy into this project in order to make it successful. Being his favorite project he’s ever worked on, ProdigysPicks looks to top this with the release of his new EP coming this December.

He aims to top the numbers on his last EP, explore new sounds, and give his fans this long awaited drop he’s been teasing for the past few months. He told us “I’ve been locked in for the past few months making this. It’s been one of the hardest things I’ve done but i’m so excited with how everything has come out and I can’t wait to finally release this.”

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Kayzo talks about his Unleashed XL tour and what it means to headline The Forum in Los Angeles [Interview]

Kayzo’s humble beginnings as a student of Icon Collective in Southern California seem like a lifetime ago, now that he’s just announced his Unleashed XL tour for 2023, ending with a headlining performance at the iconic Forum in Los Angeles. Since he started the project in 2012, he’s hit every marker of growth and has steadily grown as an artist and person, leading to this truly monumental occasion.

The Unleashed XL tour is on sale now. We caught up with Kayzo over the phone this week to talk about his biggest headline show to-date, reigniting the Unleashed tour after COVID, and what it took make this all happen.

So I’ve known you for I think about seven years now, since that first interview in the pizza shop in North Hollywood.

Oh, my God, dude. Yeah, that is such a throwback. I forgot all about that setting until now.

I was at your first Doghouse takeover at Avalon in 2016. I think I was at your first EDC too when you went back to back with Protohype and Lookas in 2015.

Oh, yeah, the bassPOD, we opened it up at doors.

Now you’re headlining one of the most iconic venues in Los Angeles, The Forum. When that offer came through, what was going through your head, especially looking back at where you’ve come from?

You said it best. It’s one of the most iconic venues in Los Angeles and one of the most iconic historical venues around just judging by its history. It’s been 5 years, going on six next year, from my last headline play in LA which was at the Palladium.

Photo via Yoder
Was it really that long?

Yeah, dude, isn’t that crazy? Yeah, it was like 2017 when I did the Palladium. And so, obviously, with COVID our plans that we had at that time got pushed back, so it’s been five years since the last LA show, you know, LA being kind of sentimental for me. It’s important to me because it’s where everything started musically for me back in 2012 so making sure that we put on the biggest, best Kayzo show that we can possibly do in Los Angeles is kind of like top priority, right? It’s kind of like, you set the tone with it. It’s like a mile marker and kind of performance in Los Angeles, always for me. So when we were kind of figuring out where we wanted to play, what our target was, and what our goal was for the show, The Forum always stuck out to me because, you know, I’ve been to other shows at the Forum. Non-dance music shows specifically. And I remember the last rock show I saw there. It was Bring Me The Horizon in 2019, and I saw Fever 333, and I forgot who played in the middle. But it was the first metal and rock show that I saw at The Forum. And there’s just an energy in there that was –

That show was with Thrice. [laughs]

Yeah. Okay. It was with Thrice. Yeah, show was incredible. And, for me, it’s just, you know, growing up, listening to you know all types of different rock, metal, pop punk, alternative, kind of hardcore stuff, post hardcore, and also coming from a sports background, through hockey, that type of sports/arena style venue, those types of venues in general, I always kind of gravitate towards because it’s a good representation of my life with sports and my life with music now, since they typically house those types of events. So, the energy in those types of arenas, especially The Forum, like when I saw that show, I kind of knew right then and there that was like– I remember, I was with my manager at that show. I was like, “Dude, we will play this venue one day. We need to play here,” like there’s something about this place that just sets it apart from any other venue that I’ve been to in LA for music at that time. And so when that offer came in, it was kind of surreal because I knew it was possible to do The Forum. I just didn’t know when, and I just didn’t know how it would come about. And so when that option became available, it was super full circle for me. I started to remember all the shows I’ve been to there and just having that conversation with my manager like, “We’re going to do a show there.”

I’m so excited for the show and it’s been something that we’ve been working on for months, and we’re still working on, in terms of making it perfect for everybody by the time May rolls around.

So you’re now the third EDM artist in the past year to announce or play at the Forum. You know, Subtronics and RL Grime. And you mentioned that you haven’t seen any EDM acts there. The only ones I have seen in the past five years were Armin van Buuren and The Chainsmokers. What do you think is happening that artists, particularly, it seems, bass artists, are now playing The Forum? Are they opening up to it or is bass getting to that crossover area where The Forum is now like, “Yeah, we can do this.”

Right. It’s a good question, I think a little bit of both. I think certain acts like you mentioned at least in the last couple of months, and I was at the RL Grime show too, which was great, really, really dope show. It’s a venue where an artist that really takes pride in the vision and the storytelling behind the brand and the showmanship of the show, it’s a good place to show off that story outside of the typical club and even normal venue. It’s just a bigger stage, and it’s a different type of viewing experience than other venues that you can go see. So I think The Forum, obviously they’re coming around to see more dance music in there. Dance music is at a good place for those like large scale shows. The shows that they put on there, whether they’re electronic specific music, or with myself who does a combination of rock and electronic that’ll bring, like without giving away too much of who we have and what we’re doing, like we’re bringing an entire live experience outside of just DJing to this show and to the tour that I just announced even outside of LA for my set. That kind of resembles what I did in 2019 with Unleashed but on a larger scale in a different format, and also, you know, there’s going to be support bands and different live elements to the show that kind of bring it full circle, make it feel not less like a rave, but it brings the the storytelling and the backstory of where I come from musically, what I enjoy outside of dance music to the table.

I think they see this as a good opportunity for artists to take bigger risks. And try different things out that are not just the normal, standard, big LA show. So I think The Forum gives us a platform to take bigger risks. And I think they’re excited about showcasing that with the newer generation and the newer styles of music like electronic music and not just being so band-centric and you know, “We only do bands, we do live music,” they’re now kind of shifting and diverting towards also having more electronic music in there. So it’s kind of just coming with the times. Just like any other major city venue, festival. We’ve been seeing it for the last 10+ years, the representation of dance music artists or stages at major crossover festivals are pretty much standard at this point. So I think you’re starting to see that bleed over into the hard ticket touring aspect of things with artists, you know, electronic music doesn’t have to just necessarily be in a club or a venue that houses just electronic music. Now you can take it to The Forum or, you know, you see acts play at SoFi Stadium or Allegiant in Vegas like with Illenium. If there’s a story to be told, and there’s an audience for it, I think these venues are way more welcoming to it now.

Absolutely yeah. You sort of already touched on my next two questions a little bit, but I’ll just keep it moving. Previously, you mentioned the RL Grime show at the Forum, and I remember seeing you there the night before Escape. And I kind of mentioned to you like, “Oh, you’ve got a big announcement at Escape, huh?” I obviously had no idea it was going to be about the Forum at the time. I don’t know if you remember this.

Yeah we were at the bar talking about it.

Were you trying to, like, hide a smirk the whole time, like you knew?

Yeah. I mean, it was just kind of like I was trying to keep it under wraps just only because like, not that I was afraid of anyone saying anything. I just was excited; we had already filmed this really, really, really cool promo video that I premiered at Escape to soft announce the show to everyone in LA that was at my Escape set. So I just wanted like that to be like, outside of the promoters that booked the show and my managers, I wanted even like friends and people that I keep in touch with in the industry to be completely surprised and also blown up, like, let that be a huge moment, so I was trying really hard to just keep it under wraps until that moment happened at Escape. You know what I mean? But I was definitely excited to be there for that show and kind of just get a good insight of like, what’s to come and what the capabilities are from a production and showmanship standpoint at a venue like that, and it was really, really exciting to see what can be done in that venue.

We were also talking about your Unleashed tour. I was looking up before this, you know, for the for your last album, you announced that tour. I think it was like January or February, 2020. And that was like just a couple of months before the pandemic, and now you’re doing the Unleashed XL, even bigger than before. So, I mean, like you’ve come out of the pandemic, you know, absolutely leveled up. How does it feel to, for lack of a better phrase, overcome that adversity and come out the other side on a much bigger stage?

Yeah, that was kind of a bummer back then. I remember announcing the Unleashed tour that we were supposed to do. We announced at the beginning of 2020 and then, like, literally, like two months later, like a month after announcing or whatever it was, had to pull it all down. I just had such big aspirations for that tour because I had just got done doing the Unleashed, big one-off only shows in San Francisco and Chicago and New York, Houston, where we were testing the idea because we were playing Coachella in 2019. So we wanted to bring a live aspect to Coachella, and that’s what kind of sparked the idea of Unleashed to begin with, with some of the shows. So, we announced that big tour. We were so excited coming off Coachella and those shows and then the pandemic happens. And, you know, I never knew if I was going to get another opportunity to do the Unleashed show or something like it. You know what I mean? Didn’t know what came out was what was going to come out the other side during the whole experience with COVID.

And then coming out of it and then getting the opportunities to continue to grind and work hard on my craft, and continue to push this sound and this narrative that I am doing with my music with rock and electronic, getting the chance to, bring back Unleashed and do Unleashed XL because you know bigger, better production and kind of a different story. I’m just like super, super fortunate and grateful for it. Because that original tour idea was such an important piece to my storytelling and I didn’t know if I was ever going to tell it. And now I get to bring it back to life in a different, innovative way for 2023. It’s like full circle, and it comes with a lot of other growth, personal growth, creative growth, growth in my relationships and you know my girlfriend, family, and everything from the pandemic. I wish I would have been able to do the tour back then. But I’m almost happier that I’ve been able to kind of go through a lot more personal and creative growth and I think I’ve been able to kind of put myself in a much better and different headspace that I think will only benefit the tour and the show and all my fans that come to these shows. I’m excited that we finally get to tell it and we get to bring it all around the US and Canada and then end it off in LA at the Forum.

The lineup for the tour just got announced as well. It’s really amazing to see who’s gonna be supporting and playing with you on this run. The Forum support is still TBA. But you know, you already kind of touched on this, with a lot of your LA shows we can expect something really special. I know you can’t really get into too many specifics, but is there anything you can maybe, like, tease?

For sure. We have one date still to announce in the tour that’s like kind of spray painted out right now, and then we have those TBA supports, not because we don’t know what we’re doing, but because we are kind of just like waiting to announce those at a later date, because, yeah, they’re they’re going to be bigger than a normal show. Obviously, venues like The Forum are huge, right? So we want to really come out the gate swinging and bring something special. And also like I alluded to earlier, shows like the Forum and some of these bigger shows like we’re bringing a live aspect to them. So like we have bands, and bands as in plural, on these shows, So, I don’t want to give away too much of like, who and what, like the specifics because we’ve got some time until then, but like I will say there’s going to be a huge live aspect to that show specifically that will separate it from anything that I’ve done in LA and also anything that I’ve done in the past so far with any other Unleashed show. Stay tuned for that one. It’s going to have some things that people have been asking for outside of the band. I get hit up on social media all the time, and some of those requests are finally going to come to fruition at the Forum so I think people will be pleasantly surprised and excited for what we have planned.

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Kaskade & deadmau5′ Kx5 release latest single “Avalanche” ft James French

As excitement builds towards their December 10 headlining Los Angeles Coliseum show, Kx5 (Kaskade & deadmau5) have released their latest single “Avalanche” today.

The two electronic music icons released their first single under the new collaborative project in March earlier this year and have an album out next year. They’ve already released three singles, with “Avalanche” being the fourth.

Listen below.

 

Photo Credit: Mark Owens

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ROSSY starts down the road to her debut EP with epic single, “KARMA” with Jazz Cartier

It’s been pretty amazing to see ROSSY’s come up. When we were first clued into her talent in 2020, she earned herself a spot on our Artists To Watch 2021 list, and she hasn’t disappointed. Prime festival slots, support for GRiZ at Another World a couple weeks ago, and some fire releases have proven she’s in it for the win, and with her first headline show in LA next month, it’s the perfect time to drop the first single from her debut EP, Heaven’s Door.

With the recent resurgence in creative trap, there couldn’t be a better time for ROSSY to go absolutely ham on her new single, “KARMA” with Jazz Cartier. The soaring synths and energetic drums are paired with a truly anthemic melody that you definitely need to listen to as loud as possible.

“I got connected with Jazz to work together on the track, which has been such a blessing,” says ROSSY. “I got the vocals back from him, and the phrase ‘come and tell me how you really feel’ really stuck out to me, especially as a woman in the industry who is constantly used to having to prove myself more than my male counterparts and have people doubt me behind my back. You know, ‘come say it to my face.’ From there, the name ‘Karma’ came to me—what goes around will always come back around. Overall, I love this track because it screams Rossy: Equal parts trap banger and melodic with a hint of fearlessness to it.”

Stay tuned for more singles from Heaven’s Door coming soon, but go listen to “KARMA” out now!

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GRiZ just dropped the seventh volume of his “Bangers” EP series with three new heaters

After taking two years off from Bangers, GRiZ is back with the seventh installment in his EP series with three fresh bangers. Since the first Bangers EP in 2019, he has dropped 17 creative tunes that deviate from his usual, highly-instrumental work and focus more on the heavy side of his live shows. With [7], that total climbs to twenty.

The 3-track EP features new tracks “Laser Fire” and “MEGAZORD,” the latter of which features collaborator ProbCause who has become a full time touring member of the GRiZ live show. ProbCause also features on the previously-released single “Skydive,” along with Chrishira Perrier.

 

Photo via aLIVE Coverage for BUKU

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Kygo drops new album, ‘Thrill Of The Chase,’ completely out of the blue [Listen]

It’s been a couple of years since Kygo last released an album, 2020’s Golden Hour. Today, without more warning than him tweeting yesterday he had a “surprise coming at midnight,” he dropped his new 14-track album, Thrill Of The Chase.

“Thrill Of The Chase is a collection of songs I worked on over the last two years that started during COVID and ended with sessions in Los Angeles,” says Kygo of the release. “I’ve had the chance to play or tease the unreleased music throughout the year at shows and the feedback was unbelievable. A few of the songs on Thrill Of The Chase are different from anything I’ve ever made in the past and I’m really excited for everyone to finally hear the album in its entirety.”

Thankfully, there are some new songs on the album so it isn’t just a full compilation of previously released songs. Six out of the fourteen are new, including collaborations with Lukas Graham and Emily Warren. Other previously released songs include collaborations with X Ambassadors, James Gillespie, Dean Lewis, and others.

Listen to Thrill Of The Chase out now below!

 

Photo via Johannes Lovund

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The BreakBomb Project & Maxine Release Melodic Bass Single, “Gasoline”

From the imagination of musical sensation Brandon Greenstein, The BreakBomb Project (or Breakbomb) is a rising outfit that is revolutionizing the EDM scene. After dropping his debut single “World” in 2018, BreakBomb has gone on to create an extensive library of melodic hits. Showcasing his artistic vision, BreakBomb’s first album, The Project, was a booming success. Carrying on the momentum garnered by his first two years as an artist, BreakBomb’s 2020 anthem “Deep End” received a massive amount of support from TikTok and other social media platforms. Exponentially growing his fanbase, BreakBomb followed this up with “WHY”, which climbed up the radio charts and even earned placements in Spotify’s featured playlists.

Now, BreakBomb aims to continue his hot streak with his brand new single “Gasoline”. Searching for the perfect vocalist to fit his distinct sound, Breakbomb decided to join forces with singer-songwriter Maxine on the track. Maxine couldn’t be a better fit, delivering heavenly vocals that blend seamlessly with the mesmerizing, melodic bass instrumental in “Gasoline.”

“Initially I started making this track just for fun, not to officially release under BreakBomb. But after I found Maxine on TikTok, I sent her some of my demos and she liked Gasoline the best. Her writing and vocal performance combined with some unique genre-bending production ended up making one of my favorite songs to date.” – BreakBomb

Listen below!

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Famba Drops Sizzling Club Single, “No Sleep” ft. Glasgow Ki$$

Famba is a multi-facted artist who cannot be contained to just one genre of dance music. The young artist hailing from Canada has proven himself in the commercial dance space with billboard charting singles like “Storm“, and also has the ability to create deep and infectious tech house tracks, like his collaboration with Cloverdale with “Rush On Me“, that are club weapons.

Now, he’s back, this time teaming up with vocalist Glasgow Ki$$ for their sizzling new single, “No Sleep”, signed to SONY Canada. From its opening salvo, the beat drives ahead relentlessly as it backs the chant-like incantation of the vocals. Everything comes together seamlessly for a thundering drop, filled with adrenaline inducing percussion fills, synth stabs, and dynamic sound effects

Making a conscious decision to steer his music in a different direction than his earlier material, Famba says “I got into making this music because of my love for clubs and festivals. During lockdown, I realized that I wouldn’t be fulfilled until I started releasing music that would be played in those places.”

Listen below!

 

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Xavi Releases Electrifying Single “Justwanna” via Lost In Dreams ‘Gateway Vol 3.’ Compilation

Known for his dreamy sounds that bring life into listeners’ ears, Xavi creates music that channels positive emotions and wishful thoughts. Xavi’s reach is expanding and has united various communities together while he emerges as a leader in the emotional subgenre of electronic dance music. Xavi’s live performances include HYPERNIGHT at DNA Lounge in San Francisco, Asteria Arts & Music Festival 2019, Nocturnal Wonderland 2021 following up with the 2021 Seven Lions Tour.

Now, he’s back with another electrifying single, “Justwanna”, released via the Lost In Dreams ‘Gateway Vol 3.’ compilation album. “Justwanna” is Xavi at his best yet, evoking powerful feelings love euphoria through crystalline melodies and powerful, melodic bass hooks. Heavily influenced by hyperpop artists like Jedwill and Brakence to name a few, Xavi thinks that Justwanna excellently depicts where his music is and where it’s going, and thinks Lost In Dreams was the perfect fit to debut this newer direction.

“Justwanna is one of my favorite tracks I’ve made in more than a while and it really displays where I’ve been taking my sound as of late. I don’t really know if I could have picked a more perfect label than Lost in Dreams for this release.” – Xavi

Listen below!

 

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Will Laroca Unveils Exhilarating Sophomore Single, “Northern Lights” [Virgin Music Sweden]

After almost 13 successful years in the Swedish music industry, producer & artist William Fredriksson felt he was losing the passion for music. He had left his solo artist career behind him several years earlier, despite selling gold, and was starting to feel less and less motivated in his production – he needed a change. He recently returned under the moniker, Will Laroca, who’s recent debut single “Holy Ones,” was a stunning pop-driven EDM track with an inspirational and spiritual message, received high praise from critics & media outlets, fellow DJs, and music lovers alike.

“The transition into house music came from a genuine interest in mixing different music styles and experimenting with different tempos and genres. Because of my hip-hop background with very meaningful and personal text and content, it came naturally to me to mix them and create my own take on EDM with deep lyrics. I’m a musician with the greatest respect for the art of music. The possibility to express emotions, dreams and thoughts through a song is what drives me. I basically fell in love with making melodies.” Will Laroca

Now, he’s back with an exhilarating new single, “Northern Lights“, signed to Virgin Music Sweden, drawing inspiration from his Swedish heritage and the natural light phenomenon. It’s a addicting slap house tune powered by bright violin melodies, inspired by old Swedish folk music, hailing back to the 14 & 15th centuries, as well as the ancient Old Norse musical style from medieval times. “Northern Lights” sends the message that even when you’re in the coldest and darkest of places – the northern light serves as a metaphor for hope.

“The Northern Lights is a metaphor for the guiding light of positivity I felt when I was able to bring myself from a dark place. To me it was with the help of my faith, but for others it can be something else, the positive force that has the power to guide you through tough times.” – Will Laroca

Listen below!

 

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NYC’s DOMENICO Continues To Make Positive Impact In Industry, Launches Super Group ‘Prince Street Bodega’

Hailing from New York, multi-faceted, Billboard-charting artist and multi-instrumentalist, DOMENICO, is a force within the music scene, producing and performing on records for legendary artists such as John Legend, My Chemical Romance, Bingo Players, and Tiësto. As a talented vocalist, songwriter, musician, and artist, DOMENICO continues to break barriers with his work. He founded the non-profit, Real World Academy, which serves as a mentorship vessel to encourage young people to follow their dreams. In 2017, he was nominated as one of the youngest speakers ever to give a TEDx Talk on the subject. Since its formation, Real World Academy has mentored hundreds of students across the United States in designing their future.

“My ultimate goal as an artist is to provide the scaffolding for the next generation of creatives to feel confident pursuing a career that aligns with their passions. That was the idea in starting Real World Academy.” – DOMENICO

Now, he’s launched a new and exciting project, Prince Street Bodega. A four-member group, consisting of DOMENICO, Black Caviar, and Rion S, Prince Street Bodega, recently made their debut with their infectious single, “Contagious”. It’s disco house at its finest, seemingly taking you back in time to the Soul Train era where funky grooves of Disco were at its apex. These three masterfully weave a 2022 spin on this classic sound, creating a timeless single that only leaves you wanting more.

“I think that most music fans, including myself, are desperate for positive vibrations in the midst of so much negativity in today’s zeitgeist. I think the boys from PSB helped bring that out in me as an artist and I hope this album does the same for everyone.” – DOMENICO

Listen below!

 

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AI Videos are Here: Chris Ianuzzi Drops His Second AI-created Music Video for His Single ‘Lonesome Highway Superstar’ [Video]

A YEDM favorite by now or his endlessly interesting experimental arrangements and chaotic diversity both in his musical compositions and his multimedia videos, Chris Ianuzzi is now diving head-first into an area many artists are just starting to poke around: AI art and videos. Since his acclaimed Maze LP was dropped single by single ending in April of this year, Ianizzu hinted he would be doing a similar progression with videos, and he’s officially into that project with the release on November 4th with “Lonesome Highway Superstar,” the second video from the Maze mega-album.

The single “March of Madness,” released as a special video that was the culmination of Maze, was actually the first video on which Ianuzzi and his team utilized AI technology, both in the animation and the morphing of the faces. “Lonesome Highway Superstar” is the first, however, that is almost entirely A.I.-created. Made in collaboration with the same graphic artists who worked on “March of Madness,” İlke Köse and  Ethem Serkan Sökmen, this video utilized both Disco Diffusion and Stable Diffusion AI image generation. Between the two methods, the team created a video that feels both surreal and hyperreal, with trippy, abstrac forms morphing into photorealistic characters and vice versa.

The inspiration for this, according to Ianuzzi, was a sort of space-themed version of The Road Warrior. 

My initial idea for a video was a ‘Road Warrior’-type video with a beat up car on a desert highway. After I thought about this and saw what Serkan andİlke did with AI in making the video “for March of Madness,” I thought it was time to search for something different. I thought, let’s put the character in space and make the journey Cosmic. I shared my thoughts with them and off they went.

The video seems to capture the sense of lonliness paired with wonder Ianuzzi was trying to connote in the track as well, with the more formless visuals being beautiful and awe-inspiring but ultimately cold and sterile, especially once the POV shifts to the human forms. Dressed in space suits and still created by AI as they are, the humanness of their motions and play on the “desert highway in space” is a stark contrast to all the viewer has seen thus far. Despite these images not being nearly as impressive as the highly styled “space” images, there’s more of a connection to them than anything else in the video, and it seems far too short a clip.

The video ends with a question, as a warped photorealistic spaceship tries to build and rebuild istelf over and over within this hyperreal but clearly not real space: will we ever be able to fully coexist with AI, or, for that matter, any other forms of intelligence, whether terrestrial or extra? It remains to be seen at this point, but the answer may not be too far off as the technolog continues to grow. In the meantime Ianuzzi sees it all as the same question: when we constantly reach out for more, whether it be AI, space, or even just looking for companionship on a desert higway, are we just serving to more fully isolate ourselves? That’s a more eternal question, and it seems the “Lonesome Highway Superstar” doesn’t have the answer quite yet.

Visit Chris Ianuzzi’s YouTube channel to see “March of Madness” and other videos. Maze and the rest of his discography are streamable on Spotify.

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ATB returns to North America this Fall

German DJ/producer ATB returns to the USA for the continuation of his acclaimed tour in support of the recent smash single ‘Your Love (9pm)’ with Topic & A7S. Fans can catch him in Orlando (EDC), Costa Mesa, Seattle, and San Bernardino (Dreamstate), where they will experience a set that encompasses music from ATB’s 25 year career.

Coinciding with the first part of the USA tour, in late 2021, ATB launched “The DJ EP Vol. 01.” The EP is the follow-up to the singles “Your Love (9pm)” and “Like That”. His collaboration with fellow German DJ Topic and Swedish singer A7S “Your Love (9pm)” reached more than 450 million Spotify streams worldwide, charted #1 on the German airplay charts, and #4 on the worldwide Shazam charts.

ATB had his big breakthrough moment with his hit single “9pm (Till I Come)” in ’98, which took the German producer and DJ to the top of the UK singles charts becoming the first dance song to reach number 1 in the UK.

With a total of 10 studio albums and over 55 gold and platinum awards in numerous countries underline the German’s status. In addition, ATB has now been non-stop in the renowned DJ Mag Top 100 ranking for almost two decades.

Catch the tour dates, and get your tickets here

ATB USA Tour Dates
11/11 – Orlando, FL – EDC
11/12 – Costa Mesa, CA – Time
11/18 – Seattle, WA – ORA
11/19 – San Bernardino, CA – Dreamstate

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New Artist Spotlight: Mike Masch’s Going to Make Us Love Lofi Again

Mike Masch, rapper name Moment, is an artist we at YEDM really feel stupid for missing all these years. Hardly a new artist, Mash has been releaing huge, boldly-produced chill vibe albums since 2015 (possibly longer; we’re just going by his Bandcamp), but his music career goes back even farther than that. A child prodigy of sorts, Masch was performing piano recitals at the age of five and has a solid base in classics, jazz and blues. After loads of jobs in the music industry from DJ to label owner, it seems when Masch found electronic production, it seems he also found his home.

Masch’s sixth album Return to the Boulevard is his jazziest and most chill yet, it represents a culmination of sorts of his musical journey. A sort of recall of his seminal album, 2017’s jazz fusion-heavy Sanguine on Amplified Boulevard, Return to the Boulevard has a similar ultra-jazzy feel, but it’s clear there’s been lots of growth from Masch in the last five years. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Masch’s work started out much more ravey and intense than the smoothed out trip hop we now see in Return… His first album in 2015, The New Instrumentals featured, unsurprisingly, mostly instrumental/non-vocal tracks. The hip hop flavor was there already, however, as this was clearly Masch’s “playing with electronic production” album. There’s already a high level of skill there, however, with strong halftime, hip hop, trap or future bass beats and theatrical sound design in all the tracks. If he were  to make these beats now as the musical climate has shifted to pop and hip hop/EDM fusion, he could have sold these tracks at a mint.

Coming to Masch’s next album, 2016’s Genesis Dawn, he plays more with slightly faster beats like breakbeat and lofi house but we also see his other influences coming through as many tracks are laced with classical piano and background instrumentals. This is where the fusion likely began for Masch, and then he took the leap with incorporating all his influences on Sanguine… From there it seemed there was no turning back, as his subsequent albums all had a heavy funk and jazz center. There’s still a heavy desire to venture out into rave, not-so-jazzy trip hop and even rock in his 2021 albums Peace and War, however, so it would be reasonable for fans of the ever-experimenting Masch to not have known what to expect on Return…

Returning to Return…, it seems clear that Masch wanted to hearken back to his fusion days of Sanguine. The opening track, after all, is called “Sanguine Return” (in case the album title wasn’t a big enough clue). It seems to be a culmination for Masch of all his sound play thus far with the strongest trip hop or, to use his term, jazz hop, vibe thus far. The fusion is now fully fused as well, with the jazz, funk, trip hop and rave elements all blending perfectly into a silky smooth lofi sound bath. It is, indeed, immersive as the loungy track “Immersive Funk” claims. One can almost picture a Bryan Ferry, a Skye Edwards or, for the Zoomers, a Phoebe Bridgers singing over these tracks. Jazzhop achievement truly unlocked.

It’s clearly past time that those of us who love chill rave, trip hop and lofi to pay attention to Mike Masch, but we also shouldn’t expect him to stay on the same vibe as Return to the Boulevard forever. Much more than a lofi or trip hop one-noter, Mike Masch is actually a very, very chill version of an experimental artist and composer. With that experimental nature, fans shouldn’t expect the same as the last for anything Masch releases, but that’s the excitement of someone like him. It’s a very calm excitement due to the nature of his beats, but excitement nonetheless. In the meantime, we more than recommend taking this album out for a nice, long ride on any boulevard for maximum chill.

Return to the Boulevard is out now and can be streamed on Spotify or purchased on Bandcamp. For those looking for a more definitively hip hop vibe, check out Masch’s alter ego Moment.

 

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Is EDC Orlando’s Expansion Rivaling Miami Music Week?

EDC Orlando is only a few days away and promises a very solid lineup of DJs and artists. The once two-day Central Florida affair expanded to three days a few years ago and has only benefited since. From Above & Beyond, Rezz, Green Velvet and more, the versatility of the lineup is seemingly endless. But as I was preparing to see what’s going on in town during the weekend, I noticed how Orlando is about to be overwhelmed with EDM (one of the reasons we included it in this list of festivals to attend before the end of the year).

Aside from EDC Orlando being the biggest concerting event for the area, there are tons of after parties with some of the festival’s headliners starting as early as tomorrow. This starts with a pre-party with Kaskade at the Vanguard on Thursday and ends with Charlotte De Witte at Celine on Sunday. Meanwhile, there’s a smaller hotel-music festival called Home Bass with more EDM artists that are playing that same weekend.

This had me comparing this level of elaborate EDM-ness to another Florida weekend of dance music bliss: Miami Music Week. Down in Miami, Ultra Music Festival reigns as the premiere event to attend. But a myriad of after parties and hotel parties pop-up with insane lineups. Even rivaling, smaller festivals pop-up around the same time like No Sugar Added events in Miami Beach. This begs the question, is Insomniac’s presence going to solidify an Orlando Music Week annually?

Now, I’m not saying that Orlando is giving Miami a run for its money. Miami Music Week rules South Florida and possibly the country as one of the biggest weeks in music festival weeks. Some events in MMW start as early as Tuesday before the big shows of the weekend.

Orlando isn’t at that level. But they could be growing into that direction.

The last time I attended EDC Orlando was in 2017. In our review, I mentioned how the presence of local, home-grown talent across the state heavily contributed to its stellar success. But what I thought would be a great opportunity for local artists is growing with bigger opportunities. As fan demand explodes in the Orlando scene, the region could become a new hotspot for house heads, bass heads, and everyone in between to gather and catch the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.

EDC Orlando may never rise to the same level as its flagship edition over in Las Vegas, but it is becoming a close number two.

 

Photo credit: RUKES.com