Supernovas is a recurring Dancing Astronaut feature dedicated to vocalists in the dance space who, with their own idiosyncratic vocal signatures and unique lyrical perspectives, have played pivotal roles in bringing electronic records to life. Each installment in the monthly series spotlights one vocalist. The serial continues with Supernovas 002: RUNN.
“Hey, do you want to give this a try?”
RUNN can’t remember exactly how the base of “Free Fall” landed in her lap, but she can recall a friend’s manager issuing this spoken invitation.
Her response was unambiguous: “Yes, absolutely.”
“Illenials,” of course, know how this story ends: in the fourth tracklisting of Illenium‘s sophomore LP, Awake, issued on September 21, 2017. But what they—and other listeners—might not know is that RUNN had never intended to earn credits as a vocalist on the Awake inclusion. Illenium, however, had other plans.
“I’d been a writer for many, many years and was very much a behind the scenes writer doing a lot of pop pitch work,” RUNN told Dancing Astronaut. Per serendipity’s—and Nick Miller’s—call to keep RUNN’s vocals on the track, then in the making, the singer-songwriter was not to remain “behind the scenes.”
“I wasn’t expecting that,” RUNN said. “I sort of stumbled into being an artist. I think it was always something I wanted to do, but was always too afraid to take that first step. And then it sort of happened so organically.”
“Free Fall” would be the push to set off a domino effect:
“It just gave me a place for my voice to be heard—not literally; but also, you know, literally—for what I had to say, instead of helping other people say what they wanted to say. And I found that incredibly empowering and fulfilling, and then when more opportunities came, I couldn’t say yes fast enough,” RUNN added.
Nearly four years later, RUNN has had a lot of practice with saying “yes.” Case in point, “Blurry Eyes” with Hotel Garuda (2018), “Nothing Left” with Wooli and William Black (2019), “Waiting For You” with Trivecta and Last Heroes (2020), “Intertwined” alongside Jason Ross (2020), and most recently, “Fix It” with Grant. That this is by no means an exhaustive list of recent examples bears mention.
Though RUNN will expectedly have more opportunities to answer in the affirmative when additional collaborative pitches find their way to her over this next year, she will also be focusing on her solo work to a large degree. “Strangely enough,” she says, she’s written some of her “best material” in the past year:
“It feels weird to say that last year has honestly been very clarifying for me where I was able to really focus on just my music and what I wanted to say and how I wanted it to sound and work with the people who are closest to me. So I was incredibly blessed to come out of 2020 with a large catalog of songs that I’m looking forward to putting out and I cannot wait for people to hear them, they’re all totally different.”
That the original productions implicated in RUNN’s plot for 2021 are “all totally different” is a byproduct of her writing approach. Over the years, she’s “continued to evolve and expand” how she writes, and during our interview, she’s careful to emphasize that writing, for her, is “never a one-size-fits-all” experience. Sit with her catalog, and you’ll find that her music—solo outputs and collaborations alike—echoes this point.
Although RUNN cut her teeth in the pop field, its “formulaic” nature, marked by a “right way to do things and a wrong way to do things,” appeals to her considerably less than the “open-minded” quality of songwriting in the dance space. “There’s a lot less rules and structure, so it gives you a lot more space to be creative, which I find very freeing and refreshing,” she said.
The comparatively more amorphous character of dance music songwriting has allowed RUNN to continue placing a premium on authorial authenticity—the heart of her songwriting ethos. Throughout her tenure as a songwriter across genres, she’s realized the following: “the best songs for me are the ones that are the truest to me.”
RUNN’s arrival at this conclusion is owed in large part to her own experience as a songsmith, but it can also be credited to the artistic perspective of one of her sonic influences, John Mayer, whom she calls “one of the most unappreciated lyrical geniuses of our time”:
“I was at a masterclass with John Mayer a couple of years ago in college, and he said something that really stuck with me, which is the only thing you have the right to write about is yourself and your own experience. And so rather than projecting my brain into somebody else’s experience and trying to assume what they would feel, I just tried to really dwell within myself in past experiences, the current situation I happen to be in relationships with my own friends or family.”
These days, RUNN’s personal encounters, brushes with emotion, and realizations remain important informants of what will translate to a page and, eventually, a .wav file, even as she’s shifted the sequence of steps in the general scope of her writing process.
“I find that a lot of the time recently, I try to get on the microphone before I even have even heard the music that’s been sent to me to write over, and I will just see what comes out,” she explained. “A lot of it is gibberish and mumble mouth, and then sometimes I’ll say a word that ends up being the title or the theme of the song that I didn’t even know I needed to talk about. When you give yourself that kind of freedom, stuff just comes out that you know you need to process.”
In this way, songwriting for RUNN isn’t just cathartic; it’s also a barefaced check-in with herself that leads to the kind of “good” lyrical “story” that she referenced earlier in the course of our interview. “A good story is a good story, no matter what kind of music you put it on top of, and I think a compelling one can translate,” she said. Indeed, this is precisely what RUNN’s stories doubling as songs have done to date, and what they will continue to do: translate—and powerfully, at that.
Stream RUNN’s Supernovas playlist, featuring 11 songs of her own choice, below.
Featured images courtesy of artist
Just one day after donning her platinum plaque (4x) for “Taki Taki” on February 24, Selena Gomez surprised fans with the announcement of her second meeting with DJ Snake, “Selfish Love.” Due March 4, the one-off is Gomez and the Secret Room collaborator’s response to their September 2018 smash, “Taki Taki,” which positioned the house and dance superpowers, respectively, alongside Cardi B and Ozuna.
The multilingual posse cut racked up a staggering 1 billion views in just 16 weeks, becoming Snake’s third single to reach the benchmark, trailing “Lean On” and “Let Me Love You.” “Taki Taki” also provided a crowd-pleasing excuse for Gomez, Cardi B, and Ozuna to join Snake during the first weekend of Coachella 2019 for a surprise live rendition of the chart favorite. With “Selfish Love” set to soon burst out of the pipeline, all eyes will assuredly be on Gomez and DJ Snake on March 4.February 25, 2021 February 24, 2021
Featured image: Jordan Marchand
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In 2017, Cristoph first landed on Pryda Presents with his progressive groover “Feel.” Now, the Newcastle-based artist returns to Eric Prydz label for his first 2021 release sounding more refined than ever. “The World You See” relies on driving melodic production from Cristoph and featured artists Franky Wah while Artche delivers highly emotive vocals that make the instrumental truly sparkle.
The single represents a coming together of major up-and-comers in the UK’s progressive scene. Franky Wah closed 2020 with a BBC Essential Mix, and Cristoph recently opened 2021 with an Essential Mix for Pete Tong as well. Additionally, Cristoph recently landed on Anjunadeep with smoothly layered single “SFB.” “The World You See” is Cristoph’s second collaboration with vocalist Artche after their 2018 single “Voice of Silence.”
Featured image: Cristoph press
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Few moments are more sacred than the reprieve Saturday night provides from the daily grind of school and work. Its importance is meant to be emphasized, and thus, a feature dedicated to “doing the night right” was born. Saturday Night Sessions are set around energizing mixes meant to get the (socially distanced) party started. New or old, each episode has one cornerstone thing in similarity: they serve as the perfect backdrop for the weekend pregame.
At 14-years-old, London-born James Kennedy found himself standing in the basement of Pacha Ibiza watching Cyprus Hill– his world transformed. As he watched the light show captivate club goers and the energy heighten at the peak of the drop, he found himself immersed in everything that an electronic live show could be. And so, James Kennedy’s lifelong pursuit of being a DJ and music producer began.
Kennedy is part of the contingent of artists including Zedd and Dylan Jagger Lee who were born into a musically inspired upbringing. His father was English singer and songwriter George Michael‘s longtime manager. As Kennedy explains, he didn’t know Michael as anyone other than “Uncle George” for many years. Music and everything that came along with the industry was second nature for him, and he recalls being nothing short of addicted to artists like The Prodigy and Moby growing up.
The turning point for his desire to become a musician himself was when his parents came home to London after a week long vacation in Ibiza. His parents announced that they had purchased the house they had vacationed in, and a week later he found himself in his new home in one of the biggest markets for electronic music in the world.
He shares, “It was that time where I was sneaking out of the house trying to get to Es Paradis, Amnesia, Pacha, and you know I saw Tiësto; I saw David Guetta; I saw Cypress Hill in the basement at Pacha at 14 years old, and it was unbelievable and that is what changed my whole view on wanting to be a DJ. I wanted to be the guy who is making that sound and dancing up on the podium.”
At 29-years-old, James Kennedy is now the familiar face in the DJ booth, weaving big room drops in and out of familiar vocals as club goers dance the night away. His signature set opener that unfailingly drives the crowd crazy is a dramatic rework of Dena Deadly’s “Raise Your Glass,” which also happens to be the theme song for the reality show he stars on, Vanderpump Rules.
The LA-based artist has starred on the hit show for seven seasons, and as the Bravo reality show’s ratings skyrocketed season after season, so did his popularity. For Kennedy, his role on the show is closely linked to his passion for music. In his very first show appearance he made his affinity for DJing and music production known. Many of the episodes he has appeared on have revolved around his residencies at local LA restaurants and venues in addition to producing music for fellow cast members such as Lala Kent. His productions have ranged from pop to electronic music on the show, and his residencies promise to be nothing short of energetic as displayed by the episodes where he performs.
Few have the platform that a show like Vanderpump Rules provides. This platform and popularity does not come without its complications for someone like Kennedy, who identifies himself as a music producer and DJ first, and a TV star second.
He speaks about how being a reality star has impacted people’s perception of him as a true musician, sharing, “You know, there are going to be people in the world who definitely want to put me in a box, and that confines you. Everyone always says, ‘Oh, he is a reality star. You can’t break out after that.'” He continues, “I respect everyone’s opinions and stuff, but there is a real passion to what I do, and my love for house music is going to last until I’m an 85-year-old man, so it’s not going anywhere.”
One aspect of his artistry that Kennedy has been straightforward about is his love for experimentation. He has a very open approach to music production, and he has enjoyed learning to make everything from trap and dubstep to rapping over his own big room productions. His love for live performance has translated into his music, and it has resulted in dozens of remix releases in the past year alone. His inspiration for remixes come from a compelling vocal line, the producer shares, and he transforms the song into a ‘club banger’ from there.
Kennedy notes, “I also love mixing the classic house sound with the new sound. That’s why I love doing the remixes and stuff because I can bring a throwback record and have it sound fresh again. I think from a live standpoint, when people are having their drinks in the club and they are vibing, they love hearing that sound that they know, but they like that new fresh spin on it or the club mix.”
Kennedy’s output over the past year has been nothing short of momentous, and the newest addition to his discography is an original release titled “Take Me Home” featuring Sydney Adams. The single is out now on Bijou‘s Do Not Disturb Recordings thanks to Bijou and Kennedy’s continued friendship and musical collaboration.
Kennedy talks about how the artists met, saying, “I actually hit him up on Instagram, and he has been nothing but a supportive friend, so we had dinner in LA I think right before COVID hit and met in person. And now I’ve been working more on some of my original tracks, and that is where ‘Take Me Home’ originated.”
“Take Me Home” is a testament to Sydney Adams vocals, which are nothing short of alluring, before Kennedy’s signature big room house notes take over. Unlike many of his remixes which are high energy and high BPM, “Take Me Home” instills energy while still leaving room for more. Kennedy, whose passion for production started with remixes, notes that he wants producers to be able to come in and remix his piece while still putting out a strong final product for the original. This is a balance that has certainly been struck.
He talks about the difference in his creative approach for his original pieces as opposed to remixes when he says, “You know I like to keep my bass lines hard and fresh, but for my original music, I like to make tracks that can be remixed and have a story with vocals.”
To celebrate “Take Me Home,” Kennedy has mixed an hour long Saturday Night Session mix where he takes listeners on a ride through his originals, remixes, and more. When asked what kind of a Saturday night his Saturday Night Session will get listeners ready for, Kennedy states, “It will be a high energy party at home. Get your drinks ready and your best dancing shoes. Turn it up for sure.”Dancing Astronaut Mixes · Saturday Night Session 046: James Kennedy (DA Exclusive)
Let’s start with an easy one. What have you been up to?
I’ve really been focusing on the remixes since quarantine started because my studio closed down. I kicked off last year with this viral TikTok I made of Jason Derulo’s “Coño.” I made a remix of that, and it got picked up by Spinnin Records, so that was a great kickoff to quarantine.
There were a few studios that I knew were open, but I didn’t want to risk it in the beginning, so I’ve just been focusing on remixes and releasing them on my Soundcloud. I normally like to release stuff on Spotify, but that takes a longer time with labels and contracts- you have to get that stuff sorted out unlike Soundcloud and YouTube. On those platforms you can just upload it right away. The people need the music now more than ever, you know? So I’ve just been focusing on the remixes. I can’t wait to get back into the studio honestly. They should be opening soon.
You just released your first original on Do Not Duplicate Recordings, which is a big deal. Tell me about that and the releases!
The Do Not Duplicate Recordings release is an original track that I’m really excited about called “Take Me Home” featuring Sydney Adams- shout out Bijou. He has given me an absolutely incredible opportunity with them because I did a 122 bpm dark electro pop remix of “Fantasy” featuring DLMT and Vannah. I actually hit him up on Instagram, and he has been nothing but a supportive friend, so we had dinner in LA I think right before COVID hit and met in person. And now I’ve been working more on some of my original tracks, and that is where “Take Me Home” originated. Sydney Adams and I wrote “Take Me Home” together actually. I wrote the first part and she wrote the second part, and then we went to the studio to finish the third part. It’s just so easy, and she is absolutely incredible to work with and an extremely talented singer.
You know I like to keep my basslines hard and fresh, but for my original music, I like to make tracks that can be remixed and have a story with vocals. It is the classic house sound with pianos and riffs. I also love mixing the classic house sound with the new sound. That’s why I love doing the remixes and stuff because I can bring a throwback record and have it sound fresh again. I think from a live standpoint, when people are having their drinks in the club and they are vibing, they love hearing that sound that they know, but they like that new fresh spin on it or the club mix.
Speaking of Bijou, he did an absolutely incredible album called Diamond City that is now out there on all streaming platforms, and it just has banger after g-house banger. I love all of his music.
Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up? What got you into DJing and music production?
Oh my gosh. Well you know I was a boy in London with my headphones on listening to a lot of The Prodigy, Moby, Fatboy Slim, Oasis, and Elton John. Just the classics you know? But honestly Moby and The Prodigy are the two things I can listen to over and over and over again and never get bored of. I find it hard to find those kinds of albums now. When I was younger, I was like a sponge absorbing all of this music without any judgement, and now it’s like there is so much music out, and so much good music out. Especially in the Electronic Dance Music world right now, there is just so much to listen to and keep up with. It’s good, but it is definitely different.
How has growing up with a dad who worked in the industry shaped your approach to your own work?
Having a father in the music industry has definitely molded me into who I am today. My dad was George Michael’s manager for part of Wham!’s career and throughout the beginning of his solo career with the Faith album. George Michael is my godfather too. For me, George was around as Uncle George for Christmas and birthdays, and I didn’t understand, of course, the iconic singer he was when I was younger. As I grew up, it was incredible and amazing to find out, and I was proud of it. It was really awesome. Rest in Peace of course.
I moved to Ibiza, Spain when I was 14 years old out of nowhere. I was a kid in London, and I was getting bullied a lot in school. My parents went on a week-long vacation in Ibiza and then for your parents to come home and be like, “yeah we just bought the house we were staying in.” We ended up moving there, and I was on the island there for two years. And I saw the party scene on the island in the summer and then in the winter, everyone leaves. It was that time where I was sneaking out of the house trying to get to Es Paradis, Amnesia, Pacha and you know I saw Tiesto; I saw David Guetta; I saw Cypress Hill in the basement at Pacha at 14 years old, and it was unbelievable and that is what changed my whole view on wanting to be a DJ. I wanted to be the guy who is making that sound and dancing up on the podium.
It’s funny, I thought Cypress Hill was doing the music and the lights on the spot when I was that young. It was definitely a crazy experience, and when I came to the US in 2008, I was 17 and house music was blowing up and it was on the brink. I was following Dancing Astronaut- for so many years- I was following Dancing Astronaut and downloading all of the tracks they would post on their blogs. 2012 was such a crazy year for music, and Dancing Astronaut back then was literally the one and only and where I found the bangers, you know?
Ever since then (2008) I have wanted to be a DJ. I have done a lot of different things with music. I have tried rapping. I have tried producing beats, and it has been an amazing and fun road so far, but I’m really focused on house music and the remixes now. As the years have come and gone, I have been crafting my sound a lot more. You know, quarantine has given me a lot of time to make a lot of music.
When it comes to Vanderpump Rules– you were cast on a reality TV show that is very much independent from your music. How has the show impacted people’s perception of you and your music, and what do you want them to take away from this interview?
Of course it has an impact- both positive and negative. You know, there are going to be people in the world who definitely want to put me in a box and that confines you. Everyone always says, ‘Oh, he is a reality star. You can’t break out after that.’ I respect everyone’s opinions and stuff, but there is a real passion to what I do, and my love for house music is going to last until I’m an 85 year old man, so it’s not going anywhere. Vanderpump Rules has been amazing. It has given me the opportunity to get in front of the camera and tell people what I do. You know, I was touring before COVID hit, and I did a lot of shows- like 87 shows in different states in 2019, and I was on record to do that again in 2020. I’m sure the situation will pan itself out eventually. Obviously there are a lot of hurdles to cross and boundaries to break proving to people that I have some great music. Not everyone likes everything, but maybe eventually I will make something that they like. I don’t like to listen to the outside perspective a lot. I like to view it as an opportunity. And you know, I definitely have fun with the music on Vanderpump Rules. They have me doing some corny stuff sometimes, and it is very cheesy, but you know I do love a bit of that. Putting on my suit and going to go film is a feeling really unlike anything else really.
It’s funny- when I go DJ these appearances and stuff- I have this edit of the Vanderpump Rules theme song that I open up with on this big riser and people go wild. It is really funny. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, but I really think that this is just the beginning.
On Vanderpump Rules, obviously you were producing some music that Lala (co-star) was making and the genres that you were producing were not your typical electronic sound. So tell me a little bit about your experimentation with production and how you define your sound now?
I have wanted to produce as much as I could. I loved the trap era, and I loved making those 808 drops. Going through all of these subgenres over the years- like dubstep was hot, and I learned how to make that. I just wanted to learn how to make all types of music. We are now back into house tunes, which is basically my passion. Then when Vanderpump Rules and Lala came around, it was fun to experiment on music with her and just see what we came up with. All of it was an incredible learning experience and just so much fun. I know “Feeling You” with Lala was like a rap track, and I was rapping on it in a British accent, and she was singing on the hooks. I wanted to incorporate a future bass type drop but keep it radio friendly. So that is where I was going with that one. I always do have intention and an idea behind all of the tracks I make. I like to make everything with an idea or purpose before making it. Otherwise I just end up with a random beat and it never gets finished, and I scrap it.
What creatively inspires you and where do you want your sound to go?
When I hear an amazing record with an amazing vocal, I love to get my hands on just that vocal. When I just hear it alone, my mind goes into a place where ‘this is the key’ and ‘this is the progression that I would put.’ I play the progression on the piano, and then I like to transfer those chords into the sounds, and I start experimenting. Sometimes I like to keep it as just the Piano sound if it sounds that good. That’s normally where my creative process goes when I start remixes. When I start originals, it can be anything. It can be a sample idea or it could just start with a bassline. Basslines always get me going, and you know, when you add the kick and the clapover over the bassline just on its own, that’s when you’re like ‘here we go,’ and we are just getting started. It’s the inspiration I need to create a track.
I also really love the rapping and stuff. My absolute dream is to have an absolute banger track- house, vocals, and like a sick piano riff with a massive bass drop with me flowing on top of it. That is where I picture my sound going and eventually I’ll create the perfect song. You know that is what we all aim to do. It’s like, ‘I’m going into the studio today, and I’m going to create the perfect banger.’ It’s funny- it never ends up happening, but you do have so much fun doing it. Every time you do come out with a track, it’s always like a good feeling.
I’m ready to hear your rapping over the productions though. What is the hold up you’ve got to get going!
Honestly there isn’t a hold up! I’ve finally figured out what I want my sound to be. I’ve been taking a lot of time to focus on production and my sound over the past year. I’m working on all of the beats right now so that when I go into the studio, hopefully in March, I’m going to be recording an entire EP.
What kind of a live performance environment do you enjoy playing the most?
For live performances, I love watching what Meduza has been doing and Imanbek– all of their remixes and sounds are just out of control. All of these kinds of tracks have been blowing up in the last year. That kind of chord sound with a deep vocal is huge, and I can’t wait to see that live. I think when live shows come back, that is going to be a big takeover sound.
Coachella is my favorite time of year. After moving to LA and California that was just the thing to do, and I miss it so much now that it hasn’t happened because of everything going on. When I see videos of Tomorrowland and things like that, I think it is all just so amazing, and I can’t wait to get back. For playing live aspects, I love what people have been doing with the live streams and videos. My instagram reels have been experimenting posting snippets and videos of remixes that I make, but I am going to start upping the videos now to be a live performance of the remix. I think that will give the viewers more to watch, and it will be more fun for me and more of a challenge. I’m excited for that new little venture.
Everyone has different takeaways when it comes to changing the pace of life due to the COVID lockdowns. What are your takeaways from the past year and how have you responded to the changes to what life looks like?
I come from both sides of this. I feel for the people really struggling, and then I see the people on Instagram saying you know you’re either thriving or surviving, and I listen to everyone’s point of view. I’m really just trying to do the best that I can. You know, I have a grandma who is in the hospital right now with COVID, and she isn’t doing too well, and it’s just really tough. It’s so real for me now as opposed to a few months ago when it really wasn’t. I think everyone just needs to stay safe and yeah- it’s crazy. I’m really just taking things day by day and trying to stay positive and make as much music as possible. If it wasn’t for music- I would get so bored. I have been cooking every day, and I have my playstation, but you know I don’t like to play that too much because I always just think to myself, “you know, you could be making music right now.” I’ve got a little Goldendoodle with my girlfriend who I live with, and we take walks in the park and try to stay busy. The beauty with Instagram is that it is something producers can thrive on at this point. You can make something dope and just upload it, and if people like it, they will just share it with a friend and be like, “hey, check this out.”
What kind of a Saturday Night is your Saturday Night Session going to get listeners ready for?
For my Saturday Night Session mix, I am going to showcase all of these remixes I have been working on and a bunch of new unreleased music, and of course, “Take Me Home” featuring Sydney Adams. It will be a high energy party at home. Get your drinks ready and your best dancing shoes. Turn it up for sure.
House music legend Danny Tenaglia will bring some good to the world for his 60th birthday in conjunction with Beatport and Gray Area. From March 6 – 7, a stellar array of artists curated by Tenaglia himself will take the decks to participate in a free, two-day livestream event aimed at drumming up viewer-submitted donations for UNICEF.
The heavy-hitting list of artists set to perform at Tenaglia’s birthday fundraiser include David Guetta, Carl Cox, Markus Schulz, Guy Gerber, Seth Troxler, and more than 15 additional acts. In an official release, Tenaglia stated that he could have thought of 100 more artists to invite to join his birthday lineup, but noted that he is especially close with those who figure on the UNICEF benefit’s roster of talent. “All of the DJ’s participating have influenced me in so many ways, and I am honored to consider each and every one of them dear friends,” Tenaglia expressed.
The livestream will be hosted on a variety of platforms including Gray Area’s Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook channels. Register for the event here. Those who register to attend will be entered into a raffle to win prizes such as signed albums, T-shirts, and more.
Featured image: Resistance
Future bass purveyor Fairlane has combined his expertise with pop singer-songwriter ROZES, and NBC’s Songland winner JT Roach for a new electro-pop excursion “Out Loud,” distributed via Monstercat. This trio’s union is nothing short of a producer’s ultimate fantasy given that these three respective powerhouses have already worked with some of the industry’s most-esteemed acts in their illustrious and youthful careers to date, such as The Chainsmokers, OneRepublic, and SLANDER.
Chiming in with relatable and heartfelt lyricism, enchanting vocal harmonies, and a general mastery of production, “Out Loud” encompasses the best parts of pop music combined with the mysticism of a blaring, synth-driven drop. This powerful marriage of some of the most sought-after songwriters in the game has provided fans with a timeless track for the ages.
Stream “Out Loud” below.
Featured image: Angela Smith
The post Fairlane, ROZES, and JT Roach join forces on ‘Out Loud’ appeared first on Dancing Astronaut.
Denver Arts and Venues is seeking the Colorado health department’s approval to allow Red Rocks Amphitheatre to reopen at a 2,500-person capacity in the spring, with the potential to expand in the summer, reports the Denver Post. Red Rocks personnel specifically hope to host approximately 80% of a standard crowd size at the outdoor venue by summer 2021’s conclusion, said Brian Kitts, Red Rocks’ director of communications.
In accordance with COVID-19 mandates, mask wearing and adherence to social distancing guidelines (six feet) would be enforced should the venue be cleared to return to live operation. The Denver Department of Public Health is said to have received the application to reinstate amphitheatre activity; however, it has not yet made it to the state, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment told the Denver Post. Dancing Astronaut will provide updates on Red Rocks’ operational status as they become available.
Featured image: @shutterfinger/Instagram
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Equaling or even attempting to approximate the absolute perfection of “Blindspot” required a weighty degree of firepower, but Nurko and Devon Baldwin conscientiously hand-picked nine producers who served the proper amount of justice to their Proximity connection. After submitting each of the original’s differentiated halves this past December, Nurko is readdressing the release that immediately followed his Artists to Watch in 2021 selection with the fully stocked “Blindspot” remix package.
Calling in a sizable canon of revisionists consisting of Ace Aura, N3WPORT, Outwild, Beatcore, if found, Seb Nero, NOTOK, DBT, and Danny Olson, each and every “Blindspot” alteration drifts Nurko and Devon Baldwin’s partnership into an untapped tide that runs from melodic dubstep to future bass to house, candidly documenting how and why the two’s initial version was as mesmerizing as it was.
Stream all nine of the “Blindspot” remixes below.
Featured image: Nurko/Instagram
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In case it wasn’t made explicitly clear in Dancing Astronaut’s Artists to Watch in 2021 commentary, it’s being repeated it again: Bleu Clair is arguably the brightest name in house music right now. Only two months into 2021, Bleu Clair has already doubled down on our reasoning, once on his STMPD RCRDS linkup “Beat Like This” with OOTORO, and once on his assistance for Nightbass’ seven-year anniversary celebration. The Indonensian-bred authority is now swapping out “doubling” for “tripling” as he realigns with Monstercat to set “The Tempo.”
This, of course, can’t continue without a proper nod to Monstercat for supplying the concise lyrics of “stop for a minute, gotta find the tempo” in the track’s YouTube description. Aptly paced at 125 BPM for all those inquiring, “The Tempo” treks out Bleu Clair’s eclectic depot of singular tech house traits built around samples traced back to Asia and self-explained as “much different” in terms of direction than any of Bleu Clair’s other top-of-the-line productions. The artists who retain the capacity to bring out the production complexity of such a simplistic yet enlivened sound design as effortlessly as Bleu Clair have been proven to be far and few between.
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The two-day Rock ‘N’ Relief virtual concert in support of the Community Organized Relief Effort’s (CORE’s) COVID-19 vaccination program will feature a performance from none other than deadmau5. Though dates for the digital fundraiser have yet to be announced, the event, curated by Linda Perry, will broadcast live from Amazon Music‘s Twitch channel and will directly aid CORE’s efforts to vaccinate residents in some of Los Angeles’ most vulnerable neighborhoods.
Aloe Blacc, Foo Fighters, Sheryl Crow, Jewel, K.Flay, and James Blunt are among the wave of artists who will also appear at Rock ‘N’ Relief. More details are awaited on the specifics of Rock ‘N’ Relief and will be available soon.
Featured image: Leah Sems
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On February 23, Insomniac unveiled Lost In Dreams, a new label that will not only translate to an in-person festival, but also “open up a new world of future bass, melodic dubstep, and vocal-driven dance music.” Just three days later, Insomniac is prying open this “new world” with Lost In Dreams’ inaugural original.
After rapidly rising up the bass ranks in recent years with fan favorites such as “First Breath,” which notably soundtracked a 2020 Starbucks commercial, Kaivon can now add Lost In Dreams history-maker to his growing list of sonic distinctions. On the label’s installing tune “Whole Life,” Kaivon taps into the high-voltage future bass and melodic trap intermixture that has consistently turned heads in his direction. A Nevve-supplied topline amplifies the arresting power of “Whole Life,” marking Lost In Dreams’ impactful start.
Featured image: Kaivon/Instagram
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After David Guetta took on Joel Corry and MNEK‘s inescapable “Head & Heart” for a remix that would be issued under his Jack Back alias in August of 2020, the need for a Guetta/Corry team up became increasingly apparent. Now, listeners are getting just that with “BED,” a single that invites RAYE, one of Guetta’s serial collaborators, to join in. “Bed” is notably Guetta’s fourth collaborative project with the British-Swiss singer- songwriter; the pair has previously worked together on “Stay (Don’t Go Away)” and “Make It To Heaven” with MORTEN.
“Bed” continues the hot streak that Corry set in 2020. The former British TV reality star then broke the record for the most Shazamed song in a single day in the UK with his 2019 single “Sorry” featuring Hayley May, while “Head & Heart” became a certified platinum hit. “Bed” can be streamed below.
Featured image: Joel Corry/Facebook
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After initially releasing the “Rain Drops” instrumental in June of 2020, on March 12, Israeli producer ANTDUAN will debut a vocal version of the single featuring Romanian vocalist Alexandra Badoi, along with an accompanying visual. The upcoming single can be pre-saved here.
ANTDUAN told Dancing Astronaut of the release,
“I used to love those tunes from the early 2000’s trance scene and I feel that my song is in the same vibe as those old songs, but with modern instruments. For me, having emotions and soul in my music is the most important thing and I am always trying to add them. I produced the instrumental version of ‘Rain Drops’ in the first lockdown time and it was one of my first tracks that had a really good reaction. Afterward, I was looking for a vocalist similar to the songs of Tiësto and Paul Oakenfold from early 2000, and I found Alexandra. She had the perfect voice and it comes out exactly the way that I imagined it would.”
Badoi is best known for her feature on Armin van Buuren‘s “Cosmos,” released under his Rising Star alias. Through a mist of trance plucks and brooding ambiance, Badoi’s voice creates a serene harmony that leads into a field of brooding brass, trance melodies, and deep house allure.
Get a preview of the “Rain Drops” visual below, ahead of its March 12 due date.
If you’re still unfamiliar with the name Jiqui, take our word for it, now is the time to get acquainted. The up-and-coming bass music talent has already gained the coveted attention of big-name acts such Subtronics, NGHTMRE, Slander, while securing releases on Subtronics’ Cyclops Recordings in addition to Never Say Die Black Label and Disciple Round Table. With an already impressive resume, Jiqui is further bolstering his discography with the release of four relentless bass tunes, corralled under the Alchemist banner.
Jiqui’s Alchemist EP, released via Never Say Die Black Label, features some of his most innovative sound design to date. The first break of “Juicez,” for instance, features a bright, bubbly synth and erratic pauses that create a unique flow before moving into a classic headbanger-optimized second break sure to destroy dance floors. Another standout track on the EP, “Close To U” opens its drops with a funky stab pattern before giving way to a massive dubstep section. A lingering high-pitched synth coasts in the background as bone-crushing sound design repeatedly hits the listener. Jiqui’s latest EP is a testament to the producer’s bass-centered expertise, and you can experience it in four-track form below.
The idiom goes “when one door closes, another opens,” but in Maximono‘s case, it can be rescripted to state when one imprint closes, another initiates. The name “Maximono” is synonymous with stamina; after earning his sonic street creds in the late ’90s, the German innovator well-known for his marriage of facets of R&B, hip-hop, soul, funk, and drum ‘n’ bass became a fixture at labels such as Confession, Sweat It Out, Dirtybird, and This Ain’t Bristol, among others. After years spent garnering the experience necessary to be a discerning label head in a saturated musical space, Maximono is answering the retirement of the This Ain’t Bristol label with the conceptualization of Parasoul Music, an imprint that will mold to his own musical visions while providing a platform for likeminded talents who’d like their original issues to stand under Maximono’s ‘Parasoul.’
On February 26, Maximono gave shape to the sound that will define Parasoul with “Tremblin,” a label-instituting single that sits at the intersection of soul- and R&B-infused house music. “Tremblin” notably sources its vocals from Los Angeles’ own Saígo, of whom Maximono said,
“When I came up with the unstrumental idea of ‘Tremblin,’ I started looking for a male singer with a certain warmth and clarity in his voice. When I stumbled across Saígo, I knew he was the one I was looking for and he absolutely nailed the vocals.”
Dancing Astronaut connected with Maximono ahead of this career-defining development to discuss the future of Parasoul Music, near and distant, and “Tremblin’s” significance as its installing number. The full interview is available below.
Parasoul Music is heralded as “the latest musical chapter” for you. Let’s get a little more granular: what does this new “chapter” specifically entail, and what were your motivations for turning the page now in your career?
Maximono: “It was always clear to me that after the success of This Ain’t Bristol, I’d have to come up with a new label one day. I didn’t put any pressure on it, but after working on tons of new music during the pandemic, the picture became clearer and clearer. My love for soulful electronic music has always been there and it kept growing over the past 12 months. I worked on my Maximono productions a lot and all the new music that came out was something new that didn’t really fit with any existing labels. So, I decided to create my own outlet and start surrounding myself with likeminded artists that are working on the same style of music. The influence of urban music like R&B, funk, soul and hip-hop has always been super present in my career, so it really felt like a natural step to launch this label.”
How does “Tremblin” embody what is to come from Parasoul Music, and what were your motivations for selecting this single as the debut?
Maximono: “‘Tremblin’ stands for the new me and for how both Maximono and Parasoul will sound in the future. Therefore, it only made sense to use it as the debut single in order to lead into that new direction. I’ve used the time in lockdown to work on my production skills a lot, especially in terms of songwriting and working with vocalists, and ‘Tremblin” was probably my favorite one from the latest productions, so it was a no-brainer for me to use it as a statement for the start of Parasoul.”
You’ve stated your aims to make Parasoul Music a hub for cross-genre diversity and a place for “other likeminded artists.” Are you able to specify some of the artists who will be working with Parasoul in the immediate future?
Maximono: “As people know, Maximono always stood for genre diversity and included many different influences. Combining urban music with electronic club music is something that moves me a lot and so the label is set to become a hub for all different sorts of electronic music that has a good amount of soul and punch for the dance floor at the same time. No matter if its house, garage, drum ‘n’ bass, lo-fi beats etc., as long as you can feel the artist putting soul and character into the song, it’s a potential Parasoul release. I’m just starting to build the new label roster so besides Maximono, I cannot announce any names yet, but you’ll be surprised of some names where you didn’t expect them to go into that direction.”
How developed is Parasoul Music’s roster of new music to be distributed this year; can you tell us about any of the projects that the newly minted label will host?
Maximono: “I’ve got the first three records ready to go and I’ve just started signing more music and filling the release schedule for 2021. Release number two will be the ‘Tremblin Remix EP’ featuring some super exciting artists that all represent the diversity of music to come on Parasoul. I’m looking forward to hear a lot more demos over the next weeks, so please send in your SoundCloud links: email@example.com“
On a personal level, musically, what does 2021 hold for Maximono?
Maximono: “It’s a super exciting time for me and I’ve never been more productive than I have over the past couple of months. I feel like this whole situation around the pandemic has opened my eyes to rethink what I’m doing in the studio and what I’m putting out. Not writing music to get bookings but to actually get people to listen is a perspective that got a little bit lost for me. Bringing more soul and R&B influences back into my music is something that feels very right and I cannot wait to share more of that with my fans. Most of it will come on Parasoul, but let’s see where the new direction takes me.”View this post on Instagram
Featured image: Maximono/Instagram
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On the never-ending index of improbable liaisons between dance music icons, beholding Alesso and Armin van Buuren‘s names in unison was truly at the front and center of it all. The respective progressive house and trance heavyweights tossed out the impression of a looming collaborative effort on Valentine’s Day and promptly validated all suspicion, now delivering “Leave A Little Love” just two weeks shy of its initial public advent.
Staying ahead of the warm-weather curve as summer, and the hopeful wrap-up of the pandemic, inches closer by the day, Alesso and Armin van Buuren lay up an easygoing terrain of low-key house on top of modern-classic lyrics that clinch its guaranteed candidacy for longevity. Although “Leave A Little Love” strolls down a more toned-down route comparative to some of the dyad’s most time-tested works, Alesso’s self-remix custom and Armin van Buuren’s eternal pattern of club mixes already opened the door for a potential progressive-meets-trance rendezvous following the latter’s premiere of an alternative version during A State Of Trance 1005, which could be fully executed when festival season makes its overdue re-entry sooner rather than later.
Featured image: Armin van Buuren/Twitter
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Wooli has delivered his first single of the year and, what a way to kick it off. After previewing the ID to crowds at his Insomniac Park ‘N Rave set, the Rochester producer has now officially unraveled “The Core,” and fittingly so on Seven Lions‘ Ophelia Records, which has hosted Wooli releases including triple-weaponized collaboration, “Island,” melodic bass cut “Another Me,” “Over You,” and more.
Playing to his strengths in hybridization, Wooli takes the dubstep archetype in genre-crossing directions as he unites various sound structures into one scorching bass anomaly. Pounding psytrance bass drive the climactic uptake before morphing into nefarious riddim drops, which then circle back for a second drop layered with hardstyle-derived kicks. Entranced and exited with divine choirs, “The Core” lands in ease among its Ophelia peers as an epic-inspired sonic battleground for only the bravest.
Stream Wooli’s “The Core” below.
Featured image: Trevor Rieks
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KSHMR has teamed up with French producer NOUMENN for his second album single titled “Around The World,” preceding his debut LP, Harmonica Andromeda. The track follows the Dharma Worldwide label boss’ first release of the year and lead album single “The World We Left Behind,” featuring long-term collaborator KARRA. On the new single, the record producer and DJ shared,
“For me this song walks a wonderful line of being uplifting while having a message. The vocal isn’t too preachy but a good reminder to be thoughtful and care for the world around us. Very grateful to NOUMENN for doing this with me.”
Featuring colorful sonic elements and dreamy melodies, “Around The World” tailors uplifting vocals over a radiant creation akin to an ethereal maelstrom. The previously unreleased track made appearances as KSHMR’s choice for set closer at both his EDC Las Vegas Virtual Rave-A-Thon and DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Virtual Festival sets. Following his 2017 EP, Materia, Harmonica Andromeda will arrive March 19.
Listen to KSHMR’s “Around The World” featuring NOUMENN below.
Featured image: Rukes
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Though the name “Geminibull” might not be familiar to all electronic listeners yet due to constituents Matt Lauer and Nick White’s novelty to the dance space, the duo is making a strong case for why it soon should be.
The latest piece of evidence comes in the form of Geminibull’s second-ever single, the Austin Corini assist, “Without You.” Lauer and White’s sophomore release under the Geminibull banner has “replay” written all over it, from Corini’s esteem in indie-pop vocal circles to its piano undergirding and breakdowns that will almost assuredly play on repeat in listeners’ minds. “Without You” has successfully ensnared the attention of Dancing Astronaut, and we confidently declare the following: Geminibull is a production pair with promise, and we won’t be taking our eyes off them all 2021.
Together, ETC!ETC! and SpydaT.E.K have released a three-track moombahton EP via Slow Roast Records, Sueltalo. The pair spark their energetic, Latin-influenced mastery across three tracks that feature emphatic drums and rhythms, and brimming down-tempo club grooves. Los Angeles native ETC!ETC! said of the project,
“The inspiration on this EP was really the song ‘Dale’ featuring Joelii. It started with an idea that I sent over to SpydaT.E.K and we started jamming out to it. After, we sent it over to Joelii and he really killed the vocals! And it got the ball rolling…it made us so hype we wrote Sueltalo after, which means ‘let loose’ because it’s what we were doing in the studio! The two tracks were just how we were feeling in the moment, and you can tell they are both fun tracks!”
The three-track moombahton EP convenes ETC!ETC! and SpydaT.E.K’s vigorous production elements with gravitating basslines and heavy drum grooves. Listen to ETC!ETC! and SpydaT.E.K’s Sueltalo EP below.
Featured image: ETC!ETC!/ Facebook
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