Escape: Psycho Circus 2016
This Halloween, we’re conjuring up the creepy, the scary, and the slightly disturbing with the return of Escape: Psycho Circus this Friday, October 28, and Saturday, October 29, at the NOS Event Center in San Bernardino, CA.
Let your inner freak explore this dark and twisted sideshow. Expect extravagantly dressed ghouls and goblins and a sea of your fellow Headliners in full-fledge costumes at the world’s top Halloween festival. You’ll hear the best DJs and artists on high-end sound systems. Our combination of state-of-the-art production, intricately designed, larger-than-life stage designs, and interactive art installations is sure to melt your mind and leave you with lasting memories. Plus, our beloved troupes of roaming performers will be decked out in spine-chilling costumes for a special Halloween haunt.
Expect only the freakiest and the loudest at Escape: Psycho Circus 2016.
Firmly planted in the riches of house music history, but neatly poised to move forward into the future, Adam Auburn has dedicated his life to the music he loves. The buzz probably all began for Adam in 2004, after winning the first ever Traxsource DJ Competition, sparking a whirlwind of international attention for the East Coast native. In 2008, the ginger-bearded house music advocate moved to Los Angeles, where he was blessed to be discovered by Insomniac, placed on display at their weekly events at Exchange, and ultimately the mainstage at Nocturnal Wonderland, Escape From Wonderland, and EDC Week Las Vegas. Auburn’s unique versatility as a DJ has allowed him to play alongside a range of Artists as wide as his love for dance music—including everyone from Kaskade to Diplo, Knife Party, TJR, Oliver Heldens, Duke Dumont, John Digweed, Maceo Plex, Maya Jane Coles, the Martinez Brothers, Hot Since 82, Claude VonStroke, MK, Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, Louie Vega, and so many more across 15 years of DJing. Auburn's deep love of house music can be found not only in the infectious energy that resonates from his DJ performances, but also through the award-winning house music events his production company, Auburn Events, has put on for over 10 years—including Afternoon Delight (#2 Pool Party in the US—Thrillist 2015). In 2014, Adam began working as the Director of Marketing & Entertainment at Exchange LA, continuing to do whatever he can help push the music he loves forward into the future.
Andrew Bayer is an American DJ/Producer from Washington, DC. He is known for his unique progressive house productions on the Anjunadeep and Anjunabeats labels, also incorporating elements of idm, progressive breaks and other genres.
He is also known for collaborations with Norwegian producer Boom Jinx (as Boom Jinx & Andrew Bayer), BT, and the now inactive progressive trance group Signalrunners with Alan Nimmo. Bayer has also collaborated with fellow Berklee College Of Music attendants Matt Lange and Kerry Leva.
He's the modern-day Mozart -- today's leading talent in the ever-growing trance and electronic dance music scene. He's the pride of Moldova, known for his unique and very own sound. He is Andrei Rata, better known as Andrew Rayel.
Born on July 21st, 1992, his young age never stopped him from taking the lead amongst the next generation of EDM producers. Developing strong musical skills, he studied orchestral music and kicked off his producing career at only 13 years of age. It didn't take long for the passionate music lover to translate his ideas into sounds. He created a truly unique sonic signature - one of piano power, harmonic balance, and euphoric tales. And so, years later, his originals and remixes are praised by many and loved by more. But, rest assured, the Andrew Rayel story has only just begun.
"Trance was the perfect solution, as it is a combination of melody, harmony and energy, elements that I prefer the most", says Andrew Rayel. Having Armin van Buuren supporting his tracks on the world famous A State of Trance radio show had always been a dream of Andrew. And sometimes, dreams come true. His tracks '550 Senta', 'How Do I Know' ft. Jano, 'Aeon of Revenge', 'Aether', 'Deflagration', 'Musa' and 'Zeus' , ‘Dark Warrior’ , ‘One In A Million’ and much more all made it to the show, often voted Tune of the Week and Future Favourite. The trance scene embraced Andrew's refreshing sound, giving him a very warm welcome.
His tracks found a solid home on the A State of Trance and Armind labels, both part of the Armada Music family. With such impressive originals, it didn't take long until the Rayel sound became hot property for remixes. And so, Andrew was lucky enough to take on remix duties for tracks by Armin van Buuren, Tommy Trash, Tiësto, W&W, Dash Berlin, and many more. Earning the support of the DJ elite, the Rayel sound has spread all across the globe, from underground clubs to mainstream festivals.
Though his career is fairly young, Andrew has already DJed the world's most legendary clubs and massive festivals. From Kazantip, Global Gathering, Creamfields, A State Of Trance , Trancefusion, Trancemission, Tomorrowland, Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnivals, Ball En Blanc and much more.
Not to forget performing and selling out world wide venues such as New City Gas, Exchange LA, Marquee New York, Ruby Sky SanFransisco, Zouk Kuala Lumpur & Singapore, Colossium in Jakarta, not to forget the magical Island "Ibiza" in which he has performed at clubs such as Ushuaia Amnesia, & Privilege, and much more as well as earning a Las Vegas Residency at the age of 21 at Marquee Las Vegas.
As a result of his hard work and dedication, fans voted him to become one of the Top 100 DJS in the world, as well as breakout dj & producer and highest climber in the poll voting, along side many world wide nominations such as the IDMA (International Dance Music Awards) which is hosted yearly in Miami during Winter Music Conference week.
The same goes for the highly anticipated Andrew Rayel debut album. Set for release on Armada Music, trance land eagerly holds its breath, craving more of Andrew's magic dancing dust. Andrew's very first and official compilation: 'Mystery of Aether' came out on Armada Music in early September, 2013.
2014 was the year that saw the first ever artist album from Andrew Rayel entitled “Find Your Harmony” which has taken the world by storm alongside his sensation hit collaboration with Armin Van Buuren “EIFORYA”.
The road to success has just begun and Andrew Rayel is ready to take on the world in the years ahead.
"I believe music is a universal language that unites people with nothing but love. I intend to make sure that my tracks are all about emotions and happiness. That's what's driving music, making the world a better place", says Andrew Rayel.
This is a man driven by an unbridled and relentless passion for music. Armin van Buuren is a born perfectionist, striving to stay on top of the scene he’s helped build. As the flag-bearer of the trance movement, he’s one of the most influential figures in EDM worldwide. Even though he lives an extraordinary life as one of the world’s most popular DJs, he has always remained a down-to-earth guy. Armin van Buuren is constantly on the move, whether creating music in his studio or en route to his next high-end club or festival show around the globe.
Armin: “It’s not just love for music, it’s my passion. It goes beyond liking, and beyond a hobby. It’s about a way of living. Music is essential to my life.”
For more than 20 years, the Grammy-nominated Dutchman has been living to the rhythm of his own international success. His five-time number one position in the critically acclaimed DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll has been the result of his loyalty to fans, his creativity in the studio, the perseverance with which he hosts his weekly radio show ‘A State of Trance’, and the energy he brings to the crowds in front of him. Despite the heavy pressure that comes along with being one of the world’s most popular DJs, Armin has always kept his focus on the music. And that’s exactly what keeps him going.
How it all began
Born in Leiden, The Netherlands (December 25, 1976) to a musical family, Armin indulged his passion for music from a young age. He spent all the money he earned from his paper route on records. His mom won a computer when he was 10, piquing Armin’s interest in technology. “So as a little nerdy kid I was writing my own basic programs and learnt about the technology from there.” Armin progressed from making low-profile mix tapes for friends to higher profile mixes when he discovered experimenting with different sequences on his computer through his uncle. “I was so stunned by what I saw him doing on the computer that I got addicted to creating music right there and then!”
“I loved dance music immediately – this great rebellious sound that was so different to the ‘beautiful’ songs of the years before.” Armin cites electronic pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre as a major influence, as well as Dutch producer Ben Liebrand, who later mentored him in his mixing and producing.
In the early days, Armin thought it was wise to have a back-up plan, and so he studied for a law degree. The final year of his course was inevitably stretched out as he juggled his studies with his increasingly hectic schedule; his rise to fame included lots of productions and remixes, as well as playing in front of packed clubs every weekend. It took him three years to graduate, but his determination made him succeed.
Despite having a Master’s degree in Law, the main ingredient in Armin’s life has always been music. Armin: “I see it as my responsibility to promote trance as a genre, and I want to support it in every way I can. Music should connect us. As long as the music keeps evolving like it is, I will continue and I don’t see any reason to slow it down.”
No matter how many hours Armin van Buuren has travelled to get there, as soon as he enters the DJ booth, the Dutchman puts his full focus on the music, the crowd, and how those two will combine. Once the beats of his first record have kicked in, the room lights up and chanting starts to fill the air. To witness a set by Armin van Buuren is to be blown away — to lose yourself completely in the music and become one with the people around you. Mixing seamlessly, he has created his own sound and style, making his DJ sets a truly unique experience. He unites millions, not only through the gigs in his challenging schedule, but also through his ‘Armin Only’ and ‘A State of Trance’ world tours.
His busy life as a DJ has inspired countless people both personally and professionally. In 2009, Dutch author Coen Bom presented his on-the-road biography of Armin, called ‘Eén op één’ / ‘Armin Only’, in which he reported on the hectic life of Armin and tried to find the secret behind the grand success of the humble Dutchman. In October 2012, the official documentary ‘A Year With Armin van Buuren’ was released, in which Armin was followed during an important year in his life, offering a unique look behind the scenes and inside his personality. Again and again, his life as a superstar DJ continues to inspire others.
Armin has had the privilege of performing at some of the world’s biggest and best festivals, clubs, events, and shows. One of the highlights of his career was Armin’s performance for the newly crowned King and Queen of The Netherlands in 2013, Willem-Alexander and Máxima. Together with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, in front of the monarchs and 15,000 fans, he performed both ‘The Bolero’ as well as an orchestral version of the title track from his ‘Intense’ album. During the ‘Koningsvaart’ (a special, cultural boat-trip through the city of Amsterdam), the King and Queen surprised both the crowd as well as Armin by getting on stage and dancing along with him.
Without question another memorable highlight of Armin’s career was his DJ set at the Museumplein in Amsterdam in July of 2010, during the ceremonial honoring of the Dutch national soccer team. Even though the national team lost in the FIFA World Cup final, they partied like they were the absolute winners with a crowd of 200,000 strong.
In 2013, Armin’s career hit another milestone when he was the first solo dance artist to play in Madison Square Garden. The event was completely sold out, representing another crowning achievement for the DJ.
After the 2013 summer season ended (along with his residency at the world’s biggest club, Privilege in Ibiza), Armin kicked off a new ‘Armin Only’ world tour based on his ‘Intense’ album, in collaboration with theatre director Jos Thie. More than 33 dates were set, with shows landing in cities such as Kiev, Mumbai, Saint-Petersburg, Helsinki, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Sydney, Johannesburg, and more. With the ‘Armin Only’ tour, Armin brought out a unique and exclusive show format, which unfolded like the many layers of his ‘Intense’ album. In total, more than 500,000 visitors attended, spanning 5 continents. A ‘Road Movie’ series was also created, documenting behind-the-scenes footage of the entire tour as it took place.
In 2014, Armin began a highly successful weekly residency at the famous Ushuaïa Beach Hotel in Ibiza, playing every Thursday night from June 26th to September 11th alongside top DJs from the Armada Music roster. After the residency, he released a compilation entitled ‘A State of Trance at Ushuaïa Ibiza’ to commemorate the season.
As if to underline the success of the residency, Armin returned to the Ushuaïa Beach Hotel a year later for another ‘A State Of Trance at Ushuaïa, Ibiza’ summer. His performances in the center of the Ushuaïa pool were met with widespread passion and enthusiasm amongst his fans, subsequently leading to the release of the second volume of his Ushuaïa compilation series: ‘A State Of Trance at Ushuaïa, Ibiza 2015’.
On January 26th, 2016, Armin van Buuren brought elation to his worldwide fan base by announcing the first two dates of his brand-new Armin Only Embrace world tour, to which even more dates were added later on as announced live at A State Of Trance Festival Utrecht on February 27th. So far, Armin Only Embrace will bring a spectacular offering to the cities of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Gdansk (Poland), Dubai (UAE), Melbourne and Sydney (Australia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Minsk (Belarus), and Mexico City (Mexico). More destinations are to be announced soon.
THE Radio host
What started as an obsession for radio has turned into a weekly highlight for more than 37 million listeners, broadcasting to over 100 FM stations and fans from over 84 countries. In June 2001, Armin van Buuren aired the first episode of ‘A State of Trance’. Fourteen years later, he still hosts the weekly 2-hour show, where he presents the biggest tunes of the moment and provides an interactive way for fans to discover new music. Regular features of the show are the ‘Tune of the Week’, ‘A State of Trance Radio Classic’, and the ‘Future Favorite’, which is based on an online voting poll.
Celebrating each milestone, Armin did an extensive world tour based around the 650th episode of ASOT in early 2014. The ‘New Horizons’ world tour landed in the cities of Moscow, Yekaterinburg, Almaty, Utrecht, Santiago, Buenos Aires, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Miami. The 8-week tour took place in January, February, and March of 2014 and included 9 shows in countries all around the globe, with events broadcast live on the A State of Trance website.
In continuation of the success of ASOT, Armin kicked off his A State of Trance Festival tour. ASOT Festival was a new concept developed for 2015 in conjunction with ASOT Episode #700. Armin van Buuren became the first DJ to have his own festival: the biggest trance festival tour in history. The tour invaded Utrecht, Buenos Aires, Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Sydney and Melbourne, Mexico, and other destinations worldwide. Episode #700 was also the first time that an entirely fan-created show was used, with fans being given the chance to present their favorite tracks on air. Fans were asked to submit voice recordings of themselves introducing their favorite trance tracks of all time, and the resultant songs and recordings were used to create an entirely fan-made episode — it marks the first time in the world a major dance radio show has ever done this.
Reflecting upon the ‘A State of Trance’ world tours, Armin says: “I’m deeply honored by all the positive things that are happening for the show and for the sound in general. I’ve always said ASOT is not only a show for, but also a show by the fans. The show wouldn’t be where it is without the fans, so it feels amazing to see so many people celebrating along. It’s crazy to see groups of fans going crazy to the same music that we’re playing on the other side of the world. People wearing banners, flags, and making their own private party. This is what I meant with ‘turning the world into a dance floor’.”
Each year, the listeners of the show are asked to vote for their favorite records of the year, with the ‘A State of Trance Top 20’ as the official result. Each track on this list ends up in the ‘A State of Trance Year Mix’, released at the end of December. Weeks of editing and mixing come together in a two-hour mega mix showcasing over a hundred tracks and countless memories. Several hundred thousand copies of the series have been sold to date, and the series has been going strong for over ten years. Another series that Armin has linked to the radio show is the ‘A State of Trance Classics’ compilation. After years of providing some of the most essential classics and all-time favorites in EDM, the series continues to commemorate the early days of dance music. Furthermore, Armin was awarded 4x certified Platinum for his ASOT Year Mix series in late 2014.
In addition to the radio show, Armin started the weekly ‘A State of Trance Podcast’ with a selection from the previous episode of the radio show, ensuring that listeners never miss out on any highlights. Every Sunday, Armin also hosts a 24-hour radio day called ‘A State of Sundays’, broadcast on one of the biggest radio stations in the United States: Sirius XM Satellite Radio. In addition to the A State of Trance shows, A State of Sundays also introduces its listeners to the sets and radio shows of other popular DJs and talented artists.
Whenever he’s not on tour or having a daddy-day with his daughter Fenna and son Remy, Armin locks himself up in the studio. Giving meaning to his famous quote “Don’t be a prisoner of your own style”, he explores the boundaries of EDM through his originals and remixes. Some of his most beloved works, such as ‘Communication’, ‘Burned With Desire’, ‘Blue Fear’, ‘Shivers’, and ‘Yet Another Day’, have grown into highly revered classics, withstanding the test of time.
Armin van Buuren can now look back on the success of his ‘76’ (2003), ‘Shivers’ (2005), ‘Imagine’ (2008), ‘Mirage’ (2010), ‘Intense’ (2013) and ‘Embrace’ (2015) albums. ‘Intense’ was nominated for the Dutch Edison Pop Award for ‘Best Dance Album’. The follow-up to his ‘Mirage’ album featured collaborations with Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari, Australian duo NERVO, and singers like Trevor Guthrie, Emma Hewitt, Laura Jansen, Fiora, and more. ‘This Is What It Feels Like’ ft. Trevor Guthrie (the first single off the album) was nominated for the Grammy award for ‘Best Dance Recording’ and also received a nomination for a Canadian Juno Award. It became a worldwide hit, reaching A-List rotation on radio stations all across the globe and receiving silver, gold, platinum, and double platinum certifications in countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, the UK, Australia, and Italy. The video has reached over 64 million views to date.
After presenting his fans with a fresh Armin van Buuren presents. Rising Star record (‘Safe Inside You’ feat. Betsie Larkin), an official remix of the ‘Game Of Thrones Theme’, and a collaboration with Electronic Music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre (‘Stardust’), Armin announced the name of his forthcoming artist album during his ASOT radio show on Thursday September 3rd of 2015.
‘Embrace’ emerged as Armin’s sixth full-length artist album on October 29th, filled with remarkable collaborations with the likes of Mr. Probz (‘Another You’), Hardwell (‘Off The Hook’), Cimo Fränkel (‘Strong Ones’), world-famous Dutch Jazz trumpeter Eric Vloeimans (‘Embrace’) award-winning Dutch band Kensington (‘Heading Up High’), and fellow Grammy nominee Gavin DeGraw (‘Looking For Your Name’).
Said Armin of the stylistic diversity of ‘Embrace’, “Each of the instruments you see on the album cover – which was shot by Anton Corbijn – was an instrument actually used on the album! I thought it would be a real challenge to myself to try to create dance music using all of these disparate instruments. I really wanted to push myself past my comfort zone and create something very exciting not just for me, but for all the lovers of music out there. I hope you enjoy it.” Judging by the ecstatic reaction of audiences whenever Armin plays his album cuts onstage, he has, once again, succeeded.
THE Label owner
In 2003, plans emerged to set up a record label: Armada Music. Together with Maykel Piron and David Lewis (Ar-Ma-Da), Armin built the foundation of one of the most successful record labels worldwide. Armada Music (voted ‘Best Global Record Label’ five years in a row) is home to more than 20 sub-labels and releases productions by some of the industry’s biggest names and rising talents. Armin’s very own ‘Armind’ and ‘A State of Trance’ labels have found a safe haven at Armada Music, as well as his ‘A State of Trance’ compilation series and artist albums.
With imprints such as Armada Trice, Armada Deep, Armada Captivating, and The Bearded Man as the main pillars of the record label, the biggest Trance label in the world has branched out to a whole array of different styles and genres, with Lost Frequencies’ hit singles ‘Are You With Me’ and ‘Reality’ (feat. Janieck Devy) as prime examples of ensued success.
Within the twelve years of its existence, Armada Music has become one of the most diverse record labels in Electronic Music, with over 50 employees working their hardest to ensure the prolonged growth of Armada.
Despite his ambitious and hectic schedule, Armin still serves as A&R of the Armind, WAO138?!, and A State of Trance labels.
THE Award winner: Facts & Figures
Even a basic list of recent successes reads like a lifetime of work, and the landmarks just keep coming. Armin’s trophy closet is crammed with awards, and here is a selection of them:
DJ Mag Top 100 positions:
2001: #27 2002: #5 2003: #3 2004: #3 2005: #3 2006: #2 2007: #1 2008: #1 2009: #1 2010: #1 2011: #2 2012: #1 2013: #2 2014: #3 2015: #4
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Dance Radio Mix Show DJ
- Best Full Length DJ Mix CD (‘A State of Trance’).
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Radio Mix Show DJ
- Best CD Compilation (‘A State Of Trance 2006’).
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best European DJ
- Best Radio Mix Show DJ
- Buma Cultuur Pop Award – the most important Dutch musician award since 1986;
- Armin plays for 35,000 people at his Armin Only show in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, making him the first Dutch DJ ever to have drawn such a big crowd to his own event.
- #1 DJ in Australia’s IntheMix.au International Acts;
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Progressive House/Trance Track (‘In & Out of Love’ ft. Sharon den Adel)
- Best European DJ
- Best Radio Mix Show DJ
- Best Music Video (‘In & Out Of Love’ ft. Sharon den Adel)
- Best Global Record Label (Armada Music)
- DJ Awards – Best International DJ.
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Global DJ
- Best Podcast (‘A State of Trance Podcast’)
- Best Global Record Label (Armada Music);
- DJ Awards – Best Trance DJ;
- Gouden Harp – highest distinction a Dutch artist can get.
- #1 DJ in Australia’s IntheMix.au International Acts
- International Dance Music Award:
- Best Trance Track (‘Not Giving Up On Love’ ft. Sophie Ellis Bextor)
- Best European DJ
- Best Global DJ
- Best Radio Mix Show DJ
- Best Full Length DJ Mix (‘A State of Trance 2010’)
- Best Podcast (‘A State of Trance Podcast’)
- Best Global Record Label (Armada Music);
- DJ Awards:
- Best International DJ
- Best Trance DJ
- Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands – Royal distinction.
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Trance Track (‘Feels So Good’ ft. Nadia Ali)
- Best Global DJ
- Best Radio Mix Show DJ
- Best Podcast (‘A State of Trance Podcast’)
- Best Global Record Label (Armada Music)
- DJ Awards:
- Best International DJ
- Best Trance DJ
- FCN Business Award.
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Trance Track (J’ai Envie De Toi’)
- Best Radio Mix Show DJ
- Best Producer
- Best Global DJ
- Best Podcast (‘A State of Trance Podcast’)
- Best Global Record Label (Armada Music)
- ‘This Is What It Feels Like’: gold in Italy, double platinum in Canada and The Netherlands, silver in the U.K., platinum in Australia;
- Honorary pin of the city of Leiden;
- ‘Save My Night’ featured in Heineken’s ‘Dance More, Drink Slow’ Campaign.
- ‘This Is What It Feels Like’ certified 7x Platinum in the Netherlands;
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Trance Track (‘This Is What It Feels Like’ feat. Trevor Guthrie)
- Best Compilation or Full Length DJ Mix (‘A State Of Trance 2013’)
- Best Trance DJ
- Best Podcast or Radio Mixshow DJ
- Best Artist (Solo)
- Best Featured Vocalist Performance (‘This Is What It Feels Like’ feat. Trevor Guthrie)
- Best Music Video (‘This Is What It Feels Like’ feat. Trevor Guthrie)
- Best Producer
- Grammy nomination and a Juno Award nomination for ‘This Is What It Feels Like’;
- Edison Pop Award nomination for the ‘Intense’ album;
- From June 26th-September 11th, he had a weekly residency at Ushuaïa on Ibiza every Thursday night;
- 33 sold out Armin Only shows in locations including New York, Amsterdam, Moscow, and Sydney;
- ASOT 650 world tour ‘New Horizons’: Moscow, Almaty, Yekaterinburg, Utrecht, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta & Miami ;
- Honored on a commemorative Dutch postage stamp;
- Honored with a wax figure at Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam;
- Second most followed artist Spotify playlist – ‘A State of Trance Radio’;
- DJ Awards Ibiza winner: ‘Best Trance DJ’;
- Lifetime achievement nomination from Sirius XM.
- ‘Another You’ 3x certified Platinum in The Netherlands
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Trance Track (‘Together (In A State Of Trance)
- Best Trance DJ
- DJ Awards Ibiza winner: ‘Best Trance DJ’
- A weekly residency at Ushuaïa Beach Hotel on Ibiza every Thursday night from June 25th ‘til September 17th
- JFK’s Greatest Man 2015.
- Two 3FM nominations: ‘Best Artist Dance’ and ‘Best Single’ (‘Heading Up High’ feat. Kensington)
- Kick-off Armin Only Embrace world tour in Amsterdam on May 6th and May 7th;
- Edison Pop 2016 Award nomination;
- Impala ‘Album Of The Year’ Award nomination;
- International Dance Music Awards:
- Best Trance Track (‘Another You’ feat. Mr. Probz)
- Best Trance DJ
Emerging from Italy, world class DJ & producer Benny Benassi is a name needing little introduction but deserving of wide acclaim. Having built a career and reputation spanning over a decade, this humble, authentic and charming musician has grown from club DJ to festival king to multi-million selling record producer with grace and ease taking success in his stride. Having trademarked his unique infusion of house and electro early on, his music continues to inspire and evolve whilst still remaining true to the very core of the Benassi sound.
There is no better place to start delving into the rich history of the Benassi career than with his global smash “Satisfaction”. Spiralling this Italian DJ from local hero to international success overnight, “Satisfaction” and its game-changing music video were the first real step into stardom for Benny. Created with his cousin and producer, Alle Benassi, and inspired by the car horns outside an open street facing window. Kicking off in Europe the single graced the charts with a #1 in France, #2 in the UK and Germany. Surely then it comes as no surprise his debut album ‘Hypnotica’ naturally followed suit, reaching top 20 across nearly all parts of Europe within the first month of release. It also landed him the title of “European Border Breakers Award” for most record sales for an Italian album outside of Italy.
The next few years for Benny were a culmination of successes, whether it be the major festivals he went on the play (Coachella, EDC, Beyond Wonderland to name a few) or his two proceeding artist albums (‘Phobia” in 2005 and “Rock N Rave” in 2008). In 2008 the most note worthy recognition of his talent was awarded to him, when he won a Grammy Award for his incredible remix of Public Enemy “Bring The Noise” further catapulting the Benassi name into stardom.
In 2011, Benny teamed up with a star-studded album cast for his most recent album “Electroman” which featured Kelis, Jean-Baptsiste and Apl.de.ap amongst others and most famously Gary Go with his chart-topping single “Cinema”. The Skrillex remix of “Cinema” not only went Gold in the US and platinum in Australia and Canada but won the Benassis another Grammy whilst holding firm in the iTunes top 10 dance chart for over 6 months. Two years on the remix could still be found in the US top 40 charts.
Still on this exceptional career high, Benny Benassi combined talents with Chris Brown to create one of the biggest cross-over dance records of its time with “Beautiful People”. He had done it again, reaching top 10 status in the UK charts amongst many others. The following years have been a measure of incredible world tours which includes a stint supporting the queen of pop, Madonna, and producing for her and many more record releases like his record “Dance The Pain Away” with John Legend, which premiered live on stage at Coachella with John himself.
Beyond his own production he cemented his in the wider musical audience with a flurry of high-profile remixes with the likes of Bobby Marley & The Wailers, Giorgio Moroder and Rolling Stones; a weekly radio show on the US heavy-weight iHeart Radio and plays to a staggering 750, 000+ people annually. His most recent singles “I Wanna Be Disco”, “Aphrodisiak” and “Who I Am” have all taken the club world by storm. Suffice to say if you can’t go far without hearing the name Benassi and it’s for a very good reason. This industry stalwart has earned his reputation, and we can only but guarantee there’s still more to come.
British producer, DJ and engineer Billy Kenny is widely accustomed to the lower, more aggressive frequencies in the amalgamation between UK Garage, House and Techno. His hit track “Work” has reigned the bass heavy side of festivals ever since it’s release in August 2014 and continues to do so while more recent releases on Dirtybird, Sweat It Out and his co-run imprint “This Ain't Bristol” circulate the globe.
Hailing from Leeds, Billy now resides just across the channel in Germany although his sound still remains more Radio 1 than Berghain. This prolific writer now has to be seen as one of the most influential ambassadors in Germany for the sound he represents, despite the fact that over the last year he's been touring more than ever across four continents.
He and friends hold the reigns to their flourishing label This Ain't Bristol, which has turned more than a few well respected heads since it's launch in late 2014 and continues to pump out high quality releases to their ever-growing audience.
Unlike many producers on the circuit, Billy has perfected his craft behind the decks. His endless edits, live sampling, looping and unexpected choices of weaponry always make his unique set’s one to remember for those listening.
BlackGummy began as the brainchild of Los Angeles-based producer Iman Marouf. Marouf discovered the entity called “BlackGummy” in 2013 during a trip to the Middle East and Asia, and instantly formed a unique and inseparable bond with the alien-like idol. Since their first meeting, the producer and the entity have virtually conjoined into an indivisible whole, never leaving one another’s side.
Trained by Steve Duda, the legendary sound engineer (who counts mau5trap head honcho deadmau5 among his frequent collaborators) and creator of the Serum VST, BlackGummy consistently showcases his unique prowess for employing a wide variety of entirely original sounds in his songs. A graduate of the Icon Collective music production school in Burbank, CA, BlackGummy and Duda met via the school’s mentorship program, where his apprenticeship under the venerable sound engineer helped to hone the young producer’s sound design and engineering skills. That is when BlackGummy started beta testing the Serum VST for Duda (and is accordingly listed in the VST’s credits, along with deadmau5 himself).
BlackGummy has an obsessive fascination for sound design and music production. He views his productions as checkpoints in a tireless quest to improve his mastery of this skill, routinely spending 15 hours a day honing his craft. In 2015, mau5trap discovered BlackGummy, and immediately recognized his unique prowess for production and sound design. Later that year, the label released BlackGummy’s first original — “Lullaby” — on mau5trap’s We Are Friends compilation, which Earmilk called a “can’t miss.” Most recently, in February 2016, mau5trap released BlackGummy’s debut EP titled “Singularity,” inspired by the concept of “technological singularity,” which Dancing Astronaut praised as “an intriguing artistic vision,” which “moves uninhibited from dark industrial to uplifting progressive, challenging the notion that producing one style necessitates ignoring the other.”
Since the implicit convergence of the producer’s and idol’s identities into one amalgamation, BlackGummy spends almost all of his time locked away, with the idol, in his in-home studio, crafting new productions that attempt to lend a voice to the silent idol. He only withdraws from his studio in rare instances: first, to perform alongside the idol in nightclubs and music venues, and second, to search the four-corners of the Earth for more clues as to the idol’s origins. His fascination with the latter arose from a Latin inscription that lay emblazoned beside the idol when he first discovered it.
The quote read, “In perpetuum, salutem in omnibus locis; In omni loco, in omni tempore.”
Residing in Los Angeles, Mexico-born artists Americo Garcia and Jorge Medina have built a name for themselves as a “must watch”, highly talented, up-and-coming duo. Having an incredibly diverse musical background, Boombox Cartel combines their love and knowledge of music with an innovative and unique sound.
In order to set the pace, one must never stop moving. It’s the only way to effectively bob and weave between encroaching trends and consistently remain steps ahead of the zeitgeist. Borgore doesn’t halt—ever. His onslaught is relentless with the release of The Buygore Album his second full-length studio album and first for his own Buygore label set for January 2015.
The electronic dance music renaissance man (rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, Buygore Records head honcho, and lady killer) has solidified himself as one of the genre’s most prolific artists and label bosses. Writing melodies, playing drums and keys, singing, and producing, he literally handles every aspect himself. He personally ensures that legions of fans worldwide receive the best experience imaginable from every release and gig.
2014 proved to be a massive milestone for Borgore. His debut full-length #NEWGOREORDER [Buygore/Dim Mak] captured #1 on iTunes Top Electronic Albums Chart, #3 on Billboard’s Electronic Albums Chart, #3 on the Top New Artist Albums Chart, and more. Iconic A Clockwork Orange star Malcolm McDowell and Miley Cyrus both enthusiastically jumped at the chance to collaborate with him, while he performed for sold out crowds everywhere from the Budweiser Made In America Festival and TomorrowWorld to the Mad Decent Boat Party. However, 2015 sees him break ground once again with the release of The Buygore Album and the launch of its companion jaunt: The Buygore Show Tour.
For the first time in the history of Buygore Records, Borgore assembles the roster’s artists for both an album and a tour exclusively comprised of “family.” This is his unbridled vision and he’s bringing BLVKSTAR, Ookay, Jauz, Dotcom, Riggi & Piros and “Unicorn Zombie Apocalypse” collaborator Sikdope along for the ride.
Since first founding the label, Borgore always wanted to launch a full-blown tour with all of its artists. 2015 provided the right moment to bring this dream to life. In between the sold out #NEWGOREORDER TOUR, he tirelessly worked on these collaborations, whether it be in his cabin during a boat party or backstage. The label’s familial mentality yields an explosive chemistry on The Buygore Album’s seven tracks. This is a group of bros just as down to go bowling or go-karting together as it is to hit the studio.
The first single “Lindsay Lohan” brings Borgore and Jauz together for a booming and bombastic bass romp. Trap production resounds in between the titular robotic refrain, churning out a bona fide banger and homage to the ultimate party girl. Meanwhile “Can’t Squad With Us” allows Borgore to expand once again with a dynamic vocal performance and declaration of his squad’s love and independence. Then, there’s BLVCKSTAR and Ookay’s “Blow Your Mind” featuring Borgore. It’s a slithering scuzzy and sexy anthem meant to burn a hole through the dance floor.
Each of these talents continues to engender excitement amongst listeners. Recently, Dotcom was sought by hip hop superstars, Far East Movement to do an official remix for their album which was released through Interscope. Jauz is currently working on a number of official remixes for various labels as well as putting together an EP. Ookay and Pizza are just friends now so he's ready for whatever.
With The Buygore Show and The Buygore Show Tour, Borgore once again doesn’t stop.
Camels are highly social and roll deep in crews of 30 or more. They are peaceful creatures and only exhibit aggression when competing for female attention. They can run up to 40mph, they can swim, they can completely close their nostrils, they never forget where they came from...
We don’t know where CamelPhat hail from. We don’t know the first records they bought. We don’t know what they had for breakfast. We don’t know their names, their ages, their favourite colour or their shoe size. We don’t know if they can completely close their nostrils.
These are the facts we do know: They are a duo. They earned their stripes and studied dance music dynamics as resident DJs long before they produced. They rarely give interviews. They don’t leave the house without their trademark masks. They make authentic, timeless house music. They have enjoyed DJ support from their very first release in 2010 which has grown with every release. Adam Beyer, Adana Twins, Annie Mac, Carl Cox, Danny Howard, Eric Prydz, Erick Morrillo, Gorgon City, Groove Armada, Huxley, Mark Knight, MK, Pete Tong, Riva Starr, Sasha and Tiga are just some of the premiership tastemakers who have galvanised their sets with CamelPhat’s emotion-rich, sub-soaked, silky-synth sounds.
These sounds have been shipped across the board, from the most high profile electronic labels to the most respected underground imprints in operation, CamelPhat’s versatility and ageless sense of spacious house sonics sing to DJs across the great international house/tech landscape, causing the hype pot to bubble from day one.
Things got serious in 2014 when their tracks ‘The Act’ and ‘Paradigm’ both scorched number one in the Buzz Chart. In 2015 ‘Constellations’ hit the same spot. A track that went on to become a verified Ibiza anthem, ‘Constellations’ soundtracked every corner of the Isle from Salinas to Sankeys by way of the iconic Café Mambo. 2015 was also the year they made their international and festivals debuts and Pete Tong signed their year out declaring them as his breakthrough act of the year. Rolling into 2016 and Danny Howard declared ‘Trip’ as his ‘go-to record for this year’s summer festivals’ while Annie Mac premiered it as a special delivery, describing it as ‘huge’.
Backing up these premiership forecasts with everything they’ve done so far - and everything they’re about to do - CamelPhat have remixed the likes of MK, Foxes, Billon, Robosonic, Seinabo Sey, 4Tunne500, Illyus & Barrientos and many more. They’ve worked on labels such as Toolroom, Suara, Glasgow Underground, Great Stuff, Nervous and Jeudi and have some special surprise collaborations in store for 2016.
In 2015 CamelPhat performed across the UK, Europe, America and beyond while 2016 has already seen CamelPhat booked for Fabric, Ministry, Rainbow and Stealth for UK club shows while UK festival bookings include We Are FSTVL, Creamfields, SW4 and Groove. This summer CamelPhat play Amnesia and Pacha Ibiza and three North American tours are booked throughout the year, kicking off at the Miami Music Conference.
Proof that the music alone can still do the talking when it’s strong and striking enough and produced with the right amount of soul: These are the facts, the rest remains a mystery...
Wise beyond their years and aggressively handsome, these two overachievers are focused on success… Never before has the world seen two furry browed individuals such as these two (seriously they have really bushy eye brows)… As you might have imagined Alex and Drew did not meet on the set of their Vogue Cover shoot while surrounded by super models, but rather somewhere else. Apart from Social Darwinism, the thing that separates these two men from the rest is their unsettling and uncanny ability to discover and create trends. They find the parts of things that people actually give a shit about, whatever they may be, and focus on creating and improving those parts. With live sets and productions that their own mothers describe as, “sounds nice, but a little loud,” these two always put on a show that was not ever described as sexy and life-changing, but should be. Apart from their unique personalities and boyish good looks, they have many similarities. They each graduated from prestigious North-Eastern Universities, they like hot chicks in yoga pants, enjoy a good burger, and have been rejected from many of the venues they now play at.
The Chainsmokers have become the hottest young American EDM DJ duo. Their live shows are becoming the most sought after in EDM. Their wild antics, hilarious personalities, and addicting productions have fans interacting with them non stop and running to see them live every chance they get. Their signature sound has its foundations in Indie, Progressive and Pop Music. On the production front, their original tracks have all reached the Beatport top charts and their remixes always hit #1 on the HypeM charts. They've gotten immense support by friends such as Nicky Romero, Steve Aoki, Pete Tong, Afrojack, Tiesto, W&W, and more. Their first major release, #SELFIE, and it's official music video swept the world so look out for much more to come!
Chris Liebing is one of the artists in the steadily and rapidly growing world of electronic music who has faithfully dedicated the past 25 years of his life to the performance, production, distribution and broadcasting of Techno on a global level. He has run a club and several successful club nights, has held residencies in many of the most prestigious venues worldwide, produced his own music and the music of other artists, founded record labels, hosted radio shows, won awards for different branches of his professional efforts and has been an unshakable pillar and devoted ambassador of innovative Techno.
Just like many other artists who passionately dedicate a vast amount of time to a cause, evolution and constant change have been a significant part of his career and have led him to where he is at this very moment. In 2015 he is more in demand than ever and is continuously touring on various continents. After playing for established nights like Cocoon, Carl Cox and Music On in Ibiza, he is now holding a residency for HYTE at the island´s iconic Amnesia club and recently played several dates for Richie Hawtin´s ‘CNTRL: Beyond EDM’ US tour alongside artists like Loco Dice, Josh Wink, Seth Troxler, Matthew Dear, Matador, Dubfire and Victor Calderone.
Chris always stood and still stands for solid Techno on the deeper side of the musical spectrum. His sets are sonic journeys between darkness and light, always far away from the beaten tracks of the musical mainstream. Being a kid from the 80s and growing up with Synth Pop bands like Depeche Mode and electronic dance acts like Nitzer Ebb amongst many others, his musical background also contains the melancholy, the vocals and the melodies from this era, which he increasingly blends into his current sets. People who exclusively know him for his fast and unrelenting Techno sets of the past might be surprised about those new facets he is adding to his at all times dynamic sound.
He was one of the first DJs that used the new possibilities in the course of the digitalization of music in a consequent and creative way and is incessantly searching for new ways of intuitive expression. The real-time manipulation of the individual tracks and sounds plays an important role in his DJ sets. Due to the good co-operation with various software and hardware makers, his current setup offers him practically endless possibilities, which he uses to create an irresistible groove and an ever-changing, unpredictable musical flow.
With his continuous touring, his established CLR label and the CLR Podcast, which he hosted from 2009 until 2015, he has written international Techno history and has just recently started a new weekly radio broadcast. The AM/FM show is published every Monday and features an hour of one of his current sets without any edits or touches, just in its raw and unbridled form. After 25 years he is still inspiring generations of DJs and music lovers worldwide and is enjoying his craft more than ever.
In this day and age of music cross-pollination, Claude VonStroke sits at the forefront of all that is good, proper and most importantly fun.
VonStroke is just as relaxed in his home studio building beats as he is dropping massive underground records in a room filled by thousands. DJ-wise, his relentless touring of every major city, festival and basement after-party around the world has only enriched his unique perspective on music.
As the owner of the record label, DIRTYBIRD, Claude also built an impeccable A&R roster signing acts like Justin Martin, Julio Bashmore, Catz n Dogz, Riva Starr, Tim Green, Breach, Eats Everything, Shadow Child and Shiba San, well before they broke out of their hometown scenes. (And even naming a few of these artists.) Today, DIRTYBIRD continues to surprise and innovate in the underground dance scene, releasing an enigmatic combination of house, funk, dirty-bass and electronica.
Sonically, VonStroke has released three original artist albums, a remix album and several high profile mix and remix compilations. Highlights include working with and on records for Bootsy Collins, Rihanna, Disclosure and Green Velvet as well as a few number #1 & #2 hits on Beatport.
Most importantly, VonStroke has kept it original, fun and funky.
A lot of his success can be attributed to a good attitude. Claude does not scowl and look mean while he DJs. He does not pretend to know everything and he truly loves his fans. He is grateful to be curating, creating and performing music for a living and he knows that the reason people go to parties is to shake their booty and have fun.
Catch him playing at numerous festivals, clubs or even better at his legendary DIRTYBIRD BBQ series of outdoor events.
The breakthrough for Dash Berlin came in early 2007 with 'Till the Sky Falls Down'. The track shot to the top of the Trance charts worldwide, due in part to Armin van Buuren including it in the third chapter of his acclaimed “Universal Religion” mix album. Van Buuren subsequently signed Dash Berlin to the Armada Music label.
Dash Berlin won the IDMA award for the track 'Waiting' in the category ‘Best High Energy Track’ and was nominated three times at the International Dance Music Awards, during the WMC in Miami in 2009. His tracks “Waiting” featuring Australian singer Emma Hewitt and 'Man On The Run' (a collaboration with fellow Armada artists Cerf, Mitiska & Jaren) were both nominated that year in the category ‘Best Trance Track’. In Armin van Buuren’s popular radio show ‘A State of Trance’, the 'Waiting' single was elected by the audience to the second best Trance track of the year in 2009. The music video was shot in Rotterdam and gained over twenty million views on YouTube.
In 2010, Dash was nominated for the ‘Best European DJ’ at the IDMA’s and entered the DJ Mag Top 100 poll at number 15. He won the DJ Mag Top 100 Award for ‘Highest New Entry’, during the Magazine’s ceremony at the Ministry Of Sound in London, hosted by Boy George. Dash beat other famous Dutch DJ’s such as Armin van Buuren, Tiësto, and Ferry Corsten as the highest Dutch entry till date.
On October 20th, 2011, DJ Mag announced the results of their annual Top 100 DJ Poll for the very first time in Amsterdam, with Dash Berlin placed at #8 in the world.
In 2012, Dash received a nomination for ‘Best Trance Track’ at the IDMA’s for his track with Jonathan Mendelsohn entitled 'Better Half Of Me'. October 2012: In Mexico Dash Berlin was nominated for a prestigious ‘Lunas Award’ in the category Electronic Music among other artists such as Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, David Guetta, Sasha, and others. Later that month, Dash reached number 7 in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll, making him the second most popular Trance DJ in the world, right after his mentor Armin van Buuren. In December 2012, Dash Berlin was nominated for a ‘Tunisia Music Award’, Africa’s biggest award show till date.
In 2013, Dash Berlin remixes 'Find You' for Zedd and 'Apollo' for Hardwell. February 2013: Dash Berlin headlined the Ultra Music Festival in Chile and the Ultra Music Festival in Buenos Aires together with Avicii, Carl Cox, and Armin van Buuren. The 2013 EDC Week was officially opened by Dash and closed with a legendary sunrise set at EDC Las Vegas. In 2013, Dash Berlin received a nomination for the ‘Best Trance Track’ at the IDMA awards for his single ‘When You Were Around’ featuring British singer Kate Walsh. Late 2013 also saw Dash Berlin release the fourth installment of ‘United Destinations’, a series that showcases the best tunes in the world of D.B. April 2013: Dash Berlin wins two EMPO awards in the categories 'Best Trance DJ' and 'Best Album'. Later that year, Dash received a nomination for 'Best Trance DJ' and 'Best Trance Track’ at the IDMA’s for his track with Alexander Popov & Jonathan Mendelsohn entitled 'Steal You Away'. Dash Berlin was the first DJ to be announced for Armin van Buuren's 'A State Of Trance 600' event in 2013. Dash played at ASOT Den Bosch, ASOT Mexico City, ASOT Minsk, ASOT Sofia, ASOT Beirut, and ASOT Guatemala.
As a true icon of the electronic world, Dash Berlin is no stranger to the DJ Mag Top 100 poll. Having comfortably secured a place in the treasured Top 10 for the past three years, there is no doubt that Dash is at the very top of his game.
In 2014, the 2014 EDC Week was officially closed again by Dash with another legendary sunrise set at EDC Las Vegas. Dash Berlin announced his highly anticipated album 'We Are' which is now available for pre-order on iTunes. June 2014: Dash was the first DJ to play at the legendary Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. In August 2014 Dash Berlin headlines the east stage on the Sunday of the massive Electric Zoo festival in New York together with Skrillex and Diplo. Dash Berlin is nominated for a 2014 Ibiza DJ Award.
In 2015, Dash Berlin secures for the sixth year in a row a top 15 spot in the DJ Mag Top 100 poll.
“WE DON’T FOLLOW RULES”, Dirtyphonics collectively admit. “WE CREATE THEM”
With a Dim Mak album release and multiple continent-spanning tours to their name, the French electronic artists have earned the right to keep doing things their own way. Comprised of Charly Barranger, Julien ‘Pitchin’ Corrales and Julien Lignon, Dirtyphonics is a forward-thinking Bass Music phenomenon that made their name on defying labels and limitations.
“We started by playing in Metal bands”, recalls Charly. “Our sound was always meant to be powerful and high impact. From the day we started, we’ve challenged ourselves to create something new - we love to push boundaries”. With a unique stage presence and energy the boys did just that in translating the vibe and excitement from their head-banging days into Electronic Dance Music.
The group found its footing in a potent blend of muscular Bass Music, mixing high-octane Drum and Bass, Heavy Bass House and Dubstep that spoke to a new generation of dance music fans. Refusing to be limited to any given genre, Dirtyphonics made has incorporated dramatic tempo changes into their tracks, issuing an unmistakable clarion call to their contemporaries that they would not be governed by old rules and outdated notions of performance propriety. “Our influences come from everywhere” Pitchin says. “We have been raised listening to so many different musical genres and we definitively don’t want to be stuck in a specific one. We have the most fun mixing them all together to create something unique”.
Dirtyphonics crash-landed into dance music’s consciousness in chart-topping fashion, releasing their 2008 debut single “French Fuck” to the tune of a Beatport #1 hit. Follow up singles “Quark” and “Vandals” proved the act’s ascension was no fluke, showcasing the group’s signature genre defying low-end heavy sound. The group quickly became a hot commodity in the remix world, lending their talents to tracks by the likes of Skrillex, the Bloody Beetroots, Marilyn Manson, Steve Aoki, Benny Benassi, Excision, Datsik, Borgore, Nero, Kaskade, Knife Party and Linkin Park.
In 2013, Dirtyphonics released their debut album “Irreverence” on Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak Records label, showcasing the range of music they create. The critically acclaimed effort features singles “DIRTY”, “Walk In The Fire”, and “No Stopping Us”, and ran the stylistic gamut from anthemic electro to frenetic Drumstep as well as incorporating thrash guitars, pounding drums and other vestiges of the fierce heavy metal music that influences their art and characterized their past.
After this they released their “Write Your Future” sophomore EP with features including Grammy winner Trinidad James and Trap king Uz on “Hustle Hard”, Dubstep legend 12th planet, and singer Matt Rose, among others. Following this, Dirtyphonics shook the Drum and Bass world one more time with they’re anthem “Anonymous” that has been played well over a million times on Soundcloud.
2016 is set to be Dirtyphonic’s biggest year yet, with their infamous “Neckbreaker” North American tour, titled after their hit collaboration with Dubstep mad man Funtcase.
With a freshly bagged DJ Mag’s “Best French electronic band” award and new EP to be released, Dirtyphonics is re-inventing, once again, the rules of Bass Music.
For two whole decades, DJ EZ (Pronounced DJ EEE ZED) is widely regarded as being one of the best DJ’s to grace planet earth, he can only be described as a charming music phenomenon. Saluted by the industry for being one of the most creative mixers with instinct and technical prowess, not forgetting the mentions of owning one of the quickest fingers in the trade with his trademark cue action displays during his sets! A set of decks simply isn’t the same without DJ EZ.
DJ Tennis born in the 70's and raised between New Jersey, Sicily and Parma in a family who paid just a passing attention to music. No relatives played any musical instruments, nor were there any around the home - music was never given any special amount of love in the Romano household. But despite this, and perhaps as a direct result of this, Romano's creative and artistic attitude has always centred around music: singing, creating and collecting weird and noisy musical instruments at every turn.
In 1988 before embarking on computer science studies he was already playing and singing in college bands and had an indie rock radio show on a local radio station in Palermo.
Recording with bands, organising events and DJing at the local tennis club where he used to play semi-professionally (his DJ moniker comes from his passion for the sport) became his way to support the costs of his studies, though when he graduated he never imagined he would turn that hobby into his fully-fledged career. Whilst starting out as a DJ he began focusing on promoting new underground music in his country, founding and developing some of the most important Italian underground musical events such as the Elita festival in Milan and the Dissonanze festival in Rome - at the same time creating forward-thinking new promotional concepts around the Italian clubbing scene.
In the early 90s Romano also started producing music for theatre, movie soundtracks and TV commercials, his production skills always taking inspiration from the psychedelic, dark and melancholic sounds of the 60’s, thru to early 2000’s IDM. The range of influences paint a picture of his musical worldview: The Beach Boys, The Who, Talk Talk, Ultravox, XTC, Fugazi, June of 44, Suicide, Radiohead, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada and Plastikman – into every musical project he poured elements, sounds & feelings from all of these artists and many more.
In 2010, after growing tired of the the more overtly generic output of the contemporary scene he decided to collect all of his musical works and, along with Thugfucker’s Greg Oreck, started a new techno and pop label called Life and Death. The name of the label has a specific meaning, inspired by the socratic method of the maieutic process to turn ‘dead’ elements into a new life, and referring to the hypnotic power of music used in the mesmeric processes for brain therapy. Life And Death was alive.
Romano bases himself in Berlin where he also shares the label experience and a studio with the innovative deep electronic duo Tale of Us, whilst he working hard to create a crew of young and inspired musicians like Clockwork and Esperanza, amongst others. On top of all of this he still maintains his main job is still being a Promoter and a Booking agent in 2012. He may go by the name Tennis but he continues to be a hugely talented all-rounder.
Doc Martin has earned the respect of many who are fanatic about his style of DJ’ing. His style crosses over from all timeless genres providing his listeners a new outlook & ever growing futuristic, unique sound. He can always surprise you with a rare classic that crosses time zones and still hits the spot even now. You will always feel the warmth of the crowd around the decks watching him spin away as they dance. The variation in his style of music is endless.
What makes him so different from the rest? A unique ability to spin everything from Deep House to his funky Tribal Bass lines mixed with threads of Acid which creates soundscapes that cross all barriers. His collection of rare & classic records can be heard at his gigs.
He continuously chooses and enjoys mixing with digital and analogue gear as he creates his own signature style of DJ’ing & Recordings. Constantly producing and remixing for his own and various labels across the world Doc Martin is always working on a new project.
The Drifter is Mark Flynn, an Irish producer, DJ and singer. He releases music on the labels Maeve and Permanent Vacation. His productions and DJ sets lean towards the hypnotic, melodic and emotive side of electronic music. His productions have seen him garner much attention this year with well received EP’s on both Maeve and Permanent Vacation, as well as his track, “We See Us” featured on Permanent Vacation’s “If This Is House Give Me Your Money Back” compilation. This progress is hardly surprising with people like James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem calling his 2012 debut E.P “really nice, gentle and strong.”
He runs the record label Maeve together with his two close friends, Mano Le Tough and Baikal. The label has quickly become one of the most exciting imprints around, not only releasing music from its founding members but also enlisting the skills of friends Matthew Dekay, Ripperton and Dixon to contribute to its success. Label showcases have become high in demand, with a summer tour that saw Maeve host parties at El Monasterio Barcelona, Trouw Amsterdam and Space Ibiza among others. More showcases are scheduled for the coming months at Berghain/Panorama Bar and BPM Festival.
With a quickly growing DJ schedule, 2014 has seen the Drifter play across Europe and beyond in the some of the world’s best clubs with his tracks becoming an ever more present feature in DJ sets from the likes of Dixon, Ame, and Tale of Us.
“I did 150 DJ shows last year. That’s 3 per week, and 110 of them were overseas,” explains Duke Dumont. “The problem is,” he laughs, “I’m not the type of person who can record music on the road.” Quite how the hell the London producer has finished this debut album, Blasé Boys Club, then, is both a total miracle and a tribute to his work ethic. “I try to push myself as hard as I can, and I hope this record represents that.”
In a way, the enormous success of Duke Dumont has somewhat slipped under the radar. So unassuming is Adam George Dyment, that it’s easy to forget he played one of the most pivotal roles in making UK deep house the thundering global juggernaut it is today. When his single ‘Need U 100%’ soared straight to number 1 in March 2013, it became the first UK house track to do so in over a decade, reaching Gold certification, and opening up a gap in the British music consciousness for deep house to really prosper on a massive scale. It’s fair to say that the success of “Need U 100%” blew open a void for other deep house acts like Route 94 and Gorgon City to fill, transcending so many from club favourites to serious chart contenders.
Dumont followed that success 9 months later with his next single, ‘I Got U’, a Whitney Houston inspired Waikiki Beach of a dance track, that, again, topped the UK singles chart. An achievement put into stark context when you think of the acts – Pharrell Williams and John Legend – that it was keeping from top spot. And when his third big single ‘Won’t Look Back’ rose to number 2 on the UK chart, whilst topping the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart, Dumont’s name as a top ten producer was cemented.
Away from the charts though, he continued the underground explorations that first made his name, through the For Club Play Only EP series on Turbo Recordings. So while ‘Won’t Look Back’ was snaking into Radio 1’s A-list, the more radical and rigid percussive banger ‘Drumapella’ from his other project was simultaneously permeating the underground club scene. It’s this multifaceted success, a fingers on all turntables approach, that unleashed such a relentless touring schedule for Dumont, taking him worldwide – and all the while he would be snatching at moments of downtime to work on the material that would comprise his first full length record.
At Coachella this year, Dumont put this prospective album material to the test – performing a 60 minute live set of all original work to a crowd that swelled from 3,000 to 25,000 during his show. “I was between 2 EDM acts, so I was a little scared,” he admits. “When you are performing music at a live level, things can get very competitive. Is the act before you going to be more aggressive, louder, are their lights going to be bigger and better? The thing a lot of people lose in that respect is that music should have a lot of emotion to it. It should be heartfelt. It should trigger something. I put most of the songs from the album into that set, so it all hinged on my stuff. This was no DJ set. And I felt proud when it really captured the crowd’s attention.”
So much tireless work has gone into making his live show what it is, taking cues from acts like Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk, in an effort to create a performance that truly reflects the artistic craft of electronic music rather than pandering to the cultural clichés of hedonistic immediacy. His performances are pulsating, emotional journeys. But, at the end of the day, the show would be nothing if the source material wasn’t strong enough, and that’s where Dumont excels.
The album has also given him a chance to breath some new life into existing material. ‘The Giver’ first dropped in 2012 on Turbo, and quickly turned a deep house staple, it’s use becoming almost ritualistic in the way so DJs would consistently deploy it as their peak time banger. And soon, it developed an organic life of its own online. “When I wrote it, I don’t even think deep house was invented in its current form,” says Dumont. “I’ve always wanted to play it to as wide an audience as possible. It did really well by itself, but that was without any promo or marketing. Now, with the re-polish I’ve done on it, I want it to have the best possible chance to do well on radio.”
Away from Dumont’s clear affinity for deep house, prominent vocals and textured electronic pop, there’s also one other key influence that bleeds through his work. “I came through as a DJ with a lot of the French wave guys like Justice, Sebastian, Mr Oizo,” he explains. “And Daft Punk’s Discovery: that just has the perfect balance of incredible music alongside massive dance tracks.” Somewhere in his subconscious, this powerful French influence is etched and it comes across most prominently on standout track ‘Ocean Avenue’ – a hard and slinky pop jam that conjures nocturnal visions of a lost scene from Nicolas Winding Refn’s 2011 film Drive.
The record has also given Dumont a chance to widen his scope of collaboration. His fine ear for vocals has already seen him team up with MNEK and AME, and the record boasts further features from Vincent McMorrow, and the legendary 80s house vocalist Robert Owens. The grooving 8 minute disco track that features the latter is like Dumont’s very own homage to Daft Punk’s epic ‘Giorgio’.
The funny thing about all the success that now surrounds him is that Duke Dumont hasn’t really changed the way he makes music, and the re-release of ‘The Giver’ will pay testament to that. The change has come more in both the UK and American music culture, and the way club music now finds itself positioned so boldly on both sides of the Atlantic. “I remember I went to America in 2008,” he says, “and I played in a nightclub in New York called Studio B. I remember I got heckled by people asking me to play hip-hop. So, when I went back in 2012, I was genuinely petrified, but it ended up being one of the best tours I’ve ever done. The scene just seems to get bigger and bigger.”
With his eyes set on some huge UK shows, and massive forthcoming collaborations, Harrow-born Adam George Dyment looks set to play a huge role in the way UK pop music continues to shift ever further into new realms, just like an early noughties Timbaland did for the US or a recent Pharrell has done for the world. Still, he remains unnervingly grounded: “I don’t necessarily want to be the biggest DJ or biggest act in the world, but I certainly want to be one of the best.”
English born, LA based producer Chris Barratt aka Eagles & Butterflies reaches all boundaries of the cool electronic music spectrum with his productions. From Downtempo to Techno to House, with releases on Get Physical, Innervisions, Noir Music, Get, Bedrock, Southern Fried and his own Spread Your Wings imprint, 2015 is the year this project takes flight. Support comes from the likes of; Dixon, Richie Hawtin, John Digweed, Tale Of Us, Damian Lazarus, Uner, Amirali, Tensnake, Solomun, Noir and Radio 1's Rob Da Bank naming him his “One To Watch”.
Eagles & Butterflies, as well as his label Spread Your Wings has gained huge support from not only his fellow artists but also key music press such as; MixMag, DJ Mag, Electronic Beats, Pulse Radio and Data Transmission for whom he hosts a regular radio show podcast with guests from across the underground spectrum.
After a very successful 2014, including the release of Eagles & Butterflies’ debut artist album ‘The Butterfly Effect‘ on Spread Your Wings it was time to fly. This album showcased his musical capabilities as a producer and featured heavyweight remixes from some of his favourite producers including; Dinky (Visionquest), Cascandy (Monaberry), John Tejada (Kompakt), Tone Of Arc (No19), Gabriel Ananda (Basmati), Ron Flatter (Traum) and Basti Grub (Desolat). 2015 started with a busy release schedule which reads like the top list of labels on Resident Advisor! Starting off with music on Get Physical, followed by his debut for Innervisions and his ‘LOVE EP’ together with J.U.D.G.E on Noir Music and hotly followed by another highlight on Bedrock this run of releases has grabbed the world’s attention. The tail end of this milestone year brings a full length album on Get Physical, remixes of his LOVE EP and some other top secret activity that’s going to push the project well into 2016 and beyond.
Playing events such as Do Not Sleep IBIZA, Secret Garden Party, Get Physical ADE or Miami Bedrock boat supporting John Digweed, Eagles & Butterflies can expect to be packing his bags for many more travels as the music resonates all over the world. As the saying goes, when the butterfly flaps its wings, a tidal wave happens, just listen and be prepared…
For over ten years, Eric Prydz has been synonymous with immaculately produced and unique sounding electronic music. The Platinum-selling producer is responsible for some of the biggest progressive house tracks of the last decade, not to mention some of the most technically impressive live shows of any touring artist.
As a solo artist Prydz has headlined some of the world’s most storied venues, from Madison Square Garden to Brixton Academy and Alexandra Palace, earned multiple Grammy nominations and topped charts with his alter-egos Pryda and Cirez D. Despite the headline grabbing shows and releases, Prydz remains reclusive. It’s his dedication to his craft as a producer and DJ, that leaves him in the highly enviable and singular position, of appealing to dance music’s underground connoisseurs and main-stage masses alike.
Prydz began his career in Stockholm, Sweden, playing extended intimate club gigs while constructing his artistic identity. Here Prydz refined his signature sound, blending together influences as varied as Depeche Mode, Parliament, and Swedish techno legend Cari Lekebusch. It’s little wonder then, that Prydz has refused to constrain himself to one sound, and indeed is behind two of electronic music’s most celebrated monikers, Pryda and Cirez D.
Pryda is Prydz’s most well-known alias, one who’s sound is replicated endlessly in dance music. Listen to the discographies of any current electronic music success and you can hear Pryda’s influence, the ‘Pryda Sound’ - immaculately layered melodies and harmonies - is now almost a sub-genre unto itself. Pryda’s origins can be traced back to 2004, with the releases of ‘Aftermath’ (2005) “Muranyi” (2007) and “Pjanoo” (2008) the Pryda name was solidified as the new breed of progressive house. The 2012 release of the three-disc album, Eric Prydz Presents Pryda, offers a full retrospective of one of dance music’s most storied discographies.
Cirez D offers a stark contrast to the rich melodies of Pryda, it’s stripped-back techno, dark and raw, and designed for ominous warehouses and long, late night sets. It’s a deliberate point of focus for Prydz, who relishes playing those environments, and Cirez D, like his other monikers, offers him the freedom to make and release the records that he wants to play, unconstrained by expectations.
Prydz’s productions are only one half of the story. As a DJ, he’s been celebrated as one of the most consistent live performers around. It’s not only his abilities that set him apart, but the vision behind his performances. In 2011, Prydz debuted EPIC (Eric Prydz In Concert) at Brixton Academy. At its core EPIC offered a way to visually experience Eric’s music, its pioneering use of holograms and sheer ambition of scale, wowed the industry. By refusing to pre-synch the shows, Prydz further staked his claim as a maverick, and reiterated his commitment to always making it about the music. EPIC and its subsequent iterations, EPIC 2.0, and notably EPIC 3.0 at Madison Square Garden, have continued to set the bar for live performance and groundbreaking technology.
Now residing in Los Angeles, Prydz continues to stand apart in electronic music, just as comfortable playing techno in intimate environs as he is headlining arenas, and always happy to blur the lines between. Focused on his long-overdue artist album, a culmination of the last ten years both personally and professionally, it’s the release he’s been building to his entire career. The forthcoming LP will cover the breadth of his influences while showcasing the deeper facets of his artistry. “It’s very personal,” he says, “like sharing your inner secrets with everyone.” It promises to be a pinnacle in a career built on uncompromising principles and singular artistic vision: it’s the Eric Prydz album the world has been waiting for.
Firebeatz, the dynamic Dutch duo of Tim Smulders and Jurre van Doeselaar, have become a true international sensation. Playing mostly self-produced records, the duo has delivered countless mainstage anthems, including collabs with Calvin Harris, Tiësto and Martin Garrix. On the remix front, they’ve delivered altered sides for a star-studded list that includes Rihanna, Pitbull, Flo Rida, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Snoop Dogg, James Blunt, and Sean Paul.
Fans have also come to anticipate their original recordings, including major tracks like 'Dear New York', Guitar Track' (with Sander van Doorn), 'Helicopter' (with Martin Garrix), 'I Can't Understand' (with Chocolate Puma), 'Go' and 'Ghostchild' (with Apster and Spree Wilson). Add to this the live Firebeatz experience - no one gets the exact same show twice. Catch them playing the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, Beyond Wonderland in the Bay area, or the ADE Festival in Amsterdam, and you’ll get a very different party than if they’re playing a residency at Marquee in Las Vegas.
Every place they go, they meet enthused crowds, full of anticipation of what's to come. Because a Firebeatz show is the sonic equivalent of a blow to the gut and a kick in the head. And happily pummeled fans wouldn’t have it any other way.
Music maturity came swiftly for the now seasoned-veteran Robbert van de Corput, better known as Hardwell. At the age of 25, the young Dutch titan capped off a 10 year journey when he was crowned World’s #1 DJ in the 2013 DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll cementing his position as the electronic scenes newest superstar DJ and becoming the youngest ever winner of the coveted Top 100 DJs award. In 2014 the Dutch megastar did it again - being crowned World’s #1 DJ in the 2014 edition of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs Poll for a second consecutive year. Despite relinquishing his crown in 2015, though still taking the highly respectable second-place spot, it’s clear that Hardwell has already created a legacy that would put most of his counterparts to shame. This award-winning DJ, producer, musician, label owner and lover of all things music has not only helped shape the current state of EDM, but has left an everlasting imprint on it.
North London trio Ivy Lab were brought together out of a shared enthusiasm for experimentations on the fringes of the Drum’n’Bass scene. Several years on from that initial coming together, the collective go from strength to strength; propagating a new generation of sub-genres housed within the framework of their ’20/20’ project.
The middle of the noughties saw collective-elder Gove Kidao build up a sustained presence as a Producer/DJ operating under the name Sabre, working on disparate interpretations of the drum and bass genre for labels ranging from Renegade Hardware to Metalheadz to Darkestral. In 2009 Critical Music served not only as the home for Sabre’s debut long player, but also the debut track from an unknown young talent advocated by Sabre to the label. J Fogel a.k.a Stray enjoyed broad acclaim for his inaugural release “Timbre”, and began to work on further projects for Critical Music, including collaborating with Sabre himself. Unknown to them both, each had independently struck up a relationship with another emerging talent operating under the moniker Halogenix. Collaborating as separate duos soon expanded into combining into a formal trio, casting the foundations of the collective that exists today.
A string of standout singles and E.Ps for their principle label-partner Critical music with tracks like “Live on your smile” and “20 Questions” have followed up on the groups melancholic, acid-tinged strand first showcased in the anthemic single “Oblique” that initially brought the trio into the limelight. Additional support has come in the form of Goldie’s Metalheadz recordings with the release of “Make it Clear” and a string of remixes for acts and labels including Sub Focus (Universal), TC (3beat) and Anushka (Brownwood). With a secure reputation as purveyors of thoughtful, melodic drum’n’bass now affirmed, the group have increasingly been turning their attention to experiments in cross-pollination. The collective now find themselves heavily invested in the movement operating under the stop-gap monicker of ‘Halftime’ - A motley assortment of actors from across the bass music landscape applying their sonic-heritage to experiments with hip-hop and drum machine electronica. 2014 saw the birth of ‘2020’. Initially a London clubnight set up to act as a home for the halftime movement, the project is expanding to encompass a record label, 2020 clubnight appearances across the U.K, and the inclusion of a broader collective of artists both established and emerging.
By no means has the scope of the Ivy Lab venture put an end to solo endeavours from the collective’s members. Stray has progressed to amass an impressive catalogue of music including work for Giles Peterson’s Brownswood label, and a remix commission for Mercury award nominee Kate Tempest. Perhaps his most celebrated projects have arrived under the stewardship of dBridge’s Exit Records who have released several stand-out EP’s with tracks such as “Eazy Boy” & “Matchsticks” garnering particular attention for their early-adoption of themes that have gone on to codify the ‘Halftime’ movement. Halogenix is the most recent of the collective to establish a solo presence. 2014 saw a notable upscaling in ambition commencing with “Her Waves” featuring on Critical Music followed by his most impressive project to date in the form of the “All Blue” E.P on Goldie’s Metalheadz record label.
Ivy Lab head into the horizon not only with an anchored presence at the heart of the drum and bass landscape, but also a secured reputation as pioneers helping to develop the destiny of a newly enfranchised movement.
Widely regarded as the leader of the new sound of house, Jamie Jones is renowned for his pioneering music; his cross-genre band, Hot Natured; his groundbreaking label, Hot Creations; and his world-renowned event series, Paradise. In less than a decade, he has catapulted himself to stardom by shattering genres and breaking out of the confines of minimal techno.
Jamie’s revolutionary sound is an instrumental part of his success, being both artistically innovative and yet easily accessible. He and his label, Hot Creations, have been credited with creating an iconic sound that has paved the way for a warmer, more melodic, deeper side of techno to emerge. 2011 was the year that Jamie and Hot Creations took over. Continuing to power out hits, they released Hot Natured’s “Forward Motion,” featuring vocalist Ali Love. But it was Jamie’s remix of Azari & III’s “Hungry for the Power” that was the quintessential song of the year, heard everywhere in Ibiza and beyond.
In 2012, Jamie and Lee Foss evolved their project Hot Natured into a full band, adding Ali Love and Luca C as members. Taking elements of the grooves Jamie has long championed and forging them with song-based vocals and smooth synth melodies into a live act, Jamie looked to challenge conventions with this new direction. The first Hot Natured single, “Benediction,” reached the top 40 in the UK in 2013, and the debut album, Different Sides of the Sun, continues to sell strongly six months after its release. In 2014, Hot Natured is viewed as one of the most in-demand electronic live acts globally.
Jamie’s constant touring schedule takes in every major city and festival around the world, including such spectacles as Glastonbury, Timewarp and Burning Man, as well as highly esteemed clubs like Warung, Fabric and Womb. His weekly Ibiza party, Paradise, has completed two huge seasons at DC-10 and goes into its third year as the fastest-growing night on the island. This success has meant that Paradise has been offered stages at some of the world’s biggest electronic music festivals, such as Tomorrowland, Global Gathering, Kazantip and BPM, and the brand will continue to grow worldwide through 2014.
In early 2012, Jamie was voted the number-one DJ in the world by Resident Advisor. He continues to be seen as a leader in his field and an innovator who will dictate the direction of a booming industry.
Genre blending has always been a core tenant of Jauz – the project of 21 year old LA-based and Icon Collective graduate, Sam Vogel. Over the course of the past few months we have seen the young star rise, turning in some of the biggest tracks of the year, from taking on the likes of Ed Sheeran, Asap Mob, Childish Gambino, and more. Jauz has released addictive mid-tempo originals like “Feel the Volume” and remixes like “Hella Hoes” that have left both the festivals and clubs wanting more and garnered him support from industry heavyweights like Zedd, Skrillex, Diplo, Borgore, Destructo, Arty and others. His euphoric originals and viral remixes seamlessly weave in and out of several musical categories, staying true to his creed: “music has no boundaries.”
In a little over 6 months, Joyryde has risen from complete unknown to one of the most buzzing acts on the planet. With support from the likes of Axwell^Ingrosso, DJ Snake, Skrillex, Major Lazer, Big Gigantic, Yellow Claw, Tchami, Jauz, Knife Party, NGHTMRE, Martin Garrix, Dillon Francis, GRiZ, Don Diablo, Ephwurd, Ghastly, Dyro and more, the highway to success is paved with bass. Joyryde's brand of #SwerveHouse is firmly expressed through his massive singles “FLO” and “SPEED TRAP.” Jauz not only champions his “Stick It In Reverse” mix of last summers hit “Feel The Volume,” he has been opening his sets with it for months.
His most recent hit “HARI KARI” made it all the way to BBC Radio 1 via NGHTMRE’s Diplo & Friends mix and was also heard in Yellow Claw’s heralded mixtape series. With every blog raving about the lad, Dancing Astronaut put it best; “At a time of radio-safe club maneuvers, his is a brand out for blood." He ended 2015 with the launch of his self designed apparel line #RYDRWARE.
He opened 2016 with a Rick Ross feature on the 160 BPM "Windows,” a track who's genre still cannot be identified. With an arsenal of unreleased tracks, all the big names chatting about him, and some lofty touring goals, Joyryde is sure to hit the ground running in 2016 ... and bring all his Rydrz with him.
Having been through the trenches as an original recording artist, producer and in-demand DJ for more than a decade, American juggernaut Kaskade continues to be at the forefront of the dance music scene. Breaking down barriers and shattering records, he’s created a career of unprecedented milestones for himself and the industry: the first U.S. DJ to secure a Las Vegas residency, the first solo electronic dance artist to sell-out Barclays Center, as well as the first dance artist to sell-out Navy Pier and the Staples Center during his Freaks of Nature Tour, which was deemed “the only successful national stadium tour undertaken by a solo ‘EDM’ artist” by Billboard.
Most recently Kaskade returned to the iconic two-weekend Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival for the fourth time, where he was the only electronic artist to take the main stage. In a historic achievement, Kaskade drew the two largest crowds the festival had ever seen in its storied sixteen-year existence.
Prior to kicking off Coachella, Kaskade released his much anticipated single, “Never Sleep Alone,” which premiered at #1 on Billboard's Trending 140 chart and is currently on iTunes Top 10 dance chart. Poised to become this year’s summer anthem, it’s rooted in contemporary house music fused with an explosive energy fit for any massive arena or festival.
Crowned by The New York Times as “the new face of electronic dance music,” Kaskade has laid the groundwork for a titanic musical and cultural shift: a post-rock electronic music revolution that has captured the imagination of a new generation of fans across North America. He received his fourth consecutive Grammy nomination for Best Remixed Recording for his edit of Galantis’ “Smile.” Previously, his eighth studio album Atmosphere scored him his second and third Grammy nominations for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica album. He received his first nomination for his double-album Fire & Ice, which debuted No. 1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Album chart. With his unique creative prowess, the two-time “America’s Best DJ” title holder has created chart-topping remixes for everyone from Lana Del Rey to Beyoncé.
Along with taking the festival-circuit by storm, Kaskade performs to jam packed crowds all over the world at Wynn Las Vegas daylife and nightlife venues – Encore Beach Cub and XS Nightclub, where he has a multi-year exclusive residency deal. Wynn Las Vegas served as his first exclusive residency in Las Vegas at Encore Beach Club in 2010.
While he cut his teeth in nightclubs, today Kaskade’s live shows are arena-sized; a jaw-dropping spectacle that finds him performing in front of massive LED screens broadcasting evocative images synced with the music in meaning and tone, while strobe lights scan the crowd. “I'm trying to create an environment where you can lose yourself in these really big, grand, euphoric moments and to do that, there has to be a certain intensity. We’re barraged with so much information in modern-day culture, and I want people to forget their worries and cares and be able to come together and celebrate life by hearing these songs that they love, with words that have touched them in a certain way. That’s what I’m trying to do at each and every show.”
The veteran superstar’s fan base speaks for itself with more than 1.5 million fans on Facebook, nearly 820,000 followers on Twitter and more than 26 million views combined on his YouTube channel. Kaskade continues to prove his dedication and loyalty to his fans by catering to them through his infamous Tumblr page, including #Askade, a Q&A that allows Kaskade lovers to ask him anything on a one-on-one level. He made headlines during the premiere of the docu-film “Electric Daisy Carnival Experience” in Los Angeles after tweeting fans to join an intimate block-party festivity. The “Kaskade effect” took thousands by storm; fans ignited the streets filling every inch of Hollywood Blvd in hopes to see and hear the icon perform. Due to the overwhelming turnout, Kaskade urged fans to peacefully clear the streets and they did so almost immediately. It was a true testament to the dance music guru’s far reaching influence.
Always evolving, he’s expanded his resume into the world of health and well-being. In May 2014, he kicked-off a series of fun-runs called The Spark Run, the ultimate high energy, family friendly nighttime 5K run/walk, which celebrates fun, health and originality. At its core, The Spark Run sets out to give back to the community by partnering with local charities and providing a portion of the events proceeds to the individual organizations.
The former skateboarder has been known to show up at gigs in flip-flops, but that no way indicates how seriously he takes his music. “The first thing I think about when I make music is the melody and the lyrics. Production styles come and go, but good songs can stand the test of time.”
Since his first forays into drum & bass in the late 1990s as a burgeoning young DJ, there’s no doubt that Kasra has now made an indelible mark on the scene, a mark that continues to grow ever stronger as his Critical Music empire prospers.
As Critical’s figurehead, the demand for Kasra’s DJing skills has escalated to the point of a schedule that sees him playing regularly every weekend throughout the UK and the rest of the world. Vienna, Budapest, Shanghai, Beijing, Miami, Berlin and, of course, his beloved Lodon are just a few of the places that have beared witness to the Critical sound, and the list just keeps getting longer. Quite a feat these days for someone who’s not yet really gone deep into the production process.
This is all changing, though, as Kasra’s been busying himself back in the studio, readying his own takes on the Critical sound. 2011 saw a collaboration with S.P.Y and also Jubei on the heavily rotated Sequence One EP. With many more collars to come and some solo cuts, expect to see many more Kasra productions gradually working their way into the sets of the great and the good of the D&B community.
Not content with a release schedule bursting with future classics and his own rigorous DJing schedule continually on the up, the label now boasts its own residency at one of the world’s most iconic electronic music venues, Fabric London, where it can regularly be seen smashing up the place with an always-superstar cast of DJing elite from D&B and beyond. The first quarter of 2012 saw Kasra achieve what only a select few people around the world have managed in their careers; being asked to mix the new Fabric Live album was a huge honour and resulted in FabricLive 62 being one of the most successful drum & bass mix albums of the day.
“The rave George Cross, one of dance music’s highest honours.” —DJ Mag
So now as heads turns to 2014, it seems this is the tipping point for Kasra both as a DJ and a label head of one of the most inspiring imprints in dance music today. The Critical age is only just beginning.
Hayden Capuozzo was born in Houston Texas, but called many cities his home. At the age of 24, Kayzo had his start in 2012 in a pretty unreal way. He was selected as the winner of Insomniac’s ‘Discovery Project’ Challenge with a mix that was absolute insanity in the best form. Winning this gave him a chance to play ‘Escape from Wonderland’ that year and making his performance one not to forget, that also happened to be his first gig ever.
Since his debut, Kayzo hasn't let up experimenting with creating music in genres like happy hardcore, hardstyle, electro, dubstep and even a bit of psytrance. He has recently created milestone collaborations on remixes with happy hardcore rising star Gammer on their Propaganda remix by DJ Snake and Carnage with their “Never Forget You” remix.
Kayzo released his EP “Welcome To The Doghouse” in Spring '16 through his own label ‘Doghouse Recordings’. The EP was comprised of an eclectic couple of songs to sink you teeth into. KAYZO most recently released his newest collobroaration with Barong Family artist, Cesqeaux, titled “Home.”
There is surely no slowing the Doghouse and Hayden.
Well my relationship with music started at an early age, just like every other producer in the game. I played hockey at a really high level up until the age of 19. I lived in all areas of the States, as well as Canada. Music was my outlet when bad games happened, and also my drive when working for what at that time was my goal, to be a professional hockey player. Electronic music was always in my ears. From the locker room, plane rides, bus rides, you name it. I always had headphones on. Now being a creator of what was once my biggest outlet. It's sort of like, "Okay it's my time to tell stories, and create that energy that once fuelled me as an athlete." I hope there are some hockey players blasting my music in their headphones pre game right now. That would be pretty cool. Honestly man, what else is there to say about music? It literally is my life. I wake up, get on my computer, check music blogs. I get on Twitter, and check what's going on in my favorite artists' life. I get in my car, and yea music is on. So besides the obvious of me sitting down in the studio behind my DAW making it, music is one of the biggest constants in my life, and that's pretty rad.
Home Town: Houston, TX
Currently Living: Los Angeles, CA
Origin Of Name: To be honest nothing to crazy, decided to take letters from my first and last name and scramble them together, minus the “K” of course.
Weapon of Choice: Production wise, definitely would have to be Massive, it’s my go to synth for all the weird stuff you hear in my music. Other than that my keen eye for a good animal photo to post on my Instagram.
Source of Power: My influences definitely come from different areas of my life. My family though has been the greatest influence when it boils down to having the drive to work for what you want. They have taught me that if you want something, you go and get it, you don’t wait for things to come to you.
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
To be honest, my entry was not intended for the Discovery Project. I was just trying to make something fun and different. I had never worked in a BPM lower than 128 at that point in time, so I thought “okay lets try 100 BPM, because that’s really slow and slow is cool.”
Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
I don’t have the musical backing most artists’ posses. I didn’t grow up playing any instruments, besides playing the trumpet in the middle school band (oh yeah I did that). I would say one of the biggest factors to my musical “upbringing” if you will was attending a school for music production called Icon Collective less than a year and a half ago. Yea, honestly not sure I have enough time to go on about Icon, and how it has shaped my life as an artist and more importantly a person. But for anyone trying to find a group of passionate like-minded individuals, Icon is the spot man. I owe almost everything I have at this point to that place.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
Well at first I think they were a little skeptical with my decision to drop out of college and attend production school, what parent wouldn’t be? They have always supported my dreams 100%, though, and they know when I’m committed to something, I devote every waking minute to it. I think over time as they heard more and more music coming from me they began to open up to the idea of it more and more.
What’s the strangest part of your job?
I tend to wonder how I can wake up every morning and make music, and then go play it for a large group of crazy people who love it just as much as I do. I then go to bed, wake up and do it all over again. Not many people can say that.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ?
I’ll just jump on the bandwagon with this one. Most people nowadays think all DJs hit play. Man it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve been out to plenty of shows, and have seen enough sets to know that most of the game today is DJing live. I don’t care how it’s done, USB controller, whatever. If you’re up there giving people a “live” show, I respect it. I think most people would be surprised with the amount of preparation that goes into a live set.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
As an artist, it’s a toss up between playing Escape From Wonderland, and playing Control Friday’s at Avalon in Hollywood. Playing a festival like Insomniac’s is a type of experience that really can’t be put into words. It’s every artist’s dream to step on a stage of that magnitude. As for Avalon, anyone that knows the scene in LA/Hollywood knows that Avalon is infamous for having some of the biggest and best talent in the game come showcase there skills on Friday, so being on a poster with names like Cazzette, Project 46, and James Egbert was pretty incredible to say the least.
Do you have any memorable moments from past EDC's or any other Insomniac party?
EDC 2013 in Vegas! Yes, it was my very first EDC experience, and it was honestly one the best times of my life. I have never felt so close and connected to the scene than being there. Everyone was there having the time of their life. I met some pretty awesome people there, who were all just in the same place for the love of music, and that to me is a pretty good reason to continue to make music.
How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-to-day basis?
I’ve learned to live on a lot less, to say the least. I think I’m going through that starving artist phase right now, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have learned so much about myself since starting this journey. My family and friends has also been nothing but supportive of my career path. Having them in my corner makes things a lot better.
What is your ultimate career dream?
Owning a house full of cats and sloths and having a lifetime supply of Papa Johns pizza. No seriously that would be dope. But yeah, besides that, just to be happy every day making the music I love. I don’t measure my happiness by the amount of money I make or stages I play.
Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
I’m definitely more on the impulsive side. Or maybe a better word would be go with the flow. When I’m in the studio I’ll basically have an idea of temp and “genre” if you will. Other than that it’s like throwing a dart blindfolded. I have no idea where the song will go. 99% percent of the time it ends up changing genre and tempo. I usually end up fusing genres together and making some really weird sounds that somehow work.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process?
100% factors in to my creativity. I try to find new music every day. I am always looking to see where artist are heading stylistically. I love to see artists I look up to pushing the envelope. Ever since hearing the Dog Blood remix of “Wild For The Night,” I have been dying to make weird 808 acid like synths.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio and why?
My MacBook! Everything I make is “inside the box.” Without my MacBook there would be no Kayzo.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
With the industry being more saturated than ever, I would say if you aren’t experimental, you probably will not last too long. There are solid new producers popping up everyday, so staying ahead of the curve is key in my opinion.
Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with in the future?
My god yes. I won’t go on too long of a rant, but I’ll give you my top three. Tyler the Creator, Gesaffelstein and Skrillex. Tyler is about the craziest artist I have ever listened to lyrically, so having that level of weird on a track would be amazing. Gesaffelstein is like the king of dark techno in my opinion, and I have been really inspired by that style lately. Skrillex is Skrillex, I don’ think I need to make a case for him!
If we pressed Shuffle on your iPod while you went to the bathroom, what would you be embarrassed to come back to us listening to?
Jesus, I have taken stuff off of it since middle school, so you would probably find some really awesome 50 Cent or T-Pain hits accompanied by some really great boy band rock.
What sound or noise do you love?
I love the sound of coffee being made.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Big room house. Dude, it’s fun to listen to and fun to make sometimes. I’m tired of people complaining about making it. If you could do it the way some guys do it, you would in a heartbeat. Quit complaining, it’s all music, and all fun.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
How free and open it is. There really is no stopping it in my opinion. With the growth of technology, it is only making music and production more accessible to anyone. I’m pretty stoked to see where the next generation takes music, and definitely the art of live performance.
When you look at electronic music and the surrounding culture, what worries you about the future?
I know I just ranted and defended big room house and how everyone is making it, but at the same time, I think artists are becoming too complacent in the studio. Make big room, make a lot of big room but take some risks with it man. The problem is not the style, it’s the fact that everyone wants to sound like the last guy who made the hit.
What are your weaknesses?
I need to relax more. I’m a workaholic with production. I need to just get out more and enjoy life.
Do you have a secret passion?
Well I played hockey for like sixteen years, so I would say it still holds a place in my heart.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
I would take them to a Papa Johns, and let them order what ever they want. It’s that good.
Is success physical or internal?
Success to me is internal. Success is being happy. If I can wake up everyday and love what I do then, yeah, I’m pretty successful.
What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
Okay, so Escape From Wonderland was my first gig ever, and yeah I experienced one of my worst nightmares. The guy before me was just wrapping up his set, so I decided to start setting up, and was trying to find a power strip to plug in my controller. The power strip was in a cabinet right under the decks, so I had to maneuver below the guy to plug in my stuff. Right as I was going to plug in to the outlet my hand hit the on/off switch to the power strip, which apparently powered the whole entire stage. So yea, I basically ended the guys set ten minutes early. Watch out guys, if I’m playing after you, your last ten minutes of music is never safe. Big fail, but a lot of fun to say the least.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far?
This industry takes time. Nothing happens over night. At first you are going to suck, and going to suck a lot. The hardest part if battling through making bad music. I remember when I first started producing there were times when I was like “what are you doing here?” If you can get through the learning phase, and really do love making music then accepting that you will suck at the beginning isn’t really that bad.
Do you have a favorite all-time mixed CD or series?
I really enjoy any type of mix Zeds Dead puts out. Always so different and full of amazing tunes.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Do it. Honestly, my girlfriend had told me about the Discovery Project before I even found out about it. I think it was a day or two before the due date for Escape From Wonderland, and I had just finished up “Precession” (the song I entered), when she was like “dude you need to enter ‘Precession,’ it would be perfect for what they want.” I had no idea about the contest until that and thought, what the hell, I’ll give it a shot. I look back on that being one of the most important turning points in my musical career. It was the start of a real career in this industry in my opinion.
Favorite pizza is all types of pizza. And can we all just stop “turning up?”
Mysterious producer KSHMR (as in Kashmir) exploded onto the scene with his first release, “Megalodon.” Orchestral, hard-hitting, extravagant — his tracks come straight out of a music festival directed by Steven Spielberg. Since then, his Beatport releases “Burn,” “Secrets” and “Karate” have all peaked at #1 overall and quickly garnered him a rapidly growing fan base. KSHMR is painting a world for his audience; each production is a brushstroke and, while he’s only just begun, his vision is clearly one of epic proportions.
After an early exposure to 90’s dance music and discovering acts like The Prodigy and Aphex Twin, Lee K’s obsession with electronic music was seeded. A half decade later, with curiosity piqued by DJ culture and the rave scene, her focus soon shifted to the decks.
Following a stint at the iconic and now shuttered Voyeur Nightclub, she landed her 2013/14 residency at San Diego’s “Bang Bang”. There she continues to cut her teeth as a major creative force behind the percolating FNGRS CRSSD brand, warming up the room for some of the most well respected names in house and techno including Pete Tong, Victor Calderone, Hobo, Eats Everything, MK and many more. Whether tasked with opening the night or headlining, Lee K focuses on curating a vibe. Born of the dance floor, she carefully selects tracks from deep to techno all sharing one common thread: groove, dynamic percussion and driving basslines.
Every so often a DJ or producer comes along who inspires the collective imagination. If you’ve seen Loco Dice perform at his ten-year-long Tribehouse residency in his hometown Düsseldorf, or at DC-10 in Ibiza (from ’02-’06), you will have clicked to this.
Loco Dice is someone who can puzzle together intangible moods with a direct approach. Via his DJ sets or his productions on labels like M_nus, Cadenza, Ovum, Four Twenty and Cocoon, he merges perspectives in his delicate sense for sounds and reflective atmospheres, underpinned with solid, physical grooves inspired by the hip hop that was his early sonic stomping ground in the mid- to late ‘90s. There’s something there for the dreamers, as well as for the 9-to-5ers who just want to lose everything in a moment of abandon on the dancefloor.
Don’t think that merging of perspectives is accidental. This Loco Dice, with his mercurial temperament, may let his thoughts run away with him, but he tends to chase those ideas and make them into an artistic reality. His DJ sets, whether at Germany’s biggest rave Timewarp, Cocoon in Ibiza or a beach party in South America, are spontaneous orchestrations fueled by the nuances of a night/venue/crowd. He began a fruitful studio partnership with Martin Buttrich in 2002 leading to tracks like Phatt Dope Shit, Menina Brasiliera, and Seeing Through Shadows, and these productions are meticulously planned by Dice. It’s a directorial, cinematic outlook, which permeates Dice’s everyday life, and comes not just from the outlandish escapades and scrapes that he has sometimes found himself living out in real life. It also stems from elaborate film scripts imagined as a young Loco Dice on the streets of Flingern in Düsseldorf and the Kerkennah Islands in Tunisia. This continues to be a habit of Loco Dice’s today: to close his eyes for just one minute, and see a whole cornucopia of scenes and atmospheres. As one manifestation of this, visitors to Düsseldorf early this year will be able to see an exhibition of photographs taken by Loco Dice & Martin Buttrich during the year they spent in New York City to work on the Loco Dice album. It’s an album that re-imagines the soul of a city, built from careful observations of urban tribes that crisscross and sometimes clash, of minute details and sensory impressions.
Family is important to Loco Dice, as you might have noticed if you’ve seen one of his tattoos, a Chicano-style artwork with the legend “Guadelupe”. His love for music stems from hearing soul and funk in the kitchen, and holidays with his mother to Tunisia, where he absorbed North African and Middle Eastern folk music and occasionally sneaked away to watch his grandfather playing dice at café tables on the street. Family is how he’s always regarded the people close to him, and it’s how he regards subcultures too. A football player, he’s inspired by those who build strong teams of creative people around them. This sense of family is what he wants to create with projects like his and Buttrich’s label Desolat, and an artist management agency he run with Tom Preuss called Artist Alife. When you visit the office of Desolat and Artist Alife, you’re struck by the fact that everyone seems to come from a different cultural background. Loco Dice’s experience of Germany is one that includes friends and collaborators who are of African, Eastern European, Italian or Turkish descent. Loco Dice is interested in all kinds of people and artistic subcultures: he’s proud of people who bring a creative flair to what they do, informed by lives lived ever so slightly less ordinary.
In that sense, Dice’s innate understanding of people: what they sense, what they feel, what they want to imagine, is a part of what distinguishes him from other DJs. He’s very aware when playing in Ibiza of the multiplicity of nationalities that are gathered there, the morass of different desires to be catered to. His inner film scriptwriter makes him capable of translating sounds and kicking it like a local, whether it’s in Naples or in New York. Loco Dice is similarly capable of…
Felix De Laet aka. Lost Frequencies is now topping in almost every top 10 in european countries, with his new single "Reality", that is growing even stronger than "Are You With Me". Which confirms the fact that he will not be just a one-hit-wonder!
Belgian producer Felix is quickly gaining recognition for producing a new and intuitive style of quality music. It’s hard to believe that he began producing in earnest just 3 years ago, after getting his very first computer. Growing up in a musical family, Felix played piano alongside his brothers from a young age. Never one to settle in place, De Laet takes his inspiration from Hip-Hop, Jazz, to Drum and Bass. He listens to everything and lets his broad taste inform his musical decisions.
He loves to incorporate the old (Lost Frequencies) into exciting remixes, and this love quickly turned into the need to produce original compositions.
The Magician is the alias of talented DJ/Producer, Stephen Fasano.
One night not so long ago, he appeared from a place between space and time. Apparently he stepped into this world, materializing in a cloud of crystal stars and soft pink smoke. Some claim he’s a former airline pilot who crashed an afterparty – some say it’s all just an illusion, a well performed hoax.
Previously a member of revered Balearic disco duo, Aeroplane, he disembarked that flight and boarded his own magical carpet ride in 2010. Following a string of releases on the French tastemaker label Kitsune, Stephen finally struck gold with his re-work of Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers” in 2011 (which has had over 55 million views on YouTube and chart topping placings across Europe) and Clean Bandit’s “ Rather Be” in 2014.
Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers”
Clean Bandit’s “Rather Be”
After signing to Parlophone / Warner Records and joining the Machine Management roster of artists in late 2013, The Magician hit new heights with his massive summer 2014 smash “Sunlight” featuring the vocals of Olly Alexander from Years & Years.
The Magician “Sunlight”
With Top 10 “hit” status achieved in the UK, Europe and Australia, The Magician has been spending 2015 cultivating his own ‘Potion’ live events and record label across the globe. New single “Together” is also set to win The Magician a whole new army of fans.
The Magician “Together”
During this whole time he has also been capturing the imaginations of music fans with his Magic Tapes on Soundcloud. Every month he sifts through new music - exclusives from other artists plus music from fans - crafting these tracks into new DJ mix tapes. He has now broke the 50 mark whilst along the way gaining a cult following of disco, pop and house fans. Everywhere The Magician DJs people come under his spell.
Over the past few years, Mano Le Tough has become one of the shooting stars of the international dance music scene. His impact has been so great that Kristian Beyer of Âme claimed recently in an interview that: “Thanks to Mano Le Tough, I have no fears for the future of House”. And not just Beyer, the entire Innervisions gang including Âme and Dixon have become fervent supporters of Mano Le Tough’s warm and melodic, yet driving sound.
Who is the man behind the music that currently inspires established DJs and music fans alike around the globe?
Niall Mannion as Mano is known to his parents, is originally from Greystones, a seaside village near Dublin, Ireland. After an eclectic musical youth and a move to Berlin, Mannion first popped up on the electronic music radar in 2009 with an ep on legendary disco Viking Prins Thomas’ Internasjonal label. With his unique mixture of modern disco, atmospheric house and electronica (although musical genres like these do not quite capture the essence of Mano’s music; he prefers to describe it as “cool songs” or “Folkal House” which seem in some way more appropriate), Niall quickly gained massive interest in his music. So it was no surprise that eps on such acclaimed labels as Tensnake’s Mirau imprint, Dirt Crew recordings and Ben Watt’s Buzzin Fly followed his remarkable debut. In no time Mano also became a much sought after remixer for the likes of Aloe Blacc , Midnight Magic, Flowers and Sea Creatures and Roisin Murphy.
That Mano also knows his onions as a DJ has been proven over the years at his monthly party in Berlin called Passion Beat, which he runs with his old friend and fellow paddy “The Drifter” (with him and their friend Baikal they also set up their own label “Maeve” in 2012 ). With his ever growing reputation, he soon got heavily booked worldwide and became a regular in some of the best clubs in the world including Panorama Bar, Trouw and Robert Johnson. All of his great experiences as a musician and artist culminate now in Mano Le Tough’s first long player, “Changing Days” on Permanent Vacation. Fully aware that the album format is still the most important statement of a musician, Mano succeeds in this field with flying colors by not falling into the obvious traps of making a “dance” album with 11 songs that all seem to sound that same. Similar to his labelmate and buddy John Talabot Mano manages to expand his stylistic palette to more than “just” dance or club music. Instead he creates his own distinct sound and musical vision with bittersweet melodies and atmospheric moods that should appeal to ravers and more pop trained ears alike. On the album Mano brings to perfection what he began to explore on his last few eps, especially by using his own voice as a unique musical instrument and as a transmitter to communicate with his audience.
But let the great Irishman speak for himself: “I guess I try and make music that has an emotional resonance without being overly sentimental or schmalzy. It means a lot to me to try and connect with the listener on a deeper level and add something to their lives that’s more than a hands in the air 5am moment in a club (although there is nothing wrong with that).”
Mark Sixma inevitably caught the dance music bug growing up in now-famous Breda, the Dutch city that produced Tiësto, Hardwell, and more. After mastering the art of DJing in his teenage years, Mark decided to try his hand at making his own music to play live.
His first notable foray into trance music production saw him collaborate with Def Tactical whilst also releasing a Project 6 E.P. at Five AM Records. This was followed up by a release called Destination 6. It received ‘Tune of the Week’ status on Armin van Buuren’s radio show, A State Of Trance, and was supported by some of the biggest names on the planet. The next single led to Mark signing with Armada Music. Fade 2 Black was, once again, selected as Tune of the Week on ASOT, truly cementing Mark as one to watch within the world of trance.
Armin van Buuren then selected Mark’s tracks for his annual, platinum-selling A State Of Trance compilation three years in a row. In addition to the compilations, Armin also featured one of Mark’s tunes on his Wii Game and gave him the opportunity to remix ‘Minack’, the massive collaboration with Ferry Corsten.
Since then Mark has gone on to release on some of the biggest labels in dance music, including but not limited to: Armada, Black Hole, Spinnin’, High Contrast and Flashover. Also on his list of achievements is the mix compilation ‘Worldwide Trance Sounds Vol. 6’ on Armada Music.
Mark Sixma has toured extensively, with big performances across the globe alongside top DJs like Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Gareth Emery, Judge Jules, Markus Schulz, Paul van Dyk, Sander van Doorn and W&W. The pinnacle of Mark’s DJing career to date was performing at A State Of Trance 550 and 650 in 2014. Mark has made appearances at several outdoor festivals including one of Europe’s biggest dance festivals, Nature One (two times). He has also performed Ultra Music Festival, ASOT 700 and Electronic Family.
In 2013 Mark Sixma made his debut on W&W’s fast-rising label ‘Mainstage Music’ with his epic smash ‘Requiem’. This fought off competition to hit the Beatport Trance Chart at #1, beating the likes of world number one DJ and producer Armin van Buuren, whilst also holding the #1 slot on major digital download sites Audiojelly and Trackitdown, achieving a unique hat-trick of chart-topping positions!
He followed this with a crossover, genre-defying release on Armada sub-label Armind, a collaboration with Klauss Goulart titled ‘Rio’ which also enjoyed massive chart success in the Beatport Progressive House Chart (#14), firmly demonstrating Mark Sixma’s mass appeal the world over. His tune ‘Requiem’ was the most played trance track of 2013, and he had scored six top 10 Beatport records for his original tracks ‘Character’, ‘Refused’, and ‘The Saga’, and his remixes of Orjan Nilsen (‘Mafioso’), Cosmic Gate (‘Crushed’), and Jorn van Deynhoven (‘New Horizon’) up to this point.
2014 was a breakout year for Sixma, who released an updated version of the iconic ‘Adagio For Strings’, ‘Shadow’ (W&W Edit), remixed Cosmic Gate and Armin van Buuren (‘Save My Night’), and released on both Armada Music and Revealed Recordings.
Mark Sixma’s first North American Tour took place in 2015, following his top-level releases and remixes from the previous year. After seeing heavy support from Armin van Buuren, the two finally collaborated on ‘Panta Rhei’, a major accomplishment for Sixma that would lock in his place in the the dance music elite. As Mark Sixma shifts gears, he heads into the future with more ammunition than ever, and he’s poised to dominate the industry that he’s shook since the very beginning of his career.
Martin Solveig continues to reinvent himself. Be it through his new music, on point fashion and inventive styling he creates for himself, the world of Solveig is an ever-changing environment that is instilled with fun and vitality.
Always ahead of the curve he is currently steering a new wave of mainstream electronic music – namely the future house sound and his latest endeavour - a product of a decades long career for the producer, DJ, filmmaker and creative Frenchman, which has spanned over four studio albums.
The latter; Smash was released in 2011 and launched the Parisian into superstardom. With lead single Hello, featuring Dragonette selling over 5 million copies, the Queen of Pop herself - Madonna, asked Martin to co-produce six tracks for her album MDNA and accompany her on a blockbusting worldwide tour in 2012.
While releasing summer anthems Hey Now with the Cataracs and Blow with Laidback Luke in 2013, the Frenchman also maintained a residency at the legendary Pacha in Ibiza, whilst touring the world’s grandest festivals.
January 2015 saw the next step in the French maestro’s trailblazing career – showcasing his pioneering future house sound with Intoxicated, a collaboration with Miami duo GTA. The foot stomping anthem hit both the Hype Machine and Beatport #1 within days of release and went on to be one of the most talked about tracks of the summer as it took position on BBC Radio 1’s A-List Playlist in August.
Solveig then proved his ever-infallible ability to remain perfectly in tune with public demand, releasing +1 in June, a funked up future house classic with vocals from Sam White. With the latter already gaining incredible global support and an exclusive 19-date residency at Pacha underway with his new project ‘My House,’ Martin continues to build on his already stellar reputation as a truly multi-faceted artist.
A fresh duo of former Drum&Bass producers from London and Hannover have arrived on the House scene causing all sorts of chaos with their 'no rules' mix of bass music, hip hop, jungle, trap and even oriental beats. Constantly pushing boundaries and exploring sounds, spaces and scenes, MAXIMONO are hitting the biggest labels in the game (CUFF, DIRTYBIRD, THIS AIN’T BRISTOL) creating grooves, mixing beats and turning dance floors into their very own wild paradise!
Colorado junglists know him as MC Dino, the infamous 8-year resident of Breakdown Thursdays at the Snake Pit, the nation's #1 Drum and Bass club night. The rock star emcee most notorious for his poetic genius with a microphone has commanded crowds at such well known and respected events as Cyberfest, Bassrush, Electric Daisy Carnival and countless other raves and festivals across the United States. Recognized for his high-energy lyrical prowess on the microphone, MC Dino is a crowd favorite on the mic and is an asset to any DJ he rhymes alongside.
Although Dino is not his given name, it is his preference and insists that the other is irrelevant. Though born in a small farming community in Northern Colorado, Dino spent time growing up in Mexico and various parts of California before returning to Colorado well over a decade ago. In high school he spent more time writing lyrics, songs, and practicing with bands in backyards than on his schoolwork. He began going to raves when he was 14, a time when raves were new and entirely underground. This exposure had great influence on him; electronic music provided a new medium and mode of tampering with instrumental sound. In this scene he also discovered jungle music and emceeing. Besides the obvious electronic movement that so dramatically shaped his personal musical efforts, Dino's other prominent influences include Prince, Roni Size and Santana. Exposure to these along with an upbringing encouraging all music is especially evident in his individual work, emceeing, and collaborations with Urban Aboriginee.
In 1997 he set out as an emcee and, inspired by the aggressive new sound jungle provided, used it as an outlet for the poetry streaming through his head. By this time he had already taught himself to dj and moved between rhyming and spinning, while continuing to write his own music. 1998 proved a year of reckoning and direction. He started performing regularly at the Snake Pit on a night then called Plastic Thursdays that offered techno one half of the night and jungle the other. During this period Dino gathered his musically-inclined cohorts and formed a solid group called Urban Aboriginee. The idea behind Urban Aboriginee was to promote the various but sometimes neglected talents (emceeing, DJing, producing, etc) of his intimate circle. The name alludes to modern day tribesmen surviving the streets of a concrete jungle (the city). Urban Aboriginee was recognized throughout Denver for its dedication to Jungle music. For five years, UA sponsored Kombat Battle, a party that allows young deejays and MC's to showcase their talent and provided an opportunity for up-and-comers to perform live in an actual party atmosphere.
In 2004 Dino was introduced to Divine Elements through the drum n bass scene when he moved to Los Angeles. Fast forward 6 years of non stop MCing for some of the biggest names in the business and the biggest festivals and night clubs across the United States and we find Dino falling into the front man position with D.E. He ended up filling the void Divine Elements had long been waiting to fulfill with a front man MC. Dino was a fluid fit in the dynamic super group. He now is a consistent, positive force in an already solid musical group, touring and writing music with them all the time .
During the for mentioned 6 year fast forward between 2004 and 2010, MC Dino has emceed for the greatest names in Drum and Bass, and Dubstep including Andy C, Shimon, Pendulum, Nero, Skrillex, Diesel Boy, AK1200, Dara, Bad Company, Mampi Swift, Teach Itch, and Craze, to name a few. Of course, he performs weekly and nationally as well as being featured on tracks produced by the likes of DJ Icee, Gridlok, Breakdown, Reidspeed, Divine Elements, and DJ Swamp. Other such accomplishments include co-creating Urban Aboriginee Records with his Partner Casey Bonse. Current works include on going production and live performance with Divine Elements, solo projects and audio engineering for various artists in the music community.
Hailing from a hotbed of talent, Austrian powerhouse Mefjus now boasts a worldwide reputation for a furiously tech trademark style that continues to breathe fire into the drum & bass genre.
With his place once firmly cemented as the “one to watch” within diasporas of the drum & bass community, Mefjus came out swinging in 2012 with “Far Too Close / Distantia” on Phace and Misanthrop’s Neodigital imprint. His rise to notoriety with a surgically precise yet skull-shattering brand of neurofunk, à la 2013’s dance destroyer “Mythos” with collaborator InsideInfo, has kept fans in a suspended state of frenzy ever since.
Signing to Critical Music in 2013, the futuristic super-producer continues to set the standard with a repertoire of turbulent soundscapes, flawless mixdowns and heart-stopping DJ sets that secure Mefjus as one of the finest within the collective imagination of the drum & bass world.
With his debut album Emulation slated for release in November 2014 on Critical Music, the future’s looking good for this extraordinary young producer.
There is a new generation of French DJs/Producers with international fame, Mercer is one of them. Hardwell first sensed a massive record in “Welcome to the Jungle” and signed it on his label.
Track produced with ALVARO featuring Lil Jon, that reached a Top 3 on Beatport and had 3 million views on YouTube. Renowned Spinnin Records spotted the talent and released two tracks: “Supreme” and “Turn It Up”.
Steve Aoki signed “Drop” straight away on DIM MAK, and the ball is rolling. Mercer has built up a proper image that suits him and obtains, in less than a year, full respect and support from Hardwell, Nicky Romero, ZEDD, David Guetta, Tommy Trash, Martin Garrix, Chuckie, Tiesto, Avicii, and Steve Angello, to name a few. You know the bet paid off when you get your tracks dropped in front of huge crowds in the middle of heavy sets at Ultra or Tomorrowland! In recent news, ZEDD just asked him for a remix of “Stay The Night”. Mercer’s dazzling ascent promises an impressive 2014! WATCH OUT!
With his roots in the Toronto after-hours circuit and a profile that has since seen him smash premiere international platforms across the globe, Nathan Barato’s carved out a reputation as not only one of the most playable producers in dance music, but amongst its most prolific DJs as well.
In other words, Nathan Barato isn’t just the guy being invited to play all the big parties, he’s the guy everyone else on the bill is spinning too. Whether it was Marco Carola first rinsing Nathan’s 2012 hit “Hard Werq” to worldwide audiences just months before asking him to join the Music On roster, or Jamie Jones deeming Nathan a new star at the Hot Creations camp while making this year’s ‘Wobble Talk’ EP a mainstay in his superstar sets… the T.O. native has skyrocketed to international prominence as a well-respected and sought after name.
Many credit Nathan’s success to his genre diversity. His eclectic sound infuses many styles and has been recognized as one where the likes of 90's garage get sampled against the backdrop of funky techno. As a result, Nathan’s music is being released on some of the most prestigious imprints in the industry, including the aforementioned Hot Creations and spinoff Hottrax, as well as Rekids, Cajual, Saved Records, MOOD, and of course, his very own Roots And Wings label.
As Nathan Barato keeps on turning industry eyes and ears in his direction, he continues to get booked at some of the most vaunted events and clubs around the world, from festivals like BPM (Playa Del Carmen, Mexico), Ultra (Miami, USA), and We Are (London, UK), to venues that include Womb (Tokyo, Japan), Fabric (London, UK), WHP (Manchester, UK), Stereo (Montreal, Canada), Coda (Toronto, Canada), Output (New York, USA), Sound (Los Angeles, USA), Club Space (Miami, USA), Barn (Modena, Italy), DC10 (Ibiza, Spain), Amnesia (Ibiza, Spain), and more.
This upcoming summer plans to be another busy one for the in-demand selector, especially in Ibiza, where Nathan’s time on the island will be highlighted by a much anticipated residency at Jamie Jones’ powerhouse Paradise jam at DC10, 3 gigs at Space's Do Not Sleep gathering, his return to Marco Carola’s Music On at Amnesia, and that's just the beginning. You don’t want to miss it!
2015 was the year Patrick Topping cemented his status as one of the most in-demand names in dance music, securing his fifth Beatport tech house number 1, tirelessly touring the world’s biggest festivals, from Creamfields in South America to Stereosonic in Australia, to the mainstage at Movement in Detroit, whilst completing his second summer as resident at DC10 in Ibiza for Paradise. Back-to-back sets with Pete Tong (Storey Miami), Eats Everything (Coocon Ibiza), Jamie Jones (Radio 1 Ushuaia), Green Velvet (SW4 London) and Skream (Glastonbury) show how highly regarded a DJ he has become, as does his jump of 32 places to #48 in Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs poll.
Having topped Beatport’s tech house chart three times in 2014 with “Get Beasty” and “Forget” both released on Hot Creations, and then together alongside techno legend Green Velvet on “Voicemail,” Patrick delivered two more smash hits in 2015. Firstly, his remix of Coyu & Edu Imbernon’s classic “El Baile Aleman” reached #1 in Beatport’s Pulse (Streaming) tech house chart, and then his second collaboration with Green Velvet, “When Is Now,” reached the top spot in the Beatport tech house chart. In-between those, he also debuted on Adam Beyer’s Truesoul label with an acclaimed three-track EP. 2015 also saw Patrick cap off a stunning rise to fame with a debut Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 (18/04/2015)—almost a year to the day after being hailed one of Pete Tong’s “Future Stars” in 2014 and exactly two years after his debut release.
Patrick’s accolades also count two DJ Awards for Best Newcomer and Track of the Season for “Forget,” as well as DJ Mag’s Best Tune in their Best of British Awards and a debut at #80 in Resident Advisor’s Top 100 DJs poll in 2014.
He is renowned for his ability to craft infectious, dancefloor-ready rhythms that first saw him championed by Hot Creations label boss Jamie Jones. Now 26 years old, Patrick first built a DJ career around playing at his own popular club night, Motion at Digital Newcastle, where he booked and played alongside some of the biggest names in the business. He first came to the dance world’s attention with the critically acclaimed debut EP Walk On via Hot Trax in 2013, followed by equally successful follow-up EP Any Amounts on Hot Creations.
Patrick’s far-reaching appeal has also seen him complete many tours of the US, three Australian tours, and countless shows in South America and Europe, including appearances at major international festivals such as Glastonbury, Hideout, Tomorrowland in both Brazil and Belgium, and TomorrowWorld in Atlanta. With his productions being championed heavily by Pete Tong and Annie Mac on their legendary BBC radio 1 shows, Patrick performed live on Radio 1 as part of their 20th Anniversary in Ibiza show on August 1, 2015, DJing b2b with Jamie Jones to millions of radio listeners and viewers on Red Button TV.
Only two words are necessary to summarise the creative work of the artist named PHACE - Pioneering and Progressive.
PHACE is the alias used by Florian Harres, an electronic music producer, DJ and label owner from Hamburg, Germany. Over the past decade he not only defined his very own style of cutting-edge electronic music but also toured most corners of this planet, building a large, faithful global following.
His wide-ranging back catalogue of music includes three full length albums (PSYCHO, FROM DEEP SPACE and RAUM UND ZEIT), various EP's (e.g. NOW & TOMORROW, ENERGIE, MOTOR and VITREOUS, and more) plus countless chart breaking singles and collaborations (e.g. BRAINWAVE, COLD CHAMPAGNE, PROGRAM, DESERT ORGY, and more).
Phace’s music is released on the world’s most famous indie labels such as e.g. VISION, OWSLA, MAU5TRAP, SHOGUN AUDIO, CRITICAL (amongst others), and of course NEOSIGNAL RECORDINGS, his own imprint, which is going to release his fourth artist album titled SHAPE THE RANDOM in March 2015.
His sound is best described by twisted bass, rhythmical experimentation, high contrast ambience, deep cinematic themes, explosive energy, and yet human analog soul and funk. This unique approach is constantly piquing demand for appearances at clubs, festivals and media around the globe.
With support from artists such as e.g. AMON TOBIN, NOISIA, SKRILLEX, ANDY-C, GOLDIE, ALIX PEREZ, BLACK SUN EMPIRE, ED RUSH & OPTICAL, ROCKWELL, MISANTHROP, CULPRATE, KOAN SOUND, MAYHEM, ICICLE, CHASE & STATUS, FRICTION, MEFJUS, FEED ME, EVOL INTENT, DIESELBOY, EMPEROR, OPIUO, one can easily say that within this style of music it is quite hard to find a comparable contemporary artist shaping a sound and musical movement in a similar way.
Rell The Soundbender has a passion for infusing different sounds into his music. The producer started his career securing placements for notable Hip-Hop talent including Lloyd Banks, Jim Jones, and Flo-Rida. With a passion for blending the unexpected, Rell’s radical production process soon led him to aligning genres that typically remain separate. His Panamanian background led him to embrace Moombahton, which resulted in his track with David Heartbreak “Killa” being placed on the Moombahton Forever compilation on T&A Records. This compilation featured work from Munchi, GTA, Dillon Francis, Craze, Nick Thayer and more.
He has also produced bonafide Trap hits in “Grimey Thirsty” & "Angels X Demons" which have made many appearances on Diplo's BBC Radio 1Xtra mixes. His official remixes, meanwhile, have included Bro Safari’s “Scumbag” and Snoop Lion’s “Lighters Up.” The latter was the official remix of the first single from the musical icon’s Reincarnated album. Rell also released his first EP “Gambozoo” on Skrillex’s imprint NEST in 2014.
Rell has taken to describing his sound as a battle “where lasers and drums fight to the death,” and has also become notorious to trap aficionados through live appearances at events such as Miami’s Winter Music Conference; and for sharing stages with the likes of DJ Craze, DJ Sliink, gLAdiator and more. With his profile rapidly rising, Rell will continue to push sonic boundaries by “Soundbending” Hip-Hop, Trap, Moombahton, House and wherever else the music takes him.
Richie Hawtin is a genuine original. His critical acclaim spans the creative realm of the fine art community to the technological vanguard. Meanwhile, as a performing artist, he is constantly pushing conceptual frontiers, moving things forward, welcoming as many as he can to ideas and experiences that would have seemed pure science fiction when he began his career.
Hawtin is British-born and Canadian-raised. He is the business mind behind Plus8 and MINUS Records, nurturing a plethora of talent from Speedy J in the early 90s to Gaiser in the 2010s. And, of course, he is Plastikman, perhaps that most of all, electronic musician par excellence, maintaining an underground agenda of avant-garde electronica over six albums (and two compilations). He returned spectacularly to the live circuit in 2010 with his Plastikman 1.5 incarnation which held its own among the new EDM generation of Skrillex, Deadmau5, etc, stars to whom Hawtin is both old guard ambassador and hero.
It is not just the rising young talents who look up to Hawtin. Daniel Miller, founder of the seminal Mute label, referred to him as “a leader” and “a pioneer”, the New York Times called him “one of the electronic dance world's intellectual forces,”. However, it's plaudits from other areas that showcase the breadth of Hawtin's appeal. Raf Simons, former Creative Director at Dior, says he listens “to Richie Hawtin's music like others listen to classical music”, calling him “the Kraftwerk of today”. In 2013 Simons asked Hawtin to put on a special performance at the Guggenheim, New York's iconic art museum, as the centre-piece for their annual fund- raiser. A special Plastikman show in November that year, constructed around an LED obelisk and with music specifically composed for the occasion, awed everyone present and pushed Hawtin through a six year creative block to complete his latest Plastikman album "EX", the first full studio album in over a decade. “Going to the Guggenheim to make a site-specific work was one of the most incredible experiences,” he explains, “It put me put me back in the studio, inspired me to make new material and in five days I'd finished the new album. Music came out of me because of the opportunity to play in this beautiful architectural space renowned for art not music. It allowed me to step very far from dancefloor, gave me a huge amount of freedom back. Art and music, architecture and music, painting, sculpture - these mediums live together.”
This has not been Hawtin's only crossover to other art forms. In June 2011 he worked with the Turner Prize-winning British-Indian artist Sir Anish Kapoor to transform the Grand Palais in Paris into a gigantic red-themed installation and cultural happening. The result was a strikingly memorable 5000 capacity art-rave, and for the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony he worked with Italian choreographer Enzo Cosimi to soundtrack and co-create a stand-alone dance piece.
More recently he was commissioned as part of Bertrand Bonello' exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris to re-score Dimitri Kirsanoff's silent film "Brumes
d'automne” (1928). Then there's his ongoing work with his younger brother, the established graphic artist Matthew Hawtin who has been involved in visually representing much of Richie Hawtin's work throughout his career. Most recently the pair's Contained concept pieces created a sensation at Art Basel/Art Miami 2013, with the duo combining visual art and pop-up musical performances based around shipping containers in the city's famed Wynwood Design District.
“Art and music were always synonymous when we were growing up,” Hawtin recalls, “We lived together for about 8 years and I would walk through his art studio, see what was on the walls, go to my music studio to make noise. The soundproofing wasn’t good so as he was painting he’d hear what I was doing. There was always an unspoken discussion about what I was working on and what he was working on. Over the years we did a lot of travelling together. We started to have this night and day creativity. In the daytime we'd go to art galleries see Ellsworth Kelly, Mark Rothko, and at night we'd be hearing Jeff Mills. Somehow it all made sense to us. We want to represent this synchronicity.”
The Hawtin family moved from the Oxfordshire village of Middleton Cheney, UK, to Ontario, Canada, in 1979 when Richie was nine years old. His father, a robotics engineer, encouraged his son's interest in music and technology. To this day Hawtin remains at the forefront in this area. A beta-tester for sequencing software Ableton Live as far back as 2000, he has also worked closely with Native Instruments, notably on their Traktor Scratch programme. On 2008's Contakt Tour with fellow MINUS artists such as Magda and Troy Pierce, Hawtin jammed on Wireless Audio Workstations using brand new technology such as the Lemur Controller. His own Berlin-based development company Liine have created an array of innovations, from the Synk app, which allowed users to interact with Plastikman's live tour in 2010-11, to the Smudge app, which synchronized with audio-visual installations at his ENTER. Residency in Ibiza in 2012.
It was always thus. The teenage Hawtin was into Detroit techno in the mid-80s, then a nascent underground machine music rather than a popular style. He became a DJ, setting up Plus8 with his friend John Acquaviva, with whom he would later co-found the online dance music hub Beatport in 2004. He set the techno world alight with Plastikman's birth on the ’Spastik' single and 'Sheet One' album in 1993, the latter arriving in a cover that looked like blotter acid. Where Plastikman began as stark techno, it would later bloom into more thoughtful fare such as 1998's strange, wonderful "Consumed" album.
Hawtin ruled '90s techno from his base in Windsor, Ontario, via Detroit, his public image that of the ultimate techno boffin, shaven-headed, serious, with glasses. Things changed after the millennium. He moved to New York for ten months then headed for Berlin where he grew his hair, lost the glasses and threw himself wholeheartedly into the lifestyle. There was concurrently a huge interest in minimal, a stark stripped techno style pioneered by Hawtin and revelled in by all at MINUS. It was a phase that energized clubland, chucking out cheesiness and taking dance music back to its percussive roots. Hawtin's close association with Sven Vath at this time tempered the dark twitchiness of his Plastikman persona, bringing out his inner joie de vivre. His residences at Vath’s Cocoon nights in Ibiza finally allowed him to fall in love with the island after a rocky start there back in the '90s. It was the beginning of a new era.
In 2012, Hawtin created his incredible ENTER. experience at Space, Ibiza, a distillation of his vision, a five-room adventure impeccably designed, boasting all-night ecstatic dancing and, as importantly, a Sake Bar, which provides five unique and delectable ENTER.sakes. Then there's Hawtin's personal favourite space, the glowing, psychedelic, womb-like Mind Room, marinating in avant-abstract electronica. For 12-14 weeks between 2012 and 2015, 7000 revellers gathered, drawn by the power of “the dot”. ENTER.'s black spot logo, part total eclipse silhouette, part minimalist art statement, and all marketing genius, bespatters the white island all summer, from temporary tattoos to beach balls to the cannon confetti that rains down on ENTER's dance floor. ENTER. has evolved into huge global shows in Amsterdam, Japan, London, Madrid and Mexico.
Then again, with Hawtin a new era is usually just around the corner. In January, 2016, he called an end to ENTER. in Ibiza, driven by his desire to focus his attention on an array of new projects. He has always changed yet always stayed the same, remaining true to his core ideals but driving forward at speed to see what he can achieve. Nowadays his position as a statesman for dance music is acknowledged. At the CNTRL series of lectures in 2012, he toured America's universities, putting the country's current electronic dance boom in context. If that was about giving the musical present historical perspective, CNTRL returned in 2015 with an 8 date US Tour with lectures at colleges in the day and club shows in the evening, the talks stroked provoking ideas and practices for burgeoning musicians, producers and DJs. In 2015, his commitment to education, was solidified, when he received an Honorary Doctorate Of The University Of Huddersfield for Outstanding Contribution to the world of Music- Technology. The year before, AIM aka the Association for Independent Music, gave him the Outstanding Contribution accolade for his dedicated to the sector.
To mark Plus 8 Records reaching 25 years of age, Hawtin wrote and released an entire album of new material under the various recording aliases he’s used in that time. Titled "From My Mind To Yours", it was the first dancefloor material from him for some time. Alongside the new recordings and taking the ENTER.Concept worldwide, Hawtin started 2016 by announcing a partnership with product designer Andy Rigby-Jones, Allen & Heath and parent company Audiotonix to create Play Differently. The group will release products which will expand the creativity of today’s generation of electronic music artists. Richie Hawtin will, as ever, be revelling in the possibilities of whatever comes next....
Rødhåd has been socialized by Berlin's looptechno nights and always finds the perfect balance of timeless techno to lift the dancefloor higher and higher.
His style is always deep, powerful and melancholic - from dubtechno to techno and back to house.
A technological society, a mechanist present, an industrial era... long and dark nights, warehouses, cogeneration plants, noise.
Which kind of music matches the rhythm of Western civilization better than Rødhåd’s music?!
Bursting out of London’s underground music scene with its thrilling world of pirate radio, crude DJ set ups, improvised studios, and bleeding edge beats come Rudimental (Piers Aggett, Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and Leon Rolle): A pioneering melting-pot collective who have taken the British music scene by storm, championed for their uncompromising approach to music-making whilst avoiding rigid classification. You’ve probably heard them – from their huge drum & bass-meets-soul anthem and No. 1 single ‘Feel The Love’; their ‘Later... with Jools Holland’ TV performance; their historic BBC Radio 1 Hackney Weekend extravaganza (which saw their second ever live show become the most shared performance of the entire festival); or been immersed in the thrilling energy of their live shows, DJ sets or groundbreaking videos. Rudimental have achieved global recognition among tastemakers at lightning speed – starting when The XX blogged Rudimental’s airy soulful house offering ‘Spoons’ in February.
Taking a “traditional” songwriting approach as much as an electronic one in their music making, Rudimental mix live instrumentation (Hammond, Rhodes, horns, live bass etc) with digital programming. As Rudimental’s Piers says, “our sound is organic. It’s the result of years of raving, listening to pirate radio, listening to dubs, to tapes older brothers would bring home, and being inspired by all of it. We’re products of our individual musical journeys and of London”. While Kesi (keyboard player/percussionist) is a self-confessed hip hop head, former Deja Vu FM DJ, Piers (Hammond, keys) names jazz and blues as influences alongside grime artists like Dizzee Rascal. Leon (DJ) remembers using his dinner money to purchase the latest vinyl and attributes the band’s success to an ability to retool and subvert the best of UK underground music (garage, grime, dubstep, drum & bass) in their own style. Fellow band mate Amir (guitar and keys), grew up in Camden and won a PRS song writing award in 2001. He spent the winnings on a guitar and via a mentoring scheme, met Plan B who taught him how to play his first chords aged 16. He went on to earn nods as one of NME ‘Top 20 Hottest Producers’. Amir says of the Rudimental sound: “The unifying thing is the soul influence and the bass influence, those two things are always there”“Rudimental” (so-named after the Rudiments book of piano exercises Kesi’s music teacher drilled him on as a child) write as a group pulling from one another’s strengths.
The result of this sound-clash style is bubbling with energy, with thick, layered basslines, live instruments, and contagious hooks that both reflects London and translates outside the city.Human, yet cutting-edge music, it creates a strong connection with the listener: as Piers says “It’s important for us to tell a story as much as we can about the things we’re passionate about – what’s happening on a grassroots level in cities, because that’s where we come from”. This is something the band have espoused in the brilliant promo films for the singles ‘Feel The Love’ and ‘Not Giving In’ : respectively documenting the horse-riding lifestyle of North Philadelphia’s Fletcher Street and the perilous yet vibrant culture of Manila’s slums.
It is these fundamental human and emotional aspects coupled with sonic experimentation that has created some of the most forward-looking music and videos this year.Freeing themselves from one specific sound, and the shackles of creating electronic music with a laptop, the boys take influence from each others varying musical strengths and their unifying starting point (Hackney). Around them in Hackney the band have found a well of untapped talent – be that ‘Feel The Love’s’ vocalist John Newman or trumpeter extraordinaire Mark Crown. This extended family, or wider orbiting collective, reads like a who’s who of emerging UK talent – MNEK, Syron, Sinead Harnett – but also includes a wealth of musicians: brass players, percussionists, string players. The result on stage sounds, and feels, like a genuine carnival: brimming with spontaneous energy and infectious to all.During an Olympic year that has catapulted the culture, talent and passion of Hackney to the forefront of Britain’s if not the World’s consciousness, Rudimental have brought an injection of life to the charts and made an indelible mark on British pop culture in a short few months. This heralds a rich album from the band in the New Year.As the band say “What unites us all really is our love of soulfulness on the dance floor. We want people to dance and to feel something”. This band of writers, musicians and DJs are an example of possessing that rare thing: a collective of innovators seamlessly coming together and striking gold.
Snails is a Montreal-based producer and DJ who pushes a forward-thinking brand of dance music combining trap rhythms, dirty bass lines and off-kilter sound design. His first tracks appeared online in 2012 on Kannibalen Records. Since then he has amassed a burgeoning fanbase of snail-heads and bass- lovers. Recent releases like “Dirty Raxxx”, “RBBR” and “SLUGZ” blend hypnotic melodies, huge drops and mind-bending sample manipulation into a tight, dance- floor friendly package. Snails’ latest track “Wild”, co-produced with Antiserum and released on Skrillex’s Owsla Records, was one of the standout tracks at the 2014 edition of Ultra Music Festival. Having recently signed with Circle Talent, Snails looks primed to bring his unique take on dance music to the mainstream.
Having come up through the ranks at a startling rate, Australian Sonny Fodera is now leading from the front. Over the last couple of years, the man originally turned on to the dance by Derrick Carter has fomented his own groove-driven brand of house that now resonates around the world. His most complete artistic statement to date came in the form of his excellent debut full-length, Moving Forward, in 2014. Featuring a heavyweight selection of collaborators and coming on Green Velvet/Cajmere’s tastemaking Chicago label Cajual Records, it paired plenty of bouncy bass with lush synths, fresh vocals and feelgood melodies that veered from the dancefloor to the beach and back again.
Keeping up the pressure in 2014, that LP was followed up with compilations on Deep Down and Defected that found Sonny adding his remix flair to a bunch of classics, and after that came sophomore effort After Parties & Aeroplanes. Again a collaborative affair featuring the likes of Doorly, Gene Farris and Cajmere, it was a more jacking, sharp-edged treat designed for maximum dancefloor impact, but was also stuffed with unforgettable vocals that again saw Sonny stepping up his game.
As well as these high-impact works, Sonny has also turned out a consistently excellent string of EPs on labels like Suara, Defected and Farris Wheel Recordings, as well as his own Beatdown, that continue to win him ever more fans around the globe. Never was this more true than with “Let Go,” a collaboration with Cervendos that sat pretty in the Beatport Deep House Top 10 for no less than 12 weeks in 2014. Though inspired by peers such as Dusky and Claude VonStroke, Sonny has his very own modern house sound that is refreshingly out on its own and puts to good use the music technology and electronic production courses he took at the University of Adelaide as a youth.
As a result, of course, Sonny is a hugely in-demand DJ. It was his smooth technical skills in the booth that first won him the affections of Green Velvet, and nowadays he weaves his tight, seductive sets featuring all colours of the house spectrum everywhere from Footwork Toronto to Warung in Brazil, Cielo in New York City to Pacha, Sankeys, DC10 and Ushuaia Tower in Ibiza, as well as We Are FSTVL and many others. The future is just as bright as the past for Sonny, who was born in Adelaide, Australia, and has lived between there, Ibiza, the USA and the UK since, though he is currently settled in London. It means he is fully focussed on the next chapter, which already promises to be a thrilling one for his fans, with a new album due on Cajual, as well as more EPs on influential labels Visionquest and DIRTYBIRD.
Straight from the kitchens of Pastanistan, SPAG HEDDY delivers your daily need for filthy, wonky and juicy tomato bass. Since 2011, Mischa Reining (NL) has been well known for his constant flow of both heavy and melodic tunes in the dubstep and drumstep genres.
Major players like Skrillex, Datsik, Excision, Skism, Must Die!, Cookie Monsta and Seven Lions have touched his noodly appendage, while official releases and remixes on Firepower, NSD Black Label, Rottun, Play Me, Monstercat and Disciple, have made him a producer you won't soon forget.
SPAG has a large dedicated fanbase, full support from Mega promotion channels like EDM.com, DropTheBassline and DubstepGutter, and has his own official sample pack released through Prime Loops.
Now, after multiple top charting Beatport hits, tens of millions of online plays, numerous shows in nearly all continents, including his own tour in Australia, he's aiming for the biggest and best; expect tons of new ferocious, melodic and neck breaking anthems to come.
When speaking of the saccharine sounds that are being conjured up by Shahar Aframian and Leiel Hazut, there is no need to sugar-coat things. The Israeli-born, Los Angeles-based duo have set up shop to assault your palette with the dulcet tones of electronic music. Serving up a confection of techno-driven delicacies, the two represent the next generation of taste-makers who are putting in work for the underground movement. Their mellifluous beats and deep-diving styles come together to create a diabetic's worst nightmare. If you are looking to satisfy your intense craving for euphonious rhythms, then come get a taste of Sweet & Low.
Hailing from Paris, Tchami is no stranger to the dance music industry. Coming on to the scene with his remix of Janet Jackson’s “Go Deep”. The track became an instant over night hit! With much critical acclaim, he soon followed up with his first original production “Promesses” with Kaleem Taylor via Fool’s Gold Records and Ministry of Sound. It was not too long after “Promesses” that Tchami released “Shot Caller” under the same EP for Fool’s Gold Clubhouse. From then on, Tchami subsequently released his remixes of AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It”, JackU’s “Take U There”, and many more. Having gained the support from some of today’s top DJs such as A-Trak, Diplo, Dillon Francis and Skrillex, to name a few.
In March 2015, Tchami released his first single off of his upcoming EP “After Life” as well as the music video. Soon following he released the remix package for the single featuring producers Point Point, Malaa, DJ Snake & Mercer, San Holo, and Jauz. The next single off the EP, titled “Missing You” features AC Slater and the vocal talent of Kaleem Taylor, is set to come out by the end of this month. The exact release date of the whole After Life EP has yet to be announced but it’s something all fans are yearning over! Tchami is taking Europe by storm this summer from the likes of London, Ibiza, Amsterdam, and many more. North Americans will get the chance to experience “The After Life” on his upcoming tour this Fall featuring his own production and music from the EP.
Tiësto is a name that no longer needs an introduction. His name is synonymous with the best of electronic music, and while he is already considered an icon that has not stopped him from continuing his work as an innovator. The Grammy-Award winner has laid down the groundwork for what it is to be a modern-day producer/DJ and is responsible not only for some of the best electronic dance music of all time, but also for inspiring a generation of up-and-coming young artists.
Breaking down barriers and shattering records, Tiësto has racked up the titles to prove his stature. In addition to being nominated for two Grammy’s and winning the award for the first time in 2015, he has been named #1 DJ by Rolling Stone, voted “The Greatest DJ of All Time” by Mixmag, ranked the #1 DJ in the world three times by DJ Mag, and was recently presented with the Edison Pop Oeuvre Lifetime Achievement Award (an honor he shares with David Bowie, Quincy Jones and U2 among others).
After spending decades conquering the house and trance worlds with countless singles and albums, the superstar producer led the charge in helping electronic music crossover into the mainstream with his last album, A Town Called Paradise in 2014. The record saw Tiësto expanding his musical horizons, and in doing so, capturing the attention of the world in a way he had never done before. His single “Red Lights” is now certified gold in the United States, Sweden and Canada, while “Wasted” with Matthew Koma recently went platinum in the United States and is his highest-charting release to date. The album was a taste of what was to come, and in just the last year or so, Tiësto has dropped new tunes with the likes of The Chainsmokers, Martin Garrix, and pop sensation Natalie La Rose.
These types of collaborations are nothing new for Tiësto, who believes in passing along his success. He has always been one step ahead and actively worked to usher in the next big thing, whether it be a song, a performance, a company, or even another artist. For years now, he has been helping up-and-coming acts in the electronic world find their way with his record label, Musical Freedom. He has been there to help usher in now well-known names like Martin Garrix and Oliver Heldens, to name a few. Aside from his label, he also took part in 7Up’s DJing competition “Your Shot.” This unique competition gave aspiring DJ’s the chance to learn the craft and the opportunity to perform alongside Tiësto at Hakkasan and Wet Republic in Las Vegas.
At this point in his career, Tiësto has toured the world countless times, and there are more festivals, venues, and stages that he has played than ones he hasn’t. He has performed for millions at Ultra, Coachella, Tomorrowland, TomorrowWorld, Electric Daisy Carnival...and that is to say nothing of the innumerable clubs that he frequents as a headliner. He is one of the elite few DJs in the world that can control a residency in Las Vegas, where he plays at Hakkasan and Wet Republic—the best club and pool party respectively in Sin City.
When it comes to playing shows, Tiësto says that to this day, he is still “addicted to the feeling of DJing.” He loves the interaction with the crowd and the feeling of being able to surprise them. The DJ added that playing live encourages him to challenge himself to make better music and to be a better DJ.
In spite of his hectic tour schedule, residency, and focus on creating new music, Tiësto has not forgotten his roots. He has been a champion of the DJ mix for decades, and in the past few years, his Club Life compilations have become something to look forward to for those in the dance world. 2015 saw him release the most recent edition of the collection, Club Life: Volume Four, New York City, which celebrates the city that never sleeps. The name of the series is shared with the DJ’s popular Sirius XM channel, which has become a go-to for anybody looking for great, breaking dance music. In addition, his weekly radio show is broadcast on 350 stations in 77 countries and has over 35 million listeners.
Tiësto also continues his work as an expert remixer, his talents sought out by some of the biggest names in the world. He has been brought on to rework smash hits for the likes of Beyoncé, Coldplay, Kanye West, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, David Guetta, Major Lazer, Calvin Harris, and many more. In 2015, he won his first Grammy Award for his massively popular remix of John Legend’s “All Of Me.”
Tiësto is keeping busy outside of the studio and off the stage as well. He has become one of the few leaders in the music space that has been able to transition their influence and savvy to other industries. He is an important advisor to tech startups like Splice, Dubset and Doppler, helping to steer the trajectory of success that all three of these companies are enjoying. Even as investments in the music tech world rise, few artists have gotten so involved in creating the changes that the industry is looking for.
Most recently, Tiësto released his completely re-designed mobile app, where fans can consume all things Tiësto including his extremely popular podcast. He has also leant his name and style to a variety of brands. Through current collaborations with T-Mobile and Budweiser and other soon to be revealed efforts in the fashion space, the DJ is helping bring dance music culture to more people than ever before.
In the past two decades, many artists have come and gone but Tiësto remains not only one of the world’s most prolific and enduring artists, but one of music’s top innovators. 2016 will see no deviation from this norm. Even after all that he has accomplished, Tiësto does not see his work as being done. “DJing is my life,” the man isn’t afraid to admit. But more than that, “It’s a lifestyle.”
London based duo Tough Love have rapidly risen through the ranks of the house scene over the last three years. Their distinct productions together with energetic and bass-heavy DJ sets have created a cult following of hard-core fans across the UK and beyond. Their sound instantly recognisable in their production can be described as bass infused House with plenty of 90s R&B and Garage references and hard-hitting groove. Its this infectious sound that won them 'Best Single' in The Bass Music Awards & court the eye of reputable Jamaican born and London based Island Records, signing them up in late 2014.
Tough Love’s Alex & Stef have been championed for their remixing ability and their penchant to make fun, '90s inspired house records. Support has already come in from the dance music tastemakers over at BBC Radio 1 - with the likes of Danny Howard and Annie Mac both labeling Tough Love as an act to look out for in the coming year.
2015 has seen Tough Love already notch up 2 UK National Top 40’s in ‘Pony’ & ‘So Freakin Tight’ which has now gone silver in the UK. They’ve also had underground success with ‘In The Name Of Love’ a collaboration with Roger ‘The S- Man” Sanchez. Named as Sankeys Ibiza new flagship night ‘The Redlight’ weekly resident headliners, Tough Love not only showed there in demand skill set at the sell out nights but also compiled & mixed the official ‘Redlight’ Album on their own label Get Twisted, which hit the UK iTunes Album Top 40.
Get Twisted has gone from strength to strength since its birth, with hit after hit making waves on both the underground and radio, Get Twisted now has core set of artists establishing themselves on the UK market & beyond. Its easy to see why Sony Columbia have signed up Tough Love’s imprint, together they now look a serious force to be reckoned with.
As if the boys aren’t busy enough, they also find the time to host their hugely popular weekly radio show every Thursday at Midnight on one of the UK’s biggest radio stations Kiss FM (Beaur Media) & Kiss Fresh every Friday at 9pm.
Wiwek is known for fusing electronic elements with tropical rhythms to create a distinctive and refreshing sound. His tracks are being weaved into sets from heavy hitters like Tiësto, Laidback Luke, Major Lazer, Chuckie and Afrojack to name a few.
In April 2012 he released his EP “Totem” on Mad Decent, a wild mix of hard-hitting drums and suspenseful builds that instantly sends the dance floor into a frenzy – and the pace hasn’t slowed down since. He has also had great success with “Intimi” & “Ritual” released on Mixmash and “Angrybirdz” on Rimbu, the label he co-owns with Gregor Salto, as well as “Terminator” (with Moska) on Mad Decent in 2013.
2014 started with a smash for Wiwek, dropping his tune ‘ Salute’ on Tiesto’s label Musical Freedom & ‘G.M.A.F.B.’on Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike’s Smash the House. One of his latest tunes ‘ On your Mark’ with Gregor Salto was one the most played tunes at Ultra 2014 and in total 8 different Wiwek tunes were played at Ultra 2014. This created a huge buzz and resulted in being the support act for Diplo, David Guetta and Snake at XS Las Vegas.
Wiwek is releasing on labels from heavy hitters like Tiësto, Diplo, Chris Lake & Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike to name a few and is not planning to slow down. His latest remix job is a collaboration with ‘Major Lazer’ for Davido (Nominated as Africa artist of the year by MTV). The remix received 500.000 plays on soundcloud before it was even released. Furthermore, his 4 track solo EP is going to be released in the fall of 2014 and he’s got collaborations coming up with Chris Lake, Yellow Claw, GTA and Alvaro.
At first it was two DJs having more fun playing shows together rather than separately. That turned into an Amsterdam club night, after which Yellow Claw took their show on the road—in the Netherlands and across the world. Their first songs came out in 2012, Blood For Mercy became a mantra and Barong Family was established as a record label. With a huge, loyal fanbase crowding their gigs from Las Vegas to Seoul and everywhere in between, Yellow motherfucking Claw’s is one of the most electrifying shows you’ll come across.
As much as their music is about energy release by any means necessary, Yellow Claw’s whole approach is highly conceptual and deliberate: from the numbered mixtapes to the branded merchandise (from parkas to bathing suits), the slick (music) videos and collaborations with artists as diverse as Diplo and Ty Dolla $ign, Tiësto and Pusha T. Launched in 2014, Barong Family has become a home to upcoming, likeminded artists like Cesqeaux, LNY TNZ, Moksi, Mightyfools, Mike Cervello and more.
Over the years, Yellow Claw has performed at the main stages of EDC Las Vegas, Ultra Music Festival, Jack Ü’s New Year’s Eve party, Spring Awakening and Coachella in the United States, Tomorrowland in Belgium, Mysteryland, Kingsday Festival, The Flying Dutch and Sensation in the Netherlands and Future Music Festival in Australia, has held a residency at the Wynn Las Vegas and played numerous headline shows in North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe and all along East Asia.
In November of 2015 Yellow Claw finally delivered its full-length debut album Blood For Mercy on Mad Decent, followed by a massive US tour. Featuring many big name features, it went straight to #1 on Billboard’s Heatseeker Albums as well as Top Dance/Electronic Albums charts and also reached #1 on Beatport.
In 2016, Blood For Mercy won the Edison award (Dutch equivalent of the Grammys) for dance music in the Netherlands. The single “In My Room”, made in partnership with DJ Mustard and featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Tyga has so far clocked almost 7 million views on YouTube and over 72 million streams on Spotify (not counting remixes).
Currently working on their second album, Yellow Claw is continually keeping the pressure on with their record label Barong Family, with releases scheduled from new as well as more established family members.
Zomboy has had an explosive few years since making the transition from his sound engineering background into full-time music production, and his dynamic rise to global recognition has been quite something to watch.
One of the biggest names in bass, Zomboy released his debut LP "The Outbreak" on Never Say Die Records on August 4th 2014. Alongside delivering his trademark, unflinching brand of Dubstep, the UK-based producer also takes the opportunity to expand his musical horizons, incorporating a range of styles within the track listing.
The LP follows the theme of his US tour of the same name, spreading Zomboy’s inimitable sounds like a virus to bass heads across the world. An exciting insight into Zomboy’s musical mind, this LP Topped the iTunes electronic chart in 10 countries and achieved top 10's in a further 14, Therefore elevating Zomboy's status within EDM music to legendary.
Since his first release, Zomboy has consistently topped the charts which lead to Ministry of Sound and Warner Music snapping up several of his tracks for various compilations. Constantly developing his unique sound, Zomboy has created numerous remixes for artists such as Fedde Le Grand, DJ Fresh and Flux Pavilion, clocking millions of views on YouTube and causing an ever-increasing demand for his DJ sets across the world.
The future of Zomboy will undoubtedly be that of further bass domination.