Nocturnal Wonderland 2017
Creatures of the Night... a new weekend awaits! Nocturnal Wonderland will return to Glen Helen Regional Park on September 15 & 16 for 3 nights of camping & 2 days of music!
Tickets on sale now!
Combining two artists and a stock trader into an all-encompassing art project was surely a novel concept. Autograf — formed by Jake Carpenter, Louis Kha, and Mikul Wing — crafted a shimmery mix of futuristic, tropical house with a D.I.Y. ethos that melded the skills from their former day jobs. The trio joined their talents together at a gallery exhibition, where Carpenter, a sculptor and painter who worked R&D for the Kentucky Department of Defense, and Wing, a street artist, created an installation that included a homemade robot.
As the EDM scene reached a certain peak in 2015, the group wanted to bring some sexy back to the genre. After remixing songs by a string of prominent artists like Lorde and Pharrell, they released their first original song, “Dream,” a languidly sensual track that recalled the most positive Avicii output. A month later, they dropped the electronic disco “Running,” another glittery jam, which featured original artwork to accompany the release. The third track in as many months, “Metaphysical” again featured Autograf-designed cover art, as well as vocals from sultry alt-R&B singer Janelle Kroll. Autograf’s future philosophy and artistic talents led them to create their own instruments and stage installations, which they hoped would revolutionize the EDM scene. In early 2016, the trio released their debut EP, Future Soup.
Hailing from Phoenix, Arizona, Bijou has taken his native scene by storm. Spinning hundreds of local shows a year at the most populated venues in the city, it was only a matter of time before Ben Dorman saw the light outside of Arizona...
Playing across the country in cities like Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Seattle, and San Diego, Bijou’s street cred grows even more reputable by the day.
With releases on Night Bass, Fool’s Gold, and Prep School Recordings, as well as support from AC Slater, Destructo, Don Diablo, Drezo, Malaa, Party Favor, and Wax Motif, Bijou has proved his validity and remains eager to continue his evolution.
Infusing elements of hip-hop with those of classic house, Dorman is poised to join the ranks of the G-House supreme. The vibes are sexy, the bass is dark, and the dance floors are primed for the sounds of Bijou.
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.
For almost a decade, Trevor Moffitt aka BONES has helped strengthen the electronic music scene in Los Angeles while spreading his sound to cities far and wide. Sharing the stage with the biggest names worldwide, BONES has developed an infectious fusion of house, future, garage, deep, and techno.
His unique and eclectic styles have earned him performances at ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL, HARD SUMMER, HOLY SHIP!, NOCTURNAL WONDERLAND, SNOWGLOBE, SXSW and WMC.
In part to founding one of the most influential electronic music outlets in the world, Gotta Dance Dirty™, he also helps manage the event/label NIGHT BASS with AC Slater, and was serves as head of A&R in the U.S. for Sweat It Out! Records alongside Sinden and Yolanda Be Cool.
What started as a collaboration between two solo artists turned quickly into something much bigger: the birth of Born Dirty.
Hailing from somewhere between the guts of North and West London, multi-instrumentalists, producers and DJs Son Of Kick & Linden Jay joined forces in 2015 to drop two massive releases: ’Don’t Stop Get It’ featuring Kid Sister and now the soundtrack for the new Apple Macbook Pro campaign, then ‘Misbehave’ with Shift K3Y. Both have been heavily supported by top influential DJ’s and appeared on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra amongst other radios, top blogs and music channels.
Last June, Born Dirty has released a Miami Bass influenced stomper on the legendary Dirtybird - BBQ compilation with support from the likes of Jack Beats, Claude Vonstroke, Gorgon City, Anna Lunoe, Monki and many more, topping the Trakitdown and Beatport Breaks Charts at number 1 and 2 and 'Tune Of The Month' on Mix Mag Break section.
Since then Born Dirty dropped hot releases on their new imprint Way Way Records, AC Slater's label Night Bass and Record Record Paris, all supported by worldwide influential DJs and radios.
With an eclectic mix of influences, Born Dirty has created a signature hybrid sound resting on a solid backbone of Hip-Hop, House and Techno. After spending time in studios between London and LA, the duo has now an armada of heaters ready to unleash onto the world.
Bot is of the future. Half man, half-machine; fully Italian. Exiled in West London, locked in the studio since departing legendary duo Crookers, Bot (his creators named him Andrea Fratangelo) has disassembled any expectations and rebuilt his sound for 2018.
Since forging his new solo path, Bot has prepared half a dozen releases to deliver throughout 2013. The first, "Vamos / Go Down" EP was hastily snatched by Steve Aoki's Dim Mak label and released in March. His 2nd release, 'Indastria 2028' followed in May on his own label Main Course (with partners Astronomar & Neoteric). Next up are 2 smashers for Blood Music (Trails/One Hour) which will see the light in July and have since debuted in Fake Blood's Fabric Live 69 compilation. To round out the year, Bot joins the crew at Southern Fried once again, to drop the "Friday Pulse" EP and remixes, featuring the legendary Robert Owens. On top of that, more music from Bot and friends is being prepared for Main Course, and he's stayed busy remixing the likes of Diplo & Wiley. One thing is for certain; there are no plans to slow down!
Futuristic techno and unorthodox club rhythms are welded with hip hop influences, and a nod to the sounds and sprit of classic house. What we have here folks, is the new tomorrow.
Champagne Drip, the newest musical incarnation of Los Angeles-based producer Sam Pool, was born out of a philosophy that innovation springs from inspiration. Pool had carved out a unique place for himself in the bass music community; performing under the moniker of SPL for over 10 years and releasing drum & bass, dubstep, and trap-oriented music on respected labels such as Barcode, Tech Itch, Evol Intent, Sub Human, Rottunn, and SMOG Recordings. SPL’s music was fully immersed in sound design, a musical landscape comprised of melodic, dark, and refined touches.
By the Summer of 2014, Pool came to the realization that he had pushed the SPL project to its sonic boundaries and in order to evolve musically, he would need a new project to explore lighter textures and richer melodies. Rooted in jungle and bass music and built around elements of blippy 8-bit sounds, arpeggios, and lush 80s synths, Champagne Drip launched as a decidedly tropical and uplifting sounding project. Operating at first in anonymity, Champagne Drip made a big splash thru the release of official remixes of Bassnectar (Amorphous Music) and Elliphant (Mad Decent). Shortly thereafter, he released his debut EP “Radio Bikini” on Mad Decent in September of 2014.
Over the first year of the project’s history, press outlets were fascinated with the unique sound, but also with uncovering the identity of the secretive producer behind the music. “Radio Bikini” was subsequently remixed by electronic upstarts Big Wild, Lazerdisk, Mayhem, and Son of Kick and released in the Spring of 2015 as “Remix Bikini”. In the Fall of 2015, Champagne Drip released his 2nd EP for Mad Decent, “Journey Into The Champagne Sea”. Whereas his first EP explored more overtly tropical overtones, “Journey” went into deeper and darker musical territory.
After spending one full year refining his sound in the studio, he finally revealed himself as the former SPL in 2016; performing across the US at such festivals as Mysteryland, WTFest?, Imagine, Enchanted Forest, and Lights All Night. Building up anticipation for his next original recordings, Champagne Drip released the stand alone single “Open Your Eyes”, which was featured on the official Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign fundraising compilation “Rave4Bernie”. Official remixes for Grandtheft (Mad Decent), Cardinox (Warner Brothers), and Dillon Francis & NGHTMRE (Mad Decent) followed.
Champagne Drip capped off an already busy 2016 with the release of two new EPs; “Poseidon” via Quality Goods Records and “Of Course I Still Love You” via Saturate Records. Official remixes for Zeds Dead & Diplo, UZ, and DAWN all saw early 2017 releases. Champagne Drip is set to have his biggest year yet in 2017, with multiple EPs scheduled for release on Deadbeats Records as well as forthcoming remixes for 12th Planet and Mayhem, which are due for Summer releases.
In a now long forgotten world, many generations ago, a bird like shape emerged from wooded darkness, floating and fluttering, drifting and dreaming. Backlit by a bright glow of iridescent light, the undecipherable form wore a dazzling golden mask. Its long beak swooped down like an inverted horn and since then, people have referred to the mythical being simply as Claptone.
Years spending wandering medieval landscapes have informed Claptone’s view of the world, experiencing both magical mystery and muted melancholy he enchanted onlookers with occult instruments and beguiling sounds. Forever surrounded by a sense of intrigue, the world soon cottoned on to the elusive yet enchanting musical powers of this otherworldly beast. The results are that today his shamanistic sonic powers take him all around the world.
Zero f*cks given – some would argue that’s the mantra when it comes to the Cut Snake way of life. “It’s about enjoying the moment and having a great time,” Paul “Fish” Fisher explains of his group with Leigh “Sedz” Sedley. However, it’s worth noting that there are, in fact, a few fucks the guys do give when it comes to their music. Which they have no problem showing.In the studio, Sedz and Fish channel their unabashed, fuck-all attitudes into tracks like their sultry debut single “Face Down”, and the lush vocal cut “Echo”. The guys coin an atmospheric and deep-leaning sound that’s suited to no one particular environment. As Fish tells it, “you should be able to enjoy it everywhere.” Mates since childhood, Cut Snake grew up on the Gold Coast of Australia; surfing professionally and competing against each other from the time they were 12. In this time, they developed the hilarious banter and incredible dynamic that is still prevalent in interviews and on stage. The guys got into dance music while they were touring the world for surf contests and quickly grew passionate about the underground scenes from each country they visited. With plenty of time waiting for waves, they fine-tuned their production skills from beachfront bungalows, giving their music a fresh feel and their live show a vibe like no other. Outside of their wildly successful surf careers, Sedz channeled his passion and focus for the sport into his music production, and for that he’s known as the “mad scientist” of the duo. Fish is known for his web series, Followthefish.tv. His wild personality and contagious laugh have made him one of the biggest personalities in the surfing industry to date. Now that Cut Snake has relocated stateside and inked a deal with Three Six Zero / Warner Bros. Records, the guys flout the seriousness of the scene in every way possible. Their crazy video antics have amassed a cult following in their home country of Australia and given the guys an edge on US turf. The edge, of course, is in teaching their American audience how to take a break from their day jobs and have a fucking beer...or seven.
Perhaps the most peculiar thing upon meeting multi-instrumentalist and remix maven Daktyl is the ambiguous edge at which he stands as a musician who’s released records on bass-booming label Mad Decent, opened for such celebrated acts as ODESZA, Bonobo, and Giraffage, rubbed shoulders with Diplo, and produced remixes for powerhouse artists like Major Lazer and Halsey, and the quietly reserved yet highly perceptive artist that sits at the helm of that very same periphery.
It’s with this subdued insight that Daktyl has leapt into a new musical direction – one that sees him making a departure from the bass-heavy, jungle-driven tracks with which he’s cut his teeth, in exchange for a delicately subtle and organic sound characterized by equal parts simplicity and thorough exploration.
Not unlike other young artists, Daktyl began making beats as a teenager in the bedroom of his university dorm room and started casually posting them to Soundcloud where-- much to his initial surprise-- they quickly gained traction and garnered the attention of Mad Decent who promptly signed him to the label while he was still a sophomore in college. Struck with the realization that his music had the capacity to exceed the confines of his dormitory, he bought a ticket to the U.S. in the summer of 2014, rented a car, and booked his own tour across California. His enthusiasm soon captivated an even larger audience, and later that year he was invited to open for Slow Magic on their North American tour. In 2015 he was asked to join them again on their run with Giraffage, two experiences that strengthened his passion for travel – a subject which has become a guiding influence in most of his music.
After spending much of 2016 writing new music and playing shows, Daktyl is gearing up to release a series of EPs and singles on Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records. The new music will feature the likes of Aquilo, Janelle Kroll, Krrum & DUCKWRTH and Sweater Beats -- an impressive addition to his already prolific history of remixing artists like Flosstradamus and Autograf. Daktyl created the majority of the tracks in a small cabin hidden in the Yosemite woods; a place, he says, that offered welcome “isolation and inspiration while writing most of the new material.” Indeed, the forthcoming releases mark a monumental shift in Daktyl’s life; moving from his adopted home of London to Los Angeles, falling in love and confronting the inherent joys and pitfalls that follow, and--most notably-- reacquainting himself with his singer-songwriter background and returning to a fundamental approach to his music, all culminating into a sonically distinct yet satisfying divergence from his previous material.
At only 25, Daktyl has earned praise from longstanding music pillar Billboard magazine, secured a spot in Rolling Stone’s “Artists to Watch” feature, and was chosen as Zane Lowe’s ‘Next Hype’ on Radio 1 for his track “Forgettable.” It’s an impressive list of accolades that prove he’s only just getting started. Hot off of his debut Coachella performance and his run supporting Bonobo on a string of dates throughout Europe and armed with a fresh sound and broadened outlook, it’s undeniable he’ll continue to inspire longtime fans and convert new audiences as he delves further into what’s already been an exhilarating ride.
Dillon Francis’ recent #1 EP This Mixtape is Fire (his first time snaring the top spot of the Billboard Dance/Electronic chart), signals new heights climbed and conquered for the talented artist/producer/DJ. The lively follow-up to his acclaimed 2014 full length album debut, Money Sucks, Friends Rule, has been hailed as a star-studded offering (High-profile guests include Calvin Harris on “What’s Your Name,” Skrillex on “Bun Up the Dance,” Chromeo on “Lies,” as well as appearances by Bro Safari, Kygo, James Hersey, and others) marking an inspired return to Francis’ Moombahton roots. But the affable Dillon says he’s always been passionate about keeping his influences within reach. “I don’t think I ever left Moombahton; if you listen to the album (Money Sucks, Friends Rule), you can hear it in places there. For this EP, I went through a bunch of old records – like what Munchi was doing and I was doing – and maybe reincarnated a bit the sound from around ‘Bootleg Fireworks’ (Burning Up, his 2012 offering.) But I’m always trying to mix it up. I’m never going to forget my roots just like I would never do an entire album that was straight Moombahton. This was just a fun record to make. Anyone who follows my career knows I thrive on surprises.”
And then some; Dillon’s humorous, adventurous approach in a multitude of social media and short film undertakings have also earned him the reputation as inventive visual artist and playful observer of pop culture. His participation in the upcoming movie, ‘Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse,’ which hit theaters at the end of October, seemed to dovetail nicely with his own off-the-wall aesthetic. “That was a blast to do,” he says. “They had used some of my music for the film, and the next thing I know they’re saying ‘we want you to be in it.’ Anytime someone gives you a chance to be a zombie and die too, who could say no to that.”
Directed by Christopher Landon, the film follows three scouts and lifelong friends that join forces with one badass cocktail waitress to become the world’s most unlikely team of heroes, fending off a zombie invasion and saving mankind to boot. The movie may also be a harbinger of bigger and more imaginative film and video ‘badges’ in the works for Dillon in 2016. “I do enjoy the process of being on-set in the short films I’ve done, and in this movie,” he says. “It’s gratifying to put in the hours and then see what becomes of it all in the editing process. And I like the freedom of doing my own film projects. It’s kind of the same feeling as finishing a song. You feel this surge of euphoria when you get to the final process of something that took so many steps to get you to that finished product.”
More collaborations with director Brandon Dermer are also on the horizon. Dermer helmed Dillon’s acclaimed, hilarious “Not Butter” video (and other Dillon projects), which drew a huge social media response this summer, snagging nearly 750,000 views in its first week, alone. “We’re working on more stuff as we speak, and I also have a TV project I’m trying to get going for 2016.”
Always up for defying expectations at every turn, Dillon has even engaged social media as a self-professed ‘donut activist’ (temporarily changing his twitter name to Donut Francis) debuting a 14 minute film on his love for the snack - Exit Through The Donut Hole, and as a mustachioed beer-demanding redneck.
“The great thing about all these projects is they intrinsically align with the attitude of my music,” he says. “I think my fans appreciate that I’m using social media and video as a fun way to communicate crazy new ideas rather than just trying to stay trendy or to hype things.” His Columbia Records/Mad Decent debut, Money Sucks, Friends Rule arrived nearly a year ago as the capstone to an innovative career that has never been content to straddle the status quo. Hailed as one of Rolling Stone’s Top Electronic albums of 2014, tracks included the smash hit “Get Low” with DJ Snake, the anthemic “Love in the Middle of a Firefight” featuring Brendon Urie (from Panic! At The Disco), “When We Were Young” featuring Sultan + Ned Shepard VS Chain Gang of 1974, and “Set Me Free” featuring producer/DJ Martin Garrix, among other tracks.
In 2014/2015 Dillon headlined a sold-out North American tour to kick off the album, and he hasn’t stopped performing since. Known as one of the most engaging festival acts, he’s performed to record crowds in the UK, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, France, Australia, as well as drawing acclaim for his appearance this summer at Lollapalooza in Chicago and the Reading & Leeds Festivals in the UK.
Initially recognized for helping to bring the tribal dance movement Moombahton to the forefront, he’s scattered the dance music landscape with numerous influential EPs throughout his career. Recognized as one of Mad Decent’s most prolific artists, he set out on Zedd’s True Colors Tour this fall, which he says has been one of his most satisfying live treks. “Zedd and I have always hit it off. I consider him one of my best friends in music and touring with him is never a grind. We have the kind of relationship where we might not see each other for six months, and yet we’re able to pick up right where we left off.” Known for assembling phenomenal collaborations and partnerships throughout his career, Dillon has always been about charting the unconventional course to success.
Even from his earliest beginnings when he first attended art school, and then became a ‘trainee’ in a photography studio – the L.A. native had a sense music would be the true spark to all creative destinations. “I always knew I wanted to play and make music, kind of knowing I was going to have to ‘make’ the music I wanted to hear.”
After spending some time in Atlanta interning for Cory Enemy to get to know the dance music scene, he would move back to L.A., and from there it was his discovery of Moombahton that initially inspired him: “I was introduced to the artist Munchi because he had done a remix for Steve Starks on the same song (“Git ‘Em”) I did, except his was ten times better. I started scouring his SoundCloud, listening to everything. The tracks that were genre labeled “Moombahton” were the only tracks I couldn’t figure out the tempo of by just listening to them,” says Dillon. “So I started experimenting with my own productions.”
Later, Dillon would play a cut of his own for DJ Ruckus, who he was working for at the time, slowed down to 110 bpms. Ruckus loved the track (‘Masta Blasta’) so much, Dillon convinced his manager to send the track to Diplo. “And that was my break,” he says. “I’m so fortunate to be branching out into all this other stuff. I just try to stay genuine in everything I do.”
DJ Mustard, born Dijon McFarlane, is an artist and producer. The Los Angeles-born native has coined the “ratchet” sound, bringing a hot, new and different sound to hip-hop. In just three years, Mustard constructed a registry of hits for the likes of Tyga (“Rack City”), 2 Chainz (“I’m Different”), Young Jeezy (“R.I.P.”), Kid Ink (“Show Me”), Y.G. (“My Hitta”), and nabbed collaborations with Fergie, Jennifer Lopez, Wiz Khalifa Trey Songz, and more. Mustard executive produced YG’s debut album “My Krazy Life” which peaked #2 on Billboard 200, #1 R&B/Hip-Hop, & #1 Rap charts. In 2014, DJ Mustard took over the airwaves with a peak of seven songs hitting the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the same time. DJ Mustard also released his debut album, 10 Summers, which was the most downloaded album during the summer of 2014 on Google Play. 10 Summers is available now at all digital retailers worldwide.
Dombresky, producer from Paris, made his name with his unique style and his finesse, which allowed him to make an official remix for A-Trak’s “We All Fall Down” and a collaboration with Tchami on the track « Freakin » released on his EP.
Dombresky keeps impressing the house scene with his track « Hardcore » fresh off his Ep « Reaching Perfection » released on the prestigious « Fool’s Gold » label in which he’s delivering us elaborated tracks and a very aesthetic music.
With his brand new single « Wait » Dombresky made the pressure rise once again and provides us a track of a cheerful melody, signed on Tchami’s label “Confession”.
Supported by artists like Diplo, DJ Snake, Anna Lunoe & many others, he highlighted a house way old school and stands out as one of the new faces of the French Electro scene.
Since 2009 Tony Fresch has made a name for himself as one of the most distinguished up and coming DJs and producers in the LA edm scene. He has played at some of the most well known clubs in California including The Avalon, Club Nokia, The Key Club and Dim Mak Studios. He has opened for the likes of Steve Aoki, Diplo, Rusko, and Dillon Francis, among others. In 2011 his remix of Chromeo's "Hot Mess" under the alias Rolex was chosen as a winner in Turbo Recordings' official remix contest and was released on Turbo Recordings' Hot Mess Remix EP. In 2011 and 2012 Tony won the title of "Best College DJ in LA" in a live contest vote. Tony has recently developed the deeper alias "Dr. Fresch" and has released two acclaimed remixes for indie rock bands Y LUV and Kiven. The debut Dr. Fresch EP, "Fantasy / Ecstasy," was released on Prep School Recordings in June.
Music has been my biggest passion and served as my primary extracurricular since I was seven. Music has also always been an outlet for me to express myself when I couldn't verbally. I have created this outlet both in the studio and on stage. The primary reason I have pursued music so greatly has been for personal happiness, but I also strive to make others happy through my music. From playing Debussy and George Gershwin pieces at classic piano recitals to DJing Nocturnal, my end goal is to make others as happy as I am when I'm writing music.
Home Town: Tiburon, CA
Currently Living: Los Angeles, CA
Origin Of Name: My last name is Fresch, and I felt that I had to use that in my artist name. I chose to go by “Dr. Fresch” instead of Tony Fresch because I felt that it better represented the deep and groovy style of music that I make.
Weapon of Choice: For DJing: I will go through different phases where I have a specific “weapon on choice” track for the dancefloor. Right now that track is “Wonderland” by Denis Naidanow featuring Tyree Cooper. In the studio: My favorite virtual synthesizer right now is Togu Audio Line’s “U-NO-LX” plugin. It’s an emulation of Roland’s classic Juno synthesizer.
Source of Power: My friends, family and every music teacher I’ve ever had. I also look up to a lot of producers and DJs—right now MK (Mark Kinchen) especially. I love how he has produced both pop and underground music and has maintained a position as one of the leading forces in house music for the last 20 years.
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?
When I finished recording my mix for the Discovery Project I realized that this collection of work was completely my own, and was entirely a representation of my personality and artist brand. Being able to look at the way I combined all of my original productions into one cohesive mix made me to realize that I had successfully created an artist brand.
Are there any dots to connect with where/how you grew up to your musical output?
My mom forced me to take classical piano lessons starting at age seven. I hated it at first, but as I grew older I realized that this knowledge would allow me to explore other genres. I joined a rock band in middle school, joined the jazz band in high school, and starting DJing at producing electronic music when I was 17, in 2008. Having an education and practice in several musical genres has given me the platform necessary to make the music I produce unique.
What do your parents think of what you are doing?
My mom is incredibly supportive of my career. I chose to pursue music full time after graduating college in May 2013, and she hasn’t questioned my decision once. She is excited by the strides I’m making as an artist and is willing to support me in all of my musical endeavors. There is no greater validation for my lifestyle choice than knowing that your family is 100% behind you.
What’s the strangest part of your job?
Being able to control and change people’s emotions with the music you release and the music you play live. It’s amazing to think that you are creating a different experience for people every time you play.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ?
No one “blows up” overnight. Every artist and performer in the EDM community, and in the music industry at large, has put an enormous amount of effort into their career to get where they are now. It took me four years of producing electronic music to feel confident in my productions and share them with the public, and I recognize that I still have a long way to go. But, if it wasn’t this hard to establish yourself as an artist/DJ then it wouldn’t be nearly as fun or rewarding.
How does what you do for a living affect you on a day-to-day basis?
Being an artist/DJ is a completely unstable career path, but the rewards are much more satisfying. I am constantly sacrificing spending time with family and friends to work on music, but all of my family and friends recognize that I have to pursue this lifestyle in order to succeed as an artist.
What is your ultimate career dream?
It’s cliché, but: to inspire young producers to follow their dreams. I work hard to support myself, however it’s far more rewarding to know that your music has inspired people to do what they love for a living.
Are you impulsive with your work or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
For every song that I’ve written, I’ve come up with a basic concept before I sat down in the studio. I usually get a kick of inspiration, sit down to develop an idea and spend the rest of the day in the studio.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process?
I take inspiration from listening to new music every single day. This not only goes for music similar to my brand, but for all genres. I could be just as inspired by a vocal hook from a 90’s pop song as I could by a bassline from a contemporary garage tune. The last song I heard that made me get to the studio right away to produce was probably something by Hot Since 82.
What’s the most important piece of gear in your studio?
I don’t use too much analog gear, but I love my Korg Triton LE workstation for how juicy the pads are. I love Rob Papen’s Subboom Bass VST for creating pretty much any bass sound under the sun.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Essential. There is a clear niche in EDM for deep, tech, and nu-disco, but I make a deliberate effort to create music different than the norm in an effort to brand myself as something new. I am always willing to risk my artist career by stepping out of the box.
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?
Britney Spears “Lucky.”
What sound or noise do you love?
An 808 cowbell with a ton of reverb.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Sub-genre classification in “EDM.” I understand that it’s important to be able to classify music under genres on platforms like Beatport, but I absolutely hate putting a label on my music.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
That dance music has reached a level of global popularity that has allowed more niche styles of music to become relevant.
What are your weaknesses?
I like too many different styles of dance music. This has made it hard for me to hone in on a specific sound.
Tell me about your most memorable night out.
As a fan, I went out in Berlin a few months back on a Wednesday from dusk past dawn. My best friends and I started at an A$AP Rocky show and ended up at Watergate club watching Italo Johnson spin an all vinyl set until mid morning. It was amazing to be able to see so many different styles of music performed in their purest forms. As a DJ, playing Nocturnal was amazing. Winning best college DJ in LA in 2011 opening for Steve Aoki, and winning best college DJ in LA in 2012 opening up for Rusko was amazing as well.
Do you have any memorable moments from past EDC's or any other Insomniac party?
EDC 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 were amazing. EDC 2011 was especially memorable because my long time friend and colleague Clinton VanSciver and I decided that we wanted to start a record label together, Prep School Recordings.
Do you have a favorite all-time mixed CD or series?
Jamie Jones Fabric 59 Mix. It’s an amazing mix of styles and artists. I bought the CD at Amoeba and have been listening to it in my car for the last two years. Fabric London’s mix series is amazing in its entirety as well. Fabric London is one of my favorite nightclubs in the world because they maintain such diversity in their bookings; this is evident in their mix series.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Focus on showcasing your original productions. My Discovery Project mix included five original productions and one of my remixes. Convey that you not only write and produce good music, but that you also have an artist brand and a clear vision for your artist career.
DUCKY is a SF-bred, LA-based producer and DJ who has been playing clubs since she was 13 (via fake ID vibes). For years she’s been quietly shaping her distinct sound: a range of hypnotic warehouse and experimental club productions, stretching from soft and intimate to full-on hardcore. Moving west from New York on a whim, she quickly bubbled up in the LA and internet scenes with releases on OWSLA’s sister label NEST, Japanese tastemakers Trekkie Trax, Ryan Hemsworth’s Secret Songs, Activia Benz, Main Course, and more, alongside her own free weekly release series known as “Rave Toolz”.
With cosigns ranging from Skrillex to NPR Music, DUCKY’s raw emotionality and expert production have earned her a space beyond any one scene. You can find her premiering a video through Pitchfork one day, and slaying a warehouse rave in Los Angeles the next. And with the rapid success of her own collective and club track outlet Club Aerobics, a grip of underground hits last year, and multiple releases on deck for 2017, her genre-free journey has just begun.
Alaskan born 23-year-old born electronic and hip hop composer Electric Mantis broke through with the viral success of his track “Flips and Flops, Drips and Drops” thanks to Reddit and a plug from Djemba Djemba. Today, the San Francisco-based artist is taking the next step in his increasingly heat-seeking career with official remixes for Porter Robinson, Giraffage, and more.
Excision. The name itself presents a terrifying image- a mangled, forced extraction, quite literally “removal by cutting”. It should come as no surprise that the sounds behind this name are just as filthy, brutal, and unforgiving as the namesake suggests.
Excision shows are like no other- a virtual apocalypse of twisting and morphing sounds turn massive crowds into a frenzy, as virtual walls of bass are relentlessly impaled time and time again upon their fragile bodies and ears. Your ears will ring and your eyes will roll into the back of your head as you are suspended in what can only be called a true sensory overload. Bass will rain down from above for hours as Excision’s skills as a DJ and producer shine like an unholy light from the underworld.
The true champion of bass music, Excision hails from Kelowna, British Columbia. The founder of the Rottun label, a bass music conglomerate that has shaped the sound of modern Bass music, Excision has created a vast roster of allies that has only bolstered his spot as a warrior of bass music. Armed with a library of destruction and filth, Excision has time and time again tested the limits of electronic music with vastly different sets that encompass a full range of genres. The things you see and hear during the precious time you are engaged by Excision’s sounds will eclipse your mind for a lifetime, as you are constantly enlightened by the true fervor and energy that only an Excision set can provide.
Los Angeles producer/dj FALCONS has arrived at the forefront of a new generation blurring the lines between hip-hop, r&b, and electronic dance music. With his breakout Terra EP on Fool’s Gold Records, the young producer has crafted both radio-ready songs & underground club anthems in one breath. Terra received universal praise from outlets like The Fader, XXL Mag, Mass Appeal, and Complex, while gaining radio play across BBC Radio 1, Beats 1 and Rinse FM. Falcons’ explosive lead single, “Aquafina” featuring GoldLink, quickly amassed over 1 million streams and garnered support from heavyweights like Q-Tip, Virgil Abloh and A-Trak. Falcons has made major impact across the globe, touring his sound across North America, Asia, Europe and Australia with standout performances at Boiler Room and Coachella. 2015 was a massive year for the producer/DJ, but 2016 only has bigger surprises in store.
Four Color Zack is a technically dazzling "DJ's DJ" and top party rocker at the same damn time, deftly cutting between arena shows, Vegas megaclubs and underground parties with style and ease. Between his winning sets at the Red Bull Thre3style World Championships and his unrelenting touring schedule, the Seattle record slinger showed the entire globe what it means to be the best behind the decks, but real heads have known for years that every single FCZ set is a master class in creativity. It's why Fool's Gold Records press his beats to wax, why his mixtapes feverishly celebrated, and how he is constantly able to reinvent the landscape of modern party DJing.
It was 2013 when Fritz Carlton dropped it all in search of strange tones and quirky grooves, retreating to the depths of his San Francisco studio. Grueling days into nights at the helm earned him a deep knowledge of analogue synthesizers and a unique outlier sound he could call his own. Three years later Fritz has emerged as a purveyor of wonky shades of House and long nights on the West-Coast’s darkest dancefloors.
His self-proclaimed ‘Weirdo-House’ sound has come to personify the bizarre scenes in which it was conceived. Hypnotic basslines, unconventional breaks and a dizzying sense of timing carries fans on a sometimes psychedelic, always strange journey from peaktime to sunrise; A flag-bearing genre of party-freaks from coasts-to-coast.
2016 has been truly massive for Fritz. A standout performance at the Desert Hearts Spring Festival was one of the most talked about of the weekend by fans, friends and critics alike, leading into his debut release on the collectives burgeoning Desert Hearts Records imprint. The ‘That’s My Kinda Night’ EP has emerged as the labels biggest to date, earning support from Claude Vonstroke, Doc Martin, Huxley, Kry Wolf, Hannah Wants, Justin Jay, Riva Starr, Joyce Muniz, The Glitz, Billy Kenny, and more.
Fritz has released on a slew of labels during this breakout stretch, including This Ain’t Bristol singles ‘Mohki’ and ‘Bruce Wayne’, his ’‘Feel It’ EP on Perfect Driver, the ‘No Law in Dancing’ EP on Nite Records, ‘Go!’ EP on Lazer Native and many more momentous highlights.
During his passionate treck through the minds and hearts of the underground, Fritz has remained true to an unabashed sense of sonic exploration and a clear rejection of the rules. With nothing off limits, this explosive talent looks towards to the future with a crazed smile on his face and an ear towards the sounds of tomorrow.
The secret is officially out. An electronic duo from the Southern-most tip of Africa have gone from one of Dance Music’s best kept secrets to an act tipped by industry tastemakers as the band to watch this year.
Their genre-defying mix of live instruments, House beats and searing live performances has seen Goldfish go from impromtu jams at a tiny beach club in Cape Town to headlining Amsterdam’s Olympic Stadium, cracking a top 10 on the US iTunes Dance chart, a residency at Pacha Ibiza with David Guetta and DJ’s like Fedde le Grand knocking at their door to do remix their tracks. It’s almost hard to believe that not very long ago they were just Dom and Dave, two music students who lived a relatively chilled life of surfing and playing music in their home town Cape Town.
All that really did change when they decided to record an album. Not having a record deal or much money, they simply locked themselves in a bedroom...with a double bass, a saxophone and a couple of synths, recording their debut Caught In The Loop on their own. A charming dance record that received massive support from the international dance music scene, desperate for something fresh and new. Pete Tong even called it his Ibiza Poolside Album of the Summer.
The two guys quickly found themselves maintaining gruelling international tour schedule that saw them play sold-out shows from Amsterdam to Miami, from the Sydney Opera House to Sao Paulo, in-between still finding time to mix the covermount CD for DJ mag international, garnering a record-breaking 8 SAMA nominations, numerous number ones radio at home, as well as performances at Glastonbury, Sensation White, Ultra Festival Miami, 46664 and Get Loaded in the Park amongst others.
They even got their hands on a residency to die for; Friday night at Ibiza super-club Pacha. Here they developed their sound further and presented it on their second album Perceptions of Pacha. As no other album, Perceptions Of Pacha captures the carefree vibe of the magical island of Ibiza, with their track Fort Knox cracking the Top 10 on the US iTunes Dance Charts. Following that up with the SAMA award-winning album Get Busy Living featuring the smash Youtube hit video We come together that garnered millions of online views for it’s hilarious and ground breaking animation work that has become a Goldfish trademark.
With props coming from everyone from Dr Dre, Sebastian Ingrosso, Pete Tong, Sander Kleinenberg, Fedde Le Grand and Faithless, watch this space. The Re-invention of the DJ has arrived.
DJs; producers; club headliners, festival regulars: Golf Clap are Hugh Cleal and Bryan Jones, a Detroit duo with an unmatched passion for house music and a seemingly endless supply of studio and club-focused creativity. With releases on some of the world’s most influential house labels already under their belts, along with a lauded Boiler Room session and an Essential New Tune ‘nod for “Bout That,” alongside Eyes Everywhere, they’re only just getting started.
With roots in the Detroit underground, booking local and international DJs to play at their own parties, Golf Clap have established themselves as in-demand artists and performers in their own right, via an irresistible combination of hard work and talent.
Releases on Toolroom, Relief, Simma Black, their own Country Club Disco imprint, and Kerri Chandler’s Madtech have announced Golf Clap as a musical force to be reckoned with - With fans including Carl Cox, Oliver Heldens, Claude VonStroke, Danny Howard and Green Velvet. In early 2017, this recognition peaked with Pete Tong naming their collaboration with Eyes Everywhere ‘Bout That’ as his Essential New Tune. After playing the track five weeks running on his BBC Radio 1 show, ‘Bout That’ will be released as part of Toolroom’s Ibiza album, due out May 2017.
It’s behind the decks that Golf Clap originally made their name, and their energy and passion for the craft of DJing shows no signs of abating. 2017 will mark their 4th straight year at Electric Forest (performing at both weekends of the festival). They have also performed at Movement, Mysteryland, Spring Awakening, North Coast, and Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, and are adept at crafting highly creative, energetic sets across four decks: masters of live remixing, tweaking and layering up effects and of teasing out the music for maximum dancefloor impact.
Whether they’re playing clubs, warehouse shows or at an impromptu after-party – which they more than likely arranged themselves – the sheer love these guys have for playing records and making people dance is evident. Recent highlights include Holy Ship!, where the guys earned themselves hundreds of new fans while tagging with GRiZ, Mija and Will Clarke. Add to this a three-hour b2b session with Skream in Detroit, opening for Disclosure and Get Real, performing at the Dirtybird BBQ, playing at Ministry of Sound for Doorly & Friends, and it’s been a quite incredible 12 month period for Golf Clap.
As with every movement worth being a part of, Golf Clap’s self-made community started small: a group of like-minded artists and fans giving one another exactly what they needed to throw incredible parties. But as their profile has increased, word has spread both across the US and internationally. Go to any electronic music festival now and you’ll find a strong showing for their Country Club Disco merchandise and an ever-growing army of fans. And with a tour of the US’s major cities kicking off in May 2017, there’s never been a better time to see what all the fuss is about.
Thirty push-ups and a shot of tequila each: that’s all the preparation Julio Mejia and Matt Toth need to transform laid-back, unassuming 24-year-olds into the scene-stealing DJ .and production duo GTA, throwing down killer sets across the globe.
Despite GTA’s wild, unpredictable sets, everything the duo does – both on stage and in the studio – is unified by a simple mission statement: Death To Genres. The duo’s open-minded-ness is closely tied to their Miami roots, as they were exposed to urban, electronic rock and Latin sounds in equal measure. “A lot of people argue about the kind of music they listen to, what’s cool and what’s not,” Mejia explains. “But for us, it’s just about good music.”
GTA finished their first collaboration in a single sitting, and sent it off to a few labels for feedback. Much to their surprise, Toth and Mejia heard directly from Afrojack who wanted to sign the song to his Wall Recordings imprint. “We got the email and we freaked out,” Mejia says. “That’s how GTA got started. And ever since then it’s just been constant.” Constant being an understatement, GTA has toured 5 continents headlining their own tours as well as thrilling crowds at premiere festivals such as; Coachella, Lollapalooza, Ultra Music Festival, EDC and countless more.
Promoting their genre-free ethos, Toth and Mejia have become bona fide tastemakers to fans and fellow artists alike, proving that “dance music” is best defined as whatever makes you move. GTA’s all-inclusive style is best exemplified in their new DTG Vol. 1 EP (out now on Three Six Zero Music/Warner Bros. Records). DTG Vol. 1 is seven tracks of genre-eradicating music that traverses multiple soundscapes, for the first single GTA masterfully craft the mammoth tune “Red Lips” that features the sultry vocals of Sam Bruno artistically juxtaposed with the bombastic horns and bass GTA has long championed. Also featured on the EP are the syrupy Southern vocals of rap legend & the ‘Peoples Champ’ Paul Wall, who weaves an icy flow over GTAs haunting hip-hop production on “Smokers Unite”.
For years GTA have supported numerous acts on the road and in the studio. In order to keep the karmic creativity flowing, GTA have called on talented comrades such as Valentino Khan(OWSLA), Wiwek & the master of bounce TJR. Whether you prefer to say the powerhouse duo is killing genres or creating their own, one thing is clear: GTA is on a bold musical mission, and they’re taking us along for the ride.
Haywyre is a project that synthesizes two musical genres, that of contemporary electronic, along with the more established traditions of classical and jazz. It has been building and maintaining momentum since its creator, Martin Vogt, began releasing works under this moniker in 2009.
Vogt’s primary tool for composition is piano improvisation; it provides the foundation for his work and the core of his musical identity. Having spent endless hours in the studio — and upwards of fourteen years studying piano performance — Martin has honed his craft into the professional sound it is known for today, characterized by exciting, progressive tracks which are crafted with unique composition and seamless design.
In 2014, Martin made major leaps with his highly acclaimed “Two Fold, Pt.1” LP, followed subsequently by a modern rendition of “Smooth Criminal” which immediately achieved viral popularity, and succeeded in astounding music critics across the board. After earning the admiration and respect of some of the biggest acts in the industry, Haywyre went on to tour the nation with the likes of Zedd, Gramatik and Mat Zo.
Haywyre continues his mission to provide his listeners with music that not only presents variety and originality, but also carries the essence of a narrative. As one of the most promising young talents on the label Monstercat, Haywyre is bound to impress the world with his instrumental dexterity and production capabilities.
From the North of England to dance floors across the globe, Josh Butler has made serious headway with his high calibre house sound.
The talented northerner has become one of house music’s most revered talents over the last couple of years, boasting a plethora of acclaimed releases on prestigious labels (Noir, Cajual, Avotre, MTA, MadTech); gigs at some of the world’s best clubs and events including The Warehouse Project Manchester, Mint Club Leeds, Toffler Rotterdam, Chibuku Liverpool, Arches Glasgow, a residency at Sankeys Ibiza, and a plethora of key festival plays throughout Europe.
Several industry awards later (DJ Mag Award 2014 and Beatport Award 2014) and with frequent support from industry players such as Joris Voorn, Pete Tong, Annie Mac, Kerri Chandler, Steve Lawler, Heidi and Noir all to his name, Josh continues to rise through the ranks of house music.
At the dawn of 2013, there was no intention of a global explosion behind Josh’s stripped back ‘Got A Feeling’ debut for Chase and Status’ renowned MTA imprint. In retrospect, the track invariably proved to be Josh’s breakout into the industry’s field of vision, racking up remix duties from Ben Pearce, long-term friend and collaborator Bontan plus Pleasurekraft along the way. ‘Got A Feeling’ not only struck a chord with key industry players but also went on to become one of Beatport’s biggest selling tracks that year, later earning Josh a coveted Beatport Award to boot. The industry cocked an ear, the don Pete Tong gave his seal of approval on the BBC airwaves and Josh was subsequently invited to do an Afterhours Mix for his Radio 1 show.
Josh’s new found recognition naturally led to a multitude of labels showing interest in his work, one of which was Kerri Chandler’s highly respected MadTech who, at the start of 2014a released the acclaimed ‘No Frills’ EP to great effect and sustained Josh’s charge towards setting a new precedent in underground house.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Josh soon followed up with a series of EP's on Hector Couto’s Roush, Green Velvet’s illustrious Cajual Records and Noir Music. This led to Josh winning DJ Mag’s coveted Best of British award for ‘Best Breakthrough Producer’ (seeing off competition from the likes of Dense and Pika, Leon Vynehall and Marquis Hawkes) to cap what had already been a monumental year.
Josh continued his positive momentum into 2015 by announcing a special back2back tour with Bontan. Accompanying the tour, the duo released their second collaborative single ‘Live My Life’ (the follow-up to ‘We Found a Place’ on MTA). This time, Vula from Basement Jaxx fame stepped up to provide the stunning vocal line and the track was once again universally acclaimed, once again scoring top-end BBC Radio 1 support from Pete Tong, Annie Mac, Danny Howard and Toddla T.
Partway through the Butler & Bontan tour, the multi Grammy award-winning Nile Rodgers came across their music and was so impressed that he subsequently asked them to warm-up for him and Chic during their UK tour.
Collaborative projects aside, Josh’s main focus is still very much on his solo career and is tirelessly dedicated to keeping the music coming. 2015 was another year of highlights - an outing on Steve Lawler’s VIVa music, Santé’s Avotre and again for Noir Music. In addition, another career landmark came around when Fatboy Slim asked Josh to remix ‘Love Life’ (featuring Macy Gray) for the 15thanniversary re-release of ‘Halfway Between the Gutter and Stars’.
Outside the studio, Josh’s gigs diary us well and truly flourishing with his worldwide appeal growing by the month. His undiluted brand of house music and ‘less is more’ approach has seen him tour all four corners of the globe. In 2015, he scored his first summer-long Ibiza residency at Sankeys (plus additional dates at Amnesia and Mambo), multiple festival plays including SW4, Parklife, Secret Garden Party and his debut in the United States.
With a whirlwind couple of years behind him and many accolades and personal goals already achieved, Josh Butler is all about building that positive momentum towards new and compelling heights. He has global ventures on the mind and a pledge to keep dance music in the hands of those who truly savour the art over its mainstream properties. Proving that familiarity can still be fresh and ability is in the control of its beholder, Josh Butler is proving himself as a force to be reckoned with.
While it may look that way on stage, nothing is ever simple with Keys N Krates. Not when everyone has an equally valid opinion, along with the willingness (no, the all-consuming need) to sit and scrutinize a hearty 808 hit or laser like synth line for hours on end.
It's been this way since the very beginning, when Keys N Krates went from being a live hip-hop band reliant on rough acapellas and memory-jogging remixes to something much more complex - a tight-knit trio of producers/performers - Turntablist Jr Flo, Keyboard player David Matisse, drummer Adam Tune - who take rocking a party as seriously as a week spent in the studio. "We always trade roles from song to song," explains Jr. Flo. "It's not uncommon for Matisse to flip a sample, or for me to write a melody, or for Tune to chime in on the mixing of a track. It's not the fastest way of working, but everyone has a say in everything."
Which explains why their breakthrough singles (the elastic loops and diamond-edged drums of "Dum Dee Dum," the head rush hooks of "Treat Me Right," a frantic, D'n'B-flavored "Are We Faded") are able to pull the strings of packed festival crowds without resorting to tired EDM tropes. Hip-hop, house and UK bass music all play a role in a Keys N Krates record, but so do the dark-tinged dynamics and widescreen ways of indie acts like Caribou and M83. "Seeing M83 live at the Osheaga festival changed our whole perception of how their music translates live," says Jr. Flo. "The chord progressions are beautiful and catchy but never corny. It's pop music at its best."
That was essentially the goal with the Toronto group's new Midnite Mass EP: cuts that are calibrated for clubs but that can translate beyond. Punchy and powerful. Emotional and epic. That goes for everything from its title track (an intro that sounds like a suspenseful thesis) to a Katy B collab ("Save Me") that'll beam old-school ravers straight back to the '90s. And then there's something as deceivingly simple as "Love Again," a soulful rap beat created from scratch and such artful details as the orchestral flourishes of Ouici and the gospel vocals of a friend named JP. Let's just say it's no coincidence that the song sounds like it sampled a dust-caked '70s record from a long-buried discount bin; That Just Blaze or Kanye might find and flip, Keys N Krates want to leave you wondering just how they do it.
“We wanted people to wonder where we got a lot of the sounds for this EP, the same way we have when listening to producers like Just Blaze and Timbaland. Those guys have always used source samples or sounds that leave you scratching your head. We love that simplicity; it's like true Italian cooking, a few ingredients to make something so impactful…. beats that leave you wondering 'where the fuck did he get that sound from?'
KRANE (formerly known as KRNE) is a producer and DJ from Oakland, CA. Drawing upon his eclectic musical background and foundations in jazz, he melds his love of electronic and hip hop beats blurring the lines between the two. His works are at home, in the club, festivals and naturally in a pair of headphones.
Located deep in the underbelly of the Australian dance music fraternity and supported by some of the most influential names on the planet – Blonde, Rudimental, The Magician, Kry Wolf, Chris Lake, Fake Blood, Todd Edwards, Franky Rizardo, Bookashade, DJ Target, Tommy Trash, A-Trak, AC Slater, Monki, Gorgon City, Taiki Nulight and Oliver Heldens to name a few…
LO’99 has quickly jumped from virtual unknown to the new name on lips of tastemakers across the planet.
LO’s debut single ‘Take Me Back’ rose to become a #5 UK & #3 Australian club record while his recent EP with Cause & Affect and Taiki Nulight on Night Bass just hit the #1 House Release spot on Beatport!
He has officially remixed Kaskade, Moby, Riddim Commission, CRNKN & Royksopp, with the later growing to become a #1 remix on Hype Machine.You can find current and upcoming LO’99 releases on Bunny Tiger, Night Bass, This Ain’t Bristol, etcetc and of course his original home town label Medium Rare Recordings.
It is, without doubt, LO’s absolute mastery of the rumbling, prowling, bassline infused house and garage sounds that have proven the key to his recent success. His ability to pare music down to the bare essentials, then inject his score with immense, deeply beautiful and energetic rhythm and vocal lines, shows both restraint and a willingness to let the music do the talking without relying on over-used drops or emotion begging effects.
It is pure heart of the dance floor; a welcome descent into the darkened halls of clubland.
Few have been able to accomplish what Mahalo has done in such a short period of time. Hailing from the shores of Hawai’i and setting up shop in Southern California, this young producer has quickly solidified himself as one of the newest rising stars to emerge from the Los Angeles dance music scene. Drawing inspiration from several styles and artists has allowed him to blur the lines sonically, creating cutting edge material that pays homage to the past while always pushing to be progressive. In just a little over a year since launching onto the scene, Mahalo has garnered the support of many renowned artists such as EDX, My Digital Enemy, Listenbee, Nora En Pure, MAKJ, and Sam Feldt. The label support is just as impressive, having releases on some of the world's most esteemed imprints such as Armada Music, Spinnin' Records, No Definition, Mark Knight's Toolroom Records and Kiesza's label Lokal Legend. However, his track record doesn't stop there - Mahalo has maintained consistent chart-topping success with nearly every release on platforms such as Beatport, Hype Machine and SoundCloud. More recently, he has seen overwhelming support from Spotify's taste makers and curators, landing features on some of their most coveted and exclusive dance music playlists. The unique and signature style of Mahalo has earned him the respect of many in both the underground dance music scene as well as the more popular factions of the entertainment industry, proving that we're only witnessing the beginning of what this special LA-talent will bring to the music scene and the dance floor.
Hometown: Kamuela, HI
Currently Living: Los Angeles, CA
Origin of Name: The word mahalo is Hawaiian and means “thank you.” For my project, it’s a bit of homage to all the great people who have inspired me along the way.
Weapon of Choice: Cat Lewis.
Source of Power: Leftism and an espresso shot.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Come at it with everything you’ve got, and don’t be afraid to try something that hasn’t been done before. If you don’t get it the first time, second time or the third time… keep trying and hone your craft. As long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing, then it’s all worthwhile.
Music has been a major part of my life since I was a kid. My father was really into dance music, and I grew up listening to artists like Leftfield, Paul Oakenfold, Fatboy Slim, Groove Armada, the Freestylers, etc. The reverberations of growing up listening to those artists are definitely present in my style today and have played a major role in how I express myself through music. However, for me, writing music isn’t just about personal expression but also about trying to connect with the listener. I hope my music can impact someone the way my favorite artists did for me when I was younger.
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?
Totally. Once I finished the mix, I noticed I had put together an array of tracks that not only complemented each other’s energy but also were entirely my own tracks (with the exception of the opener, which is an amazing remix of my song “Move” by a new talent known as Mishqeen). I made a mix with all my own tracks before, but this was the first time I was actually really digging the overall flow of how the tracks worked together. It really struck a chord with me. Regardless of how this contest panned out, I’d be happy I at least got a chance to put together this mix showcasing my newest tunes and some of my more popular released material.
Are there any dots to connect between where/how you grew up and your musical output—from people freestyling on the street corner to a grand piano forced down your throat by your mom?
Funny you mention freestyling, because that sorta was the catalyst for me really taking on any kind of semi-serious music career. When I was young, like 13 to 14, I bought Sony Acid and dabbled in production a bit. But it wasn’t until I got my first Mac with GarageBand that really kind of sparked me to pursue any kind of musical alias. Of course at that time, being a rapper was the thing, and my closest friends were all about it; so I started to record myself and put little demos out online. It was terrible. But I most likely wouldn’t have carried down the road that got me to where I am today had I not found so much interest in it all.
Tell us about your most memorable night out as an artist or as a fan.
EDC 2010 has to be it for me. I’ll never forget when Lil Jon came out during Laidback Luke’s set and went ape-shit on the crowd for jumping the fences. That was just a couple weeks before I moved to L.A., and I remember being blown away by it all. The production, the Coliseum, the artists, the vibe—everything was just really top-notch.
How, if at all, does listening to music figure into your creative process? What’s the last song you heard that made you drop what you were doing and go into the studio?
Listening to music always has its place in the creative process. For me, listening to old songs that induce nostalgia really helps get me into the zone, but I also get a lot of ideas from listening to radio, where there are tracks I normally wouldn’t listen to. That opens my mind to new ideas and allows me to explore when I write new music. This wasn’t the last time, but I have a very distinct memory of hearing “La La Land” on the radio by DVBBS & Shaun Frank. The first time I heard it, I knew I could do something dope with it, so I got in touch with Shaun and grabbed the stems. I think the remix turned out great, and we hit #1 remix on Hype Machine when I put it out. I think it all plays into the story of keeping your ear low to the ground and being on top of what’s coming out, which is really just listening to music.
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?
I’d be a lot more shocked that you found my iPod, haha. But I actually have been using Spotify playlists a lot to listen to music nowadays. I love the platform, and they’ve done a fantastic job of cutting out all the noise from the repost and PR services that have essentially oversaturated SoundCloud. Their curators are great about selecting high-quality tracks, and you can literally find your mood in playlist form, click shuffle, and drift away.
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound my cat makes when she’s happy to see me. Reese bass is pretty tight, too.
What should everyone just shut the fuck up about?
Unless you’re a politician… politics.
What gets you excited when you think about the future of electronic music and club culture?
I’m just excited to come up in an environment with all these other talented musicians I’ve come to know and love over this journey so far. It’s been really inspirational to watch all these people bloom into the great artists they’re capable of being. In regards to the culture, it’s great to know there’s a younger generation that’s eating this all up, as well. You see kids that are 12 years old putting out palatable and sometimes even pretty good productions. That’s wild, because I remember where I was with all this when I was that age, and it was nowhere close. I can’t wait to see what this younger generation is going to be able to do.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
“Roof casually dripping down on your head” music.
What do you remember about your first DJ gig?
My first DJ gig was actually a house party for this girl’s mom and her friends. I had to play a bunch of oldies tunes to start off, and once the party was a bit liquored up, I started playing some more upbeat house stuff for them. There were a ton of old people getting all wild to it, and the mom was really happy with how it all turned out. I remember what really made the night for me, though, was my friend’s sister was dating Larry Fitzgerald from the Cardinals at the time, and he came up to me and told me he was feeling the music. Looking back on it now, it’s a pretty funny start to the whole DJ thing.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far? How did it make your life easier—or more difficult?
The hardest lesson I’ve learned by far is how hard it is to balance working with really close friends. It’s a slippery slope, and I would recommend avoiding it if at all possible. This industry is a roller coaster, and involving your good friends in the mix is risky, unless they’re fully committed to riding that roller coaster with you.
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!
Based out of Downtown Los Angeles, Mija has established herself as an innovative and fresh new DJ/Producer of this era. Her roots may be based in house music, but nobody puts Mija in a corner. Her genredefying mixtapes and bassline productions keep the masses dancing around the globe.
Mija began her career in her hometown Phoenix, where she became a fulltime DJ in early 2012. In 2014 she was invited to perform on Kalliope, a Burning Man art car, at Bonnaroo Music Festival. It was on that car where she serendipitously ran into Skrillex and played a b2b sunrise set. Just a couple months later, Mija won a mix competition to play on the Black Butter Records stage at TomorrowWorld, where her set was recorded, and truly helped build a steady platform for her career.
Mija is quickly building a massive fan base from countries around the world. With her latest production “Crank It” feat. Lil Jon being released on record label OWSLA, she is making headlines on some of the biggest EDM websites out right now. This is just the beginning for yung Mija. She has national and international bookings under her wing in 2015, with the talent and drive to back it.
Joshua Vela, known on stage as MSCLS, was created in his hometown of Austin, Texas. Born out of a passion for quality music, MSCLS is constantly developing his sound. The project was debuted in 2014 at SXSW in Austin, TX with 10 shows total, and the start of his new annual “MSCLS & Friends” party. He gained early attention from some of the industry’s biggest, being put on remix duty for Mad Decent(Zed’s Dead) and Black Butter Records(Tazer & Tink).
In 2016 it was all about the music for MSCLS, releasing an arsenal of tunes on Australian imprint “Club Sweat”, Of Leisure, Fool’s Gold Records, and Toolroom. His ‘Paradise EP’ on Club Sweat crashed into the Top 10 on Beatport with DJ’s and radio stations all over the globe supporting it. He dominated the ARIA charts not once, but twice on two separate back to back releases landing in the Top 10(#4 & #7) - one of which stayed in Top 50 for 12 weeks. After transplanting to LA in January of 2017, MSCLS hit the ground running, churning out stunning remixes for Anna Lunoe and Death Ray Shake. Then getting straight to work on a studio mix for Power 106, followed by an Insomniac.com guest mix. Vela spends most days honing his craft in the studio surrounded by his gear, the most recent project being ‘The Weekly Workout’ where fans can catch a short "workout" performed on his various equipment.
2017 is proving to be a breakout year for MSCLS with festival appearances at Splash House, Insomniac's Beyond Wonderland, their inaugural Middlelands Festival, and EDC Las Vegas. With a run of club & festival dates planned later this year, be sure to keep an eye out for MSCLS in a city near you!
One of the most impressive young leaders of the American trap scene, California-based Ookay (pronounced “okay”) exploded onto the scene when both his freshman and sophomore releases on Ultra Records charted in the top 10 on Beatport. Since then, he’s shown no sign of slowing down, working with some of the greatest producers in electronic music while developing a signature style that weaves across genres, reflecting influences as varied as Borgore, Diplo, DJ Snake, Showtek, Deorro, TJR, Boaz Van de Beatz, Valentino Kahn, Waveracer, Cashmere Cat, Lindsay Lowend, Skrillex, Lido, and Wiwek while always returning to a hard-hitting trap beat.
The producer and DJ has racked up credits and quickly made a name for himself with remixes of tracks like Congrorock’s “Bless Di Nation Ft. Sean Paul” and Steve Aoki, Chris Lake & Tujamo’s “Boneless.” Ookay teamed up with iconic producer Diplo to remix Avicii’s “You Make Me,” and his recent remix of “Kanye” by the Chainsmokers on Republic/Dim Mak Records layers his signature mix of dance music and hip-hop over fluttering pop vocals. His side project Coaster serves as an outlet for his love of alternative dance and house music, proving Ookay to be no one-trick trap pony.
His much-anticipated spring single "Bouncer," produced with the venerable Dutch duo Showtek, hit the top 3 Beatport overall chart after its March 2014 release and was a staple on summer festival stages across the country. Ookay has also quickly become known as a charismatic performer both on and off stage, appearing at venues like EDC Las Vegas, Electric Zoo, Red Rocks, and TomorrowWorld. His live shows are known for sleek transitions, sensitive song selections, and entertaining MC’ing from the booth. He’s also no slouch on Twitter, commenting on everything from the struggle to Shazam an unknown song to LA’s Korean BBQ scene.
It’s no surprise that Ghost, out November 10 on Dim Mak Records, is one of the most exciting dance music releases of the fall. Promised to be “a blend of listening tracks as well as club bangers,” it fulfills that goal. Ghost is one of the too-rare records that will bring you from your morning commute, with the meditative “Ghost” and “Matters,” to 4 AM on the dance floor losing it to “Egg Drop Soup.”
The Ghost Tour this fall and winter is sure to blow up dance floors across America, and truly solidify Ookay’s status as one of America’s premier young electronic artists. With support from such icons as Showtek and Diplo as well as Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Major Lazer, Borgore, Nervo, David Guetta, DJ Snake, Deorro, TJR, Krewella and more, it seems certain that Ookay’s star will only continue to rise.
Phantoms want to bring back the night. While some enjoy music designed for fist-pumping, Phantoms yearn for a more transcendental experience. Crafting their debut album effortlessly spanning multiple genres while still finding a cohesive thread of what’s next, Phantoms take their listeners from the depths of the underground, to the heights of classic hit-making and back; an intrinsic journey echoing the musings off all things that go bump in the night.
Together the duo of Vincent Pergola and Kyle Kaplan create sophisticated arrangements and tension-filled pop that reminds listeners of the sound’s nocturnal foundations. Their songs evoke a world rich in subterranean settings, mysterious characters, and desperate situations. Phantoms is for remembering that it’s called nightlife for a reason. “as denizens of the night ourselves, we take a purposeful and constant front row to the impact of the social dynamics of nightlife in people’s everyday being,” says Kaplan. “It is fun, but there always a unique story to everyone’s personal journey through the night.”
Though only in their mid-20s, Pergola and Kaplan are already veterans of the Los Angeles scene. The pair are natives of the city and met when they were in their teens, both of them burning out on the acting scene, part and parcel to the never ending party life they’d been part of. Indulging their growing love of making music, at first they started bands inspired by the populist funk they’d grown up around—Pergola’s father and accomplished rhythm guitarist in numerous outfits and Kaplan’s uncle Rory handled keyboards for Michael Jackson during the Bad era. Later the two discovered Daft Punk and the Ed Banger Records crew, who kept the energy high, but brought a distinct groove and traditional song structures to the endless throb of most dance music. Taking on the name Phantoms, they began Djing at spots for the “young Hollywood” set.
Soon Phantoms began to gravitate back towards producing their own music, embracing synthesizers and drum machines, but yearning for something more dynamic and exciting. They began playing and reworking their tracks live around the city, donning suits and creating a dramatic atmosphere. It’s a far cry from the mega raves and big money residences that have come to dominate the perception of the electronic music scene. “We’re constantly striving to instill a sense of class back into dance music” says Pergola. “We want to craft a performance and actually make it a show. It’s more than just track after track and drop after drop. We aim high to take our audience on an elaborate journey into the night”.
After a self-titled EP released on Skrillex’s OWSLA label in 2013, Phantoms’ sound has continued to progress. They’ve recently released “Voyeur” and “Broken Halo,” two new tracks from their forthcoming full-length global debut on Republic/Casablanca/FAMILY records. The album was recorded during sessions that stretched into the early AM hours at the Downtown L.A. studio and artist development outfit, FAMILY, which plays home to a melting pot of ultimately diverse artists who constantly strive to define what’s next in music and push each other and their audiences to unchartered territory. Phantoms uncanny ability to reinvent the norm leaves them poised for a breakout 2016.
As the music of Phantoms continues to spread, it’s becoming clear that the night is theirs, and soon will be all of ours to share.
From bedroom producer to the mainstage; that is the motto of Pluto. Sam Martinsen hails from the small town of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania yet there is absolutely nothing "small" about his sound. His bass-filled tracks and intricate weaving of each and every record provides a sound you would hear from veterans in the industry, not typically from a 16-year-old. While sitting in his makeshift bedroom/studio, Sam noticed that he could bring about a whole new and exciting vibe to the ever-growing EDM scene. Influenced by the likes of Flume, Skrillex and The Chainsmokers, it is without a doubt that Pluto is the next name up in the industry.
Alesia + Aazar
QUIX hailing all the way from New Zealand, has been tearing up the minimal trap space for a while now, shaking new ground with his signature wonky sound design.
Coming off of a massive 40-date North American Spring 2017 tour, QUIX has released his debut EP, Heaps Cool on Dim Mak. The six records push the boundaries of pop and trap showing QUIX's diverse range of skills and talent. “Four Letter Lie” and “Riot Call" show his ability to merge and manipulate genres while staying true to all things QUIX.
He has quickly gained the support from top tier DJs including Skrillex, RL Grime, Major Lazer, and What So Not and has released on labels including as Dim Mak, Mad Decent, Fool’s Gold, and Nest.
With a whole stack of original and up and coming collaborations with Gucci Mane, Baauer, and Alison Wonderland, definitely keep an eye out for this kiwi producer as he continues to wreak havoc on the trap scene.
Hailing from Los Angeles, California Rawtek is a DJ / Producing duo that take influences from tribal, caribbean, jungle and latin movements and fuses them effortlessly with the synthetic and electronic music of today’s world. Their sound has garnered multiple chart topping releases in Shakazulu (Rimbu Records, Na’Wal (Buygore), DA! (Mad Decent), Rude Bwoy (Dim Mak) and Lionmane (Barong Family). With their success on iTunes and beatport Rawtek was able to gain the support of heavy hitters: Diplo, Skrillex, Axwell Ingrosso, DJ Snake, GTA, Jauz, Bingo Players, Alison Wonderland and Party Favor.
Redlight is a British DJ and Dance Music Producer brought up around 90’s warehouse rave culture in Bristol. His music has spanned over a decade, having spent 12 years grafting on the underground, popping up for air in 2012 with a couple of Top 10 UK hits in the national charts. He’s since then released his debut solo album entitled 'X Colour' and mixtape 'Templates Volume 1' Summer 2016, which is the first in a series of mixtape's that is all about club music. He has collaborated with artists such as Mobb Deep, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), remixed acts including Mary J Blige and Tink, defining genres, remaining one of the UK’s most consistent and exciting producers of recent years. “I’ve just aimed to be true to myself and make the most if it. Creating music, art and friendships has been central to everything – for me it’s always been about street culture, independence and productivity.” His label ‘Lobster Boy’ embraces a love for House, Techno, Hip Hop and vocal-lead dance music, whilst channelling the knowledge and inspiration from Jungle, DnB and bass music. It is a whole new genre-free ‘cross-cultured dance music’ label.
With a REAL name like Robotti, it may seem obvious that you’re set for a life working in a synthesizer factory or in Artificial Intelligence. However, this Italian-German, Belgium bred 3rd culture polyglot with a Russian first name, has a huge talent for music, which surfaced very quickly when he started to play the cello from age 7. In his teens in the 90s, Sacha discovered the rumblings of the underground house and techno scene of his native Brussels, which inspired him so much that he put down the bow and picked up the turntables. Influenced by the greats of this era: Green Velvet, Aphex Twin, Jeff Mills, DJ Funk, Thomas Bangalter, Dave Clarke, he was soon honing and mastering his own DJ skills. Upon graduating with an architecture degree from Edinburgh, he moved to Berlin to get fully submerged in the underbelly of the city’s nightlife.
After first self-released vinyls around 2004, Master studies in music with Karl Bartos (formerly Kraftwerk), and an album under the Berlin DJ duo alias Robosonic with his production buddy Cord, Sacha Robotti put his name on the map as a solo producer with his toe-wobbling debut “Tingly Trumpets” in 2010. Focusing on solo work, Sacha then found a home on Klasse, teaming up with label head Luca Lozano for their first release “Bartok”.
2012 started as an Olympic year for Mr. Robotti as his track “The Major” feat. DJ Rush dropped on Dirtybird, the label from SF he's loved since its beginning! His track was played by DJs like Seth Troxler, Ellen Allien, Miss Kittin, Joris Voorn, and the whole DB crew. Later that year, Sacha released some epic remixes: Audiojack feat. Kevin Knapp on Gruuv, of Zombie Disco Squad feat. DJ Funk on Made To Play, and of Deo & Z-Man on Opossum. Also, his original “Move EP” with remixes by Tim Green and Michael Tello of PillowTalk, as well “The Big Ol EP” dropped on Klasse (with a remix by the legendary Waxmaster Maurice of Chicago’s Dance Mania fame!). Sacha also met up with his Belgian buddy Kill Frenzy to make two signature tracks: “Go To The Mo” for Dirtybird, and “I Like It” which was signed to Shadow Child’s label FOOD – together with a remix by B-Ju and a fun Kill Frenzy & Sacha Robotti radio show on BBC 1 Xtra.
2013 made another dream of Sacha’s come true, when his collaboration with Claude Vonstroke was released on Dirtybird: a VIP version of “Lay It Down – Re-Smoked”, the final track of his latest album “Urban Animal”.
In summer 2014, the release of his collab with Look Like “Loca Lola EP” on Dirtybird, his collab with Kevin Knapp “Puppet” on Jesse Perez’s label Mr. Nice Guy, as well as a single on Klasse's sublabel Down2House, along with his DJ gigs as far out as Mexico, Sydney, Toronto and all around the US. made Sacha Robotti new friends and fans all over the world.
January 2015 saw Dirtybird celebrating 10 years – Sacha's addition to the birthday compilation, “Thump Bumper” with Kevin Knapp, got voted by Mixmag as one of the 10 tracks that defined Movement Festival Detroit, and enjoying big support from Green Velvet, one of Sacha's teenage heroes. Later this year, Sacha Robotti’s collab EP “Shaky” with ZDS on Toy Tonics saw the light and has since been slammed on dancefloors worldwide, particularly by Claptone, as well as remixes for Fidelity Kastrow on Sisyphos' Club label Sisyphon and Rainer Weichhold's classic “Bamboo” on Gold Records.
Since his January 2016 relocation to Los Angeles, Sacha Robotti has been neck-in-neck with the California sunshine for Hottest Act of 2016 (ha, ha). In addition to releasing a slew of fresh cuts on Snatch Records, This Ain’t Bristol, Dirtybird Records, Insomniac Records, a collab with Kevin Knapp on Lost Records, and a #1 Beatport single on Suara Music, Sacha Robotti hasn’t just been chilling on the beach in Malibu and in the studio crafting hits - in fact, he barely has any time for the former, since he’s also been making waves with his infectiously fun and high-energy DJ sets all across the U.S. Along with a thunderous nationwide tour with fellow Dirtybird player Ardalan, Sacha Robotti has also been gracing the stages of some of the most renowned festivals in the country in 2016, including CRSSD Festival, Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, Lightning In A Bottle Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, Burning Man, Dirtybird Campout 2016, with even more exciting performances to be announced.
Although Sacha’s sound has evolved throughout the years, you can recognize his signature in everything he creates: meandering between the dirty bass-heavy “booty” plains of electronic dance music and its’ futuristic shores; his music is funky, creative, has character, uses a palette of rich sounds and tells a story with layers of depth and emotion. It also has a sonic quality that makes it stand out. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for this gentleman with a weird little thing for sweaty dance workouts & happy bass-massaged faces…
Sage Armstrong began making waves in the house music scene with his debut Dirtybird release, ‘What’s Yo Tempetcha?’. Grown in the south, he has been influenced by a multitude of different genres that continue to inspire his creative flow in the studio and on stage. He has created his own style by adding unique elements that give off a vibe of bouncy underground beats with original vocals. Sage continues making music with no creative boundaries after receiving support from some of his favorite Dirtybird artists like Justin Martin and the boss man himself, Claude VonStroke. With an exciting release schedule and show dates piling up, the future is looking bright for this rising star.
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.
Sub Focus, aka Nick Douwma has long been one of electronic music’s most exciting names. His debut album 'Sub Focus' sold in excess of 100,000 albums on underground drum & bass label Ram Records and following a string of hugely successful hit singles including 'Tidal Wave' feat. Alpines, 'Endorphins' feat. Alex Clare, 'Turn It Around' feat. Kele, and the Top 10 single, ‘Turn Back Time’, he released sophmore album ‘Torus’ in Autumn 2013 which further propelled him into the realms of credible notoriety and mainstream success. ‘Torus', which reached Number 11 in the Official UK Charts, spans a plethora of electronic genres from drum & bass and dubstep to house, electronica and back again, showcasing Sub Focus as one of the most versatile artists to be found in electronic music today and has been hailed as "the crowning achievement of his career and one of the biggest releases of 2013".
Still making waves in clubs and at festivals the world over, single ‘Tidal Wave’ featuring Alpines, was one of the most played songs on BBC Radio 1 following its release in late 2012 and reached the Top 20 in both the official UK chart and the US Billboard Dance Chart. Third single ‘Endorphins’ featuring Alex Clare was another huge success at radio and charted at number 10 in the official UK Chart, whilst 'Turn It Around' feat Kele was nominated as one of Zane Lowe’s 100 Hottest Records of 2013 and latest offering ‘Turn Back Time’ also stormed into the Top 10 of the Official UK chart.
Summer 2013 saw a frenetic schedule for the critically acclaimed Sub Focus LIVE show as it toured the UK and European festival circuit with huge headline stage sets at Isle Of Wight Festival, Glastonbury, Dour Festival, Frequency Festival and Reading and Leeds Festival. Following the release of 'Torus' in October 2013 Sub Focus completed a UK Album LIVE Tour, taking in 10 Academy dates around the UK, including a landmark sold out show at London’s Roundhouse which was streamed online to over 30,000 viewers. Sub Focus then ended 2014 with a sold out North American DJ tour that saw him play in key venues across the United States.
Sub Focus started 2014 down under, as he took his incredible live show to Australia for the touring festival Future Music Festival where his infamous LED rings wowed and delighted crowds across the country. The summer saw him return to Ibiza with a residency at bass night ‘Together’ at one of the Island’s biggest clubs, Amnesia. In addition to his Ibiza residency, Sub Focus stormed the festival circuit once more, bringing his highly sought after DJ sets to Red Rocks in Denver, Exit Festival, Tomorrowland, Secret Garden Party, Electric Zoo, The Warehouse Project and HARD Summer in LA to name a few. In addition to a hectic touring schedule this year, Sub Focus has also been getting back into the studio to work on new music and ideas for album number 3, due out in 2015. It’s safe to say that the world waits in anticipation to see what eclectic masterpiece Nick Douwma will reveal next!
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs makes music at the central point between pop, electro, house and melodic, tuff rave – and his debut album ‘Trouble’ is just more proof that TEED’s Orlando Higginbottom is one of the most fascinating, brilliant and musically kaleidoscopic artists in the world right now. And he’s about to stomp all over everywhere.
When Orlando Higginbottom was four or five he worked out how to work his Dad’s CD player and soon had three favourites on repeat: Rossini’s ‘Overtures’, Holst’s ‘The Planets’ and Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody In Blue’. “Classical music was 99% of my listening until I was about ten. I thought Mozart was really cool. I had a book, an A-Z of composers, that I read every night. They were like rock ‘n’ roll stars to me.”
This remained the case until the boy chorister (his father is the conductor of the choir at New College, Oxford) hit 13, at which point he absorbed another culturally deep and musically exciting musical genre: jungle.
Our intrepid pre-TEED also discovered Avid, one of those local record shops that doesn’t exist any more with Nicky Blackmarket posters on the wall and a pile of psy-trance flyers on the counter, and where fresh promos would land from London every Thursday and Friday. He careered through the whole junglist spectrum, starting with Zinc and Hype’s Tru Playaz crew and getting heavily into Nico’s No U-Turn Records. It was only when Bad Company and Pendulum started reducing the creativity beyond nil that he stopped buying the music – although that hasn’t stopped him running up a current bill of £360 with Discogs to fill the gaps in his collection.
So how do we get from this evangelical member of the junglist youth wing to the kaleidoscopically vibrant world of Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs? It’s a swerving, careering route that turns hard right through an unsuccessful term reading music at Bristol University (“I got messy every night and then dropped out. I knew the course wasn’t right for me”) and then sharp left to a year in Leeds on a music production course. His time there coincided with the early days of dubstep and DMZ’s regular excursions to the West Indian Centre in Chapeltown. “I was seeing all these students taking their first K in this big Jamaican community centre. I found it weird. Why is this suddenly cool? It could have been cool ten years ago. Some of it, I liked, but I was lost, and drum ‘n’ bass had got so shit, I was like ‘fuck it: Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’. I’m going to dress up as a dinosaur, make weird electro shit and just enjoy it.”
And just to clarify, the name doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t even really come from anywhere. It’s just a great big waving flag that announces, incontrovertibly, that Orlando Higginbottom doesn’t give a monkeys what anyone else thinks.
There was one other link in the chain of events: winning a MySpace competition for music to accompany a painting in The Tate, judged by Huw Stephens and Felix from Basement Jaxx. This led to Radio 1 play and some supportive friends in the industry, which it’s own way, led him to the label, Greco-Roman. Up until this point, house and techno had barely registered – and he certainly wasn’t listening to it. “I was making a style of music I knew nothing about and had no love for. I didn’t know what the rules were and I guess that’s why it was fun.”
It’s an attitude that saw him selected to join Oxfam and Damon Albarn in the Congo to make the Warp album ‘Kinshasa One Two’. “The influence of the trip was massive. It made me worry less about what people think.”
So does he think he’s breaking down the boundaries between music and art with the beautiful, riotous headpieces he dons for live shows? Of course not. “I’m just slightly poking fun at the idea of the cool guy in a cap under a bridge with graffiti. There’s no thought or theories behind it apart from something entertaining or fantastical that looks good.”
If the headpieces and the costumes have any antecedents it’s the joyful, ultra-funky carnage of Earth Wind And Fire, although with just one member instead of a stage-full. He’s got a neon white set that frames his performance in flowering dino spinal plates and a bugged out portable lighting rig that folds down into what he describes as a ‘fucking huge flight case’. It is an improvement on the early days when he’d sweat on overpacked trains with a suitcase and a rucksack to play in Manchester to ten people. His shows, for the uninitiated, are a riot of light, energy and perfectly calibrated musical hedonism that scoops up house, electro, hip hop, UK funky and the compositional chops picked up as a classically-minded pre-teen playing piano and writing scores on manuscript paper.
These are all elements you’ll hear singing loud and clear in his debut album, Trouble, and on standout moments Your Love and Household Goods. The former is a joyful, melodic, individual spin through the world of house music, taking the best elements (vibrant synth lines, a chorus as catchy as Starlight’s ‘Music Sounds Better’ and a elastic, 2-steppy bass line) and conjuring them into a modern pop classic of enormous dimensions. And the latter, well, Household Goods is arguably the track that trumpeted his arrival when it was released in November 2010. It was a signal charge: a notice that things had changed and music was sounding colourful again. It’s a point that is made repeatedly, brilliantly, through Trouble.
The debut album was recorded in his parent’s Oxford garage, where he’d been playing records, rehearsing with bands and making tunes since he was a kid. It starts with an unexpected minute of ambience on the positivity-drenched opener Promises, which also offers another surprise: sunshine-tipped hi-life guitars. The title track was, he says, the first track that was shaped into a full song and thus provided a turning point, a kind of sonic ramp into the making of the album. If you’re looking for the artist’s personal favourite, start here. Garden is another friendly, colourful gem amongst gems that features more of Higginbottom’s warm and understated vocals, a duet with Luisa that was picked up for a global Nokia campaign and has helped take his sound around the world. “I write a lot about the Wednesday after, and that feeling that is everywhere in life, where you hope for great stuff, you hope for something meaningful and special, but at the same time you always know it’s going to come to an end and there’s something really sad and really glorious about that.”
Then there’s a song like Panpipes which sees Orlando taking an interest in UK funky and adds something soft and gentle. Solo is his self-confessed ‘dark’ tune. “When I do it live people stand there for three minutes when it does its second drop everyone suddenly goes woooo”. He made Closer with his friend Ed, although it actually started when they were 17 and recorded some humming. “It’s a bit slightly ‘scared in the dance’ vibe. Feeling a bit sad in the club. I reckon loads of people feel a bit sad in the club sometimes.” Closing track Stronger sums up the whole record, that emotion of feeling great but knowing that there’s going to be a payback somewhere down the line. “It’s half hands in the air, and half hankies in the air,” says Orlando only half joking. “There are relationship tunes on there, there are tunes about having it out with the music industry. They’re my lyrics. I did have to struggle with them, and some of them are cheap as fuck. I think I just about get away with it.”
Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs: getting away with it, and some.
Trippy was born on a cold beach somewhere in northern europe. From an early age he was exposed to beautiful skinnydipping scandinavian women and rnb-music on wack boomblasters, influences you can still hear in his music today. And the charming young tortoise quickly became a true ladies turtle.
One warm summer night in the middle of mating season, Trippy was caught in a fishing net and came aboard a fishing boat from Jersey. Talking his way out of becoming a part of today’s stew, he became friends with the crazy chef Molly which fed him with all sorts of crazy things for her entertainment. It is widely believed that this caused the trippyness of young Trippy.
After many weeks, the fishing boat arrived in Jersey and our hero started his long journey to the other side of the street. On his journey he met many other cool party-animals and together they formed the infamous gang “FoFoFadi Foodchain”. Rumors are that our trippy turtle had terrible pronounciation and the gang was originally called “No More Sardines”.
One day it all changed… Trippy got into a fight with Disco Duck and Disco tossed him into a wall. The sounds the shell made shocked the whole crew. Turtle immediatly called his mother and she confessed his long lost father Roland was indeed… an 808. With his new found roots, Trippy told his friends and family that he wanted to do music. And so he did.
The gang scraped together all the sardines they could get their hands on and traded them for an old squeeky macbook. They now take turns throwing Trippy at the macbook and record the outcome.
Unlike Pluto (aka Armond Arabshahi) began teaching himself how to play piano at the age of 5. His obsession with music lead him to play the guitar, drums and just for the heck of it, the clarinet. With his knack for learning musical instruments, Pluto began navigating different genres of music starting with rock to screamo to pop and most recently, electronic/dance music. From garnering over 20 million plays on his Soundcloud to landing a Hulu commercial, 2015 was a solid year for the up-and-coming producer. After being included in Billboard’s “Dance artists to watch”, 2016 began prominently for Unlike Pluto – one can only imagine what else he has in store.
Valentino Khan makes everything. From hip hop club anthems to dance music hits, Valentino’s production knows no bounds. He has produced hip hop for multi-platinum and Grammy award-winning artists and continues to create his own sound in the electronic music world as an artist.
Valentino Khan has gained the support of artists like Diplo, Skrillex, Steve Aoki, Dillon Francis, and many more noteworthy musicians. In 2015, he produced his original song “Deep Down Low” which recently was named as “Most played track by DJ’s in 2015” by 1001 Tracklists and Sirius XM Radio’s Number 1 Song of 2015 on Atomic Area. Khan’s 2015 was a big year, performing at Ultra Music Festival, Hard Summer & Hard Day of the Dead and releasing collaborations with Flosstradamus, GTA, remixes for Dillon Francis, Axwell & Ingrosso and Zeds Dead.
He currently has a great deal of new singles lined up for release on OWSLA. So far in 2016 you can find him on tour direct supporting Carnage and Jauz with several big festival announcements coming soon! This year brings about a slew of new shows, music, and collaborations that make 2016 Valentino’s biggest year yet.
Vindata is the brainchild of Branden Ratcliff and Jared Poythress, based in Los Angeles, California. Blending rugged hip-hop beats with deep R&B passions and indie-pop sensibilities, the pair are on a mission to expand how we define dance music. After notable underground success with their last EP, …For One to Follow [Symbols], the duo are back with a brand-new EP titled Through Time and Space… [OWSLA], another piece of their discography puzzle depicting the human experience. This time around, they’ve crafted a six-track journey through different perceptions of different realities. The result is a cohesive body of energetic yet lush textures, polyrhythmic percussion, and soulful vocals.
Similar to many artists Will Clarke’s sonic palette comes his experiences and influences from home and afar. The roots of his sound stem from both his home town of Bristol, and his seasonal home in Ibiza, which have forged Will’s style; a style that fuses the best of Bristol’s bass elements with the upfront house music sensibilities of the white isle.
Having started on his path of 4/4 discovery at a young age Will’s early career defining moment was gaining a residency at Kanya in Ibiza, where he was able to hone his skills day and night in front of the Ibiza crowd, and his DJ peers, gaining fanbase and respect along the way. Will explains “Playing in Ibiza felt natural straight away. I get on and work well there, it fits, it’s my second home.”
Cutting into the DJ circuit is no mean feat, but the cream rises to the top, so whilst Will is busy DJing at an ever growing list of clubs he’s also getting prestigious gigs at clubs like Space and MOS. Along side these gigs Will has also be building his own club brand Cut a Rug. Holding regular parties at Motion in Bristol Cut A Rug have hosted the likes of Visionquest, Carl Cox, Boys Noize, Zombie Disco Squad and Hauswerks, with whom Will has been able to support on the decks, a job which is natural to him. Outside of the UK Will has been booked for his debut Australian tour towards the end of the summer. Along with trips back and fourth to NYC and not forgetting Ibiza during this summer.
Yet whilst DJing and promotion have been building well for Will, his real strengths lie in the studio. Having been committed to his studio for many years he also undertook a music production course that have seen him made rapid progress in a short time with releases on labels such as Anabatic, Exploited, Southern Fried, No Brainer along with the launch of his new label Cut A Rug. Some of Will’s recent releases has had support from the likes of Jamie Jones, Mista Jam, Hannah Wants with plays on Radio 1 and Radio 1 Xtra.
Talking of his approach to productions Will says “I make music for clobbers, not DJs. I sample a lot of old school rave tracks from the 90s, with 21st Century production techniques.” Then add those little influences from Bristol and Ibiza and you will understand why Will’s music holds such a broad appeal and is often supported by fellow DJ’s such as Justin Martin, Seth Troxler, Ardlander, J.Philip, Worthy, T.Williams, Waifs & Strays, Pezzner and Miguel Migs.
Will Clarke is a talented, skilled, young producer who is making strides in the dance music business with his own sound and now his own label / events. He has an impressive list of quality productions and remixes that is growing month by month and a great track record at his residencies and guest gigs. You know you can trust him to come up with the goods.
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