It’s been nearly three months since GRiZ released his sixth studio album, Ride Waves, which saw the producer branch out into new creative territory. The 14-track compilation featured collaborators such as Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg, blending GRiZ’s distinctive funk and bass style with high-profile artists. Now, just a few months after the full Ride Waves album release, the producer is back with a brand new EP.
The three-track EP is titled Bangers.Zip and showcases GRiZ’s sonic diversity at its finest. The compilation begins with “Voodoo,” which blends heavy dubstep drops with light reggae melodies. Fans may also recognize “Ice Cream,” a track from the EP he’s been previewing on season one of his tour.
In addition to the Bangers.Zip, GRiZ has announced 18 new tour dates for his Ride Waves tour. The next leg of the tour will see GRiZ take on massive venues like Boston’s Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion, Chicago’s Navy Pier at Festival Hall, Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium, and Berkeley’s Greek Theatre. Find tickets and more information here.
Photo credit: @jsiegelphotography/Instagram
Firefly Music Festival may be an all-ages event, but one attendee’s behavior was certainly not PG. The Delaware camping festival had its eighth iteration June 21-23 in the Woodlands with headliners Kygo, Zedd, Tyler, the Creator, Louis the Child, Alison Wonderland, DJ Snake, and more.
On day two of Firefly, a 21-year old festival-goer stripped naked and streaked through the Budlight concert tent venue—knocking over DJ equipment in the process. According to the police, the man was a Delaware resident. Dover police Cpl. Mark Hoffman told a local paper that the streaker was arrested on misdemeanor criminal mischief charges and later taken to the medical tent for “a medical issue related to his intoxication level.”
Another festival-goer posted on Reddit that the streaker punched her boyfriend. Other users commented on their encounters with the streaker as well, with some also getting hit and others simply playing witness, but expressing concerns regarding the streaker’s safety.My boyfriend after being punched by the streaker! If anyone knows him let him know, no hard feelings, come over for a beer sometime! from r/FireflyFestival
H/T: Consequence of Sound
Photo credit: Jenna Miller / Delaware News Journal
Since his artist debut in 2015, Marshmello has changed the game. With innovative branding, fan activations, an ever-present character, high-production value in media and shows, the masked saccharine treat has garnered tens of millions of followers around the globe.
Now, he and others are getting ready to tell the story of how it all happened in a new mini-doc via YouTube Music’s Artist Spotlight Series. These videos range from as short as 6m30s (Billie Eilish) to as long as 18m19s (Burna Boy).
“When we came up with the concept of Marshmello,” says manager Moe Shalizi in the clip, “we set out to create a positive figure that anybody could relate to, that everyone could feel they were a part of.”
The clip also includes snippets of interviews with The Chainsmokers, Logic, and Martin Garrix. The full video will be available on YouTube a week from today on July 2.View this post on Instagram
A post shared by marshmello (@marshmellomusic) on Jun 25, 2019 at 10:00am PDT
Global Dance Electronic (GDE) is turning the ripe age of 9 years old this July, and we’re going to celebrate with style…but more importantly, with globetrotting DJ, JSTJR. At this year’s EDC Las Vegas, he may have set the weekend’s record for the most tracks played in an hour: 51 according to 1001 tracklists, and that’s not including songs and acapellas included in mashups. There were several IDs and potential unreleased remixes in there as well, including an insane ID that followed a hilarious hate mail intro. The infectious sounds he played out on the speedway is enough to make you want an extended set with him behind the decks. JSTJR will be shutting down La Santa in Orange County on Saturday, July 27th, and tickets are bound to fly off the shelves fast.
Listen to the mix below if you need convincing and grab tickets now.
The post JSTJR to Headline GDE’s 9th Anniversary Party in Orange County July 27th appeared first on GDE.
EDM worlds will collide when Illenium and NGHTMRE's collaboration finds its way to the masses.
Of all the producers who could conceivably team up on a track, few pairings would be more celebrated than that of Illenium and NGHTMRE. To the collective excitement of the EDM community, they've revealed that such a project is in the works.
The fan who took to Twitter calling for the collaboration didn't likely expect for their call to be answered so explicitly. A short exchange later and Illenium (real name Nicholas Miller) had made unofficial plans with NGHTMRE (real name Tyler Marenyi) to execute the endeavor.
Between his first-ever headline show at Madison Square Garden and his upcoming album, it's safe to say that Miller is making 2019 count. Marenyi has kept a busy schedule himself. In addition to crossing over into hip-hop by way of collaborations with the likes of A$AP Ferg and Lil Jon, he's set to co-headline a tour alongside SLANDER, Seven Lions and The Glitch Mob.
As can be seen in Illenium and NGHTMRE's exchange, their upcoming collaboration appears to be far out on the horizon at the time of writing.
H/T: ThissongissickFOLLOW ILLENIUM:
Less than a month before the would-be third edition of SunSoaked music festival, Kaskade has confirmed that his beachfront brainchild will not be returning to Long Beach for its scheduled two-day run mid-July.
“…At a little less than three weeks out, it’s become obvious to me that we are falling short, and I’ve been left with an impossible choice,” reads a Kaskade-signed announcement via the festival’s homepage.
Kaskade was expected to headline the July 13-14 2019 iteration of the festival, alongside Maryland-born rapper, Logic, who, with the backing of Live Nation, was helping champion the festival’s production this year. Canadian singer/songwriter Grimes and Detroit’s Quinn XCII also topped the 2019 ticket. SunSoaked began in 2017, nearly tripling in size for its sold-out follow-up in 2018.
Though Kaskade has yet to expound on the particulars hindering the event, ticket-holders are expected to be fully reimbursed with no action necessary on their parts, per the announcement. With the festival front, an invariably volatile market as it is, more saturated than ever, SunSoaked is one of many promising festivals in recent years to officially fold. But discernment and transparency have certainly proven far more favorable in the long run on organizers’ behalves.
Photo Courtesy of Kaskade
Two years ago, Kaskade came to Southern California and brought us one of the biggest beach parties the coast has ever seen, Sun Soaked. Taking place in Long Beach in July, the festival was Kaskade’s “personal love letter to summer.” The 2019 lineup included Logic, Grimes, Brohug, and of course, Kaskade himself with two sets over the course of two days.
While there seemed to be issues with SunSoaked tickets sales and the price had dramatically dropped – offering 2-day passes for $50 after selling them for $180 – the past few weeks, it still came as a huge surprise when the festival’s cancellation was announced today.
In a letter to the festival-goers and his fans, Kaskade explains that he had wanted to make SunSoaked bigger and better this year, and it seemed like this was unable to happen. As a result of “falling short,” they decided to cancel 2019’s SunSoaked three weeks before the event. Anyone who purchased tickets will get refunded within 21 days, and here is no mention of whether SunSoaked will be coming back in 2020 or anytime after. This is news that definitely puts a damper on July summer plans for all of us. *sigh*
SunSoaked is cancelled . pic.twitter.com/4P1BM5S7mc
— Kaskade (@kaskade) June 25, 2019
The post Kaskade Forced to Cancel SunSoaked 2019 Beach Party Three Weeks Before The Event appeared first on GDE.
Clarian‘s amid a streak of releases that have so far found homes on Culprit and Watergate. Now, he lends his masterful touch to a brand new project, HOKI.
“Almost Home” is HOKI’s first single. The nascent duo are coming up in the live space, where they’ve been honing in on a pleasantly melodic aesthetic that translates to easy listening. Clarian takes these motifs, already present in the original, and enhances them. The result is a beguiling tune, with its breathy vocals folding gently into sharp percussion and a reimagined melodic arrangement. In upping the tempo and emphasizing 4/4 time signature, Clarian has made “Almost Home” into an emotive dancefloor weapon.
“Almost Home” is also the first taste of HOKI’s album, which will be released sometime toward the end of 2019.
Photo credit: Marco Lammatteo
Kaskade just announced the third annual SunSoaked music festival has been canceled. The beachside event in Southern California, a collaboration between the producer and Live Nation, was “falling short” after two successful installments.
What Kaskade previously described as a “personal love letter” from himself to summer, will sadly not go on as planned for July 13 and 14 this year. It’s obvious the music event was dear to his heart, but he’s been left with no choice.
Kaskade provides an official statement via the SunSoaked website and socials:
SunSoaked is cancelled.
After two years of an event that was absolutely epic, I wanted to make it bigger and even more expansive. The first two years had places that needed improving so I brought people in to help me execute those changes.
But at a little less than three weeks out, it’s become obvious to me that we are falling short, and I’ve been left with an impossible choice.
I appreciate your support, I don’t take it for granted. I hope to see you all soon.
Full refunds will be automatically issued within 21 days to all SunSoaked ticket holders. According to the statement, no action is needed on the customer’s behalf.
Kaskade, Logic, Quinn XCII, BROHUG, CID and Aokay were set to play SunSoaked this year. The future of the festival remains unclear.
SunSoaked is cancelled.After two years of an event that was absolutely epic, I wanted to make it bigger and even more…
Photo via Rukes.com
This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Kaskade Announces SunSoaked Is Canceled, Ticket Holders Will Be Refunded
After two years of bringing one epic music festival to Long Beach, California, Kaskade has officially announced that this year’s SunSoaked Music Festival will be canceled. This cancellation comes just three weeks before the festival was set to take place. The popular DJ-producer announced on social media today that he intended to make the festival
The post Kaskade Officially Cancels SunSoaked Music Festival appeared first on EDM Sauce.
Somewhere in South Florida, there’s a studio with two young men hashing out ideas that have been catching the attention of the house music scene. Nestled in the Miami suburb, the duo sit in a studio with Ableton open inputting arrangements for a potential upcoming track. It doesn’t have a name, but the project is being scrutinized by the two who have dubbed themselves Black V Neck.
Black V Neck consists of members Ian Beato and Julian Sacheli who specialize in making tech house with a distinct persona. Despite being relatively new to market, the duo have released with respectable labels such as Nurvous Records, Basement Leak, Bunny Tiger, and most recently Dirtybird. Their Mouth Music EP was their debut on the label and signals a new accomplishment for Beato and Sacheli. “I think we’re the new wave of the youth making tech house,” said Sacheli talking about the EP. “We’re coming in with this new sound, which is why it fits so well on Dirtybird. At the same time, you can hear our Latin influences in our tracks with the rhythms we put in.”
They describe their sound as a mix of bass house and tech house which is the result of experimenting and years of producing together. Collaborations like “My Style” with AYAREZ and “Walkin'” with E.R.N.E.S.T.O encapsulate this style along with songs of their own like “Let Me Smash” and “Wanye Kest.”
The noise Black V Neck is making has caught the eyes and ears of house music’s most prominent players. Between bosses in the scene like Chris Lake and Claude VonStroke to support from peers like Tim Baresko and Lucati, house artists and and other EDM stars have included Black V Neck music into their radio shows and live sets. This includes support from CID, Duke Dumont, Jax Jones, Kryder, Malaa, Shiba San, TOKiMONSTA, Wuki, Zeds Dead, and more. But this level of support didn’t arise overnight as the two will tell you.
“Believing in your dreams is certainly part of success,” says Sacheli, “but you have to keep doing it. Him and I have been doing it now for what? Six years together. Separately, we’ve been involved in music a lot longer.”
“And that’s not to say that we both started at the start of our lives,” Beato adds. “For example, I started getting involved with music when I was three.”
Beato and Sacheli were born and raised in Miami, Florida, both have Cuban parents, and both met in college band playing the French horn all while exploring electronic music production on their own. “We both played the same instrument,” said Sacheli, “and we both saw that we shared the same affinity for making electronic music and I think that’s how our friendship started.”
“I started on Cubase, actually,” Beato says. “Julian showed me Ableton and showed me the way of Ableton. Of course I get sucked into it and now I have a tattoo of it on my arm. I got it about two years ago and it makes sense because I live and breathe the program now so… I do everything in there. Him and I both live and breathe this software. It’s so versatile, easy to use, and so clean. It works for us.”
But these differences and similarities are what pushes Black V Neck’s creative process when they sit in the studio together. When I asked them what the starting elements to making a new tune are, Beato put it simply by smiling and saying, “We tend to get really ignorant thoughts and then translate that ignorance onto paper to get what we end up with.”
“I think the first thing that we put down is the groove, which I know sounds broad,” Sacheli adds diving deeper into the subject. “The kick-drum, the hi-hat or clap, or the bassline might be the first thing we make for any given thought. But it doesn’t matter which of the three comes up first because once we have the groove down on an 8-bar or 16-bar loop, then we start to venture off. We can then look for what interesting vocals we can throw on it and decide what direction the track will take. But it all starts with the groove.”
Part of finding the groove comes from learning and playing the drums from an early age, according to Beato. Before electronic music was a thought, Beato explored genres like metal and rock as well as inspirations from reggae and grassroots music. “I really enjoy the instrument,” Beato says. “It helps me in being able to feel the groove, so to speak, that helps in the writing process. Being classically trained is a nice touch because I understand music theory and I’ve applied since childhood to now. Ear training is great for notating. If Julian hums or sings a little line, I can go into Ableton and notate it down.”
Beato describes himself as a “110 percent, O.C.D. perfectionist” when it comes to working with the program. If there’s something wrong with the track, he’ll hyper-focus into the problem and will not rest until it’s solved. But even this mentality can’t save all their projects from getting scraped.
“When it comes to our music, there’s a ton of stuff that we love,” Beato says. “but that we’ll never release and we just have to be okay with that. It’s hard to kiss your babies goodbye, but it be that way sometimes.”
It’s from there Beato and Sacheli start to talk about the title track of their EP and how it came about. The vocals that are chopped to create the lively rhythm of “Mouth Music” is from “Brazilian Trap Vocals” pack found in Splice. Sacheli knows like any solid producer does that any sample can be a source of inspiration.
“The point is that we venture off and look at a trap pack set at 140 bpm,” Sacheli says. “Then we find the vocal samples and pitch them and chop them and use them at our own discretion to make them our own tracks. This is something I recommend for people who ask me where we get our sounds from. We get them from anywhere we can and it doesn’t have to be a tech house sample pack. It can be a from something as far from the genre like a Brazilian trap vocal pack. The bassline, the drums, the loops and everything else we made ourselves and then we chopped them up and made it into our own thing. That’s something people need to know. Not everything needs to be done entirely from scratch.”
“What keeps us on our toes is trying to push ourselves,” Beato adds. “In terms of gear and our sample library, the first thing I do in the studio is to look for stuff. I ask myself, ‘What’s the next thing I can get?’ Every single day, I’m on top of looking for the new sample packs to see what I can use or what can inspire me.”
It’s at this moment that Beato pulls out a KordBot midi controller made from Isla Instruments. “I use it as a tool to inspire us,” Beato says. “You can choose what key you want and it has the full assortment of chords you might want to use in a track. From there, you can hop around it and get ideas from that.”
Sparking the discussion of analog vs. digital, Sacheli chimes in by saying, “The greatest question that producers will ask each other is, ‘Do you solely use analog?’ In other words, do you feel that analog equipment is needed for your production. I think the consensus from most producers is no, but it’s a toy that can give you a sound for one song or two or three. But it won’t be your end all be all. It’s also not required. It’s something meant to inspire you to make a song.”
“I did not know the delights of owning outport gear and analog equipment until I could afford it,” Beato adds as he sits by a shelf filled with different ports and converters. “And that’s not to say that we’re rolling in money. We’re struggling to get by just like everybody else. But at some point, you have to invest into your craft. All the stuff we have is used at 110 percent. Over time, you build up your routines of what you want to do and how you want to get into your sounds.”
This advice comes from a duo who advocate that modern advancements in audio tech allows anyone to mix and master a great track with very little equipment necessary. According to Black V Neck, all any producer needs in their studio are good converters and a good sound source. But more often than not, young producer can get side-tracked with additional equipment that may not do much for their final products.
“Start with a good sample,” says Beato. “Start with a good recording. And to do that, you have to have the equipment to do that. This includes your microphones, your preamplifiers, your…whatevers. Having good monitoring equipment is nice and dandy, but if you do not have the basis to build your track on, it’s not going to work. You see these people with massive SSL boards in their studios. It’s not necessary anymore. Maybe if you’re going to record a band or something it might sound nice because you have that nice coloration, but it doesn’t matter when you’re producing alone. Even though I’m going on an engineering rant, I feel that one of the biggest stigmas in the industry is that if you don’t have the latest and greatest synth that is out at the moment, then you’re not getting it done.”
“I don’t see it that recently,” counters Sacheli. “I think that the stigma comes from pictures on Instagram. You see the pictures of Jamie Jones’ studio, you see the picture of Justin Martin’s studio and you drool. You drool! It looks good. It doesn’t mean that you need all this equipment in order to succeed. It’s whatever’s going to get you into the end goal. If it inspires you and it’s in your price range, go for it.”
This is the mindset that Sacheli and Beato had when creating the second song on the EP “Sex, Drugs, Alcohol.” According to Sacheli, the main synth layered through the whole song is what they made off the Behringer Model D Analog Synthesizer. The kick-drum was made on a Master Live plugin. Ian wrote the bassline.
“As we were layering the track down,” Sacheli recalled, “I remember looking at these lyrics on our phone that Ian brought to me. I said that these lyrics would go well with the track we made. We then had our friend Brenda, who has worked with us before, come in and sing the lyrics we had and layer the vocals with the track. And then we mixed and mastered it here.”
Beato says it best when he says, “Everything starts and ends here. I take great pride in the work we do here.”
The differing perspectives from both sides of Black V Neck are part of what make the project stand apart from most acts in the tech house scene. On one hand, their technical prowess and musical ambition are in check. On the other hand, they maintain an insight on the genre’s history and recent changes within the industry that has rewarded them in strides.
For example, Julian’s background in music starts with his father who came to America to DJ in South Beach during the early 90s. According to Sacheli, his father was apart of shaping Miami’s early house scene and even founded his own record label called Sounds for People. DJs including Robbie Rivera and Cedric Gervais signed with the label providing an access into south Florida’s fusion of Caribbean and electronic genres.
“But then Beatport came and changed the whole landscape again,” says Sacheli. “But I grew up listening to house music. It was part of my everyday life. But as I got older I realized that nobody else was listening to house music. House music isn’t something most people listen to as a kid because it’s mature club music. But to me it was normal to listen to Crystal Waters and Danny Tenaglia as well as the great classics from Louie Vega and David Morales. So as I got older and listening to house music was so normal for me, I thought that if this is something my father can do then this is something I can do. When the EDM boom came around the same time, the whole field changed again and things were a little bit more difficult. But it’s something that I grew up with and that I feel is achievable.”
As tumultuous as the the music industry can be, the future is bright in the eyes of Black V Neck as tech house reaches mainstream audiences. “Today, starting to get into EDM could mean that someone’s first exposure to tech house will be through Fisher,” says Sacheli. “Some people can say that’s a bad thing, but I look at as a win if someone who started with Fisher finds their way to Black V Neck. Whether it’s through Spotify, Pandora, or radio, we benefit if they find us in any manner.”
He relates the tech house boom thanks to Fisher’s track “Losing It” in 2018 to how Avicii found commercial success with “Levels” in 2011. “I think we all listened to Avicii seven or eight years ago,” Sacheli says. “We were all inspired by him in some way, shape, or form. You didn’t have to like all his music, but everyone looked up to him. We all come from different backgrounds, but for a lot of people they found him and were pulled into EDM.”
Black V Neck is leading the way in what Miami’s sound is going to be. Across the globe, the duo are in a dynamic spot where their unique sound can sling shot them into the upper echelon of success within house music. Like with many young artists making a name for themselves, only time will tell if their creativity and discipline will take them there. But listening to Beato and Sacheli talk about their craft and their flow with confidence and adoration can give anyone who meets them or hears their music a sense that they will conquer in the upcoming years.
You can catch Black V Neck playing at Dirtybird Campout West in Modesto, California, October 4th to the 6th. Follow the boys at @blackvneckmusic across all social media platforms to keep up with their upcoming releases and future tour dates.
This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: Black V Neck: An In Depth Look at the New Tech House Sound from Miami [Interview]
UZ needs no introduction as one of the trap scene’s pioneers, whilst the prodigy Hucci kickstarted his career at just 16 years old. ‘Awakening’ brings out the very best from both producers – working a fine line between melodic counterpoints, stripped back beats and weighty sub bass.
Get to grips with ‘Awakening’ here.
"...It's become obvious to me that we are falling short, and I've been left with an impossible choice."
Kaskade has been forced to share bad news with his SoCal fans. The superstar DJ/producer has revealed that the third annual SunSoaked in Long Beach, California has been canceled with only three weeks left before the event was slated to take place.
The event - which Kaskade (real name Ryan Raddon) has described as "...a personal love letter from me to summer" - was to include such supporting acts as Logic, Grimes and Quinn XCII. In a statement, Raddon wrote that he had enlisted help to make necessary changes to the 2019 event but has been unable to execute them.
Although Raddon did not go into the specifics, a recent controversy may point to one of the factors that prompted the decision. After ticket prices dropped (likely due to low sales), fans who had purchased them at the higher price point aired their grievances publicly. Raddon has said that all ticket holders will receive a full refund within 21 days.
Neither Kaskade nor any of the other SunSoaked organizers have made comments indicating whether the event will return in 2020.FOLLOW KASKADE:
Timmy Trumpet just dropped a tasty remix pack for his epic track “World At Our Feet.” Enlisting RetroVision and Danny Avila, we get two top notch tracks that take the original’s stellar vocals and wonderful melody, and re-imagine them in incredible new ways. The RetroVision remix is particularly strong; if you’re a fan of any of Martin Garrix’s collaborations with Brooks or Justin Mylo, this song is right up your alley.
The song opens with the kick drum beat and a brief synth note before the vocal hook gets mixed in, “With our minds wide open, we can see.” The first verse starts over a rising note, until some friendly snaps get thrown into set the vibe, whereas the original is layered over a psy-trance beat. As the chorus comes in so do some pianos, the buildup is perfect for a festival set with handclaps that are sure to get everyone’s hands in the air. The drop is superb, taking the melody of the original but giving it a future bounce flair, that just makes it that much more energetic. You truly want to jump as high as you can in the air.
The Danny Avila remix is a very club friendly track, as Danny turned it into more of a piano house tune. This remix also slaps as the Spanish DJ/Producer takes a psy-trance tune and turns it on its head, all while still retaining the character of the original. There’s also an extended version of the original song included in the remix pack as well.
Make sure to check out the RetroVision and Danny Avila remixes of Timmy Trumpet’s “World at Our Feet.”
Photo via Rukes.com
This article was first published on Your EDM. Source: [PREMIERE] RetroVision Delivers a Stellar Remix of Timmy Trumpet’s “World At Our Feet”
As the return of Swedish House Mafia continues to dominate headlines, one member of the Scandinavian trio in particular is still hard at work on his own solo productions. Indeed, Axwell—real name Axel Christofer Hedfors — is back in the fold to prove he’s still firing on the release front, delivering his first cut of the year entitled, “Don’t Worry.”
This track arrives out on Axwell’s label, Axtone Records, in collaboration with Redfield, aka Neil Barrett. Being a seasoned producer with releases on Spinnin‘, Armada and Big Beat, Barrett is a welcome addition to the renowned label housing.
“Don’t Worry” continues the trend Hedfors has been following of late, regarding the sonically sophisticated sound his catalog has exuded in recent years. Rather than the sensational, tear-jerking EDM appeal of Swedish House Mafia, this track represents a talent for restraint. The bass line is tightly wound to the drums creating a comprehensive groove that supports warm synths and succinct vocals.
In the context of Lil Nas X‘s release history, much like the horses of the viral hit, “Old Town Road” is now “in the back,” as the rapper’s debut EP, 7, begins to circulate. The eight-cut showing fittingly opens with the Billy Ray Cyrus-assisted remix of “Old Town Road,” in a nod to the track that first propelled the fledgling artist into mainstream prominence. A tough act to follow given its infectious, undeniably catchy appeal, “Old Town Road” precedes “Panini.”
The second song of the EP, “Panini” is further evidence of Lil Nas X’s acute ear for crafting tunes that are capable of securing smash-hit status. Lil Nas X scraps the country constructions of “Old Town Road” for favor of a half-rapped half-sung style that is traditionally hip-hop-leaning in its arrangement. To extend the country imagery of “Old Town Road,” “Panini” proves that Lil Nas X is far from a one-trick “pony.”
Lil Nas X calls on Cardi B for a feature on “Rodeo,” the sole collaborative effort of the production, “Old Town Road – Remix” notwithstanding. The remaining collection of EP inclusions illustrate a variety of musical influences to have been active in Lil Nas X’s development of the debut showing.
Photo credit: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Wingstop
The capricious New York weather looked favorably upon EDX‘s NO XCUSES boat party: a crisp breeze offset the warmth of the sun, as ticket-holders gathered on the multistory Hornblower Infinity yacht for a day soaked in house music. Produced in conjunction with Crust Nation as a part of the metropolitan event brand’s 2019 summer concert series, the NO XCUSES affair attracted Tom Staar and Antonia Giacca, both of which provided ample and animated support behind the decks.
The NO XCUSES cruise, hosted on June 15, afforded attendees an upbeat sonic release from routine, but for EDX, the event as more than just an afternoon well spent; rather, it was a culmination of decades of hard work in and outside of the studio, a live emblem of passion and industrious drive to chase a dream. Dancing Astronaut caught up with EDX after his vivifying set on board the Hornblower, to discuss the conception of the NO XCUSES party series, his Grammy nomination, his latest single, “Ubuntu,” and that’s just scratching the surface.
We are here for the 2019 installment of what has become an annual event, your NO XCUSES boat party. Can you tell me how the cruise has become a summer staple in the New York event circuit?
[My team and I] started doing [these kinds of] events a couple of years back. The first event actually was in Switzerland, in Surrey which is my home city, and we used that for a kick off of my first album, which was called On The Edge. It carried over to Miami for Miami Music Week about seven years ago, we went from Miami to Australia to São Paulo to Zurich to Vegas during EDC. I really love to play on a boat, which I’ve done in New York since 2009, always in the summer, so I wanted to do a NO XCUSES boat party. We did NO XCUSES bus tour, we did NO XCUSES at Webster Hall, across the nation, but I like the feeling of being on a boat: the wind, the water, everyone is happy with a good vibe, and that’s what my music is for.
[The event] is the second one this year. We have a bigger boat and more talent.
You were recently nominated for a Grammy for your remix of Charlie Puth’s “How Long.” Where were you when you found out about the nomination, how were you feeling at the time, tell me that story…
In 2009 I had a really big remix–which helped pave the career for Kaskade–[it was of] his track, “Angel On My Shoulder.” That was the moment when I started to step into the US market. The door was open and I was like ‘We really need to focus on the US, because one day the US is really going to blow,” which happened a couple of years later with the whole EDM movement, [when] raves went next level. We worked really hard picking the right songs, the right artists, and mixing them, with always having the idea, or let’s even call it the dream, of one day being a Grammy-nominated artist. It took us about 10 years.
I was on a flight from Frankfurt, Germany to Atlanta. I was connecting to play a show in the US, and I started to get all of these text messages from my friends: ‘Hey congratulations, congratulations.’ I actually slept the whole flight so the last hour before I was landing I turned on my phone and connected to the WiFi and I got this great news, and it was amazing because my partner Christian and myself worked really hard, over 10 years to achieve that goal. We went all together to the Grammys, it was like a family thing, because all of this happened because of teamwork. It was a really, really cool experience.
You’re very well known for crafting animated house remixes of original productions. What, specifically, attracted you to Puth’s “How Long”?
The reason why I picked “How Long” was because my niece–she just turned 18, back then she was 16–kept saying ‘You have to remix Charlie Puth, I really love him, please Uncle, please please.’ And I was like okay, I’m going to do it for her, and the good thing is, when I got that vocal sent over from the team at Atlantic and laid it into my set in the studio, everything went really quick, it was just the perfect vocal for an EDX record.
Generally speaking, what are the hallmarks of a song that you would go on to remix? What does an original production need to have in order to catch your eye as a track that would lend itself well to an EDX revamp?
I’m always looking either for the right melody, right chord progression, or just an amazing song, and if not an amazing song, then a vocal chop or small snips, a mini chorus. I’m always looking to a different edge, something alternative, something that I feel can make a difference when combined with my music.
Your radio show, No Xcuses, recently wrapped up its 432nd episode: do you have any big plans in store for the milestone 500th episode?
We’ll still keep going with the radio show; [we’ve been doing it] for eight years, every week, and it started just because I felt that I got all this love from my fans and a lot of support for my music in the US. And I was like ‘Hey, what can I do to give something back, to give something to my fans once a week for free?’ This started, and became part of my week, part of my month, and part of my life. We turned it into a radio brand to an event brand with a lot of satellites all over the world. It’s a great thing.
From now to #500, there will be a lot of music, a lot of touring. Once I wanted to do an event in the mountains, like NO XCUSES snow 500, 400, 300, something special, something out of the box to connect where I’m from with the music and the crowd, make a live stream and invite people to come over, fly people in. Maybe it will be #500, who knows, but we will make it creative. Maybe also it will be time to say goodbye, and start something new.
So switching gears a bit, but still thinking with the future in mind, specifically with respect to your label, you just released “Ubuntu” on June 21. Can you say anything about the making of the single?
I’ve been releasing so many songs, I did so many remixes and it’s been ongoing: a great journey for me. It’s always something special to have a new release. I still remember when I released my first CD in 1997 back in the day. It was such an exciting thing to hold your own CD in your hands. You went to the store, you turn it, and you read your name, and it’s very special. The whole digital era has changed a little bit, [because you don’t get that]. But every release is [still] so special, because when it pops up on Spotify, on Beatport, it still touches me. In that case I’m just a kid with a dream, and that was to make music and share music with the world. I started this journey over two decades ago.
On the production side, I’ve been releasing a lot of vocal tracks [including remixes]. So last year, I decided let’s go a little more club, and go back to the roots of where everything started. It’s now time for Ibiza, it’s summer, and everyone goes to the Mediterranean islands. Everyone wants to dance outside on a rooftop, or on a boat like we’re dancing today for NO XCUSES. And I wanted to give a diverse side of EDX to the world. So this was my new track, “Ubuntu,” which combines a little bit of old-fashioned drums and beats with a very chill vocal chop. It’s something more ethnic, more tribal, which is–I think–the kind of music that makes people dance the most. I was like let me do something that I feel is EDX, but is also right for right now, and for tomorrow.
How long did it take you to make “Ubuntu”?
In this we had four versions. So I started with old progressive beats, four-to-the-floor bass lines straight, kind of old in the untz untz untz sound. And then I was like ‘Come on,’ the melody with the steel drums is really cool. I produced the track last year for the summer, and then I decided to wait until summer the next year, because summer had already started. And I went back to the studio this year [to work on it]. The melody really stuck in my head, and everyone in my team’s heads, and we were like ‘Ok, we need to make it more fresh, more roomy.’ We had four versions.
How did you decide on a version?
I [went for] the less obvious version, the one that wasn’t [a version that was solely driven to] produce a hit. I just wanted a good club record, because I think that club records are somehow missing or not making it big to an audience.
Finally, Sirup Music: what can listeners expect from your imprint as 2019 winds down? Are there any new artists whom you might be bringing on board, or any noteworthy releases that may be in the pipeline?
We have a lot of records and different labels. It’s a huge team working on the label side. What I feel is very important, and what I tell my team all the time is to sign new kids who make music that touches. Don’t sign people who sound like someone else; who sound like the next FISHER or the next Gorgon City–I don’t want that. I want someone who sounds new, fresh, unique. [There’s a lot] to come.
Stream EDX’s latest single, “Ubuntu,” below
PRS Foundation has widened the focus of its Keychange initiative
Kornél Kovács' second album ‘Stockholm Marathon’ cements his place among the most inventive producers in modern dance
As if 2019 was not already off to a killer start with festivals all over the United States and world bringing in lineups that could bring anyone to tears this year is only getting better. It has been officially confirmed that Insomniac has bought out the controlling share of Okeechobee Music Festival from Soundslinger, LLC …