Advertised as “a deep dig” into their “record collections,” per The Chemical Brothers‘ own phrasing, Radio Chemical emerges as Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons’ latest endeavor under their shared banner. The programming initiative, exclusive to Sonos Radio HD, formally activated on March 5 with a Chemical Brothers-supplied “Dub Mix.” The British twofer said of the thematic effort,
“The ‘Dub Mix’ channels our love of dub music—where the foundation is drum and bass and the lead instrument is the mixing desk, where a delay feeding back on itself can be as exciting as a heartfelt lyric. A lot of this music pushes the boundaries of what can be done with a multi track and an application of echo ,eq, and phase. It’s a constant inspiration to us of what is possible in the studio and the myriad of ways you can find to interpret a song.”
The “Dub Mix” is the first of many Radio Chemical-commissioned mixes to touch Sonos Radio HD. As listeners await further details on the ensuing talent to be welcomed on Radio Chemical, they can find the “Dub Mix” below and in the Sonos app.
Featured image: Giles Smith
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With his sixth studio album Justice set to arrive on March 19, Justin Bieber has supplied his long-form’s latest single, “Hold On,” with a veritable thriller of a visual. Informed by a good-hearted storyline, Bieber’s in-video narrative trails him—bank robbery, police chase, and all—as he attempts to uphold his lyrical pledge to “be there” for his chronically ill female counterpart.
In the grand schema of Justice, “Hold On” succeeds “Lonely,” “Anyone,” and “Holy,” all of which offered Beliebers a taste of what was—and remains—yet to come on the LP. Of note, Justice will hit streaming platforms just a little over one-year and a month after Changes closed the five-year album gap that opened after Bieber released Purpose in 2015. Changes has been nominated for “Best Pop Vocal Album” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards, which will be broadcast live from CBS at 8:00 p.m. EST / 5:00 p.m. PST on March 14.
Featured image: Getty Images
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On March 8, to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, Toolroom Records has announced the inaugural run of #WeAreListening—a virtual event dedicated to the development and growth of female talent in the dance music industry. The single-day online event, taking place on April 8, will feature a broad range of panels and seminars, covering topics such as radio and broadcasting, DJing, production, community and networking, marketing, and mental health and wellness.
Toolroom has enlisted a stellar blend of electronic talent to participate in #WeAreListening, from Mollie Collins, Alex Mills, and DJ Paulette to Jess Bays, JAGUAR, Hayley May, and Sophia Essel. What’s more—the label is also hosting NERVO for a special one-hour interview during the event geared towards advice and guidance for budding producers looking to launch their careers. Additionally, brand representatives from Armada, Dirtybird, and Hospital Records will all be participating as well.
A homegrown initiative, Toolroom’s #WeAreListening platform launched back in 2018 with the mission of breaking down barriers for females in the dance music space, and to bridge the gap between established record labels and the next generation of up-and-coming female talent. See the full #WeAreListening poster below.Interested in attending #WeAreListening? Sign up here.
Featured image: Kris Humphreys
As England venues and attendees alike await the return of live programming, fabric has unveiled plans for its 42-hour reopening weekend, slated for June 25 – 27. The news of the club’s weekend-long celebration comes weeks after Prime Minister Boris Johnson detailed a reopening roadmap for the country. If COVID-19 case numbers remain stable as the number of vaccinated individuals rises, all capacity limits and restrictions will be lifted on June 21.
Though fabric organizers have yet to disclose the event lineup, the weekend of fun will kick off with a Friday session running from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. local time. The opening day will be followed by a Saturday session running from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. on Monday.
The June 25 reopening is the first of fabric’s four celebratory reopening weekends. Tickets for the festivities are available here.
As the world unlocks from the covid restrictions we are looking forward to welcoming artists and clubbers back at EC1 with a weekend-long celebration. We are also announcing the following 3 weekends as part of our reopening. Tickets here – https://t.co/RjlGxjCVCJ pic.twitter.com/paiYCP2FnK— fabriclondon (@fabriclondon) March 4, 2021
Featured image: Sarah Ginn
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Whether the current collective zeitgeist recognizes it yet or not, the future of dance music is absolutely female. And it’s about damned time. While it is no secret that dance music has been, and largely still is, dominated by males, in the beginning of this new decade there has been no shortage of incredibly bright, determined, and talented female torch carriers emerge. Now, as women make tsunami-sized waves across the industry, dance music’s scales feel like they are balancing in the right direction.
From crafting unique sonic landscapes to being the vocal bedrocks of the scene’s most iconic works, women have continuously helped shape dance music from a niche interest to a globally fledging musical culture with a constantly growing reach. Though there is still a lot of balancing to be done, on International Women’s Day, Dancing Astronaut celebrates just a handful of the female DJs/producers and vocalists who’ve kept our staff moving as of late.JVNA
Words by Farrell Sweeney
JVNA first came onto the scene around 2016, when she gained a social media following and began making her presence known on Twitch. Already embarking on multiple tours early in her career, the future bass sensation has a long-spanning vocation ahead of her.
JVNA’s music is cinematic to its core, and her ability to fuse a heavy hitting drop with enthralling vocals always makes for a compelling listening experience.
Featured image: InsomniacMollie Collins
Words by Sami Weisband
Exploding onto the scene in 2015, Mollie Collins hit the drum ‘n’ bass circuit running. Now a critically acclaimed presence in the dance space, Collins launched her own imprint in 2019, Right Good Records, and continues to empower more women in drum ‘n’ bass to channel their voices through music.
Mollie’s striking vocals and energetic nuance adds so much dimension to the drum ‘n’ bass world. Her music creates an all-encompassing enjoyment to the listening experience, as evidenced by the three selections spotlit below.
Featured image: Mollie Collins/Instagramfknsyd
Words by Austria Masim
New kid on the block fknsyd is about to make some serious waves in the scene. With more than 150,000 Spotify listeners and just a few years under her belt, Syd has already mightily solidified her following with her vocals and production, and she’s one of my favorite rising vocalists in the music scene. Her transcendent and mystical vocals transport listeners to other realms as they feel her fiery anguish and emotion. Fans of dance music can expect see her name more frequently in the future.
Featured image: @ramonsview/InstagramRUNN
Words by Ross Goldenberg
Anyone who has listened to dance music in the past four or more years has undoubtedly heard RUNN‘s vocals on a track. A mainstay of melodic bass anthems from the likes of Illenium to Dabin to Nitti Gritti, her enchanting voice has touched lives across the scene, and with her own tracks being released all across 2020, she has shown no signs of slowing down.
I’ve been listening to RUNN’s music nonstop ever since we featured her as our second Supernova in February and wanted to take today to spotlight her again. She’s been one of my favorite vocalists for a few years and makes every single melodic bass track complete.
Featured image: Shutter_FingerAmy Dowdle
Words by Rachel Narozniak
The music industry would be a fragment of what it is today without the vocal, songwriting, DJ/production, and other creative contributions of women. This is nothing new. However, in 2021, this might be clearer now more than ever before. On the stage and behind the scenes, there are so many women in music who are powerfully impressing their signatures on genres and on the industry at large. This results in a challenge of a good kind: it’s really hard to pick just one to spotlight today.
That said, on International Women’s Day 2021, I’d like to pay tribute to Amy Dowdle, the voice of Lastlings. Though Dowdle’s singing-songwriting and live performance talents—among others—deserve daily recognition, they warrant special attention on a day during which we celebrate women, both in and out of the music industry. In between artistically driving Lastlings’ debut LP, First Contact (November 2020) and most recently, “All We Have” from SG Lewis’ times and a brooding remix of Bob Moses’ “The Blame,” Dowdle has become a fixture of my “On Repeat” Spotify playlists.
Amid her musical activity, Dowdle has also been vocal about unrealistic, often deleterious beauty standards and the role that social media plays in their perpetuation. She’s already a compelling presence in music, and the dance space would certainly be lacking without her.
Featured image: Olivia RepaciRossy
Words by Zach Salafia
Rossy has been making a name for herself for the past half-decade, touring with Krewella and securing a spot not only on Sable Valley‘s first livestream but also the label’s debut compilation album, Sable Valley Summer Vol. 1. Combining future bass, trap, and classical elements, Rossy’s unique talents are not to be overlooked; her awesome blend of trap and future brings an energy to her music that hits you straight in your soul.
Featured image: Glen Matheny3l3d3p
Words by Jessica Mao
Experimental, unique, free. These are words that come to mind when trying to describe 3l3d3p. While her name clearly stands out, her music goes above and beyond, claiming her own territory amongst a swell of musicians that are apart of the crowd. With only two tracks out on Spotify, the rising star already has nearly 200,000 monthly listeners, and this count is sure to soon skyrocket once she blesses fans with more music.
I love her style 3l3d3p having just two releases. It’s refreshing, bold, and devoid of genre confines. The aesthetic and audio are hyper-glitzy and borderline grotesque. Her music reminds me df the far-edge of the modern internet, and I’m here for it!
Featured image: @fletchershears/InstagramQrion
Words by Sami Weisband
After solidifying herself as one of Dancing Astronaut’s Artists to Watch in 2021, Qrion has continued to take the house and techno scene to new heights, releasing originals across Anjunabeats and spearheading remixes for Apashe, Lane 8, and more.
Qrion has captured my heart this past year. All of her music is so intentional, and as the listener, I can feel what she is trying to convey in just the ambience alone.
Featured image: Doug Van SantVVN
Words by Chris Stack
At first listen, one might not expect to hear that VVN is such underrated artist. With releases tracking back to 2015, the bass conossieur has only released a handful of songs, all of which are incredibly well-produced and excrutiatingly inventive.
VVN is an artist whose whereabouts can be unearthed from her incisive production skills. Best described as orchestral, heavy bass, the soundsmith’s Buried Alive EP demonstrates a proficiency in arrangement and sound design adjacent to her more highlighted industry counterparts. She’s gained traction online from her heavy remixes of ZHU and NERO‘s “Dreams,” Kill The Noise and Illenium’s “Don’t Give Up On Me,” and REZZ‘s “Witching Hour.”The Blessed Madonna
Words by Sami Weisband
Although she’s only officially released one original song over the course of her career, Marea Stamper—better known as The Blessed Madonna—remains one of the most prominent producers and activists of this generation, specifically in the house and techno scene. Not only has Stamper been a guiding voice in the industry while working tirelessly to ensure dance music is a welcome home for the LGBTQ community, she’s also solidified her style and sound as one of the most exciting and fresh live performers in the electronic arena. Following Dua Lipa‘s crtitically aclaimed album Future Nostalgia, The Blessed Madonna took the reigns and produced/mixed the remix album, Club Future Nostalgia. Homing her skills since the 1990’s, The Blessed Madonna has a long-spanning career ahead of her.
It’s not so often that a producer’s musical influence is on par with their personal influence. The Blessed Madonna’s music has and continues to inspire me, but the action she takes to ensure the dance community is one of peace and love is something that sticks with me far beyond a radio hit.
Featured image: Aldo Paredes
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In an exciting new development for the American music industry, New York venues have been cleared to open at 33% capacity in April, with a 100- and 200-person indoor and outdoor cap, respectively. If venues operators test all attendees for COVID-19 prior to entry, then the maximum capacity can be raised even higher to 150 people indoors and 500 people outdoors. This does not nullify the existing social distancing and mask wearing requirements, which will remain in effect for all events.
The New York Independent Venue Association (NIVA) addressed the new development in a statement:
“NYIVA is encouraged by Governor Cuomo’s commitment to reopening live events and we look forward to restoring New York as the arts capital of the world. We stand ready to do whatever it takes to be live once again for New York. We are not out of the woods yet and our independent venues have struggled to get through this pandemic. We were the first to close and the last to open and are working with the state to get the assistance we need in order to comply with the new requirements.
At this stage, we can’t provide exact numbers on which of our members plan to reopen. What we do know is that in order for independent music venues in New York to reopen and thrive, our industry needs financial support from the state to help procure the equipment and products to reopen safely and comply with the guidelines.”
Featured image: Rebecca Smeyne
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Thando1988’s smooth blend of dancehall, house, and hip-hop has made him a fixture of New York’s pre-Covid nightlife and his unique sound behind the booth is matched by his work in the studio. His latest “You Got Me Losing My Mind” is a classic vocal house bop that is clearly inspired by the sounds that originated in NYC clubs. Silky smooth and crisply constructed, Thando1988 lays out a mellow but dance-able beat underneath airy vocals that reminds us of the early aughts dance wave. There’s this same element of nostalgia in all Thando’s productions; his style that takes all the best bits of dance pop and turns them into something that’s refreshingly his own. “You Got Me Losing My Mind,” is another hit that follows form — and if you like this one you’ll love the rest of his catalog.
The Silk Sonic project has arrived. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have shared their first single as a newly launched joint venture with “Leave The Door Open.” Accompanied by a Florent Dechard-directed music video, the collaborative single predates the duo’s upcoming album, An Evening With Silk Sonic, set to land later this year and featuring special guest host Bootsy Collins.
The two megastars previously crossed paths when Mars recruited .Paak in 2017 to tour with him during the European leg of his 24K Magic world tour. An Evening With Silk Sonic will mark Mars’ first full-length release since 2016.
Both the music video and single take on heavy influences of the early 70’s with the band convening for an impassioned gathering of irresistible pop, soul, and funk grooves.
Watch the music video for Silk Sonic’s “Leave The Door Open” below.
Featured image: Florent Dechard
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One of Dancing Astronaut’s most illustrious 2021 Artists to Watch Qrion has unveiled her second remix of the year, taking on electro-pop single “Odyssey” from pop singer-songwriter Flownn. Following her and KROY’s intoxicating rendition of Apashe‘s “Rain,” the Japanese icon offers fans another incredibly dynamic groove with her latest.
For her sophomore release of the year, Qrion dives into a piano house excursion. Touting her seasoned style, the track creeps in with an ethereal approach. Joining Flownn’s alluring vocals, the house purveyor creates an uptempo and excitable execution with lyricism that connects listeners worldwide.
Stream Qrion’s remix of “Odyssey” below.
Featured image: Doug Van Sant
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From an appearance on SG Lewis‘ times to now a recast of Bob Moses, brother-sister duo Lastlings have postdated both their First Contact landing and selection for Dancing Astronaut‘s Artists to Watch in 2021 list in world-class fashion. Acting as the Aussie siblings’ leadoff opus to the year, Lastlings have been called in by Bob Moses for a take on “The Blame” from the latter duo’s concept album, Desire. The Lastlings revision comes after their initial brush with Bob Moses at RÜFÜS DU SOL‘s night at Red Rocks in October of 2019.
Further solidifying their immortal family bond, Lastlings hitch a fifth divine remix to their record of alterations, resetting the clock after nearly two full years have lapsed since their August 2019 rework of SG Lewis’ “Flames.” While Lastlings’ originals are ordinarily soundtracked by Amy Dowdle’s transcendent verses, the pairing takes the opportunity to carefully repurpose Bob Moses’ vocals and strengthen the original’s low-pressure spirit, bordering the techno wall for one of the duo’s darker yet still refined outings.
Featured image: NJA Photography
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Ace Aura continues to heat up his 2021 track record, further defining himself as a Circus Records luminary with his latest label addition, Comatose: Awakening. Assembling an array of bass residents, the melodic riddim producer reawakens his 2020 Comatose EP with six striking remixes, courtesy of Blosso, MIDNIGHT CVLT, Chime, Trinergy, Sharks, Myki, and Skybreak.
The new remix package leads with a heavyweight Ace Aura original, “Adrenaline.” Like its titular calling, the new track showcases electrifying synth leads go head-to-head with explosive riddim drops in a production style true to Ace Aura’s pioneering niche. Listeners also receive the full breadth of melodic bass music on the remaining track list, from bass house distortion on MIDNIGHT CVLT’s “Self-Love” rework, to synapse-firing sound design on Myki’s “Coma” interpretation.
Stream Ace Aura’s Comatose: Awakening below.
Featured image: Stetsen Colt Mathias
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Following the 63rd annual Grammy Awards’ postponement due to COVID-19 health concerns, the show must go on—and it will. After announcing March 14 as the new date for “Music’s Biggest Night,” the Recording Academy furnished an all-star list of 22 live performers including John Mayer, Dua Lipa, Cardi B, Taylor Swift, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, Harry Styles, and more.
The awards ceremony, hosted by Trevor Noah, will air live at 8:00 p.m. EST / 5:00 p.m. PST on March 14 on CBS. On the dance/electronic end, Diplo and SIDEPIECE, Disclosure, Flume, Jayda G, and KAYTRANADA will battle it out for “Best Dance Recording” for “On My Mind,” “My High,” “The Difference,” “Both Of Us,” and “10%,” respectively. Meanwhile, Arca (KiCk i), Baauer (PLANET’S MAD), Disclosure (ENERGY), KAYTRANADA (BUBBA), and Madeon (Good Faith) will spar for the “Best Dance/Electronic Album” honors.View this post on Instagram
Featured image: Kyle Besner/Shutterstock
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After aligning their names on streaming platforms for the very first time a la “Leave A Little Love” in late February, Alesso and Armin van Buuren are consummating their freshman collaboration with an animated, Mario Kart-esque visual that captures their notoriously playful personalities—in digitized form.
The lighthearted accompaniment casts the electronic titans in respective race cars and chronicles their rush to the finish line in nearly four minutes’ time. Of note, Alesso and van Buuren’s cartoon-like rendering in the “Leave A Little Love” video extends the animated pattern that the Forever album maker previously put into place on his visual companions for “PROGRESSO” and “TIME,” adding a touch of Alesso-centric familiarity to the production, available below.
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On March 1, PUMA unveiled their new campaign’s theme designed to inspire and acknowledge powerful women in their ambassador network. Empoweringly titled “She Moves Us,” PUMA has enlisted pop icon Dua Lipa to spearhead the movement. Throughout 2021, Lipa, alongside a plethora of other women, will be featured in videos and interviews.
The campaign’s video debut features Lipa posing in an assortment of fashionable PUMA products alongside Winnie Harlow, June Ambrose, Nicole McLaughlin, and more, soundtracked to the star’s iconic single “Electricity.” A partnership with global women’s fund Women Win, which effectively advocates for gender equality through sports and athletics, “She Moves Us” will dive into the background of each featured ambassador, giving them a platform to discuss the obstacles they overcame to achieve success, and the inspiration for their goals.
Watch “She Moves Us” launch video below.
Featured image: Xavi Torrent/Wireimage/Getty Images
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On the road to Certified Lover Boy is a detour: Scary Hours 2. But, this map should be familiar; after all, Drake took the same course in the months leading up to the June 2018 delivery of his fifth studio LP, Scorpion, dispensing Scary Hours just months prior in January 2018. Scary Hours 2 can be considered an appetizer to the main course, which is being “cheffed in every way possible,” Drake disclosed on OVO Sound Radio on March 5. “I don’t have an exact date, but it’s in the pot and it’s coming soon,” he said.
In the meantime, he’s given his devotees something to chew on. Bearing one Drake solo cut and two A-list features with Lil Baby and Rick Ross, respectively, Scary Hours 2 sees Drake dropping bars—and supposedly, some disses—as he finger rolls his way back to the charts.
Featured image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Ten City‘s first album in 25 years is on the way.
The Chicago R&B and house vocal group comprising Byron Stingily and Marshall Jefferson announced their forthcoming LP Judgement with Jefferson’s rework of their 1987 classic, “Devotion.” Of the 2021 update of “Devotion,” Jefferson said,
“The lyrics are about two women that myself and Byron went on a double date with. They seemed to have been in bad relationships before. Byron started singing and we came up with the idea that if previous men had treated them better, they wouldn’t be so bitter. I took Byron’s original and positive vocal ideas, ‘I want to give you Devotion,’ and came up with the music the same night because it was a great vibe.”
The hit single, an extended version of which was included on their 1989 debut album, Foundation, receives a lush rework from Jefferson that stays true to the group’s soul, disco, and Chicago house roots. Jefferson’s conversion of “Devotion” will soon be packaged on a remix EP (due March 19) that will also include an underground remake from Glasgow-based duo Illyus & Barrientos. In the meantime, Ten City and their fans alike will also be anticipating the release of their fifth studio album, Judgement, which is slated to arrive this summer via Ultra Music.
Listen to Marshall Jefferson’s rework of “Devotion” below.
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On his first production of 2021, So Dope is dead set on defending the throne—and the “Crown.”
After a statement-making opening to the new decade that saw So Dope drop off four originals, “Concrete,” “Soundbwoy,” “Ride or Die,” and “Waiting 4 U,” the New Yorker is kickstarting another year of music with “Crown.” As longer-term So Dope listeners will note, “Crown” channels the reggae influence that colored May 2020’s “Soundbwoy,” and similarly does so with a dubstep twist. Fans of So Dope’s former release can consider “Crown” a complementary companion cut meanwhile those who enjoy “Crown” but have not been exposed to “Soundbwoy” now know where to head next.
On “Crown,” distributed via JustUs Recs., So Dope breaks out his black belt in crowd incitement. Though the mosh pit-inducing power of the dynamo’s most recent material has yet to be realized, it’s not a characteristic that comes with an expiration date, meaning that its first moment of live play out will be a memorable one, to say the least. Stream below.
Kaskade has released the final single from Reset, his first EP of the year and first-ever EP to be released via Monstercat. Reset‘s finale, “Miles To Go,” features Ella Vos and showcases Kaskade’s emotive side with nostalgic house notes that fuse with Vos’s dreamy vocals. The serene soundscape instills a sense of calm, proving the perfect final touch to the four-track EP.
Reset has been produced in collaboration with Rocket League for the game’s music-themed second season. Of note, Kaskade is the first artist that Rocket League aligned with for an entire season. Kaskade discussed the partnership in an official release, stating,
“Working with Rocket League as the first artist to conceptualize and create music for an entire season of their game was such an honor, and I also knew I couldn’t mess it up…gamers take their music and sonic landscapes very seriously. So while I felt a little pressure, it was mostly just an amazing time to pull together songs that could really go along with the various moods that we go through while immersed in a game like Rocket League. They’re finally all getting a release together on the Reset EP which will include my final song, ‘Miles to Go’ with Ella Vos, so the entire experience can be found in one place.”
The single arrives via Monstercat Silk, the label’s third brand, forged after Monstercat’s recent acquisition of Silk Music, a leading progressive and deep house label. Over the past three years, Monstercat has provided the soundtrack to Rocket League with more than 100 songs.
Featured image: Mark Owens
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Over the past few years, Ben Bruce and Dylan Gold—known collectively as um..—have been motivated by the following belief: their approach to electronic production is novel—antithetical even—to the established sounds in the dance space. “We don’t want to follow an abused and over saturated path devoid of any creativity or evolution. We have found a direction that is new, fun and creatively unique,” they’ve stated. After formally making their acquaintance with the industry in 2015 through their Pay Attention EP, Bruce and Gold, whose paths crossed at Icon Collective, have been on a compelling quest to exemplify just what they’ve claimed.
“Spooky,” which doubles as their latest single and their sophomore one-off of the calendar year, further strengthens this initiative, bringing bass-fluent boldness to its distributor, dotdot. The rumbling Halloween referent would readily nestle in one of RL Grime‘s “Halloween” mix tracklists, but presently adds a touch of crepuscular quirkiness to streaming platforms. Overall, “Spooky” serves as an enticing first taste of um.. style for those unfamiliar with Bruce and Gold’s roving co-initiative, The single invites listeners who’ve not further explored um..’s catalog to get right down to it. And, with Deadbeats and Wakaan among the labels to welcome um..’s efforts, the duo doesn’t come without a substantial co-sign—though this is apparent with just one stream below.
Featured image: um../Facebook
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With their highly anticipated Something, Everything LP just days away, Sultan + Shepard share one final taste of what’s shaping out to be a sensational record. Newest single “White Lies” features the robust melodic house elements expected from a This Never Happened release, but at only 83 BPM the single offers a much slower groove to settle into. On social media, Sultan + Shepard shared the inspirations behind the song:
It’s a song about the stories we tell ourselves in order to make ourselves feel better. It’s also a song about being honest with yourself and using that honesty as a way to let go and move forward.
“White Lies” features vocal work from The Cut, whose nearly falsetto singing blends well with the measured instrumental. Sultan + Shepard’s first two Something, Everything singles “Solid Gold Love” and “Assassin” are two uplifting singles firmly rooted in progressive house. Meanwhile, third single “nCNTRL” and now “White Lies” both trend towards mellow and downtempo directions. With no more indication for the remaining tracks on the forthcoming album, fans will be curious to see if the slower tracks represent a bulk of the record or if they are outliers among an upbeat house experience. Something, Everything will be released on This Never Happened March 12, 2021.
Featured image: Sultan + Shepard / Facebook
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