Perhaps it's no wonder Switchfoot gravitated to one of The Chainsmokers' rawest dance tracks.
On their forthcoming Covers EP, due out on June 19th, alternative rock band Switchfoot will be covering a dance music favorite—The Chainsmokers' "Sick Boy."
Over the years, Switchfoot has left a mark with hit originals such as "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move," but that hasn't stopped them from dabbling outside their own discography. From Beastie Boys to Beyoncé, the band has gravitated toward covering quite a diverse pallet of songs regardless of genre.
Now the band has taken on the ambitious new challenge of covering one of The Chainsmokers' darkest songs, "Sick Boy." While it may seem like an off-beat choice, it's likely the raw subject matter of "Sick Boy" that drew Switchfoot's interest to the EDM sphere.
The Grammy Award-winning pop-rock outfit have not hesitated to tackle difficult subject matter in their music, and frequently wrestle with the current state of humanity to shape their creative process. For that reason, "Sick Boy," which grapples with navigating an increasingly impersonal and self-obsessed world, seems to align with the band's broader creative themes.
Switchfoot has released two tracks off their forthcoming Covers EP thus far, "Swim Good" by Frank Ocean and "Harmony Hall" by Vampire Weekend. Aside from the group's cover of "Sick Boy" the EP's remaining songs include The Verve’s “Lucky Man,” Harry Styles’ “Lights Up,” and Jon Bellion’s “Stupid Deep.”
You can check out Switchfoot's take on Ocean's "Swim Good" below.
J2v Virtual Festival is shaping up to be an otherworldly livestream experience.
Junction 2 is taking the livestream event space to another world. Their 3D digital festival concept, J2v Virtual Festival, recently dropped a lineup that will see many of the top underground dance music tastemakers taking to the event's virtual stages in a mind-bending six-hour broadcast.
J2v will be transporting fans to an entirely different plane of existence—one characterized by abstract virtual geometry. Now listeners journeying through the free-form virtual universe will have an appropriate soundtrack to match. Adam Beyer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Âme, Anastasia Kristensen, ANNA, Bart Skils, Daniel Avery, Effy, Eris Drew, Joel Mull, Maceo Plex, Maya Jane Coles, Octo Octa, Richie Hawtin, SAMA', Saoirse, and Shanti Celeste will be taking to J2v's three virtual stages, which are titled The Console, The Vault, and The Hex. Fans will have the ability to navigate the gridlines of this techno-centric festival from stage-to-stage, catching their favorite artists while communicating with fellow festival-goers in a dedicated chat room.
Standing in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, J2v Virtual Festival, which was originally scheduled to commence today, June 6th, 2020, has been postponed for the time being. In an official statement shared via the festival's website, organizers at Junction 2 said they intend to announce the rescheduled date "when the time is right."
J2v will be fundraising to support the Care Workers Charity, Refuge, The Outside Project, and The Trussell Trust.J2v LineupFOLLOW JUNCTION 2:
If you thought the recent Thomas Wesley record was a one-off, you'd be mistaken.
Last week, Diplo dropped a star-studded country music album under his Thomas Wesley alias. The chart-topping producer was feeling more than a little bit country, having enlisted some of the biggest names in the genre to help make it happen. Zac Brown, Thomas Rhett, and Orville Peck are just a few of the artists who appeared on Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil.
Diplo recently sat down with Rolling Stone to unpack the experiences that brought the album to fruition and, in the process, the producer confirmed a second chapter is "a hundred percent" on the way.
Diplo dove headfirst into the country music scene with his remix of the record-breaking original "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. Although "Old Town Road" skyrocketed to prominence in part through meme culture, Diplo stated that he's not here to make "meme country." In fact, he sees his album as an opportunity to authentically engage country and dance music listeners all at once.
"I don’t want to make a joke album," Diplo told Rolling Stone. "I don’t want to make 'Cotton Eyed Joe,' which… I loved it. I’m not trying to make meme country, you know? The songs are great. If you take everything off, the production of it, they’re just great songs you could sing with an acoustic guitar.
That genre-less, barrier-breaking attitude is perhaps best exemplified by the song "Dance With Me," featuring Rhett and Young Thug, which can't help but grab your attention just by looking at the title alone. "That one is the one I think people look at that and think, 'OK, this is gonna be some kind of industry plant, some totally thrown-together piece of crap,' or they’ll be intrigued by it because it doesn’t make any sense," Diplo said. "It makes zero sense. Me and Thomas and Ryan Tedder wrote it and we were like, 'Actually, this is kind of cool, but what are we trying to accomplish here? What are we actually trying to do? Are we trying to break some barriers and shake things up? If that’s the case, let’s get a fuckin’ really crazy feature on this.'”
One thing that's clear is Diplo's country music career is anything but smoke and mirrors. Diplo stated that he is trying to get a second chapter out before the end of 2020. You can have another listen through Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley Chapter 1: Snake Oil below.FOLLOW DIPLO:
These two are a perfect match.
"Ya Think" is an unstoppable bass house heater from front to back. Distorted sirens and crisp snares lead listeners into a winding build-up filled with ominous samples. The catchy pre-drop vocal acts as a gateway into a commanding bassline and screeching synths that are fine-tuned to get listeners moving. Both Habstrakt and MARTEN HØRGER's unique flair can be identified throughout the duration of "Ya Think," making this a proper addition to both artist's catalogs.
Habstrakt's grimy, cinematic sound has found its way all around the dance music world, releasing on dubstep-influenced labels like Never Say Die as well as house-focused imprints like Spinnin' Records. In 2017, he released his unforgettable collaboration with Skrillex, "Chicken Soup," as well as his widely popular track with Dombresky, "Antigone." The French producer has been on a roll this year, as he has released "Free," Es Isso" with Asdek, and "Show Me" since January.
MARTEN HØRGER's discography has remained consistently impressive since the start of his career. In 2018, he dropped his two-track Hands Together EP via Tchami's CONFESSION imprint, which included his hit "You Don't," a joint effort with frequent collaborator Neon Steve. He teamed up with Neon Steve again in 2019 on "WE'RE BACK" as well as "On The Move" earlier this year.FOLLOW HABSTRAKT:
"Todd the God" is back, and wants to know one thing.
Todd Terry, the man known for defining the New York house scene of the '80s, is back to ask one simple question—"Can you dig it?" He first asked back in 2016 on Defected Presents House Masters - Todd Terry and is now back to remix "Can U Dig It" for 2020. The legendary sample king throws down as only a master of his stature can, with a pumping new rendition to brighten up your day.
Terry cuts back on the original 7-minute track, removing the original vocal samples and replacing them with one from the 1979 film The Warriors, in which the leader unites all the tribes of New York City as one to prove there is strength in numbers during a revolt. This strategic substitution presents a clear message Terry is sending during our nation's current state of affairs. He also reworks the beat, upping the four-on-the-floor structure with an infectious bassline and brief cuts of disco-inspired orchestral samples that make it feel like we're traveling back in time.
Without "Todd the God," house music wouldn't be what is today. The Grammy Award-nominated Terry began his career in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where he made a name for himself melding hip-hop and Italian disco during his sets, something that no one was doing during that time. When Chicago house was on the come-up in the mid-'80s, he switched over and led the scene in his region with his unique method of incorporating samples into his tracks. His style has gone on to be an influence for many of the house artists we see in this day and age. The "Can U Dig It" remix is the latest release off Terry's Freeze Records, the label he created back in 1992 with William Socolov.FOLLOW TODD TERRY:
They will also match 100% of the label's net proceeds received today.
deadmau5's mau5trap imprint took to social media this morning to align with the Black Lives Matter movement, announcing they will donate 100% of label earnings from Bandcamp today directly to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund. The label will also match 100% of its net proceeds that are received today.
The fund has been established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, lodging and travel for all court proceedings, and to assist Floyd's family in the days to come as they continue to seek justice.
Bandcamp recently announced that it would be donating 100% of its share of sales on June 19th to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, a major legal organization who "seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans." They will also contribute an additional $30,000 per year to augment their efforts to partner with organizations that fight for racial justice and create opportunities for people of color.
For a longer list of organizations to donate to and petitions to sign in the fight for racial justice and equality, click here.FOLLOW MAU5TRAP:
DJs, listen up.
Tomorrowland has announced a multi-country DJ competition, Sound of Tomorrow.
Sound of Tomorrow is looking for the most talented DJs across Europe to perform at the 2021 edition of Tomorrowland. Fedde Le Grand, as well as a panel of Tomorrowland representatives, will be judging the mixes. Mixes must be no shorter than 20 minutes in length and no longer than 25 minutes, and they must be submitted by June 6th. Aside from these guidelines, the rules are fairly loose, as participants can play any EDM genre, submit live performances, and use live instruments.
The four artists selected for the second round will then perform live across Tomorrowland's social channels on July 7th in front of a panel of world-renowned DJs. The winner of this round will then have the opportunity to perform at Tomorrowland's 2021 event as well as release a remix on Fedde Le Grand's Darklight Records.
For more information on Sound of Tomorrow and to submit your mix, check out the website here.FOLLOW TOMORROWLAND:
The British Empire acknowledged the honorable work done by Festival Medical Services.
In the UK, there is no higher honor than that bestowed by the Queen. That is exactly what has happened to the Glastonbury Festival's medical team, known as Festival Medical Services (FMS), who have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest honor available to a voluntary organization. FMS is the UK's largest nonprofit registered charity, staffed by volunteers who provide comprehensive on-site medical services to festivals and outdoor events throughout the country.
This organization, which has also expanded to other high-profile events in the region,began at the Glastonbury Festival in 1979 and recently celebrated 40 years of service just last year. They have provided doctors, nurses, paramedics, ambulances, x-ray, ultrasound, dentistry, and mental health services. One of the biggest accomplishments they pride themselves in is how few patients nowadays need to be transferred to hospitals for treatments, handling everything on-site. To top things off, they also raise money through numerous charities both in the UK and abroad, donating upwards of £100,000 each year.
This year, 230 charities, social enterprises, and voluntary groups received the third highest-ranking award, labeled the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). "This year’s Queen’s Awards highlight the considerable achievements of groups of volunteers who have been making a real impact to the fabric of our country for many years – in some cases decades," said Sir Martyn Lewis, The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair. "Inspired by all that is best in the human spirit, they are made up of local people who have come together to address particular issues and problems facing their communities - often in new and imaginative ways."
The award comes at an interesting time for this company as their mission involves supporting an industry that is currently put on hold. The charity’s managing director and founder, Dr. Chris Howes, said, “I am delighted on behalf of these dedicated colleagues that their work has been recognised – although it’s sadly ironic that this award should come when few, if any, events will be taking place this summer because of coronavirus.” While Glastonbury's 50th anniversary has been canceled, the BBC has announced a pop-up Glastonbury channel to take place on June 25th to 29th, broadcasting back-to-back iconic sets and highlights from previous festivals.
Big news for hardstyle fans.
Aptly titled Defqon.1 at Home, the festival is set to kick off on June 26th and run through June 28th. Defqon.1 at Home will host over 80 artists across the 3-day livestream event, though exact details on who will be playing and when they will be perform have yet to arrive.
Q-dance states that this will be the ultimate online package, as they plan to include scheduled events within the livestream and will also be hosting live, interactive quizzes that will test fan's knowledge of hardstyle and the history of Q-dance. This marks the first time in 18 years that Q-dance was unable to host a physical version of Defqon.1.
Those planning to tune into the livestream or want more information on Defqon.1 at Home can find it at Q-dance's website here.FOLLOW Q-DANCE:
The venue will be located in London Bridge at a secret location only accessible through hidden tunnels.
Later this year, London will open its first socially distanced music venue.
The "immersive music event and venue," called One Night Records, is set to open its doors this coming October with its first event, "Lockdown Town." The venue will be located in London Bridge at a secret location only accessible through hidden tunnels.
"We're going to do it safely, but we're going to get people back together and we're going to give them an amazing night," said Tim Wilson, Managing Director of One Night Records, in a press statement. "The social distancing is part of the show so guests won't notice it. We want to give Londoners something to book now and to look forward to."
The organizers of One Night Records have also instated strict guidelines to help to maintain social distancing policies as well as other rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. One Night Records will be increasing ventilation throughout the venue and will require attendees to wear a mask at all times, show up at staggered time slots selected on its website, and will only allow attendees to order food through a drive-thru window.
One Night Records is planning to host events starting October 2nd, 2020, with their last event scheduled for December 31st. Those interested in attending can or learning more about One Night Records can find tickets and information here.
Could the track and trace app be the answer to reopening live events in 2020?
Melvin Benn, the managing director at Live Nation's Festival Republic, has unveiled his "Full Capacity Plan" with regards to reopening the entertainment and hospitality industries in the UK, which he recently discussed on BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat. The mission is to get them fully operational by November through partnering with the National Health Service (NHS) COVID-19 track and trace app that is currently in development.
What this means is that only people who have recently tested negative for the virus would be able to attend music venues, sporting events, theatres, and restaurants. Benn is also championing the initiative as a major incentive for people to begin using the NHS app. The app tracks and traces users' whereabouts, allowing them to know if they've been potentially exposed to the disease by another user.
“We are currently in a position where the government has capacity to test 1.4 million people a week but [is actually] testing less than 700,000 because there is no incentive,” says Benn. “My plan is to create incentive, to test at least double the current capacity and be aiming for 12-15 million people a month being tested minimum.”
When people go to buy tickets or book a reservation, for example, they would be prompted to download the app and obtain a COVID-19 test. Benn says they would need to do this "within either seven or 14 days" before the event or "whichever length of time ... the government determines is safe." Once a negative test result has been uploaded, they would gain access to wherever they plan to go, granted only if the app has not alerted them that they've not come into contact with the virus prior to the event.
While this idea seems potentially viable on paper, it does, however, mean they would need a substantial buy-in from both the government and scientists leading the medical examinations. Dr. Simon Clarke, Associate Professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, warns that tests will not always pick up the virus in its early stages. "We can't know for sure that when you've had a negative test for the virus, you will remain negative for any period of time after," Clarke said. These establishments would also need to provide health screening, with temperature checks and better hygiene procedures put in place before guests could gain access.
The government and NHS have also been vocal in their efforts to combat any ideas that the app collects data that could identify a specific individual, infringing on their privacy rights. Though the fear that Benn's proposal could systematically separate those comfortable with allowing the government to decide whether or not you can go to a live event, it also begs the question of whether or not this initiative is only protecting larger event companies, like Live Nation. Smaller venues and restaurants that are unable to afford the additional technology of in-house screening may be left in the dust.
However, with entertainment and hospitality currently on lockdown until 2021, this plan could speed up repairing the economy. The trade body UK Music estimates that the contribution of live music to the UK economy is set to drop in 2020 from an estimated £1.1 billion to just £200 million. It's important to note that Benn's "Full Capacity Plan" is merely a draft, with no indication of whether or not the government will move forward with it.
Henry Fong, Dion Timmer, Graves, PhaseOne, and many more contributed to the bundle.
A bevy of dance music artists, producers, and vocalists have teamed up with renowned music production marketplace Cymatics to craft an expansive sample pack in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The bundle, titled "Hearts Vol. 2," features contributions from Excision, KSHMR, Dion Timmer, Dubloadz, Dirty Audio, Leah Culver, Henry Fong, IVEEN, PhaseOne, Graves, OTR, Slow Magic, Ramzoid, Jameston Thieves, and Laxcity, among others.
100% of the proceeds from the sample pack will be donated to three organizations fighting for racial justice and equality amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd. Those organizations are Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The team at Cymatics is responsible for constructing and releasing some of the most prevalently used samples and presets in electronic dance music. Their custom drums, synths, pads, bass patches, and other sonic tools appear ubiquitously in music from many of the genre's most prominent produced. You can obtain your copy of "Hearts Vol. 2" via Cymatics' website here.
Excision took to Instagram to share the news, which you can read below.FOLLOW EXCISION:
Many artists in the dance music community and music industry at large have taken to social media to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.
As protests continue to mount following the death of George Floyd, other slain members of the Black community at the hands of police are reentering the fray in the fight for racial justice and equality.
One such case is that of Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician who was fatally shot by officers following a raid on the wrong home by police, who had been looking for two suspects who were already in custody at the time.
Breonna Taylor's 27th birthday would have been today, June 5th, 2020, and many people on Twitter have mobilized to send birthday cards, custom artwork, and other tributes in honor of her. A petition was also created to demand justice for Taylor, which you can sign here.
Check out a list of reactions from the dance music community and music industry at large below.
"Our team is sending out love, advocating for unity, and standing in solidarity with all who are a part of the BLM movement."
Bassnectar took to social media today to further align with the Black Lives Matter movement by announcing a series of donations to organizations fighting for racial equality in the wake of protests following the death of George Floyd.
"We’re all deeply affected by the current events surrounding racial injustice and police brutality. And while we are upset and disturbed, we are also incredibly inspired to participate and eager to be a part of the solutions," Bassnectar wrote in a post shared on Facebook. "We want to pause another week on anything music related, and continue to focus on engagement, education, and activism - and we want to invite you to join us, get involved, and find out how you can participate."
In his Facebook post, Bassnectar said he plans to donate $100,000, which will be split among five organizations that are fighting for racial justice and equality. Those organizations are Black Lives Matter, Color Of Change, Campaign Zero, Media Justice, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
According to the post, Bassnectar's donation to each organization correlates to a specific theme.
> Empowerment: Racial Equality + Anti-Racism
> Social Justice: Solidarity & Unity
> Education: Communication, Information & Truth
> Demanding Change: Reform, Policy & Oversight
> Activism: Organization, Engagement & Protest
You can read his post in full below.
For a longer list of organizations to donate to and petitions to sign in the fight for racial justice and equality, click here.FOLLOW BASSNECTAR:
Bandcamp is waiving fees and directing 100% of proceeds to artists today as part of its "#BandcampFriday" initiative.
As part of Bandcamp's "#BandcampFriday" initiative in which the music platform waives its share of sales to provide relief to creators during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of anonymous volunteers has taken it upon themselves to compile an expansive list of Black artists and labels to support.
The list, which features over 1,000 entries, was formulated and shared amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. The vast majority of the music industry took part in a sweeping blackout on Tuesday, June 2nd to align with the protests and many are now amplifying their efforts to support racial justice and equality, including Bandcamp and Spotify, among others.
Moreover, Bandcamp put together an extensive list of artists and labels with special releases today along with information pertaining to their respective donations and the organizations they are supporting in the fight for racial justice. You can find that list here.
Road Rave was supposed to take place tomorrow, Saturday, June 6th.
In solidarity with those fighting for racial equality amid nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, Carnage is pulling the plug on his Road Rave drive-in festival this weekend.
Road Rave, which was supposed to take place at Central Florida Fairgrounds tomorrow, Saturday, June 6th, has officially been rescheduled to Saturday, June 20th. Carnage took to social media to announce the news.
"As you know our country is going through some very tough times right now and out of respect for this powerful movement for equality we are postponing the Road Rave in Orlando, FL to June 20th," says an official statement shared in Carnage's post. "It would not be right to take attention away from this movement. We need to stand united against racism and police brutality in this country."
In light of the postponement, the event's promoter, Disco Donnie, is honoring all refund requests. Current ticket-holders do not need to take any further action since their passes will automatically be transferred to the new date.
You can read Carnage's post in full below.FOLLOW CARNAGE:
Aluna Francis took to Instagram to shed light on her experiences fighting racism and quality in the music industry.
Francis, who is the venerated voice behind some of the most celebrated songs in dance music, detailed how she feels "practically invisible" despite her significant contributions to music from white collaborators.
“Over the years I’ve accepted my role as the black accessory to white peoples dance music, internally bowing and scraping for these opportunities with no acknowledgement for my contribution because I’m just used to it. I would stand on huge stages singing to thousands of white people, bringing soul, meaning and magic while feeling like an alien," Francis wrote. “Deep down I know dance music isn’t white music - it’s black music that has been white washed for so long that we forgot."
Francis, who recently released a new single in conjunction with the announcement that she is embarking on a solo career, closed her post calling for the same support given to her white collaborators in the past.
"Im changing that now with this solo project and I want the same people in the music industry who supported the artists I leant my voice to to step up and support me as a black woman at the cutting edge of dance music," she continued.
You can read Aluna Francis' post in full below.FOLLOW ALUNA:
"Younger" features wistful vocals from Las Vegas singer-songwriter Trice Be.
Bobby Duque and MONÄVA have joined forces for "Younger," a new collaborative single featuring Las Vegas-based singer-songwriter Trice Be with nostalgic lyrics that yearn for the simpler times of the past.
"Younger" looks at the past through rose-colored glasses. With melancholic chord progressions and subtle brass, the production of the verses strikes a wistful chord under the pensive vocals of Trice Be. Trice Be's vocal effort here is phenomenal, blending reggae and soul to aching effect. "One could say that we were ignorant / But that don’t take away our innocence," he sings. "I dream, awake, of going back again / To feel that love that seems to never end." The smooth production is juxtaposed, however, by a rollicking drop that contains elements of both dubstep and trap for a festival-ready bass tune.
The music video, which was directed and edited by Duque, features Trice Be throughout its entirety. He croons through multiple different shots, oscillating between cuts with an assortment of colorful backdrops and vibrant, prismatic face paintings, making for a kaleidoscopic feel. When the drop hits, Trice Be goes nuclear as his face is edited in frenetic fashion to align with the single's rip-roaring dubstep energy.FOLLOW BOBBY DUQUE:
Eric Prydz took to social media to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Following the sweeping music industry blackout to align with the Black Lives Matter movement, iconic DJ and dance music producer Eric Prydz took to social media today to voice his support and announce a sizable donation to the the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Along with a screenshot of his donation, Prydz shared a succinct yet powerful message. "I stand with you," he wrote alongside a "red heart" emoji. "Help out anyway you can."
To follow in Prydz' footsteps and donate to the NAACP, click here. You can also sign the "Justice for George Floyd" petition, which, according to the NAACP, aims to achieve the following:
• Demand appointment of an independent special prosecutor to lead the federal government’s full and impartial investigation of the murder of George Floyd.
• Demand reinstitution by the Department of Justice of consent decrees on police departments and municipal governments across this country that have demonstrated patterns of racism towards and mistreatment of people of color.
• Demand sweeping police reform–federal legislation mandating a zero-tolerance approach in penalizing and/or prosecuting police officers who kill unarmed, non-violent, and non-resisting individuals in an arrest.
To peruse a longer list of organizations to donate to and petitions to sign in the fight for racial justice and equality, click here.FOLLOW ERIC PRYDZ:
ODESZA is inviting fans to join them "in the continued fight for justice."
In the wake of the death of George Floyd and the ongoing nationwide protests that ensued, electronic duo ODESZA have announced that they are matching donations up to $5,000 to numerous organizations that are fighting for racial justice.
Taking to social media to announce the initiative, which was cultivated by their Foreign Family Collective imprint, ODESZA announced that they will be donating to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Lives Matter, and Color of Change, and invited their fans to join them "in the continued fight for racial justice."
For ODESZA and Foreign Family Collective to match your donation, simply send a screenshot to this email.
For a deeper list of charities to donate to and petitions to sign in the fight for racial justice and equality, you can click here.FOLLOW ODESZA: