The Brit's 44-minute tape explodes with drum and bass energy, featuring a smattering of remixes and originals.
Since appearing in the drum & bass scene back in 2015, Mollie Collins has seen an exponential rise, culminating in her current role as a KISS-FM UK DJ. Just last year saw the release of her debut album, Musicality, via Right Good Records, and last month the Brit delivered her latest single, "Count On Me" with Leah Guest.
Considering her major moves in a male-dominated genre, there's no better way to celebrate this year's International Women's Day than with an exclusive mix from Collins. Packed with frenetic drum & bass energy, the tape explodes with originals from Collins, Sub Zero, Jam Thieves and others, along with remixes from Sub Focus, North Base and more.
To boot, Collins' show on KISS is dedicated to Women's History Month. Starting March 6th with Flava D, Collins is bringing on guest hosts every Saturday. Next up are Mrs Magoo, Kara and Lens.
"I definitely feel that in 2021 we have so many more females killing it within DNB than we did when I first started out in 2015, which is why it's so important to shout about these people on International Women's Day," Collins told EDM.com (link my feature piece here). "It's a day of celebration for all the hard working females that maybe don’t always get the recognition that they deserve."
Check out the full tracklist below.
TR Tactics & Manta - The Hunt
A.M.C - Mind The Gap (Turno Remix)
Gino - Stay Away
Ruffstuff - Bounce (SubZero Remix)
Jam Thieves - Heavy Duty
Bare Up - Crawling
Askel & Elere - Get Up
Nero - Me & You (Freeks & Geeks Remix)
Shadow Sect & Mizo - Genesis
A.M.C - Nitro (Teddy Killerz Remix)
Dossa & Locuzzed - Shag (A.M.C & Turno Remix)
Dimension - Remedy
Gydra - Spirit Challenge
Document One x Levela - Heat Beams
Alibi - Rua Dub
Mollie Collins x Ruth Royall - Remedies
Mozey feat. Serum - Countdown
Sub Zero - Warhead Flex
Whiney & Inja - Game Face
Metal Work - Mega Punch
Camo & Krooked & Mefjus - No Tomorrow feat. Sophie Lindiger
Gydra - Snake Style
Lowriderz - Back VIP
Tatu - All the things she said (Kleu Bootleg)
Adam F - Circles (Pola & Bryson Bootleg)
Bruk - Bobblehead
Crossy & Skibadee - Born On Road
Mozey - Lady Petrol
Jam Thieves - Bizness
Magenta - Bank
Jaxx Jones & Au/Ra - I Miss You (Northbase & Pulsar Remix)
VovKing - Tears
CamelPhat - Eaiser (Sub Focus Remix)
Dossa & Locuzzed - Tommy
Dimension - Whip Slap
Agressor Bunx - Power Glow
Creme - Havoc
Shy FX & UK Apache - Original Nuttah 25 (Chase & Status Remix)
Teej - Question
Mollie Collins - Like You Feat. Marianna Ray
VJ Kobra caught up with EDM.com to chat about how "hard work, preparation and passion"—and a pandemic—helped her follow her dreams.
VJ Kobra’s first visit to the state of Colorado was as a runaway.
With an idealized dream to head anywhere new, she climbed into a packed car with friends, left her home of South Dakota, and headed West. A few days later, she would be returned home by police, jettisoned back to the mundane locale that thwarted her youth and creativity.
Several years later, on a lone trip in the fall of 2020, she would return on her own accord. However, this time around, she was one of the most topical visual artists in the electronic music space.View the original article to see embedded media.
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." This classic opener of A Tale of Two Cities poetically summarizes what was a polarizing, yet somehow career-defining year for many visual artists in 2020.
With electronic music’s rise over the last decade, live performance production has grown congruently, both in importance and impact. Mind-bending LEDs and immersive visuals are often associated with the musicians themselves, but more often than not there is a fellow artist—known as a VJ, or visual jockey—orchestrating what’s happening onscreen.
Prior to 2020, these performers—outside of legends like Android Jones—were largely overlooked, but then the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Music streams and digital festivals became the sole source of "live" music, and the need for visual artists hit an all-time high.
Originally from South Dakota, VJ Kobra didn’t grow up around electronic music. In fact, country music was the resident soundtrack of her youth, a byproduct of her surroundings in Rapid City, SD. After a visit to Orlando, Florida in the summer of 2015, she decided she’d not make an escape, but a full-time move South in a familiar pursuit of something new. She quickly connected with friends, who would eventually introduce her to the EDM scene. Dazzled by the production at events like EDC Orlando, she began to vaguely visualize ways to create similar experiences for others.
"Moving from South Dakota to Florida was something I had always dreamed of when growing up," Kobra told EDM.com. "When it actually became my reality, it was a huge adjustment. South Dakota doesn’t have much of an entertainment scene so being able to attend real events with high-quality productions really woke me up to a whole new world of possibilities."
As she began to dig deeper into her appreciation and understanding, tragedy struck. Her close friend who had introduced her to EDM, Kaitlyn, suddenly passed away. In mourning, Kobra began shuffling Kaitlyn's old SoundCloud account, engrossing herself even further into electronic music. In part ode and part self-realization, she began to dedicate herself to actualizing her dream as a visual artist while simultaneously living out the passion of her friend.
Soon after, Kobra booked a gig at Orlando's Henan Contemporary Center, a venue 136 miles away, but one that afforded her the chance to explore this newfound career. After working her shift at Mercedes-Benz, she'd immediately drive two hours south to VJ for the opening act. She was receiving very little in terms of payment and recognition, but the opportunity to perform fulfilled her enough to keep pushing.
"Driving two-plus hours for those gigs was exhausting but some of the most impactful moments of my VJ journey," said Kobra. "In my eyes, those gigs were my shot to get my foot in the door and gain the knowledge I so desperately needed."
Then, last March, the impact of COVID-19 threw a wrench into everything. The year's music festivals were effectively quashed, as were the clubs and venues that were giving Kobra her sporadic bookings. Within a month, livestreams began to populate the Internet and finally, visual artists like herself were primed for the spotlight.
Over the span of a few months, Kobra went from VJing infrequent club bookings to prominently being featured in Electric Hawk’s "Harmony" stream series, SummerEyes Music Festival, Cabin Fever Festival, Wormhole Wednesdays and Cyberdelic New Year. Moreover, she went from working with local openers to "swapping pixels" with her favorite artists, including Shlump, DMVU, and SubDocta. While her former gigs usually confined her to the sound booth and shadows, the new livestream format catapulted her into a position of recognition and much-deserved appreciation from the industry at large.
"I thought it would be at least a couple years before I would even get the chance to work with the artists I listen to regularly," said Kobra. "The fact that I was able to do so so soon made me realize my potential even more and made me work even harder."
While the industry still remains largely devoid of live events and its full-scale luster, VJs like Kobra have experienced newfound success and opportunity. Once a dream and dedication to her late friend, Kobra’s passion as a visual artist has mutated into full-time career.
In 2021, fans, musicians and visual artists alike are all hoping for a return to normalcy, but that doesn't imply any regression for Kobra. With her new platform, she’s routinely championed for a continued appreciation for VJs and their place in the scene.
Traveling to Colorado for the second time, Kobra returned as a person with a far stronger sense of direction and purpose than her first trip. Not only has her VJ career afforded her the ability to travel, but it also gifted her the realization that she can manifest her dreams.
"I feel optimistic and hopeful for the future," said Kobra. "I’m starting to realize the immense amount of opportunities that are out in the world and that all it takes is some hard work, preparation and passion to make your dreams a reality."FOLLOW VJ KOBRA:
"International Women’s Day is more than just celebrating our collective successes and achievements. It’s about accelerating gender parity and seeing positive change for women all over the world."
Since 1975, International Women's Day has been designated as a global day of recognition for women, taking place annually on March 8th. It also coincides with the American Women's History Month. But historically, the event dates back to the early 1900s, linked to early feminist and workers' rights movements. From protest movements to a celebration of women's suffrage, the date has become a focal point and rallying cry for gender equity worldwide.
It's no secret that we've still got a long way to go in ensuring equal opportunities, pay and platforms for women, along with non-binary individuals. This is especially true in the electronic music industry—a 2020 study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found only 21.7% of artists in the genre identify as female.
To celebrate International Women's Day 2021, we're honoring some of the women trailblazers who fall within that minority, many of which have been forging new ground in EDM for years. To tap into the resilient energy that drives much of their work and their hopes for a truly equal world beyond music, we asked them, "What does International Women's Day mean to you, and why is it important?" Read responses from Aluna, TOKiMONSTA and many more below, in alphabetical order.AIBAI
"To me, International Women's Day is about reflecting on all that women have done to help change the world for the better. It is a time for us to celebrate how strong and courageous women are. As a female producer in a male dominated industry, I feel it is important to break through those norms to show that anyone can produce music regardless of gender identity."ALUNA
"For me, this day is always an opportunity to think about my long term goals for myself and other women who face the same obstacles that I do. I want to move the needle on how Black women experience the music industry, especially in dance. There is work to do in every single area, from correcting the erasure of the Black history from dance music and investing in the development of Black women producers, all the way to implementing new measures to ensure diversity when booking festivals. That means having Black women in more positions of power at the gateway check points all along that journey."ANFISA LETYAGO
"It is important to remember both the social, economic and political achievements and the discrimination and violence to which women have been and are still subjected in many parts of the world. I’m really proud to be part of a musical scene which is growing up day by day, giving credit and importance to incredible women who have a lot to say through music."ANJA SCHNEIDER
"International Women’s Day is more important than ever. We are not living in an equal world and we have to fight for our rights all the way. Even if we make improvements for women in our own industry, it is hard to claim success if we have such injustice in the world we live in. In countries we are traveling to for performances or where we sell our music, woman have no rights and are suppressed. We cannot stop pointing out these injustices. Woman can change the world and we have to not stop until this is achieved."EVAN GIIA
"Being a woman in a male dominated industry and genre is something I’ve gotten used to. I grew up in a house with two brothers, so I’ve always been 'one of the guys.' But as I get older and start to look at my future, I realize the black and white differences of being a male versus a female artist. For one, I want to have a family, so unlike the male artists in my space, I’m thinking about my career in that light. I look up to artists like Anna Lunoe and so many more who are raising a family one night and playing a festival the next. It’s a superhuman task. And when I look at the list of female electronic artists to collaborate with, it’s shockingly small. We are making great leaps but still have such a long way to go."KITO
"Having female role models played such a huge part in my pursuit of music as a career. I think without seeing someone else do it, it's hard to imagine it's possible. I am lucky enough to work with so many women on both a creative and a business level. International Women's Day is important for this reason: shedding light on all the incredible achievements women have made and are making in order to lift, encourage and inspire the next generation."LADY BEE
"International Women's Day to me is a day where we recognize that women, now more than ever, can take charge of their own destinies. Growing up I saw very few, if any, examples of women artists. I am happy to be in control of my own career and able to make my own creative decisions with a team that supports me in my vision. These days it is not so much the struggle of getting more women into the music industry, but more about cultivating the talent that those women have. This is a new reality and the possibilities for women are endless."MOLLIE COLLINS
"International Women's Day to me is just a wicked day where we can celebrate all of the talented women in the music industry and even outside of it. I do what I can to push the women within the drum and bass scene, where there aren't as many women involved. And the music industry as a whole has so many talented women: DJs, Producers, MCs, managers, graphic designers, sound engineers, artwork designers, agents. This is why IWD is so important. We all come together and shout about just how talented all of these people are and what they do for our industry."NERVO
"International Women's Day is a reminder to pause and give thanks to our fore-sisters: for all they endured to enable us to enjoy some of the same privileges as our male counterparts. It's also important to remember that while we have made progress, there is still a long way to go."NINA LAS VEGAS
"Artists are expected to build a digital relationship with their audience, something that doesn’t always come naturally. I’m a true believer in spotlighting your personal wins to encourage others. However, it’s that kind of confidence that so many of my male peers in EDM practice every day and womxn find a little harder. 'Am I being too proud? Am I being too confident?' It’s that unspoken boldness that I wish more of womxn exhibited, proudly, without fear of being belittled online or questioned. I appreciate International Women's Day for highlighting some of these wins for us."NORA EN PURE
"International Women’s Day is a day to reflect on all the women that came before us and paved the way for us. It is a day to celebrate but also to look to the future, ensuring we are moving in the right direction when it comes to equality. When it comes to gender, I can only hope that one day it will no longer need to be a topic of conversation and we can achieve equal rights and opportunities for all."QRION
"It’s important for women to have this day to remind us that we all exist in this world equally. Even though this should be something we are reminded of every day. I know sometimes it’s hard, especially for women who are in the industry where we don’t have a 50/50 ratio of men and women. International Women’s Day reminds me that we are not alone."SIPPY
"International Women's Day for me is a day to stop and recognize how far we have come and how much we have achieved, and to use this reflection to empower myself to continue pushing forward. It's important to recognize the challenges that we have overcome and the goals and dreams that we have achieved, to give us the energy and strength to continue to strive for equality, especially when we find ourselves in those dark moments of adversity or inequity.TOKiMONSTA
"International Women’s Day is more than just celebrating our collective successes and achievements. It’s about accelerating gender parity and seeing positive change for women all over the world. We may see women excel in industrialized and Western cultures. There is still mass scrutiny and inequality for women in much of the rest of the world. We should create a movement that helps those women that need it the most."WHIPPED CREAM
"International Women's Day is every day for me. There are so many amazing women from all over the world doing incredible things, and they're not getting the recognition or opportunities they deserve. Especially when it relates to art and music, women are leading the charge, speaking their minds, creating beautiful projects, and showing their leadership qualities. I'm blessed to be who I am today, to endure the things I have, and to see that even though we have a long way to go, we're making progress here each and every day."YATABE
"International Women’s Day to me means giving women the platform for equality in all aspects of life and acknowledging women as having the same rights in what is a male orientated world. As a female DJ, for me it’s about breaking the stereotypes of a male populated industry. This has made me even more determined to breakthrough as an established female artist."
"It was almost as though my boat knew what songs to put on at a certain time."
Jasmine Harrison is not a musician.
She has never picked up a microphone or downloaded music production software. She's only danced to one song in her entire life, albeit an embarrassing one. But after making history as the youngest woman to row solo across any ocean, she is living proof that music can propel anyone to do extraordinary things.
Accompanied by nothing but a playlist and the mesmeric, repetitive splosh of her oar slicing the ocean's surface, Harrison, 21, traversed the Atlantic Ocean in 70 days, 3 hours and 48 minutes. However, with a bubbly naiveté rarely found in a barnstorming, record-breaking heroine, you wouldn't know it when speaking to her. And after the enormity of her accomplishment finally sunk in, even she can't believe it was her.
"It’s very surreal. I’ve actually talked about it so much now that I feel like it’s not me," Harrison told EDM.com. "I feel like it wasn’t even me that did it."Jasmine Harrison became the youngest woman in history to row solo across any ocean after her 3,000-plus mile journey crossing the Atlantic.Music is a time machine
Harrison etched her name in the history books after finishing the 2020 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge having rowed across the Atlantic, a feat that only 17 other women have achieved. Powered by music and unflinching stamina, her journey began in Spain and ended over 3,700 miles away in Antigua.
Music played a pivotal role in her journey, she said. It wore many hats, but perhaps its most visceral function was that of a time machine. "I enjoyed the songs that took me back to a moment in time. So somewhere different, and a memory to think about," Harrison explained. "Because out there, there’s nothing really to see—as much as you’re literally seeing the sea—but I could map imagery from hearing a song and picturing a time in my life where either I first heard that song, or the best time I heard it. It would bring back things that happened so quickly in life, where you don’t always appreciate those memories and moments. So it put me back in a time for me to appreciate that moment a little bit more."
The young Brit found solace in the harmonies that warbled through her boat's speakers, which served as a respite from the nonstop rowing chatter. "[Music] let me hear human voices that actually weren’t about rowing," she added. "It was to hear normality in a song."Power of P!nk
There were times when music virtually fueled Harrison's tiny 550-pound rowing boat, which was at constant risk of toppling by rogue waves. "It was almost as though my boat knew what songs to put on at a certain time," she said. The timing of those tracks was also vital to her endurance, stemming from her belief in delayed gratification. "I also didn’t want to spoil myself too much, having good things all the time," she added. "Because then you don’t have that pick-me-up, and you need it. You want to put it on repeat all the time, but you know you can’t. Because it’s special and it gives you the boost."
It should come as no surprise that P!nk served as an anchor and a source of élan for Harrison. The pop icon, who has long been championed for her female-empowering generational anthems, was one of the rower's favorite artists to listen to during her voyage. "Everything about [P!nk's music] I find relatable. She doesn’t give a shit," Harrison exulted. "It’s just everything that I was doing represents in that, and so I really, really liked her music. There were maybe only five songs of her that I had with me, and so for one of them to come on after like 160 hours, that’s like, boom."
The bellicose nature of P!nk's music, especially from The Greatest Showman, seemed to have a profound impact on Harrison's determination. "It’s full of dream, ambition, defying the odds," she said. "Like, 'This is me. I don’t care what other people think.' And it was just really nice to have that."A titanic playlist
A look through Harrison's massive 2,404-track playlist shows a diverse selection of music, which includes a boatload of electronic classics. Among them are Fatboy Slim's legendary "Praise You," The Prodigy's "Out of Space," and Basement Jaxx's timeless house track "Where's Your Head At."
She also took a number of modern EDM favorites for a spin, like Rudimental's global drum & bass hit "Love Me Again" with John Newman and Kygo and Sasha Sloan's "This Town." Fabled dance music trio Swedish House Mafia also made an appearance on Harrison's playlist with the John Martin-assisted festival favorite "Don’t You Worry Child" and "Miami 2 Ibiza," a seminal dance anthem with Tinie Tempah that mirrors the globetrotting nature of her journey.
As for the only song she's ever danced to in her life? That would be S Club 7's inescapable "Reach," the cheesy yet uplifting pop jam that urges its listeners to reach for the stars. "You wouldn’t have thought it, but it really suits ocean rowing and what I was doing," she admitted.
Harrison, who at times conjured memories of her experience at 2019's Glastonbury Festival to "get pumped up," has an eclectic taste in music. Her go-to songs include The Cure's iconic new wave track "Friday I'm in Love," Pulp's influential Britpop single "Common People," and Imagine Dragons' global electropop smash "Thunder," the latter of which she counts as one of her all-time favorites. "They get it right no matter what mood you’re in," Harrison said of the Grammy Award-winning Imagine Dragons. "They worked. It was always the music where it doesn’t matter how you’re feeling, it works in that situation."
Another song that offered a shot of adrenaline was the aptly-titled "Fight Song," a powerpop chest-thumper by Rachel Platten. The first lyrics Platten utters, "Like a small boat on the ocean / Sending big waves into motion," flung Harrison headlong into a state of existential resolve. "The entire song was just perfect," she gushed. "When I'm rowing at 3AM in the pitch black, it’s like, 'This is my fight song. I am gonna fight.'"Rudderly sad
It wasn't all yell-to-the-sky empowerment and zen in nature. Just like the energy of a marathon DJ set, the fire in Harrison ebbed and flowed over the course of her 70 days at sea, which were tumultuous at times. She even capsized at one point, when she was violently catapulted into the water. One of her boat's speakers was also torn asunder.
During times of distress, Harrison says the music that got her back on track wasn't uplifting, but "really sad" songs that "would make [her] know that it could be a lot worse." One song that played not long after she capsized was "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," a brooding ballad from Les Misérables about the pain of absence. "That really makes you feel lucky to be alive, and to have people, and it just put things into perspective," she explained. "And it makes you go, 'Shut up and stop complaining, you chose to be here. And you’re actually enjoying it, compared to other people who have had it a lot worse and never asked for it and don’t deserve it.'"
"So I needed stuff to bring me back down," she continued, using Linkin Park's music as an example. "Linkin Park, of course Chester [Bennington]. There was quite a lot of that. And it made me sort of go, 'Life is so good right now. Wow.' I was actually already pretty low, but I needed to hear something even lower to bring me up."
The motif of absence seemed to have a nostalgic, humbling effect on Harrison's psyche. Even when it was utterly quiet, she found herself evoking her favorite music in the absence of sound—a thought process we can all relate to after a year devoid of concerts. She points to Zac Brown Band's "Knee Deep," a breezy 2010 collaboration with legendary musician Jimmy Buffett, as one of those tunes, which she dubbed her "top favorite song, ever."
"Even in the times of silence, I would sing that in my head because I know it so well," she said. "And I actually think that helped—to not have it with me. To have some of the best songs ever not actually with me at all. It makes you then miss it, and it makes you imagine it."A new role model
When asked what she would say to a young woman who may think that an accomplishment of this magnitude is impossible, Harrison pointed to self-appreciation and commitment as core values. Becoming the youngest woman to row solo across an ocean may seem like a pie-in-the-sky goal. That's because it is—but improbability and ambition aren't mutually exclusive.
"Dream, but don’t just be a dreamer. Things aren’t going to happen overnight. You also need to do something," she said. "Don’t just share a motivational quote on Facebook and think that then now applies to your life. Actually apply it to your life. Take things onboard, and apply them rather than thinking that just because you’ve seen it, or you’ve read it, or somebody said it, that it will magically happen and work."
"Don’t share your interests either—that’s the other thing," she continued. "Something that you really care about doesn’t need to be told. I never told people I’d entered the race. I’d been entered for seven months before I actually told people. If it’s something that you really want, it should be just for you. Do it for you."
You can listen to Harrison's full playlist below.
"Organ" features nine previously released singles and eight brand new tracks.
UK drum & bass sensation Dimension has been dominating the genre for years now. With wildly popular releases like "Desire" with Sub Focus, "UK," and "Don't Sleep" with Culture Shock, Dimension has become one of the foremost producers and performers in drum & bass. Now, his long-anticipated debut album, Organ, has finally been released.
Organ features a whopping 17 tracks, nine of which have been previously released as singles. Previously unheard tracks include "Psycho," a hip-hop infused belter with a halftime drum beat and a West-coast whistle inspired synth line. "Domino" takes a more midtempo approach with a gritty, nearly industrial bassline and crooning vocals.
The eerie "Altar" features signature Dimension spoken-word samples, this time in Russian, as opposed to the French samples used in 2018 single "Techno." Acclaimed vocalist Liam Bailey is featured on "Lord's Prayer," delivering his soulful verses over a powerful bassline and rolling drum breaks.
Indie pop trio Arctic Lake collaborate on the entrancing "Plus Minus," and fellow Worship artist Sub Focus makes an upfront appearance on hit single "Desire" as well as a behind-the-scenes production contribution on ethereal album closer "Sensory Division."
The album's titular track delivers a cinematic atmosphere that harkens to a cyberpunk aesthetic while "UK Border Patrol" brings the tempo down for a chilled-out early 2000s breakbeat tribute that feels like a spiritual successor to the iconic "Clubbed To Death (Kurayamino Variation)" from Rob Dougan.
With Organ, Dimension puts forth an instantly classic debut album that feels long overdue, but delivers in spades. Drawing on a multitude of genre inspiration, Organ breathes fresh air into the drum & bass sound and beyond, with top-notch production and anthems that are guaranteed to remain a mainstay in DJ sets and performances for years to come.
Dimension's stunning Organ is out now, and can be found here.FOLLOW DIMENSION:
Last April, veteran DJ and producer John Digweed took his audience on a symphonic journey with Quattro. The four-disc compilation found the British mainstay gaining mass accolades for the production. Nearly a year later, Digweed's musical inclinations have led him to create a follow-up, aptly titled Quattro II.
Like its predecessor, Quattro II finds Digweed showcasing a wide roster of talented artists, and gives a spotlight to Robert Babicz, who produced the fourth and final album in the series. The project also borrows from its prototype by keeping the same titles of each unique mix: Soundscape, Tempo, Redux, and Juxtaposition.
Soundscape embodies the euphoric emotions that lie within music. Here we come in contact with cinematic synths, hypnotic sonic waves, acid wobbles, emotive sequences, and haunting vocals. Artists lending their talents on this mix include Coloursound, Josh Wink, Dave Walker, and Quivver.
In Tempo, the ambient textures fade giving way to hypnotic grooves and melodic vibes. The 13 tracks found on Tempo push the envelope with driving acid and atmospheric breaks by the likes of Jim Rivers, Acid Rockers, and Blaktone & Florian Kruse. Acting as an opening act before the main event, Tempo seamlessly transitions into the third disc.
As the main event, Redux makes the body yearn for the dance-floor. Pulsating club beats eventually give way to the late-hour comedown of feel-good house, nu school breaks, and future grooves. It is here where we find Digweed in his element, providing his talents in five of the 12 cuts on Redux. Alongside Digweed are Stelios Vassiloudis, Nick Muir, and Guy Mantzur & Khen.
Finally, Juxtaposition shines a light on Digweed's longtime friend, Babciz. The German audio engineering master saves his best for last, curating 12 original tracks for Juxtaposition. The original work blends ambient textures with futuristic electronica, perfectly encapsulating the symphonic journey that is Quattro II.
John Digweed's Quattro II is out now. You can purchase the compilation here and listen below.View the original article to see embedded media.FOLLOW JOHN DIGWEED:
On the heels of eclipsing 3 million users, the price of Audius' cryptocurrency has surged 108% since the beginning of March.
Music streaming service Audius has seen a recent surge of popularity since its beta phase in October 2019 and ensuing public launch a year later. The controversial blockchain-powered platform's cryptocurrency token, $AUDIO, has hit a new all-time high after Audius surpassed 3 million active users, according to Cointelegraph.
The report claims that the beginning of March 2021 saw the price of $AUDIO go from a low of $0.38 to a new all-time high of $0.79 on March 4th, and spike from $3 million to a record $55 million trading volume.
While that's certainly good news for the project and its decentralized approach to music streaming, Audius still hasn't publicly shared information on how or when its users will obtain $AUDIO. According to an Audius blog post about $AUDIO, the feature is still "coming soon."
However, the blog post was shared in October 2020, with no public information to follow. In March 2020, Audius offered a breakdown of its payout plan via Twitter, but it remains to be seen if that plan will soon come to fruition. Even more information about how $AUDIO works and what the token will allow Audius users to do can be found in the Audius white paper and the company's Discord server, but a timeline for the plan remains unclear.
Some users have had success purchasing or converting $AUDIO through other cryptocurrency trading platforms, such as Uniswap, Coinbase, and Metamask. But as of this article's publication, no amount of the cryptocurrency has been obtainable through monetization via the Audius platform.
To learn more about Audius, visit the company's website.
“A lot of us want to urge government to follow the example set up already in other areas, like travel, where people will have to show vaccination passports."
Tickets to live music events in Great Britain have sold like hotcakes since the British government's recent rollout plan for recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the plan is liable to change based on the assessment of its efficiency over time, fans are hopeful that normalized live music events will resume in June 2021.
British festival directors and organizers are skeptical, however, and worried about the potential consequences of a restriction-free post-pandemic landscape. According to The Guardian, many of those organizers are petitioning for the government to mandate vaccination status in order for the public to attend in-person mass gatherings.
“A lot of us want to urge government to follow the example set up already in other areas, like travel, where people will have to show vaccination passports,” Josh Robinson, events director of Hospitality Weekend in the Woods, told The Guardian.
“What we really need is for government to say everybody needs a vaccination to get in," added Gareth Williams, director of Cropredy. "We need that clarity, rather than each having to go to people and explain.”
While tickets have been sold for events in June and beyond, unequivocal confirmation of their dates and feasibility is still up in the air. The topic itself remains divisive, as some believe it is an infringement of personal rights to require vaccination for event attendance.
Ian Brown, former frontman of The Stone Roses, has already declared that he will not perform at any events that require vaccination. "I refuse to accept vaccination proof as a condition of entry," said Brown after pulling out of Warrington's Neighbourhood Weekender event, which is slated for May 2021.
A slew of additional concerns still plague festival and event organizers, who have been petitioning for government insurance in the case of event cancellations and monetary losses. Robinson believes that the entire issue is a moral conundrum. “But if we don’t go ahead soon, the whole support structure for this industry could crumble for good,” he said.
Source: The Guardian
"REMNANTS," a collaboration with Visual Artist JapaneseDad, is a "resurrection of artistic concepts lost to time and scattered across hard-drives."
As lockdown measures and the absence of live music events continue into a second year, the EDM community has recently experienced an explosion in the popularity of NFTs. The items have emerged as a means for artists to gain financial support during a time when many performers' livelihoods remain uncertain.
For those unfamiliar, an NFT, or non-fungible token, is a digital collectible item. NFTs are stored on a decentralized blockchain and can never be deleted or replicated, meaning that the person who buys or obtains one will be the sole owner. In the electronic music space, NFTs often appear as digital artworks accompanied by exclusive music.
Following the likes of Flume, Disclosure, and many more, ODESZA is the latest major dance music act to announce a new NFT release. The duo took to Twitter to share their upcoming NFT collection, "REMNANTS."
The digital collectibles are scheduled to drop on March 20th in collaboration with visual artist JapaneseDad. ODESZA described "REMNANTS" as a "resurrection of artistic concepts lost to time and scattered across hard-drives," or lost and forgotten ideas from ODESZA and JapaneseDad that have been revitalized and reworked to be brought to life as digital collectibles.
NFTs are considered to be a great way for artists who haven't been able to tour or perform to earn a source of income, though ODESZA are taking it a step further for a charitable cause. A portion of the proceeds from the "REMNANTS" collection will be used to reduce carbon emissions via Carbon180, a climate-focused non-profit organization.
You can find more information on ODESZA's official website.FOLLOW ODESZA:
"Best team in the world. They are family."
Kygo’s go-to collaborator Petey Martin is no stranger to success in recorded music. As a part of his growing discography, Martin has been a collaborator with everyone from Vin Diesel (yes, the actor) to Ke$ha. Outside of his impressive production accolades, Martin has broadened his brand from an EDM superproducer to an artist that is commanding attention by breaking through across the Billboard and Spotify charts.
His latest single, “Come Back Home,” which features the vocal talents of two-time Grammy Award winner Lauren Daigle, landed atop the Billboard Dance and Electronic charts for the week of January 23rd and has already broken in various Spotify viral playlists, showing impressive momentum for a debut single.
Martin has proven himself not only a successful producer, but also an artist worth watching for years to come. He’s currently working on projects with some of his favorite artists and is primed to show off these high-profile collaborations in the near future.
In an exclusive interview, EDM.com caught up with Martin and his team at Palm Tree Records to discuss his journey signing to Kygo’s label, how he has navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic, and why he is excited to get back on the road and tour once venues begin to more broadly open up.
For our readers who may not be familiar, walk us through how you connected with Kygo and Palm Tree Records.
In 2016 I had written and produced a demo called "Sunrise" that was pitched to Myles Shear, Kygo’s manager. He and Kygo loved it and began working on it for his album Kids In Love. The record ended up coming out on his album and became one of the standout tracks.
When [Kygo] did his Kids In Love US tour, I went to Chicago to see the show. I met Myles backstage and he told me to start sending him more songs. We started to get in a groove over the next few months and one day he reached out and said he wanted to manage me and that was that. Not long after that I wrote and co-produced "Think About You" and started working on a lot more music with Kygo. We knew we wanted to start releasing music under my own name as well, but we wanted to take the time to develop my sound and my brand as a writer-producer.View the original article to see embedded media.
In October of this past year, you produced actor Vin Diesel's second dance single, "Feel Like I Do." How did working with Diesel come about? Was it different working with him compared to any of your other past collaborators?
About a week into signing with Myles and Palm Tree crew, I got a phone call at 5AM from Myles asking if I’d be down to go to Dominican Republic to work with Vin Diesel, who was a fan of my music. A few hours later I was on a plane. Vin quickly became a big brother and for the last couple of years I’ll go visit him and his family from time to time. During the daytime we’re jetskiing, jamming on yachts, and playing basketball and then when his kids go to bed, we’ll go to the studio.
The dude can go without sleep. I’m an 8-hour-a-night kinda guy so that definitely took some getting used to. Vin is also a teddy bear and I’ve never seen someone care so deeply about creative energy. He has one house in the Dominican that is used solely as a music studio. He’ll have friends over—who happen to be movie stars, presidents, rockstars, et cetera—to watch us work and we’ll play them demos and see how they react to each song.Vin Diesel records music in his studio.
The COVID-19 virus and quarantine culture it created has certainly impacted every one of us, especially artists. Can you share with us how you have been navigating through COVID?
Up until COVID reached America, I had been traveling nonstop January through March. So at first, it honestly felt like the perfect excuse to go home and chill, read a book, and work on music alone in my studio. Obviously, no one knew at the time it would create the impact that it has or last this long.
I’m married to a nurse, so I fully understand how serious the virus is and how lucky I am to have not contracted it or have lost any family or friends to it. But looking at the positive effects for a second, COVID has given me time to slow down and focus on projects and songs I’m passionate about and safely spend more time with family and doing other things I’m passionate about. Over the summer I was able to spend more time than ever back home in Michigan on the lake. I reread all the Harry Potter books.
COVID has also impacted the ability for artists to collaborate in person. Are you finding yourself doing more virtual sessions and is that making it more challenging to create music?
I was against Zoom for a while until I finally tried it and honestly it’s made creating music so much easier. Before COVID, I’d have to travel to different countries or states to work with some of my favorite people. Now it just takes a text or email and creating a Zoom link. Even though we’re not in the same room, we’re still able to create amazing songs and work together more frequently than we could’ve before Zoom was a thing. There will always be magic in being in the same room and feeling the energy of creativity, but it is 100% still possible to achieve over WiFi. It’s not as fun drinking over a Zoom write though, I will say that.
Although live touring's date of return is still uncertain, many artists are certainly biting their ears to get back on the road. Once it is safe to have live shows again, will you look to tour?
Definitely. I’d love to open up for an artist on the road.
You played a major role in co-producing five records off Kygo's Golden Hour album among other records. Can you give us an idea of what it is like working and collaborating with Kygo?
I owe so much of my success to Kygo. He’s hands down my favorite producer. One of my favorite things musically to experience is what happens after handing off an idea to him. I get chills every time he sends it back and I hear where he’s taken it.
During the Golden Hour process, Kygo rented a string of studios in LA for the summer. He and I had studios across from each other and we’d bring in so many amazing songwriters and artists to collaborate with us. We’d pop in on each other and freak out when we landed on something big. When we nailed “Like It Is," Myles had us blasting that one over and over again for him. We knew it felt big. His support means the world to me.
Let's talk about your latest single. You and singer Lauren Daigle launched at #1 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart with "Come Back Home." What did it feel like to have your debut single off Palm Tree Records see such immediate commercial success?
I was definitely nervous. I’ve been lucky to have written and produced a handful of big songs for other artists, but releasing music on my own made me feel pretty naked (laughs).
I definitely had tears in my eyes by the end of the first night after seeing the song go #1 on iTunes Dance and how people were reacting to it. I wasn’t expecting that. And now we’re on a lot of the Spotify Viral 50 charts, including both global and US?! It’s unreal. I’m so lucky to get to work with everyone at Palm Tree Crew and Records. Best team in the world. They are family.
In regards to "Come Back Home," can you walk us through the production and songwriting process you took with developing this record?
When my grandma passed, I took all my gear back to Michigan so that I could spend time with family after the funeral and just make music by the lake. One of my friends sent me the "Come Back Home" demo and the lyrics just wrecked me. I put the vocals in Logic X and 99% of the production was finished a few hours later.
My team sent it to Lauren and it blew our minds when she said she’d jump on it with us. She came to Nashville a few months later and we jumped in the studio to record her vocals. I had to force her to stop singing at 1AM because she was having so much fun singing the song over and over.Petey Martin and Lauren Daigle, who released "Come Back Home" on Kygo's Palm Tree Records.
Looking beyond "Come Back Home," what else should fans expect from you musically this year?
Bangers! Really excited to share what we’ve been working on. We already have a few things lined up with some of my favorite artists. And I’m loving the other projects I’m working on for other people, one of which just came out called “Stronger” by Sam Feldt and Kesha.FOLLOW PETEY MARTIN:
“Frozen fingers, technical difficulties and lost drones did not slow down the brave expedition,” Yotto said.
“A group of wild Finns climbed uphill with a generator, DJ gear and cases filled with sensitive equipment designed for a less daring environment." While this may sound like the start of a strange fairytale, it’s Finnish DJ Yotto’s way of announcing his tongue-in-cheek “A Very Cold DJ Set.”
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to shutter live music events, the dance music industry has been keeping fans entertained with creative virtual performances. Artists often film in natural scenic locales—like Ben Böhmer in the hills of Cappadocia—and brands have developed epic, digital worlds, like Tomorrowland’s jaw-dropping NYE festival.
Trading the green screen for the great outdoors, Yotto took to the icy hills of Lapland to showcase a rousing selection of progressive house gems. Grey skies, frosted trees, and distant lakes made for a moody backdrop, embellishing the brooding sounds Yotto brought to the decks. In contrast, warm, deep basslines juxtaposed the striking cold scene.
Originals from the Finnish DJ and his Odd One Out label encompassed the music selection, with plenty of unreleased tracks in the mix. Among the standouts were Yotto’s remix of Faithless' “I Need Someone” and his upcoming collaboration with Cristoph.
“A technical marvel of biblical DIY proportions,” Yotto comically shared about the making of the performance. “Frozen fingers, technical difficulties and lost drones did not slow down the brave expedition.”FOLLOW YOTTO:
"Inxtro" is one of four lengthy tracks conceptualized around the fashion house's 2021 runway shows.
High fashion houses have been calling on dance music producers to spin at their runway shows for years, such as Daft Punk for Louis Vuitton and Justice for Dior Homme. Minimalist techno pioneer Richie Hawtin is no stranger to this trend, first crafting lengthy mixes for Calvin Klein in 2017. He has now released "Inxtro," the last installment of four tracks specially composed for Prada's 2021 shows.
The mixes, released under Hawtin's Plastikman alias, were commissioned by co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, the latter of whom tapped Hawtin while he was still with Calvin Klein. "Inxtro" was created for the Fall / Winter 2021 Womenswear collection. The show debuted at Milan Fashion Week on February 25th, 2021.
"[It] evolves through two two distinct stages," Hawtin said of "Inxtro" in a press release. "Syncopated hypnotic beats welcome you first into an ambience of intimacy and sensuality, which then develops in the second half into a more playful and sexually charged rhythm of driving percussion.”
Meanwhile, "Sin Thetik," the first of Hawtin's Prada soundtrack series, was featured during the Spring / Summer 2021 Womenswear show last September. According to Hawtin, it made use of his AI algorithm sound designs to "create synthetic voices" and add dimension. The other two tracks, "Narkosis" and "Spektre," were premiered alongside "Sin Thetik" at the Fall / Winter 2021 Menswear release in January.
“The musical direction was inspired by Miuccia’s and Raf’s concept for each collection," said Hawtin of the series' creative background. "Although each collection had its own specific theme, I felt confident that the visual language of Prada and sonic aesthetic of Plastikman would find a beautiful and symbiotic relationship."
Source: Gotham MagazineFOLLOW RICHIE HAWTIN:
"Her bravery and production will inspire the planet for eons to come."
This week in Sydney, LGBTQ+ community advocates and musical duo Stereogamus paid homage to the late SOPHIE with their commission of a giant mural in her likeness. Placed next to a painting of queer icon George Michael, the murlal's reveal came just ahead of the city's LGBTIQA Mardi Gras celebration on March 6th.
The work was created by local artist Scott Marsh, who painted the Michael tribute just last year. Featuring an angel halo and the lyrics, "It's okay to cry," the mural memorializes SOPHIE at her finest. A leading trans woman in the electronic dance music industry, SOPHIE tragically died following an accidental fall in Athens on January 30th, 2021.
"Losing her has been a painful experience for our community," Stereogamus said on social media. "Scottie Marsh has turned out this beautiful mural for the lovers and dreamers. Her bravery and production will inspire the planet for eons to come. A daughter of all of music’s outliers, and uniquely her own."View the original article to see embedded media.
Street art has long been considered pushback against cultural norms, defiantly splashing imagery across public spaces. Queer artists such as Keith Haring and David Wojnarowicz, who both died of HIV/AIDS, helped pioneer the trend. Now, in addition to a growing spotlight on LGBTQ+ identifying street artists, there has also been an outpouring of works dedicated to queer pride, such as those depicting SOPHIE and Michael.
Recently, murals have also become a memorial of choice for beloved musicians, publicly honoring their contributions to the discipline. For example, rainbow-colored imagery of Muddy Waters towers over Chicago's downtown, Nipsey Hussle's portrait looks out at Brooklyn, and Prince's face appears worldwide.
Both Snake and Gomez make appearances in the short film, set in "Selena's Hair & Beauty" salon.
From her bold red lip moments to her mermaid-style waves, Selena Gomez is both a pop music icon and a beauty queen. But if you've ever wanted a makeover from this popular artist, her music video for the infectiously sultry "Selfish Love" with DJ Snake may just change your mind.
Out March 4th, the video takes place inside a 70s-era beauty parlor named "Selena's Hair & Beauty." But don't let its aesthetically pleasing wallpaper, tiled floors and vintage costumes fool you—the scene quickly devolves into a salon visit from hell. Scenarios ranging from a lopsided bob cut to death-by-hood-dryer will make you seriously rethink your next trip to the hairdresser. Gomez makes her appearance as the pinup-styled salon owner, while Snake acts as one of the establishment's unsuspecting patrons.
"Selfish Love" is the fourth music video to be released ahead of Gomez's upcoming EP, Revelación, due March 12th. It follows productions for "De Una Vez" and "Baila Conmigo" with Rauw Alejandro, the latter of which received two different visual versions.FOLLOW DJ SNAKE:
There is more than one Turntable.fm reboot gearing up for launch.
Fans of social music platform Turntable.fm despaired when the app was shuttered in 2013. Despite being active for only two-and-a-half years, the app developed a cult-like following, prompting many calls and petitions to bring the platform back in the years since.
Today, those calls were answered two-fold, as Turntable.fm is poised to make a comeback and a new platform, Turntable.org, is readying its own launch. The two platforms seem to have the same core format, allowing users to create their own rooms and perform for digital audiences. However, Turntable.org will be introducing a subscription-based pricing model.
Considering the founders of the original site cited an inability to monetize the platform at a pace capable of offsetting their costs at the time, perhaps a subscription will mitigate some of Turntable.org's risk.
As for the new Turntable.fm, while screenshots suggest that it seems vastly unchanged from how we left it in 2013, the platform is currently password-protected. However, there's a silver lining, as the welcome page poses a challenge we intend to answer immediately. "Join the waitlist," the page reads. "Email your favorite song to email@example.com, and if it's good, we'll let you in."
Source: The Verge
Burning Man devotees are turning sustainable systems into art, an effort that will support the organization's ambitious 2030 sustainability goals.
A 3,800 acre property located in Nevada's Great Basin may hold secrets as to what the future of Burning Man could look like.
Known as Fly Ranch, the property was purchased in 2016 by several high-profile donors for $6.5M. "The individuals that contributed funding for the purchase have one thing in common: they have been deeply moved and changed by their involvement in Burning Man, and they are invested in the future of this culture,” a journal published by the organization states.
So what exactly will await at Fly Ranch? Burning Man Project and the Land Art Generator Initiative set out to find the answer by launching the LAGI 2020 Fly Ranch design challenge. The ask was for entrants to turn sustainable systems into works of art. Submissions included creative energy infrastructure solutions, water reclamation, permaculture food forests, and much more. Hundreds of submissions were considered, and ultimately ten entrants were picked to receive grants to build their prototypes on site.
The work at Fly Ranch is expected to assist the broader Burning Man community in achieving its 2030 sustainability goals. In Burning Man's sustainability roadmap, published in 2019, the organization lays out their framework for ultimately achieving carbon negativity within the next decade.
Nearly a year after COVID-19 lockdowns began, New York's arts sector may start to see some semblance of normalcy.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is ready to relax restrictions on gatherings in New York, a decision that will allow for live performances to once again resume in the state, effective April 2nd.
At a recent news conference, Cuomo stated that venues will be able to reopen at limited capacity. Gatherings will be limited to operating at 33% capacit, and will include a cap of 100 patrons indoors or 200 for outdoor events. The limits will be extended to 150 patrons indoors or 500 for outdoor events if all attendees provide negative tests prior to entering the events. Upon reopening, attendees will be expected to continue social distancing and wearing masks, according to The New York Times.
In response, Actors’ Equity Association, a labor union representing actors and stage managers in the performing arts space, called on the Governor to prioritize getting workers in the arts vaccinated in order for them to safely return to work.
While the news signals the worst chapters of the pandemic may be over, some business owners are assessing how much financial sense it will make to reopen at limited capacity given the cost of paying performers. Furthermore, accounting for appropriate social distancing space indoors may put additional restrictions on the number of patrons smaller venues can reasonably expect to hold in the near term.
Source: The New York Times
Starrah's album will feature new music from Skrillex, ensuring at least one of two coveted unreleased collaborations will finally see the light of day.
After releasing her debut solo lead single "How It Goes" late last year, Starrah is prepping for another new chapter with the release of her debut album.
Due out this month, The Longest Interlude will feature an impressive list of collaborators. Taking her announcement to Instagram, the songstress tagged Nile Rodgers, James Blake, and Skrillex, among other renowned artists.
The announcement of Skrillex in particular has piqued the attention of many in the electronic music community, as there are at least two unreleased IDs that we know of between the two artists. The first is "Twenty4," a track Skrillex first played in 2018. The consensus is that—due to stylistic reasons—the dance-pop track is most likely the one to be included on Starrah's forthcoming effort.
However, the announcement has fans somewhat on edge as many are holding out hope that "El Dorado," a separate collaboration between Skrillex and Starrah, will be the song that gets dropped. Since first playing out the unreleased track in his studio last year, it has gained something of a diehard following, and is perhaps one of Skrillex's most hotly anticipated unreleased songs at the moment.
Either way, fans won't have to wait long to find out as Starrah's The Longest Interlude is slated to arrive on March 17th, 2021.View the original article to see embedded media.FOLLOW STARRAH:
He recorded the record from a satellite location using only his laptop, MIDI controller, guitar, a small interface, and his DAW.
New Jersey-based electronic music producer Epsilon XI has unveiled Borderlands, a gorgeous new 7-track album. The producer, whose chose the Roman numeral in his name to reflect the month of November—the year his late sister was born—has delivered a nostalgic slice of electronic melancholia.
Alongside fellow artist and producer Tony Appleseed of antFarm studio, XI recorded Borderlands from a satellite location using only his laptop, MIDI controller, guitar, a small interface, and his DAW. The raw nature of the recording process is evident throughout each of the album's tracks, which blend electronic elements with indie sensibilities.
A surefire standout from Borderlands is the record's fourth track, "Shout Out." Kicking off the song with spacey synths, the arrangement quickly introduces gorgeous, crescendoing guitar plucks akin to Explosions In The Sky. What follows is a breezy indie dance jam that strikes a more downtempo tone than its synthwave-inspired counterparts.
The album's titular track, "Borderlands," is also a memorable cut. More menacing in nature, the song employs a brisk breakbeat cadence that infuses a level of grit into its namesake album.
Check out Borderlands in full below.
"Borderlands is the second full length release under the Epsilon XI moniker," the producer said in a press release. "After making an Album where most tracks featured vocals, I wanted to take a different approach this time around. Utopia, my debut album explored more modern sounds."
Epsilon XI also noted that he pulled inspiration from the 80s and 90s for his newest album, which utilized a slew of retro music production techniques. "For Borderlands, my main inspiration came from the 80s and 90s era, where I used synthesizers, drum machines, and production techniques to encompass the sound of those times," he said.
You can connect with Epsilon XI via the social links below.FOLLOW EPSILON XI:
With the release of "My Time," Young provides a taste of what's to come in what looks like a bright future.
Los Angeles-based house music producer and DJ Tyler Young has made an emphatic debut with a new single titled "My Time." For his first release, Young has delivered a vibrant track with a funk-filled bassline, plucky melodic strings, and shimmering synths. "My Time" is also layered over hair-raising vocals courtesy of an impressive Haley May.
With the release of "My Time," Tyler shines, providing a taste of what's to come in what looks like a bright future. In 2006, Young was inspired to produce music after witnessing Daft Punk's spaceship touch down in the Coachella Valley. Fast-forward nearly 15 years, and Young is releasing a high-energy dance track of his own.
Albeit his first record release, Young has been DJing in the Bay Area's underground party scene for years, including during his time at San Francisco University. After graduating, he returned to his LA home-base to delve into producing music full time. Having signed with the Los Angeles-based label Thrive Music, there is much more music to come from Young on the horizon.
"My Time" is available now on all streaming platforms. Check it out here.Tyler Young's "My Time" album artwork.FOLLOW TYLER YOUNG: