Since fleeing his homeland of Syria in the wake of its civil war, singer Omar Souleyman has accrued global esteem for his delectably bizarre and frenetic amalgam of traditional Eastern dabke music and Westernized techno—styled especially for weddings.
Enter Diplo. Leave it to the Mad Decent shot-caller—who housed Souleyman’s 2019 LP Shlon—to summon the strangest and often most colorful elements of the dance music continuum. The plot thickens, as German Renaissance Man of the dance world, Boys Noize (real name Alex Ridha) enters the increasingly international frame. Ridha is in many ways an idyllic remixer for a feat as left-field as Souleyman’s. His track record proves his amorphous affinity for everything from hip-hop to acid house, taking on originals across the map from Snoop Dogg, Depeche Mode, Afrika Bambaataa, The Chemical Brothers, and countless more.
From the Shlon album comes “Layle,” Ridha’s acquired remix target. He ditches the original’s feverishly complex melodies and introduces a blistering Boys Noize cornerstone kick drum and infamous analog sensibilities. Ridha takes “Layle” from the Middle Eastern wedding-day dancefloor to the steely German warehouse walls with poise.
Turn Up Charlie, the sitcom co-created by and starring Idris Elba as a struggling DJ, has been cancelled after one season.
The series premiered in March 2019, and found the Wire and Luther star playing a middle aged DJ grasping for his last chance at success, hired as a nanny for his famous friend’s daughter.
As reported by Digital Spy, a spokesperson for Netflix recently revealed in a statement that “Turn Up Charlie will not return for a second season”. “”We’re especially grateful to star and executive producer Idris Elba, who turned his passion for DJing into a witty, heart-warming comedy series… We’re also thankful to executive producers Gary Reich and Tristram Shapeero and co-executive producers Martin Joyce and Ana Garanito, along with the dedicated cast and crew, for bringing this story to life on Netflix.”
Of course, Elba has a long history with music and DJing, and earlier this year was photographed with techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson, with whom he has reportedly been working on music.
Watch Elba’s DJ set from Elrow London 2018 below.
Following his two-part, 60-stop freshman album run through 2019, Gryffin is not allowing his Gravity live show to fade in fans’ rearview. In an unexpected turn of events, Gryffin plans to upload his first-ever full concert while the world remains trapped at home. The Gravity II performance, captured by a professional video crew across back-to-back October evenings at The Shrine in Los Angeles, will air in grand fashion May 9 at 9PM EST.
Gravity Live from The Shrine will present an all-encompassing audio-visual experience for those that were unable to witness Gryffin and his live ensemble first-hand with full performances of his album classics like “Tie Me Down,” “All You Need To Know” and “Body Back.” For those searching for additional quarantine content from Gryffin, he has kept himself occupied over the past month. He not only issued his first post-album release, “Hold You Tonight” but also participated in a stunning 60-minute beachside Digital Mirage virtual stream.
Fans are able to RSVP for the stream here, where they will be provided with more details alongside the rollout.
Featured image: Juliana Bernstein
Don’t let the mellow opening fool you, Gunfight wants you to let your guard down.
“Ammo” is yet another deceptively dramatic production from the eclectic producer. Flexing his finesse in drum & bass territory, Gunfight cooks up a sinister atmosphere for the latest addition to his catalog. A longtime fan of the genre, GunFight’s first foray into the production side sounds perfectly purist. For drum and bass fans, “Ammo” has it all. Clean production and a whiplash inducing barrage of machine gun kicks that are truly locked and loaded.
After a successful run with Digital Mirage festival, the renowned streaming outfit Proximity returned in partnership with fellow YouTube outlets Trap Nation and Chill Nation for another remote viewing extravaganza, by way of Room Service Festival. With Andy King as an exuberant host and face of the festivities, the festival brought a menagerie of talent to the livestream stage with pristine audio and visual captures unique to the artists’ individual quarantine zones.
Boasting sets from 100+ artists, the weekend affair raised money for partnering charities, Sweet Relief and Feeding America. Below are some Dancing Astronaut-selected standout sets from over the weekend. Relive Room Service Festival below.
Just A Gent
Photo Credit: Sos Adame
Ever-so-slightly removed from the annual celebration of all things cannabis, Malaa is still celebrating. EDM’s token ski-masked menace raises his green, leafy goblet as a toasty salute to marijuana and musical mayhem—by way of his new single, “Four Twenty.”
The track’s terse call to action, “C’mon, let’s get high,” gets to the crux of Malaa’s mission statement without trifling about. A funky bass arrangement paired alongside Malaa’s characteristic ad-libbing (ambient chatter and oscillating sirens) make way for a frenetic 4/20-themed sonic celebration.
Malaa’s 2020 track record is abundant as ever, despite sweeping pandemic setbacks. He’s so far proffered a tantalizing follow-up to his resounding hit “Bling Bling,” in addition to glitched-out offering, “OCB.”
Aluna Francis, also known as one half of duo AlunaGeorge, has shared her first track as a solo artist. Titled “Body Pump,” the new single previews the British artist’s forthcoming solo album and welcomes her Mad Decent debut. Under AlunaGeorge, she has released two studio albums, the self-released Champagne Eyes EP, and countless singles with production partner George Reid—having received widespread acclaim for their genre-fusing electronic. Now, Aluna steps into a new chapter with her decisive solo venture.
“Body Pump” weaves sultry club-learned beats and tinkling melodies with Aluna’s docilely sweet vocals for an intoxicating play. Stream the track below.
“Having enjoyed being the main ingredient to many successful dance records, I started wanting to create the whole dish. In the past when performing on the stages of my white male peers, I always felt like a visitor being one of the few Black women I could see, so it never fully occurred to me to claim dance music as my music, as an artist, even though it was at the heart of my connection to music,” stated Aluna.
“Then I looked at the history of dance music and saw how, for example, Chicago House, known as the invention of house music, was pioneered in the Black and Latino LGTBQ+ communities which gave me inspiration to stake my flag in the ground as a Black woman in dance music by taking control of production and songwriting with my own vibe.”
Kaytranada is back with another video supporting his sensational 2019 LP, BUBBA. Featuring Masego, “Need It” is a funky dance floor anthem, and the video reflects the track’s mood while subverting it. The storyline centers on a hyper-aggressive dance battle as two crews go at it while Masego and Kaytra keep the club rocking.
“Need It” is BUBBA‘s third track to receive the full music video treatment, and it’s apparent Kaytra is committing to a largely monochromatic theme for his latest batch of videos. Most definitively similar is “Puff Lah,” which sees Kaytranada in a green-hued parking lot. “10%” alternates between cool-colored backstage scenes and warm-colored dance floor cuts; less monochromatic than its compatriots, but the focus on color is apparent. “Need It” is directed by Andre Bato.