Deadcrow has released a two-track EP, Fallout. The newest member of RL Grime’s Sable Valley Records, the producer properly debuts on the label with two boundary-pushing tracks, “Fallout” and “THERA.” Notably, the title track was featured on Grime’s “Halloween IX” mix in October of 2020.
Fallout characterizes the Dutch-based producer’s influences of cyberpunk aesthetics and classic street racing video games. Both “Fallout” and “THERA” sonically capture the subversive mix of dark and heavy bass with modern approaches to the acid and hybrid trap genres. Listen to Deadcrow’s Fallout EP below.
Vancouver native Vanic dispersed a triplet of singles in the time leading up to March, and now, he’s adding a fourth to his 2021 content list—”Earn It.” Co-produced by Fairlane, the song arrives on the heels of February’s “Run.” Vanic also recruits the vocal chops of Las Vegas-based singer-songwriter Zack Gray, who delivers “Earn It’s” underlying narrative on substance abuse.
The alternative aura of Vanic’s latest is upheld by a moody electric guitar and Gray’s hushed yet impassioned topline. Gray’s verse grows even more compelling as he finds his high range over the intense taiko drums that carry “Earn It” to its forcible bass drop.
The four-on-the-floor bass break isn’t typical of Vanic, which is why the track, released via Seeking Blue Records, ultimately stands out in the context of his repertoire. The single’s distinctiveness also derives from its message concerning the destruction of relationships caused by substance abuse. Vanic explained,
“The lyrics in ‘Earn It’ are meant to depict the internal struggle experienced by a child who’s lost one of their parents to addiction.
The phrase ‘it’s like you’ve forgotten what you loved’ really ties the story together, and gives the listener a brief look into the world of substance abuse and the effects that it can have on the loved ones around you. As it can be difficult to forgive someone (even along their path towards sobriety), we felt the line ‘just come back and earn it’ did an amazing job of weighing in on the importance of working towards forgiveness and trust, not just simply asking for it.”
Vanic is expected to drop a string of singles throughout the year, followed by a studio LP in the fall. For now, listeners can stream “Earn It” below.
Cédric Hervet also worked alongside the duo at their 2014 Grammys performance
DJ Mag Staff
Thursday, March 25, 2021 – 12:17
Daft Punk’s former creative director has given a Hong Kong nightclub a futuristic redesign.
Co-owner of Paris-based luxury design house Hervet Manufacturier Cédric Hervet, who worked as the French duo’s creative director for over 15 years, has added a retro-futuristic touch to Hong Kong’s new nightclub, Cassio.
The designer, who oversaw the set design for Daft Punk’s iconic 2014 Grammys performance, also headed up the the cover art, creative direction and art direction for the ‘Random Access Memories’ album, as well as co-writing and co-producing the duo’s Interstella 5555 film, and co-writing and editing Daft Punk’s Electroma.
Last month, Daft Punk announced that they were splitting up after 28 years in the business. In 2019, ‘Random Access Memories’ was revealed as best-selling dance music album on vinyl in the last decade.
With “Yes or No,” Brando logs his second original of 2021 after opening the year with “Close To You” in January. The love song situates Brando’s vocals atop a playful arrangement laced with instrumentals and a simple melody that lets Brando shine.
Brando spoke about the song in an official release, stating,
“‘Yes or No’ is one of my favorite records. It’s so straight to the point and understandable for anyone that’s been in a relationship where you want someone who’s having second thoughts to stay. I hope my fans can really latch onto it and vibe to it like it’s their own!”
The track takes the listener on a journey through a relationship full of uncertainty. Stream “Yes or No” now via Armada Music below.
At the meeting point of physics simulation, 3D visualization, and modular audio inside Unreal Engine, there’s Arthurs Audio BPs. And they just keep getting better – not just doing interesting visual stuff with sound, but making it low-latency.
Check out Arthur’s video posted today, which makes left/right split visualization. (There’s a demo project to download, too):
(No complaints about visuals there – it’s a demo/template. Niagra is insanely deep, so you could warp this into just about anything.)
This opens up more than just audio-synced eye candy. By patching together the deep modular sound toolkit inside Unreal with the visual physics interface of the same, Arthur is making some new synesthesia-fueled fantasies of how music interfaces can work.
For an example from January:
Check out everything on GitHub, which fairly recently made its way into full audiovisual plug-in form. It splines, it visualizes, it does submixes, it makes effects and modulation. You could make game jams with a fox; you could do spatializations in a box. You could use it in performances here or there; you could use ArthursAudioBPs for augmented reality everywhere.
And part of what makes it cool is the underlying audio engine in Unreal. That modular synth environment is an under-utilized gem – truly one of the wonders of modern software. It’s the work of a great team at Epic led by Aaron McLeran, who – actually, whether Aaron totally realizes his full role in this or not, also influenced the embeddable versions of Pure Data, partly traceable to a walk he and I took on a California beach, back when he was still working on Spore as I recall.
For some history on that, here’s a 2016 kick-off event unveiling a lot of those features (and a lot has happened in the half-decade since – they’ve updated links in the notes on YouTube):
But I post this partly because I’m curious who else out there has ideas around this stuff, as I’d definitely rather play with this than a lot of other new tech out there.
Amsterdam Dance Event has announced plans to host an event in October this year.
Following a pause last year in over two decades of annual events due to coronavirus, ADE has announced that the 25th edition of the event will take place in Amsterdam from the 13th to the 17th October 2021.
Leading on from last year’s ADE online immersive virtual experience, the event will return to the Dutch capital in October, with venues and promoters in the form of Audio Obscura, DGTL, Elrow, Into the Woods and Paradiso taking over the city for four days.
Some of the acts performing at this year’s parties have already been announced, with Avalon Emerson, Dave Clarke and Speedy J all confirmed for comeback edition of the event.
During this year’s event, there will also be a range of activities focused on South Korea. Director Richard Zijlma states: “The South Korean electronic music scene is growing rapidly, thanks to technological innovation and smart crossovers. During ADE we will focus on the very best the country has to offer across a wide range of festival and conference events.”
Following numerous cancellations due to the pandemic, Tomorrowland Winter has returned with its dates for next year and will be celebrating in Alpe d’Huez, France from March 19 – 26, 2022. For those hoping to attend next year’s event, pre-registration has already begun.
In an email, Tomorrowland stated,
“The second edition of Tomorrowland Winter was canceled just before the start in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to organize a festival in Alpe d’Huez in 2021 either, but Tomorrowland is convinced that this will be possible again next winter. After a two-year break, the festival will return to Alpe d’Huez from March 19 – 26, 2022 to organize the ultimate musical winter sports holiday – gathering the world’s best DJs in the village and on the mountains at its dazzling stages, which Tomorrowland is renowned for all around the world.”
Tomorrowland Winter held its inaugural festival back in 2019, the venue high up in the Swiss Alps at a French ski resort, Alpe d’Huez. Last year’s festival had been called off shortly before it could begin, and had been one of the first events to be canceled due to the pandemic. In October, organizers announced that the festival would not be returning in 2021.
Tomorrowland also shared the dates for its annual summer festival, which had to be canceled last year as well. While usually taking place in July, this year’s festival is expected to return on August 27 – 29 and September 3 – 5, “for 2021 only.”
HARD Events has announced its debut event in the United Kingdom and will have its first-ever HARD London visa stamped on August 21.
HARD London will be hosted at The Drumsheds, a new venue from the creators of the infamous Printworks. Its inaugural lineup heartily represents the brand’s distinctive electro and bass-forward style, with HARD veterans Tchami, Malaa, and Kayzo tapped for the one-day festival. Fans at HARD London will also see Dillon Francis and JAUZ on import from California, and Swedish icon Alesso smash out one of his signature progressive house sets.
Pre-sale tickets for the event will be available on March 31; sign up for access here. The first phase of the “summer party” can be found below. HARD plans to add more artists in the coming months.
Prince fans will be invited to attend a fifth anniversary memorial at his Paisley Park home next month.
Five years since the music icon was found dead at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota aged 57, fans are being invited back to the estate to pay their respects to the Purple One.
The late legend’s home, which is now The Paisley Park Atrium museum, will open for free on Wednesday the 21st April from 9AM until 9PM, with reservations for visiting slots now open. Paisley Park was the creative heart of Prince’s world, from 1985 to until his death in 2016. Prince lived in the sprawling 60,000 square foot compound for two decades, and it’s thought his much-talked about vault, holding scores of unreleased music, is housed in the compound’s basement.
“Prince’s passing remains incomprehensible to all of us,” said Alan Seiffert, Paisley Park Executive Director. “We celebrate his life and legacy every day at Paisley Park, a place that Prince wanted to share with the world. So, on this day especially, we acknowledge the incredible force and inspiration Prince is in people’s lives and open up our doors for them to pay their respects.”
An online memorial will also be available for fans across the globe.
In June last year, it was announced that Prince’s Yamaha DX7 synth would be listed for sale in an auction, alongside some other studio kit and belongings, including an E-mu EMAX sampler. The synth, which according to MusicRadar was played by the legendary musician on his track ‘Purple Medley’, was also used on the recording of ‘Purple Rain’ the album and the subsequent tour.
Back in 2019, we hit up DJ and all-round electronic music expert Bill Brewster to find out what five essential Prince-related tunes never leave his bag.
Take a look back just 10 years down the line and count how many female acts you see on lineups and club residency rosters. Now look back five. There are certainly more, but still not enough. Fast forward to 2021 and while the line on the graph of female representation is still steeply climbing upward, there remains a very long way to go. And while there exist the Alison Wonderlands, REZZs, and Nicole Moudabers, dance music still reps a boys club in both numbers and perception. Simply put: until the distinction of “female DJ” no longer needs to be made, the scales are out of balance. But at least as a culture we’re addressing this.
Despite these diverse placements, women in prominent spotlights are ultimately far and few in between and for those who have “made it,” discrimination and sexism are still factors that mire aspects of every women’s career; accusations of being ghost produced to having their skill integrity scrutinized, and being falsely boxed as a vocalist contributor all encompass a small scratch on the surface of biases inherent in the untold stories. The bottomline is the industry standard and consumer perception still have work to be done. Fortunately, there are producers, players, and brands within the industry proactively looking to take meaningful and inclusive actions. And in terms of looking at the future of dance music, thankfully, Anjuna is laying a heavy emphasis on a female future in dance music, and working to balance those scales, especially as they continuously promote, sign and discover talent.
On both the Beats and Deep side, Anjuna’s programming has taken an inclusive and holistic approach towards highlighting women at all points in their careers—with seasoned producer Wanderlust head honcho Pretty Pink and newcomer Egyptian-born Nourey making their respective Anjuna debuts in the last year alone while label synonymous names like Qrion are continually integrated into mix compilations, original releases, and lineups. Using spotlight opportunities like Twitch stream initiative #AnjunaUnlocked in combination with mix series The Anjunadeep Edition and Anjunabeats Worldwide as vehicles for promotion, the imprint has made consistent efforts to introduce and re-familiarize their audience with talented female artists. The key has been tapping into a devoted listenership that trusts the brand as an authority on dance music. This has primed the stage for artists like Olan to have minimal concerns regarding non-creative processes and to do what they do best: make music. Olan shares,
“Anjunabeats has a very committed and loving fan base, so as far as I’m concerned my only job is to make music and spend time with anyone who’s willing to listen. At the minimum, the team has given me a deeper belief in what I’m doing. I’ve been making music for a really long time, so it’s just nice to have people around that care as much as I do. I feel like I’m in a position to make the music I’ve always wanted with a team that will help tie the vision together.”
Not only has Anjuna’s strong community bond created a space for women to share their craft, but also the label’s vast engagement range in the events and live streaming space also provide abundant opportunities. UK-hailing producer Just Her reveals,
“Anjunadeep is an amazing platform, not just for releasing your music, but also for being a part of a huge community of truly dedicated music fans. I had the opportunity to play at a number of label showcases pre-covid, including the incredible Explorations Festival in Albania, and during the pandemic I have taken part in some great live streams and have even taken over the Anjuna Instagram account for the day! It makes a huge difference to be able to really tell the story around your music, and the response from their followers is always so positive and loving. I’m just so glad to be part of the family!”
For Pretty Pink and Nourey, two distinct artists, their first Anjuna touchpoint lands seemingly close, having both remixed Gabriel & Dresden’s Remedy LP, with “Remember” from the former and “Something Bigger” from the latter. Despite operating in separate spaces, their experiences as women in dance music resonate intimately as well. On hers, Pretty Pink divulges,
“I have always felt very comfortable as an artist and person in the creative scene, from which I originally come as a multimedia designer, and also in the music scene and music business. I think in every field you also meet people who don’t treat you with enough integrity. But I have to say that I have only had positive experiences with fans and people from the music business.”
Nourey echoes similar positive sentiments, sharing,
“I was very fortunate to have a massive support system from fellow male producers who have really pushed me throughout my journey. Working with other female producers has been a true blessing for me as I had the chance to learn a lot from their experiences and be part of their journey. I am happy that things are changing in the music industry, with more female artists coming with an inspiring message to say backed up with great music.”
However, multifaceted challenges within the industry still exist and prevalently so. And while we try to give women in dance a platform, artists have expressed they do not wish to be associated simply with their identity as a “female producer,” which can dilute their artistry in a way that has never affected their male peers. Qrion, who has grown to become an Anjunadeep mainstay since her 2019 debut, shares,
“It can be difficult to be recognized as just a music producer and not a ‘female music producer.’ I’m always working on my own music and believe that by continuing to produce tracks and release music, I can show who I really am to my fans and audience without having to have my gender be a part of it. I see more and more women artists starting to come into the scene though and that makes me feel good about the future of women in dance music!”
The question of identity and its impact on the perception of women as creators and their work is one that also strikes Olan. On her thoughts, the Atlanta singer-songwriter states,
“I think my experience has been unique to say the least. I’ve been very lucky to have people around me that push my work ethic further than I imagine for myself and although I’ve taken longer than I’d like to get where I wanted, I try not to attribute it to my identity or else I start to think a solution is out of my control. At the moment I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot more women than usual, and the sense of camaraderie has grown a lot for me personally. As someone who can be put off by my femininity being pushed as a focal point for my music, I’m hoping that the development of these relationships and opportunities provided together will help us see real growth in the near future.”
For Just Her, the path hasn’t always been smoothly paved and even in the present, she encounters gender biases as a DJ and artist. She notes,
“I guess you could say it has been challenging but also hugely rewarding. When I first started DJing I was almost always the only female in the booth or on the line up, and there have been many moments when I’ve had to deal with sexism, both overtly or in more subtle forms, even as recently as last week! At times it has felt like a total boys club, but I suppose it made me work even harder to establish myself, so the feeling of achievement at having got this far is pretty satisfying. Over the years the tide has slowly shifted and it’s great to see so many strong female artists breaking through, but we still have a long way to go before we have a completely level playing field.”
Keeping that in mind, a label home as well as male producers and DJs are integral support systems and catalysts for change. Parallely, the Anjuna brand and founders Above & Beyond have used their platform to amplify the voices of female artists. Nourey says,
“I have always looked up to Anjunabeats artists and label bosses, Above & Beyond. Getting to experience how it is to be part of the label and the support from the Anjuna family has been a true blessing. The team has been super supportive of my career, pushing me forward, and giving me the right space to explore where I want to go with my music, especially working with Gareth Jones, who has shaped my musical vision so far. I am excited to continue growing with them and exploring other musical genres in such an inspiring environment.”
Qrion also notes,
“The Anjuna team are so kind and supportive. They’ve never talked to me or treated me differently. They see me and other women equally and understand our hustle. It makes my heart warm. This is one of the reasons I feel so comfortable around them and love having them as an outlet to release my music.”
In particular, Mat Zo’s campaign for his third full-length album Illusion of Depth, has been an illuminating example of how male artists can uplift their female collaborators. Olan’s significant contribution has been emphasized as formative to Zo’s latest body of work, with presence on key songs including “Problems” and “Colours.” Often female vocalists are trivialized as a feature; however, Anjuna and Zo made a widespread distinction that Olan should be recognized as a crucial creative partner and gave her recognition where it was due. As the industry pushes for a more women-centric focus, consistent and genuine engagement is increasingly important. Offering a word of advice, Olan cautions,
“I’m not entirely sure how to word it honestly. I feel like we’re in a place where we need to address obvious hardships without it turning into some weird marketing scheme. Integrate women all year long and let’s focus on making sure artists are getting fair wages for their work.”
Within Anjuna’s 2021 release schedule, cross-collaboration between female peers has been a welcoming and empowering symbol. Just weeks into the new year, Nourey and ZOYA joined forces for their Anjunabeats Rising spectacle, “All Night,” gracing the first installment of the talent-highlighting vertical. Aptly timed for International Women’s Day, Olan and Nourey followed with a joint single “In Motion,” coming together in a powerful union of affecting vocals and grungey breakbeats. With regards to Anjuna’s ever-increasing emphasis on female talent, the future looks bright.
At the end of the day, the fight for equal representation in music comes down to proactiveness from all ends including labels, booking agents, event organizers, producers, and DJs. This means inclusive festival and event programming, label rosters, DJ support, and more—everyone is accountable. Qrion relays her call for change, stating,
“I would be happy to see bigger festivals having more diverse line ups and more of our male DJ peers playing and supporting tracks produced by women in their sets.”
Just Her believes in inclusivity at its most granular level can be a step in the right direction. She shares,
“Obviously a higher number of female artists would be great. But I also feel that we need to be kinder and more compassionate towards each other, especially in the online environment that we spend a lot of our time in. It feels like we really need to take the dance music scene back to its roots, where kindness, inclusivity, community and self expression are the absolute foundations.”
There is also room to push simultaneous movements as progress in women’s dance music advancement are made. Our spotlighted artists express open minds at the power of dance music. As not just women, but as powerhouse creatives, they acknowledge their art can be molded into various tools of change and activism.
Pretty Pink: “The international dance music scene is growing and thriving almost daily and has become an enormous community worldwide. I hope that this solidarity across national borders will give rise to further positive vibes and that people will come even closer together and understand each other better through music, despite their wonderful cultural diversity.”
Nourey: “I would like to see more engagement in climate awareness, environmental justice, and sustainability issues. I believe in the power of art as a medium to inspire people to take action and engage in the ongoing global efforts to combat climate change actively, and I think that we need to support science.”
On a final note, Dancing Astronaut closes out this feature in celebration of women in dance music with a simple question to our five guests: what empowers you?
Pretty Pink: “I get my energy and strength for working on my own two labels DeepWoods and Wanderlust, in the studio and as a DJ from healthy eating and lots of sport. I love endurance sports, yoga and fitness. When I work out, it reminds me of a good rave in the club. Sports inspire me almost as much as music – two passions I couldn’t live without.”
Nourey: “Finding solutions to problems that drive change in people’s lives or encapsulate a global impact, whether through music or science.”
Olan: “Seeing people that put in the time and work towards their goal finally receive their blessings. I love seeing people get their shine.”
Qrion: “The support from my fans, friends, and my team empowers me. Reflecting on tour memories on social media and in my Discord with my fans and knowing that I created special memories for them and not just myself! Sharing the memories together empowers me to want to keep creating more in the future. I hope 2021 will be a little brighter than 2020 so that we can come together again and dance.”
Just Her: “I don’t think there is anything more empowering than playing your own music to a packed dance floor and seeing people react to it and have a great time. But also supporting and amplifying other artists, especially females, is a real source of empowerment too. Even paying someone a compliment or just being kind can be a real buzz.”