Following his ethereal Secret Sky digital performance, Baauer now offers an experimental bass remix of A.G. Cook’s “Beautiful Superstar.” Featured on Cook’s sophomore album, Apple, which arrived in September of 2020, “Beautiful Superstar – Baauer Remix” is now streaming everywhere alongside a slew of reworks on Cook’s latest project, Apple vs. 7G. The Grammy-nominated “Harlem Shake” producer implemented his avant-garde sound design on Cook’s hyper-pop single, distinguished by an oscillating bass drop.
Also featured on Cook’s latest project, which draws from the PC Music spearhead’s first two studio albums, are Boys Noize and Eartheater, among others. Apple vs. 7G arrives on the heels of Cook’s Charli XCX collaboration, “Xcxoplex,” and highlights contributions from an array of talented artists.
Stream Baauer’s latest edit on Apple vs. 7G below.
Spencer Brown makes his Factory 93 debut with his three-track I Was Too Young for 90s Raves EP. The project, which welcomes a collaboration with Raito, sees the San Francisco-based producer combine mirroring eras of house and techno and infuse them with his signature progressive style. Brown said of the thematic motivations behind the release,
“I like to play very diverse sets with all sorts of styles tied together by my signature flow, I presented these three tracks to Factory 93 when they reached out for music, expecting them to accept one or two. I feel honored that they accepted all three, where ‘Thanks, Guy’ is deeper progressive, ‘ID v14’ is a techno hammer, and ‘I Was Too Young For 90s Raves’ is a higher energy progressive track hinting at ’90s trance. The three tracks together round out an EP that I will be playing out for many years to come.”
I Was Too Young for 90s Raves leads listeners into a realm of sophisticated rhythms and transcendent sounds that cumulatively pay tribute to Factory 93’s underground culture. At once modern and vintage, the EP presents a temporally informed approach to intertwining styles in a colorful merging of what once was and what presently is. Stream I Was Too Young for 90s Raves below.
Jay-Z is bringing his Made In America festival back to Philadelphia later this year.
After taking a year out in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival is set to mark its 10th anniversary on the Labor Day weekend of September 4th and 5th, at its usual Benjamin Franklin Parkway home.
“We are thrilled to announce Made in America 2021 on the legendary Benjamin Franklin Parkway,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “This year will be like no other, as Made In America celebrates 10 years of music history making moments.”
He continued: “The artists’ performances will be even bigger and Cause Village will host a wider range of amazing philanthropic organizations. We look forward to sharing incredible memories with our festival attendees and the city of Philadelphia.”
The festival’s line-up is due to be revealed soon, but previous editions have seen performances from the likes of Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z himself.
Bruno Furlan furnishes something sure to get house heads hot under the collar. Pushed forth via HUGS, an electronic platform with roots in Sydney, Australia and Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, the simmering submission from the Brazilian tastemaker takes aim at the dance floors now re-admitting attendees around the nation. Toggling between a John Summit meets DIRTYBIRD brand of sound andFurlan’s own house-informed idiosyncrasies, the stomper seeks hip shaking and hands in the air participation, and when deployed in a live setting, its red-hot underground appeal will infallibly elicit just that.
Furlan attributed the inspiration behind “You Make Me Feel Hot” to a specific feeling experienced within the club, a venue, or really, wherever live music is playing. The São Paulo native said,
“[You Make Me Feel Hot] is part of the new Bruno Furlan, it’s easy to see a heavy evolution without losing the real BF ID! I did this track with my girlfriend Sabrina thinking how we feel in the parties and how we will feel when we can feel the floors energies again! In your home, in the big speakers, in the car, isn’t important where…you will feel hot!”
Laden with sonic sex appeal, cymbal-led ascents, and a freaky vocal sample, “You Make Me Feel Hot” isn’t just a Shazam-worthy stint—it’s also HUGS’ imprint-inaugurating offering. Giving both Furlan and HUGS something to celebrate, “You Make Me Feel Hot” can be heard in both its standard issue and extended forms below.
The Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival will return to Indio Valley for two consecutive weekends of cross-genre programming to be held across April 15 – 17 and 22 – 24 of 2022. The dates, confirmed by festival coordinators on June 1, validate prior speculation that the next iteration of the California event would take place in April of 2022.
The revelation of the 2022 dates marks the end of a long and tumultuous period for the festival’s parent company, which was forced to postpone Coachella three times in less than one year due to COVID-19-related health concerns. The successive postponements culminated in an absence of Coachella operation for the first time since 2000.
Headlining acts for the original 2020 dates were in high demand, including Travis Scott, Frank Ocean and, prospectively, Rage Against the Machine. Though the performers for the festival’s formal reactivation have yet to be named, those planning to attend the desert event can register here for access to the 2022 advance ticket sale. Tickets will go on-sale June 4 at 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT.
On June 11, as Washington D.C. formally lifts all COVID-19 capacity restrictions for bars and nightclubs, a DMV fan favorite by the name of Echostage will open its doors for the first time since March 2020 to usher attendees back into the 3,000-person venue to the tunes of Zedd‘s repertoire. The True Colors album maker assumes Echostage grand reopening duties for June 11 – 12, in what will be the site’s first pair of post-pandemic shows. Club Glow will keep the momentum going throughout June, lining up live sets from David Guetta, Tiësto, Alesso, and Tchami across consecutive weekends, with plans to reveal later months’ programming in the weeks to come.
Though Club Glow’s July plans for Echostage have yet to fully unfurl, the events entity—responsible for arranging the talent not only at Echostage but also at Soundcheck and Moonrise Festival—has already tapped Diplo and Higher Ground for a label showcase as well as MEDUZA for July.
Tickets to each of Club Glow’s upcoming events can be purchased here. Doors to each event will open at 9:00 p.m. ET.
After bestowing his two prior album singles, “Another Dawn” and “5am,” France’s own Massane has brought forth his final album single “Wild,” an outing made in tandem with alternative UK artist Colouring.
Only a year out from his initial entry to the scene, Massane has managed to accrue an EP trilogy, multiple remixes, and three album singles, all of which precede his forthcoming freshman LP Almost Dawn, due via This Never Happened (TNH) on June 4. The melodic house maestro has quickly become a fan favorite, appearing frequently alongside This Never Happened mastermind Lane 8. His latest, “Wild,” encapsulates all that fans would expect from a TNH mainstay, including a subtle yet ornate house lead-in, rich vocals, and pristine production. “Wild” occupies the sentiment of desperately yearning to be elsewhere while feeling utterly trapped where one is with precision.
Though Massane may still be climbing the ladder he began ascending last year, the producer is assuredly on his way to the top. Stream the latest album single and introductory song from the Almost Dawn tracklist below.
Thanks to Excision‘s inception of Subsidia Records, listeners have been able to more readily discover up-and-coming bass-focused producers than ever before. That said, Subsidia’s establishment is far from the first time that Excision has made it his mission to find new artists. One time in particular stands out—back in 2014, when Excision played a young Ray Volpe’sBarely Alive remix during one of his famed Shambhala sets. For Volpe, this was just the beginning. Fast forward seven years to 2021, when Volpe has released his most recent EP Mixed Feelings, all-encompassing and deeply entrenched emotional voyage that stretches across genres.
The six-track EP is introduced with the expansive, eight-bit track “Rebirth,” which paves the way for the melodic journey listeners are about to embark on. Setting forth into “Nosebleed,” the project makes way for a heavier bass excursion before fans are hit by the pleasantly abrasive “Tell Me.” The final section of the EP heads back into a more poignant, soulful sound, characterized in part by “Feeling This Way.” Each tracklisting features vocals from none other than Volpe, making the entire output all the more impressive.
Over the course of his career, fans have watched Ray Volpe grow from toying around on the remix end to collaborating with artists like Getter, Kayzo, and Wooli, to curating a passionate and well-honed production. Stream Mixed Feelings below.
Having just circuited his 28th orbit around the sun, ODEA found it only fitting to commemorate his birthday by turning in the second of his two heavily anticipated IDs from his charged up Night Mode stream for Insomniac. After cracking open the doors to his very own imprint NITEFALL Records at the end of March with “Voices,” ODEA is continuing to write out his newly formed label’s opening story on its sophomore excursion, “Dimensions.”
Just like its NITEFALL Records predecessor, “Dimensions” puts forth the unfathomable savvy that ODEA has documented in just a handful of years and continues to swell his production scope. While dicing up a little more of a thunderous, gritty halo than “Voices,” ODEAS’s latest meets trap and bass music at a middle ground, and now that it’s earned its livestream creds, its live, in-person glory is pending realization at a proper festival structure.
Supernovas is a recurring Dancing Astronaut feature dedicated to vocalists in the dance space who, with their own idiosyncratic vocal signatures and unique lyrical perspectives, have played pivotal roles in bringing electronic records to life. Each installment in the monthly series spotlights one vocalist.The serial continues with Supernovas 005: John Martin.
John Martin had his sights set on rockstardom, but dance music had other ideas.
The Swede’s voice is detectable at the drop of a hat. Bearing a monolithic resume from the past decade-plus, there’s the argument to be made that Martin sits at a one-person table of the genre’s singular most-famed vocalist. And while many regard him as the dance music avant-garde that he is today, his career path actually rose on the polar end of the musical playing field.
“If you go back like 10 years now, I had an indie-rock band in Stockholm. I was the lead singer and guitar player, and we were playing every bar in town. We spent a lot of time and worked hard, but I somehow I realized that it was too late for the band, you know? You could almost feel like it was coming to an end and I also started to go out to clubs, listening to electronic music. I felt like the energy when hearing electronic music was something else,” Martin said.
On an ordinary night out at a Swedish club, Martin happened to serendipitously stumble into his eventual VCATION partner-in-crime Michel Zitron, who already had a head start at amassing his own stack of collaborative credits. They instantly hit it off and elected to write music exclusively for Martin’s band.
“We started talking about music and then I confessed, ‘I really love this song that you did for this Swedish artist,’ which I wasn’t allowed to like because I was a rocker dude. We decided to meet up to work and immediately felt the strong connection when writing together. It felt like I found like the missing piece that I’d been looking for my whole life, having someone to work and write with. It was immediately like magic,” Martin said.
“Magic” was an apt description of their dynamic. Three ideas in, and John Martin and Michel Zitron had the makings of what would later be introduced to the electronic world as “Don’t You Worry Child.” But they didn’t exactly see it as the time-honored dance music anthem that it would eventually become.
Martin told Dancing Astronaut, “there was no real plan for that song to end up in dance, it sounded more like indie-electronic. We wrote the melodies, the chords, and the lyrics, and then the vocals that we did for the demo ended up on the recording. But it was a different sound, more like Empire of the Sun. It was a slower, more-chilled indie-electronic song.”
The demo would sit untouched for nearly half a year before an entirely unrelated, unexpected moment came along that would indirectly steer it toward a Grammy nomination in 2013 and Martin’s assistance in the finale to Ultra’s history-making 2013 iteration.
“Sebastian [Ingrosso] was at the same studio complex in December that year. We’re talking 2010 now. Michel just grabbed him into our room and goes ‘hey man, come listen to this song!’ He had just arrived from LA and was jet lagged, but we played him the song and he didn’t say much then. But then later that day as he left, he popped out of his room and said ‘hey guys, I have these piano chords that I was wondering if you could write something on.’ And that was the song that became ‘Save The World,‘” Martin revealed.
Wind the clock forward an entire decade, and “Save The World” is now in double-digit birthday territory, having turned 10 years old on May 13. Though John Martin didn’t receive an official feature credit on it, “Save The World” would be the first dance release that he’d ever been a part of—one that would permanently reroute Martin’s career path.
“Save the World” wasn’t even intended to be as astronomical as it was; it was initially planned to serve as an Ingrosso solo single. But Ingrosso fell so head over heels for Martin and Zitron’s vocal work that he made the executive call to not only take the duo’s version of “Save The World,” but also “Don’t You Worry Child”—which would formally bear Martin’s name—back to Los Angeles to show his Swedish House Mafia counterparts. The rest was history.
“I’ve been reflecting on it the last week since I read [Dancing Astronaut‘s Instagram post] and I used to remember when it was a magical time. There were so many good things happening and the inspiration you know, we were all on such a high from everything. Everything with dance music felt so fresh. I think for me and Michel, since we were not really from the dance music world and were from indie-pop and rock, it felt like for us that we could add something to that world that wasn’t really heard before,” Martin explained.
When John Martin last came in contact with Dancing Astronaut in October of 2018, both he and Michel Zitron had just begun to formally cement their musical tie through VCATION, a conduit for them to reclaim complete creative sovereignty over their studio work. Following a brief interlude in the wake of the alias’ fourth original “Stairway to the Sun” at the top of 2020, Martin says they’ve now finally been able to fully actualize VCATION, with an EP currently in the pipeline that’s comparable to “nothing else right now.”
Martin’s sweeping chronicle of high-level features and behind-the-scenes songwriting speaks for itself, but in 2014, the Swede found himself taking the dive into solo waters on “Anywhere For You,” which was, of course, produced by his collaborative running mate, Michel Zitron. Still an incredibly under-appreciated sliver of his discography, the original currently stands as Martin’s lone solo track under his own name, but he says he’s feeling more inspired than ever to ensure that it’s anything butthe first and the last.
“The funny thing is that for a while, I thought that I can only do one thing at a time, like writing songs for other people. Now, we’re super inspired and it almost feels like we haven’t been this inspired in many years. We’re writing for the VCATION project, working with other artists, and we also started to write new songs for the John Martin project,” Martin went on to add.
As “Anywhere For You” single-handedly demonstrated, John Martin is no stranger to progressive house, and he attributes his affinity to it to the organic relationships formed with his creative partners. “It’s so much up to the collaborator—if you vibe and get along, of course.”
It wouldn’t be until the calendar turned to 2020, however, that Martin’s narrative took an unforeseen and refreshing turn. He partnered up with Gryffin for a union that shook Digital Mirage—”Cry“—with the single eventually lending itself to inclusion on Dancing Astronaut‘s Tracks of the Year roll call.
“Before we met Gryffin in LA last year, I liked his style of work. We weren’t really used to the tempo and slower pace, but I think for Michel and I as songwriters, we are classical songwriters. Every song we write, you can break it down and should be able to play it on the piano or guitar. The song should stand for itself and then how you decide to dress the song up is based on the sound or the producer’s style,” Martin said.
Martin’s nostalgia-brimmed timeline holds way too many memorable instances to count, but he says there’s no question that certain moments tend to loop their way back into his head from time to time.
“It was amazing, especially during the years when I traveled the most like 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and even 2015. For example, when I got to come to Brazil for the first time in 2012 before ‘Don’t You Worry Child’ was released, I only had like two songs in my set. It was ‘Save the World’ and then I performed ‘Fade Into Darkness,’ even though it wasn’t my song. [Michel and I] wrote that song, but we didn’t want to be on the record. So I had those songs in the set, and it was cool coming there and doing sold-out clubs,” Martin says.
And while he has an opportunity to reflect on those life-altering moments from the early-to-mid 2010’s, Martin also pauses to look back on how far his songwriting methods have advanced since his rock days. He elaborated,
“When Michel and I were getting to know each other, it was like finding your John [Lennon] and Paul [McCartney], and that’s not a comparison to them, but the creative thing was so crazy. And then we got like a hangover after the whole EDM peak in 2014, 2015, and 2016. To be honest, we had like three years we didn’t really enjoy. I mean, we wrote songs and sat in the studio every day, but it was years where we weren’t really happy with what came out. I think we had some kind of writer’s block and we were also a bit tired of the EDM, you know, like what people expected of us as songwriters. Because everybody’s like ‘yeah, we just need a new ‘Don’t You Worry Child.’ So for a while we were like ‘oh okay, we’re going to try it.’ And then we realized it doesn’t work twice. And that’s when we found out that we need to reinvent ourselves. So that’s why we started to write for other artists and that’s how VCATION happened. I think VCATION was one of the reasons of how we got out of our writer’s block because we could be playful with music again. And then after a while, the John Martin project [happened], and [we started] writing songs for DJs again, like Martin Garrix, Gryffin, and David Guetta. That was when we were like ‘okay, we’re really good at this, so let’s do it.’ I think we’ve definitely gotten better as songwriters. I think we’re better where we’re not overthinking things now like we used to do.”
“In these times, it’s different. A lot of the younger generation now are amazing producers. And there’s people like our good friend Martin Garrix, who’s becoming such a good songwriter, but there’s a lot of producers that just aren’t songwriters so they need to respect the process of songwriting. If the song doesn’t work as a song, then it’s not going to work. They need to have the [lyrics] first,” Martin explained.
“It’s just interesting times, especially with the format of down-pitched vocals where almost every dance song has that now. For a lot of songwriters it’s become robot voices, but I like it because it takes away whether it’s a man or woman and it’s more like a voice that can appeal to more people. I grew up listening to icons like Jim Morrison, Liam Gallagher, and Bono, who helped me become the artist I am today, so I feel in a way that I’m old-school.”
Encountering a creative partner with the synergy that John Martin and Michel Zitron have isn’t and won’t be the case for everyone, but Martin suggests that rising singer-songwriters should fix their focus on establishing a relationship with someone they can genuinely appreciate working alongside and form a “deeper bond” with them, rather than look to throw hundreds upon hundreds of ideas to the wall with a merry-go-round of artists, simply hoping that one sticks.
“That’s when good art comes, when you can open up and you can be sensitive and fragile. That’s when good music comes. For us, we come to a session and it’s like ‘okay guys, we’re going write a song in four hours.’ One out of 10 can be good, but the best songs are usually the songs when we sit around with a guitar and a piano, reflecting on life,” Martin said.
What’s currently on-deck for John Martin? “Impossible,” slotted for arrival on June 4 via Musical Freedom with future rave comrades David Guetta and MORTEN. But Martin actually wasn’t involved with one of Dancing Astronaut‘s most-anticipated IDs of 2021 until pretty recently. After Guetta introduced his latest masterwork with MORTEN during his Tomorrowland New Year’s Eve appearance, the two felt that the instrumental was missing something, and a lightbulb went off that Martin and Zitron’s touch was just what it needed.
“David texted Michel maybe like two months ago and said ‘hey, we have this idea that MORTEN and I have started, do you want to try to write something over it? So he sent the riff and we took that idea and added the chords that the melodies are written over. I love it, I think it really connects with the people that Michel and I have played it for and seems to be a song that like passes through the brain and people start to dance. It came out pretty quickly, like in one day, and we sent it back to [Guetta] who said ‘I love it.’ It feels special and has that sad but uplifting feel to it.”
Our conversation comes to a curtain close with Martin’s revelation that although he doesn’t have a desire to commit his schedule to touring as live entertainment begins to regain its footing, he says he would still love to make a surprise appearance at a festival or perform in a country that he’s yet to visit.
“I love to come out and perform in front of a big audience. I’ve done it so much and it it connects to the reason why I do this. I can’t wait to do it again.”
Stream John Martin’s hand-picked Supernovas playlist featuring some of his favorite releases below.
This interview has been edited for readability and clarity.