Two-time Grammy-nominated Above & Beyond have are kicking off their third label Reflections with two brand new singles. Falling under the realm of the Anjuna brand,Reflections joins Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep to further Above & Beyond’s reach in the music scene. The Reflections label will focus on ambient and downtempo melodies fit for a morning yoga session or a sunset dinner.
“Reflections is born from all those moments in between the dance floors—the mornings after, the nights apart, the journeys shared along the way. Those moments of Reflection,” Jono Grant, Tony McGuinness, and Paavo Siljamäki said.
Above & Beyond are no strangers when it comes to ambient and chill songs, making sure to incorporate these sounds in nearly every album. To launch the Reflections label, Above & Beyond have shared “Morning in Deira” and “Time Heals.” Reflections’ headlining single, “Morning in Deira,” was used as the opening track in Above & Beyond’s Cercle performance in January at Rock of Guatapé at La Piedra del Peñol Guatapé in Colombia.
Listen to “Morning in Deira” and “Time Heals” below.
Known for its eclectic, connective character, Southern California’s Lightning in a Bottle will return with an iteration that offers attendees a little bit of everything. The 20th-anniversary event’s headlining acts include dance/electronic mainstays on nearly everyone’s rotation, such as Glass Animals,KAYTRANADA, the man behind Dancing Astronaut’s Album of 2021, SG Lewis, and plenty more head-turners. But attendees’ excitement doesn’t stop there; the festival will host a variety of genre-spanning talent, emergent and established acts alike. Below, Dancing Astronaut highlights 10 must-see artists—some of which just might be your new favorite. Be sure to check out these up-and-coming acts ahead of Lightning in a Bottle from May 25 – 30.
Born and raised in New York City, Blu DeTiger‘s ascension has been undeniable. Amassing 80 million streams across all streaming platforms on her debut EP, How Did We Get Here, DeTiger has clearly positioned herself in the driver’s seat of her already-booming career, which has led to remixes from the likes of Anna Lunoe, Flight Facilities, and filous. If there is one defining aspect of the singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, it’s her expertise ripping the bass guitar that’s got the world standing at attention. Having already filled in on the bass for bands like The Knocks, Caroline Polachek, and The Bleachers during their recent Saturday Night Liveperformance, it’s more than safe to say Lightning in a Bottle attendees are not going to want to miss her.
House music visionary VNSSA has upped the ante this year, giving way to Music4TheMasses, out via Diplo‘s Higher Ground imprint. 2022 has also seen her work alongside LP Giobbi on her FEMME HOUSEcompilation earlier this year, in addition to touring with friends and frequent collaborators, Walker & Royce. VNSSA’s reputable history gives way to her crisp sound design and upbeat live show, and as any Coachella attendees can attest, she is sure to bring the heat this festival circuit.
Hot on the heels of their Inevitabletour, postponed from 2019, Foreign Family members MEMBA are more primed the 2022 festival circuit than ever. Powering through the pandemic, releasing one electronic anthem after the next, including features with EVAN GIIA, Nevve, Alexander Lewis, and many more, the New York City natives have leveled up their sound ten-fold. Offering intricate synth work and robust sonics, MEMBA’s live set is sure to take fans’ breath away.
Rome In Silver
If fans are looking for unique and expertly crafted sound design, look no further. Hailing from Orange County himself, Vinny Pisciotta—better known as Rome in Silver—has been on Dancing Astronaut’s radar since 2017, when he made his on-site debut in our 5 Under 5k feature. Since then, the SoCal local has gone from around 2,000 loyal listeners on SoundCloud to 300,000 on Spotify, cultivating a following of bass-driven enthusiasts. Signed to San Holo‘s bitbird imprint, Pisciotta relates his own sound to that of Robotaki and MEMBA. Releasing his 2021 EP, Makeshift Moon, via bitbird and joining San Holo on part of his North American tour this past year, Rome in Silver has taken his journey to the next level.
A recent addition to Dancing Astronaut’s 5 Under 5k Vol. 31 from 2021, Jon Casey has already begun to make major waves in bass music, climbing to nearly 40,000 monthly listeners on Spotify in less than a year. A mainstay on RL Grime‘s Sable Valley imprint who made his way on to the Sable Valley Summer Vol. 1 compilation, the bass purveyor delivers elements of trap, dubstep, and more. Gaining massive traction via his collaborative track with IMANU, “Kotoro,” which landed on RL Grime’s highly anticipated “Halloween IX,” Casey has boldly shown the scene just what he can do.
A young person in the scene, HoneyLuv has already lived many lives. From playing collegiate basketball to becoming a US Navy Sailor, HoneyLuv has now made a name for herself as a house DJ, and an impeccable one at that. In an industry very clearly dominated by Caucasian men, HoneyLuv has already defied all odds in her short-lived but ever-growing career. Since her first single debuted at the end of March 2021, HoneyLuv has worked alongside Desert Hearts, Groove Cruise, and LP Giobbi’s Femme House, all while landing her own radio show on iLL Donuts radio, “House of Honey.” To say this has been an explosive start to an illustrious and long-spanning career would be a colossal understatement.
Of The Trees
Supporting dance music’s psychedelic patron saint CloZee on her recently closed out Neon Jungle tour, Of The Trees is paving his own road filled with warbling bass and frigid soundscapes from his Maine-based studio. Recently bringing his own label Memory Palace to life, Of The Trees has garnered a place for his distinctive sound to thrive alongside like-minded peers. Generating downtempo beats with vocalists flush with ethereal tonality on his The Tale of Elegos EP, the emerging artist composes bass-riddled entities entirely in their own lane of dance music.
As far as electronic music goes, the realms of folk and blues are usually kept quite separate; that is, unless Canadian-based duo Moontricks has anything to say about it. Meshing gritty bass with soulful vocals, Moontricks have carved out their own space entirely with a live show to boot. Joined on stage by an assembly of guitar, keys, banjo, and an inspiring vocal range, the multi-instrumentalists are taking the world by storm. Playing folk festivals one weekend and dance music events the next, Moontrick’s versatility remains unmatched.
With just over 1,500 monthly listeners on Spotify and almost no information online, their music must speak for itself—and it does. The co-ed trio fuses passionate vocals and alluring guitar progressions with electronic ambiance and stunning instrumentation.
Founded at Los Angeles’ ICON Collective, um.. brings together Ben Bruce and Dylan Gold, who began their journey back in 2014. Having made major headway with their 30-minute bass-bending mix for Shambhala Music Festival since 2017, the duo has only retained and elevated its eccentrically grimy, surrealist sound.
CTM Festival in Berlin remains one of the more adventurous international music festivals on the European scene – but in case you aren’t here to enjoy it, there are more ways than ever to take it in online, for free. Of course, I’m biased – things with three-letter acronyms the first of which is ‘C’ and the last of which is ‘M’ always warm my heart. (What do you mean, it’s confusing? Bah.)
Get your AVTV on
The pandemic has forced festivals to imagine audiences beyond just who can physically get in the door – overcoming ableist boundaries in a way that frankly we should have done earlier. Making this work technically and artistically is absolutely a work in progress, one that will take longer than the pandemic itself has so far afforded. But we’re seeing some first steps – and hey, you’ve got a display and some headphones, so join in.
Start with some out-there commissioned audiovisual goodies in the Jump Cut series:
»Jump Cut« is a six-part digital series conceived and created by Dana Gingras/Animals of Distinction as a response to the unpredictable and sudden end to international touring during the pandemic. The goal was to bring dancers, video artists, and musicians out of enforced isolation and to offer a new kind of spontaneous meeting ground for unpredictable encounters and connections between international artists.
Full credits for each are on YouTube, but I’ll include the description blurbs here, in reverse order:
The sixth episode pairs Montreal-based dance artist Hanako Hoshimi-Caines with New York-based sound artist Chloe Alexandra Thompson, and Portland-based artist Brenna Murphy. Their collaboration aims to intuitively find abstract meanings through mutual aesthetic exercises, exploring subtle energy lines as infrastructure, and ritual as a way to extend bodies across time in choreographies of human and non-human interaction. Sitting in the tension of attachment to »objects« as an ownership equation, the artists feel the knotted dynamics of agency between object and subject, or in other words, they sense that all things have a spirit.
Episode 5 is a frenetic, sensorial exploration of space within an environment where the elements of movement, sound, and the body inextricably merge. Images seen from the vantage point of a camera gradually melt into erosion until rendered indistinguishable from each other. Roger Tellier-Craig’s composition for this work takes from algorithmic processes of rhythm that mimic the unpredictable, pulsing shifts of the film.
This fourth episode, titled »Pedis Possessio,« is an audiovisual collaborative essay by Lucrecia Dalt, Aina Climent, Judit J. Ferrer, and Miguel Prado. An extraterrestrial lifeform visits the earth and stratifies itself into a geologic formation. When humans come into contact with this formation, their phenomenological time consciousness is altered. The work incorporates formulaic choreographic rituals held in different places around the island of Mallorca.
Featuring electronic musician Marie Davidson (Montreal), 3D video artist Sabrina Ratté (Paris) and choreographer/performer Dana Gingras (Montreal), this episode is inspired by galaxies of light, and the star beings and oceanic creatures of the earth that we are. The body as a living sculpture expresses itself through its blood, bones, and breath. Employing 3D scanning techniques, the human body is morphed into a virtual one. The organic and virtual engage with each other through a minutiae of synaptic initiations and rhythmic twitches, disrupting our sense of time and space.
The inaugural episode features low-fi video artist Sonya Stefan (Montreal), musician/composer Tot Onyx (Berlin), and choreographer/performer Dana Gingras (Montreal) who first collaborated in 2018 on a live performance, titled »anOther.« They have created an eerie offering set in a lost space that leads nowhere, filled with disembodied and embodied presences that roam, haunt, taunt, and multiply each other across planes.
Music on Bandcamp
This one is a must even if you are attending in person in Berlin – CTM has meticulously created not one, but three separate playlists of music you can purchase directly from independent artists and labels via Bandcamp, in whatever format you want. Downloads, as nature intended.
There’s a ton of great stuff, and whether it’s all your cup of tea or not, it’s still more evidence that we live in a time of great new music, not just a repeat of the past, and that the best of times is now. Well, creatively, anyway, the jury’s out on the rest.
We’ll have audio of the two Hacklab Inputs talks I curated yesterday, but meanwhile you can catch full video of the entire CTM Festival Discourse program online. The full playlist is here, and as per usual, you can tune in live or watch once the broadcast has completed.
So it’s time for Lockdown Lessons – and change:
That includes upcoming talks on topics like sonic ecology (including listening to fish, which sounds fascinating).
Already you can watch the first part of the festival from the start of this year, which included some terrific research panels, all with some folks whose insights I respect.
A talk on healing:
Asymmetries in Sonic Experiences of Power:
And more on listening to nature, a topic we regularly visit around this here neck of the woods:
Since most of you can’t be at CTM in person, I’d love to hear what interests you in the program this week, your reflections on any of the materials here, and what else we can bring you virtually from this festival or other events worldwide covering these topics and artists. Do shout out in comments – it’s the virtual equivalent of meeting at the bar or lobby.
Since its launch in 2014, Imagine Music Festival has been one of the largest festivals in the nation’s southeastern region, and that’s not going to change in 2022, though the Georgia event’s venue is. This year’s installment of the annual music festival will take place about an hour outside of Atlanta in Kingston Down. In previous years, it took place at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Festival organizers previewed the new venue in a “sneak peek” visual that provides an early look into what is in store for attendees come September 15 – 18. Imagine’s recently announced phase one lineup includes headliners like Excision, Griz, Kaskade, and Seven Lions. Passes to the festival can be purchased here.
AJH Synth has introduced the MiniMod Multi Burst Envelopes, a Eurorack module that generates variable length bursts of repeating envelopes that can change over time, with CV control of all functions.
The BURSTS control selects a “Burst Sequence” of between 1 and 40 individual envelopes. The envelope shape of a burst is chosen with the rotary switch, or it can be varied using an external CV, so that it is even possible to chose a different envelope shape for each individual burst in a sequence.
The width of the envelope (i.e. the attack and decay time) is varied with the P-WIDTH control and this can also be CV controlled as a sequence is progressing, so it is possible to vary the envelope speed of each individual envelope burst while a Burst Sequence is running.
The repeat time of individual bursts in a Burst Sequence is set with the LFO Rate control. The LFO rate can be varied with an external CV as a sequence is progressing, so the gap between envelopes can speed up or slow down over time. An external clock can also time the bursts in a burst sequence instead of, or in addition to the internal LFO. Bursts can also be manually incremented with the CLK push button.
The SLOPE control allows Bursts to start quietly and build in level to maximum, or they can start at full level and then reduce in level as the Burst Sequence progresses. In the centre position all Bursts are of equal level.
Multi Burst Envelopes User Guide:
Pricing and Availability
MiniMod Multi Burst Envelopes are available now priced at GBP 191.67.
Leeds-based rapper ATO has shared a brand new single and accompanying video, ‘COLD’.
The track sees the rapper take aim at the London-centric focus of the UK music scene, as well as other everyday frustrations. Speaking about the track, he said: “‘COLD’ is a stream of consciousness that addresses my everyday vexations. As an outsider from Leeds, I find the industry politics and exclusive nature of the London scene a bit weird. I wanted to express who I am against the backdrop of these frustrations.
“I was working on some other music at the time but was feeling to get a few of these things off my chest, so I hit [producer] stevexcooper up for something I could rap over. He sent a beat titled ‘reflections’ and the energy was perfect. I wrote the verses that night intended for a freestyle and then ended up adding the ‘COLD’ hook later.”
Conducta has joined Jamz Supernova on the latest episode of her DIY Handbook podcast.
Available to listen to now, the podcast sees the two artists speak candidly about how to navigate the music industry, sharing their experiences in the early stages of their respective careers.
The podcast forms part of an eight-week run of the second series of Jamz Supernova’s DIY Handbook podcast, which is designed to help guide creatives and others through tough life lessons within their careers.
Speaking about the latest series of her podcast, Jamz Supernova said: “In this season we get a little bit deeper and more personal as I look back on the lessons I’ve taken to build my career. Expect to hear honest conversations around the mistakes I have made in chasing my dreams and no nonsense straight to the point advice from my guests.
“This podcast is for the creative, business entrepreneur and dream chasers. If there is a lesson to learn, a block in the road or problem to solve, hopefully you’ll find words of encouragement in one of these episodes!”
Other instalments in this second run of DIY Handbook feature the DJ in conversation with producer Sam Interface, as well as with writers, influencers, a fitness and wellbeing coach, and others.
Check out Jamz Supernova’s DIY Handbook here. Listen to the episode with Conducta below.
Revisit Jamz Supernova’s 2021 DJ Mag cover feature here, and read Conducta’s 2020 cover feature here.
Tribal Brothers will release a new EP, ‘Formation’, via Livity Sound this month. Listen to ‘Pepper’ below.
The London-based duo of LR Groove and Razzler Man follow up their 2021 collab with DJ Polo, ‘The Link Up’, with four more cuts that blend UK Funky swing with different strands of South African club music. With years of experience between them, the Renk Groove Recordings founders weave elements of Afro house, amapiano and gqom into their rhythmic flow with a rowdy dexterity. Citing the likes of DJ Lag, Virgo Deep and Black Coffee as inspirations for the EP’s “high-impact drum science”, the percussive genre fusions at play feel symbiotic, and will absolutely slam on the dancefloor.
‘Pepper’ injects gqom with a hefty dose of UK soundsystem pressure; its snapping percussion patterns, whistles and vocal bursts are beefed up by a deep, sub-bass wobble. Check it out below.
‘Formation’ will be released on 27th May. Pre-order it here.
East London has a new 24-hour DJ rehearsal space, All Nighter Studios.
Recently opened and based in Canning Town, the new space offers self-service, rentable rooms for DJs, as well as for the production of music and podcasts, and the editing of videos. Studios will be made available to people 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
The DJ studios come with a standard set-up of two Pioneer CDJ-3000s, a Pioneer DJM-900NXS2 mixer and a Pioneer XDJ-XZ controller. Production rooms, meanwhile, are kitted out with MIDI keyboards, headphones, microphones and monitors.
There’s no such thing as slowing down for Vintage Culture, who continues to release club heaters that hold the capacity to ignite the dance floor. Coming off of four performances at EDC Las Vegas spanning the festival’s main stage to the campground afterparty, Vintage Culture has had quite a time in Las Vegas, and it all began with an official remix of Bob Moses‘s “Love Brand New.” The Brazilian DJ’s first re-imaginative endeavor since his April 1 spin on Mella Dee and Infinite Coles‘ “Love It or Not,” Vintage Culture’s take landed on May 20, just in time for EDC festivities.
Bob Moses’s original draws elements from industrial rock and alternative-electronic, but Vintage Culture flips the switch on his deep-house recasting with a faster tempo, entrancing melodies, and progressive synths.
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