Don Diablo reworks Avicii, Sebastien Drums’ ‘My Feelings for You’ for Vicious Recordings 30th anniversary compilation

Don Diablo reworks Avicii, Sebastien Drums’ ‘My Feelings for You’ for Vicious Recordings 30th anniversary compilation7700562154 C7826b5acf O

Since his passing, many have reworked Avicii’s compositions, though few have seen the honor of having a release published officially. Vicious Recordings has enlisted several artists to do so in commemoration of three decades of dance hits from the esteemed imprint. The Aussie label’s 30-year anniversary celebrations are set to begin with the release of more than 20 reworks of some of the label’s most iconic tracks. Avicii and Sebastien Drums’ once inescapable “My Feelings For You” is one of the first to be released by Vicious, remixed by house luminary Don Diablo.

Instantly becoming a quintessential Avicii select by 2010, track further cemeted the artist as one of the top EDM producers of the day. “My Feelings for You” was an electro-house take on a 1999 cut from Phillipe Zdar and Hubert Blanc-Francart, better known as iconic Fench electronica duo Cassius. The song featured an inimitable, soulful vocal loop sampled from Southern soul songstress Gwen McCrae, as heard originally on her funk track, “All This Love That I’m Giving.” The late producer transformed McCrae’s heartrending vocal sample into a timeless progressive house anthem.

And now, Don Diablo has carefully crafted a blazing rework of the former Beatport chart-topper. Emotive and resounding, the remix stays true to its original counterpart, with a focus that doesn’t waver from McCrae’s soulful affirmations. Overall, the remix is an apt homage to Avicii’s legacy and a testament to Don Diablo’s compositional versatility.

Streaming proceeds will go directly to the Tim Bergling Foundation, an organization founded by the late artist’s family after his sudden passing in 2018. The organization, originally established to advocate for suicide prevention, now works on addressing issues of climate change and nature conservation—learn more at the foundation’s website.

Featured image: Rudgr

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Burgeoning producer veggi talks finding his sound, viral TikTok success, and crafting his sophomore EP, ‘LIQUID’ [Interview]

Burgeoning producer veggi talks finding his sound, viral TikTok success, and crafting his sophomore EP, ‘LIQUID’ [Interview]277484895 1195138857687928 1204462990126096851 N 1

Trevor Hutchens may not yet be a household name, but as the emerging Long Beach producer, better known as veggi, continues to fine-tune his sound, expect that to change—quickly. The 24-year-old beatsmith recently released a six-track LIQUID EP that blends indie, disco-house, electronica, and hip-hop in a tasty cacophony of genres; a sonic salad if you will. Inspired by the likes of Kaytranada, Toro Y Moi, Flume, Neon Indian, and SG Lewis to name a few, veggi’s dexterous affinity for an amalgam of genres comes through within seconds of hearing his work. Dancing Astronaut connected with veggi to learn more about his Lowly.-backed sophomore EP, finding viral success on TikTok, and more.

LIQUID is yet another COVID lockdown-fueled success story; a diamond of inspiration in the rough. “Every collaborator I worked with for [the] project was pretty much all done remotely. It was a sign of the times, but also really pushed me a lot as a producer because I wasn’t able to be in the room with the artists,” explains Hutchens. Officially, the up-and-comer has been putting out music as veggi since 2019, and like the title of his EP, his sound is still very much a fluid entity looking to take shape. “All of the tracks on ‘LIQUID’ incorporate a new avenue for my sound, and it was a fun journey creating it, says veggi, while expressing concern for the process of collaboration.

“[Wanting] consistency in my own sound while also being able to flow harmoniously with my collaborators’ sounds, and this project was the discovery of that,” admits Hutchens.

On the streaming front, veggi is an emerging force to be reckoned with. Hutchens has amassed considerable streaming figures behind his standout single “EXCEPTIONAL” with DijahSB, which has pulled in millions of plays since its release. The feeling of not only obtaining commercial success, but striking the collaborative sweet spot, isn’t one that’s lost on Hutchens as he continues carving his upward trajectory. “Shoutout DijahSB for crushing it on ‘EXCEPTIONAL.’ They’re such an amazing artist and collaborator and killed that vocal.” During the conversation, the gratitude and excitement of a young producer just now finding his footing is palpable, though Hutchens manages to stay cool as a cucumber as he describes the feeling of his music touching fans the world over. “It feels as if we’re now seeing the hard work pay off,” says Hutchens; a triumphant optimism in his voice.

As for his eclectic fusion of genres, veggi says it’s right in line with his own personal music interests. “[My] Spotify Wrapped [is] all over the place in a beautifully chaotic way,” says Hutchens. His background in classical music informs his production methods, while his high school and college days found him experimenting in indie bands, which offered a natural progression to electronic genres and hip-hop.

“I find my sound now fitting into this niche indie-dance/electronic world which is injected with hip-hop. I love seeing, working with, and supporting other artists pushing this sound forward. I have a lot of faith in where my sound is headed, and feel super inspired by not being boxed into one sub-genre or niche,” says Hutchens. “I think in the electronic music scene there are so many caveats and nuances to genres. From an outsider perspective it may all be EDM, but I feel like [certain] artists don’t necessarily categorize themselves as EDM. However, dance and electronic elements are essential to their sound and they all have roots in dance, indie, and even hip-hop. I’m super inspired by their versatility.”

Part of veggi’s meteoric rise is due to his success on TikTok, where he’s amassed more than 1.2 million followers and 22 million likes on the platform largely behind his beloved “mashups that should be illegal” series. Like many others, veggi’s social media fame came about quite innocuously as, “it all started with having fun and just trial and error. I had a bit more time on my hands during quarantine. I was already doing tons of content for my music and productions leading up to 2020, but TikTok is where things really started to take off,” concedes veggi.

@veggibeats

I’m on my emotional shit with this one 🥲

♬ original sound – veggibeats

When asked about how he balances his work on TikTok with his work producing and making music, veggi describes, “a healthy relationship between TikTok and my music. My content is all based around DJing, production, performance, and my personality. It’s one of the only apps that is designed to make anyone blow up organically. That type of organic growth is so beneficial to an artist who is starting from the ground up,” explains Hutchens. And while TikTok has been crucial to veggi’s ascent, he’s backed his upward trajectory up every step of the way with top-notch production acumen that churns out outstanding original works like, “EXCEPTIONAL,” “RAINCLOUDS,” and “THINKING” from LIQUID.

What’s next for veggi? If anything, we learned over an extensive discussion that Hutchens is a creature of consistency. So expect a steady stream of music to come from the veggi camp throughout the rest of the year. His newest single with Stevedreez dropped on June 10 via Too Future, with additional material expected to surface throughout the summer. Hutchens also be working towards a follow up EP to LIQUID. “The new stuff is a big evolution in the veggi project sonically, and I think it’s really going to solidify where I’m going next.”

Featured image: Jack Frisbie

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Gorillaz, Thundercat make a complementary pairing on “Cracker Island”

Gorillaz, Thundercat make a complementary pairing on “Cracker Island”Gorillaz

Fresh off Damon Albarn‘s appearance on the title track of Flume‘s Palaces LP, Gorillaz return with a fresh new track of their own, enlisting bassist extraordinaire Thundercat to assist on “Cracker Island.” The group has been teasing out the new single alongside something potentially much bigger in the form of what they’re calling “The Last Cult.”

On “Cracker Island” we once again find Albarn and Jamie Hewlett warping their virtual band’s chameleonic style around a marquee collaborator’s own sonic stylings, though, to no one’s surprise, the collaborative chemistry between Thundercat and Gorillaz works especially well here.

Gorillaz are continuing their world tour in 2022 by preparing to embark on a massive North American leg this coming fall after recently concluding a stretch through South America. The tour includes dates at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum and Brooklyn’s Barclays Center among many others. Tickets can be purchased here. Listen to “Cracker Island” below.

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Party Favor’s sophomore LP ‘Reset’ is here, featuring DeathbyRomy, Elohim, and more

Party Favor’s sophomore LP ‘Reset’ is here, featuring DeathbyRomy, Elohim, and morePf

Out now via Ultra Music, Grammy-nominated producer Party Favor has shared his sophomore album, Reset. The 14-track album covers a multitude of different genres, styles, and sounds, proudly wearing the producer’s mindset on its sleeve. Having felt boxed in by trap and its adjacent sub-genres early on in his career, Party Favor’s latest is a renaissance of sorts, signaling to a broad overhaul of the producer’s sound.

Tracks like the album’s opener, “With Regards to Your Speakers” which features a beautiful futuristic melody matched with hard-hitting trap drums, offer an inside perspective on how the pandemic shaped a period of growth for the multifaceted beatsmith. With features of Elohim, Marc E. Bassy, DeathbyRomy, and more, Party Favor stretches the confines of his sound further than he ever has on Reset, making for an enticing listen from front to back. Blending euphoric atmospheres, heartfelt lyrics, and different emotive appeals, Party Favor allows for Reset to reveal his most vulnerable sides.

Stream Reset below.

Featured image: @partyfavor/ Instagram

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Four Tet wins lengthy legal battle with Domino Records

Four Tet wins lengthy legal battle with Domino RecordsFour Tet At 1015

After seven months of legal back-and-forth over copyrights, Domino Records has finally settled on Kieran Hebdan, better known as electronic music producer Four Tet’s, breach of contract lawsuit. The intellectual property debacle ensued when the artist publicly announced on social media his dismay at the label’s unfair rates for licensing and streaming his music. Four Tet reiterated that he had signed with the label “[more than] 20 years ago, in a different time before streaming and downloads were something we thought about,” and this caused many to lambast the imprint online.

As a result, three of Four Tet’s albums Domino legally owns—the artist signed to the label in 2001—were taken off streaming services by the imprint, to even more outcry from fans and Four Tet’s peers. Finally, the artist unveiled the UK court’s final ruling on the matter of streaming which is that the artist, ”should be paid a 50% royalty on streaming and downloads, and that they should be treated as a license rather than the same as a CD or vinyl sale.”

Four Tet posted a copy of the settlement offer on social media highlighting a $69,800 payment that he’ll be awarded which represents the streaming and download compensation calculated at 50% rather than the previous 18% rate, retroactive to July of 2017.

“It has been a difficult and stressful experience to work my way through this court case and I’m so glad we got this positive result, but I feel hugely relieved that the process is over. Hopefully I’ve opened up a constructive dialogue and maybe prompted others to push for a fairer deal on historical contracts, written at a time when the music industry operated entirely differently,” said the producer in a tweet about the lawsuit battle.

The copy of the settlement offer documents also revealed that Domino will also be paying the artist a 5% interest on the lump sum aforementioned and 50% of all streaming income not accounted for by the settlement sum. To date, the label still owns a sizable chunk of Four Tet’s discography copyrights and isn’t budging on allowing the artist to take back ownership of the music rights.

“I hope these types of life of copyright deals become extinct – the music industry isn’t definitive and given its evolutionary nature it seems crazy to me to try and institutionalise music in that way,” said Four Tet in a Twitter statement, sharing his final thoughts on the case.

Featured image: Four Tet/Instagram

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Premiere: Rebekah ‘Dead To Me’

Rebekah’s Elements label is putting out a new compilation featuring tracks made by a number of techno producers during lockdown. You can hear her own contribution to the release, ‘Dead To Me’, below. 

The 10-track ‘X Compilation’ has its origins in the ’10×10 Production Challenge’, which Rebekah curated in 2020. It saw her set daily creative objectives for producers to work outside of their comfort zones and deliver a finished arrangement each day.

‘X Compilation’ is made up of music made from that process, with Rebekah contributing a track herself, in addition to cuts by the likes of unperson, Vera Grace and Tess. Tracks cover a range from dancefloor-focused techno to more experimental electronic music.

In a statement about the release, Rebekah said: “I am really honoured to present this compilation as an insight to what was achieved within the 10×10 creative challenge. Connecting once more to music and fellow producers in this way brought much-needed light within a period of uncertainty in the scene and the world as a whole as we fought our way through the pandemic.”

Elements will release ‘X Compilation’ on 24th June. You’ll be able to buy it via Elements’ Beatport.

Michael Diamond shares cinematic video for ‘Third Culture’ album track, ‘Lamentations’: Watch

Michael Diamond has shared the latest track to be revealed from his forthcoming debut album, ‘Third Culture’. ‘Lamentations’ is the third tune to be unveiled, with the clip directed by Oscar McNab. 

The full-length release arrives via his own Vasuki Sound label tomorrow, Friday 24th June, with the clip below directed by Oscar McNab. Elijah (Butterz) has been credited as having significant input, and BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year semi-finalist-cum-Oxford University Jazz Orchestra Musical Director and long-term collaborator Alex Wilson is also involved. 

Born in Kerala, India, but now based at Oxford University in the UK, where he holds a music scholarship and residency at the city’s much-loved and hugely respected party, Simple, Diamond’s first LP is an amalgamation of sounds, with jazzy-hued 2-step, techno, ambient, and epic electronica on the track list. 

Labelled a concept record by the artist himself, it’s a deeply personal outing, tackling his feelings around identify, nationality and nationalism, trauma, acceptance and isolation head-on. The music is accompanied by a short story from close friend Áine Kim Kennedy, whose heritage is Irish-Korean.

“My album and Áine’s short story is one big allegory depicting both of our experiences as third culture kids through a tale of sleep paralysis demons and anxiety spirals,” Diamond said of the record. “I checked how much time I’ve spent on it in total project time, and it’s something ridiculous like 4000 hours-plus, and that’s not even including all the time I spent re-listening to the tracks offline and making notes… I was pulling 14-hour days.” 
 

Lamin Fofana releases album, ‘Ballad Air & Fire’, from new trilogy: Listen

Lamin Fofana has released a new album, ‘Ballad Air & Fire’, which is the first instalment in an upcoming album triptych. 

Recorded in 2021 during an Akademie Schloss Solitude fellowship in Stuttgart with support from Haus der Kunst, Munich and Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, the questing ambient drift of ‘Ballad Air & Fire’ “responds to time slowing uncontrollably” and takes its name from a poem by the late poet and activist Amiri Baraka.

“Over the last year, I have been working/conspiring/sabotaging with and against time,” wrote Fofana. “With the global pandemic and the world slowing down/shutting down/’lockdown’, I find myself using slowness as a de/re/composition tool, to heighten, to intensify, to deepen certain contradictions in music, in time, in my practice, in an attempt to generate something new, something that gives way to new perceptions”.

He continued: “Ballad Air & Fire is a preview, a glimpse into my next project… the first instalment in a triptych dealing with an underlying theme of slowness, a history of movement, of unfolding folding human drama/catastrophe, and of creating a space for reflection for voices historically sidelined or marginalized. It’s fractured and fragmented – what’s ahead – but it’s coming up, it’s coming together”.

The next instalment in the trilogy, ‘Shafts of Sunlight’ (out 29th July), “questions the impositions of western rationality in music” while the third and final instalment, ‘The Open Boat’ (out 26th August) “reimagines geographies of African diasporic people”.

Check out ‘Ballad Air & Fire’ below and then revisit the mesmerising Fresh Kicks mix from the Berlin-based Sierra Leonean artist, DJ and Sci-Fi & Fantasy label founder.

Classic hip-hop albums celebrated on new stamp card-style print

From the 1990s, artists include Gang Starr (‘Step in the Arena’; 1991), A Tribe Called Quest (‘The Low End Theory’; 1991), Cypress Hill (‘Black Sunday’; 1993), Wu-Tang Clan (‘Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers’; 1993), 2Pac (‘All Eyez On Me’; 1996), Miss Elliott (‘Supa Dupa Fly’; 1997), Lauryn Hill (‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’; 1998) and MF Doom (‘Operation Doomsday’; 1999). Elsewhere, Jay Z, J Dilla, Kanye West, 50 Cent, and Kendrick Lamar all feature, with the most recent album coming in the shape of Run The Jewels’ ‘RTJ4’. 

The design for each ‘stamp’ is either an interpretation of the album itself, or a song from the track list. Each comes as an 80 x 60cm litho print in six colours, with silver-foil border mimicking the perforation of a postage stamp. Other versions are available, with ‘stamp collections’ based on post-punk, psychedelic, post-rock, alternative and electronic music. The latter includes records by Aphex Twin, Silver Apples, Neu!, Orbital, Portishead, Tricky, The KLF, and Roni Size.

See the full collection here

Watch Swedish House Mafia’s full Coachella 2022 headline set

Swedish House Mafia’s full Coachella headline set has been shared online. 

The trio’s performance marked only the second time in a decade that a DJ set has topped the festival’s billing, following Calvin Harris’ 2012 performance. The headline set comes off the back of the recent release of their debut album, ‘Paradise Again‘. The trio returned to the live stage at Ultra 2018 after a five year hiatus. 

A huge crowd turned out for the show, which opened in pitch darkness save for a massive hollow circle suspended above the booth — nodding to the trio’s logo, which gradually lit up to mark the start of the show. Within minutes, a slew of anthems was unleashed from the back catalogue of the EDM outfit, who recently unveiled a new IKEA partnership. Typically high-end visual effects were also involved. Watch the set below.