Effortlessly shifting gears between festival anthems and radio-oriented dance pop records is no easy feat, especially while remaining as intently under the microscope as Martin Garrix. Since initially testing the pop waters in 2016 with Bebe Rexha on “In the Name of Love” followed by “Scared To Be Lonely,” then onto his most recent subset affiliate, “Used To Love,” the STMPD Records chief has spotlessly prevailed in molding his resourceful electro house into music that has propelled him above superstar prestige. For Garrix’s first product of the new decade, succeeding “Hold On” from the tail end of 2019, he has tapped yet another bullseye vocal match in Clinton Kane on “Drown.”
The joint electronic ballad opens with Kane’s gripping lyrics that promptly cue the upward trajectory that “Drown” is bound for. A quintessential designation in most of Garrix’s pop-leaning endeavors is his enamoring acoustic approach, which is palpable once more beside a bright future bass-led zenith.
With a highly anticipated Saturday slot atop Ultra’s mainstage quickly closing in, the chances of “Drown” appearing one way or another within Garrix’s tracklist for the performance seem to be a lock.
As individuals carving their own lanes in recent years, MYRNE and Manila Killa have given asian artistry a much-needed voice in the electronic space. After both releasing their debut projects last year and embarking on tour together by way of Manila Killa’s 1993 EP tour, the two producers have inevitably teamed up for a collaborative EP. Released via Ultra Records, the two-track project Fluorescence finds MYRNE and Manila Killa join their respective sounds in an introspective exploration of their artistic identity and growth.
The joint EP showcases the duo’s own vocals intertwined with emotive production and pastel sonics. “Fear” features lush synths and soft sensibilities while the pair take on their early inspirations of progressive house with their own dynamic style in “Where Do We Go From Here?”—embellished with dexterous vocal chops.
“‘Fear’ and ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ are songs that encompass change and the experience of going through a transition of growth. These songs are explorations of influences that both of us bonded over when we toured together,” stated the pair.
As the genre of experimental pop music, dubbed as hyperpop, continues to grow in popularity, 100 gecs continue to prove why they belong at the forefront of the movement. The duo, consisting of Dylan Brady and Laura Les, turned heads in the music industry with their 2019 LP 1000 gecs, a bold release covering everything from traditional pop sounds to heavy bass drops (all with a healthy dose of autotune). Since 1000 gecs‘ release, the duo have been releasing tracks from their forthcoming remix album. The latest features their biggest collaborators to date, and further shows that 100 gecs are here to stay.
The original mix of “ringtone” is the cutest cut off 1000 gecs, and one of the most immediately catchy ones too. With Charli XCX‘s delivery of the hook stylized with more pop-standard vocal mixing, the track begins to sound more radio-ready than ever. Sarah Bonito (of Kero Kero Bonito) then brings her typically playful style to the track with a pair of rapped verses. Following her collaboration with Boys Noize, Rico Nasty continues her transition from rapper to pop/rockstar with an anthemic performance over a gritty guitar riff. Overall, the track is 100 gecs’ most commercial-friendly track to date and helps pull them in away from the fringes of pop.
The esteemed Groove Cruise sets sail for the west coast this year, outfitting the Norwegian Bliss, the largest ship to ever grace California with over 50 top-tier DJs from across the electronic spectrum and 72 hours of nonstop themed parties. The aquatic event is hosted by Whet Travel, who’s amassed a reputation for exploring the open seas both luxuriously and adventurously with their series of events including Salsa Cruise and Groove Island.
The seafaring sensation kicks it up several notches in 2020 though, with Groove Cruise Cali becoming the largest floating festival ever. It’s hard to put the size of the Norwegian Bliss into perspective, but try this. The ship is over 20 stories tall and hosts over 5,000 guests, or “captains” during the Groove Cruise weekend. Thankfully, it’s also outfitted with matching over the top luxuries and of course, fine amenities to utilize all of that space, giving those very captains unfettered access to a 2 story racetrack, a waterpark, spas, theaters, and over 30 unique restaurants, just to name a bit. There’s no word on the lineup yet, but if previous excursions are any indication, Groove Cruise Cali promises some real motion in the ocean.
The four-day Groove Cruise embarks from Los Angeles for Mexico on Oct. 15, with the first public tickets becoming available on March 4.
It’s Disclosure week, reminiscent to their 2018 run where the Lawrence brothers dropped five tracks in five days. The duo’s latest release continues their disco trend with an infectious walking bass line on “Expressing What Matters.” The deep house trendsetters are back from their indefinite hiatus after producing for megastar Khalid on the Billboard chart-topping collaboration, “Talk,” in 2019 and the recently released “Know Your Worth.” “Expressing What Matters” is their third single dropped in a week after “Ecstasy” and “Tondo” featuring Eko Roosevelt.
Disclosure claim electronic music’s throne in 2014 with their immensely successful Settle LP through their groove-laden beats, club-ready melodies, and pristine samples. These disco releases are no different, placing the prestigious producers back into the house spotlight. “Expressing What Matters” twinkles and sparkles with disco vocals amidst a glitch vox heavy groove that dances alongside a funky bass line and melodic ad libs.
Disclosure dosn’t appear to be slowing down, so we’ll see what the rest of this week holds for electronic music’s current spotlight holders.
Joshua Tree National Park plays host to lauded band RÜFÜS DU SOL in a dramatic new video, which depicts the trio performing “Solace” in the fading rays of daylight.
Illuminated only by minimal lighting, vocalist Tyrone Lindqvist launches into the introductory lines of “Solace,” setting the scene for the serene soundscape the song paints. As “Solace” progresses, the extent of the setup and surrounding scenery become apparent. Just before the three-minute mark, as lighted rods flash across the nearby terrain, and climactic percussion and instrumentals lend their sounds to the vivid light show.
The five-minute video offers a preview of “RÜFÜS DU SOL Live from Joshua Tree,” an upcoming film and live album coming March 6 via Rose Avenue Records and Mixmag. Pre-order the album here.
Elektron’s Model:Cycles is revealed, and – it’s exactly the structure, form factor, and UI of the Model:Samples, but with FM synthesis.
As Elektron puts it, “scale angles dense and jagged, glide over plains vast and fluid, or sink into mists of dissonance. To model is to shape the formless.” Uh, yeah. FM synthesis. Turn knobs, get crazy sounds.
On the Cycles, this is divided into dedicated FM engines – Kick, Snare, Metal, Per, Tone, and Chord. (See videos below.)
And the price definitely isn’t bad – at about 349EUR (converting from SEK), this could be a fun little box to pick up. By slicing the price from the samples model, Elektron are also making this tougher to resist.
None of this is a bad thing. FM synthesis and its wild, sonorous results are terrific for making out-there grooves and percussion, in particular – since it has some of the kinds of nonlinearities in spectrum that you get from molding metal and the like. It’s not so much that we’ve gotten better at FM synthesis over the years, arguably, as it is that our ears are now more tuned to appreciating all that range. Armed with digital power under the hood, I fully expect we’ll see a lot more FM soon – just as we’ve seen polysynths and wavetable synthesis start to move into the space.
But maybe what is a bit disappointing is that the Model:Cycles isn’t a new design. It’s the Model:Samples – the same control structure, the same buttons, the same UI, the same 6-track architecture – but with FM. I mean, it looks like it’s even the same color plastic as the Model:Samples. .
Look, I love having extra controls. And I love cheap and cheery boxes and portability. So I’m very tempted to defend this from people resisting the concept.
There’s just one problem – because I really loved the Model:Samples, I have to really protest here. Why couldn’t Elektron meld sample engine and FM? That would help this box rise from “oh, there’s their previous entry level box with different firmware” to “everyone needs to own this the moment they can get it shipped to their door” classic.
Okay, this isn’t quite as bad as when KORG tried to sell us one electribe as if it were two electribes – the electribe and electribe sampler, which were so similar they seemed like an experiment to check if the distributors were reading the promo materials, like passing the German driving exam. But at least KORG had the decency to change the color.
We’ve seen what happens when a manufacturer takes an entry-level product and crams it with firmware updates instead of making people buy a new box. That’s the story of the Novation Circuit. And the moral of the story is – if you can make your hardware do this, your customers will shower you with adoration and form a whole community around your gear. It’s easier said than done – this makes the life of engineers tough, and it means you have to shift marketing so you can make a software update as exciting as a new box.
But the result can be long-term value for everyone involved, because presumably – forming a more lasting relationship with their little box – customers are even more likely to spread the word.
There’s also some confusion looking at this and Elektron’s own Digitone. The Cycles has audio tracks; the Digitone doesn’t. But the Digitone is superior in basically every other way – real polyphonic sequencing, 8 voice polyphony, more FM algorithms, cool filters and extra modulation for more sound shaping, and more effects, including Overdrive, plus Overbridge support for easier integration with your software.
Oh yeah, and because Elektron’s effects sound fantastic, that alone might be reason to save up (it’s closer to EUR 750 list).
Basically, if the Model:Cycles added even basic sample playback as one extra engine – a la Model:Samples, it’d be my main drum machine. If the Digitone added some of the audio features of either of the Model: line, I’d save up and it would be.
But meanwhile, I’m a little confused. Now, I am happy to be proven wrong. Andreas who reviewed Model:Samples for us seems non-plussed by this. But since he did that review, I’m happy to take on this one and see if I wind up embracing some limitations.
Have a look and see what you think, as I know many readers wrote us saying they were curious what’s coming.
Consistently a man of few words, Baauer’s announcement for a potential new full-length release is more on-brand than ever. The Brooklyn-based producer posted a text from a member of his team alerting him that the masters for a 24 BIT WAV project have been submitted.
Since his debut album, Aa, was released in 2016, Baauer has only released a string of singles and remixes. In December 2019, he treated fans to a double-dose with a remix of Holly’s “Strip Money,” in addition to teaming up with Channel Tres and Danny Brown for “Ready to Go.”
Little is known about Baauer’s possible project. A performance at Ultra Music Festival is the only scheduled upcoming show for the producer—whose most recent public performance was a single show on RL Grime’s Sable Valley Development Tour in September.
Justin Bieber has partnered with Apple Music to exclusively release the visual for Changes‘ title track on the streaming platform. The music video follows the vocalist as he walks atop a frozen lake and strums his guitar from his seat on a log. The outdoor-oriented, no-frills production is sparing on visual effects, focusing viewers’ attention on Bieber’s emotive delivery of the song’s confessional lyrics.
The music video can be streamed in full only on Apple Music. Those who don’t subscribe to the service can catch a glimpse of Bieber’s latest visual effort in the teaser below.
The release follows Changes’ debut at the top of the Billboard 200 chart, which led Bieber to supplant Elvis Presley as the youngest solo artist to have seven chart-topping albums. Presley achieved the feat with his seventh LP, Blue Hawaii, in 1961. The title now belongs to 25-year-old Bieber.
DJ Snake continues to leave his mark on dance music, with yet another impressive achievement. On Feb. 22, DJ Snake performed at the largest single-day electronic dance music event in Europe, which boasted more than 40,000 in attendance. But a performance alone is not enough for the formidable Frenchman, who took it up a notch by creating the largest wall of death the dance music scene has ever witnessed.
A tweet from DJ Snake with only two words, “Legendary Night,” shows the unprecedented size of the wall of death that occurred in the Paris La Défense Arena. With an unreleased track of DJ Snake’s supposedly titled “I Can’t Trust Nobody” soundtracking the chaos, it truly was a legendary night. Between performing on top of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe in 2017 to obliterating the stadium shown below, Snake’s flair for the dramatic can’t be topped.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.