Tocadisco enjoys being a difficult artist to categorize. With a wide body of work that ranges from pumping tech house to vocal deep house, the German producer can be found all over the stylistic map. On his latest single “Strobe Lights and Sh*t,” Tocadisco tackles driving electro house, fitting a Boys Noizesque bass around an eponymous vocal sample and shrill synth stabs. This one was clearly crafted for prime-time, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see it get some significant airplay in Miami next month.
After premiering his new cultural documentary series Blow Your Head on Potato last week, Diplo has followed it up with a strong second showing. The latest installment features Qween Beat co-founder Mike Q and shines a light on the underground LGBT ballroom scene that he makes music within. While the seminal 1990 documentary Paris is Burning introduced the “voguing” dance form to mainstream consciousness, Mike Q shows that the style is alive and well in modern day Manhattan and New Jersey. Diplo has delivered again, providing a great glimpse into a thriving house sub-culture that rarely gets attention.
San Francisco’s Dirtybird is one of the most diverse dance music labels on the planet, and nowhere does it show more than on its latest compilation. Justin Martin, Claude VonStroke and company have once again served up a heaping 17-track helping of nuanced and forward-thinking dance music. The compilation kicks off with the frenetic throwback rhythms of Kill Frenzy & Nick Monaco’s “Black Girls White Girls,” before Shadow Child’s “The Only One” adds a hip-hop swagger to a pensive synth-scape. J Phlip’s contribution “Coefficient” is a sonic roller coaster standout that features all manner of analog awesomeness in its multifaceted arrangement. Highly recommended for old school techno heads.
As if 17 new tracks weren’t enough good news, Dirtybird also announced its upcoming world tour in support of the release, featuring label heads Claude VonStroke and Justin Martin, as well as regular collaborators Catz ‘N Dogz and Eats Everything. Catch song previews, tour dates, and the full track-list below.
After signaling his new electro-rock sound on his Digital Rocker EP, French producer Tristan Garner has returned with a strong new single in a similar vein. “MachineGun” opens to chugging rhythm guitars over shrieking electro synths before delving into a pleasant metal-inspired melodic breakdown. This enjoyable amalgam is well-situated to convert any Poison-loving child of 80s into an electro fan in no time. Head to Beatport today to check out the release on Garner’s Xtra Life Records imprint.
If French electro enigma Kavinsky’sbombastic backstory is to be believed, then fans should probably keep their distance. After all, a reincarnated zombie in an Italian sports car may be more interested in eating brains than expanding them. But if the eccentric producer’s first artist album Outrun is any indication, his steady stream of exceptional output is going to make staying away a near impossibility.
Since bursting into the collective consciousness with “Nightcall,” the brooding single produced by Daft Punk’s Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and featured in 2011 blockbuster Drive‘s opening scene, Kavinsky (AKA Vincent Belorgey) has built both his musical resume and alternate undead persona with gusto. The culmination of these efforts, Kavinsky’s inaugural album is a 13-track odyssey that showcases the versatility and virtuosity of his menacing brand of electro-disco. Featuring the production talents of fellow French luminary SebastiAn, this sprawling LP represents a singular bar-setting achievement in a genre that has been too-often diluted in the post-Daft Punk dance music paradigm.
Dropping four Harlem Shakes on a mobbed Webster Hall, Baauer was crowned king of the moment in the city that never sleeps on a meme.
Rewind three weeks. The Brooklyn native was toiling in relative trap obscurity, completely unaware that a YouTube user named Filthy Frank was poised to make him the site’s latest poster child for viral video stardom. Don’t get me wrong, Baauer has been one of his subgenre’s brightest talents for some time and his success is well-deserved. But until four men donned strange latex suits and even stranger dance moves to a clip from his year-old single, trap had not quite arrived on the mainstream radar. One thing led to another… tens of thousands of times. Nearly two hundred million views and thousands of truly bizarre 31-second snippets later, Baauer seemed at home with his newfound fame last Friday.
Attention all upstart iPad DJ apps: make way for the real deal.
Native Instruments has unveiled the iPad version of their powerhouse Traktor DJ software, marking a potential watershed moment in the evolution and eventual acceptance of mobile DJing. A Beatport News reviewer described being “blown away,” writing “this new app is going to significantly transform DJing.”
The app reportedly retains the more intuitive aspects of the hit software’s layout and workflow, as well as adds some intriguing new touch-oriented looping and waveform freezing features that promise to add a whole new dimension to live performance. Watch Richie Hawtin test-drive the app in the video above and check out Beatport’sreview for more details.
When it comes to crushing bass music, Boston trio Terravita has an embarrassment of riches. Signed to Datsik‘s Firepower Records, this grimy dubstep alter-ego of electro outfit Hot Pink Delorean has a death metal aesthetic that goes beyond their twisted logo and Satanic cover art. Terravita’s mix for Ultra Music Festival Radio is a relentlessly heavy tour de force through a 40-minute assortment of skull-rattling originals and cleverly arranged mashups. Highlights include Celldweller’s spot-on Black Sabbath remix and Terravita’s set-closing “Rock the Carol of the Bells,” a brilliant trap reinterpretation of the old Christmas standard. Give it a listen and check out the track list after the break.
Robbie Rivera is on a roll. Fresh off the Phase 2 announcement of his stellar Juicy Beach lineup, the Miami house icon has a new single out as a reminder that he’s just as good at providing the soundtrack to parties as he is at organizing them. “A Thousand Miles” is a top-notch production that comes in three flavors, including the soaring Robbie Rivera, Frank Caro & Alemany Mix and trance-inspired Maurizio Gubellini & Delayers Mix. Robbie Rivera’s groove-driven NYC Dub version is my personal favorite, pairing an infectious lead with crisp percussion and well-crafted builds and breakdowns. Miami Music Week can’t come soon enough. Head to Beatport in the meantime to catch this release out today on Cr2 Records.
“Where My Head’s At” is a feature from Dancing Astronaut that gives readers a quick glimpse into an editor’s personal music tastes and how they developed. Subject matter will be all over the map, but we want to let you get a feel for individual editors, and where their heads are at.
This dance music empire is built on pre-packaged euphoria. Every break, build, and drop is carefully calculated to appeal to your ears and legs. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re looking for someone to sneer at the break up of Swedish House Mafia or to downplay Avicii’s brand of buoyant pop, there’s no shortage of music critics reveling in newfound electronic hipsterdom. But dance music was made to be enjoyed. It was made to be enjoyed with the friends, family, and fellow festival-goers that infuse dance events with a collective energy that transcends the individual men and women behind the mixer. Last year, I found that while I still enjoyed these experiences, the polished chord progressions and radio-ready hooks were beginning to ring hollow in my ears.