The first release is an album from his label partner Christopher Coe, AKA Digital Primate.
Carl Cox’s new record label will launch in May.
The label’s called Awesome Soundwave, or ASW for short, and it’s geared towards artists who make and perform their music live. It’s founded alongside Christopher Coe, AKA Digital Primate, who will also offer up the label’s first release, an eight-track album called MNTNS of SLNC. As the name might suggest, the album is inspired by the damp, mountainous landscapes of the artist’s home on the west coast of Ireland. There’s also a couple of remix EPs in the pipeline for that one.
Stream Christopher Coe’s track “Headland.”
02. They Walk, The Mountains
03. Let It Go
04. Mountain Burial
06. Mountain Of Grooves
07. Cliff Face
08. Ancient Prayers
Awesome Sound Wave will release MNTNS of SLNC in May, 2018.
Joe Goddard’s endearing re-make of Danny Tenaglia’s, “Music Is The Answer” may have been the shining single off his sophomore album, Electric Lines. However, it was this particular single, “Home” which struck four-on-the-floor gold thanks to an immaculate disco chorus sung by up-and-coming vocalist, Daniel Wilson who also stars in the accompanied music video. A tongue-in-cheek, five minute story which follows the vocalist himself on an early-morning, cab-ride home from the club, drifting into unconsciousness towards an animated disco-wonderland filled with psychedelic visions of nude disco divas, leather daddies, and the house music legend himself, Larry Levan.
2. “NOTHING REALLY MATTERS” – TOTO CHIAVETTA [INNERVISIONS]
At about 4AM on one Friday the 13th this past January in the middle of the Yucatan jungle, Dixon was unleashing one unidentified track after another and the very peak of his set he featured this otherworldly tribalistic party-starter by Italian producer, Toto Chiavetta. The tune went down in Day Zero history as the biggest track ID only to be released a long eight months later with seven other fantastic numbers on dance music’s most illustrious imprint, Innervisions. It set the bar higher than ever thanks to an odd pairing of middle-eastern strings and tribal rhythms colored with trippy, reverberated sound effects. It sounded like nothing else yet it fit in perfectly with the vibe of 2017.
3. “HEAL ME” – RODRIGUEZ JR. [MOBILEE]
I’m completely dumbfounded as to why Rodriguez Jr’s “Heal Me” wasn’t a bigger charting tune in 2017. It’s a nearly perfect composition from his sophomore album, Baobab which was released this past June. Press play, close your eyes, and drift away to sonic heaven.
4. “COLD HEART” – DUSKY [17 STEPS]
Dusky spent 2016 achieving electronica fame with their sophomore full-length effort, Outer. But in 2017, the London house duo went back to their roots by diving straight back into ’90 style garage and all things four-to-the-floor including this mega-balearic bomb they titled “Cold Heart.”
5. “V13A” – SUPER FLU [MONABERRY]
Dance music’s most remarkable duo split 2017 right down the middle with their most accomplished full-length yet simply titled Musik 3. It’s their third effort on the LP front and it features this absolutely maniacal, stop-and-go, dance-floor destroyer oddly titled “V13a” and it is without a doubt, one of the best tracks that house music had to offer in 2017.
6. “THE PHOENIX (PART 1)” – MARQUIS HAWKES [AUS MUSIC]
Marquis Hawkes’ “The Basement Is Burning” is the one that has been getting all the attention this year but his other release on Aus Music, “The Phoenix” is the one which truly took me to that special place. The ethereal, anthem-like tune practically reaches into my soul and transports me to house music heaven thanks to a traditional house recipe consisting of an immaculately sampled diva vocal, steady euphoric chords, and a raw syncopated bass-line which flawlessly massages the pumping rhythm better than any tune in recent memory.
7. “CHROMA” – LONE [R&S RECORDS]
Dance music’s most legendary imprint, R&S isn’t accustomed to releasing house music but Lone isn’t your run of the mill house producer. For the past ten years or so, the Nottingham producer who’s known privately as Matt Cutler has been churning out his own unique version of early ’90s electronica with a handful of full length albums and a select amount of euphoric singles scattered over a few different well-respected imprints.
8. “FOR YOU (DJ KOZE CLUB MIX)” – MICHAEL MAYER & JOE GODDARD [K7 RECORDS]
Michael Mayer‘s fabulous long-player from late last year featured this indie/electro collaboration with Hot Chip‘s own Joe Goddard. Then just a couple of months later, the tune was given a couple of remixes but up until then, every incarnation of “For You” paled in comparison to Koze‘s revision. A brilliant makeover which features an ingenious bass-line that takes on a life of it’s own and practically steals the show from Joe Goddard!
9. “SILENT STARS” – JIMPSTER [FREERANGE RECORDS]
Jimpster continues to rule the underground house scene with a critically-acclaimed catalog as far as the eyes can see and in this particular year, he continues his string of high quality tunes. He released his first first full length in four years and it starred this enchanting tribal jam which he masterfully crafted to fit the vibe of 2017.
10. “REALITY” – TIM ENGELHARDT [FRYHIDE]
Wedged smack dab in the middle of house and techno and sitting on top of the ten best of the year is this absolute masterpiece by German-based producer, Tim Engelhardt.
If you’re planning on traveling this year for NYE, may we suggest Bangkok?
The Bangkok Countdown is making its debut this year in Thailand on December 30 & 31. Featuring some of EDM’s top artists, including Afrojack and Knife Party (who will be doing the countdown), this is bound to be a memorable experience you’ll be telling your friends about for years to come.
Brought to you by the same creative minds that present Thailand’s wettest and wildest Songkran extravaganza S2O, this spanking new festival promises to wow New Year’s revelers with a genuine music festival atmosphere – huge futuristic stages, Bangkok’s best comfort food, digital experiences, and a diverse line-up of international artists DJs from various electronic music genres.
And now, the festival has officially unveiled the design of their main stage and it is absolutely incredible. Featuring 16 massive LED screens and trusses sporting a variety lighting effects – and don’t forget about the lasers – this main stage is worthy of being called one of Asia’s most elaborate stages.
David Guetta‘s recent heated collaboration “Dirty Sexy Money” with dutch house phenomenon Afrojack, pop sensation Charli XCX, and hip-hop prodigy French Montana gets acunning remix from Banx & Ranx that revitalizes the original track’s sound while maintaining the sunshine-filled vibe.
The original track is loudly taking over the charts on a global scale, raking in an astounding 40 million plays since its release. “Dirty Sexy Money” debuted at the MTV VMA awards in November and exploded the track into its perpetual path of success. The official music video was released last week, and the remix package is slated for a release just before Christmas.
Banx & Ranx’s remix gets a head start with a tribal, moombahton, and reggae vibe with a low-passed pluck and percussion from KIIDA that flows flawlessly with Charli XCX’s vocals. Banx & Ranx take the remix into a dancehall-fueled track without losing the cultural flavor and allow for maximum exposure on the dirty dutch elements with the sunny vibe to shine through. Cesqeaux, who’s signed to Barong Family and Mad Decent, effortlessly embeds the slo-mo reggaeton rhythm that acts as the remix’s foundation and allows for imminent and unlimited building. Lastly, Mesto and Joe Stone (Spinnin’ Records) polish off the cunning remix with flavored indie-dance and electro elements that feature funky piano house melodies and synth refrains.
You can catch David Guetta in the states for NYE weekend, or catch him on his tour through Europe this winter!
December 28 @ Centro de Eventos Valle del Pacifico, Yumbo, Cali, CO
December 29 @ LIV Nightclub, Fontainebleau, Miami Beach, FL
December 31 @ Depot 52 Warehouse, Brooklyn, NY
January 18 @ Olympiahalle, Munich, DE
January 19 @ Accor Hotels Arena (Bercy), Paris, FR
January 20 @ Mediolanum Forum, Milan, IT
January 26 @ TipsArena, Linz, AT
January 27 @ Tauron Arena, Krakow, PL
January 28 @ International Exhibition Centre, Kyiv, UA
He may have retired from touring or performing, but Avicii was everything but inactive this year. A successful new EP, a documentary, and a video game were just some of the project he was involved in this year.
Swedish producer now released a new video, for a song “You Be Love,” taken off his comeback EP AVĪCI (01). The new, 3D video offers Avicii’s idea of creating an entirely new way of telling a love story, lead by surprise, technical innovation, creativity, and emotion.
The minimalistic video made completely in 3D with directors TNT offers a new dimension to the emotional track featuring low-timbered rock and roll vocalist Billy Raffoul. The tragic story, inspired by antique art forms, accompanies the song in the right way, once again exposing Avicii’s eye for details and exploring instincts.
AVĪCI (01) has already proved to be a huge success, while “You Be Love” generated over 19 million streams on Spotify alone.
Illenium is a Denver-based DJ and producer who thousands of listeners have fallen in love with. Over the years, he has worked to perfect his entrancing, innovative sounds through producing various singles, EPs, albums, and live sets. With only one show left of his nearly sold out North American tour for his Awake album, he has been busy beyond belief. However, that didn’t stop him from seeking out some amazing pianists and surprising all of us Illenials with a new release on his label Seeking Blue / Kasaya.
This newest release from the Denver-based producer is a small compilation of various piano covers of hit songs from Awake titled. Not your average remix EP, these 3 songs are transformed by extremely talented pianists into even more tear-jerking versions of the originals.
“Beautiful Creatures” is the first track, which is covered by Julien Marchal. This is the softest interpretation of all of the tracks, but does an amazing job of capturing the feel and story of the original song. “Fractures,” covered by Lorcan Rooney, is almost identical to the original as the piano follows the melody of Nevve’s vocals almost perfectly. Finally, Lambert’s cover of “Crawl Outta Love” is included. This cover is absolutely stunning and is sure to give you chills when you hear the delicate piano notes combined with the soft backing rhythms.
So far, this sneaky release is only available on Spotify. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes available on iTunes and/or Soundcloud later on. Each song is linked below so grab your tissues, put on your Illenium merch, and be prepared to be carried away into complete audio bliss.
“You made something ’cause it sounds good?” Jlin said in an interview this year. “For real? You’re not doing enough.” Her second album lives up to that ethos: Jlin completely rewrites footwork’s DNA into something complex and sinister. Through singular rhythms and stark soundscapes, the American artist shows the kind raw power you can harness with drums, samples and an incredible imagination.
Here’s an example of how to make radically weird music that still rocks a party. Since their first album last year, the Jamaican duo have sharpened their sound down to a dangerous point, arriving at a style that is menacing, psychedelic and even silly at times.
Among many other subjects, Lee Gamble was wrestling with artistic development, premodern musical notation, politics and soundsystem culture when he wrote Mnestic Pressure. This makes sense. The record achieves an incredible collision, where complex themes and ideas meet the raw immediacy of the dance floor.
With Take Me Apart, Kelela did what few artists can in following up a standout debut: she transformed while also getting to the heart of what makes her unique. Though she recruited a number of star producers for the album, what emerged from those sessions was an R&B masterwork that’s saturated with her personality. It mixes sex, sadness, vulnerability and empowerment in a way that captures the beautiful, messy essence of real life.
Four Tet showed us his range in 2017. There was “Question,” a simple yet insanely catchy club cut, followed by New Energy, a gorgeous, elaborate record that swings from Rounds-era sounds to lush house and quasi-trance. If his recent run of dance floor singles were lost on any of his original fans, then this album will have won them straight back.
Was there a more assured debut album in 2017 than Modern Species? With its humid atmospheres, light-footed percussion and wafting melodies, is the perfect soundtrack for an introspective summer’s journey. In a year of great records from Aarhus’s blossoming Regelbau crew, this is the standout.
Ideepsum captures an artist looking to the past for inspiration. Made up of six club tracks for the body and mind, this double-pack is a breakout release from a little-known Romanian producer with a cosmic touch. Tech house might be a dirty term in 2017, but Sublee reaffirms its potential for enchanting dance floor moments.
Young Marco worked old-school rap, digi-dub and all manner of global oddities into his sets this year, and his Selectors compilation for Dekmantel feels like a trip around the world at 80 BPM. On this journey, we take in Wolf Müller’s tropical drums, Dutch cosmic music from The Force Dimension, and new age house from Larry Heard.
Weightless? This was one of the heaviest experimental electronic records we heard this year. The Spanish artist confirmed her status as one of the scene’s most interesting newcomers, releasing this dense, industrial-infused full-length on the one hand, and tearing up Berghain’s new Säule venue with her DJs sets on the other hand.
On Fever Ray’s 2009 debut, Karin Dreijer, appearing on her own for the first time, kept her cards close to her chest, with a sound still wedded to The Knife’s Silent Shout. Arriving eight years later, Plunge is an altogether different proposition, a tour-de-force that explores sexuality and politics with lyrics so blunt they can feel like rallying cries (“Free abortions! And clean water!”). Paired with characteristically alien sounds, produced together with Peder Mannerfelt, the album confirms Dreijer as one of the visionary musicians of our time.
Screen Memories is the result of five years spent alone in a house in rural Minnesota, where John Maus not only wrote and recorded these odd bits of synth pop, but also built the synthesizers he played them on. This gives you an idea of the eccentric mind behind Screen Memories, a record that, like all of Maus’s work, is made from baroque synth melodies, post-punk rhythms and inscrutable lyrics, this time touching on subjects like the apocalypse, pets dying and football.
Reassemblage synthesises some of 2017’s most recognizable crate-digger trends—Japanese ambient, fourth world music, new age—into startlingly modern music. Using complex processing and production techniques, the American duo pay a respectful homage to their influences. It’s music that hints at various cultural traditions without directly touching on them, like folk music from an alternate reality.
Laurel Halo calls her third solo album, Dust, the happiest album she’s made. Of course, it’s not that simple—the LP’s sunny dub motifs, cryptic lyrics and scattershot percussion make for a journey that’s both beguiling and distant. This intricate dreamworld—constructed with help from collaborators like Klein, Lafawndah and Eli Keszler—is alien, yet intimate, with moments of warmth that draw us in again and again.
Well, they pulled it off. One of this year’s big talking points was how LCD Soundsystem wrote a comeback record that exceeded expectations. American Dream doesn’t soar to the anthemic highs of its predecessors, but as a front-to-back listening experience it’s arguably the best record they’ve ever written.
Tzusing’s debut album is inspired by a literary character who castrates himself in order to become a more nimble martial artist. The Malaysian-Chinese producer’s approach to techno is similarly concerned with agile attacks. With broken beats and exotic instrumentation borrowed from industrial and EBM, 東方不敗 is techno cut with the supple strokes of a master swordsman.
On the afternoon of Wednesday 22nd February, lots of people simultaneously gasped, “Oh, shit.” That was the day Arca announced his third album with “Piel,” the first taste of his new vocal-led music. Exactly ten months later, it feels like the record, along with its accompanying live show and videos, is the boldest artistic statement made in electronic music this year.
On his debut album, Bristol producer Kristian Jabs pulls a striking range of ideas from a limited palette. He blends drum & bass, techno and trip-hop with a touch that’s so technical it’s a little scary, while immersing the listener in a bleak miasma that sticks to you. It’s fitting that it came out on Blackest Ever Black: the album is draped in only the darkest hues.
Genres like trance and progressive house are popular for a reason: they’re often produced with maximum pleasure in mind. Bicep know this. On their long-awaited debut album, they siphon the best elements of those genres into something that fits with contemporary house and techno, making for some of the best dance floor moments of the year.
Last year, Chicago native Jana Rush quietly emerged from an almost 20-year hiatus with a wild-eyed footwork EP called MPC 7635. It reintroduced her as one of this year’s artists to watch, and she made good on that promise with Pariah, a rhythmic rollercoaster that proves her remarkable versatility, taking in soul samples, erratic acid lines and next-level rhythmic manoeuvres.
Dresvn into Objekt, Photek into Don’t DJ, Walter Brown into Yves Tumor—fabric 92 is perhaps the finest example yet of Joe Seaton’s fearless and idiosyncratic DJ style. But more than that, it’s a monument to DJing itself, showing how, with the right combination of taste, skill and daring, mixing records can have transcendental results.
Visceral Minds 2
The Visceral Minds 2 compilation is exemplary in two ways. Firstly, it makes a coherent body of work out of 20 different collaborations between the label’s founders, Zora Jones and Sinjin Hawke, and others artists. Secondly, and crucially, its tracks are impressively experimental without losing a connection to the dance floor.
The full-length return of a techno and sound design dream team, Anguilla Electrica is a perfect blend of form and function. There are hints of dub techno in its six tracks, which modulate and morph while staying tethered to a steady 4/4 pulse. Abstract yet accessible, this is 2017’s most evocative techno album.
Where Are We Going? is that rare thing: a club-ready album that grips you all the way through. Its secret is its stylistic range, subtly guiding the listener through sublime deep house, uplifting garage and brooding techno in a way that feels intuitive. As anyone who saw Octo Octa’s brilliant live show can attest, hearing these tracks on a big system was a treat.
The average mix CD can get across a DJ’s style and taste, but they’re less common as a medium that shows artistic growth. Special Request’s Fabriclive 91 is a spectacular exception. By absorbing electro and ambient into the hardcore continuum that, over the years, Paul Woolford’s alias has refreshed with such style, the mix moves with a devil-may-care freedom and energy, summoning the spirit of one of dance music’s most celebrated eras.
Outro Tempo: Electronic And Contemporary Music From Brazil 1978-1992
Music From Memory
A golden rule of crate digging is to root around sections that others are ignoring. Madrid-born, London-based selector John Gómez went one further, following a hunch and unearthing a little-known scene of visionary experimental electronic music from Brazil. Outro Tempo introduces us to singular artists like Andréa Daltro, Maria Rita and Priscilla Ermel, and shows an important bridge between their techniques and fourth world theory.
In a way Burnt Friedman’s music is destined to be overlooked—the Berlin artist does his best to defy all existing musical traditions, essentially ensuring he has no comfortable place in today’s musical landscape. Some of his records are so good, though, that they simply demand to be heard. Enter The Pestle, a striking and hypnotic collection that presents six of Friedman’s compositions in reverse chronological order, offering a tantalizing starting point for one of electronic music’s most creatively ambitious artists.
Nordic Flora Pt. 3: Gore-Tex City
If you couldn’t already tell from his takeover of our Instagram account this year, Varg’s relationship with techno is a little different from most artist’s. Also see this singular album, on which, among other twists, AnnaMelina drops autotuned R&B vocals over a techno-meets-trap beat and, on a heady techno track, Yung Lean sings about killing his landlord. But don’t mistake these creative decisions for gimmicks: Varg’s best asset is how natural he makes breaking the rules sound.
Unlike her past work, Steffi’s third album doesn’t feature any vocals, but it still feels like her most personal release yet. Delicate and deeply evocative, it explores a nocturnal blend of IDM, electro and techno, the culmination of years spent collecting records and tinkering with synths. Recalling the alien sound of Ostgut Ton’s early years, it’s a refined LP from a veteran artist with more facets than most.
On Sis-boom-bah!, Jordan Czamanski and Gal Aner break open electronic music’s rigid grid by bringing a jam-band method to the table. By framing delicate keys and guitar licks within the language of psychedelic techno, they drift elegantly between driving dance tracks, ethereal electronica and transcendent ambient moments.
Darren Cunningham seemed inspired in 2017. In between travelling around India and collaborating with the world-renowned London Contemporary Orchestra, he put out AZD, an album full of the kind of woozy club music that made us fall in love with him to begin with. It contained, among other strange jams, “X22RME,” one of the year’s underrated club tracks.
Rembo is everything you’d want of a house and techno album. Its eight tracks are loaded with personality, conveyed through wild synth melodies, uptempo drums and amusing track titles. You’d dance all night to this music—the opportunities for which are increasing—yet its mist-in-the-woods atmosphere gives it a subtly mysterious pull.
In comparing Zwischenwelt to a “mysterious obelisk,” Mark Smith aptly summarised the album’s enigmatic sound. It draws equally from dub techno and drum & bass, but resembles neither style. That’s partly down to its use of Euclidean rhythms, each one taking turns to draw the ear. Not that much of this would cross your mind on a dance floor—you’d probably just ask, awestruck, “What the hell is this?”
Thundercat is a virtuoso bassist who uses his powers for good—Drunk weaves tangled basslines through a psychedelic smear of funk, R&B and hip-hop, as catchy as it is complicated. It’s dazed like a Saturday morning spent getting high and watching adult cartoons, with a sense of humour and the odd social commentary to match.
Inside A Quiet Mind
Loop Recordings (NZ)
Inside A Quiet Mind collects music made in the midst of an extraordinary transformation: from techno artist to Hare Krishna. The Kiwi artist Denver McCarthy recorded these tracks in the second half of the ’90s—the final stretch of his life as an artist and, by his telling, a person with an ego. It’s hard not to hear this in the music itself: exquisitely reflective and atmospheric, these tracks seem to emanate from an elevated inner state.
Out of all of Brian Piñeyro’s aliases, it’s the “deep reggaeton” of DJ Python that stands out the most, and Dulce Compañia is the best example of it The project’s formula—slow dancehall beats that swing with the heft of dub techno—is so satisfying that you wonder how no one else thought of it before.
Presents Prescription – Word, Sound & Power
Rush Hour Music
There’s a “can’t miss” appeal to Rush Hour’s Prescription retrospective. For a few magical years in the ’90s, house legends Ron Trent and Chez Damier focused on the spiritual, deep and healing aspects of dance music, crafting some of the genre’s all-time classics. This six LP box set contains a staggering amount of heat—you could mix an hour or two of perfect tracks using only Word, Sound & Power.
A Flame My Love, A Frequency
“Descending milky night”; “Rain, rain, rain”; “be like the bat that nearly flew into my room”: Cécile Schott’s music has a sense of poetry well beyond what we’d normally expect from electronic music, and not just in the lyrics. Her quivering synths, delicate and vivid, are at least as expressive as her breathy, self-trained singing voice. A Flame My Love, A Frequency is her first LP free of acoustic instruments, and it may well be her best.
Until last year, SW. had been SUED’s more silent member, with a subtler sound and slimmer release count than the label’s cofounder, SVN. That all changed with Untitled, AKA The Album, a massive leap forward for both artist and label that came out on vinyl last November and then digitally this year on Apollo. A dreamlike swirl of fluttering rhythms and moonlit atmospheres, blending elements of house, ambient and drum & bass, it’s rich enough that we’re still picking it apart a full year later.
2017’s most fun and creatively unhinged dance record arrived after six torturous years of work. “Turning the potential into a finished track is very, very hard for me,” Erik Wiegand told Lisa Blanning. We’re glad he persevered. The neon blend of techno and dancehall on Superlative Fatigue was unlike anything else out there this year.
Loud-Contact’s annual June party series, in collaboration with Proyectual, will take place at Parc Del Fòrum for the first time.
The Barcelona promoter Loud-Contact has announced June parties by CircoLoco, Diynamic and Afterlife, to take place at Parc Del Fòrum for the first time.
The dates for these parties are Thursday, June 14th, Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th, respectively. The lineups will be announced January 8th. Tickets will go on sale next month, and further details on additional parties are expected to emerge around that time. A new stage and production will be set up specifically for the event series, which previously took place at Poble Espanyol. The Parc Del Fòrum, situated on the city’s northern waterfront, is a sprawling multi-purpose venue best known for hosting Primavera Sound festival.
The number of records for sale on Discogs has nearly quadrupled in size over the last two years.
Discogs’ global marketplace now has more than 37 million physical music releases available.
The for-sale section has experienced a nearly four-fold increase in volume since the popular user-built music database celebrated its 15th anniversary back in November 2015, when it was approaching 10 million total marketplace items. The first week of this month alone saw users make 130,000 orders—a record for the site. Currently, around 27.5 million vinyl releases are on sale, making up close to 75% of the marketplace’s listings.
Discogs announced earlier this year that it hit one million total labels and five million total artists in its database, and recently it revealed the results of a project with its sister site VinylHub plotting the locations of record stores around the world. Discogs has also launched marketplaces for movies, books, comics and posters.
The new venture is set up in partnership with Health Assured.
A new hotline has been established in order to combat sexual harassment in the electronic music industry.
The Association For Electronic Music, an industry-wide not-for-profit group that’s also involved in the Get Played Get Paid Campaign, has launched the new service in partnership with UK workplace health provider Health Assured. Complete Music Update reports, “The new service will offer advice and guidance to those who call a dedicated phone line.”
The hotline is being set up in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, aftereffects of which have rocked the entire entertainment industry. Björk reported sexual harassment at the hands of an unnamed Danish director, while 2,000 women from the Swedish music industry signed a #MeToo letter indicating endemic sexism. Many male industry leaders have resigned or apologized in the wake of accusations.
If you are experiencing sexual harassment you can speak confidentially to specially trained staff now by calling 0800 030 5182.