Tag : indie

post image

Whethan unveils brief Bearson collaboration 'Tour Beats One' – Dancing Astronaut

As a staple the future bass scene, releases are consistent, and treasured by his fanbase. Responsible for indie-tinged, sun-kissed hits like “Savage” and “Good Nights,” Whethan has dropped a snippet a work titled “Tour Beat One” — a collaboration with — sharing this in the description:

Whethan is currently deep into the which will hit well over a dozen cities — upcoming stops include Orlando, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Whethan rose fast during the peak future bass and now he’s expanded his into a wide variety chill beats. The short and sweet “Tour Beat One” is an extension a blossoming Whethan sound.

Read More

Whethan unveils brief Bearson collaboration 'Tour Beats One' - Dancing Astronaut[hupso]
post image

Nine Inch Nails, Justice, Pretty Lights, Phantogram top Day For Night line-up – Dancing Astronaut

It’ll take more than the devastation Hurricane Harvey to shut down Houston’s  festival. The three-day festival is set for December 15-17, 2017. Topping the lineup are , , , , , and , along with 18 art installations and performances by internationally renowned visual artists such as Ryoji Ikeda and Matthew Schreiber.

Day for Night has become known for it’s state--the-art lighting productions and art installations on par with and , while retaining an underground/indie festival ethos. The Day for Night Summit, a consciousness raising speaker forum, will kick f the weekend festivities on Friday, with prominent activists sharing their thoughts on the relationship between art, technology, and activism, featuring the likes LGBTQ advocate Chelsea Manning and the political activist musings Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova.

Joining the well-rounded list headlining talent, which also includes Thom Yorke, Solange, and St. Vincent, are electronic music heavy weights , , , , and , with an eclectic list indie-rock appearances by Deep Cuts, True American, and spoken word artist Saul Wiliams.

Tickets to  range from $215 to $750 with fees. This year, a portion the festival’s proceeds will help the Greater Houston Community Foundation aid people in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Nine Inch Nails, Justice, Pretty Lights, Phantogram top Day For Night line-up - Dancing Astronaut

Feature photo courtesy Rob Sheridan


Nine Inch Nails, Justice, Pretty Lights, Phantogram top Day For Night line-up - Dancing Astronaut[hupso]
post image

Emancipator announces new album 'Baralku,' shares track

At the end August, Portland-based producer Doug Appling, better known for his indie-electro intersection artistry as, had, at last, emerged from sonic seclusion. After hinting at a new album, Appling arrived in August to confirm the new LP — the first since 2015’s Seven Seas —was at last finished.

Now, the artist’s announced the new album, Baralku, will see the light day Nov. 17 his owned and operated label Loci Records. Appling went a step further this afternoon, giving fans a taste the new record in sharing an outright doozy a tune “Goodness.” Clocking in under six minutes, the new track encapsulates all that makes Emancipator a standout musical act. Rich in electro and classical jazz elements alike, “Goodness” sees out that Appling remains an outstanding outlier amongst his contemporaries.

Speaking about the album in its entirety, Appling’s shared, “Music takes me to places, and each song is a spirit island on which its soul lives infinitely. To release a song is both a death and a birth at the same time,” he adds. “The sounds contained in each song have reached the end their life process. The once shapeshifting collage expression has been crystallized into a final form, no longer kinetic. Yet it exists in a state permanent potential energy, waiting to be accessed in the form music, just as the memory a departed soul will always have the power to move us.”

Baralku is out Nov. 17 Loci Records.





Emancipator announces new album 'Baralku,' shares track[hupso]
post image

DJ Tony Drake's New Animated Series Wants To Fill Void Left By "The Boondocks"

It’s widely recognized that the music business is — at times — fraught with shady practices that tend to favor everyone except the artist. One Baltimore area resident, DJ Tony Drake, is combining all his various passions into a singular animated expression A Tribe Called Quest’s industry rule #4080: record company people are shady.

Tony Drake’s upcoming animated series, The Indies, aims to shake up the animation and music industries simultaneously, filling the void that shows like The Boondocks and Afro Samurai left behind.

As he told Afropunk recently, the show’s inception came from the realization that there wasn’t any animation that spoke directly to the Hip Hop community without attempting to exploit the culture.

The new 2D animated series follows the misadventures hungry up-and-coming rapper Slick, who gets overly gassed and signs a recording contract without reading it. Unfortunately for Slick, he failed to realize labels are not only home to mega stars but also serve as fronts for hitman-for-hire services.

Throughout the series, Slick works to get out his contract by completing missions and working vigorously on finishing his debut album.

Along with the animation, there is a heavy musical component. The soundtrack is comprised original songs recorded at Grammy Award-winning House Studios DC. Each episode almost acts as a mini-mixtape.

“We’ve been pitching the show and investors have been interested,” Tony Drake told HipHopDX. “They love the story, music and art. They also love the fact that we can create toys, video games and comics.”

The show is currently getting investments Kickstarter.

“They just want the pro that people want to see stories and characters like these,” he explained. “That’s why we’re doing the Kickstarter. By getting people to back The Indies, we’re giving them a direct line to Hollywood to say we want more characters and stories like this.”

Thus far, the support for the series has been tremendous.

“We’ve gotten a really strong response to our Kickstarter,” he revealed. “I’ve had multiple people come up and thank me for pursuing this. People are beyond ready for a show like this.”

Check out the promo video for the show below. Learn more about The Indies and its creator the AMA he did last week.

post image

Liam Gallagher compares DJs to accountants

Former Oasis frontman and bringer the worldwide hit “Wonderwall” hates everything. Over the years, innumerable lists have been compiled detailing just how many things Liam Gallagher really does have a distaste for. Topping his list are his brother, Noel Gallagher, as well as Americans, Mick Jagger, chairs, film premieres, alarm clocks, dancing, his brother, Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, Jack White, Ozzy Osborne, Billie Joe Armstrong, Bono, Russell Brand, his brother again, Dave Grohl, skinny shoes, indie music, Bob Dylan, and then his brother some more.

Now another item is joining the list, and this one, we’re not so sure about.

In the midst preparing for his new solo venture, Gallagher sat down with where he shared his true feelings about DJs — explaining, new music feels “bland” and even brought Calvin Harris into the throw down, slamming the artist in response to a suggestion that DJs had become the new rock stars.

“Did they?” he responded in the interview.

“Not in my world, they haven’t. What, Calvin fuckin’ Harris? The most boring fucking person? … I’ll tell you what they’ve become: the new accountants.”

His entire vernacular use in the piece emulates a layer disdain against DJ performers, but especially Harris, who has become a top 40 hit-making representative the industry.

The 44-year-old Gallagher also continued with the absurdness, claiming to be the greatest living rock icon. Whatever makes you feel better, Liam. Read the full interview .



Liam Gallagher compares DJs to accountants[hupso]
post image

ODESZA discuss evolving through experimentation for 'A Moment Apart' [Interview] – Dancing Astronaut

When  first hit the indie-electro airwaves in 2012, the angelic chords and lush piano their debut EP, Summer’s Gone, shone like a golden hue through the cracks in a heavy hitting EDM market. By weaving indie-folk roots into their largely instrumental debut body work, Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight created a euphoric oasis between the stabbing synths and aggressive bass lines their contemporaries.

On their forthcoming sophomore album, , ODESZA fosters this dreamy yet kinetic niche within the indie-electro sphere by experimenting with new genres, tinkering with organic instrumentation and collaborating with unexpected vocalists. Where other groups falter unconvincing annual rebrands or lackluster imitations previous work, A Moment Apart amplifies the best aspects ODESZA’s sound from new perspectives.

Since the duo’s inception, ODESZA has embraced an artistic philosophy experimentation to stay fresh in the genre. The title track to their 2013 EP, My Friends Never Die, amplified the stunning instrumentation their debut by adding subtle trap elements and choppy vocals.

The following year, ODESZA entered into the pop neighborhood with their celebrated debut album,  Mills and Knight’s experimentation with pop-leaning vocalists such as Zyra, Py, and Madelyn Grant blended vibrantly with their signature compositional style. This fusion elevated In Return to critical acclaim, and would lay the groundwork for continued experimentation on A Moment Apart.

Knight explains that their highly anticipated sophomore LP, which arrives September 8 on Foreign Family Collective, is an evolution in the ODESZA sound because it refines the heat-sleepy feel In Return while paying homage to their indie-folk roots. He shares that, “even before In Return was done, some the material that they] were working on made it on to” the new album.

ODESZA discuss evolving through experimentation for 'A Moment Apart' Interview] - Dancing Astronaut

According to Knight, the duo’s recording process was more hands-on this time around, allowing for creative experimentation with vocalists from acoustic, R&B and alt-indie backgrounds.

The product is a cohesive collection sixteen tracks that heighten everything fans initially fell in love with about ODESZA and dig deeper into what makes them so eye-catching. A Moment Apart was primarily recorded in the artists’ hometown studio and across numerous sessions with vocalists in . From its nostalgic melodies, to the album’s aura longing and hope, the diverse biomes the are undeniably engrained in A Moment Apart.


“This last winter was a really long one; we had almost two months straight rain in Seattle], so we just hunkered down and got in that zone,” Knight explains. “Seattle is known for its rock, folk and indie scene so a lot those elements make it into our music.” Elaborating further, he notes that ODESZA’s roots and location play a pivotal role in their creative processes, though these factors are intangible, operating on a subconscious level:

According to Knight, the final track on the album “Corners Of The Earth” was ironically the first track to come together. The track’s orchestral vocals from Australian indie vocalist RY X and soaring horn sections are a chilling denouement to a cinematic album. Composed in an experimental, collaborative environment, RY X apparently wrote the top line in a single, eight-to-ten hour session. amazing top line all in one eight to ten hour] session.”

For Knight, the process behind “Corners Of The Earth” reinforces the effectiveness ODESZA’s creative strategy, and was crucial in realizing the duo’s end goal for A Moment Apart. “It set the tone for the rest for the rest the album in some sense,” he argues.“It’s an all encompassing track that embodies the epic feel we were looking to accomplish.”

ODESZA discuss evolving through experimentation for 'A Moment Apart' Interview] - Dancing Astronaut

Indeed, “epic” is an accurate word to describe the upcoming LP, due in part to buzzworthy featured vocalist on the still unreleased track “Just A Memory.” After reaching out to the -nominated indie songstress on a whim, ODESZA scored a once in a lifetime collaboration with the singer in an unlikely way. Knight explains that, after sending Spektor “some makeshift demos, which were just light instrumentals,” she wrote them back with an unusual request.

Spektor wrote vocals for the track, but wouldn’t send over the final product email — she wanted them to hear it in person. So, last fall on a Seattle tour date, Spektor invited the duo to her hotel room to do just that, fundamentally changing the future the track. “It was absolutely amazing, we made her sing it twice,” Knight explains. “After we left,] we went back to the instrumental and stripped it down even more to try and capture the vibe in that hotel room. We wanted the instrumentals in the background, and her vocals right up front.”

The intimate setting brought Spektor’s vocals to center stage, highlighting the the power experimentation and open-mindedness when bridging the artists’ two genres together. Knight shares that both “Just A Memory” and the duo’s collaboration with R&B powerhouse Leon Bridges required a “unique back and forth progression” between both artists’ respective musical backgrounds. “Having them live in those genres allowed us to meet in a middle ground,” Knight shares.

Due to a give and take from all sides, the combination Spektor’s vocally-focused, stripped down style with Bridges’ soulful vocals translate effortlessly into the alt-electronic genre. However, Knight admits that rising artists were ten more willing than other bigger ticket collaborators to “go outside their comfort zone and experiment, usually ending up with a better track.”

ODESZA discuss evolving through experimentation for 'A Moment Apart' Interview] - Dancing Astronaut

“What we’ll do for a live show is put twists on and revamp songs that we wrote for the album. We’ll almost remix them ourselves, giving them a little bit more energy for a live setting.”

Similar to ODESZA’s songwriting process, the duo’s live shows evolve in tandem with their willingness to experiment. While Knight shares that their albums have a “headphone oriented, intimate vibe,” he admits that their live shows are “very different beasts.” Experimentation is key in translating the intimate sounds on their albums into high-energy live performances. “What we’ll do for a live show is put twists on and revamp songs that we wrote for the album,” Knight details. “We’ll almost remix them ourselves, giving them a little bit more energy for a live setting.”

Complete with a full drum line, live instrumentation, hypnotic visuals and an unmatched stage presence, Knight shares that everything on the A Moment Apart world tour is “completely revamped from the ground up.” Over Labor Day Weekend, the duo kicked f the nearly at Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival in their hometown Seattle. With Leon Bridges and Naomi Wild as the perfect special guests, ODESZA introduced the newest evolution their sound to the world.

The duo will soon head to New Zealand and Australia before returning to Europe and the United States to perform at their biggest venues to date, showing fans new incorporations fresh perspectives to their sound. As ODESZA continues to experiment with the boundaries the indie-electronic genre, they invite endless limitations into their continual sonic evolution.

Read our full interview with ODESZA below.

ODESZA discuss evolving through experimentation for 'A Moment Apart' Interview] - Dancing Astronaut


Featured image by Avi Loud. Live photos by Jonathan Gipaya, courtesy Bumbershoot.

ODESZA discuss evolving through experimentation for 'A Moment Apart' Interview] - Dancing Astronaut[hupso]
post image

What the hell does it mean to be a producer in 2017? – Dancing Astronaut

It’s 2014, and 60,000 festival attendees at Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival are staring expectantly up towards a sea lights and a DJ board. Over the course the weekend, they’ll watch Pharrell Williams, Zedd, and Calvin Harris light up the desert sky, but now, they stand and wait for two men whom not a single person in the crowd has seen take the stage.

Fans linger, eager with anticipation, confident they know what to expect from this ‘breakout’ group from hit releases ‘Smile’ and ‘You.’ Little do they know, they had been listening to their music for years.

Linus Eklow and Christian Karlsson Galantis are staring back at the expectant faces from the side the stage, taking a moment before they reveal themselves. For the past 20 years, their production capabilities have propelled the likes Britney Spears, Madonna, and Kylie Minogue into the limelight sold out arenas. They have created hit records, chart topping albums, and won Grammys. As they stepped out in front a roaring crowd and a thousand lights, they turned to one another and smiled.

Now it was their turn.


For as long as anyone can remember, a producer’s job description has entailed slaving over sound boards in a dark studio and inevitably forfeiting all due credit to the vocalist. A producer was acknowledged for his or her masterpiece in the fine text the ‘thank you’s,’ and their fame began and ended with industry stakeholders.  The ’s and ’s the world lived in anonymity despite producing some the industry’s most well known tracks such as by David McCallum and by The Beatles respectively. Had Axelrod or Martin been told that being a producer would result in the excessive and public facing lifestyles embodied by the and today, they likely would not have believed it.

Today’s producers are global citizens, jet setting across the world to play their music for a different hoard fans each night. Emboldened with microphones, they are performers in their own right. They pack arenas and festival grounds with tens thousands fans like the pop singers the 2000s. For the first time in the history commercialized music, being a music producer is sexy.

The reality our modern music landscape is that we now live in a world that has two distinct factions music producers. There are still many traditional producers, who strictly work in the studio and behind the scenes to create music that is performed by star vocalists and bands. These producers—people like Max Martin or Rick Rubin—aren’t credited in the title the tracks they create nor do they perform their music live.

The second faction producers are a recent breed. They elicit their own fans who are drawn to the beats behind the songs that they create. These music producers are doubly skilled: in addition to producing their own tracks they perform their music ‘live.’ This new brand producer is a complex phenomenon that many are still teasing out.

Up until 15 years ago, there was no option for a music producer to become a performer unless the producer was also the vocalist. As the art DJing has evolved into a mode for producers to ‘perform’ their tracks ‘live,’ the producer’s role has evolved, too. Now the job title music producer can indicate one two very different career paths, and because this, there has been a dynamic shift within the music industry.

Before the rise commercialized electronic music, music producers were virtually never credited in the title a track. This elevation the producer to an artist—as opposed to a fine text name at the bottom a Wikipedia page—is something that was rarely done in the U.S. pop music scene until fairly recently. M.I.A.’s breakout hit, “,” for example, was both written and produced by Diplo in 2007.  In contrast, 2015’s is billed as a track ‘by’ and  

As producers find their own celebrity through DJing, a greater public appreciation the craft has resulted, and they are more able than ever before to use this leverage to further their own celebrity.  

This phenomenon is all too familiar to Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklow—the production duo behind the Grammy nominated project Galantis. Though fans are surely familiar with the group’s hit songs like breakout “Runaway (U+I),” less familiar are the years behind the scenes production work Karlsson and Eklow have racked up.

Karlsson is the Grammy award winning producer behind mega hits like “Toxic” as well as a part the Swedish Indie Pop band . Eklow co-produced and wrote on number one hit,  Karlsson and Eklow have, independently one another, produced and co-written music with the likes , and

“It’s important to mention that today you can be a producer and you can be an artist,” says Karlsson, though he concedes that duality is “not for everyone.”

Karlsson’s distinction is hardly without merit. Being a celebrity producer today is reserved for those who aspire to be an artist, just as someone like Britney Spears did. Although Djing as a method performance has gotten it’s share criticism from those who believe all it requires is , there is a reason why not every successful music producer has become a mega star through playing their hits on stage.

But Karlsson’s distinction begs the question: has the rise the celebrity producer diminished the value the traditional producer? A famous producer can bring their brand and their fans to the table in addition to the vocalist’s. The traditional producer cannot add this value.

Stranger yet, Karlsson points out, is the that vocalists now seek out superstar producers to appear, credited as artists, on their albums.

If anyone is familiar with this sentiment, it’s Maarten Vorwerk. Vorwerk made a name for himself in 2015 when he came forward as —a controversial role in dance music which involves unknown producers selling their creations outright to famous artists who then own the track.

Though Vorwerk now puts his efforts into his own creations, he enjoyed a long run as one the most sought after ghost producers in the industry, engineering more than a few Beatport number one hits.

“Eminem tells everybody that Dr. Dre has produced his new track and the fact that Eminem collaborated with Dr. Dre is seen as a big selling point to the track,” explains Vorwerk. “Whereas, you wouldn’t see a DJ saying that this or that producer has produced his new track. From my point view I think that you should give credit where credit is due.”

But ghost producers, he concedes, are paid outright to never be credited.

Though ghost producing is undoubtedly a very real phenomenon among the dance music community, keyboard warriors are quick to level the charge against any artist they don’t particularly like. This witch hunting can be chalked up in part to our . It also reveals how little people understand just what a ‘producer’ is responsible for.

Contrary to popular belief, the producer is not necessarily the person creating the sounds and programming the track. Karlsson and Eklow explained that the role a traditional producer does much more than simply engineering the beat a track.

The producer is responsible for even the most ephemeral elements music creation: to make sure everyone is hitting timelines and the atmosphere in the studio makes the vocalist feels comfortable and confident.

“You can hire anyone to program a drum,” says Karlsson and Eklow. “People think that the producer is the guy who actually programs the beat. The producer is the one who decided who is programming the beat, and what the vision for that beat is, and how it’s supposed to make the listener feel. See the difference?”

In this regard, producing music becomes similar to producing a movie or a tv show. The producer isn’t responsible for the technicalities lighting and camera angles. Instead, the producer is making sure that all 200 pieces that need to come together to create a final product do so.

The more mainstream electronic music becomes, the more noticeable the discrepancy between the traditional producer and the celebrity DJ-producer. In examining where the traditional pop producer is left when there is the potential for celebrity, Galantis solidified that celebrity DJ Producers should be likened to artists as opposed to the traditional producer.

After all, they are compensated as artists, they are branded as artists, and they are celebrities in their own right.

Perhaps no one knows this tension more intimately than Andrew Harr and Jermaine Jackson. Together called “The Runners,” the duo have a staggering 17 year production history working with a star-studded list clientele that includes the likes , , and Justin Bieber. Harr and Jackson have a reputation for being some the best minds in the music industry, but their reputation lives solely within the music industry itself and hardly registers at all to music fans outside it.

Recently, Harr and Jackson have had an epiphany sorts. In hopes being recognized for their own talents by a newly receptive public, the duo have developed a project to push through their own original releases. With their BLVK JVCK project, they hope to drum up traction for their creative work without having to depend on the star power a pop artist feature.

“Our dreams always were to be a Pharrell or a Timberland, but we couldn’t sing and we couldn’t rap,” says Harr. “The growth electronic music has opened that door for us to express ourselves musically.”

Harr and Jackson look onto the evolution the producer’s role and star power in a positive light, but not every behind the scenes producer is clamoring to become the next Calvin Harris. In fact, Harr and Jackson could indeed be outliers in a world where many producers are still keen to stay behind the scenes and live in quiet glory.



What the hell does it mean to be a producer in 2017? - Dancing Astronaut[hupso]
post image

Red Bull Sound Selects slated for inaugural 3 day festival in Philadelphia – Dancing Astronaut

Ever innovating and fering patronage  the contemporary scene, is once again planting its flag as one the foremost event organizers in today’s music industry. This October 12-14 the City Brotherly Love will play host to Red Bull Sound Selects, a three-day festival which will include performances by a diverse lineup indie-rock artists.

Performers for the event’s inaugural year include Dawn Richard, Girlpool, SYD, and more. Throughout the three-day event in Philadelphia, shows will take place a few blocks apart at Underground Arts and the Trocadero Theatre. Tickets are only $10 on the Three Days in Philly website, which you can purchase.

Red Bull Sound Selects slated for inaugural 3 day festival in Philadelphia - Dancing Astronaut


Red Bull Sound Selects slated for inaugural 3 day festival in Philadelphia - Dancing Astronaut[hupso]
post image

The xx has plans to release their techno tunes

When  released — their first record in five years — this past January, the highly-anticipated release marked a major stylistic turning point from their previous bedroom-ridden indie sound.

Even in the record’s opening track “Dangerous,” a bright, club-ready track, is it clear The xx had its most pround sonic understanding to date. Of course, I See You and the group’s sonic thickening, owes its thanks in part to the efforts its percussionist and producer Jamie xx, whose 2015 solo record  turned heads in the dance community. That’s not to say the record’s success can be pinpointed on Jamie’s contributions alone, as it remains stylistically diverse in all three member’s contributions.

After recently sitting down with Australian publication Romy Madley Crt said the band has plans to further incorporate the dance-heavy sound fans became familiar with on the I See You tour, as she announced their plans to release “their techno tunes.” Contrary to popular belief, Romy also discussed how the decision came from herself and Oliver rather than just Jamie.

“We’ve got plans to release our techno tunes… We’ve loved having more upbeat music in our set. We’ve remixed ourselves, there’s some older songs that we now play at 120 bpm… People probably assume that Jamie brought the injection dance music to the last album but in a way it’s funny because Oliver and I were inspired by what he was doing and when he got back he was actually the one who wanted to come in and slow it down.” She continued, “It’s a nice change to be able to make people dance at The xx’s shows and to see that range emotions.”

The xx is currently in the midst an extensive world tour. Stay tuned in the coming months to see if this project sees the light day.


The xx has plans to release their techno tunes[hupso]