5 Mixes to Get You Hyped for North Coast Music Festival

5 Mixes to Get You Hyped for North Coast Music Festival

Today begins Chicago’s “last stand of summer,” otherwise known as the North Coast Music Festival. Independent local promoters React Presents, Silver Wrapper, Cold Grums and Metronome have teamed up to bring out some of the biggest artists across the music spectrum, from soul maestro D’Angelo & The Vanguard and veteran rockers Widespread Panic to hip-hop group The Roots and jam band Joe Russo’s Almost Dead.

Electronic music fans will also have plenty of incentive to spend the extended weekender at Union Park. Iconic block-rockers The Chemical Brothers are finally back with a new album, Porter Robinson’s bringing his anime-inspired Worlds live show and Chromeo are getting future-funky, among other performances from the likes of Snails, Booka Shade, Kill The Noise, Sweater Beats and Haywyre. Of course, it wouldn’t be right to have dance music in Chicago without some house, courtesy of Roy Davis Jr., Green Velvet, Terry Hunter and more.

There’s no work or school on Monday, so why not come early and stay late? If there are holes in your festival agenda, here are five mixes that just might fill the void – and if fans still can’t get enough, all the more reason to keep the party in full swing at the afterparties.

[Photo via North Coast’s Facebook]



Fresh off a string of European festival dates, Knife Party are heading overseas to close out North Coast’s first day on the 630 Stage. The Australian duo always bring the energy with their self-described “seizure music” and are still showing their debut album, Abandon Ship, much love in their sets, but trust that there will be some new tracks slipped in to keep avid fans on their toes – case in point: their recently unveiled, as-yet untitled collaboration with Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello.

When: Friday, 8:45-10:00pm
Where: 630 Stage

Booka Shade


As electronic music veterans with over two decades to their name, Booka Shade aren’t exactly the first names to come to mind as an opening act, but the title is almost a prestigious one when warming up the floor for D’Angelo. The duo are presently taking their live show across the US, along with a new EP, Wildest Thing, so festival-goers looking to head up the main stage early are in for a mesmerizing experience at the hands of the German stalwarts.

When: Saturday, 4:45-5:45pm
Where: 312 Stage



After two years of climbing the dance music ladder, Jauz has broken through the surface in a big way. The LA producer’s gone from just bootlegging heavyweights to working alongside them, from contributing a guest mix for Diplo’s radio show and officially remixing ‘Song of the Summer’ “Lean On” to collaborating with Skrillex and booking a ton of festival gigs.

Jauz maintains “music has no boundaries,” but one can find him commanding the rowdiest of crowds with the bass dialed to full volume. Though he’s locked in for a mid-day set, expect him to perform with headliner-worthy fervor.

When: Saturday, 3:30-4:30pm
Where: 630 Stage

Green Velvet


North Coast wouldn’t be a true Chicago festival without some house music on the program to celebrate the genre’s birthplace – and that’s precisely where Green Velvet comes in.

The hometown hero otherwise known as Curtis Jones (and as Cajmere) is briefly stepping away from his collaborative project with Claude VonStroke, Get Real, to show crowds just how the Windy City gets down with heaping portions of jacking house, funky techno and sizzling acid. In short: it’s going to get weird, but Green Velvet wouldn’t have it any other way.

When: Sunday, 5:30-6:30pm
Where: 630 Stage



After a sweaty dancefloor workout from Green Velvet comes a major cool-down session from Tycho. The rock-electronic live band, headed by producer Scott Hansen, make music that’s expansive and calming – appropriate as the festival heads into its last leg on Sunday evening. Enhancing the music are the psychedelic visuals (created by Hansen himself) buried in color-saturated washes to create a vibrant and hypnotic experience. If the timing goes well, this could be the ultimate sundown set, so be sure to catch it.

When: Sunday, 7:00-8:00pm
Where: 630 Stage

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5 Mixes to Warm You Up for Sun City Music Festival

5 Mixes to Warm You Up for Sun City Music Festival

This weekend in El Paso, TX is going to be a scorcher, and in more ways than one. On September 5 and 6, Sun City Music Festival is coming to town for its fifth year at Ascarate Park with an artist roster packing more heat than the weather forecast.

Hardwell and Armin van Buuren have been tasked with headlining the event, with a strong supporting cast that ranges from main stage heavyweights Galantis, NERVO, Dash Berlin and DVBBS to bass-mongers Brillz, Borgore, Jauz and Zeds Dead; along with a Beatport stage boasting some solid house and techno. To prepare for the festival, we’ve compiled a few mixes that will get your ears and muscles warmed up for the long days and nights ahead.

[Photo by Rukes]



Before he officially starts on his US tour next week, Lane 8 is bringing major house heat to Sun City. The San Francisco-turned-German transplant will be hitting the festival’s first day on the Beatport stage just as night falls, setting the tone for Claptone, Hot Since 82 and Dubfire.

Having recently released his debut album, Rise, there’s high probability that Lane 8 will bust out more than a few cuts to celebrate, but the 90-minute slot gives him ample space to explore the deep, dark and progressive corners of the house spectrum to fit the occasion. His latest mix for Anjunadeep makes for a good primer.

When: Saturday, 8:15 – 9:45pm
Where: Beatport Stage



As GTA’s mantra goes, “Death to genres,” and it definitely applies to their mixes. The boys are less concerned with labels than they are about making dancefloors move with a widespread arsenal packed with everything from jungle terror and big-room to ear-wormy rap acapellas and a lot of bass.

With a primetime slot booked at the Main Stage, GTA’s set will seem less like a regular festival gig and more like a massive, raucous house party with thousands of your friends. Let the debauchery commence.

When: Saturday, 9:30 – 10:30pm
Where: Main Stage



For those looking to take the first day relatively easy, Odesza’s headlining set atop the Bass Dunes stage will be a dreamy session beneath the stars.

The Seattle-hailing duo have been on the ascent for nearly three years, and can already count appearances at Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle among their achievements; but their second album, 2014’s In Return, helped elevate them to a new level of stardom with its experimental-yet-accessible approach to chilled-out bass music. Catch them in El Paso before they jet off on the next big step in their career: a bona fide world tour.

When: Saturday, 12:45 – 2am
Where: Bass Dunes Stage



In a packed touring schedule between dates at Electric Zoo and their Omnia Las Vegas residency, Mim and Liv of NERVO are squeezing in an appearance at SCMF with their newly released their debut album, Collateral, in tow.

The Australian twin-duo are tasked with following high-octane acts such as Jauz, Borgeous and Zeds Dead on the Main Stage, so expect to hear them at their energetic best before handing the floor over to headliner Hardwell. The latest episode of their Nervo Nation radio show is an example of their ability to pick out the hits that will get the crowd’s hands up in the air from start to finish.

When: Sunday, 11:30pm – 12:30am
Where: Main Stage

Adam Beyer


El Paso is a long way from Stockholm, but leave it to Adam Beyer to bring the essence of Swedish techno overseas to Sun City.

The Drumcode boss is bringing his room-filling, heads-down sound to the Beatport stage on SCMF’s second day alongside partner Ida Engberg and fellow techno torchbearer Chris Liebing with a peak-time slot prime for late-night dancefloor demolition. What better way to close out the weekend than in a blaze of glory?

When: Sunday, 11pm – 12:30am
Where: Beatport Stage

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CRSSD Festival Announces Killer Phase II Lineup

Following swiftly on the heels of its successful debut in San Diego back in March, CRSSD Festival returns to San Diego’s Waterfront Park October 10-11 and if the first phase lineup didn’t sway you, then today’s announcement should.

The ‘Phase II’ lineup includes Tchami, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Route 94, Autograf, Oliver Nelson, Jonas Rathsman, Jai Wolf, Banks, SNBRN, Wax Motif and a DJ set from FYF standout Nicolas Jaar, amongst many others. CRSSD will also feature a surprising collection of b2b sets including Classixx b2b Holy Ghost, Cashmere Cat b2b Trippy Turtle and Goldroom b2b Le Youth, along with live performances by The Flaming Lips, TV On The Radio, ZHU, Panda Bear, AlunaGeorge, Hercules & Love Affair, Baio and more.

Already-announced DJs include some of the biggest names in festival-friendly electronic music, including Ben Klock, Todd Terje, DJ Tennis, Mano Le Tough, Jamie xx, Maya Jane Coles, Bonobo, Jacques Greene and Giorgio Moroder.

Apparently Amtrak drops festival-goers off just steps from the grounds in Downtown San Diego, so if you find yourself in Southern California Oct. 10-11, you have no excuse.

For tickets + more info click here.

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Listen: Nero’s New Mini-Mix Has a Very Unexpected Tracklist

Leading up to the release of their sophomore album, Between II Worlds, UK trio Nero are keeping their momentum strong with a new ‘At The Movies’ mini-mix made for Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1.

Clocking in at just over five minutes, the mix somehow manages to pack in a wide array of cinematically inspired music clips into its short duration. It opens with the iconic 20th Century Fox intro before delving into a disco-tinged riff of the Star Wars theme. Keeping the disco flare at the forefront, Nero layer in the famous Kill Bill siren along with Paul McCartney’s “Live And Let Die,” the signature tune for the 1973 James Bond movie of the same name.

The entire mix is a slice of nostalgia that spans multiple generations; even overlaying Kavinsky’s anthem “Nightcall” (made popular by the Ryan Gosling epic Drive) over Underworld’s “Born Slippy” and Eminem’s 8-Mile rap ballad “Lose Yourself.” A few classic sound-bites also make their way into the mix at strategic breaks to give the mix a full-bodied representation of cinematic history.

Listen to Nero’s ‘At the Movies’ mini-mix below. Following Between II Worlds‘ release on September 11, they’re heading out on a North American tour that’s stopping in cities such as New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Detroit, Edmonton, San Francisco and more.

[Photo via Nero’s Facebook]

20th Century Fox theme
Vangelis – Chariots of Fire Theme
Galactic Force band – Theme From Star Trek
Meco – Star Wars: Title Theme
Brad Feidel – Terminator II Main Title Theme
Alan Silvestri – Back to the Future
Lalo Schifrin – Theme From Enter the Dragon
Quincy Jones – Ironside
Wings – Live and Let Die
Kool and the Gang – Jungle Boogie
John Williams – E.T. Main Theme
Richard Strauss – Thus Spake Zarathustra
John Williams – The Conversation
Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild
Blondie – Atomic
Ennio Morricone – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Titles)
Harold Faltermeyer – Intro / Bakersfield
Vangelis – Bladerunner (Main Titles)
Underworld – Born Slippy
Nero – Into The Past
Bernard Herrman – Prelude and Rooftop (Vertigo)
John Carpenter – Escape From New York (Main Title)
Eminem – Lose Yourself
Kavinsky – Nightcall
Michael Jackson – Speed Demon
Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
Queen – Flash’s Theme
Harold Faltermeyer – Axel F
Clint Mansell – Winter Overture (Requiem for a Dream)
Mahler – Adegietto (From Symphony No.5) (Death in Venice)
Sound of Cinema – James Horner (BBC Radio 3)
Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
Prince – Purple Rain
John Williams – Jurassic Park Theme
John Williams – Main Title (Theme From ‘Jaws’)
Elton John – Circle Of Life

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Calvin Harris Gives a Rare Interview; Actually Gets to Talk Music

If you were to run a Google News search on Calvin Harris right now, you’re going to see a lot of results about Twitter spats and Taylor Swift. Given how rarely the producer/Armani model grants interviews, it seems the world is resigned to working with scraps.

Annie Mac, however, was recently granted a rare audience with the most lucrative man in dance music during the BBC Radio 1 Weekend in Ibiza. As it turns out, the Ushuaïa booking was the DJ’s only White Isle date this season, with Harris preferring to stay close to Las Vegas.

The subject matter of this interview: his life outside the tabloids. Given the chance to talk about music, Calvin Harris still has some interesting things to say. You can’t watch the video in the US, so we’ve rounded up some of the highlights for anyone without a UK VPN.

Calvin on why the UK and Europe isn’t as EDM-obsessed as North America: “It’s not really happening over here, is it? That whole EDM sound. Part of my theory on this whole thing is the [UK] recession fed the music. And then when the bigger clubs shut down, the smaller clubs were the only thing that was happening. And you can’t play a big Swedish House Mafia style thing, a big Alesso style track, in a small club. You play vibey records. But as long as those huge festivals are happening in America…which need that sound, you can’t go to a 100,000 person festival and play vibey house music; you just can’t.”

And why he traded being a frontman for a new lease on life: “I wasn’t even going to be a DJ. I was more planning on being a producer. It was mostly that I didn’t want to sing on my own songs anymore, and I had songs in the bank that didn’t suit my voice. [Being a frontman] is a nightmare, because you’re singing the same songs again and again, and then when you do another tour you have to change the old songs slightly for the new tour. I was thinking, this isn’t creative, I’ve written 15 songs but I want to do way more than that. So 2011 and 2012, I worked more in the studio than I ever did in my entire life.”

As Harris tells his interviewer, the move from live act to DJ meant trading his old fan-base for a new following. “It kinda cut off the fans of the old music,” he says. “But I was over it, because I felt like it was done, and it was.”

During the chat, the producer also gives his philosophy on releasing music, which could double as veiled advice to his EDM peers. “If you have enough success in dance music, you have a responsibility to release really good music,” he says. “You know a lot of people are gonna listen to your records and say, ‘That’s dance music, that’s EDM.’ Make something good! You can have a good song that goes off, as well as a bad song that goes off. So make the good song! Please. That’s what I’m trying to do with my new song [“How Deep Is Your Love”]. It doesn’t go off in traditional ways that I’ve made my songs go off in the past.”

The full interview is here (if you are in the UK).

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Skrillex on How Deadmau5’s “Asshole” Attitude Overshadows His Music

Following this weekend’s Mad Decent Block Party, Skrillex stopped by NYC’s 92.3 AMPRadio, where the unfailingly upbeat producer was called on to discuss his misanthropic early mentor and label boss deadmau5.

Despite their personal and working history (deadmau5 took him on his first solo tour and released his second EP Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites back in 2010), the cantankerous Canadian has taken several recent shots at Skrillex for the “jack u shit” he’s been releasing with Diplo, saying the new single “Where Are Ü Now” with Justin Bieber “sucks,” and posting a parody of the song, replacing the violin sample with a kazoo.

“I’ll always have love for Joel [deadmau5] because he put me on at an early time, but he’s an asshole,” Skrillex said, neither dissing nor mincing words. “Everyone knows that, and he knows that. And that’s kinda his thing.”

Skrillex went on to lament the fact that, while deadmau5 may be comfortable with his negative outlook, it is bound to effect those around him.

“The one thing that is unfortunate about it is that he has a record label. And when you have a record label, you gotta be a leader. And he has people that are like signed to him. And I couldn’t imagine being a leader, you know, going out in the public image being such a negative attitude,” Skrillex, who is known for his overwhelmingly positive outlook, explained.

“I don’t take it personally because I’m secure with myself and what I do, I love what I do. But I almost feel bad that that’s his one way of getting attention rather than going into music and curating. I think his attitude’s changed over the last couple years. I personally have become less connected to his music because his personality is almost overshadowing that, when he is such an incredible artist.”

Naturally, deadmau5 has responded to his former label recruit’s comments on Twitter – but he hasn’t gone on the offensive. Despite writing that he doesn’t “really give a fuck” about the character assessment, he cops to what Skrillex is saying. “I’m aware that I can be a fucking diva,” he wrote. “I am aware that I have more than one complex. Very fucking aware. At the end of the fucking day, if I’m ‘miserable / moody / negative’, then that’s just me dealing with or not dealing [with] internal shit.”

Watch Skrillex’s interview here.

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AIR Festival Debuts Next Month with a Cast of House and Techno Heroes

AIR Festival Debuts Next Month with a Cast of House and Techno Heroes

With massives such as Tomorrowland and Awakenings in the rear-view, a new event is giving European dance fans something to look toward in the upcoming festival agenda.

As Resident Advisor reports, AIR Festival is set to make its debut next month on September 5 at Dreiländergarten in Weil am Rhein, a town located on the German, French and Swiss border. The one-day collaboration between Swiss nightclubs Hinterhof and Nordstern will bring their house- and techno-leaning bookings to the open-air venue, where they’ll host approximately 30 DJs across three stages.

Techno heavyweights such as CLR boss Chris Liebing, Gaiser (in live mode), Len Faki, Marcel Fengler and Tommy Four Seven lead the way; while heading the house contingent are Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Fur Coat, Sascha Braemer and Radio Slave. Others due to perform on the day include Bella Sarris, Nastia, Adriatique, Andrea Oliva, Oliver Koletzki and more.

View the full lineup for AIR Festival’s debut below and head here for tickets.

[Photo via Chris Liebing’s Facebook]


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The Top 10 Mixes of the Month – July 2015

The premise is simple: Each month I listen to lots of podcasts, live sets, radio shows, and random uploads from all over the place and narrow it down to my favorites. Tweet your recommendations to @matoswk75.

In chronological order, let’s begin:

Frenchy – Throwing Shapes (July 1)

Frenchy is a 15-year Leeds DJ, co-owner of the Waxwerks record store and usually co-host of the Throwing Shapes show with Tristan da Cuhna. This time around he took the decks alone, and it’s a delight – two hours of gorgeous, chunky, soft-lit deep house (meaning jazzy and late-night, not “post-Disclosure”) and disco from a guy who clearly knows and loves his stuff.

Was Legit – Late Night Swim (July 2)

Orlando’s Elvis Guillen has such a good name it’s surprising he changed it for professional reasons. This club set is offers a short (under 34 minutes), sweet (you know, concentrated) overview of, and argument for, glitchy EDM-laced garage and pre-wobble dubstep. With tracks from Shigeto, Mount Kimbie, and stopping the show midway through, James Blake’s “CMYK” (still his best recording), it’s a gorgeous nightcap.

Chris Avantgarde – Your EDM Mix Volume 25 (July 4)

This London progressive house producer’s bestselling Beatport track is only a month old (“Freedom”), and there’s a similarly fresh take-charge attitude in this podcast. Rather than simply navigate a clean line in the way of many big-room peers, Avantgarde likes to make big leaps, opening with clean lined house (highlight: Gene Farris and Sonny Fodera’s “We Work It”), leaning toward dirtier electro, then swinging into a surprise final third of drum & bass. And he makes it all of a piece.

The Black Madonna – The Bunker Podcast 99 (July 8)

Recorded live on June 27 at Brooklyn’s Output, during The Bunker New York’s official Pride party, this is just about the most fiercely joyous house set imaginable. The instrumentals and dubs that dominate the first hour could have come from an especially inspired Midwestern after-party during the mid-’90s, setting the table like Martha Stewart for the disco classics that dominate the second (“I Want to Thank You”! “High Energy”!!!). Mix of the month, no contest.

Ryan Elliott – RA Live: The Peacock Society, Paris (July 10)

Thirty thousand people attended Paris’s Peacock Society festival this year, where they danced to a lot of world-class talent. Of a handful of mixes uploaded to stage sponsor Resident Advisor’s SoundCloud, including sets by Laurent Garnier and Seth Troxler b2b Michael Mayer, this takes the cake, alluring from the off, cutting techno precision with house warmth, and paced to climax frequently, yet not predictably.

Matthew Herbert – Essential Mix (July 11)

For a while, Matthew Herbert was as renowned as anybody in dance music. His profile has slipped some, but as this edition of the Pete Tong-hosted showcase proves, Herbert’s slippery, skittering, spare, eccentric, utterly compelling house grooves still sound like nobody else’s. Same goes for his DJing — even more impressive since his inimitable tracks are surrounded by even more by others, which become uncannily more Herbert-like in his hands.

Blade – FabricLive Promo Mix July (July 13)

Jazzy “liquid” drum & bass can be so slick it slides right past the discerning ear. But Blade—discovered a decade ago by LTJ Bukem and the producer of three albums and numerous other tracks to date—knows how to temper it just so. It helps that he’s clearly in love with the formative nineties tracks, many of them on Bukem’s label Good Looking. Happy, the latter dominate this lovely hour.

Roska + MA1 + T. Williams – Rinse FM Podcast (July 14)

The second of a loose trio of back-to-back sessions (with Bok Bok the week before and D-Malice and Scratcha DVA the week after), it’s an informal overview (though he doesn’t use the term on the shows) of London’s hardcore continuum, with the third a UK Funky session. This one’s heavy on Caribbean-inflected house—in a word, exuberant.

Jane Fitz – RA.477 (July 20)

“My background in going out is a mix of free parties, outdoor soundsystems, the old London tech house scene, psy-trance parties, sweaty jazz dances, the party scenes of Asia in the mid-’90s, festivals — all incredibly free-spirited, music-and-good-time rather than headline-DJ-focused experiences,” Fitz told RA in the accompanying interview to this irresistibly airy house podcast. That spirit pervades the mix, the kind of thing you might find yourself craving around 6AM – or PM.

Kerri Chandler & Joy Orbison b2b Ben UFO – Essential Mix: Lovebox (July 25)

A three-for-one is probably cheating, but whatever. Recorded in London at the Victoria Park festival Lovebox, the first hour features Chandler, one of the marquee names of New Jersey house, swinging hard and upfront. The second follows two of London’s sharpest DJs trading off—first dub-spacious, then more straightforwardly R&B, all of it a little ethereal.

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James Blake Confirms Kanye West Feature on New Album

It seems fitting that at the end of his BBC Radio 1 residency in December 2014 that James Blake also leak the title to his third studio album, Radio Silence. Now, many months later – coinciding with the relaunch of the same residency – the London producer has verified rumors of some high-profile collaborations.

As he revealed during an interview with Esquire (via Reddit), Kanye West and Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon are set to appear on the album. “I can confirm that they’re on it,” he said. “Kanye — I’m with him today. We’d already started on something…today we should nail something down. If it doesn’t end up on the album you know it hasn’t worked.”

West has been vocal in his desire to collaborate with Blake, having gone so far as to call Blake “Kanye’s favorite artist” in a quote to Rolling Stone last year. Vernon, who previously worked with Blake on “Fall Creek Boys Choir,” is another Kanye favorite, having lent his auto-tuned croon to the rapper’s “Monster” and “Dark Fantasy.”

Blake is prone to debuting new 1-800-dinosaur tunes (as well as his own) during his Radio 1 Residency time-slot, so stay tuned: surprises are surely in store. In the meantime, watch him perform Radio Silence‘s title track live below.

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