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.

Continue reading

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

Continue reading

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).

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Four Tet Shares Unreleased Floating Points, Joy Orbison & More in New BBC Mix

Four Tet‘s sets have always been a bastion of the eclectic and unknown, with a selection of deep cuts that no Shazam can ID. His latest mix is another treasure trove of unreleased tracks as he hit the airwaves earlier this week on BBC Radio 1.

Filling in for Benji B on his show, Four Tet brought in Caribou and Floating Points for the three-hour session. “The three of us play records together all the time, so this is pretty normal for us,” Four Tet explains. From there, it’s straight into selections from Kerri Chandler, Moritz Von Oswald Trio, Seven Davis Jr., Daphni, Jay Daniel and Four Tet himself, plus a less traditional “compulsory pan pipes section” and a 1979 track recorded in a Virginia prison called “Your Destiny.”

Highlights of the mix include unreleased original tracks and edits from Koreless, Floating Points, James Holden, James Orbison and one of our favorite up-and-comers, Anthony Naples.

“It’s an edit!” Anthony wrote us, after other outlets erroneously referred to his Arthur Russell edit as a remix.

Listen to Four Tet and friends fill in for Benji B over on the BBC website. Meanwhile, the trio of talents will be on hand for a massive show this fall at London’s Brixton Academy on October 16, where they’ll be joined by Orbison and the Hessle Audio crew. The lineup is so stacked, in fact, that the show sold out in three minutes flat. This mix might be the closest one can get.

Continue reading

Listen to Slam’s T in the Park Set on This Week’s Essential Mix

Last week we showed you how how fast a stampede of Scottish ravers could fill the Slam tent at Scotland’s long-running T in the Park, The Slam Tent. With Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle (aka Slam) at the helm, the tent’s lineups have consistently featured the biggest names on the house and techno circuit for the better part of the last two decades.

This week Pete Tong’s legendary Essential Mix clues you in to why they’re rushing the fence, offering up exclusive 30-minute blocks from the Scottish techno veterans, alongside a ridiculously stacked lineup featuring Maceo Plex, Adam Beyer B2B Joseph Capriati and Eats Everything.

Leading off the show, Slam/Soma label bosses Stuart McMillan and Orde Meikle tear through a relentless techno set, featuring Radio Slave, Mark Broom, Truncate, and more.

“We’ve been doing the Slam Tent now for 18 years,” Stuart says. “It’s a huge event within the Scottish clubbing calendar. I think at the first event we had Daft Punk doing one of their early live sets. Then we had Laurent Garnier there and Andrew Weatherall was there. The buzz of that first year still stays with me.”

“Well, we never tend to plan the sets so I’m not absolutely 100% sure of what we’re gonna play when I’m up there,” Orde chimes in. “But we’ve got a couple things from our record label Soma, a couple of new things that friends like Len Faki have given us to play over the summer season. You’ll just have to listen…”

Tune in to Slam’s T in the Park Essential Mix below.

Following Slam, Eats Everything drops a hammering house set, with tracks by Dave Angel, Grain, and lots of unreleased re-rubs from the man himself, and the rest follow suit.

Then came Maceo Plex live…

And still more from Adam Beyer B2B Joseph Capriati – a total techno firestorm.

Slam’s T In The Park Essential Mix tracklist:


Slam – Intro
Roberto & Jamie Anderson – Corugatta
Aphrohead – Let’s Prance (Radio Slave & Thomas Gandey Last Communication Remix)
Arnaud Le Texier – Pstyromaniac
Etapp Kyle – Parallel
Len Faki – For Real
The Remote Viewer – Untitled
Terence Fixmer – Aktion Mekanik Theme (44 Version)
Alan Fitzpatrick – Confessions Of A Wanted Man (Benjamin Damage Remix)
Envoy – Dark Manoeuvres (Slam Remix)
Truncate – Model 2
Floorplan – Never Grow Old (Mark Broom Dubplate Mix)
Patrice Bäumel – Roar

Eats Everything

Adam Freeland – We Want Your Soul (Eats Reebeef)
Mark N-R-G – Brain Is The Weapon (Eats Reebeef)
Dave Angel – Scorpion
Grain – Acid Test
Stephan Hinz & Philipp Ruhmhardt – Hak
Da Hool – Meet Her At The Love Parade (Nalin & Kane Mix) (Eats Percolator On The Rebeef)
Maetrik – Snorkel (feat. Kule Runner)
[unknown] – Untitled
[unknown] – Untitled
Odd Parents – All Alone
Terranova – Restless (Danny Daze Remix)

Continue reading

Disclosure’s “Holding On” Gets A Stomping Remix from Armand Van Helden

Disclosure have made clear their intent to maintain a pop aesthetic for the duo’s upcoming second studio album, Caracal, but that hasn’t stopped fellow producers from refashioning it for the dancefloor.

Already, Caracal’s lead single, “Holding On” featuring jazz singer Gregory Porter, has been dipped in disco and velveteen house by UK producers Gus Pirelli and Julio Bashmore, respectively. The latest to try his hand at the track is Armand Van Helden (who some may know as one-half of Duck Sauce). The New York great utilizes his old-school status to maximum effect with euphoric, hands-in-the-air classic house builds before dropping into a huge bassline that, on a proper sound system, would rumble through a crowd.

There’s no word yet on a release date for Van Helden’s “Holding On” remix, but as Disclosure began their careers with more club-oriented fare, one can hope that a formal remix EP is in the works just as they did with their debut album Settle.

In the meantime, fans await the Lawrence brothers’ next move. Later this month, they’re off to celebrate 20 years of BBC Radio 1 in Ibiza, and they’ve been teasing the release of their new collaboration with Sam Smith in the lead-up to the album’s September 25 release and subsequent US tour.

[Photo via Armand Van Helden’s Facebook]

Continue reading

Watch Jack Ü’s Headlining Set from Their Full Flex Express Tour

For the last week, rabble-rousers Diplo and Skrillex, collectively known as Jack Ü, have been traveling together on the Full Flex Express tour, which made its most recent pit-stop this past weekend in Toronto. Those who couldn’t make it to the sold-out event (or tune in to its live-stream) can curb the FOMO with newly surfaced footage of the duo’s headlining set.

Their set opened with a live version of their hit “Take Ü There” with the track’s leading lady, Kiesza, on stage to introduce the pair and sing live. Diplo reminds the crowd, “She’s Canadian, we love her,” before continuing on with the frenzied set, a bass-heavy blend of hip-hop, trap, dubstep and beyond which snuck in remixes of pop stars like Beyonce, Rihanna and Lorde among set staples like Diplo’s “Express Yourself”and Jack U’s “Where Are Ü Now.”

The Full Flex Express crew will continue their trek via train across the Canadian countryside with headliners Zeds Dead, ASAP Ferg, Tycho, Kiesza, Hundred Waters, Anna Lunoe and Mija in tow. July 19 at Pemberton Festival marks the tour’s final stop, but not before it hits Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Calgary to round out its eight-city journey.

Head to the Full Flex Express website for tickets to the remaining shows.

[Photo via Full Flex Express’ Facebook]

Continue reading

Hear the First Single from Synkro’s Upcoming Debut Album

Since his debut in 2007, Joe McBride aka Synkro has solidified himself as one of the best to do moody bass music, with various releases on labels such as Auxiliary, Exit Records, his own (now defunct) Mindset and R&S offshoot Apollo. Now, nearly ten years in, he returns to the latter for his first proper full-length.

According to the UK producer, the album – titled Changes – was inspired by his desire to “take knowledge from the past & use it to change the future,” further noting in a press release the influence of artists such as Popul Vuh’s Florian Fricke, Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook and Tangerine Dream. “Finding early electronic music has always been a massive inspiration to me, learning the roots of where everything we listen to now comes from. It always amazes me how much has already been done with electronic music but it still keeps progressing.”

The album follows Synkro’s Transient EP from 2014, which was also released via R&S’ ambient arm, and his 2013 album as one-half of Akkord with regular collaborator Indigo. Earlier this year, McBride self-released a limited edition cassette, Farewell.

While Changes is due to drop on September 18, he has shared the title track to tide fans over until then. Made less for dancefloors and more for lights-out lie-downs on the living room floor, it’s a soothing, atmospheric rippling of bass. Check it out below.

[Article photo via]

Continue reading

DJ Monita’s Top 5 Classic UK Breakbeat Hardcore Cuts

Drum & bass owes everything to the hardcore pioneers in the early ’90s, like The Prodigy, Lords of Acid, 2 Bad Mice, and even Goldie, who meticulously worked on hardware samplers, chopping breaks into incredibly fast arrangements to satisfy the legions of underground ravers across the UK. Without their tireless work, the landscape of bass music would be barren. In short – all of the early creators of hardcore and jungle are owed a massive debt of gratitude.

This week, UK bass icon Fracture, born Charlie Fieber, released an updated VIP mix of DJ Monita’s 1992 breakbeat classic “Luv Ta Luv Ya,” reworking the break with great respect for its design, taking the time to nail down the original feel of the classic and imbue it with an inspired new flavor.

Fracture graciously presented us with the opportunity to check in with the legend himself, DJ Monita. Monita, aka Brian Fenner, founded Skeleton Recordings back in 1992, becoming a leading figure in the sound of an underground culture. Over 20 years since the label’s inception, Fenner has resurrected the imprint to reissue vital remixes for a new generation, hungry to discover the roots of junglism.

“I was first alerted to Fracture around 2012, when he had the track on Total Science Presents Tuned In 2 called ‘The Breaks,’” Monita explained. “Loved that track and still do. This was soon followed by his ‘Better Than Tomorrow’ release on Metalheadz, so he was a name I certainly recognized, and looked out for. Shortly after joining Twitter, I was very honored when Charlie hit me up saying that he had a real passion and respect for ‘Luv Ta Luv Ya.’”

“We swapped numbers, and had a long chat one day, where he told me he had only recently got the ID of it and the story of him first hearing it when he was at high school on a pirate radio tape,” Monita continued. “I asked if he fancied doing a little updated VIP version for himself and me. When I heard the finished version I was over the moon. That drop at two minutes was an instant goosebumps moment!”

We asked Monita if he would share some nostalgia from “back in the day,” and he took a trip with us, lacing us with his top five tunes from 1992.

1. Nasty Habits — “Dark Angel” (Remix)

“This four-tracker is just as good, if not better than the original Reinforced release. ‘Dark Angel’ is the one I preferred from the EP, that rolling bassline and dark feel was what set me on my journey to the dark side. As a bit of a nod, I also named one of my Skeleton releases [SKEL011] after this track.”

2. Metalheads – “Sinister”

“In my opinion, this whole EP is probably one of the best ever from the genre. Every single track is legendary, for obvious reasons. ‘Sinister’ though… so dark. This one is in my all-time top 10 tracks from the scene. Also the Grooverider remix on Enforcers 5 was tough.”

3. D-Livin – “Why”

“What a track, a proper head-nodder. The only one from my top five that doesn’t have that dark vibe to it. I used to batter this one in my pirate radio days. Love the dreamy intro to this one, with that unforgettable vocal stab sampled from MJ. Slightly slower tempo, but real bouncy.”

4. Tic Tac Toe ‎— “Ephemerol”

“Probably my stand-out breakbeat tune. Love the sound of the dirty synth and breaks. Really reminds me of the sweat-filled outdoor tent or a proper warehouse rave. First thing I picture when hearing this one is lasers and big crowds.”

5. Satin Storm — “Think I’m Going Out of My Head”

“For me, Satin Storm were the bad boys of the ’90s UK hardcore scene. Love this track. The synth, samples and the whole way it was constructed is truly special. Many know this as the Nicholas Parsons tune – which makes me smile.”

Continue reading